Spain: March 1544, 1-15

Pages 60-75

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

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March 1544, 1–15

2 March. 43. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Sire,”—Having since my last despatch, (fn. 1) in pursuance of the Queen Dowager's commands, solicited a conference with the King's privy councillors on the subject of the safe-conducts for vessels to carry salt herrings to France, and bring therefrom wine and wheat, (fn. 2) and likewise to get an answer to the letter written by Your Majesty to this King respecting the seizure of Mr. de Beures' ship, (fn. 3) the councillors sent to request me to appear in Council on a fixed day, when they would be ready to answer any questions of mine.
Accordingly, on the 24th ult, I went to the Privy Council, but was much surprised to find that, instead of the two above-mentioned affairs—that of the safe-conducts and that that of Mr. de Beures' ship—another one was introduced, namely, that of Your Imperial Majesty's declaration against Scotland, the privy councillors reproducing the very same arguments used on former occasions, and adding that since the King, their master, had already begun to comply with Your Majesty's request in the matter of help and assistance against France, you were actually bound to grant without delay the very first request made by the King, especially as Your Majesty had formerly promised to do so the very moment that the enmity of the Scots became manifest and authentic. The perfect understanding and close friendship existing between you both, apart from the profit to be gained thereby, made it (the privy councillors added) indispensable that there should be no longer a delay in the matter. Nor was there need of promises or engagements on the part of the King, their master, with regard to his declaration against the duke of Holstein, save the general one of engaging himself, as he had already done, to observe faithfully in all its parts the treaty of closer friendship and alliance.
I answered them pertinently enough, reminding them of my request to them at the time that the duke of Clèves surprised Hammesfort (fn. 4) and invaded Brabant for the second time. I then asked them to declare at once against that duke; but not only did they refuse to do so, they would not dismiss the duke's agent in England. To this argument of mine the King's councillors knew not what to reply, except that the request had not been made officially and in a fit manner, and that since we pressed them to declare against the duke of Holstein, and Your Imperial Majesty had asked for authentic proofs of the hostility of the Scots; it was but just that they themselves should be equally certified as to the Duke's hostile movements. Meanwhile the declaration against the Scots ought not to be delayed.
I replied that the Duke's hostile intentions and military armaments were so notorious and public a, fact that no further proof or confirmation was required; and yet they would not even grant that. At last, so earnestly did the privy councillors pray me in general, and afterwards privately, to try and obtain for them the aforesaid declaration against the Scots—from which declaration, as I wrote by my preceding despatch, and as they themselves assert, no loss or harm for Your Majesty, nor for the Low Countries, could possibly result, whereas their declaration against the Duke might cause the English great damage—that I fully promised to write to Your Majesty about it. (fn. 5)
True is it that all the time the King's councillors are showing all possible party spirit and partiality in the affair, and yet not one of them has gone so far as to hint that the whole affair might be spoilt through Your Majesty's refusal to accede to their wishes in that respect, though they have occasionally given me to understand that things might not go on so well in future. I must also own that neither the King nor his councillors seem to attribute the delay to Your Majesty, believing, as they say, that the whole proceeds from the Low Countries, and from the Queen's councillors. They fancy, also, that the delay is owing to some intrigue or other of Mr. de Beures, who is suspected to be much in favour of the Scots. Such a belief on the part of these councillors will rather counteract the efforts that are being made for the release of his ship. Indeed, though he sent three weeks or a month ago two gentlemen of his house to procure its release, they have not yet obtained audience from the privy council, nor from the admiral, though; to say the truth, there was scarcely need of it, for I myself have spoken and written enough about his case. Until now no resolution has been taken in the affair, nor in the other, of the declaration against the Duke, partly as I think, in order to wait for Your Majesty's answer respecting the declaration against the Scots, and partly because all these lords (seigneurs) are so busy in preparing for war that they have no leisure to assemble in council.
