Spain: April 1533, 1-25

Pages 628-646

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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April 1533, 1-25

10 April. 1058. The Same to the Same.
K. u. K. Haus-
c. 228, No. 21.
All the representations this present Parliament has made respecting the danger in which the King is placing himself and his kingdom, as I informed Your Majesty, and those still more urgent made since my last to drive him, if possible, from his purpose, have been unavailing. The King has by his absolute will obliged the members of that body to vote the motion against Papal authority and to declare, as I had the honour to inform Your Majesty, that all causes, even those relating to marriage, shall be henceforward tried here, in England, without in anywise recurring or appealing to Rome, under the penalty attached to crimes of "lesæ Majestatis," and that should anyone bring to this country briefs of excommunication or interdict from the Pope, he is immediately to be seized and put to ignominious death for the same. Which trap (pipce), as may be imagined, has been solely and exclusively laid against the Queen. This being observed by some members of this Parliament, and especially by one who represents this city of London, who was once in Spain, and is one of my most intimate and familiar friends, they have presented an amendment to this effect; that should the King consent to remit the Queen's case, and also this business of the Pope to the decision of the General Council, they would persuade the people to grant him 200,000 pounds sterling. But all to no purpose; the King has not consented to the divorce case being decided by anyone else but his archbishop [of Canterbury], of whom he is pretty sure, since he has already performed the marriage ceremony, as I had the honour to inform Your Majesty. Indeed he seems quite determined, as he himself has told many of his courtiers and the members of his Privy Council openly declare, to proceed to the solemnity of his marriage and the consequent coronation of the Lady immediately after Easter. The better to dispose and prepare which matter he sent yesterday the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the marquis [of Dorset?], and earl of Oxford, (fn. n1) to tell the Queen that she need not trouble herself about returning to him, for he had already taken another wife, and that in future she must abstain from calling herself or being addressed as queen, as he would give her the title of duchess only, leave her in possession of the property she owned before, and offer even a larger revenue if she should want it. I cannot say whether the said noblemen have any other message for her; but if they have the Queen is sure to let me know to-morrow, and I will acquaint Your Majesty with the result of the interview. It may be that these people are afraid of the Queen's going out [of England], for about a week ago the King's Privy Council ordered Millort Monjois (Lord Mountjoy) to go in all possible haste to her, remain there where she is, keep guard over her, and not move from the spot until fresh orders.
Last Easter Sunday (Paques Flories) the King sent the bishop of Rochester (Fisher) to prison under the custody of him of Winchester [Gardyner], a very strange act, that prelate being the most holy and learned in all Christendom. Which imprisonment has been made, as the King had it stated the other day in this Parliament, under colour of the bishop's (Fisher) having said that Mr. de Rocheffort's late mission to France was for the purpose of presenting a very large sum of money to the high chancellor of France (Prat), and to the cardinal of Lorraine, to induce the Pope by money or other means to ratify this king's new marriage, or at least to dissemble and not proceed further against the parties. That the King thought the Pope would make no difficulty, inasmuch as the marriage was already a "fait accompli." This much the good Bishop is accused of having said, and I do really believe that it must have been also one of the objects of Mr. de Rocheffort's mission to France; and, moreover, that in order not to hinder their negotiations with the Pope through the motions which they intend making in this Parliament, (fn. n2) the King, a week ago, sent a message to the Papal Nuncio through the duke of Norfolk, requesting him not to write to His Holiness about the said affair. But the real cause and occasion of the good Bishop's detention is his having so manfully taken up the defence of the Pope and of the Queen, by which Your Majesty will be able to understand the state of confusion and disorder in which things are here, and the obstinacy of this king, who is wilfully working his own ruin and perdition. Indeed, I hear that whenever anyone represents to him the many inconveniences arising therefrom, and the dangers of a foreign invasion, (fn. n3) he (the King) resolutely answers that if united and in harmony together, the English shall never be conquered by a foreign prince; and yet it seems to me as if he were doing all he can to forfeit the affection of his subjects
Meanwhile all Englishmen, high and low, are in great alarm, and consider themselves as good as lost, believing that even if there should be no foreign invasion, civil war will break out and ruin them all. Great as their fears are, and not without reason, the general indignation is still greater, for excepting 10 or 12 persons who surround the Lady, all the rest of the nation are terribly afraid of disturbances in this country; so much so that whatever losses they might sustain through it, still they would wish Your Majesty to send here an army with which to destroy the poisonous influence of the Lady [Anne] and her adherents, and make a new reformation of all this kingdom. (fn. n4)
I beg Your Majesty to pardon me if I venture too far on matters which are not my incumbence (daustruy mestier); but the great interest I take in Your Majesty's concerns compels me to say that, considering the very great injury done to Madame, your aunt, you can hardly avoid making war upon this king and kingdom, for it is to be feared that the moment this accursed Anne sets her foot firmly in the stirrup she will try to do the Queen all the harm she possibly can, and the Princess also, which is the thing your aunt dreads most. Indeed, I hear she has lately boasted that she will make of the Princess a maid of honour in her Royal household, that she may perhaps give her too much dinner on some occasion, or marry her to some varlet, (fn. n5) which would be an irreparable evil. Besides the said dangers, which are urgent enough, and ought to be prevented, there are two weighty points to be taken into consideration: one is the bad example and great scandal of this divorce; the other the fear of this kingdom being alienated from our Holy Faith and going over to the Lutherans, which will happen soon enough, and will be an irreparable evil, inasmuch as the King himself is shewing them the way and helping them on, and the archbishop of Canterbury is doing still worse.
