Spain: January 1504

Pages 322-324

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

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January 1504

1504. 24 Jan.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 4. f. 78.
Pedro Usachi Guerra.
390. Ferdinand and Isabella to Ferdinand, Duke De Estrada.
There has been a Neapolitan here, who calls himself Pedro Usachi Guerra, a thin tall man, who, besides speaking the Italian language, speaks French and bad Spanish. He said that he had come from England, and that the King of England was sending him to Portugal, to be employed in a certain business with the Nun. He added that before leaving England, he had told you of it, and that he had showed you a letter [from the King of England] to us. But as he never showed us the said letter, or a letter you gave him, until to-day, and also as he seemed to us to be a frivolous person, we did not put any faith in him. It appeared to us, however, that it would be well to inform you of the circumstance, so that you might examine into it somewhat, and find out the truth covertly, without speaking of it as a matter of business, and let us know what there is in it. He tells us that he shall return here, and that he will tell us of all that he knows with regard to the matter ; therefore you will act as we have directed you.
King of France.
You already know what we have written in divers letters as to what you must say to the King of England respecting the state of affairs between us and the King of France. But, notwithstanding this, you have not sent us one word in reply about a business of so great moment. In what respects our royal state and service you certainly ought not to be so forgetful, but always see to it very carefully.
Proposition to be made to Henry VII.
In addition to the instructions we have already given you, you will have to inform the King of England, on our part, of all that has taken place in this matter of France, since the French besieged Salsas up to the present day, as is set down very clearly in a despatch enclosed in this letter. Say also that on account of the weakness and small power of resistance displayed by the French, and in all the marches of Languedoc when our army entered France, if the King of England had at that time been willing to make an attempt to recover his Duchies of Guienne and Normandy with our aid, after that of God, he would have met with no resistance. For seeing that they could not offer any resistance to one power only, much less could they have resisted both. Tell him our desire is that peace should be made with honour, and equal conditions, for both sides, and in such a manner that the King of France may keep it with us, and with our friends. Say, moreover, that if the King of France should agree to this, it will be well ; but if not, and if he be still resolved to make war upon us, and to seize the possessions of others, it would be fitting that we and he should join together. We would do this, not only to aid each other in the defence of our realms, as we are obliged, but also to help him to recover, God willing, Guienne and Normandy, he making war with all his forces, and we, on our part, aiding him at our own cost.
Make him, likewise, see that the power of France is not so great as it is said to be, for now that it has been proved by experience that he is unable to resist one power, much less will he be able to resist the two powers when united. Show him this, and make him clearly understand that it is much more incumbent on him than even on us to move in the matter, and endeavour to get him to take some active part in it. Afterwards let us know, by several different routes, what you have done in it.
Queen of Naples.
Finally, you are acquainted with what we wrote to you, of late, respecting what you were to say to the King of England about the Queen of Naples, the young lady our niece, but you have not made any reply. In any case speak to him in the best way you can, and endeavour to get to know, completely, the wishes of the King of England. Let us know immediately what has been done, and let the despatches that you shall send be forwarded by three or four different routes. —Torralva, 24th Jan. 1504.
Signed : I, the King.
I, the Queen.
Signed by Almazan.
Addressed : "To Ferdinand, Duke de Estrada."
Indorsed in the hand of the Duke de Estrada : "Received from Gutierez, at Durham House, near London, on the 11th of April following."
Spanish. Written in two different keys of cipher ; only a fragment of one of which is extant. Deciphered by the editor.
24 Jan.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 17.
391. Ferdinand and Isabella to Ferdinand, Duke De Estrada.
Duplicate of the preceding despatch, written in the same cipher.