Spain: September 1542

Pages 123-142

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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September 1542, 1-30

2 Sept. 57. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233.
ff. 83–5.
"Madame,"—Intending to write in two or three days hence by the courier Your Majesty sent lately, and fully advise the news of this place, as well as the issue of the affair for which Mr. de Fallaix came, I shall be brief now. Nor could it be otherwise, for the courier who is to be the bearer of this despatch is already in the saddle.
Fallaix and I went twice to Court. The first time we did not see the King, who sent us his excuses, saying that he was very much engaged on matters connected with the Scottish war, and could not possibly receive us then, but that as soon as an answer came from Spain, he was determined to send another army for the defence of the Low Countries. If so (the message was) the King would have to employ all his men, as well as spend a considerable amount of money; alleging besides that if the intelligence he had lately received was true, and both the duke of Orleans and Mr. de Vendôme had retreated, there was no longer need of his helping and assisting in that quarter.
Nor did we see him the second time that Fallaix and I called at Court, though we had a long talk with his privy councillors, who, after repeating in their master's name the very same excuses, asked us point-blank, in case of the king's consenting to help us with men or money, or with both, what amount of money we wanted, what number of men, and at what time, and, in short, whether we had, or had not, powers from Your Majesty to treat of reciprocity. Our answer was that we had no express powers for that, but that on all other points we were ready to subscribe to any terms and conditions the King might dictate. The councillors replied that they would consult the King thereupon, and let us know his intention and will on the whole, which, unless some unforeseen event happens, is, as I presume, to give us some money and allow besides some gentlemen of his court—those, of course, whom he knows to be attached to the Emperor—to choose the side under which they will serve. In this manner the King will affect a certain neutrality, and not break altogether with the French. I am the more persuaded that such are this king's plans for the present, that he has decided to send his Lord Privy Seal (Fitz William) to the Scotch borders, together with the duke of Norfolk and other lords, and intends making there the greatest effort he has ever made, not sparing either money or men. Indeed, I hear that his intention is not only to attack the Scotch, but to pursue them within their own territory, and make them feel all the horrors of war. Should he be unable this year (as the season is far advanced) to accomplish his aim, the King may perhaps feel inclined to send part of his army across the Channel to help against the French; but, as I said before, at present, and whilst engaged in the Scottish war, there is very little chance of his helping as efficiently as Your Majesty wishes. However that may be, and whatever his determination, I shall not fail to apprize Your Majesty thereof. (fn. n1) —London, 2 September 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph, mostly ciphered. pp. 2.
5 Sept. 58. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 86–91.
"Madame,"—The courier, bearer of this despatch, has remained so long in this country in the hope of letters coming from Spain, or else of this king giving a categorical answer to Fallaix' demand of help and assistance in Your Majesty's name—which answer, as I am told, and as I wrote to Your Majesty on the 2nd inst., was to arrive in town in the course of this day—that I have naturally been prevented from writing to Your Majesty. Perceiving, however, that there was no certainty of the one or the other (no letters from Spain having been received, and the King not having answered our application), the said Fallaix and myself have deemed it more expedient to send back this courier, since Your Majesty might perhaps wait until his return, and give him the despatches and letters which Fallaix is to take to Spain, and also allow him time to send me the last news from that country. That would have suited admirably Fallaix' purpose and my own, for it would have given us both fresh occasion and opportunity for again urging the King on this particular matter, or, at least, afforded us the means of ascertaining with dexterity what this king's inclination and final resolution can be, which I fancy he is purposely delaying until he receives news from Spain. Indeed, I must say that he is exceedingly displeased and annoyed at the answer from Spain not coming, as may be gathered from certain expressions he made use of to Fallaix and to me, when the other day we again pressed him to help and assist you, saying, "It would be a great folly on my part to send away my money, and make enemies of my friends, without knowing first on what terms I stand with the Emperor." Yet after several representations of Fallaix' and mine, and on our assuring, nay, testifying, to the good reciprocity and correspondence on the Emperor's part, this king did not insist so much on the said excuse as he had done on the other two mentioned in my letter, especially on the retreat of the French armies, which argument he might have further developed had we received in time Your Majesty's letters. It seemed to me, when I last wrote, that there was some appearance of this king helping, owing to various considerations which I then explained, and others which I omitted; but since things have turned out differently, owing to the mutability and inconstancy of human affairs, I really do not know what to say about it. Supposing, however, that Fallaix, in pursuance of Your Majesty's commands, will, according to our agreement, describe verbally what passed at our conferences with this king, I will write no more on the subject, but will fill the rest of this despatch with my answer to Your Majesty's letter of the 17th ult.
And, first of all, as to treating with these people in conformity with His Imperial Majesty's answer, as contained in the abstract which you were pleased to send me, I must say that there is no means of doing so, as I have had the honor of informing Your Majesty; this king's ministers take quite a different view of the affair.
With regard to the surrender of Tournehem, La Montoire, and Yvoix, thank God that has had no influence on these people, as I at first feared it would; as far as I can see, their goodwill towards Your Majesty has not abated in the least; on the contrary, it seems to have further incensed them against the French.
