H. H. u. St. A.
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Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of February 4th containing a
long discourse by Wolsey. Since we have already written you
fully about the matter of Wingfield's mission, and stated all our
arguments, we shall only repeat that you are to follow our express
instructions regarding the presentation of the letters patent, the
loan, and all other unfinished business.
To reply, therefore, to Wolsey's new proposals. We cannot
agree that his suggestion that we should keep the papal court for
some time in Spain, as it was formerly kept in Avignon, is wise,
or would really increase our power and prestige, and we think
that on further consideration Wolsey will agree with us. Such
action would greatly disturb Italy and ruin the papal states, to
the grave detriment of the papacy and of the republic of Christendom.
We would not, for any personal advantage whatever,
shoulder so grave a responsibility, and should others undertake
such a course we should do our best to prevent it, in discharge of
the duty God had laid upon us. It seems to us that to avoid such
misfortunes we should rather hasten the departure of His Holiness,
and we wish that he were already at Rome.
As for the difficulties about our voyage to Spain and visit to
England on which Wolsey touched, the dearness of provisions,
the poverty of the port, and its inability to receive so great a
company, the approaching session of parliament with which our
visit might interfere, the lack of horses and wagons, and the long
journey of a month or six weeks by land, for all which reasons it
seems to him that we ought to disembark at Southampton or
Portsmouth, and order the Spanish fleet to join the English at
one of those ports to escort us, you may say that, nevertheless, it
seems to us that we ought not, on this account, to change what has
been agreed upon by treaty. It even seems that there would
be greater difficulties in collecting our fleet at Southampton or
Portsmouth, both because the harbour is not large enough, and
because the place is dangerously near the enemy, so that we
would be obliged to sail too near the French coast, and remain
too long exposed to attack. Moreover, the ships from Spain
which we have ordered to Falmouth could not reach Southampton
or Portsmouth so quickly, and our fleet would be divided for
some time, thus inviting attack on the weaker part. Also
the winds are not usually as favourable from the ports Wolsey
suggests, either for Spain or for the rendezvous of the two fleets.
Therefore, we prefer to keep to the terms of the treaty in spite of
Wolsey's advice, and to undertake a long and tiresome journey
by land in order to avoid the other difficulties noted. Nevertheless,
continue to discuss this with Wolsey, and find out how he
thinks the difficulties he mentions may best be met.
It seems to us that the points raised by Wolsey about the
maintenance of the fleet and the manner of its revictualment are
sufficiently covered by the treaty of Bruges in which there is no
occasion to make any change. On the other hand, if no truce is
negotiated, his proposal to restrict the soldiers in the fleets to
3,000 each, according to the treaty of Bruges, seems unwise.
Their number should certainly not be less than 6,000 each, the
figure we subsequently agreed upon, at least during our voyage
to Spain. For our part we shall have at sea, not only the 6,000
German infantry which we are bringing from here, and the
ordinary men-at-arms of our household, but also the 4,000
Spanish foot which we have ordered to Falmouth. In such
dangerous times as these it seems that Henry, on his part, should
rather increase the complement of soldiers with the fleet than
diminish it, and although the treaty of Bruges speaks merely of
3,000 infantry in each fleet, it does not restrict the strength to
that or any other number. It seems quite clear that, failing a
truce (which you should continue to seek) 3,000 on each side will
not be sufficient. The cardinal himself was of this opinion, and
suggested the increase to 6,000. We have followed his advice,
and thought this matter closed, especially since by the treaty of
Bruges the responsibility lay entirely with Henry to safeguard our
passage to Dover or Sandwich, and, while we are in England, to
send his fleet to Zeeland to escort ours to Falmouth, not an easy
task in such times as these with a force of only 3,000 fighting men.
Insist, therefore, on the agreement that the English strength
shall be not less than 6,000 and shall be maintained at sea at
least until our arrival in Spain. After that both fleets can be
reduced to a strength of 3,000 each, as the treaty says. You
replied very well to Wolsey's suggestion that the combined fleets
might attempt something against the enemy while we are in
England. It would be unwise to risk the fleet at this time, or let
it be drawn away so that it would not be available for our escort.
In this we find Henry's opinion admirable, and we agree entirely.
We rejoice at what you have written about the solemn publication
of the bull granting to Henry the title of Defender of the
Faith. We are as glad of this increase in his honour and dignity
as it if were our own. May we both defend our Faith as stoutly
as we wish to do, and as the times require. We have received the
documents recording the oath to the treaty of Bruges, and find
them to be in order. As to the news that the king of France has
ordered that none of his ships shall leave port without permission
and is preparing ten great ships of which the smallest is 500 tons,
it seems desirable to keep good watch on the enemy through spies
so we may be on our guard. We were very sorry to hear that
three of Henry's ships had been damaged. Refer to our preceding
letters for other instructions.
Brussels, 18 February, 1522.
