Spain: June 1552

Pages 530-542

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

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June 1552

1552. June 3. Simancas, E. 1319. Don Francisco Vargas (fn. 1) to Prince Philip.
When Don Juan de Mendoza departed, he spoke to me of two pictures which were to be sent to your Highness. Titian gave them to me as soon as I asked for them; and I handed them over to the Bishop of Segovia, who was here a few days ago and is taking them with due care to your Highness. Titian also told me that he was Working on two others, which he would give me when they were ready, and that he greatly desired to serve your Highness. I will take care to despatch them to you.
Venice, 3 June, 1552.
Postscript.—Titian has promised to finish the picture of the Trinity by September, and wants the measurements the one of Our Lord is to have, in order that he may begin it.
Signed. Spanish.
June 8. Simancas, E. 647. The Emperor to Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza.
In this letter we shall answer what you sent Ximenez to tell us, and certain points of your letters up to your last of May 30th, for our departure from Innsbruck, our journey and other occupations have prevented us from doing so sooner.
We have seen his Holiness declaration in writing on the points of the capitulation that needed to be elucidated, together with what you think regarding its observance, which shows how well you know his Holiness. Now that you have given him the ratification, and the siege of Parma has accordingly been raised, and his Holiness displays satisfaction, it remains that his actions should more nearly fit in with what he has promised us in writing than they appear to do at present. For, according to your letter of the 30th of last month, when you touched upon our Germans' passage through the Papal states, he said he would afford the King of France the same facilities for attacking us, as often as he should make the demand, as he would give us for defending our states. Indeed his answer comes to that, as the French have no other reason for demanding a passage through his lands. If you think it opportune, and a good opening presents itself, you would not do ill to say so to his Holiness, pointing out to him how dishonest such policy would be, and how deeply it would pain us, especially as Naples is a fief of the Church.
As for the protection of the state of Siena, about which you are anxious because of the possibility of a Turkish descent or some other invasion or unforeseen occurrence, the means you hit upon with Martin Alonso strike us as excellent. We are writing to Don Fernando (Gonzaga), telling him that, as soon as the 4,000 Germans whom Count Giambattista Lodrone is raising reach Italy, he is to send you 1,000 of them. We charge you to see to the defence of Siena and Piombino with them to the best of your ability and judgment so that both places may be rendered as secure as possible. You will negotiate with the republic (of Siena)about the payment of half the troops' salary while they remain there, using the dexterity you so well know how to employ. . . .
Villach, 8 June, 1552.
Copy. Spanish.
June 12. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Jehan Scheyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: The Duke of Northumberland and other of the King's principal ministers have been absent from Court for several days; but immediately after their return I did not fail to demand audience of the Council. When we met, I began by remarking that they had heard from M. de Courrières the Emperor's and your Majesty's intentions regarding the observance of the ancient and perfect friendship existing between his Imperial Majesty, and the King, their master, who had proclaimed his own mind to be entirely in accordance with theirs. The King had caused his ambassador Mr. Hoby (i.e. Sir Philip Hoby) who had recently visited your Majesty in the Low Countries, to propose that both sides should declare all questions that might injure the said friendship, that they might be dealt with. He had gone on to recite several acts of violence to which English merchants were said to have been subjected in Flanders against the Commercial Convention, and said he hoped that your Majesty, who had always taken care to remove all dangers that might menace the friendship, would do the same in the present case. After the ambassador had made a verbal declaration of the said acts, your Majesty had caused the matter to be investigated by the Council, who had found that the English subjects had had no cause to complain. And in order to prove this to them clearly, I went over all the grievances point by point, with the remarks your Majesty ordered me to make.
