Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1954.
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|263. Count Lalaing to Philip (Extracts)
|Blois, 4 April
|Sire: Your Majesty will have seen from my letter of 27 March the remarks made by M. d'Estrées. This gentleman has since then made further observations, both to me and to other persons of my suite. He spoke of the diffidence shown towards the Admiral of France because of the state he kept up. He also said that the truce had come at the right moment for us, for other reasons besides those I had already reported to your Majesty. I asked him whether the former Prince of Salerno (fn. 1) was at Court. He replied that he believed he was, unless he had been travelling on business. He also spoke to me about the Duke of Savoy, giving me to understand that he would never get his country back, and that he had not deserved to obtain it from the King. I asked him whether M. de Nemours would be his heir, supposing that the Duke of Savoy did not obtain possession. He answered that some other compensation would be given him. I rejoined that some very great compensation would be required for such a country, given that the Prince is an absolute sovereign. He said that the King would give something in his own kingdom, carrying the same sovereignty. Speaking to one of my people, he observed that we might have peace if we wanted it, but that the King of France would not give back anything he had occupied, for he had sworn an oath to that effect. Therefore he (d'Estrées), speaking as a relative of his interlocutor, advised him not to rebuild his mills that had been burnt. He went on to say that if we had not agreed on the truce the very day on which we did so, a break was inevitable. The King of France had sent instructions not to prolong negotiations. The slightest obstacle would have meant a complete breach. D'Estrées also said that 42 powerful cannons were being cast at Turin. I am not reporting this, Sire, because I regard it as entirely to be believed, but in order that your Majesty may be informed. . . . . . . . .
|The Prince of Ferrara arrived at the Court of France, three or four days ago, travelling by the post, and brought his bastard brother with him. M. d'Estrées told me that the Italians are very much inclined to listen to his suggestions and that unless there is prompt execution by your Majesty, especially where prisoners are concerned, the truce will not last. I told him that on your Majesty's side undertakings will be punctually observed. . . . . . . . .
|264. Mary to the Emperor
|Greenwich, 6 April
|My Lord and good Father: I am now sending Lord Paget, the bearer of this letter, to pay my respects to you, to visit you on my behalf and bring me news of your good health, as well as to offer you my congratulations on the truce that has been concluded between your Majesty, the King, my husband, and the French. He is also to thank you most humbly for the letters in which you inform me of this event. These news are all the more agreeable to me that I have long desired to receive them; and I trust that Our Lord, Who of His bounty has permitted such a beginning to be made, will turn it into a good, sincere and perfect peace, to His honour and the welfare of all Christendom. I can only desire this most ardently, for the good of all. I am also very much obliged to your Majesty for having sent me news of the improvement of your health, the gout having abated, and I hope that entire recovery will ensue. I thank you humbly for remembering me where the return of the King, my husband, is concerned, as I have seen not only from your letters but also by the messages brought by Lord Fitzwalter. Now that the abdication is over and the truce concluded, and the arrival of the King of Bohemia should contribute to permit the King, my husband, to return, I implore your Majesty most humbly, for the love of God, to do all that is possible to permit it. I see every day that the end of one negotiation is the beginning of another. I beg your Majesty to forgive my boldness, and to remember the unspeakable sadness I experience because of the absence of the King, which emboldens me thus to write to you, who have always shown me a more than paternal affection.
|265. Count Lalaing to Philip
|Amboise, 8 April
|Sire: I arrived here yesterday before noon. I was met, one league from this place, by M. d'Enghien on behalf of the King of France. He was accompanied by the Duke of Longueville, the brother of the Duke of Mantua, the former Prince of Salerno and several other lords and gentlemen. He saluted me very graciously from the King and accompanied me to my lodging, where the Constable of France sent one officer with a present of the King's wine, and another with venison. After dinner, the Constable sent me yet another gentleman to inform me that I was to go to the King; and M. d'Estrées brought me the same message. Then, Marshal de St. André, with several gentlemen, led me to the King, who received me very honourably. After having commended your Majesties to him, I presented my letters of credence, which he read. I then declared that your Majesties were well content that a truce had been concluded and hoped that it would lead to a peace, which you would be glad to agree to if the terms available made it possible. The King replied very graciously, saying that he was animated by the same sentiments and desired to remain your Majesties' good brother and true friend, adding that he wished to regard the Emperor as his father, and that his deeds would correspond to his words. Some space of time was filled by such words. I endeavoured to carry out my instructions to the best of my ability. The King also spoke of the honourable treatment your Majesties had shown to the Admiral of France, and I dwelt on the excellent reception I had received everywhere in his kingdom, humbly thanking him for it, and stating that I should be very happy to be able to serve in so good a cause. The King replied that your Majesties' servants would be his own, and his would be your Majesties'.
