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.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.
When I began my researches in the Archives of Simancas, eight years ago, the regulations then prevailing in that establishment authorized its chief officer to refuse to any historical enquirer the communication of all such documents as he thought might reflect dishonour on reigning families and other great personages, or which he considered to be unfit for publication for any other reason. Although I was at first given to understand that in my case no use would be made of this discretionary power, not many months passed before it became clear that some papers, of the number and contents of which I could form no judgment, were being kept back. If this partial suppression of historical information had no other consequences than to secure to one or other popular hero or heroine of subordinate importance a greater share of praise than was their due, I should, perhaps, have patiently acquiesced. The danger to which it exposed historical research was, however, of a much more serious kind. Whether King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel, Henry VIII. and Wolsey, Francis I. and his mistresses, Charles V. and Gattinara, Pope Leo and Pope Adrian, were really the perfect rulers of church and state which their numerous admirers would fain make us believe, are subjects too important in themselves to be lightly dealt with. They filled places so prominent in European history that they materially influenced its development. But, however great the personal interest attaching to them may be, it is an object of still greater moment to discover whether it was possible, more than three hundred and fifty years ago, to administer the affairs of nations on principles as pure as, or even more so than, those of our own day ; all the great social, political, and moral questions as to whether mankind is improving or is in a state of decay, being intimately connected with it. To form a careful estimate of our own time belongs to the political philosopher ; to bring to light facts which make a comparison with the past possible, is the first and paramount duty of the historian. And how can that be done if the shortcomings of statesmen of past centuries are concealed or explained away?
Although unwilling to give trouble to the Spanish Government, which had so readily granted permission to search its vast depositories of historical documents, I should have neglected a duty had I not endeavoured by every means to persuade it to remove all the restrictions. To obtain redress at Simancas having proved impracticable, I addressed the Director General of Public Instruction at Madrid. It would take too much space to describe the negotiations which ensued, and which during more than six years formed the most difficult and by no means always the most pleasant portion of my labours. It may, therefore, suffice to state that when, during the last ministry of Marshal Narvaez, the department of Public Instruction was entrusted to Don Severo Catalina, now Minister de Fomento, I found him resolved to do away with the obsolete regulations regarding the Spanish archives. Instead of making any difficulties, he procured a royal order, commanding that all the historical documents in Simancas, without any reserve or limitation, should be communicated to me. It affords me special satisfaction publicly to thank him for this liberal and enlightened measure.
When assured that no kind of information would any longer be withheld, I endeavoured to ascertain whether the former volumes of my Calendar, compiled under less favourable circumstances, had received any material injury which it might seem advisable to repair. I was not long in discovering two errors into which I had been betrayed, the first relating to the private life of Queen Katharine before and after her marriage to King Henry VIII., and the other concerning the strange marriage projects of King Henry VII. with regard to Queen Juana, the widow of King Philip, and mother of the Emperor Charles V. The correction of these errors, or rather the new information which has come to light, has been thought to be sufficiently interesting to justify the publication of this volume, which forms a supplement to the first, and, to some smaller extent, to the second volume of the Spanish Calendar.
The two subjects have no other connexion than that they have been incompletely stated in the same work. I shall, therefore, speak of them separately hereafter. As to the documents regarding Queen Katharine, they require little comment ; but the case of King Henry VII. and Queen Juana is of a most complicated nature. The state papers mentioned in the first volume of my Calendar admit of no reasonable doubt that King Henry was really serious in suing for the hand of the Queen, whose dowry consisted of the crown of Castile, but who, according to the unanimous verdict of history, was mad. Doctor de Puebla was not only Spanish ambassador in England, but enjoyed also in an unusual degree the confidence of the King. We have, therefore, no reason to question the accuracy of his statement when he wrote to his master that the English seemed to care little for her insanity, especially since he had assured them that it would not prevent her from bearing children ; (fn. 1) and again when, five months later, he informed King Ferdinand that Henry and his Council desired extremely that the marriage should be concluded "even if worse things were said of her madness." (fn. 2)
The correspondence which I am now enabled to publish throws, however, grave doubts on the insanity of Queen Juana, and the reader will find abundant materials in it to judge for himself whether she was not a victim, firstly, of the tyranny of her mother, and then of the avarice of her father, her husband, and her son. If it can be established that King Henry had sufficient reason to suspect the real state of things, he must be absolved from a stigma the most degrading which could weigh upon his memory. If, on the other hand, he believed that his intended bride was mad, although that may not have been the case, his moral guilt remains unaltered, and a group of other criminals is added to the picture. It would be superfluous to dwell on the significance which these questions have in the eyes of those who are interested in ascertaining the development of civilisation in succeeding generations. Moreover, even those who are inclined to look with indifference on the moral teachings of history must admit that truth, for its own sake, deserves to be elucidated, quite irrespectively as to whether it upholds or refutes preconceived opinions, and gratifies or hurts national or party susceptibilities.
Questions relating to the state of mind of a person affirmed to be insane are generally of an intricate nature, and this is the case with Queen Juana. It is impossible to form a judgment without reviewing the earlier part of her life, and taking into consideration all the surrounding circumstances, which either influenced the formation of her mind or explain the motives of her actions and the conduct of her opponents. To give all the documents which disclose the true character of her mother, under whose guidance she was educated, of King Ferdinand, King Philip, and Charles V., by whom she was imprisoned, would require much more space than we have at our disposal. I must, therefore, content myself with a few prefatory observations concerning the general state of things ; but it has been my aim to give a complete collection of those documents which have an immediate and direct bearing on the inquiry whether, at the period in question, she was insane or falsely represented as mad, in as far as they are to be found at Simancas. The letters here published are the identical reports and orders which were respectively received and given by the very persons by whom Juana was imprisoned ; not the bare recitals of casual witnesses who might be mistaken ; and many of them introduce us, as it were, to the presence of the captive Queen, for in them we find her behaviour minutely chronicled and her conversations literally reported. As the documents of this period, however, are neither numerous nor very explicit on the point in question, recourse must, to a certain extent, be had to the correspondence of later times, and it will be found that the letters written during the years immediately preceding the rising of the Commons in Castile are the most curious and the most instructive. When the partisans of Charles recaptured Tordesillas, in the month of December 1520, and Queen Juana was again the prisoner of her son, the uninterrupted monotony of her prison life offers little of interest to us. I add, therefore, only a few of such documents of that period as I think serve more fully to explain former occurrences.
This volume differs in one essential point from the other volumes of the Calendar. Instead of giving mere abstracts, I have printed the state papers in full, in the original languages in which they were written, preserving the old orthography, the punctuation, and even the grammatical errors which occur in the originals. The documents are printed from transcripts which have been carefully made by the best copyists that could be obtained in Simancas, that is to say, by the officers of the Archives. The copies are deposited at the Rolls House, where they can be inspected by whosoever wishes to compare them with the printed documents. The translations do not aim at elegance, but only at as faithful a rendering of the meaning of the originals as the great difference between old Spanish and modern English permits.
Whatever the opinions on the merits of the divorce case of Queen Katharine may be, no historian, as far as I am aware, has impeached her private character ; and when I had occasion, in the first volume of my Calendar, to speak of her life after the death of Prince Arthur, I could only join in the general praise of her personal virtues. My unconditional commendation, however, was purchased at the price of a partial suppression of truth, and letters which the late keeper of the archives at Simancas had taken much care to conceal make a reversal of my former judgment an imperative duty.
It seems as though exceedingly few, if any, of the men and women who were mixed up with the public affairs of three or four hundred years ago can bear close examination without their characters being more or less lowered in our estimation. Of this Queen Katharine furnishes us with new evidence.
When Princess Dowager of Wales, she asked her father, in the year 1506, to send her a Spanish confessor. King Ferdinand was then at Naples, and as no well-qualified Spanish priest could be found in Italy, he begged his daughter to wait until his return to Spain. But before he had left Italy the Princess informed him in her letter of the 15th April 1507, that she had found an excellent confessor, and needed no other. (fn. 3) As long as Doctor de Puebla was ambassador at the court of King Henry we meet with no unfavourable comment on her conduct towards her spiritual director. Whether that is due to the overprudent character of the Doctor, or to the loss or suppression of a portion of his correspondence, or whether the unfavourable reports did not obtain credit until a later period, we are unable to decide. But in the year 1508, Gutier Gomez de Fuensalida, Knight Commander of Membrilla, was sent to relieve De Puebla from his post, and not many months elapsed before he became aware that the presence of the confessor was to the last degree injurious to the reputation of Princess Katharine. It is always a delicate, often a dangerous, undertaking for a subject to tell his king and master that the honour of his daughter, and consequently his own, is not beyond suspicion. Thus, the Knight Commander delayed speaking in his despatches of the imprudent conduct of the Princess as long as he could, trusting that he and others might be able to persuade her to behave in a more becoming manner, and to put an end to the scandalous rumours which were rife at court. He spoke with the Princess, and Juan de Cuero made representations to the confessor, but the only result was that Katharine regarded them as her greatest enemies. (fn. 4) At last, on the 4th of March 1509, the ambassador thought he could no longer delay breaking the subject to King Ferdinand. (fn. 5) That he laid the blame principally on the confessor is natural enough, but, if we understand his accusations aright, they are of such a kind as only too much to involve the Princess herself.
Fuensalida describes Fray Diego Fernandez as a monk having neither learning nor appearance, nor manners, nor competency, nor credit. He was light, haughty, and licentious to an extreme degree. On another occasion the ambassador calls him a "pestiferous" person (fn. 6) who could not too soon be removed from the presence of the Princess. But, on the other hand, he was young, and does not seem to have been deficient in aptitude for the despatch of business, as he discharged not only the duties of confessor but also those of chancellor to the Princess. He gained her confidence and her affection. The most effectual weapon in the hands of a priest is the belief of others that he is the dispenser of rewards and punishments in future life. Of this Fray Diego made a most unscrupulous use, declaring everything to be a mortal sin which displeased him, however innocent it might be. (fn. 7) Fuensalida gives us one striking illustration. King Henry had asked the Princess Katharine and Princess Mary to go to Richmond, where he intended to meet them. When the Princess Katharine was ready to start, the friar came into her room, and said to her, "You shall not go today." The Princess, it is true, had vomited that night, but was again perfectly well, and the distance she had to travel was at the utmost less than one league. She therefore protested that she was not ill, and did not like to be left behind alone. The friar, however, overruled her objections in a high-handed manner by his categorical command, "I tell you that upon pain of mortal sin you shall not go today." The Princess, "not daring to displease him," had no choice left, and underwent the humiliation of telling the Princess Mary, who had been waiting for her more than two hours, that she was unable to go. It is easy to imagine the feelings of the English gentlemen who, having been appointed to escort the two princesses, rode off with the Princess Mary alone, leaving their future queen behind in the company of a young Spanish monk of bad repute and a few servants, one of whom had arrived by mere chance. They could not have been deceived by her pretext of indisposition, as they had seen her at mass and at dinner in perfect health. When, on the following day, she went to Richmond, accompanied by no other living creature than three women on horseback, her maestre sala, a chamberlain, and Fray Diego, King Henry was so much incensed, that for several weeks he did not take the slightest notice of her, although during that time she really fell ill. "May God forgive me," exclaimed the ambassador, "but since I have known so well the affairs of the Princess' household, I acquit the King of England of a great and very great portion of the blame which I hitherto laid on him, and do not wonder at what he has done, but at what he does not do." (fn. 8)
Fray Diego made the infatuation of the Princess a means of obtaining pecuniary advantages. She was living in absolute poverty, and her father had strictly forbidden her to sell any portion of her plate and jewels, which were to be given in part payment of her dower to the King of England. In spite of these injunctions she sold some plate, and would have sold more had she not been prevented by her servants, in order to "satisfy the follies" of the friar ; and, unmindful of her own wants, she employed the money in buying books and other things for him. (fn. 9)
All the circumstances hitherto mentioned may easily be explained as devotion carried beyond its proper limits. Unfortunately for the reputation of the Princess, her confessor himself renders this more charitable interpretation rather difficult. One day he came to the ambassador, and wished to have an explanation with him on the reports concerning himself and the Princess. The Knight Commander very properly, we think, endeavoured to avoid it, as only tending towards making her disgrace more public, but Fray Diego insisted, and at last said these formal words : "Be it so, but in this house there are evil tongues, and they have cast slanderous imputations upon me with respect not to the lowest in the house, but to the highest, which is no disgrace to me, and if it were not for the sake of contradicting them I should already be gone." (fn. 10) The highest person in the house of the Princess Katharine was evidently the Princess herself, and the scandalous reports of which the friar spoke related, therefore, to her quite as much as to him. We have translated the word infamar by slander, because it has no exact equivalent in the English language, and we were afraid of making the case worse by using too strong an expression. But infamar indicates something more infamous than slander, and if we consider the circumstances under which it was used, it would be mere affectation to pretend any doubt as to what kind of infamy was imputed to the Princess. The ambassador added, that he was so excited that he could scarcely restrain himself from laying hands on the friar. (fn. 11) We readily believe him, for the socalled explanation seems to have been a coarse gratification of vanity rather than a serious denial of a report which, as he said, did not disgrace him.
