Spain: August 1545, 1-5

Pages 206-217

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

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August 1545, 1–5

August (?) Paris Arch. Nat K. 1486 (See Note. page 2430.) 109. St. Mauris and Noirthoudt to the Emperor.
As soon as we received your Majesty's letter of the 2nd instant, obtained audience of the King, for the purpose of laying before entrusted to us. Before the audience the Admiral (Claude Hannebault) took us into his own chamber, until the King was ready to receive us. As he was anxious to know the object of our coming, we told him our instructions, which were to express to the King the Emperor's pleasure at his inclination towards peace. The Admiral thereupon endeavoured to draw from us the reply that the King of England had given to the Emperor to a similar message. We told him that the only answer we had heard was that the King of England was quite willing to negotiate for peace; and he (Hannebault) said that news had come from England that the King was not only very desirous of doing so, but was willing to surrender Boulogne in return for a sum of money, if his honour and dignity were safeguarded. We replied that we knew nothing about that, and that nothing of the sort had been said to your Majesty. We were then summoned to the King. Neither he nor Cardinal Tournon made any mention to us of what the Admiral had said; and we judge that the Admiral's object was only to draw some admission from us. In the audience with the King, I (St. Mauris) repeated what your Majesty had written, as to the pleasure you felt at his good inclination towards peace, etc., and also told him that, with regard to his offer to pay a sum of money for the surrender of Boulogne, as he had not mentioned any amount, we thought it would forward matters if he declared his views as to how much he was willing to pay. We stated to him, in accordance with your Majesty's instructions, that you doubted whether the King of England would be very ready to respond to such a proposal, even if the amount of the compensation was stated.
The King replied that the question of amount would have to be considered. It was a great concession, even to have discussed the giving of compensation at all, and it would be difficult to fix an amount; unless people were sent to Boulogne to see for themselves the outlay the King of England had incurred in fortifying the town, as he (the King of France) had never intended that the compensation should include the cost of the war itself. He would, he said, not stand out for the matter of 15,000 or 20,000, or even 80,000 crowns; besides which the question of amount might be left pending whilst estimates were being made.
We also laid before the King what your Majesty says about the inclusion of the Scots (in the proposed treaty of peace), in order to learn from him on what conditions this could be done. He replied that he could hardly say what conditions, except those that usually subsisted between them (i.e., the English and Scots) when they were at peace and amity. He knew, he said, that the King of England wished to subject Scotland to him, and with this object sought the marriage of the Princess of Scotland with his son. This was a very strange proceeding, and one to which he (Francis) would never consent. He thought, however, that it would be a very good work for anyone to reconcile the English and Scots, and put an end to their quarrels; but persisted that the inclusion of the Scots in the peace should be on the same conditions as were in existence in former years when they were at peace.
I mentioned the point of the payment of the overdue pensions (i.e., subventions to England) in order to discover in what form he intended to pay them, and said that your Majesty wished to be informed as to his views on these points, so that you might be able to promote the peace negotiations actively and not allow them to drag. He replied that he would have the matter considered and the treaties examined in order that he might know for certain what his obligations towards England were.
Thereupon, Sire, I (Noirthoudt) told the King that your Majesty desired to have his opinion, as to whether he considered it advisable to propose a conference, to which French and English representatives, fully authorised and instructed, should be sent; such conference to be held at your Majesty's Court or elsewhere to discuss the differences existing. I declared that your Majesty would willingly send your representatives to the place chosen.
The King replied that he approved of this suggestion, and seemed very much delighted with it. He thought that it would be better to hold the conference in your Majesty's Court; using these words: “Where else better could I desire to hold it than in the presence of my good brother and great friend the Emperor?” If that could not be arranged, he said he would be willing to consent to another place; mentioning Gravelines or any similar place in your Majesty's dominions. He said that he would send his ambassadors fully instructed and empowered on the three points we had mentioned.
