Spain: July 1498, 11-20

Pages 153-167

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

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July 1498, 11-20

15 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
Arrival of Londono and the Sub-prior of Santa Cruz.
202. De Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella.
On Monday evening, the 2nd of July, the Commander Londoño and the Sub-prior of Santa Cruz arrived in London, accompanied by two ecclesiastics and one gentleman, sent to them by Henry. Has received two bundles of papers, amongst which is a key to cipher, and two letters of the 4th of February and 7th of April. Is very glad that they approve of the treaties concluded by him. God has evidently done it, for there being so many persons in the Council and about the person of Henry who receive pensions from France, it would have been beyond human power to bring the business to a satisfactory conclusion.
Their audience of King Henry.
Henry has been in the country. But in order to see their ambassadors, and to read their letters, (seeing that during a whole year and eleven days he had not received a single letter from them,) he had come directly (on Wednesday) to Westminster. Next day, Thursday, the King sent the Bishop of London, and other great dignitaries, for the said ambassadors, and for him. Had a secret audience of Henry VII., not one Englishman, except the Cardinal, being present. After hearing the message Henry said that it was better calculated for a public than for a private audience, and called into the room all the great men of his kingdom who were in the palace. The speeches of Henry in French, and of the Cardinal in Latin, were remarkably fine. They could not have been better. Did not speak that day, except sometimes when he explained a little more in detail what Londoño and the Sub-prior said.
Conversations between King Henry and De Puebla.
Went next day, Friday, alone to Henry, and had long conversations with him before and after dinner. Delivered their letters and explained them. Henry had enjoyed those letters more than his late victory, though they were not in Latin. The King told him to return the next day, Saturday, to the palace, for he could not hear their letters read often enough. Henry had two other audiences on Saturday, but afterwards passed four hours with him in conversation, at which the Queen and the mother of the King were present. "To hear what they spoke of your Highnesses and of the Princess of Wales was like hearing the praise of God." Gave the Queen two letters from them, and two letters from the Princess of Wales. The King had a dispute with the Queen because he wanted to have one of the said letters to carry continually about him, but the Queen did not like to part with hers, having sent the other to the Prince of Wales.
Henry invited him to Xin (Shene?) where, undisturbed by daily business, he would speak with him at length about the answer to be sent to Spain. He said that the peace of Christendom, without any doubt, depended, next to God, upon them and on himself. Thinks Henry will go to Xin (Shene?) within three or four days. Will send a relation of their deliberations, by an express courier, to Spain.
Next day, being Sunday, Londoño and the Sub-prior of Santa Cruz went to see the King. Was afterwards told by them that they had repeated in this second audience what they had already said in their first interview with the King.
The King, speaking in French, and the Cardinal in Latin, promised, they said, "wonders to the advantage of your Highnesses." They said besides many things which modesty forbids him to repeat.
Londono and the Sub-prior take leave.
Londoño and the Sub-prior took leave this very day. Henry delivered them two letters in answer to the letters which he had just received. The King of England called them his "brother and his sister," and would be glad if they would answer in the same style. But if they prefer another style of address, Henry will conform himself to it.
The King has sent both Londoño and the Sub-prior a purse full of nobles. Could not hear from them how many nobles the purse contained.
Don Pedro de Ayala shows no desire to return to Scotland.
His conduct.
