Spain: November 1544, 16-30

Pages 444-463

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


November 1544, 16–30

21 Nov. 249. The Emperor to King Henry.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Hof. Corresp. Fasc. No. 3. “Tres hault, tres excellent, et tres puissant prince nostre tres chier et tres amé (sic) bon frere et cousin,”—Yesterday We received through the earl of Hertford (le comte Darfort) and the bishop of Wyncestre (Winchester) your letter of the 14th inst. (fn. 1) As both these ambassadors are now returning home, they will be able to report to You verbally on their conference with Our ministers, (fn. 2) and Our own ideas (devises) concerning their mission.
We will, however, shortly dispatch to You the personage We have just appointed to reside with You conjointly with Our councillor and Master of Requests in Ordinary, Messire Eustace Chapuys, who, if the state of his health permits, (fn. 3) will again represent Us at Your court, and inform You of Our intentions and determination respecting the observance of Our treaty of closer friendship and alliance with You.
As these and other matters more or less connected with the object of Your late mission to Us will be fully explained to You by Our said ambassadors, We need not at present dwell more at length on the subject.—Brussels, 21 November 1544.
Signed: “Vostre bon frere et cousin, Charles.
Countersigned: “Bave.”
Addressed: “A tres hault, tres excellent et tres puissant prince, nostre tres chier et tres amé bon frere et Cousin le Roy d'Angleterre, &c.”
French. Minute. 1 p.
21 Nov. 250. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Hof. Corresp. “Monsieur mon bon frere,”—Immediately after the receipt of my ambassadors' answer (fn. 4) to the letter I wrote to them respecting Your own peace with the king of France, I ordered my ministers to confer on the subject with cardinals Lorraine and Tournon, (fn. 5) and sent expressly [to France] the bishop of Arras with instructions to request king Francis most affectionately to send again, and at once, his ambassador to You. The Bishop had also orders and instructions from me to make as much haste as possible, and go afterwards to You with the result of his mission. I now write these few lines to You, merely to inform You of the step I have taken, and will also write more fully to my ambassadors at Your court. I beg You, should the negotiation be set on good terms, to act in this present business as You may deem convenient and suitable for the achievement of such a good and holy work as the present is, and to credit and believe the said bishop of Arras, as well as my own ambassadors at Your court, as if I, myself, were speaking to You, and believe that in this particular affair I shall not fail to do my best good offices for Your sake. (fn. 6)
Signed: “Vostre bon frere et cousin, Charles.”
Addressed: “A mon bon frere et cousin le Roy d'Engleterre.”
French. Original draft. 1 p.
21 Nov. 251. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable, tres chier et feal.”—The earl of Hertford and the bishop of Winchester are going back home. As We have not yet been able to come to a resolution respecting their mission, We have decided to send immediately to England the personage who is to succeed you as ambassador there, with full information respecting what passed here [at Brussels] between the said English ambassadors and Our ministers, as also a copy of Our instructions to the new ambassador (fn. 7) as to how he is to act, and what he is to say. But as the affair itself is very important, We request you as earnestly as We can, if the state of your health will permit, to take the trouble of again crossing the sea and going to England, to remonstrate with the King of that country, and make him understand the causes and reasons as well as the justification of Our answer to his ambassadors. This, We think, you can do much better than any one else, owing, first of all, to the great esteem in which the king of England holds you, then to your own experience in treating of that kind with the King and his privy councillors, and last, but not least, the well-known dexterity and tact with which to Our great satisfaction and contentment you have hitherto managed affairs political of this sort. Were it not that the matter itself demands a sacrifice on your part, We would not request you to take the trouble of going again to England, knowing very well how troubled you must be by your present indisposition; but if that does not actually prevent you from travelling and crossing the Channel, I again request you to go to England and assist the new ambassador in the discharge of the mission entrusted to him. This We will consider a service, and after having instructed the new ambassador, and helped him in the execution of his mission, you may return home whenever you like without applying freshly for leave.
This letter of Ours goes by express courier, in order that during the arrival here and departure for England of François van der Delft you may make the necessary preparations for your voyage.—Brussels, 21 November 1544.
French. Original draft. 2 pp.
21 Nov. 252. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Sends Messire François van der Delft (sic) councillor, to represent Him at the Court of England, in place of Messire Eustace Chappuis (sic), who owing to failure of health has applied for leave to retire from the service, which he will do as soon as he has introduced his successor.
Van der Delft will explain to king Henry the object of the mission entrusted to him, which is to reply in the Emperor's name to that brought the day before yesterday by the earl of Hertford and bishop of Winchester.—Brussels, 21 November 1544.
French. Original draft. 1 p.
24 Nov. 253. The Emperor's Instructions to Eustace Chapuys and Francois van der Delft.
B. Negot. d'Angl. Vol. 11. The following are instructions for you, Messire Eustace Chappuys (sic), Our councillor and Master of Requests (Maistre aux Requestes) in ordinary, and for you, Messire François van der Delft, knight, whom We now send to reside as ambassador to the king of England in place of you, the above-mentioned Eustace Chapuys, respecting what you will have to say and represent for the fulfilment of your charge, and in answer to that brought to Us by the earl of Harforg (Hertford) and the bishop of Wyncester (Winchester).
