Spain: March 1543, 16-31

Pages 277-293

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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March 1543, 16-31

16 March. 115. The Same to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Sire,"—Some time ago I informed Your Imperial Majesty through Mr. de Granvelle of the contents of my despatch, of which a duplicate is now enclosed. Since then, nothing has occurred worth mentioning, save that on Tuesday last the two French ambassadors, here resident, (fn. n1) were summoned to Court, and on their return home, were accompanied by Master Charles Habart (Howard), the brother of the last queen, and by another gentleman, who have charge of staying at the French embassy, and preventing the departure of the said ambassadors until this king's own, (fn. n2) detained at Boulogne, returns. (fn. n3)
Dame Anne de Clèves has been three days running to Court; whether summoned thither, or out of her own free will, I cannot say, but my provided you are sure that the King will be satisfied with that, and not attempt to supplement them by some clause or words expressing his idea in clearer terms, or which may in any way counteract and thwart His Imperial Majesty's intentions. Provided also that the article stand wherein it is stipulated that no further interpretation or rendering (entendement) of the treaty shall be admitted, but it is to be observed ad pedem litterœ, or be modified and amended in reasonable terms, so as to remove all scruples and cavilling interpretations contrary to reason and to the sincere without waiting for a challenge, though these people consider it a point of honor not to commence hostilities without having first declared war.—London, 16 March 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. p. 1.
17 March. 116. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—The King has just now sent me a message to the effect that he has decided to send as ambassador to Your Majesty, the gentleman of whom I spoke in my last despatch, (fn. n4) accompanied either by Dr. Hutton, (fn. n5) or by Dr. Leton, (fn. n6) formerly appointed to France. The King, however, will delay their departure for Flanders until he hears my opinion on the subject, and knows whether they are or are not fit and proper persons to accredit to Your Majesty. My answer has been, that the appointment of the gentlemen could not be better, and as to the other two, were I to choose, I would decide in favor of Dr. Hutton, of whom I know something, and who seems to me fitter than the other. I do not think that the ambassadors will depart before Easter; but, in the meantime, I will solicit and take care that they are sufficiently empowered and instructed so as to treat, without any further delay, of the preconcerted undertaking against France.
Four days, ago two gentlemen of the Royal Chamber were appointed to go and reside at the French embassy, and keep good watch, so that the two ambassadors should not leave without speaking to their host. (fn. n7) Indeed, there is every reason to believe, as I have written in one of my recent despatches, that from one thing to another, matters will go on growing more and more bitter between this king and the French in such a way that little by little these English will join the dance without waiting for the ceremony of a challenge or defiance from the French—a sort of thing which the English fully expect, since they themselves consider it a point of honor not to go to war without it. (fn. n8)
The King has lately granted permission to Dame Anne of Clèves to come to Court and see the Princess. She has been three days in town without the King having seen her more than once.
The ambassadors from Scotland who were expected here have not yet come, nor will they, as reported, until the States now assembled in that country are over. These sittings neither the earl of More (Murray), bastard brother of the late king, nor those of Hogny, Alguer, and Boduel, (fn. n9) would attend. The above-named noblemen were the friends, or had received pensions from the Cardinal [of St. Andrews], who is now kept under closer confinement than before, on the charge, as I have written in one of my despatches, of having forged a certain will under the name of the King, who died ab intestato, of having suggested to him to put to death upwards of one hundred and fifty gentlemen of the kingdom of Scotland suspected of Lutheranism; and last, not least, of having ill-used and misappropriated the money left by the late king, and even the pensions received from France. The Scotch, however, are on their guard to prevent the French party from taking the upper hand in the kingdom, as they are afraid of Mr. de Guise going thither, or else Mr. de Leman (Lennox), who belongs to the Stuart family, has resided most of his life in France, and is the man for whom the Cardinal tried to procure the crown of Scotland. A fear is entertained of dissension breaking out in the said States, now assembled, and that attempts will be made to withdraw the kingdom from the obedience to the Holy Apostolic See, a step which in my opinion will be the greatest inconvenience likely to occur in all that affair. (fn. n10)
I am told that the two French ambassadors in this country, after much reflection and thought, have come to the conclusion that this king has no wish to make war upon France, and that all the military preparations he has made, and is now making, are merely intended to render their master jealous, and keep him in suspense, and thus prevent his invasion of Flanders; but, notwithstanding that, they (the ambassadors) assert that within a few days' time there will be at Ardres, and its immediate neighbourhood, a very considerable force of king Francis. (fn. n11) —London, 17 March 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the dowager queen of Hungary, Regent in Flanders and the Low Countries."
