Spain: January 1535, 1-5

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

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, 'Spain: January 1535, 1-5', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886) pp. 354-372. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Spain: January 1535, 1-5", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886) 354-372. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Spain: January 1535, 1-5", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886). 354-372. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

January 1535, 1-5

1 Jan. 122. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Rep. P.C., Fasc.269,
No. 71.
Although there is at present no matter worth writing about, yet not to break my habit, I profit by the departure of this messenger to inform Your Majesty of a few particulars in expectation of an answer from home. Considering also that Mr. Darcy has not yet obtained leave to return to his country, and the very great danger to which his person might be exposed, should these people come to discover any signs of understanding between him and me, I have purposely abstained from sending any one of my secretaries to visit him, nor has he sent to me. Yet three days ago he sent me word through a priest of his household, a native of Hainault, (fn. n1) to say that if I had any news to communicate, I was to transmit them through the same person I had lately employed, and that he wished particularly to hold a conference with me as soon as he had obtained his congé to go home. Mr. Darcy presented me on that occasion with a very fine sword of modern manufacture. I cannot help thinking that there is some mystery beneath, and that by sending me such a present at such a time, his meaning for lack of a more definite verbal message is, that this is the proper season for the brandishing of knives. (fn. n2) I am the more inclined to think that there is some mystery in the whole affair, because when, some time ago, he sent me the message, which I hastened to communicate to Your Majesty, he (Darcy) accompanied it with a forget-me-not made of gold, and richly ornamented, (fn. n3) requesting me, at the same time, to keep it by me as a souvenir.
I have no doubt he will be delighted to hear that the earl of Northumberland is no longer such a friend of this king and of his ministers as he used to be, for the Earl's physician tells me that his master had lately complained to him of certain wrongs and injuries received at the hands of members of this government, and had declared that those who had so behaved towards him would soon have to repent of their ill-doings. The English people (he added) were so indignant at the oppressions and excessive tyranny they suffered, that the least effort on the part of Your Majesty would be the means of working the King's perdition and ruin. The King, said the Earl, had no other hope at present but the Turk's great military power, in which his friends trusted and glorified, but which after all was a most abominable trust. The Earl went on charging the King's mistress with arrogance and wickedness, saying, among other things, that a few days ago she had heaped more injuries on the duke of Norfolk than on a dog, so much so, that the Duke was obliged to quit the Royal chamber, and that, though finding only in the hall a gentleman to whom he no longer bore affection, such was his anger that he forgot entirely whom he was addressing, and began to complain in the bitterest terms of the said Royal mistress, bestowing on her the most opprobrious epithets, and calling her among other things "grande putain." (fn. n4)
Yesterday evening came in all haste from Scotland one, who was once my servant. He was the bearer of letters from Your Majesty's ambassador in that country, but they were taken from him at the English frontier. He gave me to understand that, before leaving Scotland, he had seen the Imperial ambassador embark on a vessel bound for Flanders, after having fulfilled the commission for which he went thither, and having been very well treated by the Scottish king. The people of that country, said the man, were marvelously incensed against the French, owing to their having refused to entertain the marriage promised to their king. The man, it appears, had left Scotland in company with a Nuncio of the last Pope (Clement VII.), who dared not make the voyage by sea; but on his arrival at the English frontier he was stopped and detained. There is some talk of this king being about to send an ambassador to Scotland, for what purpose I cannot say; but the matter cannot be very important, or require great diplomatic experience, if the charge is to be intrusted to old William, the duke of Norfolk's brother, as it is rumoured. (fn. n5)
The Princess has been warned that the King, her father, in virtue of the rigorous statute lately made against all those refusing to take the oath on the occasion of his new marriage, is about to summon her, immediately after these festivals, to renounce her title, and swear to the said statute, bidding her on pain of death no longer to take, or allow any one to give her, the title of "Princess," or call Madame, her mother, "Queen." But I take it that even if she should be sent to the Tower, or put to death, with which she is frequently threatened, the Princess will never change her purpose. The same may be said respecting the Queen mother.
This King's Privy Council hearing of the discovery lately made in France, concerning the Zwinglian heresy, and fearing lest it should spread over this country, where it might make greater havock than in France, has caused a certain book filled with the doctrines of that sectarian to be strictly prohibited, and I am told that during the last few days the present Chancellor has had 15 copies of the New Testament, translated into English, publicly burnt, in consequence of the said fear, and that an ordinance has been issued forbidding all booksellers to sell or keep a prognostic lately printed in Flanders, threatening this king with war and misfortune for this present year. And I have further been informed that some of the principal Privy Councillors have said, in the presence of a personage who repeated it to me, that should matters go on as they are at present, it would be the easiest thing in the world to create rebellion and anarchy in this kingdom by merely having the said prognostic translated into English, printed, and widely circulated among the people of England.
The governor and burgomasters of Belguez (Berghes) have arrived in this city well attended, their object being, as I am informed, to treat for the anticipation of the fair, which is annually held in that town, and other business connected with it. (fn. n6) And a worthy citizen has come to tell me that the King and the members of his Privy Council, far from not attaching importance to the arrival of the said governor and burgomasters, are on the contrary making the most of it, and publishing among the people that fear of the English merchants taking their goods elsewhere had been the cause of their coming here; that their purpose is to prevent that which would cause their ruin, and, moreover, that they (the inhabitants of Berghes) would at once disobey Your Majesty's commands should trade with England be suspended or entirely prohibited.
