Spain: May 1543, 21-30

Pages 341-359

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 2, 1542-1543. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1895.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


May 1543, 21-30

22 May. 143. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsieur I'Ambassadeur,"—We send you, together with this letter, a memorandum drawn up by Mr. de Granvelle (fn. n1) respecting the Instructions to be given to the respective kings-at-arms from England and these Low Countries, who are to go to France as heralds, in order to challenge king Francis in pursuance of the treaty of closer friendship and alliance, and in conformity with the rules and prescriptions contained in the Emperor's letter to you, dated the 12th April. In view, therefore, of Mr. de Granvelle's memorandum, We have caused a draft of Instructions to be made, which We enclose, that you may show it to the King, to whom We write a holograph letter informing him of Our earnest desire for the observation of the said treaty, and telling him that the Emperor, Our good sire and brother, has charged us to send Our king-at-arms into France, as he will hear more particularly from you. Such is the substance of Our letter to the King, of which a duplicate is also inclosed. You will put it into his hands with the most gracious words that can come to your mind, and according as you may perceive the King's intention to be.
As to the Instruction itself, We have caused it to be drawn in the strictest accord possible with the treaty of closer alliance between the Emperor and the king of England. It contains to that effect two demands: one to be, as it were, the foundation of the requisition according to Art. xviii. of the treaty, and the other to comply with the prescriptions of Art. xx. We leave you to show to the King, or to those of his Privy Councillors whom he may depute to that effect, the draft of the Instruction, and, should they approve of it, request them to draw up at once a similar one for the English king-at-arms, that he may on his side make the requisition first and the challenge afterwards, according to the letter of the treaty.
This being done, We will take care that the English king-at-arms leaves at the same time as the Emperor's, that both may together go to France for the accomplishment of their charge. We request you to make all possible haste in this, and so procure that the king of England send his own king-at-arms, that both together may make the declaration of war and challenge, which under present circumstances might be very convenient and advantageous for His Imperial Majesty's service in these parts.
Should the King or his Privy Councillors raise any difficulty as to the draft of the Instruction which We now send you, you will try and persuade them through good reasoning to accept it, such as it is. You will tell them that the Instruction to Our king-at-arms has been drawn up merely with regard to the Emperors own concernings, and that the king of England is at liberty to give to his own such Instructions as he may deem fit and convenient on the occasion. On this point We make no difficulty at all; We wish only that since the Emperor's king-at-arms is to refer in his challenge to what the English one may have said before, or will have to say after him, in a similar manner the latter do make reference to the words uttered by the Imperial king-at-arms in his challenge, so as to make it manifest that both the declaration of war and the challenge are things agreed to, and made in common. Pray pay particular attention to this point, which in Our opinion is a very important one. For the same reasons We have considered it best for each of the king-at-arms to declare separately their commission, lest the French should think that the whole is a feint on the part of the king of England. Should, however, this latter have a scruple or raise an objection on this point, you will try, as far as you can, to convince him of the expediency of such a course, and do your best towards the adoption of a measure which We consider almost indispensable; but pray let this be done in such a manner and in such words as to give complete satisfaction to the King or his ministers.
And whereas Mr. de Granvelle has his doubts that some of the points touched upon in his Memorandum may possibly not be readily accepted, owing to the English ambassadors at the Imperial court not having been informed thereof at the time that the Emperor ratified the treaty in their very presence, you will do your best to ascertain what the King's intention may be with regard to them, and should you find that he is unwilling to approve of them, you will try, without pressing him too much, to convince him of their expediency, and let Us know what objection he raises against their adoption.
The King's ambassadors arrived on the eve of Pentecost. We find them to be very honorable personages indeed, and We request you to thank the King in Our name for the high honor he has done Us in sending men so distinguished by their rank and qualities. We shall, for the sake of the King, their master, grant them audience whenever and as many times as they ask for it, and will treat them with the respect and consideration due to the King, their master, Our friend and ally. They have already presented their credentials on Pentecost day, when, after expressing the good will and affection we desire of their master, and his full determination to observe and keep, in all its parts, the treaty of closer friendship and alliance lately concluded between their master and His Imperial Majesty, they made, among others, the following declaration:—They said that the King, their master, would immediately have acceded to your urgent request by taking the field and commencing the war against France before the end of this season had he been sure of the promise made by you that the Emperor would also help with a similar undertaking on his side on such point of the French frontier as would be equally convenient for him to attack.
This last sentence the English ambassadors repeated twice in Our presence, adding that, as the season was advancing, the King wished to know whether We thought there was yet time to prepare for such an expedition or not, and whether We could or could not furnish transports (navières) for the passage of his army, and chariots for the carriage of provisions and war material. On Our asking the English ambassadors what number of vessels and waggons the King wanted, they answered that they could not answer Our question, unless they knew beforehand whether the Emperor was ready and willing or no to invade France this summer on such a point of the frontier as would be convenient for their master to join his forces to Ours. We replied in conformity with what the Privy Council in Spain said on the subject to the English ambassador, and the Emperor wrote to you on the 12th April. The ambassadors seemed satisfied and made no more remarks, which makes Us suspect that the King is not very much inclined to undertake anything against France this year.
