Spain: May 1544, 26-31

Pages 180-193

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

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May 1544, 21–25

27 May. 110. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—The day before yesterday Your Majesty's letter of the 21st inst. came to hand, and yesterday I, myself, went and communicated its contents to the privy councillors, all of whom seemed delighted at the pleasure and gratification expressed by Your Majesty on hearing of the prosperous success of this King's arms in Scotland, and at the publication Your Majesty has ordered to be made declaring the Scots to be the Emperor's enemies. They have also read with pleasure, and greatly approved of the answer in writing, which Your Majesty caused to be made to the admiral of France (Claude Hannebault) (fn. 1) without your having first consulted this King thereupon, the privy councillors telling me that the case being, they would take care that the King, their master, should with mutual courtesy make a similar answer.
With regard to Octavian, the Milanese, the privy councillors promised to have him closely examined and put to the rack this very day, to make him confess and declare the whole truth, unless he choses himself to do so willingly. As to sending him to Flanders to be confronted with La Chapelle, his accomplice, they did not take a resolution, but would consult the King. On this point and others, they would as soon as possible let me know what was the King's will.
Respecting the transports for the passage of the English army they are certainly highly displeased at the delay, and I really believe that had the commissaries, sent to the Low Countries for the purpose, been here at present, they would be reprimanded for their negligence; (fn. 2) but I must say, that although this King's privy councillors accuse their own commissaries, they also inculpate Your Majesty's ministers, who, knowing how important affairs of this sort are for his Imperial Majesty and for this King, under present circumstances, were bound to correct the negligence of the English. That is why the King's privy councillors request and pray Your Majesty to order that all possible haste be made in sending the transports to sea, so that the English army may as soon as possible cross the Strait, and the King save expense, for soldiers here are already receiving full pay as if they were in France in sight of the enemy.
With regard to the warships the privy councillors beg Your Majesty most humbly that those of Flanders and the Low Countries should be sent at once to protect the transports (charrues) and their men and their passage, because they have news that the king of France has no less than 40 warships, very well equipped and armed, on the coast of Normandy, ready to set sail on the shortest notice, and it is necessary and convenient that the two allied fleets, that of the Emperor and that of this King, be together in the Channel to defeat any hostile plans the French may have formed. There has been no talk, except in general, about the terms (respectz) which the two fleets, their commanders and crews must observe towards each other, but after receiving the letter which Your Majesty intends to write to the Privy Council, and admiral de Bèvres remarks on the subject, I will spare no trouble to have the whole matter satisfactorily settled, so that mutual harmony and good behaviour prevail.
Some days ago I myself took to the Admiralty here Your Majesty's letters patent for the observancy of the safeconducts, that they might be translated into English and put in authentic form in order that seamen of this country, who do not, or pretend not to know, any other language but their own, may take full cognisance of the rules therein contained; otherwise they might from ignorance, or otherwise disregard the copy in French, which I have sent to the Admiralty Court. And now that I am treating of this subject I must explain why the letters patent have not been sent sooner to Flanders. The Judge of the Admiralty has been out of town nearly three weeks; when he came back there was still some unavoidable delay, until at last (yesterday), they were delivered at this embassy. I now send them on together with a copy of the English translation. The remaining copies, of which I have ordered several to be made out, shall go in a couple of days, and I humbly beg Your Majesty to issue one of them unless the English letters patent have not reached Brussels.
I also send Your Majesty the copy of a letter which has accidentally fallen into my hands, though unsigned. It is one from Monsr. de St. Martin, the person to whom I have frequently alluded in my despatches to the governor (bailli) of Guines. The contents of the letter are a further proof of the practices and intrigues of the French, and of their being at their old tricks again.—London, 27 May 1544.
P.S.—Whilst closing this letter the privy councillors send me a message, again begging me most earnestly to solicit Your Majesty to hasten the fitting out of the transports (charrues), as well as of the waggons, carts and drafthorses, and so forth, for the carriage of guns, ammunition, victuals, and baggage for the army: the whole of it to be at Calais on the 15th of June next at the latest.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original draft. 3 pp.
