Spain: April 1546, 21-30

Pages 387-392

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

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April 1546, 21–30

April 24. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 251. Scepperus to the Queen Dowager.
(Sends copies of two letters from the Emperor to his ambassador in England, which the Queen had not received, dated Dunkelspiel, 5th April and Regensburg, 18 April.)
For the last ten or twelve days there is no appearance that the King of England or his Councillors are willing to settle any affairs, unless they be such that delay will prejudice the English.
Brussels, 24 April 1546.
April 24. Simancas. E. A. 642. 252. Document headed “Points of the private letter from his Majesty (the Emperor) to his Highness (Prince Philip) 24 April 1546.”
His resolution with regard to the German enterprise has been adopted in consequence of the extreme need for redressing existing evils, in the interests of religion, and of the preservation of his Majesty's dominions and the House of Austria. The Emperor thinks of leaving Ratisbon and going to some place in the territory of the Duke of Bavaria. (Note for reply. “Since his Majesty has maturely considered what will be for the best, we can only pray to God that the affair may be as successful as his Majesty's zeal and devotion deserve.)
The Emperor hopes to have gathered his forces by the end of June; 40,000 men, with 12,000 Italians to be contributed by the Pope. The Emperor intends to obtain full security from his Holiness for the fulfilment of his promises.
The bills of exchange for the funds for the enterprise are to be obtained from Fuggers or Belzares; 150,000 or 200,000 ducats, and are to be made payable, if possible, at Augsburg or Nuremburg. They may be payable at sight or usance; but must be due before the enterprise is declared. (Note for reply. “The Grand Commander (i.e. Cobos) will write to his Majesty about the bills.” A similar note is appended to all the financial paragraphs of the letter.) The Emperor will send to Genoa, and endeavour to obtain another bill for 150,000 ducats, to be covered by the proceeds of the half-first-fruits and the revenues of the military orders; the bills to fall due by the middle of June and to be paid in current money.
A further sum of 200,000 ducats will have to be placed in Flanders, to defray the expenses of the levy of 10,000 Low Germans and the 3,000 horse. This must be obtained on security of funds to be raised in Spain, and the bills of exchange be made payable at Antwerp. No money should be obtained in Venice, as no sufficient amount will be found there. It is recapitulated that the bills of exchange above referred to, for 500,000 ducats, must be covered by the proceeds of the sources mentioned, and by the gold from the Indies, though the amount will be increased by the accruing interest. We are to obtain here (i.e., in Spain) from Fuggers, Belzares and the Genoese two bills for 800,000 or 400,000 cats, on account of the items of supply already referred to and of the German revenues, payable by the beginning of June. With regard to the Genoese bills, it will be stipulated that they are to be covered by the first funds collected (i.e., from the half-first-fruits), in order that they (the Genoese) may not embarrass our negotiations. Arrangements must be made at once with regard to the realisation of the half-first-fruits, as the treaty will be signed (by the Pope) immediately. In order that he may be able to withdraw the Spanish troops from Piedmont for this enterprise the Emperor orders that 2,000 more men are to be raised in Spain, properly qualified captains being appointed to command them. They are to be sent (i.e., to Italy) in the galleys. Don Bernardino (de Mendoza) is to be instructed to have the latter ready. In addition to the 500,000 ducats above mentioned, as much more money as possible is to be raised on the Bull for the sale of the monastic manors when it is received.
April 30. Simancas. E. R. 873. 253. Juan de Vega to the Emperor.
(In the course of a very long dispatch, mainly referring to ecclesiastical affairs in Spain, the dispute of the Pope with the Duke of Florence (Cosmo de Medici); and the subject of the Italian duchies, the following paragraphs alone refer to English matters.) (fn. 1)
Cardinal Farnese sent for my perusal a letter dated 10th instant written from the French Court by the Nuncio there, giving full particulars of the peace negotiations that are still in progress between the Kings of France and England. The opinion there is, and people here even have come to the same conclusion, that, if the matter is brought down to question of money, and the French offer a good round sum, in addition to the overdue pensions, whilst an arrangement be made for the King of France to arbitrate in the matter of Scotland, within certain limits, peace may be looked upon as assured. What with this hope, and the Pope's view that the Protestant princes will not attend the Diet, where consequently nothing important will be done, his Holiness is, as I have said, easier in his mind.
Rome, 30 April 1546.
