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 and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.
November 1535, 1-30
|1 Nov.||221. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.|
Rep. P. C.,
Fasc. 299½, 60.
|The French ambassador having very lately called on me, I did my utmost to ascertain from him what sort of a mission that was which the bishop of Winchester (Gardiner) has taken to France; but I could learn nothing, he having assured me on his faith and honour that these people had never spoken to him on the subject; of which, as well as of the little regard they have shown him on several occasions, the ambassador complained most bitterly to me, especially of Master Cromwell, who, he said, had refused him audience five or six times running, owning to me that at the last refusal he had been so disappointed and hart that fever had seized him, and he had sent an indignant message to Cromwell, telling him that in future he would not honour him with his visits, nor would he address him a letter on business, unless at the express command of the Most Christian King, his master. (fn. n1) The ambassador then began to complain of the innumerable wrongs and unjust acts to which his countrymen were daily subjected; as, for instance, that when the admiral of France was here last he had several times been promised that a quantity of goods belonging to French merchants, and which this King's officers had seized under pretence of the owners not having paid the customhouse dues (gabelle), should be restored forthwith; and yet no sooner had the Calais conference come to an end, than, notwithstanding the formal promise made to the Admiral of France (Chabot), the said goods had been denounced and confiscated, without hearing what the interested parties had to say in their defence; the ambassador himself thinking, as he told me, that, should this King's officers refuse to reconsider and recall the said sentence, the King, his master, would find plenty of means to indemnify the said merchants for their losses. Wishing then to call my attention to what he called Cromwell's want of consideration and regard, the ambassador added, "I am very much surprised to hear that he (Cromwell) has lately stated in the presence of several courtiers that he wondered that the Most Christian and the King, his master, did not consider that, were they to die now, they would leave their respective kingdoms in trouble and confusion. My reply to the man who brought me the news (continued the French ambassador) was that Cromwell's observation is very just as regards this kingdom of England, but cannot apply to France, where every one knows who is the right and legitimate heir to the Crown,—that is, the Dauphin, whom his brothers would in nowise molest, nor will they have occasion to do so, for they have but a small estate of their own, the rest of their revenue consisting of pensions, easily to be cancelled or increased, as the case may be."|
|The ambassador told me further: he said he had received intelligence that Cromwell, besides his frequent and open calls at this embassy, had often visited me in secret, and that the result of our mutual communications had been my despatching one of my secretaries to Your Majesty. This Cromwell had publicly declared in the presence of several courtiers, giving them to understand that Your Majesty and the King, his master, were upon the best possible terms, and in a fair way of again becoming friends. And although I assured him that Cromwell had not called secretly, and that for a long time back our conversations had only turned on the permission to go and see the Princess, and on soliciting the payment of certain arrears due to the Queen, yet I could not convince him, and he still suspects that there is something more between us, as he himself declared to me, not later than the day before yesterday, at the Lord Mayor's feast, which we both attended.|
|I hear from an authentic quarter that the Bishop (fn. n2) this King sent the other day to Germany is the bearer of credentials for almost all the princes and free towns of that country, besides general and ample powers to negotiate and conclude any convention he may deem necessary to foster and spread Lutheranism, as I think, and to prevent the meeting of the Council. The Bishop, I am told, left this city greatly annoyed, and in terrible fear at the idea of meeting with some misadventure on the road to Germany; which makes me believe that his mission is really and truly what I have said.|
|That the abbots of this kingdom may not complain of the innovations introduced in their convents, and that they may not parry the blow that is in store for them, the King has made an edict forbidding their interference in parliamentary affairs for the future.|
|Four or five hundred hackbutiers have quite lately been dispatched to Ireland under the command of the same captain who lately brought here the earl of Childare (Kildare), which is a proof to me that all is not over in that quarter. The goods of the Easterlings are still under sequestration, and the King has promised the English merchants not to levy the embargo until the ships lately captured are released, though, on the other hand, good words and hopes are given to them. The Estates, which ought to have been assembled this day, have been prorogued, and . . . to the Purification of Our Lady; and some think that this delay is for the purpose of waiting until they hear of what their ambassadors in France and Germany may have achieved in the meanwhile, and not proceeding further to the declaration and execution of their accursed and execrable intentions.|
|The term for the first payment of the tax granted by Parliament at its last sitting has already expired, but there is no talk yet of its being levied on the people. Some believe that the King will not press the matter further for the present, as he is afraid of some popular commotion among his subjects, already very poor and distressed, and in great fear of the threatening famine.—London, 1 Nov. 1535.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|Addressed: "To the Emperor."|
|French. Original, almost entirely in cipher.|
|1 Nov.||222. The Same to Nicolas de Granvelle.|
Fasc. 299½, iii. 25.