After dinner on the same day we went to Cardinal Tournon to whom we declared the substance of our mission, and told him that we would have given the same information to the Admiral, only that he was with the King. We also repeated to the Cardinal the conversation we had had with the King. He replied that he had already heard it from the King, and in his opinion the King had answered very well, as he had accepted the suggestion of a conference, which for his (the Cardinal's) part he thought should assemble in the presence of your Majesty. He thought this would be of the greatest advantage for the success of the negotiations, and was very firm on the point.
With regard to the inclusion of the Scots, the Cardinal replied exactly in the same way as the King had done. The question of the overdue subvention, he said, would have to be settled by an inspection of the treaties between France and England, which would demonstrate the obligation of the King; and the payments might be made in accordance therewith. The question should be referred to the proposed conference.
So far as we could judge, the King and his ministers would have preferred us to postpone our enquiries as to their views on the three points named, until the result of M. d'Eick's negotiations was known. They think that the design is to get as much out of them as possible, and make them appear to be taking the first step in advance. We noticed signs of this feeling, especially in our conversation with the Cardinal, and we endeavoured to get over it by saying that your Majesty's only object was to carry through the negotiations successfully. We said that the same diligence to attain that end was being employed in England as well as here; and that what we had told him about M. d'Eick's having found the King of England willing to come to reasonable terms, should convince him that it was only after the latter had been approached that we asked the King of France to state his views, in order the further to promote the negotiations. When the conversation about the peace was finished, the Cardinal spoke about the lansquenets that the King of England is raising; and said that the French considered it very strange that your Majesty should allow these lansquenets to pass through your territories, considering the friendship at present existing. He said that your Majesty had given the King reason to hope that you would never allow such a thing to be done. In order to show us how much distrust had been caused by this passage of troops, he (the Cardinal) told us that M. de Gragnan had written, telling the King that your Majesty had replied to him on the subject that it would be very difficult for you to prevent the passage of these troops, now that they were already mustered. The Cardinal added, however, that the King cared very little for the entrance of these troops into France; so long as they did not pass through your Majesty's territories to Calais. That, he said, would indeed be out of harmony with the present sincere friendship, and he trusted your Majesty would take care not to allow it. He begged us to write to your Majesty on this subject, not, as he said, that the King had instructed him to do so; but that he and the Admiral had decided to make this request to us, in furtherance of their wish that the present friendship should continue without any cause for distrust. He assured us that the King would observe the friendship loyally to the end; and we promised him to write to your Majesty as he requested.
After this we heard that the Duke of Orleans was very much better than he had been two days before, and we thought it would be advisable for us to visit him in your Majesty's name, and congratulate him on his convalescence. We did so, and he approved to be very much gratified by the attention. He told us he was much better, and that he would have been sorry to die before he had done some great and signal service to your Majesty.
June and July to 2 August. Simancas E 641. 110. News Current in the Emperor's Court written by Pedro Huesca to Gonzalo Perez.
The Princes of the Empire have not come to the Diet, and there is but little hope that they will come; although their lodgings await them.
The Duke of Lorraine died about a week since. The Emperor sent Dandolo to visit the Duchess (i.e. of Camerino), and the King of France sent another personage.
The King of France has assembled a great fleet of 37 galleys and numerous ships at Therouanne, and the King of England has ready another fleet of ships to defend his Channel and coasts from the French, which they say he will do.
The English have two armies in Scotland, and the French have one. Both forces were strengthening themselves sturdily for hostilities. Boulogne is held in strength by the English, but constant skirmishes were going on in the neighbourhood.
The English have captured 300 loaded French ships from Brittany. They have also seized two vessels loaded with merchandise from Spain, the pretext being that they were the property of Frenchmen; but it is said they will be restored.
The French have captured a Spanish ship bringing gold from the Indies.
The King of England has sent a man to Italy to raise the troops he requires.
The Emperor will not stay here long, but will shortly return to Flanders.
Queen Mary (the Queen Dowager of Hungary) is in Friesland and will shortly go to Brussels.
It is hoped that the truce with the Turk will be concluded. It will be convenient for many respects.