Draft in Gattinara's hand. French. pp. 5.
H. H. u. St. A.
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The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
After sending our letters of February 4th enclosing Henry's
ratification of the treaty of Bruges, we received your majesty's
of the 5th and 9th of Feb. in reply to ours of the 17th, 24th and
27th of the preceding month, together with the news from Milan,
Trent and Switzerland. We communicated everything to Wolsey,
except the final conditions for peace, since it seemed better to
find out first what the French offer.
Before the arrival of your letter we had already begun to write
you of several conversations with the cardinal about the negotiations
for peace or truce, as will be set forth more at length by the
next post. At present, for the sake of brevity, we shall write
simply of the chief points covered in these discussions.
First, as to the loan. We have been answered, although gently,
that the sum of 100,000 crowns could not be augmented, but
that your majesty was free to apply it to any desirable use, subject
to its being secured by pledges of jewels, as has been said. As to
the term for the repayment of this sum, the cardinal was vexed by
what we said, and by what Madame Margaret has written, feeling
that his services to your majesty were not appreciated. Indeed,
we do not know how this misunderstanding can have arisen, since
the conditions proposed for this loan were only two : that your
majesty should give a quittance in which the jewels should be
mentioned as security, and that in this document a clause should
be inserted saying that, notwithstanding the treaty of Bruges,
which should otherwise remain in full force, the king of England
should not be obliged to begin actual hostilities before he was
repaid. Henry did not mean to attempt to escape the obligation
to declare war against the French on your majesty's arrival in
England, nor to postpone the naval war according to the treaty,
but only to have it understood that he was not bound before
repayment to lead, personally, the great invasion which is set for
the year '23. By these conditions the cardinal thought he was
giving your majesty a more convenient time for repayment than
if the term was fixed at exactly a year, since many things may
happen during the interval, the "Great Enterprise" may be
postponed for some months, and your majesty would thus have an
equivalent extension of time for repayment. The cardinal
expected these conditions to be agreeable to your majesty,
especially since we have said, in your name, that the money
should be repaid before the time of the "Great Enterprise."
We do not know whether what we wrote on January 24th was
interpreted in this sense or otherwise, but certainly we intended
to describe the conditions as above. We wish to repeat them
clearly here, and to say that no other condition whatever has
been added by Wolsey, nor have we written of any other, as will
appear by an examination of our letters. While Wolsey has been
hitherto willing to leave it to your majesty whether the term of
the repayment should be set for a year, or simply before the
beginning of the "Great Enterprise," he is now inclined to insist
on repayment within a year.
As to the presentation of the letters patent : although, as we
wrote on the 4th, we gave these letters to the cardinal to be
sent to France, we did not formally present them, being dissuaded
therefrom by the arguments of the cardinal, which seemed to us
good and sufficient, and believing that we were thereby serving
your majesty's best interests. Now, in view of your majesty's
instructions, we are very sorry not to have made the solemn
presentation, and we protest that we have nothing at heart except
your majesty's service in which we are willing to give our lives.
We have, therefore, informed the cardinal that we must present
the letters to the king, and begged him to take our action in good
part. He endeavoured by many means to dissuade us, alleging
that the step would impede negotiations for the common good,
especially those begun by his letter to Louise of Savoy, a copy of
which is attached herewith, as well as those which he means to
conduct with Francis. He also said, and this he deemed his most
potent argument, that Henry would not feel himself bound to
any action by the presentation of the letters, since that section
of the treaty of London had been abrogated by the treaty of
Bruges. After much discussion we finally replied that, whatever
question there might be as to Henry's obligations, we could not do
otherwise than present the letters. Wolsey, believing we had
no other copy of the letters than that we had given him a few
days before, said the king would be willing to consider that he
had received them, and would acknowledge their presentation
either by public notarial act, or by letters signed with his own
hand. We accepted this offer gladly, but said we had another
copy of the letters which we wished, as an additional precaution,
to present to the king. At this, Wolsey was considerably
disturbed and said, "Indeed I cannot understand why the emperor
should be so insistent on this point when he knows that the king
of England no longer holds the relevant section of the treaty of
London to be in force, and that he is not therefore obliged to
admonish the king of France. If you insist on presenting these
letters to the king himself, he will receive them publicly, but he
will also make public protestation before the same notary that
he does not consider them binding, and you will, at the same time,
make a declaration that you do not intend in presenting them, to
depart in any way from the treaty of Bruges."
We replied that we were not empowered to make any such
protestation, but that we were certain your majesty did not
intend to weaken the force of the treaty of Bruges in any way, and
therefore, although we had no powers on the point, we would say
freely that your majesty did not intend to derogate the said
treaty or any other, between him and the king of England. We
said this to avoid arousing any suspicions on Wolsey's part.
He then assigned Sunday, Feb. 16th, for the formal presentation
of the letters.
