Spain: August 1503

Pages 309-310

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

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August 1503

20 Aug.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 4. f. 65, 66, and 67.
369. Queen Isabella to the Duke De Estrada.
A despatch in two keys of cipher, which I have not succeeded in deciphering.—It is dated Segovia, 20th August 1503.
Addressed : "To Ferdinand the Duke."
Indorsed : "I received it in Richmond on the 20th of January 1504."
pp. 5, in cipher.
23 Aug.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 4. 5. 82.
Instructions to De Rojas.
370. Ferdinand to F. De Rojas, his ambassador at Rome.
The cause of God and of the Church can be furthered only when Christian Princes are united in friendship and love, and yet there is no end of war and discord among Christians. In order to remedy, to some extent, the evil, he has concluded a perpetual league and friendship with the King of England. As it is his will and the wish of his ally still more to strengthen their friendship, he has decided to marry his daughter, the Princess Katharine, to Henry, Prince of Wales. This marriage requires the dispensation of the Pope.
Dispensation for the marriage.
In the clause of the treaty which mentions the dispensation of the Pope, it is stated that the Princess Katharine consummated her marriage with Prince Arthur. The fact, however, is, that although they were wedded, Prince Arthur and the Princess Katharine never consummated the marriage. It is well known in England that the Princess is still a virgin. But as the English are much disposed to cavil, it has seemed to be more prudent to provide for the case as though the marriage had been consummated, and the dispensation of the Pope must be in perfect keeping with the said clause of the treaty. The right of succession depends on the undoubted legitimacy of the marriage.
League between Spain and England ; object of.
The principal object of the league between Spain and England is the welfare and prosperity of the Pope, whom both Princes intend to defend against all aggressors. It is therefore to be hoped that the Pope will readily grant the dispensation.
The ambassador of Henry VII. is likewise instructed to beg the Pope to give the dispensation in question. He ought to go, with the English Ambassador, to the Pope, and to make a joint request. The sooner it is granted the greater will be his obligation towards the Pope. Should the English ambassador say that he cannot go with him to the Pope, because he has not yet received instructions from his King, he must procure the dispensation without the assistance of the English ambassador.—Barcelona, 23rd of August 1503.
Addressed : "By the King to Francisco Rojas his Privy Councillor and ambassador at Rome."
Spanish. pp. 4.