April 29. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 254. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Being at Court yesterday respecting some claims made by subjects of your Majesty I was summoned by the King, who asked me whether I had not received any letter from your Majesty since the departure of M. D'Eick (Scepperus). I replied that I had received nothing but a letter from the Queen (Dowager of Hungary), your sister, informing me that Penninck had been to her, and she had arranged with him for the passage of his troops, whereby she doubted not that he (Henry) would be better served by them than he had been by the Landenberger's and Von Reissenberg's men; and that he (Henry) should feel no misgiving that everything that your Majesty could honestly do to please him should be done without fail. He took this in good part; and, after some little vague grumbling about past events, he broached the subject of the meeting between his envoys and the French, saying that M. de Monluc, who had been sent by the King of France to the Turk in company with your Majesty's ambassador, had now gone to Calais, and had entered into communication with his Secretary (Paget), to whom he had expressed the inclination of the King of France towards peace and tranquillity, and a desire to find some means of ending this war, regretting that the Lord Admiral was not present to carry the matter further. Paget had replied that his master, the King of England, was no less desirous of the repose and tranquillity of Christendom, but that with regard to the remark about the presence of the Lord Admiral he could only say that when the Admiral of France came the Lord Admiral of England would not fail to attend also and discuss matters with him, as the distance was not great. Monluc had thereupon assured him (i.e. Paget) that the Admiral of France would come, and the latter was now daily expected at Calais. When the King had finished this relation he continued that, notwithstanding this, he did not mean to slacken in his efforts. He had, he said, already taken such measures that he did not fear the enemy. I then took my leave; but, Sire, whatever happens, I can see that all these people are very desirous of peace.
The Lords of the Council related to me that their troops on the Border of Scotland had seven or eight days ago entered the enemy's country, and had taken and burned a small town, capturing or killing during the engagement 400 men, without losing a single one of theirs, only three of their men being wounded; and they had brought back a great booty of cattle.
They also told me that the King had at the present time fully 10,000 combatants at sea. Certain it is that during the last three days 18 pinnaces, newly built in the form of foysts, (fn. 2) have sailed from here. They have on each side fifteen or sixteen oars, and are all well and similarly equipped both with regard to the size of their artillery and to their crews. The English also depend greatly upon their fort near Boulogne, which they say is now sufficiently advanced for defence.
Since Duke Philip the Palatine left here a courier has been despatched to Secretary Mason, who accompanied him, as we wrote to your Majesty. Some people who presume to know say that the despatch is to stop Mason's mission. As the courier started as soon as it was decided to negotiate with the French, I, too, am of that opinion. London, 29 April 1546.
April 29. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 255. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
I received your Majesty's letters of the 17th instant, and I was yesterday at Court, at Greenwich, where the King is passing Eastertide. As the Queen (Catharine Parr) came out from mass I had an opportunity of saluting her on behalf of the Emperor and your Majesty. She was very gracious, and seemed much pleased at the good health of your Majesties. I afterwards saw the Lords of the Council, and laid before them fully that which your Majesty wrote to me in your said letters, about the plundering of the Emperor's subjects. They (the Councillors) replied that they had already taken such measures as would, they thought, prevent any further depredations being committed: but, nevertheless, I did not omit to suggest to them the procedure advised by your Majesty with that object. They approved of it, but gave me no further reply. I then placed before them the statement of the particulars of the property which had quite recently been plundered; although they were already well informed on that point, as the merchants had made their complaints to your Majesty in the presence of their (i.e. the English) ambassador resident. They (the Councillors) expressed their annoyance and disapproval (i.e. of the pillage), but said that all the complaints and allegations of the merchants must not be accepted as just, as many abuses and exaggerations would be found in them, both as to sheltering French property under their names and nationality, and in the supply of provisions and other things prohibited by the treaties to the French. Nevertheless, they (the Councillors) promised to do justice in every case. In good truth, Madame, some of the complaints are open to objection, as also are the contentions of the sailors presented by the Antwerp people, with regard to the imposition of Customs dues, and the bad treatment they allege they suffered when they asked for payment for their services. These claims are not at all well founded, and M. d'Eick was of the same opinion after we had examined here the documents in support of them. I do not know of one of the claimants, moreover, who has come to me for his due who has not at once been paid. The only claimants now remaining are those who have lost their ships whilst they were in the King's service, and I urged the claims of these men for redress again yesterday. I was told in reply that the promises made to them should be fulfilled; and that they would be treated as was customary by other sovereigns in similar cases, but that these claimants must have patience until a more convenient occasion. In conversation with them (the Councillors) I dwelt on the apathy of the King's ministers on the other side (i.e., Flanders) in the conduct of his affairs there, and their indifference to the good advice given to them which, indeed, they reverse rather than follow; but the Councillors made no reply to this, although I thought that they liked my reasoning.
