H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
I wrote your majesty by the courier Domingo d'Aguyerro, who
left here May 9th, a full account of my activities since De Mesa's
departure, of my conversations with Henry and Wolsey about
the contents of the dispatches brought by d'Aguyerro, by
Francisco Frias, and by the Sieur de Montfort, of the difficulties
which they raised to prevent any agreement about war this year,
and of the arrival of the treasurer Marnix. Marnix and I will
write you jointly about our negotiations in pursuance of his
mission by this courier, Francisco de Frias, whom we have
detained until we could send a full account. The present letter
is in reply to yours of April 16th, which I received May 15th by
one Penyagna, a servant of the archbishop of Bari.
Penyagna also brought letters to the king, to the cardinal, and
to me from his master, the archbishop, saying that the king of
France was sending ambassadors to Rome with full power to
treat about peace or truce on certain conditions, the chief being
that Francis will not make a truce for a long term, which proposal,
he says, is merely to keep him out of Italy, but will agree to a
truce of two months, giving his ambassadors power to prolong
the term from time to time if that seems necessary, in order to
arrive at a good peace. Penyagna told me by word of mouth
from the archbishop, that it was the archbishop's opinion that
Francis sought so short a truce for two reasons. First, he hoped
the Turk would attack Naples during that time, thus obliging
you to abandon the defence of Milan. Second, he expected, by
a short truce, to prevent you or the king of England from taking
any action against him this summer, so he could again attempt
to capture Milan during the late fall or winter, when he would
only have to leave his ordinary garrisons in the frontier towns.
It seemed to me better that Penyagna should declare his charge
to Wolsey in my absence. This he did on May 16th. The next
day I went to Wolsey and declared my charge, setting forth at
length the dangers to Christendom from the capture of Rhodes,
and the pope's exhortations for peace, and using what arguments
seemed desirable, without, however, mentioning that your
majesty merely wished to please the pope, and to serve the
common good without thought of personal advantage.
At what I said Wolsey seemed more overjoyed than I can
write, and, raising his hands to heaven, he cried out that no
prince had ever been better advised than you in taking up this
matter. He begged me to state my charge to Henry as strongly
as possible, and to beg him, as from you, to agree to this proposal.
It would more influence the king, he said, if I were to let him
know that Naples and Sicily were in danger, and also if I were to
tell him that your majesty was not, at present, well prepared for
war. Wolsey promised for his part to work with all his might
for the good of Christendom and the preservation of your realms
in Naples and Sicily. He told me that although Henry might
receive the matter coldly at first, he would not be really displeased
if I urged these arguments strongly and that there was good hope
that in the end he would consent. From all that Wolsey said I
gathered there was nothing he wanted more than the truce, but
that he wished the request for it to come from our side, for the
greater reputation of his master. I replied that I would conceal
nothing of my charge from the king, but would not exceed the
truth, which was that your majesty was willing to obey the pope
in view of the great need of Christendom, and had sent powers
and instructions to your ambassadors at Rome to treat jointly
about a peace and about the formation of an army against the
Turks, with the English ambassadors, and added that Henry, as
Defender of the Faith, should be willing to do as much. As to
the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, I said, they were in no particular
danger from the fall of Rhodes, since there were many
Christian countries which the Turk was more likely to invade,
and if the Turk did conquer them, it would not injure your
majesty alone but be great shame and danger to all Christian
princes. I said you regretted being unable to attack the French
this year, and had been induced to agree to the truce only by the
grave present danger to Christendom.
After a long discussion, Wolsey took me to the king, and the
two talked together for some time. Henry then gave me
audience, and heard my charge very attentively. He pretended
to desire to press the war, and to be very disappointed at the
proposal for truce, in which he said there were several difficulties.
He said it would be a great shame to you both to be the first to
make this proposal, for although you did it for the common
good of Christendom, the French, as usual, would boast that
they had compelled you by force and by fear of them, particularly
as there was no great appearance that the Turk would attempt
anything this year. Moreover, the truce might not accomplish
its object, for if the Turk did invade Naples, or some other
Christian land, this year, Francis, as was his habit, would
immediately break his word and attack Milan, which he could
not do if he were brought low before the coming of the Turk.
Therefore, he thought it would be better if your powers, when
they were sent to Rome, were accompanied by a message to the
pope that they were to be kept secret until King Francis had
made some offer. The king took this occasion to complain that
you did not proceed with him as frankly as you ought, now
exhorting him to war, now proposing a truce. It would be better,
he said, if you confessed frankly that you were not ready for a
war instead of taking cover behind the Turkish danger which
anyway concerned you more than others, because of Naples and
Sicily. To hear him talk one would have thought these kingdoms
In reply it seemed necessary to vindicate your honour, since
I saw that Henry wished to take all the credit himself, and to
delay the negotiations while he made war on the Scots, as I
wrote you before. I said no good Christian could think it
disgraceful to yield to the pope's request. Moreover, you would
not be the first to offer a truce, for the king of France had several
times raised the matter, and had already consented to a two
months' truce, with provision for its being extended. I also
pointed out that to achieve what the pope desired, the Turkish
preparations would have to be anticipated. If we waited until
the Turk was on Christian soil, it would be too late. I said I
did not think Francis would be so dishonourable as to break his
word, and if he did, it would be in vain, for all Christendom would
turn against him. Moreover, by the plan proposed, Francis
would contribute his share to the war against the Turk, and would
be as much weakened thereby as your majesty.
Of Henry's alternative proposal I said that, in my opinion, it
did not meet the need for immediate action or comply with the
pope's request, for even if Christendom were not in danger, a
Christian prince ought to accept a reasonable offer of peace. I
pointed out that if Francis consented to a truce, you and he
would, by your compliance, have won the good will of the pope
and of all Christendom, and if he refused the pope would be
obliged to declare against him and bring to the alliance all his
power, temporal and spiritual, which would be a great accession
of strength to the common cause.
