Spain: August 1542, 11-15

Pages 91-111

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.


August 1542, 11-15

12 Aug. 48. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233.
"Venerable, chier et feal, &c."—Your man arrived here on the 22nd ult. with your despatch of the 30th of June, (fn. n1) and the memorandum of business transacted by you with Madame, the dowager queen of Hungary, Our good sister, as well as the summary account of your various communications with the king of England and the members of his Privy Council respecting the treaty of closer friendship and alliance between us two. The whole of which, having been examined and carefully compared with the draft of the proposed treaty which the bishop of Wastmouster (Westminster) brought with him, We have ordered Our ministers to confer with him and with the bishop of London, (fn. n2) the other English ambassador resident at this Our Court. After four different conferences on the subject, We here subjoin for your information a summary account of what passed at the said conferences, and likewise a declaration of Our wishes and intentions in the matter, that they may serve as instruction and guidance on the whole.
Firstly, the two above-mentioned ambassadors (the bishops of London and Westminster), upon their arrival here, exhibited the rough draft of the treaty, signed both at the beginning and end by their master, the King, besides a copy unsigned of the same document, which last they placed in Our hands, offering at the same time to pass the rough draft signed at the beginning and end by the king into a regular treaty, for which they said they had full powers, insisting upon the expediency of proceeding forthwith to business, and assuring Us of the good and sincere affection of the king and Privy Council, and their desire of establishing for ever between us two (the king of England and Ourselves) closer friendship and alliance. A duplicate of the draft, which the two said bishops placed in Our hands, is annexed for your inspection.
After assuring the English ambassadors of Our desire to correspond in every possible way to their master's wishes concerning the closer friendship, the following objections were made to certain propositions in the aforesaid rough draft as it was exhibited to Us. In the first place the ambassadors were told that some of its articles were couched in terms which We could not honestly and conscientiously allow to pass; others ought to be amplified, explained, or at any rate made equal for both the contracting parties; there were some, again, the proposal and declaration of which ought to be left entirely to Our sister [the Queen] or to you (Chapuys), according to the turn which present affairs might eventually take.
Coming down to particulars, it has been objected to the English ambassadors that in the second article relating to residence (hantise) and commercial intercourse a certain limitation has been introduced, of which no mention whatever had been made in former treaties, which limitation is that the proposed measure relates only to foreign merchants, who, according to the letter of the draft, will be allowed to reside and frequent (hanter), as well as trade freely, in England, whereas all other subjects and vassals of Ours residing, though not trading, in that country are amenable to the laws of England, a sort of distinction which is in nowise admissible on account of the laws lately introduced in that country in consequence of the new opinions [in religious matters]. Indeed, were the article to pass such as it is, it would seem as if We tacitly and expressly consented to those subjects of Ours not trading in England, but who live and reside in that country, being made amenable to the new opinions and laws which now prevail there. Notwithstanding the remonstrances addressed to them on this point, the English ambassadors have hitherto refused to modify or alter the article in question, for no other reason, as they say, than that the constitution and laws of that kingdom preclude any modification of the article.
Another objection is that those relating to the defensive league and alliance against all persons are couched in such terms and words that they cannot possibly be allowed to pass, since ecclesiastics, of whatever degree, quality, or dignity they may be, are comprised therein, and everyone can see that the King's intention in making it so general is to include also the Pope; the more so, that in the rough draft of the proposed treaty there is lower down a clause stipulating that no interpretation whatever of the article shall be admitted likely to modify or alter the sense of it, but, on the contrary, that the article is to be observed in its totality, really and truly, and according to its precise terms. Such a condition, were We to approve of it, might be the cause of all and every one of the States in Christendom that still continue to profess Our old religion and to obey the Pope and the Holy Apostolic See blaming and reproaching Us hereafter for having consented to it, besides which His Holiness himself would have cause to be indignant, to complain and alienate himself from Us, withdraw his assistance against the Turk by sea and land, and, in short, make treaties injurious to Christendom's public weal and Ours, and last, not least, mar the good issue of the alliance now being concerted between the King and Ourselves. It would work also against the king of England himself, who, for many considerations, ought not to wish Us to be on bad terms with Our Holy Father, and drive him to enter, without Our knowledge, into political relations with princes and powers, who might perhaps do Mm and his kingdom and subjects great harm and injury—evils which by preserving friendship towards Us the king of England might avoid.
On this point the English ambassadors replied to Our privy councillors that the article and clause were substantially the same as in the treaty of Cambray, and that We had then made no difficulty in granting them. That the King, their master, had been satisfied with the Pope's not being especially named in the present treaty, having regard to please Us in that respect, although both he and his ministers were then convinced, as they are now, that the Holy Father was and is comprised among the princes against whom the defensive alliance was to be made; and yet, out of regard for Us, and trusting more on Our word than in the letter of treaties, they had consented to the Pope not being expressly mentioned in the treaty, though a clause had been introduced purporting that the treaty itself ought to be observed most strictly according to the letter of its contents.
Our councillors' reply was that at the time that the treaty of Cambray was made, there could be no doubt or scruple at all, since there existed no differences then between the Holy See and the king of England, besides which he who was then Pope (fn. n3) was expressly comprised in the treaty itself, and, therefore, the clause could in nowise allude to anyone but him. Now the terms are very different, and since the king of England and his Privy Council own that by such words the Pope was comprised in the general clause, they must clearly perceive, as well as other princes, and especially those whose minds are always inclined to malice and perversity, that the present Pope is likewise virtually comprised in the article.