You, Van der Delft, will be the bearer of a report in writing, (fn. 8) being the account of what passed between the said English commissioners and the Sieurs Praët and Granvelle at their first, second, and third conferences, as well as the answer returned in the first instance to the English commissioners. (fn. 9)
As the Earl and the Bishop were dissatisfied with Our answer to their mission and subsequent communications with Our ministers (Praët and Granvelle); as they insisted upon all the treaties being again examined, notwithstanding that, as the report of the conference will show, both the treaty of confederacy and alliance between Us and the king of England, and the agreement subsequently made with Don Fernando de Gonzaga, Our viceroy of Sicily, and last, not least, that which Secretary Paget accepted in his master's name at Spires and took back with him to England, had been exhaustively debated and referred to in various private conferences, yet, the more to satisfy the English on this point, We afterwards caused the said Sieurs de Praet and De Granvelle, and together with them the bishop of Arras (Antoine Perrenot) and the president and chief of Our Privy Council in Flanders (Schore), to hold another conference with the above-mentioned English commissioners, in which conference Our ministers insisted upon and read aloud in the presence of the English if not the whole of the treaty at least those articles particularly referring to the defensive and offensive alliance.
This being done, the question at issue was formally debated in the following terms:—The English commissioners began by stating that the Emperor had no right to make peace with France without the full consent of the English king, and their being completely satisfied in all their demands and pretensions according to the limited consent, which at the time of the bishop of Arras' visit to Boulogne the King forwarded to his resident ambassador with Us; the principal argument of the commissioners being that Articles 6, 19, and 20 of the said treaty were quite clear and indisputable.
They likewise argued that in the treaty made with France the article relating to the reservation was express enough, since it was said therein that We had refused to treat or contract unless the king of England were previously satisfied of all his demands, and that their intention was the more founded because it was necessary to stop precisely at the words of the treaty between the said King and Us in which the stipulation was expressly defined, and that We had approved and confirmed that their master's previous consent was absolutely necessary by sending to him the bishop of Arras for that particular purpose. Now these two ambassadors allege that the King, their master, had really given his consent, though on two conditions: one, that the treaty between him and Us should be reserved, and the other that he himself should be satisfied and paid. Such (they said) were the King's words to the bishop of Arras immediately after he put the answer into his hands. It could not be expected (they said) that a king so wise and prudent as their master was could grant his consent without two such conditions, and that he ought to be believed in preference to the Bishop. No sensible man could interpret otherwise their master's answer to the Bishop. It was also convenient to ascertain, the King's commissioners alleged the reason why the Bishop immediately after his arrival in England (fn. 10) tried to learn on what terms the King, their master, was with the French ambassadors, and what chance he had of his demands being complied with, as they had been sent to their resident ambassador at this Our court. To the same end did the English commissioners enquire what you (Chapuys) could mean by telling them that they would be ultimately the gainers of Boulogne, Ardres, and Montreuil, as you assured them they would be in making a treaty with France. You said that we had done as much for their master, as We did for Ourselves, telling them besides that it was advisable for them to send instructions to the English ambassadors residing at this Our court to forward conjointly and at the same time the demands and pretensions of the King, their master, and that the Queen, Our sister, had written to you that the King should be fully satisfied as to his claims.
The commissioners were thereupon informed that the articles on which their arguments rested, even the 19th, could in no wise serve to support their contention that we could not treat of the said peace without first obtaining conjointly (copulativement) the King's consent to it, and the satisfaction of all his demands; for the article in question has reference to the war, which had not commenced yet. And since the letter and words of the treaty are perfectly clear without such a commentary and interpretation of the article as they (the English) choose to give it, it is evident that, the King's consent once obtained, no more was needed, and the following articles would count for nothing save for the fact of establishing the consent.
With regard to the article of the reservation in the Emperor's treaty with France, and the mention therein made that the king of England shall be thoroughly satisfied respecting his claims and demands, there can be no doubt that the King's satisfaction shall be attended to; but the article (it must be observed) refers to the past, before the consent was applied for and obtained, and if the commissioners intend to use it as a proof in their favour, it should be understood that in the very same article ample provision is made for the said satisfaction of the King's claims, (fn. 11) since the French, themselves, refer to it, and say that the king of England may declare what his wishes are, and that they will be attended to.
As to the Bishop's mission to Boulogne, the principal object was not, as alleged by the commissioners, to ask for their master's consent; it was to let him know how We had entered far into France, and what chance there was then of Our getting the uppermost over the common enemy. The Bishop was to ask the King to co-operate and join in the enterprise. This the King declined to do, being then occupied with the sieges of Boulogne and Montreuil, but he, nevertheless, gave his consent (i.e. to the negotiations), from which fact one might draw the inference that his real object in the war with France was to obtain his arrears of pension, and at the same time get possession of those two towns and their adjoining territory.
As to the assertion made by the English commissioners that the King, their master, did grant his consent under the two specified conditions, and that he himself had said so to the members of his Privy Council, and, therefore, that considering the King's usual veracity, it was impossible not to attach faith to his words, inasmuch as the Bishop's assertion was in opposition to what you, yourself (Messire Eustace Chapuys), and Madame, Our good sister, had written to Us, We can only say that the Bishop is a man of integrity and veracity, and that We believe in his report of the King's answer.
With regard to the conversation held by you two with the King's councillors, it was no doubt very fit and convenient for the purpose of proving the reserve of the said conditions; but what you said to them of the King not having sent to his [ambassadors] the powers is still a stronger and conclusive proof of our assertion, as without that power We could not treat on behalf of the king of England; to which may be added what the King himself had told you some time before, namely, that each prince would treat of his own affairs separately, (fn. 12) adding the regret he felt at his being unable to aid Us in Our difficulty, which clearly shows that We could not possibly remain on such terms without treating, nor could we wait for the King's resolution respecting the peace proposed, for the danger consisted chiefly in stopping in Our march, as it has been said and written many a time.
