Spain: September 1545, 1-15

Pages 243-248

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

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September 1545, 1–15

2 Sep. Vienna Imp. Arch. 131. The Emperor to Scepperus and Van der Delft.
We nave deferred answering the joint letters you wrote to the Queen, our sister, on the 21st ultimo, until we had received news from the Sieur de Noirthoudt as to his proceedings with the King of France, in compliance with the instructions given to him, and especially in view of the fact that the King of England would make no overtures for peace on his side. On receipt of Noirthoudt's letter, (fn. 1) of which copy is enclosed with our reply to the same, we have decided in conformity therewith, that you should go to the King (Henry), and tell him it has given great pleasure to us and to the Queen, our sister, to learn of his good will and inclination towards peace, which further confirm our own; and will encourage us the more in our efforts to attain so desirable an end, for the good of Christendom at large, and by reason of the perfect amity which we bear towards the King. With this object we have informed you that the King of France had replied to our envoy M. Noirthoudt, setting forth the points stated in the letters enclosed, as a basis of peace negotiations. You will pray him (i.e., the King of England), since the King of France has thus made the first advance by stating his opinions as to the terms, that he (the King of England) will consider the various points and pronounce his views, in order that the negotiations may the better be promoted according to his wishes. You will obtain a clear expression of the King's views, as far as you can, upon each separate point, and even discover, if possible, whether he will listen to the retrocession of Boulogne, in exchange for a money indemnity, and if so of what amount. If you find he raises great difficulty in accepting a money payment you will suggest that it might be advisable to agree to an arrangement, by which Boulogne should remain in his hands for a certain fixed period, he binding himself to restore the place to the French after the expiration of the time, on the payment to him of an indemnity to be agreed upon. You will, however, be careful not to push this point so far as to give the King an excuse for saying that we advised him to accept a money payment. By the same rule, if you see any chance that the King will listen to a proposal for the surrender of Boulogne against a cash indemnity, you will make no mention of the above suggestion of leaving the place in his hands for a fixed period; but if either he or his Councillors bring such a proposal forward you will agree to convey the suggestion to us for transmission to the King of France. You will similarly ascertain, as far as you can, the King of England's views with regard to Scotland, and whether he wishes the King of France entirely to abandon the Scots; or if there is any means of including Scotland in the peace negotiations and upon what conditions. You will also inform yourselves as to the real point at issue between the King and the realm of Scotland, as we greatly doubt if the King of France would consent to abandon the Scots entirely.
If, peradventure, the King should raise any difficulty in declaring his views on the points, on the ground that they are too general in terms, you will point out to him that it will be extremely difficult for us to induce the King of France to be more precise, unless we can show some inclination towards an overture on the part of England. In order that we may effectually promote the negotiation we hope that, notwithstanding the general terms of the points submitted, he will give his views upon them; because the King of France having made the first approach, it will only be right that he (Henry) should make a reciprocal move, in order that the affair may be carried forward another stage. As soon as you have been able to ascertain that there is hope of a successful issue, you will see whether the King will consent to a conference, to which both monarchs would send ambassadors with full powers and instructions, either to our dominions or elsewhere; whither we ourselves, in the interests of peace, would willingly send our representatives as friendly mediators upon those points which were difficult of agreement. This, in our opinion, would be the best and shortest way to bring the peace to a successful issue. You will advise with all speed of what you can discover with regard to the King's views, and we will let you know what we can learn of the inclinations of the King of France.
Brussels, 2 September, 1545.
3 Sep. Simancas. E. R. 872. 132. Summary of Intelligence From Rome to the 3rd September.
Cardinal Tournon writes to Cardinal Trivulciis (fn. 2) on the 17th ultimo, that the Duke of Orleans was going to Flanders to see his Majesty; and would bring back intelligence without further loss of time as to what would be done in Milan, (fn. 3) In the same letter and others, it has been stated here by the French that the King of England had sent to ask for peace; but from other advices from Flanders and Germany of the 13th, it appears that, although it is true that he was negotiating through a Florentine merchant called Bartolomé Compagni, there was no hope of a good issue, as the King's (of England) terms are very hard. The French greatly blamed the Admiral of France for the recent occurrence, when the English and French fleets were face to face. They say he might have done far more than he did. (fn. 4) The Pope learns from Cardinal Farnese that the French fleet has already withdrawn, and that the King of England had sent funds to raise 4,000 German horse; by the aid of which, and his English forces, he hopes to be able to compel the King of France to raise the siege of Boulogne. They are talking very ill here (Rome), and all over Italy, about the Pope, in relation to the Parma and Plasencia (Piacenza) affair; especially the French and Venetians. Neither Cardinal Armaignac, the former French ambassador, nor Cardinal Trivulciis attended the Consistory when the affair was discussed. The bishop of Burgos openly expressed his opinion in the Consistory with regard to Parma and Plasencia (Piacenza); saying that his Holiness ought not to do as he proposed. He (the bishop of Burgos) gave reasons for his opinions, and was the only person present who spoke out thus clearly, although some others did not vote in favour of the proposal
A courier on his way from Constantinople with letters of 13th and 14th July was stopped, and the letters he bore for the Seigniory of Venice alone were intercepted. This was effected by three or four unknown men, who met the courier three days' journey from Adrianople, and took the letters without injuring him in any way. The Seigniory is much annoyed and very suspicious.
11 Sep. Vienna Imp. Arch. 133. The Emperor to Sceppreus and Van der Delft.