27 May. 111. Eustace Chapuys to Monsr. de Granvelle.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monseigneur,”—Your Lordship will see by the enclosed copy (of my letter to the Queen) what little news there is to report. I shall only add that it seems these people—for want of the Flemish transports which have not yet arrived—could not cross the Channel as early as they promised and would be desirable, which is very provoking, as Your Lordship can appreciate much better than I can.
However that may be, I cannot omit to say that the favor this King did from the beginning show to the duke of Alberquerque is always increasing. The other day the King on his return from the country gave him lodgings close to the place where he is now holding his Court, after sending count Sorey (the earl of Surrey) and Master Trevenet with a gallant and numerous suite to meet him on the road thither. Since his return, the Duke has at various times visited Court, where he has been received and treated by the King and Queen in the kindest possible manner. (fn. 3) Four days running the King has sent him consecutive messages requesting him to attend meetings of his Privy Council of his when at leisure, and to be present at its deliberations, that he (the Duke) may take cognizance of the affairs discussed therein. The Duke, however, though he knows this to be an honourable distinction, and one that might perhaps afford him an opportunity of doing service to the Emperor, has declined the invitation until he had communicated with me on the subject, and knew how to act. Yesterday, after taking my advice, he attended the sitting of the Privy Council, whose members again complained to him in the terms expressed in my despatch to the Queen respecting the delay of the transport ships, (fn. 4) begging him most particularly to represent to me how annoyed they were at it, and recommending that I should again and again solicit their speedy departure. The Duke, moreover, has several times been invited to dine with the privy councillors and appear as if he were one of the King's household (et soy monster domestique), and he has accepted on my advice.
I have entered into these details because I suppose that the Duke being Your Lordship's friend, and the Emperor's service being in question, you will be glad to hear of his reception in this country.—London, 27 May 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
Indorsed: “A. Monseigneur; Monsr. de Granvelle.”
French. Holograph. 1½ pp.
29 May. 112. Queen Mary's Instructions to Messire Hugues de Souastre, (fn. 5) knight and gentleman of the Royal Household, and lieutenant of the Archers of the guard, and Andries (fn. 6) de Palant, escoutette of Maëstricht.
B. Neg. d'Ang., Vol. 2, f. 323. First of all you will take the road to Maëstricht, and there, having called on the Mayor (escoutette) of that town, will request him in virtue of your credentials, which you will exhibit to him, to start in company with you on the mission for which We have appointed both of you. Immediately after your arrival at Aix, or elsewhere on the road [to Maëstricht], where you have met the king of England's commissioners sent expressly for the purpose of passing muster to the Germans under Landenberg, both of you conjointly will call on that captain or his lieutenant (Messire Cristoffle de Landenberg, (fn. 6) or his lieutenant) and, in virtue of the credentials you have for each and both of them, give them notice that, having heard of the assembly of troops in the neighbourhood of that town, and the king of England having sent thither the said commissioner to pass them muster, and after that make them march towards the English camp, which could not be done without traversing countries belonging to the Emperor, We have sent you thither to accompany and guide them, conduct them by the shortest possible road, and procure them provisions, victuals and quarters at reasonable prices, assist, help, and treat them as stipendiary servants of the king of England, just as if they were serving the Emperor. That they will do well to give you notice of the day in which they will be able to undertake their march, in order that on the day and hour the provisions required for their march should be ready.
You will immediately let Us know by one of the messengers We have sent in your suite, the day of the departure of the men, and in the meantime will make use of the placart you have with you, signed with Our name for the provisions destined for that force, so that they may be ready in the places at which they will act. Their march is to be strait to the river Meuse, taking the high road (chaussée) to Haynault and thence to the town of Ayre, in the neighbourhood of which the king of England has resolved to concentrate his forces. (fn. 7) We must, moreover, inform you that We have written to the Dean and Chapter of Liege, that on the application of you both, or of either of you, they are to keep in readiness provisions as well as lodgings for the men.
