Spain: February 1533, 1-28

Pages 587-607

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 1533, 1-28

7 Feb. 1044. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E. L. 1,457,
f. 270.
B. M. Add. 28,586,
f. 217.
Your Imperial Majesty's letter of the 20th of January was duly received. Nothing new to advise respecting the matrimonial cause of England, as we are waiting to hear what effect the Papal brief has had upon the King. The only new fact which has been ascertained is that there exists a greater degree of affinity between the King and this Anne Boleyn, his mistress, than even between him and his own legitimate wife; for it appears that he once had connexion with her sister, whereas his Queen, as is well known, remained a virgin after her marriage with prince Arthur. And yet, strange to say, it has now been proved that in order to marry this Anne he sent some time ago to ask for a dispensation! Among other things which His Holiness very wisely said to cavalier Casale, (fn. n1) the English ambassador, in answer to his application for such dispensation, pretending that in suing for a divorce from his Queen, his master had listened only to his conscience, was this: "How is it, then, that your master, the King, before the sentence was pronounced, and even before he had married this Anne, lived openly with her; and how can he conscientiously deny the validity of a former Papal dispensation when he presumes to ask for a similar one to marry this Anne notwithstanding his connexion with her sister?"
It is also reported that Mme D'Alanson (Alençon) highly disapproves of the King's conduct in this affair, and of his attempting to marry this Anne, nay that she has made the king of France come round to her opinion on the subject, and also that at the late conferences of Calais king Francis reproached Henry for his conduct, &c. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Indorsed: "Paragraphs of a letter from Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.—Bologna, 7th February 1533."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
— Feb. 1045. Report from Rome on the Matrimonial Cause of England.
S. E. L.1,457,
f. 148.
Four briefs have been obtained against the king of England. By the first the Pope alone, and by the second His Holiness and the cardinals command the king of England not to marry another woman until the divorce case be sentenced. During the meantime to treat his legitimate wife, the Queen, with conjugal affection, &c, all this under pain of excommunication and interdict of all his kindred, and other penalties specified in the said briefs to be incurred "ipso jure" by the King himself, or whomsoever should dare to contravene this edict, he and all others being declared, in case of disobedience, as positively excommunicated, and the interdict being ordained. And whereas since the expediting of the above two briefs the king of England has publicly sent away from his Royal palace and court, and actually separated from, the Queen, his legitimate wife, and has moreover publicly conversed (tuvo publica conversacion) with Anne [Boleyn], he (the King) and all his Privy Councillors are evidently excommunicated. Now since it is affirmed that the King has publicly contracted matrimony with the said Anne, it is evident that he has incurred all the ecclesiastical censures and penalties fulminated against him. Since the King does what is expressly forbidden to him it would not be amiss to take lawful action against him, namely, to have the two said briefs published in Flanders and in all the towns bordering upon France, and at other places, that the English nation and all others may be apprized of the fact that king Henry is excommunicated and the whole of his kingdom placed under interdict. When the English ambassadors here [at Rome] did all they could to have the said briefs revoked His Holiness would not grant this, but commissioned cardinals de Monte and Campeggio, and Simoneta, the bishop of Pesaro, and Paolo Capisucci, the commissary of the cause, and the Datary to examine the briefs, and report whether they were well founded or not. At this time the English had no cognizance of another brief (the third), which the Pope sent to his Nuncio in England, but only of the fourth, which was sent from Bologna to Flanders, there to be notified. But as this last brief (the fourth) recapitulates the whole of the third, which, as above stated, was forwarded to London for the Papal Nuncio (Baron del Borgo) to present to the King, as he actually did, it naturally follows, as the informers cannot fail to report that all these briefs are in due form, and must have effect, although the last of them and fourth in order establishes some doubt in what affects the said Anne.
This matrimonial cause being of such importance, though it may be inferred upon the tenour of the said briefs that the king of England has actually incurred excommunication —without any further declaration from His Holiness; (fn. n2) yet it is doubtful whether the cardinals and ecclesiastics above named, to whom the Pope has committed the examination of the said briefs, will decide that the last of them, embodying also the third, be published without a further and last warning from His Holiness. Should they say that it cannot—as it is to be feared they will—then in that case a new delay must be expected. That is the reason why nothing is being done until His Imperial Majesty and his Privy Council are consulted thereupon, and fresh instructions are sent. With regard to the main cause every effort is being made for its prosecution and decision. Should the Emperor decide that without further notice being given to His Holiness the king of England should be declared excommunicated and his kingdom placed under interdict, a transcript of the first brief, dated the 7th of March 1530—which ambassador Mai took away with him, and is not to be found here, any more than the notifications made at the time—should be made in the form described in the annexed sheet, and then published. (fn. n3)
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 3.
— Feb. 1046. The Emperor to the Empress.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 130.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 146.
We may add that when the Pope heard of the Turk's defeat he sent one of the auditors of the Rota to persuade us that this was the moment for following up our success and marching against Constantinople. Our answer has been that We were not prepared for so mighty an undertaking, which required money and provisions of all kinds, and that before attacking the Turk in his own dominions it was wise to defend those Spanish kingdoms of ours against the attacks of Barbarossa (Baba Arox). The Auditor has returned to Rome with our answer, and our intention is to undertake only that which may be feasible for the defence of Christendom, the security and protection of our own kingdoms, having regard to time and circumstances as well as to the extent of our resources, bearing, moreover, in mind other public affairs and the scanty assistance received from His Holiness, and the want of security, or rather the danger to be guarded against from the kings of France and England and others owing to their iniquitous practices. Doing in this that which is convenient, and visiting our kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, as it is our duty to do, it is our intention to return to Spain as soon as possible.
