H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Instructions to Jehan De Le Sauch sent by Margaret Of
Savoy, Regent of the Low Countries, to the King of
Le Sauch will present his credentials and Madame's greetings
and say that he is sent first to inform the king of England about
the conduct of the allied army. Since the army took the field, it
has besieged the castle of Hesdin, but after fighting there several
days without profit, it retired and marched on Doullens and other
small towns on the Somme, said to be vulnerable. It has taken
and demolished Doullens. Madame is displeased at the failure at
Hesdin, but such are the fortunes of war ; this slight reverse can
be repaired easily by the king and the emperor by a concerted
attack on Guienne and Normandy in the spring.
He will say that Madame is informed that, in revenge for the
devastation of the Boulonnais and Artois, the French are determined,
as soon as the allied army withdraws, to invade English
and imperialist territory and burn what they can. She has
written to Count de Buren to discuss with the admiral the advisability
of maintaining in Flanders, after the army breaks up, 2,000
foot and a thousand horse. Madame intended that these troops
should be of the English nation, but, through a misunderstanding,
de Buren proposed to Henry that they should be 2,000 German
infantry and a thousand horse from the Low Countries, to be paid
by Henry, and this is what the admiral has written to his king.
In accordance with her first idea Madame has sent Le Sauch to
ask Henry and Wolsey to maintain for the defence of the emperor's
frontiers and of their own, after the army breaks up, 2,000 English
foot and 1,000 English horse on this side of the sea.
Le Sauch will say that before he left Madame's court on October
9th, she received letters from the admiral of England, M. de
Bevres, and her other captains, saying that they had intended,
after Doullens had been demolished, to march on Bray, Ancre and
other towns of the Somme, but the heavy rains had made it very
difficult to move the cannon, and they had lost from three to four
thousand men in the army from disease, so that they had been
obliged to abandon the field and return to their quarters. Meanwhile
the admiral has agreed that, pending further instructions
from Henry, he will leave in Flanders a thousand English foot,
and will provide payment for a thousand horse until the end of
November. Madame is very grateful for the admiral's good will,
but she knows he would not have offered to do as much had he
not thought that Henry and Wolsey would be pleased. Madame,
therefore, thanks the king and the cardinal, and will advise the
emperor of their continued good will. Le Sauch will then ask
Henry and Wolsey to be good enough to add another thousand
English infantry to this force, and to continue to pay the three
thousand men until next spring, when the army will again be
placed in the field.
Le Sauch will communicate his business to the emperor's
ambassadors in England and to Master Guillaume des Barres if
he is there, and learn from them the present state of affairs and
from des Barres, especially, how he is progressing in the matter
he was sent to discuss with Wolsey. Le Sauch will say nothing
about the 50,000 crowns unless Wolsey mentions the subject, in
which case Le Sauch will reply according to the instructions he
received orally. Des Barres has written something about peace.
Le Sauch will say Madame has written to the emperor at length
on this subject, and is convinced that the emperor will never
make peace without the knowledge and consent of the king of
England and the particular advice of the cardinal.
Le Sauch will tell Wolsey, casually, of the incident involving
the Augustinians at Antwerp and of the remedy adopted. He
will tell him also of Franz von Sickengen's attack on the archbishop
of Trier and of how he was obliged to retire, also of the war
between the archbishop of Mainz and the Count Palatine, and of
Archduke Ferdinand's intention to hold an imperial diet at
Nuremberg. Le Sauch will mention that the estates of Brabant
are delaying a long time in replying to Madame's request for aid to
defend the country and that this, in turn, has delayed Madame's
departure for Holland. Le Sauch will show Wolsey the letter to
Lescano, who commands the Spaniards at sea, and the minute
containing Madame's intentions in this matter. She will not,
however, decide anything without the advice and consent of the
king of England and the cardinal, as she has told Lescano's
messenger. If Wolsey agrees that four hundred Spanish sailors
in four Spanish ships are to be kept at sea, and the rest to be sent
in the other ships to Zeeland and landed, as Lescano asks, Le
Sauch will say that Madame is willing to receive these men and
place them in the land forces paid by the emperor, and that they
will be paid one hundred sous tournois each month of thirty days
from the time of their landing. They will have to solicit their
back pay of the emperor, but Madame will write in their favour.
Le Sauch will report all news fully.
Contemporary copy. French. pp. 5. (Le Sauch's credentials
are dated October 7, 1522—L. & P. III, 1104.)
