Spain: August 1542, 1-10

Pages 76-91

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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August 1542, 1-10

2 Aug. 37. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 57–62.
"Madame,"—Immediately after the departure of the courier, who took my letter of the 20th, (fn. n1) I sent to the King one of my own men, accompanied by another courier, to ask for a passport for this latter, besides a licence for him to hire riding horses on the road. My object for doing so was that the courier should overtake George at any hazard before his embarcation for Spain. My man, moreover, was furnished with letters of favor for all the ports on this side of the Channel, for the King, after reading the letter which Your Majesty caused to be written to me in date of the 17th ult.—which letter, by the way, I deemed it expedient to show to him, not only on account of its contents relating to George, the courier, but also to inform him (the King) of the measures taken by Your Majesty respecting the Navigation edict, that he might decree the same on his side—immediately granted my application. Indeed, no sooner did the King hear of my application, than he sent an express messenger to his Admiral (Sir John Russel), ordering him that, should George have sailed—which he had done with a prosperous wind on the very same day that Your Majesty's letter arrived—measures were to be taken immediately for the passage of my other courier to Spain with the packet of letters to the Emperor's address. My man tells me that when he showed the packet to the privy councillors, explaining summarily its contents, and that he wanted a quick passage for the courier who accompanied him, the former were much astonished and half angry at his not having applied sooner to them. My man excused himself as well as he could, and I myself afterwards did the same, on the plea that the documents and letters contained in the packet were of great importance. Lest the privy councillors should think that my desire of forwarding to the Emperor, in Spain, copies of the very papers I had previously sent to Your Majesty in Flanders (fn. n2) had somewhat slackened, I likewise told them that I had been deceived by one courier, who, after being engaged, had refused to depart, which is the truth. As to the present one, the only one who can be trusted, I have been obliged to give him 40 ducats for his trouble, besides paying for his passage and personal expenses, which will amount altogether to a considerable sum, especially if it is to be as dear as George's, who, in spite of his close bargaining, will have to pay in Spain one hundred and thirty ducats thither and back. The vessel in which George sailed was of one hundred tons. The engagement is that she is to wait for the answer without further charge, but if she remains longer than 20 days in port, I am to pay one "angelot" per day.
On the 29th ult. Your Majesty's letter of the 25th came to hand. According to the custom prevailing in this court for foreign ambassadors not to call on the King without having previously applied for an audience, I immediately wrote by one of my men asking for one. My letter was addressed to the Admiral (Sir John Russel), not only because he is the minister through whom the chart of the islands (fn. n3) has been sent to Your Majesty—and which, by the way, had been received and again returned to the Admiralty the last time I myself went to Court—but because the Admiral happens to be the personage near the King who is the best inclined to us, and is besides a great friend of mine. (fn. n4) I told my man to explain to the Admiral the particular reasons I had to ask for an audience, since, besides requesting the King's help, I wanted to know whether the King, who is now taking his recreation [in the country], would consider me importunate if I went to him for the sole purpose of speaking to him about assistance against the French. The Admiral, after reporting my petition to the King, answered that there was no need for me to take the trouble of going to Court; I had better put off my visit until I had further news from Your Majesty to communicate. The King, his master, (he said) was admirably pleased at Your Majesty having followed his advice and provided for the defence of the two islands (fn. n5) in question—he should have liked to do that even at his own cost rather than let them fall into the enemy's hands. The king (continued the Admiral) had also been in fear for Antwerp, until he heard that Your Majesty had provided for its defence, and sent thither the duke [of Aarshot] (fn. n6) and the prince [of Orange], whose ability and good conduct he thought were sure warrants that there would be no mishap there.
