Spain: June 1546, 16-30

Pages 408-417

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

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June 1546, 16–30

June 17. Paris. Archives. Nationales. K. 1486. 279. St. Mauris to Prince Philip.
I have replied in duplicate to your Highness' letters of 10th and 18th May; and I will now only refer to the contents of my last, in order to say that the more I enquire about the principal point dealt with (i.e. the apprehended attack upon Spanish Navarre by Henri d'Albret) the more convinced I am of the improbability of anything of the sort being effected this season, for the reasons I have already set forth. And if due diligence be observed it would be impossible for preparations for it to be made without their being discovered on the Spanish side.
On the 8th instant the peace between France and England was finally concluded at a place between Ardres and Guisnes, (fn. 1) where the Admirals of both nations met to negotiate; the negotiations having occupied about two months.
So far as can be positively ascertained the main provisions of the agreement are that Boulogne and all its county, with the whole of the forts except that constructed by the French last year, are to remain in the hands of the English for eight years; at the end of which time the King of France undertakes to pay two millions in gold, for the overdue annual pensions, and for the war indemnity cost of forts of Boulogne, etc. These two millions, and the pensions due for the next eight years from the present time, which will amount to 800,000 crowns more, are to be paid at the end of the eight years, and not before; the whole amount to be paid in a lump-sum; and when this condition is carried out the King of England undertakes to surrender the Boulognais etc. to France, including the new fort he has constructed near Marquise a league and a half from Calais. The Scots are included in the peace. I shall be able to learn further particulars later, and will convey them to your Highness. The peace was proclaimed at Paris on Whitsunday with a solemn procession, the King himself being in Paris at the time. The King of England is to do likewise in London. The Lord Admiral of England is expected in Paris. He comes with two objects: first to obtain this King's signature to the peace and to receive his oath to preserve it; and secondly to stand sponsor, as proxy for the King of England, for the young Princess of France.
As soon as the peace was agreed upon, both sovereigns broke up their armies, and the French dismissed the Lansquenets they had, which did not exceed 2,000. The rest of the force were Frenchmen; and there were not more than 10,000 men-at-arms altogether. It is asserted that the Admiral of France is at present taking measures to distribute their men-at-arms in the border towns; and they will need some of them even in Picardy. He (the Admiral) will shortly arrive in Paris; and, after conferring with the King he will proceed to England to receive the King's oath and ratify the peace there.
It is considered certain that with the first favourable wind the galleys of France will sail for the Mediterranean, as they have no more to do in the ocean. One of them, under the command of Baron de Blancard, was captured recently by the English. Shortly before the peace was concluded there was a great skirmish, in which several French nobles were taken prisoners.
There is a rumour that certain Normans and Bretons are making ready to go to Brazil. It will be necessary to watch these men closely, to prevent them from molesting the vessels homeward bound from Peru. Any such action on their part would, however, be contrary to the wishes of the King, as he has often assured me.
It is nearly six weeks since I have received any letters from the Emperor; so that I am at a loss what to write to your Highness about the Diet of Ratisbon.
Paris, 17 June 1546.
June 21. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 280. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
We have received your letters of 15th and 27th ultimo and 3rd current, and have learnt therefrom all that had passed in the peace negotiations between the English and French, etc., for which information we thank you. We subsequently received a letter from our sister the Queen Dowager, enclosing a copy of one from the Admiral of France to her of 16 June, saying that peace was concluded; the English Ambassador having also assured her to the same effect. We have not yet been informed of the conditions in detail, but no doubt you will send us this information in your next letters, etc.
With regard to the return of their (i.e. the French) galleys to Marseilles; we have been in doubt as to whether we will let them pass by our Spanish dominions or not, having regard to the pillage and injury they will commit there on their way; in addition to the molestation which our subjects already constantly suffer at sea at the hands of the French. If you are spoken to about the voyage of these galleys by the Spanish coast, you may set forth the robberies and damage referred to, and say that in your opinion, since they are asking for this free passage, they had better begin by making restitution and redress to our subjects, and so take from the latter any reason for resenting the passage of the galleys by our coasts. You will go thus far; but will neither refuse nor accede to the request, and will report to us at once what was said in reply to you.
You will as soon as possible seek audience of the King (of England) and inform him on our behalf of the pleasure and satisfaction with which we have learnt of the conclusion of peace; and especially that, by the terms thereof, our treaty of alliance has been preserved intact; as we have been specially assured by the English Ambassador; and, indeed, as we fully expected would be the case. You will enlarge upon this point, as you see the opportunity affords, and the circumstances render desirable, in order to let the King understand that we were anxious for the agreement to be made, whilst observing duly our friendship and alliance.
