Spain: June 1544, 1-15

Pages 193-202

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.


June 1544, 1–15

3 June. 117. The Emperor to King Henry VIII.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Tres hault, &c.,”—By your first secretary, Messire Guillaume Paget, We are in receipt of Your letter, and the object and aim of his mission. In the first place we thank you most cordially for sending so well qualified and intelligent a personage to visit Us, and likewise for the good news of the prosperity of your arms as well by sea as by land, in Scotland and in other parts. We also thank you warmly for the care you take in letting Us know continually the military preparations you are making, and in sending me an account of your views and intentions, as well as your advice on the whole.
As you will hear from Your secretary's lips what Our answer to Your message has been; as his talent (suffisance) and the trust you place in him are great, and as We are now writing to Our sister, the dowager queen of Hungary, to send a personage of her court to you for the better resolution of the charge given to Your secretary. We will not trouble you with a longer letter.—Spire, 3 June 1544.
French. Original draft. 1 p.
3 June. 118. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable, chier et feal,”—Your letters of the 17th and 18th (fn. 1) ult. have been received, and We have also those you wrote to the Sieur de Granvelle on the 22nd. (fn. 2) On the 26th the King's principal secretary arrived, and next day he declared to Us the charge he had from his master, which charge consists of the four points mentioned in your letter; the last and most important of which is the King's desire and intention of crossing the Channel, and commanding his own army in person. The inclosed note (escript) will inform you of what We Ourselves first, and the Sieur de Granvelle afterwards, have answered on that particular point, and therefore, We do not see the necessity of saying more about it; only that, when the note was put into the secretary's hands, both he and the King's ambassador at this Our Court approved, or at least seemed to approve, of Our reasonings, and found Our arguments in favor of Our personal command strong enough. They also praised above all things Our resolution—of which the Sieur de Granvelle informed them on the following day—of sending to England from Flanders some high personage or other for the purpose of better persuading the King to adopt the mutual line of conduct traced in the said note, without however letting him know that both his secretary and his resident ambassador here approved of Our advice in that respect for fear of wounding the King's susceptibilities in so delicate a matter. In this sense We are now writing to Our sister, the Queen, that she may send to England conjointly with the King's secretary now going back, either the Sieur de Courrières or the Sieur de Courbaron, whichever she pleases.
As to the English army for Our common undertaking against France, as far as We can gather from the Secretary's words, there is an attempt to persuade Us that We ought to be contented with 30,000 men, and that the remainder of the force which his master is bound by treaty to furnish be left to his discretion, to be employed in some enterprise personally led by him, or by a lieutenant of his elsewhere, adding (fn. 3) that the passage of the 30,000 men could not take place so soon [as was thought], but that every possible diligence would be made to quicken their embarkation, for them to land on the Continent between the 8th and 10th of this present month of June.
Our answer to the Secretary has been, as you will see in the enclosed paper to which We again refer you. It will be fit and convenient that the personage whom Our sister, the Queen, is to despatch to England along with the King's secretary, who is going back, and you yourself take note of what is said in the paper, and make the King understand what Our will in the matter is, though the reminding must be done cautiously, and in such a manner that the King and his privy councillors may not fancy that We consider that as a satisfaction to, and complement of, the treaty with Don Fernando Gonzaga.—Spiere, 3 June 1544.
French. Original draft. 2 pp.
7 June. 119. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—Your Majesty's letter of the 31st of May (fn. 4) has come to hand, and seems to me so satisfactory and good respecting the matters therein treated, that I can imagine nothing better. Both the excuses made by Your Majesty's ministers and the instructions given to this King's commissaries for the execution of their charge could not be in my opinion more clearly defined or satisfactorily explained than they have been. That will help me considerably to convince this King and his privy councillors of the necessity there is of their providing victuals and the carriage of the same through the Low Countries. For that purpose I have not only shown to them the passages of Your Majesty's letter respecting that matter—with which, moreover, the King seems perfectly satisfied—but I also read to him those relating to the Luxenburg capitulation, and that of the duke of Holstein. He (the King) was still more glad to hear of Your Majesty's will respecting those capitulations, of which I gave him a full and detailed account. He was likewise pleased to hear Your Majesty's answer to the letter of the High Admiral of France (Claude d'Hannebault).
