Henry VIII: February 1531, 1-15

Pages 37-47

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 5, 1531-1532. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1880.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


Page 37
Page 38
Page 39
Page 40
Page 41
Page 42
Page 43
Page 44
Page 45
Page 46
Page 47

February 1531, 1-15

1 Feb.
R. O.
81. John Mablisteyn to Sir Giles Russell.
Has no news from the religious since "the trepasse of Mr. Baylie." Will pass the benefice of Tyffelde as concluded with the abbot of Pipwell. "My Lord hath here great business in the Convocation, for that they would have him and you contributors to one 100,000l. by them granted to the King. How it shall pass I cannot tell you." London, 1 Feb.
Hol., p. 1. Add. : To the right worshipful Sir Giles Russell, knt. commander of Badisforde and Dingley.
1 Feb. Simancas MS. 82. Mai to the Empress.
Is going on to the conclusion of the English case. Fears that the King will marry without waiting for the sentence.
Is informed that they will appeal to a future Council, when the case is ready for sentence (para sentenciar). Writes to the president what is necessary for the case. Asks the Empress to order diligence to be used. Dr. Ortiz arrived eight days ago, and delivered her letters.
Sp., p. 1, modern copy. Headed : Copia de parrafo de carta de Micer Mai a la Emperatriz, fecha en Roma, a 1 de Febrero 1531.
2 Feb.
R. O.
83. William Laurence to Cromwell.
I have been in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, as you commanded, for the pensions and arrears. In Romborow the baily says he will not pay anything without further commandment from you, as was agreed upon. Style, of the same place, says he had paid the baily of Bungay two years of his portion for the tithe of Wyssett. I went to him for the money, and he said you sent him letters where it should be bestowed. The parson of Ketillboroght refuses to pay 2s. 4d. a year until he knows to whom it is to be paid. I have been at Dr. Lee's benefice, where neither the farmer nor the parish priest was at home, and so I could get no answer. Pray speak with Dr. Lee at London, for his payment is due for two years, and is 4l. I have been at Wylby, the benefice of Dr. Spensar, who is commissary to my lord of Norwich, and his farmer said his master had ridden to York, and he could do nothing without him. I have been at Swaffham, and the parson there is the abbot of Westmestory; and the vicar of the town, Master Thos. Lymman, was the farmer of it for two years past, and gave this crooked answer, that he would make no payment, neither for the parsonage nor for his own duty, unless he saw a speciality why he should pay it. I could not "theyn" him, or any other, for lack of knowledge. I have been at Bassyngborne for the arrears of the parson, who is abbot of Westmestery, and he has straitly charged his farmer to pay neither pensions nor portions till he had spoken with you. His arrears, amounting to 6l., are for three years past. I have been with the vicar of Haslyngfild, who refers the payment of 40s. for two years past to the parson of the vicarage, who is abbot of St. Mary's, York, and the Abbot will not pay till he has spoken with you. I have been at Little Abingdon; and the farmer says, when he knows his master's pleasure, who is prior of Pentney, he will bring his payment to Gypswich in Cleansing week. I have inquired for the arrears of Stoxby, "the which is Maistres Barnese wydow," and amount to 30l., but cannot hear where such a town should be, nor in what shire. Let me know by Master Auditor, who was the last accountant. The residue of the pensions, amounting to 15l. for two years, I have received. Be good to Will. Whardd, the bearer, for his lease. He will deliver payment for the whole. Gypswich, 2 Feb.
Hol., pp. 2. Add. : To the right worshipful Master Cromwell, in the Austin Friars at London.
3 Feb.
R. O.
84. Thomas Whalley to Cromwell.
I certify you that your servant Brabschon, and my friend Swyfte, are at Daventre on the business you commanded, and left me a letter for Sir Geo. Throgmorton, who has never since come to Raunston, but remains in Warwickshire. He will be at Raunston on Wednesday next. Thos. Perkyns and I have sold 4 acres of underwood in your woods of Tyckthornes, at 4 nobles the acre, and you may every year get the like. The bearer, a tenant of the College, is in business (in trouble) in the Exchequer; but, through the ill-will of a neighbour's child dwelling in London, has an action brought against him for tanning hides. He is a substantial man. His adversary is a fugitive fellow, and does not come home to his own house once in half a year. My friend is advised to desire some gentleman to inform the Chief Baron of the Exchequer of the business; and if you would undertake it, he would be bound to pray for you. Newport, morrow of Candlemas Day.
