Spain: March 1531, 16-31

Pages 90-109

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 1531, 16-31

16 Mar. 659. Dr. Ortiz to the Emperor.
S. E. L.854,
f. 109.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 110.
Your Majesty's letters of the 15th January and 16th of February have come to hand. I have written twice since my arrival at Rome, and reported fully on the state of the Queen's case. The ambassador, Miçer Mai, has done the same. The king of England has just refused to appear [at Rome] personally or by proxy; but the causes alleged for such a refusal having been declared insufficient and rejected by the Consistory, it has now been decided that unless proper powers of attorney be granted by the King to some person to represent him here the suit will be tried by contumacy (contradittas). (fn. n1) As the King, moreover, has as yet taken no notice of this injunction, and seems determined not to appear, it only remains for the Rota, after proving the Queen's intention, to pronounce sentence by contumacy. Such being, as I hope it will be, the case, it is very important that His Holiness should be asked to hear the merits of this cause, and after being, as well as the Consistory, fully informed of them, to determine by an extraordinary .ad perpetuam rei memoriam" that this degree of affinity between brother and sister-in-law is no impediment at all to a marriage except in common law, in which the Pope can very well dispense. In this manner the justice of this cause shall for ever be placed on a solid foundation.
But this second article, for the furtherance of which Your Majesty sent me here, cannot be well argued and carried unless some one come first on behalf of the king of England, and a sentence be pronounced against him as one not appearing for judgment. In such a case the Pope has the faculty in virtue of his high office to determine the truth, and communicate the same to the whole of the Christian Church. This may easily be done, whilst the Imperial ambassador achieves the first point entrusted to him, which is only a judicial form. The king of England should know that on Your Majesty's side there are doctors and lawyers prepared to shew that his demand has been unjust, and able to reply to the arguments of those by whom he has been deceived. For since up to the present the King's constant aim has been to shew that the suit was instituted merely for the security of his own conscience, how is it that by so many delays and subterfuges he now tries to postpone a sentence which is to remove all his scruples ?
Complains of the dearth of provisions at Rome, as well as of the university of Salamanca having refused to pay him the honoraries of his chair, promised to him during his mission.— Rome, 16th March 1531.
Signed: "Dr. Ortiz."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
17 Mar. 660. Rodrigo Niño to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 852, f. 13,
Add. 28,583, f. 132
The last letters received by this Signory from Constantinople are of the 23rd December. Neither have they had any from Ragusa, as might have been expected. The cause of such a long silence from those parts is not easily explained, and they themselves cannot account for it.
In consequence, however, of the letters of the king of the Romans, and His Holiness' haste in procuring money, the Signory is actually taking certain precautions, although they affect to disbelieve the news altogether. Their proveditor-general of the sea is to be dispatched to the gulph with 18 or 20 galleys, 10 more than during these past years. It would also appear that in consequence of the negligence of their bailli at Constantinople the Signory have resolved to recall him and appoint in his stead Miçer Pero Zen[o], who formerly held that post, and who, though nearly 80 years old, is a fitter man to fill that office, as he knows the country well, and is besides a friend of Abrayn Bassá. His instructions are principally reduced to three points: 1. To dissuade the Turk from the invasion of Italy. 2. In case he decide to come, to confirm the old treaties without introducing new conditions, or asking for the ports in the gulph. 3. To ascertain how far the last overtures of the king of the Romans were received by the Turk, and prevent any settlement between them, because their wish is that the Vayvod do remain in possession of Hungary, whilst the king of the Romans and the Turk are both occupied in fighting for the possession of that kingdom.
The Signory greatly in want of money, and talk of farming out the royal rents of Chiple (Cyprus).
The duke of Milan writes to his ambassador here that the Switzers are in treaty to return under the rule of Savoy. The Duke (Carlo) is accordingly negotiating with some Italian captains who are to levy troops for him, though his Swiss friends advise him not to make a new alliance, hut simply confirm the former one.
Fifteen galleys from Genoa had sailed in search of the Moorish pirates; the marquis of Fenan (sic Final?) was in command, and Erasmo Doria was his lieutenant.
The agreement between the duke of Milan and the marquis of Mus respecting the Baltolina (Val Tellina), had been broken off. The Marquis had asked the Duke (Francesco Sforza) to make over to him any rights he might have on that country. On the other hand, the Grisons had sent an agent to Milan to prevent, if possible, the cession of that territory, but the Marquis had the agent watched and killed on the road. The Podesta, or governor of Bergamo, has written to this Signory that the Marquis has actually made an agreement with the Spaniards of Milan and Como for them to take possession of the Baltolina, he (the Marquis) undertaking to bring 200 light horse, and another band of Italians for that purpose. They were to start on their expedition on the 11th instant. It was also reported that a brother-in-law of the Marquis was sending him 600 horse from Germany.
Has again pressed the Signory to come forward with the proposed contribution, but although they shew every wish to fulfill their engagements, he (Niño) is afraid they never will do so unless positively compelled by circumstances.
Begs for a knighthood of St. James for his brother, Juan Niño.—Venice, 17th March 1531.
Spanish. Original abstract. pp. 4.
661. Francisco de los Covos to Miçer Mai.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 14.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 114.
By the enclosed letter for cardinal Ravenna you will judge how the Scottish affair has been taken up here, and what we think of it. Granvelle also has been apprized of it, and is of opinion that no decision can be taken for the present. There is, therefore, nothing to be done but temporize and keep the negotiation open without taking any formal engagements.
