Spain: February 1543, 1-20

Pages 239-248

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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February 1543, 1-20

12 Feb. 100. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—On Monday, the 5th inst., the King's deputies came to dine with me at this embassy, when, after a long conversation, we at last arrived at a conclusion on the subject of closer friendship and alliance, which, however, was on the point of again being suspended, if not entirely broken off, owing to their insisting upon the King, their master, being called in the preamble to the treaty, "Sovereign Chief of the Anglican Church." The Royal deputies again came to me on Wednesday, the 7th, at 6 o'clock in the afternoon, when I have no words to describe to Your Majesty how I was pressed to accede to their request in that particular, they (the deputies) having repeatedly declared to me that unless I consented to their master being explicitly called in the preamble to the treaty, "King of England and Sovereign Chief of the Anglican Church," they considered the whole as lost; the King's indignation would be roused, and much harm might ensue; for (said they) "the very moment that our master, the King, is apprized of that difficulty, he will altogether refuse to hear more about the treaty with the Emperor." This the deputies affirmed on their honor and conscience, adding that on that very day letters had been received from France offering monts et merveilles to their master, who, angry and irritated as he would naturally be at my refusal, might perhaps be induced to listen to their proposals.
Hearing this I addressed to them such representations as I deemed necessary to excuse my non-conformity with their views on that particular point. After a good deal of discussion, it was at last decided that in the treaty which I myself was to sign and seal, only the titles of "King of England, France, and Ireland" should be inserted, and in spite of all their prayers that those of "Defender of the Faith," and so forth should be added, I never consented to that. With regard to the one, which the royal deputies themselves have already signed and sealed, and which is to remain in their hands, I could not help their giving the King all the titles he has assumed, the deputies alleging that the substance and validity of the treaty are in no wise affected or impaired by the honorable titles given to their master—titles and denominations (they said) which did no harm to any one, whilst they increased considerably the King's honor and reputation. I must observe that having during the discussion told the deputies, by way of argument, that the additional titles given to their master, the King, would come to nothing, inasmuch as I might with the greatest ease, whenever the document in their power came to me to sign, cancel or erase the titles I objected to, they answered that I might do what I liked with the treaty, as they were perfectly satisfied with having executed their master's orders in that particular.
As to the inclusion (comprehension) of the two dukes of Clèves and Holstein in the treaty, which is another point at variance, the Royal deputies assured me over and over again that they held it as clear and certain that both of them were comprised under the general clause relating to the "common enemies," so that it was unnecessary to introduce a more express and separate declaration in the treaty.
I have tried all I could to have an additional clause inserted to this effect,—that should one of the contracting parties enter particularly into a war with France at the head of an army as powerful and numerous as the one fixed for the common defence, then, in that case, the Prince about to invade France on his own account will not be obliged to join in the contribution for the defence. Whatever efforts I made, I could not obtain this from them. True is it that the thing is not, in my opinion, very important, for even if the affairs of Scotland were in a different condition—and in my opinion there is no danger of an invasion of England on that side—there would be no probability, whilst this King was occupied in a war with France, of the Scotch invading England or the French attacking Calais, Guisnes, and other English possessions in France, as the latter would have their hands full elsewhere.
With regard to the interpretation of the treaty, I have been unable to make any more changes, and in my opinion—and let this be said under due correction—the short clause (clausule) introduced in it does not impede the interpretation already established and now existing.
That is why I have insisted (though in vain) upon the article stipulating the number of ships, chariots, ammunition, ordnance, provisions, and so forth, required for the English army of invasion being supplemented by the words "selon que bonnement et commodement faire se pourroit." This, however, the Royal deputies refused to grant, alleging that the addition proposed by me was superfluous—the article was intelligible enough without those words; it was the same as that of the treaty of Windsor, and, besides, neither the Emperor nor his ministers in Spain had raised the least objection upon it.