As to sending powers to the governor of Guisnes for him to treat with Mr. du Rœulx, that has already been done, as I informed Your Majesty by my last despatch but one, though to no purpose whatever, for Mr. Vendôme has retreated, as the King told us (Fallaix and me) the last time that we went to Court, adding that he was thinking of writing a letter to the Duke, in case of his not having yet evacuated the Arthois, that he (the King) might more honorably carry out his plans, and execute that which might have been concerted between Mr. du Rœulx and his governor of Guisnes. (fn. n2)
Respecting the rumours afloat of certain French ships, as well as of the Easterlings—to which Your Majesty's letters refer—having sailed off with hostile intentions, this king says and affirms that there are none in those seas; nor is there for the present any appearance of their coming down from Denmark, where the duke of Holstein has only seven wretched ships of his own for the defence of that island. Neither have the French any wish of sailing to the coasts of Zeeland and Holland, for they know the powerful fleet he (the King) has, and that whenever any of his ships meet with a French vessel in the Channel, the latter is captured and her crew taken prisoners, whilst his own favor and help as much as they can those of Your Majesty. "Not later than last month (said the King) my ships have chased and captured several of the French, and will do the same in future whenever they meet one of them on the coast of the Low Countries."
The truth is that, according to my information, this King's Navy is doing wonders in that way, dealing harshly with the French and making prizes every day, thus creating great alarm along the French coast. I should say that these latter, in order to escape such dangers, and repair the losses they are daily sustaining, will in the end give back, as they have already begun to do, considerable property and goods taken from English merchant ships, and will offer to surrender all they have taken or to indemnify the owners, for the King has already ordered that some of their captured vessels should be restored to them.
I hear that four or five days ago this king dismissed rudely enough the Scotch ambassador, but the latter having met on the road a herald of the king, his master, has since returned to Court in order to ask, and if possible obtain, as he says, a safe-conduct for a great embassy, which king James proposes sending to York to confer and treat with the duke of Norfolk, and other great personages of this Court, on the conditions of a peace with England, of which peace there is nowadays a very small chance, considering the great military preparations this king has made, and is making, as well by land as by sea. Whatever may come out of this war between England and Scotland, certain it is that Lord Vuillen will lose nothing by it, for he has been released from his prison at the Tower, that he may go and join at York his brother, the Duke, who has also with him the earl of Surrey, his son.
Had I not been able to mitigate and excuse that odious title of bel oncle, which appears in the superscription of Your Majesty's letter to this king, I am sure that we should have had a very curt and unsatisfactory answer. Let Your Majesty give orders to her secretaries not to use that title any longer, in pursuance of the resolution taken when I was last at Mons.—London, 5 September 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 5.
9 Sept. 59. The Same to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 156–63.
"Sire,"—Since my last I have received from the Queen Regent in Flanders the abstract of certain letters of Your Imperial Majesty to her, of the 15th of July last, containing the answer and intention respecting two points of the treaty of closer friendship between Your Imperial Majesty and this king. The Queen Regent thought that after Your Imperial Majesty's final resolution on those two points, I could easily go an negociating the treaty of alliance with these people, or, at least, persuade this king of your good will and inclination towards him, and make him hope that his ambassadors near Your Imperial Majesty would in time receive such an answer as would induce him to give help and assistance to the Low Countries. To that end did the Queen Regent write to this king letters in my credence, which Toison d'Or, the herald, brought to this country, that he and I together should call on the King and solicit the said help. So we did, and yet, notwithstanding our most urgent persuasions and requests on the two or three occasions that we both were before him and his Privy Council, we could never obtain a satisfactory answer to our petition, the King excusing himself in the first instance on account of the war with the Scotch, who had lately made several raids, slaying many of his people, sacking, burning, and laying the country waste, and, more recently still, making two of his principal captains prisoners, and killing a good number of well-to-do gentlemen and others. That if a favorable answer came from Your Imperial Majesty concerning the proposal once made to me by Mr. du Rœulx, (fn. n3) he would naturally have need of all his men, as well as of a wonderfully large sum of money, which he would have to draw entirely out of his own treasury, for hitherto there had been no question of his own subjects contributing towards the expenses of the war, whereas the people of the Low Countries had paid, and were paying, everything out of their own pockets, without any charge on Your Imperial Majesty's treasury.
On the second occasion the King gave as an excuse that he had heard that the duke of Vendôme had retreated and disbanded his men, and that he had news from a reliable quarter to the effect that he of Orleans (the duke Charles) intended doing the same. If so (said the King), there was no need at all of his help and assistance.
On the last occasion the King alleged that he did not know on what terms he was with Your Imperial Majesty, and therefore that he could not help suspecting that you, had no great desire to respond to his own perfect friendship and sincere intentions, inasmuch as he had no news from Your Imperial Majesty, or from his ambassadors residing at your Court, and that it would be an act of folly on his part to send away his money, and perhaps make enemies of his friends, without knowing why; and yet, notwithstanding all that, he had submitted to the deliberation of his Council, whether it would not be possible, whilst Mr. du Rœulx was still in the Arthois, to risk some hazardous declaration and enterprize against the French He had on that account made me write to the Queen Regent to send her powers to the said Mr, du Rœulx for him to treat with the governor of Guisnes on matters of great importance for the people of the Low Countries, your subjects and his own. Those powers had either never been received or had come too late.