To his complaints I replied as before, but gently, so as not to
irritate him. I said he ought not to be surprised if your majesty
had changed your mind, since it was reasonable to change one's
plans as circumstances altered. I repeated that the change did
not arise from your being unprepared for war with France, but
from your concern for the good of Christendom, and to reinforce
this point I urged him to invade France at once, if he wished to
do so, without waiting for your reply, and assured him that you
would not fail also to make an invasion in force.
The king, the cardinal and I had a good deal more talk on this
topic, they insisting that you made this proposal because you
were unprepared for war, and were anxious about Naples and
Sicily, I maintaining the contrary. Finally I said that your
majesty did not wish to press this proposal on the king, and that
if he knew a better means of satisfying the pope, resisting the
Turk, and subduing Francis, you would be glad to have his advice
and to act on it. He replied that he would think the matter
over and let me know his decision.
Next day I went at once to Wolsey. He told me the king had
consented to a three years' truce on approximately the same
terms your majesty had written, and he tried again to get me to
admit that the cause was your unpreparedness. Either this
king and he are very badly informed of your preparations, or
they wish to drag out the negotiations until good weather is
over, so as to escape from their obligations without dishonour.
However this may be, my efforts about the truce have been
successful, and yesterday, the 30th of May, Wolsey told me of
Henry's agreement, and said that powers and instructions would
soon be sent to Rome to be used on two conditions. First,
Henry insisted that the truce, as far as he was concerned, must
be quite separate from any obligation to contribute to an army
against the Turk, which point he would only discuss after its
conclusion. Second, your majesty is to sign and seal a bond,
which will be sent you by Jerningham, promising to pay the
king the sum due him for the indemnity, according to the treaty
of Windsor. When he receives the bond, Jerningham will write
at once to the English ambassador at Rome, who will then sign
the terms for truce, but not before. The other English conditions
are similar to yours, except that Henry demands that Francis
pay the dowry of his sister Mary, and that it be agreed that
Albany shall not go to Scotland during the truce.
I did my best to point out to the cardinal that these terms
would much retard the negotiations, and that there was no doubt
your majesty would keep his promise and that you could not be
more straitly bound than by the treaty of last year. But my
words were in vain. Wolsey only said that he did not doubt
your majesty's good faith, but he could not expose himself to
the charge of neglecting his master's interests.
After this Wolsey drew me apart and began to remonstrate with
me, in friendship (as he said), for having been too stiff in insisting
before the council that your majesty's expenses this year had
been so much greater than those of the king, his master. Even
if this were so, he said, I ought to remember that the king had
gone to war out of friendship for you, and had spent a great deal
of money last year without an equal expenditure on your part.
He begged me to speak more gently, both for the sake of reason
and for the sake of his (Wolsey's) honour and credit, for he had
been the one who had got his master into this war and he would
gladly get him out again honourably and without great loss. I
thanked him for his good advice, and said that I had not intended
to reproach the English, but only to let them understand that
your majesty was not so much to blame as they believed, and
that I was obliged to justify you before the council, otherwise
it would appear that I admitted things which were not true.
I begged him not to let small causes of disagreement sunder the
friendship, and I think I soothed him before we parted. After
this he called Marnix apart and spoke to him about his report
to Madame, recurring to much the same terms that he had used
to me. In fact, Wolsey would like to be free to charge your
majesty with faults, just as he pleases, not only in private conversation
but before the council. I several times noticed, while
Badajoz was here, that he plumed himself before the council,
saying that, since we did not contradict him, it was clear your
majesty was in the wrong.
After much solicitation the king of England has finally given
Jerningham power to treat about the Bourbon affair at your
court, and to agree to pay half the expenses of the troops, if
matters seem in good train. In my poor opinion, however,
your majesty ought not to place too much reliance on the English
offers, since it is to be feared they have complied with your
request only in the hope that nothing will come of the negotiations,
as I wrote you before. *In truth, this secret has been kept
badly. By whose fault I do not know, but it will soon be common
property. At this court more than ten persons know of it, and
day before yesterday the cardinal spoke of it in the presence of
the duke of Suffolk, Talbot, Wingfield, three English bishops,
and Marnix, and let out the whole matter including the fact
that Madame had sent word that a French gentleman, the Sieur
de la Motte, had come to her secretly from Bourbon on his way
to your majesty with a message from the duke that this June
offered the most favourable opportunity which had yet arisen
to invade France. I strongly suspect that this la Motte has
been sent either by King Francis or Madame to see whether,
by his means, the truth of this matter can be found out. Your
majesty ought to be advised of these things, and I shall write
as soon as possible of what follows. Many people in Flanders
know the secret as Badajoz and I knew at the beginning of last
January, although we did not mention it to the king or the
cardinal until your majesty ordered us to do so.* It has been
the same about the three year truce, which Wolsey first revealed
to Marnix as a great secret, and then afterwards recounted in
the presence of the whole royal council.
Henry and Wolsey have as yet reached no decision about
contributing to the pay of the Swiss and lanzknechts to serve
in France and about your brother, the archduke's making his
headquarters at Ferrette or Wurtemberg, although I have given
them several memoirs on the subject. I have not insisted on
this point for fear of irritating them, since they are already
making enough difficulties about much more reasonable and
A letter came from Pace yesterday, saying that the treaty
with Venice was as good as concluded, and would have been
signed already had it not been for the death of the doge. As
soon as it is, Pace will join your ambassador and those of the
pope and the duke of Milan, in Switzerland, but he will promise
no money, as I wrote you. Badajoz will have told you how
Henry set free the Venetian galleys without saying anything to us.