And how was it possible that King Henry could permit such a state of things to continue? We must remind the reader that the King had caused his son to protest against his marriage with Princess Katharine, and thus reserved to himself the right of breaking off the engagement at any moment that might seem to him convenient. Bearing this fact in mind, it will be easy to understand the explanation of the ambassador, who stated that all the English, and especially King Henry and even Prince Henry, abhorred to see such a friar so continually in the palace and amongst the women. (fn. 12) The King had remonstrated with the Princess "in very strong words ;" as, however, his remonstrances remained as ineffectual as those of the ambassador and the Spanish servants, he did not think it his duty to interfere more energetically. But his apparent acquiescence in what "displeased him so much," and "was constantly brought before his eyes," was "not considered as a good sign by those who knew him best." (fn. 13) The ambassador leaves us to interpret his oracular words as well as we can. We do not wonder at his not being more explicit when speaking to the father of the defamed lady. As we, however, are not labouring under the same disadvantage, we may ask what meaning could these phrases have, except that the ambassador intended to state that King Henry was permitting the bride of his son and heir to go on ruining her reputation in order to obtain a reasonable ground to declare her unworthy of becoming his daughter in law?
We have not yet exhausted the case of the accusation. The ambassador stated that Princess Katharine was guilty of things of "a thousand times worse kind" (fn. 14) than, for instance, remaining behind with her young confessor when she was ordered to go to Richmond ; and in his letter of the 20th of March to the First Secretary of State he declared that he had written only in hints, or, to use his own expression, in "parables" to the King. (fn. 15) His despatch of the 4th of March was sent to Spain by Juan de Ascotia, a servant of the Princess, and chosen by her to be the bearer of complaints against the ambassador. Nevertheless the Knight Commander did not hesitate to call him to witness, because, as he was living in the house of the Princess, he must have seen what had been going on in it during the last two months. If King Ferdinand after having heard the servant, and after having been informed of the complaints of the Princess against him, should wish to know the truth, he would speak without restraint, and "without lying on any point." (fn. 16)
After having stated the accusation, we may hear the defence. The Princess Katharine was perfectly aware of the reports which were circulated about her, for she descants with great vehemence on the infamous slander against her person and the honour of her house. But the friar, she pretended, was the best confessor that ever woman in her position had, with respect to his life as well as to his holy doctrine and proficiency in letters. (fn. 17) He was serving her faithfully, giving her good advice and a good example, and nothing grieved her more than that her poverty did not permit her to reward him as he deserved. (fn. 18) No one, however, who reads the two letters of the confessor contained in this volume, (fn. 19) and the communications which he made to Luis Caroz, (fn. 20) can have any doubt that, whilst his literary attainments were very slender, his coarseness was so great that the Princess could be misled only by her great "affection" for him ; and her case is certainly not improved by the circumstance that, some years later, Fray Diego, whilst still her confessor, was judicially convicted of fornication. (fn. 21)
In the year 1509 the Princess Katharine was not a mere child, who might have been excused on the ground of ignorance. Born on the 15th of December 1485, she was then a widow in her twenty-fourth year, and, quite irrespectively of the question whether her marriage with Prince Arthur had been consummated or not, she must have known what the true nature of the accusation was under which she was labouring. Any woman who valued her honour would, under similar circumstances, have sent away her young confessor, and thus put an end to the scandal which had already continued far too long a time. Princess Katharine, however, adopted a different line of conduct. She informed her father that the friar had threatened to leave her. We may suspect that he was not in earnest ; but the Princess believed him, and implored King Ferdinand in passionate words to prevent him, "her greatest comfort" in her troubles, who "gave her consolation and support" in her cheerless life, from carrying out his intention. Her judgment, generally very clear, forsook her so entirely on this occasion that she asked her father to write to the King of England to the effect that he had commanded the friar to remain at his post, and that he wished that he should be "well treated and humoured" by King Henry as well as by the prelates of the kingdom. Not satisfied with this ardent appeal, she implored her father not to let her "perish," threatening, at the same time, to do something in her despair which neither the King of England nor her father would be able to prevent, and in her letter of the 20th of March she went so far as to hint at her imminent death. (fn. 22) Such conduct and such language could only confirm the suspicion which had been excited, and we must confess that the defence seems to us almost as damaging as the accusation.
As is usual in similar cases, we have no direct proof of a criminal intercourse of Princess Katharine with her confessor, and may absolve her from that charge. But, on the other hand, although she had declared that in pretending to the hand of Prince Henry she was consulting the interests of her father rather than her own wishes, (fn. 23) she did all in her power to bring about that marriage, and was actually living in the house of the father of her late husband and of the man to whom she had pledged her faith. If, under such circumstances, she laid herself open, through her reckless conduct, to a suspicion which is the most degrading for a woman, and involves one of the most heinous crimes a catholic can commit, we think we shall not be too severe if we pronounce her to have forfeited the right to be considered as a lady of spotless honour. She bitterly complained of the contempt with which she was treated in England ; (fn. 24) but as she never hints that the disrespect shown to her might to some extent have been the consequence of her own follies, we hope that she was not conscious of undergoing a well-deserved punishment, and that thus she was spared this last humiliation.
The death of King Henry VII., which soon afterwards occurred, released her from her painful situation. The negotiations for her marriage, which had flagged for more than a year, were resumed with renewed energy. If we read the Spanish correspondence of that period again, many passages assume a clearer significance than we were hitherto able to assign to them. We now perfectly understand the reasons which prompted King Ferdinand to implore his ambassador not to speak a word about what had happened, and "for God's sake" not to complain of the Princess to any one in England. (fn. 25) Even his orders to corrupt some of the more influential English councillors, by paying them money, and to gain over the commissioners, (fn. 26) become more intelligible than they have hitherto been, whilst, on the other hand, if, as King Ferdinand suspected, the confessor protested against the lawfulness of the marriage, (fn. 27) his protestation is liable to a quite different interpretation.
Six weeks after the death of King Henry VII., the Princess Katharine was married to the new King of England. Those who believe that King Henry VIII. was a prince of great sagacity and strength of will might expect to hear nothing more of Fray Diego after the marriage. They would be mistaken. For Queen Katharine prevailed on her husband to suffer her scandalous confessor to continue his office for five or six years longer. Fuensalida was recalled, and Don Luis Caroz sent in his place. The new ambassador found that the friar still exercised an almost unbounded power over the Queen. It depended on him whom she was to see, and whether she was to receive even the representative of her father. As Fray Diego was afraid lest Luis Caroz would endeavour to deprive him of his influence, he forbade all communication between the Spanish ambassador and the Queen. Coaxing and flattery were thrown away on him, and the ambassador states that he had never seen so wicked a person, whilst on another occasion he suspected that he was not in his right mind. (fn. 28) But to us it is of more importance to ascertain whether the relations between the confessor and the Queen were still objectionably intimate. That a confessor is more thoroughly acquainted with the state of mind of his penitent than any other man may be natural ; but if he boasts that a married woman gives more exact information about her bodily condition to him than to her own husband, we think that his statement, if true, detracts from his honour as well as from that of the lady. We read, therefore, with concern the letter of Fray Diego to King Ferdinand of the 25th of May 1510, in which he pretends that the Queen had communicated to him her hope soon to gladden the country with a prince, whilst she was still concealing her condition from "all the world and the King." (fn. 29) On the whole, the friar seems to have constituted himself the herald of her pregnancies. His descriptions are as unbecoming a priest as his assertions are preposterous. It was he to whom the inextricable confusion of the never ceasing expectations of the Queen to become a mother is due. Yet what would be too absurd for a man who dared to tell King Ferdinand that the Queen had been delivered of a still born daughter, with no other suffering than that one of her knees had pained her the night before, and that in spite of her miscarriage she had remained pregnant of another child. (fn. 30)
When, in the year 1515, in consequence of a serious quarrel between Ferdinand and Henry, followed by a reconciliation, the influence of the Catholic King in England was at its greatest height, Fray Diego was prosecuted, convicted of fornication, deprived of his office of chancellor of the Queen, and sentenced by his judges, the Bishop of Winchester (fn. 31) and the Earl of Surrey, to be delivered up to King Ferdinand. There was no person in the world whom the friar dreaded more than the King of Spain. He therefore fled, but indited from his hiding place an undated holograph letter to King Henry, complaining of the injustice done to him, and stating that to fall into the hands of King Ferdinand would be certain death. He begged permission to return, reminding Henry that he had it in his power to divulge the secrets of his house and his government. (fn. 32) The letter bears no sign that it was ever delivered either to the King or any of his ministers, and its presence among the Spanish state papers would be difficult to explain on any other supposition than that King Ferdinand had discovered the friar's place of concealment, and captured him together with his papers.
In concluding this subject, we may observe, that, whatever the relations of Queen Katharine and her confessor before her marriage may have been, they could not, according to canon law, after eighteen years of married life, be used as a ground for demanding the divorce, and whether there is any reason to suppose that King Henry remembered Fray Diego when he opposed absolute silence to the solemn appeal of the Queen, calling him to witness that he had found her an untouched virgin, we must leave to the judgment of the reader.
The letter of Don Luis Caroz, of the 28th of May 1510, contains a detailed report of a love affair of King Henry and a sister of the Duke of Buckingham (fn. 33), which may have been the first step to the disgrace of the duke which ended in his execution.
To the letters lately discovered at Simancas is prefixed one which was found in the collections of D. Pascual de Gayangos at Madrid. It is from Don Pedro de Ayala to Queen Isabel, and the information contained in it about the life of Katharine immediately after her marriage to Prince Arthur seems to us the more important, as the letter was written before any one could have foreseen her future ill fortune. We shall speak of its contents when we come to the divorce.
In the month of July 1500 Don Juan, the only son of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel, and their eldest daughter, together with their grandson by her, having been removed by death, their second daughter Juana thus became undisputed heiress to the crowns of Castile and Aragon. Queen Isabel was suffering from a series of long protracted illnesses. It was therefore expected that she would die before her husband, and in that case King Ferdinand would have had to content himself with the small kingdom of Aragon, leaving Castile to his daughter. His plan of forming a united monarchy of Spain would have been jeopardized, if not entirely frustrated.
Juana was married to Archduke Philip, who was to be a Queen's consort in Spain, with no right of his own to participate in its government. Although he had no great political plans, he and his councillors were exceedingly eager to appropriate to themselves the revenues of Castile.
Charles, being the eldest son of Philip and Juana, was heir presumptive to the Austrian dominions, the Burgundian states, Castile and Aragon, with their dependencies, and it was never seriously doubted that he would be the successor of Maximilian on the imperial throne. From his earliest years he had always been taught that God had vouchsafed to him so much greatness for no other purpose than that he might realise a universal Christian empirethe monarquia, so often mentioned in the state papers of the time, and by means of it "secure peace to Christendom, and defend the cause of our Saviour against both infidels and heretics." But whilst the Burgundian dominions devolved on him in the year 1506, and it was expected that he would soon succeed his grandfather in the Austrian principalities and in the empire, if the lawful succession was to be observed, he would have had to wait for the Spanish crowns until the death of his mother, who was young, and in fact lived almost as long as he. To think of forming a universal empire without Spain would have been folly.
Thus the right of Juana to the Spanish inheritance was incompatible with the plans of her father, the greediness of her husband, and with what her son considered to be his duties towards God and the world. In the very clearness of her title, which could not be explained away, consisted her greatest danger. Her death, however, would not have benefited either King Ferdinand or King Philip. Had she died, her son, and not her father, would have been her successor in Castile, whilst her husband would have lost even the pretext he had for meddling in the affairs of Spain. Both could, therefore, gain only if she continued to live, and yet was prevented from exercising her royal prerogatives. To bring about such a state of things was certainly no easy undertaking.
To use the phrase of the time, "God interfered in favour of his truest servant." Philip died, and Juana, we are told, was so much affected by grief at the sudden death of her husband that her reason gave way, and she never recovered. Unable to govern, her father became "sovereign administrator" of Castile, and gained the time necessary for consolidating the Spanish monarchy. After his death in 1516 all the kingdoms of Juana, viz., Castile, Aragon, Naples, and Sicily, together with their dependencies in the old and new world, devolved on her son, who, by this accession, was placed from the beginning of his reign in a position earnestly to think of realising his never fulfilled but most seriously entertained day-dreams. Thus the madness of Queen Juana was, as it were, the foundation stone of the political edifice of Ferdinand and of Charles, which would have immediately crumbled to pieces if she had been permitted to exercise her hereditary right.
Philip was as hard and cruel a husband as he was a despicable prince. He robbed his wife of her dower and pension from Spain, and permitted her to live in destitution whilst he squandered her money in orgies with his minions and disreputable women. But women, before and since Queen Juana, have loved unworthy husbands, and she may have been of their number. If we, however, endeavour to inform ourselves of the circumstances of this curious case, from contemporary or nearly contemporary sources, we soon discover that the information we are able to gather is in the highest degree unsatisfactory. Maquereau, who was a servant either of King Philip or of a member of the family of Croy, gives a minutely detailed account of the death of the King, apparently as an eyewitness, but he is not even aware that the Queen had been suspected of having gone mad on that occasion. Johannes de Los, Abbot of St. Lawrence, near Lige, wrote the annals of his time. He is evidently bewildered by false rumours, for he informs us, not that the Queen, but that the King had become mad and died insane. "Rex autem Philippus per suam uxorem, ut putatur, dementatus ... vitam amisit et regnum." Sandoval, who wrote about a century later, but whose Historia de la vida y hechos del Emperador Carlos V. is the first work on Charles V. which deserves the name of a history, dedicates to this most important event in the life of his hero not more than thirtyseven words in a composition which, in the Antwerp edition, fills 1346 pages in folio. And even this short notice of the madness of the Queen he thought it prudent to temper by the addition "pues dicen," as it is said. It is evident he had his doubts, and did not like to speak on the subject.
