Spain: January 1535, 16-30

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, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886), pp. 382-399. British History Online [accessed 13 June 2024].

. "Spain: January 1535, 16-30", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886) 382-399. British History Online, accessed June 13, 2024,

. "Spain: January 1535, 16-30", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886). 382-399. British History Online. Web. 13 June 2024,

January 1535, 16-30

20 Jan. 128. Eustace Chapuys to Mons. de Granvelle.
Rep. P.C.,
Fasc. 230, No. 3.
"Monsieur le Secretaire, mon bon sieur et frère." I am very sorry at not having been able to write to Monseigneur our common Mecenas, (fn. n1) and to you; but indeed the sudden departure of the last courier, a slight indisposition of mine, and the news of the very lamentable decease of the good and holy queen [of Hungary], have upset me altogether. Having now somewhat recovered from the last shock, and principally owing to the very good news contained in the despatch brought by George, I would willingly have made up for my fault had I known that the contents of my letter would be agreeable to you.
I need not say what pleasure I have received at hearing of the consignment of the 3,000 ducats, which without your aid and favour, as mentioned in your letters of the xii. and xvi. ult., I already considered as lost to me. (Speaks of his own personal affairs, (fn. n2) and then continues):
You have done me great favour in soliciting His Majesty's answer to my last despatches, for without it I should have been in great perplexity, especially at this critical moment, when the English people are murmuring more and more at the slowness of the Emperor's decision. Please God to dispose matters in such a way that the Emperor's tardiness may not be the cause of our losing the Princess, and may He listen to your good wishes, couched in cipher, provided they are soon realised. His Majesty ought to treat and negotiate, no matter with whom, to revenge the injury which these people have committed against God, and against His Majesty and all his relatives (injury on the redress of which, as you know better than me, depend the repose and tranquillity of Christendom).
I very much doubt, notwithstanding what you tell me in your letter, of your being fairly settled in your house for some time to come, for you will not be able to leave the Court during the Emperor's journey, and if you do, you will be obliged to return thither as soon as possible, for your own profit and comfort, as well as for the ladies' pleasure. (fn. n3) Had I not thought of your occupations and engagements as well as of the prolixity of my despatches to His Majesty, I might have gone on occupying your attention, but your letter has just come in time to prevent further importunities on my part. I shall now wait patiently for the arrival of George, &c.—London, 20 January 1535.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "A Monseigneur M. Anthoe (Anthoine) Perrenot, secretaire destat de lempereur."
French. Holograph. pp. 3.
20 Jan. 129. The Emperor's Privy Council. Report and Opinion (Consulta) on the projected invasion of France.
S. E., L. 1368,
L. 114.
B. M. Add. 28,587,
f. 203.
The report which don Luys Davila (de Avila) brings of his conversation with Andrea Doria at Genoa is that the Prince agrees entirely with Antonio de Leyva as to the proposed invasion of France. He thinks that the Emperor ought by overtures and fair words to secure, if possible, the inaction of France for this next summer. During that time Barbarroxa might be attacked and destroyed, and, if so, king Francis could not move if he wished. However, if no security can be obtained from him, and he is to attack us this spring, Doria's opinion is that the fleet should be immediately increased, so as to convey the land force already appointed, that is 25,000 infantry, who ought to be in Sardinia by next March at the latest. Between that time and the month of April we may, perhaps, hear of Francis' doings. If, as is to be feared, he perseveres in his bad purpose, and wishes to begin hostilities, then, in that case, and the fleet being ready to put to sea, the Emperor ought not to wait for him to declare war, but at once send his fleet to the coast of Provence, to Aguas Muertas (Aygues mortes), or its immediate neighbourhood, where a good deal of harm might be done. An army of 30,000 men might at the same time invade France from Burgundy, so as to occupy the King's forces, and place him in greater trouble than ever. This seemed to Doria the best plan, because the system which king Francis has adopted of threatening war on the Emperor's dominions, and yet not actually invading them, is highly disadvantageous, for, while he himself spends no money, the Emperor is obliged to keep a large fleet at sea and a considerable land force, at such enormous expense that, if this state of things continues for two or three years more, the Imperial treasury will be completely drained. If the enterprise, therefore, is decided upon, let it take place as soon as possible.
In addition to this, Leyva writes that for the greater security of Italy, and to defeat any resolution that might be promoted there, it would be advisable that a body of three or four thousand infantry, Spaniards and Italians, should be continually kept up in that country, and that, if required, 3,000 Germans should also be bespoken, so as to be ready for crossing the Alps in case of need. Leyva further suggests that since these German auxiliaries are meant for the security of Italy, it would be just and reasonable that they were paid by the Italian league. Doria asks, moreover, when the fleet which is to sail from Spain will be ready; how many vessels it will consist of, and what artillery it can carry. By the last post he was informed that 20 caravels and 2 galleons from Portugal, 20 "pataches" and "zabras" from Biscay, under captain Renteria, were ready to put to sea, besides the Imperial galleys under Alvaro Bazan. He writes again to ask for more particulars, and to say that don Alvaro's fleet ought to sail in the middle of February at the latest, in order that on its arrival at Genoa he (Doria) may go with his 35 sail to Naples and Sicily, and there take up the stores, ammunition, &c.
