Spain: May 1551

Pages 286-299

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 10, 1550-1552. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

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May 1551

May 11. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor.
Sire: A few days ago the Lady Mary caused me to be informed that the Council had just had her first chaplain, Mr. Francis Mallet (elsewhere Malet), seized and thrown into the Tower, accusing him of having broken the ordinances and statutes of the realm by celebrating mass in the Princess' absence, but in the presence of several members of her household, and in her house, on an occasion when she also had been expected. The chaplain had afterwards retired for some time into the North Country, as I more amply informed your Majesty by my letters of August 3rd last. The lady supposed that her chaplain must have committed some other offence since then, or perhaps been bold enough to speak against the new religion, for she could not believe that the other matter was still remembered, but that it had been forgotten and allowed to pass, as she had replied to the letters the Council had written to her about it. And considering what I had recently said to the Council, she was of opinion that she had better write and ask them for what reason the chaplain had been imprisoned. They replied that his arrest had been provoked by his offence against the laws and ordinances of the realm; as your Majesty may see by the two copies enclosed. The Princess, fearing that some disagreeable consequence might follow, begged me to inform your Majesty of it, so that you might be pleased to remember this point as having some importance in her case when Ambassador Wotton should make his report to you. And she humbly begs your Majesty not to forget it.
London, 11 May, 1551.
Signed. Cipher. French.
The two following papers are enclosed in the above.
Copy of the Lady Mary's Letter to the Council.
My Lords: I pray you accept my cordial recommendations. I have always been, and am still, very unwilling to trouble you with my letters; but the news I have received touching my chaplain, Dr. Mallet, force me to write to you, for I have been informed that you have sent him as a prisoner to the Tower. These tidings seemed so strange that I thought it well to request you to let me know the cause of his imprisonment. I assure you that I should be grieved if any of my people were to merit such punishment; for there is not a living being in this kingdom who could regret having retainers deserving of such treatment more than I should regret it. I would have taken it as a very friendly act on your part, had you let me know of his offence before imprisoning him; and as he is still detained I beg you to send me the truth of the matter by the bearer of these letters.
I wish you all the good that I desire for myself, and pray the Creator to have you in His keeping.
Beaulieu (New Hall), 2 May, 1551.
Copy of the Council's reply to the Lady Mary.
We present our humble recommendations to your Grace. We have received your letters of the 2nd of this month, which appear to inform us that your Grace finds it strange that your chaplain, Dr. Mallet, should have been sent to prison. We are greatly surprised at this, for we informed your Grace some time ago that he had broken the King's Majesty's laws, and was condemned; and we therefore begged your Grace, most affectionately, to hand him over to the Sheriff of Essex, and allow the law, which everyone in this kingdom is obliged to obey, to take its course. So if his imprisonment seems in any way strange to your Grace, there are other people who think it still stranger that he should have escaped it so long. And if the place of his imprisonment, namely the Tower, causes you to persuade yourself that his former offence is unequal to such confinement, we pray you to understand that he is now detained because of the same action of which we informed you some time past, and that the choice of his prison was dictated by the King's Majesty's pleasure, who has given us express orders to act as we have done, letting alone the fact that his laws and statutes impose the same duty upon us. Moreover, we request your Grace to believe that, in this and every other matter, we have no other object than to administer impartial justice all round, as our office and charge require of us.
From the bottom of our hearts we wish your Grace the grace of Almighty God, with the riches of His holy gifts.
From Greenwich, 6 May, 1551.
The undersigned, your Grace's most devoted servants. (Sixteen members of the Council, whose names are not given.)
May 11. Simancas, E. 1198. Fernando Gonzaga to the Emperor.
