H. H. u. St. A.
Eng., f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
On March 7th we found Wolsey in council, occupied with
musters of all men fit for war in England and estimates of the
available arms and goods throughout the realm, and we sat with
him among the councillors. Wolsey said to me, Lachaulx :
"We are doing what we can to hasten your departure, knowing
how important it is that you should see the pope and the king of
Portugal as soon as possible, and we are getting ready the instructions
for our ambassador who is to accompany you. He is
empowered to conclude a treaty including England, the emperor,
the pope, and Portugal, and other powers if there is occasion to
add them, forming a defensive league covering all the territories
now possessed or to be occupied by all the signatories, and
providing for a joint war against any invader without exception,
similar to the late treaty with Pope Leo X except insofar as concerns
his relatives, the Medicis, whom it is now no longer necessary
to consider. Jointly, with the master of the rolls and with the
ambassador who is going with you, you will examine a copy of
the former treaty and decide what should be deleted and what
should stand in the interests of the pope and their two majesties.
Our ambassador will also go with you to congratulate the king of
Portugal on his accession, and to let him know the close and sincere
union between the emperor and the king of England. He will
advise him to avoid marrying in France or elsewhere before the
emperor arrives in Spain, and will offer the king of England's
condolences to the Lady Eleanor. Having done so, the English
ambassador will either remain with you in Portugal, if you
prefer, or return to the pope whom he will urge to hasten his
departure for Italy."
We, the ambassadors, praised this decision and asked that
matters might be hastened so that I, Lachaulx, might return to
wait upon your majesty. Wolsey agreed, and it was decided
that I should take my leave of Henry on Sunday, March 9th, and
set out on Monday or Tuesday.
Wolsey then told us that Poillot, the French ambassador, who
had been with him the day before, had presented letters patent
from the king of France addressed to the king of England, asking
for his aid, under the treaty of London, against your majesty.
The cardinal showed us the letters and told us his reply to the
French ambassador which, as he gave it to us, as was follows :
"Ambassador, a little while ago I wrote to the mother of your
king, stating what I thought ought to be done for the peace of
Christendom, and advising a truce between the emperor and
your king. To this a vague, pointless reply was returned, and
the affair continues to be delayed. Now your king asks us for
support against the emperor. I do not know whether pride or
malice has blinded the eyes of your king and his councillors, but
it seems to me that you are rushing to ruin. You know that, when
I was at Calais, where I undertook so much labour for the common
good, I heard the arguments on both sides, and told the chancellor
of France that my judgment was against your king, all of which
I later faithfully reported to the king of England. Therefore, if
your king had been equally well informed, he would rather agree
to honourable conditions of truce with the emperor, than urge
my king to declare in his favour, for by rights the declaration
should be on the other side. If your king and his mother do not
behave otherwise, I cannot see how my king can avoid declaring
himself against you, for truth and justice fight on the side of the
emperor, as, indeed, I have fully informed my king. Also, both
the common people of England and the nobility love the emperor
because of their ancient friendship for the house of Burgundy,
because of his relationship to us, and for commercial and other
reasons, of which the chief is that the emperor is an honourable
and virtuous prince. And our people, and even the nobility,
hate your king for the many injuries he has done us, especially
on account of the arrival of the duke of Albany, who, with the aid
of your king, has come to Scotland to seek the crown, and the
death of the young king, and to seduce the queen, our king's sister,
and also because the pensions due us from you have not been paid,
and because of French depredations and spoliation of our people
by land and by sea, and for many other reasons. Since all this
is known to your king, I do not know what spirit has led him to
reject a truce with the emperor and to send these letters. Your
blindness appears by your false hopes of recovering Milan, and
by the little account you make of the friendly advice and labours
of my king and me, who have been seeking to compose your
troubles with the emperor. Therefore I must tell you frankly
that, if you refuse a truce with the emperor, simple and commercial,
things to remain as they are on both sides of the Alps,
or on other honourable conditions, my king will declare himself
against you without delay. I advise you to inform your king of
this at once."
Wolsey told us that he intended to write to Francis in the same
words he had used to the ambassador, adding three points : (1) if
Francis refuses the truce, Henry will accept the protection of the
Netherlands and undertake to safeguard them from all invasion,
as Henry, himself, will write to Francis so that your majesty's
request will be thoroughly satisfied ; (2) Wolsey will offer to take
it upon himself to induce your majesty to except the duchy of
Milan from the general truce ; (3) that Henry's declaration will
not be longer delayed, and that this was the last letter he, Wolsey,
will ever write to the king of France or to his mother, and the last
warning he will send them, adding that his courier, who brought
this letter, will remain two or three days in France and then, if
given no reply, will return without one, and that, on his return,
Henry intends to declare himself openly in favour of your majesty.
Henry will also write to Francis in these same terms. We, the
ambassadors, approved this language, and begged that the plan
be put into execution at once. Wolsey promised that it should
be done, and gave us copies of the letters which we are forwarding
to your majesty.