As the English ambassadors have so often insisted on your having assured them that the Emperor would invade France on any point of the frontier that suited or was convenient for that king, which assertion of theirs We would not dispute, although We find nothing like it in your despatches, We earnestly request you to let Us know how the thing passed, and whether that king's ambassadors have not, as We presume, wilfully misconstrued your words.
Your despatch of the 17th inst. has just come to hand. We will answer it after communicating its contents to the English ambassadors; but We pray you to let Us know if what We say to the English ambassadors here is fairly and truly communicated to you, that We may act reciprocally towards them, whom We have, up to the present moment, faithfully acquainted with every incident.
We hold as certain that the King has been apprized by the captains of Guisnes of the successful undertaking of Mr. du Rœulx against the enemy in the Boulonnais, who had lately demolished certain castles in that district. The English captain has sent him word that he hopes the King will soon send some force to his assistance, and if he does it would come very à propos to drive away the French from that county.—[Brussels] 23 May 1543.
French. Original draft, partly ciphered. pp. 4.
22 May. 144. Mr. de Granvelle's Memorandum.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
On the declaration of war and challenge to be made to the king of France, in virtue of the treaty of closer friendship and alliance between the two Majesties [of the Emperor and the king of England], the following considerations ought to be taken into account:—
That the treaty expressly bears that the enterprize against France is to be carried out as soon as possible, and that since His Imperial Majesty is already in open war with the king of France, it is convenient and important for the former that the enterprize take place soon, in order that the king of England may become the declared enemy of that country. That will render king Francis anxious, and make him attend to the defence of his own kingdom, invaded, as it will be, at various points of his frontiers and provoke his indignation at hearing that the English have at last become his enemies, and will at once stop the intercourse of trade between the English and the French, to the great loss and injury of the latter.
By means of the said declaration of war and challenge, as well as several other reasons specified in the treaty, the king of France will lose reputation among Christian princes, who no longer will help and assist him in his personal quarrels; the foreigners serving under his banners will desert him; his own subjects and even his children will be scandalized and turn against him.
On the contrary, the declaration on the part of the king of England at this present juncture will materially increase the Emperor's reputation and authority, and that of his brother, the king of the Romans, not only at home in their own dominions, but likewise in Italy, Germany, Flanders, and the Low Countries, and contribute efficiently to the good issue of their public and private affairs.
True it is that on His Imperial Majesty's side no such declaration of war and challenge are strictly required, inasmuch as the king of France has actually recommenced war—by breaking the truce once sworn to by him—and giving no intimation or notification whatever of his hostile intentions; and yet such declaration and challenge are still considered necessary, though couched in different terms from those of the king of England, stating in the preamble to it that the intimation is principally founded on the public interest of Christendom, troubled and afflicted, as it has been and is, by king Francis, and the necessity there is of making a confederacy and alliance against him.
It is also to be considered that, with regard to the taking of Castilnovo by the Turks, and the help given by the French galleys, there is no positive proof of the statement—though it might be alleged without fear of contradiction that the loss of that fortress was partly due to king Francis' friendship and alliance with the Infidel, and the intrigues and practices of his ministers, agents, and ambassadors.
And whereas it may be held as certain that the declaration of war will have no other result than a flat refusal on the part of king Francis to comply with the demands of the allies, or else dilatory excuses to gain time; and, moreover, that the intimation of war must be made sooner or later, it is important to know what demands the Emperor is to make for himself, independently of those which the king of England may make on his side. That king cannot honestly and in good faith oppose any declaration of this sort on the part of the Emperor, though made after the ratification of the treaty by the parties, especially after the great and substantial demands which he himself has made and is prepared to make again.
Two points seem to be of paramount importance for the Emperor; one is that he is bound by his Imperial dignity and his affinity to, and confederation with, the duke Carlo of Savoy, as well as by his own particular rights to the duchy, to attend to and procure his redress of the injuries and harm that king Francis has done him. The other is the indemnity in money for all the losses and expenses which the Emperor's brother Ferdinand, king of the Romans, has had to sustain in consequence of the wars the king of France has indirectly promoted against him by the Turk and others.
As to the first demand, that is, the reinstatement of duke Carlo of Savoy, it would sound well if brought forward in connexion with the demand relating to the Holy Empire, and concerning not only His Imperial Majesty, but the king of England also. It ought, therefore, to be mentioned at the time of the intimation. And if in the challenge the king of France were summoned to surrender Provence, Dauphiné, and other countries, which he and his predecessors on the throne have usurped and substracted from the Holy Empire and incorporated in the crown of France, to the great prejudice, contempt, and discredit of the said Holy Empire, it would not be too much to ask and demand.
That the king of France has unjustly and with extreme impiety violently and by force occupied the estates and possessions of the duke Carlo of Savoy, his own uncle, on this and the other side of the Alps, though the duke is really the vassal, and his dominions a fief of the Holy Roman Empire, from which the king of France wilfully withdraws them, thus denying the superior authority of the said Emperor, cannot for a moment be denied.
As to the arrest and long imprisonment of the archbishop of Valencia, (fn. n2) and the harsh treatment to which he has been subjected — an arrest and imprisonment made against all divine and human laws and rights, since that ecclesiastic, besides being invested with the archiepiscopal dignity, is a prince of the Holy Roman Empire—there can be no doubt that the king of France is, and will be, obliged, in his case, to make reparation, as well as full restitution and indemnity for whatever loss he (the archbishop) may thereby have sustained, unless, however, previously to the intimation of war by the heralds, the King had already, of his own accord, released the said archbishop.
