Spain: November 1531, 1-10

Pages 277-286

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 2, 1531-1533. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1882.

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November 1531, 1-10

4 Nov. 818. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Wien.Rep.P. Fasc.,
c. 227, No. 45.
Your Majesty's letter of the 13th ultº did not reach me until the 15th, owing to the rough passage from Calais. Immediately after the receipt of it I informed the Queen of the arrival of despatches, and sent her a copy of the articles on which the advice of her Council was required. The Queen was then on the point of starting for a country house within the precincts of the Abbey of St. Albans, which the King has chosen for her residence. Some time after her arrival at the place she sent back the articles, trusting entirely to me as to the answer that was to be made thereto, for (said she) she knew nothing about the matter, and had no councillor by her to give advice, all and every one of the prelates appointed [by the King] to counsel her at the beginning of the suit here having since the advocation of the cause to Rome, resigned their offices, saying that they dared no longer interfere in her affairs. I have, therefore, done my best to collect such information as I could respecting the wars, or the fears that might have been entertained of such wars [at the time that the Queen's marriage was first spoken of], as contained in the said articles. I must, however, declare that up to this day I have found no one able to procure me reliable information on this subject. I am now writing to Miçer Mai and stating to him my opinion in this matter, with the details of which I will now avoid troubling Your Majesty, as Monseigneur de Grandvelle, with whom I am in correspondence, will, if required, fully report on it, as well as on my own private ideas respecting the production of the original brief [of Julius II.] The letter for Miçer Mai I have forwarded to Monseigneur de Grandvelle open, that he may correct or add whatever is wanted as one more versed than I am in such matters. Respecting the original process—which was the principal point on which Miçer Mai insisted—I have already provided in the manner that Your Majesty knows, though at some amount of trouble. I have, therefore, no doubt that Your Majesty, knowing full well that without the said original process nothing can be done at Rome, has caused the copy which I sent to be immediately forwarded to the said Mai by a safe route.
I have heard lately from an authentic source that Monsieur de Bayonne (Jean du Bellay) has come to this city for the purposes of which I advised Your Majesty.
The funeral service in honour of Madame the Regent [Margaret of Austria] was duly performed on the very day that I was writing to Your Majesty. The King attended personally, dressed in a blue velvet robe, the colour here used for mourning, followed by 24 lords in long robes of black velvet. The solemnity took place at a castle 10 miles from this city, but no general commemoration was made in all the churches of this city as was the case when the emperor Maxiroilian or king Louis XI. died. The Princess will remove on Monday next from Richmond to a castle of the bishop of Winchester 40 miles from hence. I fancy it is not for change of air, as they say, but because the Lady who wishes her far off has procured her removal.
With regard to the questions and answers interchanged between the King's Councillors and myself respecting the proposed interview and enterprize of the king of Denmark [Christian III.], I have adhered most strictly to my instructions, and will continue doing so whenever I am asked what Your Majesty's intentions are respecting the prolongation or removal to another place (transmutation) of the Diet of Spires.
Yesterday a courier arrived from Rome, dispatched by the King's ambassadors at that court, and was on the same day sent back with an answer. I am told, and I believe it, that he has come for the sole purpose of inquiring what sum of money was to be paid for the expedition of the bulls of the two bishops [lately appointed by this king], for which a very large one was at first asked. This, it would appear, has been reduced to 20,000 ducats. The courier came also to ask for letters in favour of the King's own ambassador, the auditor of the Apostolic Chamber (Ghinucci), who not being able to obtain a cardinal's hat, wishes by his master's favour to be promoted to the office once held by cardinal Sancti Quatuor, and I am told that letters of recommendation have been made out in the most favourable terms.—London, 4th November [1531].
Signed: "Eustace Chappuys (sic)."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Holograph. Pp. 3.
6 Nov. 819. Queen Katharine to the Same.
S.E. L. 22,
f. 147.