|All this passed off very well. Then the King told the Constable to present me to the Queen, after the Dauphin and the Duke of Lorraine had joined us and I had presented my respects to them. So 1 was led to the Queen by Marshal St. André, and paid my respects to her, to the Queen of Scotland, the King's two daughters and the Lady Margaret his sister, all of whom were together, as well as Cardinal Châtillon. (fn. 2) I commended your Majesties to the Queen and acquitted myself to the best of my ability. The Queen replied in friendly terms, dwelling on the interests of Christendom. Next, I commended your Majesties to the Lady Margaret, who thanked me graciously for your memory of her. After this I saluted the Duchesses of Guise, Valentinois and Castro, as well as the Maréchale de la Marche, who spoke to me at great length about her husband's internment, using arguments which it would be too long to reproduce.
|To-day, Marshal St. André came to accompany me to the King's mass in the Castle chapel, where I continued to be very honourably treated. After mass, the truce was sworn to on the missal and the cross on it. The instrument was read from beginning to end in a text which was near enough to the one I had asked for. Towards the end, there were words about not doing or allowing servants to do anything against the truce. At this point, I spoke up saying that this should also apply to others than servants. The King said that he so understood it. When the whole text had been read, I again asked whether the King gave his oath to it and he replied that he did. The Dauphin was present, as well as the Cardinals of Lorraine, Guise, Vendôme and Châtillon, the Archbishop of Vienne, the Constable, the Duke of Lorraine, the Duke of Guise, Marshal St. Andre and several others. Afterwards, I dined with his Majesty, who took me into a window after dinner and again spoke to me most graciously of friendship and the repose of Christendom. It is true that in the middle of these gracious remarks he slipped in something to the effect that the Bishop of Arras had spoken to the Admiral of France about the prisoners in a way that departed from the friendship which your Majesties had shown the Admiral, adding, however, that he had not wished for that reason to defer swearing to the truce, and that the Constable would speak to me further on this point.
|I then accompanied his Majesty into the garden, where we remained together for a long time. The honour shown me and the gracious words spoken to me would be too long to report in full. To-morrow, the King is going out hunting, and is having knives handed to M. de Ligne and others to go with him. The Constable is entertaining me at dinner, and Cardinal Châtillon has bidden me to supper. I intend to ask for leave to return as soon as possible. I commended your Majesties to the Constable, who replied that his master's servants are also your Majesties' servants.
|266. Count Lalaing to Philip
|St. Laurent des Eaux 11 April
|Sire: In order to complete what I wrote on the 8th of this month, I wish to add that when it was said that as hostilities had ceased, it would be the right time to proceed towards a closer amity, the King of France replied that although there had been war he had never borne your Majesty ill will. He said that when princes went to war it was a great punishment sent to them by God for their sins. I observed that the sins of peoples sometimes provoked blows from God, and that although war is over, unless sins cease, God is powerful enough to send pestilence, famine or other chastisements. The King then spoke to me about the heresies which are now flourishing in several places, saying that in his own kingdom he had not been able to deal with them because of press of other business. He also mentioned the heresies in England and the good work the Queen had done in that connection, saying that the (English) Ambassador had told him how, when the Dean (i.e. Archbishop) of Canterbury was executed, he, who had once recanted, when he saw the fire declared that he maintained his earlier opinion and regretted having abandoned it. The King remarked that the ambassador was a very good Christian. He also spoke to me about the city of Geneva which is a source of much evil because many heretics are received there and thence disseminate their errors throughout France. I gave him a rather sober answer on these points, except that I mentioned an example similar to that of the Dean: a young lady (demoiselle) whom I had had executed because of the office entrusted to me by his Majesty. She, hoping to escape, had recanted. But when she saw that she must die, she returned to her error and showed that she regretted having recanted.
