Spain: 1497

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 1, 1485-1509. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1862.

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'Spain: 1497', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 1, 1485-1509, (London, 1862) pp. 131-146. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]


1497. 1 Jan.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 3. f. 4.
167. Ferdinand and Isabella.
Ratify the treaty of marriage concluded in London on the 1st October 1496.—Burgos, 1st January 1497.
Latin. pp. 2.
1 Jan.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 3. N. 10.
168. Princess Katharine.
Empowers De Puebla to contract in her name, and as her proxy, a marriage with Prince Arthur, per verba de prœsenti. —Burgos, 1st January 1497.
Jan. 1 (?)
S. E. T. c. I. L. 3. f. 2.
169. Henry VII. to Ferdinand and Isabella.
If Arthur, Prince of Wales, should die before his father, and have male issue begotten from his marriage with Princess Katharine, the eldest of his sons shall be created Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester. The succession to the throne of England after the death of the present King of England shall be secured to him, notwithstanding any other sons the King of England has or might have.—No date. (fn. 1)
Addressed : "To the most serene and powerful Princes Ferdinand and Isabella, by the grace of God, King and Queen of Castile, Aragon, &c., my cousins and most beloved friends."
Latin. pp. 1½.
10 Jan.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
170. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
The King and Queen.
We have seen your letters in cipher, of the dates of the 7th of October and 7th of November, and all the other despatches and letters which you sent us by Juan Daza, who conveys this letter to your hands.
Conclusion of the marriage treaty.
Having noted the contents of your despatch, we are of opinion that you have acted rightly as regards the manner in which you have conducted the affair of the marriage treaty. We also approve of the reasons which moved you to make a speedy conclusion of the whole business. We are well pleased with your management throughout, and look upon it as a service done to ourselves.
Betrothal of the Princess Katharine and the Prince of Wales.
We have, therefore, had the ratification made out in proper form, as you will see, and sent with this despatch. Moreover, we think well of what you have written respecting the Prince of Wales and the Infanta Doña Katharine being betrothed, notwithstanding that they have not as yet arrived at the proper age. We have accordingly sent a form of authority from the said Infanta, drawn up in the best possible manner, in virtue of which you will make the contract of betrothal in her name, at the time, and in the manner which is most agreeable to the King of England. If he approve of it, conduct the affair secretly as you did that of the contract for the marriage, until we see what becomes of the affairs of Scotland. For if you act otherwise no advantage will accrue from the publication of it. Say so to the King our brother.
Supplication to be addressed to the Pope.
We saw the supplication addressed by the King to the Pope to obtain a dispensation for the age of both parties, and the despatch which he wrote, relative to the affair, to his ambassador in Rome, and it has all been done in proper form.
It is our opinion that the same request should be made on the part of the Prince. Therefore, let it be your endeavour to obtain it, and let his supplication be sent to Rome, whilst we also will send ours and that of the Infanta, so that the matter may be done by every one of us conjointly. When the dispensation is procured, then the betrothal may take place. Confer with the King of England about the affair, and come to such an agreement with him respecting it as may seem best.
Affair of the alliance to be insisted upon.
It would be satisfactory to us that the alliance should be strongly insisted upon. As, however, you say that the King of England has agreed to it, you must endeavour to have that business despatched immediately as well as the other. Webelieve that, in conformity with what you wrote, you will manage the affair well, and that you will improve upon the articles and conditions of the amity and alliance, while you do not exceed, on the other hand, our commission and commandment. Moreover, we trust you will do everything suitable, and with the attention that the importance of the matter in hand necessitates. It likewise appears well to us that at the delivering up of the ratification which we now send you, you should obtain the instrument containing the articles of the friendship and alliance, and send it to us that we may immediately conclude the ratification of that, as well as of the other matter. All this ought to be completed in one instrument, or at any rate in two, it does not much signify. Let this be done now, and afterwards what may seem better.
Measures taken by Ferdinand and Isabella to reconcile the Archduke and Henry.