My sorrows and my distress are so great, and my life is so embittered and disturbed through the plans which these people are continually devising the better to carry out their wicked purpose; so fierce the attacks daily directed against me by some of the King's Privy Councillors, and so harsh and undeserved his general treatment of me, that God only knows how I can support all that I have to suffer. All this put together is enough to put an end to the lives of ten people, how much more so to mine, which is now so shattered by misfortune that no human creature among Christians ever suffered so intense an agony. And yet without deserving it in the least, for in this business I never offended God, nor the King, my Lord, whom I have always obeyed as his true wife, being quite unconscious of having ever done in this business anything against his will. I have, nevertheless, been treated in such a manner, and reduced to such a condition, that I know not what to do, except addressing my complaints to God Almighty and to Your Majesty, on whom the remedy to my misfortune solely depends. I, therefore, humbly beg Your Majesty, for the love of God, to procure from His Holiness the conclusion of this affair by such a sentence as the truth and righteousness of my cause demand, and let this be done as soon as possible, for such is the activity and haste displayed by my enemies that the utmost diligence is required to arrest them in their march.
I pray and beseech God for the remedy to come soon, and may He forgive His Holiness the many suspensions and delays hitherto granted by him, which are the only cause of this suit being in the state it is, and myself reduced almost to extremity. May God infuse his grace, and so enlighten the heart of His Holiness, that better fruits may be reaped in this affair than have hitherto come from it. Otherwise the whole must be at once placed in the hands of God, for Him to dispose as is best for His service. I confidently hope that He will not give occasion for these people to exercise their malice. As long as I live I shall call myself the true and legitimate wife of the King, my Lord; I will in this world confess that I am such, whilst in the other world, which is eternal, those who intentionally drove the King into this error will be compelled to acknowledge how ill-treated and afflicted I was without the least cause.
Your Majesty's ambassador residing at this Court has sent me certain articles that came from Rome that I might have them examined in my Council; but I must here declare that I have no other advice to ask or take but that of Your Highness, (fn. n1) and of your ambassador, who, being as he is, a very wise man, encourages me continually and quiets my sorrows, assuring me that Truth will at last come out victorious of this contest, and frequently reminding me of the trouble and anxiety Your Highness naturally feels at this delay in the proceedings, as well as of your own continual and pressing solicitations at the Roman court. As the learned and experienced lawyer that he is, Your Majesty's ambassador shews, when consulted, such tact and wisdom that some of my former Councillors assure me that Your Majesty could not have chosen a better person under the afflicting circumstances in which I find myself. And since God has permitted that my Councillors, owing to the fear they have of the King's wrath, should not dare to speak, let the charge of answering the said articles devolve upon the said ambassador. I find no other remedy in my distress; it seems to me as if it were the best and the surest, under present circumstances.
Meanwhile, and until the sentence which will effectually extinguish this fire comes [from Rome], there is much need that Your Majesty say and publish among such people as may bring the news to this country that you are extremely sorry for my sufferings, and that you wonder how the King, my Lord, can treat me in this humiliating manner, and whatever else you may think advisable in my behalf; because I can assure Your Highness that the Pope's tardiness in giving sentence makes many on my side waver, whilst those who would otherwise speak out the truth dare not utter a word in my favour. Indeed so pampered and feasted are my enemies that like so many falcons they come down upon the lure held out to attract those who love me well. (fn. n2) It is needed that such people should know how much Your Highness feels for my sufferings. My opinion is that you ought to speak loud, in order that my friends may be somewhat encouraged, and not fancy that I am entirely abandoned and deserted by all the world.
The Imperial ambassador (Chapuys), whom I beg particularly to recommend to your notice, as in former letters, will, I am sure, inform Your Highness of many particulars concerning this case of mine, and the manner in which I am treated; he pays such careful attention to me and to my affairs, as well as to other matters concerning the Imperial service, that I consider him fully deserving of your favour. —Mur (More), 6th November [1531].
Signed: "Your Majesty's aunt, Katharine."
Addressed: "To the most high and most powerful, the Emperor and King, my nephew."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty, the Emperor; from the queen of England; 6th November 1531."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
6 Nov. 820. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress, and to her Council in Spain.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 113.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 25.
As he (Ortiz) had occasion to advise by the last post the King's letter to his ambassadors, a highly disrespectful and irreverent paper enough as concerns the Pope, was formally rejected by the Rota. This has greatly irritated these people against the King, and now that the vacations are over the proceedings will be resumed with greater rigour than ever, so as to remove any obstacles the King and his agents may raise against the case being tried here.
