Spain: October 1543, 1-15

Pages 494-503

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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October 1543, 1-15

1 Oct. 235. Henry VIII. to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 10.
"Tres hault, tres excellent, et tres puissant prince, nostre tres chier et tres ame (sic) frere et cousin,"—Our very dear and most beloved cousin, the earl of Surrey, knight of Our Order, has applied to Us for permission to visit Your Majesty's camp. This petition We have readily granted, that We may through him have news of your successes, which We hope will continue to be prosperous, that he (the Earl) may at the same time acquire that experience in military affairs that will make him the true heir and successor of his ancestors.
We beg to recommend him most particularly to Your Imperial Majesty, praying you to order the captains and lieutenants of your army to help and assist in all things in which the said Earl may advance and improve his knowledge of military affairs.—Woodstock, 1 of October 1543.
Signed: "Your good brother and cousin Henry."
Indorsed: "To the most high, most excellent, and most powerful prince, Our very dear and very beloved brother and cousin."
French. Original, with seal in red wax. p. 1. (fn. n1)
1 Oct. 236. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 10.
"Monsieur, mon bon frère et cousin,"—The bearer of this my letter will be Messire François Bryan, knight, vice-admiral of England, and gentleman of Our Chamber, who is going to visit you, as well as to declare certain things of importance in my name. I beg you not only to receive him kindly, but credit him also in all he will say to you as if the words came from myself, your good brother and cousin.—Woodstock, 1 of October 1543.
Signed: "Henry."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
Oct. 236a. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl. 11.
"Sire,"—The bishop of London (Boner) and Master Bryant have called upon me saying that they have been charged with a mission to Your Majesty, which mission consists of the following points:
To visit Your Majesty and congratulate on Your prosperous victory over the duke of Clèves.
To report confidentially on the state of affairs in Scotland, which is more hopeful than when my son (fn. n2) was last in that country, owing to several lords, counts and barons having embraced the King's cause, and to the Cardinal himself having fled to the Continent.
The King trusts that in case of need Your Majesty will assist him according to the letter of the treaty, and the mutual friendship uniting you both.
Also that Your Majesty will completely interdict the intercourse of trade between your subjects and the Scotch.
The King of England wishes to know before hand what is to be done next year against the common enemy, and when and at what point of their frontier the French are to be assailed, so that he himself may prepare and make the necessary provision for the undertaking.
Previous to the duke of Holstein's alliance and confederacy with France, the king of England lived on good terms with the former, and therefore, he has reason to think that it would not be difficult for him to enter now into relations with the said duke. That (as he says) would be a blow struck against the common enemy, and if Your Majesty be pleased that he (the King) should interfere and take up the negociation, (fn. n3) he will undertake the task as the friendship he professes for Your Majesty demands. The above, as the privy councillors inform me, are substantially the items of the ambassadors' mission, I myself had invited them to supper at this Embassy; but they excused themselves on the plea that they will not quit home until they actually start on their mission. ..... (fn. n4)
French. Original. p. 1.
3 Oct. 236b. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. 234.
Again recommends the case of the sieur Bernard de Sainct Boniface, detained at Rippemonde. (fn. n5) The King himself spoke to Mons. de Chantonnay in his favor, and now the privy councillors have requested him (Chapuys) to intercede for him and ask for his release.—London, 3 Oct. 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. p. 1.
4 Oct. 237. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp Engl. 9.
"Venerable, chier et feal,"—Ever since the departure for England of Mr. de Chantonnay, who must have informed you of the progress of Our arms until then, We have purposely delayed writing to you until Our arrival at this place, when We might more deliberately announce to you Our resolution to invade France. We fully expected to have been in Flanders on the 25th or 26th ult.; but We have been of late so tormented by gout (fn. n6) that We have been thoroughly prevented from proceeding on Our journey, and obliged to stay several days on the road, having at last reached this place with considerable fatigue and under most excruciating pains. Considering, however, that We may be compelled to remain here longer than We anticipated in order to recover completely from the last fit of gout, and that the season and fine weather are fast passing away; considering that We are being put to great expense by keeping up Our army, and that We have done all We could to take the field against the common enemy, We have now resolved, in order not to let the remainder of this autumn season and fair weather pass away, to march on towards Guise, leaving behind the duke of Aarshot to push on the siege of Landrechies, and at the same time secure the convoys of provisions for Our army. But as We have heard that the forces which the king of England has on this side of the Channel have, with his permission, shown a desire of joining Our army, We have instructed Signor. Fernando de Gonzaga to conduct them to this place, where they shall not fail to be well received and favorably treated, as they deserve.