After replying to the King's arguments and excuses as well as I could, the King said that he would communicate with his privy councillors, and let me knew the result of their deliberations. Two days after Toison d'Or and I were asked what amount of money or what number of men we asked for, and whether we had, or had not, sufficient powers to treat of the reward (recompense). Upon Toison d'Or answering that we had no such powers, and that the whole of the affair rested in the King's hands, as we both were ready to submit to his conditions, the privy councillors said that they would report to the King, and let us know his resolution. And yet up to this moment no message has come from them, only that, upon Toison d'Or going (the other day) to take leave of the King to embark for Spain, in obedience to the Queen's commands, he (the King) repeated to him and to me the very same excuses he had made on the first occasion, adding that one of two things must be the case, either we had powers to treat of the reward (recompense), or else the help and assistance demanded of him must be in the form specified by the treaty of Cambray, and in no other. In either case he would see what answer it was fit and convenient for him to make, and in what way he was to assist, and help. He then began to charge Your Imperial Majesty with having neglected the defence of the Low Countries, saying that had you listened to the advice and counsel of the bishop of Winchester, when he was residing at your court, all inconveniences and dangers might have been overcome; but that Your Imperial Majesty would scarcely hear his ambassador; ten months had passed without your giving any sign of being ready to become his friend and ally, whereas he himself had done, on his side, the utmost he could to court your friendship. On this last point the King insisted so much that I was obliged to remonstrate, telling him that his accusation was not well grounded; he knew very well that when the bishop of Winchester went to Your Imperial Majesty he carried no powers to treat, and that it was the bishop himself who had proposed the ten months' term, whereas Your Imperial Majesty, within the time then fixed, had sent full powers to me. That had he chosen to keep an honest and friendly reciprocity in the negociation, the whole business would have been settled without my having to cross the Channel and go to Flanders, from whence, on my return, I brought him a full answer to all his questions and a final resolution as far as Your Imperial Majesty and the queen of Hungary were concerned. His deputies, after that, had made such pre-posterous and exorbitant demands that, had they really wished for an alliance and confederation between Your Imperial Majesty and their master, they would have been omitted and set aside as an obstacle to the negociations. As to the imputation that Your Imperial Majesty had insufficiently provided for the defence of the Low Countries, the fault, I said, if any, was not Your Majesty's, who, measuring the King's faith by your own, could not possibly believe, as they said, that a king of France could at that moment, and when another Christian prince was meditating an enterprize against the Turk, so forget the claims of honor and conscience as to make war on a Christian emperor, and break his oath of keeping the truce, especially as he had been saying, nay, asserting, until two days before his declaration of war, that he wished to observe that truce, and not molest Your Majesty in any way. That you had been lulled asleep, as the King said, by your excessive confidence and the hope of ultimately coming to terms with France was an accusation which I could not admit; you had, on the contrary, to my certain knowledge, been over-watchful and vigilant. Whatever steps His Holiness may have taken, as asserted, in settling Your quarrels and making You and king Francis friends, they were not taken at your instigation, nor had Mr. Marvol's sudden return to France, of which the French ambassador had kindly informed him, anything to do with it There was, besides, no cause to complain of that, for Your Imperial Majesty had always preferred, and will in future prefer, his friendship and alliance to that of any living Christian sovereign, provided You were met with honorable conditions (fn. n4) for both the contracting parties; for, after all, it could not be expected that Your Imperial Majesty should entirely shut your ears to French overtures, when he himself had been all the time listening to their proposals of a marriage between the Princess [Mary] and the duke of Orleans. In addition to that I said, that since the term of ten months during which both parties (Your Majesty and the King) had agreed not to treat with the French has already expired, I had no objection whatever to write home again and ask for the prorogation of that term, and that if he (the King) would only write to his ambassadors to the same purpose, all matters might be soon satisfactorily settled.
On the King leaving the Council-room some of the privy councillors came up to Fallaix and me, and declared that although the King, their master, needed now all his disposable forces to repulse the present Scotch aggressions, and any other that might be made in future, yet he was a prince so careful of his own honor and reputation that he disliked above all things to incur the risk of being reproached hereafter for having failed in the observance of treaties, with whomsoever they might be; and, therefore, that he begged us to declare conjointly whether the help and assistance which we now claimed from him was to be in the form and on the conditions stipulated by the treaty of Cambray. And upon our answering, as before, in the negative, they replied that in order to remove all scruples in the matter, they wished us to draw out a declaration in writing, which we then and there declined to do on many considerations, again begging the councillors to induce the King to grant his help and assistance without further conditions.
This the privy councillors promised to do, adding that the day after, which was the 8th of this month, we should receive the King's answer on the whole. Up to this hour, however, none has come.
As Your Imperial Majesty will soon hear from the lips of Fallaix himself, who is to be the bearer of this despatch, the details of our conference with the privy councillors, I shall not trouble you further with it. He (Fallaix) will verbally inform Your Imperial Majesty of this king's military preparations for war with Scotland, and possibly, also, for the invasion of that country, though it might happen, after all, that the whole ended in smoke, because the Scotch ambassador, who was already on his way back to his master, has again returned [to Greenwich] to solicit, in the name of king James, a friendly interview in the city of York, which interview the duke of Norfolk and other noblemen and courtiers of this king should attend, whilst king James of Scotland would be represented by certain grand masters (grans maistres) of his own kingdom, the interview being fixed for the 15th inst.
Nothing that I have heard respecting this business can persuade me that this king can willingly enter into negociation with Scotland, though, on the other hand, knowing very well, as he does, that the present opportunity is perhaps the best and most favorable he can have for a treaty with that country, I dare say that he will not let it pass. Indeed, I presume that it is the Cardinal (David Betoun) and the ecclesiastical party who have prevailed upon king James to declare war against England, (fn. n5) fearing lest by the two kings becoming friends and allies, or the Scotch not being otherwise engaged, they (the ecclesiastics) would be treated there as they have been here. That is why this king imagines and hopes that by entering into negociations with king James, or his delegates, he will draw them to his side, or, at any rate, undermine the authority and influence of those who, like the Cardinal and the ecclesiastics of his party, are the cause of the present troubles, besides which he dislikes so much to spend his treasure in similar enterprises that, in my opinion, he will accept honorable conditions from Scotland.
