Spain: September 1544, 21-25

Pages 350-367

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

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September 1544, 21–25

21 Sept. 206–7. The Queen of Hungary to the Imperial Ambassadors at Boulogne.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Messieurs,”—We have this moment received the enclosed letter from the Emperor, (fn. 1) with orders to forward it to you after adding or suppressing in it whatever We may deem necessary or convenient. The affair treated in it is so important that We willingly refrain from making any alterations save to warn you that in executing the charge which His Imperial Majesty entrusts to you the utmost care and dexterity must needs be used by you two, so as to be able to declare the contents of the Emperor's letter to the King alone in private, and without the presence of any of his privy councillors. In exposing the object of your charge you shall take care not to lay so much stress on the necessity in which the Emperor was of condescending to treat with the French, nor on the King's fault in not observing what Secretary Paget had fully promised in his name. You shall avoid calling the French “newly reconciled friends,” but you shall do your best, by aid of the most gracious and sweetest words you can think of, to persuade the King that His Imperial Majesty has completely fulfilled his duty on this occasion, followed to the letter the treaty of closer alliance with the king of England, and acted in conformity with the answer which he himself gave to the bishop of Arras when consulted on the subject; that having regard to the state and disposition of public affairs, and considering also that the King had already taken possession of Boulogne, and that the season was so far advanced that it was impossible to keep the field much longer, His Imperial Majesty had been obliged to accede to the proposed peace.
This much you will say to the King in private, if you possibly can, all the time making use of the reasons, arguments, and persuasions otherwise contained in the Emperor's letter to you two, and affording the King as complete a satisfaction and contentment as you can, and which We have no doubt you know how to do. But you must take care above all not to give the King, or to any of his privy councillors, in writing, any of the contents of the Emperor's letter to you touching the above-mentioned points, save perhaps what concerns the article of the treaty, which is sent separately. And should the King ask you to declare your charge before his Privy Council, you will do it in the most summary way possible.
French. Original draft. 1 p.
22 Sept. 208. Eustace Chapuys and De Courrières to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—Yesterday, very early in the morning (au prime), these privy councillors gave us in writing the result of their conference with the French ambassadors, as Your Majesty will see by the enclosed memorandum. (fn. 2) They seemed, however, very much disappointed and sorry, as Your Majesty will judge from what will be said lower down, (fn. 3) at their not having given a fuller and more detailed account of what passed between them and the French ambassadors.
The time and place of the conference having been fixed, the Cardinal and his colleagues went to the council and stated the opinion—which, they said, was also shared by some of the privy councillors—that one of the ambassadors, namely, secretary L'Aubespine, should be dispatched to king Francis in order to give him notice of the meeting, and at the same time ascertain his will and intentions. To this proposition of the French ambassadors, backed, it was rumoured, if not entirely made at their solicitation, the privy councillors readily assented; but when the ambassadors applied for a copy of the English articles, signed by the King himself, it was flatly refused. What may have been the cause of the refusal we cannot guess. Certain it is that when the French ambassadors applied as aforesaid for a certified copy of the conditions under which the king of England would consent to make peace—the copy itself being signed by him—and requested that in a similar manner a copy of the French articles, also signed by king Francis, should be forwarded to the Emperor, together with a letter stating that the king of England found the overtures and offers of the French, as he said to Monsr. d'Arras, very fair and reasonable (très honestes et raisonables), and approved of them, they (the French) were unable, notwithstanding all their efforts, to gain their point, the privy councillors persisting in their former refusal, and declaring that, supposing, as they themselves believed, that the Emperor would take the greatest care in an affair which touched so much his honour and reputation, the King their master had left entirely to him the management and settlement of it. It was not (the councillors said) for the King their master to dictate terms for the Emperor's use in making his peace with the French, (fn. 4) sure as he was that, being so virtuous a prince, and so desirous of promoting the welfare and peace of Christendom at large, he would not fail to accept the French conditions of peace even if they were not wholly reasonable.
Then the French, perceiving that they could not carry their point, asked the privy councillors what they themselves thought or knew of the Emperor's inclination to a ready settlement of their differences with England, and whether he approved or not of the overtures they had made. The councillors' answer to that question was in conformity with the declaration once made to Monsr. d'Arras, and with what we ourselves had told them a few days before, that is to say, that His Imperial Majesty, at the departure of Monsr. d'Arras [for Boulogne], had not yet gone so far into the affair as to be able to say at once whether the conditions offered by the French were or were not acceptable, for he (the Emperor) was then altogether unacquainted with the will and intentions of the English King, and, therefore, could express no opinion in the matter. (fn. 5)
Instead of the letter, for which they had applied in vain, the French ambassadors asked next for one to the English ambassador at the Imperial Court, telling him that the Emperor might proceed with his own negociations for peace on the terms specified to Monsr. d'Arras, namely, that no harm should be done to the friendship and the treaties of the two allies.
This last request of the French ambassadors was easily granted, and on the 17th inst. a courier of the King started in company with the aforesaid secretary Aulbespine (sic), this latter having promised to return in eight days' time with king Francis' answer.
