Spain: June 1542, 26-30

Pages 18-45

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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June 1542, 26-30

28 June. 11. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—Waiting for news of what you may have already negotiated with the ministers of the king of England, We send you the enclosed packet of letters from the king of the Romans (Ferdinand), Our good brother, addressed to councillor de St. Moris, (fn. n1) together with credentials and instructions to the same, as you will see. As the said St. Moris, now employed on an important mission to the Emperor, is not likely to return soon from Spain, We have thought of sending you, as We actually do, the enclosed copy of his instructions, that you may exhibit them to that king, and at the same time excuse Mr. de St. Moris, if by illness, or some other accident you may think of, he has been detained on his road thither, and prevented from personally delivering his credentials. Mr. de St. Moris' mission had for its object to beg and entreat the king of England to give assistance against the Turk. It is for you to represent him in that court, and for a time regard his credentials and instructions as if they were your own, making use of such arguments and exhortations, as may seem to you most conducive towards the proposed aim, and the present state of affairs. The king of the Romans has already been informed by Us of this unavoidable substitution.
The king of France, We hear, is daily increasing his army on the Luxemburg frontier, not only in men, but likewise in ammunition and stores. The same is to be observed with regard to the infantry force (pietons) which his ministers have lately raised on the side of Clèves and Gueldres (Ghelders), and although We have remonstrated through the Emperor's ambassador at his court, and asked for an explanation of the daily concentration of troops on Our frontiers, if he at all intends to observe the truce of Nyce (Nizza). The king has returned no satisfactory answer save saying that the assembly of men on the frontier of Clèves, which his ministers have ordered, is not intended for the invasion of these Low Countries as long as We do not give him cause and occasion for it, but merely for the defence of his own territory, especially as he has received news from England that king Henry is about to make closer alliance with the Emperor, and that count de Rœulx is meditating an attack on some of the French towns bordering on his government. Whatever reply the Imperial ambassador made on the occasion, the King refused to give any further explanation of his armaments.
King Francis, moreover, has lately sent a gentleman to give Us notice that he intends sending his own officers to the country of St. Pol, (fn. n2) to administer justice there and collect the revenue. He has requested Us not to interfere, but to allow his officers to fulfil their duty, all of which in Our opinion is a formal demonstration that he intends declaring war and invading Our territory. That is why We have ordered the immediate levy of 25,000 foot, and 4,000 horse, with which force, added to that of the King's subjects in these parts, We hope not only to defend efficiently Our threatened frontiers, but likewise to keep the field everywhere against the enemy, who, according to their usual mode of warfare, are threatening to invade Us from every quarter, by land as well as by sea. In this emergency We have made such provision as to enable Us to defeat most of the enemy's plans. Already treacherous dealings of theirs have been discovered here and there to surprise and get hold of various towns and fortresses, and it is to be hoped that, seeing Us on the alert, they will desist from their intrigues.—Brussels, 28 June 1542.
Addressed: "To the Imperial ambassador in England."
Indorsed: "La Reine à l'ambassadeur en Angleterre, le xxviiie jour de Juing 1542.
French. Original Draft. pp. 3.
29 June. 12. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 32–5.
"Madame,"—I have just received Your Majesty's letter of the 25th inst. (fn. n3) I am really sorry not to have been able to write sooner the account of what passed in the Privy Council the last time I went to Court; but I could not have done it however much I wished, for immediately after my return from Greenwich I was seized with a fit of gout in my right hand to that extent that I could not hold a pen until this morning, in addition to which not one single step has been advanced 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 treaty of Cambray relating to the intercourse of trade; by which clause, intercourse everlasting and not subject to change in future. The other difficulty is that in the article concerning the rebels, the privy councillors stoutly refuse to comprise the Emperor's subjects in those parts, (fn. n4) and will only admit those of Spain. They insist, likewise, upon the defensive league, that is, the help or assistance to be bestowed on account of it, beginning precisely at the time when the offensive one commences, and on the obligatory engagements of the defensive not lasting more than four months in every year, consecutively or at intervals, just as the necessities of the war may require. (fn. n5) And, moreover, that if at the end of that time any of the contracting princes should wish to employ the troops sent to his help, he may make use of them as long as he pleases, at his sole and exclusive expence, unless the other Prince wants them absolutely for his own defence. They also want to stipulate that the prince so helped may employ the said auxiliaries, not only for the protection of his own territory, but likewise for the pursuit of his enemy within his own kingdom, until it be proved that the said enemy, whoever he may be, has no longer the powers or the wish to return to the attack. They wish, likewise, that should any prince or power attempt to invade the dominions or territories of one of the contracting parties, the Emperor and this king are to hold him as their common enemy. This is, indeed, an article on which the privy councillors insist most particularly, alleging several reasons, the pith and tendency of which Your Majesty understands too well for me to have to explain. They have also insisted, most pertinaciously indeed, upon the time and period of the invasion of France being fixed beforehand, not later than the 1st of July of next year. With regard to the assistance against the dukes of Clèves and Dolst (de Holstein) respectively constituting one of the articles of the treaty, on which I myself have insisted more than once, the privy councillors refuse to give any sort of explanation, or negociate further about it, pretending that the article is quite sufficient for all purposes, since by both dukes being considered common enemies of the two contracting parties, it stands to reason that, should they attempt anything against His Imperial Majesty, this king is bound to help and assist you.
After long altercation and debate on these points; after the privy councillors had tried every means of persuasion to draw me on their side, occasionally making use of any piece of news likely to turn out to the Emperor's disadvantage, as if they wished to convince me that we are actually in need of their help and assistance; after their declaring with their usual bravadoes that they are in no want of our services, but on the point of rupture with France, without waiting for further news or answers on the part of His Imperial Majesty, it has been decided and agreed to between the English deputies and myself—though not without some mystery, which time will unravel—that the promise contained in Your Majesty's note (which I once showed to them) of keeping the matter secret, and not treating to each other's prejudice, should be prorogued till the month of October next, and that the King, on the assurance I should give him of Your Majesty's good intentions and affectionate sentiments towards him, would send to Spain the bishop of Westminster, (fn. n6) one of the deputies, to settle amicably those points on which we still differ. That in order to reconsider (ruminer) the matter before the Bishop's departure (for Flanders), and that the deputies themselves might see and peruse what I wrote to Your Majesty in favor and for the advancement of the affair in question, the King would request me—as he has actually done—not to leave him, but be near his person—which, by the way, I have always done since my return from Flanders—until a final settlement be arrived at, which I hope will be within the next 24 hours. The Bishop is to leave immediately for a sea port one hundred and fifty miles distant from this town; he will be accompanied by one of my own men, who will be the bearer of this my despatch, which I have hitherto been unable to send. Should, however, George, the Imperial messenger, arrive in the meantime—which would be a most fortunate coincidence—and should I find that his stay in this country is not to be a long one, then I will try all possible means of having the Bishop's departure delayed on some pretence or other, and let George himself be the bearer of this my despatch, so that Your Majesty may have time to have an answer prepared. Should I not succeed in delaying the Bishop's departure, I trust that the Admiral, to whom I also purpose writing, will help my man to get a passage in the same vessel, so that George may land at the same hour, and be the bearer of my despatch.
I forgot to mention that on my return [to London] I was informed that the King had willingly enough granted that the defensive league should comprise the Emperor's Spanish subjects, as well as those of the Low Countries, in case of an invasion from the French or from Mr. Dallebrecht (Albret), though not from any other belligerents, and that the article should be drawn first in English and afterwards in Latin; but four or five days after the whole was changed, and there was no more talk of it.