The other point is that regarding the restitution to be effected by king Francis of towns and districts unduly retained by him, particular mention is to be made in the challenge of Abbeville, Corbier, Peronne, and whatever other territories and towns fall under the scope of article xvi. of the treaty of Cambray, and afterwards confirmed by that of Madrid, as appertaining to the sovereignty of Flanders and Arthois, as well as of Navarre, Ghelders, Naples, Sicily, and other countries. And yet it is to be considered whether such particular mention and specification of such towns and territories would not be, in some way or other, derogatory to that treaty, owing to the cession of king Francis' pretended rights on Naples, Sicily, and other countries, (fn. n3) or whether it would not be better to stop at the treaty of Cambray, and insist upon the full and real observance of that treaty, demanding, in addition, full indemnity, with interest, of all damages and losses sustained by the Emperor through the non-observance of the truce by the king of France, the wars he has promoted on this and the other side of the Alps since that treaty, not omitting to say that whatever else may be occupied and gained by the Emperor during the present war, may be retained by him as a sort of compensation and indemnity.
Regard should be had to the fact that ever since the conclusion of the treaty of Cambray, and consequently of the Madrid convention, made in confirmation of the former, those two documents have always been considered as the only ones conveniently useful for the extinction of all quarrels between the contracting parties, as well as for the security of the particulars and stipulations contained in them, and, therefore, that they are exceedingly odious and offensive to the French, to whom no greater harm can be done, or injury inflicted, than to put those treaties forward on every occasion, as We have always done, and intend doing in future, in all Our diplomatic relations with them. (fn. n4)
It will also be important to mention the town of Hesdin, of which king Francis has retained possession ever since the signature of the treaty of Cambray, notwithstanding that by the letter of that treaty he was bound to restore it. Also Astenay, (fn. n5) which he occupied during the last truce, notwithstanding its being one of the Emperor's fiefs.
The same may be said of the violent arrest and imprisonment of the Emperor's gentlemen and servants, couriers, messengers, and so forth, during the last truce, which he himself had sworn to, and which he has faithlessly broken.
As to the summons and intimation of war, it seems as if it were the province and business of kings-at-arms or heralds rather than that of ambassadors, or people of quality and rank in the State, inasmuch as His Imperial Majesty is already at war against king Francis, to whom no one else could be sent on such an errand, and likewise because the enmity (I'aygreur) between the king of England and him is already so far advanced, that were any other but a herald sent to him at this present moment king Francis would most certainly refuse to give him audience, especially as the notification of war cannot be made by other people than by the heralds. (fn. n6)
Indorsed: "Mons. de Granvelle's opinion on the challenge and intimation of war to be made to the king of France."
French. Original draft. pp. 5.
27 May. 145. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsieur I'Ambassadeur,"—By Our letters of the 22nd inst. and the documents thereto annexed, which We hope have been duly received, We have sufficiently replied to your despatches of the 17th and 20th inst., and have accordingly sent Toison d'Or, the king-at-arms, to Calais, that he may there wait for the herald of the king of England, and conjointly with him cross the frontier into France, and act together with him according to the Instructions they may receive. We are glad to hear by your letters the good will of that king, and his readiness to comply with and observe each and every one of the conditions stipulated by the treaty of closer friendship and alliance, and We are also pleased to learn that he very wisely considers that the time has come for him to declare openly against the French, so as to throw them into greater perplexity and doubt as to the success of their present undertaking. We are sure that you (Chapuys) will know best how to make the King persevere in his intentions, will praise and commend his resolution, and warmly thank him in Our name.
Since the receipt of your letter of the 18th of March the count of Rœulx has raised his camp on the frontier and retreated into the interior,—which movement he has undertaken in order not to over-fatigue his men whilst there is still time to keep the field and procure forage for the horses. We hope that this incident will not influence the King's determination and good will towards Us, but that he will send orders to his captain of Guisnes to keep on good terms with the commander of Our army, so that both with their united forces may keep the French at bay, and do whatever they may think best for the annoyance and injury of Our common enemy. We request and order you to attend particularly to this point, and call the King's attention to it. We on Our part will do the same by writing to count de Rœulx to the same effect, and if by chance you found that the said captain of Guisnes has merely received orders from home to join his forces to count de Rœulx's army in the field, you will take care that more specific ones be sent, commanding him to help and assist Our general in any case and wherever he may be. And whereas the King shows so good a disposition and will to send a number of men across the Channel, We will for the present refrain from insisting on his help unless the French make a further movement in advance, although, to say the truth, the news We have from various parts is that king Francis is massing troops on this side of Paris, and intends to make all possible efforts against the provinces subject to Our government.