On the 19th, about 9 or 10 o'clock of the night, (fn. 6) the French ambassadors called upon the duke of Suffolk to say that they had received from the King their master a letter dated Paris, the 17th, purporting that the summary account of their conference with the privy councillors had been duly received, but that the conditions of peace asked by England seemed to him excessive and over harsh. He (king Francis) could not believe that the king of England, with whom he had always lived on terms of intimate friendship, would now stop at such trifles. They (his ambassadors) should make every effort to have the English conditions moderated or reduced as much as possible, and at the same time try to ascertain to the utmost what king Henry's intentions were respecting the peace. The French King's letter to his ambassadors, as the latter stated, had besides a holograph postscript of this tenour: “After mature consideration, I think that nothing can be done in this affair of the peace [with England] without previously seeing my ambassadors and talking with them on the subject, the more so that I have not now at this my court any minister sufficiently acquainted with the political relations between England and France in later times.”
In corroboration of this last sentence of king Francis' postscript, the Cardinal and his colleagues alleged the death of admiral Çhabaut, (fn. 7) who had been, as they said, the register-book keeper of all the political affairs and transactions with England for the last few years and likewise that of the lawyer who held lately the office of High Chancellor in France, (fn. 8) the absence and illness of Marillac, (fn. 9) formerly French ambassador in England, and last, not least, the disgrace and banishment from court of the High Constable and Grand Master of France (Anne de Montmorency), whose papers had been sequestered.
In addition to this, the French ambassadors stated that king Francis' letter to them contained positive orders for their immediate return to France, warning them three times over that he, the king of France, their master, would listen to no overtures of peace until all and every one of them had returned home.
For this purpose did the Cardinal and his colleagues, as aforesaid, visit the duke of Suffolk on the 19th inst., begging him to solicit the King's permission to leave for France and take his orders if he had any to give. As it was a late hour when the Cardinal and his colleagues called, the Duke promised that next day he would report in Council what his wish was in obedience to his master's commands, so that the King might at once be apprized of his intention to quit and return home.
Next day, the 20th, the privy councillors, whether of their own accord or after consulting the King we cannot exactly tell, sent to the French ambassadors a message to this effect: that since they had promised, or, at least, tacitly consented, not to quit before the return of L'Aubespine and the English courier, who went in his company, they found it very strange and a downright mockery (chose estrange et ouverte mocquerie) to insist now on their immediate departure without waiting two or three days more for the return of L'Aubespine and courier, (fn. 10) when the term of time assigned for their mission to the French court would expire. Had the king of France (they said) been informed in time of the above particulars, surely he would not have recalled you before the expiration of that term.
Notwithstanding the above and other similar arguments, the French ambassadors persisted obstinately in their determination, at the same time declaring that, should they be refused leave to depart, they would protest against the violence done to them, and the non-observance of the safe-conducts. Which declaration, uttered as it was by the Cardinal in rather an intemperate and sharp tone of voice, was little to the taste of the privy councillors, who happen to be now in a state of great perplexity, as Your Majesty will judge by what follows. (fn. 11)
In the afternoon of the 21st, at the request and prayer of the privy councillors themselves, my colleague (Monsr. de Courrière8) and I went to the Council rooms, together with the duke of Alburquerque, (fn. 12) who was also invited. After relating to us what had passed between them and the French ambassadors, they (the privy councillors) asked us what our opinion was respecting their behaviour towards the French ambassadors, and whether they were or were not justified in acting as they had done in the name of their Royal master, who (they said) in matters so important as the present, which bore on his honour and reputation, wished always to show himself such as he was, a virtuous and just prince. They, therefore, requested us three to advise and tell them in plain terms whether we thought that their Royal master would be justified, if, in order to avoid being laughed at in future and without infraction of the safe-conduct, he (the King) retained the French ambassadors next his person. To this question of the privy councillors my colleague and I, after many excuses and protests of our insufficiency to decide on such matters, answered that in our opinion the King, their master, could delay the departure of the said French ambassadors until the return of secretary L'Auberpine and of the courier, who was dispatched at the same time with him, and, above all, until it was known here, at the Camp, that Monsr. d'Arras had actually reached the Imperial Court. This last reason, among others, we alleged in support of our opinion, owing to the King, while discussing the matter with us, having positively stated that he had requested the Bishop to wait at the Camp before Boulogne until the letter he himself was about to write to the Emperor should be ready. (fn. 13) On the other hand we thought that the retention (la due retinue) would be of small importance since it would only last three or four days at the utmost. Even if the King chose to retain the ambassadors longer than he originally intended, the latter were not of such a rank and position in France that the King of that country need be offended at their having been retained at the English camp a few days beyond the date of their safe-conduct, besides which the persons who composed the embassy were not calculated by their position in the Government to obtain more favourable conditions from the king of England than others would. There was still another consideration for us to lay, as we did, before the privy councillors, namely, that whatever excuses and good reasons might be alleged for the retention of the said ambassadors, French people would be sure to spread all over the World, according to their usual practice, the news of the infraction of the safe-conduct, misrepresenting it at their pleasure, and advantageously for themselves. “To this may be added (said we to the privy councillors) that king Francis may perhaps conjecture from the retention of his embassy beyond the date fixed in the safe-conduct that the King of England is extremely desirous of peace, and perhaps considers himself unable to prosecute, and carry on the negociation of it to his advantage, or for fear of being unable to prosecute the war.”
