August 1534, 21-31


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'Spain: August 1534, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1: 1534-1535 (1886), pp. 248-252. URL: Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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August 1534, 21-31

29 Aug.86. Eustace Chapuys to the Same.
Rep. P.C., Fasc.229,
No. 52.
Though I have no doubt that Your Majesty has by this time obtained most ample and reliable information respecting the successful revolution headed by young Kildare (fn. 1) in Ireland, yet I consider it my duty to write a few words about it, and mention the rumours afloat. It would appear that at this very moment all or nearly all the country which this King wished to possess in Ireland, as well as almost all the lords of the land, with the exception of the earl of Dansrey, (fn. 2) whom for some consideration or other Kildare will not press too hard, and the prior of Rhodes, (fn. 3) acknowledge the rule of that chieftain, and have engaged their faith to him. Kildare, in fact, has ordered all Englishmen, under pain of death, to quit Ireland, those living in the towns, which he has entered, having already sworn fealty to the Pope, to your Majesty, and to him (Kildare). The rest of the towns still holding for the King have also been summoned to take the oath, and it is believed that they will soon do so without compulsion. As many of the English fishermen as Kildare can get hold of are immediately put to death by his orders—that the others may be frightened, and prevented from going to those waters—he (Kildare) knowing very well that this is a thing of the utmost importance for the English. Indeed, I am told the people of Cornwall would prefer losing their tin mines rather than the faculty of fishing on that coast, and the profits arising there-from; at least, so I am told by reliable inhabitants of that county. There is likewise a very prevalent rumour here that there is actually in Ireland an ambassador from your Majesty, so much so that many people have come to me to inquire about him; my answer being that I had no knowledge whatever of the fact, and that if there really was one, it must be for the purpose of remedying some new scheme introduced by the Irish rebels, affecting the interests of Spanish sailors frequenting those seas.
Supposing Your Majesty to be better informed than I am of the above-named Irish movements, I have hitherto neglected to inquire more specifically and truly about them, but will in future keep my eyes open and report. This king has hitherto tried to dissemble, in order, as I think, to keep his subjects ignorant of what is happening in Ireland, for fear they (the English) should take it into their heads to imitate the Irish and also because he hopes to arrange matters by moderation and diplomacy, having promised to the said Chieldra (Kildare) the freedom of his father, the earl, and to himself grace and pardon for the murder of the archbishop, and other crimes. Kildare, however, I am told, will not hear of any such thing, and therefore the King, seeing no appearance of peace or reconciliation, and that the case is without remedy unless he himself attends to it immediately, has for the last five or six days ordered his Privy Councillors, and several other personages, to go and meet him 40 miles from this city, to deliberate and advise as to the steps needful to be taken in Irish affairs. And I have been told this very morning that 10 ships were being fitted out, and that he (the King) wished to send thither 12,000 men under the command of the duke of Suffolk or of lord Felix, the governor of Wales. (fn. 4) Nevertheless, it is generally believed that, whatever ostensible preparations may be made for this next winter, the result, if any, will be very scanty; for the season is already very much advanced, and, besides, many months will be required for the meeting of so many men, who generally dislike to enlist for an expedition in which there is nothing to be gained but blows. In addition to which, should the said Kildare be in possession, as asserted, of the greater part of Ireland, it will be indispensable to send thither three times the force spoken of, and collect a considerable quantity of provisions, which cannot be done in a short time. Should I hear anything more about it, I shall not fail to apprise Your Majesty.
The pleasure and satisfaction which all worthy people here feel at this prosperous turn of affairs in Ireland is almost incredible. Indeed, all think that it is a very good beginning for the settlement of affairs in this country. Equally incredible is the desire manifested by all classes that Your Majesty should not lose such a good opportunity. I am daily stimulated and urged on all sides to write to Your Majesty on the subject, the applicants assuring me that the least movement on your part would provoke a declaration of this kingdom in your favour. No later than yesterday a worthy and virtuous lord—who, though somewhat indisposed, sent me a message requesting my presence in a neighbouring field, as if we had met by chance—made me a most solemn declaration to that effect. He said further: he told me that eight days ago Cromwell had mentioned to him, among many other things, that there was no fear nowadays of Your Majesty declaring war against England, for neither Spain nor Flanders would consent to it for fear of losing their trade with this country. It was foolish, he said to think otherwise; for even if the thing were possible, the death of the Queen and of the Princess [Mary] would soon put an end to all quarrels, since in that event Your Majesty would have no excuse for attacking them. Which declaration on the part of the said Cromwell will show Your Majesty the good intentions of these people, and the object they are aiming at, which is to rid themselves of the two ladies in the end. (fn. 5) Whereupon, and in order that the said lord, my informant, might repeat the statement to Cromwell, I replied to him that, should both the Queen and Princess come to die (which may God forbid!), Your Majesty would certainly have by far a much greater cause for quarrel than you have at present, as I myself had once signified to the King. Which argument and reasoning of mine was so much to the taste of the said lord, that he went away quite pleased at his being allowed to use it with Cromwell and other parties. I must add that the very same expressions respecting the Queen and Princess fell some time ago from the mouth of the earl of Vulcher (Wiltshire), addressing one who happened to tell him that the ill-treatment of the two aforesaid ladies might perhaps incense Your Majesty. Indeed, some of the Queen's friends begin to fear that unless a prompt remedy is provided, this king will have it declared in this next Parliament, which is to re-assemble in November next, that she and the Princess, her daughter, have actually incurred the penalty of the statute framed against them, and then he will have better excuse than ever to treat them still worse.
Having lately heard that there was a talk of change of residence for the Princess, and of making her follow and accompany the King's bastard daughter wherever she went, I received from the former no less than three different messages in twenty-four hours, asking me what she had better do. I answered her messages each time, and tried to dissipate her scruples as well as I could, writing to her that even if she were to obey implicitly the King's commands in that respect, no damage would ensue for her interests, inasmuch as the protest which I had formerly placed in her hands safeguarded her most completely. For fear, however, of the King and his Lady thinking that ill-treatment was already producing its effect on her, and that she was gradually losing courage, I strongly advised her, while maintaining her usual modesty, to speak boldly and show good heart, and yet not to carry things to such extremity as to oblige her guards to use violence as in past times. (fn. 6) I have written at full length what she is to say in the event of her being interrogated or obliged to act against her will; not that I thought this necessary, considering the great wisdom with which she is gifted, but because she insisted upon my doing so. (fn. 7) However this may be, I hear that the Princess has played her part so remarkably well that the Comptroller himself (fn. 8) has actually promised her that she shall not, unless she likes, go and live with the bastard. Nevertheless, having arrived at the first gate of the house (park?) the Princess found there the bastard's chaise, and therefore she had to go first. After which, the Comptroller having given her faculty, as soon as she was in her own chaise, to go before or after, as she pleased, she suddenly went forward, and made such haste that she arrived at Greenwich one hour before the bastard, and when she came to the barge she managed so well that she occupied the most honourable seat in it. Having, moreover, sent her word that I would willingly go to Greenwich to see her pass, she replied that she should be most happy. I went thither in disguise, and had the pleasure of witnessing such grace and beauty, coupled with a true royal aspect and garb, that I felt double pity and commiseration at seeing her so ill-treated.
The ambassadors from Lubeck, if I am rightly informed, begin to get tired of their being kept so long here, and go on saying to whomsoever they meet, that, had they known it beforehand, they would never have come here. They hoped to have some of the King's money as a loan to carry on war against Denmark, and they find that the thing cannot be done. The King, it is true, has offered to send them the money, provided the bank of Easterling merchants (la maison des hosterlins) or their correspondents in this city should guarantee the debt; but as this could not be obtained, I fancy that the Lubeckians will go away without money, or, at least, with very little.
The courier, about whose departure for Rome I wrote last, (fn. 9) hearing whilst at the court of France that the Pope was still alive,—nay, had recovered from his late illness,—has not proceeded further on his journey. By the same reason is Gregory Casal retained in France, who, I suspect, will not go to Rome, but to Venice straight, as English resident. His brother [the Prothonotary], who is there, will go to the Vayvod's, by whose means, as it is thought, this king and his ministers will, if they can, negociate with the Turk, and try and raise difficulties in Your Majesty's way.
All the Minor Observant friars of this kingdom have been expelled from their convents, owing to their having refused to take the oath against the authority of the Apostolic See. They have, moreover, been distributed among the several convents in the provinces, where they are locked up, put in chains, and worse treated than if they were prisoners (fn. 10) ; indeed they would much prefer being in irons than in the hands of those under whose power they now are.—London, the 29th of August [1534].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. pp. 7.


