H. H. u. St. A.
Belgien, D. D.
Abt. B. f. 6.
Copy of the articles proposed by the king of England to the
Duchess Of Savoy and her reply.
Through his ambassadors the king of England informed
Madame that his army will soon land to invade France. It will
consist of nine or ten thousand English troops, nine thousand
infantry and a thousand or fifteen hundred horse. In addition
he will raise, at his expense, three thousand German infantry
besides the three thousand cavalry and one thousand German
infantry which the emperor has agreed to furnish, and to pay
for five months, since the king intends his army to remain in
France next winter. He also intends that the army shall not
burn, pillage or damage the kingdom and subjects of France,
but shall treat them as a people who are to be conquered and
whose allegiance is to be won. The king of England requests
Madame to provide, by the time the English army lands, three
thousand horse and one thousand German infantry, and to inform
the emperor that from the day the English invade France he must
pay Bourbon's troops. He asks her to appoint persons who will
inspect the emperor's artillery in company with the English
master of the artillery, and select such as may serve the army.
This artillery is to be provided with carriages and wagons, draft
animals and drivers. A large number of cannon balls are to be
ready in time. Provisions are to be provided and collected for
the troops, against their landing.
By the advice of the count de Buren, the emperor's captain-general,
and of the emperor's privy council with her, Madame
asked the English ambassadors to point out to their master that
the kingdom of France was a powerful one, and to say that it
would be better if he provided at least ten thousand English foot
and a thousand or fifteen hundred horse, and hired two thousand
German cavalry and three thousand infantry. They are to tell
the king that she will furnish the troops agreed on. Since the
five months mentioned will end December 31st, they are to ask
the king whether he means that term to begin on the day her
contingent takes the field, and whether he intends to maintain
it after the expiration of five months. They are to inform the
king that according to the treaty, the artillery, munitions, pioneers
and transport are to be at his expense. Madame has ordered
Jehan de Hesdin, the emperor's master of artillery, to show the
artillery to the English master of artillery, and to make ready
those which they select. Hesdin is also to see that cannon balls
are cast, and to provide for wagons and draft animals. The
English ambassadors have agreed to inform the king of England
as above and to declare promptly his response, and to inform
M. de Hesdin from what day the pay for the horses and wagons
for the army is to run.
Madame will do everything possible to collect provisions.
She is sending writs for this purpose to the lieutenants, governors,
captains, and officers, and to the men of law of the towns and
countries of these realms, and she has appointed experienced
persons to take charge of the preparation of these provisions and
their collection in designated towns and places. Although the
English ambassadors will inform the king and the cardinal as
above, Madame will also advise M. de Praet.
Copy. French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
Eng., f. 2.
Margaret Of Savoy to Louis De Praet.
When Beaurain passed through England you learned from
him how he was coming here about a marriage by proxy. You
understand what I mean. Yesterday I received letters from the
president of Burgundy with a credence for one of his chaplains,
and also a credence given me by the chaplain in writing. Copy
is enclosed. Inform Henry and Wolsey at once, and ask the
king, accordingly, to land his army in France and furnish the
necessary money. I understand that the English descent is to
be made in Normandy.
Since Beaurain cannot go to the emperor at present, you must
advise him at once, in cipher, by this bearer or another, the
most diligent you can find, as to what has been decided. Send
Beaurain's servant back to the person from whom he has come,
so that that personage and the emperor will both be ready to play
their part. You know how important the matter is. Write me
at once what you have done.
Brussels, 3 August, 1523.
Signed, Margaret ; Countersigned, Du Blioul.
Copy of credence.
Hugues Marmier asks Margaret of Savoy to give credence to
his chaplain who brings her news.
Gray, 26 July, 1523.
What the president of Burgundy ordered his chaplain to say
to Madame :
Count Felix undertakes to furnish the ten thousand lanzknechts,
which Bourbon asks, by August 15th or a week later at latest.
Marmier has sent this word to Bourbon ; the messenger has not
yet returned. He will keep Madame constantly informed.
