Spain: August 1544, 1-15

Pages 280-297

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

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August 1544, 1–15

1 Aug. 170. Montmorency to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. After closing my letter of the 31st of July (fn. 1) I ascertained that the name of the gentleman, who came here the other day, is Sieur de Fraraozelle, (fn. 2) and that being interrogated by the duke of Suffolk and Secretary Paget as to his errand, he answered that he wished personally to see the King, and deliver into his hands a letter he had from his master, the Most Christian King of France. He could not see the King on that day; but he has had an audience this very morning. I am told that his business here [at the Camp] is to ask the King's permission to take out of Boulogne his wife, who is in the family way. The privy councillors assure me that nothing else has brought the man to this camp; but it strikes me that if such was his only purpose he needed no regular safe-conduct. Should I learn anything more about him, I shall not fail to let you know.—From the Camp before Boulogne, 1 August 1544.
French. Holograph. 1 p.
2 Aug. 171. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—As fear of the plague drove me out of Calais, so have the bad air and uncomfortable lodgings of Gravelinghes, with a touch of my usual old complaint, the gout, compelled me to leave the- latter place and take up my quarters here, at St. Omer, where, after the dinner hour, I received the inclosed letter from Mons. de Courrières, with news of the two English camps. (fn. 3) I am, however, astonished to hear from the said Monsr. de Courrières that, up to the hour at which he wrote, the King's privy councillors had not informed him of a safe-conduct having been previously granted to the French gentleman (fn. 4) named in the letter, for, as I hear, the duke of Norfolk, himself, had shewn the safeconduct to Monsr. de Beuren. It is to be supposed that the French gentleman in question is going to the English camp before Boulogne for some other purpose than that specified in the said inclosure, and I have no doubt that by this time either the King, himself, or his privy councillors have already told Monsr. de Courrières what the Frenchman's object is However that may be, had I not been waiting for Your Majesty's orders respecting the business transacted by Monsr. Diècke and myself, and prevented by illness from going to the King's camp, I would certainly have sent thither one of my own clerks to try and learn from confidential friends of mine among the King's privy councillors what can be the Frenchman's business, and if I saw the opportunity begin negotiating on the matter, of which Monsr. Diècke (fn. 5) spoke to me; which matter, however, as it seems to me, might have been easily, and without suspicion, treated by one of my own clerks, whilst I, myself, was able to go thither personally, which at this present moment I could not possibly do. In this manner the affair might be attended to, though as Monsr. de Courrières, himself, is on the spot, I have no doubt that he will do what is suitable and convenient.
May Your Majesty be pleased to send me orders respecting my recall, or else let me know what I am to do next, and where to go, that I may do my best for the Emperor's and Your Majesty's service.—St. Omer, 2 August 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original, l½ pp.
2 Aug. 172. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—After what passed between the Sieur d'Ecke and you on the charge entrusted by Us to him, a letter came to hand from the Emperor, Our brother, conjointly with another for you, (fn. 6) which is inclosed, containing the news of the good success of the Imperial arms at Vitry, which town was taken and is still in Our power, though this fact itself is not expressly mentioned in the note (billiet) appended to the letter addressed to you. You will also hear that the French have since been soliciting through a third person to come to terms with His Imperial Majesty. We cannot, however, assert that their intentions are right and honest, and that they really wish for peace; they might perhaps be trying to deceive His Imperial Majesty and create jealousy between him and the king of England, his good brother and ally.
As the Emperor has no doubt that the French may already have made, or will make soon, similar overtures on that side, you (Chapuys) are requested to find out with your usual discretion whether king Francis has directly or indirectly applied to that King for the purpose. That is the chief object of the Emperor's letter to Us, as well as to announce his victory over the French at Vitry. In doing so to the King you must use your well-known tact and discretion in order to ascertain what are that King's real intentions respecting the charge which Monsr. d'Ecke took [to Calais] and the instructions of which he was bearer. (fn. 7) Although We are aware how troublesome it will be for you, in your present condition of health, to leave that town and travel, yet the affair itself is so important and so great also, the good to be gained by your exertions, that We again request you to go to the King's camp [before Boulogne] and declare to him in the most convenient manner the charge and commission you have received from the. Emperor, Our brother. We need not add that in the declaration of your said charge, as explained in the inclosed letter to you, the utmost care and discretion is to be used, so that the king of England may not suspect that Our inquiries respecting his own military movements are made for the purpose of advising or recommending him to abandon his present undertaking. The utmost diligence, moreover, must be employed so that both the Emperor, Our brother, and We Ourselves may be apprised as soon as possible of the King's resolution in this matter.
You will observe that in the Emperor's letter to you, (fn. 8) no mention at all is made of Monsr. de Courrières; that is due to the fact that the insecurity and dangers of the roads have naturally retarded the courier who brought the news, the Emperor was not yet aware of the King's landing at Calais.—2 August 1544.
