Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 1, 1538-1542. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1890.
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In July 1538, when the present volume begins, Eustace Chapuys was still at his post as the Emperor's representative in England, being assisted in his task by Don Diego de Mendoza, who some months before had arrived in London for the express purpose of "promoting king "Henry's marriage with the dowager duchess of Milan, "that of his daughter, Mary the Princess, with the Infante "Dom Luiz of Portugal, and at the same time cementing a firm and lasting alliance between England and the Empire." (fn. n1) Mendoza's extraordinary mission failed completely; he left London for Flanders in September of the same year, wrote there a report of the long negociations carried on with Henry's ministers with regard to the above points, and left Chapuys to fight alone his diplomatic battles with Cromwell.
In March 1539, when the political horizon grew darker and darker, and Paul had almost persuaded the Emperor and king Francis to undertake a campaign against the "excommunicated Defender of the Faith," as king Henry is intitled by some Spanish and French writers of that time; when the intercourse of trade with the Low Countries was virtually suspended, and the political relations of England with Spain, France, and the Pope had become strained to excess, Chapuys received orders from Flanders to ask for his passports, at the same time that Thomas Wriothesley, Cromwell's secretary and Henry's ambassador in Brussels, was peremptorily commanded to return home. Most likely the sudden departure of that ambassador's colleagues for Ghelders, of which the duke of Clèves [Guillaume de La Mark], Henry's future brother-in-law, had just taken unlawful possession, awakened the suspicions and fears of Mary, the regent of the Low Countries, for she politely requested Wriothesley not to quit Brussels until she herself had heard of Chapuys' departure from England. (fn. n2) Meanwhile "that the Emperor's affairs should not "suffer in England; that the amicable relations between the "two countries should continue without interruption; "and last, not least, in order to remove any scruples or "fears arising from the withdrawal of the Imperial ambassador, the Dean of Cambray, Mary's own first almoner, "Philip Maioris by name, was appointed." Not till after Chapuys had landed at Calais (19th March) did the Dean sail for Dover. (fn. n3) His first dispatch from London to the Queen Regent is dated the 28th of April, but previous letters of his must be missing, or else the Dean must have reckoned his time erroneously, for the one alluded to begins thus: "Although since my arrival here, nearly two months ago, I have written of whatever has come under my notice," &c. On the 23rd the Dean was still at Calais waiting for a fair wind to cross, and therefore, in writing from London on the 28th of April, he could not say that he had been two months in England. In his second letter to the Queen, dated 4th May, the Dean writes that the French ambassador had shown him letters from the High Constable of France [Anne de Montmorency], purporting that the affairs between the king of France, his master, and the Emperor were going on prosperously. Now, who was that ambassador? Was it Castillon, or was it Marillac, both of whom figure in 1538 as Francis' ambassadors at the Court of England? This is an important point to elucidate, inasmuch as historians do not agree as to who was French ambassador in England at the time that king Francis and the Emperor agreed to withdraw their respective embassies. The only dispatch among those abstracted in this volume wherein reference is made to the recall of the Imperial and French ambassadors is one from the Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor, dated Rome, 13 April 1539, in which that ambassador says: "I hear from the Imperial ambassador in England (Eustace Chapuys) that "the one who resided there for the king of France has "suddenly left, and that he himself will soon quit that "country, owing to the queen of Hungary having sent for "him. His Holiness has received the same information "from other quarters, with this additional news that the "two ambassadors have quitted London conjointly, from "which fact he (the Pope) concludes that by this time "your Imperial Majesty and king Francis have agreed to "suspend trade with England." (fn. n4)
The French ambassador's name must have been Louis Perreau, sieur de Castillon, who succeeded the bailif of Troyes in November 1533. Castillon's correspondence whilst in London has lately been published in Paris by the "Ministère des Affaires Etrangères," (fn. n5) and that will allow me to correct a most singular, though to a certain extent pardonable, error into which all the editors of Calendars for the reign of Henry VIII., and I myself, have involuntarily fallen. It is well known that chroniclers, and even official writers, of the 16th century very seldom, if ever, mentioned historical personages otherwise than by their appellatives or titles—whether princes, dukes, marquises, or simply lords of manors, bishops, ambassadors, and so forth—and that this practice, which seems to have been universal throughout Europe, has frequently led into error compilers of works like the present Calendar, wherein the correspondence of a whole reign must necessarily be abstracted and chronologically arranged. Finding that a sieur de Chastillon or Châtillon had come to England in November 1533 as representative of Francis I., the very careful and conscientious editors of State Papers for the reign of Henry VIII. naturally concluded that by sieur or lord of Chastillon (fn. n6) the Admiral of France, Gaspard de Coligny, was intended, whereas Louis Perreau, sieur de Castillon, a very different personage, was really the ambassador who replaced D'Inteville, and was still in London when he and Chapuys, in compliance with the orders of their respective masters, quitted this country.
In the preface to the above-mentioned volume of Mr. de Castillon's correspondence, M. de Kaulek gives a short notice of that ambassador's birth and parentage, as well as of his various employments under Government, to which notice—not so full as might be desired—I beg leave to refer the readers, for fear of outstretching beyond measure the limits of this Introduction; suffice it to state that his first dispatch during his second mission to this country is dated 30 December 1537, and the last 12 August 1538, for although he remained in England until the semiofficial rupture, above alluded to, made him quit conjointly with Chapuys, (fn. n7) the last volume of his official correspondence is not to be found in the French Archives.
Of this latter very little is known after he crossed the Channel. Most likely he resided all the time in Flanders, being occasionally consulted and drawing up reports on English affairs. At any rate we know that he was in England in July, for although no letter of his previous to that date seems to have been preserved in the Imperial Archives of Vienna—the almost exclusive repository for his correspondence—there is evidence, as will be shown hereafter, that he arrived in London on the 23rd of that month. At that time the French had already an ambassador, not indeed the same as in 1539, but another more important personage, named Charles de Marillac. It has been said above that the "Ministère des Affaires Etrangères" of France, is now editing the correspondence preserved in the Archives of that Office, such as that of Castillon, Marillac, and Odet de Selve—a most important publication, which it is to be hoped will continue for the benefit of English scholars, as, putting aside the political bias and inclinations of the writers—very often disagreeing as to the manner of judging of events and persons—much good may be derived by comparing the narrative of foreign residents. Marillac's correspondence remained unedited until a few years ago. Mr. Froude was the first, in 1864, to make use of it for his notes to Vol. III., pp. 481, 489, 496, of his valuable history; since then it has been accurately printed with that of Castillon, his predecessor in the French embassy, its editor having illustrated it with judicious and well-selected annotations. Had it appeared before the manuscript of this volume of the Spanish Calendar had been sent to the printers, I should have been glad to have made fuller abstracts from it than those inserted at the end among the "Additional Notes and Corrections," and a few more which I have deemed it necessary to add here, as recording events either imperfectly described or entirely omitted by Chapuys. When this latter returned to England, the temporary lull produced by the truce of Nizza, afterwards ratified at Aigues-Mortes in the Roussillon, was still perceptible in the political atmosphere, and the relations between the ambassadors of Francis and Charles, though reserved, were still cordial in appearance. In July 1540 Marillac wrote to Montmorency.
