Spain: June 1544, 16-20

Pages 202-208

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

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June 1544, 16–20

17 June. 122. King Henry to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. The Sieur de Courrières (Jean de Montmorency) bearer of this, my letter to you, has faithfully delivered your message, and spoken about the Emperor's answer to the proposals made by Paget in my name. As to my own reply on the subject, you shall hear it from the lips of De Courrières himself.—Westminster Palace, 17 June 1544.
Signed: “Henry.”
French. Original. 1 p.
17 June. 123. The Same to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch., Rep. P. Fasc, C. 235. Paget has returned [to England] accompanied by Monsr. de Courrières, and We have perfectly well understood from the report of Our principal Secretary (Paget), as well as from that of Your Majesty's envoy, what your opinion is respecting the overtures and proposals which Our said Secretary has made to you.—Westminster, 17 June 1544.
Signed: “Henry.”
French. Original. 1 p.
18 June.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
124. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
“Sire,”—On the 12th inst. Monsr. de Courrières and secretary Paget arrived here together, by whom Your Majesty's letter of the 3rd came to hand. On the ensuing day we applied to the King for audience, but he excused himself on account of the arrival at Court of count Lennis (the earl of Lennox), a Scotchman.
On the 14th, Monsr. de Courrières and I waited on the King, who showed great satisfaction at hearing of the good disposition of affairs [abroad], and also at our congratulating him, in Your Majesty's name and in that of the Queen Regent, on the success of the Scottish expedition. Then, coming to the principal point of our charge, the King began to say that Your Majesty's excuses rested principally on two grounds One was the actual promise made to the States of the Empire to attend personally to the future undertaking against France; the other, the different nationalities of the general officers in command of the Imperial army.
As to the former point, he (the King) thought that the States of the Empire, after hearing the explanation of the cause and reasons given to Your Majesty by his secretary (Paget), would not insist upon that promise being fulfilled. Then, as to the second, he imagined that the undertaking would be far more dangerous than it was thought at first, inasmuch as for some time back king Francis had made most wonderful efforts to increase his forces; and, what is still worse, had issued orders for the havoc and waste of every sort of food on the passage of the invading army, which wanton havoc and waste, as he understood, had already commenced by the King's orders. The reasons, moreover, which Your Majesty alleged (continued the King) for himself to remain at home, and not attend the expedition in person—such as his illness, and so forth—were not sufficiently strong, and might, on the contrary, be brought to bear against Your Majesty, inasmuch as his (the King's) present indisposition was accidental and transitory, whereas gout, from which Your Majesty had been suffering lately, was an awful disease, a return of which at the approaching autumnal season would be extremely dangerous. Besides which, to hazard Your person so far into France without having first gained and taken possession of some territory or other at the back, so as to have the shoulders guarded, and insure the free passage of victuals, would be a most rash and imprudent movement to make. It would be far better to lay siege to two or three large towns on the road to Paris, than to go on to the capital of France and burn it down. As to counting upon the rebellion and consequent assistance of the French people against their King, that was pure vanity, for never before had the French risen in rebellion against their King.
As to the latter point—that is to say, the Emperor's excuse that the quality and different nationality of the commanding officers in his army rendered his own presence indispensable —mdash;it seems to me that, such being the case, the Emperor ought not to trust his person among them, and for that very reason not assume the supreme command over it.
Upon which Monsr. de Courrières and I replied graciously, and according to Your Majesty's orders and wishes as it seemed to us; and yet the King, not approving of our warnings, and wishing to exaggerate the danger in which Your Majesty might find yourself, began to say, rather ungraciously, that he had heard that many of the men that Your Majesty had levied had deserted, that the French had occupied Nancy, and that in Italy the whole marquisate of Montferrat, except Sainct Salvadore and another town, had fallen into the hands of the French; that the people of La Mirandola had made common cause with and joined the Piedmontese, and that whatever we might say to him he would never be persuaded that the news he had received from various parts were not true. Lastly, he told us that, after reading Your Majesty's letter and the answer to his Secretary, which he desired us to give him, he would pass the papers to his Privy Council, there to be examined, and let us have his answer.
