Spain: June 1555

Pages 207-226

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1954.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


June 1555

204. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Francisco de Eraso
Hampton Court, 1 June The Queen's deliverance keeps us all greatly exercised in our minds, although our doctors always said that the nine months are not up until 6 June. She began to feel some pains yesterday, but not enough to make her take to her bed. The King had not yet left his apartments, because the Court has not yet finished putting on mourning. He will go out on Monday. Don Alonso Pimentel arrived here on 29 May and is leaving on Monday. His Highness ordered I do not know what sum in crowns to be given to the captains and commanders for the journey. It cannot have been much, for his Highness had not the money. The mourning costs us a fortune; all the English pensioners have come along demanding black suits and behaving as if their honour would be tarnished if they did not obtain them. So we have put more folk into mourning in this kingdom than have ever been seen here, or ever will be.
Spanish. Holograph.
Simancas, E.809.
205. The Peace Commissioners to the Emperor
Gravelines, 2 June Sire: Your Majesty will have seen, from our last letters, the state of the negotiation for which your Majesty sent us here. I, the Bishop of Arras, wrote to the Queen Dowager of Hungary the request put forward by the English delegation that President Viglius should go to Calais, and about the conference we had held between ourselves on this subject, especially when we had heard privately from Lord Paget about the suggestions which the Bishop of Winchester, Lord Chancellor, intended to make to us. After that, President Viglius went to Calais and discussed the question with the English, but without taking up any definitive attitude until the whole proposal should have been discussed with the other members of the delegation. We avoided disclosing that we had learnt anything on the subject beforehand from Lord Paget.
The enclosed writing (missing) will inform your Majesty of what I, President Viglius, discussed with the English, and how they insisted that we should not fail to appear on the day that had been fixed at the last meeting, both because of the assurance they had given to the Bishop of Orleans and in order not to break off the negotiation, which they were certain the French would do if they saw that we had been unwilling to meet them. When the English had heard my remarks about the unreason of certain points they wished to propose, they agreed only to put forward the three suggestions contained in the enclosed note, and that we should also be free, if we thought fit, to demand time to ascertain your Majesty's pleasure. The upshot of their proposals was once more to suggest a marriage between the Infante Don Carlos and the daughter of France, but with a dowery assigned on the state of Milan; to submit the disputes about the duchies of Milan and Burgundy to the Council (of Trent); and thirdly to arrange a marriage between the Duke of Savoy and the Lady Margaret of France, without dowery, but making this marriage the occasion of giving back to the Duke of Savoy what the King of France was occupying except for certain fortified places, our King (Philip) being entitled, on his side, to occupy certain other fortified places of equivalent value.
We agreed to this English proposal, in order to avoid a break which they might have imputed to us, had we been unwilling to attend again. When we reached the meeting place, at the accustomed hour, we heard that the English had already had a talk with the French who had arrived first, but had been unable to get anything out of them, because when the French heard that we were coming, they insisted on our entering the conference hall at once in order to gain time, the English making their proposal in the presence of both sides. When we had taken our places the Bishop of Winchester, Lord Chancellor, acting as spokesman for the English delegation, made the three proposals above mentioned.
When the Chancellor had finished, we who had listened to him remained silent for a time, on both sides. The Legate then turned to us and said that we had heard their proposal. We might therefore say what we thought of it. We answered that the English delegation had previously made other proposals, about which we had fully expressed our opinion, signifying our approval as far as we were concerned, but the French had not agreed. As we had spoken first then, we would like now to hear what they thought of the new proposals, not at all because we hoped thus to gain any advantage over them, but merely because it seemed to us that that was the best way to elucidate matters. The Constable at once agreed, saying that as so great a good was at issue it would not be right to argue about who should speak first. The mediators were of the same opinion, and the French took leave to consult together before delivering their reply.
They then stated, the Cardinal of Lorraine acting as spokesman, that they were grateful to the English mediators for having done all they could to help on the negotiation. The proposals now made seemed to them to be couched in very general terms and to cover a great deal of ground, so much so indeed that if a discussion began on them we would never get to grips. It would be preferable to take each question separately. As for them, they considered the proposed match very good, and were certain that their King would value it highly and would give his daughter a good dowery. They also approved of the idea of submitting the dispute about the duchies of Burgundy and Milan to the Council, and felt certain that the King, their master, would be willing, not only where Burgundy and Milan were concerned but also with regard to the other subjects of discord that subsisted between your Majesties. The peace negotiation might be divided into two main parts: one including questions concerning your two Majesties directly, and the other concerning your allies and confederates. They were in favour of deciding the first part first, after which it might be seen what could be done for the rest. And that was the reply that they were able to make, for the moment.
After having discussed the French reply among ourselves, we came to the conclusion that as they now talked about a dowery, in the case of a marriage, and not of getting Milan back, and of referring the questions of Burgunday and Milan to the Council, adding that the same course might be followed where other issues were concerned, that their object in all this was to obtain a truce, as we have already had occasion to observe, keeping possession of everything they now occupy with the intention of recovering their strength and using their present position as bases for further attacks, and moreover that they had given no satisfactory answer about Savoy. We began our speech by expressing our appreciation of the efforts made by the mediators, as the French had done, and went on to agree with the French that if these questions were treated as a whole, their scope was so great that we would never see the end of it, wherefore we thought it preferable to take the points one by one, but we declared that agreement on the individual points must be conditional on a settlement being reached on all the rest. Coming to the proposal for a marriage between the Infante and the daughter of France, we were in favour of it, provided that true friendship were to result from it, and that disputes between the two parties should cease thanks to restitution of what had been occupied, for otherwise there would be no foundation for friendship. With regard to Milan and Burgundy, we had already said the other day that your Majesty's right was so firmly established in both cases, that we felt sure you would have no objection to going to law. However, we had had no instructions with regard to their proposals that these disputes should be referred to the Council; therefore we could not assent without further consulting your Majesty. We had heard the English mediators say that the French delegation were displeased at the slowness of proceedings and had shown a desire to return to their master. In order to gain time and also to consult your Majesty, we would have been glad to be able to do so on the three suggestions that have now been put forward by the mediators. Therefore we wished that the French had also replied about Savoy. It did not appear to us to be suitable that the claims of your Majesty's allies should rank last of all, for they had entered the war for your Majesty's sake, and you had obligations to them, not only as their friend and ally, but in your capacity as Emperor and their overlord, being in duty bound to consider their interests. We confessed that the French delegation had the advantage over us in that the King, their master, gave them entire credit and would approve of whatever they might do, whereas our instructions were limited and we could not exceed them without further reference to you. However, you were not far away, and we would soon be able to ascertain your will.