London, 29 July 1540.—"The Emperor's new ambassador, of whom I wrote in one of my late despatches, arrived here six days ago. (fn. n8) He has met with a very meagre reception at this Court, where, to say the truth, he has scarcely any friends, for, if I am to believe what the King himself tells me, no one here esteems or likes him. The duke of Norfolk, who nowadays has the chief management of affairs, clearly shows his dislike of him. He told me the other day among other things: 'The Imperial ambassador will no longer find his Cromwell to warrant the follies that entered his head once.' However this may be, the poor man has been for a long time so infirm and broken down, and is at present so weakened by disease, that people here think he has come to England purposely to make his last will, rather than to serve efficiently his master, the Emperor, who has now been pleased to re-invest him with the charge of representing him at this Court, knowing very well that he cannot be of use elsewhere, for he is unable to ride or walk, and can hardly stir out of doors, that being the reason why he has taken lodgings near me on the river side, to have the convenience of going to Court by water whenever his master's affairs require his presence there.
"I must not omit for duty's sake to mention a curious, and to me a most complimentary and gracious, behaviour on the part of the above-mentioned ambassador, which is, that without having previously informed anyone of his arrival in this country, he called on me, and said that he had mandate from the Emperor to communicate daily with me respecting political affairs in general, and more particularly those in which his master was engaged. I replied that I myself had a similar commission from France, and surely would not fail to impart to him the information or news I possessed, as I had already done to his predecessor in office. (fn. n9) He tells me that at his audience from this King, after presenting his credentials, he did nothing else save salute and compliment him in the Emperor's name. He has since called on me frequently, and I on him, to give these people to understand that our respective masters are great friends."—Marillac to the High Constable. pp. 207–8.
Again, on the 3rd September Marillac wrote to the High Constable: "Since my despatch of the 14th of August the King's letter and your own, dated respectively Vatteville, 6th and 11th inst., have come to hand, to which for the present I have no answer to make, save perhaps on the point relating to the Emperor's ambassador now here for the second time, of whose condition and qualities, besides what I myself have written, you must already have formed some idea. As far as I can judge he has more malice than cunning; there is no reason whatever to regret his having returned as the Emperor's ambassador to this country, where, I can assure you, he will make no way at all with this king or his ministers, for he is very much disliked by them, and more particularly by the duke of Norfolk, who has often spoken to me of his tricks and intrigues in past times, as well as of the cold and ungracious answers he got whenever he made overtures in the Privy Council. This statement of the Duke's I have been able to verify, owing to my having found in the very house which I now inhabit, and wherein the Imperial ambassador himself formerly resided no less than nine years, a bundle of papers and minutes of his own despatches which he inconsiderately left behind him, when he ought to have kept it as carefully as the greatest treasure he possessed in this World. Should he come to know now that those documents and papers are in my hands, he would regret the more his having returned to this country; but I will carefully keep my own secret, and no one shall know a word about it unless you, Monseigneur, order me to reveal it. I must, however, not omit to state that the reading of the above-mentioned papers and drafts of his correspondence with the Emperor's ministers has fully convinced me of the malignity of the Imperial ambassador and of his intrigues—grossly conceived and worse executed as they were, although inspired by a desire of doing all the harm he could to the King, our master. This has been lately confirmed by this king, who tells me that since his return to England the said Imperial ambassador has been playing the same game, though, whatever mien he may put on it, he has no reason to be satisfied with the answer he has received to his overtures, which was indeed so meagre and unsatisfactory that since the first audience he had from the King to present his credentials he has not called again, and has remained at home without going out of the house, except twice or three times that he has come to mine to hear what news I have from France. But he has lost his time, because I always, when he came, happened to be out at Court negociating for the affair of the French merchants, and especially that of Mons. de Rochepot (fn. n10). Since my return from Court he has tried through third persons to ascertain the particulars of the marriage of the duke of Clèves with the princess of Navarre [Jeanne], and of that of M. d'Omalle with the Pope's niece, (fn. n11) but of these matters and others I have always affected complete ignorance, answering that such affairs had nothing to do with my charge. This I have done to retaliate and pay him back in the same coin, for I never can get from him other news than the whereabouts of the Emperor, whither he is likely to go next, and whether he is in good health or not. True is it that immediately on his being appointed he wrote to me announcing his departure [from Brussels] and second embassy to this country, and no sooner had he landed than he sent me word that he would soon call and visit me. This message he sent me without letting any one know of his arrival in England, not even his own colleague in office, (fn. n12) at which all here wonder greatly. When he actually came to visit me he began to make all manner of courteous excuses; he had been obliged (he said) to go first to the King, in order to comply with the ceremonious etiquette of this Court. The audience over, he came straight from Greenwich to see me in my house without going to his own, thus fore-stalling me in the official visit which I intended to have paid him."
The above abstracts from Marillac's official correspondence will sufficiently show that his relations with Chapuys, if polite and courteous at first, were never cordial. When after the truce made at Nizza, and ratified by Francis and Charles at Aigues-Mortes in the Roussillon, the former conceived hopes that the much-coveted and disputed investiture of Milan would at last be conferred on one of his sons, his ambassadors in England—Castelnau, D'Inteville, and Castillon first, Marillac afterwards—kept up some appearance of familiar intimacy with the Imperial ambassador, were it for no other purpose than to make king Henry and his ministers believe that there was between their respective masters a community of views and ideas on political matters. But when after Charles' chivalrous and highly-confident journey through France to put down the rebellion of the people of Ghent, Francis began to despair of ever obtaining that for which he had fought so long, the latter ambassador could no longer dissemble, and his correspondence with king Francis' ministers is full of sarcastic and invidious remarks concerning his person and acts. He greatly rejoices at the discovery in a closet of the house once inhabited by Chapuys of a bundle of papers and drafts of this ambassador's official correspondence in Cromwell's time, and does not know that his own secretary is selling for money copies of his own ciphered despatches!
However this may be, Marillac's correspondence with Francis' ministers will always prove to be a valuable addition to English history during three years and a half of Henry's long reign, from the marriage of Anne de Clèves, her subsequent repudiation by the King, and the fall of Cromwell—both of which events he graphically describes—down to his own arrest in London, when Henry's ambassador, Paget, was detained at Rouen. As during part of this time Chapuys was out of England, and as on certain important events which he must have witnessed, such as Katharine Howard's condemnation and execution, he is by no means so explicit and gossiping as his French colleague was, I have ventured, whilst there is an opportunity, to gratify the reader with a few more abstracts from his original correspondence, until some one undertakes to give us a full English translation of it.