Respite is taken for the bearer till Tuesday.
Hol., p. 1. Add. : Right worshipful.
4 Feb.
R. O.
85. Alen, Archbishop of Dublin.
Profession by John [Alen] archbishop of Dublin that he holds his archbishopric, and all its manors and emoluments, of the Crown. 4 Feb. 22 Hen. VIII.
Lat., draft, p. 1. Endd.
6 Feb.
R. O.
86. Reynold Lytylprow to Cromwell.
Robt. Reynbold showed me that he spake with you, and it was your pleasure to ask for me. I hear you are the King's servant, and in his high favor. I hear also that my lord Cardinal is dead, which I think is not true. Norwich, 6 Feb.
Hol., p. 1. Add. : My special friend. Endd.
6 Feb.
R. O.
87. Ric. Hutton, Priest, to Cromwell.
I pray your favor to Dan Thomas Nevill, the bearer, late of Felixstow, that he may have a capacity, as Dr. Stephens and you promised him when he showed you reasons why he could not perform the duties of religion. Gyppiswiche, 6 Feb.
Pray thank John Lancastre, of Felixstow alias Walton, who for your sake sent me a fat lamb.
Hol., p. 1. Add. : Right worshipful. Endd.
7 Feb.
R. O.
88. Sir William North, vicar of Battysford, to Sir Giles Russell, Master of the Commandries of Battysford and Dyngeley.
Asks him to give the service in Badlee, which the late Sir Robert had, to his kinsman, Sir Wm. Malton, priest. Offers him five marks.
Has had no burial since Christmas, except of houseling people from John Aylmer's house. Russell needs not fear to come home at his pleasure. Battysford, 7 Feb. 1530.
Hol., p. 1. Add.
8 Feb. 89. Abbey of Burton-on-Trent.
Cong d'lire. See Grants in February, No. 21.
8 Feb. 90. St. Mary's, York.
Election of Abbot. See Grants in February, No. 19.
9 Feb.
Add. MS. 8,583, f. 2. B. M.
91. Dr. Ortiz to Charles V.
Has already written about his exertions at Turin in the cause of the queen of England, and the extreme activity of the agents of the king of England on the other side.
Arrived at Rome on 23 Jan. The justice of the cause is so certain that there was no reason for the Pope to yield to what was made a matter of dispute, with so much injury to conscience and bad example as has resulted from the delay of the cause. Takes no account of the many signatures obtained for the King, as they are of no weight. Wishes the lawyers were here to dispute face to face, who have given contrary opinions with so little thought, not having seen that the prohibition of this marriage is not by Divine law, but only positive law, in which the Pope can dispense, especially when he has important reasons. Has not yet been to visit the Pope, as he has nothing but his travelling dress.
Wrote [the above] by the last courier, and resumes his letter. Has paid his respects to the Pope, who expressed pleasure at his arrival. He said he knew the inconveniences mentioned by the writer as resulting from the delay of the cause, and would prevent them by hastening justice as much as he could. Wished to find some one here who would examine the matter on the contrary side, as far as it depends on theology, which is the principal point.
The Pope ought to confine the king of England to this point; because, as far as I can see from the informations laid by his proctors before the Pope and Cardinals, the King claims that he is not obliged to treat the cause here, as it is so important that he ought to appear in person, and the road is not safe.
This article will be discussed in the first Consistory. It concerns the jurists, though Ortiz thinks it certain that since the cause has already been determined by law (por derechos), his Holiness is bound by his office to proceed against the rebels who are in fault, without their appearing or alleging anything to the contrary. Has received the Emperor's letter ordering him to prosecute the cause with diligence, which he will do when Mai tells him it is the right time, for now the process does not turn upon the principal point. Rome, 9 Feb. 1531.
Sp., pp. 4, modern copy.
10 Feb.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 4. B. M. Ib., f. 10.
92. Muxetula to Charles V.
Wrote on the last of Jan. Hears that the courier was lost between Modena and Bologna, and therefore sends another copy with this. This evening the Pope showed him letters from France of the 27th, 28th, and 29th, stating that the king of England had made great complaints to Francis of the Pope's inhibition against proceeding de facto in the marriage in England, and wished him to remonstrate on the ground that as [Henry] had forborne to proceed in the cause of Rome (i.e. in throwing off allegiance to Rome ?) in consequence of the interposition of Francis with the Pope, (fn. 1) his Holiness ought not now to proceed in this inhibition without his knowledge.