The French answered that we were exaggerating the credit they enjoyed with their master, which in fact was limited. They never made any proposal that was not known to and approved by their King. True, their King was a sagacious prince, and before sending them out on business of so great moment, he had very carefully weighed the whole matter, so that they were cognisant of his will and were able to reply in conformity with it. They had already remarked, about the marriage, that the King would very greatly welcome it, and would be prepared to give his daughter a suitable dowery. They were willing to submit to the Council not only the dispute on Burgundy and Milan, but all the other issues. As we had wished to avoid being debarred from raising this point or that because it had not been mentioned in time, they also wished that in the event that the Council should be accepted as judge they might submit to it all the points outstanding between them and us. In order not to mislead us, they wished to inform us plainly that they would not give up anything unless that which they claimed were restored to them. If we insisted on an answer from them about Savoy, they would put forward the claims of M. d'Albret, whom they called the King of Navarre. He was no less dear to them than the Duke of Savoy was to us, and they would take the same line where their other allies were concerned. France had daughters, but for them they would not do as much as they would for the King's sister. As for marrying her to the Duke of Savoy, and the proposal that in consideration of such an alliance they should agree to restitution, they must observe that the King was only the Lady Margaret's brother, and could not dispose of her person without there being a previous agreement between the parties themselves. But so far the Duke of Savoy had taken no steps to demand her in marriage.
This speech seemed to us exorbitant; and it was delivered by the Constable with a gloomy and almost angry countenance. We considered that if we replied in the same strain the negotiation might break down immediately, without our having had time to consult your Majesty. On the other hand, it seemed to us that if we made no comment at all, but merely said that we would refer to your Majesty, they might assume that we had approved of everything they said. Therefore we replied that your Majesty had not failed, before sending us out, to consider carefully the important matter you were placing in our hands. We had already explained why you had given us no instructions about arbitration by the Council. It was because you had told us to regard as settled everything that had already been agreed by the treaties, which was the case for Milan. As for the marriage, if it were to come about, we told them plainly that it would not be for the sake of a dowery, but because it offered means for putting an end to disputes and establishing friendship, but that that could not be done without restitution. The case of the Duke of Savoy was entirely different from the others they had mentioned, and if we wished to know their intentions on that point, it was because we hoped thereby to shorten the negotiation, consulting your Majesty on several points at the same time. However, if they were unwilling to reply about Savoy, we were willing to refer to your Majesty on the rest.
The French rejoined that if we thought Milan was a matter that had been definitively settled by previous treaties, we were mistaken. On the other hand, the Treaty of Crépy had put the matter of Burgundy to sleep, as indeed had already been done by other treaties concluded during your Majesty's minority, before those of Madrid and Cambrai. We answered that the mistake was all on their side, and that if they would re-read the Treaty of Crépy they would see how differently it dealt with the question of Burgundy from what they imagined. Your Majesty had never renounced the Duchy of Burgundy. The French had promised to give it back by the Treaty of Madrid, and the question had been expressly reserved by the Treaty of Cambrai. On the other hand, they knew how expressly they had renounced Milan by the Treaties of Madrid and Cambrai.
The Constable rejoined that they knew very well how those treaties had been made: They had arisen at a time when their King or his children were in our hands. We replied that everyone knew that it had always been specified that their King was to keep his word, or else place himself in your Majesty's hands as a prisoner of war.
After we had reflected for some time on this point, without anyone speaking, the Constable resumed his wonted protestations, with a gentler countenance, saying that the King his master and he himself greatly desired peace. He used magnificent words on this occasion, and we replied in the same vein, without going any further.
The Chancellor, Bishop of Winchester, then attempted to persuade the Constable to consider reinstating the Duke of Savoy, saying that it would be a shameful thing for both princes to leave another prince despoiled as Savoy had been, and that it was a matter which ought to be intolerable to the whole of Christendom. The Constable bitterly maintained the contrary, saying that the late King had been justified in what he had done and in refusing to give back, and that there was no reason why his master should be asked to do so. The Chancellor went on arguing against him, until his English colleagues showed that they were upset and felt that he was going farther than was suitable in a mediator. They began casting glances at us, showing that they wanted us to say something to stop the quarrel. We, seeing that if we did not do so the negotiation would probably break down, and the whole thing would have been undertaken for nothing, said that as we could not go farther without consulting your Majesty, we proposed to report to you on what the Cardinal Legate and the English delegation had proposed, the French reply and what we ourselves had said, in order to ascertain your pleasure. The Constable accepted this, but pressed us to say when we would be able to obtain an answer, ascerting that they would regret it if it caused a delay of more than two or three days, because they could not stay much longer away from the King their master, and while we were here the Queen was unable to sleep. We must realise that they could do no more. We told them that they saw very well how late it was, and that we could not return to our quarters before 9 o'clock. Moreover, it would take some time to write what had happened, and for the courier to reach your Majesty, who would then have to consider the matter and send us your instructions. All the same, the tenor of their remarks made it fairly clear to us what sort of a reply your Majesty would be able to make. To speak plainly to them, the earliest we could return would be Thursday. They pressed us to set an earlier date, but we declined, saying that we could not bind your Majesty to any given time. At that we rose. The Cardinal of Lorraine, with a very cheerful expression, then drew me, the Bishop of Arras, aside, and laughingly said that we must in any case do something. If we were unable to reach agreement on the principal objects of the negotiations, let us see whether we could not do something about the prisoners, a matter about which the Constable had not spoken because his own son was involved. I answered in the same tone that the French were terrible people and wanted to have everything their way, and that I thought it would be much better to settle the principal points, which were what mattered most. But to speak frankly, I did not think they were setting about it the right way. By insisting on keeping everything they were occupying, and to which they notoriously had no right, they were showing that they desired peace in words, while by their actions they proved the contrary. They must understand that unless there was restitution there could be no friendship. He replied with a smile: “then give us back what you have of ours,” and I said: “so you want us to give you Hesdin, which is part of our patrimony?” He retorted that I knew very well how that matter stood in the last treaty. I said that it was true I knew it, but we had not renounced our rights, and if we had offered them compensation, they had not accepted it, and as they had made war against us, they must not be surprised if we tried to get our own back. Next, he told me that we ought to give them back Thérouanne. I replied that as for Thérouanne, they had got their deserts. Thérouanne had been an ecclesiastical possession, and they had not only turned it to warlike uses, but had made a robbers' den of it. Both in peace and in war they had tormented the place to such an extent that the inhabitants, to avoid levelling it to the ground with pick-axes, had called in the English, and God had carried out the anathema pronounced by the Pope, with the consent of the neighbouring princes, when the town had been surrounded with walls. But it would not prove impossible to reach a settlement if, in exchange for the razing the walls of Hesdin, they would do the same for one of the strong places they were occupying in the Duchy of Luxembourg. Saying with a smile that they did not wish to be as wasteful as we were prepared to be, he returned to the matter of the prisoners. I told him that the Constable might remember the discussions that had taken place on this matter since the siege of Renty was raised. The French always wanted to broach matters where they might gain an advantage. As for the prisoners, they knew very well that we had far more than they. The Constable owed us an answer on the estimate of the ransom asked for our prisoners in their hands, their wealth and quality, but instead, he had sent a note proposing that the Duke of Arschot should be exchanged against his own son and one or two other important prisoners, and in the same way he was trying to even out the exchange that might be made in that particular quarter, without mentioning others. And that as his proposal was so unreasonable, the whole matter had been dropped. He replied that I knew the old proverb, to the effect that one sometimes had to make unreasonable demands in order to reach a reasonable result. I told him that we had not to go to Paris to take lessons in bargaining, and that when too high a price was asked of us, we said we would not buy. He then mentioned M. de Sedan, asking if he was still confined in a cage, and I replied that he was not, for there was no such thing in Ghent Castle, where he was very comfortably lodged, although he showed some impatience and disliked being guarded so securely. The Cardinal then said that he understood we were making great demands in that quarter, and particularly the fortresses there. I replied that unless I was much mistaken, he would not be ransomed unless Bouillon were given in exchange. The Cardinal did not take up that point, but fell back upon generalities. I told him that he or the Constable ought to make some practicable proposal, and if he did we would respond. At that, we parted. Next, the Cardinal of Lorraine spoke to me, Count Lalaing, and begged me to try to reach an agreement on an exchange of prisoners, which certainly might be done. He assured me that the Duke of Arschot was being well treated, and indeed better each day that passed, and that as I was his uncle and he was his brother-in-law, we both ought to try to get him set at liberty. I replied that I would be glad to do what I could on my side.
