Spain: February 1513

Pages 93-97

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 2, 1509-1525. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1866.

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February 1513

8 Feb.
P. A. d. l'E. M. H. K. 1639. No. 20.
85. Louis XII., King Of France, to Odet De Foix, Seigneur De Lautrec.
Commissions him to conclude a truce or peace with King Ferdinand and his allies.—Blois, 8th February 1512, 15th of his reign.
French. Autograph. p. 1. On parchment.
Feb (?)
S. E. I. L. 806. f. 14.
86. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Luis Caroz De Villaragut, his Ambassador in England.
The Knight Commander Muxica has brought him letters from the King and the Queen of England, and letters from him (the ambassador), dated the 13th and 17th of December last, together with the draft of the new treaty of alliance. This draft contains the clauses concerning the enterprise on Normandy and Guienne which the King of England and his council wish to add to the treaty. Is sorry that Muxica met with so many obstacles on his journey that he did not arrive before the [blank] of February.
As soon as Muxica had delivered his message, he sent for John Stile and Doctor Knight, in order to know what powers they had. Doctor Knight was in Fuentarabia. Ordered him to come directly, and confer with him. Entered meanwhile into preliminary negotiations with John Stile, who however, begged him to wait till the Doctor had arrived. Is ready to conclude the treaty respecting the conquest of Guienne and Normandy, if the English ambassadors have sufficient power to sign it in such a form as will satisfy him. But since, according to what John Stile states, it is probable that the powers of the English ambassadors are insufficient, he has decided to write direct to him his observations on the clauses of the treaty, and orders him to communicate them to the King of England. It will not be his fault if the affair should be protracted.
Is determined always to remain the most intimate friend and ally of the King of England, although the English forsook him when he stood in the greatest need of their aid.
Has read the articles concerning the conquest of Guienne and Normandy. Desires, as much as the King of England does, to carry out this enterprise. Has, however, more experience of the power of France, and is therefore of opinion that both the invading armies, that which is to invade Normandy, as well as that which is to march into Guienne, ought to be strong enough to resist an attack of the whole of the French forces ; for, although it is just possible that the French, on being simultaneously attacked in Normandy and in Guienne, may divide their forces, and victory over them may thus be rendered easier, it is much more probable that they will march the whole of their army against one only of the invading powers. They might, for instance, leave garrisons in some of their fortresses on the frontiers of Calais, and employ the whole of their strength against the Spaniards, after which they might drive the English out of France. Or they might first try to beat the English, hoping afterwards to conquer the Spaniards. It is, however, more probable that the French will attack the Spaniards first, as the best French troops are quartered in the south. If the invading armies are not strong enough to resist, separately, the whole of the French forces, the only result of the enterprise will be loss of money and waste of human life.
Another circumstance which must be taken into consideration is that the French have a considerable number of German troops in their pay. Spanish soldiers are superior to French, but they are incapable of breaking the rank and file of the German veterans. English soldiers are strong and courageous, but for a long time past they have not been accustomed to warlike operations. Thus, it is probable that if the French army, reinforced by German troops, had to fight with exclusively Spanish and exclusively English armies, the victory would remain on their side. In order to be sure of victory it is necessary to employ a certain number of German troops in the Spanish as well as in the English army. The strength of the infantry lies in the art of using the pike and musket. The principal use to which they can be put is to defend the artillery, now in general use. If English archers were intermixed with German pikemen, they would certainly render good service ; but it is not probable that English archers alone could resist German troops in a pitched battle. German infantry has deservedly acquired a high reputation.
The expense of such an army as is required in a war with France is so great that it is beyond his power to maintain it unassisted. Is willing to pay more than one half the expense, although the war is not a Spanish but an English war, and all the conquered provinces are to be handed over to the King of England. His love of the King of England is so great that he would himself bear all the expenses of the war, if he were rich enough to do so.
A subsidy of 100,000 crowns is rather a small aid in so great a war, all the advantage of which will accrue to the King of England. It is not his habit to promise things which he cannot fulfil. To do so would be to defraud his allies of their money. Leaves that to a certain other prince who promises great things to his allies, takes money from them, and afterwards does not fulfil his promises, because he cannot. Does not like to accept money from his son, the King of England. Begs him, therefore, to send his own paymasters, who may pay the German troops in his (the King of England's) name.
This measure would also in other respects be of great advantage. The inhabitants of Guienne would thereby be convinced that the enterprise is really not a Spanish, but an English one. The people of Guienne like the English, and still remember the good times when they belonged to the crown of England. They have no affection for the Spaniards.
Besides, if the German troops are paid by the King of England, he will always have it in his power to carry on war or to conclude peace, as he likes.
All these reasons induce him to think that it is desirable and even necessary that one half of the troops which are to invade Guienne should be paid by the King of England. It would cost him less than the commander-in-chief, the 8,000 troops, the other captains, and the artillery which the King of England had formerly sent to Spain. But even if the expenses should be as great as those of the 8,000 English troops who were then in Spain, it must be borne in mind that his (King Ferdinand's) expenses will be still greater. Does not ask more than this, because he knows that the war in Normandy will cost the King of England a great deal of money.