Don Pedro de Ayala left Scotland nine months ago, and still shows as little inclination to return as on the first day, and is continually causing him incredible troubles. It would take long to tell all the acts of Don Pedro. But they will certainly not think that they are well served by Don Pedro. "I declared, and often said to him that the embassies which your Highnesses send to all parts of the world are not only for the purpose which is apparent, but also for your renown, and in order to know what happens there, and to delude France, and bring her into bad reputation, and for other objects, unknown to us." All his remonstrances being of no avail, has asked Londoño and the Sub-prior to speak to Don Pedro. Don Pedro has promised to leave very soon, but delays his departure from one day to another ; he took leave a long time ago of the King, and received his purse of nobles. It is therefore scandalous of him to stay longer. Yet Don Pedro, only the other day, in the presence of Londoño and the Sub-prior, took new lodgings and bought provisions of wood and wine. There would be no hope at all of his leaving London, if his officers and servants were not implicated in so many street fights and scuffles. A short time ago Don Pedro himself received a blow from a brick on his arm in a fight of his servants. Last week the servants of Don Pedro attacked some Englishmen, one of whom has since died. Went to see the corpse buried. The police arrested one of the servants of Don Pedro ; if the King had not interceded, the man would most probably have been hanged. Afterwards the chaplain of Don Pedro, a Scotchman, was arrested for killing an Englishman, and sent back to Scotland. "It is as true as God is truth" that it would be of great advantage if Don Pedro de Ayala were sent away.—London, 15th July 1498.
Spanish. Portions in common writing, and portions in cipher, deciphered by Almazan, Secretary of State. pp. 6½.
17 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
203. De Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Has heard, in the Royal Palace, that Don Pedro de Ayala is sending a courier to Spain. Inquired secretly of Londoño, and of the Sub-prior, who said that it was true. Intends to send this letter enclosed in the bundle of Londoño and the Sub-prior. It will go by the courier of Don Pedro de Ayala.
Perkin Warbeck.
"I have already written that Perkin had fled, but had been taken again and exposed two days in the pillory. He is now secured in such a manner, and in such a prison, that, with the help of God, he will never be able to play such a trick again. I say this, because it may be that others, biassed by party feeling, have written that he had fled, but not what took place afterwards."
Princess Katharine.
The Queen and the mother of the King wish that the Princess of Wales should always speak French with the Princess Margaret, who is now in Spain, in order to learn the language, and to be able to converse in it when she comes to England. This is necessary, because these ladies do not understand Latin, and much less, Spanish. They also wish that the Princess of Wales should accustom herself to drink wine. The water of England is not drinkable, and even if it were, the climate would not allow the drinking of it.
Death of the King of France.
Henry heard of the death of the King of France, on the Feast of the Resurrection. Was himself informed directly of the event by a gentleman of the bedchamber, sent by the King. Went to Henry, and had a long conversation with him. The King said it was most desirable that either divisions or party quarrels should take place in France or in Brittany, and that he had sent two spies, one of whom had gone to Monsieur de Rohan. He said that, if divisions were to break out in France he would, without loss of time, invade that kingdom in order to reconquer what belongs to him by right. He wished very much to know their intentions.
Shortly after this conversation with Henry had taken place, a king-at-arms came from France, and after him an embassy. The new King of France proposes to renew the friendship of his predecessor with England, and to conclude even a stricter alliance. Spoke much with Henry on this subject. If he tell the truth, all is going on uncommonly well. Confesses that he thinks that what Henry promises is impossible, because the English wish to retain the pensions which they have hitherto received. Has pressed Henry very hard. The King said that there was not the least reason to be afraid, because he would not conclude anything with France without expressly including Spain and the other members of the league. Does not anticipate any danger from the new King of France.
Ambassadors from France, Venice, Milan, and the the King of the Romans.
The ambassadors of Venice and Milan have not obtained the least result in England. The Duke of Milan has sent a messenger to Henry, with sweet words (cosas dulces), and intends soon to send an ambassador. The ambassador has come to ask the King of England to give one of his daughters in marriage to a son of the Duke of Milan. Will hereafter write more on this subject.
The embassy of the King of the Romans has been expected for a very long time. The English are greatly desirous to conclude a good peace with the King of the Romans, and with the Archduke, in which Spain is to be included. What Gutierre Gomez de Fuensalida says on this matter will be seen by the letter of the Dean of Jaen, "which (I send) by the courier (of Don Pedro)." (fn. 1)
War with France.