I will not omit to say that in order to convince me that the King, their master, in anticipation of the conclusion of the treaty of alliance between Your Imperial Majesty and himself, had already begun to declare openly against the French, and favor Your Majesty's subjects, a friend came the other day to me and showed me a letter from the French ambassador, complaining that three or four merchant vessels of his nation had lately been captured in the Channel by English war ships having troops on board; and also that no French ship equipped for war was allowed to remain more than four and twenty hours in any port or harbour of this country, whilst Your Imperial Majesty's could stay there as long as they liked. Further, that Your Imperial Majesty's subjects were permitted to land, and go from house to house in Dover and La Rye (Rye), in order to observe and ascertain whether there were Frenchmen ready to cross the Channel, and, if so, attack them in their own lodgings, as had lately been done at Dover—a very improper act, and one contrary to the neutrality professed by this king, as the French ambassador maintained. However this may be, I have no doubt that the English will behave in future with more moderation (plus modestement?) than hitherto, for I hear that the French have already offered to make some reparation for the damage done by them to English navigators, and promised to continue to do so in future.—London, 9 Sept. 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England, on the 9th Sept. Received at Barcelona the first day of November."
French. Holograph. pp. 7.
13 Sept. 60. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 100.
"Madame,"—I have been very earnestly requested on the part of this king, as well as of several lords having the command of large bodies of troops for the next campaign against the Scotch, to intercede with Your Majesty that a permission be granted to Godfrey van Halisson to purchase in, and export from, the Low Countries 3,000 shafts for spears, such as are used in Scotland, also three or four hundred complete steel harnesses for foot soldiers. (fn. n6) I humbly beg Your Majesty to attend to this request of the King and of his lords.— London, 13 September 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
14 Sept. 61. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 92–9.
"Madame,"—Fallaix, the Esquire, received on the 5th inst. Your Majesty's letter, together with the despatch for the Emperor in Spain. On the ensuing day he and I went to Court, not only to take leave of this king, but also to hear from him whether he had or had not taken any resolution on, or had anything to answer to Fallaix' charge; which answer (I must add) neither the Esquire nor I had solicited sooner, owing to the considerations contained in my last letter to Your Majesty, and also because we both were expecting from day to day that this king's privy councillors would send us some sort of message or communication about it, as they had promised. This promise was probably made, as I imagine, for the express purpose of preventing further solicitations on our part, and for the purpose of gaining time whilst they waited for news from Spain.
The King's answer was that he had already declared to us his reasons and the cause of the delay, as well as the difficulties lying in the way of his granting help and assistance in the form and manner applied for. As he had notified to us through his Privy Council, had we been properly empowered to treat of the return or reward for his own services, or else had we requested his help in virtue of and under the form specified by the treaty of Cambray, it might have been quite a different thing. (fn. n7) He would then have seen what sort of reply he was to make to our demand, which would have been a suitable one. And upon our representing to him, among other things, that as only a few months ago he (the King) had excused himself from sending troops to Germany against the Turk, owing to the great distance, and especially because he himself thought of making war this very year upon other people as bad as Turks, and had since alleged as an excuse that the season was too far advanced for that, he might (we thought) very easily lend now the assistance required; in doing which, besides service rendered to God and the obligation under which he would place Your Majesty and the Emperor, he would get immense honor and reputation, as well as profit for his own subjects, who would this year suffer great damage from the stopping of the Antwerp trade during the war, so much so, that I (Chapuys) had heard several worthy citizens and merchants of this city say and affirm that the French war was as destructive to them as to the inhabitants of Flanders and the Low Countries.
I also maintained that should Your Majesty be helped with a respectable sum of money, you might easily gain over the landgraf of Hesse to the Emperor's party, which would be, after all, the greatest blow (coup de baston) king Francis could receive under the circumstances. "As a further proof of my assertion (said I to the King) one of the things that has most disheartened the English in general, and especially those who trade with Flanders and the Low Countries, is their belief that when I crossed the Channel it was for the purpose of concluding and consolidating the alliance and confederation between Your Majesty and him, and, therefore, should war break out, the Flemish would be powerfully helped and assisted by him and his army, whereas, now, being frustrated in their hopes, their fear had increased two-fold."
Hearing this, the King began to say that it would indeed be a very good piece of work to gain over the landgraf of Hesse, but as to his own subjects being deprived by war of the trade with Antwerp, that he did not admit, because if the merchants of England lost that mart, they would find elsewhere another for their goods. That respecting the first point touched upon by me, namely, the undertaking against France, and the second, or that of the defensive alliance, it was no fault of his if one or the other had not been carried out. Had His Imperial Majesty in Spain consented to listen to the bishop of Westminster, (fn. n8) his ambassador, or had Your Majesty accepted the very honorable and reasonable conditions, which I myself took when I went to Flanders, things would have turned out differently. The King went on so forcibly with his arguments, that I could not do less than justify Your Majesty's and the Emperor's conduct in the whole affair, by representing to him that Your Majesty had granted every one of his demands, though on conditions rather unequal, and that since then his commissioners had proposed others so exorbitant that Your Majesty could not possibly agree to them.
After some more talk on this and other minor subjects, the King charged Fallaix to be the bearer of his most affectionate commendations to the Emperor, and to say that he wondered much why he had no news or answer from Your Majesty; the nature of the times (he said) required more diligence and haste than that used in this instance, and that unless the Emperor sent me full powers to treat otherwise or provided efficiently for the affairs of Flanders, he himself would be obliged to go thither in person.
