Spain: June 1544, 21-30

Pages 209-224

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

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June 1544, 21–30

24 June. 128. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'Ambassadeur,”—The account which you (Chapuys) and your colleague (De Courrières) have written to the Emperor respecting the displeasure and annoyance which Colonel Landenberger (sic) has caused the King, who now absolutely refuses to keep him in his service, has, to say the truth, caused Us great regret, and We know not what to do, or how to proceed in that affair, for it happens that before the receipt of your joint letter of the 18th inst., the said captain and his men had already crossed the river Meuze (La Meuse), billeting themselves on the poor inhabitants of the country of Liège, and declaring that unless they were paid all that was due and the money they were entitled to they would not move on, but would remain where they were. Such, indeed, have been and are the extortions practised by Landenberg's men on the people of Liège and its immediate neighbourhood that any damage or harm sustained from an enemy might have been more tolerable to them, only that the Germans under Landenberg have hitherto contented themselves with taking, or snatching away, food and drink wherever they found it, without attempting the waste and destruction of the crops and fruits of the land, otherwise the ruin and havoc caused by an enemy is more general and complete.
Matters being in this state, and hearing that one of the English commissaries had arrived here [in Brussels], We sent for him to know from his own lips the origin and causes of the differences between Landenberg's infantry and the King, his master. The English commissary stated that Landenberg had done nothing towards fulfilling the conditions of his contract and that, although he had since been offered the same amount of pay, which the Emperor is in the habit of giving to his German infantry, that colonel (fn. 1) had obstinately refused to take service unless all his demands were fully complied with. This the English commissary could not grant without express orders from the King, his master, besides which Landenberg himself had already received 18,000 crs. in advance for services which he had not rendered.
Such was the verbal declaration made by the Royal Commissary in Our presence. On the same day two of Landenberg's deputies arrived in this town; one from the infantry, the other from the cavalry, under that captain. Both came here [to Brussels] complaining highly of the king of England's commissaries, who, they said, had failed to make their appearance on the day fixed for passing muster, to the great prejudice and loss of the men themselves. The foot soldiers, as they maintained, were willing to serve the king of England on the same conditions and wages as those given by the Emperor to his infantry recruited in Germany; but the English commissaries would not pay them the one month's wages which were then due. Of this the Royal commissaries had only paid them five or six thousand crs. on account, with which payment the infantry could not possibly return home. As to the cavalry their deputies complained that they had no real engagement (retinue), as you (Chapuys) may easily gather from their note (billict) in German, of which a French translation is here inclosed. Such being the state of things, We have ordered that an answer be prepared for the aforesaid deputies in the following terms: To the infantry, that We have been informed that the king of England will no longer retain them in his service, and has, therefore, licensed or dismissed them, and that since their deputy said that the men would gladly go home on payment of their arrears, and of one month more for their return—a distance of upwards of one hundred leagues—We would willingly have their case properly represented to the king of England. With regard to the cavalry, that We will make Our ministers communicate with the English commissaries in order to know what provision had been made in England respecting them. This being done, as We promised to the deputies, it was found that when the English Royal commissary was called upon to answer Our inquiries, he was absent from this place, having gone to Antwerp. We immediately sent to Diost, the lieutenant of Our body guard, with thirty mounted men, to bring here in safety the other English commissary, and the remainder of the money he might have with him. This precaution We took owing to a rumour afloat of the Germans under Landenberg having threatened the commissary's life in order to ascertain what money he and his colleague had brought from England, and what payments they had made out of it, for while the commissaries asserted that they had disbursed 18,000 crs., the Germans maintain that they have only received 10,000 or 11,000 in all, a considerable difference, which must be accounted for one way or other. The worst is that all this time Landenberg's infantry remain where they are, living at the expense of the poor inhabitants of Liège and its vicinity, and committing all manner of extortions, which are driving the people to despair, they meanwhile throwing all the blame on Us for having led them at Our personal requisition and prayer to receive the said Germans within their territory, believing, as they did, that they were already in the King's service.
You may well imagine what displeasure the poor inhabitants of Liège and its vicinity, and the subjects of His Imperial Majesty in general, will feel at seeing themselves robbed, and utterly ruined by those whom they received and sheltered as friends, but who are not only behaving as enemies, but setting fire to the houses, and wantonly destroying property. We have sent a gentleman of this town expressly to the foot soldiers to signify to them that the king of England will not take them into his service, but We doubt their consenting to go home without their salary being paid in full from the day of their enlistment.
