Spain: May 1535, 1-20

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

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


'Spain: May 1535, 1-20', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886), pp. 451-460. British History Online [accessed 14 June 2024].

. "Spain: May 1535, 1-20", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886) 451-460. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024,

. "Spain: May 1535, 1-20", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 1, 1534-1535, (London, 1886). 451-460. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024,

May 1535, 1-20

May 5–8. 156. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Rep. P.C.,
Fasc. 229½, f. 59.
It seems, as I lately informed Monseigneur de Granvelles (sic), that Cromwell is trying to ascertain what may be the object and aim of the Calais meeting before he makes any overtures; for, although he has often promised me to look to this shortly, he has done nothing up to the present hour, nor is there any appearance of his intending to take up the affair in hand. True it is that since his late illness he has only gone to Court once, four days ago; and I fancy he may have had no opportunity to speak to the King, owing to the variety and pressure of other business to be despatched. On his return from Court after his second visit I shall be able to judge better whether he is, as I suspect, dissembling; for I never entertained great hopes of these people being brought by mild terms to anything approaching a reasonable or honest termination of the affair in hand.
This King's deputies to the Calais meeting are to take their departure on the 11th inst.,—lord Rochefort, the lady's brother, going thither in the room of Cromwell, who, many think, has declined the appointment, owing to the small chance he thinks there is of the matters there under discussion being brought to a satisfactory issue.
Three days ago the two doctors sent by the people of Lubeck arrived here, in order, as I have been told, to solicit money from this King towards further improving their defences against the reported invasion by the combined forces of the Palatine and duke of Olstein (Holstein). I will try, when I next see Cromwell, to ascertain what truth there may be in that, without omitting to make him understand at the same time that the contumacious behaviour and practices of the King, his master, are by no means consistent with the confirmation of friendship, which we both are looking for at present, much less with the preceding treaties of peace between the two Crowns.
The enormity of the case, and the confirmation of the small hope I have of this King's repentance, (fn. n1) compel me to inform Your Majesty that yesterday three Carthusians, and one monk of the Order of St. Brigitis, all men of good and sound doctrine, as well as exemplary life and reputation, were dragged through the streets of this capital to the place of execution, and there put to death for no other cause than their having said and maintained that the Pope was the true chief and sovereign of the universal Christian Church, and that, according to God, reason, and conscience, it did not appertain to this King to usurp the sovereignty of the Church and supremacy over the English clergy. Which declaration, for the relief of their own and the King's conscience, the said monks went of their own accord to make before Cromwell about three weeks ago; and upon the latter pointing out the danger of such uncalled-for declaration, and advising them to take warning before matters went any farther, all resolutely answered that they would rather suffer one hundred deaths than change their opinion. About a week ago the duke of Norfolk, in representation of the King, his master, assisted by the Chancellor (Audeley), Master Cromwell, the ordinary judges of the kingdom, the knights of the Garter who had attended the solemn ceremony of St. George, and several other lords, sat in court and interrogated the said monks, who made most commendable answers to all questions, and maintained their assertions until, as I have been told, it being deemed impossible to convince them by reasoning, they were told that the statute had been made, and was not to be disputed, and that unless they retracted and spoke in other terms they had better withdraw, and come next day to hear their sentence. Accordingly, the day after the monks appeared again before the Court, and were again much exhorted to retract; and upon their refusal to do so, they were, after long disputation, condemned by lay judges, and declared guilty of treason and the crime of "læsæ majestatis." There was no question of degradation, nor unfrocking. The same fate was shared by a priest for having spoken and written against this King and his government.