It weighs much upon our minds that, on account of the reasons which you stated to us, there does not subsist between the King of England and the Archduke the harmony which is fitting, and which we desire to see. It imports much to us all to make very sure of the King of England, and not less, but more so, of the Archduke, so that he may be obliged to keep his faith and the word which he has plighted, together with what has been agreed upon and capitulated with him. We have, therefore, ordered letters to be sent immediately by two different routes to Rojas, in order that he may endeavour to obtain what we desire. We have also agreed to send either the one or the other messenger to the Archduke for this sole purpose, desiring him to use his best endeavours that every occasion of difference between them may be taken away, and that he keep, as is reason he should, the agreement he has made with the King of England. For we ourselves, seeing that we are connected with both of them in the bonds of such close amity and kinship, ought to endeavour, as much as we can, to bring about a good understanding, and to establish a conformity of policy between them. All this you can say to the King of England on our part, whilst you endeavour to induce him to be of our opinion.
King of France.
It gives us much pleasure to know that the King of England is so willing to induce the King of France to relinquish his foolish attempts and enterprises. Of a truth we value his willing mind in our behalf, and he may feel sure that we will not deceive him in the matter. For if he were our own brother even, it would not make any difference to us, and so you may say to him.
Resolution of Henry to enter into the league.
Reasons why Henry should make war on France.
You shall also communicate to him the great pleasure it gives us to hear of the good and holy determination and resolution he has made to enter into the league. We are the more gratified as we have heard from Rome that it was without his making any conditions, which confirms what you wrote. For you said that the manner in which it was done would much content him when he saw what good effects would result from it in regard of his advantage and honour, and that of all those of the league. It is not worth while to say that to him, for the thing is self-evident, and therefore you must always insist, in the way that may seem most advantageous, upon his immediately making war upon France. In this affair he ought not to allow himself to be restrained by what his council will cite to him concerning the past, since at this time, and as many times as he may undertake anything against France, he can reap nothing except honour and profit, as has always been abundantly and for a long time past, proved. It will, moreover, be much more the case if he make war at a season like this, in which it will be such a worthy proceeding in respect of the Pope, and of the Church of Rome, of which he is so devoted a son. By his entry into the league, he will also oblige those who belong to it to assist him and in such a manner as has never been done before, and will hereby give the enemy so great an overthrow that, of necessity, his pride will be abased for a long time to come.
By means of these and other like arguments you must always endeavour to obtain that, in whatever he may take in hand against France, it may not be with a view of merely inspiring fear, but of obliging the King of France not only to cease to make war on the Pope and the Church, but on all those of the league, forcing him to entreat and desire peace with them all. Moreover, the King of England should always insist upon the King of France ceasing altogether from making war, not only on the Pope and the Church, but on all those belonging to the league.
The King of England is right in considering that not more than the third, or so much as the half of the crusade of his kingdom should be required of him. You must say to him that he ought, at his own pleasure, to send to the Pope on his part, and that we will send to our ambassador, who will request the same thing from his Holiness on our part.
As to what you suggest, that we should give orders respecting the many requisitions sent about grievances of old standing, it is well said ; although, as concerns matters of not very old date, every one ought to have it at heart to see that justice be done and administered to the injured parties. In the older cases the custom is, when alliances are made, to constitute judges for the one side and the other, that after the complaints have been heard they should arbitrate upon them among themselves. The like course ought to be followed in this case if it should appear well to them in England.
Alliance with Denmark.
As to the proposition of entering into an alliance with the King of Denmark, he being such a King as he is, and held in such great reputation, it is our pleasure that you should negotiate and confer respecting the matter with his ambassador, in his name, but with the necessary exceptions. Whatever you take in hand, do it immediately, so that we may inform you of our intentions. We will, moreover, send you authority to make the treaty.
We have received the command which the King of England gave to his vassals and his fleet about the business respecting which I, the Queen, wrote to them, and which has been properly arranged.
Duke of York ; evidence respecting his birth and parentage.
