H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
We wrote last on March 15th, and have since received your
majesty's letters of March 10th and 15th. As soon as we received
the letters of the 10th, we went to Wolsey who, we found, had
that day been stricken with tertian fever, and had taken to his
bed, so that we could not discuss anything with him. We did
not see him during the three following days, although we constantly
solicited an interview. On the second day following we
decided that, since it was most important that the cardinal should
know the time of your majesty's arrival in England, we should
write him, telling him that you would be in Calais on April 10th,
and that, if we got no reply, we should go directly to Henry.
When Wolsey received our letters, notwithstanding his infirmity,
he gave us an appointment for March 20th, on which day after
dinner we saw him and laid before him the contents of your
majesty's letters of the 10th. He said that he could not make a
decisive answer at once because of his illness, and asked us to
dine with him on March 23rd, at which time he would have an
answer prepared on all points. He did reply in part during the
interview, asking us not to take what he said as final. Nevertheless,
we think we ought to write you now to send you the draft
of the bond for the loan, to inform you that the money is in
London awaiting your majesty's commissioner, and to send you
the papers for Wolsey's pension about which I, De Mesa, am
writing more at length to Master Jehan Lalemand, from whom
your majesty may learn more of this business. Also we thought
we ought to let your majesty know what we had learned from the
cardinal as nearly as possible in his own words.
Of the announcement of your majesty's arrival, Wolsey said
he was surprised the time was so short, and that the whole
English fleet would hardly be ready by April 10th. After a little
thought he added, "Just the same, we shall be able to hold the
Channel, and safeguard the emperor's crossing to England, and
although the entire fleet will not be ready, we shall have enough
ships at sea for this purpose, for we shall put such diligence into
our preparations that the navy at sea will be strong enough to
defeat the whole French fleet. The emperor's person is as dear
to us as that of our own king, and we shall keep it as safe, which
we can do the more easily since the French fleet will not be ready
to put to sea for three months. There is no doubt, therefore,
that we shall have enough armed ships to convey the emperor in
safety, and we shall provide others for his baggage and household.
We shall undertake the whole expense of this since his majesty
asks it, and it is a small thing, but we shall not be able to provide
for the transport of the horses. Therefore we must ask for some
of those ships of Flanders called hoys ("quas hoias vocant") for
the horses, since these ships are much more commodious than
ours. If the emperor will provide transport for the horses, we
will provide for the men. We are all delighted at the emperor's
friendship and confidence, and we shall transport him in perfect
safety. Three or four hours after he reaches Calais and takes ship
there, he shall be in Dover where I shall meet him. I shall
conduct him at once to Henry, at Canterbury, and we shall then
escort him to London where he shall see how delighted our people
will be at his arrival and what a place he holds in English hearts.
"Since his majesty very prudently wishes to keep the time of
his crossing a secret, and to let it appear that he will take ship in
Zeeland, we shall for our part, dissimulate as much as possible
and for that reason it will be better that we should not send to
Calais the persons whom we had decided ought to receive his
majesty there. We had been going to send the archbishop of
Canterbury, the Lord Marquis (fn. 1) and other prelates and nobles,
but, to keep the matter secret, we shall now send only trustworthy
persons who can be of service to his majesty. As to the number
of persons whom he should bring with him, although there is a
great shortage of food here at present, we wish the emperor to
appear to our people not less than Cæsar. It should be enough if
he has with him some 500 nobles and gentlemen with their
servants." (We, the ambassadors, did not question this estimate,
though it hardly seemed likely that your majesty would wish to
bring 500 gentlemen from Flanders since many of your household
would have to be left in those parts.) We are to confer further
about the number of your suite on Sunday.
Wolsey then called the Vice-admiral (fn. 2) . and interrogated
him in English about the disposition of the ships, and whether
they would be ready by April 10th, especially those necessary
for your majesty's crossing. He said they would, and
Wolsey enjoined him to bring on Sunday a list of the ships
nearly ready, that we might choose those on which final preparations
could be hastened, so that they would certainly be able to
put to sea at the appointed time, and your majesty could be
advised concerning them.
This is the substance of all that has been decided so far.
To-morrow, Sunday, when we have seen Wolsey again, and had
his final decisions, we shall write further details. We gave
Wolsey the news we had of Swiss and Italian affairs. He said
he had heard elsewhere that the French and Swiss were being
successful in Italy, but that he had lent it no credence, since the
same news which your majesty wrote had also come to his ears
from other trustworthy sources. He asked for copies of the news
letters, which we gave him.
Lachaulx having departed when your majesty's letters of the
10th and 15th arrived, we sent a courier after him with the
packets addressed to him, and copies of your letters and of all
the news from Italy and Switzerland, including the letters of the
duke and of the city of Milan to your majesty, so that he might
be fully informed and able to inform the pope of all these.
Wolsey told us that immediately after Easter Henry is sending
an army of 16,000 men against the Scots, to burn and ravage, and
to prevent them from sowing their fields. In August he intends
to invade Scotland with 30,000 men by land, and 5,000 by sea ;
Wolsey showed us the writs for the mustering of this army.