We further told the councillors that in our opinion the best and more magnanimous course to be pursued in that affair was for the King, their master, to represent to the French ambassadors the reasons he had for retaining them at his Court, and at the same time to let them know how much he himself resented their manner of proceeding in the affair. This last complaint of his, however, to be made in such words that his Royal quality, honour, and virtues, should appear more prominent than the fault committed by the ambassadors, to whose departure he has no objection whatever. (fn. 14)
Our speech at an end the privy councillors desired to know the opinion of the duke of Alburquerque, who, as aforesaid, had accompanied us to the Council Rooms. His advice was that the king of England should retain the French ambassadors at the Camp until the return of L'Aubespine and the courier sent with him, that is to say until His Imperial Majesty had been apprised of what had taken place here [at the Camp].
After this the councillors again asked us (De Courrières and Chapuys) whether we were of the same opinion as the Duke. Our answer was that the King, their master, was so prudent and wise and had such a remarkable set of privy councillors to aid him with their deliberations, that it seemed to us quite unnecessary to give an opinion on matters so important as that, and, therefore, that we begged to be excused if we did not positively say which was the best course to follow in the affair. They might act as they pleased in view of the reasons that had been alleged in favour of, or against the said retention of the French ambassadors. What we ourselves could do and which appertained to our charge was to inform His Imperial Majesty, his brother, the king of the Romans (Ferdinand), and Your Majesty, the Queen Regent, of their master's justification in his dealings with the French embassy. That we promised to do immediately, and yet the privy councillors again solicited us for our advice in the matter, which we declined to give for the reasons and considerations which Your Majesty may well appreciate.
As the privy councillors still insisted on their demand, we could not help telling them that if they gave us notice in writing of the King's and their own final resolution in the affair, we would conform with it; at which answer, on our part, they (the privy councillors) seemed as delighted and joyful as they had been formerly sad and almost angry. (fn. 15)
We cannot omit to say that during the conference we seized the opportunity of telling the privy councillors that in our opinion it would have been far better, and likewise more convenient, to have communicated with us before the departure of L'Aubespine and the courier, as we might then have advised with greater freedom on the whole. Had it been for no other purpose than to put the affair in order, and prevent its coming to the state in which things are at present, we (the Imperial ambassadors) should have been apprised of it. At this, our observation, the privy councillors looked at each other, and remained silent; then secretary Paget came to me and said in my ear that he himself had thought of that, and predicted what had come to pass, adding that we (the Imperial ambassadors), would most certainly resent not having received notice at the time of the Council's communications with the French ambassadors. (fn. 16)
The conference ended by the privy councillors again begging us to send an express messenger to Your Majesty, requesting you to use your influence over the Emperor, your brother, and persuade him to grant the King's request, and use all means in your power to let the Emperor know as soon as possible the ins and outs of this affair. This we promised to do, though we failed not to represent to them the many difficulties that stood in Your Majesty's way, owing to the insecurity of the road to the Imperial Camp and Court.
Shortly after our leaving the Council room we received a message from the privy councillors purporting that they had sent for the French ambassadors for the purpose of informing them officially of the result of our interview with them, and the reasons then and there alleged in justification of their master's conduct in the affair, and they requested us to take the trouble of going to the Council Rooms and being present at this interview. This my colleague (De Courrières) and I willingly granted, and accordingly went thither. Almost immediately after the archbishop of Paris (cardinal Jean du Bellay) and two of his colleagues in the embassy, namely, the President of Rouen and the sieur de Trumel, made their appearance in the room, and when every one had taken his seat the bishop of Winchester (Stephen Gardiner) addressed the French ambassadors, (fn. 17) in the name of the Council, the substance of his address being, as above stated, a summary of the reasons the King, his master, had for wishing them to remain at his Court a few days longer than the time fixed in their safeconduct. The Bishop's address at an end, Cardinal Du Bellay got up and, after a long preamble touching on various topics more or less connected with the present question, said that he owned it to have been entirely the fault of his colleagues; had they listened to his advice there would have been no occasion for the present dispute, for they would all have left when L'Aubespine and the courier departed. As to what passed in the Council between him and his colleagues in the embassy on one side and the privy councillors on the other, he (the Cardinal) did not exactly recollect, his memory being rather bad. He therefore subscribed entirely to what each of the parties might allege. (fn. 18) As to himself, he protested that if he could, in his position of ambassador, have remained longer at the King's court he would have done it with pleasure, owing to the kindness with which the King had treated him on all occasions. But it was not in his power, nor in that of his colleagues, to put any gloss or comment upon their master's orders—their duty was to obey them implicitly; and he ended by requesting the councillors to procure from the King permission for him and his colleagues to leave and return home.