French. Original draft. 2 pp.
3 Aug. 173. Monsr. de Courrières to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Sire,”—On my arrival at this camp [before Boulogne] there came with a safe-conduct from the king of England a French gentleman, named Monsr. de Frameselle, who, after staying here two days or thereabouts, and being interrogated by some of the privy councillors as to his charge or commission, found the means of speaking to the King, and delivering to him a letter from his master, the king of France, signed by him, and countersigned by his Secretary, though written entirely in the latter s hand. After the King's audience, and when the Frenchman had returned to his lodgings, I myself was summoned to the King's presence, and introduced to him by Secretary Paiget (Sir William Paget). On my arrival I was very kindly received by the King, who, after telling me that I was most welcome to the camp, began to inform me of the cause and nature of Monsr. de Framoselle's mission, and how he had answered him. He might go back and. tell the King, his master, that he, the king of England, declined to treat, even if he should offer him one-half of his kingdom, unless previously and before-hand he did his best to satisfy and please Your Imperial Majesty. He had been all his life a prince of honour and virtue; he had never broken his word, and he was too old, as the beard on his chin—already getting grey plainly shewed, and he could see—to begin again upon another track.
Upon which the French gentleman stated that king Francis would rather die than send anyone to Your Majesty with overtures of peace. “If so,” replied the King, “I see no means of treating with Your master,” “What is to be done then?” asked Framoselle (sic); and the King answered: “I will tell you. If the King, your master, dislikes applying directly to the Emperor, I will myself undertake the task. I will write to ask him that, for the good of Christendom, he be pleased to consider what are the lowest terms he will accept in order to secure a good and lasting peace, and that on his getting an answer from Your Majesty concerning this point, he himself would let king Francis know.”
This is what passed at the audience, or at least the account which the King himself gave me, at the same time showing a great and affectionate desire of fulfilling all the engagements taken with Your Imperial Majesty and of being well satisfied with your conduct [in the affair]. But my impression is that he (the King) wished first of all to get possession of this town, and after that he will easily enter upon negotiations of peace in order to save the very great expense at which he is just now, for there is a rumour afloat that he is no longer the good archer he once was, and never shot so badly as now. (fn. 9)
As the King assures me that a copy of king Francis's letter to him, as well as of the note presented by Monsr. Framoselle, are about to be forwarded to his ambassador residing at Your Majesty's camp, I have refrained from making further inquiries. I have, however, read attentively that which Master Paiget brought to my tent, which letter I find is full of most honest and commendable expressions, as well as regrets at this present war, stating that king Francis is very much astonished at the sudden enmity which has arisen between the two countries [France and England], and that there is nothing he desires so much as to recover his friendship. Monsr. de Framoselle's note contained besides, the offer of payment by his master of all the pensions owing to England, arrears and interest thereof, as well as of a reasonable sum of money for the expenses of the war at this King's will. King Francis, moreover, promises to renounce his alliance with Scotland, and to place the town of Ardres in the King's hands as security, &c. (fn. 10) But as he himself has declared to me, the King does not intend to enter into any treaty with France unless Your Imperial Majesty be previously satisfied as to your own demands.
As to the news from this camp, I can only say that according to information, which the King, himself, communicated to me the other day, Montreuil is far too strong, and its garrison too numerous, to be carried by a coup de main. However closely besieged, the people inside will still have two gates at their disposal. Your Imperial Majesty, however, may be sure, as far as I can judge, that this King will do his utmost to get possession of this town of Boulogne. He is determined to raise three batteries and mount them with plenty of guns and mortars, which he has, and try also some mines. The trenches have already been pushed almost as far as the walls of the town, and will soon be completed. But I find that the town is very strongly fortified inside (ramparée), having bulwark, with good covered ways (bonnes traverses) and double walls. I do not believe that the besieged have much powder and shot at their disposal, only enough to defend themselves, for they scarcely make use of their artillery, and yet they have the finest possible battlements to shoot from. Indeed, I think that if the besieged had more ammunition at their command they might have killed with their shot a great number of men in this camp. Such is at present the state of things here; of what may happen hereafter Your Imperial Majesty will be duly apprised in time. The town itself is very small (fort petite), and I fancy that the garrison is not numerous, for hitherto they have made no sallies. The report is that two battalions (enseignes) of Italians, and others of Frenchmen, compose it.