An undertaking against this country would be in the opinion of many people here the easiest thing in the world just now, for this king has neither cavalry nor well trained infantry (ne chevaulx ne gens de conduite), besides which the affection of his subjects is entirely on Your Majesty's side, not only that of the common people but of the nobility in general, with the single exception of the duke of Norphorg (Norfolk) and two or three more. It is true that the better to ground the said enterprize, and remove all scruples and difficulties respecting existing treaties, it would be advisable that the Pope should invoke the aid of the secular power, and that in virtue of the censures already executed, Your Majesty should forbid all intercourse of trade between your dominions of Flanders and Spain and this kingdom to make the people rise against the promoters of this accursed marriage; and that in order to encourage and countenance them in their rising it would be advisable to fit out some ships of war, and secretly aid the Scotch with money, or give them hopes of aid, so that they may not conclude peace, which is the thing these people desire most at present. In my opinion the only apparent difficulty in such a plan is the fear of the Most Christian King attempting something in the meantime against Your Majesty's dominions; but considering the just ground of your quarrel there can be no danger of that, for I hear from an authentic source that when the sieur de Montpesat resided here as ambassador, the King having asked him whether in case of Your Majesty declaring war he could count upon the assistance of France, that ambassador replied rather hesitatingly that he did not know how far the King, his master, would be able to help him, as the case was not specified in their mutual treaties; and that even if the Most Christian King was willing he might perhaps not be able to assist his brother of England, knowing, as he did, that an undertaking against this country would be of short duration, and his own assistance of little value. He, therefore, imagined that the King, his master, would probably wait for the issue of the contest. So if this king, who is the right arm of that of France, were punished, I have no doubt that the pride of the other would considerably abate. (fn. n6) It might also happen that the Swiss, without whose help this king cannot possibly accomplish anything, being forewarned of the enormity of the case, might refuse to assist him against Your Imperial Majesty, even if they should get a good price (pot de vin) for the bargain.
It is perfectly true that if it were not for the Princess' imminent danger, to which I have above alluded, and also because, should the English see Your Majesty at all lukewarm in this affair, they might lose the affection they profess you, the most prudent course to follow would be to temporize a little, and try to stop their trade with your subjects. And yet it seems to me as if this expedient was also fraught with danger; for if that be done this king will immediately try to get the king of France to make some stir (emocion), and, perhaps, also contribute his share of the expenses; though on the other hand, if he sees his kingdom suddenly invaded, he is not likely to lose his time in soliciting the aid of other princes, but will spend in his own defence the money he would otherwise have given. At any rate, it seems to me that Your Majesty would do well not to allow the English merchants who reside in your dominions of Flanders and Spain to be ill-treated, for they will be instrumental in maintaining and fostering the good-will and affection of the people to Your Majesty.
I hear that the King is about to forbid everyone, under pain of death, to speak in public or private in favour of the Queen. After that he will most likely proceed to greater extremities unless God and Your Majesty prevent it.
Again I beseech Your Majesty to forgive me if I dare give advice in such matters, for besides the above causes the great pity I have for the Queen and Princess, Your Majesty's aunt and niece, absolutely compel me to take this course.
The Papal Nuncio, who was in Scotland, has been back for the last three days. He says that the Scots are under great pressure from these people, and that they are willing to make peace on the very terms they demanded at the beginning; otherwise they are prepared to carry on the war. The duke of Albany's secretary, who returned also from that country a week ago, is now here on his way to France. They have, as I am given to understand, retained him so long here that they might sound him about the peace, which, as above said, these people most desire, though they strongly object to the conditions asked as humiliating to themselves.
The German, about whom I wrote to Your Majesty, has at last been dispatched with a letter for his master and lord the landgrave [of Hesse], thanking him for his offers of service, and saying that this king is in no need of men. The same answer has been returned to the Danish captain, who, it was said, came here on a similar errand; both have received some money towards the expenses of their journey, and nothing more.
The merchants residing here perceiving the precarious state of affairs in this country are trying as much as they can to withdraw their merchandise, or otherwise dispose of their goods. For the same reason my creditors, fearing lest I should be obliged soon to leave this country, are most pressingly urging the payment of my debts to them. I humbly beg and entreat Your Majesty to give orders to the Treasury of the Low Countries for the speedy settlement of my arrears, &c.
I am about to start [for Greenwich] to speak to the King on business, which cause, as well as the hasty departure of this courier, prevents me from reading over and reconsidering the contents of this present despatch.—London, 10th April 153[3].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England. Received on the 29th of the same month, 1533."
French. Holograph. pp. 7.
21 April. 1059. Count of Cifuentes to the Same.
S. E. L. 860,
f. 38.
B. M. Add. 28,585,
f. 236.
Received at Vulsena (Bolsena) the Emperor's letter of the 8th April last. Sent by the same messenger to Jacopo Salviati at Rome a copy that he might shew it to His Holiness.