Respecting the help and assistance demanded in the letter to the King, my man addressed to the Admiral various representations, though under protest that all came from himself, not from me. He said, among other things, that the occasion seemed to him urgent, and the danger imminent, &c. The Admiral approved entirely of my man's reasoning, and offered to speak to the King on the subject, though he himself made no remark at the time. Nor did my man insist too much on it, for fear the Admiral should suspect that the idea had originated with me, and that he spoke in my name. However, yesterday, on the receipt of a letter from Mr. du Rœulx, I again sent my man to Court to learn from the Admiral, as well as from the Lord Privy Seal and from secretary Wristley (Wriothesley), whether means could not be found to get assistance on the side of Low Flanders (La basse Flandrez), which the duke of Vendôme seemed decided to invade. Should this application of mine fail, I would ask the King to detach two or three ships (out of the seven or eight he has already armed and fitted for sea) and send them on to the waters of Antwerp, on the plea that they are going for the protection of the English merchants established therein and of their property, or at least of escorting such of their trading vessels as might be returning to England. (fn. n7)
To that end I yesterday sent for the court-master of the English in that port, and imparted to him my ideas on the subject, giving him to understand that I very much doubted whether Your Majesty would allow the English merchant vessels to leave the ports of the Low Countries for fear of their being captured by the enemy and your being made responsible for their loss. (fn. n8) I told him that he ought to go to the King and to the Privy Council, and ask them for a couple of ships for the protection of English residents and merchants there, which he promised to do.
It seems to me that for the present there is no other means of obtaining substantial aid from this king—as long as an answer does not come from Spain—than the one I propose, which, in my opinion, is sufficiently well coloured to prevent the French from being able to accuse the English of breaking the peace, for once the English ships in sight of Antwerp, whoever wants their services, may proceed as if he embargoed them for his own use. (fn. n9) With regard to secretary Aubespine, the French ambassador and he went to see the king 25 miles from this city. They arrived there on the 20th of July according to appointment; yet they had no audience until the 24th, which audience, as I hear from our friend, (fn. n10) and from other quarters, was very short and meagre as far as words and treatment are concerned (de parolles et de chiere). A similar reception had the two ambassadors met with the day before from the privy councillors themselves, for I am told that they were treated in the coldest and rudest possible manner. Not only were they not visited, as I hear, by the privy councillors, or accompanied by gentlemen courtiers, as is the custom in such cases; but even those who in former times were mostly in favor of them and their pretensions did not deign to speak, and hardly dared to look at them on the occasion. And yet the said Claude de Aubespine has employed all means in his power to persuade people that he has been well received and treated at Court, which is false, for no sooner had he seen the king than he went away to France without taking leave of anyone.
On the arrival in London of secretary Aubespine, he and the French resident ambassador went to a place 20 miles from this city in order to see the naval preparations the king is making there. This time the ambassador again accompanied l'Aubespine to the same port, where he was to re-embark for France, that they might both have another look at the fortifications and fitting out of war ships in the port, the ambassador having assured his colleague that he might on his return to France assure the king that the English ships would not be ready to put to sea for the next two months. And yet, notwithstanding the French ambassador's asseverations, I know as a fact that two of the Royal ships have already left the port, and that the remaining five or six will be ready to set sail in a week hence. The commander of this fleet will be Master Huyet (Whyatt), the same who was once ambassador to the Emperor in Spain, and lately also in Gand (Ghent).
Just at this moment the man I sent to Court with Mr. du Rœulx's letter to me has returned. The substance of the letter is the desire he feels of being useful to this king in the execution of the Emperor's orders, and at the same time to announce the invasion of Arthois by Mr. de Veodôme, adding that within one month's time, or so, the French will cast all their venom on that country, and that should this king send a division of infantry, with a sufficient quantity of ordnance, it would not be difficult to undertake some important enterprise against them. The Lord Privy Seal (Fitz-William) sent me the following message by my man: "The king, my master (said he), has been wonderfully pleased at hearing of Mr. du Rœulx' affectionate sentiments towards him. He thanks him most cordially for those sentiments; but with regard to Mr. de Vendôme and his invasion of Arthois, he believes that His Imperial Majesty's forces in that province are so strong and so well equipped that there is nothing to fear at all there; besides which he himself has so provided for the defence of the towns and castles he possesses on that side of the French frontier, that whoever approaches them will get nothing but blows (coups de bastons). Even now he is daily sending thither ordnance and ammunition as is notorious to everyone. The whole affair, however, depends upon the answer which the bishop of Westminster (Thirlby) will bring back from Spain, which answer can not tarry long. That will be the proper time and opportunity to talk of the aid and help to be given. Should, however, the urgency be such that His Imperial Majesty's affairs in the Low Countries become desperate, I (Chapuys) might write and apply for that aid and assistance on the terms and conditions specified by the treaty of Cambray, whilst he and others, whom I know to be attached to the Emperor, will present my letters, and do their best towards inducing the king, their master, to grant Us the help and assistance I asked for, and that in the meantime the state of affairs was much better than it had ever been."
