Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 2, 1542-1543. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1895.
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Soon after the Emperor's disastrous expedition to Algiers, king Francis, tired of waiting for the much-coveted and oft-promised investiture of Milan, decided to break the truce concluded at Nizza in 1538, and afterwards ratified at Aigues Mortes in the Roussillon. In retaliation, as it were, for the murder of two of his ambassadors returning from Constantinople, (fn. n1) he gave orders for the archbishop of Valencia, (fn. n2) then crossing France into Belgium, and for several Spanish officers residing at Avignon, to be arrested and cast into prison, whilst by means of a treacherous plot he got possession, in time of peace, of Marano, in Friuli, a fortress belonging to the king of the Romans (Ferdinand).
It was natural, under these circumstances, that the Emperor should seek the alliance of England, and probable enough that Henry, who began then to be displeased with the French, should meet him half way. On the 2nd of January 1541, Chapuys wrote to the dowager queen of Hungary:—"As to the bishop of Winchester (Stephen Gardiner), I fancy that, whatever be the answer [there at Brussels] to his overtures and representations, he will follow the Emperor into Germany for the purpose mentioned in my last despatch." Again, on the 18th of June:—"Your Majesty has no doubt been informed that this King's ambassadors at the Imperial Court (fn. n3) have lately been soliciting that a treaty of closer alliance and confederacy with the Emperor be made and concluded within a period of six, eight, or ten months, at the will and pleasure of the latter, provided in the interval neither of the two contracting parties should treat to the prejudice of the other, and that His Imperial Majesty has agreed to this, and made the required promise to the English ambassadors on condition that their master take the same engagement with me." To carry this into effect Chapuys repaired to Court, when king Henry with much good-will and grace made the required declaration. (fn. n4)
Some months, however, elapsed before the negotiations fairly commenced, and much time was lost, intentionally perhaps, on both sides, in settling the preliminaries of the treaty. Mary, the Regent, was too much preoccupied with the threatened invasion of Flanders by the French to think of preparing for Chapuys the necessary powers and Instructions for him to act at the Court of England; perhaps, also, she relied too much on Henry, who, she thought, would assist her with men or money in conformity with the old treaties between England and the Low Countries. On the other hand, Henry was not particularly anxious for an alliance which, at first, seemed to be fraught with danger as well as with considerable expenditure of treasure—the thing in the world which he disliked most—rather than to promise beneficial results to him and to his kingdom. When at last Mary's powers came, they were declared insufficient, Henry's privy councillors maintaining that unless drawn in the Emperor's name, and signed by him, they would not be considered valid for the purpose of negotiating a treaty between England and the Emperor. The latter was then far away in Spain, in the centre of Castille, or on the Mediterranean coast, at that time infested by Turkish corsairs, or French privateers. Granvelle, who who was still at Genoa, had to be consulted both as to the nature and wording of the Instructions, which after that had to be sent to England to Chapuys, by sea, as it was not supposed that an Imperial courier with despatches would be allowed to cross France. These and other excuses, more or less plausible, were alleged by Chapuys whenever Henry's privy councillors twitted him as to the delay in the transmission to him of the Emperor's powers.
With these powers, bearing the date of Valladolid, 2nd of May 1542, this Part Second of the sixth volume begins, though it must be said that they did not reach London till the 16th of June, when the bishop of Winchester (Gardiner) sent them on from Greenwich, together with a letter from the Emperor to Chapuys and other papers in a sealed packet, which Sir Henry Knyvet (fn. n5) had forwarded from Orleans, in France. "Shortly after the receipt of the packet in question," wrote Chapuys to the Emperor, "which was put into my hands quite safely, and without having been in the least tampered with, the Bishop himself called at this embassy as usual, and manifested great joy at my having received the long-expected powers from your Imperial Majesty." They then conversed together for awhile on the best means of inducing and persuading the King to the alliance, the Bishop approving thoroughly of the ambassador's ideas and arguments, save on one single point, which was that his (Chapuys') favourite argument that the alliance was most necessary to England ought by no means to be used in the King's presence. (fn. n6) Such a piece of advice on the part of the Bishop, Chapuys followed implicitly; on Ascension Day, he called at Greenwich and had a long audience from the King, the preliminaries of the future treaty being discussed, and commissioners or deputies appointed to begin work at once. (fn. n7)
The negotiations began under the best possible auspices. A few conferences were held in which the outline of the treaty was drawn up without opposition. As early as the 7th of June 1542, (fn. n8) whilst again complaining of not having received the private instructions announced in the Emperor's letter of the 3rd of April, Chapuys wrote to queen Mary:—"Your Majesty may easily conceive the awkward position in which I am placed; for had I received instructions from the Emperor or from you, I might, under present circumstances, most admirably have served your purpose by endeavouring to ascertain this King's real intentions and will in the matter .... Indeed, I have no doubt that the Royal deputies would have met me half way; for this King, as the good, wise, and virtuous prince that he is, thinking that the proposed alliance is the only efficacious remedy in the dangerous and irksome position of the Emperor's affairs, would have done anything to unite his cause to that of His Imperial Majesty, not only on account of the paternal affection which he bears him, but also because he seems quite ready and willing just now to ward off the inconveniences, dangers, and, I should say, imminent ruin of Christendom, and to risk his throne and his life in that holy and Christian enterprise, though he knows very well the dangers he will have to encounter, and the outlay of treasure he will have to undertake, if he allies himself with the Emperor; for, as to himself, he has no enemies to dread, the French actually offering to pay their debt to him, which offer they would certainly not make if they knew that the proposed treaty of alliance between the Emperor and England had been concluded." (fn. n9)
Thus wrote Chapuys to queen Mary on the 7th of June; three weeks after, on the 29th, he added in cipher (fn. n10) :—"Not one single step has been advanced in the negotiation one way or the other, the difficulty lying, as it appears, in the determination these privy councillors seem to have taken—nay, one on which they particularly insist—of having an additional clause appended to the article of the treaty of Cambray relating to the intercourse of trade, by which clause, if I am not mistaken, their object is to render the said intercourse permanent, and not subject to change in future."
Whoever reads with attention the Emperor's letter to Chapuys of the 3rd of May, (fn. n11) in which the Powers were enclosed, will at once be convinced of the many obstacles lying in the way of a treaty of closer alliance, both defensive and offensive, likely to suit the interests of both the contracting parties. The Imperial ambassador was to bear in mind that on no account was he to stipulate or agree to, tacitly or expressly, any act or words against the Holy Father, or the authority of the Holy Apostolic see. Should the alliance at first be defensive only, the ambassador was to stipulate that the whole of the Emperor's dominions, the Low Countries as well as Navarre in Spain, were included; and if so, the help and assistance to be furnished by England was to be well specified, defined and made certain. If possible, the assistance to consist in money, not in men. The king of England to help to the recovery of the duchy of Gueldres and county of Zutphen, (fn. n12) and should king Francis attempt to prevent it and defend the duke of Clèves' usurpation of those estates, the ambassador was to try and induce the king of England to remain neutral, and not favour nor help in any way the said Duke. The ambassador was likewise to do everything in his power to set the king of England against the duke of Holstein, (fn. n13) lately elected king of Denmark to the prejudice of the Emperor's niece (fn. n14) to whom the Crown belonged by right. Should the king of England or his ministers allude by chance to any sort of security to be offered for the payment of the French debt to him, or in other words suggest that the Emperor should indemnify him (the King) for the loss of his money, the ambassador was to excuse his master as graciously as he could from such an obligation, considering that the greater part of that debt was, as is well known, contracted when both king Francis and king Henry were at war with the Emperor. It will be advisable to avoid as much as possible treating of the alliance and confederation with Scotland, or of matters directly or indirectly connected with the Princess (Mary) which may hereafter turn out to her injury—such as her legitimacy, or her right to the Crown of England. Lastly, the ambassador will try to induce the king of England to give now, as well as in future, his help and assistance against the Turk, as he himself and his ministers have often promised.
Such were, in the abstract, the Instructions which Chapuys received from the Emperor along with the powers, (fn. n15) from the substance of which it may easily be imagined what difficulties the Imperial ambassador must at once have met with in treating with the Royal deputies. In fact, however inclined Henry may have felt to a closer alliance with the Emperor, certain it is that his privy councillors, who knew his naturally suspicious temper, had to proceed with the utmost caution in the negotiation of the treaty. Henry knew that for some time past pope Paul had been trying to bring about peace of some sort between the Emperor and Francis; he also knew that if effected, that peace would be the signal for a joint war against England. On the other hand, he was aware that the Admiral of France (Philippe de Brion-Chabot), who had lately succeeded Anne de Montmorency as prime minister of king Francis, had made certain overtures, and that Mr. de Marvol, the Imperial ambassador in France, though the hostilities had already commenced, had not yet quitted Paris, waiting no doubt for an answer to those overtures.