The archbishop of Compostella (Santiago), president of the Council of Castille, has sent us the answer to the compulsory letters, and likewise some treatises written in favour of the Queen, among which those by the archdeacon of Toledo and the "Maestrescuela" (fn. n3) of Salamanca are very praiseworthy, since, besides the elegant style in which both are written, they contain many sound arguments in favour of the Queen, thus proving that their authors have not lost their time at the University.—Rome, 6th November 1531.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Empress and Queen, our Lady."
Spanish Holograph. pp. 1½.
6 Nov. 821. The Same to the Emperor.
S.E. L.854,
f. 113.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 25.
The king of England has addressed a letter to his ambassador which he intended to be accepted by the Pope as a mandate and credentials. The letter itself contains many invectives against the Holy Father. On this occasion the King has made many enemies through his insolent behaviour and language.
After the vacations the divorce case will be resumed with greater activity. The objections of the English lawyers shall be refuted and set aside.
The cardinal of Santiago (fn. n4) has according to instructions received from Your Majesty sent us the depositions of various witnesses, and likewise the written opinions of Spanish lawyers and canonists. The most remarkable of which, in form as well as in substance, are those of the archdeacon of Toledo, and of the "Maestrescuela" [of Salamanca]. They have come in time, and will serve our purpose well.—Rome, 6th November 1531.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Holograph. p. 1.
7 Nov. 822. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 100.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 26.
Wrote by the last post, &c, [copies the preceding despatch and after the two first paragraphs continues:]
A letter from Your Majesty addressed to Prior Muros (now deceased), respecting the Hospital of All Souls at Avila, and the confirmation of certain indulgences, was received by the last post. Has handed it over to Miçer Mai, who, no doubt, will execute orders and report thereupon.
Great rejoicings have taken place here in consequence of the signal and almost miraculous victory which the five Catholic cantons of Switzerland have gained over their enemies, since, being only 8,000 in number, they defeated the Lutherans of the other seven cantons, who mustered 20,000; slew 2,000 of them, wounded 10,000, and took the rest prisoners, with the exception of a few who saved themselves by flight. The enemy, who were commanded by the heresiarch Zwingli, lost all their artillery besides. This Zwingli followed the abominable sect of Viclepho, once condemned by the Council of Constantia, and maintained that Jesus Christ was not present in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. He perished in the battle, because both Zwinglians and Lutherans agreed that he and the others, who had induced them into error, should be in the first rank, the consequence being that they fell under the blows of the Catholics, &c.
Again recommends the affair of his brother, Fr. Francisco, the preacher, because the longer his process lasts the scantier will be the fruit which by God's mercy he can hope to gather in the souls of Christian folk.
Another brother of his writes that the royal treasurers aim at shortening the Emperor's bounty to him by discounting the 300 crs. formerly received ; if so he (Ortiz) will be in extreme want, for the university of Salamanca still refuses to pay him the salary of his professorship.—Rome, 7th November 1531.
Signed: "El Dr. Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Catholic and Imperial Majesty of the Empress and Queen, our Lady."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
7 Nov. 823. Miçer Mai to the High Commander.
S. E. Roma. L. 853,
f. 112.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 30.
In the matter of the matrimonial cause these people will send me mad, for I can assure Your Lordship that ever since the re-opening of the sittings our poor proctors have done nothing but report every day, and yet one audience succeeds another without the least progress being made in the cause. Notwithstanding my illness, though, no time has been lost I have caused several allegations to be drawn up and presented in Court, but still little or no advance has been made, though they .still offer to conclude the matter soon. I must have the letters I alluded to in my last, they are very much wanted. The declarations made in virtue of the compulsory letters have arrived from Spain; I hear that they are very good. At any rate, I must have a copy of the original process instituted in London, and for which I have applied so many times, for I am persuaded that without it nothing can be done. It would not be amiss if by the first trusty person coming to these parts I could have the original brief of Julius II., &c.—Rome, 6th November 1531.
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
7 Nov. 824. Benedict degli Accolti, cardinal of Ravenna, to the Emperor.
S.E. Roma·L. 854,
f. 122.
B.M. Add. 28,584,
f. 28.
