Spain: April 1550, 1-15

Pages 57-65

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 10, 1550-1552. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

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April 1550, 1–15

April 3. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 18. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
Since we received your last letters, the English ambassador came to see us, being charged by the King and Council to declare to us that, as he had previously informed us of the meeting of commissioners on both sides to treat the peace, and of the progress of the negotiation, so he wished now to inform us of the final result of it, that they had come to an agreement, and that France was to pay them (the English) a good sum of money, which was not specified, but has since been ascertained from M. d'Andelot, to be five hundred thousand crowns, (fn. 1) payable half now and the other half during the month of August; in exchange for which they will give up Boulogne. He explained their action by saying that they had sustained a long war alone, and did not find themselves well advised to continue it during the King's minority; and he added that they had included us in the peace, observing all they owed to their friendship with us, as we should see by the writing he gave us, and he hoped we would be satisfied with the course they had taken. We replied that we received their good news with pleasure; that they were aware how we had long ago foreseen the possibility of an understanding between them and France, and sought it on our part, and undertaken the good offices he knew of. We hoped they had observed all that was due to us, as he certified they had done, and said he would give us a writing to prove it. We would examine the document and send a message to him regarding it; and we saw no reason in what he said to enter into more particulars.
Since then we have caused the document to be examined; and we find they have come to terms with both France and Scotland, and claim to meet all objections by a general inclusion (of ourselves). Whereupon we caused a message to be sent to the ambassador to the effect that by the document he had given to us we understood ourselves to be included in general terms; but we had found therein the express inclusion of the Scots, and in the article referring to it there was a clear mention of other articles concerning Scotland, which had not been shown to us. We could not conceive what their purport might be. He might well remember that our only reason for going to war with Scotland had been their interest and request, and we reluctantly broke our long peace with that country, being requested and urged to do so by the said English, by the demands made to us in the year 1544 through Controller Paget, and even before that date, and consented to declare war. Since the time of the Treaty of Crépy the French had pressed us strongly to come to some understanding with the Scots and include them in the treaty; but nevertheless we never consented to do so because the King of England did not agree to it; and we had repulsed the overtures of French and Scots on that point, though we should have been free of war if we had been willing to lend an ear to them. We were greatly astonished therefore to discover that they had come to terms with the Scots without our consent, which it was needful to obtain before they could treat of peace at all, according to that which was declared at Utrecht, where our written consent, signed by us and delivered under our great seal was made conditional. The ambassador replied nothing except that he did not think we were at war with Scotland in order to make common cause with England. It was certified to him again that we had no other reason to make war on Scotland save only England's sake, and that we had declared the Scots our enemies at England's request; and the English, by freeing themselves from war without our consent had left us involved. He made no further answer, but undertook to inform the King and his Council, and expressed a hope that they would be able to give a satisfactory reply, saying he supposed we would write to you, so that you might make a remonstrance. For your enlightenment to that effect, we send you a copy of the document given to us by the ambassador, being an extract, as he affirms, of the articles of peace; and you may examine the articles of the treaty of closer amity, of which you have a copy, for further information. In the event of their claiming, as it is supposed here by some that they will do, that article No. 13, providing that neither sovereign shall make terms with the common enemy without the consent of the other, as it is more fully declared therein, is to be interpreted as applying only to the King of France, and those who side with him in the war against England and ourselves, you may declare to them, and quite justifiably too, that the said article must be understood to apply to all and sundry who once declare themselves to be enemies of both. In any case, the Scots were our common enemies during the war against France; and moreover the declaration of Utrecht clearly sets forth the intentions of the contracting parties in this sense; for had the article applied merely to active war against France, our obligation would have ceased when the peace with France was signed by us, with the consent of England. The Scots alone remained at war with us both after the declaration of Utrecht, and must be understood to have been designated by the words “our common enemies”; and moreover, it is obvious that the conditions made therein so expressly had as their object to prevent us from yielding to the very urgent requests of the French, and making peace with Scotland regardless of the English. You will send us immediate information of the answer they make to this point, and of your negotiation with them.