There is a rumour current in London, said by many to come
from France, that La Palice and Captain Bayard and ten or
twelve thousand Frenchmen have been killed by your army. (fn. 3)
Whatever the news may be worth, the victory was celebrated here
in England with great alacrity and rejoicing and an extraordinary
amount of noise, as your majesty may learn more at length from
Juan de Barzia.
London, 22 March, 1522.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne, and Jacques de Caestres.
Latin, contemporary decipher. pp. 5.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien D. D.
Abt. B. f. 4.
Henry VIII to Charles V.
On the 20th of March we received your letters dated at Brussels,
10th March. We are very happy to learn of your eagerness to
visit us, and of the diligence with which you are preparing your
voyage to Spain, in the course of which you intend to visit us in
England according to the treaty of Bruges. You therefore ask
us to be ready to guard the Channel and to transport you from
Calais on April 10th.
Although your early arrival in this kingdom is the thing we
desire most, and which will most rejoice all our nobles and
subjects and most advance our common affairs, nevertheless,
greatly to our regret, we cannot be ready on so short notice ;
the town of Calais will not be prepared for your reception, and the
nobles whom we wish to greet you cannot be at hand, because we
have sent them out to view the musters of all our people, and to
put everything in order for the defence of the kingdom, the war
against the Scots, and our great invasion of France. Should we
recall them now, our common affairs would be impeded, and all
these labours of preparation lost, since no time is so convenient
for them as this present Lenten season.
We were unable to learn in all our conversations with your
ambassadors that you had decided to be with us so shortly, and
we are therefore completely unprepared, since, not having had
the full month's notice agreed on, we have allowed our nobles to
depart, and have not collected sufficient provisions suitable for
Lent. We beg you, therefore, to delay your arrival in Calais till
the 26th of April, the Saturday after Easter, at which time we
shall be ready with ships to guard the Channel and to convoy you
and your suite. We shall then be happy to welcome you in
England as our well-loved son should be. By this time we may
also have learned what the French king intends about a truce,
information which would be very useful for many reasons. All
this will be explained to you more at length by our ambassadors
for whom we beg credence.
Whitehall, 23 March, 1522.
Signed, Henry ; countersigned, Meautis. French. pp. 3.
Calendared in L. & P. III, 908 from a draft in Ruthal's hand in the
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
We wrote last on March 22nd, inclosing drafts of the bonds for
the loan and for Wolsey's pension, and reporting Wolsey's
tentative reply to the principal points in your majesty's letters.
As had been arranged, we dined with Wolsey on the 23rd, having
just received your majesty's letters of the 19th.
When we came in, Wolsey immediately showed us a draft of a
letter which the king of England is writing to your majesty in
reply to yours of the 15th, excusing himself for many reasons for
being unable to receive your majesty in his kingdom before the
16th of April. In discussing this letter, we noticed among other
things, that Henry had said he could not be ready on April 10th,
since he had not been able to learn that your majesty would be
here before Easter. It seemed to us that this point touched our
conduct of the negotiations, and we wished to have the clause
removed, although we felt certain that, whatever was written,
your majesty would have no doubt of our faithful services.
During a considerable discussion, we urged that for the sake of
the plain truth it should not be said we had reported that your
majesty would not be here before Easter, but merely that Henry
had been unable to learn whether you would be here before
Easter or not, and that he had asked for a month's notice of your
departure, which we had promised. On this understanding,
Wolsey, to avoid unnecessary expense, had postponed certain
preparations until after Lent, so that for this and many other
reasons, the English preparations were not quite complete.
After dinner Wolsey told us he had just had letters from
Wingfield and Thomas Spinelly, who wrote that your majesty
intended to keep Easter in Bruges and would be in Calais on the
26th or 27th of April, of which he was very glad, since the English
could not be ready to receive you on April 10th without considerable
inconvenience. We replied that there was nothing in your
majesty's letters to indicate any change of plans. Wolsey said
he was surprised there should be a discrepancy between our
statement and that of his ambassadors, and that he was inclined
to trust the latter, since the English ambassadors would write
only what had been plainly told them. We insisted, however,
that we had not been charged to speak of any date except April
10th. Wolsey then told us that, some days before, all the
magnates of the kingdom had, by the king's order, gone out
through the various counties to enroll the people, and examine
the arms and all the households in the kingdom, a task of great
importance for future business, which could not be done in time
unless during Lent. The reason was, he said, that immediately
after your majesty's departure from England, Henry intended
to hold parliament, in which he was to ask his subjects for the
subsidies and services necessary for his great affairs, especially
the expedition against the Scots, to be made this summer by land
and sea, the invasion of France, and many other things. If,
before parliament was held, the king did not know the state of
the kingdom, he could not ask for a suitable amount (quantitatem
convenientem a populo), especially since he intended to manage
affairs so as to leave no cause for popular discontent, and even,
as far as possible, to proceed by free and voluntary contributions.