The other day I had a letter from your Majesty by Don Diego de Mendoza, in which you announced that you had written me another on the same day, containing an account of all that had been negotiated with the Pope down to that date. This letter did not arrive, and I have delaying writing until now to see whether I had anything to say touching it, though it seems to me that these are no times to wait for your Majesty's orders before saying what I think. The letter has not come yet, so I fear it may have strayed in among others and perhaps gone back to your Majesty. In the course of the last month, a discourse made by the Pope has appeared by his orders, and was sent to me by Giambattista del Monte with a letter that I am sending to the Bishop of Arras. This discourse has caused me no little worry, for it shows that things are farther than ever from reaching a solution, and that at a moment when a solution is rendered essential by the advancing season. Not only is nothing settled, but the best grounds for establishing a settlement are breaking up. I have therefore thought it well to write, with all due reverence, the following lines. If your Majesty judges that it is important, for the repose of Italy and of Christendom, whose principal defender you are, for the preservation of your states and maintenance of the authority you now have in Italian affairs, that Parma be attacked, these are the main points, which, it seems to me, you should keep before you, making up your mind on them as soon as possible, and persuading the Pope to do the same. For the last month nothing has been said except that the season is advancing; but the more it advances the longer is that action deferred, which, if it is delayed any more, may soon become impossible. If your Majesty still judges that this undertaking ought not to be put into execution at once, and puts it off till some future time against all your servants' advice, and mine especially, I intend to step forward out of their ranks, nor do I hesitate to take so much upon myself, and pray you to deign to provide for this new frontier's defence, lest, if it is attacked now, this state (Milan) be lost with the rest; for you may remember what I wrote to you not long ago of our inability to keep up the ordinary troops, let alone the additional forces. I must remind your Majesty of three things in this connexion. First: As no edict nor proclamation has been made by your Majesty about these feudatories and neighbours, but only by the Pope, and as the King's (of France) money is so abundant here that one hears of nothing else the livelong day than of the messengers that are bringing it, Octavio (Famese) and his followers are daily swelling, putting in more men, and fortifying themselves in the places they already hold, and preparing to seize more. Hence I wish to infer the necessity of prompt and sufficient provision. Second: As I occupied Brescello in order to deprive the men of Parma of the advantage of its possession at a moment when I saw that they intended to seize it, and as your Majesty had sent 50,000 crowns to the Pope on account for the loan, and ordered me to take up arms whenever the Pope should require me to do so: all things that threatened to ruin me, I wish your Majesty would now instruct me as to what I am to do with Brescello. The reason for which I seized it no longer holds, for the expense of its upkeep is very heavy, and it is not very strong at present. If it is to be given back, I mean if it is not to be dismantled, we shall have to think of the conditions, and had better do so before the Duke of Ferrara gets angrier, or still more money has to be spent; and we must make sure of the place in such a way that your Majesty may not have to fear danger from that side. Third: As it is quite obvious, and I wrote to your Majesty on the 28th of last month, that the French and Farnese can make headway out of reach of your Majesty's forces, and rapidly, and as it is most important to make sure of Correggio, which place must cause us anxiety because of the service rendered to the Farnese in Pope Paul's day by Girolamo da Correggio, and continued at present for Cardinal Farnese's benefit, I beg your Majesty to consider how we may best make sure of it. At present nothing better occurs to me than that your Majesty should command, under penalties, that precautions be taken to prevent the place being grabbed, promising not to abandon it. If the garrison does its duty, the place is still strong enough and may easily be preserved. I certainly intend to send orders to the same effect, but, as I know that a letter from your Majesty would be much better obeyed, it seems to me that you ought not to fail to send me one. This is all that occurs to me to say at present concerning your Majesty's service. What I might add, I have already said long ago, and anything that may be lacking your Majesty, in your supreme prudence, will be able to supply. What I mean comes to this, that if the Pope is going slow and cooling down in this the easiest stage of the undertaking, it is to be anticipated that if, as we can but fear, our difficulties increase, he will grow cooler yet.
Up to the present I have heard nothing of what Cardinal de' Medici has been doing, but, as it is not likely that he has been doing any good, I will take no steps until I have more instructions from your Majesty, for at present there is no ground to go upon.
Milan, 11 May, 1551.
Copy. Italian.
May 11. Brussels, L.A. 50. Order of the Queen Dowager.
