Spain: 1488

Pages 3-19

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

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1488. 31 Jan.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 3 Hen. VII. m. 5. (14.)
12. Henry VII. to Diego De Castro And Others.
Licence granted to Diego de Castro and Martin de Malverida, merchants of Spain, that certain fellow merchants of theirs may dispose of some goods they have brought from Spain to England, &c. &c.—Westminster, the 31st of January.
Latin. p. ¼.
10 March.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 3. Hen. VII. m. 7. (12.)
13. Henry VII. to John Weston And Others.
Commission to John Weston, Prior of St. John of Jerusalem in England, John Gunthorpe, Dean of Wells, Christopher Urswik, Great Almoner, Thomas Savage, Doctor of Law, and Henry Ainsworth, Doctor of Law, to conclude a treaty of alliance with Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, to settle all pending subjects of dispute, and to confer on the articles regarding the assistance to be given to one another by the contending powers.—Westminster, 10th March.
Printed in Rymer.
30 April.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 4. f. 1.
14. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
Commission to De Puebla,—1, to conclude a treaty of marriage between the Princess Katharine and Arthur, Prince of Wales. 2, to concert with the commissioners of Henry the amount of the marriage portion, and the conditions of its payment and repayment in case of the dissolution of the marriage. 3, to concert the amount and conditions of the jointure to be given by Henry to the Princess Katharine.—No date.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 6.
30 April.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 1.
15. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla and Juan De Sepulveda.
Commission to conclude with the commissioners of Henry VII. a marriage between the Infanta Katharine and Arthur Prince of Wales.—Murcia, 30th April 1488.
Contemporary copy. Latin.
30 April.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 1.
16. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla and Juan De Sepulveda.
Commission to treat and to conclude with the commissioners of Henry VII. whatever is necessary for the renewal, interpretation, and reformation of the treaties concluded between their predecessors.—Murcia, 30th April 1488.
Contemporary copy. Latin.
[A note in Spanish is annexed to this paper, stating that similar powers were despatched for De Puebla solely, in order that, if necessary, he alone should conclude the said treaties. Two copies were made of each power, one being sent by sea and the other by land, and confided to special messengers.]
2 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
Letters of marque.
17. Henry VII. to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Is informed by merchants of Bristol that a treaty was concluded between England and Spain, 21st of Edward IV. which was to last ten years. By it English merchants were entitled to carry on commerce in all parts of Spain ; the old letters of marque and reprisal were declared to be null and void, and new letters of marque were to be issued, but not until after six months had been allowed to all English subjects to send away their goods and to leave the country. This treaty being still in force, Johan de Arremonendy, master of a Spanish vessel, the Sanctus Stephanus, had sailed on the 5th of February last from Bristol to Spain. She had scarcely reached the high seas, when she was attacked and run into Gattare in Brittany. When she arrived in Spain, Martin de Miranda and other Spaniards, who had obtained letters of marque against English subjects, caused the Governor of Guypuzcoa to detain her and her freight for the sum of 2006 gold crowns. Henry demands redress, and has instructed De Puebla to explain the matter more fully in his name.—Windsor Castle, 2nd July 1488.
Indorsed : "To Ferdinand and Isabella, &c."
Latin. pp. 4.
6 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
18. Henry VII. to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Congratulates them, in the most flattering terms, on their success against the Moors. Hopes the friendship already existing between them will soon be rendered stronger by the ties of blood.—Windsor Castle, 6th July 1488.
Indorsed : "To Ferdinand and Isabella, &c."
Latin. pp. 2.
6 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
Marriage portion of the Princess Katharine.
19. De Puebla.
Richard, Bishop of Exeter, and [Giles] Daubney, of Daubney, in their quality of commissioners of Henry VII., declare to Roderigo Gundisalvi de Puebla and Juan de Sepulveda, ambassadors of Ferdinand and Isabella, that the marriage portion of the Princess Katharine is expected to be 200,000 gold scudos, every scudo to be of the value of 4s. 2d.—London, 6th of July 1488.
This memorandum is made and signed in order that the Spanish ambassadors may consult Ferdinand and Isabella on this subject, and inform the English commissioners of their decision before Easter next.
Signed : "Doctor de Puebla."
Latin. pp. 2.
[A note in Spanish is added in the hand of De Puebla, stating that the last portion of the above memorandum was subjoined at the instance of xxxv (De Puebla), who refused to sign without such addition.]
7 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 1.
Marriage of the Princess Katharine.
20. Indenture between De Puebla and Sepulveda, Ambassadors of Ferdinand and Isabella, on the one part, and Richard, Bishop of Exeter, and Giles Daubney, of Daubney, Commissioners of Henry VII., on the other part.