He has just had word from Beaurain at Genoa. Beaurain is
sending Bourbon's servant back to Burgundy, to keep him out
of danger. Nevertheless this gentleman seems to have preferred
to return to his master and has sent the treasurer of Bresse a
letter which you will show. Beaurain will do his best to get
through, but he begs you, Madame, to ask the king of England to
make his descent on the French coast at once and to order payment
for Bourbon's troops for a month. Two days ago letters
came from Spain to Beaurain by merchants, but it is impossible
to reply through the same channels, for all bankers and couriers
are now forbidden in France. Therefore it is necessary to advise
the emperor of Beaurain's news, since Beaurain himself may not
be able to leave Genoa. The president [Marmier] has sent a man
to Bourbon to tell him about the ten thousand lanzknechts
and to find out whether he is ready. You will be informed at
Copy. French. pp. 3.
H. H. u. St. A.
Eng., f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Margaret Of Savoy.
Beaurain's servant, the bearer of this, brought me your letter
of July 25th. On receiving it I went at once to Wolsey, who
heard the whole matter, and went over it two or three times in
the presence of the king, as the bearer will tell you. The king
and the cardinal are willing to do their part promptly, without
waiting to hear the result of Jerningham's mission, and they
undertake to bear expenses equally with the emperor. The
English army will be at Calais on August 25th, provided that you
furnish three thousand horse, and three thousand foot ; they also
ask for the twelve pieces of artillery, if possible. These troops
should meet the English army at a village called Mergesin (sic)
on the frontiers of Calais and their combined power will invade
the enemy in whatever direction seems best. I hope that on this
point they will follow the advice of a certain personage, and also
that the personage will agree to consider certain articles laid
down by the king, which the bearer will show you. The king is
sending at once to this personage an honest gentleman, Master
Russell, to learn his intentions about these articles. I do not
think he will make any difficulty about them, unless it is about
the second, which seems to me of greater weight and consequence
than it appears at first glance.
The cardinal has asked me to inform you at once of their
decision, and begs you to be diligent in doing your part. He and
the king have this affair marvellously at heart, and, with God's
help, there now seems more likelihood than ever before of finishing
this war honourably for these two princes. The English decision
to do their part cannot but be to the emperor's advantage, for
his majesty has twice expressly written me that even if the king
of England would take no part in this affair, he was too deeply
engaged to the personage in question to withdraw from it. Therefore,
Madame, it seems to me that even though you have no reply
from the emperor about Jerningham's mission, you ought to
supply everything that the cardinal wishes, for, as I judge from
the emperor's letters, he intends to accept the English conditions,
unreasonable and costly as they are.
Wolsey has also asked me to beg you to give order that the
English army may, on its landing, find wagons and horses for its
artillery and munitions at a reasonable price. This seems a
request which ought to be granted, and since, as you know, Dr.
Knight, the English ambassador, is not now with you, the cardinal
has asked me to address you in this matter and to ask for prompt
I reported to Wolsey the contents of your letter of July 26th.
There is no news here that the Swiss and the Venetians have
joined the French, but if it should be so, Wolsey hopes that the
emperor and the king, his master, will be strong enough to draw
Francis from the Italian enterprise, and give him so much to do
on all sides that he will be busy guarding his own kingdom without
invading the kingdoms of his neighbours.
London, 4 August, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 3.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
On July 18th I received your majesty's letters dated from
Tordesillas June 21st, and went at once to Wolsey. As soon as
he had read what you had written about the fleet, and before he
heard me speak, he said that there was no need for your majesty
to go to the expense of furnishing this fleet, since King Francis
was making no preparations to keep the sea this year, and Henry
had decided that, to avoid unnecessary expense on both sides, no
fleet should be maintained, and written you this by his last
courier. He added that if the fleet did come he would consider
where it could be best employed.
I replied that you had already gone to great expense to comply
with Henry's request for the fleet, and had sent me a considerable
sum of money to re-provision it, all in the hope that the English
would put an equal fleet at sea, as they had promised. We decided
to inform you at once of the change of plans, and in addition
to this letter Wolsey is sending another special courier. This
change seems to me much to your majesty's advantage. I beg
you to advise me what to do with the 8,140 ducats, in case your
fleet remains in Spain, and also what course to take if it has
already sailed, for I wish to make the least possible outlay for its
re-victuallment. To tell you the truth, I believe that Wolsey,
thinking to avoid the expense to which Henry would be obliged,
has instructed his ambassadors to give you this message only in
case they see that your preparations are complete, and not otherwise,
and it is for this reason that he said nothing about it to me
or to Beaurain before.
I wrote you of the departure of Beaurain on July 31st. Since
then his secretary, Chasteau [Jacques de Chastel or Chasteau],
arrived here with letters for Henry, Wolsey and myself and gave
us a full report of Beaurain's activity, according to a note he
showed me, the original of which Beaurain has with him to
deliver to you. I hope by this time Beaurain has reached you.