Your Majesty must have heard from Miçer Mai what has been done by me in the Scottish affair. Since then I have received a letter from king James in credence of Miçer Thomas Erschin (Erskine), his secretary, requesting me to attach faith to anything he may say in his name, but I need not say that whatever has been said or done in this affair I have previously communicated to the said Mai. The letters I have seen from the Scottish king make me hope that the negotiation will soon be at an end, for he (the King) seems willing to accept the proposed marriage and reject all offers made to him from other quarters, and is now preparing, as I am given to understand, to send an embassy to the Imperial Court to treat at once of this matter. There is only one small difficulty in the way, which is his treaty with the king of France, but this the King hopes will be removed very shortly.—Rome, 7th November 1531.
Signed: " Be[nedicto] car. di Ravenna.''
Addressed: "Sacratissimæ et Invictissimæ Caesaræ Majestati."
Italian. Holograph. pp. 2.
10 Nov. 825. Cardinal d'Osma to the Same.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 87.
B. M. Add. 28,554,
f. 32.
Writes in favour and commendation of Luys Gomez, one of the auditors of the Rota, a very honest and learned man, who has done, and is doing, much service in this English business. Not only has he at all times furnished us with information respecting the operations of that tribunal, but yesterday, as he went out of it, he came and told me what had been decided that very morning, viz.: that after a long debate the application of the English excusator (Karne) was positively denied until he could shew mandate and powers from the King, his master, to appear before that court. This decision of the Rota has not yet been made public, for it must pass first through a consistory [of cardinals]; but it is nevertheless highly important for us that such a measure has been taken, because the cardinals will no doubt confirm the decision.
The said auditor (Luys Gomez) is well deserving of His Majesty's favour. As to the one applied for from Castille, he [d'Osma] is really astonished at his not having yet heard of his appointment. So important is the nomination of a Spanish auditor under present circumstances that he cannot guess what can be the cause for such negligence.
Indorsed: "Copy of a holograph postcriptum out of a letter from cardinal d'Osma to the High Commander dated Rome, 10th November (fn. n5) 1531."
10 Nov. 826. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 100.
B. M. Add. 28,534,
f. 33.
Received by Diego Jayme [de Haro] the Emperor's letter of the 22nd ult.. All orders conveyed in it have been punctually executed. Communicated its contents to cardinal d'Osma and to Miçer Jo. Antonio Muscettola (sic). and gave His Holiness the enclosure that came for him. Pressed him hard respecting his contribution towards the expenses of the army of Lombardy, and it was agreed to impose a tithe upon all towns and districts which had not been previously subjected to it, and raise besides a sum of money by contract.
The Pope was very glad to hear that His Majesty had decided to succour the Swiss Catholics. The offer of 4,000 crs. he knew already of by letters from the Legate. He was also delighted to hear of Ratisbon having been chosen for the meeting of the Diet, for that will be the means, he says, of effectually checking the Turk's progress.
Rodrigo Niño often writes to us such news as he can procure at Venice. It appears that the Turk in the Levant is fitting out a fleet against the Portuguese in India. We shall soon hear from Venice whether the last advices from Ragusa are true or not. Cannot enclose the copy of them because cardinal d'Osma asked for it, and has it still in his possession.
Notwithstanding cardinal Tarbes' assertion that he had not left behind copies of the letters written by the duke of Saxony and landgrave of Hesse to the king of France, he (Mai) has since ascertained that they really exist here at Rome. Will do everything in his power to procure them and send them on, as well as the King's answer.
A cardinal's hat for the lord of Monego (Monaco) has been applied for. The queen of France (Eleanor) also wanted one for the archbishop of Toulouse, a Frenchman (fn. n6); he (Mai) did all he could to forward her application, but the Pope refused.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: " To His Most Sacred Majesty, the Emperor."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2½.
10 Nov. 827. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 853.
f. 99.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 31.