As to the cavalry, it cannot be supposed that having come such a distance at their own cost and expense they will now consent to go back home without pay or indemnity of some sort; but from what We hear, they would consent to remain in the king of England's service if the English commissaries would only promise to pay them the usual stipend; otherwise, We very much fear that they will seize the property and goods of every English merchant they meet on their journey back to Germany.
This intelligence We send that you may represent the state of things to the King, and at the same time request him to be pleased to give orders to his commissaries to come to terms with the German infantry, though to say the truth We do not see how their claims can be settled unless they are paid one month or six weeks' stipend, considering that they will have to return home. This, as far as the infantry is concerned; the cavalry, who, as We are told, are all men of substance, declare that they have nothing to do with Landenberg, and would never have mounted their horses for his sake or at his bidding, only that in obedience to the Emperor's warrants they had enlisted for the king of England's service, which is a different question, and having come so far at their own expense, they can hardly be dismissed without some compensation.
With respect to the Sieur de Courrières' mission in that country, since the King has come to a decision there is nothing more to say save that We are glad of his having approved of the Emperor's proposals.
Ever since the departure of Secretary Paget a servant-secretary of the late English ambassador, deceased, (fn. 2) has been applying for a licence to export three horses, which he (the King's Secretary), as he says, had purchased for his own use. In addition to that the said servant-secretary has applied for a passport for two mares, which passport We have refused to grant, because the Secretary in question (that is Paget) had not, that We know of, mentioned the fact to anyone at this Court. Since then, the very same individual (that is the deceased ambassador's servant) has applied for two mares for the King's secretary, and what is more, has exhibited a paper of the King's asking passport for 200 mares, which We must own We find very strange. We have, therefore, refused altogether the licenses applied for, and have sent to the man a message thus conceived:—“We do not choose to have these countries under Our government so entirely despoiled, and the peasants thereof deprived of their mares (jumens).” (fn. 3)
We have considered it fit to inform you of these particulars in order that should you be interrogated about it you may know what to answer.—24 June 1544.
French. Original draft. 3 pp.
24 June. 129. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable, chier et feal,”—We heard yesterday that Captain Christophlo de Landenberg, after having long been encamped with 1,000 horse and 4,000 German foot, most of whom were quartered upon, and living at the expense of Our patrimonial subjects in the neighbourhood of that town, (fn. 4) had suddenly removed to Liège, where his men are now oppressing and practising all manner of extortions on the inhabitants. (fn. 5) As We were preparing to send to the above-mentioned Captain and men a gentleman in waiting of Our chamber, named the Sieur de Holstentein, (fn. 6) came to inquire into the reason of their going thither, bid them go elsewhere, and put a stop to the damage they are inflicting on the country people, the English ambassador residing here with Us, called and said that owing to certain differences which had arisen between the said captain and the King, his master, concerning the pay of his men, the latter was rather inclined not to employ him and his band, which determination, if carried into effect, might, as you are aware, be of great inconvenience [to Us], since the infantry, being so close to the French frontier, might one of these days be tempted to take service under king Francis, who, on the, other hand, would grant them any thing they asked for, as may be inferred from his own secret practices and intrigues with the body of German infantry lately levied by Us. (fn. 7)
In consequence of the above facts We have been obliged to keep a strict watch over Captain Landenberg's band, and if necessary have punishment inflicted on the delinquents, to which effect We immediately sent the above-mentioned Astertain to Liège, that he may persuade Captain Landenberg and his band to be contented with the terms offered by the king of England, and should he not succeed, to treat with them to come to Us to some place which We shall name, and thus prevent their going over to France, which must be avoided. Meanwhile, the said Sieur de Astertain will go to the queen dowager of Hungary, Our sister, and inform her of the mission he has from Us, that she herself may take cognisance of it, and request the king of England to try and settle Landenberg's business as economically for himself as he can.
It will, moreover, be your duty as Our ambassador to lay before the king of England a proper view of this case, and at the same time a warning of the inconveniences that might arise from his not taking into his service and paying Captain Landenberg's band, which might be avoided by his commissaries having the affair settled as soon as possible.—Metz, 24 June 1544.
French. Original draft. l½ pp.