Wolsey protested earnestly that no one in the world was more
attached to your majesty, or more anxious to serve him, than he
or Henry. He said, however, that when all the king of England's
resources were calculated he could not lend your majesty more
than 100,000 crowns, which sum was now ready for payment in
London in good and legal gold money. We discussed the danger
of sending it, and Wolsey suggested two methods, protesting,
however, that the king of England would not be liable for risks in
transmission. One device was to send the money in many small
shipments. The other was that your majesty's subjects who
have ready money in Flanders should advance it to you in return
for bills on London. We said, in accordance with your majesty's
instructions, that your majesty had not declared his gratitude
for the loan sooner because the conditions attached to it had not
been well understood, and that our obscure and incompetent
method of writing should be blamed, and not any ingratitude.
Now, knowing the true conditions and perceiving Henry's and
Wolsey's affection, your majesty offered great thanks both to the
king and the cardinal. This Wolsey took in good part. We then
asked Wolsey to use his influence to obtain another 100,000
crowns when your majesty should arrive in England, for the
payment of the fleet and other expenses for the common good.
To this Wolsey, very indignant and disturbed, replied, "I see
that you never think I act in good faith, you suspect me of haggling
with the emperor like a merchant. You must believe that if it had
been possible to give the emperor any more we should have given
it at the beginning. You ought not to ask us for more than we
can possibly do. All that we can we shall give freely. Nevertheless,
although I protest that the emperor cannot count on any
larger sum, I repeat that, when his majesty is in England, and we
know how much money the people will grant to us, the emperor
may consider any surplus over and above our own urgent needs
as absolutely his own. But we must first provide for our own
necessities ; we cannot promise the emperor anything more ;
and there is no use talking about it any further." In spite of all
our persuasions this was all we could get Wolsey to say. Therefore,
seeing how decided he was, and knowing that he was not a
good man to irritate, we broke off the conversation, and even
decided to say nothing about the money you had assigned to him
on the second hundred thousand crowns, lest he might think your
majesty either wished to revoke your former promises, or to use
the gift to compel him to grant a second 100,000 crowns. For the
same reason we said nothing about not sending the jewels as you
suggested in your letter of the third of March, although I, Lachaulx,
before my departure, will mention the subject to Wolsey, in spite
of the fact that, in our opinion, there is no hope of getting any
money without the jewels.
All this discussion had gone on before the privy council. Afterwards
Wolsey took us into his private chamber so we could speak
more freely of other things. There we told him of the hopes your
majesty had conceived of a truce through Wolsey's plans although,
we added, you did not yet know how empty Louise of Savoy's
reply was, and we urged him to press the negotiations. We told
him frankly that, if a truce were not arranged, your majesty's
affairs were in such a state that you would prefer peace, since you
could no longer support your present burdens. All this Wolsey
took in good part, and thanked your majesty for being so frank
with him. He said that under the circumstances, if no truce
could be arranged, it might be a good idea to listen to proposals
for peace, to which the French were more inclined, especially if
a peace could be arranged for five or six years. The end of this
time would be best for consummating our plans and, everything
being prepared for a war, conquering our own terms. Meanwhile,
he said, if your majesty found himself too weak to expel the
enemy from Italy, it might be better to abandon the campaign
in Milan and seize Fuenterrabia, but, if possible, the French should
be driven from Italy before the conclusion of the treaty. Nothing
was added about the other terms beyond what we have already
written. It seemed to us that Wolsey was more inclined to peace
than usual, since he has never been willing to discuss it before,
although the last instructions from Francis to his ambassadors
here spoke only of peace and not of a truce. Wolsey repeated
that if the French were unwilling to conclude a truce, and could
not be brought to make peace at once under honourable conditions,
with an immediate armistice, Henry would declare war on
them. It does not seem to us, however, that much reliance should
be placed on this talk of peace, or that the king of England will
consent to it unless there is no hope of a truce at all.
We told Wolsey what your majesty had said about the French
ambassador to Scotland, and he replied that, judging by the
ambassador's words and instructions, Henry was certain that he
had been sent for no good purpose, and that the duke of Albany
had gone to Scotland with the knowledge and consent of the
French king. We then told him of the offers of peace made to
you through the ambassadors of the duke of Lorraine and the
cardinal of Metz, all which you had referred to Henry and Wolsey.
Of this he had already been informed, and thanked your majesty
for dealing so sincerely. We said nothing of the expulsion of the
Scots from your domains, and Wolsey did not mention it, so that
matter sleeps for the present.
In view of the reasons set forth in your majesty's letters,
Henry and Wolsey have now changed their minds about what
they said about the priority of Italian needs, and they highly
praised your intention of going to Spain at once. They even
approved your majesty's suggestion that you would withdraw the
men-at-arms to Naples and disband the infantry, if your present
army proved unable to expel the enemy from Milan. Wolsey
feared, however, that if your army proved too weak to defeat the
enemy, it might be difficult to get the men-at-arms off safely.
Henry and Wolsey still cannot agree that it is wise to threaten
the Swiss. They think gentle means to be preferred, and the most
that they will concede is that perhaps some force might be collected
on the Swiss border as an indirect threat. We conveyed to
Wolsey your advice that the English ambassador should be well
provided with funds, since nothing could be done with the Swiss
without money. He said he was acting on that assumption.
Wolsey asked us to request your majesty, in his name and
Henry's, to send to England, as a favour and act of friendship,
a hundred gunners or footmen accustomed to manage artillery.