First, regarding the searching of vessels, I asserted that it was done in Flanders with all possible moderation and civility, without offending the merchant or master, or doing any damage to their goods. The English had complained that the searchers had thrust irons through bales containing all sorts of goods, thereby greatly injuring the merchandise; and your Majesty well remembered that Ambassador Chamberlain had made that complaint to her. You had caused an inquiry to be held, and it had been found that the said bales were full of hops, arquebuse-shot and other ammunition, as the searchers had been informed, so no merchandise had been injured, and the case was very different from what the English had said. On the other hand, the Emperor's subjects complained here that everyone exercised the right of search, and did so with much roughness, as I had already stated. I gave some examples, such as the following. A week ago, five or six ships belonging to the Emperor's subjects, which were freighted and ready to set sail, were stopped by the London searchers, who came out well-armed to the number of thirty or forty, and boarded the said vessels by night. They then proceeded to unload all the bales and packages, and searched them in the absence of the merchant and master. When the crew tried to interfere, several were arrested and thrown into prison, which was very unlike the manner in which search was conducted in Flanders; so our people had more reason to complain than the English. They replied that the searchers had been informed that the said vessels had taken on board several bales full of coin to transport them out of the kingdom, and this turned out to be true. They were arrested at night, because they were ready to sail. It had been said that their people came armed; still they had not done so at the first, but only when the crew would not submit to the arrest, and wished to set sail. The prisoners, they added, had already been released. I replied it was true that the searchers had found a few stooters, but that was no reason for conducting the search in such a manner, nor for keeping our people so long in prison. They told me they would see to the matter, and find out exactly what had happened.
I then went on to mention the arrests of their ships in Flanders, which Mr. Hoby had said were very frequent and uncalled-for. I told them that the Emperor's subjects also complained about this point, maintaining that some pretext was continually being invented in England for arresting their vessels, and it was sometimes done at the request of English merchants who wished to get a good start on the journey. In Flanders, on the other hand, arrests were never practised, unless for some very urgent reason, as for example when the English had tried to avoid paying the export duties, stuffed rich goods into bales supposed to contain common stuff, or shipped munitions of war, especially for France. Evên so, your Majesty had most liberally gratified their people, and restored to them their property that had been confiscated.
As for the exportation of food-stuffs, the English regulations were much more strictly observed than the Flemish, especially when it was considered that it was prohibited to export so many sorts of provisions and other merchandise out of this kingdom, at any rate without an authorisation, that the Emperor's subjects had nothing left to trade with. Beyond this, the English wished to force our people to spend the money proceeding from the sale of their goods on merchandise here, wherefore they were to be obliged to deposit certain sureties with the tax-collectors, and render accounts to them whenever such might be demanded. This was an innovation, contrary to the Commercial Convention, and a serious matter, as I had already declared.
The Emperor's soldiers had been accused of intercepting provisions sent from the Boulonnais to Guines. That might have been done on French territory, I said, and lawfully, but not on English. I remarked, by the way, that the people of Guines were in the habit of using the said provisions from the Boulonnais to revictual Ardres, and the men of Calais also did so, which was against the treaties and friendly relations existing between the two countries. Your Majesty was unable to believe that this was done with the Council's permission or knowledge, but rather took it to proceed from the avarice of dealers and townsfolk who made a profit out of it. I therefore requested them to see that it should not happen again.
As for the gunpowder, I reminded them of the reply the Emperor had given Mr. Wotton when he was with his Majesty, which still seemed to hold good, for his Majesty was now being attacked on several sides, as M. de Courrieres and I had explained the other day. However, we had not failed to inform your Majesty of the fresh request made on the King's behalf. You had not yet replied, I supposed, on account of your absence; but when M. de Courrières arrived in Flanders he would not spare his good offices. It seems to me, Madam, that they lay great stress on this matter of the powder, for reasons that may be imagined.
As for the English vessels seized by private subjects of the Emperor, I explained to them the gist of the papers delivered to these subjects, and that, moreover, your Majesty had issued express orders to the Admiral, M. Van Buren, that the English were on no account to be molested, but should be treated with the favour enjoyed by the Emperor's own subjects. This had been done, though certain English vessels had been taken into Flemish ports because they carried goods belonging to the French, as had come out by the admission of some English merchants. I added that several of the merchants had already been acquitted and received damages, although their case had been doubtful. As for those that were still unsettled, justice was being promptly administered, and the defendants should not be involved in long law-suits. Still, for friendship's sake, and to remove all lingering doubts and suspicions, if the Council cared to propose any means of avoiding the recurrence of complaints, your Majesty would be very glad to consider them, as long as they would seek to suppress the abuses and frauds daily committed by the English merchants who shipped in their vessels goods belonging to the French.
Mr. Hoby had made complaints of the captain of Nieuport, on account of three English ships that had not yet been released in spite of the rendering of sentences to that effect, and also because of the captain's offensive treatment of Mr. Hoby and his suite when they arrived at Nieuport. I told the Council that your Majesty had caused the matter to be investigated, in order to inform Ambassador Chamberlain of the results; but he had since been here, and your Majesty away, as I had already stated.