We presume that rumours will have reached England that we are mustering an army; and perhaps the Protestants, even those who are ignorant of the object we have in view, may use great efforts to persuade the King of England to help them. You will therefore be very vigilant to obtain information of what goes on; so that when a fitting opportunity occurs, and in the way you think best, you may inform the King that it is impossible for us to ignore the proffered support and exhortations of the Catholics and honest folk of Germany, urging us to bring to reason certain princes who wish to prevent the common peace and justice of this country; and who wish to tyrannise over and oppress ecclesiastics and nobles, on the pretext of religion. We trust that, in regard of our friendship, the King will refuse to lend ear to such people, or to countenance them. By so doing he will demonstrate the affection that he has always so emphatically professed towards us: and the frequent promises made through his own ministers, and through you, of his intention to act in all things cordially and fraternally, as we will always act towards him. We send you a letter of credence in case you should find it useful in making your statement more emphatic, etc.
Ratisbon, 21 June 1546.
June 21. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 281. The Queen Dowager to Van der Delft.
Since yours of 10, 12 and 13 instant came to hand, we have received letters from the Emperor, informing us that, after having made every possible effort to bring the affairs of Germany to concord and tranquillity by a .policy of conciliation and an avoidance of force, his Majesty, recognising that the Duke of Saxony and the Landgrave incessantly oppose his authority by keeping Duke Henry of Brunswick and his son prisoners, and occupying their territories, whilst refusing to attend the Diet or to obey his Majesty, which as vassals of the empire they are bound to do, has come to the conclusion that no further hope can be entertained that the two princes mentioned will be brought to submission by mildness; and the Emperor has consequently raised his forces of horse and foot to reduce them to obedience. (fn. 2) The Emperor will shortly inform you of this, for communication to the King of England; but as the letters may meet with some mishap on the road, and the information is already known, we have thought well to anticipate your receipt of the Emperor's letters, and to send you this direct, so that you may convey the intelligence to the King. As many people are trying to make out that this enterprise is not directed only against the Duke and the Landgrave, but is really undertaken on religious grounds, you may assure the King that his Majesty's intention is not to meddle with the religious question at all, but simply to punish the disobedience of the Duke and the Landgrave in the hope that he may thus bring Germany to unity. You will report what answer the King makes, what he seems to think of the enterprise; and also the rumours current about it in England.
We have not yet been able to learn the particulars of the articles of peace between the English and French; and it is important that we should know as soon as possible if the Scots are included in the treaty unconditionally, and if, consequently, the War with them is at an end. We have interrogated the English Ambassador here on the point, and he professes to know nothing. You will therefore inform the King or his Council that we, having, as they know, declared war against the Scots at the request of the English, the Emperor having for this reason refused to include them (the Scots) in his peace treaty with the French, notwithstanding all the persuasions of the French that he would do so; it is highly important that we should know whether the war with the Scots still continues, so that we may treat them accordingly. You will ask them (i.e. the English) to inform us of the true state of affairs. The French assert that the Scots are included unconditionally in the treaty; and that they (the French) would never have accepted peace without the inclusion of their allies. Others say that some condition was attached to the inclusion. No doubt if the Scots are included the King (of England) will have taken measures to prevent them from molesting the subjects of these dominions, in accordance with the treaty of alliance between the Emperor and the King (of England). Although the Bishop of Durham told you that the Scots were included, on condition that they fulfilled the treaties they have with the King of England, we should like to have some elucidation of the meaning of this condition, and whether it carries with it the cessation of war on the part of England and ourselves against the Scots. We having entered into the contest with the Scots solely by virtue of the treaty of alliance with England, we ought to be included in any negotiations or peace treaty with them. You will learn this as dexterously as you can.
With regard to the transit of soldiers who have left the English service, I have given permission that they should be allowed to pass, on condition that -they pay for what they have and refrain from pilfering: otherwise they will be punished, in accordance with their offence. You can inform the Council of this, though probably the English Ambassador will have done so.
Brussels, 22 June 1546.
June 22. Simancas. E. R. 873. 282. Cardinal of Coria to the Emperor.