Without in the least meaning any offence to the Empress, (fn. n4) Doria suggests that, in case of war breaking out, Your Majesty should go at least as far as Barcelona, in order to get speedy answers to any communications he or Antonio de Leyva may have to make.
The infantry in Lombardy must be paid. The last payment made to them was on the 15th of November.
With regard to the Italian league, Leyva writes that Venice has ratified it, as well as Siena and Lucca and the duke of Mantua [Frederigo di Gonzaga]. The Pope offers difficulties, as count Cifuentes remarks. The duke of Ferrara (d'Este) argues that, having been newly incorporated in it, he is in nowise obliged to contribute; they say that it is cardinal de Lorraine who has put him up to that. The Council, however, is of opinion that Antonio de Leyva should be instructed to insist upon the duke [of Ferrara] contributing towards the expense of the Italian league, like the others; Leyva to be furnished with letters of credence for that purpose, or to be empowered to send thither some trusty person to negotiate. If so, the person chosen might first call at Rome on count Cifuentes, receive instructions, &c. However, as the Ferrarese resident ambassador at this court says that he wishes to speak to Your Majesty on the subject, it will, perhaps, be better to wait until he has had an audience.
The Genoese say that they are ready to ratify; but as they are suspicious of France, and do not consider themselves secure at all, they wish that, should any expense be incurred for the defence of their republic, it should be taken into account and discounted from their contingent to the League: It seems, however, as if Your Imperial Majesty could not introduce a novelty of this kind in the affairs of the League.
Florence, in the name of the Duke and of the Republic, sent an agent to Leyva, stating its readiness to ratify the League. The agent was told that the contingent of the Republic would be 25,000 crowns. This was afterwards reduced to 15,000, and ultimately to 12,000, owing to the Florentines alleging extreme poverty. As the Duke's agent, however, had no orders to subscribe even for such a sum, he returned to his master, and an answer is shortly expected. The Council is of opinion that if the 12,000 cannot be got, owing to their present distress, 10,000 at least ought to be secured.
The Privy Council has nothing to observe respecting the advices which Antonio [de Leyva] sends from Rome, because Your Majesty has seen both what the count of Cifuentes has written, and the answer made to his despatch; besides which the Council is waiting to see what the ambassador will have to say after Waury's arrival at Rome.
Spanish. Original. pp.
31 Jan. 130. Hannaërt to the Emperor.
P. Arch. Neg. and
Pap. de Sim.,
k. 1484, No. 98,
Ol. B. 3, 16.
B.M. Add. 28,587,
f. 207.
The king of France having formally promised the release of the Spanish and Flemish subjects serving in his galleys, as I had the honour to inform Your Majesty on the 18th, the day before your letters of the 5th were received I waited on him, and begged for the final settlement of that affair. I found him very unlike his usual self, and in a towering passion, saying, "The engagements entered into with me are not kept at all. If the Emperor arms, I cannot but do the same. I hear that his ministers, and those of the king of the Romans, his brother, speak of me in contemptuous terms, and utter expressions against my honour. They say that ambassadors from all parts of the world are carrying on most strange negotiations and intrigues at this my court, at which I have good reason to be angry and offended. If there be any man of my quality who presumes to offer me dishonour, let him come forward; I will give him personal satisfaction; if he be only a knight, I will appoint one of my own to fight him." Thereupon, I (Hannaërt) began to say that I knew not what origin the proffered accusation had, nor what it meant. I could affirm that neither Your Majesty nor your brother, the king of the Romans, had ever allowed, much less ordered, your ministers to speak in disparagement of a friend, a brother-in-law, and ally. Hearing which, the King, without saying a word, turned round and went away.
The Grand Master (Montmorency) came afterwards to me and told me not to mind what the King had said, and not to write home about it. Owing (he said) to certain news from Germany, received two hours ago, the King, my master, is rather put out and incensed: that is the cause of his having addressed you in those words. The affair of the galleyslaves is already settled, and they will be set free immediately. I would willingly have given 10,000 cr. of my own purse that it had been done two months ago.
Two days after that your Majesty's letter of the 5th inst. came to hand. I called again on the Grand Master in the morning, to communicate the news I had from Your Majesty, and at the same time begged his permission to read him Your Majesty's letter to me, that he might be fully acquainted with its contents before I spoke to the King, and at the same time appreciate your good purposes. The Grand Master answered abruptly that there was no need of letters being read to him; he was in a hurry, and had to go where the King was. He would, however, arrange an audience for me; I might go forthwith and wait in the King's ante-room. I, nevertheless, proceeded to give him a concise summary of what the letter contained; which being done, he left me in haste, and went into the King's room. When he came out, he told me that I must have patience, and wait two or three days. The King, he said, was engaged in the preparations for a solemn procession to be made in this city [of Paris], which he and his sons would attend. That Your Majesty may learn the cause and motives of the said procession, I enclose a printed tract giving a description of it. It was, indeed, very solemn and very devout, and attended by an admirable concourse of people, of clerks, and laymen.