As for the sureties and certificates the English are obliged to deposit in Flanders, and return to prove that they have not carried any goods thence to France, I told them that the treaties and Commercial Convention did not allow goods to be transported to France, which country was at war with his Imperial Majesty, that being against the interests and intentions of the contracting parties, as it was to be supposed that neither of the princes would ever wish to take up arms against the other.
Even if the treaties had not been so clear, they had always been interpreted in that sense by the English when at war with France, and the late King had refused to allow goods to be transported to France, even by such of the Emperor's subjects as were supplied with safe-conducts, on the grounds that the close friendship between their Majesties could not permit such commerce.
Ambassador Hoby's last point was that Ambassador Morison, who resided at the Emperor's court, had been turned out of his lodgings, which had been given to the Bishop of Cartagena. I informed the Council that your Majesty had caused a letter to be written to the Emperor about this matter; but I recalled to their minds that I had already declared that the Bishops lodging, which was that of the Burgomaster of Innsbruck, had been given to the ambassador, who had previously refused another gentleman's lodging, though it was much better and cleaner than that in which he had formerly been, which was nothing but an artisan's house. Your Majesty will be able to gather all the details from the copies of the Bishop of Arras' letters to me on the subject, together with the account of my negotiation.
When these points were disposed of, I told the Council that your Majesty had also instructed me to request them to take some action in the matter of the grievances I had laid before them the other day on your behalf, and to give me an assurance that in future the Emperor's subjects should be treated as the Commercial Convention provided. At the very least, I said, they ought to issue orders to their officers that the Emperor's subjects should not be molested in defiance of the Convention and the Conferences of Bourbourg and Gravelines, as I had requested them to do the other day.
I informed them that your Majesty had caused the new grievances they had propounded to be examined, and it had been found that part of them came under the headings Mr. Hoby had laid before you, and the rest were old complaints, which had been sufficiently dealt with by the Conferences of Bourbourg and Gravelines, of which I repeated several of the dispositions. Your Majesty had already replied very fully to Ambassador Chamberlain about the alum, declaring that the ordinances had been issued in the public interest, in order to avoid all monopolies, frauds and abuses, which were daily being committed in the alum trade. You had also explained that grave difficulties would follow were the English to be exempt, as they had requested, and had given several other reasons, to which your Majesty now referred them.
It had been asserted that the Commercial Convention was not observed where the Irish were concerned, and that the English were obliged to pay higher export-dues than they had been accustomed to meet. Although these points had already been replied to, your Majesty was anxious to prove that you intended to have the Convention scrupulously observed, and not allow the English or Irish to be made to pay more than the usual dues. You had therefore caused questions to be put to the officials in Brabant, Flanders and Zeeland, in order to obtain trustworthy information and take such steps as should appear to be necessary.
When they had heard all the above, Madam, they said that as the grievances, replies and justifications I had uttered on your Majesty's part fell under several headings, they would like to have them in writing. I told them I had no instructions to give them any written statement, and that Mr. Hoby had made his complaints verbally. This gentleman soon afterwards spoke, and said that all the articles really reduced themselves to two, namely: that it was contrary to the Convention and treaties that English merchants should be obliged to deposit sureties and bring back certificates within four months, proving that the goods they had taken on board in Flanders had been sold and distributed in England and not in France. The second point concerned the seizure of their vessels, although it seemed to them reasonable that your Majesty should desire to discuss means for avoiding all frauds and abuses, and for drawing closer the bonds of friendship. They thanked your Majesty for this and all your good offices, and said they would not fail to correspond. It seems that Ambassador Chamberlain is to have instructions to treat of such means on his return to the Low Countries.
I told them that your Majesty had replied so fully to all the points in order that it might be made clear that the complaints made by English subjects were unfounded, and that the Council might see how desirous you were of preserving the friendship. You also were anxious that the Emperor's subjects should no longer be molested against the provisions of the Convention.
Finally, Madam, I again requested that the captains and seamen imprisoned at Bye and in London might be released, for the same reasons I had formerly advanced, especially as your Majesty had written to me again on the subject, and also to M. Van Buren. They replied they had good cause to believe the said men were pirates, and if they had been strict the prisoners would already have been executed; but they had treated them with particular regard as they were the Emperor's subjects.