They were besides told that the King, their master, had many reasons to trust implicitly on Us; as to that, he might be sure that the article of the defensive league against all enemies once fairly established and settled between us two, We shall not fail to fulfil Our engagements and do Our duty with respect to the said defensive alliance, and that as far as the Holy Father is concerned, there is no question nor allusion now to his spiritual or ecclesiastical authority, inasmuch as the king of England himself refuses to acknowledge it. As to his temporal and secular power, His Holiness could not do anything against the king of England with his own secular forces, unless he counted upon those of the kings, princes, or powers of Christendom, most certainly not without Our own help and assistance and that of the king of France. As to Ours, he (the king) could be sure that it would never be given against him; and as to the king of France, should he help the Pope against him and England, We fully promise, in plain terms and according to the article of the defensive alliance, to take up arms against the common enemy, which comes exactly to the same thing as if We engaged to take them up against the Pope; for the king of England must understand that should the article of the defensive alliance be worded as We wish it to be, the defensive league would equally comprise the king of France and his allies, whoever they might be unconditionally. This We hereby declare, not only in fulfilment of Our duty towards the king of England, but likewise on Our account, as far as Our own personal security and that of Our kingdoms and subjects are concerned. (fn. n4)
Though these Our remonstrances are of a peremptory character and such as the English ambassador could not well contradict, yet they failed to acknowledge the validity and truth of them, altogether refusing to make any modification in the said article, and notwithstanding the persuasions addressed to them by Our ministers that if the Pope's name was altogether omitted, and no allusion made to his person the remainder of the article might be reduced to more honest and convenient terms, they would not agree to it.
There has been a question also between the English ambassadors and Our ministers concerning the islands which have been added to the draft under the article of the defensive alliance, inasmuch as heretofore no mention had been made of them; yet whatever objections Our ministers have raised on the subject, the English ambassadors have insisted on their inclusion in the treaty, alleging that the King, their master, and his predecessors on the throne, have peacefully possessed them as the present king of England does, and that the said islands are so small and unimportant that there is no fear of Our ever being obliged to contribute with ten thousand men for their defence, and, moreover, that were We to make difficulties in that matter, We might perhaps raise the king's scruples and entirely spoil the negociation.
After the article on the defensive alliance, that of the rebels and runaways was discussed, the English ambassadors insisting on its remaining as it is worded in the draft, whereas Our ministers maintained that it is to be expressed exactly as in the treaty of Cambray, namely, that they are not to be harboured and concealed, but expelled therefrom. In order to show the honesty of such a proceeding, Our ministers alleged the many reasons there are for not applying in all cases the rigour of the law, but following the rules generally established and observed in all countries for the surrender of the said rebels and fugitives, since the experience of the past shows what inconveniences may arise from the non-observance of them. Upon which the English ambassadors replied that in his treaties with France, the King, their master, had always stipulated for the extradition of rebels and runaways or fugitives from his kingdom, which extradition king Francis himself had granted without the least difficulty, insisting, moreover, to that end upon the article remaining as it was in the draft, since, said they, you (Chapuys) had made no difficulty at first, besides which the King, their roaster, would never consent to the article being couched in other terms.
Our ministers' reply was that We declined altogether to take as a pattern either the words or the promises of the king of France; We attached no faith to papers and documents signed by him; We only wished to treat in good faith, and honestly and faithfully to observe treaties when made. We had no doubt that the king of England would ultimately be contented, since what We offered to do in the matter would surely result to his advantage. We thought, moreover, that there would never be need for Us to prosecute rebels of Ours within his kingdom, and if there was any, the expulsion of the so-called rebels would be injurious to the Low Countries, whose inhabitants are chiefly devoted to trade and industry; it would be, besides, open to suspicion under present circumstances, now that the king of England has started new opinions of his own (fn. n5) [in matters of Religion]. Our ministers added that the words uttered by the English ambassadors in support of the article, couched as it was, indicated sufficiently that any foreigners living or residing in England, whether laymen or ecclesiastics, who refused their adherence to the new opinions, would at once be considered as rebels to the King, and naturally obliged to fly from England, rather than submit to the new doctrines and regulations in religious matters. The extradition of such people, whether Englishmen or foreigners, We Ourselves could not in conscience grant, for the sake of God and of Our honour and reputation. That is a sort of thing which the king of England, Our good friend and ally, ought not to ask from Us, and that in order to avoid future contingencies and disputes, and proceed deliberately to the discussion of the following articles, We insisted upon the article being worded as in the treaty of Cambray, neither more nor less.
A further objection was raised by Our ministers respecting this same article of the "rebels." The English ambassadors being asked how and why it was that no mention at all was made of the rebels to the Empire, answered deliberately that there were too many States in the Sacred Roman Empire to comprise them all under one general clause. Upon which Our ministers called the attention of the English ambassadors to the dukes of Clèves and Holstein, both vassals of the Empire, representing to them that the omission of those two rebels could in nowise be excused, and that We insisted upon their being named in the article, and upon Our getting the promise of their master's assistance against them, if needed. Indeed, the rebellion of those two princes, and the damage they have already caused to Us and to Our two nieces, the princesses of Denmark, (fn. n6) is so flagrant and insupportable, as the king of England well knows, that their individual mention in the draft is to Us a subject of wonder. And yet, notwithstanding all the arguments adduced by Our ministers in favor of the inclusion of the two dukes in the clause as rebels to the Empire, nothing could be got out of the English ambassadors, who persisted in not having them named expressly and individually.
