November 1542, 1-15


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'Spain: November 1542, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 2: 1542-1543 (1895), pp. 159-177. URL: Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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November 1542, 1-15

2 Nov.74. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 164–201.
"Sire,"—On the 2nd inst. Mr. de Courrières arrived at Falemue (Falmouth). The moment the King heard of it, he gave orders for Mr. Huyet (Whyat) to go and meet him as hastily as he possibly could. As he (Huyet) was about eighty miles from this city he fell ill of some distemper or other, which brought on his death two days after, (fn. 1) owing to which accident Mr. De Courriéres was deprived of his company, being only attended by the governor of Falmouth and his son-in-law, who accompanied him to my lodgings in London, bringing with them a French corsair of the name of Ureica, (fn. 2) who had been taken prisoner sometime before. The said Mr. de Courrières arrived on the 14th ult., having been met on his road, about two miles from this city, by the captain of the King's body-guard (fn. 3) and a great number of gentlemen, who accompanied him to my lodgings. After putting into my hands Your Imperial Majesty's letters of the 16th of August and 13th of September, and paying the customary visits to the privy councillors, we sent to ask audience from the King, which was readily granted for the 16th, when the sieur de Coban (Lord Cobham) and the captain of the King's body-guard came to fetch us. Not to conceal from Your Imperial Majesty any of the various incidents of this our visit, I must begin by saying that the reception made us by the privy councillors was meagre enough, when compared with that of other times; the same may be said of the King's, when we both entered his chamber after dinner. After Mr. de Courrières had presented his credentials; after he and I, in pursuance of our orders and instructions, had thanked the King for his affection and attachment to Your Imperial Majesty, which his ambassadors in Spain had positively asserted; after having assured him that Your Imperial Majesty reciprocated and partook of similar sentiments towards him—all this being said by us with the most persuasive language that occurred to us at the moment—the King said that for some time back he had listened to and heard similar professions from the lips of Imperial ambassadors, but that he had never experienced the effect of such professions, and that if Your Imperial Majesty had the least desire of preserving his friendship, you could not stop at such minor points as that of the rebels, and he insisted more than ever on the article remaining as it was in the draft of the proposed treaty. Then he passed on to that of the defence against spiritual and ecclesiastical persons, saying that it seemed to him quite impossible to arrive at a true, solid, and perpetual alliance, unless the two said articles passed in the form in which he had had them couched. He (the King) had been so often cheated (fourcompte) in the treaties he had previously made, and had found in them so many flaws, misinterpretations, and cavillings, that nowadays he intended to remedy that evil by treating so clearly, and having all articles and clauses in a treaty so explicitly worded, that there should be no opening in future for misunderstanding or dispute. Courrières and I replied as graciously as it was in our power to do, addressing to him such representations as came to our mind at the time, without, however, going too far, for fear of over-irritating him. Indeed, we thought that if his privy councillors had faithfully reported to him the whole of my conversation with them, there was no need for us to repeat the same arguments; for the King, as I have observed, considers it a point of honor never to yield to reason, or retract from any statement he has once made, though he may know the contrary of what he has asserted to be the fact. (fn. 4) We, therefore, refrained from contradicting or disputing much with him, the more so that three days ago, after long debating with him on this question of the treaty, and though he had sent for me on the plea of talking about a vessel of Mr. de Beures, yet it was evidently for no other purpose than to lament and complain to me—as his friend, not as Imperial ambassador, as he was pleased to say—of the said two articles, respecting which I then spoke to him in such terms that I left him more satisfied and contented than he had been ever since.
For this reason and others Mr. de Courrières and I avoided as much as possible any further argument likely to displease the King, who began shortly after to speak of the non-observance of the treaties which he himself had made with Your Imperial Majesty, as well as with king Francis. Indeed, he went so far as to say in passing, and half between his teeth, that not only had the treaties with him not been observed, but that a league had been made against him, as well as a certain partition [of his kingdom] between the Pope, the king of France, and Your Imperial Majesty; (fn. 5) and that the ships fitted out three years ago in the Low Countries, which people said had been collected there against the Turk, were destined for an expedition against himself. After which grave accusations, all of a sudden, as if to efface or in some manner attenuate them, giving us no time for a reply, as indeed I (Chapuys), had already done that fully enough at other audiences, he approached Mr. de Courrières and asked him in a sweet voice how Your Imperial Majesty was when he left last; and in order to stop the answer, which naturally was to come from my colleague, he began to make game of me (Chapuys), praising me quite outrageously, (fn. 6) and ended, after some talk on indifferent matters, by saying that he would order his deputies to come and communicate with us.
Next day, the 17th inst., the deputies, that is the bishops of Winchester and Westminster and Secretary Varistley (Wriothesley), came to dine with us, and, after dinner, we all four had a conference together, when they (the deputies) put forward the article about the Pope, which they qualified as the principal one in the treaty—from which, as they said, depended the effect and fruit of the whole negociation, at the same time declaring that they intended to apply themselves to the settlement of that one before passing further. We had considerable difficulty in making them, and especially the two bishops, stop to consider the reasons alleged by Your Imperial Majesty for not complying with the articles; but at last we succeeded, and the article about the Pope was discussed for upwards of two hours, the conclusion being that they (the deputies) would report to the King, their master, and let us have an answer the day after.