After dining with the Council I was summoned to the King's presence. Having saluted him on behalf of your Majesty, I repeated to him your desire and good will towards the continuance of the sincere amity and alliance between the Emperor and him; and assured him that he might depend that your Majesty would not fail in the future, as you had not in the past, to do everything possible to please and favour him. I sincerely trusted that he would not allow anything to produce in him a contrary impression. He took this in good part, saying that he had no doubt of it: though he displayed some resentment for past events, but without going into particulars. Then, changing the subject, he entered into the conversation, which is reported fully in the letter to the Emperor, copy of which is enclosed for your Majesty's information.
London, 29 April 1546.
April 30. Vienna. Imp, Arch. 256. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
When this courier was ready to start the Lords of the Council sent a secretary to me with the enclosed note, saying that the King, having learnt of the seizure by his Vice-Admiral of the ships named in the schedule, he desired me to inform your Majesty that he had detained them, for the purpose of inspecting them and making use of those which might be found fitting for his service, to prevent his enemy from reinforcing himself with them. He alleged that the passage of such ships, exceeding 150 or 200 tons burden, was against the agreement between the Emperor and himself. I replied that I was ignorant of any such agreement, and asked for information as to the clause containing it. He (i.e. the Secretary) said he knew nothing of that, and had no instructions on the subject. I thought, therefore, best to detain this courier until I could obtain a further declaration on the subject. With this object I sent early this morning to Secretary Petre, and from him received a message to the effect that he thought the agreement was not in writing; but that he recollected well that when Secretary Paget was last in Brussels, the King (Henry), hearing that the King of France intended to make use of some Flemish ships, called the Emperor's attention thereto. Paget had thereupon written that the Emperor had agreed not to allow any ships to sail of a greater tonnage than six score to 150 tons. I beg for your Majesty's instructions.
London, 30 April 1546.
April (n.d.) Simancas E. 73. 257. Cobos to the Emperor.
(Acknowledges Emperor's letters of 17th March. Refers to the Prince's letters for details of the financial situation.) I can only add that every possible effort shall be made to raise and forward funds to your Majesty (for the enterprise against the Protestants). I will work with all needful diligence, but the demands that exist are very great, and the expenses we are obliged to incur here unavoidable. His Highness is writing fully as to the only remaining sources from which money can be obtained, and I must refer you to his letter, only adding on my own account that I am more pained than anyone that every means of obtaining funds has been exhausted by previous demands. I know not how it will end, unless God in His goodness deigns to help us with a remedy. The bill for 32,000 crowns, which with the interest now amount to 35,520, shall be provided for as your Majesty orders; and also that which was to cover the amount advanced, to be made payable at Antwerp. With regard to Anthony Fuggers' claim for interest paid yearly on the loan arranged with him by M. de Granvelle etc., your Majesty knows our opinion: but as the Fuggers have on former occasions requested that the question should be referred to a legal decision, we have commissioned the bishop of Lugo, Dr. Guevara and Licentiate Galeaça to examine it. When we see how the matter stands legally we shall perhaps be able to come to a compromise; for believe me, your Majesty, when I repeat, that this would be a thing of most disastrous consequences and very damaging to us.


  • 1. A somewhat curious series of paragraphs is contained in the letter, and may be mentioned as an instance of the manner in which ecclesiastical appointments were made to suit political ends. In November 1544 the Emperor had given instructions that a certain Friar Francisco Salazar should be detained in Rome, on any pretext, to prevent him from returning to France. Vega relates that the Friar, in complete ignorance of the reasons for his detention, has since been kept by the instrumentality of Cardinal Carpi, a creature of the Emperor's, in the Franciscan monastery of St. Peter of Montoro. This Vega explains had only been done at the cost of great trouble, as no valid excuse could be given for the Friar's detention. For the last six months, however, the Franciscan friars had complained bitterly of the expense of keeping him, although they were greatly edified by his sanctity. The prisoner also had begun to suspect that he was being detained for reasons of State. Matters, said Vega, could not go on much longer in this way, or a scandal would result, and:—“as persons are being sought for the ecclesiastical posts in the Indies, he might be given one of the churches that are being erected there; and thus we should all of us be relieved from this anxiety about him.”
  • 2. See Note page 232.