I have been told that a connexion of the lord of Kildare, having entered into a conspiracy to deliver into the hands of the Royal officers the person of that chieftain, the latter had scent of the traitor's movements, and succeeded in counteracting and defeating his plans. Falling suddenly on the assembled conspirators he slew no less than six hundred of them, and among the rest his own relative, who being taken prisoner was immediately executed. The intelligence must be correct, for a few days ago Master Cremuel (Cromwell) was heard to say several times, that ere long the said earl of Kildare would be brought a prisoner to England, which is a sign that the above news from Ireland is correct, namely, that a secret plan existed to carry away the person of the Earl, but has been defeated by him. I will make every inquiry respecting this affair.—London, 1 Jan. 1535.
French. Holograph, partly in cipher. pp. 5.
2 Jan. 123. The Emperor to Viscount Hannaert, his ambassador in France.
P. Arch. d. l'Et.,
Neg. Pap. de
Sim. (olim B. 3,
No. 22).
B. M. Add. 28,587,
f. 164, Dup. 174.
Your despatches of the 7th inst. were duly received on the 15th. We are glad to hear that our letter of the 3rd ult. was by you shown to our sister, the queen of France, as well as to the Grand Master [Anne de Montmorency]. Thus, I hope, will our intentions and wishes be more clearly defined and better understood. Indeed, We imagine that had the Most Christian king of France sufficiently pondered and weighed the contents of our note, he might easily have perceived what our intentions were, and how different from what he takes them to be. The formal declarations made by the count of Nassau and by you some time ago, to the effect that we had entered into this negotiation with perfect sincerity, and solely moved by the desire of peace and the welfare of Christendom, ought, We imagine, to have been a sufficient guarantee for our actions. That was then, as it is now, our only motive, and to that end We stated that We were disposed to treat of the marriage of our sons and daughters in general, and most particularly of that of our only daughters in general, and most particularly of that of our only daughter, the Infanta of Spain, with his eldest son the dauphin (François), which marriage the King himself was the first to propose and put forward.
The King's answer to the three above-mentioned points, you say, has been: with regard to the first, or the defence of Faith, that he is continually making a severe example of all those of his subjects, who are convicted of Lutheranism, and that he considers the convocation and meeting of a General Council a matter of great necessity, nowadays that the number of sectarians is fast increasing everywhere, that the rest of the Christian princes are of the same opinion, and that the newly elected Pope has declared his intention to have it convoked as soon as possible.
Respecting the Turk the answer, you say, is, that the King is ready to serve Christianity as his predecessors on the throne did, and that Christendom will find him at the head of his forces, whenever he is called upon, provided the Christian princes allow him free passage through their respective dominions. But it seems to us that such words from the King's mouth are rather vague, and that he might have expressed himself in clearer terms, especially now that Barbarossa, the bitterest enemy that Christendom ever had, is, as it were, at the gates of Europe. As that corsair's attack will be made by sea, and there is no appearance of a Turkish army this year, King Francis might at once have promised the help of his galleys, as he is bound by the treaties to do. Christendom would have been saved from a great danger, and the king of France himself relieved from further contributions.
We understand perfectly well that, Barbarossa being where he now is, the danger is more imminent for us than for any other Christian prince, and that We ought to prepare, as We are actually doing, to defend principally the coasts of our dominions likely to be invaded first; but that is no reason why all princes, potentates, and good Christians ought not to help in repulsing the infidel. And since king Francis tells you that, should We grant his request, he would send us his galleys to be employed in so glorious an undertaking, it strikes us that the sincerity and straightforwardness of our proposition and our desire to please, joined to Christendom's imminent danger, should be enough to make him waive all scruples and co-operate in such meritorious work. You will add that His Holiness with the utmost goodwill has offered his galleys, and that if he (the King) would assist with his own, Christendom will for ever feel grateful for the service.
As badly intentioned people, with a view to depriving us of the favour of the Pope and his Apostolic See, have sedulously spread, at Rome and elsewhere, the rumour that our armaments by land and sea might well be destined for another purpose, you will take the very first opportunity of telling King Francis, in my name, that we solemnly declare that the armaments we are now making by land and sea are solely and exclusively intended against the Infidel. As the enemy is very powerful, and We know not where and at what time he may land, it is incumbent upon us to be prepared to meet him in whatever point of the coast of Spain and Italy he may direct his attacks.
You tell me that king Francis remarked that he is as much at liberty to send ambassadors to the Grand Turk as We and our brother the king of the Romans are, since We ourselves send whenever it suits us, and negotiate a truce with the whole of Christendom, without even consulting the rest of the Christian princes or the Supreme Head of the Church; and that the last Pope (Clement VII.) said so at Marseilles, and that he (the King) will act as his honour dictates, &c. You will tell him in answer to such a gratuitous accusation, that We cannot call as witness a Pope now deceased; but that there are many per[...]ons now living, who can testify that from Alessandria [della Paglia] We ourselves sent count de Salm and Sancho Bravo, gentlemen of our Chamber, to ask the advice of pope Clement as to our sending Micer Cornelis Sceperus and Geronimo Zara to Constantinople; and that not only did pope Clement applaud the idea, but said he considered it ne[...]essary. When Miçer Cornelis returned a second time to Constantinople for private affairs of the king of the Romans relating to the kingdom of Hungary, he had express charge from us not to contract or conclude any truce or peace without including therein the Pope and the rest of the Christian princes, and previously asking for their assent.
