February 1534, 21-28


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'Spain: February 1534, 21-28', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1: 1534-1535 (1886), pp. 53-70. URL: Date accessed: 23 July 2014.


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February 1534, 21-28

21 Feb.17. Eustace Chapuys to the Same.
Wien, Rep. P.C.,
Fasc. 228, No. 17.
Disregarding the scruples and suspicions of these people, the Scottish ambassador has lately come to pay me a second visit, and inform me that the Abbot and Secretary, whom the King, his master, had sent as ambassadors to France on the mission mentioned in my last despatch, had on their return sailed straight for Scotland instead of passing through this city, though the King had at their request granted them a safeconduct. At which this King and the members of his Privy Council, as the ambassador himself gives me to understand, are greatly disgusted; their mistrust of the Scotch, and also of the French, having increased in consequence. The King thinks that the secretary, whom he considers to be a staunch Imperialist, is the cause of all this; and yet, as the secretary writes to this one, he would willingly have come this way, had not the king of Scotland, his master, absolutely forbidden it. (fn. 1)
The said Scottish ambassador has likewise signified to me that within eight or ten days there will arrive from the King, his master, a worthy Bishop to help the two others in their embassy, and see what terms they can get. He has, however, assured me that they will not negotiate or conclude anything without previously informing me thereof; and that long before they knew of the Bishop's appointment and departure, the King and the members of his Privy Council were marvellously excited, and complained of his delay in coming to England, fearing that there might be some intrigue on the part of the French, or of some of their own people here. And the ambassador also tells me that King and councillors are very sorry that the Bishop is not accompanied by two Counts, as announced, inasmuch as they fancy that the Counts would be more easily corrupted with money than the Bishop himself, and likewise that their coming here with the embassy would confirm the false statements they are daily publishing in their books and pamphlets; (fn. 2) namely, that at no time have the English been so much courted and adored by princes as they are at the present moment.
Whilst conversing with the ambassador on various points, it occurred to me that this was the proper time for intimating that the King, his master, could not look for aggrandizement in any other way than in the eventual succession to this kingdom, (fn. 3) and that, in my opinion, there were only two roads to that. One was his marriage to the Princess [of Wales], who would of herself know how to assert her rights [to the Crown], and in case of her dying [without children], which may God forbid, his close alliance with Your Majesty, who could then lend him greater assistance than any other prince in the world. Not only owing to your very great power, but also to the vicinity of some of your dominions to England, which, in my opinion, was the principal motive of the incredible love and affection which the English of all classes had towards you. (fn. 4) "In such event (continued I), the King, your master, must not fear that the Emperor (who has hitherto made such efforts for the union of Christendom) will object to the crowns of Scotland and England uniting in one head, or raise the least pretension to them; on the contrary, the Emperor, as I have told you on other occasions, will see with joy the two kingdoms under one ruler, principally for the purpose of waging war on the Turk. Nor must your master think that the Emperor can at any time become jealous of him on account of his increasing power, for there are many reasons against it; besides which, there never had been between him and your master any separate claims likely to produce dissension; on the contrary, you had always been friends, and succoured one another."
These words of mine brought several remarks on the part of the ambassador, and, among others, that his impression was that of all nations the French would feel most displeasure at any bonds of friendship being established between the Scots and Your Majesty; fearing, perhaps, if that came to pass, that they would in the end have to pay the expenses of the game. (fn. 5) For this reason were they endeavouring just now to make the King, their master, marry in France. So did the English, who ceased not to point out the daughter of Mr. Dallebrech (Henri d'Albret (fn. 6) ), whom they called king of Navarre, as the best marriage he could make. "But (added the ambassador), as I have already told you, I will do my best to persuade my master not to marry until we can see how the political affairs of France turn out." After this the ambassador asked me how it was that the eldest daughter of the king of Denmark (Christierna) had not been married to the duke of Milan, and how the affairs of that kingdom stood.
The day before yesterday the ambassador, having met one of my men (secretaries) in the middle of a street, made him a sign to enter a church close by, which the man did. Once inside, after telling him that the French ambassador and he had on Shrove Tuesday supped at the King's table,—and a most splendid repast it was, being entirely served on gold dishes—the Scotchman requested my man to persuade me in my very first despatch to recommend the marriage of this Princess (Mary) or of the said daughter of the king of Denmark, (fn. 7) and to recommend also the King, his master, in case war should break out, as he very much feared, between him and this King. After hearing my secretary's report I sent to ask the Scotchman what ground there was for such a report, and how could I write to Your Majesty concerning the said marriages? and whether he had, since our conversation of last week, received any instructions or intelligence from Scotland. His answer was that he had none, but that the plan seemed to him so advantageous for the King, his master, that he felt sure it would be approved at his court. "On the arrival (he said) of the Bishop, who is shortly expected, we will talk more amply of that affair and others." To the latter part of the ambassador's message about the war, I made no reply, dissembling, as I have hitherto done whenever the question has been mooted, and limiting myself to saying in general terms that Your Majesty would treat the affair with your usual virtue and prudence, so as to be without blame from him, from God, or from the world; but without, however, specifying or going into details as to the help you yourself would bestow.