The Queen Regent has heard the petition made by Thomas Lodge and Richard Harris, English merchants, to be freed of the arrest laid on their goods and the confiscation and fine claimed by the farmer of the water-dues in Antwerp, and to recover the securities delivered by them. She has also heard the fiscal officers' report on the same case and obtained the opinion of the members of the Council and those in charge of the finances, and finds that over and above the confiscation of small coin and metal belonging to the said merchants and a fine of 40 gold royaulx (fn. 1) for every mark (fn. 2) of silver, they might be held to have forfeited all the rest of their goods that were found on board the same ships. This view might all the better be taken, because a similar attitude has been adopted in England towards natives of the Low Countries, from whom not only forbidden merchandise, but all licit goods found in the same vessels, have been confiscated. But although the fiscal officers might well claim the right to do the same, her Majesty desires to treat the petitioners favourably and not act with the severity shown to natives of the Low Countries in England, and trusts that in the future only prohibited merchandise will be confiscated in that country. Therefore her Majesty declares that the small coin and metal alone shall be confiscated by the Emperor, and that the petitioners shall be allowed to redeem the rest of their goods, and free themselves of the fines incurred, in accordance with the offer made by them, by one payment of 600 livres, of 40 groats Flemish money each livre, to be paid into the Emperor's coffers. And her Majesty commands the said petitioners, or their factor in their name, to give a written acknowledgement that this decision has been granted them as a special favour, and shall not constitute a precedent.
Brussels, 11 May, 1551.
French. Copy.
May 12. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Advices sent by Jehan Scheyfve.
London is still being closely watched, though it seems that things are calmer now and the danger past. For greater safety orders have been issued, that all English vagrants, who have no master and practise no trade, are to repair within four days to their birth-places, or to the localities where they have resided during the last three years, under dire penalties. Nonetheless many foreigners, Flemings, Frenchmen and others, do not feel at all safe. Many of them have gone home, and great companies are leaving from day to day.
In order to prevent the peasants from gathering together, and to enable the gentlemen to stay in the country and keep an eye on them, the sessions of the law-courts which are usually held in London every three months, to decide all differences and appeals, have been put off until next Michaelmas. Express orders have been issued to the constables to seize all men who repeat that there is any discord between the Council and my Lords Shrewsbury and Derby, and make an example of them. Their version is that this false rumour was circulated with a seditious purpose, and was invented by wicked persons; for my Lords Derby and Shrewsbury wrote only a short time ago to the Council that they were ready to come to Court at the King's and Council's pleasure, as most humble and obedient servants of his Majesty. Some say that this proclamation has been made to calm the commons, deprive the peasants of all. hope, and, if it is possible, win over the said lords with soft words. The four peasant ringleaders, who had formed a project to murder all the gentlemen of their neighbourhood, have been hanged; and it seems that now the matter will be pushed no further.
When they beat the drum here some days ago they only recruited 200 foot-soldiers, who followed the other 500 or 600 taken from Calais and its surroundings and now said to be in Ireland to protect the Germans who are to work in the mines there.
The Germans themselves left here two days ago; and it seems there is some idea of making forts at certain Irish harbours.
The English ships arrested the other day have since been released, and a large number of seamen, who were on board the men-of-war and ready to sail, have been dismissed and sent off towards the West Country. It is still said that they are to be used against my Lords Derby and Shrewsbury, though these lords are supposed to be reconciled with the Council. Others take it to mean that the return journey of the Queen Dowager of Scotland has been delayed. The Earl of Warwick is trying to lessen the Duke of Somerset's authority, and has managed, with the pretexts of the great expense incurred by the King, and the fact that the Duke actually holds no particular office, to have him deprived of the separate table he enjoyed by way of salary, saying that the Council's common board ought to suffice him. It seems that what was taken from the Duke has been given to the Earl. Moreover, last St. George's day (fn. 3), when a chapter of the English Order was held in the King's presence, the words “on his mother's side “ were inserted in the Duke's title of “uncle to the King of England.” And as the known fact that the Council do not agree well together has been much commented, they have issued orders that no one is to mind the Council's affairs, and if anyone hears talk about them, he is to report it to the Council at once without saying a word to any other person, under severe penalties. In order to persuade the commons that friendship and brotherly love prevail in the Council, they have held several feasts and banquets in public, during which they have loaded one another with caresses.