Respecting the third point, namely, the peace of Christendom at large, the King, you say, declares that he is willing to co-operate in its establishment, and listen to our proposals, provided We grant the request specified in his memorandum, and that he himself is not called upon to do things against his honour or that of his allies. Our reply is that since We cannot please him, and nothing has been alleged to make us change our opinion, all arguments become useless. Should, however, king Francis abandon his pretensions [upon Milan], it will be, in our opinion, very easy to arrive at the conclusion of a good peace. We have no doubt that the duke of Savoy (Carlo) will listen to reason, and that his differences with France, whatever they may be, will be satisfactorily adjusted within a reasonable period of time.
In what respects the marriage of the princess of England (Mary), our cousin, to the King's third son, which the King pretends is not our concern, and that the union could not be effected as long as king Henry lives, and that he (Francis) is his friend, We are sure that if you have read to him, as We have no doubt, the paragraph of our letter relating to that, he must have understood, as our letters testify, and count Nassau had also charge to explain, that We never meant that the Princess was in our hands to make her do anything to the detriment of her father's honour and conscience, or to alter or do away with the alliances and treaties that might exist between those two, but rather that the King might see and appreciate the affection, inclination, and goodwill We bear him, and our desire for the aggrandizement of his sons, and at the same time do a friendly and honourable act towards the king of England, very improving for his conscience, and very conducive to the contenting and repose of his subjects.
The King, you say, observed that were We to leave his pretensions to Milan for the said offers of marriage, it would be equivalent to leaving the certain for the uncertain. We will not retort that his sons have no claim whatever to that duchy, and therefore that the offer of marriage made by us was not only advantageous, but indicative also of our love and affection for his sons, and a proof besides that We desire their aggrandizement.
To his complaint of our having said to his ambassador here that he (the King) seemed to attach more importance to the demands contained in his memorandum than to the proposed matrimonial alliances between his sons and ours, the reply is obvious. He himself owns that they are the best and most honourable that could be made for both parties, as well as for the consolidation of peace, granting that they were of an age for the said marriages to be solemnized and consummated; but that such not being the case there is no security whatever in words and promises, which might materially change. We could not say more on this point than what We once said to Mr. de Nassau, and is contained in your instructions; We were disposed then, as We are now, to furnish and give such securities and conditions as may be deemed necessary among Christian princes.
Nor is his resentment more justifiable against the King, our brother, for having, as he says, wilfully spread the rumour in Germany and elsewhere that count de Nassau had treated with him (Francis) for the utter destruction of the Lutherans, and that the said rumours and others equally injurious to his royal person, had been spread by our brother with a view to make him lose his German friends. Our answer to that accusation is, that We believe king Francis to have been misinformed, and that there is no likelihood at all of the said rumours having been, as he pretends, spread by our brother, inasmuch as the king of the Romans had full cognizance of the instructions given to Mr. de Nassau, in which, as you know, no mention was made of force and violence to be employed against the Lutheran sectarians. Of this, however, We are quite sure, namely, that if the words have been said, it was not our brother who uttered them. Besides, you may tell king Francis, if there should be an opportunity, that at the time of the receipt of your last letter, information was here received that his ambassadors and ministers are daily publishing at Memminghen, Ulm, and other Imperial cities that We of our own accord have pressed him to take up arms against the Lutherans! Whence We conclude that those same ambassadors and ministers may have been the inventors of the report.
You will also tell the King that We are aware that at his court various conjectures have been formed concerning Mr. de Nassau's mission, in order to produce an impression both in Italy and in England; some saying that We were ready to cede to him the duchy of Milan, on condition that he himself would forsake the alliance of England; and although We are sure that this and similar reports do not emanate from the King or from his privy councillors, We nevertheless mention the matter in this place because it behoves us to justify ourselves, principally in Italy, where the effect produced has been such that We are obliged, more than ever, to refuse what he asks of us.
The King tells you that neither this new Pope (Paul), nor the Venetians, wish to see us united; and that the latter are anxious that the duchy [of Milan] should remain in the hands of its actual possessor, that they may gain him over and seize his estate when they please. We are not aware that such a fantastic idea ever entered the head of pope Paul, nor do We believe the Venetians to aspire to the possession of Milan. True it is that patriotism and other mighty considerations may make them wish that the duchy should not fall into Francis' hands, or remain in ours, or in those of another prince whose power they dread. This has been one of the causes which have moved us to dispose of the said duchy as we have done, to the great satisfaction and according to the wishes of the late Pope (Clement), and the rest of the Italian potentates, owing also to the often expressed wishes of the kings of France and England. And singularly enough, the king of France relinquished for the time all his pretensions to the duchy, and never alluded to his rights, but declared, he and his ministers, that he saw with pleasure the arrangement made, and considered himself disengaged. We have no doubt that the Pope and the Venetians would wish to see the King and us united, in order that, leaving Italy in its present state, We might both apply ourselves to the remedy of Christendom.
Respecting Esquire Maravella, and what the King himself said to you, We need not enter into more details than those specified in the Duke's paper as a sufficient and proper excuse for what he did.
Repulse of the Turk, &c.
There is still one point to which We must call your attention. The King, you say, seems inclined to dispute the renunciation he once made of the seignories of Flanders and Artois, saying that many doctors [at law] maintained that the said renunciation was null and void, inasmuch as a vassal could not ask such a thing from his lord. We do not think that a long reasoning is needed to refute that specious argument; neither is there necessity for adducing here our titles and rights to the possession of those countries from the time preceding the last wars until the treaties of Madrid and Cambray.—Madrid, 2 January 1535.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 5.