While the Cardinal of Lorraine was holding these conversations, Marillac, Bishop (Archbishop) of Vienne, told the Earl of Arundel and Lord Paget that they might take it as a maxim that the King would never give up a single place he was occupying unless he had restored to him what he regarded as his own, and that the same applied where your Majesty's allies were concerned. Afterwards, the Constable himself said the same thing to Arundel and Paget, be it that they were bragging and thought they might persuade the English to prevail upon us to give way, or that they really are not disposed to negotiate. However, the Bishop of Winchester, Lord Chancellor, said to us when we left that, as the French had not broken off, although they had previously declared that they would not wait here one day longer, they had in fact agreed to wait until your Majesty's answer arrived, he hoped that some result might still be achieved, though he had nothing but guess-work to go upon. We replied that unless the French used different language we saw no hope, and perhaps it was the Frenchmen's hope that the Turkish fleet was soon coming that made them so brave. Our impression was that we had come here for nothing, and had only been wasting our time, the French having sent the Constable and the Cardinal of Lorraine here in order to persuade the whole world that they wanted peace, and that it was our fault if it had not been made. But the Chancellor could bear witness that the reverse was true, for they knew what they had proposed and how the French and we had replied. Therefore the whole of Christendom would know who had been responsible for the failure to negotiate, scanty consolation as this might be for Christendom, which so badly needed repose.
This despatch and our earlier ones, especially the last one we sent, contain all we are able to tell your Majesty. So far, we have nothing more to say, even bearing in mind your Majesty's letters of the 29th, in which you deal with the possibility that the French may prove inaccessible to reason, as in fact we see they are. We wish to implore your Majesty very humbly to signify your pleasure to us as soon as possible, in order to be guided by it. In reply to the question contained in your letters, we will add that we have reported fully on these negotiations to the King, our Lord and Prince, just as we have to your Majesty, but that we have heard nothing from him except an acknowledgment of the receipt of our first letters.
Draft. French.
Vienna, F.31.
206. A note (fn. 1) on the Duke of Ferrara's reply to the Duke of Savoy
Gravelines, 3 June The Bishop of Arras considers that the Duke of Savoy bore witness to the zeal and affection he feels for his Majesty's service and that he can do no better than to continue as he has begun, now that he has declared himself so openly. Thus he will make it clear to the Duke of Ferrara that it was a great mistake to believe that he went away dissatisfied with his Majesty, and he will state plainly that he is devoted to him, requesting Ferrara, as he says he is his friend, not to try to persuade him to act in any way inconsistent with his duty. He will make it clear that not only was the Duke wrong in his assumption, but that he (Savoy) considers himself much obliged to his Majesty.
Savoy is not to say anything about informing his Majesty of what has passed between him and Ferrara, and that for two reasons: first, because as the proverb goes, he who gives offence never forgives, and it was clear that if Ferrara were to think his Majesty knew how he had behaved, he would fear his Majesty would never forget it, and would be the more easily pursuaded by the French to come out openly against us. As he is miserly and loves money, if he felt it necessary to take further precautions for his security, it might make him all the more dependent on the French, and this is just the sort of opportunity they are looking for in Italy. As we already have so many open enemies there, this is a thing to be avoided.
The other reason is that Ferrara holds many jewels which Savoy has left with him in pawn. If there were a break between the two, it would amount to serving notice on his Majesty that Savoy had suffered a heavy loss for his sake. May his Majesty consider the matter and send suitable instructions to Savoy for his reply to Ferrara.
Simancas, E.1208.
207. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Francisco de Eraso (Extract)
Hampton Court, 6 June The Duke of Alva is a great rogue. (fn. 2) It was he who begged the King to give those abbeys to Don Bernardino (de Mendoza) and prevented you from getting them. I believe the King has offered 10 ask his Majesty to arrange the matter . . .
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
208. Antoine de Bourgogne to Simon Renard.
Brussels, 6 June Knowing that the bearer of this letter was on his way to England, I did not wish to fail to inform you that, although Thomas Barnaby and the other persons who deposited a caution for Captain Woodman promised to meet me at Veere at Whitsun to answer the accusations made by certain Scots against Woodman on the ground that he robbed them, they failed to appear. Therefore we request you to speak to Barnaby about this matter, and to let me know what he intends to do. In consideration of the deposit and the oath given by Captain Woodman, Barnaby and others, I allowed Woodman's brother-in-law to put out to sea, and since then he has held up and plundered a Scotch vessel bound for Veere, which has already arrived at this port and (its captain) has brought a suit against the said captain. We therefore request you to take steps to have this man arrested if he lands in England, and we will do the same if he touches any port in this country. It seems to me that it will be necessary to declare that Woodman's caution has been forfeited, for fear that some greater evil may result. We do not need to make still more enemies.
Signed. French.
Besanson, C.G.73.
209 “News from various quarters”
Brussles, 7 June (fn. 3) Cardinal Santa Fiora's secretary, whose arrival Don Juan Manrique announced in his letters, reached this place yesterday afternoon. Don Juan Manrique, in a letter written in his own hand, urges me to beg your Majesty to grant him audience as soon as possible, so that he may continue his journey to England, and greatly emphasises the importance of what he is to report, averring that everything he is to say is pure truth. Your Majesty will consider when you will be pleased to give him audience.
This morning, a courier arrived from England on his way to Naples about the hackney and the tribute of 7,000 ducats which have to be given to the Pope on the feast of St. Peter, which is 29 June. If your Majesty approves, he might continue his journey at once, since the King (Philip) directed him not to lose time, as he is to pass by Milan and take a dispatch for the Duke of Alva.
Ruy Gómez writes to me in a letter dated 4 June that the King (Philip) had had a pain in the bowels, as he frequently does, which caused him to pass a bad night. But he was well again. The Queen was very heavy with child, and all the physicians agreed that her deliverance should take place by 6 June. (fn. 4)
I have sought the information your Majesty required as to whether there was any relationship between this new Pope and the Prince of Melfi, who died in France. There was none whatever. The families are quite distinct. The Prince was of the House of Caracciolo; and the new Pope is a Carafa. The Duke of Ariano, who also died in France, was related to the Pope, being of the same house. Count Montorio and Don Carlo Carafa, his brother, are the Pope's nephews: sons of his brother Diomedes. The heads of the House of Carafa in the Kingdom of Naples are the Prince of Stigliano and the Duke of Nocera. It is said that the members of this house taken all together have over 200,000 ducats a year, and that they are on a footing of 400 gentlemen.
Simancas, E.106.
