Spain: March 1544, 16-31

Pages 75-84

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

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March 1544, 16–31

16 March. 50. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Sire,”—The day before yesterday Your Majesty's letter of the 5th inst. came to hand, and yesterday I went to this Privy Council and talked with some of its members concerning the kings-at-arms, heralds, or other officials to be sent simultaneously to Scotland and to the duke of Holstein in compliance with Your Majesty's orders and Instructions to me. But notwithstanding all my representations on this subject, based principally on the contents of Your Majesty's letter, and whatever arguments I could use of my own, the privy councillors would not admit the convenience or the expediency of the measure proposed, and said that they should not dare speak to the King their master about it, nor could they advise me to do so, lest he should take it in bad part, and consider it only a stratagem to gain time, and delay Your Majesty's declaration against Scotland, which, as they say, is most pressingly wanted. They have, therefore, decided to wait for Your Majesty's answer to my letter of the 2nd. I have, however, begged them to think of the affair, and talk it over with the rest of their colleagues, so as to lay the case before the King their master. I expect from hour to hour their answer to my application and request. As soon as I get it I will not fail to advise Your Majesty; but, in the meantime, I must not forget to say that, in my opinion, should Your Majesty not find it expedient to make the declaration demanded, Your Majesty's very wise suggestion ought to be attended to, namely, that an Imperial king-at-arms be sent to Scotland for the purpose announced in Your Majesty's letter, provided this King makes no difficulty in sending one of his to Denmark on a similar errand, since he himself offered to do so some time ago, as Your Majesty may have seen by my last. In short, all possible means and ways of amusing the duke of Holstein, and preventing him from undertaking anything against him in the meantime, ought to be found.
Respecting this King's contribution towards the war in Piedmont, I have not deemed it necessary to speak one way or other, for it would be tantamount to increasing the difficulties of the negociation on that point, and perhaps, too, affording the King an opportunity to withdraw his declaration. (fn. 1)
The King persists in his determination of joining in person this spring the expedition against France, and never ceases preparing for it. He has caused certain engines to be fabricated to surprise towns, and throw armed men within them in spite of the enemy. He has ordered boats (barques) to be built more portable, lighter, and better than those hitherto used, and I am told that he intends taking with him the duke of Suffolk to command the army under him. He is collecting as much money as he possibly can from the subsidy which his subjects have granted him, amounting to a very large sum, and I believe that in order not to touch his own hoard, he is only waiting for the payment of the remainder to remit [to Flanders] the funds required for the pay of the mercenaries to be enlisted. Indeed, I hear that if he has not already despatched his commissaries to that effect, it has been owing to his wishing to send, at the same time, the money for the Queen Regent. Indeed, it has not been the fault of the privy councillors if the whole provision has not been made already. As to me, I shall never cease importuning them until the thing is done completely.
The King has sent me word that the inhabitants of Doue (Douay) had done so valuable a service in receiving and keeping the artillery and ammunition which his own men left in that town on their return from the siege of Landresis, as well as the good treatment of the English who had occasionally gone thither on his service, (fn. 2) that he cannot do less than consider himself much obliged to them, and bound to do their pleasure in whatever they may want of him; all the time begging me to write to Your Majesty on the subject, and recommend them to Your Majesty.
Conversing yesterday with the privy councillors, I had no leisure to speak to them of the herald's deposition, and therefore I said nothing about it; but I shall not fail to send a copy of it, that they may show it to the King.
At this very moment, when I was about to close and seal this letter, my man came back from Court. He tells me that the King has positively written to Mr. de Buren, and remitted to him the sum of money required for the enlistment and pay of the additional mercenaries who are to be under his command, and that in a similar manner he has made remittances of money for the enlistment and pay of Christophe de Landenberg's band; also that the “billets” of the provisions to be bought in Flanders have been sent to the Queen Regent. The privy councillors particularly requested my man to inform me of all these particulars, and likewise that since the date of the last letters received from Your Majesty the billets above mentioned had been presented to the Queen. The Admiral also has sent me a message by my man that he will sail for Scotland in a week's time, and that the number of troops on board the Royal fleet is so considerable that he will with perfect ease be able to land 12,000 or 15,000 men, leaving the ships amply provided with crews. Before his departure, however, he will call at this embassy, for he intends to converse at length with me on that and other affairs. —London, 16 March 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
Addressed: “To the Emperor.”
French. Original. 2½ pp.