Soon after the King had left the room where we were, and had conversed for a while with secretary Vristle (Wriothesley), some of the privy councillors came up to us (Faillaix and me) and declared that although their master actually wanted at present all his forces, yet he looked so much to his honor and reputation that he would not willingly fail to observe treaties or conventions to which he himself had been a party, and that if we required his help in virtue and in the form specified by the treaty of Cambray, he was ready to furnish such help. And upon our answering that our request did not rest on that foundation, as they could have observed, they begged us to say so in writing, and under our signature, so as to remove all scruples on both sides. This, however, we declined to do, remarking that we did not consider it at all needful. After again begging them to reconsider the matter, and grant the help in the manner and form specified in Fallaix' instructions, we took leave of the privy councillors, who again promised faithfully to intercede with the King on the subject, and let us know his answer on the ensuing day. The King's answer, however, has not come in, and although I, myself, have sent various messages to the Privy Council, up to this hour none has been received.
Yesterday I met (ie sailli contre) the King as he was going to visit the prince, his son, but not a word was said about the matter, the conversation turning on the last news of Flanders and Germany. Indeed, I am sure that until these people receive news from the Emperor in Spain, they will keep silence on the whole. Besides, the King, as I imagine, doubts of the answer being favorable to his plans; he has some suspicion of His Holiness being able, sooner or later, to make the Empire and the king of France friends again; so much so that he is particularly annoyed and angry with himself for not having stipulated a longer term during which neither of the parties is to treat with the French to the prejudice of the other.
Fallaix left yesterday (the 13th), as he himself cannot have failed to inform Your Majesty. He is gone to Bristol to embark for Spain, under the protection of this king's fleet for greater security.
The day before yesterday a great Irish lord, named the Great Onel (O'Neil), who is here considered the most powerful lord of that island, arrived in this city. He has come with rather a small retinue of followers, to render, as it is said, homage to this king. This latter has lately dismissed from his service a gentleman of the Royal Chamber, owing only to his having, as the common report goes, visited the French ambassador with too great familiarity, and invited him to a park which he rents from the King. For the same reason of excessive familiarity with the French ambassador, joined to some light words uttered in public, a gentleman named Lord Granade was some time ago deprived of his estate (cassé de son etat), and dismissed from the Royal service, though since then the King, at the intercession of some courtiers, has given him another estate. (fn. n9)
The military preparations here being made against the Scotch, and the Dumber of soldiers continually marching towards the Borders, are really incredible. Notwithstanding that, I am told that the ambassador of Scotland has no doubt that there will be a treaty made at this next meeting in York, because, says he, the English wish for peace, and king James, his master, is also desirous of it. Of whatever may result from this, as well as of other events in this country, I shall not fail to advise Your Majesty from time to time.—London, 14 Sept. 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph, partly ciphered. pp. 7.
14 Sept. 62. The Emperor's Secretary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—As the enclosed letters will fully acquaint you with the news of this court I shall be brief. I will only tell you in two words that the bishop of London came here from Valbestre (fn. n10) last evening, for the express purpose of showing the Emperor the letters which the king of England's privy councillors had written to him and to his colleague, the bishop of Westminster, (fn. n11) wondering why they had no news from this country. Full satisfaction has been given on this point, telling him that the delay, of which the councillors complain, has been entirely caused by the bad weather and the difficulty of the sea voyage, and that besides the Emperor has nothing to add to the contents of the papers and letters which Mr. de Courrières is now taking [to England].
The summer exhibited by the English ambassador were of the 11th of August. After giving the last news of Flanders, the councillors expressed the displeasure and annoyance which the King, their master, had felt at hearing of the violent aggression made by the French in the Luxemburg, as well as in Flanders and Arthois. The Emperor thanked the Bishop in suitable terms (le merciment quil convenoit), without, however, laying great stress on the French invasion of those countries, only saying that he hoped the Germans would soon be on the spot, and had no doubt that the queen of Hungary has by this time provided for the defence of the country, since it is known for certain that before the 11th—the date of the councillor's letter—the Germans were already marching to Flanders.
True is it that we have not heard from the Queen since the 17th of August, and that neither official nor private letters have been received from Flanders since the 31st of July, which causes the Emperor and all of us some anxiety. This would be greatly increased had we not the certainty that with the arrival of the Germans in Flanders the French will be repulsed.
As to king Francis' armies on the side of Pamplona and Narbonne, I must say that the former is about to join the latter. There is good need of that, as you will see by the contents of the enclosed letter of Secretary [Idiaquez?], my colleague, to you. Indeed, there is full hope of the French not gaining any advantage at present, but, on the contrary, being repulsed with loss and shame to themselves, (fn. n12) for the military preparations at Perpignan and on the frontier of Roussillon have been very active of late.
The Bishop [of London] besides spoke disparagingly of His Holiness, telling the Emperor over and over again, and trying to persuade him, that the Pope is not doing his duty in these affairs, and that His Imperial Majesty ought to resent it. The Emperor avoided as much as possible all conversation on this subject, declaring to the Bishop that the respect and reverence which he (the Emperor) felt for the Holy Father was owing to his dignity and authority, and that he trusted in the end that he would act in the matter much better than people did imagine.
I myself have since spoken to the Bishop on this very subject, as well as on the events in Flanders, and the Emperor's persistence in his political ideas. It seems to me as if he (the Bishop) were perfectly contented and satisfied, for he has taken in my presence and that of other councillors innumerable oaths that he himself wishes for the Emperor's prosperity as much as for that of his own master, boasting and glorifying himself as being the enemy of the French. It will be for you (Chapuys) to ascertain and find out whether the Bishop's professed sentiments are true or not.—Mousson, (fn. n13) 14 Sept. 1542. (fn. n14)
French. Original draft, unsigned.
