July 1534, 26-31


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'Spain: July 1534, 26-31', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1: 1534-1535 (1886), pp. 219-229. URL: Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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July 1534, 26-31

27 July.75. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Rep. P.C., Fasc.229,
No. 48.
Your Majesty's letter of the 8th inst. came to hand the day before yesterday. Since then several of mine must have been received, informing Your Majesty of what passed at Richmond with the Queen, Madame your aunt, and the officers and servants of her household, who, after considerable personal annoyance, were at last set at liberty, and reinstated in their respective offices as they were before the arrival of the archbishop of York. With regard to the so-often promised answer to the complaints laid by me at Richmond, as well as here in this city, before the Privy Councillors, nothing has yet been decided, notwithstanding my pressing solicitations, the excuse being that both King and Council had found it more expedient to address Your Majesty through the English ambassador at the Imperial Court. I therefore calculate that the note presented by the official, and to which allusion is made in my last despatch, must have contained this King's answer to my application respecting the Queen. For not only has there been no answer concerning the above points, or the permission to visit her—which I have asked for over and over again with the greatest insistance, as I had the honour to inform Your Majesty in my last despatch—but they have behaved most rudely to me, (fn. 1) and in such a manner that, were I to attempt a full description of the whole transaction, I could not do it. Suffice it to say, that after delays and excuses innumerable, which Cromwell invariably put forward to delay the interview,—after my stating from the very beginning that my sole object was to ask permission to see the Queen,—after my offering, if he liked, to call personally on him and explain my motives,—I lost patience, and requested him, in the most formal terms, to appoint a day and hour when I might talk to him concerning the Queen, and other affairs. Cromwell then appointed the same day at three o'clock in the afternoon. One hour after, however, he sent an excuse saying that he could not possibly receive me, as the King had summoned him to Court. This, of course, was only an invention of his; for, having set out as if he were going to the King, he only went to a country house of his, half a league from this city. Since then I have pressed him three or four times to grant me an audience; but he has never consented, finding always some excuse not to grant my request; seeing which I wrote to him the letter of which I spoke in my last, and although he assured me that before my departure [for Richmond] I should undoubtedly get an answer from the King, his master, besides which he threw out hopes that I should have permission to wait on the Queen, yet neither the answer nor the permission came.
On the appointed day, which was the 17th inst., I set out on my journey to the Queen, accompanied by 60 horse of my own suite, and of certain Spanish merchants here resident; and it happened very opportunely for my purpose that the way lay through the whole length of this city. (fn. 2) On the second day of our travelling a gentleman rider (chevaulcheur) of the King came galopping by, passed us, and shortly after returned to the place where I intended to stop for the night. The rider was accompanied by a worthy man, whom the Queen's chamberlain and steward sent forward to inform me that orders had just been received from the King, forbidding my entering the Queen's apartments or speaking to her. My answer was that it was not my intention to displease the King in that or any other matter; but that, having persistently applied for an answer to my petition, and having come thus far,—five short miles from the Queen's residence,—I could not go back unless they showed me their orders in writing. The day after, early in the morning, arrived another man of greater authority than the first,—one of the Queen's oldest and best servants,—to assure me (as officer and servant of the King that he was) that both the chamberlain and the steward had express charge from the King to send me the message which I had received the day before; adding, in the name of the said chamberlain and steward, and in his own also, that it seemed to him that I ought to abstain from going as far as the Queen's residence, or passing even through the village which is within bow-shot of it. The King, their master, they believed, would take it in bad part if the news of his refusal got about; it might lead to much scandal.
To ascertain more especially the will and resolution of the said chamberlain and steward, I sent one of my own men, to whom they held similar language. However, as my man was returning from the place he met one of those whom this King sent last year to Germany, a "fine gallant," who, as it appeared, was also going to the place where the Queen is. I waited all that day to see whether the King's gentleman would send me a message, and at the same time whether I could hear of the Queen's pleasure. I was not mistaken, for she sent me word that she was highly pleased at the journey I had undertaken for her sake, and felt under great obligation to me for the service I proposed rendering her. As to passing on to our lady of Valsinguen (Walshingham), she left it entirely to my discretion. She could not possibly write then, but would do so very shortly at full length. A gentleman of her chamber then gave me to understand that, though the Queen herself dared not say anything about it, he knew for certain that she would be highly pleased at part of my suite showing themselves before the place; which was accordingly done the next day, to the great consolation, as it seemed, of the ladies of her household, who spoke to the men from the battlements and windows [of the tower], with as much astonishment and joy on the part of the peasantry in the neighbourhood, as if the Messiah had actually come down.
