Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 20 Part 1, January-July 1545. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1905.
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It was not a comfortable new year that dawned on England, and especially on Henry VIII., in January 1545. For more than three months he had been deserted by his ally the Emperor and left to carry on the war with France single-handed. Scotland, too, was becoming more united, and there was no doubt France would soon send material aid to her old ally. The English occupation of Coldingham and the country between it and Berwick (fn. n1) was but little compensation for the fact that the Northern seaports could not protect themselves or be protected against Scotch ships of war (fn. n2); and if it was thought that their aggressions could be met by the encouragement of privateering, (fn. n3) the idea was quite erroneous. Moreover, Francis had appealed to Rome for material as well as moral and spiritual aid in his war against England, (fn. n4) and it was not likely that he would appeal in vain.
A General Council had been summoned to meet at Trent in the spring, (fn. n5) and Francis and the Emperor, when they made peace in September, had agreed to favor its meeting. (fn. n6) English diplomatists might affect to despise the warning, point to still existing disputes between the Pope and the Emperor, and suggest that the Holy Father, when it met, would be the very first to repent it. (fn. n7) But responsible English statesmen (if there were any such besides the King himself, to whose views all ministers were submissive) could not have looked on the matter in their own minds with such gay indifference. Paul III.'s brief addressed to the Emperor in August, (fn. n8) while he was still at war with France, had reproached him, not only for endeavouring to settle religious questions in Germany without the concurrence of the See of Rome, but also for his alliance with a King who was not only schismatic, but had done him besides a personal injury by repudiating his own true wife, the Emperor's aunt. No ruler, indeed, was ever less governed by mere matter of sentiment than Charles V., but even by him such a reproach could not have been unfelt. And when driven to peace with France, he was still more strongly urged to abandon the King of England's friendship. For the new nuncio sent to him for the proposed Council of Trent showed him that now France had a distinct claim on the Pope's sympathy in her war with an excommunicated tyrant, and if his Holiness gave pecuniary assistance to France in such a struggle he would be so much the less able to aid the Emperor against the Turk. Charles ought, therefore, to abandon his old ally altogether and join a league with Francis and the Holy See against him. (fn. n9)
The Emperor was not prepared to go so far as this; but the King's annoyance was extreme. His ill humor had found vent in repeated complaints against his ally for making a separate peace with the enemy. But again and again he was reminded that he himself had given his consent to the Emperor's doing so; and again and again he totally denied the statement, maintaining that the consent he gave was only conditional and that the conditions had not been fulfilled. (fn. n10) His ministers, of course, had to repeat this language or oven push it further, and Bishop Gardiner at Brussels wrote to the Bishop of Arras that he felt compelled, even out of regard for the Emperor and for the Bishop himself, to tell him how the Emperor's honor seemed to be imperilled. (fn. n11) Nothing would satisfy Henry but for the Emperor to declare war against France anew, and this he was told that he might do all the more readily as the French had invaded the territory of his ally since the treaty. (fn. n12)
Unreasonable as such a demand was, the Emperor did not like to meet it with a direct refusal, and it was so insisted on that on Wednesday, 19 November, Granvelle informed the English ambassadors that his master begged them to forbear pressing him on the subject for eight or ten weeks, during which time they might go on fortifying Boulogne while he would use his best efforts to bring the French to reason. Granvelle at the same time gave them the fullest assurances that the Emperor would do all that he was bound to do. (fn. n13) But as the English ambassadors could obtain no further satisfaction on the point, they received their recall, and the Emperor, in his great anxiety to prevent any misunderstanding with Henry, despatched to England his new ambassador, Francis Vander Delft, accompanied by the veteran diplomatist whose place he was to fill as resident, our old friend Chapuys, whose experience, notwithstanding his infirmities, was again required in these delicate negotiations. (fn. n14)
Chapuys and Vander Delft arrived in England just before Christmas and had their first audience of the King on the Sunday after the feast. They first met him going to mass, and after mass had a brief conversation with him, when they found him, for the moment, very jubilant over the capture of no less than fifty French ships at sea with quantities of corn and wine. This had been effected by the sturdy men of the West country and partly by men of Rye; and he boasted that the French had been soundly beaten both by land and sea. At this brief interview, however, they did not come to business, but dined afterwards with the Council, whom they asked to desire the King to deliver up to the Queen of Hungary certain Frenchmen who had been taken by an English ship of war while attacking a Zealand ship off the coast of Zealand. They also had to remonstrate against an embargo laid at Dover upon 18 or 20 ships laden by the Emperor's subjects for France. But the Council replied that the ships were laden with herring, that the conveyance of victuals to France was forbidden, and that the other merchandise seemed to belong to Frenchmen. The Imperial Ambassadors, however, suspected from the Chancellor's look and a whisper that he passed to Hertford that it was intended to detain the ships till the Emperor had made answer to the demands pressed upon him by Hertford and Bishop Gardiner. Ten or twelve ships which had brought goods from Antwerp had also been embargoed. (fn. n15)
The ambassadors were then summoned to the King's presence, when Chapuys opened the business he had come for, expressing the Emperor's surprise that the King was not satisfied with his answer to Hertford and the Bishop of Winchester, and pointing out the extravagance of their demands after the peace which the Emperor had made with France with the King's consent. At once the King broke in angrily with the old denial that he had ever consented, except on condition that he was satisfied. A warm argument followed, in which Chapuys persistently stood to his point, in maintaining that he himself had heard the very words of the report made by Arras and De Courrieres to the Emperor, which the King also, as he ventured to remind him, had never contradicted while he remained at Boulogne. Moreover the King must remember that at the request of Du Bellay he had despatched a courier with Secretary Laubespine to inform the Emperor that he might proceed in treating with France, as he quite expected to obtain his conditions. At this the King lost his temper and said it was a lie; but he could not refute the assertion, only disputing about the times of the comings and goings of Du Bellay and Arras, over which he got confused. After a long discussion the King referred them to his Council next morning, suggesting that it would be inconvenient to return from Greenwich that night. Next day, to show some resentment at the King's rudeness, the ambassadors sent word to the Council that they were both indisposed. (fn. n16)
They were convinced, however, that the King regretted his incivility to them, and moreover that he was not really displeased at the Emperor delaying his answer, though anxious as to what might be his decision when the eight weeks' respite given him should expire, which he calculated would be in eight or ten days, counting from the time when Granvelle asked for it in his behalf. When the ambassadors, after his rudeness, reminded him of what he had said himself about the hard conditions reported by Arras which the Emperor would have proposed to Francis he changed the subject and passionately declaimed against the alternative marriages as a most unwise condition of the treaty. But the ambassadors, on their plea of illness, begged that instead of discussing matters with a large body of the King's Council, a select number should be deputed to wait upon them, and the King instructed Hertford, Bishop Gardiner and Paget to do so; with whom they had a long discussion as to the supposed obligation of the Emperor to declare war anew and the conditions under which he had been led to make a separate peace with France. The argumentative victory certainly seems to have remained with the Imperialists, who closed the interview by requesting the deputies of the Council to do their best to satisfy the King; and the Councillors promised that they would. They appeared to be satisfied, for their part, that the Emperor would make the required declaration at the close not, indeed, of the eight, but of the ten weeks. (fn. n17)
But meanwhile the grievances of the Emperor's subjects in Flanders touching the mode in which Englishmen exercised their belligerent rights at sea had compelled the Emperor, much against his will, to adopt measures of retaliation. For on the 2nd January Wotton was informed by the Emperor's Councillors that, in addition to past subjects of complaint on which the Bishop of Arras had already made representations to him, a whole fleet of Flemish vessels had been captured by Englishmen, and if he had no redress from Henry, the Emperor must reform the matter himself. The Bishop, indeed, told Wotton that the outcry was so great, that they said in Flanders it would be better to have open war with England than to be subject to such outrages. (fn. n18)
On the 5th January, accordingly, the Emperor gave orders to the officers of the Flemish ports to arrest the persons, ships and goods of Englishmen; but it was to be done quietly, and in as gentle a manner as possible. (fn. n19) So next day at dinner time the English merchants at Antwerp all found themselves under arrest, the officer courteously explaining that it was only owing to the complaints of certain merchants and mariners of Zealand, whose ships and goods were "strained and pilled" by the King's subjects. The like was done at Bergen-op-Zoom, and at Antwerp, with all possible gentleness. (fn. n20)
At the same time, the Emperor despatched the Sieur de Tourcoin to England to explain the circumstances and to beg the King, in accordance with the treaty between them, to release his ships from arrest and let his subjects pass freely in future. The task, of course, was one of the utmost delicacy, and the envoy was instructed to take counsel upon the matter with Chapuys and Vander Delft before approaching the King. (fn. n21)
Tourcoin's mission seems to have been remarkably successful; for, greatly as the English were disposed to grumble, the Flemish embargo had evidently done much to make them more reasonable. Of Turcoin's interview with the King we have no report. Chapuys and Vander Delft thought it best that he should go alone. But they had interviews with the Council, who complained that the embargo in Flanders was not justified by what was done in England; where, as to the stoppage of Flemish vessels they repeated their argument that it was justified by the laws of war, seeing that herrings were victual, and other merchandise had been fraudulently shipped. Moreover they said that the King had caused the case to be examined by the whole Council, and had actually given orders, the day before Tourcoin's arrival, to tell the Imperial ambassadors that the ships would be released. So, whatever passed between him and the King, Tourcoin obtained a favorable answer and was despatched again after a single audience. (fn. n22)
Of course, Wotton and Carne were informed that the King "could not but think unkindness" in this arrest by Imperial authority notwithstanding all that Tourcoin had to say for it, but he had answered the ambassador "more gravely, directly, sincerely and friendly" than the Council could describe. He imputed the act rather to the importunity of the merchants than to any lack of goodwill on the Emperor's part, and so forth. He himself had done nothing contrary to the treaty or to the detriment of the Emperor's subjects; and as early as the 2nd January, on being fully ascertained that the goods seized by his ships as lawful prize belonged really to subjects of the Emperor, he had ordered both ships and goods to be delivered to the parties, except munition and victual. (fn. n23) This looked satisfactory; but unhappily, whatever orders were given in England, no news was received in Flanders that the Flemish ships had actually been released, and when assurances to that effect were given they proved delusive. So the arrest in Flanders continued all January, and all February, and all March. (fn. n24) It did serious injury to English commerce, and the ill effects told on the King himself, when the Merchant Adventurers, not being able to sell their cloths in the Netherlands, found they could not pay on the appointed day a sum of £15,000 to discharge a loan of the King's from the house of Bonvisi. (fn. n25)
On the 29th January the ten weeks expired, at the end of which the Emperor was expected again to declare himself enemy to the French King; and Wotton did not fail to wait upon him at Brussels two days before and urge him to do what the King required. He replied that since Hertford and Bishop Gardiner had been with him when he begged for the ten weeks' interval for consideration, Vander Delft and Chapuys had been sent to England to settle the matter, but the English had kept it in suspense. On the 31st Wotton sought his presence again, but he was ill of the gout and Wotton was referred to Granvelle, to whom he only got access on the 3rd February. Under instructions from the Council despatched to him on the 12th January the ambassador set forth briefly the object of Hertford and Bishop Gardiner's mission and the sum of their negotiations without stating that the King was either satisfied with them or otherwise, and dwelt upon the answer then received, asking for ten weeks' delay. Granvelle said that the Emperor intended to observe the treaty as far as he was bound, but he must also observe that which he had made with the French King, and he was still looking for an answer to the matter for which Chapuys had been sent back to England with Vander Delft. Wotton remonstrated that the treaty with France could not derogate from that with England, which, indeed, was expressly reserved in it; and Granvelle said he could only report his remonstrance to the Emperor. Wotton waited two days longer for the Emperor's reply, and on the third day sent to Granvelle again, who told the messenger that the Emperor had no further answer to give. (fn. n26)
In reply to Tourcoin's mission, the King instructed Wotton to read privately to the Emperor a paper penned and signed by himself, stating first that he was glad to be assured of the Emperor's determination to observe the leagues and ancient amity between them, which if they had been better kept would have avoided their past and present troubles. He was also to point out many reasons why the peace the Emperor had made with France was highly impolitic, as, indeed, the Emperor himself had said by Arras that he would never have condescended to it except under the pressure of necessity, and the King only wished he knew how craftily that necessity was put into his head. France would not be able in her exhausted state to aid him against the Turk, and if the French King were to die, as the serious reports of his health made very probable, (fn. n27) was it likely that the Dauphin would be satisfied with the treaty when he murmured against it even now? Henry was grieved that after aiding the Emperor "in every tempest from his youth until now," Charles should have given credence to an agent not authorised by him, and supposed that he would be content with his making peace with the common enemy, leaving him at war. Moreover, he had since shown Henry's enemy undue favor, refusing safe-conducts through his dominions for mercenaries whom Henry had engaged in Germany and Italy, and forbidding victuals to be carried into English territory. The King hoped that the Emperor himself would redress these "inhumanities" —so he called them—for he expected no redress from his Council, whose bad advice must have caused them; and he was sure Charles himself was too good to treat him thus. Moreover, the peace he had made with France could be annulled without dishonor to him, for the French had broken it already, and if they did not come to reasonable terms with Henry, the Emperor must declare against them; in which case Hédin and Thérouanne would easily fall into his hands. (fn. n28)
These instructions are undated, but are evidently simultaneous with a letter of the Council to Wotton (fn. n29) which is only dated February, though apparently it was written on the 5th of that month, instructing him to inform the Emperor and Granvelle that all the ships and goods of the Flemings arrested in England had been redelivered and amends made for such trifles as were wont in such cases to be embezzled, as cables or anchors, and that the parties were satisfied and had liberty to depart more than twelve days before, with all their merchandise except herring, which they were allowed to sell in England freely. The unclaimed goods had been delivered to Anselm Salvage, factor of the house of the Vivaldi, and to a servant of Vander Delft to be kept for the owners.