So it was that the article about the defensive league— apparently one of the easiest to settle—was at the very outset of the negotiations warmly disputed, Chapuys himself proposing that it should last "five months" at least, whilst the Royal deputies refused to grant it for more than "four." The inclusion of the Emperor's Spanish subjects was also opposed, though later on, when the offensive league against France, or in other words against the "common enemies" of the allied parties, came to be debated, a clause was introduced to comprise the Emperor's dominions in Flanders, the Low Countries, Milan, Naples, etc. Again, whether the mutual help and assistance was to consist in men or money, or whether it was to be afforded according to the corresponding article of the treaty of Cambray, or subject to a new clause framed for. the purpose, was a matter of contention. Last, not least, the Royal deputies refused to the very end to specify and name the "common enemies" of the allies, and although the duke of Holstein (Christian III.) and he of Clèves and Juliers (Guillaume de La Mark) were professedly the Emperor's enemies, Henry would never consent to have them individually named in the clause of the defensive alliance.
Nor did the clause concerning the "extradition of rebels" offer less difficulty, both the English ambassadors in Spain, and the Royal deputies in London, insisting upon its being worded exactly as in the rough draft taken by the bishop of Westminster to Spain, whilst Granvelle and the Emperor's ministers wanted the whole article to be couched in the same terms as the corresponding one in the treaty of Cambray. The words uttered by Bonner and Thirlby in defence of the article, as it was originally drawn, sufficiently implied that any foreigner residing in England, whether a layman or an ecclesiastic, who refused his adherence to the new opinions on religious matters, would at once be declared rebel to the King, and obliged to fly from England unless he would submit to the new doctrines and regulations. The extradition of such people, whether English or foreigners, was stoutly resisted by Chapuys in the Emperor's name: the clause should be amended, or at least worded exactly as in the treaty of Cambray. (fn. n16)
Next came the article about the "spirituality," as it was then called, in which all "ecclesiastics of every denomination, and of whatever degree, quality, or dignity," were virtually comprised in the allies' defensive league against them, if proved to be enemies of one of the contracting princes. "That is a thing," wrote the Emperor to Chapuys, "to which We cannot agree. It is evident that king Henry's intention, in making the article so general and comprehensive, is to include the Pope, the more so that in the rough draft of the proposed treaty there is lower down another clause stipulating that no interpretation whatever of the article shall be admitted likely to modify or alter the sense of it; but, on the contrary, the said article is to be observed in its totality, really and truly, and according to its precise terms."
The titles of "Defender of the Faith and Supreme Head of the Church of England" were likewise strongly objected to. Chapuys having consulted the Emperor on the subject, received the following answer:—"With regard to the titles which the king of England chooses to assume in the treaty, the difficulty will be avoided by using, as We have written to Our sister the Queen, those pointed out in Our preceding letter to her. We enclose to you a copy of the article." (fn. n17)
No wonder, therefore, that the negotiations for the alliance dragged on more or less for several months—perhaps not altogether unintentionally on the part of king Henry, as there is reason to think—if the relative position of affairs in England and the Empire, as well as the great efforts made by Francis and pope Paul conjointly to prevent that alliance, be taken into consideration. There was still another cause—not a minor one—for hesitation and delay. Charles had from the very beginning entrusted to his sister Mary, the dowager queen of Hungary, and regent of Flanders and the Low Countries, the very difficult task of communicating with the Imperial ambassadors in England, and deciding on all knotty points when consulted, and she most times either returned a vague and evasive answer to their applications, or advised them to temporise and wait until the Emperor's pleasure should be known. Very frequently the Emperor was in the centre of Spain, at Valladolid, and a messenger sailing from England or the Low Countries could not be expected to land on the coast of Biscay, ride post to Barcelona, where the Emperor was then holding his Court, and return to Flanders in less than one month's time; and yet, so pressing and urgent were at one time Chapuys' applications for a definitive answer on points consulted, that queen Mary could not do less than assume the whole responsibility, and decide. On the other hand, the invasion of the duchy of Luxemburg by the French, and the rapid success of their arms, must have made Mary particularly anxious for the conclusion of a treaty which was to ensure her aid and protection from England. That explains sufficiently her repugnance to grant her approval to those articles of the treaty which related chiefly to the intercourse of trade with England, or the extradition of rebels, whilst we find her always ready to make concessions in others perhaps more important for the Emperor. In short, it may confidently be stated that, without actually contravening her brother's orders and instructions, she did all she could to hasten and facilitate the conclusion of the treaty of alliance.
So it was that on the 30th of June 1542 the negotiations terminated, at least in London. On that day Chapuys wrote to Granvelle: "Your Lordship knows better than I do how important it is for the Emperor to make friends of the English under present circumstances..... The friendship of England must be secured at any cost. Were the present negotiation to fail—which may God forbid—it would be much better that it had never been begun, for this King might, in his disappointment, do something that we should not like at all. Never at any time would it be so inconvenient as at this present moment for the Emperor's subjects to have this King for their enemy, etc." (p. 41.)
In the same letter to Granvelle he adds: "I am almost sure that His Imperial Majesty is aware of half the toil and labour, both physical and mental, which this blessed negotiation has brought upon me ever since Ascension Day up to the present moment, and of the services I have rendered without interference or reminder from any one, and that I have thereby made myself worthy of some reward or other. As His Imperial Majesty, however, might not be fully aware of the above facts, I will again beg your Lordship to intercede for me, and add this new favour to the many I have already received at your hands." (p. 43.)
Thus wrote Chapuys on the last day of June 1542; and on the 3rd of July, bishop Thirlby, (fn. n18) recently appointed English ambassador at the Imperial Court, left London for Exeter, there to embark for Spain, accompanied by one of Chapuys' secretaries. The Bishop was to be the bearer of a rough draft of the treaty as it was after its many amendments, suppressions of words and even of sentences, according to agreement between the Royal commissioners and the Imperial ambassador. By way of precaution, however, the latter had entrusted to his own secretary another copy of the draft with a private letter to Granvelle, in which he said: "I have frequently, and as it were by stealth, during the conferences with these Royal deputies, caused a faithful transcript to be made out of the projected treaty, as it was proposed in the first instance, and since then changed and modified in many places, as your Lordship will see by comparing it with that which the bishop of Westminster is now taking to Spain. In addition to that, I have considered it necessary to forward a separate copy of each of the articles, as they were originally drawn, discussed, and almost approved; but I beg and entreat your Lordship to keep the whole thing secret, and not mention it to any one for fear of these people suspecting that I have been unfaithful to them."
Chapuys' precautionary measures in this instance proved to be useful. When examined in the Emperor's Privy Council, the draft brought by the Bishop and the copy sent by the Imperial ambassador were found to differ materially in the wording of certain clauses, which, however amended and modified owing to the ambassador's active representations, could not conscientiously be approved by the Emperor, as he himself formally declared to Chapuys in his letter of the 23rd of January 1543. "Unless articles sixth and seventh, which are so closely connected with Our faith and ancient religion, be couched in exactly the same words as they are in Our letters and instructions to Monsr. de Courrières, We cannot possibly ratify the treaty. In case, however, of your being unable to persuade the Royal deputies, you will, without actually coming to a rupture, try to temporise, and from time to time inform the dowager queen of Hungary, Our Sister, as well as Monsr. de Granvelle, of the progress of the negotiation."
Thus did the Emperor express himself in January 1543. (fn. n19) On the 23rd of the same month he wrote to Chapuys that it had been resolved in his Privy Council, that a worthy and confidential personage should visit king Henry in his name, assure him of his perfect willingness, and desire to bring the treaty of alliance to conclusion by all honest, reasonable, and mutually convenient means, and at the same time declare his objections to certain clauses of the treaty. Fresh instructions, of course, were sent to Chapuys in conjunction with De Courrières, the ambassador appointed on the occasion, to endeavour that the obnoxious sentence in the article of the "defence," in which sentence the Pope, though not individually named, was evidently included, should be changed into "all kings, princes and powers, secular and temporal," so as to ensure the king of England against the person of the Holy Father. (p. 237.)
At last, on the 13th of January, after a long conference with the privy councillors, though a formal and expressly worded declaration against the dukes of Holstein and Clèves could never be obtained, the wording of the article relating to the defensive league and the spirituality was so amended that the Imperial ambassador seemed satisfied. (fn. n20) As to other disputed articles, the privy councillors said there would be no difficulty to obtain the King's approval; they would wait on him next day and get his final answer on the whole. Three days passed away and no answer came, upon which Chapuys began to feel rather uneasy and to suspect that something was wrong. On the 15th he wrote to the Emperor:—"Besides the Scotch affair, which, as I stated in my last despatch, is partly the cause of all this delay, I strongly suspect that the practices and intrigues of the French have much to do with it. Perceiving the ill success of their arms at Perpignan, seeing too that their allies, the Scotch, have also completely failed, and that king James is dead, those practices have been renewed more warmly than ever. The King, on the other hand, will most likely listen to their proposals, and amuse them with fair words, for fear they should in any way interfere with his projects. Indeed, I have every reason to think that they (the French) are now intriguing more than ever, for the bishop of Westminster, the personage at this Court best inclined, most ready for your Imperial Majesty's service, and likewise the most frank, truthful, and reliable minister of this King—a man, in fact, without feint or dissimulation of any sort—told me the other day that he regretted that the treaty of closer alliance had not been concluded and ratified to the common satisfaction of the parties concerned. He would willingly (said the Bishop) part with everything he possessed in this world to see the end of it."
