Spain: November 1544, 1-15

Pages 436-444

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

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November 1544, 1–15

3 Nov. 242. The Bishop of Arras to King Henry.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Sire,”—Your Majesty must already have been informed that the Emperor, my master, dispatched me towards the king of France for the express purpose of persuading him to enter into a treaty with Your Majesty, and that since then I received fresh orders from home commanding me to use all possible diligence, and should I not succeed in satisfying him as to Your Majesty's intentions, to solicit the said king of France most urgently to send again [to you] cardinal Du Bellay and the other ambassadors for the express purpose of renewing the negociations. To this the King readily consented. Since then certain difficulties have arisen respecting the passage to England of the ambassadors, which, however, were partly surmounted with the aid of the Imperial ones at king Francis' court, by the French coming to this town of Calais, (fn. 1) where they at present are, and where preliminary communications have already been held, though not sufficiently formal and serious to bring about the negociation and subsequent conclusion of a peace between England and France, so much desired by His Imperial Majesty.
At last my colleagues and I—perceiving that the king of France has recalled his ambassadors, who are about to return home, and that for the present at least all our efforts to retain them here have been of no use—have made up our minds to go home and report this state of things to the Emperor, our master, who, we are sure, will not desist from his endeavours to bring about peace between Your Majesty and the king of France, just as we ourselves have occasionally and more fully explained to the members of Your Majesty's Privy Council [at Calais] in our conferences with them.
Though I, myself, should have wished to go to Your Royal Majesty, and at the same time be the bearer of letters which my Imperial master wrote to me during my stay at the court of France, and which are herein enclosed, the opportunity and means of so doing have failed, and, therefore, thinking that I might do better for Your Royal Majesty and my Imperial master's service, too, by returning home, I am about to do so. I must add that the Emperor's letter (fn. 2) to Your Majesty in credence of myself contained, among other things, the assurance that my Imperial master is ready to do the best offices possible on behalf of Your Majesty, were it for no other reasons and considerations than those which I myself have expounded in Your Majesty's Privy Council in these parts, where I have declared my Imperial master's singular desire for a speedy settlement of the differences between England and France.—Calaix, 3 November 1544.
Signed: “Perrenot, evesque d'Arras.”
Addressed: “Au Roy.”
French. Original draft. (fn. 3) 2 pp.
6 Nov. 243. High Commander Cobos (fn. 4) to Lope Hurtado.
Port. S. E. L. 373, f. 232. There has been neither occasion nor opportunity yet either to answer your letters or to execute His Imperial Majesty's commands with regard to yourself and in connection with the Portuguese political affairs which secretary Idiaquez brought in his charge. Now, however, it is my duty to announce to you that yesterday, the 5th inst., Juan Montepulchiano, (fn. 5) archbishop of Siponti, arrived here [at Valladolid], sent by His Holiness the Pope as papal nuncio to that kingdom of Portugal. He did not intend at first remaining here long, but to continue his journey [to Portugal] as soon as he had visited the Princess (fn. 6) here. This morning (the 6th) he again called and dined with me. He said that Her Royal Highness the Princess had shown him a letter from the King, her father, stating that he (the King) was glad to hear of his (the nuncio's) arrival here [at Valladolid], but begged him to stay some time, and not to proceed on his journey [to Portugal] until he himself had written about it. (fn. 7) At which desire of His Majesty the king of Portugal, the said papal nuncio is very much surprised, having done his best at Rome, as he said he had, conjointly with the Portuguese ambassador, for the settlement of all pending questions. He (Montepulchiano) heard from the Portuguese ambassador himself that the King would be glad to see him, and had accepted the charge which His Holiness had given him for the sole and exclusive purpose of continuing his services near his Royal person, and, therefore, could not imagine what suspicion could have entered that King's mind.