The story of a young Queen losing her reason from excessive grief at her husband's death is so piquante, so sentimentally romantic, that grave philosophers, romance writers and painters, have vied with each other in depicting the most touching scenes in the most tender colours. If, however, the truth is to be told, the story of Queen Juana's madness must, we are afraid, be abandoned, and replaced by another drawn in strong, hard lines, and coloured with the darkest tints.
The Infanta, afterwards Queen Juana, lived during the first seventeen years of her life, that is to say, until she was married to the Archduke Philip, with her mother, who superintended her education. Queen Isabel left behind her, or, more accurately speaking, acquired after her death, the reputation of having been almost a saint. A pious Queen educating her daughter is a gratifying spectacle, but unhappily the sanctity of Isabel was only of a spurious kind. Her subjects who had suffered from her iron rule had formed a widely different idea of her. When, on Tuesday, the 17th of November 1504, she died at Medina del Campo, crowds assembled under the windows of her palace, but not to bless her memory. From curious criminal proceedings instituted some years later against Sarmiento, Corregidor or mayor of Medina, we learn that he did not hesitate openly to declare "that her soul had gone direct to hell for her cruel oppression of her subjects, and that King Ferdinand was a thief and a robber." Nor was Sarmiento the only person who thought this, as the witnesses deposed that all the people around Medina and Valladolid, that is to say, where the Queen was best known, had formed the same judgment of her. (fn. 34)
However that may be, we are not reduced to depend upon public opinion, knowing enough of her to judge for ourselves, and to any one acquainted with the lawless times of her youthful years, it must be obvious that, had she really been so pious, so meek and self-sacrificing a princess, as her admirers would fain have us believe, she would have been trodden under foot, instead of usurping, as she did, the crown of her niece.
The history of this usurpation is one of the most disgraceful on record, the different parties entering, as it were, into a competition as to which would outdo the other in perjury, gross calumny, and treachery. None of them ever kept their sworn promises, none hesitated for a moment to accuse their adversaries of revolting atrocities. In this competition Queen Isabel was the winner, after having entered into a formal compact with the clerical faction, the Archbishop of Toledo, Alfonso Carillo, being at their head, and after having strengthened her party by her marriage with Prince Ferdinand of Aragon, who, under the guidance of his mother, Doa Juana Enriquez, had already given proofs of his eminent capacity for disembarrassing himself of inconvenient competitors with a better title by, as it was generally believed, poisoning the Prince of Viana, and getting rid of his step-sister Doa Blanca in a manner more atrocious than simple murder. With such help Isabel branded the heiress to the throne with the disparaging name of la Beltraneja, forced her to flee, and seated herself on the throne of Castile. In times of great political depravity it may be an advantage if the strongest amongst the wicked destroys minor offenders, but if it be a virtue at all, it is certainly not one which entitles to a reputation for sanctity.
The so-called Beltraneja found an asylum in the neighbouring kingdom of Portugal, and the eyes of all the adversaries of Isabel were constantly turned towards her. In order to defend her illgotten kingdom, Queen Isabel was, therefore, forced to continue her disgraceful intrigues against the muchacha, the girl, as she called her niece, and could not have freed herself, even if she had wished, from the influence of the party which had raised her to the throne. Priests remained powerful at her court, and men, like Torquemada, Cisneros (Cardinal Ximenez), and others who are less known but were scarcely less influential, soon rose to pre-eminence. Into the hands of these men was given the terrible weapon of the Spanish inquisition, and the Queen, instead of feeling compassion, boasted of their cruelties. (fn. 35)
If, after this long, but necessary, digression, we return to the picture of a pious Queen superintending the education of her daughter, we at once perceive that the colours have considerably darkened. What an education could such a mother give to her daughter! It was not then the custom in Spain, as it became about sixty years later, for the royal family, with the whole court, to attend the Autos de F, in order to give them more effect. Thus Juana was spared the misfortune of being made an involuntary eyewitness of these hideous spectacles. But the court, being the central point where all the freshest news of burning and flogging and tormenting converged, and where they were commented upon in a repulsively sanctimonious tone, as edifying examples of the "love of Christ and His Holy Mother," the young Infanta was obliged to hear religious doctrines enunciated daily which must either corrupt the soul or provoke opposition, and she had too frequently presented before her mind's eye scenes which must either brutalize or horrify. The better nature in her rebelled, but, as the Marquis of Denia, who afterwards was her master of the household, informed the Emperor, her mother forced her by severe punishment, and even by the application of torture, to comply outwardly with the dictates of religion and duty, as religion and duty were understood by her. (fn. 36)
It would evince little knowledge of human nature, if we were astonished at hearing that such punishments inflicted under such circumstances produced a quite different effect from what Queen Isabel had intended. Scarcely had Juana been sent to Flanders when sinister rumours about her mode of life reached Spain.
In the year 1497 Queen Isabel sent the Friar Tomas de Matienzo, Sub-Prior of the Convent of Santa Cruz, to Brussels, with instructions to inform himself respecting her daughter's life, and to lead her back to the true faith, if she had erred. The friar was very coldly received. (fn. 37) He found the Archduchess in excellent health, more handsome than ever, and had even the satisfaction of learning that she still kept up devotional exercises in her house. But she could not be induced to confess, nor would she write even a word to her mother, nor give her the smallest token of love. (fn. 38)
Friar Andreas had been the tutor of Juana. He had written to her letter after letter proffering pious advice, but she had never sent him a single line in reply. At last, on the 1st of September, probably of the beforementioned year 1497, he wrote to her for the last time, describing the felicity of the ladies in Spain, possibly meaning the sisters of Juana, who considered it a privilege when he instructed them in their religious duties. He complained of her silence, and then broke out into a passionate invective against the Parisian priests who surrounded and corrupted his former pupil. He had been told that she had given one of "those drunkards" thirty florins, that he might make good cheer. She must never do so again, and must take a confessor from a Spanish convent, a friar who does not and cannot possess even "so much as a pin" of private property. After she had left Spain, he had retired to his convent, and "there," he went on to say, "in my monastery I am more happy living on bread and water than your Highness with all you possess." (fn. 39) A man who dared to hold such language to a Princess who was to be his future Queen was certainly not despicable ; but Juana had suffered too much from him and the party to which he belonged to be touched by his pathetic words of love, whilst his offer to leave his convent and in spite of his great age to go to Flanders could only alarm her. She returned no answer.
If we read attentively the letters of the Sub-Prior and of Friar Andreas we plainly perceive the influences of the education to which Juana had been subjected. By nature probably more intelligent than energetic, her character had had no room for healthy growth and free development under the narrow, hard and oppressive rule of her mother. Fear, not love, predominated in her, and was the motive of her actions to a greater extent than could have been wished. But although she submitted to the domination of others, she was always conscious of the wrong done to her, and never permitted herself to be entirely conquered. Thus her life was a succession of attempts at rebellion, which, however, collapsed as soon as she was called upon to vindicate her independence by active measures. Although she was especially afraid of her mother, and would please her in small things which required no great exertion, yet in matters concerning her conscience, or such as demanded energy, she opposed to Queen Isabel a passive resistance, and an inertness which it was impossible to overcome. The Sub-Prior, judging from his standpoint of a mere creature of the Queen, was probably not entirely wrong when he accused her of a hard and pitiless heart, (fn. 40) and yet she was equally right in indignantly denying it, for even her accuser was forced to confess that she was not in want of good reasons to defend her cause. (fn. 41) That the differences between mother and daughter referred to religious questions as well as to politics can hardly be doubted. Her refusal to confess (fn. 42) or to accept a confessor at the hands of Queen Isabel (fn. 43), the complaints of her former tutor of the perverting influence of the Parisian theologians (fn. 44), and the accusation of the Sub-Prior that she had no piety (fn. 45), admit of no other explanation.
Her deviations from the true faith, as it was understood at the Spanish court, may appear slight to many of our readers ; but we must remind them that Queen Isabel had burned hundreds of her subjects for much smaller offences. To be "not well disposed towards the true doctrine" was enough to justify death on the stake. To punish the Archduchess Juana was out of the question, because she, being the wife of a foreign sovereign, was not subject to the jurisdiction of Spain. But although Queen Isabel had no power to show "her love of Christ and His Holy Mother" on this occasion, could she allow a heretic to ascend the throne on which she was seated, and to destroy all she had spent her best years in building up? The "Holy" Inquisition was especially in danger, and she could not desert the "cause of God" without committing a mortal sin. Ferdinand, we have already seen, had personal reasons for not permitting the wrath of the Queen to cool down.
Under these circumstances it was decided to prevent Juana from becoming Queen. The plan seems to have been ripe in the year 1501, and was communicated to the Cortes, who held their sittings, in the years 1502 and 1503, first in Toledo, then in Madrid, and finally in Alcal de Hnares. (fn. 46) To make the true reasons public would have been a humiliation, and perhaps not without danger, considering the great unpopularity of the Inquisition. Some pretext was, therefore, absolutely necessary. In the Rolls of the Cortes it is only stated that King Ferdinand, after the death of Queen Isabel, should continue to carry on the government, in case Juana should be "absent, or unable, or unwilling" to exercise her royal prerogative. (fn. 47) In an additional clause to her testament, the Queen ordered, once again, and more explicitly, that her husband Ferdinand should be her immediate successor, without mentioning the conditions of her daughter's "absence, unwillingness, or incapacity." (fn. 48) This clause was confirmed by the Cortes and by the Pope. The Rolls of the Spanish Cortes are, unhappily, as scanty as the English Rolls of Parliament of that time, and it is impossible to learn more positively from them on what grounds the exclusion of the lawful heiress was decreed. That some at least of the leading men knew the real state of things is probable, as the rumours of the supposed infidel opinions of Juana were not confined to the narrow circle of the most intimate ministers of Queen Isabel. But, on the other hand, it is not less probable that the great majority had then already been given to understand that Juana was suffering from some mental derangement.
In November 1504 Queen Isabel died whilst Juana was in Flanders. Ferdinand on the same day mounted a large scaffolding erected in the square before the Royal palace, and announced to the assembled people that he had taken the crown of Castile from his head and given it to his daughter Juana, but that he would continue to reign in her name as "governor and administrator of Castile for life." In the Cortes which assembled not many months afterwards in Toro, he delivered an excellent speech from the throne, and his powers were confirmed by the representatives of the kingdom.
Philip, however, who, as husband of the Queen, had assumed the title of King of Castile, sent a protest from Flanders against the usurpation of his father-in-law. Speaking in a state paper addressed to Gonsalvo de Cordova, of the injuries he had received from Ferdinand, he writes that his father-in-law, in order to colour his usurpation, "takes care that a rumour be spread that the Queen his daughter is mad, and that he is consequently entitled to govern in her stead, (adding) that the King (Philip) keeps her prisoner, and other lies and insinuations without end." (fn. 49) Thus, we not only meet during the lifetime of King Philip with the rumour of the insanity of Queen Juana, but see also from what source it proceeded, and the interest which those who originated it had that it should be believed.
After long and exceedingly unfriendly negotiations between the father and the son-in-law, Philip, accompanied by his wife, came in the spring of 1506 to Spain, with the avowed purpose of taking possession of the throne of Castile by force of arms. The Castilian noblemen were divided between the two rivals, but defection began to thin the ranks of the Catholic King as soon as his adversary advanced further into the country. Ferdinand, accustomed during many years to have his way in almost everything, yielded to his strong passions, when he saw that in this most important affair one failure was closely followed by another. Mad with rage, "he wanted to fly at King Philip with capa y spada," (fn. 50) his cloak to cover him, and his sword to plunge into the breast of the hated intruder. This outbreak, however, was not of long duration. A third party was in the course of formation with the Condestable of Castile at its head. Their intention was to drive both rivals out of the country, and to set up Juana as their rightful Queen. (fn. 51) Of the two adversaries of Ferdinand Juana was the more dangerous. She was born a Spanish Infanta, and the lawful heiress to the crown. Her government once established, would have, it might be expected, the support of all in favour of legitimate succession, whilst Philip, whatever his momentary success might be, was a stranger and a usurper, who probably would soon be forsaken by all the Spaniards. Besides, a remnant of natural feeling forbade Ferdinand to employ against his daughter such violent means as he would not scruple to have recourse to against his son-in-law, whom he had long ago accustomed himself to regard as a stranger. For these reasons he decided upon allying himself with his less dangerous against his more formidable antagonist. On the night of the 1st of June he slept in the little hamlet of Villafranca de Valcarcel, whence on the next morning he sent Cardinal Cisneros with a message of love to his son-in-law, asking for a personal interview, when they could arrange their differences.
Early in the morning of the 27th of June, Ferdinand and Philip met in the village of Villafafila. Philip had come to the rendezvous at the head of armed horsemen, whilst Ferdinand had left behind the greater portion of his attendants, and accompanied by a few of his most trusted servants mounted on peaceful donkeys, met his son-in-law with "love in his heart and peace in his hands." After the first effusion of paternal love, Ferdinand invited Philip to follow him into the village church. None of their attendants were permitted to accompany them, but those who kept watch at the entrance could occasionally see the kings and hear their voices, without being able to understand their words. King Ferdinand spoke much, with great animation and in a most earnest and impressive tone. Philip, on the other hand, was evidently perplexed. There was no doubt the Catholic King was once more achieving one of his many intellectual triumphs.