On the 15th the privy councillors met and deliberated; but on the 16th, owing to the sudden arrival [in London] of count Obersteyn, and of certain other officers of Christophe de Landenberg's band, we were not, as we expected, summoned to Court. Yesterday, the 17th, however, early in the morning, De Courrières and I went again to the Privy Council to hear what had been the result of the deliberations and the King's answer. Instead of that, the privy councillors began to speak to us about the contract entered into with Christophe de Landenberg, saying that according to that contract the above-mentioned captain was to be paid at the rate of sixty “paies mortes” by battalion of men (enseigne); the King had since increased the number to one hundred, and now Landenberg absolutely declared that he would not serve for less than four hundred, (fn. 1) which exorbitant demand the King, their master, was unwilling to grant, for fear of introducing such bad custom in future. The King, therefore, did not intend to avail himself of Landenberg's band on such terms. The privy councillors added that there was still another reason for the King refusing to grant that captain's demands. He had, in conversation with the Royal commissaries, openly defied them, making, among other insolent remarks, that on a previous occasion he had well dared to disappoint both the Emperor and his brother, the king of the Romans, and that he would not hesitate now to do the same with the king of England. (fn. 2) The King, my master (proceeded one of the privy councillors), has been pleased to communicate the above facts to us that we may inform you (Chapuys) and Mr. de Courrières, in order not only to justify himself towards the Emperor, but to beg him to be on his guard concerning the aforesaid Landenberg, and prevent him from going over to the enemy. And upon our telling the privy councillors in general, and the one who spoke last in particular, that if such was the case they could easily dismiss Landenberg and his band from English service, and enlist other foreign troops, they replied to us that it was too late to look out for recruiting elsewhere; and, moreover, that they were not wanted, as there were in England plenty of men willing to serve abroad, and more than sufficient to cover Landenberg's deficiency and make up the number of troops, which, in virtue of the treaty, the King their master was obliged to furnish for the invasion of France, inasmuch as their number would surely exceed 40,000 Englishmen paid by the King, without counting those under the command of Mr. de Buren, and six thousand English cavalry and three thousand foreigners, including those that Your Majesty is to send them.
After dinner, Mr. de Courrières and I (Chapuys) went to see the King in his own chamber, and he recited to us the substance of the above conversation concerning Landenberg, adding that after all it was very fortunate that the said captain had declared his intention so soon, and before war operations had actually begun; for otherwise, had he kept quiet, and then brought on his most unjustifiable demands, a good deal of disorder and scandal would have ensued.
After this the King went on to say that we, the Imperial ambassadors, must already have heard from his people (ses gens) what his answer would be to the charge brought by his own Secretary (Paget), and the request made by Your Majesty that he should take particular care of his person and health by following your very wise, cordial, and amiable advice and representations on that subject; but that, thank God, he was at present doing very well, and thinking of crossing over to Calais as soon as possible, ordering his army of 30,000 men to pass on, and in the meantime preparing the remainder of his forces, and doing exactly as contained in the message delivered to Your Majesty by his own Secretary (Paget). Once at Calais he would decide to march on as he would deem it necessary or convenient to assist Your Majesty in your warlike plans and for inflicting greater damage upon the common enemy, all this being done according to the prescriptions of warfare. He ended by most warmly thanking Your Majesty for the care and solicitude you had shown for his health, reciprocally and instantly begging Your Majesty to take particular care of yours, which he said he valued no less than his own. All this the King said to us with very good grace, begging us write to Your Majesty proposing that some high personage of the Imperial Court should come here and inspect (recoignostre) his army whenever it is assembled, under the supposition that you will be pleased to hear the report.