Considering that had I myself gone to Valsinguen (Walsingham), it might have been thought that my principal object was not to visit the Queen, I resolved not to go further, but remain where I was. As an excuse to the personage whom the King had sent thither, I sent him word that, wishing above all things to please the King, his master, not only would I abstain from going to the said village, agreeably to the wish expressed by the Queen's chamberlain and steward, but I would also, for the same consideration, desist from my pilgrimage to Valsinguen (Walsingham), in order to remove all matter of scruple and suspicion, and not deviate from the path which I have always followed, but perform every good office suitable to the charge which Your Majesty has deigned to confer on me. The personage in question attempted to conceal from me the object of his mission; nor would he at first own that he had come by the King's express commands. He tried to persuade me that the message brought by the Queen's chamberlain and steward originated in themselves, not in the King. At last, however, he found himself entangled, and was obliged to confess that he had come by the King's command. (fn. 3)
My man having returned, I started on my journey back by another and different route, that the people on the road might see me, and take cognizance of the object for which I had come,—since, after all, there was nothing blameable in it. The personage in question, being informed by his spies of my departure, followed me closely, but did not show himself to me or to my people until the very day when I was about to enter this city. Then he came to salute me, and to ask whether I had any orders to give him. I begged him to tell Master Cromuel in my name that, in my opinion, it would have been far more polite and suitable for the King and himself to have let me know their intention before my departure from London. Had they done so, I might have been spared the trouble of travelling so far, besides the annoyance and humiliation caused by a case which I could not suitably qualify or name. (fn. 4) But since such was their pleasure, the Queen had, no doubt, to give them many thanks, inasmuch as the roughness (rudesse) with which she was treated could no longer be disguised, and would consequently become more notorious and public. I added that I myself felt grateful to the King for the opportunity thus offered to me of showing to the world that it was not my fault if my duty as an ambassador was not fulfilled. There was no need, I said, for the King to send men after men to prevent my seeing the Queen, for had I known beforehand that I should be prevented, I certainly should not have attempted to enter the Queen's presence without ascertaining first the King's wishes in the matter. That was the reason (I said) why, before my departure from London, I had written a note to Master Cromwel.
Thereupon I parted from the King's man without saying one word more to him, though he evidently seemed desirous of holding a conversation with me. Then hastening on as if he intended to arrive in London before dinner, he stopped at the place where I took mine, and dined with me. The dinner over, besides hinting at the two above-mentioned affairs, he said to me that both the Queen's chamberlain and high steward were of opinion that I ought not to take so much to heart the refusal of my application, inasmuch as there were many specious reasons for it. If on a former occasion (said the King's gentleman), when there was true peace and amity between Spain and England, the ambassadors of this country had been refused permission to speak to queen Dona Juana, Your Majesty's mother, a true lady and legitimate queen of Spain, nowadays when there was a disturbance and some sort of quarrel between the two countries the king of England considered himself justified in not granting leave to see the Queen. My answer was that the cause of the refusal had nothing to do with the above-named ambassadors themselves, who had never been courtiers, and were as ignorant in those early times of the practices of diplomacy as I myself was. (fn. 5) If, however, the observation was made in the King's name, I could answer him with that well-known proverb, "Malefactum excusando facies deterius." The gentleman, however, denied having received any such commission, saying that he thought and believed that the King and his Privy Councillors would, when applied to on the subject, bring forth such reasoning as would completely satisfy me. I replied that, as far as I was personally concerned, I was perfectly satisfied, and had nothing to say; it was Your Majesty who needed satisfaction; and it was my firm belief that, matters being well and distinctly explained, Your Majesty and the King, his master, would remain as great, and perhaps become greater, friends than before. (fn. 6) "In this manner," said I, "I would much rather put my head between two " millstones than do a single thing adverse to the preservation and " fostering of the friendship between His Imperial Majesty " and this King." I ended by begging the King's gentleman to ask Cromwell, in my name, what his pleasure was respecting the last occurrence. Was I to report to Your Majesty, and write the whole truth; or what was I to say? The gentleman interrogated me several times as to what was my object in seeing the Queen. My answer was, "That is no " business of yours, but should the King or Privy Council " wish to know, I will tell them plainly what it was." This much I said to him to make him believe that I had a commission of some importance from Your Majesty, and thus incite the King to send for me and inquire.
