Spain: March 1535, 1-15

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: March 1535, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886), pp. 405-422. British History Online [accessed 23 June 2024].

. "Spain: March 1535, 1-15", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886) 405-422. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2024,

. "Spain: March 1535, 1-15", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886). 405-422. British History Online. Web. 23 June 2024,

March 1535, 1-15

3 March. 137. Count Cifuentes to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 864,
ff. 105–6.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 239.
It is, however, understood that the king of France has not accepted them on such conditions. Having again spoken to His Holiness on the subject of the tithe (decimas) granted to the king of France, he answered, that the grant was on condition of his giving his galleys for the undertaking against the Turk, and that he (the Pope) had written to the King to that effect.
He has said nothing yet about it. Has heard that the Papal Nuncio at the Imperial Court brings a commission to treat of the marriage of certain grandsons of His Holiness, and that another is to be educated at the Emperor's Court.
The Cardinal, it is said, refuses the legacy because its powers are limited. As to the hat for the bishop of Paris, that ought to be prevented, for he would be a regular firebrand in the College. The man about whose arrival here at Rome he (Sylva) wrote the other day, comes straight from France. He is a servant of cardinal de Lorraine, and his name is Paulo de Porto. His commission is to ask for a cardinal's hat for the bishop of Paris, and another for a nephew of that Cardinal, besides the Papal legacy in Lorraine for the uncle. His Holiness has flatly refused both, though he was reminded at the time that he had promised this much in the conclave for his own election; hearing which, it is said, His Holiness got exceedingly angry, answering that it was untrue.
Paulo has since gone to Venice, as it is rumoured, to engage count Guido Rangone in the service of France. Lope de Soria has been informed of the fact, that he may be on the look out, although this may be said of Paulo, that he is not a man of much consequence.
His Holiness, as it appears, has another cause of resentment against the above-mentioned cardinal of Lorraine; for when the latter was about to leave Rome, the Pope begged him most earnestly to go to England on his behalf and that of king Francis, and try to bring back king Henry to the obedience of the Apostolic See; and that the Cardinal had answered, through the intermediate agency of the said Paul, that he had not done so because king Francis told him that there was no necessity for it; both were about to hold an interview, when the thing might be done just as well. This is, no doubt, the reason why the executory letters are delayed, which he (Sylva) is always applying for; though with the moderation and reserve recommended to him from home. Yet he never lets the opportunity pass of telling His Holiness that he must not allow himself to be lulled by words and promises from England; for, according to late advices, the King of that country is far from showing signs of wishing to return to the obedience of the Apostolic See.
Let him report if he hears anything more about this. The French ambassador has positively assured His Holiness that this year his master will not come to Italy. He even hinted that Flanders and Navarre would not be invaded, for fear the undertaking against Barbarossa should fail altogether. Yet His Holiness says he gathers from certain expressions of the French ambassador that his master, the King, might perhaps be tempted to do something on those frontiers; for it is a notorious fact that he has sent 200,000 crs. to help the dukes of Ghelders and Würtenberg in case of a war, &c.
It is very important for His Majesty to secure the friendship of the two powerful families here at Rome, the Colonna and the Orsini, espepecially if Renzo da Ceri's contract with the French be carried out. If the services of Girolamo Orsino and Giovan Colonna are secured, the Emperor may be sure that everything will go right.
There is a report that the king of France has sent here 25,000 crs.; others say 50,000. Wishing to ascertain the real object of so considerable a remittance, he (Sylva) inquired of the Camarlengo. His answer was, that His Holiness had agreed with the king of France that a deposit of 26,000 ducats should be made at Rome previous to his granting permission for levying a tax on the clergy of that country. The money in question is His Holiness's share in the affair, and has been remitted exclusively for that purpose. Such is the Camarlengo's information; he (Sylva) will try and ascertain whether there be something else under it.
Both the Auditor of the Papal Chamber and Simonetta have lately made the following proposal to the Ferrarese ambassadors here:—That upon the Duke (Alfonso d'Este) giving up Modena and Rezo (Reggio) to the Church, the Pope would allow him to retain Ferrara, besides the money which he is bound to pay for the investiture; or else if he gives up the lands he has in the Romagna, close upon the territory of the Church, His Holiness will relinquish all claims on the money, and give him besides Rezo (Reggio) and Modena, or else Ravenna and Cervia, whichever he likes best. The Duke's ambassadors have answered that their master does not accept either of the offers. Upon which the Pope's commissaries have suggested that His Holiness might perhaps waive all his claims on the Duke for a round sum of 500,000 crs.; upon which the ambassadors said again that the sum was excessive, &c. He (Sylva) has not taken any part in the affair,—firstly, owing to Tribulcio being the cardinal who is now managing the whole affair;—2ndly, because the agreement, if made, is not in consonance with His Majesty's sentence at the time; and 3rdly, because the Duke has not yet entered the Italian League, and therefore there is no need to stand upon much ceremony with him.