With regard to the duke of Mantua's marriage, it is true that the "consulta" was duly received; but His Imperial Majesty, owing to the marriage having been effected at his express desire and for other reasons, would much prefer that it were not put aside. He (the ambassador) is to speak to the Pope in the Emperor's name and let him write a letter to the Duke, begging him to marry at once the daughter of queen Isabella. (fn. n2) The Emperor will write to the Duke in the same strain, and prothonotary Caracciolo is to present him with the letter.
Respecting the auditor of the Rota, whom you say the English have tried to gain over, making him all manner of offers, you arc instructed to say that the Emperor is well acquainted with the services of that ecclesiastic, and purposes to reward him on the first opportunity. It is for you to inquire of him how, and in what manner, his services can be remunerated, that the reward may be public, &c. This paragraph to be shewn to the Pope. You are to thank His Holiness in the Emperor's name for the two cardinal's hats, but must try to get the other two for the archbishop of Capua (Schomberg) and for him of Monaco (Grimaldo), both of which hats he (the Pope) promised at Bologna. Do besides insist upon another one being given to the archbishop of Toledo (Fonseca) at the next creation.
Scalenga (De Scalengues) has received orders to prove within two months' time his assertion, and state his motives for seizing the money now claimed by the Pope. At the expiration of the term, which will take place shortly, if not already over, care shall be taken that the money be restored to its owner.
Spanish. Original minute, pp. 3.
20 Mar. 662. Secret Consistory of Cardinals.
S. E. L. 2,015,
f. 123.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 117.
On the 20th of March 1531 a secret consistory of Cardinals was held in the Apostolic Palace at Rome in the usual room, in which consistory the following business was transacted, viz.:
Letters from the king of Scotland, and a pamphlet were read, in which the said king stated certain demands. It was decided that the cardinals should be informed first of the contents of the said letters and pamphlet, and that at a future consistory the claims of the said king should be discussed.
Diary kept by the Chamberlain (Camerarius) of the Sacred College. Transcribed by Berzosa.
Latin, p. ¼.
21 Mar. 663. Dr. Ortiz and Miçer Mai to the archbishop of Santiago.
S. Pat. Re. Trat. c.
Ing. L. 4, f. 132.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 118.
As concerning Your Reverence's affairs both the Bachelor and Don Alvaro (fn. n3) de Bassan (Bazan) must already have written home, we shall only refer to their letters, and proceed at once to report on the state of the English cause.
As we had the honour to inform Your Reverence in our letter of the 12th, the English excusator (Karne) appeared in Court, and was rejected because of his not being sufficiently empowered to act in his master's name. He appealed and a new litigation was needed for us to gain "apostolos refutatorios" (fn. n4) against him, which, thank God, have been duly obtained since. Of this the English complained at the time, and we could not avoid the Pope taking cognizance of the fact. There was then a dispute with the lawyers of the opposite party, who were again rejected (repellidos). after which they most impudently applied for a delay, as they have done at other times; but I (Ortiz) having gone up to the Pope and spoken very resolutely about it, the application was again refused, and there is no longer question of it. Nevertheless, as one of their principal arguments is that remissory letters could not be granted for more than one particular place, there was again a delay. It must be observed that every time a point is contested there is first a debate in the Rota, and thence it goes to a consistory [of cardinals], for these latter dislike deciding cases that do not pass through the Rota first. This last point, however', was also gained, and we shall have no less than eight remissory letters, four for Castille, three for Aragon, and one for Flanders. The one for England they would nowise grant. Not to lose time I (Ortiz) will take those that have been offered, and once in my possession will insist upon their giving me also the English one. All shall be forwarded to Spain in eight or ten days at the latest time, by express messenger, and I will take care that Your Reverence is thoroughly informed of all the incidents of the affair.
I mention this that Your Reverence may be prepared, and the witnesses ready for examination, and that there should be no delay in taking their individual declarations. This is a most important step and one that must be attended to immediately, and with all possible haste, especially in Castille, before even the remissory letters are forwarded to other kingdoms, the evidence to be obtained there being most valuable and important in the present case. Meanwhile, I shall do my best to push on the suit and see whether we cannot gain a sentence by "contradita," since the remissory letters have been granted to us "sine retardatione processus principalis en quatenus ex adverso compareat legitimus contradictor." This, however, they will never grant; at least such is my impression, and that is why I recommend that the utmost diligence be used in procuring the evidence required, &c.
For the rest I beg leave to refer to my despatches to the Emperor and to the Empress.—Rome, 21st March 1531.
Signed: "Dr. Ortiz" and "Maius."
Addressed: "To the most illustrious and Reverend archbishop of Santiago, president of the Council of Castille."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 4.
22 Mar. 664. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus
Hof-u.-Staats Arch
Wien. Rep. P. Fasc,
c. 227, No. 17.
I heard some time ago by letters of Messire Mai that some parties at Rome, wishing to prolong as much as possible the Queen's cause, had hit upon the expedient of alleging as a plausible excuse that unless a copy of the proceedings enacted in the first instance before messeigneurs the legates (Wolsey and Campeggio)—which proceedings they maintain are the foundation of the whole suit—was adduced, the trial could not possibly go on. The said parties thought no doubt, and perhaps they are not mistaken, that this king would not willingly give orders for the recovery of the said process, and that they themselves would thereby be excused from pronouncing sentence, this being, after all, the thing which those who have to judge this matter dislike most. Such an excuse, however, will be of no earthly use to them; for I have since stirred so much in various quarters that I have found the original process, of which I am now having an authentic copy made to go by this courier. (fn. n5) Your Majesty will be pleased to have it forwarded [to Rome] as soon as possible in the safest way, and as the importance of the case demands.