That day, after dinner, the King summoned some of the members of the Municipality, and principal men of the Court, of the Parliament, of the Accountant's Office (Chambre des Comptes), and of the Faculties of the Sorbonne, and ecclesiastics, the provost and echevins of the city, and addressed to them a long and full admonition, giving them to understand, among other things, the displeasure and anger he felt against those who had forsaken the Faith, who might perhaps still inhabit Paris or some other city or town of France,—saying, by way of a rhetorical figure, that, should one of his arms be so contaminated, he would sever it from his body; if any of his sons—all of whom were there present—he himself would offer him or them in ready sacrifice [to God]. In short, after many excellent words on this same topic, king Francis ended by requesting and exhorting those present to educate and instruct their children and families in the Catholic religion, and to accuse and denounce, not in anger, excitement, or envy, but in truth and conscience, all those whom they knew to have deviated from the Faith, that they might be punished according to their crimes, and serve as an example to others. On that very day some Lutherans were burnt, and among others the receptor of Nantes; indeed, not a week passes that justice is not done here, as well as in other parts of France, on some of them.
To this meeting all foreign ambassadors were invited. In the afternoon of the same day the King left for the country, where he stayed five or six days, during which the Grand Master again told me to have patience, as the King would give me audience immediately upon his return.
In the meantime I have delivered Your Majesty's letters into the hands of the Queen, your sister, carefully explaining to her all you say to me; at which she is exceedingly distressed and sad, perceiving that all attempts to establish a permanent peace between Your Majesty and this King have hitherto failed, and that both of you are arming. Should she send me an answer to Your Majesty's letter before the closing of this present despatch, it shall certainly go with this, but my own shall not be detained on that account.
Whilst the King was out hunting, the Admiral (Brion) feeling indisposed, remained here in Paris. I seized the opportunity to call on him; and as he is one of the principal courtiers, and a great favourite with his master, I made an attempt to speak to him on the subject of Your Majesty's letter and intentions,—the more so that, generally speaking, he is not so close as the Grand Master of France, but is in the habit of stating his opinion more frankly and openly. Of this quality, and of what passed at our conference, I will treat presently, after informing Your Majesty of the result of my audience from the King.
On his return from the country the King received me in his own chamber, attended only by a few of his Privy Councillors, whom he bid withdraw a few paces. I commenced by giving him the most cordial and fraternal commendations (encomiendas) in Your Majesty's name, telling him that I had received an answer to the overtures which he himself had made me at Chenonceau[x], with a view to contracting a fresh alliance; but as the letter which Your Majesty had written to me was rather long and diffuse, and I might, perhaps, forget or omit some of its contents, I begged he would let me read it in his presence. This, the King said, was quite unnecessary, and that he considered me sufficiently able to repeat one by one all the points of the letter, or at least the substance of them. I began my peroration without further remark, and after again assuring the King of the cordial and fraternal affection you bore him, I proceeded to say that your present armaments were solely and exclusively destined against the Grand Turk and Barbarossa, and for the defence of threatened Christendom. Some people had tried to prevent His Holiness, the Pope, from giving his help and favour to the expedition; but the Emperor hoped that in the present emergency the Christian powers, far from refusing to assist in the enterprise, would contribute to it with all their power. This last summer (I said) the pirate Barbaroxa had most cruelly ravaged the coasts of Spain, and, if unchecked, might come again this next summer, and do still greater havoc in Christendom, &c.
The King owned that Your Majesty was perfectly right in arming. The Turk had certainly invaded Africa, and was most powerful there, close upon your Spanish dominions. He himself was thinking of doing the same, and sending to the Levant a fleet of 50 galleys, galleons, and other big ships, superior to any that had ever furrowed those seas. To this end he was about to dispatch to Normandy his Admiral (Chabot) there to fit out some more vessels to add to the fleet. He was not a man to remain through negligence at the mercy of the Infidel, or of any other Prince likely to come down all of a sudden upon him. Though the Grand Turk had proposed to him a truce, which he had resolved to accept for two or three years at least, yet there were Turkish pirates at sea, who might, perhaps, do harm to France, as they had done once to certain islands dependent upon his Crown, and for that reason he was also arming by sea. The King further said that he was likewise arming by land because he perceived that he could no longer remain Your Majesty's friend, inasmuch as he had heard that troops were enlisted in Germany to come down upon him. In addition to which he remarked that the kings of France, his predecessors, had always kept standing armies; he himself was not one to be caught unprovided in that respect. Upon the whole, his forces both by sea and land would not cost him much, and he preferred bearing that expense to placing himself at the mercy of others who were also arming, and with whom he was not on the best terms.
As to joining his galleys to those of the Pope for resistance to Barbarossa, in view of the urgency and danger in which Christendom was, the remark that were he (Francis) to do that now it would be enough for the time, and there would be no further need of making employment of his forces, or fresh expences—his answer was that I (Hannaërt) ought not to propose his disarming in order to increase thereby the forces of another; the armaments of France could not and ought not to be restricted. Neither were his ancestors, the kings of France, so weak and insignificant as to follow the directions and will of others in their wars with the Infidels; they had, on the contrary, of their own inclination and free will, marched against God's enemies in order to participate in the glory and honour of such meritorious undertakings. It was his full intention to do that, should the Grand Turk himself invade Christendom by sea or land, provided free passage and provisions should be afforded to his army or fleet wherever it might be convenient. He further stated that it was not for him to strengthen by his co-operation the forces of another Prince [meaning Your Imperial Majesty] unless their mutual friendship waxed stronger, and some of the many concessions which might satisfy him were granted, which concessions (he said) it was in his power to get at any time without attaint to his honour and conscience.
