Spain: February 1552

Pages 450-464

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

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February 1552

Feb. 4. Brussels, L. A. 58. The Queen Dowager to the Captain of l'Ecluse.
Thomas Gresham, the King of England's agent at Antwerp, has informed us that you, invoking the prohibitions recently issued against the exportation of herring from these dominions, have placed an arrest on 36 lasts of herring which he had obtained a passport to send to France. For certain good reasons we have consented to allow him to take to France his herring, now arrested by you, on payment of the ordinary export-duty and nothing else, for this one occasion. We therefore are writing to inform you of this and order you, in the Emperor's name, to let the herring pass without let or hindrance.
Brussels, 4 February, 1552.
French. Minute.
Feb. 5. Brussels, L. A. 58. Jehan Scheyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: The Princess of England has asked me to write to your Majesty begging you to grant the Earl of Arundel a passport for three horses which he purchased in Italy. The horses are now at Antwerp, and the Earl wishes to have them sent to England. I felt unable to deny this request, and am to send you the lady's very humble recommendations.
London, 5 February, 1552.
French. Holograph.
Feb. 12. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Jehan Scheyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: On the 9th instant I heard that Mr. (Sir Philip) Hoby was being sent to your Majesty in all haste (fn. 1); and the same day he came to me and informed me that he had been deputed by the King, his master, to visit your Majesty on certain business, which he wished to tell me in advance. I replied, Madam, that as his Majesty had been pleased to announce his journey to me, I would place myself at his disposal if I could serve him in any way; and I thought I might the more readily do so if I knew something of his charge. He rejoined that he would report my good will to the King; and though I tried my best to find out what his charge might be, I was unable to discover more than that it was an important matter, of interest to both princes and their countries. He told me he was going to leave within two or three days. I have done all I could to ascertain what his errand is, but the only likely version I have heard is that the King may desire to justify himself in not allowing the Emperor's subjects, or anyone else, to freight any ship for Flanders; for the Customs officials have recently made a declaration to this effect, giving no reason except that they have received the King's orders. It is thought that it has been done because of the agreement into which the English have recently entered not to ship goods in or for Flanders, as I have already informed your Majesty. Some say that they intend to improve the opportunity and cause the present Parliament to enact measures for the exclusion from this realm of all foreigners especially the Emperor's subjects; and they think they will have more plausible excuse for so doing if they make protests in Flanders. Perhaps Hoby may also mention certain English ships laden with merchandise, which are said to have been lately seized by the Emperor's war-ships. He will assure your Majesty that the King intends to keep his treaties and observe friendly and neighbourly relations; although various things are being said, and some assert that the English do not feel sure about his Majesty's designs.
Duplicate. French. Cipher.
Feb. 12. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Advices sent by Jehan Scheyfve.
The Duke of Somerset is deeply mourned by the people, who are far from satisfied with his execution, when he had only been convicted of felony. The Council, fearing some commotion because of this temper of the people, caused the constables of London, on the day of the execution, to issue orders that no one should stir out of doors before noon, under severe penalties. No reasons were given, and every one was astonished, especially those who did not know that the Duke was going to be executed. The matter was decided so suddenly that the execution was only planned at Greenwich on January 20th; the next day the King returned to London; and on the 22nd the Duke lost his head. It seems it was done in this manner to get it over before the meeting of Parliament; and it is firmly believed that the King signed the order, and even that he wrote the Duke a note on the 19th declaring to him that he had shown him grace and converted the rope into an axe. On the day of the execution Somerset was taken with a great following of officers and guards towards the scaffold near the Tower. There he spoke to the people, and reminded them that each country and realm had its laws and statutes, which all loyal subjects were bound to obey. As he had been condemned to suffer the last penalty according to the laws and ordinances of England, he would patiently endure death, which he said he had long deserved for many offences committed against his Creator. He said nothing more about the misdeeds attributed to him, but desired to declare with his dying breath that he had never plotted against his Prince or the Crowsn, to whom he had been as faithful a servant and minister as any in the realm could be, for he had always sought his sovereign's good and remembered the commons. He requested the people to pray for a long life and increase of his kingdom for the King, and that the Council might govern in unison and concord. After this two gentlemen came riding up in haste, and a commotion arose among the people, who believed it to be a reprieve for the Duke. Suddenly loud cries were heard, of “A pardon, a pardon! God save the Duke!” and some of the assistants, horse and foot, began to fly, even some of the guards, certain of whom were wounded. When the Duke saw this, he begged them to cease, and not trouble him at that hour, for he had come out knowing he must die. So, soon afterwards, he prepared to lay his head upon the block, when his spiritual comforter, the King's chaplain, spoke a few words to him in secret. The Duke then got up and turned again towards the people, saying that he had forgotten to mention one point. As they well knew, he had been the first and principal agent in the introduction of the new religion into England, for formerly religion had ceased to be observed or followed according to the spirit that had inspired its institution. He assured them that the new faith was very holy, and in conformity with that of the primitive Church, wherefore he wished to pray them, before dying, to persevere and be constant in it to the end. This said, he at once laid his head on the block, and when the deed was done, the corpse was throwsn into a cart and taken to the Tower, where it was buried irreverently and without anyone being present.