The personage to whom I alluded at the beginning of this dispatch has begged from the King permission to see his wife, who, he says, is inside Boulogne. He only asks to go as far as the walls of the town, accompanied by such English officers and men as the King be pleased to appoint, and there, in their presence, hold some conversation with her on family matters. The King has told him that if he gets possession of the town, she and the rest of the women will be well treated, but, notwithstanding that, if he wishes to see and speak to her the permission he asks for will be granted, or else, if he chooses, she may come to the camp as often as she wishes. God knows whether the permission has been granted, and in what mode the French gentleman in question has availed himself of it, for I have not, nor do I expect, to see him, for our diplomatic charge has nothing in common, and besides that the privy councillors have not said anything to me about him.
I have met here the duke of Alburquerque, who, besides the obligation under which he is to Your Imperial Majesty, is doing his utmost for the service of this King. I do not hesitate to say, under correction, that he well deserves a letter from Your Majesty. There is nothing he regrets so much as to see that this King's affairs in these parts (par deça) do not advance in the manner, and so far as Your Majesty might wish. I can assure Your Majesty that the Duke makes no secret of his regret on that score, and I am afraid will in the end be much disgusted with it all.
As to the King's person, he is in excellent health, and working a good deal harder than I should have expected.—From the Camp before Boulogne, 3rd of August 1544.
Signed: “De Montmorency.”
French. Original, entirely ciphered. 3 pp.
3 Aug. 174. Montmorency to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Corresp. Engl. “Madame,”—By the English courier, who left the other day, I informed the Emperor of late occurrences at this camp, and I have, according to Your Majesty's commands, communicated to the King and to his privy council the copy of the letter addressed to Monsr. de Praët from Metz, on the defeat of the French at Vitry. This piece of intelligence, however, the King and his privy councillors will not believe in, unless it be confirmed by letters from the Emperor himself or from their own ambassador at the Imperial Court and Camp.
As to the King, himself, he is doing well.—From the Camp before Boulogne, 3rd of August 1544.
Signed: “De Montmorency.”
P.S.—“Madame,”—A worthy personage (quelque bon personnaige) tells me that the Frenchman (fn. 11) says that his master, the King, offers to restore to the Emperor everything he took from him during the last war, provided he (king Francis) be reinstated in the duchy of Milan, which, he pretends, belongs to him by right. My answer to the person who brought me that intelligence, was, that in order to obtain that from the Emperor, “the deed must be signed at Lyons, as the exchange cannot possibly take place anywhere else.” I have purposely refrained from mentioning this circumstance in my dispatch to the Emperor, for fear of adding fresh fuel to the fire, which is already raging fiercely enough. If, however, Your Majesty thinks that His Imperial Majesty ought to be acquainted with the Frenchman's words, let this paragraph of my letter be copied and sent to him.
French. Original, partly in cipher.pp.
4 Aug. 175. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—We have seen your note of the 2nd inst., and also De Courrières' letter to you from the camp [before Boulogne], together with the note (billet) appended to it. (fn. 12) We think, as you do, that this is the fit time for executing the mandate We gave you by the Sieur d'Eecke, (sic) and likewise the orders that the Emperor, himself, sent you on the 26th ult., in confirmation of the message which the latter must have re-delivered to you. But in Our opinion this is not the sort of affair to be placed in the hands of your secretaries or clerks, nor even to be disclosed to the King's privy councillors, before you, yourself, have spoken to the King about it. That is why, if possible, We should wish that for such a good end, as the promotion of peace, and to forestall the King, and prevent him from treating separately and without the knowledge of His Imperial Majesty, you should try to get a private audience from him, and verbally explain to him the whole business. (fn. 13) We earnestly request you to do so, because otherwise We very much fear that nothing at all, or very little indeed, will be gained towards carrying out the Emperor's views and intentions in the matter.
Indorsed: “To ambassador Chapuys, 4th of August 1544, from Brussels.”
French. Original draft.
7 Aug. 176. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—At Saint Omer, on the 4th inst., about noon, Your Majesty's letter of the 2nd, and the Emperor's of the 26th ult., were duly received, when, in obedience to Your Majesty's commands, and notwithstanding a slight indisposition, I set out for this camp [before Boulogne] where I arrived in less than 15 hours, not without much bodily fatigue. My haste in obeying Your Majesty's commands as soon as possible prevented me at the time from acknowledging the receipt of the above-mentioned letters, or informing you of my departure. I therefore ask Your Majesty's pardon, and beg to be excused for it.
I arrived (as I said) on the following day at an early hour, but as the King was then out in the fields (aux champs), and did not return to the camp until the evening, there was no possibility of speaking to him on the day of my arrival. However, yesterday, the 6th, after dinger, Monsr. de Courrières and I went to present our respects to him. I began by saying the chief reason for my coming to the camp before Boulogne was to comply with the wish he himself had expressed that I should see his army, and at the same time to congratulate him on the state of his health, which, according to information received from the duke of Alburquerque and from my colleague, Monsr. de Courrières, was then very good. A letter from the Emperor to me (I added) had considerably increased my desire to visit his camp.
