Spain: September 1529, 26-30

Pages 252-260

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 1, Henry VIII, 1529-1530. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1879.

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September 1529, 26-30

27 Sept. 168. Eustace Chapuys to Madame.
K. u. K. Haus-Hof-u.-StaatsArch.
Wien. Rep.P.Fasc.,
c. 225, No. 19.
The reason which the Queen had for wishing me not to write [to you] about her affairs was, as far as I can judge, her fear of my recommending and soliciting that the advocation obtained at Rome should be executed in Flanders, as you were pleased to intimate in your letter of the 8th, received on the 20th. I am much inclined to think that was the cause that the Queen herself sent me on the 21st one of her most confidential servants with letters for the Emperor and for Miçer Mai, the ambassador at Rome, and that the latter had also previously written to say he had orders from Your Majesty to furnish any money required for the expediting of express messengers with the Queen's letters and any others I might have to forward. I think, however, that when the news of the execution reaches the King he will not be in such a hurry, and will return here, to the Queen, before another despatch is made out; for he (the King) fears that she may be displeased, knowing that she had written to Don Iñigo (fn. n1) requesting him to use all his influence [with the Council] to suspend the execution of the brief [in Flanders] until the councillors heard from her, and most likely she had spoken to the King about it, and perhaps also promised to interfere.
The suspension of the execution did no harm on the whole, as long as I did not declare my commission, and tried whether by mild and friendly means the King could not be persuaded to continue conjugal relations with his Queen; but since no hopes remain of his being brought to reason by such means, you have, Madame, acted, in my opinion, most wisely; for, although the execution was actually accomplished before I had an opportunity to speak to the King, it was enough for our present purpose that he should not have been officially informed of it, for then he could not allege as an excuse that he had spoken to me about it. Thus, before proceeding to strong measures, I should have tried gentle ones; but now it will be necessary that the whole be legally dealt with, since no other argument or persuasion will be of any avail. Besides which, since the case is so far advanced, though the parties were of good understanding together, it would be necessary in order to remove all traces of scruple and inconvenience to have it decided by a definitive sentence. And since necessity compels us to it, the sooner it is done the better. This, in my opinion, is the surest way to get out of this difficulty, for many considerations and reasons, by far too manifest to require further illustration. That is why, Madame, I do not hesitate to say again that you have acted well and wisely in this affair. It now remains for the Queen's excuse, that, if, as I said before, she has made a promise of some sort to the King, you be pleased to write her a letter stating that notwithstanding the Queen's express desire conveyed to you by Don Iñigo de Mendoza that the execution should not be made in the Low Countries, you had, yielding to the importunities of the Roman lawyers and proctors, or on such like plausible considerations that can easily be found, ordered the said execution to take place. Or if you think it best, you might have a paragraph to that effect inserted in one of your letters to me, that I may make use of it and show it to the King.