Entered Rome on Thursday the 17th, and had a most splendid reception, for although he (Cifuentes) had left this to his (the Pope's) discretion, and the latter considered no regular audience to be necessary, having already had one from him at Bologna, his reception on this occasion was as formal and ceremonious as if his nomination and arrival in Rome had been just then intimated. All the Pope's servants and those of the cardinals, not to say anything of their mules and jockeys came out, as customary on such occasions, without counting those of the Spaniards and Germans (la nacion) residing at Rome, so that nothing more could be desired. (fn. n7)
On the following Saturday he (Cifuentes) had audience from the Pope, to whom he delivered the Emperor's verbal message, &c.
After many protestations of friendship and regard for him (the Emperor), the Pope asked him (Cifuentes) whether he was aware that the English ambassadors and others in that king's name had urged, and were actually urging, him to revoke the brief that had been issued, commanding his separation from the Lady Anne. This he had refused to do for his (the Emperor's) sake, though very much pressed by the parties, who alleged that there were several flaws in the brief. In order to ascertain how far the English were right, he had submitted the brief in question to cardinals Monte and Campeggio, and auditors Capisuccio and Simoneta, and to the Datary also. Answered the Pope that being no lawyer (letrado) he could not give his opinion on such points; he (Cifuentes) had no doubt that the Imperial proctors and advocates had already given a satisfactory answer; but he could not help thinking that such representations on the part of the king of England ought to be rejected not listened to, since not one of his ambassadors had ever exhibited powers from him. All this (he said) was mere cavilling to gain time for an occasion to come when the King might accomplish that, which according to the Emperor's ambassador in England (Eustace Chapuys), he has threatened to do, which is to marry the Lady Anne before St. John's Day. Hearing which His Holiness replied: "I believe it, for I have letters from France announcing the very same thing, and saying that the King is the more inclined to marry that he finds his mistress is in the family way. After all (added the Pope) the marriage once effected it only remains to think of the remedy." Answered that the only remedy was for His Holiness to do justice quickly since justice was so plainly on the Queen's side. Though the King might have uttered those threatening words, he was not likely to carry his threat into execution, especially if His Holiness sentenced the case soon. It was the toleration with which the King was treated, and the constant delays allowed here at Rome which emboldened the king of England to speak in that manner, and might perhaps embolden him also to execute his threat. (fn. n8)
His Holiness replied: "I will most certainly do justice;" but he added: "Were this marriage to take place, what would your Emperor do?" Replied: "Let Your Holiness do what I ask, and then my master, as the most powerful king and emperor that he is, will see what is to be done."
In answer to an Imperial despatch from Alessandria received here, at Rome, he (Cifuentes) has nothing to say except that Muñoz, the solicitor, (fn. n9) was the bearer of the brief for the Crusade which was signed at Bologna. As he was going to Spain by land, he (Muñoz) no doubt omitted to inform the Council of his departure. The brief concerning the "gabella" or tax of Naples was also ready on his arrival. Doctor Figueroa, regent (president of the Summaria) in that kingdom, took it with him.
Field-master Maxicao wrote to ask for a brief of the Pope and for a Papal commissary that the infantry that is going to Naples may find provisions on its passage through the lands of the Church. The brief was procured and sent; also a letter for the duke of Urbino, through whose estate the infantry has to pass.
Since his arrival at Rome he (Cifuentes) has heard that the marriage between the duke of Orleans and the Pope's niece is a settled thing; but it appears that the Duke is not to be married by proxy, as was said, but is to come here in person (fn. n10) Will at a future audience speak to the Pope about it, not indeed to prevent the marriage, for there is nothing in his instructions against it, but in order to ascertain if there be anything in the contract likely to prejudice his (the Emperor's) interests.
The viceroy of Naples [marquis of Villafranca] sends copy of advices received from Coron. Encloses it as well as letters from Venice. The news is fully confirmed by the Venetian ambassador residing here. Will to-morrow, or after, call on His Holiness and beg him to write to his Nuncio there to intercede with the Signory in favour of the people of Coron, and levy the prohibition of taking food to them.—Rome, 21st April 1533.
Signed: "Conde Cifuentes."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 5.
21 April. 1060. Cardinal Palma to the High Commander.
S. E. Rom. L. 820,
f. 26.
Has written twice advising the news of this city.
Offers his services again. There can be no doubt that the marriage of France will soon take place. Until now His Holiness has gone on saying that the French make no demands whatever and seem quite disinterested in the affair, which in his (Palma's) opinion is hard to believe. We shall see, and if anything turns up His Lordship is sure to hear from him immediately, for he has every facility of knowing what goes on in the Pope's most secret councils.
Rumours prevail of an interview between His Holiness and the king of France, but in his (Palma's) opinion without much foundation; on the contrary he believes that all probabilities are against it, for though the French have actually applied for the said interview, and His Holiness has not yet answered Yes or No, he hears from a most authentic source that there is not much probability of its being effected. At any rate, negotiations are still on foot, and if anything be decided, His Lordship shall be informed in time.—Rome, 21st April 1533.
Signed: "A. C. Palmiensis."
Italian. Original. pp. 2½
15 April. 1061. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
c. 228, No. 24.