To see himself affronted in this manner is a sort of thing which the papal nuncio could not bear with patience. He is, as you may imagine, exceedingly displeased at it, perhaps not without reason, and has therefore decided to stop here [at Valladolid] until the Prince's return from Madrid, on the plea that he has a private message for him from His Holiness, which he wishes to deliver in person. That is why, without letting anyone know the cause of his resolution, he is determined not to depart for Portugal until he he has seen the Prince. Meanwhile he has dispatched a, courier to Portugal with a letter for the King, begging him to permit his going to His Royal presence, and assuring him that he (the nuncio) has no other mission or mandate from His Holiness save that of complimenting him, and showing his readiness to please him in all matters. He, himself, was sincerely attached to the King's Royal person and service, as all the Portuguese courtiers were aware, and they would consider it an injury to his person and an offence to his honour if he were obliged to stop longer at Valladolid, where he was, without being able to deliver personally His Holiness' message of which he was bearer.
During the many years of my personal acquaintance with Montepulchiano, (fn. 8) I (Cobos) have held him to be a most accomplished and well-intentioned ecclesiastic, sincerely attached to the Emperor's service, and also to that of the king of Portugal; and I recollect that in all matters immediately depending on him, or connected with his office, he has always shown inclination and desire to be useful to the two Majesties, Imperial and Royal. Even before he thought of being appointed papal legate to Portugal, he (Montepulchiano) had worked in favour of that King, for in the Aleaçoba and Santa Cruz ecclesiastical affairs, which others before him had failed to adjust, he did so well that all was, after many years, settled to the advantage and profit of Portugal.
For the above and other reasons which I and others here might allege, I beg you [Lope Hurtado] to intercede with the King on Montepulchiano's behalf, that the latter may be received at court as favourably as other legates and nuncios of His Holiness.
The Prince left yesterday for Madrid. He will, as I am told, sleep at Coca, next day at Segovia, and will reach Madrid on Saturday. (fn. 9) He is in excellent health, as is also the Princess, (fn. 10) though now in the family way.—Valladolid, 1 November 1544.
Spanish. Original. 2 pp.
6 Nov. 244. The Papal Nuncio to Portugal to High Commander Cobos.
S. E. Port., ff. 335–6. Your Lordship's letter to the Imperial ambassador is excellent; it cannot be better. If Your Lordship considers it fit and opportune, (fn. 11) His Highness the Prince [of Portugal] should be at the same time informed of my reasons for not leaving immediately for His Royal presence, as I would otherwise have done. He should be told what a faithful servant of His Royal Highness I profess to be, and am, and how much I have done for the speedy settlement of his affairs at Rome, since I was the very Bishop who was able to adjust, in a very few days, and to the complete satisfaction of the king of Portugal, the Alcobaza and Santa Cruz affairs, which had been unsettled for many years past.
There is still another point which ought to be touched upon in the letter which your lordship offers to write to the Imperial ambassador in commendation of my business, namely, that I enjoy some credit with His Holiness and with those who surround him, but of this Your Lordship will be able to testify much better than I myself can.—Valladolid, 6 November 1544.
Spanish. Original. (fn. 12) 1 p.
— Nov. 245. The English Articles, respecting which the Ambassadors of the Most Christian King of France desire an explanation.
Wien, Imp. Arch. First of all (the French ambassadors) (fn. 13) wish to know whether the king of England will be pleased or not that former treaties between the two nations remain unchanged, and that in virtue of those treaties the pension be paid by France at the time and periods therein stipulated.
What dates will the king of England be pleased to fix for the payment of arrears due to him, and what hostages will he demand as security for the payment of such arrears as well as of the aforesaid pension?
What is meant by the interests on the Most Christian King's debt to him; what sum of money those interests are estimated at; and that being settled, whether the King will be pleased to grant reasonable terms and dates within which the Most Christian King may pay his debt to the king of England?
What his demands are respecting Ardres? (fn. 14) How is the Most Christian King expected to behave towards the Scots without attaint either to his own honour or to the reputation of his brother the king of England?
Also whether the King intends, by means of and through the treaty of peace which will be concluded between him and the Most Christian King, to restore the town of Boulogne, or retain it in his possession?