We do not know how matters will now fall out. We have
observed that the cardinal has been very hesitant and thoughtful
about this affair, and, for the reasons we have already written,
we have delayed presenting the letters, since, in the present
state of your majesty's affairs, it is of the highest importance to
induce Henry and Wolsey to assist you with money, on which
everything depends just now, and since this cardinal is the kind of
person whom we may reasonably fear to irritate lest he be less
inclined to your majesty's service. Therefore, we hoped to delay
the presentation until the money was in your majesty's hands,
and so followed the method suggested by the cardinal of transmitting
the letters to Louise of Savoy. Nevertheless, in view
of your majesty's explicit instructions, we shall act as we are
ordered without any deviation.
About the truce, concerning which we have full instructions
from your majesty, we shall write now only the main points,
amplifying later. Wolsey declared that both he and Henry were
convinced a truce was highly essential in the present state of
affairs, that they did not doubt that the French were inclined to
it, and that they would both work diligently for its speedy
conclusion. The cardinal and all the members of the privy
council would be very pleased if your majesty would consent to
be more explicit about what terms you would accept, both for
this side of the Alps and the other, should an agreement on the
present status quo be impossible. So far we have made no other
overtures, in the hope of learning the French proposals. Wolsey
believes the French are not likely to agree to a simple, general
truce, especially if Francis feels himself strong enough to recover
Milan. He believes, however, that all other territory can be
included in the truce, and, if your majesty will consent to this
arrangement, he hopes for success. He insisted that the French
want a truce, and urged us to write your majesty asking what
other terms would be acceptable. We have been unwilling to
say anything more, however, until we have seen the powers of
the French ambassadors. If it appears that they are instructed to
refuse a general truce, we shall then follow the line of your
majesty's instructions, and agree to the exclusion of Milan. If the
discussion turns to a peace, we shall likewise follow your most
recent instructions, and hope to arrive at a speedy conclusion.
We have asked Wolsey to press on the negotiations as quickly
as possible, and he seems no less eager to hasten them than we.
In the midst of our conversation with Wolsey and the privy
councillors, there arrived an ambassador from the king of France
with instructions for the court of Scotland, but also empowered in
passing through England, to join himself with the other French
ambassadors here resident, of whom the chief, Sieur de la Bâtie,
died six days ago. The new ambassador, de Barrois, produced a
commission for the ambassadors here resident to negotiate for
peace with your majesty's ambassadors resident here, through the
mediation of the king of England and the cardinal. These
powers, however, prove to be void on account of the death of one
of the persons named, since they had been given for the ambassadors
jointly and not severally. Wolsey, therefore, asked to see
all the powers on both sides and found both defective, ours because
we were instructed to do nothing except in the presence of the
papal nuncio and with his consent, and, since the nuncio's powers
were given by Leo X who is now dead, there is now no legal nuncio
in England. Also our commission is cast in general terms, merely
empowering us to negotiate a league or alliance with any prince
whatever, and it seems desirable to Wolsey that we should have
specific powers to treat for a truce or peace with France under
stated conditions. The commission of the French ambassadors,
on the other hand, speaks only of a peace and not of a truce.
We took this opportunity of telling Wolsey that your majesty
was informed the French king preferred a peace to a truce as this
commission proved, and hoped Henry and Wolsey would not
reject such an offer. This idea did not displease the cardinal,
especially since he thought a truce might be more quickly obtained
by beginning negotiations for peace, and thereby drawing the
French to consent to an armistice. We later learned from
Henry's own lips that he much preferred a truce to a peace, and
thought that if the French refused honest terms there should be
further consultation on the next step.
Wolsey, to show his desire to hasten negotiations, consented
to hear the French ambassadors that very night, late as it was.
The following day he showed us the powers of the French, which,
except for the defect mentioned, seem ample. He also showed
us the instructions which the new ambassador had for the conduct
of his negotiations in Scotland with the duke of Albany and other
great nobles of that kingdom, which instructions seemed to the
cardinal and to us also, full of fraud and trickery, as we shall
write later more at length. Wolsey then went from us to the
French ambassadors to move them to send a courier at once to
Francis to persuade him to accept an immediate truce with your
majesty, unless he wished to be exposed to an immediate declaration
by the king of England in your majesty's favour and to the
consequent ruin of the kingdom of France. Meanwhile, Wolsey
undertook to re-draft the French powers and ours into suitable
form and send his drafts to your majesty and to Francis, so there
should be no defects or inequalities in the powers for the negotiation.
To save time, he offered, meanwhile, to discuss terms with
the French himself, so that, if he saw them inclined to reasonable
conditions, we could then meet them in his presence and, if
possible, conclude a truce as soon as our powers arrive.
On February 16th we again saw the king, having kept this letter
open to add anything we might then learn. He received us very
graciously, but would do no business of importance before dinner.
After dinner he spent an hour in discussions with his privy council.