This the King took in very good part, saying—after Monsr. de Courrières and I had declared to him the contents of the Emperor's letter—that in reality the French had made certain overtures of peace, not only to him but to his ministers. It was also perfectly true that they (the French) had renewed the offers which Framzelle had brought forward some time before, as he himself had declared to me at Calais; but as the Frenchman's offers had no foundation. at all, he (the King) had taken no notice whatever of them. That is why he had not named to me the persons who had intervened in the affair, nor had he written to the Emperor about it. Now Monsr. de Framizelles (sic) had returned with full powers from king Francis; he could not do less than acquaint the Emperor, as well as Monsr. de Courrières, his ambassador, with the nature and amount of offers made by him, which offers, for the sake of information, he proceeded to specify and detail to me, in the very same terms he had used with my colleague; ending by assuring us both that nothing would persuade him to listen to French overtures, and treat with them and others without the express knowledge and wish of the Emperor.
The haste in which I write prevents me from stating the representations and persuasions which Mons. de Courrières and I addressed to the King on this occasion; suffice it to say that after expressing the good hope he had of the taking of this town (Boulogne), and also of Montreuil, he (the King) was induced by us to make the following textual declaration, namely, that whatever might be said, in the end a good peace was desirable and convenient. (fn. 14)
The King then said to us in plain words (platement) that he had not heard from his own ambassador at Your Majesty's Court, of Monsr. de Longueval having applied for a safe-conduct to repair to the Imperial Court with the intention of negociating for peace. He, however, was glad to hear the answer made to him in Your Majesty's name (fn. 15) The King afterwards caused me to be most closely interrogated by Secretary Paget as to that, and asked whether the answer had been such as We described. The Secretary then owned to me that the King, his master, had written to his ambassador to beg the Emperor, should he come to treat of peace with the French, to take care of his honour and profit in all matters, just as he, himself, would have done of those of the Emperor, had the application for peace been made to him first. The Secretary said more; he told me—whether inadvertently or to give me a proof of confidence—that his master had written to his ambassador to use all dexterity to prevent the Emperor from forming a bad opinion of his wishes in the matter, and attributing them either to his own desire of peace or his being actually tired of war. (fn. 16)
I did not deem it fit and opportune, on many considerations, to enter more fully into the matter, reserving myself for another opportunity; and so it was, for this very morning, without any previous notice, I entered alone, without my colleague's company, the tent of Secretary Paget, and gave him to understand that as the matters, of which I was about to speak to him, proceeded originally and directly from myself, and from my attachment and zeal for his master's service, I had purposely come alone, and without Monsr. de Courriéres, since I wished that there should be no witnesses to our conversation. He was (said I to him) my bosom friend, and the person who would more easily pardon any indiscretion or fault on my part should I, led away by ray attachment to his master's service, commit any; he was, moreover, better qualified than anyone else to take the affair in hand, and bring it to a successful termination. “Supposing (said I), from what I have heard the King and yourself say that the former is inclined to a good peace of some sort, and would not object to the negociations for it commencing, I do not see why the King should not specify and name his terms at once.” Then I told him repeatedly, and with sundry presentations and interpolations of my own, what Your Majesty wrote to me by the Sieur de Deke (d'Ecke), all of which I omit for brevity's sake, as it would take too much time for me to recite them. The Secretary approved of it all, and promised to inform the King immediately; and I believe that an answer from him will not tarry.
I will not omit to say that Secretary Paget asked me whether Your Majesty had, or had not, full instructions from the Emperor as to his intentions in the matter. My answer was that he might well suppose that my knowledge as to that was not, and could not be, positively certain, since my proposals originated with myself, and yet that I believed, nay, was quite sure, that the Emperor would not disavow or reject anything done by Your Majesty in the matter, in confirmation of which assurance on my part I alleged several reasons.
Though I have not yet received the King's answer to my proposals, I have not failed to acquaint Your Majesty of what has been said and done in this affair, as also of the receipt of your letters of the 4th inst. (fn. 17) The Seigneur de Buren arrived here yesterday to present his respects to the King, and give account of the state of affairs at Montreuil. After Framizelle's (sic) departure his wife quitted Boulogne; but I believe that she will remain under the custody of the Deputy of Calais, who is here in the camp, until Boulogne is taken, that she may not communicate with anyone and impart the news of the place and the particulars, as Your Majesty will hear from Monsr. de Courrières' lips.—Camp before Boulogne, 7th of August 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 4 pp.