Prosecuting his reasoning the King went on to say that the Grand Turk had offered him a general peace for the whole of Christendom, including the Pope and the Church, reserving also a place in it for Your Majesty on condition of the Powers restoring to him what they had taken of his land. "And yet (said the King) it is not by means of the Turk and of his alliance that I intend to recover my property and that of my sons, I myself am strong enough for that." But you must not misunderstand me: if the Turk makes the above offer, it is not for love of me, but owing to the jealousy and ill-will he bears the king of the Romans, and the Emperor, his brother. However this may be, my behaviour will be such as to safeguard the interests and the honour of Christendom. I will make it publickly known throughout the Christian world that the duchy of Milan has been the cause of your Emperor having refused my offers of closer friendship, alliance and good intelligence, besides his giving the investiture of that duchy to a foreigner, and proclaiming a league in Italy to keep me and my sons away from it.
On the other hand (the King went on saying) though Mr. de Noircames had no special powers from the Emperor, and only a simple credence, his coming to this my court made me think for a time, though wrongly, that your master wished to proceed sincerely and without dissimulation to a new alliance and intelligence between us two, for the greater repose and security of our dominions and the welfare of Christendom. Under that impression I neglected the opportunity of making in other parts profitable alliances, the more so that my ambassador at the Imperial Court had signified on my behalf that should the Emperor wish to negotiate on the basis of the note shown to you here, he had better confer special powers on count Nassau, when he came over here; my ambassador having been told in answer that the count was provided with full powers to negotiate. I, therefore, imagined that the Count, being a person of such esteem and credit, and so much attached to the Emperor, could not possibly come empty-handed, and, as it were, upon quite a different mission; and yet after the first and second interview he declared to me that his commission was fixed and limited (fixa y estrecha), and that he had no powers to treat of certain things. He then changed opinion, and went somewhere else to attend to his affairs. Upon which, perceiving that it was impossible for me to continue to be the Emperor's ally, I determined to keep to the letter the treaty of peace of Madrid [in 1526], which, as is well known, was made at a time when I or my sons were prisoners. Beyond the faithful observation of that treaty I will do nothing unless His Majesty does something for me.
Hearing the King's declaration respecting the observance of treaties, I could not help saying to him that Your Majesty also intended keeping to the letter of the said treaties, and was disposed to do for him and his sons anything that could be reconciled with your honour and reputation. This well considered he ought not to carry on practices in Germany, as well as in Italy, against the clauses of that treaty, nor furnish money to the Germans nor to the duke of Ghelders to Your Majesty's detriment and injury.
Thereupon the King, smarting under the accusation, suddenly replied, "If I have done so, the Emperor showed me the way; for after the treaty of peace between us, he made a league against me in Italy, and before that caused Andrea Doria to quit my service. If I have brought over to my side the duke of Ghelders, it is because the Emperor first took him away from me. Besides (continued the King) the Crown of France had formerly alliances, confederacies, and friendship with several electors of the Empire, and it cannot be said that the keeping and fostering of those alliances is tantamount to infringing the treaties of peace. I am bound to look out in Germany and elsewhere for allies and confederates for my own protection as long as I do not get a better security of the Emperor's feelings towards me. My reply was that the Italian league was merely defensive, without detriment or injury to anyone, whilst the duchy of Ghelders belonged to Your Majesty, and was actually occupied by the Duke." (fn. n5)
He (the King) is very much hurt at Your Majesty's ministers and agents, and at those of the king of the Romans having published, as he says, things touching his honour and conscience, besides making contemptuous remarks about his person and affairs, giving the Lutherans to understand that he does not want the Council, but intends to destroy them; and, on the other hand, persuading the Catholics that he is clearing his estate of those sectarians and having them burnt, his real intention being to subjugate them all, and make them subservient to his plans. Owing to that (the King said to me) no less than twenty-two captains of Your Majesty's forces in Germany counselled a descent into France, saying that he (king Francis) was the real Grand Turk. He also said that on another occasion the King, your brother, had refused passage through his dominions to Mr. de Langes, his ambassador, and that people had been set upon him to have him arrested or personally hurt. This accusation I tried to answer as well as I could by saying that neither Your Majesty's nor your brother's ministers could have been so bold and indiscreet as to utter such sentiments concerning his person and acts, not being, as they were not, countenanced by you, and in short, I did not hesitate to affirm and maintain that if such injurious words had been uttered at all it was entirely against the wishes and intention of you both, who had always held it as a rule that the persons of kings, and especially of one who, like him, was their brother, friend, and ally, and one of the greatest in Christendom, ought to be completely safeguarded. On the other hand he and his ministers (I said) had done all they could in Germany to hurt the King, your brother, who had never done him any harm. It was very difficult to shut people's mouths; they would talk, and France ought not to mind what they said, &c.
The King replied: "All that is very well. Excuses and even denials will not set matters right. I can see that if they (meaning no doubt Your Majesty and the king of the Romans) could, they would do me all possible harm." These words he pronounced with particular emphasis, and I have since heard on good authority that he has written to the Prince-Electors and free towns of Germany in answer and justification of the charges preferred against him, and in contempt of his person, as he says.