Nothing further has been said about payment of the indemnity,
and I have not raised the question. I am sending herewith the
receipts of the lords for their pensions and my accounts for the
8,500 crowns. I have not paid Sir Richard Wingfield nor the
bishop of London for lack of money and instructions. The
bishop was omitted from the list, and when I wrote Madame
about Wingfield she replied that she had no money to pay him
and I would have to write to you. It would be well to pay
these two lords as soon as possible, for they are highly esteemed
by their master, and the bishop of London is now privy seal,
taking the place of Marney who died May 24th. By this death,
and that of the bishop of Durham, the amount due on the pensions
has been reduced by two thousand crowns. Your majesty
ought to look to the other pensions also. There is a half year
owing to Wolsey, and I have heard he prefers ready money to
promises. A payment will be due the other pensioners on the
26th of this month. These payments are the principal means
of maintaining and assuring your influence here.
I have spoken to the queen about the son of her physician,
and about her confessor. She took what I had to tell her in
good part, and begs your majesty to keep her confessor in mind
for a future occasion. She is pleased with what you offer to do
for the physician's son, and thanks you very much, asking that
he may be placed in some honourable post near your majesty,
since she highly esteems his father, who is, moreover, of gentle
birth. Indeed, sire, he seems a worthy gentleman, and he is
daily busy in your service.
The king is sending you, by Jerningham, letters in his hand
and copies of briefs from the pope and the college of cardinals
and of Henry's and Wolsey's answers. Jerningham is a worthy
gentleman, and very much in his master's favour. I think your
majesty will not be the worse when he replaces Boleyn.
I have been advised by certain persons worthy of credence,
that a treaty is being discussed between the king of England
and the Scots, since the Scots, seeing themselves abandoned by
the French, and their land invaded, are in great perplexity.
I have no more certain news, for although I have several times
tried to ascertain the facts from the cardinal, he has told me only
that there was great dissension among the Scots, most of whom
desire peace, and said nothing about a treaty. Parliament has
been postponed from the eve of Pentecost to the 10th of this
month, because there are divers opinions and several difficulties
have arisen, as I have been informed by knowledgeable persons.
What is worse, it seems likely the opposition will be greater
this time than before. Wolsey is incredibly unpopular here,
and matters will not go so easily as he and Henry seem to believe.
News has come from Rome that the pope has arrested Cardinal
Soderini, because he has proof that Soderini was plotting a
rebellion in Sicily, and urging Francis to invade that kingdom
and conquer it with the help of the rebels. The discovery is
due to the activity of the duke of Sessa, who intercepted a messenger
whom the cardinal was sending to France, with the letters
which incriminated him. It is to be hoped that this episode
will further cool the pope toward the French. Cardinal de
Medici has asked the king of England to write the pope, urging
condign punishment for Soderini, which Wolsey promises to do.
This event, and the compliance of your majesty and the king
of England to the pope's request about the truce, may well lead
His Holiness to declare against the French.
From this dispatch your majesty will have learned what has
been decided about the truce, and about the war for this summer
(which in my opinion cannot have much success since it is to
be begun so late), and about the siege of Boulogne (which there
is little hope of taking). Your majesty will be put to much
greater expense than the king of England. It seems to me, for
these reasons and others, that you ought to accept a truce, if
Francis will be reasonable, or otherwise simply stand on the defensive,
which should not be very expensive, since the Low
Countries are in a position to defend themselves, and matters
are going well enough in Spain, and in Italy also, since the
Venetians have come over. The pope will probably declare
himself, and enough money should accumulate so that the
"Great Enterprise" can be executed next year, to which Henry
will have to contribute. Then the campaign can be begun at
a favourable season, and some profitable use may be made of
Bourbon, as can hardly be done this year, since the summer
will be nearly gone before he declares himself. Marnix and I
are expecting today Madame's reply about military co-operation
in Flanders. As soon as we have delivered it, Marnix will return.
I am sending herewith a duplicate of my dispatch by Domingo
d'Aguyerro. My dispatch about the truce and war is going
through France, addressed to the pope to avoid the dangers of
the road, as I am secretly advising the archbishop of Bari.
London, 1 June, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French, pp. 20. The paragraph
marked * ... * is printed by Bradford and calendared in
L. & P., III, 1287.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet and Marnix to Charles V.
From our last letters your majesty will have learned what we
offered the king and the cardinal on the part of Madame by way
of assistance to the English army which is to invade France.
We explained that more could not be done because the frontiers
of the Netherlands, which had to be defended, were very long
and very open to the enemy, and because your majesty was
assembling an army at great expense in Spain. We said that
they should not, therefore, look for an effort in Flanders equal
to theirs, but should merely regard what could be done there
as aid to their army. They refused our offer, and insisted that
we furnish three thousand horse and five thousand foot, with
half of the artillery, munitions and transport. At their request
we wrote Madame, and having consulted M. de Buren, she
replied that it would be impossible to increase the force offered,
two thousand good horse, four thousand foot, and fifteen pieces
of light artillery, but if the English crossed they would be given
all possible assistance, and ten or twelve thousand Flemish foot
would be ready to act as a reserve.
Although we presented this reply as persuasively as possible,
these lords were not satisfied, but raised the difficulties of which
we have already written, asking that the "Great Enterprise"
be postponed for a year or two, saying that their troops could
not be ready until the end of June, although I, Marnix, assured
them that our forces would be ready on the 15th, as is indeed
true, speaking of besieging Boulogne, which seems an unprofitable
undertaking, insisting on knowing the results of Jerningham's
mission before they would act, and again asking that we increase
the extent of the aid offered.
