Spain: April 1550, 16-30

Pages 65-80

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

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April 1550, 16–30

April 22. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Sire: I informed your Majesty in my last letters of the 12th of this month that the lords of the Council had deferred their answer to the points I laid before them. I pressed for it several times; and finally the appointment was fixed for yesterday. I went to court at Greenwich where I found them assembled to a good number; and they told me, Paget acting as their mouthpiece, that they had asked Secretary Petre for the original letters from the Count of Tendes to the Constable; that he said he had seen them when the copy was made that was sent to your Majesty, but had returned them at once to the Protector, who had also been asked about them; and they had been searched for everywhere among his papers, but the letters, together with other documents of the highest importance to themselves were not to be found, the Protector having given them to one or other of his servants, who had not looked after them; and if it had been possible to find them, they would have given them to your Majesty right willingly.
As to the alum, sugar and cloth that I asked should be returned against a sufficient guarantee, they replied that although by virtue of one of their ancient laws the said goods had been lawfully seized, being found on board the enemy's ships; and although by all appearances they might he held to belong to the enemy, yet, to please your Majesty and gratify me, they had determined that certain merchants should be named to value the goods that were still in being, so that from this valuation an estimate of the total value of the goods might be arrived at; and then our merchants would be permitted to pay the guarantee down, and take possession of the goods, or receive an equivalent sum from them (the English) in exchange for the said goods, provided that within a reasonable lapse of time the said merchants could produce a clear proof of their claim. I replied that I could not do otherwise than thank them if they did anything to oblige me; but that your Majesty's request was right and reasonable, and did no more than ask that the treaties and (usage of) intercourse might be observed. They were following the good path, by providing in like manner concerning the seizures that had been committed and might be committed in future, and were furthering their own and others' interests together and upholding their sovereign's honour, for the alternative course of seizing goods and detaining them on false and feigned allegations of their belonging to the enemy, could only end in the dissatisfaction of their neighbours and great quarrels and anger among their own subjects, considering that they also sailed the seas with their own goods; and I accepted their answer, as it was according to our request. Paget replied to what I had said that it was usual to deal as they had done; and he added: “The Emperor has not done for us what you asked us to do; for I can well remember that the Emperor detained English goods as fair prize because they were found in ships belonging to his enemies, although the King applied for their restitution, and I can bring forth good witnesses to this.” I replied that if matters had passed as he affirmed, I supposed the application had never reached your Majesty's Council.
After this they observed that Sebastian Cabot had been sent to me with a clerk of the Council as I had asked, and they did not doubt that I was satisfied on that point. I replied that Cabot had in effect come to see me in company of a gentleman who understood Spanish, but that this had not been done at my request, but in order that they might know the truth concerning Cabot's answer to your Majesty, wherein it was specifically stated, according to them, that he could declare what he had to say concerning your Majesty's service as well in writing as by word of mouth; and that I doubted not but the said clerk (who accompanied him) had given an account of what he had heard, from which it appeared that Cabot had admitted that he could not explain so fully by letter as he could verbally, and I asked for their final answer on this point, that had so often been discussed. They answered me: “The man is old and does not wish to take up work again, but live in peace and quiet, saying he has come here as to a refuge. As he is a subject of this realm, and a servant of the King, and considering his inclination and years, we cannot do otherwise than favour his request that he may not be put to fresh trouble and labour against his will.” Paget affirmed that Cabot had begged that on no account they would send him to your Majesty, and he asked me if he had told me that he wished to go. I replied, no; but that he had affirmed that he would never confide to anyone else the secret that interested your Majesty, and that while he remained in England your Majesty could not be wholly informed of it either; whence I inferred that it was more than ever necessary that he should have speech with your Majesty. Nearly an hour was spent over the statement and discussion of this matter, while they persisted in their excuses, until I finally requested them to give me a definite answer on this point, as I was tired of going over the ground again and again in my letters to your Majesty and filling them with Cabot's case, whereupon they said they would be pleased that Cabot should go to your Majesty, adding these words: “He has begged of us so earnestly to be allowed to remain here, because he is so afraid of his Majesty; but if he wishes to go he may do so, and we are pleased to give him leave, and will speak to him to find out his will.” I sent word to Cabot to let him know what occurred so that he might understand that his going or staying was in his own hands. I shall know his choice in a few days' time. I am inclined to entertain a suspicion that Cabot has tried to make his own profit out of both sides; and I had him told, that he was to blame for having provided opportunities to the Council to withhold their consent. He will apply for an assurance and safe-conduct from your Majesty to return here, the better to disguise his intention from them, according to him, and lull their suspicions; but this seems to me to tend merely to his own glorification and to be otherwise unnecessary.