I cannot imagine what makes the Queen so extremely desirous of seeing me at this moment, since she has still the means of communicating with me in writing, or sending me verbal messages, unless it be that she wishes all people to know that Your Majesty has not entirely forgotten her, as the courtiers of the opposite party are daily proclaiming. If that be her intention, I own that she could not hit upon a better expedient for showing to the world the treatment to which she is subjected; nor could I do more than I have done to serve her plans, to the great discomfiture of the Lady and of those who may have advised the dilatory expedients used in this case, at which game they have been now, I guess, pretty well caught. (fn. 7)
Your Majesty may well see, know, and judge by the above description of the whole affair the extremity in which matters are, and the veracity of this King's ambassadors in their report respecting the Queen's treatment, which is worse than ever it was. Indeed, one might almost say that she is actually the King's prisoner, for not only has he taken away her property, but has forbidden a Spanish lady, who has all her life been in attendance, to serve her at her own expense, or even see her. True it is that the house where the Queen is now residing is well kept, and abundantly provided with food, though, as the Queen informs me, not for her present household, which consists only of five or six, and about as many ladies in waiting, exclusive of the men, whom she considers as guards rather than servants. (fn. 8)
Should there be an opportunity of inquiring about the subvention promised or given to the landgrave of Hesse, I shall not fail to follow Your Majesty's instructions. This King, however, has not been much pleased at the appointment of the said landgrave, nor at the news brought from France by Rocheford, among which is the postponement of the interview till the month of April, owing, as people here say, to the wish expressed by Madame de Boulans (Anne Boleyn) of being present at the conferences; which is quite impossible by reason of her pregnancy. (fn. 9)
The Hamburg doctor, whom the Lubeckians announced, has arrived, and yet they say that this King has sent for Melancthon and for another one. The ambassadors of Lubeck and Hamburgh have of late been in frequent communication with the Privy Council of the King, who came three days ago from Richmond to the house of the archbishop of Canterbury, and entertained them most magnificently. It is not yet known whether anything has been done, but, according to information received from one who frequents their house, it would appear that the Hamburghers do not exactly agree with the Lubeckians.
The King has had some pieces of ordnance put on board two ships bound for Ireland, and it is reported that one or two thousand men besides will be sent to the Welsh frontier. Scheventon (Skeffington), the deputy governor of that country, has not yet left for his command. Neither has the King sent thither any ships of his own, for he has now but few to dispose of. Indeed, notwithstanding their usual bravadoe and their bragging that orders had been given for building several, the King has only six in this river fit for service; two of which have been lately repaired, a third bought from his treasurer, and one large one which is being caulked. (fn. 10) I myself went the day before yesterday to see them all, when I was told that the King had been that very morning inspecting them on his way to Heltham (Eltham) to see his bastard daughter. I am told that before his arrival there, he sent a gentleman of his chamber to make the Princess retire to her rooms for fear of her seeing him.
