Spain: December 1543, 11-31

Pages 538-546

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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December 1543, 11-31

13 Dec. 268. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Monseigneur,"—After a good deal of contention (disputes) Captain de Landenberg's affair has been settled, more advantageously for him than I wrote on the 11th. The King has given him the command of 1,000 horse, 200 of whom will be men-at-arms, 300 hackbutiers, and the remainder lancers, besides 4,000 foot, of which force the said Landenberg is to be the sole commander and colonel (coronnel).
Since my last I have again sent my man to Court for the purpose of soliciting, among other things, the settlement of the affair of the safe conducts, about which Your Lordship was pleased to write to me lately, and I regret to say that notwithstanding the many pressing solicitations and remonstrances addressed by me to the privy councillors on the subject, all my attempts to make them share our views and grant our just demands have been useless, they (the King's privy councillors) alleging for their refusal the very same reasons and arguments adduced on former occasions, and maintaining that the most efficient way of carrying on war against the French is to deprive them of the intercourse of trade and of the barter of their own merchandize in Flanders and the Low Countries, as well as in England; and adding, moreover, that they are in possession of intelligence from Rouen, through fifteen or sixteen English merchants arrested in that port, and afterwards liberated on "parole" on condition of an equal number of French merchants in London being set free, (fn. n1) that whoever could prevent the French from bartering their goods abroad, might be sure that ere long rebellion and strife would spring up in many parts of France. Already in several provinces of that kingdom the clothiers, and especially the cap makers, were beginning to grumble, and complained that for want of wool they could not work or live. (fn. n2) "Were we to grant your request on that score (said the privy councillors to me), it would be an infraction of the treaty of closer friendship and alliance, one of the clauses of which prescribes that the allies shall molest, annoy, and damage the common enemy in all possible ways, by depriving them of salt herrings and other articles of food, as well as of any merchandize from which they may get a profit."
For the above reasons these privy councillors have sent me very urgent messages, desiring me to beg and entreat the Emperor not to allow the safe conducts already granted to produce an effect contrary to the letter of the treaty, and although I have not failed, as was my duty, to reply to the arguments of these councillors as I deemed most fit, with other considerations which I omit for fear of exhausting Your Lordship's attention, the King and his privy councillors still persist in their determination, and for the present I see no chance of gaining a step in that line. Your Lordship will be pleased to let me know what I am to do next.
There is no further news from Scotland, but as soon as reliable intelligence comes from that quarter I shall not fail to inform Your Lordship of it, as well as of any other occurrence in this country.—London, 13 December 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To Mons. de Grantvelle, &c."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England. Received at Brussels on the 17 of December 1543."
French. Original. pp. 2.
13 Dec. 269. Secret Instructions to Férrante Gonzaga.
S. E., L. 438. In addition to the former Instructions, which you (Gonzaga) may, by Chapuys' advice, show to the King's ministers, if required, with a view to establish greater confidence and obviate the scruples, which the English are in the habit of raising in matters of this sort, the following remarks and observations may be useful.
It will be necessary, as you may easily conceive, to conclude and come to a final resolution on all points concerning the undertaking of next year, and ascertain with dexterity if there be any doubt or scruple in the mind of the King about it. Should there be any, you are hereby empowered and at liberty to have the matter settled as you may deem most fit and convenient for Our interest, so that We may not trust too much on that king and incur expense, should he at the eleventh hour change his mind and leave Us single-handed to fight the French. You (Gonzaga) can well understand that unless We get positive assurance that such a thing will not happen, We cannot make preparations for the invasion of the enemy's territories next year, lest by want of correspondence on the part of England, or through the stipulated force being unable to cross the Channel owing to bad weather, or the King suddenly withdrawing his army before the appointed time, to employ in Scotland or in some other country, We should be obliged to prosecute the war with France alone.
To accomplish that, you (Gonzaga) must try and ascertain as far as you can through Our resident ambassador in that Court, and the confidential friends and informers he may have there, what is the real state of affairs in Scotland, and whether there is any appearance of the present differences being settled to that king's advantage, or of their continuing so that war may break out between those two kingdoms, in order to calculate what English force may be required next year on the borders against the Scotch. Should such be the case, there can be no doubt that the King's ministers will forcibly remonstrate with you as to the importance of the affair, and the necessity of their master attending in the first place to the war with Scotland; but you can answer them that is the very reason why the King should assist with all his power to the undertaking against Francis, because, as the latter was the promoter of the last war against the Scotch, and is still the abettor and ally of the Scotch, it stands to reason that by attacking him at home and invading his kingdom, he will be placed out of condition for favoring them this next year and mixing himself up with affairs that do not concern him.