Concerning the Lady Mary, he, Paget, said that it was true he had proposed the marriage of the said lady with the Infante Don Luis of Portugal when on his mission to your Majesty, and that he was empowered and charged to conclude the marriage. But when the dowry and dower of the said Infante came to be discussed, your Majesty, who had no knowledge on the subject, undertook to make inquiries and forward the information here. “And matters remained there,” said he, “and we have heard nothing since. But when it pleases the Emperor to enlighten us, we will gladly accept the information with a view to effecting the marriage.” I replied that matters had in effect been left as he described; but that your Majesty, in view of the changes that had taken place here, desired to know if they were still of the same mind before putting yourself forward again. Your Majesty had caused the matter to be broached to the Lord Warden, and even if he had failed to report it, they would no doubt remember that I had brought it forward myself on one occasion when they had answered me that the marriage was not equal and suitable to the (position of) the Lady Mary, thus definitely rejecting it. For that reason I told them, the last time I appeared before them, that your Majesty had written to me, that as they did not approve of the marriage there was nothing more to say, your Majesty having so far concerned yourself in it in compliance with the request of the Protector. As they appeared to wish your Majesty to take up the affair again as it was begun, I undertook to inform your Majesty.
As to the letters patent to enable the Lady Mary to live untrammelled in the observance of the ancient religion, they told me that the King and Council, with the members representing his kingdom, had in general parliament drawn up the order and form of divine worship to be observed everywhere within the King's realm and jurisdiction, without exception of persons. Therefore the Lady Mary, who was a vassal and subject to the laws and ordinances of the kingdom, must conform with them and conduct herself accordingly. It would in no wise serve the King's purpose to grant letters patent or any document whatsoever framed against the said laws, whereby the tranquillity of the kingdom might be disturbed; for what was allowed to one would be taken for granted by another, and nothing except disobedience and trouble would come of it. Nevertheless the King, who dearly loved his sister, and the lords of the Council, who desired to favour and serve her in all things as the daughter of the late King and the sister of their present sovereign, and especially because of her close relationship to your Majesty, had consented that she might continue to live in her house in the manner she had always followed, provided no scandal ensued. But the said lady had neglected the injunction, and all and sundry went to hear mass (in her house). In this manner the intentions of the King and his Council were contravened, as the hearing of mass had been granted to her alone, with two or three of her women, in her own chamber. I replied that I could witness to the contrary, for I had myself been promised by the King, the Protector and the Council that she might continue to practise the ancient religion, observance of the sacraments and divine service with her whole establishment and household. Here the Marquis of Northampton broke out: “I have never heard anything said except that she alone might be privileged to do so, with but two or three of her women.” I retorted that I spoke truly, but I would believe that he knew nothing of the matter; and he might well consider that it would be hard to compel many of her servants to differ from their mistress, and have two religious observances so different from one another under the same roof. They replied: “Well, in order to succour the imbécillité) of the Lady Mary, the King will permit her to keep the mass for herself, in the hope that God will grant her grace that she may be enlightened and conform with us.” I observed that I had repeatedly given them to understand that your Majesty would be greatly displeased if she turned from the religion of her forefathers, in which her relations yet endured; and that even if she were inclined to alter, your Majesty would do your utmost to dissuade her. They well knew, moreover, that the Lady Mary would never burden her conscience by forsaking the ancient religion, and it seemed to me that they should translate into action the favour which they professed to bear to the said lady, by granting the letters-patent demanded by your Majesty. But they made answer: “No such letters-patent will ever be granted; and the permission to hear mass is only intended to help her in her simplicity (imbécillité) until such a time as God may give her grace to be better inspired. But let her avoid giving scandal, and you will do well so to counsel her.” I perceived, Sire, that the two conditions imposed, that she should avoid giving scandal, and that the permission should be limited, were intended to provide fresh opportunities for molesting her; and so I said to them that I could see they had no intention of keeping to what they had once promised, and that they wished the Lady Mary to act against her conscience. The Marquis of Northampton broke in here, saying: “You talk a great deal about the Lady's Mary's conscience; you should consider that the King's conscience would receive a stain if he allowed her to live in error.” He said a good deal more, contemning our religion and approving his own; until at length I professed myself unwilling to discuss religion with him, because we were and must remain of a contrary opinion, were we to argue for ten whole years; those things which he referred to as errors I held to be good and holy, and had perceived no good results from changing them. As to the King's conscience, I could not understand in what way it could receive a stain by granting permission to the Lady Mary to live peacefully in the religion which their father had instituted and left behind him; on the contrary, it were more likely he should stain it by compelling her to do something which she believed to be a sin against Heaven. As I had contradicted his argument, he retorted very sharply, so much so that the others interrupted him in his speech; but I well understood that their intention was to wipe out the ancient religion, as they were engaged in doing, overturning the altars and abolishing the use of the chalice and ornaments used by the Church, and even deleting the very memory of it. I ended by professing a hope that they would adhere to their promise, and out of regard for your Majesty would allow the Lady Mary to live in peace as she had done up to the present; in order to do away with all doubt, they might well, I said, have granted the letters-patent asked for by your Majesty; but as they had refused them absolutely, I should have to speak to the King. Thereupon they replied very resolutely that they would never grant them, that such a thing would not suit the King or his kingdom, and that I should content myself with what I had obtained.
