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.
July 1543, 25-31
|27 July.||188. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.|
|Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
|Since the date of Your Imperial Majesty's letter of the 11th inst., (fn. n1) received yesterday, the 26th, Mr. de Chantonnay must have arrived at Court. I have no doubt, to judge from the very remarkable wit and talent, as well as wisdom and discretion displayed by him in the explanation and management of his charge during the time he has been in this country, that he will be able to give Your Imperial Majesty verbally a more clear account of his own negociations and doings than I could in writing. I will therefore avoid any further mention of this, considering it quite superfluous. (fn. n2)|
|Since his (my colleague's) departure, which took place towards the middle of this month, I must say that I (Chapuys) have not perceived the least sign or indication of this king having changed purpose as to the points discussed and agreed to between him and us two. On the contrary, he has hastened much more than he did before the equipment of the remainder of his fleet, adding to the twelve war ships he had already—the finest and most gallant that ever furrowed the sea—six or seven more, bought or chartered [from merchants]. (fn. n3) It seems as if the activity to which I allude, and the increase of this king's fleet, were partly owing to the intelligence he has lately received from the North that the duke of Holstein, with the assistance of the king of Sweden, is preparing a considerable force by sea, and at the same time giving his subjects faculty to capture as many English vessels as they can. The King has also heard—and I am trying to persuade him of the truth of the report—that the said duke of Holstein, with the advice and encouragement of the French, is designing to make his own brother king of Scotland. To ascertain whether the report be true or not, and also to watch the Duke's movements in that quarter, the King has lately sent a gentleman of his Privy Chamber [to Denmark]. In short, there is every appearance of this king being, in the end, obliged to do of his own accord that which before this he so long and tenaciously resisted, namely, declare himself the duke's enemy. (fn. n4)|
|On the same day of Mr. de Chantonnay's departure the French ambassador went to Court to represent to the King, in his master's name, that in consequence of his being far away from Paris, where his Privy Council resides, he could not, as otherwise he would have done, communicate to them the "exposé" of complaints and wrongs detailed in the paper given to his ambassador, that they might deliberate and resolve as to the answer which he (king Francis) was to return, and that he wished that the term of 20 days should be prolonged. The ambassador, moreover, seized that opportunity to offer and propose certain means of reconciliation between his master and this king, who, I am told, replied curtly that he knew well enough what his application for delay meant; that he could not and would not grant, nor would he in anywise listen to it without the consent, will, and pleasure of Your Imperial Majesty; that at the expiration of the term the king of France would find him to be his sworn enemy, and ready to do him the utmost harm he could; and that he (the ambassador) would do well to withdraw immediately from his presence and go over to France. The ambassador, however, did not take the hint, but asked permission to return to Court next Sunday on the excuse of taking his "congé" in a formal manner, which he did. He had a present from the King consisting of silver plate to the value of six or seven hundred ducats. Two or three days after the ambassador went away.|
|It would have been equally proper and fit if on this occasion the King had ordered the agent of the duke of Clèves to leave his court, as I myself have more than once suggested; but in spite of all my efforts, the answer of the King's privy councillors has always been the same: they did not consider him the Duke's ambassador, but rather the agent of his sister, Dame Anne de Clèves. And certainly the poor man (bon-homme) must very much wish to be out of this country, for he does nothing here and gets no pay. Indeed, I hear from an authentic quarter that the said dame would rather lose everything in this world (estre en chemise) and return to her mother than remain longer in England, especially now that she is in despair and much afflicted in consequence of this late marriage of the King with a lady who, besides being inferior to her in beauty, gives no hope whatever of posterity to the King, for she had no children by her two first husbands.—London, 27 July 1543.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|French. Holograph. pp. 3.|
|27 July.||189. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.|
|Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
|"Madame,"—Your Majesty's letter of the 20th inst. has duly come to hand. With regard to the 40,000 ducats to be transmitted to the king of the Romans, after sending twice to Court for the purpose, and communicating with the bankers here, who have actually received the money from this king's Treasury, all I have been able to obtain, notwithstanding all my remonstrances, is a promise that they will draw bills for 20,000 on Richart and John Gressan Brothers, of Antwerp, payable on the 16th or 18th of August by the Velsez (Belzers) of the same town; the said sum of 20,000 ducats to be consigned on any place or market of Your Majesty's choosing. Gressan Brothers wish, moreover, that Your Majesty give them a receipt under Your name and signature for the said sum, and as to the remaining 20,000, they tell me that the merchants of the Staple of Calais will consign them on Antwerp, to the order of the Forcez (?), payable on the 18th of September next; (fn. n5) the privy councillors, and the merchants themselves, giving me to understand that they are exceedingly sorry that the whole of the sum could not be made payable at Antwerp, and, moreover, that the pressure of affairs had prevented them from doing otherwise in matters in which the honor and credit of their master was so deeply concerned, although it must be said that they have refused to adopt the means proposed to them for the more speedy and effective transmission of the money.|