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 3.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
Although we wrote your majesty fully by Richard, and again
by Juan of Granada, nevertheless, on account of the risks of the
journey by sea, we are sending you by this courier a copy of the
dispatch carried by Granada, along with our more recent news.
The affair of the Spaniards at sea under Lescano goes from bad
to worse, both for the reasons in our former letters, and because
the provisions sent them for the past month consisted almost
entirely of biscuit of which they were in such great need that they
were obliged to send some of their captains to this king, who
finally agreed to provide them with biscuit at Southampton, on
condition that the carrack and the artillery should lie in pawn for
it until it was paid for. We would have helped them had we been
able, but all our credit had been employed in revictualling them
during the past month. It is true that fifteen days ago two
Galician ships reached the coast of this kingdom loaded with meat ;
the larger went down far from Southampton and all the provisions
were lost ; the other reached the Spaniards at the Isle of Wight
and was very welcome. As for biscuits, wine and other provisions,
however, nothing at all has come from Spain, so that these men
have had to live on the money and provisions we have sent them,
and if they are not soon helped by your majesty they will break
up in great disorder. No money is to be hoped for from Henry or
Wolsey, for the reasons we have already written you. Madame
has written us several times that she could not pay these charges,
and, although we have already sent one of the Spanish captains to
explain the urgent need of provisions and payment, we do not
know what reply he will bring back.
We informed you in our last letter of the taking of the town
of Hesdin. Afterwards the army lay for some days before the
citadel, hoping to take it, but the rumour here is that they have
failed, and marched off toward Doullens. It is also said that the
pest is very severe among them, so that a large number of
English, Spanish and Germans have already died. We are
unable to inform you more accurately since we have had only
one letter from Madame since the two armies joined.
Some days ago there arrived here a young Italian, Bernadino de
Bertolloti, a member of the pope's household, who came, riding
post, through France. He is charged by His Holiness with a
mission, jointly with the bishop of Astorga, to the king and the
cardinal, the substance of which is the same as that which the
bishop presented to your majesty. In addition, they are to ask
the king and the cardinal to induce your majesty to agree to
conditions of truce or peace. Since the bishop of Astorga is not
here, Bertolloti went alone to Wolsey, showed him his credentials,
and advanced pertinent arguments. Wolsey promised to communicate
with the king, his master, and to reply shortly. We
have had several conversations with Bertolloti ; he tells us that
Francis is in the neighbourhood of Paris and pays no attention
to public business ; either this is all the news he has or he is
concealing the rest. We do understand by what he says that the
pope is very much bent on peace or truce, and will not let this
As for Scottish affairs, as far as we can ascertain, the only
ambassador who has come from Scotland is a secretary who saw
Wolsey several days ago, to ask for a continuation of the truce
until St. John's Day next. During this time the Scots wish to
discuss a longer truce or peace, in which they wish to include the
French. If this information is exact, the Scottish offers are very
different from what Wolsey told us. We shall try to find out the
truth from Wolsey at the first opportunity, and shall inform your
majesty at once.
Yesterday morning a courier from Spain brought your letters
dated from Valladolid Sept. 8th. We shall communicate the
points contained to the king and the cardinal, and advise you of
their reply by this courier on his return. We have sent him on to
Madame, ordering him to hasten back to us within ten or twelve
days. We beg your majesty not to attribute your failure to
receive letters from us to our negligence. The couriers were not
kept here longer than a day or two, as no doubt they will confess
when they reach you.
London, 10 October, 1522.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne, and Loys de Praet.
From de Praet's letter book. French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien D. D.
Abt. B. f. 4.
Charles V to Henry VIII.
We have received your two letters of 6th August and 22nd of
September, and thank you for remembering to write us of your
good health and of the news from Scotland. Nothing could give
us more pleasure than to know that your affairs are going well.
We shall continue to support our common cause as we have
written more at length to our ambassadors, to whom you will
please give credence.
Valladolid, last day of October, 1522.
Copy. French. Calendared in L. & P. III, 1121 from the
original in the Public Record Office.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
Just as we were about to send this courier to you for news,
since we had received none from you since we left England, three
couriers, one of your servants, Richard, and the courier sent to
the bishop of Palencia, arrived together, bearing your letters of
the 12th and 31st of August and of Sept. 25th. We commend
your diligence. In borrowing 3,584 ducats from Antonio Vivaldi
to relieve the necessities of the troops sent from Spain, you have
done us good service. We are displeased that the soldiers were so
foolish as to gamble away their money ; they were paid for two
months. Victuals were sent after them, but were taken at sea by
the enemy. The money you have borrowed will be paid at the
October fair at Medina del Campo, and you may assure Vivaldi
that we shall not forget his services, as you may see we are writing
him. If you have arranged for further advances to keep the
fleet at sea during the month of October, they shall be paid as
soon as we hear of them. We have read the letters from the
Spanish captains and answered them as you see.