Brussels, 3 April, 1550.
Minute. French.
April 3. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 29. Simon Renard to the Emperor. (fn. 2)
Sir: I have done my very utmost to get hold of the capitulation of peace between France and England, so as to send certain information to your Majesty of the conditions and means by which the peace has been brought about. But up to the present I have not been able to obtain it. I suppose your Majesty has heard from the English all that happened in the matter. Although they publish it here as being greatly to the advantage of France and to the detriment of England, still the chief cause for which the late King Francis granted a sum of two million crowns by his treaty with the King of England, which was partly for the old pension due by France to England, is not settled yet. It is left pending till the King of England reaches the age of 20 years, and the seed of discord remains in being, and may prove sufficient to upset, in years to come, everything that has been settled now. However, I remit myself to what your Majesty shall ascertain more exactly. . . .
The hostages sent by the King to England will leave during this Easter-tide, except the Marquis du Maine who has gone with M. d'Aumale by the post to Janville, where M. de Janville is lying dangerously ill. The secretary of M. de Fumel, a gentleman of the King's chamber, has been saying that his master is to be sent to England to have the peace sworn. I am sending your Majesty the publication of the peace as it was made at court. . . .
Paris, 3 April, 1550.
Duplicate. French.
April 9. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 29. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
(Extract.) Sire: The articles of the peace with England are kept so secret that I have been unable to secure them up to the present, or discover the truth about them. All the other ambassadors are in the same trouble and difficulty, which is presumed to mean that they are of a somewhat different character from that published, and more to the advantage of the English. The Goldsmith (fn. 3), who is on friendly terms with the head servant of Secretary Villeroy, brought me an extract of certain articles which he says are included in the peace, which says that the King is to pay two hundred thousand crowns to the English in twelve years, as compensation for the price of repairs and losses sustained in the conquest and fortification of Boulogne, and for the money overdue on the duchy of Guyenne and place of La Rochelle, over and above the four hundred thousand crowns mentioned by me in my last letters to your Majesty. The King, moreover, therein grants permission to the English to draw corn and wine for three years out of Gascony to the value of six hundred thousand crowns, without paying taxes, duties or tolls. This is all I have found out since since my last letter to your Majesty respecting the said peace . . . (French operations in Piedmont, etc.). The hostages have left for England, all except the Marquis du Maine who will follow them by Chalons. It is held for certain that the Duke of Ferrara has left for Borne to bring about a league between the Pope, the Venetians and the King, and get himself included in it. He seems to have intended it since Parma was given up, and he will help the M. de Nemours and Marshal de la Marche to the best of his ability. . . .
Paris, 9 April, 1550.
Copy. French.
April 12. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van Der Delet to the Emperor.
Sire: On the fourth day after the publication of the peace, Dr. Wotton, sent as he said by the members of the Council, came to see me and to present their excuses for not having given me information earlier concerning the peace with France, saying that they could not think how such a fault had been committed, except that they had been so very busy that they had forgotten the observance of their old custom to communicate their business to me. I replied that there was no reason to apologise, and I had learnt the news from my people who had heard it proclaimed; but nevertheless, had they seen fit to send a message to me, as the late King had done on the occasion of the last peace, I might have fulfilled my duty and sent the information to your Majesty. He replied: “The Emperor has received the information from our ambassador”; adding that they possessed two or three forts in Scotland which were of little use to them, and cost them money to keep up and guard, and that they were going to give them up. I observed that they had no doubt settled what best suited their interests with the French; and as they had informed your Majesty of everything, I wished to inquire if you had consented to the inclusion of the Scots in the peace. He asked why, and I replied, “because of the obligations set forth in the treaties.” He then made this statement: “We have not negotiated with Scotland, but only with France; but we shall not invade the Scots again unless they give us fresh provocation.” Upon this we began to argue; but as I was not aware of your Majesty's intention I set argument aside, and ended up by saying, “ If you have satisfied and pleased the Emperor I will leave you to extenuate the matter in the manner that seems best to