Spain
April 1509

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Institute of Historical Research

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G. A. Bergenroth (editor)

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1866

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1-7

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'Spain: April 1509', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 2: 1509-1525 (1866), pp. 1-7. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=93603 Date accessed: 24 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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April 1509

End of April (?)
S. E. Pat. Re. T. v. I. L. 5. f. 123. (fn. 1)
1. King Ferdinand The Catholic to [blank], who is to go as Ambassador to England.
The principal object for which he is sent to England is as speedily as possible to arrange the difficulties concerning the marriage of the Princess Katharine with the Prince of Wales.
By the treaty concluded between himself and the late Queen Isabella, on the one part, and the King of England, on the other part, it was agreed that the Prince of Wales should consummate his marriage with the Princess Katharine as soon as he had completed the fifteenth year of his age, and that the remainder of the marriage portion should be paid to the King of England in London within ten days before or after the celebration and consummation of the marriage. The whole marriage portion was to amount to 200,000 scudos, each scudo being worth 4s. 2d. of English money, from which sum, however, the 100,000 scudos which the King of England had already received on occasion of the marriage between the Princess Katharine and Prince Arthur were to be discounted. That this deduction was to be made had been expressly acknowledged by the King of England in the said treaty. The remaining 100,000 scudos were to be paid in the following manner, viz. :
65,000 scudos in money ;
15,000 scudos in plate of gold and silver ;
20,000 scudos in jewels and other ornaments.
The payment could not be made at the time stipulated. The death of Queen Isabella, the arrival of King Philip in Spain, his own retirement from Castile, and the sudden death of King Philip during his absence, had created so many difficulties that it was beyond human power to provide in time for the payment of the remaining portion of the dower. The King of England, being perfectly aware of this, twice prorogued the day on which the stipulated payment was to be made. Immediately after his return to Spain, the Knight Commander of Membrilla was sent by him as his ambassador to England, and provided with the necessary funds. Before the period of the second prorogation, fixed by the King of England himself, had elapsed, the Knight Commander offered to pay the remainder of the dower, but the King of England refused to accept it, pretending that he was not obliged to accept the plate and jewels of the Princess in part payment. After long negotiations, the King of England at last specified his demands, viz. :—
1. That the treaty of marriage of Prince Charles with the Princess Mary which had been concluded by the King of England, on the one part, and by the Emperor, Madame Margaret, and the Council of Flanders, on the other part, should be ratified by him and by the Queen Juana.
2. That the whole marriage portion of the Princess Katharine should be paid in coin.
3. That he (King Ferdinand), Queen Juana, and the Princess Katharine should renounce their right to ask for a return of the marriage portion, whatever might happen.
The King of England then pretended that, according to the stipulations of the treaty, the whole portion of the Princess was to be his. It was, he said, the price to be paid for his consent to her marriage with Prince Henry. He further pointed out English law and ancient custom, pursuant to which marriage portions are never given back in England, either to the widow or to her family, and he asserted that the third part of the revenues of Wales, Chester, and Cornwall must be considered as an equivalent for the 200,000 scudos which constituted the dower of the Princess. Unless his three demands were granted the King of England declared he would not permit the Prince of Wales to marry the Princess Katharine.
Observed to the King of England that the marriage between the Prince of Wales and the Princess Katharine was entirely unconnected with the marriage of Prince Charles with the Princess Mary. Besides, he said, the marriage of the Princess Katharine had been already agreed upon in a formal treaty, whilst the marriage of Prince Charles was now for the first time mentioned to him. Declared himself nevertheless ready to enter into negotiations, respecting the marriage of Prince Charles with the Princess Mary, as soon as the marriage ceremony between the Prince of Wales and the Princess Katharine should have been performed.
The King of England replied that, if he (King Ferdinand) wished to have his daughter married, he (the King of England) desired likewise to procure a husband for his child ; adding that he was no longer bound by the treaty, since the marriage portion had not been paid at the time stipulated. He entirely disregarded the obstacles which had prevented the payment at the time first stipulated, and the prorogations which he had granted.
From the whole conduct of the King of England it is clear that he thinks he can do and ask what he likes, because he holds the Princess Katharine in his power. First he had demanded that the plate and jewels of the Princess should not be deducted from her dower, although he had no right to do so. As soon as this demand was granted, he had required that the whole dower of the Princess should be resigned into his hands. He was told that the Princess Katharine might dispose of her dower as she liked, and if she was willing to do so, she might give it to him (the King of England). When the King of England had obtained this his second demand, he requested the ratification of the marriage treaty between Prince Charles and the Princess Mary. Thus, each concession that was made only created a new request on the part of the King of England, who evidently is little desirous to bring the affair to a conclusion.