It will be requisite also to ascertain, if possible, who will be the general whom the King intends to appoint as commander-in-chief of his army, in case of his not crossing the Channel. This point is important, in order to gain his good will beforehand, and persuade him to do that which We think most fit and efficient for the fulfilment of his office, giving him to understand that We have been pleased with his appointment.
If after persisting to the very end in Our being exempted from the pay of the 2,000 horse, and as many lanskennets, that We are bound to furnish the King with, as stated in the Instructions, you should perceive no signs of the King granting Our demand, it will be needful for you to try another way, which is to induce the King to exempt Us from the payment of the said body of men on condition of Our again retaking them in Our pay, whenever the enterprise against France referred to in the same article takes place. But it would be advisable that before coming to contend with the King or his ministers as to who ought to pay for the said contingent of foot and horse, you should try to make the King understand that We shall not wait for the approval of the common enterprize against France to thank him most warmly for the compensation, should he grant it.
You will also endeavour to obtain, if possible, from the King a sum of money, however insignificant it may be, for the Swiss, if We are to enlist among them. This is much required.—Brussels, 13 December 1543.
French. Original draft pp. 3.
13 Dec. 270. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—Since my last I have again sent my man to Court about the safe conducts, but I regret to say that the answer he brings me from the privy councillors is anything but satisfactory; they persist in their refusal, alleging among other reasons that the most efficient warfare against the French is to deprive them of the means of offending Us, and that whoever could prevent the French from bartering their goods in the Low Countries and in England would ruin them and their manufacturers for ever. Already, said the privy councillors to me, rebellion and strife are threatened in many parts of France; clothiers and cap makers (bonnetiers) throughout the kingdom are grumbling, and maintain that for want of wool they will be obliged to shut up their establishments, &c.
After a good deal of disputation and talk, the affair of captain Landenberg has been definitively settled, more advantageously for him than I bad reason to expect, when I wrote to Mons. de Granvelle the other day, that is to say, that this king gives him commission to raise 1,000 horse, 200 of whom are to be men-at-arms, 300 hackbutiers, and the remainder lancers, also 4,000 foot; captain Landenberg to have the command of the whole force without anyone being over him. (fn. n3)
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "To the queen of Hungary, regent in the Low Countries."
French. Original. pp. 2.
— Dec. 271. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Sire,"—I have received Your Majesty's letter of the 30th of November, brought by Don Fernande (Ferrante) Gonzaga, and perfectly well understand by the tenour of his Instructions, which I have carefully read, what his mission and charge is to be in this country. He (Gonzaga) is now writing to Your Majesty on the subject, and relating as minutely as he can what we have obtained from this king, and as I hope that very shortly he himself will be able to explain verbally all the incidents of the negociation, I will refrain from any commentaries.
Respecting Scotch affairs, as far as I can hear, they are not very favorable to this king just now, for the nobleman who takes the title of chief governor (grand gouverneur) of Scotland has lately leagued himself with the Cardinal [of St. Andrews] and others of the party opposed to this king's views. On the other hand, some of the noblemen who formerly held out for this king have lately been confined to prison, such as lord Machuel (Maxwell), captain-general on the Borders, who some days ago was fraudulently arrested by an abbot, (fn. n4) brother of the one who was once governor of Scotland. Having at his passage through this city [of London], on his return from France to Scotland, been well treated and presented with valuables by this king, he had promised when back in Scotland to work in favor of England.
Another loss has the King made in the earl of Lynns, (fn. n5) who bears the same name and arms, and is of the family of the late king of Scotland (James V.), once captain of the Scotch [guards] in France. Being discontented with king Francis, owing to the latter not keeping certain promises he had made him, the Earl was wavering in his allegiance, and rather inclined to quit the service of France and come over to England. Whilst in England, as I had occasion to write in one of my despatches, the Earl was well treated, the King having besides promised him the hand of his niece, the daughter of the late queen of Scotland and of the count of Douglast (Archibald Douglas, earl of Angus). When all his wishes had thus been fulfilled, the Earl suddenly interrupted his correspondence with this king, abandoned his party, and turned against him.