I told them that, as the prisoners still stuck to it that they were innocent, it would have been proper to hear them in their defence and confront them with the Irishmen whose lives had been saved. They replied that it would be of no use to do so, for they would only deny the crime they had perpetrated. Still, the confrontation should take place, though they thought the best way out of the difficulty would be for them to implore the King's pardon, which the prisoners had refused to do in order not to confess and have their property and vessels confiscated, and to avoid the ill-fame the crime conferred. And this, Madam, was the end of our conference.
London, 12 June, 1552.
Copy. French.
June 18. Brussels, E.A. 61. The Queen Dowager to the Emperor.
My past and present letters will inform your Majesty of all occurrences, and also of the very limit to which your finances may be stretched. Expenses are so heavy that I do not see how they are to be met, even if peace comes soon. On the other hand, I see the King of France doing his utmost to subdue us; unless your Majesty helps us, France's power must in the end be too great for this country to resist and we can make no greater effort with the money now at our disposal. Again, it is most necessary that you should take the field, and I fear your enemies will do their worst to prevent you, especially as they have the advantage of an army, whilst your Majesty's is still to be collected.
(The writer here enters into details of a project for action on the Rhine.)
Binche, 18 June, 1552.
Duplicate. French.
June 19. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. Edward VI to the Emperor.
We have received your letters dated from Villach on the 30th of May, and have greatly rejoiced to hear of your good health. We also learned with great pleasure—though we never doubted of it—that you desired to continue the amicable relations that have always existed between the two houses, as your Councillor and Chamberlain M. de Courrieres exposed to us at greater length. We assure you, most high, excellent and mighty Prince, our dear and well-beloved cousin and ally, that we shall never be found at fault where the upkeep of our ancient amity and perpetual alliance is at stake; as you shall see whenever occasion arises.
Greenwich, 19 June, 1552.
Signed, and countersigned Mason. French.
June 19. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Advices sent by Jehan Scheyfve.
It is said that the Scots have sent to the King of France to excuse themselves for not going to war against the Emperor, advancing the same reasons as formerly.
However, if the King refuses to admit their excuses, a certain herald has instructions to proceed to declare war against his Imperial Majesty.
The King of England is soon going to make a progress through the country, and visit the coast westwards; it is said as far as Southampton or beyond. The French ambassador is going to follow his Majesty.
The Duke of Northumberland is going to retire to his duchy on June 16th (sic). Some say he is to make his solemn entry into it, and that he is going to change all the officers, to which the officers themselves will hardly consent. Others say he intends to throw up some forts at Berwick and other places in the neighbourhood, and it is also said that the English are about to seize this pretext for invading Scotland. It is true that secret preparations for war are being carried on here, and ammunition is being sent north by land and sea.
My Lord Grey has been set at liberty; and it is hoped the Earl of Arundel may soon be free, for he is not as closely guarded now as he was formerly. As for Mr. (i.e. Lord) Paget, he appeared before the Council on the 17th instant, and it seems that, before my lords and certain other judges of the realm, he was accused of having committed malversations in the exercise of his functions, particularly where the duchy of Lancaster, of which he was chancellor, was concerned. He is said to have confessed, and demanded the King's pardon. Finally, he was told to retire to his house, and not leave it until he should be summoned again, under penalty of a fine of 12,000 pounds. (fn. 2) He is consequently held to be out of danger as far as his person goes; but he may suffer in other respects. The chancellorship (of the duchy of Lancaster) and several other offices have been taken away from him.
They say here that the men of Biscay have taken fifteen or sixteen French war-ships, and have seized the islands of St. Martin opposite Bordeaux.
French. Cipher.
June 23. Brussels, E.A. 61. The Queen Dowager to the Emperor.
