Spain: February 1532, 1-20

Pages 379-388

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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February 1532, 1-20

5 Feb. 898. The Same to the Same.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.-Staats Arch.
Wien Rep.P.Fasc.,
c.227, No. 5.
Yesterday, after the receipt of letters from the queen [dowager] of Hungary (fn. n1) respecting the conferences about the intercourse of trade, I went accordingly to the King and requested him that instead of Gravellingue (Gravelines), the town designated for that purpose, Dunkerke or Bourbourg should be chosen as places more at hand and more commodious for the assembly; also that he should be pleased to give such instructions and powers to the deputies that they might at once settle all differences without having to refer home. The King received me most graciously, and referred me entirely to his Privy Council, which, he said, would return an answer as soon as possible.
After this, and whilst walking up and down the room (en promenant). the King began to tell me the news he had received from Rome respecting the military preparations of the Turk, and his design to invade [Europe], of which sad news, he said, he considered Your Majesty sufficiently aware. He failed not at the same time to exaggerate the danger in which Christendom was, saying to me that the peace and tranquillity of the Christian community solely depended on the terms made with the vayvod [of Transylvania]. Indeed he had heard from Rome that the Turk was willing to conclude peace, or at least a truce, with Christendom for such a time as might be fixed, provided nothing was demanded from the said Vayvod, whose secretary, now in England, had fully confirmed the news, and made the very same assurances on the part of the Turk. The said Secretary (added the King) had come to France and England for the express purpose of begging the two kings to intercede with Your Majesty and with the king of the Romans, and incline you both to peace and amity with his master. They had accordingly decided to write a pressing letter, such as the importance of the case required, to Your Majesty on the subject. He also told me that instead of his own Secretary, the Vayvod had in the first instance sent them two regular ambassadors properly accredited, but that the king of the Romans had flatly refused them passage through his estates, which, he observed, was a very inconsiderate thing to do, inasmuch as it was entirely in the hands of Your Imperial Majesty and of your brother, the said king of the Romans, either to conciliate such a powerful enemy as the Vayvod, or to irritate and provoke him so as to bring down upon Christendom so terrible a scourge as the Turk. God, he said, might perhaps visit with his anger those princes who were the cause thereof.
My answer was that I was sure Your Majesty, perceiving where the welfare of Christendom lay, would willingly defer to it all private inclination and all personal interests, as you had already done in Italy, with the Venetians and with the duke of Milan (Sforza), whom you had generously pardoned, notwithstanding his former misdeeds, restoring him an estate certainly of much greater revenue than the kingdom of Hungary itself, or perhaps as great as that of any other in Christendom.
(Cipher:) The King in reply to my allusions said that the concessions made to the Venetians had been badly employed, for it was they who kept the Turk well informed of the affairs of Europe, and were continually soliciting him to come down. Respecting the duke of Milan, Your Majesty perhaps thought that he could not possibly live long, his health being so bad. This last sentence the King uttered with a complacent smile on his lips, occasionally tapping me on the shoulders with much familiarity. I tried as courteously as I could to convince him of the contrary, saying that I hoped Your Majesty would return such an answer to the letters he (the King) intended writing as to thoroughly persuade him that no prince in the world desired more the welfare of Christendom than yourself, or was better inclined to attend to his wishes and listen to his advice.
After which the King went on to say that his ambassador [at the Imperial court] had written that, according to report, the duke of Wirtemberg had now reconquered the whole of his estate, and that the Lutheran princes of Germany were up in arms, and had held a Diet at Lubeck, or its immediate neighbourhood, at which Diet the ambassadors of the Turk and of the Vayvod had been present. That was the reason, he said, for his thinking that no great advantages could result from the Diet you had summoned for Regensbourg (Ratisbon), even supposing that its members who leaned too much by far on the Pope's side felt disposed to second your views. He also said to me that the discord between the princes of Christendom was the real cause of the Turk's bold attack, and of the evils likely to arise therefrom, as some of those princes through restless ambition and lust of power, others for their own pleasure, wished to conduct the World according to their fancy (à leur appetit). To which hints and objurgations, uttered as they were in general terms, I declined to answer, having already done so on previous occasions, and, as I think, fully justified Your Majesty against the King's more direct attacks.