Since my last despatch I have called on the duke of Norfolk to try and learn some news; also to inquire about certain measures now under consideration of Parliament, much to the detriment of Your Majesty's subjects and other foreign merchants; intending to remonstrate as strongly as it is in my power against any imposition of new taxes or burdens in violation of the treaties of alliance and commercial relations established with their neighbours. The Duke said to me that every care should be taken not to affect the interests of parties; the whole case would be placed in the hands of the chancellor and five bishops, all lawyers, besides other learned men, and that as far as the commercial relations and good neighbourhood were concerned he (the Duke) would look to it as to his own personal interest. (fn. n6)
After this the Duke asked me what news I had of the Turk. He himself had heard from the Venetian ambassador that there was none for the present, but no reliance (he observed) could be placed on any intelligence coming from that quarter inasmuch as that Signory were known to be in close correspondence with the Turk. The Duke also told me that he thought the elector of Saxony was rather troublesome in Germany, and asked me for the whereabouts of king Ferdinand. My answer in a few words was that the King [of Hungary] had not been taken prisoner by the Elector, as had been reported at Court; on the contrary there was very good hope of the affairs of Germany being settled through his instrumentality. Respecting the invasion threatened by the Turk (I said), that though I had no positive information on that score, yet I was inclined to believe it on many accounts, and especially because the Infidel was very capable of attempting it were it for no other reason than to please those who seemed to desire it. This last observation of mine was evidently not to the Duke's taste. He either smarted under it, or had some other end in view, for he suddenly changed the conversation and said to me that there were here in London many Lutherans and that the day before the finest and most learned preacher among them in England had been arrested, and was in danger of being publicly burnt alive; at which he (the Duke), was sadly displeased, for he said the King had no fitter or better qualified man to send abroad on an embassy to a great prince, (fn. n7) Notwithstanding that the Duke aggravated the case of this priest, nothing serious happened to him, for he was next day released from prison, as I will relate hereafter.
The Duke after this entered on the subject of certain trifling Bills (petites besognes) about to be discussed in Parliament, such as the estate to be allotted to the duke of Richmond, the King's bastard son (fn. n8) and his son-in-law. Of the Queens business and other important affairs no mention was made at this interview, that being the reason why for want of materials I have been obliged to fill these pages with minor details.
The preacher above mentioned having been arrested and taken before the archbishop of Canterbury refused to answer the questions put to him unless lay members of the Privy Council should intervene in the proceedings. Owing to which the said duke of Norfolk, the earls of Auxford (Oxford), Vulchier (Wiltshire), and Tallebot (Talbot) were deputed, before whom the said priest proceeded to make his declaration and propounded heresy enough. Two days after, as I am informed, the priest, fearing lest the archbishop of Canterbury should proceed against him, appealed to the King, as chief and sovereign of the said archbishop, and was conducted to the royal presence before several bishops, who disputed with him and asked him to retract [his erroneous doctrines]. Upon which the King taking in his hand a parchment roll (ung role). where the priest's errors were stated, his eyes fell on the very first article wherein it was expressly said that the Pope was not the sovereign chief of the Christian Church. I have been told that the King said immediately: "This proposition cannot be counted as heretical, for it is both true and certain." Therefore, after the King had heard what the priest had to say in his own defence, he was set free and sent back to his own dwelling on condition of preaching one of these days a sermon, and retracting some of his doctrines which the King does not consider as thoroughly orthodox (juridicques).
The general opinion is that the Lady [Anne] and her father, who are more Lutherans than Luther himself, have been the principal instruments of the priest's release from prison besides the natural inclination of the King himself to all those who speak in his favour and against the Pope.
Some days ago the Nuncio received orders from the Pope to go to the King, and make his excuses respecting the conference (interlocutoire) lately held in Consistory previously to the rejection of the English [excusator], who appeared in behalf of this king; also to announce the threatened invasion of the Turk, and beg in His Holiness' name his powerful co-operation against the common enemy. Having communicated with me as to the nature of his instructions, I was of opinion that this was by no means a fit opportunity to speak to the King about his joining in resistance to the Turk. The Nuncio could, if he chose, speak in his own name, but certainly not in that of His Holiness, because the news of what passed at the consistorial conference having reached the King's ears, and he being exceedingly angry thereat, it was not the fit moment to ask him (the King) for anything of that sort, especially at a time when Parliament was still sitting. For should the King come to know that the state of Christendom, owing to the threatened Turkish invasion, was such as to justify a pressing application for his help and assistance, he might perhaps be encouraged to give still further trouble. In a few days Parliament would end its sittings, the King's irritation and anger would subside, and then would be a better opportunity for speaking to him on the subject. Besides which, by mentioning the whole thing now as coming from himself, he would be hereafter in a better position to speak about it in his master's name. This advice of mine was approved by the Nuncio, who promised to follow it, and went accordingly to see the King on Saturday last, at 10 in the morning, which was the hour appointed for the audience. He met in the ante-room the duke of Norfolk, who told him that the King was then engaged and could not receive him; but that if he was unwilling to wait he might declare to him the object of his calling, and he would inform the King thereof. This was no doubt done out of fear that the Nuncio's intention was to make some unpleasant intimation, for no sooner did the Duke hear what the Nuncio's errand really was than he went into the King's chamber and returned, saying that his master was quite disengaged, and would be glad to receive him at once. The Nuncio, therefore, went in, and began to explain the nature of his message. No explanations, however, availed to persuade the King that it was not the Pope's fault that the application of his excusator (Karne) had been denied. He began to complain bitterly of the injury done, as he asserted, to his honour and reputation, and referred the Nuncio to his secretary, that he might tell him in full detail what had happened in the affair, how offended he (the King) was, and thus give him ground to write to the Pope and inform him of his displeasure. The King, moreover, said to the Nuncio: "Yesterday I sent a courier to Rome with writs and allegations (drois et allegations). I will wait and see how you intend treating me at Rome, and according to the answer sent from thence I shall shape my conduct. The Pope may do what he likes with me; I care but little about his excommunications, for God has said: 'Timebo eos qui diligunt et sequunter me, et non alios'" "With regard to the Emperor," he added: "I know very well that he has the power of doing me harm; but I am not quite so sure that he has the will. Even if it were so I should do my best to defend myself and my kingdom." Respecting the Turk, he (the King) observed that he was far off, and therefore he was not afraid of him; the resistance was chiefly Your Majesty's and His Holiness' concern, not his; no help was to be expected from him, for since neither Pope nor Emperor had done anything for him he was not disposed to do anything for them.