Monsieur de Reuz (Rœulx), whom I met at St. Omer, related to me, by way of pastime, that with a few English soldiers, and such a force of infantry and cavalry as could hastily be collected in the Artois without giving umbrage, it would be an easy matter to fall suddenly on Monstreul and take it by surprise, and that there would be plenty of time to fortify it during the next winter, that being precisely the season during which the French could not attempt to besiege it. That after overrunning and wasting the neighbouring country, Hesdin, Therouenne, Ardres, and even Boulogne, would have to surrender for the reasons and considerations which he (Mr. de Rœux) then and there explained to me. Which plan, immediately after my return, I failed not to submit to the King, who listened attentively, and was marvellously pleased with it, asking me point-blank whether I had any mandate from Your Majesty about it, or whether I thought that Mr. de Rœux had any orders from the Emperor or from Your Majesty to that effect. Having answered him that I only knew of Mr. de Rœux' uncalled-for suggestion to me, he (the King) replied: "What do you think I had better do?" My answer was that the surest way of ascertaining the fact was to dispatch a messenger to the Emperor, and at the same time write to the captain of Guinez (Guisnes) to put himself into communication with Mr. de Rœux; that being done, the Emperor's opinion of the affair would be soon known. The King found my advice good.
The King is now actively arming a number of war ships, for he dislikes exceedingly, as he says, to be taken unawares and injured by his enemy, whoever he may be.
There is no other news from this country, except that the King has still by him count Desmont (the earl of Desmond), the chief lord of Hirland (Ireland), who has come to do him homage, a thing which many of his ancestors never consented to do.—London, 29 June 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph, partly ciphered. pp. 6.
30 June. 13. The Same to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 121–44.
The bishop of Winchester (Stephen Gardiner), having on these last days been obliged to quit his own house owing to the sudden illness of lord ———, (fn. n7) and to take another one near the place where I myself am lodging, I (Chapuys) have had every opportunity to be courteous and civil to him. No sooner was he installed in his new house, than he came one day to dine with me, when from the early morning to very late in the evening I had the opportunity of talking to him of public affairs in general, and particularly of Christendom and the Turk, of the strange, dangerous, and detestable practices of the French, and other political matters, in such a way and manner as to advance and promote the present negociation for closer friendship and intelligence between Your Imperial Majesty and this king, to which the Bishop himself seems very admirably well inclined.
The day after the Bishop was with me the Lord Privy Seal invited him to dinner, and on his return home he again came and spent a few hours in my company, as he also did on the two following days. Again was there much talk on the subject of closer friendship and alliance. The Bishop having previously communicated with the Lord Privy Seal—who, I must say, seems perfectly well disposed—and with secretary Vrisle (Wriothesley), a gentleman of no less credit and authority with this king than the two above-mentioned personages, and similarly well inclined, it was decided between the three that I should apply at once for an audience, and tell the King that I had reason to fear his deputies had misunderstood my words, or else had not reported exactly all I had said or offered in Your Imperial Majesty's name, inasmuch as since then they (the King's deputies) had sent me no message at all. For that reason, said they, I ought to go personally to the King, and repeat to him the very same arguments and persuasions of which I had made use in conversation with the Bishop, adding that my visit to the King for such a purpose would, at this present moment, admirably suit and serve to counteract French intrigues, and promote the closer friendship and alliance which we were negociating. The opportunity could not be fitter or more favorable (said the deputies), owing to their having lately rendered him the signal service of bringing forward and promoting in Parliament the national loan, by means of which an incalculable sum of money had already been paid into the Royal Treasury. On this account they (the deputies) would have greater chance and more frequent opportunities of seeing the King and forwarding my views—which were also theirs—since the King could not but remember the service they had rendered him with such diligence and industry.
In pursuance, therefore, of such advice and counsel, I (Chapuys) sent on the 16th inst. to apply for an audience, which was granted for the 18th. No sooner had my man returned from Greenwich, than the bishop of Winchester sent me Your Imperial Majesty's letter of the 3rd inst., together with the powers therein mentioned, and other papers that Master Quenevet (fn. n8) had forwarded from Orleans excusing himself for having been obliged to stop there on the ground of excessive fatigue from travelling, and a slight indisposition besides, but in reality to wait for the return of one of his secretaries, whom he had dispatched one month before in order to ascertain how his own affairs (ses besongnes) were going on in England, and whether there was danger for him to come.
Shortly after the receipt of the packet in question, which came into my hands quite safely, not having been in the least tampered with, the Bishop [of Winchester] called on me as usual, manifesting great joy at my having received the powers from, Your Majesty. We conversed together for a while on the best means of inducing and persuading the King to contract closer friendship and alliance with Your Majesty. The Bishop approved almost entirely my ideas on the subject, now and then suggesting his own in confirmation. The only objection he made to my plan was that it seemed to him as if my argument—that the alliance was most necessary for the King, his master—ought to be abandoned at once, and not made use of in the Royal presence. It would be quite sufficient for me to say that Your Imperial Majesty supposed, nay believed, that what the king of England did, or was about to do, was entirely owing to his very virtuous and very laudable and magnanimous purpose of obviating and remedying the dangers, troubles, and ruin which threatened Christendom owing to the ambition, malignity, and diabolical perfidy of the French. It was for himself and other privy councillors, rather than for me (said the Bishop), to represent to the King as to the necessity of that alliance and confederation; the King himself acknowledged it, and yet would not like to hear the truth from my lips.
This piece of advice on the part of the Bishop seemed to me so acceptable, and at the same time so in accordance with my own views and the experience I have of this king's personal character, that, as may be seen by my preceding despatches on all past occasions, as well as in this present one, I have avoided as much as possible touching on the King's susceptibilities, without, however, omitting to make incidentally a few remarks, and show him how much it is to his interest to accomplish the said alliance and confederation.
On Ascension Day I went to the King's, who received me even a little more cordially than is his wont. He was then about to attend Mass, and began by thanking me for the affection I had shown and was showing in this matter of the closer friendship and alliance with Your Imperial Majesty, and the good and singular offices I was performing in that matter, as he (the King) had lately heard from his Lord Privy Seal (Fitz-William), as well as from the bishop of Winchester (Gardiner). He was, moreover, very glad to hear of the powers having reached me, and especially of the whole affair having to pass through my hands, as he could then speak more openly and confidentially and declare what he himself had in his breast. (fn. n9) But it was necessary (continued the King) that I should promise in my own name, and in that of Your Imperial Majesty, to keep the greatest secrecy, and not reveal to any one whomsoever the base and substance of the treaty that we were about to make. Having solemnly promised to do so, the King went on to say that what had till then made him keep neutrality, and not decide for either of the two contending parties, was that he saw no appearance of communicating freely and confidentially either with Your Imperial Majesty or with the king of France, inasmuch as he suspected that there was between you two some secret agreement to reveal to each other whatever passed between one party or the other and himself (the king of England), that both of you might mutually derive advantage and profit by the revelation of your plans. My answer was that I was not aware of any such agreement between Your Imperial Majesty and the king of France; if there was, it must have been one depending entirely upon the truce of Nizza, which truce the French had violated many a time; and, therefore, he could very well imagine that after that Your Imperial Majesty would have plenty of just motives not only to mistrust the French, but likewise to form leagues and confederacies to compel them by force of arms to let Christendom, and especially their neighbours, be at peace. That at all times, and under very different circumstances, Your Majesty's most ardent desire had always been the preservation and increase of the old alliances and confederacies with England. He (the King) might be sure that had Your Imperial Majesty known one-tenth part of what you now know of the deceit, malice, and perfidy of the French, he (the King) would not have had occasion to complain, as he had done, of the answer which the French pretend Your Imperial Majesty had made when called upon after Francis' capture at Pavia to prosecute the war "à outrance"—according to the letter of the treaties. And that it seemed to me that with God's help there would be soon a good, and perhaps a better, opportunity than that of Pavia, to bring king Francis to reason. (fn. n10)
This speech of mine the King seemed to take in good part, though, as it was already the hour of Mass, he answered nothing at the time, save saying that he was then going to chapel, but would after dinner reply to me fully.
