Spain: 1490

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

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'Spain: 1490', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 1, 1485-1509, ed. G A Bergenroth( London, 1862), British History Online [accessed 20 July 2024].

'Spain: 1490', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 1, 1485-1509. Edited by G A Bergenroth( London, 1862), British History Online, accessed July 20, 2024,

"Spain: 1490". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 1, 1485-1509. Ed. G A Bergenroth(London, 1862), , British History Online. Web. 20 July 2024.


1490. Jan. (?)
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
Proposed marriage of the King of Scots to an illegitimate daughter of Ferdinand.
41. Ferdinand and Isabella to Diego De Guevara and Doctor De Puebla.
Have received all their letters up to the 23d of November.
Respecting the Scotch marriage De Puebla has certainly acted with the best intentions, but it was not wise to say that Doña Juana was a legitimate daughter (of Ferdinand) by a clandestine marriage. The consequences might be very serious. He must tell the Scotch ambassadors the truth before they leave, because it would be better that they should learn it from him than from stangers. "Considering the route by which you say they are to come, it is impossible that some one should not tell them the truth ; and even we would do so." Doña Juana is a natural daughter born before marriage. (fn. 1) If the King of Scots know this, and nevertheless likes to marry her, her marriage portion might be doubled. But the Scottish embassy must come for this Doña Juana alone, and not for any other of their daughters. If the Scots wish to have one of the Infantas of Spain they must be put off with false hopes, because if a plain refusal were given them they might be induced to reconcile themselves with the King of France. The Scots have such a very good opinion of themselves as to pretend that they can induce the King of France to restore the counties of Roussillon and Cerdaña to Spain. Puebla can therefore say that they shall have an Infanta of Spain as soon as they effect the restoration of the said counties. They will not be able to do it, and will lose much time in unpleasant negotiations, which perhaps might end in a quarrel with France. At all events, pending the negotiations, they would not assist France against Spain.
The demands made by Henry respecting the Princess Katharine.
Have been already beseeched by the ambassadors of the King of England, who have been in Spain for the signature of the treaty, to send the Princess Katharine to England before the time of her marriage, and to pay one-half of her marriage portion within the space of four years. These demands were denied for many good reasons. As Henry makes the same proposals again, he must again be refused. Can give no further security for the marriage portion than their word, their signatures, and their oaths. Are induced to consent to the marriage, and to conclude the alliance, because they know "who Henry is, how many virtues he possesses, and for what reasons he seeks their friendship and kinsmanship." Their good opinion of him is a better security than all the pledges they could give. Henry must sign the marriage treaty without any alteration, even of a single word.
If, however, he is very determined to have more security, the intervention of the Pope might be stipulated.
Proposed marriage of the Infant Don Juan to the Duchess of Brittany.
The King of England consents to the marriage between their son Don Juan and the Duchess of Brittany, as an act of great kindness and friendship. But they do not like to part with their only son, and to send him to a foreign country. Must confess that De Puebla was ordered to speak to Henry about this marriage. The reason, however, was that it was said that the Duchess was bent on making a "brilliant match with a great Prince," and some persons had proposed one who could not be agreeable either to Henry or to them. Other people had proposed their son Don Juan in order to draw off the Princess from the personage referred to. Wished, therefore, to know the views of Henry on this subject. But now, as Spain and England have done so much for the Duchess of Brittany, she ought to accept a husband from them. The best thing will be to give, without delay, a master to Brittany. Are willing to assist in Brittany any person named by Henry with their influence, provided he be a friend to both countries, England and Spain. Promise to see that the future husband of the Duchess fulfil the treaty between her and Henry. Would directly rectify the paper which Henry has sent, if Don Juan were to marry the Duchess. But Henry ought to continue to assist Brittany, as it is for his own interest that France should not conquer it. He holds security for his expenses, whilst Spain, being much less interested in this matter, has spent as much as he, and holds no security at all. Their honour forbids them to abandon the Duchess.
Embassy from the King of France to England.
