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, 16-20
|16 June.||159. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.|
|Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
|"Monsieur l'Ambassadeur,"—Our letter of the 6th inst. (fn. n1) must have apprized you of the last news from France, as well as of the great preparations this king is making in order to invade the countries subject to Our government. We are, indeed, in the receipt of letters from the duke of Aarschot and count of Rœulx advising that the French army has been divided into two bodies; one very strong and numerous, with a considerable park of artillery, under the command of the duke of Vendôme, has already penetrated into the Arthois, and on the 12th, at midnight, laid siege to Baspames, (fn. n2) which, We hope, is so well provided for that the enemy will not easily make his way there. The other, commanded by the Dauphin of France (Henry), is now at Montrosuel (Montreuil) for the purpose of advancing either to Avernes or Cymay, (fn. n3) and laying siege to one of those towns, and, if they can take it, reducing all the small forts in the neighbourhood, and then laying siege to some large and important place in that county, which siege king Francis himself intends to attend personally. Besides this, We are informed that a force of 200 men-at-arms and 6,000 infantry has entered the Luxemburg, with a view to besiege Thionville and then join the army of Clèves in front of Hainsberg. The prince of Orange, however, with 4,800 horse and 14,000 foot, is encamped two miles from the latter town, and We shall soon hear what comes of it all. May God give him victory over the enemy!|
|Whilst this letter—the chief object of which is to ask you to go again to the king of England and request him to grant Us the promised aid—was being written, yours of the 11th was duly received, by which We have learnt the affectionate desire that king shows of complying as soon as possible with Our demand. We command you to thank him most affectionately in Our name, and in the meantime We will write to His Imperial Majesty, who must by this time be at Trent, to make haste and meet the enemy. (fn. n4)|
|The King, as you tell Us, does wisely consider that it is far better for him to send Us his auxiliary contingent at once than wait until the French have wasted the land and done more mischief. We hope, with God's help and the assistance of the English, to be able, should the French lay siege to any important town of Ours, not only to defeat their plans and cause them some annoyance, but—if Our army at Heinsberg holds its ground, and We find that We can dispose of a sufficient force—even approach the enemy and take the offensive. We cannot say at present whether Our army will offer the enemy battle or not; that depends entirely upon the generals in command, the spot, the circumstances, and, on the other hand, upon the more or less desire they and the French commanders may have of exposing their persons, and last, not least, upon the state of political affairs, which in war time changes almost daily, nay, every minute.|
|Not to conceal anything from the King, and that you may acquaint him with the amount and position of the forces We have for the defence of these countries, you will tell him that the duke of Aarschot and the count of Rœulx, who have to guard and defend the counties of Arthois and Haynnault, have under them, besides the division of Our army encamped close to Heinsberg, and 2,000 men lately recruited in Friezland, a force amounting altogether to 3,000 cavalry and 10,000 infantry, which is to be increased by 3,000 Spaniards just landed at Lescluyse, (fn. n5) besides the English contingent, which, on its arrival at Calais, can, without inconvenience or danger of any sort, join the bulk of Our army, Our intention being not to employ them in the garrison of places, but in the field wherever they are needed.|
|As soon as the force now at Hainsberg under the prince of Orange (fn. n6) is disengaged, whether successful or not, We will send the greater part of it to the French frontier, hoping to have by that time a powerful army to do and accomplish that which in the opinion of allied military commanders and officers experienced in warfare may seem best for the defence of this country and repulse of the enemy.|
|With regard to provisions, We hope that the English who are to cross over will bring a sufficient quantity with them; if they should not, We promise that, if necessary, there will be no lack of them in their camp. At any rate, if the King will only send to Calais a good store of wheat so that We ourselves may have some portion of it in exchange for Our money, We shall be more sure of Our affair, and of fulfilling Our engagements. (fn. n7)|
|As to the road the English are to take after their landing at Calais, We purpose writing to count de Rœulx to send two officers of his own army to guide them to the spot whereat he (the Count) may be encamped at the time of their passage.|
|It would be desirable that the English should bring some artillery with them. When We hear of their landing at Calais, We will take care that as many draft horses (limoniers) and chariots as may be wanted are provided forthwith; indeed, We have already given orders that a number of them be in readiness.|
|You did very well in remonstrating with that king's privy councillors respecting king Francis' dilatory excuses in the matter of the heralds. It is evident that by delaying to give them audience and not answering the challenge, he is only trying to gain time. We also approve of the overtures and proposals made by you in order to defeat the enemy's plans, and obviate the evil. Should the king of England adopt the last of the measures proposed, you will take care to advise Us of the fact that We may at once remit to Thoyson d'Or the form of the protest which he is to make in consequence of the king of France refusing to give him audience.|
|With respect to the duty of 1%, We will deliberate as to what had better be done in the matter, and will let you know by the first post.—16 June 1543.|
|French. Original, partly ciphered. pp. 3.|
|17 June.||160. The Emperor's Instructions to Mr. de Chantonnay. (fn. n8)|
|B., Neg. d'Ang.