As to the Clèves affair, you did right in impressing on that king's mind the unreasonable and blameable conduct of the Duke in refusing to abide by the truce agreed upon by his deputies and friends. We are glad to hear that the king of England acknowledges that in doing so the Duke has acted dishonourably, and certainly all sovereigns and princes ought to be indignant at his absolutely refusing to ratify a truce which his own deputies, sufficiently empowered by him, had accepted in his name, with a most solemn and binding promise that it would be faithfully observed. Yet as We wrote to you last, the said Duke has profited so much by his French lessons that he feels always rather inclined to yield to his passion than listen to the dictates of reason. You did very wisely for the very urgent considerations set forth in your despatch of the 10th of March, to stop the declaration which the King proposed to make to the Duke's agent in that country, which declaration added to the warning to his master to mend his errors, and repair the fault he has committed, would under present circumstances bring disrepute on the Emperor as well as on the King himself, inasmuch as by again summoning the Duke to the observance of the truce, after having expressly refused to abide by it, should he persist in his refusal, as most likely he will,—the Duke being so unbridled and self-willed that he has no respect for the Imperial States, to the authority of which he is bound to submit in all matters—the French and the people of Clèves together might profit thereby, and attribute that king's request and the consent on the Emperor's part to nothing short of fear and doubt as to the good issue of the campaign. For these reasons, and others that We need not point out, since they must be similarly clear and palpable to you, We should think that the best way of obviating the difficulty in this matter would be for the King to make the Duke's agent understand that in compliance with Article vi. of his last treaty with the Emperor, Our lord and brother, he must declare himself his masters enemy, and that being done, give the agent his passports, so that the Duke may not allege hereafter that his agent was dismissed for any other cause but that. Should this not be done, the people of Clèves will try to persuade their friends and allies that the king of England is not really and truly the Duke's enemy, as they have done hitherto. I therefore beg you to employ your usual tact and dexterity in persuading that king to declare himself at once the Duke's enemy, for in doing so his German friends will lose courage, and his favour with them—already greatly diminished, owing to his refusal to abide by the truce,—will degenerate into indifference and disgust, almost approaching hostility, since after all the Duke's refusal to ratify the truce granted to him by the States of the Empire, and which the latter considered as certain on the part of Clèves, has been greatly resented by several German princes and electors, who for their own particular interest, and considering the Duke's temerity and presumption, are now afraid that fresh troubles may spring up in Germany.
With regard to the particular enterprize against France, you must have seen by Our last letter that the English ambassadors residing here [at Brussels], before proceeding to the explanation of the ways and means to be adopted in common to carry it out, wish to know what is His Imperial Majesty's intention respecting that point, and what he can and will do before the present season is over. This (the, ambassadors said) was very important in order that the King, their master, might prepare for it, especially as being totally ignorant of the Emperor's plans, they themselves had made no provision thereupon, which question of the English ambassadors We answered by saying that as there was no news yet of Our brother's arrival in Italy, and that We knew not what resolution he would take after informing himself of the state of public affairs in Christendom, We were at present altogether unable to enlighten them as to his future plans and movements. This, however, We could tell them, namely, that We expected from day to day to hear of his landing in Italy, and that as soon as We received news of his arrival, We would not fail to advise the King. But that since the season was fast advancing, and We knew that both his Imperial Majesty and the king of England were fully prepared to carry on some mighty undertaking against king Francis, Our common enemy, at the time and on the day appointed by their master, We had no doubt that the thing could be done before the end of the season.
Now, it is for you, Chapuys, in view of the said statements by Us made to the English, ambassadors, to call on the King and tell him that although We are uncertain as to what the Emperor's plans, after his landing in Italy, will be, yet We beg him to assist Us unconditionally in the war with France, with men or with money, according to the articles of the treaty, in order that the French may in the meantime be weakened and lose their own, whilst the Emperor's next movement is being ascertained.
The Duke of Clèves is still laying siege to Heinsberge, notwithstanding that he has already lost a good number of men through the stout defence of its inhabitants. We have sent thither Our cousin, the prince of Orange, with 3,000 horse and a considerable infantry force, with orders to encamp between the enemy and the town of Maëstricht, and give daily alarms to the enemy's camp, and in fact do the utmost harm he can to the army of Clèves.
The English ambassadors here resident have presented to Us your letter of the 12th inst. requesting Us to exempt altogether the merchants of their nation from the payment of 1% duty, according (they said) to your advice in the matter. We have ordered those of Our Privy Council to communicate with the ambassadors, and try to induce them to desist from their demand, telling them that We will not dispute for the present whether the merchants of their nation are, or are not, obliged by the commercial treaties to pay the said duty, but that taking into account that the said duty has only been imposed temporarily in consequence of the present war, and the need in which We are, We sincerely hope that the king of England will not consent, through his refusal, to the Emperor being hampered for want of funds to carry on the war against the French, and defend his own dominions. The profit to be gained by the exemption is so small, when compared with the losses which the Emperor himself will have to sustain through its abrogation, that We cannot accede to the demands of the English merchants; besides which it is evident that the English merchants once exempted from, payment, We shall be obliged to do the same with all foreigners, who, naturally enough, will claim the same privileges, the more so that the duty of 1% has only been laid on for the sake of raising money for the expenses of this war, and the better to defend this country against the common enemy. And, therefore, that We hope that the King, being sufficiently informed of the said causes, and of the circumstances under which We have acted, will allow the aforesaid tax, if it can be so called, to be levied on his subjects for a limited period of time, which We are willing to specify in common with the said merchants, giving them letters patent to that effect, and promising that at the expiration of the period fixed We will suppress the duty altogether. That in acting thus We only look out for the King's pleasure and satisfaction rather than enter into altercation with them. The ambassadors' answer was that by the letter of the commercial treaty it was evident that it was illegal for Us to levy the said tax, and that since the articles of the last treaty of closer friendship and alliance were confirmatory of those in the commercial ones, We were not authorized to make any change whatever. The King, their master (said they), had absolutely declared that he would never consent to a tax of the sort being levied on his subjects. We made no reply