There were many such men, he said, in the Netherlands. We
promised to write the request, though we expressed a doubt
that so many could be found. Juan de Barzia has been here,
and has been diligent in your majesty's service as you may learn
from him in person. Just as de Barzia was leaving, there arrived
in London some Spanish sailors who had escaped from a shipwreck
of several Spanish ships on the English coast. It seemed desirable
that he should take them with him to Flanders to serve in the
fleet which, it is said, is short-handed. We hope your majesty
approves, and will reimburse the expenses incurred ; there are
sixty or seventy sailors and the expense will be about twenty
Wolsey said that, no matter what came of the negotiations for
peace or truce, Henry intended to finish with the Scots. He
means to begin war this spring and, as soon as there is enough
green fodder to supply the army's horses, to invade Scotland
with thirty thousand men by land under the command of
Lord Talbot, and ten thousand by sea, and to make such war
upon the Scots that, when the time comes, Henry can safely
give his whole mind to the invasion of France.
The next day, Sunday, we returned to court as had been
arranged, so that Lachaulx might take his leave of Henry, and
we might learn what had been gathered from the French ambassador,
who, we had been told, had received letters from Francis.
As soon as we arrived, immediately after mass, we learned from
the king himself that Francis' letter had been full of threats and
complaints against the king of England. It set forth that the
English ships now in the Channel were despoiling French ships
and even hanging about outside French ports waiting for prizes
to come out. Of this Francis spoke bitterly, as your majesty
may see by the enclosed copy of his letter to the French ambassador.
Henry replied that if the French warships were not first
withdrawn from the Channel, and restitution made for their
depredations, he would rather increase the number of his ships
than diminish them, and that if Francis persisted in increasing his
navy in the Channel, the full strength of both fleets would soon
confront each other. Besides giving us copies of the instructions
to the French ambassador, Wolsey also showed us a letter he had
written to Louise of Savoy, as credence for Henry's ambassador
resident in France, in which credence he declared that if Francis
refused to accept a truce or to follow the cardinal's advice, the
friendship between the kings of England and France could not
be preserved. A copy of this letter is promised us, and we shall
forward it. Wolsey also showed us the instructions for the
English ambassador who is to go to the pope, which conformed to
those given Lachaulx, with certain additions. We shall send
them to your majesty as soon as possible, and I, Lachaulx, beg
that you will let me know as soon as possible whether they have
your entire approval, especially as concerns the proposed treaty.
After dinner we had a long interview with Henry in the presence
of the cardinal, during which we spoke of matters which we had
first discussed with Wolsey, and Henry, himself, repeated very
cordially what Wolsey had already told us. One thing he said is
worth repeating, namely, that though he earnestly desired to
see a truce between you and Francis, nevertheless he did not
intend to agree to any truce or peace prejudicial to your honour,
but would rather expose himself to any danger. This seems
important because Henry seemed to us to be speaking quite
sincerely and wholeheartedly. He also said he hoped to compel
the king of France to accept a truce, even if it had to be for two
years, and, if that was not possible, he would discuss peace ;
failing either, he would proceed to declare war, although it made
him somewhat anxious to see that neither your majesty nor he,
himself, was as well prepared for war as one ought to be against
the French. He also told us that the French had been made very
suspicious by English threats, particularly on account of the
military preparations against the Scots, whom the king of France
counts as Frenchmen, holding any war against them a war
against himself, and on account of the close relations between
Henry and your majesty. Henry also repeated Wolsey's opinions
about your majesty's plans for Spain and Italy, adding that if
your men-at-arms could not reach Naples in safety, they might
throw themselves into Rome. He said he was obliged to confess
that all his ships would not be ready for at least a month. Those,
however, which are necessary for your safe passage from Calais
to England, would, he said, be ready in fifteen or twenty days,
and he asked your majesty to give him as much notice as possible
of the time you wished to cross so that everything should be
ready. He said that, as soon as the Spanish fleet reached
Falmouth, he would order all his ships to join them and that if,
before that time, your majesty wished to cross the Channel, he,
himself, would have at sea not only enough ships to safeguard
your crossing, but also enough to conduct the Flanders squadron
to Falmouth, where all his own navy and both your majesty's
fleets could unite to conduct you safely to Spain. Henry intends
to send a man at once to learn the disposition of your ships, and
the state of their preparations. He is still convinced that it
would be wiser for you to sail from Southampton, but in view of
what you have written, he will offer no further persuasions on
this point. He said that not only was he eager to receive you
here in England, but that he wished his daughter was ready to
give your majesty in marriage. Wolsey said that your majesty
should see her, and judge not only of her beauty but of her nobility.
Thereupon I, Lachaulx, begged Henry's leave to depart, which
he granted with many affectionate words for your majesty, and
final messages to the pope, and dismissed us to the queen. We
found Catherine with the Princess Mary, who seems to me,
Lachaulx, beautiful and prudent far beyond her age. The
princess danced for us and played for us on musical instruments,
and I do not think that any child of her age could equal her either
in skill in music, or in grace and beauty. After we left the
queen, we arranged with Wolsey that we should visit him after
dinner on Tuesday, at which time final arrangements for Lachaulx's
departure will be made, and a final decision taken on the matters
in your majesty's letters. It seemed wisest to us to say nothing
of what your majesty wrote on March 3rd about Henry's complaints
of some days before, or about the Lady Margaret's letters,
since the king and the cardinal are now fully satisfied on these
points, and Wolsey seems to us thoroughly content with your
majesty, and with the duchess whom he venerates above all
ladies. We hope, however, that we have fully carried out the
intention of your letters of the 27th of February and the 3rd of
London, 11 March, 1522.