On that day news came to town that the Lord Privy Seal (the earl of Southampton) had died in the Northern Counties of his ordinary disease, the stone; this certainly is a very great misfortune. On hearing the news, the King sent immediately secretary Varistley (Wriothesley) to the house of the deceased, not only to condole with his widow, but also to withdraw certain packets [of papers] and other effects belonging to him, (fn. 7) so that owing to that and other causes there was no meeting until the 21st, when the King's deputies came again to us.
The first thing they told us was that, after a good deal of trouble, they had prevailed upon the King to consent that the article concerning the rebels should remain exactly as it was in the treaty of Cambray, or else that the term specified should be fifteen days instead of the other, which was longer; this to be effected by the insertion of a short clause (clausule) to that intent, if it could be done conveniently. The King (said the deputies) had likewise agreed to the words personne and prince spiritual being taken out of the article relating to the defence league against princes, and that instead of those words, the general clause which usually appears in treaties, that is to say, to, promise the defence from and against all, of whatever rank or condition they may be, be substituted. They did insist very hard on the article of the intercourse of trade (hantise) habitation, and residence; but it seems to me (Chapuys) that they will not stop much at the others, except it be at the one relating to the assistance against the Turk, to which they do not choose to be compelled, nor will they consent to have the subject mentioned at all in the treaty, saying that after the conclusion and ratification of the same, they will see what can be done in that line. It will also be extremely difficult to obtain for Your Imperial Majesty exemption from the help and assistance to England in case of Your being engaged with the common enemy in Italy, or occupied there in an offensive war. The same difficulty there will be, as we apprehend, in obtaining assistance against the dukes of Clèves and Holstein, or even making the King specifically and verbally promise not to favor and assist them, the deputies maintaining that it is quite sufficient that the two dukes be comprised under the general denomination of friends of friends and enemies of enemies.
As to the term of duration of the defensive assistance, if it could be prorogued to one month more, it seems to us that, if obtained, that will be all we shall get from the deputies. We have not entered on the subject of the invasion of France, nor on the time of the year at which that invasion is to be made, nor how long it is to last, because, as Your Imperial Majesty is already making war on the French, it will be of no use attempting to modify or reform the article.
As to our persuading this king and his ministers to undertake Montreuil, we have made no attempt, as we are awaiting the Queen's commands, Your Imperial Majesty's orders to us being not to do anything in the matter without her advice; besides which, after a conference, which some days ago we held with the Royal deputies, it was resolved not to make that enterprize this year, in the first place for fear of the Scottish war, which might possibly require all this king's forces, and, secondly, because the season is too far advanced, and all opportunity of making an attack upon that town over for the present.
The King's deputies, perceiving by our urgent reasoning that we neither ought to, nor could allow the "spiritual quality" to be mentioned or in anywise alluded to in the article of the defensive alliance, gave signs of extreme regret and displeasure at our not conforming with their views in that particular, telling us, among other things, that we ought to bear in mind that the French were wide awake; that their practices and intrigues reached much farther than we imagined, and that this king's ambassadors at the Imperial Court had been given to understand that with the single suppression of the word spiritual, the whole of the article would be approved of. Our answer was that Your Imperial Majesty's intention was that not only the word spiritual should be altogether suppressed, and disappear from the treaty, but that the intention and meaning of that word should not be perceived or guessed at, lest His Holiness hereafter should have occasion or pretence to be offended with Your Majesty. And then we read the second paragraph of Your Majesty's letter [to me, Chapuys], in which the respect and reverence due to His Holiness are thoroughly explained. Of that paragraph the deputies begged us to give them a copy that they might show it to the King. This, however, we declined to do, saying that, as we knew them to have a good memory, we had no doubt they could repeat word by word to the King, their master, all they had heard us read; and, moreover, that the King would not fail to attach faith to their report, considering that Your Imperial Majesty in Spain had uttered the very same sentiments to his ambassadors there. As to French practices (we added) we knew enough of them, more, perhaps, than they themselves were aware of, and that they ought to know that there was nothing the French desired so much at this present juncture as to come to terms and make peace with Your Imperial Majesty. In short, that all their practices and intrigues at Rome and elsewhere were directed to that end. They (the deputies) could not doubt that Your Majesty's intention was to do their King's pleasure in everything he wished for, and that, although Your Majesty had given no indication whatever, nor made express mention of it in Your letters to me, I (Chapuys) considered it my duty to let them know that Mr. de Courrières, my colleague, had pressing orders to return home. I said this much to the deputies in order to show them that, if they are becoming colder with us, we ourselves are not particularly anxious for the conclusion of the treaty in the manner they wish it to be shaped, and that the whole business may be better accomplished after the departure of Mr. de Courrières. Which hint of mine, as I afterwards heard, had such an effect on the King's mind, and on that of his commissioners, that had not the matter been of such importance, had I been authorized to act as I pleased on the occasion, and shown them still greater coldness and indifference than that which they themselves had manifested, I am sure the move would have been a profitable one for us.