Such was the Lord Privy Seal's message to me; but neither he nor the Admiral had much time then to go into particulars and explain to my man, for they were both in council treating with an ambassador of the king of Scotland, who had lately come to England on account of the mutual raids on the Borders. Both were then engaged in settling with the rest of the privy councillors the indemnities to be given to each of the parties who had suffered from such raids. I have no doubt that the privy councillors suspect this last skirmish on the Borders to be entirely due to the instigations of the French.
Although many days before the Lord Privy Seal sent me the above message, I thought that it would be very desirable for the Emperor's reputation to obtain (no matter at what price and on what conditions) some sort of help and assistance from this king, yet I have refrained from my application, and will continue to do so until I receive Your Majesty's positive commands on the subject. As to the succour of Antwerp, there is no longer an occasion to apply for it, since the French have raised the siege and gone away.
To-day, or to-morrow, the revocation of the statute on the lading of foreign vessels will be proclaimed here. I have not pressed the privy councillors unusually hard, considering, as I do, that nowadays and under the circumstances it will be less dangerous, not to say more sure, for our merchants to lade their goods in English bottoms.
I forgot to say that these people do no longer fear as much as they formerly did the maritime armaments of Denmark, having heard from good quarters, as the Admiral himself informed me the other day, that the duke of Holstein has only six or seven war ships, and those not in very good condition, and that he has them for the defence of his own coasts rather than for attacking other countries, (fn. n11) which fact Your Majesty will be able to verify from the Danish captain, (fn. n12) now a prisoner in the Low Countries.
I have purposely delayed writing to Your Majesty until I saw whether there was news from Spain. None has come, however; should there be any, I shall not fail to advise Your Majesty.—London, 2 Aug. 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 5.
3 Aug. 38. Chancellor Poyet to Cardinal de Tournon.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 78.
"Monseigneur,"—Your magnanimity and benevolence will, if you please, induce you to help and assist those who, like me, are surrounded by tribulation and affliction, and are already suffering in their honor and person; for I am condemned to miserable captivity and am being conducted to prison, God knows where. I cannot otherwise describe my misery than beg and entreat you, as humbly as I can, to have pity on my distress. Be pleased to help and assist one who certainly deserves not the plight to which he has been reduced.—Vargelay, 4th of August, 1542. Your most humble and most obedient servant, Guillaume Poyet.
Addressed: To Mons. le Cardinal de Tournon.
Indorsed: "Copy of the letter of Chancellor Poyet to Cardinal de Tournon."
French. Contemporary copy. p. 1.
3 Aug. 39. The Same to the Admiral. (fn. n13)
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 79.
"Monsieur,"—The state of unbearable tribulation in which, as you know, I am, compels me to be importunate, and beg you to recommend my poor affairs to the King, begging him, for the sake of Christ and his passion on Earth, to allow me to retire to my house [in the country], where he can make such use of me as he pleases, and not permit me to be taken into custody, and my person dragged to a prison, being, as you know I am, afflicted by serious malady. Have pity on one who is suffering more than he can say.
Signed: "Poyet."
Indorsed: "Copy of a letter from the Chancellor of France to the Admiral."
7 Aug. 40. Adrien de Croy to the Governor of Guisnes. (fn. n14)
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 22.
"Monsieur,"—I have received your letter and thank you much for it, as well as for its contents and the joyous news you give me of the kind's remembrance of my person. I profess to be. the king of England's most humble and devoted servant.
As to the carriage for the enterprize in question it shall soon be ready, and the king of England may be sure that nothing will be omitted on my part to fulfil his orders when they do come. Our enemy is now laying siege to the castle of Tournehem, (fn. n15) which, I am afraid, will soon fall into their hands, for 1 myself have not men enough under my command to attempt its relief and fight the French, owing to my having been obliged to attend to the defence of other towns and fortresses under my charge, and also because I am by no means so strong in cavalry as the enemy is. I will, however, do my best to relieve Tournehem without risking too much or unreasonably exposing the small force under my command. If I could only get the assistance of an English force, however small, I might do something, as that would give courage to my men and frighten the enemy, who are greatly afraid of the English. I earnestly beg you to do your best towards obtaining that King's co-operation; for that, I am sure, would be a most efficient help under the circumstances. I am now writing to our ambassador in England about this, and beg you to forward my letter to him by the very first opportunity.—Waten, 7th of August 1542.
Signed: "Adrien de Croy."