8 Aug. 177. News from the Imperial Camp before St. Dizier.
E. Italia. On the 2nd inst. a stratagem (ardid) was devised against the defenders of St. Dizier, which proved successful, and was the cause of much harm to the enemy. About 35 or 40 of Our Spaniards proceeding noiselessly along the trench approached nearly to the moat, and suddenly began to cry at the top of their voices, “Santiago! In, in, the town is ours!” The guard on the watch, gave the alarm, mounted the parapets and crowded the walls, upon which the hackbutiers and artillerymen of the camp, who had made their preparations for the event, fired several volleys upon the French, with such effect that few of them escaped, and we could distinctly see from our tents by moonlight—for the sham attack took place at night—the bodies of several men flying up in the air. (fn. 18) Captain D. Juan de Guzman who, for having killed [in a duel] another foreign captain of the name of Thionille, had been obliged to go and take refuge in England, returned the other day to the camp, but finding that the general-in-chief would not grant him pardon he has gone to Var de Lorena (Bar le Duc in Lorraine) where he intends to reside until he actually gets it.
As Our people intend very shortly to renew the assault, and the information We get from spies is that the garrison is deficient in many articles absolutely necessary for the defence of a town, and that since the 8th there has been among them a talk of surrender, I should not be surprised if my next letter to you was not for the purpose of announcing a capitulation. Indeed, I hear from an authentic source that at the time I am writing a parley from the town has come to say that the garrison is willing and ready to capitulate, under certain conditions. These, however, have been found by the commander-in-chief to be so preposterously high, considering the state of the fortifications, and scarcity of provisions, that they have been rejected, and the officer of the garrison, who brought them to this Camp, did get a rather short and sharp rejoinder to boot. They, however, returned next day offering to surrender, if the town is not succoured before the 17th inst. A capitulation has accordingly been drawn out, and signed, the articles of which I have not seen, but as I am informed they are reduced to this: that the Governor shall go out of the place at the head of his men, with arms and unfurled banners, besides two pieces of light artillery, selected by Don Fernando Gonzaga.—Camp before St. Dizier, 8th of August 1544.
Spanish. Original. (fn. 19) 2 pp.
8 Aug. 178. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Sire,”—As the Secretary, who has in his possession the deciphering key, as well as “lecahier de chiffre,” is indisposed, I have requested the dowager queen of Hungary to be so kind as to order a transcript to be made of my last despatch to her (fn. 20) and to Your Majesty, and forward it.—London, 8 August 1544.
French. Original. 1 p.
8 Aug. 179. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—The day before yesterday, very late in the evening, Your Majesty's letter of the last day of July (fn. 21) came duly to hand, and to-day, after dinner, Mons. de Courrières and I, called on the King to communicate its contents. To the point therein touched, and the hope Your Majesty had of the taking of St. Disièr [by the Emperor], the King answered nothing. With regard to the arrival of the Sieur de Villemont, bailli of Dijon, with his offers, I gave the King to understand, in order to give more importance to his mission (pour encherir l'affaire), that among the many and various offers made by the Bailli, in his master's name, one was the marriage of the most Serene princess of the Spains (fn. 22) to the duke of Orleans, his son; which offer spoiled all the rest, as far as the Emperor himself is concerned, inasmuch, and chiefly because the said Bailli, had made no offer whatever for him (the King). That his Imperial Majesty, therefor, had suddenly put a stop to the Bailli's overtures declaring to him his firm resolution not to have the said marriage spoken of, and adding that it was necessary before all things to give some sort of satisfaction to the king of England. That the French ought to be contented with what they had, and not think of increasing it, but of returning other people's property. (fn. 23) After this explanation of the Bailli's mission and offers, and how they were met by the Emperor, I (Chapuys) added that the reason for the proposal of such a marriage being so resolutely rejected by the Emperor was principally, as I imagined, that, as I have often written to Your Majesty, the former recollected that a marriage of the sort, and with such a dower, would be exceedingly unpleasant to his brother of England. I also thought it expedient to tell the latter by way of complimentary address that the Emperor, I was sure, would never have lent his ear to such a marriage as the one proposed by king Francis, or given audience to the bailli of Dijon, had I not written many a time that he (the King) was of opinion that an audience might be granted king Francis' emissary, inasmuch as nothing could be risked or lost through it.
Hearing these words from my lips, the King showed great content, assuring me that there would be no want of correspondence or reciprocity on his part, in what concerned the welfare, honour and reputation of his Imperial Majesty. It was true (he said) Framozelle had spoken to him of the said marriage, adducing all manner of reasons and arguments to persuade him that the estate of Milan belonged by right to his master, the king of France, which arguments he (the King) had answered by saying that he was neither judge, doctor, nor advocate, to decide on questions of that sort, and that he left the case to be determined by the parties concerned in it.