Yesterday came a messenger from the King of the Romans with a bundle of letters, which do not agree with what the Dean of Jaen has written, but in which "the King of England is asked (fn. 2) and entreated not to let such an occasion slip of attacking his old enemy, and reconquering the provinces of which he has been robbed. The King of the Romans promises to perform wonders in the war against France." The King sent a gentleman of his bedchamber, and asked him to come to the palace. Had a long conversation on this subject. Henry was very plain spoken, and gave him the enclosed letter for them.
Henry has not forgotten the bad behaviour of the King of the Romans.
Henry said among other things that he should like to see the King of the Romans at war with France, but only by way of witnessing his wonderful feats, and not in order to take part himself in the enterprise. The King of England has not forgotten how the King of the Romans has behaved on former occasions, and is very cautious in his dealings with him. King Henry has serious doubts about the constancy, veracity, and perseverance of the King of the Romans, but wishes much to know their intentions. Thinks, in accordance with what he has already written to the chamberlain, Don Alonzo de Silva, that if the King of France were to offer them a true and good peace, they ought to accept it. They would thereby gain a sincere and constant friend in Henry, and at the same time secure the peace of Christendom.
Letters to Henry.
The day that the above-mentioned conference took place, King Henry could not show the letters which he had received, but he sent them the next day. The Latin secretary wrote the note which is enclosed. One of the letters is from the King of the Romans. A transcript of it is enclosed. Had not time to copy the other letters, one of which is from the Legate of the Holy Father, [Episcopus Cordiensis,] another from Gutier Gomez Fuensalida, ambassador of Spain, the third from Franciscus de Montibus, ambassador of the King of Naples, and the fourth from Erasmus Brascha, knight and ambassador of the Duke of Milan. Only the last is signed,—Ambassador of Naples. All these letters agree with what the King of the Romans has sent to ask, and in them Henry is desired to do even a little more. Is much astonished that Gutier Gomez has sent no letter for him, especially as he had written the contrary to the Dean of Jaen. On account of the embassy from Flanders which is expected to come this week, there is some delay. Makes use of it to write to them, because King Henry wishes that they should be informed of all that passes. Would to God that the King of France would entrust his affairs to them, for they would soon procure universal peace.
De Puebla speaks with Henry at Shene.
After this was written went to Xin (Shene?) to see Henry. Read him all their reasons for excepting the King of the Romans and the Archduke in the peace (with England), which reasons are so good that they would produce an impression even on rocks, not to speak of Henry, who is as he ought to be, and has been entirely satisfied with them. Henry sent for his commissioners to conclude this business without delay at Shene.
Henry asked whether Spain would take part in the war against France, which the King of the Romans urges so much, adding that he would not remain idle in such a case, and much less conclude peace, or truce, or abstinence from war with Louis without their consent. Did not give any decisive answer ; thought it safer rather to spur on the King of England than to keep him back. Meanwhile the embassy from Flanders had arrived, whilst that of the King of the Romans was still in England.
Princess Katharine.
Henry said that God alone knows how much, and for how long a time, he has desired the marriage of the Princess Katharine with the Prince of Wales. As soon as the Prince of Wales, who is in Calais, arrives, the marriage ceremony will be performed, and all things will change from good to better.
Don Pedro de Ayala.
King of Scots.
Don Pedro De Ayala is making preparations for prolonging his stay in London. King Henry has said that he is much astonished to see Don Pedro remaining so long a time in England without commission from them. It would be best to recall Don Pedro de Ayala, and to send a good Latin scholar to Scotland, telling the King of Scots that it is much against their wishes that Don Pedro is continually absent from his court. By this and by other good means the King of Scots could be entirely won and be married to any one they liked.
"It is more difficult to marry such a king as the King of Scotland than to bring him up." (fn. 3) The King of Scots would be immensely flattered by a resident Spanish embassy at his court, it being an honour done him by no other great powers. That alone would suffice to gratify and to influence him. Besides, other good opportunities for flattering him are not wanting. If the daughter of the King of England were already marriageable, it would be best to marry her to the King of Scots. Henry would be very glad if Pedro de Ayala were to leave the country, although he had written to the contrary, and will even now commend Don Pedro, because he is asked by him to do so. Henry will also write something about Scotland.