|You shall go with the greatest possible haste to England, and alight at the house of Our venerable, dear and well beloved councillor, master of Requests in ordinary, and Our resident ambassador in England, Messire Eustace Chappuys (sic), to whom you will show and communicate the contents of this letter, and according as the resolution may be that you two take together, repair personally to the King and present him Our letters of credence. After making him the most affectionate commendations in Our name, you will address him in the following terms and words, amplifying or restricting the same more or less, at one or more audiences, according to Chapuys' advice and what the Queen may have told you at your passage through Brussels.|
|You will tell him that We suppose he has already been informed by Our ambassador residing in that country of Our passage and arrival in the Low Countries, for We did write to announce the same immediately after Our landing at Genoa. You will also tell him that if We have delayed sending an express messenger to him to announce Our said landing, it was because We were waiting for news from England and Germany, as well as from the Low Countries, to be able to form a plan and let him know what Our intention and wishes were respecting the war with France.|
|Having since heard through Mr. de Granvelle, who came back to Us, what the state of affairs was in Germany, as well as in the Low Countries (les pays d'embas); having also perfectly understood by Our Privy Seal's verbal report, by his correspondence with the queen of Hungary, Our sister, and by what she herself has since written to Us through Mr. de Boss, Our Master of the Horse (Grand Escuyer), how matters stand both in the Low Countries and in England; having communicated and consulted with such of Our ministers and Councillors as are here [in Italy] with Us, We now send you (Chantonnay) to England, that you may in Our name declare confidentially to the King what Our resolution is, and what We intend doing whilst We await news from him, and at the same time ascertain what he himself proposes doing on his side in fulfilment of the treaty lately made and ratified by us two, and according to the true, perfect, and indissoluble friendship existing between Us.|
|For ever since the bishop of Westminster (Thirlby) was at Montçon (Monçon), it has always been Our intention and desire to terminate Our business [in Spain] so as to be able to repair as soon as possible to those parts, and with that king's co-operation employ all Our forces against the common enemy, the delay experienced in the execution of those plans being solely and exclusively due to the changes and unfitness of the weather, contrary winds, and so forth.|
|That since Our arrival here We have caused a levy of 4,000 Italian infantry and 600 light horse to be made, together with 3,000 Spaniards, besides those coming from Biscay, who by this time, We presume, must have already landed in the Low Countries. In addition to that force there are 16,000 German foot and 2,000 horse already enlisted and ready to march on Spires and meet Us there on Our arrival—all these forces, as well as the Spaniards and Italians, under able captains well experienced in warfare, to be employed wherever they may be wanted.|
|You will also tell the King that We Ourselves intend to follow the road [to Spires] without making a stay anywhere, with the full intention of being in that town on the 20th of July at the latest, surrounded by the aforesaid forces in infantry as well as cavalry. There will be already at Spires on Our arrival upwards of 100 pieces of heavy artillery, well equipped, mounted and provided with every necessary so as to be ready at a moment's notice either to join the army which the Queen, Our sister, has in the Low Countries, or to go elsewhere according as the news from the theatre of war, and the movements of the common enemy or of the duke of Clèves, his confederate and ally, may be, or wherever it suits the king of England best to have Our forces join his. In short, that We shall do his pleasure in every respect, and will try to gain time for the prompt execution of Our warlike plans.|
|That the King must know and understand the state of perplexity and straitened circumstances in which king Francis finds himself at present owing to the enormous expense he had to sustain through last year's campaign, which, instead of being profitable to him, brought nothing but shame and loss, besides destruction and ruin to his kingdom; that France is now divided; that there is much discontent among its inhabitants, and, in short, that there was never so fit an opportunity for an invasion. That is why he (king Francis) is doing all he can to avoid and prevent war, hoping that by doing so he will be able to get money next winter to fortify and strengthen himself against the king and against Us, and perhaps also promote war between the English and the Scotch, so as to have it out of his own kingdom.|