Contemporary decipher. Latin. pp. 16.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien P. A.
Lachaulx to Charles V.
I have received yours of March 9th with the enclosures
mentioned, by means of which, and by the copy of the answer sent
to the viceroys of Castile, I shall be better instructed for your
service. When I reach the pope I shall tell him as best I can of
all the matters you have charged me with, without forgetting the
affair of the bishop of Palencia or that of the lord chancellor's
brother. I did not, however, receive a copy of the whole answer
to the viceroys, but only of one article of what you wrote to the
Constable, and certain articles written to the (commendador major)
and the licentiate Zapata. I have also had a copy of another
letter of yours to the viceroys carried by a courier who passed
through this city yesterday, expressing your wish that the archbishop
of Sens (fn. 1) should not be allowed to enter your kingdoms.
I think you may remember, sire, that there was considerable
discussion of this point and the opinion was expressed, by the
bishop of Palencia among others, that such a course might turn
out badly, and it was decided to give me a letter saying that
notwithstanding what you might have written your viceroys, you
wished the ambassadors of the king of France to be permitted to
have access to the pope on such and such conditions to be set
forth in the letter, and you also gave me two similar letters
addressed to your viceroys in Aragon and in Catalonia. Now,
since this new letter is of a date subsequent to mine, I do not
know what I am expected to do, and beg you to inform me of
your pleasure at once, since the case is urgent. As was said when
this matter was discussed in council, the king of France may have
reason to complain that you refuse him access to His Holiness,
and take the occasion to attempt to have another pope elected,
in which certain other Christian powers may be inclined to
I would not have believed that persons who were ambitious of
being pope and who, I suspect, still have some hopes in that
direction, could have brought themselves to speak other than the
truth. I shall follow my usual habit toward His Holiness, that is
to say, I shall tell him the truth, and I hope that, both on account
of the love which he has always borne you and the things that I
shall tell him, he will be better informed than he is now.
When I get to Portugal I shall charge myself with everything
contained in your letters, but it would be helpful if you would
write two words in your own hand, dated Feb. 12th, the date of
my departure, which would serve me as further credentials with
The English ambassador who is going with me has, as I have
seen, been given a complete copy of the treaty of Bruges to show
to His Holiness. Possibly it would be better were His Holiness
to be advised of this treaty by you. On this point please write
me your pleasure. I have also received letters you have written
in favour of the bishop of Geneva and shall do my best in presenting
Captain Guiod, who accompanied me from Brussels, has proved
very serviceable and I hope you will remember to reward him.
I have written very little about the reception accorded us by the
king, the queen, and the cardinal, but Anthoine, your usher, saw
most of the festivities and can recount them to you. I am sending
Lalemand the letters Wolsey wrote to you, and the other letters
and enclosures mentioned in the joint ambassadorial letter. The
articles for the treaty with the pope ought to be closely scrutinized.
You will have to forgive me if I write two words as a father.
I beg you to instruct your ambassadors here that, should a truce
or peace be concluded, they will put in a word for the return of the
nephew of M. LeGrant, and of my two sons, who have been held
prisoner without reason, as your majesty knows.
The king of England has given me a letter addressed to the
queen of Hungary, in reply to the one I brought him, but I have
had no reply as yet to the one I gave Queen Catherine.
London, 13 March, 1522.
Signed, Lachaulx. French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien P. A.
Lachaulx to Charles V.
I write this, sire, only to thank you for the honour you have done
me in writing me with your own hand, and for your words in
appreciation of my services. Thank you, also, for ordering that
the bishop of Palencia, Lalemand, and Cobos keep me advised of
events as they have hitherto done.
You will have learned from our joint letter the issue of affairs
here, which I could wish more according to your desire. I have
heard you, in the past, praise two of your ambassadors, Don John
Manuel and the bishop who is here, and not without reason, for
without doubt they are good, wise and loyal servants. As I
have seen, if it were not for his devotion to your service, this
bishop could hardly bear the pain and illness he is suffering, for
there is hardly a day in which he does not suffer from the gravel
and pass some stone. He lives in hope that, as you have promised
him, you will take him with you to Spain where he hopes to
recover his health, and certainly, sire, you would do well not to
lose such a servant. Would God you had many of them.
When we were last with Wolsey, after he told us the things
written in our joint letter, the cardinal drew me apart and said
that he praised God that he now saw that for which he had
laboured so long, i.e., a true and perfect friendship between you
and the king, his master, and that now he would not rest until
you had achieved all that you ought to have as emperor. He
said many fine things on this subject, and begged me to write you
assuring you that, except for Henry himself, there was no one
more earnest in your service than he, and that he put his person
and goods entirely at your disposal. I think, sire, that you would
do well to write him in friendly fashion from time to time and to
send him frequent cordial messages by your ambassadors, since,
in my opinion, you will in that way have from him and his master
the greater part of what you wish. As I have said before, however,
you must not place too much confidence in the above, but keep a
close watch on your affairs. When we took leave of him, Wolsey
said to me that he would send me the letters from the king and
from him to you, and also the cipher. If he does not send them all,
this evening, I shall ask the bishop to forward them to you. I wish
to thank you for the handsome present which Henry gave me
through the cardinal on my departure. He then led me into a
room where there were displayed, on a buffet, about eighty pieces
of plate, most of them beautifully gilt, which he presented to me.