And upon the ambassadors replying that you (Chapuys) had allowed that and the preceding two articles to pass without any difficulty whatever, they were told that everything said and done by you in the negociation of the treaty had been said and done conditionally, subject to Our pleasure and approval, and with reference to Our supreme determination; many clauses, upon which there had been mutual agreement, had afterwards been changed or entirely suppressed in the draft of the treaty now brought under discussion, such as the specific inclusion of all Our Spanish kingdoms under the article of the "defence," which now in the draft is made general instead of particular. And that since We gather from your despatches that the inclusion of Spain, and its various kingdoms, specifically named, was by common consent omitted in the draft, We are perfectly justified in believing that similar omissions and alterations have taken place in the copy that the bishop of Westminster has brought here—omissions and alterations which you (Chapuys) have had no opportunity to remark upon and denounce in England.
We will insist no longer on this point, nor point out to you the many differences existing between the copy you sent Us—which is now in the hands of Our privy councilors—and the one brought by the bishop of Westminster, which you (Chapuys) have not seen—both professing to be original drafts or minutes of the treaty of alliance now in contemplation between the king of England and Ourselves—lest the English ambassadors should suspect that there is here a duplicate of the same draft sent by you, of which fact, as it turns out, you particularly wished to keep them in ignorance. (fn. n7)
Respecting this particular point of the inclusion of Our Spanish kingdoms, the English ambassadors have owned that it is true that the King, their master, had once agreed to it; but his privy councillors, and especially the duke of Norfolk, had made many difficulties and raised many objections to it, which had been the cause of the alteration since introduced into the article. That the King, their master, had therefore decided for the non-inclusion; the ambassadors affirming that the article in question, as well as the preceding two, was substantially the same as had been mutually agreed upon between the Royal commissioners and you, whereas it is quite evident that between the two drafts of the proposed treaty—that sent by you, and that which the bishop of Westminster (Thirlby) has brought here—great variations occur, both as to words and sense, principally in the clause referring to the combined fleet for the defence of Our mutual territories—another point, by the way, which, if allowed to remain as it is, will turn out to Our disadvantage rather than otherwise, as you yourself seem to think.
There is still another important item respecting which Our ministers have remonstrated in vain with the English ambassadors, that is, that one of the clauses of the projected treaty seems to imply that at any time or season, when called upon to furnish help notwithstanding Our engagements in Italy and elsewhere, We shall be obliged to send Our fleet to the assistance of Our ally, irrespectively of any other engagements We may have in Italy at the time, either with the Turks or with the French, perhaps against both those powers united; in which case it stands to reason that We should be held excused from affording such help to the king of England. Indeed, should the Turk, as is most probable, make an inroad upon Christendom next year, We ought to be excused from giving such help with Our fleet, and, on the contrary, the king of England ought rather to assist Us against him. On neither of these two points, though they were forcibly represented to them, would the English ambassadors make any concession or otherwise declare the King's intentions.
They have also been told that nine solds (deniers) per day for the cavalry, and six for the infantry is an insufficient pay for able soldiers. Certainly We could not furnish men at that rate, and, therefore, either We are to contribute with fewer men, or the English contingent must be increased in proportion, so as to be on equal footing with Ours. Again did the English ambassadors insist on the terms specified in the draft, without making the least concession on that score.
In a like manner have We insisted on the intercourse of trade being carried on according to the letter of the treaty of Cambray, whereas they, themselves, refer Us to the commercial treaty of 1520 between England and the Low Countries, which is precisely the point touched on in Our sister's memorandum as one to be avoided.
On the article wherein it is said that one party shall not negociate or treat without first letting the other contracting party know, it has been observed to the ambassadors that in the draft or form of treaty brought by the Bishop, the defence and the offence are mixed up together, inasmuch as it is therein proposed that in case of defence it ought to be borne in mind that the party assailed by the common enemy will be justified in treating with him in order to stop the war of invasion altogether, if necessary, or for some other reasonable cause, lest from the delay in consulting the other party injury should ensue. The opinion of Our ministers has been that the clause ought to be supplemented by these words, provided the treaty is made, and the interests of the allies are safe-guarded, so that no one of them receive any injury through it. This last observation made by Our ministers was neither opposed nor approved by the English ambassadors; after some debate, it was resolved that without suspending the negociations, or in any way delaying the execution of the treaty, this point should be left for further discussion.
The same may be said respecting the promise of observance, obligations, and submissions therein contained and said to be requisite. It would be advisable that in the event of one of the parties complaining of infraction of, or contravention to the treaty, deputies appointed by both of them should meet together, judge, and decide the case before the complaining party proceeded to "voyes de faict," as otherwise it would be a most exorbitant condition. (fn. n8)
With regard to the declaration and intimation of war to the king of France, there is no difficulty at all as to the form and mode of carrying it on against the common enemy, except only as regards the time when that declaration and intimation are to be made. On this particular point, however, the English ambassadors here were informed that it would be impossible for Us at present to take any resolution as to that, or fix the time for the said invasion, until We had actually seen the destination of the many warlike preparations and undertakings that king Francis is making and meditating against Us, not only by himself, on the side of Piedmont, Flanders, Navarre, or Roussillon, but likewise in union with the Turk, whose fleet, as rumoured, is destined for the coast of the latter country. Without knowing for certain what direction the armaments of France will take, and of what forces the Empire will be able to dispose against the Turk should the latter invade Germany, We could not, if We are to proceed in this affair with Our usual sincerity and frankness, fix the time for the intimation of war to king Francis, lest We should promise and take engagements which could not be fulfilled. We hope that the king of England will take these Our excuses in good part, and be satisfied with them, rather than have Us make uncertain and desultory promises in matters of such grave nature and importance.