1. The ambassadors and commissioners have agreed that the Princess Katharine of Spain shall marry Arthur, Prince of Wales. The marriage portion of Katharine is to consist of a sum of money, the amount of which the commissioners of Henry VII. have made known to the ambas sadors of Spain in a separate paper. One half of it is to be paid as soon as the Princess arrives in England, the other half on the day of the solemnization of her marriage. All such Spanish subjects as reside in London are to be security for the punctual payment of it. The Princess is to be endowed with the third part of the revenues of Wales, Cornwall, and Chester.
2. Ferdinand and Isabella are to send the Princess, in a decent manner, and at their own expense, to London.
3. They are to dress their daughter suitably to her rank (honorifice), and to give her as many jewels, &c., for her personal use, as becomes her position.
4. The Princess is to succeed to all property that may descend to her in Spain.
5. Treaties of peace, commerce, and alliance to be what they were thirty years ago.
6. Either of the contracting parties is to assist the other when attacked by an enemy ; the party who demands assistance to pay the expenses. Rebels of one contracting party are not to be permitted to stay in the dominions of the other contracting party. If one of the contracting parties conclude a treaty with other princes, the other party is to be included in the nomination.
7. The King of England is to send ambassadors to Spain, to treat more fully respecting this treaty of peace and alliance.
8. The Spanish ambassadors and the English commissioners are to consult with their respective sovereigns, and to assemble again, before Easter next, in London.
Latin. pp. 7.
[Annexed to this document is a copy of the memorandum of the 6th of the same month.]
15 July.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
21. De Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Johan de Sepulveda arrived in London on Trinity Sunday. He delivered letters from the King and Queen of Spain to De Puebla, and circumstantially explained the subject of his mission. De Puebla, on the other hand, informed him of the state of things in England.
Affairs of Brittany.
As to affairs in xx (Brittany), nothing can be done until the courier has returned whom xxxv (De Puebla) is expecting. It is impossible to effect what Ferdinand and Isabella desire without previously coming to an understanding about the matter of which xxxv (De Puebla) has spoken. xj (the King of England) has sent messengers to xvij (the King of France) about the affair of xx (Brittany).
xj (the King of England) is very angry with certain personages from xx (Brittany), who have wormed his secrets out of one of his Privy Council "(De Puebla says he is the person who went to Spain to wait upon the King and the Queen), and he has promised to give him a younger xxviij (daughter) of xx (Brittany) in xxij in (marriage)." (fn. 1)
After the expiration of the time agreed to with De Puebla, Henry sent another officer to the King of France to clear his honour. All remonstrances had been useless.
Audience of Henry.
Three days after the arrival of the courier, De Puebla and Sepulveda went together to xj (the King of England). Sepulveda delivered his message to the satisfaction of De Puebla. De Puebla afterwards told the King that he was now at liberty to show his power and to conclude the business. "The King of England opened his eyes wide with joy, and most cheerfully answered one and the other matter in great detail."
King of France.
The King of England gave a full account of the present state of xx (Brittany), which did not differ in one single point from what had already been stated. He called De Puebla to witness to what he said. More than this, the King of England affirmed that three days before he had had letters from his ambassadors to the King of France, who was ready to leave the whole business in his hands. Although xxvj (war) had been thus deferred, and negotiations for peace were going on, "Sepulveda, as being a man who had recently come thither, spoke with much more warmth on this subject than was agreeable to De Puebla."
When speaking of xxj (the alliance) and xxij (the marriage) the King broke out into a Te Deum laudamus.
Next day he appointed the same three commissioners (two ecclesiastics and one layman), who had been his former commissioners.
The powers were shown.
Marriage of the Princess Katharine.
The English Commissioners declared that with regard to the alliance there was not much to confer about, and began directly to speak of the marriage. They were exceedingly civil, and said a great many things in praise of Ferdinand and Isabella. That being done, they asked the Spaniards to name the sum for the marriage portion.
Discussions on the amount of the marriage portion.
The Spanish Ambassadors replied that it would be more becoming for the English to name the marriage portion, because they had first solicited this xxij (marriage), and their party is a xxvij (son). (fn. 2)
The English Commissioners asked five times as much as they had asked in Spain.
The Spanish Ambassadors proposed to refer this matter to vij (Ferdinand) and viij (Isabella), who would act liberally in proportion to the confidence shown them.
The English Commissioners said that such a proceeding would be inconvenient for both parties, and that Ferdinand and Isabella would not agree to it.
The Spanish Ambassadors complained that the English were unreasonable in their demands. "Bearing in mind what happens every day to the Kings of England, it is surprising that Ferdinand and Isabella should dare to give their xxviij (daughter) at all. This was said with great courtesy, in order that they might not feel displeasure or be enraged."
The English Commissioners abated one third.
The Spaniards proposed that, as there was sufficient time for it, two or four persons should be selected as umpires.