Another proof of that is the King's answer to the Bishop that he would treat with Cardinal du Bellay whenever he should come to his court.
In a like manner it was objected to the English ambassadors (fn. 13) that the contents of Our sister's letters were not what they were represented to be. They were limited to informing you of the conclusion of the peace, and expressing clearly enough that She (the Queen) knew nothing then of the particulars thereof, which was the fact.
Another objection was likewise addressed to the said ambassadors, which is that the King's reservation respecting his own satisfaction with the conditions of Our peace with France was neither reasonable nor just, inasmuch as the king of England had excused himself from assisting Us in Our contest with France; notwithstanding the engagements made with Don Fernando [de] Gonzaga, We received no substantial help from him. Indeed, it would have been highly improper for the king of England, whilst positively refusing the promised aid, to pretend that We alone should bear the brunt and expense of a war against Our common enemy.
To the foregoing objection another one has been added by Our councillors. The English ambassadors have been told that in the treaty made with Don Fernando [de] Gonzaga for the joint invasion of France, it was expressly stipulated how, at what time, and with what number of men, the invasion was to be effected; and it being notorious that the king of England had not fulfilled the whole of its articles, it might be said that, finding Ourselves so far in the heart of France without the king of England's corresponding and promised aid, We should have been justified, apart from other motives, in treating with the French without asking for and obtaining the King's consent.
With regard to the aforesaid non-observance of the covenant concluded with Don Fernando [de] Gonzaga, the English ambassadors have always affirmed and maintained that the King, their master, had fulfilled all and every one of the stipulated conditions as strictly as We, Ourselves, had; and, therefore, that the King could in no wise be charged with any infraction of the said covenant, since the English would have taken the field immediately had they not been prevented from marching into France by want of the waggons (chariotz) that were to have been furnished to them [from Flanders]. That in order to procure victuals, the English had been obliged to lay siege to Montreuil. If they had stayed too long before that place, it was owing to the intelligence received of Our having done the same at St. Dizier, and likewise for the want of victuals, which did not come in regularly enough, and became scarce. Had We (the ambassadors alleged) been more fortunate in Our attempt on St. Dizier, reduced it sooner, and gone beyond, they would have raised the siege of Montreuil, and joined Our force. That is why, said the ambassadors, no fault is to be imputed to them; if they had committed any, it had arisen from the same causes which had perplexed us; they having all the time co-operated in the invasion of France as efficiently as could be expected, and spent a large sum of money therein.
In vain were they told that the failure of carriage was entirely caused by them, for not having sent agents in time to take charge of, and pay for, the waggons, as they had been told under protest. That they could not deny, since it was a notorious fact; no reply was made to this.
As to their having been compelled (as they said) by want of provisions, and in order to insure a supply of them, to lay siege to Montreuil and Boulogne, they were told that neither of those towns lay on the river Somme, and that it had been proved by the result of previous invasions (passages) of the same kind that it was not the best way to Paris. Besides which, count du Rœulx had pointed out to their generals three better and more convenient roads to march on the French capital. (fn. 14) The English ambassadors could not contradict this statement of Our councillors, and yet they insisted on their former allegation, declaring that the route by Montreuil and Boulogne was the most convenient for their army to follow in order to reach the Somme and then march on Paris. And when they were told that the course to be followed was settled by an article of the first treaty, and further explained and confirmed by the second agreement with Don Fernando [de] Gonzaga, they replied that the article in the latter must be understood selon la raison de la guerre, not otherwise. Our councillors' reply was that by the article of the second treaty or agreement it was expressly stipulated that the English force was to march to the river Somme, and thence to Paris, as best it could, and that there was no need of comment upon or interpretation of the article to excuse their departing from it. Even if the words of the article should be taken not pedem litterœ as they pretend, reason would still not be on their side.
Not one of Our councillors' arguments on the subject seemed to convince the English ambassadors. Neither did they pay any regard to the agreement in writing between Secretory Paget and Our ministers respecting the 30,000 men with whom the king of England was to help in the invasion of France. Neither the King nor his ministers had ever said anything to the contrary; nor that the number of men to be employed by him in the invasion of France differed considerably from the army We had before St. Dizier, a town far in the interior of France, for after taking Commercy and Ligny there was no necessity for Us to lay siege to St. Dizier, as We did, unless it were to wait for the arrival of the English force, and then march straight on Paris. This was the real cause of Our staying so long before the walls of that place to Our great personal inconvenience, which, however, We should have endured and awaited the English had not the want of provision in Our camp induced Us to listen to the French overtures about the peace, as otherwise Our army might have sustained heavy damage. (fn. 15)
Nor is this all; the English ambassadors have been told, and they cannot deny that the siege of Boulogne could in no wise serve the purpose of the common invasion of French territory. Ever since the commencement of the war, it had been observed that the tendency of the King and of his ministers was to attempt Boulogne and Montreuil rather than join in the enterprise against France and march on Paris.
All these and other arguments in Our favour were useless, the English ambassadors persisting in their first declaration, and asserting that they (the English) had fulfilled all and every one of the conditions of the treaty as well as Ourselves, which assertion, to say the truth, seems to Us rather extravagant and injurious, as Our councillors have told them, though in the mildest and most courteous terms possible, giving them to understand that We fully intend to arm and defend Ourselves against such nonobservance of the treaties, though this may be contrary to Our interest, and thus cancel all the pretensions the king of England may have formed against us, taking as Our shield his own non-observance. (fn. 16) —24th November 1544.