Some days ago the sieur Dacrez (lord Dacres), accused of high treason, and a prisoner ever since the peace with Scotland, was taken before his judges to hear his sentence. Every one thought that he would be condemned and sentenced to death, the King having beforehand confiscated the whole of his property, which was marvellously large, not inferior perhaps to that of any other great lord in this realm. But although the Lady has worked wonderfully against him, owing to his having always been a staunch partisan of the Queen and Princess, the culprit did play his cards so well, and spoke so long in his own defence—no less than seven hours—that the 24 lords who tried his case unanimously proclaimed his innocence; immediately after which 12 judges, according to the usage of this country, (fn. 11) absolved him from all penalty. This is such a novelty in England that for the last two hundred years nothing like it has been heard of; nor has a man of his class, accused of such crime and brought to such an extremity, ever escaped alive; to which must be added that never, on any occasion, was so much joy manifested among the inhabitants of this city, as when the innocence of Mr. Dacres was proclaimed, and himself set at liberty. The duke of Norfolk sat as president of the Court in the King's name, and the French ambassador, in disguise, witnessed the whole trial from a window. I am told that the Duke and his colleagues, the Judges, could not well disguise their disappointment when they heard the declaration of the jury, fearing that if Cromwell once laid hands on such prey he would, follow on as the Cardinal had done. But, notwithstanding the above absolution and the declaration which followed of the said sieur Dacres having always served the King as faithfully and loyally as any lord in England, he is still in confinement, closer even than ever before, owing to his having refused to sign a paper (cedule) asking for the King's grace that he may, as they say, get back his property, or part of it; which is enough to disgust not only his own relatives and friends, but likewise all the lords (fn. 12) in the realm.
The Queen, having these last days ordered the payment of two bills drawn by count Cifuentes, one of 160 ducats advanced by him long before the issue of the sentence to the notaries and proctors acting in the suit, the other of 140 ducats for the expenses of the courier who brought the sentence here, has insisted on my receiving a sum of money as gratuity for those who had anything to do here with the delivery of that document. In vain have I remonstrated, and written to her many a time that Your Majesty had already provided funds for that service; she insists on her resolution, saying that it is not for the sake of saving Your Majesty's money, but because she considers that any money in her hands may shortly share the same fate as all her jewels. Please Your Majesty send me orders as to what is to be done.—London, 27 July mdxxxiii.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original. pp. 8.
— July.76. Account of what has passed at Rome respecting the Matrimonial Cause.
S. E. L. 3,
B. M. Add. 28,586,
f. 331.
After His Holiness' return from Bologna, the English [ambassadors], having heard of the breves obtained against their master, did their utmost to have them revoked. This the Imperial agents tried of course to prevent. His Holiness then committed the affair to cardinals Monte and Campeggio, as well as to auditors Simonetta and Paolo de Capisuchis (Capisucci) and to the Datary. These three met together several times, and there was on one side and the other much writing of papers and drawing up of reports, until at last what the English petitioned for was denied. About this time count Cifuentes (fn. 13) arrived in Rome, and a few days after news came from England that the King of that country had actually married Anne [Boleyn]. From that moment the Imperial agents began to apply for a declaration setting forth that the King had actually incurred the censures and penalties specified in the breves.
On the other hand, no less than five remissory letters were produced for the principal cause, no more being presented owing to want of time, as the holidays were close at hand; yet the utmost diligence was used in putting matters in order and bringing a report before Consistory. Matters in this state, Rodrigo Davalos (fn. 14) arrived from Spain; and after examining the instructions whereof he was the bearer, and deliberating about the best course to be pursued, it was resolved to urge the expedition of the principal cause only. Accordingly the Count and Rodrigo Davalos waited upon His Holiness, and gave him the Emperor's letter. After reading which, and hearing what the ambassador had to say, His Holiness instantly ordered the auditor of the Rota, Paulo Capisuchis, to refer the cause in Consistory; which the auditor did in three different sittings, during which the whole time was spent in explaining the cause, and the evidence obtained in virtue of the remissory letters. Besides that, His Holiness ordered the whole process to be again examined at the Rota. The auditors met, and had three extraordinary meetings, at which the cause and the proofs (probanças) were duly examined, besides another one to come to a resolution and vote. By this time there had been several reports (informaciones) upon various articles and dubious points, "de jure divino," as well as "de jure canonico." All cardinals and auditors of the Rota were informed many a time, because on the part of the English many doubts were started, and in the Consistory there were, and are still, many French cardinals and others attached to the English king. At last a resolution was passed in Consistory, as well as in the Rota, respecting the principal cause, namely, that justice is entirely on the side of Her Highness the Queen, and that the prohibition in her case was not of "divine right," as far as it had been possible to ascertain. (fn. 15)