Respecting the hulks (fn. 5) and transports the King also seemed satisfied at the activity and diligence displayed by Your Majesty in the matter, since they are already in these waters.
The affair of the victuals and the transport thereof has also been settled by the privy councillors, who have promised to attend to it.
No intelligence has been received from Scotland since the date of my last; should any fresh news come I shall not fail to apprise Your Majesty.
Inclosed are some copies of the letters patent which Your Majesty was pleased to send me on the 25th ult.; the remainder has been sent to Monsr. de Beures. (fn. 6) I most humbly beg Your Majesty to order that similar ones be sent here as soon as they can be, after having them read and promulgated in the ports and harbours of the Low Countries, just as these people will have theirs.
The King has no objection but rather approves of Monsr. du Rœulx listening to the overtures which it is reported some Frenchmen intend to make to him, sure as he is that he will not allow himself to be deceived by foolish and ill-founded promises, and will not fail to communicate with Monsr. de Norfolk who, after his landing in France, has charge from this King to treat with him of that and other affairs. I have no doubt that the enterprize of Montreuil will also be discussed at the conference.—Londres, 7 June 1544.
P.S.—Respecting Octavian Bos, the King sends me word that he will be delivered into my hands, provided I undertake to send him on to Your Majesty. I am only waiting for orders.
I must not forget to say that the King and his Privy Council wonder much why the Imperial fleet of warships that is to escort the transports have not yet arrived in the Channel. Should it not have left those ports, let it set sail as soon as possible.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Holograph. 2 pp.
8 June. 120. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—After the receipt of your letter of the 31st of May a gentleman of the king of England arrived here, stating that he brought commission from his master, the King, to procure XIc. (eleven hundred) draft-horses (tymoniers) and Vc. (five hundred) waggons (chariotz), to be at Calais by Thursday next, the 12th inst. We have given orders that the commissaries charged by Us with the delivery of the said waggons and horses to the English should hold an interview with the English commissary. They tell Us that they have seen the Englishman, but he says that he is alone, has no co-adjutor or clerk to assist him in his duties, and, therefore, that he cannot attend to the carts and horses by himself. Having then asked him whether he would have carmen from this country to drive the horses, he answered that he had no instructions from home as to that; which answer, to say the truth, We have found strange enough inasmuch as it is absolutely impossible for one single man to get together quickly, and collect in one spot, such a large number of waggons (chariotz) and horses as must necessarily come from different provinces and districts of these Low Countries. Nor is it less difficult either for one man alone to collect and get together three thousand draft-horses and fifteen or sixteen hundred carmen or drivers (chartons), who by-the-way are not the best conditioned people to deal with. As the general custom of this country is that for every hundred pioneers (peonniers) raised for the service one commissary is required; and the Englishman as he says and owns is quite alone, it seems to Us as if his employers were rather improvident and careless, in thus sending only one man to execute so important and heavy a work as to levy such a number of waggons and horses. (fn. 7) Since the man himself, as he owned to Our ministers, has no instructions at all from home, save one closed letter, the consequence of all this will be that notwithstanding the great care taken here the fault will be imputed to Our own ministers without whose care and assistance, and particular regard for that King's service, We do not hesitate to say things might have been in this respect much worse than they are, and the king of England himself will be sadly disappointed, as We wrote to you the other day.