Great, therefore, was the astonishment of both parties when, the private interview over, it was known that Ferdinand, instead of raising the least difficulty, had made greater concessions to Philip than had ever been demanded of him. Two treaties were drawn up, signed, ratified, sworn to, and exchanged on the same day. In the first, Ferdinand ceded all his claims to the government of Castile to his "most beloved children," that is in fact to Philip, who in the joy of his heart proclaimed it before the ink had had time to dry. Added to it was a secret contract, in which Ferdinand and Philip stated that Queen Juana "refuses" under any circumstances to occupy herself with the government of the kingdom, but if she should change her mind and attempt to exercise her prerogatives, it would lead to the total destruction of the country, considering "her infirmities and sufferings which decency forbids to be stated here." (fn. 52) The contracting parties bound themselves, therefore, to prevent the Queen and her adherents by their united forces from taking part in the government. The subject of the long and impressive speech of King Ferdinand in the church was no longer a secret. It was clear that he, who had not seen his daughter for the last two years and a half, had persuaded Philip, who had lived in daily intercourse with her, that he was mistaken in denying her insanity. For the words "her infirmities and sufferings, which decency forbids to be stated," could not be and were not interpreted in any other sense than madness.
This, however, was not all. Scarcely had Ferdinand and Philip sworn on the Holy Gospels to deprive their daughter and wife respectively of her crown and freedom, than Ferdinand closeted himself with his first secretary of state, Miguel Perez Almazan, who at the same time was apostolic and imperial notary, and declared before him that, unarmed and attended by only a few servants, he had fallen into the hands of his son-in-law, who had been at the head of a great armed force. Moreover, his son-in-law had "kept prisoner his daughter, the lawful Queen of Castile." Thus, he and the Queen having been deprived of their liberty, he protested against the validity of the treaties, and declared that he did "not consent that his daughter should be deprived of her liberty, nor of her rights as hereditary Queen of the kingdom." (fn. 53)
Ferdinand had another interview with Philip, took leave of his "beloved son" in the most touching manner, and went to Naples in order to show him that he had given up all idea of regaining the government of Castile. He had an old servant, Mosen Luis Ferrer, who being a born subject of the crown of Aragon, and having been for many years gentleman of the bed chamber of the King, enjoyed his full confidence. Mosen Ferrer was selected for the post of ambassador at the court of Philip, and instructed to take care of the interests of the Catholic King during his absence, with a special injunction to do all in his power to promote the friendship between Ferdinand and his son-in-law. These instructions, dated Zaragoza, 29th of July 1506, are extant. (fn. 54) Speaking of his daughter King Ferdinand admonished Philip to treat her always with love, to gain her affection, and that they should live together as a good husband and wife ought to do. (fn. 55) By doing so he would fulfil the will of God, improve the health of his wife, and further his own interests. Is it possible to suppose that even a man like Ferdinand would have advised Philip to live with her as a good husband and to gain her affections if she had been mad? What Ferrer did to promote matrimonial love we are not in a position to state ; but as to his taking care of the interests of King Ferdinand we may observe that, before the Catholic King reached the shores of Naples, Philip died after an illness which lasted from Sunday night until 11 o'clock on Friday morning. The general opinion was that he had been poisoned, although two physicians declared that such was not the fact. But what were such declarations worth? The physicians had not even had time to examine the case, as the bowels of the deceased were buried a few hours after his death. The accusations were not only general and positive, but were declared publicly, whilst the officers of the law did not dare to call to account those who made them, for fear lest the truth of this "delicate case" might come to light. (fn. 56)
Queen Juana being a young widow with a rich inheritance, her suitors were numerous. King Henry VII. of England, and the Count de Foix, a near kinsman of the King of France, were the most prominent amongst them. Ferdinand, however, it is self-evident, would object to a second marriage of his daughter on every account. To colour his refusal he wrote most affectionate letters to England and all the other courts of Europe, in which he described in great detail Juana travelling with the body of her deceased husband, and although he did not positively state in his official correspondence that she forced the great of the land to pay it respect as though it were alive, there is little doubt that he countenanced such rumours, which he himself had perhaps taken care to spread. Poor Juana! When she was represented as forcing the grandees of Spain to pay royal respect to a corpse, she was a miserable prisoner, and none of the great were permitted to approach her. The secret treaty of Villafafila indicated clearly enough that strong measures were intended against her in order to deprive her of her freedom and the comment on it, contained in the instructions of King Ferdinand to Mosen Ferrer, do not leave the least doubt that already in the month of July 1506 the question was debated whether she should or should not be locked up in some dungeon. (fn. 57) We are, however, not in want of more positive proofs. For when in the month of August 1520, her own servants, as they were called, her jailors, as they in fact were, could speak without fear, they declared that she had been in prison for fourteen years. Fourteen years reckoned back from the month of August 1520 would reach to the same month of 1506, that is to say, to a period when King Philip was still alive ; and all uncertainty is dissipated by Cardinal Adrian, who stated that the "infamy," that is to say the imprisonment of the Queen under false pretence, was imputed to Philip as well as to Ferdinand and Charles. (fn. 58) It is true that after the death of her husband she travelled from Burgos to Tordesillas accompanied by his corpse. But a prisoner may be removed from one place to another without recovering liberty. We are not acquainted with any authentic information concerning her removal from Burgos to Tordesillas. If, however, on that occasion precautions were taken such as were to be observed at later periods, when it was intended that she should go to Arevalo and to Toro, her journey to Tordesillas would not break the monotony of prison life. When in the year 1522 the Marquis of Denia thought that she would be better guarded at Arevalo, he proposed that she should be placed at night in a litter, and without stopping on the road, be carried to her new prison. (fn. 59) As to the arrangements for her intended journey to Toro, we may hear the Marquis himself : "The journey is to be performed in the manner I have already described, that is to say, her Highness must start hence at eleven or twelve o'clock at night, and go to a place three leagues distant, called Pedrosa. There she must remain the whole day. The next night at the same hour she must start again, and reach Toro before day. When she enters the town care will be taken that no one sees her. That is necessary, for, in truth, I am ashamed at what is said and done." (fn. 60)
If Queen Juana was not a free agent she cannot be made responsible for the arrangement that the corpse of King Philip accompanied her on her journey. But, besides, there was nothing absolutely unreasonable in it. Although Philip had died in Burgos, his final resting place was to be at Granada, by the side of Queen Isabel. As Tordesillas lies on the road from Burgos to Granada, a considerable amount of expense would be spared if his remains were accompanied by the same cortge which conducted the Queen. But if it is allowed to interpret this case by a later similar occurrence with which we are well acquainted, we cannot help suspecting that pecuniary considerations were not the only grounds for the arrangement in question. The vault at Granada being unfinished, the corpse of Philip remained many years in the church of the convent of Santa Clara, at Tordesillas, only a few hundred yards distant from the palace in which Juana lived, and yet, although she often wished to visit the convent, she never expressed the least desire to visit his tomb. On several occasions she spoke of him, but never thought that he was alive or would awake from his long protracted slumber. On the contrary, she mentioned his death just as any other widow would have mentioned the decease of her husband. (fn. 61) It was, therefore, quite unnecessary, for her sake, to disturb the corpse of Philip in its resting-place. Nevertheless, when the Marquis of Denia wished to remove her to Aranda in the month of August 1518, one of the first things he thought of was to repair the funeral cart, in order that the dead body of Philip should accompany the Queen. (fn. 62) A huge funeral cart, indistinctly visible in the dim torchlight, followed by a captive Queen, and startling the inhabitants of the villages in the midst of night, would have been well calculated deeply to impress the imagination of the people, and to prepare it for the most absurd rumours. The journey did not take place, but the funeral cart had, during the removal of the Queen from Burgos to Tordesillas, taken so strong a hold of the popular mind, that in the description of the night when Tordesillas was carried, which Gomez de Santillan sent to Cardinal Adrian, we again meet the Queen and the cart, although, from the more sober letter of Lope Hurtado to the Emperor, we know that she had not left her palace. (fn. 63)
During the nine years that Ferdinand survived Philip, Queen Juana was kept in such strict imprisonment that she was as completely debarred from all communication with the outer world as though she had reposed in her grave. We hear nothing of her, and she did not even learn the death of her father. (fn. 64) Mosen Ferrer, he who was strongly suspected of having poisoned King Philip, was her jailor, and from later letters we learn that he perpetrated horrible cruelties on her.
Ferdinand died on the 23rd of January 1516, and Cardinal Cisneros was viceroy of Castile during the absence of Charles. He sent the Bishop of Mallorca to Tordesillas, with instructions to see that the persons employed in the palace should remain in their offices, and that the arrangements of Ferdinand for watching the Queen should be continued. The Bishop, however, found such atrocities had been committed, that he thought it his duty to send a report of them to the Cardinal. On receiving it Cisneros made further inquiries, and Mosen Ferrer was suspended from his office because he "was suspected of endangering the health and life of Her Highness." (fn. 65) He remonstrated, assuming the air of an innocent victim of a base intrigue. He could not, he said, be a bad man, else so good and wise a prince as Ferdinand would not have placed confidence in him. He could not have ill-treated Juana, because she was Queen of Aragon, and he an Aragonese. He could not restore her health, as it was not the will of God, and King Ferdinand, her father, had not succeeded in doing so, and at last, "to prevent her from destroying herself by abstinence from food, as often as her will was not done, he had to order that la cuerda should be applied to preserve her life." (fn. 66)
La cuerda, the rope, was the form of torture then in use in Spain. The victim was suspended by a rope with weights attached to his feet. We have met with various other instances of the use of this torture, and have always found, as for example, in the famous case of Acua, Bishop of Zamora, that the judge, before applying it, warned the prisoner that he was in danger of having his limbs broken or dislocated, and even of losing his life. We think it superfluous to add a single word of comment to such an admission as that of Mosen Ferrer.
Cardinal Cisneros sent the Count Hernando de Andrada to Brussels, to inform Charles of what was going on in Tordesillas. On the 30th of April Charles answered that it was very necessary to watch the Queen, that he would send another person from Flanders to fill the place of Mosen Ferrer, but that he had no time to make the appointment. Meanwhile, he continued, the Cardinal was answerable that the watching of the Queen should be so complete, that, whilst she was treated well, no person should have access to her who might endeavour to counteract his "good intentions." "In this," he concluded, "the greatest vigilance is necessary. For, as it belongs to no one but me to look after the honour of the Queen my lady, those who desire to meddle in this affair can have no good intentions." (fn. 67)
What was the meaning of this cautiously worded answer? Was Mosen Ferrer to continue in his office as keeper of the Queen, after having confessed that he had tortured her? Was the injunction to treat her well an empty phrase? It seems so, for the declaration of Charles that he would regard anyone who meddled in this affair as an ill-intentioned intruder could have no other meaning than that he strongly disapproved the measures of the Bishop of Mallorca, and even of the Cardinal himself.
Cisneros, however, who hated not only the Aragonese party in general, but the Ferrers, father and son, in special, was nothing daunted by the ungracious answer, and appointed Hernan Duque de Estrada governor of the house of the Queen, at the same time instructing Diego Lopez de Ayala, his political agent in Flanders, to speak again with Charles on the subject. In Flanders, however, passion was at that time running higher than even in Spain. Monsieur de Chivres and the Chancellor Sauvaige advised Ayala not to speak with Charles about the Queen, and Hernan Duque seemed to be "a ruined man." "For," Ayala declared, "according to what I see they speak here prter formam of her (the Queen's) health, and that not because they wish it. They are dangerous people, and one must hold one's tongue here." (fn. 68) Nevertheless, Cisneros remained firm, Mosen Ferrer was not reinstated in his office, and Hernan Duque remained governor (fn. 69) until Charles came to Spain, when he appointed, on the 15th of March 1518, Don Bernardino de Sandoval y Rojas, Marquis of Denia and Count of Lerma, governor and administrator of the household of the Queen, with power to command and govern all persons belonging to that establishment, and the magistracy and commonalty of the town of Tordesillas. (fn. 70)
The letters of the Marquis of Denia are numerous, and we are enabled by them to form a correct idea of the manner in which Queen Juana was treated. We must, however, mention at once, that two sets of correspondence were carried on between him and his royal master, the one destined to be seen by the Privy Councillors, the other by Charles alone. The first class represented things in the light in which it was wished they should appear. They did not, indeed, go so far as positively to state that the Queen was mad, but the short allusions to her "infirmity" were conceived in such terms that it was easy to interpret the "infirmity" as insanity. The private letters, however, spoke with less reserve, and contained secrets which, with good reason, it was thought dangerous to allow to be known even to the intimate advisers of the crown. This division of the correspondence into official and most strictly secret communications was not a custom that had grown out of mere convenience. It was the consequence of a positive order of Charles "... and you shall neither talk nor write to any person about the affairs of Her Highness, except to myself, and always (send the letters) by trustworthy messengers. That is necessary ; although it seems superfluous (to give this order) to so intelligent a person, and to one so much attached to my service as you, nevertheless I have thought it advisable, because the case is so delicate and of so much importance to me." (fn. 71) This letter of Charles is dated 19th of April 1518. On the 27th of the same month the Marquis answered that he was fully aware of the precaution necessary, and that he had not confided the secrets of the palace to any one but him. He added that when the Infante Ferdinand was leaving Spain, a letter was written to him. That could not be avoided, because the Infanta Catalina, who was living with her mother, had heard of the intended departure of her brother, and wished to give him a token of her love. "But if he (the Infante) were to stay a hundred years in these kingdoms, I would not write or say a single word to him about what is going on here." (fn. 72) As even the son was precluded from all knowledge of the manner of life of his mother, we must look for the truth in the most private letters of Denia to Charles, all the other correspondence on this subject being either intentional lies to give a pretext for the detention of the Queen, or containing the statements of those who had been imposed upon. The letters of the Marquis are written in an exceedingly bad hand, but only a few of them are in cipher, and of these the original decipherings, made for the Emperor, are preserved.