The welcome reception and favourable treatment of the Scotch ambassador by these people is a good testimony of their wish for peace; of which, whenever the King happens to speak, he ceases not to represent to him the great and mutual advantages likely to ensue. But I fancy that such admonitions and offers would be of very little use were it not for the fear the king of Scotland has of this King attempting, during his alliance and friendship with France, to invade Scotland, where he might, no doubt, cause irreparable damage, enough perhaps to prevent the Scots from ever raising their heads again. For this reason, the ambassador tells me, his master might incline towards peace now, until such time and season when, the English being, as they are, rebellious to the Church, they (the Scots) would not be obliged to keep their engagements. And that, besides, it seemed to him that by negociating a peace between the two kingdoms, they could the better secure the affections of the English people.
Upon which, after protesting that it was not my intention to dissuade him or allege proofs to the contrary, except by way of pastime and agreeable conversation (amyables devises), I made him feel that he was entirely wrong in his expectations; that is to say, that, if they treated seriously of peace, all good Christians, as he could easily understand, would be indignant at their conduct. With regard to the first reason alleged, it was not a forcible one, since there was truce until the St. Michael, and between this date and that they could better advise as to their affairs, and act according to time and circumstances. The Scotch ambassador seemed satisfied at this my reasoning.
The Venetian ambassador has lately been summoned to court three times in succession;—I have been unable to learn why, though I strongly suspect that these people have been intriguing with them, as they are in the habit of doing with other people.
I am told that in two days' time five or six gunners will leave for Guisnes and Calais.
The Princess, finding herself almost without articles of clothing, has just been obliged to send a gentleman to the King, her father, begging him to provide her with the necessary articles. The gentleman had orders from her to take any money or clothes that might be given to him, but accept no cheque or order in which her name should appear without the title of Princess. She has at the same time applied for permission to hear mass in the church quite close to the house, but this she has been unable to obtain. On the contrary, as the peasants in the neighbourhood when they saw her walk from the top of a gallery, saluted her loudly and called her Princess, she is now kept much closer than before; and nothing is done without the previous consent of the sister of Anne de Boullan's father, the lady to whom the keeping of her has lately been entrusted. I am told that the duke of Norfolk and the brother of Anne (George Boleyn) had the other day high words with the said governess because, as they thought, she treated the Princess with too great kindness and regard, when she ought to deal with her as a regular bastard that she was. The lady answered that even if it were so, and that she was the bastard daughter of a poor gentleman, her kindness, her modesty, and her virtues called forth all respect and honour. The Princess, thank God, is now in very good health; and though she cannot have fallen lower than she has from her high station yet she is so armed with patience that she bears her troubles with wonderful constancy and resignation, placing all her confidence in God, the true protector of good, right, and justice, and likewise in Your Majesty, so much so that I doubt whether she would put on a better face in prosperity than she is putting on now in the midst of her troubles. May God grant that such magnanimity on her part do not over-irritate this accursed lady [Anne], and prompt her to make haste and carry her detestable thoughts into execution. (fn. 8)
On the arrival at Lubeck of the captain, who, as I informed Your Majesty, was detained here for some time, the citizens of that place sent to this King one of their clerks, who arrived here two days ago. I have not yet been able to learn anything about his commission, or the news he brings, save that he has given people here to undertand that the duke of Ghelders was making war in Friesland, a piece of intelligence not at all unpleasant to these people, inasmuch as they imagine that it may turn out to be against Your Majesty, not against the count Danverain. (fn. 9) One of the Stilliarts, a very intimate and great friend of the above-mentioned clerk, has promised to introduce him to me, or at least bring me intelligence of what his mission to this country may be. (fn. 10) — London, 21st February 153[4].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original. pp. 7.
25 Feb.18. Dr. Ortiz to the Same.
S. E. Rom., L. 861,
f. 99.
B. M. Add. 28,586,
f. 142.
This next Friday, the 27th of February, the cause of Her Highness the queen of England will be brought forward in Consistory by auditor Simonetta, who deserves much credit for his work and for his lucid exposé of the whole thing. The advocate and proctor are already informing the cardinals one by one; I myself am doing the same; and I hope to God there will not be two cardinals to oppose it, and that all will vote unanimously in favour of the Queen's cause. My report (informacion) is both short and concise, though it contains many more citations and references than last year's. A copy of it is here enclosed. It looks more like an or repertory than like a report, for otherwise I should have been unable to finish it in time. Yet I propose making a long verbal report so as to meet all wants. Money is wanting to pay the law expenses, for the Queen is not now in a situation to remit us funds. Count Cifuentes has hitherto advanced some money, and I myself have paid 90 crs. for the copy of the process to send to auditor Simoneta.
