Spain: May 1534, 1-20

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1886.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


, 'Spain: May 1534, 1-20', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886) pp. 147-166. British History Online [accessed 29 May 2024].

. "Spain: May 1534, 1-20", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886) 147-166. British History Online, accessed May 29, 2024,

. "Spain: May 1534, 1-20", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886). 147-166. British History Online. Web. 29 May 2024,

May 1534, 1-20

10 May. 54. Count Cifuentes to the Emperor.
S. E. Rom., L. 862,
ff. 28–9.
B. M. Add. 28,586,
f. 251.
On the 20th ult. Tello de Guzman brought me Your Majesty's letters of the 5th, which I will answer as follows.
Taking into account His Holiness' readiness to deposit his quota of the 25,000 ducats, that is 4,000 for the subvention to the Catholic cantons, and 8,000 for the Prince of Melphi (fn. n1) to arm galleys with,—considering that he had also promised shortly to determine the principal cause of the Queen of England, that politics upon the whole seem more settled than they have been for some time back, and that, generally speaking, there is at present no cause for alarm,—I thought it was more for Your Majesty's advantage to delay the message, which I was instructed to give verbally, about the General Council, and not deliver the letter in my credence; in short not to say anything that might cause His Holiness displeasure or uneasiness; for, to say the truth, the discontent he has lately shown in the matter of the bishoprics lately conferred by Your Majesty on natives of those kingdoms, was of such nature that I dared not speak to him on the subject of the Council without first consulting Your Majesty. I, therefore, beg to be excused if, for what I consider to be Your Majesty's best service, I have delayed until now mentioning the subject to His Holiness, and I can assure Your Majesty that should I receive fresh orders to resume the negotiation, no consideration shall prevent my executing your commands.
Meanwhile, and not to allow the negotiation to flag, I intend speaking to His Holiness on the subject at one of the many occasions that offer themselves of letters from Germany conveying news of the precarious state of affairs in that country, and the need there is of a prompt remedy. This I will do in general terms, without giving him cause or occasion for excitement.
Respecting the paragraph of my despatch of the 23rd of January, which has there (in Spain) been pronounced somewhat obscure and ambiguous, owing to my not having clearly specified whether His Holiness had confessed to having uttered the words reported by Aponte on his going back to Spain, I should think that, having written to Your Majesty that the words had been actually uttered in my very presence, and that Aponte had delivered his message correctly, without adding or retrenching a syllable of it, it was perfectly understood that since the Pope did not contradict the statement it was quite clear that he had uttered those words. (fn. n2)
If any error has been committed may Your Majesty pardon me, and I will try to patch up the thing as well as I can. However this may be, one thing is certain, that His Holiness' demonstrations at the time, and the words he afterwards used, were indicative of the displeasure he then felt. As Your Majesty has since commanded me not to show resentment at Aponte having reported the words which the Pope said, I did not deem it necessary to ask him if what the former said was true or not, because it was as much as to hint that His Holiness was sorry for having said them. (fn. n3)
Some days after this, in order to make His Holiness declare himself more explicitly, I repeated to him, in Aponte's presence, the very words and message which he (Aponte) had brought from Your Majesty, which made Aponte feel ashamed (se me corrio) and complain of me, all the time thanking His Holiness for his good intentions, and declaring what Your Majesty's were. The Pope then told me distinctly that he would apply himself to the redress of these matters, and would do whatever was most conducive to the peace and welfare of Christendom. In this manner, and in general terms, did His Holiness satisfy all the points of Aponte's instructions, not denying, but, on the contrary, affirming with many demonstrations, that he had really said the words reported by Aponte; for otherwise he would most certainly have disowned them altogether. Besides, Your Majesty has only to order that my despatches be carefully read again, and it will be found that many a time have I written home the substance of the very words that Aponte related to Your Majesty as coming from the Pope. (fn. n4)
On the 7th ult. Your Majesty's ambassador in England wrote to me that the King of that country complained that at the conference of Marseilles matters had been discussed, at Your Majesty's instigation, which were detrimental to him. I answered him (Chapuys), that if the information transmitted was for the purpose of preventing the suspension of the sentence in the matrimonial suit, he and the rest of the world knew very well that every effort would be made on our part for the favourable issue of that affair, but that I had reasons to suspect that the King's complaint was not on that ground. It might happen that some people, for their own particular ends, had made the king of England suppose that something to his detriment or to that of his kingdom might be designed by Your Majesty, apart from the matrimonial suit. (fn. n5)
I have therefore thought fit to notify the ambassador that he may make such use of the information as he may consider proper, that several months before we went to Marseilles, and at Marseilles itself, Your Imperial Majesty sent me word that should any overtures be made at the conferences to the prejudice of the king of England, I was to take care not to listen to them, but, on the contrary, do my utmost that such matters should not be discussed at all. And that in obedience to Your Majesty's commands I had not allowed any conversations of the sort, notwithstanding that, had Your Majesty chosen, you might very well have listened to several like proposals; therefore, instead of complaining, the King ought to be very grateful to Your Majesty for what you had done.—Rome, 10th May 1534.
Signed: "El Conde de Cifuentes."
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.
10 May. 55. The Same to the High Commander of Leon.
S. E. Rom., L. 862,
ff. 30–1.
B. M. Add. 28,586,
f. 250.
After writing to the Emperor letters came from the Papal Nuncio residing at that Court, wherein he relates the conversation he had with His Imperial Majesty respecting the affairs of Germany. The Nuncio's account is substantially the same as that which Your Lordship sent me the other day. The Emperor, he says, had complained to him (the Papal Nuncio) of the arrival of the Lansgraff (Langrave Philip) in France, and of the subsequent troubles in Germany precisely after the conference at Marseilles. He had also complained of other things, and had not thanked him (the Pope) for the sentence in the English cause, nor for other good works of His Holiness.
