Spain: September 1545, 16-30

Pages 248-254

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, 16–30

18 Sep. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 137. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
At this instant, supper time, the bishop of Winchester and Secretary Paget came to me and said that they had received the worst possible news that could come to them. They then proceeded to relate it to me, commencing by saying that, as I knew, they were at war at great expense; and as their coin was not current at the face value they were obliged to make use of their friends in Flanders. The King had accordingly agreed with the Fuggers in Antwerp to raise a certain sum of money by exchange, for the purpose of paying the German troops who had been engaged by him. He had already sent to order these troops to pay for everything down to the last penny and to march without doing the slightest damage or wrong to any subject of the Emperor or other friends; promising them (the troops) that money would be provided for them. And now just as they (the English) intended to utilise the money delivered by the Fuggers, the Margrave of Antwerp, by order of your Majesty, had embargoed the funds. Their own people, they said, had seen the order. They are very much aggrieved at it, especially at the present juncture and make great ceremony and complaint about it; saying that the King of France himself could not have devised any obstacle more annoying to them than this is, besides being so contrary to the confidence they had in us. They had, they said, come to me on the King's behalf to request me to write instantly to the Emperor or to your Majesty as above, requesting that the embargo should immediately be raised, and this obstacle removed; preventing them, as it did, so unjustly, from making use of their own money, which is a thing that would not be done to anyone in the world. Every merchant, however small, they said, raised money by exchange at his pleasure, and it seemed very strange that they (the English) should be thus troubled in such a matter, especially as it was known some time ago that the transaction was being conducted through Jasper Doulchy; and if there had been any objection to it, they (the English) ought to have been informed that it would not be allowed and they would adopted other means of obtaining the funds. It seemed to the King as if we had waited for the opportunity of seizing it just at this point when the greatest inconvenience would be caused; and they (Gardiner and Paget) then made the same request to me a second time in the name of the King and Council. Madame: in order to please the King I replied at once that I would write on the spot as I was requested, but begged them not to take the matter so much to heart (prendre la chose si hault); perhaps things were reported worse than they were. I did not believe that it had been done without giving to their people in Flanders some explanation or reason for it, whereupon they replied no good or reasonable reason had been alleged: and with that they left me.
I therefore send back the courier I had detained here with this letter to your Majesty, as they said that the seizure had been effected by your orders.
Nothing has happened here since M. D'Eick left, except that the Chancellor has arrived at Court with the principal officers of Chancery and the doctors of London. The admiral comes to-morrow. I know not what is the business in hand.
Windsor, 18 September, 1545.,
21 Sep. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 138. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
Since I wrote on the 18th instant certain Germans have arrived here who are styled the ambassadors of the Landgrave of Hesse, respecting whom I am writing more fully to the Emperor by the bearer of the present, who is my own servant. Your Majesty will be able to understand by this whether it will not be advisable that the Emperor should entertain the proposal of which M. D'Eick was the bearer thither, in order to frustrate such intrigues as these, from which may arise serious troubles.
Windsor, 21 September, 1545.