Meanwhile both, or one of you, shall remain with the English commissaries and captains of the men, and will take notice of the manner and ways in which the men behave, especially towards the Emperor's subjects in that neighbourhood of the said Aix, and should you find that these latter are too exacting, or in any way oppress and ill-treat the country people, you will remonstrate in the mildest possible way and as you think most proper with the commissaries and commander-in-chief of the band, giving all and each of them, and especially the latter, to understand—without, however, entering into a debate or having high words with them—that being well paid their men ought to forbear committing outrage; (fn. 8) and you will request and pray to see to it, so that We may report favourably both to the Emperor and to the king of England about the men, and praise their good behaviour and discipline.
Whenever the Germans are ready to march you will suggest to the English commissaries and to Landberger himself, that they should march together in one body, and follow the same route, without separating or breaking into small groups, that they may be more easily provided on the road with food and anything else they may want. Besides this, the commissaries will take care, wherever the men halt, to publish franc marché, and closely forbid any outrage to the vivandiers. (fn. 9) Both, or one of you, to be constantly near the commissaries and commander-in-chief of the force, and have a guard of archers under you, to watch and report on the conduct and behaviour of the men, that you may from time to time remonstrate with the commissaries and commanderin-chief, should there be occasion for it; the remonstrances, if any, to be made with all possible mildness, begging them to correct the abuses and indiscipline of the men. (fn. 10)
But before your departure from Aix, you will take care of what has passed between the said commissaries, captains, and commander-in-chief, and yourselves, and how you have found them disposed to behave during the march, and you will report to Us in writing what places the men halt, and We will then let you know more at full of Our intentions, as well as of the road which you are to take.—Bruxelles, under Our name, on the 29th of May 1544.
French. Original draft. 3 pp. (fn. 11)
31 May. 113. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—The day before yesterday the privy councillors sent me word that an order had come down from the King commanding that Octavian Bos should be again examined and questioned as to whether he had any accomplices in the treasonable dealings of which he is accused. This being done (said the message to me), Octavian shall be placed in your hands to be transmitted to the Queen Regent of the Low Countries. I therefore most humbly beg Your Majesty to send me Your commands and instructions on, so that I may know how to act.
Another message also came from the privy councillors purporting that they had heard from secretary Paget the pain and solicitous care Your Majesty had taken in the furnishing of the transport ships, horses, and waggons, and that the King, their master, was wonderfully pleased, and thanked You very much for it. The King (said the message) had also been glad to hear that his answer to king Francis' letter had met with the Emperor's approval. Of that letter, and of this King's answer, I gave a sufficiently detailed account in my dispatch of the 18th ult., (fn. 12) owing to the said secretary having assured me that he had no positive orders from his master to show Your Majesty. Nor can I say whether the said Paget has since procured orders to do so after the perusing of the draft of my letter to Your Majesty, which at his particular desire I showed him, and principally the excuse made by the King for not attending personally the understanding against France, respecting which article I took upon myself at secretary Paget's intercesion, and in order to please the members of the Privy Council to write to Your Majesty, to write too boldly perhaps.
That is why, Madame, I beg your Majesty not to impute to temerity my action on that occasion.
To day Your Majesty's letter of the 21st inst., concerning the code of rules for Monsr. de Bèures' direction at sea in conjunction with the English fleet, has come to hand. The privy councillors have made no difficulty whatever to grant their approbation of them, provided similar ones are issued in favor of the English. When ready I will forward them to Your Majesty and to Monsr. de Bèures.
At this very moment, and when about to close and seal this dispatch, Your Majesty's letter of the 25th inst. and the summary of the conference held by secretary Paget with Your Majesty, as well as of the answer made to his proposal, have come to hand. (fn. 13) No observation or remark need, in my opinion be made, neither is there anything to add or retrench to the answer on the subject of public or private acts. Should these people speak again about them and repeat the arguments made by the secretary, I will conform myself entirely with the substance of the answer, and with regard to the financial operations which Your Majesty has heard the English wish to make in the Low Countries, I will do my best to dissuade them from it; for certainly, as Your Majesty rightly observes, it would be highly inconvenient for Your Majesty to have to pay four patons of Flanders for each angelot; that would in future cause the price of the royal and demi-angelot to rise, by which means an infinite quantity of angelots, and also of “royals,” will be taken out of Flanders—and, indeed, a large quantity of them has already come to this country. I shall not fail to advise Your Majesty of the Council's final resolution on this point.