Wolsey's advice to discharge the fleet at the end of October,
except for four warships of Henry's and four of mine, to be kept
in commission during the winter months, seems good since a great
fleet is useless during winter and expensive to keep up. We have
ordered Lescano, therefore, to pick out five or six hundred men
to remain at sea in four of the smaller ships. The rest of the ships
and sailors are to be sent home, and the remainder of the infantry
landed in Flanders to strengthen the Spanish force already there,
if Madame wishes them, but not otherwise. If Lescano wishes
to return he may do so, leaving in his place an experienced captain.
Vivaldi may be directed to provide for the payment and
provisioning of the men at sea, and he will be repaid as we have
written. Authorize someone to inspect the muster of these troops.
Since we have no means of knowing our aunt's intentions, you
and Captain Lescano are authorized to act as she directs, either
landing the remainder of the Spanish infantry to strengthen the
army in Flanders, or sending them back to Spain.
Thank the king, the queen, and the cardinal for their expressions
of pleasure at our success, and tell them that our affairs are getting
better and better. We now have on the frontier about 8,000
infantry and 900 men-at-arms, besides the ordinary garrisons.
Most of these troops make raids into France daily ; they are
containing Fuenterrabia so closely that we hope to oblige the
garrison to surrender in spite of the winter weather.
Wolsey's secretary, who remained here by our orders after the
death of Thomas Spinelly, has communicated to us his king's
thanks for being so promptly informed of the French overtures,
and his assurances of reciprocal behaviour, together with other
matters corresponding to articles one to five in your letter of
September 25th. Thank Henry and Wolsey, in our name, for
what they have said and for their good advice, and assure them
that we intend to adhere exactly to the treaty and to listen to no
proposals, through the pope or anyone else, without their knowledge
In conformity with this tell them that since the departure of
the courier we sent on September 12th, there came here the
maître d'hôtel of our captain-general in Lombardy, Prospero
Colonna. This person travelled through France with a royal
safe-conduct. He came to tell us that while Francis and his
mother were at Lyon, the queen mother sent for a Florentine
merchant, a friend of Colonna's who had once been responsible
for his ransom, and asked the merchant to go privately to Colonna
and ask him to help make peace between the emperor and the
king of France, an act which would be of service to all Christendom
and for which Francis would not be ungrateful. Francis,
the Florentine was to say, was ready to go to any honourable
lengths for the sake of peace. The merchant demurred at undertaking
so grave a mission in a private capacity, saying that
Colonna would pay no attention to a message of that sort. Thereupon
Louise of Savoy gave him letters of credence from herself
and her son, setting forth these proposals in full, and authorizing
him to say that Francis regretted not having accepted the truce
offered him by Henry, in which matter he had been ill advised,
that his greatest desire was to make peace, for the good of Christendom
and the relief of Rhodes, and that for the sake of peace
he was willing to abandon all his claims in Italy, provided only
that his honour might be appeased by the bestowal of the duchy
of Milan on the duke Massimiliano Sforza, who is now in France,
and by the restoration to their estates of the Milanese exiles of
the French party. As a guarantee of good faith, Francis offered
to turn over to Colonna all the strong places of Lombardy still
in French hands, and he begged Colonna to further this matter
with us and to intercede with the pope in favour of it. Colonna,
feeling that he should not ignore so serious an offer, and glad of
an opportunity to advise us promptly of the state of affairs in
Italy, asked for and received a safe-conduct for one of his people
to pass through France to inform us of this overture. This his
maître d'hôtel did, coming directly from Pavia to our court by
way of Avigon and Languedoc, without stopping at the French
court. On his arrival he gave us Colonna's news of Italy, and
the captain-general's advice on measures to be taken there.
Colonna, although forwarding the French proposals, advises us
against accepting them. He thinks Massimiliano and the exiles
should not be allowed to return, but that the present duke,
Francesco, should be strongly supported. We sent the maître
d'hôtel back with a reply, a copy of which we are enclosing for the
information of Henry and Wolsey. We are also forwarding to
you a copy of our reply to the papal nuncio who came to us some
days ago to exhort us, on the part of the pope, to make peace, and
to say that a similar message would be sent to the king of England.