French. Original draft. 8 pp.
25 Nov. 253a. The Emperor to King Henry.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur mon bon frere,”—I now send to You Monsr. François van der Delft, my councillor, to replace Eustace Chapuys, who, owing to the bad state of his health, has applied for leave to return home after remaining some time in that country for the express purpose of introducing my new ambassador to You. Van der Delft has instructions from me to speak to you concerning the mission brought here by the earl of Hertford and bishop of Winchester.—n. d. (fn. 17)
French. Original. 1 p.
25 Nov. 254. The Same to Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable, chier et feal,”—Though We are sure that in compliance with Our last orders you have by this time made preparations for your voyage to England conjointly with Messire François van der Delft, who is presently leaving this city to succeed you in that embassy, yet as the charge the latter and yourself have is of such moment and importance for Our Imperial service, We again request you, as affectionately as possible, if the state of your health will permit, to cross over to England and help the said François van der Delft in the mission of which We wrote to you on the 21st inst. That being done, you may take leave and retire.—Brussels, the 25th of November 1544.
Indorsed: “Charles V. to ambassador Chapuys.”
French. Original draft. 1 p.
25 Nov. 255. The Same to the Duke of Norfolk.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Cousin,”—We now send to England Messire François Van der Delft, knight, Our councillor, to represent Us and reside there as Our ambassador, near the person of Our good brother, the king of England, having at the same time given orders to Messire Eustace Chappuys (sic), Our councillor and master of Requests, to cross over and accompany him thither to visit the King in Our name, and help Van der Delft in his mission as far as his own health will permit, and then return.
As from both, or one of them at least, you will hear what the substance and purport of Our mission is, We need not be over prolix here, save to pray you, Our cousin, to attach faith to what they will tell you concerning the continuation of the perfect friendship which unites the King, Our good brother, and Us, as We confidently expect from the good will and affection which you have always shown for that friendship.—Brussels, the 25th of November 1544.
Addressed: “To the duke of Norfolk.” (fn. 18)
French. Original draft. 1 p.
27 Nov. 256. Lope Hurtado [de Mendoza] to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 373, f. 229. B.M. Add. 28594, f. 30. Is in receipt of his letter of the 6th inst. (fn. 19) about Montepulchano and his coming to Portugal. Called immediately on the King, and spoke to him in conformity with his (the High Commander's) desire. Told him how much in favour Montepulchano was with his Holiness the Pope, and with cardinal Farnese, and how desirous the Nuncio was of coming here and delivering his charge. The King's answer was that he had really and truly written to the Nuncio to stop where he was, and not proceed on his journey, until he should receive further orders. The reason was that in sending Montepulchano the Nuncio to reside at his court, His Holiness wrote that he issued a brief, saying that if he (the king of Portugal) was dissatisfied with him, he might send him away, and that in future no more nuncios should be appointed to Portugal. Matters in which he (the King) had sustained notorious injury—such as cardinal Viseu's (fn. 20) treatment, which His Holiness had promised to consider favourably—were still unsettled, and nothing had been done to satisfy and please him, or redress the wrongs of which he complained.
“This sending now of a Papal nuncio (said the King to me) without saying a word to me is contrary to His Holiness' own words in the brief.” He (the King) fancied that the whole might be owing to some foolish trick on the part of the new Christians of Portugal. On this and other accounts he (the King) had written to Montepulchano to stop where he was until he, himself, had informed His Holiness of what had happened, and requested him to make no change. However, to please the High Commander, should Montepulchano be a man of the quality and parts described, he (the King) would look into the affair, and let him have an answer. After this the King, as I hear, consulted the Queen, the Infantes, and his own privy councillors, and it was decided that Juan de Montepulchano might come if he liked. It must be owned that the Papal nuncio now residing at this court did his best towards it, for he is dying to leave his post and go away. (fn. 21)
This despatch of mine will be taken by Don Francisco de Luna, whom this king is now sending to our lord the prince of Spain (Philip), as your lordship will hear by another private letter.
Whilst matters were in this state, the Nuncio residing here received letters from Rome, as well as orders from His Holiness, to notify to the Infante Dom Henrique, now Grand Inquisitor of Portugal, the contents of the new Papal brief, namely, that all sentences pronounced against newly converted Moors (los confessos) should be delayed, and all legal proceedings against them and the Jews be suspended until the arrival here of Juan de Montepulchano, who is to be the judge of the cause and reasons for those sentences or proceedings against the rest. This, of course, to be done as secretly as possible, without telling the King or the Royal family, and without the Nuncio himself exhibiting his credentials or showing a hand in the affair, but merely speaking privately about it to the said Grand Inquisitor. This being done, the Papal nuncio is to report on the whole, so that His Holiness may decide on the matter.
The brief I allude to was issued by the Pope at the solicitation and request of the newly converted Moors and Jews, who have complained to His Holiness of the grievous injuries and ill-treatment they have received from the Portuguese. At this the King and his ministers are indignant, fancying that Montepulchano's mission is only directed to matters relating to the newly converted and to the Portuguese Grand Inquisitor, and that he is coming exclusively for the purpose of helping the former against the Holy Office.
The King tells me to write to your Lordship that this is an affair of such paramount importance for the service of God and presses so grievously on his conscience, that the whole must be reconsidered, and weighed by His Holiness before Juan de Montepulchano can set his foot in Portugal, and that, as I bear from His Highness' own lips, will not take place for many a day, unless His Holiness consent to revoke the brief about the New Christians and the Portuguese Inquisition.