To the above speech of the Cardinal the Bishop of Winchester replied that there was no need on the occasion of alluding to the articles proposed by him in his master's name; what he wanted was a formal declaration on his part and that of his colleagues in the embassy as to whether the statements he (the Bishop) had made were true or not. (fn. 19)
At this stage of the conference the Cardinal began visibly to get into a passion (à colleriquer), and tried to embroil the affair; yet in the end, and not knowing how to get out of the difficulty and defeat the Bishop's arguments, he actually came to own that the words of the latter were perfectly true. (fn. 20) At last, seeing himself caught, and not knowing what to reply, he suddenly changed conversation and began to speak in a passion about the English conditions for the peace, which, he said, were exceedingly harsh in general. For instance (said he) the article concerning Scotland—to demand that the king of France should renounce the alliance and stop all relations with that country—is a most strange and preposterous condition, especially when couched and laconically expressed in a few words, and it is one the like of which the Most Christian King will never subscribe to. Even when he himself or two of his children were the Emperor's prisoners such like condition was never dreamt of. “In short,” continued the Cardinal, “in all the treaties and confederacies which the Most Christian King, my master, had once with the king of England, the Scots were comprised as allies and federates of both princes; and I should like to know what faith can henceforth be attached to the promises and treaties made by the king of England if he breaks his own alliances so easily and on so slight an occasion as the one I speak of.”
Hearing which the Bishop replied again, and so pushed his arguments that he compelled the Cardinal and his colleagues to own that the overtures respecting the Scotch article did not originate with them, and that even those referring to Scotland proceeded originally from the French, since the Cardinal himself had offered to do his utmost for the article relating to Scotland to be accepted by the King his master, at the same time recommending its adoption to the royal deputies, both English and French, most particularly and in the warmest terms. (fn. 21) This last assertion of the bishop of Winchester the Cardinal did not attempt to contradict, he only said that it was true that respecting the said Scotch article he had always, on every occasion, promised to do what he could for the adoption of the article [about Scotland]. It was also true that in conversation with the Bishop he (the Cardinal) had spoken in favour of the adoption of the article privately, and in a manner generally used among politicians, who very often for the sake of gaining the confidence and affection of those with whom they have to treat uttered words and made offers in direct opposition to their intentions and wishes; which words and promises ought by no means to be taken as the real expression of their sentiments, and be afterwards considered as obligations.
The Bishop's reply was so sharp and pointed that the Cardinal, who was already giving signs of being in a passion, could not restrain his feelings, and exclaimed: “You are like Martin, the priest, who said Mass and acted besides as his own acolyte: you wish both to speak and to cry out.” The Cardinal thought, no doubt, that by addressing the Bishop in this manner he had won a sort of victory over him, since no one of the privy councillors present rose to contradict him. (fn. 22) As no one of the privy councillors present rose to respond to him, the Cardinal thought at first that he had gained a sort of victory over his opponent, but he was very much mistaken, and had to repent, for the Duke of Suffolk interfered, and said to him: “The words addressed by you to such a personage as the Bishop of Winchester, speaking in the King (our master's) name, are not honest and fit words; you should have a little more regard for the assembly (compaignie) in which you are.” The Cardinal then attempted to excuse himself in a way, saying, half jokingly (comme à demy gaudissant), that if he had in any manner offended the members of the King's Privy Council he begged their pardon, but that he himself had heard that very morning from the lips of one of them that he pitied much those who attempted to do service to the king of France, which words secretary Paget then and there owned to have said to the Cardinal, though with some explanation of the meaning, which the Cardinal accepted and was satisfied with.
Perceiving this altercation and mutual reproaches (altercations et picquements) my colleague and I considered it expedient to interfere, and take a middle course between the Bishop's proposals and the obstinate refusal of the French ambassadors. This we did with fit moderation and tact, so as not to wound the feelings of the Frenchmen, and at the same time conciliating the privy councillors, which we succeeded in doing, both parties appearing glad and satisfied with the result. Thus did the conference end, though without a final agreement being taken, save that the councillors promised to report to the King and let the ambassadors know his resolution on the whole.
As your Majesty may already have heard and also known by our despatches, what this King feels most at this bantering (mocquerie) of the French, as he calls it, is—as is the rumour afloat—that the news taken by the courier [who departed at the same time as L'Aubespine] could not have induced His Imperial Majesty to make his peace with the French and withdraw his army from the field, which two facts had rendered the common enemy more difficult to treat with. But on the other hand the King, as His privy councillors maintain, is so confident and trusts so implicitly in the Emperor's kindness, virtue, and friendship, that he thinks the same hostages (hostagiers) whom the latter will demand as security for the stipulations of his own treaty of peace with the French, will do for him.”
On leaving the Council very late in the evening, together with the French ambassadors, news was received here of the arrival of 6,000 Englishmen newly raised in England, at which news the privy councillors were much rejoiced (faisoient feste). We cannot guess what may be the cause of their rejoicing, for after all the season is so far advanced that it seems as if it were time to be sending part of the army back to England rather than calling for reinforcements. The measure, however, seems to be in direct opposition to what the privy councillors themselves told me a few days ago, namely, that the period of time during which the allies were bound to keep the field was about to expire in 10 or 12 days. There is no appearance yet of the King marching again (remarche) towards Montreuil; nor do we know whether the arrival of the 6,000 men above alluded to will incite him to do so. (fn. 23) Of this, as well as of other events, we shall not fail to apprise Your Majesty.
Just at this moment we received a verbal message from the King, thanking us (my colleague and me) for our good offices in the affair of the French ambassadors, whom he intends, as it seems to us, retaining here till after L'Aubespine's return, and that of the courier at the same time. (fn. 24) Of whatever may occur in this and other affairs, we shall not fail to inform Your Majesty.