My Ambassador resident in France has informed me to-day for certain that the Duke of Orleans died on the 9th instant (fn. 5) at three in the afternoon and that as soon as the King of France learnt the news he ordered the ports and passes to be closed. There was a rumour that on the following day Cardinal Tournon and the Admiral of France were to leave hurriedly for the camps before Boulogne to be able to treat with the English from there. As both the parties have their forces mustered ready, they might perhaps make some agreement to our detriment, or to that of our Flemish dominions, especially as they know we are not prepared to resist them. We have therefore considered it necessary to send this courier with all speed to advise you, in order that you may, dexterously and by all possible means at your command, ascertain what chance there is of any such arrangement as that above suggested being made; and if so on what conditions. If you find that negotiations for an agreement are in forward progress you will declare confidentially to the King that we have been informed of the Duke of Orleans' death, and we are therefore more disposed than we have hitherto been to do something effectual (pour faire quelque bonne æuvre); and such is the constant and perfect friendship between us that we confide absolutely in him (Henry) not to treat or consent to anything to the prejudice of ourselves, our States, or subjects, which may be proposed to him on behalf of the King of France. We hope, on the contrary that he will have due regard to our amity, and to the faithful observance of the treaties between us. To this you will add all the fair words that you may think appropriate, according as you may perceive the King's tendency, and the chances of a treaty of peace being negotiated to our prejudice.
You will take careful notice of the King's expressions, and of the terms he and his Councillors employ in replying to you, giving us full information of everything by this courier. You will also ascertain, so far as you can, what the King intends to do with the troops he has in the neighbourhood of Confluence; and by what route he is going to send them. If you find that they are to pass by our territories, or through any corner thereof, you will lay before the King the injury that will be done to our subjects by the passage, and point out that there are other routes by which they could go to enter the enemy's country. You will say that we have full confidence that the King will not allow the troops to pass through our territories, and you will use such expressions in this respect as you may see necessary and efficacious; taking care, however, neither to consent nor altogether to refuse the passage of the troops by our lands. You must let the matter remain in terms that we are quite sure that the King will have the necessary regard for our friendship and the treaties between us. Send all the news you can, speedily.
Brussels, 11 September, 1545.
15 Sep. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 134. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
As, at the cordial and very pressing request of the King, M. D'Eick (i.e., Scepperus) is now returning thither, your Majesty will hear from him fully and in detail the state of affairs here, both with regard to the subject of his own mission, and in respect of the other events and occurrences on this side. I do not therefore consider it necessary to trouble your Majesty with a long letter; but will only add that whilst M. D'Eick and I were in communication yesterday morning with the Councillors on the peace negotiations with France, the said Councillors declared that the reply to our representations, and the King's decision on the points and conditions submitted, would be given to us by the King personally after dinner. But nevertheless, they said the point at issue was not so much that; but rather the question of the aid which was to be furnished by your Majesty, in accordance with the treaty of alliance. The period had already passed by which the contingent should be here, counting from the time when the demand had been made, and they asked us if we had no news of its coming. M. D'Eick declined to enter upon the subject as it formed no part of his mission, but I replied that it was true that your Majesty had written to me the communication made to you by the English ambassador at Worms, and the answer given to him. I had myself discussed the matter fully with the King, laying down the conditions upon which your Majesty had consented to furnish the aid requested, one of which conditions was that they (the English) should confirm your Majesty's treaty with France, respecting which the King had replied to me that he did not know which treaty I referred to; but anything we wished him to do or approve of must be put in writing, and he would answer it. I had informed your Majesty of this on the 17th August, but had not yet received any reply, nor did I, indeed, expect one, as we had entered upon the discussion of this other matter (i.e., the peace) which had quite changed the appearance of affairs. I made this an excuse for shelving the question; but they persisted, saying that the only conditions they knew anything about were those contained in the treaty of alliance, which took precedence of all others, past and future. They added that, since they had decided to pursue their enemy, who had invaded their territories, no excuse could be alleged on behalf of your Majesty for not furnishing the aid until after the expiry of he four months stipulated in the treaty, which they offered to produce and show me. After some disputation I undertook to submit the matter to your Majesty, and I have therefore written these few lines, praying that after your Majesty has heard the full report of D'Eick, I may receive your commands on the subject. In the meanwhile it has seemed advisable to retain here the courier who as brought us the letters of your Majesty of 11th September conveying the news of the death of the Duke of Orleans (respecting the contents of which letters and the King's inclination thereon, M. D'Eick will report fully) in order that I may be able to communicate to your Majesty with speed any change that may be observable, and all other events that may occur.
Windsor, 15 September. 1545.
15 Sep. Vienna Hof. Cor. 135. Henry VIII. to the Emperor.
During his conferences with the Emperor's special envoy, M. D'Eick, some suggestions of great importance have been broached. The writer has entrusted to M. D'Eick the mission of laying these before the Emperor; and he begs the latter to give to them his best consideration in the interest of the friendship and alliance that exist between the two princes. (fn. 6)
Windsor, 15 September, 1545.
15 Sep. Simancas. E. F. 501. 136. News sent from Flanders by Don Luis de Avila.
When the French fleet had left Boulogne the French who were before that place arranged with M. Dampierre, the Governor of Guisnes, the following plan. The garrison of Ardres, a French fortress, were to march up to the defences of Guisnes, which is held by the English, in order to induce the garrison of that fortress to sally and attack them. In the meanwhile it was arranged that the French army before Boulogne should place themselves in ambush and cut off the English garrison which was to sally from Guisnes. The force from Ardres marched out, as agreed upon, and the English from Guisnes duly sallied, as was expected, but as the force from the Boulogne army had not arrived the English garrison routed the men from Ardres and killed M. Dampierre, driving the fugitives back to Ardres. (fn. 7) As the English were returning in triumph they met the French troops from Boulogne who had at length arrived. The English were worsted in the ensuing fight; and the Guisnes men, after all, were contented with the day's work. Whilst the French army from before Boulogne had marched to Guisnes, the English troops in the former town made a sortie, and entered the trenches of the fortress that the French are constructing, killing the sappers and 300 Swiss and Germans. They would have captured the fortress itself, if prompt reinforcements of French had not arrived.
The English fleet is still the master of these waters. It has burnt some French villages and sixteen French vessels. The English have thus still their foot on the neck of the French.
[Spanish holograph.]


