Spain: July 1531, 26-31

Pages 218-227

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 2, 1531-1533. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1882.

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July 1531, 26-31

26 July. 768. The Emperor's Answer to the Papal Legate.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 163.
B. M. Add 28,583,
f. 328.
The following is the answer made to His Reverence the Papal Legate respecting what he proposed in His Holiness' name.
In the first place His Imperial Majesty in his own name and in that of his aunt, the Most Serene queen of England, thanks His Holiness most heartily for having like a good shepherd of the Christain flock so taken up this affair that the best result may be anticipated. When His Imperial Majesty impelled by most cogent reasons begged him to prevent the attempted divorce, his first and principal object in so doing was that the authority, power, and dignity of the Pope, and of the Apostolic See should be preserved from the calumnious attempts of those who wish to impeach and restrain the same. This His Imperial Majesty, patron and defender of the said Holy Apostolic See, is more in duty bound than any other prince in Christendom to uphold and defend, as likewise to remove all dissensions, small offences, and disputes arising from such a separation, and lastly, to prevent injury being done to the Most Serene queen of England so closely allied to him by the ties of consanguinity. For the affair is of such a nature as to admit of no efficient solution but that of declaring a marriage contracted with the authority and licence of the Holy Apostolic See to be valid and indissoluble. So many princes being interested in this decision, and the peace and welfare of the [Christian] community being at stake, His Imperial Majesty cannot see how an affair of this sort can possibly be treated, discussed, or decided at Cambray, or elsewhere than at Rome, near the Holy Apostolic See, whose decrees and authority all respect and venerate, and whose sentence in such matters all are bound to obey: therefore, His Imperial Majesty most humbly entreats His Holiness not to allow so important a case to be tried and decided elsewhere than at his own Apostolic Court and See. And since judgment can no longer be delayed without great injury to the Queen, who during this time, whilst the suit is pending, is almost as it were divorced from her husband, His Imperial Majesty for the reasons above related most earnestly begs His Holiness that in his equity and justice he be pleased at once to terminate this affair and pronounce sentence, which His Majesty as a dutiful son of the Apostolic See will obediently accept, though he cannot admit of any other form of compromise.
Latin. Original draft in the handwriting of Alfonso de Valdés. pp. 2½.
26 July. 769. Miçer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 853, f. 62.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 330.
Has urgently requested His Holiness to decide what is to be done at the German Diet. Was by him referred to cardinal Sant Sixto, with whom he has had several conferences. The Pope is willing to grant three things: 1stly, that everything not of Divine law (de jure Divino) be reduced to venial, not to mortal, sin. (fn. n1) 2ndly, to allow consecration and communion "sub utraque especie." 3rdly, to consent to the marriage of priests, provided it be contracted in the manner of the Greek Church. This last article, however, the Pope begged him (Mai) not to mention in his despatches, because he thought it would be better to promise these things gradually one after another. (fn. n2) Has tided to have a letter written in this sense to the Papal Legate that he may show it to the Emperor but has not yet succeeded. Should it be written the Emperor will see if anything else is wanting, that no time be lost at the Diet.
26 July. 770. Miçer Mai to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 853, f. 64.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 331.
After sending his despatch by Captain Peñalosa the Imperial letter of the 24th ulto came to hand, advising that Luigi (fn. n3) Gritti had been set free and his papers restored to him. Lost no time in informing His Holiness and the Orsini thereof; all applauded the Emperor's magnanimity, &c.
(Cipher:) Has been doing his best to persuade His Holiness to decide at once what concessions he is prepared to make at the next German Diet, that no time be lost thereat. At last he told him (Mai) that after consulting with cardinal Sant Sixto he had made up his mind to give way on three points. The first, that in all matters not of Divine law (de jure Divino) sins should be considered venial not mortal. The second, that both consecration and communion sub utraque especie should be henceforward allowed. And the third, to consent to the marriage of priests provided it be contracted after the manner of the Greek Church: all things, which in case of agreement, seem to open a broad way [to reconciliation]. These concessions the Pope is very willing to make, yet begged him (Mai) not to write officially about them, as he considered that they ought to be promised by degrees and not all at once. Has since prevailed on His Holiness to write to his Legate about this. He (Mai) sends this information to His Lordship at once, that no time may be lost at the Diet.