The Turk will not raise a fleet or an army this year. It is said that the cause of this is the following. The Sultana sent a Pasha; ostensibly to pacify her eldest son, but really with orders to kill him. The son having learnt this took time by the forelock, killed the Pasha, and joined his forces with the Sophi. For this reason the Turk fears this year to leave his dominions to attack the Christians. The reason seems a good one.
Names of Spanish nobles expected to arrive at Worms.
Some people assert that the negotiations for peace between England and France are proceeding favourably. Personally I see but slight signs of it. We shall see.
The Landgrave (of Hesse) places in the Emperor's keeping the States of the Duke of Brunswick, in order that his Majesty may decide the dispute between them. But they say that the Landgrave wishes to impose some unreasonable conditions. The Lutheran princes are in arms with 80,000 men, it is said not without some fear of the Emperor. The Christian, princes are also in arms for his Majesty's service, in case the Lutherans should attempt any movement.
The person sent by the King of France to visit the Duchess of Lorraine is M. de Guise, who takes with him a company of men-at-arms. It is said that his master (the King of France) advances some claim on the duchy of Bar, which is held by the Duchess.
Latest letters from Adrianople assert that the truce with the Turk will be concluded by the envoys of the Emperor and the King of France. The son of Barbarossa was going as Governor of Algiers with six galleys.
The Turk with the Sultana and all the Porte were leaving (Adrianople) for Constantinople very much pleased.
The Venetians cannot make up their minds whether the truce with the Turk will be a good thing for them or not.
The vessels leaving, or to leave, Constantinople were 25. They will go as far as Rhodes.
They say that the Council (of Trent) will adjourn to Metz Mayence or Cologne. I learn that the Pope is on excellent terms with the Emperor now, and that in future he will do everything he can to please his Majesty.
It is asserted that the Turk designed to make King of Hungary a son of his by the present, second, wife.
Nicolo Seco, who is going as ambassador from the King of the Romans to the Turk, left Vienna on his journey with 25 horsemen well mounted and armed. He received for his expenses on his nine months' mission 9,000 gold ducats, and he is said to carry with him 25,000 ducats for presents to the Pashas.
Secretary Gerard arrived at Venice on the 3rd instant. He with the French envoy and Don Diego de Mendoza (fn. 1) visited the Seigniory. The two former personages were to leave for Constantinople on the 14th or 15th instant.
The Marquis del Guasto had not yet left Milan to come hither up to the 9th instant, but was expected to set out immediately. It is said that some of the Spanish theologians had arrived at Trent.
The Council was suspended until All Saints day.
Worms, 22 June.
Subsequently we hear that as Dragut Reis was retiring to Los Gelves he was killed by the Arabs. If this be true, it is good news indeed. They write from Naples that Don Garcia de Toledo and Doria have captured on the coast of Calabria two cutters (Justus) and two rich galliots, carrying a famous Corsican corsair, whom Don Garcia hanged from the prow of his galley.
Marquis del Guasto has now left Milan, and will arrive here with the Viceroy of Sardinia on the 12th instant.
The Count Palatine left here the other day, for the purpose of obtaining the influence of the Duke of Saxony to persuade the Landgrave of Hesse to restore the States of the Duke of Brunswick. He will at the same time urge that the Council shall be held at Cologne or Metz; and in order to endeavour to induce the Pope to consent to this, it is said that Dandolo went to Rome. He left on the 7th instant. The recess of this Diet will, it is believed, commence at the end of this month.
The Vaivode of Buda and the Captain-General of the King of the Romans have effected a new truce for three months, and it is hoped that it will be followed by a cessation of hostilities for some years, as a consequence of the negotiations with the Turk. The envoys to the Turk have now left Venice.
The Prince of Piedmont is coming hither, but has fallen ill on the road.
The relations between the Emperor and the Pope grow in warmth.
On the 5th instant 40,000 crowns were sent to the Spanish infantry in Hungary by the Quartermaster Iñigo de Peralta. On the same day there came news of the death of the Queen of Poland, the daughter of the King of the Romans.
The Emperor is expected to leave here for Flanders in the middle of August.
Dated on the 7th July; but as no opportunity has offered of sending it the letter is now continued.