But to return to the Royal Commissioners. They began to say to me that the King, their master, thought it very strange that Your Imperial Majesty should make so much of the Pope as to prefer his friendship and alliance to his. That, they said, was a very inconsiderate act, inasmuch as the help favor, and assistance of their master, the king of England, was far greater, nay, more substantial and necessary for Your Imperial Majesty, than any the Pope could bestow in any case whatever; to say nothing of the succession to the crown of England, which was hereditary and sure, whereas the Papal one was ephemeral, the present Pope being besides a very old man, who might die a week hence, and after his death another Pope be elected. That Pope would most probably belong to the French party, and consequently be hostile to Your Majesty. In addition to which the King, their master, thought he had such credit and authority with the Venetians as to be able at any time to make a league with them against Francis, nay, against the Pope himself, for the defence of Italy. Hearing which, I said to the deputies that I did not see the necessity of replying to their argument, (fn. 8) the thing being so clear and notorious, and having besides been so frequently debated between us. Yet, as they seemed to wish for an answer from me, I would tell them my opinion on the matter. "Glad as I am at Mr. de Courrières' departure to attend the Queen's orders in Flanders, I am sorry at his not being present at the defence I am about to make of the Emperor's acts. As to his having offered to assist the Pope and king Francis in an attack upon the King, their master, it is untrue." Then, after having given them some taste of the matter (après leur en avoir donne quelque goust), I continued: "I would willingly give up a good portion of my own private fortune to be able to tell you what I know of the French, and that the King, your master, should hear from my lips, and believe, something of the treacherous designs of the French against him, as well as of their urgent solicitations to the Emperor, my master, who would never listen to them."
The conference ended by the commissioners saying that in a day or two they would let me know the King's pleasure on the whole. Yet though I (Chapuys) have since then sent various messages, reminding them that my colleague, Mr. de Courrières, is in a hurry to go to Flanders and report on the whole to Your Majesty, and afterwards return to Spain to ascertain the Emperor's final resolution on the whole, up to this hour no message has come from Court, and the commissioners have shown as much or greater coldness and indifference than ever at our repeated applications.
At last, on the 26th, we were summoned to meet at the house (au logis) of one of the commissioners, the bishop of Winchester (Stephen Gardiner), to which Mr. de Courrières thought he had better not go, firstly, because he (Mr. de Courrières) did not feel quite well, and, secondly, because I (Chapuys) imagined that as there was likely to be a warm and long discussion on certain points, the commissioners might perhaps not tolerate my remonstrances so well in the presence of my colleague as if uttered by me in private. On the other hand, were I to utter any angry words, they could bear better to be temperate and give up part of their pretentions (rudouleir et rabiller). There was still another reason for my acting thus, which was that were I alone with the commissioners, I could in my colleague's absence speak to them more frankly and freely, as befits a good servant of the King, their master, such as I profess to be. For these reasons, and others which I omit, I induced Mr. de Courrières not to attend the proposed meeting, and went by myself to the bishop of Winchester's house (logis), as above said. There, in the presence of the assembled commissioners, I began to remonstrate with the bishop and his colleagues in office on the impropriety of the amended article in question. I told them that Your Imperial Majesty was certainly doing more for the King, their master, than he himself was doing for you, and that the amendment they proposed was so unreasonable and ill-founded, nay, so dishonest, that I could not conceive how the King, their master, could possibly attempt or wish thus to throw Your Imperial Majesty into danger and inconvenience without any advantage or profit to himself. I firmly believed (said I) that if the King, their master, came to consider what he himself would do in similar circumstances in Your Imperial Majesty's place, he would not ask you to do anything at which he (the King) might take offence, but would, on the contrary, dissuade and prevent Your Imperial Majesty from it, even if you were so inclined. It was no question now of weighing and comparing together the relative friendships and alliances of which they (the commissioners) talked. The King, their master, for the causes already alleged, and many others, ought to desire, above all things, the increase of the friendship between Your Imperial Majesty and the Holy Father; for then, and by means of that, Your Majesty would enjoy greater credit with the Pope, and be better enabled to persuade him not to do or attempt anything against their master, whose friendship Your Imperial Majesty valued above all things. But it was also requisite and necessary that their master should equally prize Your Imperial Majesty's friendship, for since the Pope was old and infirm (caduque), as they said, he might well, in his old days, think of something else than planning and concocting undertakings against England. Besides, whenever another Pope succeeded him—even supposing he happened to belong, as they said, to the French party—there would be plenty of time and opportunities for guarding against that event, and should the election fall, as they said, on a French cardinal, be prepared for the worst. In my opinion (said I) the exclusion of "spiritual persons" from the treaty was under a certain point of view more favorable for their master than for Your Imperial Majesty, for You might in the future have to dissent from the Holy Father and his successors, and the Apostolic See might cause war to be made against Your kingdoms and dominions, (fn. 9) so much more easily invaded on various sides and frontiers than those of their master, the king of England, in which case the latter would have to spend his treasure for the defence of Your own, if invaded, as would also the bishops of Liège, Cologne, Trèves, and Munster, all of whom are princes of the Empire and near neighbours to Your Imperial Majesty, whilst he, the King, and the spiritual lords above alluded to, would be exempted from that aid if the treaty only referred, as intended, to temporal lords.
As to their allegation that the Venetians might alienate themselves from the Pope, as well as from king Francis, I told the Royal deputies that they were very much mistaken as to that; the Venetians had no weight in Italy when compared with the power, the authority, and the suite of a Pope, and England being so far off, any help and assistance given by their master in Italy would necessarily be very tardy. It was, moreover, to be considered that should Your Imperial Majesty consent to the articles about the defence passing as they were in the draft of the treaty, not only would His Holiness and the Cardinals' college resent the injury, but the Catholic States of Germany would likewise be much offended at it, as might be inferred from what passed lately at the Diet of Ratisbonne (Regensburg), besides which, Your Imperial Majesty's subjects, or the greater part of them, in Spain, Flanders, Naples, and elsewhere, would be highly scandalized and shocked thereby, which would become a serious inconvenience.