Passing on to the subject of the galley-slaves, the King said that, although Your Majesty had not fulfilled your promises, yet he would stand by his. He, himself, had promised their liberation, and therefore, rather than be called a liar (mentiroso), he would give immediate orders for their release.
On the other points of the instructions, such as the Pope's readiness to convoke and celebrate a Council, the superiority of Flanders and Artois, the pretensions of Jean de Labret, the King said nothing, and retired into his private chamber, where his Council was assembled. I have been unable since then to hear anything respecting the dealings and plans of the said Mr. de Labret: should I get reliable information on that point I will not fail to advise and act according to Your Majesty's instructions.
Having next day called on the Grand Master of France (Anne de Montmorency), I related to him what the King had said on the subject of the galley-slaves, and that if he chose to put into my hands the order for their liberation, I would say no more about it. If not, I would request him to say "No" at once, that I might inform Your Majesty thereof by the same Imperial gentleman usher, who came here for the purpose. On this occasion the Grand Master told me that it was Dr. Joannes Faust who, in virtue of credentials he had from Your Majesty, had said so many evil things of the King, his master, and who had tried to persuade the Lutherans as well as the others to make a descent into France.
This is the summary of the conversation I had with the Grand Master. As to that held with the Admiral before I had audience of the King, I must say that it was more clearly defined, and in terms still more explicit, than those of king Francis. "My master (he said), perceiving that no ample powers have been given to count Nassau, as announced, and that the Emperor is unwilling to promise him the duchy of Milan after the Duke's death, compensating his sons, if he left any, with the marquisate of Monferrato, now in the Emperor's power, could not do less than suspect that he no longer wished to be his friend. The King, nevertheless, having regard to the Duke's marriage to the Emperor's niece, and knowing that money having been paid for the investiture, the Duchy could not, therefore, be taken from him during his lifetime, refrained to a certain extent, and did not renew his application; but having since heard that the Emperor has flatly refused to negotiate even for after the Duke's death, with the provisoes and conditions above stipulated, the King, my master, has come to the conviction that the Emperor is not his friend, and wishes to lull him with promises," &c.
The Admiral went on to say that the king of England had complained to him of your having an ambassador in Ireland. My answer was, "That is nothing; my master, the Emperor, has a much graver charge against the king of England, which is the help he has given to the Lubeckians and other German rebels." The Admiral also remarked that the princess of England (Mary) was very delicate (enfermiza), and that the King, her father, and all his courtiers, sang many praises of her virtues. I then asked the Admiral whether the Princess had been lately betrothed to any of the sons of France. He did not say "Yes" or "No," only that on his return from England the King had told him the contents of Your Majesty's letter respecting the duke of Angoulême. (fn. n6)
The Admiral did not deny that money had been sent to help the duke of Ghelders and other German princes. He added that there would have been no need of that, had Your Majesty given full powers to Mr. de Nassau to treat on the points contained in his memorandum; but the King, his master, observing that, notwithstanding his having taken Your Majesty's sister to wife, you would not do anything for him, had been forced to look out for other means and expedients to recall you, though they might be disagreeable to you; otherwise he would never have acted as he has done. The King, his master, was exceedingly annoyed at seeing that a closer friendship and alliance did not exist between you two, knowing that on that depended entirely the welfare of Christendom, whereas the contrary state of things would cause much harm. Neither he nor his people wished for war, nor to go back to Italy, because war was a very expensive amusement, and had already cost France much treasure and many men. On the other hand, the Italians were incapable of fidelity and loyalty to their masters, all their efforts being directed to eject from their country whomsoever was the strongest. The Admiral ended his discourse by saying, "What a pity that my master and yours cannot agree on a thing which brings no profit at all, but is, on the contrary, a source of care and expenditure to its owner!"
I must not conceal from Your Majesty that in the course of conversation the Admiral hinted that in case of war king Francis would not, as before, attack Fuentarrabia; he would invade Flanders, which is a flatter country, and one with fewer defences. The general rumour here, at the French Court, among the gentlemen and courtiers, who frequent the Royal chamber or that of the Dauphin, is that this next summer there will be war inevitably; that Flanders is to be invaded by the English, the Gheldrese, and others, whilst the French will give Your Majesty so much work in Italy, Naples, and other parts, that you will have great difficulty in resisting their attacks. They will thus compel you to invade their country, in which case they will have the advantage of being on the defensive. (fn. n7) In my opinion, should war break out as they say, the first point of Your Majesty's dominions attacked be Flanders and the county of Burgundy. (fn. n8)
I have also heard from an authentic source, that should war break out, this King says that he will immediately put himself at the head of a large force, and fight the very first division of the Imperial troops that invades his territory. Every Frenchman will take up arms. Should your Imperial Majesty attempt to go to Italy, he himself will also go thither; otherwise he will remain in his own kingdom, and take up a position on this side of the Pyrenean range. (fn. n9)
With the Legate Chancellor (fn. n10) I have also spoken, as he is one of the principal courtiers here. I have found him to be of the same opinion as the rest.
