H. H. u. St. A.
England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
I need not repeat what I wrote jointly with de Courrières on
June 29th about our negotiations. I have since received letters
from Lannoy, dated June 25th, about Bourbon's advance towards
enemy territory, and how he has taken the oath desired by the
king of England. Wolsey also has had letters from Pace with
similar news. He tells me that Bourbon wishes Henry either to
invade France at once, or to send another two hundred thousand
crowns in addition to the one hundred thousand brought by
Russell, so that the army will be able to achieve something of
importance, and time will be allowed for negotiations about its
maintenance until the end of the war. This request seemed to
me to square with your majesty's wishes, and with what I had
agreed with Wolsey, which was that two hundred thousand
crowns were to be spent on Bourbon's army before the end of
August, as I understand that its upkeep costs 104,000 ducats a
month without counting your ordinary gens d'armes, who serve
at your expense alone. I therefore went to Henry and Wolsey to
back Bourbon's request with the best arguments I could muster.
Wolsey replied that they could not agree to put an army into
the field this year unless there was more likelihood of its success
than appeared so far. They could not now be ready, he said, to
invade France before the middle of September, which was a
better time for ending campaigns than beginning them. Moreover,
Henry was determined not to trust his army again to a
lieutenant, but to command in person, and he thought he ought
not to do so unless your majesty also took the field in person.
Wolsey raised a number of objections and devious difficulties
about a new contribution, with the object, I think, of delaying
further payments until it is seen how Bourbon fares. He seems
sceptical of his success. Finally he agreed to begin making
arrangements for the transfer of another hundred thousand
crowns, provided I would oblige your majesty to contribute an
equal sum. I offered to sign such an obligation on the spot, but
he said it would be time enough after he had arranged with merchants
about the payments.
I have written Wolsey's replies to Lannoy and urged him to
see that Bourbon pushes on into France at once, and achieves
some notable exploit as soon as possible. This seems the more
desirable as his army is entirely at your expense until it enters
French territory, as your majesty will have seen in the second
paragraph of the agreement. I was very reluctant to accept
such an arrangement, and should never have done so had I not
been assured by Bourbon and the lords with him that they would
cross the Alps by June first.
Wolsey will do nothing more about Swiss affairs than send
Sanderin as ambassador to assist by his advice without promising
any money. Little fruit can come from such action, and I doubt
that he will do even that much. All his conduct here is directed
towards delaying matters until the results of Bourbon's invasion
are known ; according to them Wolsey will regulate his master's
Two Scots lords have arrived here, named Douglas ; the elder
is married to the queen of Scotland, the king's sister. Wolsey
tells me that they have escaped from France where they were
prisoners for some years. By means of them and their friends in
Scotland, the king and the cardinal hope finally to settle matters
with that country. These lords have been sent north, accompanied
by the duke of Norfolk at the head of a considerable power.
Or at least this is the account Wolsey gives of the whole matter.
I suspect there is some deception here, and that the Douglases
never left France without the knowledge of King Francis. I am
also informed that a servant of Louise of Savoy's, one Master
Jehan Jockin [Gian Giacomo Passano], was here recently and in
communication with Wolsey, although the cardinal has said
nothing to me about it in the several interviews I have had with
him since I received that report. I shall do my best to get to the
bottom of this, and advise your majesty. In my opinion, what
these lords are seeking is to get the young king of Scots into their
hands and to bring him up here in friendship to this kingdom, so
that some alliance between the two kingdoms may be possible in
the future. I do not know whether the Douglases and Passano
have come here about that, or whether Norfolk's expedition is
merely to conceal some secret arrangement and lead your majesty
to believe that the king has been surrendered by force. I hardly
think Wolsey could accomplish his object without the consent of
the French. I would not have your majesty take the above
conjecture as a fact, and I will inform you further by Richard
Boulangier, whom I am expecting back from Flanders. I suppose
your majesty has been informed of the arrival here of the Sieur
de Halewin as an envoy of your brother, the archduke.
London, 17 July, 1524.
I have just received your majesty's letters of June 30th and
July 3rd, and communicated their contents to Wolsey. He says
he will discuss them with Henry and give me an answer ; I fear it
will be the same as before, especially since he told me that he had
received a letter from Robertet, dated at Blois the ninth of this
month, reporting that M. de Lafayette, the French naval commander,
fought Don Hugo de Moncada on July 1st, off Marseilles,
drove him off, and captured two ships. Moncado's squadron
took refuge in the harbour of Mongues [Monaco] and, unless the
lord of Mongues protects it, the French hope to destroy it entirely.
The letter also reported that the prince of Orange and eight or
nine gentlemen of his company have been captured by Andrea
Adorno near Marseilles, and that on July 1st Bourbon's army was
at Nice and the plague was rife among them, particularly among
the Germans. I pointed out to Wolsey that he ought not to
credit news from such a source, but, even if it is not true, I fear
it will cool the ardour of these English and they will withhold any
contribution until they learn the truth.
Wolsey himself spoke to me of the coming here of Jehan Jockin,
and the reasons for it, and gave me certain news from Rome,
which I will send your majesty by Richard, since I would not wish
to entrust it to a less sure courier, even in cipher. I do not know
this courier so well, and I understand that he is going in an armed
zabra, which will cruise along the coast of France looking for
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 7.