(Common writing:) The King also said to me that all his time was now taken up by parliamentary business, to which he was giving the utmost attention, as he was thinking of proposing therein measures likely to ensure the peace and good administration (police) of his kingdom. The ordinances lately promulgated by Your Majesty on commercial points were, he had no doubt, wise, but they led to nothing, for, as he had been informed, they were not observed; which last sentence the King uttered, as if he were much pleased with his assertion.
(Cipher:) The Landgrave's secretary, who, as I informed Your Majesty returned to his master passing through France, has now sent here one of his clerks, who arrived yesterday. Having been informed of this just as I was going to Court, I did not hesitate to ask the King about him. He answered that he had heard of the man's arrival, and been told that he had brought letters for him, but had not seen them yet. I will do my best to learn what this man has come about, and will not fail to apprize Your Majesty.
Six days ago, at the King's supper, the conversation happening to turn on the protracted stay in France of the bishop of Winchester (Gardyner), he (the King) shewed great discontent at king Francis' conduct, and was heard to say that his brother of France, surrounded as he was by ecclesiastics as his counsellors, did not willingly listen to plans and means likely to bring the Pope to their side. Upon which one of the guests got up and said that the chancellor (Duprat?) (fn. n2) was certainly the worthiest and most honest of the King's ministers (tres tous). for he had always upheld this king's quarrels, and maintained that the Pope could not condemn him or be a judge in the divorce case.
I have also heard that the said bishop [of Winchester] has been instructed to negotiate a new treaty of alliance between England and France, in case these people should declare war to the Scots, and that the answer to their overtures has not given satisfaction.
The intelligence conveyed in one of my late despatches concerning the new ambassador appointed to reside at Your Majesty's Court has been confirmed. I hear from a very authentic source that he has charge of consulting all the universities through which he may pass, and that for this reason he is to be the bearer of letters for the chancellor (Duprat) and for the members of the Royal Council of France. It will be necessary, as I said then, and recommend again, to be on the alert. I must add that when I happened to mention the name of his ambassador at your Imperial Court, and inquire into the motives of his recall, the King told me that he had been recalled merely on his wife's application. (fn. n3) —London, 5th February [15]32.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys.''
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Holograph almost entirely in cipher. pp. 5.
14 Feb. 899. The Same to the Same.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.-Staats Arch.
c. 227, No. 6.
The duke of Norfolk said to me two days ago that the King, his master, had written to Your Majesty and to the king of the Romans on the Vayvod's business, as well as to the king of Poland and to the Vayvod himself. The letters had first been sent for the inspection of the king of France that he might add or suppress whatever he thought proper, though he (the Duke) believed the subject to have been so well considered and weighed, and the letters themselves so carefully drawn out, that there would be no alterations to make in them. He ended by saying that he was very sorry that I had not seen them before they were sent away, that I might be witness of his master's good and honest zeal in the affair, by which words, I presume, the Duke meant that the said letters contained overtures of peace. I refrained, however, from asking more particulars at the time, first of all because I considered the matter to be entirely in Your Majesty's province; (fn. n4) and secondly, because I would not let the opportunity pass of interrogating the Duke about the Landgrave's agent, and the Diet of the Lutherans at Lubeck. His answer was that he knew nothing of this last, nor of the Prince's deliberations. The King, it was true, had received letters from the king of Denmark (Frederic) but they were chiefly letters of favour and commendation in behalf of certain merchants, and contained no allusion to other matters. As to the agent of the Landgrave, he threw out a hint that the German princes of the Lutheran sect complained of the election of the king of the Romans, which (he said) they considered null and void. The Duke added that the King, his master, had answered their representations by saying that if they wished to commit the settlement of their chief differences, which consist in matters of Faith, to other princes (meaning no doubt the king of France and himself) both would strive to redress the injuries they complained of, and, the Duke added, that the King, his master, had not yet received a reply to his letter.