To these arguments of mine the Royal commissioners knew not what to oppose, save saying that they saw well that God was not pleased that the treaty of closer friendship and alliance between Your Imperial Majesty and their master, the King, should be completed. That the whole was from that moment to be considered as lost, and the negociations as suspended, though they hoped that the pressure of political events might still afford some opportunity for proceeding to its final conclusion.
Perceiving the coldness and indifference with which the Royal deputies pronounced these last words, I deliberately told them that since they thought there was no chance of our agreeing to that article—which, as they said, was the principal point in the treaty—I begged them to ask the King's leave for Mons. de Courrières to go back to Flanders, and at the same time ask the King what his final intention was concerning the treaty in question, that I myself might at once inform Your Imperial Majesty through my colleague. Your Imperial Majesty (I said) had much pressing business to attend to under the circumstances, and it was, therefore, very important that you should know as soon as possible what their master's resolution was in order to act accordingly. These words of mine had a most singular effect upon the Royal deputies, for they looked at each other in astonishment, and after conversing with each other for a while in a corner of the room, came up to me and said that they much regretted that the matter of the treaty did not proceed to our complete satisfaction; they would do on their part whatever was needed for removing the difficulties standing in the way of its conclusion. They could not be persuaded that my colleague's presence at the Queen's court in Flanders was so imperative and urgent as to make him leave England without seeing the King first, and taking leave of him.
After some more talk of this sort, and just as I myself was about to depart, Secretary Vristley (Wriothesley), who, as I have often written, is the man who nowadays enjoys most credit with the King, and almost governs everything here, begged me in private to accompany Monsr. de Courrières to Court when he went to take leave, and recommended us both to address the King in mild and gracious terms. (fn. 10) I thanked the Secretary for his advice, and begged him to think of what the Sieur de Courrières and myself were to say at the audience, that we might prepare our oration accordingly.
The day before yesterday Mons. de Courrières and I called on the King. I must say that before dinner I had again a private conversation with the Secretary, who informed me that he and his colleagues of the Privy Council had duly reported to their master the substance of our last communication with the Royal deputies. The King at first (said he) got rather into a passion, (fn. 11) but in the end was somewhat pacified, and said that he exceedingly wished that some form or means could be found of insuring him from the Pope without trouble or danger to Your Imperial Majesty; but as to sending an ambassador to the Queen Regent in Flanders, as I (Chapuys) had proposed, that he would not do, suspecting, as he himself expressly declared to Monsr. de Courrières and myself after dinner, that nothing he could negociate in Flanders would turn to his advantage, inasmuch as the Queen was surrounded by councillors and ministers who were not his friends. "Respecting this objection of the King (the Secretary said to me), you and your colleague may represent what you think proper and needful; but if you find that my master is obstinately fixed in his idea, and will not give in, I strongly advise and recommend you not to oppose him too openly, but rather to beg and entreat him to take the trouble of reconsidering the affair, rather than have his own ideas on the subject committed to paper, for there is no councillor or secretary who can equal him in grappling with business of that importance."
After dinner, therefore, the King came into the Hall, where, we were, and said immediately after that he had heard that Monsr. de Courrières had pressing business to transact in Flanders, and wished, as soon as possible, to go back to the Queen. "As to me (added the King), since the Emperor's service is concerned, I think that his ambassador ought to go back at once to the court of the Queen Regent of the Low Countries, where his duty calls him. I would not keep him longer in England, since his master's affairs—the promotion of which I desire as much as the promotion and advancement of my own—require his presence elsewhere. I regret that the negociation which has been going on here has not advanced as much as I should have wished, nay, has rather retrograded; for I was told, on good authority, that at the Imperial court it had been said that there was absolutely nothing to alter, change, or amend in the treaty save the words princes et personnes spirituelles, and now that I have consented to the clause being removed and another one substituted for it, namely, against all persons of whatever degree, condition, state, or quality—as is customary in all treaties of alliance between princes—you draw back, and will not even grant me that, besides which you are daily raising new difficulties respecting other articles; so that it is quite clear that it is not my fault, but yours, if the treaty of closer friendship and alliance is not concluded." In justification of which, and as a proof that he himself had done his utmost towards it, the King reproduced all the arguments of which he and his ministers had made use during the debate on the articles.
After patiently listening to what he had to say without contradicting him in the least, Monsr. de Courrières and I begged and entreated him to listen to us, and hear our arguments patiently, as uttered by the lips of his most devoted servants, as we professed to be, trusting that, with his great wisdom and knowledge of political affairs, he would kindly excuse any fault, error, or incorrectness of ours.