We have deemed it opportune and convenient to let you know of these particulars, and at the same time inform you that We will make all possible haste to place Ourselves at the head of Our forces as far as Our health, which is not yet entirely re-established, will permit. Meanwhile We will continually send you news of Our progress against the enemy, that you yourself may apprize the King with the incidents of the campaign We are about to undertake against the common enemy. You will likewise inform the King's privy councillors of the above facts, as well as of the fact that since our departure from Venlo the prince of Orange is gone to take possession in Our name of the duchy of Ghelders and county of Zutphen. We have reason to believe that by this time the Prince has already accomplished the mission We gave him, that he has been welcomed and well received everywhere, and that the States, the barons, the nobles, and the inhabitants of the towns and villages of those districts have all taken their oath to abide by the treaty concluded at Venlo. (fn. n7)
As far as We can hear, king Francis is still in the Luxemburg at the head of his forces, which are said to be very considerable, without, however, having achieved anything important save the taking of Luxemburg itself, which town was quite incapable of defence. He had threatened it for many days, as he is actually threatening Thionville and Metz. On the other hand, We hear that he has spread the rumour that he intends giving Us battle, although We do not see how he can come here where We are. At any rate, whether he does or not, We are confident that Our army will in the meantime achieve something of importance, and if he does come this way We shall give him a warm reception, and trust that God will assist Us and Our good right.
From Italy the news is that the marquis del Gasto, prince Doria, and Figueroa, Our ambassador in Genoa, wrote on the 17th ult. advising that Barbarossa, hearing of the approach of the forces which the former was leading to the relief of Nyce (Nizza), raised suddenly the siege of the citadel, and embarked hastily with the whole of his force, abandoning completely the town, and showing by his manner and words that he was much discontented with the French, who, he said, had deceived him, and taking by force on board his galleys great number of Provençaux and other Frenchmen. The remainder, fancying that flight only could save them from certain death, quitted Nizza in great disorder, so much so that though they had one port close by many of them were drowned in the attempt to reach the Turkish galleys. Before leaving the place the enemy had set fire to the town, one third part of which was burnt to ashes. (fn. n8) Letters received yesterday confirm the above news, adding that the garrison had been completely re-victualled, the citadel stored with powder and ammunition, and the town itself provided with a sufficient garrison for its defence, as well as for repairing the havoc therein caused by the enemy. As the aforesaid Barbarossa has sailed for and taken refuge in the islands of Diers, (fn. n9) it is to be presumed that the discontent and anger of that corsair cannot be so great as reported, and yet it can neither be so slight as to persuade Us that it will soon subside; on the contrary, it is generally believed that one of these days it will grow out and assume greater proportions, so that in the end the French will lose the friendship of the Infidel and be thereby thrown into confusion to their great damage and disrepute, besides losing for ever their credit with the Turk.
True is it that prince Doria sent to Nizza twenty of his galleys under the command of captain Joannetino Doria, and that the duke of Savoy and the marquis del Gasto, who were on board, landed, and were enabled to introduce into the citadel provisions and ammunition. It is also true that four of the galleys having approached too near the coast, and meeting with foul weather, were unfortunately cast on shore; but most of the crews, as well as the artillery, were saved, so that only the galleys were wrecked, and there was no loss of human life. Prince Doria expected within a month or so to be able to launch four more galleys that he is constructing to replace those he has lost.
To put an end to this letter, We must say that We are really astonished not to hear of the result of Mr. Chantonnay's mission; since his departure from England We have received no news whatever from you. Perhaps the cause is that the King is far away in the country and cannot attend to business. However that may be, We request you to let Us hear as soon as possible the news of England, and We on Oar side will not fail to advise Our movements. (fn. n10) —Binche, 4 Oct. 1543.
Indorsed: "The Emperor and King to the ambassador in England."
French. Original. draft. pp. 3.
4 Oct. 238. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—This king, as his privy councillors have just informed me, has ordered twelve good ships of his to be equipped and armed for sea.—London, 4 October 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. p. 1.