We have considered it necessary to inform you of this in detail that you may tell the King's privy councillors to bestow in future more care on affairs of this sort, and not throw the blame on Us if they are not served more quickly and efficiently. However this may be, that the King's service might not be further delayed, We did immediately after the receipt of your letter of the 31st ult. despatch to the districts and more closer to Calais to furnish the number of horses and waggons demanded by the King's commissary, and make them go with the greatest possible diligence to the place of their destination, so that We are confident that the King will soon be served according to his wishes. The same pressing orders shall be issued for Flanders, although it will be impossible to have the waggons and horses delivered on the day the English want them, the time is short. You must tell the King's privy councillors to be pleased, in future, whenever they may want horses and waggons for their master's army, to let Us know some time before, for they will have to come from a much greater distance. It will also be requisite that they themselves provide conductors, who can speak with the drivers (chartons), to take care that the latter do not hide or desert, or allow their horses to be stolen or killed, otherwise they will find that when all the waggons and horses have been procured, very few will remain in this country, their numbers will be soon diminished, for most of the drivers will rather lose their horses and return home than be kept in service against their will, as was found by experience last year. (fn. 8)
We have avoided speaking further to the King's gentleman on the subject, or recommending him to employ as conductors natives of this country and who can speak the language of the drivers—for fear he (the King's gentleman and commissary) should suspect that We want his master to incur greater expenses in this affair, or put money into the hands of our country people; and yet We firmly believe that unless the King's privy councillors decide to employ people of this country to superintend the carmen or drivers, these latter will desert and their master's service will not be done.
In answer to your letter of the 31st May, if the king of England will remit to Us the person of Octavian Bos, and have him delivered into the hands of the governor of Gravalinghes (Gravelines), We will take care that he is brought here [to Brussels] that he may be tried, and, if guilty, that exemplary justice be made.
As to the hulks (hues) or transports, We are ready to do the King's pleasure, and send some person of authority to hasten the fitting out of those that are to transport the King's army across the Channel, but the fact is that, as stated in Our last, We cannot at this present moment ascertain where nor on what part of this coast the King's commissaries have retained the said hulks. (fn. 9) However this may be We hear from the English ambassador's secretary that he has news of their having already sailed off.
With regard to the financial operation the King is thinking of carrying on in this country, since he is disinclined to listen to Our observations and follow Our advice, it will be convenient to let him do as he pleases, for although his plans will in a great measure affect His Imperial Majesty's service in these Countries under Our government, yet We are unwilling to throw obstacles in his way in matters principally concerning his service.
The above-mentioned Secretary to the English ambassador here resident has applied for a passport for 30 Flemish mares, which he says the King has caused to be purchased in this country, and which had been stopped at Gravelinge (Gravelines). As the governor of that town had already written informing Us of the arrest, and saying that the merchants who had charge of the said mares confessed that they were not in reality sold to the King, but were exported to England to be disposed of there, We have remonstrated with the English secretary who solicited the passport, telling him that he did wrong in stating that the mares were for the King's own service when they were not; that every day complaints come before Us of English merchants trying to export without a licence out of Flanders and these Low Countries anything they please, and if the customs house officers offer any opposition, or stop the goods, they say that they are destined for the king of England's service, which is generally an untruth. This much was said in Our name to the Englishman, who excuses himself with the contents of a letter he has received from the Debitis (Deputy) of Calais.
We have considered it fit to enter into these particulars in order that if you hear people talk about this, you may answer in conformity with the above, and represent to those privy councillors that every day We are told of merchants trying to deceive people of these Countries into exporting goods, from times of old prohibited, on the plea and excuse that they are for the king of England's service, or for his ministers and courtiers, which we need scarcely say is highly unreasonable. That is why We have signified to the English ambassador residing with Us that whenever the King or his people (les siens) wish to export from this country, and take over any prohibited articles or goods, they are to let Us know beforehand, and every possible favor shall immediately be granted to them; but that if merchants present themselves at Gravelinge, or at any other port, with prohibited articles or goods on pretence that they are for the king of England's service the customs house officers must needs do their duty, as the English do in similar cases—seize the said articles and sell them off for the benefit of the Imperial Treasury and their own, since a portion of the sale money has by law been assigned to them to encourage them the better to do their duty, carefully watch and examine what passes through the customs house, and prevent the introduction or export of prohibited articles.