It was quite evident (the Nuncio tells me) from the King's manner and words that he was rather glad at the threatened Turkish invasion, and at the Pope and Emperor being thus obliged to ask for help, although, following my advice the Nuncio had spoken in his own name, not in that of His Holiness.
The audience at an end, the Nuncio went away and returned to town. It appears, however, that at the request of the duke of Norfolk he had dismissed the whole of his suite with the single exception of one man intending, no doubt, to dine at Court (disner leans). He changed his mind, however, did not dine there, and came back to town accompanied only by one servant, without the Duke, who was aware of the fact, providing him with any escort. 1 have not yet heard the cause which the Nuncio had for changing his mind and not dining [in Greenwich], as he at first intended.
Your Majesty's letters of the 12th inst., as well as those addressed to Monseigneur the Chancellor, have been duly received. These last I have not yet been able to deliver, but I will be on the watch for the very first opportunity of doing so, and will express to the said Chancellor, and to the rest who uphold the Queen's rights, Your Majesty's sentiments towards them.
Respecting the export of wheat from this country I spoke to the duke of Norfork on Monday last. At first he refused the application, saying that he had no orders on this head, and that a similar application made some time ago by Monseigneur do Belgues (fn. n9) —who, he said, was the gentleman out of England whom the King wished most to please—had been refused Though the wheat was evidently destined for the support of Englishmen inhabiting Belgues (Belgium) the King would not allow its export. Upon this I observed that at the time that the said Seigneur do Belgues made his application the result of the harvest in England was uncertain, and therefore that there might be then some reason for the refusal. Now the case was different; the weather was very fine and the prospects of a good harvest as promising as ever. In refusing to help a neighbouring country in case of need it might happen one of these days that the wheat crop failing in England they themselves might have want of us. These and other arguments I put before the Duke as if they came from myself without making any request or application in the name of Your Majesty. The Duke began then to reflect on what I had said, and promised to lay the matter before the King, and return an answer next Tuesday morning, that is to say yesterday. Accordingly I sent yesterday for it, and my secretary, after waiting a, long time, came back without the answer, but with a message that it could not be ready until to-day [Wednesday]. Having again sent for it, I have been told that my secretary has been put off till to-morrow. Which dilatoriness in this matter, together with the haste recommended in the transmission of the process mentioned at the beginning of this despatch, lead me to consider it necessary to send off the present courier without further delay, and give at once my opinion of the manner in which our application has been received here, and what the merchants think about it. Respecting the first point, I firmly believe that should the license for the exportation of wheat be granted— which is doubtful—the quantity of grain to be exported will be so small that it will be hardly worth while to apply for it, as most likely the license, if obtained, will only be for 3,500 "fanegas," Spanish measure, at the utmost. Besides which the merchants tell me that after calculating the cost of the wheat— as specified in the note (billiet) that goes with this—and the expenses of freight, &c., to Malgue (Malaga), there would be a loss, for according to advices from that port, wheat is there and all along that coast almost as cheap as it is here in England. If to this be added that according to the unanimous opinion of these London merchants, all description of corn, and principally wheat, gathered this year is still very moist (moelles). owing to the quantity of rain that has fallen here, and the distance to Malaga being so great, it would be almost impossible to transport the said wheat to that port during the summer months without danger of fermentation, nor is there any merchant here who would dare undertake at his own risk the storing of the said wheat, much less the shipping of it on his own account. As to advancing money for the purchase of the said wheat, shipping and insuring it against the risks of the sea, there is no difficulty at all; as many merchants will be found as wanted. Respecting the danger of fermentation of the grain, should Your Majesty decide upon sending provisions to Malaga, and should the permission to export be granted, there is, in my opinion, no other way of meeting the danger than having biscuit prepared here and sent thither. It is for Your Imperial Majesty to decide and transmit us your orders.
