Spain: November 1545, 16-30

Pages 275-280

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

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November 1545, 16–30

16 Nov. Simancas. E. F. 501. 169. The Emperor to St. Mauris (Imperial Ambassador in France).
Thanks for diligence in reporting occurrences in France, and especially as regards the mission of the Admiral and Chancellor, the negotiations for peace with England, and the suggestion about marriage (i.e., of Prince Philip) with Madame Margaret of France. The French plenipotentiaries arrived on the 7th instant, and we have been in conference with them and the Bishop of Winchester and other English envoys daily. Up to the present however, it has been utterly impossible to come to any conclusion. The French demand the immediate surrender of Boulogne, in return for which they do not offer the smallest concession of territory. They offer to pay the arrears of “pension” to the King of England, and to give him 100,000 soldi as an equivalent for the works which the English have executed in Boulogne. They would, as a last concession, consent to pay a further 50,000; and have left to our arbitration the fixing of the sum within these limits, this being included as a clause in the treaty. The English, on the other hand, are resolved to retain Boulogne itself, or else to obtain for it a territorial indemnity elsewhere. The greatest concession which the English might be induced to make, although they have not yet declared themselves on the point, would be to surrender Boulogne to the French, after the whole of the arrears due to the King of England had been paid; and on the undertaking of the French to pay to him a life annuity of 100,000 soldi, and on his death to pay an annuity of 50,000 to his successors in perpetuity. This being the state of the negotiations, there seems nothing more for us to do than to await the return of the ambassador, (fn. 1) and see the intelligence he will bring. It will perhaps be best to negotiate a suspension of hostilities first.
It is said that the Protestants who intervened in the negotiations for peace between England and France have declared that they have good reasons for hope that Boulogne will be restored and Scotland included in the treaty. But the bishop of Winchester and the other English envoys swear roundly that, neither their master nor any of his servants, have ever hinted at such a thing; and that there is not the remotest probability of such a solution having been considered. You will, however, avoid all reference to, or appearance of knowing anything about these Protestant negotiations. The French have declared that they are ready to fulfil the clauses of the treaty of Crépy, and are at the same time pressing urgently for the marriage of our son (Prince Philip) with Madame Margaret, in order to ensure perpetual peace between us and the King of France. We have assured them that we, too, are quite willing to carry out the treaty of Crépy, and have spoken in great praise of the suggested marriage: but we have insisted that the Duke of Savoy should be restored to all his former possessions, that Hesdin should be surrendered against a reasonable indemnity, and that our subjects should be reinstated in the possession of the property of which they have been deprived.
Bruges, 16 November, 1545.
(Spanish translation in the handwriting of Ruy Gomez, evidently made for the use of Prince Philip.)
19 Nov. Simancas. E. Genoa. 1377. 170. Prince Andrea Doria to Prince. Philip.
(First paragraphs concern the galleys in the Mediterranean.) The Emperor is, according to my last advice of 31st ultimo, in good health, and is endeavouring to bring about a peaceful settlement between France and England.
The Landgrave (of Hesse), who was authorised by the King of England to raise a body of troops for him, has employed them to deprive the Duke of Brunswick of his States, and has taken him and his son prisoners.
Genoa, 19 November, 1545.
21 Nov. Vienna Hof. Cor. 171. Henry VIII. to the Emperor.
Bespeaks friendly consideration and credence for the bishops of Winchester and Westminster, who are instructed to convey an important communication to the Emperor.
Westminster, 21 November, 1545.
25 Nov. Simancas. E. F. 501. 172. The Emperor to St. Mauris (Imperial Ambassador in France).