The dinner over, the King sent me word by his Lord Privy Seal (Fitz-William) that I should not take in bad part his not giving me audience as quickly as he himself might have wished; he had been engaged in reading letters that had that very moment come from France, and he had been examining them carefully in order to acquaint me with their contents. To do that more privately and confidentially, and in order to talk to me alone without the intervention or assistance of any of his privy councillors, the King proposed that I should go to his private chamber, where he said I would find him "à la domesticque, en robe de nuyt." Upon which the Admiral (Russel) conducted me to the King's presence, who, having repeated the substance of the message brought to me by the Lord Privy Seal, began his sermon by saying in Latin, "Judas non dormit," after which he continued: "the French are not asleep; they still go on with their bad practices; they are now expecting count Guillaume de Furstenberg with 8,000 lanskennets. I have no doubt that having, as they do have, good intelligences in Germany, they will be able to raise there as many men as they choose. On the other hand Mr. de Longheval, (fn. n11) who will be in time Grand Master of France, has started for Clèves, not only to excuse king Francis with the duke Guillaume for not having been able to send him his promised wife, (fn. n12) but to induce him to send troops to Ghelders, and make some hostile movement in that quarter, whilst the duke of Holstein on his side will attack the Dutch by sea. The letters further say that it is very important for Flanders and for the Low Countries to be on their guard, and keep a vigilant eye on the castle of La Moutière, which the French think of taking by surprise any day. The latter do not in the meantime discontinue their practices in Italy, particularly with the Venetians, whom they are helping and assisting by means of their influence over the Turk. So that (continued the King) there is every appearance of His Imperial Majesty being molested on many sides."
I failed not, when I heard the King draw such a dismal picture of Your Imperial Majesty's present situation, to remonstrate and say that your affairs were far from being in the plight your enemies represented them to be; even in the event of the proposed alliance not taking place, there was no cause for despair. There was no occasion, as he seemed to think, for his fears; all the time that Your Imperial Majesty had been soliciting his (the King's) alliance and confederacy, you had taken care to preserve the affection of your old friends and make fresh ones, who, thank God, having experienced the incredible and incomparable good faith, virtue, and goodness of Your Imperial Majesty, were now more numerous than ever, and would go on materially increasing in number through the closer friendship and alliance with England. I thought, in fact, that the French were completely mistaken, and that in acting as they are doing they would be brought unwillingly to a sense of their duty and compelled to leave their neighbours at peace. "So much so (said I) that I imagine it will not cost a farthing for you two to defend yourselves mutually, that being the reason why I do not hesitate to say that both of you may be as liberal as you like in your mutual promises, since once allied and confederated, the French will take good care not to attack one of you."
Upon which the King replied that in order to examine the affair of the proposed alliance more closely, and take a final resolution thereon, it was necessary that he himself should be informed beforehand as to what Your Imperial Majesty intended doing respecting the duchies of Milan and Ghelders. My answer was that with regard to Milan I had no idea what your intentions were; as to Ghelders, Your Majesty could not possibly act otherwise than you had done hitherto or abandon the pursuit altogether, that being a matter which touched very nearly on the honor and authority of your Imperial title, as well as on your own right—which was evident, notorious, and patent—besides the discontent felt by the inhabitants of the Low Countries, your subjects, if the damages and losses they have had to sustain from Ghelders were not repaired in some manner.
As to the first point, that of Milan, the King observed that considering the difficulty Your Imperial Majesty would have to defend countries so far apart from each other, and that the cost of defending some of them, like Milan, would be far greater than the Duchy was worth, it seemed to him as if it were better and more convenient for Your Majesty to keep it during your life, and treat with the States of the Empire that it should be incorporated after your death with the Empire, provided those States should now engage to defend it against all enemies. With regard to Ghelders (said the King), it must be borne in mind that it is strong and its conquest difficult, were it for no other thing than the hatred the people of that duchy bear to the inhabitants of Brabant and other provinces of the Low Countries; and that considering the personal and political relations of the duke of Clèves with Germany, and especially with France, should the marriage so much talked of take place he (the Duke) might prove to be a dangerous enemy; and that should Your Imperial Majesty employ your forces against Ghelders, that might prevent you from attending to other more important undertakings, such as driving away the French from Piedmont "In my opinion (continued the King) it would be wiser to try and gain over that duke, and bring him to the Emperor's devotion, now that he must be discontented with the French, owing to their not having given him a wife. Were I called upon to settle that matter, I should have no difficulty in giving one of my own daughters in marriage to the Duke; in that way the Emperor's honor would be safe-guarded—he might grant the duchy of Ghelders to the Duke on such conditions as he and the queen of Hungary, regent in Flanders, might stipulate. In this manner the Emperor and other princes, as the Duke's deputies, might not only utilize the forces of Ghelders, but likewise those of Clèves and other patrimonial estates of the Duke; that would be the cause of cutting short, for this year at least, all Francis' projected designs, besides which the Turk, perceiving that the King cannot stir and suit his views against Christendom, might quarrel with him; for having, as they say, made such promises to him, and not fulfilling, one of them, the Infidel will naturally become angry at his ally's irresolution, and the Infidel's indignation be increased by opportune warnings, which might be secretly conveyed to him."
To this long piece of political advice from the King's mouth, I (Chapuys) replied as follows: I told him that there was no need incorporating the duchy of Milan with the Empire, for, in my opinion, there were plenty of other efficient means for setting the German States against France, without counting in their number that of a good victory over the Turk, or of his being repulsed and driven out of Hungary; for the Germans, being perfectly aware, as he himself had owned and confessed to me, that king Francis was the sole cause of the Turk's descent on Christendom, and consequently of the cost and expense to which the whole of Germany had already been put, as well as of the immense sacrifices the people were actually making, would no doubt unite together and eventually form a league with Your Imperial Majesty and him (the king of England) for a double purpose: firstly, to be indemnified and reimbursed of the expenses they had incurred; and, secondly, to weaken king Francis, and so clip his wings that he should not be able to fly so far off in future, but have to mind his own affairs, and not interfere with those of other people. I maintained that by such means as those above pointed out, it would be extremely easy to bring into the league and confederacy the rest of the Christian powers, and then revenge the injuries, damages, and spoliations which king Francis is attempting to inflict both upon Your Imperial Majesty and upon him (the king of England); for it was evident that should you again take up arms against France, the war this time will be fiercer and more desperate than ever it was, inasmuch as the Spanish deputies at the Cortes [of Monzon] had lately, as I was given to understand, voted a marvellous grant of money, on condition of Your Imperial Majesty remaining in Spain, and promising not to make peace with France until the King of that country had been reduced to a state of impotence and deprived of the means of troubling Christendom. That as to disposing of the duchy of Milan, I felt sure that the closer friendship and alliance once made, Your Imperial Majesty will be better disposed to follow his advice in that and in other matters than the counsels of any other living creature, not only because you considered the advice excellent, coming, as it did, from so wise and experienced a prince, as he was, but because Your Imperial Majesty held him in the light of a second father. He was not to fear for a moment (said I) that in the event of king Francis waiving his pretensions on Milan Your Imperial Majesty would again become his friend; that will never be, for many a time has he feigned to do so, and promised to renounce his pretended rights to that duchy, but as he never keeps faith and acknowledges no law (ny foy ny loy) and cannot he relied upon, he has never been trusted in such matters.