When the execution was over, and the people heard of it, a great crowsd assembled all day long at the place, talking about the Duke and bewailing his death. Those who could come near washed their hands in his blood, and others dipped their handkerchiefs in it.
It is believed that the Duchess, Somerset's spouse, will soon go the same way; and that several other prisoners are in great danger. Three of them: Sir Thomas Arundell, Sir Ralph Fane and another have been sentenced to be hanged. Some believe that my Lord Grey may well escape, and they now fear most of all for the Earl of Arundel, whom his enemies appear to wish to accuse of having had some knowledge, at any rate, of Somerset's plot. The same is said of Lord Paget, and there is covert talk about the possible arrest and imprisonment in the Tower of the old Chancellor (fn. 2) and High Treasurer (fn. 3), to whom it is whispered that Somerset did no good service.
The same is being said about the Archbishop of Canterbury, towards whom the Duke of Northumberland is ill-disposed because he did all he could to obtain a pardon for the Duke of Somerset, whom the Archbishop favoured because of his zeal for the new religion. Still, some say that Northumberland himself implored the King to grant the pardon, and the King refused, saying that he intended to have the laws and statutes of his kingdom observed by every one, without exception. If this is true, it was certainly arranged by Northumberland in order to show that he had not brought about this execution, and at the same time to strike terror into the people, and all those who might break the law.
It is said that, at first, the King was not disposed to consent to Somerset's execution, but agreed after the French ambassador had used certain persuasive arguments, showing him that an example was required in so serious a matter, that many disturbances had cropped up in the kingdom during Somerset's administration and protectorate, and, above all, that he was so popular that the commons had become less devoted to the Crowsn.
We still hear that this Parliament, which began on January 25th, is to deal with the matters mentioned in our previous letters, and particularly with certain points of the new religion. As far as we know, they have not put forward any other proposals, except those intended to remedy the present high prices. Several plans have been suggested, but it is to be feared they may find it very difficult, and there is small hope of success. We also hear that, during this Parliament, the Duke of Somerset's children are to be declared bastards, because it seems that Somerset's widow had been promised to a certain gentleman before the Duke married her. This may be used as a pretext to prevent the children from succeeding to the Duke's property, which appears not to have been confiscated, and to remove them from the blood royal.
The Duke of Norfolk, now a prisoner in the Tower, is said to be near receiving his liberty in order to make it look as if Somerset had been the cause of his imprisonment. At any rate, Norfolk is no longer in any danger.
A few days ago the French ambassador went to court and presented the King, in his master's name, with six Spanish jennets, six hunting-knives, and two little mules. (fn. 4) The jennets were richly harnessed in the French fashion, and mounted by six gentlemen pages just returned from France. They say here that the jennets are among those that were seized in France the other day on their way from Spain.