|It is therefore very important for the said king of England and for Us not to let this juncture and opportunity pass away, but to seize it at once and attack the common enemy before he has time to recover. For that purpose We have had the enclosed statement of Our disposable forces made and sent to you, as well those of which Our sister, the Queen, can dispose in the Low Countries—which We have no doubt she has already sent—that the king of England may inspect them at his leisure, and decide how Our arms had better be employed, conjointly with his, for the humiliation and destruction of Our common enemy.|
|We also trust that the King will resolve, if he has not done so already, to acquaint Us, as sincerely and minutely as We have done, of what he himself proposes doing against the common enemy, since when Our ambassador (Eustace Chapuys) spoke to him last on the subject, he fully promised to do so as soon as he himself had heard from Us. And say that We now request and entreat him as warmly and affectionately as it is in Our power to do, to let Us know as soon as possible what he thinks will be the best mode of carrying on war against the common enemy, and sending to France the challenge (sommation) and intimation of the articles of the treaty, unless that has already been done on the arrival of Thoison d'Or, Our herald, whom We sent to England for the purpose.|
|Should the king of England make any difficulties respecting the invasion of France during the time that We Ourselves are at war with the duke of Clèves, not only on account of the duchy of Ghelders, which he has usurped, but owing also to the wickedness and malice of which he was guilty last year with regard to the undertaking of Martin van Rossen, his servant and subject, of which his own intercepted letters and pertinacious obstinacy are a proof; his having refused to accept the last truce which Mr. de Granvelle offered him, to which he had agreed at the request of the Estates of the Empire, and principally in consideration of the conversation which the King had had with Our ambassador (Chapuys), that being disengaged on that side We could the sooner fall on the king of France with Our joint forces, then you will tell him that We hope that when the duke of Clèves hears that We are approaching his dominions with all Our army, besides the forces We keep in the Low Countries, he cannot fail to acknowledge his fault, and ask Our forgiveness. Should he not do so, but persist in his rebellion, We hope to reduce him to submission and even more, considering that the forces which Our sister of the Low Countries has are quite sufficient for that purpose. The Duke once reduced one way or other, if the season and the disposition of affairs be suitable, We and the King may easily invade France.|
|Should the King speak to you of the help and assistance which We are bound by treaty to give him, you will answer in accordance with what the Queen, Our sister, may have told you at your passage through the Low Countries, as well as with the advice of Our ambassador (Chapuys), and the agreements entered into by the Queen herself with the English ambassador at her court; that is, of course, provided you see in the king real inclination and readiness to declare war against France, and also in accordance with the forces he himself may have prepared for the invasion of that country in this present year.|
|However that may be, you will take care to persuade the King to join Us, if possible, in the campaign against France, or at least to declare himself openly the enemy of that country, so that, if nothing better can be obtained from him, king Francis may at least be frightened and obliged to detach part of his army against the English of Calais and Guisnes. In this manner Francis' forces will be reduced in number precisely at those points of the frontier against which We Ourselves might direct an attack, so that neither he nor the duke of Clèves, his confederate, may join their forces and help each other.|
|You will also try that the King may have no loophole for excusing himself in case of the invasion of France not taking place this year. You are to represent to him the great warlike preparations already made by Us—much greater and indeed double those specified in the treaty, and quite sufficient to compose two different armies—and that the duke of Clèves being Francis' confederate and ally, it is quite natural that We should make war upon the two, since were the Duke not compelled into obedience, as most likely he will soon be, he would have helped king Francis.|