In view of this attitude we urged that Jerningham be sent at
once, and since they had proposed so many conditions, to which
neither Madame nor I, de Praet, could agree, we suggested that
Jerningham be empowered to treat of this whole question with
you. This seemed the more desirable because they are building
great hopes on the money which Môqueron will bring, which
they think should easily provide the horse and foot which they
ask, and more. They intend to put only about fifteen thousand
infantry in the field, with some artillery, under the command
of the duke of Suffolk as the king's lieutenant.
Today, May 21st, we went to Wolsey to receive the reply
which I, Marnix, have been awaiting for twenty days, and which
I, de Praet, expected to your majesty's letters of April 16th.
In the presence of the privy council, Wolsey told us that if we
wished to treat about the army your majesty was preparing for
Guienne, and the assistance which Madame is to give in your
name, they were ready ; meanwhile, while their troops were
being prepared, they would send Jerningham to you, and as soon
as they had news of him, send the army to Calais. They said
that your majesty would make no difficulty about postponing
the "Great Enterprise," since your last letters showed that you
wanted a three years' truce.
It seemed to me, de Praet, that Wolsey hoped thus to take
us at a disadvantage, since he has shown no real willingness to
further the English invasion. I replied that I would be glad
to treat of Madame's co-operation according to Marnix's instructions,
and that there would be no failure in it, since our people
would be quite ready by the 15th. I said I was also quite ready
to treat about your invasion of France, according to letters I
had had from you, in which you had said, among other things,
that I was not to make difficulties over details. And I handed
Wolsey a schedule, a copy of which is enclosed. Since, however,
they appeared to distrust your preparations, I said, and were
therefore sending Jerningham to Spain, it would be better if all
agreements were negotiated there, since their object seemed to
be to bind your majesty while Henry remained free, and since,
whatever they said, their preparations here were so tardy that
they were likely to be fruitless. Saying this, to put the right
on your side, I handed Wolsey the schedule, and said I was
ready to treat in virtue of the powers your majesty had sent
me. At this Wolsey drew back, and after saying that Madame's
offer was too slight, and blaming your majesty as is his habit,
he said it would be better to wait until Môqueron arrived, and
postponed any answer until today, in the king's presence at
We presented ourselves at the appointed time and place.
Henry told us that he had good news from Scotland, that his
people had already burned and devastated two great swathes
of the best land on the Scottish side of the border, taken and
razed several strong castles, and found no resistance. He said
to me, Marnix, that Madame's offer was insufficient, and that
without more than two thousand horse, his army could not take
the field safely. We replied to him as we had replied to Wolsey,
that the defence of the Netherlands would not permit Madame
to furnish a larger force, and he seemed to take our answer
kindly enough, but Wolsey cried out that it was impossible, and
drew the king apart for a long consultation with the council.
After this Wolsey returned to us and began to tell us all over
again how his master had gone to war for your sake, how he was
abandoning his certain conquest of Scotland to please you, and
how nothing equal had been done on your side. He said the
Netherlands would have to furnish three thousand horse and
three thousand foot, though they might be excused from the rest
of the artillery and munitions. He asked that this be communicated
to Madame at once, and that I, Marnix, remain here until
she replied. Meanwhile, he said, he would treat with me, de
Praet, leaving the article about co-operation blank until Madame's
answer arrived. Not to irritate him, we promised to write to
Madame, and have done so. For the rest, I, de Praet, will
gladly treat with him on the terms I handed him, but not otherwise,
for I do not intend to bind your majesty more than this
king is bound, and. whatever they say, they have no intention
of doing anything until your majesty begins, and they insist on
sending Jerningham, who will start, they say, in two days.
Considering the uncertainty of the voyage, we can see the whole
summer passing and nothing done, as we have told them.
Moreover, your army in the Netherlands is only paid until
the end of September, and after that we do not know how it will
be able to keep the field, as we have told them. Their reply
was that the money that Môqueron was bringing would settle
this difficulty, and they were astonished that he had not come
already. Finally Wolsey said he would be in London on the
28th of this month, and would treat with us further then.
On that day we found Wolsey with the council and asked
him for some decision, since time was passing and your majesty
ought not to be kept longer in suspense. He then asked me,
de Praet, to show him my power to treat, notwithstanding the
fact that he had had it in his hand more than six weeks ago.
I showed it at once, and he then asked if I was ready to treat.
I said I was, according to the note I had given him, but not otherwise.
He replied that to treat in such general terms was useless,
and that we should agree about the actual number of infantry
and cavalry and of artillery that you would put in the field, the
precise time, and the support of your invading army by another
army as you wrote on March 8th. He added, as a rebuke, that
I ought to have said nothing unless I was ready to agree on
details. I answered that it was true your majesty had intended
to form such armies by land and sea, and no doubt you would
do so, and in such fashion that Henry would be quite satisfied,
nevertheless it was not in my power to bind you to furnish these
great armies besides two thousand horse, four thousand foot and
fifteen pieces of light artillery in Flanders, when Henry was
furnishing only fifteen thousand English infantry and some
artillery and munitions. Such an agreement would not be reasonable ;
the expense was too unequal. I reminded him that sometimes
it happened that an ambassador or servant of a king said,
on his master's part, many things to which he could not bind
his master, as indeed had been the case when he had told Badajoz
and me last winter about the great armies Henry was preparing
to invade Scotland, nothing of which had as yet been done.
Wolsey made no reply but began to speak again of the inequality
in expense, and the failures in the war by land and sea last year,
and the little aid the English had from you, adding that your
majesty did not observe the treaties by which the fleet with
three thousand men was supposed to be in the Channel, which
was the true "sea of France," and that so the article in the
treaty should be interpreted.