The King received me at Grafton, as I have already had occasion to write. After listening for a while, and with great attention, to what I had to say, he began with a very joyous and smiling countenance to say how pleased he was to see me at his Court, believing that if the reports about me and my person were true—and he had no doubt they were from what he saw—I should prove to be a good minister, and one likely to do his best towards maintaining this blessed peace between His Imperial Majesty and himself. To that effect (he said) it was necessary to have to do with people well disposed and inclined, inasmuch as the discretion or indiscretion of ambassadors was frequently the cause of the friendship or enmity of princes. Coming then to the principal point in my instructions, namely, this divorce case, there was much debate and argumentation on both sides, of which I shall only give here a summary in order not to tire you with too minute details. He began by bringing accusations (fn. n2) against the Emperor and saying he could not conceive what reason he (the Emperor) could have for refusing to send to England the brief of dispensation for the Queen's marriage, when he had been requested to do so by him and by the Queen herself; a document, he said, which evidently belonged to them both and not to anyone else, since it was directed to them. Whoever had given the Emperor such bad advice had certainly done great injury to his master and to the parties concerned, for had the brief been sent to England, as requested, and been found valid and authentic, all disagreements would have been at an end, he (the King) would have maintained his union with the Queen, and enjoyed the advantages and blessings of marriage of which he had been deprived, much to his regret, ever since the beginning of the present dispute. On this topic, and respecting the Emperor's refusal to give up the brief, the King dwelt much and for a long time, repeating word by word the very same arguments and allegations once made by his ambassadors and by those of the Queen at Saragossa, which, together with the answers then made [by the Imperial ministers], I have no doubt you have seen. The King, moreover, added on this occasion some new arguments of his own which had not been used before, principally taken from Civil and Canon law. To pay him off in the same sort of coin, I begged the King's permission to dissent from some of his opinions, which being granted, I proceeded to argue that putting aside the reasons for not sending the brief to England—which in my opinion were strong enough to excuse and warrant such a proceeding on the part of His Imperial Majesty—I could prove that he (the King) had no right whatever to have the brief in his power. The King found this proposition of mine so strange, that after listening to my argument for some time, he let the matter drop, changed the conversation, and said: "However that may be, I cannot but wonder at the Emperor's persistence in a matter which, relating exclusively to conscience, ought not to be subjected to the pressure of affection, friendship, or consanguinity; one which, without the Emperor's interference, might have been fairly settled between the parties. And I wonder still more how, the Emperor being a secular prince, and the matter a purely ecclesiastical one, he could take such a part." He then came to the point on which he is most sensitive, which is the advocation of the suit to Rome, which, he said, the Emperor had contrived against all reason and justice, since it was notorious that no place in the World was more fit for the investigation of a case of this kind than this city of London, the usual residence of the parties concerned (himself and the Queen), both of whom were to be examined, and were not of a condition to leave their kingdom and appear before the Pope to plead at Rome. (fn. n3) It was also necessary to examine many witnesses, old and infirm, who could not possibly undertake such a long and fatiguing journey. "Besides," he said, "the Pope wrote to me a letter in his own hand saying that not only on account of the causes and reasons above alleged, but because Rome was then under the tyranny of the Imperial soldiers, it was absolutely necessary that the case should be tried in England, not elsewhere." The Pope, moreover, had promised him that never, on any ground, would the trial be advoked to Rome. "And now that same Pope," added the King, "for fear of that same army, as well as on account of his league and alliance with the Emperor has been induced to grant the said advocation." "No justice (he continued) could now be obtained at Rome except such as suited the Emperor; the first commission given to two cardinals, both of them learned, honest, and conscientious men-one of whom in particular had received proofs of favour from the Emperor—had indeed been issued in accordance with right and reason, but the present advocation [to Rome] was altogether unreasonable. As far as the Queen was concerned, no fitter place for her defence could be chosen than London; nowhere, in all the world, could she find better counsel than those he himself had procured and appointed for her by letters patent, some of whom had treated him as rudely (asprement) as though he had been the humblest peasant in his kingdom." In addition to a council so composed he (the King) had allowed lawyers from foreign parts to come and undertake the Queen's defence, as those whom you, Madame, sent during Don Iñigo's time.
My answer to the King's objections was this: At the time that His Holiness, the Pope, sent his legatine powers to Cam peggio and Wolsey to have the case tried here in England, he could not have spoken or acted worse than he did against the Emperor, in order to create perpetual enmity between the two princes. Respecting the iniquity (iniquité) of the first commission, and the justice of the subsequent ad vocation, since he (the King) would not attach faith to what I had stated in the Emperor's name, there was nothing to do but refer to the Papal briefs, addressed to the Cardinal of York, of which I here enclose a copy for Madame's information. With regard to the summons and appearance at Rome of himself and Queen, I observed, the remedy was close at hand, which was to appoint commissaries for that sole and express purpose, men of upright and unsuspected character. And as to his fears of not obtaining proper justice at Rome, he (the King) was to put them on one side, and consider that the Emperor is the prince in Europe who most fears God and loves justice, who would not on any account allow injustice to be done, especially in a case of this sort, in which, were the marriage considered illegitimate and unlawful, he would not for one moment consent to persons of their quality and condition, so closely connected to him by the ties of consanguinity and friendship living in continual sin.