you; although I could give no other name than peace to an inclusion (of the Scots) by which hostilities are suspended, commerce is resumed, and the places you held are given back.” He took his leave upon this. Since then my secretary has arrived bringing your Majesty's letters to me of the last day of last month, and the third of the present month. I demanded an audience last Monday, which was put off till Wednesday, on which day I went to Greenwich and laid before the Council the various points mentioned by your Majesty in your letters, which I will not repeat here, because they have deferred their answer to me until they could communicate the whole to the entire Council, although as a matter of fact a good number of them were then present. (fn. 4) Nevertheless, they persisted in their former reply concerning the applications of private persons, subjects of your Majesty, as also in the cases concerning sugar and alum, that each applicant should prosecute through the channel of the ordinary courts, and rejected any offer to find guarantees for the value of the goods. This was so unreasonable that I was moved to reproach them for the great wrongs and ill-treatment they inflict upon your Majesty's subjects, heavier than any suffered by our people in any other part of the world; which was contrary to good intercourse and the treaties between us. I said I was sorry to have stayed long enough in England to witness such unreasonable and iniquitous conduct. After long arguments and many exclamations they consulted a little together and said to me, “Well, we will reserve this point, and after we have consulted the others, in four or five days' time, we will give you our answer.” I took my leave of them fairly pleasantly; and they treated me on this occasion rather better than on former ones, but it was plainly due to Paget, who met me half-way and interpreted all I had to say for the best. Among other things I told him, when I was going, that I had been cavalierly treated by my good Lords of the Council, who had dismissed the case of the Lady Mary, which he had laid before your Majesty himself during his mission, very lightly, merely saying they had changed their minds. He replied “I am very sorry too, and it was done without my advice”; and, he added, “I pray you will repeat the words you have just used to us when speaking on the question of the Lady Mary's marriage.” As I had quoted your Majesty's letters textually, I repeated word for word what I had said, to the effect that if they disapproved of the proposal made by the Protector, there was nothing more to be said. He then said: “I now understand what you say, but the Lords of the Council did not understand it clearly, as they are not thoroughly acquainted with the French language; but I will make it plain to them.” As far as I can judge, he would wish the matter to go forward, for his own honour, as he has taken so considerable a share in advancing it.
The Protector went to Greenwich the day before; he saw the King and dined with the members of the Council, but I did not see him when I was there. I was told he was with the Earl of Warwick in his chamber, where he had dined. In London some say he will be President of the Council, others that he will be Governor of the King's person; however that may be, there is apparently a great likelihood of his return to high authority, and people who are well acquainted with the present conditions here do not doubt of it. Thus, while the members of the Council were discussing the answer they should make to me (which, as I have said above, was eventually put off), Secretary Mason, who is about to be sent as ambassador to France, was deputed to entertain me; he is a sincere man, of sound judgment, and on terms of most intimate friendship with Paget. He said to me: “Doubtless the Protector governed us ill, but you will see that he will come back into authority as before, and this will happen because there is no one else to take his place.” (fn. 5) And with sundry considerations he showed me great hopes of success in their affairs.
Your Majesty will have heard that the hostages from England have reached Calais; namely, the Duke of Suffolk with twenty-two horse; the Protector's son with seventeen horse; my Lord Strange, son of Lord Derby; the son of the Earl of Shrewsbury called my Lord Talbot; my Lord Fitzwarren; and the sixth, a man of no great lineage. (fn. 6) But they are all eldest sons, and the least of them is taking fourteen horse with him. The hostages from France are expected here from day to day.
A Gascon gentleman named M. de Fumel, who is going to Scot-land on an errand from the King of France, has been welcomed and honourably received here at court, and entertained at the King's expense. It is to be supposed that he is going to get the inclusion (of the Scots) approved.
Another personage has arrived here, who calls himself the ambassador of the King of Sweden. I have not been able to find out his name yet; but as to his errand, it it probably the outcome of a commission on which Chamberlain, who used to be Court-Master at Antwerp, and a certain Gondelvinger, (fn. 7) a German, were sent for the purpose of exchanging their lead (English lead) for the silver of the King of Sweden.