From Xin (Shene), 17th July 1498.
Some citizens of San Sebastien who have just arrived say that Vincent de Alduan has not sent the parcel which he received the beginning of May. It contains—
24 blessed (?) rings from Henry, 12 of them being gold, and 12 silver :
A letter from the Prince of Wales :
A copy of the dispensation from the Pope, respecting the age of the Prince and Princess of Wales :
A letter from the Countess of Camin to Ferdinand :
A letter from the ambassador of Naples at the court of the King of the Romans :
Two letters from Don Rodrigo Manrique and the Dean of Jaen.
A letter of Henry to them is not included in the parcel.
Indorsed : "To their Highnesses, from Doctor De Puebla, 17th July '96." (fn. 4)
"S. R. Majestatibus, 1498."
In cipher, deciphered by Almazan, Secretary of State.
Spanish. pp. 10.
18 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
Their arrival in England.
First audience of the King.
204. Londoño and the Sub-Prior Of Santa Cruz (fn. 5) to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Had a very bad voyage, and did not arrive in England until the 27th of June. Travelled sixty leagues by land from their landing place, to London. Henry, on being informed of their arrival, sent two dignitaries of the Church, one of whom is his almoner, and a knight of the name of Duarte, to receive them one day's journey from London. The knight is a brother-in-law of Count Scalas, and had been knighted by Ferdinand with his own hand in the Vega of Granada. Reached London on the 2nd of July. Henry was staying at a palace four leagues distant from London, but came to town on Wednesday the 4th of July, and received them the next Thursday. The Bishop of London and those who had met them on their journey to London, together with a great many other gentlemen, came to accompany them to the palace. Were received by Henry with the greatest imaginable demonstrations of joy. Delivered their credentials and recommendations and communicated to the King the substance of their message. No other persons were present, except the Cardinal who is the chancellor of the kingdom, an old gentleman whom they call the treasurer, and Doctor De Puebla. After delivering their message, were asked by Henry to wait a short time, because he wanted to consult with his Council. The counsellors and many other great dignitaries of the realm were called into the room. Retired to a little distance from them. The King, surrounded by his Council, spoke to them for some time. All of them were highly gratified by what they heard. The deliberation being concluded, King Henry asked them again to come nearer, and gave a very gracious and satisfactory answer with a most cheerful countenance. The Cardinal afterwards made a speech in the presence of the King, and answered every point of their message.
As to the prothonotary, Don Pedro de Ayala, Henry was at first discontented with the manner in which he had carried on his negotiations in Scotland, because he believed him to be partial to the Scotch. But now that Don Pedro has brought the whole affair to a happy conclusion, he and his deeds are highly appreciated by Henry.
King Henry, when told that it was intended to send Fernan Perez (De Ayala) as ambassador to England, was at first concerned about it, because he thought that the present ambassador was to be recalled. When the matter was more fully explained to him, he expressed his warmest thanks.
Friendly offers of Ferdinand and Isabella.
Told the King that as soon as the news of disturbances in England had reached Spain, the Spanish fleet had been armed and kept ready to assist him, although the truth of the tidings was doubted, because De Puebla had not mentioned them. All the Englishmen present, and especially Henry, expressed their thanks. Henry offered to serve Spain with his person and with his army. "He said it in words which manifested great love and affection."
Princess Katharine.
Henry expressed great satisfaction at the marriage between the Princess Katharine and Prince Arthur, and praised the Princess. The dispensation of the Pope has arrived in England. The King of England approves of their having sent an embassy to France.
Second audience.
Took leave, but were invited to stay over the next day, Sunday. Went on Sunday morning, accompanied by the Bishop of London and other great dignitaries of state, to the palace. The King and Queen heard mass in the chapel, and walked in the procession. The ladies of the Queen went in good order and were much adorned. After mass the King proceeded to dinner. Dined in the palace with the Bishop of London and others. Went after dinner to the chamber of Henry, where they found the King and the Cardinal. Henry spoke of the war in Granada ; of the solemn entry of the King and Queen of Portugal into Spain ; then asked them abruptly whether the Princess Mary (of Spain) was likely to be married, and hinted at a marriage with the King of Scots. Answered that they knew nothing about it.