26 June. 130. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen Of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—Before the arrival in London of Jehan Syimmich, the bearer of Your Majesty's letter of the 12th inst., (fn. 8) I had already prepared a vessel (charrue) and everything else needed for the transport of Octavian Bos, and the vessel was only waiting for fair wind to sail off. Having since heard by Your Majesty's letter what your orders are respecting the said Octavian, I have delivered him into Symmich's hands, bound and fettered, as is fit, for the greater security of the prisoner during the voyage.—London, 26 June 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 1 p.
26 June. 131. The Queen Of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—Whereas the foot and horse under Landenberg (fn. 9) complain bitterly of the king of England's commissaries, who, they say, have fulfilled none of the conditions of their engagement, nor the promises made to them, since they still refuse to pay them one month's wages (gaiges), whilst the Germans themselves maintain their readiness to serve the king of England without asking for higher terms and salary than the Emperor is accustomed to give to those in his service; and whereas they have come from such a long distance to serve the king of England, whose terms they accepted solely at the Emperor's request, and not influenced in the least by their colonel (coronel), for whom they cared but little, the English ambassador being present at the Imperial Court—all this being done with the knowledge and in the presence of the English ambassador then residing at the Imperial Court, We find it very strange that the king of England should now wish to dismiss them without paying them at least the time they have served and that needed for their return home. That is why We request you most particularly to remonstrate with and represent to the King that if he dismisses these men without their pay, or without a composition of some sort so as to satisfy them, he is sure to lose all credit with the Germans, and will not be able in future to raise one single man among them. You will also tell him that if he refuses to take Colonel Landenberg into his service, the cavalry under that commander, to say nothing of the infantry, will not serve under captains appointed by the king of England.
There is still more to be said on this affair. We cannot exactly understand, though We have carefully read your last despatches to the Emperor, whether the king of England refuses the services of Landenberg because he dislikes him, or whether he means also not to employ the horse as well as the foot recruited by him in Germany, and whether his commissaries here are or not aware of his real intentions in that matter.
Meanwhile the men are here encamped, ill-treating the poor country people, and living upon them, and therefore We request you to go to the King and actually represent to him how very important it is for his own reputation not to dismiss the horse and foot in the manner that his commissaries have done, without paying them for the time they have been in his service. Although the King's commissaries assert that they have paid the men no less than 18,000 crs., of which they have a receipt, the men deny having received as much—which, however, would not cover one month's pay—alleging that the utmost the cavalry have received is 5,000 crs., and the foot soldiers 6,000 crs., making in all 11,000 crs., which sum is by no means sufficient for one month's pay; for the cavalry, if dismissed, will want at least three months' pay, counting from the day of their enlistment and arrival here until their return home, maintaining that such are the words of the engagement under which they agreed to serve the king of England, besides which it is not customary to raise cavalry for only one month, as there would be scarcely time enough for the men and horses to reach their destination and go back home.
As to the foot soldiers, they demand at least one month's pay, and one fortnight's more for their return home.
We fancy that the King's commissaries, if they have really and truly disbursed the 18,000 crowns, as they say, must include in that sum the enlisting fee (loirgalt), and reckon as part of pay what is only a gratuity for Upper Germany. The custom is for the captains to give that first instalment of money to the foot men, in order to keep them contented and satisfied till the day of the general muster. If, therefore, the Royal commissaries, in their account of the money paid to the Germans, have included that first bounty as pay, they have made a mistake. However that may be, unless the said Germans are reasonably satisfied, We cannot prevent them from going over to France, for, having come from so far off, and being so close to its frontier, they could easily do it before We had time and a sufficient force collected to frustrate their designs, which would be of great help to the enemy who would not fail to seize such an opportunity and make his profit out of it, by publishing that the king of England does not wish to harm or injure them since he is dismissing part of his army, which rumour, if dexterously spread and circulated, would certainly work against Our present common undertaking against France. The King ought also to consider that these Germans, having penetrated so far into this country, are an intolerable nuisance to Us, and that We hope they will not be dismissed from the King's service without paying them their due, and having them conducted to the spot where they passed their first muster, and thence separate them so that each man may go home, without throwing them all together, as it were, upon the hands of his friends and allies.