|Sire, I spent a long time with the King in a window, where he spoke kindly with me as I reported to you on the 8th of this month. Among other things, I remarked to him that if I had to advise your Majesties, I would counsel you to give up this or that rather than to miss concluding peace for the good of all Christendom, but that I wished to say the same thing to him. I believed that God would requite any Prince who kept this principle steadily before his eyes. He replied that he would do his utmost, and begged me to do what I could with your Majesties in order that a happy conclusion might be achieved. I answered that I was quite sure of your Majesties' goodwill. As the King had given me such assurance of his, and I trusted that his acts would correspond to his words, I doubted not of final success. After we had spent some time together and he had made the remarks which I reported in my letter of the 8th, he raised the question of the prisoners, and said that the Constable would speak to me about it more in detail. At that moment, the Constable joined us and said that at some point it would be necessary to pass from words to deeds and that some one should make some concession. Then, the other side would also take a step forward. It should be remembered that even he who gains most by war remains a heavy loser. He seemed to be speaking sincerely. He also remarked in the King's presence that he was bound to him, head, arms and legs, for the King had pulled him out of the cave. I might, Sire, quote many more remarks, but it would only be repetition to do so. I can only aver that I was very honourably treated.
|In the course of the conversation in the King's presence with the Constable and M. de Guise, the King often appeared to appeal to me. He also gave an excellent welcome to M. de Ligne and my nephew de Hoochstraet. The Queen, the Princesses and other ladies were also present at mass, while the truce was being sworn to. I forgot to mention to your Majesty that the King said that if your Majesties and he came to an agreement, every one else would remain with the short straw. If I have been too prolix, I have done so because your Majesty instructed me to observe closely everything that happened, not only in words but also actions, and to report it all to you. I will add that one of our gentlemen had a conversation with M. de Guise, after having dined with the Constable who invited them when I dined with the King. This gentleman asked whether the Duke of Lorraine would not have an opportunity of seeing his mother, now that the truce had been concluded. The answer was, no. When our gentleman appeared to demur, M. de Guise replied that if the Duke's mother came to Lorraine she might see her son, but not otherwise. Also, another French gentleman said to one of our people, speaking of peace, that the Constable was very much inclined that way, but not M. de Guise, because the House of Guise is poor, and as its members are brave soldiers they think they have a better chance of becoming rich by means of war.
|Sire, your Majesty's English Ambassador came to see me on the 9th of this month and told me that he had been very happy about the news of the ratification of the truce. Also, the Venetian Ambassador sent a gentleman to speak to me of the devotion to your Majesties felt by the Seignory of Venice. He said that as the ambassador had seen me in England he felt all the more obliged to me and desired to wait upon me whenever I might have time. I replied as graciously as I knew how. The Papal Nuncio also sent to congratulate me on the truce. I answered as appropriately as I could and said I would go to salute him. Since then, I have sent a gentleman to him to say that I had hoped to call on him this morning but that other business prevented me from doing so. I requested him to let me know when it would be convenient for him to receive me. He told me that he had received letters from the Pope two or three days ago but that he had not had audience yet because of my coming. The Constable had sent him word that he would receive him that day, therefore he asked me not to come until I had heard further from him. Then, the Venetian Ambassador came to congratulate me on the truce on behalf of the Seignory, also dwelling on his hopes for a final peace, because Christendom was hard put to it to resist the Turk, whose forces were great, and as he said were increasing every day. He spoke to me of the Seignory's devotion to the Emperor and your Majesty, assuring me that the Seignory not only wished to do nothing aimed against your Majesty but would undertake nothing that would in any way displease you. On this he dwelt with great emphasis. He then expressed gratitude to me for having negotiated the truce and exhorted me to persevere in order to reach a definitive peace. He told me that he had had several conversations with the King, who assured him that he would set his own interest below the general good of Christendom.