Upon which, after replying to the most substantial and fundamental points touched by the King, we drew up a summary statement of all the representations addressed by us to his deputies in our conference with them, to which statement, though a long one, the King listened attentively and patiently, without interrupting us, as he is in the habit of doing. True it is that now and then, when we said something that was unpleasant to him, there were signs of disapproval on his countenance. (fn. 12)
Our peroration at an end, the King observed, before he began his reply, that we, the Imperial ambassadors, knew very well how to interpret and comment upon things to our master's advantage, and that, as he had told me (Chapuys) many a time before, Your Imperial Majesty was right in keeping true to (entretenir) your friends, but ought at the same time to try and make fresh ones; that, however, was no reason (he said) for trying to procure the friendship of the Pope, who was his enemy. In the same manner, and for the same reasons that Your Majesty refused to treat against His Holiness, he himself was justified in refusing to hold as his enemies the king of France, and his ally, the duke of Clèves, between whom and him—though qualified by us (the ambassadors) as common enemies—there had been hitherto good friendship and intelligence. He thought that Your Imperial Majesty, owing to Your friendship for and alliance with His Holiness, might easily induce the latter to be contented and take the thing in good part; nay, he even fancied that the Pope would not grumble at hearing that there was community of views and union between Your Imperial Majesty and himself. (fn. 13)
And upon our replying that since he (the King) thought thus, there was no occasion for him to insist so strongly on the article of the defence, and consider His Holiness as the enemy of both parties, especially as his dominions and forces were so far away from those of His Holiness, he seemed to be half beaten by our argument, not knowing what to reply. After a time, however, he began to warm up, saying that were His Holiness to try to do mischief, means could be found to set up the Venetians against him. "The Signory (said he) is much stronger than you imagine; it would not be so easy, as you think, to detach them from His Holiness, whose friends they appear to be nowadays." Then, getting warmer and more animated in his speech—not, however, in a passion, but in a tone of boasting assurance (fn. 14) —he replied to our previously adduced argument, that at all events Your Imperial Majesty would be more in need than he was of help and assistance against a Pope, (fn. 15) and yet had not solicited that from him, nor would he have granted it if requested; he added: "You are very much mistaken as to that. I should if I was asked. I would willingly treat with the Emperor if he wished it." To which we replied that we trusted that Your Imperial Majesty would behave in such a way towards the Holy Apostolic See that there would be no need of coming to such extremities, for it would be an ominous novelty among Christian princes for the Holy Apostolic See—generally named in treaties as principal contracting party—to be named and designated therein as if it were one of the powers against which the defensive alliance was made. Indeed (said we), should the Holy Apostolic See and its adherents (sa suite) be so powerful in Italy as they are represented to be, the help and assistance required ought to consist of 25,000 or 30,000 men, who could not be conveyed to Italy save at a most tremendous cost and expense, and it would be necessary to send thither in time money and provisions for the maintenance of that army, which, considering the distance from England, and the usual difficulties in such cases, would not be an easy matter.
Pursuing the argument, we told the King that should king Francis in any way offend His Holiness, there would be means of gaining the latter over to our party, for (said we), besides having offered him the kingdom of Naples as if it were his own, and given Pope Paul to understand that if he (Francis) had made alliance with the Turk it was merely on account of the former refusing to help him, His Holiness might very well, under pretence of charity, make an alliance with king Francis, and after that, finding himself disappointed, turn against him and become his enemy. The King answered that we were misinformed as to the affairs of France. The king of that country (he said) would take care not to make such offers; in saying which he forgot that not ten days before, whilst communicating to us the news sent by his resident ambassador in France, he himself had alluded to the offer of Naples made by king Francis to His Holiness.
He also told us, by way of argument and in support of his opinion, that in those matters in which Your Majesty's interests were concerned you had not been so over scrupulous; nor had you treated Popes so respectfully—as for instance when you took Rome, and made Clement your prisoner. (fn. 16) This thrust of the King we tried to parry by observing: "That was done without the Emperor's will or knowledge, as was afterwards ascertained; nevertheless, His Imperial Majesty had then just cause and occasion to take up arms against a Pope, who, besides intriguing against him, had already begun to invade his kingdom of Naples."
As to our statement that neither after their defeat at Pavia, nor at any other time whatsoever, had the French been so low and dejected, and so unprovided with money and friends, as they at present are, and, therefore, that they could the more easily be punished for their misdeeds, and brought to reason through fair terms, or by force, and, moreover, that they themselves would prepare the way to peace the very moment they heard of the conclusion of the treaty, the King again replied that we were completely mistaken as to the real state of affairs in France, and that he (the King) knew more about it than we did.
After a good deal more conversation and debate on the said point, the King declared to us that he would much prefer to remain neutral than enter into a treaty which, in his opinion, would still be faulty and deficient. There might be in future some occasion of removing the scruples and difficulties now existing. As to sending an ambassador to the Queen in Flanders (he added), as we had proposed, that he would not do on many considerations. If there was any chance of an amendment, either Monsr. de Courrières in person verbally, or else I myself in writing, could manage the thing much better than himself. And upon my representing to him that in order to take a final resolution in the affair, by verbal reference or by letter, it was still necessary for us to hold a last meeting with his deputies, the King at first made some difficulties, alleging that his deputies had already declared to us his intentions and will in the matter, and, therefore, that any further conversation with them was entirely superfluous. It was for us, who had first started the objection, to propose the means and terms for removing the existing difficulties; yet in the end he consented to the meeting taking place.