French. Holograph. pp. 3.
18 March. 117. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsieur l'Ambassadeur,"—We send you along with this three more letters, one from the Emperor, My lord and brother, and two more from Mons. de Granvelle, besides a note by the same, which was expressly left open, that We might supplement and add any observations of Our own if We considered it necessary. The note itself, however, is so full, correct, and well expressed, that We have none to make, save to recommend you most urgently to guide yourself entirely by it, and use your well-known ability and discretion to ascertain what the King's real intentions are respecting the affair in question, without, however, pressing him harder than you deem it convenient or necessary, respecting the assistance in money, in case he should be unwilling to carry on war against France. This you must avoid as much as possible, from fear of disgusting the King, and making him suspect that We want to throw on him all the expense of the war. On Our part, should the King send his ambassadors to Us, We will take care to speak to them in the terms of Mons. de Granvelle's note to you.
Count du Rœulx (fn. n12) has held an interview with the captain of Guisnes (Wallop) at Bourgbourg; both have communicated together, as you will see by the inclosed copy of the Count's letter to Us.
The prince-electors on the Rhine, and the landgraf of Hesse, after making due efforts to bring about a truce between the countries under Our government and the duke of Clèves, perceiving that they could not gain their object, have separated and gone home for the purpose of informing their respective masters of the ill success of their negociations. The Duke, on the other hand, as We hear, is trying to justify his refusal to abide by the truce on the plea that he is willing to submit his case to the arbitration and judgment of the prince-electors themselves and to the States of the Empire, thinking that by that means he will continue in possession of Ghelders. He has sent to Nürenberg seven ambassadors of his own with the double object of replying to the proposition laid by Our commissioners before the Diet, and at the same time complaining of the invasion of his patrimonial dominions. But We shall not fail to molest and worry him as long as it is in Our power to do so, so as to oblige him to come to reasonable terms with the Emperor. To that end We have sent orders to the Field Marshal duke of Aarshot, now at Maëstricht, with count de Lalaing, the two brothers Hoochstrate de Ligny, and Oostfrize, with 200 cavalry and 1,000 foot—4,000 of whom are from Upper Germany, well trained to war—and a good quantity of siege artillery, to get ready and invade the Duke's territory. (fn. n13) This force, which is to leave for its destination in a couple of days, will soon penetrate into the Duke's territory, and if the latter will offer them battle, as he is said to be determined to do, We hope to carry the day against him. We have, moreover, ordered a levy of 3,000 infantry from Limburg—all excellent soldiers—to reinforce Our army, and We shall soon see what countenance the Duke will put on. If he gives Us battle he risks the whole of his dominions; and if he does not, his subjects will sustain incredible loss and damage.
Some levies have also been ordered on the side of Munster with which to invade the Duke's possessions in Ravensburg and La Marque, and We are also in hopes that on the side of Utrecht and Brabant, the garrisons of those towns, which are numerous enough, will not be idle, but will have their share of the spoil, and whilst the Duke is elsewhere massing his troops to fight a battle, will give him work in other parts.
However this may be, We have been pleased to hear by your dispatch of the 10th inst. the news of that country, and have immediately ordered the release of the prisoner, in whose favor you wrote to Us, who was journeying from the district of Utrecht to Ghelders.
P.S.—After writing the above, We heard from an authentic quarter that the people of La Rochelle have again risen in rebellion higher than ever, and that king Francis is much displeased on that account. Also that the treasonable plot to surprise and take Thionville has been discovered.
Addressed: "To the ambassador in England."
French. Original draft. pp. 2.
18 March. 118. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—To fulfil on this side of the Channel the conditions of the treaty of closer friendship and alliance respecting the sea forces to be furnished by each of the contracting parties, We find that the Emperor, Our lord and brother is to furnish two thousand men to man the ships from these Low Countries; but as We do not know what sort of vessels will be required for the projected undertaking, We cannot decide as to the number of men to be put on board of each. Considering, however, in the first place, that English ships are generally large and heavy, and have powerful artillery, and that the king of that country would naturally wish Ours to be of equal size and force; and on the other hand, that the sort of service they are expected to do—which is merely to defend and protect the coasts of both the allies—can more easily be performed by lighter vessels, We are of opinion that, as ships of a middle size and faster sailing are less subject to storms and hurricanes in the high seas, and have greater facility for running into ports and straits in case of need, as well as sailing out of them at will; (fn. n14) as in all probability neither the French nor the Scotch can, nor will, avail themselves of ships of large tonnage, it has been decided that smaller and lighter vessels be employed in that service. For these reasons, and others which We might adduce, people experienced in these matters, now residing at this Our Court, are of opinion that We had better put the 2,000 men, whom We are bound by treaty to contribute, on board middle-sized and fast-sailing ships of Our own, the more so, that were We called upon to furnish vessels of a lighter tonnage, We could not possibly avail Ourselves of them for the defence of the coasts of Holland and Friesland—more in danger than others from the Scotch, inasmuch as there are no harbours or ports of refuge on the coast of those countries, wherein, in times of need, large ships drawing much water could run. The loss of such ships, or their being in some spot where they could be of no service, would be an incalculable loss for these Low Countries, (fn. n15) which We must obviate as far as it is in Our power.