However soon the King may be prepared to cross the Channel, we (Monsr. de Courrières and Chapuys) do not believe, according to our information, that his passage will take place before the 8th of next month, or thereabouts. As to the King going beyond Calais, as he says, I (Chapuys) do not believe it, unless it be by mere chance (par aventure), or by a determination to besiege Montreiul, to which he has shown a certain inclination. (fn. 3) Indeed, before the departure of secretary Paget with his last message to Your Majesty, that Secretary himself had given me to understand clearly enough that the King his master, at the request and prayers of his privy councillors, and other high personages of his kingdom, that he should excuse himself from going personally over [had decided to acceed to their wishes]. So that, in my opinion and in that of my colleague, it is to be apprehended—to judge from the difficulties and inconveniences he is continually putting forward—that, when called upon to push on into France, he will excuse himself somehow, unless he hears of Your Majesty's successful invasion of that country, and a victory gained over the common enemy.
According to information procured by Mons. de Courrières and me (Chapuys), there is every probability of the count of Lynns, about whom I wrote, marrying this King's niece, daughter of count Douglas. I cannot say what salary he will receive as compensation for the company of 100 men-at-arms which he held in France, and to the command of which he succeeded after the death of his uncle, Mons. d'Aubigny. The count is young and good-looking, and brings with him a brother of his, who is a bishop. (fn. 4)
The King's affairs in Scotland go on prosperously, and are getting every day more favourable. The King himself said the other day to Mons. de Courrières and to. me (Chapuys) that he had heard that only a very small number of his own people (the English)—so small, indeed, that it seemed incredible, and he did not like to mention it, though he had the report of men who had been present—had defeated and slain a good number (multitude) of Scots, and made several prisoners among the officers, besides setting fire to and burning down the best towns of Scotland, after Idembourg (Edenburg).—London, 18 June 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Originaly, almost entirely ciphered.
18 June. 125. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—Your Majesty's letter of the 8th inst., (fn. 5) inclosing another from the Emperor to me, came duly to hand a few days ago. With regard to the preparation of waggons (chariotz), the duke of Norfolk, as I hear from these privy councillors, has already made the necessary provision. As to the transports (charruees) from that country, they are already here, as I mentioned in my last. Since then the Emperor's warships, under the command of Monsr. de Bèvres, have also arrived in the Straits, (fn. 6) at which the King and those around him have evinced great satisfaction and content. Yet whatever the latter may say about the greater part of their army being already on board, there is still much to be said, though it must be owned that they are making all possible haste in preparing all things for their departure, and have written to Monsr. de Bèvres telling him to have patience for 4 or 5 days, and not to take in bad part that unavoidable delay; and the King himself has written to him a gracious letter of welcome to his kingdom.
With regard to the mares detained at Gravelines, no further application has been made to me for their release, and it seems to me that it was good council and a wise measure not to allow any forbidden merchandise to be exported from the Low Countries without sufficient proof that it is really intended for Royal service, or by the King's express commands. Your Majesty's letters patent in favour of this Lord High Admiral have been received here, and delivered to him. (fn. 7) They have given general satisfaction, as well as the news which I gave them of the recovery by the Imperialists of the whole duchy of Luxenburg and its capital town—so important and advantageous feat of arms, owing to its great strength and to the artillery there found.
With regard to Octavian Bos, I hope to be able to send him to Your Majesty by the very first transport ship (charroie) that leaves here for Flanders.
The rest of the news Your Majesty will hear by the verbal report of Monsr. de Courrières, as well as by the inclosed copy of my despatch to the Emperor.—London, 18 June 1544.
P.S.—I forgot to say that this King was very much pleased when I showed him, the other day, the copy of Your Majesty's letter to Mons. de Rœulx. He (the King) is of the same opinion as Your Majesty with regard to French practices, saying that since his last answer, rejecting entirely their overtures, he has given him to understand clearly that if they fancied they could at any time create jealousy or dissension between His Imperial Majesty and himself, they were very much mistaken, and that in future he (the King) would no longer listen to their overtures. (fn. 8) —London, 18 June 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 2 pp.