Respecting the help and assistance demanded by the king of England in case of his wishing to carry on particular war against king Francis, that is a point on which We have purposely avoided discussion. We are, on the contrary, willing to grant it, provided the article of the treaty stipulating it be amended and reformed honestly, and Our grant considered a voluntary one, not obligatory, as prescribed by the treaty itself, and provided the clause referring to it be so worded that, in case of need, and should the Low Countries be invaded by Our common enemy, they may be helped and assisted by the English army as good faith and mutual friendship demand.
With regard to the projected undertaking against Montreuil, you will tell the King that We desire it above all things, in compliance with the wish by him expressed and for his own private satisfaction; but considering that the attack of such a fortress is a matter of some difficulty, and that the attempt might prove unsuccessful—in which case it would be disadvantageous for Us both—We are of opinion that the whole plan should be submitted first to Our sister [Mary of Hungary] for her to decide, and, with the advice of her Council, do in that matter whatever she deems most fit and convenient for the complete success of that undertaking or any other which the King may propose against the said king of France.
The whole of the above having been duly examined and considered, both as to substance and effect, during four consecutive days, it was yet impossible to come to an agreement with the English ambassadors, who contented themselves with saying that in their opinion there would be no difficulty whatever on the part of their master, the King, who thought that the articles of the treaty might well pass as they were couched without amendment of any sort. That their charge and commission consisted exclusively of any other in presenting the said draft to Us for general approval, not for discussion of the articles themselves. Therefore, as they saw that difficulties were raised on various points, they (the ambassadors) begged Us to have those difficulties reduced within the smallest possible compass, lest the King, their master, should thereby be offended, and his favorable inclination to, and desire for, a treaty be lessened; the ambassadors promising faithfully all the time that on their return home they would not fail to render their best offices towards making the King and his ministers attend to Our observations and requests.
Perceiving that nothing more could be got out of the English ambassadors, it has here been proposed to send to England some worthy and confidential personage from this Our court to visit the King, and assure him of Our perfect willingness and desire to bring the treaty to conclusion by all honest, reasonable, and mutually convenient means, a personage who may, conjointly with you (Chapuys), declare to the King what Our intentions are in order to arrive at a determination and conclusion of the affair as soon and conveniently as possible. This proposal of Ours seemed to the English ambassadors fair and acceptable; and We, accordingly, have made up Our mind to despatch thither Mr. de Courrières, (fn. n9) captain of Our body-guard, and officer of Our household, an old servant of Ours, whom that king knows well. It is for his information and for yours that the present instructions have been drawn, the condensed summary of which is as follows:—
With regard to the first difficulty, that is, the article of the draft, wherein permission of free communication, frequentation (hantise), and residence of Our subjects in England is limited to merchants, whilst all classes not engaged in trade or merchandize shall be subjected to the laws of England, that is one to which We and Our ministers particularly object. It cannot be granted as it is, but must remain as it was worded in preceding treaties, or else be conceived in different terms, so that it may never be said that We consented to, or otherwise allowed, tacitly or expressly, Our own subjects and vassals to live under the opinions and regulations in Church matters lately adopted by the king of England, and thereby be amenable to the laws of that country, which ought in nowise be made applicable to Our subjects residing in England, whether merchants or no, much less by Our consent, in direct opposition to the treaty of Cambray and other preceding treaties.
As in other articles of the same draft the Ecclesiastical State is mentioned in a way as to virtually comprise His Holiness, the Pope, We cannot, for reasons similar to those above alluded to, allow them to pass as they are, or with words from which it might be hereafter imputed to Us that We had treated dishonestly on what concerns the Pope and the Holy Apostolic See.
Truly, indeed, the remonstrances addressed to the English ambassadors on this subject have been peremptory enough. It would be for Us a matter of reproach, as well as an offence to God and the World, and one from which many inconveniences might hereafter arise, were We to allow the said articles to pass as they are couched, or with words in any manner indicating or designating the person of the Holy Father. If the king of England is as desirous, as he says, of Our friendship, he ought not to persist in his purpose, much less request Us to authorize those articles; he ought to be contented with the declaration of Our intention made to his ambassadors, which declaration We have since expressly confirmed.
Lastly, We are of opinion that should the King not be satisfied with these assurances and concessions of Ours, you may suggest that, for his satisfaction and that of his ministers, the articles concerning the defensive alliance, wherein the Ecclesiastical State is expressly mentioned be altogether reformed, so as to comprise the king of France, and all other kings, princes, and temporal lords, in which words all the persons from whom the King might fear opposition or harm of any sort would be included; for the Holy Father could never do him any by himself, and besides that the king of England has been heard to say that he dreads him not—and really and truly there is no occasion for such fears—but trusts that We will do everything in Our power to prevent any injury or harm whatever being done to him.
Should you (Chapuys) perceive that these remarks of Ours have no effect on the King, and should you fear that Our not giving him satisfaction on this point might risk the negociations being entirely broken off, both of you [Monsr. de Courrières and Chapuis] will consult together, and see whether it would not be convenient, for the sake of the negociation itself and of gaining time, to propose that the article in question should be drawn in terms still more general and comprehensive, such as the words all kings, princes, and powers secular and temporal, so as to ensure the king of England against the person of the Holy Father. This, however, is not be done without asking for time to consult the queen, Our sister, on the subject and obtain her consent, for, after all, the former specification of kings, princes, and temporal lords ought to satisfy the King. Nor can We imagine either that king Francis could be so impudent as to promise to the king of England a defensive alliance against the Pope.