As the affair, however, is of great importance and deserves well to be treated and discussed by the parties concerned, We have resolved to write on the subject, and recommend you to lay this proposition of Ours before the King, and the members of his Privy Council, and above all, before the High Admiral of England. (fn. n16) —Gandt (Ghent), 18 March 1543.
Indorsed: "To the ambassador in England concerning the ships and crews to be furnished in virtue of the treaty with England."
French. Original draft. pp. 2.
n. d. 119. Memorandum addressed by Mons. de Granvelle to Ambassador Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Mons. l'ambassadeur,"—There is no need of a long preamble to impress (fn. n17) you with the expediency of trying to induce the king of England to enter into a war with France within this present year. The juncture could not be more favorable than it is, considering the passage to and expected arrival of His Imperial Majesty in these countries, which, if God be pleased, will take place in May next, in the very heart of spring. (fn. n18)
Considering also that king Francis incurred very large expenses last year in the various wars he made, and is still making, on this and the other side of the mountains, imagining—though, to say the truth, he has obtained no other advantage—not without great malignity on his part, that he can utterly destroy us, and yet, without any other result than the destruction and annihilation of his own kingdom, it is evident that this is the proper time and season to come down upon him so as to ensure his ruin and consequent loss of reputation, and palpably demonstrate to the World that he has neither forces nor generals (chiefs), nor soldiers to carry on warfare successfully.
In addition to this, king Francis is universally detested and blamed by all the powers in Christendom, even in Germany, where the indignation against him is almost general, owing to the captains and military men of that nation, who served last year under him, having returned home unpaid and discontented; so much so, that he will have great difficulty in procuring fresh recruits, unless it be secretly, and at great risk of being abandoned by them at a moment's notice owing to the general prohibition in Germany forbidding people to enlist under French banners.
His Imperial Majesty, on the contrary, will be able to raise as many levies as he likes, so that besides the great forces in cavalry and infantry which the Queen Regent has already in Flanders and the Low Countries, and the Spaniards and Italians the Emperor is bringing in his suite, the Imperial army, if necessary, can be increased to any amount.
The king of France's subjects, are, moreover, exceedingly displeased and indignant with him, so much so, that some of them, like the inhabitants of Brittany, have risen tumultuously against him, and the people of La Rochelle have actually revolted, so that king Francis, his privy councillors and courtiers, begin to be afraid, that if the war becomes general, he and they may be in danger from the French themselves.
Should not the king of England decide to make war on France this year, it is to be feared that the hesitation and wavering he has hitherto shown in the matter, and the secret intrigues of the French, may perhaps influence him to forget the obligation by which he is bound according to the terms of the last treaty.
It is to be supposed that the king of England is so fond of his money, that it will greatly grieve him to lay his hand on his treasury; perhaps also the state of affairs in far Scotland will make him hesitate; yet, since he has come so forward as to sign the treaty of closer friendship and alliance, it must be presumed that he is now decidedly hostile to the French, not only on account of the interest of the money the French owe him for arrears of pension, as for insuring its payment for the future, the more so that he fears the French will thwart his designs in Scotland. The above are the reasons why king Francis ought to be attacked at once, and reduced to such an extremity that he may no longer take the offensive, and molest the king of England in Scotland or elsewhere.
As you know better than any other man the nature and condition of the English king, you must look out for means and occasions of getting him to declare to you what his real intentions are with regard to France, and ascertain whether he wishes to make war on its king, in conformity with the treaty, and what inclination he himself has shown since the signature of the same to oppose and fight France, and prevent any mischief they may do in Scotland. Of course, I need not tell you that I shall be glad to receive reliable intelligence respecting the state of that country, so as to judge what the King's position in Scotland really is.
You should take care, when speaking to the King, to declare to him the Emperor's full intention of making war against France this very year. You will tell him confidentially and under reserve that his (the Emperor's) voyage to Italy and land journey to this country has no other object—provided that king wishes to invade France—than to join his forces to his, and invade France. This, of course, to be said in such a manner that the mere and simple affirmation of the fact may not reach the ears of the French, and be the cause of the English profiting through it.