The King refuses to grant the Scotch ambassador, who went to Your Majesty, permission to return home through England conditionally, and under certain securities which most likely the latter will not agree to. Conjointly with the said refusal, the King's troops on the Borders made a raid into Scotland and did much harm (et y firent de grandz maulx). The King is daily sending thither infantry and hackbutiers, so that there is every appearance that on that side at least there will be no hindrance or impediment to the contemplated undertaking against France, for which preparations on a great scale are incessantly being made. Everywhere I hear that the King persists in his idea of attending the expedition to France in person, and I must add that up to the present I am not aware of French intrigues going on; even if there were, I am sure that the King would not listen to them, for he has already disbursed too much money, besides which, there is no appearance at all of the French having the will or the power of indemnifying him for his expenses besides paying him the remainder (les reliques) of the pension, without which the King is sure not to listen to any proposals of peace on their part.
Whilst writing the above, Your Majesty's letter of the 23rd of February has come to hand, in answer to which I cannot say more than what is said above, and also in my preceding despatch, save that I shall lose no opportunity of bringing forward before the King, or the members of his privy council, the declaration made by Mr. de Granvelle (sic) to the English ambassador respecting the news from France, and at the same time try and learn if there be here any appearance just now of the French practices mentioned in the said letter, If any, I have no doubt that they would be easily counteracted, by merely gratifying this King concerning the declaration on which he still insists.
I must not omit to say, the King has ordered the embargo of all vessels (navieres) actually at anchor in the ports of this kingdom, and, according to a message sent me by the Admiral, three days ago, there is question of assembling and fitting out a fleet of upwards, of one hundred and fifty sail. I cannot yet say whether its destination is the coast of Scotland or for some undertaking against France according to the plan (prouject) of last year; a copy of which I sent to Your Majesty.
As I was on the point of closing and sealing this, the King sent me two of his privy councillors to say that he has news from an authentic, and confidential quarter that the Venetians have agreed to put into the hands of the Turk the town of Bergamo, (fn. 6) which is a very important affair, and much open to danger. The King thought that,, such being the case, it would be a chef d'œuvre if part of the men Your Majesty is now sending to Italy could occupy beforehand and surprise (preoccuper et surprendre) the said town. He has charged me to write to.You on the subject as soon as possible. The councillors also told, me that they had orders from the King, their master, to remind me of the declaration against the Scots enhancing, as they are in the habit of doing, the good that will result therefrom for, the common enterprise against France, at the same time magnifying the inconveniences likely to arise should the King, their master, have to declare against the duke of Holstein, the losses his subjects would have to sustain, and. the great damage to Your Majesty and to himself, (fn. 7) inasmuch as if the two Majesties have to fit out together and at the same time a considerable fleet, that cannot be accomplished without procuring; in the parts of Dance (Dantzig) all the naval materials necessary for the equipment of ships of war, which cannot at the present moment be procured either here, in England; or in Your Majesty's dominions in the Low Countries or Spain. In order; therefore, that the merchants of the Low Countries, as well as England, may purchase at Dantzig all they, want, and at the same time withdraw all the property they may have in those parts, it is necessary to delay for some time the publication of an edict declaring him the enemy of the allies. If Your Majesty pleases, the King may dally with the Duke so as to prevent his doing mischief. He will undertake that charge with pleasure. Since the Duke was at present treating of peace with Your Majesty, it seemed to him neither convenient nor honorable to declare himself until he saw the issue of his negotiations is known; that if Your Majesty had absolutely resolved that he (the King) should publish the aforesaid declaration against the Duke, he would, out of sheer affection for Your Majesty and desire to please, comply with Your wish, for he knew Your Majesty to be so considerate and discreet in political matters that you would not consent that his subjects —of whom there were many living among the Easterlings, and possessing capital—should sustain considerable damage and loss. On that account he would beg and entreat Your Majesty to fix a reasonable term during which his subjects could withdraw their property, and, that being done, the declaration should be made and published without fail and without delay. This the King would willingly do, all the time praying Your Majesty very affectionately to be so kind as to gratify him with regard to the declaration against the Scots, which was a thing of great importance and which suffered no delay, for, as he has lately informed me by a confidential message, he is now on the point of reducing Scotland to such extremities that she will be unable in future to show favour or partiality for the French, or annoy him and