Had held many consultations with his confidential councillors, and the final result of them was to resolve to make all possible sacrifices of money, but not to consent to the marriage of Prince Charles with the Princess Mary ; for the marriage would have been fraught with serious danger to him, to the Queen his daughter, and to Prince Charles himself, while it would also have disturbed the peace of all their kingdoms. If, however, the King of England should be deaf to all remonstrances, and if he should not consent to the marriage of the Princess Katharine with the Prince of Wales, it was decided that the Princess should then return to Spain.
When the negotiations with England had come to this pass, the King of England sent credentials to his servant John Stile who was staying in Spain, and made through him the following declarations. With regard to the delay of the wedding of the Princess Katharine, he said it was not his fault that she was not already married. The complaints of the bad treatment of the Princess, he pretended, were unfounded. She and her servants had enough to eat and to drink, and were provided with the necessaries of life. Respecting the marriage of Prince Charles, the King of England protested that he had always been animated with feelings of true love and friendship towards him (King Ferdinand). This love, the King of England pretended, was the reason why he so greatly desired the matrimonial union of the Prince of Wales with the Princess Katharine, and that of Prince Charles with the Princess Mary. If the marriage between Prince Charles and the Princess Mary should not be ratified, the other Princes, the King of England alleged, would say that there is no real friendship and true relationship between the houses of England and Spain. Great inconvenience would be the result thereof. All the fault of the negotiations having hitherto been so unsatisfactory was owing, according to the opinion of the King of England, to the Knight Commander of Membrilla not having told the truth in his despatches to Spain. King Henry therefore begged him to send another ambassador to England, or to permit him to send an English embassy to Spain, in order to bring the negotiations to a conclusion which would satisfy both parties.
Knows that the Knight Commander of Membrilla has served him very faithfully in England, and that all he has written respecting the affairs of England is true. Has, nevertheless, decided to send him [blank] as his ambassador to England, since the King of England may perhaps have changed his mind, and may not now be disinclined to have the marriage of the Princess Katharine with the Prince of Wales consummated.
He must travel as quickly as possible. Immediately after his arrival in England he is to speak with the Knight Commander of Membrilla, and to inform himself of all the details of the business. That done, he is to say to the English, that he (King Ferdinand) perfectly knows why the King of England wishes another ambassador to be sent to England, and that the Knight Commander has always acted as a true and faithful servant of his master. Nevertheless, as the King of England refuses to transact business with the Knight Commander, it is necessary to recall him. He is also to say that the Knight Commander has asked leave of absence, in order to attend to some pressing family business in Spain, and he may add that he (King Ferdinand) wishes to have his advice on some important matters of state. The Knight Commander must take leave of both the King and the Princess Katharine.
After having spoken with the Knight Commander, he is to see the Princess Katharine, and to hear her opinion on the pending negotiations. Should, however, the King of England greatly object to his seeing the Princess before he has had an audience of him, he may postpone his interview with the Princess.
After the departure of the Knight Commander, he is to tell the King of England that he (King Ferdinand) wishes to remain his good friend and beloved brother. He is particularly to inquire after the health of the King.
He must further tell the King that as soon as he (King Ferdinand) heard from John Stile that his brother of England wished to transact affairs with another ambassador than the Knight Commander of Membrilla, he [blank] was sent to England. Shares the desire of King Henry not to weaken, but to strengthen the friendship between Spain and England. The King of England will be astonished to see how much he will do for him as soon as the business of the marriage between the Princess and the Prince of Wales is concluded. Hopes that henceforth no difficulties to this union will be raised.
Should the King of England ask what kind of answer he brings to the three demands which he had made on his part, he is to reply as follows. The remaining 100,000 scudos of the dower of the Princess will be paid in coin. The Princess Katharine is authorized to do with her dower as she likes, and consequently she may give it to the King of England. He and Queen Juana are ready to renounce all their claims on the dower. In case the King of England should not be contented with this answer, and should there be no other impediments to the marriage, he may say that his renunciation and the renunciation by Queen Juana of the 200,000 scudos of the dower will be given in whatever form the King of England wishes, but only on condition that the marriage be concluded without delay.