As soon as I had read Beaurain's letter, and heard Chasteau's
report of the conversation between Beaurain and Bourbon, I
instructed Chasteau as best I could how to deal with Wolsey and
how to present his charge, the first point of which I knew would
be little to the cardinal's liking. I then took him to Wolsey, and
he delivered the whole course of his business in good order.
Having heard him, and read his letters, Wolsey demanded at
once if Bourbon refused to delay his declaration, and if he
refused to recognize the king of England as his sovereign, advancing
many arguments on this latter point, too long to write here.
Chasteau replied as I had advised, so that Wolsey seemed satisfied.
The whole matter is recounted at length in Chasteau's
letter to Beaurain.
Knowing how much Wolsey desired to make an end to the
war, I did my best to persuade him that this enterprise should be
carried out diligently this season. In the first place, I said, it was
impossible to conceal the plan longer, and unless we acted Bourbon
would be destroyed, to the great shame of your two majesties.
Secondly, even if it could be concealed, it was to be feared that
the Turk might attack next year, so that nothing could be done
then. Thirdly, if things were pressed diligently now, there was
ground to hope that we might finish the war honourably and at
little cost, for Francis, not suspecting this conspiracy, had no
power ready to resist three such armies as that of your majesty,
that of the king of England, and that of Bourbon. The Swiss
and the Venetians were not now in his service, and even if they
were, he would be attacked so suddenly, and on so many sides,
that he would have to risk battle without the help of foreign
mercenaries or lose his kingdom. Fourthly, there were so many
great lords and gentlemen already of Bourbon's party, and the
people of France loved him and hated Francis so much that the
French king would lose half his power by Bourbon's declaration
alone. If it did him no other harm, it would engender perpetual
dissension between Bourbon's partisans and those of the king,
so that he would never be able to trust them, whatever peace he
made, and consequently neither he nor his successors would dare
attack their neighbors for fear of similar risings.
These arguments pleased the cardinal very much, but he said
he was still not sure that Bourbon's proceedings were straightforward.
I answered that he need have no doubt on this score,
since Bourbon had asked for ten thousand Germans, whose
captains would be German nobles, your subjects and servants,
and who would be paid by your majesty and the king of England.
Bourbon had not even asked to handle the money, so that even
if he meditated some trick, he would be powerless to accomplish
it. After some conversation the cardinal promised to discuss the
matter with the king, his master, and give me a reply shortly.
The following day Henry dined with Wolsey, and they sent for
Chasteau alone to try whether he would tell the same story in
my absence. Wolsey told me next day that, after talking with
Chasteau, it was decided to send with him when he returned to
Bourbon, an English gentleman, Master Russell, with powers to
treat according to certain articles, a copy of which I am sending
you. If Bourbon accepts them, Henry will make a binding
alliance with him, and contribute to the payment of his Germans.
He will also land a good army at Calais able to besiege towns and
give battle, and to invade France, by the end of this month, via
Picardy or elsewhere. He will do this without waiting for the
answer to Jerningham's mission, provided Madame furnishes three
thousand horse and a thousand foot to march with his army
against the enemy. I am advising Madame of this decision at
Since the English articles follow your majesty's wishes exactly,
and since your majesty is already obliged by agreement with
Bourbon, to march on Narbonne within a month, it seemed to me
advisable to send the articles to Bourbon to see if he will accept
them. Judging by what Chasteau says, I think he will, although
the second and fifth are more important than they seem. I tried
to persuade Wolsey to put all the articles in the same language as
yours, without using so many words, but he would not agree,
saying that Henry himself had drafted them. I do not know
whether Master Russell has secret instructions to change or
diminish these articles in case Bourbon will not accept them in
their present form, but I think he has, for Henry is already
beginning to send his army to Calais, and is making such haste
that they will have all crossed the sea before Russell can return.
I would have been glad to persuade Wolsey to send an ambassador
to Switzerland with forty or fifty thousand crowns, to help
withdraw the Swiss from the French service, and I pointed out to
him that if Francis were to lose the Swiss, he would be so weakened
that he would be unable to give battle. But I spoke in vain. He
asked me if I wanted to get still more money from the king and
put him to still greater expense, and he did not omit his old story
of how all the fruits of this war would fall to you and all the
expense to Henry, for he is quite sure that you will conquer
Languedoc and Provence this year, as God grant you may.
