Queen Juana: March 1518

Pages 153-156

Calendar of State Papers, Spain: Supplement To Volumes 1 and 2, Queen Katherine; Intended Marriage of King Henry VII To Queen Juana. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1868.

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March 1518

1518. 15th March. 28. Charles, King Of Spain, to Don Bernardo De Sandoval, y Rojas, Marquis of Denia and Count of Lerma.
[Sandoval. Historia de la vida y hechos del Emperador Carlos V. maximo.]
Appoints him, in the name of the Queen and in his own name, governor and administrator of the household of the Queen, his mother, who lives in Tordesillas, with power to command and govern all persons belonging to the royal household, as well as the magistracy and commonalty of the town.
1518 (?) 29. The Marquis Of Denia to Charles King Of Spain.
[Archivo General de Simancas. Estado. Castilla. Lo. 5. fo. 311. Holograph. No date.]
Muy poderoso Señor,
la Reyna nuestra Señora me a hablado muchas vezes. ame dicho que quiere salyr fuera y que yo saque a su Alteza. yo le he respondido todas las vezes que en esto me ha hablado quel tiempo es con poca salud y que por esto su Alteza no deve salyr que cuando sea tienpo yo lo are saver a su Alteza y que estonces podra salyr todas las vezes que me abla que son muchas. aze gran ystancya sobre esto del salyr. todavya lo estorvo con las mejores palabras que puedo. ame dycho asymesmo su Alteza que aga venir aqui algunos grandes por que se quiere quexar de la manera como la tyenen y para saver de sus cosas. yo dyxe a su Alteza que en esto no aryan nada los grandes por quel Rey Catolico y ellos con todo el reyno ordenaron la manera que con su Alteza se tyene y que yo savya que la pryncypal cosa porque vuestra Alteza vyno a estos reynos fue por dar descanso a su Alteza en esto y en todo y que no lo a podydo azer pero que syenpre tyene vuestra Alteza voluntad y lo procura de remedyar y descansar a su Alteza. preguntome donde esta el principe. dixele en Aragon porque en aquel reyno se ofrecyeron algunos escandalos los cuales vuestra Alteza con su presencya a remedyado. mostro desto contentamyento pero todavya esta en salyr y en llamar grandes y dyzeme a my tantas buenas palabras para atraerme a esto que me espanta como las dyze quyen esta como su Alteza. y aunque no es syn trabajo de la marquesa y myo remediar y escusar estas cosas y otras. Vuestra Alteza este syn cuydado que con ayuda de Nuestro Señor no se ara cosa que no sea vuestro servycyo.
la vyspera de Santyago descalabro dos mugeres con unos varreñones que les arrojo y como lo supe entre donde su Alteza esta y dyxele que es esto Señora asy a de tratar vuestra Alteza a las que con tanto travajo la syrven no tratava asy la Reyna vuestra madre a las que la servyan. en vyendome levantose a darme razon de como avya pasado y las mujeres que ally estavan pensaron que a todos nos queria descabrar (fn. 2) y apartaronse y entonzes su Alteza se vyno azya my y dyxome que no era ella tan descomedyda que a my me avya de azer mal que por buena fe no pensava syno en tratarme como sy fuese su hermano y no querya syno salyrse comygo porque no podya sufryr aquellas mujeres. y este dya me tuvo mas de cynco oras en todo esto y otras cosas que por no dar enojo a vuestra Alteza no las dygo y por ser de la calydad que es va esto de my mano.
29. Very mighty Lord,
The Queen our lady has spoken with me oftentimes, and told me that she desired to go out, and that I was to accompany her. Every time that she spoke to me on this subject, I answered that the weather was bad for her health, and her Highness ought not, therefore, to go out ; but as soon as the weather should be good, I would let her know, and then she could go out. Every time that she speaks to me about her going out, and that is often, she insists on it very much, but hitherto I have prevented it, making use of the best words possible. Her Highness has likewise told me to call some grandees into her presence, because she intends to complain of the manner in which she is treated, and wishes to know about her affairs. I replied to her Highness that the grandees would do nothing in this affair, because the Catholic King and they, together with the whole kingdom, have settled the manner in which her Highness was to be treated, adding that I knew that your Highness had come to this kingdom (fn. 1) principally with the intention to see that satisfaction be given to her Highness in this and in all other respects ; and that although you have not succeeded in this, your Highness is still animated by the same wishes, and endeavouring to remedy the position of her Highness, and to satisfy her. She asked me where the Prince (fn. 3) was. I told her in Aragon, in which kingdom some scandalous things had occurred, which the presence of your Highness had suppressed. She showed great satisfaction in hearing it, but still insists on going out, and on calling the grandees into her presence. In order to persuade me to do what she desires, she speaks to me such good words that I feel aghast how one in the condition of her Highness can pronounce them, and the Marchioness and I find it difficult to withstand and to prevent these and many other things. Your Highness, however, must not be afraid. With the help of Our Lord, neither this nor any other thing that is not advantageous (fn. 4) to you will be done.
On the evening before the day of Santiago she beat two women with some large brooms (?) (fn. 5) which she had snatched from them. When I heard of it, I entered her room and said : "What is this, Señora? Ought your Highness to comport yourself in this way towards those who serve you with so much zeal? The Queen your mother never so treated her servants." Seeing me, she rose to explain the reason why she had beaten them. The women thought she would beat us all, and ran away. When they had left the room, the Queen came up to me and said that she was not so overbearing as to use me ill, and assured me on her faith that she intended to treat me as her brother, and wished only to go out with me, because she could not bear the women. This day she spoke five hours with me about all these and many other subjects, which I will not mention, in order not to annoy your Highness. Considering what are the contents of this letter, I have written it with my own hand.
(Sign manual of the Marquis of Denia.)


  • 1. Charles came to Spain in the summer of 1517. King Ferdinand had been then dead already 17 months.
  • 2. Sic.
  • 3. Charles. He had been King since the death of Ferdinand the Catholic.
  • 4. Servicio is properly speaking service, but the meaning of it in this and in most of these letters is rather advantage or profit, although we must admit that neither of these words expresses adequately its meaning.
  • 5. Barreñon or varreñon is a large vessel ; but barrér is to sweep with a broom. We are inclined to believe that the Marquis has formed from the verb barrér the substantive barreñon, meaning a broom.