H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
As you directed in your letter of September 8th from Valladolid,
we showed Wolsey all the contents of the letter, and he, having
consulted with his king, replied to us briefly on each point. He
said that the letters of the pope and of the archbishop of Bari
seemed in a Catholic spirit, becoming to the Holy See, and that
your majesty's answers were so honourable, and conformed so
carefully to the treaties that they could not thank you enough.
They begged you to continue to behave thus and promised, for
their part, to enter no negotiations without your advice and
consent. They are writing as much to their ambassador with you,
along with an account of the answer given Bernadino de
Bertolloti, who was sent here by the pope on the same errand.
In our humble opinion, however, Wolsey would be very glad of a
truce or a peace, if the pope can induce the king of France to make
the first offers. Wolsey seemed very pleased by your news from
France, and not less so by your assurance that you hoped to be
ready for the "Great Enterprise" at the appointed time and
perhaps sooner, also by the obedience being shown you by your
Spanish subjects, and by the good order you are introducing into
your affairs there. For the rest, he said only briefly that the
"Great Enterprise" was a grave matter which would require
long and mature consideration.
Wolsey said also that the answer which you intend to give the
Portuguese ambassador about the two marriages seemed to him
the best possible, and he thanked you heartily for your scrupulous
observance of the treaties. Wolsey is still quite ill, and we were
consequently unable to have a long interview or to discuss these
points further. He said that your majesty's letters to Henry had
not mentioned Rhodes, at which we were surprised, since this is
contrary to what you wrote us.
We wrote your majesty by Juan de Granada a full account of
our conversations with Wolsey and the Venetian ambassador.
We heard nothing more of this matter until the day before yesterday,
when Wolsey told us that the Venetian had visited him some
days before with the same proposals made us, offering besides to
promise that Venice would give no aid to the French in men or
money during peace negotiations between your majesty and
Venice under the mediation of the king of England. Wolsey is
extremely desirous that we should proceed by English mediation ;
he expressly asked us to write you, strongly advising the use of
Henry's mediation to arrange a treaty with Venice, without
which, he thinks, it will be impossible to hold Milan, in view of the
present state of affairs in Italy and the probable report that the
French have won over the Swiss.
We also wrote you in our last letters of the arrival of the duke of
Albany's secretary, asking for an extension of the truce to St.
John's Day next (June 24th), for the inclusion of the French, and
taking an insulting and haughty tone very different from what
Wolsey had told us of the Scottish offers. Nevertheless Wolsey
replied to Albany's secretary favourably enough, as you will be
able to learn by the copies of Albany's proposals and Wolsey's
reply which are being sent to the English ambassadors at your
Madame has no doubt informed you of the end of the campaign
on land. Wolsey says that the allied armies parted with great
good will on both sides, and that the sudden end of the campaign
was due to the bad weather, which has continued from the
beginning of September until now, so that the roads were so wet
it was hardly possible to get the artillery and munitions to Calais,
and a great number of the soldiers were dying daily of disease.
Six days ago Surrey returned, and the king received him very
graciously. Surrey seems to continue in his good will toward
your majesty, for he left a thousand infantry and a thousand
horse, paid by Henry until the end of this month, to be used in
the defence of the Low Countries as Madame wishes. Since this
nobleman is one of the grestest in England, and is highly esteemed
both by the king and the greater part of the people, we suggest
that your majesty write to Henry and to the admiral special letters
of thanks for the past campaign, without forgetting of course,
similar letters to Wolsey.
Jehan de le Sauch arrived here some days ago charged with
Madame's request to Henry and Wolsey for a number of soldiers
to be paid by Henry until spring to safeguard the frontier. Since
Le Sauch is writing at length to the grand master from whom
your majesty may learn the result of this mission, we shall not
repeat his dispatch.
There is little news here except that Wolsey told us yesterday
he had certain information that Albany has left Scotland for
France, so that he hopes the Scots will be brought to see reason
more easily. We have heard from Flanders that, in the last ten
or twelve days, the French have burned some thirty villages in
Artois, and are now threatening the English territory around
Calais. There is also a rumour both in Flanders and here, that
your majesty has won a great victory not far from Fuenterrabia,
in which two or three thousand French were killed, and M.
Desloges and other gentlemen taken prisoner. Also that the
chateau of Fuenterrabia lacks provisions, and has many breaches
in the walls so that it is as good as taken. This news has occasioned
great rejoicing here, and we hope it will be confirmed by
the first courier.
The king and queen are both in good health. They have not
been in the neighbourhood of London for two months, since the
plague has been severe this season at Greenwich, Richmond, and
in the environs. Henry leads his usual life, leaving all the cares of
state to Wolsey, who is so very ill that he is in danger of losing an
eye, and the rest of his body seems almost equally affected.
There seems little hope of his immediate recovery, especially
as he will not abandon the affairs of the kingdom to others and
must see many people daily. His burdens are increased by the
decision which he and Henry have reached to assemble parliament
in order to explain to them the causes of the present war, and to
learn what aid they are willing to grant in money and men for its
continuance. As soon as the decision of parliament is known
Wolsey will inform us, and he will then be able to tell us more
about the time for the execution of the "Great Enterprise."
Wolsey tells us that last summer, when your majesty was at
Windsor, you and Henry agreed to terminate the treaty of Bruges
and burn the copies. This was not done at the time, he says,
because the original had been left with Madame in Flanders.