|I then went to dine with the Constable and found him in the King's garden where we walked together for some time. He said that at the beginning of this reign the King had sent M. d'Andelot, his nephew, M. de Brissac, his cousin, and also another gentleman whose name I have forgotten, in order to seek the friendship of his Majesty the Emperor, but that his Majesty had not been pleased to draw the bonds closer. He also observed that there were always some young men who liked war better than anything else, and that things had turned out as we have seen. However, if your Majesty would hold out one finger of friendship, the King would give him two in return. I replied that when the gentlemen above mentioned went to the Emperor, I was working with the Queen of Hungary. From all I then heard and from what the Emperor wrote, I believed that his Majesty entirely reciprocated his desire for friendship, but God had permitted things to happen differently. My conclusion was that the friendship should now be established more firmly than before, and as he knew there was a way. He said that the modesty of ladies made it necessary that men should seek them rather than the contrary. He also mentioned what the Bishop of Arras had said to the Admiral of France, and remarked that he would not have done to him what had been done to the Margrave of Hesse, and be set at liberty three hours before he died. I rejoined that as for the demand in marriage, there would be no difficulty about its being made in a proper manner, but there were other things to be cleared up, and first of all how to arrive at a durable peace. He admitted that there was some-thing in this, without making any fuller answer, but took me off to dinner.
|Cardinal Châtillon and several others dined with us. When we had finished dinner the Constable led us to his room where we stayed some time talking together. Then, the Constable sent the others away and I remained alone with him and M. de l'Aubépine (fn. 3) for about two hours. He spoke to me again about M. de Montmorency and the way the prisoners had been treated. He said that if we had been willing to reciprocate, the Duke of Arschot and others would have been released on parole and very well treated. M. de Montmorency alone was being put to greater expense than all those interned in the wood of Vincennes together. He himself had been a prisoner once, when he was Marshal of France, and although he had inherited eight or nine thousand livres a year from estates in Burgundy from his mother, he had only paid ten thousand crowns ransom. He also spoke of the ransom paid by M. d'Aumale. (fn. 4) He said that Margrave Albert was very keen about money, and the King of France had given him 40,000 crowns for M. d'Aumale. As for himself, he did not wish that a single village should be given for M. de Montmorency. He would rather have given 20,000 crowns for him during the war than 10,000 now, for then he might have had an opportunity of winning fame and making the King pleased with him. He would give nothing at all for M. de Montmorency unless it were to obtain his entire liberty. In this connection he returned again to what the Bishop of Arras had said, and remarked that the rigour used towards the prisoners was not in accordance with what had been agreed. He made l'Aubépine read me the two treaties regarding the chief prisoners and the others who, as he said, ought to be set free according to what had been agreed. He said that M. de La Roche-Guyon and other's ought to be released for one year's ransom as well as those who were in the Emperor's hands, except in cases where the ransom had already been paid. As for exchanging M. de Montmorency, M. de Sedan and Count Villars against other prisoners, it would not be reasonable, and to talk about it would only cause delays. It would also be very difficult to find any who might have given other names than their own. He was in favour of not releasing any prisoner who had no one to answer for him, remarking that there were a great many poor men and suggesting that we might keep them if we liked, for nothing would be paid for them. He asked whether we would not be willing to trust the King to send back those who are under suspicion of having betrayed.
|I replied as seemed best about the prisoners, but he kept insisting on the point, very grave in words and expression of face. He asserted that the King, his master, had done all he had undertaken to do by the truce, and had disbanded the Germans and light horse in this country, and also the Germans and Swiss in Piedmont. But although Marshal Brissac had written to the Marquess of Pescara about the truce, Pescara had ignored it and even concealed its existence, and had written to the Cardinal of Trent who had opened Brissac's letters, taking care to close them again so that they should not appear to have been opened. The object of all these remarks was that I should report them to your Majesty. The Constable also said that the King was confident that I would use my influence with your Majesty in the desired sense. He also said he knew very well that at the meeting at Brussels I had had to fight our own Court rather than the Admiral of France. To conclude, I spoke of the sincerity I had known in your Majesties and your firm will where the repose of Christendom was concerned, wherefore you had been glad to agree to a truce, and indeed had preferred a truce of five years to a longer one, because the sooner a real peace was concluded the better. But I was unable to get anything more out of him. He made it quite clear that if we wished to re-establish friendship it would be necessary first of all to handle the question of the prisoners as he asserted was agreed to in the treaty. He said that if your Majesty wished to show friendship, that would be the way to demonstrate it. After having assured him that I would do my best, I asked whether I might speak of withdrawing. He said that the King was very glad to have me here but that he would consent to my going now, and indeed would send me away in the interest of peace. When the King came back from the chase I might take my leave of him.