The Nuncio writes that the French king spoke with him very coldly, not saying that the Pope had done ill to make this inhibition, but that it would be convenient that some method of agreement should be found, for which reason the cause should not be proceeded with in Rome. The duke of Albany has also made great instance on behalf of the French king. The Pope replied to him that he could not delay justice any longer, for all this was proposed that the cause might meanwhile be proceeded with in England; that he would be obliged if the French king could interpose some means of concord, but he could not on this account delay the cause. Albany said the French king would promise that nothing should be done in England. To this the Pope replied, that if he had been urged on behalf of the Queen, he could not fail to proceed to what justice demands.
An Englishman has appeared before the Pope and the Rota to excuse the King, and many practices are set on foot by him and the ambassadors.
This morning the Consistory resolved not to admit the excusator, and that the matter should be proceeded with in Rome.
Mai writes more at length of the matter.
The rest of the letter is about the affairs of France, Italy, and the Turks. Rome, 10 Feb. 1531.
Sp., pp. 12, modern copy.
[10 Feb.]
R. O. St. P. VII. 281.
93. Benet to Henry VIII.
On the 7th received yours of the 8th ult., &c.
Went to Albany and communicated the charge sent from the French king. On the 8th Albany visited the Pope, but could not bring him to suspend the process or revoke the inhibitions. On the 10th Capasuchi related the opinion of the Rota that Carne might act as excusator without a proxy from you. Could only inform certain Cardinals of the matter for scantiness of time. Carne has offered to them to satisfy any objection, which was announced to the Pope in the presence of Albany. Seeing the Rota wished for a proxy, we kept close that we had one. States reasons for so doing. Yesterday, when we were with the Pope, as you will perceive by our common letter in Latin, as the Pope would grant no delay, and the excusator would not be heard sine mandato, asked a term to learn your pleasure. He said he would propose it in Consistory. States their method for obtaining delay. On my urging the Pope to suspend the cause, he declined, saying, "Nay, my son, for if the King your master had once answered by his proctor in the cause here, the cause should depend then here suo consensu, et sic a fortiori, he might not attempt anything at home de facto." He said further it would do a prejudice to the Queen. Details the Pope's objections.
Hol., draft, mutilated.
11 Feb.
Le Grand, III. 515.
94. Nicholas Raince to Francis I.
On receipt of your letter of the 29th ult. Albany communicated your instructions to the Pope about the affair of the king of England, after consultation with the English ambassadors, who had resolved that it was unnecessary to speak about the first point as to the revocation of the briefs, but only as to the second touching the delay. Albany, however, pressed the Pope on both points to satisfy Francis. To the first he replied that it was a thing he could not honorably do, and he thought the English ambassadors would not make him any such request; to the second, that you might have known already by cardinal Grammont what he had done, and still would do in this cause for your sake. Notwithstanding the long delays which had intervened "et plusque passes une instance," he would still do all he could to satisfy you and the king of England. Grammont had been already more than two months there (par del), and notwithstanding the continual remonstrances of the Emperor's agents, and constant letters from the Emperor himself, he had put off as long as he could. Even on Monday last in Consistory he had agreed to proceed in the matter, although the king of England's agents had already given information in the cause, upon intelligence brought by the knight Casal some days before, and it had been already concluded that the auditors of the Rota should order a report of their resolution to be made to the Consistory next day, Wednesday; which Consistory, to give them more time to make their information, was again put off till Friday (yesterday), when the auditors made their report and gave their resolution. Albany has doubtless written to you of the proceedings. The Pope has charged me to tell you he wishes you were well informed of the urgency shown by the Emperor and his agents, who press him commonly twice a day; and he wishes that you would believe that he would be glad to satisfy you, not only in this but everything, and that he will gain all the time he possibly can to enable the king of England's agents to inform him and obtain an answer. Rome, Saturday, 11 Feb. 1531.
11 Feb.
R. O.
95. W. Strangways, Priest, to Cromwell.
May God reward you where I am not able, I trust that I may be discharged of such money as I have of the temporalities of Durham. For the finers of lead I trust you will be as good master to help for my discharge. I shall not fail to recompense your kindness. I have not yet spoken with my kinsman Will. Witham. I have sent to remind him of your horse. 11 Feb.
Hol., p. 1. Add. : Right worshipful. Endd.