An ambassador from France has been in England. Are pleased to hear that Henry had been so very civil to him in presence of the French ambassadors, and had afterwards communicated to him all his negotiations with France, saying that the French had proposed perpetual peace, but that he, though commending the peace, had asked first for the restitution of Normandy and Guienne. Think that England and France will go to war, or, at least, that the war will be only postponed for one year, that is to say, if France does not threaten Brittany.
It would be superfluous to say anything about the perpetual peace, as Henry is not likely to conclude it.
Do not object to a truce with France for one year, provided that they are included in it, and that the party which the King of the Romans has formed remain in favour with the Duchess ; that England retain the fortresses in Brittany which she holds ; and Spain be permitted to have as many troops in the duchy as are necessary for the defence of the Duchess.
The English army in Brittany has occasioned so much fear to the King of France that he has made humble requests to the King of the Romans, his old enemy, and would have done the same to Spain if desired to do so. The truce may, therefore, be kept as long as Charles keeps his promises respecting the Duchess of Brittany. Nevertheless Henry ought first to communicate the conditions of the truce to them, and wait for their answer.
Meeting between Henry VII. and the King of the Romans.
The meeting between Henry and the King of the Romans, before the King of the Romans goes to see the King of France, can be nothing but profitable to all parties. The King of the Romans, however, has not mentioned this interview in any of his letters, or spoken of it to their ambassadors, or to the Archdeacon Fonseca, who has been sent to him since. Nor have his ambassadors in Spain alluded in a single word to this affair. The interview seems, therefore, to be a very uncertain thing. If, he, however, should be desired by Henry to accompany him to the interview, he must go.
The King of France has made a communication to Henry, pointing out that the alliance with Spain is of little value, because she is fully occupied by the war against the Moors, and almost impenetrable mountains separate her from France. As for the impenetrable mountains, the answer of De Puebla is exhaustive ; in fact, Spain is very well situated for a war against France by land and by sea. The war against the Moors is almost finished.
Letters for Henry and for the Lord Privy Seal are enclosed.
He must, at all events, remain in England till the interviews of the King of the Romans with Henry and with the King of France shall have taken place. Will send further instructions.
Complaints of Spanish merchants.
Spanish merchants have complained that they are obliged to pay higher duties than before. Laboured under the false impression that all imports had been increased during the civil wars in England, when they signed the clause stating that the customs were to be what they were thirty years ago. Ask Henry to interpret the clause in question according to the true intention, which was to diminish and not increase the imposts on Spanish commerce.
English troops in Brittany.
Have inquired into the matter respecting the English troops in Brittany. They are sorry to say that the Duchess, who is in the power of Frenchmen, and dares not say what she wishes, but speaks in the interest of the King of France, desires that the English army should leave Brittany.
Marriage of the Princess Katharine.
After this had been written, the letter of De Puebla dated the 25th of October had arrived. Learn by it that the English Commissioners no longer insist on having the Princess (Katharine) sent to England, and one half of the marriage portion paid within four years. Nevertheless, the English think that some more favour ought to be shown to them for their generous consent to the marriage between the Infante Juan and the Duchess of Brittany. Have already written that it was never intended to conclude such a marriage, which was only proposed in order to divert the Duchess from marrying a person who would have been distasteful both to Spain and to England. He must conclude the treaty of alliance and marriage as it had been agreed to at Medina del Campo.
Duchess of Brittany.
When the dispatch had been written as far as this, letters arrived from the Spanish ambassadors in Brittany. The ambassadors of the Duchess to the King of France have returned, and persuaded her to sign the treaty between the King of the Romans and the King of France without any alteration. It contains a clause, according to which the English are immediately to be turned out of Brittany ; and the Duchess desires them to give up the fortresses they hold, even before they leave the country. The whole business is to be definitively settled when the Kings of France and of the Romans meet. The intention of the King of France is to disunite the Duchess from her friends, in order to take her duchy. This new friendship must be disturbed for the honour of Spain and England.
Efforts to be used with the Duchess to disunite her from France.