"But let us set that matter aside," was the King's reply, "it is not an affair of the moment, and besides I know too well the Pope's versatile humour. To come to the point, I must now declare to you one thing, to which I have hitherto avoided making allusion, which is that if the Emperor, my brother, had studied these matters as I have done, and knew as much of them as I do, he would refrain from speaking about them. (fn. n4) As to me, if I take the affair up it is merely for the repose of my conscience, not for any other purpose. I was not the promoter of it, and it cannot be said of me that I ever shewed myself a party."
Many other things of this kind did the King say in direct opposition to the real facts of this case, and to what the people here see and believe. In short, after many replies and counter-replies (plicques et replieques), which I omit for brevity's sake and not to weary your attention, the King concluded by saying: "All these things passed at a time when the Emperor and I were not on good terms; now that we are at peace, thank God, all affections and passions must needs be put on one side. Therefore, whenever the Emperor my brother, will put aside all bias of affection and listen to reason, I will meet him on this ground, and he will find me quite ready to do what is proper and right." This last sentence the King uttered in a lower tone of voice, and between his teeth. Then he added: "I shall be back in London soon; there we will again treat of these matters at greater ease." I then begged him to tell me at once what resolution he had come to, as I could not say how long I should remain in London, knowing, as I did, that his ambassador at the Imperial Court had been recalled. "It is true," replied the King, "the Emperor has left Dr. Edward Lee in Spain, without allowing him to follow his court [in Italy], but I am about to send others to replace him, and, therefore, there is no occasion on that account for hastening your return."
After these words the King got up to leave the audience hall and retired into his own apartments. Before leaving, however he invited me to dinner that very day and ordered Mr. De Rochefort to attend to me and take care that I had all I wanted, which he certainly did with great courtesy. Then turning round towards me as he was issuing from the hall, he said: "If you want anything from me, or have news to communicate, let me know, and I will give immediate orders for your admission." He then left the room, and as I afterwards heard, sent for the said sieur de Rochefort and others of his Privy Council, and related all I had said to him, and especially the doubts I had expressed respecting my stay in England, which, owing to Dr. Lee's expected return from Spain, I considered could not be very long. There was probably some talk in the Council Room upon this particular subject, for shortly after the said Mr. De Rochefort and others of the Privy Council came to announce to me in the King's name that he was about to send ambassadors to the Emperor to reside at his court, and that accordingly I ought to make up my mind to reside here. To this I acceded without difficulty, inasmuch as there is an article to that effect in my instructions.
After dinner the said Mr. De Rochefort and I had a private talk together on various points, and principally on the Emperor's late journey to Italy, on his suite and the troops he had brought with him, on this late peace, and the reputation that you, Madame, have gained by promoting it. He then said much about his master's good intentions, which (he said) had never been justly appreciated. As to him, he said, he would have given his life to let the Emperor penetrate into the bottom of his heart, and see what his real sentiments were. And upon my observing to him that this could be well accomplished at much less cost, and that I would gladly undertake to be the mediator, he was going to say something in reply when a gentleman of the royal household came and summoned him to the King's presence, and thus was our conversation suspended without hearing his revelations, if ever he intended to make any.
The Queen's counsellors, fearing lest some motion should be made to her disadvantage (fn. n5) at the present Parliament, are of opinion that an express should be sent to Rome to obtain a general inhibition; but they have not sufficiently well considered the words of the one already in our possession, which appears to me strong and extensive enough to comprise all people. There are different opinions about the object for which this present Parliament meets; some say that it is merely for the purpose of examining the accounts of the last few years, and seeing how the money has been laid out; others maintain that it meets for the purpose of passing an Act forbidding any more Papal legates being admitted into the kingdom. The Cardinal (Wolsey) has lately been at Court, owing to the influence and exertions of his colleague, Campeggio, and was there treated as I have informed you by my last despatch, (fn. n6) although it must be said that the very evening of his departure [for Grafton] he was three or four hours debating with the King, He was, moreover, told before he arrived at Court that neither he (Wolsey) nor Campeggio were to travel with crosses before them and other legatine paraphernalia, and that they were not to take a numerous suite of followers, but only ten or twelve servants each. And they had indeed as poor a reception as could possibly be. Cardinal Campeggio has since taken his congè and will leave England shortly.