12 Feb.
R. O.
96. W. Strangways, Priest, to Cromwell.
I have written to you more largely by John Pursere, one of the finers of lead. My friend Mr. Blithman, the bearer, has cause of pursuit to Dr. Knight, now archdeacon of Richmond, for reversion of the registrarship in the same archdeaconry. I beg you will use your influence in his behalf. Auckland, 12 Feb. Signed.
P. 1. Add. : Right worshipful.
13 Feb.
Theiner,p.589. St. P. VII.284.
97. Henry VIII. to Clement VII.
Learned from the Pope's brief, dated 1 Dec., and from report, that the Emperor has not made an entirely satisfactory arrangement with the Germans in matters of religion. We, therefore, commend your anxiety for a General Council, and grieve that such Councils are not more frequently held for the suppression of heresy. Will do what we can to promote it, and think that some spot should be fixed upon by the consent of Princes which is both safe and commodious. Will send representatives if we cannot attend in person. Westm., 13 Feb. 1530.
Vit. B. XIII. 135. B. M. Pocock, II. 118. 2. Draft of the same, with considerable alterations.
Lat., mutilated.
13 Feb.
R. O.
98. Ghinucci and Benet to Henry VIII.
"Intelligct Maj. vestra per licteras communes quod in Rota fuit conclusum excusatorcm non admittendum sine mandato, et idem fuisse conclusum in Concistorio. Noluimus autem prsentarc mandatum ad nos superioribus diebus missum ad prsentandas exceptiones dilatorias, quia audiverimus diversos auditores certa verba expressisse, parque videbantur sentire materias nostras non esse relevantes, sed et in hac opinione confirmavit nos Pontifex, qui heri dixit nobis esse aliquos qui sentirent non posse excusatorem, etiam cum mandato, proponere talia qu Mtem vestram relevarent missione procuratoris; et cum prter hoc videremus tantam fieri justitiam super mittendo mandato ad causam principalem, allegando etiam ad hoc [decisionem Rot] (fn. 2) quod aliqui dicebant de stylo curi esse qua dicetur caveri quod volens excusare aliquem a comparitione, etiam cum mandato, debet venire, etiam cum mandato, ad causam principalem, statuimus dicto mandato non solum non uti sed non fateri id habere. xiij. Februarii MDXXXJ." Signed.
In Ghinucci's hand, cipher undeciphered. Add.
13 Feb.
R. O.
99. Charles V. to Henry VIII.
Has received his letter of the 27th ult., by Sir John Hacquet, whose residence with the Emperor will be very agreeable. Commends Sir Nich. Harvy, the bearer, on his return. Brussels, 13 Feb. '30. Signed.
Fr., p. 1. Add. Endd.
13 Feb.
R. O. St.P. VII.285.
100. John Hackett to Henry VIII.
I received lately at Calais your letters appointing me ambassador with the Emperor in place of Harvey, revoked. After despatching my affairs, I arrived at Brussels on the 11th, and with Harvey had audience of the Emperor yesterday, when I delivered your letter. He expressed himself sorry that Harvey was leaving, and then embraced me. Brussels, 13 Feb. 1530.
Hol. Add. Endd.
13 Feb.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 19. B. M.
101. Mai to Charles V.
* Has been informed that the duke of Albany does all he can to prevent the interview between him (the Emperor) and the king of France from taking place there (in Flanders or France), proposing that it should be held in Italy, promising that the king of France would in such a case do all he (the Emperor) wishes. To the Venetian ambassador the duke of Albany said that the interview in Italy would have that advantage, that the Pope and the other Princes could participate in it. The parties would then be more equal. The Venetian ambassador told it him in great secret. There was some suspicion that this was an invention of the Pope. Asked, therefore, the cardinal of Osma to learn the truth. Sent also to the Pope, and spoke with him on this subject. The Pope tried to avoid it, and said only that the duke of Albany acted as he did because he thought that if the interview was to take place there (in Flanders), the affair of the king of England would also be arranged, which he (the Pope) thought would be against their wishes. * Rome, 13 Feb. 1531.
Sp., pp. 11, modern copy. Abstract by Mr. Bergenroth at f. 18.