As to the evidence in the affair of York, we do not send it to you with this despatch, because the copy we have is authenticated by only one notary, and is written in the Castilian tongue. For it seems to us that it would cause embarrassment to send such a document in a language which is not understood in England. But we will send immediately to have it translated into Latin, and signed by three notaries. As soon as it arrives we will forward it to you immediately and very carefully.
Archduchess Juana.
We have read the copy of the letter which the King of England wrote to the Archduchess, our daughter ; and throughout it all his prudence, together with the love and affection he bears towards us, are clearly seen. We believe what you affirm, that it is not your fault that you have not written to us for so long a time, notwithstanding that so many English ships have arrived by which we have received nothing, nor any answer from you to the many letters which we have written to you. Six or seven months having thus passed away without hearing, we had good reason to think the blame was yours. But now that you have sent us such welcome news everything is right. Still we would that from henceforth you should write to us constantly, and inform us of all that you may hear respecting Flanders. For although you may imagine that we receive in due course intelligence from the Archduke and the Archduchess, our children, you should not on that account delay to write us all that you yourself may know. In point of fact, the latest news we have had from Flanders was contained in the last letter which we received from you.
It is a cause of displeasure to us that our ambassador Don Pedro De Ayala was not in Scotland at the time when his going thither might have been of service in preventing the King of Scots from invading England. Had he been there he might also have endeavoured to reconcile the two Kings, or to bring about some extension of the truce, during which truce the King of England might have made some suitable treaty. As we have been hoping to receive the intelligence we wish to have about the Duke of York, we have again written to him [Don Pedro de Ayala] all that was fitting respecting everything. Write to us yourself particularly, with regard to all which you think ought to be done.
The despatch which Don Juan Daza takes is the ratification of the authority of the Infanta Doña Katharine, our daughter, of which mention has been made above. There is also a letter writen by my hand, I the Queen, for the King of England, about the affair respecting which he wrote to me. A gracious answer is also hereby sent to the Bishop of London, with whom we are much contented, because of the manner in which he has acted in the debates respecting our affairs. Lastly, there is a letter from my ambassador to the Latin secretary of the King of England, thanking him much for his great affection, and for what he has done in our service, and offering him presents. Do what you can to further his welfare and his promotion with all good will —Given at Burgos, 10th January 1497.
I, the King.
I, the Queen.
By the command of the King and Queen.
Signed : Johan de Coloma.
Indorsed by De Puebla : "From their Highnesses, 10th of January." In cipher :— "I received this and another despatch the last day of Whitsuntide, brought by a servant of De Coloma.
Spanish. The despatch is in two keys of cipher, mixed up with one another. One of the keys (in Latin numbers) is preserved, the other is not extant. The deciphering is by the editor.
10 Jan.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
171. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
The same despatch. The only difference consists in the ciphering, which is in some portions different.
Spanish. Written in two keys of cipher. One key of the cipher is extant.
15 Jan.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
172. Ferdinand and Isabella to Doctor De Puebla.
Have seen his letter brought by Juan Daza. Are pleased that the marriage is concluded. The clauses are entirely to their satisfaction.
Send the ratification of the treaty. Have altered nothing in it, except that they have placed their names before that of Henry VII., as it is the custom. Henry must give in exchange for this his ratification of the treaty. Though it is not the custom in England to sign such papers, Henry is expected to do so in this case. The treaty must be kept secret because of Scotland.
Directly after the exchange of this treaty, the treaty of alliance must be concluded.
The customs on Spanish merchandize must be reduced. If that cannot be obtained, will consider themselves at liberty to impose higher duties on English commerce in Spain.
Enclose letters to Henry and to the Bishop of London. Have had no letters from him since the 10th of July. Expect he will write oftener ; if possible, every day. A trustworthy person in Bristol may be selected to receive and forward their letters.
He must write all he hears of the Archduchess and the Archduke. He may make an arrangement that the letters from Flanders shall be sent to England, and from England to Spain.
Whatever he can learn about the Spanish ambassadors in Scotland must be communicated directly to them.
Alvarez will tell him the favours which are granted to him.—Burgos, 15th January 1497.
Indorsed : "Letter of their Highnesses to Doctor de Puebla from Burgos, 15th January 1497."