London, 9 Nov. 1538.—"This king's new ambassador to the Emperor has taken his departure. . . . . . The courier sent to Clèves to ascertain on which day the new Queen is to be expected [at Calais] returned two days ago with letters announcing that she will be in that port on the 8th of next month (December). The duke of Suffolk, the Admiral, and several other noble lords of this court, have already left in order to receive her. The duke of Norfolk and lord Cromwell are to wait for her at Canterbury, and will start for that town in a few days. The King himself will not go so far, but the two above-mentioned personages, that is to say, the Duke and the Lord Privy Seal, will accompany the lady to a place in the neighbourhood—three miles distant from Grenys (Greenwich)—where the King will be waiting for her. After the Christmas festivities, the King, on New Year's Day, will conduct his Queen through the middle of this city and in great solemnity to another palace of his at Vaisemaistre (Westminster), where she will be crowned in February in all pomp and majesty.
"Quite recently two abbots accused of crimes of lese majesty have been executed. One of them, an abbot, (fn. n13) was hanged at Glastonbury, fifty miles from this city, at the very door of his abbey; the other (fn. n14) axt Redding (Reading), one hundred and fifty. I have been unable to ascertain what particular charge was brought against them; all I know is that people say they were the relics of the late Marquis [of Exeter], and their bodies are still hanging in chains in memory of their misdeeds."—Marillac to king Francis. pp. 144–5.
London, 23 Dec. 1539.—"Had it not been that the new queen of England has been for the last ten days at Calais, waiting for fair weather to come over, and that she is likely to remain there six more days owing to the contrary winds and heavy sea, I would not have written. There is a rumour current here that the King is trying to marry his eldest daughter [Mary] to the young duke of Bavaria, (fn. n15) whose arrival in this country I mentioned in one of my despatches. I must say, however, that I see no appearance of that except on the ground that this king is not likely to bestow his daughter's hand on any powerful prince, lest he should hereafter dispute the succession to the crown of this country as belonging to the Princess as the true heiress.—Marillac to the Grand Master. pp. 147–8.
London, 27 Dec. 1539.—"Respecting the marriage of Madame Mary with a prince of the house of Bavaria, mentioned in my despatch of the 23rd, all I can say is that for the last three or four days the young Duke (fn. n16) has openly gone to visit her and present his compliments at a house of the abbot of Vaisemaistre (Westminster), within the gardens of the abbey, one mile from this city, where the said dame was secretly conducted beforehand. After giving her a kiss, which is interpreted in this country as a token either of a future marriage or of near relationship—considering also that since the execution of the Marquis [of Exeter], no lord, however noble and rich, in this country has dared to make proposals on the subject—the Duke [took courage and] had a long conversation with her, partly in German, through an interpreter (truchement), and partly in Latin, of which language Madame Mary is by no means ignorant, the end of it being that both the young Duke and Madame agreed to declare to the King their resolution—the Duke to ask for Madame's hand if his person were agreeable, and she on her side to accept him as her husband, provided the King, her father, gave his consent to the marriage."—Marillac to the High Constable. pp. 148–9.
London, 5 Jan. 1540.—"Last Friday, the 2nd, it was published, both here in London and at Greenwich, where the Court is now, that whoever loved the King should go to the latter place to receive Madame Anne de Clèves, who would soon become queen of England. The Emperor's ambassador and myself were also particularly invited in the King's name. The reception has been the most imposing and honorable that could be thought of, and the whole of the assembly, consisting of upwards of 6,000 gentlemen on horseback, was so admirably orderly, and well conducted that no confusion at all ensued. The dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk were with Madame Anne five miles from Greenwich, whilst the King, with the rest of his household, came out to meet her. She was dressed in the fashion of the country whence she came. After a most gracious reception, the King conducted her to his own palace at Greenwich, and to her apartments, which had been richly furnished and decorated beforehand.
"As far as one can judge, the new Queen is about thirty; she is tall and thin, of middling beauty, with determined and resolute countenance. She brings in her suite twelve or fifteen damsels as maids of honor, all dressed in the same fashion and with the same vestments (as to color and cloth) which she herself wears—a thing which has seemed rather strange in this place. An ambassador from the duke of Saxony has also come in her company, for the purpose, as it is rumoured, of obtaining from this King a final resolution on certain affairs of his master, the Duke, so that it is to be expected that in future the league of Clèves and Saxony with this King will be strengthened by this marriage, and will in future constitute a highly advantageous and strong alliance."—Marillac to the King. pp. 150–1.
London, 5 Jan. 1540.—"The queen of England has arrived. In the opinion of those who have seen her close she is not so young as was at first thought, nor so handsome as people affirmed that she was. She is tall; her face and countenance reveal a certain steadiness of purpose and strong determination, which indicate a turn of mind and vivacity of wit more than sufficient to counterbalance her want of beauty. She brings in her suite from her brother's country from 12 to 15 damsels, not only inferior to her in beauty, but dressed in such coarse and unsightly garb that they would be considered ugly through it even had they any personal attractions.
"The King received her at the foot of the hill (montaigne) near Greenwich, two miles from his own palace, he himself being followed by five or six thousand horsemen, partly gentlemen of his own Royal household and of the provinces of England, and partly inhabitants, burghers, or freemen of this city, or foreign merchants residing here, all of whom had been previously invited to attend, &c."—Marillac to the High Constable Montmorency. pp. 151–2.
17 Jan. 1540.—"Since my last of the 5th, a certain personage, who calls himself ambassador of the Landgraf of Ez (Hesse), has arrived in this city, who, conjointly with the duke of the house of Bavaria, of whom I wrote in my despatch of the 27 December, the Chancellor of the duke of Saxony, and several lords from Clèves who came in the Queen's suite, has been summoned to the house of lord Cromwell, there to discuss together with this king's privy councillors several secret affairs in which all of them are concerned. The rumour that the Emperor had ordered a certain number of Italians and Spaniards to go from Italy to France, and especially the news lately brought by the Landgraf's ambassador of the German Lutherans and the bishops who hold for the Church being on the point of coming to blows, is the cause of the assembly—at which it was resolved, as I hear, that since the period of time of their respective safe-conducts from the Empire was to expire soon, they must all return home soon for fear war should break out in the meantime."—Marillac to the King, pp. 152–3.
London, 7 Feb. 1540.—"This King, with the Queen, his wife, came here the day before yesterday from Greenwich, and went to Westminster by water, accompanied by his courtiers and by the masters of the guilds of London. Nothing could surpass the effect of the triumphant procession, which has certainly been still more stately and honorable than that of the Queen's reception when she came here. Affaire La Rochepot, &c."—Marillac to the High Constable. pp. 159–60.
London, 21 May 1540.—"Two days ago [the 19th], at 10 o'clock of the night, milord de Lisle, (fn. n17) deputy (fn. n18) of Calais, and uncle of this king, was sent a prisoner to the Tower, where three of his own servants had been previously lodged. In the same manner, to-day [the 20th], a chaplain of his, who had just arrived from Flanders on board a vessel (sur une nef), was arrested and conveyed to prison. The cause of the Deputy's imprisonment I have not yet been able to ascertain so as to write confidently about it. It is, however, generally reported that he is accused of having been in secret intelligence with Cardinal Pole, whose very near kinsman he happens to be, and that he was besides in treaty with him to deliver the town of Calais into his hands. However this may be, certain it is that the said lord de Lisle is now confined in a narrow dungeon within the Tower, from which no one ever escapes alive unless it be by a sort of miracle. Some time before his imprisonment ten or twelve pensionaries (fn. n19) from Calais were also lodged in the Tower, all of whom gave evidence of having heard the Deputy utter words in disparagement of the homage and fealty he owed to the King his lord and master."—Marillac to the King. pp. 183–5.