|There is still another argument to bring forward in favour of an invasion of French territory, namely, that king Francis has invaded the Low Countries (les pays d'embas), and so has the duke of Clèves, without either the one or the other (the King or the Duke) having asked the help and assistance of the king of England in virtue of the said treaty, and that during a whole year We have carried on war against these two enemies at considerable and even unbearable expense. All this the King ought to consider, and not offer any excuse for not joining in the war against France on his own side should We be unable to furnish him all his demands according to the letter of treaty, which if interpreted with good faith and true friendship must mean that "the mutual help and assistance to be bestowed must be measured by the power, wealth and circumstances of each party."|
|You will also tell the King that We have been requested and pressed by the Pope to hold an interview with him, or meet him at Bologna, as We did twice in the days of Pope Clement. For that purpose he has sent to Us, first of all his own son, the duke of Castro (Pier Luigi Farnese), and after that his grandson, Cardinal [Alessandro] Farnese, but that in order not to lose time and that Our journey may not be unduly prolonged, We refused his invitation. The Pope then condescended to come as far as Parma, which was only one day's journey from the place whereat We then were. It then seemed to Us, as well as to the rest of the Italian powers, that under present circumstances, and considering that the Turk is threatening to come down in person upon Hungary at the head of very considerable forces—indeed, much larger than he ever had in that country—and having besides sent a powerful fleet to the coasts of Naples and Sicily, We ought not to afford the Holy Father an excuse for not helping Us and Christendom on that side, by refusing any longer the proposed interview. Besides, We have been told by ministers and ambassadors of the Italian powers and others—and indeed We now know for certain by means of intercepted letters—that king Francis has bitterly complained more than once to the Holy Father of the treaty We have made with England, and that under colour of that complaint he has been intriguing both against that king and against Us, trying to make the Holy Father believe that the treaty in question has been made expressly for the purpose of causing him to lose the obedience of Scotland and France; all the time soliciting earnestly the assistance of the Holy See against England, and begging him to induce the Scotch to turn against that king and declare war to him, and therefore that in order to defeat personally king Francis' arguments We have accepted the interview. That the Pope besides, during Our absence from Italy, has done nothing but fan disturbances, as he was doing before Our arrival, for he was in close negociation with king Francis and the Italian powers; he had already made levies of men in favor of France, with the avowed purpose of declaring for him. On this point of the intrigues (menées) of the Holy Father and king Francis, in consequence of Our treaty with England, you may show to Our sister, the Queen, and to Our ambassador (Chapuys), the intercepted letter of the French ambassador residing with His Holiness, which letter, as you well know, contains the formal promise made by king Francis to His Holiness of aiding him against the king of England. Should Our ambassador there (Chapuys) deem it advisable you may show the letter to the King.|
|To end with this point of the interview which, as above said, We intend holding with His Holiness at Parma, We are in hopes of conducting matters in such a way as to prevent the plans and designs of king Francis in common with him. Indeed, We already perceive that His Holiness begins to be colder in the matter. However this may be, you may assure the king of England in Our name that neither directly nor indirectly shall We do anything inconsistent with, or contrary to, Our treaty, nor to the confederacy and sincere friendship existing between him and Us.|
|You may add that We have left a good provision of money in cash on this side (fn. n9) for the support of the forces We have here; that if necessary the sum can be increased, and that We can very easily persuade the Italian powers to help, should His Holiness make a stir, and declare against him [Henry], a, sort of game at which His Holiness would gain nothing, and might perhaps be the loser, and repent.|
|You will make the King understand, as the opportunity may offer, how very important it is, especially for him, not to defer any longer the projected invasion of French territory on his own side of the frontier, so as to give king Francis a good brushing (une bonne main), which is the true course to prevent the Pope from helping him now or in future against him.|