24 Sept. 63. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 102–3.
"Madame,"—These people (ceulx-ci) have not yet sent me, nor even made the slightest allusion to, the King's answer on the subject of the help and assistance [to the Low Countries], which they faithfully promised to forward; nor will they, as I imagine and have often suspected, unless they get a favorable answer from Spain, whence, I must say, nothing at all is forthcoming.
The only intelligence that has reached us from that country is that which a servant of the English ambassador at the court of France has brought lately, purporting that on the 29th of last month, as the French were laying siege to Perpignan, nine hundred Spaniards of the garrison of that place made a successful sortie against the besiegers, slew seven hundred Frenchmen in guard of the guns, and, had it not been for Montpezat, who arrived in time with a large body of infantry and cavalry, would have carried away the whole of the French artillery, of which, however, they succeeded in spiking six or seven of the best and largest guns. On the ensuing day 2,000 Spanish infantry entered the town in full day-light with the loss of only two men, besides twelve more killed in a skirmish on the preceding day. On neither of these occasions had the Swiss behaved well, refusing to march to the position which they were ordered to occupy, at which king Francis became so very indignant, as well as suspicious of some treason on their part, that being at the time sporting and hunting between Narbonne and Carcassonne, he considered it expedient to raise the siege of Perpignan altogether, and fix his residence at Narbonne. (fn. n15) The man who brought this news to London said, moreover, that the French before Perpignan complained of the want of provisions, and especially of fodder for their horses.
The above intelligence has been received with pleasure by these people (ceulx-ci), and, though Your Majesty may already have heard of it through confidential agents or spies (spiez) in France, yet, as in times like these news do not always reach their destination, I have thought it my duty to communicate the intelligence.
According to official reports and other documents here published, as well as to the rumours current at Court, this king's forces on the borders of Scotland or the immediate counties amount to upwards of one hundred thousand men, exclusive of 20,000 more that the duke of Suffolk is now recruiting for the purpose of strengthening (rafraichir), if need be, the Royal army. Notwithstanding that, the King is daily enlisting men, passing musters, and storing an incredible quantity of provisions as well as ammunition, a good portion of which has already been sent to the Northern counties. Nor have this king's fleet been inactive in the meantime, for already this coast has been cleared of French marauders and privateers. Indeed, I hear from authentic quarters that within the last two days the King's war ships have captured two vessels, one French, the other Scotch, laden with artillery, harness, armour of all kinds (harnois), and provisions of war. It is not likely that the commissioners on both sides, who are already at York since the 18th inst., will conclude a peace, for the King will not throw away unprofitably the money he has already spent in military preparations for the war with Scotland, and, besides that, he knows this to be the time for carrying out his undertaking, now that the French have their hands full elsewhere, and that their confederates, such as the king of Sweden, the duke of Prussia, and the king of Denmark, cannot help king James. Of what may happen Your Majesty will be advised by me in time.
The King has just been entertaining and feasting the Princess beyond measure, presenting her with certain rings and jewels, from which present, however, she has not received greater pleasure and contentment than she has felt on hearing from me of the provision made by Your Majesty for the defence of the Low Countries, and the good prospect there is of military affairs there going on more prosperously than hitherto.
There is no further news to report from this place, save that within the last few days intelligence has been received here that 13 Spanish ships armed for war met on the coast of Holland a French fleet returning from Newfoundland, consisting of eighty or one hundred small fishing craft, nearly all of which were captured.
Esquire Fallaix is still in Bristol waiting for a favorable wind to set sail.—London, 24 September 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 2.
27 Sept. 64. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233.
ff. 104–13.
"Madame,"—I received yesterday Your Majesty's letters of the 11th, 16th, and 19th inst., together with the despatch (depeche) addressed to Thoison d'Or, which I immediately forwarded to Bristol, where I have no doubt he may be still waiting for his passage [to Spain]. And to-day, in pursuance of Your Majesty's orders, I have been to the King to communicate the news of that country, with a view to induce him to grant the help and assistance of which we have been treating for some time. In order to remove his chief excuse, which always consists in saying that he has no news from Spain, and does not know on what terms he is with His Imperial Majesty, I have shown him private letters from merchants, asserting that before the 10th of last month the bishop of Vuasmestre (Westminster) had taken his leave from the Emperor with as favorable an answer as could be wished. After long talking to him of political affairs in general, the King said to me that he was glad to hear of His Imperial Majesty's successes, adding that he had no doubt that on the side of Perpignan the French would soon receive some great blow (quelque lourde bastonnade), provided the garrison of that town were not in want of provisions. With regard to the assistance, he answered in the same words as on other occasions, notwithstanding the letters which I put into his Royal hands, alleging that he did not believe in private news from merchants, for had they been true some one attached to the English embassy in Spain would not have failed to bring them to England, considering the urgency, quality, and importance of the affair. No arguments I could put forward in reply, such as the prevailing bad weather and contrary winds at sea, were of any use; the King persisted in his opinion, regretting over and over again (as he said) the delay in answering his overtures, as well as the Emperor's approval of the undertaking suggested to me by Mr. de Rœulx. That delay (said he) was exceedingly inconvenient; it was equal to losing his best and fittest opportunity of retaliating on the French. He could no longer remain in the situation in which he was, and, as it were, in suspense; for, as above stated, he knew not on what terms he was with His Imperial Majesty, all the time that the French considered him the Emperor's friend and ally, so much so, that they had lately done some damage in the neighbourhood of his town of Guisnes, the territory of which Mr. de Byes had very lately thought of invading and laying waste. That is why the governor of that town (Sir John Wallop) was incessantly applying to him for permission to make a raid into the adjoining French territory, (fn. n16) whilst the French garrisons in that province had been concentrated in Dorlens (Doullens). He (the King) would in nowise grant him the permission he asked for; until he heard from His Imperial Majesty, and knew what he had to expect, he could not do anything. Indeed, were he to get an answer to his overtures, much could still be done for the advancement of their common affairs. If that answer was favorable, as he expected, an interview might take place, for the Emperor and himself (the king of England) to discuss a plan of campaign against France.