It is said that the King of England is again going to raise as many as 2,000 horse, and send them over to France with a certain number of foot. Others maintain that the King is making preparations to go over to Calais soon in person, and meet the King of France and his daughter there. Neither version is very likely. It is true that they (i.e. the Council) have issued orders that their bands of horse, and certain gentlemen, are to be ready to serve at an hour's notice; and they are getting together all the money they can lay their hands on, commanding all men who owe the King anything, even though payment be not yet due, to pay at once, under the penalty of having their goods seized and sold by the King's officers. This looks as if they had something important on hand; and it is to be feared that any assistance they render the King of France will be rather in money than otherwise. The English are also fitting out in great haste ten or twelve war-ships, which it appears are going to be used to guard their harbours, because of the continual complaints and squabbles that never cease on both sides.
French. Cipher.
Feb. 19. Brussels, E. A. 100. Destourmel (fn. 5) to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: The person whom your Majesty has seen has to-day been joined by the man he had with the English at Antwerp. This man says he saw the English paid there, and he gave me a writing which I am sending to your Majesty and am inclined to take to be accurate, though as the French always say one thing and do another, your Majesty shall judge. He says that the pay (of the English) is as follows: the captain has 60 crowsns a month; the lieutenant 30; the cornet 25; and each soldier 7. The soldiers are not satisfied, and demand 10.
Madam: You are doubtless aware that Mr. Philip Hoby is on his way to your Majesty, sent by the King of England, and that his people arrived yesterday at Calais. As I know your ambassador will have told you of Hoby's mission, together with other news from England, I will say no more about it; though I will mention that a persistent rumour from Calais states that the Pope and the French are friends once more, and that Parma is returning to obedience to the Church. Your Majesty told me I might tell the person who gave me the above-mentioned report that, if he would serve you, you would give him 10 crowsns a month for a couple of months. As the time is now up, your Majesty will be pleased to have him paid, and also to let me know whether he is to go on receiving the same wage. It seems to me that the service he rendered the Emperor by discovering the plan against Arras must have put his life in great danger, and that he will be obliged to go hence and join some company in the Emperor's employ. He could do so with two well-appointed horses, and would like to have 15 crowsns (per month) as wages. He is a good soldier; so may your Majesty signify your noble pleasure. In another letter I spoke of a different person who applied to me; I am daily expecting a report from him, and will communicate all I may hear to your Majesty without delay.
Gravelines, 19 February, 1552.
Signed. French.
Feb. 24. Brussels, E. A. 65. The Emperor to the Queen Dowager.
(In order that the Flemings may not despair of ever learning his decision, the Emperor is sending back M. de Glajon. Various considerations on the unsatisfactory state of affairs in Germany, Duke Maurice's announced visit to Innsbruck, etc.)
As for the Electors now at the Council of Trent, you consider they would be better at home. You remark that during their absence they might lose some part of their states, and might put the blame down to me whom they have trusted to protect their dominions while they are away. Besides, you have little hope of any fruit from the Council, and believe the fear of it, and the possibility that it will lead to trouble between me and the Pope, is keeping the Protestants hostile and excited. I must confess that I myself have small hope of any good coming of the Council, for I clearly see that not only are the Protestants adopting their usual policy of obstruction, but the Pope and his ministers, nay the Catholic churchmen themselves, are afraid of reform and, instead of displaying zeal, are working surreptitiously against it. However, it would be better for the Council to go on if it could; and if not and it must be broken up or dissolved God's service and my reputation will suffer less if this happens by their doing, rather than by mine. Thus at some future time, when affairs are in a more favourable condition, I may be able to continue it without anyone saying that I do not really wish to bring it to a conclusion, and that my solicitude for it is feigned, merely put on for ulterior purposes and to enable me to gain time, and uninspired by desire for the general welfare of Christendom.
I have nonetheless decided to prevent the Electors from blaming me for having lured them with false hopes, if they suffer any loss, by causing them to be informed of what is being reported about German affairs, and pressing them for a definite statement of their intentions. If they decide to go, I shall not have suggested it to them, and it will not be my fault if the Pope takes it as an opportunity for suspending, translating or dissolving the Council. . .
(Discussion of the aptitudes of various generals for the supreme command in Flanders.)