On Tuesday the 7th inst., having been informed of the strange and outrageous conduct and proceedings of this king against the Queen, whereof I have written to Your Majesty, I went to Court at the hour appointed for the King's audience, that I might there duly remonstrate against the Queen's treatment. I took with me Mr. Hesdin, who by the consent of the queen [of Hungary] is now here to claim the arrears of his pension, in order that he might be present, and hear the remonstrances I had to address the King, hoping also that if I had to use threatening language the King might not be so much offended if uttered in the presence of the said Hesdin. (fn. n11) On my arrival at Greenwich the earl of Vulchier (Wiltshire) came to meet me, and leading me to the apartments of the duke of Norfolk, who had just gone to see the Queen, said to me that the King being very much engaged at that hour had deputed him to listen to what I had to say, and report thereupon. My answer was that my communication was of such a nature and so important that I could not possibly make it to anyone but to the King in person. Until now he had never refused me audience, or put me off, and I could not think that he would now break through the custom without my having given him any occasion for it, especially as the King knew that Your Majesty most willingly received the English ambassadors at all hours, whatever might be their errand or business. The Earl repeated his excuses, and seemed at first disinclined to take my answer back to the King, until at last, perceiving my firm determination, he went in and came back saying the King would see me immediately, though he still tried to ascertain what my business was, and advised me to put off my communication until after the festivals. It was settled at last that I should see the King on Thursday in Holy Week, on which day having about me a copy of my last despatch [to Your Majesty], I took again the road to Court, accompanied as before by the said Master Hesdin, and was introduced to the Royal presence by the same earl of Wiltshire. The King received us graciously enough. After the usual salutations and inquiries about Your Majesty's health, the King asked me what news I had of your movements. I answered that the letters I had received last were rather old, but that I had reason to believe you had already embarked to return to Spain at the beginning of this present month. This statement the King easily believed, and was rejoiced to hear (such is his wish to see you fairly out of Italy). I added that the weather for the last days could not have been more favourable, and therefore that it was to be hoped Your Majesty had reached Spain in safety. Having then asked me whether I had other news to communicate, I told him that your brother, the king of the Romans, had made his peace with the Turk, and that the latter had sent an embassy, at which piece of intelligence the King remained for some time in silent astonishment as if he did not know what to answer.
After this, coming to the principal object of my visit, I told him plainly that, although for several days past I had heard of the attempt made both at the convocation of the prelates and in Parliament to impugn the Queen's rights, and greatly injure her just cause, I had taken no notice of the facts, inasmuch as I could not be persuaded that so wise, virtuous, and Catholic a prince could possibly authorize or sanction such things, and also because I thought and believed that such practices (menees) could in no wise impair the Queen's right or cause her harm. Yet that having lately been apprized from various quarters that such an attempt was really being made, I considered that I could not acquit myself of my duty towards God, towards Your Imperial Majesty, and towards himself if I did not remonstrate at once against such behaviour, and entreat him by his virtue, wisdom, and humanity patiently to listen to my observations as proceeding from my desire for his service, for that though he might disregard and despise man, he would at least respect God. (fn. n12) To which the King answered that so he had done, and that God and his conscience were perfectly agreed on that point.
Hearing the King express (fn. n13) himself in this manner and wishing to bring him back to the subject as gently as possible, I observed that my colleague and I could not but be very much flattered at the familiar way in which he had expressed his sentiments, as if we were his own servants, which sentiments, I added, proceeded no doubt from his heart not from his mouth. He assured me, however, that such was not the case, and that what he had just said had been said without dissimulation. Upon which I again said to him that I could not believe that Christianity, being so agitated and troubled by heresies, he could possibly set so bad an example and contravene the treaties of peace and amity which, as he himself, who had been the principal promoter and mediator in them ought to know best, had cost so much time and trouble to make. He ought to know that even supposing no inconvenience arose therefrom in his lifetime there would be most serious ones after his death with regard to the succession. There had never been such a case, I continued, nor did we read of it in history, as for a prince to divorce his legitimate wife after five and twenty years, and marry another woman. Not knowing what to answer to my observations, the King gladly seized the opportunity which I gave him by this last statement to contradict me, and said: "Not so long, if you please; and if the world finds this new marriage of mine strange, I find it still more so that the Pope [Julius] should have granted a dispensation for the former." I then mentioned to him five popes who had dispensed in similar cases, and declared that I was unwilling to dispute that matter with him, but that there was no doctor in his kingdom, who after such a debate would not confess that pope Julius was authorized to dispense in the case. (fn. n14) After this, coming to speak about the manner in which his solicitors had procured the votes of the university of Paris, on which he founds his principal argument, I offered to produce the letters I had received relating the whole affair, as well as the names of those who had held for the Queen, but he said there was no necessity at all for that. I, moreover, told him that neither in Spain, nor in Naples, nor in any other country could one single prelate or doctor be found to assert the contrary, and that even in his own kingdom every canonist and lawyer was of the same opinion, with the exception of the few who had been gained over to the other side, and I proposed, in confirmation of my statement, to exhibit other letters, which he likewise refused to see.
At last, wishing to turn the conversation, the King said that he wished to ensure the succession to his kingdom by having children, which he had not at present, and upon my remarking to him that he had one daughter, the most virtuous and accomplished that could be thought of, just of suitable age to be married and get children, and that it seemed as if Nature had decided that the succession to the English throne should be through the female line, as he himself had obtained it, and therefore, that he could by marrying the Princess to some one secure the succession he was so anxious for, he replied that he knew better than that; and would marry again in order to have children himself. And upon my observing to him that he could not be sure of that he asked me three times running: "Am I not a man like others?" and he afterwards added: "I need not give proofs of the contrary, or let you into my secrets," no doubt implying thereby that his beloved Lady is already in the family way.