Chapuys' fears, however, were not confirmed; on the 12th of February 1543, two of the Royal deputies, the bishop of Winchester (Stephen Gardiner) and he of Westminster (Thomas Thirlby), called at the Imperial embassy, and brought with them the treaty for him to sign. No sooner, however, had Chapuys cast his eye on it, than, perceiving that the titles in full of "Defender of the Faith and Supreme Head of the Church of England" had been given to Henry, he refused to append his signature to it as the Emperor's plenipotentiary. Upon which great altercation arose between him and the two bishops, these latter declaring that unless the above titles in full were given to the King their master in the preamble to the treaty, they considered the work done hitherto as entirely lost; for the very moment that the King heard of the newly standing difficulty, he would refuse altogether to go on with the treaty. Both parties, however, seemed to be equally anxious for its conclusion and consequent ratification, for on Chapuys hinting that if the instrument after being signed came again into his hands, he could easily, as he fully intended, cancel and erase the titles objected to, the Royal deputies replied that he might do as he pleased; they themselves were perfectly satisfied with having carried out their master's orders in that particular. (fn. n21)
Nothing more was wanted, and on the 12th of April, at Valladolid, the Emperor signed and ratified the treaty of closer alliance, "defensive and offensive, against all "enemies," in the presence of Edmund Bonner, bishop of London, Henry's ambassador in Spain, and in the following month of May, as soon as the Emperor's ratification was known in London, king Henry did the same, with due solemnity.
During the whole of the above-named period (May 1542 to April 1543), until the treaty was sworn to and ratified at Valladolid in Spain, (fn. n22) as well as in London, (fn. n23) Chapuys was now and then assisted in the negotiations by various personages or officials of the Imperial Court, either in Spain or in the Low Countries. In June 1542, Jehan de Le Sauch, a Belgian, was sent by Mary of Hungary with instructions to promote the treaty, and to enlighten the Imperial ambassador on points particularly connected with the Low Countries and the intercourse of trade with England. He was at the same time to ask for help and assistance, in consequence of king Francis having suddenly, and without a previous challenge, as customary in such cases, invaded Luxemburg. Le Sauch had resided in England as early as the year 1523, first as secretary to Adolph de Bourgogne, lord of Bèvres, and Josse Laurens, ambassadors and commissioners of Margaret of Savoy, aunt of the emperor Charles V., and at that time regent of Flanders and the Low Countries. When the above-named ambassadors left, Le Sauch remained in charge of the Imperial embassy until August 1526, when he himself was succeeded by Jehan Jonglet, seigneur de Des Maretz. Mary's Instructions to him may be seen under No. 34, pp. 69–71.
After him, came François de Fallaix, (fn. n24) at that time the Emperor's esquire in Flanders, and some time after his herald for the Order of the Golden Fleece (Toison d'Or). He was sent from Brussels to London, his mission being to apply urgently to Henry for assistance in "men or money," whilst the treaty of closer alliance was being negotiated, considering that the French had already entered Artois and taken several fortresses there. The Emperor's herald went twice to Court, accompanied by Chapuys; they did not see the King, but communicated with the privy councillors, who did at once signify to them that no help or assistance in dabur mama srikanth Low Countries until an answer came from Spain. The King himself, from whom both Fallaix and Chapuys had audience on the 5th of September, resolutely declared to them that it would be a great folly on his part to send his money away, and make enemies of his friends without knowing first on what terms he stood with the Emperor. "Neither he nor my own ambassadors at his Imperial Court," said the King, "have written to me for a long while." Henry was then solu nisha Scotland; he had sent a large force to the Borders, and, therefore, it was not to be expected that he would, without sufficient security, and before the conclusion of the treaty of alliance with the Emperor, send to queen Mary of Hungary the succour applied for. Fallaix, therefore, had to go to Spain, and ride post to Barcelona, where the Emperor was then holding his Court.
Later on, in May 1543, Fallaix was again employed on a mission of a different nature. Both Henry and the Emperor having decided upon declaring war to Francis, he (Fallaix) (fn. n25) as herald of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and Christopher Barker, holding the same important office in that of the Garter, were instructed to go to Calais, and ask for a safe-conduct to proceed on their journey and deliver their message. Upon the refusal of the governor of Boulogne-sur-Mer to grant the safe-conduct applied for, Garter and Toison d'Or came back, and by the advice of Chapuys, the intimation of war was made in London on the 22nd of June, the Duke of Norfolk reading that of king Henry, whilst Chapuys himself read his own in the Emperor's name.
Philip do Montmorency, seigneur de Courrières, also a native of Flanders, and captain of the Emperor's bodyguard in that country, was the next ambassador extraordinary to Henry. As early as the 14th of March 1542, he had been appointed by the Emperor to sail for some port in Flanders, and thence cross over to England, with the necessary powers from Mary for Chapuys to commence the negotiations. (fn. n26) In August he was again sent with letters of credence for king Henry, to declare Charles' intentions respecting the "charge brought by the bishop of Westminster." (fn. n27) This latter, who a few months before had gone to Spain with the rough draft of the treaty of alliance, was returning to England by sea, and the Emperor considered it necessary that Courrières should accompany him and explain verbally to king Henry his reasons for delaying his approval and ratification of the treaty hastily concluded by Chapuys. Owing to stress of weather, the big ship, as we are told, on board of which were the two ambassadors (Thomas Thirlby, the bishop, and Montmorency, seigneur de Courrières), hovered for some hours in sight of Plymouth, unable to enter that port. A fishing boat was then provided, but Courrières would not land, the wind being very strong at the time, and the sea boisterous. The Bishop, however, landed safely on a Tuesday, and on the same day the Imperial ambassador did the same at Falmouth. He was there met by Sir Thomas Wyatt (fn. n28) and other courtiers, whom Henry sent to receive and accompany him, with due honour, to London. On the 16th, he and Chapuys, the Emperor's resident ambassador, went to Hampton Court, presented their joint credentials, and explained, as well as they could, the Emperor's unaccountable delay in returning a final answer. "The councillors' reception," wrote Chapuys (p. 160), "was meagre enough when compared with that of other times, nor was the King's, when we were introduced to his presence after dinner, much better. He said to us that he had been so often cheated in the treaties he had formerly made, and had found in them so many flaws, misinterpretations, and cavillings, that nowadays he intended to remedy that evil by treating with us so clearly, and having all the articles and clauses so explicitly worded, that there should be no opening in future for misunderstandings and dispute. 'I am very much astonished,' said king Henry to the Imperial ambassadors, 'at the difficulties raised by the Emperor, and at his scruples. He ought not to have been stopped by mere trifles, thereby preventing the accomplishment of a work of such importance as this treaty is. Neither the article about the rebels, nor the clause specifying the ecclesiastical dignitaries to be included in the defensive league, is worthy of the scrupulous examination bestowed upon them.'" After accepting, or feigning to accept, the Emperor's excuses, Henry referred the ambassadors to his Privy Council, where the question of the two obnoxious articles was again debated in succeeding conferences, and Courrières left for Brussels, on the 30th of October, "with the articles about the 'defence' and the 'extradition of rebels'" so modified and amended, that the Emperor, as Chapuys thought, could have no objection to pass them.
The difficulty about the titles given to Henry in the preamble to the treaty was soon got over, through one of those diplomatic shifts so common in that age, (fn. n29) and the treaty was finally ratified.