I replied to these observations as I had done before, laying
the failure to provision Lescano to the fortunes of war, and saying
that as far as I understood, your majesty was not obliged by
the treaty to keep a fleet in the Channel. Wolsey replied that
he had drawn the treaty, and knew the intention of the article
in question. Finally I offered to treat with him on the basis
of your letter of February 7th, and said that I was willing to
bind you to put in the field an army strong enough to invade
Guienne or Languedoc or whichever French province seemed
best to you, to besiege great towns, give and await battle, and
be such that you might accompany it in person. Since the ways of
communication were uncertain, I said I was willing to fix the time
according to my former memorandum, or twenty days after your
majesty had been given notice of the treaty. I offered to treat
about the assistance to be given by Madame in the manner of
which we had spoken, and said that I did not wish to bind Henry
more particularly than you were bound, but only to oblige him
to take the field with a good and sufficient army to be reinforced
from Flanders on the terms declared. At this Wolsey commenced
to grow warm, and to insist that I treat according to
his pleasure, and bind your majesty further than my charge,
and more than Henry was bound, and particularly that you
should be obliged to invade France expressly by Guienne and
also by Languedoc, without giving you any choice, so that if
you found one place more favourable than another you would
be unable to take advantage of the fact without a second army.
He wished the campaign to begin August 1st.
I replied as gently as I could that I was unable to go beyond
my commision, and, since they would not be ready before August
first, and since they insisted on having a reply to Jernignham's
mission before starting, it would be better to refer the whole
matter to your majesty. The council then decided to draw up
certain articles of this treaty which they will give me on the
last day of this month (May), to send you, so that you may agree
on them with Jerningham and Dr. Sampson, if they pleaase
you, and advise me promptly. This seemed the best solution,
for your majesty will be able to see by these articles what the
English are aiming at. In our opinion, they seek their own
particular profit, hoping the delay will last until the truce, so
that they will not have to put a man in the field, and will be
quit of the "Great Enterprise." They wish you to conquer
Guienne for them, while they use their army and your help to
Today, May 31st, we kept our appointment with Wolsey, who
showed us the articles he had drawn up. In these your majesty
is obliged to equip an army of twenty thousand men, horse and
foot, to invade France by Bayonne or elsewhere in the duchy of
Guienne. Henry is obliged to furnish only fifteen thousand
horse and foot, and this army is to besiege Boulogne. Madame
is to grant him three thousand horse and three thousand foot,
which we have never been authorized to offer, and what is worse,
nothing is to begin until August first. We said frankly and
amicably that we did not find these articles very reasonable for
several reasons which we alleged. Wolsey replied in his accustomed
manner, repeating from beginning to end everything that
he says he has done for you and, rebuking us for making difficulties,
although he finally offered to revise the article about
twenty thousand men in your army. He would change nothing
else, and since arguments seemed useless, we agreed to send your
majesty these articles.
To sum up. The English preparations are so tardy that it
hardly seems likely they will do much against the enemy.
According to their terms, they will be in the field only three
months, August, September, October, most of which season is
unpropitious, and they wish to lose most of this time before
Boulogne, although not only Madame's privy council, but many
English lords, including the treasurer of Calais, believe it impregnable.
They wish to conduct this siege with the assistance
of our troops from Flanders, so that your frontiers in those parts
will be quite exposed to attack, since Boulogne is so situated
that it is of no use to protect them. Also the pay of your gens
d'armes ends in September, and it seems unlikely that they can
keep the field longer unless your majesty pays them yourself.
You will also have to pay for the extra thousand horse unless
Madame changes her mind. Therefore we think your majesty
ought to dispense with the English army for this year if possible,
and to tell them that they may accomplish their purpose in
Scotland, doing your best in your own defence for the remaider
of this year, and putting off the rest until the "Great Enterprise,"
when the English will have to do their part and share expenses
equally with your majesty. This is our best advice. I, Marnix,
was not charged with any of these matters, and have often
asked to be allowed to withdraw, but the cardinal has wished
me to be present at all the negotiations.
Madame writes that the king of Denmark, who is in the Low
Countries, has asked three things of her : first, to help him
reconquer his kingdom ; second, to furnish a passport for one
of his gentlemen who is coming to you and to write to you in
his favour ; third, to write to your brother, the archduke, and
the prince electors, asking them to intervene in his quarrel with
the duke of Holstein and the city of Lübeck to see that justice
is done. She has complied with the second and third requests,
but refused the first. The king of Denmark has sent a herald
here, asking a safe-conduct for his ships in some port in this
kingdom. By what Wolsey tells us, he was sent a safe-conduct
to come here without armed ships, or more than one hundred
persons, provided that he did not go from here to Scotland or
any enemy territory. They hope he will not come at all on these
By our remonstrances we have persuaded Wolsey to delete
the article about the invasion of Languedoc, but he still does
not intend to agree to anything unless your majesty will postpone
the "Great Enterprise" for at least a year. There is no
mention of this in the articles, but Jerningham is instructed to
obtain this concession before concluding the treaty, and has a
special power for this purpose which we have seen. He leaves
here tomorrow, and, since he is unlikely to travel as fast as this
courier, we thought we ought to warn you that it is no use accepting
the articles unless you agree to the postponement.
We expect to have Madame's reply to the most recent English
demands in three or four days ; thereafter I, de Marnix, shall
return to her court.
London. 1 June, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet and Jehan de Marnix. French. pp. 15.
Printed in part only by Bradford and calendared in L. & P.,
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Margaret Of Savoy.
This morning we received your letter of June 2nd and went
at once to Wolsey to ask him to agree that you should furnish
only 2,500 horse instead of the three thousand for which he asked.
He was quite dissatisfied and, not to irritate him, we said that,
in the hope that Môqueron would come shortly, we would agree
to three thousand as he wished. We said we hoped that when
the English had lost their time before Boulogne for fifteen or
twenty days, as it was to be feared they would, they would then
assault Thérouanne. Wolsey made no difficulty about this,
provided the captains thought it wise at the time.