As for speaking to the King, Sire, it is quite certain that he will only say what he is told to say. There is no one about him or among the gentlemen of the bed-chamber except those well-known as partisans and instigators of the new doctrines. The King takes increasing pleasure in disputing on and upholding the said doctrines, and there is no hope therefore that I may obtain anything from him. He would more likely pride himself on overthrowing my arguments. (fn. 1)
Finally, coming to the inclusion (of the Scots in the peace), they told me that they had had no negotiations with Scotland, that the inclusion was made by the French, and there was no reason why they should be questioned further concerning the said inclusion. I requested them to lay sophistry aside, for by the articles exhibited to your Majesty by their ambassador, it was clear that they had ceased to make war on Scotland in virtue of their treaty with France, and whilom enemies were to be friends, hostilities were to cease, places and strongholds to be given back, and commercial intercourse resumed. Here they interrupted me saying: “We are telling you that we have not negotiated with Scotland, nor admitted commercial intercourse; but out of sheer benevolence we have made clear to them that we shall not invade them unless they give us fresh provocation.” Some argument followed here, occasioned by their use of the term 'benevolence' which convicted them of amity. Paget then said: “Know that we have done nothing except what we had a right to do; and we have respected our friendship with the Emperor, preferring it to all things.” I replied that your Majesty had always observed it, and I did not doubt that they would do so too; but I was astonished to see that they had made terms with the Scots without your Majesty's knowledge and consent, which according to the treaty of closer amity was essential before they could negotiate. Your Majesty, on your side, had refused to negotiate on the inclusion of Scotland, although most strongly urged to do so by the French, at the time the treaty of Crépy was signed, because the King of England made an objection. For the same reason your Majesty had always repulsed the advances of the Scots, “as you, Sir,” said I, turning to Paget, “may remember, because you were across the seas when David Paniter, then First Secretary of Scotland, went to the Emperor, to find some means of coming to terms. But the Emperor would not listen to him, nor even permit him to present himself at court or communicate the matter to any of his ministers, without obtaining your consent. Moreover you all know that his Majesty made war on Scotland for your sake, and at your request, and now you are getting out of it and leaving the Emperor to bear the consequences. But as you assure me that you have done nothing you might not do, I wish to hear something for your justification and to the Emperor's satisfaction; for according to the words of the treaty, you were not empowered to come to terms with Scotland without the Emperor's consent.” Paget then said to me “We have negotiated nothing that can be said to infringe our treaties with the Emperor, because the Scots remain our enemies.” I retorted “How can you qualify the word enmity to mean that war has ceased and the places seized are given up again?” He replied: “Give me an answer to this question. Do our treaties enable us to compel the Emperor to invade Scotland? The Scots are his enemies as much as ours. But are we beholden to invade them any more than he is?” But I declared myself not satisfied with his reasoning, and persisted in pressing them to let me hear their justification, until at last Paget said: “My Lord Ambassador, we will speak out plainly; but we are greatly astonished that what we have done should be considered so strange, and that you should dispute about it so much, since we had explained our position to the Emperor and he knew as well as we did that peace was more than necessary to us. Had we negotiated something, which we have not, in the circumstances we should expect him to make no objections; but as it was said before, nothing has been treated. Put your trust in deeds, instead of quibbling about words. We will accept the blame if it can be proved that we have erred against the treaties in the slightest degree; but we have kept our treaties with the Emperor, and we shall always keep them. Be assured that we have incurred no reproaches from his Majesty, as you shall see for yourself; and we therefore beseech you to be satisfied and not to press us further. At the time of our first (earlier) treaty with France, although the inclusion of Scotland was mentioned, nothing was asked of us (by the Emperor). I cannot tell why the matter troubles you so much now, and why you say we are yielding up places. We are merely giving back the places we can no longer hold, and which would be wrested from us in any case.” I replied that I was persuaded that they desired to observe the treaties; but to strengthen my conviction, I wished to hear a more detailed exposition of their ground for asserting it; because the wording of the articles shown by their ambassador to your Majesty allowed a surmise that they had come to some understanding with Scotland, and one might entertain a well-founded suspicion that the understanding was of a binding nature. Here another discussion ensued, and finally they said to me: “We wish to set the subject aside now; trust our actions.” I replied that I would say no more, since it was their pleasure that I should be silent; and so, laughing and saying that they gave me no orders they rose, and showed me much courtesy.