As to Ghelders (I said), the thing was not so impossible as he believed it to be. Should matters come to extremities, it was not quite clear to me that the duke of Clèves could find any favor and help in Germany, considering Your Imperial Majesty's notorious rights to that duchy, among which one was that all the paternal, as well as maternal, ancestors of the present duke of Clèves have not only ceded and relinquished all the rights they might have to the succession of Gheldres, but have also promised help and assistance to the house of Burgundy for the conquest and defence of Ghelders in case of need, and, therefore, that its present duke would be ill-advised if, disregarding the conditions and stipulations subscribed to by his ancestors, he should lay claim to Ghelders, and risk his own patrimonial estate for the sake of one to the succession of which he has no right whatsoever. I further said that Your Imperial Majesty counted upon him (the king of England) to help him in the conquest of Ghelders, just as his father (Henry VII.) had done when he assisted and helped king Philip, which conquest (I said) will be easier now than it was then, inasmuch as Your Imperial Majesty had since acquired Gruningen (Groningen) and its adjacent territory, which the last duke of Ghelders held in Frisland, (fn. n13) besides other towns and villages in Utrecht and Overviesel which Your Imperial Majesty had since acquired. That for many reasons he (the King) ought to wish that the duchy of Ghelders should remain in Your Majesty's hands, especially if the treaty of closer alliance was concluded; for that treaty once ratified, he (the King) might be sure that king Francis could not undertake anything against the Low Countries, and consequently would be exempted from paying his part of the expenses incurred in the defence of the country invaded; besides which, should the league be an offensive one, and should he want to make levies of men on that side of the Channel, he could raise as many as he chose in Ghelders. Your Imperial Majesty was neither so sudden nor so stubborn in your determinations in what concerns you personally as to allow public affairs to be disturbed, or postpone them to your own private ones, and, that the treaty of closer friendship and alliance once made Your Imperial Majesty might perhaps share his opinion, and follow his advice respecting the time and season of the undertaking [against France]. I really believed (said I) that means might be found to alienate the duke of Clèves from, the friendship of France. On the other hand I could hardly fancy that king Francis should esteem his own daughters so low as to give the hand of one of them to the Duke, who, no doubt, would have children, though at present being, as it were, under the guardianship [of king Francis], he might not declare himself as soon as was desired. (fn. n14) Whatever friends the Duke may have in Germany, there never was a prince or minister in that country who dared advise Your Imperial Majesty to cede your rights on Gheldres, or otherwise grant the investiture of Clèves and Juliers; on the contrary, after the princes who interceded for the Duke had carefully examined the titles and reasons which Your Imperial Majesty had for claiming Ghelders as your own, and seen the injury and damage which the present duke of Clèves has caused to Your Majesty, all protested and declared they would not stir in his favor, and have strongly advised him to obey the Imperial mandate.
After this the King began to treat of his French pensions, saying that should a special offensive league be made against his neighbours across the Channel who refused to pay, it was just and reasonable to establish and settle beforehand the rules and the amount of the indemnity to be received by him as reason and honesty prescribed. I answered him as graciously as I could, adding various remonstrances to those I had addressed to his deputies; and I must own that the King took the whole so well that he immediately changed the subject, and said no more about the indemnity, nor have his deputies further alluded to it since.
The King, however, complained to me of the negociation not having been kept secret, since (said he) the French have already alluded to it. I told him that most certainly, if the French had heard of it, the information had not come from our side; that Your Imperial Majesty was exceedingly sorry for it, inasmuch as they had tried to profit by the information they had received, and were trying to arouse the Pope's indignation against You. After flatly denying that the intelligence had come from him or his ministers, the King very affectionately, and in more courteous language than he would have used years ago, again recommended the greatest secrecy in the matter, which recommendation brought to my memory the story of the Florentine, who caused a sermon to be preached against usury, in order that bankers might abstain therefrom, and himself gain more money through it.
He ended by telling me that he would promptly have powers made out for the bishops of Durham (Tunstall), Winchester (Gardiner), and Westminster (Thirlby) to treat with me, and that it would not be his fault if the affair was not speedily settled. I must say that this time, at least, the King seemed to be quite in earnest One of the reasons, which make me believe so, though a slight one, is the affectionate and valuable admonition which he offered then and there respecting Your Imperial Majesty's government in the Low Countries, and other political matters he touched upon, as if the treaty of closer alliance had already been concluded and signed, and he himself was much interested in Your Majesty's success. True it is that I myself had prepared the ground for that by praising, as usual, his wisdom and experience of affairs, telling him that should the treaty be made and signed, as I had no doubt it would be soon, it was incumbent upon him to look at Your Majesty's affairs with the eyes of a father, and that you on your side would correspond, so that all the honor, or at least the greater part of the profit, would fall to his lot. These flatteries of mine pleased him immensely; nor was he less pleased when upon his telling me that the French were continually presenting him ladies to marry, I answered that no doubt they would do as they had done when he himself pursued the princess, who is now queen of Scotland, (fn. n15) and that in point of marriage the French had always employed their usual tactics, and gone against the treaties between England and France; for king Francis had given his daughter in marriage to the king of Scotland [James], and so shamefully and miserably married his own son, the Dauphin [Henri], with the niece of the Pope [Clement VII.], at that time his persecutor and the greatest enemy he ever had. I also told him that since the French had not been ashamed to do such things openly and to his very face (à sa barbe), they must all the time have played him in secret more devilish tricks still; adding, the more to darken the picture, many anecdotes I knew of king Francis and his ministers. "As to the French offering you a wife (said I to the King), I hold it as certain and maintain that had it been in the Emperor's hands to gratify you, not only in that but in any other way, he would certainly have done it to your heart's content, without blasoning the arms of France. (fn. n16) I could not deny that king Francis and his son, the Dauphin, have at all times shown great affection, not so much towards you, as towards your kingdom and throne, of whose conquest the Dauphin has often talked as if he were destined to achieve it."
As to the King's assertion that the French had frequently owned their debt to him, and were ready to pay him by instalments, I answered, "for a much smaller sum than the one the French owe you, they would not hesitate to take a thousand oaths notwithstanding that they never intend paying their debt to England." To which remark of mine the King replied that though the French wished to pay, they had not yet had the means of doing so; as a proof of that, very lately they had proposed to pay him out of the first towns and castles taken in a joint war against Your Imperial Majesty. Thus much did the King say to me, on purpose, if I am not mistaken, to induce me to make him a similar overture and offer; I told him that he would find in the end how little inclined the French were to pay their debt to England, and that they were only looking out for means and ways of deceiving him, gaining time, and lulling him asleep, by proposing such an unjust and iniquitous mode of payment as robbing a neighbour, with whom there was no standing fend or quarrel, of his own property—a mode of payment (said I) which, after all, was not only difficult but uncertain—whereas he (the King) might easily recover his money effectively by uniting himself to Your Imperial Majesty, as he himself had once owned to me.
After these words of mine I took leave of the King and went back [to London], where, lest the negociation, which had had so good a beginning, should not turn out so well as I then thought, I immediately sat down to write every word of my conversation with the King respecting the treaty of closer friendship and alliance, in order that Your Imperial Majesty may judge of this King's intentions and wishes, and likewise of the answer made to his overtures, without, however, taking any formal engagement in Your Majesty's name, as I have been instructed to do.
After this, from the Saturday immediately following Ascension and Easter Eve, the King's deputies and myself had several conferences, and on the last named day the King, in order to get on more quickly with the affair, summoned all of us to Hampton Court, where, out of respect and consideration for Your Imperial Majesty, I (Chapuys) have been received and treated in a manner that baffles all description. After resuming the conferences where we had left them, and debating during four consecutive days the points in question, the earl of Southampton, Lord Privy Seal, and Master Wrisley (Wriothesley), first secretary of the King's Privy Council, who by special order had been present at the discussion, proposed that a rough draft or summary of the articles already discussed should be drawn out for the King's inspection. As, however, there were two among them which I had refused to pass, namely, that of the defensive alliance not comprising Spain, and that of the aid demanded by this king in case of an offensive one, and the consequent invasion of France by Your Imperial Majesty's and this king's arms, or else an equivalent in money for the promise once made to the latter as indemnity for the loss of the French pension, it was agreed that I should write to the queen of Hungary in Flanders consulting her on the subject, and that for fear of equivocation or mistake I myself should put down in writing the two aforesaid articles, and show them to the deputies, together with my own letter to the queen Regent.
This I granted at once, and, as quickly as I could, wrote down the articles and the letter, of which I have no doubt that a copy is already in Your Imperial Majesty's hands. The King's deputies were extremely delighted at this, and still more at the offer, which I then made, of crossing over to Flanders for the quicker termination of the business, should the King deem my presence there necessary for the prompt resolution of the affair. And not only did the King take that offer of mine in good part, but he immediately ordered his own sedan chair to be prepared, as well as a vessel for my passage to Calais, which voyage I accomplished in a very short time, achieving in a few days that which Your Imperial Majesty must already have learnt through the Queen's letters.