There is a Scotchman here, of the name of Master David, who tells me that when the duke of Albany was last here (at Rome) as ambassador from the king of France, he said to him in confidence that the latter would help and assist the king of England until he had placed him in a position from which he could not retreat. And certainly there can be no doubt that the friendship and favour bestowed by the king of France has been rather prejudicial to the English monarch, since it has led to his becoming a heretic, a schismatic, and an enemy of his own flesh and blood,—visiting, as he does, the daughter of his concubine, and refusing to see his own legitimate daughter, the Princess, whom he has despoiled of her princely estate, and caused to live under the same roof as the other.—Rome, 25th February 1534.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortez."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
26 Feb.19. Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Rep. P.C.,
Fasc. 228, No. 18.
This King, having lately heard that the "ban" and the "arriere ban" had been called forth in France, thought at first that the armament was intended against Milan, as he himself declared the other day to the Scotch ambassador. Yet, not having heard from king Francis to that effect, as their friendly and intimate alliance required, he was rather thrown into confusion by the news, and, I am told, did complain to the French ambassador at this court, who accordingly sent an express to France to inquire into the matter. The express returned the day before yesterday with the following answer: There was not the least idea of war, nor were the French men-at-arms (gendarmes) summoned for any particular purpose, except that of checking the Lutherans in their threatened invasion of Lorraine, for it is feared that, once there, they will go further on. The same account I had from the French ambassador, who, immediately after his return from the King, called on me and said, "Really it is very disagreeable to have to live among people so suspicious as these English are." I am extremely hurt at it, and I can assure you that they give me immense trouble.
Not to spoil the good feeling now existing between our two nations as well as best to further pending negociations (continued the ambassador), I am obliged to dissemble, and put up with annoyance of all sorts during the short time I have to remain here. The Marseilles conferences are the cause of all their suspicions and misgivings. This King (the ambassador added) had been the principal promoter of the said conferences; they had been settled and appointed at his own solicitation and request; he was to attend them in person, and yet he repented and never went. However, I must say that the King's bad humour and the ambassador's disappointment at first have considerably subsided since.
The same French ambassador told me the day before yesterday that this King had sent to Francis a book against the Pope, which he himself had written, more urgent and vehement than any that has hitherto been printed and published here; in which book the King professes to be no follower of the Lutheran sect, inasmuch as he declares that it is not his intention to touch the sacraments, but only to correct the vices and abuses of the Clergy. Had the King thought of undertaking the reform he speaks of, it seems to me as if the means employed were anything but wise, for there is no knowing what troubles and dangers his kingdom would have been exposed to by such innovations; (fn. 11) though, in the French ambassador's opinion, the Lady will ultimately reduce him to worse than that, to become a Lutheran, as she herself is.
He likewise told me that he thought it very strange that whilst his master, the King, had, at the urgent request of this one, taken his affairs with the Pope in hand, and sent to Rome the bishop of Paris (Du Bellay), this one should go on having such books printed. Perhaps this King thinks he will be able, whenever he likes, to retract what he himself has written, and remove the errors with which his subjects have been thus contaminated; but it is to be feared that Englishmen in the end will laugh at him, and despise him for his inconstancy and other things. (fn. 12)
After this conversation the French ambassador began to sigh and to lament himself at the amicable relations between Your Majesty and the King, his master, not being a little more intimate and solid than they were. The fault, he said, rested not with his own master, who had done everything that could be expected of him. My answer was, that I felt sure it was not Your Majesty's either. If, perchance, it was the duchy of Milan king Francis wanted for his son, the duke of Orleans, that the Emperor could not possibly give away, having already granted the investiture of it to another, in conformity with the agreement entered into with the Italian potentates.
The ambassador replied courteously enough that my last argument had had such force with him that he himself, though a Frenchman, would not advise Your Majesty to part with such a jewel; for, as the viceroy [of Naples] observed to him some time before the battle of Pavia, when there was a question of peace, the duchy of Milan was nothing else but one of the suburbs of the kingdom of Naples. (fn. 13) I tried all I could to ascertain from the Frenchman what other impediment there could be to the said solid friendship, as he called it; but he could not, or would not, adduce any other reasons.