2 August.
You will already have learnt that Juan Zapata de Cardenas had been sent by the Emperor to Naples to arrest Don Garcia de Toledo. (fn. 2) This was done and Don Garcia is now a prisoner in Castelnovo, and it is said that his galleys have been entrusted to Antonio Doria. The Marquis del Guasto is acting towards Don Garcia as a father with the Emperor. It is said that the reason for Don Garcia's imprisonment is the affair that lately happened at Malines to the Duke of Ferrandina, who, however, made no request that he should be arrested. On the 30th ultimo, the King of the Romans and his son Prince Maximilian left here. Don Fernando, the second son, remains with the Emperor. Whilst the King was hunting on the way, he received the news of the death of the Princess; and he returned to see the Emperor, again setting out for Bohemia the next day. The Emperor leaves here for Flanders with his Court on the 6th. They say he will go part of the way by water.
The Marquis del Guasto is in high favour with the Emperor, and is greatly feasted by all the Court. He is very glad to be able to set out for Milan before the Emperor leaves here. We have no news of any hostilities between the French and English armies in Scotland; but we learn that the two fleets encountered each other off an English port. Although the French fleet was superior, and a fine opportunity presented itself for the French to attack the English, they did not dare to do so. Whilst the English fleet were endeavouring to enter port an English carrack foundered with 300 men.
The Diet is suspended until December or January. There is to be a conference of 12 persons in Ratisbon or Nuremberg, six chosen by the Emperor and six by the Protestants for the purpose of reforming, so far as they can, the matter of the faith in these parts, pending the assembly of the Council. Don Juan de Figueroa is bearing this letter. He is going to condole with the Prince on the death of the Princess, which has caused the Emperor great grief. It is said that attempts will soon be made to marry the Prince again.
Worms, 2 August, 1545.
2 Aug. Simancas. E. 641. Extract. 111. The Emperor to Francisco de los Cobos.
With regard to the ships that the English and French have captured and the damage which has been done by them and by the (French) galleys which left the Mediterranean for the Atlantic, I refer you to my letters to the Prince. I wish to speak especially of the ship called the San Salvador from Santo Domingo, the master of which was Francisco Gallego. She was captured by the English, and, as is officially admitted by the English ambassador here, the English captain (i.e., Renegat) who made the capture alleges as a pretext that our subjects had taken a ship from him. He therefore declares that he resorted to force, and having captured one ship, which he says did not contain sufficient value to compensate him, he fell in with this other one carrying the gold. The captain of the ship told him that the property on board belonged to us; and he had therefore better not touch it. The Englishman replied that he could not avoid doing so; but that he would give him (the Spanish captain) a certificate of the amount he took for his compensation. The master replied that he did not want the certificate, as it would prove that he had brought the treasure on board without registering it, and he would incur heavy punishment In view of this, we wrote to our ambassador in England, instructing him in case of the restitution of the ship and contents, to embargo them as being our property, for the reason set forth. We let you know this, that you may inform the Council of the Indies; and have an enquiry made, for the purpose, if necessary, of proceeding against the culprits. Do not neglect this, and communicate the result to us.
Thanks for your good arrangements about the bills of exchange and the measures you have taken to keep faith with the merchants, and induce them to be satisfied with the instalments already agreed upon, without insisting upon the calculation of the interest at the end of each year. This is, as you say, a most important advantage, present and future. My sister, Queen Mary, writes that the Flemish merchants interested have agreed willingly, as you will have heard from them, as well as from the Queen. Of the bills for 150,000 ducats which you sent us 50,000 have been paid to the merchants in Flanders on the 1st July; and, at the end of the account they will be debited with the interest on the sum thus paid in advance. The warrant for the 36,477 crowns, at the rate of 67 groats each, will cover the last bill entirely. Thanks for sending us the bill for the other 50,000 ducats, payable either here in Germany or in Flanders. Most will be taken in Flanders.