Then he sent for us and, dismissing all his councillors except
Wolsey, spoke to us at length. At first he complained, rather
stiffly, of the conduct of the negotiations, saying, however, that
he had no cause to complain of your majesty, whom he knew to
love him as tenderly as he was loved by him, but of certain
councillors whom he did not wish to single out. His first complaint
was that your majesty showed no gratitude for the 100,000
crowns, but rather seemed annoyed that the sum was so small,
and that you had taken a high tone, and threatened, unless the
sum were increased, to come to an understanding with the French.
We offered excuses to the best of our ability, and there was
considerable conversation on this point, in which your majesty
was in no wise blamed, but letters written by others. We omit,
for brevity, a detailed report, and will only say that Henry seemed
satisfied. He also complained of the reply to his request for the
expulsion of the Scots, which, he said, he had not asked as a
matter of treaty obligation, and we did our best to satisfy him
on this point. Henry continued to speak of it further, but without
reproaches, and to urge that your majesty comply with his request,
because, he said, Francis had only sent Albany to Scotland because
he feared the English would declare in favour of your majesty.
The king has heard that the French are preparing a force of five
or six thousand men to be sent to Albany's assistance, and this
notwithstanding the fact that war with Scotland was publicly
declared by the king's herald last week.
Henry expressed his wonder that your majesty wished him to
declare himself immediately against the French, but after
considerable discussion he was content that we should present
your letters patent, which we did. Before Henry received them
from our hands, however, Wolsey said, "I protest in his majesty's
name that he is not obliged to do anything in this matter nisi
amore, and that these letters will be used for the benefit of the
common cause and not otherwise." He later made a notarial
attestation to this effect.
At the end of a long speech full of most friendly phrases, Henry
said, "Lord ambassadors, you must take what I say as proceeding
from my love for the emperor, and my frankness as proof that
our councils should be in common." He then said that your
majesty should be careful not to neglect Italian affairs, where a
small additional expenditure might be of great importance, and
that if you wished to use the loan for that purpose you might do
so. It might be best, he said, to send a noble embassy to Spain
to persuade the Spanish that your majesty was forced to a certain
delay on account of Italian affairs. He offered to send an English
embassy with that sent by your majesty. The English would
declare the union between the king of England and your majesty,
and thus the Spanish would be more easily contented. Henry
said he was willing to contribute to the subsidy for the Swiss,
but it seemed to him better not to threaten them with war in
order to keep them at home, but to continue negotiations in the
hope of drawing them away from the French. We asked him to
write speedily to his ambassador in Switzerland, directing him
to co-operate with the imperial ambassadors. He agreed at
once. We then asked what news he had of France. He replied
that although Francis was making considerable preparations, he
did not think he could do much at sea this year. Henry and
Wolsey also said that Louise of Savoy had received Wolsey's
letters, and that she and her son had been so intimidated by them
that they were sending an intimate councillor, fully instructed
and authorized, to conclude a truce with your majesty, and to
beg Wolsey to prevent Henry from sending his defiance to the
French. They expect news from France in a few days. Henry
is writing again to Francis urging him not to lose this occasion
to make a favourable truce with your majesty. Henry also said
that the customary French pensions had not been paid, and that
he had no hope of getting anything but words from the French.
Our next letters will contain further details.
London, 18 February.
Contemporary decipher. Latin. pp. 14.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien P. A. 2.
Lachaulx to Charles V.
I have been here since last Wednesday, but have been unable to
leave for lack of a ship. If I take a poor one I risk being captured
on the way, for the French watch the harbour continually, and
are informed of my arrival. The deputy marshal and the other
officers here have received me honourably and displayed the
greatest possible affection toward you.
Last night two small ships belonging to the marshal arrived.
He is having them fitted out to take me to Dover on Monday.
They all tell me it will be impossible to sail earlier and I am
obliged to believe them. The deputy or governor of Calais told
me that a courier came through here yesterday going to England
from the English ambassador to France. He had no news except
that the king of France is at St. Germain-en-Laye and that there
are three thousand Swiss at Abbeville. I have no doubt that
as soon as the courier reaches Wolsey your ambassadors will send
you all the news. The deputy also told me that all men capable
of bearing arms had been summoned at Montreuil for the end of
this month and, he believed, at other places as well.
Calais, 22 February at six o'clock in the evening.
Signed, Lachaulx. French.
H. H. u. St. A.
England. f. 2.
Charles V to Lachaulx.
You may know that when the bishopric of Pamplona fell vacant
some time ago, we wrote to the late pope, Leo X, asking that no
one be provided to the bishopric except by our nomination, as was
right, since our realm of Navarre had been conquered in the service
of the church, at the expense of Spanish treasure and Spanish
blood. Pope Leo agreed to our request. Later, however, he
provided Cardinal Cesarini to this bishopric, subject to a pension
to Cardinal Colonna. These persons several times asked us for
possession, which we were unwilling to grant. In view of their
friendship for us, however, and of their offer to surrender their
claims upon the bishopric, we agreed to recompense them.