As Secretary Paget would not own that he had reported to his master on my last and Monsr. de Courrières' final communication with him, I would not lose the opportunity of talking to the King on the subject I requested him, first to allow me, with that gracious benignity with which he had always excused my faults and my temerity, to express in a few words my own ideas on a particular subject. This the King granted with a good heart, and after my retiring some distance Monsr. de Courrières advanced and related to him in substance what the Sièur d'Eecke and himself had verbally told us, and had shown to me in writing, adding (fn. 24) what I, myself, thought of it, namely, that it was highly expedient to well consider and weigh what the intentions of the French were, and prevent them from saying hereafter that we, the Imperialists, know not the proper time and season for making or preventing war. For both these two things, peace or war, apart from many others, opportunity and diligence was terribly required, for should the king of England show the least inclination to peace, it would be highly inconvenient and long lasting to wait until after the discussion of each article for the Emperor's answer, and in like manner for the king of England to inform the Emperor of his intentions and will, should the French go on treating of peace; and that since he (the King) had so wisely discoursed with me, of the innumerable untoward accidents, which might suddenly supervene in time of war, it was highly expedient, now the Emperor was in arms, and both his Imperial Majesty and the king of England had each a flourishing army (armees florissantes) in the field, to seize that opportunity, and think as soon as possible of the means of so obliging the enemy to come to terms, and know beforehand what those terms were to be. That, I said, ought to be done with all speed, and I was further of opinion that in order to dissemble whatever wish of peace the allies might have, and prevent the goers and comers to the camps of their two Majesties, who after all might only be spies, such affairs should be negociated by truly and sufficiently empowered persons, well inclined to peace, in some middle country (en lieu moyen de leur pays). In short, after a long and mature consideration, I thought that no one was fitter for that than Your Majesty, who, as I thought, was as earnestly desirous of peace as any living prince, not only out of your benevolence, virtue and wisdom, as for the relief of the innumerable sufferings which war is causing to the inhabitants of Flanders and the Low Countries. Besides which (I added) no personage in the World could have more regard for his honour and welfare than Tour Majesty, who had moreover, a greater power to persuade the Emperor than any living person.
At last, after many answers and replies, the King began to make his excuses on his not having by him a suitable person to send to Your Majesty for the practical purpose of listening to the overtures made by king Francis' agents. This, in no way would I grant to him; he then pleaded ignorance, saying that he could not tell whether king Francis would consent to it or not; and on replying and showing him in the most palpable manner that there could be no doubt of his acceding to it, he came to the conclusion that it was more reasonable that those whom the case concerned, should debate it, and that he flattered himself that should matters come to a good issue he would have as much power as Your Majesty to persuade and convince the Emperor, and that if His Imperial Majesty would let him know in absolute terms, the conditions under which he consented to grant peace to the enemy, he would make such an offer for the Emperor as he should make for himself. And on my representing to him that it would be extremely difficult for the Emperor to do that under the circumstances, unless he knew beforehand part of the conditions to be asked from the common enemy, and that since he, himself, had made up his mind as to what conditions he was to ask for, he would do well, in order to save time, to send a message to the Emperor to this effect, that should the French send again to him, renewing their offers, or making fresh ones, the Emperor may conjointly with his wishes promote and bring about his own. The King's answer was that he had already written to His Imperial Majesty on the subject, and that until Framozelles returned with an answer, or some other French emissary came, he could not, and would not, ask, nor say more about that. I replied to him that the heart of the affair for the French was to spy and find out what his wishes might be, in order to regulate their own conduct—not to treat—and at once come to terms with the two allies, and that Your Majesty, together with the personage whom he (the King) should be pleased to appoint might easily do that “Nothing” I said, ”can prevent His Majesty from doing that, listening to French proposals, and officiously doing whatever may be best for the purpose.” Thus the conference ended, the King persisting in his determination, and pleading the same excuses as above.
Before leaving his presence, the King addressed himself to Monsr. de Courrières and to me (Chapuys), and assured us both, that last night some of his men had mounted the breach and slain a Frenchman who was there, and that near that spot, close to the walls of the town, ten or twelve more Frenchmen had been slain. He, therefore, had no doubt whatever that the place would soon be carried by storm; but that in order to proceed with caution, and insure success he had ordered two mining batteries to continue to perfect the mines that were being dug. (fn. 25)
I most humbly beg and entreat Your Majesty to have pity on me, and my indisposition, which, owing to the fine weather has somewhat abated, though, I fear the least change will bring it on again; if so, I am a lost man, without any hope of recovering here, or being able to be transported elsewhere. That is why I most earnestly, and for God's honour, beg Your Majesty to let me know what the Emperor thinks of the contents of my preceding dispatch, and this present one, in which I refer to my letters to him.—At the camp before Boulogne, the 8th of August 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 3 pp.