It is certain that the King is about to send his own Secretary Laforest to the Grand Turk, and that he has already been provided with money for the expenses of his journey, which will occupy 15 months, there and back. A Sicilian gentleman, of the name of Cesare, an exile himself, and at present residing here, is to accompany him to Barbarossa, wherever he may be. I understand that both are to start soon in company with the Turkish ambassador, who is still here and returns to Constantinople.
I hear also that the King is sending a gentleman of his Chamber to the duke of Savoy, to ask for a passage through his estate; should he refuse, the King will have one more reason, in addition to former causes of quarrel, for taking away from him the county of Bresse and other towns and villages.
A man named de Castron, one of the Florentine "fuorusciti," has also come on behalf and in representation of his colleagues, to ask for aid in money and men against the duke Alessandro. The cardinal of Lorraine interests himself for the said "fuorusciti," and is trying to obtain the King's signature in order that the Florentine merchants may advance money upon it. I have since heard that the King is sending thither an Italian by post to pursue the negociation.
It is likewise an ascertained fact that a sum of 110,000 has been remitted to the duke of Ghelders; and it is generally believed that a second remittance will be made, the duke having mortgaged to king Francis the whole of his estate, which negociation between the Duke and this King is sure to be a source of quarrel and annoyance for you and your successors. On the other hand, it is rumoured that this next spring Mr. de Guise will enter Ghelders with a large body of men, and take possession of the castles and fortresses thereof against the Duke's death.
I know positively that the King has said somewhere that the duke of Clèves is not well satisfied with your Majesty's behaviour towards him; and therefore I should not be surprised if something was being planned in Germany against your Majesty's interests, in which the dukes of Clèves, Ghelders, and Lorraine are mixed up.
Fifty thousand crs., I hear, have been remitted to the duke of Virtemberg (Würtenberg), and it is rumoured that the Landgrave is also to have as many. Count William (Guillaume) of Furstenberg has already taken his departure with 23,000 crs., and 4,000 more of annual pension in advance. I believe the money is for the Count to enlist as many as 1,800 infantry the very moment that your Majesty attempts to do the same.
The Swiss are now quiet and agreed among themselves. This King some time ago sent them money on account of their pension.
In conversation with the English ambassador the other day, I asked him whether the proposed interview of the two Kings was likely to take place soon, and whether his countrymen would land in great numbers against Flanders, and how much money his master had received from this King for the purpose. He answered that he could not say whether the interview would take place or not, inasmuch as the Admiral (Brion), who had gone to England for that purpose, had brought no categorical answer to that effect. As to troops of his nation going to Flanders he knew of none, and the money sent to king Henry was the amount of two years' pension. (fn. n11)
King Francis has received intelligence, not from his own ambassador at the Imperial Court, but from some other quarter, that your Majesty had decided to have your son (Philip) crowned immediately. Though I do not consider myself entitled to give advice, I cannot help saying that it is a very good move to do away with the disputes that might be raised respecting the succession, were the Empress to survive your Majesty.
I have heard somewhere that the marquis de Saluzzo is bringing about a marriage between the daughter of the queen of France, and the prince of Piedmont, giving her the marquisate of Montferrato as a dower.
The taxes of this kingdom, amounting already to 3,600,000 crs., have been lately increased by 600,000 fr., and the King is besides raising money, the prelates and the clergy having been convoked to grant the King four-tenths, or say one-half of the revenues of their respective churches.
I have also been told, though not by a reliable person, that when the Admiral (Brion) was last in England, king Henry pressed him much to write to his master and ask for two things in his name: one was that he should at once declare war against your Majesty; the other that he should refuse the payment of the annates to the Pope. What Francis' answer has been respecting the war, I cannot say, but I know for certain that with regard to the other he said, "Let the Pope have his due."—Paris, 31 Jan. 1535.
Signed: "Hannaërt."
Spanish. Original. pp. 5.
— Jan. 131. The Emperor's Instructions to the Emperor's High Chamberlain for his journey to Italy and Germany in January 1535; as discussed in the Emperor's Privy Council.
S. E., L. 1458,
f. 39.
B. M. Add. 28,587,
f. 221.
Having read king Francis' answer to the representations made by viscount Lombecke (Jean Hannaërt), and it being now clearly proved that, notwithstanding all the reasoning, all the courteous and complimentary language (cumplimientos), used by His Majesty, the Emperor, towards him, that King persists in each and every one of the points contained in his note, as delivered to count de Nassau, marquis de Zenete, knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and his Majesty's Lord High Steward,—that the said King, moreover, has rejected all conciliatory means proposed, and made no new declaration respecting measures for the defence of the Faith, resistance to the Turk and Barbarossa, and other matters more or less connected with the peace and welfare of Christendom at large,—the Council [of State] has met and deliberated as to whether it would be possible to find some expedient for pacifying the king of France, for gaining time, arresting the armaments he is making, and inducing him to suspend his present negociations with the Christian powers, as well as with the Infidel, which must be greatly detrimental to the Emperor and his brother, the king of the Romans.
That Barbarossa comes at the bidding of the king of France, and to favour his plans, cannot for a moment be doubted. The French memorandum proves it, since the King himself insists now, more than he ever did, on the restitution of Genoa; to which restitution no allusion had formerly been made by him or his ministers, who formerly contented themselves with bringing forward certain claims against the Genoese on the ground of letters of mark and reprisals (marcas y reprisalias). Now it appears, and it is announced from every quarter, that Barbarossa brings especial charge and commission from the Grand Turk to place the said city of Genoa, and others he may occupy in Christendom, in the hands of Francis.