The Queen's business, as I had the honour to inform your Majesty, being on the point of being brought before Parliament—soon after which that of the Princess is also to be introduced for the purpose of declaring her illegitimate, and without right to the succession,—I felt that something ought to be done in their behalf. I was pretty sure that, whatever I did and said, this King would never permit me to appear before Parliament, and there represent to its members the gross injury about to be done to the Queen and Princess should the intended Bill pass, at the same time exhorting them to attend on this point and others to the preservation of that peace, union, and amity of so ancient a date between the two Crowns, and so necessary and advantageous for both countries, yet I thought that I ought, for the reasons and considerations, which I will state hereafter, to make the application in due form. I must say that the Queen and some of her loyal servants approved of the step, especially on the principle that, should the King refuse me the entry into Parliament, it would be equivalent to his declaring himself contumacious, and guilty of exercising unjust oppression on the two ladies, wife and daughter, by attempting to condemn them without the chance of appeal of any sort, or without listening to the earnest and true representations that might well be made in their behalf. Also because that happened to be the most important article [in my instructions], and I thought that by giving the King an opportunity of keeping me away from the said Parliament, he might be better inclined to listen to my persuasions, and have the Princess better treated and removed from the place where she now is to a more fitting one; or at least that I would have occasion to make the necessary remonstrances equivalent to the protests, of which Your Majesty has been pleased to remind me by your letter of the 28th of December last. Lastly, in order that those who stand firm for the Queen might see that Your Majesty thought of her, and had not forgotten her and the good Princess, her daughter, as those of the contrary party go about saying.
For the above-named considerations, and others, which I omit, last Sunday I wrote to ask the King's permission to appear before Parliament. My petition having first been sent to the Privy Council for the purpose of deliberating on it, it was decided that Monseigneur de Norfolk and Master Cromwell should first ascertain from me what my intention was in appearing before Parliament, and what I intended saying or doing whilst there, and, if possible, dissuade me from my purpose. To this effect an appointment was made for me to be at the Duke's apartments the day after. Thither I went, but, owing to a slight indisposition which kept Cromwell in doors, the latter did not attend. After a long debate and many arguments of mine concerning the injury likely to be soon inflicted on the Queen and her daughter, which arguments the Duke could only answer by referring me to the people, who, he said, understood affairs of that sort better than he did, he asked me point blank what sort of statements I proposed making in Parliament. My answer was, that beyond the true and simple narrative of what had passed in the matter of the divorce, I would utter nothing that was not honest and reasonable, aiming chiefly at the preservation of the union, peace and amity above mentioned. The Duke ended by saying that he did not think the King would grant me the permission I asked for; he would, however, see him again on the subject, and, in case of refusal, would, if I approved of it, ask an audience, at which I might personally bring the affair before his master. I begged him to do so. He said to me before parting, "As the Emperor has received so many favours from the King, my master, I should think that he might avoid giving him so much cause for annoyance. Indeed I can assure you that my master, the King, would have much preferred the Emperor's declaring war at once than molesting him in the manner he has lately done. Were the Emperor well advised, I have no doubt he would change his mind and act differently, as otherwise war might cause his total ruin, considering this King's friendship for the French; at which (added the Duke) I myself am greatly displeased, for I have always been inclined to His Majesty's service." (fn. 14) "For God's sake (said I to the Duke) let us not talk of war, for the Emperor, I assure you, has never thought of it, persuaded as he is that the King, your master, will in the end acknowledge his fault, and follow the right path. After which I took leave of the Duke, who certainly on this occasion, as on many others before, showed me every attention and courtesy, as well as affection.
On the following Tuesday, the day of St. Mathias, which had been appointed for my seeing the King, I went to Court at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and called first at the apartments of the duke of Norfolk, who, on hearing of my arrival at the Royal palace, left the King's room, where he was at the time, came to me, and in all haste, without taking breath, began to say, half wondering, and as if he had been taken by surprise, (fn. 15) "For God's sake, Monsieur, I beg and entreat you on this day to use all your discretion and prudence, and so moderate your language that you may not fall into trouble or inconvenience. You are about to enter on matters so odious and unpleasing that not all the sugar or sauces in the world would render them palatable. That is why I again pray and entreat you for God's sake to be careful and guarded in your speech, as otherwise," &c.; which last sentence he repeated at least six times. I thanked the Duke very much for the good counsel and advice he had given me, and which, I said, would be on this particular occasion my guide, knowing, as I did, the affection he had for Your Majesty, and the trust and reliance which you placed on him, and the high idea you had formed of his goodness, prudence, aud virtues. This promise I the more readily made to the Duke that my intention from the beginning was to use very moderate language. I was, moreover, singularly pleased at the Duke's suggestion and entreaty, as well as at my subsequent engagement, because thus the Duke and the rest of the Privy Council would think that if I did not speak high words on the occasion, it was merely owing to his own advice and interference, which, I am sure, proceeded from the King and Privy Council, though the Duke, without inquiry on my part, said and protested to me that the suggestion and warning came exclusively from him, not from any other quarter.