11 Aug. 180. Henry VIII. of England to King Francis I.
Wien, Imp. Arch, “Monsieur mon frere,”—Your letter by the Sieur de Framozelle, (fn. 26) bearer of this one of mine was duly received, which letter, if I am to refer to the credentials brought by the said Framozelles, has singularly surprised me, for the commencement of this last letter of your's differs much from that of the previous one received from you. These overtures for peace, as you know, were first made by the Sieur de Sainct Martin, Your subject, and on my finding certain difficulties about them were afterwards renewed by Monsieur le Marshal de Bies and the Sieur de Verbins, your governor of Boulogne, and yet in this second letter of yours you seem to state that the matter was first broached by me, which statement wounds greatly my honour. This I have until now inviolably preserved, as you know, and I shall never allow anyone in my old age to ataint it.
As to Framozelle's overtures, and the King's prayer that I should let him know what my good brother the Emperor's intentions were about them, I am willing for the sake of Christendom at large, and of the friendship which existed once between us two, to mediate between my brother the Emperor and yourself, provided you make him through me such reasonable offers as he may think it advisable to accept.
I beg you to be contented for the present with this answer to your letter, for until I have written to the Emperor and received an answer on this subject, I cannot really say more, for after all having been obliged by your own fault or that of your ministers to take up arms against you, I cannot (upon my honour) resume that friendship with you without previous notice to my good friend the Emperor that he himself may proceed in the matter as he considers it due and just. It is therefore at your request that I am prepared to send in haste some person to the Emperor to inquire what his will and intentions are in this matter, and I hope within a fortnight or 20 days, at the latest, to have a reply from him, and if you will only send to me at the end of that period, 1 will let you know the Emperor's answer on the whole affair, which answer after all might be favourable, and turn out well if you, the king of France, showed as much affection for the welfare of Christendom as you say you have, and would act reasonably as every king should do.
Signed: “Your good brother and cousin, Henry.”
French. Contemporary copy to be sent to the Emperor.pp.
15 Aug. 181. The Emperor to Kino Henry VIII.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Credentials in favour of the Sieur de Chantonnay, now returning to the Emperor. (fn. 27) —15 August 1544.
French. Original draft. ½ p.
— Aug. 182. The Same to his Ambassadors [in England].
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Très chiers et feaulx,”—Our nephew the duke of Lorayne (Lorraine), (fn. 28) to whom We have sent the Sieur de Montbardon in order to prevent the coming here of the Cardinal de Lorraine, (fn. 29) has sent Us word by the same messenger that he is on the eve of his departure for France to see King Francis on certain private and very important affairs of his own. Hearing which We have sent back to him the same Sieur de Montbardon, and written expressly to the Duke and to the Cardinal, and especially to the former, to postpone the Cardinal's departure, or at least delay it for some days, for fear people should think that his journey is at Our wish, (fn. 30) or in consequence of the Duke having lately come to this Our camp to procure the reception of the said Cardinal, his uncle, with his overtures of peace.
We have deemed it fit to inform you of these particulars in order that should the Duke go to France, you may give Our word of honour that it is not by Our wish, but, on the contrary, very much at Our regret. This message We have ordered the said Montbardon to convey to the Duke and to his wife, the Duchess, Our neice. (fn. 31)
French. Original draft. 1 p.


  • 1. See above, No. 169, p. 279.
  • 2. See above, p. 280. His name, however, is variously written Fermoselle, Framozelle, Fremozelle, &c.
  • 3. Those of Boulogne and Montreuil.
  • 4. Monsr. de Framozelles.
  • 5. Thus in the original, but there can be no doubt that Diecke is meant for Cornelius Scepper, sieur d'Ecke or Ecken, in Belgium. See above 278 n.
  • 6. “Et aveeq icelles aultres à vous qui vont joinetment avec cestes.”
  • 7. “Et pour ce qu'elle no doubte que les franchois ne feront moins envers le dit sr roy d'Engleterre [sa mate] desire que usant de vostre discretion accoustumée veuilles douner à cognoistre au dit sr roy les practiques qui se font de son costé.”
  • 8. Vos lettres ne font mention de sr de Courrières, parceque pour le danger des chemins sa mate nestoit [alors] advertie de la descente [à Calais] du dit sieur roy.” Such is the reading in the original draft, and, therefore, by vos lettres those of the Emperor to Chapuys are meant. Henry's landing at Calais had taken place on the 18th of July (see State Papers, Vol. X. p. 5); the Emperor's letter to Chapuys was dated the 26th.
  • 9. “Car le bruit court quil est pire archier quil ne fust onques, et quil ne tire jamais si en vis” (sinon en visant?). If the last words of the paragraph are to be understood so, the word archier must be translated by “archer” (the writer had been and was still lieutenant or captain of the Emperor's body guard of archers),
  • 10. “Que le roy son maistre offre de payer les pensions du dit roy dangleterre, interestz et arrerages dicelle, aussi de payer honnestement les fraiz de ceste guerre au contentement du dit sieur roy, quil renuncera à l'alliance d'Escosse, et mectra la ville d'Ardres es mains du dit sieur roy.”