Left Bruges on the 16th and arrived at Antwerp on the 18th instant, at the same time as the French and English plenipotentiaries arrived there. The French ambassador at first avoided all reference to the business that brought them hither, either the peace negotiations with England, or the private negotiations with us. At last, however, on Monday they said they had heard that the English ambassadors had received the answer from their master, and asked us whether there was any chance of the negotiations being resumed. We replied that we had just heard from the English ambassadors the answer they had received from the King, and we promised them (i.e., the French ambassadors) that we would communicate the intelligence to them after dinner. The French ambassadors and our commissioners being assembled, the latter said that the English ambassadors had received from their master strict and imperative orders to make it clear that he intended to retain Boulogne, which he had won by the sword in a great and righteous war, and which had cost him the blood of many of his best subjects. The English ambassadors added (said our commissioners) an expression of their great surprise that the King of France could imagine that Boulogne could be given back to him on the pretext that his honour demanded it. The King of England highly prized the possession of the place, and if it were returned to the King of France the latter would forget all about the debts due to the King of England, and would pay neither the arrears nor the future instalments. It would, moreover, only be an encouragement for the French to launch into future wars inconsiderately, and involve the English in vast expenditure. When the English had by great sacrifices of men and money gained a place from the French the latter would simply make peace and expect to regain without the surrender of any equivalent, the territory they had lost. It was not reasonable. The French ambassadors continued as resolute as before in demanding the restoration of Boulogne, whilst the English remained as determined to hold it.
With the acquiescence of the English we then proposed to the French that the English should retain Boulogne on paying to the French a money indemnity; which however was to be kept distinct from the pension payable to the King of England; but the French rejected this proposal.
A truce was then proposed; and the French expressed their willingness to accept it, if the request for it came from the English, but they themselves would never ask for it. The English made a similar declaration: they would accept a truce, out of respect for the Emperor's efforts, but they would not seek it. All expedients for bringing about a settlement being thus exhausted, the French ambassadors asked when they might be allowed to take leave of us. They were reminded that there were other negotiations to be completed, concerning the peace between us and the King of France. They replied that all possible concessions on their side had been made, and that all that was due to the Duke of Savoy and the Empire had already been granted. On this and all other outstanding points we could obtain nothing but general and evasive answers from the French ambassadors, who suggested that the further negotiations might be conducted by the resident ambassadors or by special plenipotentiaries appointed for the purpose.
When the conference had thus been brought to an end, the Admiral of France took M. de Praet and M. de Granvelle aside to a corner of the room, and proposed to them the immediate agreement for a marriage between the Prince (Philip) and Madame Margaret of France, leaving until later the settlement of the Duke of Savoy's affairs. Messieurs de Praet and Granvelle excused themselves from the course suggested, alleging the duty the Emperor owed to the empire, of which Savoy was a part.
The King of France has replied to our invitation that he should attend in person or by proxy the next assembly of the order (of the Golden Fleece). In communicating the King's reply, the Admiral of France added that when the King learnt of the failure of the peace negotiations between France and England, he had declared that no further action was to be taken in the matter. Although the English are disinclined to make peace at the present juncture, they will be glad to do so by and bye. But, continued the Admiral, his reason for coming hither was not to make any declaration respecting the English, but to inform the Emperor that the King of France really wished for the conclusion of a marriage between the Prince and Madame Margaret, which marriage would be a guarantee of perpetual peace between the two Houses.
(The rest of this letter, four pages, is occupied entirely with the affairs of Piedmont and the claims of the Duke of Savoy.)
Antwerp, 25 November, 1545.
(Spanish translation in the handwritings of Ruy Gomez and Idiaquez, evidently for the perusal of Prince Philip.)
25 Nov. (?) Simancas. E. F. 501. 173. News sent by Secretary Idiaquez (apparently to the Duke op Alba).
The Emperor has been negotiating in Bruges with the French and English plenipotentiaries; but as no settlement could be arrived at, they came to this place (i.e., Antwerp) where the negotiations are continued.
The Emperor has entered into negotiations on his own account with the French; but it has not yet been found possible to draft the articles of a treaty, as the French raise many difficulties, and would raise many more if the Emperor's attitude towards the English did not enable him to conclude an alliance with the King of England immediately the negotiations with France were broken off. The Landgrave (of Hesse) has forced the Duke of Brunswick to make peace with him. No answer has arrived from Rome to the points conveyed thither by Marquina. (See page 269.)