Having then asked him, by way of consultation, whether it was true that Yvoix had been recovered from the enemy, as he had heard, and if so, what our army there ought to do next, he answered that in his opinion the Imperialists ought at once to march towards Mazières (Mezières), lay waste the country round,, and do all the harm they could to the enemy, without, however, stopping before any fortified town, or penetrating further into France, for it might be, after all, that the French themselves would afford us an opportunity of shutting them out (fn. n17) of their own country, in order that they might afterwards cut off our retreat. He (the King) was sure that the French, suspecting that his army would soon take the field against them, had made up their mind not to make any resistance nor put obstacles in his way until his men had actually crossed the river Somme, and that if the duke de Vendôme took the field, he ought to be allowed to penetrate further (s'engouffer) into the Emperor's country, that he might afterwards be attacked and destroyed, which it would not be difficult to accomplish, considering the large number of troops sent by His Imperial Majesty to Hainault. (fn. n18) "Such being the case (added the King), if powers from the Queen come to treat with me or with any of my ministers on reasonable conditions, I will readily furnish any quantity of men or money that may be wanted."
Little by little I brought him to speak about' the affairs of Scotland, in order to judge what appearance there might be of peace or war with that country. He told me confidentially and under reserve—not as ambassador of His Majesty, the Emperor, but as his friend—that he thought there would be no war at all; for the Scotch ambassadors had already agreed, in their King's name, to release all their English prisoners, and give besides some sort of compensation for the damage caused by the last raid, or, at least, for the private property taken and carried away. They had, moreover, agreed to a lasting league with England against all countries, not excluding even France, as they had always done in former times, and promised besides that king James, their master, would come [to London] before Christmas to hold a conference with him. The only standing difficulty was the giving of hostages as security for those engagements, the ambassadors having asked for two days' respite to send to Scotland for that purpose, offering in the meantime to remain here as hostages and stake their lives for the fulfilment of the treaty [in London]. The King, moreover, is expecting an answer from Scotland next Sunday, and has told me that he is more proud of having achieved that than of having gained a battle over the enemy. I agreed with him as to that, provided he could only rely on the Scotch, and be sure that the engagement would be a lasting one, for it might happen, said I, that the Scotch, seeing they were alone, and without the assistance of France and other confederated powers, were speaking now humble words and suing for peace, whereas later on, when assisted by France, Sweden, or Denmark, they might change their opinion and become harder to treat with, and perhaps, too, more difficult to beat. To this observation of mine the King replied that the league and confederacy of which the French boasted so much was only a bugbear, and, besides that, if king James would come to London everything would be set right.
There was also between the King and me some conversation on other small topics, which would take me too much time to enumerate, for the courier, bearer of this despatch, is already in the saddle ready to start, and scarcely will he give me time to sign, much less to read over, what I have hastily written. I therefore beg Your Majesty to pardon me if there be any faults or incorrectness in this despatch.—London, 27 September 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the queen of Hungary, regent in Flanders and the Low Countries."
French. Holograph, partly ciphered. pp. 3.
29 Sept. 65. The Emperor to the Pope.
S. E. Roma, L. 147. "Très sainct père,"—Your Holiness' letter of the 26th of August, brought by cardinal de Viseu (Miguel de Silva), Your legate, came duly to hand shortly after Our arrival in this city. Respecting the Cardinal's mission, as Your Holiness must have heard by Ours of the 28th, the reasons We then had, and still have, for not accepting the proposals for peace then made and again renewed, I will not further trouble Your Holiness with a repetition of the same arguments. Suffice it to say, that whilst We on Our side, with Your Holiness' valuable intervention, were sincerely working towards the maintenance of the truce, in order to employ all Our forces by sea and land against the Turk—the common enemy of those who profess Christianity—king Francis, without previous declaration of war, as is customary, or before informing Our ministers, assailed Our dominions and attacked Us everywhere. We have no doubt that the tolerance which Your Holiness has vouchsafed him (Francis), and Our own natural propensity to listen to any overtures apparently bearing on peace, have hardened that king's heart, and rendered him more audacious and bolder than ever. What, indeed, can be the use of new treaties with a prince when former ones have been so wantonly and willingly violated by him? For what purpose to speak of peace, when his insatiable cupidity and ambition are continually throwing Christendom into trouble and confusion? What trust can be placed in the prince who never, on any occasion whatever, did consider himself bound by engagements to keep faith and fulfil his promises? Did he not say, over and over again, to Our ambassador at his court, that his good will towards Us and his friendship were unalterable, and that he would for ever observe the truce of Nizza?
But to return to the subject of Your Holiness' mission by the bishop of Viseu. Your Holiness must already have perceived what effect your tolerance and indulgence have produced on king Francis. Instead of recalling him to the right path, they have rendered him harder still, a good deal bolder and more audacious, and more prone to disregard Your holy admonitions. Our own natural desire for peace, the facility with which at all times We have condescended to adjust Our differences in an amicable manner, and even now on this present occasion, when following our Own inclination, and listening to Your Holiness' persuasions from the lips of Your legate, We were prepared to make a sacrifice of Our interest, have only served to encourage king Francis in his mad career!