The alliance both defensive and offensive once settled, and the treaty itself ratified at Valladolid and in London, the next question to be decided was when, with what force, and on which side of the French frontier the invasion was to be attempted. For this particular purpose Thomas Perrenot, (fn. n30) better known as sieur (lord) of Chantonnay, and count of Cantecroix, was sent to England in June 1543. The Emperor's Instructions to him are at pages 397–403, followed by a letter to Chapuys, both the Instructions and the letter bearing the date of Cremona, the 17 June 1543, three days before the declaration of war to Francis's ambassador by the duke of Norfolk at Westminster. (fn. n31) Monsr. de Chantonnay, however, did not land in England until the 2nd of July. On the 3rd he had audience from King Henry, "as courteous and gracious," writes Chapuys, "as it could possibly be, the King viji and prasana at his arrival, and making most particular demonstrations of joy when he heard from that ambassador's lips the substance of his Instructions." The King's answer was perplexing and ambiguous. He admitted that an invasion of French territory was needed: he himself would readily join in it, provided there was a good prospect of success. In the meantime he would harass the common enemy as much as he could by sea, though in case of his wanting the assistance of the Imperial fleet for some maritime undertaking or other which he was then meditating, he hoped that the war vessels of the Low Countries would be kept in readiness. As to the point in question, that is, on which side of the frontier the attack by the allied armies was to be made, not a word was said; at least, Chapuys—who was not present at the audience, owing to a fit of the gout, which kept him indoors—did not know. Most likely, following his usual tactics Henry evaded the answer; for, a few days after, Chapuys wrote to Mary: "As I have no doubt that Monsr. de Chantonnay has already explained to your Majesty the result of his conference with the King, I am afraid that for this year at least there will be no invasion of France, though I must say that the King does not positively say so, nor do his ministers either." Chantonnay had been at Rome in December 1542 apparently to visit the Pope, and excuse his father, the Lord Privy Seal, if his various engagements at Nürnberg and elsewhere had prevented him from kissing His Holiness's hands. He was at the same time to assure him of his constant veneration and respect for his person, as well as of his great wish to be useful in every way to the Holy Apostolic See. Such was the avowed purpose of Chantonnay; but if we are to believe the Marquis of Aguilar's account of the conferences, which he (Chantonnay) and the bishop of Aquila held with Paul, the object of the former's political mission must have been to try to induce Paul to declare against France. This happened at the time that the former had eagerly besought the Emperor, first through the Cardinal of Viseu, and afterwards through his own Nuncio, Riccio da Montepulciano, to hold an interview with him and king Francis at Bologna for the promotion of peace. The Emperor's refusal, though respectful, is contained in a letter of Charles to Paul, which is a master-piece of Granvelle's diplomacy. It was translated into Latin by Alfonso Valdés, the Emperor's secretary for the Latin tongue, and the reader will find an abstract of it in English at pp. 116–22.
The last ambassador extraordinary in England was Ferrante Gonzaga, duke of Guastalla and prince of Molfetta by his wife, whose arrival and reception in London is graphically described by Chapuys in his letter to the dowager queen of Hungary. (fn. n32) Ferrante, who belonged to the ducal family of the Gonzaga, marquises of Mantua, was the brother of Frederico II., whom the Emperor in 1530 had raised from the rank of marquis to that of duke, giving him besides the fief of Monferrato. (fn. n33) Out of gratitude for his promotion the new duke followed the Emperor's party in Italy till his death in June 1540, being succeeded by his son Francesco III. Ferrante had already been several years in the Emperor's service, as general of the light horse, and viceroy of Sicily from 1536 to 1547; (fn. n34) he died at Brussels in 1557, shortly after the celebrated battle of St Quentin. Towards the end of 1543 he came to England for the purpose of settling definitively the time at which the preconcerted invasion of France by the allies was to take place, with what combined forces, and on which side of the French frontier. The Instructions for his mission, bearing date Brussels, 7 December 1543, may be seen at page 527 under No. 268; but on the 13th of the same month he received another set of them, the former being intended for Henry's perusal, if he wished to see the original ones signed by the Emperor, whilst the others were secret and only meant for his own particular guidance—a practice much in use then and afterwards. In these latter, in which the style and diplomatic talents of Granvelle are easily recognisable, Gonzaga was instructed to ascertain with dexterity if there was any doubt or scruple in Henry's mind about the future invasion of France, lest at the eleventh hour king Henry should change his mind, and leave the Emperor to fight single-handed against the French. Without a positive assurance that king Henry will persevere in his intention the Emperor cannot make the necessary preparations for the invasion. Should the stipulated English force be unable to cross the Channel owing to bad weather, or should king Henry suddenly withdraw his army before the appointed time to employ it in Scotland or in some other country, the Emperor would be obliged to carry on the war against France alone. (p. 541.)
Notwithstanding the above and other like representations which Gonzaga failed not to make in pursuance of his secret instructions, all that could be obtained from king Henry was his engagement to invade France on whatever side of the frontier seemed most convenient for himself with a force amounting altogether to 35,000 foot and 7,000 horse. Not a word more was said on the subject; and as to the date at which the invasion of French territory was to commence, neither Henry nor his privy councillors could be persuaded to fix one before June 1544, though they were told that April or May would be more suitable months for all purposes. No difficulty, however, was made to England contributing with a sum of 20,000 ducats towards the expenses of the war in Piedmont, though on condition of the Emperor helping with 1,000 Spanish harkbutiers on the Scotch borders, if required, 600 of them to be paid by the Emperor, and the remaining 400 by the King. Perceiving that nothing more could be obtained from the privy councillors, and fearing lest the negotiations should be suspended, Gonzaga yielded, accepted the said conditions, and left England to take the command of the Imperial army about to invade France.
Three other minor agents, bearers of letters or messages from the Emperor to king Henry, are occasionally mentioned in the pages of this volume, namely Holbeck, Herbais, and Scepper. Of the first, whose name is also written Holbeque and Hollebec, we only know through Chapuys that be was in London in November 1542, and that be left England for Flanders on the 22nd of that month. It is not said what mission he had, but as Chapuys in his despatch of the 2nd (p. 1) gives us a detailed account of the conference he himself had held with the Royal deputies concerning the disputed articles of the treaty—that of the "extradition of rebels," and that of the "spirituality"— it is natural to suppose that Mr. de Holbecq was the bearer of queen Mary's definitive answer with reference to the above-mentioned articles and other minor points.
As to the sieur de Herbays, or Harboys, as his name is otherwise written, (fn. n35) we are told by Chapuys that his arrival in London took place about the 27th of the same month of November, and that his mission was to acquaint king Henry with "the shameful flight of the French King." (fn. n36) That he was a native of Flanders, and gentleman-in-waiting to the Emperor, seems almost certain; perhaps too he may possibly be identified with that Orton, sieur d'Arbois, who in March 1537 was appointed to assist Don Diego de Mendoza in his embassy to England. (fn. n37) At any rate, he was merely the bearer of letters for king Henry and for Chapuys announcing the Emperor's victorious march from Landresis, and the sudden retreat of the French army encamped at Cateau Cambresis.
Of Cornelius Duplicius Scepperus (the latinised name of Cornelis Scepper), a Hungarian, according to some writers, though others, with greater reason perhaps, make him a native of the Low Countries, a short notice was published in the Introduction to Vol. VI., Part I., of this Calendar, p. xxii. He is there called seigneur or lord of Ecke in the Low Countries, and said to have been employed by Margaret of Austria, the aunt of Charles V., as well as by his sister Mary of Hungary, in various embassies to Poland, Denmark, and Transylvania. In July 1538 he was sent to France as ambassador extraordinary, and in May or June of 1539 was replaced by Bonvallot. (fn. n38) In 1542 he became treasurer or keeper of the Emperor's privy purse and councillor in Flanders, and later on we see him bearing messages or letters from the Emperor's camp to Sir Henry Seymour, Sir John Wallop, and other commanders of the English army on the other side of the Channel. (fn. n39)
The above summary account of the work done by the Imperial resident ambassador and his various colleagues during the long negotiations for the treaty of closer alliance with England—which forms almost exclusively the subject of the present volume—was, in my opinion, quite indispensable, considering the nature and number of the letters and papers abstracted. Without it, the reader could scarcely form an idea of the many difficulties standing in the way of the negotiation, or of the unusual delays— natural or intended—with which it was attended. Over sanguine at times, almost despairing at others, Chapuys had periodically to write and inform the Emperor, queen Mary of Hungary, and later on prince Philip, of the progress and results of his negotiations, and, as the reader may have observed, there is not always between his official despatches and his private letters to Monseigneur de Granvelle that perfect conformity which would have been desirable.
Chapuys had a most formidable rival to encounter in the person of Charles de Marillac, that shrewd "Master in diplomacy," whose ingenious devices, and bold, though unscrupulous, assertions must frequently have startled the readers of his correspondence. He first came to England in April 1539, some time after the truce of Nizza, and when there seemed to be a chance of king Francis and the Emperor coming to terms together. Of his negotiations enough has been said in the Introduction to the preceding volume (fn. n40) of this Calendar; but as only a part of his official letters and despatches between 1538 and 1542 has hitherto appeared in print, (fn. n41) we should have been deprived of much reliable information concerning him and his doings up to the date of his departure, in April 1543, had not the Imperial ambassador continued to watch closely his movements, and to bribe his servants or secretaries for the purpose of obtaining copies or decipherings of the letters he received from king Francis or his ministers during the above-mentioned period.