We have not heard that M. de Lansac is back from Scotland yet, and it seems that commissioners have now been appointed on this side to sit on the Scottish boundary question. They are the Bishop of Norwich, Mr. de Vaulx, (fn. 4) and Secretary Sellinger (Sentleger or St. Leger); and on the Scottish side they say that two bishops, (fn. 5) among other persons, have been chosen. Some hold that M. de Lansac will represent the person of the King, his master, and the Marquis of Dorset, who is in the North, that of the King of England.
Our opinion is that all this is merely intended to show how sincerely the King of France loves his brother of England and seeks his kingdom's good, trying by all means to foster peaceful and neighbourly relations between the two countries, and gain English hearts. Another interpretation would have it that this business about the boundary might be a mere prelude to another negotiation, of which some account has already been given.
A few days ago the Earl of Warwick and several members of the Council went to see the French ambassador, and stayed with him four or five hours in mighty and secret conference. The next day the French ambassador went to the King and Council, by whom he was more than ever feasted and caressed. It is certain that in a few days the Bishop of Ely, the Marquis of Northampton, the Earl of Rutland, a young lord who was captain in the last Scots wars, my Lord the eldest son of Lord Warwick, Mr. Hoby, Mr. Pickering and the King-of-arms (fn. 6) are to leave for France, accompanied by a whole troop of other gentlemen, all richly dressed and accoutred. It is said that they are going to invest the King of France with the English Order of the Garter; but the importance of the envoys, and certain rumours from well-informed quarters, lead one to fear that this presentation may be only a cloak for matters of greater weight, such as the closer alliance and arrangements for the King of England's marriage to the daughter of France; though some still speak of the Queen of Scotland. It appears that they are to spend some time in France, and that, soon after their return, certain French gentlemen are to come to England with the French Order, M. de Saint-André among them. We hear that the English are quite confident that the King of France will manage to disturb and break up the General Council (of Trent), and that this is one of the points now to be discussed. Wishing to supply some amusement for the King of France, who, as they hear, has begun to practise archery, they are taking with them certain gentlemen and twelve of the King's archers, all most skilful with the bow. They are also preparing very rich rings and other presents for the journey.
We hear that ambassadors and commissioners from several rebellious princes and towns, such as the Kings of France, Poland, Sweden and other potentates, are to meet in Holstein. The English will not fail to be represented, and it seems that Dr. Brun will accept the mission.
The King of England is beginning to exercise himself in the use of arms, and enjoys it heartily. On May 3rd, at Greenwich, they tilted at the buckler and joined in sword-play, and the King tried his skill five or six times with the other young lords. The French ambassador, who had been summoned, spoke in public with the King, and said his Majesty had borne himself right well, and shown great dexterity. The King replied that it was a small beginning, and as time passed he hoped to do his duty better.
They say here that M. d'Albret, called King of Navarre, has passed from life to death; (fn. 7) and that M. de Vendôme raised a large number of troops, but the King had them disbanded. It is said that Vendôme's object was to attempt some exploit in the kingdom of Navarre.
We hear that the Duke of Somerset is trying to establish serge manufacture in a little town of his, and that he is sending to Hainault for workmen.
Ambassador Wotton left some days ago on his way to the Emperor's court.
Cipher. French.
May 12. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 30. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: On the 10th of this month the Council of State met twice, and it was decided to depute the Marshal de St. André and the Bishop of Périgueux to go to England and take across the Order of France, (fn. 8) so as to deliver it on the same day that the Marquis of Northampton and an English bishop should deliver the Order of the Garter here to the King of France. It was arranged and settled that the ceremonies should both take place on the same day. The French are still prone to the English marriage.
When the Irish learned that the King of France would give them no help they made terms with the English, and all have now laid down their arms except a few who are out of the country. The King of France has promised to intercede for them and obtain their pardon.
News have arrived over here that the ambassador, Morison, who was sent by the King of England to reside at your Majesty's Court three or four months ago, is about to return, and that Bishop Wotton (sic) who was ambassador here when I arrived is sent to take his place. They say that Morison took upon himself to perform the office of preacher to your Majesty, instead of keeping to the subject of his negotiations. The French are rejoicing at the news in the belief that the King and Council of England will take the dismissal in bad part.
