Spain: January 1546, 16-31

Pages 293-297

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

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January 1546, 16–31

17 Jan. Vienna Imp. Arch. 185. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
We received yesterday your letters of 11th instant. You did well in assisting the gentleman sent to England by the King of Portugal; and we recommend him to your further good offices if he should need them.
With regard to the Spaniard, who styles himself a comendador, we have written you our instructions. The more enquiries we make here about him, the more certain it appears that he cannot be Don Pedro Portocarrero; and it will be necessary, therefore, to look more closely at the assertions made by Bertheuille, and to endeavour to get to the bottom of the mystery. You will keep the matter in hand, and cause the Spaniard to be detained until you receive our reply to your communication touching the contents of our former letter. We have caused the English Ambassador here to be spoken to on the subject; and we suppose that he will already have written about it, and will do so again. You will do well to make all possible enquiry about the courier who has been lost; and also to let us know everything you can discover respecting the treaty between England and France. We shall be very glad of all the information you can send on the subject.
With regard to what you say about Renegat and his submission, you had better stand firm to the last in your positive demand that he shall restore everything he has taken. We have without delay caused to be referred to the Spanish Council the remonstrance drawn up by the English merchants complaining of the Inquisition. It will be at once sent to Spain with letters from us, giving directions that no injury shall be done to English subjects, or any infraction be committed of the promises we have recently made to the King of England, so long as the English make no scandalous allusions to the Pope.
We shall always be very glad to learn what you consider is likely to be done in England respecting religion; and more especially in relation to the alterations enacted by the last Parliament, concerning the services for the dead. (fn. 1)
Let us know also continually how they treat Capt. Conrad Penninck (fn. 2) and where, and in what, they employ him.—Utrecht, 17 January 1546.
19 Jan. Vienna Imp. Arch. 186. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
I have received to-day your Majesty's letter of the 7th instant, enclosing a note instructing me to obtain further information, about the Spaniard detained here, respecting whom I wrote to your Majesty; and to discover whether he be Don Pedro Portocarrero or Don Pedro Pacheco. I will do so with all diligence, and will duly report to your Majesty. As, however, this Courier is about to start, I think well to inform your Majesty, that the description of the personage named Don Pedro Pacheco, who passed through France, differs entirely from that of the prisoner here; although the latter assumes the same name. The prisoner is a man of medium height, rather short than tall, and stout, with an ordinary colour, without being very dark. In order to learn the appearance of Don Pedro Portocarrero I have just sent to the Spanish Colonel (Maestre de Campo) named Gamboa, (fn. 3) whose description of him agrees somewhat closely with that of the prisoner. It will therefore be necessary to examine him, as your Majesty orders. Whether he be Portocarrero or not, it is certain that once when the Frenchman Bertheuille and he came to dine with me, he (the prisoner) stated in conversation, without contradiction from Bertheuille, many things that happened in the French camp whilst your Majesty was before St. Disier; and Bertheuille frequently appealed to him for confirmation as an eyewitness of matters he related, he having been in the camp after his capture by the French. But your Majesty will learn the truth by my next letter.
On the 13th instant I informed your Majesty of the defeats the English had suffered at Boulogne and in Scotland, but it is now affirmed that the engagement in Scotland was not nearly so disastrous as was at first reported; and they talk now of only two or three hundred men having been lost. (fn. 4)
These people are greatly astonished about Boulogne, and are very anxious, as they foresee the difficulties that may arise. Two days since the King consulted the whole Council, and summoned his Captains, English and foreign, the decision, as I learn, being to send to Boulogne the Earl of Hertford, and the said Colonel Gamboa, who, indeed, immediately started by post for the Scottish border to bring his men to Boulogne. (fn. 5)
Captain Conrad Penninck has no command here, but I expect they will not let him go without giving him something to do, as they have detained him so long.
London, 19 January 1546.
19 Jan. Paris. Archives Nationales. K. 1486. 187. St. Mauris to Cobos.
I write to you from Compeigne by a Portuguese gentleman. I send you now five ciphered reports of what has since been done in my office. I will add that I recently received letters from M. Joos (Bave), dated 13th instant, saying that the Emperor had held a chapter of his Order (i.e. the Golden Fleece); but that the new knights had not been announced. (fn. 6) His Majesty was in bed with the gout, but the great pain had left him two days before; and at the time, he was resting easily at night and would answer certain letters of mine as soon as he could attend to business.
The King of France has again fallen ill of his usual malady, abscess. If the game lasts much longer he may cease playing altogether. The Pope also is said to be very ill. The English were recently repulsed by the French in an attempt to revictual the fort of Boulogne. The mercenaries serving in France had mutinied. (fn. 7)
The French have been unable to agree to a peace or truce with the English; and they have consequently resolved to make war on them in the neighbourhood of Boulogne about July next, before the Emperor again joins in the war. The English have fifty well-armed ships scouring the coasts of France.
The peace question still remains in suspense, and the marriage only talked about because the French will not let go their hold on Piedmont. (fn. 8)
M. de Granvelle informs me that the Emperor has instructed you to advance me as much money as you can on account of my allowance. I pray you therefore to deliver to Gonzalo Perez 1,500 Spanish crowns, which is less than half what is owing to me; or ducats if you like. If you could let me have the amount to come by the first courier I should be for ever obliged to you. The courier will find me at Paris or Melun, as the King will not be able to go far away.
