Spain: August 1505

Pages 366-375

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

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August 1505

11 Aug.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 24.
438. De Puebla to King Ferdinand of Spain.
Has received a parcel from him, containing letters to the King of England, the Princess of Wales, Doña Elvira Manuel, and the physician to the Princess of Wales, besides two letters of the 22d of June to himself, one of them in cipher, the other in plain writing. Delivered the letters to the Princess of Wales and her servants without delay. Cannot now write a circumstantial answer because he has scarcely had time to decipher the ciphered letter. Sent a long despatch, a short time ago, in answer to the letter of the 5th of May. King Henry has likewise written a letter to him. There is, therefore, not much to write about.
The King of England has been very much pleased with the confidential explanations contained in the last despatch which came from Spain, and will be much more delighted with the fuller explanations given in this ciphered despatch ; the language of King Ferdinand is so convincing and so full of brotherly love. Intends to go to King Henry, who is on a progress in the country, as soon as this letter is finished. Travelling, however, is incredibly dear in England. The daily expenses of travelling are about five times as much as those of living in London and its neighbourhood. Begs some small sum of money may be sent to him.
Convention respecting the shipping and export of goods.
During his stay with the King at Richmond, 800 English sailors arrived from Seville, all ruined and lost. They told the King, with much clamour, that they had sailed to Seville, which is 1,500 miles distant from some ports in England, carrying cargoes of cloth and other merchandize, intending to bring back wine and oil to England. They said, moreover, they had undertaken the voyage only because they had been informed by a royal proclamation that they were allowed to export all kinds of goods from Spain. But the Spaniards had not permitted them to export anything. Being obliged to return without freight they had lost all they possessed. It may easily be imagined how much vexed the King was.
Reproaches made by Henry VII. to De Puebla.
The King sent directly for him. Was conducted to the private royal chamber. Found nobody there but the King, who addressed a great many reproaches "full of venom" to him. "He said that I had deceived him when I told him that the last convention respecting the shipping had already been proclaimed in Spain, and that the first thing which your Highness had promised him in four or five letters since the death of the Queen had not been fulfilled. He told me, moreover, that I was the cause why he has lost 100,000 scudos of the marriage portion of the Princess of Wales, and the jewels and ornaments of gold and silver, and other things which he had already forgotton. The words which came from his mouth were vipers, and he indulged in every kind of passion. But as no other person was present, I did not so much mind his reproaches, and quietly left him to spend his rage."
Told the King of England that the whole mistake had been committed by William Falcon, his own officer, whom he had sent to the King of Spain on the business. The order had been entrusted to him, and he had taken it upon himself to forward it to the different governors for publication. Instead of sending it to all the governors, he had contented himself with procuring its proclamation in Biscay and Guipuscoa.
Proclamation not made in Andalusia.
In Andalusia, therefore, the privileges accorded to English subjects were not known. Had the English captains sent a single letter or messenger, their losses would have been easily averted. As, however, the losses were considerable, and the clamour great, the King remained angry in spite of these explanations.
The scene, described above, happened on a Friday. Did not see the King on Saturday or Sunday. On Monday, however, the King sent him a buck as a present. Went directly to see him, and found him perfectly calm. Spoke about the affair once more, and as though nothing had passed between them on the Friday previous. The King asked what there was to be done? Answered, nothing, because the Count Cifuentes in Seville had been already written to. Is quite sure that all that is necessary has been done in the whole of Andalusia. Begs King Ferdinand directly to give strict orders for the English to be treated according to the last conventions. Whilst writing this letter, hears that the council (of Castile) "is still possessed by the devil," and has again issued an order prohibiting English, Flemings, and other nations to freight their ships in Andalusia.
Mission sent by Henry VII. to the King of France.
Henry has sent an officer of his household to the King of France, and wishes King Ferdinand to know the reason of this mission. It is, that the King of France has asked an interview of Henry, which interview Henry does not like. He has, therefore, sent the said officer to excuse him as politely as possible, and at the same time to inquire after the health of the King of France. It is said in England that the King of France cannot live long in consequence of his well known disease.
Reasons of it.
There is, besides, another reason why the said officer has gone to France. The King of Portugal had sent his confessor to Henry, and begged him to undertake the conquest of Africa, offering an army of 25,000 men, which is to fight under English colours. He had, at the same time, asked Henry to persuade the King of France to take part in this enterprise. Henry had been much pleased with the affair, and had promised to undertake the conquest of Africa, if France could be persuaded to take part in it. The said officer, sent to France, is to broach the matter to King Louis.