On hearing that the said Wotton has been chosen to take up the office, I cannot fail to add that his humour is naturally testy and intriguing, so that your Majesty may know in case of need, though to tell the truth he has cause for resentment against the French who treated him roughly when he left. . . .
Tours, 12 May, 1551.
Signed. Cipher. French.
May 13. Besancon, Collection Granvelle, 72. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
The day before, the Emperor had given audience to the French ambassador, who began by saying that his master had given orders that every courtesy should be shown to Prince Philip if he chanced to touch at any French port on his return journey to Spain. He then went on to say that Octavio Farnese had, some time before, informed the Pope that he was unable to keep up Parma alone, and the Pope had given him leave to ask for the help of some other prince, giving Octavio to understand that he would be glad to see the King of France grant him what assistance he needed.
Octavio and his brothers had taken the Pope's advice, and approached the King of France on the subject; but to their amazement the Pope had shown displeasure, and sent Dandino, his secretary, to the Emperor to ask him for aid against Octavio. The King of France could not believe that the Emperor intended to allow the enemies of peace to persuade him to adopt such a course.
The Emperor, in reply, thanked the King for the good-will and affection he wished to show Prince Philip. In speaking of enemies of peace, it seemed the King designated the Pope, who was nonetheless a pontiff of years, experience and discretion. As the King disliked people who made war, it was to be hoped he himself intended to refrain from hostile action. To speak frankly, the truth about Parma was that trouble in Italy was to be feared unless it went back to the Church. Octavio might have some recompense, but he was too flighty a person to be allowed to stay in Parma. The Emperor had heard of his insolent behaviour towards the Pope, and had been glad to offer to help his Holiness to chastise a disobedient vassal if need were to arise. Dandino's charge had been to demand aid against Octavio, and no secret need be made about it. The King of France might consider that the Pope had a right to chastise Octavio, his own guilty vassal, and the Emperor might have some claim on him as a son-in-law; though his real motive in this was his desire for the welfare of Italy. The Emperor therefore requested the King of France to cease assisting Octavio.
The ambassador said the King could hardly do so, for he had set his hand to the work, and surely the Emperor could not misjudge so just and reasonable an undertaking. The Emperor answered that he had better withdraw. He had been mistaken in imagining he had his Holiness' approval, as events had showed. As for La Mirandola, the Emperor had not refused to include it in any treaty merely to allow it to be united to Parma now. The King of France needed neither place for the defence of his kingdom, and he had better leave them alone. The ambassador said Octavio had manifested some fear of the Emperor's ministers; to which the Emperor replied that he never did underhand work but always behaved sincerely in time of peace, unlike the French, who had helped to organise plots such as Count Fiesco's at Genoa. Dealings with men like Octavio would not contribute to the friendly relations the King always said he hoped to entertain with the Emperor. It was also a pity that the French should take wretches like Rogendorff into their service, or encourage rebels like the Rhinegrave. The King of France could not pretend that the Frenchmen in the Emperor's service were in the same position, for they had been brought up in it, or had received permission to join it from the late King. The Emperor, had he wished to do so, might easily have given France serious trouble by seconding, underhandedly, the Guyenne rebels a short time before, or intriguing against the conclusion of peace between France and England.
The ambassador said the French had likewise foreborne to help the rebels of Ghent; to which the Emperor replied that their courtesy in that had been repaid over and over again. In conclusion, if the King of France would cease hostile manœuvres and display good-will, he should receive corresponding treatment from the Emperor.
The Emperor informs Renard of this in order that he may gather all information that may help to indicate the plans formed in France. Renard is to assure the French that the Emperor has no intention whatever of taking Parma for himself, and only wants Octavio out of it because he is too dangerous to be left there. The King, therefore, had much better refrain from encouraging a rebel, and leave him to return to his duty towards his Holiness, thus avoiding grave ills that might otherwise spread from Italy to the rest of Christendom.
Augsburg, 13 May, 1551.
French. Signed by the Emperor and countersigned by Bave. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. III.
May 15. Brussels, E.A. 61. The Queen Dowager to the Emperor.