It seems also to us as if you might make the King and his ministers understand that His Imperial Majesty has undertaken this voyage, trusting and relying on the treaty itself, and on the assurances given by the bishop of Wasmouster (Westminster) when he went to Montçon.
Should the King make any difficulties about that, saying that he cannot possibly let his kingdom be unprovided with troops as long as matters of difference exist in Scotland, and fears of war on that side, you may assure him that he shall have from this side of the Channel as many men, horse and foot, as he will like to have, with the same amount of pay that the Emperor generally gives them; and that should he want and apply for such recruits, he must let the queen of Hungary know as soon as possible, that the best and most experienced soldiers may be secured.
Should he agree to enter into the aforesaid war, you will try to ascertain how and where that war is to be carried on, what is to be the amount of the invading force, and whether the invasion is to be conjointly or separately. But I must observe that if the King joins his force to that of the Emperor, and the English are in considerable number, the Emperor would much prefer that the invasion of France should take place separately on different points of the frontier, thus avoiding the difficulties and inconveniences that might arise between people of so many different nations and habits, as well as from want of victuals.
The best, after all, would be to induce the king of England to furnish his contingent in money, with which to raise a number of Germans, and that he should besides pay one half of the cost of the artillery, and other expenses, ordinary as well as extraordinary; that would be best, inasmuch as His Imperial Majesty will then be enabled to raise in this country as many men as he can wish for, and there being, as there is, both in Germany and in Flanders, a large quantity of heavy ordnance, the plan would be very advantageous for England and its king.
Yet, should you perceive that the King is willing to enter immediately into a war against France, no matter how, conjointly or separately, you will try to ascertain as closely as possible his intention and will in the matter, without opposing or contradicting him in the least, for fear of his conceiving fears or having scruples, and withdrawing entirely from his engagements; and you will take care to inform the Queen thereof, and in the meantime keep the King in good humour, without letting him suspect that we are disappointed.
Lastly, if you cannot succeed in persuading him to make war on France this year, jointly or separately, nor furnish money for one half of the expenses, it will be necessary, after making all possible efforts to obtain that end, to try whether you cannot obtain a loan of money from him, and let the sum be as large as possible, without, however, taking any engagement, or signing any obligation before letting the Queen know of it, unless you see that the delay is likely to bring on a rupture of the negociations.
Should the King ask you on what side His Imperial Majesty thinks of commencing war against France, you will excuse yourself, saying that you have no idea at all; and should the King insist, you will try and change the conversation; and if you do not succeed, you will answer courteously, just as you see the King's inclination to be, "on any part of the French frontier which may seem best to him."
You must not forget to inquire if it will be possible, in case of need, to obtain victuals from that country, and, likewise, whether the King has ordnance and ammunition, servants, armour, and lances, and, generally speaking, all implements and things needed in war, in case the King should decide to join the enterprise against France.
According as you may see the turn the negociations are taking, and what is likely to result from them, you will take care to inform daily the Queen Regent of every incident and communicate also with me if the case requires it, that We both may in return correspond with you, and keep His Imperial Majesty "au courant" respecting the progress of the negociation.
Indorsed: "Copy of the 'Memorial' drawn by Monsr. de Grantvelle (sic) for Monsr. Chapuys, the ambassador in England."
French. Contemporary copy. pp. 3. (fn. n19)
22 March. 120. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—The King has just this moment sent for my inspection a letter from his ambassador [at the court of France], now at Bolongne (Boulogne sur Mer), informing him that the French governor of Therouenne has been lately in the former town with a view to undertaking some enterprise or other, but that afraid of having his fingers burnt as they were at St. Pol, (fn. n20) and knowing that Mr. de Rœulx was in the neighbourhood with a considerable force, he dared not run the risk of it, and had suddenly abandoned his warlike plans and returned to Montreuil, to wait for the reinforcements which he and other French governors in Picardy pretend are coining down soon, consisting of two thousand cavalry, between men-at-arms and light horse, divided into two troops, one of them commanded by the Sieur de St. Martin, the brother of the Cardinal of Paris (Bellay), the other by Captain Theodore, the men-at-arms having been drafted from various divisions of the French army on the frontiers of Flanders, such as that under the command of the duke of Orleans (Charles), or from those under the governors of Ardres, Boulogne, and Therouenne. With the above cavalry force, to which will soon be added, as the French assert, six thousand infantry, the above-named captains boast that they can and will come down upon Mr. du Rœulx and cut him to pieces, alleging among other reasons for their future success,—which they are already announcing with their usual taunts and braggings,—the very foolish one, that Mr. du Rœulx, and the duke of Aarschot are not now on friendly terms with each other, as if those generals were conjointly in command of Your Majesty's forces!!