For the above reasons We again recommend you to employ all means in your power to persuade the King to retain the said German cavalry and infantry, and give orders to his commissaries to pay them their due, and make them march towards Calais, there to join the English army. After duly representing to the King the above-mentioned considerations, you will take care to advise Us as soon as possible of the King's determination in this affair, in order that Astertain the gentleman whom the Emperor sent to treat with the said Germans, may know what he is to do next.
P.S.—“Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—In case you should perceive that the King one way or other refuses to retain in his service, the German cavalry and infantry under Landenberg, you will try to persuade him by all convenient means to pay them what is reasonably due to them, not only for the time they have served him, but also for that of their march back home without stopping, as the misunderstanding that may exist between the said colonel Landenberg and his own commissaries. Both the German infantry and the cavalry under Landenberg are composed of old and worthy soldiers experienced in warfare. As to the latter (les chevaulcheurs), who had to procure in haste horses and harness for the purpose of serving the English, they might with more justice still resent the King's resolution; but you should take care not to put forward the above said means as long as you have any chance of persuading the King to employ the said Germans, especially recommending you again and again the management of this affair, as one from which depends in a great measure the success of the enterprise against Our common enemy, the French.
French. Original draft. 3 pp.
—June. 132. News from Scotland.
Wien, Imp. Arch. About twelve days ago mylorde Evre (Evers), and his son Messire Rauf, (fn. 10) wardens of the Eastern and Middle Marches, advanced at the head of 3,000 Englishmen, upon a town called Jedworthe, (fn. 11) one of the chief places in Scotland after Edinburg, naturally strong and well fortified, having at all times a numerous garrison for its defence, especially since the beginning of the last war, when the neighbouring country was wasted and sacked by our army. After a sharp encounter with the Scots, of whom 120, including several gentlemen, were slain, the town itself was taken by storm, sacked, burnt, and razed to the ground, as well as the abbey close by, and the English returned to England bringing with them 500 horses laden with the spoils of the enemy.
On their return home our men saw far away in the distance a great fire on our frontier. Suspecting what might be the cause and occasion of the fire, and that perhaps the enemy in the meantime had made a raid [in England] and set fire to some village or farmhouse on our frontier, they sent forward 110 cavalry to the spot where the fire was; but the men rode thither so fast, and spurred on their horses in such a manner, that before they reached the place most of the poor beasts were completely done up and refused to go on, so that 80 of them, with their riders, had to remain behind at a convenient spot in ambush. The remaining thirty men, being better mounted than the others, pushed on, and happened to fall in with the Scotch party, consisting of 800 horse and 100 foot, who, thinking they might do something of importance, had secretly and at night crossed the Borders, though they had achieved nothing save setting fire to a poor little house not worth 30 ducats. The thirty Englishmen made a sudden and furious onset on the Scots, who, fancying that such a small number of men could not possibly attack them unless they were backed by a much larger force, took to flight in disorder, and came to the very spot where the rest of the English cavalry was hidden in ambush, the result being that more than 120 of the Scots were slain, and 217, mostly gentlemen of birth, were taken prisoners and brought over to England. One hundred more, in their flight, were drowned in a river which they attempted to pass. In the pursuit of the enemy our men had no loss whatever in dead or wounded, but at the storming of the town there were six men killed or wounded.
Now the Scots, in all the extensive territory round that town, have no castle or fortress left wherein they can assemble and meet in any number to come to England and do us injury.
In short, the victory won over the enemy looks more like a miracle from Heaven than anything else. May God be praised for it!
French. Original. 2 pp.
27 June. 133. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen Of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—I hear from the privy councillors that about 200 mares, that the King, their master, had caused to be bought there [in Flanders] for his service, have been stopped at Dunkerk. I humbly beg Your Majesty to issue orders for their immediate release.—London, 27th June 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 1 p.
27 June. 134. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable, chier et feal,”—Your letter, and that of Mons. de Courrières, explaining what you (Chapuys) and he had conjointly done in execution of your charge, have duly come to hand, besides which the English ambassador at this Court has put into Our hands a paper, signed by his master, bearing on the subject, the substance of which may be reduced to five points, as follows:—
The first relates to his army and Ours invading France, on which point there is nothing to remark save to say that you are to thank the King, whenever there is an opportunity, for the care he takes of Our person, and for his good counsel and admonitions, using reciprocal terms of courtesy and acknowledgment as you may think most fit and convenient.