The great distance from here to Scotland, and the want of regularity in the post, have been the causes of the delay in Ravenna's answer. Your Majesty sent us word that you wished the negotiations with that country and King to be conducted in the Low Countries, owing to their greater vicinity to Scotland. I always thought so, and believed besides that it was more to the advantage of the parties (de maior auctoridad) that the affair should be discussed at Your Majesty's Court. King James, as it would appear, has consulted the point with the Cardinal, whose advice is also that the matter be treated there [in Flanders]. He promises to send shortly to the Imperial Court some members of his Privy Council, that the business may be the sooner settled. The Cardinal does all he can to encourage the Scotch in their purpose, and I have induced him to write to the secretary (Erskine) a letter, of which the enclosed is a copy," (fn. n7) telling him what the ambassadors are to say and do; also a draft of another letter which they are to present to Your Majesty. That for the secretary Your Majesty might forward by merchants, or otherwise as it may seem better, and I trust to God that the whole will be done according to Your Majesty's wishes. There seems only to be one obstacle to the marriage, according to what people write from Scotland, namely, (cipher:) that the duke of Albany made the King promise, when a child, to marry a daughter of the king of France ; but this promise the Scotch do not consider as of great importance nor sufficiently binding, because they say it was not, nor could it be a true and real engagement on account of the King's age at the time, besides which the Scotch say that their king has oftentimes applied for the hand of the French Princess, though in vain, the King, her father, having invariably answered that she was not of age to marry, so that it would appear as if the French themselves wished to get rid of the engagement.— Rome, 10th November 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "S. C. C. R. Mti."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2½.
10 Nov. 828. The Same to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 19.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 35.
His letters by Diego Jayme were duly received, and the Emperor's commands faithfully executed. After communicating with the cardinal [of Osma] and with Gio. Ant. Muscettola (sic). he (Mai) delivered into the hands of His Holiness the Emperor's holograph letter, at which he was much pleased. Spoke to him about the contribution. His Holiness agreed to impose a tithe here in Italy upon such towns and villages as had not yet been taxed.
As to the Catholic cantons of Switzerland His Holiness was glad to hear of the offer made by the Emperor of 4,000 crs. He himself (he said) had already paid 4,000 or perhaps 5,000 for the purpose of helping them against the Lutherans, &c.
With regard to the letters said to have been written by the landgrave [of Hesse], elector of Saxony and free towns to Francis, he (Mai) can only repeat the information conveyed in previous despatches as well as in his last to the Emperor. Tarbes left no copies of them behind him; he only said that the letters existed, and this statement was confirmed no later than yesterday by the Pope himself. Has, nevertheless, heard from another source that Tarbes really left the copies of such letters behind him, as well as of the King's answers, and that they are actually in Rome. Will do everything in his power to procure them. (fn. n8)
Monaco and the Grimaldi.
Hears that in the matrimonial cause of England the article lately discussed has been decided in favour of the Queen. Cardinal Caietano has rendered great service by writing in favour of the Queen.
Savoy, &c,
Indorsed: "From Miçer Mai, 10th November. Received at Brussels on the 27th."
Spanish. Abstract made for the Emperor's inspection. pp. 2.


  • n1. It will be observed that Katharine uses indiscriminately the title of Highness (Alteza), and Majesty (Magestad) as applied to the Emperor, her nephew. The former, however, was that usually given to kings, whereas that of Majesty or Imperial Majesty was only granted to emperors.
  • n2. "Por que la tardanza de su Sanctydad aze a muchos tybios en el negocyo, y a los que osan dezir la verdad ponenles (poneles) tanto myedo que ya no osan ablar, y a los que les favorescen daules tanto que muchos vyenen a ellos, como los alcones al señuclo, solo por [des] anymar a los que me quieren byen."
  • n3. Properly a schoolmaster, a dignitary in some Spanish cathedrals, the same as chancellor (canciller) in others.
  • n4. Don Fernando Tavera, at this time president of the Royal Council of Castille, and also of the Council appointed by the Emperor to assist the Empress in the government, and administration of public affairs.
  • n5. The letter itself is not among those published by Dr. Heyne.
  • n6. Jean d'Orleans, who died on the 24th of September 1533.
  • n7. Not in the packet.
  • n8. "Que ahun ayer me lo dixo otra vez el Papa, pero por otra via he sabido que es aqui la copia de la carta que [aquellos] escrivieron, de la qual son las respuestas que me han mandado enbiar; trabajo por haverla y embiarla (sic) á V. Md."