Another proof of what we advance is the declaration which the King himself made to pope Clement at Marseilles, according to the report made by count Cifuentes. When closely interrogated by the Pope as to his views respecting the Turk, king Francis is reported to have said, "Not only will I not oppose the invasion of Christendom by the Turk, but I will favour him as much as I can, in order the more easily to recover that which plainly belongs to me and to my children, and has been usurped by the Emperor," &c.
The continual practices of the kings of France and England, as well as their correspondence with Denmark, Ghelders, Lubeck, and other Anseatic towns bordering upon Flanders and the Low Countries, is another serious wrong of which the Emperor has to complain, &c.
We will say nothing on the piteous case of the queen and of her daughter, the princess of England, still undecided, and which, notwithstanding the Emperor's constant solicitude and care, is every day waxing worse and worse; nor of the troubles and difficulties of the king of the Romans, who, with an exhausted treasury, has lately had to meet and defeat everywhere French intrigues; who has since through Francis' hostile interference, not only lost the duchy of Würtemberg, but is also in danger of losing the rights appertaining to the princesses of Denmark, His Majesty's nieces, on the said kingdom of Denmark, Norway and other patrimonial estates of the King, their father, to say nothing of the help given to the Vayvod, which prevents him from revindicating his right over Hungary, which belongs to him as inherited from the emperor Maximilian, and from his own wife, the queen of the Romans.
On the other hand, the danger of entering into closer communication with the said king of France, such as he insists upon, is very great, if we consider the nature and custom of Frenchmen, which is never to observe or keep treaties unless they may gain something by it, as the experience of their past doings has sufficiently shown. The King himself has in this respect gone from bad to worse in his time, both before and after the wars, promoting and encouraging the violation of the treaties of Madrid and Cambray, and doing such things against the form and letter of the said treaties, as it would take us too long to recount. Suffice it to say that against all and each article of the said treaties duly sworn and ratified, the king of France would, as he has done at other times, find objections, allegations and all manner of excuses, without any shadow or foundation of reason whatever. He would, no doubt, make everything spring and emanate from his own captivity and that of his sons, which might perhaps afford him a motive for having the present treaties altered, as may be proved by the fact that the treaty of Cambray, made, signed and ratified by the King himself on his return to his own dominions, and in which he glories (and not without reason) at being entirely free, and obeying his own fancy and caprice (apetito y plazer)—that treaty being also signed by his own mother, by his sister, and by the princes of his Royal blood, by his Chancellor, and by the principal personages of his Court and Parliament of Paris, and provincial councils, in short, by the highest functionaries of State in France, whether ecclesiastical or civil, in the presence of the Apostolic Legate and other cardinals, as well as of the ambassadors of almost every prince in Christendom, the King himself having afterwards confirmed and ratified the same most solemnly in Paris, the capital of his kingdom, and caused it to be approved by his Parliaments and Chambers, as well as by all the Councils of Finance throughout France that treaty we say has now become a source, nay, a pretence for contention, king Francis and his ministers maintaining that it ought to be modified. (fn. n12)
Were His Imperial Majesty to consent now to the modification and revisal of that treaty, no promise, no oath, no renunciation, the King might make at the moment, would be of any use, as the King evidently might again allude to his own captivity, to the right he pretends his sons had then, or might now have, by reason, of the marriage of the duke of Orleans to the Pope's niece, to the duchy of Milan. Indeed, the experience of the past shows that no sooner would king Francis set foot in Italy—no matter on what cause or pretence—than he would look out for an opportunity, which he would always find at hand, for invading next the kingdom of Naples. His boasting pretensions to Florence, Urbino, and even Parma and Piacenza, as well as his newly invented claims on the duke of Savoy, that he may make all that territory a sort of footstool to mount into Italy, his claims on Monteferrato and Genoa, of which he never thought or spoke before Barbarossa's arrival in the Mediterranean, (fn. n13) all prove to us that king Francis is only wanting an excuse to set his foot in Italy.
That the King would put forward on that occasion the very same excuses that he now alleges for a revision of the treaty of Cambray that he would even persist in getting from us some security as to that, whilst on our side we could only exact from him the same promises, oaths and ratifications, which he himself has so often violated, is quite clear and evident, since the King himself, in his conversations with Mr. de Nassau in reference to the intermarriages of his sons and those of the Emperor, has more than once stated, that no trust could be placed in words, promises, and engagements that could be broken, changed, or modified at will.
It is, moreover, understood that about the same time that Mr. de Nassau was in France, king Francis despatched to England his admiral [Brion] to request and demand from the king of that country the accomplishment of the marriage of his son, the Dauphin, to princess Mary, his daughter, long before negociated; although about the same time king Francis had proposed that of his son, the Dauphin, to the infanta of Spain [Maria], the Emperor's daughter; which marriage the King himself praised and extolled beyond measure during the time that the Emperor, for the sake of peace and public welfare, felt inclined and willing to grant it, notwithstanding the Princess's tender age.