|I then went back to my lodging, where the Ambassador of Mantua came to see me, making the usual compliments and congratulating me on the truce. The Papal Nuncio, Bishop of Viterbo, sent me word that the Constable had informed him that he would not have audience that day. Therefore he suggested that I should go to see him or that he should come to me. I went to him, and he met me at his door and led me into his room where we talked for some time. He spoke to me of his Holiness's good intentions where your Majesties were concerned and praised the truce highly, insisting upon his Holiness's desire to see a definitive peace concluded, it being his duty to contribute to it. He put in a word about the dissatisfaction felt here on the subject of the prisoners. I answered as best I knew how and then went to sup with Cardinal Châtillon, with whom I had some conversation while waiting for the meal to be served. He also spoke to me about the prisoners. When I tried to put in a word about closer friendship, he always brought up the prisoners again. I then asked him whether friendship consisted merely in the way prisoners were handled. He said yes, and that what they demanded had been agreed to in the treaty (truce). True, he said he knew very well that the favour he enjoyed with the King of France was no more than a fortunate throw at dice, and that his luck might turn at any moment.
|Trying to be as conciliatory as I could, I pressed him further. He spoke of giving back or not giving back, or giving back what your Majesty had occupied twenty years ago. I then asked him whether the French would not make up their minds to discuss giving back what had been occupied now. He replied yes, and said we could talk about that, adding that on their side they would have been content to appeal to the Council.
|After supper, I went back to Court to take leave of the King, who spoke most graciously to me, emphasising his desire to be friends with your Majesty, and said that he knew very well that he had been young himself. He also made another covert allusion to the prisoners. I took leave of him, of the Dauphin, the Cardinals and the rest, and afterwards of the Queen, the Queen of Scotland, the King's two daughters, the Lady Margaret and the other Princesses. I set out on my return journey yesterday morning. The Papal Nuncio came to bid me farewell just before I left.
|Sire, I have already mentioned what the Maréchale de La Marche said to me. Yesterday evening she sent me a letter which she had received from her husband, with a message to the effect that she would send her son to greet me and would like very much to speak with me again. Therefore, after my conversation with the Constable, I went to see her. She spoke about the rigours of her husband's internment, complaining that he had not been allowed even to see some one who had come to talk with him about his daughter's marriage. She sent for the young lady to come and salute me. She assured me that her husband's fortune, both his and hers together, with all the salaries he was receiving, did not amount to more than 50,000 livres a year, and that he had to spend a good ten thousand to meet charges at Sedan and elsewhere, so that what remained did not amount to more than 40,000. She begged me to move your Majesty to let her have her husband back, and said that she would try to find a ransom of 30,000 crowns or a little more for him. When I took leave of the Queen, the King's elder daughter asked me to put in a word with your Majesty for M. de Sedan, and the Duchess of Valentinois did the same. Also, the Maréchale of Sedan spoke to me on the subject. I could do nothing but agree to mention the matter to your Majesty.
|Sire, your Majesty will consider all these points, and will reflect whether it would not be well to show some liberality in this matter of the prisoners. It might be worth while to lose 20,000 or 30,000 crowns for the sake of so important a result as peace would be.
|M. d'Estrées has been instructed to accompany me as far as Péronne, and also M. de Mendoce and M. de Belleforiére. D'Estrées, who is a knight of the King's order and general of the artillery of France has shown me all possible civility. He often speaks to me of his son who has been so long a prisoner. It would only be polite for me to make him some present. It would do no good to offer him a trifle, and I have not the means to make it much. Perhaps your Majesty might show him some liberality. He seems to be willing to release the prisoners he has. I will leave this question in your Majesty's hands. I have no courier and am sending off a gentleman who has been with me all the time and will be able to report to your Majesty what he has seen.