to that declaration, save to say that you had not informed Us that such was their master's intention, and that considering that by the exemption of the English merchants from that tax His Imperial Majesty will be a great loser, and that the English merchants will gain little, or nothing, through it, We have again requested you to remonstrate with the King as persuasively as you can, and beg him to accede to Our request, to consent to his subjects paying the aforesaid duty, at least during one year, owing to the above considerations, and others which you (Chapuys) have from time to time laid before his Privy Council. We beg you to advise Us of the King's answer to this Our request, intending, as We intend, to levy that tax anyhow. Should, however, any acrimony or misunderstanding arise therefrom, We beg you to let Us know as soon as possible, for if the King of England still persists in his refusal, and wants Us to revoke Our ordinance as far as his subjects are concerned, it would be equitable and just that he himself should relieve Ours from the payment of the many taxes which he and his predecessors on the throne have imposed ever since the year 1445, inasmuch as by the commercial treaty of the year 1520, confirmatory of those of the years 1404 and 1415, it is stipulated that the inhabitants of these Low Countries shall pay more taxes than those stipulated in the treaty of 1445, since which time the English have, as it is known, imposed duties on several articles not mentioned in preceding treaties, and which they have exacted from the subjects of these provinces under Our government, in defiance of and contravention to the treaties on the intercourse of trade. We have not yet made use of this last argument in Our discussion with the English ambassadors, because We are waiting to hear what the King will answer to Our repeated requests, and what his final resolution will be with regard to the said duty of 1%.
Whilst this letter was being written, a despatch has been received from Count Du Rœulx, inclosing a letter from the captain of Guisnes (Wallop) to him, saying that he has orders from the King, his master, to the effect that after the landing at Calais of the 2,500 archers, and 200 horse whom the King is about to send over, he is to help and assist the said count Du Rœulx in resisting the French, should these latter invade these countries by the frontiers, close to the English possessions [in Picardy], or in case of the said Du Rœulx entering the Boulonnaix (district of Boulogne-sur-mer) with a view to batter and demolish the small castles (chatellets) of that district, and laying waste the fields in the immediate neighbourhood thereof; so that in point of fact the orders sent to the captain of Guisnes seem to be conditional. We would not omit the mention of this that you may try and see if you can have the orders altered. (fn. n7)
French. Original draft, entirely ciphered. pp. 4.
29 May. 146. Eustace Chapuys to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Madame,"—Since my last of the 20th inst., (fn. n8) Your Majesty's letter of the 22nd has come to hand, together with the Instructions thereto appended, which, having been shewn by me to this king, and to his privy councillors, have been found good and correct. Nothing in them has been added to or retrenched by the King, save what Your Majesty will see by the annexed copy of the note I myself have received from the Privy Council, in which, however, no important innovation or change has, as far as I can see, been introduced. The privy councillors, nevertheless, have supplemented the paragraph purporting "that should the king of France offer to comply within the term of ten days with the demands of the allies, the following words tender sufficient pledge and guarantee that he will do so within the specified time," which addition after all does not seem to me an important one, inasmuch as matters, in my opinion, are not sufficiently advanced to render it necessary, much less indispensable, to add such a clause. (fn. n9)
The King was glad to hear that Your Majesty is of the same opinion as himself respecting the heralds; they ought to refer mutually one to the other in their joint intimation to king Francis, avowing and approving reciprocally whatever either of them may say and declare on the subject. I dare say that Toison d'Or is by this time in Calais, but I must say also that his delay in starting for that place has been very unpleasing to this king, who had immediately sent thither Garter, his chief king-at-arms. Should Toison d'Or not yet have taken his departure, it will please Your Majesty to give orders that he may hasten to Calais as quickly as possible.
If Your Majesty wishes to know what passed lately between the King and myself on the subject of the undertaking against France this year, I beg Your Majesty to believe that I have not exceeded in the least Mr. de Granvelle's Instructions. On the contrary I have followed them most strictly, and it never crossed my mind to say the things which the King's ambassadors have related to Your Majesty. True is it that treating of this affair with the King and his privy councillors, I happened to suggest among other ideas of my own that once the invasion in common of French territory is decided upon, I had no doubt that the Emperor would consult the King and ask his advice respecting the place of the French frontier whereat the blow is to be struck. (fn. n10) Neither on this suggestion of mine, nor on any other I may have made in conversation with the King, can the report of his ambassadors rest when they said to You that the propositions originated entirely with me, and that I supposed the Emperor would approve of them, and much less that I thought he would have soon an opportunity at hand to commence war on that side. Your Majesty knows too well the cause which gave rise to such an incident. It is no other than the King's disinclination to commence hostilities this year, which disinclination I have suspected ever since the 18th inst., when I wrote about the want of goodwill on this particular, (fn. n11) though I must say that all the time both the King and his privy councillors wish to make it appear that they are quite ready, and that it will not be their fault if the invasion of France does not take place this year. For on my remonstrating with them a few days ago upon their delay in not having yet thought of laying in stores of provisions, they answered me that they had already stored in casks no less than one thousand quarters of wheat, and four thousand more [of barley] for brewing beer. As to meat, they fancy that they will not, perhaps, be able, to get at home the quantity that is wanted, but hope that once in France they will procure it in the enemy's territory. Regarding waggons and transports for the carriage of victuals across the Channel, or by land, the King has given special orders to his ambassadors near Your Majesty to ascertain what assistance he can get from that country; but when I told them that the horses wanted for the waggons and so forth ought to have been applied for long ago, as much time would be required to collect them, they became perplexed and did not know what to answer, even when I had told them that in any case they must look out for them elsewhere, for Your Majesty had none to spare, the Emperor wanting them to remount his men-at-arms and light cavalry. The councillors ended by telling me that it did not matter, for after all, if they were in want of horses, they would always have the means of procuring them. I really believe that what makes them so cool in the matter is their having no news of the Emperor's departure from Spain at this advanced season of the year. (fn. n12)
Owing to a slight indisposition on Corpus Christi day,the day fixed for swearing to the treaty, the ceremony was postponed until last Sunday, (fn. n13) on which day the whole was accomplished with the usual solemnities and forms as Your Majesty will see by the papers and documents that will go by next post, some of which are still in the hands of the King's secretaries.