It is quite possible, Sire, that they intend to render the inclusion null in the same way as they did before in the first peace, namely, by reserving whole and unbroken their treaties with your Majesty. In any, case, everything will be exposed before long, after the forty days have expired.
The Lady Mary has written to me lately asking me very urgently to go and speak to her; so I shall go to-morrow, Sire, and I will not fail to remonstrate with her (warn her), about everything that your Majesty has ordered me to mention. Directly I come back I will send my secretary off to your Majesty to put the whole matter before you.
The news have arrived here that the English merchants in Spain have received orders to keep their ledgers and account-books in Spanish. This will present great difficulties to them, who are accustomed to keep their books in their own language, particularly as some of them know no other tongue. They will probably issue the same orders here to the subjects of your Majesty, and principally to the Spaniards, who will receive greater inconvenience than was given to the English, as they are much more numerous. Also, the master of the vessel that seized the alum that caused some discussion and was eventually returned to us under a guarantee, and some of the sailors, have been detained in Spain. The vessel, though ordered to remain where she was, made off and arrived here lately. The merchants who freighted her went to-day to make their complaints to the Council; and by what I hear, they were answered that the Council would communicate the matter to me. Therefore, if it pleased your Majesty to give orders that the said prisoners should be set free, it would be to our advantage, as we obtained what we asked for here, and the vessel that might have made good the damages on the alum, if they had persisted in refusing our application here, has made good its escape. The prisoners cannot be considered as compensation for the disadvantage of having the arrangement arrived at here upset again.
The Protector is reinstated in the Council and made Lord Marshal of England. He goes very little to court as yet, but everybody without exception pays him great respect, and there is no doubt that he will win back his foremost place.
Secretary Mason, who was made a member of the Council yesterday, is to leave to-morrow on his embassy to France. Doctor Petre will go with him. Lord Cobham, Deputy-Governor of Calais, is to go at the same time. A similar embassy from France is expected here shortly.
My Lord the Vidame, the son of the Admiral of France, and M. de la Tremoille arrived here in London lately, and are to go to-morrow to court to see the King, who will return to Westminster this week.
London, 22 April, 1550.
Duplicate in cipher. French.
April 22. Besançon, Collection Granvelle. 71. The Queen Dowager to Simon Renard.
We have received several letters from you, and will answer them in detail. We will begin by the written replies to your remonstrances which were given to you, and will deal first with the answer made by the Captain of Ardres (fn. 2) concerning the outrage perpetrated by the garrison of the mill of Polincove. In our opinion it is founded on scanty evidence and bears testimony that his fault is inexcusable. He confesses openly that he committed the outrage on the Emperor's territory and tries to excuse it because the wine seized from him by the English was not returned to him immediately; but that is not a sufficient reason. The matter should have been taken to the courts with a final right of appeal to the prince, according to the procedure set down in the treaties. Marillac could not deny this when the matter was explained to him, and avowed that the said captain was in the wrong. (A reference to an accusation of homicide against the French for killing an archer of the Count de Reuil; debates questions of the restitution of goods seized from the Flemish, declaring that French goods seized as a counter-move have been set free, etc.)
You will do well to neglect no means of recovering a copy of the last treaty made between the French and the English, if it is possible to get it; in any event, we are sending you a certain writing that has come into our hands here, where the substance of the articles of the said peace is set forth.