Returning to the letter that you wrote me, I find the things told
His Holiness very strange, and find it even more strange that he
should believe any of them. It is true that when we were
ambassadors together in Castile, before he was named cardinal,
he often complained to me of M. le Marquis, whom you had stirred
up to act in his favour, and after he had been made cardinal he
was unwilling to acknowledge this help. But I never saw him
bear other than good will toward you, and I expect to find him
in the same mind still. Please trust me to remove from his
mind all the false ideas which people have given him, as soon as
I have crossed the sea, after which I promise you, sire, that for
all my fifty-six years I shall ride post until I reach him. Really
I hope that he will have no trust in the French, and that what
has been written him will refresh his memory of the past. Long
as I have known him I have never known him to be inclined in that
The bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo might easily have said less than
he did, and if he was charged with so much, his charge was
unreasonable, for it is for you alone to dispose of your person in
this world according to God's will, but you know very well, as
everyone does, what the wish of all Castile is in this affair. (fn. 2) When
I reach the queen, who still has not deserved to lose by her
conduct toward the bishop the title of your best sister, I shall
try to find out what all this is about, and conduct myself according
to your orders. I have received a copy of the letter which
your sister wrote you, and I have your answer which I shall use
as you have ordered. She will be very glad of your decision to
leave the Netherlands, of which I suppose she will have learned
from the licentiate Maldonado before I see her.
I am very pleased, sire, with the assurances you were kind
enough to give me about your visit here, which I find better than
any other. You write to me in a way that would spoil a younger
man completely, but I confess that the greatest pleasure I have
now is to have some part in your good grace. Leaving, then,
any discussion of my greatness aside for another time, I wish to
advise you that, by what I have seen here, Roboan has a sect here
as great as Luther had at Worms (sic). If you had not so often
scolded me for writing my letters over again when there was little
need, I should have re-written this one on account of the frequent
blots which you must excuse since it is on account of you that I
fail thus in my duty.
Thank you for speaking kindly to Guilford. You will be the
better served thereby. Please do as much for the ambassador
Wingfield, for on my faith, his brother has served you as well as
possible, and has not misused your favour. The ambassador
did not omit to write about your jeu de cannes and how you made
him sit down at table with you. Such gracious little acts will win
you many good servants.
It occurs to me that the pope or the queen of Portugal may
say something to me which it were better that only such persons
as you select should know. Therefore, since I have only such
ciphers as are regularly used by the secretaries of your council, it
seems to me that there is no harm in my sending you one which
I made myself, and I beg that you will not consider this presumption
on my part.
This evening I was brought a letter which was said to be in
Henry's hand, for you. I showed it to the bishop of Badajoz,
and when he saw that it had no superscription he asked Wolsey
about it. Wolsey said he never put any superscription on letters
written to you in the king's own hand. The cipher from Wolsey
is herewith enclosed.
I have with me a clerk who has served me for six years and
whom, with your permission, I should like to use to encipher and
decipher correspondence, a task which I find very difficult. I shall
not, however, make use of him without your permission.
Anthoine, who has acted as courier for you to the English court,
has come with me this far. I have found him wise and diligent
and I think you will be well served by him in your chamber if
you have a place for him. He has never spoken to me on this
subject, nor I to him, but I do my duty to you in saying that he
seems to me better fitted for that place than most.
London, 13 March, 1522.
Signed, Lachaulx. French. pp. 6.
H. H. u. St. A.
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Abt. B. f. 4.
Wolsey to Charles V.
I have received the letters it pleased you to write me, by
Lachaulx, and, as you asked, presented him to the king, my
master. I have no doubt that you will be well content with
Lachaulx's report of the sincere and loyal affection which my
king bears toward you. For my part I shall do everything in my
power to maintain and increase your friendship, and to advance
your affairs speedily against the common enemies of my master
and you. In this service I shall not spare my body, my goods or
my blood, as God knows.
From my palace of Westminster, 13 March.
Signed, Thomas, Cardinal of York. French.
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Wolsey to Charles V.
Having discussed with your councillor, Lachaulx, and your
other ambassadors what they had to tell me of your affairs, I can
think of nothing more necessary for your safe and honourable
voyage to Spain, for the security of the Low Countries in your
absence, and for the preparations against France which you expect
to make in Spain, than a truce or armistice between you and
France. I have drawn up two plans, one for a general truce,
everything to remain as it now is, the other excluding only the
duchy of Milan. I shall do my best to advance a truce according
to one of these sets of terms, and I am now writing to the
English ambassador in France, from whom I hope to have a
favourable reply. Nevertheless, if King Francis makes difficulties
about a truce and prefers a treaty of peace and friendship, it
seems to me, considering the present state of your affairs, that
some sort of treaty should be arranged without, however, impairing
the important points of the treaty of Bruges. I have told
the ambassadors of my opinion, which I beg you to take in good
part, as proceeding from my zeal and devotion for your affairs.