210. The Emperor to the King of the Romans (Extract)
Brussles, 8 June My commissioners have already met several times with the French in presence of Legate Pole and the English delegation, but so far nothing has happened but a dispute about the claims of both sides. The French have not omitted to bring up all their old grievances, such as the overlordship of Flanders and their claim to Genoa, by way of justifying their seizure of Corsica, and several others that would be too long to relate, but above all the affair of Milan. My commissioners have answered each point as it came up and have also reminded the French about the Duchy of Burgundy, Savoy and Piedmont, and the towns of the Empire which they are occupying, as well as the fact that they started this war, invading the territories of my subjects contrary to the assurances given by their King. Seeing how little prospect there was of making progress in this way, the English made three proposals: first, to marry my grandson, the Infante Don Carlos, to the daughter of France, it being understood that I would give her a dowery on the state of Milan; second, to lay the dispute about Milan and Burgundy before the Council, both sides undertaking to accept its verdict; and third, a marriage between the Duke of Savoy and the Lady Margaret, sister of the King of France, on condition that the Duke should be reinstated, the King of France however keeping a few fortified places and I, or my son the King of England, others of equal importance, pending a settlement of the whole dispute by the Council.
My commissioners asked for time to consult me; but the Frenchmen were obdurate to the end, proclaiming openly, after much argument between the two sides, that they would not make peace unless they were given what they claim belongs to them. In a word, their attitude since the beginning has shown that before making peace they want to obtain Milan, or keep everything they are occupying in order to secure a truce, thus gaining time to take breath and prepare to do even worse. Neither my interests nor my reputation would be served by any such agreement. Therefore, unless the French receive other instructions, I see no chance of a successful conclusion. It is true that there is to be another meeting, but so far there does not appear to be any basis for negotiation. There has been no talk of Merano or anything else that concerns you, but you may be assured that we will forget none of the points you have mentioned in your letters. If God grants us a good peace, I desire no less ardently than you do that it should be entirely satisfactory to you.
Signed. French.
Brussels, D.H.10.
Printed by Lanz, Vol. III.
211. The Peace Commissioners to the Emperor
Gravelines, 8 June Sire: We have received your Majesty's letters of 3 and 5 June, of which the latter arrived at noon Thursday. We at once sent off Secretary Bave (fn. 5) to inform the English, as we had agreed to do. The day before, the Legate had sent word to us that he had sent the Abbot of San Saluto to the Cardinal of Lorraine to remind him of the responsibility that lay upon him, not only as the King of France's minister but also as a Cardinal. The Legate had thought it necessary to do this, because he had found the Cardinal of Lorraine hard and indeed more obdurate than the Constable himself. When we heard this from the Abbot of San Saluto, we suspected that he had got the Legate to send him to us, in order to find out whether we suspected him, and whether we had seen the letters which were in the King of France's packet. It seemed to us that it would not have been opportune to show our hand, and indeed might have been harmful. Therefore we extricated ourselves by praising the Legate for the trouble he had taken, and expatiated on our impression that the French had no great desire to negotiate a peace. The Abbot then asked us whether we had received anything from your Majesty on the subject. We replied that we had received an answer to the last letter but one we had sent to you, and saw from it that your Majesty was still animated by the greatest goodwill where these negotiations were concerned. We added that we hoped to receive an answer to our last letter by the appointed time.
Secretary Bave, whom we had sent off, met on the way one of the Bishop of Winchester's gentlemen, whom that prelate was sending to us to inquire whether, in conformity with what had been decided at the last meeting, we would be present at the sitting arranged for Friday, which was yesterday, for the French would certainly do so, and would not be accompanied by more than the agreed number. This was because there had been complaints on the ground that we had come to the last meeting with more than 600 horse, and although we had been informed on the road that there had been a complaint, we decided not to reduce the number, because the English themselves had arrived with a goodly company. The same gentleman told us that the English lords wished to warn us that the French were determined to depart today, and that the Constable had already sent away his infantry and a good part of his household. Therefore the English lords considered that we must not fail to appear, on the appointed day, and wished to know what news we had received from your Majesty. In order to satisfy him, we told him that as the French were coming to Friday's meeting, and the English delegates wished us to be there also, we would not fail to appear, and that we thought it would be well to come with a reasonable attendance in order to avoid all scandal and confusion. As for the Constable being determined to leave today, we hoped that things would take such a course at the meeting that Christendom might be pacified, and that we might all go home to the general satisfaction, although the time was short. We would see what we could do, and perhaps the French might yet change their minds about going away. We had received your Majesty's reply, and had sent the above mentioned secretary to inform the English delegation of this fact, and that we had seen from your reply how ardently your Majesty desired that peace might be managed, as we would state at the meeting itself.
That same day, there returned the secretary whom I, Bishop of Arras, had secredy sent to Lord Paget in order to find out from him how everything was going. This secretary brought back a message from Paget to the effect that they had been unable to get anything out of the French indicating that they were really desirous of negotiating. As far as Paget could see, it looked like goodbye and he thought that we on our side ought to try to make it evident that we had not been to blame for the break. Besides what he would tell us on behalf of his colleagues, he wished to inform us privately he had seen that very day letters received by Cardinal Pole from Italy, together with those which the Pope had written to him prolonging his legatine commission. In these letters, it was expressly stated that the Constable was going to leave on 8 June.
All this notwithstanding, we decided to carry out our programme, and proceeded yesterday to the meeting place. Having been asked to state what reply we had received from your Majesty, we began by excusing ourselves on the ground that proposals had been made about which it would be necessary for us to ascertain your pleasure, which had involved a little delay before we had been in a position to reply. However, we had not exceeded the time agreed upon, and your Majesty's reply had reached us. We had seen from it how firm you remained in your desire for peace. As for the proposals put forward by the Legate and his English colleagues, your Majesty bade us say that you would welcome a marriage between the Infante Don Carlos and the daughter of France, the bride to be provided with a dowery on Milan, on condition that peace could thus be achieved and all differences settled. Your Majesty had no objection to submitting the disputes about Milan and Burgundy to the Council, each party agreeing to abide by its decisions, or to a marriage between the Duke of Savoy and the Lady Margaret of France, without dowery but with restitution of his country, although the King of France might keep one or two fortified places there, and the King of England also one or two. In all this, your Majesty welcomed the proposals made by the mediators.
We thought it preferable to reply on these lines, both to make the mediators more favourable to our side, as your Majesty was accepting their proposals, and to avoid entering into argument with the French about their assertion that they would give nothing back, in the hope of getting them to advance another step. We did not think it advisable to say anything about consulting the King (Philip) or awaiting his reply, because a break-down appeared to be likely, and we did not wish to give the French a pretext for claiming that it was due to the King's failure to reply. We thought that if the talks proceeded, there would be time to wait for the King's answer, which would not delay very long, as we have kept him informed of everything that occurred here, sent him copies of your Majesty's letters and begged him to signify his pleasure to us on the points concerning him. As for the Duke of Savoy, we had been sufficiently informed of his intentions by your Majesty. Therefore it seemed to us that we were carrying out your Majesty's instructions by agreeing entirely to the proposals put forward by the mediators.