After this we came to speak about the Queen and to argue whether she had or had not been known by prince Arthur, and after responding victoriously to the suppositions and conjectures which he alleged in support of his opinion, I produced such arguments in proof of the contrary that he really knew not what to answer. Which arguments having been brought forward on more than one occasion I will not trouble Your Majesty with a reproduction of them, and will only say "que venant a reprendre le dit seigneur roy ce que plusieurs fois il auoit confesse, que la royne demeura pucelle du dit prince Arthus, et voyant quil ne le pouvoit nyer, il dit quil lauoit plusieurs fois dit mais que ce nauoit este que en ieu, et que lhome en iouant et banquetant dit souvent pluseures (sic) choses que ne sont veritables." Having said as much as if he had obtained a great success, or found some subtle point towards the gaining of his cause, he began to recover his self-possession and said confidently to me: "Now I think I have given you full satisfaction on all points; what else do you want?" Whatever the King might say the satisfaction was not all-sufficing, but it served me admirably, much more than he himself could imagine, to dispute certain premises he had laid down. I told him that I flattered myself that I was the ambassador of the prince who desired most his welfare, profit, and honour, as well as the tranquillity of his kingdom. (fn. n15) I had brought with me Master Hesdin, (fn. n16) there present, who was, and acknowledged himself to be, his affectionate servant— as did also all Your Majesty's officers—that he might be present at the conference and hear what his answer was; but I would promise most solemnly that nothing that might be said at that audience should be reported to you unless he himself wished, for I consented to the said Hesdin giving me the lie if I ever attempted to write to Your Majesty anything he (the King) did dislike. This I said to the King that I might inspire greater confidence and make him open his heart more fully (lui fere deslier le sac). The better to gain his confidence I told him how happy I had once considered myself at being chosen by Your Majesty to represent your person near so great and magnanimous a king, hoping that his Privy Council, taking due cognizance of the affairs pending between the two crowns, everything should go on smoothly. Now, on the contrary, affairs had taken such a disorderly turn, and were in such confusion that I considered myself unhappy in having to represent Your Majesty, inasmuch as I had continually assured you in my despatches that whatever countenance the King put on, and whatever he did his heart and the affection he bore Your Majesty were not affected, and that he would never think of doing anything that might give occasion to suspect that he intended living otherwise than in peace and amity with Your Imperial Majesty. At these words, and without waiting to hear the rest, as if he wished to avoid alt further conversation on this delicate subject, the King frowned, and moving his head to and fro, said rather abruptly: "Before I listen to such representations, I must know from whom they proceed, whether from the Emperor, your master, or from yourself; for if they be private remarks of your own I shall know how to answer them." And upon my answering that it was superfluous to ask whether I could have received commission to complain of facts and things which had only taken place a week ago, the intelligence of which would require a full month to be transmitted, and perhaps, too, four successive despatches of mine before it was believed—my general charge and instructions being to maintain by all best means the peace and friendship between Your Majesty and him, and especially to watch over the Queen's affairs, since from them depended in a great measure that very friendship—the King replied that you yourself had nothing to do with the laws, statutes, and constitutions of his kingdom, and that in spite of all opposition he would pass such laws and ordinances in his dominions as he thought proper, adding many other things in the same strain. My reply was that Your Majesty neither could nor would hinder any such legislative measures, but on the contrary would, if necessary, help him in them unless they personally affected the Queen, whom he wanted to compel to renounce her appeal [to Rome] and submit entirely to the judgment of the prelates of his kingdom who, either won by promises or threatened with that punishment which had already attained those who upheld the Queen's right, could not fail to decide in his favour and against her. After this I repeated what I had told him on previous occasions in Your Majesty's name, that is to say: that the fact of the case being determined here, in England, as he wished, would in nowise remove hereafter the doubts about the succession for the reasons above explained, He, himself, considering how unreasonable and illegal it would be to have the case tried and decided in England, when the authority of the Holy Apostolic See was concerned, had from the beginning of the suit asked the Papal permission for the two cardinals (Campeggio and York) to take cognizance of the case here. Even after that he had allowed the Queen to appeal to Rome, and in the course of time not satisfied with that had himself, and through others, solicited the Queen to consent to the case being tried out of Rome, not here in England, for he knew that to be a most unreasonable demand, but in a neutral place. For these reasons I said the Queen cannot and ought not to be tied by laws and statutes to which no one hardly had consented, and which had been carried by compulsion. To this remark of mine the King replied half in a passion (demy appassione): "All persuasions and remonstrances are absolutely in vain. Had I known that the audience you applied for had no other object than to speak to me of these things I certainly should have found some excuse to break through the established rule, and escape from such objurgations." But on my representing to him the object of my calling, and telling him that he was positively bound to listen not only to what an ambassador of Your Majesty, but the commonest mortal, had to say to him in a case of this sort, and the courteous and humane