The English Commissioners declined it, and gave their reasons.
The Spaniards desired the English to name the lowest price.
The English abated one half.
The Spaniards said that this marriage would be so advantageous to the King of England that he ought to content himself with what is generally given with Princesses of Spain.
The English desired to have everything defined in order to avoid disputes after the conclusion of the marriage. They asked twice as much as they had asked in Spain.
The Spanish Ambassadors offered one fourth.
The English asked why, as the money was not to come out of the strong boxes of the King and the Queen, but out of the pockets of their subjects, they should not be more liberal? They referred to old treaties with France, Burgundy, and Scotland, proving by them that even higher marriage portions were given.
They also urged that England is a very dear place, the smallest coin being worth eight Spanish maravedis, and that the great men spend large sums. The English aristocracy is rich and prosperous in the Dukedoms of Clarence, Lancaster, Buckingham, Somerset, Norfolk, York, the counties of Warwick, Salisbury, and Lincoln, and the Marquisate of Dorset. Such being the case, and there not being "a drop of blood" in existence from which any danger might arise, the English saw no reason to lessen their demands.
The dowry.
xxviij (the daughter) of vij (Ferdinand) and viij (Isabella) "is to receive the third part of the revenue of Wales, Cornwall, and Chester, which is equivalent to eighty thousand gold crowns a year." The best towns, villages, and castles are to be selected for her. The said principality, duchy, and county contain 30,000 vassals, hundreds of villages and castles, some towns, and many seaports. Nothing more can be obtained.
The Spaniards asked a higher dowry, in case the Princess should become xij (Queen of England). But the English Commissioners refused. There is no country (they said) in the world where Queens live with greater pomp than in England, where they have as many court officers as the King. The English dislike novelties.
The old treaties were read in regard to alliances.
The Spaniards observed that these treaties were concluded in time of need. The world had changed much since then. The said treaties were copied by De Puebla and sent to Spain.
The English insisted that their full right of inheritance has always been reserved to Princesses married into England. That is the reason why alliances are made.
As to further conversation on important business no details are given.
King of Portugal.
xix (the King of Portugal). The friendship between England and Portugal dates from very old times. In case of xxvi (war) between Spain and Portugal, England is to remain neutral. In case of renewal of the treaties between England and Portugal, Spain is to be excepted. De Puebla thought that "this was sufficient and even better than if more had been obtained. For in this manner the friendship of both England and Portugal could be preserved. If more were said the King of Portugal would look out for other alliances." It would be best not to speak of this matter at all. At all events, the substantial article ought not to be explained, because it would exasperate the King of Portugal.
King of France.
xvij (the King of France). De Puebla translated the clause in his instructions which had respect to France, because the English cannot understand, or read, or speak Spanish), "(Quod xj (Rex Angliæ) non debeat adjutorium prestare a xvij (fn. 3) (Regi Franciæ) neque pacem nec treugas cum eo facere, nisi quando predicti vij et viij (Rex et Regina Hispaniarum) eas fecerint, et predictus xj (Rex Angliæ) promittit xxvj (bellum) cum eo rrumpere, quando predicti vij et viij (Rex et Regina Hispaniarum) xxvj (bellum) adversus eum disposuerint, et quod dicti vij et viij (Rex et Regina Hispaniarum), non poterint auxilium prestare nec 25 (pacem) facere cum dicto xvij (Rege Franciæ), nisi adjecerint et inserant in ea dictum xj (Regem Angliæ), vel ipsum in ea expresse esceperint (fn. 4) et eceptaverint. (fn. 4) "
Eng. Com. Why mention the King of France? As soon as the treaties of alliance and matrimony are concluded, Henry will do whatever Ferdinand and Isabella like, especially as the friendship between England and Spain is of such long standing.
Span. Amb. The greater the friendship, the easier it will be to do what Ferdinand and Isabella ask.
Eng. Com. It is not advisable to put such things in writing, for—1, treaties, signed, sealed and sworn to, are everlasting, and ought to contain nothing except such clauses as are most easily justified ;—2, such a clause would be against the common custom ;—3, there would be no equality between the contracting parties. Ferdinand and Isabella would be at perfect liberty to do what they liked in every emergency, whilst Henry would not even be permitted to abandon his claim to Guienne and Normandy. The most learned men and the highest dignitaries, after conferring together every day, have given their opinion that to accept such a clause is not "permissible, just, or honest," but, on the contrary, is "against justice, God, and conscience."
War against France.
There is much discussion on this subject.
At last the English pretend to have regard only to justice and conscience.
De Puebla shows them from books, that according "to civil and canon law, and according to justice, God, and conscience," war against the King of France is justifiable. Whatever France has taken from England and Spain must be recovered.