This the Pope has felt extremely, and in such a manner, that I apprehend he may (which may God forbid!) come out before his time, and not keep faith to the end. A little fear, and a certain sense of shame, have hitherto kept him to his engagements, or at least prevented him from showing his enmity; but should he lose all shame by our complaining of his acts, there is no saying what he may do.
Your Lordship may believe me when I say that the Emperor's words have made a profound impression on His Holiness' mind, and such that I could not convey an appropriate idea of it, were I to write a much longer letter than this.—Rome, 10 May 1534.
Signed: "El Conde de Cifuentes."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
11 May. 56. Advices from Paris.
S. E. L. 862,
f. 119.
B. M. Add. 28,586,
f. 254.
Two ambassadors of the king of England have come here, and the two kings have had another conference, more secret and confidential than the former; indeed it is reported that they are "amico del amico," and "inimico del inimico."
There is likewise here an ambassador from Scotland, who, they say, is asking for the hand of a daughter of the most Christian, and that the king of England, who at first opposed the marriage, now consents to it.
Military preparations are being made in Germany for the purpose of reinstating the duke of Würtemberg.
There are no rumours of war in foreign parts, but I understand that a gentleman has been sent post-haste to Spain. I believe the Queen (Eleanor) sends him thither, that he may inform the Emperor of the state of things [in France]. Should he meet with a better reception than last time, Monseigneur, the Grand Master, (Anne de Montmorency,) who is striving to keep the peace between the Emperor and his master, will also be sent thither.
Monsieur Renzo [da Ceri] is now here.
The ambassadors to the duke of Savoy [Carlo] have not yet left.
People here are much preoccupied with the affairs of the Turk. Advices lately received from Venice state that, notwithstanding the cession of Coron to the Turk—which has been principally brought about by means of the king of the Romans, and of the treaty made in Hungary,—that Infidel will send his fleet, estimated at 200 sail, and 30,000 men. Some people think that this armament of the Turk, and the troubles of Germany, will have the effect of inducing the Emperor to make a lasting peace with France, and grant this king some of his demands; whilst others are of opinion that the Emperor ought not to give in, and consequently that there will be war.
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
14 May. 57. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
V. Imp. Arch.,
Rep. P.C., Fasc.228,
No. 32.
More than a fortnight ago the Scottish ambassador came to me, and exhibited, as I informed Your Majesty by my letter of the 22nd ult., the articles proposed to him and his colleagues for acceptance by this King's ministers; of two of which, perhaps the most important, I enclosed a memorandum by the last post. The Ambassador, among other things, told me that he believed peace with this country would shortly be made, owing not only to the most pressing solicitations of these people, but also on account of the great need in which his master stood, and for fear lest the English, seeing them (the Scots) without help or aid from any quarter, should suddenly fall on them; for which Francis would not be sorry, but would, on the contrary, try indirectly to bring about the event in order, by putting extreme pressure on the king of Scotland, to oblige him to take to wife the woman designated by him and by this King, and thus effectually mar his master's project, which was to marry king Francis' eldest daughter, long ago promised to him. For this reason, he said, it was fit and even necessary to temporize with these people, and amuse them with the prospect of a peace, in order that this King should not prevent the marriage with the daughter of France, as he had all the time been striving to do. Once sure of this peace, king Henry would no longer have fears of the said marriage taking place, &c.
This and other equally mysterious confessions I was able to extort from the Scottish ambassador, who added, that, whatever the terms of the peace they were about to conclude, that would not prevent the King, their master, from seizing the very first opportunity of waging war on the English, as they (the Scotch) would find plenty of legitimate causes for it. Of this, he said, he could give me every assurance. He could also promise me that he and his colleagues would never negotiate or treat of anything likely to diminish or impair in the least the friendship they had for Your Majesty and for your subjects, nor the brotherhood lately established between you two by his admission into the Order of the Golden Fleece. The Ambassador ended by stating that these people had proposed for acceptance several articles the very opposite of what they wished in that respect, which articles they had indignantly rejected, declaring that it was the wish of their master that Your Majesty should be retained or rather included in the said peace, and that the Bishop his colleague, and himself, had received instructions to that effect.
Since then the said Scottish ambassadors have been in almost continuous communication with the King, or with his Privy Councillors, especially since the return from France of Mr. de Rochefort, and Treasurer Feu Veullien (Fitz William), whose arrival these people expected anxiously for finishing up the affair they have in hand, imagining perhaps, that they might receive from France help and encouragement. (fn. n6) Whether it has been so or not, they have acted as though it were, for immediately after the return of the above named the French ambassador, who previous to that had not attended the conferences between the Scottish ambassadors and the members of the Privy Council, was personally summoned, and the King's minister began from that moment to speak in high terms, and to demand certain disputed territory [on the borders], which by innumerable previous treaties has been adjudicated to the king of Scotland. After much contention and dispute, these ministers suggested that their differences about the disputed territory, and about other points, should be referred for arbitration to the king of Franco; to which the Scottish ambassadors would not agree, insisting upon the Pope being the arbiter. I am told that when the Scottish ambassadors mentioned their wish, the duke of Norfolk said in a passion, "Which Pope do you mean?"—intimating, no doubt, that there were two,—one at Rome, the other in England, namely, the archbishop of Canterbury. Which repartee from the Duke gave the Bishop an opportunity to descant upon the Pope's authority, and condemn what was done here, in England, against him. I must add that the Scotchman's speech by no means pleased the company or the Duke, who was sorry he had ever said those words.
My opinion, however, is that, after much disputing and contending, these people will, as far as I can judge, give in, and accept the terms of the Scotch, for they are really desirous of peace. Indeed, I am told that they have already made one treaty to last the lives of the two Kings, [of England and Scotland,] and for years after; though of its terms and conditions I have been unable to learn anything. The Scottish ambassador, who used to visit me frequently, sent me, the day before yesterday, a message to know when he could come and speak to me. I replied that I would wait for him any day and hour he would like to appoint. He has not yet made his appearance, having, as I hear, been very much engaged with the Privy Councillors in framing and drawing up the clauses of the treaty. When he does, I will not fail to apprise Your Majesty of the result of the negotiations, and what he himself thinks of it. The other ambassador, the Bishop, has likewise sent me word that he wishes, before his return to Scotland, to confer with me for three or four hours. We have not yet met, for fear of arousing suspicion, but it is to be supposed that now the peace is made there will be no difficulty.