That the King had retained some Italians in his service was known to Chapuys and Vander Delft almost as soon as they arrived in England. This and the fact that the English were fortifying Boulogne encouraged the Imperialists to believe that Henry had no underhand dealings with France. There were three Italian captains, all of whom, probably, had just been in England, who were commissioned to go to Venice and raise Italian soldiers for Henry's service. The first was Ludovico dal'Armi, a Bolognese, who had come out of England in August to Lord Russell, then lying at the siege of Montreuil, and desired him to procure a passport for four horses that he had bought in England. As he had been brought over apparently by a confidential servant of the King's, Russell wrote in his favor to Secretary Paget, who was then with the King before Boulogne. But before Paget received the letter Ludovico had slipped over to Boulogne himself, where his doings aroused suspicions among the English, and Paget was not comfortable upon the subject. He viewed the trenches and the camp, and, being himself an expert in military matters, spoke rather contemptuously of the English achievements and belittled their successes. "He cannot hide the affection he beareth unto France," wrote Paget to Russell; "or, at the least, he cannot like his Grace's good successes." As a native of Bologna he was the Pope's subject; he was also a nephew of the late Cardinal Campeggio, and had been brought up in France—all which things told against him; and Paget wrote to Russell by the King's express desire to know how he had been recommended and what Russell himself thought of him. (fn. n30) Was the King, in this inquiry, feigning total ignorance of the man, or only desiring to be better assured of him? To all appearance he had already secured him with gold, for he very well knew the points of a good warrior, even though he might disparage the military exploits of the English. And it was not very long before Da l'Armi returned to Italy, engaged to the King's service there.
The second Italian captain was Count Bernard di San Bonifacio, and besides him and Ludovico there was one Filippo Pini of Lucca (fn. n31) associated in the business of raising troops for the King in the territory of the Venetians. That Ludovico especially was very successful is manifest enough. It was on the 12th January that the Council commissioned Wotton and Carne to sock for pass-ports through the Emperor's dominions for Italian and German mercenaries whom it was the King's purpose to engage. (fn. n32). On that very day Harvel wrote from Venice that many Italians, anticipating the King's wishes, were desirous of entering his service. (fn. n33). On the 25th he wrote again that Da l'Armi had arrived at Venice and brought letters to himself from the Council to assist him in executing his commission. This confirmed what had only been a rumor hitherto about Henry's intentions. (fn. n34). In February Wotton learned from the ambassador of Ferrara at Brussels that Da l'Armi was much spoken of in Italy and could easily raise 6,000 Italians, if he would, to serve the King. (fn. n35). And shortly afterwards, through another channel, he learned that not only was Ludovico making men for the King's service in Venetian territory, but that when the French ambassador asked the Signory to stop it, they replied that they would not only suffer it, but would serve the King themselves. Even at the Court of Brussels the Ambassadors of Savoy and Genoa introduced to Wotton's notice one John Baptista Spinola, a very experienced warrior, who offered to serve the King with 1,000 Italian soldiers. (fn. n36)
So Henry had no difficulty in getting well-trained mercenaries for his service, except in getting passports for them to come to England. There were Spaniards also, like John de Haro and Pedro Negro, with their bands, whom Sir Philip Hoby was commissioned to engage at Falmouth—men who, returning, apparently, from the Emperor's war, had come to England on their way back to their own country. (fn. n37) But as to the Italians and Germans, of course it was impossible for the Emperor to concede Henry's request for safe-conducts without the danger of a new breach with France. Obvious, however, as this was, such was his fear of offending Henry by a point blank refusal that he ended by telling Wotton "the matter should be considered." (fn. n38) His perplexity was extreme. For Wotton had instructions to press him on the point by virtue of his treaty with the King, (fn. n39) and having with difficulty got access to him when he was suffering extremely from gout, he read over to him in private the half friendly, half threatening and reproachful paper penned by the King himself for the Emperor's own consideration. The poor Emperor's unfeigned ill-health was a good defence against too great pressure. He commended Henry's frankness; it was right that friends should speak their minds frankly, and the matters were very weighty. But, being so ill, he could not remember all that Wotton had read, and desired a copy, saying that as it was so confidential he would make no man privy to it but a single secretary, who should go home with Wotton to write it out. Wotton replied that he had no instructions to give a copy and dared not do so. He declined even to give a summary, and durst not even, as the Emperor requested, declare the matter to the Queen of Hungary, but would repeat anything not clearly apprehended. The Emperor did not ask him to do so. He was just about to enter on his "diet of the wood of Inde," and said when he began to amend he would make answer. Meanwhile on the subject of the safe-conducts he referred him to Granvelle. (fn. n40)
It had been an instruction of Wotton's to watch the Emperor's countenance carefully while he read the paper. This, however, he found difficult, as it was necessary in reading to keep his eye continually upon "the book" (that is to say, the paper drawn up by the King). All that he could say was that the Emperor "looked so piteously before and after" that he believed his countenance could have changed very little. It was well, Wotton said, that the instructions had not come a day later, else he could not have had an opportunity of declaring the articles when the Emperor had entered upon his new diet. (fn. n41)
Wotton went to speak with Granvelle next day, that is to say, on the 10th February; but the minister "made somewhat strange," saying first that he had been told by the Emperor that Wotton would communicate his charge to no one else but his Majesty. Wotton, however, said the Emperor had referred him to him on two points, the arrest and the passports; on which he admitted that the Emperor had talked to him about the first, but not about the second. He would speak to the Emperor and then answer. Two days later he told Wotton that the Emperor could do nothing on either of the two points, until letters came to him from his ambassadors. Wotton thereupon declared, at length, the rest of his instructions, and Granvelle said the matter was of very great importance. If a "resolute answer" was required, he said, Wotton should declare it to the Emperor; but he swore that he knew "none other" but that his Majesty intended to observe the amity, though earnest suit had been made to him from divers quarters to do otherwise. Indeed, for Henry's sake the Emperor had refused to be reconciled to the Scots. He himself also deprecated suspicions against himself, denying that he had received rewards from the French King, from whom he had not had so much as the value of his spectacles (holding them up as he said so), and his son Arras had refused many benefices and promotions offered him by Francis. (fn. n42) In Wotton's private opinion, however, Granvelle's word counted for very little; he had heard it reported that he had received £10,000 worth of plate from the French King. (fn. n43)
On the 20th February the King despatched Sir William Paget to the Emperor's Court to assist Wotton in putting pressure on the much harrassed potentate. His instructions (fn. n44) were very minute and calculated to give the greatest possible embarrassment both to the Emperor and to Granvelle. His mission, indeed, was understood to be a very serious matter, and from what a London merchant could gather about it, war seemed more likely to be the result than peace. (fn. n45) But the Emperor had no mind for war with England, however hard he was pressed; and before Paget could join Wotton, the latter had succeeded in getting an answer from the Emperor's Council on the two points. Granvelle showed him that as the Turk was going to invade Hungary, the Princes of Germany urged the Emperor to give orders—and he intended to do so—that no person should go and serve any foreign potentate. Italians, with or without passport, would be sure to be attacked by the Germans, and the Emperor was not bound to give them any safe-conduct. Schore added that men of that nation would infect Englishmen with their abominable vices. He was willing to give Henry the aid of lance-knights —those from the Netherlands he thought best, but if the King wished men from Higher Germany and would provide sea passage for them, he would wink at it. This answer did not satisfy Wotton, who insisted that the Emperor was clearly bound to grant the passports, and said his winking would be of little service if once the order was issued. On the point of arrest Schore made answer that the Emperor's subjects had not been delivered as Wotton had said, but some of them had their goods sold and others were refused restitution. (fn. n46)
On the last day of February Paget and Wotton wrote to the King together from Brussels, where the former had arrived on Thursday the 26th, describing their first joint interview with the Emperor. It was rather a trying one: neither of the two ambassadors had ever seen his Majesty "so round or quick." "True it is," they added, "he was somewhat roundly handled, and yet not without a reverence." But they could not extort from him either a declaration against France, or even a relaxation of the arrest, seeing that though the ships had been released restitution had not yet been made of the value of the merchandise sold.
The war with Scotland was costly, and in addition to all the other means that had been adopted of raising supplies, at the beginning of the year it was determined to have recourse to a benevolence. (fn. n47) Illegal as the device undoubtedly was, it was generally submitted to, not, of course, in all cases with goodwill. (fn. n48) Richard Reed, alderman of London, "could not be persuaded to conform thereto." Such unpatriotic resistance was, however, met in thorough Tudor fashion. "As, for the defence of the realm and himself, he would not disburse a little of his substance, the King thought that he should do some service with his body"; and the unlucky alderman was despatched to the North to serve as a soldier, both himself and his men at his own charge, to fight under Sir Ralph Evers against the Scots. (fn. n49) It was not long, moreover, before he incurred one of the special penalties of war.