On my return here I was again equally well received by the King, though I must say that at first he showed some discontent at the news he said he had received in the meantime, not only of Your Imperial Majesty's ambassador at the court of France being still there, but of his having lately made certain overtures and even offers of peace; yet, as the benevolent and wise prince that he is, after hearing my excuses on that score, and treating me in his usual kind manner, the King no longer persisted in his complaint, but said that as I must be tired with my journey he would then trouble me no further with such like scruples, and that I might retire and take rest, which I did.
Since then the deputies and myself have for eight or ten days consecutively worked at the specification of certain particulars, which, as I thought, had already been settled in a previous conference: particulars, I mean, depending upon, or closely connected with, the two above-mentioned articles—of the non-inclusion of Spain in the defensive alliance, and the help to be furnished to this king in case of an invasion of France. Whether it be that the deputies' imperfect knowledge of the French language has been the cause of their misunderstanding the purport of our words, or else that during the debate they had frequent opportunities of consulting the King or their own colleagues in the Privy Council about them, certain it is that objections have been raised on certain points, and that the deputies have declined to agree on others already discussed and passed. So, for instance, in the article relating to the extradition of rebels, they (the deputies) will not admit that those who may happen to rise against the Empire must be held and considered as Your Imperial Majesty's subjects; whilst in that relating to the treaty of Cambray, in which the intercourse of trade is mentioned, they wish to introduce a clause—which I have refused to pass—inasmuch as, in my opinion, it tends to perpetuate the present commercial treaties between the Low Countries and England. (fn. n17) My greatest objection, however, is a clause added to the 6th article, the deputies pretending by way of argument that a true, sincere, perfect, and inviolable friendship cannot be ensured without the acceptation and observance of the said article in full, and that it would be an unprecedented and highly ridiculous obligation to contract that two parties united for the mutual defence of their respective dominions, at great cost and labor, should allow those very enemies against whom the prohibitive measures have been dictated to buy, barter, and trade freely wherever they please, and especially in the dominions of each other. That the authoritative defence in one of the allies holding as enemies those of his friend and ally, besides indicating a firmer and more real (intrinsique) and indissoluble union, will be that which will prevent the enemies of one party from undertaking anything against the other. (fn. n18) This sort of defensive alliance (added the deputies) being easier, less expensive and costly than the other, the enemies will not think of offending; they will consider themselves happy and safe as long as they themselves are not attacked, whereas the offensive alliance could by no means be so effective and advantageous for the purpose, as it could not be so rapid and efficient as the defensive one, owing to several reasons and arguments, which the King's deputies then and there explained. Your Imperial Majesty (the deputies alleged) would be greatly benefitted by the latter, for the King, their master, having beforehand strengthened all his ports, harbours, and bays, where the ships of the enemy might possibly anchor, no war-vessel of Denmark or of the Easterlings, nor of any other maritime power whatsoever, would dare attack Your Imperial Majesty's dominions in the Low Countries or elsewhere; if they did, they would soon find out that this King considered them as his enemies and would come down upon them.
Having told the deputies that in order to treat of that matter, it was necessary to resort to the article XXIV. of the treaty of Windsor, they replied that the article in question was conceived in too general terms, and by no means reciprocal; that it had then been introduced purposely on account of the marriage mentioned in the treaty, and in consideration for the promise of indemnity made at the time. Besides again quoting the articles of that treaty, I made use of another stronger argument in favor of my proposition—which the deputies had not taken into account, though the King himself had before my departure for Flanders slightly mentioned it—namely, that he (the King) had intentionally enough consented to the said article, owing to Your Imperial Majesty having promised him never to treat of peace with France until he himself had been crowned king of that country, in which case his defensive obligation would have been almost reduced to nothing, as there was no fear of Your Imperial Majesty being at the time attacked or molested from any other quarter but that of France.
In the same manner, whilst debating the article of the defensive alliance, I have forborne to stipulate that the obligation of the defence shall last as long as the offensive alliance, considering that condition to be an almost unbearable charge for Your Imperial Majesty; for not being able to supply it as quickly and as often as this king might ask, it might afford cause for resentment and consequent rupture of the treaty. With regard to the duration of the defensive league, this king has been of opinion that it ought to last four months; I myself have in vain stipulated for five, and yet as the obligation of the charge and discharge is reciprocal, there ought to be no great objection on our part. The same cannot be said with regard to another demand made by the deputies, namely, that each of the parties may retain in his service the men furnished by the other in virtue of the defensive alliance, and employ them to pursue the enemy into his own territory, or retreat there from as the exigencies of the case may require. This seems to me a rather contradictory conclusion, and yet there is some shade of truth in it, as Your Imperial Majesty will acknowledge, especially since the obligation is evidently reciprocal. The deputies would also wish that it should be stipulated that after the lapse of the four months, which is to be the duration of the defensive league, each of the allies may retain in his service, at his cost and expense, as long as he may want them, the number of men allotted to him for the defence of his territory, if invaded. In this, however, I (Chapuys) see no reciprocity at all; for supposing Your Imperial Majesty did ask for such assistance from this king—which assistance, as I take it, would rather consist in money than in men—matters will come to this, that at the expiration of the four months, or when the enemy has retreated into his own country, the help in men or money is to cease, and, therefore, there will be no similarity between the two cases. True is it that I think these English will consider that if they do furnish men, and have to pay them as long as they are retained in your service, there will be no equality. On the other hand, they would wish that the help by sea was precise and not commutable into money, or that if the service to be performed requires money for a maritime force, it should involve its being employed on maritime armaments. This I have not dared to grant (fn. n19) for the reasons which I have explained to the Queen and to her privy councillors, because in the event of Your Imperial Majesty's dominions in Flanders being invaded on the side of Gheldres or of Frizelant (Friesland), neither Your Imperial Majesty nor the dowager Queen [of Hungary] would need this King's assistance by sea.
There was one fact in particular, which attracted more than any other this king's attention and that of his deputies, and at which they seemed astonished and almost scandalized, namely, that whilst we were soliciting them to make an offensive league with us and to invade France, we should not stipulate that the invasion was to take place within a year's time, they themselves alleging many potent reasons as to the expediency of fixing a time for it; but the truth is that the matter being so important I dared not take a determination without first consulting Your Imperial Majesty thereupon, as well as on the terms and wording of the challenge and declaration of war to be addressed to the king of France.
Respecting the two dukes of Clèves and Holstein, it has been altogether impossible for me to induce these people to promise help and aid against them, much less to make the deputies agree to a specific clause in the treaty stipulating that they are not to be favored by either of the parties, bringing forward for that purpose, among others, the following argument:—I told the deputies that I should be satisfied with the two dukes being considered as common enemies in case of their invading any part of Your Imperial dominions mentioned in the treaty of defensive league.
On the preceding articles and others the deputies have likewise raised certain objections more or less important, the details of which I omit for brevity's sake, and because I have no doubt that the bishop of Winchester will not fail to bring them forward separately or all together. I shall likewise, to avoid prolixity, abstain from reproducing in this despatch all the remonstrative arguments I made use of in the course of the discussion, for Monseigneur de Granvelle being there—at Court—any attempt of that sort on my part would be as foolish and unprofitable as to pretend to add light to the rays of the sun with one single candle (que de vouloir augmenter avec une chandeyle la lumiere du soleil).