With regard to the peace of Europe We think that there is no danger of its being troubled for the present year. If there be any it can only proceed from some secret understanding between His Holiness and the king of France, or perhaps too from adherence, reconciliation, or dissimulation of the Pope with the king of England in consequence of the passionate indignation which His Holiness is shewing against the two dukes of Urbino, father and son, and the duchesses of Camarino, mother and daughter. The Pope once shewed his discontent at our refusing to assist him in his quarrels with the said dukes and duchesses, pretending that as a vassal of the Church for the kingdom of Naples We were bound to help him with our arms. With this requisition of the Papal Nuncio We of course refused to comply, and the consequence was that the Pope was heard to say that if We did not assist him as We were bound to do, he would look out for assistance elsewhere, meaning no doubt in France. Matters being in this state, after due representations addressed to the Papal Nuncio and to His Holiness through our ambassador in Rome [Miçer Mai], We sent to request that the sentence in either case should be suspended (durante esta empresa). promising in the meantime to think over some amicable settlement of all differences, although declaring that should the king of France on that excuse or any other set foot in Italy and promote war, We could do no less than interfere, since We are bound by the treaty of Bologna to see to the preservation of peace in Italy. It is, therefore, to be expected that His Holiness will attend to the reasons given in a memorandum We have put into the hands of his Nuncio, and will not, whilst We are at Naples, undertake anything in that way, &c.
With regard to the king of France, though his intentions are bad, so much so that if he could do us more harm, and had the means, he would willingly seize the opportunity, yet as far as We can see he will abstain from war this present year not only on account of the powerful fleet that We have collected, but because he himself has neither money nor men, and cannot procure soldiers from Germany or Switzerland, without whom he cannot possibly achieve anything. Besides which those princes and electors on whom the said king counted to promote dissension and create new troubles in Germany have, by the industry and exertions of our Grand Steward, whom we sent to that country, been so influenced, that instead of lending assistance to king Francis they are likely to turn their arms against him.
Respecting the king of England he is so pertinacious in his errors, and has taken up such a position against the Church by the usurpation of its goods and rights that it is not likely that a reconciliation can take place between him and the Pope, so that both king Francis and king Henry will have great difficulty in escaping from mutual suspicion unless he of France promises to abet and defend the English king in his errors, which is by no means probable if the former intends to negotiate and treat with the Pope, and unless again both Pope and King forget their respective offices, their duties as Christians, and what they owe to their high position. However this may be, it may reasonably be doubted whether the king of England will ever wage open war against us, for he has to fear a rebellion of his own subjects such as that which has already commenced in Ireland headed by the count de Xildreah (the earl of Kildare).
Owing to the above reasons I am inclined to believe that there will be no war during the present year, and yet as the king of France might attempt something in Flanders or Italy, or attack us on the frontiers of Navarre and Catalonia, We have left instructions with our brother, the king of the Romans, and with our sister, the dowager queen of Hungary, as to what they are to do in case of an invasion, and it is for you to be on the alert lest the frontiers of our Spanish dominions should be assailed by the enemy. For this purpose you will, in union with the Council of Castille, take such precautionary measures as you may see fit, and order at once a levy of 10,000 men, who, under the command of the Constable of Castille (Velasco) and of the duque of Alburquerque (D. Beltran de la Cueva), may look to the defence of those kingdoms. Orders have also been sent to Don Frances de Beamonte, who commands at Perpinan, to be on the alert and inform you whether the attacks of the French are directed through the Roussillon against Catalonia, for it might be that since their last attack upon Navarre was unsuccessful they might now wish to try their chance in Catalonia.
Some time after our departure [from Brussels] We had a letter from the queen of France (Eleonor), which was forwarded through our ambassador in that country, stating that king Francis claims to marry his eldest son the king of France to the infanta of Portugal (Maria), daughter of the said queen [Eleonor], and requesting us to see to it in observance of the treaty made at Madrid between ourselves and the said king of France. Our answer through our ambassador has been in general terms that We shall do everything in our power for the observance of the treaty in all its parts, and particularly to please the queen of France, our sister; but We cannot help remarking that although it was then agreed that the said marriage should be effected by proxy whenever the Infanta had attained her seventh year, never since that time has the king of France called for the fulfilment of that article; nor was the marriage mentioned in the treaty of Cambray though at that time the Infanta was in her seventh year, besides which the King has since proposed other alliances for the Dauphin. (fn. n4)
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 6.
9 Feb. 1047. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. StaatsArch.
Wien. Rep.P.Fasc.,
c. 228, No. 11.
My despatch of the 29th ulto in answer to Your Majesty's letter of the 17th December and partly to that of the 5th January, gave a full and detailed account of all occurrences in this country, and principally of the proposals lately tendered to the Papal Nuncio by these people. Since then though the said Nuncio, as I then informed Your Majesty, was promised a definitive answer in a week after, yet on the very same day that my despatch of the 29th was dated and closed he called on the duke of Norfolk, as he had done many times before the receipt of the Papal letters. The Nuncio had a long talk with the Duke, the substance of which, however, though we met soon after, he never told me. The day after, early in the morning, the said Nuncio went by water to Grunuyetz (Greenwich), where he spent almost the whole of the day in consultation with the King privately and then with the Privy Councillors, going backwards and forwards from one to the others. Being informed of all this by one of the Queens friends about the court, I called immediately on the Nuncio that I might, if possible, unravel the mystery. But not only did not the Nuncio declare on this occasion what had been the subject of his conversation, as has been his wont at other times, but he absolutely denied to me having spoken to the King or to his Councillors. What the Nuncio's reasons could be for thus denying to me what was an actual fact I cannot pretend to say; but upon my observing that since a day had been fixed for the answer, and that as the nature of these people was such that they drew back in proportion as they were pressed to advance, he ought to take care not to shew impatience, lest by pushing on the matter too briskly he should injure his master's interests and our own, he answered me rather irrelevantly that he was a poor gentleman living on a salary paid for his services, and could not do otherwise. (fn. n5) I cannot exactly understand the meaning of these words. Did he mean that by acting in this way he could, whatever the issue of this business might be, get some sort of reward from these people, who, as he himself informs me, did make him about a year ago most wonderful offers if he would anywise favour the divorce!