The governor of Therouenne, moreover, boasts of his master, the king of France, having intelligences in Burgundy. (fn. n21) Of the truth of this statement the English ambassador (Paget), writer of the letter, has his doubts, inasmuch as he says that certainly before his arrival at Boulogne he had heard some vague rumours about it, but since then he had inquired, and knew better.
The English ambassador further writes that king Francis having heard that 4,000 German lanskennets were marching towards Valenciennes, had given orders to those he had in Britanny to hasten to the frontiers of Flanders. He (Francis) and his ministers were giving out that as they had had one year's respite, they had so fortified the chief towns of France as to render them impregnable, or nearly so. He had nothing to fear from the Low Countries, especially if the Emperor did not carry on the war in person, or send his Spaniards and Italians to Your Majesty's assistance. King Francis (himself) said that in order to collect a large sum of money for next year, he did not intend making at present any great efforts or incurring expense, but only undertaking a defensive war. (fn. n22) Even if the Emperor came in person he (Francis) would do no more than guard and defend the strong places in his kingdom.
Such are the intentions of the French king, if we are to believe what his captains and governors publish, adding that unless other powers, meaning no doubt England, take part in the war, they will be able to cope with the Emperor's forces. Three days ago the French ambassadors, on the receipt of letters from home, went to call on this king, and asked in their master's name permission to quit, and go to Calais, and remain there until his own ambassador, who is detained at Boulogne, should arrive at Calais; but this permission the King has obstinately refused to give, saying that until he has seen his own here in England he will not allow the French to depart.
Lately a priest and doctor [in Theology] and a gentleman of this king's chamber, named Philip Aubin, and some others have been sent to prison charged with Lutheranism and heresy. (fn. n23) —London, 22 March 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 2½.
29 March. 121. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsieur l'Ambassadeur,"—We have advised you by Our letter of the 24th of last month on what terms We were with the duke of Clèves, who, notwithstanding all efforts made by the commissioners of the electors on the Rhine and Landgraf of Hesse, to bring about an agreement between him and Us, has not only hitherto refused to listen to reason, but, trusting on French alliance, continues still to do all he can against the countries under Our government.
And whereas the town of Hainsberge which We hold in the duchy of Juliers was in need of provisions for the garrison We keep there, owing to the peasantry in its immediate neighbourhood being unable to furnish any for fear of the Duke's troops, the town itself being within the territory of Juliers, We have sent thither Our cousin, the duke of Aarschot with a force of 2,500 horse and 10,000 foot, 4,000 of whom are Germans, to revictual the said Hainsberge. On the 20th the Duke left the frontier and reached the duchy of Juliers, having completely succeeded on the following days, the 21st and 22nd, in providing the garrison with all necessaries. On the 24th the Duke encamped in front of Scitart (Sittard), where news came of the duke of Clèves' arrival at the head of 4,000 horse and 10,000 foot, 6,000 of whom were from Upper Germany. (fn. n24) Hearing of this, the duke of Aarschot marched in good order against the any decisive advantage, until Our cavalry obliged that of the enemy to leave the field and take to flight, slaying a good number of them. Yet however signal was the success of Our cavalry over that of the enemy—who, as aforesaid, were completely defeated—Our infantry refused to fight and ran away, abandoning the guns, so that when Our cavalry returned from the pursuit of that of the enemy, they found their artillery and Ours completely abandoned and the horses taken away, so that neither Ours nor that of the enemy could be made available, and actually remained useless on the field of battle. Thus Our cavalry could not possibly encamp that night for want of infantry to assist them, lest that of the enemy should suddenly return and attack us, and Our own artillery remained unavailable on the field for want of horses to carry it away. You will see by the two enclosed notes (billets) how the affair passed, and the enemy's loss in the engagement. On our side We have lost no officers of distinction save two gentlemen, namely Mr. de Lintre, from the duchy of Brabant, and Mr. de Rougy, from Haynnaut (Hainault), and about 100 men in all. The count of Hoochstrate is wounded but slightly, without danger of any sort; Mr. de Ysche more dangerously. The enemy, on the contrary, own that their loss amounts to 1,500 men, and among others the personages contained in the enclosed list. (fn. n25) We made about 200 prisoners, the greater part men of quality, whose names We do not yet know.