I must not omit to say that this King's army is now returning from Scotland without stopping before any castle or fortified place whatsoever—not even before Melsome (Melrose?), which they thought of taking, strengthening, and keeping—all because the drink for the men began to fail. I have no doubt that the said secretary has informed Your Majesty how Leith and the castle in the neighbourhood have been abandoned, owing to their having no time to fortify them, and yet it would have been requisite to further strengthen both the town and the castle, and keep there a considerable force; but it appears that the expedition against France, now near at hand, has prevented it. The keeping of those two places might have been very à propos for the protection of the fisheries on the coast, which, however, the Scots are not likely to disturb or prevent during this present year, for the greatest part of their ships have been taken or burnt by the English; besides which, there is every appearance that affairs in Scotland will go on better and better for this King. Indeed, he has fresh news from that country, as some of his privy councillors have come to tell me that the counts of Lynns (Lenox) and Glancairn, who hold for him, have had a sharp encounter with the troops of the governor (Arran) and his party, many of whom had been slain; and among them one brother of the governor, a squire and his secretary, and other favourites of his. The Cardinal has been singularly displeased and disheartened at this defeat of the governor's men, and also at the taking of the five ships, which, as I wrote to Your Majesty, he intended to arm for the protection and defence of a certain town of his where he kept his plate and his best furniture—for ships and all were sacked and burnt by the English. Indeed, the Cardinal was in such fear and perplexity, that he was thinking of crossing over to France, stealthily and in disguise, on board a small craft, armed and equipped in the English fashion (armoyé et accoustré d l'anglaise). For that reason the King's privy councillors should wish that Your Majesty gave orders for the warships of the Low Countries to keep good watch at sea, so as to prevent the passage of the above-mentioned craft. The above news seems to me, in many respects, as important as the victory of the army to which I alluded in former dispatches. Of whatever may happen in Scotland, I shall not fail to apprise Your Majesty.
These privy councillors beg Your Majesty, in the most affectionate manner possible, to be pleased to send to the ports and harbours of the Low Countries where the hulks or transport ships for the passage of the English are stationed, some persons of authority to hasten the fitting out and departure of the same, notwithstanding the bad weather and contrary winds at sea, for otherwise they would have to wait too long. Once under sail and at sea, the hulks might, though the weather was rough, get along with the tide, and, serving themselves of it when far in the sea, navigate with all winds. Please Your Majesty to look to it.—London, the last day of May 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 2 pp.
31 May. 114. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—After closing and sealing my other letter of the same date the privy councillors have sent me word that the King, their master, after hearing their report on the financial operation which he thought of making in the Low Countries, had remarked that he found it rather strange that Your Majesty should object to it. That operation he never intended to make until Your Majesty was sufficiently provided to meet it. He was satisfied to pay what he owed to the men he had in Flanders, in coin of that country. It was a very small sum in comparison with that which he would have to leave in the hands of peasants and Flemish soldiers in his service. He did not act in the affair himself as the king of Portugal, who did every day negociate much larger sums at Antwerp. This message the privy councillors sent me without considering that the money which the factor of the king of Portugal raises at Antwerp did generally remain in that city.
Neither did the privy councillors agree to their own merchants being obliged to take an oath on the quantity and quality of the goods they introduce at Antwerp, entirely disregarding my remonstrances on that score. And, in short, it seems as if these people would like to have all the mercantile questions settled to their advantage and profit. —mdash;London, 31st of May 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 1 p.
