Spain: April 1544, 1-10

Pages 84-91

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

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April 1544, 1–10

1 April. 57. News from Rome of the 1st of April 1544.
S. E. L., 806, f. 89. By letters from Tolon (Toulon) of the 7th of March, sent by a reliable person, the news is:—
That Barbarossa had made there a large provision of biscuit for his galleys, feeding his men with what the French had given him, and storing his own stock for another opportunity, as he said the allowance given was short and bad. Indeed, it is rumoured that the French are doing that on purpose, in order to drive him to extremity, and oblige him, as it were, to take part against the Emperor.
On the 25th of that same month of March he (Barbarossa) complained of the bad treatment of the French. He had written twice to the Grand Turk about it, pointing out to him how important it was that the Turkish fleet should go back to the Levant, and that he (Barbarossa) suspected that his two last despatches had been intercepted by the French. He had been heard to say that were the Grand Turk not to grant him leave [to quit Toulon] he would certainly take it and sail away. That the French have not paid him one farthing of his salary. (fn. 1)
That he is not in so great a want of galley-slaves (esclavos) as reported, for he has plenty of Frenchmen and natives of Provence to serve the oars.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. 1½ pp.
1 April. 58. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Rep. P., Fasc. C., ff. 19–20. “Monsigneur (fn. 2) l'Ambassadeur,”—Enclosed is the letter received from the Emperor, Our lord, at the same time as another of the 18th ult., (fn. 3) giving Us commission to make the declaration against the Scots or else temporise with that King's ministers, provided We find the delay thus caused will not spoil the preconcerted undertaking against France, or in some manner affect these Low Countries and injure its inhabitants: such are the Emperor's orders, as you will see by the enclosed abstract of his letter to Us. We have answered him, as you will see by the abstract of Our letter, also enclosed; but as We do not exactly know what sort of harm the delay in acquiescing to that King's wishes may cause to the projected undertaking against France, as you, who are on the spot, are the best judge, We are referred for information to you. We have, however, ordered the enclosed draft of a declaration to be drawn up in conformity with the treaty of closer friendship and alliance, which draft you may, if you find it suitable, show the same to those privy councillors or let Us know what you think best, either to temporise a little longer or else issue the said declaration at once; but let it be understood that, should you find that for the advancement of affairs, and not to damp the undertaking against France, it is necessary that the declaration be made at once, after you have taken securities from that King and his ministers, that within two months after the date of Our said declaration against the Scotch a similar one against the duke of Holstein be prepared and obtained in England, unless within two months counted from this day, and before the departure of the Emperor from Spires, (fn. 4) the Duke's deputies come to some sort of agreement with him, the king of England's declaration against Denmark be published without further delay, since during the said two months his English subjects will have plenty of leisure to remove their property out of that country.
As to the interest which the inhabitants of these Low Countries may have in the King's declaration against Denmark, it is so great and so notorious, as explained in Our last letter to you, (fn. 5) that We need not call your attention to it; besides which, if We go to war with the duke of Holstein We should lose the navigation of the Northern Seas, nor could the Emperor's subjects in these parts be able to support the injury unless the king of England also declared him his enemy: that is, in Our opinion, the only means of recalling him to reason, as We wrote to you on them. However that may be, We fancy that the English will not insist on Our publishing the requisite declaration as long as We arrest and imprison the Scots in these countries—on the occasion of which We wrote to the Emperor, as you will see by the abstract of Our letter to him here enclosed (fn. 6) —for We have ordered the arrest of upwards of one hundred and fifty men of that nationality, mostly sailors, who are without money or means of subsistence; so much so, that in order that they may not die of hunger, We have applied to the English ambassador at this Our court to take under his charge the feeding of all these poor wretches, who after all are not responsible for what their respective masters may have done against the English. To this application of Ours the ambassador has agreed on condition that the merchants themselves be retained, two of whom shall be sent to England to solicit the release of the English vessel that was captured, on condition, however, that if they do not obtain it, the rest of the prisoners here will be answerable for them. In short, the English ambassadors here have been asked whether they think that We can do more for the indemnity of the English, because We are fully prepared to please them in this as well as in other matters. You may, if you consider it fit and opportune, declare this to the King's privy councillors.