Seeing that nothing further was to be got out of him, I thanked
him and promised to inform you of his great services. I cannot
tell you how greatly Wolsey seems to fear any expenditure,
however small. This is very strange, for according to what he tells
me, he is certain that the present parliament will grant the king
more than four million crowns for the war.
This is the whole of my negotiations about the Bourbon
matter, and I think it may prove a great piece of good fortune if
the secret can be kept until the three armies are in the field. The
French will be more surprised than they have been for a long time.
For my part, I shall do my best to hasten on the English invasion,
and I know your majesty will make all the haste you can.
Hannibal, the bearer of this, has delivered all the presents
according to his charge. The Sieur de Revel has also been here,
bringing the king twelve Neapolitan chargers, and two for Master
Carey, very fine and honourable presents. Both gentlemen have
been hospitably received here as the bearer will tell you.
Henry and Wolsey have had no news of Italy since they sent
their courier last June with the powers to accept the triennial
truce, at which they are much surprised. Cardinal de Medici's
agent here, however, tells me that his master writes that things
are going very well, and the pope is more and more inclined to
join you against the French.
The duke of Milan's ambassador is still here, and I give him as
much help as I can, in obedience to your instructions. I have
told him about the English invasion of France, without, however,
telling him the principal reason for it.
As you have commanded me, I have redeemed the three
banners which Lescano pledged to buy biscuits. One is a large
standard, another middle-sized ; both of these are of damask.
The third is very small, of toile quarree. Please tell me what to
do with them. I have also recovered some pieces of the meat
about which we wrote you, but after spending about twenty
ducats on them, found them rotten and spoiled by sea water.
The cannon have been raised and are in safe hands. I hope to
redeem them shortly, and I shall then send your majesty an
account of what I have spent for them. This sum I shall deduct
from the 8,140 ducats, for to get money here by letters of
exchange, as your majesty directed me to do, seemed inexpedient.
It is to be had only with great difficulty, and at marvellously
great expense. I am sending your majesty two documents, one
sealed with the cardinal's seal, the other signed by two notaries.
They contain an account of the ceremonies at Windsor when your
majesty and the king of England swore to your alliance.
London, 5 August, 1523.
P.S.—Since writing the above, I have been with Wolsey to
have audience with Henry. The king spoke very cordially of the
matters mentioned below in cipher, and said that they seemed
likely to bear great fruit if you did your part as diligently as he
would do his. He said your majesty ought to consider the
expense he was undertaking for love of you, for he had already
sent his army overseas without knowing what preparations you
had made for war, and without any assurance that Bourbon would
accept his articles, beyond what he could gather from Chasteau's
report and the note I showed him. He also told me that the
French had taken one of your majesty's ships coming from the
Indies, by which you had lost 800,000 ducats, which was only
your share. He said the Spaniards were not what they used to be.
I thanked the king for the affection that he showed toward you,
and assured him that you would do everything possible on your
part according to your letter of June 21st. I could say nothing
of the capture of the ship from the Indies because your majesty
had written me nothing about it, so I replied that I hoped his
ambassadors had been misinformed, for it seemed unlikely that
ships loaded with such treasure would be sailing without a safe
escort, which God grant may be true.
Yesterday I received letters from Madame enclosing a letter of
credence from the president of Burgundy and a note of the
contents of the credence. It concerns the Bourbon affair as you
can see by the enclosed copies in cipher. Apparently Beaurain
will have great difficulty in reaching your majesty by the road
he has taken, and you may not be informed as soon as you should
be of the results of his mission, so I am writing you everything I
could learn from his secretary.
Beaurain made such speed after he left here that by the first of
July he had arrived in Burgundy, spoken to the president, and
gone on to Bourg-en-Bresse. He did not enter the town on
account of the plague, but passed some days in an abbey which
Madame founded, just outside, awaiting the return of Gracien,
whom he had sent to find out where he might meet Bourbon.
After several days Gracien returned, accompanied by two gentlemen,
who conducted Beaurain to a little town called Montbrison,
eighteen or twenty leagues in France. Here Bourbon came to
talk to him at night in his lodgings, on two occasions, accompanied
by M. de Saint-Vallier and de la Clarette and several other
of his intimates, and they concluded the treaty and swore to it on
the blessed gospel. The articles agreed on were in substance as
follows. They are drawn up in two notes in Beaurain's hand and
signed by both parties ; Bourbon is keeping one and Beaurain
has the other.
