Spain: June 1543, 1-5

Pages 359-363

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

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June 1543, 1-5

1 June. 146. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—These privy councillors having requested and urged me to dispatch in all haste this present courier with the enclosed letter for the English ambassadors at that court—the letter itself referring to the matter contained in one of the councillors' to me, (fn. n1) also enclosed—I shall be brief, delaying to answer Your Majesty's own of the 18th [of May] until the departure of Mr. de Chantonnay, which I hope will take place soon, with a very favorable answer on the part of this king; for, if I am to judge from the handsome and very courteous manner in which the said ambassador has been received, and the satisfaction and joy which the King has manifested at his having been sent in preference to any other—to which may be added that he certainly has most discreetly and wisely fulfilled his commission, and deeply impressed the King with the importance of the affair—I have no doubt, I repeat, that the answer will be favorable, and Your Majesty's wishes accomplished. Indeed the King has been so much pleased with the Emperor and with Your Majesty for having sent to him such an ambassador as Mr. de Chantonnay (fn. n2) that, on his very arrival in this kingdom, one point was gained, which might otherwise have proved difficult, namely, that the very man (fn. n3) who started so many difficulties should not have the command of the English forces on the opposite side of the Channel; but that the good captain of Guisnes (Wallop), the very officer proposed by me, and one, I am sure, as devoted to Your Majesty's service as Mr. du Rœulx himself, should be appointed. In fact, this king's ministers are already attending to the embarcation of troops, and calculate that in about a week's time the whole force will be landed at Calais.
I expect that this king will shortly help the king of the Romans (Ferdinand) with forty or fifty thousand crs.; at least, such is the information just received from one of the most influential privy councillors, although I will not believe it until I see the money out of the Royal treasury being remitted to Augsburg.
Owing to the absence from the town of the notary or clerk, in whose hand the attested instrument of the oath was, I have been unable to remit it sooner. The remaining documents Mr. de Chantonnay will take with him when he goes.
The courier sent by the French ambassador to his master, conveying the declaration and intimation of war on the part of England, returned yesterday, the 31st of May. It appears that king Francis asks for the prolongation of the term in order to be able to reply to the various demands specified in the said declaration.
Whilst writing the above, the King's privy councillors have sent me a further message requesting me to hasten the departure of this courier in order to beg Your Majesty not to delay the provision and delivery of the "materiel" which they want, and I have reasons to believe that the person deputed by this king to receive the same will only ask for, and take, what is absolutely necessary for the undertaking.—London, June 1, 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph, partly ciphered. pp. 2.
3 June. 147. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—For want of a courier to take this my letter, as well as the papers herein enclosed for Thoison d'Or, the herald—the one I had engaged being unable to cross over to Dover, and having returned after four days' journey—I have been obliged to dispatch in haste the present express messenger. That will serve me as an excuse for not answering Your Majesty's letter of the 27th ult. as fully as I might otherwise have wished, for time presses and Thoison d'Or must anyhow get his papers, and be instructed as to what he is to do. My next letter will be longer and fuller.
With regard to my taking care that this king do expressly declare himself against the duke of Clèves, I must say that lately at Anton Court (Hampton Court) these privy councillors were of opinion that I had better not speak to the King about it, but wait until the challenge (défiance) and declaration of war was made, and matters looked a little more stirring and earnest. That, they said, would be the proper time and opportunity to solicit the article relating to the Duke [of Clèves], and two more, namely, that of the duke of Holstein, and that of the assistance against the Turk. I thought then that I ought to conform with the councillors' advice, as I have done, for after all, if the letter of Art. VI. of the treaty is to be observed, the king of England is not bound to make the required declaration unless one of the princes above named invades, or causes to be invaded, the dominions or territories of one of the contracting parties, or otherwise gives favor or assistance to the invaders.
Respecting the duke of Clèves' agent resident here, the King has not sent him back, as reported, to solicit that a truce be re-made between the Emperor and him; what the King has done is simply to send him back to remonstrate against the non-observance of that truce, and declare to his master, the Duke, that should he persist in his rebellion against His Imperial Majesty, he (the King) will consider him as his enemy. This is actually the message which the agent has received through the privy councillors.
As to persuading this king to afford assistance to the Emperor in men or money in case of his being unable to take part in the undertaking against France, I will do my best to forward Your Majesty's wishes in that respect, but, in my opinion, it is not yet time to make such an application, far the whole affair might be spoilt through it. Instead of that, I think it would be more opportune, under present circumstances, to induce him to attempt Montreuil by himself. (fn. n4)
The governor of Guisnes (Sir John Wallop), may have added the condition mentioned in Your Majesty's letter, in order to feel and ascertain whether Mr. du Rœulx agrees or not to it; but, as these privy councillors give me to understand that the orders he (the governor) had received from this king are absolutely to assist "in case of defence," I have not considered it necessary to ask for an explanation on that point, because once the challenge and intimation of war made, the King's men will be ready to join for the mutual defence as well as for the offence. (fn. n5)
With regard to the duty of 1%, I have made, and am still making, fresh representations, all the time defending the measure as convenient and necessary, and by no means injurious to the English merchants. Among other arguments of mine, one has been, and is still, that there is no treaty or convention between two parties or nations which can legally prevent one of them from levying taxes (imposts) or duties at a moment of extreme national emergency, in which case it would be always allowable to procure money anyhow, (fn. n6) wherever it could be found; that they ought to consider and bear in mind that the Emperor had lately relieved the English from the duty of 2% upon all goods landed at Cadiz from England. And whereas these privy councillors keep telling me that they do not object so much to the payment of the duty in question as they do to the declaration and manifestation of goods [before the custom house officers] which their merchants will be obliged to make, I have told them that since they will have to submit and pay in the end, they ought to accept the following proposition as the utmost the Emperor can grant them, if regard be had to his own interest, to that of the Low Countries and of the English nation also, namely, that the duty be levied during one whole year, at the expiration of which the English will be repaid the sum disbursed, deducting, however, from it the money now offered as a gift, whatever its amount may be. This expedient seems to me, under correction, the most equitable and at the same time most convenient that could be thought of under present circumstances, and I think ought to be adopted to solve the present difficulty. I have again submitted this plan of mine to the privy councillors, and am in hopes that to-morrow, or after, an answer will come from them. However that may be, I shall not fail to let Your Majesty know the result as soon as possible.
For the present I have no other news to communicate, save that the French ambassador went yesterday to Court to complain that his couriers were detained at Dover. The only answer he got to his complaint was that he must have patience, and wait still for a fortnight.
Four or five of the principal lords of Ireland, accompanied by some bishops of their own nation, have arrived here, and this very morning have taken the oath of fealty and homage to the King.—London, 3 June 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph, partly ciphered. pp. 2.