18 June. 126. King Henry to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Thanks her for her good will and assistance in the matter of provisions, horses, and carriages for his army. Has heard of it through his commissaries [in Flanders], and is grateful for all she bas done in that way. And whereas the Queen's commissioners, who have come here [to Calais] for the purpose of providing for the wants of the English camps, have duly exhibited the written orders and instructions received from her to that effect, nothing more is wanted than to request the Queen to allow her commissioners to remain some time at Calais. Supposing, therefore, that the Queen will not find it inconvenient or otherwise disagreeable, the King has retained her said commissioners, and requested them to reside at St. Omer for some time, that they may, under her orders, and conjointly with the English commissariat, procure and collect provisions and other necessaries for the English camp before Montreuil. The King, moreover, is sure that the Queen will do everything that is fit and convenient for the common interest of the allies.—Westminster Palace, the 18th of June 1544.
Signed: “Henry.”
French. Original. 1 p.
19 June. 127. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch, Rep. P. Fasc, C. 235. “Madame,”—The members of this Privy Council, and chiefly the bishop of Winchester (Stephen Gardiner) and others, who have the charge of superintending the victuals [for the English army] have given me notice that one Robert Reynold, merchant of this city, has purchased at Camphers, through his factors there, named Thomas Bertor and Thomas Ros, some quantity of dried fish to be brought here to England for the King's service, and that now that the above-mentioned merchants wish to have the fish sent here, he hears from friends and correspondents of his that difficulties are raised at the port. The privy councillors beg me to write to Your Majesty about this, and be pleased to order that the cargo be released and the export allowed.—London, 19 June 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. l½ pp.


  • 1. “Et comme oultre le convenu avec le dit Landenberg le dit sieur roy n'estoit obligé qu'à donner soysante payes mortes pour chascun enseigne, ilz avoient augmenté jusques au nombre de cent, et que maintenant le dit Landenberg disoit absoulutement quil ne serviroit sans en avoir quatre cents par enseigne.”
  • 2. “Pour aultant que le dit Landenberg a deu braver contre les commissaires du dit sieur roy, et leur dire entre aultres choses avec oultre cuydement qu'il avoit bien osé aultres fois osé desplaire à v[ost]re. mate et au roy des Romains, [et] que trop plus facillement pourvoit il desplaire au dit sieur Roy.”
  • 3. “Et quoy quil die de passer plus avant de Calaix, je tiens pour tres certain quil ne passera dillec si ce n'estoit par adventura s'il se resolvoit faire assieger Montreuil, en quoy semble qu'il inclincit voulentiers, et desja devant que partit le dit secretaire pour v[ost]re. mate il m'avoit assez clerement donné à entendre que le dit sr roy à la tres instante requeste de ceulx de son Conseil et aultres bons personnaiges du royaulme d'excuser son allee personelle en la dite emprinse, et est à craindre que mal voulentiers envoyerant il s'en armee bien avant au dit France.”
  • 4. “Il y a apparence que le susdit comte de Lynns espousera la niepce du dit sr Roy, fille du conte Douglas. Ne sçay quel traictement luy sera faict dailleurs en recompense de la bande de cent hommes d'armes qu'il a laissé en France, à la quelle avoit succedé apres la mort de Mons. d'Aubigny, son honcle. C'est un seigneur jeusne, de bon visage, que semble estre de tree bonne grace, et [il] a amene avec luy ung sien frere evesque.”
  • 5. See above, No. 120, p. 196.
  • 6. “Et depuis sont venus aux Dunes lea navires de guerre de Sa Mate.”
  • 7. “J'ay delivré les patentes de v[ost]re. mate faictes en faveur de l'admiral du dit sr roy, qu'a esté chose aggreable à ceulx-cy.”
  • 8. “Disant que puisquil a rebrouté (rebouté) pour (par?) sa derniere response les dits françoys leur donnant clerement à entendre quilz se fourcomptoient de pouvoir mectre jalousie on dissencion (sic) entre sa mate et luy, quilz se deporteront (deportassent) de rechercher et reprendre la pratique.”