Eight days ago an ordinance (pregmatique) was issued and promulgated in this city, forbidding the importation of goods and merchandize from France, though bought or transported from other countries, which is to me a proof that they do not intend granting in future passports and safe conducts for the carriage of merchandize, though, on the other hand, I cannot help thinking that the prohibition has been devised for the purpose of making money out of the licences they have granted or which may be granted in future.—London, December 1543.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original. p. 1.
Dec. 272. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Madame,"—It would take me too long to describe the kind and honourable reception which the Viceroy of Sicily (Ferrante Gonzaga) has met with everywhere in this country. It would, moreover, be a superfluous task for me to undertake, as very shortly Your Majesty will hear the whole account from the Viceroy's own lips. Suffice it to say respecting the execution of his charge, that after a good deal of altercation and dispute, it has been resolved, concluded and capitulated that this King will personally invade France on that side of Picardy most convenient to him, with a force amounting to 35,000 foot and 7,000 horse. It has, however, been impossible for us to obtain that the said force should be on the Continent before the 20th of June. This the privy councillors would never grant or promise, alleging that it was out of the question for many a reason, and especially for want of provisions and of forage for the horses, which could not be got ready for that time. They, nevertheless, expressed regret at their inability to comply with the Emperor's wishes, whose movements, they said, they wished to accelerate as much as possible. Perceiving the councillors' obstinate refusal of this most important point, we no longer insisted on it, and yielded in part, as otherwise a rupture of the negociations might have ensued. (fn. n6) It was, moreover, finally agreed and settled that during the transport of the English troops from England to Calais, the Emperor's warships, with the stipulated number of sailors and armed infantry on board, should join the English fleet in the Channel (Estroit de Mer), for the greater security and safe passage of the English army.
It has also been agreed and settled that this king will contribute 20,000 ducats towards the expenses of the war in Piedmont, though on condition of the Emperor sending here 1,000 Spaniards—all of them hackbutiers—to serve for three months on the frontiers of Scotland; 600 of them to be paid by the Emperor, and the remaining [four hundred] by the King. (fn. n7)
We have also tried, though in vain, to make the privy councillors undertake the gaining over and enlisting of the Swiss. All our efforts however have been unavailing; they have resolutely declined, saying that they will have nothing to do with them. (fn. n8)
Respecting Scotch affairs, they are not going on prosperously for the King just now, as far as I am given to understand, for the lord, who called himself "Grand Governor," has again made alliance with the Cardinal and others of the party opposed to the King, and so have done some others who formerly stood for the latter, such as Milord Machuel (Lord Maxwell), one of the most important personages in Scotland, lately appointed governor and captain-general of the Borders. This Machuel was fraudulently taken prisoner by an abbot, (fn. n9) brother of the said late Governor of Scotland. Though at his passage through this city of London, on his return from France, he was well treated, and received presents, and promised to do many things in favour of this king, yet, as above said, he has joined the contrary party. The same may be said of the count of Lynns (earl of Lennox), who bears the family name, and arms of the late King [James V.]. He was formerly captain of a portion of the Scotch Guard in France, but, as I wrote on a former occasion, being discontented and at variance with king Francis owing to the non-observance of certain Royal promises and engagements, he decided to come over to England, and take this king's part, induced, no doubt by the promise of a marriage with the King's niece, a daughter of count Douglast (Douglas) and of the late queen of Scotland. This count Lynns (earl of Lennox) having since received a favourable answer to his claims in France has also become a turncoat, and broken off his relations with this king. (fn. n10)
About a week ago a warrant (prematicque) was issued and proclaimed here forbidding the importation into this kingdom of all French goods or merchandize, even if previously purchased in, or taken to another country, which measure seems to me a sign that these people are not inclined to allow passports or safe conducts, (fn. n11) though, on the other hand, I imagine that the principal object of the prohibition enforced by the said warrant is to have cause and occasion to make money out of the licenses that may be applied for.—London (fn. n12) ...
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original, partly ciphered, pp. 2.


  • n1. "Disant quilz sont certainement advertis par quinze ou seize marchans des leurs, questoient detenuz à Rouen, et nouvellement ont este renvoye içy sur leur parolle, ou promesse de licencier en leur lieu dautant de françois de ceulx-çy arrestez."