The cause being in this state, and nothing else remaining to be done except to issue sentence in favour of the Queen, two days before the last Consistory the English looked out for some device to impede the expedition of the executory letters, maintaining that at the time that the cause was in England in the hands of the two legates [Wolsey and Campeggio], the King had had witnesses examined, whose testimony had not yet been brought forward, and that the Pope could not well dismiss so important a cause, and one of such gravity, until he had seen the whole of the evidence. (fn. 16) The answer was that the Queen had sent a copy of all legal proceedings in England up to the time when she had herself challenged the judges and appealed, and that the appeal had been presented. Nothing was known of other proceedings in England; there could not in fact be any other legitimate party to institute them. Secondly, that the Queen had not only committed her appeal in the first instance to Rome, but had again renewed it "per iram querelæ" against the King, "super molestationibus et matrimonio," and that by force of that commission the King was again summoned to appear, and the cause re-instituted. And, therefore, all that was said of there being more proceedings did not in any way prevent the expedition; for, supposing witnesses to have been examined in England on the part of the King,—of which there is no testimony but that of Campeggio, who is said to have written to His Holiness at the time that "witnesses had been examined,"—their testimony would be of no avail, as they could prove nothing against the canonical validity of the Queen's marriage. For, granting for a moment that the prohibition of a man's marrying his brother's widow, relictam fratris sine liberis defuncti, were of divine right, the testimony of witnesses tending to prove that the marriage with Arthur was consummated,—that king Henry was not of age when the dispensation was applied for, and that he himself had protested, when of age, that he never intended marrying Katharine, and did not hold the dispensation good,—that there was neither war, nor fear of it, at the time,—all this, and any other thing the King might say he could prove, is not to the purpose, since the dispensation granted by Julius is only founded on pro pace conservanda. That is the real and true cause, for there can he no doubt that by this second marriage the peace and confederation were confirmed. (fn. 17) Besides which, by means of the remissory letters, sufficient proof has been obtained that even in the case of the marriage being prohibited "de divino," which it is not, the dispensation was valid. In addition to this, the general belief is that the Queen was a virgin when she married king Henry; and if she was not, it is very difficult to establish the proof. Whence we conclude that her second marriage having been public, clear, and consummated, cannot be undone on account of a previous consummation, which, to say the least of it, is very doubtful. (fn. 18) Even if it were not, and the proof existed that the Queen's first marriage was consummated, and the prohibition were of "divine right," the Papal dispensation would still stand good, since the King himself married in virtue of it, and has lived for so many years a truly matrimonial life, which does away with any protest he may have made at the time.
For the above reasons, and many others that might be brought to hear, His Holiness could very well expedite the cause to the satisfaction of his honour and conscience.
It is thought, nevertheless, that His Holiness and his cardinals, for some motive or other, are wishing to stay the expedition of the sentence on the principal cause, as they clearly gave it to be understood long before this new doubt about the process was started; which being observed by the Imperial lawyers, a new step has been taken, which is to petition that anything the king of England has done to the detriment and injury of his Queen should be revoked "ex officio pastorali." (fn. 19)
Thus, on the 11th of this month [of July] His Holiness issued in Consistory, "ex officio," a sentence restoring queen Katharine to her Royal state as she was before the suit, and at the same time annulling the King's marriage to Anne, and declaring the children born, or who may be born, from the said marriage, illegitimate. It declares the King to be excommunicated as having incurred the penalties described in the breves, as specified in the sentence itself.
The Queen's agents, however, observing that in the last Consistory the principal cause had not been expedited, new remissory letters were dispatched in order that during these next holidays things may be prepared for the stronger confirmation of our testimony, and then, when the court opens again, the expedition of the principal cause will be insisted upon. This is already so well advanced that it is generally believed there will soon be an expedition, although in such grave cases, wherein princes are concerned, there are always doubts and impediments. The king of England, moreover, has had a term fixed, from these holidays to the beginning of October, during which he is to present all proceedings, acts or deeds, of which he intends to make use in future.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 9.


1 "Lon a tenu bien saulvaige façon de faire, que seroit tropt longue a raccompter plainement."