Meanwhile, and pending the consultation with Our sister, you will take care to apprize Us, by means of the light vessels (zabras) already prepared for the carriage of Our official correspondence, of the progress of your negociation. You know what Our final determination is according to the progress of affairs in France and the Turk, and what the Holy Father will do to assist Us in Our defence of Christendom again threatened by the Infidel. (fn. n10)
With regard to the islands added by England to the draft of the treaty and the article on the defence, We can only say that if they have been possessed for so long a time by the king of England and his predecessors on the throne, the comprehension of them will not be objected to, provided the possession and right of the kings of England over them be properly explained and detailed, so that neither the Holy Father nor any other prince may have reason to complain; for We are told that the King does not pretend to have any other right over these islands than that of protection, once granted to his predecessors by the Pope. (fn. n11) If, therefore, you see no further difficulty in the inclusion of the islands, you may pass the article as it is couched in the draft.
In the clause about the rebels, the extradition (restitution) cannot be allowed, for the causes and reasons above alleged. You are to persist in having the article modified and reformed according to the letter of the treaty of Cambray, for, after mature consideration, We cannot conscientiously agree to it without offending God and sinning against Christian charity, especially in the case of fugitives who have left England, for no other cause than their not adhering to the new opinions of the King on religious matters. Nor could We grant it with respect to other matters for many well-grounded reasons, as serious inconveniences might arise through it.
As to the rebels to the Empire, We will make no observation, save saying that there has been a long discussion between Our privy councillors and the English ambassadors about having the dukes of Clèves and Holstein included in the article of the defence as actual rebels to the Holy Sacred Empire. (fn. n12) You are, of course, to insist to the end on the king of England declaring both of them his enemies and assisting Us against them respectively, making use for that purpose of all the arguments and reasons well known to you, in order to induce the King to declare them his enemies, and convince him of the harm and injury which they have done and are still doing Us, particularly he of Clèves, who, as is notorious enough, has without excuse of any kind occupied, and still retains, most unjustly and in a most iniquitous manner the duchy of Ghelders, and who, in addition to that, has made a league with France, just as the duke of Holstein has also done lately. Indeed, both dukes have either made war upon Us or furnished men [to France]. And, therefore, that as there is a talk of Our making an offensive and defensive alliance with the king of England, the latter ought to consider both of them his enemies as they are Ours. If this cannot be obtained, and no help is to be expected from the king, let him at any rate consider them as his enemies, and not help and assist them, directly or indirectly, in anywise. Nor could the king of England act otherwise in the matter or dissemble, for the dukes are really and truly king Francis' allies, and, after all, it is the King's interest and concern to reduce them to such a state and condition that they may no longer be able to injure Us either by themselves or in combination with the French. (fn. n13)
With regard to what the king of England has spoken to you (Chapuys) respecting Our coming to terms with the said duke of Clèves, you did well to answer him as you did. We could not for the sake of Our honor or security, much less for the satisfaction of Our subjects and kingdoms, again treat with that duke, unless he first restore to Us what he has usurped and so unjustly and wickedly occupies and retains in defiance of the treaties, promises, and oaths of his predecessors, and without the least shadow of right on his part. The Duke ought to be glad that, after so many offences as he has done against Us, We should condescend to pardon him under the above conditions; and yet, without having regard to the mildness and moderation with which We have treated him, he still persists in his rebellion, and becomes every day more contumacious and insolent, all the time that he is claiming that king's intercession.
Respecting the inclusion of Our kingdoms on this side (fn. n14) in the article of the defence, though the king of England and his people ought to make no difficulty whatever about that, We shall be satisfied if the article remain such as it is; for it would be almost impossible for the one or the other of the parties to attend to it with certainty within a fixed time, and at all events it would be extremely difficult for Us, as well as for him, to help each other in case of need. But, in granting that, you (Chapuys) will make the King understand that We do this entirely for his sake, that he on his side may be more ready to yield on other points equally disputable.
There is a last observation to make respecting the article of the defence, which is this: We must, if possible, be held excused from contributing to the defence of the patrimonial or other kingdoms of Our brother and ally, the king of England, if We ourselves happen to be at open war in Italy, with the Turk, or with the king of France. You will try to persuade the King as to that, and, finally, if you cannot obtain the reform of the article in the way We point out, go on with the negociation, though, in Our opinion, what We ask of the King is just and indispensable.
It has likewise been represented to the English ambassadors that it would be fair that the help and assistance to be given to the Low Countries should last as long as in Our sister's opinion the necessity for it exists; but, again, if that cannot be obtained, let the clause remain as it is.
With regard to the pay of the infantry and cavalry, certainly reason and justice demand that the matter should be brought to terms of equality, either by increasing the number of men to be contributed by England or by reducing their pay. This and other particulars respecting the article of the defence, and the form and manner in which it is to be afforded, We leave for you (Chapuys) to contract and settle in the best possible manner, following the advice and instructions of Our sister, and the very wise considerations which you yourself have from time to time submitted to Us concerning the help and assistance by sea, which, as it seems to Us, will not be of much use under present circumstances.