  • n2. "Que quil que pourroit empescher les françois de contracter seroit certain de creer revolte en divers coustelz de France, car deja au dit royaulme les faiseurs de drapz, mais specialement les bonnetiers, commencent à murmurer car à faulte de laine ilz ne peulvent (peubvent) besongner, ni par consequent vivre."
  • n3. This paragraph, the first in Chapuys' letter to Granvelle, is there (No. 268, p. 539), differently worded. It stands thus; "Ce roy a donne charge au dit capitaine de Landenberg de lever mille chevaulx, dont les deux cents seront bardez, trois centz acquebutiers, et la reste avec lances. Et oultre ce quatre mille hommes de pied, de laquelle bande [il] sera chief et coronnel sans en avoir aultre sur luy."
  • n4. The abbot in question was John Hamilton, abbot of Paisley. He was a natural son of James, first earl of Arran, and brother of the present earl, now Governor of Scotland. The incident, which occurred on the 31st October, is noticed in the "Diurnal of Occurrents," p. 29.
  • n5. Lynns is evidently meant for Lennox. The entire passage reads thus: "Et le conte de Lynns, quest du nom, armes, et maison du feu roi d'Escosse, et capitaine dune partie des Escossais, estans en France, le quel, comme jay çy devant escript, pour quelque mescontentement quil avoit du roy de France, que ne luy observoit quelque promesse, estoit en variance de prendre le party de ce dit roy au moyen du bon traictement qui luy estoit offert avec le marriage de la niepce du dit seigneur roy, fille de la feue royne d'Escosse et du conte Douglast, a eu la reponse conforme à son desir, de sorte quil a entrerompue (sic) les practiques quil avoit avec le dit seigneur roy, et est retourné contre luy."
  • n6. "Mais lon ne les a peu tirer de se obliger destre la dit' armee toute en France avant le XX de Juing, non point quilz ne voulsissent acceler[er] lemprinse, mais pour l'impossibilite que y est pour pluseurs respectz, mesmes à cause des fourraiges, et si leur a faillu (sic) accorder ung (ceçy?) cas, on aultrement tout alloit en rompture."
  • n7. "Avec condicion toutesfois de luy envoyer icy ung mil Espagnolz durant trois mois, harquebusiers, pour la garde des frontieres d'Escosse, et que diceulx sa mate doibje sonbdoyer les VIe et luy la reste."
  • n8. "Lon a mis à ceulx cy en termo la practique de gaigner les Suysses, mais ilz nen tiennent compte non plus que de riens."
  • n9. "Entre les quels est Mylord Machuell, lune des personnes de plus importance da dit Escosse, gouverneur et capitaine general des frontieres, le quel a este frauduleusement prins par un abbez (sic) frere du dit jadis gouverneur, non obstant que passant par içy en revenant de France, il eust este bien traicte et presente et quil eu[st] promis de faire beaucoup de choses en faveur du dit roy." The abbot in question was John Hamilton, Abbot of Paisley, a bastard brother of the Earl of Arran.
  • n10. "Et le comte de Lynns, quest du nom, armes et maison da feu roy d'Ecosse, et capitaine dune partie des Escossais estans en France, lequel, comme jay cy devant escript, pour quelque mescontentement quil avoit du roy de France, que [ne] luy observoit quelque promesse, estoit en variance de prendre le party de ce dit roy au moyen du bon traictement que luy estoit offert avec le marriage de la niepce du dit Sieur roy, fille de la feue royne d'Escosse et du conte Douglast, a eu la response de France conforme à son desir de sorte quil a entre-rompues les practiques quil avoit avec le dit sieur roy et sest retourne contre luy."
  • n11. "Que nulle danrre (denrée) ne marchandise de France puist (puisse) entrer en ce royaulme oeres quelle eu [t] pieça este achaptee et conduite en aultre pays, que nest indice quilz veuillent alouzer [alonger, allouer?) nulz passeportz."
  • n12. The date is left blank in this way: "London, le——," after which, in a more modern hand, Decembre 1544, has been added. This, however, if a mistake, for Gonzaga was only a few days in England in December 1543, as appears from his Instructions and the Emperor's letter, as well as from Chapuys' despatches announcing his arrival in London.