The Archbishop of Cologne to be condemned for heterodoxy by the Pope. (fn. 3)
The capitulation which your Majesty signed on the 6th instant for the enterprise against the Protestants was considered to-day; and his Holiness has decided, in accordance with the opinion of the Sacred College, that it shall be heartily and sincerely accepted. We have all thanked God for guiding your Majesty to this holy and necessary resolution; and pray Him to give life and victory to your Majesty, etc. etc. . . . . The enterprise is a great one; and some (i.e. of the Cardinals) were of opinion that grave difficulties would be encountered, through the danger of trusting Germans to fight against their own countrymen; and perhaps even against those who think like themselves. (fn. 4) They (i.e. the dissentient Cardinals) also fear that the Protestants may enlist the aid of the Turk; and even that some Christian princes may help them openly or covertly. Others are of opinion that, Italy, being divested of men and money, your Majesty's influence would increase unduly in the country; which, moreover, would be exposed to Protestant wars, in addition to those which usually afflict it. Other arguments were raised by those who desired to bring about a final settlement between your Majesty and the King of France before the enterprise was proceeded with. All these questions were satisfactorily met; as was also that which set forth the importance of the concession for the alienation of the monastic manors (in Spain), and of the league between the Pope and your Majesty against those who may seek to frustrate the object in view. The Cardinal of Trent especially gave great satisfaction by his prudence and reason. As he and the ambassador will write to you fully on the matter, and upon the appointment last Friday of a legate, I must refer your Majesty to their letters.
Before the arrival of the Cardinal (of Trent) the Pope discussed the business with some of the Cardinals, and dwelt upon the difficulties which occurred, by reason of the short time apparently available for warlike operations; and he also complained of certain encroachments upon the apostolic prerogatives over the temporalities etc. in Spain and Naples,, He likewise expressed his dissatisfaction that so little information had been furnished to him, with regard to the preliminary steps which had led up to the decision. He had, he said, simply been told of the conclusion arrived at. On these and other points the ambassador will no doubt write to your Majesty; but so far as can be judged they were only raised in order that the value of the aid given to your Majesty may be enhanced.
Rome, 22 June 1546.
June 23. Simancas. E. R. 873. Italian. 283. Cardinal Farnese to the Emperor.
I doubt not your Majesty will be informed by Senor Juan de la Vega of the readiness with which his Holiness has resolved to carry out everything that remains to be done on this side to aid the German enterprise. I have, nevertheless, thought well to convey the same intelligence to the Nuncio, in order that he may repeat it on my behalf to your Majesty. This testimony of mine will the more convince your Majesty that you may depend upon his Holiness. I also pray your Majesty to believe that never in my life have I experienced a consolation equal to this; both on account of the effects to be expected from the enterprise itself, and on account of the opportunity which God has thus afforded me personally of serving your Majesty.
Rome, 23 June 1546.
June 23. Simancas. E. R. 873. 284. June de Vega to the Emperor.
Thanks to the diligence and laboriousness of the Cardinal of Trent he arrived there after dinner on Saturday 19th instant, notwithstanding his detention awaiting your Majesty's courier. I sent Pedro Marquina as far as Viterbo to meet him, and give him a detailed account of the state of affairs here; and I also went out to meet him a mile or so before Cardinal Farnese, in order that I might confer with him as to the best coarse to take in your Majesty's interests.
Seeing how well Cardinal Farnese has behaved in the business of the German enterprise, which, thanks be to God, he has brought to a happy, conclusion, Cardinal Trent and myself, after full consideration, thought it would be well that he (Farnese) should be informed of the main points of Cardinal Trent's mission; and that with a show of confidence in him, we might ask his advice. (fn. 5) He (Farnese) accepted the request with great satisfaction, and expressed an opinion that before anything else was done we should get the capitulation signed and ratified, and the troops sent off. After that, he thought, we could broach the other matters to the Pope. This opinion was given in a way that anyone would have come to the conclusion that its only object was the success of the enterprise. He (Farnese) also begged the Cardinal and myself to make influence with his Holiness that he (Farnese) should in any case be sent as legate, to serve God and your Majesty in this undertaking. He deplored that the French, the Venetian ambassadors and other private persons had striven, and were still striving, against the enterprise. It is quite true that they are doing so; and especially as regards Farnese's going thither (to Germany) suggesting to the Pope great distrust of your Majesty.
The first day of Cardinal Trent's arrival passed thus, and the next day he, and I in his company, went to see the Pope. We also thought well to ask Cardinal Farnese to go with us, which he did. After Cardinal Trent had kissed his Holiness' foot, delivered his letters of credit, and answered the usual ceremonial questions, he thanked his Holiness for the aid he had extended to the enterprise, and presented to him the signed capitulation. He explained the reason for the delay, and prayed his Holiness that no time should be lost, etc. His Holiness spoke at length, though not quite so long as usual, recapitulating certain complaints he had previously made to me personally. He raised difficulties to the enterprise, in consequence of a definite peace not having been made with France, and the English matter being in its present position. The season, he continued, was very far advanced, but he ended by saying that, so far as he was concerned, there should be no failure in fulfilling his promises.