13 Feb.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 13. B. M.
102. Mai to Charles V.
Wrote on the 31st Jan. Sends a copy of the letter, as he hears that the courier has been lost. On the 10th inst. declaration was made in the Consistory, according to the relation of the Auditor, and the votes of the Rota, that the excusator should not be heard unless he has power to defend the cause, notwithstanding that they have gone for 15 days from auditor to auditor, with two lawyers and two proctors, with the opinions of great Italian lawyers, which have profited them little. The English ambassadors went about, soliciting the admission of the excusator; which is not usual, and cannot be admitted, except when there is no proctor; (fn. 3) and it is said they showed a power to act.
What remains is to press the cause, in which we have not lost one point through the fault of those who serve the Emperor.
An authentic copy of the brief, and a relation of the affixing of the new citation, must be sent. Meanwhile the registrar is prepared to solicit the sentence. Does not doubt that every day new methods will be fonnd to delay the affair, and we shall try to hasten it. We have already gained six articles of moment, though there have only been five in my time. The first was when they demanded at Orvieto that the divorce should be declared without a trial, de plenitudine potestatis; the second when the cause was evoked; the third when they desired the Pope to grant a decretal; and the fourth when they asked that the brief of dispensation should be declared false, and also that the cause should be remitted to England; and now this of the executor (sic) (excusator). They have made as much dispute about each article as they could about the principal point. Thinks it should be referred to the Emperor, because if it is treated there, they must be informed, and also because if they try other novelties they must not appear to be new; and, with the help of God, the others will be gained as these have been.
Has already written that it is very necessary to procure the first process before the Cardinals in England, which can be obtained with letters from Campeggio. The Cardinals will not judge in a case of so much importance without seeing it, or at least they will ask for it, and any delay "viene anxa" (?) (will be acceptable?) to those who gain nothing by the business proceeding.
A cardinal told me that in this the Pope was right, but that in the principal point he could not dispense. Told him everything that concerns the case, and thinks he shall have little trouble in making him understand the truth. On telling this to the Pope, he saw that it was reasonable. Hears that the Cardinal has now repented, and wishes to be informed of the truth, which shall be done perfectly. Dr. Ortiz has arrived. In the disputes at the Pope's dinner he has already gained the credit due to his learning. Desires greatly what will be sent to the Emperor from Mantua. Rome, 13 Feb. 1531.
Since writing the above, heard that a courier had arrived from France, and the Pope and Albany were much together yesterday. Went today to the palace, and was told by the Pope that the Duke said the French king wished to mediate; and he thinks it would be a good time if it were not for the new inhibitions of which the English complain, saying that the Pope had promised to do nothing "de buenos dias" (qu. off-hand?) in this cause; and it seems, as his Holiness said, they did not understand him, as they thought those days were to last for ever. For this reason the French king asked him to revoke the inhibition, or, at least, that he should suspend the case two or three months, because Francis will promise that the king of England shall do nothing new during that time. His Holiness had replied that he did not believe this plan would answer (que esto oviesse lugar); yet he would not cease to talk to me about it. But he thought it would be easier to negociate a suspension for years, and he told me only that he might see what I had to answer, for he had urgent letters (cartas de fuego) from England to the same effect.
Thanked the Pope for his good intention in meeting the French king thus (a poner el Rey de Francia en esto); but thought it would have been better to put him off his purpose altogether (desviarlo), because, as the case is in course of trial, and your Majesty justly determined not to allow one day's delay, Francis might be offended at its proceeding. It was well to avoid all causes of irritation; for doing nothing would not satisfy your Majesty; and it seemed to me the Pope could not quit the game by saying I had no power, and had order to the contrary; that after so many fruitless delays he could not with justice do otherwise, especially as the past delays had caused the ill effects which happened there with your Majesty. His Holiness pressed Mai, saying that if a delay of two years was taken, perhaps no more might be said about the matter. Answered that he thought this would not be well for the Queen or for the Emperor's service, on account of the unsettlement it would produce in the minds of people, which often does more harm than present ill.
The Pope asked further, whether, in case they came to trial, I would make any concession? Said I had no such order, unless his Holiness would have the case despatched, whether they will come or not to trial,because it has already lasted longer than it ought, and because the Pope told me also that if it came to trial they could prolong it, as the cases of Romarico Monte and the count of Salines were prolonged, which lasted 15 or 20 years. Answered that I trusted to his rectitude that we should cut short all the calumnies; and neither your Majesty nor the Queen complained of me because the terms were not obtained, as I would use all possible diligence.
Asks the Emperor to tell him what he ought to do. Until he has orders to the contrary, will go on, although the cardinal of Grammont calls him mad.