manner in which you had always treated his ambassadors, he was obliged to retract, and said that as regarded the commission granted to the two cardinals he could not deny that he himself had applied for it, but that was, he said, under a promise made by the Pope that the cause should never be revoked [from England]; but since His Holiness withdrew all the commissions he had previously given, he (the King) did likewise reject the offer to have the case tried and sentenced in a neutral place, for he wished it to be determined here and not elsewhere. As to his consent to the Queen's appeal he had only given it conditionally, and provided the statutes and constitutions of the kingdom allowed of it, not otherwise, and said that lately a prohibitive one had been made in Parliament which the Queen herself, as an English subject, was bound to obey. Hearing this I could not help observing that laws and constitutions had no retroactive power, and that they could only be enforced in the future. As to the Queen being an English subject I owned that she being his legitimate wife was really and truly such, and that consequently all debate about constitutions and appeals was not only superfluous but out of the question; but that if the Queen, however, was, as he asserted, not his wife, she could not be called an English subject, for she only resided in this country in virtue of her marriage, not otherwise, and Common Law establishes that the claimant is to bring his action before the tribunal of the country whereof the defendant is a native. The Queen might as well ask to have her case tried in Spain, but this she had never attempted, contenting herself that the court to which he himself had firstly applied as claimant should take cognizance of the affair, that being the only true and irrefragable tribunal in her case. And upon his replying that he had not sent for her, and that his brother, the prince of Wales, had first taken her to wife and consummated marriage, I remarked that if he himself had not sent for her he had after his brother's demise kept her by him, and prevented her from going away at the request of her father, the Catholic king of Spain, through his ambassador at this court, Hernand Duque de Estrada, as I could prove by his letters. These, however, the King refused to peruse, and again repeated: "She must have patience and obey the laws of this kingdom." Then he added that Your Majesty in return for so many services and favours had done him the greatest possible injury by hindering his new marriage, and preventing his having male succession. That the Queen was no more his wife than she was mine, and that he would act in this business just as he pleased, in spite of all opposition and grumbling, and that if Your Majesty capriciously attempted to cause him annoyance he would try to defend himself with the help of his friends.
Lastly, upon my urging upon him that his marriage had been pre-arranged by the King, his father [Henry VII.], and by the Catholic king of Spain [Ferdinand], both of whom were the wisest of their age, and would have never consented to it had there been the least shade of scruple respecting prince Arthur—which after all was the principal ground of complaint—he again insisted on his determination to act as he pleased in the matter without attending to considerations of any sort whatever, adding that you yourself had shewn him the way to disobey the Pope's injunctions by your appealing four years ago to a future Council. Upon which I told him that he himself could not do better than follow your example and appeal to that very Council, and since he alleged that he was ready to imitate you in this respect, I must warn him that no prince in the world had more respect than you had for His Holiness, or deeper fear of his excommunications, for upon one occasion you had been one whole Holy Week without attending Divine service.
These last words of mine had great effect upon the King, who no doubt thought that I meant to reproach him for not having obeyed the Papal excommunication and interdict once fulminated against him; he, therefore, was a little hurt and said to me in rather an angry tone of voice: "If you go on like that you will make me lose my temper." I begged him to tell me how I could have offended him, warmly protesting that I had no such intention; then he lowered his voice a little and spoke less harshly, though, notwithstanding all my entreaties, he would never say how or in what I had offended him, and I must say that the rest of our conference passed without any visible signs of ill-humour on his part.
Thus encouraged I asked him whether in the event of Spaniards and Flemings, as good Christians, refusing for fear of the Papal interdict to hold communication, or carry on trade with his subjects, they would be amenable to the penalties described in the statute, and what sort of crime could be imputed to them. He remained for a while thoughtful and startled, not knowing what to answer, which being observed by me I preferred asking leave to retire to remaining where I was and waiting for his answer. I, therefore, said to him: "If such be the state of things I will not trouble Your Highness any more and lose my time; I will withdraw." He then said "adieu" to me in a gracious manner, but retained Hesdin, to whom he addressed the following words; "You have heard what the Emperor's ambassador has just said respecting the Papal excommunication and the stopping of trade between my subjects and the Spaniards and Flemings; but I can tell you that the ecclesiastical censures do not on this occasion fall upon me, but upon the Emperor himself who has so long opposed me, and prevented my new marriage, thus making me live in sin and against the prescriptions of Mother Church. The excommunication, moreover, is of such a nature that the Pope himself could not raise it without my consent; but, pray, do not mention this to the ambassador." This will give Your Majesty an idea of the King's blindness in these matters. Hesdin only replied that the affair was of too much importance for him to mix himself up with it. (fn. n17)
We both returned [to London] without accepting the pressing invitation to dinner from the earl of Wulchier (Wiltshire) who in the absence of the duke of Norfolk was to preside at the table.