The letters you have received from the Prince, my son, touch on two main points. First, he wants some Germans sent to him; and, secondly, he wants the negotiation for his election (i.e. to the Empire) kept alive. I am sure if he were here he would be able to answer himself, for the spectacle of our want of money would make clear the impossibility of satisfying his demands. You will find it easy to reply to him, giving these reasons, so that he may do his best to get together a good sum of money, for you well understand that unless he does so he will have all he can do to hold his own, which is quite a different matter from being able to take the offensive. The present state of Germany is eloquent enough in answer to the second point, namely, the campaign for his election, and shows how far we are at present from being able even to think of it. Indeed I fear the fact that we once put it forward has proved a weapon in the hands of the ill-disposed, and aided them to further their schemes.
The Bishop of Arras has related to me the substance of letters he has received from you, in which you say it would seem to you wise to send my son to Italy. I do not see how he could go thither with credit, now that Parma and La Mirandola are in the plight you know of, and Piedmont so strongly fortified that to attack it would be like butting one's head against a wall to no purpose. It would be a disgrace to him to witness the manner of life to which lack of money has reduced our ministers there. Not only would his presence do no good; it would make matters worse and diminish his reputation as well, for every one would ask him for money, and he would have none to give. Besides this, without his presence the Cortes of the three kingdoms of Aragon (fn. 6) would not be able to assemble at Monzón, as you know, which would mean that the grant of money for the sum you are taking up at exchange would not go through, and more loss of credit. Those Cortes are of such a disposition that it will be impossible to get them to do their work in less than four months, though all were to be lost for it. And as they cannot start before nearly the end of April, you see how much use my son's coming would be to remedy our present needs. For the rest, fear not that I shall seek to set things right by going to Italy myself, for I know I would find myself there in the same difficulties that would confront my son, and there is no reason, in the present situation of affairs, why I should go, unless the King of France proceeds thither in person. . . .
(The letter ends with remarks on the state of trade in Spain, and the private affairs of Eleanor, Queen Dowager of France.)
Innsbruck, 24 February, 1552.
Signed. French.
Feb. 27. Simancas, E. 648. The Emperor to Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza.
All your letters, including those of the 14th instant, which were brought by the messenger sent by his Holiness to Camayano, have arrived, as also the duplicate that came through the Welsers. As you shall see, we are dealing with the points raised in your letters in another, and in this we shall principally tell you what has happened here with Camayano. As soon as he received the despatch, he requested audience of us, and we gave it to him the next day, when he had already spoken with the Bishop of Arras, giving him a detailed account of all he intended to say to us. Camayano reported to us the substance of his Holiness' conference with Cardinal de Tournon about peace, which came to much the same as what was stated in the copies Montesa sent you, though not so definitely, as he made no mention of certain points and conditions touched upon in them. But though there are certain differences of detail, the upshot of the conference is that his Holiness has very little hope of achieving any result from this undertaking. Cardinal de Tournon boasted copiously, as the French are in the habit of doing, enlarging upon the greatness and might of his King, and the heavy losses his Holiness was sustaining because the ecclesiastical appointments for the kingdom of France were not made in Rome. He proceeded to show how the said kingdom might perhaps repudiate the obedience due to the apostolic see, saying that we (i.e. the Emperor) would not be able to do much for the Pope, as we had great difficulties in so many quarters. Eventually we should have to break with his Holiness on account of the Council, for certain differences and misunderstandings had already arisen between his legate and our ministers and Spanish