31 May. 115. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—After the receipt of your despatch of the 17th inst., it has been published here in Brussels, that king Henry's affairs in Scotland are going on most prosperously for him. It is reported that most of the Scotch nobility are prisoners of the English, and letters have also been received, stating that the Queen (widow herself) her daughter, and even the Cardinal (Beton) are under their power. As in your dispatch of the 27th, no mention whatever is made of such events, and as We are particularly desirous to hear of that King's good successes, We request you to let us know as soon as possible whether the reported news is true, and the King's successes in Scotland are as great and decisive as reported.
We had yesterday news from the camp in front of Lutzenbourg (Luxenburg). It would appear that the French garrison inside that town had offered to surrender and evacuate the town by the 6th of June next, if by that time they were not, with arms and baggage, succoured by king Francis. The viceroy of Sicily (Ferrante Gonzaga), who is in command of the Imperial army, has agreed in the Emperor's name to the capitulation, one of the articles of which bears that the French garrison will issue out at once with arms and baggage, and that out of the four infantry battalions (enseignes) which compose it, two shall evacuate the place at once, and the other two remain until the day actually fixed for the surrender.
News has also been received from Spires respecting the treaty lately concluded between his Imperial Majesty and the duke of Holstein. As soon as We get a copy of it We will send it to you, that you may show it to the King. We hope that in this way there will be an end put to the notices and warnings which that King is daily giving you of the assembling of troops in the parts of Oost (du coste d'Oost), for which, however, please thank the King in Our name.
With regard to Octavian Bos, the Milanese, he has been fully convicted of high treason, and of his having promised to get information there and transmit it to the common enemy. He had gone to England as prisoner (La Chapelle says) to hear news and report on events, which news he was to put down in writing and send to La Chapelle in France. We request you to have him well interrogated and examined about his other accomplices, if he had any in his treacherous correspondence, and also respecting the white sign (blanc signe), which he delivered to Monsr. de Vendôme. If the English consent to send him here to Us, they may depend upon Our being as careful in extracting from him every detail of his treasonable attempt against their King as if the Emperor, Our brother, was personally concerned.
As to the transport ships (navires passagiers), of the non-arrival of which the privy councillors complain, imputing the delay to Our ministers, We wrote to you on the 21st inst., that We had already done and would do in future all that was due for the service of the allies, so that if fault there was, surely it could not be imputed to Us or to Our ministers. But since you write again on the 27th that the English seem inclined to throw the blame on Our ministers, We are going to inform you in detail of the measures that have been taken here to ensure the fitting out and sailing of the said transports, as well as of the preparation of carts and waggons made for the use of the English army apart. Some time ago We wrote to you, as you must be aware, that We wished to know beforehand the precise time at which the King's army was likely to cross the Channel, in order to have the provisions as well as the transports and waggons ready, and yet We never got a resolute answer to that question of Ours, until now that you send Us word that both the transports and the waggons (chariots) must be ready for the 15th of June. As soon as the King's commissaries landed at Antwerp everything they might want to execute their commission was facilitated to them; they were furnished with authority to stop all vessels and press them for the service of their King at reasonable prices. This they got in writing the very same day of their arrival in this country. We did more, We appointed one of Ours to assist and help them (fn. 14) in their requisition, whom they dismissed and sent back the day after without their having written or said one word about their commission until the 24th inst. (fn. 15) when they sent a message to say that the masters of vessels retained by them in Holland refused to go to sea for fear of some French warships that were known to be in the neighbourhood. When We heard of that We sent an express messenger to the Admiral and governor of Zeeland commanding them to detach towards the coast of Holland some of the warships that were then ready for sea, for the purpose of driving away the French. Since then no news has come from the English commissary, nor do We know at present whether they have retained ships for the transport service, and if so, how many, and of what tonnage. We only know that the people of Antwerp complained of the English commissary having retained in that locality more vessels than they can really want. We have, however, taken no measures to interfere between the masters of the vessels and the English commissary because the latter has not called to Us for assistance, and has on the contrary sent back those officers appointed by Us to facilitate their work, so that if fault there is it is not Ours, but of the English who do not seem to have much knowledge or experience of these sort of affairs; or else that if their commissary has had proper instructions he does not know how to keep to them.