The ambassador must take care that no detriment to the Imperial Chamber and its rights be done. The Camarino affair was sentenced the other day. The two duchesses and the son of the duke of Urbino were declared defaulters (en rebeldia), owing to their not appearing; and it was believed that the duchy would be given to the claimant, to whom the Pope had already given the investiture. He (Sylva) has not yet spoken to His Holiness on the subject for fear of irritating him; but such is the insistence of the Duke's ambassador that he is seriously thinking of remonstrating with His Holiness one of these days, without, however, exceeding in the least the instructions he has received on that point. The churches and bishoprics of Gaeta and Lanciano will pass on as proposed.
The same Papal Nuncio who in Clement's time went to the king of the Romans, left the other day for Germany; he takes with him similar instructions with regard to the General Council as the one who went once to the Imperial Court.
Count de Languilara (Anguillara) wishes to appoint captains of his own to the three galleys that His Holiness is now arming at Genoa. He (Sylva) would not consent to it until both the Camarlengo and cardinal Cibo positively told him that Andrea Doria would be glad of it. Since then Andrea has written that the Republic will not allow of such a thing; upon which His Holiness has sent for the Count to try and arrange matters, &c.
Cardinal Cesarino continues favourably disposed. A letter of acknowledgment and thanks for his services should be written to him.
The Pope, the other day, in conversation with cardinal Matera (Palmeri) about the marriage of his grand-daughters and the proposals he had received from France, said that he would very much prefer that the daughter of Pier Luigi should marry the duke of Sessa, leaving the dowry entirely at His Majesty's will; and that the heir of the house of Farnese should marry the eldest daughter of prince Bisignano, since, besides the claims of the latter to the principality of Salerno, should this latter die without male heirs, his widow would also inherit that estate. And the Cardinal further said that, should His Majesty consent to those marriages, he would secure for ever the affection of His Holiness, and entirely detach him from France, since his only wish is to aggrandize his grandsons and daughters as much as he can, though by no means at the expense of the Church, as other Popes have done.
Let the Ambassador refer to his instructions on the subject, besides communicating with Pero Capata. Encloses a memorial of the Florentine "fuorusciti."
Cardinal Matera to be thanked for his good offices.—Giovan Conrado Orsino and his offers.
The Genoese merchant who has the jewel says that he cannot wait any longer; he must have his money or sell the jewel.
Pier Luigi has had a relapse.
Has heard of the Emperor's departure for Barcelona, which some think is for the purpose of coming to Italy.
The duke of Ferrara had been ill with spasms (pasmo); some even say that he is dead. His illness, however, is of such a nature that he cannot be expected to live long. (fn. n1) —Rome, iii. Martii mdxxxv.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 5.
4 March. 138. Eustace Chapuys to the Same.
Rep. P.C., Fasc. 229,
f. 42.
On the 1st inst. Your Majesty's letter of the 7th February, together with the ciphered note therein mentioned, came to hand. This last contained a summary of the conversation which this King's ambassador in France had had with that of Your Majesty. (fn. n2) Of which conversation, and other matters directly or indirectly connected with it, I myself was prepared to make use before hand, had not Your Majesty's express commands given me discretionally instructions to that effect, and had not Cromwell himself opened and shown me the way, as I lately wrote to Your Majesty, by his frequent excuses of his not daring to broach the subject without the express orders and authority of the King, his master.
Respecting the removal of the Princess from this country there would be no difficulty at all, if she resided in the neighbourhood of this city, and there was in preparation the train of which I last wrote to Your Majesty, namely a vessel with oars, large enough to defend herself against small craft here. As to the larger ships at the mouth of the Thames, they ought to be sufficiently well armed to fight any ships that might sail thither in pursuit of her, should the wind be unfavourable. There would be no fear here in the river of English ships, for the same wind that would bring them up would help the others to go out to sea. (fn. n3) But since there is a talk of having the Princess removed to other quarters it will be better to wait, and see what place of residence is chosen for her, and, according as that may be, think of other expedients to gain our purpose.
As to the security of the Queen and Princess in the event of a popular commotion or rising, my impression is that the first thing these lords will try to do will be to get possession of the persons of the two ladies, and place them in a castle or town of some importance. I have not yet been able to confer with any of them respecting the place likely to be chosen for the ladies' retreat and residence during the intended rising, but hope that in three or four days I shall have occasion to communicate with some of those about whom I lately wrote to Your Majesty, or others of the same party and equal rank, whom I intend to address, as if the idea were exclusively mine. For the better issue of our plans I have long been trying to inculcate upon Master Cromwell and the rest of the Privy Councillors the expediency of treating the two ladies with proper consideration; for, have I said to them, even in the case of a deadly war between Your Majesty and their king, both of them might be the means of pacifying and settling the dispute between you two, as Coriolanus's mother [Veturia] did once at the gates of Rome. As Cromwell, moreover, had often assented to this argument of mine, and owned that I was right, it is not probable that in the event of a popular rising the King would hastily do further injury to the ladies; he would, on the contrary, try to secure their persons, and have them lodged in the Tower. By doing which I fancy the ladies would not then be so much in his power as they would otherwise have been, and as he imagines; for the captain of that fortress professes to be, and has hitherto shown himself, the servant of Your Majesty, and of the ladies, mother and daughter, and is besides a worthy man. (fn. n4) As soon as I have communicated with some of the above-mentioned lords, I shall not fail to advise Your Majesty thereof.