Now, he said, it would be extremely inconvenient for the king's
affairs if the nobles and gentlemen scattered through the kingdom
on his commission, should have to abandon this business and
return to court to welcome your majesty, leaving their tasks
incomplete, since immediately afterwards parliament would
convene, and the war against the Scots, which is to be begun by
Talbot, the Grand Master, with 15,000 or 16,000 men, would,
during the summer, be pressed by Henry in person leading 30,000
men. The success of this campaign is of the greatest importance,
since the Scots will have to be completely defeated in order
that Henry may afterwards turn his entire attention to the
invasion of France. Therefore Wolsey, on Henry's part and his
own, prays your majesty to delay your arrival at Calais until the
26th of April. No unfortunate results, he said, could arise from
so short a delay, and he added that the necessary ships for your
majesty's crossing could not be ready by the 10th, and even if,
by almost impossible diligence, the ships were ready, the provisions
would not be. He also said that neither in Calais nor in
England would the preparations be completed, before the 26th,
to receive your majesty with due honour. The city of London,
which is especially anxious to show its love for your majesty,
needs more time to get ready. Among other reasons for delay,
he urged he had not received your majesty's announcement until
March 20th. That is very true, since for four days we had
besieged his antechamber, and not been able to have an audience
in which we could present your majesty's letter. He also pleaded
the illness, which would prevent him from hastening the preparations
as fast as he would like, and said he hoped your majesty
would take this in good part, and understand that no one was
more desirous of your presence in this kingdom than he. He said
he knew that a person of your majesty's prudence would also
give weight to another reason for delay, which was that the holy
calm of Lent would be unduly disturbed if Henry were obliged to
receive your majesty during that time. We promised to write
all these things to your majesty and deliver your response.
After this the cardinal outlined to us the plans for your majesty's
crossing, and for your reception in England, and for the whole
time of your stay here : ten warships (names and descriptions
of which will be brought by the present courier) manned by 1,400
men, will sail from the Thames on April 12th, and go up and down
the Channel, sweeping it and the adjacent sea clean of all enemies,
as far as the French coast. Since the admiral and the vice-admiral
do not wish many ships to show themselves off French
ports, spies will be sent by land to ascertain the extent of the
French preparations. Besides the navy, a sufficient number of
ships will be provided to transport your majesty's household and
baggage and your entire train. These ships will be sufficient for a
thousand persons. For the horses, the number of which the
cardinal estimates at 500, without any intention of limiting your
majesty to that number, although that number seems to him
sufficient, your majesty is to provide some of those Flemish ships
called 'huas.' When we expressed some doubts as to the safety
of those ships on their way to Calais, the cardinal said that if they
did not sail before the 14th or 15th of April they would be quite
safe and could proceed to Calais, confident that the English
warships had command of the sea. Should your majesty arrive
in Calais at any time after Easter, all the transport will be in
readiness, and if winds are propitious you may cross on Saturday
or wait, if you prefer, until Monday. By that time the entire
English fleet will be between the French and the line of your
crossing to Dover, ready to meet any attack, so that your
majesty may proceed safely to Dover or, if necessary, return to
Calais. It is intended, however, so to dispose the English fleet
that all the ships now in France will be unable to attack your
majesty. As soon as you have crossed, the English fleet
will go to Zeeland to convoy your fleet to Falmouth, being
joined, as they return through the Channel, by the other great
ships of the king of England now in the Thames, which will
be ready by that time. The combined fleet will then proceed to
Falmouth, where they hope to effect a junction with your majesty's
fleet from Spain. This is the plan of the cardinal and of the
English council for safeguarding the Channel. When we observed
that 1,400 fighting men was not a large number to keep the
Channel, Wolsey replied that according to the report of his spies,
a much smaller number would suffice.
Your majesty will be received at Dover by the cardinal, who
will be there to await you on Friday or Saturday, and you and
your suite will be lodged in the castle as you were before. (fn. 4) If you
prefer, you may wait there the following day while the horses
are disembarked, a whole day's work, or you may go at
once to Canterbury where Henry will meet you ; thereafter
he will bear you company constantly until you say good-bye to
each other, and dine with you daily unless you prefer to dine
alone. You will then be conducted to Greenwich, to the royal
palace where Henry lives most of the time and where he was
born, and thence to London where both your majesties are to be
welcomed. Thereafter you will go to the queen's palace at
Richmond, and then to that of the cardinal, called Hampton
Court. From there to Windsor, where the Order of the Garter
was founded, and so on to a seaport. On this point, Wolsey
added that Henry would be grateful if you would say good-bye
to him before you reached Falmouth, since he would then be able
to return in time to open parliament on the date set.
It is the thought of the king and the cardinal that your majesty
and all those who customarily attend you when you are at
Brussels, shall live, all the time you are in England, at Henry's
expense, as his guests. The other nobles and gentlemen who
accompany your majesty may buy what they need, and Wolsey
will see that there is no lack of necessary provisions or of wagons
and horses for those who need them.
We have thought it best to advise your majesty of all these
details, and we must transmit also two requests of Wolsey's :
first, that your majesty will be good enough to send him a list of
all the persons who will accompany you to England, their stations
and dignities, and the number of their servants, so that everything
necessary may be provided to receive them ; second, that
your majesty will let him know as soon as possible when you will
make the crossing. It seems to me there is not much question
on this point, since they have said they will not be able to receive
you before the 26th of April. As another argument for the delay,
Wolsey said that perhaps by that time something would be known
about the truce, which it would be better to have settled before
your arrival. You will doubtless be acquainted with all these
points by the English ambassadors at your court.