We hear of no actual warlike operations on the Borders at the very beginning of the year. The Scots, as we have seen, were more united than they had been for a long time, and Lennox was the only Scotch nobleman who then took Henry's part. But there was another on whom he had some hold. The Earl of Cassillis, it will be remembered, was one of the Solway prisoners, who had been allowed to return to Scotland, pledged to promote the King's purposes, and on whom the King for a long time had placed special reliance. But he had been a party to the agreement at Greenside Chapel in January 1544, and later in the year had been bound to the Queen Dowager's party; and though he fell for awhile into disgrace with the Governor, he obtained a full remission of all his treasons from the Scotch Parliament in December. (fn. n50) He was therefore under obligation to be loyal to the Scottish Government. But his uncle and two of his brothers were hostages in Henry's hands in the keeping, at first, of Lee, Archbishop of York; and the King threatened to put them all to death if he did not return into captivity in England to redeem his pledge. (fn. n51) It was impossible to resist this appeal, and before the end of January Cassillis had entered once more South of the Border. On the 2nd February Shrewsbury wrote that he had arrived at Darlington, where he awaited the King's orders. (fn. n52) On the 6th Shrewsbury, having received instructions to that effect, sent him up by a servant to London, and his pledges, who had been sent to Carlisle, were discharged by Wharton, Warden of the West Marches. (fn. n53) But before we speak of him further, there are other Scottish subjects to be considered.
We have seen in the last Volume that in September a project had been suggested of an enterprise against Kelso and Melrose. Sir Ralph Evers, Warden of the Middle Marches, had in fact reported that if those two towns were as well "defaced" as Jedburgh, the Scots would have no place to lay garrisons in near the Borders. (fn. n54) The Council with the Queen, accordingly, the King being then at Boulogne, directed Shrewsbury to take order with the Wardens for the burning of those towns and the destruction of the corn round about. But the Wardens reported that the destruction of Melrose would be somewhat difficult and would require consideration; that of Kelso, some miles lower down the Tweed, they were willing enough to undertake. Orders were sent accordingly to burn Kelso (fn. n55); which may have been done, though strangely enough we have no record of the fact. It would rather appear, however, that the place was captured; for in January Sir Ralph Evers sent a garrison to keep it, (fn. n56) and Archan, the Italian engineer, was commissioned to survey it with a view to its being fortified, which he reported might be done at a cost of £500. (fn. n57)
As to Melrose, the project was suspended for a while. In the meantime what use to make of Scotch factions was the question. When the King sent Lennox down to Carlisle in December, it was expressly with a view to bringing over his father-in-law, Angus, and others, if possible, once more into the way of doing service to England. (fn. n58) To effect this the better, a device for sowing suspicion between the other Scotch lords and Angus was approved of by the English Council. (fn. n59) Yet on the 1st January the Council had sent instructions to the Wardens of the Marches for a secret "practice" to entrap Angus and Sir George Douglas, offering on the King's behalf 2,000 crowns for the capture of the one, and 1,000 crowns for that of the other. (fn. n60)
But these wary birds were not so easily entrapped. About that very time Sir George Douglas sent his friend, the laird of Bonjedward, with a message to the Earl of Shrewsbury at Darlington, to represent that the lords of Scotland really desired peace with England, and to request that the King would send a safe-conduct for ambassadors authorised by the Queen and Governor. The Privy Council, on this, wrote to Shrewsbury to inform Sir George in reply that the King had lately made proclamation on the frontiers for the entry of his prisoners, and, unless they returned into captivity and relieved their pledges, he would grant no such safe-conduct; but if they did this he was willing to give one to such ambassadors to come to the Earl of Shrewsbury. Bonjedward and others who had promised service might be assured that if such ambassadors came the King would have respect to their safeguard. The Earl of Cassillis, it appeared, was willing to make his entry, for he had written to say so. (fn. n61)
Having obtained this answer, Sir George now ventured to advance a step further. He wrote to Sir Ralph Evers, the English Warden of the Middle Marches, desiring an interview on the subject of Bonjedward's mission; which Evers, after referring for advice to Shrewsbury, granted him. (fn. n62) Returning to Edinburgh, he wrote on the 15 February to the King—a thing, he said, that he had not ventured to do before as the King was so displeased with him. Yet, he protested as of old, he was innocent of any crime towards his Highness, and ever remembered the honor and gentleness shown towards him by so great a prince! He wrote at the same time to Sir Ralph, communicating important news brought by two ships just arrived from France, mainly about Captain Lorges Montgomery, who might be expected in Scotland in March with 6,000 men waged and victualled for six months, while an army of 40,000 men under the Duke of Guise would invade England.
As to his own conduct, he explained that he had got his brother, the Earl of Angus, to deliver up his commission as Lieutenant of the Borders in Scotland on the ground that promises to him were not kept. But no one else would accept the office, and the Governor and Council had asked Sir George how the country was to be defended. Sir George replied that that was the Governor's business, being "a lusty young man and meet to be exercised in warfare." Angus was found indispensable for the office; but he (Sir George) had caused him so to exercise it as to give England no ground for complaint, if the King would only be gracious to them and their friends. The Governor and lords would not consent to the entry of the Scots prisoners, but were willing that Commissioners should meet for the settlement of matters concerning the peace of both realms. They would therefore send a herald for safe-conduct to ambassadors, but they declined to show their commission and articles to Shrewsbury before submitting them to the King. And Sir George wished to know of Sir Ralph whether he might solicit the Queen, Governor and lords to send such a herald. (fn. n63)
He ventured also to recommend that the King should make proclamations on the Borders and send a herald himself to declare that all who would favour the peace and contract of marriage made at London should be protected, and the opposite party persecuted with fire and sword. Such a proclamation, judiciously made and followed, would win over the most of Scotland, Sir George said, to the King's views; for he had been so cruel against friends and enemies alike that they all believed, if England were successful, man, woman and child would be put to death. (fn. n64) Such, according to Sir George Douglas, was the impression the King's ferocity had made in Scotland, and this he did not hesitate to write to one who was himself, probably, the King's most ferocious instrument!
Sir George's policy was once more successful! The King himself wrote to him on the 19 February that as he now offered to be at his command, and wished forgiveness for seeking the favor of the Queen, Governor and Cardinal, although all the world knew how ill he and his brother had requited the King's past favors, yet upon Sir Ralph Evers's report he was content to pardon him and receive him again into his good graces. As to the reports spread of the King's vindictiveness, Henry understood that it was said he meant to conquer Scotland and make its noblemen shepherds. But though he had just cause to exact extreme vengeance for the nation's disloyalty, that report was evidently devised by those who did not wish to see good relations established between the realms. For he was never so desirous of revenge but that he could always show clemency to those who submitted and desired to redress past wrongs, as he hoped Sir George would notify; and if the Scottish Government was sincere in desiring the marriage and establishment of peace, and would send commissioners within eight or ten days after receipt of his letter, he would grant a safe-conduct for any two or three to come to Alnwick, provided that Sir George was one of them, and the other two reasonable and well-disposed men. Then, when the King's lieutenant, Shrewsbury, was notified of those who were to come, with 20 persons in their company, a safe-conduct would be sent down to him with blanks for their names and Commissioners appointed to meet them. (These Commissioners were to be Shrewsbury, Tunstall and Sadler, who were already at Darlington.) But the King would look for more substantial hostages and more stringent conditions than before. (fn. n65)
Sir George had fairly turned the edge of the weapon directed against him. Three days later the Privy Council, in writing to Shrewsbury, took notice that by Wharton's letters from Carlisle he was still continuing the "secret practice" against the Earl of Angus and Sir George Douglas, and gave orders that as it was now "resolved to proceed otherwise," the Wardens must stay that practice for the trapping of them till it was seen what should be the issue of this late overture. (fn. n66) It was very necessary to be cautious; for Sir Ralph Evers had reported that the gentlemen of Teviotdale who had accepted the King as their Sovereign were only too likely to revolt and join their countrymen, not having the aid of men and money promised them against Buccleuch and other enemies. (fn. n67) On receiving this warning, the Council, at once appreciating the danger, wrote to Shrewsbury that men and money would be sent immediately for their relief, and Shrewsbury and his colleagues at Darlington, although driven to borrow in Newcastle for payment of the garrisons in anticipation of £5,000 which were on the way to them, managed to despatch £200 for the "entertainment of the Tevydales" on the 27 February. (fn. n68) Unfortunately, it was too late to avert a very serious disaster, which took place that very day.
On the 25th Sir Ralph Evers was at Wark on the point of starting for Jedburgh, as he wrote to his servant John Wright, whom he commanded to keep all the Scotch pledges safe till his return home. (fn. n69) That same day the Governor Arran and Sir George Douglas were at Lauder. Sir George had received the King's letter of pardon only the day before at Dalkeith, but it did not stop him from going with the Governor's host to the Borders, or from writing to the King from Lauder that same 25th February to explain that he had never deserved the King's displeasure. He had been imprisoned, he wrote, in Edinburgh Castle and his life was only saved by the arrival of the King's army under Hertford, which had burnt and carried off his goods and those of his friends, so that he had sustained a thousand pounds' worth more loss than anyone else in Scotland. As to the reports spread among the Scots of the King's intention to make the gentlemen no better than shepherds, he could not help their circulation, which was owing to the "extreme war" that was used in killing women and children—methods which prisoners coming from England said that it was intended still to prosecute. Sir George ventured to suggest that gentle handling and good words would be more beneficial to the King's interests. As to the despatch of an embassy from Scotland, he had laid before the Governor and lords (the Queen having left Edinburgh for Stirling) the conditions under which the King proposed to grant passports, but they had been unwilling to accept them. He would, however, propose the matter himself whenever the Queen, Governor and lords were together again. (fn. n70) Thus it was that Sir George Douglas wrote when he had actually gone to the Borders with the Governor to repel an English invasion; and strange as the whole espistle is, with its avowal of constant devotion to the interests of one whose armies, as he plainly showed, had been guilty of atrocities worthy of the Turk, it is certainly characteristic throughout, alike of Border warfare and Border diplomacy.
At Darlington the Lord Lieutenant Shrewsbury knew next day that Sir Ralph Evers was on the march for Jedburgh, and only hoped that he would not be too venturesome until he could be supported by the whole power of the Bishopric of Durham, which they were going to send on to his aid. (fn. n71) As such was Shrewsbury's misgiving beforehand, it was natural enough that he should afterwards be inclined to attribute the disaster which followed, in part at least, to the temerity of Evers. (fn. n72) Nor can we doubt that his judgment was correct, as indeed it was the general opinion, though our knowledge of details is imperfect. Our papers, in fact, are silent about what took place just before the great overthrow at Ancrum Muir, and the accounts given by the victorious Scots themselves are not in harmony with each other. According to Lesley, Evers simply invaded Teviotdale with 6,000 men till he came "to the town of Ancrum," where he was met by the Governor, accompanied by Angus and Norman Leslie, master of Rothes, and others "to the number of 600 gentlemen," and after an obstinate battle defeated and slain. But according to Buchanan and Hume of Godscroft the English had reached Jedburgh, when, learning by spies that the enemy was at Melrose with only a small force awaiting reinforcements, they went forward in a body of 5,000 men to encounter them. The Scots, however, having withdrawn to the neighbouring hills, whence they could watch their enemy, the English wandered by night about the town and abbey, which had already been spoiled not long before, till daybreak, when they set out on their return towards Jedburgh, followed by the Scots to the hills above Ancrum, where it was ingeniously planned to make them charge at a disadvantage.