16 March. 51. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp Arch. “Madame,”—The day before yesterday Your Majesty's letter of the 9th inst. came to hand together with that of the Emperor to me. (fn. 3) It would be desirable that for the satisfaction of these people, and the better to meet their demands in the matter of the declaration [against the Scots], Your Majesty gave orders that a legal affidavit of the challenge (deffiance) of the duke of Holstein should be sent to me by the first courier. There is no need, for the reasons alleged in Your Majesty's letter, of the challenge itself as it was made.
With regard to the safe-conducts, since the date of my last despatch, this King has through his Privy Council again confirmed to me his determination to have them observed as far as the resort of French merchants and the carrying of French merchandize are concerned, as well as all goods, which being exempted do not require a safe-conduct. No articles of food to be allowed, though licences have lately been obtained for three hundred “lasts” or loads of salt herrings (fn. 4) to be transported [to France], as I have informed Jaspard Duchy, that he may apprize Your Majesty. As soon as the letters patent of the Low Countries come to hand I will take care that reciprocal ones be obtained according to Your Majesty's wish.
Respecting the injury and damage likely to result to the inhabitants of the Low Countries from the Emperor's declaration against the Scots, these people will not hear a word. They say, on the contrary, that even supposing the effect to be produced by the declaration yet the great effort now being made to keep Scotland under obedience, the fishing will become more practically free for the people of the Low Countries, and that at any rate (au pis alter) their ships and those of the Low Countries would be stronger and more numerous than those of Scotland, and therefore the enemy could do no harm or hinder ours from fishing.
As to the three thousand sailors of whom I wrote last I can assure Your Majesty that I will not exceed my instructions on that point, but will make all possible excuses. Most likely the solicitation has its origin, as Your Majesty most wisely conjectures, in a desire of these people to promote and facilitate the Emperor's declaration against Scotland. That is why the best excuse to be offered would be, in my opinion, to say, as I believe is true, that the French have no great force at sea at this present moment.
As to other affairs, I beg leave to refer Your Majesty to my despatch to the Emperor herein inclosed. (fn. 5) —London, 16 March 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 2 pp.
16 March. 52. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Sire,”—Your Imperial Majesty's letter of the 5th inst. (fn. 6) came to hand the day before yesterday in the evening, and yesterday I had a communication with some of the privy councillors concerning the king-at-arms or other personages to be sent respectively to Scotland and to the duke of Holstein, at the same time calling their attention to the contents of Your Majesty's letters to me. This notwithstanding, and although I myself urged them on, they did not think it expedient that they or I should propose the measure to the King lest this latter should think it strange, and consider it a stratagem on our part to gain time and delay the declaration they are soliciting, which declaration, as they say, is more than necessary, nay indispensable at this present juncture. In short, they (the councillors) are of opinion that we had better wait for Your Majesty's answer to my despatch of the 2nd inst. I have, nevertheless, earnestly recommended them to reconsider the affair, and consult their colleagues in the Privy Council as to the best means of bringing the proposed measure before the King for approval. I am expecting from hour to hour their answer as to that; the very moment it comes to hand I shall not fail in letting Your Majesty know. Yet, I must not omit to say that in my opinion, should Your Imperial Majesty find it inexpedient to make the declaration against Scotland, it would be advisable and opportune to adopt and follow Your Majesty's very wise counsel, namely, to send here a king-at-arms to go to Scotland and make there the declaration contained in Your Majesty's letter. That is provided this King has no objection to reciprocally do the same thing with regard to the duke of Holstein, which is not probable, since he himself has offered, as Your Majesty may have seen by my preceding despatch, to employ all means in his power to dally with the said duke of Holstein so that he may know nothing about it. (fn. 7)
With regard to the King's contribution towards the expenses of the war in Piedmont, I have not considered it necessary to touch on that point just now, for new difficulties might thereby be raised and afford the King an opportunity to withdraw [from his engagements] on the very grounds of the declaration that we want him to make against the duke of Holstein. (fn. 8)
I hear that the King still persists in his idea of attending personally the expedition against France, and continues to make preparations for the future campaign. He is having engines built for the purpose of surprising fortified towns, and throwing inside armed men in spite of the enemy, besides a number of vessels (barques) more fitting, portable, and advantageous than those we have hitherto seen, and I am told that he intends taking with him the duke of Suffolk to command the army. (fn. 9) No time is being lost or effort spared in collecting the money of the subsidy granted [by Parliament], which will amount to a very considerable sum, and I believe that in order not to touch his treasure (which he very much dislikes) the King is only waiting for the subsidy and taxes to come in to remit to Flanders the sum required for the levy of the men mentioned in former despatches. In short, I believe that as soon as the money is ready he will appoint the commissaries, who are to go to the Queen in Flanders and lay out the money in the recruiting of men, buying provisions, and so forth. There has been no need for me to press the privy councillors on that score, for they are doing everything in their power to hasten all sorts of preparations for war. This notwithstanding, I purpose not leaving them in peace until all is ready for the projected undertaking.