Embassy from Spain to France.
Young Queen of Naples.
The King of England has received letters from France, stating that King Ferdinand is sending a great embassy thither. There is no other news from France at present. King Henry has received letters from his servants (fn. 1) sent to Spain. They had disembarked at Guypuzcoa on the 3rd of June. The King hopes and wishes their business to be concluded during the month of July. He is very anxious to know the result of this mission. "His secretary, when searching for some papers, found, twenty-five days ago, a letter from the young Don Ferdinand, King of Naples, to the King of England, in which he announced to him his marriage with the Queen of Naples, niece to your Highness. This letter is full of praise of her marvellous beauty, of her virtues, her lineage, &c. King Henry read the whole letter, and enjoyed it much. He showed it to me with a cheerful face, and said he wondered at the letter having been found just now. I think that the embassy would not have been sent if the letter had been discovered earlier. Thus, I hope, the whole affair will soon be satisfactorily settled."—London, 11th August 1505.
Addressed : "... very powerful ... tholic King and Lord ... ain and up ... (fn. 2) our Lord."
Spanish. pp. 9.
11 Aug.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 25.
Discussion between Henry VII. and De Puebla, respecting the new alliance.
439. De Puebla to King Ferdinand Of Spain.
While staying at Richmond with the Princess of Wales, had spoken several times with Henry respecting the more intimate alliance to be concluded, and about the other things mentioned in the despatch of the 6th of May. Henry answered that he had already written to King Ferdinand about the matter. Insisted further. The King then proposed that he should choose two or three members of the Privy Council, and confer with them respecting the new alliance. The Privy Counsellors, he said, could be bound by oaths to keep the matter secret. Did not like to confide such secrets to any person except the King. The old adage says, "open enmity cannot have vengeance." The King of England has entered into the views of King Ferdinand concerning the Archduke. It seems, therefore, to be unwise to compromise the whole affair by communicating it to other persons. Will wait further orders from him.
The King of England and the whole of the English people are ill disposed towards the Archduke and his Council, because they regard them as true Frenchmen. The Flemings are badly treated in England.
Liberality of the Princess of Wales.
Has received his letter respecting the safe keeping of the jewels, plate, &c. of the Princess of Wales, and shown it to the Princess, to Doña Elvira, to Juan Cuero, and William Lebron, who is the keeper of it. Had already taken good care of the jewels, &c. of the Princess before this letter arrived. The Princess is very liberal, and there are many persons who would like to strip her of her gold and silver. Juan Cuero says that there are already five pieces of silver and different other things missing. Doña Elvira and Don Pedro de Ayala have persuaded the Princess to give to certain persons a collar, a piece of brocade, and some vessels of silver. Shall know more of this affair when Roderigo de Cuero, nephew to Juan de Cuero, who keeps the books, has returned.
Duchy of Gueldres.
Letters of the 7th of August, from Florentine merchants in Flanders, contain news that the King Archduke has taken possession of one half of the duchy of Gueldres. The question respecting the possession of the other half of the said duchy is referred to the arbitration of certain Princes of the empire.
The rebel, Suffolk.
The King Archduke has got "the Suffolk" into his power, and watches him carefully. It is generally believed that "he of Suffolk" will be the cause of a serious quarrel between the King of England and the King Archduke. Don Juan Manuel has persuaded the latter not to deliver up the said Suffolk, but to use him as an instrument against the King of England, who certainly will not submit to such treatment.
The King Archduke's intended voyage to Spain.
The King Archduke has retained all Spanish ships in Flanders, because he intends to go to Spain and take the government of Castile into his own hands. He will take the Duke of Gueldres, accompanied by two hundred servants, to Spain, and give him a dukedom there in recompense for Gueldres. The English are by no means favourable to the King Archduke. They do not wish to hear anything to his advantage, and suppress even all good news respecting him.
Arrest of Lope Cuchillos.
The King Archduke has arrested Lope Cuchillos, Secretary to King Ferdinand, and put him to the rack. He wanted to know from him what letters he had written to Spain, and what letters he had received from King Ferdinand. This is a very serious affair.
Partiality of the Princess of Wales for the King Archduke.