The King's deputies here have communicated to the Sieur de Buren the orders they have received from England of raising 2,000 infantry, with a stipend of four “carolis” monthly for each man. This commission, however, Buren has not accepted, for no foot soldier ever enlisted here for less than four “phillips” or five “carolis”—that is to say, four gold florins of XV patars per each man monthly. The deputies have promised to acquaint the King with this fact, and in the meantime the affair is suspended.
The English ambassador here resident has presented a note (billet) of the number and quality of the horses and carts which his master demands Us to furnish for his army, amounting altogether to two thousand five hundred and sixty-six draft horses to drag the King's artillery, besides two thousand two hundred and sixty waggons, each drawn by four horses, for ammunition and baggage, which would raise the amount of beasts required to eleven thousand five hundred and ninety-six in all, a number which not only seems to Us excessive and unreasonable, (fn. 7) but which We are doubtful of being able to procure in the country. We have, however, ordered a general requisition to be made throughout the provinces under Our government, and hope to be able, after satisfying the Emperor's demands, to supply the king of England, and those of the 2,000 mounted men (besides 2,000 foot) We are bound to contribute towards the invasion of France.—1 April 1544.
Indorsed: “To ambassador Chapuys, of the 1st of April 1543, before Easter (Note à joindre).”
French. Original draft.
4 April. 59. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur l'Ambassadeur,”—We have seen what you wrote on the 2nd ult., (fn. 8) and also what the Sireur de Courrières advised from the Imperial camp by means of the note (billet) herein inclosed. (fn. 9) You seem to think, as We do, that this is the opportune moment for executing the orders We sent you by the Sieur d'Eeken, (fn. 10) and those which the Emperor himself gave you by his letter of the 26th ult. in confirmation of Ours; and yet it seems to Us that this is not a matter to be communicated to your own subordinates, nor to the privy councillors, without having first spoken to the king of England about it. (fn. 11) That is why, if possible, We should wish that for the sake of such good work (as this is), and also to prevent the king of England from commencing to treat by himself without His Imperial Majesty's co-operation, I request you to call first on him, for otherwise We are afraid that very little or nothing at all would come out of the affair.—Brussels, 4 April 1544.
French. Original draft.
4 April. 60. Master Halle's Answer to Monsr. de Biez' Letters.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Monsieur le Mareshal,”—I commend myself heartily unto you. These shall be to advertise you that having lately sent unto England such letters and other writings as I have received from you in order that the King's Majesty, my master, should be informed of the contents of the same, I am commanded by letters from England, in His Majesty's behalf, to signify to you by way of an answer that whereas it appears by your letters and writings that the King, your master, is desirous of peace with the King, my master, (fn. 12) and that if he has letters of assurance or safe-conducts, he will be content to send ambassadors to treat of the same to His Majesty's satisfaction, His Highness [the king of England] recollecting how often heretofore there have been fair words and large promises by the French king, none of which have been fulfilled or had effect, and perceiving also that even at the present [time] the King, your master, is making semblant by words and offers of being desirous of peace, nevertheless does by his deeds declare the contrary, since he goes about by all the means in his power encouraging and soliciting the Scots to be the King, my master's, enemies, and to break the faith and honour wherein they stand bound to him, sending to them aid and money, and giving them for that express purpose all the relief and comfort he can. His Highness has good cause to think that the overtures made by the said Sieur de St. Martin to me—through your appointment of him and intervention of yours in this affair—is no more [than a] device and practice, and that the proposed coming here of ambassadors from the King, your master, is only meant for the sake of gaining time, for it is apprehended that after many devices, and much talk, the French ambassadors, if they do come, will depart and go away without any conclusion whatever. Should the King, your master, as you have written in his behalf, really intend earnestly and truly to declare by his deeds what his own words imply, then you may signify to him that the very first thing he must do will be to abandon the Scots and leave them to themselves, nor give them further aid and comfort against the King's Majesty. And whereas His Majesty has no doubt that if the King, your master, desires, as you say, to make peace, and asks for safe-conducts for his ambassadors to come here, His Majesty must first of all have some knowledge of the grounds upon which the negociations for that peace are based, and what offers the King, your master, intends making in order to attain his aim, so that His Majesty of England may have some occasion of judging whether the King, your master, really works bona fide in the matter, and will gladly prove by deed what his words mean and he professes to desire.
