|8 Feb.||252. Katharine of Aragon, Queen of England, to the Emperor.|
Cat. vol. v.
|Most high and most powerful Lord, it is but a little time since I wrote to Your Majesty, stating my opinion upon the articles which the ambassador of the King, my lord and husband, presented to Your Majesty; after which the ambassador (Eustace Chapuys) who resides here [for Your Majesty], showed me other articles, sent by His Holiness through his nuncio, to which I replied as well as appeared to me would for the time promote the good issue of this [my cause], and avoiding the delay which the said articles necessarily bring with them, as I believe the said ambassador (Chapuys) will by this time have notified to Your Majesty. And, to say the truth, considering what has taken and is taking place respecting the said delay, and perceiving that neither the daily offences against God here [in England], which go on increasing, nor my own continual complaints, nor Your Highness's power, are sufficient to induce His Holiness to do [me] justice—for I ask nothing else of him—I was almost determined not to trouble Your Majesty any more with my letters, but entrust the declaration of the truth of my right to God, and accept this [state of things] as a remedy for my troubles and a consolation for my life. Yet it seemed to me as if by so doing I should be tempting God, especially when I see that the sin wherein the King my lord lives brings about other sins every hour, as would appear from the attempt they have lately made, without fear of God, and to the great scandal of all Christendom, against the authority of the Holy See, as Your Majesty must have heard at length from other persons. I think, therefore, that I ought to return to my old importunity; for I do not occupy myself in this business with any other thing except to save my soul, at the same time certifying Your Highness that I would not, for anything in this world, have failed to acquaint His Holiness, as well as Your Majesty and all persons capable of applying a remedy to the evils which I am witnessing, and which, though ignorant in such matters, I have always had before my eyes. Having, however, done what I could, my conscience is tolerably quieted in spite of all the bad example [they give me]. Whatever their present doings may be, or signify that they will do in future, Your Majesty must know that lies entirely with His Holiness by his putting a termination and end to this affair, without slackening in the prosecution of my cause, but carrying it on to the end in accordance with the requirements of justice, and declaring to those who may speak to him on this matter that such is his voluntary determination. Such being the only remedy, I entreat Your Majesty, for the love of Christ and his passion, to be pleased to take action in this, since all Christendom awaits it, and you yourself are bound, as a Christian prince and protector of our Faith, to take the matter in hand without any other consideration but that of God's service and the tranquillity of Christendom at large. All other considerations, even that of my own person and my daughter's, ought to be put aside, unless it were for the sake of accomplishing such an act of mercy as to deliver us from the prison in which we are, like the most miserable creatures in the world. Indeed, there is no need for relating to Your Majesty the sufferings that I and my daughter undergo, as well as the treatment to which we are daily subjected, and the surprises and affronts which every day the King's councillors put upon us; for our troubles are matters of universal notoriety; and, indeed, if we did not fortify ourselves with God's help, and by looking upon our continual sufferings as undergone for His sake,—if the All merciful did not help us throughout,—the burden would be insupportable. However, as I do consider that my purgatory, in my daughter's, is in this world, we are both of us doing what we can in defence of our right. As to me, Your Highness may be sure that I shall not fail [in this task] till death, as otherwise I should imperil my soul; and I hope to God the Princess will do the same, as a good daughter should do. Further matters Your Majesty shall hear from your ambassador [Eustace Chapuys], and yet I think he will be unable to acquaint you with the whole of the mischief that is taking place [here]. Above all, I beseech of Your Highness quick despatch in the affair, for to lose a day at this juncture is worse than to have lost a year hitherto, as I have [before this] signified to Your Majesty, and especially in my last letter to which I refer myself. Just as I was writing this, Your Majesty's ambassador [Chapuys] sent to tell me that in his opinion it is not advisable to send anyone to this Parliament; and also that he has dispatched a special messenger to His Holiness to beg with all urgency and speed for a definitive sentence. Of the first measure [proposed by the ambassador] I fully approve; for unless the messenger could return with the determination and end of the affair, it would be of very little use, considering the present state of things in this country. With regard to the man whom Your Majesty has sent, I kiss the hands of Your Majesty; for, truly, besides the good which his coming is likely to do, it is high time for Your Highness to show yourself in other bearing than you have hitherto done, were it only to stand on good terms with the inhabitants of this kingdom, who think that the affair has come to this pass through Your Majesty not having shown yourself as you should and ought to have done. For my own part, I entertain some scruples that Your Highness might have done better, especially since there has been a good opportunity towards persuading His Holiness to do [me] justice, wherewith the whole might have been brought to an end. However, with regard to this point each one's conscience shall be his judge; and God, who knows the truth, is enough for me, who have, as I declare, fully disburdened mine. I humbly beseech Your Majesty, if the charity hitherto shown to me and to my daughter has been somewhat cold, that it may be the warmer in future; for, even were we not both united in blood and relationship to each other, it would still be Your Majesty's duty to help persons so much oppressed and in such necessity [as we both are]. Your Majesty, indeed, is bound to help us to bear the cross which we have upon our shoulders for the sake of truth, otherwise there is no hope in this world, for the perpetration of such grave and multifarious sins is sure to bring a very severe punishment; from which I trust God will protect Your Majesty, and give you such a life and increase of estates as I desire you should have. Beseeching your Majesty to forgive my scribbling, for as my heart is troubled so is my hand stiff, and I have not written [this] my letter as I ought to have done. At Buxton the viii. of February.|
|Your Majesty's humble aunt,|
|Addressed: "To the most High and powerful lord, the Emperor and King, my nephew."|
|Endorsed: "To His Majesty. From the queen of England, 8 Feb. 1534."|
|Spanish. Holograph, pp ….. 5.|
|12 Aug.||253. The Emperor's Instructions to Henry Count of Nassau.|
|Pap. de Granvelle,|
vol. II., pp. 136.