After this, and whilst the Duke and I were discussing what course was best to follow under present circumstances, he said to me that in his opinion the affair was not entirely lost. We might still have hopes, and perhaps God would provide the means, of adjusting matters. He evidently told me this much in order to persuade me that I ought not to put the King out of temper by high words, or by my insisting to be allowed to appear before Parliament; and as far as I can gather from the Duke's words and his general reasoning, the hope they have of matters in the end being satisfactorily settled lies only in the event of the Queen's death. (fn. 16)
Among other things the Duke reminded me of, one was the many favours the King had conferred on Your Majesty, and that your good fortune (in arms) could not last for ever." "At present," he said, "the King, my master, has no enemies (to fear), and, should affairs take a bad turn, the Emperor will find himself in difficulties." My answer to the first part of the Duke's proposition was, that Your Majesty was always ready and disposed to return at any time the King's favours, and the services received at his hands, even double them, provided you were only asked to do things, which were not against your honour and conscience; and that the reproaches that had so often been addressed to Your Majesty on that subject tended rather to diminish than to increase the obligations under which you stood, and which you were pleased at all times to acknowledge. He (the Duke) could not deny that Your Majesty's friendship and affection for his master had been as useful and propitious to to him as the King's had been to Your Majesty; to which last argument the Duke readily assented.
Respecting Your Majesty's good fortune in arms, I said to the Duke that since all Your Majesty's past successes could only be attributed to God's will, there was every reason to presume and even hope that, whilst you continued to serve Him, as you had done hitherto, His divine bounty would continue to make you prosper. "If any prince in the world (said I) should dread the inconstancy of fortune, the King, your master, must be that one, since during his life he has bad no illness, no untoward event, no molestation or annoyance of war, which he has not himself brought on. It was just the contrary with Your Majesty; you bad suffered considerably in various ways.
"As to the King, your master, having no enemies at all, I have no doubt," said I, "that is a very agreeable thing for the Emperor; but you ought also to consider that friendship between princes, unless well founded and rooted, does not generally last long." (fn. 17) I refrained from telling him what Lycurgus said to one who boasted that he had no enemy on earth, "You then must have no friends," knowing, as I did, that Your Majesty was one of them. (fn. 18) Yet I repeated to him what I had said before, namely, that Your Majesty had as many means in your power of conciliating friends as any other prince in the world: to which proposition the Duke also assented.
With regard to the molestation and annoyance likely to come, as he said, on you, in case of a rupture, I told the Duke that he must be aware by the experience of the past that Your Majesty's affairs could not so easily go to ruin as he had hinted to me the day before; and that were misfortune to overtake you, which I hoped God in His divine clemency would not permit, perhaps those who did not boast would come off just as well as others; (fn. 19) besides which the King his master, could not allege that Your Majesty had defied him, or lent money to his enemies, or entered into any league against him.
The Duke, having understood the allusion, as well as my reference to the intrigues they are now carrying on in Germany, said to me, "We are compelled to do that." I replied, "Well and good; you will soon get tired of such negociations, as you were of the others on a previous occasion." "You are right there," replied the Duke, "much money was then spent in Germany to little or no profit at all." Immediately after which words, and as if the two subjects were closely connected together, I inquired about the secretary from Lubeck. The Duke, however, answered that he knew nothing about him, nor what his mission was. I believe he told me the truth, for the secretary, I hear, sees no one but Cromwell; and it must be that he has not brought all what these people expected, since the Duke says that he knows nothing about him or the pending negociation.
Our conversation at an end, the Duke was summoned to the King's Chamber. After leading me to the ante-room, he himself went in, and left me outside with the earl of Auffort (Oxford), the Lord High Chamberlain, the Controller, and the dean of the Chapel, (fn. 20) who kept conversing with me for about half an hour, most probably to give the Duke time to report on what had passed between us, and prepare the King for the interview. Then the marquis (of Dorset?) came out of the chamber, and announced that the King would see me. He received me with his usual graciousness, and, after telling me that he knew through Mr. de Norpholc (Norfolk) that I wished to speak to him, and had therefore sent for me, he kindly requested me to make my statement. I then began to tell him that having for the last six months heard of the daily changes in the Queen's treatment, and that there was besides a project just now of depriving the Princess of her name and title, and treating her as has been seen, I had sent word to Mr. de Norpholc (Norfolk) and to Master Cromwell, begging them to remonstrate in Your Majesty's name against such acts, which could not be legally enacted for the reasons I then alleged. That I had addressed myself to them rather than to him (the King), thinking they might better choose their opportunity to bring the affair before him, and more conveniently and discreetly represent it to him than I myself could personally do. That, trusting in this, and confident also that in future times truth would become manifest, and the great virtues and patience of the Queen and Princess would assuage his passion and anger, if he had any against them, I had waited until now, not wishing to appear as a precursor of [evil], or to throw impediments in the way of the various experiments being tried to make them renounce their respective rights. Perceiving, however, that the thing was in earnest, and that the motion had actually been brought before Parliament, I could not do less for the acquittal of my charge than ask and request him to allow me to appear before that assembly, and then and there make such remonstrances as the exigency of the case, and my own general powers and instructions exhibited a year ago before his Privy Council, demanded. Upon which the King in his most gracious manner answered that I (Chapuys) could not be ignorant of the fact that he was legitimately married to his present wife, and that his former marriage having been judicially declared null, his first wife, now living, could not be called "Queen," nor hold the property allotted to her in virtue of her said marriage; nor could the Princess be called his legitimate daughter, nor capable of the succession. Even were she to be considered legitimate, her disobedience to his commands would have been a sufficient reason for disinheriting her. As to his permitting me to go before Parliament, that, he said, was not the custom of this country; the powers I had from Your Majesty were too old; opinions and wills changed from one hour to another, and Your Majesty might very well have sent fresh ones since his second marriage.