Marriage between Margaret of Austria and the King of France.
King Henry spoke of Madame Margaret, and asked whether it were true that the King of France intended to marry her. He seemed to be concerned at it, and to wish that the King of France should marry the Queen Dowager (Anne of Brittany).
King of the Romans.
Speaking of the King of the Romans and of the Archduke, the King of England said that he had done much for them in the affairs of Brittany and of Flanders, but that they had repaid him with great ingratitude. English subjects have never been so badly treated in Flanders as at present. He would not bear it so patiently but for his love to the King and Queen of Spain. However that may be, it seems that all will now be soon arranged.
Took leave, and went to kiss the hand of the Queen.
Don Pedro de Ayala.
Could get no information respecting Scotland except from Don Pedro de Ayala, who is staying in London in order to recruit his health. Besides, his being in England is beneficial for the despatch of business. The treaties he has concluded are very profitable to all parties, and Henry is perfectly satisfied with them, for he has said so. Don Pedro is held in much honour, spends much, and has even got into pecuniary difficulties, not having received his salary for the last year. His presence in England is very advantageous, because he is on good terms with the King and the whole Court. He knows England well, but Scotland still better. He is, in fact, the only man who knows Scotland, all others looking on the Scotch only as their enemies, and flying into a passion as soon as the name of Scotland is pronounced.
Have asked Don Pedro to send a detailed description of England and Scotland to Spain.
Doctor De Puebla : His character.
The Doctor (De Puebla) is in such a state of irritation with Don Pedro de Ayala that it has been the cause of many disagreeable scenes which are notorious in England. There is no remedy for it. De Puebla cannot bear any other ambassador. He has been unable to conceal his fear and distrust towards them, though he had been told that his services are fully appreciated in Spain. Have observed that he is a great partizan of the King of England. He magnifies everything that relates to Henry as much as possible. He thinks that the affairs of the King of England are to be considered as more important than those of any other prince. King Henry said that he is very well satisfied with De Puebla, who is a good servant of the King and Queen of Spain, and that no other ambassador could conduct the negotiations so well as he does, adding, that he makes these observations only in order to recommend De Puebla to his masters. Suspect, however, that De Puebla had begged the King to speak of him in that way, as De Puebla had gone alone to the palace the day before, and had not liked to accompany them the next day. Moreover, some persons have told them that De Puebla had besought the King to commend him. King Henry is certainly satisfied with De Puebla, not because he thinks him a good man, or a good servant of the King and Queen of Spain, but because he carries on negotiations rather in the interest of England than of Spain.
De Puebla is a quarrelsome intriguer. He is disliked by the Spanish merchants in England. They say that he could easily have induced Henry to abolish the extra duties imposed upon them when the last treaty was concluded. The King was then in such difficulties that he would not have refused even the half of his revenues if De Puebla had asked it. But De Puebla is more an agent of the exchequer of the King of England than ambassador of Spain. He is under such subjection to Henry that he dares not say a word, but what he thinks will please the King. The Spanish merchants had told them all this without being asked. Intend to send the complaints of the merchants in writing.
Information of Doctor Panec about Doctor de Puebla.