On the return from France of Lord de Rochefort and Treasurer (Fitz William), though it was an extraordinary (fn. n7) day, the King and his mistress dined in public; and after dinner, within hearing of all those present, the former began to say how much he was bound to praise and thank God for having so completely and effectually attached to him so good a brother and especial friend, as the king of France was, always ready to run the same venture as himself, and to conform with his wishes and intentions; which assertion (he said) Lord de Rochefort and Treasurer (Fitz William), there present, might testify, and would not fail to corroborate. Yet so unusual a ceremony and public statement makes many people suspect that the king of France begins to waver, for he has postponed till July next the interview which this King pressed so hastily (fn. n8) Indeed it is generally believed that the conferences will not take place after all, and that the bishop of Paris [Jean du Bellay] or some other high personage will come here on behalf of the French king, to hear, among other things, what this one purposes bringing forward at the interview. (fn. n9)
Although I have many a time solicited the Queen (Katharine), your Majesty's aunt, for her opinion and advice respecting the execution of the sentence, it is only two days ago that I received from her the letter herein enclosed; which, besides the adjoined declaration of the Queen's sentiments in the matter, will perhaps be a sufficient excuse for her not writing this time to Your Majesty. (fn. n10) She hitherto imagined that the Papal sentence once delivered and intimated to the parties, this King would return to the right path; but she now perceives that it is absolutely necessary to apply stronger remedies to the evil. What these are to be, she durst not point out—firstly, because she is afraid of her letters being intercepted; and secondly, lest she should contradict in the least what she has said and written on former occasions. She is also aware that Your Majesty knows best what sort of remedy matters in this country require. (fn. n11) Whatever that remedy may be, it must be applied shortly, otherwise the evil will be irremediable; for, owing to the means this King and many others are employing or may eventually employ according to circumstances, all will be lost; and, what is still worse, every day this new Lutheran sect increases and is reinforced, and, when once it takes root in this country, those even who have taken the Queen's part will turn round, under the impression that whatever efforts Your Majesty might make to redress the Queen's affairs here would not be so much for her sake as for the purpose of upholding the authority of the Pope, which they describe here as tyrannical. It is under that impression that this King thinks he can unite in his favour not only the votes of his own subjects, but also those of part of Germany. Were Your Majesty to hear only a portion of the complaints and lamentations which are daily being made respecting the tardiness of that remedy, I am sure that you would be greatly surprised. Which lamentations and wailings have so increased of late, especially since the merchants of this city have begun to prepare goods for the next fair in Flanders, that people say, "Whoever henceforth allows these merchants to ship their goods for Spain or Flanders must wish for their ruin." (fn. n12) Your Majesty, however, knows what all this means, much better than those who speak about it. Your very great and incomparable virtue and prudence will, no doubt, make provision for the emergency.
The Queen, Your Majesty's aunt, has lately removed to a house belonging to the heirs of Monsieur Richart Vuinfil (Wingfield), (fn. n13) who died at Toledo whilst this King's ambassador to Your Majesty. She is personally better lodged than she was, though the house is smaller. Some time before her removal the King sent two doctors-at-law for the purpose of making her swear to the two statutes newly made in Parliament, the copies of which I enclosed to Your Majesty, on the 22nd ult.; but, instead of swearing, the Queen, as a counterpart for the intimation, read to the doctor the sentence which the Pope had given at Rome in her favour; upon which the King's deputies retired after making the household servants swear to the statutes.
A few days ago, the King asked the lady in waiting (fn. n14) of his mistress, who had charge of the Princess, whether there were signs of her rebellious spirit and stubborn obstinacy being in any way subdued. The lady answered that she continued the same; upon which the King remarked, "Then there must be some one near her who maintains her in her fanciful ideas by conveying news of her mother to her." The governess replied, that, all things considered, the only person she could suspect was that very maid who, as I informed Your Majesty, was compelled to take the oath. Without further inquiry, the governess sent away the maid, who has been some days without resources, and without any one daring to receive her. At which the Princess has been much affected, and not without cause, for she was the only maid whom the Princess could trust, and by whose intermediate action she received my letters, and those of other people. The Queen herself is much grieved at this, and, above all, at the King's having lately replaced the Princess' confessor, a worthy and pious ecclesiastic, by one, who is a Lutheran, and the King's right-hand man.
The King, perceiving that he cannot subdue the Princess' temper by rude treatment or threats, and influenced perhaps by considerations of another sort, has since then treated her more honourably than usual, and addressed her in more gracious words, intimating that, were she only to give up her wilful obstinacy, and entirely obey his commands, he would propose to her, before St. Michael next, such a marriage as would ensure to her the title and dignity of Queen. To which message she replied, among other good and wise words, "God forbid that I should be so blinded by error or ambition as to confess that the King my father, and the Queen my mother, have lived so long in adultery, or that I willingly contravene the ordinances and precepts of my holy Mother the Church, by acknowledging myself illegitimate." The Princess firmly believes that such affectation of better treatment on the part of the King covers some design on his part. It may, perhaps, be intended to disguise the poison they intend giving her; for which, as she says, she cares not in the least, firmly believing and trusting in God that she will go straight to Heaven, and be freed from this world's tribulations and troubles.
I am told that for some days past this King has shown more vivacity and content than is his wont. I cannot say whether it is caused by this late peace with the Scotch, or by the news he has received of fresh dissensions in Germany, which dissensions he is sure to fan with all his might until some work be prepared for him to do at home.
The Vayvode's secretary, whose business in England had been put off until the return of Lord Rochefort and Treasurer (Fitz-William) from France, is still in London, and has had no answer, as far as I can judge, to the overtures whereof he was the bearer.—London, 14 May, mdxxxiiii.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original, mostly in cipher. pp. 9.
