Spain: March 1533, 1-15

Pages 607-624

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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March 1533, 1-15

1 Mar. 1052. The Emperor to the Empress Isabella.
S. E. L. 26, f. 179.
B. M. Add. 28,585,
f. 224.
Since my letter of the 11th the messenger you dispatched on the 4th arrived. I am sorry for the loss of Cazaza [in Africa] (fn. n1) and approve entirely of the orders given to the duke of Medina Sidonia [D. Juan Perez de Guzman], and to the marquises of Mondejar and Comares to take steps for its recovery. (fn. n2) As the place belonged formerly to the Duke, we consider it unnecessary to recommend its recovery as soon as possible from the hands of the Infidel. He (the Duke) ought to attend to it at the head of his vassals. Oran and Marsalquibir ought to be further strengthened.
With regard to Algiers, I have nothing to add to my letter by the last post.
Half fruits and Crusade.—Brief for the matrimonial cause of the count of Urueña (sic).
As my journey back to Spain will soon take place, the reorgnization of my body guard ought to be suspended until my arrival; but if you think that the men ought to be paid up you had better see that it is done "without prejudice to a third (sin perjuicio de tercero).
My business with His Holiness is at an end for the present; the league for the defence of Italy has been effected, provision for the General Council, and matters appertaining to the Faith has likewise been made, and every other affair settled very much to the satisfaction of His Holiness and ourselves. So that after taking affectionate leave of the Pope 1 left Bologna on the 20th of February, and came here [to Modena], whence it is my intention to proceed to Genoa. I shall stop a few days at Milan until my fleet be conveniently fitted out and supplied with provisions, a rather difficult task at present owing to the sterility of the country round that city, though I must say that orders have been issued for the prompt and efficient provision of the same. I hope, therefore, that on the 1st of April or thereabouts I shall be able to set sail from Genoa.
The expenses I have been obliged to incur of late have been very considerable, and therefore I have been obliged to draw upon that treasury 100,000 ducats, which I have borrowed from Ansaldo Grimaldo.—Modena, 1st March 1533.
Signed: "Yo el Rey."
Countersigned: "Covos."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
23 Feb. 1053. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.-Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep.P. Fasc.,
c. 288. No. 14.
The Queen perceiving the King's obstinacy to increase every day, and the disorderly symptoms of a second marriage to grow in equal proportion, is again compelled to apply for help, assistance and favour to Your Majesty, on whom her last hopes are fixed.
Ever since my despatch of the 15th ulto the King has been continually urging the archbishops of Canterbury and York, the bishops of London, Winchester, and Lincoln, and several other doctors, Italian as well as English, to sign their names to a letter which he has had written at his fancy, and which as Your Majesty has no doubt been informed by Monsieur de Grandvelle, to whom I have forwarded a copy, is a very strange document. They say that the archbishop of York and the bishop of Winchester have not yet consented to append their signatures, but that the elect of Canterbury has made no difficulty or scruple whatever and has on the contrary urged it upon his colleagues as if the affair concerned him principally. Indeed, if what a worthy man has told me this very morning be true, a great danger is imminent. (fn. n3) My informer, who was going straight to the Queen to acquaint her with the fact, assures me that the archbishop [of Canterbury] has actually pledged his most solemn word to adhere entirely to the King's opinion in this matter of the divorce, so much so that he has actually married the King to the Lady [Anne] in the presence only of her father, mother, brother, and two intimate female friends of the Lady herself, besides a priest of the diocese of Canterbury. If so, the King could not do better to secure the archbishop's co-operation and prevent his changing opinion hereafter, when once constituted into the archiepiscopal dignity, as that of York and another bishop [Campeggio] did a few years ago. Indeed, there is every reason to presume that either the said archbishop elect of Canterbury has actually married the parties or promised to many them for certain considerations which I have already represented to Your Majesty, and especially because ever since his (Cranmer's) election he does not hesitate to say openly that he is ready to maintain with his life that the King can take the Lady for his wife (fn. n4)
The rumour is afloat, and increases every day, that in order to achieve his marriage the King is only waiting for the bulls of the said elect to come [from Rome], and that the more to authorize the case he has commanded those who have charge of convoking provincial synods, whilst the see is vacant, to assemble them for the 17th of next month.
No measure of importance has yet been proposed in this present Parliament! Indeed, it would seem as if they were purposely waiting until the arrival of the said bulls. It is also rumoured that the King is about to ask the House for a grant of money for the expenses of the Scottish war, and the construction of harbours and ports on the sea coast. The better to colour this design the king of France has sent him an engineering architect, who was introduced to him by the new French ambassador on Sunday last. As it happened to be a feast day, and his first appearance at Court since the departure of his predecessor, Mr. de Montpesat, the new French ambassador, he was admirably well received, the two dukes [of Norfolk and Suffolk] wearing on the occasion their grand collars of the Order of Saint Esprit, owing, as I have been told, to the said ambassador having brought them the robes of ceremony peculiar to that Order. On his return from Court the ambassador passed near my lodgings with the intention of visiting me, but finding that I had company and that it was late, he went away and called the day after and remained a long while with me. I could not learn any particulars from him respecting the affairs of France or of this country, nor what was his mission at this court, nor did I like to press him too much, it being the first time I had met him. Enough, however, was said to convince me that he will not hit quite so hard as La Pommeraye, or Jehan Jocquin, when Your Majesty's affairs come to be discussed, or your name mentioned, for he evidently shewed a desire to do all he could in order to preserve friendship between Your Majesty and the King, his master.