Addressed: "To the Captain of Guisnes."
French. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
9 Aug. 41. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 65–76.
"Madame,"—Yesterday, at dinner time, the French ambassador and I met at Windsor, whither we had been summoned in this king's name for the express purpose of hearing certain declarations of his from the lips of his privy councillors. They were to tell us, in the king's name, that considering the agitation and troubles of Christendom, which was almost all in arms owing to Your Imperial Majesty and the king of France being actually at war with each other; considering that the king of Scotland (as it was rumoured) had issued a proclamation calling upon his subjects to be ready for war, and march in whatever direction they were told—which could not be elsewhere than to England, the only country bordering on theirs, and against which they (the Scotch) might have conceived enmity; considering that the king of England, for the greater security and tranquillity of his own kingdom, had also determined to arm, and make as many levies of men as he thought fit under the circumstances, they (the privy councillors) had sent for us—the French ambassador and myself—to inform us of their master's determination, lest we should find it strange and irregular that he should be making military preparations in his kingdom. Therefore (the councillors continued) the king of England, perceiving that war had actually broken out between Your Imperial Majesty and the king of France, by land as well as by sea, in order to obviate the damages and losses which his subjects had sustained during the past wars, as well as to protect the intercourse of trade with other nations, had armed certain war ships of his own, which were to set sail immediately for that purpose. We were (the privy councillors said) to write to our respective masters, advising the King's determination on that score, and warning them separately that in case of their arming by sea, they were not in any way to interfere with his subjects, violate their privileges and the immunity of their ports, harbours, bays, and straits, or ill-treat English navigators, for that was a thing which the King could in nowise tolerate, and might give him occasion to adopt a different line of conduct from that of past times.
My answer to the privy councillors was thus conceived: I told them that I thanked the king most humbly for having reminded me of what I considered my duty as Imperial ambassador. I had already written home about it, and felt quite sure that both the Emperor and Your Majesty (the Queen) would for the sake of that affectionate regard and friendship which he and you had always professed, and still profess for the king, their master, have acted as honesty and reason demand in such a case. They (the privy councillors) could not have afforded us (the ambassadors) a better proof of their master's benevolence and kind intentions than the declaration and warning they had just made us in his name; and that, but for the express purpose of calumniating and injuring him, no one in this World would dare to misinterpret his warnings and purpose in arming, for being, as he was, one of the greatest princes in Christendom, and one of its strongest pillars, and fearing lest, should war become general, it would be destroyed, he (the king) had decided to prevent, if possible, its apparently impending ruin, and chiefly that of his own subjects. That as arms and weapons were always dangerous when handled by furious or passionate people, so might they be considered salutary and almost harmless in the hands of a prince so virtuous as their master was; and that if Diogenes, the philosopher—himself a private individual—fearing to be overtaken by idleness, employed himself in rolling and turning inside his tub whilst others were thinking of resisting the enemy's assaults, far less could the king of England, one of the chief members and princes of the Christian Republic, remain idle and inactive under present circumstances. This (I added) was not said by way of advice coming from me, for it would be a great temerity and presumption on my part to pretend to offer it to a prince so wise and experienced in political affairs as their master was—one who knew better than any other man in the World what he ought to do in similar cases.
To this answer of mine the French ambassador agreed substantially, only adding that it was almost impossible that in a large army making war against another there should not be some ill-conditioned soldiers; but that if such were found in that of his master, the king of France, inclined to commit unwarrantable mischief, it was to be presumed that they would be promptly punished as they deserved. That, however, ought not to be a cause (said he) for alienating the king of England's friendship. This remark of the French ambassador, by way of supplement to his speech, was in my opinion unnecessary, for he ought to have presumed that the English would soon come down on his master for the many robberies, devastations, and cruelties practised on this king's subjects since the declaration of the present war.