On the 1st of April (fn. n42) Marillac left London for Calais, where he remained, as it were, under arrest, till the necessary arrangements for his preconcerted exchange for Henry's ambassador (Sir William Paget), at a place between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais, were completed. (fn. n42) On what day of that month the delivery of the respective ambassadors took place we are not informed; but as Marillac wrote from Calais on the 9th, and Paget himself was back in London on the 14th and attended a meeting of the Privy Council at Westminster, it may safely be conjectured that his detention at Calais did not last above a week. As his official correspondence with Francis' ministers above alluded to does not go beyond the 21st of December 1541, we have no details concerning his own diplomatic labours in England, except perhaps the few facts to be gathered from his own intercepted letters, or the information furnished by Chapuys' spies.
That he did all he could to nip in the bud the growing alliance of England with the Empire cannot be doubted. As long as king Henry seemed to waver between accepting Francis' offers, or those of the Emperor, and there was a chance of securing England's neutrality for the approaching contest, Marillac only made use of such diplomatic arguments and means as his well-known talent and capacity might suggest in order to forward his master's views. But when piracies in the Channel and French intrigues in Scotland had alienated king Henry's old affection for Francis, when the negotiations for the treaty were no longer a secret, and all hope of success was lost, the French ambassador became at once violent and aggressive. In January 1543, at Hampton Court, while demanding redress for certain French merchant vessels taken by the English in the Channel, in just retaliation for similar captures made by French privateers, Marillac got into a towering rage, and made use of very abusive and threatening language against Henry's privy councillors (p. 218–9). On another occasion, insisting too sharply perhaps upon getting a categorical answer to his overtures, king Henry sent him a most unpleasant message through one of his Royal household gentlemen (p. 234).
Marillac, like the Imperial ambassador, his competitor, had also from time to time colleagues to assist him in his diplomatic labours. The first was Guillaume Gellimard, sieur (lord) of Neuf Chastel (fn. n43) in France, collector of taxes at Chasteauneuf, (fn. n44) and secretary to Admiral Brion-Chabot, whose arrival in London took place on the 2nd of May 1542. He was, as Chapuys informs us, secretary to the Admiral of France, Philippe de Brion-Chabot, (fn. n45) primeminister of king Francis at the time. His charge was, as may be gathered from his Instructions—a copy of which the Imperial ambassador obtained in his usual way—to prevent, if possible, the much talked-of alliance between England and the Empire, and secure at least king Henry's neutrality. A partial payment of Francis's debt to England, and the marriage of Charles, duke of Orleans, to Mary, the Princess, seem to have been the principal baits offered to king Henry on the occasion. Gellimard, however, was anything but successful in his mission. Unable to see the King, who was still at Dover, (fn. n46) he went to the Privy Council in company with the resident ambassador (Marillac), and verbally explained then and there the avowed object of his mission. He was (we are told by Chapuys) rudely treated, and went off a few days after without seeing the King, though (p. 39) on the very same day of his departure from London, a courier was despatched with letters for the English ambassador in France (Paget). "There is no longer question," observed Chapuys, "of the practices that brought him (fn. n47) over, nor of the Orleans marriage either. True it is that these people, thinking they might gain something by communicating the intelligence, have indirectly given me to understand that, their ambassador in France having mentioned to Admiral Brion-Chabot the non-success of his secretary's mission here, the latter had said: 'Well and good; if the negotiations for the Orleans marriage have proved unsuccessful, other offers will be made— perhaps more agreeable and acceptable—to the king of England, so as to ensure, if possible, his friendship, or at least his neutrality'" (p. 39).
Nor was Claude de L'Aubespine, Francis's secretary, who came shortly after on a similar errand, more fortunate. His arrival in London took place in July 1542, (fn. n48) just at the time that the political relations between England and France were waxing less and less cordial, owing to the frequent capture, in the Channel, of English merchant vessels by French privateers, and the consequent seizure of French ships in or about the ports of England, ordered in retaliation. Neither king Henry nor his ministers could, under the circumstances, feel inclined to listen to L'Aubespine's overtures. Thus, although immediately after the latter's landing in London, on the 16th, Marillac applied for an audience for himself and for his colleague, as bearer of letters and a message from Francis, they were not admitted to the King's presence till the 24th. What the contents of those letters may have been we are not informed; but as Francis's instructions to his own secretary (fn. n49) have been preserved among the many papers and documents procured by Chapuys through the agency of Jean de Honz, (fn. n50) it may be safely conjectured that L'Aubespine's mission had different objects: 1st, He was to show to king Henry the draft or copy of the treaty he himself had recently concluded with the kings of Denmark and Sweden, and the duke of Prussland (Prussia), to which treaty James, king of Scotland, the duke of Saxony, the Easterlings of the Teutonic Tongue, and many other princes and powers were ready to append their signatures. (fn. n51) 2nd, He was to try to induce the king of England to confirm the words uttered by Paget in the presence of Admiral Brion-Chabot, (fn. n52) and above all, to watch Henry's countenance and mien on the occasion. 3rd, He was to report on the immense preparations he (Francis) had already made, and was still making, to attack the Emperor in Spain, in Flanders, and in Italy, and, above all, contradict the calumnious imputation cast upon him by the Emperor and by his brother Ferdinand, the king of the Romans, of his being actually in league with the Grand Turk. And 4th, Ho was to assure king Henry that the Landgraf of Hesse-Cassel (Philip), the duke of Saxony, and other Gorman Princes, his allies, were on bad terms with the Emperor, and on the point also of invading Brunswick, whose Duke (Henrich IV.) followed the Imperial party in Germany.
L'Aubespine's reception, however, was cold and ungracious. On the 2nd of August Chapuys wrote to queen Mary: (fn. n53) "The two French ambassadors, Marillac and Maistre L'Aubespine, had no audience from the King until the 24th, which audience, as I hear from our friend, (fn. n54) was very short and meagre. Both had formerly met with a very cold reception the day before at the Council; not only had they not been visited or accompanied thither by gentlemen courtiers, as is the custom is such cases, but even those among the privy councillors, who in former days were mostly in favour of the French ambassadors and their pretensions, did not deign to speak, or hardly dared look at them on the occasion. And yet the said L'Aubespine has employed all means in his power to persuade people that he has been well received and treated at Court, which is completely false, for no sooner had he seen the King than he wont off to France without taking leave of anyone." (fn. n55)
His departure took place at the end of July 1542, when he and his colleague, Marillac, went together down the river from Greenwich to a certain port (Gravesend?), to inspect and watch the naval preparations there, and ascertain, if possible, when the warships would be ready to go to sea, against whom the armament was intended, and what the people of that port said about it. (fn. n56)
The ill-success of these two extraordinary missions did not deter king Francis and the admiral of France, still then at the head of affairs, from their purpose, for on or about the 2nd of March 1543, a certain lawyer, (fn. n57) known by the name of Prothonotary D'Orthez, arrived in London with fresh instructions, and powers to assist Marillac in his negotiations with king Henry's Privy Council. That those negotiations were getting every day more difficult is proved by the fact that, according to Chapuys (p. 276), the French were then looking out for some opportunity or excuse "for openly molesting the English in some way or other, or sending their fleet with a landing force to "Scotland." The new ambassador was, we are told, prothonotary, or chief registrar, of a town in the south-west of France (dep. des Hautes Pyrénées) called Orthez, and nephew of Gabriel de Grammont, archbishop of Bordeaux. (fn. n58) He is described by Chapuys as a man of courteous and polite manners, who, at his very first audience, instead of offending or irritating king Henry, as his hot-tempered colleague Marillac had frequently done, made use of very moderate, gracious, and friendly language, with plenty of fine words and fair promises. The chief object of his mission (fn. n59) seems to have been to explain, if not altogether apologise for, Sir William Paget's detention at Boulogne, for shortly after his arrival in London, about the 2nd of March, his colleague Marillac, on the receipt of letters from home, called at Court, and applied for his passports, which application, however, was flatly refused. "Indeed," says Chapuys, "so obstinate was the King about it that he absolutely declared that rather than let him and his colleague depart from England he would let his own ambassador die in prison at Boulogne." (p. 276). The circumstances were certainly not favourable for a renewal of French overtures. The still pending dispute about the respective capture of merchant vessels in the Channel was yet unsettled; everywhere in England, and principally in London, the property belonging to Frenchmen had been sequestered, (fn. n60) and last, not least, the conclusion of the treaty of alliance against France, though not yet ratified, was no longer a secret. (fn. n61) All this rendered the position of the two French ambassadors in England exceedingly precarious and critical. On the 12th, both called again at the Privy Council in Greenwich, and again asked for permission to depart for Calais, engaging to remain there until Paget should return to England. Not only was the permission refused, but on the return home of the ambassadors, they found Master Charles Howard, the brother of the late Queen Catharine Howard, and another gentleman of the King's Chamber installed within the embassy, with order to watch their movements and prevent their departure. Marillac, as previously stated, managed some way or other to cross over to Calais in April; his colleague, D'Orthez, did the same in July.