As to the rumour lately spread in France respecting Gravelinghes, the truth is that during the Admiral's (Chabot) stay in this city some one came to me and reported that Milord the High Steward of England, and Captain of Guisnes, was actually preparing to go to reside in his government, and had boasted that shortly after his arrival there he would seize the castle of the former town. But I have since heard that the whole of it was a lie, and that the abovementioned personage had said nothing of the sort, nor had he ever thought of such a thing. Perhaps the originators of the report commissioned one of their number to come and repeat the story to me in order to arouse my suspicions. Since then, however, I have had no further news of that affair.
Your Majesty's instructions and commands concerning the service of the Queen and Princess, the official announcement of your journey to Barcelona, and the causes thereof, as well as of Mr. Du Rœux' mission to Germany, will be punctually adhered to. I will also communicate with Your Majesty's resident ambassador in France, as I have already done, and inform him of the progress I may make in the negociation entrusted to my care.
With regard to news of this country I have to report that the French ambassadors, Morette and the Treasurer of Britanny, went to the King, to Antom Court (Hampton Court), and stayed there from the day after St. Mathias (15 Feb.) till the day before yesterday (2 March), when both returned to town. Yesterday (the 3rd) the Treasurer went to call on Cromwell, and remained with him almost the whole day, this King's Chancellor (Audeley) being also present at the conference, which lasted so long that one of my men, whom I had sent with a verbal message to Cromwell, could not get admittance. This morning, however, my man has been most graciously received, that secretary having sworn to him on his faith that, had he not been prevented by a rheum, which had caused a swelling of his cheek and eye, as he could see, he would certainly have called on me yesterday; but that he hoped between this and to-morrow to be able to do so, if he felt better: that meantime he took the opportunity of declaring that he had not forgotten our conversation of the other day, as he himself would soon inform me; and that he had obtained from the King, his master, the promise that the Princess should be removed to a locality close to the Queen's residence, where she might, in case of illness, be attended by the former's physician and apothecary. He (Cromwell) had not yet gained his point as to the Queen being allowed to visit the Princess in her new residence, but he hoped that, little by little, every thing would turn out according to my desire.
(fn. n5)
Cromwell further said to my man that he hoped the affairs between Your Majesty and the King, his master, would go on well, inasmuch as the latter was greatly pleased at your having by your great clemency and humanity ordered the release of certain Englishmen imprisoned by the Inquisition, and the restoration of their sequestered property, as well as of the vessels captured by the Imperial fleet; which acts on your part (said Cromwell) were likely to promote a peaceful settlement of all your quarrels. He told him further, that there were just now great schemings, disputes, recriminations and angry words on the part of the French, but that I might feel sure that on their side every impediment should be removed, and that I was to trust and rely entirely on him. After which he put into the hands of my man the copy of a letter which the king of France had written to the electors [of Germany]; he was to bring it to me, and say that in his opinion the letter was a brutal one, and that if the French had any regard for their own honour and reputation they ought not to publish it. (fn. n6)
Considering that the slight indisposition above alluded to, owing no doubt to some capricious move, which I cannot guess at, might still detain Cromwell at home and prevent his calling, I intend waiting on him this very afternoon, after dinner, in order to satisfy the wishes of the ladies, both of whom are anxiously expecting a resolution respecting the Princess's future residence, as well as news from abroad.
The secretary of the duke of Olst (Holstein) went to Court on Sunday last, and, as I am informed, the substance of his oration was to convince this King that the friendship and alliance of the Duke, his master, would be more advantageous and honourable to England than that of the Lubeckians, whom the King had hitherto favoured, and who at the last moment would abandon him as they had abandoned other princes. The secretary is to receive an answer next Sunday.
Yesterday a friar and doctor, whom I have known for some time and treated with familiarity, came to ask me for a prognostic, wherein a revolution (mutynacion) is foretold against the governors of this kingdom, (fn. n7) of which prognostic every one had been forewarned by Milord Brez, a rich, wise, and good-hearted lord of these parts. (fn. n8) The said friar also told me that he had been requested by that lord to furnish him with a cipher, or means of writing without danger, should his letters be intercepted, for he purposed to write to several worthy personages, and incite them, as the friar gave me to understand, to rebellion against the present Government, for he despaired of Your Majesty's assistance, seeing that it tarried so long. The nobleman's desire, as the friar informed me, was to hold an interview with me, at which he might explain his views on the subject. This, however, has seemed to me rather a dangerous experiment for the present, and therefore I have declined the offer of his visit, though sending him all manner of polite messages encouraging him in general words to persevere, and telling him that it was better to wait for a fit opportunity than spoil the whole affair by too much precipitation. London, 4 March 1535.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. pp. 4.