However that may be, the King, as I afterwards heard from his Lord Privy Seal, approved of my answer. True is it that before the arrival of the French ambassador in the Council-room, that official had informed me of the declaration which the privy councillors were about to make to us in the Icings name, and that consequently I had some minutes in which to prepare my answer. The Lord Privy Seal had further announced to me that the king, his master, was anxiously expecting an answer from the Emperor, and that in the meanwhile, not to lose time, he was raising 15,000 or 16,000 men under his (the Privy Seal's) command, to be sent to whichever place or country they might be mostly wanted in; that almost immediately he would order to sea thirteen or fourteen of his best war ships, manned by able and well-appointed crews, the best that could be found anywhere on the sea That besides that, the king had a large galley almost ready to go out to sea. He (the Privy Seal) thought that the French privateers, who ever since the commencement of this war had been scouring the Channel, and committing all manner of depredations and cruelties on English merchant vessels, would quickly withdraw to the ports of France for safety, or else be severely punished for their depredations, of which the Lord Privy Seal himself related to me some flagrant instances. He also told me that having suggested to his master the expediency of now sending over some troops to land in the Low Countries and assist Your Majesty, his answer was that he anticipated that before the levies he had ordered were quite ready to take the field there would be news from Spain, and that then would be the time for getting to work more openly and efficiently, and that since his war vessels had been ordered out to sea with instructions to protect his merchant navy and sink French privateers, if any were to be found, the English fleet might at the same time succour the ports of the Low Countries. That seemed to him the best plan for the present, since there was no immediate danger by land, and affairs were in pretty good train.
Such was the report which the Lord Privy Seal (Sir William Fitz-William) made to me; then upon my suggesting to him that perhaps the king had summoned the French ambassador and me to his presence for the express purpose of hearing from our lips what was the real cause of this present war, as well as the reason and justification we might adduce for our mutual quarrels, as he had done at the commencement of the other war, the Lord Privy Seal answered me that his master knew perfectly well who was in the wrong this time, and that if he had then wanted to mediate, or at least remain neutral, now he had quite a different part to play. After which he (the Privy Seal) left me and went away, saying that he could not remain longer in conversation with me because he wanted to go and see the king, and besides that he feared that his colleagues in the Privy Council, who were close by in the next room, might be envious and jealous at his being so long with me.
I therefore returned home without seeing the king, no more did the French ambassador, who, however, remained one half hour in the Privy Council to listen to the grievances complained of by various English merchants and mariners, as well as to solicit in favor of the French claiming the restitution of certain goods and merchandize sequestered by the customs' officers of this country. I am, moreover, given to understand that he left the Court rather dissatisfied, saying to an old French merchant that he did not consider it safe for him and his colleagues to remain any longer in England, for to say the least they must expect to be ill-treated.
I heard at Court from a personage of the Privy Council, that neither the French ambassador nor secretary Laubespine showed to the King the draft of the treaty which king Francis has made with the king of Zwede (Sweden) and his confederates, which, in my opinion, is a sufficient proof that they (the French) despair of making him join the league. Their excuse was that the treaty in question had been, or will be, shown to the English ambassador in France.
Since this Maistre d'Hotel to king James of Scotland came here, as ambassador, to make his excuses for certain late raids of the Scotch in England, a force from that country amounting to 2,000 horse has entered England. All of them, with the exception of a few out-runners (avant coureurs), laid in ambush at a place near the frontier, upon which they were attacked by four or five English gentlemen of this king's officers in those parts followed by their own servants and retainers; whilst the king's men were thus engaged with the Scotch, those in ambush came out and slew them all, in number forty-two. When this intelligence reached the king, he was so much incensed that he positively refused to receive the Scotch ambassador. Yet it appears that owing to the revenge taken by the English, who, having crossed the Borders, slew (as reported) three or four times that number of Scotch, besides taking prisoners three or four men of quality and rank, he was a little pacified, and consented to give them audience the day before yesterday. It is thought, however, that the duke of Norfolk will go to that frontier and take the command of the troops stationed there, and besides that I hear that the recruiting of men for that and other quarters goes on as briskly as ever.
Four days ago the king had the Court-Master of the English nation at Antwerp arrested and taken to prison, owing to his sudden and inconsiderate departure from that town for fear of the people of Ghelders, for at such a juncture he ought for many respects to have exposed himself to certain danger rather than abandon his pout and countrymen, as he did, without attending to the protection of their persons and property, as well as to the defence of their privileges; also an Englishman holding office in Guisnes, on suspicion of his being in intelligence with the French through his wife, a Frenchwoman.
However much the French may have exaggerated the importance of Hocstrate and Dampwillers, which they took some time ago, they have not succeeded in turning this kings inclination and goodwill towards Your Majesty aside; on the contrary they have increased it, but I should say that if Tournehem and La Montoire fall into their hands, which may God forbid, some change or alteration in their feelings towards us is to be apprehended.—London, 9 August 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 5.