On the 2nd of April, after the departure of his colleague for Calais, the Prothonotary is said to have received letters from his master. "He himself counted," says Chapuys, "upon having an audience, but I went to Court first and prevented his seeing the King. His predecessor in the French embassy (Marillac) has left for France whilst I have been writing this letter, and, although the English ambassador at the Court of the Most Christian king of France has already been set free at Boulogne, yet Marillac, now going down the river, will have to stay a little while at Calais until the English ambassador returns; (fn. n62) at least, such is my information from one of the King's privy councillors." (p. 296.)
The Prothonotary was still in London at the end of May, for on the 1st of June Chapuys wrote to Queen Mary: "The courier sent by the French ambassador to his master, the King, with the declaration and intimation of war on the part of England returned yesterday, the 31st of May. (fn. n63) It appears that king Francis asks for the prolongation of the term granted to him on the plea that he is unable to reply to the various charges specified in the challenge" (p. 360). Again, on the 3rd.: "The French ambassador went yesterday to Court to complain that his couriers are stopped at Dover." It was to him (D'Orthez) that the declaration and intimation of war to France by king Henry was made on the 22nd of June in the Council Room, the duke of Norfolk reading it aloud, whilst Fallaix, the herald of the Golden Fleece, read that of the Emperor. (fn. n64) Two days after, on the 24th, D'Orthez sent a message to the Privy Council purporting that king Francis had written that his affairs were in the most prosperous condition possible; he had under him a very considerable force, to which he expected to add soon 10,000 Germans, and 12,000 Swiss. The vanguard of that army he had entrusted to marshal Hannebault, and he, himself, would soon follow with the rest of his forces. And Chapuys in his letter to queen Mary remarks: "Such boasting language from the lips of the French ambassador was received by the King and his privy councillors with much derisive mirth." (fn. n65)
Chapuys relates an anecdote with reference to this D'Orthez, which shows how very strained the relations of the latter with king Henry's Privy Council were already in March 1543. "The other day," writes he to the dowager queen of Hungary, "the French ambassador went to the Privy Council and remonstrated against the formal declaration of war to king Francis, on the ground that it was entirely Garter's fault that that herald had not proceeded at once on his mission and journey to France. 'The King's herald,' the French ambassador said, 'needed no safe-conduct at all for that.' Upon which one of the privy councillors argued that Gaiter had his reasons for acting as he had done, and for asking for a safe-conduct, knowing that the Bang's late ambassador in France had been unjustly detained. Hearing this, the Frenchman did all he could to excuse and justify Master Paget's arrest; he, however, could not persuade the assembly, for Paget himself, happening to be present in the Council room, got up and flatly contradicted him, stating how and by whose orders his own arrest had taken place," &c. (p. 420).
Not at all discountenanced by these and other rebukes, which he was almost daily suffering at the hands of Henry's privy councillors, the Prothonotary went again to Greenwich, to ask for the prolongation of the term of 20 days within which his master, the Most Christian king of France, was summoned to reply to the challenge, at the same time proposing certain means of conciliation. (fn. n66) The application was refused by Henry himself, who said to the ambassador, "That I cannot grant, nor would I, if I could, listen to it without the express consent of the Emperor, my ally. At the expiration of 20 days, which is the term fixed, king Francis will find me his sworn enemy, and quite ready to do him all possible harm. As to you, his ambassador, you would do well to withdraw immediately from my presence." Chapuys, who, though not present on the occasion, got his information from one of the privy councillors, adds that D'Orthez did not take the hint, but asked permission to return to Court the Sunday after, on the excuse of getting his congé in a more formal manner, which he did, receiving from the King a present of silver plate to the value of 600 or 700 ducats, and leaving for France two or three days after. (fn. n67)
Such are the particulars to be gathered from Chapuys' correspondence respecting Charles de Marillac and his colleagues from May 1542 to the end of March 1543. But who was his successor in the French embassy? That is a question which cannot be answered without full notice of all and every one of Francis' representatives in this country; their names, conditions, qualities, dates of appointment, and so forth. Unluckily, neither the general historians of France, with their meagre details, nor the memoirs and private correspondences of the time, enable us to fill the existing gaps and get at historical truth.
On the 1st of January 1543, Chapuys wrote to queen Mary of Hungary (p. 192), that having inquired from the Princess (Mary of England) what could have been Marillac's late doings at Greenwich, she answered that Francis' affairs in England were not likely to improve, except perhaps by preventing the Emperor from gaining his object, and that the French ambassador (Marillac) would shortly be succeeded by Le Sieur de Morvilliers, (fn. n68) the same who went the year before last to Scotland. Again, on the 15th of the same month, Chapuys repeats the statement, (fn. n69) adding that the Princess, whom he frequently consulted on the state of political affairs in England, had assured him that the intrigues of the French ambassador could hardly do any harm, for she had overheard her father, the King, say to one of the gentlemen of his privy chamber: "Go and tell the French ambassador," &c.
After this, Chapuys, fully believing the information imparted by the Princess, enters into details as to Morvilliers' person and antecedents, explaining how he had formerly come to London on his way to Scotland, being the bearer of a treaty between king Francis and the king of Sweden and his adherents, (fn. n70) and how the object of his mission was to induce king James of Scotland to commence war against England. But is it likely that Henry, knowing as well as Chapuys did what sort of a mission Morvilliers had taken to Scotland in 1541, would again tolerate his stay in England? In my opinion, if Morvilliers was really appointed to succeed Marillac, as stated, Francis' ministers changed their minds, or else he himself fell ill on the road; in short, he never came a second time. Nor can Chapuys' remarks about him be adduced as a proof of his actually having come to this country, but only as a sort of presentiment or warning of what king Henry might have to suffer if Morvilliers came to England again, charged with the affairs of France. True it is that at p. 409, in one of the paragraphs of the declaration of war read by the duke of Norfolk to D'Orthez in the Council rooms, allusion is made to him as having openly invited James of Scotland to break the peace and invade England; but again, that is only an occasional reference to Morvilliers' former doings in 1541, when he went to Scotland after staying only a few days in London in concealment, and hardly daring to show his face outside the French embassy. (fn. n71)
In January 1543 Morvilliers could not have replaced Marillac in the French embassy, for in that month the latter was still in England (he only left on the 1st of April), and he had besides a colleague (D'Orthez), who resided as French ambassador till July. (fn. n72) Just about that time French intrigues were warmer than ever in Scotland. King Henry was not likely to tolerate the arrival at his Court of the very man who scarcely two years before had tried to defeat his plans in that country. In my opinion there is no evidence at all of Jean de Morvilliers having come to England a second time, much less as ambassador of France. If appointed, he fell ill on the road, as Chapuys says in one of his despatches, or else Francis' ministers had a hint that his arrival in England, under the circumstances, would be anything but acceptable and pleasing. (fn. n73) However this may be, there can be no doubt that Marillac's successor could not be Morvilliers, but Prothonotary D'Orthez, as already stated.
This first difficulty once got over, let us pass on to another, and try to solve a problem no less important respecting Francis' representatives in England during the period immediately preceding the declaration of war. If implicit faith is to be placed in Chapuys' despatches, it is a settled fact that Prothonotary D'Orthez, the nephew, as he is called, of the archbishop of Bordeaux (Gabriel de Grammont), (fn. n74) came to England as French ambassador about the 2nd of March, and remained in London till the 18th of July. And yet the readers of this Calendar will be much puzzled to find (p. 367) the copy of a letter from one Mons. D'Aspremont to king Francis, complaining that his couriers are detained at Dover, and that he himself is obliged, if he is to report on English news, to employ in the transmission of his despatches "those very people who bear the name of enemies of France." (fn. n75) The letter is dated London, 7th June 1543, at which time the declaration of war had not yet been made, and Prothonotary D'Orthez was still in London. On the 11th, Chapuys wrote to the queen of Hungary that a ciphered letter of the French ambassador had been intercepted and sent to him by Henry's privy councillors to decipher, which he had done, forwarding the deciphering to queen Mary. As this letter has not been found in the Vienna Archives, and if there, is most likely mixed up with papers of a later date—a thing unfortunately too common—it is impossible to guess what its contents may have been, unless the intercepted letter was the same to which Chapuys alludes in his despatch of the 12th July. (fn. n76) At any rate, here we have two French ambassadors, one called Prothonotary D'Orthez, with whom we are already acquainted, and another, who signs "D'Aspremont," and must necessarily have also been an agent of king Francis, since he complains of his couriers being detained at Dover, (fn. n77) and of his letters being intercepted, which letters, as above stated, were sent to Chapuys to decipher. Were those two ambassadors, though differently designated, one and the same person?