To reply to your majesty's letters of the 10th and 15th. As to
the money for the loan, Wolsey said it is ready in London and at
your majesty's disposal. If you wish it to be kept here, it will
be ready promptly on your arrival.
We told Wolsey that if he would send his own agents into
Flanders or Germany to recruit the engineers or master gunners
which he desired, your majesty would give them every assistance.
He replied in about these words : "We had certainly hoped to
have another sort of response in this matter. If we had wished
to hire these men ourselves, there would have been no reason to
trouble the emperor about it. We could raise a thousand if we
needed them, but we had thought that the emperor would be
glad to oblige the king in so small a matter by sending him the
men." We replied that not every prince could raise such troops,
and that, if your answer was unsatisfactory, the fault was ours,
since we had not understood nor written that the king of England
wished to have these men at the emperor's expense, and not at
his own. Wolsey replied, "Even if we had said nothing of the
sort the emperor should have offered to provide the men, or if
not as many, at least half of them, or some part of them, and if
the very best men of such kind could not be found, at least
mediocre ones, and he might send them to us, paid for at least a
month or two, after which we would not dismiss them to beg, or
to depart. We are paying 3,000 infantry for the emperor, and
doing everything possible for him ; it would be pleasant to see
some signs of gratitude on his part, and the sending of these men
would more rejoice us than a greater thing." We thought your
majesty ought to know about this.
We told Wolsey that you had specially instructed us to convey
your warmest thanks to Henry for his promise not to arrange a
truce prejudicial to your honour. Wolsey was pleased and said
that Henry was as firm in that intention as he was himself. We
also said that if the French were more inclined to a peace than a
truce, your majesty would not r efuse to make peace. Wolsey
seemed very pleased at this, more openly pleased indeed than we
have ever seen him. He said his heart rejoiced at this prudent
decision, which squared completely with his own intentions, and
for which he would give his very blood if necessary. He said :
"I have never desired anything so much as that the emperor
should have our friendship, for which I am now laying the
foundation. I hope to see his sons before my death. Now if we
can find some good means of getting along with the French, and
dissimulate with them until our friendship is assured forever and
we are well prepared for war, then the emperor and we together
can fall upon the French and wipe them out. Nothing would
please me more. Meanwhile we can continue to draw the French
pensions, and the emperor will not have to pay this large sum.
If things work out that way, I shall be best pleased, and I shall
omit nothing which might lead to it."
We then asked him to hasten these negotiations, since your
majesty could not much longer sustain so great a burden alone,
and would be compelled to rid himself of it by one means or
another. He replied that to win Heaven he could not use more
diligence than he was now employing in this affair ; that he was
hourly expecting a reply from France ; and that, if the French
were not inclined to a truce, he intended himself to propose a peace,
and, if the French were so unreasonable as to refuse both, war
would follow. We, the ambassadors, cannot see how all these
negotiations can come to anything, since the French delay
matters continually, and, on the arrival of your majesty in
England, everything will be cut short by Henry's declaration of
war, unless both parties agree otherwise.
We conveyed to Wolsey your praise of his reply to Poillot,
and our own thanks for speaking so sharply. He replied he would
treat the French ambassador more sharply still, until the French
agreed to a peace or truce. We also conveyed your thanks for
the decision to declare in your favour should the French refuse to
heed his admonition. Wolsey said he was firm in this intention,
and added that, although he would first try peace, if the French
did not accept promptly, Henry intended, on your majesty's
arrival, to fulfil all his promises. Of Louise of Savoy's letter
Wolsey spoke harshly, and said it was clear that the conscience
of the French was hurting them, and that the letter showed they
were the first violators of the treaty.
As to the Hannart affair, Wolsey has not made up his mind.
It seems to him full of suspicious circumstances. He said he
wanted to think it over, and he advised your majesty to keep your
affairs to yourself and to your most secret councillors, and to
exclude all those of whom there can be any suspicion. We have
certainly not got to the bottom of this matter ; if we hear anything
we shall let your majesty know. Secretary Abbatis Wolsey
considers a spy and a worthless person of whom your majesty
We shall do our best to see Wolsey frequently and write your
majesty at least twice a week, but we cannot always do as well
as we would, since the cardinal is always busy, and our own
affairs sometimes compel delay. We have instructed Juan de
Barzia to inform your majesty about the English naval preparations.
He has seen everything, and your majesty has been well
served by him. Lachaulx left March 14th ; he should have
reached his port to-day and if the wind is favourable be now on
board ship. It seems doubtful, therefore, whether your majesty's
last letters will be delivered to him in England. I, De Mesa,
sent my own courier with the letters. May I remind your majesty
that, at the beginning of January, I sent another courier of my
own, an Englishman, with letters of your majesty's to the regents
in Spain, and spent a considerable sum on the ship? I hope your
majesty will be pleased to order that I may be paid what I owe
the merchants on account of these couriers ; I have sent Lalemand
A few points in your letters remain to be replied to in our next.
London, 23 March, 1522.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne and Jacques de Caestres.
Latin, contemporary decipher. pp. 13.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien P. A. 2.
Lachaulx to Charles V.