10 Aug. 42. The Privy Council to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 23.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—Together with the letters we have sent you, one of Mr. de Rieulx (Rœulx) to Mr. Walloppe (fn. n16) has come announcing the siege of Tournehem by the French, as well as the fear that the castle of that town may shortly fall into the hands of the enemy, as the count himself has not a sufficient force under his command to take the field against Mr. de Vendôme and relieve that place. Our mutual friendship and the respect we all entertain for the dowager queen of Hungary make us exceedingly anxious as to the result of the French attack, and at the same time extremely desirous of knowing in what way we may prevent the fall of the said town and castle. Yet, considering the importance of the case, we think that if you write to the Queen and ask her to empower Mr. de Rieulx (Rœulx) to enter into some sort of agreement with Mr. de Wallop regarding the common weal of both nations, some good may still be done. We ourselves will work strenuously in order that the said Mr. Wallop may obtain from the King, our master, a similar mandate and commission. We, therefore, beg you to write as soon as possible to the Queen Regent and let us know what she intends to do, assuring you that on our side nothing shall be omitted for the welfare and advantage of both nations and the preservation of the friendship between them.—Windsor, 10th of August 1542.
Signed: "T. Cantuariensis, T. bishop of Canterbury (fn. n17) =—Duresme=J.———Wintoniensis=Thomas Wriothesley."
French. Contemporary copy. p. 1. (fn. n18)
10 Aug. 43. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233.
f. 234.
"Sire,"—On the 20th ult. I wrote to inform Your Imperial Majesty of the arrival here of a secretary of the king of France, and of what I could then learn concerning the object of his mission. (fn. n19) Since then the French resident ambassador (Marillac) and he (Francis' secretary) have gone to the king at Greenwich to explain their charges, where, if I am to believe the reports that have come to me, not only from the friend, but from other quarters, they were so indifferently received and poorly treated by the king and his ministers that the courtiers remarked it. Notwithstanding this the ambassador on his return from Court gave out, nay, asserted to the Venetian secretary [Zuccato?], that their reception could not have been better. The fact is that his colleague, the king's secretary, immediately after his return from Greenwich, started for Gravezande (Gravesend) by water, the French ambassador accompanying him to that port, not so much out of respect or compliment to his person, as in order to witness this king's naval preparations and arming of ships. He must, however, have instructed his colleague, the secretary, to tell king Francis that whatever diligence might be used, the ships would not be ready before two months. And yet I hear that three or four of them are already out at sea, and that in a week or so there will be eight more, exclusive of the big galley of which Maistre Huyet (Master Whyatt), as it is thought, will be the captain as well as vice-admiral of the whole fleet.
For other news from this country I refer Your Imperial Majesty to the enclosed copy of my letter to the queen of Hungary.—London, 10 August 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
10 Aug. 44. The Same to Mr. de Granvelle.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 25.
"Monseigneur,"—I received yesterday your favor of the 7th inst., and read also the copy of that addressed to the governor of Guisnes of the same date. Both the one and the other have been shown by me to this King's Majesty and to his privy councillors, who have been so pleased with their contents, that these may possibly be the cause of help and assistance being given to that country where you are. (fn. n20) At least, so these privy councillors think and make me hope, though it must be well understood that should these people decide to help you, it will be after some mutual treaty or convention being made so that they may not be losers by the bargain. (fn. n21) For the present they have asked me to write a letter to the Queen that she may give you (Granvelle) full powers to treat with the governor of Guisnes (Sir John Wallop) of all honest and necessary provisions for the mutual welfare of the subjects of both princes (the Emperor and this king), whilst they (the privy councillors) on their side will in like manner send to the governor [of Guisnes] similar powers and commission in this king's name. In the meantime I shall continue to insist upon their taking steps towards the said help and assistance, without waiting for further communications in view of the dangerous state of affairs. Of whatever may be decided in this, as well as in other matters, I shall not fail to advice you.—London, in haste, this tenth of August 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
n. d. 45. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 21.