I must here record a most singular fact, which is that the dukes of Richmond and Norfolk, the earl of Wiltshire (Thomas), his son (George), and several other lords and gentlemen courtiers, were present at the execution, openly and quite close to the victims. It is even reported that the King himself showed a desire to witness the butchery; which is likely enough, considering that nearly all his courtiers, even his own privy and principal chamberlain, Master Noris, with 40 horsemen [of the King's body-guard], attended. It is also reported that the last-named gentleman was one of five, who went to the place of execution, accoutred and mounted as if he were going on an expedition to the Scotch borders, and that all carried arms secretly, and had besides masks on their faces; which tended considerably to arouse suspicion, for the mask of Norfolk's brother having given way, he was easily recognized as one of the five masked gentlemen, upon which the courtiers [suspecting that all was not right] began suddenly to leave the place one by one. (fn. n2)
A rumour is afloat that this King has had summonses served on the bishop of Rochester (Fisher), on Master Mure (Sir Thomas More), on a doctor, once his confessor, as well as on one of the Queen's chaplains, and on the Princess's tutor (precepteur), enjoining them to swear to the statutes lately promulgated here against the Pope, and against the said Queen and Princess, as otherwise they will be dealt with as were the aforesaid monks. A term of six weeks has been granted to them to advise on the matter; and I am given to understand that all, without exception, have answered that they are ready to suffer martyrdom at the King's pleasure, and that neither the six weeks' respite granted to them, nor six hundred years, if they could possibly lire through them, would work any change in their opinion. It is generally believed that they will be dispatched as were the others. And, as several worthy personages conjecture, should this King lose all shame, and get used to such cruelties, it is to be feared that the lives of both Queen and Princess will be in jeopardy, and that they will be dispatched secretly, if not in public, the King's mistress helping with all her power towards that end; for she is known to have frequently reproached the King, and told him that it was a shame for him and for the whole kingdom not to punish them as traitors and defaulters against the letter of the statutes. Indeed, the concubine is now fiercer and haughtier than ever she was, and has been bold enough to tell the King, as I hear, that he is as much indebted to her as ever man was to woman, for she has been the cause of his being cleansed from the sin in which he was living; and, moreover, that by marrying her as he had done, he had become the richest monarch that ever was in England, inasmuch as without her he would never have been able to reform the affairs of the Church in his kingdom, to his very great personal profit and that of his kingdom. (fn. n3)
For some time back the Queen has been apprehensive of some bad turn or other being played to the Princess, her daughter, as appears from a letter which she wrote to me some time ago, and which I enclosed to Monseigneur de Granvelle.
Presuming that the Queen herself is writing to Your Majesty respecting her own affairs and the condition in which she is at present, I abstain from saying anything further on that topic.—London, 5 May 1535.
8 May. 157. The Same to the Same.
Rep. P. C., Fasc.,
229½ f.
Yesterday morning, the 7th inst., Your Majesty's letter of the 20th ult. came to hand; after the careful reading of which I sent word to Master Cromwell—now staying out of town (aux champs), near a house which I have purposely taken to converse with him—and begged him to give me an appointment. Cromwell's answer was, that, owing to the lateness of the hour and press of business, he could not receive me at his house, but that to-day, the 8th inst., he would call on me in London. Accordingly, after dinner, about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, as he was returning from Greenwich, Cromwell came, and held a conversation with me; the substance of which is that the King, his master, wishing to testify his great desire of strengthening the union and old friendship between Your Majesty and him, of which I had lately spoken, had, at his request, acquiesced in all proposals not affecting his honor, and actually agreed to the convocation of the General Council, provided Your Majesty consented not to bring before it the question of his divorce, owing to the inconveniences likely to arise therefrom, as he had previously told me. On my replying to him in the same terms, as, at his second visit this last Lent, and after producing many other arguments, which, for brevity's sake, I omit, Cromwell owned to me that my observations were both true and perfectly legal, and that to-morrow he would communicate them to the King, and let me know his pleasure next Monday.
Among other arguments and objections started by Cromwell in the course of our conversation, one was that, even in the case of the King's second marriage being proved to be illegitimate, Your Majesty ought to dissemble, inasmuch as you yourself had done your duty to God and the world in that affair, and might therefore now leave the whole matter to the conscience of so virtuous and Catholic a prince as the King, his master, was. By so doing innumerable advantages might be gained, not only for Your Majesty's subjects and the English, but likewise for Christendom at large, for the exaltation of our Holy Faith, the confusion of heretics, and the destruction of the Grand Turk, of his friends and adherents, even of those Turks nearest to us, meaning the French, as he repeatedly called them in the course of our conversation. Further on, and the better to explain his idea, Cromwell said to me that king Francis, for the purpose of recovering Milan, would not scruple to bring the Turk, and the Devil also, to the very heart of Christendom, and that he (Cromwell) wished above all things that a good understanding should exist between Your Majesty and the King his master, were it for no other purpose than to subdue and abate the pride of the French, and put a little more ballast into their brains. (fn. n4) They were, indeed, so lightheaded and flighty that they required being kept well under; could that be done, they would become the most harmless nation in the world. The King, his master, who had done so much for the French, could not boast of having received the least return from them, not even the value of one ducat. Many other things did Cromwell say to the disadvantage of the French, which I omit for brevity's sake.
