Spain: May 1503

Pages 305-306

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

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May 1503

4 May.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 4. f. 63.
The Archduke and the King of France.
363. Queen Isabella of Spain to Ferdinand, Duke De Estrada.
You already know what the King, my lord, and I wrote to you some days ago with regard to the departure of the Archduke, our son, to make ... (fn. 1) against our wishes. The Archduke has since pressed us strongly, whilst on his journey, by means of letters and envoys, to give him authority to conclude a peace between us and the King of France, promising and assuring us that he will not do or go an inch beyond what we shall command him.
Taking this, therefore, for certain, we sent the said Archduke, our son, authority to treat, and afterwards forwarded him our instructions regarding what seemed to us to be the most just and reasonable for both sides, telling him that for nothing in the world was he to exceed our commands by a hair's breadth.
Since he received the said authority and instructions, the Archduke has written to us, saying that he would not go an inch beyond what was contained in the said instructions. But we have now been informed that the King of France is endeavouring by all the means he can use, and is urging the Archduke, to settle the said peace in the manner which best suits him, without consulting us.
Instructions sent to the Archduke.
Although we consider it as very certain that the Archduke, our son, will not go an inch beyond what we have commanded him, yet it may chance that the King of France, having him in his power, as he has, will force him to make and conclude something to our prejudice, without allowing him to consult us.
On this account I command you to acquaint the King of England, our brother, with the contents of this our letter, and to beg and desire him, on our part, should he be required to do anything which the Archduke, our son, may have agreed upon, or will agree on our part with the said King of France, to do nothing without seeing a duplicate letter, written and signed by our hand.
Signed : I, the Queen.
Alcala de Henares, 4th May. Urgent.
Signed by M. P. De Almazan.
On the address : "To Ferdinand, Duke de Estrada. Received in London, 30th May, by an English merchant."
Written in two different keys of cipher. Deciphered by the editor.


  • 1. It is clear that one or more words are wanting here, probably "peace with France ;" so that the paragraph ought to read, "to make peace with the King of France against our wishes."