After the oath I presented Your Majesty's letter in my credence to the King, who was pleased with it. The King said to me, with a deep sigh, that it was a wonder that no news had yet come of the Emperor's departure from Barcelona; that the season was already so far advanced that it would be very difficult to prepare for the concerted undertaking against France; that the enterprise against Montreuil, of which I had spoken to him months ago, seemed to him more feasible, and at the same time very important, but that great vigilance and secrecy were required; as to himself he would be awake and watchful. He then said to me that he had news that Mons. de Vendosme (Vendôme) was at Montreuil with a considerable force, and was waiting for more men, and that king Francis had affirmed and sworn that he would not withdraw from Arthois until he had conquered the whole of it. Such obstinate resolution, the King observed, might prove to be the cause of King Francis' ruin, inasmuch as should he remain long in that county he would be easily defeated; for, said he, provided the Emperor's army was not engaged elsewhere he (the King) might join his forces to those of the latter in any number that might seem good, (fn. n14) and both fall suddenly upon the French. On this occasion the King again asked me to write to Your Majesty and inquire whether it would not be possible to prorogue the truce with the duke of Clèves, who, having once lost the assistance of France, would soon be reduced to obedience. As to the Scotch, perceiving that Francis was abandoned by his friends and allies, they would soon become awake to a sense of their political interests, whilst king Francis himself would lose their support.
As far as I can hear from the King's privy councillors, the affairs of Scotland are at present on a very favourable footing as regards England. Four of the ambassadors [who came here last April] are still in London, treated with great consideration. The fifth, that is George Douglas, the brother of the earl [of Angus] returned quickly to Scotland, and is expected to be back soon with some good resolutions favourable to the King. (fn. n15)
The duke Philip, on pretence of offering his personal services to the King, if he should stand in need of them, has lately arrived and renewed the application he once made for the hand of the Princess, giving it also to be understood, among other things, that he has a promise from the Lutheran League that upon the death of the Palatine Elector he will be preferred to his uncle, the duke Frederic, and to Otto Henric, his own elder brother. All this, however, has been of very little use to him, and he has gone away without obtaining what he wished for, though with a present from this king amounting to 2,000 crs. (fn. n16)
With regard to the duty of 1%, I have tried all I could to persuade these privy councillors that it is a necessity with which they must put up, and that it is not in the least onerous to the English manufacturers and merchants, since, after all, it is the inhabitants of those Low Countries who will have to pay the duty. But no, they will not agree to it; and they have again requested me to write to Your Majesty and propose that, instead of the duty, You be pleased to accept the gift which these merchants are prepared to offer.
As I am continually writing to Your Majesty, and in addition to that the English ambassadors, now residing near Your Majesty, cannot fail to report home, Your Majesty will be able to judge if their despatches are communicated to me or not. According to that, Your Majesty may write in reciprocal terms to me.—London, 29th of May 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the queen of Hungary, Regent in Flanders and the Low Countries."
French. Original. pp. 3.
n. d. 143. [King Henry's Privy Council to the English Ambassadors in the Low Countries.]
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
The following questions are to be addressed as soon as possible to Mons. du Rœulx:—
1stly. To know if the Emperor's ambassador in England has written home in conformity with what he himself said to His Majesty, the king of England, respecting the enterprize against France, and whether the said Imperial ambassador has, or has not, received an answer from the Emperor, and if so, what that answer has been. To ascertain, at the same time, whether His Imperial Majesty has, or has not, since alluded in some manner to the matter in question.
2ndly. To ascertain whether the said Imperial ambassador is of opinion that the enterprize can be carried out with some chance of success; and, in case of its taking effect, how many foot and horse can be collected [in Flanders] and be got ready within two or three days' time, without making much noise and stir about it.
3rdly. How many pieces of ordnance, both for siege and for defence of a town taken from the enemy, can be furnished by that country, and for how long.
4thly. What carriage can be prepared and made ready, should the enterprize take effect, for the transport of ammunition and provisions; in which way and by what means we (the English) shall get what is requisite for such an expedition; with what number of horse and foot the dowager queen of Hungary can help our operations in the field, as well as escort the said waggons of provision and ammunition.