Considering the present state of this country, that in a case like ours one must neglect no possibility of obtaining assistance, and that our treaties with England oblige the King to declare war and render us help against whomsoever invades us, I decided to submit to the Council's deliberation the question whether we now had reason to demand the above declaration and assistance of the King. It is probable that the English Council will decide to get out of the difficulty by maintaining that the French did not begin hostilities by an invasion such as the treaty and the declaration of Utrecht specify. The first hostilities, they will say, took place at sea, and subsequently on land but not with the number of troops specified; and this last invasion of Luxembourg was a retaliatory move for the incursion our army made into Champagne when the King of France had gone to Germany. Nevertheless, hostilities were begun by the French, who thus obliged us to defend and revenge ourselves; and their invasions, counting those led by the King since his return from Germany, afford us sufficient cause to make the said demand, for the numbers of their troops exceeded greatly the number stipulated in the declaration of Utrecht, which mentions this point in very ample terms: ex quacumque causa, occasione vel pretextu, etc. Therefore our councillors are of opinion that our demand cannot lawfully be refused, and we have, by their advice, decided to write to this effect to the King of England, and also to your ambassador resident in his Court to warn him of the objections that will be raised, and how he is to meet them. A copy of these letters is inclosed. I therefore thought it prudent, my Lord, to ask you to write at once to the King of England, make my demand for help your own and acknowledge the responsibility for it. They may wish to see your letters on the subject; but it seemed to me right that I should make the demand, for if I were not able to do so for this country in your absence the treaty would be useless, and I am sure that if they had been invaded and were demanding help of us, they would send to me and not to your Majesty, whom I shall keep informed of the ambassador's negotiations.
Binche, 23 June, 1552.
Duplicate. French.
1552. June 23. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Queen Dowager to Edward VI.
Although the outrages and invasions perpetrated by the King of France against my Lord the Emperor and his Low Countries, without cause or provocation, afforded his Majesty ample opportunity to complain to his allies and demand of them aid to revenge himself, and especially of you according to the treaties between you and him, I have hitherto refrained from troubling you on this score by his Majesty's orders. Now, however, the violence of the French has redoubled, and we are hard pressed for the defence of this country. I believe you to be informed of how the French first attacked his Majesty's subjects at sea, robbing merchantmen in defiance of all law and justice, without having declared war. Since then they have endeavoured by stealth to surprise the towns of Aire, Arras and others, and finally have crossed the frontiers of Luxembourg with a royal army and appeared before the town of Thionville with a large body of horse, intending to besiege it. They hoped to be able to take it, and seized and burnt several other places in the duchy. And nonetheless for that, the King of France on his return from his German expedition once more invaded Luxembourg with his whole army, whose numbers were far in excess of those stipulated in the treaty, took the town of Damvillers and burnt a large number of towns, castles and villages, using unwonted cruelty. In consideration of the above, I can no longer refrain from recalling to you the treaty of closer alliance, and the declaration touching it made in the city of Utrecht on behalf of his Majesty, and your late father of good memory, whom may God absolve! Among other provisions of the treaty is one by which either of the two contracting princes, or their heirs, if invaded in certain specified countries, one of which is Luxembourg, for whatever cause or reason, may claim of the other that within one month of the making of the demand, he shall declare the invader his enemy and forbid his subjects to carry on commercial relations with the invader's subjects, or frequent the invader's dominions. And also that, within forty days, the party called upon shall furnish the aid specified in the treaty for the period of four months, either in men or money, as the attacked party shall choose. I trust in God that I shall be able so to defend myself that the enemy shall fail of his evil intention, but the friendship that has always existed between this country and your predecessors moves me now to request you immediately to fulfill the obligations laid upon you by the treaty, as I make no doubt you will do, declaring the King of France, his subjects and allies, your enemies within one month from now, because, as all men know, his Imperial Majesty and the King of France are at open war, and forbidding French subjects to remain on English soil, and yours to haunt France, or entertain any relations with the French. I also request you to supply me with the sum (fn. 3) specified in the treaty for the space of four months, as the option is by the treaty reserved to his Majesty. And I assure you that the French invasions have been undertaken with larger forces than those defined by the treaty, as you will easily imagine when you know that the King in person, with his army, entered the above-mentioned country. For the rest, I beg you to play the part of ally as you would wish us to play it in your favour were occasion to arise; and I offer, on his Majesty's behalf, punctually to fulfill every duty laid upon us by the treaty. May it please you to intimate your intentions regarding this point to the Emperor's ambassador resident with you, who has also been instructed to make more ample declarations to you.
Binche, 23 June, 1552.
Duplicate. French.
June 23. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E.21. The Queen Dowager to Jehan Scheyfve.