I will avoid molesting your Majesty with a long letter by referring to what I wrote by a secretary touching the preparations rendered necessary on our frontiers by our neighbours' attitude, and will only beg you to send me your orders if it please you that more be done. I also mentioned what I had devised in order to put off paying the sums for which I am responsible, which now amount to 900,000 crowns, just short of the million. I am only writing this letter to inform your Majesty that in good truth it was all I could do to put it off for one more period, and if your Majesty does not make arrangements for payment between now and the fair (i.e. of Antwerp), or show the merchants that you have the money in a place where they may be sure they will be paid, you may be sure your credit will be ruined. It is now badly shaken, for we have been doing nothing for three years past but allow this one amount to increase at interest. It is absolutely essential that your Majesty realise that, if there is trouble in Italy and the money cannot be sent hither by that route as it ought to be, some other plan must be adopted, and the sooner the better, for the disadvantage of paying in Spain would be compensated by what we would gain by stopping the interest, which has been running so long because of the delay in sending money that this year's revenue cannot stand it. And I implore your Majesty to allow no consideration whatsoever to induce you to touch the sum destined for this payment. Consider that my obligations are so heavy that, as my own property would not suffice to meet them, my conscience and honour would remain in pawn were payment not forthcoming. I need not dwell on the gravity of the situation, for you will realise it yourself, as indeed it is sufficiently impressive: too much so for my endurance. If I were to die before the payment were made, I would breathe my last in sore remorse, and were your Majesty to fail me—which God forbid!—you may imagine into what plight my soul, my honour and my estate would fall, and all through my devotion to your service and trust in your word; and I believe your Majesty has not found many servants as ready to risk their eternal and temporal welfare for you. So I will beg your Majesty once more to consider it well, for besides what it matters to me, I know it gravely concerns your own service. If you will pay now, your credit will be so good that you will be able to raise the same or a much greater sum from one day to the next. And verily, my Lord, your credit is of more account than much money in your coffers, as you well know. I supplicate your Majesty to forgive me if my pen has run faster than my duty ought to allow: the importance of the matter and my own anxiety may serve as my excuse.
(The letter goes on to treat of local affairs. On June 21st the Queen Dowager writes again to the Emperor urging him to have the metal lately arrived in Spain from the Indies sent to the Low Countries, coined and distributed to the creditors, who are beginning to show signs of great discontent. On July 2nd she warns him that the creditors fear he is going to use the money for some other purpose. Such a course, she says, would lead to the irretrievable ruin of the Emperor's credit.)
Brussels, 15 May, 1551.
French. Duplicate.
May 20. Simancas, E. 646. The Bishop of Arras to Don Diego de Mendoza.
To-day another messenger reached the nuncio (fn. 9) from his Holiness, who is frantically pointing out difficulties and writing everything that comes into his head. Among other things, he describes the impossibility in which he finds himself of raising a large army, which he considers to be necessary if this undertaking is to be properly carried out. He says that, even if he had whole houses full of crowns, it takes a long time to get good troops together in Italy, and until they get four months' pay he cannot have them armed, because their way is to neglect their arms and sell such as they have whenever they are disbanded. As against this, Giambattista (del Monte) writes us that he can produce plenty of fine, well-armed troops at a week's notice as often as his Holiness may require them. The Pope also raises a difficulty about the artillery and its equipment, which has been satisfied by Don Fernando (Gonzaga), and another about provisions, which his Holiness seems to think would be terribly serious, for he would have to victual his camp from Bologna, and this would make it necessary for him to keep up three armies, one at Bologna, where the commissariat would be established, one near La Mirandola to serve as escort, and the third at Parma; for otherwise his army before Parma would soon be obliged to retreat. All of which, as you, who are versed in military matters, know, is pure nonsense.