Before I left London I wrote you, jointly with the Bishop of
Badajoz and M. de Caestres, about everything we had been able
to do in furtherance of our mission, and I have no doubt you have
received the letter by the hand of Anthoine, your usher. Since
then I sent you letters by Don Alonzo de la Cueva, but nothing of
importance. I have made such speed since, that I reached here
yesterday ; the English ambassador who is to go with me will
arrive to-morrow, so he writes, and with him the nuncio who
represented the late pope in England. Had I reached here two
weeks earlier I should still be no farther on my journey, for
yesterday when I got here, one could still see, four leagues from
the haven, the courier whom I sent from London on the 10th of
this month, and with him he who passed through London on the
12th. Twice they have got as far as eight or ten leagues from
port and then the wind failed them. It has been so bad that I
do not know whether they have been able to get farther or not,
but the sailors here think the wind will not change until the new
Yesterday I met two couriers on the road, one a gentleman named
Gracien with messages from the queen of Portugal, your sister,
and the other, one of the archbishop of Tarragona's couriers with
letters for you. They both gave me letters, the queen's being
simply credentials for Gracien, whom I hope your majesty will
please to hear (my letter merely asked me to aid him) and speed
his business, for as I understand from him, the princess has need
of being consoled by you, in whom she places all her hopes.
Gracien told me that I should need a certain power of a kind he
will describe to you ; if that already given me is insufficient I
hope your majesty will send me another and instructions with it.
I know, sire, that your love for the lady concerned is such that
I have no need to beg you to hasten the conclusion of Gracien's
mission. The letter which the archbishop of Tarragona's courier
gave me likewise said only that he was being sent to your majesty
on affairs of importance, and begged me to help him dispatch
I received yesterday two letters from you of the 10th and 15th
of this month, which the bishop of Badajoz forwarded by his own
courier. As for what you have commanded me to ask of the
pope for Wolsey, that lord, on taking leave of me, said that he
would give a memoir of his affairs to the English ambassador, and
asked me to support the ambassador on the part of your majesty.
I replied that he had seen your instructions to me on this point
which I would fulfil. He was quite pleased with this reply, as I
wrote you, and I shall do whatever I can.
It was well done on your part to thank Henry for the cordial
reception he gave me. I wish that my labours and those of your
other ambassadors had been more effectual.
I have received the letter written to Monseigneur, your confessor,
which the Chancellor sent me, and also the one to the
bishop of Palencia. I shall carry them to the pope myself, for
I hope not to be passed by anyone on the road. I suppose that
the bishop will have advised you of what I wrote to the pope
by the two couriers mentioned. His Holiness, according to what
I learned yesterday, has shown great diligence in pressing his
departure from Spain, and if God wills he should be in Rome
shortly, as daily becomes more necessary.
I believe that in your letter of the 9th to your viceroys in
Castile, you asked them to send you a hundred seamen. I said
to the bishop that it would be a good idea to find out whether
you still wanted them, since Juan de Barzia sent you, while I was
in London, that number or more. Please let me know your will
in this matter, for if the sailors that de Barzia sent were kept, it
would be superfluous expense to send others, and, unless your
majesty writes me otherwise, it will be believed that you still want
Plymouth, 24 March, 1522.
Signed, Lachaulx. French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien P. A. 2.
Lachaulx to Charles V.
I wrote you of my arrival here on the 24th. Yesterday evening
the former nuncio and the ambassador arrived. The English
ambassador tells me that, since Adrian is shortly to go to Rome,
he will have to accompany him, and will therefore be unable to
go with me to Portugal. He says that Henry will send someone
in his place, but I have my doubts, since when I talked to Wolsey
shortly after I reached London, he did not seem to think it
important to send anyone to Portugal.
Since I shall need to spend several days with your viceroys in
Castile to discharge your commissions in that quarter, I am
thinking of risking passage on the zabra which brought Juan de
Barzia, if I can do so without displeasing the other ambassadors.
I have spoken of this plan, and I do not think it will be taken amiss.
I told the Englishman that I was charged with a good many of
your affairs and that, if I could reach the pope some days ahead
of him, I could finish with most of them and be ready to discuss
the alliance when he arrives. I did not want him to think that I
intended to take any advantage of his absence. I even offered to
share with him the meager accommodations of the zabra ; he
asked to be allowed to think it over for to-night, but I do not
think he will accept. In this way I should make better speed,
for when I reach Spain I intend to ride post.
Plymouth, 27 March, 1522.
Signed, Lachaulx. French. pp. 2.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgion D. D.
Abt. B. f. 3.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We have had no reply from our last several letters to you.
Since writing we have had news from Jerome Adorno, who is with
the duke of Milan, and also some original letters of the king of
France, intercepted in Italy. We have heard further from our
ambassador in Switzerland, who incloses a copy of the reply made
to the English ambassador. Having been unfurnished with
money, the English ambassador has had no success as you will see.
Communicate all this news as usual to Henry and Wolsey.
You will see that the French king intends to go shortly to
Italy. We have given considerable thought to what you wrote
about the proposal made through Wolsey to exclude Milan from
the general truce. We cannot agree to such a proposal unless it
is clearly understood that neither we nor the king of France are to
enter Italy in person during the truce. Should Francis go to
Italy our position would be very precarious, so that we should
prefer to continue the war with Henry's assistance rather than to
run such a risk. Explain this to Wolsey. Nevertheless, you are
to continue negotiations for peace or truce, but are not to conclude
anything without our approval.