On this occasion the duke of Norfolk spoke to me about the great preparations the Turk was making for a future invasion, adding that but for one single thing Your Majesty would be efficiently assisted in case of emergency. My answer was that it seemed to me as if they (the English) were delighted to see Your Majesty in such a strait, but that Saint Martin might come, (fn. n10) and that as far as Your Majesty was concerned you would do your duty towards resisting the Infidel's onset, in which attempt I (Chapuys) was sure that most, if not all, the Christian princes would willingly co-operate; those who did not actually help would pray to God for the success of the Imperial arms. Had Your Majesty consented to this divorce—which was no douht the single thing to which he (the Duke) had alluded—wishing thereby to secure the assistance of men, you would have irretrievably lost that of God, which has hitherto never deserted you.
After these words, to which he made no reply whatever, the Duke said. to me that since I intended returning to London by water he would accompany me to the boat; but he took me first into his garden, and whilst we were walking he observed: "I think that the Emperor will successfully resist the Turk on the side of Germany, but Naples and Sicily are in great danger." I answered him smiling: " If so, will not you help us with the money you have levied on the Clergy? it would, in my opinion, be much better employed in that way than in any other." The Duke's reply was that nobody had yet spoken to the King about it, and upon my reminding him that I myself had solicited the King's assistance the year before, he knew not what to say. Noticing his embarrassment I went on to say that it was quite plain to me that they (the English) had everywhere the reputation not only of having refused to contribute towards the repulsion of the Turk, but of having boasted that they had prevented other Christian princes from entering into an agreement to that effect. God, I observed, would punish them for it. This last sentence I repeated thrice by way of a joke, and the Duke replied in the same manner that not they, but Your Majesty, and all those who upheld the Queen's cause against God and the law of nature, would be punished. After which he added he was aware that Your Majesty and the Queen were urging the sentence at Rome, but that was all time lost. and working to no purpose, for even if the Pope had in store ten thousand excommunications (excommunemants) no attention however slight would be given to them; and then he went on to explain and argue that the archbishop of Canterbury was the natural and true judge of the cause, not the Pope, who was known to be by far too much inclined to Your Majesty. He also spoke at length of the great value and weight of the opinions (les sselz) obtained from the Universities, on which last point I remonstrated so strongly that he was obliged to say: "I know nothing about these matters, hut it strikes me that the Emperor does not acknowledge the favours and pleasures he once received at my master's hands." "Very far from this," said I, "and the proof that he does acknowledge them is that he has been, as you say, urging at Rome that very sentence which, in my opinion, touches most the honour and conscience of your King, and the tranquillity and happiness of his kingdom—whereas those who counselled the divorce and were its advocates had no respect whatever for their King's honour and reputation. I sincerely hope, "I added, "to see the day when the King himself will turn towards those who have tried to dissuade him from this step, and will hate those who have encouraged him in it. "This wish of mine the Duke met by simply saying: "You will see ere long the Emperor repent of not having consented to the divorce; "upon which I entreated him for the sake of the affection which, he said, at one time he had for Your Majesty, to declare to me the cause of that repentance, that I might immediately warn you. This the Duke declined to do, though I asked him twice.
In the course of conversation I alluded once or twice to Monseigneur de Praët, mentioning that I had received letters from him of the 3rd inst., and that I was anxiously expecting the return of Jehan Jocquin, to learn news of that diplomatist and of his negotiations in France. But however direct my allusions, the Duke never consented to speak about the Imperial ambassador, saying only that they had received letters from the said Jocquin, stating that owing to the Regent's (Louise de Savoie) severe illness he had been obliged to stay [at the French Court] without finishing his business, but that he hoped to be back in London very soon. I could get nothing out of him on the subject of the future Council, but Your Majesty must know from all I have heard them say, and from my own private misgivings, that these people will be very glad if the Council never meets, and if the Turk invades Christendom.
There is a report that Parliament will be closed on the eve of Our Lady, and prorogued for some months. (fn. n11)
The Princess (Mary) is still staying with the Queen, her mother, which is a great consolation for her.—London, 22nd March [1531].
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England, 22nd March. Received on the 28th."
French. Holograph, pp. 7.
23 Mar. 665. Miçer Mai to the Same.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 16.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 120.
The secretary of the king of Scotland has sent to ask through cardinal Ravenna (Accolti), the protector of that kingdom, what probability there is of the Council being held. He has declared to Don Pedro de la Cueva, and to him (Mai) how discontented the King, his master, is with the French and English, and that he is willing to make league with the Emperor, and wishes ardently for it. The king of Scotland (he says) would feel greatly honoured by any matrimonial alliance with a sister or niece of the Emperor.
As it is but just that such a negotiation, if commenced, should be kept secret, the King's secretary proposes that His Imperial Majesty send his powers to Rome for some one to treat with him.
Both Don Pedro (de la Cueva) and he (Mai) failed not to praise the secretary for his good intentions, promised to write home, and begged to know where the answer should be forwarded. The secretary observed that he should be back in Scotland almost as soon as this letter reached the Imperial Court, and, therefore, that the answer might be addressed to Scotland or else given to Mr. de Vere, their friend, with whom they correspond. He had (the secretary added) dispatched a courier to the King, his master, advising him Dot to renew the truce with England, which is about to expire now, until his arrival; as it would appear that the non-renewal of the said truce is most important to the Emperor at the present moment for reasons which the secretary espounded. As the negotiations may be carried on equally well either here, at Rome, or at the Imperial Court, he (Mai) thinks that they ought to be carried on.
At any rate the Emperor must decide quickly and without delay, for fear the negotiation should be bruited about, and other inconveniences arise. At any rate Cardinal Ravenna must be thanked for the trouble he has already taken in this affair. He (Mai) waits for instructions.