21 Sep. Vienna Imp. Arch. 139. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Since the departure of the courier with my last letters of the 18th instant to the Queen Dowager, certain Germans arrived here; and being desirous of discovering who they were and the object of their coming, I went to the King's Council to request audience, on the pretext of dealing in some private claims made by your Majesty's subjects. In the course of conversation the Councillors asked me what news I brought. I replied that I had none, but that they must have something to impart to me, as I had heard that they had ambassadors there from France or I knew whence— wishing to dissemble that I knew they were Germans. The Councillors made no reply to this, and I saw that they wished to keep the matter secret and lead me astray. I therefore took every means to investigate in other directions, especially as these Germans were being welcomed and made much of. At last I have learnt from a good, though secret, source that the Germans have brought letters to the Chancellor and Secretary Paget, closed with five or six seals bearing the arms of the Landgrave of Hesse, the Duke of Saxony and the Duke of Wurtemberg; and in their talk it appears they also include the elective King of Denmark. Their names are Johannes Scledanus of Strasburg, Ludwig von Bombach, Marshal of the Landgrave, and the other is a young man named Philip, but whose surname I cannot discover. These three personages, together with two others, one of whom is called Sturmius and the other is the father of Philip, came to Metz and Lorraine where they are very well received; continuing their journey to the King of France, with whom Sturmius and the other man remained, whilst the remaining three came hither. On their way through Abbeville they say that they supped in the Chamber of the Duke of Orleans the day before he died, and came thence by Montreuil and the camp before Boulogne, being escorted from there to Calais by a French trumpeter. I cannot ascertain particulars of their mission, except that they boast that for the last hundred years no embassy has arrived here with a more advantageous and favourable mission for the interests of England. To-day Scledanus and the marshal dined with the Council, and directly after dinner they were led by the bishop of Winchester, Secretary Paget, and Dr. Petre, into the King's presence, where they remained a full hour. As I heard that they were to have audience after dinner, I thought advisable also to ask for audience with the King, which I did the moment they entered the presence as I have described. I did this because they had been in such retirement and had thought to hide them from me; and also because I wished to endeavour to discover after they had seen the King something about their mission and the King's reception of them. I intended to tell the King that I had heard certain Frenchmen and Germans had come from France to treat with him, and in these circumstances I could not omit to remind him of the treaty of alliance he had with your Majesty, by the terms of which be was debarred from making any treaty without the knowledge and acquiescence of your Majesty; not doubting that he continued in his usual good inclination and friendship towards your Majesty, as he had recently assured M. D'Eick and myself was the case. But withal, Sire, my audience has been postponed until the afternoon of the day after to-morrow, as they say the King is going to dine to-morrow three or four miles from here. Nevertheless, seeing the importance of this affair, and that if the King enters into any agreement with these Germans your Majesty's territories there may be surrounded by allies, I have thought necessary to report to your Majesty without delay by a man of my own. I will not fail to advise of any arrangement entered into by the King.
Windsor, 21 September, 1545.
23 Sep. Vienna Imp. Arch. 140. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
In accordance with what I wrote to your Majesty the day before yesterday I went to see the King this afternoon, making my pretext for seeking audience the rumour that Cardinal Tournon and the Admiral of France were to visit the camp before Boulogne for the purpose of negotiating with the English, and also that I had heard that certain ambassadors had arrived here from France, who were said to be Germans (and as they themselves confessed Protestants). In view of this, I said, I could not avoid repeating to the King the assurance of the friendship towards him entertained by your Majesty, and your confidence that he would not negotiate or consent to anything that might prejudice your States or subjects; but would always bear in mind the fulfilment of the treaties between him and your Majesty and all else that would tend to the maintenance of the perfect amity between you. The King answered me by dwelling upon my word amity. I wish, he said, it was as sincere on the side of the Emperor as it is on mine. I have always borne him true affection and do so still, but I am being badly treated and at the present time even they are detaining my money; so I do not know what to think of it. I replied that I hoped very shortly to lay before him such reasons for the stoppage of the money as would satisfy him. How satisfied? he asked. I know all their reasons and they do not satisfy me at all. Some creature has told them that I wish to take the money out of the country. That is the reason. With that, Sire, he leant against a window, bidding me to be covered and stand by his side. He then repeated that he could not understand how your Majesty had thus deserted him on the mere word of a minister who bore neither letter nor credence from him. (fn. 1) He had, he said, always