The King of England has expressed his astonishment that the Princess of Wales and Doña Elvira show so much partiality for the King Archduke. Did not like to speak to the Princess about this matter, for the Princess would have directly communicated it to Doña Elvira, and Doña Elvira to her brother Don Juan Manuel.
Doña Maria Rojas, a few days ago, gave a commission to her brother to contract a marriage, in her name, with Don Antonio, the son of Doña Elvira. It is a strange and unbecoming affair.—London, 11th August 1505.
Indorsed : "To his Highness, from the Doctor De Puella. From London, 11th August 1505."
Spanish, pp. 5.
12 Aug.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 27.
Embassy from the King of the Romans to Henry VII.
439. De Puebla to King Ferdinand Of Spain.
Went to the Princess of Wales the day after he had written and sealed his last letters. Met, at the door, William Lebron, who told him that an ambassador from the King of the Romans to the King of England was waiting in the antechamber of the Princess. The ambassador was to continue his journey the next day to the place where the King of England was staying, and had come to kiss the hand of the Princess of Wales, and to present to her the services of the King of the Romans, the King Archduke, and the Duchess of Savoy. (fn. 3)
Interview between the Princess of Wales and the ambassador.
Informed the Princess of Wales directly of the arrival of the said ambassador. The Princess received the news very cheerfully, and ordered him to be conducted into her room, The ambassador, kneeling down, kissed her hand, but she commanded him to rise. De Puebla being the interpreter, the ambassador delivered his message from the King of the Romans, the King Archduke, and the Duchess of Savoy The Princess thanked him graciously, and asked where they were staying. The ambassador said that he had left them at Cologne, but that the King Archduke was already approaching Malines on his return ; that he had concluded his war with Gueldres to his satisfaction, but that the details of the peace were not yet positively known. The Duchess of Savoy had returned to that country.
The rebel, Suffolk.
Asked the ambassador to communicate to the Princess of Wales, some of the news which he had brought from the King of the Romans to the King of England. Though the reply of the ambassador was that his mission was secret, he said that he was to ask the orders of Henry respecting the delivery of "him of Suffolk," and of his brother. The rebel who had been staying in Gueldres, he said, was already a prisoner of the King Archduke, and the other brother was in the empire.
The Duchess of Savoy.
The Princess of Wales was very glad to hear the news ; and the ambassador continued, that he had moreover to settle with the King of England about his marriage with the said Duchess (of Savoy), of whom, he said, he had brought two portraits. The Princess of Wales wished to see them, and the ambassador went to fetch them. One of them was painted on wood, the other on canvas. The Princess was of opinion that Michel would have made better portraits.
The King Archduke and his wife. Their voyage to Spain.
She asked the ambassador when the King Archduke and the Queen Archduchess intended to leave for Spain. The ambassador said, as soon as possible, but that the Queen Archduchess was expecting her confinement in five or six weeks. Had never believed that her pregnancy was real, and had heard the Flemish ambassador express the same opinion. The ambassador of the King of the Romans said further, that the King Archduke had retained all Spanish vessels in Flanders, in order to send his luggage by them. The King Archduke and the Queen Archduchess intended to go by land, accompanied by four thousand horse, less one. The King of France had given them a safe conduct. The ambassador said that he was going to the King of England in order to hear his opinion respecting all these arrangements, which will be definitely concluded if he consent to them.
Fairs of Calais.
Is amazed at the indiscretion of the ambassador, but thinks King Ferdinand might profit by it. Another by no means unlucky circumstance is, that the King Archduke had, according to news received a short time ago from Flanders, prohibited all his subjects from going to the fairs at Calais, under pain of death, and confiscation of their goods. Will endeavour to hear more about this affair, and communicate all to him.
It is most desirable that just now the orders respecting English vessels in Andalusia be promptly published. It would also be good if Ferdinand reprimanded his council, in earnest or only in appearance, for the letter which the merchants of Biscay have procured for themselves.—London, 12th August 1505.
Addressed : "To the very high and powerful Prince, the Catholic King and Lord the King of Spain ... (fn. 4) Sicily."
Spanish. pp. 4.
17 Aug.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 28.
Interviews between the Princess of Wales and the ambassadors from Flanders.