1 Thomas Fitzgerald, son of the earl of Kildare.
2 Elsewhere Darnley, but neither name is correct. I have not seen Chapuys' original despatch, but though he is not particularly accurate in spelling English proper names, I suspect that he must have written Daussrey, in which case Butler earl of Ormond and Ossory, at this time lord lieutenant of Ireland, must be meant.
3 Sir William Weston? See vol. iv. part ii. p. 303.
4 "Et ma lon dit a ce matin que le dit seigneur roy mandoit apprester dix navieres, et quil y vouloit envoyer douze mille homes soubz la charge et conduite du due de Suffocq ou de Millort Felix, gouverneur de Galles."
5 "Entre autres pluseurs propoz luy auoit dit que cestoit folie de craindre que vostre maieste vouloist leur entreprendre la guerre, car iamais ni la flandre ny lespaigne ny consentiroient pour non perdre la contractation; et quant cela ne seroit, la mort de la royne et de la princesse amortiroit tout, car cella estant, il ne resteroit aucune querelle; en quoy vostre maieste peut congnoistre la bonne intencion et fin ou ilz pretendent, quest de finablement se faire quiotes des dictes dames."
6 "Toutesfois questoye doppinion que affin que son dit pere et sa dame ne pensassent que le mauluais traictement luy ennuyoit desia, et quelle commençoit a perdre cueur quelle parlat hardyment et monstrat son cueur avec la modestie accoustumee, mais quelle ne se mist iusques a lextremite de lautrefois de se faire mener par force."
7 "Non point quil en fut besoing pour le grant sens delle, mais pour ce que ainsi luy plust quil fusse."
8 Sir William Paulet.
9 See above, p. 245.
10 "Tous les Observantins de ce royaulme ont estez chassez de leurs monasteres pour avoir reffuse le iurement contre lautorite appostolique, et sont (sic) este distribuez en pluseurs monesteres, ou ilz sont ensarrez (encerrados?), enchainez et pis traietez quilz ne sçauroient estre en prison, que ce soit, mesmes quilz sont entre les mains de ceulx que les ayent (haissent?). Dieu par sa grace les venille consoler et maintenir en leur bonne intencion."