I had no time to inquire about the agents of the duke of Cleves, for Mr. de Norfolk was at this point suddenly seized with a headache which compelled him to retire and seek repose in his own private apartments conducted by his servants. (fn. n5)
The return of the bishop of Winchester (Gardyner) is further postponed. I am told that he is to remain at the Court of France until the arrival [here] of the Scottish ambassadors, to treat, as it may be, about peace or a renewal of the truce, which they have not yet been able to accomplish owing to their waiting for a safe-conduct to pass through England, which safe-conduct a Scotch king-at-arms is now applying for.
The King has lately been trying to pass a Bill in Parliament for the third of all feudal property to fall to the crown after the decease of its owner, but has hitherto met with a good deal of opposition, so much so that several members of the said, Parliament have made use in public of very strong language indeed against the King, his Privy Council, and Government. Nothing else has been done in the said Parliament except the prohibition of importing new wines (vins nouveaux) before Candlemas (le Chandeleuse). and this for certain causes and reasons which they allege in favour of the measure, and with which I will not trouble Your Majesty now. They have also tried for some days to prohibit the importation (deffendre) of silk cloth, but as some of the members oppose the Bill nothing has been resolved upon yet.
Respecting the principal point, no public discussion has yet taken place, though the affair is being secretly promoted as I hear, especially by the duke of Norfolk and the father of the Lady, both of whom are incessantly at work to suborn the archbishop of Canterbury (Warham), whom they now consider as Pope in England. Nevertheless the Archbishop has been so forewarned that they have been unable to move him. Indeed it appears that the above gentlemen and others perceiving that they cannot reduce him by reference to the Church's authority, are now about to follow another track. To this end, as I am informed, the duke of Norfolk assembled at his house a certain number of influential people, to whom he explained how badly treated this king had been by the Pope, who actually refused to send back the cause, which in conformity with the privileges of this kingdom, ought, as he asserted, to be tried and sentenced in England, exclusively of any other country, even if the said privileges did not exist; the more so that many learned doctors had concluded that all matrimonial causes belonged to temporal, not to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and that the King, who is emperor and monarch in his own dominions, was the sole judge in such a matter as. this, with which the Pope had nothing to do. On this account he (the Duke) had sent for them to ask their advice, and inquire whether they felt disposed or not to sacrifice their lives and properties for the preservation of the royal prerogatives. The first to answer was the Sieur d'Arcy, (fn. n6) who said that his property and person were entirely at the King's disposal, but that from what he had read and heard he believed that all matrimonial matters were spiritual, and fell under ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The King and his Council knew very well how to deal with such matters without trying to lay the onus on other people, (fn. n7) and especially on those there present. Which answer was approved by the majority to the Duke's great disappointment and annoyance.
The King's Council after long insisting on the prorogation of the conferences (la diete) for the settlement of trade matters have at last fixed the 1st of March, and consented that the meeting be at Bourbourg instead of Gravelines; the deputies named are two doctors and one master [merchant] of the staple of Calais.—London, 14th February [15]32.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England. Received the 6th March."
French. Holograph partly in cipher. pp. 5.
15 Feb. 900. Cardinal d'Osma to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 25, f. 207.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 199.
Is glad to hear that the Emperor has left Brussels, the more so that the French here have been saying that he could not quit Flanders and the Low Countries under present circumstances. The Pope also seemed glad at the intelligence.
The causes which the Emperor has for returning to Spain are no doubt weighty and just, and the Pope says so, yet business must be attended to and terminated without regard for Castille; if 10 years' absence from that country are required for the settlement of certain affairs, let the Emperor take his time without shewing too much anxiety to return to his Spanish dominions.
In his opinion the Emperor ought to try and win back the Lutherans by fair means, and find out some way of gaining over the duke of Saxony and the Landgrave at any cost, and if that cannot be accomplished, to secure at any rate the services of all German people in general, and allow them to hold their doctrines unmolested on condition that they will not try to spread their errors among Christians. In this manner they will prepare to defend the country against the Turk.
Should the Turk come down upon us both by sea and land the Emperor must on no account leave Germany, but remain in that country so as to hasten to the assistance of Vienna and threatened Christendom. If, on the contrary, the rumours of a Turkish invasion should subside, and there should be some agreement with the Vayvod, or some other cause to render that danger less imminent, then in that case, and there being no immediate hope of the Lutheran affair being settled, His Majesty might leave Germany and come down the Alps into Italy, and after holding an interview with the Pope at Genoa, embark for Spain without visiting Rome and Naples, yet taking the necessary measures for the good administration of that kingdom and appointing a viceroy over it.