|P.S.—Sire: I forgot to say that the Constable handed me the enclosed memorandum (fn. 5) and suggested that your Majesty might send a gentleman to Piedmont, the King of France doing the same, to discuss incidents that have taken place there since the truce was concluded. After I took leave of the King I had another short talk with the Constable who again said that if one finger of friendship were held out we would get the whole hand in return.
|267. Don Diego Laso to the King of Bohemia
|Rome, 11 April
|I had been meaning to start everyday since the middle of March, but my infirmities prevented me from doing so. For the last week, however, I have felt able to travel and would have set out already had it not been that I received letters from the King instructing me to await the arrival of the Bishop of Zagabria. (fn. 6) I am therefore waiting for him and will do as his Majesty commands. God grant that matters may go well! I am in grave doubt because I see how impossible everything is. I am told that his Holiness is minded to do whatever he can to help your Majesties against the Turk, and that he has repeated this many times. I will not fail to ask him for his word about this. A few days go it was being said in Rome that he intends to send his nephew, Don Antonio Carafa, with 4,000 infantry.
|Yesterday, his Holiness held a meeting of Cardinals, almost without notice, nobody knowing exactly what was the business in hand. He then proceeded to appoint as legates Cardinal Carafa and the Cardinal of Motula, who was formerly a servant of his Holiness and will now be sent to the King of England, Carafa going to France, in order to promote peace.
|It appears difficult to be certain of the sincerity with which his Holiness is proceeding in this matter. On the contrary, he seems more likely to upset the truce. His choice of the two legates he is sending on this errand is not encouraging. It is certain that the legate going to the King of England will do nothing but what (Cardinal) Carafa writes him to do. Moreover, his Holiness never tires of disparaging the Emperor and his son. To send two such persons on such a mission without having informed the (Emperor's) Ambassador here is an unusual proceeding.
|The impression here is that the King of England will be aware of this, especially as very little regard has been shown so far for the Emperor's and his wishes, since this pontificate began. It seems to me that the Pope will grasp even the smallest pretext to be disagreeable. Recently, the Marquess of Sarria, his Majesty's Ambassador, wished to leave Rome to go out hunting, at a time when there was a general prohibition to leave the city. The ambassador, however, had sent to Count Montorio for leave. When he reached the gates, the guard did not allow him to pass through. His servants tried to use force and enable him to do so. His Holiness took this so badly that since then he has refused to give the ambassador audience and asserts that he will not receive him. Some of the ambassador's servants have been arrested and are in danger of being punished.
|More precautions have been taken here than if the enemy were at the gates. No cardinal or ambassador is allowed to leave the city without a pass, even on private business. It does not appear that this truce has served any useful purpose.
|Vienna, Rome, 10.
|268. Francisco de Vargas to the Princess Dowager of Portugal, Regent of Spain
|Padua, 17 April
|Your Highness will see from the enclosed copy of a letter I am writing to his Majesty what news there are from the Levant. Most people think that the (Turkish) fleet will go to Barbary, although its appearance is feared everywhere. Unless news of the truce have some effect, there may be disagreeable happenings.
|As your Highness will have heard from Rome, the Pope appointed two Legates on the 10th inst.: one to go to their Majesties and the other to the King of France, and both to try to promote peace. The one who is going to France is Cardinal Carafa, who has always been and always will be pure poison, an enemy of their Majesties and a Frenchman body and soul, full of mischievous ideas. Your Highness will have had full information about him. His legation bodes no good. This is so clear that no one can make out why the Pope has done it. It also seems that sending the Cardinal of Morula to the Emperor is not a sign that there is any chance of reaching an agreement. I hope that the Pope's plans will not turn out as he wishes, he and his nephew. There are so many troops mobilised that one might think the enemy was at the gate.
|I came here to Padua to visit Queen Bona of Poland. (fn. 7) She received me very graciously. I am now returning to Venice, where she is to arrive on 26 April. Four or five days after that she will take ship for Bari, where she is to reside.
|Cipher. Signed. Spanish.