We ought also to warn you that as far as the intercourse of trade between England and the Low Countries has been spoken of in connection with the treaty of closer friendship and alliance, Our councillors have, according to the advice of Our sister, firmly maintained their former position. We request and command you to negociate and treat according to her wishes, and as advantageously as you can, or, at least, with the least possible damage to the trade of Our Low Countries. We do not enter into more details here, because We have not by Us copies of the commercial treaty of 1520 and others, but only an unsigned one of that of Cambray, all the rest having been lost during Our last expedition to Algiers. (fn. n15)
We also trust that you (Chapuys) will do whatever you may deem most fit and convenient with regard to the condition stipulated in the draft of the treaty, that one party is not to treat without the knowledge and consent of the other, especially in the case of princes included in the article of the "defensive alliance," for it seems to Us that the declaration which Our councillors have asked from the English ambassadors is indispensable. Our reasons for desiring that such a declaration should be made are these: supposing that the French were to invade the Luxemburg, or any other point of Our frontier still more distant from England, or were to lay siege to one of Our towns in Flanders insufficiently provided with means of defence, which might lead to dangerous results and cause mutiny or disorder, whence We should be likely to receive injury unless We entered into immediate negociation to make the enemy retreat, it would be very difficult, if not impossible altogether, to consult England thereupon considering the long distance and the time required to get an answer to Our communication. (fn. n16)
Besides which the condition set down in the draft of the treaty, that one party is not to treat of defence or offence without the consent and approval of the other, is by far too general and absolute. You must, therefore, try to have the article altered and limited, so that it may be understood that "one party is not to treat with the common enemy to the prejudice of the other, and especially against the object and purpose of the present treaty of alliance," for, after all, there is no plausible reason or excuse to allege in favor of the article and its extension to Germany and Italy. As the king of England refuses to take any engagements whatever concerning the affairs of the Empire, it stands to reason that Our dominions, both in Germany and in Italy, cannot be subjected to a general rule. You (Chapuys) must endeavour, if possible, to obtain that the condition of "one party not treating without the full knowledge, consent, and approval of the other," be merely understood to refer to the present king of France, for his successors on the throne might perhaps become more reasonable and accommodating than the one who now rules over that country; besides which it is not probable that the king of England, or his successors on the throne, will ever consent to treat with the French unless they are first paid the arrears of pension owed to them, and get securities for the future. Nor is it likely that the English, even in that case, will desist from other pretentions which the French will never grant, thus obliging Us and Our ally to be for ever at war with France.
You must, moreover, bear in mind that the condition of one party not treating without the consent of the other is established in two different articles, of which the first runs thus: "Item: conventum, concordatum et conclusum est quod quotiens occasio invasionis factœ, &c." In this article, as you will observe, there is no obligation stipulated on the part of the allies to inform each other of their desire to treat with the common enemy except after the invasion of territory on one side or the other, and when the defence or offence has actually begun, whereas in the article immediately following it the stipulation is limited only to "not treating with the king of France, or other princes to the prejudice of the treaty," without making mention of his successors on the throne of France. Care, therefore, should be taken that the article in question be not extended by the English beyond that limit. (fn. n17)
It would also be very reasonable to stipulate that the faculty granted to each of the contracting parties to proceed against the other by way of sudden and real execution, in case of contravention, real or pretended, to the letter of the treaty on this point be somewhat restrained and limited, so that the execution do not take place till after a meeting of deputies from each side has examined and determined whether the said contraventions or infractions do really exist or not. (fn. n18)
You will see whether the English wish the king of the Romans, Our brother, to be included in the treaty. A hint on the subject has been given to the English ambassadors, who, We are told, have offered no opposition. If you can manage that he be included in the treaty, so much the better; if not, do not insist, for, after all, his inclusion would only serve as an increase of credit and reputation.
Another point, more substantial, is that of fixing the time at which the intimation or declaration of war is to be made. For the reasons and considerations above expressed, which are so urgent and pressing, We find that it is impossible for Us at present to fix a time for the said intimation. You must do your best to make the king of England accept Our excuses on that head, and be content that the fixing of the time for the said intimation be delayed until We see the tendency and direction of the many undertakings which king Francis and the Turk are planning against Us, lest We should be involved in greater difficulties than those We have to surmount now, and incur more expense than We could support.
As to declaring and specifying in the intimation and challenge Our own grounds of complaint against king Francis and consequent demands, We are of opinion that this ought to be postponed till the time that the intimation of war is made, for it might happen, in the meanwhile, that events should occur to induce or oblige Us to increase Our very just demands. The article in the treaty referring to this point might, therefore, be couched in these or similar words: "that the two contracting parties will summon king Francis to make restitution of, and give satisfaction on all the demands which one or the other of them may bring forward," fixing also the time at which he (Francis) is to comply with them.
And whereas the English ambassadors have most urgently insisted upon the necessity of Our declaring at what time We thought that the said intimation of war to France could be made, and that the King, their master, desirous, as he is, of attacking the French, would dislike any delay or uncertainty on that point, We have willingly consented and agreed to all and each one of the conditions of the particular enterprise which the King, their master, has for some time back meditated against France, and promised to help and assist him according to the draft of the treaty which they have brought, and in the form and manner above specified. It is important for you (Chapuys) to promote that enterprise as much as you can, and exhort and persuade the King to carry it on briskly and without delay. Even in case of Our being so closely engaged, with Francis or with the Turk, as not to be able to help him personally in an offensive war against the former country, he (the King) must consider that Our own forces on the other side of the French frontier will naturally divert the enemy's attention from him; besides which, should We be disengaged and at liberty, We would help and assist him, Our friend and ally, in his offensive operations against France.
We have likewise told the English ambassadors that the enterprise on Montreuil seems to Us excellent and well planned. The only difficulty in Our opinion is whether that town can or cannot be carried easily by a "coup de main." That is why We have advised that the case be referred to Our sister, the Queen, that she may decide what is to be done in the matter according to her means of offence on that side, the movements of the enemy, and the chances of success, for, as We have heard the English ambassadors themselves say, the King, their master, claims, that should he decide to lay siege to that town, he is to be helped and assisted in his undertaking by the army of Our Low Countries. This is again a point respecting which We could make no declaration as to how, and of what number of men, the said assistance is to consist.