The news of the Turkish invasion seems to have come to Venice by letters of December last, and is confirmed by a galleon which left Constantinople on the 9th of February. At Ragusa and Belona military preparations were being made, and yet he (d'Osma) and the Pope himself fancy that the news is greatly exaggerated, and that it is published merely for the sake of the Vayvod, and to give him more importance. France and Venice secretly help on this to diminish, if possible, the strength and power of Your Majesty and of the king of the Romans. But let Your Majesty and your brother prepare your forces by sea and land, and let the coasts of Naples and Sicily be put in a state of defence, without paying any heed to what the Venetians may say. On these last no reliance can be placed; no help is to be expected from them. Should the Turkish fleet really sail next March, as is reported, the Emperor and the Pope might hold an interview together and prepare for the common defence.
The king of France's answer to the Pope when he asked his help to defend Christendom from the Turkish invasion, was that he himself was prepared to come down to Italy at the head of 50,000 foot and 3,000 lances. The Pope wished to know from him (Loaysa) what he should answer to the above proposition. Told him that he ought to return thanks for the offer, and say that should the Turk land in Rome or in Lombardy (desembarcar en Roma ó Lombardia) he would willingly accept his offers, but as he intends landing in Sicily, Puglia, or Ancona, it seemed to him as if it would he more advisable not to spend money in armaments by land, but help with his fleet to the defence of the coasts. The Pope inclined to this opinion for fear the French king should think that we suspect him. He will, no doubt, answer substantially in that sense, the more so that he hears from France that when his application for help arrived the people were mightily glad as that would be an excuse for collecting troops, and besides, because His Holiness told him that when the Turk was in the way any dealings with the king of France ought to be carried on with the utmost prudence.
Is still working though without success to obtain cardinal's hats for Monaco and the archbishop of Toulouse.—Rome, 15th February 1532.
Indorsed: "Relacion de las cartas del cardenal de Osma. 15th February."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 4.
16 Feb. 901. Dr. Ortiz to the Same.
S.E.L. 858,
f. 143.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 201.
The Emperor's letter of the 28th January has duly come to hand. The Imperial ambassador (Mai) knows very well that my business with the Pope is limited to explaining the manifest justice of this cause, and accusing the king of England of the injuries done to his Queen. He it was who suggested on the 25th of January the sending of a brief, &c.
To-morrow the disputation which the contrary party has been so long demanding as to whether the English excusator (Karne) is to be admitted or not will commence, as the Imperial ambassador has no doubt already advised.—Rome, 16th February 1532.
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty from Dr. Hortiz (sic) xvi. January."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
16 Feb. 902. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 858,f.143.
B.M. Add. 28,584,
f. 201.
The Emperor's letter of the 28th ult. has duly come to hand. Is very thankful for the acknowledgment of his services. The Imperial ambassador (Mai) knows full well what exertions he (Ortiz) has hitherto made to prove the Queen's manifest right, and the grave injury she is sustaining through so many delays. He (Ortiz) was the one who on the 25th ult. prevailed upon His Holiness to issue a brief recommending the king of England to separate from Lady Anne (esta Ana), with whom he is now living, until definitive sentence be pronounced in the divorce case. A copy of the brief Miçer Mai has already forwarded to the Emperor, that it may, if required, be sent to the Papal Nuncio in England, for him to put it into the King's own hands. Should the King not comply with the Pope's injunctions he (Ortiz) wishes to know whether it will be His Majesty's pleasure that he should apply to His Holiness for a brief of excommunication. Waits for instructions on this particular.
To-morrow the debates are to begin on the question whether the excusator who came last on behalf of the King is to be admitted or not. That is the point which at the request of the English ambassadors is now to be discussed; they have long importuned the Pope about it, and the debate begins to-morrow. The Emperor is no doubt aware that this very thing was attempted last year, that the Consistory and the majority of the Rota voted against it, and yet that owing to the insistance of the ambassadors, and to the Pope's weakness, the point is again to be discussed.—Rome, 16th February 1532.