All people say and write that Melancthon is here in the Kings palace, where he has already stayed eight days, but the whole tiling is kept so secret that whatever my inquiries I have found no one able to tell me what his business here really is. I know very well that the King, as I had the honour to write to Your Majesty, did send expressly for the said Melancthon, and, as I calculate, exclusively for the Queen's business, which he (Melancthon) favours on account, as far as I can conjecture, of this king intending not only to do away with all the constitutions, synodal as well as others, of the English clergy, but also to curtail and invalidate the Papal ones. The better to guide and conduct the affair he persuaded the prelates last year, as much by promises as by threats, that he would in the end compel them to do so, and subscribe to anything that might be decided by 40 deputies, one half of whom would be appointed by him and the other by the said prelates, he (the King) being at the head of all. For which reformation or rather disformation of the Clergy, which he pretends carrying out in his dominions, the King it would seem has found no fitter person than this said Melancthon, whom he wants no doubt to consult also as to the best means of annoying the Pope since hitherto all his boastings have proved ineffective.
It is still rumoured that the King intends creating a yeomanry, of which I lately wrote to Your Majesty, to be paid entirely out of the funds of the Clergy. He has already begun to pluck the feathers of the latter, and has just presented to his Chancellor a house in Wasmestre (Westminster), and besides that, as I have been told, more than 1,000 ducats annual pension on the revenues of the said abbey.
Respecting the Scotch business there is no news; the four vessels sent to that coast with artillery and ammunition of all kinds sailed yesterday from this river having 400 men on board and provisions for four months.
Yesterday the King sent for an English merchant, who had just arrived from Flanders, where he usually resides, and inquired most minutely of him how and when the brief had been executed in Flanders, and what was said there respecting his marriage,; also about the resources of the country and condition of the inhabitants, if they were rich, obedient, and attached to Your Majesty; whether the country was strong or easily assailed, on all which points the merchant in question answered in a sense so opposed to the King's desire, that he was thunderstruck, and did nothing but heave and sigh all the time.—London, 23rd February 153[3].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys.''
French. Original mostly in cipher. pp. 5.
7 Mar. 1054. Miçer Mai to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 860, f. 37.
B. M. Add. 28,585,
f. 229.
I wrote to the Emperor on the 5th an account of my interview with the cardinals. What follows is for Your Lordship's private information.
I called on cardinal de Agramont (Grammont), who is still very weak from the results of his late illness. As Tournon is staying in the neighbourhood, we both called, and although I said to him (Tournon) that I came merely to visit him, as I had been prevented by press of business from doing so before, we began to discuss politics. Both the cardinals told me that since their arrival in Rome they had heard rumours of war at which they were very much surprised, as they could not possibly guess whence the said rumours sprang. It was also reported that the kings of France and England were to hold another interview, which (they said) was the greatest falsehood that could be imagined, and that since Your Majesty had both in England and in France such competent and able ambassadors no credit should be given to reports coming from other sources.
My answer was: "You may be sure that the Emperor, my master, attaches no faith to such reports, for he looks upon the Most Christian King as his true confederate and brother, and knows besides that it would not be his interest to act thus." They (the cardinals) themselves (I observed), and such of the Romans as enjoy credit among them, were the propagators of such alarming news, and made the people believe in them. (fn. n5) It was for them to put a stop to such rumours, &c." Their excuse was that they had not invented the report; people continually came to question them concerning the object of their mission, and to offer their services, &c. I replied that they ought not to take any notice of what these Romans said. Such was their habit; they had done the same when the duke of Albany came here as ambassador; they kept going to him and coming to me with all manner of tales. If the first time they called on such an errand they (the cardinals) had done what I myself did on that occasion, which was to receive them coldly and not answer their questions, they would not have returned a second time.
The cardinals further said that whenever one of Your Majesty's servants happened to go through France it was the custom for the King to invite them to his table and for the courtiers to entertain and feast them. When they came to Italy they thought they would be entertained in a like manner, and invited to attend Your Majesty's walks and hunting parties, and yet not only had they not met with the same reception as the Imperial ambassadors had in France, but even many who would otherwise have called on them excused themselves by saying that they were afraid of incurring your displeasure if they were seen entering their lodgings. Such mistrust (added the cardinals) was very unfair, and produced generally bad effects. My answer was: "Have you to complain of the Emperor personally ? " "No "(said they). "Well then, never mind what badly intentioned people do or say."
Another subject of complaint was that they had not been spoken to or consulted in the matter of the cardinals' hats. Though they were thus made to appear as belonging to the opposition they wished (they said) by all means to be useful. My answer was that His Majesty had been informed that they (the French) had asked for a good number of hats for ecclesiastics and others of their nation, and that the reason for their applying for so many at the same time was no other than to prevent the nomination of the three proposed by the Emperor. "If the report be true (I said) the Emperor, my master, had very good reason to be offended, since he at least never interfered with or objected to those recommended by the Most Christian king of France. Cardinal Grammont interrupted me and said: "And yet cardinal d'Osma voted against the nomination of Monaco that he might the better oppose that of Toulouse." "If d'Osma (said I) has done such a thing, he has acted entirely on his own account, and not by the Emperor's orders. You are aware that I myself strongly recommended Thoulouse (fn. n6) in obedience to queen Eleanor's orders. The Emperor wrote to me to favour his election, and speak to the cardinals one by one. I commenced my task, but seeing the difficulties raised by the dean (Farnese), and by Cornaro I desisted; it was no fault of mine if the vote was unsuccessful."