The King has sent me word that the people of Doué (Douay) had done him such honor and service in receiving and keeping the artillery and ammunition, which his men left there on their return from the siege of Landreschyz, as well as in the good treatment of all the English, who had gone thither at his commands, that he was exceedingly obliged and grateful to them, and very desirous of doing their pleasure in anything they might want of him. The message further said that he (the King) could not do less than let Your Imperial Majesty know of it, and return proper thanks after warmly recommending the people of Doue and their services to him.
When I spoke yesterday to the privy councillors I had no opportunity to allude to the statement to be made by the herald; I could not if I chose [for I had not perused it], but I will send it to them in writing that they may report to the King. (fn. 10)
Just at this moment, when I was about to close and seal this letter, my man returns from Court bringing me a message from the privy councillors to the effect that the King, their master, had really and truly written to Mr. de Buren, and remitted to him the sum of money required for the levy of the additional body of men (surcroist) that he has charge to recruit [for the English service] and likewise that he had already remitted funds for the levies of Christoffie Landenbourg (sic). The bills (billets) for the provisions to be bought in the Low Countries had been sent to the Queen, and they had no doubt that since the date of the last letter of Her Royal Majesty (sa mate reginale) to me the said bills of exchange were already in her possession.
My man brought me also a message from the Admiral, purporting that he was about to sail in a week for Scotland with the whole of the Royal fleet (l'armee de mer), and that he would take so considerable a force on board that twelve or fifteen thousand men might easily be landed without leaving the ships unprovided; but that before his departure he would come and dine with me (banquetter avec moi) and have a long talk on the affairs of the day.-London, 16 March 1544.
Indorsed: “Copie des lettres à sa mate Imperiale de part son ambassadeur en Angleterre, du 16e de Mars 1544.”
French. Contemporary copy. 3 pp.
17 March. 53. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable, chier et feal,”—Your letter of the 4th inst. respecting the King's new demand for Our declaration against the Scots, (fn. 11) and his offer to issue a similar declaration on his part against the duke of Holstein, in case of his deputies now in this town (Spire) refusing to treat with Us, has duly come to hand. The affair may therefore be considered as definitely settled, provided the King be informed beforehand of Our determination that he, himself, may advise his subjects to withdraw from Elsino (Elseneur) and other towns of Denmark. We now write to Madame, Our sister, the queen regent of Flanders and the Low Countries, of Our determination in that matter, that she may let you know of it, and in the meantime you will conduct yourself with the King and with his privy councillors as courteously and friendly as ever. Of Our future movements you shall be apprized in time.—Spire, the 17th of March 1543 (Old style).
French. Original draft. 1 p.
24 March. 54. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—I am in receipt of Your Majesty's letter of the 10th inst. (fn. 12) as well as of the letters patent therein inclosed, and of the abstract of the notes and communications of the English ambassador residing at that Court, about which I recollect having, on more than one occasion, written to Your Majesty. Indeed, it seems to me as if the communications of the English ambassador would have been more opportune and acceptable had they been made before, and emanated (notwithstanding their tardiness) from his own free will, and without waiting for the remonstrances and reproaches I have addressed to him on the subject for not having given cognizance of the said affairs either to Your Majesty or to me.
With regard to the indemnity (recompense) to be given to the herring merchants for their losses, nothing has been done yet, nor is there any probability for the present of the affair being concluded, inasmuch as the privy councillors persist, on the advice of that King's ambassador, in delaying as long as possible the settlement of that business, and have four times consecutively refused, under some pretence or other, to give audience to my man and to that of Jaspar Douchy, who has come here to solicit the said indemnity. It has, therefore, been quite impossible for me to speak to the privy councillors respecting the reciprocal letters patent, to the delivery of which—whatever they may say and affirm in public of their readiness—there is, in my opinion, very little inclination, the privy councillors excusing themselves on the ground of their manifold and important occupations. And yet, as I, myself, have written to Jaspar Douchy on the subject, (fn. 13) the merchants and navigators of the Low Countries must not cease employing French vessels, for these privy councillors assured me that they could do so without fear.