If the King of England will pay 6,000 Germans, he (King Ferdinand) will promise to furnish all the men-at-arms, the whole of the light cavalry, the rest of the infantry, the miners and sappers, and the artillery ; he will also take upon himself all the extraordinary expenses. That will be twice as much as the King of England will have to pay. Would do more if he could.
If the King of England should say that he will send English troops instead of paying the 6,000 Germans, he is to answer that until the English are better practised in the art of modern war, they are, in his opinion, incapable of rendering the same services as the Germans. It would, consequently, still be necessary to add a considerable number of German troops to them, in order to render victory secure in a pitched battle. But if Spanish, English, and German troops were combined in one army, the disputes and quarrels between the soldiers of the three nations would be endless. The English are rash and quarrelsome, and the people of Biscay and Guipuzcoa are not always governed by reason. The English are disliked by them, in consequence of some excesses which they committed when they were last in Spain. The English, on the other hand, do not seem to like the Spaniards, since they refused to stay any longer in Spain. Thus, as it would be necessary to assemble the whole army in Biscay and Guipuzcoa, it would scarcely be possible to prevent hostilities between the different nationalities, if the army contained an English contingent. Advises, therefore, the King of England to conquer Guienne with Spanish and German troops only, and afterwards to send English troops to garrison the conquered places.
With respect to the fleet, he is to tell the King of England that there is no necessity for the Spanish navy to be as strong as the English fleet. The English fleet is to remain in the northern seas, and the Spanish fleet in the southern waters. If one of these fleets were in danger, it would be a matter of course that the other should succour it. Should the King of England find that the number of ships stipulated in the last treaty of alliance, are not sufficient to hold the northern seas, in such a case he could increase his own navy. It does not seem necessary to sign new articles in this respect.
If the King of England approves his proposals, the copy of the treaty which he will find enclosed in this bundle may be signed. He is to see that nothing be added to, or expunged from it. He is to remind the King of England that he (King Ferdinand) does more for him than one prince has ever before done for another. The King of England must, therefore, be thankful and not attempt to offer less than is demanded. If the King of England says that Spain would at all events go to war with France, he is to answer that Spain is easy to defend, but France difficult to conquer. If he (King Ferdinand) undertakes to conquer Guienne, he is obliged at the same time to have an army and a fleet in Italy, to keep strong garrisons in the towns of Africa, and to provide the fortress of Perpignan and other fortresses in that part with men and provisions.
If the King of England accepts his conditions, he (Don Luis Caroz) is to write to him without delay. Has sent the Knight Commander Christobal de Aguilera and Micer Guiote, his captains, to enlist 2,000 Germans. If the King of England signs the treaty the draft of which is enclosed, he (the King of England) must directly send a commission to the captains, empowering them to enlist the German troops in his name, and to provide them with the necessary funds. He (Don Luis Caroz) must also write to them, and tell them to enlist 6,000 German troops, instead of 2,000. The troops ought to embark in Flanders for Guipuzcoa. It must be made generally known that the troops are in the service of the King of England, who must send with the same fleet on board which the troops embark as much money as will be necessary for their punctual pay. The German troops are to be paid as long as the war lasts, and one month longer, to give them time to return to their own country.
Has ordered Juan de Lanuza, his ambassador in Flanders, to hire ships there for the transport of the troops. The King of England is to pay for them.
The King of England must immediately get his own army in readiness, and invade France punctually at the stipulated time. To do it later would be a great error.
If, however, the King of England does not accept the conditions he proposes to him, he is not, even then, to break off the negotiations entirely. Wishes first to see what result his other proposal, respecting a general peace, will have. Promises solemnly not to conclude peace with France without the King of England.
Doctor Knight has at last arrived. The English ambassadors declare that they have not the power to conclude the treaty in its present form. Has given them a copy of it. He is to inform the King of England of the contents of this despatch. If the King of England accepts the conditions contained in it, he (Don Luis Caroz) is to sign the treaty at once, as he has already a power to do it.—No date. No signature.
The despatch is superscribed : "Don Luis Caroz."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 16.
Feb. (?)
S. E. Var. L. 1554. f. 27.
87. King Ferdinand The Catholic (?) to the Knight Commander Brizeño, his Ambassador in Rome.
He is to tell the Pope as follows.
The treaty between him (King Ferdinand), the Emperor, and the King of England, to make war upon France, has not been signed by himself in the form in which the King of England and the Emperor sent it to him. The copy of it which has been forwarded to Rome is therefore not a transcript of a binding treaty. The reason why he did not ratify it was that the treaty was badly drawn up. No sufficient reasons for the war were stated, and some facts, mentioned in the treaty were untrue. Has sent another project of a treaty to the Emperor and the King of England, in which the war is shown to be a just war. Its principal object is to defend the Pope and the Church, to extinguish the schism, and to wrest Guienne, Normandy, and Burgundy from France. When all that is done a general peace can be concluded.
Has, however, not sent the power to his ambassador to sign this new project of a treaty in his name, because he makes the conclusion of it dependent on the previous conclusion of peace between the Emperor and the Venetians. There are also other reasons for delaying the conclusion of the treaty, as he hopes without going to war to obtain excellent conditions from the King of France, which will benefit all Christian princes in general, as well as be of great advantage to him and to his succession.—No date. No signature.
Draft, written by the Secretary Quintana. After having been concluded, the draft was corrected and changed in such a way that it was no longer a letter of King Ferdinand, but a confidential communication of some of the Ministers, probably Quintana himself, to the Spanish ambassador in Rome. The passage in which the ambassador is ordered to communicate the contents of his letter to the Pope is suppressed in the corrected draft. p. 1.