Sire: It is true that the Protector is again to assume the head of government, and that this will be brought about by the hand of the Earl of Warwick; it is to be suspected that their main object will be to abolish totally the practice of the ancient religion, so hated and calumniated by the Earl and spurned by the Protector. They intend to make common cause and do as they please in all things, because the King, who is but too good by nature, changes his mind from day to day under their influence and yields himself up to their vagaries; so that in the court there is no bishop, and no man of learning so ready to argue in support of the new doctrine as the King, according to what his masters tell him, and he learns from his preachers, whose sermons he often writes with his own hand before everybody; and this seems to be a source of pride to his courtiers that the King should dictate the very words of the sermons and choose for himself those who shall preach. In all truth, Sire, the very worst among them are picked out by preference, and the members of the Council give as an excuse that they have been chosen to preach by the King himself; whence it may be feared that the King's natural goodness will be perverted, and that unless some singular grace of Heaven be dispensed to him he will never learn to aspire to things which he has never learnt to know.
I have not been able to hear any further particulars about the peace; but have been told that they have made a brotherly peace; and I have heard that the King of France considers it as such.
Although your Majesty wrote to me that on the earliest occasion you would declare your intention to me with regard to Sebastian Cabot, I have not ceased to remind the Council that they promised me the time before this last when I had a communication with them, that they would send the said Cabot to me with a clerk of the Council, so that I might ascertain his intentions; and they now promise again to send him, as before. The said Sebastian Cabot warned me to tell your Majesty that a certain Jerome Sodrigo, inspector of shipping at Seville, displeased at something which occurred out there, was seeking means to come and serve here, where he knew he would be welcome. I am not sure what to make of it; but possibly one might be led to suspect or believe, both because of the detention of the said Cabot, and because of their wish to attract men of his sort, that these people, who have plenty of fine vessels lying idle in time of peace, wished to employ them elsewhere and send them to look for gold and silver, as they hear that your Majesty's vessels return home laden with it.
Sire: It seems to me advisable to put off all communication with the Lady Mary until I receive an answer from the Council, and ascertain their mind, although she has asked to be told what news my secretary brought back. As soon as I receive an answer from the Council, I will inform your Majesty of it with all diligence; and according to what happens afterwards I will despatch my secretary to convey particular intelligence to your Majesty on those matters contained in your memorial.
London, 12 April, 1550.
Duplicate in cipher. French.
April 13. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 29. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Since my last letters to your Majesty I have heard nothing more concerning the peace between France and England beyond what I wrote therein. M. du Mortier and M. Bochetel, (fn. 8) the commissioners sent to the fort (of Boulogne) to treat the peace, have returned. In two days' time Provost Baron will start to convey the two hundred thousand crowns that the King is to pay down and deliver over to the English before Boulogne is given up by them, which will be before the .21st of the month. The King is expecting the arrival of the English envoys and hostages, who are supposed to reach this town of Paris in two days' time, and will remain here until the restitution takes place. After their reception, the King will go to St. Germain where he will stay longer than was expected, because the journey he proposed to take to Boulogne is abandoned, as it was represented to him that the country is ruined and short of victuals owing to the damage done by the soldiers in the towns and territory thereabouts last year; and that it will be better to give time for the country to be re-peopled, and wait until the harvests are gathered in. . . .
Paris, 13 April, 1550.
Duplicate in cipher. French.