Since writing last we have had several conversations with
Wolsey, at his request, but have found that there were many
points which had to be referred to the emperor. We have been
able to draw up several articles of the treaty, however, a copy
of which I, Marnix, will bring you. I had hoped to leave day
after tomorrow, but Wolsey has asked me to remain four or
five days longer, so that I may take my leave of the king who
is not here at present.
Briefly, the treaty provides that the emperor shall put in the
field from Spain an army so powerful that he might safely lead
it in person, and this army shall invade Guienne by Bayonne
before August first. The king of England undertakes also to
provide an army such as he might lead in person. This army
will cross to Calais and invade France by Picardy or elsewhere,
by August first, provided that news arrives fifteen days earlier
that the emperor accepts the treaty. The two armies are to
remain in the field until the end of October. You, Madame,
are to reinforce the English army with three thousand horse
and three thousand foot, who are to be at Calais within three
days after the English land. The whole army, commanded
by the duke of Suffolk, is to go first to besiege Boulogne. The
king does not intend to accompany the army in person, nor is
the emperor bound to accompany his. Jerningham has left.
Of this and many other things, I, Marnix, will tell you on my
return ; two days would not suffice to write the whole of our
We have told Wolsey your news of the king of Denmark and
he is expected here. Lord Daunce (fn. 1) and Lord Mountjoy have
gone to Dover to receive him, but we understand that he is still
at Malines, and we can assure you that his presence is not much
desired here, and it seems to us unlikely that he will be successful
if he comes. La Motte is expected here. We have warned
Wolsey to be on his guard, and he promises to worm out La
M. de Gavres has written the treasurer of Calais that Bourbon's
people have suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the company
of six thousand diables and Bourbon has been mortally wounded.
In accordance with your request that the garrison at Guines
should assist our troops, the cardinal has written to the treasurer
of Calais to furnish M. de Gavres five hundred men. I, de Praet,
have not been able to carry out exactly your order to forward
the packet of letters from the pope to his collector here. The
master of the royal posts receives all letters, and has already
re-addressed the packet as you wished. I shall ask the collector
to reply, and I hope you will hear from him in two or three days.
London. 7 June, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet and Jehan de Marnix. French. pp. 3.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
Since writing you by Francisco Frias, who left here June 1st,
we have received Madame's reply. She writes that she hopes
the king and cardinal, in view of the great extent of the frontier
which the Low Countries must defend, will be content with 2,500
horse and three thousand foot as her quota, but if they insist
on three thousand, she will agree to furnish them, in the hope
that the other five hundred can be raised when Môqueron arrives,
though without the help he is bringing, she will be unable to keep
her promise. When we gave Wolsey the first part of her message
he was quite dissatisfied with the number of 2,500 horse and we
were obliged to promise three thousand. We told him Madame
hoped that, after Boulogne had been besieged for fifteen or twenty
days, the army would attack Thérouanne, and about this he
made no difficulty. We thought it well for your majesty to be
advised of these details before you discuss them with Jerningham,
who left here for your court on the first of this month.
We have written you of the arrival in the Low Countries of
the king and queen of Denmark and their children. The king
has sent here asking for a safe-conduct to visit these realms,
which was granted him for three months, on condition that he
come with no more than a hundred followers and without any
war ships. Henry is now informed that the king does intend to
visit him and has sent Daunce and Mountjoy to receive him at
Dover, but he will not be very welcome here, and is unlikely to
Madame writes that she is sending the Sieur de la Motte to
your majesty, and that he will pass through here, conducted by
Simon de Vauldray, to satisfy the king of England. She writes
that she thinks him unreliable, and fears that he has come to do
ill rather than well. We have warned Wolsey to act cautiously
with him. The cardinal replied that he knew how to conduct
himself, and hoped to worm out la Motte's secrets, but we fear
that Wolsey will say too much as often happens when he grows
M. de Gavres wrote recently to the treasurer of Calais that
there had been a battle between the band of six thousand French
infantry and some troops raised by Bourbon in which Bourbon
had been mortally wounded. Wolsey showed us de Gavres' letter,
but we cannot believe its news.
Wolsey has told us that the pope has sent here a bull commanding
all Christian princes to a three years' truce on pain of
the censures of the church, and without including any honourable
or reasonable conditions for a truce. The cardinal is greatly
surprised, and indeed we find it strange that His Holiness, ignoring
the good will of your majesty and the king of England, has
endeavoured to constrain you in this fashion, especially since
you were not the first to break the peace, but have been forced
into war in self-defence, and will now be more troubled by this
bull than before. Wolsey has written to remonstrate with the
pope, and we thought your majesty should be informed of what
action is being taken here, since you will probably receive a
I, Marnix, took my leave today to return to Madame.
London. 12 June, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet and Jehan de Marnix. French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
Eng., f. 2.
Charles V to Louis De Praet and Adrien De Croy.
As we wrote to you, Beaurain, we have received two letters
from you, de Praet, dated May 9th, containing a full account of
your negotiations with the king and the cardinal, in all of which
we find that you have done well. You say that Jerningham is
coming here soon, and that you will send us a special courier as
soon as your negotiations are completed. Therefore, until the
arrival of this courier, we need say no more on this subject.
We are anxiously awaiting news from you, Beaurain, in the
confidence that you will be diligent in this affair, the importance
of which you understand.
The present courier is being sent to Germany on matters concerning
the government of the empire, and we have taken the
opportunity to inform you that the fleet, manned by three
thousand men, will set sail during July, as you may tell Henry
and Wolsey. Ask them to order that the fleet may purchase in
England its necessary provisions at a reasonable price. For this
purpose we are sending you a letter of exchange for nine thousand
ducats which will buy provisions for the 2,400 fighting men, not
counting the sailors. These provisions you, Sieur de Praet, will
purchase in England, and send to the fleet in supply ships, under
the charge of some responsible person, from whom you will
take a complete accounting to be forwarded to us. Our complete
confidence in you, and your experience of last year lead us to
entrust you with this important service.