Considering, therefore, that for some time back the Emperor's and Your Majesty's letters to me have earnestly recommended the prompt conclusion and signature of the treaty; considering also the situation of public affairs, and particularly those of Your Majesty; fearing, moreover, a sudden rupture of the negociations, and also that this king's anger and indignation might induce him to listen to French intrigues, now warmer than ever, I have been literally compelled to sign the treaty in the form that Your Majesty will see by the enclosed copy (fn. n1) of the original. I should very much have wished to have consulted upon a few points before appending my signature to it, but the Royal deputies would never hear of that, saying that there was no time for it. I really believe that well-considered We have not made a bad bargain, and that when the Emperor and Your Majesty have examined it with attention, it will be found satisfactory enough under the circumstances, nay, that mutual confidence once established between His Imperial Majesty and this king, both Your Majesty and the Emperor, Your brother, will get out of the former anything You may ask. To obtain this from him it will be necessary to show great confidence and trust in him, and supply him with things congenial to his nature and inclinations. Indeed, his deputies assure me that in return for the favorable conclusion of the treaty the King, their master, is now inclined to contribute to the war against the Turk.
This King wishes that the treaty may remain a secret for some time to come, if possible until its final ratification, in order that his subjects may in the meantime dispose of the goods and property they may have in France. He is, nevertheless, extremely desirous that the ratification shall take place as soon as possible, and intends shortly to send to Spain for the purpose two messengers, one by this sea, and another by way of Germany and Italy, and has besides requested me to do the same and write direct to Spain; suggesting that for greater security the man I myself am about to send [to Spain] should not get a passage in the same vessel as his, but sail in a different one.
Three days ago the King sent me word that his ambassador resident in France had written to say that king Francis was still plotting (machinoit), and that his chief hope consisted in trying to take by surprise some town in the Low Countries, and, therefore, that it was necessary to be on the alert. King Francis did not intend doing anything else this summer than attack that country with all his disposable forces.
For the last seven days the king has had news from Scotland that the cardinal [of St. Andrews] had been confined to prison by the command of count Harran (the earl of Arran) and his party, at which the Queen (Marie de Guise) had been much astonished, uttering cries and lamentations. (fn. n2) The count Dhouglas (Archibald, earl of Angus) had been deputed to go to the Queen and console her. His speech had been short and laconic; he only said to her that she ought not to be frightened at, or care for, the imprisonment of so low a man (de si basse sorte) as the Cardinal was, and that his detention was merely for the purpose of examining him respecting certain affairs. It is rumoured that the cause for the Cardinal's apprehension can be no other than his too great intelligence with the French, and his having tried to make Mons. de Guise or some other French personage come to Scotland and get the government of the country into his hands, a sort of thing which the Scotch will not in any way allow. The said count Dhouglas and his brother George, for a long while exiles in this country, but who are now in Scotland enjoying credit and favor with the governor, are evidently on the King's side, and there seems to be some hope of the English affairs in that country going on favorably, or at least of the Scotch being ultimately detached from the French alliance.
The great haste in which I am prevents my sending to Your Majesty a fair copy of the treaty, nor have I been at leisure to have it transcribed for Mr. de Granvelle. I therefore beg and entreat Your Majesty, after inspecting the draft herein enclosed, to be pleased to have it transcribed for the Privy Seal's use, and sent to him wherever he may be.
Whilst writing the above, two privy councillors have sent me word that the English ambassador at Venice (fn. n3) writes to this king that the Pope is now in treaty with king Francis to obtain the duchy of Milan, by conquest or otherwise, for one of his nephews, (fn. n4) and that it behoved His Imperial Majesty to have firm foot and quick eye on the occasion to discountenance and obviate such projects. They have also come to announce to me that most probably to-morrow a truce with the Scotch will be proclaimed by public crier in the streets of this city; that on the same day two ambassadors from that country (Scotland) are expected here; and last, not least, that there is some appearance of discord and dissension among the nobles of that country in consequence of the Archbishop's detention. The count of Mourel, (fn. n5) bastard brother of the late king, and the other two noblemen named (according to the cardinal's statement) in the King's will, hold still for that prelate, as well as one count Bondicel, (fn. n6) who came lately from Flanders and has also joined them; but the other party is stronger and more numerous, having at their head the count Dhouglas (fn. n7) and all the prisoners [of Solway Moss] lately in London. If there be a question of coming to blows, this king will not fail to help the latter with money, that he may make levies and get all necessaries for war.—London, 12 February 1542–3.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. pp. 5.