Though this answer of the Nuncio, such as it was, has no importance whatever in the present state of things, yet I have thought fit to inform Your Majesty thereof in pursuance of orders contained in the Imperial letter of the 5th ulto. (fn. n6) In short all I could get out of the Nuncio in this instance was that he had gone to Greenwich for the purpose of meeting the man who had promised an answer at the end of a week, and as he (the Nuncio) has to my certain knowledge visited the duke of Norfolk several times in the meanwhile, and besides used such dissimulation when interrogated by me on the subject, it strikes me that he (the Nuncio) himself has been the promoter of the said practices (practiques). Yesterday morning the King sent for him [to Greenwich] to give him verbally the promised answer, and likewise to convey him to the solemn opening of his House of Parliament, whither the King himself went by water, taking the Nuncio in his own barge close to his person. On which occasion the King, after praising and commending the Nuncio's good offices, and thanking him for his good-will and affectionate care of his personal affairs, excused himself for not returning the promised answer to the overtures that had been made. It was not mistrust that prevented him from telling his mind on the subject; ho considered it superfluous and a mere loss of time, inasmuch as the whole matter ought after all to be discussed with the Pope through his ambassadors [in Italy], to whom he would in a couple of days send his instructions respecting the said matter and all its bearings. And though the Nuncio represented that the affair admitted of no delay, and that unless the said power and instructions were couched in due form, His Holiness would be absolutely obliged, without waiting for further powers, to pronounce sentence in the case and therefore asked urgently for an answer, and also that in case of the proposition being accepted the Queen should be allowed to send to Rome powers equal to his, the King would on no account grant his request. Upon which the Nuncio began to explain to him how the terms of the proposal once accepted, it was absolutely necessary that he (the King) should take back his Queen, and treat her more cordially, but he interrupted him by saying: "That is an article upon which I have already declared my intention to you; I will do nothing of the sort, and for this reason: her obstinacy, disobedience, and extreme rigour towards me have been such that a reconciliation is quite impossible." Hearing which the Nuncio stopped short and said no more on the subject; nor did he (as I had told him to do) insist on the conditions specified in Your Majesty's letter to me. This step the Nuncio omitted not so much on account of his having received no instructions from Rome to that effect, but principally because he has always considered it impossible to induce this king to abandon the Lady, for he cannot be one hour without her, and for fear of incurring the King's displeasure and offending her and her parents.
The King went yesterday for the second time to the House [of Parliament] and sat on a throne with the Nuncio on his right hand and the French ambassador on the left. Next were all the Lords dressed in scarlet robes, and then came the Commons dressed also in scarlet, who introduced to the King a lawyer who had been elected Speaker (Parlamenteur) in the room of the late one (Thomas More), now promoted to the office of High Chancellor. The King confirmed the election, and there on the spot conferred on him the Order of knighthood. Nothing more was done on that day, nor has there been any motion ever since the 3rd, when Parliament was opened.
The session at an end the King returned to his barge accompanied to the very stairs by the said Nuncio and ambassador, who were left in charge of the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, who took them back to the House, shewed them the building in all its parts, and gave them a dinner to which many Privy Councillors and others were invited. No business that I hear of was then transacted by the said Nuncio and ambassador, but in the afternoon the former called to tell me the conversation he had had with the King whilst on the barge. In my opinion the Nuncio has thus been summoned to the opening of Parliament for some mysterious purpose. Perhaps the King wants to make the Clergy believe that he is on good terms with the Pope and wishes to intimidate those prelates who are opposed to his views, or to remove from the people's minds the bad effects of a Papal excommunication, or again to sow mistrust and discord between Your Majesty and the Queen your aunt.
However that may be, whenever the Nuncio and I have conversed together on the matter of these proposals I have done my best, and endeavoured as cautiously as I could to ascertain from him what good or advantage, public as well as private, could in his opinion be derived from the acceptance of the terms which he himself has brought forward. After a good deal of talking on the subject the Nuncio has invariably agreed with me that the only sure means of obviating that difficulty, as well as removing all scruples between princes, was a speedy sentence on the part of His Holiness, and that he has written a thousand letters to Rome, but has never received an answer. This avowal, which I believe to be sincere, the Nuncio would hardly have made a fortnight before, for since that time he has often declared to me that the only way of detaching this king from the friendship of France consisted in the prompt decision of this affair; for that friendship only depended upon the help and assistance which the King pretends and expects to have from that country in the present case. I failed not to remind the Nuncio of these sentiments as expressed to me on various occasions; for far from dissenting from him in this respect I agreed with him altogether, colouring the pursuit of the said affair on my ignorance of the disposition of affairs between Your Majesty and His Holiness.
One of the things that makes me suspect, as intimated above, that the Nuncio himself has been the author of this proposition, is that, as I have informed Your Majesty long ago, he has from the very beginning laboured very hard to find out the means for getting this cause tried elsewhere than at Rome, always declaring and telling the King that the Pope was more anxious than himself to get rid of the business, and that there was nothing in this world he would not do to throw off the burden imposed on him, which sentiments on the part of His Holiness, abundantly circulated by the Nuncio, may have induced this king persistently to ask for the reference of the cause [to this country], under the impression that sooner or later he would gain his end and make the Pope accede to his wishes somehow.
Having, however, my doubts, that owing to the condition imposed the proposed arrangement would never come to effect, I thought at first that I would not speak to the Queen about it, for fear of creating alarm without necessity and perhaps exciting her suspicions; yet at the Nuncio's solicitation and knowing also that the Queen had had some hint of the affair (auoit senti quelque fumiere), I determined to let her know the details thereof, giving her at the same time hopes of success, of which, however, she has no need, for there is no creature in this world more apt to shew confidence and place trust in the good issue of matters that have to pass through Your Majesty's hands.