Spanish. Draft, pp. 5½.
3 Feb.
S. E. I. L. 806. f. 4.
Arrival of the Princess Margaret at Southampton.
173. Henry VII. to Princess Margaret Of Austria. (fn. 2)
Most illustrious and most excellent Princess, our dearest and most beloved cousin. With all our heart we send to greet you, and to recommend ourself. We have received through the most renowned, most prudent, and most discreet ambassador of our most beloved cousins the King and Queen of Spain, at our court, the letters of the admiral and ambassador of the said King and Queen, who accompany your Excellence. By them we are informed that your Highness, enjoying the best of health, has entered with your whole fleet and suite our harbour of Southampton. Our subjects of that neighbourhood had already communicated to us the arrival of your Highness. As soon as we heard of it, we sent our well beloved and trustworthy vassals and servants, the Seneschal of our palace, and Sir Charles Somerset, our captain and guardian of our body, and also a doctor utriusque juris, and keeper of our Privy Seal, to see, visit, and consult you in our name, and to tell you how agreeable and delightful to us was the arrival of your Excellence in our dominions, especially as it has pleased God to give you and your company (to whom we recommend ourself likewise) good health and cheerful spirits. Our servants are to place at your disposal our person, our realm, and all that is to be found in it. They are to provide you with whatever you wish, and serve and obey you as ourself. You will more fully learn our intentions from them and from the letters of the Spanish ambassador who resides at our court.
The following is written by the King himself :—
Dearest and most beloved cousin. Desirous the more to assure your Excellence that your visit to us and to our realm is so agreeable and delightful to us, that the arrival of our own daughter could not give us greater joy, we write this portion of our letter with our own hand, in order to be able the better to express to you that you are very welcome, and that you may more perfectly understand our good wishes. We most earnestly entreat and beseech your Highness from the bottom of our heart, to be as cheerful as though you were with the dearest and most beloved King and Queen of Spain, our cousins, and that you will stay in whatever part of our realms as cheerfully and without fear as though you were in Spain. In all and everything you want, do not spare us and our realms, for you will render us a great and most acceptable service by accepting anything from us. —Palace, Westminster, 3rd February.
Spanish translation.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 806. f. 4.
Proposal of Henry to visit the Princess Margaret.
174. Henry VII. to Princess Margaret Of Austria.
Most illustrious and most excellent Princess, our most noble and most beloved cousin, we have received to-day the letter of the 2nd inst., which your Highness has written from the harbour of Southampton, and are much pleased with it. We are also very glad to learn the good news contained in your letter and the letter of the illustrious ambassador, whom our dearest cousins, the King and Queen of Spain, your most pious parents, have ordered to accompany you. He informs us of your prosperity and good success. We, on our part, have sent to inform you of our inviolable friendship, and to tell you how agreeable in every respect your arrival in our harbour has been to us. On Friday we sent you our servants and domestics, with injunctions to serve you in the same way as they serve ourselves ; and a short time after they had left we wrote to your Excellence a letter with our own hand, to give you a hearty welcome in our harbour. We beseech you to have a cheerful face and a glad heart, to be happy and enjoy yourself as safely as though you were our own daughter, or had already reached the dominions of our said cousins the King and Queen of Spain, your pious parents. We pray your Highness, with all our heart, to dispose of us and of everything that is to be found in our realms, and to spare us in nothing, even if the thing is not to be had in our dominions, and to order any service which we are able to execute. For, by doing so, you will bestow on us a signal and most acceptable favour. As we hear that the wind is contrary to the continuation of your voyage, wishing that your Highness would repose and rest, our advice is, that you take lodgings in our said town of Southampton, and remain there till the wind becomes favourable and the weather clears up. We believe that the movement and the roaring of the sea is disagreeable to your Highness and to the ladies who accompany you. If you accept our proposal, and remain so long in our said town of Southampton that we can be informed of it, and have time to go and to see you before your departure, we certainly will go and pay your Highness a visit. In a personal communication we could best open our mind to you, and tell you how much we are delighted that you have safely arrived in our port, and how glad we are that the (friendship) with you and our dearest cousins, the King and Queen of Spain, your most benign parents, is increasing from day to day. We desire to communicate to you in the best manner our news, and to hear from you of your welfare. May your Highness be as well and as happy as we wish.— From our Palace at Westminster ... of February, in the year ninety-six.