2 Jan. 124. The Emperor's Instructions to Count Rœulx on his leaving Madrid for Italy, Germany, and Flanders.
S. E. L., 1458,
f. 38.
B. M. Add. 28,587,
f. 183.
1stly, the Count is to bear in mind above all things that our intentions are peaceful, that We shall not go to war unless actually forced to it, for the sake of avoiding greater dangers to Christendom, and promoting the welfare of our own subjects and vassals. For that purpose We are now fitting out a powerful fleet against Barbaroxa (Baba Arox), or, if necessary, against the Grand Turk, whose formidable power is continually threatening the Christian world. You will say that this, and no other, is the end of our present armaments; for unless we prepare in time to meet the Infidel on his own ground, Christendom will everywhere meet with a most serious danger, especially now that the said Barbarroxa is to be reinforced by the Grand Turk, as the late advices from Ragusa seem to imply.
Notwithstanding the above avowed intention, the words uttered by king Francis and his ministers, their threats of commencing war next summer, the attempts made by him and his agents to recruit men both in Germany and in Switzerland, the mustering and enlisting throughout his dominions of all men fit to carry arms—a measure which he had not ordered until now—the conduct of his governors and officers in the provinces bordering upon Flanders and Spain, and above all, the behaviour of Don Enrrique de Labrit, who boasts that he will shortly invade Navarre and besiege Pampluna, make us fear that the said king of France may perhaps seize the opportunity of seeing us engaged hand to hand with the Infidel, to declare war on some pretence or other, the more so that, if the advices lately received from various parts be true, Barbarroxa is coming at the solicitation of king Francis, who is to assist him with money and men, and that the war is to be exclusively carried out for the profit of France, which is to get whatever that renegado may conquer from me and other Christian kings.
That such is the purpose of king Francis may easily be proved by the fact that, notwithstanding all our late efforts to conciliate him, at first made through Mr. de Noircames, our chamberlain, and afterwards by Mr. de Nassau, proposing the intermarriages of our children, which he himself seemed to desire, and having besides proposed to him advantageous settlements (partidos) for his own sons, he has persistently refused to establish peace between us on such grounds, unless We gave him Milan, Genoa and Asti, besides Monferrato, on the terms and conditions which you must have seen by the copy of his note, which We sent you. This demand, being of course a most preposterous attack on our honour and conscience, and one directly injurious to our allies and confederates [in Italy], We could not possibly grant, and have, therefore, replied to him in the negative, though in the most moderate terms possible, and showing the reasons why we could not possibly accede to his wishes.
Yet king Francis, instead of commending our sincerity and uprightness in this matter, has spoken in the most insolent terms, and used most improper language to our ambassador at his court, as you will see by the copy herein enclosed, thus showing his determination to do us all possible harm under the plea that it is he who wishes to observe the treaties, and We who break them. Such is indeed the language of the King, and yet he himself has owned and stated, as have also some of his principal ministers, that he had taken in his service the duke of Ghelders, given him money, and made him the captain of one hundred lances, boasting at the same time, as he actually did to the Venetian ambassador, of having induced the said duke to make war on us, as he has since done in Flanders, regardless of the particular treaty between us and him, and of the articles of the peace of Madrid and Cambray approved and ratified by king Francis.
This naturally brings to our recollection another monstrous infraction of the said treaties of Madrid and Cambray, of which king Francis made himself guilty last year in the affair of Würtemberg, as you may see by the enclosed copy of the article referred to. The troublesome events in that duchy, entirely promoted by him and his ambassadors, and defrayed by French money, make us think that Francis will now carry on war against us by means of the duke of Ghelders. If so, We shall be obliged to take up arms for the defence of our Flemish provinces, and as it is probable that king Francis will openly assist the Duke, and declare himself, We must prepare for the onset, especially as in such an event the king of England might attack us on the side of Gravelinghes, according to the common report now being circulated at the court of France.
You are, therefore, sent to those countries that you may hold consultations on this case, and ask the advice of all and each of our allies and friends, in order that We may at once decide on what had better be done in this emergency in view of the apprehended French movements from this day to next April. Considering king Francis' power, the means he has of making war, and his close alliance with England and other countries, of which he boasts most particularly; considering also that We know not on what terms he may hereafter be with this new Pope [Paul III.], who is still showing great animosity against the duke of Urbino, besides a strong desire of aggrandizing his own family; considering the French overtures on this occasion, and the probability that Florence will also take part with the French; considering the non-settlement of the dispute between Rome and Ferrara, the conduct of the Duke [Alfonso], and the unsettled and confused state of Germany, both as regards matters of Faith and political differences; considering the hope the king of France has in the help of the Swiss, who, should war break out, are sure to side with him in virtue of the old treaties and confederacies made between them; all the above considerations you will take care to submit to our allies, and ask them what is their advice under the circumstances.
Another consideration is whether in case of war with France, Barbarroxa is still to be attacked, or left alone for a time; for if both our army and fleet, as is very natural to suppose, are required for the enterprise by land, the galleys of Barbarroxa joined to those of France, would be superior in number, and might attack Genoa, or other ports in Spain.