The second, relates to his own passage, and that of his army, in the way and at the time specified in the King's paper, and the distribution of his forces as he (the King) may judge most suitable and convenient for the enterprise. We need not say that you are to bear in mind Our formal answer to Secretary Paget when he interrogated us on the subject, as you must have seen by the mission, which Mons. de Courrières took to England, so as to ensure, as stipulated and settled, that the king of England send at least 30,000 men into France, according to the agreement entered into when Don Fernando Gonzaga was last in England, and that in all other matters the King may do his pleasure, all the time giving him to understand, in the most gracious terms possible—and this is most particularly requested—that, considering the forces which he thinks the king of France has, or may have, in the field, he will act so as to oblige the latter to divide his own, and thus we both may more easily overpower the French, and carry out Our designs. On this particular point you shall insist, making use of your customary discretion and dexterity so as not in any way arouse the King's suspicions or make him angry.
As to the third point, namely the King's advice to Us not to penetrate too far into France except on solid grounds, and to make sure of provisions for Our army, We have already, and will in future, attend to it with all the care and attention that the matter deserves; but the news that the King has heard of King Francis having given orders for the wasting of land and burning of provisions along the frontiers of France, cannot be authentic, and requires confirmation, for We have not yet heard of it. You must, however, thank the King for his good advice, and tell him that We shall take the utmost care that provisions be not wanting in Our march into France.
Touching the undertaking against Paris, the King must recollect the agreement entered into when Don Fernando Gomage was in England, and it seems to Us that since then nothing has occurred to necessitate a change or modification of the plans then concerted, and that, on the contrary, the above-mentioned Secretary Paget, when he was in Spire, represented that military expedition to be so easy that neither the person of the King, his master, nor Our own was necessary for the undertaking, so much so that it could be carried into execution by Our respective lieutenants and commissioners. As to king Francis' forces, We hear every day from reliable sources that they are by no means so considerable as the French themselves pretend, their chief hope consisting in 12,000 Swiss, if the king of England, who had consented to contribute with a sum of money on his own side, would certainly not have taken part with the French. Even now Francis' ambassador, who is now bargaining with them, is not sure of retaining their services; perhaps, too, the defeat which the French have lately experienced in Lombardy will make them look twice before they enlist; besides which, if the information that has come to Us be correct, even if the Swiss accept the terms proposed, they “will not be ready before the end of this month. To conclude, if the king of England causes his 30,000 men to enter France before the 10th inst., at the same time that we invade it by another frontier, as the said Secretary expressly assured Us he would do, and then makes his army march on, the French will be weakened this side as well as on the side of the English army, as they will be obliged to divide their forces as above said; and, since the King cannot fail to see the advantage of a movement of this sort, We need not insist further on this point.
With regard to the news which the King says he has from France, We can assure him that it is entirely false, and lately forged for the purpose of concealing their last defeat; but let the King hold for certain that what We have written to him is the pure and simple truth, and that We hope still, with God's help, to receive soon more pleasing tidings from the same quarter.
Respecting Landenberg and his band, We cannot tell you more than We wrote on the 24th inst., the gentleman whom We sent to him not having yet returned from his mission. We still persist in our idea that it would be very convenient and desirable that the King should take him into his service in order to obviate the inconveniences of which We expressly spoke to his ambassador here, and that, even in the case of his bringing over 40,000 Englishmen, the King will not entirely fulfill the conditions stipulated with Don Fernando respecting the foreign foot and horse that he is to enlist. Nor ought the King to demur, at the terms demanded by Landenberg, because those terms once accepted, and that Captain having commenced service, and continued in it for some time, should he reproduce his demands or make fresh ones, We would, on the King's mere request, have him punished in a manner to give him complete satisfaction.—Metz, 27 June 1544.
P.S.—We told the English ambassador who was last here with Us that lately the new duke of Lorraine (François) wrote in his own hand to the Sieur Granvelle that his uncle, the Cardinal (Charles), had wished him to inquire from the former whether, on the application of a safe-conduct for himself, he would be allowed to come to Our camp; Mons. de Granvelle's answer has been that unless he knew beforehand what was the Cardinal's object in coming, he could not possibly ask Us for one. Since then the Duke himself has come here to Metz, and has told Granvelle that the Cardinal had not declared to him the cause for which he wished to see Us, nor could he guees at it, save that he fancied that it was for the sake of making overtures of peace. We have taken no notice whatever of the Duke's words, nor has the Sieur de Granvelle given the least sign of wishing for the Cardinal's coming to Us. If you find au opportunity for it, you may say so to the King, that he may be informed of what passes here, as it is reasonable and just that he should be, and as the perfect and everlasting friendship existing between Us two demands.