These, no doubt, are later accounts, and different from both is that in the Diurnal of Occurrents, according to which Governor Arran came in the first place as far as Jedburgh, and after a sharp engagement retreated over the Tweed. It is added that
"the Inglismen beleivit to have gottin the Governour be George Dowglas dissait, bot he was counsaillit be his lordis to come bak. The Inglismen past towardis Berwick, and the Governour came to Melross and remanit on his freindis, quha come to him to the number of 2,000 men; and thai set upoun the Inglismen agane at Ancrum mure."
It is a fine question, which does not concern us much, which side Sir George Douglas at this juncture intended to betray. But as regards the movements of the armies, if the Governor had reached Jedburgh and, after a battle there, retreated over the Tweed, he must have passed even beyond Melrose, which is on the Tweed but on the South side of it, a good twelve miles North of Jedburgh. Yet on his retreat, we are told, the Englishmen passed towards Berwick, which seems a little curious. Perhaps what is meant is that they had pursued the Governor and his host as far as Melrose, when seeing that the enemy had passed North of the river, they thought it as well to return. The Governor, then, having rested a little at Melrose and received reinforcements, pursued and overtook them at Ancrum Moor.
Whatever may be the exact truth, there seems no doubt that the English reached Melrose and devastated it (Buchanan and Hume of Godscroft are certainly wrong in saying that it had been ravaged not long before); that in their return they met with a humiliating defeat, in which their leaders, Sir Ralph Evers, Warden of the Middle Marches, and Sir Brian Layton, Captain of Norham Castle, were both slain, with many other Captains; and that a large number of prisoners fell into the hands of the Scots. (fn. n73)
One Vicar Ogle, taken on the field by one of Angus's retainers, was asked by the Governor if he knew the Warden; and, on saying that he did, was taken to the place where his body lay and identified him. "God have mercy on him," said the Governor, "for he was a fell, cruel man, and over cruel, which many a man and fatherless bairn might rue; and welaway that ever such slaughter and bloodshedding should be amongst Christian men!" Tears trickled down his cheeks as he spoke, and, as was further reported to Shrewsbury: —
"Angus then came up and asked the Governor if he were merry; who answered 'My lord, I am much the merrier for you,' and took him about the neck and kissed him twenty times, saying he repented having ever mistrusted him, who had that day done so much for Scotland. Whereunto Angus answered that God knew his loyalty to his native country." (fn. n74)
Such was the end of the long talked of Melrose expedition. For whether the Scots occupied Melrose before the English or the English before the Scots, it may be presumed that Arran was advancing to protect a place which it was known that the English had long been considering how to destroy. Even on the 11th February the Council had despatched instructions to the Borders that if Melrose could be easily defended and victualled, it should be kept when won; if otherwise, it should be razed to the ground. (fn. n75) Ten days later, having been informed that it would be a difficult place to victual, they nevertheless gave orders not to "deface" it unless there was a danger of its being fortified by the enemy. (fn. n76) And now? Of course it had been "defaced," and we cannot doubt the stories, preserved by later authorities like Hume of Godscroft, of the violation of the tombs of the Douglases which Angus so highly resented and for which he took such signal vengenance at Ancrum Muir.
The defeat of the English was, no doubt, mainly due to the "assured" Scots of Teviotdale who had entered the King of England's service only for fear and were glad to return to their natural allegiance. (fn. n77) But this did not diminish the gravity of the result; for now the immediate question was, not whether England could crush Scotland, but how far Scotland had it in her power to inflict further annoyance on England. For Shrewsbury was at first apprehensive that they would invade Northumberland, and he set forward at once "the power of the Bishopric" to occupy all the places where garrisons previously lay. (fn. n78) His prompt measures, however, were effective, and he was soon relieved of immediate apprehension. (fn. n79) He only required one or two hundred hackbutters to replace the losses of the Northern garrisons—especially as a plan which had been entertained of sending Spanish soldiers to the North had been dropped just before. (fn. n80) Nor was he greatly alarmed, even towards the end of March, when Arran and many of the Scotch lords came to Haddington, meaning to march through Teviotdale, and with the aid of the men so lately "assured" to England, burn Cornhill and Wark. (fn. n81) For, a few days later, the Scotch army broke up and abandoned the idea of an invasion. (fn. n82) But he made urgent representations to the Council of the necessity of laying strong garrisons upon the Borders, repairing fortifications and having ample supplies of grain, of ammunition, of money for wages, and of coat and conduct money. (fn. n83)
Still, the English defeat was severe enough, and extremely disconcerting—all the more so because they had just been congratulating themselves on a great success in France, where an effort to besiege Boulogne had been effectually counteracted, and the besiegers driven off in confusion. (fn. n84) The French seemed unlikely for the present to do anything more in that quarter; but this humiliating check from an enemy like the Scots put many things out of gear. It hindered, among other matters, the collection of the Benevolence, (fn. n85) and it left in the hands of the Scots a number of prisoners who were to some extent a counterpoise to the Scotch prisoners taken at the Solway. Among others the unlucky Alderman Reed was captured by the enemy, and the Council instructed Shrewsbury to devise means for his redemption. The Scots saw their advantage, and though they ransomed common soldiers pretty easily were slow to ransom gentlemen, whom they kept as a means of obtaining the release of hostages for those sent home upon parole. (fn. n86) The effect abroad, moreover, was serious to English prestige, and great efforts to minimise it as much as possible were made in the Council's letters to Paget and Wotton. (fn. n87)
Intent as he always had been on revenge against the Scots, the King knew quite well that the gratification of those feelings must now be postponed. (fn. n88) And the means of a conciliatory message just then presented themselves Just before the disaster was known, the Earl of Cassillis on the 28th February, having reached London and been admitted to the King's presence, made a declaration before the Council of the conditions under which he had come, and that finding the King still well disposed towards the Queen of Scots his Sovereign, he had obtained licence to return to his country to promote the marriage and the peace in terms of the treaty, promising to re-enter England by the 1st June or earlier upon 15 days' warning. (fn. n89) He at once departed and hoped to have been with Shrewsbury at Darlington by midday on Tuesday 3 March, but, not being well served with horses he only reached "Wodderbe" (no doubt Wetherby in Yorkshire) on the evening of that day. (fn. n90) Just after he had left London news came of the Melrose disaster, and the Council wrote to him on the King's behalf to keep his Majesty fully informed of any variation in men's minds that might be produced among the Scots by that event. (fn. n91) On Wednesday night he reached Darlington and sent on his letters to Shrewsbury, who had gone on to Alnwick. (fn. n92) His own course was towards Carlisle, where he awaited further instructions from the King and an answer to a message which he sent in to the Governor for a passport into Scotland. Both Wharton and Shrewsbury seem to have been doubtful about his going thither, and, after the recent mishap, would have staid him; but as they were instructed to let him pass, Shrewsbury thought it could do no harm. (fn. n93) It was only on the 21st, however, that Arran at Edinburgh issued a protection for him to come to him and the Council in Scotland, with a proviso that he should seduce none of the lieges "to the faith and opinion of England;" (fn. n94) and he did not leave Carlisle till the 27th, scarcely in time to be at a Convention arranged to meet in Edinburgh on Palm Sunday, the 29th. (fn. n95)
From Edinburgh he wrote to the King in cipher on the 2 April. He had arrived there on the 29th and immediately gone on to Melrose, where Arran was. Angus, Glencairn and others, who had been on the Borders to defend them against invasion, joined them next day, and on the 31 March all returned to Edinburgh, where they found the Cardinal and the Earl Marshal. He was asked not to deliver his message till the Queen [Dowager], Argyle and Huntly could be present, which was arranged for the 15 April. But he declared the King's goodwill to Angus, the Earl Marshal, Glencairn and the sheriff of Ayr; and Angus, in consequence, resigned his office of Lieutenant, excusing his action at Ancrum Muir as forced upon him by Evers. Cassillis therefore desired the King to inform him what he might promise Angus and the others if they promoted the King's purposes; adding significantly that great persuasions were made to them to do the opposite. He adds that Lorges Montgomery was expected within that month to come by the West seas with 6,000 men and much money and munitions. (fn. n96) In a second letter of the same date he writes that the Master of Maxwell had come to Edinburgh and had promised to further the King's purpose; and he and Angus both desired that his father Lord Maxwell, who had been nearly a year a prisoner in England, might be allowed to come to the Border with Sir Robert Bowes. This, Cassillis wrote, would in his opinion further the King's object. (fn. n97)
In reply to his inquiries the Council wrote to him that the King, notwithstanding the way he had been treated, was content to come to such honorable terms as had been declared to him, if the Scotch nobles and Council would make suit further, notwithstanding that occasions had since been ministered to the contrary, the revenge for which he deferred for a season. But if the Scots did not proceed at once to a good conclusion, they would have little cause to rejoice in the death of his Warden at Melrose. As to Angus, it was needless to say how little his acts corresponded with his words, but Cassillis might bear witness that the King was always more glad of amendment in the future than desirous of revenge for the past. So, if Angus, George Douglas and the rest would set forward his affairs, he was ready both to forget their previous conduct and to reward their services. (fn. n98) The Douglases, of course, understood all this pretty well, and were content to be reckoned the King's friends once more. Cassillis, however, did not find the Scots well disposed. His audience was put off till the 20th, and he then informed the King (in a ciphered despatch) that those who favored the peace and marriage thought the best way would be for him to invade the realm at once—by sea would be best—with a force strong enough to support Angus, Douglas and the Earl Marshal. Lorges Montgomery was expected by the West Sea with 2,000 foot, and unluckily the Earl Marshal, George Douglas and Cassillis had failed to get the young Queen into the Earl Marshal's keeping. (fn. n99)
The King had heard, a week before Cassillis wrote, that Lorges Montgomery's expedition would soon be in Scotland with 2,000 French foot, 50 men of arms, 50 archers of the Scotch guard, 500 hackbutters on horseback, and some money to promote an invasion of England which might be expected in the beginning of May. He sent word to that effect to Shrewsbury, Tunstall and Sadler at Darlington, promising to despatch Northwards a band of 1,500 Spaniards, 4,000 Germans, 400 or 500 hackbutters on horseback, and 500 or 600 lances. So strong was he already in foreign mercenaries! He would shortly send down Hertford to the Borders; but in case the French aid should arrive before him and encourage the Scots to attempt a raid, cattle on the frontiers must be driven inland on intelligence of any gathering, and grain placed in security. They must also sec to the castles of Berwick, Wark and Carlisle, which were ill furnished with ordnance and ammunition, and report how much was required beyond what it was in Shrewsbury's power to supply from Nottingham and elsewhere within the limits of his Commission. (fn. n100)
These instructions were, of course, obeyed, and the King's letter was answered four days later by Shrewsbury and Tunstall, their colleague Sadler being already occupied in surveying Berwick and Wark Castles in company with the new Warden of the Middle Marches, Sir Robert Bowes. A question immediately occurred to Shrewsbury whether the number of mercenaries mentioned by the King might be taken as part of an army of 30,000 which he was already ordered to raise and felt that he would have much difficulty in raising. (fn. n101) But the King's orders were for the "description" (or enrolment) of 30,000 men; and though Archbishop Holgate of York (Lee's successor, appointed to that see assuredly for purely secular reasons) saw most serious difficulties about the victualling of such a force, the Earl laid down a certain number to be levied in each county within his jurisdiction, amounting in all to 27,500. (fn. n102)
The French succours in Scotland, however, did not arrive quite so early as was expected. On the 18 May Lorges Montgomery was still at Brest, awaiting favorable weather for their departure; (fn. n103) and it was only on the 31st (fn. n104) that they landed at Dumbarton. But before we pursue further the matters between England and Scotland, let us look once more at the Continental situation, which Henry, of course, was watching with no less interest than he had always done.