Should the king of France not declare war before St. John's day, and should our military preparations for the invasion of France not be ready at that time, it might be thought, and We fear that it would, that the enterprise We meditate might be tardy and fruitless for our purpose, which is to forestall the King, defeat him in the field, and compel him by force to come to reason, since all hope of friendly intercourse would then be lost. Such being the case, it seems that it would be better to remain on the defensive for the rest of this year, and yet try to surprise some sea-port town, or send a body of troops into France, so as to oblige the King to make war, if war he will have, at home and in his own kingdom. This would give a footing for next year's invasion, and then We should see what had better be done, especially if, with God's help, Barbarroxa was vanquished.
Should the said invasion of France by sea and land be decided upon, Princes (fn. n7) Doria and Leiva should consider which is the most convenient point for the attack. The land and sea forces combined might easily conquer Provence, perhaps Languedoc also, where the army would find provisions in abundance, and many large towns without defences from which money might be extorted. But on the other hand, the length of the march, the difficulties of the road, the want of supplies, and the dangers of the plague in the districts of Languedoc must be taken into consideration, and especially the circumstance that, the king of France being disengaged at the time, he might flock thither with all his forces. It is, therefore, desirable to ascertain the princes' opinion as to whether the army entering France by way of Langres and Bassiny, on the German frontier, might not do more execution by preventing the King from obtaining recruits from Germany or Switzerland, for it has always been said that nothing could intimidate the king of France so much as to march straight on Paris, which might easily fall long before the King himself was ready for resistance, which after the taking of that city would be almost impossible. There would be besides greater facilities of obtaining money, or collecting it from the surrounding districts, which are said to abound in provisions of all kinds, and are most favourably situated for an army to encamp. Thence a small division of our army might go to Languedoc, and, if protected by our fleet, take the towns on the coast. By these means king Francis would be greatly annoyed, our Spanish frontier secured against all attacks, whilst our land forces in the North would go on conquering territory on the other side, and confronting the English at Calais, should they think of helping France, and the duke of Gheldres in Flanders.
How Italy could aid in the above undertaking; what road they would take to join our armies at Bassiny or elsewhere, are likewise matters to be discussed with our allies and friends.
Another matter for consideration will be the assistance in money or men to be expected from the Italian powers, and principally from the duke of Milan [Francesco Sforza], whom the present business concerns particularly, since its estate is the chief cause or pretence for war, and consequently should an effort be now made, and king Francis defeated and humiliated, it is almost certain that Italy will enjoy quietness and repose for a good many years to come.
How, such being the case, are the Pope, Venice, and the rest of the Italian powers to be dealt with, and whether they can be called upon to help the undertaking through the medium of the defensive league, by furnishing a contingent of men, or contributing a sum of money all the time the war may last to enlist Swiss troops, or prevent at least the French from having them, which is a most important matter for the safety of Italy?
What is to be done with the duke of Savoy (Carlo), who is at present well inclined towards us and ours, and ill-pleased with the French? The Duke has certainly the means of invading France at any time, for he keeps a good number of men well trained to war, both horse and foot, especially at Baulx and Fonsigny; though his treasury unluckily is by no means full, and should his force once cross the French frontier, the Swiss, with whom he has at present some dispute, may perhaps invade his dominions under plea that they are of old the allies of France. It is a matter for consideration whether it would not be preferable for the Duke to prepare secretly for the undertaking, keep his men in readiness, pass musters without giving the Swiss umbrage, and wait for the issue of the negotiations to be carried on with the cantons. If We can succeed in detaching the latter from the alliance of France, then will it be time for the duke of Savoy to do his worst against that country.
After examining conjointly with the princes Doria and Leyva (fn. n8) all and every one of the above stated points, and others, which I leave entirely to your discretion, you will communicate with us as soon as possible, by means of the cipher which you have with you, that We may come to a final resolution.
It will of course be for those princes to say what land and sea forces will be required for each expedition, what number of foot and horse, and how many of each nation, what amount of ordnance and ammunition, and all other things required for the campaign.
You will consult Antonio de Leyva particularly as to the best means of letting the duke of Milan into the secret, and preparing for the storm that is gathering, for certainly his duchy is sure to be again made the bone of contention, and the cause, or rather pretence, for war. He must try to collect the largest sum of money he can without excessive oppression of his vassals.
Besides the above considerations you may plead, as an excuse for your journey to those parts, (fn. n9) the words which the King of France has uttered before our ambassador and many of his own courtiers, namely, that he has actually taken into his service the duke of Ghelders.
We presume that by this time our Italian allies will be informed of the fact; but should they not be so, you will take care that they are properly warned, for fear of a repetition of what happened last year with the duke Ulric [of Würtemberg] and Landgrave [of Hesse]. You will tell Doria and Leyva that, considering the short time you have spent with us in Spain, and the rapidity of your journey to those parts, no suspicion can arise as to the real object of your mission. Should that be insufficient, you might say, and even affirm, that it is this agreement between the king of France and the duke of Ghelders, of which the French publicly boast, that is the real cause of your being sent to Germany and Flanders. The better to colour this feint, We now write to our ambassador in France to say this whenever he has an opportunity, and to declare that were not King Francis determined to make war on us this year, he might stop short and not incite the Duke to commence hostilities. We have written in the same strain to the queen of Hungary in Flanders, and to our ambassador in England, that they may spread the rumour in those parts as they may think proper; and should queen (Mary) find, in the meantime, the means, through a third person, of quieting the Duke and securing his inaction, at least for this year, she may do it at once, the better to disguise our intentions.