7 March. 139. Eustace Chapuys to the Same.
Rep. P.C.,
Fasc. 229½, f. 46.
My despatch of the 4th inst. must have apprised Your Majesty of late events in this country. The day after, on the 5th, the treasurer of Britanny left with middling success for the mission he brought here.
On the 6th Master Cromwell called on me, alleging that his late indisposition had prevented him from visiting me before. He stayed more than one hour and a half with me, when, among other minor matters, that relating to the Queen and Princess became the topic of conversation. Cromwell told me that the King at his recommendation (porchaz) had decided to have the Princess removed to a fine manor of his, as he called it, distant 16 or 18 miles from this city, and about 25 or 30 from the place where the Queen is now residing. (fn. n9) And upon my remonstrating with him as to the distance and situation of the royal manor destined for the Princess's habitation, as well as its unfitness for the project of which I had spoken to him before his departure for Court, I earnestly requested him again to intercede with the King, his master, to have the Princess placed nearer to the Queen, her mother, and one part at least of her household servants recalled to attend on her person. Cromwell, however, who seemed rather to dislike the subject of our conversation than otherwise, cut it short by saying that on his return to Court he would certainly do all that was in his power to please me. That, he added, was a matter of very little importance and weight when compared with the principal one for which he had come to me. I saw plainly that he avoided as much as possible to enter on the subject, for although previously to his departure I again alluded to it, and requested him to bear in mind my recommendation, he answered in more categorical terms that really that was a subject of which he could not willingly speak, as it was one particularly disagreeable to the King, his master.
Respecting the principal matter, as he called it, Cromwell told me that he had faithfully reported to the King the whole of our conversation on the eve of St. Mathias; and that the King, his master, had taken in good part my good wishes for the redress of pending difficulties, from which he expected some good fruit might come, especially as the King had heard from his ambassador at the Imperial Court of the entire goodwill which Your Majesty bore him, and of which recent proofs had been given by the release of English prisoners and vessels captured at sea, as well as by the good and honourable words which Mr. de Grandvelle had lately addressed to him; of which goodwill, continued Cromwell, the Imperial resident ambassador in France, (fn. n10) who was in daily communication with the English one, bore ample testimony. Matters being in such a good train, both on Your Majesty's side and on that of the King, his master—who will always be ready to acquiesce in any conciliatory measure not affecting his honour and conscience—it was fit time, Cromwell observed, for me to undertake so meritorious a work, and one of such imperishable glory, as that of re-knitting the friendship and alliance of the two countries. For this service the King would be very thankful to me, and would reward me accordingly. He (Cromwell) had powers to treat with me, which, in his opinion, was already a great point gained, inasmuch as when a castle began to parley it was half taken, as saith the proverb. (fn. n11) There was nothing (he said) so troublesome and irritating for the settlement of the affairs between Your Majesty and the King, his master, as the business of the ladies, mother and daughter, which, as he had already observed to me on other occasions, ought not to be an obstacle to the settlement of others of so weighty a nature and so important in their results, for it must be remembered that the Queen was old and would not live long, and that the Princess herself was in bad health (maladieuse) and her early death (mortale) very probable. Besides which, if the report of the English ambassadors was correct, it would seem as if neither in Spain nor in France was there much concern respecting them, except a desire that they should remain in the state in which they now are.
After the above and other similar discourses Cromwell went on to say, "You cannot have an idea of the pressing importunity with which the French are assailing the King, my master, asking him to join them in a war against the Emperor, using all the time most persuasive arguments, such as the danger to this kingdom from the always increasing prosperity of the Imperial arms and His Majesty's growing power, and pointing out the facility with which his dominions might be assailed from various sides, if they only could count upon our help." Among other princes on whose assistance they relied, Cromwell said to me, they had no scruple to count the cardinal of Liege as one. At which statement the French ambassadors were much thrown out, and would have preferred that the Cardinal's name should not have been mentioned, for Cromwell took the matter up, and said he knew on good authority that the cardinal of Liege (fn. n12) being ill in bed, had placed all his fortresses in the hands of a nephew of his, son-in-law of Mr. de Beure (Beurren), the staunchest Burgundian that ever was. This piece of intelligence I myself had communicated to Cromwell, though he would not on this occasion name me as his authority. He further told me that the French were making unparalleled offers and conditions to drag the King, his master, into the said war, but that he (Cromwell) would not listen to them, considering, as he had had occasion to tell me before, that the King, his master, had no reason whatever to enter into such an alliance, and that, even if he were inclined to join so virtuous and catholic a prince as Francis was, in an undertaking of the sort, he would most certainly abstain from his alliance at a time when Your Majesty was engaged in so laudable and urgent an enterprise as the war on the Turk.