Nothing new respecting the Council. The ambassadors try to confirm the Pope in his good purposes.
With regard to the proposed interview, he (Mai) read to His Holiness the paragraph of the Emperor's letter relating thereto. He believes that nothing detrimental to himself will be discussed there; the duke of Albany has made him the same assurance on the part of the king of France, and yet he (the Pope) is not without fear. The same fears Rodrigo Niño writes are entertained by the Venetians.
It has been reported here that the Emperor had very properly undeceived the king of France respecting Italian affairs in general, and Jacopo Salviati has said in secret to some one here that His Imperial Majesty will do the King's pleasure in everything; that Tournay is to be restored to him as well as the superiority of the appellations of Flanders, &c. (fn. n12)
The return of Mr. de Prat (Praët) to France has no doubt had the effect of stopping the mouth of the duke of Albany, and diminishing his bravadoes against the Turk, and offensive war, &c, for he no longer speaks about it.
The king of the Romans (Ferdinand) has written to Miçer Andrea [del Burgo] assuring him of the Turk's warlike intentions, &c.; 40,000 cavalry were already in Belgrade and the [Austrian] ambassadors had returned from the Turkish camp without hopes of peace or truce. He (Burgo) asked the Pope for money; the Pope promised it, but said that one half was to be spent in the defence of Italy, if attacked, and the remainder in Hungary. Miçer Andrea was not satisfied with this answer, and wrote to his master advising him to come to terms, if he could, both with the Vayvod and with the Lutherans. ..........
— Rome, 23rd March 1531.
Indorsed: "Copy of paragraphs of letters from Miçer Mai, x., xiii. and xxiii. March."
Spanish. Contemporary abstract, pp. 2½.
27 Mar. 666. King Ferdinand of Hungary to the Emperor.
Lanz. Corresp. II.,
p 425.
The advice and instructions contained in Your Majesty's letter of the 4th inst., brought by Mr. de Bossu, respecting the Turkish business have been punctually carried out, and I have tried everything in my power to bring about some arrangement or truce with the Vayvod. When Hieronymo Lasco came to me at the request of the latter, to treat on that subject, I had already taken my measures for peace or truce, and sent orders to my captains on the frontiers to do the same, and, if necessary, to deliver certain castles there in pledge thereof. After this, on Lasco's own proposition—which might after all have been an insidious one—I consented to place in the hands of the king of Poland (Sigismond) and of the duke of Sassa (Saxony) the two fortresses the Vayvod asked for as security during the negotiations. This was the chief cause and origin of the three months' truce which we now enjoy, and which will expire on the 21st of April. Lasco is now gone [to Constantinople] to procure, as he says, the recognition of the said truce, and its further extension for one year. It is to be feared, however, that, considering his former refusals, his great military preparations, and the progress he has already made, the Turk will not sanction this truce, much less consent to its extension, for Your Imperial Majesty must be aware that when my ambassadors last visited the Turkish capital both Solyman and his Grand Vizier, Ibráhim Pashá, positively declared that no peace or truce could be signed until the whole of Hungary was in their hands, for although the Vayvod claims that kingdom as his own, the Infidel pretends that he has conquered it, and will only tolerate the Vayvod as a sort of governor or commissary therein. For these reasons it is to be apprehended that whatever efforts Lasco, if he be sincere in this instance, may make, and whatever arguments he may use, we shall never obtain from the Turk a durable peace. Such being the case, it would be unfair to say hereafter that I had been an obstacle to an amicable settlement of my differences with the Vayvod, for if the negotiations now carried on should not come to a good issue I should be the first to be attacked, and God knows that I desire peace above all things, and would willingly make any sacrifice to obtain it for my own sake and for that of Christendom at large.
Your Majesty also advises and commands me to temporize with the Lutherans, and prevent their agreeing together respecting their ceremonies. I will do my best to conform with Your Majesty's wishes; but any attempt in so delicate a matter is so fraught with danger that I really believe there is no man in these my dominions capable of conducting with secrecy and without scandal a negotiation of this sort; no prudence or wisdom would be sufficient to divert the Lutherans from their false opinions; no agents I might employ, though friendly to our cause, would be successful, for the Lutheran sect has already spread so much that it would be necessary to alter the resolutions passed at the diet of Augusta (Augsburg), for which I have no powers unless Your Majesty grants me fresh ones. Besides which such is the obstinacy of these people, and such their pertinacious adherence to the Lutheran doctrines that in the very teeth of what passed at Augsburg, and the resolutions taken at that Diet, they have again sent deputies to Cologne asking for liberty of conscience, and boldly demanding that the Imperial officers should stay all prosecution until the meeting of the General Council, &c.
Respecting my dealings with the dukes of Bavaria, and the advice tendered respecting my interference with the administration of the Empire, and temporizing with the duke of Viertanberg (Wurtemberg) 1 will carefully follow Your Majesty's instructions; but I must observe that as regards the administration I cannot do much, or exercise any influence in it as long as Your Majesty is within its limits, and especially engaged, as I am now, on this frontier, preparing to meet the Turkish invasion, and attending exclusively to the affairs of Bohemia and Hungary. With regard to the duke of Wurtemberg, if Your Majesty inform me opportunely of the time and place of the meeting, I will appoint some person to represent me at the conferences, and treat the affair in question as cautiously and secretly as possible.