5thly. In case of the expedition taking place, in what part or road [of Picardy] the junction of the two armies is to be effected, that both armies may march together for greater security; what number of infantry soldiers is wanted to accompany and escort the waggons as well as the ordnance; and whether Flanders will furnish us with sufficient carriage for our wants.
6thly. It is also important to know whether the Queen will have provisions in store enough to feed entirely both camps, hers and our own, for it must be considered that out of the pale of our fortresses we (the English) can procure nothing but what is absolutely required for the food of our own garrisons, and the considerable force we shall have to keep beyond the Channel.
7thly. In case of the town [of Montreuil?] being taken by force of arms, how the garrison that may be left inside is to be supplied with provisions; for that town, being within the enemy's country, a considerable force of men-at-arms (gendarmerie) will be required to escort the waggons of ammunition, provisions, and so forth.
French. Contemporary copy. pp. 2. (fn. n17)
n. d. 144. Mons. du Rœulx' Answer.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
Mr. du Rœulx' answer to the above interrogatory:—
Respecting the first point, whether the Imperial ambassador in England has or has not informed the Emperor, the ambassador has repeatedly assured me [du Rœulx] that he has written to Spain about it and reported the conversation we have had together, as well as all that passed between him and the king of England when they spoke on the subject.
As to whether the enterprize can or cannot be easily carried out, I think that it can, and also that the town taken may be easily defended from the enemy, provided secrecy be kept and diligence displayed, without which no enterprize of the kind can possibly succeed. The success of all warlike enterprizes depends not so much on men themselves as on good fortune, yet people experienced in warfare can easily conjecture whether a military undertaking is likely to succeed or not, and my opinion of this one is that it can.
With regard to the ordnance, I cannot positively answer the question, because I do not know what agreement the Emperor and the king of England will come to.
As far as the frontier of Flanders and Arthois (Artois) are concerned, I am sure that in four or five days' time I could procure 20 pieces of light artillery for the field.
As to cavalry, I can dispose of and have ready in about eight or ten days' time at the most between 700 and 800 horse. Waggons may also be found and procured for a tolerably large army.
Likewise, within a week, 6,000 infantry from Flanders and Arthois.
If a junction is to be effected on any spot of the frontier of France, Guisnes is by far preferable to any other for the meeting of the two camps. Fiennes ought at once be taken, whilst our army concentrates at Tournehem.
From Montreuil, if taken, which seems to me easy enough, unless a considerable army be sent for its defence, provisions may be sent by way of St. Omer, Tournehem, and La Montoire.
To prevent the French from collecting in time too large a force in that locality, it would be advisable to lay waste all the Bouillonais, as well as the country between Montreuil and Abbeville, take Sainct Ricquier, a town of no consequence at all, and raze it to the ground.
It would also be advisable to lay waste the baillage (bailiwick) of Hesdin, on the side of France, for fear of that strong place preventing us from revictualling in the adjoining district, otherwise we should have to keep and defend all the villages in that bailiwick if we are to carry away provisions.
In the same manner one good league of country round Theue ought to be completely wasted to prevent the French from keeping much cavalry there.
For the safe carriage of provisions and ammunition coming from the said St. Omer, the castles of La Motte, Acquen, Acquenbrount, Francquemberghe, Renty, Fressin, and my own of Coules, in case I can recover it from the French, of which I have good hope, may be of use, as they can help and assist the waggons. All the above-mentioned villages are equidistant one from the other, about one hour's journey on horseback, except the latter, which is two leagues from Montreuil.
As to enlisting some companies (ensaignes) of German infantry, it would be necessary to know first from the Queen Regent whether the Emperor can spare any of those he has in the duchy of Brabant or in the Luxemburg, and in case he cannot, see how they can be procured in Germany.
Should the Emperor and the king of England decide to carry on the proposed undertaking, or any other, against France, and should His Imperial Majesty give me the command of his army in these Low Countries, I hope to conduct myself to his satisfaction and that of his allies and friends, the king of England being the principal of them.
As to the question asked by the captain (governor) of Guisnes (Wallop), namely, whether in case of king Francis, now in the Luxemburg, turning his forces on this side [of Flanders] the men-at-arms (gendarmerie) serving in Brabant could come down here and effect their junction with us and the English, my answer is that I see no difficulty as to that, for the Queen Regent has those men for her service wherever it may be required, and if king Francis withdraws his forces from that quarter they are no longer wanted there.
All the above answers to the interrogatory received are of course given subject to the Emperor's and the Queen Regent's correction, for let it be understood that without their permission I can say or absolutely do nothing in the matter.
French. Original. pp. 2.
30 May. 145. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Venerable, chier et feal,"—At Our landing at this port We received your despatches of the 2nd, 9th, and 18th ult., to which, for the present, We shall not return a full answer, this present being only intended to apprize you of Our arrival [in Genoa], which took place on the 20th inst., after five and twenty days passed at sea owing to contrary winds, without, however, any other inconvenience or danger to Our person. (fn. n18) We propose to leave next Saturday, the 2nd of June, and go straight to Mantua without stopping at any place whatever on the road, except perhaps two or three days, and no more, at Cremona, there to hold a conference with the Pope. Thence We will go to Trent, having first ordered Mr. de Granvelle to meet Us at Mantua, to confer with him, and will then take Our final determination on all matters concerning Our march to Flanders and the Low Countries. This being done, We will then inform you of Our future movements and of what We intend to do. In the meantime We have caused these few words to be written to you that you may use the information as you may deem fit and convenient.—Jennes (Genoa), 30 of May 1543.