Shortly afterwards the pope died, and the new pope was elected.
Now the cardinals in question are among the prelates coming to
Spain to apprise the pope of his election. Cardinal Cesarini has
again asked for the possession of the bishopric or the satisfaction
of his claims. Since he has displayed a friendly spirit toward
us, has been serviceable to us in the past, particularly in the
matter of the last election, and promises to be so in the future,
we are willing to grant him possession of the bishopric of Pamplona,
subject to the following conditions. We expressly reserve all our
royal rights in the said bishopric. Before possession is granted
the pope shall issue a bull, promising that, if Cardinal Cesarini
should die at Rome, no advantage of that fact will be taken to
provide any person to the bishopric except upon our nomination.
In this bull, or, if a bull cannot be obtained, at least a brief, the
pope shall recognize our rights, and those of our successors, the
kings of Navarre and Castile, in the said bishopric. We trust
your discretion to see that our rights are safeguarded in this
[Dated in margin, February 23.]
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 3.
H. H. u. St. A.
Eng. f. 2.
Full powers to Bernardino De Mesa, Bishop of Elne, and to
Charles Poupet de Lachaulx, and to Jacques Sieur de Caestres,
jointly or to any two or any one of them, to negotiate with the
ambassadors of the king of France in England a truce, armistice,
or peace through the mediation of the king of England and the
cardinal of York, with the object of procuring the peace of
Christendom and the union of all Christian powers against the
Brussels, 27 February, 1522.
Signed, Charles. Latin. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
England. f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We have received yours of February 17th, and although your
letters do not require any extended reply, nevertheless, to maintain
the usual forms, we are answering briefly as follows :
First, as to the loan of 200,000 ducats : you say that it will
not be greater than 100,000 but may be employed as we please,
provided security in jewels is given. As to the date of repayment,
you say it was fixed simply "before the beginning of the 'Great
Enterprise'" in order to allow us more time, and that Henry's
intention about declaring war at the time of our visit and about
the navy was otherwise than you formerly wrote us. This is
now said to be an error ; nevertheless, the English are now
resolved on fixing the term of the loan at one year. We are
pleased that the conditions have thus been mitigated ; it is
better that the English should allege a mistake than that they
should persist in their former terms. However, according to your
first letters on this subject, the conditions were unmistakably
phrased so as to prevent a declaration of war during our visit
and obviate the obligation to maintain the navy. Therefore it
is not surprising that we did not thank Henry for the offer of
100,000 ducats under these conditions, especially, since we had
often written you that we intended to make repayment before
the "Great Enterprise." At that time we would of course be
able to repay the money, otherwise we should hardly be in a
position to undertake an invasion ourselves. Now that the
former conditions are relaxed, you will thank Henry for his offer
and arrange the time and place at which the money will be
delivered and all other details, sending us a draft of the bond
required so we may consider it, and send it to you in final form.
Nevertheless, since 100,000 ducats is not enough for our voyage
to Spain, you will continue to try to obtain another hundred
thousand, at least upon our arrival in England, so that we may
continue our journey. Of this sum Wolsey may keep, as we have
already written, the money already due him, and an advance
against future payments.
We are glad you have presented our letters patent, and wish
you to send us the document acknowledging their presentation
with a note of their tenor. As to the protests, you answered the
cardinal very well. These things must go as they may, but for
our side the treaties remain in full force, and we do not intend to
contravene them in any way.
We are glad to hear that Wolsey hopes to conclude a simple
truce, and wish he had already done so. We quite agree that a
simple truce would be more advantageous than a peace, but if
we cannot have a truce on honourable terms, it would be better
to discuss peace than to remain in our present hazardous position,
with no help from anyone. It is easy to see by Louise of Savoy's
reply to Wolsey that she and her son fear the presentation of our
letters patent, and that it is the best means to induce them to
make honourable terms. It was for this reason that we insisted
on the presentation ; we knew what the result would be.
Since new powers are expected for the French ambassadors, we
have also drawn up new ones for you according to Wolsey's suggestions.
Along with you we have named Lachaulx, who is to take
part if he is still in England. The powers are so drawn that
they may be used by three negotiators, or two, or one, as the
occasion demands, Continue, therefore, to press for a conclusion
of the truce, and should this prove difficult, as we do not believe
it will, let us know at once, in order that we may make other plans.
We are not surprised that you and Wolsey found the instructions
and powers which the new French ambassador is taking to
Scotland full of fraud and trickery. In this the French are
behaving according to their usual custom. The person they are
sending is well chosen to make use of such instructions. We had
some experience of him when he was the French ambassador at
our court during the Diet of Worms. He did nothing then,
night and day, but conspire with everybody to embroil the
business of the Diet. It will be a good idea to keep an eye on him,
and to beware of the fruits he brings back from Scotland.