French. Original draft. 4 pp.
28 June. 135. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable, chier et feal,”—This present will be merely to apprise you of Our arrival here at Metz, (fn. 12) which We entered accompanied by the duke Mauritius of Saxony and the marquis Albert de Brandenburg, with their respective menat-arms and some companies (enseignes) of infantry. Yesterday, on the road to this town, We received news from Commerse that the garrison of that town had surrendered at discretion to Don Fernando [de Gonzaga] after a slight cannonade. We suppose that you have heard the news from our said general, who, after leaving a sufficient garrison in the place, with the required provision, has marched to Ligny, whence We expect to receive soon similar news.
On same day news came from Italy, brought by Count Landriano, (fn. 13) whom the Marquis del Gusto sent to announce the rout of Pietro Strozzi and Count Pitigliano, and all their party, numbering about sixty (enseignes), of which most of the captains were slain, and the remainder are either prisoners or completely broken and scattered, as you will see by the inclosed copy of the official account. (fn. 14) We hope that this signal defeat of the partisans of France in Italy will have the effect of entirely ruining the French and marring their designs, which were to make those Italians march into Piedmont, and thence into France, to assist in the defence. Do inform the King as soon as you can of this news, etc.—Metz, 28 June 1554.
French. Original.
28 June. 136. Nicholas Wotton to Mons. De Granville.
Wien, Imp. Arch. A young man, son of a Scotchman, but he himself born in the county of Charolois, came the other day to me direct from Paris, stating that he was an attendant (serviteur) of count d'Aubigny, (fn. 15) who after the death of his uncle, the captain of king Francis' [Scotch] bodyguard, took the name and title of Sieur d'Aubigny. The Count, as the man himself asserts, is the brother of the earl of Lennox, a Scotchman, now on king Henry's side, and favourably disposed towards him, that being the cause of both count Auby (sic) and his attendant being arrested and sent to prison by order of king Francis. The former has, though with great danger to his life, made good his escape, and wishes to go to England to inform the earl of Lennox of his brother's fate. He has applied to me for a passport, but as I do not know him, nor whether what he tells me is true or not, I send him to you that he may be examined, and if what he himself says is true, and Lennox is really in London, a passport may be granted to him.
If you have any news to communicate, or letters for the King, my master, you may send them to me, for I shall in a day or two have to despatch a messenger to England.—At home, 28 June 1544.
Signed: “Nicholas Wotton.”
English. Holograph, with seal. 1 p.
29 June. 137. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen Of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—By the inclosed copy of my despatch to the Emperor, Your Majesty will learn the recent news of this country. Nothing important has occurred since, and I only beg and entreat that my own personal affairs be attended to.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 1 p.
29 June. 138. The Same to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Sire,”—Having this very morning received and read Your Majesty's letter of the 23rd inst., I immediately had myself conveyed [in a Sedan chair] to the Palace, (fn. 16) without previously applying, as usual, for an audience, lest there should be delay in the granting of it owing to this King's many occupations, and principally to the solemnity of the marriage about to be celebrated of count Lynes (earl of Lennox) and Dame Marguerite Douglas, the King's niece. Arrived at Greenwich Court, I found that the King was not yet ready to receive me in his chamber (n'estoit encores prest), and therefore I communicated to the privy councillors the contents of Your Majesty's letter, at the same time adding remarks and observations of my own in conformity with Your Majesty's instructions and those of the queen dowager of Hungary in her letter to me of the 25th inst., and stating the complaints and recriminations brought against Christofle (sic) [von] Landenberg, and the officers under him, by this King's commissaries sent to the Queen dowager. In short, notwithstanding all my efforts to remonstrate with the privy councillors, they have decided that the King, their master, ought by no means to employ or take into his service people at such unreasonable terms; that no trust or confidence could be placed in the infantry, in proof of which they urged the very same arguments mentioned in my last dispatch. (fn. 17) With regard to the cavalry, there was not the same difficulty; the King would be inclined to take it into his service, and give them the same pay that Your Majesty gives to the Germans. This (added the privy councillors) was the King's answer to Landenberg's deputies when they came here, and they themselves had offered to induce Landenberg to accept those conditions, or should he still refuse the terms of payment proposed, they hoped to be able to prevail on most of the cavalry to enter the King's service. (fn. 18) The privy councillors added that Your Majesty had means and men enough in Your power to prevent the said Landenberg from going over and taking service in France, and yet (continued the privy councillors) that is a sort of thing that we should very much like to hear of, considering that if Landenberg's men go over to the French side, the Most Christian King may be so emboldened as to offer or accept battle, which is what we desire most.