Respecting the declaration [against Scotland], I have thought it better not to exhibit it until I have received from the Emperor an answer to my despatch of the 2nd inst., (fn. 14) according to which we may aid ourselves in, future negociations.
Since my last, nothing important has happened here, save that the reinforcements destined for Scotland have sailed for that country. They are to make all possible haste on their way in order to carry out their enterprise. Please God, the intentions of these people may be fulfilled, and the invasion of France not further delayed. (fn. 15) —London, 24 March 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original, partly ciphered. 2 pp.
30 March. 55. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—Your Majesty must already have heard from this King's ambassador, as well as from those whom the case concerns, of the disorder which took place at La Verre, of an English merchant vessel anchored there, which certain Scots boarded and took away with them. (fn. 16) The King and all the members of his Privy Council have been greatly ill-contented and scandalized, especially when they knew that the Scotch vessel had returned to Scotland, and that the goods and merchandize of the English vessel were publicly sold and dissipated. I myself have been strongly requested by the Privy Council to write to Your Majesty and ask that reparation and indemnity to the master of the vessel and crew be immediately made. I have already received three different messages from the privy councillors to that effect brought by my own man, and yesterday the King sent me word by one of them to remonstrate, and at the same time request me to write to Your Majesty for the amendment and reparation of the said outrage, saying, among other things, that he (the King) had heard that five more vessels were soon to sail from the ports of Scotland, which he thought were bound for certain ports of the coast of Zeeland. If not so, they at least to go to the coast of France, so close to that of Zeeland that it would not be difficult to seize them, which would be a sort of compensation and remedy for the loss of the English. To this end the King begged Your Majesty to stir in the matter, and take such measures against the Scots resorting to the Low Countries, that in future they may not have the means or the opportunity, much less the boldness, of committing such insolent and disorderly acts. I must humbly beg Your Majesty to attend to my prayer as the case requires, and the very singular and perfect friendship and intelligence between the Emperor and this King demands.—London, 30 March 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 1 p.
30 March. 56. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—The opportunity of this messenger offering, I would not let it pass without writing these few lines to Your Majesty. Four days ago the King received letters from Count Lynns (Lennox), the nobleman who, as I wrote to Your Majesty, received the money and ammunition from king Francis, declaring his readiness to embrace his cause under certain reasonable conditions, and proposing to send an agent (commis) to the Borders to treat of the affair. And the King, hearing of that, has appointed a personage with sufficient powers, whose dexterity and wisdom are such that people here are confident of the whole negociation turning out to the King's advantage. And, certainly, should the King win over to his party the aforesaid count, as he may well do, he will be able with his help and that of his own partisans, if these only persevere in their good intentions, to do what he pleases in Scotland. Of what may happen there I shall not fail to apprize Your Majesty.
The Patriarch of Aquileia, notwithstanding the safe-conduct obtained from the King to pass through England, has preferred trusting to the fortunes of the sea, after alleging certain reasons and excuses of his own, and has addressed a long discourse exhorting him not to go to war with France, but take upon himself the task of arbitration between the Emperor and king Francis: not doubting, as he has been heard to say, (fn. 17) that as this King is rich and opulent whilst the other [princes] are poor, he (the Patriarch) can easily persuade the latter to do whatever he pleases, especially if the Pope—to whom the more to please this King, the Patriarch in his discourse gives no other titles than those of “Seigneur” and “Maistre”—lends his hand to it. He would, on his arrival in France, try to carry out his plans, and, if at all successful, would, with the King's permission, return to Calais, and communicate tbe result of his mission of peace.
For the last eight days the King has been ill of a sore in one of his legs, which during forty-eight hours has brought on a slight fever. He is now, thank God, free from it, and yet he is still indisposed and keeps his room. That is the reason why the duke of Alburquerque has not yet thought of paying his respects to him. The Duke arrived here eight days ago, and I fancy that he will not take his departure as soon as he thinks of doing, for in spite of all his efforts to freight fit vessels for his passage [to Flanders] he has yet been unable to find any. He will most likely remain in this city until he can procure a passage, (fn. 18) to avoid the annoyance and discomfort to which the duke of Najera was subjected when he came over from Spain; for the latter is still in Plymua (Plimouth) waiting for an opportunity to cross over [to Calais]. He was, I am told, rather annoyed, not only because he did not find there [at Plymua] the necessary provisions [for his suite], but because the people of that town are somewhat rough and ill-conditioned. As to the duke of Alburquerque, he has been visited courteously enough (assez soigneusement) in the King's name.—London, 30 March 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original. 2 pp.