prelates. In addition to this, the Protestants had shown little liking for the idea; the Turk was coming down this year in great force both by land and by sea, and would do most damage in the Papal states and our own. Germany was in arms; and if our power and resources were not sufficient to pay the few troops we had before Parma, which had caused so much trouble, we should hardly be able to keep up the much larger forces that would be necessary in order to carry on the war. Don Fernando Gonzaga had been forced by a little commotion that had arisen in Piedmont to abandon the Parma enterprise, although he had been appointed his Holiness' captain-general. Parma was abundantly supplied for over a year, and La Mirandola not as badly off as some people thought. The King, his (i.e. Tournon's) master, had decided to spare no effort, and was prepared to spend 600,000 crowsns a month. Therefore, Tournon tried to persuade his Holiness, as neither the King nor we could long stand such a drain, he would act prudently in immediately stepping out of the game, in order to be able to act as middleman for peace to greater effect. In that case Duke Octavio (Farnese) would stay in Parma under the King's protection, as he now was, and in obedience to his Holiness and the apostolic see; and the King would act towards his Holiness as he was now acting towards Octavio, seeing to the upkeep of the place, its guard and defence. His Holiness rejected the Cardinal's proposal, affirming again and again that his good fame would not allow him to treat if his vassal, for such the Duke was, came out of it with his object achieved. No more could he abandon our friendship, as we had gone to war on his account; and he would say no more than that Parma must in any case return to the Church. The Cardinal replied that he would like to await the return of a captain whom he had sent to Duke Octavio, and the reply to a letter he intended to write to the King, his master, about his Holiness' decision. He added that he had little or no hope of achieving anything; and went so far as to hint that he could no longer act as an intermediary, so that it would be well to look for some one better suited to the task. When Camayano had reported all this to us, he came to the main point of his charge from his Holiness, on account of which this messenger was despatched. It was that his Holiness had small hope of peace because of what he had been given to understand by Tournon, and wished to know our opinion, and what we thought we ought to, or could do in order to carry on the war, reminding us at the same time of his great necessity, and the sore trouble he found himself in because of his inability to defend the frontiers of the states of the Church, either against the King of France or the Turk. So, as his Holiness was ingenuously opening his heart to us, he trusted that we would be willing to give him some consolation, and let him know our final and definite decision, taking into consideration the small hope, and indeed impossibility, of peace, the danger of the Turkish fleet, the strength of the French, the uproar in Germany, and other difficulties.
Leaving this matter of peace, Camayano complained to us on his Holiness' behalf of Don Francisco de Toledo and AttorneyGeneral (fn. 7) Vargas, saying that both of them had acted with scant respect towards his Holiness' authority, trying to bribe the prelates not to consent to the clauses put forward by Legate Crescenzio on the sacrament of ordination. He made a great pother about the offence this, and the position adopted by the Protestants had given to his Holiness, who, in spite of his sufferings from the gout, had decided to call together the deputies of the congregation two days after this messenger had left, and lay these difficulties before them. He would then send us a prelate on purpose, or write what was necessary to Camayano, who assured us that his Holiness desired a reformation, and a radical one, but not in any manner that might infringe or diminish his Holiness' authority. He then read us an article of the instruction given to Peghino at the beginning of this pontificate, the substance of which was that the Pope, trusting in the good friendship and understanding he had with us, had decided that the Council should continue at Trent; but that if any attempt were to be made against his authority, he would avail himself of the remedies which he knew a pontiff might lawfully apply, meaning by this the translation, suspension or dissolution of the Council.