The King has this very morning received intelligence of the Emperor's return to Chartel Cambresis, but has shown no displeasure at the news, under the impression, nay, the firm belief, that his Imperial Majesty, now that he is in a place of surety, will think of him, and when peace is concluded will attend to the reservation of his rights. That is why we his ambassadors will be able in future to speak to him more freely, and without causing any harm, on the affair of the French ambassadors. (fn. 25) —La Basse, Boulogne, 22nd of September 1544.
Signed: “De Montmorency” and “Eustace Chapuya.”
French. Original. 9 pp.
23 Sept. 209. Chapuys and Montmorency to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—This very morning, about 9 o'clock, Your Majesty's letter of the 20th came to hand, after the deciphering of which my colleague (Montmorency) and I (Chapuys) waited on the King, who not only had graciously granted us the audience applied for, but had sent us two or three messages wondering why we did not go to him, and bidding us to make haste, the cause of such impatience being in our opinion that the King wished to hear what we had to say before he gave audience to the French ambassadors, who had just arrived at the King's residence. (fn. 26) We were received kindly enough (assez benignement) by the King, who after hearing from our lips the news of the peace just made between the Emperor and king Francis, inquired from us whether we had any other particular news to communicate. We answered that we had none saving that His Imperial Majesty had done the utmost of his duty (tout extreme debvoir) towards the observance of the treaty of closer friendship between his Imperial Majesty and him. Hearing which, and that the state of the roads in Flanders (par deça) had prevented the messenger (fn. 27) from coming sooner, but that I expected to hear soon either from the Emperor or from you, he replied, “I daresay another messenger will shortly arrive with further particulars, and that I shall then be officially informed of what has taken place.”
As the King knew already all about the peace, he showed no signs whatever of surprise, joy, or discontent; on the contrary, he received the news of it with greater moderation and calm than we have seen in him up to this time. But when my colleague and I (Chapuys) announced to him, privately, not officially, in Your Majesty's name the rumour afloat of the French marching towards Montreuil to have the siege of that town raised, he showed surprise at it, changed colour and countenance, observing that the rumour could not be true [not], inasmuch as the Emperor had probably broken up his army by that time; (fn. 28) and on our replying to him that if such was the intention of the French, he (the King) had sufficient means in his power to remedy that, he admitted that he had been in a much better position than he was in now to resist the attacks of his enemy, for he had sent back [to England] the English infantry that had lately come over. At any rate he would do his best. (fn. 29)
The King has been pleased to receive Your Majesty's congratulations on the taking of this town (Boulogne), and taken in good part what my colleague and I (Chapuys) said to him in Your Majesty's name, that there was no need of thanking you for the release from prison of the Italian (fn. 30) mentioned in his letter; that was the least thing Your Majesty was prepared to do in his favour.
We have not considered it fit or convenient just now to say anything to him about the warships [of the Netherlands], but should the opportunity come, we will most certainly mention the subject to the privy councillors, in conformity with Your Majesty's instructions.
Since our return here the Bishop of Wyncestre (Winchester), and the Treasurer of War (fn. 31) called to give us notice in the King's name that the French ambassadors immediately after our departure [from Boulogne] had signified to him [the Bishop] in the very same words as we did to the King the event of the peace [made at Crépy], only adding that the King, their master, had written to say that as far as the king of England was concerned, he (King Francis) would act entirely on his Imperial Majesty's advice. King Francis also wrote [to his ambassadors] to return to him as soon as possible. The ambassadors, moreover, after delivering their master's message to the Bishop and Treasurer, have not omitted to say that the Dauphin (Henri) was coming down to have the siege of Montreuil raised. They have since obtained the King's leave to quit and return home.
We were also told by the above-mentioned Bishop and Treasurer that the King, their master, was very much surprised and astonished at the Emperor not having informed him, at the time that he was treating of peace with the French, that it was already concluded, and what the conditions were. Our answer was that we had nothing to do with the conditions of the peace, that was not our province; and as to breaking up his army, the Emperor would look more than twice before he did it, considering that my colleague and I (Chapuys) had written to say that Montreuil might be taken. Of the taking of that town they might well suppose that the Emperor would have been glad, were it for no other purpose than to save the expense of the men serving under Monsr. de Bueren at the siege. Perhaps, also, the Emperor relied on the words which the King had addressed to Monsr. d'Arras on the subject of the period of time during which the allied armies were to keep the field. (fn. 32)
The Bishop and Treasurer ended by asking us to beg and entreat you to use all your influence over His Imperial Majesty for him not to break up his army without previously informing the king of England thereof, that he may employ his own, and do with it what he thinks proper and convenient. The King, our master (said the Bishop and Treasurer), had no doubt that as the English took the field relying entirely on his Imperial Majesty, the latter will not allow them to be oppressed by the common enemy; for after all the Emperor would feel the damage of the war as well as the English. The said Bishop and Treasurer have also given us to understand that the King, their master, will attend carefully to the defence of his own dominions on that side of the Channel should the French attempt anything against him, and that in order to resist the enemy more effectually, it would be requisite, nay, necessary, that his men should be provided with victuals from the side of St. Omer. They have requested us to write to Your Majesty about it, promising, as we have advised them to do, to give notice to their commissaries (les commissaires de vivres) to procure what is wanted.