  • 11. Monsr. de Framozelles. See above, p. 281, ii.
  • 12. That of the 31st July with its postscript, and of the 1st of August, Nos. 169, p. 279, and 170, p. 280; Chapuys' despatch of the 2nd, is under No. 171, p. 281.
  • 13. “Mais il ne me semble matiere pour la faire manger par vos gens, ne aussy la descouvrer (sic) à ceulx du Conseil ne fuet que premier n'en eussiez parlé au roy d'Engleterre, parquoy s'il estoit aulcunement possible je desireroye que pour ung si grant bien, et mesmes pour prevenir que le dit sr roy ne commenche à traieter sans nostre ma”, vous trouviez vers icelluy, dont je vous prye, anltrement je crains que peu ou riens succedera selon l'intention de sa dite mate.”
  • 14. “Que quant tout seroit dit à la parfin conviendroit de venir à une bonne paix.”
  • 15. “Et a esté joyeulx d'entendre du remede que luy a esté” faict de la part de v[ost]re. mate.”
  • 16. “Et l'escbappa au dit secretaire me dire ou par inadvertence, ou pour confidence quil a en moy, que le dit sr roy avoit escript à son ambassadeur quil use[r] de telle dexterite que sa mate ne peult prendre sinistre opinion au de desir de paix ou dennuy de la guerre.”
  • 17. No. 75, p. 287.
  • 18. “Los de la muestra tocaron alarma y coronaron la muralla. Entonces los arcabuceros y la artilleria del campo, que estaba prevenida y opunto bizo fuego y el enemigo recebió una buena reziado que se vió à muchos de ellos con la luna pues era de noche, saltar por los aires. A todo esto los nuestros gritaban: Santiago y adentros nuestra es San Desir.'”
  • 19. Though forming part of the paper under No. 168, p.265, and evidently by the same writer and hand, it has been advisable to divide them and place them according to their dates—one in July, the other in August.
  • 20. Here the ambassador alludes no doubt to his own despatch of the 7th, which, as has been noticed, is entirely in cipher. See above, No. 147, p. 233.
  • 21. No letter with this date has been found.
  • 22. “Le marriage de la Serenissima princessa des Espaignes.” The name of the Princess was Maria, daughter of Charles V, and Isabella of Portugal, born at Madrid, 21 June 1528.
  • 23. “Et que les françois se contentassent du leur restituyssent lautruy.”
  • 24. “Y adjoustant ce dont me suis peu adviser mesmes quil convenoit bien considerer lintencion des dits françois, et avoir regard que iceulx ne puissent à raison dire et improperer que lon ne sçauroit prendre la saison et opportunite de paix ni de guerre, auxquelles deux choses, sur toutes aultres, lopportunite et la diligence y estoient terriblement requises, et que estant iceulluy roy aucunement enclin à paix, ce seroit long proces dactendre coup sur coup response de sa mate.”
  • 25. “Et continuer à la perfection des mevnes (sic menées?) encommencées”
  • 26. That of the 20th July, No. 155, p. 253.
  • 27. At this time the Emperor must have been in the neighbourhood of St. Dizier, which had not yet surrendered, though its governor, Count of Sancerre had promised to do so on the 17th of August, unless he was relieved in time.
  • 28. No longer the duke Antoine “Le Bon,” who died in 1543, but his eldest son François, Marquis de Pont à Mousson, and Duke of Bar, who succeeded him in 1544.
  • 29. Jean, bishop of Metz and cardinal, son of Antoine “Le Bon.”
  • 30. “Quoy entendu nous avons incontinent renvoyé le dit sieur de Montbardon, et escript tres expressement an dit due, et enchargè icelluy Montbardon tenir main quil delaisse ou au moins sursoye son partement pour quelques jours, affin que l'on ne puisse presumer que ceste allee soit u par charge de nous.”
  • 31. “Sa femme la Duchesse de Bari, niece de l'Empereur,” that is, Dorethea of Denmark, widow of Francesco Maria Sforza, last duke of Milan, who in 1541 married François de Lorraine, Marquis de Pont à Mousson and duke of Bar (now Bar le Due). There is no date to this letter, nor is the place named where the minute or draft of it was written; but as the Emperor left Metz on the 6th of July, was on the 7th at Pont à Mousson, and at Menonville on the 8th, and on the 11th at Nassau, where, according to “Vandenesse's Itinerary” (Bradford, p. 546) the duke and duchess of Lorraine (this latter the Emperor's niece) visited him, it may be conjectured that the date was the 11th of August, 1544.