While the King was pressing the Emperor for a new declaration against France, the French were no less pressing him for another kind of declaration. By one article of the treaty of Crêpy it had been arranged that the Duke of Orleans should marry either the Infanta of Spain, the Emperor's eldest daughter, with the Low Countries and Burgundy for a dower, or the second daughter of Ferdinand, King of the Romans, with Milan—whichever bride and portion the Emperor chose to appoint for him; and his Majesty's decision was to be notified within four months after the treaty, (fn. n105) —that is to say, by the middle of January of this year. But the middle of January had already passed, and nothing was heard about the Emperor's decision. Wotton believed the term was prolonged by agreement, but that the Emperor would decide in favor of his niece, giving her the duchy of Milan as a dowry. (fn. n106) In the middle of February the world seems to have been no wiser; but Carne, writing on the 19th, believed that the Emperor had already made his declaration on the subject within the last six days, and that it was kept a very close secret. (fn. n107) On the 16 March Paget wrote from Brussels that the Emperor still put off his declaration with fair words, alleging as his excuse that Francis had not yet fulfilled his promises; for Stenay had not yet been restored to the Duke of Lorraine, nor was Cavour (fn. n108) in Piedmont restored, which had been taken since the convention of Nice, and which Francis said that he bought. (fn. n109) On the 19th the Emperor, then at Brussels, had communicated his decision to St. Mauris, his ambassador in France (fn. n110) and two or three days later Paget and Wotton, while discussing with Schore and Skepperius the question of referring mercantile disputes to a diet, were convinced that the return of the French ambassador Morette with one of the French hostages could be for no other reason than to announce the Emperor's long expected declaration. (fn. n111) The announcement was in fact despatched into France by Morette and an Imperial ambassador, who arrived at Amboise on the 31st March, just after St. Mauris had sent off to Covos a long despatch in ignorance of the decision; (fn. n112) and great must have been the satisfaction in Spain, where people were most anxious for a settlement, as the country was quite exhausted by the war. (fn. n113)
The declaration was on the lines which diplomatists had rather expected, but with a sort of reservation in case of better terms from France. The Emperor would have been glad to give the Duke of Orleans his daughter, but found that he could not do it unless the Duke's portion were increased. He had delayed his decision in consequence of his long illness, from which he was not yet free, and which had prevented communication with his brother, the King of the Romans; but his decision, meanwhile, was for the marriage of Orleans to his niece with the Duchy of Milan as a dower. He hoped Francis would give him back Hesdin for some suitable recompense, and that he would not delay to restore the places beyond the Mountains, including Cavour. (fn. n114) The French King, the Dauphin and Orleans, whatever each may have thought of it, all expressed their satisfaction with the declaration, except that Francis remarked that it was not signed and avoided speaking on the particular articles, asking St. Mauris if he had any special credence on the subject. (fn. n115)
The Emperor was still at Brussels, though his presence was much wanted elsewhere. At the Diet of Spires, in the spring of 1544, he had earnestly sought to establish a religious pacification in Germany, and his conciliatory offers to the Protestants gave him great hopes of obtaining their assistance during the war, against Francis and the Turk alike. But the form of agreement proposed did not satisfy the Catholics, and the question was postponed to another diet indicted for the 1st October at Worms. Meanwhile the Pope was displeased with the Emperor for attempting a religious peace without reference to the Holy See. Then the peace with France made a very considerable alteration, and the problem became how to get Protestants and Catholics alike to submit their differences to the coming Council of Trent. The Emperor was detained in the Low Countries by various matters after the peace. The Diet at Worms at last opened in his absence as late as the 15th December; and when it met, though he had begun to move towards Germany, he had so bad an attack of gout that it was clear his appearance there must be deferred still further. (fn. n116) At last he sent Granvelle thither in his place; who arrived at the Diet in March, probably on the 6th. The Emperor's brother Ferdinand, King of the Romans, arrived there on the 14th. (fn. n117)
In February the Emperor had begun a new diet "of the wood of Inde," prescribed for him by his physicians. But it was not till Easter day, the 5th April, that he had so far recovered as to show himself in public, when he attended the service in Brussels cathedral. On Saturday in Easter week (11 April) he removed to Mechlin, where he awaited a visit from the Duke of Orleans. (fn. n118) But on the 20th or the day following he removed to Antwerp, (fn. n119) where the Duke arrived on Friday the 24th; who was received, though it was but four o'clock in the afternoon, with torches as well as with a peal of guns. Of further particulars of his visit we are not informed. But the Emperor arranged to leave Antwerp on the 28th, and the Duke took his departure again for France, though Secretary L'Aubespine had given out that he would follow the Emperor into Germany. (fn. n120) The Emperor, however, did not actually leave Antwerp till the 29th. (fn. n121) On the 28th he had an important conference with the Scotch Ambassador, David Paniter, whose presence in the Low Countries had long made the English uncomfortable, but had been always plausibly excused.
We have seen (fn. n122) how, as far back as May 1544, the Emperor, yielding to the pressure put upon him by Henry, declared the Scotch nation enemies and forbade intercourse with them. It was done with great reluctance as a political necessity; and this was apparently understood by the Scots themselves. Governor Arran, accordingly, in the name of his Sovereign, on New Year's Day 1545 despatched Paniter to the Emperor to congratulate him on his having made peace with France, and to express a hope that the fact would enable him to maintain the old friendly relations between his dominions and Scotland. (fn. n123) Some such messenger was reported to have arrived in the Low Countries as early as the 6th January, (fn. n124) but this report was undoubtedly premature. Painter seems only to have reached the Low Countries sometime before the 23rd February, (fn. n125) and a lodging had been prepared for him at Brussels before the end of the month; but when he came an audience was not immediately given him. The Government of Queen Mary of Hungary spoke frankly to the English ambassadors about his coming. Ought she to give him an audience, and if so, what answer should he have? The Emperor's subjects had no quarrel with the Scots. The English ambassadors could not venture to reply without referring to their King. (fn. n126)
Schore had suggested that the coming of the Scotch ambassador might be a favorable occasion for the Emperor to promote peace between England and France; but the suggestion was not relished. Since, however, the Emperor was so loyal to his ally as to consult him about the answer he should give to the envoy, Paget and Wotton were instructed, if the matter was again mentioned, to say that the King considered he should be briefly dismissed without hope of further hearing unless the Scots first made suit to be reconciled with Henry, to whom they had given such just cause of war. (fn. n127) After this we hear nothing more upon the subject for a month, nor do the Council in London appear to have been at all anxious to reopen it in speaking with Chapuys and Vander Delft. (fn. n128) But on the 18 April Wotton writes that the Scottish ambassador was still there, though he had sent repeated messages urging that he might be dismissed. (fn. n129) Later, indeed, that day he was assured that the Emperor had actually given him his congé before leaving Brussels. (fn. n130) But on the 20th Carne still reported his continuance. (fn. n131) On the 27th Wotton wrote from Antwerp in a private letter to Paget that he had made another remonstrance about the Scotch ambassador's stay, and the President had told him in reply that he was only waiting till the French ambassador had an answer from his master. Wotton said, in that case he might wait as long as the French King pleased. But the President said he must leave when the Emperor took his departure; for he had no commission to follow his Majesty into Germany, whither he was about to go to the Diet of Worms. This was not quite satisfactory, for it suggested that there might have been some talk about his following the Emperor; and though the President assured him that he should not remain with the Queen Regent either, Wotton suspected that his delay was for some other object than was given out. (fn. n132) He was quite right; for the Queen Regent was making use of his presence to prevent relations with Scotland getting worse; (fn. n133) and on the 28th at his interview with the Emperor a secret treaty or compact was arranged to mitigate the inconveniences of a state of war. The Emperor informed him, indeed, that he could not at that time renew the old alliance between Burgundy and Scotland. But it was agreed that Scotch merchants might trade freely in Flanders if they had letters of safe-conduct under the Great Seal of the Low Countries, and Flemish merchants in Scotland under safe-conduct from the Governor; while at sea merchants on either side should be left unmolested by the other on showing letters of attestation. Neither Scotch nor Flemish vessels, however, were to enter the harbours of the other country unless for stress of weather, or to land anything even then without special licence from the officer of the port; and they were to leave by the first favorable, wind. Thus the state of war with Scotland became little more than nominal; but appearances were saved. (fn. n134)
No sooner was this agreed to than the Emperor left Antwerp on his way to Germany. Wotton and Carne, who also left Antwerp and went in advance of him as far as Mechlin, knew nothing of what was done. They only knew that on the 29th (the day after the treaty) the Scotch ambassador received a letter from the President, whose house he had been frequenting for two or three days, and they saw no evidence that he was going to follow the Emperor into Germany. (fn. n135) The treaty must have been felt as a great relief in Scotland, where on the 30 April, in ignorance that it was concluded, letters were written in the young Queen's name to Mary of Hungary, complaining of the breach of the league which her father had renewed with the Emperor for a hundred years. (fn. n136) But Henry VIII. learned out of Scotland that there was "great practice" between that country and the Emperor; and be heard that in the Low Countries there was secret talk about a marriage of the Queen of Scots to a son of Ferdinand, King of the Romans. (fn. n137)
Henry, however, had quite enough of other things to think about. Even in January when pressing his subjects for a benevolence, he was not less concerned about the placing of beacons, both on the coasts and on the hills, to give warning of any hostile fleet. (fn. n138) He had recalled Lord Lisle from Boulogne, his services being required as Admiral. (fn. n139) During April he had sent the Earl of Arundel and others to provide for the defence of the Western coasts, and had made great preparations of men and ships for Scotland, against which country he was sending all his Spanish and Italian mercenaries. The land expedition was to be under the command of Hertford, who, of course, was the right man to give another lesson to the Scots; and Chapuys believed it was his intention to rebuild the castle of Inchgarvic, (fn. n140) which had been hastily demolished last year, in order to command the estuary of the Forth. (fn. n141) Sir Thomas Seymour was sent to Dover to take the command of the Cinque Ports under the direction of the Warden, Cheyney, who was incapacitated by ague. (fn. n142) The protection of the Isle of Wight was committed to the Lord Chamberlain (St. John) and Sir Anthony Browne, Master of the Horse. That of Thanet was entrusted to Mr. Aucher and the gentlemen of the isle, "with certain artillery and 300 men in garrison"; and a request of Archbishop Cranmer for artillery for the cliffs of Kent was referred to Seymour's consideration. Yarmouth and Lowestoft were promised bulwarks at the expense of the country." (fn. n143)
"For the present defence of the said Isle, to grant the inhabitants six or eight pieces of good ordnance, with men practised to handle it, and to command the inhabitants to make a trench in the corner next Canterbury adjoining the Marsh, where they may sustain attacks from the enemy until aid come. The King to appoint three or four gentlemen at any fire given within the isle, with three or four hundred men for their succours." (fn. n144)