On Wednesday the said Duke, and the others of whom I wrote to Your Majesty in my last despatch, called upon the Queen and delivered their message, which was in substance as follows: "She was to renounce her title of queen, and allow her case to be decided here, in England. If she did, she would confer a great boon on the kingdom and prevent much effusion of blood, and besides the King would treat her in future much better than she could possibly expect." Perceiving that there was no chance of the Queen's agreeing to such terms, the deputies further told her that they came in the King's name to inform her that resistance was useless (quelle se rompist plus la teste), since his marriage with the other Lady had been effected more than two months ago in the presence of several persons, without any one of them having been summoned for that purpose. (fn. n18) Upon which, with much bowing and ceremony, and many excuses for having in obedience to the king's commands fulfilled so disagreeable a duty, the deputies withdrew. After whose departure the lord Mountjoy, the Queen's chamberlain, came to notify to her the King's intention that in future she should not be called queen, and that from one month after Easter the King would no longer provide for her personal expenses or the wages of her servants. He intended her to retire to some private house of her own, and there live on the small allowance assigned to her, and which, I am told, will scarcely be sufficient to cover the expenses of her household for the first quarter of next year. The Queen resolutely said that as long as she lived she would entitle herself queen; as to keeping house herself, she cared not to begin that duty so late in life. If the King thought that her expenses were too great, he might, if he chose, take her own personal property and place her wherever he chose, with a confessor, a physician, an apothecary, and two maids for the service of her chamber; if that even seemed too much to ask, and there was nothing left for her and her servants to live upon, she would willingly go about the world begging alms for the love of God.
Though the King is by nature kind and generously inclined, this Anne has so perverted him that he does not seem the same man. It is, therefore, to be feared that unless Your Majesty applies a prompt remedy to this evil, the Lady will not relent in her persecution until she actually finishes with queen Katharine, as she did once with cardinal Wolsey, whom she did not hate half as much. The Queen, however, is not afraid for herself; what she cares most for is the Princess.
On Saturday, the eve of Easter, Lady Anne went to mass in truly Royal state, loaded with diamonds and other precious stones, and dressed in a gorgeous suit of tissue, (fn. n19) the train of which was carried by the daughter of the duke of Norfolk, betrothed to the duke of Richmond. She was followed by numerous damsels, and conducted to and from the church with the same or perhaps greater ceremonies and solemnities than those used with former queens on such occasions. She has now changed her title of marchioness for that of queen, and preachers specially name her so in their church prayers. At which all people here are perfectly astonished, for the whole thing seems a dream, and even those who support her party do not know whether to laugh or cry at it. The King is watching what sort of mien the people put on at this, and solicits his nobles to visit and pay their court to his new queen, whom he purposes to have crowned after Easter in the most solemn manner, and it is said that there will be banqueting and tournaments on the occasion. Indeed some think that Clarence, the king-at-arms who left for France four days ago, is gone for the purpose of inviting knights for the tournament in imitation of the Most Christian King when he celebrated his own nuptials. I cannot say whether the coronation will take place before or after these festivities, but I am told that this king has secretly arranged with the archbishop of Canterbury, that in virtue of his office, and without application from anyone he is to summon him before his court as having two wives, upon which, without sending for the Queen, he (the Archbishop) will declare that the King can lawfully marry again, as he has done, without waiting for a dispensation, for a sentence from the Pope, or any other declaration whatever.
A deputation of English merchants trading with Flanders went on Friday last to see the King for the purpose of ascertaining whether they could in future ship goods for that country. They were told that the King was not at war with Your Majesty, and that they might trade or not just as they pleased; those who had any scruple might remain at home; those who chose to go on with their trade might do so. Not-withstanding which answer there is hardly any English or foreign merchants having goods in Flanders who has not sent for them, or had them put under another name (les couvrir), for there is hardly one who does not consider himself lost and ruined, and would not wish himself far off with his goods and substance. Indeed this fear is not confined to the merchants, but pervades all classes of society, and I have been told that Cramuel (Cromwell), who is perhaps the man who has most influence with the King just now, has had all his treasure and valuables removed to the Tower of London. And I do really believe that neither the King himself nor any of his courtiers is exempt from fear, both of the people and of Your Majesty; yet it would seem as if God Almighty has blinded them, and taken away their senses, for they are perfectly bewildered and know not what to be at, nor how to mend their affairs. Indeed this is so much the case, that should the least mishap overtake them they would be so disconcerted that neither the King nor his counsellors would think of aught else than flight, knowing very well the people's will in these matters.
About a week ago the sieur de Rochefort (George Boleyn) returned from France with the sieur de Beauvoes (Beauvoir), who started yesterday for Scotland for the purpose of inducing king James to place his differences with this king into his master's hand, and making him judge and arbiter of their differences. I have been told by a very worthy man that the duke of Albany's secretary returning from a visit to the said Beaulvoys (sic) had assured him that the said ambassador would be unable to accomplish his mission in Scotland, and that war would go on fiercer than ever. Indeed it would seem as if the Scots at this moment more prosperous than ever, for instead of being as before on the defensive, they are continually making raids on the borders. For this purpose did Mr. de Rocchefort go to France as it is now ascertained. These people, as I am told, wish immensely for peace with Scotland, but God, as I said above, has taken away their senses, and they cannot see how to bring it about. The said Mr. de Rocchefort, as his own servants assert, has been presented in France with 2,000 crs., no doubt for the good tidings of his sister's marriage, to whom the Most Christian King has now written a letter addressing her as queen. I fancy, moreover, that the French consider this good news, firstly: because it is likely to be the means of breaking off the friendship between Your Majesty and this king, and also, because it might ultimately be the cause of freeing the French from their debt and payment of pensions, either through sheer necessity, or for fear these people may have of their ultimately joining you, should the Pope proceed to sentence the case and have the censures executed—a thing which, in my opinion, Your Majesty ought to urge in every possible way—the French would be released from all their bonds and pecuniary obligations to this king.