Yet I must say that when the Queen heard the details of the affair she was thunderstruck, and began to complain bitterly of His Holiness, who had thus left her to languish for upwards of three years and a half, and who instead of pronouncing sentence in her case had actually devised a new plan to prolong still further her miserable state, and to make her die of grief, under the stigma of having been the King's concubine, which would consequently entail upon her daughter, the offspring of that union, utter desolation and wretchedness. As to suppose (she said) that through such means as those proposed the affair could be arranged, and her own sufferings mitigated, that is entirely out of the question, for as long as the King has any hope left he will never cease plotting against Your Majesty, against the Pope, and against her, doing all the harm he can. To avoid such complication of evils, were her own particular interest consulted, she would not hesitate to say, saving Your Majesty's best advice that the proposition ought at once to be rejected, even in the event of this king's promising to obey strictly the Papal injunctions; knowing, as she does know, that whatever promises the King may make with respect to her he will treat her worse than he does now, and shortly after recall the Lady.
Such is the Queen's idea of the arrangement proposed, it must not be carried into effect (she says) even if the King should promise in the meantime to observe faithfully the prescriptions of the Papal brief. She, therefore, begs and entreats Your Majesty to solicit and urge the decision of her cause, taking upon herself the responsibility of the measure and assuring Your Imperial Majesty, as one who knows better than anyone else the character and condition of the King, that far from war or scandal resulting therefrom, it will be a boon for Your Majesty and for herself, and there will be no difficulty in getting him to obey, as he is bound to do, the Papal injunctions. Even if he did disobey, which the Queen refuses to believe possible, slue might live and die comparatively happy, knowing that the justice of her cause had been formally declared by the Pope; and her conscience and honour would be satisfied with the thought that the Princess, her daughter, had not lost her right to the succession.
As I have written to Your Majesty in a previous despatch, it is very doubtful whether the object of the above overtures, from whichever quarter they may proceed, the King or the Pope, is not purely an evasion and a stratagem to gain time, and get him more in their favour, waiting for an opportunity of asking and obtaining an absolute dispensation, without legal proceedings, for the King to marry again, as they pretend was once the case with Louis XI. and with Ladislas, the king of Hungary, who repudiated his queen [Isabella], of Naples. I firmly believe that if this king once succeeds in gaining his point of not appearing at Rome, which after all is the most outrageous thing ever dreamt of, he will be still less ashamed to use the dispensation as of absolute power without further process, since he proclaims his right as evident and says that should His Holiness refuse the said dispensation and think that he can laugh at him, and lead him wherever he pleases, he will find him more hostile and untractable than he expects. I cannot say in what way His Holiness flatters himself that he shall be able to lead the King and separate him from France, considering the things he has done, and continues to do, against the authority of the Church, unless there has been some collusion between the two, of which we are not aware. Indeed I believe that this king having already seized and turned to his own profit much ecclesiastical property will be encouraged to follow the path of usurpation, the more so that he is just now rather over-ruled by avarice, which circumstance, and the class of people by whom he is surrounded, renders it highly improbable that out of respect for the Holy See he will treat the Clergy of his dominions better than he has done until now. (fn. n7) It is the Lady and her father, both of whom are staunch Lutherans, who drive the King this way. The Pope, therefore, must give up all idea of turning this king's will to his own advantage as long as the Lady and the members of the Privy Council have the upper hand, unless indeed the Pope consent to grant the above-mentioned dispensation. That is why, as already stated, the only remedy lies in the sentence, which, as the Queen herself affirms, the King will never dare dispute out of fear of his own subjects, who besides their good-will and affection towards Your Majesty and the Queen, are mostly good Catholics and terribly afraid of Papal excommunication and interdict. This would oblige the King to obey the sentence, and I am not sure whether in the event of a popular rising the Lady herself, who is generally hated, would escape unscathed (eschapperoit vie et baghes saulves). But unless the Pope provide a remedy, and that immediately, he will inevitably lose little by little his authority in this country in the way that I have pointed out above, and all his censures will remain unheeded. Besides, the sentence, if pronounced, could not come at a more opportune moment than now, when these people are at war with the Scotch, for if by force of the ecclesiastical interdict the English should also be forbidden to trade with the Low Countries and Spain there would be between the King and his Council such contention (garboille) and recrimination as never was before.
The above considerations and thoughts I would have kept to myself had I not known by experience Your Majesty's superior wisdom and perfect knowledge of political affairs, and had not the Queen herself ordered me to put them down in writing, as I have done, humbly begging to be excused if I have dared to state my opinion.
That the above premises are true, namely, that this king is now soliciting the remittal of the cause to some place out of Rome and London for the sole purpose of gaining time and dragging it on endlessly (le rendre immortel) appears quite evident from the fact that as long as the trial was here in the hands of the two cardinals (Wolsey and Campeggio), this king took no trouble in producing witnesses or papers in his behalf, but on the contrary urged as much as possible for the sentence; whereas nowadays that everything is ready at Rome for the final determination of the case, he alleges, among other reasons, that he wants certain witnesses to be examined in England as to the fact that the Queen eust ete cognue by his brother. To obtain which there was no need of such pressure as the King has urged, and is urging, for the gentlemen of the Rota would easily have granted permission (demissoire) for having the witnesses examined in England.
With regard to the declaration made by the Pope to Your Majesty, that should this king appear at Rome he still mighty and ought to be heard, notwithstanding former 'proceedings by contumacy, and that it would be necessary then to grant further delays according to the exigencies of the case, there is nothing to object, I find it both reasonable and natural; but on the other hand, there is another very important point on which hangs the whole affair and which the King understands perfectly well, which is, that were he suddenly to offer to appear [at Rome] and demand concessions in advance before being heard, he must nevertheless obey the injunction of the Papal brief, which is the key to the whole business.