The same may be said respecting the waggons (chariotz). As soon as the commissaries, appointed by the king of England to look out and retain the number and class of waggons required for his Royal service, landed at Antwerp, We sent them a list and full description of the districts and localities where horses and waggons could be procured, that they might examine it and see whether it would do for their purpose, and enable them to ascertain whether the number and class of horses and waggons they wanted for heavy luggage, ammunition, and provisions of the English army, would be ready. Our own officers behaved in that respect, as it was their duty to do; they placed into the hands of the English commissaries the above-mentioned description, by means of which the latter were enabled to make a list and calculate where and in what number horses and waggons could be retained for the service of the King, their master. But We must say that continually, nay daily, complaints are coming in from peasants, whose horses and waggons have been retained for the Royal English service, that it is so long ago since the retention and engagement did take place, without their having received any money on account of their service contracted for, that many, the poorest amongst them, will be shortly obliged to sell their own horses for want of fodder to give them. Our own officers there deputed by Us to help and assist the English commissaries in the above said requisition called the other day on the King's ambassador here and respectfully stated to him their opinion as to the order and manner of the requisition, and told him that it was necessary to appoint someone to pay the men some money on account, as otherwise they will not move, for it cannot be expected that poor, as most of them are, they will feed their horses on the road to Calais or to the English camp, without getting some advance on their wages. The ambassador has written home to the Privy Council about this; whether he has, or has not, received an answer We cannot say, for up to this day neither We, nor Our commissaries, have received any notice.
In a like manner the Belgian commissaries, in charge of the provisions of food for the English army, have communicated with the English ambassador as to the best way of proceeding orderly and regularly to the execution of their charge; the ambassador, as it appears, has also written home about this, but has not yet received an answer, or if he has, Our own commissaries have not been informed of it.
After this plain exposé of the facts, it will be for you (Chapuys) to consider if the accusation of negligence and want of care on the part of some of Our ministers can in any way be supported. You are, therefore, earnestly requested to take the very first opportunity of remonstrating with the members of that Privy Council, and giving them to understand that the same, if not greater, diligence and care has been used in providing for the wants of the the English army as for the Imperial, and that We find it very strange indeed that if their Own commissaries have been guilty of negligence, or are unacquainted with the duties of their charge, the fault should be imputed to Us or to Our ministers, when We Ourselves have no authority or command over English functionaries. (fn. 16) It is quite sufficient for Us to help the English with whatever they may want, as We have done hitherto, paying perhaps more attention to their wishes and demands than if they were the Emperor's Own.
While writing this letter the brother of the English ambassador, residing at this Our Court, called to say, that during the illness of the latter he has taken up, with Our consent, these and other affairs of the English embassy; that he has sent a message to inquire how Our naval commissaries were proceeding on the charge entrusted to them, at the same time declaring that he imagines that the vessels are already in the ports of England, but that respecting the waggons and provisions he has no news at all from the privy councillors, though he expects a letter from hour to hour, and certainly before inculpating others, the English ought to consider that they have here a man to represent them who has been for some time confined to his bed from a dangerous illness, that may end fatally one of these days. Even if he were in good health, he is totally unqualified for the transaction of military affairs for which he has no taste or liking. Generally speaking the officials sent here by the English king, are so ignorant in matters appertaining to war, that if We did not take care to assist and help them in the discharge of commissions from England, the King of that country could not be well served. (fn. 17)
Just at this moment We are in receipt of letters from His Imperial Majesty, purporting that he will take no resolution respecting the letter which the admiral of France sent to Us, before he knows what the king of England thinks of it. We are now sending to him an abstract of your despatch of the 17th inst., (fn. 18) in which you allude to the French Admiral's message, and its purport which you have shown to the King, and what the latter has answered. As to Us, We do not intend to answer the French Admiral's missive, you will tell the King.
A duplicate of the Sieur de St. Martin's letter, which fell into your hands, has been forwarded to the Emperor. The letters patent of that King for the safe-conducts, have been received.—London, 31 May 1544.
Addressed: “To the ambassador in England.”
French. Original draft. 3 pp.