After this, Cromwell went on to say that the effect of a great many advantages was suspended merely through Your Majesty's respect and affection for the Princess, who (he said) was but mortal, and now in delicate health, (fn. n5) and that if God should be pleased to take her to himself, there would be no further cause for quarrel and dissension. He had received intelligence from various quarters—though he attached no faith to the report—that both Your Majesty and the king of the Romans had planned to introduce schism and dissension in this country, and then invade it with an army; which undertaking, many of Your Majesty's courtiers, both in Flanders and in Germany, considered not only necessary, but of easy execution, and even profitable to England and the English. Yet, observed Cromwell, the undertaking is not so easy and inexpensive as people may imagine; and that, even if Your Majesty were to conquer this country, it would not redound to your honour so to have treated such a true and old friend as his master had been. "The Emperor, moreover, could not (said Cromwell,), after his death, bequeath this kingdom to his heirs, nevertheless the infamy of such an act would attach to his name for ever." (fn. n6)
Hearing this, I asked Cromwell what he meant by saying that Your Majesty intended bringing to England the schism and dissension, to which he had alluded, and whence he drew his information. He answered that there had been in Flanders and in Spain (de par dela) a talk of prohibiting English merchants to trade with Your Majesty's dominions in order to make the people of this country rise in rebellion. Cromwell could not conceal from me that he considered this would be a very effective measure, and if carried into execution, would inevitably cause discontent among the English. He also mentioned the efforts which, according to information received, were being continually renewed to make Your Majesty undertake the invasion of this kingdom; and this he explained to me with greater assurance and with more details than at the conference, of which I gave Your Majesty notice the other day.
The said Master Cromwell has given me to understand that the day before the Ascension the Privy Council had discussed the above matters in the King's presence, and that when Your Majesty's [intended] marriage to this Princess was recalled to memory, (fn. n7) the King, his master, had spoken in the highest possible terms of you, and that he himself (Cromwell) had stated it as his opinion that it would be right and expedient to ascertain whether the articles, which Mr. de Likerke had put into the hands of their ambassador at your Imperial court, proceeded really from Your Majesty, or had been drawn up with your consent. If so, Cromwell said, an extraordinary ambassador ought at once to be sent from this country with full powers to treat of all matters, especially of the renewal of the confederacies and alliances of both countries; the ambassador ought to recommend to Your Majesty due consideration for the King's honour, which could not be saved if at the General Council the divorce question were introduced, and his second marriage annulled. And upon my observing that the said submission once made, the parties would be in a better position to treat amicably of all matters without injury to their honour, and that in the meantime God might inspire those whom the case most concerned, Cromwell said that he much preferred treating of such things before the actual meeting of the Council, for the greater security of the King, his master.
Cromwell again made his excuses for not having spoken to me sooner. I was not to think, however, that dissimulation or a wish to gain time had been the cause of the delay. It was not of any importance to them if the negociation lagged, much less to Your Majesty and to the king of the Romans, who were daily increasing the number of your friends and servants. Neither had the Calais meeting, which was to take place soon, influenced them (the English) in the least, since they cared not a fig for it. The King could not well refuse, since Francis had laid so much stress on it. His master, said Cromwell, took so little notice of it, that he had not even deigned to write a single word to his own ambassador, and had contented himself with notifying it to Morette. (fn. n8) "As to me (continued Cromwell) I have declined the appointment, and the bishop of Ily (Ely) will go in my room, being almost sure that nothing will be achieved there, however clever the French may be in negociating. They are now asking for the hand of the King's daughter (Elizabeth) for the duke of Angoulême, with a view to making their profit out of us during her tender age, and then, when it suits them, breaking through all engagements and conventions; which, however, cannot stand long with them, considering their usual instability; in addition to which, the French are all the time favouring and supporting the Roman Church, whereas we ourselves will not hear of that.