Chalons near Paris, 19 January 1546.
25 Jan. Vienna Imp. Arch. 188. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
As I informed your Majesty on the 19th instant I received on that day your Majesty's letter of the 7th respecting the Spaniard detained here, and on the morrow I sent to the Council, who were at Hampton Court, nine miles from here, where the King has been staying since Christmas, to say that I had received a reply from your Majesty and I should be glad if the prisoner were examined in my presence. I should therefore thank them to inform me when and where they wished the examination to take place, either at Hampton Court or here in London. I would attend at either place; and would have now gone personally to see them and thank them for their kindness in this matter, in accordance with your Majesty's orders, only that I did not wish to trouble them, especially as I know the prisoner was not at Hampton Court but in London. They replied that they had several charges against the prisoner, both on behalf of your Majesty and of that of their own King, and as they had only two days before placed him in greater security (I understand in the Tower of London) and the King was returning to London this week, they thought it would be better to defer the examination until they arrived in town. I will act in the matter as your Majesty orders, and will duly report as soon as the examination takes place. Since taking the above step I have received your Majesty's letters of 17th instant, replying to mine of the 9th, and I note your Majesty's orders that I should press to the last for the restitution of everything captured by Renegat. I will act accordingly, but the scruples I encounter in the matter are duly set forth in my letter to M. de Granvelle, in order not to trouble your Majesty with them.
I will also not fail continuously to advise your Majesty of all occurrences here, as your Majesty commands. But, up to the present, nothing fresh has happened with regard to the religious question, and the interference with the foundations for the departed, beyond what I have already written.
Concerning Conrad Penninck I have learnt to-day that he has been received into the King's service, and is directed to bring ten standards of infantry into the service, on condition that they be not high Germans nor men infected by the Anabaptist or Sacramentarian sect. It is said that they will be men drawn from Bremen, Hamburg, Lubeck and the surrounding country; and a large number of them have already been assembled.
Great preparations are being made here to supply Boulogne, since they have heard that the King of France is raising a large body of Germans (and as the English say) with the full favour and aid of the protestants. Your Majesty will know what truth there is in this better than we. All the war ships are being put in order for the gathering of the fleet, and the Lord Admiral is shortly leaving court for this purpose.
London, 25 January 1546.
25 Jan. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 189. Van der Delft to de Granvelle.
Nothing of importance since receipt of last letters, and despatch of mine of 19th instant. The day before yesterday, I received his Majesty's letters of 17th ordering me to persist to the end in obtaining restitution of all the property captured by Renegat. I venture to ask your Lordship to instruct me how I can best carry out the wishes of his Majesty. I have always insisted to the utmost upon the restitution being made; but on every occasion when the matter seemed assured of a prompt solution I have found myself perplexed by the orders his Majesty wrote me from Worms on the 16 July, to the effect that I was to press for the release of the property and ships of Spaniards embargoed here, as well as for the restitution of the gold and other property captured by Renegat. When this was effected his Majesty would raise the embargo decreed in Spain. I proposed this and assured the King and Council of its performance, whereupon they raised the embargoes here, and promised me the restitution of what Renegat had wrongfully seized when he should return from sea. They have nevertheless frequently complained to me that the embargoes have not been raised in Spain, although they (the English) have done their part. I have always replied that they only had themselves to blame; as they had deferred giving satisfaction with regard to Renegat's plunder, and when this was done the embargoes in Spain would be raised. The matter being now so far advanced as for Renegat to offer to give an account of all he has taken, and to place in my hands everything that appertains to his Majesty, I have no doubt that the Council will demand the fulfilment of my undertaking, that the embargoes in Spain shall be raised. As I do not know how matters stand in Spain, or even if his Majesty's intentions still remain the same, I have thought best not to press the affair too urgently, especially as Renegat in his communications affirms that what belongs to his Majesty is of small value, which I doubt. On the contrary, I suspect that they wish to put me off with just what Renegat thinks proper to surrender, as I have no detailed instructions as to the amount of gold I am to demand. I beg therefore that your Lordship will favour me with your advice, in order that I may be enabled to carry out his Majesty's intentions.
Pray forgive me for the prolixity of this letter: and in due time bear in mind the great expenses I am obliged to support here, which, God knows, are far beyond my capability.
London, 25 January 1546.
30 Jan. Simancas. E. A. 642. 190. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
His Holiness has hitherto rejected all my requests that he will grant me the brief authorising the sale of the monastic manors in Spain before I sign the treaty of alliance with him. The true intention and mind of this man (i.e. the Pope) will be demonstrated by the decision he now adopts. God grant that it be such as this most important business demands. He (the Pope) has proposed to the Venetians the formation of a defensive league. The Seigniory have however refused to listen to him. He is actuated by his fears about Parma and Piacenza. France and England remain on the same terms as when I last wrote. The Council (of Trent) proceeds but slowly. Its fourth sitting is to be held on Friday after Whitsuntide.—Utrecht, 30 January 1546. (fn. 9)