Spanish translation.
28 March.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
175. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
Have received his letters in cipher and in common writing, of the 14th and 28th of December, and 15th of January. Have received by the same couriers, Juan Aguado and Juan de Obregon, three letters of Henry, a copy of the brief of the Pope to Henry, and the treaty signed by the Bishop of London.
Are pleased with the letter of the Chancellor of Denmark, and with what has been negotiated with him.
King of the Romans.
Have read all the observations of Henry respecting the King of the Romans and the Archduke as to their having been comprehended as well as excepted in the treaty. Have seen also the answer given by him to the King. He must tell him that though in theory there is a difference between excepting and comprehending persons in a treaty, there will be no difference in fact, at least as far as England is concerned. Have not concluded the marriages with the children of the King of the Romans, not because they esteem them more than the marriage with Prince Arthur, but only because one marriage must be concluded before the other. The friendship they feel for Henry is as sincere as though he were their brother.
Marriage treaty.
Agree to the clauses of the treaty of marriage, which, as he writes, are much improved. Are satisfied with the stipulation that the Princess Katharine, when she becomes Queen of England, is to have the third part of the revenues of the kingdom, besides her dowry as Princess of Wales. Henry has been very liberal in all respects. Thank him for having promised to take off all extra burdens from Spanish commerce in England, and even to grant exceptional privileges to Spanish merchants. The King will soon see, by experience, the advantage of his liberal measures. The Spanish people, who believed they had been treated with injustice in England, had hitherto entertained no friendly sentiments towards him. Henceforth all will be altered, and the Spaniards will be his stoutest supporters.
Henry must be dissuaded from making way on Scotland.
Have read his conversation with Henry respecting the affairs of Scotland. He must dissuade the King from making war upon Scotland. It would be well that Henry should once more take into consideration the business of the so-called Duke of York. "In feats of arms no one can trust to the number of his soldiers and followers, since it so often happens that the few conquer the many. The stronger one is, the more must one justify one's cause and have God on one's side, as he may see from our example. We always did what we now advise him to do, and, God be praised, we have succeeded. We forbore to begin war upon Portugal as long as we could avoid it, and perhaps a little longer than was becoming. But we acted in the way we did to justify our cause before God and the world, and in order to be excused from shedding the blood of Christians. Though the war seemed to be an easy undertaking for us, we did not like to employ all our forces in it, and the result has shown that we were right. We advise the King of England, our brother, to do the same. He must not stake his right and his fortune on so hazardous an enterprise. He knows by experience how quickly a kingdom may be won and lost. Great as his power perhaps is the result of the war is doubtful. It seems to us that he ought not to let slip the occasion now offered to him of arranging his affairs. The King of Scots has at present less to hinder him, and may do what the King of England desires, with respect to him who is now in Scotland. For the King of Scots seemed formerly to be under some obligation to him, (fn. 3) since he had come well recommended to Scotland. Such obligations no longer exist, since he went away without being advised to do so, and (the King of Scots) looks upon him since his return almost as a prisoner. Thus the reasons for his having hitherto backed him no longer exist. We therefore think that the King of England should not reject the offers of the King of Scots, if he wish to make peace, and, if he will deliver him who is now staying at his court, or will promise to keep him in such a manner that no danger need any longer be feared from him. The ill-advised affray in England must be forgotten. Tell all this in our, and also in your, name to the King of England, and assure him that we would act in the same way if we were in his place."
Archduchess Juana.
Are sorry that the Archduchess has not answered the letter of Henry, and that he is offended. The reason probably is that she has no Latin secretary. Her first chaplain, however, could have written the answer. He must send letters to the chaplain, and not to Rojas, who has nothing to do with this affair.
Send duplicates of the ratifications of the treaty, and of the power of the Princess Katharine.