Has an account from the Consistory that they spoke between their teeth, except Ancona, who took them all up like a drag net. Your Majesty may believe that they, besides, and the Pope, would be glad to postpone or set aside this, to escape trouble. Your Majesty may know that many of them do not take up this affair on the ground of justice or injustice, but according to the will of the princes on whom they depend. Some may go further, thinking that whilst the trial lasts, they keep your Majesty under to their own profit.
Advises the Emperor to send letters of thanks to the cardinals of Ancona and Ravenna, who influence the Old Man.
II. Mai to Covos. (Attached to the above.) Is grieved to say what follows, because they did not think all the lawyers were such. Has, however, some good ones. Would not wish to be judge in the matter, except on account of its great importance.
Sent to thank the Auditor for his services at the last article, and said that the Emperor would remember it. He said that the English had offered him a thousand things at Orvieto, which he refused. If he took anything from any one, it would be from the Emperor. Indeed, except for this shameless asking, he deserves it, because he is dean of the Rota, and presides there as the senior. Have need of him every day, and he is of great service. He was told that the Emperor would not give him rewards now, for the honor and good of the cause. He answered that in that case a method would be found that all suspicions should cease. Mentions this, that he may consult the Emperor and advise Mai what course to pursue. Rodrigo Nio writes that Dr. Parisio, who is in Venice, will not write in the cause without the Emperor's orders. Praises the ambassador in England.
Sp., modern copy, pp. 9.
Ib., f. 25. 2. Abstract of Mai's letter of 13 Feb., with marginal notes by the Emperor or his Council.
13 Feb.
mancas MS.
103. Cardinal Of Osma to the Comendador Mayor Of Leon.
Did not read his letter to the Pope, as there were several passages which had to be kept secret. Had some trouble in the last Consistory about a proposition of the English to remove the cause hence. The Pope is dilatory (respectuoso) either from fear or prudence, but he loves the Emperor more than all other Christian princes. Though he has said and done things to cause scandal, his goodwill is strong and constant in the Emperor's favor. This must be preserved, for the Emperor has no friend in the world except his brother. If the Ambassador makes much of his suspicion, he should not be entirely believed.
Sp., pp. 2, modern copy. Headed : "Copia de parrafo de carta autografa del cardenal De Osma al Comendador Mayor de Leon, fecha 13 de Febrero."
13 Feb.
Le Grand, III. 519.
104. Raince to Francis I.
On Saturday after dinner the English Ambassadors were again with Albany to make the request of which he sends the King a copy. He sent the request in his own hand to the Pope, being so ill with colic he could do no more. Went at his desire to the Pope in the evening, but his Holiness refused to give any answer in writing, saying that it was not customary for princes to be disbelieved by ambassadors, and as Raince would not take a verbal answer, and Albany was ill, he would send Sanga to him. Though his Holiness had nothing to reply to the English Ambassadors, who only spoke to him en l'air, still, to show them what Francis had done for them, and Albany's importunity, he would give him a reply in their presence, and hear what they had to say. Albany sent word of this yesterday morning to the Ambassadors, who were wonderfully pleased. Notwithstanding his illness, he went with them to his Holiness, and after three hours' discussion the matter was amicably settled. The Ambassadors have written to their master, and make some excuse about the shortness of the time which, they say, they have had;which, however, has been long enough, as they themselves think, for the Pope has let more than three consistories and audiences pass without allowing the case to proceed, and for the future will do as much as he can without affecting justice, so that there will be time to do what the Ambassadors have demanded. Rome, Monday, 13 Feb. 1531.
14 Feb.
Vienna Archives.
105. Chapuys to Charles V.
Since my last letters, the clergy have withdrawn the offer of money, of which I wrote, because the King demanded that in case he or any of his allies made war they should be bound to advance the said moneys without waiting the said five years, and also because the King would not grant them what had chiefly induced them to make the gift, viz., the restoration of their old liberties and exemption from prmunire; and, thirdly, because the King declared to them the importance of the said law of prmunire to guard himself from being misunderstood; which law no person in England can understand, and its interpretation lies solely in the King's head, who amplifies it and declares it at his pleasure, making it apply to any case he pleases, the penalty being confiscation of bodies and goods. At last, after a good deal of negotiation, the matter has been settled, that the King shall not press them for payment before the expiration of the said five years, and that of the three demands of the clergy they should have that of the exemption, and nothing more.