As the Papal nuncio is sure to write to Montepulchano on the subject, I need not dwell longer on this particular. I, myself, have written to that prelate informing him of the existing difficulties, and telling him that in the present mood of this King and his ministers the remedy must come from Rome, and that there is at present no chance of his being accepted and received here. I regret exceedingly my being obliged to convey such bad news, and should have been glad to see Montepulchano here.—Evora, 27 November 1544.
P.S.—All these things, it is thought, are caused by the cardinal of Viseu, a bad remedy for his sentences. (fn. 22)
Signed: “Lope Hurtado.”
Spanish. Original. 5 pp.
— Nov. 257. An Imperial Councillor's Opinion on the demand made by the English Ambassadors.
Wien, Imp. Arch. With regard to the demand made by the ambassadors of the king of England (the earl of Hertford and the bishop of Winchester) (fn. 23) that the Emperor should declare himself the enemy of king Francis, inasmuch as since their peace with the Emperor the latter has wilfully made war upon England at Guînes and elsewhere, the following points are to be considered:—
“It was expressly stipulated (the English ambassadors said), by Articles 13 and 14 of the treaty with England, that neither of the contracting parties can make truce or peace with the common enemy without the previous consent and approval of the other party, and that if the one party does so, the act will be considered null and void, and the (original) treaty itself remain in all its force and vigour.”
The answer to this is: Had not that formality been fully complied with, the king of England would have ample reason to say that the Emperor was not justified in treating with the French, but the Emperor did ask for and obtained the consent of his ally, the king of England.
“That consent (contended the ambassadors) was granted on the express condition that the friendship and confederacy between His Imperial Majesty and the king of England should be reserved.
“The demand, therefore, that His Imperial Majesty should declare himself the enemy of France is consistent and well founded, since the King of that country has wilfully made war against England by land [in the territory of Guînes], which the latter has invaded, as well as by sea, on the Channel and elsewhere.
“On this point the 6th Article of the treaty is clear and explicit enough. It stands thus: 'Whoever shall invade the territory of one of the two contracting parties, the other party shall consider the invader as his enemy.' And here it must be observed that the general sense of the words 'whoever shall invade, or whoever shall make an invasion,' leaves no doubt whatever as to how each of the contracting parties is to act in case of invasion of the territory of the other, of whatever sort that invasion may be, and whoever the aggressor may be. (fn. 24)
“No specific mention is made in the treaty as to the invasion being 'just' or 'unjust,' whilst in Article 17 it is expressly said that the treaty is to be observed strictly, and to the letter, without interpretation or commentary of any sort.
“The Emperor is surely obliged to observe and keep the treaty in all its parts, for the king of England having commenced war at his desire, and in compliance with the treaty of alliance, would certainly not have given his consent to the peace with France had he known that by doing so he would be left alone to prosecute the war against the common enemy. In addition to which, the Emperor ought also to bear in mind that the king of England did assist and help him [in his plan of campaign] when that help and assistance was most useful.”
Such were the arguments adduced by the King's ambassadors, (fn. 25) the earl [of Hertford] and the bishop of Winchester, in support of their assertion that the Emperor is bound, by his treaty of alliance with England, to declare king Francis his enemy. Against such an assertion on the part of the English, the following reasons and considerations are to be brought forward:—
The king of England has not completely fulfilled the conditions of the treaty of alliance and subsequent agreements respecting the stipulated joint invasion of France. By the very text of that treaty invoked by the English ambassadors, by the agreement entered into with the viceroy of Sicily (Ferrante di Gonzaga), as well as by various other reasons that will be stated hereafter, it is quite evident and notorious that the king of England failed in that part of his engagement relating to the joint invasion of France and march on Paris. That can easily be proved by the nature and contents of the very mission he entrusted to his first Secretary (Paget), who being asked whether his master, the King, was really disposed to join his forces to these of the Emperor, and march on the capital of France, answered hesitatingly and in such a manner as to show that his master, the King, had no great inclination towards that course, for on the Emperor insisting and saying that the English army ought to consist of at least 30,000 men, Paget assented, but said that he would consult his master the King, (fn. 26) a still greater proof of the King's disinclination to co-operate with the Emperor in France as agreed, since no steps were taken to comply with the Emperor's just and legitimate demands. Nor did the king of England afterwards write or allude to it in the least.
As to asserting that the king of England was in the field and commenced war as soon as the Emperor set out with his army, and that he could not do less than lay siege to Montreuil if he was to secure provisions for his army, much might be said against such assertions, which are far from being correct; but even admitting them to be substantially true, the King's excuses for not marching immediately on Paris, or joining his forces to those of the Emperor, according to the agreement entered into with the viceroy of Sicily in London, are inadmissible, considering that in his covenant with the Viceroy it was expressly stipulated that the English army was to march in the direction of the Somme, and follow up the right bank of that river.
The words of the covenant above alluded to are clear enough, nor can anything be said against it. By not observing the treaty to the letter, the King has formally broken it. No palliation or disguise, no handling of the facts according to the King's taste, (fn. 27) can in this instance be admitted. Every man of judgment and common sense will arrive at the conclusion that the sieges of Montreuil and Boulogne at the same time were not likely to promote the object of the allied powers, which was no other than to march straight on Paris, and compel king Francis to listen to reason and sue for terms. That was the only and exclusive aim of the war against king Francis; but the king of England would not fulfil his engagement, and from the beginning to the end has only attended to his own exclusive interest and profit.