19 May. 58. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
V. Imp. Arch.,
Rep. P.C., Fasc. 228,
No. 34.
After my despatch of last Thursday, (fn. n15) on the ensuing Friday, the 15th inst., I received a message from the Privy Council by a gentleman, requesting me to meet them at Vuasmonster (Westminster) on Saturday, at seven in the morning; which I did. I found already there the archbishops of York and Canterbury, the [High] Chancellor (Audeley), the duke of Norfolk, the marquis of Dexceptre (Exeter), the earl of Vulchier (Wiltshire), Master Cromwell, the bishops of London, Durem (Durham), and of Ili (Eli), Doctors Sampson and Fox, the Controller of the Royal Household (Paulet), and the Captain of the Body Guard, together with the chief magistrates of this kingdom. Having sat down, the said Dr. Fox commenced a long peroration in Latin, prepared some days before, the substance of which was: that the King, acknowledging the good offices that I (Chapuys) had always rendered in the fulfilment of my charge, and the praiseworthy inclination continually shown by me towards the preservation of the friendship between Your Majesty and his master, the King, in which inclination and desire he (the King) earnestly begged me to persevere, had considered it fit to inform me [the Imperial Ambassador] that his detestable and abominable first marriage having been declared nul by law, and he having contracted a fresh one, more for the repose and quietness of his kingdom than for his own pleasure, with the one who was at present his Queen, and having by the grace of God had issue of his blood, he had, at the urgent request of his whole kingdom, and for the sake of removing all doubts and scruples that might arise about the succession to the Crown, made a statute declaring the manner of the succession, which was, that the male children born of this present marriage should rank first, and after them his daughter Isabella (Elizabeth), whom the speaker called "Princess." That the said statute drawn in perfectly juridical form, and approved and sanctioned, not only by every member of the assembly of the General Estates of the kingdom, but likewise by the free consent and voluntary oath of all and everyone of his subjects—two women only excepted, namely, Madame Catherine and Madame Marie, as he chose to call them,—whom, notwithstanding all the means of persuasion employed by the King, and the remonstrances and exhortations of the principal personages of his kingdom, he (the King) had been unable to recall to reason, or to a sense of their respective duties. The King (continued Dr. Fox) wished me (Chapuys) to understand that, should the said ladies persevere in their pertinacious refusal, he would be obliged on his part to proceed against them according to the form and tenour of the said statute, of which a copy has been forwarded to Your Majesty.
In answer to the above address, I failed not to remonstrate strongly against the manifest iniquity and injustice of the said statute, which, as I had had occasion to tell the King before it was framed, could in no wise deprive the Princess of her right as true and legitimate daughter, and true heir to the Crown in default of male children. I maintained that the King could not deprive her of her right; nor could the statute ordain or decide in any way against the legal and legitimate marriage of the King to queen Catherine, that being a matter exclusively reserved to the Holy Apostolic See. The statute, therefore, being founded on false statements, was of no value whatever. Even if it had been well founded, and had its promoters or makers had the power of ordaining and legislating on such matters, it would be still an iniquitous and unjust proceeding, inasmuch as not only had the parties concerned not been summoned to appear, but I myself had been refused permission to attend Parliament and speak in favour of the just right of the Queen and Princess;—a very strange way of proceeding in an affair of this kind, which could not fail to surprise all those who might hear of it. This, I said, was a proof that they were not at all sure of getting Parliament to vote the statute, since they did not allow me to go thither and lay before the members the true state of the case. The King himself could not show better the invalidity of his own statute than by compelling, as he was actually doing, people to swear to it, which was a compulsory act much condemned by the best jurists, whose authority I then and there quoted. I said further I maintained that the rudest people in England had been heard to say that evidently the statute had no force at all, since they were called upon and obliged to swear beforehand a thing which had not yet been examined and tried. If Plato's laws were called cold (froydes) owing to their being headed by long preambles, what could be said of theirs, which, besides being preceded by an exposition full of lies, contained no truth whatever in themselves? To say nothing of the assertion that the King's subjects had requested him to make such a statute, and yet had hastened to take the oath. Whatever Dr. Fox may say about this, I know better; people swore because they dared not offer opposition, the penalty being forfeiture of life and property, and no one in these times wished to become a martyr; besides which, several reconciled themselves to the idea, by the notion that oaths taken by force, against morality (bonnes meurs), were not binding, and that even if the oath was a true and legitimate one they could contravene it more honourably than the archbishop of Canterbury there present, who, the day after swearing fidelity and obedience to the Pope, had issued a summons against the Queen, in spite of and against all the advocations, inhibitions, pains, and very grave censures, &c.
After which, and other similar words intended as a counterpart to the statute, which the Doctor had just read to me, I took upon myself to apprize him and the rest of the sentence issued by His Holiness, with the unanimous approbation of the Consistory, which had been attended by double the number of cardinals than there had been bishops at some of the councils, which they frequently quote in their allegations and writings in the King's favour.
With regard to the second principal point alluded to in Dr. Fox's speech, namely, the stubborn obstinacy of the Queen and Princess, I said that those who accused those two ladies of being pertinaciously obdurate might be compared to those designing women who, when in dispute with others of their sex, generally accuse their opponents of the very vice by which they themselves were contaminated. If obstinacy there was in the affair, it ought to be attributed to those who, after 25 years of marriage contracted by princes so wise, with sound and mature deliberation, and after a most solemn decision of the Church issued in two different sentences, refused to acknowledge the truth, and that I could not guess what their motive and purpose could be in thus representing to me what they called "the stubborn obstinacy" of the ladies; for, even supposing they could persuade me that such was the case, I had neither the authority nor the means of dissuading them from their opinion in this respect; and I wished to let them know that even if I had sufficient power and influence over them to bring about such a change, I would not use it in such an undertaking; I would rather die a thousand deaths than try to dissuade them, unless I had express orders from Your Majesty. If, however, the warning they had given me was, as I thought, intended for Your Majesty's information, I would willingly write to you. "If such be your intention," I said, "I beg you to declare at once your master's wishes and purposes, that I may convey to the Emperor a full idea of what the Queen and the Princess have to expect at his hands." I cannot, I added, be persuaded that the King, your master, whatever you may say, will treat the Queen and the Princess worse than he has hitherto done; on the contrary, I think that, considering the great humility, modesty, and patience with which she and her mother have behaved up to the present moment, the King will be induced to treat them more honourably than in the past. Should he do otherwise, he will incur universal blame, and perhaps give cause of disapproval to His Majesty, the Emperor, and the rest of the princes, his relatives and allies, and convert into direct hostility the friendship which they profess towards him; for friendship does not consist only in fine and gracious words; it cannot be magnified and extolled unless deeds are in accordance with words."