(A reference to an agreement between the Queen Dowager and Marillac concerning forbidden merchandise.)
We have received the crown piece you sent us and have ordered our mint-masters to assay it. It will be necessary that you shall find out if a large number of similar ones are to be struck, and that you send us information on the subject from time to time. (fn. 3)
Signed original. French. The paragraph referring to the coinage is in cipher.
Brussels, 22 April, 1550.
April 23. Brussels. E.A. 490. The Emperor to Don Diego de Mendoza.
Your letters of the 10th, 17th and 18th of last month, and of the first of this, have been received, and we will now reply to the points raised in them.
The Comendador Mayor of Alcantara acted wisely in visiting his Holiness with all suitable reverence, avoiding any mention of the matter of obedience or any other detail, for your own letters, and his Holiness' remarks, show that such a course would have been unnecessary. We were glad to hear that his Holiness was pleased, and that you replied as you did to the Cardinal of Burgos and others on the matter of obedience, letting it be understood that we would offer our obedience with all solemnity, on our own behalf and our son's. What you write to us is as our knowledge of your prudence leads us to expect, so we need say nothing more about it for the present, in spite of what you say of his Holiness' manifest desire, until he raises it again or causes someone to do so, or until God wills that we meet his Holiness in person. If anything more is said about it, you will be sure to inform us and express your own opinion.
We note your remarks about the promises his Holiness daily utters touching the Council and other matters that interest us, and also your reasons for believing that he will continue in the same attitude, in which you consider it would be wise to encourage him. We suppose, and hope soon to hear for certain, that you have already spoken to his Holiness about the Council and its return to Trent, and that you have made some progress. In conformity with your opinion, we have decided to cause certain details to be discussed, gradually at first; and we desire you to take up the matter of the Crusade Bull at the point where it was dropped in Pope Paul Ill's time, and request his Holiness to grant it for the pressing reasons of which you are well aware. You will also represent to him that we had to bear very heavy expenses during the late war we undertook in Germany for the service of God, the remedy of religion, and the authority of the Holy See. In order to maintain the advantages won, we have been obliged to keep troops in Germany and meet the same expenses as during the war, and Pope Paul, of good memory, had been pleased to consent us the raising of as much as 300,000 ducats on the sale of church and abbey lands in Spain, to be carried out in the way of which you know. This sum we were to have used in Germany, but afterwards his Holiness (Paul III) desired to permute it for another to be raised on the silver belonging to churches and monasteries; but that operation was never put into effect, which has caused us heavy losses in capital and interest, as we had already raised the sum on exchange. You will therefore press his Holiness to grant us the half-fruits from the Spanish kingdoms in the accustomed form, for as we have already said, the undertaking in Germany is greatly to the advantage of the Apostolic See. We feel confident he will not refuse, as our reasons for making this request are so good and his Holiness shows such zeal in the service of God and such good-will towards our cause, which he recognises to be the same as his own. This one matter is so important as to induce us to send you this courier, for we look to it to relieve us of part of our burthens. We command you to use your accustomed diligence in carrying it to a satisfactory conclusion, signifying to his Holiness that by compliance he will not only fulfill his duty and follow in his predecessors' footsteps, but will also do us a great favour.
Were there any question of dividing the Council in such a way that its business, and the reformation, should be carried on in different places, such a course would be regrettable, and diminish the Council's authority. But as you believe his Holiness has not yet made up his mind from the way he spoke to you about the Cardinal of Jaén, we will wait and see what decision he arrives at before determining how we had better answer him.
As for the signatura (fn. 4) his Holiness has presented to the Cardinal of Jaén, the Cardinal is a man who will serve God and do us no harm, and there is no reason why he should not acquit himself well. We are glad it has fallen to his share, and that he is doing his duty. You will thank him on our behalf for the care he took to inform us in detail of what his Holiness propounded in consistory, and everything else that happened there.
We have already answered the first of the three important points his Holiness raised in conversation with you and the Cardinal of Jaen, namely that of the Council; so there is no more to be said about it until we hear his reply. The second, in favour of the Farnese, requires no comment except that the men they sent to us are here, but have uttered nothing but generalities so far. As soon as they say what they want we will see what can be done, and let you know. You did well for the reasons you give to inform us of what you heard about this matter from his Holiness; and keep us posted whatever befalls.