440. De Puebla to King Ferdinand Of Spain.
The ambassadors from Flanders have of late been very often to kiss the hand of the Princess of Wales. Doña Elvira Manuel, influenced by her brother Don Juan Manuel, procures them these frequent opportunities of seeing the Princess, who has been won over by them to such an extent as to propose an interview between the King of England, the King Archduke and the Queen Archduchess. The Princess hopes to accompany the King of England to this meeting, and in this way to see her sister.
Proposed interview between Henry VII. and the King Archduke.
Doña Elvira had taken great pains, and persuaded the Princess of Wales to send one of her servants to the King Archduke, the Queen Archduchess, and Don Juan Manuel, with a message concerning this interview. The servant had returned and had brought letters from the Archduke, written with his own hand, and from Don Juan Manuel, to the Princess of Wales and Doña Elvira. The answer of the Archduke was that he desired with his whole heart to have an interview with the King of England. If King Henry would go to Calais, he and the Queen Archduchess would go to St. Omer, which is eight leagues distant from that town. The place and the time of the meeting could easily be settled there.
Letter from the King Archduke to the Princess of Wales.
As soon as the Princess of Wales had read the letter of the King Archduke she sent for him. Went to see her directly. She showed him the letter with the greatest joy, and said that she would, without losing an hour's time, send a letter to the King of England, beseeching him to see her sister before her confinement. The letter was written in the most affectionate and loving terms, and the Maestre Sala and Alonzo de Esquivel were ready, waiting to start with it to the King of England.
Letter from the Princess of Wales to Henry VII.
Said to the Princess of Wales, that as he was going to the King of England he could best deliver her letter. Had the Princess accepted his offer, he would have taken care to bring the whole affair to nothing. Told her, therefore, that King Ferdinand had very lately accredited him to her in a letter written with his own hand, and that it would seem as if she were neglecting the injunctions of her father if she were to send the letter by any other messenger. But the Princess of Wales was so much under the, influence of Doña Elvira, that she would not confide the letter to him on any account. Asked the Princess at least to wait till he had spoken to Doña Elvira about certain matters concerning her household. The Princess acceded to this demand.
De Puebla's conduct.
Went with Doña Elvira into another room, and told her that she would offend him if she permitted the letter to be sent by any other person. Reminded her of all the services he had rendered her. Doña Elvira, however, was obstinate. Told her that his honour was at stake ; that he was obliged to put an end to the intrigues of her treacherous brother, who was acting by the command of the King Archduke. Doña Elvira, seeing how much in earnest he was, promised to prevent the Princess from sending the letter.
Another letter written by the Princess of Wales.
Returned to his house, and sat down to dinner. Had scarcely begun to eat when he was told that Doña Elvira had betrayed him, and that the Maestre Sala had been sent off post haste. Could not swallow a morsel, left his dinner, and went with great sorrow and annoyance, but full of courage, to the Princess. Told her, with tears running down his cheeks, that she must swear an oath not to betray anything of what he was going to communicate to her, to any one, least of all to Doña Elvira. The Princess swore a formal oath. Explained to her that this interview was the work of Don Juan Manuel and Doña Elvira, who intended to do injury to her royal father, and to the Queen her sister, by means of it. She ought, therefore, directly to write another letter to the King of England according to his dictation. She wrote the letter, a copy of which, in cipher, is enclosed. Told her further that she ought to keep up an appearance in public, of desiring the interview now, more than ever. Such dissimulation, by which the secret would be safely guarded, would be of greater service to her father than two thousand men-at-arms.
The Princess of Wales has an excellent heart, and loves her father more than herself. She did all that was desired of her, and there is no doubt she will keep the secret.
Sent a servant of his directly with this letter, to which he added a letter of his own to the King of England, recommending his messenger to ride at full speed, and to overtake the Maestre Sala. Asked the King of England in his letter to say that as De Puebla was expected soon, it was necessary to confer with him on a matter of such great importance, and that he (De Puebla) would take back the answer to the Princess of Wales. There is no doubt that the King of England will do so.
Took so much pains in this matter, because he is persuaded that the King of the Romans, who is in Flanders, would also come to the meeting, and that the result of it would be most disadvantageous to King Ferdinand. Promises to write about all that happens. Begs him to tell the Princess of Wales, in a letter, that she ought to do nothing concerning matters of State without his advice, and that she should not listen to the advice of Doña Elvira, or any one else. Begs his salary may be sent him.—London, 17th August 1505.
Indorsed by Almazan : "To his Highness, from Doctor de Puebla, 17th August 1505."