The ancient palace at Tordesillas was a structure of moderate size. (fn. 73) It was fortified, and defended by a strong tower, which in the year 1522 was demolished. To the south it overlooked the bridge and the river Duero, beyond which stretched an undulating sandy plain, relieved from May to September by the foliage of vineyards. This was the only view it had, the back and both sides of the building being surrounded by poor ugly houses. It contained, according to Spanish fashion, one large room, and a great number of others, small, ill lighted, and ill ventilated. The Queen had not the whole of the palace at her disposal. The Infanta Catalina was staying with her. The Marquis and the Marchioness of Denia and their daughters occupied another portion of the building, whilst the twelve and occasionally more women who watched her day and night, and the tutor of the Infanta, and other officials, were not permitted to live in separate houses. Thus, the space occupied by the Queen was limited. The windows of her large room opened towards the river, but she was not allowed to remain in it, and never was she at liberty to look out of the windows for fear that she might be seen by a passer by or call him to her assistance. (fn. 74) Except on extraordinary occasions, sions, when she was most strictly watched, she was forced to retire to a back room without windows, the only light which entered being candlelight. (fn. 75)
The allowance for her and her household, the Princess Catalina included, was at first 30,000 scudos, irregularly paid, and afterwards reduced to 28,000 scudos, and even less. (fn. 76) The incomes of the Spanish grandees were then immense. The revenues of the twenty one Dukes ranged about thirty years later from 70,000 to 125,000 scudos (fn. 77), and even amongst the Marquises some were to be found who had 40,000 and 60,000 a year to spend, as, for instance, the Marquis del Priego and the Marquis de Vallay, of the house of Cortez. Although the fortunes of the nobles had been fast increasing during that time, we do not think we are wrong in supposing that the allowance of the Queen was considerably below the income of many of her subjects. Moreover, a portion of the salary of the Marquis of Denia, and all he wanted for the sustenance of himself and his family, was to be paid out of her grant. Under such circumstances we are not surprised that she was often suffering from poverty. The allowance was paid into the hands of her treasurer, Ochoa de Olanda, and she was not permitted to have even the smallest sum of money in her possession. As long as her father lived she received from time to time little presents, a jewel or a trinket, to gladden her. Charles, however, not only discontinued this custom, but stripped her of whatever he could convert to other uses, as on occasion of the marriages of his sisters, Eleanor and Catalina. Even the Empress, when she came to visit the Queen, carried away whatever she thought worth having, (fn. 78) rendering thereby the palace or prison of her mother-in-law still more gloomy and cheerless than it had been.
Leading such a life, it is only natural that her health gave way frequently. She suffered especially during the great heat of the summer from fever and other illness, and yet she was not allowed a physician. In the spring of 1519 the Infanta Catalina had the itch. To have recourse to a medical man was a necessity. The Marquis of Denia was placed in great difficulty about devising means to introduce a physician into the palace, and yet prevent him from speaking with the Queen. When at last he found that that was impossible, he bethought himself of another expedient. In the town of Tordesillas lived a Doctor Soto, who had accompanied Juana to Flanders, and had not forgotten her when she was sunk in the deepest misery. Dismissed from his office, and deprived of his pension, he had settled not far from her. As he certainly knew the secret, or part of it, the marquis thought less harm would be done by having recourse to him than by admitting a stranger. Nevertheless, he did not regard it as superfluous to buy his silence, and asked Charles to show him favours, "for it is impossible to prevent Her Highness from speaking with Doctor Soto if he enters (the palace) and visits the Infanta." (fn. 79) On another occasion, when the Queen was seriously ill, and suffering for ten days from a strong fever, the Marquis wrote to Charles that he had refused her repeated demands to have medical assistance. (fn. 80) It is true that he added the words, "as the fever subsided," but we do not reproach him with refusing to admit a physician when the fever was over or subsiding, but for leaving her without attendance during the ten days, when, according to his own confession, it was "strong."
The number of women who watched the Queen was considerable. They amounted never to less than twelve, and sometimes to many more. The Marquis and Marchioness found it occasionally hard work to subject them to the strict rules of the house. If the Marchioness reprimanded them, they combined and mutinied "like soldiers," saying, that what was done to one was done to all of them. It was of no use to order the monteros, that is the soldiers who mounted guard in the palace, not to permit them to go out, as they were afraid of them. "They were a bad lot of women." That they were bad we readily believe. Good women would not have stooped to do the work which was exacted from them. But as to the proofs adduced by the Marquis we must demur to them. There was no marriage celebrated in the town, no christening, no burial to which they did not want to go, even if it concerned people to whom they were related only in the fourth degree. It was not an ascetical hatred of marriages, christenings, burials, and other occasions for merrymaking, which made the Marquis so strongly declaim against them. He had other reasons. "The consequence of their visiting is, that they cannot forbear talking to their husbands, and relations and friends, and gossiping of things which ought not to be known, for, indeed, secrecy is a necessity. Members of the Privy Council have written to me things which they cannot know except through the Licentiate Alarcon, husband of one of these women, called Leonor Gomez, who never can hold her tongue. None must know what passes here, and least of all those of the Privy Council." "It is not good to have married women, and least of all wives of Privy Councillors." (fn. 81) Why not? Charles and the Marquis were taking the greatest pains to pass Queen Juana off as mad. The knowledge of any extravagance committed by her would only have confirmed their assertions. That could not be the secret. But if the secret was that she was not mad, and was kept a prisoner, it is easy to understand why it would be dangerous, if people in general, and in special the Privy Council, were to know it. In the years 1518 and 1519 Charles was not yet firmly seated on the throne.
If there was a lack of medical assistance, there were plenty of priests. Fray Juan de Avila, guardian of the Franciscan friars, and tutor of the Infanta, was constantly residing in the palace, and the general of the Predicant friars and others were frequent visitors. The ground of their visits was that Charles had determined to convert his mother, who formerly had objected only to confession, but would now neither confess nor hear mass. Early in the year 1518 he had ordered that mass should be said in her presence. Fray Juan de Avila and Fray Antonio de Villegas were to assist the Marquis in carrying out this command. To render mass less objectionable, it was proposed, probably by one of the friars, that the altar should be erected in the corridor, that is to say, the open gallery running along the building, in the courtyard, whilst the Marquis wished it to be placed in a more dignified spot, namely, in an apartment near the room of the Queen. But whether the chapel was to be erected in the one place or the other, Queen Juana showed no readiness to comply with the wishes of her son. The Marquis, who had the discretion not to write any detailed report to Charles of the means which he employed, informed him on the 22nd of June : "Concerning mass, we are occupied with this subject. Her Highness wishes that it should be said in the corridor where your Highness saw her, and I wish that it should be said in an apartment next to her chamber ; but in the one place or the other mass shall be said soon." (fn. 82) More than six months later he was only able to state, "We are daily occupied in the affair of saying mass. It is delayed in order to see whether it could not be done with her consent, for that would be better, but with the help of God Her Highness shall hear it (mass) soon." (fn. 83) On the 12th of September mass was said for the first time in a little chapel erected at the end of the corridor. No persons were admitted except the Queen, the Infanta Catalina, then twelve years old, Fray Antonio Villegas, who said mass, the guardian (Fray Juan), and a boy of the chapel. The Queen went through all the ceremonies, knelt down, said her prayers, chanted from the prayer book (oras), and was besprinkled with holy water. But when they brought her the "evangelium" and the "pax" she could not conquer herself sufficiently to accept them, and made a sign that they should be given to her daughter. (fn. 84)
On the margin of the letter which contained these tidings, a note is written by Cobos, who was already sharing all the secrets of Charles : "Has had much pleasure, and where he and the Marchioness are, etc., and so he must continue." This short note contains the substance of the letter which was to be sent as answer to the Marquis. Its meaning was that Charles was much satisfied at hearing that news. The "etc." meant the usual phrase, that where the Marquis and the Marchioness were Charles was sure that all would be done that was best. No inquiry was made concerning the means by which the sudden conversion was accomplished.
Having been made acquainted with the cuerda, and the insufferable pain occasioned by that torture, Juana may have submitted from fear ; or, still nourishing the hope of wearing the crowns of Castile and Aragon, she may have regarded it as bad policy to carry her opposition in matters of religion too far. But, however that may be, inwardly convinced she was not. When the rising of the Castilian Commons had been suppressed, and every prospect of gaining her liberty had vanished, she did not think it any longer necessary to conceal her disdain for the ceremonies of the Church. On Christmas Day of the year 1521 Divine Service was celebrated in her chapel, the Infanta Catalina taking part in it. The Queen, however, came out of her room, made a disturbance, and took her daughter away from the altar, which she ordered to be removed. (fn. 85) In his letter of the 23d of May, probably of the year 1525, the Marquis mentioned a similar scene. (fn. 86) Her women came directly in sufficient strength, and when it was threatened to employ force, the Queen retired to her apartment. On both occasions, however, the Marquis of Denia thought it proper to ask permission of his master to employ strong measures of coercion against his mother. "I have always thought that her Highness being so indisposed as she is, in punishment for our sins, nothing would do her more good than some premia, although it is a very serious thing for a vassal to think of employing it against his sovereign." (fn. 87) In order to be secure that the premia would produce the desired effect, more priests were to be called in to assist the Marquis. What is premia? Judging from the language of the letter, it must be a very evil thing. And certainly it is, being nothing else than a more technical and forensic term for the popular word torture. The premia spoken of by the Marquis was the cuerda, the rope, which Mosen Ferrer had already employed. The Marquis was right ; it was a very serious thing for a subject to ask permission so to employ it, but it was not less serious for a sovereign to grant it against his mother, whose crown he had usurped. Charles seems to have avoided giving a direct answer, recommending only in general terms that the Queen should be well treated. But if the Marquis should come to the conclusion that torture was compatible with good treatment, had he not well founded reasons to expect that his master would approve it? Although such a supposition would be extravagant if we were interpreting the conduct of honest men, there is nothing strange in it when applied to Charles and the Marquis of Denia. The Marquis did not conceal his opinion that torturing the Queen would be a "service rendered to God and to herself," that "persons in her disposition require it," for their own good, and that her mother, the pious Queen Isabel, had also tortured her. (fn. 88) Charles, on the other hand, as we have seen, had no scruple in very plainly stating his convictions that where the Marquis and the Marchioness were no wrong could be done. Clear and positive orders would certainly have been preferable, but as the Marquis could not obtain them, he wrote at last on the 11th of October 1527, when he wished to remove the Queen by force to Toro, telling the Emperor that he was fulfilling the duties of a good son by recommending that his mother should not be ill treated, but, he added, "it is not to be supposed that I, being your vassal, could do anything except what is conducive to your service and to that of her Highness." (fn. 89) By means of this understanding, Charles might henceforth indulge in fine phrases, and yet be sure that his instrument would do all the most cruel things his selfishness could suggest, if any advantage could thereby be obtained. Under such circumstances, the silence of the Marquis of Denia concerning the employment of torture to force Queen Juana to hear mass, and to obey his commands in other things, is no surety that he had not had recourse to such means. But whether by reason of the persuasion of priests, and the pains produced by the cuerda, he forced her into isolated acts of submissiveness or not, this much is clear, that she was never entirely converted. Even in the last letter but one, published in this volume, the Marquis could speak only of his hope of being instrumental in the salvation of her soul. (fn. 90)
Fray Juan de Avila was not a bad priest after the fashion of Spanish monks of the 16th century. His opinion was that to secure the salvation of the soul of the Queen was the first duty incumbent on her son, and it is not probable that he would have shrunk from the employment of any means calculated to bring about that effect. Her conversion, however, once accomplished, he declared that it was the will and command of God that she should be humoured and treated with all the respect due to her. (fn. 91) On this last point, however, he had the misfortune to differ from Charles and from the Marquis. There was a certain thing which Charles wanted from his mother, but which he dared not to commit to paper, having given his instructions by word of mouth. Examining all the circumstances, we believe that he wished to obtain from her an act of abdication. However that may be, Fray Juan, satisfied with the Queen hearing mass in September 1518, showed his sympathy with her, and had even the courage, although in a feeble manner, yet certainly in good faith, to entreat Charles to discontinue his brutal treatment of his mother. The consequence was, that, although he had rendered valuable services during the rebellion of the Commons, he was first persecuted by the Marquis, and then driven from Tordesillas. He implored help of the Emperor. (fn. 92) All was in vain. His later letters remind the reader of a drowning man, whose voice grows feebler and feebler, until it is no longer heard. Fray Juan disappeared from the political theatre, and we do not know what became of him.