Eng. Com. It is notorious that the King of England has received many great services from the King of France, and it would not be honest to insert a clause against France in the treaty of alliance. "Such things are more justifiable and honest when done, than when written. As the English find that De Puebla is scandalized and discontented with this answer, they take a massbook, and swear in the most solemn way, before a crucifix, that it is the will of the King of England, first to conclude the alliance and the marriage, and afterwards to make war upon the King of France, according to the bidding of Ferdinand and Isabella." The King of England also promises to send ambassadors to Spain, to inquire the wishes of Ferdinand and Isabella. A war with France is a serious affair, and demands much preparation.
Span. Amb. The power of Spain on land and by sea is very great ; she is therefore a most useful ally. When the King of Naples, for instance, was in danger of losing his kingdom, he asked Ferdinand and Isabella to help him ; and though they were then engaged in a war against the Moors, they sent him twenty ships, with a great number of soldiers, and also a great embassy to the Pope, asking him to make peace with Naples. In consequence of this, the affairs of Naples took so prosperous a turn, that the Duke of Calabria pitched his tent on the heights overlooking Rome, and took vengeance on his adversaries, making daily excursions to the gates of Rome, and even burning one of them. The fleet and army remained there a long time. Ferdinand and Isabella refused to yield obedience to the Pope until the Count Tendilla had concluded peace between Rome and Naples. The greatness and prosperity of Spain would contribute much "to make that impossible which has happened so often, and which still happens to the Kings of England." If the treaty of alliance were to be made public, tranquillity and order would be secured. Other reasons, either true or plausible, are added.
It is finally decided first to consult Ferdinand and Isabella.
Advises them to conclude the treaty of alliance and matrimony ; the consequence of which would be that France would restore what she has taken from Spain, and the King of Spain would be able to make an alliance between England, the King of the Romans, and Brittany.
The treaty would be so disadvantageous to the King of France, that he could not do otherwise than become a suppliant to the King and Queen of Spain, because then their friendship would be worth more to him "than that of the King of England, or of the King of the Romans, or of the Duke of Brittany." It would be even more easy to arrange affairs with the King of France than with others. The father of the present King of France, though much more warlike, had demanded peace, under similar circumstances, of the predecessor of the present King of England. Even supposing there were no real advantages, "the mere appearance would do much. How much more a real alliance and marriage!"
Second audience.
"After this had been written, Doctor De Puebla and Sepulveda went to Henry, and asked if he wanted anything more, as Sepulveda was to return to Spain."
The King of England.
"The King, according to his usual manner, took his bonnet off his head, and said the most flattering things of Ferdinand and Isabella, (fn. 5) every time he pronounced their names taking the measure of his bonnet, and after some flourishes and compliments, entering upon the essential points respecting the alliance and the marriage. He said he knew the oath which had been made to us (as I have already mentioned in the chapter respecting France), and he was very glad that this oath had been made, adding that we must accept it for plain truth unmingled with double dealing or falsehood."
King of the Romans.
De Puebla, seeing that the "speech of the King was like precious jewels," and that he wanted to confide to him his innermost secrets, touched upon the affair with the King of the Romans. Henry enumerated all the ill turns the King of the Romans had done him. He said, that the King of the Romans had sent some officers to him ten days before his [the King of the Romans] imprisonment. (fn. 6) They were made prisoners, and their letters taken from them. One only escaped and went to the King of England to tell him the substance of the embassy, which was that the King of the Romans sent his excuses for what had happened, and threw all the fault on his quasi (fn. 7) mother-in-law. He then asked the King of England to make friendship and peace with him, and to assist him in taking measures against the ugly deed done to him. The answer of Henry was, according to what he said, that he had not accepted their excuses. Nevertheless, although very angry with the King of the Romans, he will not refuse to assist him in this case. The King of England declines to enter into negotiations on the treaty of xxi, xxv, and xxxi (alliance, peace, and amity), because so much evil has been done him, and also because the stipulations would not be valid, the King of the Romans not being at liberty, and the ambassador having no powers.
After the ambassador of the King of the Romans had come, ambassadors from Archduke Philip arrived. They were not more successful, Henry affirming that they were not provided with sufficient power.
Henry wishes to conclude the treaty of alliance, peace, and amity with the King of the Romans through the interposition of Ferdinand and Isabella. De Puebla is "the heart of the King of England," and knows that all will be concluded in the manner Ferdinand and Isabella wish. Their mutual friendship was profitable to both parties, to the King of England and to Ferdinand and Isabella. De Puebla was asked whether Ferdinand and Isabella would like to give one of their daughters to the King of the Romans in marriage.
Prince of Wales.