Doctor Peter Panec, a privy counsellor of Henry, who has transacted business with De Puebla, asked them whether he had been sent to superintend the affairs of the King and Queen of Spain, or those of the King of England and his own? He added that De Puebla had conducted the business of Spain very badly. Many things have been left entirely to his decision, and he has not decided them in favour of Spain. This has especially been the case with respect to the marriage. Henry was then in the midst of his difficulties with Scotland and Perkin. The Cornish rebels were in arms against him, and had even advanced to within a few leagues of London. If any other man had been the ambassador of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella could, in that conjuncture, have dictated conditions to England. In fact, Doctor Panec says Henry is indebted for his crown to Spain, because, as soon as the marriage was known to be concluded, all became quiet. But De Puebla, during all that time, went from one privy counsellor to another, begging that the marriage might be concluded, as though there were no other means to do it. He had said everywhere that King Henry had made great difficulties about concluding the marriage. If another ambassador had been in the place of De Puebla, Henry would have begged exactly the same things of him which De Puebla has been begging of Henry. The King would have given much money besides. There is only one opinion about these things in England. The same informant said further that the peace with Scotland had been delayed by De Puebla, who had falsified the letters of Don Pedro de Ayala, which the King had asked him to translate from Spanish into French. King Henry was very angry with De Puebla on this account, and De Puebla had the insolence to say that everywhere he regretted he had concluded the marriage, because Henry had not been so liberal towards him as his services deserved.
De Puebla is a liar, flatterer, &c., and a bad Christian.
"De Puebla is a liar, a flatterer, a calumniator, a beggar, and does not seem to be a good Christian." He has, for instance, expressed his astonishment that there are no other merchants in Spain besides Jews. He has declared that the King of England holds Spain in little esteem, and that he himself will never return to Castile.
De Puebla is a beggar.
A Spaniard, brought up and married in England, is porter to the Queen of England. He said that some time ago the King was living at a palace about a quarter of a league distant from the town in which De Puebla was staying. De Puebla went every day, with all his servants, to dine at the palace, and continued his unasked-for visits during the space of four or five months. The Queen and the mother of the Queen sometimes asked him whether his masters in Castile did not provide him with food? On another occasion, when the King was staying at another palace, there was a report that Doctor de Puebla was coming. The King asked his courtiers, "For what purpose is he coming?" They answered, "To eat." The King laughed at the answer.
The English discontented with De Puebla.
Duarte, of whom they have already spoken, told them that the English consider themselves a little slighted, because such honourable ambassadors have been sent to Scotland and to other countries, whilst the ambassador to England is such a man as De Puebla. Henry was astonished when it was announced that De Puebla was to return on a second embassy to England. The King had expected a new ambassador, and not a person whom he already knew so thoroughly.
Henry VII. is rich, and keeps the people in subjection.
Henry is rich, has established good order in England, and keeps the people in such subjection as has never been the case before. He is on good terms with the King of France, to whom he has sent an embassy. He is a friend of peace.
To the Italian ambassadors he answered that he liked to live on good terms with France, and that Italy is too far distant from England for an alliance. The ambassadors from Milan are expected.
The most influential persons in England.
The persons who have the greatest influence in England are the mother of the King, the Chancellor, Master Bray, the Bishop of Durham, Master Ludel, who is treasurer, the Bishop of London, and the Lord Chamberlain.
A short time ago ambassadors arrived from the King of the Romans. De Puebla says that they have asked Henry to take part in the war against France.
Remained a few days longer in England, because the ambassadors from France were hourly expected. The ambassadors are, the Bishop of Cambray, and two literary men. They say that they are come to conclude peace, and to bring about an understanding respecting English commerce in Flanders. The truce with France, they say, is converted into a perpetual peace. They asked news of the Princess, and said that it is time for her to marry, because she is already a young woman. The Archduchess is pregnant.
Bad weather will not permit them to send to Flanders. This letter is taken by the courier of Don Pedro de Ayala. —London, 18th of July 1498.
Addressed : "To the very powerful and very high Lords, the Most Christian King and Queen of Spain."
Spanish. pp. 13.
18 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
205. Sub-prior Of Santa Cruz to Ferdinand and Isabella.
According to his instructions, spoke with Henry alone when the audience was over. Henry did not give any positive answer then, but put it off until the next Sunday.
Ingratitude of the Pope.
Henry said that he was very glad to be informed about a case of such great importance as that concerning the Pope. It showed the holy zeal of their most Christian Princes. His opinion is that they have not demanded too much from a Pope for whom they have done so much. He thinks it advisable to send one more person who is exempt from all vice and from all blemish, as ambassador to the Pope, to request him to do what they desire. If he refuse it, they have not only a right to do what they say, but also to convoke a council if necessary.