No news of the truce with the Turk.
30 Nov. Vienna Imp. Arch. 174. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Since the return thither of M. D'Eick, who carried with him my last letters, nothing has happened here worthy of writing to your Majesty, except that whilst M. D'Eick was still here there was some talk of sending the first secretary Paget oversea (we understood to your Majesty); and he started some days since accompanied by the bishop of Durham, but they have not left the King's dominions as they still remain at Calais or the neighbourhood. (fn. 2) This has rendered me very suspicious as he (Paget) gave me no indication of his departure as is usually done by personages here who are sent to your Majesty. As it seemed advisable that I should discover as far as possible the meaning of this voyage of the secretary to Calais, especially as the protestant envoys are still tarrying there, and the place is so near the French, I have made strenuous efforts to obtain some intelligence on the subject. The only thing, however, that I have yet been able to learn is that the voyage may be to meet certain French envoys, some people say the bishop of Soissons and the president of Rouen, who have been for the last eight days at Ardres. I have no doubt that your Majesty has better information of this than I, both by means of the ambassadors with you, and by advices from the neighbourhood of Gravelines. Still I have thought well to let your Majesty know.
A few days ago, when the King was at the opening of Parliament, the Chancellor made his speech, setting forth the invasion effected by the King of France and his allies; of this realm, and at divers points both by land and sea. The King of England (the Chancellor continued) was obliged to resist and defend himself, which he had done without loss and greatly to his honour, as all men knew. He therefore desired parliament to bear in mind that this had not been without incurring great expense. Secondly he set forth that there were certain bishops in the realm who are usurping and exercising prerogatives belonging to the King; and that this evil must be remedied, allowing the said bishops to remain in possession of their property and estates whilst the King enjoyed his own. On these points, and others depending upon them, parliament meets every day, the King being often present in person; the people in general showing good will to contribute, owing to the hopes they have of peace.
Sire, four days since, out of compliment to the position I hold here as representing your. Majesty, I was invited by the Lord Admiral to stand sponsor to a daughter of his, (fn. 3) the godmothers being Lady Mary in person and the widowed Duchess of Suffolk. (fn. 4) As the time we were assembled was somewhat long, Lady Mary, after showing me much honour and compliment, entered into conversation with me in various languages which she speaks very well. She said much of her great affection for your Majesty and of the joy she felt to hear of your health and prosperity. I replied appropriately, giving her similar assurances on behalf of your Majesty, with which she appeared much pleased and seemed really to enjoy her chat with me, which though rather long was of no importance, except that she said that all her wishes and constant prayers to God were that the present good and perfect friendship between your Majesty and the King might continue. I assured her absolutely that such would be the case, so far as your Majesty was concerned. I have thought well to report this pleasant conversation to your Majesty and pray for pardon if I have gone beyond my province in doing so.
London, 30 November, 1545.


  • 1. The word ambassador in the original is underlined, and a note of interrogation is placed against it in the margin, showing that the recipient of the copy in Spain did not understand who was meant. It is probable that the Emperor was referring to Scepperus, who, as will be seen in a previous page, had been again sent to England to urge the conclusion of a truce late in the preceding month of October, and had apparently not yet reached the Emperor on his return, though he left London on the 12th November, four days before this letter was written.
  • 2. It will be seen later that these direct negotiations with the French were more successful than previous attempts to come to terms, a three months' truce being arranged early in the following year, and a peace subsequently.
  • 3. This was Lady Catharine Dudley who married Henry, third Earl of Huntingdon.
  • 4. This was Catharine Lady Willoughby in her own right whose mother had been the favourite Spanish friend of Catharine of Aragon. She subsequently married Francis Bertie and fled from the Marian persecution to Germany.