In view of the King of France's invasion of this country, we have by our Council's mature advice decided to write to the King of England and demand, in accordance with the treaty of closer alliance and the subsequent declaration, that he shall declare war on France and give us the assistance to which he is bound by the treaty, as you will see by the letters we are sending you, together with those addressed to the King. As our demand is very just, you will endeavour by all gracious and honourable means to induce the King and Council to admit it, as they may be sure we would do in a similar case. If they raise any difficulty because the Emperor has not made the demand, you may gently reply that we believe that, were their country to be invaded, they would apply to us, and not to his Majesty, who might perhaps be too far away; besides which the assistance is required for this country, of which his Majesty has been pleased to appoint us Regent. As for the invasion, we have not seen fit to state that at first it was not carried out by the number of French troops specified by the treaty, for it is well-known that the French attacked us first, both by sea and by land; and the fact that we defended and revenged ourselves cannot alter the nature of their first invasion, nor mitigate the entry the King of France, with all his forces, made into Luxembourg on his return from Germany, as our letters to the King point out at greater length. You will make this quite clear if they mention it, showing that the invasion was more than enough to warrant our demand, that the aid is therefore due, and that they are bound to declare war on France. On discussing this matter in Council we feared the English might try to gain time by raising difficulties, so we have had a writing, of which a copy is being sent to you, drawn up to tell you how to reply to all objections they may make. You will take pains to conduct this affair with all possible dexterity, moderation and affability, recalling to their minds the alliances the Kings of England have always had with the sovereigns of the Low Countries. Enlarge on the protection this amity has afforded both parties against the covetousness and fury of the French, who have always tried to subjugate both countries. Say we make no doubt that by helping us the King of England will greatly increase his reputation and strengthen his realm against the designs of the French, who hope they would easily lord it over England once they were masters of this country. When you have made the above declarations to the King, as you will do as soon as possible, you will say the same to the Duke of Northumberland, and then to the Council. You will advise us at once of what reply you may receive, and how they take your words. Also try to find out whether they say anything about it to the French ambassador there resident.
Copy or duplicate. French. Cipher.
June 23. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Queen Dowager to Jehan Scheyfve.
In the first place, in order to negotiate this matter firmly, you will do well to examine with great care and attention Articles 6 and 7 of the treaty of the year 1542, and the declaration subsequently made at Utrecht on several articles, notably the 6th and 7th, which treat of the aid and declaration of war to be made within a month against the invading prince and his subjects. When you have quite mastered it, you will make the statements contained in our letters as to the King of France's invasion of Luxembourg with a much larger force of horse and foot than that specified in the treaty. You will lay stress on two points: the first that the King of England ought within a month to declare war on the King of France and forbid French subjects to tarry in England, and English in France; and secondly, that he ought to furnish the aid mentioned in the treaty.
If the English Council say they wish, before granting the aid or declaring war, to make sure that the King of France was the aggressor, and that no reason for attacking was given him by us, asserting that if it were to appear that we had attacked first, they would not be bound to furnish the aid, for the treaty, being intended to provide help to resist the enemy's attack and not to strengthen any attack on the enemy, must thus be interpreted, in that case you shall reply as follows:
Their objection is quite unfounded, because the treaty only states that aid is to be given to the invaded prince, without any mention of whether he was the aggressor in the first instance or not, and as the treaty speaks in general terms it must so be interpreted. Were it to appear that the Emperor attacked first, which as a matter of fact is quite untrue, the aid would still be due according to the declaration of Utrecht on Articles 6 and 7 of the treaty of the year '42, which recites that it does not matter how or why the invasion was carried out. These words are so clear as to preclude any misunderstanding, and you will always take your stand on them, saying that the declaration was made at Utrecht precisely in order to dispose of all doubt on this point, and at the request of the English. They were then at war with France, and several times asked his Majesty whether he would grant the aid if they were to be invaded in their country, to which his Majesty repeatedly replied that he would make no difficulty about it. The fact that while the war lasted and his Majesty was in this country, he again and again told the French ambassador resident in this Court that he would be obliged by his treaties to help the King of England if attacked in his possessions specified in the treaty, and intended to meet his obligations, greatly contributed, as we have since heard, to dissuade the French from attacking England.