his subjects. To that end, besides the large army he has on the Borders, and which he is daily increasing, he has now decided to send thither a very large fleet, having upwards of 20,000 men on board, and will use the utmost diligence in that affair, so as to prevent a number of Italians and other foreign soldiers who, according to information he has received, have already landed in Normandy to cross over to Scotland. The King, however, has great hope of success, not only because many Scotch lords follow his party and are ready to help his views, but because there is bad intelligence, dissension, and ill-feeling prevailing among the rest, even between the governor (Arran) and the counts of Argyll and Bothwell, all of whom (les quels tres tous) are now trying to divorce their wives in order to marry the queen dowager of Scotland (Mary of Guise). Indeed, the earl of Bothwell has used in that greater diligence than the others, for he some time ago deserted his wife, the daughter of Maxwell, one of the chief noblemen in Scotland. (fn. 8)
As the French, according to all accounts, are now fitting out a large fleet (armee de mer), this King would like Your Imperial Majesty to send to sea as quickly as possible 3,000 men, according to the stipulation of the treaty of closer alliance, in case of the enemy increasing his forces. He would also wish above all things that Your Majesty made the declaration against Scotland. This last, should Your Imperial Majesty grant it, would, in my opinion, win the heart of this King, and oblige him to do the most he can for you, besides which, as I have said above, it would make him shut his ears completely to all overtures on the part of the French. I really do believe that, if Your Imperial Majesty could hear the modest and gracious words used by these privy councillors, you would scarcely have refused what they are asking from You, especially if the King engages, as he has announced, to make the declaration against the duke of Holstein after the lapse of the term that may be fixed beforehand, which hitherto he has not done except in general terms. I most humbly beg Your Imperial Majesty to maturely reconsider the affair, and not attribute to temerity what I have written above in token of my dutiful affection for Your Majesty's service.—London, 2 March 1544.
Signed:“Eustace Chapuys.”
Addressed:“To the Emperor.”
Indorsed:“From the ambassador in England; of the 2nd of March. Received at Spire on the 11th of the said month, 1544.”
French. Original. 4 pp.
n. d. 44. Henry VIII. to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Tres hault, etc.,”—Whereas it has been represented to Us by Our faithful and beloved ambassadors, (fn. 9) the bishop of London and Sir Francis Briant, as well as by the one who presently resides at your Court, that in consequence of the many invasions of this country, and other hostilities of the Scots, the above-mentioned ambassadors asked you in Our name to declare them “common enemies,” and you answered that you were quite ready to do so, provided you were informed in an official and authentic manner that open war had actually broken out between this kingdom and the Scots, We now give you notice that the said Scots, having first invaded Our countries and lands (nous pais et terres), and afterwards broken their faith, and contravened to their fealty, and to their oaths and promises under signature and seal, having in all manner of ways irritated and offended Us that We have been actually obliged, for honour's sake and the defence of Our subjects, to take up arms against the Scotch, and repute and denounce them as Our enemies; and whereas Our ambassadors above-mentioned have solicited in Our name that the said Scotch should also be declared as enemies of us both in all your kingdoms and dominions, and having heard from the lips and reports of Our said ambassadors that whenever they spoke to you on this matter you deliberately answered that whenever it was officially and authentically proved to you that war had actually commenced between Us and the Scots you would declare them your enemies, and order that they should be treated as such in all your kingdoms, dominions and signories, in accordance with the treaties concluded between Us, We have considered it fit to write this present letter signifying and declaring to you that, for the causes and reasons above specified, and which Our ambassador will explain more fully if required, We from this moment repute, consider and hold the said Scotch as Our enemies, praying and requesting you, most high, etc., that they be equally accepted, reputed and treated as such, hoping that you will do so, not only for the love of Us, but for the fulfilment of the treaties existing between Us two; and, in short, attach as much faith to what Our ambassador will tell you on this subject as if We ourselves were personally addressing you.
French. Contemporary copy.
2 March. 45. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Corresp. Engl. “Madame”—Your Majesty will see by the enclosed all that has happened in this country since my last despatch. Not having any news to report, the object of this will be to beg Your Majesty most humbly to be pleased to order that the authentic declaration of the Emperor's hostility and enmity against Scotland, in the form lately pointed out by me, be at once forwarded, and likewise to dispose that a paper be made out detailing the damages and injuries which the inhabitants of those countries might have to suffer by the fact of the Emperor declaring the Scots his enemies, and forbidding their intercourse of trade with the Low Countries.