London, 1 June 1540.—"Since the imprisonment, about a fortnight ago, of milord de L'Isle, the deputy of Calais, who is still confined in the Tower of this city, two more personages of certain rank and authority in that town have been brought over to keep him company, apparently for the same causes and reasons as himself. It is moreover generally rumoured that the Deputy's wife [Elisabeth Grey?] and some of the principal inhabitants of Calais have also been sent for to appear as witnesses in his trial, though of this last report I can afford no confirmation, save to say that it is very generally spread."—Marillac to the King. pp. 186–7.
London, 1 July 1540.—"I cannot positively say whether it be in consequence of this King's designs, as I informed you by my ciphered despatch of the 1st inst., or owing to some diminution of the love he once had for his Queen, or, again, because he has placed his affections somewhere else, with some other lady of this court, but the fact is that the King has sent his Queen to Richmond. I know it from the King himself, and that, having promised to follow her thither two days after, he has not moved from Greenwich. Indeed, it is reported that if he goes out at all it will not be for the purpose of visiting his Queen, inasmuch as the journey he himself is about to undertake is not at all in that direction. 'Tis true that the rumour current in this city is that the Queen has gone to Richmond for fear of the plague raging, as they say, here, but the rumour is entirely false, for at this present time there is no plague at all, besides which if there was any, on the least suspicion of it the King, himself, would not remain one single day in London, however much his presence were required here, being, as he is, the most timid creature in the world in that respect."—Marillac to the High Constable. p. 199.
8 July 1540.—"The King has confessed to me having despatched to you a Doctor from this city respecting the marriage alliance, which the duke of Clèves is trying to procure at your Court. The Doctor was to have gone to Germany—at least so it was rumoured at first—but, as the King informs me, he must already be in France, though in reality no one here knows anything about it, except those to whom the King has been pleased to reveal the place of the Doctor's destination and the object of his mission."—Marillac to the High Constable. p. 200.
London, 8 July 1540.—"Yesterday morning, the 7th inst., though I had been to Court, I was summoned to go thither again and appear before the King and the Privy Council [at Greenwich] at a certain hour of the day, the Emperor's ambassador having received a similar summons. Not knowing anything about it, and being altogether ignorant of what the King wanted of us two, I had no time to communicate with the Emperor's ambassador and inquire from him the cause of the summons, if he knew it. He was first in Greenwich at the appointed hour, I myself arriving soon after him, and we were both introduced to the Council Chamber, where, in the presence of the privy councillors, the bishop of Durham, called 'Tonstallus,' (fn. n20) an ecclesiastic generally reputed as a man of learning, made to each of us a speech (harangue) in Latin, the substance of which was that the States of England convoked for the assembly—here called Parliament, that is, the meeting together of the Nobility, Clergy, and the Commons—had after long deliberation presented a petition to the King, stating that there were several causes and reasons for the dissolution of the marriage contracted six months ago between him and Madame Anne, sister of the duke of Clèves, at the same time begging and entreating him for the sake of Truth, as well as for the repose and satisfaction of those who might hereafter inherit or succeed to the crown of England, or pretend a right to it after him, and in order to remove all occasion or pretext of their making war upon each other, he should be pleased to have the said causes of impediment looked into by his Parliament, and, if found sufficiently legitimate and strong, have the said marriage annulled. That to this very reasonable request on the part of his Parliament, the King had acceded willingly, stimulated by his sense of duty and for the relief of his Royal conscience, as well by his desire to promote the tranquillity and welfare of his own subjects, having expressed a wish that we, the ambassadors, should be informed of the facts, that we may write to our respective courts, lest the common people should assign other causes than the true ones for the separation.
"To the Bishop's speech I answered in French that, as far as I was concerned, I was not rash enough to speak or write about the personal and private affairs of kings, except with the utmost discretion, much less report upon their actions, unless there was a clear appearance of truth, especially in matters which touched their honor and reputation, and which ought for that very reason to be treated with religious reverence and awe. I, nevertheless, thanked the King immensely for having afforded me the occasion and opportunity of sending a true report to my master, the king of France, relying entirely on such authority as that of the Bishop who had just addressed us. And I assured him (the King) that in writing home about his determination [to separate from his Queen] I would do my best to describe the matter as faithfully and completely as the case itself and his own service required; and after offering to give him a duplicate of my despatch, if he wished for it—which offer he graciously declined—I returned to my lodgings in town to write this letter."—Marillac to the King. p. 200.
London, 21 July 1540.—"The affair of which I treated in my last despatch has been conducted and determined in such a manner that by the opinion and assent of all the bishops of this realm, duly approved, confirmed, and authorised by Parliament, the King's marriage with his last Queen has been declared null and void, and consequently the separation has ensued, the King having previously taken his oath, in the presence of his privy councillors, that he never had any connexion with Madame Anne. From this it may be presumed that the marriage was not consummated, and the King not at all obliged to live with his wife, especially as she had not made him acquainted with the fact of her having been previously engaged to the son of the duke of Lorraine. (fn. n21) It has therefore been determined that there is no obligation whatever on the part of the King to stand by the marriage contract, owing to his not having been informed of the preceding engagement, and consequently that the separation is necessary and indispensable.
"I hear that upon Madame Anne being requested to let the bishops take cognizance of her case and decide, she declined, and has since freely and of her own will consented to the divorce, notwithstanding that she has been strongly and many a time recommended by the Duke's agent residing at this court not to submit to the decision of the bishops, or in any manner relinquish her own rights and those of her brother, the Duke. The agent, however, could get no other answer from her save that she was ready and prepared to do anything the King, her lord, wished in the matter, all the time praising beyond measure the great kindness with which he had treated her, and declaring her intention to submit entirely to any measure the King should like to dictate respecting herself, begging moreover to be allowed to live always in England without having to return to the country where she was born. And the King, hearing with pleasure of Madame Anne's sentiments and language, as well as of her full determination to comply with his wishes, has allotted to her an honorable estate, for the maintenance of which the manors of Richmond, Austel, (fn. n22) and More, with their yearly revenues, have been selected."—Marillac to the High Constable. p. 201.