As Camayano's discourse included three points: his Holiness' conference with Tournon, the declaration of our intentions and his Holiness' resentment of what had happened at the Council, and the second point was of the greatest importance, we replied that we would consider it. As for the first, we desired to thank his Holiness for the detailed and frank account he had been pleased to give us of what had passed between him and Tournon. This was exactly what we would have expected from his friendship, and what we deserved at his hands. We did not consider the moment an opportune one to enter into the third point, concerning the Council; however, we wished to praise highly the good will his Holiness said he bore to the reformation, which had become so necessary at the present time. We assured him that nothing would ever be done by us or our ministers to diminish his authority; rather would we seek to increase it, as for that cause we had not only spent great sums of money in the past wars in Germany but, what was more, had endangered our own person. All we desired in the way of reformation was dictated by the necessity in which the Church stood of it, in order that those scandals might cease which were taken as a pretext by the erring to persevere in their falsehood. When they were brought back into the fold of the Church, his Holiness' authority should be owned by a greater number of the faithful, and should consequently increase. As for the clauses on doctrine, about which his Holiness had displayed some feeling, we knew no more about it than that these clauses had been inserted by the Legate in the wrong place, where they could only serve to provoke discussions as to his Holiness' and the Council's superior authority, which it would be well to avoid, as there was no call for discussion of such matters. As the clauses were of importance in the place where they had been put, the best way would be to avoid future dispute. We hinted that Legate Crescenzio was somewhat to blame in this for having tried to prejudice his Holiness; for he had written to the Bishop of Fano here a few days ago that our ministers were preventing the accomplishment of his projects, whereas the truth was the opposite. We knew not what harm Attorney-General Vargas could have done his Holiness' cause, for he had only come to serve him and consult us as to the reply that had better be given to the Protestants, in order that, while all due respect was paid to his Holiness' and the Council's authority and dignity, such an answer might be rendered them as should remove all excuses for calumnies. If he wished to make a grievance out of the fact that Vargas and Don Francisco had consulted several prelates to learn their opinion on the above-mentioned clauses touching doctrine, which had seemed very strange to many of them because the clauses had been inserted in the wrong place and without having been discussed in congregation, it was evident that such a grievance was quite unreasonable, as it would also be to assert that they had wished to take upon themselves the authority to judge the said clauses, for it was clear that the judgement of matters of such importance belonged to the prelates in a free Council like the present one. (fn. 8) In all this we did our best to avoid giving the impression that Vargas had come hither about the said clauses touching doctrine, letting it be understood that he had come about the Protestants, in order not to distress his Holiness in any way and to justify ourselves with all the suavity and deference we have always used. You will do the same; for thus we may hope to achieve something, and in the meantime we shall see what happens at Trent, and what more his Holiness has to say through the prelate he intended to send to us.
The next day, which was the 23rd, Camayano pressed for a reply to the second point, or declaration of our intentions; and we instructed the Bishop of Arras to give it to him on our behalf. Arras approached the subject in a conversation he had with Camayano, referred to the proposal he had made to us the day before, and told him that his Holiness might perhaps remember the advice we had given him, before the rupture had taken place, through the present Cardinal of Imola. We had counselled him to keep out of a war as long as he possibly could do so, and had insisted that arms ought not to be taken up unless it became clear that otherwise the enemy would proceed with what it was to be feared they had in view, which was to stir up trouble in Italy from Parma; for it was obvious that the King of France could have no other motive for taking over the protection of a state so distant from his kingdom. Hence his Holiness might gather how devoted we were to the cause of peace. We had always been so, and had proved by all our actions that our chief care was for the quiet and welfare of Christendom. Since God appointed us to govern we had never had any other object, and we would always persevere in the same policy, as long as there should be any possibility of doing so. As for Cardinal de Tournon's proposal, Frenchmen's bragging was nothing new to us, and as we knew them well, we had never approved, as his Holiness might remember, of Veraldo's mission when his Holiness had informed us that he was being sent to solicit peace from them; for we knew that it would only serve to make them more insolent, as we had now seen. The proposal was such that no better answer could possibly be made than that which his Holiness had given Tournon. We did not desire to give his Holiness any other advice than what we adopted for ourselves, and our opinion was that he ought not to accept peace under shameful conditions, nor with so great prejudice to his good name. All the more did this appear to be true when we considered what Veraldo had written about the Frenchmen's reasons for desiring peace. The King of France wished to keep Parma under his protection in order to drain our resources. If his Holiness were to agree to a peace now, besides the unrest it would bring about in Italy, it would give encouragement to any feudatory or subject of the Church to imitate Duke Ottavio, appeal to some foreign potentate, repudiate his allegiance, and throws the Papal states into a turmoil. The present proposal showed clearly enough with what small deference the King of France treated his Holiness, so unless some further proposal were made, more in accordance with his Holiness' dignity and reputation, we saw no ground for proceeding. It seemed to us that his Holiness had better wait and hear what more the French were going to say about the matter on which Tournon had written home, or else break off negotiations altogether, for we knew already that their object was to gain time with words. For the present we could only implore his Holiness to be strong, and adopt all measures he could devise in order to avoid this humiliation. We, for our part, were determined to be ever watchful, and do all in our power to harm our common foes, and forestall them in what they desired to accomplish; but as time and chance must play a part in these matters, we must modify our policy accordingly. In conclusion, Arras said that we would inform you of the above in order that you might report it and all further developments, on which you should be carefully posted, to his Holiness.