|You can also say that the king of the Romans, Our brother, has a very heavy task to perform in his resistance against the Turk, and that it is incumbent upon Us to induce His Holiness by all possible means and persuasions to help him against the Infidel. That upon Our arrival in Germany We will endeavour to make all the estates of the Empire, Catholic as well as Protestant, assist against the Turk and towards the defence of the kingdom of Hungary. We have for the present advised him (the King) to be on the defensive, and so guard his own frontiers by land as well as sea that the Turk may not enter into Germany, (fn. n10) which would be a thing almost impossible for him to achieve single-handed. If the king of England would assist him promptly it would be a great and meritorious service to God and to the whole of Christendom, and a favor which Our said brother (Ferdinand), Ourselves and the whole of Germany would esteem beyond measure. You will add that if We have advised Our brother to be on the defensive it is owing to Our firm belief that at the present crisis he cannot do otherwise, and also because, as king Francis is throwing all sorts of impediments in his way, he (the king of the Romans) cannot attempt more. Were We not as desirous as We are of invading France at this juncture, We might easily have marched to Our brother's assistance. You, Chantonnay, shall go first to Our sister, the Queen, in Flanders, and communicate these present instructions in order that, as We are now writing to her, she may have them examined by her councillors, and then give you her orders in writing as to what you ought to do and represent, which orders you (Chantonnay) and Our ambassador (Chapuys) are to obey strictly and to the letter.|
|You will, moreover, do your best, conjointly with the abovementioned resident ambassador in England, to ascertain what the King's intention and resolution may be with regard to the contents of these instructions, and after learning the news of those countries (England and the Low Countries), shall return to Us as quickly as possible.—Nienove, (fn. n11) le xvii de Juing 1543.|
|French. Original minute. pp. 8.|
|17 June.||161. The Same to Eustace Chapuys.|
|Wien, Imp. Arch.
|"Venerable, chier et feal,"—In conformity with what We wrote from Gennes (Genoa) advising Our arrival and landing at that town, and Our intention to let you know, as soon as We possibly could, Our resolution and determination to attack either the duke of Clèves or king Francis, and what you would have to say on the subject to the king of England, Our ally, having for that purpose ordered Mr. de Granvelle to make haste and meet Us here as soon as possible, we have decided to despatch Mr. de Chantonnay, (fn. n12) gentleman of Our chamber, on a mission to that king, as you (Chapuys) will see by the Instructions he will show you. Mr. de Chantonnay is to go first to Our sister, the queen of Hungary, and exhibit his instructions in order that, if in view of the condition of affairs at his arrival she thinks that anything in them ought to be added to, retrenched or changed, she may, after communicating with the English ambassadors in Brussels, order such emendations and corrections to be made as she deems proper and convenient. With the Instructions thus modified or changed, as it may be, Mr. de Chantonnay shall return to Us as hastily as possible that We may send him on to England. Once there the ambassador will present his credentials to the King and make the exposé of his mission, according to the tenour of the Instructions of which he is bearer, and the state of affairs in England. For the better accomplishment of Mr. de Chantonnay's mission We command you to assist and help him with your experience of that country, advising and instructing him as to the manner in which he is to address the King and his privy councillors, in order to induce them to accept the proposal contained in his Instructions, or whatever else you (Chapuys) may think proper and fit under the circumstances. We also send you letters of commendation and of credence in favor of the said Mr. de Chantonnay for that king's ministers and privy councillors who enjoy most credit at Court and manage the King's affairs. The letters are not addressed, so that Mr. de Chantonnay may use and present them to the individuals you may designate, and you will take care that Our ambassador may speak to each of them in the terms recommended by you as most conclusive and suitable to the good issue of the mission entrusted to him.|
|As the contents of the Instructions, and what Mr. de Chantonnay himself will explain verbally, must be enough for your guidance, We will add no more at present about Our determination and resolution.—Cremona, the 17 of June 1543.|
|P.S.—Since the above was written your letters of the 20th and 29th of May have come to hand. No further reply to them is needed than to refer you to the Instructions of Mr. de Chantonnay, whom We will not retain near Us longer than necessary.|