I will not omit to say that it would be fit and opportune, as I observed in one of my last despatches, that some remarks should be made by Your Majesty's ministers to this King's ambassador there [at Brussels] respecting the affair of the safe-conducts, for, as I gather from certain words uttered by this King himself, to the effect, he thinks that Your Majesty does not attach much importance to the subject, and that the pressure proceeds entirely from speculators, who wish to get a gratuity (pot de vin) from the owners of the goods. (fn. 10)
I have not forgotten to solicit the note of the provisions which these English wish to have ready for their passage across the Channel. As the privy councillors give me to understand, the note has already been forwarded to this King's ambassador.
After the above was written, two of the privy councillors have come to me by the King's command on the commission and charge that Your Majesty will see by the enclosed copy. (fn. 11) I refrain from making any further observations about it, and will limit myself to beg Your Majesty most humbly to intercede with the Emperor for the issue of the declaration against Scotland, which would, in my opinion, be a better and, under present circumstances, more profitable work than I could describe, for this King, to my certain knowledge, has determined after some time to reciprocally do the same against the duke of Holstein. There is also another reason for it, which is, that most likely the people of the Low Countries would suffer no harm from the Emperor's declaration against the Scots, inasmuch as it is very improbable that during the war the merchants of Scotland will care to traffic with the people of the Low Countries, or the Emperor's subjects with the Scots. Besides which, it is to be considered that although the king of England is very well disposed to observe the treaty in all its points, yet should not the affairs of Scotland turn out as he fancies to his credit, there is fear of his finding out some excuse or other for not helping to the enterprise against France, or listening to overtures of peace from that country; to which may be added that, as the Scots are continually making predatory raids on English territory, and threatening to do still worse, and this King might at any time claim the Emperor's help according to the letter of the treaty, the declaration itself, if absolutely denied or indefinitely delayed, might cause incalculable harm.—London, 2 March 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
Indorsed: “To the Queen.”
French. Original. 2 pp.
5 March. 46. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable chier et feal,”—Your despatch of the 17th of February (fn. 12) was duly received, and We have heard with pleasure that the king of England has expressed satisfaction at hearing of the answer by Us given to the proposals brought by cardinal Farnese the Papal Legate, and Our intentions, respecting the two points touched upon in Granvelle's letter to you. The diligence and care displayed by you on this occasion are certainly commendable and extremely agreeable to Us, as are also the representations and excuses addressed by you to the King, or to his ministers, in the matter of the Spanish hackbutiers.
We are also glad to hear that the King has not only admitted your excuses, but has made no objection whatever to Our proposal that in the event of Our having to fight the French in Piedmont, (fn. 13) he (the King) contributes to the expenses of that war. It will be fit and convenient that, whenever the opportunity comes to hand, you (Chapuys) remind the King of this particular point in the covenant made with the viceroy of Sicily. Meanwhile, should news be received from Italy likely to make Us alter Our plans of warfare, We shall lose no time in informing you thereof, that you may let the King know of it, for We are in hopes that having, as We have, sufficiently provided—though at considerable expense on Our part—for the defence of Our possessions in Italy, it is unlikely that king Francis will make any attempt in that country, and if he does he will be wonderfully deceived in his calculations.
We were likewise glad to hear that the King has shown satisfaction at the appointment of Mons. de Buren (fn. 14) to the command of the body of men that is to co-operate with the English army against France. The king of England, We hope, will have every reason to be pleased with the services of that Imperial commander. Nor are We less gratified to hear that on your proposal and recommendation the King has been persuaded to send his own commissaries to Flanders for the express purpose of procuring in that country the ammunition and carriage wanted for the English army. Pray continue to work in that line as assiduously as you have done hitherto, not only to ensure the good success of the contemplated enterprise against France, but also to penetrate into the King's future designs, and ascertain how far the English in general, and principally the King himself, are inclined to the invasion of France; and above all whether the latter will persevere in his determination of crossing the Channel in person. Of all these particulars and others, more or less connected with the enterprise against the French, you shall take care to inform Us as frequently as you can.