Spanish. pp 5½.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 42.
Interview between Henry VII. and the King Archduke.
441. Katharine, Princess Of Wales, to Henry VII.
Beseeches him to value the interests of her father, the King of Spain, beyond those of any other Prince in Christendom. Had she been aware of what the Spanish ambassador had now communicated to her under a great oath to keep it secret, would never have thought of sending her letter and the letter of the King Archduke by her Maestre Sala.
This letter is sent in great haste by a special messenger. But the ambassador will soon follow. It is therefore not necessary to write more.—Durham (House), 29th (or 19th) of August. (fn. 5)
Signed : Princess Of Wales.
Indorsed by Almazan : "To his Highness, 18th August 1505." (fn. 6)
Spanish deciphering. The ciphered letter is not extant.
17 Aug.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 29.
English shipping in Andalusia.
442. De Puebla to King Ferdinand Of Spain.
When ready to start on his journey to the King of England, certain privy counsellors came to his house, accompanied by the merchants who had not been allowed to freight their ships at Seville. They said that the merchants had lost at least 20,000 ducats, which either the King of Spain or the King of England ought to pay them. Had a very disagreeable dispute with them. Other merchants, who had returned only a very short time ago, said that the royal command, according to which English vessels were to be treated on the same footing as Spanish vessels in Spanish ports, had been proclaimed in Seville ; but directly afterwards an order of the Council had been sent to the governor of Andalusia, enjoining him not to permit English, Flemings, and other foreigners to freight their ships. There is a judicial process pending in the Court of Admiralty, in order to decide the question whether the royal command or the order of Council is to be acted upon. It is feared that English ships will be obliged to return empty. Beseeches him to command Count Cifuentes to defend the interests of the English in Andalusia. The English sailors are generally savages, and it would not be astonishing if they were to stone him in case no reparation were made. Begs him to write a gracious letter of excuse to King Henry. Hopes that then the whole affair will be finished, notwithstanding the immense noise which it now makes.
The King Archduke and the King of the Romans.
All the ships which the King Archduke had retained in Flanders for the transport of his luggage are now released. Has heard from a friend that the King of the Romans and the King Archduke are at Malines, and that an embassy from France has gone thither asking the King Archduke to go through France to Spain. But as the Knight Commander of Haro and Don Pedro de Ayala are at Malines, they will be best able to inform him respecting what is happening there.
De Puebla goes to see Henry VII.
Will set out next day on his journey to the King of England. This letter will be forwarded by Martin Sanchez de Zamudio. —London, 17th August 1505.
Addressed : "To the very high and very powerful Prince, the Catholic King of Spain and Sicily."
Spanish. pp. 3½.
17 Aug.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 2.
The King Archduke.
443. Katharine, Princess Of Wales, to Henry VII.
Had first proposed to him an interview with the King Archduke, but had afterwards learnt that the King her father would be very sorry if such an interview were really to take place. Has therefore entirely given up all idea of the meeting. Beseeches him to have more confidence in her father, the King of Spain, who is his faithful brother.
As the Spanish ambassador, who a is most faithful servant to the King of England, is going to see him, it does not seem necessary to write more.—No date.
Signed : Princess Of Wales.
Copy, written by De Puebla, who has added the following words :
"After I had finished my letter I went to see the Princess of Wales, and asked her to write a letter, of which this is an exact copy. I did not like to go to the King without a letter from her.— No date.
Signed : De Puebla.
Spanish. p. 1.


  • 1. Francis Marsin, James Braybroke, and John Stile.
  • 2. Paper gone.
  • 3. Margaret of Austria.
  • 4. Paper gone, and (?)
  • 5. The date is decidedly an error. This letter, there is no doubt, is the letter of which De Puebla speaks in his first despatch of the 17th August 1505. He repeats, not only the circumstances mentioned in it, but the very words. Thus, the letter was not written on the 29th or 19th of August, but on the 17th of that month, and not at Durham, but in London. It is probable that either the Secretary of De Puebla who put the letter in cipher, or Almazan who deciphered it, made a mistake.
  • 6. "To his Highness," if written by Almazan, means to King Ferdinand. It seems to be unnecessary to show that such cannot be the case. Almazan, it seems, did not indorse the papers immediately after their receipt, but during the last years of his life, when he put in order all the State Papers in his keeping. Thus it is easily explained why he was sometimes mistaken.