Have instructed their ambassadors in Brittany to persuade the Duchess not to dismiss the English, but to reconcile them with the Marshal and the other Bretons. Have often written to their captains, who are in Brittany, asking them to be on good terms with the English. But the reply was, that the captains did not think it advisable to show much friendship to the English, lest the Duchess should suspect them, as she already suspects the English, of too great partiality for D'Albret and the Marshal, and of acting in the interest of France. Have now given imperative orders to their captains to concert everything with the English. The greatest efforts must be made to prevent the Duchess from being influenced by France. A truce may be concluded, but only for one year, on conditions that France respect the frontier of the duchy, that the English retain the fortresses they hold, and that the Spanish do not leave Brittany.
All the aforesaid had already been written in cipher ; but as Don Martin is so trustworthy a servant, he will take this paper, written by Fernan Alvarez in common writing.
There are different parties in the court of Brittany contending with each other. The Duchess is now on the side of D'Albret and the Marshal, who have made peace with, and are in the interest of France. The Prince of Orange and the Count Dunoys exercise too much influence over her. They are decided partisans of France, and it might even happen that the Duchess would put herself under the protection of Charles. Have written to the Count Salinas and to Rojas to counteract the French intrigues. Henry is desired to order his ambassadors in Spain to combine their efforts with those of Salinas and Rojas.
Spanish ambassadors in Brittany.
Have told the ambassador of the Duchess, who has lately come to Spain, how little the party of D'Albret and the Marshal can be trusted seeing that they entirely depend on the Prince of Orange and the Count Dunoys. The ambassador proposed, not in the name of the Duchess, but on his own account, that she should place herself under the protection of Salinas and Rojas. Have introduced their ambassadors into Brittany to induce the Duchess by all the means in their power to place herself under the joint protection of Spain and England ; or, if that meets with difficulties, under the sole protection of either England or Spain. Promise that, in case she should choose their protection, they will not permit her to marry a person who is disagreeable to Henry, and ask Henry to give a similar promise to them. These reciprocal promises must be put immediately into writing, and signed by both parties ...
Written by Fernan. Alvarez, Secretary of State. Incomplete.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 22.
25 Feb.
Fr. R. 5 & 6 Hen. VII. m. 16. (29.)
42. Henry VII. to S. Duarte.
Licence to Saubat Duarte, merchant of Fontraby, in Spain, to trade between Gascony and England.—Westminster, the 25th of February.
Latin. p. ¼.
6 March.
Fr. R. 5 & 6 Hen. VII. m. 8. (37.)
43. Henry VII. to All Persons.
Letter of safe conduct and protection to Fernando de calante, of Saint Andere (fn. 2) in Spain.—Westminster, the 6th of March.
Latin. p. ¼.
13 March.
Fr. R. 5 & 6 Hen. VII. m. 40. (5).
44. Henry VII. to John Beltran.
The King (at the request of Diego de Guejoara, ambassador from the King of Spain to him) takes under his protection and safe conduct John Beltran, of Rentery, in Biscay, a subject of the King of Spain.—Dated at Westminster, the 13th March.
[A repetition of this document on mem. 41. (4.) Westminster, the 6th of November.]
Latin. p. ¼.
6 May.
B. R. 3686. f. 108.
45. Ferdinand and Isabella to the Bishop Of Badajoz, their Ambassador in Rome.
Have heard that the Prothonotary Flores accompanies the Legate whom the Pope has sent to the Kings of France and England. This Flores is the most implacable enemy of Spain. He endeavours to reconcile the King of France with the King of England, not because he is a friend of peace, but because he thinks that peace between England and France would be prejudicial to the interests of Spain.
Intentions of the Pope with regard to a peace between France and England.
Believe that the intention of the Pope has been good, and do not object to peace being made by his intervention. But the Pope ought to consider well whether the peace between France and Spain, or between France and England, is of greater importance. If France and Spain were reconciled, peace between France and England would be the natural consequence thereof. But, on the other hand, a peace between France and England would not bring the war between Spain and France to a conclusion. It is quite out of the question that Spain should make peace before France has restored to her the counties of Cerdaña and Roussillon.
The Bishop of Badajoz is to tell the Pope, in as strong language as he thinks fit, that they resent very much the negotiations carried on by the Pope with respect to a peace between England and France.
Indorsed : "This letter was sent in cipher to the Bishop of Badajoz from Seville, on the 6th of May 1490."