By the king of England failing to comply efficiently with the prescriptions of the treaty of closer alliance, and subsequently with the agreement made with the viceroy of Sicily in London, and lastly with Secretary Paget's formal engagement [at Spire], His Imperial Majesty was perfectly in his right to make, as he did, his own separate peace with France. (fn. 28) In order to do this, the Emperor applied for and obtained the consent of his ally, though he might have done so without it. Nor can the Emperor entertain the objection raised by one of the King's councillors—i.e., that the Emperor, our master, did not inform him in time of his wish and intention to make peace with king Francis, then their common enemy; for the complained-of informality, if there was one, did in no manner affect the king of England, or cause damage and loss to his army or to his subjects, since up to the present day nothing has taken place which may strictly be called a contravention of the treaties between England and the Empire.
Neither is there any truth in the statement that, by the reservation of the king of England's rights and claims introduced by the Emperor in his treaty of peace with France, the king of England's non-observance of the treaty is in any way condoned, for the Emperor's treaty with France is quite another thing, and He can make it as He himself pleases and may think proper and convenient.
Through the inobservance of the treaty, the King and kingdom of England are bound to bear all the losses and contingencies of warfare, as well as suffer its consequences. Article 16 of the treaty is conclusive on that point, as is quite notorious. Should any of the contracting parties fail to observe the treaty, or willingly break it off, the other party may regard the defaulter and his subjects as if they were his enemies.
In any case the Emperor would have been justified in making His peace with France without the consent of His ally, the king of England, since it is quite incontrovertible and notorious that the English army did not take the route that had previously been agreed upon, that is the bank of the Somme, there to form a junction with the Emperor, and then march on Paris.
According to other articles of the treaty, the common invasion of France was to be made within two years after the signature and ratification of the treaty, in order to compel king Francis to forsake the alliance of the Turk, and give king Henry and the Emperor satisfaction, whilst Article 11 of the treaty fixed the period of the war at four months. But as the Emperor had penetrated so far into the heart of France without any help or assistance whatever from England—which aid and assistance King Henry never intended giving, since, among the excuses profferred to the bishop of Arras one was that the period stipulated for the duration of the war with France was about to expire; and seeing that there was no probability of obtaining an extension of it, the Emperor decided to listen to the overtures of the French ministers. Thus, after getting the consent and approval of king Henry, though, as above stated, He did not consider it necessary, He entered into negociation with king Francis' ministers, and concluded his own separate peace in all honour and justice.
As to the English ambassador's allegation that since our Emperor's peace the French have invaded the county of Guînes, and that in consequence of that invasion and other hostile acts the Emperor is bound to declare them his enemies, and that if king Henry's rights are to be reserved and safe-guarded according to the English treaty His Imperial Majesty must recommence war against France, that is a sort of argument which can easily be refuted by the single fact that the cause and origin of that French invasion is no other than the taking and retention of the fortified town of Boulogne, to the defence of which the Emperor is by no means pledged, since no mention whatever is made of it in the treaty of alliance with England, but only of such territories, lands, and towns then possessed by the allies; so that in point of fact the Emperor cannot in any way consider himself obliged to the defence of a town not mentioned in the treaty of alliance, and taken by the English long after the signature and ratification of that treaty.
As to the French invasion of Guînes, it was only an accessory fact connected with, and as it were depending entirely from, the state of the political relations between France and England at this time. No doubt Guînes, Calais, and other territories in France belong to king Henry, and therefore the Emperor would have been obliged to defend them against the common enemy; but since His Imperial Majesty has made a separate peace with France, with the consent of king Henry, He no longer stands under such an obligation, and leaves the contending parties to settle their differences as best they can. Had the Emperor taken another course of action, his last treaty with France would have been perfectly illusory and without effect—nay, contrary to the much desired peace in Christendom, and the repulse of the infidel Turk.
It might also be argued on the Emperor's behalf, and against king Henry and his demand, that according to the very letter of the treaty invoked, neither of the contracting parties is bound to remain in arms beyond the four months stipulated therein, and that the continuation of hostilities between England and France has nothing in common with the late enterprise of the allies against the latter country, but merely and exclusively with the particular interest and individual profit of king Henry who wishes to retain and keep Boulogne.
The Emperor's treaty of peace with France is not in anyway disadvantageous to England, for the former country will receive no help or provisions from the Low Countries or other Imperial dominions, whilst England will be assisted openly against all other enemies. Besides which, it must be observed that, whilst king Henry is asking the Emperor to declare against France, the king of that country has willingly submitted the judgment of his differences with England to the former's arbitration. King Henry's unwarranted demand comes just at a time when His Imperial Majesty is much concerned and busily employed for God's service in promoting the welfare of Christendom at large, the good of religion everywhere, and the repulse of the Turk.
The King of England cannot allege in his favour or otherwise take advantage of the fact that the Emperor did actually ask him for his consent; for that was one of the stipulations of the treaty of alliance, and His Imperial Majesty could not do less than comply with it.
On the contrary, king Henry might be accused of having broken the treaty and the stipulated condition about the joint invasion of France, for when the bishop of Arras was sent to remind him of it, he (the King) coolly answered, as above stated, that he could not then direct his army march on Paris, though the above-mentioned Bishop had been sent for the express purpose of announcing to him the prosperous advance of the Emperor into the heart of France, and that the opportunity was near at hand for gaining the object of their common campaign against king Francis. (fn. 29)
There is still another charge to be brought against the king of England, namely, that when pressed by the bishop of Arras (Antoine Perrenot) to unite his forces to those of the Emperor he not only refused, but said distinctly that he could not do so then, because the whole of his army was engaged in the sieges of Montreuil and Boulogne, which sieges were notoriously planned and undertaken for his own particular and individual profit; besides which, as will be stated hereafter, he declared to the bishop [of Arras] that as the period of four months, during which the allies with their respective armies were bound to keep the field together, was to expire soon, and the winter season was close at hand, “he could not advance further into France unless those two towns, Montreuil and Boulogne, had first fallen into his hands.”