Show the copy to Henry and Wolsey, as our treaties provide, and
ask their advice.
Three days ago a courier from the archbishop of Bari reached
the Spanish frontier, having passed through France on his way
from Rome. He was arrested at San Sebastian and his letters
sent to us, since we have ordered our frontier captains to arrest
all persons coming from France, whoever they may be. We
found the courier was on his way to Caracciolo, the papal nuncio
here, to inform him of the death of the cardinal of Sion, and to
beg through him of us Sion's bishopric of Catania in Sicily.
Among the courier's letters there was only one addressed to us,
the original of which we are sending herewith to be shown to
Henry and Wolsey, because they may be interested in the news
from Rhodes, and because we wish to keep them fully informed
of all our affairs.
As we have already written you, if the enemy returns to Italy,
our position there will be in great jeopardy. We have neither an
army strong enough to resist them, nor money enough to raise
a new one. The duke and the estates of Milan have been
completely emptied. We have not yet been able to draw the
Venetians to our side, and we are informed that it will be difficult
to keep the Swiss at home. Therefore you must know the advice of
Henry and Wolsey on this point, and discover what they are
willing to contribute toward supporting the army in Italy, and
holding off the Swiss. Write us at once.
About the recent proposals of the Venetian ambassador in
England of which you wrote, say to Wolsey that it appears the
Venetians are merely seeking excuses for delay. They do not
wish to conclude anything ; their ambassador here has full
powers to treat, but he says he dares not do so without further
word either from the Signory or from their ambassador in England.
We have sent powers to Geronimo Adorno to remonstrate
with the Signory about this dilatory policy and, if he finds
it possible, to treat with them jointly with the papal nuncio and
Master Richard Pace. We shall keep you informed of what may
come of this.
We rejoice at the good news of Scottish affairs, and hope that
matters will continue thus for the safety of England and the
confusion of the common enemy. We are sure Henry and Wolsey
will keep in mind their treaty obligations toward us.
It seems too dangerous to send the copies of the treaties you
asked for. You may obtain copies without such risk from the
bishop of London, Master of the Rolls, who, we are sure, will
make no difficulty about giving them to you. You should also
obtain from him a copy of the instrument you know of, signed
by us and by Henry in Wolsey's presence. Guard these documents
carefully. We have ordered the three zabras as you asked.
If you wish to write in haste, and none of the zabras happens to be
in port, engage an English ship for your courier, and we shall see
that it is paid for. Do not spare money, but keep us constantly
advised. We are replying in our own hand to the letters of the
king and the queen and, in the hand of a secretary, to Wolsey.
Copies are enclosed. Our letters ask full credence for you, and
we continue to have the greatest confidence in your prudence and
dexterity. The English ambassadors have arrived at Laredo,
and we have sent officers of our household to expedite their
journey. They shall be honourably received, and we shall be
glad to have news of the health and prosperity of the king, the
queen, the princess, and the cardinal, as you may tell them from
us. Tell them also that we are hard at work, especially on our
finances, in preparation for the "Great Enterprise," but we are
unable to say whether it can be hastened to the coming year or not.
It is a grave matter and very difficult to finance. We shall
inform Henry in good time, as we agreed in our conversations at
We have already told you of the great embassy sent us by the
king of Portugal. When we have heard the ambassadors we shall
write you again. If they speak of offering us the king's sister in
marriage we shall refuse, since we intend to abide by the treaty of
Windsor. The English, therefore, should conceive no suspicion
on account of this embassy. We shall seek, however, to bind
Portugal to our alliance by every other means. Recently a
courier from Portugal bearing letters from the French ambassador
there, was arrested in this city. His letters were opened and
found to contain matters concerning a proposed marriage between
the king of Portugal and Renée de France. These letters we
have sent to the king of Portugal in the hope that when he knows
of them he will put an end to these French plots. Among these
letters there was one written to the admiral of France, which
touches nearly the honour of the king of England. We removed
this, and are sending you the original which you will give to
Henry in Wolsey's presence, so that he may take the necessary
steps. Assure them both that we shall always inform them of
anything we know touching their honour and advantage as
becomes a good friend and ally.