With regard to Our declaration against the Scots, We entirely approve of your reasonings with those privy councillors, as well as of your arguments in favour of Our refusing to make the same as long as the duke of Holstein is not reciprocally declared the common enemy of both parties, but the considerations entered into by you in your despatch of the 18th of February (fn. 15) in favour of Our declaring at once against the Scots, notwithstanding that King's refusal to do the same with regard to the Duke, though pertinent and sensible enough by themselves, do not seem to Us entirely well grounded; for you must bear in mind that for a long time past the Scots have been the allies and confederates of the Low Countries (les pays d'en bas), and that the above said alliance and confederation already existing, and having been faithfully observed for one century, was again ratified about thirteen years ago at the time of the revolution in Scotland, and that during all that time both countries (Scotland and the Netherlands) have mutually gained considerable profit from their amicable relations and intercourse of trade. In short, that it would seem strange, inconvenient, and almost dishonest for Us to declare war to the Scots under present circumstances and merely at the chief request of that King, before addressing to the Scots themselves some sort of formal warning or representation on the subject; besides which the declaration, if issued by Us, might afford a good occasion for the Pope to ally himself with king Francis and with the Scots, and then losing all shame raise troubles in Italy with a view to defeat Our war-like plans against France.
If the King has not entirely lost all hope of making peace with the Scots, this last will be in Our opinion a powerful consideration for his not insisting at present on Our declaration against them; which consideration seems to Us more weighty and powerful than any of those which the King has adduced in favour of the duke of Holstein. That is why for the sake of expediency, and in order to comply with the obligations of honest dealing with the said Scots, We have resolved that since it seems a suitable proceeding in the present state of affairs between England and Scotland, to send to the latter country some personage or herald of Ours, or some other officer of this Our Court, for the express purpose of requesting the Scots to make their peace or come to terms with the king of England, telling them that unless they do so, We will declare them Our enemies according to, and in fulfilment of, Our alliance and confederacy with the king of England. This We intend doing, on condition, however, that the King will send a herald of his to the duke of Holstein to make a similar intimation on his part. Should the King surmise that he would like to have a share in the appointment of Our herald you will tell him that We are in receipt of news that the Duke's deputies are already on the road to come to Us here [at Spire] (fn. 16) and that if We send to him instead it is merely for the sake of preventing the inhabitants of Denmark, Sweden, and other northern countries from entering the service of France or otherwise doing harm to Our Low Countries.
The above expedient to be proposed by you to the King's privy councillors as if the idea had originated with you, or as you may deem it more suitable and convenient; but if you perceive on the part of the King or his ministers signs of discontent or displeasure likely to prejudice in any way the projected invasion of France, let Us know immediately, and at the same time say what your advice in the matter is.
To conclude, you are doing the right thing in keeping on good terms with the Queen; do not fail, whenever the opportunity offers, to address her Our most cordial commendations as well as to the Princess.
The enclosed copy of the affidavit (confession) made by king Francis' (fn. 17) herald of the paper that was put into his hands when he lately came here with a message from his master, will keep you au courant of what French intrigues are. A similar copy has been placed in the hands of the English ambassador at this Court besides other papers on the same subject, the whole of which he has returned, and begged that they should be forwarded to England for you to exhibit in the King's Privy Council.—Spire, 5 March 1543 (Old style).
French. Original draft, partly ciphered. 5 pp.
9 March. 47. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—In answer to your letters of the 18th ult. and 2nd inst., (fn. 18) We forward to you along with this the letters patent of the Emperor, Our brother, under his signature and seal, on the observance of the safe-conducts which the king of England may grant to merchants [of this country] (fn. 19) to frequent and reside in France with merchandize; the contents of which letters you are to declare and explain to the King's privy councillors, at the same time that you receive from them similar letters patent for the observance of those We Ourselves may grant in the name of His Imperial Majesty, and under his signature and seal. Should the King's privy councillors wish to make any change, you may tell them that immediately after the receipt of the King's letters patent for the observance of the safe-conducts We shall take care that letters similarly conceived and worded be sent to England.
With regard to the rules for the observance of the safe-conducts, the English ambassador (Dr. Layton) here residing with Us has not yet said anything, nor have We had occasion to speak to him on the subject; but on the very first opportunity that offers, We or Our ministers will communicate with him as to the duplicate of the said letters, that he may write home and the affair be advanced.