Of course, whatever may be decided between you and the princes of Melfi and Asculi must, in a certain way, depend on what the king of France himself may attempt to do, and therefore We do not give you formal and positive instructions as to how you are to act. We, however, particularly commend to you, that after concluding your business in Italy, you pass on to Germany, and there, with the greatest possible secrecy, reveal to our brother, the king of the Romans, the ground and foundation of this your mission. You will inquire from him, as well as from the archbishop of Lunden and equerry Andalot, what state German affairs are in; how far prince-electors, lords, and communities are inclined in our favour as likewise what intrigues the French are carrying on there, and which is the way of gaining over the electors and towns to us, that in case of war with France We may get from them supplies of men and money.
As by this time our councillors, Cornelio (fn. n10) and Godscalco must have received instructions in writing to proceed to Germany, visit in our name, the prince-electors and towns, and find the means of attaching them to our cause, and turning them away from French intrigues, you will take with you a copy of the instructions addressed to the said councillors, and correspond with them, if required, the better to fulfil the delicate charge entrusted to you.
In so doing you will use prudence and discretion according as the state of affairs may be, and the more or less inclination you may find in the people, and what they expect from us in return. You will tell them that our wishes, as is the fact, is not to alter and change things unless We are actually compelled to it, and that our sole aim is the peace and quietness of Christendom; that matters of, and dissensions concerning Faith may be remedied by a general council of the Church, in order that Germany may live under one Catholic union, &c.
One of the great obstacles to the accomplishment of this our wish, the defeat of French intrigues in Germany, and the meeting of Prince-electors, is, as we are given to understand, the discord now reigning on matters of Faith; for if the said princes are not privately spoken to beforehand, and assured of our good intentions towards them, they will easily find an excuse for any agreements they may make with the king of France, in the fear they pretend to have of us, of the king of the Romans, and of other Catholic sovereigns, whilst king Francis, his ministers and ambassadors, will lose no opportunity of exaggerating those fears, besides which, those in Germany who follow the party of France, dreading, perhaps, the punishment of their ill-deeds, or expecting to gain by the change, will try to make matters worse. Unless the German Princes get some sort of security from us, it will be almost impossible to have a council convoked, and matters of Faith settled in a satisfactory manner, and, therefore, you are particularly charged to assure the prince-electors and free towns of Germany, in our name, more particularly those belonging to the French party, who have deviated from the Faith (desviados), that it is not our intention to proceed in those matters by force, but observe to the letter the Acts passed at the diets of Ratisbon and Nüremberg, and look for a remedy to the decisions of the General Council. That security to be given by yourself in our name, with the consent and approval of our brother (Ferdinand), as completely as it can be done, keeping, of course, to the substantial articles of our Faith, without expressly consenting to any act or declaration against our conscience and duty, in the place We occupy in Christendom, and all this only by way of tolerance and patience until the meeting of the future Council, doing all you can to bring them to our side, or at least prevent matters passing to a worse state than they are at present. (fn. n11)
The meeting of the Imperial Diet which our brother, the king of the Romans, is now thinking of convoking, may be of use for carrying out the above plan. Our said brother has opportunely been informed of the means he is to employ to gain the affection and goodwill of its members. By convoking the Diet in our name, and presiding over it in our absence, our brother will be able to defeat French intrigues, and prevent the enlisting of soldiers against us, &c.
Though the instructions given to the said Cornelis and Godscalco, of which you have a copy, will sufficiently enlighten you as to the best way of carrying out our plans, We will yet make a few observations. Our brother, the king of the Romans, has been advised, and we have lately written to him in that sense, to do all he possibly can to settle and conclude the Hungarian business, observe the treaties made with the duke of Bavaria [Lewis], and, if necessary, supplement them, thus compelling the two dukes (fn. n12) to become his friends, forgive and forget all past injuries, whatever resentment or doubt he himself may preserve on the subject, and make everywhere new friends and allies. Thus disengaged he will the better be able to counteract and defeat French intrigues, and, if necessary, help us in case of war.
Should, however, the King, our brother, say anything to you about his wish to command the army that may eventually invade France, you will tell him that We have given you no mandate whatever on the subject, nor have We yet resolved who the commander-in-chief of the forces is to be; besides which it would be dangerous for him to quit Germany under the circumstances, and leave it without head, as it were. Moreover, that nothing can be done in this respect until the opinions of Doria and Leyva come to hand, nor until you yourself have informed us of your doings in Germany. Should our brother still persist in his idea of accompanying the army, you will consult upon the case with Doria and Leyva, ask them what they think of it, what advantage the King's presence might be to the army, what assistance in men and ordnance he could afford, and in short, how he can help the undertaking, for after all, on this occasion everything must be risked.
We need scarcely tell you that this matter and all its bearings must be kept a profound secret, and that the ostensible object of all and each of these different negotiations is to be the Gheldres affair.
As your road to our brother's court will take you near the dukes of Bavaria, and you, perhaps, may not have time on your return from Austria to go that way, you will first go to Trent, and inform yourself there from the Cardinal (Bernardo Clesi) how matters stand between our brother and the two dukes of Bavaria since the treaty was made, in order that you may, according to the intelligence received, visit them before you go to our brother. This, of course, only in the case of your suspecting their fidelity, and their attachment to France, for otherwise there is no necessity of visiting them first.