French. Original. p. 1.


  • n1. Written Grantuelle.
  • n2. George of Austria, natural son of emperor Maximilian I., and, therefore, uncle of Charles.
  • n3. "Lautre poinct est de ce que lon particularisera restitution de Abbeville, Corbier, Peronne, et ce en quoy fait (fault) considerer, si par ceste demande et expression lon prejudicer[a] au traicte de Cambray confermatif de cellui de Madril (sic) contenant quictance de la souverainete de Flandres et darthoiz (d'Arthois), Navarre et Gheldres, et autres droiz pretenduz tant sur Naples, Sicille que autres pieces."
  • n4. "Tenant regard que tousjours doiz le dict traicte de Cambray passe si est arresté, et par consequent à cellui de Madrid, quil confirme expressement comme estant seulx traictez utiles et convenables pour I'Extinction de toutes querelles et asseurancez des particularitez avant dites, et pour ce tant odieux, les dits deux traictez aux dits franchois, aux quelz lon ne sest (sçauroit?) faire plus grant crevecœur que de les mectre en avant comme l'on a tousjours faict en toutes communications."
  • n5. Stenany belonged to the duke of Lorraine (Antoine), who, in 1541, was persuaded to make the cession of it to king Francis; yet, as it was a fief of the Empire, the bargain was nil without the Emperor's consent.
  • n6. This memorandum of Mr. de Granvelle has no date, but as it is joined to the Queen's letter to Chapuys of the 22nd, I have not hesitated to calendar it here.
  • n7. "En escripvant cestes nous avons reçeu lettres du conte de Rœulx, avec une lettre à lui escripte par le capitaine de Guysnes, qui luy mande avoir charge du roy, son maistre, apres que les iimvc archiers et iic chevaulx, que le dict sr roy doibt envoyer par de la, seront arrivez, de assister avecq içeulx le dit conte de Rœulx pour resister contre les franchois, si faisoient envasion contre les pays de par decha es frontieres voisines au pays dEngles (sic) en cas que le dit de Rœulx vuelle (veuille) perachever de abatre les chastellez et detruire les villaiges du Boulenoix. De sorte que lordonnance que le dit capitaine a est entierement condicionelle, dont navons voulu laisser vous advertir afin que regardiez si pourez obtenir que le dit capitaine ayt aultre ordonnance."
  • n8. See above, No. 141, p. 334. Mary's letter of the 22nd is under No. 143. see above, p. 341.
  • n9. It is quite clear, though Chapuys does not positively say so, that the amended Instructions are those given to Mons. de Phallaix, alias Toison d'Or, which most probably were prepared in Flanders.
  • n10. "Bien ai-je dict parlant de moij (sic) mesme, comme faisoye tout le surplus, que croyez (croyois) que venant en termes de la commune invasion sa mate useroit du conseil et advis du dict sieur roy touchant le lieu par ou il seroit bon dentrer."
  • n11. See No. 137, p. 329, but the ambassador's letter is dated the 17th, not the 18th.
  • n12. "Et croys bien que lune des causes et la principale aussi avecque daultres que les refroydy[ssent] est la tardance du passaige de sa mate considerant lavancement de la saison."
  • n13. "Pour me trouver indispostz (indispose) le jour du Saint Sacrement le jurement se dilatast jusques à dimanche dernier."
  • n14. "Car il seroit ayse de deferre (aisé à defaire) au dit cartier pourveu mesmes que les gens de guerre de sa mate ne fussent occupez ailleurs, avec les-quels se joindroient les siens en tel nombre que bon sembleroit."
  • n15. "Les quatre ambassadeurs qui vinrent içy en .... y sont encoires. Le ve, à sçavoir George Douglaz, frere du conte, est retourne en diligence au dit Escosse, et sera içy en brief avec quelque bonne resoulution."
  • n16. "Le duc Philippe, soubz umbre de presenter sa personne et gens de guerre au service de ce roy en cas de necessité, Venant içy pour reprendre les anciennes du marriaige avec la princesse, donnant entre aultres choses à entendre quil avoit promesse de la ligue lutherienne que en cas de trespas de lelecteur Palatin il seroit prefere au duc Fredericque, son oncle, et à Otto Henrique (sic) son hayne (aisné) frere, mais tout cela peu luy a servy, et sen est alle presente de la valeur de deux mille escuz."
  • n17. This paper has no heading, and is undated. It was most likely forwarded by the English ambassador in Brussels to the president of the Council in the Low Countries, some time before the expedition of the combined armies against Montreuil.
  • n18. The Emperor sailed from Barcelona on the 1st of May. After touching at Palamos, where he stayed till the 12th, and spending the day at Rosas, to inspect the fortifications of that place, he went to Cadaques on the 18th. After remaining a couple of hours before Marseilles, he sailed for Savona, whereat he landed on the 24th, Corpus Christi Day. Again taking to his galley, he arrived at Genoa on the 25th. There he remained until the 2nd according to Vandenesse's Itinerary, published by Bradford in English, and by Gachard in its original French.