When Camayano heard this, he repeated what he had said at the earlier audience, because he thought he had not been perfectly understood. He insisted on his Holiness' poverty, and stated in detail that when some 60,000 crowsns, which he had in two amounts, were finished, he would not have a penny left. He enlarged on the small hope of peace there appeared to be from Tournon's proposal, on the probability of raids by the Turk, on the news that the French were going to increase their forces, and on the small success ours had met with in Italy. He went on to say that he would much like to have a clearer notion of our intentions, in order entirely to satisfy his Holiness, who was puzzled and distressed, and greatly desired to know our mind, so that he might see what he could and should do. Arras answered that these things depended upon opportunity and time, and the enemy's plans and intentions. Therefore it was impossible to be more definite for the present, but his Holiness must do his utmost on his side until we should see what more the Frenchmen said. For our part, we would be watchful, and let slip no opportunity. In this connexion Arras did not omit to mention the expenses we had incurred since the beginning of this enterprise, and were still incurring, for thus we had been able to prevent any invasion of his Holiness' states. We had heard nothing about any increase of the French forces, or that they were sending more men, but on the contrary we believed them to be recalling some of their troops to Piedmont; and Arras added more remarks of the same nature, calculated to encourage his Holiness. Thus the conversation ended, and Camayano concluded by saying that the reply had been in general terms, and as his Holiness' object was such as had already been stated, he knew not whether he would be entirely satisfied. At any rate, he would write a faithful account of it; and he assured us with very big words that his Holiness, now as always, desired to keep our friendship. All this, as we have already said, passed as a conversation, and nothing was given to Camayano in writing; but we desire to give you a detailed report of it, so that you may answer his Holiness as occasion may require. (fn. 9) This talk with Camayano shows clearly that what his Holiness wants is to display to us his necessity and weakness, and to the other side his mettle and strong purpose not to agree to any humiliating peace, or anything that might lessen his reputation, thus to enable himself to make peace whenever it may suit him, and to say he was forced to do so against his will because of his lack of resources. It might also suit him that we should take over the entire guard and defence of the lands of the Church, or help him with a large sum of money. Nothing was said openly in this sense, perhaps with the hope that we might make some offer first. We desire to warn you about this, for the present state of our finances forbids both solutions; and if the subject is broached to you, you will do well to answer evasively, making a point of mentioning—as we did here with Camayano, by way of reply to a tacit question—the great expenses we have been, and still are, obliged to meet in Italy on account of the Spanish and German troops, besides the Italian foot and horse, which are also numerous. You may dispose of the Pope's demands for a declaration of our intentions—for what he really wants to know is what we would do were the present outlook as bad as if the French were already in the Papal states—by using the reply we gave Camayano here, namely, that our forces are greatly superior to the enemy's in Italy, which fact has prevented them from assailing the lands of the Church; that his Holiness could desire no better protection; and that instead of receiving news that the French are being reinforced, we know positively that they are recalling troops to Piedmont, either out of lack of provisions, as some say here, or because they are not needed, as Parma is so well provisioned, or for some other reason. We have not been without suspicion here, and are inclined to believe, that his Holiness is so anxious to ascertain our intentions, while negotiations for peace are in progress with the French and his legate still remains in France, in order to treat in the light of our reply. If we make him a good offer, he will stand out firmly for good terms, and if we dash his hopes by alleging our own weakness, he will make such a peace as he may, and throws all the blame upon us afterwards, seeking to destroy our good name with friend and foe by saying that it was all our fault.