The third point was that the Pope did not wish to create any new cardinals except II Prevostino, (fn. 5) and certain remarks he uttered about his pension. As there are so many cardinals already, his Holiness had better create none at all; and as for the pension, his Holiness did not instruct you to say anything to us about it, nor has he caused the matter to be broached by his representative here, so as there are so many obligations to be met and II Prevostino is young enough to be able to wait, you had better ignore the matter at present and rid us of the necessity of taking any steps in it.
You were wise to inform us of what his Holiness said to you about his brother and nephews, for thus we shall be prepared for whatever proposal he chooses to make in their favour.
As for the anxiety he displayed to convince you of the straightforwardness of his election, and your estimate of his wishes, we have gone into that already, and have taken care to remove any suspicions he might have conceived from the Comendador Mayor's visit, or from what was said here to Don Pedro de Toledo and Cardinal Farnese's and Duke Octavio's envoys.
You were right to mention the reasons why the French have shown dissatisfaction with his Holiness, and the manner in which he is said to intend to placate them. You will keep an eye on further developments of these three questions, of which we know no more here than what you have written. We would also like to hear what happened with regard to the office of Gonfalonier, and Paolo Vitello's mission to Parma in the conditions of which you speak, for you make no mention of these matters in your letter of the 1st.
In connexion with what his Holiness said to you about placing the Theatine Cardinal (Pietro Caraffa) in possession of (the archbishopric of) Naples, and the exportation of com from Sicily for this year, we will tell you what happened last week with the Nuncio Fano. After having assured us that his Holiness was much pleased with the Comendador Mayor's visit, he went on to say that his Holiness was equally glad that Juan de Vega had begun to see to the matter of the com. His Holiness, he added, trusted that as the year promised to be abundant, we would provide com as we had been accustomed to do. We answered that as soon as we had heard of his Holiness' election and his wishes in this matter, we had issued orders that they should be met; we were writing again to Juan de Vega and would not fail to make every effort to please his Holiness. The good-will his Holiness showed us imposed a duty upon us, and as long as he would remain a good father, he should find in us a most obedient son.
After much amiable discourse of the sort you may imagine, the nuncio, on his Holiness' behalf, recommended to us the cause of the house of Farnese in general, remarking that his Holiness would rejoice at all we might do in their favour. We displayed pleasure that he should plead for them, and said it was well-known what bonds united us to them, so we should certainly show them all reasonable kindness. The nuncio then gave us a brief and requested us in pressing terms to give the Theatine Cardinal possession of the archbishopric of Naples. We replied that we had heard, besides what was contained in the copy of the Viceroy of Naples' letter (which we send you herewith), that in the recent disturbances in that city the Cardinal did all he could, by means of his relatives and connexions, to swell trouble in the state, and endeavoured to persuade Pope Paul to avail himself of the opportunity. Keeping before our eyes our duty, which was to consult the peace and tranquillity of that kingdom, we had hitherto refrained from putting the Cardinal in possession. We felt sure that these reasons, and others you would declare to his Holiness, derived from words the cardinal had permitted himself to use about our person, would serve to convince his Holiness that it would not be right to allow him to take possession of so important a church and capital city, and that we were justified in refusing to permit it. You will tell his Holiness all this with due moderation and respect, and beg him to consider the compelling nature of our arguments, and give the cardinal something else, permuting the church in Naples in favour of someone in whom we may have confidence, and who is better disposed towards us. But be careful to do this with so much delicacy and skill that his Holiness may really be convinced that we are right, and remain satisfied.
It was well that you accompanied Don Gomez de Figueroa and Martin de Guzman, and also to have informed us of what his Holiness said to them and to the French envoy, and of his remarks to the effect that he intended to give us different treatment from that to be used with other princes.
Brussels, 23 April, 1550.
Copy. Spanish.
April 25. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 29. Simon Renard to the Emperor. (fn. 6)
(Extract.) Sire: Their affairs and counsels here are so liable to change and so unstable, that it is difficult to speak with certainty about them. By setting this preamble to my letter, I express an evident truth, for although the King had determined not to go to Boulogne before August and that the English hostages should come here to Poissy where lodgings were provided for them, he has now changed his mind, and is resolved to leave for Compiègne in ten days' time, where he will stay three or four days. From Compiègne he will make his way to Amiens, where the said hostages, who are now at Abbeville, will meet him. He will stay there five or six days, and then proceed to Boulogne, although the Duchess of Valentinois has written warning the King that people are dying of the plague at Boulogne, and that it would be very difficult to provide victuals. The French hostages have crossed to England whither M. du Mortier and Secretary Bochetel are to go to get the peace they have concluded solemnly sworn. Sir William Paget is to come here to ratify what the commissioners have settled on behalf of the English. M. de Châtillon and M. de Damville, second son of the Constable, are to accompany the said du Mortier and Bochetel; and I understand from Mars that they are taking the order of France (fn. 7) to the King of England.