— mdash;May. 116. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—After the receipt of your letter of the 18th inst., and before the arrival of that of the 19th, which came the day after, one of the King's principal secretaries (Master Paget) arrived here, who, after exhibiting his credentials, and offering the King's commendations and thanks to Us for the great care and solicitude (as he said) with which We had attended to his affairs, began to make the demands and claims contained in the appended note, of which another copy has been forwarded to the Emperor. After giving him as courteous and polite an answer as possible, We have sent one of Our privy councillors to him for the purpose of answering all his demands. One of these was relating to the imprisonment of count Boniface. He (Master Paget) was told that the Count had been taken prisoner in this country (par decha), (fn. 19) and he was wearing secretly the band (escharpe) of the king of France, which is a capital offence, as military men assert. We would gladly have given orders for his release, merely to please the king of England, had it not been that, according to the report of Our officers, the Count, whilst in prison, did use most insolent language, threatening that he would have his revenge in some way or other. (fn. 20)
Master Paget complained also of the English merchants being obliged to declare under oath the sort of merchandise they brought to these countries, whereas the standing rules of the intercourse of trade were that English manufactured goods were not to be visited, and that now an affidavit under oath was required. On this point the King's secretary has been answered that the affidavit is only a substitute for the visitation, in order to avoid trouble and loss of time, and that there is no real cause for the English merchants to complain of the measure, since after all they themselves are made, as it were, judges in their own cause. Otherwise they would be compelled to exhibit their goods and merchandise, and undergo a troublesome and annoying search, which would be worse for them.
We have deemed it necessary to inform you of the above particulars in order that, if you (Chapuys) are interpellated on the subject by the King's privy councillors, you may at once reply to them according to Our views in this matter.
With regard to the affair (fn. 21) mentioned in your despatch of the 18th, the Emperor will decide and let you know.
For the last two days an Englishman, who says he has a commission from the king of England, has been trying at Antwerp to raise money for his master. We are told that he is contracting for a loan of 100,000 ducats per month. We are rather surprised at this, inasmuch as We know the king of England to be rich, well furnished with cash, and in no need whatever of financial operations at present. If, however, the King is in want of money, and wants to raise it by means of a loan in this country (par decha), that will retard considerably the affairs of the Emperor, who, on account of the long distance and risk, cannot well bring his money from Spain, and has necessarily to apply to the bankers of Antwerp or Augsburg; whereas the king of England can easily bring his own here with perfect security. We Ourselves are obliged to raise at Antwerp the greater part of the money granted to Us by the States, for the taxes do not come in as promptly as they ought; and the consequences will be, that if there is such a draft on Antwerp, money will become scarce, and the operations of the future war may be cramped through it. That is why We request you to inquire and ascertain whether the King has really given the commission above alluded to, for fear others should borrow the money in his name; and if so, give him to understand, as graciously as you can, that We desire nothing so much as to be useful to him here, and do his pleasure in every way, but that for the above-mentioned considerations and reasons We beg and entreat him not to employ on this occasion the bankers of Antwerp, but remit his money from England, as otherwise the Emperor's operations against the common enemy may be retarded.—[May 1544.]
Indorsed; “To the ambassador in England.”
French. Original draft. 3 pp.


  • 1. “Aussi ont ilz faict de ce quil a pleu à vre. mate escripre en response aux lettres de l'admiral de France sans prealablement en assentir le dit sr roy envers le quel ilz tiendroient main qu'il use en semblable cas de mutuelle courtoisie.”
  • 2. “Et n'est rien si certain sinon que si leur Commissaires se retrouvoient presentement içy quilz leur feroient tres maulvois tort (tour?) combien quilz n'exemptent de culpe ni negligence les ministres de vie mate, les quelz pour estre l'affaire aultant importante pour sa mate que pour le dit sr roy, leur me (maistre) voyant la negligence de leur gens, y debvroient remedier. Ilz prient tres affectueusement v[ost]re. mate vouloir faire donner toute extreme haste à l'envoy des dits navires et tout le surplus que concerne leur charge se plaindent merveilleusement les dits du Conseil de ça dite tardance mesmes pour aultant que dois quelques jours en ce les souldres (la solde?) que ce roy donne à ses gens de guerre se paye comme si desja ilz estoient aux champs.”