Draft. Spanish. pp. 2½.
4 July.
B. R. V. 3686. f. 111.
Proposed marriage of the Duchess of Brittany.
46. Ferdinand and Isabella to Rojas, their Ambassador in Britany.
Have received the sealed letters of the Duchess of Brittany and of the Prince of Orange concerning their consent to the marriage of the Duchess. Have afterwards received his letter of the 2d of June, and learn by it that the Duchess wishes to be married to their son (Infante Juan). Are pleased to hear it, and will, without loss of time, procure the consent of the King of the Romans to the marriage. Meanwhile he must continually speak to the Duchess and to the Prince of Orange of this affair, and remove (sanear) all the doubts they may have. Intend, if the marriage between their son and the Duchess should prove to be impossible, to marry her to the King of the Romans. Know it from a very reliable person that, although the King of the Romans is publicly treating this marriage for himself, secret negociations are being carried on to marry her to the Duke of Gueldres.—Cordova, 4th July 1490.
Spanish. p. 1.
11 July.
Fr. R. 5 & 6 Hen. VII. m. 8. (37.)
47. Henry VII. to B. De La Forse.
Licence to Barnard de la Forse, of Spain, to ship goods in Spanish ships to England, and that the same ships, having discharged their cargoes, may return in safety.—Westminster, the 11th of July.
Latin. p. ½.
July & Aug.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 5 & 6 Hen. VII. m. 3. (42.)
48. Henry VII. to Spanish Merchants.
Three licences granted to Spanish merchants to come over to England with Spanish ships laden with cargoes of different kinds, unload, and return, &c.—July and August, 6 Henry VII.
Latin. p. ½.
15 Aug.
B. M. MS. E. 616. f. 2.
49. Henry VII. to F. Rojas, Ambassador ; Count De Salinas, Captain-General Of Spain ; and Peter Carillo in Brittany.
Has received their letter of the 17th of July, through the Spanish ambassadors in England, who have informed him that they had been ordered by Ferdinand and Isabella to combine their forces with those of England as soon as they arrived in Brittany. For certain reasons they have not executed this command. Is not offended at their disobedience, because he loves their King and Queen so much, and because their reasons have been explained to him. Is ready to write to this effect to Ferdinand and Isabella. The captains must act to the best of their judgment.—Eltham, 15th August 1490.
Indorsed : "To the magnificent and excellent Lords, Francisco de Rojas, Ambassador ; Count de Salinas, Captain-General ; and Peter Carillo, Commissioners of the King and Queen of Spain in Brittany."
Latin. pp. 1½ in print.
Printed in Gairdner's Letters, &c. of Richard III. and Henry VII. ; vol. I. p. 97.
25 Aug.
Fr. R. 5 & 6 Hen VII. m. 29. (16.)
50. Henry VII. to A. Delatorre.
Licence to Alonso Delatorre, merchant of Spain, to trade in England.—Westminster, the 25th of August, 6 Hen. VII.
Latin. p. ¼.
7 Sept.
B. R. 3686. f. 112.
51. Queen Isabella to the Cardinal Of Valencia in Rome.
Has sent, in conjunction with King Ferdinand, instructions to the Bishop of Badajoz (6th May 1490) respecting the negotiations of peace carried on by the Pope. The Bishop of Badajoz will communicate them to him. Begs him to regard the said instruction as if the despatch were written to him.— Cordova, 7th September 1490.
Draft. Spanish. pp. 1½.
12 Sept.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 5 & 6 Hen. VII. m. 22. (23.)
52. Henry VII. to R. Mahewe and R. Rydon.
Appointment of Richard Mahewe and Rob. Rydon, to treat with the King and Queen of Castile on behalf of the King of England.—Okyng, the 12th of September, 6 Hen. VII.
20 Sept.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 6 Hen. VII. m. 21. (24.)
53. Henry VII.
Ratification of the treaty with Ferdinand and Isabella of 27th March 1489.—Okyng, 20th of September 1490.
