Spain: June 1545, 1-10

Pages 113-115

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 8, 1545-1546. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1904.

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June 1545, 1–10

1 June. Vienna Imp. Arch. 57. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
Your Majesty's letters of 24th ultimo received; by which I learn that you had been informed by the ambassador Chapuys of the King of England's resentment at the long stay in Flanders of the. Scottish ambassador, and that the King had been advised that the business he had in hand was a marriage between one of the sons of the King of the Romans and the young Queen of Scotland. Your Majesty instructs me, if any such discourse is addressed to me, to assure the King of the truth. I will do so without fail if occasion arises; but up to the present I have heard no whisper of the matter, although ten days since I was with the lords of the Council about certain outrages committed here upon the Emperor's subjects. It is true that about three months ago a vulgar rumour was current, originating, as I discovered, from a merchant's servant, that the ships were ready in Zeeland to go over and fetch the Queen of Scotland. I caused the varlet who had spread the news to be reprehended and forbidden to disseminate such lies for the future. When Chapuys returned from taking leave of the King, he told me that the latter had complained on the subject; and added that the King had also said that he had news that the Emperor had sent an envoy to the Turk. Your Majesty will know how much truth there is in this. As I do not know whether Chapuys omitted to convey this to you as well, I have thought best to mention it. With regard to the answer which your Majesty orders me to give if anything is said to me about a treaty with the Scots; I will obey as usual, and will keep the secrecy required. I have received from your Majesty the duplicate of the instructions given to the Commissioners who are to meet at Gravelines, and it will be useful for me to learn from them (the Commissioners) occasionally what progress they make.
There is no occurrence here with which I need detain your Majesty, except that yesterday morning early an English courier arrived at this Court from that of the Emperor, despatched, I suppose, by the English ambassador resident there. He reported that he had left the Emperor at Worms, and that Cardinal Farnese had arrived there, of which I had previously been advised. He reports also that the Emperor had forbidden the doctrine of the country to be preached there (i.e., at Worms). I do not know what to say, except that these people (the English) appear to be very anxious and doubtful to see what will happen about the Council (i.e., of Trent). They are also greatly offended that their ships and goods have been arrested in Spain; as they think that they have done all they need do for Spanish complainants, when they send them to the Admiralty. The Spaniards will not consent to this method of treating their claims, and, under correction, I think they are right, as the cases are thus prolonged indefinitely.
They have news here that there are a great number of French galleys at sea, some of which have been sighted near Calais. They say that they (i.e., the French) are expecting 17 more large war ships. There is also a rumour of some defeat of the English at Boulogne. There is nothing new from Scotland, whither they have sent their Italians and Spaniards. (fn. 1)
London, 1 June, 1545.
3 June Vienna Imp. Arch. 58. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
We have had no news from you for a long while; indeed not since the departure (from England) of Chapuys, who in his letter from Gravelines fully informed us of what had passed with the King of England and his Council when Chapuys took leave of them. We send this letter to request you to let us know, as soon as you can, what is happening there, and what war preparations are being made both in England and France, with all concomitant details you can obtain. Inform us also what is the tendency of the English in the matter of a truce or peace with France. We must recommend you very emphatically to keep us continually advised on these points, as it is especially necessary at this time; and we will from time to time communicate with you what we consider advisable 'for our service.
Worms, 3 June, 1545.
3 June. Vienna Imp. Arch. 59. The Emperor to Chapuys.
We have received your letters reporting your arrival at Gravelines, and your leavetaking with the King, Queen and Princess of England, and of the lords of the Council. We note the various conversations you had with each of them, and fully approve of your action. As we have had no news for a long time from your successor, who remained in England, we are sending him special instructions to keep us well posted in all that passes there, as it is extremely necessary at this time, with affairs in their present position between England and France; both armies standing ready. We are ordering him (Van der Delft) to be on the watch for any expedient or opportunity which may offer for effecting a peace or truce between them. It will be advisable for you during your stay at Gravelines to do the same, and to write daily to your successor telling him how you think he should act, recommending him to write to us as frequently as possible, and yourself doing the same.
Worms, 3 June, 1545.
4 June Simancas. E. C. de. C. 72. 60. Juan Martinez de Recalde (fn. 2) to Prince Philip.
The English on the one hand and the French on the other plunder every Spanish ship they encounter on the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. They take from them guns, munitions and merchandise to the value of a hundred or two hundred ducats each vessel, and in the Flanders Channel similar robberies are perpetrated. The English are said to be much worse than the French.
[Endorsed in the handwriting of Gonzalo Perez: “Copy of letters concerning the French and English navies. Summary of what Juan Martinez de Recalde writes 4 June 1545.”]


  • 1. The writer of the Spanish Chronicle of Henry VIII. says there were 800 Spaniards sent to Scotland at this time.
  • 2. This was a famous Biscay seaman who had charge of the King's maritime interests on the coasts of Northern Spain. He commanded the Biscay squadron which escorted Philip across the Bay to marry Mary Tudor; and in his old age was one of the principal commanders of the ships of the Armada, dying with grief at the catastrophe and worn out by hardship immediately after his return to Spain (October, 1588).