|Respecting the copy of my declaration and intimation to the French ambassador, in the Emperor's name, at the time and place where this king caused his to be made by the duke of Norfolk, Your Majesty must bear in mind that, before the act, I took care to deliver into the hands of the Duke, who called on me on the morning of that day for the purpose, a duplicate of the Instructions given to Thoyson d'Or. After that the clerk of the Council came to me with the copy of the paper, which I myself presented to the French ambassador, but of which, owing to the clerk's hasty and urgent application, no copy could be made at the time before the courier started, so that it remained unfinished in the hands of my secretary, and is now enclosed. Since then I have never ceased applying most urgently for my own copy of Thoyson d'Or's Instructions, which I placed in the Duke's hands to be compared with the intimation to be made by that herald in the Emperor's name, but it seems to me as if not one of this king's privy councillors knew anything about it. (fn. n6) That is why they (the councillors) wish me to give them another copy. That, however, I cannot do unless I have by me a duplicate of the Instructions given to Thoyson d'Or, (fn. n7) and therefore I most humbly beg and entreat Your Majesty to order that a copy of these Instructions be made and forwarded to me, in which, however, nothing must be changed save the names of the persons who made that intimation. Nothing either has been added save towards the end of the paper, where it is expressly said that "His Imperial Majesty will listen to no overtures [of peace or truce] without the consent of the King [of England]," the following words have been inserted: "whose cause and motives are one and the same as those of the Emperor."|
|With regard to the fleet of the Low Countries, if I am to believe what the privy councillors write to me, only two small ships and three vessels (botz), to which they will not give the name of ships (navières), have anchored in one of the English ports, people here wondering much why more have not come.|
|Of other news I scarcely have any to report. Since Mr. de Chantonnay's departure I have perceived no change in the King's intentions and goodwill concerning the charge entrusted to that Imperial ambassador. It is true that he has lately ordered, in greater haste than before, that the remainder of his war ships be armed, manned, and equipped; and that besides his own, amounting to twelve, the finest and most gallant (triomphantes) ships that ever furrowed the sea, he has purchased or freighted six or seven more. It seems, however, that all this haste on the part of the King to arm and increase his fleet and send it out to sea, is chiefly due to intelligence here received that the duke of Holstein, with the assistance of the king of Sweden, has raised a great naval force, having given his subjects permission to molest and attack the English at sea, and capture as many of their merchant vessels as they can. The King has also heard, and I myself have done my best to confirm the intelligence, that the above-mentioned Duke, incited by the French, intends making his own brother king of Scotland. (fn. n8) To ascertain the truth of this report, the King has just sent a gentleman of his Chamber to the duke of Holstein. In fact, there is every appearance that, in one way or other, the King himself will propose to do what he has so obstinately refused doing until now, that is, declare the Duke his enemy.|
|On the very same day of Mr. de Chantonnay's departure the French ambassador went to see the King, and inform him in his master's name that happening to be far away from Paris, where most of his privy councillors and ministers reside, he could not — though he would otherwise have wished to do so—give them cognizance of the complaints and demands contained in the preamble to the intimation of war, as exhibited to his ambassador, that they might report on the whole, and counsel him how to answer. He, therefore, wished that the term fixed for the answer should be prorogued; the ambassador at the same time hinting or pointing out various ways of adjusting the differences between his master and this king, who, as I am told, interrupted him and said curtly, that he knew very well what his demand of prorogation meant; he (the King) would not grant it, nor would he listen to any proposals without the consent, pleasure, and good will of the Emperor, his ally. He would, on the contrary, at the expiration of the prefixed time, consider the king of France as his sworn enemy, and try to do him all possible injury. As to him (the ambassador), he would do well to withdraw and leave England at once. Such were the King's words, as I am told, but the French ambassador asked as a favor to return to Court on the following Sunday to take leave, which he did, getting from the King a present of silver plate amounting to about 600 ducats, two or three days after which he actually left for France.|
|It would have been proper and equitable that on the very same day on which the French ambassador got his passport, the agent of the duke of Clèves should also have been dismissed; but although I have made every effort to obtain his dismissal, I have never succeeded in getting it, the privy councillors alleging that he is not the Duke's ambassador, but the agent of his sister, dame Anne de Clèves. The poor devil, however, must very much wish to be out of this country, for be does nothing here [and gets no assistance in money]. Indeed, as far as I can hear from an authentic quarter, the said Dame would greatly prefer giving up everything that she has and living with her mother in Germany, to remaining any longer in England, treated as she is, and humiliated and hurt as she has lately been at the King marrying this last lady, who is by no means so handsome as she herself is, besides which there is no hope of her having children, considering that she has been twice a widow and has borne none from either of her deceased husbands. (fn. n9)|