5 Oct. 239. Eustace Chapuys to Mr. de Granvelle.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Monseigneur,"—As all those who are employed by this king on that side of the Channel are always welcome to Your Lordship, (fn. n11) especially if they happen to be of the quality and parts of Mr. de Briant, (fn. n12) present bearer, I consider it needless and superfluous for me to recommend him to Your Lordship. Yet the friendship which unites us, and the many obligations under which I am to him, compel me to request and beg Your Lordship to show him all possible favor.
For want of any news to communicate, I will tell Your Lordship something that will cause you mirth, namely, that the Scotch gentleman who resides at this court said the day before yesterday to my man that there was nothing King Francis desired so much as to be able to fight a battle with the Emperor on the frontiers of his own dominions, providing it were at a season like the present, because, should his men happen to lose it, His Imperial Majesty could not, owing to the approaching winter, prosecute his victory, and in the meantime he himself would recover from his losses and gather strength. The Scotch gentleman further said that king Francis had no doubt come to such resolution, in the hope that some favorable opportunity might spring up for him to give or accept battle, (fn. n13) being, as he is, rather desperate just now owing to the ill-success of his allies in Ghelders and in Scotland, and also to the fear he has of his own subjects revolting against him. Such is the construction given by the Scotch gentleman to whom I allude to king Francis' taunts, but I really believe that however much the latter may brag and boast, he will defer coming to close quarters as long as possible.
With regard to disturbances in Scotland, I do not think that affairs are in as desperate a state as Mr. de Chantonnay was told. The King and his ministers may have made exaggerated statements, for reasons and purposes which Your Lordship cannot fail to guess. Indeed, some days ago, when my man asked one of the privy councillors whether there was news from Scotland, the answer was that Scottish affairs were like a man seized with intermittent fever—one day well, the next bad.
I forgot to give to Mr. de Chantonnay the letter here enclosed, (fn. n14) of which, however, I sent a duplicate to the Queen.— London, 5 October 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "A Monseigneur de Grantvelle (sic) etc., chevalier, premier conseiller de l'Empereur."
French. Holograph. pp. 2.
7 Oct. 240. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Monseigneur,"—Since Mr. de Chantonnay's departure, (fn. n15) this king has sent me a message purporting that the French had very earnestly applied for a safe conduct for their fishermen, and that he had not only refused it, but would not receive the ambassador. He, the King, had no doubt that if some such application were made in Flanders, the Queen Regent would also refuse. (fn. n16) He has, moreover, ordered the fitting out and arming of twelve good ships (navieres), which, joined to the Flemish fleet, are to impede the trade of the French, and do them all possible harm, for should their trade and fisheries be stopped, it would be the greatest damage they could suffer under present circumstances, the French having, as this King has been informed, equipped for the purpose of fishing nearly one thousand small craft or boats. (fn. n17) I have already written to the Queen Regent on the subject, but as I consider the affair to be of importance I now add these few words to Your Lordship, and pray that an equal number of ships (navieres) be kept in readiness on that side so as to join the English fleet at Calais when required. Then half that force, namely, six ships on each side, will escort and protect our own fishing boats, whilst the other half will inflict as much damage as they possibly can on those of the enemy.—London, 7 Oct. 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To Mr. de Grantvelle, etc., knight, and first councillor of His Imperial Majesty."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
10 Oct. 241. Prince Philip to Eustace Chapuys.
S. E., L. 63,
f. 19.
"Venerable y amado nuestro,"—Your letter of the 10th of August came duly to hand, and together with it the duplicate of the one you had previously written, (fn. n18) as well as the report and papers appended, the answer to which Captain Nicool, who left this on the 16th of August, will take to you. Since then, by another messenger, who departed on the 9th of September, We have sent you a duplicate of the same, so that, supposing you are by this time well acquainted with general affairs, there will be little for Us to add, except that We are very glad to hear of the good news from the Emperor, from whom We have no letter but one from Ulm, of the 10th July; though. We hear by other channels that he had arrived in Flanders and taken Dura (Duren) and other towns in the duchy of Juliers. We are anxiously expecting news of him and of his movements, and hope that whenever you get any fresh intelligence you will do your best to transmit it to Us.