Eight days ago the Nuncio brought the King a brief in answer to a letter from him to the Pope which was written in a very bad spirit. I do not send you a copy, as I am sure you will get one from Rome. The King did not read the brief at that time, reserving it till he had leisure to read it with his Council; so the Nuncio told him in part the substance of it, in order to enter upon his credence, which was the justification of his Holiness. I think the Nuncio was never better received nor feasted, either by the King or the others, than he then was; and among other agreeable speeches, the King told him he knew the Nuncio had been advising the prelates of his realm not to consent to anything to the Pope's prejudice; but it was needless for him to have taken the trouble, for there was no intention of doing anything against his Holiness, whose authority he had always vindicated, and intended still to maintain, provided the Pope did not give him occasion to act otherwise. At this very time the King was treating to get something declared prejudicial to his Holiness which I will mention hereafter. The King also spoke of the disorder of the affairs of Germany, and of a present that had been brought him by a servant of the king of Hungary, of two camels, two Turkish horses, and two slaves; which present he esteemed highly, and apparently he wished it to be understood that it had been sent him by the said king of Hungary, "et toutesfoys ca este son azimiliere majeure." He also said he had received information from various quarters of the coronation of the king of the Romans, but that his Ambassadors in your Majesty's court had not written to him of it; so he supposed there was still something to say about it. Before the Nuncio saw the King, the duke of Norfolk, perhaps fearing that he would intimate to him something about the Queen's affair, reiterated to him several times what he had always said, that nothing would be done about it in the Parliament, and that they would not proceed therein in any wise, and he might safely trust his word for it. On the Nuncio's return, the Duke thanked him for the good office he had always done in what concerned his charge, begging him to continue, and informing him that a despatch had been sent to Rome from the court of France on the Queen's affair on the 29th ult., and that he expected good news thence shortly. He said, moreover, that the King had commanded an answer to be made to the brief for the convocation of the Council; that he thought it very advisable, provided the place was suitable; and that if he was not able to be personally present, he would send sufficient representatives.
The thing which has been treated to the Pope's prejudice is that the clergy have been compelled, under pain of the said law of prmunire, to accept the King as head of the Church, which implies in effect as much as if they had declared him Pope of England. It is true that the clergy have added to this declaration that they did so only so far as permitted by the law of God. But that is all the same, as far as the King is concerned, as if they had made no reservation; for no one now will be so bold as to contest with his lord the importance of this reservation. This Act has very much astonished the Queen, who, seeing that the King is not afraid to commit such enormities, notwithstanding the promises which have been made to the contrary, which were only to lull suspicion, has no doubt that now the King's lady is as much delighted as if she had gained paradise. On the other hand, it seems that they are only keeping the Parliament until news come from France, meaning to proceed afterwards to the said affair. John Joquin must return shortly. La Guiche remains here, and is in the highest favor. The other day the King attended mass at Westminster in great triumph, accompanied by nearly all the nobility, and La Guiche was the only Ambassador called. He dined to day at the King's table, and with him the two Dukes and the young Marquis; which company has been with the King every time he dined in public during this Parliament,that is, three days in the week. The King also has caused La Guiche to be conducted to the place of the Parliament that he might see the solemn assembly, giving orders the day before that every one should be present at the reception of the said Ambassadors as honorably apparelled as possible. Notwithstanding all this it was but lately that, being escorted to dine at Court, he was afterwards countermanded, on account of some business which had overtaken the King; at which he was very much displeased, and told the Nuncio that the English showed very little regard for the reception given to their Ambassador in France, who was never forbidden to enter the King's chamber on account of any business whatsoever. London, 14 Feb.
Hol., Fr., pp. 7, from a modern copy.


  • 1. "Su nuncio le escrive, no ser ay otra cosa de momento sino que el Rey de Ynglaterra ha hecho mucha ynstancia con el Rey de Francia que oviesse quesido quexarsse con el Papa porque aya ynibido en Ynglaterra que no se proceda en alguna cosa de facto en el matrimonio, y queriasse fundar sobre que aviendo interposto esso Rey de Francia, su Sd. que no haviesse procedido en la causa de Roma, no devia su St. proceder en es inibicion sin que el no lo supiese."
  • 2. These words seem to have been originally written here, and afterwards cancelled by underlining and otherwise altering the symbols.
  • 3. "No ai procura;" error for "procurador."