Not satisfied with my answer the cardinals went on to complain of cardinal Siguença, who, they said, told them in plain words that "the Emperor cared not for their votes." I told them that I could not believe it; they must have misunderstood him, &c. They owned, however, that they had worked and spoken in favour of the Auditor of the Chamber (Ghinucci), because they said they had precise orders from the King, their master, to treat that affair as if it were his own. Hearing which I could not help saying to them: "Methinks you might have accepted a more honourable commission for yourselves, and less grievous to your master's conscience than the one you allude to;" to which, having perfectly well understood my meaning, they replied: "If you mean the matrimonial cause of England we have not opened our mouths on that subject. Our king does not wish to meddle at all with it, but wants full justice to be done. He has already prevented, and intends to prevent as far as he can, the king of England from marrying the other woman." On this last point they laid great stress, but as I do not believe one word of what they say I put an end to our conversation by saying: "If your king does that, and you help him in his exertions the honour and conscience of your master will be saved." I thought I ought to say this much to them considering that at the beginning of our conference I found them rebotados y medio quexosos (fn. n7) — Rome, 7th March 1533.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Original. pp. 5.
8 Mar. 1055. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Wien. Rep. P.Fasc.,
c. 228, No. 17.
My despatch of the 23rd ulto contained all the news up to that date. Since then, on the 24th, Your Majesty's letter of the 28th January came to hand. On the same day the sieur de Langez (Langeais) arrived from France in haste, besides a French gentleman, named Beauvoir, (fn. n8) coming from Scotland. Both were well received and entertained as usual by the King, who invited them to dine next day at his table, together with the French ambassador in ordinary. This happened to be in Carnival time. (fn. n9) The Lady [Anne] was present, occupying the same place and seat as the Queen in former times; the duke of Norfolk and other great lords also attended, with the single exception of the duke of Suffolk, who was not present, though expressly invited to come with the badge of the Saint Esprit (avec l'ordre de France).
The said Langez and Beauvoir have only stayed four days, during which they have communicated daily either with the King himself or with the members of his Privy Council, though not very seriously (non poinct fort grievement) as it would appear, for the hasty dispatch of their business must be owing either to the said Langez not having brought affairs of any importance, or because the English wish to conclude peace with Scotland as soon as possible. Whatever the cause may be, I am pretty sure that one of the principal objects of Langez' mission is to settle with these people the line of conduct to be followed in the matter of the General Council, the celebration of which both kings want to prevent, if they can, by all possible means. (fn. n10) I am the more persuaded that Langez has brought such a mission, that the other day, talking with him of other matters, he suddenly said to me that Your Majesty had at last obtained what you most desired, namely, the convocation of the said Council, and that the Pope, after all that Your Majesty had made him suffer by imprisonment, and in various other ways, could not possibly refuse you anything you wished for, or commanded. And upon my urging upon him the real sorrow felt by Your Majesty on account of the Pope's captivity, and how soon, when informed of it, you had sent orders for his release, he gave me to understand that the Pope's delivery had been accomplished previously on the payment of a ransom which, he owned, had been much more moderate than His Holiness really deserved. This observation of the French ambassador I could not let pass, and after representing to him the reverence and obedience with which Your Majesty had always treated His Holiness, notwithstanding which the latter had done much more for the King, his master, than for Your Majesty, considering also the necessity of the said Council, to which His Holiness should have agreed without requisition of anyone, the ambassador ended by retracting everything he had said.
The said sieur de Langez then remarked to me that the King, his master, had answered the Pope that he thought the celebration of the Council both reasonable and necessary, and that he agreed to it on two conditions, namely: that the place appointed for the meeting should be commodious, propitious, and secure for all those who chose to take part in it, and that in case of its being held in Italy, he, the King, should be allowed to take with him a number of troops equal to that of Your Majesty. The second condition was that no question should be introduced or discussed at the Council except those exclusively belonging to the Faith, without entering into particulars as to any private quarrels of the parties themselves, though he himself had more right than any other prince in Christendom to bring his grievances forward, considering the number of things that had been taken from him. (fn. n11)
Langez did not declare to me the pith of the said condition; true, he had no opportunity to do so, for Brian, who had come to conduct him and the other ambassadors to Court, disliking, as I suspect, our private conversation, came to interrupt us every moment (cop sur cop). For this reason I made no further inquiries on the occasion, believing that the ambassador would soon give me another opportunity according to promise, which, however, he has not fulfilled. I suspect that the condition he alluded to, and would not disclose, is that no demand shall be made or listened to respecting the restitution of Burgundy, or the wrongs which his master pretends to have received from the Genoese, or again that which he dreads quite as much, which is the question of reinstating the Empire in the temporal power, which the Pope holds at present, (fn. n12) and which would increase beyond measure Your Majesty's power.