We are very pleased with what the cardinal said to the French,
and that he has put such fear into them that they have written
Francis that if he does not accept a truce at once he runs the
risk of Henry's declaring in our favour. Assure Wolsey of our
gratitude, and say from us that the best means of bringing the
French to reason is to let them know that if they do not accept a
truce Henry has promised to take the Netherlands under his
protection, and guarantee them against invasion. We have no
doubt that by his means Francis will be brought to accept whatever
conditions for a truce Henry and I agree on. Wolsey's
idea that the treaty should be ready to sign on the arrival of the
powers is a good one.
As to the complaints of us which Henry made to you, saying
that he imputed the fault not to us but to our councillors that,
not only had we not thanked him for the offer of 100,000 crowns,
but that we had taken in bad part the smallness of the sum, and
had said or written threatening words to the effect that if it were
not increased we would give an ear to other offers, meaning by
that that we would turn to the French : we do not believe that
Henry has any just cause of complaint either of us or of our
councillors. We have always found our councillors good and loyal
and devoted to the common interest, and should they prove
otherwise we are not so young that we would follow their advice
in anything that might alter the friendship between Henry and us.
Although we did not thank him before for his offer for the reasons
written above, we certainly did not take it in bad part, but used
the gentlest means possible to remonstrate against the unsuitable
conditions, which have since been changed, and to point out our
need for a larger sum. It will not be found that we have ever
used any threats, or suggested that we might turn to the French,
as the king, our uncle, may clearly know, since we have rejected
all the French offers, and have continually declared that we
would not treat with them at all except under the mediation of
the king of England. Henry has been advised daily of all the
offers the French have made us.
Henry says that he did not demand the expulsion of the Scots
from our realm as a matter of treaty obligation, but as a favour,
just as he, on his side has done many things to which he was not
obliged by treaty. It hardly seems that he has a just cause for
complaint here. In matters not covered by the treaty there is
nothing we would not do to please him, but in matters on which
we have a reciprocal engagement it does not seem just that we
should expel Henry's enemies from our lands, and he should not
expel our enemies from his, since there is equal reason and
occasion on both sides, and treaties should be observed equally
by both parties.
We are grateful for Henry's affectionate and cordial advice
that we should by no means neglect Italian affairs, but keep them
on the same footing, and increase our Italian army even at a little
expense, and for his suggestion that the money he is lending us
be applied for this purpose, and that, if Spanish affairs seem
endangered, it would be possible to provide an embassy of noble
and worthy persons who could persuade the Spaniards to agree
to our remaining here for some time on account of Italian affairs.
We are also grateful for his offer to send, on his part, a notable
embassy to Spain along with ours, to tell the Spaniards of our
league so they may be more easily content with our absence.
Tell Henry we are sure this advice springs from his affection for us
and his zeal for the common cause. But this is a very important
matter, on which may depend the ruin or the salvation of all our
efforts, and we find the question so perplexing, with so many
difficulties and risks on all sides, that we must consider further
before following his advice. On the one hand, we know that the
longer we remain here the worse matters get in Italy and Spain,
so that we are anxious to leave as soon as possible. On the other
hand, it is clear that difficulties in Spain cannot be remedied
without our presence, nor Italy made safe without a great power,
which is not so inexpensive as Henry thinks, since we have
against us the French, the Swiss, and the Venetians, besides the
duke of Ferrara, the duke Francesco-Maria, (fn. 1) and other rebels,
and have not yet finished the conquest of Milan. Everything is
in such a parlous state that we know very well we have not
money enough to be safe on all sides, not with the loan Henry is
granting us, nor with all the other money we can raise. Therefore
we may be obliged either to lose Spain altogether, or to abandon
the Italian enterprise, in which case it seems more reasonable to
preserve our hereditary lands than to go about conquering what
belongs merely to the imperial dignity, and from which we get
more expense than profit. Consequently, if the reinforcements
which we are now sending to Italy are insufficient to repulse the
enemy in a short time, not having means to maintain them
longer, we shall be obliged to dismiss our infantry and withdraw
our men-at-arms to Naples. So it does not seem that we should
tarry here, and we are hastening our departure for Spain as
diligently as may be. We cannot apply the money of the loan
to any other purpose. This is our resolution, taken by advice
of all our council, from which we do not expect to depart.
Henry says he is willing to contribute to paying the Swiss, but
does not think we ought to threaten them with war, suggesting
that we continue to negotiate with them, and take some into our
service, by which means they may be brought to adhere less to
the French, and be drawn to our side. As to this, we are very
glad of the contribution, and hope that it will be in ready money
for immediate payment. But if the Swiss remain obstinate, the
best way to keep them at home will be to put fear into them, and
to employ against them that money which we would otherwise
pay them, for, things being as they are, we cannot be confident
of raising any number of troops among them ; they could not
serve us against the French, and the expense might be useless
because of the risk of their being recalled by their cantons, as
happened before. Nevertheless, it will be well for Henry to write
to his ambassador in Switzerland to associate himself with ours
there, remembering that, if he hasn't the money to pay the
expenses of the Swiss diet, he will not be able to assemble it,
and be heard by all the cantons at once, since the diet we paid
for is over. He will hardly accomplish much by going about from
one canton to another, and there is no way to get anything done
in a hurry among that nation without money. They take no
account of anything else, and without it his mission will be fruitless.