Delighted to hear that king Francis' army has achieved so little against the Emperor's subjects and vassals in Flanders. We confidently hope that with the latter's arrival in that country all the harm that King Francis might otherwise have done will entirely cease. You did well in informing Us of that king's good disposition, and of the prosperous turn his affairs with Scotland are taking. We are very glad to hear of it, and beg you to let Us know from time to time how he is getting on, for, nearly united as We are at present with him, and his alliance and confederacy with Us being so close, We cannot help feeling the greatest interest for him.
The news of this kingdom is unimportant; but from Italy and the Mediterranean coast the intelligence is that after the Turkish fleet and French army had been several days over Nizza, the town surrendered to them by capitulation. The inhabitants resisted gallantly two attacks, but the town itself was so weak that it surrendered. The castle, however, made a stout defence, so stout that, although the enemy tried to batter down its walls or undermine them, they could not accomplish their end, and therefore raised the siege, accomplishing nothing else than setting fire to the town, after which they returned to Tolon (Toulon) and Marseilles; so that it may be said that, until now, Turks and French united have achieved nothing important, but, on the contrary, have lost considerably in military reputation.
The coasts of these kingdoms are so well provided for and defended that, with God's help, the enemy will be unable to damage them. It is not known what their designs and plans are, nor whether they will carry those plans into execution, though, the season being already so far advanced, it is not probable that they will at present undertake any serious operations. Prince Doria, after visiting and revictualling the fortresses on the coasts of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, returned to Genoa with his fleet of 93 galleys on the 4th ult., and there is news here of his having entered the port of that city on the 6th. The Prince had with him 15,000 Spanish (fn. n19) infantry to add to the garrisons of those places, if necessary, and We know by letters from Genoa and other maritime towns that, although his fleet is inferior to that of the enemy, his experience of sea matters is so great and his galleys are in such good order, he will be able to harass the enemy so effectually that they will not dare to infest our coasts or to separate from the bulk of their fleet. It is said that the Turkish galleys will pass the winter in the ports of France, but this is uncertain. Should We hear anything about their movements, We will let you know.
We should consider it a special favor if the Imperial couriers, on their arrival in England with letters for Us or for the Emperor's ministers in these parts, were provided with quick passage, and not detained there as the last one was. Should none of the "zabras" destined for that service be in England at the time, you must procure some other mode of conveyance. To the manager of the "zabras" at Bilbao or on the coast of the Basque Provinces orders have been sent not to allow one of them to return from England unless she brings despatches from the Emperor or from the queen of Hungary.—Valladolid, 10 October 1523.
Signed: "Yo el Principe."
Countersigned: "Gonzalo Perez."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
12 Oct. 242. Mr. de Granvelle to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—Your letter of the 7th inst. announcing the refusal by that king of the safe conduct applied for by the French for their fishing craft, and at the same time his urgent request that the fleet of the Low Countries should be speedily fitted out for sea, has come to hand; immediately after which I forwarded your letter to the Queen Regent, and she has answered me that orders have been sent to Admiral Beures, (fn. n20) and to other private people both in Holland and Zeeland, to prepare and fit out the said warships, and that although Her Majesty is sure that by this time all have already gone out to sea, yet she has at all hazards renewed the order for them to sail off.
As to the King's refusal to grant the safe conducts, I think that he is perfectly right in doing so. You can assure him that on our side no safe conducts shall be granted to them. You may also say to the King and to his privy councillors, that the Emperor's army is now before Landrecis, (fn. n21) which we hope will soon surrender. Of whatever may happen on the arrival there of king Francis, who is still bragging that he will give battle to the Emperor, I will take care that you are immediately informed.
I have done everything in my power to forward the settlement of your arrears, for which your man came here, and will take care that in future you are regularly provided with sufficient means to represent the Emperor, our master, in that country. (fn. n22) —Binche, 12 October 1543.
French. Original. p. 1.


  • n1. Follows a letter from the Privy Council to Chapuys, "à l'ambassadeur de l'Empereur," requesting him to write in favor of the earl of Surrey and of Master Bryan (Sir Francis Brian).
  • n2. "Dont ilz ont meilleur espoir quilz navoient quant mon filz y fut dernierement pour y avoir de[s] bons amys, sieurs, contes et barons." This is the first time that Chapuys alludes in his correspondence to a son of his, of whom nothing is known.
  • n3. "Et sil simble à vostre Mate quil sen doige entremectre, il le fera volontiers selon lexigence de vře amytie."