|French. Original draft. (fn. n13) pp. 2.|
|19 June.||162. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.|
|Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
|"Monsieur l'Ambassadeur,"—Since my last of the 15th inst. the King's ambassadors residing at this Our Court have earnestly requested Us to exempt the English merchants from the duty of 1%, saying that they have mandate from the King, their master, to maintain their request, trusting that at the outset of the alliance We would not contravene what has been stipulated and treated of between the two Majesties, the Emperor and himself. We answered them that We prize so highly their master's friendship that We could not believe for a moment that, unwilling as We are to accept the gift of the English merchants unless he himself gives his consent, he (the King) would still refuse Our request, and speak of the advantages We were likely to get by the exemption therefrom and the small profit to accrue to the English merchants through the proposed relief of the payment of that duty for a definite space of time.|
|Notwithstanding all Our arguments, however, the English ambassadors have persisted in their request, saying that their charge is to insist upon absolute and unconditional exemption from the duty in question, and that the King, their master, could in nowise persuade himself that We would persist in Our refusal of so just a request on his part. He (the King) rather thought it was the fault of some of Our councillors, who, regardless (as the ambassadors said) of the close friendship existing between the two princes, the Emperor and himself, did not advise Us in the matter as they ought to have done.|
|After this We asked the ambassadors whether the King, their master, had or had not been informed of Our request that the English merchants should pay the duty only for a time to be specified and determined beforehand. Their answer was that they had done so, but had received orders from home to insist on the total exemption from that duty to the end. They were then told that the King's privy councillors had certainly stated that should We consent to exempt English merchants from the payment of the duty, they, the merchants, would be pleased to make Us a present more profitable to Us than the duty itself. The ambassadors' answer was that they had no orders or mandate as to that, and that they knew nothing of the affair, and although they were shown letters of yours wherein the promise was mentioned, they still maintained that they knew nothing about it. At last, seeing that they persisted on the absolute exemption from duty; considering also the present state of affairs, and fearing that if We went on refusing the application they (the English) might delay the settlement of matters of greater importance, the ambassadors have been told that We hope the King, their master, will take into consideration the great damage and loss We should have to sustain through the exemption, and the small profit the merchants are likely to get from it were Our request, through your medium, refused again. And yet that in order to show how unwilling We were to tax the King's subjects against his will, We will allow the English merchants to import free of duty into these Low Countries any goods whatever, provided the goods are their own, and likewise export from this country any sort of merchandize until some other agreement is entered into with the King. (fn. n14) In conformity with this proposal of Ours, if accepted, We have issued an ordinance commanding the clerks of the Customs charged with the collection of the said duty of 1% to let English [goods] pass free, taking care, however, that in the transport and carriage of the said goods and merchandize no fraud be committed. It is for you (Chapuys) to decide if it be wise or not to press again the King to consent to his subjects paying the duty for one year only, and if so remind the King's privy councillors of the offer and promise they once made you in the name of the English merchants, all the time declaring to them that it is not so much for the profit We may get from the promised gift in money—however acceptable under the present urgent circumstances—as to satisfy and content other foreign merchants who are actually paying the said duty on the goods they import. And as the ambassadors here resident have given Us to understand that the English merchants never made any offer at all, or at least that if they did they themselves have not been informed thereof, and therefore that they cannot agree to it unless they get fresh orders from home, you will take particular care to remind the King and his privy councillors of the offer and promise they once made to you.|