2 "Et vint le mieulx a propoz du monde pour leffect pretendu que nostre chemin saddonoit necessairement de passer tout au long de ceste ville."
3 "Mais yl sentretailla et fallust quil confessa[t] verite."
4 "Pour non manifester a tout le monde ung tel cas, que ne sçavoes modestement baptiser ne nommer."
5 "Je luy dis que ce motifz ne procedoit des susnommez, que oncques navoint este gens de court que maintenant, et que aultant sçavoint ylz de lenvoy ne charge des ambassadeurs du temps quil vouloit parler, comme moy, quen estois bien loing."
6 "Mais quil convenoit satisfaire a vostre maieste, et que comme ie pensoes, les choses bien entenduez, et sequestreez les affections vostre maieste et le roy son maystre demourroint aultant ou plus amis quauparavent."
7 "Et pour cest effect il nestoit possible den user mieulx au contentement de la dite royne, que lay fait, ne plus au creuecueur de la dame, et de ceulx qui ont donne conseil de me mener si longuement sans responce, de quoy ilz se tiennent bien par le bec."
8 "Que en la mayson ou est la royne yl si faict assez grosse depence de mengallie (sic) mays a ce que dit la dite royne, ce nest pour ses serviteurs."
9 "Et dient ceulx-cy estre la cause de ce que la dame de Boulans y veult entreuenir, ce que nest possible a cause de sa pourtee."
10 "Le roy ny envoye nulle naviere sienne, aussy nen a [t]yl de sobrez (?), car quelque braverie que lon aye use de fere fabriquer navierez, yl nen a en ceste riviere que six dont yl se puist seruyr, dont il a faict raccontir les deux et une en a acchattee de son tresourier, et une grande yl fait reffere."
11 "Toutesfoys il debattit si tres bien son cas sept heures de long quil fust desclayre incoulpable par xxiii. seigneurs concordez et unanimez et subsequente—ment au mesme instant absoutz de douze jugez selon la coutume dangleterre "
12 "Et ce pour avoir les biens, ou partie, quest bien pour faire despiter non seullement ses parens et amys, mais aussi les dits seigneurs."
13 D. Fernando de Sylva, whose arrival at Rome in 1532 has been recorded.
14 Davalos remained at Rome from May to August or September 1533.
15 "Que la justicia de la Serenissima Reyna es buena y que la prohibicion en este caso no es de "jure divino" segun lo que se ha podido alcanzar."
16 "Diziendo que en Inglaterra el Rey havia examinado testigos quando la causa pendia delante los legados; los quales [testimonios] no eran producidos, y que el Papa no havia de espedir esta causa sino visto todo el processo, atenta la gravedad de la causa."
17 "Porque prosupuesto por verdad que esta prohibition de tomar el hermano relictam fratris sine liberis defuncti no es de jure divino claro está que aunque los testigos probassen quel matrimonio con Arturo fué consumado, y que el rey Henrico era de menor edad quando se impetró la dispensacion, y que avia protestado venido á la pubertad y que no entendio de casar con la Serenissima reina, ni tenia por buena la dispensacion concedida, y que no havia guerras ni suspicion de las haver, que todo esto y otra qualquier cosa que el Rey quisiese dezir haver provado no hazia al caso pues la dispensacion concedida por el papa Julio solamente se funda pro pace conservanda, y esta causa es [la] verdadera, y no se puede negar que por este segundo matrimonio se refirmó la paz y confederacion," &c.
18 "Y demas desto se cree estar probado que la Reyna estava virgen quando se casó con el Rey Henrrico Octavo, ó á lo menos no se puede negar que no haya duda si estaba virgen ó no por la accession que uvo el Rey á ella, lo qual basta para que el matrimonio de que se haze [mencion], que es claro y consumado, no se pueda divorciar por respecto del primero, que no consta si fue consumado."
19 Como claramente lo daban á entender mucho antes que se moviesse esta duda del processo, y vista esta dicha deliberacion, tomose otro verso, que [fue que] se revocase todo lo que el Rey de Inglaterra ha hecho en perjuicio de la Serenissima Reyna ex officio pastorali.