When the French had heard our reply they consulted together and then said that they could not complain of our delay, and indeed were greatly pleased that your Majesty had answered so promptly on the points we had submitted to you. However, they had wished to obtain a reply from us on their point of not being willing to give back anything unless they also were reinstated, or else to submit all disputes to the Council, each side remaining in possession of what had been occupied. They had no intention of limiting the settlement to Milan and Burgundy, and in this connexion the Cardinal observed that Burgundy was part of France, wherefore questions concerning it ought properly to lie before him, as President of the Council, and the Constable. There was nothing to be said about making restitution to the Duke of Savoy unless their own allies received similar treatment, and they mentioned M. d'Albret, Piacenza and other places. The Duke of Savoy, if he wished, might cause a proposal to be made to the Lady Margaret, whom the King was determined not to marry off unless to a person of her own choice. Indeed, the King did not intend to suggest any match to her unless she herself took the initiative.
We replied that we had carefully informed your Majesty of everything that had occurred in these negotiations, to the best of our memory, and had not only reported the mediators' proposals but also the declarations made by the French. Your Majesty had instructed us to make the reply they had heard concerning the proposals put forward by the mediators. We desired that they should inform us whether they had anything to add, for we assumed that they had kept the King of France fully informed.
They said that indeed they had done so, and that only two hours before Lansac (fn. 6) had returned from Court without having anything more to say than what we had already heard. They demanded that all points at issue should be settled together by the Council, and that they should not be debarred from raising further points in addition to those they had mentioned, merely because they might not have remembered everything on this occasion.
We insisted on knowing what claims they were going to make, saying that otherwise we would fall back into the general discussion which they themselves had wished to avoid, for which reasons the mediators had entered into details, so that questions might be settled one at a time. With this object in view, the three points above mentioned had been put forward, and if we could agree on them, it would be possible to proceed to examine others.
To this they replied that it was not necessary for them to specify their demands, for if we read all the old treaties, as they supposed we had done, we knew what they were. We persisted in our desire to have a precise enumeration, in order that the proposal to submit to the judgment of the Council should not lead to confusion and a multiplication of grievances.
They then observed that we had wanted them to give back what they occupied. We confessed that this was true, and added that by so doing we had had in mind the desirability, which they themselves had emphasised, of reaching a satisfactory agreement leaving no cause for resentment. They had laid claim to Milan, and had wished to have this question referred to the Council, which we did not object to if no other means could be found. When they observed that we demanded that the Duke of Savoy should have his territory restored to him, we said that was true and we considered it reasonable, and also that they should give back what they were occupying in the Empire and place the Duke of Lorraine (fn. 7) once more in his state.
At this, the Cardinal of Lorraine, with an altered countenance, said that there was no reason why we should interfere in the affairs of the Duke of Lorraine. The Duke's own relatives would see to that. Everything that had taken place in that quarter had been entirely correct, and moreover in conformity with the opinion of your Majesty and the late M. de Granvelle, as they would prove by exhibiting letters if need arose. We asked how that was. The Cardinal said that the advice had been given to the Duchess of Lorraine (fn. 8) and her Council when your Majesty exhorted them to seek the King of France's friendship. We replied it was quite true, and showed how sincerely your Majesty desired that peace should reign in all quarters and each man remain in possession of his own. But the way the Duke had been treated was quite another matter and indeed had been unfriendly, for he had been snatched from his mother's arms against her will, when they had gone to her under colour of friendship. The Cardinal retorted, with the Constable supporting him, that friendship had nothing to do with it. The King had been there with his following and if he had not been admitted he would have entered by force, as he had justification for doing. They would prove this whenever asked to do so. We said we did not wish to go into details, for we would be sorry for their sake to rehearse how that affair had taken place. We then asked them once more either to agree to the means suggested by the mediators or to make other proposals themselves, which if reasonable we would hasten to adopt.
Seeing that no one spoke on either side, the Legate remarked that he would be sorry if the meeting broke up without bearing any fruit and the goodwill displayed on both sides proved ineffective. He had received letters from the new Pope confirming him in his previous functions and instructing him to do all he could to facilitate a settlement. It had occurred to him to suggest submitting certain points to arbitration, but his English colleagues had gone further still and had proposed the Council as arbitrator. This seemed to him a good suggestion and indeed the best possible way to achieve peace, especially as this Pope had proved in his own person and also in the ecclesiastical organisation he had founded (fn. 9) how strongly he desired to bring about a world-wide reformation of the Church. Therefore the Legate was sure that the Pope would shortly summon a Council so that the existing issues might rapidly be settled by it, wherefore he urged both sides to proceed on these lines.
We replied that we were ready, on condition that the questions to be submitted to the Council should be specified. The French stuck to it that the entire dispute should be submitted as a whole, and that in the meantime each side should keep what it occupied. At that, Lord Paget, seeing that we were far from coming to grips and remembering that we had asked him, if he saw the point of breaking at hand, to intervene, proposed to the Legate and his colleagues, as if of his own accord, that as we apparently could not get together they should attempt to find out, by separate consultations, whether there might not be some way. The Legate then led the Frenchmen aside, and we stood apart in the other direction. After they had been talking for some time, we had our turn, and the Englishmen said that they had again done all they could to get something out of the French, but that they did not see that they had made any progress, for the French still said they would give nothing back and stuck to their idea of submitting the whole dispute to the Council, without consenting to enter into any specification of the terms of reference. As for the Duke of Savoy, the Englishmen had remonstrated that not to reinstate him would be discreditable to both sides, the Frenchmen asserting that he was our ally and that their allies were just as dear to them as ours were to us. They had also said, about our demand for restitution of the towns of the Empire, that they would be willing to hold them under the Empire, as in fact they were doing, until a Diet should be summoned and presided over by your Majesty to hear any complaint that might be brought against them in this connexion and to judge the same. The Frenchmen also observed that we insisted on the return of places they had occupied in Luxembourg, and that the Cardinal of Lorraine had heard me, the Bishop of Arras, say the other day that we wished to keep Hesdin and would not give back Thérouanne.