*(1) The duke of Bourbon is ready to serve your majesty and
will also serve the king of England since he is your ally.
(2) The duke expects to be given one of your majesty's sisters
(3) The duke understands that your majesty will invade France
before the end of August.
(4) The duke expects that your majesty will give him 10,000
lanzknechts and provide 100,000 crowns to pay them. Provided
you do this, he will invade France within eight days after the
beginning of your campaign.
(5) If the king of England invades Normandy, the duke
promises him the aid of his friends and partisans there.
(6) The duke expects the king of England will contribute
100,000 crowns to pay his troops.
(7) The archduke Ferdinand is included in this alliance and
no party to it is to make peace with King Francis without the
consent of the duke of Bourbon.
(8) Since it was dangerous to bring in lawyers at this point,
Beaurain and the duke are agreed that only this note is to be
After these articles were signed and sworn to, Beaurain left
for Genoa, accompanied by a gentleman whom Bourbon is
sending to you, and Chasteau went straight to Madame, told her
everything that had occurred, and returned to Bourbon, as I
wrote at the beginning of this letter. This is, briefly, everything
that Chasteau told me. Since, on reading over the articles, it
semed to me that Bourbon was bound to nothing unless the king
of England agreed to help pay his troops and to invade Normandy,
I asked Chasteau how Bourbon had meant these articles. He
replied that all the articles mentioning the king of England had
only been put in at a venture to see whether Henry would agree
to them, and without any thought of their being essential.
Bourbon had expressly declared that he was ready to pursue his
enterprise with no other alliance than that of your majesty.
I showed Wolsey to-day the contents of the article in question,
about which it seemed necessary to advise your majesty at once.
The matter seems so important that I am sending the bearer of
this, Hannibal, with the courier Lope d'Ortega, straight to
Plymouth where they will take ship at once in one of your
majesty's zabras. To be doubly sure, I am sending a copy by a
servant of mine in another zabra, which is in a port of this kingdom
called Bristol, quite as near to Spain as Plymouth. He will also
make the greatest haste to deliver his packet to you so that I
hope that one of the two will be with you soon. I have not
wished to spare expense in this matter ; it seemed to me only
right that your majesty should be first in the field, since to serve
you the king of England and the duke of Bourbon are putting
themselves, one in great danger, the other to great expense.
I should not omit to say that I am informed by Beaurain that
the Sieur de la Motte is a good servant of the duke of Bourbon's,
sent to you for a purpose which he was ordered to disclose to you
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 16. The passage marked
* .. * is printed by Le Glay, Negociations diplomatiques entre
la France et l'Autriche, II, 589, and calendared in the Calendar of
State Papers, Spanish, II, 576.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 2.
Margaret of Savoy to Louis De Praet.
I am sending you herewith letters to the king of England, and
others to you which have arrived from Germany. I do not know
what they may contain. I am also enclosing a copy of a letter
from the emperor's ambassador by which you will see that a
perpetual peace has been concluded between the emperor and the
Venetians. Inform the king and the cardinal of this fortunate
event. It has the unfortunate consequence, however, that since
the French will probably not invade Italy, they will be in greater
force on our frontiers here. It seems, however, that the army of
Lombardy might now invade France in the neighbourhood of
Lyons and make a diversion. I am writing to this effect to
the emperor's captains. Please send me any news you have of
Brussels, 9 August, 1523.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
I wrote your majesty fully on August 9th. Since that time
Martin Nuñes, the courier, and a servant of Jerningham's have
arrived with dispatches dated July 3rd, containing the reply
which I have waited so long to give the king and the cardinal.
I took your letters at once to Wolsey, and said I hoped we
should not be blamed because the couriers had been so slow. He
replied amicably that although Henry was not now bound by the
treaty which Jerningham had signed, since he had not been
notified before August 1st, nevertheless, because of what had been
agreed on here about the Bourbon affair, and because of the
reports he had of your majesty's preparations, Henry was willing
that the English army should cross the sea before the end of the
month, by the 25th if possible.