The King, no doubt, thought that this answer of his would satisfy me, and shut my mouth; he would, most likely, have preferred things to remain so; but as I did not consider myself beaten, I resumed my argument, and told him that my powers, though old, were ample and sufficient. I was not bound to show the revocation of them, as it was not specified in the document itself that I should; besides which Your Majesty might well have received no due notification of his second marriage. Even if Your Majesty had been officially informed of it, there was no need (I said) of Your Majesty sending fresh powers to me, since the notice of his first was quite sufficient for all purposes. With regard to the sentence pronounced by the archbishop of Canterbury on the divorce suit, he ought to make as little of it as of that which King Richard caused to be pronounced by the bishop of Bada (Bath) against the sons of King Edward, declaring them bastards. (fn. 21) I would not tell him further. I did not add, as I might have done, that, even supposing his divorce to have been founded on legitimate causes, if the impediment was well known at the time the marriage was contracted, the tenour of the promises and assignation of rents and revenues then settled on the Queen was such that they could not rightly be taken away from her. There could be no doubt, I said, that members of Parliament, seeing that he (the King) had contracted a new marriage, and forbidden his first wife to be called "Queen," together with other measures equally injurious and illegal, such as summoning the said Queen to appear before them when there was no one to speak in her defence, would do anything he (the King) pleased. As to his saying that it was not the custom in England for foreigners to enter the House of Parliament, it might be replied that, perhaps, no such occasion as the present had ever occurred. If the Princess was, as I considered her to be, a legitimate daughter of his, no Parliaments in the world could declare her illegitimate Legitimacy, spiritually considered, fell under the scope of the Clergy and of ecclesiastical judges; even if the Queen's marriage to him had been declared null and void, it would be legitimate all the same, owing to the lawful ignorance of the fathers of the contracting parties. (fn. 22) The archbishop of Canterbury knew very well what he was about when he dared not go so far as to declare the Princess illegitimate. He (the King) himself, since his second marriage, and after the Canterbury sentence, had considered her as his true and legitimate daughter and princess until the birth of his daughter (Elizabeth) by Anne.
The King, hearing my argument, seemed a little more touched than before. After repeating part of what he had previously said, he ended by telling me that there was no need to summon the Queen, or any one else in her name before Parliament, inasmuch as he himself, being a party in the affair, would not be present; and that, notwithstanding all the defences that might be made, the members of that body would certainly vote what was according to reason; that neither Pope nor Prince had any business with the laws and constitutions of England, and that by the tenour and letter of such laws the Princess was unable to succeed to his crown. There was no other princess in his kingdom than his daughter, Elizabeth, until he himself had a son, which he thought would shortly happen. He cared naught for all the canons and rules I could allege in support of my argument; he preferred the laws of his own kingdom, according to which he would have the Princess' legitimacy or illegitimacy decided by competent secular judges, as would soon be seen, and that he could prove to me that secular judges could very well try and sentence matrimonial causes. And on my expressing incredulity at so strange an assertion, the King said that he would send me the books wherein that was fully established. I then begged him to point out to me the law of this kingdom by which he pretends that the Princess cannot inherit; but I dare say he will do nothing of the sort, for he will not find either the books or the law to which he alludes.