I ended by entreating all those who called themselves friends of peace to take care lest, by exhausting the patience which Your Majesty has hitherto shown towards them, owing to the great love and affection you had for the King their master, something should be done to offend Your Majesty beyond bearing; for they ought to understand that you considered the Queen as your mother, and the Princess as your sister or daughter, and that although I had no express mandate to speak on such matters, yet I made bold to say that, in my opinion, Your Majesty could not do less than show yourself dutiful nephew and cousin in all that concerned the right and justice of the said Queen and Princess, especially when at the same time you were called upon to uphold the authority of our Mother Holy Church, whose protector and most dutiful son Your Majesty was. "To such course of action," I added, "the Emperor, my master, must be greatly stimulated by the words of one of your ambassadors at Bologna, who said that by following up and abetting the Queen's cause the Emperor would be the cause of the separation of this kingdom from the Holy Apostolic See, and that although it was not Your Majesty's province to remedy such things, they should remember that God, in His clemency and infallible justice, would ultimately be angry and put things in order."
After this reply of mine, the Doctor and the rest held parley together, though not for a long time, for there was no need of it, each of those who were in the room having some days before learnt his lesson by heart. (fn. n16) The consultation over, the bishop of Durem (Tunstall) spoke. He is justly considered as one of the most learned, prudent, and honest prelates in the whole kingdom, and has hitherto upheld the Queen's cause by his word as well as by his writings; but nowadays, not choosing to become a martyr, and lose such ecclesiastical benefice as his, bringing him 15,000 ducats annually, he has been obliged to swear like the rest, though under certain reserves and restrictions to satisfy, as he thinks, his conscience. (fn. n17) The better and sooner to induce him to take the oath, after placing before him the example of the bishop of Rochester (Fisher) and of Master Mur (More), they have goaded him in a manner which touched him more effectually; for having been summoned and invited to court (a thing which he had never been allowed to do before, as long as Parliament or the Convocation was sitting—for if he happened to come to town at such a time, he was invariably ordered to return to his diocese)—on this occasion, as I say, he was particularly requested to come, and two days after he had quitted his house certain royal commissioners arrived, broke into it, searched every corner, and made an inventory of all his property, which they sent to the King, along with all the papers and letters they could find. (fn. n18) But, to proceed:—After his return home, the Bishop began to say in public that the statute was a most considerate and well-established act for the quietness of this kingdom, and that for that reason no one ought refuse swearing to it. My answer, when I heard the Bishop say this much, was, that the true security and tranquillity of England depended entirely on the King's going back to his legitimate wife, whose arrival in England had been the means, by the sanctity of her life, and the assistance of her royal kindred, of preventing many troubles and revolutions [in England] which the father of this King [Henry VII.] bad wisely foreseen before her arrival. With regard to the Universities, which the Bishop said had pronounced in favour of the King, I named to him several more [who had decided against him], showing nevertheless the practices used, the money spent by this King, and the vain efforts made in Germany, where neither bribery nor favour had been sufficient to obtain from the Universities any determination to suit their purpose.
As to the Papal brief, when the suit was first instituted in England, declaring the King's first marriage to be nul, which brief the Bishop called "epistre decretale," making it the keystone of his reasoning, I maintained that the said brief had been issued at Orvieto at a time when the Pope had just arrived from his castle of Saint Angelo, and was very angry at his detention, and therefore the brief was full of spite against Your Majesty. It was, I said, issued as much for pope Clement's private views and interests as for the gratification of the kings of France and England, who had at all times, but especially then, showed themselves his friends. Besides that, the brief had been sent without pope Clement communicating to and debating upon the matter [with his Cardinals], as His Holiness afterwards did when truth was investigated and solemnly proclaimed.
To the Bishop's asseveration that the Pope, whilst at the conference of Marseilles, had declared that if the King sent his procurator to Rome invested with sufficient powers to appear for him at court, sentence would be pronounced in his favour, I replied that it was not likely that His Holiness could have said such a thing; if he did, he meant, no doubt, that in pronouncing for the legitimacy of the King's first marriage, he sentenced in his favour, since his own honour and conscience were safe guarded, and the repose and tranquillity of his kingdom ensured through the sentence. It was to be presumed that a sentence thus pronounced before his own procurator would have been quickly obeyed by the King. In proposing that, if he ever did propose it, His Holiness had intended to follow the steps of some criminal judges, who, in order to extort the truth and drag out a confession from the accused, say kind words to them, and give them hopes of liberation. Such stratagems were allowable and praiseworthy as that which Solomon used with the two women who disputed the ownership of a child; and that if a procurator was wanted for the Pope to give sentence in favour of the King, certainly the archbishop of Paris (Jean du Bellay) was well worth any ten of them.