Though the King at first was not for sending to Your Imperial Majesty an ambassador extraordinary, he now trusts so much on the professions of friendship, affection, and goodwill made by me to him and to his ministers in Your Majesty's name, that he has now decided to make the experiment, and has appointed the above-named bishop [of Westminster], a worthy ecclesiastic, and most agreeable to the King, who, besides his honesty and good qualities, has the reputation of being much in favor of the closer alliance and confederacy; of which alliance it seems to me as if this was the fit time to treat in earnest for the above considerations and reasons, which I humbly submit to Your Imperial Majesty's superior judgment and political wisdom. Indeed, I venture to say that most of the objections raised by this King's deputies during the discussion of the articles are trifling, and that Your Majesty ought not to be over scrupulous with regard to them, nor look too closely at those points on which there has been no conformity. For if this king's nature and inclination be taken into account; if we consider that whenever he takes a fancy to a person, or decides for an undertaking, he goes the whole length (mets le tout pour le tout), there being no limit or restriction whatever to his wishes; if we calculate that he has every opportunity of living at peace with all his neighbours and profiting by their dissensions; that instead of that he is ready to throw himself into a maze of difficulties, as he well knows, and that he does not scruple to enter into it for the service of God, the welfare of Christendom, as well as the singular and paternal affection he bears Your Imperial Majesty, it will be found that it is prudent and wise to accept the King's terms with some slight modifications. Besides which, it may be borne in mind that before the offensive league is made and established, many occasions are likely to arise by means of which the said articles may be advantageously moditied or reformed in our favor. For Your Imperial Majesty may be persuaded that the English are now more desirous than ever they were of going to war with the French, owing chiefly to their intelligences with the Turk, besides the old hatred and enmity existing between the two nations, so that all will rush upon France as if they went to extinguish a fire, (fn. n20) and that they will attack the enemy willingly and heartily, which is the right mode of going to work in such matters.
It has, moreover, been settled and concluded between the deputies and myself that the clause forbidding one of the two parties to treat with the enemy without the knowledge and consent of the other is to be made still clearer and more binding than it is at present, and that the time of the obligation is to be extended; profound secrecy to be kept on the whole; and, lastly, that a deed be drawn up concerning the Navigation and its revokation edict, as Your Imperial Majesty will see in the enclosed documents. (fn. n21)
I have purposely left for the end of this my despatch, and I should perhaps say for the bonne bouche of the people of the Low Countries, that on my return from Flanders I met at St. Omer Monsieur du Ruz (Rœulx), who, merely for the sake of pastime and without any plausible reason or foundation, told me among other things that if he had only 4,000 Englishmen, besides the infantry and cavalry which he himself could suddenly raise in the Artois, he could easily surprise Montreuil, and overrun the neighbouring country, provided the undertaking should take place within the next three months, and that the place once taken it would be very easy to keep it, as during the winter months it might be strengthened and fortified. The enemy, in the meantime, could not be so foolish as to lay seige to it, and Montreuil once taken and its surrounding territory overrun, Hesdin, Thervuenne, Ardres, and Boulogne would soon fall for want of provisions, for the latter harbour being bad and so exposed to the winds, and so unsafe during the winter months, the country round it could not be well supplied; Boulogne itself, if besieged, would have to surrender for want of provisions and ammunition. I have considered it my duty to inform the King of all these particulars, and repeat to him the substance of my conversation with Mr. de Ruz (Rœulx). He listened to me with great attention, and, as a prudent and wise prince well versed in such matters, began at once to go thoroughly into it, and inquired whether I had any powers from Your Imperial Majesty to propose anything of the sort, or whether the Queen herself or Mr. de Ruz had received any orders. I answered that I myself had none, neither was I aware of Your Imperial Majesty having any knowledge of it. He then asked me what I thought he had better do. I advised him to send a message to the queen of Hungary, and that meanwhile the governor of Guisnes might communicate on the subject with Mr. de Ruz, and this latter with the Queen. He approved of the plan and promised to do this.
No better bait could have been thrown, in my opinion, to attract this king and draw him promptly and efficiently into a war with France than a plan of this sort, which, besides affording him the means of extending his own frontiers, will bind him more closely to the defence and protection of your own in the Low Countries. That is why I should advise, under correction of course, that a matter so important should be discussed in preference to any other, and that Your Imperial Majesty should gratify and please this king as much as possible in it. I therefore humbly beseech and entreat Your Imperial Majesty to listen to advice which zeal for your service prompts me to tender. Besides the benefit that may result therefrom, I am in hopes that this King's help and assistance against the Turk, should the present treaty be concluded, will be obtained through it. Indeed, not many days ago, the King was, as his Lord Privy Seal (Fitz William) informs me, on the point of remitting to the king of the Romans a sum of 50,000 crs.
Considering that in future the roads through France will be closed for English as well as for Imperial couriers, and that should the present negociations for defensive and offensive alliance end, as he hopes, well, this King says it is important and necessary that Your Imperial Majesty and he be in constant and almost daily communication. To that end he is now sending to Your Majesty, along with the bishop of Westminster, a sea-captain (marinier) to purchase in Spain two "zabras," not doubting that Your Imperial Majesty will fit out two others to be always ready in port to bring or convey any message of importance. The queen Regent herself recommends this measure, as she writes to me, and the King, as I say, is quite prepared to do whatever is needful in the affair. Indeed, I do not hesitate to say that I see him determined and ready for any good enterprize against France, that being the reason why I again beg Your Majesty to consider that this is the proper time and season to gain him completely to our side and get help from him.
Your Imperial Majesty's letter of the 5th inst. has come to hand. I will obey orders, and conform entirely with the instructions therein contained.
The French ambassador (Marillac) has not visited Hampton-Court since the Holy Week. The receptor of Neuf-Chastel, (fn. n22) gentleman in waiting to the Admiral of France, went away from hence brusquement depesche, and without seeing the King. There is no longer any question of the practices that brought him over to this country—touching the Orleans marriage. True it is that these people, thinking they might gain something by communicating the news, have given me to understand that their ambassador in France (Paget) had written to say that, according to the Admiral's report, if the negociations for the Orleans marriage had not succeeded, other offers would be made—perhaps more agreeable and acceptable—to ensure, if possible, this King's friendship or neutrality at least.—Dampton-Court, (fn. n23) the last day of June 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original, partly ciphered. pp. 12.
30 June. 14. The Same to Mgr. de Granvelle.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 7–15.
"Monseigneur,"—I could never, if I tried, sufficiently thank Your Lordship for the care you take of my particular and private affairs, as appears from the letters of the 3rd of May just received. Yet I am exceedingly vexed to hear of the bishop of London's (Edmund Bonner) importunities, not only on account of the annoyance (fascherie) he must have caused His Imperial Majesty and Your Lordship, but because he has not given you time to attend to my own private affairs, without the speedy settlement of which, I can assure Your Lordship, I shall still remain in a state of shameful misery and perplexity. I have no doubt, however, that if His Majesty, the Emperor, as Your Lordship kindly assures me, has uttered the very flattering words contained in your letter, I shall soon get out of the difficult position in which I am. That is why I again beg and entreat Your Lordship not to forget me, and I shall always afterwards remain your most obliged servant and humble slave. As to the Bishop in question, if I am to believe what one of the privy councillors tells me, I have no doubt that he will be in future a little more modest than he has hitherto been, and will take example by the bishop of Westminster, now going as ambassador to the Emperor—a mild, moderate, and honest politician.