  • n4. "Javoye pria instamment au souper les dits ambassadeurs, mais ilz se sont excusez [en disant] quilz ne bougeront mishuy (?) de leur logis." .... Thus closes the letter as if it were unfinished it is besides unsigned and undated; though on the dorse, in a more modern hand, I find "8br 1543."
  • n5. "La relaxation du sieur Bernard de Sainct Boniface detenu à Rippemonde," as in No. 333; but Rippemonde is evidently an error for Ruremonde in Ghelderland.
  • n6. "Mais nous summes (avons esté?) depuys si travailles de gouttes (sic) de soste quil nous a este force seijourner aucuns jours et avecq tres grande payne nous remectre sur pied."
  • n7. The treaty took place on the 8th of September.
  • n8. Owing to the many erasures and corrections which the original minute has—apparently in the handwriting of secretary Idiaquez, or some clerk or other in the Emperor's Foreign Office—the text of this passage is rather obscure. I transcribe it here as it is in the original. "Barberoussa, aprus avoir entendu l'approchement des gens que menoit le dict marquis au secours de ceulx de Nyce, il leva incontinent le siege de devant le chasteau, et se rembarqua avec toute son armce en tres grande haste, habandounant (sic) entierement la ville du dict Nyce, et demonstrant estre tres malcontent des dits françois pour l'avoir abuse, prenant par force grand nombre de Provençaulx et aultres des dits françois en scs galleres, et le surplus qui se pensoient saulver se retirrent en si grande desordre que combien quilz eussent ung port, partie d'iceulx se noyarent, ayant mis avant le partement. le feug (sic) en la ville du dict Nyce, tellement que plus de la tierce partie fust bruslee."
  • n9. Les Isles d'Hyères, close to Marseilles.
  • n10. The whole of this paragraph is, as I am informed, crossed over in the original draft, preserved in the Imperial Archives, indicating no donbt that it was not to be copied. Chantonnay's arrival at Ulm with letters from England had taken place on the 20th of July: see above, No. 187.
  • n11. "Pour estre tous ceulx que vont de la part de ce Roy de par dela les bienvenuz à vre seigneurie."
  • n12. Sir Francis Bryant.
  • n13. "Et que à cela le pourroit enduyre quelque occasion ou advantaige que (qui'l) veist (qui'l vint?) à donner ou accepter la dite bataille."
  • n14. The letter alluded to may be that of the Privy Council to Chapuys on the 16th of September, No. 282, p. 491.
  • n15. Mr. de Chantonnay left England about the middle of July: see above, p. 441.
  • n16. "Le reffusant tout à plat, point [ne] doubtant que du coustel de par dela se fera le mesme."
  • n17. "Et si a davantaige faict equipper douze bonnes navieres pour avec celles de Flandres empescher et addomager (sic) lea dits françois le plus quil sera possible, blen considerant l'inestimable dommaige que viendroit aux ditz françois de leur interrompre et garder (gaster?) la dite pescherie, pour la quelle, selon que lo dit seigneur Roy est informe, ilz ont apprestez pres de mil bateaulx."
  • n18. see above, No. 203, p. 455.
  • n19. "Quinse mil infantes Españoles" are the words in the text, but the number is evidently exaggerated; 1,500, or perhaps 5,000 men would be a more adequate number.
  • n20. "La quelle me dit avoir desja escript à Monsr de Beures (Bevres) comme admiral, et à autres particuliers en Hollande et Zeelande pour preparer les dits navyeres de guerre."
  • n21. According to Vandenesse's Itinerary of Charles V., translated by the Rev. William Bradford (London: 1850, p. 542), the Emperor arrived before Landrecis on the 20th of October, proceeding in the same night to Avesnes, where a gentleman of king Henry's Chamber came to visit him in his master's name. On the 27th Monsr de Granvelle was dispatched to the camp before Landrecis, owing to some misunderstanding which had arisen, there between the Imperial commanders.
  • n22. This last paragraph about the ambassador's arrears of pay is so effaced in Chapuys' holograph letter as to be quite unintelligible, but by referring to his despatch of the 15th of June (p. 390), and to a former one to the Emperor's Lord Privy Seal, wherein he complains that one of his secretaries had been two months in Brussels soliciting in vain payment of the same, I feel sure of having abstracted it rightly.