The ambassadors of the Most Christian King wish also to know whether, in stating his opinion that fresh offers should again be made by king Francis through the Emperor's medium, the king of England, after hearing Monsr. d'Arras' verbal explanation, means to say that the Most Christian king of France has failed to satisfy him on all points. (fn. 15) The French ambassadors are much surprised at it, for they know from a reliable source that the Emperor had not only approved of the offers made in the Most Christian King's name, but had found them just and reasonable. (fn. 16)
French. Original. 1½ p.
8 Nov. 246. Continuation of the Conferences held at Brussels. (fn. 17)
Wien, Imp. Arch. After the above answer of ours, (fn. 18) the English ambassadors went on insisting as before in their demand that the Emperor should declare war against France, since (as they said) he is bound by the treaty of closer alliance to consider as his own enemies all those who are the enemies of the king of England, and they asked for a plain and categorical answer, yes or no, adding the following request: that the Emperor's declaration should be couched in such words as to make of it on auxiliary against the French in virtue of the reservation of the English rights as stipulated in the treaty of Crêpy. (fn. 19)
To the foregoing request of the English commissioners, one of the Emperor's ministers answered, that after a most minute examination of the clauses of the treaty, His Imperial Majesty had failed to discover any that obliged him to make such a declaration. His peace with France had been concluded with the full consent and approval of the king of England, and therefore it would be quite unreasonable for the Emperor to recommence war against France. The article of the treaty on which the king of England founds his demand for the Emperor's declaration against that country has nothing to do with the present case; it refers only to countries and towns invaded by the common enemy, and certainly the town and castle of Boulogne could not be named in the treaty, since it was besieged long afterwards by the English and taken after the Emperor's peace with France. The Emperor therefore refuses to issue the declaration demanded, that he may be better able to mediate for peace between England and France.
The English ambassadors renewed their demand, and were again answered in the same terms as before, namely, that the invasion of English territory in the county of Guînes was not of the sort and class specified in the treaty of closer alliance. Even if it were, and the article quoted referred to it, which it does not, a mere raid or incursion by fifty mounted men, or a small number of adventurers, no doubt to procure victuals for the men and fodder for the horses, can hardly be called a regular invasion of English territory. (fn. 20) For these reasons, and several more that could be alleged, the Emperor cannot comply with the king of England's wish in that particular. Indeed, the taking of Boulogne by the King, their master, took place long after the treaty of closer alliance was made and signed; no one of its clauses could possibly allude to it, for in December 1543, when the agreement between the king of England and Ferrante di Gonzaga was signed, no mention whatever was made of that town or of Montreuil, which the King promised to leave behind, so as to meet the Emperor on the banks of the river Somme, and then march on Paris. As Boulogne, therefore, was not then an English possession, how could the Emperor consider it as such and declare against king Francis? He, therefore, refuses altogether to comply with the king of England's demand, that he may better be able to mediate, and bring on a lasting peace between England and France.
The English ambassadors went on repeating the same arguments, adding that the invasion by the French of English territory had not been limited to Boulogne; the county of Guînes had likewise been overrun by an army of 20,000 Frenchmen, who had set fire to many churches, and stored their artillery within them, besides having many war vessels on the sea to help them in their hostile attempt; and that if the examination of the clauses of the treaty of alliance could be made in their presence, they would be able to prove their assertion, namely, that the Emperor is obliged by that treaty to declare against France. If so, and if time were allowed to them for discussion, they flattered themselves that our answer this time would not be so hasty and so short as in the preceding conferences.
In conclusion, we told them that next day the result of the conferences would be faithfully reported to the Emperor, and a copy of our own report sent to the Imperial ambassador in England.—Brussels [10th of November 1544.] (fn. 21)
Indorsed: “Coppie de la derniere conference heue (hue) entre Messieurs les ambassadeurs anglois et les ministres de sa Mate Imperiale”
French. Original draft. 5½ pp.