We send you the above particulars that you may inform the King thereof. The general opinion about this engagement is that never did Our cavalry behave so gallantly as on this occasion, though it chiefly consisted of raw levies. According to the report of their own captains, the men behaved very well on the field, and are determined to fight the enemy again, if possible more bravely and efficiently than they did the other day, if they can only come to close quarters with him.
The new court-master (consul) of the English merchants has come here with credentials from that king to complain of certain impediments (empechesments) which (he says) the custom officers (les gardes du Tollieu) of Zeeland and Brabant have put in the way of the merchants of that nation. We have answered him in such a manner that he seems completely satisfied; yet, as the court-master also wants the said merchants to be exempted from the payment of the 1% duty, pretending, as he does, that the commercial treaties between England and the Low Countries forbid any tax or duty of that sort to be imposed, We have replied to him that the King, his master, has been officially informed of the reasons of that duty, and that We confidently trust and hope that for the considerations which We have laid before him he will raise no difficulties as to that. That the duty is not meant to be permanent, but merely for a time, and only intended to increase Our resources to carry on the war against Our common enemy. Thus much did We say to the English court-master, who replied nothing at the time; but as most likely he will write to his master, the King, and the merchants will pursue this affair of the exemption,—which, if granted, would oblige Us to revoke entirely the ordinances published to that effect—a very grave and dangerous measure in the present state of Our affairs—We have decided to resist to the last, and to disregard the above-mentioned petition of the English merchants. We, therefore, beg you to do your utmost to persuade the King and his Privy Council not to prevent and impede the payment of the said duty, and take good care to let Us know their resolution.
Continual reports come to Us from France of daily proclamations being issued and papers printed in that country, stating that a peace will soon be made between the English and them, that the former have released all prisoners of that nation and restored their confiscated property. If there be any foundation for such rumours, the king of England or his privy councillors must know something about it. We therefore request you to investigate what truth there may be in the exaggerated reports of the French, and continue to inform Us of the news of that country as you did last by your letter of the 17th inst., (fn. n26) which has duly come to hand.—[Brussels], 29 March 1543.
Indorsed: "To the ambassador in England, the 29th of March 1543 after Easter."
French. Original draft, partially ciphered. pp. 2.
30 March. 122. Mr. de Granvelle to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsr. l'Ambassadeur,"—Since my last of the 12th inst., (fn. n27) I have received yours of the 10th, together with the copy of the one you wrote to the queen [of Hungary], both of which I immediately forwarded to His Imperial Majesty, that he may know and appreciate the sentiments of sincere friendship and affection which the king of England bears him, and in which he will always find on Our Master's part most perfect and complete correspondence. God knows how much I should wish to be able to visit the king of England, and personally declare to him the sincere affection which His Imperial Majesty does entertain for him, and the great desire he has that the friendship and alliance now existing between them be everlasting, and pass on to their respective heirs and successors. No one knows better than you how long I myself have been wishing to visit England, though I have always been prevented one way or another from making the journey. Even now, that I am so close to that country, I do not see how I could possibly take the leap without being in fault here in Flanders, (fn. n28) and neglecting the mutual affairs of His Imperial Majesty and of that king, which happen to be just now in very fair way, so much so that the Emperor, our master, will on his arrival find everything in very good train.
There is still another cause which prevents my leaving the country just now, which is, that I have to correspond almost daily with His Imperial Majesty's ministers and ambassadors, so as to keep them au courant of political events likely to affect Our Master's interests. My visit to England, therefore, would only serve to certify the King of my sentiments towards him, as well as of my sincere regret at not being able to accept his invitation. It will be for you to plead my cause, and tell the King that I have not lost entirely the hope of seeing, one of these days, His Imperial Majesty and himself working together for the success of their common affairs, whilst the queen of Hungary, herself, will co-operate by throwing light on certain political matters, and directing whatever operation may be deemed necessary for the closer intelligence between the two Princes, as well as for any military undertaking against the common enemy. No time is to be lost, for as the King said to you very wisely the other day, Judas non dormit. So true is it that I can tell you for certain—nay, you may believe my words as the Gospel, that king Francis is actually soliciting the Pope's aid against that king with a view to support and encourage the party which he boasts of having in Scotland, pleading as an excuse for his demands (fn. n29) some violence or other which, he says, has been done in England to the Cardinal Archbishop of St. Andrews, to the profit, as he pretends, of that king's affairs in the above-mentioned country. Since king Francis is going on with his intrigues, and his aim seems to be to cause divisions and do the worst he can, I should fancy that the most convenient and profitable plan for the Emperor and the English king to adopt would be to fall upon him at once and attack him in his own kingdom, stop him in his course, and prevent him from doing harm abroad, and incapacitate him from drawing upon the substance of his own subjects, but on the contrary to dispose matters in such a way that these latter may go on rebelling against him, as there is a rumour the people of La Rochelle have again done, and those of many other towns in France are likely to do soon: such is the rebellious and tumultuary spirit that pervades all classes of society in France. Indeed, I can assure you that not only is king Francis universally hated on this side of the channel, he is as much abominated as Judas was. For God's sake, let no time be lost at this present season and juncture, when all heavenly and terrestrial influences are decidedly against the common enemy. Never again could such an opportunity offer, for king Francis has no help whatever to expect from any one but from the Turk, whose aid he is now soliciting harder than ever, by land as well as by sea. This of itself is bad enough, as the King will thereby be precipitated into profundo malorum, and then I shall be able to say to him, "Nunc dimittis."