|Whilst this letter was being written yours of the 15th came to hand, informing Us that the King had unconditionally approved of your proposal of the challenge and intimation of war to king Francis being made there in London to the French ambassador, and his passports given him. And yet it would not be amiss to remind him of the charge or commission once given to Our respective heralds, and that since the French king has refused to listen to the very honest and Christian admonitions and requests which the Emperor and the king of England purposed to address to him, both princes considered themselves bound by conscience, as well as the duty of their royal dignities—with which God has been pleased to endow them—to repute and hold him as the common enemy of Christendom and make incessant war upon him, without admitting any propositions of peace (sans le recepvoir en traictie) unless he complies with all the demands contained in the Instructions to the heralds.|
|You did well in writing to Toison d'Or, the herald, to come back to Us, since that king ordered his (Garter) to return to England.|
|Orders have been forwarded to the ports of Flanders and Zeeland to fit out for sea all the war ships they have, that they may join the English fleet [in the Channel] and together repulse (rebouter) the enemy, and do him as much harm as they possibly can. You will tell the King that besides that We are actually at work to equip and arm more ships, according to the letter of the treaty.|
|As the French are becoming daily more powerful and numerous on the frontiers of Haynault and Arthois, laying waste the fields, destroying the crops and setting fire to the villages, without sparing even the inhabitants, We request and order you to solicit continually that king to send Us promptly the greatest succour and assistance he may now have at hand. If all the contingent, which he is bound to furnish by treaty, is not yet ready, let him at least send by small detachments (fil à fil) those he may have ready, and issue orders for the men who have already crossed [to Calais] to join the army under count de Rœulx, to whom We have written that should the French lay a formal siege to any town of Haynault or Arthois, he is, with the auxiliary forces from England, to make a diversion and invade the county of Boulogne sur Mer (le Boulonaix). Mons. du Rœulx has answered that should the enemy feel so disposed and lay formal siege to some town or other, he is quite ready, whilst the French are so engaged, to enter that county, and can easily take Montreuil, inasmuch as the bulk of the French are taking the direction of Cambray. Yet the same commander writes that until he has positive information as to the enemy's next movements, he cannot possibly abandon the frontiers of the Haynault. The French have lately raised the siege of Barpasmes (Bapaumes) and retreated also from Avesnes, which they intended to besiege, and they are now marching from one place to another, so that for the present it is almost impossible to say what their next movement will be, though they are spreading rumours that their intention is to lay siege to Valenchienes (Valenciennes).|
|With regard to the safe conducts which have been granted, We shall begin by telling you that Our principal object in doing so in very special cases has been that the intercourse of trade may not cease altogether, a measure of which German merchants would complain bitterly just now. Had We not granted some to Germany and other foreign nations that have nothing to do with the present war, their merchants would have sustained great losses, as would also the English and those of the Low Countries. This notwithstanding, in order to please the king of England, We will take care in future not to grant safe conducts unless the goods and merchandize be of that sort of which there is real need in those countries. We request and order you to remonstrate with the King and his privy councillors as to that, and tell them that were We to make use of such rigour and severity in the matter as that recommended to you by the Lord Privy Seal (Lord Russell), it would be highly detrimental to and against the letter of commercial treaties, and that We beg them to look to that and take care that no inconvenience of that kind arises therefrom. Besides which you must also consider and bear in mind that on no account could We willingly place Ourselves under such subjection [to the king of England] as to relinquish Our right to grant safe conducts to the merchants who might apply to Us for them without that king's consent, which would be tantamount to receiving the law from him. You must, therefore, endeavour to give the King satisfaction on this point without obliging Us to refuse granting safe conducts to merchants except with his consent.|
|Addressed: "To the ambassador in England, 19 June 1543."|
|Indorsed: "The queen of Hungary to Chapuys."|
|French. Original draft. pp. 5.|