  • 1. That is to say the suppression of the chantries and the endowment of masses.
  • 2. This man is subsequently referred to more frequently as Kurtpenninck or Curtpenninck, but for the sake of uniformity the original form of the name has been preserved throughout.
  • 3. For a full account of Sir Pedro Gamboa and his murder by one of his compatriots, see “The Spanish Chronicle of Henry VIII.”
  • 4. Even this appears to have been an exaggeration, as no battle of such magnitude at the time is recorded.
  • 5. This was done, the object being to prevent the strengthening of the French position at St. Jean between Boulogne and Calais.
  • 6. No chapter of the Golden Fleee had been held since 1531 and no less than 22 vacancies in the order were filled up in the chapter here referred to.
  • 7. Much ill-feeling existed among the foreign mercenaries, giving rise to bitter recriminations. In April 1545 a number of Spaniards under Captains Mora and Arce had deserted the English service at Boulogne and had joined the enemy, another body under Captain Haro being stopped by their compatriots in an attempt to do likewise, Haro and 25 of his followers being killed. All this led to the famous duel—to which subsequent reference will be made—between Julian Romero and Mora. (See Hatfield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., Part 1. p. 45.)
  • 8. That is to say the permanent peace between the Emperor and France, the marriage which was to have cemented it being impossible owing to the death of the Duke of Orleans, and the unwillingness of both Charles and Francis to make the surrenders agreed upon.
  • 9. The above letter is included in a long letter in French from the Same to the Same and of similar date, relating entirely to the order of the Golden Fleece, to which so many new appointments had just been made.