28 March, 1522.
French. pp. 2.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
We thought we ought to write your majesty for two reasons :
to let you know that the French are proudly spreading the news
of the capture of Milan and the slaughter of your army, and to
report that nothing has come from France about peace or truce,
greatly to our surprise.
Poillot has exhibited letters from Francis inclosing copies
written to him from Milan, certifying that on March 15th the
French, Swiss and Venetians stormed and captured the city.
This news has greatly saddened the English. Wolsey refuses to
believe it, both because Francis did not write the news directly to
Henry as his custom is under such circumstances, and because
the abbot of Najera wrote recently that the French had retreated
from Milan on the 12th. Also the English ambassador in France
has written nothing on the subject and, so far, during the week
since the French ambassador made this news public, there has
been no confirmation of it from any source. These considerations
have moved us to declare the news false. We are eagerly awaiting
reliable news from Milan with which we may calm the agitation
of the king and the cardinal.
Wolsey says that, according to the report of the English
ambassador in France, the delay in the negotiations for truce is
being caused by the fact that Francis is now living at some
distance from Louise of Savoy, and messengers have to go back
and forth, taking to her for approval all the proposals about the
truce. The son, he says, will follow the mother's advice. Wolsey
is expecting some sort of reply hourly.
We received your majesty's letters of the 20th and 24th of
March, and went immediately to see Wolsey at Hampton Court.
We found him somewhat perplexed by the news about Milan,
though still constant in his devotion to your majesty. In truth,
we have never seen him more resolute in your service, and we take
it as a good omen that, despite the bad news, he received us
cheerfully and spoke with great affection of your majesty. He
heard your latest news of Milan and told us his, and replied very
graciously to all our points.
As to your approaching visit, Henry asks affectionately that
you will postpone your arrival at Calais until the 26th of April,
when everything will be ready for your fitting reception. Wolsey
does not doubt that you will take this request in good part for
the reasons in our last letter, and that you will understand the
only consideration is a desire to welcome your majesty as the
king's own son and heir. Wolsey is glad to hear that your
majesty will discuss the choice of a port of embarkation when you
get to England, and he assured us that Henry has no intention of
doing anything in this matter except as you decide. He agrees
that the conclusion of a truce before your departure would be
very advantageous, but that you ought not, on this account, to
delay your crossing for a single hour. He urges you to continue
your journey to Spain, leaving the protection of the Low Countries
to Henry, who will no more suffer them to be harmed than if they
were his own. Wolsey emphatically repeated that Henry was
thoroughly determined to defend Flanders and all your lands
there, and that the people and nobles of England were all constant
in this cause, so that if necessary they would all go, even the
women, to defend the Low Countries, moved not only by their
love of your majesty, but also by their own interest, since the
English could by no means suffer the ruin of Flanders and the
predominance of France in those parts. Wolsey added that, at
need, the king would go in person, even if he had to strip himself
of all his goods.
As to the pomp of your reception, Wolsey said it need not be
excessive on our side, but the English expected to celebrate it
with great solemnity, since the nobles and people of London wish
to show their love for your majesty. Wolsey himself is making
magnificent preparations at Hampton Court for your reception.
As to your praise of Wolsey's reply to the French ambassador
when he wanted to present Francis' letters patent, Wolsey said
that he would continue to treat the French more and more
bitterly, and also the Swiss and the Venetians, and he hoped his
threats that Henry would declare in your favour unless the French
agreed to a truce would be effective. He thanked your majesty
for your care about his pensions, but he protested that he could
not serve you more diligently on that account than he was doing
out of pure love and his desire to see the friendship between his
master and your majesty firmly knit, so that nothing that might
happen in the future could ever injure it. In this connection he
said that, if the French had really taken Milan, there was no
cause to be too cast down or to exaggerate the loss, since we could
hope to recover it easily by the united powers of your majesty and
England. If Milan were really lost, he advised you to look speedily
to the defence of Naples, and to get at once to Spain. While you
are in England the measures to be taken can be fully discussed.
If the French have not agreed to a truce, Henry will declare war
on them promptly on your arrival. Then he said to us very
seriously : "Ambassadors, tell the emperor to hold two things for
certain : first, that our hearts are his and that we love him not
merely as an old friend and ally, but as the son and heir of this
kingdom. He will scarcely believe how great and constant is my
king's affection for him now and always, and I, for my part, deem
myself most happy to see this friendship firmly established for
which I have laboured so long, and I only wish that our daughter
were now ready to be married. Second, that, without doubt,
we are determined on war against the French, and think night
and day of nothing except how we may destroy and humiliate
them, for which reason we are hastening the conclusion of
Scottish affairs, so that we shall not have them upon our backs.
It is for this reason that we shall begin major operations against
the Scots immediately after Easter, and Henry is prepared to go
against them in person if Talbot cannot carry the campaign
through successfully. We intend to have them entirely in our
hands so as to be free to turn all our forces against the French."
Wolsey added many words tending to confirm your majesty's
friendship with the king of England and your hostility toward the
French, and we find him more devoted to your majesty and more
hostile to the French than ever.