(Common writing:) Has already written how when Tarbes went away he promised to send from France a memorandum concerning the means proposed by the King, his master, for the amendment or reformation, as he calls it, of the peace of Cambray. Warned the Pope opportunely about the pretensions of the French, and told him that Your Majesty would be sorry to have to refuse a thing which he (the Pope) wished for. Assured me that if the demands of the French were at all unreasonable he would undeceive them at once.
By letters lately come from England the Pope has heard that the King of that country said a few days ago: "the Pope does not know what he is about, for if he chose he has a fine game in his hands." This the Pope related to me in great confidence, adding that in his opinion it was owing to some new intelligence. (Cipher:) My answer was: "I kiss Your Holiness' foot for the intelligence, but it strikes me that it is not difficult to guess how the game will end should the King make a mistake." The Pope understood what I meant, and said I was right. I think upon the whole that up to the present the Pope is favourable to our cause. (fn. n4) May he continue thus!!—Rome, 26th July 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the High Commander of Leon."
Spanish. Original.
26 July. 771. Pope Clement VII. to the Same.
S. E. L. 852, f. 7.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 333.
Commends the services of Juan Antonio Muxetula and is very glad to have had him near his person. Has spoken to him respecting public affairs in general, and told him that he will make concessions to the German Lutherans to satisfy them in order that he (the Emperor) may be free to devote himself to the war against the Turk.—Rome, 26th July 1531.
Italian. Holograph.
28 July. 772. Queen Katharine to the Same.
S. E. L. 22,
f. 146.
Your Majesty's ambassador has informed me of the efforts now being made by His Holiness to transfer the trial of the suit pending between the King, my Lord, and me to Cambray, or some city in these parts. At which I and all those who desire the prosperity and honour of the King and hope to see the end and determination of this cause through His Holiness' sentence, have been greatly shocked. I myself know not what to think of it, except that His Holiness shews as little disposition as he did at first to apply a remedy to this evil. Had I not seen the draft of the answer which Your Highness addressed to him on the subject I should not know how to act; I could but throw myself into the hands of God and implore His never failing justice, since He knows well how much I deserve it.
Your Majesty must be persuaded of one thing, namely, that if ever the cause is revoked from where it is now, gifts, bribes, and promises of all sorts will be distributed with such profusion that the judges, whoever they may be, will fain declare that white is black, and doubt will be thrown on the truth of my word. I humbly entreat Your Majesty, since the Pope's suggestions have been disregarded, to persevere in your good intentions, and insist upon the cause being tried and sentenced at Rome, where it is now, with the greatest possible speed. To this end I have no doubt the examination of witnesses and the proofs to be obtained in Spain as to the "integridad de mi cuerpo "will greatly contribute. If after this last proof, which will, with God's help, effectually remove all scruples and doubts, the Pope tarries in doing justice and pronouncing sentence, I shall not know what to do, except carry my complaints of him before God, since the Pope's dilatory expedients are actually keeping the King, my Lord, bound hand and foot in the hands of his enemies, and in the meantime plans will be devised to make the King, my Lord, do many things against his honour, his reputation, and his conscience. Of all this His Holiness is the cause for not taking at once upon himself to do justice; for were he to pronounce sentence, I am sure it would effectually stop the tongues of those who counsel such strange things. I beg God to remedy these things as He thinks best; His assistance is most necessary to obviate the evils which I see now, and expect to see in future. About other personal affairs of mine shall say nothing in this letter. Your ambassador residing at this Court, whom I again recommend to Your Majesty's notice, will not fail to advise of them, taking, as he does, great interest in all my affairs.—Vinysor (Windsor), 28th July [1531].