The Emperor, nevertheless, out of personal regard for the King, and not being desirous of breaking off the alliance, purposely avoided communicating expressly with the English ambassador at his court respecting that inobservance, or rather wilful infraction of the treaty, which after all constitutes the chief base, the true and peremptory cause (fn. 30) and reason for the Emperor refusing to make the declaration of war requested of him. It appears that this point of the declaration now demanded by England is of such importance for the Emperor's political relations, present and future, with that country, that it ought to be carefully examined and attended to, inasmuch as the English people are so difficult to treat with, so interested, and so fond of making their own profit out of every negociation, the more so that already they seem inclined to take advantage of the mere fact that their ambassador at the Imperial court was not officially informed of the Emperor's resolution in the matter.
In addition to the above reasoning, what trust and confidence can His Imperial Majesty place in king Henry should the former, as desired and requested, accede to his very urgent solicitations and declare war against the king of France, when it can be proved that the former mistrusts the Emperor, and refuses him the right of arbitration in his differences, (fn. 31) to which king Francis has voluntarily submitted himself?
Had not the Emperor considered the above reasons quite sufficiently strong to excuse his non-compliance with the wishes of king Henry, many others might have been adduced to justify his refusal, or at least to suspend and delay his answer, as, for instance, that the king of France has not at present a regular army in the field, and that the invasion of Guînes, and even what is called that of England, have only been mere raids or incursions without consequence or duration of time.
The king of England may be sure that the Emperor has taken measures to prevent his own subjects from entering the service of France; he has not furnished the French with provisions, but has allowed the Belgians to continue in the service of England, and has accommodated king Henry and the English with anything they wanted from the Low Countries in the way of provisions, ammunition, and so forth.
The Emperor has already declared himself the enemy of Scotland, whilst on his side the king of England has long delayed his own declaration against the newly-elected king of Denmark. (fn. 32) Though it was generally known, and it had been proved, that the latter had declared war against Flanders and the Low Countries, the king of England delayed as long as he could his declaration against him, on the plea that king Christian had not actually made war upon His Imperial Majesty's subjects.
In conclusion, even if the French had at present in the field an army of 10,000 men, which they have not, the king of England could not demand aid and help from the Emperor during the present year, for one of the articles of the treaty says explicitly: “That one of the two confederated powers shall not ask help or aid from the other more than once in one year,” and certainly it would be preposterous to ask the Emperor for aid in money when he has had during the present year so large a force of his own to support.
Such were the Emperor's reasons and motives. That peace He made with the king of England's full consent and approval, and after having fulfilled all and every one of the conditions and obligations of his treaty of alliance with England. He (the Emperor) does not consider himself in any way bound to grant king Henry's demand for help and assistance against France, much less to declare and resume hostilities with that country, since that war would be a sequel or repetition of that same war which He began conjointly and on king Henry's behalf, and to which He himself put a stop for the causes and reasons above specified, and with the full consent of the king of England.
The above is my own private opinion on the whole. Such as it is I (fn. 33) submit it entirely to the pleasure and better judgment of His Imperial Majesty, and of the personages who may be consulted thereupon. (fn. 34)
French. Original. 7 pp.


  • 1. No. 248.
  • 2. Both were still in Brussels on the 22nd, for on that very day the Earl and the Bishop, as well as the dean of York (Dr. Nicholas Wotton), announced to the Privy Council in England their departure from Brussels in the following terms: “And we, the undersigned, E. Hertford and Ste. Wintoniensis (Gardyner, bishop of Winchester), and this post now depart from this town, and shall, with as convenient diligence as we can, repair to Your Majesty's presence.”—State Papers, Vol; X. p. 220.
  • 3. “Et nous depechons (depescherons) prestement le personage qu'avons deputé pour aller resider devers [vous] pour joinctement avecque nostre conseiller et maitre des Bequestes en ordinaire Messire Eustace Chappuys (sic) si sa disposition le peult pourter, &c.”
  • 4. “Que j'ay en response.” The letter being private and confidential, as it were, it will be observed that the Emperor addresses king Henry in the first person singular.
  • 5. “Les cardinaux (sic) Loreyne et Tournon,” that is Jean de Lorraine, son of the duke Antoine “le Bon,” and François de Tournon, at this time arch bishop of Auch in Gascony; of Lyons, 1551–62; cardinal since 1530. See above, pp. 371, 411.
  • 6. No date nor place, but as the original letter is preserved in the Public Record Office, and was published in Vol. X. of State Papers, p. 101, I have not hesitated to oalcndar it here. The place where it was written must be Brussels, where the Emperor was since the 3rd of October.
  • 7. A blank is left for the name, that is François van der Delft, as will be seen hereafter.
  • 8. No. 241.
  • 9. No. 246.
  • 10. “En Angleterre” is here meant for Calais, where the Bishop arrived on the 5th October.
  • 11. “Et à ceste cause bailié le dit consentement dont on ne peult (pu) faire relation prejudiciable quil fut necessaire ni moings fait àpropos de comprouver lautre condition de la satisfaction du dit sieur roy.”