Henry has promised in his letter that the Princess Katharine shall have the third part of the revenues of the kingdom when she becomes Queen, and the same has been certified by the Bishop of London. It is, however, utterly impossible to have this promise incorporated in the treaty, because no secretary is at hand who could do it. The addition must therefore be made in England. Promise to ratify it.
As the King wishes to publish the treaty, it may be done two months after the receipt of this letter.
Brief of the Pope.
Have seen the copy of the brief of the Pope to Henry. Are pleased with it, not only on account of the entry of Henry into the league, but also on account of the exhortations of the Pope not to make war upon Scotland. The reasons given by the Pope against the war coincide with their own reasons.
Are pleased that Henry VII. is as virtuous and docile as he writes that he is.
Have seen the letters of the Emperor Georgiano, and of the Danish Ambassador. He may enter into negotiations with the latter.
He must do all in his power to bring to an end the quarrels between the Archduke and Henry.
Are pleased with his industry in sending their letters to Flanders, and to their ambassador in Scotland.
Don Pedro de Ayala.
Since Henry is dissatisfied because their ambassador in Scotland, the Prothonotary Don Pedro de Ayala, has believed what the Scotch have told him, he must appease the King by any reasons he likes to give.
Are pleased that Henry has punished French pirates for their cruel treatment of Spanish subjects. The business of John Bedia will be arranged.
Do not like to write anything respecting the disposition of the King of Scots, or the credulity of which Don Pedro de Ayala is accused. He may say whatever he thinks fit to Henry on this head, or whatever the King likes to hear.— Burgos, 28th of March 1496. (fn. 4)
Heard, after this letter had been written, that Ferdinand de Artiaga (messenger) had been detained because he had found no vessel ready. Have given orders for his speedy departure.
[On the same paper, but written in a different hand (most probably by De Puebla himself, who wrote very seldom, and whose writing is exceedingly difficult to read), are the following notes, which seem to relate to a later period, since Ferdinand Duke (de Estrada), who went to England after the death of Arthur, and negotiated the marriage of Katharine with Henry VII., is mentioned in them :—]
Has received the letters. Would be better pleased if a letter in Latin were inclosed, such as from Master Pedro Santebino from Sicily or from Pasamonte.
Must send directly for the dispensation.
The Archduke has sent to treat for peace.
As with the former messenger about p[er]q'no (perquino?).
The comprehension in the treaty with the Archduke was good.
The letters of Pedro de Ayala which were intercepted by the King. Clauses of the peace with Scotland.
The rings not to be forgotten.
Friar Juan, nephew of Arocas.
Three treaties of peace, two in Latin, one in Spanish, were negotiated with Ferdinand, the Duke, the King of the Romans, and the Archduke.
When negotiating with the Council about the third part of the revenues, much esteem was shown him. Has been believed to be of great authority.
Permission to go to Flanders.
Sends the provisions of [blank] and about the customs and prices.
News of the Archduke and Archduchess and of Gueldres. Did not like to write. Duke of Saxony, &c.
Indorsed : "I received this letter from Johan Daza on the 22nd of June 1497. The date is the 28th of March of the same year. Came in ciphers and is deciphered, &c."
Spanish. The original is in cipher, and the deciphering by Johan Tomayo, Secretary to De Puebla. pp. 10½.
8 April.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
Truce concluded between France and Spain.
176. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
After their last letters had left, an embassy had arrived from France with the answer to their proposals of a general peace, or at least a general truce. The King of France accepts a general truce, which is profitable to all the members of the league. As the French ambassadors had no sufficient power, Spanish ambassadors have gone to France. The truce is concluded. It is to last till the 1st of November. Have included Henry in it as their "relative, friend, and ally." A copy of the treaty is inclosed. It has been stipulated in it that both parties must name their friends and allies, who wish to be included in the truce, before the 15th of May. Their allies and friends, however, live at a great distance. Have, therefore, included them, without previously asking their opinion on the subject.
Inclusion of allies.
He must show the treaty to Henry, and ask him whether he wishes also to be included in the definite peace which hereafter will be concluded between Spain and France. —Burgos, 8th April 1497.