Thanks for letter from the Infantas, telling us of the grave condition of Count Cifuentes. (fn. 3) If he dies you must consider who will be best to put in his place. Most of those suggested are married, and this is undesirable, as we should have to provide for their wives, etc. See what fitting widowers there are. With regard to the price of bread, as the year is a spare one and the common people will be in need, you will order the bread stuffs not to be kept back, but will have them sold at once to the town councils, but not to private persons so as to avoid forestalling and speculation. They may be sold for a real less per fanega than their value, so that they may be sold publicly in the shops at the same price that they cost, and no more. This will lower the price of bread: and that this shall be known, it will be well to publish the fact well. Take such measures that the poor shall receive the benefit, that being our intention.
The emeralds and precious stones from Cartagena you will have sold, and also the pearls; and have the sum drawn against them paid, I am sure you are glad, as you say, that these stones and the gold came just in time to provide for the payment of Prince Doria and other necessary things.
Worms, 2 August, 1545.
2 Aug. Simancas E Flanders 501. 112. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
You will have heard that Cardinal Farnese came hither from his Holiness, ostensibly to discuss religious matters and the resistance to be offered to the Turk, but really to palliate past events, and to promise emphatically his goodwill for the future, as well as that of the Cardinal and all his family, which they desire to place for ever under my protection. (fn. 4) The Cardinal added that his Holiness intended to act in accord and co-operation with us, in remedying the public affairs referred to, and others, especially with regard to the holding of the Council; and he brought a bill of exchange for 100,000 crowns to be employed as might be needful in resisting the Turk. A fitting answer to all this was given to the Cardinal; and it was especially pointed out to him that affairs here were in a most dangerous condition, and above all in relation to religion. There was evidence, we said, that the ruin of the faith in these parts would be consummated, unless his Holiness bestirred himself greatly; and the trouble would not end here; for there were signs that it would spread throughout Christendom. The Cardinal acknowledged this unhesitatingly; for he had the testimony of all the ecclesiastics, and even of the Nuncios who are, and have been, here; all of whom had studied the question for years. He expressed himself greatly surprised, and said that the Pope had no idea that the matter had gone so far as it had. This caused him to return to Rome by the post; for the purpose of laying the matter before his Holiness, and to show him how urgently it was needed that something should be done. He subsequently wrote to us, saying that the Pope was determined to devote himself to this; and to aid in money, to the extent of his power. He also consented to concede the bull for the half-first fruits of ecclesiastical revenues in Spain, and that for the sale of monastic property, on condition that the whole of the proceeds shall be devoted to the resistance (to the Turk) and the re-integration of the faith. As this is very important, and we are unwilling to lose the opportunity offered by his Holiness' good inclination, we thought well to dispatch Dandolo, ostensibly for the purpose of visiting the Duchess of Camarino, who is pregnant; but really in order that we may learn clearly what his Holiness' intentions are; and, if possible, assure ourselves as the extent of the aid we may expect from him. It is undoubtedly the case that affairs look so ominous here as to portend the utter destruction of religion, unless a prompt remedy be found. It is not Germany alone that has to be considered, for the rest of Christendom also will be contaminated, since these errors are already spreading into many parts of the country. We therefore await Dandolo's return with great anxiety, and will inform you if he arrives before we close this despatch.
In the meanwhile, we have discussed with the States of the Empire, and particularly with the mistaken protestants, as favourably as circumstances would allow; but they (the States, etc.) have been, and are, so stubborn that they not only demand that the decisions of the Council, which is to meet at Trent, shall be approved of by them, but expressly insist that they (the States, etc.) shall be assured by the catholic States and by us against any action of the Council. They say that, in any other case, there will be no peace for Germany; nor can we secure its loyalty. Up to the resent it has been impossible to come to terms, but we have consented to the assembly of another conference, to see whether some harmonious settlement can be devised. We have agreed to the summoning of another Diet for next year, if peace continues, without any special mention being made of the Council. We have borne in mind, however, that this new conference will not interfere with the progress of the Council: and in the meanwhile we shall see what his Holiness is disposed to do, and the attitude assumed by public affairs generally. The holding of this new Diet at the time fixed will allow of such measures relating to religion, as may be possible or expedient, being dealt with in it, and will also enable us to return to Spain. As soon as we have closed matters here, we shall go to Flanders; and will set affairs in order there, arranging the Government in the way we have already discussed with some of the principal personages of Flanders. This will allow us to leave the Netherlands without being forced to return thither; hoping that, with the arrangements we shall make, the country will remain in good order. News from the Turk show that he will not move this year in a way which will necessitate resistance on our part. His garrisons may make a few raids on the frontiers of our brother (the King of the Romans) and steps are being taken to deal with these; but it is hoped that a truce for four or five years may be agreed to. In any case, care will be taken to make some provision against attack before we set out for Spain.