We replied that we were doing our utmost to ensure the success of this negotiation, and that the position taken up by the French showed that their object was to keep everything they had, concluding a truce during which they hoped to gather fresh strength in order to undertake more conquests later, which would certainly not be the way to pacify Christendom, as your Majesty desired. To talk about submitting the dispute to the Council looked very fine, but when the Frenchmen refused to state beforehand what points they wished to raise, their intention was to be able to bring up something at any moment to break off negotiations. When they insisted on reopening discussion on matters decided by previous treaties, we could not agree, for at that rate there was no reason why they should consider themselves bound by the treaty we were now hoping to negotiate. They would no doubt wish to sequester in the hands of the Council places they were laying claim to. The Englishmen must see for themselves that the line the French were taking showed that they were little inclined to reach an agreement. Besides, their determination to go away, of which the English had informed us, made this abundantly clear. However, in order not to abandon our efforts until the very end, we requested the Englishmen to answer the French on our behalf about the points they had dwelt on, and especially that concerning the Duke of Savoy, emphasising the difference between what they called their confederates and the Duke of Savoy and other members of the Empire, to protect whom your Majesty was bound by oath, by your Imperial dignity, as well as by other considerations. As for the cities of the Empire, your Majesty as head of it was qualified to judge any complaints that might be made. If the French said they intended to hold those cities under the Empire, your Majesty was not obliged to receive any vassal who was more powerful than seemed suitable. When the French talked about having a Diet judge these questions, it became clear how unreasonable it was that they should attempt to deprive your Majesty of the exercise of your legitimate rights. If there were to be a Diet, it was difficult to see what issue could be submitted to it or what standing the King of France could have there. At this point the Chancellor interrupted us by saying that the Frenchmen did not see how it could be compatible with their reputation to agree to have it stated in articles what they were to give up, for at that rate it would look as if they had been compelled to do so. We answered that the proposed matrimonial alliance and resultant friendly relations would dispel any shade of appearance of constraint, and that it might be said that these matters had afforded an opportunity for agreeing to bring the war to an end by restoring everything to the state existing before the war began. When the French stated that we were asking them to give up, while ourselves being unwilling to abandon what we held, they knew very well that Hesdin was part of your Majesty's patrimony and had been expressly reserved by the last treaty. It had then been agreed that they were only to hold it for a limited time, until suitable compensation had been devised, which had been offered them since then on the strength of arbitration of honourable men, which they ought to accept. During the present war, the place had suffered. Your Majesty had recovered possession of it, but in order that they might see how reasonable you were, we were in a position to state that your Majesty would agree to give back places in Luxembourg, and would abandon the County of Charolais as compensation for Hesdin and Therouanne and also would agree to have the fortifications of Thérouanne rased on condition that the same should be done at one of the places the French were holding. Moreover, we begged the English to try to get the French to discuss the first three proposals put forward by the English delegation, and that, as if on their own accord, they should suggest a marriage between the Duke of Lorraine and a daughter of France, on condition that first the Duke should be reinstated, the Duchess of Lorraine and M. de Vaudémont re-established in their authority and the Duchess's personal property restored to her. We asked the English to point out that if we proceeded thus question by question, we would draw nearer one to the other and might finally reach a settlement. The Englishmen approved of our idea, but the Chancellor mentioned Piacenza. We said that that ought to cause no embarrassment, and requested the Englishmen not to raise any matters that did not concern the French. The Chancellor then turned towards the Legate and said that the French asserted that Piacenza was a matter that concerned him, as he was a Legate of the Apostolic See. We remarked that if the Apostolic See addressed any demands to us, we would answer them, but for the moment we thought it preferable to keep our eyes fixed on the business that had brought us together, which was to try to make peace between your Majesty and the King of France for the benefit of Christendom. At that, the Englishmen again joined the French in order to inform them of what we had been saying.
After they had been a long time together, the Englishmen came back to tell us that they had done all they could, but had failed to elicit anything from the French except that they saw the matter was not yet ripe, wherefore they could stay no longer and must take their departure.
We replied that we greatly regretted to see things come to such a pass. We had been summoned in the hope that Milan would not be discussed and that there would be no difficulty about reinstating the Duke of Savoy. The English knew what had happened about this and all the other points, and saw how much your Majesty wished to make peace and that we wished that the French had acted up to their words, had been willing to accept the proposals put forward or else to make some of their own. As they had failed to do either thing, they made it quite clear that they had intended to break from the beginning. We could not hold them back by force. We could only say that your Majesty would be sorry to see the meeting end in nothing, but that you would remain embounden to the British, as Christendom also would be, for the trouble they had taken. It was not their fault or your Majesty's if no result had been achieved. Your Majesty would always be ready to demonstrate your good-will, provided any reasonable proposal were put forward. The Englishmen approved our words and praised your Majesty for continuing to be willing to listen to peace proposals, in spite of all that had happened. They considered that we and the French must meet to take leave. We agreed, and we all met again. The Legate expressed his regret at the breaking up of the meeting, especially as it had been attended by delegates of such distinction. He would not presume to say whose fault it had been that things had not gone better: God would be judge and would perhaps make demonstration of His judgment. However, the Legate was glad that the will to peace existed on both sides, in spite of what had occurred, and expressed a hope that when the ministers had returned to their sovereigns, God might perhaps inspire the princes so that adequate means might be discovered before long.
We made a suitable answer, expressing our gratitude to his Holiness and the Queen of England for their goodwill, and to the Cardinal and his English colleagues for the pains they had taken, which we would not fail to report to your Majesty. We also expressed appreciation of the moderation displayed by the French and our hope that, as the Legate has said, God might soon afford some means. Your Majesty would certainly never refuse to examine any reasonable proposal, and we trusted that the King of France's ministers would prevail upon their master to give evidence of the desire for peace which they had so emphatically stated he felt. The Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable replied in reasonable and courteous terms, expressing their gratitude and their regret that no conclusion had been reached. They said that God had perhaps not yet sufficiently punished his people, but averred that in spite of everything they remained strongly desirous of reaching a peace. They would do all they could to promote it, and they hoped that we would do the same and that God would do the rest, adding that the Queen of England and the Legate would always be the best instruments to attain the desired result. At this, the English made us embrace one another and exchange the most courteous farewell greetings.
This done, the Cardinal of Lorraine drew me, the Bishop of Arras, aside and again raised the question of the prisoners. I answered in conformity with your Majesty's letters, insisting upon it that he should prepare a memorandum, and that if his proposal were reasonable we would be glad to respond. The Constable then came up saying that he had not dwelt on this point because his own son was involved. He was rich, God be thanked, but his son did not own any land, and he had five sons and seven daughters, all alive, which showed plainly enough how much ransom he would be able to put up. True it was that he held the young man to be his own son and would not wrong him. I repeated that if they were reasonable on their side they would not find us less so. After that, the French left, and we stayed behind in the meeting hall with the Legate, as your Majesty had recommended that we should not be the first to go. After we had made our farewell remarks, the Englishmen said they would go home with all possible speed. The Legate drew me, the Bishop of Arras, aside to tell me once more how sorry he was that we had not succeeded, and I took the opportunity to remind him of your Majesty's intentions and to show that the French had been to blame for the failure, for their only object had been to bewilder us while waiting for their abominable alliance with the Turk to bear its fruit, looking as they were for the arrival of his fleet off the coast of Italy, and hoping that we on our side would have failed to prepare because of the store we had placed on these negotiations, thinking thus to circumvent us and lull us into the belief that they really meant peace by sending to meet us two of the most prominent ministers of France.
At that he interrupted me, saying that he was edified about the French, and that he had told the Cardinal of Lorraine plainly that whatever they might say, the whole of Christendom would lay the blame for the break upon them. He also confirmed what Paget had told me in confidence: He had had letters from Italy informing him that the French had been decided to go away today, which was enough to make it clear how they proceeded. After that, the English took their departure and we returned to this place, arriving at about ten in the evening. Don Diego de Acevedo's instructions, sent by the post because, for the reasons your Majesty is aware of, it would have been unsuitable for him to come himself, reached me, the Duke of Medinaceli, at the meeting place just after the English had left. Don Diego had sent these instructions when he realised that a break was imminent. But as everything was over by then, and we had seen that the French were determined either to obtain Milan at once or else to refuse to give up anything, it seemed to us that there was nothing further to be attempted for the time being. We only wish God had been pleased to grant success to this meeting, but your Majesty will have seen from our reports that we were unable to do otherwise than we did while adhering to your Majesty's instructions. We beg your Majesty to take in good part our efforts to do our duty. We have decided to stay here until tomorrow, in case the French were to send us any message. Otherwise, we mean to start on Monday: the Duke of Medinaceli, the Bishop of Arras and President Viglius for Brussels; and Count Lalaing and M. de Bugnicourt for their respective posts.
Signed by the five Commissioners.