Had these people been more docile and submissive than they are, or more ready to listen to my very reasonable suggestions and unanswerable arguments, the negociation for the treaty of closer alliance would already have terminated here; (fn. n24) but besides their being by nature inclined to look with preference to their own individual profit, the need in which other princes have hitherto been of their alliance and help has made them ask almost for "carte blanche" whenever they have been invited to treat. That is why, whilst soliciting our alliance, as they are doing at present, they keep continually bringing forward, as an argument in their favor, the extreme need of the Emperor's affairs, and the danger—in my opinion very much exaggerated—of an attack by the two dukes of Clèves and Holstein, who, they say, are on the point of invading Flanders. They would have continued long singing this tune of theirs had I not suddenly put a stop to it by telling some of the principal privy councillors, who enjoy most favor with this king, that he of Clèves would easily treat with us about Ghelders provided we engaged to help him against this king, and that the duke of Holstein was actually offering a very good position [in Denmark] to the Emperor's nieces. (fn. n25) That in addition to that the last-mentioned duke was willing to transfer to the said princesses all the titles, actions, and complaints (querelles) he had or pretended to have to and against England, with promise to help in the conquest of this island with a powerful force. (fn. n26) And, to say the truth, the English are right in carefully weighing these political matters, and trying to ascertain what the state of the Emperor's affairs is at present, since it is for them a question of launching into a sea of difficulties and dangers and running the same risk as ourselves, when they could easily pass along in the midst of the storm. I can assure Your Lordship that it is not without mystery that I have conducted them so far, not forgetting to tell them how much the Emperor did for them in lending himself to this reconciliation and closer friendship. Among the almost in numerable representations and persuasions which I have from time to time addressed to them, one is the ill-will and hatred which the French bear them, saying that the Dauphin [Henri] has often declared, half in joke and half in earnest, among his private and most intimate friends: "I am the king of England's spiritual son, but I intend also to be the heir and successor to his crown. It will be quite right for the kings of France to take in future the title of kings of England, since the latter have assumed that of kings of France. There never was in France a king named Henri who was not also king of England, and certainly I am not of inferior stuff, state, or quality to my predecessors." (fn. n27)
Your Lordship knows better than I do how important it is for the Emperor to make friends of the English under present circumstances. If the inconstancy, perfidy, and malice of the French, who, regardless of what Your Lordship has done for them at other times, would like to see you now at the bottom of the sea, is to be successfully counteracted the friendship of the English must be secured at any cost. That is my humble opinion. I will only add that were the present negociation 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 which 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; for I can assure you it would be almost impossible for ships bound from Flanders to Spain and back to touch on the coast of England—nowadays so provided with castles, bulwarks, and bastions that no ship can enter a port or remain any time in sight without this King's permission. I am now writing to His Imperial Majesty in favor of the said alliance more boldly than I am perhaps justified in doing. Your Lordship will no doubt excuse me on account of my native simplicity, and likewise on the plea that, in order to gratify the King and to keep him in good spirits, I have found it necessary to introduce certain phrases in my despatch which I know will please the King and his deputies, to whom I had promised to show it, as I have done. I also beg Your Lordship to take in good part all I have said in my despatch to the Emperor; it is only my love for the Emperor's service that has dictated it, and not in any way this King's undue influence on my mind, for I can assure Your Lordship, on pain of damnation, that I have received no other present from him than a few artichokes once, and on another occasion one buck, and one large fish, which had been presented to him, and I believe was a dolphin.
To conclude with another piece of temerity on my part, I must say, as Don Iñigo was in the habit of saying, and Mons. de Praet still repeated some time ago in the presence of the Queen [of Hungary], if the Emperor intends to profit by the English alliance, it is very important that he distribute here a few pensions; (fn. n28) most certainly some inconsiderable sums of money might at once gain over those who enjoy most favor and credit with the King, for being, as they are, already in favor of the Emperor, a small addition to their income might help considerably to the good success of the affairs. The privy councillors who now enjoy the Kings favor are only two, the Lord Privy Seal and Secretary Uristle (Wriothesley); two others, though King's favorites also, depend chiefly upon the former, namely, the Admiral and the Grand Squire. These latter would be satisfied with little. As to the bishop of Winchester, he would surely be contented with the honor of the thing, and certainly he deserves well some sort of reward from the Emperor, having been the first to commence this negociation, as well as for the good-will and affection he bears to His Imperial Majesty, and the good qualities by which he is distinguished.
I say nothing respecting the idea the Emperor had at one time, as he wrote to me, of sending from Flanders a personage with letters to this King, for the Emperor has too much experience of affairs not to know what is here wanted.
I have likewise frequently and by stealth caused a transcript to be made of the project of treaty which these people once made, and which they have since changed in many places, as Your Lordship will see in the draft which the bishop of Westminster (fn. n29) took along with him. Notwithstanding that, I have considered it necessary to send Your Lordship a copy of the articles as they were drawn, discussed, and almost approved, begging and entreating Your Lordship not to mention the fact to anyone, and keep the affair secret, so that these people may not suspect that I have been unfaithful to them. I beg Your Lordship, on the contrary, to publish and tell the English ambassadors there—at the Imperial Court—that I have worked wonders to bring the negociation to a close. I also beg Your Lordship to think about the "zabras" or light vessels for mail purposes; the idea is good, and originated with this king, as I wrote in my despatch to the Emperor. I am still, as Your Lordship will see, wonderfully contending with the royal deputies respecting the dukes of Clèves and Holstein, daily fighting and defeating them with the very same arguments and reasons which they opposed to me whilst discussing the article about the rebels, and have in the end found and ascertained that this King had previously made with each of those a separate contract and confederacy contrary to our views on the subject.
This king's deputies think that their master will see with pleasure that in the letters which the Emperor addresses him the title of "bel oncle" is to be suppressed, in order to remove all occasion to open (exulceren) old wounds. That, in my opinion, ought to be avoided in future, since the English allege that even giving for granted that in our eyes the King's marriage to queen Katharine was legitimate, the title of Queen ought not to have been given to her after her death, and that for the same reason we ought to refrain from calling Madame Marie princess [of England], since there is now one recognised as such and legitimate. The Queen Regent of the Low Countries and those about her are of opinion that the King ought to be gratified in such small matters as these. If Your Lordship is of the same opinion, it will be for you to make the Emperor condescend to it and give proper orders in Chancery.
I am almost sure that His Imperial Majesty is already aware of quite half of the toil and labor, both physical and mental which this blessed negociation has brought upon me, ever since Ascension Day up to the present moment, and the services I have rendered without interference or reminder from anyone, and that I have thereby made myself worthy of some reward or other. (fn. n30) And yet, as His Imperial Majesty might not be aware of that, I will again beg Your Lordship to intercede for me, and add this new favor to the many I have already received at your hands.
It will be a novelty for Your Lordship to see this letter not written or ciphered entirely in my own hand, but though the affairs treated of in it are of an important nature, it could not be done otherwise, owing to the gout in my right hand, which seized me shortly after my return from Flanders. I am now better, thank God; but still not sufficiently well to use my hand. Not only has the disease touched me up corporally, it has also impaired my mental faculties, as Your Lordship cannot fail to perceive in perusing this rambling and confused epistle. I say nothing of the trouble and annoyance I have experienced at seeing that the affairs did not turn out just as I might have wished, which I can assure Your Lordship has been much greater than that caused by my infirmity. That is why I most humbly beg Your Lordship to pardon and excuse me.
Were I to mention here the many praises which these royal deputies are daily singing of Your Lordship, the good opinion they have of your works and the very cordial affection they bear you, I should never finish were I to write consecutively for the next twenty-four hours. I particularly mean the Lord Privy Seal and Secretary Uryseley (Wriothesley), not forgetting the bishop of Winchester, (fn. n31) who told me the other day that Your Lordship ought to consider that there is no house, town, or city in the World, however large or spacious, that has not a door, gateway, or narrow passage through which an entry may be effected; that it is the same with this structure (batissement) of ours—a true and perfect friendship—which we are now about to erect; the narrow entrance or threshold of the door once passed, there will be inside such abundance of good-will and amiable offices, as well as everything else desirable on both parts, that it will be a second cornucopie or "horn of plenty." (fn. n32) It seems to me that if the negociation goes on prosperously—and there is a question here in England of sending to the Emperor some notable personage of this country, we ought to try that the individual appointed be the Bishop, for being, as he is, a person of good sense and wit, and knowing, as he does, his master's nature and character, he would at once point out the best means of guiding the affair.—D'Ampton Cour (from Hampton-Court) on the last day of June 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To Monseigneur de Granvelle, the Emperor's Lord Privy Seal."
French. Original. pp. 5.


  • n1. Elsewhere St. Maurice.
  • n2. St. Pol, a town of France (dep. Nord).