Perceiving that there was no chance of persuading the King to let me go to Parliament, I dropped the subject altogether, and begged the King to see that the Princess was a little better treated than she has hitherto been, and, if possible, lodged with the Queen, her mother, or elsewhere at a place free from suspicion. I alleged a law of the code of Constantine, from whom English kings boast that they received the imperial crown. (fn. 23) I said that in doing that he would avoid the suspicion which might fall on him if (which may God prevent) any mishap came on the Princess; for although I was quite sure that he would not, for all the gold in the world, allow any harm to be done to her, yet, by her staying where she now is, the danger was of such nature that even if the Princess were to die a natural death, it would be difficult to make people hold their tongues. I added that he ought to take example of Henry the 2nd of England, one of the greatest kings in this country, who, by the injunction of the apostolic legates, had to perform a very great and grievous penance in public, besides promising to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land,—all owing to his want of due veneration towards St. Thomas of Canterbury, and his having been the cause of his death, since his murderers were evidently encouraged by his irreverence towards that archbishop. For much greater reason those, who might be tempted to plot against the Princess, perceiving his displeasure against her, and the hatred (hayne novercale) which the Lady also bears her, might be emboldened to execute their bad intentions, especially when the place itself offers them such an opportunity. The King's answer was that the Princess was his daughter; she was in good health, and well lodged, and nobody had a right to interfere in his domestic arrangements, for he could dispose of his daughter as he pleased, without having to render account to any one. I replied that I could not help recommending the Princess to him in the mildest possible terms, and warning him of the inconveniences which might happen hereafter; and that, although no one nowadays defended the legitimacy of the Princess, yet, in the event of her death, people might be found to reverse a bill of Parliament, and prove her legitimacy, (I meant James the king of Scotland, but would not name him,) and therefore that, in my opinion, the greatest care ought to be taken of her safety on that account. To this observation of mine the King made no formal reply; he again followed the train of his habitual complaints (condoleances), regretting, as he said, that Your Majesty should give him so much annoyance; for again, lately, at the conferences of Marseilles, you had caused the worst to be done against him; he hoped, however, that ere long you would feel that negotiations at Rome were not so efficacious and opportune as at Marseilles, and that then Your Majesty's great ingratitude towards him would become manifest, in having, without cause, and regardless of his benefits, molested and worried him so long for such an iniquitous a quarrel as the one you had picked up with him (thereby meaning, no doubt, that he expected to get from Rome whatever he would ask for).
I could not let pass the reproach of ingratitude without a correction. I told him in substance the very same things, which I once said to the duke of Norfolk, when we spoke on the subject, though in milder and more courteous terms, as the occasion required. Told him that neither in the Roman affair, nor in any other, had Your Majesty ever made use of what he was pleased to term "practiques"; they were all honest and sound negociations. Your Majesty being forcibly obliged to carry them on, it was indifferent to you whether they were carried on at Rome or elsewhere; besides which, the conferences of Marseilles, as he well knew, had not been promoted by you. The King had no leisure to wait for the remainder of my argument as to who were the promoters of those conferences, and inform me that he himself was one of them; for he interrupted me, and said, with a kind of sardonic smile on his lips, "I own it; (fn. 24) so far from the Emperor being " the promoter of that assembly, he was not invited to it, " and did not attend, for he was then far away, I recollect. " As to the Emperor working against me," the King continued, "I will say no more about it, not wishing to renew the " regret I feel at my having lost his friendship, for I do all I " can to forget such molestations and worries, the mere recollection " of which causes me marvellous annoyance and almost " makes me ill. Had I been a vindictive man plenty of " occasions have there been for executing my revenge; but " I am satisfied that the world should know how injured and " badly treated I have been, and that I can defend myself " when attacked, and even do harm to my enemies." I told him that if no Christian prince was more inclined than your Majesty to attack him, there was certainly no need for him to make great preparations for defence: besides which, I thought he would not willingly give Your Majesty just occasion for an attack, since there was no actual cause or pretence for it between you and him, and that it only remained for him well to reconsider the matters of which I had spoken, and act as befitted his greatness, virtue, goodness, and humanity, without letting people presume that his former acts and determinations had been in the least swayed by hatred or spite; and I ended by entreating him, in my own private name, and as a man desirous of the peace and union of princes at any cost, to attend to my humble representations.
At last, after much debating and talking, which it would take me too much time to relate in detail, perceiving that there was no means of obtaining what I came for, and that were I to persist a little more the King might possibly have got out of temper; considering also that towards the end of our conference the King had said in plain terms that I ought to be satisfied, since, without express commission to speak to him of such matters, he allowed me to go on with my arguments, and listened patiently to them, and that if I had had such a mandate from you he would have answered me in a different style,—meaning, no doubt, more dryly and haughtily,—I deemed it opportune to change the conversation, and begged him that since the Spanish residents in this city could not understand certain statutes made in this Parliament, he would give order that they should be properly explained to them, or else exempt them altogether from the payment of the new tax. He seemed delighted, as could be seen by his countenance, that the other matter was dropped, and that I asked him for a thing in which he could do me pleasure; for he told me at once that my request was granted, and that he would give orders for the thing to be done as I wished; upon which I took leave of him, and came away.—London, 26 February, a. 1534.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original, mostly in cipher. pp. 14.


1 "Ce roy donne la principale couleur au dit secretaire quil tient imperial; toutesfoys a ce quil a escript au dit ambassadeur il eust bien desire de passer par yci, mais le roy son maitre ne lavoit voulu souffrir en sorte du monde."