Should, therefore, the King, your master, make such like offers as will prove that he is in earnest and desires peace, and thereby show that he is willing to come to a satisfactory settlement of the differences existing between the king of England and him, and also between the Emperor and him, a further communication may take place and matters come in the end to an honourable settlement between the parties; for as the war began by your master's fault, owing to his not observing the treaties, His Majesty of England thought good to make a treaty of closer friendship and alliance with the Emperor, to the intent and purpose that both might conjointly and together, under one consent and agreement, recover by force of arms that which by right and reason belongs exclusively to each of them, and perceiving they could not obtain the same by fair and friendly means in time of peace.
His Majesty, however, cannot and will not, for honour's sake, come to terms with the King, your master, unless the Emperor be on his side contented and perfectly satisfied; the King, your master, may send to the king of England any overtures or articles he may be disposed to draw out, and the king of England will in a like manner send such articles as he himself may be contented with. Otherwise the king of England declines to take any further notice of the affair.
Should the King, your master, dislike this answer of mine to your letter, you may tell him that if, on the landing of the king of England at Calais, where, God willing, His Majesty intends to be very shortly, the King, your master, sends thither an ambassador of his, His Majesty will give him another such answer as His Majesty may consider most convenient.
Indorsed: “Master Halle's (fn. 13) letter to Marshal de Biez.”
English. Contemporary copy. 4 pp.
4 April. 61. Monsr. de Biez' Affidavit.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Rep. P., Fasc. C., f. 235. We, Oudart, sieur de Biez, knight of the King's Order, marshal of France, lieutenant-general for the King in those countries of Picardye and Arthois, in the absence of Monsr. the duke of Vendosmois do certify that the Sieur de St. Martin (fn. 14) has by the King's command spoken to Master Halles in the following terms. Having heard and learnt through Marshall du Biez the conversation (pourparler) which the aforesaid Sieur de St. Martin and Master Halles have had together on the differences now existing between king Francis and the king of England, after reporting on the whole affair to the King, his master, Mons. de St. Martin will say to Master Halles that king Francis cannot persuade himself that the friendship which has hitherto existed between him and the king of England can be impaired, or the treaties by which they are bound to each other broken. That the friendship which unites them ought, on the contrary, to be kept for ever, and that the king of France has the wish and will of preserving it. Monsr. de St. Martin will say to Master Halles that if the king of England, his master, will only grant safe-conducts, king Francis is ready to send to him ambassadors and notable personages furnished with sufficient ample powers to treat of and settle any differences that may now exist between them both in such a way that the king of England will have every reason to be satisfied with the arrangement. In testimony of which We, Oudart de Biez, do sign these present letters with Our hand and seal them with Our arms.-Boulogne sur la Mer, 4th of April 1543, before Easter (1544).
French. Contemporary copy. (fn. 15) 1 p.
5 April. 62. News of the Turk sent from Venice.
S. E. L., 806, f. 84. The news from Constantinople of the 30th of March, brought by a person coming from that city, are:—
That no less than fifty galleys were on the stocks, though they would not be ready very soon, as the work proceeded slowly.
Seven other galleys of the Turk had gone to the defence of the Archipelago.
The Grand Turk did not seem inclined to undertake anything this year by land or sea.
That a despatch had been received therefrom advising that king Francis had asked Solyman for the loan of sixty more of his galleys, offering to pay the crews of them, &c. Also for a body of 30,000 Turks to land in Pulla (Puglia), or in any other part of Italy where he (the Grand Turk) liked best, offering likewise to pay the salary of the crews and so forth.
That Liutfi Baxa (sic), who had returned to Solyman's favor and good graces, and was Barbarossa's enemy, had opposed King Francis' application, and that for some time at least nothing would be done in the matter.
Here, at Venice, cardinal Grèmani has come as Papal Nuncio; an ambassador from France is also expected, as well as another from Turkey—all come to negociate with this Signory a league against His Imperial Majesty, and there can be no doubt that they will work strenuously towards it. If that cannot be obtained, they will at least ask for the free passage through Venetian territory of 50,000 Turks. I do not think that the Signory will grant that or make any stir for the present, because they are afraid of the Emperor's power, and, therefore, will not trouble themselves with such practices. I myself am doing all I can to defeat the French plans. Should I hear anything more about their intrigues I will not fail to apprize your Lordship. (fn. 16) —Venice, 5 April 1544.