April 15. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 29. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: The King has left to-day for St. Germain and ordered that accommodation shall be provided for the ambassadors and hostages from England, whose coming has been so much delayed, at Poissy, where they are expected to arrive in three days' time. While the King was tarrying in Paris the rumour was spread that the peace between France and England was not yet made; that M. de Reuil (fn. 9) had gone to Boulogne in disguise to prevent the restitution of the said town from being effected, and make some kind of alliance with the English, promising them help in men both mounted and on foot on your Majesty's behalf; and.that by the same token your Majesty had sent a part of your Flemish bands across the frontiers of Artois and Picardy, and were raising men in Germany, Friesland and the Netherlands, being unwilling to take in good part that a King during his minority should be constrained to accept a peace so disadvantageous to him. Others entertain a doubt whether the Captain of Boulogne will really hand over the town on the payment of the two hundred thousand crowns, no matter what hostages may have been given or exchanged; and they assert that while the negotiations were being carried on he brought victuals and ammunition into the place. But I know these rumours to be vain and ill-founded, and the news false; for I have ascertained that M. de Pot, a gentleman of the King's chamber, who was sent last year to visit your Majesty and give you intelligence of the undertaking the King was minded to attempt against the said English, will leave on Sunday next for England, where he will serve the King as his ambassador; and that the King has never believed that M. de Reuil was ever in England. True it is that the King has been advised not to break up the camp near Boulogne until the town is given over, the better to ensure the fulfilment of the treaty and avoid the possibility of some fraudulent attempt on the part of the English to hold it in your Majesty's name, with the acquiescence of your Majesty, for he has become suspicious of the men-at-arms sent by your Majesty to the said frontiers, notwithstanding the explanation given by your Majesty that it was your custom to send them there every year. The men now in the Boulonnais are ordered to Piedmont; and the King is sending two hundred lances of the ordnance-bands to Picardy and the frontiers. M. d'Estrées who used to be captain of the guards is named Governor of the Boulonnais, and M. de Rioul, who was captain of the fort near Boulogne is to take his place here. . . .
Poissy, 15 April, 1550.
Duplicate in cipher. French.


  • 1. The actual sum was 400,000 crowns.
  • 2. A translation into Spanish of this letter is in Paris, Archives Nationales, K. 1489.
  • 3. An informant, also referred to as the Flemish goldsmith.
  • 4. Here a marginal note occurs in the docipherment “Il faut finir cct (sic) lignc.”
  • 5. Et ce par faulte d'autre: an ambiguous sentence, which might possibly be interpreted: “through somebody else's fault.” But experience of Van der Delft's style inclines me to the first version.
  • 6. The sixth hostage “of no great lineage” according to Van der Delft, was Henry, Lord Maltravers, eldest son of the Earl of Arundel, head of the family of Fitzalan. The French hostages were: Jean de Bourbon, Sieur d'Enghien, younger brother of Antoine, Due de Vendôme, husband of Jeanne d'Albret; the Marquis du Maine; the eldest son of Constable Montmorency; M. de la Tremoille; Francois de Vendôme, Vidame of Chartres; and M. de la Hunaudaye, son of Admiral Annebault. (Rymer.)
  • 7. Gondelvinger seems to have been entrusted with several errands. In the Calendar of Foreign State Papers, I, 57, where he is called Kundelfinger, he is said to have been instructed to arrange for the export of English kersies to Siebenbürgen in Hungary, the Governor of which province was to pay for them in gold. In October, Gondelvinger arrived at Antwerp with 50 German miners, whom he was conducting to England. As to the Swedish envoy's business, an entry in Edward's Journal for April 24th, 1550, runs: “Certain articles touching a straighter amity in merchandise sent to the King of Sweden, being these: First, if the King of Sweden sent bullion, he should have our commodities and pay no toll. Secondly, he should bring bullion to none other prince. Thirdly, if he brought ozymus and stool and copper, etc., he should have our commodities and pay custom as an Englishman. Fourthly, if he brought any other (goods) he should have free entrecours, paying custom as a stranger.” Preferential fiscal treatment was thus accorded to a nation that would bring bullion into England; and Gondelvinger's overtures to the Governor of Sieben-bürgen were doubtless also dictated by the Council's anxiety to procure gold.
  • 8. André Guillart, Sieur du Mortier; and Bochetel, Sieur de Sacy.
  • 9. Adrien de Croy, Count de Reuil, one of the Emperor's Flemish ministers.