Spain: 1509

Pages 469-472

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

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1509. 9 March.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 59.
Conduct pursued by Spanish ambassador.
Treatment of the Princess Katharine by Henry VII.
State to which she and her people are reduced.
Baseness of the ambassador's behaviour ; reasons of it.
Manner in which the confessor of the Princess is treated.
Evil forebodings of the Princess.
603. Princess Of Wales to King Ferdinand Of Spain.
Has seen from his letter to his ambassador that it is his intention to send a prelate to England to conclude the negotiations. Thanks him for doing so, as things are daily becoming worse, and her life more and more insupportable. Those who are at present in England are of no use to her. However sufficient for their office the persons might have been whom he has hitherto sent over, they have not advanced his interests. Believes he already knows what has been the conduct of the King of England towards the ambassador. He had not wished either to see or hear him ; the reason being, as she thinks, that he did not know how to treat matters. For Doctor De Puebla is accustomed to behave with the greatest gentleness towards Henry, while the ambassador bears himself very audaciously towards him and his Council, especially in this matter. As she is constrained to submit to them, no one can be of use who does not behave with moderation. Entreats, therefore, that he will not forget the business about which she has written to him many times, but immediately give directions as to the way in which he desires her to live. It is impossible for her any longer to endure what she has gone through, and is still suffering, from the unkindness of Henry, especially since he has disposed of his daughter in marriage to the Prince of Castile, and therefore imagines he has no longer any need of him [Ferdinand]. King Henry tries to make her feel this, notwithstanding that in secret he must know, if he do not attend to his [Ferdinand] wishes, the best and greatest good he can have will fail him. All this, however, causes her great pain, as being against his interests, and she cannot allow it to pass without making him acquainted with it. God knows how much she is grieved to have thus to trouble him, and always to have to write him such annoying letters. Her necessity has risen to such a height that she knows not how she shall be able to sustain herself, now that even her household goods have been sold. When she spoke a few days before to Henry respecting her wants, he told her that he was not obliged to give her people food, or even herself ; but the love he bore her would not allow him to do otherwise than provide for her. From this he will see to what a state she is reduced, when she is warned that even her food is only given her as alms. One of the things which she takes most to heart is to see her people in the ruined state they are. For though some of them have not served her as they ought, it weighs upon her conscience not to be able to pay them, and send away such as are a cause of annoyance to her, especially Juan de Cuero. What annoys her the most is that she cannot do what she would in the matter of her confessor, whom she considers to be the best that ever woman had. As she has often said, it grieves her that she cannot maintain him in the way his office and her rank demand ; he having served her during all her troubles with so much loyalty. Thinks it her duty to let him know how basely his ambassador has behaved towards the confessor. It is a thing very contrary to the interests of Spain, and on that account also she has been greatly annoyed. The reason of it all is, that the ambassador has attached himself very strongly to Francisco Grimaldi, and to a servant of hers named Francisca de Caceres, who, by means of the ambassador's favour, are about to marry, contrary to her wishes. Situated as she is, felt obliged to conceal her feelings. Has also been forced to give a bond for the payment of a certain sum of money. Is sure he would not be angry if he knew the cause. On account of the annoyance the woman has caused her, sent her away, and the ambassador received her into his house and at his table. Moreover, on account of the office he filled as his representative, it did not seem right that she should be brought into such a position with the merchant Francisco Grimaldi as she had been. For the ambassador was every day giving her to understand that Grimaldi wanted to go away and carry off the money provided for the marriage portion, unless she gave him some portion of what she had promised him. But she owed him nothing. Because her confessor had given her advice in this matter, the ambassador had been angry with him, and said that he was intermeddling in the affairs of the embassy. But by all that she holds dear, assures him such is not the case. Had only sent him to ask for the treaty, which she wished to look at, but which the King did not desire her to see. On account of this the ambassador had said things which she would not write. Entreats him, however, to write to Membrilla, and to say that he does not think it right her confessor should be so treated. For in consequence of what the ambassador had said, the confessor was every day asking for leave to depart, and she does not think he will remain unless he be constrained to do so. Begs he will write to King Henry in his behalf, for he is the greatest consolation she has in her troubles, and she is now in such a state she feels almost desperate. Entreats him to succour her immediately, otherwise she fears something may happen which neither he nor King Henry will be able to prevent. Implores him to send for her immediately that she may go to Spain, and spend the short remainder of her days in serving God, which would be the best thing that could happen to her.—Richmond, 9th March.
P. S.—Requests him to give the messenger money to enable him to return to England. In order to provide him with money for his journey has been obliged to sell some of her household goods. Is forced to do the same thing in order to buy food, because, if she should be unwell when it is fasting time, it would be impossible, even if she were dying, to get any flesh to eat in the palace of Henry ; for they look upon those who eat meat as heretics.
Addressed : "To the very high and very powerful Lord the King, my Lord."
Indorsed : "Letter of the Princess of Wales to the Catholic King. Richmond, 9th March 1509."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 6½.
20 March.
S. E. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 60.
Loyalty of the confessor of the Princess.
604. Princess Of Wales to King Ferdinand Of Spain.
The ambassador has sent to tell her how necessary it is to send a messenger in all haste to him, many things having been discovered. But fearing that some of them may not be true, begs that if anything should have been written to him respecting her household, and especially her confessor, he will not credit it. For, by her salvation, she assures him the confessor serves her very loyally. A few days before, had written to him, but it would take reams of paper to repeat all that the ambassador has said against her and the honour of her house, through the affection he feels for her former servant Francisca de Caceres. Thinks he would rather die than see what she has passed through. Will not believe he looks on her as his daughter unless he punishes the said ambassador, and sends him word to confine himself to the affairs of his embassy, and not to meddle in those of her household. Begs him to see to this before her life is sacrificed, as she fears it will be soon, owing to the trials she has to endure. —Richmond, 20th March 1509.
In cipher. Deciphered by Almazan. The original letter in cipher is not extant.
Spanish. pp. 1½.
No date. S. E. T. c. I. L. 2. 605. De Puebla.
A List of the State Papers left by Rodriguez Gundisalvi de Puebla, to Gonzales Hernandez, and Ruyz Diaz de Puebla.
1. Two ratifications of the treaty concluded between De Puebla and the Bishop of London, on the 26th [blank] 1500.
2. A ratification of the treaty of marriage between the Princess Katharine, and Arthur Prince of Wales, dated 4th February 1498.
3. Commission of the Princess Katharine to De Puebla, to conclude the marriage with Prince Arthur, dated 12th of March [14]99.
4. Ratification of the marriage treaty by the Princess Katharine.
5. Ratification by Ferdinand and Isabella of the marriage treaty of the Princess Katharine, dated 4th February 1498.
6. Power to treat, given to Doctor De Puebla, and dated 12th March 1496.
7. Commission of the Princess Katharine to conclude her marriage per verba de prœsenti.
8. A duplicate of the same power.
9. A commission of the King of England to conclude the marriage of Prince Arthur with the Princess Katharine.
10. A duplicate of the same commission.
11. Another commission of the King of England to conclude the marriage of Prince Arthur with the Princess Katharine, dated 18th July 1497.
French. pp. 3.
[It seems that this list was made by a Commissioner of the Emperor Charles V. at the time of the divorce.]