What we have hitherto related is bad enough, and yet the worst, in our opinion, remains to be told. Queen Juana, not being permitted to see any one who was in communication with the outer world, save the Marquis of Denia, had sometimes conversations with him which lasted four or six hours. She wished to know what was going on in Spain and in Europe, and did not even disdain flattery in order to induce him to become more communicative. When anyone well acquainted with the history of that period reads the reports of those conversations he grows confused and bewildered, and does not know what to think of them. Personages who had long reposed in their graves were constantly rising from the dead, carrying on the business of this world, and freely mingling with the living. One fancies oneself to be in a lunatic asylum. The strange statements, however, were not made by Queen Juana, but by the Marquis of Denia.
King Ferdinand had died in January 1516. Up to the month of August 1520 the Marquis told Juana that he was still alive and King of Spain. One of his letters begins : "After having written the other letter, the Queen our lady asked me into her presence, and told me she was much dissatisfied with me because I denied that the King her lord (Ferdinand) was dead, and asked me to tell her whether he was alive, as it was of great importance to her to know it." The Marquis assured her that King Ferdinand still lived, and the Queen said, It is well." (fn. 93) Charles had assumed the government of Spain immediately after the death of Ferdinand, and came to Spain as King in the year 1517. For the sake of appearances he was obliged to pay a short visit to his mother. The Marquis, who could not deny his presence in Spain, told her that he had come for no other purpose than to ask Ferdinand to treat her less cruelly. (fn. 94) The Emperor Maximilian died in January 1519. Up to the month of August 1520 the Marquis spoke of him as a living man. After the election of Charles as Emperor, the Marquis concocted an absurdly sentimental story. The Emperor, he said, loved his grandson Charles so much that he had abdicated in his favour, and induced the Princes Electors to recognize him as German Emperor. All the information he gave the captive Queen about her children, the Infante Ferdinand, the Infanta Eleanor, etc., was entirely false. Nor was that all. He attempted to induce her to write letters to deceased persons, as, for instance, to the Emperor Maximilian, who, he said, had not only shown by his abdication his great love for her son, but had also written and inquired after her. He went even so far as show her a letter (fn. 95) which, there can be no doubt, was a fabrication. She, however, suspected the Marquis, and refused to write the desired reply. In explanation of this tissue of lies we shall hear the Marquis himself. "I have told the Queen our lady that the King my lord, her father, is alive, because I say that all that is done and displeases her Highness is ordered and commanded by the King. The love which she has for him makes her bear it more easily than she would if she knew that he is dead. Moreover this is of great advantage in many other respects to your Highness." (fn. 96) If we ask what these "other respects" were, the answer is not difficult to find. The story of the Queen carrying the corpse of her husband with her, and believing that he still lived, had served its purpose many years, but was now worn out. A new proof of insanity would have been very welcome. If then it could be shown that she disbelieved the death of her father and of the Emperor, and still better, if she could be induced to write a letter to one who was dead, Charles would be provided with a piece of evidence of incalculable value to justify his conduct. Nor is it impossible to understand the reason which induced the Marquis to invent the abdication of Maximilian. If he wished to induce her to abdicate, it was not unreasonable to hold up before her that imaginary act of the Emperor, as an example to be followed. Nevertheless there remains enough for which no such special reason can be assigned, and which reminds us of the words of Diego Lopez de Ayala that they wished her mad. At all events, if we consider her absolute loneliness, and all the other circumstances, we must come to the conclusion that Charles and his abettors were utterly regardless of the consequences of their conduct.
It would not be at all surprising if a perfectly sane person put in the position of Juana had soon gone mad. Let us, therefore, see whether we can discover signs of incipient insanity. The worst case mentioned in the numerous letters of the Marquis, is the following. On the evening before the day of Santiago the Queen beat two of her women. When the Marquis heard of it he entered her room, and said, "What is this, Seora? Ought your Highness to comport yourself in this way towards those who serve you with so much zeal? The Queen, your mother, never so treated her servants." The Queen, seeing the Marquis, rose to explain her conduct, but the women thought she would beat him, and ran away. When they had left the room the Queen came up to the Marquis, and said that she was not so overbearing that she would use him ill, and assured him on her faith that she intended to treat him as her brother. (fn. 97) To beat servants was then, and at a much later time, not so unusual a thing. The anecdote of Louis XIV. throwing his cane out of the window, because if he had retained it he would have beaten one of his courtiers, was circulated in the polite Versailles, more than 200 years later, as a sign of the high breeding of the Grand Monarch. Queen Isabel, the mother of Juana, more than once got so enraged that her courtiers thought it necessary to interfere, as, for instance, in the curious scene in the Aragonese Cortes, related by Mariana. But whether the behaviour of Juana was excusable, considering the provocation such women as her jailors were most likely to give her, or not, it is certainly no sign of insanity. On the contrary, her conduct towards the Marquis shows that, even in moments of passion, she was still able to control herself. The other complaints made against her are of even less weight. She did not take her meals regularly, she did not go regularly to bed, nor when she went to bed did she rise regularly. Such habits of life were prejudicial to her health, but could they be construed into signs of insanity? She was untidy, and neglected her dress. It is scarcely worth while to answer such an allegation. What inducement could the Queen have to dress if she must pass her dreary days in a dark and lonely room? There is, however, one circumstance on which the Marquis seems to have laid great stress. It was absolutely impossible, he said, to permit the Queen to see anyone except the inmates of the palace, and every occasion on which she could make her voice heard, by even a passer-by, must be carefully avoided, because she would make a scene, which might have serious consequences. (fn. 98) Certainly, if Queen Juana had had an opportunity, it was probable that she would have called upon the passers-by to liberate her, as any other person placed under similar circumstances would have done. All these allegations of the Marquis were most probably true, and, moreover, the Queen was sometimes so weary of her life that she spoke of making an end of it ; but these things do not prove that she was insane.
If even the Marquis of Denia could not adduce any more substantial proof, he, on the other hand, mentions many instances of great sagacity, sound judgment, true maternal love, and kindness towards her former servants. Whilst she was suffering from want, she often inquired whether the pensions of her attendants were regularly paid, and the Marquis did not dare to confess the truth that they were discontinued. (fn. 99) Brooding day and night over the stories the Marquis was constantly telling her, she discovered that they were not true. But where to learn the truth? In her palace or prison it was impossible. She took advantage, therefore, of every circumstance, of the climate of Tordesillas, of an access of faceache, &c, to urge her demand to be transferred to Valladolid, or to be permitted at least to visit the convent of Santa Clara. She had been in Valladolid after her return from Flanders, and remembered the place perfectly well. Once she had her clothes brushed, dressed with more than usual care, and with her head gear on, defied the Marquis several hours, declaring that she would go to Santa Clara and hear mass. The bait of hearing mass in public was certainly alluring enough, and the Marquis confessed that he was almost persuaded to let her go, "only there are other reasons of greater importance against it." (fn. 100)
Had the Queen been mad her illusions would have more effectually prevented her from perceiving her miserable condition than did the lies of the Marquis, and she might have been less unhappy. As she, however, was fully conscious of the cruelty with which she was treated, it is not to be wondered at that she was occasionally driven to despair. Even her jailor could not always conceal his compassion for her. In an undated letter of the year 1518 the Marquis confessed that her words were so good, "tantas buenas," that he stood "aghast" how she could pronounce them, and that he and the Marchioness found it difficult to resist her. (fn. 101) In other letters he stated that her complaints were so touching that he could not help having compassion for her, and that her language would have "moved stones." The only consequences which he drew from these statements, however, were that it was absolutely necessary that the Queen should not be permitted to see any one, because none could resist her ; that he wanted to write in cipher, that he begged the Emperor to destroy his letters, and not let them be seen by any one except by a person in whom he confided as much as in himself. (fn. 102) How Charles could read such letters, as that for instance which bears the number 48, (fn. 103) in cool blood, would be hardly conceivable if we did not know how hard men were three hundred and fifty years ago.
One of the most perplexing circumstances in the strange history of Queen Juana is that the Infanta Catalina was permitted to share her prison. At first sight it may appear incredible, but it is not the less true, that considerations of economy had something to do with this arrangement. Whilst the Flemish followers of Charles were enriching themselves at the expense of Spain, his exchequer was so empty that even a few thousand ducats a year seemed a great gain. Moreover, it was deemed prudent not to exasperate the Queen to the commission of some desperate act which possibly would create general indignation The Infanta, born when her mother was already a prisoner, had never known any other than a prison life. The palace at Tordesillas was her world, the hills which confine the horizon in the direction towards Medina del Campo were her ultima Thule. When she was about twelve years of age, she began to write letters to her brother Charles, whom she had never seen, but whom she loved dearly. Her letters were somewhat stiff, it is true, there was a want of freedom discernible. But was that to be wondered at? As for the rest, she was happy. She loved her mother, she loved the Marquis and the Marchioness, her tutor Fray Juan, and did not even complain of the dreadful women. On reading her letters one wonders how it was possible that a young girl of twelve or fourteen years of age could be so entirely inured to such an atmosphere, and did not observe what was daily passing around her. At last, however, comes the solution of the riddle. In the month of August 1521, the Infanta found an opportunity of writing to her brother without the knowledge of the Marquis. All her pretty letters had been frauds. They had been written under the dictation of the Marquis and the Marchioness. In a memoir which she drew up on this occasion, she begged the Emperor not to permit the Marquis and Marchioness to maltreat her in the house of her mother. She complained that she was not permitted to see any one, nor to write to any one. She told him that the Countess of Modica, wife of the Admiral of Castile, had sent her a letter, and that when the Marquis and Marchioness heard of it, they wanted to "tear out her eyes," searched her, and made inquiries as to who had brought the letter. They did not allow her to speak even with her servants or those of the Queen. She begged the Emperor not to persecute the guardian (Fray Juan), but on the contrary to see that he did not forsake the Queen, "who stands in great want of consolation." The daughters of the Marquis took her robes from her, wore them, and behaved as though they were her equals. These, and several other complaints, filled pages. In the last paragraph she implored the Emperor "for the love of God" to provide that, if the Queen wished to walk for her recreation in the corridor on the river or on the other side, or if she wished to go to her large room to refresh herself, she should not be prevented from doing so. For it had become the custom at Tordesillas that when the Queen visited her daughter, the servants and daughters of the Marchioness entered unobserved the room of the Infanta, and from their place of concealment directed the women by signs not to let the Queen go to the large room, but immediately to lock her up in her dark chamber. (fn. 104)
Accompanying this memoir is a short letter written in another hand, but signed by the Infanta. "I implore your Majesty to believe what I write, and soon to give your orders. We, the Queen my lady and I, have no other comfort and help but your Majesty." Added by herself are the words, "I beg your Majesty to forgive me that the letter is written in a strange hand. I can no more." (fn. 105)
From what we have stated, we believe, it will be tolerably clear that the reasoning faculties of Queen Juana were by no means impaired, and that, whatever opinion we may be inclined to form of her character and her religious convictions, we cannot pronounce her to have been insane. One important question, however, remains to be answered. How was it that, after having been imprisoned for fourteen years, and having had an opportunity to regain her liberty during the rising of the Commons in Castile, she permitted that opportunity to slip without making use of it? The answer is plain. The same persons who had deceived the world during so many years about her real state of mind succeeded also in deceiving her in the most cruel way.
Where are the grandees of Spain? Where are the nobles of my kingdoms? These questions had incessantly occupied her mind, and to devise plausible answers had taxed to the utmost the ingenuity of the Marquis. (fn. 106) But the Queen did not once ask, Where is my people? And yet the nobles did not make the slightest move in her favour, whilst the people rose at last in open rebellion, marched to Tordesillas, and drove away her jailors. The Commons, it is true, did not rise for that purpose, having to redress many other wrongs which more directly concerned them. Nevertheless, it would be a great error to follow the common tradition, and suppose that they made use of the name of the Queen only after their rising had taken place, to give to their revolutionary measures an appearance of legality. More than a year before the outbreak, the Marquis had complained that the secrets of the palace were oozing out, and that the people were indignant, and openly accused him of being a tyrant, who kept the Queen prisoner under false pretences. (fn. 107)
Towards the end of August 1520, Juan Padilla and other captains of the Commons were at Medina del Campo, only a few leagues distant from Tordesillas. It was known that they had orders from the revolutionary government, assembled at Avila, to rescue the Queen from the grasp of her oppressors. Tordesillas was a place of considerable strength, and had a sufficient garrison of old, well-disciplined troops. It might have been successfully defended, if the troops could have been relied upon. But the officers of the household, from the women who watched her up to the higher ranks, behaved after the usual fashion of mercenaries, and were the first to betray their ignominious taskmaster, denouncing the Marquis without reserve for his shameful conduct towards the Queen. The excitement of the citizens increased, and they gained over the garrison, who refused to fight.