From my palace at Westminster, 13 March.
Signed, Thomas, Cardinal of York. French. pp. 2.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
After we had written your majesty on March 11th, we dined
with Wolsey as we had been invited to do. He showed us at once
the instructions for the English ambassador going to the pope,
with which we were much pleased, for they seem to be well calculated
to advance your majesty's affairs. The instructions
relating to Portugal, which he also showed us, were likewise satisfactory.
We hope to send copies in the next post, and also
copies of the terms of the league to be concluded with the pope,
and of Francis' letters to his ambassadors here.
After dinner we discussed the negotiations for the truce, in
which Wolsey intends to proceed zealously, as we have written.
He showed us the new instructions for the English ambassador
in France, a copy of which has already been sent you. He expects
an answer in twelve or fifteen days. If Francis then refuses
honourable conditions, Henry will at once send him letters
requiring and admonishing him to desist from hostilities and to
make reparations. If the French refuse this, Henry intends to
recall his ambassador at once and declare war unless, by that
time, war has already been declared on account of your majesty's
arrival in England, or unless they have shown willingness to
accept a truce, general except for Milan. On this point we begged
the cardinal to consider your majesty's interests, which we did
so that he might think this proposal was his own rather than
Wolsey told us that all the English ships in Bordeaux, with all
the merchants and sailors and English goods, had been arrested
by the French king, and that none of them would be permitted
to return to England unless the ship taken by the English some
days ago from French subjects, was returned. Wolsey takes this
as an open breach of relations. He intends to treat all French
subjects in England in the same manner, unless the English in
Bordeaux are released, and reparation made.
Wolsey again asked us to ask your majesty to let him know
when you would be ready to cross the Channel, so that the
English preparations could be completed without unnecessary
expense. If your majesty is unable to designate the precise day,
Wolsey asks that at least you will indicate a time within fifteen
days of which, more or less, you will be ready. In any event,
provisions are being speedily collected for the fleet, for 5,000 men
for three months here in London, and for the same number also
for three months at Southampton. Wolsey still thinks that it
would be far better for your majesty to sail from Southampton
than from Falmouth, but he defers to your majesty's opinion.
Wolsey said he hoped that before you left the Netherlands you
would hear of the conclusion of the truce, but that, in any event,
you would not cut short your stay in England, for which so many
preparations have been made. We digressed at this point to
speak of entertainment to be offered you in England, and of the
expenses for clothes, etc. which the nobles and gentlemen who
accompanied you would be put to. Wolsey said some people
thought that excessive expenditures on both sides should be
strictly limited, but that, as far as the king of England was concerned,
he could not agree, and he thought that Henry should
celebrate the arrival of so great a friend with as great magnificence
as he used in other festivals. Indeed, he intended much more
than his customary display, and the people wished to show
openly the joy in their hearts at your majesty's visit, as you will
see. Wolsey said it seemed to him, however, that there was no
occasion for great pomp on your majesty's side, since you ought
to think of yourself as coming home. He explained that the
English people ought to regard your majesty as the heir to the
throne of England, should Henry fail to have a son.
We asked the cardinal whether the French ambassadors had
presented Francis' letters patent to Henry, summoning him for
aid against your majesty. He answered that Henry had refused
to accept the letters, and they had not been presented except
informally, to himself. I, De Mesa, asked Wolsey for a draft of
the letters of provision which should be sent on his behalf, and
it is to be given to me in three or four days. He said to me that
he was not so eager for this, or for anything else, as for the
destruction of the French, toward which he was leading the people
of England by many devices.
We then spoke of the expulsion of the Scots from the Low
Countries, for which Wolsey did not seem so eager as before.
Therefore we did not repeat what your majesty had said about
keeping to the letter of the treaties, but only your gracious words
about being willing, as an act of friendship, to do anything just
and reasonable for the king of England. We were the more
inclined to pass over this point because the French will shortly
be expelled from England and then, as an equivalent, the Scots
may also be expelled. If anything more emphatic is said later
on this point we shall reply as your majesty has directed. I,
Lachaulx, took my leave and am to depart to-morrow for
Plymouth where a ship awaits me.
London, 13 March, 1522.
Signed, De Mesa, Lachaulx, J. de Caestres.
P.S. After we had written this much on the 13th it seemed to
us that I, De Mesa, should see Wolsey again to find out whether
the courier had been sent to France with the letters for Francis.
Wolsey replied that he had been sent after dinner on the 11th.
He told me that the French ambassador had been with him the
day before. He had then told the ambassador that the king of
France gave these negotiations nothing but empty words, both as
regards reparations to English subjects for goods seized by the
French, and as regards the truce for which the king of England
had laboured so hard. The French ambassador was so cast down
that he withdrew to his lodging in tears. Wolsey told me that
he had just treated the Venetian ambassador in a similar manner,
and indeed I saw him coming out looking very gloomy. Wolsey
told me he had just said that the Venetians hatched every war in
Christendom, and that just now their senate was debating
whether to join your majesty, or the Turks, and that if they went
on in this fashion, supporting the enemies of the church and
disturbing Christendom, and did not join themselves to your
majesty, they would make enemies not only of the king of England,
but of the whole world.