After the above conversation, Langez made some attempt to justify himself, and excuse his own doings at Paris and elsewhere in favour of this matter of the divorce, pretending that he had not worked so earnestly for this king as most people believed, and as to him he did not wish for the divorce more than I did. At the end he said that when in Germany last year he had met and conversed with ministers of Your Majesty, who seemed not at all inclined to the preservation of peace and amity between you and his master, inasmuch as they openly said and spread about that the King, his master, was the principal cause of the Turkish invasion. That was, he added, a calumny, and Your Majesty ought to punish severely the authors of such a slanderous accusation. And upon my attempting to justify you, saying that you could not possibly have allowed such rumours to circulate, he replied to me that Your Majesty had at the diet of Ratisbonne pronounced words not much to the honour of the King, his master. Having asked him what the words could be, he said to me that Your Majesty had publicly stated at the Diet that king Francis, upon being asked to co-operate against the Turk, had answered flatly that he could not, and would not, risk his men and, money in such an enterprize, and though he (Langez) contradicted the assertion that words to that effect had been introduced in the written answer given by the King to Mr. de Balançon, yet he owned that the rest of the letter said substantially the same thing, but maintained that on no account ought the passage in question to have been read at that assembly. And upon my remarking that there was no reason for Your Majesty to take so much trouble as to read the whole of the letter, and that if it were true, as he pretended, that the first overtures on that affair had come from Your Majesty you would surely have referred to his master's letter, and, if necessary, published it for the benefit of those concerned. (fn. n13)
Such was the ambassador's haste in going to Court that I had no time or leisure to interrogate the gentleman lately from Scotland (Beauvoir) as to his business in that country; but having inquired from Mr. de Langez whether his colleague's mission had been successful, and if peace or truce had been concluded between England and Scotland, he answered me coolly that he was ignorant of what his colleague had done in the latter country, or even if he had gone thither for that purpose, but this he could say that the English and Scotch ought to remain at peace with each other. I made yesterday the same inquiry of the duke of Norfolk, who told me that the French gentleman had gone to Scotland on business of the Most Christian King, and also that Mr. de Langez (Langeais) at his audience with this king had spoken of the Council in precisely the same terms that he did to me. The Duke could not give me any more particulars owing to the presence in the room of the duke of Suffolk and earl of Wiltshire, and also because he was in a hurry to go to the King, who had already sent him three messages. I hope when the occasion comes of speaking to him that I shall be able to learn more particulars about Langez' charge.
Respecting the mission of the other Frenchman, the Papal Nuncio, who is in Scotland, writes to his nephew (son neueue) and to the Nuncio residing at this court, that the Frenchman had spoken to king James in these or similar terms. The king of France, his master, had heard that ever since the king of Scotland had accepted the Golden Fleece his friendship and regard for France had considerably decreased, and that he no longer entertained that amity and affection which his predecessors on the throne had shewn for France, and which had been so much to their advantage. No cause, he thought, had been given for such friendship either to diminish or become extinct, as seemed probable; still less for such an act of contempt (temia en mesprison) as having the Royal arms of France lowered, and those of the Empire put in their place. It was for the purpose of ascertaining the truth of such rumours, and likewise to know what the King's intentions were, that he (Beauvoir) had been sent to Scotland. Also to tell the King in the most formal and positive manner that his master had not given up the idea of a marriage between him and his daughter. To this speech king James answered in the most gracious terms, professing to entertain for France the same affection and regard as before. In accepting the Order [of the Golden Fleece], which Your Majesty had kindly conferred upon him, he thought he had done a right thing (une conforme oeuvre). and one of which he should never have to repent, and then went on saying many praises of Your Majesty.
The Nuncio's letter contains no more particulars about this, but we shall soon hear his own verbal report, for he will be back in about eight or ten days, in order to return to Rome. He also says in his letter that the Scots are making wonderful preparations for war, and that if the English attempt to invade their country they will meet with a stout defence. Not that the Scots are averse to peace; on the contrary, they wish for it, but on the terms which the King originally proposed, and which the English consider somewhat humiliating and undesirable, as I had occasion to write to Your Majesty in my despatch of the 27th of January. The letter, however, says that in the adjustment of the said peace, if it should ever be negotiated, it is to be feared the settlement of the damage and interests on each side will be a great drawback towards its being effected.
I must, moreover, observe in reference to this subject, that sometime ago the French gentleman (Mr. Beauvoir) was here [in London] intending to go to Scotland, but that having communicated to this king the nature of his charge, he was not allowed to proceed on his journey, and had to go back to France, whence he went to Scotland by sea. One might conclude from this that there exists some difference of opinion between England and France as to the manner of settling the Scotch business. Only two days ago the English Admiral said to me that the French were not sincere, and that they secretly favoured the Scots.
On the 23rd ulto the Papal Nuncio here received from Rome the brief which His Holiness sent him concerning the convocation of the Council for St. Mathias' Day. The Nuncio went to Court to present the said brief, but as it happened to be on the day when the Lady had invited the King to dine in her apartments he could not get an audience, though the duke [of Norfolk] was deputed to hear what he had to say on the subject. The Nuncio explained to him fully what his mission was, and put the brief into his hands. He has since asked many a time to see the King, and speak to him on the subject so as to get an answer, but after having been put off from day to day he was told yesterday that the King was too much engaged to see anyone, and besides that there was no need at all of an answer, since one was being prepared for the English ambassador at Rome to put into His Holiness' hands.