Count de Rœulx has written to Us that a gentleman of king Francis' chamber wishes to speak to him on certain political matters, as you will see by the inclosed letter of the Count to Us. We forward it to you (fn. 10) that you may show it to the King, who cannot fail in his consummate wisdom to understand what the French are about, trying, as they always do, to sow discord and engender jealousy between His Imperial Majesty and him. They are, however, greatly mistaken; they will not gain their purpose. It seems to Us that the practices of this French gentleman in question have something in common with those of the Sieur de Saint Martin a few months ago; but as he has had no answer from the Count de Rœulx, he may perhaps desist from further communicating with him.
We have just this moment received intelligence that the French have evacuated the grand duchy of Luxemburg according to capitulation, and that the Imperialists have entered its capital, and found inside 40 pieces of ordnance, of which 30 are cannon and half-cannon, and 80 large casks (tonn) of gunpowder.—June 8, of 1544.
French. Original draft. 4 pp.
11 June. 121. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—Your despatch of the 7th inst. in answer to Our letter of the 31st of May, came duly to hand, as well as the letters patent issued by command of that King. You will find herein inclosed similar ones for the use of the English, which We have caused to be promulgated according to your advice in all ports of these dominions.
As We informed you by Our last letter of the 6th inst., between the hours of seven and eight on the clock, the French garrison of Lutzenbourg (Luxemburg), numbering in all 14,000 men, evacuated that city, having previously made an inventory of the artillery and munition left behind, which consists of 41 cast-iron guns and 140 casks of gunpowder, all in good condition, and without being spoiled or damaged in the least, and letters have come from the spot stating that the walls are in good repair and the town itself so well fortified that had the French defended it for any length of time, it would have proved to be almost impregnable.
We have been singularly pleased at hearing that the transports (navires passagières) sent for the crossing of the English army have reached their destination, and, therefore, that the landing of Our allies will suffer no delay. With regard to carriage you must know by Our last the preparations here made, and the irregularity and want of order of the English ministers and officials, who, for taking charge of three thousand horses, and fifteen or sixteen hundred carriers, sent one single man, and him without any letter of introduction for Us, or for some of Our ministers to assist and help him in the execution of his work, which step We Ourselves took care to advise and recommend to Paget, that King's First Secretary, when he passed through this city [of Brussels] on the 9th inst. on his return from his mission to the Emperor's Court. It happened that after waiting two whole days for that ambassador We had gone out into the fields for the sake of recreation and sport (à la chasse), having first given orders that should the King's Secretary arrive in the meantime, We were to be immediately informed. So it was done, for in the evening of the day of Our departure the King's Secretary, although he was duly informed of Our temporary absence, and requested to wait two or three hours for Our return to Brussels, would not stay, alleging that he was in a great hurry to go, and had besides nothing of importance to tell Us, save both the purport of his embassy to Spire, of which We had previously been informed, and the answer he himself had received from the Emperor, which must be known to Us. He knew, moreover, that Monsr. de Courrières (Jean de Montmorency) had already departed for England on a mission, and, therefore, begged to be excused if he left immediately for England, where he was anxiously expected and wanted. All this the Secretary said to the officers of Our household, begging them to express his regret at his not being able to spend a few hours in Brussels, all the time requesting Us not to leave for his sake the chase and sport in which We were then engaged. Notwithstanding the Secretary's courteous message, We should have much preferred having a few minutes conversation, and begging him to present Our most affectionate and grateful regards to the King, his master, for the very kind terms in which he spoke to Paget about Us, when the latter first came to this Court [of Brussels], and the praises of Our solicitude and care in all matters concerning the alliance.