The King's wish and intention (added Cromwell) would be to be able to bring about a true and perfect union among the Christian princes, which cannot be effected except through a perfect understanding and brotherly alliance between Your Majesty and the kings of England and France, by means of which union and friendship a General Council might be assembled without any delay, difficulty or annoyance, at which all matters relating to Faith and the Christian religion might be fairly discussed and satisfactorily settled. Many quarrels of Princes might therein be arranged and decided, or at least a resolution taken that during the life of the actual possessors of such disputed estates, no innovation whatever should be made, and that France should content herself with what she has now, and other Princes likewise. This once done, it would be time for preparing in common a good and powerful army with which to attack the Turk, and reconquer the Holy Land, when and where each Christian prince might easily acquire more domains and lordships than those which they now disputed among themselves, and which had already been the cause of so many dissensions and wars. That would be God's service, besides bringing profit and glory to those engaged in the enterprise. His peroration at an end, Cromwell again begged me to pave the way, and devise the means of arriving at the said union, from which, he said, all manner of advantages and prosperity would necessarily result.
I failed not to praise the King's most virtuous and holy intentions, as expressed by Master Cromwell, assuring him that it would certainly not be Your Majesty's fault if the King's wishes were not completely fulfilled. As to myself, I could only boast of perfect willingness on my part; I should consider myself the happiest of mortals to be able to assist the King and the members of his Privy Council in their laudable undertaking. Their's was the province, (I said) considering my own insufficiency, to make the first overtures, and point out the means of carrying such a praiseworthy plan into execution.
After this I observed to Cromwell that since the King, his master, had by his great virtue and wisdom decided not to join the French and commence war, it seemed unnecessary for me to enter into a discussion respecting that point; otherwise I might have demonstrated what expense the King, his master, would have been put to, and what damage he might have suffered in his own interests and reputation, had he listened to the pressing demands of the French, even knowing, as he himself had owned to me, that all their threats and bravadoes had no other object than the advancement of their pretensions in Italy. The King had seen what little profit he and the rest of the confederated powers had derived from the former Holy League, as it was called;—although I failed not to remark that it was not he, but cardinal Wolsey, who was responsible for it, as the King himself had many a time owned to me. Cromwell's answer was that the King saw the true state of affairs, and that the whole matter had been put forward and been well considered [in the Council.] (fn. n13)
Cromwell then owned to me that what I said was perfectly true, and that the King, his master, was very much obliged to me for a portion of the offers made by the French; for (said he) ever since you (Chapuys) had audience from him, those offers have been singularly increased." My reply was that I was glad my visit to the King had been the cause of what had happened since, and likewise of the benefit which the King was likely to derive from it. Upon which Cromwell thanked me again, and told me by way of compliment that he was about to reveal to me a secret of the Privy Council, which was that among several articles of the note lately come from France the second in order was to complain of my having had such a long private audience from the King, his master Cromwell observing with regard to the said article that the French were certainly the most suspicious nation in the world. (fn. n14)
After this Cromwell asked me what I thought of the letter addressed by king Francis to the Prince-Electors of the Empire, of which he, as I said before, had sent me a copy. I made no answer to his inquiry, except to remark that "any one might believe himself a lord if he took the fancy into his head." (fn. n15) But Cromwell spoke of the epistle and its import in still plainer terms; he said to me that the king of France ought never to have written such a letter, not even to gain a kingdom by it. "As to myself (Cromwell added) I would not for anything in this world have been king Francis' counsellor on the occasion. I have said so before the King, my master."
He (Cromwell) further showed me a summary of news wherein it was stated that Your Majesty's army amounted to 30,000 fighting men, and a most numerous fleet, upon which he cordially congratulated me. There was also in the said summary a paragraph stating that a bishop sent by the vayvod [of Transylvania] had arrived at the court of the king of the Romans [Ferdinand], and that his errand was to treat of a peace between his master and Your Majesty's brother, at which piece of news Cromwell showed no dissatisfaction at all. Having then inquired of him whether the Vayvode's secretary, who is here in London, had come to negociate a marriage for his master, or to borrow money, or perhaps two for both objects, as was reported, he smiled, and observed, "As to money everyone would like to have that."
Respecting the duke of Holst[ein]'s man, Cromwell said that he would, whenever I liked, show me his instructions, and explain the nature of his mission. There was no reason to think, as many did in those parts, that the King, his master, had assisted the Lubeckians against the people of Holstein, and that within five or six days the Duke's man would get a fit answer and go away.
In the midst of our conference Cromwell told me that they had news from France advising that a marriage was talked of between the duke of Angoulesme (Charles) and the daughter of Portugal (Maria); but that some people thought that the prince of Hungary (Maximilian) would be preferred. I told him that certainly the treasurer of Britanny had said something like it when he was here, in England, but that I was not otherwise aware of the fact. Hearing me mention the Treasurer's name, he started, and immediately asked me where and when I had met him. He was glad to hear that I had not seen him, nor sent my secretary to him, nor allowed any of my people to go to the French embassy, but that it was the ambassador himself who had frequently sent his own people to dine with mine, and that had he invited mine in return they would certainly have accepted his invitation. (fn. n16)
Since a marriage was alluded to, I deemed it a fit opportunity to tell him that there was a rumour afloat that the Treasurer's mission had been for the express purpose of applying for the hand of the Princess, and I begged him to tell me whether my information was correct or not. Upon which he answered coldly, and as if he were surprised at the intelligence, that there was no truth whatever in the report; though, after a moment's thought, he added, "I have no doubt, however, that the French desire that marriage very much;" from which I conclude, as I have had the honour of informing Your Majesty in one of my preceding despatches, that the Treasurer's mission had really reference to that.