The position of the Marquis of Denia was, to say the least, extremely precarious ; but he was not a man easily to be daunted. When he saw that resistance by force was impossible, he betook himself to a stratagem. Frightening the Queen by telling her that the Commons were rebels of the worst description, who wanted to carry her off to some dungeon, he asked her to send an order forbidding them to enter Tordesillas. No doubt the word "rebel" fell with an unpleasant sound on her ear. Nevertheless, her distrust of the Marquis being stronger than her fear of the revolutionists, she refused to sign. Foiled in this attempt, the Marquis addressed himself to the Infanta, who, being accustomed implicitly to obey all his behests, wrote to the captains, telling them that the Queen was ill, wanted repose, and would deeply resent it if they should march to Tordesillas against her desire. On the 23rd of August 1520, however, Bernaldino de Castro, lieutenant corregidor of the town, accompanied by several other members of the town council, forced their way to the Queen, and informed her, in the presence of the Marquis, of "a great many things which had happened since the death of her father, the Catholic King." (fn. 108) Strange though these revelations must have been to her, she did not lose her self-command, but ordered her treasurer Ochoa de Olanda to summon to her presence the Bishop of Malaga and the Licentiates Polanco and Zapata, all of them members of the privy council, because she wanted to confer with them on important matters of state. They were old servants of the crown of Spain, and she had known them in former times. Ochoa did not carry out her order ; and on the following day, the 24th of August, Juan Padilla occupied Tordesillas. That the Marquis and the women who watched the Queen were not at once sent away is not surprising, for in the eyes of the uninitiated they were her servants. But although they were permitted to remain, their power was at an end. On the 29th of August the Marquis wrote to Cardinal Adrian, that he was treated almost as a prisoner, and forbidden to leave the fortress. (fn. 109)
The first and most interesting question which the Commons had to decide was whether the Queen was suffering from such mental derangement as prevented her from carrying on the government, and it was only natural that her servants who knew her best should be examined on the subject. It is a great loss to history that their depositions are not extant. They were probably destroyed at the command of Charles when his partisans seized the papers of their adversaries. The substance of them, however, is preserved in various letters of Cardinal Adrian to the Emperor. Adrian had not only been the tutor of Charles, but at the very moment when he wrote these letters he was entrusted with the task of carrying out the Emperor's policy in Spain, and he did not obtain his information from the rebels, but from his own agents in Tordesillas. He cannot, therefore, for a moment be suspected of stating the facts in a more unfavourable light than need be, and thus accusing himself and his master of greater crimes than they had to answer for.
Nevertheless he thought it his duty to inform the Emperor on the 4th of September 1520, that almost all the servants of the Queen said that she had been oppressed and detained by force during fourteen years in the fortress of Tordesillas, as though she had been mad, when in fact she had always been in her right mind, and as prudent (prudente) as when she married. (fn. 110)
And again, in the same letter, he stated that it was no longer a question of suffering some pecuniary losses, but that Charles was threatened with a total and perpetual downfall, "because your Highness has usurped the Royal name, and imprisoned the Queen as though she were insane, when she was not mad, according to what, as I have said, is stated."
A fortnight later, on the 14th of September, the Cardinal wrote to the Emperor that the report had been spread throughout the kingdom by her servants that the Queen was perfectly sane, and as able to govern as the Queen Isabel her mother had been, and that the Commons were of opinion that the people ought not to obey and execute the orders of the Emperor, but only those of the Queen. (fn. 111)
We could easily increase the number of similar quotations, but we think what we have stated will suffice to show that the servants of the Queen positively and consistently declared that she was not mad. It is true the Cardinal repeatedly stated his opinion that the servants were influenced by their hatred of the Marquis rather than by strict regard for veracity, and that people in general were more inclined to give credit to what was advantageous to them than to what was true. We are here, however, not concerned in what the Cardinal believed or pretended to believe, but only in what the witnesses deposed, and shall offer afterwards a few observations concerning the credit which Adrian himself deserved.
During the 103 days which intervened between the 24th of August and the 5th of December 1520, Queen Juana enjoyed almost unlimited liberty in her palace. The Marquis and the Marchioness of Denia were sent away from Tordesillas on the 19th of September, and the women who had watched her were, at her own request, dismissed a few weeks later. She was left with only one female servant to attend upon her, and yet in spite of the extremely difficult position in which she was placed, she did not commit a single act which even her most unscrupulous adversaries could construe into a proof of insanity. She was, as could not be otherwise, deeply agitated. At first she did not go to bed or take her meals, or, as the Cardinal Adrian wrote, the Commons wanted to kill her by first denying her food during three days, and then giving her all at once the meals due during that time. (fn. 112) This statement is simply preposterous. The Queen became by degrees more calm, and her life no longer appeared so gloomy to her as hitherto. In the month of November she began even to occupy herself with her long neglected toilet, dressing herself in her best robes, and seeing that her daughter was well adorned when she went out. The Cardinal sneeringly called that atavio, finery. (fn. 113)
As in private, so she conducted herself in public with perfect self-possession. On the 1st of September 1520, Juan Padilla, Juan Bravo, Juan Zapata, and Luis Quintanilla, commanders in chief of the several contingents from the cities and towns of Castile to the revolutionary army, knelt down before her in the presence of numerous witnesses, and asked her to permit the Junta to come from Avila to Tordesillas. She replied that she was satisfied with the Junta, that they might come, and that it would afford her great pleasure to confer with them on the measures which concerned the welfare of her kingdoms. "With all that is good," she concluded her answer, "I shall be pleased, and for all that is wrong I shall be sorry. I hope in God all will end well." (fn. 114)
The proceedings at the audience which she granted the Commons on the 24th of September 1520 are recorded in great detail. She had not the least difficulty in following the long discourses of the various deputies who addressed her, and her answers were clear, dignified, and always to the point. On certain disagreeable subjects which she could not entirely avoid, she spoke with great caution and delicacy. As for the Flemings who had plundered Spain, she did not utter a single word in their excuse, and the Marquis of Denia and the other "bad people" who had deceived her with lies fared hardly better. But whilst complaining of them, she avoided all irritating detail, and attempted to extenuate the fault of her father by hinting at the bad influence her stepmother might have had on him. With respect to her son, she did not mention a single circumstance which was unfavourable to him. (fn. 115) There is no doubt that only a person of much higher intellectual power than the common average could have behaved as she did under similar circumstances. The proceedings during the audiences of the Queen are reported in public documents drawn up by the public notaries at the demand of the Commons. It might therefore be supposed that they would present her in a more favourable light than was compatible with truth. Such, however, was not the case. For not only did Cardinal Adrian never pretend that these attestations were false, but the reports of his own agents who were present at the audiences fully supported them ; and it is certainly not an insignificant circumstance that even Adrian was forced to acknowledge she behaved with great prudence. It is true he added, that from certain statements she made it was clear that she was not perfectly in her right mind. (fn. 116) No wonder that a man who was unacquainted with the secret history of the palace at Tordesillas should regard as inventions of a diseased brain certain things which were stated by her to have happened during her captivity. We, however, who know at least a portion of the truth, must admit that her statements were sober and moderate.
But although the personal conduct of the Queen was marked by common sense and tact, her policy was by no means judicious. Her cruel experience had not yet taught her the stern lesson not to confide in any one who had interests opposed to her own in politics, even though he were her son.
The principal object of the Commons was to get rid of the Flemings and their partisans, who were hated for their almost unexampled insolence and greediness. (fn. 117) By setting up the Queen, who was unconnected at that time with Flanders, as their lawful sovereign, they would have attained their ends, and it was most probable that they would have been loyal subjects. Another grievance was the Inquisition, which since the nomination of Cardinal Adrian as Inquisitor General had become more insupportable than under Torquemada. His almost frantic cruelty towards the old woman Blanchina, and the shameful occurrences at Cuenca, had roused the indignation of the whole of Spain. Moreover, Lutheranism was rapidly spreading, the writings of Luther against the Roman church having been immediately translated into Spanish. (fn. 118) As the Queen had been a victim of her disbelief in Roman orthodoxy, it was not unreasonable to expect that she would favour the new doctrine, and thus create a fresh tie between herself and her subjects.
The Spanish nobles, on the other hand, had as many and even more cogent reasons for being opposed to a government of the Queen than the Commons had to favour it. They had been greatly enriched since the death of Queen Isabel at the expense of the public domain. Ferdinand and Charles had bought their connivance by grants. If, then, these last two governments had been declared unlawful usurpations, it was clear that the nobles would have lost their ill-gotten acquisitions. Moreover, they saw in the Commons men who were by nature inferior to them, but who endeavoured to raise themselves to an equality with them. This feeling is expressed in many documents of the time, but nowhere more strongly than in the circular letter of the Marquis of Villena, inviting the nobles to form a Junta in opposition to that of the Commons. "Our Lord," he said, "created in his justice and mercy the distinction between classes and ranks from the beginning of things," and it would therefore be impious not to trample down the rebels. (fn. 119) Preposterous as would be now the idea of dating the difference of rank from the creation, it was then general, earnestly believed in, and, as is the case with all honest prejudice, of great power. That the aristocracy were good Catholics can scarcely be doubted, after their solemn declarations of the 12th, 13th, and 14th of April 1521. (fn. 120) Thus, opposed by personal interest and political as well as religious considerations to the state of things which seemed unavoidable if Queen Juana ascended the throne, they could not hope successfully to resist the popular movement unless they persevered in their assertion that she was mad. They were not numerous enough to fight single handed, and could not expect to persuade their tenantry to follow them, unless they could make them believe that the monks who were wandering through the kingdom in all directions, preaching a crusade for the deliverance of their rightful Queen, were impostors. Even as it was, we meet with more than one declaration that the peasants were only too prone to side with the Commons and the Queen against their lords and the Emperor, and resistance seemed sometimes so hopeless that the grandees thought they must inevitably submit, and accept Juana as their sovereign.
Such being the state of things, a statesman, acting from political considerations, would not have wavered for a moment as to which party he ought to espouse. In politics the right way is often attended with great difficulties. Such, however, was not the case with Queen Juana. Had she accepted the services of the Commons, and signed a single decree, declaring that she had decided to take the government of Spain into her own hands, all resistance would have been at an end. That is not a mere opinion of our own. Cardinal Adrian wrote over and over again that if the Queen signed he would have no choice, but be forced immediately to leave the country ; (fn. 121) and all the accounts concerning the grandees and the nobles were unanimous in this respect, that they would have hastened to make their submission to the Queen, and to reconcile themselves with the Commons, without attempting any further resistance. Thus, she had her destiny in her own hands.
But the Queen was no politician, nor was she in a position to know the real state of affairs and the true intentions of the different parties. When she was no longer a prisoner, she found herself surrounded by men of one faction only, and of that faction, too, which, however justifiable their rising was, had usurped powers which by law did not belong to them. Could she believe what they stated to her? The Commons, fully aware of this disadvantage, invited Cardinal Adrian and the Privy Council to come from Valladolid to Tordesillas, to discuss with them in the presence of the Queen the measures of state which it was thought necessary to take. Had their invitation been accepted she would have been in a position to form a judgment of the merits of the plans pursued by the one and the other party ; but neither the Cardinal nor the Councillors went to Tordesillas.
Left in the dark as to her true interests, the aristocratic and absolute propensities of her youth prevailed. She knew that her father had been an eminently successful prince, and she thought that the ministers of such a king could give her only good advice, not suspecting that they might be traitors to her. She had always seen that the grandees shared in the government of the country, and the thought never entered her mind that they might be in league with her enemy. But, above all, she had forgiven Charles the cruel injustice which she had suffered from him, and seemed to be more solicitous for his interests than mindful of her own advantages. From a despatch of Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, whom the Emperor had sent to Spain with special orders to tell him the truth, we learn, among other things, that when the Commons told the Queen that Charles had assumed the title of king to her prejudice, she only found excuses for him, pretending that it was a custom in Spain that the eldest son of the Queen should have that title, although she must have known that it was not true. When they accused him of having committed acts of great injustice, and caused great misery, she exclaimed, "Do not disunite me from my son. All that is mine belongs to him, and he will take good care of it." (fn. 122) Politically speaking, we cannot condemn this error too strongly ; but, on the other hand, it is impossible not to sympathize with a mother who could not find it in her heart to believe that her son would repay with acts of consummate villany the love she bore him.