He makes another point of the fact that the Duke of Ferrara is arming, which I believe to be true, but not that he is getting together a force of 4,000 foot and 300 horse; for I believe that his own inclination and the advice he has received from the Venetians would combine to make him very glad to remain neutral. The Pope sends to his nuncio very soft letters from Octavio (Farnese) and Cardinal Farnese, and these are melting his heart with the thought that they are repenting and will come over to his view of the matter. But we are of opinion that they are only doing it to prevent the expedition from being set on foot, and that if it is carried out they will be much readier to consent to our proposals, to his Holiness' greater advantage. We do not mean that an amicable negotiation need be spurned as long as the expedition is put through; as you will have heard at greater length by his Majesty's last letters, which gave a clear notion of his intentions. After talking all this over with me for two hours, the nuncio told his Majesty all about it, and read him part of the letters. He was heard with great patience; and his Majesty's answer stated that, in spite of all these objections, which had been given mature consideration before the decision had been taken, the expedition must be carried out, for when the plans of the French were remembered, there seemed to be no other remedy for Italian ills.
These same Frenchmen are not so loud now as they were a short time ago, as you will see from the writing I am sending you, which was forwarded to me by a friend of mine who is thoroughly versed in Italian affairs, and very intelligent. I have given the nuncio another copy, and think he will transmit it to the Pope. In a similar tone, the nuncio in France has written a letter, a copy of which has been sent to Fano, which makes out the French to be near consenting to Octavio's coming to terms, as long as Parma does not fall into the Emperor's hands. Octavio's own letters patent, which were recently sent to be exhibited in consistory, ought to serve as guarantee for that.
Besides all this, the letter written to the nuncio states that the French ministers had a letter from Octavio, to be given to his Holiness, in which he begs leave to ally himself with the King of France in order to hold Parma against his foes. As they say the letter is of May 5th, it is very likely that it may hide some snare or trick for balking the Pope's summons; so his Holiness had better be on the look out for their machinations. After talking it over with his Majesty, I went to the nuncio and told him, on the Emperor's behalf, to make haste so that this message might not be made an excuse for further delay; and I made his Majesty's intentions very clear to the nuncio. As I have no letters from you to answer, I have stolen this moment in order to inform you of the above. I will only add that I spoke very warmly to the nuncio about the patronage of your brother's estates, and he promised to do all he could. Hence it would be well that you should write to him, so that the matter may be concluded.
Augsburg, 20 May, 1551.
Copy. Spanish.
May 21. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 30. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: News have come here by letter that Melancthon, Sturmius and other Protestants are to go to Trent and learn what procedure is to be observed by the Council, so as to offer, if need be, certain protestations which they have already excogitated. The news that his Highness (Prince Philip) is getting ready a fleet destined for Algiers, and that the Viceroy of Naples has done irreparable harm to your Majesty's interests by refusing ammunition and men to Andrea Doria against Dragut, have also come by the same letters.
The Marshal de St. André, who is commissioned to take the Order of France (the Order of St. Michael) to the King of England, has also instructions to make on the same occasion certain proposals hostile to your Majesty, or at least to find out whether the English would assist the French on sea.
M. de Boisdauphin, Master of the King's household, is to be sent to England afterwards as ambassador and carry on the negotiations initiated by the said Marshal de St. André. He is to do his best to discover whether by means of money or promises the Council of England can be induced to make this concession, and to conclude the marriage which has been discussed and proposed already, which the French find to their taste as a timely and useful weapon against your Majesty, believing that in this way Scottish affairs might be made secure, and the marriage of the young Queen of Scots broken off. (fn. 10) A likeness of the Princess of France has been cast in silver and is to be presented to the King of England. . . .
Bordin (or Bourdin), State secretary, is crossing to England with Marshal de St. André. He is as important a personage as any man in France. . . .
Chinon, 21 May, 1551.
Signed. Cipher. French.


  • 1. The réal or royal of gold was worth 60 sols.
  • 2. The mark was a weight something over ½lb.
  • 3. The feast of St. George, April 23rd.
  • 4. The person thus designated was Sir Robert Bowes.
  • 5. The Scots commissioners were the Bishop of Orkney, Lord Maxwell and others. See ('alendar, Scotland, Vol. I, p. 99.
  • 6. This was doubtless Garter King of Arms, Sir Gilbert Dethick.
  • 7. Henri d'Albret in reality did not die until 1555.
  • 8. Order of St. Michael.
  • 9. The Bishop of Fano.
  • 10. .