To the above remarks the bishop of Durham made no reply whatever. After him came the bishop of London (Stockesley), who attempted to question the King's first marriage on the authority of St. Basile, St. Gregory, and pope Innocent III, whose works he quoted in support of his theory, though, to say the least of it, the passages adduced proved exactly the contrary of what the Bishop maintained. I will not annoy Your Majesty with the details of the dispute; suffice it to say that when the said Bishop stated that, though the King had been evidently in the wrong "when he separated from his Queen" and contracted a new marriage, yet the Pope, whom all here call the bishop of Rome, had been so iniquitous and partial, had shown such injustice and done such injury to the King, his master, in giving a second sentence against him, and issuing executory letters (executoriales) on the first, notwithstanding this King's appeal to the future Council,—which appeal, as the Bishop said, tied the hands of His Holiness and curtailed his power,—that king Henry was quite justified in acting as he had done. It was no new thing (said he) for princes to appeal to a General Council, for in the primitive Church this had often been done.
This last premiss the Bishop tried long to establish, until I told him that, although the manifest abuses of the pretended appeal authorised the Council to reject it altogether, yet I was ready to grant that the thing might be done, and the appeal taken into consideration. "However, (said I,) what has since taken place renders the thing absolutely impossible. The King could not now avail himself of, or found his appeal on solid grounds, for many reasons, of which I would merely mention four, 1stly. Because in the commission demanded by the King, and delegated by the Pope to cardinals York (Wolsey) and Campeggio—in virtue of which commission the suit began, was afterwards advoked to Home, and lastly sentenced—there was a clause expressly forbidding any appeal. 2ndly. Because the first sentence was issued upon the 'spolio et possessorio,' respecting which Civil Law admits of no appeal unless the sentence be first obeyed. 3rdly. That the appeal must needs be made within 10 days of the date of the sentence, or of its notification, whereas the King's appeal came two months afterwards. 4thly. That the appeal of a contumacious pleader, such as the King undoubtedly was, could not be admitted at all." I went still further. I said, "The King ought to wish that the appeal had never been made, for the allusion therein contained to a former sentence, which no one has yet dared notify to him in due form, tacitly implies and acknowledges the jurisdiction of His Holiness. Should a General Council be assembled,—which will be as late as those who wish Germany to remain as it is now will allow,—I doubt whether the King would like to have his own private affairs discussed there; for having at times spoken to him about it, he has answered me that he himself had nothing to do with it, and that he could very well arrange matters and keep order at home without assistance or provision from a General Council; besides which (I added) might not that assembly, if convoked, remind the archbishop of Canterbury (Cranmer) that he himself had presumed to overrule the Pope's judgment?"
The Bishop was silenced. After him spoke the archbishop of York (Lee), (fn. n19) who made only one argument against the validity of the King's first marriage, but so feeble and unsound that in two words he was reduced to silence, and no more was said on the subject. Indeed, it seemed to me as if both he (Lee) and the bishop of Durham (Tunstall) were glad to hear their own arguments refuted, since they were obliged to stifle truth, and yet look approvingly on the occasion.
After him the dean of the Chapel (Sampson), who following on the steps of Monseigneur de Norfolk, maintained that the Pope had no authority whatever in this kingdom; for his power and authority not emanating from God, but from a constitution made by men, it could very well be abrogated, as had been done here in England, and in former times by the Greeks, who would never acknowledge the Pope's supremacy. My answer was that, even if Papal authority was founded only on human constitutions, as he pretended, (though I was of a contrary opinion,) the King, his master, could in nowise refuse to recognize the jurisdiction of His Holiness and of the Apostolic See, not only on account of the immemorable prescription of so many years, and of the successive and continuous acknowledgments of that authority by the ancestors of this King, and by himself, but also on account of the prorogation of Papal jurisdiction, and of the act of application for the commission, consenting to the Queens appeal, and subsequently again to the advocation of the cause to Rome.
In the midst of these disputes the archbishop of Canterbury (Cranmer), not feeling strong enough to come forward, as the others had done, and perceiving that my principal attack was from the beginning directed against him, dared not formally enter the lists, and only said a word here and there to the others, to show that he was concerned in the affair, and did not sit there for nothing. Among other suggestions I overheard him make to the bishop of Durham (Tunstall), one was that he ought to have brought forward as an argument against me, that the Pope, being a friend of Your Majesty, and at the same time dreading your power, could not be considered a, competent and impartial judge in the case, inasmuch as the matter under discussion was whether the Pope had, or had not the power to dispense for such a marriage as that of the King and Katharine, formerly married to prince Arthur, his brother; and that it was evident that, for the sake of upholding the authority of the Roman See in such matters, the Pope would ultimately sentence in favour of the Queen and against the King.
The Archbishop, however, must have repented of haying ever suggested an argument resting on so weak a foundation; for by doing so, (and he of Durham taking it up, which he actually did,) he gave me the opportunity of allegating ten or twelve arguments against his being the proper man to pronounce sentence in a divorce case; among which there was one, which must have touched him to the quick, for he remained for some time silent and thoughtful.
Whilst the above-named bishops and doctors spoke, the [High] Chancellor (Audeley), the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Wiltshire, and Master Cromwell looked contented and satisfied as if they had gained a victory; but when they saw that the contrary was the case, and that my opponents were being defeated, they began to say, that there was no need of further disputation. The duke of Norfolk observed that since the King's second marriage was a "fait accompli," all discussion about that was pure loss of time. Everything had been settled by a statute, the force and validity of which no one dared to impugn. Such as it was, he (the Duke) would maintain it against whomsoever should dispute it to the last drop of his blood; and whoever in England should dare go against it would at once be considered as guilty of high treason "læsæ Majestatis." Such being the case, those two ladies (meaning the Queen and her daughter) ought to be careful, and not play with such matters, for otherwise they might suffer. The King himself, he said, could not do less than obey the statute, which not only concerned his Royal person, but likewise the welfare and tranquillity of his subjects.