I confess that, all matters considered, I am strongly in favour of this newly started conjecture, and that for lack of proofs to the contrary I am ready to admit that D'Orthez and D'Aspremont were really one and the same person, and that D'Aspremont was the real name, and Prothonotary d'Orthez the French ambassador's title. Indeed, if we are to believe the editor of the Nouvelle Biographie Générale, D'Aspremont was the name of viscount D'Orthez, which fact, if accepted, leaves no doubt as to the personal identity of only one French ambassador mentioned under two different names; though, on the other hand, it is no easy matter to explain how the chief registrar of Orthez, a town of Gascony, and the nephew of the archbishop of Bordeaux, a Grammont, "a man of the long robe," as ambassador Paget calls him, could be the brother of viscount Dorthe, or Dorthez. (fn. n78)
However this may be, let it be settled—unless further evidence of a contradictory kind be hereafter produced—that Prothonotary D'Orthez, Monsr. D'Aspremont by name, was Marillac's real successor in the French embassy. To him was the declaration of war addressed on the 22nd of June; he again was the French ambassador who, about a month after, unable to obtain for the Most Christian king, his master, the prorogation of the term of 20 days during which he was to answer the challenge of the allies, quitted London with a present from Henry, and last, not least, got accidentally, as he himself says, possession of Lartigue's treacherous reports on the weak points of the coast of Bretagne. (fn. n79)
And, now, who was Lartigue or L'Artigue, and what were his real name, nationality, and profession? I should have limited my remarks to the few conjectures brought forward among the "Additional Notes and Corrections" at the end of this volume, (fn. n80) had I not found several months after, and when this volume was in print, (fn. n81) and the present Introduction about to be finished, a short letter of Eustace Chapuys to the queen dowager of Hungary (Mary), where a captain L'Artigue is mentioned, as having once had the command of a French war vessel, and been taken prisoner by the English. This naturally led to further researches, and by applying to the State Papers, I found a letter of Sir William Paget to king Henry, dated June 10, in which mention is made of a naval captain named Artigo, an "errant thef," who in company with another of the name of La Ferronière (fn. n82) was taken prisoner by the English at sea.
In confirmation of the above I will abstract a passage of one of Chapuys' letters to the Emperor. In August 1543 that ambassador wrote that king Henry wished that the naval contingent to be furnished by Flanders and the Low Countries according to treaty should join his Royal fleet in some English port, and that both together should make an undertaking against the coast of France. "No hint, however," writes Chapuys, "has as yet been thrown out to me of what kind the enterprise is to be; but, if I am to judge from the preparations this King has ordered to be made here [in London], I should say that the whole must be 'chose du moment'; for two war-ships are now being fitted out, a considerable number of cast-iron guns is to be mounted in them, besides eighteen other guns, whilst the crews of the two ships are to consist of 1,200 men for the express purpose of landing. All this makes me suspect that some expedition or other to the coast of France is intended, the more so that captain Lartigue has lately been suggesting, as he did some time ago, that the said force should be directed against La Rochelle. I hear, however, that the attack, of whatever sort, or wherever it may be, is not to be made until next year" (p. 459).
There can be no doubt that this captain L'Artigue is the same "ce miserable de Lartigue" denounced by Mr. D'Aspremont in his despatch of the 7th of June 1543. If so, the French captain's real name must have been L'Artigue, and be the same as the "Artigo" in Paget's letter to Henry. (fn. n83) This at once clears up the mysterious nature of the report and the appellation given to him by D'Aspremont. Artigo, or L'Artigue, was no doubt in command of one of the vessels that in May 1543 were prepared by Francis for a settlement in Canada under La Valle, the crews of which in their voyage to Newfoundland had amused themselves with pirating on the western coast of England. Some warships from Portsmouth being sent in pursuit of the marauders, L'Artigue's ship was taken and burnt by the fishermen of Lundy Island, and her commander taken prisoner. It is natural to suppose that in order to obtain his liberty, and he himself being perhaps a native of La Rochelle, then in open rebellion against Francis, L'Artigue made the reports at pp. 368 and 371–4.
As to the reports themselves, the least that can be said of them is that, being copies of the originals, they swarm with orthographical errors of the worst kind; the names of towns and individuals mentioned in them being so spelt and written that it is almost impossible to recognize some of them. (fn. n84) Indeed, supposing Lartigue's reports to have been the very originals that fell accidentally, as he says, into Mr. D'Aspremont's hands—which is not at all certain—they contain errors which can hardly be ascribed to him, if he knew at all what he was about. His paper about the weak points on the coast of Brittanny (p. 368) does not prove that he himself had much knowledge of the subject; and as to the names of governors of fortified towns on the frontiers of France, or commanders of men-at-arms (gendarmes) throughout that kingdom, some, if not all, are awfully corrupted.
In France, during the above-mentioned period, a certain sieur de Marvol (Philippe), of whom little or nothing is known, was for a short time the Emperor's representative. (fn. n85) He had formerly resided at the French Court from September to November 1541, as Charles' ambassador, and been temporarily replaced by Don Francisco Manrique, a kinsman of Don Juan, marquis de Aguilar. Marvol was still residing at the Court of Francis at the time that the latter declared war against the Emperor, and published his celebrated manifesto, (fn. n86) which circumstance, coupled with the current report that pope Paul was making the greatest efforts to bring about a peace between the Emperor and Francis, so aroused king Henry's suspicions, that one day, whilst debating with Chapuys the article of the "Defence" against all common enemies, and giving his own reasons for not declaring war immediately until the Emperor's definitive answer had come from Spain, he suddenly turned round to Chapuys and asked him point blank: "I hear that Mr. de Marvol is still in France. (fn. n87) What is he doing there? I am told that he has lately made certain overtures and even offers of peace." At what time Marvol left France is not stated. In February 1542 queen Mary alludes to him as being in correspondence with Granvelle, (fn. n88) then at Genoa. He was still in France in May 1543, for on the 19th of June the Emperor wrote to Chapuys that his ambassador (Marvol) had written that the Admiral of France, Philippe de Brion-Chabot, had lately proposed certain terms of peace in the name of king Francis. The Emperor's answer had been: "Should the Admiral himself declare beforehand what his proposals are, and should those proposals be acceptable, We will at once send Our powers to Mr. Marvol. We have considered it needful to enter into these particulars in order that should the French hereafter try to make use in that Court of England of the overtures which they themselves have been the first to make, and represent Us as the originators of the whole thing, as they are in the habit of doing, you may be prepared to answer in accordance with the truth" (p. 17). The Emperor ends by informing Chapuys that he really believes, nay, is certain, that pope Paul is at the bottom of all this affair, and that it is at his instigation and through his intervention that the overtures for peace are being made, though the French themselves pretend, as the rumour is, that it is at his (the Emperor's) own request and persuasion that His Holiness has taken up cards in this game. (fn. n89)
Marvol must have left the Court of France some days after the date of the above letter, for on the 20th of June, without any previous declaration of war, as customary in such cases, a French army, under the duke of Vendôme, invaded the Artois. (fn. n90)
At Rome, where the Emperor's alliance with England had seriously preoccupied Paul's mind, and made him display all his energy to dissolve, if possible, that alliance, and at the same time bring on a reconciliation between the Emperor and Francis, so that both princes might afterwards assist and help him in his favourite plans and Henry's excommunication. Don Juan Manrique, (fn. n91) marquis de Aguilar, was still, in May 1542, Imperial ambassador. On his return from Sienna, whither he had gone, by the Emperor's commands, for the express purpose of quelling the dissensions that had sprung up among the citizens of that Republic, he held several conferences with Paul, and did his best to re-establish on a firm footing the relations of the Empire with the Roman Court. Two of his despatches—dated respectively 14 December 1542, and referring to the various conferences held with pope Paul on the convocation and meeting of the General Council, the creation of cardinals, and last, not least, the peace with France, at that time Paul's favourite scheme, that he might after that turn his ecclesiastical arms against Henry – are well worth the reader's attention, as well as the Emperor's respectful though sharp letter to His Holiness, refusing to make peace with Francis and forsake altogether the English alliance, which letter, or at least a copy of it, was sent over to Chapuys that he might show it to king Henry. The bishop of Aquila, (fn. n92) who had lately attended the Nürnberg diet with Granvelle, was present at the Marquis's conferences. What that prelate's mission may have been, we are not told; but it may be inferred both from the Marquis's letters and from the Bishop's reports that his instructions were to assist and help the Imperial ambassador in his difficult negotiations at the Roman Court at a time when pope Paul must have been rather discontented with the Emperor. Shortly after the Marquis left for Genoa, there to embark for Spain in one of Doria's galleys. (fn. n93) He landed at Barcelona a few days after the Emperor had sailed for Italy, and, as a reward for his services during the Roman embassy, was appointed Lord High Steward to the Royal household in Spain, and Captain-General of Catalonia and Spanish Rousillon. This last appointment, however, or at least the words in which it was couched, seems to have given offence to the young duke of Alba (Don Fernando Alvarez de Toledo), better known in history as "the Grand Duke of the Low Countries," who, after his glorious defence of Perpignan against the French in Aug.–Sept. 1542, had obtained a similar nomination. The Duke's proud, though respectful, letter to the Emperor, stating his case, resigning all his offices and honours, and asking to be enlisted as a private soldier for the Emperor's future wars, will be read with pleasure by his admirers. (fn. n94)