|With regard to the English marriage, you will discreetly seize any opportunity that offers itself of putting forward, in conversation with the King's ministers, the convenience as well as the great advantages of a union between the duke of Angoulesme, his son, and our cousin the princess Mary of England; for, in the first place, our Holy Father the Pope, as well as the Sacred College of Cardinals, have already declared her to be the legitimate heiress to the crown of England; and, secondly, the said marriage, if accomplished, will be the means of relieving king Francis and his children from the payment of the yearly pension which they are bound to make over to that country. Such a marriage, indeed, cannot fail to be of great advantage and profit for the king of England and his kingdom. Besides which, there is no prince or man living who can conscientiously and without open contravention to the authority of Mother Church, side with him in the present case, or fail to acknowledge his obstinate rebellion and wavering in matters of Faith, or who can believe himself bound by previous treaties to support him in his folly. On the contrary, every good Christian must expect that our Holy Father, in view of the said obstinacy and rebellion against ecclesiastical justice and authority, and of his sayings, writings, and assertions against it, will be compelled in the end to make such a declaration as may be requisite. Not only, therefore, would it be advantageous for the king of England to be saved, by means of the said marriage, and of judicious treatment, (which might easily be done by common consent of the parties, and to the satisfaction (fn. 1) of his kingdom,) from the error and blindness in which he lies; it would also be a meritorious work in the eyes of God, and a most honourable one for those concerned in it.|
|These overtures are to be made with great modesty and discretion and in such a manner that, should king Francis disapprove of this plan, he may not use it as a weapon against us, and report your words to the king of England. You are to make the proposal as if it came exclusively from you, and keep the thing secret until the conclusion of the treaty.|
|Should this project of marriage be agreed to, and should there be a question as to how and by what means the thing is to be effected, and what help and assistance We purpose giving to it, you may answer that, as to the first, namely, the undertaking and conduct of the business in question, there can be no doubt that, should king Francis and We undertake it in common, no one could prevent us; adding, if you deemed it necessary, that whether the king of England consent to it or refuse, it is all the same, he will be compelled to assent in the end, the more so if the great discontent prevailing among the nobles, the clergy, and the people of England in general, owing to his second marriage, his separation from Faith, and his rebellion against the Church of Rome, be taken into consideration. As to the mode and form of the undertaking and its execution, you will let the King's ministers speak first, and see what they propose doing in that respect, that you may conform with their views according to time and circumstances, trying by that means to ascertain how far they would like to join in the said enterprise, and what conditions they would want on our part, whether for the retention of Calais, or for the payment of the interest of the sums we may have to spend for the enterprise …...—Palencia, 18 August 1534.|
|24 Jan.||254. The Emperor to Viscount Hannaert.|
|Pap. d'Etat du|
vol. II., pp. 286–9.
|As to what you write concerning the ten thousand Englishmen who are to be sent against Gravelinghes (Gravelines), We cannot persuade ourselves that the report can be true, owing to several considerations, which We avoid specifying here, and which must be well known to you. Yet, should you hear any more about that, you must let Us know, as well as the Queen, (fn. 2) our sister, as you have done hitherto whenever there has been any important news from that quarter.|
|With regard to your conversation with the English ambassador at that court, as reported in your private letter to Mr. de Granvelle, We cannot but approve entirely of your discretion. Continue to act as you have done until you hear from Us, and learn from our ambassador in England what appearance of truth or what foundation there may be in the overtures that have been made to you ......—Madrid, xxiii. Jan. 1534.|
|26 Feb.||255. The Same to the Same.|
|Pap. d'Etat du|
vol. ii., p. 299.