London, 18 Jan. 1541.—"The High Constable of France will hear through my despatch to the King how Maistre Hoyet (Mr. Wyatt) was the other day taken to the Tower so tied and hand-cuffed (garroté) that all those who saw him pass could not help auguring the worst end to his imprisonment, inasmuch as the general custom in this country is to conduct criminals to prison quite free, as if their escort were sure that they would not run away or be rescued. This is the third time that Hoyet (Wyatt) has been locked up in the Tower, and it will he probably the last, inasmuch as it may be presumed from the above-mentioned circumstance that the accusation brought against him is of a very serious and grave sort, besides which he is known to have many enemies here among those who once made a league against Cromwell, whose favorite (mignon) he was. In addition to this, it would appear that the count of Rotellan, (fn. n23) belonging to the house of Clarence, who is Hoyet's father-in-law, is about to do the worst he can against him out of revenge of this Hoyet having ill-treated and defamed his own wife, the Count's daughter, in consequence of his having found her in adultery with another man. And although the said Hoyet has many friends among the nobility of this kingdom, and will be certainly more pitied by Englishmen, as well as by foreigners, than any other individual condemned for treason, yet no one will dare speak a word in his favor, and he will be judged by the fine laws of this country without listening to what he has to say in his own defence—nay, condemned and sentenced to death without his knowing what for. I beg you to consider what greater calamity could befall the English than the intestine war they are making upon each other just now, and which is sure in the end to bring on their ruin and destruction, for since Cromwell virtually subdued and tamed the great lords of England, such as the marquis of Exeter and his followers, including the Grand Esquire Garaud (Carew), others have sprung up who will not rest until they have done the same with Cromwell's adherents. God knows if, after that, there will not be others in this country to play the same game over and over again, for those who are now in power will hardly pass on without introducing some dangerous novelty or other in this kingdom. So much so, Monseigneur, that I do not recollect having ever seen these people so crestfallen (abbatus) as they are at present, for they do not know whom to trust, and the King himself, having offended so many people, mistrusts everyone. There is still another unfortunate circumstance mixed up with the King's irresolution and despondency, which is that whenever he conceives the least suspicion he will go on dipping his hands in blood, from which no good can come in the end."—Marillac to the King. p. 261.
London, 25 Jan. 1541.—"A very strange and unexpected piece of news, which may one of these days have influence on our political relations with this country, is that last night, by the King's commands, two gentlemen, much esteemed and enjoying great favor at Court, were brought from Hantempcourt (Hampton Court) to this city. They were seen this very morning, early, being conducted to the big Tower (grosse tour de Londres) with their wrists bound together, under the escort of 24 archers of the King's body-guard. One of them is Master Hoyet (Whyat), who was last year this king's ambassador to the Emperor at his passage through your kingdom to go to the Low Countries. Without being either a baron or an earl, this Hoyet is considered one of the wealthiest proprietors in England, and as possessing an annual income of from six to seven thousand ducats. He seemed besides to have enjoyed as much favor with the King, his master, as any other lord or nobleman of this kingdom, for there is certainly no one in the whole of England for whom greater esteem and regard has been shown in public, nor one either who has received in private greater proofs of his master's affection and love; indeed, scarcely a month ago the King added to Master Hoyet's revenue by a gift of 300 crs. a year.
"The other prisoner is a gentleman of the North, not much known, whose name I have not yet been able to ascertain, for they tell me that he has very rarely come to Court, though he was once this king's ambassador to the king of Scotland. I have not yet heard what is the cause assigned for the imprisonment of these two personages, and in my opinion it will be extremely difficult to find out the real truth, inasmuch as by a bill of the last Parliament suspected criminals are here condemned and sentenced without hearing; besides which if a man or a woman becomes a prisoner in the said big Tower of this city, there is no living creature, however powerful, noble, or distinguished, who dares interfere and mix himself up with the prisoner's affairs, and if he does at all open his mouth, it is for the sake of speaking against the alleged criminal, for fear he himself should be suspected of having shared in his crime; so much so, that I consider these two arrests and imprisonments to be still the result of Cromwell's disgrace and fall, for Master Wriothesley, this King's first secretary, who owes the high post he now occupies to Cromwell's patronage and favor, is, I hear, in great danger just now of descending more rapidly than he rose, for he has already been interrogated and examined concerning certain articles ticklish enough (certain articles assez chatouilleux), and it is publicly rumoured that there are many more on which, if closely questioned, there is danger of criminality of some sort being attached to him, for, as I wrote on the 7th inst., people here are anything but edified at this king's doings, and very much inclined, as I hear, to rebellion, if they only had a chief to head them. Those who have the management of affairs here are well aware of the people's discontent. Every day, from morning till night, they are assembled and hold meetings to provide for the security of the country, for which purpose they have lately sent to Calais in great haste one Master Long, (fn. n24) a personage of a certain authority and experience in military affairs, with the charge of inspecting the fortifications of that town and others, and reporting thereupon, whilst the duke of Norfolk himself is preparing to go to the Borders for the purpose of having certain fortresses, besides that of Warwick (Berwick), erected on that frontier, so as to prevent any sudden raid of the Scotch."—Marillac to the King. pp. 261–2.
London, 3 March 1541.—"In confirmation of what I wrote in my last of the 23rd ult., you will be pleased to hear that this king is at present very indignant against some of his ministers. I cannot omit an event which happened four or five hours ago, no less strange than pitiful, of which I am so credibly informed that I vouch for the truth of the report. That poor Maistre Wallop, on his return from your court last evening, was arrested and taken to the big Tower this very morning early on the charge of treason. Along with him the master porter of Calais (fn. n25) was also imprisoned and the presumption is that both have been arrested for the same cause as the Deputy, viscount of Lisle. A person of authority tells me that the cause of Maistre Wallop's arrest is a mere fault that he once committed, and the truth of which has now come out. During Cromwell's time there was a rumour afloat that he had fled to Rome, and I do really believe that had Wallop been in England then he would have been arrested. After the execution of Cromwell, the reputed author of so many tragedies that have taken place in this country, the rumour somewhat subsided; but from what we see there is every appearance that Cromwell was not the sole actor in so many pitiable dramas, but that he only played the part that was destined for him."—pp. 276.
London, 10 March 1541.—"The more I think of it the less probability I see of the Emperor marrying, as has been reported, Madame Mary of England. True is it that shortly after the death of the Empress (Isabella), (fn. n26) there was here some talk of such a marriage, but since then, now nearly a year ago, no one that I know has seriously spoken about it. Nor does it appear that his ambassador at this court has at any time negociated for such an alliance. Indeed, to judge from the state of his health, I think that he will not continue long to represent the Emperor here, for in order to recover, if possible, from his chronic infirmities, he is now looking out for lodgings far away from Court. On the whole, as the King once told me, the Imperial ambassador is much disliked by him and by his ministers, and certainly the differences that have lately sprung up between the Flemings and the people of this country on the subject of mutual navigation and intercourse of trade are not a sign of such a marriage being in contemplation. The duke of Norfolk is of the same opinion. Besides which, it is hard to believe that the English would ever consent to the above-mentioned Madame Mary being placed so high up in position as to enable foreign princes to support hereafter her right to the Crown of England on the plea that she is the true and legitimate heiress to it, the young Prince [of Wales] having been born after her, at a time too when the English were interdicted, and outside, as it were, the pale of the Church, and the Prince's mother (Jane Seymour had not been crowned, which is another scruple by which the people of this country are affected."—Marillac to the King. p. 275.
London, 13 March 1541.—"I recollect very well that after the Empress' death [in May 1539], speaking to this king about the rumour that the Emperor was about to marry his cousin [Madame Mary], the King observed to me that whoever proposed such a marriage would be out of his senses. He himself could never trust the Emperor, who had once broken his promise to him, and is always looking out for the means of setting the Christian princes one against the other so as to serve his own ambition, which is so great that were he to be the sole monarch in Christendom he would not be satisfied.