17 Feb. 101. The Same to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Sire,"—God has been pleased that after many delays, much work and annoyance (against the opinion and the hopes of many), the treaty of closer friendship and alliance between Your Imperial Majesty and this king has been at last concluded and signed, as nearly in accordance with Your Imperial Majesty's will and intentions as has been possible. I hope that Your Imperial Majesty will be pleased with it, and satisfied with the work done. Indeed, I do not hesitate to say that were Your Imperial Majesty to know one fourth of what has passed here during the discussion of the articles of the treaty, You would comparatively value my services on this occasion much beyond my expectations. I will, however, abstain from entering here into details, having already done so in my despatch to the queen dowager of Hungary, of which a copy is here enclosed. Should Your Majesty have the wish and the leisure to peruse the despatch to which I allude, the ups and downs of a negociation—of the good issue of which I many a time despaired—will appear in their full light. The only fact connected with the conclusion of the treaty, which I did not mention in my despatch to the dowager queen of Hungary, is my having heard from good sources that the aim of this king, in his negociations with the Scotch, had hitherto been to make sure of the nobles attached to the French party, and get the little girl, daughter of the deceased King, into his hands. (fn. n8) This has been his fixed idea for some time past; and it seems that he now has some slight chance of gaining his purpose, provided he previously engages not to have her married to his son (prince Edward), but give her for husband some personage or other who may reside in Scotland, or, at least, that the children born of that marriage may do so; (fn. n9) in the meanwhile, the administration of public affairs shall remain in the hands of the nobleman who is now at the head of the government. This, I take it, is the purpose for which the Scotch ambassadors have lately come to England, and, certainly, if an arrangement of the sort can be made, it will be as injurious to the French and as profitable to Your Imperial Majesty as if this king were to take entire possession of the Scottish kingdom; besides which, the danger now threatening, of the Scotch following the example of England, and refusing obedience to the Holy Apostolic See, would cease.
Having omitted to mention in my despatch to the queen dowager of Hungary the subject of the king of the Romans and his inclusion in the treaty, I must declare to Your Imperial Majesty that though I attempted it two or three times during the discussion, I did not insist much upon it; for, in the first place, the instructions from Spain did not make king Ferdinand's inclusion an urgent case, and, in the second, because had the Royal deputies agreed to it, as most likely they would have done, they would have looked upon it as an act of gratuitous condescension, and one likely to encourage them to make some other demand in compensation, or else have rendered them more difficult on other debatable points. I thought, besides, that it was wiser for me to omit his name altogether, inasmuch as the recovery of Maran, which belongs to him, being stipulated in the treaty, there was no necessity of mentioning expressly "the king of the Romans." There was a still more potent reason for my doing so. Had I insisted upon his being named and included in the treaty, it would seem, according to the right interpretation of Civil Law, that Your Imperial Majesty had excluded all other sovereigns or powers, and His Holiness might have resented the omission of his own name as a secular prince; whereas by the king of the Romans not being mentioned, the Pope would not have cause to complain, since Your Imperial Majesty's only brother was not comprised therein; and last, not least, because should Your Majesty consider that his inclusion is convenient, that could easily be done before the ratification of the treaty.
Nor can I omit to say that although Your Imperial Majesty has not yet approved or ratified the treaty, or in any way consented to the titles this king assumes in the preamble, the matter is so arranged that it may be interpreted and understood in a very different manner from that which the Royal deputies assume, and that there is no reason whatever for Your Imperial Majesty being henceforward slandered or criticized about it, since for greater security, and to remove any cause for future reproach, I have caused the words at the end of the instrument and just before the date, namely, "according to the computation and rite of the Anglican Church," to be cancelled and effaced. (fn. n10) —London, 17 February 1542 [1543].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. pp. 3.