Although he did not pledge himself so definitely as was to be desired with regard to the present steps, it was evident that he had no intention of breaking his word, but only raised these questions for the purpose of magnifying the importance of the undertaking, and its risks; and so of enhancing the value of his own share in it. We therefore let him say what he liked, without attempting entirely to upset his arguments. The next day the Pope held a council; and it was decided to issue the marching orders for the 12,000 infantry and 700 horse, adding to the cavalry men stipulated in the treaty 200 more, who will go under command of John Baptist Savello; Alexander Vitello will have charge of the infantry, and the Duke Octavio will command in chief, in addition to the legate, whose name was not announced. Cardinal Farnese told Trent that, over and above the 700 horse above mentioned, he would have in his own train 300 mounted gentlemen and others, to bring up the number of cavalry in all to nearly 1,000. A good choice of officers has been made; and I think the force will be the best that has left Italy for a long time. Farnese also said that 200 mounted harquebussiers would be given to Captain Nicolo Seco, as your Majesty ordered, though it would be done with difficulty, a hundred being knocked off of the 300 requested.
The day following a congregation of Cardinals was held, which lasted for a long time. The enterprise was discussed, and it was resolved to sign the capitulation and furnish the money for the despatch of the troops. This has been done; and there is much drumming and rejoicing about the streets. But the matter was not carried through without a good deal of opposition on the part of many Cardinals, as your Majesty will learn from Cardinal Trent, who was present. I will only add, for my own part, that I have been informed by persons in high authority who were present at the congregation, that Cardinal Trent, both in his statement on behalf of your Majesty and in the way he met the various objections, bore himself so bravely and prudently as to fulfil the best wishes of your Majesty's servants. In addition to the other good parts he possesses, he proved that Teuton eloquence is in no whit inferior to the Italian. This is, in substance, what has been done since the Cardinals' arrival up to-day, Tuesday, 22 June. Later, with God's help, we will attend to the carrying out of the rest of the Cardinals' mission. I will give due advice of this, and of other things that I have omitted to mention, in order that the bearer of this may depart the more speedily.
Rome, 23 June 1546.
June 27. Simancas. E. R. 873. 285. Juan de Vega to the Emperor.
Cardinal Trent sends a person to your Majesty with his report of all that has happened since his coming hither; and when, please God, the Cardinal himself arrives in your Majesty's presence, you will be in possession of full particulars, he having been present throughout, and having omitted no effort or skill in serving your Majesty efficaciously.
The capitulation, duly signed by the Pope, is being sent. His Holiness would much like to delay it, in consequence of the concession of sale of monastic manors. The Cardinal (Trent) says that when this point was discussed in the Consistory all the Cardinals were greatly against this concession. It would be better, they said, that the monasteries should contribute the 500,000 ducats in money, jewels, or loans on revenue, than to alienate their manors: and a satisfactory Brief should be drawn up to this effect. It was stated that the Pope would be very much obliged to your Majesty if you would consent to this.
It is quite true that the money could be obtained much more quickly and readily by the method proposed, than by the sale of the manors; with the additional advantage that your Majesty would not have to pledge your revenue to pay to the monasteries the income represented by the manors alienated. It looked a favourable suggestion but we did not accept it, but requested the Pope to sign the capitulation in its present form; and promised to lay the suggestion before your Majesty, as we now do. Cardinal Trent will write more at length on the same question. If your Majesty approves of the change, it will be necessary to send advice as quickly as possible. It will greatly please the Pope and the Sacred College, which I am sure will raise great difficulty about confirming the capitulation with the alienation clause in it. If your Majesty decides to keep things as they are, you might utilise the Brief which is in the hands of the Nuncio there (i.e. in Spain) and afterwards send advice hither as to the course to be pursued. Cardinal Trent has urged very strongly the matter of 100,000 crowns (fn. 6) in addition to the first 200,000; and even more strongly the request about the half first fruits in the Netherlands. There has been much discussion on these points, but they have declined to come to any decision at present, though it seems as if in the end they will consent, as the Pope signifies that if the enterprise begins well as he hopes, and he sees it going on favourably, he will do much more for it than he has promised. Until that time comes, he says, we must be satisfied with what he has already done. Your Majesty will have learnt that nothing was attempted in the way of suspending the Council (of Trent), as was feared would be the case, but that the date for the next session was fixed. For this and other reasons which will be conveyed by Cardinal Trent, the clause in the instructions relative to this point was not read to the Pope. The matter is left in my hands to be dealt with if any fresh suggestion of suspension is made or until all the other points of the instructions have been successfully carried out in a way that they cannot be undone. Cardinal Trent very cleverly managed to get the Secretary of the Duke of Florence out of prison. He did not request his release on behalf of your Majesty or the Duke of Florence; on the contrary, he swore to the Pope that not a word had been said to him on the matter; but that he made the request entirely of his own accord. He pressed the point so strongly and so eagerly, that, although the Pope alleged many reasons against it, the man was ultimately liberated.