Yesterday, after dinner, we called upon the bishop of Winchester (Gardiner) at his house, where, after much altercation and dispute, we begged him and the rest of the Royal deputies therein assembled to take pen in hand and remodel the article of the defence, without mentioning the "spirituality" in it, which they did in the following manner, the article itself to come immediately after the fourth:—
"It was agreed, settled, and concluded that in case of an armed invasion, as above described, being made of the kingdoms, dominions, countries or provinces, in the possession of each of the princes respectively, as expressed and specified in this article, against one or other of the two parties, their heirs and successors, or of the heirs and successors during the minority of such heirs and successors, their curators and administrators of the said kingdom of England, the invader may at once be reputed, considered, and held, as a common enemy by both parties.
"It was likewise agreed and settled, that should the invasion of the above-mentioned kingdoms, provinces, and territories be made by an army consisting of at least 10,000 men, etc." (fn. 17)
The above having been written down and read in our presence, Monsr. de Courrières and I made some slight objection to the article itself, more with a view to introduce our own clause about the ecclesiastics in the very terms and words mentioned by Your Majesty than for any other purpose. This my colleague and I did as an extreme resource, proposing that the defence should be against all persons temporal and secular. To this, however, the deputies objected, saying that should there be one chief ecclesiastical and spiritual, thereby might be understood all the spiritual class. We could not, therefore, come to a resolution on this point, and the meeting broke up, the deputies promising to speak to the King about it, and try to make him accept the article, we ourselves promising to do the same with the Queen. To-day they were to let us know the King's resolution on the whole, and at the same time send the passport to my colleague.
Ever since the day before yesterday I have been thinking of closing and sealing this despatch of mine, calculating that the King's final resolution in the matter would be communicated to me on the 30th of October, when, seeing that neither the passport for Mons. de Courrières nor the King's answer came, I kept it open until yesterday, the 1st of November. This morning the clerk of the Council came with the passport and 1,000 ducats as a present from the King to Monsr. de Courrières. As to the King's answer, he said that we should hear it from the deputies themselves. It was thus conceived: "The King, our master, persists in his idea that the 6th and 7th articles of the treaty ought to remain entirely as they are; that you (the Imperial ambassadors) are to try to have them accepted, and if not, persuade the dowager queen of Hungary to agree to our amendment as above. Meanwhile we (the deputies) will do everything in our power to make the King, our master, accept your terms."
The deputies' message also mentioned that the King, at the intercession of Mons. de Courrières and my own, had lately released from prison the person and property of a young and honest fellow, a native of Haynault, accused of having retained in his possession a small piece of silver plate belonging to the King's dinner service (vaisselle), in which some food or other had been taken to the house of the said youth and there left. (fn. 18)
Your Majesty did right well in not causing particular letters to be written in Your Imperial name to the councillors and courtiers most in favor with this king. Time and more favorable circumstances will show how and when those letters had best be written, as well as what pensions are to be distributed among them, on which last point, however, I (Chapuys) shall take care to obey implicitly Your Imperial Majesty's commands. Most particular care shall also be taken on my part respecting the prolongation mentioned at the end of Your Majesty's letter of the 13th of August, to which no allusion has hitherto been made here one way or other.
Respecting the export of corn from this country, about which Your Imperial Majesty was pleased to write to me privately on the 14th of August, (fn. 19) the King's answer has been that corn is by no means over abundant in England since the last harvest; but that if it can be done without his subjects being inconvenienced through it, he shall be glad to grant to the person mentioned in Your Imperial Majesty's letter permission to buy and export a certain quantity of it, and will besides grant licenses to English merchants, so that his own subjects may also gain by the transaction.
As to the duplicate of the letter which Your Imperial Majesty wrote to the Pope concerning the convocation of the General Council, I immediately took care that it went into the hands of the King's privy councillors, all of whom, and especially the King, have much praised and extolled its contents. (fn. 20)
News on the side of Flanders is rather stale, as I have not heard from the Queen Regent since the 23rd of September last, but letters of merchants have here been received purporting that in the early part of October a body of Germans, amounting to 14,000 or 15,000 men, were marching on Julliers, and that soon after Duren capitulated and surrendered, the inhabitants agreeing to pay 70,000 florins, and to take the oath of vassalage to Your Imperial Majesty, promising besides, as the report goes, to erect there a castle or citadel at their own expense. Julliers had held out much longer, owing to its having been somewhat (aucunement) fortified, but on the 10th of the said month the town surrendered at discretion, the Imperial army proceeding afterwards to occupy the rest of the Duchy, which, on the 22nd of October, had already been taken, without the Germans meeting with any resistance in the field. It is feared that there will be more resistance at Clèves, owing to the assistance of the Gheldrese (Gueldroys), among whom the duke (Guillaume) has taken refuge. (fn. 21) It is said that Madame (the Queen Regent) was once on the point of gaining over the Gheldrese, or at least, persuading them to keep neutral; she would have completely succeeded in alienating them from the duke of Clèves, had it not been for a certain capture (proie) which they happened to make on the Rhine; for it appears that merchandize to the value of upwards of 80,000 ducats, going down from Cologne (Kohl) to Antwerp, was seized by them as it passed their territory, that being enough to make them change their plans and help the Duke as much as they could.
The remainder of the Imperial army, as Monsr. du Rœulx wrote to me about twenty days ago, had been divided into two bodies—one was in the Luxemburg, the other in the Haynault, going towards Liège, in order to guard against the succours which the French were sending on. According to the latter, the French had made three or four incursions into Haynault and Arthois, in every one of which they had been repulsed with considerable loss. At the time he wrote to me he had just returned from a successful expedition to Corbie. He himself, with some horse and foot, had passed two days and one night in the close neighbourhood of that town, thinking that he might draw out the French garrisons of Peronne, Dorlans, and Corbie, but although he remained there all the time, not one Frenchman dared show his face over the walls. No sooner was he back at the camp than the captain of Bapaulme met out in the fields the French garrison of Chastelet, of whom not one single man escaped, for they were all slain or taken prisoners.