You will have understood from the Bishop of Arras' letters that we are inclined to make peace, because our finances have been so greatly reduced by this business of Parma that we should be sorely embarrassed were the war to be prolonged. You would do us good service were you able to guide affairs dexterously in that direction, so that some reasonable agreement might be arrived at. Could such an agreement be general, that would be the best solution of the present difficulties, public and private, that beset us; but if not, then you must keep an eye on what progress Tournon makes, and what instructions come from France, to see how we may best rid ourself of this burden of Parma. If it is possible, arrange that Octavio shall turn out of it or, if great importance is laid on his staying, and the French make a condition of it, try to get the Pope to obtain sufficient guarantees to prevent him from disturbing the peace of Italy, and so that we shall not be exposed to expenses on that account. Keep us well posted of all you hear; and though the real thing would be to have Octavio turned out even if we had to offer him some recompense in order to tempt him to come to terms, were we able to come to an allround peace, we should not grudge our contribution towards it, as long as his Holiness would make the request. He is the party who is less likely to suffer on account of this question of reputation, as his office and position may well support such a part, and it is his duty to make the first overtures. You will behave with all tact and dexterity in this negotiation, neither showing such a, desire for peace as to render the French still more insolent and dispose them to reject the idea, nor such harshness that the thread be broken off. Always leave a loophole through which the negotiation may be taken up again, and let us know frequently of how things are going, what conditions are offered, and your own opinion, so that we may write to you from time to time in the light of the other questions, telling you all you require to know about general politics. A reasonable road towards an agreement, by which the King of France and we might be enabled to treat, would be that all places occupied since war broke out should be restored; that the King of France should restore to the merchants all prizes made before war was declared and after shipping was seized; that the King of France should agree to indemnify the merchants; and, for the rest, that all former capitulations should remain in vigour. If we cannot make peace, the next best thing would be a suspension of arms for some lengthy period, for if we go on fighting, we consume our strength on both sides, religion goes from bad to worse, and the Turk is afforded an opening to injure Christendom. It is all the more important to come to some sort of agreement because it is to be feared that the Pope, either because of his necessity or because he is changeable by nature and continually being talked round by the Farnese or the French partisans who are with him, will make shift to abandon the game, especially as he is adopting the present attitude towards the Council. It would be a very good thing if the King of France, in case an agreement were arrived at, would consent to send his ambassadors and prelates to Trent; for, besides the fact that the Council's purpose would thereby be served, it would also tend to sever the relations subsisting between the French and the Protestants, because of which, and because the Pope may perhaps prove refractory out of his fear of reformation, it is thought there may be great difficulty in bringing this undertaking (i.e. the Council) to a happy conclusion.
Among other things, Camayano told us that his Holiness had been much amazed that, whereas he had hoped Eraso was to have seen to the money supply, he had written that, as he found it impossible to raise any, he considered peace to be the best way out of all present difficulties. We have inquired from Eraso to whom he could have written this; and he has replied that you were the only person who had received any such letter from him. We have desired to warn you, in order that you may find out by what means the letters were read; for we are unable to think you can have shown them to any agents or familiars of the Pope or to any person who could have reported their contents to him, as the one action would be a heavy blunder, and the other negligence.
Innsbruck, 27 February, 1552.
Copy. Spanish. The latter part in cipher.
Feb. 28. Brussels, L. A. 50. The Queen Dowager to Edward VI.
I have heard from Mr. Hoby, your councillor, certain declarations made on your behalf, in particular those concerning the continuation of friendly relations between my Lord the Emperor and you, together with your desire to foster them. I replied with a sincere statement of my intention to do all that in me lies to promote amity and good feeling, as I have always done up to the present. And I know that this course will be pleasing in his Imperial Majesty's eyes.
Brussels, 28 February, 1552.
French. Minute.


  • 1.
  • 2. Richard, Lord Rich.
  • 3. William, Marquis of Winchester.
  • 4. Edward's Journal for January 27th, 1552, runs: “Paris arrived with horses and shewed how the French King had sent me six cortalles, tou Turkes, a barbary, tou genettes, a sturring horse, and tow little movies, and shewd them to me.”
  • 5. Destourmel appears to be M. de Vandeville, Captain of Gravelines.
  • 6. i.e., Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia.
  • 7. Fiscal in the original: i.e. the law-officer representing the Crowsn.
  • 8. From this point to the end of this paragraph cipher is used.
  • 9. The rest of this letter is in cipher.