Rome, 27 June 1546.
June 28. Simancas. E. R. 873. 286. Juan de Vega to the Emperor.
I spoke to the Pope respecting the 30,000 crowns which Don Fernando wrote to me would be needed for bringing the Spanish infantry out of Piedmont and sending it to Germany, and also about the 50,000 crowns, and the 100,000 crowns deposited in Augsburg. The steps directed by your Majesty were also taken concerning the money necessary for the cavalry to be raised by the Prince of Sulmona. We have made use of Farnese for these negotiations, but his Holiness has not come to any decision on the matter yet. He wishes to keep to the letter of the capitulation without doing any more for the present, but holds out hopes for the future.
In confirmation of this resolution, Farnese sent me word by Marquina that he thought it would be better not to press his Holiness further on these matters just now; and I have written in accordance with this to the Viceroy of Naples and to Don Fernando. (fn. 7) All diligence is being employed with regard to the fulfilment of the capitulation, and the carrying through of Cardinal Trent's instructions. Cardinal Farnese sent me last night a letter to read. It had been written by one of the Fuggers (fn. 8) to some merchants here, through whom the deposit of those 100,000 crowns was made in Fugger's house at Augsburg. They write giving the merchants notice that the time has already expired during which they were bound to furnish the money. There is, they say, a rumour of impending war in Germany; and they (the Fuggers) being no longer able to undertake to pay the sum in question there, they request that his Holiness should be informed of this. Farnese asked me what I thought should be done in the matter, in order that the Pope might at once do what was necessary. As it was a matter that allowed of no delay, and your Majesty had instructed Cardinal Trent that the deposits of funds should not be made in Augsburg, which was a suspicious place; nor in Venice, as it was too far off, I replied that the money might be transferred to Trent; and I sent Marquina to Cardinal Farnese this morning to make arrangements for this to be done; and the same in the case of the other 100,000 crowns, which are to be deposited. Farnese approved of this; saying that the 100,000 crowns that were in Augsburg should be transferred at once to Trent, and the other 100,000 he (Farnese) would carry to Germany himself. Rome, 28 June, 1546.


  • 1. The peace was dated 7 June at Campen, the place referred to.
  • 2. Philip of Hesse and John Frederick, Duke of Saxony, head of the Ernestine or senior branch of the house, with other members of the Smalkaldic league, absented themselves from the Diet of Ratisbon, recognising that, notwithstanding the elaborate efforts of the Emperor to deceive them, an attack upon religious liberty was impending. It will be seen in the course of the letters that the news of the Emperor's intentions were divulged earlier than he had intended, thanks mainly to the papal preparations and the gossip in Rome. By the above letter it is clear that even so late as this Charles was deliberately lying to Henry of England as to his intentions and protesting that the object of the war was not religious but political.
  • 3. Hermann of Weid, Archbishop of Cologne had been deprived and excommunicated by the Pope for heresy. This was the principal cause for the premature unmasking of the Emperor's plans, and to some extent forced Charles hand, as will be seen in the correspondence.
  • 4. This was actually the case. Not only did the famous Maurice of Saxony subsequently side with the Emperor to his own great worldly advantage, but the protestant Brandenburgs did so likewise, whilst the Count Palatine stood aside neutral.
  • 5. Cardinal Trent's mission was principally to induce the Pope to grant to the Emperor the half first fruits on the ecclesiastical preferments in Flanders.
  • 6. Paul III. had given a half promise through Cardinal Farnese to contribute a further subsidy of 100,000 crowns in addition to the first 200,000 promised for the religious war. It will be seen that the Pope successfully evaded the payment of the additional subvention.
  • 7. Don Fernando Gonzaga, formerly Viceroy of Sicily had recently been appointed Governor of Milan for the Emperor.
  • 8. The Fuggers were the great German bankers, the Rothschilds of their day, whose financial ramification extended all over Europe, the principal seat of their business being at Augsburg.