Signed: "Katherina."
Addressed; "To the most high and most powerful lord the Emperor and King, my nephew."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
30 July. 773. Miçer Mai to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 852, f, 9.
B.M. Add. 28,583,
f. 337.
Ambassadors from Siena have come to Rome to ask for the Pope's assistance. This he has actually promised but it will be small. (fn. n5)
The French ambassador in Venice says openly to all those who choose to hear him, that king Francis must needs have the duchy of Milan in the end; there is no escaping it. The duke of Albany here makes similar declarations. In conversation with the Pope about this very affair he (Mai) happened to remark that the Emperor "did not intend utterly to destroy France." The Pope replied: "The Emperor will be obliged to do so, for otherwise he will never live in peace, especially as the king of England is fanning the flame, and offers to pay one half of his expenses if the other should enter into a war against the Emperor. It is a very bad sign that a servant of Renzo da Ceri was in company with Gritti when the latter was arrested. (fn. n6)"
The French will try to create as much dissension as they possibly can in the Diet.
The Swiss.—Antonio Doria.—Cardinal Sancti Quatuor dying
Indorsed: "Abstract of letters from Miçer Mai of the 30th of July, to be submitted to the Emperor."
Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
31 July. 774. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 853, f. 67.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 338.
(Cipher:) Speaking with the Pope about the affairs of France (Miçer Mai) said that the Emperor did by no means intend to annihilate France. The Pope answered in the following words: pur serà forza che lo faccia ch' altramente mai reposarà. He added that the English were fanning (fomentando) that flame, that king Henry had offered Francis to pay one half of the war expenses, and that it was a very bad sign that a secretary of Renzo da Ceri, who is as much a Frenchman as himself, should now be accompanying Gritti, &c, &c.—Rome, 31st July (fn. n7) 1531.
Spanish. Holograph almost entirely in cipher. pp. 4.
31 July 775. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
c. 227, No. 30.
The Queen, in pursuance of a custom which has at all times prevailed between the King and her of sending each other messages every third day by means of some (avec quelque eatreseigne) countersign agreed between them, sent somebody six days ago to the King to inquire about his health, and signify the regret she had experienced at not having been able to see him before his departure for the country. For since she had been told that she could not have the pleasure and happiness of following him in his journey she imagined that she might at least have had the consolation of bidding him adieu. Yet in this, as in other things, the Queen added, it was for him to order and for her to obey his commands and have patience. The King having heard the message and observed the countersign (prins la clef de lentreseigne) conversed for a while with the duke of Norfolk and with Dr. Steve (Stephen), and had the messenger recalled to his presence. He then said to him in great anger (par grand courroeux et colere), as it seemed, that he was to tell the Queen that he cared not for her .adieux;"he had no wish to afford her the consolation of which she spoke, nor any other; and besides that it was indifferent to him whether she sent to inquire after his health or not. She had hitherto caused him much annoyance and sorrow in a thousand ways, and particularly by her attempting to disgrace and humiliate him by a summons to appear personally at Rome, and by her having also obstinately refused the very just and reasonable request made by the members of his Privy Council and other noble personages of his kingdom. All this the Queen had done out of confidence and hope in Your Majesty; but she must know that God Almighty was more powerful than Your Majesty, and in short that she had better refrain in future from sending him messages or visitors.