  • 1. Doubtless the letter without date from St. Mauris and Noirthoudt, tentatively ascribed to “August,” and inserted on page 206 of the present volume.
  • 2. Cardinal Trivulcio was the French ambassador in Rome at the time.
  • 3. That is to say the Emperor's decision as to the alternate marriage and dowry.
  • 4. This was the encounter in mid Channel on 15 August, of which an account has already been given.
  • 5. He died at Foret Moutier near Abbeville, it was said of malignant fever or plague, but in this Calender it is stated in consequence of drinking cold water when he was heated. He had gone to Picardy with his brother the Dauphin to resist the passage of the German mercenaries in Henry's service under Von Reissenberg to raise the siege of Boulogne. The death of Charles of Valois, Duke of Orleans completely upset the arrangements made in the peace of Crépy, by which thanks to the Duchess D'Etampes, he was the principal gainer. It is evident from the Emperor's letters in this Calendar that he was anxious to avoid carrying out the stipulations in any case and the death of the young prince gave him a perfect excuse for doing so.
  • 6. The secret negotiation with which Scepperus was sent backwards and forwards several times was the arrange ment of a meeting between Charles and Henry. When the former found that the object was to pin him more tightly to the clauses of the treaty of alliance, which he had hitherto so cunningly evaded, he found excellent reasons, as will be seen in the documents, for declining the proposed interview. The whole negotiation is an excellent specimen of the insincere and selfish nature of the Emperor's diplomacy.
  • 7. An interesting account of this exploit by Lord Grey de Wilton will be found in Hollingshead.