(fn. n30)
The Pope is doing all he can to persuade His Imperial Majesty to make peace with king Francis, who feigns to be as mild and courteous as possible on the subject, with a view to escaping this early spring from ruin and destruction, and gaining time to carry on war beyond his dominions. But I can assure you that His Imperial Majesty has again expressly written to me that he will make no stay at all in Italy; in fact, he would not have gone thither had it not been for the purpose of his passage to Flanders. If he has to meet the Pope there, it will be without going out of his way, losing precious time, or speaking to him on other matters except the assistance against the Turk; even on this subject nothing definite will be concluded, as it is the Emperor's intention to refer the Pope entirely to his ambassador at Rome. (fn. n31)
It is for you to inform the King of the above particulars, if you think it opportune and convenient. You must, however, thank him and the members of his Privy Council for their kind commendations, as well as the honorable words they have said to you about me, at the same time offering them my services with all the sincerity of my heart. Meanwhile, I shall not fail to inform you as frequently as I possibly can of the occurrences in Flanders, although I am sure that the Queen will keep you au courant of every event likely to affect the interests of our English allies. I again repeat that no time should be lost, &c.—Nüremberg, 30 March 1543.
P.S.—I shall not fail to recommend to the Emperor your own particular affair as affectionately and efficaciously as if it were my own son's.
n. d. 123. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
The enclosed has been purposely worded as it is, that you (Eustace Chapuys) may, if you deem it convenient, show it to those privy councillors. Every effort must now be made to persuade that king to make war on France, as I have written to you more than once, and I need scarcely add that you must inform the Queen as often as you can of the progress of your negociation. I am sure that the latter will keep me and you au courant of everything, and if there should be any point which requires clearing up, or in which my advice is wanted, pray let me know at once, and I will do my best to help you. (fn. n32)
Indorsed: "From Mons. de Grantvelle to Ambassador Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.


  • n1. That is, Marillac and Morvilliers, unless, instead of the latter, the prothonotary of Orthez be meant.
  • n2. Sir William Paget.
  • n3. "Au retour de la quelle furent aecompagnez de me (maistre) Charles Habart, frere de la derniere royne, et dung aultre gentilz homme, qui sont commys et deputez pour demourer au logis des ditz ambassadeurs et garder quilz ne delougent dicy ne lung ne laultre jusques à tant que soit revenu lambassadeur de ce roy arreste à Boulogne."
  • n4. See above, No. 114, p. 275.
  • n5. There was at Brussels an ambassador named John Hutton, but he died in September 1538 (Vol. V., Part II., p. 42); undoubtedly Dr. Nicolas Wotton is here meant. see above, p. 275.
  • n6. "Et avec luy le Dr. Hutton ou le Dr. Leton," i.e. Dr. Richard Layton.
  • n7. "Et avoir bonne garde sur eulx quilz ne deslogent sans parler à lhoste."
  • n8. "Les affaires sen aigriront (sic) entre le dict Sieur roy et le roy de France, de sorte que de peu à peu ylz entreront en la dance sans attendre la serimonie de sommation ne deffiance, sur la quelle ceulx-cy sont aulcunement fondez, tenant à poinct dhonneur de non entrer en guerre sans la dicte deffiance."
  • n9. Hogny, Alguer, and Boduel are the titles given here to the three Scotch noblemen here said to have followed the Cardinal's party. Hogney is meant for Huntley, Alguer for Argyl, and Boduel for Bothwell.
  • n10. "Les dits Excossais sont fort sur leur garde mesmez que [les] françoys ne abordent ilec doubtant de la venue de Monsr. de Guise, et non moings de celle du sieur de Leman, quest de la mayson Stuarde, et a presque toute sa vie hante [habité?] en France, et est celluy que le dict Cardinal procurait de promovoir à la couronne. Il est à craindre que aus dicts estatz ny ait de la dissension, et aussy quelque commencement de substraire le dit royaulme de la hobeissance (sic) du siege Apostolique, quest le plus grand inconvenient que je voye en tout ce affaire."