I asked Wolsey for a draft of the bond to be executed by your
majesty in return for the loan. He said that he had begun to
draw one up, and it should be given us at once. At this point,
as we had all agreed I should, I broached the subject of the
possibility of omitting the security in jewels, mentioning among
other reasons, the risk of transmission. He said that, whenever
the jewels were to be expected, he would instruct the English
officials in Calais to have several armed ships guard them in
transit. I also asked him for a draft of the grant of his pension
from your majesty, which he promised should be ready at once.
In this connection he showed me two similar grants from the king
of France, one in recompense for the bishopric of Tournai, and
the other for two abbeys which Wolsey used to have near that
town. One of them was for 12,000 francs, the other for 8,000.
We hope to send copies. One can calculate Wolsey's pensions,
then, from the French, and also the thousand angels from your
majesty, as amounting to 11,500 crowns, to which should be
added his pensions on Palencia and Badajoz from your majesty,
which would make 16,000 crowns and more. All this, however,
Wolsey remits to your majesty's pleasure, and we hope that for
12,000 crowns a year he will not only be pleased with your majesty,
but willing to forgo his pensions on Palencia and Badajoz.
I, De Mesa, am writing at length to Lalemand about all this.
Wolsey said that although preparations were going on with
the greatest diligence for your majesty's reception, he wished to
have a month's notice instead of fifteen days, as has been said
before, so your majesty should notify Wolsey promptly if you
wish everything to be ready. We also, by common agreement,
asked Wolsey for a prorogation of the treaty about the fisheries,
but he put that off until the business of the truce should be
settled. Should it succeed, he said, it would render the other
treaty unnecessary. Should it not, he hoped that we should all
go fishing for Frenchmen. We also urged Lady Margaret's
Burgundian affair, about which the cardinal has not only written
to France, as your majesty may see by the enclosed copy, but
also expostulated vigorously with the French ambassadors.
At this writing I, Lachaulx, am leaving London in fine and
London, 15 March.
Contemporary decipher. Latin. pp. 7.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
You will already have learned, from our letters, our decisions
on all the points about which you have written. Nevertheless,
your efforts, both to negotiate a truce and to arrange for a loan, are
so necessary to the success of our affairs, that we are writing you
again to urge you to be diligent and work by all means for a peace
or a truce.
You will ask at once for a draft of the bond that we are to execute
for the 100,000 crowns, and try also to arrange matters so that
we shall not have to pledge jewels, but that the English will be
content with the bond. This would be a real act of friendship
on their part, and would avoid the inconvenience and risk of sending
the jewels. Do not, however, let a refusal on this point interfere
with the granting of the loan. Do your best to arrange for
another 100,000 crowns to be lent us when we get to England.
We have made further inquiries as to the cause for Henry's
complaint that we used threatening words to his ambassadors.
We find that no threats were used, but only that his ambassadors
wrote that they had been informed, as a matter of friendship, of the
very advantageous offers made us by the French, and been further
advised that, if Henry and Wolsey could not arrange an honourable
truce, and would not grant us further assistance, we could not
much longer support the expense of the war, and feared that we
should be constrained to find some other solution of our difficulties.
In this frank communication from one friend to another
there was no intention of suggesting a threat. It is, as you know,
exactly what we told Sir Richard Wingfield, what we have often
written to you, and what we included in the instructions given
to Lachaulx. We wish to make this clear now, so that neither
you nor others may think that we have ever said anything else,
or have in any way altered our intentions, for we intend in everything
to remain constant to what we have promised.
Apparently the letter which Madame Margaret wrote to Wolsey
has been the immediate occasion of all this fuss. We honour our
lady aunt as if she were our own mother, and we are sure of her
loyalty, good faith and affection for the king our uncle. On
inquiry, we find that her letter contained the same words that
we have mentioned above as spoken to the English ambassadors
and written to you. That was all she said, and there was no
reason to take it amiss.
We are sending you as usual our latest reports from Italy and
Contemporary draft in a secretary's hand. French. pp. 3.
H. H. u. St. A.
England. f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of March 11th, and are thoroughly
satisfied with your report.
We have read what Lachaulx had to say about the matters
with which we entrusted him for negotiation in Spain, and we
have examined the instructions given to the English ambassador,
both for Portugal and for the pope, and we find them quite
satisfactory. We are confident that you, Sieur de Lachaulx, will
manage these affairs with your customary dexterity in accordance
with our instructions. We are willing to leave details to your
discretion. Should you already have left London, your colleagues
will forward to you the packet herewith enclosed. Should you
have sailed, they will see that it is sent by the first ship to Spain.
We are entirely satisfied with your report of what Wolsey said
about the presentation of letters patent by the king of France,
and with his answer to Poillot. We are equally pleased with
what Wolsey wrote to Louise of Savoy, and with Henry's intention
to break off relations with France unless he gets a favourable
As to the loan, we hope that when we reach England, and the
king and the cardinal thoroughly understand our position, they
will aid us all they can ; therefore, do not press them further for
an increase in the amount. Wolsey's plans for the transmission
of the 100,000 crowns seem wise, and we should be glad to follow
them were it not that we are leaving so soon. As it is, ask Wolsey
to keep the 100,000 crowns until we reach England, which will be
the safest time of all to pay them over. What you said to
Wolsey about peace in default of truce, was well thought of, and,
if truce seems unlikely, you should persevere in negotiations for
peace, for all delay is dangerous, and if the French insist on a
peace rather than a truce, we shall not refuse it. Tell Wolsey
that we are eager to do anything to please him, not only in the
matter of the hundred gunners, but in much greater things. We
are afraid, however, that it will be difficult to raise so large a
number of really good gunners, since most of them are already
enlisted in our service for the voyage, and we expect to take them
with us into Spain. But if Wolsey wishes to send an agent here
to recruit them, we shall do everything we can to help him, both
here and in Germany. We are satisfied that Juan de Barzia is
acting in our interest [in the matter of the Spanish sailors] and
he shall be reimbursed.