In the beginning of May the Council had obtained careful reports of the state of Boulogne and Calais and had taken measures for the defence of the kingdom generally, both for the navy, for the seacoasts, and for the North Country. For the Southern Counties they had issued commissions of array for the different districts, which were to last till Christmas. (fn. n145) At the same time the Duke of Norfolk was commissioned to make a survey of the Suffolk coast, which he did from Yarmouth almost to Orford Ness. He found that there were several places South of Lowestoft where an enemy might land, but not in great numbers. At Lowestoft were two Roads, the North and the South Road, where small ships could ride in all winds. The cliffs between Lowestoft and Yarmouth could easily be defended; but about Yarmouth were fair landing places, and the town required immediate measures for its protection till the country should come to its rescue. (fn. n146)
In the North the Border fortresses were in the most unsatisfactory condition. The weakness of Carlisle had been a frequent subject of complaint in times past, and of late years, at the suggestion of the Duke of Norfolk, a citadel had been built in addition to the ancient castle. (fn. n147) Yet things were now "far out of order." There were no statutes for the order of castle, town, or citadel. There was only one gunner, strange to say, to serve in all three, and though the town and castle were pretty well furnished with ordnance, they had but a scanty supply of ammunition and victuals. The captain of the citadel had allowance, if he could have claimed it, for six gunners and eight soldiers; but he had never been able to get a gunner nor any ordnance at all. In the castle there was no mill and an insufficient supply of water; and the town could not be held against any considerable force. (fn. n148) Besides these defects, the castle, it would seem, had an inefficient commander; for Sir John Lowther, the captain, was lame and impotent. The great lack, indeed, of the Border fortresses generally was, according to Sadler, that of good captains; for at Berwick neither Lord Evers, captain of the town, nor Sir Cuthbert Ratcliff, captain of the castle, had any experience in keeping a fortress, though they were both capable of good service elsewhere. And John Carr, captain of Wark, though a good Borderer and a very active man, did not know much about the assault or defence of a fortress. (fn. n149)
Yet in what manner deficiencies were to be supplied in those parts was always a serious problem. Perhaps the best illustration of this will be found in the case of certain new fortifications which had been for some time
making at Tynemouth. They were now so far advanced as to be fit for use, and the Council ordered Shrewsbury to appoint some meet personage with 200 or 300 men to garrison them. Shrewsbury's plan was to select 400 "tall men" out of the thousand or more workmen engaged there and make them liable to serve as soldiers when necessary, having armour and weapons supplied to them; so that the King would be put to no further charge. A gentleman of Clitheroe was joined to the overseer of the works that the two might be their captains in war; and Shrewsbury sent to Newcastle for one cannon, a "sacre," two "falcons" and two "slings." This was the best arrangement he could make; for it was hard enough to procure victuals for the workmen, whom they were bound to maintain at any rate. But the garrison would still be badly off for almost all necessaries, shot, powder, and gunners; and Shrewsbury, though lieutenant of the North, saw nothing more that he could do without diminishing the number of cannon at Berwick. (fn. n150)
As to Carlisle the representations made by Shrewsbury of the difficulty of keeping both the town and the citadel well defended seem to have been met by the Council with instructions, on the approach of any great hostile force, to abandon the town as too weak to be defended and use all available means to fortify the citadel. This order, when it came down, gave little comfort to the citizens or to Lord Wharton, and Hertford at Darlington despatched Sir Philip Hoby to Carlisle to view the town and confer with Wharton and other experts about fortifying it, in view of the great probability of some attempt by the enemy, who was not then far distant. (fn. n151)
But the general defence of the Kingdom engrossed the thoughts of the Council. At the end of May they had obtained and laid before the King "the very copies of the books of numbers of men serving, as well in the King's Majesty's camp at Boulogne, as in the several wards under the Duke of Norfolk and the Lord Privy Seal at Montreuil, and therewithal showing the numbers of men certified in every shire with harness, amounting to a goodly band of men." The King accordingly gave orders, for "repulse of the enemies bruiting to invade," that the Duke of Suffolk should wait upon him "with the powers of the shires about these parts," the Lord Privy Seal (Russell) with the Western men, and the Duke of Norfolk with Norfolk and those parts, "to whom letters were addressed for his repair to the Court." (fn. n152)
Norfolk, of course, did not delay to come up. He attended Council meetings on the 6th and 7th June (fn. n153); after which he was absent till the 13th, (fn. n154) when special business regarding the defence of the Kingdom again occupied attention. The safety of the Essex coast was the principal matter for consideration; and Norfolk was desired to hold a consultation on the subject with the Earl of Oxford and other gentlemen of the county. Master Poyntz and some other captains of the Essex bulwarks were present in that Council to hear the King's pleasure with regard to their fortification; and £40 was ordered to be delivered to Poyntz for that object, to be expended under the direction of the Duke. But after surveying the Essex coast along with certain gentlemen and mariners of the county, Norfolk came to the conclusion that there was really no great danger of a landing being effected, the country was so "very strong of hedges and ditches," and the worst that an enemy could do would be to burn a town of his own called Prittlewell. (fn. n155) Having sent this assurance to the Council, the Duke went home to his own house (probably Kenninghall, though it might have been Framlingham), where, however, new instructions awaited him to see that the beacons were in readiness along the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk. He at once took horse again and rode along the seaboard of those counties to a point near Orford Ness, whence he wrote from the house of one of his dependents to Paget that he had given orders about the beacons, and saw no danger of an "army royal" being landed anywhere except at Yarmouth, as that was the only safe harbor. At his former visit to that town he had made plans for bulwarks and "plat-forms for ordnance and ramparts"; in constructing which the inhabitants had shown the greatest possible diligence. Their rampart within the town was now half-a-mile long, "as high in places as the vamewre, and so broad that carts go upon it." If the enemy only gave them a month or six weeks more the town was really safe. (fn. n156)
No serious danger was to be apprehended from Scotland. Lorges Montgomery and the French succors only arrived in the Clyde at the end of May; and though, as it was soon discovered, he brought with him men and money in abundance, the intelligence did not make much difference to the English Government (fn. n157).On Hertford, now at Newcastle, its only effect was that whereas he had at first proposed to delay any invasion of Scotland till the latter part of August, he now thought it would be more expedient to invade at once, and desired some bands from the Duchy of Cleves sent on to him, as the Scots could not keep their men together for lack of victuals. The difficulty of commissariat, indeed, hampered movements on both sides; (fn. n158) otherwise Hertford himself would have occupied Kelso in anticipation of an advance by the Scots to the Borders, that they might be deterred from any attempt on Wark or Berwick. No such attempt, however, was made; nor does a Scottish invasion seem to have been anticipated in England, where the prevailing opinion was doubtless that of Chapuys, a dispassionate observer now at Bourbourg, that even apart from the difficulty of supplies, the Scots had been so severely punished and were so disunited that they were not likely to attempt it. (fn. n159)
Another reason why men like Hertford thought little of what the Scots could do may have been their positive knowledge of the want of good faith among the Scots themselves. Just before learning of the Frenchmen's arrival he was arranging to hold secret communication with Angus, Glencairn and others to get them to further Henry's policy, and with Cassillis to procure the murder of Cardinal Beton, the chief obstacle in Henry's way. (fn. n160) How little the Scotch nobility could be depended on even their French allies had had experience, and it is no wonder that Francis had great suspicion of them. The Frenchmen under Lorges, we hear, would not land at once until they had received sure information what to trust. (fn. n161) Yet they brought 5,000 crowns for the Governor, 4,000 crowns for Angus and Sir George Douglas, with thanks for their late services against England, and the Order of the "Coclee" and collar of gold for Angus, (fn. n162) So Angus was rewarded as the enemy of England at the very time that Hertford was seeking his aid to promote Henry's policy!
The arrival of the French auxiliaries scarcely seems to have awakened such prompt action in the Scotch Government as might have been expected. Only on the 26th June was there a great meeting at Starling of the Lords of the Council, in which it was resolved that since the King of France had shown such friendship, all were ready to do their utmost, either to defend the realm or to invade England. To this declaration fifty-four signatures of the Scotch nobles were appended; and it was followed up at another meeting two days later by an order for a great army to be raised out of the whole realm, all men between 60 and 16 being required to be at Roslin Moor by 28 July to pass forward with the Governor. At a third meeting, 29 June, this order was approved, and arrangements made in connection with it. (fn. n163) All seemed to be going on well, and on the 6 July Cardinal Beton wrote to the Pope that the old dissensions among the nobles were appeased and heretical opinions almost extinguished. Curiously enough, he wrote another letter to the Pope the same day, complaining of the audacious insolence and disrespect shown to himself by the Archbishop of Glasgow, Gavin Dunbar, who not only had his cross borne and blessed the people while he, the Cardinal, was present, but after being admonished to desist, made an attack upon him with armed soldiers in Glasgow cathedral. (fn. n164) Of course, this was a dispute about jurisdiction.
Hertford, meanwhile, at Darlington with his two colleagues, Bishop Tunstall and Sadler, were receiving ciphered despatches touching "the killing of the Cardinal," which was being secretly planned. The reader may well be startled at a bishop receiving any such communications—especially a bishop of so mild and gentle a nature as Tunstall. But against his will he was made to know secrets of State, and keep silence. The letters were from the Laird of Brunstone and were addressed to the King and Sadler. But letters from the Council had intimated that the King "would not seem to have to do in that matter." So Sadler wrote to the Laird of Brunstone on his own responsibility that the offer by him and some friends to take out of the way that" worker of all your mischief" if assured of a reward from Henry seemed to him most praiseworthy. It would be "acceptable service to God to take him out of the way," and though the King would not meddle with the matter, he would recommend that the attempt be made in full reliance that the King would liberally reward the doers. If they wished to be sure of the amount, let them intimate their terms to Sadler, and if they were reasonable he would undertake that the amount should be paid as soon as the deed was done. (fn. n165)
Sadler, moreover, sent a message through Brunstone to Sir George Douglas, whom, by report of a secret messenger, he found to be of the same opinion as himself touching the Cardinal, and who might be told of all that Sadler wrote about him. In short, Douglas might be safely made a confederate in the plot; and as Cassillis was already in it, we may possibly surmise, without great lack of charity, that it would be revealed to other Scotch lords as well, just as might seem convenient. So how far the great army preparing against England was really whole-hearted is a matter of considerable doubt; on which events may enlighten us hereafter.