The ambassadors of this King now going to the Emperor are ready to undertake the journey [to Italy]; they will leave next week. Instead of Mr. Vannes, who was appointed in the first instance, the Master of the Horse (Grand Escuier) has been named, who goes well equipped. They will first visit the French court, and there will part company with those who go to the Pope, who are George Boleyne, the brother of Madame Anne, and with him a doctor in Theology, the greatest enemy the Queen has hitherto had. Many people here say that this latter goes to France for the purpose of gaining the votes of the Parisian doctors at the University, make them declare for the King, and write in favour of the divorce.
There is no need for me to give these people news of the Turk, as they get them quicker and more reliable than you can imagine, for the ambassadors of the Vayvod who have been here have taken good care to acquaint them from time to time with the movements of that Infidel; and it seems to me that at the present moment they are more deeply concerned with the news from Alessandria—which is sadly afflicting, as I hear—than with the operations of the Turk, about whom they do not care much just now. Immediately after the receipt of Madame's letter with the news of Vienna and the retreat of the enemy, I hastened to go to Court and communicate the information received, but found that they were many days before in possession of the facts.
Respecting the excuse to be pleaded for having ordered the execution to be made in that country, you must not trouble yourself, I will make it any how. As to the one to he offered by the Queen, in case she has made any promises or taken engagements, that will be more difficult. At any rate, since the work has commenced it must needs be brought to a conclusion, and you must give orders that within the term fixed in the Papal letters the execution be made at Rome, otherwise all the trouble taken in this aftair will be lost
As I am writing these lines I hear that the Auditor of the Apostolic Chamber [Ghinucci] has passed through this town, riding post, and that he is going to Court Nobody knows yet what his mission is. (fn. n7) —London, 27th September 1529.
Signed: "Eustace Chappuys."
French. Original. pp. 6.
28 Sept. 169. The Emperor to Chapuys. (fn. n7)
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.-Staats Arch.
c. 225, No. 21.
Your despatches from Brussels and Valenciennes have been duly received. We now enclose to you two documents, one of them being a "factum" in 14 articles on the doubts that have been raised upon the marriage question. (fn. n8) —Parma, 28th September 1529.
French. Original draft. p. 1.
29 Sept. 170. Count Felix of Werdenberg to the Emperor.
Arch. d. Royme. de
Belg., Doc. Hist.,
f. 287.
Yesterday, having received intelligence that the Marquis Darscot (d' Aarschot), who on Monday last left this, camp with the artillery horses, the ammunition, &c., and part of the light horse of this army, would most probably be attacked on the road by Count Gallache (Galeazzo), Sigismond de Rymelen, and Avantin Fragastor, of Verona, I detached to his assistance two companies of infantry and a proportionate number of men-at-arms. The same Monday, in the evening, Mr. Le bailly Damont (d' Aymont) sent me a message by his lieutenant, the sieur de Rausonnières, to say he had positive information that Count Gallache and the two other captains, with about 250 light horse, had passed the night before at Valais and were prepared to attack the Marquis at his passage through that town. The lieutenant further said that if I would only give him two companies of infantry the Bailly would attack the enemy and dislodge him from his position. I did so, and that very night the said Bailly Damont, Mr. Daultrey, and the lieutenants of Messieurs du Reulx, de Varax, and de Vyennes left the camp, and yesterday morning, one hour after sunrise, prepared an ambush at a spot between Carvyane and Vorte, into which Count Gallache fell, for he had only 150 cavalry with him, Cesare Fregoso having returned to Verona with the remaining 100. So sudden was the attack that the enemy was completely routed, and besides many dead on the field the Count and most of his men were taken prisoners. The latter, however, has managed since to make his escape, for whilst one of the troopers who took him prisoner was conducting him to the Bailly's presence he contrived, as I am informed by an eye witness, to run away with his guard, by offering him as a bribe 2,000 ducats. I have sent some horsemen in pursuit, and if the trooper should fall into the hands of my men I will not fail to make an example, and have him punished as he richly deserves.