Although Cromwell's words and deeds were evidently directed towards inducing me to ask Your Majesty for special powers to treat with him of the affair in question (des affaires porparlez), yet he never expressly asked me to do so; whether through inadvertence, or because they are still waiting for news from France, I cannot say. Certain it is that he made no overtures to me; nor did I remind him of it, knowing very well that he could not, if he wished, make such honest and reasonable ones now as in a few days hence, and that, should he make any that I rejected, the King, in despair at seeing that he could not treat with Your Majesty, might cling closer to the French, who are still scheming busily, and who, seeing that this King did not reply to their overtures, might so press and circumvent him as to wring from him tacit consent, to the great injury of the present negociation. (fn. n17) In short, I deemed it more prudent on my part not to press him any further, and therefore abstained altogether from mentioning the subject.
Our conference at an end, Cromwell took leave of me to go and dine in the fields, and see his hawks fly after their prey. I went to meet him after dinner, and stayed a good while with him; when I again requested him, as earnestly as I could, to ask the King to grant my petition about the Princess, and to press the matter warmly, as if it came from himself, without mentioning me at all, as otherwise the whole affair might be spoilt rather than assisted; for this King's nature, said I, was such that he disliked being beaten either by words or arguments of another party, but would submit himself to his own reasoning and act in accordance with it. I also told Cromwell that I was certain the King's ambassadors in Spain and France had misunderstood the whole business, when they wrote home that Your Majesty would be contented with the Queen and Princess remaining in the state and condition in which they at present are. In addition to which, I put before him the many inconveniences likely to arise should anything happen either to one or both of the ladies; for that (said I) might spoil altogether the good he intended, and the issue for which he was working. Many, I observed, who are now asleep would bestir themselves, and that I fancied the king of Scotland (James) would not be the last to move in the affair, since he would claim what he thinks he is entitled to by right, and might perhaps then find plenty of marriage alliances possible, which have hitherto been refused to him. I assured him that what I was telling him was dictated by my wish to serve the King, his master, rather than from any other motive. Many (I said) might suggest to Your Majesty that out of spite to yourself the days of the ladies had been shortened here, or at least Your Majesty might be accused of having been, in a certain measure, the cause of their death (which may God forbid!), owing to your not having taken steps in time to have the Papal sentence executed in conformity with the Papal letters; (fn. n18) besides which it might be alleged that had it not been for their expectations and hopes of Your Majesty taking their just cause in hand, the ladies themselves might have yielded to the King's wishes, who would then have treated them with due regard, and not let them come to the miserable plight in which they now are. He (Cromwell) knew better than I did that spite and irritation did away with friendship, and were often the cause of disorder and feuds [in families]. This I took care well to inculcate on Cromwell's mind, for no other reason than the allusion he had twice made to the ladies' possible death within a short period of time, and the evident suspicion that might follow the death of both, or at least that of the Queen, if it should happen soon, as her age and the precarious state of her health might lead us to conjecture. To obviate which suspicion until the arrival of the principal remedy, there is, in my opinion, no other expedient than use the same or similar arguments to this King's ministers or ambassadors, whenever this subject comes under discussion. I have written in this sense to Mr. de Likerke in obedience to Your Majesty's commands.
To the above remarks of mine, Cromwell gave full assent, owning that I was right, though he would not admit that the king of Scotland could do them any harm at all. He assured me that the utmost care and vigilance should be used for the safety of the two ladies, and that God knew how well-disposed he himself was to work in favour of the Princess, whom, he said, he did not love less than I did. In short, he ended by saying that he would do his best in favour of both mother and daughter. After which he again entreated me to take to heart the business with which he had entertained me that very morning, adding that he hoped that before next Pentecost all matters would be satisfactorily arranged.
After a good deal of talk on this same topic, Cromwell went on to say that all Your Majesty's agents, myself not excluded, were like hawks; they rose very high to come down on their prey with greater rapidity; (fn. n19) and that he fancied the one object all our exertions was to have the Princess declared heir and successor to this crown; but if so, Cromwell added, I may tell you that the thing is quite impossible owing to the statutes and ordinances lately promulgated on the subject. He laid particular stress on these last words, as if he wished to let me understand that he had guessed what we were about, and that we were labouriny in vain. (fn. n20)
Then, changing the conversation, Cromwell began to speak about a marriage between the prince of Spain (Philip) and this King's illegitimate daughter, whom they call princess [of Wales]; but perceiving the mien I put on, he only said two more words; and without waiting for my answer, he himself added, "I dare say, however, that His Majesty, the Emperor, will not hear of it out of respect for the Princess, his cousin." This subject being dropped, he went on to say that the French would never dare declare war without the concurrence of the English; and upon my observing that I had heard that this King was about to send to France four personages, to meet four other Frenchmen at the frontier, and there discuss together their common affairs, he owned to me that it was true that the French had solicited such an assembly, as likewise an interview of the two Kings. I then told him that on our part no possible objection should be made, provided matters of religion and Faith were not discussed at the conferences; but he made no reply.