After this speech of the Duke's, the Chancellor (Audeley) spoke for awhile in a similar strain. My reply to them both was a mere repetition of the arguments I had used before in my answer to Dr. Fox; merely adding, that English laws seemed to me like those of Mohammed, which that pseudo-prophet caused to be enforced at the point of the sword, not by dint of persuasion and reason; and yet there was (I said) something in that in which the English were deficient. Mohammed did not compel his people to swear to and keep his laws, whilst they (the English) exacted oaths from their own countrymen, as well as from foreigners, by which measure they showed that their laws and statutes must be very weak, since they required the support of the popular abjuration of their allegiance to the Queen. Everything (I continued) was for them a subject of suspicion; even those poor ladies, the Queen and Princess, who, being more closely confined than common prisoners in this realm—having neither the will nor the power nor the means to trouble the peace of this kingdom, whose welfare they desired much more than any Englishmen—were spied and watched as though guilty of high treason; whereas they never, to my certain knowledge, had ceased praying God for the prosperity of England. Indeed I could certify to them—and would take my solemn oath upon it—that the Queen had always written and protested; whenever there was need for it, that no war should be made on her account, for she would rather suffer a thousand deaths than be the cause of such a misery; and that even if Your Majesty had any hostile intentions, which you had not, the Queen herself would have interfered in the quarrel so as to prevent the effusion of blood. I ended by requesting the assembly to consider my words, and try their utmost for the preservation of that amity and friendship which they professed to have towards Your Majesty.
The answer of the Privy Councillors was that it would not be their fault if my wishes were not fulfilled; they would make their report to the King, and let me know his intentions. I fancy, however, that they will go on playing their game without letting me know what they are about, fancying, perhaps, that they have done enough in the affair by letting me know that York (Lee) and Durham (Tunstall), both of whom have the reputation of being learned and moral ecclesiastics, and were formerly on the Queen's side, have actually become turncoats. I should have much preferred, and indeed it would have been more reasonable, that the councillors should have given me audience at the time that the said statute was being framed; but, on the other hand, I cannot help thinking that some ground has been gained by their affording me an opportunity for refuting, in the presence of such an assembly, part, if not all, of their errors, especially when they had been deputed to make me take one thing for another. (fn. n20)
The conference at an end, I took Master Cromwell aside, and said to him in confidence that the King would gain much in repute by ordering the Queen and Princess to be better treated now than they were; and I again represented to him the danger of acting otherwise. He promised to do everything in his power to obviate the inconvenience; but I very much doubt his doing anything in the matter; he will not dare, for fear of the King's mistress.
Cromwell also promised me that Spaniards residing in London would be exempted from swearing obedience to the statute, and that in all other matters he would do his best to favour Your Majesty's subjects; telling me, at the same time, that two Englishmen, imprisoned [by the Inquisition] in Spain for having in their possession certain [heretical] books, had been released by Your Majesty's order, and that both their ambassadors residing at the Imperial Court, as well as the one in Flanders, had frequently written concerning my good offices here, even in the case of the packet of letters seized at Calais in April, and in accepting the excuses then offered, for which the King was thankful.
I then took the opportunity of returning thanks in Your Majesty's name for the favour shown to your subjects, promising to write home on the subject; and, having taken leave of him, went away without accepting his invitation to dinner.
I heard this very morning that the King has again sent the archbishop of York (Lee), the bishop of Durham (Tunstall), and Dr. Fox to the Queen, to exhort and summon her to acquiesce in the prescriptions of the statute, threatening her, in case of refusal, with all the rigour of the law. For fear this intelligence, as well as the threats uttered during the above debate, should be true, I have hastened to inform the Queen, that she may not be taken by surprise.
It is, indeed, to be feared that upon the obstinate refusal of the Queen and Princess to comply with his wishes, the King, at the instigation of this accursed concubine of his, will play them both a bad trick The general belief here is that, when about to cross over to France, he will at least confine them both to the Tower, for fear of what may happen during his absence. And I believe him quite capable of impressing many people here with the foolish notion of applying to Parliament for a sentence against the Queen and the Princess, and making all people, without distinction, subscribe the same,—a thing in which he would meet with little or no resistance on the part of his subjects, intimidated as they are. (fn. n21) In such an event I do not hesitate to say that prompt and efficacious measures will be needed, as I have pointed out in several of my despatches.
The Scottish ambassador, who was here at first, came the day before yesterday to see me, announcing that peace had at last been concluded between England and Scotland, to last during the lives of the two Kings, and one year after; and that on his colleague and himself trying to have Your Majesty comprised therein, this King made no objection whatever to the application, provided you were also named and included in his own, but declaring that on no account would he consent to the Pope being mentioned in it. (fn. n22) I then asked the ambassador whether, in case of the Pope sending his own mandate against the English, they (the Scotch) would make difficulties about obeying it. His answer was, that they would not, but that most likely they would at first make a certain show and pretence of displeasure at their not being able to do otherwise. The ambassador told me likewise that between the King and his colleague, the Bishop, there seemed to be some secret understanding; the King had thrown out hopes of a marriage between the Princess and their King, James, provided the latter first attended the interview which king Francis and himself are to hold on the other side of the Channel in July next; and that the Bishop, notwithstanding the peace just concluded, had applied for a safe-conduct to return from thence (France) in case it should be necessary for him to negotiate concerning the above affair. (fn. n23) I did not fail to observe, and make the Scotch ambassador understand, that the promised offer of the Princess' hand was but a bait to decoy the King, his master, across the Channel, and whilst there have him married in France, according to the taste and future plans of both Kings, and prevent him from contracting alliance with Your Majesty, which is the thing they (the kings of England and France) dread most. The ambassador replied that he did not think his master would cross the Channel at all, and that in case he did, he would not fail to convey to him the advice and admonition I had just tendered, and that of this affair, as well as of any other of equal importance, he would keep me "au courant" by way of Flanders, addressing his letters to the Consul (Conservateur) of his nation at Antwerp. I then asked him if he had news of the man sent by Your Majesty, and if he was already in Scotland or not He answered, that since the Bishop's arrival [in London] no news had been received from that country.—London, 19th May 1534.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: From the Imperial ambassador in England. Received on the 8th of June at Avila. (fn. n24)
French. Original, partly in cipher. pp. 15.


  • n1. There must be some error in the items.