We intend leaving this place to-morrow in the direction of the River Doye, provided the men I have sent to escort the Marquis return.
The enclosed list will shew how many litter-horses we take. If more are wanted for the artillery, about as many as 135 can be procured. As to oxen, 180 have been bought in Hungary for the use of the Imperial camp at Mantua.—Limad, the 29th of September 1529.
P.S.—I send now 350 artillery horses, and if more are wanted, as I said before, 135 can be easily procured here.
Signed: "Felix de Werdenberg."
French, pp. 2½.
30 Sept. 171. King Henry to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
c. 225, No. 50.
In credence of his ambassadors, Messire Nicollas Carewe (Carew), Knight, our Master of the Horse (Grand Escuyer), and of our Chamber, and of Messire Richard Sampson, Doctor at Law and Dean of our Chapel.—Au manoir de Wyndesore, 30th September 1529.
Signed: "Henry."
Countersigned: "Tuke."
French. Original. P.1.
30 Sept. 172. Martin de Salinas to King Ferdinand.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.,
c. 71, f. 220.
Since the departure of Count Noguerol (Nogarolo), who left on Friday the 24th inst., nothing new has occurred, save that the Emperor shews still the greatest desire to march to His Highness' assistance, and is doing all he can to disengage himself. Already the Pope intends leaving Rome and going to Bologna on the 4th or 5th of next month, and the Emperor will leave this place in order to be there before His Holiness' arrival. On the other hand, the Papal Nuncio has gone to see the Duke Francesco Sforza and propose for the last time the terms on which the Emperor consents to leave him in possession of his estate. Should he again refuse Pavia will be next attacked and taken; for the siege artillery has already arrived.
The Prince of Orange is at the gates of Florence with his army; already deputies from that Republic are in treaty with the Pope.
News has come that in an engagement which the Germans and the light horse in the Mantuan had with the Venetians under Count Gaiaço, the latter were worsted; that captain and about 30 of his men having been made prisoners.—Piacenza, 30th September 1529.
Spanish. Original draft, p. 1.


  • n1. "Mais oiant les nouvelles de la dite execution il n'en a plus grant haste que de s'en rotourner vers la dite royne avant que fere autre despeche, et doubtant fort que la royne n'en fust desplaisante, veu quelle avoit pieça escript a monsieur de Bourgues de tenir main que l'on ne feist le (sic) dit execution." Mr. de Bourgues is here for Don Iñigo de Meudoça then in Brussels. See his letter from that place. No. 27, page 58.
  • n2. Il commencha par l'accusatif, disant que a dire verite, &c.
  • n3. "Les quieux ne sont pour delaissier le royaulme et aller tracquiasser à Rome."
  • n4. "Je vous asseure certainement que se l'Empereur, mon frere, entendoit bien ceste matiere, comme je fais, et qu'il en sçeut qu'en sçays," &c.
  • n5. "Le Conseil de la Roine a crainte que aux estatz ne se traictasse de quelque chose a son aduantaige, pour quoy estoit d'aduis que l'on despeschasse a Rome pour auoir une inhibition." Thus in the original, but unless ironically meant the word "advantaige" ought to be changed into desadvantaige.
  • n6. "Bien est vrai que le soir quil partist il prona plus de trois ou quatre heures avec le roy."
  • n7. This is followed by a letter to Margaret, which, with the exception of an occasional paragraph that was suppressed, is only a copy of Chapuys' despatch to the Emperor, though dated three days before, on the 24th of September.
  • n8. See above No. 154.