Besides her vehement suspicions that this sudden filling up of the archbishopric of Canterbury by the King is due to no other cause than his wish to attempt something against her, the Queen has lately had a further proof of the same; for within the last few days the King has twice boasted before his courtiers that should the Pope refuse to grant him what he is about to ask through Dr. Bonnart (Bonner), who is only to take his departure to-morrow, he would immediately upon the expedition of the bulls [of Canterbury], let people know what he was about, and what he himself intended doing. She has also been told that four days ago one of the principal members of the Privy Council had assembled a number of doctors, churchmen as well as lawyers, and had proposed to them in the King's name that the opinion of all divines and canonists was that if the Queen had been "cognue" by prince Arthur, her second marriage was null and void, and, therefore, that in order to prove the above connexion the King had, besides the presumption of right, searched for and found a document, which he shewed them, wherein it was asserted by the Catholic king [Ferdinand], and by the King's father [Henry VII] that queen Katharine had been "cognue" by Arthur. And that the paper having been read, and minutely examined by the whole of the Assembly, they all agreed that the King, by the authority of the archbishop of Canterbury, legate of England, ought to carry out his undertaking at once. Which, being heard by the Queen, who also knows the King's great joy at the Nuncio's first overtures, she has been ever since in the greatest perplexity and doubt, so much so that she sent me yesterday three messengers, one after the other, and two more to day, begging me to dispatch this present courier in haste, and requesting in the most earnest manner that since she herself in her state of alarm and anxious care could not write to Your Majesty on the subject I should myself do it in her name, this being, as I said before, the reason of my venturing to write in greater detail.
In conclusion my advice is that His Holiness ought to delay the expedition of the bulls [of Canterbury] until the sentence is actually pronounced, or nearly so. An excuse might easily be found for such a step, or else a clause introduced in the bulls themselves, or in the form of the oath to be exacted from the Archbishop, forbidding him to mix himself up with the divorce case. I have already spoken about this to the Nuncio, who says he has already written, and will write again to His Holiness. Indeed were the Pope to know the reputation the said archbishop (Crammer) has here of belonging heart and soul to the Lutheran sect, he would not be so hasty in confirming him and expediting his bulls. I hear from a very authentic source that he has taken into his service two priests who have preached sermons against the Queen, though only out of gratitude to the father of the Lady, without whose interference they would have been sent to the stake a year ago, as I had the honour to inform Your Majesty in one of my despatches.
With regard to Scottish affairs there is nothing new to report since my last save that this king keeps remitting money to his people on the borders. Ten days ago he sent them 50,000 crs. He has likewise ordered four ships to be armed and fitted out to send to that quarter and attack any merchant vessels that may come across, and prevent all traffic.
The King, moreover, never talked so much or so openly as he does now of carrying his marriage into execution; so does the Lady [Anne], for she said the other day to a priest who wished to enter her service as chaplain that he must have patience for a short time until she had actually married the King. She still keeps in her possession the Queen's rings and jewels, and there is no talk for the present of her restoring them to their legitimate owner.
The term of a month marked in the Papal brief has almost expired, and yet there are no signs of his obeying it; whoever wishes to make him come to the point must needs have recourse to the sentence. In my opinion there is no other road. If in the meanwhile His Holiness could but be persuaded to fulminate a complete excommunication against the Lady, in case she refused to leave court, the King would have less occasion to complain than if the excommunication was decreed against him; the people of England might then wreak their vengeance upon her, remonstrate with the King, and make the interdict follow her wherever she went.—9th February 1533.
French. Holograph mostly in cipher. pp. 12.
15 Feb. 1048. The Same to the Same.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.-Staats Arch.
c. 228, No. 13.
The same day that my man left to go to Your Majesty this king by way of great friendship, shew of trust, and privacy expressly summoned the Papal Nuncio to attend the meeting of the knights and deputies of the Commons, as he had previously attended that of the prelates and grandmasters of this kingdom. The meeting will likewise be attended by the two ambassadors from France, namely, the sieur de Montpesat, who only two days ago took his congé of the King to return to France with a fine present, and the sieur de la Tinteville, his successor, who has just arrived.
At first the Nuncio, as he himself told me afterwards, did not like to obey the summons (semonce) for fear of some attempt to discuss in his presence matters touching the authority and prerogatives of the Holy Apostolic See, as has been done on former occasions. Having, however, as he says, on that very day received letters from His Holiness bidding him to try and see whether he could persuade this king to co-operate for the common and general union of Christendom, he thought that he could not well go to Court and deliver his charge, if he refused to attend the meeting of the Commons, especially when the duke of Norfolk himself had assured him that no measure in any way relating to His Holiness should be discussed in his presence.
On this condition the Papal Nuncio attended the meeting, wherein a motion was presented against thieves and robbers, and against their enjoying Church immunity except in certain places. The Nuncio did not remain long at the meeting, at the end of which came the two ambassadors of France, who, together with himself, the duke of Norfolk, and other members of the Privy Council, sat down afterwards to a most sumptuous banquet at the treasurer of the household Feusullien (Fitzwilliam). After dinner the Nuncio, who thought he might have audience from the King, was put off till the next day; the new ambassador from France was to be heard first, and most likely it was desirable also that the Pope's Nuncio should be seen often at court for the purpose of making people believe that the King was on the best possible terms with his master. Indeed there is no mystery about this, for the Duke himself told him without reserve that the object of the King's summons was that people might see what intimate friendship and good understanding existed between His Holiness and the King, his master, a presumption, which, as I have informed Your Majesty in a former despatch, this king and his ministers wish to spread and propagate among the people.