The name and title which the King wishes the Queen to take, and by which he orders the people to call her, is the old dowager princess (la vielle et vefve princesse). As to princess Mary no title has yet been given to her, and I fancy they will wait to settle that until the Lady has been confined (que la dame aye faict lenfant).
Every day numbers of people come to my hotel and inquire from my servants and neighbours how long I intend remaining here in London, for until the hour of my departure many will go on thinking that Your Majesty consents to this marriage, without which condition no one thinks that this king would have dared to proceed to such extremities. For this cause I think I ought to be immediately recalled, and most humbly beseech Your Majesty to send the order; not so much to avoid the dangers and troubles that may supervene, for I should consider myself happy to sacrifice my life for the Imperial service, but merely for the above-named considerations, &c.—London, 15th April 1533.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
The King has this very day dispatched a courier to Rome. I fancy it is for the purpose of telling the Pope that whatever has been attempted in this Parliament against him and his authority has been done at the solicitation of his people, not at his own, and that should his new marriage be ratified and sanctioned he is ready to revoke everything. He has forbidden the courier to carry any other letters but his, that the truth may not be found out. Your Majesty, however, might tell His Holiness how matters stand, and urge him to sentence the case and make all other necessary provisions.
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England. Received the 12th of May."
French. Holograph mostly in cipher. pp. 14.


  • n1. "Il envoya hier devers la royne les dues de Norphoc, Suffolcq, marquis et le comte de Ausburg," &c.
  • n2. "Et [que] pour non gaster leurs practiques vers le pape par ce quilz sollicitoient en ces estatz, le roy puis huit jours," &c.
  • n3. "Il dit quent (sic) on luy parles des inconvenients que luy peuvent advenir, que estant en union et bonne volonte langleterre elle nestoit conquestable par prince estrangier."
  • n4. "[Il nest chose a croyre de la craincte, ou est tout ce peuple tant grans que menuz et ne pensent pas moings sinon quilz sen vont trestous perduz, et quant ores ne leur seroit mene guerre extrinsique que lintestine les ruynera. Et combien, Sire, quc la dite craincte soit grande, et non sans cause, toutesfois lindignation quilz ont generalement trestous, sors x ou xii qui son autour de la dame, surmonte inextimablement la dicte craincte de sorte que ores ils deussent souffrir de grandes pertes et dommages, si vouldroient ilz que vostre maieste envoyat icy armee pour eradiquer le poison de la dame et de ses adherens, et faire une nouvelle reformacion en tout le royaulme."]
  • n5. "La dite anne sest vantee quelle vouloit avoir pour demoiselle la dite princesse que nest que pour la faire trop manger, ou pour la faire marier a quelque varlet."
  • n6. "Respondit quil ne sçauoit, car cela nestoit pas exprime en leurs traictez; et quant le dit roy trez chrestien auroit envye de mal faire, sachant que lemprinse de ce royaulme est de si courte duree, doubtant que cependant il ne pourroit faire chose de valeur, vouldroit actendre lyssue, et si ce roy quest le bras droit de lautre estoit chastie lautre rabbaptroit de lorgueil."
  • n7. "Que fue sallir (sic) toda su familia del Papa, y la de los cardenales sin las mullas (sic) y moços de spuelas que en tal caso suelen venir."
  • n8. "Yo le respondi que su Santd hiziese brevemente justicia pues tanta la tenia aquella Serenissima Reyna, y que aunque aquellas palabras dixesse no lo haria si su Sd. determinase la causa, porque la dilacion y templança que acá vehen les da occasion de decir semejantes palabras y por ventura que lo hagan de fecho."
  • n9. "El sollicitador Munyoz."
  • n10. "Sino que el mismo duque havia de venir para desposar [se] y casarse con ella."
  • n11. "Pour ruer quelque propoz sil venoit a taille esperant que le roy prendroit les choses en meilleur part en presence du dit Hesdin."
  • n12. "Et que puis quil ne vouloit auoir regard aux home[s] lesquels il despectoit (sic) trestous, quil deuoit auoir respect a dieu."
  • n13. "Apres quil se fut ainsi desgorge ie luy dis pour le ramener grazieuscmcnt quil nous monstroit bien," &c.
  • n14. "Mais quil navoit docteur en son royaulme quant viendroit a telz termes que ne luy feisse confesser la verite."
  • n15. "Il se comença haulser me disant maintcnant vous ay ie paye, que voulez vous plus? Toutesfois son payement ne se trouve de monnoye mectable, et me vint plus a propoz quil ne pensoit pour abbatre quelques parolles de l'ambassadeur du prince du monde plus desirant son bien prouffit et honneur et la tranquillite de ses royaulmes et pays."
  • n16. Immediately after the paragraph the letter continues, "et puys ie recite (recitai?) dung sien tres adonne serviteur, et que avoye bien voulu mener avec moy le dit Hesdin questoit et se renommoit son serviteur, comme aussi se reputoint tous ceulx de vostre maieste."
  • n17. "Le dit Hesdin le luy respondit synon que cestoient choses [et] matieres trop haultes pour luy hors de son gibier."
  • n18. "Sans toutesfoys que nul deulx y eust este appelle."
  • n19. "Charge de pareriez (parures ?), vetue dune robbe de drapt dor frize."