We have not considered it opportune, my colleague and I (Chapuys), to speak to the King in Your Majesty's name about the rumour current there [in Flanders] of the Dauphin coming down to these parts, on many reasons; for certainly, should the news turn out true, it seems to us that a march of the French upon Montreuil would be at the present moment most inconvenient and an untoward event for the men under Bueren, who, we hear, begin already to feel the want of victuals and fodder for their horses. (fn. 33) We fear it the more on account of the injury and damage which that general and the great number of nobles and gentlemen who are with him might possibly receive, should the French go that way. We have no doubt that both Your Royal Majesty and the Emperor will look to that as an affair of great importance.—Boulogne, 23rd September (fn. 34) 1544.
Signed: “De Montmorency” and “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original partly ciphered. 2 pp.
24 Sept. 210. The Emperor to His Ambassadors In England.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Tres chiers et feaulx,”—We suppose that you have received Our last, (fn. 35) Since then the English ambassador residing at this Our Court has come here to Cateau Cambresis, and spoken to Us at length about the overtures of peace made to the King, his master, by Cardinal [Jean] du Bellay, and other deputies of King Francis. The ambassador, at the same time, placed into Our hands a paper of the conditions under which the case being, his master's ministers would accept the said peace, He has, moreover, given Us to understand, whilst talking over the matter contained in the said paper, that the King, his master, had written to say, that although he does not yet know what the conditions of Our separate peace with France are, he consents to it, on the understanding only that the articles and conditions of that separate peace of Ours will only facilitate and promote that which the allies conjointly may afterwards make with France. (fn. 36)
Hearing this from the lips of the English ambassador We referred him to what We had signified once to him through Mons. de Granvelle and Mons. D'Arrás, at the time that the King's consent was obtained, namely, “that We would treat of the peace, reserving the King's rights in compliance with the treaty of closer alliance,” as you, yourselves, saw and heard at the time, and wrote to the queen of Hungary, (fn. 37) Our sister. We also declared to the English ambassador the great pressure We had put on the Duke of Orleans and the Admiral of France (Claude d'Hannebault), for them to induce the King of France to satisfy as much as possible English demands, and come to terms with him. To that end We had expressly sent to the camp before Boulogne the Bishop of Arrás, who, if necessary, would return to the King and remind him of the words uttered by him (the King) on the occasion We desired above all things that the said meeting took place.
With regard to the friendly and confidential advice bestowed on Us by the king of England respecting the dangerous position in which, as he said, We had placed Ourselves—though, in truth, We had nothing to apprehend from the forces of king Francis, as long as We were marching through his country—We spoke to the English ambassador in plain words, and told him that as King Francis was at the head of a powerful army, and seemed at one time inclined, ns reported, to march [against him], We had certainly written advising him to raise the siege of Montreuil, and had also spoken to his ambassador about it, which advice was tendered sincerely, and with the best possible intentions. (fn. 38)
We have entered into these details in order that, should the English ambassador report differently, or in a cruder way, our conversation with him on the above topic, (fn. 39) you and your colleague (Montmorency) may be in a situation to explain the whole in the most courteous and mildest manner possible what Our intention is in the matter.
In short, We were thinking of ordering the Sieur de Grantvelle to give the ambassador a fuller answer to his proposals; if so, he, himself, will inform you of what passes at their conference. As, however, We are on the point of departure from this place to re-enter Cateau Cambresis, and there divide Our army, and make part of it retreat without causing the least injury to the king of England's cause, directly or indirectly, the proposed conference cannot immediately take place. However that may be, let it be known that the scattering and retreat of Our army was effected according to the advice of the king of England, Our ally, expressed in a note which his own ambassador placed a few days ago into Our hands, when We had already decided to do so.
As to the remainder, We refer you to Our preceding letter, (fn. 40) the answer to which We are expecting.—Cambray, 24th September, 1544.
French. Original minute. 2 pp.


  • 1. No. 204, pp. 347, 348.
  • 2. Not found in the Imperial Archives.
  • 3. “Et se sont bien pris par le becq les dits du Conseil de ce que plus ne les avoient monstré, comme pourra v[ost]re. mte entendre par ce que dessoubz sera dit.”
  • 4. “Et leur fust respondu que se dit sr roy presupposoit que sa mate de l'empereur auroit son mieulx regard en tout ce que luy competeroit et toucheroit son honneur et reputation et que à luy n'estoit de coupper les morceaulx à sa dite mate ne luy persuader de condescendre à nulle condicion, mesmes saichant que sa mate pour estre prince si vertueux et qu'avoit tant pour recommandé le bien et repost (sic) de la Chretienté ne refuseroit condicions ores qu'elles ne fussent que à demy raisonables.”
  • 5. “Vindrent à demander aux dits du Conseil qu'est ce qu'ilz presupposoient de la voulenté et inclination de sa mate [imperiale] touchant les ouvertures à icelle faictes; à quoy leur fust respondu conforme à ce que Monsr. d'Arras et nous leur avions dit [à sçavoir] que sa mate n'estoit venu tant avant au partement de Monsr. d'Arras que de se vouloir resouldre sur les dits offres pour nou sçavoir la voulenté et bon plaisir du dit sr roy.”
  • 6. “Environ les IX ou X henres de la nuit.”
  • 7. Philippe de Brion-Chabot, who died in March 1543, and was succeeded by Claude d'Hannebault.