With regard to the above point, you will take care to remark to the King or his ministers, whenever the opportunity offers, that although king Francis has made, and is still making, attempts, either by himself or through third persons (par tierce main), to take Us and Our kingdoms by surprise, and do Us all the harm he can in Italy, as well as in Flanders, on this side in Roussillon and in Navarre, and that at this very moment he is concentrating large forces on those frontiers, he has not yet, that We know of, actually commenced hostilities, but has, on the contrary, through some of his ministers, made proposals of peace. We still wish to temporize with him, and wait to see what his final decision will be before We engage in a fresh war, and be obliged to break with him without England's co-operation, which We otherwise should be compelled to do before concluding the treaty, which is now being negociated, and before the intimation of war is made. Nor could We for the same reason help in the undertaking against Montreuil or any other town of France, which would be equivalent to embarking on a fresh war. On these considerations you will employ all your means and resources until you hear from Our sister, to whom We now write on the subject, or else hear Our final determination, which will be very shortly. Should, however, king Francis or his ministers break out into open hostilities before We have time to inform you, and thus make a complete rupture between Us, then, in that case, you shall at once proceed to approve of the treaty, after taking the advice of Our sister on the article concerning the enterprize on Montreuil, or any other mentioned by the English ambassadors.
The excuse for the delay to be solicited by Mons. de Courrières and you may be grounded on the desire that he and you naturally have of consulting Our said sister in Flanders on the difficulties of the undertaking, if such exist. You will agree before hand as to the nature of those excuses, making them appear as plausible and well founded as you can, at the same time giving the King the hope and the assurance of a speedy resolution, or otherwise, as the occasion and opportunity may offer, and thus gain time. This done, Mons. de Courrières may leave for Flanders and hold a consultation with the Queen, Our sister, and We Ourselves will take care to let her and you know as soon as possible what Our final intention is. In order that We may more frequently hear from you (Chapuys), and you yourself know Our determination on this and other points, We have from this day given orders that a number of light vessels (zabras) be prepared, and if the English on their side do the same, We shall be able to correspond regularly and continually.
Lastly, you may persist as long as you can in urging the request so often made by Us, that the king of England be pleased at all events to grant some help in money against the Turk, which request, besides the reasons already adduced for it on other occasions, must nowadays be backed by you with a much stronger argument, which is, that whatever excuses We may afford the Pope for entering into closer friendship and alliance with England, he is sure to refuse his long promised assistance in money against the Infidel, whilst king Francis, on the other hand, will do everything in his power to persuade the Turk to attack Us and Our brother, the king of the Romans, by land and sea, so that in the end the burden of resisting him will exclusively fall on Us two, unless he himself comes to Our aid as he ought, the more so that his royal dignity, his honor and reputation as a Christian prince, and many other particular considerations oblige him to do so.
Nor can We omit to say that the English ambassadors, after their first conference with Our ministers, expressed the desire of having a memorandum of the points about which difficulties have been raised. That has been done, as they wished, in a summary manner, by means of a simple memorandum, without entering into particulars, telling them besides that they must not consider it as a definitive resolution on Our part, but merely as an "exposé" of the representations and requests addressed to them respecting the proposed draft which they brought Us, with a view to their answering Our objections in writing. This, however, they have declined to do. (fn. n19)
With regard to the titles which the king of England chooses to assume in the treaty, the difficulty will be avoided by using, as We have written to Our sister, the Queen, those which We have pointed out in Our preceding letter to her. We enclose you a copy of the article.
As to Our granting pensions to those members of the Privy Council who now enjoy most credit with the King, as you propose, that is a thing which We place entirely in the hands of Our sister, the Queen, and of her councillor, the sieur de Praët. You may write to them what your opinion on the matter is, although We had already written to them to make certain presents to that King's privy councillors, and, if possible, avoid the grant of annual pensions. We have no doubt that Our sister, the Queen, and you (Chapuys) will attend to Our wishes in this particular, and that We shall not be put to unnecessary expense through it all.
As to the promise made and engagement taken by you in Our name not to treat with the common enemy to the prejudice of that king during the next month of October—which promise and engagement, as well as that of keeping the most profound secrecy on the whole affair, is naturally mutual—We are fully prepared to fulfil it, and yet We propose listening to any overtures which the Pope, the king of France, and other powers may perhaps make, to prevent, if possible, war from breaking out afresh or restrain it if it should have already commenced. (fn. n20) This, of course, to be done in good faith, with due regard to the king of England and his interests, so as to admit of no condition from which Our brother and ally might receive hurt or damage. We, therefore, warn you that if requested by the King's privy councillors to prolong the time of the said promise, you may agree to it in Our name, but let that be done in such a way that We may not be obliged nor bound to keep Our promise beyond the period thus fixed, nor prevented from listening to any proposals of peace that may come either from the Pope or from the king of France.
With regard to political news from this country and the general state of Our affairs, you (Chapuys) will, in accordance with the sieur de Courrières, speak to the king of England in the manner and words above explained, while We Ourselves promise to you that whatever you and he may stipulate and agree to in Our name, considering the circumstances and contingencies at the time, will be promptly approved of and ratified by Us—such is Our confidence in your discretion and wisdom.—Monçon, (fn. n21) 12 August 1542.
French. Original draft. pp. 21.
12 Aug. 49. The Emperor to the King of England.
Wien, Imp. Arch. "Monsieur, mon bon frère et cousin,"—I now send to you the sieur de Courrières, captain of my body-guard, that he may visit you, and more surely declare my intention respecting the charge brought by the bishop of Westminster (Thirlby). Pray listen to what he and my ambassador (Eustace Chapuys) will tell you in my name, and believe them as if I myself were speaking to you.—Your good brother and cousin—Charles, Monçon, 12 August 1542. (fn. n22)
Signed: "Charles."