As to the war in Scotland, very little has been done owing to the heavy rains, which have prevented the carriage of artillery and provisions for the Royal army, that being the reason why the duke of Norfolk has come back after laying waste a good portion of the country without meeting with resistance in the field.—London, 2 November 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England, of the 2nd of November 1542; received at Valencie le vme de Decembre de 1542."
French. Original. pp.
3 Nov.75. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 123–30.
"Madame,"—As Your Majesty will no doubt learn by the documents herein enclosed, as well as by Mr. de Courrières' verbal report, what the course of our affairs has been in this country, there is no need for me to say anything more on the subject. I will only beg Your Majesty most humbly to let me know expressly what Your intentions are on the whole, and for greater security have the same put in writing, that I may inform these deputies thereof; considering that, if I dare say so, besides the pressure of time and affairs, if it pleased the Emperor, the treaty would not be obligatory on his side, although I am sure that neither he nor Your Majesty would have recourse to such an expedient.
With regard to the pensions, about which His Imperial Majesty asks my advice, I can only say that, in my opinion, there is no great need for the present of paying, or even promising any, but I think, at the same time, that a gracious present to secretary Vuristley (Wriothesley) would not be amiss. I fancy that a gift of that kind would be well employed, and might be beneficial for the issue of the affair in hand and the Emperor's service. It is for Your Majesty to decide on the whole.
At my departure [from Brussels] Your Majesty was good enough to promise me an order on the financial minister in the Low Countries for a certain sum of money. Not to be importunate, and at the same time to save the expense of sending an agent thither, I have waited patiently four months without Your Majesty's orders being complied with as far as I am concerned. Besides what I consider due to me as part of my salary, I am that Treasury's creditor for the money paid to George, the courier, as well as for that paid to the other Spanish courier, who took the despatch containing the Emperor's resolution on the affair now being discussed. The resolution having arrived so opportunely, there is no occasion to grudge the expense caused by it.—London, 3 November 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
3 Nov.76. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233.
"Venerable, chier et feal,"—The day before yesterday, at Our departure from Mousson (Monçon), (fn. 22) your letters of the 10th of August were received, and on the 1st inst. that of the 9th of September, together with the documents enclosed therein. By which letters of the 10th of August, as well as by those brought by François du Falaix, We have properly understood the state of affairs in that country, chiefly in what relates to the treaty of closer friendship and alliance between the king of England and Us. The said Falaix having told Us that before his departure from England he heard that Mr. de Courrières had arrived in that country, you must also have learnt from him, as well as from the despatches of which he was bearer, what had been settled here in Spain between the bishops of London and Westminster and Ourselves, as well as Cur final determination upon the whole. We hardly need write about it before We know from you what you yourself have done and negotiated; what the King has said to you on the subject, and how far he condescends to modify his demands respecting the articles of that treaty, which, in Our opinion, require alteration. We have no doubt that in this, as well as in other things concerning Our service, you (Chapuys) have acted with your usual diligence and zeal, trying by all means in your power to persuade that king to conclude the treaty in question. We expect soon the news of that country and your own despatches, of which you will always do well to send a duplicate to Mr. de Granvelle, who is now going to Italy and Germany on the business of the General Council and others of Our own. We have no doubt that on his arrival there he will communicate with you. At present he is still at Palamós on account of the bad weather, and likewise because he is waiting for Falaix, whom We are sending in haste with this and other letters. You will hear from him the rest of the news from this country.—Barcelona, 3 November 1542.
Signed: "Yo el Rey."
French. Original. pp. 1 ½.
8 Nov.77. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 37.
...... were the King to listen to the proposals of the French, he might get from them anything he pleased. (fn. 23)
I suppose that Your Majesty has by this time given orders to the treasurers to settle accounts with my man. In case they have not, I most humbly beg Your Majesty to deign to repeat Your commands.—London, 8 November (fn. 24) 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the queen dowager of Hungary."
French. Holograph. p. 1.


1 Sir Thomas Wyatt died at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, on the 10th or 11th of October.
2 "Ung corsaire françois nomme Ureica."
3 "Et nous vindrent querre le sieur de Coban et le dit capitaine de la garde." Coban is probably meant for Sir John Brook Cobham, but who was le dit capitaine de la garde, unless the governor of Falmouth be meant, I cannot determine.
4 "Car il tient à poinct dhonneur de [non] ceder à la rayson, et soy retracter de quelque chose quil a affirmé, ores quil saiche le contraire." Such is the reading in the original, with the omission of the negative between brackets, but there can be no doubt, from what follows, as to the true meaning of the sentence. "Aussi nous desportasmes destriver beaucoup avec luy pour aultant que trois jours auparavant en avoyt (avions?) dispute bien au long et à certes avec luy."
5 "Et soy eslargist de dire en passant, et demy entre ses dents, que encoires ce nestoit beaucop de ne luy avoir observe les ditz traictez aupres (apres?) davoir faict une lighe contre luy et certain repartiment entre le pape, vre. maieste, et le roi de france."