  • 3. “Et le fist loger tout aupres de la Court l'ayant faict rencontre[r] par le comte de Surrey et mc (maistre?) Trevenet avecq fort grande et belle compaignic, et depuis son retourd il a esté diverses fois à la dite Court, ou le roy luy a faict toute le meilleure chiere du monde et la royne encoires plus grande.”
  • 4. “Et hier sur mon advis il se trouva au dit Conseil, les quelz lui fisrent les mesmes planitifz (sic) contenu en la dite copie touchant la tardance des dits navires.”
  • 5. “Chevalier gentilhomme de nostre maison et lieutenant de nos archiers.”
  • 6. Christopher van Landenberger, colonel of German horse.
  • 7. “Que sera en tirant droit vers la riviere de Meuze pour trouver le chaussee et passer par Haynault vers la ville de Aire entour de la quelle le dit sr roy dangleterre est resolu faire lamas de son armee.”
  • 8. “Sans toutefois entrer en aygreur ne debat, principalement que puis quilz sont bien salaries et payez, que se deussent deporter de faire telz oultraiges. Les requerant et priant y pourvoir affin que ayant (ayons) occasion de nous en louer envers l'empereur et le dit sr roy dangleterre.”
  • 9. “Sans eulx escarter ne deborder affin que tant plus commodement (commodieusement) ilz soient pourveuz de vivres. Et que oultre ce ilz facent (sic) publier franc marche en gardant estroictement que les vivandiers ne soient oultraigez.”
  • 10. “Aiant toutesfois quelques archiers parmy les gens de guerre pour prendre regard à leur conduyte et nous advertir de ce quilz trouveront pour en tenir propos aux dits commissaires et chef, et les exhorter et induyre en toute doulceur à y donnor meilleur ordre.” This paragraph, as will be observed, is almost a repetition of the preceding, but as it is not effaced in the minute, and is also in the Simancas copy, I have not suppressed it.
  • 11. A copy of these Instructions with the same date, is also at Simancas. See the transcript of it in Vol. XXII. of Bergenroth's Collection, Add. 28,593, 80.
  • 12. See above, No. 100, p. 164.
  • 13. See above, No. 109, p. 178.
  • 14. “Et leur balasmes (baillames) ung pour les assister.”
  • 15. “Jusques au ce mois quilz manderent que les navieres quilz avoient retenu en Hollande noyossoient (n'y osoient) sortir de leurs havres à cause de d'aulcuns navieres de guerre franchoises que les aggesoient (guellaient)”
  • 16. “Mais que trouvons estrange que si leur commis estoyent negliges (negligeants) que par aventure ne sçavoient bien respondre de leur charge, que ce nous pourroit estre imputé à nous ou à nos ministres veu que nous n'arons aulcun commandement sur leur Commis.”
  • 17. “Et certes ceulx de par de là s'ilz veuillent encoulper aultruy debvroient considerer quilz laissent içy un homme maladde (sic) jusqu'à la mort que ne peult negocier, et quand il seroit en santé [il] n'est qualiffié pour traicter les affaires de la guerre, aussy ceulx qu'ilz envoyent sont si petitement instruitz que si on ne faisoit aultre diligence par decha en ce quilz apportent d'Engleterre ilz en seroient tres mal servis.” The ambassador alluded to in the above passage was Dr. Layton, dean of York, who succeeded Dr. Nicholas Wotton in November 1543. He died eight months after at Brussels.
  • 18. See No. 97, p. 161, where Hannebault's letter to queen Mary is first mentioned.
  • 19. “Tant sur l'emprisonement du conte de Boniface qui a esté apprehendeé par decha.”
  • 20. This is in part a duplicate of queen Mary's letter of the 25th (No. 109), though referring especially and more in detail to Paget's mission.
  • 21. That of the French overtures, and admiral Hannebault's letter to Queen Mary.