Late yesterday evening I learned by letters from Madame,
copies enclosed, that peace had been made with Venice. This is
great news. I was anxious that Wolsey should see the copy of
the treaty which was sent me ; I shall get it back from him as
soon as possible, and send it to your majesty although I suppose
you have been informed already. I have also heard from Master
Russell, and from Beaurain's servant. They left Brussels on the
8th of this month, and I hope we shall soon have good news of
them. Martin Nuñes has gone to Flanders with your letters to
Madame and will return in six or eight days. I will not detain
him except to give your majesty the reply of [undeciphered,
Bourbon?] which I hope will be such as your majesty desires.
I firmly believe that, as Wolsey says, your majesty ought to win
this season a large part of France in Languedoc and Provence, for
although your majesty has promised the king of England that
your army will enter France by Guienne, it is not said that it
shall not, afterwards, turn toward Languedoc if you prefer.
Indeed, from what Wolsey has said recently, I think that would
satisfy him very well, for he made no objection to the clause in
your treaty with Bourbon in which the army is to advance to
Narbonne, and while we were discussing Jerningham's treaty he
said that, although your army was in Guienne, it might wheel
into Languedoc since the two were contiguous.
Your majesty's affairs could not be going better than they now
are, and it only remains for you to take this God-given opportunity
to attack the enemy on all sides. I shall do my best to persuade
the English to act promptly, and I shall also try at once to
persuade Wolsey to send some money to Switzerland to win over
the Swiss, or at least keep them neutral. After this treaty with
Venice, the Swiss should be easier to manage.
I have already written you fully about your fleet. It seems to
me it would do its best service by remaining near Spain.
London, 16 August, 1523.
P.S.—Since writing the above I sent my secretary to Brian
Tuke to get a copy (inclosed herewith) of the principal points of
the treaty with Venice. I have been unwilling to wait for the
complete copy of the treaty, since my courier is about to embark
and might set sail before he received it. I am also sending a
packet from Madame which she has marked "in haste," and two
letters about the punishment of the rebels by the Swabian League.
Signed, Louis de Praet. French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Hesdin to Margaret of Savoy.
I am at Calais but am unable to cross to-day because of unfavourable
winds. After dinner I talked with the grand treasurer
who is well informed of his master's affairs, and I am sending you
a schedule he gave me, which is substantially the same as the
memoir given the vice-marshal of Calais for your information.
It will be almost impossible to furnish all these things on the
date stipulated, particularly since they have been so slow in
informing us, but we must do the best we can, for if there is any
failure on our side at all, any subsequent failure of the expedition
will be sure to be blamed on us, as I told the treasurer.
Doctor Knight has sent me from Ghent a letter Wolsey wrote
me which says, among other things, that the vice-marshal is
charged by Henry to ask you for my services in this campaign,
offering me full payment. I have always done all the service I
could for his majesty and his family, but I have never served
anyone except my natural prince, and I beg you to excuse me from
this. Nevertheless, since their two majesties' cause is in common,
I will serve if I am needed. If I am with the English, however, I
shall be unable to assist M. de Beaurain, who, I suppose, will have
need of me.
You ought to know, in order to act accordingly, that, as far as
I can see, very little is ready here at Calais, and it will be at least
three weeks before the English can march and therefore before
they will need the equipment they ask for. Nevertheless, for our
honour, the plans laid by de Buren and Hoogstraeten should be
carried out, and we should be ready by the 25th of this month or
the end of it at the latest. If I find the English well prepared I
shall inform you at once. They have twenty-five or thirty great
ships at sea, and the French do not dare show themselves. It
seems that the good king is determined to be avenged on them
this time and to spare nothing.
Calais, 17 August, 1523.
Signed, Jean Hesdin.
Contents of the schedule above mentioned :
563 horses for the artillery.
60 cannoneers for the great guns.
60 cannoneers for the serpentines.
60 for the falconets.
50 for the iron serpentines.
100 for the culverins.
6 master engineers.
500 pioneer-miners of Namur.
French. pp. 3.
H. H. u. St. A.
Charles V to Louis De Praet.
We have received your letters of June 12th, and 21st, and
July 3rd, with a full account of your negotiations in association
both with Marnix and with Beaurain, but we have so far delayed
our reply until we could learn of the success of Beaurain's mission.
He has now reached here, and tells me that he was unable to
persuade the personage in question to delay his declaration until
next spring. Beaurain, not wishing to commit Henry to anything
without being empowered to do so, and not being able to wait for
the English ambassador, was obliged to choose between thrusting
the personage back into the arms of Francis, or of granting him
promptly what he asked. He has therefore promised him one
of our sisters is marriage and 200,000 crowns to raise and pay ten
thousand lanzknechts from August 15th, and also five hundred
men-at-arms, and eight thousand foot of his friends and subjects.