Spanish. Original. 2 pp.
5 April. 63. News from Constantinople and the Turks sent from Venice.
Wien, Imp. Arch. The news from Constantinople of the 30th of March, etc.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. 1 p.


  • 1. “Que no la dan blanca de su sueldo y à el [le] tienen muy mal presentado[?].”
  • 2. Sic in the original draft; but it is, no doubt, a slip of the pen for Monsieur.
  • 3. “Les lettres ci-joinctes que avons recu [pour vous] de l'Empereur, monseigneur avec ses lettres [à nous] du XVIIIe de ce mois.”
  • 4. “The Emperor left Spires on the 10th of June, after closing the Diet on that day.”—See Bradford's Itinerary, p. 545.
  • 5. No. 47, p. 71.
  • 6. The same mentioned above (p. 85), of which, if in the Imperial Archives, no copy has come to hand.
  • 7. The Latin numbers must he wrong, or the reckoning was, for the various items make up a sum of 12,796 horses. The text reads: “Il demande IImVeLVI chevaulx lymoniers pour servir à Partillerie du roy, et IImIIeLX chariotz de quatre chevaulx pour mener munitions et bagage qui sont XImVe IIIXXXVI chevaulx, que me semble nombre excessif, et non recouvrable.”
  • 8. See above, pp. 66–7, his letter to the Emperor, No. 43, and that to the Queen, No. 45.
  • 9. No inclosure in the packet.
  • 10. Sieur d'Ecke in the Netherlands, that is Cornelius Duplicius Scepperus, about whom, and his various missions to England see Vol. VI., Part II., pp. xxiii–iv.
  • 11. “Mais il ne me semble matiere pour la faire manger par vos gens, ne aussy la descouvrir à ceulx du Conseil, ne fust que premiers en eussiez parlé au roy d'engleterre.”
  • 12. In a subsequent despatch of Chapuys' it is stated that a copy of this and other papers relating to king Francis' first overtures for peace through Oudard du Biez and St. Martin was forwarded by the Privy Council to Wotton to put into the hands of the Emperor at Spire. Of Oudard or Odart du Biez frequent mention has been made iu the preceding volume, pp. 871, 885, 414. He was Marshal of France and the King's lieutenant in the Boulonnois, whilst his son-in-law, Jacques de Coucy, sieur de Vervins, commanded at Boulogne itself. Accused of having cowardly delivered that town to the English, Jacques de Coucy was tried and beheaded, whilst Oudard himself fell into disgrace, was degraded, and sent to prison. He died in 1549. De Thou, Histoire Universelle, Vol. VII., pp. 380–1.
  • 13. The writer of this letter, whose name is variously spelt Hall, Halle, Halles, and even Hars, is said elsewhere to have been an Englishman inhabiting Calais. In the State Papers, vol. X., p. 655, he is said to be the nephew of Sir Robert Wingfield. De Biez's letter to him is not in the Vienna Archives.
  • 14. Le Sieur de Saint Martin, that is according to State Papers, Vol. IX., p. 392, Nicolas de Marques; though there was about this time another Sieur de St. Martin, whose name was Martin du Bellay, a brother of the cardinal and archbishop of Paris (Jean du Bellay), and of Guillaume du Bellay, Sieur de Langeais or Langey, French general in Piedmont. See Vol. VI., Part II., p. 286.
  • 15. There are two copies of this paper in the Imperial Archives of Vienna forwarded, no doubt, by Chapuys, one to the Emperor, the other to Queen Mary, the Regent in the Netherlands. That addressed to the latter, which is not so full and somewhat varies from the one to the Emperor here given in full, is dated thus:—A Boullongne sur la mer le IIIe jour d'avril l'an mil cinq cens quarente trois avant pasques.
  • 16. Most likely Cobos, the Emperor's Secretary for Foreign Affairs; the newsletter being probably addressed to him by Don Diego de Mendoza, still ambassador to the Signory. Cobos, however, was no longer with the Emperor but with Prince Philip in Spain. See Vol. VI., Part II., pp. 427, 442, 453.