On the same day of St. Mathias the Lady treated the King to a banquet in her apartments, beautifully ornamented with splendid tapestry hangings, and the finest of buffets covered with gold plate. The Lady herself sat on the King's right hand, whilst the Dowager Duchess [of Norfolk] was lower down on the left, at the end of a cross table joining that of the King, where the Chancellor, the duke of Suffolk, and several other lords and ladies sat. During the dinner the King was so much engaged in play and conversation with the ladies that he scarcely talked to the rest of the company, or if he did no one could hear what he said, save once that he addressed the duchess of Norfolk, (fn. n14) and asked her if she did not think that Madame, the marchioness, had a fine dowry and a rich marriage portion, which incident and others that I could relate will shew Your Majesty how obstinate this king is in his purpose, for since the execution of the Papal brief he has behaved much worse than before, not only in this respect, but also in his treatment of the Queen, whom he has lately caused to be hastily removed 40 miles from this city, without granting her the eight days she asked for to set her affairs in order (pour donner ordre a ses besoingnes); nor can it be expected that he will act otherwise towards her until he hears of a sentence having been pronounced in his favour, as I have already informed Your Majesty.
A fortnight ago, a German born at Basle, aged 30 or thereabouts, but speaking fluently Spanish, Italian, and French, and who, I am told, served in the late Italian wars, arrived in this city. He calls himself the servant of the duke of Saxony and of the landgrave [of Hesse], and says that he has come here in the name of those princes to offer his services and raise a number of men in case war should be made [in Germany]. He has been very well received by this king, and is to get an answer in a couple of days. I hear that Cremvel (Cromwell) is the man appointed to treat with him, not the Duke, which circumstance makes me believe that he has been sent here by Melanchton himself rather than by the above-mentioned princes.—London, 8th March 153[3].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 8.
15 Mar. 1056. The Same to the Same.
K. u."K. Haus
c. 228, No. 18.
Since my last despatch, dated the 8th inst., the King has had a chaplain, and the Lady also one of hers, to preach before them that all the time he had lived with his Queen he had been in adultery and sin, and that all his good subjects ought to pray God to forgive him such an offence, and enlighten him so as to take soon another wife. "This measure," the preacher added, "the members of the Privy Council ought to urge and strongly recommend, and if allowable compel the King to adopt, without taking heed of the censures and other measures decreed by the Pope, who in matters like this, in which he was evidently acting against the commands of God and against all reason, ought not to be obeyed. No wonder then (the preacher went on to say) if the King being so situated, were to take a wife of low rank, provided the virtues and secret merits of the person thus chosen should counterbalance her position, as happened in the cases of kings Saul and David. (fn. n15) Which words the preacher uttered with such passion and vehemence that the Queen's servants were greatly shocked, and that she herself, when she came to hear of them, wrote the letter herein enclosed, again imploring Your Majesty's help and favour lest this and other alarming appearances should indeed be a sign of her case being irretrievably lost.
My secretary brought me the day before yesterday the letter which Your Majesty was pleased to write me on the 3rd inst. It came very opportunely for me to repair to Court, and there make inquiries respecting the affairs of Scotland, and also about the German, of whom I wrote last to Your Majesty, as well as concerning the mission of the seigneur de Rocheffort, who left this city post haste two days ago for the 'purpose, as some say, of visiting the king of France, and persuading him to take this affair of the Scots in hand; for it appears that these people are heartily sick of war, and that they find no nobleman or gentleman willing to take the command of the expedition. Indeed the earl of Wiltshire owned to me this very morning that the King, his master, wished for peace with Scotland, and would easily make it if requested, owing to king James being his own nephew, and because war with Scotland was a very expensive and dangerous occupation for the English, who had nothing to gain by it. The Scots had lately taken prisoners seven or eight of their officers in an encounter. The Earl said only seven or eight, but the truth is, as the rumour goes, that no less than 25 were taken prisoners on that occasion, all men of quality and rank in the army. Among other circumstances, all leading to conjecture that the said Rocheffort has gone [to France] for the above said object, one is that two days before his departure the King held a Council, at which the brother of the earl of Douglas, and another Scotch captain, just come from the borders of Scotland, were present Others think that Mr. de Rocheffort has gone to France to ascertain whether king Francis would like to visit England now, as he promised at Boulogne. Which conjecture is based not only upon the fact that both in that town and here, after the King's return, it was publicly said that Francis would come over; but because this king has lately ordered all his game parks to be put in order, and all licences for hunting revoked, which is a sign that he intends entertaining his guests and giving them good sport. To ascertain whether this be true or not, I did this very morning when I called upon the King, dexterously make the conversation fall on the reported journey of king Francis to Compienne (Compiegne), which in fact is but coming closer to this country; but the King adroitly avoided the conversation, saying that it was only one of Francis' ordinary pleasure excursions which he usually made at this time of the year. Hearing this I began to praise and extol the last assembly at Boulogne, and the causes that had brought it on, but all in vain, the King would not bite. True it escaped him to say that the meeting at Calais had been principally planned for the sake of amusement and enjoyment, and the better to shew the friendship and great trust the two kings placed on each other. I believe he said this because I told him that I had seen the clumsily shaped treaty concluded at that place, which after all was but a poor issue for such a boasted meeting. I ended by telling him that no doubt they had had such pastime and pleasure together that I should not wonder if they renewed the interview. His answer was: "That may well be, for so great is our mutual trust, that we can at any time visit one another without any previous ceremony, and almost without notice". This the King: said in such a cold and indifferent manner that I am almost inclined to believe no such project as king Francis' visit to this country really exists at this moment, and yet it seems to me as if this king really wished for it that the Frenchman may be present at his marriage.