We are to invade France by August 20th, and the king of England
is to do so at the same time. Beaurain is ordered to sign this
agreement with Bourbon and give him the money, as Henry may
see by a copy of the treaty herewith enclosed. Since so much
depends on this declaration, ask Henry and Wolsey to send letters
of exchange to Genoa for 100,000 crowns, which is half the sum
promised by Beaurain. Our half is ready, and we have already
commenced to make the first payments. If Henry refuses to
advance the money, ask him for a quittance for this amount
against the sums due him for the loan and the indemnity, but do
not consent to this arrangement except as a last resort.
Our army will be ready in time to satisfy the requirements of
the king of England and the other personage in question. We
could commence our invasion on the 20th, but we do not wish to
alarm the French and cause them to garrison the principal towns
of Aquitaine ; in some of these we have friends and we hope to
take these towns by surprise before the end of the month. Once
this is done, we are ready to march with our army, which is even
greater than the treaty requires. Our captain general, the
constable of Castile, is already on the frontier, and we shall leave
this town on the 20th, passing through Burgos and Logroño.
If the English army and the troops which are to join it from
Flanders are not yet in the field, urge them to hasten, and ask
Henry not to waste time before Boulogne or Thérouanne or other
impregnable places, for we hope to give the enemy so much to do
on all sides, with the help of the personage you know of, that the
king will have a clear way to make a great invasion without
meeting much resistance.
It is likely that when the French see themselves so hard pressed
they will try to arrange a peace or truce, either here, or at Rome,
or in England. In that case it would be well to be prepared with
sufficient powers and instructions in all three places, so that, if
something is offered which satisfies us both, we may seize the
opportunity at once. Therefore we are sending you powers and
instructions to meet this contingency and are sending similar
documents to our ambassador at Rome. If an offer is made in
England, you may make use of these powers to treat, jointly with
the king of England, subject of course, to our final approval.
Ask Henry and Wolsey to send similar powers and instructions
to their ambassadors here and at Rome.
In order to satisfy Wolsey and the other pensioners you may
use the eight thousand two hundred ducats, which we sent you
to buy provisions for the fleet, to pay the sums due for the half
year ending last June. You may retain the remainder of this
sum towards what is owed you since the departure of Badajoz,
and as soon as we can we shall send you the rest. We ask you to
accept the transfer of the charge for your back salary to the
treasury in Flanders, for there is no way by which it can be paid
here promptly. In view of your services, and of the great
expense to which you have been put, we have ordered your salary
as chamberlain to be continued in your absence ; what is now
due you up to the first of August will be sent at once and thereafter
it will be paid promptly. When our affairs are in better
order you shall see that we are not ungrateful.
Henry has written to his ambassadors about the king of Denmark
much what you wrote us. That is to say, it is proposed to send
an ambassador to the Danes to induce them to some agreement.
For this purpose we are sending our secretary, Hannart, to
Germany, ordering him in passing through England to discuss
Danish affairs with you. We have also asked our cousin, the
Marquis d'Aerschot, to go to England and inform Henry, jointly
with you, of our preparations for war, and our acceptance of the
pope's bull for a triennial truce. We do this in order to pay some
honour to the marquis, and, although you will have already
informed Henry of these matters, you will accompany the marquis,
and act just as if he brought the first news. You will say nothing
to him or to Hannart about our affairs, except concerning their
particular missions. Keep all our other affairs secret as you have
hitherto done, although you may, henceforward, write freely to
Madame, as long as she keeps these matters quite secret. If you
perceive that she is not doing so, you may say that you have again
been forbidden by us to reveal certain matters.
We are willing that you should take part in the negotiations
with Scotland as Henry wishes, protecting our honour and
interests in the manner we are writing you. We are arranging
the affair of Rinaldo Strozzi and the payment of Anthony Vivaldi,
as you request. The Sieur de la Motte is here. We have questioned
him several times and it appears he has merely come to
offer us his services. To refuse these would be to discourage
others who might do likewise ; so we are giving him twelve
hundred livres a year. The cortes of Castile assembled here have
granted us everything we have asked ; and we are quite satisfied.
Give all this news to Henry and Wolsey.
Valladolid, 18 August, 1523.
Draft. French. pp. 7.
H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet To Charles V.