Vienna, F.31.
212. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Francisco de Eraso (Extract)
Hampton Court, 8 June Don Alonso Pimentel has left. You are to know that the deliverance of the Queen is not expected until St. John's day, at the soonest. They say that the calculations got mixed up when they saw her with a girth greater than that of Gutierre López. All this makes me doubt whether she is with child at all, greatly as I desire to see the thing happily over. . . .
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
213. Note in the writing of Viglius de Zwichem
9 June (fn. 10) Madam: We heard from a trumpeter whom we sent to Ardres that the Constable and the other French commissioners were leaving yesterday. So we did not think it necessary for us to stay any longer, and we are starting today. The moment the negotiations ended, the Chancellor, the Earl of Arundel and Lord Paget set out for England. The Legate was still at Calais yesterday. One of the spies sent out from Artois by M. de Bugnicourt had reported that it was generally known several days ago that the French were going to leave on 8 June. This shows how little they were minded to do any good. The English realised this, and went so far as to tell the French that everyone was scandalised by their behaviour, especially about Savoy, after what the English had done in order to bring about these negotiations. The Abbot of San Saluto helped in this matter, as he is a subject of the Duke of Savoy, although it is said that he has relatives in several quarters which are entirely devoted to the French, as your Majesty will have heard from the letters that were intercepted.
Brussels, E.A.108.
214. Francisco de Eraso to Juan Vázquez de Molina
Antwerp, 15 June The letters I have from you are so old that I need only say in reply how sorry I was to hear that you were suffering from gout, as Hoyos wrote to me, and to hope that you are now in better health. The King (Philip) sent to his Majesty copies of the letters which had gone with the Portuguese courier who was waylaid on 1 June, and his Majesty has heard with great satisfaction that the 200,000 ducats are now assured. We are in such straits here that I am ashamed to describe them. I give you my word as a Christian that we have been so short that we have had no money for day to day expenses. You may imagine what difficulties we are facing with the troops, fearing that they may mutiny at any moment, as there are three months arrears owing to them. Until the bills of exchange arrive we cannot raise a penny or find anyone who will let us have money. The 300,000 ducats from the King's assignment went to providing the Duke (Alva) with his 200,000 and the expenses we are put to for exchange operations between here, Spain and Italy. There was practically nothing left. Although I am very sorry to see that great interests are suffering in consequence, I cannot help being glad that the King and those round about him should see what difficulties we are facing here. I was not in favour of attempting to conclude this piece of business by indirect means, the result of which has been to oblige us to deposit money here and pay 75 gruesos on each ducat. But Domingo de Orbea, who ought to know better, was of the opposite opinion, and although the power came for both of us, I gave way to him, as it was the King's business. I will call time as a witness, and I am sure we shall see what all this will cost us. I regret ever having had anything to do with it. It is true that we are obtaining these 200,000 ducats that have been raised in Spain and the 50,000 for Italy. Well, Sir, as long as our requirements are so heavy we have to endure everything. I deeply regret what is happening in Spain, and also the failure of the peace negotiations here, as a result of which the King will be in great need of support at a time when there is no hope of obtaining it from this country or from England. May God help us, for we need it in the state we are in! His Majesty is well, and is determined to go to Spain this year. He is in a great hurry to have the King come hither, in order that they may settle outstanding questions and his Majesty may be free to go.
I spoke to his Majesty about the state matters, and he has deferred a decision for the time being. I will behave just as if he were here, although Hoyos must have let you know how things are going with us. I am worn out with it all. We are impatiently waiting for the money on exchange, and also the cash that is to come from Seville. Please make haste, as far as you can without damaging your health which is so necessary in these matters. I must again bother you about Ocampo and Salamanca, for his Majesty has instructed me to do so, and well he may considering how he is being pressed. As for me, my life depends on getting rid of these matters, and there is no way in which you could do me a greater favour. As far as I can see, his Majesty is going to go on delaying about the ecclesiastical appointments and other affairs, and all I can say is that we are desperate here, and poor. His Majesty has not yet given audience to Antonio de Eguino, though I have begged him to do so three or four times and am keeping Eguino on from day to day. This will show you how business is progressing here . . . (greetings to Doña Luisa, and private matters).
My brother will speak to you about the 100,000 maravedis for life which you have been kind enough to arrange for me. If possible, I would request you to consider an increase to fourteen (i.e., one hundred and forty thousand) and as the question is being decided in Spain I beg you to take it in hand, inserting if necessary a clause to the effect that this arrangement is to hold unless and until I am given something else of at least equivalent value. Please see to it that the Princess (i.e. the Regent) takes action. It does not seem a very big thing to ask. Please make a present of fifty ducats to the merchant who is taking this letter. Count Chinchon is staying here in my lodgings. He has come from England and is on his way to Rome to visit the Pope on behalf of the King. He says that the King (Philip) and Queen are in good health, and that he feels sure that by now the Queen will have been delivered. There are signs that it will be a son. God grant that it may be so!
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.510.
215. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Francisco de Eraso (Extract)
Hampton Court, 20 June The King's letter will have told you of the decision he has arrived at about Navarre. I refer to the matter of the Duke of Albuquerque. It seems to me to be the best course, and something that may do our enemies great harm. But the principal instrument is lacking, and that is the money. Therefore it is necessary immediately to set to work to raise some. As you offer to do so, I will help with my prayers, in order that God may suggest some good idea to you. People here have been saying that Don Enrique (i.e. Henry d'Albret) is dead. (fn. 11) That would be a bad thing for us, and the loss of an opportunity. However, as the French will not have us for friends, we must show them what we are made of, and especially the King, as he has not yet come out in person in such affairs. His best servant will be the man who supplies him with means to this end.
The Queen's confinement has kept us all in a turmoil and is the source of much trouble, as time is passing during which the King ought to be going over to see his Majesty and settle affairs with him. But as our cause is just in the sight of God and He has initiated this affair, we must always think that what He disposes is better than what we propose. So I believe that the delay of the Queen's deliverance will work out to our advantage, as will also the breakdown of the peace negotiations. One great drawback is that the King has no advisers here better versed in affairs of state and war than we are who are serving him here. I believe his Highness will talk about this when he sees his Majesty, so I will say no more than that life is short for such long preparations. . .
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
216. Simon Renard to the Emperor
Twickenham, 24 June Sire: Everything in this kingdom depends on the Queen's safe deliverance. Her doctors and ladies have proved to be out in their calculations by about two months, and it now appears that she will not be delivered before eight or ten days from now. This is the reason why I have not written oftener to your Majesty. If God is pleased to grant her a child, things will take a turn for the better. If not, I foresee trouble on so great a scale that the pen can hardly set it down. Certain it is that the order of succession has been so badly decided that the Lady Elizabeth comes next, and that means heresy again, and the true religion overthrown. The English are inclined to favour the French, and will forget the friendly feelings for our side which they have latterly been pretending to harbour. Churchmen will be wronged, catholics persecuted; there will be more acts of vengeance than heretofore, and I do not know whether the King and his Court will be in safety among these people. A calamitous tragedy will lie ahead. It is almost incredible how the delay in the Queen's deliverance encourages the heretics to slander and put about false rumours; some say that she is not with child at all, but that a suppositious child is going to be presented as hers, and that if a suitable one had been found this would already have been done. The expressions worn on people's faces are strange; folk have a more masked appearance than I have ever seen in the past. Those whom we have trusted inspire me with the most misgivings as to their loyalty. Nothing appears to be certain, and I am more disturbed by what I see going on than ever before. The nations do not get on well together. There is no justice and order, but an increasing amount of boldness and evil intentions. There is a widening split in the Council, as the French found out at the last session. The longer things go on as they do at present, the more urgent it appears to devise some remedy and carefully to consider the moment when the King had better cross over to your Majesty. Although I am sure your Majesty will have been informed of all this, I hope I may be forgiven for repeating it.