Signed: "El Dr. Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "Rome, 1532. To His Majesty. From Dr. Hortiz (sic) XVI. January (sic, read February) 1532."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
20 Feb. 903. Giovan Antonio Muxetula to the Emperor.
S. E. L 859,
ff. 57-9.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 191.
Received by Sancho Bravo, gentleman of the Imperial Household, the letters dated 30th December and 6th January. Has conferred with the marquis del Vasto and with His Holiness respecting the army's quarters. Should the men be paid regularly the Pope would have no objection to 10 companies (banderas) of Spanish infantry being quartered in the Parmigiano and Piacentino. Believes that the order will be given in a day or two, but on no account should the payment of the soldiers be delayed, for should the money come too late there is no knowing what the men, accustomed as they are to the license of other times, will not do. Will take care that the Pope's monthly contribution be ready, but most stringent orders should likewise be sent to Naples for the viceroy Prospero (Colonna), and the Imperial treasurers to get the money ready.
Ansaldo Grimaldi's contract, &c.
(Cipher:) His Holiness much regrets the refusal of the Venetians to contribute towards the defence of Italy threatened, as it is, by the Turk, or allow a tithe to be collected for that purpose; and certainly this must be said of them that they have hitherto shewn very little regard either to the Pope, or to the Emperor. The refusal of the tithe, especially, is most aggravating under present circumstances, for if the 100,000 crs. promised to the king of the Romans are to be paid the Pope will be much embarrased, for he has nothing else to fall back upon. These Venetians, in short, are men without faith or law, except when they find their profit and advantage. It is desirable that the Emperor should know how to make use of them, and on the other hand it is very hard that they will never do anything save utter fine words. May God be pleased that should the king of France undertake Italy they (the Venetians) should feel disposed to act from the beginning, and not wait to see how matters end, and then according to events take one side or the other, for such is their habit, and thus will they act now. They did the same at Milan when the admiral of France came down; until they saw the French retreating they never shewed themselves, though urgently requested to do so. They evidently wish for the Imperial army to quit Italy, and the kingdom of Hungary to remain quietly in the hands of the Vayvod, that the king of the Romans may be less powerful than he is. They would like, above all things, to see the Emperor in trouble that they, who consider themselves immortal, may prosper and fish successfully in troubled waters.
Cardinal d'Osma.—The Swiss.—Genoa and Andrea Doria.
(Cipher:) The king of France is endeavouring, as they say, to enlist 10,000 Switzers, but hitherto no agreement has been made. The Pope has promised to keep his eye on them, as well as on the movements of the kings of France and England, and to let us know their plans. From the ambassador of the former he hears that the Lutherans of Germany propose holding a diet at Ulm, which, say the letters, may possibly prevent the Emperor holding his at Ratisbonne.
Dr. Benet has returned from England, but apparently with no actual mandate save the same dilatory expedients that have hitherto been put into practice. Has spoken warmly to the Pope on the subject, and he has fully promised not to tolerate the King's conduct any longer. On the other hand, the French ambassador has this very morning, as he hears, called upon the Pope and presented letters from his master, begging him not to reject the excusator's application, as otherwise the English are sure to refuse obedience to His Holiness and the Roman Church. Told the Pope to despise such bravadoes and pronounce sentence, which he has promised to do.—Rome, 9th February 1532.
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muscetula."


  • n1. Mary, sister of Charles and widow of Louis, king of Bohemia and Hungary. She succeeded Margaret in the government of Flanders and the Low Countries.
  • n2. Antoine Duprat, bishop of Sens, and cardinal since 1529.
  • n3. "Le roy ma colore la revocation de lautre ambassadeur sur la requeste de sa femme."
  • n4. "De quoy ne vouluz enquerer plus avant, puys que c'etoit matiere addressante a vre majeste."
  • n5. "A cause dung mal de teste qui surprint le dit Due, de sorte que le fallut mesner repouser."
  • n6. Sir Thomas, lord Darcy.
  • n7. "Le Roy et son conseil sçavoint bien quilz en avoint affere sans vouloer mestre le chat entre les jambes dautres, mesmes de çeulx qui la estoint.