In my letters of August 9th and 16th I wrote you fully of
affairs up to that date. Since then, news has come that the
pope has declared himself ready to join the defensive league of
Italy with your majesty, the king of England, the duke of Milan
and others, and to contribute 100,000 ducats a month for the
army, to the command of which has been named the viceroy
(Lannoy), subject to your majesty's approval. This is excellent
news both for the safety of Italy and for the support of your
quarrel, as appears by the articles of the league which I suppose
you have seen.
The English army is crossing daily to Calais and will be ready
there by the end of the month. Madame has sent to say that
there will be no failure on her part. Hesdin arrived here yesterday
to find out how many horses and wagons will be necessary for
the artillery and munitions. He has been urged by the cardinal
to assist the English, and has agreed in the hope of doing you
service. There is only one obstacle to the success of this expedition,
that is that in the last few days Henry and Wolsey have
again become fascinated by the idea of besieging Boulogne, moved
thereto by the report of one Pierre Prevost, a gentleman of the
neighbourhood of Saint-Omer, who was prisoner in Boulogne for
a year and a half, and escaped across the walls three weeks ago.
If they insist on this, they will have great and fruitless expense,
will do little harm to King Francis, and be of no use to Bourbon's
rising, which should be the principal object of the campaign. It
is useless, however, for me to argue with them, and I do not wish
to do anything to delay the crossing of the army. I have warned
Madame and Hesdin so that, at the first council of war, M. de
Buren in whom they have great confidence, may be prepared to
point out to them the difficulty of the siege, and draw them to a
I had audience with Henry a few days ago to thank him for his
exertions in aid of the negotiations with Venice, of the papal
league, and of the Bourbon affair. He seemed in good humour
and very hopeful of success, provided your army is as strong as it
should be by treaty. He seemed to think that it would not be
ready on the appointed day, according to news he had received
of the state of your preparations. He also told me that the
young king of Scots and the gentlemen of that kingdom had begun
to suspect French treachery and had decided that, unless the duke
of Albany brought the promised help within a month, they would
abandon the French alliance, and seek peace with this kingdom.
Now if the Swiss can be detached, Francis will be quite stripped of
foreign aid. I have done my best to persuade Wolsey to help in
this, but I have been unable to persuade him to spend any money ;
he will only agree to send Pace to Switzerland with the same
instructions that I wrote you of last winter.
I must not omit to inform you of Wolsey's complaints against
the brother of the late bishop of Palencia. Although Doctor
Sampson has several times requested this person to pay the
arrears of two thousand ducats due Wolsey for his pension on that
bishopric, no payment has been made, and Sampson writes that
he is obliged to take legal action. Wolsey also complains that
he has been told several times by Sampson and by me that his
pensions on Palencia and Badajoz were in future to be charged
against the archbishopric of Toledo, and relying on this he had
sent his procuration to Rome, where no one was found willing to
arrange the matter. He asks me to inform you of these two
affairs, so that you may order them as you please. He said,
sourly, that he had decided to take no more steps about them, for
his services and his merit were such that your majesty should do
him right without long suit. He has also given me to understand
that he expects to be paid a half year of his pension, 9,000 crowns
of which were due last May, though he is not so insistent on this
as on the two other matters.
There is no news yet of Russell, though it is hoped that he will
bring a good reply back soon, for Madame writes that the ten
thousand Germans are ready to march when Bourbon gives the
word. I would gladly have kept the bearer of this until Russell
returns, but Jerningham's man, who has engaged the zabra is in a
hurry to be off.
I have no doubt your majesty is fully informed of the news of
Flanders and Germany, of the return of the king of Denmark to
Madame's court and his dealings at Cologne with several princes
and electors among his relatives, and also of the sailing of Montfort
from Zeeland with the Germans. I have several times begged
your majesty to order that I be paid my ordinary wages. Some
time ago Madame promised that what was due me up to the
departure of Badajoz should be paid at Pentecost. But I shall
be in evil case unless your majesty can see that I am paid what is
due me since that time, which will be 1,840 gros for the period
from March 18th to September 18th. In my last letter I asked
your majesty to arrange that I should be paid as my predecessors
in this post have been, or paid forty-eight sous a day, absent as
well as present, for my wages as chamberlain. I beg your
majesty to take cognizance of my little affair. As I wrote you, I
am enclosing in this letter a copy of the treaty with Venice.
London, August 28, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 5.