refused to enter into negotiations with France, however favourable the conditions offered to him (including the cession of Ardres and the payment of arrears of pension) unless your Majesty was first satisfied. He greatly exaggerated these two points and reminded me that he was getting an old man, having been King forty years, and no person could ever truly say that he had acted otherwise than sincerely and straightforwardly. He had, he said, done everything openly and had never gone about seeking secret intelligence or underhand intrigue to the prejudice of anyone. He would rather die than act otherwise. He had never broken his word and he would not hide from me that the Germans had been to see him, and had declared that they had been sent by certain German princes, who had sent a similar mission to the King of France to urge both to make peace. He (Henry) had replied that he was the person who had always loved peace, and still did not desire war; he was simply defending himself against French invasion. The French would not consent to peace unless Boulogne was restored; but he had honourably won the place at the sword's point and he meant to keep it. In effect he repeated the same words that he had addressed to M. D'Eick and me; adding that these Germans intended to stay here until they received news from their colleagues in France. He then asked me if I had not heard of the arrival (in Flanders) of M. D'Eick and if I expected him soon; to which I replied that I doubted not that your Majesty would dispatch him without delay. Finally, Sire, he repeated that this was the very opportunity to make quite sure of the French. They were, he said, in extreme necessity, all their frontier towns were badly provided, they had raised their Camp before Boulogne for the purpose of sending a portion of the troops to Savoy, which would not be to your Majesty's advantage, and the other portion was to invade his territory of Guisnes. As, therefore, the period for furnishing the aid under the treaty had now expired and he knew your Majesty had mustered your bands, he begged your Majesty to grant him the use of at least some of them to aid him in resisting the invasion of Guisnes, which was included in the treaty. He then spoke of the death of M. de Vendome and of the news he had received of the illness of the Dauphin, of the fortune of M. de Guise's son, and of the death of our holy father the Pope, which he still considered doubtful. (fn. 2) I then took my leave, apologising for having importuned him for audience without pressing cause. To this he replied in very gracious words that I was always welcome, and could come whenever I liked even without any business at all.
All this, Sire, passed without any show of anger although very coldly, and in set formal words which I could not help suspecting. But after I left the King, as the bishop of Winchester and Secretary Paget escorted me I entered into discourse with them, reproaching them for having tried to conceal from me the other day the mission of these Germans, which moreover was notorious. They excused themselves; and I pointed out to them that, if they intended to make any treaty with the Protestants, it would mean abandoning liberty and purchasing servitude. I made a little speech on this subject to convince them that no good result could possibly come from any such arrangement; and I plainly perceived that there had not been any mention of a treaty yet. They said that everything rested with your Majesty, and they hoped M. D'Eick would bring good news.
Windsor, 23 September, 1545.
26 Sep. (?) Vienna Hof. Cor. 141. The Emperor to Henry VIII.
Has received the King's letter of credence brought by Eick, who has repeated to him verbally the message entrusted to him. M. D'Eick will in a similar manner convey to the King the Emperor's reply.
Brussels, 25 September, 1545 (?).
27 Sep. Brussels. Neg. Aug. 142. Instructions for you Messieurs Cornelius Scepperus and Francis Van der Delft, for your mission to the King of England, whither we are now sending you, Scepperus, again.
In the first place you, Scepperus, will return to the King of England with all speed; and, after cordially saluting him, you will tell him how much we rejoice to learn that he was in good health, and we hope frequenty to receive similar news from him.
We have heard fully your report of his answer to the three principal points tending to peace, proposed by the King of France; and we have, in your presence, communicated the same to the French ambassadors who have undertaken to convey it to their master. We should have been glad if the King of England had made some counter proposals, in order that the matter might be carried a step further, as we are so desirous of bringing it to a good issue, both in the interests of Christendom at large, and in those of the two princes themselves, and their realms and subjects.
We have likewise learnt the principal object of your journey hither, namely to press upon us the desire of the King of England to have an interview with us and the Queen of Hungary our sister; for which purpose he is willing to cross the sea within a month from the day he learns of our desire with regard to the interview. On this point both of you, or either one if the other be indisposed, will convey to the King the following reply.
We are delighted to learn of the King's wish; knowing that it can only arise from the great love and affection he bears us. You will thank him warmly for this on our behalf. We have taken care to keep the suggestion secret, in order to guard his prestige and dignity, and have only communicated it to a few of our most confidential ministers. He need, therefore, be under no apprehension that it will ever be divulged to his prejudice.