20 Sept.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 6 Hen. VII. m. 17. (28.)
54. Henry VII.—Additional Clauses to his Treaty with Ferdinand and Isabella.
1. In the treaty of the 27th of March 1489, a clause is contained that, in case of a common war against France, the King and Queen of Spain are at liberty to conclude a peace with the King of France if he restore to them the counties of Roussillon and Cerdaña. This clause is to be altered, and neither party is to make peace with the King of France in any circumstance whatever without the consent of the other party.
2. In the treaty of the 27th of March the time is not specified when the Princess Katharine is to be sent to England. It is, therefore, agreed upon by both parties that she is to be sent to England as soon as she has completed the twelfth year of her age, and the Prince of Wales the fourteenth year of his age. Of the marriage portion of the Princess 100,000 crowns will be paid within four days after the marriage, and of the remaining 100,000 crowns 50,000 crowns will be paid during each of th two following years.
3. The Princess of Wales shall have the third part of Wales, Cornwall, and Chester, as her dowry.
4. The treaty of the 27th of March 1489 remains in full force, excepting in such respects as are altered by this convention. —Given at Okyng, 20th September 1490.
Latin. pp. 2, in print.
Printed in Rymer.
20 Sept.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 5 & 6 Hen. VII. m. 27. (28.)
55. Henry VII.
Ratifies the treaty between England and Spain, concluded in Medina del Campo on the 27th of March 1489, concerning the marriage of Prince Arthur with the Princess Katharine and the war against France.—Okyng, 20th of September 1490.
Latin. pp. 12.
Printed in Rymer.
23 Sept.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 6 Hen. VII. m. 29. (16.)
56. Henry VII. to R. Mahewe and R. Rydon.
Commission to Richard Mahewe, Master of Magdalen College at Oxford, Robert Rydon, Doctor of Law and Vice-Admiral, to convey the ratified treaties to Ferdinand and Isabella, and to receive from them similar ratifications.— Okyng, 23rd September 1490.
Printed in Rymer.
Latin. pp. 1, in print.
1490 (?). (Winter.) S. E. T. c. I. L. 4. Marriage of the Duchess of Brittany.
57. Christopher Mosquera, Spanish Ambassador in Brittany, to Henry VII.
Thanks for the letters he has received from Henry.
The Duchess of Brittany has concluded a marriage with the King of the Romans. Had always urged the Duchess first to ask the advice of Ferdinand and Isabella and of Henry ; to which she had answered that she had their consent. It is not necessary to say much of the behaviour of the Duchess. Her marriage would not have been long delayed (if she had asked the consent of Ferdinand and Isabella and Henry VII.), for they would not have raised any difficulties.
Ferdinand and Isabella are recalling their troops from Brittany, because there is a truce now with the King of France, and winter has begun. They intend to send them back next spring. As Henry thinks that it would be dangerous to recall all the Spanish troops from Brittany, one portion of them, picked men from the whole army, is to remain in the town of Redon, on condition that the Duchess pays the expense.—From the town of Redon. No date.
Indorsed : "Copy of the letter which was written to the King of England."
Latin. Copy. pp. 5½.
(Winter.) S. E. T. c. I. L. 2. Spanish troops recalled from Brittany.
58. Christopher Mosquera to the Grand Master Of England (Magno Magistro Angliæ).
Ferdinand and Isabella have ordered a portion of their troops in Brittany to be sent back to Spain, because a truce has been concluded with France for the space of six months. It is intended to equip them in better style, and send them back next spring.
According to the wish of Henry a considerable number of picked men are to remain in Redon, if the Duchess will pay the expenses.—From Redon. No date.
The same letter to the Queen of the Romans, Count D'Albret, Countess Naval (Laval ?), and Prince of Orange.
Latin. Copy. pp. 2.


  • 1. Doña Juana (not to be confounded with the Infanta Doña Juana, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella,) was the daughter of Ferdinand and a lady from Térega in Catalonia. She afterwards married D. Bernardino Fernandez de Velasco, Constable of Castile, generally called the Great. Four illegitimate children of Ferdinand the Catholic are known ; viz., a son, who was Archbishop of Taragoza, the said Juana, and two other daughters, who both died as prioresses of Sta. Clara de Madrigal.
  • 2. Santander.