The Duke [William?] has always shown us affection, and a desire of attending our court. There was once some talk of it at Ratisbon, but nothing was done. You will see whether he perseveres in the same mood, and if so, tell him, as if it came from you, how very fond We are of him and of his concerns, and that you are sure that if he comes here he will be well received, according to the esteem We have for him, and the relationship that unites us. And in order that you may be informed of what passed then, We will tell you: There was a talk of our granting him an annual pension of 5,000 crs. We would willingly renew the offer now, should the Duke consent to follow our court. Lastly, we have written to the archbishop of Lunden (fn. n13) to feel and sound the Duke's intentions, as though of his own accord, without particularly mentioning the pension, and to let us know.
Should the said dukes speak to you about the "telonio," which We granted them conditionally, and only during the time of the observance of the treaty between our brother and them, you will state that it was not the fear of their breaking the treaty which made us insert that condition; nor is this in any way offensive to them, for certainly when We made that concession it was in virtue of our Imperial authority, and of the great friendship we entertained for them, notwithstanding that the said "telonio" is evidently to the detriment of the king of the Romans, and of his vassals. No account whatever ought be taken of the said conditional clause as regards the observance of the treaty and friendship, though our brother's interest might be seriously affected by it. (fn. n14)
To Dr. Ekio, chief councillor of the said dukes, you will take a letter of ours thanking him for his good offices at the time of the last treaty, and the interest he takes in our affairs.
You will try to ascertain from our brother, as well as from Lunden and Andalot, in what state the treaty now being negotiated between him and the dukes, the elector of Saxony, Ulric [of Würtenberg] and Landgrave [of Hesse], is, and when you have, endeavour to detach the three above-named princes from the French alliance.
As the above-mentioned duke-elector of Saxony insists upon having the confirmation of the treaty made between his house and that of Cleves—which treaty is so important that, should the duke of Cleves and his only son die without male issue, the whole of the estates of Cleves and Juliers would pass to Saxony, the fiefs from the Empire remaining at our disposal—We have resolved that you take with you the ratification of the said treaty, which the Duke so much desires, and keep it secretly by you until you see that it is time to exhibit it to the Duke; you will thereby gain him to our views, do some good in matters of Faith, and if not, prevent his doing worse, and keep things as they are now after the recesses of Ratisbon and Nüremberg, whilst he and his adherents will resist and defeat the plans of the anabaptists, and assist us against the king of France. The ratification to be made after the said duke taking a most formal engagement of allegiance to us and to Ferdinand, our brother, as emperor and king of the Romans, respectively; that he will do nothing directly or indirectly against us, nor against the house of Austria and the provinces of Flanders, and that he will not interfere with the affairs of Ghelders, or impede the duchy coming to us according to our treaties with the Duke.
With regard to the said dukes and Landgrave, and each of them in particular, it will be for you to consider, after reading what the bishop of Lunden writes on the subject, what steps are to be taken to reduce them to Our obedience and separate them from France, especially the last-named, of whom king Francis makes so much, owing to the great military reputation he gained last year, and his having much credit with the soldiery. If required, you will give him satisfaction, and show the reason of the overtures made by his ministers and agents to the bishop of Lunden, and the answer made by Us, taking care during the negotiation to leave matters of Faith untouched, (fn. n15) and, at any rate, divide and separate the said dukes [of Saxony], Ulric [of Würtenberg], landgrave [of Hesse], and also count William of Tristemberg, who was with them in the enterprise of Würtemberg, and who now lately, as We have been informed, is residing in France with other captains in order to create a stir and recruit men in Germany for the service of France. In dealing with the said count William you will refer to Our late instructions to the said archbishop of Lunden, and to the good-will which his brother count Frederic professes to bear Us.
Should you see that some further security is needed on Our part to attract the said dukes, and principally the Landgrave, such as entirely forgiving his past errors, or making offers for the future, you will tell him that his differences with count Nassau shall be adjusted through our mediation, and that We will do our best in his favour. Any other expedient you may think of in order to secure the Landgrave's friendship, and detach him from the French alliance, will be acceptable, provided it does not affect Our honour and conscience. As, however, the Landgrave himself is rather variable and inconstant in his acts, you will proceed in all this with the utmost caution, and, at any rate, try to discover whether he is likely to abandon the said duke-elector of Saxa (Saxony), or whether there is any way of binding him to our cause, considering the ill-will which the other electors and princes of Germany, ecclesiastic as well as secular, bear him.
With the duke palatine Frederic, and his brother the Elector, their family and relatives, you are to deal in conformity with the trust We place in them, and as you may gather from the perusal of the instructions given to Mr. de Marual,—whom we lately sent to Germany for the marriage of the said Duke to the Princess of Denmark, (fn. n16) our niece,—as well as from the copies of that agent's despatches, showing the present state of the negotiations for the said marriage, and the complete separation of the Palatine and his family from France. Should he, however, allude to the Council, and inquire whether it is to be national or general, and what other means are proposed for remedy in matters of Faith, you will inform him of the steps We are actually taking at Rome by the agency of Mr. de Vaubry, as you may see by the enclosed paragraph of his instructions. We expect that His Holiness' answer will be favourable to Our views in this respect; but whatever it may be We will do nothing rashly. The national Council will be stayed in the meanwhile, and Germany will after all hold a general one, as Our brother, Lunden, and Andelot will tell you.
Seven thousand German infantry to increase the army against Barbaroxa, &c.
Is to learn from Lunden and Andelot what other captains and officers of note there are in Germany whose services may be secured for the future. As the former knows the country and language well, it will be important that you take him with you wherever you go, and likewise employ Andelot, Cornelis, and Godscalk, all of whom have by this time received orders to place their persons and knowledge at your service.