  • 8. François de Montholon, President of the Parliament of Paris and High Chancellor of France, who died in June 1543, and was succeeded by Errault de Chemans.
  • 9. Charles de Marillac, from April 1539 to April 1543.
  • 10. “Au dit lendemain iceulx du dit Couseil ne sçavons si par leur mouvement, on apres avoir parlé au dit sr roy, envoyareut (sic) devers les dits ambassadeurs pour leur remonstrer entre aultres choses que puis qu'ilz avoient promis, du moins tacitement, qu'ilz ne partiroient avant le retour des dits Aulbepine et courier, c'estoit chose estrange et ouverte mocquerie de maintenant vouloir partir sans actendre (sic) deux ou trois jours.”
  • 11. “Mais quoique sçussent alleger les dits du Conseil iceulx ambassadeurs persistarent (sic) obstinantment de vouloir partir, et qu'en cas de reffus ilz estoient deliberez de protester de la violation et inobservance de leur saufconduit. Les quels propos furent trouvez bien aigres pour (par) les dits du Conseil, et en demourant (demeurerent?) en perplexité, comme v[ost]re. mate pourra entendre par ce que s'en suyt.”
  • 12. Don Beltran II de la Cueva, third duke of Alburquerque or Albuquerque, about whom see Vol. VI., Part II, pp. 201–2, whose arrival in London took place on the 24th of March (No. 36, p. 84).
  • 13. “Par les queues le dit sr roy pourroit delayer le retour des dits ambassadeurs jusques au retour des dits Aubespine et courrier, et que l'on sçeu[t] l'arrivée de Monsr. d'Arras devers sa mate suyvant ce que le dit sr roy nous avoit dit quant il pria le dit sr d'Arras d'actendre ses lettres.”
  • 14. “Et que d'ailleurs le dit roy de France pourroit conjecturer pour (par) telle retention que le dit sr roy eust fort desir de la paix, et que cela debvoit proceder par quelque diffidence de pouvoir plus continuer la guerre ou aultres choses, et que la chose pourroit estre jurée (jugée?) plus magnanime que le dit sr roy feist remonstrer au dits ambassadeurs la juste occasion qu'il avoit de les retenir et [de] s'en ressentir de leur façon de faire et ce neatmoins veuillant plus avoir regard à sa qualité, honneur et vertu que à la faulte d'iceulx et qu'il estoit coutent qu'ilz en partissent.”
  • 15. “Ce non obstant ne cesserent ilz les dits du Conseil de fere (faire) extra instance que disions n[ost]re. advis, dont nous sembla nous debvoir par les considerations que v[ost]re. mate peult penser, et n'y eust ordre de les contenter jusques à tant que leurs dismes quilz nous feissent entendre celle du roy et la leur, et que nous y condescendrons et conformerions, de la quelle response se montrarent fort joyeulx comme si estoient paravant monstrez et à demy courroucez.”
  • 16. “Sur les quelz propos les conseillers commencherent à [se] regarder l'ung l'aultre, et peu apres nous dire le secretaire à l'ereille qu'il n'avoit jammaìs pensé moins, et l'avoit predict, que ne defauldrions donner quelque indice de resentement de non nous avoir plus tost donné avis do leur communications avec les ambassadeurs.”
  • 17. “Et incontinent apres survint le cardinal et deux de ses collegues, à sçavoir le president de Rouen et le Sieur de Trumel (sic), et estans assis chascun [en eon] recoin (?) l'evesque de Wyncestre print la parolle.”
  • 18. “Et ayant achevé le dit Cardinal, apres divers preambules et prohemes, dit qu'il confeesoit avoir tort de ses dits collegues, les quels si leur creust (silz lavoient creu) n'eust esté question de ceste dispute, car ilz fussent tres tous deslogez quant et quant les dits Aubespine et courrier, et que touchant ce que estoit passé entre luy et ses dits collegues d'une part et d'autre avee les dits du Conseil, il avoit la memoire la belle, et pour ce sen remectoit il absolutement à ce qu'en estoit.”
  • 19. “Qu'il n'estoit nul besoign de se remectre à l'escriptures des articles projectez, aultre les quelz avoient passez par luy recitez pour quoy convenoit quo le dit Cardinal et ses collegues respondissent formellement an propoz qu'il leur avoit proposé s'ilz estoient veritables ou non.”
  • 20. “Le Cardinal se commençe à colleriquer, et voulut desguiser les affaires, toutestois à la parfin ne s'en scavit detracquer qu'il ne vint à confesser effectuellement les proposites (sic) du dit evesque de Winchestre [estre vraies].”
  • 21. “Et finallement reduist le dit Cardinal et ses collegues en termes qu'ilz luy peultroient poussent nyer bonnement que les ouvertures des dits articles ne vinssent de leur part, et mesmes celluy concernant Escosse, et que le mesine Cardinal s'estoit offert de tenir main an parachevement du dit article, et se (aussi) avoit au mesme temps prié particulierement et bien estroietement les deputez avec ceulx de la parte du dit sr roy pour tenir la main à l'effectuation des choses pourparlees.”