17 Feb. 102. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Sire,"—Just at this moment, after sealing the packet of letters of which the present despatch will form part, and whilst my man, the bearer, was getting ready to depart, Your Imperial Majesty's letter of the 23rd ult. has come to hand. I regret extremely not having received it a week sooner, before I had signed the treaty of closer friendship and alliance, for the hasty conclusion and termination (parachevement) of which I had been hard pressed by the queen dowager of Hungary, so much so, that after mature deliberation and close examination of the article which I caused to be inserted, as my despatch of the 2nd of November will show, I decided at once to bring to an end the negociation. I must observe that having previously consulted on the affair with the members of the Privy Council in Flanders, the article, as it was couched, seemed to them quite reasonable and not open to objection, since neither His Holiness the Pope nor the Ecclesiastical State is mentioned in it. With regard to the other article concerning the frequent resort of Your Majesty's subjects to this country (hantise), which at first was open to doubt, it has since been modified, altered, and reformed, according to Your Imperial Majesty's wishes. The same may be said respecting that of the "rebels." Perhaps when Your Imperial Majesty has seen and revised the whole, it will be found—and I say this under due correction—that Your Majesty's conscience will in nowise be aggrieved. I am greatly disappointed, nay, regret immensely not having received sooner Your Imperial Majesty's orders on this particular, and yet I will make no use whatever of the intimation conveyed in the last letter until I receive another from Spain, in answer to these two which the present bearer is to take. Had I not been afraid of these people—generally over suspicious in matters of this sort—taking my refusal in bad part, I should certainly have declined the offer which they once made me of dispatching a messenger to Your Imperial Majesty, independently of the two they themselves are sending by two different routes; but I have considered it best for all parties to let these people have their way, rather than furnish this king and his deputies with an opportunity to get angry and undo what has been obtained with so much patience and labour; I have also considered that in the meanwhile time is being gained, and that before the ratification of the treaty by Your Imperial Majesty events may happen calculated to facilitate the remodelling of the article in question according to Your Majesty's wishes. Even if no such opportunity occurs, I confidently hope that when once this king has placed his trust in Your Majesty, there will be nothing that he does not do to please you.—London, 17 February 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. pp. 3.
17 Feb. 103. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—Just at this moment, after closing my despatch to the Emperor, and whilst urging my man to take his departure, Your Majesty's letter of the 23rd ult. has come to hand. I cannot describe the annoyance and regret I have felt at that letter not having reached me a week ago, and before the conclusion and signature of the treaty, which, in pursuance of Your Majesty's orders, I had been pressing and hastening as much as possible. For certainly, to say the plain truth, after long and mature examination of the article as couched in my despatch of the 2nd of November—to which article, by the way, the councillors of Flanders have made no objection whatever, seeing that neither the Emperor nor the Ecclesiastical State is therein mentioned expressly; after remodelling the one relating to the "hantise" of His Imperial Majesty's subjects, which, if left as it was, might have offered matter for scruple; and reforming also, according to the Emperor's views, that concerning the rebels, I naturally thought that the best had been done to secure a good treaty of defensive and offensive alliance with England. Yet I trust (under correction) that when His Imperial Majesty inspects again and compares the whole, it will be found that His conscience is in nowise hurt by it. This notwithstanding, I must own that I am exceedingly sorry at my not having known sooner His Imperial Majesty's will and intention, of which, however, I have made and shall make a point not to speak to this king or his ministers until I again hear from home. Indeed, had not the fear of raising this people's suspicions, and of their taking it in bad part, prevented me, I would not have dispatched the messenger bearer of this letter; only I thought that after all it was better to let him go alone on board a separate vessel, and thus give these people no cause for suspicion and anger, as in the meanwhile, and before the ratification of the treaty by the Emperor, time might be gained, and events might also occur to facilitate any further amendments or changes which His Imperial Majesty might be pleased to introduce. Even if that opportunity or chance did not offer itself, I hope, nay, believe that if this king comes to place trust and reliance on Your Imperial Majesty, he will be pleased to gratify you on every point, and especially on that particular article which is still a matter for scruple.
Writing always under protest and subject to correction, and duly submitting my own opinion to His Imperial Majesty's incomparable wisdom and judgment, it seems to me that the article of the "defence," where the scruple lies, is upon the whole far more moderate than the one in the Cambray treaty; for besides the fact that no mention is therein made of the Ecclesiastical State, the terms in which the article is couched are by no means so comprehensive and general as those of the Cambray article; even if they were so, they would never comprise the Emperor, since, according to lawyers' opinion, without a, specific mention of Your Majesty's name in the article no inclusion can be meant. (fn. n11)
Respecting the bishop of London, several of the privy councillors do own that he was guilty of indiscretion at Your Majesty's court. All here desire his recall, and will do all they can to accomplish it.—London, 17 February 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England, 17 February. Received at Molins de Rey, the 30th of March 1543, after Easter."