Henry desired De Puebla and Sepulveda to go and see the Prince of Wales, who was staying twelve miles from London. "On our arrival we discovered such excellent qualities in the Prince as are quite incredible." They were invited to see the Prince naked, and afterwards to look at him asleep. "He appeared to us so admirable that, whatever praise, commendation, or flattery any one might be capable of speaking or writing would only be truth in this case. As he (the King) was aware of this, he wished that Sepulveda should take his figure, image, and appearance to Spain, because the English most strongly desire to see the Princess from there, (fn. 8) and much more to have the Infanta in England without delay, saying that it is an old custom of the country to do this, and that the same thing has been done at different times before the age of puberty, naming xxviij (the daughter) of the King Don Pedro, and many others."
The Queen of England.
"We also went at an unexpected hour to the Queen, whom we found with two and thirty companions of angelical appearance, and all we saw there seemed very magnificent, and in splendid style, as was suitable for the occasion."
The King requests that from time to time Latin letters should be written to him from Spain, since he writes Latin letters to Spain. Neither the King, nor the Queen, are able to understand Spanish letters. De Puebla objects that it is an old custom in Spain to write only in Spanish, even to the Pope. Henry remarks that sometimes Latin letters have been written.
Spanish privateers.
The English complain very much of the prizes taken by Spanish privateers. De Puebla states that when he was at Coruña he saw Pedro de Segura capture two English vessels. Although this was done in the midst of forty Spanish vessels, not a single ship stirred to oppose the capture. No redress can be obtained, and letters of marque and reprisal have even been given in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella. De Puebla prays that this matter may be reconsidered in the Privy Council, the same thing having been done in England.
Count de Scalas.
Count de Scalas (fn. 9) had gone to Brittany without permission from Henry. As he is a faithful servant of Ferdinand and Isabella, they beg the King to grant forgiveness to the Count.
Sepulveda will give all necessary explanations by word of mouth.—London, 15th July 1488.
Addressed : "To the very high and very mighty Princes the King and the Queen, our Lords."
pp. 20.
The letter is written in Spanish, intermixed with cipher, to which no key is known to exist. It has been deciphered by the Editor.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2. 22. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
Have received the letters, treaties, and other papers which were sent by Juan de Sepulveda and by a courier after the departure of Sepulveda. His letters do not agree with the documents signed and sealed by the English commissioners. Sepulveda, when called upon to explain this, was unable to do so. Everything must be clearly defined.
Marriage portion of the Princess Katharine.
The English ask at least 200,000 crowns, saying that the King, Don Enrique, on another occasion had offered 200,000 ducats, besides which the money is only to come out of the pockets of the subjects. Don Enrique had one daughter only, while they have four daughters to marry. They cannot, at the utmost, give more than 100,000 ducats of gold of the standard of Castile, or 100,000 gold florins of Arragon. It must not be set down in the treaty that this sum is to be paid in English money, because in that case it would be subject to fluctuation, and there would be much cheating.
The draught of the treaty says that one half of the money is to be paid when the Princess comes to England, and the other half at the conclusion of the marriage. In other words, that would be at the same time ; for the marriage must take place as soon as the Princess arrives in England. Offer to pay one half on the day of the consummation of the marriage, and the other half in the course of the two following years, one fourth every year.
The security of the dowry is to be their signs manual, their seals, and nothing else. To agree to the demand of King Henry that the Spanish merchants in London should become security would not be honest, or of any advantage. For it might happen that none of the merchants who had become security would be in England at the time of the payment falling due.
Her bridal dress.
King Henry asks them to bind themselves to give their daughter ornaments and apparel, without deducting the amount from the marriage portion. Such a proceeding is against custom. Husbands provide the dresses of their wives. They are willing to buy as many dresses and ornaments for the Princess Katharine as the English wish, provided the cost of them be deducted from the marriage portion, and if not they will give what they think proper.
Her dowry.
King Henry has not said what the dowry will be when Princess Katharine becomes Queen of England, nor has he mentioned at all the earnest money (arrha) which is generally given in such cases, and which amounts to one half, or at least one third, of the marriage portion. The dowry of the Princess must be equal to the third part of her marriage portion, or at least 50,000 gold crowns. He must give security for it in towns and villages. If the third part of the revenues of Wales, Cornwall, and Chester do not amount to 25,000 crowns, this sum must be made up from other rents. The towns, villages, castles, and rents destined to form the dowry of the Princess must be chosen and assigned directly, and it must be stated that the Princess is to hold them for life, in the event of the marriage being dissolved from any cause. It may be that when the Princess becomes Queen of England the third part of the revenues of Wales, Cornwall, and Chester would have to be given up to the lady who would then be Princess of Wales. He is to inform himself what the dowry of the Queen would be, in such a case, and to secure to the Princess Katharine a somewhat larger dowry than other Queens of England have enjoyed.
As to the obligation they are under to send the Princess Katharine at their own expense to London, nothing further is to be said.