|In addition to the above statements We must inform you that the French ambassador (Mr. de Velly) has taken every opportunity to declare that the English marriage is a most difficult matter to bring about. We again explained to him our views according to the instructions you have received on the subject. We told him what means might be employed by the King, his master, and by ourselves, to conduct that affair in an honourable manner, and for the welfare of the king of England himself and the relief of his conscience. The ambassador objected, saying that the marriage might be the cause of reviving Francis' old quarrels with that country, and perhaps too bringing on discord between the King's sons. Our reply was that there was little fear of that, inasmuch as Francis' third son, the duke of Angoulême, would be well provided for; besides which, mutual securities might be given as to that through the marriage alliances of the other two brothers. Even in the event of our cousin, the princess of England, coming to grief, the Portuguese marriage might be negotiated and brought about, and the means found for his son succeeding to the Crown of England, which by the Princess's demise would remain without lawful heir. (fn. 3) The ambassador replied, that, nevertheless, he fancied that the King, his master, would wish for some security in the shape of land on the side of Italy; and in short, that, notwithstanding the reasons alleged by Us, his opinion was that the thing could not be done, or the proposition accepted, openly declaring to Us that Mr. de Nassau's mission had disappointed and embittered the King, his master, as the hope he once conceived of a satisfactory arrangement between Us two had completely vanished ................. Madrid, xxvi. February 1534.|
|26 Feb.||256. The Emperor to his Ambassador in France.|
|Pap. d'Etat du|
vol. ii., p. 307.
|In addition to what We have written before this, the object of this present will be to say that We have attentively perused your ciphered despatch addressed to Mr. de Granvelle, relating what passed between the English ambassador at that Court, and the declaration you made to him about the armament We are preparing against Barbarossa; and the conversation which the said ambassador held at your own house, after getting, as he said, news from one of his friends in England, showing a desire on the part of the King of that country to establish a firm friendship between him and Us, as contained in your letters which We have perused. We praise and commend the advice (advertisement) given by you to the English ambassador respecting our armaments, and approve also of your answer in what regards a closer friendship.—Madrid, 26 Feb. 1534.|
|30 Sept.||257. Chapuys to the Emperor.|
Fasc. 229½, No. 58.
|As Sir de Usey (Lord Hussey), formerly the Princess's chamberlain, and before that, owing to his great wisdom and good sense, one of the principal councillors of the father of this King (Henry VII.), was about to leave a few days ago for his native place in one of the northern counties, he wrote to ask me for a secret interview, that we both might consult together. The hour and place being appointed, Sir de Usey came, and told me openly what he had already hinted to me on a former occasion, namely, that he and all the good people of this kingdom were greatly surprised and afflicted at Your Majesty making no show or appearance of remedying the existing evils, when there was such a good opportunity for it. Not only the question (said he) was one of life and death for the Queen and Princess, and involving also Your Majesty's honour, but one which regarded principally God, to whom Your Majesty, as Catholic prince and chief of others, was so deeply bound. Your Majesty (he continued) ought to take it up, were it for no other purpose than out of pity and commiseration for these poor people, the English, who are as sincerely attached to you as if they really were your own natural subjects. I showed him how desirous Your Majesty was of the peace and union of Christendom, and of the preservation of the amity and friendship with this King, and therefore that you could not have done better than press the declaration of the justice and right of the Queen and Princess, and wait for the other terms of justice. That once accomplished, you would consider yourself free from all engagements and oaths made to this King. That although Your Majesty might now have a better opportunity than ever of remedying the evils of which we all complained, either by rigorous action or by force of arms, yet you might be somewhat deterred by the idea of thereby annoying and injuring a people like the English, who were not to blame, and had committed no real fault against you. And, moreover, that, knowing him to be a wise and experienced man, who knew perfectly well the condition and resources of this country, I begged him to tell me how he would act, and what he would do, were he in your place. His answer was, that, as far as the political condition of the kingdom is concerned, he had no doubt I knew as much of it as he himself did; yet he did not hesitate to say that almost all the English wished Your Majesty to stir in the matter, and assist them. There was no occasion, he added, for Your Majesty fearing, in case of war, that you might cause molestation and injury to his countrymen, for their indignation was such that matters would soon be set right without any party in England offering resistance or daring to accept battle. As to the kind of warfare to be made, he said that Your Majesty ought to bring here (fn. 4) experienced soldiers having a knowledge of the country. He declined, however, entering into further particulars, on the plea that my lord D'Arcy, whom he calls brother, and who, he said, had greater knowledge of these matters than himself, having for many years followed the profession of arms, would soon furnish me with more ample details. One thing, however, he could not omit saying by way of a reminder, namely, that it seemed to him that Your Majesty ought to declare war almost immediately; that might be the means of remedying the whole, since the people, in his opinion, would immediately revolt, when the nobility and the clergy, who, though half disorganised, are still powerful, would join in the movement. (fn. 5) |