11 Nov. 247. Mary Stuart to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Asks for the continuation of the peace concluded with her father (James), and requests the Emperor, whilst her kingdom is at war with England, to refrain from acts of hostility against her, so that her subjects, the Scots, be no longer treated so harshly as hitherto merely to please the English, her enemies, but on kind and friendly terms, as the old treaties and confederacies existing between Spain and Scotland justly demand. Her councillors have warmly recommended her to propose that when the Emperor comes next to Lower Germany, an ambassador be sent to him with this petition. (fn. 22)
Signed: “Jacobus Arranis Comes.”
Latin. Original. 1 p.
14 Nov. 248. King Henry to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Hearing from Our ambassadors at the Imperial Court the objections and doubts raised by Your ministers against the report made by the former in Our name, of frequent aggressions committed by the French, and of their having more than once invaded Our territories and possessions on both sides of the Channel, (fn. 23) We have deemed it fit and convenient, in order that truth may become manifest, to inform You of the facts as they have occurred.
Ever since the French concluded peace with You, they have never ceased making war against Us. After attempting to retake Lower Boulogne (la basse Boulogne), they invaded Our Guînes territory, (fn. 24) and after destroying or setting fire to certain churches and strong places in the neighbourhood, they did all they could to get possession of Our castle of Hampnes, (fn. 25) and of Guînes itself, though, thanks to God, they were at both places shamefully beaten. Not satisfied with that, and perceiving that they could do Us no harm whatever inland, they carne to this coast with a number of warships, (fn. 26) and landing not far from Our town of, Calais, surprised and took prisoners certain sick soldiers of Ours, who on account of sickness had been sent out into the country, some short distance from Calais, for change of air. This is not all: the French did actually land in Our very kingdom of England, not far from Our town of Dover, trying by all means in their power to harm Us. In this attempt, however, the French were most singularly baffled, for they were soon obliged to return to their ships with loss. Since then they continue in sight of Our ports and harbours on this coast, looking out for an opportunity to land in force, and do Us damage. There they will no doubt remain, until the fleet, which We have ordered to be prepared and fitted for the defence and protection of Our subjects, goes out to sea, and obliges the French to return home.
All this Our ambassadors at the Imperial Court have charge to relate to You more in detail. We beg You to believe them as if the account came from Our own lips, and send Us quickly as satisfactory and good an answer on the whole as the long and continuous friendship between us two demands.—Westminster Palace, 14 November 1544.
Signed: “Vostre bon frère et cousin Henry.”
French. Original. (fn. 27) 1 p.


  • 1. “En quoy despuis a heu (il y a eu) difficulté pour le passaige d'icelle [embassade] en Angleterre, et neantmoings j'ay avec Messieurs les ambassadeurs de sa dite mate imperiale despuis tenu main avec ceulx du dict France quilz unissent (vinssent).”
  • 2. That of the 6th of October, No. 225, p. 398.
  • 3. The letter itself is preserved in the Record Office, and was published in State Papers, Vol. X., p. 101.
  • 4. “Francisco de los Cobos, or Covos, as his name is frequently spelt, High Commander of Leon in the Military Order of Santiago, at this time Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Prince Philip of Spain.
  • 5. Giovan Riccio da Montepulciano, about whom see Vol. VI., Part II., pp. 202,204,205.
  • 6. Doña Maria, Infanta of Portugal, daughter of Joaõ III., king of Portugal. She was married to Prince Philip of Spain, only son of the emperor Charles V. and of Joanna, the Crazy, in November 1548. Vol. VI., Part II., pp. 75, 342, 474.
  • 7. “Y despues me dixo como el deam (?) de la Princesa, nuestra señora, le havia dado oy [à leer] una carta del Serme Rey de Portugal en que le decia que havia visto con sumo gusto la llegada á Valladolid del arzobispo, nuncio de Su Santd porque (paro que) le rogaba que suspendiese por algunos dias sa viage.”
  • 8. Monte Pulciano, in Tuscany; of which Giov. Riccio was Bishop since 1537.
  • 9. “El Principe salio ayèr para Madrid. Dicen me que irá à dormir à Coca y al dia siguiente al Bosque de Segovia. Llegar el Sabado à Madrid.”