Francis' threatening and complaining letter to Henry, and the
pointless letter which Louise of Savoy wrote Wolsey, particularly
the remark that the conduct of the duke of Albany does not
violate the oath of the king of France because of previous violations
of the treaties by English subjects, ought to be sufficient to
show that the French hold their treaties with Henry already
broken, and that he should now distrust them thoroughly.
Assure Henry that he has our complete confidence as mediator
with the French and that we know the love and sincerity with
which he and Wolsey are acting toward us. They may be assured
that they will find corresponding actions on our side.
You may also tell them that ships ought to be ready at Calais
for our crossing in fifteen or twenty days, and the king's great
ships should be at sea to safeguard our passage. Please see that
this is done, and, although our departure is so close at hand,
continue to carry out your ordinary negotiations, see Wolsey
frequently, and write to us at least twice a week. You have not
yet replied to what we wrote about the Netherland fisheries.
Write fully on this point in your next, whether or not the final
decision has been postponed, until we know about the truce.
Thomas Spinelly has said to Madame that we are supposed to
provide hulks for the voyage. Find out exactly what ships the
English will have at Calais to transport us to England, so that we
may be able to supply any deficiency. Also we wish to be constantly
informed of Scottish affairs, since we consider that anything
that touches the king, our uncle, touches us as well.
Brussels, 19 March, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 5.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We have received yours of the 13th and 15th of March. Your
reports, and the copies of the instructions of the English ambassador
to the pope, of the terms for the treaty with the pope, and
the instructions to the English ambassador in France are all very
satisfactory. It is pleasant to learn that Henry and Wolsey show
a frank and friendly disposition, and you may assure them that
they will find the like on our part.
You have done well to arrange that Wolsey should propose the
exclusion of Milan from the general truce as if it came from
himself. By this time, you have already had our letters setting
the date for our crossing, as Wolsey asked us to do. We shall
hold to it as closely as possible. We note that Wolsey still thinks
we should sail from Southampton. We shall be glad to discuss
this with him in England. It would indeed be pleasant if truce
or peace could be concluded before we leave the Netherlands, as
Wolsey says, but we do not wish to tarry here until an unfavourable
season for sailing, when there are many calms, and this is
another reason for hastening the conclusion of the truce. We are
rather of the opinion that no great display or pomp should attend
our visit to England, and for our part intend to use none. We
would rather go privately to visit the king, our uncle, as if to our
own house, and desire friendship and familiarity rather than great
pomp, for the money could be better spent for other objects.
Tell Wolsey our opinion, so that he may proceed as he thinks
best. We are pleased with Henry's reply to the French ambassador.
Francis had no right to ask for aid under the treaty,
since we were the first to be invaded, and the first to present
letters patent. You have managed things well about the expulsion
of the Scots. We are glad to have a draft of the bond for
the loan although, as we wrote you, we are putting off the rest
of that negotiation until we reach England.
You did well to forward the necessary papers about Wolsey's
pension, and we shall try to see that he is satisfied. We shall
also take care of the matter that Lalemand has referred to us
about the pension on Badajoz, for we know you, bishop of
Badajoz, to be a true Christian and our true and loyal servant.
We shall provide a man to take your place in England, as you
write, and would be glad of your advice as to the person to be
Thank Wolsey for what he said to the ambassadors of France
and Venice, and ask him to continue in this fashion so that
the Venetians, and the Swiss as well, may perceive our friendship,
and the slightness of the understanding between England and
In communicating these letters, as is your custom, to Henry
and Wolsey, you will add on our part whatever good words you
think conducive to the preservation of our friendship.
We are sending you a packet containing our reply to Lachaulx,
which we hope may reach him before he sails. Please forward it
with diligence. We are also sending you the latest news of
Brussels, 20 March, 1522.
Draft in a contemporary hand. French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 2.
Charles V to Wolsey.
I have received two letters from you dated March 13th, and
by these and by report of the Sieur de Lachaulx and my other
ambassadors, I have learned of the great pains and labour that
you are taking in my affairs, and the sincere and cordial affection
you bear me. I thank you, and I am assured by my experience of
your integrity and virtue that, wherever you are, the common
affairs of the king, my uncle, and myself will prosper and our
friendship increase. Therefore, my good friend, knowing your
goodness and prudence, so that I hold you for my first, chief and
most faithful councillor, I need say no more than to beg you to
continue as you have begun, and to repeat that my complete
trust and hope are in you, as I have written to my ambassadors
more at length, whom you may believe as myself until I arrive,
when I shall say more. Always your good friend, etc.
Brussels, 20 March, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French.