Addressed : "To Doctor de Puebla, their ambassador and of their Council."
Spanish. pp. 2½.
8 April.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
Letters and messages to the Archduchess.
177. Henry VII. to the Archduchess (Juana).
Has written twice to her concerning his negotiations with the Archduke. Sent his second letter by his French secretary, who was ordered to tell her that she is loved by him as though she were his own daughter. The same secretary was directed to ask her advice respecting all his negotiations, and to do nothing without her approval. Although all this was clearly expressed in his instructions, the secretary has not done so, because he is unable to speak either Latin or Spanish. He has returned without concluding his business.
Embassy from the Archduke.
The day after Whitsuntide the ambassadors of the Archduke came to England. Asked them whether they had a letter from her. Received a negative answer, and suspected directly that the negotiations would not end well, a suspicion which has been only too much justified by the event. English subjects, certainly, never before suffered so great and so long continued injustice as they do now in Flanders. The Spanish ambassador in England has persuaded him to delay further measures against Flanders, and to write to her first. Does it now, without the knowledge of his Council, who surely would not have consented to it.—Palace of Shene, 8th April 1497.
Indorsed : "Letter from the King of England to the Archduchess. From Shene, 8th of April 1497."
Spanish translation. pp. 8.
14 June.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
178. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
Have just received his letters of the 5th of April and 19th of May. Are glad that he has received their letters sent with Fernan de Artiaga. Praise his industry.—Medina del Campo, 14th June 1497.
Addressed : "To Doctor De Puebla, their ambassador, and of their Council."
Spanish. p. ¼.
18 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 3. f. 7.
179. Henry VII.
Ratification of the treaty, of the 1st of October 1496, between Spain and England.—Shene, 18th July 1497.
18 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2. f. 9.
180. Henry VII.
Another ratification of the treaty between Spain and England, dated Burgos, 1st of October 1496.—Shene, 18th July 1497.
It is in Latin, signed by Henry VII., and countersigned by Petrus Carmelianus Brixiensis. The great seal is perfectly preserved.
18 July.
Fr. R. 12 Hen. VII. m, 3. (28).
181. Henry VII.
Another ratification of the treaty with Ferdinand and Isabella, dated London, 1st October 1496.—Shene, 18th July.
Latin. pp. 9, in print, including the treaty.
Printed in Rymer.
25 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
Duties on Spanish merchandise.
182. Henry VII. to Ferdinand and Isabella.
De Puebla has spoken so often and so much about the duties laid on Spanish merchandise in England, that it seems impossible he can be acting according to their instructions. All his other business together does not occupy him so much as this subordinate subject alone. Thinks that De Puebla does it in order to refute old calumnies against him.
The effect of the duties is, that the Spaniards sell their merchandise much dearer in England, and buy English cloth and other things much cheaper than they otherwise could do. Thus, the duties are paid by the English, and not by the Spaniards.
The French, Flemish, Bretons, Portuguese, Venetians, Florentines, Genoese, Siennese, those of Lucca, and other Lombard merchants, import great quantities of goods into England, and they all pay the same duties as the Spaniards. None of them have complained.
It is true that Edward IV. made special concessions to Henry of Castile. But that was done, as must be well known to them, on account of some secret matter of such great importance that, could it have been attained, a much greater sacrifice would have been justified. Would, although those reasons no longer exist, willingly grant as great and even greater privileges to Spanish subjects, if he were not afraid of the scandal it would create in England and abroad. Promises, nevertheless, in celebration of the happy arrival of the Princess Katharine in England, to lower the duties on Spanish merchandise, in such a manner, that Spaniards will pay less than they do now, and also much less than the other above mentioned nations.
Spanish ships.
Promises, without delay, to order that Spanish ships wrecked on the coasts of England shall be better treated. —In our palace, &c.—No place nor date.
Indorsed in the hand of Almazan, in Spanish : "Copy of the letter of the King of England to their Catholic Highnesses, of which Doctor De Puebla has spoken."
Latin. pp. 4.