Now, in answer to the two points contained in your letter of the 16th ult., and on which you ask Us for instructions, We enclose an affidavit under Our signature and seal of the challenge and defiance which the duke of Holstein has addressed to Us and to the countries under Our government, which is a sufficient testimony and a much stronger proof than that adduced by the English for the war with Scotland, on which alone We have, however, accepted. Should the privy councillors ask you to exhibit the Duke's original challenge in writing, you will say that you cannot, and will offer as an excuse that We have not sent it to you. Indeed, had We chosen to forward the paper We could not do it, inasmuch as We have not got it in this town (Ghent), and also, to say the truth, because We do not wish the privy councillors to see it, lest they should find fresh causes for contention and dispute, pretending, as they did once, that the origin of the challenge and occasion of the war with Holstein is purely personal.
With regard to the second point, namely, the damage and loss which the Emperor's subjects in these countries under Our government would sustain through the declaration against Scotland, it is so notorious that there is scarcely any need of Our mentioning it; for, in the first place, Flanders and the Low Countries have never been at war with Scotland, nor have they shown the least hostility to the inhabitants of that country, but have, on the contrary, treated with them and their kings of friendship and alliance, which treaties it is no easy matter to break through unless there be powerful reasons for it and with the forms and manner which honesty requires. And, in the second, because, if at war with Scotland and with the duke of Holstein, the Emperor's subjects in these Low Countries will be entirely excluded from the navigation to the Oost, and the fishing for herrings in the Northern seas towards Scotland, which would be a greater harm for the inhabitants of those countries than all the damage which the English allege might come to them from their declaration against Holstein, which they still refuse to give.
We cannot omit to tell you confidentially and under reserve, at the same time requesting you to keep it secret, that even if We were obliged to make the declaration against Scotland We do not see how We could do so unless that King made a similar declaration against the Duke, and that the English themselves, as well as the Emperor's subjects, were prevented from navigating towards Oost, otherwise it would be absolutely impossible for Us to keep the people of these Low Countries quiet and contented. We particularly call your attention to this point for fear the declaration against Scotland once obtained, We encounter another evil likely to bring on some angry dispute between the allies, which is a thing to be avoided under present circumstances.
We see by your despatches to the Emperor that the king of England is continually preparing for the undertaking against France, and persists in his determination to cross the Channel at the head of his army. The same news We have from the English ambassador resident at Our court, and yet there are no signs here of any such military preparations, for, in the first place, up to the present date We have not heard of his having tried to recruit foreign soldiers, nor has he remitted to Landenbergen money for the 2,000 horse and 4,000 foot which that captain has charge to levy, nor has Monsr. de Buren heard any more respecting the commission that King was pleased to give him, at which, by the way, We are exceedingly surprised. We also observe that he delays sending the list of provisions, which he wishes to be made and stored here for the use of his men, about all which things not a word has been said to Us by the English amambassador here resident, who, as it would appear, has received no charge in the matter.
As to the King's wish that the Emperor should, according to the letter of the treaty, furnish 3,000 men for sea service, We do not see the immediate necessity for it. The French have not, that We know of, a powerful fleet at sea. Perhaps the requisition has been made for the purpose of pressing the declaration against Scotland rather than for any other. If the privy councillors repeat the demand you will try to make excuses on account of the great expense We have been put to, besides being obliged to furnish 2,000 horse and 200 foot for the King's army, as well as the 2,000 men now asked for sea service. Unable as We are to supply the wants of Our own garrisons and what is required for the Emperor's army, it will be impossible for Us to fulfil at once and in full measure all the stipulations of the treaty. We have purposely informed you of these details that you may, if pressed by the privy councillors, not grant all their demands until an answer comes from His Imperial Majesty.—Gand (Ghent), 9 March 1543 (Old style).
P.S.—The letters patent for the observance of the safe-conducts, and the ratification of the war against Holstein, will be sent to-morrow. The copies were not ready when the bearer of this letter left, and We could not keep him waiting.
French. Original draft. 3 pp.
10 March. 48. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'ambassadeur,”—You will find herein inclosed the letters patent (fn. 20) for the observance of the safe-conducts, as well as the notification of war (certification) by the duke of Holstein, and an abstract of what We have written to the Emperor, Our brother, respecting a communication of the English resident ambassador on the state of affairs in Scotland.