|As to what Your Majesty wrote to me on the 10th (fn. n10) respecting the present offered by the merchants of this city as an equivalent for their exemption from the 1% duty, these privy councillors, accustomed as they have been for some time to get anything they want from us, did at the very outset disregard the objections and difficulties raised in the Low Countries about the revocation of the tax as far as they themselves (the English) are concerned. Since then I have forwarded to them the paper that came with Your Majesty's letter, drawn by one of the Imperial Councillors, but I must say that as yet no answer from them has been received. Should one come, or should the affair take a better turn, I shall not fail to inform Your Majesty at once.—London, 27 of July 1543.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|French. Holograph, partly ciphered. pp. 3.|
|27 July.||190. The Same to Mr. de Granvelle.|
|Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
|"Monseigneur,"—Your Lordship will see by what I write to the Queen the news of this country. I can add nothing to it save say that the day after the departure of Mr. de Chantonnay from this city, the King married privately and without ceremony his queen [Catharine Parr], of which marriage the bishop of Winchester was the minister and bridesman. (fn. n11)|
|I must not omit to say that this king has actually disbursed 40,000 ducats to send to the king of the Romans (Ferdinand), and yet I have been unable to obtain that the merchants who received the money should consign it upon Antwerp, one half for the 16th August and the other half for the 18th of September, the privy councillors showing regret that the bills could not be made out at a shorter date. Had they believed me, the financial operation would have been more successful. (fn. n12)|
|The King has issued orders that during the next six weeks all church curates are to preach and exhort their parishioners to contribute for the war against the Turk with the same amount which they once gave for lenten bulls and indulgences, money, by the way, very badly employed. (fn. n13) To collect that tax or else ask it as charity the people of higher rank and standing in each parish have been appointed to go round from house to house and bring the subject before their neighbours. The collection, according to the estimation of people accustomed to these sort of affairs, will amount to three or four times the 40,000 ducats which this king has granted to the king of the Romans.—London, 27 July 1543.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England to Mgr. de Granvelle, 27 July. Received at Espire (Spires?) the 2 of August."|
|French. Holograph, partly ciphered. pp. 1½.|
|29 July.||191. The Duke of Alva to the Emperor.|
|S. E., L. 60,
B. M. Add. 28,593,
|I wrote to Your Majesty on the 21st inst. a letter in my own hand, a copy of which is here enclosed, begging that the reasons I there gave for considering myself injured by Your Majesty's ministers should be carefully examined and weighed. (fn. n14) When Your Majesty was pleased to confer on the marquis de Aguilar (fn. n15) the charges and commissions he brought here [to Spain], Your Majesty's ministers did not inform me of his arrival, nor in what capacity he came, nor how I was to treat him in affairs relating to Your Majesty's service, though, to say the truth, I never imagined that the Marquis' powers would in any way jar with those I myself have from Your Majesty, nor that I could be deemed unfit for the Royal service. For, after all, since Your Majesty ordered me to remain in these Your kingdoms of Spain with authority and command, there was no necessity to remind me of my duty, I myself having been so watchful during my whole life for any opportunity of being useful to Your Majesty.|
|But not only was this courtesy to which I allude not practised with me, but I am now informed that the Marquis' nomination to the post of viceroy of Catalonia contains a clause so prejudicial to my authority and honor in that province, as well as to Your Majesty's service in these parts, that I cannot conceive how Your Majesty could have signed the warrant in question, unless the Royal secretary forgot to declare its contents. (fn. n16) Indeed, I have never seen any of Your Majesty's subjects treated in that manner, much less one who, like myself, never dreamt of anything else save of serving Your Majesty as best I could with my person and property, as I have done hitherto. For in the words of the warrant to which I allude, Your Majesty is made to say, that in the principality of Catalonia, and in the counties of Roussillon and Cerdaña (Cerdagne), the Marquis is to hold exclusively the office of lieutenant for Your Majesty and captain-general [of all arms], in such a manner that if the Marquis considers himself entitled to write to me and send me his orders I must bow to and obey them, whereas Your Majesty's letters patent to me are clear and explicit enough, giving me power and authority in all matters concerning the administration and government of these kingdoms, as well as over all viceroys and ministers, frontier captains, &c, who are to obey my commands in every respect, as well as in all things concerning Your Majesty's service.|