As above stated I waited this morning on the King, with whom I spent two good hours walking and conversing with him in his garden; but as it would take me too much time to relate all that was then said, and as besides I should not like to trouble Your Majesty with too minute a detail of our long conversation, I shall merely mention here the points of some importance. Having spoken to him about the Italian league, of which I knew he had had previous information, and asked him whether he was likely to view it in a better light considering the quarter it came from, and said that I thought that he himself being the prince who had hitherto shewn himself the most disposed to mediate between Christian princes, and to conciliate their differences, would rejoice at the news (fn. n16) — especially as the said league was merely a defensive one at which no prince could take umbrage or shew resentment— the King replied in a somewhat displeased tone, and after a short pause: that the league I spoke of was not general; that the Venetians and the duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d'Este) had not joined it, as he had been informed by his own ambassador and others. And though I contradicted him, and said I was positively sure that the contrary was the case, and that both Venice and Ferrara had signed the agreement, I did not insist thereon, but changed the topic of our conversation and entered upon another subject which I imagined would be more agreeable to him, namely, Your Majesty's departure from Bologna, at which he seemed so pleased that he began immediately to question me and asked four times running about your sudden journey to Spain, what had been the cause of it, &c., observing at the same time that Your Majesty's protracted negotiations with His Holiness, and your too great humility towards the Holy See had exasperated Germany; which country (he said) was in a troubled and disorderly state, so much so that the people wondered how you could quit it without applying a remedy to the state of things there. And upon my explaining to him the reason of Your Majesty's sudden departure from the Pope I asked him "What else could the Emperor, my master, do for the peace and tranquillity of Germany?" He answered me: "I do not consider myself wise enough to state an opinion, or tender advice on such matters." "Yet,'' said I, "Your Highness has been well acquainted with the state of that country ever since the time that there was a question of electing you king of the Romans." This I said to him with a view to flatter his vanity, and urge him on, but he only replied, "Without me your master would never have been elected Emperor." Then he added, "Germany is discontented at not seeing the prospect of a Council, general or provincial, such as has been promised, settled. The Pope will never consent to a general one, whatever briefs he may have issued on the subject."And upon my repeating to him the very words which Langes (Langeay) said once to me concerning the good disposition of his master, the King, towards the convocation of the Council, he began to laugh and said, "Matters are not so far advanced as you imagine, for the Pope fearing the great injury (la lourde bastonnade) that he may receive on that score will take good care not to convoke the Council."
After this the conversation fell on the great cause of complaint which Your Majesty has against him in this mighty affair [of the divorce]. the King alleging in his favour the very reasons so often brought forward, which reasons I tried to oppose as courteously and yet as pertinently as was in my power, adding that not only the Queen herself, but his own subjects, and indeed the world at large, could not conceive why, after so many years, and having been twice in Italy with the Pope, Your Majesty had not yet prevailed upon him to bring that wretched affair to an end. His reply was that on Your Majesty speaking those very words, or the like of them, to a great personage (and I fancy he meant the Pope himself), the answer was that neither the Queen nor yourself had a right to complain of the delay, for the case once tried the Queen would be condemned for certain. My answer was: "If such be the case Your Highness need in nowise object to a sentence being pronounced, especially if you are sure of its being favourable. Had justice and reason been on Your Highness side I do not hesitate to say that the Emperor, my master, would have liked to see this affair settled long ago, for had the sentence been given against the Queen, her nephew would have placed her near the Empress, his wife, who would have been most happy to have such a virtuous and holy princess by her side." This much I said to him, knowing the great fear he has that this new marriage once effected the Queen should quietly retire to Your Majesty's dominions. I continued: "That would be besides a great boon for the Emperor and his Spanish subjects, for should he again be obliged to return to Germany or Italy he might take the Empress with him, leaving behind such a princess as queen Katharine to govern Spain during his absence, she being so much loved by all Spaniards that according to information received from that country the sentiments of the people towards her are little short of adoration; so much so, that were the Emperor to require and ask aid from his subjects Spaniards of all ranks would willingly sacrifice their fortune, their wives and children, in behalf of the Queen. This I said to the King in view of the danger there is of his proceeding to extremities, and also to contradict the assertion he once made me, that in Spain no one cared a fi. for the Queen.