  • n2. "En quanto á lo que V. Md me mandó screvir que no declaré bien con mi carta de los xxiii. de henero proximo pasado sy Su Santidad havia aprovado ser verdad aquellas palabras que á Aponte dixo Su Santidad, yo pensé que, como screvi á V. Md que las havia referido en mi presencia, y no habia faltado en ninguna se entendia ser verdad haberlas dicho Su Santidad, pues no lo contradixo, y asi no mo aclaré mas. Si algun error ha avido V. Md lo perdone, y enmendarse—ha en lo porvenir. Mas à la verdad, Su Md tenga por cierto que Su Santidad por la demonstration que hizo y palabras que se confirieron, claramonte se vido que él havia dicho aquellas palabras, y por obedescer á V. Md que me mandó que no mostrase ningun sentimiento de haberlas dicho Aponte, no me paresció" de preguntar á Su Santidad si era verdad lo que Aponte dezia."
  • n3. "Por que era dar á entender en alguna manera que ya estaba quexoso de haberselas dicho. Y otro dia porque se determinase mas claramente Su Beatitud, &a."
  • n4. "Me dixo que él se offrecia al remedio de todas aquellas cosas y que haria lo que conviniese al bien y paz de la Christiandad, y asi Su Santidad cumplió con palabras generales á todos los puntos, no negando, antes afirmando con demostracion, haver dicho lo que Aponte refirió á V. Md por que a no haverlo dicho assi Su Santidad lo negara, quanto mas que sy V. Md quiere mandar ver mis cartas conocera que en diversas vezes havia yo ya scripto casi lo mismo que el dicho Aponte dixo á V. Md de parte de Su Santidad."
  • n5. "En esto ya sabia él y todo el mundo que so havia de procurar todo lo posible para el buen y breve despacho del negocio. Y asi sospeché que no havia [el Rey] dado la quexa por lo susodicho sino por que podria ser que algunos por sus propositos y fines le havian hecho entender que alli se tractaria por parte de V. Md en daño suyo y de su reyno fuera de lo del matrimonio."
  • n6. "Le quel retourd, a ce quil semble, ceulx çy attendoint avant que estreindre laffere, pensant que de ce couste la leur raffraschiroit la faveur."
  • n7. "Oerez que le iour fust extraordinaire."
  • n8. "Mais certes ceste cerymonye et publication non accoustumee fait souspeçonner que le roy de France commence de clocher, mesmes ayant remises les entreueues que ce roy hastoit si fort pour le mois de iuilliet."
  • n9. "Pour entre autres choses fere lecture des dites entreueues."
  • n10. "Ayant par pluseurs foys sollicite la royne, madame vostre tante, de son aduys pour leffectuation de sa senteuce depuis deux iours tant seullement elle ma escript la lectre quenvoye avec ceste, la quelle oultre la declaration de son dit aduys servira pour excuse de ce que la dite royne nescript a vostre maieste."
  • n11. "Elle pensoit par ci-devant que estant donnee et rendue la sentence que ce roy se convertiroit, mais elle cognoit bien maintenant quil est besoing dy proceder par autres remedes, lesquells elle ne ose mectre en auant tant pour craincte que ses lectres fussent surprinses que pour non contrarier a ce quelle en a cy deuant dit et escript, sachant aussi que vostre maieste entend trop mieulx ce que convient pour le remede des affaires dicy que nul aultre au monde."
  • n12. The passage in the text stands thus: "Lesquelles lamentations ont este plus frequentes fois quelques iours en ça que ces marchants commencent de fere leurs preparatives de charger pour la prochaine foire de Flandres disant que qui permectra deçormais ceulx-cy aller au dit Flandres ne en Espaigne que tout sen va (sera?) perdu."
  • n13. Sir Richard Wingfield died at Toledo in ......
  • n14. One word wanting in the clerk's deciphering: "Il y a quelques iours que ce roy demanda a la [tante?] de samye que eu (a) charge la princesse," &c.
  • n15. See above, No. 57, p. 151.
  • n16. "Sur ma dite response ilz communicarent ensemble, non point longuement, aussy nen estoit yl besoing car de quelques iours ilz avoint tres tous estudie leur roule."
  • n17. "Il a este contrainct de jurer comme les autres, bien que lon dit que avec certainnes restrictions et reservations."
  • n18. "Lon luy donna ung aultre aguyllon que le touchoit de bien pres quest questant mande de la part de ce roy de venir icy (ce que ne luy avoit este permy durant les estatz, ains venant yl fust contremande) deux iours aprez quil fust party de la mayson certains commissaires du dit seigneur roy entrarent en sa mayson faysant ouverture par tout et description de tous ses biens, et furent apporteez au roy toutes les lectrez missives que les ditz commissaires trouvoirent."
  • n19. Dr. Edward, since October 1531. See vol. iv., part ii., p. 248.
  • n20. "Toutesfoys encoires a ce este quelque chose de leur pouvoir avoir bien expressement remonstre en telle assemblee partie de leurs erreurs, et estant iceulx altiltrez (?) pour me donner entendre [une] chose pour aultre."
  • n21. "Et seroit le dit roy bien home pour envelopper pluseurs gens en la folye de faire sentencier par le parlement les dites royne et princesse, et faire subscripre tout le monde en la sentence, en quoy ny auroit resistance, pour quoy, sire, seroit besoing de quelque prompt remede."
  • n22. "Et que pour ce quilz voulurent comprendre vostre maieste en icelle one ce roy la voulut aussi nomme[r] et comprendre en la sienne [paix], mais quil navoit voulu laisser fere mencion en sorte quelconque du pape."
  • n23. "Et que levesque nonobstant toute la paix a demande saufconduit pour pouvoir retourner de pardeça en cas quil fut besoing de traicter des dites affaires."
  • n24. Avila del Rey in Castille, 22 leagues from Madrid. Vandenesse's Itinerary, however, translated by Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V., London, 1850, makes no mention of this town, now city, as having been the Emperor's temporary residence in May 1534.