|The day after Mr. D'Ossey (Hussey) held the above conversation with me I sent one of my confidential men to visit Milord Darcy (D'Arcy) in my name, who, after a good deal of talking, began to explain the object of his visit, begging him to keep the thing a close secret, as otherwise his life would be in danger. Lord D'Arcy answered that he certainly considered himself one of the best and most loyal subjects of the King in such matters of duty as were not against his conscience and honour; but the present affair was such an offence against God and reason that he neither would nor could be called a right honourable gentleman or a good Christian were he to consent to such things against the Faith. He well knew that in the northern counties, from which he came, there were no less than 600 earls, knights, and other gentlemen, all of whom were of his opinion, though he had only addressed personally one or two of them on the subject. He had, moreover, kept the thing secret from his two sons, who were among the bravest soldiers in England, (fn. 6) the younger of whom had very lately been appointed captain and governor of the island of Jerce (Jersey). Mr D'Arcy further said that he intended to ask the King's leave to go to his county in the North. There was (he said) a talk of bringing forward at this next session a Bill for the introduction into England of the Lutheran sect; but he and his adherents would do their utmost to have opposition to this measure preached [in the churches] in order to encourage people [to resistance], and then would, with Your Majesty's intervention and timely assistance, raise the banner of the Crucifix and yours. Among the very first things which he would like to see was the arrest of some lords who countenanced such follies, such as the earl of Nortemberlan (Northumberland) and some more whom he named. The help which Mr. D'Arcy wished to obtain from Your Majesty was, in the first place, a perfect understanding with the king of Scotland, so that he might invade England whilst this King and his army were engaged elsewhere; that Your Majesty be pleased to send a small force to the mouth of this river in order to fight with and defeat the troops in the neighbourhood; also to send to the northern counties a small band of hackbutiers, with a suitable store of arms and ammunitions of war. Some money would also be required to enable some of the poor country gentlemen, who have not adequate means, to equip themselves, as well as bribe others and detach them from the King's party. There were, he said, in those northern districts many great lords with a considerable number of vassals, but little or no money to defray the war expenses of the rest. The lords themselves, far from taking money from Your Majesty, would willingly sacrifice all their substance for the cause. As to himself, he was ready to take the field with 8,000 men, taken from among his own vassals and those of his friends and relatives. He further begged me, for God's sake, not to be remiss in a work of this kind, so meritorious in the eyes of God and of Your Majesty,—the greatest service, he said, which I could render you. Lastly, he said to my secretary that, before his departure for the North, be would certainly enter into more details, and let me know what he intends doing. I shall wait anxiously for the result; in the meantime, I am persuaded that there are lords innumerable who, if they could or dared declare themselves, would speak in the same terms. Among those whom he considers as of his party, and who are the most powerful in the kingdom, one is the earl of Derby, the other lord Dacres, who has good reason to be dissatisfied with this King and with those who have the administration of affairs: for, notwithstanding that he has been declared innocent of the charge brought against him, yet the King, after depriving him of all his offices, still retains, by way of sequestration, property of his, in money and furniture, to the amount of 50,000 ducats.|
|No news since my last despatch about Ireland, though I know for certain that the Court has some. I am told that part of the force Scheventer had with him left him without leave, and that this was his foundation for the delay in executing the King's orders and crossing over to Ireland. The King, they say, is not at all satisfied at this delay, and has sent him peremptory orders to sail with the very first fair wind, whatever may happen. One of the two ships belonging to the King, about which I wrote some time ago, has already gone down this river; the other will soon follow her; their object being, as I am informed, to spy out how many vessels go to and come from Ireland. (fn. 7) |
|The day before yesterday a German gentleman, accompanied by five servants, arrived in this city. The master of the charrue, on board of which he has come from Antwerp, says that he would not give his name when in that town. Some say that he comes on behalf of the duke of Saxony; others presume that he belongs to him of Luneburgh, for he speaks Low German. However this may be, the said gentleman was seen in the streets of this capital, accompanied by some of his own servants, of the doctors from Lubeck and Hamburgh. I will do my best to ascertain who he is and what he comes about. London, 30 September 1534.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|French. Entirely in cypher. pp. 3.|