  • 22. “Et luy venant à replicquer le diet evesque de Whincestre (sic) icelluy cardinal, qui desja avoit donné indices de sa collere (sic) picquant le dit Wincestre (sic), entra alors en plus grande collere, luy disant qu'il estoit le pretre Martin, qui disoit la messe et respondoit, et qu'il vouloit tousiours parler et crier, faissant son corapte d'avoir gagné la cause et victoire puisqu'il n'y avoit coutradicteur.”
  • 23. “Et ne scavons a quelle occasion veu que la saisson requeroit plustost d'en envoyer gens quo d'en faire venir, et est bien diversea chose de ce que les dits du Conseil nous dirent deruierement, a sçavoir que le terme de tenir les champs expiroit dans dix ou douze jours. Il n'y a mesmes apparence que le dit sr roy remerche (sic) devers Monstrueil, ne sçavons si la supervennance des dits six mille hommes l'incitera à ce faire.”
  • 24. “Les quels à ce que nous semble [il] entend de re tenir plus longuement que le retour du dit Aubespine et courier, dont [on] luy [veult] en rabatre l'envy,”
  • 25. “Et par quant qu'il a reçu ce matin eu entendu les nouvelles du retour de sa mate au coustel du Chastel au Cambresis, des quelles nouvelles ne montre aucun deplaisir, pensant et tenant fermement que sa mate, aura eu souvenance de luy et la resercion (reservation) qu'il convenoit en leur endroit pour respect d'entendre sa mate estre en lieu de seureté, pour quoy pensans plus librement et sans prejudice d'icelle [mate] poierrons user à leur advis en l'endroit des dits ambassadeurs.”
  • 26. “Que desja estoient arrivez au logis du dit sr roy.”
  • 27. “Sur quoy entendant de nous que les chemins de ce costel là [estoient en maulvais estat], nous dit qu'il ne povoit tarder que sa mate renvoyast içy plain advertissement de toutes choses.”
  • 28. “Comme il estoit desja preadverty des dites nouvelles, il ne monstra signe du monde de joye ni de mescontement, ainsi de plus grande moderation que n'avions jusques içy à ceste heure veu, mais quant luy vinmes advertir comme eu particulier, et non comme de la part de v[ost]re. mate”, du bruyt que courroit que les françoys marchoyent pour lever le siege de Montreuil, il s'en est monstré un peu estouné, changeant de myne et de grimache, disant que çela n'estoit poinct, par ce que pa mate paradventure auroit rompu son armée.”
  • 29. “Et luy disant qu'il estoit bien pourveu pour y remedier, il nous respondit quil l'avoit esté mieulx par çy devant, car il avoit renvoyé les Anglois, que nouvellement estoyent venu; toutesfois quil feroit [de] son mieulx.”
  • 30. Count St. Boniface?
  • 31. “Le tresorier des Guerres” can be no other than Sir Thomas Cheyne, treasurer of the Household from 1540 to 1547.
  • 32. “Que pourroit estre aussi que sa mate se fonda sur les propos qu'avoyent esté tenuz à Monsr d'Arras de l'expiration du temps capitullé (sic) de continuer aux champs.”
  • 33. At this time, though the Emperor's peace with France was on the point of being concluded, the Sieur (lord and count) of Buren (Maximilien d'Egmont) was still commanding the auxiliary Belgian force in front of Montreuil. The passage runs thus: “Et certes il nous semble quit viendroit mal à propos que les françoys vïnssent devers Montreuil, ou nos gens souffrent des vituailles et mesmes de (les?) chevaulx; et d'aultant plus doubteryons cela pour le dommaige que pourroit survenir à Mons. de Bueren et à la grande et notable noblesse qu'il a avecq luy.”
  • 34. Such is distinctly the date of this draft, which, unlike most of the letters and documents emanating from Queen Mary's Privy Council, expresses the day in which it was drawn. The singularity of the fact called my attention, and 1 made enquiries, the result of which has been that really and truly the draft is dated September, though the clerk who wrote it endorsed it 24 “October.”
  • 35. No. 195, pp. 327–34.
  • 36. “Encoires qu'il nes'coit (sçait sache) poinet le traicte de paix par nous faict, qu'il est seulement entendu que puissions arrester nos articles avec France pour conjoinctement [apres] faire la dite paix.”
  • 37. “Que puissions traicter la dite paix en reservant le traicte d'amytie que avyons avec son dit maistre, comforme[ment] à ce que avons veu(?) et avez escript à la royne madame nostre soeur.”
  • 38. “Dismes en la mesme sorte au dit ambassadeur que icelluy roy de France avoit puissante armée, et que comme avyons entendu, marchoit quil par adventure le mieulx seroit que le dit sr roy retira son armee de Montreuil, le quel advertissement fismes au dit ambassadeur sincerement et de bonne intencion”
  • 39. “Et pour ce que par adventure il le pourroit escripre plus crûment.”
  • 40. That of the 24th (No. 210, p. 365), written at Cambray, where the Emperor, after his treaty of peace with France, found his sister, the Stadtholderiu (Mary, queen dowager of Hungary), waiting for him, us well as the French cardinals of Meudon and of Lorraine. This latter (Jean) had come for the purpose of replacing his brother, the Duke of Guise, who, with two others, a Bon of the Admiral of France (Claude Hannebaut), and Monsr. de La Val, were to be delivered as hortages for the Peace.