Spanish Heretics and Jews in England.
Told Henry that there are in England and Flanders many heretics who have come from Spain, and people who have fled from the inquisition, who speak ill of Spain, and wish to excite hatred against her. Henry appreciated this advice much. He laid his hands on his breast and swore, "by the faith of his heart," that if any one (without mentioning those cursed exiles) of his best beloved subjects should say anything against the King and Queen of Spain, he would not esteem him, or any longer treat him as his friend. He promised to punish soundly any Jew or heretic to be found in his realms. Conversed a long time on this subject.
Princess of Wales.
Henry likes to speak about the Princess of Wales. He said that he would give the half of his kingdom if she were like her mother.
De Puebla.
De Puebla, who did not take part in this conversation, showed great suspicion, standing there and watching them like a wolf. Cannot prevail upon himself to write the blasphemous things that are said of him by the very servants of the King. Henry himself said that he wished the marriage could have been negotiated by a better man.
The Archduchess is pregnant. Monsieur De Bévres is dead.
Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen is a "very noble woman," and much beloved. She is kept in subjection by the mother of the King. It would be a good thing to write often to her, and to show her a little love.
Don Pedro de Ayala.
Don Pedro de Ayala lives like a gentleman, and is much beloved by the King, by the people, and by foreigners, even by the King of Scots, who esteems him like a father. No one in England contradicts this, except De Puebla, who wishes to turn him out of England. There is not a single person in England who speaks ill of the one, or well of the other. The quarrels between them are a public scandal. It is time to throw the baton between them.
Doctor Breton has given him this information and a paper which must be destroyed after it is read.
Indorsed : "To their Highnesses from the Sub-prior of Santa."
Cipher. Deciphered by Almazan, First Secretary of State. pp. 4.
18 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
The conclusion of the marriage treaty.
206. The Spanish Merchants residing in London to Sanchez De Londoño and the Sub-Prior Of Santa Cruz.
De Puebla had asked Henry to give a bishopric to him, and other good livings to his sons and relatives. On account of the King having refused to do so, he had delayed the conclusion of the treaty of marriage. When Henry was in his greatest difficulties with Scotland and Perkin, De Puebla had repeated his demands. Henry had answered, that he was unfit to become a bishop, because he was a cripple. De Puebla then proposed that the bishopric should be given to a certain procurator of Henry in Rome, from whom he had got 1,000 gold crowns for his promise to procure letters for him from the King and Queen of Spain to the Pope, recommending him for a cardinal's hat. Henry was in such great difficulties then that he had acceded to the proposals of De Puebla, and promised 1,500 crowns a year besides to one of his sons. As soon as De Puebla had obtained what he wanted, he concluded the marriage, which was so advantageous to Henry that, in consequence of it, peace with Scotland was concluded, Perkin turned out of Scotland, and the rebels punished.
De Puebla extorts money.
Some merchants from Genoa had subjected themselves to a penalty in England. They gave 500 crowns and cloth and silk for the marriage to De Puebla, who settled their affair with Henry.
De Puebla had sold two licences of the King for importing wine and woad in Spanish vessels, to Spanish merchants, for 200 crowns.
Francisco de Arvieto of Orduña had paid De Puebla 100 gold crowns for a pardon for perjury. Similar things are done almost daily by De Puebla. When he took part in the negotiations with Flanders, he persuaded the Archduke to impose a duty of one gold florin on every piece of English cloth, the consequences of which have been to cause prolonged debates and great disaster.
There is not a Spanish captain, or even a single sailor, who is not obliged to pay more or less to De Puebla, if he has anything to do in England. De Puebla often takes money from both parties, if he has to decide a law suit. He is a spy and secret informer in all kinds of contraventions committed by subjects of any nation, only for the purpose of making money by his information. He and his servants sell testimonials of all kinds.
He lives in a house of bad repute.