The Queen answered that she was exceedingly sorry at hearing of his anger (courroeux) and displeasure. She had given no cause or occasion for it, for whatever she had undertaken had been done with his permission and consent, and for the honour and relief of each other's conscience, as he (the King) was perfectly aware. Her hopes were not grounded solely and exclusively on Your Majesty, or any other living prince; but only on God, the true protector [of mankind] and the father of justice and truth. What Your Majesty had done in the affair was as much out of respect and consideration for his own honour as for love of her. To these sentiments the Queen added many others equally humble and honourable, but the King having read the letter was some time before he answered it. Three days after, having first consulted the members of his Privy Council, he made a reply in writing, meagre enough, in which he made no attempt whatever to refute the Queen's arguments; he only wrote that she was indeed very pertinacious in her oath that she had never been carnally known by prince Arthur, as likewise in publicly making such an assertion. She was very much mistaken if she trusted in such a statement, for he would evidently prove the contrary by means of good and competent witnesses, (fn. n8) and if so there could be no possible doubt that the Pope (Julius II.) had no right to dispense in their marriage, as he (the King) through his learning and doctrine which everyone recognized had sufficiently proved and shewn. It would be better and wiser for her to pass her time in looking out for witnesses to prove her pretended virginity at the time of her marriage with him than spend the same time in talking about it to whomsoever would listen to her, as she was doing; and as to sending messages or writing to him, that he strongly advised her to discontinue the practice and attend to her own business. Many other insulting sentences of this kind "de la mesme farine "did the King write in his letter, which have not yet been reported to me.
The missive, however, bore no address, most likely because they (the councillors) could not agree as to what title was to be given to the Queen, and yet they had plenty of time for deliberation; for I am told that for three consecutive days the Privy Council did nothing else but prepare the said document, which after all, if the Lady's authority and the good reasons (tea bonnes raysons) therein alleged be taken into consideration, must have been decreed by her. The Queen at first, seeing such rude behaviour, was very much alarmed, imagining that the King might have received from Rome some assurance that sentence would be ultimately pronounced in his favour, but I persuaded her of the contrary, and that the King's aggressive language proceeded rather from want of confidence and half despair of his ever being able to attain his purpose. This reasoning of mine has quieted her fears, and she is now comparatively calm, and yet, as she herself wrote to me yesterday, the information newly conveyed to her that the Pope has, at the intercession of the king of France, granted a new delay in the proceedings is for her a source of alarm and sorrow, fearing lest His Holiness should be induced to take other measures more injurious to her cause than the said suspension, or that during that period some novelty is to be introduced at the next Parliament. 1 wrote back to her that His Holiness had shewn very little favour to the king of France in this instance for that he had long resisted his prayers, and granted at last that which after all was only an act of justice, which was to observe and keep the holidays. Had he refused the application he would almost have done injury to this king, inasmuch as during these same holidays the proceedings had been suspended here in England at her own request and in her favour. She ought to be aware that the Pope having been so frequently warned by Your Majesty and by other people of the dangers and scandals likely to arise from the delay, not only in this kingdom, but in the Apostolic See and the whole of Christendom, could not grant the aforesaid delay without some sound profit or advantage to accrue from it. These and other representations of mine the Queen has accepted with very good grace, and she has just written to me saying that they have had the effect of calming her fears and soothing her sorrow. The Princess is now with her, which will in a great measure alleviate her pain and mourning at the King's absence. They will pass their time in sport and visiting the royal seats around Windsor (fn. n9) always waiting for good news from Rome with the help and favour of Your Majesty, in which all her hopes are centred.
About eight days ago the elect of Amiens arrived here, sent by the seigneur de la Barre, the provost of Paris, for the purpose of negotiating with the duchess of Suffolk concerning her dower, of which he (the Provost) is the gerant and administrator. The Elect went straight to the residence of the Duchess, and on the very same day dispatched his business, intending (as he himself and Jehan Jocquin informed me) to return to France on the third day. Yet the said Jocquin having received letters from his master, king Francis, and being obliged in consequence to go to Court, he took the Elect with him and remained there 24 hours. On their return Jocquin went to Dovres (Dover) with the intention of residing there all the time that the King is making excursions in the country, not only to avoid the dangers of the sweating and other diseases prevalent in London about this season, as for the sake of inspecting the works of a chapel and hospital which is being built at the said place at his expense.