"As to the Emperor himself, he could never marry his cousin as the illegitimate daughter of this king. 'Tis true that he might have her legitimised; but, again, that could not be done except by convoking all the States, or Parliament of this kingdom, who have once declared her to be illegitimate, and if so obedience to the Apostolic See—to which these people show themselves more disinclined than ever—would naturally ensue; for, in order to declare Madame Mary to be the legitimate daughter of this King and of queen Katharine, it would be necessary to confess that the marriage of the latter through Papal dispensation was perfectly valid.
"For these and other reasons, I really think that the rumour of such a marriage is a pure invention of the Imperialists, who are in the habit of making their profit out of similar false news and suggestions when they have no true ones to spread."—Marillac to the King. pp. 275–6.
Blois, 19 March 1541.—"The ambassador of the king of England has exhibited before the King in Council a sort of memorandum of what the English deputies (fn. n27) have said and done respecting the differences relating to the bridge of La Cauchoire, (fn. n28) in the territory of Ardres, by which memorandum the ambassadors claim that they have full cause and right to have the said bridge demolished, and to insist upon its not being rebuilt again. One of the deputies, Mons. Imbert de Saveuze, (fn. n29) the King's Privy Councillor and Master of Requests in ordinary, of the Palace, read a report of his in Council proving that English pretensions on that point rest on no solid foundations. A copy of the 'procès verbal' drawn by the said councillor, Imbert de Sauveuze (sic), of the treaties of Bretigny and Etaples, confirmed and ratified by the late king of England [Henry VII.] and his Parliament, together with abstracts from the accounts of the county of Guisnes, sent for revision and approval to the Chamber of Accounts (Chambre des comptes) of Paris, is now sent to you for information on that matter, and that you yourself may defeat the arguments of the English."—The King to Marillac. pp. 277–8.
Of the able diplomatist whose official correspondence I have just abstracted in part, nothing certain would be known had not the editor of his letters prefixed a notice of him, taken chiefly from Moreri's Grand Dictionnaire Historique, Vol. V., p. 138, and the Biographie Universelle, though considerably enlarged and rectified. (fn. n30) Charles de Marillac, son of Guillaume de Marillac and Marguerite Genest, was born in Auvergne about 1510. (fn. n31) His father, Guillaume, sieur de St. Genest, La Motte-Hermant, and Bricon, had been controller (controleur general des Finances) to the duke of Bourbon (Charles). At the age of twenty-two he was already a barrister (avocat) at the Parliament of Paris, where it is said his eloquence and learning attracted the notice of king Francis, though, being suspected of adhering to the Reformation, he was obliged to quit Paris suddenly and accompany to the Levant his cousin, Jean de Laforest, knight of Malta, whom Francis I. was sending to Constantinople, in 1533, as ambassador to the Grand Turk, Solyman "the Magnificent." On the death of Laforest, whom he succeeded, Marillac remained for some time in Constantinople, carrying on his master's rather suspicious negociations in that capital till the summer of 1538, when he was recalled, and went back to France with the fleet of galleys commanded by St. Brancard. (fn. n32) His services in the Levant must have been considered very acceptable, for shortly after his return he was appointed conseiller au Parlement and ambassador to England, in the room of Castillon. His first letter from London is of the 2nd August 1539, which date does not exactly agree with Scepper's report to the Emperor on the 14th of the same month, (fn. n33) wherein the Imperial agent in France says, on the authority of king Francis himself, that "Marillac left Constantinople on the 16th of June 1538, and that he had written a long despatch, giving an account of his negociations with the Grand Turk." However this may be, Marillac remained in England till September or October 1542, when he was virtually exchanged for Sir William Paget, Henry's ambassador in France. On his return to his native country, Marillac was employed on various missions to Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries; he was made bishop of Vannes in 1550, and archbishop of Vienne in 1557. The year before (1556) he was Odet de Selve's colleague in Rome.
Of his relations with Chapuys at Henry's court some idea will be formed from the above abstracts of his correspondence taken at random; but this must be said, that the mere perusal of his despatches to king Francis, or to his ministers, will persuade the reader of king Henry's superior talent for diplomacy, as it was understood at that time, for, if his conversations with the French and Imperial ambassadors are faithfully reported, there can be no doubt that he was deceiving them both as to his real sentiments and views.
In France, Cornelius Duplicius Scepperus, or Cornelis Scepper as he is otherwise named, had represented the Emperor since July 1536. His instructions, dated the 17th of March, will be found at pp. 450–4 of Vol. V., Part II. (fn. n34) Though the Emperor was then at war with Francis, a truce had, nevertheless, been proposed by Pope Paul. Mons. de Velly had gone on a mission to the Emperor, and Scepper was sent to France to arrange, if possible, the preliminaries of peace. At any rate there can be no doubt that paper No. 4 of this present volume, containing, under the date of 14th to 22nd of August 1538, an abstract of several despatches from the Imperial ambassador in Paris, must be his. Shortly after, however. Mons. de St. Vincent, Granvelle's brother-in-law, was appointed to succeed him. He was replaced in September 1541 by Mons. de Marvol (Philippe?), who remained in Paris until the 14th of November, when Don Francisco Manrique, most likely a kinsman of Don Juan marquis de Aguilar, arrived as envoy extraordinary from the Emperor to Francis. Mons. Jean de St. Mauris, another brother-in-law of Mons. de Granvelle, was the next Imperial ambassador in France. (fn. n35) Only one despatch of his, dated the 10th of August 1540, has come to hand, in which he alludes to a previous one of the 5th, which must be missing, (fn. n36) The loss is the more to be regretted that there is an announcement in it of the marriage—at that time being negociated and ultimately effected—of Jeanne, the daughter of Henri d'Albret and Margaret of France (pretenders to the kingdom of Navarre), with the duke of Clèves, Guillaume de La Mark.