Passing from one topic of conversation to another, Cromwell happened to say, as if coming from himself, and without any special charge or commission from the King, that he would very much like that, leaving matters between Your Majesty and the King, his master, as they stood at present, a marriage between prince Philip, Your Majesty's son, to this King's illegitimate daughter, might be negociated, and that the Princess (Mary) if she lived, could be honourably married out of England with Your Majesty's consent and approbation. The King would give her the greatest and richest dower that ever was given to any queen or empress. And on my replying to him, that, before thinking of such things, it was necessary that a matter so intimately connected with the honour, reputation, and conscience of the King, his master, should be settled, as I had told him at a previous conference, he replied that next Monday I should, without fail, get a final resolution, and that if, in the meantime, I wished to see the King at any particular hour, whatever my business might be, I should be welcome. My reply was that it would be both unkind and indiscreet on my part to take out of his hands the negotiations of such an affair, and that I had no doubt that he could discuss it with the King much better than anyone else in the world.
Perceiving the freedom with which Cromwell had spoken his mind about the French, and his repeated assurances that no treaty would be made with them, I avoided entering into particulars about the contents of Your Majesty's last letter to me, and only referred to the King's relations with the people of Lubeck. He owned to me that the King, his master, had actually lent them a sum of money, the receipt for which he would show me whenever I liked; adding that the Lubeckians were "canailles et coquins," who had sought his master's alliance by making many offers, though they had spread the rumour that it was the King who had solicited them with a view to draw up and prepare certain articles concerning Denmark and its King; but the truth was that the King, his master, had refused to listen to them.
With regard to the money lately remitted by this King for the restoration of the duke of Viertemberg (Würtemberg,) Cromwell has assured me,—even taken his oath,—that never did the King, his master, contribute one single farthing towards it. True it was, said Cromwell, that at the pressing request of king Francis, the payment of two terms of his pension, amounting altogether to 107,000 crs., was postponed for a whole year, a thing (Cromwell added), which is likely to be the source of some quarrelling and trouble, inasmuch as the French have played us a trick by inserting in the receipt for the last payment some clause involving that of the third and last instalment.
In reference to Your Majesty's instructions touching the Princess, and the means to be employed to take her out of this country, I can only say that on the receipt of your letter I sent to her my man, who has returned this very morning, saying that she is thinking of nothing else, and believes that she can easily accomplish her flight. Indeed, ever since the execution of the [Carthusian] monks, the Princess is seriously thinking of carrying out her plan of escape, especially since her governess keeps telling her to take warning, and think of her own affairs. Hitherto she has been unable to fix upon any plan, nor have I myself, as the locality where she is living is entirely unknown to me. Should I obtain more information on this point, I shall not fail to acquaint Your Majesty.
(fn. n9)
The good old lord above-mentioned has sent me to-day a message by one of my own attendants, that he was on the point of leaving for his estates in the country, where he would lose no time in planning the affairs in question. There had been (the messenger said) some talk, if I only approved of it, of sending a gentleman to Your Majesty, the more effectually to acquaint you with all details. He has promised to send the said gentleman to me in a few days that I may talk to him. If he comes, I shall not fail to apprize Your Majesty of all particulars.—London, 8 May 1534.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor." French. Original. Partly in cipher.
10 May. 158. The Emperor to the King of England.
Rep. P. C.,
Fasc. 229½, ii.,
fol. 25.
Chapuys will report concerning the preparations he (Charles) has made to resist the Turk. Intends going to Naples and Sicily, there to provide for the defence of Christendom. While thus engaged he prays Henry to watch over and secure the preservation of peace in Christendom. Barcelona, 10 May 1535.
French. Contemporary copy. p. 1.
10 May. 159. The Same to Eustace Chapuys.
Rep. P. C.,
Fasc. 229½, ii.,
fol. 26.
Received on the 28th ult. his letters of the 25th of March and 5th of April.