We must now go back to matters between the King and the Emperor. The strained commercial relations with the Low Countries, after lasting a quarter of a year, were at length mitigated. On the 6th April the arrest in Flanders was terminated by an agreement made at Brussels that all grievances on either side should be referred to a diet of Commissioners appointed by the two Sovereigns to meet on the 1st May following at Calais or Marke and Gravelines. (fn. n166) The diet did not actually begin its sittings till the 11th May; but it continued to meet at Gravelines (except one day only at Calais) until at the end of the month a servant of Sir Edward Carne, one of the English Commissioners, having fallen ill of the plague, while Chapuys's health had been bad from the very first, permission was obtained to change the place to Bourbourg, (fn. n167) where further conferences were continued till the middle of July. The correspondence of the Commissioners on both sides is voluminous, but the details are not very interesting. The impression on the whole is that the English were high-handed in their dealings and that the Emperor could not afford to quarrel with them. The general complaints of the Imperialists (there were general and particular complaints on both sides) were of unwarrantable exactions in English ports and new restrictions on foreigners trading in England; while the English complained of war imposts on merchandise carried between Flanders and France, prohibition of the export of armour bought in the Emperor's countries, and stoppage of armour bought in Italy which was to have been carried through Germany. (fn. n168) Complaints such as these last might well seem incredible, for if anything is plain in international law, it is surely illegitimate to export material of war from the territory of a neutral to that of a belligerent. But the Emperor was still bound, by his treaty with England, to permit it, and the Imperial Commissioners themselves ordered some guns or hackbuts arrested at Dunkirk, of which their English colleagues had spoken to them, to be restored to the merchant to whom they belonged. (fn. n169) Moreover, at this very time an English agent at Antwerp, named William Damesell, was procuring gunpowder as well as hackbuts there for the King's service (fn. n170) and when the process was interfered with a few weeks later the King showed himself so extremely annoyed that Vander Delft, the new ambassador in England, advised the Queen of Hungary to grant a licence for the exportation. (fn. n171) The Emperor, indeed, did protest that the King had no right to be annoyed at his refusal of such licence, seeing that the French were continually complaining of his showing undue favor to England (fn. n172); but at last the Queen Regent gave Damesell leave to lade the gunpowder, provided it was done secretly, so that the authorities might not be charged with breach of the treaty with France. (fn. n173) And before the end of July he had secretly laden six hoys, four of which had already sailed to Zealand, and had still on hand over a hundred barrels with which he would lade two other hoys as soon as he could get them. (fn. n174)
We cannot dwell upon the proceedings of the Diet. Complaints increased on both sides while it was sitting. All arrests should have been discharged by the Brussels agreement; but English subjects and their goods were still arrested in Spain, and they could not get justice, being treated as heretics. (fn. n175) On the other hand, daily depredations were committed by the English on Flemish or Spanish vessels on the pretext that their cargoes were French. (fn. n176) A Spaniard seeking justice was sent on to England by the Commissioners, and as redress seemed to be less easily obtained than ever, Chapuys hinted that if the Emperor had anticipated the course taken, the arrest in Flanders might not have been released. (fn. n177) In fact a new arrest was at one time in actual contemplation by the Emperor, as it was said the English were secretly withdrawing their property from the towns there; but as the report seemed doubtful Chapuys took steps to prevent it. (fn. n178) A rumor, however, got abroad that the new arrest was just about to take place on the 4 July; and Vaughan at Antwerp received warning of it in bed at 2 o'clock in the morning. But after two days his alarm abated. (fn. n179) The Diet ended on the 16 July, the Imperial Commissioners expressing a hope that on report being made to their masters by them and the English, a more satisfactory settlement might even yet be arrived at (fn. n180).
In the course of these negotiations Chapuys, whom the English were wont to speak of as a very sly fox (while Paget at home impeached his honesty in a way that might be expected of a man who was himself unscrupulous) (fn. n181), made a quiet suggestion that it would do Henry no harm to subscribe the treaty that the Emperor had made with France. He put it as simply an idea that had recently occurred to himself which might tend to smooth matters; and while they were answering some reasons that he had advanced for it, he suddenly asked them if the King had any ambassadors or agents with the Protestants in Germany. "None that we know of," they replied. "No?" said Chapuys, "what is Christopher Mount?" Oh, he was only a student of civil law living in Germany, where he was born. They believed the King for his long service had given him a living in England, but of any commission that he held they knew nothing. (fn. n182)
This ignorance will not be shared by the student of these papers. As early as the 20th October, 1544, Christopher Mont had written to the King from Spires that the Germans seemed to desire a league with him (fn. n183); and in a subsequent letter he explained his reasons for thinking so. The fears of the Protestants had been aroused by the peace between the Emperor and France, and they thought it must be injurious to Henry also, through the wiles of their common enemy, the Roman pontiff. Indeed, the Emperor and the French King might now make a joint attack on the Protestants and on England. The Landgrave of Hesse had already been urged by an influential person to persuade the other members of the Smalcaldic League to such an alliance; but Mont thought he himself could promote it best if he were commissioned to treat with the Landgrave in person.
It would seem that the influential person referred to by Mont was Duke Maurice of Saxony, the Landgrave's son-in-law, who had already taken such action by himself as to despatch a servant to Boulogne with credence for Henry, expressing his willingness to serve him in the war against France with such horsemen and footmen as Henry thought expedient. The message was not actually delivered, as the King had left Boulogne and returned to England before the messenger arrived. But the King knew enough to induce him before the end of January to despatch Queen Katharine Parr's Secretary, Walter Buckler, with instructions for him and Christopher Mont, whom he was to join at Spires and letters of credence both to Duke Maurice and to the Landgrave. (fn. n184) To the Duke they were to express how kindly the King took his offer, to discourse upon the advantages that the whole League of Smalcalde would gain by an alliance with the King, and to wonder that none of their princes made an offer for the hand of either of the King's daughters, pointing out various considerations to remove objections to such a proposal. To the Landgrave they might go a little further; for in private conversations with Mont he had by this time offered to send the King 8,000 or 10,000 footmen and 2,000 horsemen, and in further conference on the affairs of Christendom had actually spoken of such a league between England and the Protestants; in connection with which he had gone so far as to suggest a marriage between "the lady Mary" and Adolphus Duke of Holstein, the King of Denmark's brother. (fn. n185) This last point, he was to be told, must depend on the conditions offered, and those required for the one daughter would be greater than for the other. On other points, as great expedition and secrecy were necessary, the Landgrave should despatch one or two of his Council at once to the King of Denmark, and so forth. I need not trouble the reader with much detail, nor with what Buckler heard by the way. (fn. n186) The envoys were also instructed, if they had sufficient encouragement, to go on to John Frederic of Saxony, the Elector, and get his concurrence in the league. But John Frederic, after so many fruitless missions in the past, would now have nothing more to do with Henry VIII.; and the Landgrave, who as a politician thought the league extremely important, was in despair. (fn. n187) And when the envoys visited the Landgrave, although he was still eager to promote the league, he was unable to promise a new mission to England in company with them on their return until the subject had been well discussed among the Smalcaldians themselves. Moreover, he would require to know if he gave Henry the foot and horse that he had offered him, what " sure reciproque " for his own safeguard the King could give him in return, considering the danger of the French King and the displeasure of his allies. (fn. n188) On this the Privy Council instructed Buckler to inform the Landgrave that the King would provide himself with armed men elsewhere, as he had more than sufficient offers from other quarters. (fn. n189)
Buckler and Mont were now instructed to watch the proceedings of the Diet of Worms, which they reported from time to time. It was the great crisis of the German Reformation, when the question was put and answered whether the men of the Augsburg Confession would submit their differences in religion to a General Council called by the Roman pontiff's authority. In the absence of the Emperor, King Ferdinand addressed the Diet on the 20th (fn. n190) March, six days after his arrival. He attended daily the sermon of a friar in the Cathedral, who preached upon the Bishop of Rome's authority with all the eloquence he could command; and he laid before the Diet ten articles for consideration. But the main controversy was about the first two, how disputes about religion should be determined and how justice and peace should be preserved within the Empire. The Princes of the Augsburg Confession and the cities adhering to it insisted that the Diet was indicted chiefly on account of religious questions, and therefore that they should proceed with that business and not refer it to the Council of Trent. They also demanded, as they had before desired, a reform of the judicial Chamber of the Empire; and they would not proceed to any other business till these matters were settled. (fn. n191) But the decision of the majority was against them in these matters; and so serious did the consequences appear to the German Protestants that even the Elector of Saxony's Chancellor, joining with the Chancellor of the Landgrave and with James Sturmius, chief of the city of Strasburg, took counsel with the English envoys, feeling that they and the King of England had at least one common object—resistance to " the Bishop of Rome's tyranny." (fn. n192) It was clear that the pacification of Nuremberg would no longer be extended if questions of religion were to be determined at Trent. The Council was not going to be such as the Protestants demanded, a free, general Council, to be held in Germany (fn. n193); and, until they were assured of continued peace, they withheld even the money they had contributed against the Turk. For this, indeed, they had reason enough, as a rumour had reached the Diet of a five years' truce with the Turk, and they might well fear that their contributions would be used against themselves. (fn. n194)
The Emperor's arrival at the Diet made little difference. He reached Worms on the 16th May, and Cardinal Farnese arrived two days later from Rome, when he was received with peculiar honor. (fn. n195) There had also arrived, some weeks earlier, the French ambassador Grignan, (fn. n196) along with some Churchmen of high standing, who had frequent conferences with the Protestants, suggesting a Council at Metz rather than at Trent, so as to remove objections; but it was the Council itself more than the place that they disliked. (fn. n197) On Whitmonday, the 25th, a Sicilian friar preached very vehemently, exhorting the Emperor and Ferdinand to take up arms against the Protestants. (fn. n198) Buckler and Mont, meanwhile, received instructions in consequence of their last communications to inquire of the two Chancellors and Sturmius, and also of the Landgrave when they had an opportunity to return to him, what aid they desired of the King if they should be invaded and what they would contribute to him in like case. They promised to communicate with the other Protestant ambassadors and write with speed to know their masters' minds. (fn. n199)
Cardinal Farnese left Worms abruptly nine days after his arrival, travelling in disguise, in a night when it thundered, as an attendant to Signor Madruzzi, the Cardinal of Trent's brother. The manner of his departure, considering his danger from the Duke of Wirtemberg and the Protestants, did not excite so much astonishment as that he had despatched his business, whatever it was, so soon. The Count Palatine, who had for some time been held in suspicion by the Catholics, (fn. n200) ordered his subjects to arms. (fn. n201) On the 10th June Grignan addressed the Diet, stating that his master, the French King, quite agreed with the Emperor in supporting the Council of Trent. (fn. n202) After this there was not much left for Buckler and Mont to do, except painfully and repeatedly to solicit an answer from the Protestants, which was always expected, but never came. (fn. n203) They could only, at times recommend a German captain for Henry VIII.'s service, (fn. n204) or help to ease the passage of German mercenaries engaged by him through the North of Germany. (fn. n205)
One result, however, came of Buckler and Mont's mission to the Diet, which may be briefly noticed here, but will engage further attention later on. James Sturmius, of Strasburg, arranged a meeting with Mont at Spires on the 14th July, at which he communicated to him secrets of very great importance. By his peace with the Emperor, Francis had sadly disappointed his old allies the Protestants; and they still more regretted the existing enmity between France and England. But Sturmius had ascertained on very good authority that Francis would be willing to accept them as mediators, hoping that Henry would be got to surrender such an expensive conquest as Boulogne upon honorable conditions; and though Sturmius had no commission from Francis himself, he had letters from Cardinal du Bellay, the Dauphin and Admiral d' Annebault desiring the matter to be proposed to the Protestants. So two things had to be ascertained, whether they would accept the charge and whether Henry would agree to their mediation. (fn. n206)
The Diet of Worms, if it effected nothing else, delayed very considerably the opening of the Council of Trent. The day originally appointed for it was Our Lady's day in Lent, the 25th March. (fn. n207) In the middle of March it was said that three Cardinals, of whom Pole was one, were on their way thither. (fn. n208) But Pole in fact remained behind, as his life was not safe from Ludovico dal' Armi and the bands hired by Henry VIII. (fn. n209) and had only reached Bologna by an indirect route in April, while his two brother legates were there at the time appointed and were addressed on the 26th March by the Emperor's delegate, Don Diego de Mendoza, to whom they made a formal reply on the following day. (fn. n210) In May some news had reached Venice about a new bull having been issued to convoke all prelates to the Council. (fn. n211) But the times were clearly against it. Nothing was done, and Cardinal Pole was in continual danger. (fn. n212) Then Cervini the Cardinal of St. Cross fell ill, (fn. n213) not to mention other difficulties in the way of proceeding. But when Farnese returned to Rome, he reported the Emperor's willingness that the Council should proceed at once, and that he was ready to take arms against those who opposed it; on which, it was said, a post was despatched to the three legates to begin it without delay. (fn. n214) Whether this was true we cannot very well say; but it is certain that the Council did not really begin till December.