We showed Wolsey the letters of M. de Lafayette, the governor
of Bologna, in which Wolsey was disparagingly mentioned.
Wolsey said that he intended to avenge the insult, not on
Lafayette, but on his king, and in such a way that Francis would
know who his enemy was. He said, however, he would be glad
to have a copy of the letter, and we gave it to him, so he would
have something else with which to belabour the French ambassador.
We have received more letters for Lachaulx, dated March 24th,
which we are not sending him, since we believe he will have
embarked by this time, although we have heard that so far the
winds have been contrary. If we hear that he is still delayed, we
will forward the letters, otherwise we shall hold them for the next
courier to Spain. Yesterday and to-day several Spaniards passed
through here on their way to your majesty among them Don
Pedro Velez de Guevara, Don Felipe de Castile, sent by His
Holiness, and Doctor de Melgar, a physician. I, De Mesa, had
letters from His Holiness, copies of which are enclosed. I have
communicated their contents to the king and the cardinal.
I cannot find words to thank your majesty for the kindness shown
me in your letters, especially for my leave to depart to Spain.
I do not think my life would last much longer in England, though
I have vowed to spend it in your majesty's service. I am also
grateful for the arrangement about the pension on Badajoz, and
I thank your majesty humbly for freeing me from servitude in a
foreign land and remembering my services. I can hardly advise
your majesty about my successor, since I have been so long
absent from your court that I know very little of the clerics there,
but I beg that my successor be sent quickly.
I am forwarding Lachaulx's answers to your majesty's letters,
and hope hourly for replies to the more recent ones sent by the
second courier. I beg your majesty to order payment for the
last two couriers sent from here, a matter about which I have
written at length to Lalemand. The king of England has ordered
two more ships to be added to the naval forces, as your majesty
may learn from the letters of Juan de Barzia, who has been most
assiduous in these matters. We are both certain that everything
will be ready for your crossing by the 26th.
London, the last day of March.
Contemporary copy. Latin. pp. 6.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We wrote last on the 28th, enclosing what news we had of
Italy and the Swiss, and copies of the letters of the king of France
to Venice and to his captains in Italy. We received the same
day yours of the 22nd and the 24th, from which we were sorry to
learn of Wolsey's illness. We may hope that it will prove only a
slight one and, since it is tertian fever, which purges the system,
that he will afterwards be stronger than ever. We have received
the draft of the bond to be given for the 100,000 crowns, and also
that for Wolsey's pension, but since the loan is postponed until
we reach England, and Wolsey's pension does not begin until the
French payments stop, it seems better to defer executing these
documents until we reach England when it can be done as Henry
and Wolsey wish.
We are glad that Henry and Wolsey are making such adequate
preparations for safeguarding the Channel and transporting our
household, leaving to us only the transport of the horses for which
we are collecting the necessary hoys. The war horses will be
embarked at Zeeland with the fleet and will not have to be landed
in England, where we will need only palfreys and mules of a
number not greater than is set down in the enclosed schedule.
Although our approaching visit cannot be kept secret, the exact
day of our arrival at Calais can, whereafter we may embark
speedily as a further precaution. Therefore, the cardinal's
decision not to send notables to receive us, but only persons who
may assist in the embarkation, seems wise. (Marginal note : The
treaty provides for at least 2,000 fighting men to guard our passage
and more if necessary, the same force to be ready to escort our
fleet from Zeeland. We hope that Henry will make the necessary
provisions so we shall not be obliged to put back into Calais, a
reverse which would do little honour to either of us).
You do not have to excuse yourselves to us for not having made
clear to Henry our intentions. We are certain that you have
omitted to communicate nothing which we have written, and all
our letters declared our intention of crossing as soon as possible,
according to the treaty of Bruges ; in one we expressly stipulated
April 11th, giving the English more than a month's warning.
They should not have depended on the advice of their ambassadors
that we intended to keep Easter at Bruges, since we had
never said anything to the ambassadors on this point, and their
letters were based on rumour, not fact. Nevertheless, we are glad
to please Henry by postponing our passage, and you need not
pursue this matter further unless in reply to English observations.
We approve the general order for our reception as outlined by
Wolsey, but wish to point out that the treaty stipulates at least
2,000 fighting men to hold the Channel, not 1,400. We leave the
form of our reception entirely to Henry and Wolsey, and although,
according to the form of the treaty, Henry is supposed to meet us
in person on our landing and to accompany us to Falmouth, that
shall be as he pleases.
We are glad to hear that the forces intended against Scotland
are so powerful as to give promise of complete success. If we
were as free as Henry, and had not so many great affairs on our
shoulders, both in Spain and Italy, we should like nothing better
than to assist him with all our power, so that we might unite to
extirpate our common enemies.
The English ambassadors, in virtue of special powers which
they presented to us, have asked us to expel the Scots from our
kingdom and forbid them residence or commerce in all our lands,
according to the treaty of Bruges, alleging that we should do this
even though the French are not expelled from England, since the
Scots come under a different article of the treaty and are in the
same class with the Gelderlanders, Frisians and other rebels
against us. We replied merely that we intended to observe the
treaty scrupulously, and proceed reciprocally as it provides.