Valladolid, 17 June, 1523.
Draft. French. pp. 2.
H. H. u. St. A.
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The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
In accordance with your majesty's orders, I, Beaurain, hastened
to London, arriving here on the 19th, and having consulted with
me, de Praet, we asked at once for an interview, since Beaurain
should hasten to Bourg-en-Bresse. We could not see the king
and the cardinal until yesterday at dinner. At that time we
had a long conversation with the king, the cardinal, and several
members of the council, showed them Beaurain's powers and
instructions and added every possible persuasion. Wolsey raised
a good many difficulties, particularly about the hundred thousand
crowns which Henry was expected to disburse at once, speaking
at length of the heavy charges to which the king had been put as,
your majesty knows, is his custom. Finally he said that if your
majesty wished to pay Bourbon two hundred thousand crowns
at once, Henry was willing that a hundred thousand should be
charged to him to be deducted from what is owed him from the
indemnity and for the loan of 150,000 crowns which is due on the
26th of this month. We replied that we had no instructions on
this point, and Wolsey postponed any decision until to-day. He
alleged several reasons for postponing Bourbon's declaration
until next year, at which time the "Great Enterprise" could be
begun, pointing out that a great part of the favourable weather
this year had passed, and saying that before Henry concluded
anything he wished to have Bourbon's agreement to several
articles, the chief of which was that Bourbon should acknowledge
Henry as his sovereign lord and pay him homage, which, in our
opinion, Bourbon will not easily consent to do.
After dinner we had a long conversation with Wolsey, in the
course of which he raised several further difficulties. In the first
place, he objected to putting so much money into Bourbon's
hands at once, and said it would be better to pay Bourbon's
troops from month to month, since if he received 200,000 crowns,
he might turn against your majesties and do you much mischief.
In the second place, he said that the article whereby your majesty
agreed to make no peace or truce in which Bourbon was not
included, and to defend him against all his enemies, needed more
careful consideration. Such a promise, he pointed out, would
prevent you from making any truce or peace as long as there was
any cause of difference between Francis and Bourbon, unless the
French king were completely defeated and ruined. Thirdly,
Wolsey said that Bourbon's declaration would turn largely to
your majesty's profit, since it would withdraw the French from
Italy, and you might easily conquer Languedoc and Provence,
and he thought that, if Henry were to share the expenses, he
should share in the profit by a declaration on Bourbon's part
that he was Henry's subject, and would pay him faith and homage.
Fourthly, he said the season was now so far advanced that no
advantage could be taken of Bourbon's declaration without
spoiling all our other plans, and it would be better to postpone it
until your two majesties were ready to invade France in person
and execute the "Great Enterprise."
So that Bourbon may be sounded out on these points Wolsey
is giving me, Beaurain, a written memoir concerning them, and I
shall inquire about them as soon as I arrive at Bourg-en-Bresse.
Meanwhile, he will send Dr. Knight, the English ambassador in
Flanders, to follow me in great haste. Knight will take his leave
of Madame on the pretense of going to Switzerland on the king of
England's business, and make for Basle. As soon as he arrives
there, he will advise me by courier, and then join me at Bourgen-Bresse,
if I find Bourbon inclined favourably to the English
proposals. This has been the whole course of our negotiation on
this point. We shall forward a copy of Wolsey's memoir, but we
think the king and the cardinal have raised these points rather to
delay negotiations than for any other reason.
When we opened the question of the war this year, Wolsey
began at once to speak of the postponement of the "Great
Enterprise," and to require that your majesty be bound to invade
France through Guienne and not elsewhere, and to raise so many
other difficulties that we were obliged not only to show him our
instructions, but to leave them in his hands all yesterday. After
he had seen them, his only decision was to await the result of
When I, Beaurain, told him of my going to Rome he seemed
well enough satisfied with the reasons I gave him, nevertheless
it seemed to me, de Praet, that I heard him say in English to the
councillors present, that Beaurain's going was probably to advance
the truce by some secret means. I, Beaurain, am leaving for
Dover and hope to be in the appointed place on the date set.
London, 21 June, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet and Adrien de Croy. French. pp. 5.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Adrien De Croy to Charles V.
As your majesty ordered I had audience with the king and the
cardinal at Greenwich and told them all my mission, and had
from them a very long and very cold reply, as you may see from
my letter jointly with de Praet. It seems to me that it will be
impossible to keep on good terms with these people here for long,
for, as far as I can see, they wish to keep you in need of them
without making either peace or war. If you wish my foolish
counsel, your majesty will go on as you have begun, to make a
good war, and if it seems to you that you cannot carry it on
alone, I would try to arrange a good peace, so as not to fall between
two stools (ne demeures entre deux selles le cul a terre). I can
assure you that it would be impossible to reply more coldly than
the king and cardinal have done ; one can see them commencing
to grow suspicious, and their friendship diminishing. I would
give something handsome if this present affair had never been
broached to them, for they will tell everyone of it while I am on
the road, and I fear that it will all end as M. de Nassau has
I have talked with M. de la Motte here. He left France to
offer his services to you, going toward Madame. She, instead of
accepting his proffers, had him arrested and taken to Vilvorde
and there interrogated by the bishops of Liège and of Palermo
and by the president of Malines, who questioned him about the
Bourbon affair. They said everyone knew why he was going to
your majesty, and that he would never get out of prison until he
had told them the whole truth of the affair. He replied that he
was going to offer you his services, and that he would give you all
the information a good servant could give his master. As to
Bourbon, he said, he only knew that like many people in France,
he was very discontented. To this the councillors replied that
Madame was astonished that a prudent person like the duke of
Bourbon should entrust such high matters to such young men as
la Motte and I. They left him in this fashion for 17 days, making
him pay double for everything, so that when I met him he had
not a sou, and did not know how he would finish his journey. I
borrowed 250 ducats and gave him 200, which he refused until I
insisted that he ought to take them if he intended to serve you.