6 "Et pour mieulx serrer le pas á la dite response, il reprint (se reprint) à soy gaudir de moy, me louant par trop desmesuresment."
7 "Sur les quelles nouvelles le dit sieur roy envoya le dit secretaire Wristley à la maison du dit privesçel, tant pour consoler sa femme que aussi pour retirer quelque paques (paquets?) et aultres besognes appartenantes au dit sieur roy."
8 "Sur quoy leur dis quil me sembloit quil ny avoit mestier (besoing?) daucune response."
9 "Car icelle pourroit tumber en dissention avec le dit sainct pere ou ses successeurs, et pourroit le siège Apostolique mouvoir et faire mouvoir guerre aux pays de vre. mate, trop plus commodes à envader (sic) que cestuy."
10 "Que venant le dit sieur de Courrières à prendre conge voulsissions tenir bons et gracieux propos."
11 "Le quel de prime face sestoit ung peu escamonché."
12 "Bien est vray que oyant quelque chose que ne luy agreoit point il fesoit ung peu de myne et grimace."
13 "Que aussi bien luy pouvoit reserver le roy de france et le due de Clèves, les quelz quoy que les appelisions (sic) ennemys, il navoit jusques içy que toute bonne amytie et intelligence, et quil pensoit que vre. mate, pour lamytie, alliance quelle avoit avec sa Ste, induyroit bien icelle à soy contenter et prendre la chose en bonne part, et mesmes quicelle auroit garde de grondir, saichant lunion entre vre. mate et luy."
14 "Non point en colere, mais pour une bravete et gayete de cueur."
15 "Que combien que pourroit advenir que vre. mate eust trop plustot besoing dassistence pour soy deffendre contre ung pape que luy, pour les respectz dessus touchez."
16 "En outre, nous dit, que en ce que ne comptoit (importoit?) à lappetit de vre. mate icelle se monstroit scrupuleuse, mais lon avoit bien[veu] au çy (içy) devant que vre. mate navoit eu de respect au Pape, comme sestoit veu à la prinse de Rome et du pape Clement."
17 "Item conventum, concordatum, et conclusum quod casu quo aliqua invasio huiusmodi facta fuerit in regnis, dominiis, patriis et provinciis per alterutrum eorum respective possessis, et in presenti articulo expressis et specificatis contra alterutrum eorum heredum et successorum suorum aut durante minore etate principum, sive heredum, eorum curatores sive administratores, hic est in regnis Angliæ, etc., author (sic) invasionis illius, quique sumptus gentes aut arma suppeditabit, habeatur, reputetur et sit ipso facto communis inimicus et hostis.
Item conventum quod casu quo dicta invasio cum numero decem milium armatorum in provinciis infra descriptis facta fuerit, videlicet, etc., tunc, etc."
18 "Aussi nous ont envoye dire que le dit sr roy, en contemplation du dit sr de Courrières et mienne, avoit donne la grace et de la personne et biens à ung jeusne honneste compagnon de Haynault, questoit accuse davoir retenu quelque petite piece de vaiselle de cellez du dit sr roy, dans la quelle lon avoit apporte quelque chose au logis du dit compagnon."
19 There is no letter of the 14th of August, but only one of the 12th (No. 48, p. 91), in which the Emperor officially informs Chapuys of the result of the conferences between Mr. de Granvelle and the English ambassadors.
20 See above, No. 65, pp. 141–2.
21 "Et bien tost apres Dure se rendist, et compousa à LXXm florins, et feist le serment à vre. mate, et disoient aulcungs quilz avoient promis de faire la ung chasteau. Julliers tint plus longuement pour avoir este aucunement fortiffiee, mais au Xme du dict mois elle se rendist à discretion, et marcha larmee pour gaigner la reste, et au XXIIme du dict mois fust gaignee la derniere ville du dict Julliers, et ne se dict que larmee de vre. maieste ait trouve nulle resistance aux champs. Lon doubte quil y aura quelque peu plus de resistence en Clèvez, pour lassistence des Gheldroys vers les quelz le duc du dit Clèvez sestoit retiré."
22 If Mousson is here for Monçon in Aragon, on the borders of Catalonia—where the meeting of the States of Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia took place in September 1542—there must be some error or oversight in this passage, for on the 1st of November the Emperor was no longer at Monçon but at Barcelona, where he arrived on the 16th. On the other hand, the Cortes of Monçon, where prince Philip was sworn heir to the crown of Aragon, as he had been some months before at Toledo to that of Castille, were prorogued at the end of September, after voting him 500,000 ducats.
23 The first two lines of this letter are in cipher, not in the one generally used by Chapuys, but in another quite different, the sentence ending with the words "es aux françois ilz ouroint (auroient?) merveille," which might possibly mean that "if the King and his ministers were to lend ear (oreilles) to French overtures they would undoubtedly get marvellous conditions from them." As about this time king Henry was hesitating about his alliance with the Emperor, it is most probable that the above words came from the lips of the Lord Privy Seal, Fitz-William, already earl of Southampton, secretary Wriothesley, or some other of the Royal commissioners deputed by Henry to discuss with him the base of the treaty.
24 Such was originally the date, but over it, and in a hand of last century, I find December written, which, in my opinion, is wrong, for on the 3rd of November (see No. 75, p. 175) Chapuys complains of his account not having been paid, although he had sent his man purposely to Brussels.