  • 12. “Et quant aux propoz que vous avies (sic) tenu ne servien (servent) en riens à comprouver la reservation des dites deux conditions, mais bien au contraire ce que vous avies (sic) dit de non avoir envoyé le pouvoir concluoit que sans icelle nous ne pouvions traicter pour le dit roy d'angleterre, avec ce que auparavant il vous avoit dit que chascun traicteroit de son particulier pour soy.”
  • 13. That is the “commissioners” Hertford and Gardiner, who were ambassadors extraordinary.
  • 14. “Et que levidence l'a monstré par les passages que cy-devant ont esté faictz, et que le comte du Rœulx leur avoit mis en avant trois autres chemins.”
  • 15. “Ny pour ceste cause nous estions voulsu (eussions nous crûs obligés) à y rester et attendre l'arriveé des angloix (sic) si ce n'eust esté la necessité des vituailles.”
  • 16. “Que à la verité nous a semblé chose fort exhorbitante et griefve, dont toutesfois la remonstrance a esté faïcte avec toute doulceur et modestie, leur baillant à entendre que nous viendrions volontiers à nous armer et ayder de la dicte innobservance combien quelle pourroit (eussions voulu?) et effacer tout ce que le dit roy d'Angleterre pourroit pretendre à lencontre de nous.”
  • 17. As usual this minute is undated, though endorsed in a different hand, “Brussels, 25th of November,” which happens to be that of the holograph preserved in the Record Office, and published in State Papers, Vol. X. p. 210.
  • 18. As Chapuys had not yet left for England, and was still at Calais, this letter to the Duke must be considered us a sort of credential for his recall.
  • 19. No. 243, pp. 439–40.
  • 20. Cardinal Miguel de Silva.
  • 21. “Por que muere por irse de aqui.”
  • 22. “Todas estas cosas piensan que causa el cardenal de Viseu; son mal remedio para sus sentencias.”
  • 23. “Le comte D'Hartford (sic) et l'evesque de Wincestre.”
  • 24. “Le texte du susdit article contient: Quiconque invadera l'ung des contrahans l'aultre le tiendra pour ennemy. Et içy, il fault remarquer la generalité des mots quiconque invadera et aussi quiconque fera invasion, que comprent (qui comprennent) toutes invasions quelles (qu'elles) soient et par qui que ce soit.”
  • 25. That is Hertford and Gardiner, whose special mission or charge was to demand the Emperor's declaration against France.
  • 26. “Et par le mesme texte du dit traicté faict avec le dit visroy (viceroy) et aussi par le dit suyvant escript, il est tout evident, notoire et inexcusable que le dit sr roy d'Angleterre n'y a satisfait et si se (ainsi) se comprent par la charge du dit Paget à Spires qu'il navait volonté à la faire. Mais comme l'Empereur insista d'avoir au moins trente mille hommes et Paget accepte, a offrit de consulter le roy son maistre.”
  • 27. “Et ne se peult en cecy riens pallier pour le vouloir faire entendre à l'appetit du sr roy d'Angleterre.”
  • 28. This paragraph is differently worded in another draft of the same document. It stands thus: “Through the king of England not effectively complying with the prescription of the treaty, he gave the Emperor sufficient cause to make His peace with king Francis.”
  • 29. “Mais plustost luy debvroit estre imputé et seroit contre luy, que non obstant qu'il n'eust satisfaict jusque lors comme dit est, que encoires il s'en excusa quant l'evesque d'Arras fust envers luy, et tant plus que l'on l'advertissoit de la prosperité de sa mate et occasion occurante pour tost parvenir à la fin pour la quelle la dite emprinse avoit esté faicte.”
  • 30. “Qu'est toutesfois la vraye et peremptoire cause et raison de reffuser la declaration qu'ilz demandent. Du moins semble il que ce poinct si substancial (sic) et ou il va tant pour tout ce que l'on aura à faire avec les dits anglois pour maintenant et[à] l'advenir selon qu'ilz sont difficiles et interesseux, amys de non delaisser ni couler legierement, et mesmes actendu qu'ilz veullent desjà prendre à leur advantaige de ce que l'on n'en a faict mention [à leur ambassadeurs] combien que cela ne peult prejudicier jusques à maintenant puisque l'on n'a faict acte quelconque dont l'on puisse arguer contravention.”
  • 31. “Et que plus est, quelle confidence peult sa dite mate Imperiale avoir du dit roy d'Angleterre en soy declairant à sa requisition contre le dit roy de France puisque l'on voit que icelluy roy d'Angleterre se deffie de l'Empereur.”
  • 32. Christian, or Kristiern III., duke of Holstein, who by this time had been elected king of Denmark by his subjects, and recognised by the Emperor.
  • 33. Most probably Louis de Flandre, sieur de Praët, about whom see pp. 436n, 439, or else Louis Van Schore, the president of the Council of State in Flanders.
  • 34. Again this paragraph, though substantially the same, is so differently worded as to make one suppose that what appears to be Praët's or Van Schore's opinion may be the work of Bave, the secretary, the more so that one of the copies of that document now before me has not the finishing paragraph, in which the writer modestly submits his report to the superior knowledge and tact of the members of the Imperial Council in Flanders. No date is assigned to the paper, or rather report; but as the earl of Hertford and bishop Gardiner arrived in Brussels on the 20th of November, and Henry's letter to Charles is of the 21st of the same month, I have not hesitated in placing it after No. 256 and before that of the 27th.