"Monseigneur,"—Just at this moment, after having closed and sealed this packet, I receive from the privy councillors the letter of which the enclosed is a copy. (fn. n22) I am now preparing the departure of two of my own men as messengers, one to the Queen Regent in the Low Countries, and another to this King's Privy Council, for the purpose of trying all manner of persuasions to induce this king and his ministers to send immediate help to Tournehem, which according to all accounts is in so great danger of being taken, that even if it were immediately succoured, there is hardly a chance of its not falling into the hands of the duke of Vendôme, who has been besieging it for some time back. Indeed, it is to be feared that before the Queen Regent can answer the pressing message of these privy councillors and my own despatch, that important fortress will surrender to the French. (fn. n23) Engaged as I am in writing letters, as well as in frequent conferences with these privy councillors, I have scarcely time left for writing before the departure of the post. I will, therefore, end this letter of mine by saying that in my last to Her Majesty, the Queen Regent, I forgot to mention that, since the commencement of the present war, scarcely a day passes without the Princess sending to inquire after the health and prosperity of Her Majesty, the Regent, as well as of the Emperor, her uncle, telling me how displeased and sorry she is at the troubles and annoyances by which both are surrounded. Indeed, there is nothing in this World that the Princess herself would not sacrifice and throw away for the sake of relieving the perilous situation of the Queen's affairs. (fn. n24) For want of more efficacious means, she is incessantly praying God to grant them both health and prosperity.—London, 10 August 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
10 Aug. 46. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 19–20.
"Monseigneur,"—Your Lordship will see by what I write to His Imperial Majesty by this post, as well as by the duplicate of my letters to the Queen, the news of this country. As to those from the Low Countries, I have no doubt that Your Lordship knows them already from other quarters, and particularly from the Queen; yet considering the dangerous and turbulent state of affairs in those parts, as well as the uncertainty of letters reaching their destination, I have, for want of other subjects to dwell upon, made up my mind to draw out for your private information a summary account of what has happened in those parts. On the 14th of July the duke of Orleans laid siege to Dampvillers (Danvilliers), which was soon after carried by assault. Of this first victory the French have made the utmost, publishing that Danvilliers was as strong or stronger than Thionville, which the Duke, according to information received by the French ambassador in England, was about to invest on the 25th or 26th following. About the same time Mr. de Longueval and Martin van Rosseni, with 15,000 infantry, Germans (as it is said) and from the duchies of Clèves and Ghelders, and upwards of 2,500 cavalry, penetrated into Brabant on the 15th. After some days spent in the neighbourhood of Bar-le-duc, sacking, destroying, and setting fire to the houses and fields of the poor peasantry, and carrying away (bransqualté) what they could, they got possession of Hocstrate, and after that, on the 28th, encamped in sight of Antwerp, hoping, no doubt, that being in secret intelligence with innumerable people from Clèves and Ghelders, who had taken refuge inside, they might easily make themselves masters of that city. On the afternoon of the enemy's arrival before Antwerp, five thousand Walloons made a sortie and took from the French two carriages, one laden with ammunition, the other with artillery, besides a large number of cattle (vasches), and some prisoners besides, all of which came very à propos to instil courage into the hearts of the inhabitants, and make up for some slight loss which the prince of Orange had sustained on the previous day. On the 28th the enemy raised the siege of Antwerp and took the road to Lovain (Louvain), sacking and burning everything on their passage. From the 3rd to the 4th inst. they returned to Lovain, and according to letters from Antwerp of the 5th, would probably make another attack on the city, though up to the departure of the courier who had brought the news nothing certain was known.
The Queen, meanwhile, is doing her best for the defence of the country; she is making levies of men and trying to arrest the progress of the enemy. No diligence or care will be spared on her part to make the French repent of their temerity, and the cruelties they have and are practising on the poor and defenceless paysants.
On the side of the Arthois, I am in receipt of letters from Mons. du Rœulx, stating that the French under the command of Mr. de Vendôme had attempted Thornehem (Tournehem), which was hardly defensible, as the approaches were not yet finished. Mr. du Rœulx says in his letter that he would do his best to succour the town without, however, risking the small force he had under his command. He adds that the French in the Arthois were very strong, having a considerable cavalry force with them. He also writes that the English governor of Guisnes had signified to him that the king of England was willing to help and co-operate in the enterprise, of which he spoke to me once, as I informed Your Majesty by my despatch of the 29th of June; but I fear that if anything happens to the two above-mentioned places (which may God forbid), this king's energy will somehow cool down (se refroidier).—London, 10 August 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 2.