At Rome, Don Juan Fernandez Manrique, (fn. n37) fourth count of Castañeda and second marquis de Aguilar, who replaced count Cifuentes in November 1536, (fn. n38) continued to represent the Emperor near the Pope. Assisted in matters purely ecclesiastical by cardinals Santa Croce (fn. n39) and Sarmiento, as well as by Fr. Vincenzio Lunel, who succeeded the former in the generalship of the Franciscan friars, he managed to steer as well as any other of the Imperial ministers at Rome among the shoals of Italian diplomacy. Though helped occasionally by such experienced pilots as Praët and Granvelle, he was not always successful, and the marriage of Margaret, the Emperor's natural daughter, with Ottavio Farnese, son of Pier Luigi, duke of Castro, was for him a source of considerable annoyance and trouble. That lady, better known in history as Margaret of Parma, from the title of her second husband, had been first, in February 1536, married to Alessandro de' Medici, duke of Florence, when scarcely fifteen years old. In January 1537 she was a widow, her husband, Alessandro, having been assassinated on the 7th of that month. Florence not being considered a safe place for her to reside in, she was removed to Pisa, and thence to Nizza, to go afterwards to Gaeta, in the kingdom of Naples. During her short stay at Nizza, under the care of Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, her High Lord Chamberlain, and of his wife, Doña Margarita de Rojas, the young widow seems to have led rather a wild life, for on the 6th of January 1538 the Emperor wrote to Don Lope:—"We have received intelligence that at times the Duchess, our daughter, goes out hunting, and remains in the fields two, three, or even four days without returning to Nizza, and although We are sure that during such absences nothing is done contrary to the respect due to her birth and rank, yet as her age and condition, besides her being Our daughter, might make people judge differently of her repeated absences, you will take care that in future she does not indulge in such amusements and sports; and that if she still wishes to go out hunting, it may be arranged for her to return to Nizza and there pass the night at her own house, and not, as they tell Us, remain, as she has done hitherto, three or four days in the forest." (fn. n40)
In October 1537, within the eight months of Margaret's widowhood, the duke Cosmo, who succeeded Alessandro de' Medici in Florence, applied for her hand, but the Emperor wrote that, "shortly after her husband's assassination, Pope Paul had applied for it for his grandson, Ottavio Farnese." (fn. n41) Whether king Henry was also, or would have been, in the lists as a suitor for her hand is a report subject to doubt, though mentioned in a joint despatch of Chapuys' and Mendoza's of the 9th February 1538, on the authority of Cromwell. In the ensuing March her marriage to Ottavio Farnese was arranged, the duke of Castro, his father, expressing his gratitude "at the immense honor bestowed on him and his family," the Pope, at the same time, agreeing with the Emperor that the whole matter should be kept secret until the marriage deed and settlements should be quite ready." (fn. n42)
Then came the revocation by Margaret of the powers she had granted to the Imperial ambassador, Aguilar; the sharp letter written by the latter to the dowager Duchess, and finally her arrival at Rome in November 1538; her marriage in the Sixtine Chapel; the matrimonial squabbles of the youthful pair—Margaret herself, though a widow of duke Alessandro, being under sixteen, whilst her husband was not fourteen years old. (fn. n43) Lope Hurtado's letters on one side, and Aguilar's official despatches on the other, are sufficiently significant of the dissension existing between the parties, which rose so high that it was at one time a question at Rome of the marriage being dissolved. Meanwhile cardinal Alessandro Farnese, Pier Luigi's eldest son, had gone to Spain as Papal legate, for the double purpose, as it was said, of inducing Charles to observe the truce made at Aigues-Mortes in the Roussillon, and promoting the marriage alliances of the Papal family. Several advantageous marriages for Vittoria, the daughter of Pier Luigi, had been proposed at various times—namely, with the duke of Vendôme (Antoine de Bourbon), with the prince of Piedmont (Emanuel Philibert, son of the duke Carlo of Savoy), with Cosmo de' Medici, the new duke of Florence, and, lastly, with the prince of Orange, or with Ascanio Colonna. All these marriages having failed, for some reason or other, the Pope's choice fell on Claude de Lorraine, count of Aumale, son of the duke of Guise, and brother of Marie de Guise, queen of Scotland. To obtain, as it were, the Emperor's consent to a marriage which, under the circumstances, could not be very agreeable to him, cardinal Farnese went to Spain in June 1538, and in Nov. 1540, whilst at Courtray, crossing France on his way to Ghent, the Emperor wrote to Aguilar:—"Hearing such a proposal from the Nuncio's lips (that of Vittoria Farnese's marriage), We could not refrain from telling him that His Holiness had begun to negociate the said marriage at a time when Our daughter, the Duchess, showed some discontent, and that it might be suspected that by refusing the consummation of the marriage to his grandson, Ottavio, she might be acting by Our orders. It was then that in order to annoy and put a pressure upon Us, the Pope began to negociate that other marriage in France. But let it be understood (said We to the Nuncio), that were my daughter's conscience and honor to be safeguarded, and were it possible to undo what has been done, We should have no objection to the marriage [being dissolved], and should feel no difficulty whatever in acceding to His Holiness' wishes in respect to the other marriage, were it not that We wish him to understand that such is not the way of dealing with Us, and that, as long as he is disposed to act towards Us as a good father, We will be his good son. Otherwise We shall, whilst We remain a good Christian, attend to what is more convenient for Our interest. In short, We told the Nuncio that such ways and tricks would not do; that was not the way to treat political matters with Us.... We consider Ourselves fully entitled to more respect and consideration." (fn. n44)
The above letter, apart from others which might be adduced, will show how alive the Emperor was to the shifting excuses and hesitating policy of Paul III., whose constant aim seems to have been the aggrandizement of his own family and the humiliation of a king like Henry, so deaf to his admonitions.
After the death of his brother the Cardinal, the Marquis resigned his post at Rome, or asked leave to go home to attend, as he said, to his family affairs. His resignation was accepted on condition of his remaining in Italy until the Emperor had returned from his unfortunate expedition to Algiers. (fn. n45) His last despatch, as will be seen, bears the date of December 1541.
In other parts of Italy the Emperor's agents appear to have been the same as in former years—in Genoa Gomez Suarez de Figueroa; in Venice Lope de Soria till April 1549, when he was succeeded by Don Diego [Hurtado] de Mendoza, Chapuys' colleague in the embassy to this country from February to the end of August 1538.
Of other minor agents, at times mere messengers, but bearing occasionally a diplomatic character—having instructions and writing despatches—such as Andalot, Valençuela, Luis de Avila y Zuñiga, (fn. n46) Martin Alonso del Rio, and others, short notices occur either in their proper places or in the "Additional Notes and Corrections" at the end of this volume, whenever it has been considered necessary. As to the viceroy of Naples, Don Pedro de Toledo, marquis de Villafranca, and Don Alonso Davalos de Aquino, governor of Milan, enough has been said in the Introductions to preceding volumes. Respecting this latter, generally designated by his title of marquis del Gasto, I cannot but repeat here the observation I once made that his real title was marquis del Vasto (fn. n47) and Pescara, having inherited the former from his father Don Iñigo, and the latter from his cousin, Ferrante Davalos d'Aquino. However this may be, the constant practice is to write Guast or Gasto instead of Vasto, and I have repugnantly followed it for fear of adding to the confusion, very perplexing at times, arising from an historical name being written in three or four different ways.
Of the marquis del Vasto there are two or three letters in this volume, mostly relating to the case of Cesare Fragoso and Antonio del Rincon, French agents in the East, who, on their return from Constantinople and journeying towards Venice, were tracked and murdered by soldiers from the garrison of Pavia, by order, as it was said at the time, of the Marquis himself. This accusation he denied, pretending that he had no knowledge whatever of it; the Emperor's ministers maintained that the order did not proceed from him nor from them, (fn. n48) and although a judicial investigation was instituted, and Pope Paul was made the arbitrator in the contest to decide whether the truce had, or had not, been broken by the Emperor, no satisfactory evidence seems to have been produced one way or other. In my opinion, the two agents above alluded to (Fragoso and Rincon) were murdered, if not exactly by the Marquis' direct orders, at least by some subordinate agent of his. His instructions were, as he himself owned, only to stop the two French agents on their journey, and, if possible, seize their papers. The commission was entrusted, as Jean Bodin (fn. n49) relates, to Pedro de Ibarra, inspector-general of the Imperial army in the duchy of Milan, who knowing that Antonio Rincon was a deserter from Spain, had him then and there garrotted as though he had been condemned and sentenced beforehand. In support of my conjecture I will here subjoin a few words from Idiaquez' report on the case: "The Marquis should be told that your Imperial Majesty cannot possibly approve what has been done, but at the same time it must be acknowledged that the whole plan was cleverly conceived and well executed, and may be perhaps a remedy for worse evils in future. That your Majesty cannot but praise the dexterity used, and acknowledge at the same time that if the fruit of so meritorious a deed is to be reaped, the whole matter must be kept a profound secret as far as your Majesty and the Marquis are concerned. Not only is absolute secrecy required respecting the deed; it must be equally observed with respect to the person who furnished the information. All possible care should be taken of this, as well as of the papers found on the persons of the prisoners."