Charles, Cardinal Adrian, and the partisans of the Imperial faction availed themselves of the confidence the Queen had in them, and of her love for her son. Before the army of the Commons had occupied Tordesillas, the Cardinal sent the President of the Council of Castile to warn her not to show any favour to the insurgents, and especially not to sign any proclamation. When Tordesillas was held by the popular forces, his communications with the Queen were not interrupted, but continued to be carried on in secret. Whilst she was believing him to be a perfectly honest man, he was intentionally leading her by his advice to destruction. We have already seen that Adrian knew full well that if she had signed the proclamation which the Commons implored her to ratify by her hand she would have been Queen in reality, and for ever beyond the danger of again being imprisoned as insane. And yet, instead of being ashamed, he glorified himself because it was he who through his agents, Fray Juan de Avila, Fray Francisco de Leon, and others, prevented her from doing the only thing which could have saved her. (fn. 123) Charles spoke only of his devotion to his mother, enlarging on his "unspeakable grief" at the insult and disrespect shown to the Queen "my lady." (fn. 124) The nobles of Spain imitated his example, and the Constable of Castile protested that he would sacrifice his property and life in the "holy and just" enterprise to "set at liberty" the Queen, "our Sovereign Lady," and to rescue her from the tyranny of the "barbarians." (fn. 125) Not a word, not a hint, is to be found in these letters indicating that she was insane, and it is even doubtful whether she ever knew that it had been reported she was mad. We have no positive proofs, but it is in the highest degree probable, that the Cardinal communicated the contents of these and similar declarations of loyalty to the Queen, in order to confirm her in her erroneous conceptions. When the army of the nobles appeared before Tordesillas, they still pretended that they had come to serve her as faithful subjects, and even after the capture of that place it was thought prudent to keep up false appearances for a time. The Count of Haro, who had led the attack, when informing his father, the Constable, of the latest occurrences, wrote : "I kissed the hands of the Queen yesterday, and told her that you had been informed of the want of respect with which she and the Infanta had been treated, and remembering the loyalty with which our forefathers had always served the crown, you had sent me and these noblemen to restore her Highness to liberty. She replied that she was much obliged to you for your solicitude for her, adding that she was glad that I had arrived, and that she had an opportunity of making my acquaintance." (fn. 126)
Queen Juana permitted herself to be utterly deceived. If, however, we must admit that persons of perfectly sound judgment and even of considerable perspicacity, are liable occasionally to commit such a gross error as to believe their enemies to be their friends, we may the more excuse the Queen, who had just been released from utter seclusion. As for carrying out her suicidal policy there can be no doubt that she did it with consummate skill. Had she signed a proclamation, she would have ruined the aristocratical party ; had she deprived the Commons of all hope they could have chosen another sovereign. Her cousin, the so-called Beltraneja, was still living. She had a better right to the crown than even Juana, and was perfectly sure of the full support of France. There was Pedro Giron, captain general of the armies of the Commons, advancing in an underhand way his claims to the throne, as representative of the elder branch of King Alonzo, who had been driven by violence and treachery out of the country. (fn. 127) Either of them would have excluded all the descendants of Queen Isabel, Juana as well as Charles, from the succession in Castile. To procure for the grandees the time necessary to assemble an army, and yet not to drive the Commons to despair, was indeed no easy undertaking. Juana, however, accomplished it, putting them off from day to day and from week to week, under a variety of pretexts. One day she excused herself with failing health, another day she wanted to confer with the ministers of the crown, whom she said she had ordered into her presence ; then she pointed out that the proclamation would be invalidated if it were not signed on the back by the Secretaries of State, and so on. On one occasion, when a false alarm was spread that the Constable, with an army, was at the gates of the town, and the members of the Junta were pressing her unusually hard to sign the proclamation, she answered that it was night, and that during night time it was unbecoming to transact business of state, giving them at the same time the assurance that the Constable would do harm to no one. Whenever all her reasons were exhausted she affected that her strength was worn out, and retired to her bed room. (fn. 128) The great misery to which Juana had been subjected induces us to judge her leniently, but if we wish to form an impartial opinion of her character we cannot entirely absolve her from a certain amount of cunning, and suspect that if she had not been the victim she would most probably have victimized others.
As she had so often excused herself on the plea of ill health, it is natural enough that the Commons thought of procuring for her medical assistance, and it is not to be wondered at that ignorant priests came to Tordesillas, professing to be able to heal her by incantation. (fn. 129) When, however, Cardinal Adrian wrote that the Junta had recourse to conjurors, (fn. 130) he stated a thing which he knew was not true. The Junta had ordered public prayers in the churches, a custom prevailing then, as now, in Spain and other countries during a real or supposed illness of the sovereign. (fn. 131)
At last, when the army of the nobles was really on its march to Tordesillas, the Commons made a desperate effort. They declared to the Queen that they would not give her or the Infanta anything to eat until she had signed. When they, however, saw that they could not frighten her, they went down before her on their knees, and holding up before her the proclamation, the ink and pen, implored her to sign. She refused, and finally and irrevocably rejected her only true friends. (fn. 132) Two days later the grandees and cavaliers took Tordesillas by storm, plundered and burnt it. The Queen had in vain ordered the gates of the town to be opened, but she received with joy her supposed liberators at the entrance of her palace, was led up to her apartment by Don Juan Manrique and Don Geronimo Padilla, who had been the first to arrive, and had the long desired satisfaction of seeing herself surrounded by the grandees, and of conversing with them. (fn. 133) The Marquis of Denia, however, was among them. A few days later he took possession of his office, and Juana was again his prisoner. That was the "holy enterprise," that was her "liberation from the tyranny of the barbarians," with which Charles, Cardinal Adrian, and the nobles of Spain had deceived her ; a dark room, wherein to weep over her errors, and the torture, as an instrument of coercion, to keep her quiet and to make her hear mass.
We must add a few words on the principal actors in this tragedy, viz., the three governors or viceroys in Spain, Cardinal Adrian, Don Fadrique Enriquez, Admiral, and Don Iigo Fernandez de Velasco, Constable of Castile.
Adrian has enjoyed in his native country, and in the northern parts of Europe in general, the reputation of having been an honest man ; the Italians considered him as one of the greatest hypocrites of his age. The Spaniards spoke of him in their letters to the Emperor, before he was Pope, as a well-intentioned man, who, however, was so credulous that nothing was easier than to impose upon him. If, however, we examine the circumstances under which he was said to have been deceived, we find that he allowed himself easily to be duped whenever the acknowledgment of the truth would have exposed him to the alternative either to confess that he was doing wrong, or to act up to his duty, and to incur thereby the danger of some sacrifice or the displeasure of his master. As often, however, as the recognition of the truth was profitable to his personal interests, it was rather difficult to impose upon him. We must confess we doubt the honesty of such a man, and suspect that it was rather his aptness for accommodating himself to the worst deeds of his master which raised him by degrees from the depth of poverty to the highest dignity in Christendom. With regard to Queen Juana he behaved as might be expected from such a person. At first he informed Charles with tolerable frankness of what was said about the Queen's soundness of mind. When, however, the Marquis and Marchioness of Denia had been driven from Tordesillas, they passed through Valladolid. The Marquis dined with him on the 21st of September, and had a long after-dinner conversation. It was only too convenient for the Cardinal to believe every word which the Marquis told him, and having quieted his easy conscience he did not thenceforth once mention the reported sanity of the Queen without most positively stating his disbelief of it. His real convictions may have been formed from the course of events, only that there are certain circumstances which make us suspect that he was guilty of something more reprehensible than mere credulity. Adrian came to Tordesillas in the train of the conquering army, and stayed there a considerable length of time. Knowing that the madness of the Queen was at least disputed, it certainly was his first and most imperative duty, as lieutenant of the Emperor, to assure himself by his own eyes and ears of the truth, and yet he never saw her for a moment. Was he afraid to learn an unpalatable truth? (fn. 134) The most practised dissemblers, however, have their unguarded moments. Thus Cardinal Adrian, in order to stimulate the energy of Charles, asked him on one occasion whether he would like to wait for the death of the Queen, his mother, before being permitted to govern in Spain. (fn. 135) If Adrian really believed Juana to be mad, how could he suppose that, once installed on her throne, she would be able to remain at the head of the government until the end of her days? From his own words, therefore, it is clear that he knew that the motive which guided the Emperor was not the desire to prevent an insane person from doing harm to herself and to others, but the criminal purpose of a son to rob his mother of her crown ; and in this he countenanced him.
The Constable of Castile was a thorough partisan of the Marquis of Denia. This suffices to explain his conduct.
The Admiral, although he had many and great failings, was on the whole a man of much more elevated character. He at first refused the offered place of governor, and accepted it only on condition that the Commons should be treated with leniency after the victory. When they were conquered, he wrote to the Emperor, on the 15th of April 1521, begging him to be a "good prince," and promising to accept his clemency towards the vanquished as an indemnification for his great private losses. With regard to the Queen, he never stooped to utter direct lies. Having had long and frequent conversations with her he had the courage, when the other grandees spoke of her insanity, indignantly to declare that she was of sound mind, (fn. 136) without qualifying his declaration by any depreciating addition. He endeavoured to create for her, if not an influential, at least an honourable position, and would even have assigned to her some participation in the despatch of public business. His counsel was overruled, as the Comendador Mayor, Juan de Vega, in his letter to the Constable of the 8th of December, wrote, "because it would be the greatest misfortune for Spain to have two kings." (fn. 137) The Comendador may have been right, but, if so, what importance can we attach to the declaration in his letter to the Emperor, in which he stated that Juana was unfit for the despatch of public affairs in consequence of mental disease? It was the language of a courtier who did not dare to offend his sovereign master by giving utterance to what he knew was the truth.
The treatment of Queen Juana during her second captivity was more cruel than during her first. The Marquis and Marchioness of Denia were irritated by the slights they had received in the time of the Commons, and desired to revenge themselves. The Queen, when she saw the cruel deception to which she had fallen a victim, grew excited, and in her excitement sometimes unmanageable. The Infanta was taken away from her mother, and married to the King of Portugal. It was expected that the Queen would not survive this separation, (fn. 138) but she did, dragging on a lonely and monotonous life with her keepers. Under such circumstances death is the only friend, but death came slowly. She lived five and thirty years in her second imprisonment. No wonder that by degrees her reason gave way. During the latter years of her life she believed that she was possessed by evil spirits which prevented her from being good and loving her children, or the rites of the Roman Church. She imagined that she saw a great cat lacerating the souls of her father and of her husband. But these wild fancies were not unfrequently interrupted by periods of calm and sound judgment. Physically she sank down to a deplorable state of almost brutish existence. For weeks and months sometimes she did not leave her bed, which received all the evacuations of her body, and was never cleaned. Two things she disliked until the close of her life. It was painful to her to receive a visit from any one of her family, and she wished not to be disturbed by religious ceremonies. In April 1555 it was known that she was near her end. Charles, worn out by mental and bodily sufferings, and discouraged by the ill success of the great plans for which "he had sacrificed his conscience," was meditating his abdication in Flanders, whilst his daughter Juana was at the head of the government in Spain. She might have let her grandmother die in peace, but the honour of the Imperial family required that Queen Juana should not depart without receiving the holy sacrament. Stormy scenes took place in the interior of the old palace, and the screams of the Queen were heard in the neighbouring houses. At last, Fray Domingo de Soto was summoned to Tordesillas, where he arrived in the morning of the 11th of April, and had a long conversation with the Queen without witnesses. "Thanks to our Lord," he wrote on the same day to Juan Vasquez, who was chief Secretary of State in Spain, "when we were alone, she spoke words which consoled me. Nevertheless, her Highness is not in a disposition to receive the sacrament of the eucharist, but the sacrament of the extreme unction, I think, may be given to her. Even for this, however, we must wait until she has less discernment, for that sacrament does not require much (discernment), and we are afraid that, as long as her Highness has so much judgment as she has now, she will, from considerations of honesty, refuse to submit to it. I think she will not survive this night." (fn. 139) In fact the Queen was sinking rapidly. At an advanced hour of the night she received the sacrament, thus sparing her children the shame of having had what they called an infidel mother, and on Good Friday, 12th of April, between five and six o'clock in the morning, she expired, "thanking our Lord that her life was at an end, and recommending her soul to Him." (fn. 140)
Such is the rough sketch of the life of one who should have been a great Queen, and was the ancestress of the Austro-Spanish dynasty. It goes far to reconcile the humblest with the lowliness and hardships of his position ; but we do not know which of the two to pity the more, Queen Juana or Charles. The only alternative left to him was to choose between uprooting all human feeling from his breast, and of renouncing everything that makes life worth having, or of accusing himself, in the midst of all his Imperial grandeur, of being a mean and miserable delinquent. That was the price he had to pay for his plan of universal monarchy. It would be high at any time, but naturally was highest when right, virtue, and honour were cheapest.
Such a character as that of Charles seems to be monstrous. The giant lizards of antediluvian periods appear to us also as monsters which could not have lived, but if they were viewed amidst the nature which then surrounded them they would lose much of their monstrosity. In a similar way, Charles, considered in connexion with the world in which he lived, still remains a bad man, but not abnormally hideous. He was not the worst prince of his time. When we become acquainted not only with the smooth and by far too much polished surface of bygone ages, but also with the hidden springs and motive power, the uncontrolled passions, the unscrupulous violence, the sordid avarice, and unblushing lies which abounded in their depths, we all shall confess that we have made progress in morality as well as in learning.
We must return to the marriage projects of King Henry VII. That Queen Juana, in the year 1507, was incapacitated by insanity for matrimonial life we think will hardly any longer be pretended. But did Henry know that the rumours which were spread were false? The decision of this question we must leave for the future historian. Henry had seen the Queen a few months before the death of her husband, but at a time when reports of her mental disease had already been insidiously spread. Thus, he was in a position to judge for himself whether these earlier rumours were true. He caused the Princess of Wales to write a letter to her sister, the purport of which was a sufficiently clear declaration of his wish to marry her. Although we may think Henry capable of any sort of baseness, we cannot suppose him to have been foolish enough to send a love letter to a lady whom he believed to be mad. On the other hand, however, if Juana was not insane when she was on her way to Spain, she may have become so while staying there ; and, in fact, the most accredited report was that the sudden death of King Philip had deprived her of reason. Moreover, the truth was so strictly concealed that it must have been difficult even for Henry to learn it, and if he had been really aware that the insanity of Juana was an invention, it is hardly conceivable that De Puebla could make in his name such statements as he did, concerning his not caring whether his intended bride were mad or not. That Henry should have avoided positively contradicting King Ferdinand is intelligible enough, as he did not wish to offend him, but why he should have made admissions which went even further than the assertions of the Catholic King, it would be difficult to explain, except on the supposition that he did not consider insanity to be an obstacle to marriage. Perhaps we should not be far from the truth if we were to suppose that he had formed no decided opinion on the merit of the subject, and did not care for it, but that he was quite prepared to marry Queen Juana, mad or not mad, for the sake of her dower.