For upwards of four months the said Jocquin has been soliciting the release from prison of six Frenchmen, convicted of having embraced the Lutheran sect, all men of low birth and of the working class; eight days ago they were set free, and delivered to Jocquin, who has sent them to France under good escort, there to be tried and punished according to law.
Within the last 10 days a captain from Monego (Monaco) to whom Your Majesty lately granted the knighthood of Santiago, has arrived here with letters of introduction from Monseigneur de Savoie, and from the lord of Monaco himself. He comes for the express purpose of exhorting and persuading the King to arm six galleys against the Infidels, and placing them under his immediate command, having pointed out in a lengthy discourse the convenience of having them armed and fitted out at the present moment, and the profit and advantages to be derived therefrom. The King thanked the captain for his trouble, as well as for his readiness to do him service, and promised that when the opportunity arrived of arming the six aforesaid galleys against the Infidel he would not fail to appoint him to their command, and in the meantime ordered a sum of 50 ducats to be given to him towards the expenses of his journey.
At the request of the abbots of this country, and by the advice and order of the general chapter of the Order of Cisteau, there has come to this city an abbot of Chalex (sic). a very learned and virtuous monk, for the purpose of visiting the monasteries of his order in this country, which are in great need of inspection, but notwithstanding the manifold juridical reasons and the right he had to undertake the said visit, as he himself told the Nuncio and me when dining at my hotel, the King has never allowed him to make the said visitation, alleging that no one had a right to interfere in the affairs of his kingdom, saying that he was at once King, Emperor (and if I recollect right), Pope also in his dominions.
There has been for some time a rumour current at this Court that the Pope, the king of France, and this king have made some sort of league together to 'prevent the celebration of the Council. Should there be anything in it I shall not fail to acquaint Your Majesty.
On Friday, the 28th inst., just as I had finished writing the above, Your Majesty's letter of the 23rd came to hand, together with a copy of the answer sent to the Papal Legate respecting the Queen's business, which answer I immediately forwarded to her, along with a summary of the paragraphs in the said letter relating to her. The enclosed answer received three days after was then made by the Queen, this being the reason of the delay in dispatching this courier. I also received a draft for 1,500 livres, which Your Majesty kindly ordered to be sent to me on account of my arrears of salary. This I must say, will scarcely cover one third of my personal debts and, therefore, I humbly entreat Your Majesty, before your departure from Flanders, to order the payment of all my arrears, and beg leave to be excused my importunities on this head, as not only is my poverty itself great, but might seriously affect Your Majesty's reputation and service, &c.
In expectation of Your Majesty's resolution concerning the pension to Monseigneur de Norfolk, I will act towards him and other officials as I have done hitherto, without giving them hope of any such grants. (fn. n10)
If Dr. Faulx (Foxe) has really left Paris, as Your Majesty's ambassador in France writes, he must have gone to suborn other universities, for certainly he has not yet come back here, and is not expected so soon. During these last three days that the courier has been detained here, a gentleman equerry of this king, by name Penniçon, (fn. n11) has returned from France whither he was sent. He has brought letters for this King, and also intelligence of some sort for Jehan Jocquin, who, notwithstanding his purpose of staying as long as he could at Dover, has been compelled to return to Court. He arrived yesterday, and intends remaining here five or six days, which makes me believe that he has brought some important message. Indeed, it is most 'probable that these people, in order to push their folly to the uttermost, will at least assume to try to make others support them in it. (fn. n12) Which conjecture, and the avowal made by the said Peniçon to a friend of his, by whom I have had him watched, induce me to believe that these people are actually soliciting France to stir up a war against Your Imperial Majesty. For the said Peniçon has told his friend that whilst conversing with the king of France on military matters and warlike undertakings, he (king Francis) assured him that he would undertake nothing of the sort unless he found himself strong enough for the task without the help of anyone, for he had always been deceived by his neighbours; and upon Peniçon replying that perhaps he alluded to the dukes of Savoy and Lorraine, the King said clearly and without dissimulation that he meant those dukes and the rest of his neighbours without any exception; and I have reason to suspect that on this account Jehan Jocquin has been deputed to treat of a greater, readier, and surer subvention than there has been in the past, to commence war against Your Majesty. I purpose watching the end of this negotiation to inform you as soon as possible.