Her right of succession.
The right of succession to the throne of Spain, but no other inheritance whatever, can be reserved to the Princess.
Are surprised to find nothing in the draft of the treaty of alliance respecting the King of Portugal. All that has been negotiated and concluded must be set down in writing. The King of Portugal is to be excepted by both parties. If Henry conclude new treaties with Portugal, Spain is to be excepted.
The drafts of the treaty with France do not contain what De Puebla states in his letter. As, however, Henry objects to incorporating into the treaty the point which he and his commissioners have promised and sworn to, the alliance and marriage may be concluded without that clause ; but Henry must secretly sign, seal, and swear a separate treaty, and his vassals must swear also, to the effect that "after the alliance and marriage between our children have been concluded, he shall bind himself every time and whenever he is requested by us within [blank] days to request the King of France to restore to us our counties of Roussillon and Cerdaña, which he holds from us ; and if within [blank] days after that time the King of France has not restored to us the said counties, every time and whenever he be requested by us, he shall without delay make war against the King of France according to our bidding." If Henry deliver to him such a separate treaty, De Puebla is to sign the treaty of alliance in conformity with what is contained in the draft. The principal reason why they decide to conclude the treaty of alliance with Henry is in order that they may get back from the King of France the said counties.
If Henry do not like to intrust De Puebla with the said secret treaty he may send it by his own ambassadors, or give them power to conclude it in Spain. But the other treaties must be first arranged, chapter for chapter, according to the instructions, so that the English ambassadors may have nothing to do in Spain, but to give and to receive the signed copies. De Puebla is not to deliver any copy.
If Henry do not like to send his ambassadors unless he is sure that Ferdinand and Isabella will sign the treaties of alliance and matrimony, De Puebla may sign them in England. But below the documents and above his signature he must write a note, declaring "that these treaties are not to be considered as binding on Ferdinand and Isabella until they have received the copies signed by Henry, and the separate treaty respecting France. There will be nothing inconvenient in this, as the copies will remain in the possession of Henry, and the note may be afterwards cancelled." (fn. 10)
King of the Romans.
Duke of Brittany.
Respecting the King of the Romans and the Duke of Brittany, Henry must be desired to sign a paper promising to make arrangements with them under the direction and according to the wishes of Ferdinand and Isabella, as soon as the treaties of alliance between England and Spain, and of the marriage between Katharine and Arthur, shall have been concluded. If, however, he do not like to give such a promise, the treaties must nevertheless be concluded.
The marriages of the King of the Romans and of the Duke (fn. 11) of Brittany will meet with no obstacles in Spain. As soon as Ferdinand and Isabella know for whom the said marriages are intended they will assist in concluding them. —No date. (fn. 12)
Spanish. Draft written by Fern : Alvarez, Secretary of State. pp. 14.
15 July (?)
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
23. Sepulveda to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Has been well received by Henry VII., who intends to assemble Parliament on the 9th of November, and to communicate to it the offers of France. It is hoped that the decision of Parliament will be in favour of Spain.
The letter is lost. The extract is by Fern : Alvarez, Secretary of State.
25 July.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 3 Hen. VII. m. 4. (15.)
24. Henry VII. to John De Scover.
Licence granted at the instance of the King's beloved Doctor de Puebla, staying at the present time with the King about some affairs respecting his cousin the King of Spain, to John de Scover, merchant of Spain, to export from Bordeaux two hundred tuns of wine of Gascony, and to bring them to England.—Westminster, the 25th of July.
Latin. p. ½.
11 Oct.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
25. De Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella.
The affair of the Count Penamoco.
The ambassadors from Flanders and the answer which De Puebla advises to be given them.
Duke of Brittany.
Ambassadors from the persons who keep the daughters of the Duke of Brittany. Henry wishes the eldest daughter of the Duke of Brittany to be given in marriage to the Duke of Buckingham, and has sent an ambassador to Brittany to conclude the business, offering to assist the Duke of Brittany, and even to take the field in person, if necessary. Henry asks them to write to the Duke of Brittany in favour of his projects, and hopes that the French will be easily expelled.
King of France.
As to the clause in the treaty of alliance respecting the King of France, Henry makes new proposals, and urges an immediate answer, since the affair cannot be delayed. The offers of France must be accepted or rejected without loss of time.
As Henry delays to give an answer it is probable that the King of France will send an embassy to Spain, making many either certain or uncertain offers.
Wishes that Sepulveda should be instructed to follow the advice of De Puebla in all matters, and do nothing against it.
The clause respecting the King of Portugal will be inserted in the treaty as desired.
Respecting the marriage (between Katharine and Arthur), there seem to be no difficulties. One half, one third, or at any rate one fourth, may be paid in ornaments, jewels, &c., of the Princess.