Since Our letter of yesterday's date (fn. 21) the owners of the cargoes of salt herrings lately seized by the English have come to Us to complain and remonstrate that they had only received a sum of about two thousand pounds sterling for their salt herrings, which, counting the purchase money, custom duties, and insurance of the vessels, stood to them at more than five thousand four hundred and sixty gross of Flanders, or the equivalent of £3,600, not including in that sum what they have had to pay for the war duties and other extraordinary expenses, and what they have lost, by a vessel which was sunk, as they say, at the time that the seizure (arrest) was made, which loss amounts, as they say, to six thousand five hundred and eighty pounds sterling, so that they are in danger of being ruined unless they are helped and assisted in their just demands. (fn. 22) As We have already written, and do again, the English cannot do less in this case than pay the cost of the herrings here first hand (en premier achapt), the port and other ordinary duties (les droitz de tollieu), the franchise of the vessels, and besides that some honest profit for the merchants themselves. We must add that the persons to whom the herrings belonged have exhibited the safe-conducts granted by that King and allowing the plaintiffs to bring merchandize from France to these Low Countries in French bottoms, as you will see by the enclosed copy of the original safe-conduct. Should the King's privy councillors or the Admiralty officers make any difficulty about this you may show them the safe-conduct and papers, and at the same time do your best to assist and help the merchants in their just claims.—Gand, 10 March 1544.
Indorsed: “à I'ambassadeur Chapuys en Engleterre du Xme de Mars 1543 [Old style] dois Gant.”
French. Original draft. 1 p.
10 March. 49. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'Ambassadeur,”—As We wrote yesterday, (fn. 23) We now enclose you the letters patent for the observance of the safe-conducts, and at the same time those for the war against Holstein, as well as an abstract of Our letter to the Emperor on the proposals, which the English ambassador here resident has made in his master's name concerning the state of affairs in Scotland. (fn. 24)
Since then, the owners of the cargoes of salt herrings sequestered in England have represented to Us that they have only received as indemnity a sum of money amounting to about 2,000 pounds sterling, whereas the total cost of the fish, including the purchase price, ordinary custom duties, insurance (affranchissement), and other expenses amount to 6,460 grosen of Flanders, or 3,600 pounds sterling, the owners of the salt fish having, therefore, suffered a loss of more than 6,524 pounds sterling, without counting what they have paid as war tax, and other extraordinary expenses, (fn. 25) besides the value of a ship that went on shore and was lost, as they maintain, when the seisure took place, the value of which, as they say, amounted to upwards of 6,580 pounds sterling, and consequently the total loss the merchants have incurred amounts to upwards of 4,180 pounds sterling, and that the owners of the said vessels and cargoes are in danger of being completely ruined and failing in their engagements unless they are in some way or other assisted and helped. That is why you are requested to look out for means and ways of helping them in their difficulties. It seems to Us, as We have pointed out to you in a former letter, that the English are bound to pay the value of the merchandize—that is, the price which the merchants paid for the fish here, including, of course, what they paid for taxes and custom duties, ordinances and insurances (affranchissements); that is the least they can do, and then allow the merchants and shipowners a small profit on the speculation.
We must add that the merchants in question have duly exhibited copies of the various safe-conducts obtained from the king of England, allowing all and each of the petitioners to bring back, on their return from France, any goods they chose from that country, and if necessary in French bottoms, as you will be able to verify by the single inspection of the said safe-conducts. We enter into these details in order that should the King's ministers make difficulties, you may be better prepared to insist on the merchants' just demands.—Ghent, 10 March 1544.
French. Original draft. 4 pp.
Indorsed: “Copie des lettres à sa mate Imperiale de part (sic) de son ambassadeur en Angleterre, du XIIe de Mars 1544.”


  • 1. No. 39, p. 50.
  • 2. “Pour mencr harangz en France et ramener de là vins et bled.”
  • 3. “Le reprinse de la navire de Mons de Bèvres.”
  • 4. Aamersfoort, in Holland. See Vol. VI., Part II., p. 457.
  • 5. See Chapuy's letter of the 18th February, p. 54.
  • 6. “Que les Venitiens avoient accordé de mectre entre les mains de sea gens la ville de Bergame (?)”
  • 7. “Et davantaige ont les dits conseilliers par commandement du sr roy, leur maistre, remis en avant l'affere de la declaration contre Escosse m'enrichissant (m'encherissant) à l'aceoustumee le bien que s'en ensuyvroit au benefice de la commune emprinse, me remonstrant de mesmes les inconveniens que sen ensuyvroient se declairant le dit sr roy contre le dit due de, Holstein, non seullement a ses subjects mais à v[ost]re mate et à luy.”