Valladolid, the last day of October, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 13.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 3.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
You will see by our other letters that we have complete confidence
in your prudence and dexterity and in your management of
whatever business may arise. Remember that the chief point
is to proceed frankly and clearly with the king of England,
according to the treaties, as I have no doubt you will. Therefore,
since we are at a great distance from each other, and since we
know that Christendom has need of peace without too many
delays and sendings back and forth, we wish to write you frankly
and fully, so that you may conduct yourselves accordingly,
especially since you have twice written that Wolsey seemed to be
cooling toward the war and inclined to a peace or a truce. You
ought to know that we have been informed by our spies of the
conduct and retreat of the army which was in Picardy according
to the treaty of Waltham. This army did a good deal of damage
in the open country, but had little effect on the enemy, who will be
able to take a worse vengeance on our lands. The position of our
other affairs, also is such that, to deal plainly with you, we ought
to wish for peace or truce shortly, especially to succour Christendom
against the Turks, and particularly Rhodes, which is in
imminent peril. But in spite of these things we do not wish to
entertain any offers of peace from the French without the advice
and consent of the king of England, our good brother and uncle.
Therefore, after you have told the king and the cardinal of the
offers of which Prospero Colonna informed us, and heard what
they have to say about them, you must judge whether they are
somewhat inclined to peace or truce, or whether they would
prefer to continue the war. If you see them inclined to peace or
truce, say to them that, as they know, we have always wished to
follow their advice. Thus you may draw them to declare the
means which seem to them honourable and practicable for making
a peace or truce. If they have no suggestions, you may be sure
they do not incline that way. In that case, say nothing further
about it until they raise the question, and continue in your
scrupulous observance of our treaties.
If, however, you find them ready to talk about terms of peace,
and to say what they and we ought to demand, or perhaps only
what they demand, pressing you to state our terms, you will let
yourselves be drawn out and say, as of your own motion, only if
they ask you after stating their own terms and not otherwise,
that Francis should restore to us Fuenterrabia and Hesdin, or
place them in the hands of the pope, as he should do likewise with
the citadels of Milan and Cremona, all other things to be left as
they now are, or will be on the day of the publication of the truce,
which is to be for commerce and intercourse and to last one, two,
or three years, during which time the above mentioned places
are not to be fortified nor provisioned beyond their state at the
day truce is declared, providing also that if during the truce no
peace can be arranged, these places shall be returned to Francis
no more fortified nor provisioned than at the time they were
placed in the pope's hands. Also, since, as you know, the English
indemnity is at our charge, and since, if the truce is to last for two
or three years, we would be foolish to pay the indemnity, insist,
as of your own motion, that the cardinal place among the English
terms the condition that the pension shall be paid during the truce,
into the hands of the pope, or any other person Wolsey prefers,
the pope to pay this money to Henry if peace is made, and, if not,
to restore it to Francis, though it would be better to ask that
payment during the truce be made directly to Henry, were it not
that the French might object that their own money would afterwards
be used to make war on them. It should be carefully
considered also, if the truce is made for as long a term as three
years, how much the enemy may recover during that time. If
you can come to some agreement with Henry and Wolsey about a
truce, try to see that they write to their ambassador at Rome,
sending him the necessary powers, and instructing him to join
himself with our ambassador. We shall give our ambassador
similar powers and instructions so that they may make such
proposals to His Holiness as he can undertake to persuade Francis
to accept, and thus conclude a truce at Rome before long. We are
anxious to learn what course Henry and Wolsey would advise us to
take in seeking a truce, and if they will state the means they think
desirable, we shall do likewise to their ambassadors here.
If Henry and Wolsey show no disposition to discuss a truce,
you will, without mentioning the above proposals, try to ascertain
their plans and advice about the conduct of the war during the
coming year. It may be the war will continue, either because
they do not wish to discuss a truce, or because we can reach no
agreement on terms with the enemy ; therefore, we should
consider in time what is to be done next spring. We may tell
you, in strictest secrecy, that we shall not be ready for the "Great
Enterprise" during the coming year, and that it is necessary to
shift the war from Italy and Flanders to this frontier where we
have the greatest power. We should be glad if Henry and
Wolsey were to come to a decision to form a common army to
invade Guienne, their hereditary land ; we should assist them
with such power that the enemy would be forced to do us reason,
and that Henry would gain honour and profit there. On the
other side, if we can win over the Venetians, as we still hope to do,
we could invade Provence with our army of Italy and thus divide
the enemy's power.
Now that you understand what you have to do about truce,
about peace or about war, in any circumstances that may arise,
you will use your own discretion and inform us of the outcome at
once so that we may take the necessary measures here.
Valladolid, the last day of October, 1522.
Contemporary copy. French. pp. 5.