I have not found it possible yet to get hold of the articles of the peace, although I have tried my best. There are four or five people engaged upon it, and among them one secretary of Leschenay (?) who has promised to procure them for me for ten crowns.
The Captain told me that the Venetians had been very much pleased to hear that the peace was signed, and had commanded their ambassador to congratulate the King. They termed it a victory as they suspected your Majesty might interfere in the quarrel and help the English, thus weakening both sides by keeping them in a state of war. He said that they were well-satisfied with the warlike temper of the King, who would not give up Piedmont or yield in anything except at the sword's point. The Venetians meanwhile could strengthen their power and possessions, and would not draw back from signing a league with the King if the Pope would join it too. If, however, the Pope appeared to hesitate and demur, they would temporise awhile and observe the tenor of public affairs after the Diet, what resolve your Majesty might take, and what means you would choose (to further it): whether the Council would come to anything, the Turk make any fresh move, or the Shareef bestir himself towards Spain; if the rebellion in Germany would be quieted: if war would break out over the question of Piedmont, and the Swiss find some means of agreeing among themselves.
(News of the peaceable disposition of the new Pope. News from Italy of small importance.)
Poissy, 25 April, 1550.
Duplicate. French.
April (?). Brussels, L.A. 46 Petition presented by Hendrik Jacobsen to the Queen Dowager.
Henrik Jacobsen, a mariner of Middelburg, states in all humility that several months ago he was forced by one Bartel Anders (Andrews?), a commissioner of the King of England at Newcastle, to serve that King's Majesty and remain at the said place two months, during which time certain persons made bold to take from him a small sail called lulle d'estaque, some of the rigging of his boat, and even the sail called a topsail and his best cable, inflicting great insults and injuries upon him. At the end of the two months the commissioner loaded his (Jacobsen's) boat with corn and wood to be taken to Berwick; and when the petitioner arrived at Berwick he was there detained with his ship for eight days. Then was his ship loaded with gun-powder, lead, pikes, and other warlike stores to be taken back to Newcastle; and all without the petitioner receiving any payment whatsoever. The petitioner set sail for Newcastle, accompanied by a man-of-war that had been ordered to protect the said ammunition; but off Holy Isle the man-of-war made out to sea while the hoy (the petitioner's vessel) was lying at anchor. A violent storm then sprang up, and the petitioner lost his anchor and was obliged to run for Middelburg harbour, as appears in the document under the town's seal in his possession. The petitioner had in his vessel 40 tons of powder, 100 pikes, 10 lances and arquebuses or culverines, three parcels of heads for halbards or English bills, 5 flasks for carrying powder, 500 iron and leaden bullets, 6 bows and a large number of arrows, 8 dozen mandelettes, (fn. 8) 3 pieces of lead, one cask that had contained oil, another cask out of which had run turpentine, and other objects which it is useless to enumerate and are contained in a declaration in the petitioner's power, all belonging to the King of England. The petitioner, for his discharge, sent a messenger to London at his own expense to inform the King's Council that he would deliver these goods to anyone empowered by them as soon as he received the payment due to him. As the messenger returned from England without an answer, the petitioner informed the King's ambassador here resident, requesting him to appoint someone to receive the ammunition for the King, according to his declaration, and to repay him (the petitioner) at the same time certain fees he had been obliged to pay to unload the ammunition and have it stored at Middelburg, and also the wages promised him for his services during three months and five days at the rate of 80 florins a month, likewise 35 angels owed him by the King, and 29 sols de gros, which he paid the messenger sent by him to London, together with the damage he had suffered in his vessel, with which he had been unable to earn anything since his arrival at Middelburg, as he would be able to prove. Mr. William Dansell, agent to the King of England at Antwerp, replied to him in the English ambassador's presence, that if the petitioner would hand over the goods, he (the agent) would give him a letter with which he might go to London and receive what was due to him. The petitioner remarked at this that if they had intended to pay him at all in London they would have done so when he sent his messenger thither. Mr. William rejoined that, if the petitioner did not give up the goods at once, he would obtain an order from the courts here and get possession without paying petitioner a penny; so he had better hand them over. The petitioner well knows that he would never have received what is owing to him had he done so. There are many mariners of this country who are unable to obtain payment for similar work, which makes it appear as if the English used Flemish vessels in order to avoid paying them, the result of which is the destruction of the poor Flemings. If there had been any intention of paying the petitioner it would have been done at Berwick when they gave him 6 sols de gros to buy new sails and cables in place of those stolen from him, for otherwise his vessel would have been useless. The petitioner therefore begs that the English be not authorised to take possession of the goods without paying him what he can prove to be his due, that he also may be enabled to pay his debts, failing which he will be totally ruined, together with his wife and children.