  • 8. “Et a le dit sr roy tout bon espoir de prospere succes en la dicte emprinse, tant pour avoir ilcq divers srs de sa partialite, que aussi pour le maulvaise intelligence et dissension quest entre les aultres, et mesmes entre le gouverneur le contc de Lynnos et le conte Boduell, les quels tres tous procurent soy divortier de leur propres femmes pour espouser la royne douaigiere du dit Escoese, et a le dit conte de Boduell usé [ence] plus grant diligence que les aultres en habandonnant sa femme, fille de mylord Machuel lung des principaulx du dict pays.”
  • 9. Nicholas Wotton, dean of Canterbury, about whom see Vol. VI., Part II., p. 525. As to Sir Francis Briant and the bishop of London (Dr. Edmond Bonner), both had formerly gone on a mission to the Emperor as early as Oct. 1543, and had solicited him to interdict the trade between Scotland and the Low Countries. See ibid., p. 507.
  • 10. “Et que seulement procede de quelques pressements [de merchants] pour avoir quelque pot de vin.”
  • 11. Most likely the declaration against the Scots.
  • 12. See No. 39, p. 50, but the date is the 18th of February. In that despatch the Imperial ambassador writes that king Henry had heard with pleasure the answer made to the Cardinal's proposals, as well as Granvelle's sharp remarks about them.
  • 13. “Pour excuser l'envoy des haquebusiers (sic) espaignols, et est bien à propoz quil sen soit contenté, et que ce nonobstant il n'ayt mis difficulte pour la contribution de l'emprise au coustel de Piemont.”
  • 14. Here and elsewhere the name of this Belgian general is written Bueren; he belonged to the Egmont family and his Christian name was Maximilian. See Vol. VI., Part II., pp. 325, 414.
  • 15. See No. 39, p. 54.
  • 16. The Emperor was at Spire (Speier), in Bavaria, from the 1st of February to the 10th of June.
  • 17. No inclosure has been found in the packet, though it may be presumed that it was in reference to Halle's communication with the French governor of Boulogne, Oudard de Biez, of whom more will be said hereafter.
  • 18. No. 39, pp. 52–58, and No. 45, p. 68.
  • 19. “Sur l'observation des saufconduys que le roy d'engleterre pourra donner pour hanter marchandement en France.”
  • 20. Has not been found.
  • 21. That of the 9th, No. 47, p. 70.
  • 22. “On ne leur [a] pour les ditz harengg (sic) donné que environ de deux mille £ sterlinx que leur ont couste en somme achapt, droit ordinaire des tollieux et affranchissment des navieres plus de VmIVcLX gs. de Flandres, que revegnent a plus que IIImVIc £ sterlinx, sans encoires compter ce quilz ont payé pour le droit de la guerre et aultres despens extraordinaires, et ce quilz ont perdu par une naviere perie à l'occasion du dit arrest comme ilz disent, que monte plus de VImVcIVxx £ sterlinx, et par ainsy toute leur perte porteroit bien VImVcIVxx £ sterlinx, de sorte quilz soient (sont) en dangier destre destruitz silz ne sont assistez.”
  • 23. Such is the date of this draft, which at first appearance seems to be only a duplicate of the preceding. On the dorse, in a hand of the time, though different from that of the draft itself “envoié le 12me du mois.” By looking closely into it I find, however, that although the subject treated is substantially the same, there is a slight difference in its details. Queen Mary was then at Ghent, and it might be that before returning to Brussels on the 15th, and signing on the 10th the letter to Chapuys (No. 48), more reliable accounts were perhaps obtained in the former town of the loss sustained by the Flemish and Dutch merchants, and that another and second letter was addressed to Chapuys.
  • 24. The ambassador was still the dean of York, Dr. Richard Layton.
  • 25. “En non leur payant pour les dits harengz que environ de deux mille £ sterlinx que leur ont coustés en somme, achapt, droit ordinaire des 'tollieux,' et affranchissement des navires plus de VmIVeLX gs. de Flandres que revegnent (reviennent) à plus que IIImVIe £ sterlinx, sans encoires compter ce quils ont payé pour le droit de la guerre et aultres despens.”