10 Aug. 47. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 68.
"Madame,"—I have just received the enclosed letter from this king's privy councillors, (fn. n25) to which a speedy answer is required. May it please Your Majesty, in view of the affectionate message therein contained, and the importance of the case, at once to look into it and instruct me how to act. In the meantime I am sending my secretary to the Privy Council in order to ascertain from them if there be any effectual means of providing for the defence of Tournehem without waiting for Your Majesty's answer, considering the imminent danger there is of that town falling into the hands of the enemy. And I think also that it might be expedient to tell the privy councillors—as I fully intend doing in my first interview with them—that both the Emperor and Your Majesty will be glad to acknowledge the service on this occasion by agreeing to any proposals on their master's part that may be considered just and honourable.
Being much engaged with writing this despatch, as well as another, both of which are to go to His Imperial Majesty by a Spanish courier sent by the merchants of Antwerp, I will briug this to an end.—London, 10 August 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1. (fn. n26)


  • n1. No. 32, p. 67.
  • n2. "Et furent les dits du Conseil du roy bien esbays et à demy courrouces contre mon dit homme quant yl leur disoit quil nestoit la alle pour solliciter davoir ung passaige exprez, ce que leur sembloit estre tres requiz pour les respectz que dessus. Et ainsy ma yl convenu faire de quoy (de peur que) ne me refroidissent le desir quavoye denvoyer à sa mate semblables copiez que manday (sic) dernierement à vre. mate."
  • n3. See above, p. 66.
  • n4. "Que aussy pour estre personnaige rond, bien incline et fort mon amy."
  • n5. See above, p. 73.
  • n6. Philippe de Croy and René de Nassau.
  • n7. "Soub couleur et occasion daller querre ou deffendre lez grans biens que les Anglois ont au dit Anvers, ou à tout au moins pour faire escorte aux navieres marchandes."
  • n8. "Doubtant quilz pourroient estre surprins en mer par lea enemys [et] quaprez nous en feroient guerre (querre?)."
  • n9. "Sans que lez firançoys len puissent raisonablement calumpnier, car estant lez navierez de par de la que (qui) sen vouldra servyr, lon pourra tenir la grimasse de les arrester comme par force."
  • n10. Jean de Honz.
  • n11. "Je oblyoes de dire que ceulx-cy ne monstrent si grande craincte de larmee [de] Dannemarck quilz faisoient çy devant, estant advertiz, comme ma envoye dire le dit admiral, que le due d'Holsten ne doibt avoir que six ou sept navierez, non gueres bien en ordre, et quil sembloit quil lez tenoit la plus pour la garde de son pais que pour aultre effect."
  • n12. About this captain, see p. 73.
  • n13. Philippe de Brion-Chabot, count of Charny and Bussançois, who succeeded Anne de Montmorency, in consequence of which chancellor Poyet and others were banished from Court.
  • n14. Sir John Wallop, called Walloppe in the original.
  • n15. "Nos ennemis sont devant le chateau de Tournehem, et je nai pas assez de monde pour le secourir, et crains quil tombera au pouvoir des franchoia."
  • n16. See above, No. 40, p. 82.
  • n17. That is Thomas [Cranmer], bishop of Canterbury.
  • n18. In the same packet is a letter from Eustace Chapuys to count Botulf (?), governor of Flanders and Arthois, about the siege of Tournehem by the French under Vendôme.
  • n19. Claude de l'Aubespine, see above, No. 29, p. 65.
  • n20. The Emperor's Lord Privy Seal, Nicolas Perrenot, sieur de Granvelle, must by this time have reached Brussels. The Emperor was still in Spain.
  • n21. "Bien entendu quilz vouldroient preallablement (sic) capituler quilz ne perdissent riens au marché."
  • n22. That under No. 42, p. 86, dated the 7th, communicating to the ambassador the news of Flanders and the danger in which Tournehem and other places were of falling into the hands of the French.
  • n23. It did so in August.
  • n24. "Tres deplaisante et doulente quelle est dez troublez et fasheries que courent, et na chose en ce monde quelle ne voulsist employer pour y remedier. Et en deffault daultre moyen elle ne cesse de prier Dieu pour la sante de v[ost]re. mate et prospere success dicelle."
  • n25. See above, No. 42, p. 86.
  • n26. Joined to this, though undated, is another letter from the Imperial ambassador to count du Rotulf (sic), governor of Flanders and Arthois, informing him of the danger of Tournehem falling into the hands of Vendôme (Antoine de Bourbon due de), at the same time enclosing a copy of the Council's letter on the subject (No. 42).