  • n1. See above, No. 143, p. 356.
  • n2. The ambassador, that is, Thomas Perrenot, sieur de Chantonnay, was the second son of Nicolas; Antoine, the bishop of Arras, and afterwards cardinal Granvelle, was the eldest. See above.
  • n3. Sir Thomas Cheyne. See above.
  • n4. "Quant à persuader à dit sieur Roy de donner assistance à Sa Mte en gens ou argent, en cas quil ne peust entendre en la generate emprinse, j'auray soing de y faire tenir la main de tout mon povoir; mais ce nest encores temps den tenir propos, qui ne vouldroit tout y gaster, et au deffault de ça, il ne sera mal besoingne luy persuader lemprinse de Montreuil."
  • n5. "Mais à ce que mont donne à entendre ceulx cy, absolument luy est commande dassister le dit sieur Roy en cas de deffense." Such is the reading in the deciphering; but I suppose that the words du dit sieur Roy are badly placed in the paragraph, and that the correct reading ought to be: "Mais à ce que m'ont donne à entendre ceulx-çy, ce que luy a esté commandé de la part du dit sieur Roy absolument est d'assister en cas de deffense. Et ne m'a semblé dy faire aultre instance pour aultant qu'estant faict la desfiement, les gens du dit sieur Roy seront prestz à soy joindre pour deffense et offense."
  • n6. "Par fas ou par nephas" is the expression used.