Dr. Ortiz has lately written that His Holiness and the auditors of the Rota have declared to him that if the too great familiarity, scandalous conversation, and bad example of this king and his Lady, as well as the bad treatment of the Queen, could, satisfactorily be proved by authentic documents, the Papal censure would be fulminated at once. I am afraid that there is no possible means of having an instrument of this sort drawn up in due form here, but I think that instead of that a report legally attested might be made of the Nuncio's conversation with this king, and I must say that he has promised me to write to Rome about it. Your Majesty, therefore, might have certain letters addressed to the Pope and cardinals recommending this business afresh, so that since a sentence cannot possibly be obtained during the holidays, declaratory letters should at least be issued respecting the brief once executed in Flanders. In this way we may obviate for the present any declarations that might be made in Parliament, and other scandalous proceedings of the same kind. —London, the last day of July 1531.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys.''
French. Holograph. pp. 5½.
31 July. 776. The Emperor to the Empress.
S. E. L. 635, f. 88. .....................................................................................................
To establish the suit of the most serene queen of England, my aunt, it is needful, as they write to me from Rome, that all the treaties of alliance and league made at the time when the marriage of the Queen first to prince (fn. n13) Arthur and subsequently to king Henry was effected should be produced. I earnestly request you to have a search made for the said treaties wherever they may be, and when found, to have attested copies of the same made out and sent to Miçer Mai, my ambassador at Rome, with all possible diligence and haste.
Indorsed; "Paragraph of a letter from the Emperor to the Empress Isabella."
Spanish. Contemporary abstract. p. 1.


  • n1. "La primera que todo lo que no es de jure divino se reduciesse á que no obligasse a pecado mortal sino á venial."
  • n2. A note in the handwriting of Covos placed against this passage has the following: His Majesty would have much preferred that Miçer Mai had not spoken on the subject. These are things which, if they once become public, may lead to serious inconveniences, and therefore he is to abstain talking about them in future.
  • n3. See above, p. 209, where he is twice called Giorgio.
  • n4. "Dixe que le besaba los pies de su Santidad, y tambien le dixe que no era malo de conoscer en que pararia aquel juego si se engañaba, y conosciomelo y paresce que esta muy bueno a Dios gracias hasta ahora."
  • n5. A marginal note against this paragraph has the following: "It seems proper and just that the Emperor should also assist the Sienese."
  • n6. The ambassador is to procure information on this point and communicate it to us immediately.
  • n7. Bergenroth's abstract has the 31st of June 1531.
  • n8. "Quelle estoit bien obstinee davoer iure quelle navoit estc cognue du prince Arthur, et ausy de ce quelle lalloit disant et preschant a tout le monde, et quelle estoit bien deçue celle (si elle) se fondoit sur cella, car yl feroit apparoystre evidentement par bons tegraoius tout le contraigre."
  • n9. "La Princesse est maintenant avec elle [ce] que lui fera oblier le deul de 1'absence du roy; elles prendront passetemps dalle à la chasse et visiter les may sons royalles autourt duinsor."
  • n10. "Sans leur donner sentiment ne fumee de pension aucune."
  • n11. Also written Penison, Penezon, or Penzon (William?). See Brewer, Letters and Papers, &c, vol. iv. part 3, pp. 710, 1839, 2720.
  • n12. "Et est vraysemblable que ceulx-cy veuillant achever la follie commence quilz en monstrent lapparence quilz y vouldront aussy bien fere foloyer (sic) Jes antres."
  • n13. "Con el rey Artur "says the original instead of "Principe."