We are sending you all the news that we have of Switzerland
and Italy, which you will communicate as usual. Write
Brussels, 27 Feb., 1522.
Draft in Gattinara's hand. French. pp. 9.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
On February 18th we wrote your majesty a succinct account
of the progress of negotiations up to that date, and enclosed a
copy of Wolsey's letter to Louise of Savoy. We have since
received yours of the 18th, with Swiss and Italian news, which we
at once communicated to the cardinal, and we have discussed
several matters with him.
Wolsey has now changed his mind about the advisability of
the pope's remaining some time in Spain, and even before the
arrival of your majesty's letters he said it was necessary that the
pope should go to Rome as quickly as possible, so as to avoid
the dangers mentioned in your majesty's letters, and several others
he had thought of. In all this Wolsey was full of praise for your
majesty's zeal for the Holy See and the Christian commonwealth.
We told Wolsey of your majesty's unwillingness to change the
itinerary of his journey to Spain, and adduced all the arguments
in your majesty's letters and several others which occurred to us.
Wolsey seemed considerably vexed, for, as we understand it, he is,
himself, convinced that your majesty should be satisfied with the
change suggested, and when he heard of your unwillingness to
depart from the exact terms of the treaty of Bruges, he replied,
as if somewhat disturbed, that your majesty and we constantly
professed to seek his advice but never took it. "Certainly," he
said, "I have not proposed this change in order to alter the
treaties, but only for the common good. The emperor will see
all the difficulties and inconveniences of this journey by land
which I have mentioned, and many others. His objections to
the longer route, increased danger of attack, and the dividing of
the fleet, are of little weight, for he will spend much less time by
ordering the fleet to Hampton or Portsmouth than by going on
land to Falmouth, and Hampton and Portsmouth are far safer
ports and have more prosperous winds, as any experienced sailor
knows. The voyage to Spain from Southampton can be as short
as from Falmouth. Nevertheless, since the emperor insists on
the strict letter of the treaty, that is what he shall have ; we shall
not depart from it a nail's breadth."
Wolsey is now more or less of your majesty's opinion as to the
proper complement of fighting men for the fleets, and would fix it
at about 5,000 men each. He is insistent that the ships should be
provisioned for three months, in order that they may keep the
sea without interruption. We remarked that, according to the
treaty, the English fleet alone was supposed to convoy your
majesty across the Channel, and that this could not be done
safely without considerable force. Wolsey replied that the
English fleet would immediately join your majesty's ships on the
coast of Flanders, and that these should be instructed to this
effect, and supplied with men and arms. Henry intends to send
a proper person to your majesty to see that appropriate preparations
are made on both sides, and we, the ambassadors, do not
doubt that Henry and Wolsey will increase the fighting strength
of the English fleet as occasion demands, and that the English
will keep the sea and secure your majesty's safe passage to England
and to Spain.
As to a descent on the French coast while you are in England,
Wolsey is now inclined to your majesty's opinion, particularly
since that is Henry's also. However, a final decision on that
point is postponed until your majesty shall be in England, since
an opportunity may arise to surprise and destroy the greater
part of the French fleet.
After discussing these matters, we gave Wolsey the news from
Switzerland and Italy. He was very pleased by the copy of
Mettenye's letter from Switzerland, and conceived from it great
hope of a successful issue in Italy, about which both the king and
the cardinal are greatly concerned, so much so that they desire
to see Italian affairs settled even at some risk to Spain. They do
not believe the risk would be great, since in their opinion your
majesty is stronger in Spain than elsewhere. In view of the
letters we showed him, and of other news that he has from Italy,
Wolsey believes that if your majesty displays diligence in providing
for Italian affairs, the enemy's army may easily be defeated
and expelled, after which it would be much easier to arrange a
favourable truce. We took this opportunity to beg the cardinal
to hasten the formal admonition to the king of France, according
to your majesty's letters patent, to which he replied more gently
than usual, that Henry, in the best of faith, would make use of
the letters for the common good. He added that he was hourly
expecting not only Louise of Savoy's reply to his letter, which he
thought had been most efficacious, but also the agent sent by
Francis and his mother with instructions and full powers to
conclude a peace with your majesty, on whose arrival we should
certainly know whether we could arrange a truce.
The cardinal gave us a draft of the commission in the form
which seemed to him necessary for negotiating and concluding a
truce, which we herewith enclose, in the hope that, if your majesty
approves, such powers may be transmitted to us.