At the same time you may point out that in fact the King of France did attack first, as his fleet composed of a large number of sail fell upon his Majesty's subjects, and the treaty mentions attack by sea as well as by land. Since then M. de Vendôme, with a large number of horse and some foot, appeared before Arras with the intention of seizing it. Moreover the King of France, when at Metz on his way to Germany, sent the Rhinegrave with over 2,000 horse to raid and harry the country round about Thionville.
You will mention the other invasion carried out by the King on his return from Germany, in Luxembourg where he still is with all his army. Stick to it that he was the aggressor, and that if we sent our army into France while he was in Germany it was in retaliation for what he had just done to us, as our army is now in France to create a diversion and put a stop to his invasion of our territory. Even if we had given him cause, which we have not, the aid would still be due according to the treaty, which ought to be interpreted plainly, sincerely and in good faith, as it reads.
The Council may perhaps raise the objection that the King of England is not being called upon in due form, because the treaty recites that the invaded prince shall announce the invasion by his own letters, and state that he is formally at war with the invader; and as they have had no letter from the Emperor, but only from us, they may intend to disregard the demand as not made as the treaty provides. You will tell them that our demand ought to be equivalent to his Majesty's, whom we represent in this country as Regent, especially as this country is invaded and therefore principally concerned, and our power from his Majesty authorises us to do much more than make the said demand, and indeed to take any measure we may consider suitable. Tell them that if they mean to persist in that attitude, they shall soon receive letters from his Majesty accepting responsibility for ours and making the same demand.
If they wish to create delays, they may assert that we refused them aid for Boulogne, and when they were invaded in England by the Scots. As for Boulogue, we were under no obligation because it was a recent conquest not included in the treaty; and it will be found that the French did not invade from Scotland in sufficient number. Whenever the King of England has caused any questions to be asked here, we have always replied that the aid would be granted if an invasion such as the treaty specified were to be made.
If they assert that we do not observe the treaty towards them, invoking the grievances they recently presented to you in writing and their requests to be allowed to export powder, and deducing that they are therefore not obliged to keep their part, you may say that the grievances have been answered point by point by you, and that even if some difficulty remained pending, it would not constitute a reason for refusing the aid when the invasion is notorious and carried out with the requisite forces.
Be careful to master all the above points in order to have your answers ready in case of need, though do not utter them otherwise. We feel confident that you will do your duty.
Binche, 23 June, 1552.
Duplicate. Cipher. French.
June 28. Simancas, E. 648. The Emperor to Fernando Gonzaga.
We have considered the news you have received from Piedmont. On the other hand some say that M. de Guise is going to Italy with 25 companies of infantry and 400 men-at-arms, and that he will take advantage of the suspension of arms to revictual Parma and La Mirandola, and then try to conclude a league with the Pope, the Venetians and the Duke of Ferrara against us and the serene Prince, our son. This talk, with other news of French publication, deserves the credit you may imagine, especially as we hear the King of France will be forced to retire within a few days to raise more money, as he has spent all he has, and that he is already taking a third part of the relics, which are his last resource. It is said he will leave a fairly strong camp near the frontier of Luxemburg, in order to keep our forces off while the fortifications of Metz are being finished. Still, we desire you to be watchful, and let us know all you hear, and your own opinion; and you will do well to avoid exciting animosity in those parts as much as possible. We will do our best to hasten Count Lodrone's regiment, so that it may reach Italy as soon as possible. -
We are sure you will be careful to put the right men in command of the frontiers near Parma, and in those garrisons that are to be kept up; but as the matter is so important, we wish to request you to see to it that, besides being brave and experienced in war, they may be of moderate temper, and prudent. If they are lacking in those qualities, they might give rise to more squabbles and start a further conflagration in those parts; for we hear that the French might make use of such a pretext to work great evil. Besides, in that case your ordinary difficulties in finding pay for the forces would be increased in the event of a fresh outburst of war. In brief, we have many reasons for desiring to avoid unrest. -
Villach, 28 June, 1552.
Copy. Spanish.


  • 1. Imperial ambassador at Venice.
  • 2. Paget appeared before the Star-Chamber on June 16th, and was fined 6,000l., though he was afterwards allowed to compound for the fine, most of which was never paid. Sir John Gates succeeded him as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
  • 3. This sum was of 700 crowns a day for four months, i.e. some 84,000 crowns. The equivalent in men was a contingent of 5,000, to serve for the same period. (Edward's Journal.)