He ended by making all manner of excuses at his having several times refused giving audience to my servants; at which he professed to be more sorry than I myself could be, but press of business (he said) and other circumstances had been the cause of it, and that, instead of remaining so long in town without going to Court, I might now go as frequently as I pleased, the King would be much pleased at my visit. (fn. n21)
I cannot say what sort of a treaty could be made with this King as long as he refuses restoring the Queen and Princess's affairs to their original state, much less mend those of the Church and Faith, which are getting worse and worse every day; for not later than Sunday last a certain preacher said from the pulpit that the King would do well to assemble the doctors of his kingdom, and determine at once whether in the consecrated wafer the precious body of Christ is contained or not, whether there is a purgatory, &c. As to himself, he would not say what his opinion was until the meeting of the said assembly. (fn. n22) It is for Your Majesty's very great wisdom to consider whither such propositions are leading, and what other preachers will say elsewhere through this kingdom. Of their blasphemies I cannot speak without horror, so general are they in this country, for no good priest is allowed to mount the pulpit and preach unless he be one of those appointed by the King for the purpose. I have my doubts whether such proceedings (privaultez) are not intended for the purpose of making their case with the French better, and likewise partly to remove the suspicion that might attach to them in the event of mishap overtaking these good ladies; (fn. n23) besides which it suits them admirably to make this people believe that a good understanding exists between Your Majesty and them, for that will make them more obedient and ready to pay the heavy taxes imposed upon them just now. There can be no doubt, therefore, that this King and the members of his Privy Council desire above all things Your Majesty's friendship; but, as far as I can gather, they have very little hope of it, and that is the reason why I doubt of the negociation coming to a good end. The other day, as the son of Mr. Darcy, (fn. n24) the brother of the earl of Velchez (.), and two more gentlemen courtiers, were dining with me, an appointment was made to call on Mr. Darcy's father. Yesterday was the day fixed for our meeting, which I wished above all things to attend, that I might personally see and speak to the said nobleman without being suspected; but as the rest of the company could not go, I myself did not dare call on him alone. I sent, however, one of my men to ask him what means could be employed to insure the persons of the Queen and Princess in case of a revolution in this country. His answer was, that he agreed with me that the time had come to act, although he believed that if a rising took place better means could then be found to place the ladies in safety; (fn. n25) besides which he thought that although they were actually in the King's hands, they would then be in less danger than at present, as the King would find himself in such perplexity that he could not think of ill treating them. The good gentleman is urging as much as he can the release of the Queen and Princess, and would like to know beforehand on what day it is to be attempted, that he may leave this city and retire to his own estates, where he has a fine castle not far from the sea coast. I am sure that, once under the custody of the person about whom I wrote to Your Majesty, the Queen and the Princess would be out of danger, for he is as anxious for their safety and welfare as the others are, as I have heard this very day from a very reliable quarter, and is ardently wishing for an opportunity to show his good will and devotion.
For a long time back there has been no news from Ireland, which makes people suspect that the affairs of that country are not going on as these courtiers might wish. The son of Mr. Darcy, who was thinking of going to his government in Jersey, said to me the other day that Master Cromwell had told him that the King was thinking of sending him to Ireland, most likely with an officer of high position. London, 7 March 1535.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original, partly in cipher. Pp. 26.
— March. 140. Katharine to LicTE, Medona. (fn. n26)
Rep. P.C.,
Fasc. 229½, ii.
fol. 38.
Was told after he left that Cromwell had gone quite publicly to see the ambassador [Chapuys]. This is most gratifying. The ambassador ought to be rather reserved, as otherwise he might be made a tool in the hands of these people. Is unwell, and cannot write more for the present.
Spanish. Holograph. No address.
Indorsed: 1535. "From the queen of England. Received on the 16th of March."


  • n1. The Duke died on the 31st of August 1535.
  • n2. "Moyennant quil y eust lequippaige dont jescripuoy dernierement, a sçauoir ung vasseaul de rammes que fust assez suffisant a ung besoing de soy secourre des petites barges; que pour les autres navieres estant en lentree de la riuiere conviendroit estre bien armee et pour soubtenir limpotz des grands bouz (?), que pourroyt la venir en cas que le vent ne fust propice pour desloger, car par le vent quelles descendroyent les autres sen pourroient aller."
  • n3. "Il ny auroit craincte des grandes navieres diçy, car par le vent quelles descendroyent les autres sen pourroient aller."
  • n4. "Et croys quen tel cas les dites royne et princesse ne seroyent tant a son commandement quil penseroyt bien; pour estre le cappitaine, a ce quil monstre, serviteur de vostre maieste et des dictes dames, et homme de bien." The governor of the Tower at this time was Sir William Kingston.