2 "Que ceulx cy sont bien marris que avec le dit evesque ne venoient deux contes dont avoit este question, et ce tant pour plus grande faulste (sic), et que le peuple creust mieulx ce quilz ont escript en leurs livres (assavoir quilz ne furent oncques plus adorez ne requis de princes que maintenant) et aussy pensant quilz surbonneroient plustot a force dargent les dits contes que le dit evesque."
3 "Devisant avec le dit ambassadeur de propoz a aultre il me sembla bien venir en taille luy remonstrer le roy, son maistre, nauoir propice moyen de ce (se) aggrandir [si ce] nestoit par la succession de ce royaulme."
4 "Lung chemin estoit celui du mariage de la princesse, que y sçauroit donner ordre, ou en cas quelle vint a deffaillir—que Dieu ne veuille—que le dit roy son maistre se trouv[er]ait allie de vostre maieste, que luy purroit fere plus dassistance que prince du monde, non seullement pour la tres grande puissance que vostre maieste avoit, mais aussi pour la voysinance du pays, ce que semble estre le principal pour la incredible et inextimable amour et deuotion que tout ce royaulme pourtoit a vostre maieste."
5 "Comme a ceulx quen oseroient bien payer lescot."
6 The last of the family; his sister Jeanne married Antoine de Bourbon, the father of Henry IV., roy de France et de Navarre.
7 "Et estant la, apres avoir dit a mon dit home comme lambassadeur de France et luy avoient [este] la veille de Karesme prenant souppe a la table du roy, ou le service auoit este magniffique, et tout en vasselle dor, il le chargea me prier de toucher par les premieres que escripuoye a vostre maieste du mariaige, ou de ceste princesse, ou de la dite fille de Dennemarke."
8 "Dieu veuille que cela ne irrite tant plus ceste mauldicte dame de soy haster a vouloir effectuer ses detestables imaginacions et penses."
9 "Que le duc de Gueldres faysoit grosse guerre en Frize, que na despleu a aucung [içy], pensant que ce fust contre vostre maieste non point contre le conte dauverain (sic, souverain?).
10 "Ung du Stilliart fort familier et amy du dit secretaire ma promis sil estoit possible [de] le moy amener," &c.
11 "Et quant aussy il lauroit entrepris de ce faire (ainsi que me semble), ce ne seroit bien advise pour le tumulte que pourroit ensuyvre de changer si a coupt (?) la vieille coustume."
12 "Mays yl est a craindre quil ne se treuve deçeu, et quil ne se face gauldir et mespriser de tout le monde de son inconstance et du surplus."
13 "Sachant que comme luy avoit dit le viceroy ung peu avant la iournee de Pavie, quant yl se trayttoit de paix, [la dite duche de Millan restoit les faulxbourgs du royaulme de Naples]." The viceroy was Charles de Lannoy; the ambassador, Gaspard de Coligny, sieur de Chastillon, about whom see vol. iv., part ii., p. 857.
14 "Et que le roy son maistre eust mieulx ayme que vostre maieste luy eust esmeu guerre que davoir fait ce quelle auoit [fait] contre le dit roy, mais que vostre maieste, si elle estoit bien conseille en useroit autrement, car ce seroit la ruyne totale dicelle actendu lamytie que le dit roy auoit avec les françois, ce quil luy desplaisoit pour laffection quil auoit tousjours porte au service de vostre maieste."
15 "Et tout hastifz quil estoit sans reprendre alayne me commença a dire soubdainement et quasi comme a demy transpourte ou estonne."
16 "Et a ce que [ai] peu entendre par le discours de ses propoz, le dit espoir quilz ont au rabillement des affaires ne gist que en la mort de la royne."
17 "Mays quil debuoit considerer que les amitiez entre princes selles (sic, si elles?) nestoint bien fondeez et enracineez de long temps ne souloint estre de longue duree."
18 "Sachant pour vray que sy avoit vostre maieste."
19 "Et que si Dieu ou la male sort vouloit fere experimenter ce jeu, comme esperoye que sa divine clemence ne permettroit, peult estre que ceulx qui ne se ventoint (sic) de riens, exploytteroint aussy bien que les autres."
20 "Ou me reçurent et entretendrent le conte de Auffort, le grand chambelland, le contrerouleur (Paulet), et le doyen de la chapelle (Sampson)."
21 "Et au regard de la sentence donnee par Conturbery sur le divorce quil en debuoit faire aussy peu de comte que de celle que le roy Richard fist donner par levesque de Bada contre les filz du roy Edoart, par la quelle il les fit declairer bastars." The Bishop's name was Stillington (Robert).
22 "Et que oerez que le mariage entre la royne et luy fust nul toutesfoys pour la legitime ignorance des parens elle seroit legitime."
23 "Et sur ce allegay une loy de Constantin, du quoy les roys dangleterre se gloriffient avoer heu la couronne imperiale."
24 "Tout incontinent avec une rizee de gaudisserie dit, tant il est vray."