25 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 3. f. 12.
183. Henry VII. to Ferdinand and Isabella.
The same letter as before, only signed by Henry VII., and dated from the Palace of Shene, 25th of July 1497.
Address is lost.
Written on the back : "Nichil ad rem presentem."
Latin. pp. 3.
23 Oct.
B. M. Eg. MSS. 616.
184. Henry VII. to De Puebla.
Has read his letter dated London, the 16th October, in which he expresses his joy at hearing good news from him.
Has sent the wife of Perkin to the Queen, and holds Perkin in his own keeping.
Has heard that the Scots are sending an embassy to him, although not so honourable a one as had been expected.
The bull is not to be published before his return to London. It must first be carefully examined.—Exeter, 23rd October 1497.
Addressed : "To our most beloved Rodriguez Gundisalvi De Puebla, doctor and ambassador of the King and Queen of Spain."
Latin. p. 1.
3 Dec.
B. M. Eg. MS. 616. f. 7.
185. Elizabeth Queen Of England to Queen Isabella Of Spain.
Though the friendship subsisting between themselves hitherto has been very great, it will be now still more increased by the marriage of Prince Arthur to the Princess Katharine. Begs her to write very often about herself and the Princess, and promises to do the like with respect to the Prince of Wales.— Westminster, 3rd December 1497.
Addressed : "To the most serene and potent Princess, Elizabeth, &c."
Latin. p. 1.
Printed in Wood's Letters of Royal Ladies.
13 Dec.
Fr. R. 13 Hen. VII. m. 20.
186. Henry VII.
Promises to submit himself to the arbitration of the King and Queen of Spain with regard to the breach of all treaties between himself and Scotland as to invasion, robberies, &c. committed by either side.—Westminster, 13th December.
Latin. p. ½, in print.
Printed in Rymer.
14 Dec.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
187. Henry VII. to Queen Isabella.
Has received her and King Ferdinand's letter.
Thanks them for their love, and loves them so much himself that it is quite impossible to imagine a greater or more sincere affection. The marriage of their children will secure the everlasting continuation of their friendship.
The friendship between them is so intimate that neither letters nor signs can express it. Nevertheless, promises to conclude a more intimate friendship after the marriage.
De Puebla unjustly reproached.
Has heard that De Puebla has been reproached for remissness in his business. Gives his royal word that he has never seen any ambasador "so industrious, vigilant, true, and "adroit in all negotiations entrusted to him," as De Puebla. Begs them not only not to believe the calumnies against De Puebla, but also to reward him by some special and liberal favour.—Westminster, 14th December 1497.
Addressed : "To the most serene and most excellent Princess, Lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen of Spain, &c."
Latin. pp. 3½.


  • 1. The letter is written on parchment, and signed by Henry VII. with his own hand. It seems, therefore, to be the original, and the date to have been omitted by mistake. Strange as such a mistake may appear, similar inadvertencies are not of very rare occurrence in the State Papers of that period. As no particular date can be assigned to this letter, I give it in connexion with the ratification of the marriage treaty.
  • 2. The fleet, commanded by the admiral of Castile, which carried Doña Juana to Flanders, sailed from Laredo, near Bilboa, on the 21st of August 1496, and brought on its return Margaret of Austria to Spain, where it arrived on the 17th of February 1497. It passed the British Channel at the beginning of that month, and was compelled by stress of weather to run into the harbour of Southampton. (Zurita, Historia del Rey Don Fernando.) As both Princesses were already married, their titles were changed : Archduchess meaning Doña Juana, and Infanta or Princess signifying Margaret of Austria. It can, therefore, scarcely be doubted, that this and the following letter were written in the year 1497, and directed to Margaret of Austria.
  • 3. He and him, printed in italics, always signify the so-called Duke of York.
  • 4. Sic in the deciphering. But the ciphered original contains the ciphers expressing the following letters : m i l q u a t r o c i e n t o s n o v e n t a s i e teannos ; that is to say, mil quatro cientos noventa siete años, or 1497. The date in the deciphering is, therefore, merely a mistake.