As for recent happenings, it is said that the French boast of having ascertained your Majesty's intentions about peace from the proposals that were put forward by the Legate and the English delegation. Thus the French gained the time they were looking for. They will easily be able to finance the war as long as they need to, for they have raised 500,000 crowns at Lyons and have obtained 100,000 crowns from their tax on alum, which amounts to 3 francs on each quintal, and which they have farmed out, as well as from their ordinary taxes. It is also said that they have requisitioned all the pack-mules at Lyons, intending to use them to carry munitions to Piedmont. Less than a month ago they sent foot and horse to reinforce their army in that quarter. They are bringing about 10,000 soldiers into France. They have 2,000 German horse, supplied by the young Duke Heinrich of Brunswick. Although Marquess Albert (of Brandenburg-Culmbach) did have some trouble with the Constable about the appointment he desires, the French hope that he will now obtain it and will do them good service. Canvas for sails and biscuit are being taken to Marseilles and Toulon for the Turkish fleet which is shortly expected to arrive in those ports. The French ambassadors who had gone to the Sultan have returned, saying that there will be no truce between the Turk and the King of the Romans. The new Pope will be animated by the same goodwill he showed the French as a Cardinal. Although he received favours from the Imperial side and had some unpleasantness with Piero Strozzi about the command at Porto Ercole, all that will not prevent him from showing his accustomed partiality to the French. The Protestants have an understanding with the French which, if appropriate steps are not taken, may cause great trouble. The Diet of Augsburg is going very badly. The French are asserting that there will be greater disturbances in this kingdom than ever, because of the way the heretics are dealt with here, which they describe as cruel, because of the strife between English and foreigners, for all the above mentioned reasons and also the plots which they are constantly hatching here.
We hear that the French King is drawing near to Champagne, but also that he is having ladders and bridges made for use in the district round Boulogne. Also, that he has intelligences with persons at Bapaume by means of a double spy. A few days ago, a spy was captured, carrying letters from the Constable of France to his son who is a prisoner, and also a letter from a certain Brian, his butler, who promised the Constable to free his son, and gave his own wife and children as hostages. This Brian is an Englishman and is married at Boulogne. He applied to the Captain of Guines and to Senor Ruy Gómez, offering to reveal what was being planned, as he had access to the Captain of the place where the Constable is at present. I recognised this Englishman: he is a double spy who deceived M. de Lalaing, M. de Horn and several other of your Majesty's ministers. Therefore he has been arrested and the necessary papers have been obtained to take him to Gravelines, there to be examined. He is to be conducted thither to-morrow by two servants of the Provost of the Court of Gravelines, as I believe your Majesty will already have been informed.
Signed. French.
Vienna, E.22.
Printed by Weiss, Vol. IV, from an undated copy at Besançon, “27 June, 1555”.
217. Simon Renard to the Emperor
Twickenham, 29 June Sire: To-day the brother of the French Ambassador resident here arrived in London. I hear from a friend of mine that his mission is to thank the Queen and the English Commissioners who took part in the recent negotiations between your Majesty and the King of France, to present excuses and to explain why the proposals put forward by the English were not accepted, and also to find out how the Queen has taken the failure of the Conference, and to endeavour to prevail upon those who govern this kingdom not to go to war with France, doing all the good and ill offices that may seem to contribute to this purpose. He is also to elucidate the question of peace and to explain the King of France's intentions as to the points at issue, making it clear how far he would be able to go. It is possible that now that the French have thought things over and realised that to submit the questions of Milan, the Duchy of Burgundy, Savoy and Piedmont to the General Council would give them a reserve position and permit them to reopen questions already decided by former treaties, and have reflected that their designs might be thwarted and that your Majesty still has gallant armies on both sides of the Alps, they may wish to have a new Conference called or even to conclude peace on the strength of the English proposals without another Conference. The man who gave me this information told me that the French Ambassador had remarked not long ago to an English gentleman that peace would come from England. However, my friend added that we had better be careful, because the Ambassador's brother might easily seize this opportunity to plot with the Lady Elizabeth's partisans and stir up some new revolt in England. Your Majesty will no doubt receive more detailed accounts of what takes place, but I thought it my duty to inform you immediately of the above.
I understand, Sire, that at the recent peace negotiations it was mentioned that when I left France on the outbreak of this war, and the French gave me a pass to return home, they handed me a note stating the reasons for which they had broken the peace with your Majesty. But they in fact only made a (verbal) declaration to me, which I then reported in writing to your Majesty. This was done by M. de Morvilliers, Chancellor, who came to me for the purpose. I do not know for what reason the matter was mentioned in the recent negotiations. I have been guarded in what I have said about it until I know more. The matter concerns me personally, and I do not like to have it repeated that I was given something in writing, when it is not true. Thus I have avoided giving an answer until I hear from the Bishop of Arras what line I had better take.
The Queen is as well as she has ever been during my stay in England, and indeed seems to be in as good health as could be desired, so much so that one cannot doubt that she is with child. A certain sign of this is the state of the breasts, and that the child moves. Then there is the increase of the girth, the hardening of the breasts and the fact that they distill. I trust that within ten days your Majesty will have more certain tidings about this.
Signed. French.
Vienna, E.22.


  • 1. See the Duke of Savoy's letter to the Bishop of Arras of 17 May, 1555.
  • 2. In a letter in this same bundle, the Marquis of Mondejar, writing to Ruy Gómez, says: “That dog Alva has bitten me, too.”
  • 3. This paper is dated “June, 1555”, without any day of the month. As it was written at Brussels, and mentions the arrival of a letter from London dated 4 June, it was probably written about 7 June. A brief summary of news, it may well have been prepared for the Emperor, who at the time was notoriously unwilling to read dispatches, by Francisco de Eraso, who was Ruy Gomez de Silva's habitual correspondent at the Court of Brussels.
  • 4. A series of letters with the dates left blank from Mary I to the Pope, the Emperor, the King of France and other princes, informing them of her safe deliverance, are preserved in the Public Record Office. They are placed at the end of May, 1555, in the Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, 1553–1558, p. 172.
  • 5. Jossc Bave, secretary to the Emperor.
  • 6. Louis de St. Gclais, Sieur de Lansac.
  • 7. Charles, Duke of Lorraine.
  • 8. Christina of Denmark, dowager Duchess of Lorraine.
  • 9. Paul IV, when Bishop of Chieti (in Latin, Theate) had founded the Theatine order, so called after his then diocese.
  • 10. This paper is undated, but the context makes it clear that it was written one or at most two days after the peace negotiations broke down, which they did on 8 June. It appears to be a draft for a letter to the Queen Dowager of Hungary.
  • 11. The report was true. d'Albret had been intriguing with the Imperialists; see pp. 78–79.