Of the progress of the war with France during the first five months of this year there is really little to record, and even of successful exploits by the English the notices, strange to say, are mostly indirect and meagre in the extreme. This we have seen already in the case of the rout of the French at Boulogne in February; and next month we have another English success, of which our knowledge is derived entirely from a foreign source. For in March, as the Imperial Ambassador in France writes to Covos, a castle near Ardres was taken by the English, who would thus be able considerably to hinder the revictualling of the place. (fn. n215) This is all that we are informed of the event. In May Lord Poynings, the governor of Boulogne, won the Castle of Hardelot (fn. n216) and not long afterwards the English captured a galliot and drove a galley ashore in that neighbourhood. (fn. n217)
During this period we find some by-play of diplomacy, of which we have not all the details. It appears, however, that when Paget went to Brussels in February to complain of the arrest in the Low Countries, he despatched from thence one John Toulorges into France with a private letter to the Queen of Navarre, which he had shown to the King at Greenwich. His pretext for writing to her, it is quite evident, was based upon his conversations with her during his embassy in 1542, in which she expressed so strongly her regard for Henry VIII., and accused the Emperor of hypocrisy; (fn. n218) and the object of the epistle, no doubt, was partly to make mischief between the Emperor and France and partly to prompt an offer of separate negotiation with England. The letter provoked a short correspondence between the Queen and Paget. But the Brussels Court learned something about it, and Paget was put to confusion when Schore, with a knowing smile, taxed him with having become "a great practitioner with the Queen of Navarre." He was glad that it was dark so that Schore could not see his blushes; but his attempt to explain away the discovery was hopeless. Nor did the King approve of a device which he referred to him for consideration for destroying the effect of the disclosure by a letter written to be intercepted. (fn. n219)
The correspondence, however, probably produced a good part of the intended result. Occasion was taken, by the repair to France of a prisoner at Boulogne named Hippolyto, (fn. n220) to be exchanged for Sir Richard Wingfield. Being received at the French Court, he was sent back to Lord Poynings at Boulogne with a credence from Madame d' Etampes, Admiral d' Annebaut and Longueville suggesting a renewal of the old amity. But as the French expected Henry to surrender his conquest of Boulogne, which the King would on no account hear of, the overtures led to nothing. (fn. n221) Equally fruitless on this same ground was an attempt at mediation which the Emperor made in March as the best means of freeing the intercourse between France and the Netherlands. (fn. n222)
In March and April the French were making great preparations for the despatch of a fleet from Marseilles to the English Channel. Their galleys were to proceed to Étaples in the middle of May. (fn. n223) Six were building at Rouen and six vessels came from Scotland to aid the French. (fn. n224) The French proposed to recommence the war with three armies against England, one to attack Boulogne, the second in Scotland, the third to invade England from Normandy. (fn. n225) They would send across the Channel 300 ships, 25 galleys, 5 galleasses and 10,000 men, who would take up a fortified position on the coast of the Isle of Wight; then land their men near Boulogne, close the harbour with wooden booms and make a fort on the beach like that which the English had demolished. (fn. n226) In England the commissions of array issued on the 7th May were supplemented by others on the 14th June placing the militia of three different groups of counties until Michaelmas under the separate captaincies of the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and Russell, the lord Privy Seal. (fn. n227)
On the 23rd May Francis I at Châteaudun issued instructions to call out the ban and arrière ban; but the proclamation was only made at Paris on the 8th June. (fn. n228) Rumors were rife that Francis himself was coming to besiege Boulogne with 40,000 men (fn. n229); and Lord Poynings, who had the keeping of the town, was informed at that time, not that Francis, but that a force of 12,000 Picards and Normans and 8,000 Parisians were coming, besides that a fleet of Gascons might be expected by sea. He had heard also that 8,000 Italians had arrived in France, sent by the Pope in aid of Francis. (fn. n230) Somewhat later he got news from a French drummer that 10,000 soldiers of Paris and 5,000 Grisons were on the march from Paris to Abbeville, and that Francis himself would shortly be there himself with a host never seen, in France before. (fn. n231) Later still, on the 12th June, a spy brought him very precise information of the shipping and artillery prepared at Rouen, Havre, Dieppe and Crotoy at the mouth of the Somme. At that time twenty-two galleys from Marseilles were daily expected. (fn. n232) Next day news was received at Calais that the Dauphin had arrived at Montreuil and was going to besiege Boulogne; but Poynings, when informed, had some doubts of it. (fn. n233)
Again, on the 22nd, Poynings had still fuller particulars about the shipping, not only in the Seine and Normandy, but at Rochelle and elsewhere in France. Francis was on Sunday the 14th on the way from Rouen to Havre; while a force of 10,000 or 12,000 men was to be landed between Gravelines and Calais to meet with a large body from Ardres and "Breamys." (fn. n234) No greater result, however, seems to have come of this than that the French succeeded in revictualling Ardres. (fn. n235) But there are many details touching the French movements and the state of Boulogne which I must leave the reader to investigate for himself. (fn. n236)
The Council in England meanwhile were urging on the fortification of Queenborough Castle and of the isles of Sheppy and Grain, (fn. n237) and a proclamation was issued that the King intended to take all ruffians and vagabonds, masterless men and others and make them serve in galleys, which should be armed by the 1st June. (fn. n238)
By the middle of June the Admiral, Lord Lisle, had gone to sea with a force of 12,000 men, which was to be reinforced with 4,000 more. (fn. n239) He soon met thirty hulks laden with salt, which he brought into Dover harbour; and he formed a project to use a few of them, putting men on board, which were to be pursued by others into the mouth of the Seine. There the pursuers would put about, and the Admiral and the entire fleet would make their appearance. While the enemy's attention was thus engaged, the hulks, for which he had French pilots, were to attack, two by two, the chief ships in the harbour, and if they could not be brought away, set fire to them, while the men escaped in the boats. (fn. n240) The King approved the project; but stormy weather interfered with its execution. On the night of the 21st June, while lying off Beachy Head, some of the hulks endeavoured to steal away in the darkness. They were seen and pursued by the swiftest vessels in the fleet, of which the Less Galley, commanded by Sir John Barkley, was the foremost. Sir John fired a "sacre" after them, but it burst and he was struck through the body by an iron fragment. The hulks were collected again by 9 o'clock next morning; but rough weather again set in at night, and he was obliged to take shelter, apparently at Rye. The other ships, from the Thames, had not been able to join him, and he had lost all the hulks except seven, which he still reserved for the enterprise whenever it should be practicable. The French fleet, however, was in much the same case as his own. It could not leave Havre, but waited for the galleys and squadron from Brest. (fn. n241)
At last the English fleet did come to Havre and fired some shots against the town, but was driven off; so that the grand device was a failure (fn. n242); but Lisle shortly afterwards engaged and put to flight a French squadron off Alderney. (fn. n243) The French, however, were far more troublesome to England than the English were to France. On the 16th or 17th July (fn. n244) their great fleet sailed from Havre, and on Sunday the 19th they were seen in the Solent, when the King, who had by this time come to Portsmouth, was at dinner on board the flagship. He at once disembarked, and the English fleet sailed to encounter the French, shooting at the galleys, of which five had actually entered the harbour while the English could not get out for lack of wind. In the afternoon occurred a disaster worse than the enemy, in all probability, could have inflicted. The Mary Rose, the ship of Vice-Admiral Sir George Carew, suddenly heeled over and foundered, with the loss of 500 men on board, all but 25 or 30. The portholes having been left open after firing, the water had rushed in when a breeze sprang up. Next day there was firing on both sides, which lasted all day; and on Tuesday the 21st the enemy landed in the Isle of Wight. (fn. n245)
I do not propose to describe in detail the naval operations either of Lord Lisle or of the French Admiral even so far as they can be traced in these papers. A vivid narrative of the whole story derived from a comparison of our State Papers with Du Bellay's Memoires is familiar to most people in Froude's History; and I may leave corrections and amplifications to the student. Yet attention may be drawn to such points as the French having sounded the harbour of Chichester, (fn. n246) or to their landing at Seaford. The date of this last event, which Froude found ambiguous, appears clearly to have been on the 25th July, though Edward Gage, by a singular mistake, dated his letter about it Mary Magdalen's Day, which is the 22nd. (fn. n247) The French fleet had returned to the coast of Normandy on the 28th, disappointed at not having captured Portsmouth. (fn. n248) They were, however, forthwith again at sea, and by the end of the month were harassing the South-Eastern coast while sailing towards Dover. (fn. n249)
But I must take notice of one thing which may look like an omission. Nothing whatever will be found in these papers about an attack made by the French fleet on Brighton (or, as early writers call it, Bright Hamsteed) in July, which Holinshed dates on the 18th and Stowe on the 19th. The absence of documentary evidences about this incident is certainly remarkable, seeing that we have several notices of the similar event at Seaford. Yet there is one document in the Cottonian library which seems to refer to it—the MS., Augustus I., Vol. I, No. 18, which is thus described in the Catalogue:
This is really a pictorial map, (fn. n250) and a fine work of art as regards the drawings of the ships and galleys. But I confess I have some misgivings as to the date "1545, Julye 37 Hen. VIII." written near the left hand top corner in a hand which, though early, is not, I think, quite contemporary. And I rather incline to believe, from other indications, that the chart gives us a picture of the burning of Brighton by Prégent in 1514, a fact recorded in Hall's Chronicle, and also mentioned in one letter of the period. (fn. n251)
Far as these remarks have extended, I feel that, after all, I have only been able to exhibit in outline a number of the principal subjects contained in this particular Part, to the exclusion of important details, and even of important names. Of minor subjects still untouched I will only mention a few. The King's financial necessities were becoming continually more pressing; and notwithstanding his demand for a benevolence, and his constant borrowing at high interest, there was a talk of his taking the revenues of collegiate churches, (fn. n252) and of "borrowing" plate from churches in general. (fn. n253) Besides which, surrenders of colleges and hospitals or of churchlands to the Crown came in this year with a rapidity which suggests somewhat special pressure. (fn. n254) Then in June came a commission to obtain from the clergy payment by anticipation of the subsidy due at Christmas. (fn. n255) In short, as Chapuys sums up the situation, notwithstanding the benevolence, the sale of Church revenues and the debasement of the coinage, money was still running short, the garrisons were left unpaid for months, and the King was dunned for payment of other debts continually.
On matters of religion it is sufficient to call attention to the documents relating to Anne Askew in March (Nos. 390, 391), the setting forth of the King's Primer (No. 661), and the unfortunately mutilated depositions touching the new English Litany (No. 1118).