And what can be said of the dissimulation practised with Italians, English, and Germans, whilst Mr. de Nassau was residing at the Court of France, for the sole purpose of irritating the princes and potentates of those countries, and making them His Majesty's enemies? And yet the sieur de Nourcames (Noircames), who was sent to France (fn. n14) before Mr. de Nassau and the Imperial ambassador residing at that Court (Hannaërt) had frequently heard from the King's own lips most kind and affectionate words, as well as the assurance that he wished frankly and sincerely to enter into closer friendship with Your Majesty, without, however, affording to other princes any cause for jealousy or suspicion. Which proceeding on the part of the king of France, reflecting so strongly the malignity, dissimulation and treachery which he himself has employed in past times, and there is every reason to suppose he will employ again, especially if we are to judge from certain rumours now being circulated that not only does that King persevere in his purpose of stirring up enemies against the Emperor in Italy, in Germany, and in the whole of Christendom, above all in the latter country, not only among the princes who have separated from Faith, but also among the Infidels, force upon us the conclusion that there is no sincerity in the King's words, &c.
There is still another consideration no less important, which is that King Francis wishes, in case of a treaty being made with him, that whatever friends and allies he may have in Germany, principally the separatists, also those he has in Italy, and the king of England and the rest, should be included in it. God knows what king Francis is aiming at, but we fear that, even granting all his demands, we should be placed in the same position as before.
Owing to the above considerations, and many more that will be submitted to the Emperor at a future time, the councillors do not hesitate to say that reason, conscience, equity and honesty are against His Majesty, the Emperor, giving away to king Francis any of the dominions and lands he so unjustly claims as his own, and that without the consent of the legitimate owners and possessors of such dominions and the existing treaties with the Italian powers. Besides which, it must be observed that in the event of the duke of Milan's death, the claims of king Francis to that duchy are as futile as ever, since the duchy would be inherited by the Emperor's niece, and almost daughter, the princess of Denmark (Christina), married to Sforza.—[Madrid—, 1535.] (fn. n15)
Spanish. Copy. pp. 34.


  • n1. Nicolas Perrenot, sieur de Granvelle, Charles' principal secretary and privy councillor at the time. Antoine, to whom this letter is addressed, was his brother.
  • n2. The following rather obscure passage is among the rest: "Je cuyde que sainct Barthemy est ocuppe aux Indes, dont yl nose partir pour crainte des moschez a miel, pourquoy a son lie que pourroit invocquer Sancto Carlo que guerit los colenados, sainct Nicolas et sainct François, pour la curee mencionee en vos dites lettres yl viendroit mieulx a propos. Monsieur le comendador maior conforme a ce que men escripvez par vos lettres de dezembre men donne le meillieur expoir du monde, et suys scheur quil ne tiendra ni a monseigueur notre Mecenas, ne a luy pourveu quilz en soient remantonez en saison," &c.
  • n3. "Car yl ne sera possible que en ce voyage habandonniez sa majeste, et vous fault deslibere[r] de dresser çi-aprez vostre voiage en Court, et pour vostre prouffit et commodite, et le plesir des dames."
  • n4. The empress Isabella had been left on this occasion, as on others, to govern Spain during the Emperor's absence, who, at the date of this letter, was engaged on his expedition against Barbarossa.
  • n5. "Y estava de presente occupado por el dicho Duque, y que le tenia por tractado y apunctamiento para durante su vida."
  • n6. "Yo le demandé sy habia hecho algun casamiento con alguno de los hijos de Francia, á lo qual él no me respondió palabra syno dezir como el dicho Señor Rey á su buelta le havia dicho lo que se le havia dicho (sic) de parte de Vuestra Magestad por Mons. de Angulesmas."
  • n7. "Y que vos daran tantos fastidios que sereys forçado de romper y de invadir, y que entonces ellos se governaran como defensores y assalidos."
  • n8. At this time the duchy of Burgundy belonged to the Crown of France; it was only the county that was disputed.
  • n9. "Que sy tiene guerra no tardará de yr derecho con grande pujança sobre la primera banda que entrará en su Reyno para dar hatalla, syn quedar en la guerra guerreante, y sy vos passays en Italia, que se hallará tambien en persona, y de otra manera no, y se quedará de aca de los montes en su Reyno."
  • n10. Antoine du Prat.
  • n11. "Dos añadas de la vieja pension acostumbrada."
  • n12. "Y hecho lo aprobar por sus parlamentos y camaras y consejos de sus haziendas y por todo su reyno."
  • n13. On the margin, "conforma esto con las palabras que el mismo Barbarroxa ha dicho, y con lo que se ha entendido de Constantinopla."
  • n14. "El señor de Nourcames, sommelier (sumiller?) de corps de su Magd que habia pasado antes que el dicho conde por la corte del dicho rey de Francia."
  • n15. The paper has no date or endorsement, but is headed, "Consideraciones platicadas en Consejo de Estado, y consultadas en Madrid para despachar al mayordomo mayor para Italia y Alemania [en] el mes de Enero 1535, y la substancia en castellano de la instrucion que él [mismo] llevó en Franzes." It is, no doubt, in view of it, that the definitive instructions to the Lord Chamberlain (Rœulx) abstracted at p. 361, were drawn up.