Writes about the Council.
Sends a bird.—11th October 1488.
The letter itself is not extant. The extract is made by Fern : Alvarez, Secretary of State to Ferdinand and Isabella. Spanish. pp. 1½.
30 Oct.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
26. De Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Sepulveda has arrived.
Wonders that Sepulveda did not explain the clause respecting the King of France.
Had not dared to make known their demands to Henry. Thinks it impossible they can be granted. Continues the negotiations in the same manner as he had begun them, and asks a longer time for the accomplishment of what he is ordered to do in England.
Has written to Fonseca, whose answer is enclosed.
Has seen the treaties of alliance between France and Scotland. If either of the parties makes war or peace with England, the other is bound to do the same.—30th October.
The letter is no longer extant. The extract is made by Fern : Alvarez, Secretary of State. Spanish. p. 1.
11 Dec.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
27. De Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Henry had sent for him, and had had a long conversation with him respecting Brittany. He said that on account of the Duchess of Brittany being so nearly related to the King of Spain, it is to be expected that Spain will do something in her behalf.
De Puebla said he was unable to give any answer.
Henry. If he should succour the Duchess, can De Puebla promise that Spain would likewise send succour?
De Puebla answered that it was most probable, but he did not know in what manner or at what time.
Wishes to be informed on this subject.
The Lord Privy Seal had sent him a paper containing the offers of Henry. Was unable to give any answer. Sends the paper, and awaits further instructions.
The King of France has proclaimed that it is in his power to make peace with Spain, even without the restoration of Roussillon and Cerdaña.—11th December.
The letter is no longer extant. The extract is made by Fern : Alvarez, Secretary of State. Spanish. p. 1.
11 Dec.
P. R. O. Fr. R. 4 Hen. VII. m. 20. (2.)
28. Henry VII. to Thomas Savage and Richard Nanfan.
Commission to Thomas Savage and Richard Nanfan, to conclude with the ambassadors of Ferdinand and Isabella, 1, a treaty of peace and alliance ; 2, a treaty of marriage between Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Katharine, Princess of Spain.—Westminster, 11th December 1488.
Printed in Rymer.
17 Dec.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
29. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
Have received his letters (which came by way of La Rochelle and Burgos) of the 11th and 31st of October and 11th of November. Letters of importance must henceforth be sent by special couriers.
De Puebla has written that their demands respecting the King of France involve an inequality in the conditions of the contracting parties, and even a contradiction. Such is not the case. Henry has promised and sworn that, after the conclusion of the treaty of alliance and matrimony, he will make war or peace with the king of France, according to their bidding. They ask nothing more than that he should promise in writing what he has promised and sworn to by word of mouth. The enclosed memorial of Fernan Alvarez which Sepulveda has taken back to England, contains all their reasons for making this request. De Puebla must procure a favourable answer.
If it be impossible to obtain it, the treaty of alliance may be concluded according to what De Puebla has written ; that is to say, that "After the conclusion of the alliances, the King of England shall bind himself to make war upon the King of France every time and whenever Spain is at war with France, and whenever he is requested to do so ; also he shall not be at liberty to make peace or alliance with France, or any truce, without our express consent, except the King of France do really give back to the King of England the Duchies of Guienne and Normandy. In that case the said King of England is at liberty to conclude peace and alliance with the King of France. In the same way we bind ourselves to make war on the said King of France every time and whenever the said King of England is at war with France, and we are requested by him to do so, and will make no peace or alliance with the King of France, or assent to any truce, without his (King of England) consent, except the said King of France give back to us our counties of Roussillon and Cerdaña, in which case we shall be at liberty to conclude peace and alliance with France." These conditions are the same for both parties. (fn. 13)
Marriage portion of the Princess Katharine.
Concerning the marriage nothing is to be said for the present, except that the marriage portion must be as small as possible, and on no condition exceed the sum named in the instructions. One half or one third, or, at any rate, the fourth part, must be accepted in ornament and apparel for the person and the household of the Infanta.
King of Portugal.
The King of Portugal, as being the friend of both contracting parties, may be excepted.
The King of France will offer Henry anything to let him take Brittany. Henry ought to consider the great disadvantage it will be to England if France should have Brittany in her power. As England is a neighbour of Brittany, she is best qualified to assist her. The King of France is trying to put off Henry with fine words in order that the Duchess may be without assistance in the summer. If Henry aid the Duchess of Brittany, Ferdinand and Isabella will engage to do the same. (fn. 14)
Duke of Buckingham.