  • 1. “Il ne me semble estre de besoing eu toucher chose quelconque car ce seroit mectre le cas en difficulté et donner occasion de s'en retirer mesmes à cause de ses entresfaictes (sic) de la dite declaration.”
  • 2. “Tant au recueil et conservation de l'artillerie et munition que ses gens laisserent la au retourd de Landrechiz que aussi au bon traictement de tous ceulx qui sont à la ville de sa part.”
  • 3. No. 47, p. 70 and No. 46, p. 67.
  • 4. “Et quant aux saulfconduitz depuis mes precedentes ce roy m'a faict reconfirmer l'observation d'iceulx pour l'hantise marchande en France saulf pour les exemptes, et mesmes de transporter en France vituailles, octroyant pourtant license que l'on y peult porter trois cens lastz d'harengs.”
  • 5. See the following, No. 52.
  • 6. No. 46, p. 67.
  • 7. “Actendu quil sest offert, comme vostre maieste aura peu veoir par mes precedentes, de tenir tous moyens pour entretenir le dit due de Holstein, affin quil nen pregne (n'en apprenne?) riens.”
  • 8. “Et il ne m'a seniblé estre de besoing en toucher chose quelconque, car ce seroit mectre le cas en difficulté, et donner [au Roy] occasion de sen retirer mesmes à cause de ees entrefaictes en la dicte declaration.”
  • 9. “Mesmes à faire fabricquer engins pour surprendre villes, et jecter gens dedans en despit des enemys, aussi fere fere (sic) barques plus propices portatives et advantageuses que l'on a veu jusques içy, et me dit l'on qu'il menera le duc de Suffocq pour conducteur de la bataille desoubz luy.”
  • 10. “Parlant hier aux dits du Conseil neu loysir leur tenir propoz de la depposition du herault, et aussi se l'avoye je encoires parleu (parcouru?), mais je ne fauldray de la leur envoyer pour la communicquer au dit Sr roy.”
  • 11. “Vos lettres du IIIIe du present contenans linstance que ceulx du roy d'Angleterre vous ont de rechief faict pour nostre declaration à lencontre des Escossoir,” are the words; but no letter of Chapuys' has been found in the Imperial Archives bearing the date of March the 4th. In his despatch to queen Mary of the 2nd, Chapuys writes “that two of king Henry's privy councillors had called on him in the King's name, and spoken on the subject of the declaration,” and he refers her to the “enclosed copy of his despatch to the Emperor,” which has not been found either.
  • 12. See above, No. 48, p. 73.
  • 13. “Mais cependant, comme ay escript cy devant au diet Jaspar Douchy ceulx de par de là. ne doibvent laisser de naviguer ne de se servir de navyres françoises comme mont declairé il y a desja quelques jours les dits du Conseil.”
  • 14. “Touchant la dicte declaration il ne m'a semblé la monstrer jusques aye response de Sa mte sur mes lectres du IIe de ce mois conforme á laquelle il se fauldra ayder de la dicte declaration.”
  • 15. “Affin de non delayer l'expedicion contre France.”
  • 16. “Laquelle les Escossois ont conblée et emmenée” (?)
  • 17. “Point doubtant, comme il disoit, que pour estre ce diet sieur roy riche et opulent et les aultres en tous endrois necessiteux, il leur persuaderoit facillemeut à faire tout ce quil vouldroit (mesme tenaut main de laultre coustel au quel pour plus complaire au diet Sr roy ne donnoit tiltre de Pape, ains seullement de sieur et maistre), et que soubdain quil seroit arrivé en France il mectroit le cas en train et terme, et apres incontinent, moyennant le bon plaisir et saufconduyt du dit sieur roy, se retourneroit à Calais pour communiquer des dites affaires.”
  • 18. “Et sejournera en ceste ville jusques à la provision des dits navieres propices pour son passaige, quelque diligence quil nait faict mesmes poor evister lencommodite et fascherie que eu le due de Najera dactendre ses navires á Plymeu, ou il est encoires; et y a esté ung peu ennoyé tant pour non y trouver la provision necessaire que pour estre le peuple d'illec ung peu brusque et mal condicionne, et a esté le due dalburcquerque igy sonnieusement (soigneusement?) visité de la part du dit Sr roy.”