Such words from the mouth of the privy councillors rather surprised us, and I (Chapuys) am sure that they would willingly not have uttered them if they had heard the arguments which I and my colleague brought in favour of their retaining Landenberg's men in the King's service, and coming to an agreement of some sort with him; for we should have represented to them the great difficulties and danger there would be in trying to prevent the passage of that force, and the disrepute that would fall on Your Majesty should Landenberg's band go over to the French, and thus open the way for other captains of German auxiliaries to do the same, and disobey the injunctions of the Imperial Diet, to the great discredit and contempt of Your Majesty's authority.
After this I (Chapuys) went to the King, who, having listened to what I had to say, repeated for his own justification the very same arguments of which he made use at a former audience of Mons. de Courrières and myself, as recorded in our joint dispatch of the 18th ult., adding that since then he had received information of his commissaries having actually disbursed some money and advanced it to Landenberg and his baud, under the solemn promise that they would immediately march wherever they were told, and that after receiving the money that captain had refused to march, and would not move, persisting in his demand, and declaring that he must have more money; that in saying so he (Landenberg) had made use of strong language and threats, and had even caused one of his Royal commissaries to be followed to the gates of Brussels, within which some of his own mounted men had for some days spied and tracked him with a view to take him prisoner. The King then went on to express the same wish as his privy councillors had done to me one hour before—namely, that he had no objection to take into his service the cavalry, but as to Landenberg's infantry he would not have it. He ended by declaring that he did not think, after all, that Landenberg would ever go over to France, to judge from his own language when he was last in this country, for he seemed to be extremely indignant against king Francis for causing his brother to be beheaded. If still afraid of his defection, Your Majesty might easily take him and his band into Your service, and they would certainly have more respect for You than for him.
I (Chapuys) failed not to say that Your Majesty had already too many men in Your service, and more than You wanted, and had besides a very great burden to sustain in Italy; that he need not be in fear of the disorderly conduct or inconveniences of which he spoke when once matters between him and Landenberg had been sufficiently explained and settled; and I ended by begging him to reconsider the affair with his usual wisdom, and let me know his intention, which he promised to do.
I must not omit to say that in the course of conversation the King gave me to understand that he was in receipt of news that Landenberg had retreated; but, however that may be, I neither expect nor hope to get from the King more than what has been said above.
The duke of Suffolk has not yet left, but the main body under his command (ses gens de la bataille) has already crossed the Channel. To-morrow morning early he will set sail for Calais, and will be accompanied by the bishop of Winchester, superintendent-general of the provisions (victuailles), and the Grand Squire, and several other lords. If I am to believe what the King told me the other day, his advice is that whilst he himself is preparing to cross the Channel—which will not be so soon, for he cannot go before eight or nine days—an attempt will be made to carry Montreuil. It seems as if, after the news of the victory gained by Your Majesty's arms in Italy, and of which I took care to inform him in pursuance of orders received on the 18th inst., this King has had an increasing desire of crossing the Channel, and personally attending to the above-said enterprise, for when I detailed to him the particulars of the battle, and what the marquis du Gast had written to me on the subject, he showed marks of great pleasure and joy, as he had done a few days before when hearing of the progress of Ferdinand Gonzaga (Ferrante Gonzaga).
As Your Majesty once wished to know how long the King would like to continue the war against France, I will take upon myself to say that he will not go beyond the period of time fixed, and that he will very soon feel tired of the expense, owing to his treasury not being so full as was thought at one time. My reasons for suspecting as much are that he has already made financial operations for good round sums with various commercial houses of Anvers (Antwerp), and has spoken secretly with various merchants—English and foreign—to stand security for him at Antwerp for the sum of 400,000 or 500,000 crs., or perhaps more, which he wants to borrow there, to be repaid at Christmas, together with the interest amounting to a very large sum. Another proof of the King's treasury being nearly exhausted is the fact—a very strange one, indeed—that he is now contracting a loan with merchants of this city for such an insignificant sum as 20,000 sterling, to be repaid out of the standing revenue, with an interest of 12 percent., which conditions he would certainly not accept if he had plenty of money. True it is that, fond as he is of having plenty of funds in his treasury, it may be said that the loans he has made, and is about to make, are precautionary measures taken beforehand, in order to meet money difficulties if they should supervene.