As We are fully convinced—and, indeed, the experience of what We and Our subjects have had to endure in consequence of king Francis' bad faith increases Our conviction—that nothing good can come of these fresh overtures and persuasions on the part of Your Holiness, We may perhaps be excused if We do not listen to them. We might, if We did, be accused in future of having allowed Ourselves to be deceived in the transaction, especially under present circumstances, when no previous reparation is offered for the many flagrant violations of the truce, and the many damages and losses We sustained through those violations. Besides, if Your Holiness is so anxious for peace, why not begin with king Francis, persuade him to relinquish some of his ambitious projects, keep faith, and not invade Our dominions as he has done?—Monçon, 8 October 1542, the 22nd year of Our Empire, and 27th of Our reign.
Indorsed: "His Majesty's answer to the Papal breve, brought by the Cardinal of Viseu, his legate, about the peace with France.—Monçon, 8 October 1542, a duplicate of which was given to the Cardinal."
Latin. Original. pp. 5.


  • n1. "Et en lieu quil ue pourra pour ceste annee, quest aussi par trop avancee, envoyer armee de par de la pour quelque complement et supplement, il oseroit condescendre à ce que deseus, de quoy vre. mate sera bientot advertie."
  • n2. That is Sir John Wallop.
  • n3. See Chapuys' letter to queen Mary of the 29th of June, p. 21.
  • n4. Here one or two sentences must have been omitted by the deciphering clerk, as otherwise the sense is not clear. The original passage stands thus: "Et que vre. mate ne sestoit endormye, comme il pensoit, et touchoit, sur espoir de traicter avec les dits françois, et que oyres que sa Ste (Saincteté) sen meslat ainsi quil disoit, et que Monsr. de Marvol fut retourne en France,ainsi que luy avoit donne dentendre I'ambassadeur du dit France, toutesfois il navoit cause [de] sen douloir, comme sembloit quil faisoit, car vre. mate preferoit tousiours son amytie à toutes autres moyennant quil se voulsist contenter dhonnestes et egales condicions," &c.
  • n5. "Et à riens que aye peu entendre de ce dit roy, je tiens quil condescendra volontiers à quelque traicte, oyres quil voye bien que par adventure il ny aura oncques si beau jeu contre le dit roy descosse, car je suppose que le cardinal et les autres ecclesiastiques ont esmeu le dit roy descosse à luy faire la guerre," &c.
  • n6. "De vouloir interceder devers vre. mate, et impetrer quil soit le bon plaisir dicelle octroyer et promettre (permettre) à Godefroy van Halisson de pouvoir tirer les hastez de trois mille picques, tellez quite usent au dit Escosse, et davantaige trois ou quatre cens harnois pour gens de pied."
  • n7. "Et que comme il nous avoit fait dire par les dits de son conseil, si avions charge et pouvoir de traicter de la recompense de ce que que demandions, ou que le requissions en vertu et en forme du traicte de Cambray, ce seroit aultre chose."
  • n8. The original has Winchester, but there is reason to think that Westminster is meant.
  • n9. The passage, which is exceedingly obscure, owing, no doubt, to the deciphering clerk having omitted one or more words in it, stands thus in the original:—"Pour la mesme raison de familiarité avec le dit ambassadeur, joinct quelques parolles ligueres, (legères) [lord] Granade a este casse de son estat, et avoit son conge, mais depuis le dit roy, à lintercession daucuns, luy a dosne autre estat."
  • n10. Valbestre is Barbastre in Aragon.
  • n11. Thomas Thirlby. See Vol. VI., Part I., p. 497.
  • n12. This paragraph, besides containing several lacunes, is anything but clear. It stands thus:—"Et quant aux armees que le dit roy de France a faictes aux coustez de Pampelonne et Narbonne, celle du dit Pampelonne senchemine pour soy joindre à celle de Narbonne, et il est bien besoing parceque vous verrez par ce que le Secretaire nostre [collegue?] nous escript, et y a bon et gros espoir que les françoys ny guingueront (sic gaigueront) gueres et par adventure en rempourteroient (remporteront) honte et dommage."
  • n13. That is Monçon in Aragon, where the Emperor was holding Cortes since the 23rd of September. On the 10th of October he left for Barcelona. See Bradford, loco laudato, pp. 532–3.
  • n14. The letter, evidently a draft, is not signed; but as the endorsement says, "From one of the Emperor's secretaries to Eustace Chapuys," it can safely be conjectured that Alonso Idiaquez is meant. After the retirement of Cobos, who in 1540 became councillor of State, Idiaquez succeeded him in the post of secretary for Foreign affairs. He was slain in 1547 at the passage of the Albis or Elbe.
  • n15. "Et ny eust ordre de faire marcher ne mouvoir lez suissez ne lung jour ne lautre, dont le roy de France avoit conçeu merveillieax ennayt mesle avec quelque mefiance, et a ceste cause, au lieu quil alloit esbattant et chassant entre Narbonne et Carcasonne, yl avoit advise pour plus expedient soy retirer dans le dit Narbonne."
  • n16. "Et que à ceste occasion son capitaine du dit Guisnes ne cesesoit de lui rompre la teste pour avoir licence dallor courir le pays des dits françoys."
  • n17. "Car pourroit estre que les françois leur en ministreroient assez loccasion pour apres leur serrers le passaige."
  • n18. "Ce que vre. maieste pourroit faire actendu le bon nombre de gens que vre. maieste avoit envoye au cartier (quartier) de Haynnau."