  • n11. "Mais que ce non obstant avant peu de jours yl y auroit au coustel de Ardrez et icelle ligiere (lisière?) tres grosse armée."
  • n12. That is Adrien de Croy, whose correspondence with Wallop may be seen at p. 82.
  • n13. "Et à ceste fin avons envoye vers Maistricht (sic) le duc d'Arschot, le quel avecq les contes de Lalaing, de Hoochstrate, freres de Ligny, et de Oostfrize, accompaignez de iimvc chevaulx et xm pietons, dont les iiiim sont haultz allemands, gens de lice, et bonne quantite dartillerie pour faire batterie doibvent dedans deux jours entrer au pays du dit duc."
  • n14. "A quoy selon la disposicion dambes deux (sic) les pays les navires moyennes et agiles pour non estre si tres fort subiectes aux dangiers des oraiges et tempestes, et peuvent plus facillement entrer es portz et destroitz et diceulx sortir à plaisir." Dambes deux is the Spanish expression "ambos à dos."
  • n15. "Veu que es dits quartiers ny a aulcun port pour en temps de necessite saulver les dits navires, la perte des quelles, ou sil advenoit quelles fussent bouttees quelque part de sorte que lon nen sçauroit tirer service, causeroit à ces pays dommage inestimable et irreparable."
  • n16. Sir John Russel.
  • n17. "Pour vous enrichir" are the words in the original, but it is evidently a mistake of the deciphering clerk for "rencherir."
  • n18. "Par tout le moys de May prochain que sera fleur de saison."
  • n19. This memorandum—for so it is endorsed in a handwriting of the time—by the Emperor's Lord Privy Seal (Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle), is no doubt the one mentioned in the preceding letter of the queen of Hungary to ambassador Chapuys of the 18th of March. As it is undated, it is, like many other papers, placed at random where it ought not to be.
  • n20. "Mais craignant le feu depuis quil fust eschaulde à Sainct Pol."
  • n21. "Et se ventent (vantant) daillieurs les ditz François quilz ont bonne intelligence avec pluseurs bourgignons."
  • n22. "Et que le dit roy pour assembler force argent pour lannee que venoit il sestoit resoulu de non faire grand effort en la presente, et menner seulement guerre guerroiable, et que si sa mate venoit en personne ilz nattendroient à aultre forsque à garder leurs frontieres."
  • n23. "Cez jours ont este myz en prison un prestre docteur et ung de la chambre du roy nomme Phle. Aubin et certains aultrez pour cas de Lutererie et herezie."
  • n24. "Alemanci alti," that is, from higher Germany
  • n25. Not in the packet.
  • n26. No. 116, p. 278.
  • n27. Granvelle's memorandum to Chapuys (No. 117, p. 283), though undated, might have been accompanied by a letter of the 12th. As to Chapuys' letter to the Queen, of the 10th, it will be found at p. 269, No. 113.
  • n28. "Et nul ne peult mieulx sçavoir que vous combien je l'ay desiré, tant y a que je ne voy que je puisse pour maintenant faire le sault jueques à de la, sans faire faulte en ce conste aulx choses qui concernent le bien commun de leur dites maiestés que sont en tres bon chemin."
  • n29. "Prennant occasion de ceste demande que lon aye faict la quelque violence au Cardinal Escossois."
  • n30. "Vous pourrez bien plesger (plaider?) pour vous et moy le tout, et je ne suis sans espoir que nous pourrons veoir leurs dites maiestes ensemble avec grande satisfaction de tons deulx (sic, r. deux), et la royne pourra entierement satisfaire à lesclaircissement et direction de tout ce que concerns l'intelligence très estroicte des dits deux princes, at à l'exigence de l'affaire contre le commun ennemy."
  • n31. "Le dit pape est bien apres [luy] pour persuader paix á sa maiesté en faveur du dit roy de France le quel fait le doulx et courtois, cuydant eschapper ceste fleur de saison en gaignant temps et ruer la guerre ailleurs; mais je vous certiffie que sa dite maieste imperiale m'a encoires expressement escript quelle ne sejournera en Italie sinon pour la necessite de son passaige, et sy elle seroit avecq le pape, sera sans aller hors de chemin, sejourner ne parler dautre chose que de assistence à lencontre du Turcq, et encoires dicelle son remectre entierement à son ambassadeur."
  • n32. There is no date, but it is evidently a postscript to the preceding letter from Nüremberg, 30 March.