These last words had some effect on the King's mind, for after reflecting some time he again began to argue the affair, maintaining that the Spanish prelates who had written to the Pope in the Queen's favour had not sufficiently looked to their honour and reputation [as men of learning], for they opposed a constitution made at the synod of Toledo, five years ago, which having been celebrated within that archiepiscopal see, ought to have been respected by them. Should the Pope refuse to send back the cause to England, where it formerly was, he would no doubt do him great injury, but he (the King) would find a remedy for that too. The Pope might still do greater injury by refusing to admit his excusator, not only to him, but to Your Majesty and all other princes who might hereafter be summoned to appear at Rome personally, and obey the Pope's capricious and unwarrantable injunctions. He wished that his excusator had been already dismissed by interlocutory, for then in that case a nice noise would have been heard on the side of the king of France and of himself, who would solemnly protest against the measure and so tie the Pope's hands that he could no longer undertake anything against them. I cannot say whether this threat of the King referred only to this affair, or to others also. I remonstrated with him as much as I could, and tried to prove that the case could not well be tried and sentenced in England, were it for no other reason than the doubt that might hereafter be raised if it was not tried at Rome; but all my arguments were unavailing; he was as obstinate as ever, saying that he knew very well what he was about, and pretty sure that following the line of conduct he had traced out for himself, the treaties lately made should not be broken, for his brother of France and himself had sworn to observe them faithfully, and that if anyone should attack them they would defend themselves.
I replied to him that as far as Your Majesty was concerned, you were as far from provoking a war, or doing anything that might be offensive, as Lycurgus was in establishing a law or penalty against parricides, considering it impossible that he should ever give you occasion for it. (fn. n17) The King's answer was that many a time opportunities grew at the will of those who wished for a rupture, and that he thought that besides the causes specified in the treaty there would be no occasion for rupture. Perceiving, however, that the King's intention was to shew that his divorce and second marriage would not be a sufficient cause for a war between the two nations, I told him that there were many reasons and considerations expressly comprised in the treaties, such as that of the parties not causing injury or dishonour to each other, or otherwise doing unreasonable or unjustifiable acts. Upon which the King remarked: "If so, I shall myself have plenty of ground for complaining of the rupture, for the Emperor has done me great injury by inciting the Pope against me, and requesting him to issue a brief; for not only has he, as you say, asked for justice, but he actually wants that justice to be done in his own way and according to his own caprice." This remark I could not let pass, and therefore made such a quick, though respectful, repartee as obliged the King to soften his words considerably.
After this he (the King) began to say a thousand things in disparagement of the Pope, and among the rest how vainglorious he was to have his feet kissed [by princes], and what authority and power he unduly assumed over the Empire, and also over the rest of the kingdoms in Christendom, creating and deposing emperors at will. He had (he continued) lately made the acquisition of a book, which he believed to have been stolen from the Papal library, wherein it is maintained that all kings in Christendom are only feudatories of the Pope, even to the king of France, and the dukes of Bavaria also. As to himself, he was about to apply a remedy to the Pope's inordinate ambition and repair the errors of king Henry the Second and Jehan (king John), who in a moment of need had been tricked into making England and Ireland tributaries of the Holy See (fn. n18) He was also thinking of uniting to the Crown the lands which the Clergy of his dominions held thereof, which lands and property his predecessors on the throne could not alienate to his prejudice. This he was bound to do by the very oath he had sworn at his coronation.
I did not attempt to contradict the King in his assertion that I might the better impress him with the necessity of a General Council without which the measures he talked about could not possibly be adopted; (fn. n19) but whatever efforts I made on that score were perfectly unavailing, he would not be persuaded that a meeting of that sort was at all necessary.
Towards the end of our conference the King inquired whether it was true that the king of Portugal had died. After that he began to extol and magnify beyond measure the power and wealth [of France], saying, among other things, that he never knew that country so rich and flourishing as it was at the present moment, with such a fine set of gentlemen capable of bearing arms, who, he said, had in later times stolen from the English both beauty and corpulence, so much so that they looked more like Englishmen than Frenchmen, at which last observation ., was not a little astonished, fancying that such a conceited opinion of the physical superiority of the English over the French did only exist among the lower ranks of society here. (fn. n20)
Yesterday and to-day a motion has been discussed in Parliament for an ordinance and statute declaring that the Pope has no right, authority, or jurisdiction whatever in this kingdom. This some people have found very strange, yet it is believed that the affair will go on, for the King wishes it immensely, and has already made his preparations to have the measure carried through the House. Should the Pope wish to prevent it, he might easily do so by sentencing at once the Queens case, helping the king of Scotland with money, and fulminating ecclesiastical censures to prevent the intercourse of trade, as I have already had the honour of pointing out to Your Majesty; otherwise there is danger that things will go very badly.
The King tells me that the German, about whom I wrote to Your Majesty on the 8th inst, had come here in consequence of the rumours of war, merely to offer his services, and that he had brought letters of introduction from the landgrave [of Hesse].
Besides the six men-of-war, mentioned in my last, four more are now being armed by the King's order, and there is some talk of getting others ready; all this is owing to the astonishing number of ships the Scotch seem to have at sea, which makes these people suspect that they must have got help or money from some quarter.
I forgot to say that this king said to me that the Pope was urgently pressing the marriage of his niece (Caterina de' Medici) to the duke of Orleans, and that he considered the thing as done. I replied to him that in my opinion Your Majesty would be quite pleased, as it would be the means of preserving and cementing the present peace.—London, 15th March 1533.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England. Received the 7th of April, on the Emperor's embarkation for Spain at Genoa."
French. Holograph. pp. 10.


  • n1. The taking of Cazaza by the African moors took place in January 1533 not in 1534 as stated by Marmol Carvajal, Description de Africa, vol. II., fol. 156 vo.