Such are the words of the Emperor's under-secretary for Foreign Affairs in his report on the Fragoso and Rincon case, or rather in the draft of a letter to be addressed to the Marquis on the subject. The report itself is undated, and the letter, if ever written, is not at Simancas, yet in my opinion it is decisive that the arrest and murder of the two French agents was planned by the governor of Milan with the full knowledge of the Emperor.
Thus much as concerns the writers of the correspondence of the Emperor's ministers abroad and at home. With regard to the letters and documents, I have nothing more to add to what has been stated in the Introduction to previous volumes. But I have frequently alluded to the occasional dislocation of papers at Simancas, Vienna, Brussels, and other Archives, which I have had to visit as editor of this present Calendar. Minutes or drafts, bearing generally no date—and at times a wrong one—are so misplaced with regard to chronology, that unless the compilers of such documents happen to be at the same time keepers of Archives, they have no chance of avoiding errors. I have in the Appendix to this volume abstracted half a dozen letters or documents, most of them undated, though relating to acts and particulars connected with the history of the period between 1538 and 1542; but let the reader imagine what my astonishment was on receiving only a few months ago, when the printing of this volume was almost completed, a letter from Chapuys to Mary, the dowager queen of Hungary, dated the 20th August 1541, wherein that ambassador says he has received her letter of the 10th, and placed it in the hands of Katharine of Aragon, Henry's divorced wife—dead five years and five months before!
As Chapuys' correspondence is invaluable for the English reader, and his letter referring entirely to the case of "the good and unfortunate queen Katharine" has come to hand too late for insertion in its proper place (Vol. V., Part I., after No. 411), I here subjoin it:—
"Madame,—On the receipt of the letter of the 10th inst., which Your Majesty was pleased to forward, I immediately called on the Queen, who was greatly rejoiced at it, not only on account of the good news from Germany which that letter contains, but likewise for the good remembrance, great care, and anxious solicitude which Your Majesty has always shown, and is now showing, for her personal affairs. Indeed, Your Majesty's letter (the Queen says) has come like a balm to heal and mitigate, in a certain measure, the displeasure and annoyance she feels at seeing all the proceedings at Rome being, as it were, suspended, or rather retracted or annulled, in obedience to the commands of the Pope, whom the English ambassadors in that capital have persuaded that the King, their master, is more easily to be reduced and recalled to his duty by mild and conciliatory terms than by rigorous justice, and that the best expedient for him to adopt under the circumstances is to send a Nuncio of his own here to remonstrate mildly with him, and so forth. His Holiness the Pope, (fn. n50) as it appears, yielding to the suggestions of the English ambassadors, is about to send here a Nuncio, which measure, in my opinion, is equivalent to delaying still more the proceedings in the case, losing time and trouble. Even if the Pope himself should come [to England] personally, nothing could be obtained, for the King's obstinacy knows no bounds. True is it that if His Holiness' Nuncio is to be trusted, and desires to do good offices in the affair, as Your Majesty informs me, he may help to prevent the States, or Parliament, of this kingdom—and, above all, the English prelates constituting one of its branches—from consenting to the King's contracting a fresh marriage. The Nuncio might also bring a mandate from the Pope to look into the case of the Queen's virginity at the time that the present King married her—the proof of which can easily be obtained, provided the Papal Nuncio be, as Your Majesty points out, a faithful and trusty ecclesiastic, for, besides the many witnesses who can declare in favor of it, the King himself has many a time acknowledged the fact. Even now, though he pretends to have forgotten the circumstances of his marriage, he does not entirely deny what he has frequently owned, so that if the Queen's virginity at the time of her marriage be proved, the King cannot help owning that his marriage was a legitimate one.
"A long time ago I wrote to Miçer Mai, (fn. n51) the Emperor's ambassador at Rome, to try and obtain from His Holiness some such commission of inquiry, and I have no doubt that if applied to again the ambassador will do his best to persuade His Holiness to grant it to whomsoever comes here as his Nuncio. This will serve admirably for the good issue of the Queen's suit at Rome, and help the Papal Nuncio in the fulfilment of his commission. Even if the latter could achieve nothing else, he might be able to bear testimony of this King's obstinacy; of his ill-treatment of the Queen, his wife; the almost general desire and will of the English people [for the continuance of the marriage]; and last, not least, of the train and behaviour of the King's mistress.
"The King, in the meantime, is not inactive. One week after the return to England of the lady's father (Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire) (fn. n52) he despatched two couriers to Rome, one of whom was the bearer of the seals (seelz) of the Universities obtained in favor of the illegitimacy of his marriage, and together with that a considerable sum of money, which after all will be the best sauce to render those seals palatable to the Romans.
I hear that for the last five days consecutive meetings have been held at Toncourt (Hampton Court), where the King is now residing, Jacques Jocquin and some other notable personages attending. I have been unable yet to ascertain what the meetings are about, unless it be, as I presume, to deliberate respecting the expected arrival of M. de Bayonne, (fn. n53) and his business here; he arrived here post haste the day before yesterday, when the assembly broke up, and to-day went to see the King. Immediately after his arrival he sent me word that had it not been for the etiquette of this country, prescribing that ambassadors newly appointed are not to visit those of friendly powers before having had audience from the King, he would willingly have called on me; but that on his return from Court, he would not fail to come and relate to me some most pleasing news, which he had no doubt would give me contentment, such as the expression of the sentiments of respect and sympathy which all his countrymen do entertain for the Queen, and their good desire of keeping up peace and friendship with His Imperial Majesty.—London, 20 August 1530." (fn. n54)
Such is Chapuys' letter to the regent of the Low Countries, written in August 1530, at the time that Pope Clement, wishing to delay as long as possible his sentence in the divorce suit, proposed sending to England a Nuncio to persuade king Henry either to desist entirely from his purpose of marrying Anne Boleyn, or else to submit to his judgment and sentence in the divorce case. The Papal Nuncio was a Sicilian of the name of Antonio da Pulleo, baron dal Borgho, whose appointment Miguel Mai, the Emperor's ambassador at Rome, announced on the 3rd of July, but adding that as the Baron, though the Emperor's subject, had been long in the Pope's service, he was somehow open to suspicion, for which reason he (Mai) had done everything in his power to prevent his nomination.