French. Original, partly ciphered. pp. 2.
18 Feb. 104. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—Not to delay the present courier (who, I am sorry to say, has been in England eight days) I shall be brief. As it is I have no particular news to report or observations to make on present affairs, save those contained in my letter to the Emperor, of which a duplicate is enclosed. This last and the copy of the treaty lately concluded with this king I humbly beg Your Majesty to have forwarded to Mr. de Granvelle.
His Imperial Majesty's commands respecting the personage You know have been fulfilled. In addition to the sums I have paid to him in advance of his annual pension, he has to receive 200 crs. more. I have, therefore, written to my man, now in that country, that whenever he himself receives that sum from the Treasury (Messieurs des Finances) he is to go to the personage in question, (fn. n12) and hand it over to him. I most humbly beg Your Majesty to be pleased to remit to me the funds required to cover my disbursements on that account, as well as to defray the personal expences of the man I am now sending to Spain with despatches. Some money in advance of my personal salary would also be acceptable, for fear I should be obliged to make fresh disbursements, and have further to importune Your Majesty for money.—London, 18 February 1542 [1543].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.


  • n1. Not in the packet.
  • n2. "Dont la royne d'Escosse s'estoit trouvee bien estonnee en donnant crys et plainctes."
  • n3. Most likely Harvel, who seems to have resided there from 1526 to 1547.
  • n4. The ambassador must mean grandsons, for Paul had no nephews. It was most likely for Ottavio, son of Pier Luigi, who had not yet been created duke of Parma, that Pope Paul was then trying to get the investiture of Milan. see above, Aguilar's letter of the 14th Jan., No. 93, pp. 206–7, and especially that of the 28th of February (No. 108) hereafter.
  • n5. James Stuart, earl of Murray, natural son of James IV.
  • n6. Bondisel, Boutivel; no doubt Bothwell.
  • n7. Archibald Angus, earl of Douglas, generally called by Chapuys De Houglas, d'Ouglas, &c.
  • n8. "Que ce que ce roy jusquez icy traictoit avecq les Escossois estoit davoir pour son assheurance et sequestrer les dits Escossais de la partialite et devotion de France et avoir la petite fille du feu roy entre ses mains."
  • n9. The passage stands thus: "Et semble quil y a quelque peu d'apparence de y parvenir pourveu que le diet sr roy promecte non la marier au prince son filz ayns à quelque aultre sortable personnaige qui puist resider au dit Escosse, ou du moins les enfans qui sortiroient du dit marriage."
  • n10. Et pour en oster une aultre occasion jay faict canceller et changer ce que les dits deputez avoient mis à la fin de l'instrument près la date, à sçavoir ces parolles selon la computation et rite de leglise anglicane.
  • n11. This last passage is rather obscure in the deciphering; it stands thus: "Yl semble que larticle de la defension, ou seulement reste le scrupule, soit plus modere que cellui du traicte de Cambray, car oultre quil ne parle de lestat ecclesiasticque il nest aussi forme par termes si comprehensifz et generaulx, combien que oyres quil le fust, si ne comprehenderoit-il touteffois sa mate pour la quelle comprehendre comme dient (sic) les docteurs fault faire speciffique mencion."
  • n12. Of course the individual here named, and to whom 200 crs. were paid by Chapuys, is no other than Jean de Honz, the secretary of the French ambassador, although it is very singular that he should call him a "personage," a qualification that he himself very rarely, if ever, gave except to bishops, ambassadors, ministers, or titled noblemen. In a former letter to the queen dowager, regent in the Low Countries, dated the 21st of January (No. 97, pp. 233–4), allusion is twice made to a nameless "personage" dining at the ambassador's table, and who happened to be one of Chapuys' informers; but though Marillac was still in England, the word "personage," thus applied to the French ambassador's guest, seems to refer to one of Henry's courtiers rather than to Jean de Honz.