Cannot in good conscience abandon his aunt and cousin, as the king of England wishes him to do. Should king Henry continue obstinate on this point, let Chapuys try and temporize. Is now writing a courteous letter to the King to announce his early departure for the Tunisian expedition.
As to the Princess's flight, the Emperor shares fully Chapuys' opinion; it will be very difficult, and ought not to be tried unless with reasonable hope of success. This is not the proper moment for it, so let the ambassador gain time. Barcelona, 10 May 1535.
French. Draft. pp. 2½.
17 May. 160. The King of England to his Ambassador in France.
Rep. P. C.,
Fasc. 229, ii.,
fol. 39.
Articles sent by the king of England to Mr. Wallop, his ambassador in France, to communicate to the Emperor's ambassador.
Concerning the convocation of a General Council, and the submission of the divorce and his new marriage to it, whilst good treatment is insured to the Princess Dowager, and the lady Mary, Wallop is to say, that, notwithstanding the Emperor's ingratitude towards him, and the well known fact that his affection towards a woman has made him forsake entirely his most loyal friend, Henry is ready to forgive all and be again friendly.
Henry has no objection to the meeting of a General Council, provided it be held at a place and in a manner convenient to all, who should wish to attend.
As to submitting the question of his new marriage to a General Council, that has already been done, since it was put before the principal universities and learned men, who decided in Henry's favour. Will not allow the question to be reopened, nor will he consent to a Council being held in Italy, or at any other place subject to the Pope or the Emperor, where pressure might easily be brought to bear on its members.
As to the Princess Dowager and the lady Mary, if the Emperor will write a letter advising them to submit to the law as laid down by the universities (which, after all, Henry holds to be as good as a Council) and by the Estates of the realm, and if the two ladies will entirely conform thereto, they shall be well treated.
If the Emperor wishes for Henry's friendship, he must not propose dishonourable conditions such as those calculated to throw doubt upon the justice of Henry's cause.
French. Contemporary copy. pp. 5.


  • n1. "Et pour la confirmacion du peu despoir que jay a la resipicenee de ce roy."
  • n2. "Et tient lon quil estoit du nombre de cinq questoient la venu[s] accoustrez et monstez (sic) comme ceulx des frontieres descosse, lesquels estoient armes a la secrette pourtant couruettes (?) deuant la visage, dont celle du frere du due de Norphock se destacha que esbranla grandement laffaire, ioinct quil fut note que partant les dicts cinq ainsi vestuz et bouchez, tous ceulx de court deslogearent (sic)."
  • n3. "A quoy poussera de tout son pouvoir la concubine que naguieres a pluseurs fois affirme et inculpe au dit roy que ce luy estoit honte et a tout le royaume quelles nestoient pugnies comme traicteresses a la forme des statuz. La dicte concubine eat plus fiere et haultaine quelle ne fut onques, et oze bien dire au dit roy, ainsi que ientende, quil est austant tenu a elle que home pourroit estre tenu a femme, car elle estoit cause lauoir oste du peche ou il estoit, et dauantage quil sen alloit le plus riche prince que oncques fut en angleterre pour autant que sans elle il neust reforme les affaires ecclesiastiques de ce royaulme a son tres grand prouffit et aussi de tout ce peuple."
  • n4. "Et leur mectre ung peu plus darrest en leur cerueaul quilz auoient si mobille, car les tenant ung peu bas et en necessité."
  • n5. "plaine de mauvaise disposition."
  • n6. "Et que icelle apres son trespas nempourteroit ce royaume layant ainsi conquis et que linnominie du mauvais renom vous en demeureroit."
  • n7. As early as the year 1524 there had been a question of a marriage between Charles and his cousin the princess Mary.
  • n8. "Que le roy, son maistre, faisoit si peu de compte dicelle diette quil nen avoit daingne escripre ung seul mot a son ambassadeur, ains navoit fait seullement advertir morette dicelle."
  • n9. "Bien est vrai quil consentit a la tres instante requeste du roy de France que le payement de sa pension, montant pour deux termez cent et sept mille escuz, fust differe jusques a une annee, de quoy, ainsi quil me dit, il y aura du brouille et de la question car les françois ont fait quelque habilite a la quictance du dernier payement comprenant la quictance des tiers passez."