Copy. French.
There are several papers on this case which, as they for the most part repeat the facts stated above, are not printed. On receipt of the petition, the Queen Dowager wrote to Van der Delft to obtain payment for the petitioner from the Council. The Council replied that the petitioner ought to deliver the goods in England, and refused to pay him anything. The petitioner then requested to be allowed to sell the goods to the sum due to him. The Queen gave him another letter to Van der Delft, instructing the ambassador to press the Council for a reply. The Council said the petitioner had agreed to deliver the goods at Berwick (whence he had in reality set sail on his last voyage), and again refused to make any payment. The King also sent a letter to the Crown Agent at Antwerp instructing him to take possession of the goods, and another to the officers of Middelburg, requesting them to raise the arrest, which was unreasonable. As for the petitioner, he might sue for what was due to him in the English courts. The petitioner then went to the Crown Agent with two other mariners who also claimed payment for similar service, and exhibited to him papers in proof of their claims, inviting him to bring the matter before the Queen. The agent refused, and said that if the ammunition was not given up, the petitioner might know that he and his vessel should be arrested the next time he touched at an English port. Then petitioner, his associate Lievin Minne, Cornelius Dankarel and Hermann Goessius who had stored the goods since the arrest, then requested to be allowed to sell the goods to meet their expenses, which by that time amounted to more than the goods were worth. The last paper I have found, referring to this affair is an order from the Queen Dowager, dated June 11th, authorising the King of England's commissioners to take posssesion of the goods if they will first give the petitioners security for the moneys owing to them.


  • 1. “Whereas the Emperor's ambassador desired leave by letters patent that my Lady Mary might have mass, it was denied him; and when ho said we brake the league with him by making peace with Scotland, it was answered that the French King and not I did comprehend them, saving that I might not invade them without occasion.” Edward's Journal, April 19th, 1550.
  • 2. The captain of Ardres seems to have been a troublesome individual. On June 28th the Queen Dowager writes to Simon Renard: With regard to what the Constable replied to your complaint concerning the captain of Ardres who went a-hunting armed in the forest of Tournehem, and particularly that we ought to be satisfied with his having been sharply reprimanded, adding that we often made mountains out of mole-hills, we find his answer unsatisfactory. Had the captain of Ardres been suitably punished when you made your first complaint against him for committing a similar offence, he would not have been willing to attempt it the second time in an aggravated form. We have every reason to complain, and better reason still to deplore that no remedy should be found for his renewed insolences. We command you to speak once more to the Constable, and insist on compensation for the outrage, and on the punishment of the soldiers who took part in it. . . . (Collection Granvelle, 71.)
  • 3. The Queen wrote on May 25th: “The new French crown piece has been tested, and it appears that it falls short of the proper value, amounting only to 36 patards, which does not correspond to the fifty French sols it is supposed to be worth. It is well that no more are being struck, as you inform us. If any more were circulated we should have to take measures over here to determine their value. You gave a very good answer to the Constable concerning the equalisation of the currency; and you will adhere to it if he reverts to the subject, reiterating that it would be inconvenient to enter into an arrangement with them over the said currency, until after the points now being discussed between us and the German states are finally settled.” (Collection Granvelle, 71.) The patard at this period was equivalent (in the Low Countries) to one sol or two gros, and one and a half gros went to the English penny. The fifteenth century had known patards of widely varying value.
  • 4. A sort of rescript on paper, without a seal, containing the petition, the signature of the Pope, and the favour (gratia) granted.
  • 5. II Prevostino was a person of infamous character, a favourite of Julius III. He was raised to the cardinalate, and took the name of Innocenzio del Monte.
  • 6. A translation in Spanish exists in Paris, Archives Nationales, K. 1488.
  • 7. Order of St. Michael.
  • 8. Evidently some species of ammunition.