  • n2. Of the two marquises here named, the former (Mondejar) can be no other than Don Iñigo Hurtado de Mendoza, count of Tendilla, and first marquis of Mondejar; the latter's name was Don Luis Fernandez de Cordoba.
  • n3. "Et sil est vray, sire, ce qu' aujordhuy ma dit ung bien (?) homme de bien que sen alloit tout expressement en advertir la royne le dit archeuesque de cantarbery a donne bonnes seuretes(?) de maintenir sans variacion Ioppinion du roy en ce divorce, car yl a espose (sic) le roy avec la dame en presence tant seullement des pere, mere, et deux favouries de la dite dame et dung prestre du dit archeuesque."
  • n4. "Si ainsi est le roy ne le pouoit mieulx brider pour le garder de changer oppinion apres quil seroit en dignite, comme firent larcheuesque d'York et un autre. II y a[cause] vray semblable pour croyre ou que le dit esleu de Canterbury ait fait les dits esposailes, ou quil ait promis les fere pour aucunes consideracions quay ey devant escript a vostre maieste et veu que dois quil a este esleu il ose bien dire ouvertement quil veult soubstenir a peyne du sang que le roy peut prendre la dame a sa femme."
  • n5. "Y tambien porque conosce que no le conviene, pero que por parte dellos y de los que entre ellos tienen algun credito se publican tanto estas cosas que no es mucho que los unos y los otros que no lo saben piensen esto."
  • n6. Jean d'Orleans. See above, p. 289.
  • n7. "Como me entendieron que lo decia por lo de la causa matrimonial de los Reyes de Inglaterra se justificaron, diciendo que no habian hablado en ella, y que su rey no queria entremeterse en esto sino que se haga la justicia, y que él [su rey) ha desviado ya, y es por desviar todo lo que de hecho se temia, que no casase con la otra. En este articulo se me justificaron mucho, y como no les creo, les dixe condicionalmente que si lo hiciesen harian lo que deben á la honra y conscientia de su rey. Conozco que ha sido bien passar [por] todo esto con ellos porque á lo verdad les (sic) hallé muy rebotados (sic) y medio quexosos."
  • n8. The transcripts from Vienna have Beauvoix in every case, but Beauvoir being the name of a town and noble family of France, I have adopted this last reading.
  • n9. "Que fust le jour de caremprenant."
  • n10. "Sil y sçavoient trouver moyen et tordre chenille."
  • n11. "Non obstant qu'il ny eust prince ne potentatz en Christienté que se trouve plus interessé que luy ne quaye plus d'occasion dinster a la repetition et recoubrement des choses que luy ont estez tollues, occupeez et usurpez."
  • n12. "Ou des querelles quil pretend avoer sur gennes, ou encoires, quest ce quil craint austant, quil ne sagisse de reintegrer l'empire en la temporaliteque le pape tient, doubtant que pour ce vostre maieste ne se agrandisse par trop."
  • n13. "Et que si ainsy estoit quil disoit que vostre maieste eust entamme le propoz que du surplus icelle se scroit rappourtee au surplus de lescript le faisant publier entre ceuls qui seroit de besoing."
  • n14. "Durante le disne le roy fut tant occupe en jeux et devises quil ne tint pas grant propoz [que] fussent entendus, entre les quels fut quil dita la ducesse de Norphorc si madame la marquise navoit point grand dot, et rich mariaige veu que tout ce quelle veoit et la reste de la vasselle dont ilz avoient este serui [s] apartenoit a La dite daine."
  • n15. "Disant dauantage que ne se failloit esbeyr sil vouloít prendre femme de bas estat le permettant ainsi pour vortu et secretz merites du personnage, comme iadis estoit aduenu au roy Saul et Dauid."
  • n16. "Luy disant que bien quil en fust dallieurs aduerty sil le prendoit yl (si le prendroit il ?) de meilleur part du couste dont yl venoit, et que pensoye que pour estre le prince que cestoit tosiours par ey deuant monstre le mediateur et concilliateur de la paix entre les princes chrestìens, yl trouveroit les dites nouvelles bonnes."
  • n17. "Je luy dis quil se pouvoit teair tout asseure de vostre maieste quavoit ausy peu pense luy vouloer mouoer guerre ne fascherie que ligurgus (sic) avoit de mettre peyne ct punition aux parricides, tenant pour impossible quil en voulust donner aucune occasion a vostre dite maieste."
  • n18. "Les quels par une tromperie en une necessite auoient fait ce royaulme et yrland tributaires."
  • n19. "Je luy laissay sans contredit couler le tout pour avoer occasion de prendre sur ce beau teme de luy vouloer suader le concille general] sans le quel les choses dont yl parloit ne se debuoint ne pouvoint bonnement fere [mais y ny a ordre de luy faire gouster le dit concille]."
  • n20. "Le dit roy vint a parler sil estoit vrai de la mort du roy do Portugal; puis vint a parler, magnitier et exnlter la richesse et grunde puissance de celuy de France quil nest possible den dire plus, disant entre autres choses quil ne vit onques la france garnie de plus de gentilhommes ne plus beaulx, et que depuis peu de temps ença les françois auoient desrobe la beaulte et la corpulence des anglois, et quil sembloit proprement quilz fussent anglois non point françois], des quelz derniers propos fus assez esbey cuydant que [telle oppinion commc quilz ne pouuoient estre belles gens que aDglois, ne fut que entre les populaires]."