With respect to provisions and so forth, though a long time back, We gave orders that every branch of that service should be carefully attended to; though We caused placards to be fixed everywhere, granting complete freedom to merchants and retailers (vivandeurs), of articles of food to frequent the English camp and given full notice of Our orders in that line to the last English ambassador, (fn. 11) the one who died, yet up to this hour We have not been told how the English wish to be served in that line, and yet it is important that We should be apprised in time, in order that the army of Our English ally should be provided with food at the same time and as abundantly as that of the Emperor, Our brother.
We hope that the warships under Monsr. de Bèvres are by this time under sail, since We are in receipt of letters from him that the whole fleet is ready to put to sea, and that he was only waiting for a favourable wind to raise anchors and sail away. Since then We heard that for the last forty-eight hours the wind has been fair, and therefore We have no doubt that by this time the Imperial fleet of these Low Countries has reached its place of destination.
As to Octavian Bos, We wrote last requesting you to ask the King to have him transported as far as Gravelinghes, which might easily be done under the custody and keeping of some of the many soldiers who are continually crossing the Calais Strait, as We, Ourselves, could not do so without the help and assistance of the king of England. We are now of opinion that if you find the least difficulty as to that you must have the prisoner delivered into your hands and try to procure a vessel of this country, on board of which the prisoner's person, well tied and bound, may be delivered and brought either to Zeeland or to Antwerp, as may be, the master of the vessel being paid on arrival the sum stipulated according to contract.—11 June 1544.
French. Original draft. 2½ pp.


  • 1. No. 96, p. 159, and No. 99, p. 163.
  • 2. No. 106, p. 173.
  • 3. “Le dit Secretaire, à tout ce que l'on a peu comprendre, a tousiours tenu principale fin que nous voulsissions [nous] contenter que le dit Sieur roy envoya[t] seulement pour la dite emprinse XXXm hommes, delaissant à son arbitraige denvoyer la reste à faire quelque autre emprinse de l'autre coustel fust (soit?) avecque sa personne ou par autre commis.”
  • 4. No. 115, p. 187.
  • 5. “Et quant aux hues (hulks?), il se tient tres satisfait.”
  • 6. “Survenant aultres ne deffauldray den advertir v[ost]re. [mate] à la quelle envoye vues (unes?) des patentes dont il [a] plust à icelle m'escripre par tes lectres du XXVc. du dit mois, et les aultres ay envoya à Monsr. de Beurez.”
  • 7. “Et nous semble que ceulx de par de là font bien petit debuoir de envoyer ainsy leurs gens si cruement pour lever si grant nombre de chevaulx et chariotz, car, comme il a confessé, na aulcune instruction, mais seulement une lettre close, et si sont (ainsi sont ilz) faciles de gester (jetter) la coulpa sur ceulx de par decha, et si on ne faisoit yçy melieur debvoir de les assister ilz seroient tres mal servis.”
  • 8. “Et que prendent regart quilz ne se desrobent ou laissent tuer ou desrober leurs chevaulx, aultrement quant ores on les avera trouve tous les chevaulx et chariotz quilz demandent, ilz seront bientost diminues, surtout que la plus part deulx vouldront avoir perdu ses chevaulx et povoir retourner au logis, comme avons trouvé par experience l'an passé.”
  • 9. “Ne sçavons ou ne du quel quartier les commis du dit Sr roy ont retenu les dites hues (hourques).”
  • 10. Here a marginal note of the president of the Flemish Council with the following order: “Soit fait `copie de cette lettre et de l'originale et envoyée,” but neither the Frenchman's letter, nor De Rœulx's answer to it has been found.
  • 11. Dr. Layton, dean of York. The text is: “Et du tout adverty l'ambassadeur trespassé, et luy [avons] faict bailler par escript que le tout estoit prest; mais n'avons èucoires este advertie du coste de la.”