I have hitherto attended to Your Majesty's recommendations respecting the Turk, and kept a number of spies to inform me of his movements. Will forward in future any advices that come from Constantinople and other places. The Hungarians residing at this my court tell me that a meeting has lately been held at a certain place [in Hungary] between some of my own faithful subjects and their countrymen following the fortunes of the Vayvod, wherein it has been resolved to oppose the Turk, and should our army he the first in Hungary, to join us for the defence of that country.
Don Luis de la Cueva is now here with me. He comes from Hungary to inform me of the state of affairs there. Believing that the truce with the Vayvod would last, he was on the point of going over to Your Majesty, but seeing from what I tell him that there is no chance of that, or even of the truce holding good, he has decided to remain here and serve in this war believing that he will in this manner fulfil exactly the commission he received at Augsburgh·—P~rma 27th March 1531.
28 Mar. 667. Miçer Mai to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 832,
ff. 82-3.
B. M.. Add. 28,583,
f. 123.
(Cipher:) It is said here, at Rome, that Mr. de Prat (Praët) has not yet received an answer from the Most Christian King respecting the Council, and is publicly reported at the Papal Palace that no Council will "be held. Has done all he could to ascertain whence the report has come, but they keep it so secret that he (Mai) was some time before he could learn anything. At last an old cardinal told him positively that the Most Christian King objected to it; he knew it well, and trusted that his name would not be mentioned, nor any more questions asked. Believes the Cardinal fully, for the promises of Tarbes must have taken effect.
Has also heard that the Most Christian King has written to the Emperor that he would willingly stand for the Council, but that the Pope had requested him to prevent its celebration, or at least to say that he will not attend it. This assertion the Pope absolutely denies, saying that it is completely false, and that if he wanted to prevent the Council assembling he would certainly not make use of the king of France, whom he knows to be unreliable in such matters. This last information comes from the ambassador of the duke of Mantua who had it from the Pope's own mouth.
Has seen a paragraph of a letter from the cardinal of Trent (Clesi) to Miçer Andrea del Burgo, in which he says that were it impossible at present to come to an agreement respecting the matrimonial cause of England it seemed to him as if a delay of two or three years might lead to a satisfactory solution of the affair. This appears to be likewise the advice of the Imperialists (Cesarianos) here at Rome; but he (Mai) cannot but repeat what he has always maintained, and stated at Bologna before the Emperor's Privy Council, that such a suspension would open the way for many an inconvenience. It may well suit the Pope and his cardinals thus to keep the king of France, and generally all those who are not the Emperor's friends under an obligation, but in his (Mai's) opinion the suspension can never be profitable to us, because it will be the forerunner of many class innovations in the political world—(serà apareio de novedades en el mundo). Cannot help thinking, however, that if the refusal of the delay demanded should in any way injure our present prospects, the suspicion of the evil to come would be preferable to the actual reality.
Does not hesitate to express the same sentiments respecting the Lutherans, and their practices with the English, of which he (Mai) has heard a good deal of late. Though a staunch Catholic himself, and loving the fame and reputation of his King, and conscience, as much as any other vassal and servant of the Empire, he (Mai) cannot help thinking that since our sins have brought us to this state of things, and one that cannot be remedied so soon as we might wish, it would be perhaps better for us to profit by some delay or stay of arms than to allow the others to do it at our cost and risk.—Rome 28th March 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the most illustrious, the High Commander of Leon, His Imperial Majesty's first secretary."
Indorsed: "Deciphered paragraphs from a letter of Mai."
Spanish. Original in cipher. Contemporary deciphering, pp. 3.
28 Mar. 668. Muxetula to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 120.
B. M. Add. 28,533,
f. 126.
As far as I can hear the advices from England are that the King has entirely withdrawn his obedience from the Pope, and is doing many things in contempt and discredit of the Sacred Apostolic See, all owing to this wretched divorce suit, he (the King) wishing His Holiness to do his pleasure, not his duty, in that affair. The Pope thinks it would be better for him at once to recall his Nuncio, and say that the duke of Albany has shewn him letters from the king of France, entreating him not to proceed in this affair as he is now doing, for should he persevere in this course the kingdom will be irretrievably lost for him, and the king of England become his enemy.
Many other things did the duke of Albany say to the Pope on this occasion, all more or less in favour of king Henry and his suit; but His Holiness, nevertheless, is determined not to falter in the exercise of his duty or turn from the path of justice.
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muxetula."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2½.
28 Mar. 669. Miçer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 852, f. 18.
B.M. Add. 28,583,
f. 129.
With regard to the creation of two Spanish cardinals he (Mai) refers to the letter of Don Pedro de la Cueva that goes by this post. Many thanks ought to be given to the Pope for introducing the matter in Consistory, as well as for the flattering terms in which he spoke of the Emperor and of his brother the king of the Romans. Both he (Mai) and Don Pedro have already thanked all the cardinals one by one, including Farnese, though this latter is known to have voted against the measure. It would be advisable to write them letters acknowledging their services on this occasion, especially to Medici, who got up from his bed to attend the meeting, and to Ravenna, who persuaded his uncle not to oppose us.
Begs for a speedy answer to his despatch about the Scottish affair. It is now more wanted than ever, for according to the cardinal of Trent the Lutherans of Germany are still in treaty with the French and English through Madame the Regent [of France].