In this manner do they pretend gaining to their side the Commons as well as those prelates who in the first instance stood up for the authority of the Pope not only in the Queen's business, but in all other matters connected with the Holy See. For the above reason the said prelates, as the good bishop of Rochester (Fisher) informs me, will not dare to say anything unless encouraged by the Nuncio; this the Nuncio has promised to do and it will prove a most effective remedy against the said presumption of good understanding, respecting which, as I have many a time written to Your Majesty, they have always tried to keep people in the dark, and shut the mouths of the said prelates who stand up for the Pope.
The day after the appointment that was made the Nuncio asked the King, as commanded, to help in the union of Christendom, and failed not to represent most forcibly to him how valuable his co-operation would be. To which argument the King, after declaring that he was only a small prince, with power, and a kingdom in a remote corner of the earth, away from the rest of Christendom, deliberately replied that on this point as on many others he would send his definitive answer to His Holiness through Dr. Bonart (Bonner). I do not think, however, that the Doctor will take any resolution, or indeed any good thing with him, for, as I have been told, neither the duke [of Norfolk], nor the bishop of Winchester has had a hand in the instructions whereof he is the bearer, but only Crembel (Cromwell) and the archbishop of Canterbury (Crammer).
Doctor Bonart (Bonner) whose departure for Rome has long been announced, left only yesterday. One of the causes of his protracted stay here, as far as I can gather, is that he may take with him a paper and consultation which has been lately drawn up for the purpose of proving as they pretend by irrefutable testimony "que la Royne avoit este cognue par le roy Artus," which paper the King has caused to be authenticated, and an attested copy made of it, and sent to Rome, having expressly ordered that one of the prelates, the bishop Dabole, who holds for the Queen, should append his signature and seal to it, which has been done, the whole being taken by the said Doctor.
The said instrument, of which I have sent a copy to Mons. de Grandvelle, is in my opinion of no consequence, and proves nothing; yet the Queen is in great state of tribulation, saying that all people will accuse her of having taken a false oath before cardinal Campeggio.
The Lady said eight days ago, whilst dining in her own apartments, that she was as sure as she was of her own death that she should be very soon married to the King; and her father [the earl of Wiltshire] said the day before yesterday to the earl of Rotalant (Rutland) that the King was determined no longer to be so considerate as he had been (plus destre tant respectif) but to marry his daughter at once, and that, the marriage having once taken place by the authority and sanction of Parliament it would be much easier to conciliate the opponents than at present. And upon the earl of Wiltshire asking him, Rutland, whether when the motion was brought forward in Parliament he, who was one of the King's blood, would vote for him or oppose the measure, he answered that the matter was wholly of a spiritual nature and could not be decided by Parliament. Upon which the Lady's father got into a passion as though; Rutland had uttered a blasphemy, and began to taunt him in very gross language, so much so that he at last promised to vote whatever the King wanted, and sent me a message to say how matters stood, and that I was not to expect that any member of Parliament would dare offer any opposition.
I must add that the said earl of Wiltshire has never declared himself up to this moment; on the contrary, he has hitherto, as the duke of Norfolk has frequently told me, tried to dissuade the King rather than otherwise from the marriage. Which circumstance, coupled with others still more significative, such as the appointment of the new Chancellor, (fn. n8) which the King has just made, and the permission to three bishops who hold for the Queen to retire to their dioceses, and appoint procurators approved by the King to represent them in Parliament, &c., has thrown the Queen in the greatest state of tribulation and anxiety, and she has particularly asked me to acquaint Your Majesty with her fears.
The King's ministers are not only trying to conceal (occulter) the execution of the brief, threatening with great penalties all those who should dare speak about it, but some of them still go on saying in public, as I have been told, that both the Pope and Your Majesty consented to it, which after all is nothing but a stratagem to get, as I have pointed out above, the unanimous consent of Parliament. To obviate the difficulty of procuring as soon as required, a sentence from Rome it would be necessary to apply instantly for a brief of excommunication (reaggravatoire) and general interdict, in virtue of which Your Majesty might reasonably and without any breach of friendship and consideration forbid all intercourse of trade between your subjects and the English. This being done the affair could not be concealed, and that would be the true and efficient means for bringing the King to reason and getting to the end of this affair, as I have had the honour of telling Your Majesty.
With regard to Scotland, it would seem as if the want of zeal (froideur) in equipping and arming their four ships, as announced in my last despatch, of the 9th inst., would be rather indicative that war was not popular with these people. Neither are there symptoms for the present of the duke of Norfolk or any other general of note being appointed to the command of the forces, which is a sign, as most people think, that they are waiting for the return of the gentleman whom the king of France sent the other day to Scotland to negotiate a truce or make peace on terms honourable for this country. Should the Frenchman's mission turn out well I have no doubt that these people will accept peace, for in the first place they are afraid of the king of Denmark (Frederic), helping the Scotch, and then they are not quite sure as to what effect the excommunication and general interdict may have on their men whilst the war lasts. My firm conviction is that had not the King been almost sure that the party of the earl of Douglas could never prevail in Scotland without his help he would never have engaged in this war which has already cost him a very large sum of money without any profit to himself But I have been told that neither the King nor the Earl must rely too much on the party, for it is said they are disgusted and angry with the Earl on account of his cruelties in the last forays, the men under his orders slaying every man and burning every house on their passage.
The four war ships will leave for the coast of Scotland in three days, laden with ordnance and ammunition for the places and castles on the English frontier. Some, however, presume that the said ships are intended to cruize in those seas so as to prevent the Scotch from getting provisions or ammunition of war from the Low Countries or France, or being otherwise helped by some other maritime power. They are, I am told, particularly afraid of their receiving ordnance and arms from Flanders, with which, according to a rumour generally current here, Your Majesty has already supplied them abundantly.—London, 15th February 153[3].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England. 15th February. Received on the 15th of March at Milan."
Addressed: "To the Emperor.''
French. Holograph. pp. 5.
