Spain
July 1500

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Institute of Historical Research

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G. A. Bergenroth (editor)

Year published

1862

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239-241

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'Spain: July 1500', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 1: 1485-1509 (1862), pp. 239-241. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=93402 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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July 1500

24 July.
B. M. MS. Eg. 616. f. 14.
Postponement of the coming of the Princess Katharine.
283. Henry VII. to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Has received their letters dated Seville the last day of April, and delivered to him by Gomez de Fuensalida, Knight Commander, their counsellor. Rejoices to hear of their prosperous estate, and of the victory gained by them over the Saracens. Is grieved to find that the Lady Katharine's coming, which he had so ardently desired, is postponed from September until October. Although for many reasons, he had desired that she should come to England by the time first agreed upon ; yet, on account of the great perils by sea which she would have to encounter if her journey were not delayed, he would, setting aside all inconveniences, consent that her voyage should be postponed until the Feast of St. John Baptist in the following year. But it must be on this condition, and none other ; namely, that they should by the next Christmas send back, signed and sealed by them, the paper now sent to them ; for it seemed to his counsellors that otherwise all which had been agreed upon with regard to the coming of the Princess would be rendered uncertain.—Greenwich, 24th July 1500.
Addressed : "To the serene and mighty Princes, Ferdinand and Isabella, by the grace of God, King and Queen of Castile, &c."
Latin. pp. 2.
Printed in Gairdner's Letters and Papers, I. 121.
25 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
284. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
Doctor De Puebla, our ambassador and our counsellor.
We have read your letter dated the 5th and 6th of June. The clause respecting the alliance is to our satisfaction, as it contains what we have desired. We shall send you, by another courier, the letter of which you speak, respecting the inclusion of the King of the Romans, for we approve of it. Your servant who, as you say, brings the ratification of the treaty of alliance, and the other papers, has not yet arrived, nor have we heard of him. When he arrives we shall see the despatch which he brings, and give our orders respecting the publication of the alliance, and whatever else it is incumbent on us to do.
We have read what you and the Knight Commander of Haro have negotiated with the King of England respecting the departure of the Princess of Wales, the English ambassadors, who are to bring the power of the Prince of Wales when he shall have completed the fourteeth year of his age, and with regard to the repetition of the marriage ceremonies immediately before the Princess embarks. You say that the King of England intended to send ambassadors to Spain, but that you advised him not to do it. It is well known to you that you wrote to us that the ambassadors were to come at the beginning of this year, and that we answered it would be better if the ambassadors would come when the Prince had accomplished his fourteenth year. We have never said that they should not come. Tell the King of England that our intentions are unchanged. We love him and the Prince of Wales, our son, so much that it would be impossible to love them better. We appreciate the union with him, and his friendship, so much that we wish to see the Princess as soon as possible married and living in the house of her husband the Prince. We would not, for all the riches of the world, be untrue to what we have concluded with the King of England.
When we have accomplished what we have promised, we hope that the King of England will do what we ask him ; for the sake of the honour of the Princess, and because it is customary in similar cases. We do not doubt that the marriage which was contracted with the dispensation of the Pope, per verba de prœsenti, is valid and binding, and that God alone can dissolve it. Nevertheless, as he knows, it is customary for royal personages who have contracted a marriage by proxy (which is perfectly valid) to perform the ceremonies once more when they meet. We wish, therefore, that the Prince and Princess of Wales should go through the ceremony once more when they meet. The marriage would not be rendered more indissoluble thereby, but such ceremonies are generally performed in honour of the sacrament of marriage. If such be the custom amongst persons of a lower degree, how much more necessary is it that Princes should conform to it? Although the marriage between the Prince and Princess of Wales has been concluded with the dispensation of the Pope, and is perfectly valid, it must be celebrated again as soon as the Prince of Wales has completed the fourteenth year of his age. It is especially necessary for the honour of the Princess that the act should be performed before she embarks with the ambassadors whom the King of England is to send with the power of the Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales will accomplish the fourteenth year of his age at the beginning of winter, and we shall not be breaking the promise we have made if we do not send the Princess earlier.
Tell the King of England that he may send the ambassadors now ; and as soon as the Prince of Wales has completed the fourteenth year of his age he may forward to them the power of the Prince by a special courier. We are already preparing the fleet and the other things necessary for the departure of the Princess. When the power of the Prince of Wales has arrived, and the marriage ceremonial has been performed, she may go in the name of God. All she has to take with her is ready, and we have ordered the ships to be in readiness.
Thus, we are fulfilling all our obligations.
Tell the King of England that we would not in any circumstances, or for any cause, dissolve the union which we have concluded with him. If the Princess of Wales were our only daughter we should still believe, as we believe now, that in no country in the world could she be so well married as in England. The King of England may believe us. Send his answer to us soon.—Granada, 25th July 1500.
Signed by the King.
Signed by the Queen.
Post datum. [In plain writing.]
He must inform them who the ambassadors are to be. Would have already approached the place where the Princess is to embark if they had not been occupied in the wars with the Moors of Alpajara and Alecrin. Hundreds of them come every day to be baptised. The King of England would excuse the delay occasioned by so holy a work. Promise to hasten the departure of the Princess as much as possible.
The letter is finished the 5th August 1500.
Spanish. Written in two keys of cipher. The cipher is intermixed with some words in plain writing. Deciphered by the editor.


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June 1500