The King of France is so much embarrassed with his war against England, that he seems to be growing slack and careless. s people are raising difficulties and delays in fulfilling the conditions necessary prior to the alternative marriage, these conditions being of great importance. In addition to this, his subjects have been committing outrages at sea, off the Spanish and French coasts, to the detriment of our people. We have made the needful remonstrances against these acts; and our ambassador in France has been active in showing that there is no disinclination on our part to clear up the pending matters, and has pressed that these injuries shall be redressed.
This will cause the postponement of the alternative marriage, and it may be supposed that the French will not take offence at this postponement; for the same, or similar, reasons caused the delay in the presentation of our declaration (i.e., decision as to which marriage was chosen). As we wish to have the Duke of Alba here at the time, and to utilise his great experience in affairs etc., we have written to him to start as soon as possible, and come to hither with all speed. You will also order him to do so.
The King of England has demanded our assistance in his war against France, as stipulated by the treaty is case of invasion. There have been several long conferences with his ambassadors about this since we returned from the French expedition. The special ambassadors were in Brussels for some time on this business and we consequently sent Dr. Chapuys back again to England, with the new ambassador who had been appointed to succeed him, in order that he might come to some understanding about it. The negotiations on this side were therefore suspended for a time, with the consent of the English, and full instructions were given to our ambassadors as to the points that must be cleared up with the King; in order that we might keep faith with the French, whilst fulfilling our treaty obligations with England, so far as the two things were compatible. This was, and is, our intention: first to come to a clear understanding, which is quite possible to be done, and then, in case of the invasion of England, to give the King such aid as we agreed to contribute. We could not, however, consent to be bound to help in the case of Boulogne, since the clause only provides for the defence of such territories as were possessed by the King at the time the treaty was signed. We shall even be willing to waive the non-fulfillment by the King of his agreement with regard to the invasion of France, where he left us to bear the whole burden. We are, however, ceaselessly urging the French and English ambassadors here to come to some settlement; and we have instructed our ambassadors to work for a similar end. We have given out that we are hastening to close this Diet, and intend to set out on our return to Flanders, so as to be able to employ our good offices in the interests of peace. We shall be guided on our arrival by the position of the combatants, and by the need for preventing our dominions from being injured by the armies and fleets they have assembled. The Marquis del Guasto is here; and we are considering the means we shall adopt to pay the Spanish troops in Lombardy, and their maintenance for the future, as well as those in our pay in Hungary. We must see where we can send them to, in order to stop the harm they are doing, and make some use of them; since, in the present state of public affairs, we cannot think of dismissing them. If we wanted them, we should not be able to raise them again. Some fresh measures will also have to be taken for the government of Milan, where disorder has become rife during the war. We hear from Italy that Barbarossa is sending his son with 12 galleys to take possession of the King of Algiers. They are to start soon; and though we have taken such steps as seemed necessary in this direction, we think well to let you know; so that you, too, may look to the coast defences if Don Bernardino (fn. 5) went to the Goleta as was arranged, and has not returned. With relation to the depredations and captures of ships by the French and English, and the damage on the coast committed by the French galleys, we have been fully informed by your letters, and the reports of the (Spanish) Council. In compliance with our duty to protect our subjects, we have taken all necessary steps to demand from the Kings of France and England restitution of the property seized, whilst we promise to see that the claims of their subjects shall be dealt with similarly by us. Otherwise, we have informed them, we shall not be able to refuse to take other steps for the redress of our subjects. They (i.e., the Kings of France and England) have always replied that our claims should be attended to; and Diego de Carvajal wrote hither recently that the matter was proceeding favourably, the King of France appearing extremely willing, and promising prompt justice. The English say that they will restore everything, if we do the same in Spain; and we have written to our ambassador instructing him to press for this to be carried into effect, whilst we have spoken very energetically about it to the ambassadors here, telling them of the constant complaints we continue to receive, and demanding the immediate return of the ships and merchandise seized. If this be not done, we say, we shall be obliged to adopt the steps already mentioned. In good faith and under the protection of peace, our subjects have carried their trade upon the sea: we cannot allow them to be molested and plundered in the exercise of this right, and we shall be forced to allow them to arm and compensate themselves. At the present time it is unadvisable to adopt reprisals, and to give letters of marque, as the English and French have strong forces at sea; and it might give them a ground for settling their own differences.