|This is what Your Majesty at the time of my nomination considered fit for Your service, as well as for the preservation and defence of these realms. As Your Majesty knows that I have always been, and am still, ready to sacrifice my life and my property for Your Majesty's service, I am at a loss to understand why the Marquis' appointment and nomination, such as it is, could have been signed, unless Your Majesty was actually deceived by the secretary in office, because by the warrant remaining as it is couched, all the authority which Your Majesty was pleased once to leave in my hands would be a cause of shame and affront to me. I, therefore, beg and entreat Your Majesty to decide that the Marquis' nomination be so amended and corrected that my honor may be safeguarded. This can and must be done by means of another warrant from Your Majesty, and a schedule (cedula) to me declaring that You wish my power and authority to continue, as at first intended, notwithstanding any other warrants or appointments since issued, so that it may be perfectly understood that I have in these realms the same authority and power as that which Your Majesty was once pleased to confer on me. If this be done, as it has been with all those who have held offices under Your Majesty, my honor will be safeguarded, and I myself remain contented and satisfied; otherwise I shall tender my resignation of all charges and retire to my estates, where my honor may be safeguarded and affront avoided. Even then Your Majesty can guess the shame I shall have to go through. Once at home I shall be able to go wherever I am ordered and wanted, and serve Your Majesty with a lance (pica) on my shoulder, as Your Majesty knows I can and will do.|
|I fancy that Your Majesty does not want me to compete and contend with the marquis de Aguilar, nor him with me, since others who are as noble as he is, and have as much authority, do not disdain but are glad to receive my orders in obedience to Your Majesty's commands. Matters remaining as they were before, I am so desirous of Your Majesty's service and so anxious and careful of that service being done, that not only have I never tried to deprive any one of Your Majesty's servants or ministers of their authority, but have always endeavoured to increase it if possible. This was sufficiently demonstrated last year, at the time that I was commanding Your Majesty's forces in the Roussillon. I made Don Juan de Acuña sign all the appointments (provisiones) and documentary papers as if he were captain-general of that province; and if I did so with him, far more will I do it with any of Your Majesty's ministers of higher quality and rank.|
|I was on the point of departing on a visit of inspection to certain towns of mine, but His Highness the Crown Prince has commanded me to go to Valladolid. I will leave immediately for that city, and leave Alba, whence I am now writing. There, at Valladolid, where the Court now is, I will reside and do service until Your Majesty be pleased to send a declaration on the points that form the subject of this letter. God knows how much I should prefer under the circumstances to be near Your Majesty's person and serve under Your orders, as I thought at one time I should always do, to living in this retirement of mine.—Alba, the 29 of July 1543.|
|Signed: "El duque de Alva."|
|Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."|
|Spanish. Original. pp. 4.|
|31 July.||199. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.|
|Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
|"Madame,"—The courier, bearer of this letter, has urgently requested me to write to Your Majesty, as I now do, to say that owing to my not having supplied him with funds for the expenses of his voyage to Spain he is unable to sail for that country and carry the despatches he has for the Emperor. The man is perfectly right, and the reason of my not giving him money for his passage and travelling expenses is, in the first place, that I have no orders from Your Majesty to that effect, nor has there been any allusion to it in the letters lately received; and secondly, because had I had such orders I really do not know how I could have supplied the money, as I myself have none to spare. Indeed, unless Your Majesty has pity on me and orders the treasurers to remit to me the arrears of pay now due, I really do not know how I can get on and support myself. That is why I beg and entreat Your Majesty to consider the pitiful condition in which I find myself.|
|This king has lately received from Scotland the most agreeable news possible, namely, that the cardinal [of St. Andrew's], and the others who were partial to France, had given their consent to the treaty which this king's ambassadors had negociated there, and that the widowed queen herself (Margaret) had done the same, and seemed affectionately inclined towards this king and his partisans in that kingdom.|
|These privy councillors have sent me very pressing messages requesting me to write to Your Majesty at once to put an end to the business of the 1% duty, in order that their merchants may not have occasion to complain to the king, who might perhaps take the thing in bad part and our mutual affairs be endangered through it.|
|The King has lately granted to the people of Dunkerke permission to buy and export from this country the wood they require [for the herrings]. (fn. n17) This he has done chiefly at Your Majesty's request and intercession. He has, moreover, within the last few days ordered the imprisonment of certain officers [of the Customs] for having unduly, in the ports of this kingdom, laid an embargo on vessels of the Low Countries owing to their masters not having paid certain pilot duties from which they are exempted by treaty. (fn. n18)|
|Considerable activity is being displayed here in the fitting out of this king's fleet, an incredible number of guns being mounted on each ship. The "Henry," among others, is to carry twelve double guns, and the "Marie Roze" six, and the crews of the two will amount to 1,200 at least. (fn. n19)—London, 31 July 1543.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|Addressed: "To the queen of Hungary."|
|French. Holograph. pp. 3.|