You may speak more amply of this affair to Henry, in virtue of
the credence herewith enclosed, and of our present letters. So
that you may be better informed of our duties under the treaty of
Bruges in the matter of the expulsion of the Scots, we are also
sending you an extract of the article in question, by which you
may see that, to obtain our expulsion of the Scots, Henry is
bound reciprocally to expel from his kingdom the rebel Gelderlanders
and Frisians and all our other enemies whatsoever, a
phrase so general that it comprehends all without exception.
Now it is notorious that we are at open war not only against the
Gelderlanders and Frisians, who are making war on us in Friesland,
but also against the French and against the Venetians, Genoese,
Milanese of the French party, and other lordships, cities and
princes of Italy, who are all rebels against the empire. All these
nations have merchants resorting to and trafficking in England.
It seems to us that if we are to expel the Scots from our realms the
same should be done there with all our enemies, so the treaty may
be reciprocally observed, otherwise our lands here, which are
founded on commerce and fishing, and have already lost the trade
of many nations which now resort to England, might, if we
expelled the Scots without reciprocal English action, be ruined
and moved to rebellion. (Marginal note : especially since our
principal towns of Flanders have granted safe-conduct to the
Scots, which we cannot revoke without warning and without
giving them time to put their affairs in order according to the form
of the safe-conduct granted by Duke Philip the Good, and confirmed
by his successors and by us.) And since we were the first
to be at war, it seems just that Henry should expel our enemies
first, or, at least, the expulsion should be simultaneous, so that
our subjects may not have cause to complain. If it is said that
the article in question cannot include the French, since their case
is disposed of differently in the article which provides that there
should be no declaration against France until our arrival in
England, you may reply that the declaration, and the prohibition
of commerce and intercourse are quite separate matters. There
seems no doubt that the French and all subjects of France are
included in the article in question exactly like the Gelderlanders
and Frisians. But since we shall so shortly be in England, at
which time Henry is bound to declare war on France, so that there
will be reciprocal expulsions on both sides, the less discussion
there is on this point for the present, the better.
Copy of Charles V's reply to Henry VIII :
Very high, excellent and powerful prince, etc. We have
received your letter of the 23rd and conferred with your ambassadors
in virtue of the credence given them. They have requested
us in your name to defer our crossing to England until April 26th,
in order that all may be prepared for our reception and for guarding
the Channel, and that we may have time to hear the results
of the proposals for peace or truce. Although we had decided to
cross sooner, in order not to keep our navy, which is ready, in
idleness, and in order to have a longer time to discuss our affairs
with you on our journey to Falmouth, and to avoid being delayed
at sea on our way to Spain by the summer calms, and because of
our great desire to see you, nevertheless, to please you, we shall
delay our arrival at Calais until April 26th, hoping that all will
be ready at that time. It would be very useful if we could have
definite assurance of a truce before that time, so that we may know
how we should arrange affairs here and in Italy. As to what
your ambassadors told me orally, we are writing at length to our
ambassadors to whom you will please grant credence in this and
in everything that they may say on our behalf. Praying God to
grant you long life, etc.
Copy of article in the treaty of Bruges concerning mutual expulsion
Letter to the ambassadors resumes. The arrangement about
paying for provisions and transport in England suggested by the
cardinal is quite satisfactory. In compliance with his request
we are sending a list of our suite, their servants and horses. We
have limited the horses to one each wherever possible, leaving the
others with the fleet at Zeeland.
What Wolsey says about the desirability of a truce or peace
before our departure, is very true. You are urged to act in this
matter with all diligence, without, however, exceeding your
previous instructions. You should note that, if Francis invades
Italy in person, a considerable change in our plans will be necessary
unless Henry can suggest some remedy.
We were very surprised at what Wolsey said to you about the
gunners, in view of the fact that he had said nothing about our
paying them, in whole or in part, before this. Had he asked it,
we should gladly have paid for more than a hundred, however
pressed for money we were. But the principal difficulty is not
to pay them, but to find them. We have been unable to raise
enough for our own army, and we doubt whether Wolsey could
find in all Christendom so large a number of good master gunners
as he wishes. It is not so easy to find good gunners as he seems
to think. He ought not, therefore, to take amiss our offer to
help him in this task. In being willing to aid him throughout
our realms, and in preferring his interests even to our own, we
thought we were doing him a great favour. It seems unreasonable
to reproach us with the infantry that he is paying, since that was
agreed on and is to continue until our arrival in England.
Wolsey would not charge us with ingratitude if he considered all
that we have done at his request, assuming the whole burden of
the war, and excusing Henry from his obligation to declare against
As to what Wolsey says about accepting a peace if no truce
can be concluded, we are still willing, under the conditions which
we wrote, but we are surprised that Wolsey thinks it desirable to
dissimulate with the French until our friendship is confirmed by
the consummation of the marriage. We have complete confidence
in Henry's friendship as he should have in ours. The
marriage could not strengthen it, and it seems hardly expedient
to delay so long the accomplishment of the "Great Enterprise."
Therefore, find out more clearly what Wolsey intends about the
peace, and what means and what proposals he intends to employ,
and advise us of these things with the utmost diligence, insisting
meanwhile on the admonition of the king of France as requested
by our letters patent.
[31 March, 1522.]
Draft in Gattinara's hand. Marginal dating. French. pp. 8.