As to the marriage of the Duke of Buckingham with the Duchess of Brittany, Ferdinand and Isabella would wish to favour it, in order to please Henry, who ought, however, to consider well whether this marriage will not damage the interests of the Duchess. The Count Labrit (fn. 15) desires to marry her. He and the Marshal of Brittany are of the same mind, and are very powerful in the country. If, from resentment, they espoused the cause of France, all would be lost. Every means must be used to prevent Brittany from falling into the power of France. Unless it were the King of France, whoever became Duke of Brittany would be obliged to befriend England.
King of the Romans.
Ferdinand and Isabella approve of what De Puebla has negotiated with the ambassadors of the King of the Romans. Fonseca has returned to Spain, accompanied by the ambassadors of the King of the Romans, the Bastard of Burgundy, Bawduyn and Petit Salazar. Ferdinand and Isabella intend to assist the King of the Romans. De Puebla is to prevent the King of England from aiding the Flemish against the King of the Romans, who ought to be included in the treaty between Spain and England. Henry must consider that danger would accrue to England if France were to conquer the states of the Duke of Burgundy.
De Puebla and Sepulveda are warned not to exceed their instructions.
As soon as everything has been arranged, ambassadors must be sent to Spain in order that the treaties may be signed there. If that be impossible, the treaties may be privately signed in England, and afterwards publicly in Spain.
Above all, Brittany must be assisted.—From Valladolid, 17th December '88.
Spanish. pp. 10. Draft by Fern : Alvarez, Secretary of State.
21st Dec.?
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
30. De Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Henry VII. has spoken of his obligations to the King of France, and of the many friends he is losing because he is not acting in concert with France. Nevertheless, he says, he is prepared to abandon them all, and to come to an understanding with Spain, by which he will force the King of France to do the will of Spain, or even to conclude a general peace.
A note for Queen Isabella is included, which treats of the Scottish marriage.
The letter is not extant. The extract is made by Fern : Alvarez, Secretary of State. Spanish. p. 1.
21st Dec.?
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
King of the Romans.
31. De Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella.
The ambassadors of the King of the Romans have arrived, and communicated to him all the business for which they had been sent. The King of the Romans is ready to conclude a treaty of peace with Henry on whatever conditions he likes, provided he will bind himself to succour Brittany with a powerful army. Told them that his instructions oblige him to assist in concluding peace between Henry and the King of the Romans ; but that the marriage of the Duchess of Brittany must remain at the option of Henry. The ambassadors asked him to give his declarations in writing. Promised to do so when the other matters were concluded.
Is afraid that the English, although they made every concession by word of mouth regarding the clause which relates to the King of France, will cause delays and raise difficulties, as soon as they come to put down their obligations in writing. The whole affair might be broken off by them. Asks very clear instructions, and promises not to exceed them in any respect.
War with France.
In appearance, the conditions may be very hard that Spain must make war against France as soon as England undertakes such a war ; but in reality there is no danger in it. England is at profound peace, and will not readily begin hostilities with France. There is, therefore, no reason to reject the proposals of Henry on this account.
The letter is not extant. The extract is by Fern : Alvarez, Secretary of State. Spanish. p. 1.


  • 1. Sic. The original is not clear.
  • 2. The meaning is bridegroom, for which word there does not seem to have been a cipher.
  • 3. "xvij" signifies el Rey de Francia ; "a xvij," therefore, á el Rey de Francia, or in Latin, Regi Franciœ.
  • 4. Sic.
  • 5. In the original : Of the masters of xxxv (De Puebla), or, in other words, Ferdinand and Isabella.
  • 6. In Ghent.
  • 7. Sic. Stepmother?
  • 8. "There" signifies Spain.
  • 9. Sic.
  • 10. Here follows a paragraph which is blotted out, and in which it is said that De Puebla must prevent the coming of the ambassadors unless they bring with them the said treaties of alliance and matrimony and the separate treaty, regarding France, ready for signature, so that no further negotiations may be necessary in Spain.
  • 11. Sic. "Duque" in the original, not "Duquesa."
  • 12. As this letter is an answer to the letter of De Puebla of the 15th July 1488, it is most probable that it was written towards the end of the year 1488, and before Sepulveda returned to England. Francis, Duke of Brittany, whose intended marriage is mentioned, died on the 9th of September 1488. His death must have been unknown in Spain at the date of this letter.
  • 13. Here follows a paragraph which is blotted out. It contains the injunction to De Puebla to get the above clause inserted into the principal treaty, and if that be impossible, to have it written on a separate paper signed and sealed.
  • 14. Here a paragraph is blotted out, in which it is said that Ferdinand and Isabella cannot do as much as they wish, because they are occupied in the war against the Moors. They are ready to give any security to the King of England, that they will assist the Duchess of Brittany. The King of England wishes the Duke of Buckingham to marry the Duchess of Brittany. Francisco de Rojas, who is Spanish ambassador in Brittany at present, is instructed to use all his influence in favour of the Duke of Buckingham.
  • 15. D'Albret.