King of the Romans and his nomination.—Letters from France say that an answer is being made out to Mr. de Praët's communication, and that whatever it be the Pope shall be acquainted with it as soon as possible; but on the other hand it is publicly stated here [at Rome] that there will be no Council. Has tried to ascertain what could be the origin of the rumour, and has just heard from one of the old cardinals that the king of France decidedly opposes it. An ambassador of the duke of Mantua has told him (Mai) on the Pope's authority that the Most Christian King of France had informed the Emperor that he was willing enough to have the Council, but that it was the Pope who did not wish for it, and had written to him to prevent its meeting. His Holiness, of course, denies the fact, and is very angry that such rumours should be spread about him.
The Most Christian King, moreover, is levying troops. He will not receive the Genoese ambassadors, save as subjects of his Crown.
Has seen a letter from cardinal Trent, in which he says that should an agreement of some sort not be made soon in the matrimonial cause of England, it might perhaps be advisable to delay or suspend the trial for two or three years. Almost all the Imperialists residing in Rome are of the same way of thinking, but as to him (Mai) his opinion is the same which he gave at Bologna. Thinks likewise that some sort of compromise should be made with the Lutherans.
Indorsed: "Abstract of letters from Miçer Mai to be submitted to the Emperor."
Spanish, pp. 2.
29 Mar. 670. The Same to secretary Covos, High Commander of Leon.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 83.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 128.
A letter from the cardinal of Trent, which I have this moment seen, has a paragraph respecting the matrimonial cause. That ecclesiastic advises that in case of an agreement of some sort not being shortly made, a delay of two or three years ought to be granted. Such, he says, is the opinion of all the Imperialists there in Germany But on this topic 1 cannot help repeating what I said once before the Emperor's Council at Bologna. This suspension of proceedings so often applied for cannot but be the gateway (agujero) to a thousand inconveniences. It may well suit the Pope and his cardinals to be in favour of the suspension, inasmuch as once obtained there will no longer be a pressure exercised by the king of France and by the disaffected to the Empire, which circumstance has always been and is still a source of trouble and revolutions; but at the same time T cannot help thinking that if the suspension recommended is to cause injury to the present state of European politics, the fear of future contingencies, however deplorable, is less dangerous than the reality of the evil likely to arise from it.— Rome, 28th March 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the most illustrious lord, the High Commander of Leon."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 3.
28 Mar. 671. Miçer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E .L. 852, f. 81.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 127.
In the cause of England begs leave to refer the Emperor to his letter to Mons. de Granvelle.
With regard to auditor Capisuchio (Capisucci) he (Mai) must again recommend him most warmly, for it is very important under present circumstances and for the success of the affair that some notice should be taken of him. Keeps encouraging the said Auditor with hopes of His Majesty's favour, but feels that more substantial proofs of such acknowledgment are needed.—Rome, 28th March 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Sovereign Lord.
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2.
29 Mar. 672. The Same to secretary Covos.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 20.
B. M. Add. 28,583
f. 128.
Siena.—The bulls for the coronation, &c.
During the sack of Rome the books of cardinal Ancona (Accolti) disappeared. It would be advisable to write to the Empress [Isabella] in Spain, and ask her to institute a search for them, and if they turn up have them restored to the owner at Rome.
Money, &c.
With regard to the matrimonial cause of England he (Mai) has nothing to add to what he writes to Granvelle on the subject. Refers him entirely to his letters to the Chancellor. Auditor Capisuccio ought not to be forgotten. His services are very valuable.—Rome, 29th March, 1531.
Spanish contemporary abstract (relacion) for the Emperor's inspection.
29 Mar. 673. Miçer Mai to the Same.
S. E. L. 859,
f. 84.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 131.
The opinions (votos) of Sicily in the matrimonial cause of England have come to hand, also those of Valencia, with which the enclosed letters were received.—Rome, 29th March 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the most illustrious lord the High Commander of Leon."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. l½.


  • n1. "Y entonces porque la justicia de esta causa quede perpetuamente fundada conviene que su Santd. sea requerido que oya la examinacion de los meritos desta causa, y despues de bien informado en ella," &c.
  • n2. That is Giulia, about whom see part I., pp. 731, 755, 762, 785.
  • n3. No. 654, p. 88, where the name of this individual is said to be Don Hernando.
  • n4. Letters from the apostolic judges refusing an appeal.
  • n5. "Mays pour cella nauront telle exemption, car jay tant tourné et viré quay trouvé la dite procedure, et la fays mettre en forme auctentique pour lenvoyer avec ceste."
  • n6. "Et que ce que touchera a la bonne voysinance yl y aura regart comme a ses propres yeux."
  • n7. "Et me dit quil[s] avoint icy force Lutheriens, et que le jour devant avoit esté prins le plus beau et·plus sçavant prescheur dangleterre, le quel estoit en dangier desire bruslé, de quoi luy desplaysoit, car le roy navoit homme plus propice ne mieux qualifie pour envoyer en ambassade devers ung grand prince que celluy.
  • n8. "Et quil[s] estoint ausy apres de fere estably [r] par constitution du royaume l'estat du due de Richemont bastard du roy, et son beau fils (sic)."
  • n9. Thus written Belgues most likely for Bergues or Berghes?
  • n10. "Je luy dis quil sembloit quil fussent ayses de veoer en necessite votre maieste, mays que le dit Sainct Martin pourroit venir, et que au regard de vostre maieste elle se mettroit en tout et par tout endrovt en debuoir dobuier aux entreprinses de lennemy de la foi."
  • n11. "Il se dit que lassemblee des estatz faudroit la reyllie notre dame, et seront iceux prorrogues pour une autre foys."
  • n12. Nothing of the kind has ever been in contemplation. Note by Covos.