De Puebla constantly complains that he is badly paid, and he begs money from the King and the gentlemen of the court. He lives meanly. He has been three years in the house of a mason who keeps dishonest women. He eats with them, and with all the apprentices, at the same table, for 2d. a day. His landlord robs men who come to his house, and the ambassador protects him, in his dishonest trade, against the police.
The consequence of all this is that the Spaniards are less esteemed and worse treated in England than other foreigners.
Indorsed : "The information which the Spaniards living in England gave to Londoño and the Sub-prior respecting Doctor De Puebla."
Spanish. pp. 6.
18 July,
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
207. Doctor Breton to Londoño and the Sub-Prior of Santa Cruz.
When it was known that Ferdinand and Isabella intended to send an ambassador to England, the English hoped it would be a bishop, a count or a baron, or at least a person of great authority. Henry, on hearing who was the person selected as ambassador, saw directly that Ferdinand and Isabella did not know him sufficiently, whilst he was thoroughly acquainted with the character of the man. De Puebla was well received on account of the respect due to his masters.
Marriage of the Princess of Wales.
Diffident of himself and doubtful of success, De Puebla did not at first insist on the principal points of his instructions respecting the marriage. He spoke as though the conclusion of it, on any terms whatever, was a most arduous task, and as though it would be difficult to find a husband for the Princess Katharine, causing thereby great injury to Spain. Her dignity had suffered considerably.
When De Puebla concluded the marriage, he intended only to regain the good opinion of his masters.
Had he availed himself of Doctor Breton's advice, the marriage would have been concluded on such conditions as might have been dictated by Spain.
Henry makes use of De Puebla for his purposes.
De Puebla wished to ingratiate himself with Henry. For this reason he told Ferdinand and Isabella that things were very difficult which, in fact, were very easy. Henry makes use of De Puebla for his advantage, but he knows the man.
De Puebla afterwards saw the blunders he had committed, and wished to make amends for them. Endeavouring to make use, for that purpose, of the Venetian ambassador, he had told him the greatest lies, and only rendered things worse.
De Puebla delayed the peace between England and Flanders ; and the peace with Scotland.
Has explained by word of mouth, how De Puebla had delayed the conclusion of peace between Henry and the Archduke for about two years.
In the negotiations carried on between England and Scotland he made use of the most improper means, and occasioned real danger to Henry only because he was jealous of the honour which the peace reflected on Spain.
In the business of the Pope and of the King of the Romans he had behaved carelessly.
De Puebla carries on the business of a lawyer.
De Puebla lives meanly. He is avaricious and a notorious usurer, an enemy of truth, full of lies, a calumniator of all honest men, vain-glorious, and ostentatious. He wishes to make foreign princes and other persons believe that he influences Henry, in order that he may be selected by them as their agent. Under colour of his embassy he goes to the courts of law, and pleads the causes of merchants who pay him. He is hated to the last degree by all lawyers and judges, and by all merchants of whatever nation they may be.
In London he lives in a vile and miserable inn of bad repute. When the Court is staying in the country, he dines every day in the palace of the King, and begs wine and bread for his supper, and for his servants. His servants live in the convent of the Carthusian Friars, or in some similar house, where they pay nothing. It is therefore generally said at court that "De Puebla comes a begging." That is the reputation he has earned for himself and for his masters.
He likes to occupy himself with the business of other people, but never tries to bring it to an end. He is often glad of the bad success of his masters.
It would require all the paper in London to describe the character of the man.
Indorsed : "The paper written by Doctor Breton."
Holograph. Latin. No date nor signature. pp. 6.


  • 1. The words between the brackets are not in the deciphering by Almazan, but they are in the original ciphered despatch.
  • 2. In the deciphering by Almazan the word is rodeo, that is, a round-about way or shift. In the ciphered original, however, the word is not rodeo, but rogar, ask.
  • 3. Sic. "Tal Rey como el Rey de Escocia peor es de casar que de criar."
  • 4. Sic. Undoubtedly an error.
  • 5. Fray Johannes de Matienzo.