Besides this, it would take a long time to get a sea force of any strength ready in Spain, as we have seen by experience, and in any case it would be too late to do anything; thus only disturbing matters without any result, and giving ground for suspicion that we had armed because the English and French had their fleets in commission. For these reasons we have decided that, as if of your own accord, and without any appearance of having acted by our instructions, you will cause an account to be made of the ships and merchandise captured by the French since the conclusion of peace, and of the damage done on the Spanish coast by the French galleys on their passage (i.e., from Marseilles to the Bay of Biscay); and you will then, as gently as possible, sequestrate property belonging to Frenchmen in Spain to a similar value. The goods thus seized should be deposited in the hands of persons of credit; so that they may remain intact; and when the property captured from our subjects has been restored, and the claimants satisfied, then the goods sequestrated may be returned to their owners. Our subjects will thus have reason to be contented, and the others will have no cause to complain. With regard to the English, you write that you have already sequestrated property of theirs for the Indian ship plundered by that captain (i.e., Renegat). The English ambassadors hold out good hopes of prompt restitution of the plunder, on condition of the same course being followed by us. The main part of the English seizures being thus secured, we think it will be best not to embargo any more of their property, until we see how they act. Let us know what you do in both cases. The French have published a decree, pronouncing legal prizes all ships carrying any victuals or munitions for the English; their contention being that by ancient custom they have this right; not only as regards Spain, but also Flanders. This is so important as a general principle, that due representations are being made to the French against it, and these shall continue until the matter is altered. If this were permitted by us it would amount to a prohibition of the trade with England which the treaty of peace permits. We have no doubt that when the French see their property in Spain sequestrated, they will moderate their tone and come to reason.
As soon as you sent us the information of the ships which were being fitted out in Brittany to sail to Peru, on the pretence of carrying merchandise thither, we caused the French ambassadors to be spoken to about them, and I personally mentioned the matter to them subsequently. They excused themselves by saying that they did not believe the information was true, but I warned them that it must be remedied, and also instructed our ambassador in France to press the complaint to the King. We have no answer yet. If you hear any more let me know, and say what it is considered will be the best measures to adopt about it.
Worms, 2 August, 1545.


  • 1. The Spanish ambassador at Venice was the famous writer Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, author of the history of the Wars of Granada and it is believed also of the first picaresque novel Lasarillo de Tormes. He was associated with the Granvelles, father and son, in the representation of the Emperor at the Council of Trent.
  • 2. Don Garcia de Toledo was the able but turbulent Spanish Viceroy of Sicily, whose ambition and pride more than once caused him to be suspected in after years.
  • 3. He was the Governor of the Emperor's young daughters Maria and Juana.
  • 4. It will be recollected that the Farnese Pope's son and grandson were being kept out of their principality by the Emperor. Now that Francis had made peace with Charles, and the latter was supreme in Italy, the Farneses saw that they would have to eat humble pie and bribe the Emperor if ever they were to gain their possessions. This was the first indication of it; but Paul III. had to humble himself much more; and still further deplete his treasury before the Emperor consented to give to his natural daughter Margaret the duchies of Parma and Piacenza as a dowry on her marriage with Ottavio Farnese.
  • 5. De Mendoza, the general of the Spanish galleys in the Mediterranean.