After Aguilar's retirement from the Roman embassy Juan de Vega was appointed. His general instructions, bearing the date of 4th July 1543, from Trent, came to hand too late to be calendared in their proper place, but will be found in the Appendix or Supplement at the end of the present volume. As no despatch from him has yet turned up (the very first that I find at Simancas being dated Rome, January 1544), (fn. n95) I would willingly have omitted any notice of Vega and his antecedents, had I not considered it necessary to allude to him and to his instructions, to which I shall have to refer more than once in the next volume of this Calendar. For the present I will only say that he was sixth lord of Graxal, commander of Ornachos, and XIII. of the Order of Santiago, viceroy of Sicily from November 1547 to September 1554, and president of the Council of Castille till the 19th of December 1558, when he died. (fn. n96)
Of other minor agents in Italy, accredited to Venice, Florence, Siena, or Genoa, no letters occur within the year 1543 in connexion with English affairs of State. To the Signory or Republic of Venice the much celebrated Don Diego [Hurtado] de Mendoza had been accredited ever since his return from England in April 1539. His Venetian mission this time seems to have been for the express purpose of watching the political relations of the Signory with the Turk, and, above all, preventing their joining the Pope in his attempt to uphold Francis' ambitious plans concerning Milan and the rest of Italy. At one time Mendoza appears to have been at the head of a sort of plot or conspiracy, the object or purpose of which is not sufficiently explained: most probably a truce with Solyman was intended, for which it was necessary to bribe with money some of his favourites, and especially Janu Bey. "As soon as we reach Trent," wrote Mendoza to the Emperor, on the 3rd of January, "I am thinking of personally taking the negotiation in hand by means of a friar, brother of Solyman Bashaw, the man now most in favour with the Grand Turk, and who has, as it were, the government of the country in his hands. The friar has promised to go to Constantinople, and there serve your Imperial Majesty, and I have engaged that should he do service he will be made a bishop. I consider him a worthy man, but rather vain, and, therefore, will take my precautions when I open my plans to him. I some time ago wrote to Your Majesty that the government of Turkey is almost entirely in the hands of slaves, that being the cause of all being venal and easily corrupted. It would, therefore, be expedient that whoever at Constantinople, or elsewhere in Turkey, should stir in our favour, and bring this affair of ours to a conclusion, should have a large sum of money promised to him, as much as 40,000 or 50,000 ducats; but we must before all things prevent the French, the Venetians, and even the Pope himself, from becoming aware of this plan, for fear each of these powers individually, or joined together, should do their utmost to defeat our plans."
Mendoza's letters, as may be judged by the above abstracts, are full of information respecting Turkey and the Levant, and bear the vigorous stamp of the author of "El Lazarillo de Tormes." (fn. n97)
In Genoa, Gomez Suarez de Figueroa continued to reside as Imperial agent; whilst in Florence, where Cosmo de' Medici ruled since 1537, capt. Don Alvaro III. de Luna represented the Emperor as a sort of accredited agent, and at the same time as governor of the citadel and the castles of Leghorn and Pisa, which the latter retained as pledge and security for the investiture. When, in June 1543, the sum of 150,000 crowns was paid down, the citadel and the rest of the castles in Tuscany were surrended to Cosmo, and D. Alvaro went to Siena to represent the Emperor there. As to the marquis del Gasto, and Pescara (D. Alonso), governor of Milan, and he of Villafranca del Bierzo (D. Pedro de Toledo), viceroy of Naples, there is no need to mention them here. The duke of Alburquerque, or Albuquerque (D. Beltram de la Cueva), is also alluded to in a despatch (p. 213) of the marquis de Aguilar, the Imperial ambassador at Rome, as having by his sudden and unexpected appearance in that city in January 1543 excited the curiosity of Italian politicians, and aroused Paul's suspicions (p. 201); but, as in 1544 he came to England with the duke of Nájera (D. Juan Manrique de Lara), accompanied Henry in his expedition to France and siege of Boulogne, I will postpone until then all notice of their persons and doings.
The Emperor's relations with Portugal, though not so intimate as at the time that a marriage between the Infante Dom Luiz and the Princess of England was in contemplation, yet continued to be close and amicable. The only instance, however, in which the former country had indirectly to apply to Henry's Privy Council was in March 1543, when at the Emperor's intercession certain Portuguese, accused and convicted of Judaism, were released from prison, and their confiscated property restored to them (p. 270). In July 1543 the Imperial ambassador at Lisbon (Sarmiento de Mendoza) prepared the way for the marriage of the Infanta of Portugal, Doña Maria, daughter of Joaõ III. and Catharina, the Emperor's sister, with the Royal Prince Philip, which took place at Salamanca on the 12th of November of the same year; but on the 12th of July 1545, the Princess died in her confinement, leaving one son, the Infante Don Carlos, whose untimely and mysterious death in a dungeon has since given rise to many romantic stories. (fn. n98)
Besides the letters and despatches above abstracted or alluded to, the present volume contains a few from Cardinal Loaysa, from Francisco de Los Cobos, and Alonso Idiaquez, as well as from one or two more noblemen or officials of the Imperial Court; but as, generally speaking, little reference, if any, is made therein to English politics or French affairs, there is no necessity for making mention of the writers. Those, however, of prince Philip, the Emperor's only son, deserve particular attention, as emanating from a sort of Council of regency to which the latter at his departure from Barcelona in May 1543 entrusted, during his absence, the government and administration of his various Spanish kingdoms. (fn. n99) The young Prince, not yet seventeen years of age, transmitted regularly to his father the reports of the Spanish Council of State on such important questions as the investiture of the duchy of Milan and the relations with Rome, all the time keeping up a correspondence with Chapuys, Perrenot (Thomas), and Montmorency, thus becoming an early adept in the science of government, and acquiring that wonderful assiduity for State business which made him so distinguished during his reign.
Having so far given, as usual, a concise account of the writers, a few cursory remarks about the letters and papers contained in this volume will perhaps not be amiss. With the exception of a few still preserved at Simancas notwithstanding the wilful spoliation so frequently alluded to in preceding Introductions to the volumes of the present Calendar, (fn. n100) the rest proceed almost exclusively from Vienna or from Paris, where all those having reference to the reign of Francis I. were removed during the Peninsular War, and where they still remain. Of most of these latter, we have transcripts (not always correct) in Bergenroth's Collection (British Museum, Nos. 28,572–97); but the Vienna papers may rightly be considered as the most important, since they constitute, by themselves, an almost complete collection of the original despatches of Don Iñigo de Mendoza, Eustace Chapuys and other Imperial ambassadors at the Court of Henry VIII. Without them, I do not hesitate to say, the history of Henry's reign with regard to England's political relations with France and the Empire would have been rather incomplete. Unluckily, as has been remarked elsewhere, (fn. n101) the papers are not always arranged in such chronological order as to enable the historical scholar to grasp at once the subjects treated of, and keep in mind the events or opinions recorded; besides which, as the rough drafts or minutes are frequently undated, (fn. n102) it becomes at times exceedingly difficult to assign them a proper place. If to this be added that a new system of classification is now being adopted in the Vienna Archives, which, instead of helping to clear up the already existing confusion, renders it still more intricate and perplexing, (fn. n103) and that letters, despatches, and State Papers in general, bearing no date at all, or being wrongly endorsed by some clerk in the Imperial Archives, often make their appearance three or four years after, the readers of this Calendar will be able to appreciate the many difficulties encountered in its compilation. The whole volume was already in print, and this Introduction almost finished, when a set of original letters were found, of no great importance, as I presume, being chiefly from king Henry to the Emperor, or from the privy councillors to Chapuys, for the abstract and insertion of which there was no time, though a list of them has been published among the "Additional Notes and Corrections" at the end of this volume. Let this be an explanation, and at the same time an excuse, for the long Supplement at the end (pp. 547–75), which promises to be still longer in the following volume, unless the re-arrangement of the State Papers for the reign of Henry VIII. in the Imperial Archives of Vienna, which has already begun, is steadily carried on and completed in strict chronological order, so that editors in future may at once judge which paper is to be abstracted and which is to be left aside as useless. Owing to the above causes and to the necessity of intercalating letters which seemed important, occasional errors have been committed in the numbers of order in which the letters or papers abstracted are placed in the text, though this imperfection may be obviated by respective notes in the Table (pp. 598–601) or by corrections among the "Errata."