  • n5. Charles Soliers, sieur de Morette or La Morette.
  • n6. "Lui disant qua son advis la dicte lettre estoit bestiale, et pour leur honneur les françoys se pourroient passer de la publier."
  • n7. "Qui me vint demander une pronosticon que parle de la mutynacion qui doit estre contre les gouverneurs de ce royaume."
  • n8. "De la quelle pronosticacion chacun estoit requis de la part de millor brez, quest ung seigneur sçauant, riche et de bon cuer."
  • n9. "Que le roy a son porchaz avoit advise de faire remuer la princesse a une sienne belle mayson, comme yl disoit, quest a xvi. ou xviii. milles diçy, et de la ou est logee la royne environ xxv. ou xxx."
  • n10. Mr. de Likerke.
  • n11. "Car comme lon disoit chasteaul que commenceroyt de parlamenter estoyt a moytie gaigne."
  • n12. "Entre les autres ils navoient honte de nommer Monseigneur le cardinal de lige, de quoy ses ambassadeurs de France demourirent confus et eussent bien voulu nen avoir parle quant icelluy cremuel leur dict quil sçauoit comme le dit cardinal," &c.
  • n13. "A quoy me respondit le dict Cremuel quil (le roy) touchoit au vray et quo le tout avoit ete mis en avant et bien consideré."
  • n14. "A ceste occasion le dict Cremuel chargoit grandement les françoys pour la plus suspicieuse nation questoit au monde."
  • n15. "A quoy ne luy respondis sinon que tel se pensoit seigneur que se donnoit du doit en loeyl."
  • n16. "Il fust tres ioyeulx dentendre comme ne lavoye ne veu ne envoye visiter, ne permis que aucungs des miens [fust le veoir] mais que lambassadeur de france avoit plusieurs fois envoye son monde a disner [et que s'il auroit invite les miens] ils y fussent allés."
  • n17. "Et que venant a faire ouverture si je la reboutaye, de desespoir de ne pouvoir pervenir a traicter avec vostre Majeste, il se pourroit ralier avec les françoys estant encore leurs practiques chauldes, et que voyant quil ne respondoit a leurs ouvertures ils le pourroient prendre et interpresser a tacite consentement."
  • n18. "Et que plusieurs pourroient suggerer a vostre Majeste que pour despit dicelle lon eust avance le pas aux dictes dames, ou du moings lon improperoit a vostre majeste que celle (si elle ne) seroit aucunement cause de la mourt des dictes dames, ce que dieu ne veuille, ains advenoit a cause que vostre majeste ne s'estoit mis en aucungs devoirs de faire executer la sentence conforme aux executoriales."
  • n19. "Que les autres agents de sa Majeste et moy faysions comme les faulcons que vouloient bien hault pour descendre bien bas a prendre la proye, et quil entendoit, &c."
  • n20. "Mais quil ny avoit ordre a cause des statuts et ordonnances sur ce faictes; ne sçay si le faisoit pour le faire sentir meilleur."
  • n21. "Mais le temps le requeroit ainsy, et que au lieu questoys longuement demoure sans aller en Covrt, y pourroes aller a mon playsir, et que le roy lauroit tres aggreable."
  • n22. "Et que quant a luy il ne vouloit dire [son oppinion] jusques la dicte assemblée."
  • n23. "Vostre majeste par sa tres grande prudence considerera ou cella va frapper [et] que doivent faire les autres prescheurs, des blasphemes des quells jai horreur de parler, et ce generalement, car nuls des bons ne peut prescher ne autres que les deputez par le dit roy, et ne suis sans aucune doubte [quils] ne fassent telles privaultes tant pour en faire myeulx leur cas avec les françoys que pour oster en partie la suspicion en cas quil survint quelque chose à ces bonnes dames."
  • n24. The copy has Dasey, which seems to be an error of the deciphering clerk for Darcy (Sir Arthur), younger son of lord Thomas Darcy, who, on the 23rd of September 1534, was appointed captain or governor of Jersey. See Chapuys' despatch of that date. As to the earl of Velchez, who can he be, unless Essex be meant?
  • n25. "Le quel me manda quil conuenoit quil estoit temps pour en sçavoir donner precise resolution, combien quil ne doubtoit que lors lon ne trouvast meilleurs moyen et uoyes pour les retirer."
  • n26. I should have been inclined to read Molina instead of Medon or Medona, as in the address to this letter, had I not found upon inquiry that it is the true reading in Katharine's holograph letter. Medona, much less Medon, as elsewhere written, are no proper names in Spain; and as there was at this time one Juan Vazquez de Molina, lord of Poyo and La Eliseda, and commander of Guadalcanal, in the order of Santiago, who, since 1528, when Charles left Spain for Italy and Flanders, became secretary of State to the empress Isabella; moreover, as that official is often mentioned in papers of this time as Juan de Molina, and might have had a brother or nephew of his name; but, as I say, the reading leaves no doubt.