Spain: April 1544, 16-20

Pages 115-117

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 7, 1544. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


April 1544, 16–20

17 April. 71. Instructions for the Sieur de Chantonnay respecting his mission to England.
Wien, Imp. Arch. You shall go as hastily as possible to the dowager queen of Hungary, Our sister, and communicate to her your present charge on the points specified hereafter, and after taking her advice on the whole, and adding to these Instructions any observation or remark of her's concerning Our service, shall cross over to England and act there as Our resident ambassador (Chapuys) will direct you, taking good care to inform Us as soon as possible of the state of political affairs in that country, and especially of the King's intention and disposition to act in common with Us in the projected invasion of France.
You will say that the principal object of your mission (voiage) is to visit the King and inquire after his health. This to be done with discretion, and according to the disposition in which the King may be.
Also to inform him most particularly of the provisions and preparations made by Us in infantry as well as in cavalry, pioneers, artillery, victuals, etc., in conformity with the papers and documents in your hands, and what has been since verbally communicated to you.
You will inform the King of Our final resolution of invading France, when We intend departing hence, what road We purpose taking, and where Our forces, that is to say the German infantry under count Guillaume de Furstenberg, and the fresh levies made at Hamburg, will concentrate. All this according to and in view of the note that was put into your hands, and the information which from time to time has been communicated to you, at the same time asking, and if necessary, persisting in the inquiry as to when the king of England will order his army to advance, the place where the English forces will concentrate, and the road they will take, so as to combine the movements of both armies.
You will say, if the opportunity offers and you see that it is the fit moment for it, how very important it is to accelerate the departure of the English force and make it march into the enemy's country, especially after the news lately received from France, stating that the French are placing their principal hope in the delay that the meeting of the combined armies may experience, as well as in preventing the invasion by means of removing or destroying the provisions along their line of march, garrisoning and fortifying places on their frontiers, although up to this time We do not hear of their having had the means of enlisting foreigners, though they have tried hard, and are still trying to make levies.
Also, if Our ambassador should consider it advisable, show to the King or to his ministers the advertisements received from France respecting the entrance of the English into that country.
To explain to the King, in view of Our letters to Messire Chapuys, of which a copy has been put into your hands, Our reasons for helping and assisting his resident ambassador here, in this town, to levy in these parts a certain number of foot and horse for the King's service, and the promise by Us made to captain Seckinghen, as well as security (assheurance) for payment of the 1,000 horse he has the charge to recruit.
To speak to the King of the large army We have in Italy, and the great number of Germans We have thought advisable to send thither to reinforce the garrisons thereof, all at considerable cost and expense, as you can prove by the papers and documents in your possession.
Also to tell the King the state of affairs in Italy, and the good terms on which We stand with its princes and powers, as well as the general indignation of the latter against France, as you have been informed in detail. Indeed, you will tell the King that the news from Rome as well as from Venice is very good, and in fact that the measures taken by Us there, and those We intend taking, will baffle the designs of the French, and that their attempts this time will be as vain and futile as they have ever been.
To conclude, you will do carefully and conscientiously, in union with the above-mentioned ambassador, everything in your power to learn and ascertain all particulars concerning the English army, what its number will be, and how composed; and whether the King really means to cross over personally; who is to command it under him, present or absent, as well as other captains; when that army will be collected and ready to embark, and when and where, having crossed the Channel, it will march on, and what road they will take, (fn. 1) and every other particular you can learn respecting the circumstances, numbers and designs of that army. The same may be said about the artillery, ammunition, victuals, horses (montures), equipages and materials of all kinds, the orders and provision the King may make for the government of his kingdom during his absence, the state of affairs in England as well as in Scotland; for how long the King intends keeping up his army against France; what provision the King has made for the charge given to the Sieur de Buren, and for the troops that he wishes to place under his command; how far he (the King) is likely to be satisfied with that general's services now that the difficulties raised by the latter, with good reason as it appears, respecting the men's pay have been removed.
On what terms the English are now with the French, and whether there are, or are not, signs of the former having taken any trouble about making or listening to overtures of peace.
French. Original draft, with several corrections. 2 pp.


  • 1. “Et en conclusion vous ferez soigneusement et consciencieusement tout ce que en vous sera avec le dit ambassadeur pour estre certain de tout ce que concerne l'armée du dit sieur roy d'Angleterre—quel nombre de gens de guerre yl y aura, et de quelle qualité; si le roy viendra en personne;—qui aura charge d'icelle apres luy, soit en son absence ou presence, et des autres capitnines et personnes ayant charge; quant le dite armée seri assemblée, et marchera; le chemin qu'elle prendra,” &c