The marriage of count Lynns (earl of Lennox) and dame Marguerite Douglas took place this morning at mass (à la messe), the King and Queen being present. It is said that an annual income of three or four thousand crs. has been promised by the King to the married couple. (fn. 19) —London, 29 June 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 4 pp.


  • 1. “Du Coronel de Landenberger,” i.e. Christophle von Landenberg, here called “colonel” instead of captain as above. This title was then given to the commander of a column (colonna or colonnella, regiment) of infantry or cavalry having several captains under him.
  • 2. Dr. Richard Layton, dean of York.
  • 3. “Depuis le partement du secretaire Paget ung secretaire de l'ambassadeur dernierement trespassé sollicitant passeport pour III. chevaulx que le dit secretaire desiroit avoir avait requis quant à quant avoir passeport pour le dit secretaire, que luy avons refusé, parceque le dit secretaire n'en avoit tenu aulcun propoz Et depuis le mesme serviteur a baillé ung billet pour avoir passeport pour IIc jumens pour le roy, comme il disoit, [ce] qu'avons trouvé estrange, et luy avons refusé expressement, luy faisant dire que ne voulons du tout laisser despouler (depouiller) cet pays des dites jumens.”
  • 4. Aix, Aich, Hivail in Belgium.
  • 5. “Et la plusparts sur nos sujets patrimoniaulx prouchains de là il s'estoit venu mectre a[u] pays de Liège, ou il faisoit grand foule et estonnement (ou extorsement?) à ceulx du dit pays.”
  • 6. The name of this officer is lower down written Arstenstein and Arsenstain; could it be Hartzenstein?
  • 7. “L'ambassadeur d'Angleterre icy resident a adverty que par (pour) les difficultez que le diet Landenberg avoit faict sur le traictment des ditz gens de guerre, son maistre estoit assez inclin de non se servir de luy, ny des ditz gens de guerre, dont, comme vous pouvez entendre, pourroit venir très grands inconvenient [s], et mesmes que le ditz gens de pied estant si prouchains du roy de France et son royaulme ne fauldroient de 1' aller servir, le quel les aeheteroit ce qu'ilz vouldroient, comme il a demonstré par les praticques (sic) qu'il a mene quant à ceulx qu'avons fait lever.”
  • 8. See above, No. 128, p. 209.
  • 9. That is Capt. Christophle von Landenberg, at times called “colonel,” as at p. 209.
  • 10. Sir Ralph Evers, see above, p. 157.
  • 11. Jedburgh?
  • 12. According to Vandenesse's “Itinerary of Charles V.,” translated by Bradford, “On the 16th of June the Emperor made his entry into Metz, accompanied by the Archdukes, the duke Maurice of Saxony, the Margrave Albert of Brandenburg, and several other princes, five thousand infantry and three thousand horse. He remained at Metz till the 6th of July.”Pp. 545–6.
  • 13. Count Francesco Landriano, about whom see Vol. VI., Part I., pp. 415–6.
  • 14. Not found in the Imperial Archives.
  • 15. Comte d'Auby (d'Aubigny?).
  • 16. “Me fis tout incontinent transporter devers ce roy.''
  • 17. “Que le dit sr roy ne se debvoit servir aulcunement de telles (sic) gens si desraisonables, et aussi aux queulx (?) ny avoit foy ny ascheurance, mesmes en l'endroit des pietons, allegeant sur ce les raisons que tou choye par mes precedentes.”
  • 18. “Lesquels commis se sont à moitée offerd à fere à ce condescendre le dit Landenberg, et en cas de reffus ilz esperoient de tant fere envers ceulx de cheval quelz les ameneroyent pour la pluspart au service du dit sieur roy.”
  • 19. “Et dict l'on que le dt sr roy a promis au syre des noupces et à la dame trois ou quatre mille ducatz dentretenement pour (par) an.”