19 Feb. 1049. Rodrigo Niño ho the Same.
S. E. Guerra L. 4.
B. M. Add. 28,585,
f. 219.
Since I wrote to Your Majesty on the 9th, nothing worthy of notice has occurred in this city, except that last night a brigantine arrived from Constantinople with letters from the ambassador this Republic has there. To-day the Doge has sent me word by one of his secretaries that the letters are of the 25th ulto, and that the ambassador of the king of the Romans had arrived on the 10th, and that on the 12th he visited Abrayn Bassa (Ibrahim Pasha), and was two and a half hours with him; that on the 13th he had audience of the Grand Turk, which lasted full a quarter of an hour, and after that went to dine with the bashas. That the Polish ambassador is still in Constantinople, because they refused to have anything to do with him until this one of the king of the Romans arrived. Nobody knew yet what the mission of this latter was. The exiled Tartar prince, whom the Grand Turk wishes to place in the room of the other prince in the Great Sea had not yet started on his expedition. Fifty galleys were getting ready with which to retake Coron. The Bashá who was besieging that place had written to say that he would wait for the arrival of the galleys before he attempted to storm the place.
This information, as sent by the Doge to me, agrees on most points with that derived from private letters as well as from Government officials here, although for the last eight days an ordinance has been promulgated forbidding under pain of death any members of the Council of Pregay to disclose or reveal any of the affairs treated of in that Assembly, saying that Your Majesty had been informed of all the speeches that had been made or opinions expressed with relation to affairs proposed by the Pope or by Your Majesty. I apprehend that in consequence of the above-mentioned ordinance things will remain more secret than hitherto, but still whatever laws they may make I trust that I shall always be able to ascertain what they are about, for those who enter those councils are so numerous that it will be almost impossible to keep entire secresy.
About three days ago the Signory received letters dated the 14th inst. from their ambassador at Your Majesty's court, purporting (cipher:) that you were much pleased at the manner in which the proposals made by Your Majesty and His Holiness had been received by them. That Your Majesty's departure for Spain would not take place so soon owing to the arrival of cardinals Tarbes and Tournon, who had set on foot certain negotiations. And, lastly, that some days previous Your Majesty and His Holiness the Pope had disagreed and had certain differences together respecting the intended marriage of the Pope's niece to the duke of Orleans; but that in the end Your Majesty had consented to it.
This is the news circulated by the friends of France; but I suspect that these rumours are only spread for the purpose of persuading this Republic not to enter into the league, and especially not to fulfil the articles respecting Milan. To whoever speaks to me on these matters I say that I know nothing about differences having occurred between Your Majesty and His Holiness; on the contrary, that your mutual affection was greater than ever, and that if you had not yet left Italy it was because you wished to remain in His Holiness' company until the time for your embarcation. in April, had arrived.
Since I last wrote to Your Majesty Rincon and the French ambassador have gone to the College-hall. The former has given out that he only went for the purpose of making his excuses for not having visited them since he arrived, having been prevented by illness. I hear, moreover, that he said to a friend of his that he had received letters from the king of France commanding him to remain in this city until new orders, as he wanted his services here. Although it might well be that Rincon said so on purpose to facilitate his departure from hence, for he is still as much afraid [of us] as he was.—Venice, 19th February 1533.
Signed: "R[odrigo] Niño.''
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. pp. 5.
22 Feb. 1050. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E. L. 1,457,
f. 272.
B. M. Add. 28,585,
f. 222.
Letters from Flanders of the 24th ulto have this moment come to hand, announcing that the Papal brief had been duly received there, and that it will be notified in due course. His Imperial Majesty has now sent orders that if the notification has not already taken place it should be made immediately.
Eustace Chapuis, the Imperial ambassador in England, writes that on Christmas Eve Master Abel and another doctor, who were prisoners in the Tower of London for the same cause, were set at liberty on condition of not preaching at all, or writing until a fortnight after Easter. (fn. n9)
The said ambassador writes that the truce between the kings of England and Scotland expired on St. Andrew's Day, and that consequently the English had entered that country by three different passes, and done much harm, laying the country waste, setting villages on fire, and taking considerable spoil; they had also made more than 300 prisoners. Upon which the Scottish ambassador residing in England, had returned home after receiving from the King a most insolent answer to his representations, from which people conclude that there will be soon a desperate war between the two nations. May God be pleased to avert altogether such a calamity, or make it otherwise profitable [for the success of the English matrimonial cause]! (fn. n10)
As I have in my preceding despatches fully reported on the state of affairs here, nothing remains for me to say except that I sincerely hope this business will be soon brought to a most satisfactory end, and that the count of Cifuentes (fn. n11) will soon arrive and take charge of this embassy.
Since the above was written letters from England, of the 9th inst. have come to hand, advising that the Papal brief had been duly notified in Flanders, and that the King has given the archbishopric of Canterbury to a chaplain of that Anne. As the dignity is so high in the Church many disapproved of it, and were very angry with the King in consequence.
The last courier left so suddenly that he could not take the Emperor's letter in favour and commendation of Fray Francisco Ortiz, my brother. It goes by this present one, and I cannot but remind Your Majesty that both he and myself expect consolation in our troubles, and mercy at your hands. —Rome, 22nd February 1533.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Empress and Queen, our Lady."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
22 Feb. 1051. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 1,457,
f. 272.
B. M. Add. 28,585,
f. 222.
The Emperor is now sending orders to Flanders that if the brief has not yet been notified, this should be done immediately.
According to the Imperial ambassador in England (Eustace Chapuys) on Christmas Eve (la vispera de Navidad) Master Abell, the Queen's chaplain, (fn. n12) and another doctor were taken out of the Tower [of London], where both had been prisoners for some time on the charge of having preached against the divorce, and in favour of the Queen. They were both set free on their engaging not to preach or write until a fortnight after Easter (despues de Pasqua).