Juan de Barzia has arrived with credentials from your majesty,
and, although the cardinal was absent, we gave him an order to
visit eight or nine of the greatest ships now on the Thames, among
them the Mary Rose which Henry intends for your majesty's
personal use. I, de Caestres, conducted de Barzia over several
ships, and since he is returning at once, your majesty may refer
to his opinion. It is important to note, however, that, whatever
diligence the English may show in the preparation of the ships,
they will hardly be ready before Easter. It might be said that
they are proceeding somewhat more slowly with these preparations
because your majesty promised to warn them a month
beforehand. It might be helpful if they were tactfully requested
not to delay too much, lest the business be finished later than
would be convenient. We have also received your letters about
certain ships of Ostend, but we have not yet seen the cardinal about
this, or attempted to do anything about it. Early to-day
(February 27th) we received letters from Lachaulx, saying he had
reached Dover on the 26th, and hoped to be with us to-day after
dinner. We shall arrange an interview with Wolsey for Saturday
or Sunday, and conduct him to court ourselves if the cardinal
does not return to his house here. Before the end of the next
two weeks we shall have a ship ready for him at Plymouth, though
we do not know whether he will wish to sail from this port.
So much in reply to your majesty's letters. Certain observations
follow for your information. The most important is that
in our last interview with Wolsey, the cardinal, for what reason
we do not know, before we had said anything of the contents of
your letters, said to us with great emotion, his face deadly pale :
"Ambassadors, say to the emperor from me that I, with a profusion
of sighs, and as his good servant, beg him to act sincerely
with this king, who is the faithful, useful, and good friend of his
majesty. If he does so he will find here true and sincere friends,
ready to do their utmost in his service. But he should remember
that we are friends, not subjects." We sought to discover what
was troubling him but he changed the subject abruptly, and
would say nothing further. It may be guessed, however, that he
was disturbed by a suspicion (of which we wrote in our last letters
and which he must have gathered from the English ambassadors
with you, or from some other source), that your majesty has
suggested that unless Henry increases the loan to 200,000 crowns,
you will negotiate in another quarter. This the cardinal took
very much amiss. We do not know that this was the cause of
his disturbance, which may perhaps have been merely an effect
of his natural temperament which is somewhat emotional (natura
propria qua aliquando solet sic turbari). Afterwards he chatted
very affably with us of your majesty for some time.
At parting, Wolsey drew us apart and asked, smiling, whether
your majesty had decided to go to Spain or to Italy. We replied
you were constant in your intention of going to Spain, had made
all preparations to do so, and to visit England, as had been agreed.
Wolsey answered that he had not asked us this without reason,
since much was told him that went on among your majesty's
councillors. We replied that no doubt all Italy clamoured for
your coming, offered infinite treasure on your arrival, and promised
victory and glory, nevertheless your majesty would put off
everything in order to complete the business to be done in
England, and would then go on to Spain. We did not know,
however, whether your majesty, warned by the king of England,
and compelled by urgent necessity, might not change his mind,
but we had no information except about the journey to Spain
and could say nothing further except that all preparations had
been made by land and sea for your coming to England.
We have learned from a secret source that two days ago Wolsey's
messenger to France returned bringing secret letters. Nevertheless,
Wolsey has so far said nothing to us about this, to our great
surprise. We believe it must be either because the French reply
was unfavourable, or because a reply was referred to the person
to be sent by the French king. Nevertheless, we cannot but be
uneasy about the cardinal's silence, and we hope he will have
more to tell us on Saturday.
About the loan, Wolsey said one thing of importance in our
last interview. His words were : "Although we cannot at
present lend the emperor more than 100,000 crowns, nor can we
promise more, nor should he count on more from us, nevertheless
we shall do everything in our power to show that his majesty at
need may rely on Henry as on a father, uncle and friend." On the
same subject Henry himself said : "You may know us well
enough to believe that in this business the emperor's prosperity
is our prosperity. Let the emperor do his best to gather funds
for his Italian affairs, and we shall do our utmost to give him part
of our substance." Henry also said that he advised your majesty
to make use of the German subsidy promised by the empire, for
this Italian business, and that you could answer the objection
that in this case you were bound to lead the army to Italy in
person, by saying that you already had an army there. We
mentioned certain objections to this course and the king spoke
more frankly. To our remark that the imperial coronation
would require your majesty's presence with this expedition,
Henry replied, "His majesty can say if he likes that he will follow
the army, and can afterwards allege the impediment of other
business, and if the Germans grant him something handsome for
the purpose, as seems likely, then go to Italy, but not otherwise."
Wolsey asks you to beg two favours for him of the pope : first,
that he may receive freely the Abbey of St. Albans which the
king gave him a few days ago ; second, that his legatine authority
which he holds for five years, may be confirmed to him for life.
London, 28 February, 1522.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne, and Jacques de Caestres.
Latin. pp. 9.