As most likely the danger arising from the anabaptists, and the remedy against their sect and doctrines, will be placed before your eyes,—respecting which Our brother has written to Us many a time, pointing out the manner of checking the progress of those sectarians,—you will adhere strictly to Our answer to the king of the Romans, of which a copy is here enclosed. You will declare that, for effectual resistance to the plans and tenets of the said anabaptists, the most important thing by far is that perfect union and harmony should prevail between the said electors, princes, and states of Germany in resisting the French practices, which are solely and expressly directed to bring on division and feuds, as aforesaid, and that if the German states place themselves in a position, as they are in duty bound to do, to resist and defeat the said anabaptists, We will willingly help, and would go still much further were it not for the heavy and continuous expense of Our present armaments against Barbarossa and the Turk. (fn. n17)
You will also inform yourself on what terms the said Electors and Princes are with the duke of Ghelders (Charles d'Egmont) who is actually residing in France, and has taken service in that country, publishing, if need be, how handsomely We have behaved towards him since the last treaty [of Cambray], giving him the command of 50 men-at-arms, and a proportionate annual pension for their maintenance; how kindly We have treated him on every occasion, and how ungratefully he has behaved. All this you may say in the presence of the German Princes you may happen to visit on your journey, assuring them at the same time that, should the said Duke remain quiet, and not declare war at the instigation of king Francis, nothing would induce us to draw Our sword against him, and that they ought to persuade him by all means to observe the treaties between us, and not attach himself to France.
As to Flanders, you will see, by another private instruction, what answer We have given to our sister's (Mary) requests, and the provision that has already been, and will hereafter be made, in case our undertaking against France takes place.———, 2nd January 1535.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 38.


  • n1. "Depuis trois jours en ça il menuoya de dire par ung syen presbitre quest du pays de Haynnault."
  • n2. "Et quant a quant menuoya presenter par [le dict presbitre] pour [le nouvel an?] une belle espee faicte a la moderne, et a ce que je ymagine y a du mistere au dict present, vuillant denotter par icelle, puis quil [ne trouvoit] moyen de le menuoyer dire sehurement que la saison moderne seroit propice pour jouer des cousteaulx."
  • n3. "Il mauoit enuoye une pensee faict dor et bien esmaillee."
  • n4. "Que ces jours elle dit plus diujures au dict Norforcq que lon ne diroit a un chien, de sorte quil fut contrainct de sortir de la chambre, et ne trouvant en la sale autre que ung [gentilhomme] au quel plus ne portoit bonne affection, touteffois la colere lui fist oblier cela et l'esmeut a soy desclairer au dict personnaige et luy dit les reprouches de la dicte dame," &c.
  • n5. "Mais il ne fault que ce soit matiere ou il faille expert ne arrest puisquil est question que le vieux Uvillyam, frere du duc de Norfolk, est celluy que doit auoir la charge." If by "le vieux Vuillyam," William Howard, the ancestor of the earls of Nottingham and Effingham, be meant, he was the Duke's half brother, being the son of Thomas, the second duke, by his second wife, Agnes Tiluey. He was younger than his brother Thomas, and therefore the epithet old (vieux) could hardly be applied to him.
  • n6. "Pour, comme lon dit, traytter de anticiper les festez que se tiennent au dict Belguez et autre chose concernant les dicts festes, et ma adverty ung homme de bien," &c.
  • n7. Andrea Doria was by this time prince of Melphi; Antonio de Leyva, prince of Ascoli.
  • n8. That is Andrea Doria, prince of Melfi, and Antonio de Leyva, of Ascoli. See above, p. 362.
  • n9. "Allende desto podreys tomar occasion de vuestro viaje por las palabras que el dicho Rey de Francia ha tan claramente dicho," &c.
  • n10. Cornelius Duplicius Scepperus, about whom see above, p. 350, and vol. iv., part ii., pp. 127, 297, 904, 907, and 912.
  • n11. "Y que la seguridad se haga por vos, y con el parescer del Rey nuestro hermano quanto hazerse pudiere, guardando lo substancial de nuestra sancta fee y sin expressamente consentir cosa que sea contra nuestra conciencia y dever, en el lugar que tenemos en la Christiandad, antes solamente por manera de tolerancia y sufrimiento hasta el dicho futuro Concilio trabajando quanto sera posible de reducirlos y á lo menos obviar que las cosas no pasen á peor y mayor inconveniente."
  • n12. That is Guillame (William) and Louis or Ludwig, twin brothers, born in 1508.
  • n13. Lund? The bishop's name was Torbernus Bilde, 1532–36.
  • n14. "No queremos hacer respecto á ello mediante la observacion de la dicha capitulacion, y buena amistad, sin la qual y mayormente por su falta seria muy grave de sufrir este interesse á nuestro hermano y á sus dichos vasallos."
  • n15. "Y sobre le qual le havemos respondido, como dicho es, haviendo respecto á lo mesmo que arriba está dicho quanto á los negocios de la fee. y en todo caso, sy es posible, dividir los dichos duques," &c.
  • n16. Dorothea, daughter of Christiern II. and Isabella sister of Charles V. She married, in 1534, Frederic II., count palatine of the Rhine.
  • n17. "Declarando donde fuere necessario que tanto mas importa que haya buena union é intelligencia entre los dichos electores, y principes y estados de la dicha Germania para les resistir, desechando las dichas praticas francesas, que no son á otro fin sino de divisiones y parcialidades, como arriba se dice," &c.