The same ambassador says that a war between England and Scotland is inevitable, for immediately after the expiration of the truce, on St. Andrew's Day, the English had penetrated into the latter country by three different passes on the borders; had burnt and sacked many villages, and taken upwards of 300 prisoners, &c. May God be pleased to stop the effusion of blood among Christians, or make it otherwise profitable to the queen of England, whose interest cannot fail to be safeguarded in the hands of the newly appointed ambassador to this court of Rome, count of Cifuentes (D. Fernando de Silva), whose arrival is expected every day.
Since the above was written letters from the said Eustace Chapuys, in date of the 9th inst. have been received here, advising that the brief had actually been notified in Flanders, and that the King had conferred the archbishopric of Canterbury upon a chaplain of the Lady in question (aquetla Ana). His name, I believe, is Carambo (Cranmer). He has been of late in great favour with the King, has helped considerably to the divorce case, and is expected to do still more towards it. He (Chapuys) adds that Canterbury being an archiepiscopal see and a great dignity in the Church, some people have disapproved of the nomination, and feel rather indignant against the King. (fn. n13)
Begs again to recommend the affair of his brother, Fr. Francisco Ortiz. The Emperor's letters for the Commander (fn. n14) and secretary [Juan Vasquez] could not go by the last post. —Bologna, 22nd February 1533.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Empress."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.


  • n1. "Salvo que es esta la verdad: Que el Smo Rey de Inglaterra tiene mas firme grado de afìnidad con esta ana, su manceba, por aver antes mal usado de una hermana suya, que no lo tenie (sic, tiene) con la Sma Reyna; la qual quedó donzella de areturo su hermano. Y para poderse casar con esta Ana es esta cierta verdad que [h]a tiempo que envió á demandar dispensacion á su St para poderse casar con ella, y que su sd le dixo al Casal," &c.
  • n2. "Sin dezir nada a su santidad" says the text, but the preposition a which changes materially the sense, must in my opinion be suppressed.
  • n3. On the margins of this report is the following note in the handwriting of Granvelle: "Several transcripts should be made of the first brief, dated the 7th of March 1530, all of them subscribed and attested by a notary, and sealed with the seal of some ecclesiastical judge or prelate. Wherever the publication is to be made, one copy of it to be given to the curate of the parish, that he may during the offices read the brief, and say how the king of England, owing to his having sent away his Queen, and taken Anne [Boleyn] for his wife, and all his Privy Councillors or other persons who have abetted and helped him in his undertaking, or otherwise compromised themselves, are excommunicated and his kingdom placed under interdict, a sentence which all parties are bound to keep and observe under pain of lesser excommunication. In this manner the publication shall be made wherever it is deemed necessary."
  • n4. This letter of the Emperor to the Empress Isabella is wrongly placed among papers of 1531. See Catalogue of Spanish MSS., vol. ii., p. 601. There can be no doubt, however, from the nature of its contents that it was written about this time.
  • n5. "Disant quil estoit povre gentilhomme vivant de son service [et] quil luy convenoit ausy (ainsy ?) fere."
  • n6. "De la quelle reponse, ocrez quelle ne soit de moment ne emportance ay bien voulu advertyr vostre maieste."
  • n7. All this paragraph, which is mostly written in cipher, is rather obscure. Most likely the deciphering clerks, not always true to their work, omitted or misinterpreted words, by which omission or misinterpretation the sense is rendered somewhat ambiguous. It stands thus in the original: "[Et croys fermement que si ce roy a une fois gaigne ce point quo de nestre tenu de comparoir a Rome, quest la chose plus exorbitante de raison que lon sauroit dire, quil aura encoires moins de h nte de fere la dite dispensacion absolue de puissance sans process, puisquil se donne a entendre avoir son droit si evident] et [que], non veuilliant a luy octroyer [sa sanctite au lieu que icelle pense iouyr de luy et se couduire, icelle le trouuera plus brave et ennemy]. Je ne sçay sur quelles errez (sic) sa dite sanctite [se promect de pouvoir conduire ce roy et le desunir de la france veu ce quil a fait par cideuant, et tousiours continue de fere coutre lauctorete de lesglise, si ny a eu quelque collusion entre eulx deux, et croy que le dit seigneur roy ayant desia taste et mis en compte plusieurs commoditez et proffitz des choses ecclesiastiques, actendu aussy quil est maintenant ung peu sur lauarice et les gens quil a [alentour?], il soit for difficile quil ne traicte mal ses ecclesiastiques sans respect du siege apostolique."
  • n8. *Cromwell.
  • n9. "Y les mandaron que no prediquen ni escriban hasta quince dias despues de pascua."
  • n10. "Plega á nuestro señor impedirla ó sacar de ella el fructo que mas conviene."
  • n11. Don Fernando de Sylva, appointed ambassador in the room of Miçer Miguel Mai.
  • n12. See Chapuy's despatch of the 3d January., No. 1041., p. 578.
  • n13. As may be seen this letter is almost a duplicate of that which the Doctor wrote to the Emperor on the same day, No. 1050, p. 602, with the only addition of the paragraph relating to Cranmer. It contains, however, some additional matter, which I have suppressed as entirely referring to Ortiz's own personal affairs and to the legal proceedings against his brother Francisco, still detained in the convent of his order at Seville.
  • n14. This commander can hardly be Covos, who held such dignity in the order of Santiago, nor Don Pedro de la Cueva, who was High Commander of Alcantara, for the first named was with the Emperor in Germany, and the second had not yet returned to Spain. Juan Vasquez [de Molina], at this time a clerk of Covos, and who succeeded him in the secretaryship of State, must be the person alluded to. He appears to have been also commander of Guadalcanal in the Order of Santiago, lord of Payo and Elizeda, and Alferez Mayor or standard bearer to the city of Ubeda.