Should the King of England ask what answer he brings respecting the ratification of the marriage between Prince Charles and the Princess Mary, he must say in a very secret and confidential manner that he knows his master (King Ferdinand) has made a solemn vow not to enter into an negotiations with regard to that marriage before the Princess Katharine is the wife of the Prince of Wales. Nor would it be possible for him to be dispensed from this vow, as he has sworn never to ask such a dispensation, and he (King Ferdinand) would not break his oath for any consideration in the world. At the same time he is to add, but as though it came from him, that he (King Ferdinand) had never declared himself against the marriage of Prince Charles with the Princess Mary. The marriage having been already consented to by the Emperor, by Madame, (fn. 2) and by the Council of Flanders, in whose keeping the Prince is, there can be no doubt that it will be ratified also by him (King Ferdinand) and Queen Juana as soon as the other marriage is concluded. He must make use of all possible arguments in order to persuade the King of England, and especially he must not be sparing of sweet and courteous words.
In case the King of England consents to the marriage of the Princess Katharine, her dower is to be paid in accordance with the memoir which will be given to him.
If, on the contrary, the King of England cannot be persuaded to consent to the marriage of the Princess Katharine except on condition that he (King Ferdinand) ratifies the marriage treaty between Prince Charles and the Princess Mary, he must speak in secret with the Princess Katharine, and tell her that she must prepare to return to Spain. Her own honour and the honour of Spain would suffer if under such circumstances she were to remain any longer in England where she might perhaps be exposed to even more cruel treatment than hitherto. But if she were to return to Spain, her long suffering would be at an end, and she would soon find opportunity for another very acceptable marriage. After having ascertained that the Princess has decided to leave England, and that she will yield to no persuasion to the contrary from the King of England, he is to tell the King that the Princess Katharine must immediately go back to the house of her father. He must at the same time hire the ships in which she and her servants must sail. He, the Knight Commander Esqulvel, the Treasurer Morales and his wife, and even the Knight Commander of Membrilla can embark on board the vessels in which the Princess and her ladies will come. The Knight Commander Membrilla must, therefore, under some pretext tarry a few days in port before putting to sea.
It may be that the King of England will try to retain the Princess Katharine in England against her will. If that should be the case, he must employ all his powers of persuasion in order to dissuade the King of England from persisting in his iniquitous design. He must tell him that he will derive no advantage from such a line of conduct, and beg him to consider what his feelings would be, if he himself were to be affronted in such a way.
Whatever the result of his negotiations may be, he must write immediately by a flying courier.
The Princess has wished for an aged and learned confessor, belonging to the Order of the Observant Friars of San Francisco. Sends [blank]. Hopes he will be well received and well treated in England. She has further desired to have a Castilian physician. Sends therefore [blank].
Should the marriage of the Princess Katharine take place, he is to superintend all the arrangements of her household. There are some articles in the marriage treaty which are not as clear as they ought to be. Has consented to them only because he hopes that the King of England will afterwards settle these points as becomes his own dignity. Expects that all will be arranged in such a way that the Princess can live in comfort and at ease.
The Knight Commander of Membrilla is to hand over to him the instrument of the dower which the King of England has promised to the Princess Katharine, and the memoir of the jewels, gold, and plate which the King of England has refused to accept in part payment, and which now belong to the Princess.
Gives him credentials to the Prince of Wales, his beloved son. As soon as he finds a good opportunity he is to deliver the credentials, and to tell the Prince that he (King Ferdinand) places his person and his kingdom at his disposal. He is, at the same time, to explain to the Prince all that has been said to him by word of mouth.—Given in Valladolid, the [blank] of [blank], 1509.
Signature of King Ferdinand.
Indorsed : "Instruction for [blank]."
Spanish. Autograph, pp. 22.
End of April (?)
S. E. Pat. Re. Cap. c. I. Cas. d. A. L. 5. f. 12.
2. Miguel Perez Almazan (?) to [blank], who is to go as Ambassador to England.
He is to ask the Knight Commander of Membrilla to deliver to him the following documents :—
1. The original testimonial of the marriage per verba de prœsenti between the Prince and the Princess of Wales.
2. The letter of the King of England in which he consents to the last prorogation of the payment of the dower until March 1508.
3. The letter of the King of England in which he acknowledges the receipt of the original bull of dispensation.
4. The treaty of marriage.
5. The treaty of friendship.
6. The memoir of the jewelry, gold, and silver which the Princess of Wales took with her, and the memoir of the valuation of them. Juan Lopez gave these memoirs to the Knight Commander.
7. The bills of exchange of the 65,000 scudos.
8. The original instrument of the dower of the Princess of Wales, signed by the King of England.
9. The instrument of the donation of the jewels, gold, and silver, made by King Ferdinand to the Princess of Wales. It was sent to the Knight Commander.
Indorsed : "England."
[Note, apparently written by one of the former keepers of the Archives : "This paper was enclosed in an instruction of the Catholic King to his ambassador in England about the dower of the Princess of Wales and other things of the year 1509."
Spanish. Draft written by Almazan. p. 1.

Footnotes

1 This document was found by the officers of the Archives in Simancas in the month of October 1862, on occasion of a search made for other purposes. At that time the calendar of the Simancas papers, relating to the reign of King Henry VII., had already been published. Although this despatch may have been written whilst Henry VII. was still alive, it was certainly sent to England after his death, most probably by the courier who left Valladolid on the 11th of May.
2 Archduchess Margaret.


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