Spain: February 1546, 1-15

Pages 297-299

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

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February 1546, 1–15

7 & 10 Feb. Vienna Imp. Arch. 191. Cornelius Scepperus to Loys Scors.
I beg to inform you that I am tarrying here for the purpose of negotiating with the English ambassadors respecting the subsidy demanded by them for last year, upon which point they are very persistent. I have informed M. de Granvelle of this, and have to-day received a reply from him by a special courier. I do not know how they (the English) will take it, as the line adopted is that the Emperor denies his obligation to provide the subsidy in question: but I will report to you what passes. The courier informs me that the Emperor was in some pain yesterday night, and consequently did not leave for Zutphen, but was to do so to-day; and the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) was to await him at Arnheim. (fn. 1) The man did not know whether his Majesty was going from Zutphen to Deventer. Orders have been issued to-day in this town forbidding all chapters to keep concubines, and enjoining them to eject such women from their houses, and live according to the Christian law. M. de Praet is still ill with gout.
Utrecht, Sunday, 7 February 1546.
P.S.—I thought this courier was to leave on Sunday; but he did not do so. I advise you that the Emperor arrived yesterday at Nimiguen. With regard to the affair with the English ambassadors, it is a stinking business, and they persist in their demand.
Utrecht, 10 February 1546.
15 Feb. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 192. Scepperus to Loys Scors.
You will understand by the verbatim Latin report I have sent to M. de Granvelle what passed between the English Ambassadors and myself respecting the ratifications exhibited on that occasion. There is, therefore, no need for me to repeat the account here, but I will not conceal from you that, after considering maturely your suggestion that a gentleman of the long-robe should be sent to England, I have arrived at the opinion that your advice is sound; and I have written to that effect to M. de Granvelle. As you are well aware, the two principal points upon which I am going thither have no connection whatever with the merchants or their disputes, although, as in duty bound, I will give them every support and assistance in my power; besides which it is agreed that the Emperor shall send someone to co-operate with his resident ambassador in the settlement of the disputes in question, in conjunction with two similar personages appointed by the King of England for the purpose. The third person, myself, accordingly, cannot intervene in the negotiation unless the King of England's Commissioners—who are already appointed—are willing. The difficulty which occurred to us was the choice of the jurist, to whom the task might be entrusted; and I mentioned to you Dr. Hermes, as having been one of those who were present at the Bourbourg Conference. I have since thought of Master Adolf van Pamele. I do not know whether either of these could be spared from the (Flemish) Privy Council, but I can suggest no one else, as I do not know any member of the Council at Malines fit for the task, or even whether the time is ripe for you to take such steps as you consider proper for the redress of these merchants. I think well to mention, however, that on my way to Bruges I recollected Master Leonard Casimbrot eschevin of this town (Bruges) a very decent (mectable) man who is active in settling disputes amongst merchants here. He is discreet, elderly and modest, though it is true that he is not in royal service, but in my opinion he would be very appropriate for the business if it is decided to employ anyone but an ordinary councillor, as I think might well be done in this English matter.
You can consider the whole question. In the meanwhile I have said nothing about it to Casimbrot, (fn. 2) but I have no doubt he will do as he is ordered. He has been innumerable times in contact with English people, when he went backwards and forwards to Scotland; but he always bore himself so honestly that everyone considers him a worthy man. The King of England's ratification is in my hands, and I thought to have placed it in yours on Sunday evening, the day after I received it. But, as you had started before I arrived, I kept it, and will have it delivered to you securely closed, the bearer of the packet being ignorant of its contents. The copy of the treaty is in the possession of Master Joos Bave, (fn. 3) as it is right that he should have it. The corrected minute is in the keeping of the German secretary Christophe, who made the fair copy of it. The letter, signed and sealed, by the English Ambassadors, containing the promise of the ratification, with the articles touching the disputes of subjects and complaints of merchants, is in my coffer, and will be sent to you at the same time as the original of the ratification. With regard to our letters, they have been sent to England to be kept there, as I have seen by a special letter from the Council there. I should like to have got our letters back, but the ambassadors assured me that they had not possession of them, and that we might retain those that they had signed in exchange.
Secretary Christophe wishes to be treated like the other sacretaries. He is a good correspondent in Latin and German and fair in Spanish. He writes as good a hand as any of the others. I shall be pleased if you can take into consideration the petition he is forwarding to you.
Please also bear in mind the ambassador Van der Delft, that he may receive what is due to him, and have a special receiver appointed to obtain payment of his allowance in future as it falls due.
I shall await my dispatch here or in Zeeland, as I am unwilling to go by way of Calais for several reasons. Besides, the way by Flushing is shorter, for unless the wind is entirely contrary I can reach English territory in ten or twelve hours, with much less danger from the galleys and ships of war than by the other route. The wind at present blowing is very favourable, and it promises to continue for some time longer.
With regard to the suit commenced against Von Reissenberg, (fn. 4) I think that in the absence of Vice Chancellor Naves, Dr. Viglius might draw up the case, as Secretary Christophe has all the documents, which are not voluminous and a day or two would suffice to exhibit them all.
Bruges, 15 February 1546.


  • 1. Vandenesse says the Emperor travelled from Utrecht to Wagewing on the 3 February; to Arnheim on the 4th, to Zutphen on the 7th, back to Arnheim on the 8th, and to Nimiguen on the 9th.
  • 2. Probably it was this man, a brother of Count Egmont's secretary, who subsequently became a prominent minister on the Protestant side during the revolt of the Netherlands. He came to England on a mission from the Prince of Orange and the Protestant Princes of Germany in 1572, when he was described as Secretary of the city of Bruges.
  • 3. He was Secretary of the Flemish Privy Council.
  • 4. This was the German mercenary leader who had raised troops for Henry and had, as was asserted, committed much violence on his passage through the Emperor's territories.