Now he asks us to send for this document and give it to him,
offering to give us, in return, the English copy. So far our copy
has not been sent from Flanders, since Madame says she has
heard nothing from you on this point. Wolsey has asked us to
do our best to obtain the treaty but we have temporized, pending
London, 6 November, 1522.
P.S.—We have been obliged to detain this courier here seven
days since we could not finish our business with Wolsey sooner.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne, and Loys de Praet.
French. pp. 7.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We wrote you last by Richard, who left Nov. 4th. Since then
the English ambassadors have arrived and declared the rest of their
mission, beyond what we had already learned from the instructions
sent to Sir Thomas Spinelly. They gave us letters in the
hands of the king and queen, and they, and the evidence they
brought of the continued health and good will toward us of the
king, the queen, the princess, and the cardinal, were gladly
The ambassador of the king of Portugal is here, but so far has
spoken only of the affair of the Spice Islands, asking us to return
the spices found within our boundaries, and to cease in future to
send to the Islands for spices, to leave the possession of these islands
to the king of Portugal, and to send him, along with the spices which
they brought, the men who brought them, to be punished. We
answered that the islands where these spices were found had been
discovered for us, and were within our boundaries according to the
agreements of our predecessors, and that to ask us to permit our
subjects to be punished for doing their duty was quite unreasonable.
We have had all the facts communicated to the king of
Portugal, in the hope that he will recognize he is in the wrong.
So far the Portuguese ambassador has said nothing about the
marriage of the king of Portugal, or that of his sister, but if he
does so, as we think he will, we shall respond as we ought, according
to our treaty with Henry. It may be that the ambassador
wishes to consult the king, his master, about the matter of the
spices before saying anything further.
We are informed that the allied army having retired from
Picardy, the king of France has decided to leave only garrisons
on his frontiers, and that he is going to Lyons with the intention of
invading Italy with the greatest power he can raise, thinking to
recover the duchies of Milan and Genoa this winter, during which
he expects to find our people too weak either to take the field or
to hold the towns. He is, therefore, sending the admiral of France
and the Bastard of Savoy to Switzerland, to raise the greatest
possible number of Swiss and lead them into Italy. He is sending
there a great sum of money to pay his old debts and raise a
strong army, and he is getting together all the money that he can
borrow at any cost to furnish his enterprise. Since we have not
yet closed with the Venetians, who may easily go over to the
French, he hopes, with the aid of the Swiss, not only to recover
Milan and Genoa, but to make himself master of Italy, and
endanger our kingdoms of Naples and Sicily. Against this threat
it is necessary to provide diligently. We have instructed
Geronimo Adorno to press his negotiations with the Venetians,
and if they will not enter an offensive league, to try at least to
conclude a defensive one, including Milan and Genoa. If this
can be done before the French enter Italy, it will be helpful, but
the Venetians have shown themselves so slippery and dilatory
that we have little hope of them. It is the Swiss on whom victory
or defeat depends ; the French put all their hope in them. Therefore,
it has not seemed enough merely to send the cardinal of
Sion's secretary to them, and we have decided to send several
of our other councillors to represent us directly, with power to
raise in Augsburg, Constance, or Trent, 30,000 gold florins. We
hope that the English will send a similar sum to win over the
Swiss, if possible, and if not, to raise a sufficient number of
lanzknechts to be sent to Milan before the Swiss get there.
Therefore, since this Italian enterprise is the best means of
weakening the French and bringing them to terms, beg Henry and
Wolsey to authorize Pace to join our ambassadors in Switzerland
with letters of credit for 30,000 florins, or as much as can be
managed, and to co-operate with our ambassadors in an effort to
keep the Swiss at home, or to raise a German army to oppose
them, the money not to be spent except by common agreement.
We have also summoned the pope to contribute to the defence of
Italy according to his obligations to the league, and have exhorted
the duke of Milan and the Adornos to collect men and money for
their defence. They will probably be unable to act promptly,
however, since the pope has just been crowned, and Genoa and
Milan are much weakened by war and disorder. Therefore the
best immediate step is to provide this money, which will encourage
the Milanese to defend themselves.
This is a matter of the greatest importance in which prompt
precautions may save everything, and delay lose everything.
Therefore be diligent. If Francis sees that he will be strongly
opposed, he may decide against an invasion, in which case we can
save our money for other purposes. You may tell the king and
the cardinal that we, for our part, are using the greatest diligence
in order to encourage the Milanese and Genoese and our own
captains and men-at-arms. We are sending our ambassadors to
Switzerland by the shortest route, that is to say, by Barcelona,
Genoa, and Milan. They will start next week and travel as
fast as possible, so Pace should be notified at once if he is to join
In these parts, we hold Fuenterrabia in great distress, our army
is alert to prevent the French from getting further supplies, and
we hope for early success. In Valencia we besieged the rebels in
Jativa and Alcira ; they asked for a parley and said that they had
not known of our return to Spain and that they were merely
resisting the nobles and knights, their enemies, and our lieutenant
Don Diego [Hurtado] de Mendoza, who was taking the nobles'
part. They offered complete submission, asking not mercy but
justice, and sent us six of the chief men of their towns with full
power to offer submission. We accepted, and received the surrender
of their strongholds, so that now our whole kingdom of
Valencia is tranquil and we hope to hear as much of Majorca soon.
We are giving the bearer of this, Wolsey's secretary, a zabra,
which is ordered to remain in England at your disposal. Send a
courier back in it as soon as possible with an answer to this letter,
and to that we sent you by Richard, and also, if possible, with our
letters from Flanders.
Valladolid, 17 November, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 7.