As far as I can see he will be uncomfortable until he reaches your
majesty. He seemed to me a prudent gentleman, and much
inclined to serve you, and he spoke to me of many ways in which
you might injure the enemy, which he will explain when he sees
you. In my opinion he ought to be well treated to encourage
others who might be inclined to enter your service. I beg your
majesty to order repayment of the 250 ducats which I borrowed
from Augustino Pinelli. Otherwise I must arrange to pay them
myself in order to maintain my credit. I gave the other fifty to
the courier ; they are less than he needs for his voyage.
I found here the king of Denmark and the queen, your sister,
who has spoken to me freely about her affairs. Among other
things, she said she knew that you had not been pleased with
certain letters she had written you, but that you should remember
she had to obey her husband and not take them amiss. She
said the king had treated her very well recently, and begged her
to forget his past neglect, and admitted having been in the wrong.
She is an honest and virtuous princess, and it is regrettable that
she is not so placed that she can serve you better, for she would
be very glad to do so.
Yesterday Henry drew me apart and said he had something to
tell me which I was not to disclose to anyone. He then said
that he had been told it was a fact that M. de Praet had an understanding
with the French. I said I thought he was ill-informed,
and that you held de Praet your loyal servant, but that I hoped
he would permit me to write this to you for I knew you would not
wish to be served by any one of whose faith there was the slightest
suspicion. He said that for himself he did not believe it true, but
the king of Denmark had assured him that it was, and he would be
glad if I would let you know about it, but he asked me to say
nothing of it to anyone else. I am writing this, then, at his
bidding. I can promise you, sire, that these are strange people
here, and for all the wealth in the world I would not be in de
Praet's place except at your express command. M. de Praet
serves you very well, and shows a great deal of patience in your
service. He is at great expense here, and could not spend less to
do you honour, and he is very badly paid, so that unless your
majesty can improve matters for him, he will be unable to go on
on the same footing. I beg you to see that he is better paid for
the sake of your own great affairs to which he is rendering loyal
and zealous service.
Greenwich, 21 June, 1523.
Signed, Adrien de Croy. French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
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Adrien De Croy to Charles V.
I gave your letters to the queen and she was very glad to have
news from you. It is impossible to describe the great love she
bears you. I was unable to give her the messages you confided
to me, because Wolsey was present throughout our interview,
but she will send her doctor to me, through whom I will convey
the messages, and he will give her reply to M. de Praet, who will
Greenwich, 21 June, ten o'clock in the evening.
Signed, Adrien de Croy. French.
H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien D. D.
Abt. B. f. 6.
Copy of the articles given by the Cardinal Of England to
M. De Beaurain.
Beaurain shall urge the duke of Bourbon to defer his declaration
until next year, when the two sovereigns will invade France
in person. If the duke cannot be persuaded Beaurain shall
weigh matters carefully and discover what party Bourbon has
in Normandy and Guienne. He shall provide that money for the
payment of the troops be given Bourbon only from month to
month. He shall obtain the duke's acknowledgement that
Henry is the rightful king of France. He shall provide that
Henry be not involved in perpetual war for the duke's sake. He
shall arrange the channels through which payment is to be made
for the troops. He shall discuss with Bourbon plans for carrying
off King Francis when that person is hunting and slightly guarded.
He shall try to ascertain from Bourbon what King Francis is
plotting against the emperor and the king of England, and where
invasion of France will be most likely to succeed, and advise the
cardinal of all these matters speedily.
Signed, Thomas, Cardinal of York. Copy. Latin. pp. 3.
Printed in St. P., VI, 153.
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The Ambassadors in England to Margaret Of Savoy.
M. de Beaurain arrived here June 19th, having come from
Spain with instructions to negotiate jointly with me, de Praet,
to have an English army cross the sea promptly and join with the
ordinary garrison of the Low Countries, which is to be reinforced
at the emperor's cost. We therefore sought the king and the
cardinal yesterday at Greenwich. They finally said that since
Beaurain's charge involved the same points as their memoir,
which I recently sent to the emperor, they would have to await a
reply to that. They also hope to hear shortly from Jerningham,
who had favourable weather for his voyage, and should now be
at court. We can do nothing, therefore, at present.
London, 21 June, 1523.
Signed, Adrien de Croy, Loys de Praet. French.
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Abt. B. f. 6.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
Since we wrote last, we received your letters of June 1st. Final
decision about the war and the truce having been referred here,
we have only three things to say at present. First, we shall do
our best to conclude matters with Jerningham as soon as he
arrives, and will let you know promptly. Nothing will be
lacking on our side, even though the English conditions seem very
disadvantageous and unreasonable. Second, if you, Beaurain,
have not yet left England when you receive this, you will try to
get from Henry his power to treat with Bourbon, which he should
grant without difficulty, since according to de Praet he has already
conceded the principal points involved. If you cannot get the
English power you must leave there at once anyway, for you
know how important this business is. There is no change in your
instructions. Third, as you, Beaurain, have been informed by
de Praet, a Frenchman, the Sieur de la Motte, is at Madame's
court, and it is suspected that he has been sent by Francis or the
regent to smell out our affairs. Therefore, have your eyes open
for any tricks, and if you find la Motte to be such as is suspected,
have him held prisoner and made to talk. Jerningham has not
yet arrived. We shall advise you of what decision is reached
with him as soon as possible.
Tordesillas, 21 June, 1523.
P.S.—Since writing this we have had news that Jerningham
has reached Valladolid and we shall hear him there to-morrow.
Copy. French. pp. 2.