Although we are desirous that such an interview should take place, in consideration of our love for the King, we cannot omit to point out two matters that might stand in the way of it; or, at least, defer its realisation. The first is the risk the King would incur personally, seeing that the season is far advanced, and the King's dominions on this side of the sea scourged by epidemics and crowded by soldiers, whose proximity is be avoided. In addition to this we have promised the States of the Empire to be present by the 6th January, at the place indicated for the assembly, which is at Regensburg, a long way from his dominions, and, on our way thither, we are desirous of visiting our territories of Gueldres and Utrecht, for which purpose we shall have to begin our journey very shortly. Notwithstanding these reasons, and bearing in mind the King's singular affection for us, which we are anxious to reciprocate, we shall be willing, if he still desires the interview, to approach our Flemish-Artois frontier to meet him, on condition that he be there during the month of October, as you, Scepperus, have assured us that he would be. It will be impossible for us to defer our journey towards Germany beyond that month; and secondly that the King of France will consent to a suspension of hostilities. Considering that the forces of both monarchs are so close to our borders, it will be impossible to agree to the interview unless the suspension be arranged. With this object, we have instructed our Ambassador resident in France to induce the King of France to consent to such a suspension of hostilities, and to agree to a peace conference in some part of our dominions, in order to give us a pretext for approaching our frontiers.
In order to assure the King (of England) of our intention, we have acceded to his request, and have dispatched letters-patents, conferring power on you to conclude in principle with the King or his Councillors the holding of the interview; and in the meanwhile to negotiate and promote it, and the matters dependent upon it, as will be necessary in a matter of so much importance.
You will especially learn from the King the place where the interview can most conveniently be held, having regard to the fact that plagues and sickness are prevalent in many quarters, whilst other places are much distressed by the effects of the war. Besides this, the long voyage we have to make renders it necessary that we should not go outside 'the limits of our territories of Flanders or Artois. For this reason, it seems that no places would. be more appropriate for the interview than the towns of Bruges, Nieuport, Bergen, St. Winnoc, Dunkirk, Gravelines, Bourbourg, or St. Omer; whichever the King may prefer. You will give us prompt advice of his choice, in order that we may have lodgings prepared and provisions made for his safety and our own, with the ministers, train and suite who must accompany us.
If the King of England desires to know to whom the Emperor has communicated these your instructions, you may reply as follows:—Considering that the interview can only last for a few brief days—for the reasons above specified—it will not be convenient for the meeting to take place without an understanding being previously arrived at, as to the objects in view. For this reason we deem it highly necessary that the principal points for discussion at the interview should be thoroughly debated, settled, and fixed beforehand by the most confidential ministers on both sides; in order that at the actual meeting there should be no question between us but of good-cheer and kindly greeting, as is usual amongst princes. You will, accordingly, ask the King to enlighten us on these principal points beforehand, either by one of his own most confidential ministers, or through you, Scepperus, who will convey the same to us in cipher, which information shall reach no person but those whom we trust implicitly, and who will keep the secret inviolate. If the King desires it, you, Scepperus, may again cross the sea, to inform us verbally, so that we may, before the meeting takes place, decide upon the whole question. This is of great importance for the favourable issue of the said interview, and if it be not done, will not only render the meeting useless, but prejudical to the state of affairs, and dangerous to the ministers who have intervened in the matter, as you, Scepperus, may well consider, and will take opportunity of pointing out to the King and his ministers. It is of the first importance that we should be advised promptly on this point.
If they broach the subject of the aid, which, in virtue of the treaty of alliance, the King of England has demanded, you may say that the King will not fail to see that, since we are making such strenuous efforts to bring about peace, it would not be honest for us in the meanwhile to help one side against the other. But when we see how things are decided, either for peace or war, we shall be free to act if necessary. Even if during the interview, it be decided that we are bound to furnish the aid demanded, we shall willingly do so; since it is only a question of a money subsidy.
Finally, you will keep in hand that matter of the gold, which the English corsair Renegat seized in a Spanish ship bound from the Indies, and get the gold delivered into the hands of you, Van der Delft. You may assure the King and his ministers that, when this has been done, there will be no failure to release at once the ships embargoed in Spain, as a consequence of Renegat's action, as you have already been fully informed.
Brussels, 27 September, 1845.


  • 1. That is to say the bishop of Arras, who had reported to Charles a hasty expression of Henry, which was eagerly construed into a consent for the Emperor to make a separate peace with France. See Vol. VII. of this Calendar.
  • 2. This news was of course untrue; Paul III. did not die until four years afterwards.