  • 10. According to Florez, Reynas Católicas de Expañá (Vol. II., p. 874), the Princess Mary [of Portugal] was not long at Madrid, but returned on the 19th to Valladolid, where she died on the 12th of July 1545.
  • 11. “Si v[uest]ra. señoria lo considerase conveniente y oportuno debiera Su Alteza el Principe ser al propio tiempo informado de los antecedentes de mi persona manifestandole las razones que me asisten para no ir inmediatamente à su Real presencia como era mi deber obedeciendo las ordenes que de Su Santidad tengo.”
  • 12. This letter of the Papal Nuncio to High Commander Cobos, at this time Secretary of State to Prince Philip in the Department of Foreign Affairs, was no doubt enclosed in that of the same date (No. 243, p. 438) from Cobos to Lope Hurtado.
  • 13. No doubt cardinals Lorraine and Tournon, perhaps also that of Meudon (Antoine Sanguin), besides Charles Solier de la Morette, then resident ambassador at the Emperor's court.
  • 14. Ardres in Picardy had been offered as compensation for king Henry's war expenses.
  • 15. “Et pour ce qu'il a esté d'advis que le Roy feist quelqucs [aultres bons offres] à l'Empereur, s'il [ne] luy semble par ce qu'il a entendu de Monsr. d'Arras le Roy aye à. cette (cela?) suffisamment satisfait.”
  • 16. No date to this paper, which is in the same bundle as Nos. 193,215 and 246. Most probably it was addressed to the Emperor, or to his prime minister Granvelle, at the time that the articles of England for the peace with France were discussed at Brussels.
  • 17. See No. 241, p. 429, where an account of previous ones from the 28th to the 30th of October is given. It must have been the last, for on the 14th the Earl and the Bishop received orders to take leave and return home, and on the 17th they departed from Brussels. State Papers, Vol. X., pp. 190 and 202.
  • 18. No. 241, p. 429.
  • 19. “Et que du constel de sa dite mate l'on s'en peut (pus) valloir contre les françoys en vertu de la reservation faict[e] par le traicté de paix avec France.”
  • 20. “Et que il ne failloit (fallait) entendre si cruement le traicté que pour cinquante chevaulx ou aultre petit nombre de gens de pied qui fissent une course l'on debvoit declarer, encoires pour ung plus gros nombre de gentillants seullement pour recognoitre ou pour cercher (sic) fourrage ou se procurer vituailles.”
  • 21. No date or signature, very much corrected, and in some parts almost illegible.
  • 22. The letter has no date, but secretary Bave? or some clerk of queen Mary s Privy Council, wrote on the dorse “11 Nov. 1544,” which was most likely the date of its receipt at Brussels.
  • 23. “Depuis la paix dernierement faicte d'entre nous eussent hostilement, et à mayn armée invadés (sic) nos pays, terres et possessions tant deça la mer que dela.”
  • 24. “Ayantz premierement enterprise la prinse de la Basse Boulogne ont esté depuis dedans nos Marches de Guisnes et y ayant rues (sic) sus quelques esglises et fortes places ont faict tout leur debvoir de surprendre nostre chasteau de Bampnes (sic) et nostre ville de Guisnes, de ou toutesfois, la mercy à Dieu, ilz ont estés honteusemeut reboutez.”
  • 25. Bampness is the reading in the copy before me, and likewise, as I am assured, in the original preserved at Vienna; but as the minute in French, in the hand of Sir John Mason, one of the secretaries or clerks of the Council for the French tongue, has Hampnes, which was then a small village in the Marches of Calais, I have not hesitated to adopt the latter reading. See State Papers, Vol. X. pp. 189–94.
  • 26. “Non contents d'avoir à tout leur pouvoir attemptes (sic) à nous nuyre et endommaiger par terre, se sont davantaige faictz (sic) fortz sur la mer.”
  • 27. The minute in French, as above said, is in the Public Record Office, and was printed in State Papers, Vol. IX. p. 189.