  • n3. "Du xxv. de ce mois;" not in the Archives.
  • n4. Mais en larticle des rebelles ilz ny veuillent comprendre les subjects de sa mate en tiltre imperial."
  • n5. "Ilz veullent precisement que laide deffensive se doibge (doibve) bailler du temps de lexecution de la ligue offensive, et que lobligacion de la deffensive ne durera que quatre mois chasque annee, ou continuelz, ou comme la necessite le requerra."
  • n6. The copy before me reads Vuesmaistre, which, according to the spelling of the time, would be Westminster, not Winchester, which Chapuys generally writes Vuinchestre. There can be no doubt, however, that in the present case, as in the following letters, Thomas Thirlby, bishop of Westminster from 1539 to 1550, is meant.
  • n7. The name is omitted in the copy, which reads thus:—"Ayant ces jours levesque de Wyncester este constrainct pour craincte de la maladie du sieur de desemparer sa maison et soy retirer aupres de mon logis."
  • n8. Sir Henry Knivet, about whom see Vol. VI., Part II., p. 464.
  • n9. "Et quil estoit fort joyeulx que le pouvoir fust arrive, et que les affaires se deussent traicter par mes mains, car plus confidantement declaireroit-il son intention et ouvriroit-il son estomach [á moi] que á nul autre."
  • n10. "Il nauroit eu occasion de se douloir de la response quilx disent que vre mate luy avoit faict faire quant apres la prinse du dit roy de France il requeroit, en vertue des traictez, que vre. mate continuat la guerre, et quil me sembloit quavec laide de Dieu il y auroit avant long temps aussi bonne ou meilleure commodite de renger (ranger) á raison et debvoir le dit roy."
  • n11. Nicolas de Bossut, sieur de Longueval, of king Francis' chamber.
  • n12. Jeanne d'Albret, Francis' niece, daughter of Henri II. d'Albret, titular king of Navarre, and Margaret of Valois. See Vol. V., Part II., pp. 412, 414.
  • n13. The original, or at least the copy from Vienna, has "car depuys vre. mte avoit gaigne le pays de Gruninguen et la reste que tenoit le feu duc de Gheldres en fisc;" but these two words must be an error for en Frise, or perhaps for en fief.
  • n14. "Le quel ne fauldra à patrizer ores que à ceste heure pour estre comme en tutelle il ne se declareroit entires du tout."
  • n15. Marie de Guise, daughter of the duke Claude de Lorraine.
  • n16. "Luy disant sur ce diverses choses, et que quant à luy offrir femme je tenoye pour certain que sil estoit en vre. mate luy povoir gratiffier ne en ce, ne en autre chose quelconque, que icelle [mte] le feroit de tres bien (bon?) cueur, et quoique eusse [á] blasonner les armes des dits françois, si ne vouloye-je nyer que le roy de France et le Daulphin ne soient bien affectionnez, je ne disois pas envers luy mais envers son pays."
  • n17. "Et soit que par deffaulte de bien entendre le langaige françois ou pour courir trop plus seurement advise sur icelles avec le dit sr roy et les autres du Conseil, ilz ont mis certains pointz en avant et reboutte quelques ungs des aultres passez, á sçavoir en larticle concernant la restitution dez rebelles, ne veuillant admettre que les subjectz de vre. mate en tiltre d'empire y soient comprintz, et en larticle du traicte de Cambray parlant de lentrecours, veuillant estre adjouste une clausule que nay voulu admettre pour aultant quil semble quelle tend aulcunement à la perpetuation des traictez du dit entrecours."
  • n18. "Et quil semble une chose bien estrange et comme ridicule que voz mates soient obligees lune á laultre pour la deffension avec grands fraiz et coustange et que dailleurs permectent en leurs pays commercer et contracter aux enemys contre les quelz fault donner defense, et que la deffense auctoritative quest de tenir pour enemy les enemyz de lamy oultre quelle dennotte plus intrinsique et ferme voulente et union indissoluble aussy vraiysemblablement y sera icelle que plustot gardera les enemys de oser entreprendre contre lung ou laultre des alliés."
  • n19. "Bien crois-je quils auront quelque respect de considerer que sils avoient baille gens, il leur fauldroit payer leur souldee (sic) jusquez quilz vouldroient; que le secours de mer fut precis et non commutable en argent, ou du moins que le service requerant argent pour la dite ayde maritime promist lemployer en armee de mer, ce que ne leur ay ose accorder, &c."
  • n20. "Outre lancienne inimitie et hayne quilz leur portent de sorte quilz y courront tres tous comme au feu, et de tres bon coeur, quest le principal pour bien exploicter."
  • n21. "Comme vre. mate verra par les pieces cy-joinctes." None, however, of the documents alluded to are in the packet.
  • n22. "Le receveur de Neuf-Chastel," Guillaume Gellimard, sieur de Chasteauneuf, the Admiral's secretary. See above, pp. 9 and 10
  • n23. That is d'Hampton Court, which Spaniards of that day used to call Anthon and Anthona.
  • n24. "Si ceulx-cy eussent estez (sic) gens que soy submissent à raisonables et presque irrefragable remonstrances et persuasions, les affaires eussent sans autre renvoy estez (sic) concludz icy."
  • n25. That is the daughters of Christiern II. and Isabella, the Emperor's sister.
  • n26. "Mais apres que ceste chanson heust (eust) assez dure, je leur serray la bouche, disant à aucuns des principaulx en confidence que le dit duc de Clèves, traictteroit vonlentiers avec nous de Gueldres pourveu que luy voulsissions assister contre ce roy, et que celluy de Holstein offroit tres bon party aux niepces de sa mate; et aultre ce il leur vouloit transpourter les tiltres, actions, et querelles quil pretendoit sur ce royaulme, avec promesse de tres grosse assistance pour la conqueste."
  • n27. "Je leur fis entendre que le Daulphin navoit entre ses privez et familliers riens plus souvent en bouche que de dire quil estoit fillot, et filz spirituel de ce roy, et quil entendoit [aussi] estre le filz temporel et successeur de ce royaulme; et quil estoit raison que desormais les roys de France se intitulassent d'Angleterre, aussi bien quavoyent cy devant ceulx dangleterre de France, et quil ny avoit heu (eu) oncques roy Henry en France que joinctement ne le fust dangleterre, et que luy nestoit de moindre estoffe, estat, et habitude que les autres."
  • n28. "Pour achever de user de ma temerite il fault que je vous die (sic) comme soulait dire le sieur don Iñigo [de Mendoça] et Mons. de Praët, laffirmait encores dernierement en la presence de la royne, que si sa mate pretend jamais faire son prouffit de ceulx-cy, il convient que icelle y ait quelques pensionnaires." Both D. Iñigo de Mendoza and Louis de Flandre, sieur de Praët, had been ambassadors in England.
  • n29. Winchester in the original, but I have not hesitated to substitute Westminster for it.
  • n30. "Et les services que jay faict à icelle sans attendre intercession ou remembrence daultruy, ne fauldroit à me fere quelque sennalade merced." Such is the paragraph, in which it is to be observed that the two last words are not French but Spanish.
  • n31. Of Winchester? Stephen Gardiner. The copy, as usual, reading Wamestre (Westminster) instead of Wencestre (Winchester).
  • n32. "Et entre eulx plus particulierement le Sr du privessel et le secretaire Uryseley (Wriothesley), ne doibt estre oblie levesque de Wyncestre, le quel ma dit que vre. Se par sa prudence doibt considerer quil ny a maison, place, ne cite quelque grande, ample, et spacieuse quelle soit, que les entreez ne soient estrenstes (extreintes, extroictes?), et que ainsi semble il estre en ce batissement et edifice de bonne, vraye et perpetuelle amitie, dont [il] sagit, et que [à] estre passee ceste estroicture et difficulte de lentree, lon y trouvera tant dabundance de bonne voulente, amiables offices, et de tout ce que lon sçauroit desirer que ce sera ung aultre copie corne (cornucopia)."