French. Holograph. p. 1.


  • n1. No. 12, pp. 19–22.
  • n2. Edmund Boner, as it has already been said; as to the bishop of Westminster, his name was Thomas Thirlby.
  • n3. Clement VII.
  • n4. "Et n'est question içi de son auctorité spirituelle, ny ecclesiastique, puisque mesmes le dict Roy d'Angleterre la denye et reprenne (repousse?), et quant à la temporalite et secularite, ilz ne pourront riens emprendre ne faire par force contre le diet Roy d'Angleterre sans les forces daultres roys, princes ou potentates de la Chrestiente, ct mesmes sans les nostres, ou celles du dict Roy de France ou aultret; et que nous luy voulons promestre la deffension plainement et entierement, questant en effect les mesme (ce qui revient en effect au mesme?) que si les promestions contre le pape, et quil povoit croire que nous ferions la dicte deffension entierement à lencontre du dict Roy de France et tous aultres, tant pour le respect de nostre debvoir enters le diet Roy d'Angleterre, que pour ce quil imports à nous mesmes et à nostre securite, et de nos royaulmes et pays."
  • n5. "Et que nous ne pensions quil nous soit besoing de poursuyvre rebelles en son royaulme, et est ceste expulsion preiudiciable à noz pays dembas fondez en contractation de marchandize et davaintage tant plus suspecte actendu la nouvelle oppinion du dit sr roy."
  • n6. That is Christine, the dowager duchess of Milan, then married to the marquis de Pont à Mousson, François de Lorraine, and Dorothea, the wife of the Palatine.
  • n7. "Et nest lon entré en plus de particularitez touchant la divereite que se retrouve en laultre forme quavez envoye pour en suyvre ce quavez escript de paur quilz ne sçeussent que leussions."
  • n8. "Chose trop precise et exhorbitante."
  • n9. Philippe de Montmorency, who had been in England in March 1542. See Vol. VI., Part I., pp. 480–1.
  • n10. "Vous sçavez sur ce nostre finale intencion Belon le progres des choses de france, et du Turcq, et ce que le diet Sainct pere fera pour nostre assistence ày resister."
  • n11. "Ayant regard a la quelle possession le diet Sainct Pere, ny aultre nauroit occasion de sen douloir, joinct que, comme entendons, il (le roy) ny pretend droit synon de protection introduicte cy derant en faveur du dict Angleterre."
  • n12. "Et au regard du subjectz rebelles de lestat de lempire, ne nous y voulons (voulions?) arrester et sen est seulement parle et demonstre de persister pour à ceste occasion venir au faict particulier des ducz de Clèves et Holstein."
  • n13. "Car aussi seroit-il impossible que le dit roy dAngleterre peult dissimuler avec eulx puisque ilz sont alliez avec le roy de France, et tout bien considere emporte (sic) au diet Roy et luy touche grandement de les reduire, mesmement le dict due de Clèves, en estat que luy et nous soyons asseure quilz ne nous puissent nuysre ni leur en laisser force ni moyen quelconque."
  • n14. "Touchant la comprehension de nos royaulmes de par de ça en la dite deffension, &c," meaning no doubt Spain.
  • n15. "Synon une sans signature de celluy de Cambray, ayant este les aultres perdues au voiage d'Algey (sic)."
  • n16. "Et mesmes que si les ennemys faisoient quelque emprinse au coustel du Luxemburg ou aultres nos frontieres de par de la plus eislongees d'Angleterre, et paradventure assiegeassent quelque place non pourueue pour tenir, ou suyvissent leur emprinse en coutel perilleux et ou on craint de quelque mutinerie ou aultre desordre, dont pourrions recevoir plus grand inconvenient sans prestement entendre à quelque traicte pour la faire retirer, il seroit trop difficile et long daller sur ce consulter on Angleterre, et en entendre (attendre?) la response et resolution."
  • n17. "Et fauldra tenir advertence que le dicts anglois ne l'amplient plus avant."
  • n18. "Aussi est-il bien raisonable de non delaisser en la nue volonte des contrahans de pouvoir proceder de plain sault par execution reelle pour les pretendues contraventions ains que prealablement il se tienne journee pour examiner et esclaireir les dictes contraventions selon quil est cy dessus contenu."
  • n19. "Synon pour leur reduyre en memoire les remonstrances quen ont este faictes, selon quilz ont (l'ont?) desire, et non pour se restraindre au contenu, et afin que ilz y respondent par escript, ce quilz nont voulu faire."
  • n20. "Pour empescher et obvyer à recommencement de guerre, et encores icelle extraindre, si elle estoit encommencee."
  • n21. The date is "De Molson, le XIIme daoust 1542." Molson is evidently an error of the draftsman for Monçon or Monzon, where the Emperor was at the time holding the Cortes of Aragon; in Latin Montison, a town on the confines of Aragon and Catalonia.
  • n22. The letter itself must have been written in the Emperor's own hand, for it is headed thus:—"Pour escripre au Roy d'Angleterre; de la main de l'Empereur." As to the sieur de Courrières, its bearer, his full name was Philippe de Montmorency, seigneur de Courrières. He was captain of the Emperor's body-guard of archers in Flanders, and not, as the Revd. William Bradford calls him in his "Itinerary of Charles V." (p. 535), M. de Carrieres, captain in the rear-guard forces. See above, p. 101.