|According to the statement of the French ambassador, courtiers here go about saying that Barbarossa has already regained the Goleta of Tunis, and Bona also; at which astounding and false piece of intelligence the King, his lady, and her adherents, have shown great pleasure and joy. The same intelligence, I hear, has been sent from Court to the Princess.|
|The said ambassador expressed his astonishment to me at the English being still allowed to import corn from Flanders. This, he said, would not be tolerated in France under the circumstances. My own opinion is that the affair ought to be looked into, inasmuch as the harvest here has been very poor, and people begin to murmur. The King and his concubine, who formerly had it preached from the pulpit that God favoured particularly the English by sending them fine weather, have it said now that, "whom God loves, He chastises."|
|I hear that the French have not paid down the last instalment of their debt to this country.|
|The German who came here from the duke of Saxony was the bearer of a book dedicated by Melancthon to this King. He got 50 ducats for himself and 200 for the author; but I hear that the King does not entirely approve of it, and calls it a common-place book (loci communes). It appears, however, that the ambassador who is to go to Germany has charge of seeing Melancthon and his accomplices, and do all he can to make them sing to the tune this King wishes.—London, 1 Nov. 1535.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|French. Holograph, cipher. pp. 2.|
|4 Nov.||223. Dr. Ortiz.|
|S.E., L. 863, f. 48.
B. M. Add. 28,586,
|Since the news of England must have reached Your Majesty, I need not dwell on the subject further than say that I am amazed at the high and secret designs (juicios) of God, who, whilst He sells His glory so cheap to many persons, to others like the queen of England and her daughter, the Princess, He sells it so dear. Indeed, it would seem as if, in exchange for the grave cares and tribulations by which those ladies are surrounded, He is preparing for them everlasting glory.|
|The "executory letters" of the principal cause, as I once wrote to Your Majesty, were granted long ago, with all their requisites, in due form, &c. They were, however, not issued in the days of the late Pope, nor have they yet been issued during the present pontificate. When they are, it will require nearly a year for them to have effect; nevertheless, as the King's sins are so enormous and so notoriously public, there is plenty of cause for depriving him at once of his kingdom, nor any further declaration on the part of His Holiness required, since he has virtually been so deprived, and I have seen with my own eyes the draft of the Papal bull which His Holiness has caused to be drawn out to that effect, and shown to several of his cardinals. Thus, it would appear as if matters had been so disposed by God that the act is one emanating from the Apostolic See motu proprio, not at the request and solicitation of the Queen, as might be supposed. If so, the King will have no occasion to vent his rage on her or the Princess.—Rome, 4 Nov. mdxxxv.|
|Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."|
|Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.|
|5 Nov.||224. Count Cifuentes to the Emperor.|
|S. E., L. 864,
B. M. Add. 28,588,
|Wrote last on the 2nd, and again on the 3rd and 4th, to Idiaquez, by a servant of Antonio de Leyva, and a courier, both going to Spain. The bearer of this present despatch will be a servant of Eustace Chapuys, who has brought letters from the Queen to His Holiness, begging him to apply a remedy as soon as possible to what is passing in England. The messenger had charge of putting the Queen's letter into the Pope's hands, should he (Sylva) consider it opportune; but, considering that although His Holiness has ordered, with great fury, that the deprivation of the kingdom be immediately carried into effect, yet as he is unwilling that the measure appear a spontaneous act, but wishes to convey the impression that it has come at the Queen's own request, and entirely on her behalf, he (Sylva) has kept Chapuys' man concealed at the Embassy, and forbidden him to present the Queen's letter. Has, therefore, told the messenger to go first to the Emperor, and report on his mission, and explain to him the contents of the Queen's letter to the Pope. Should it be ultimately necessary to deliver the letter, the delay of the messenger to Naples and back seems of no consequence at all, and therefore he leaves this very day. His Majesty will give him his orders, and as the messenger himself will report, as eye-witness, on the late events in England, he (Sylva) will abstain from further comment on that business, save to say that they have promised him a copy of the bull of deprivation, which he will forward as soon as he gets it. The Ferrara affair is still in statu quo. The Duke refuses to accept any of the means of settlement proposed. Almost every day some cardinals appointed by His Holiness meet with the Duke's agents to find out some means of coming to an agreement, and as the question is one of money it is almost certain that they will find it.|
|Wrote that Soriano, the Venetian ambassador here, who lately left Rome, had written to the Signory that he had a verbal message for them from the Pope, and that on his arrival at Venice he would deliver it. Soriano has departed, and he now hears from a confidential person that soon after his arrival he went to the Senate, and made the motion, of which a copy is enclosed. Has this from a most authentic source; must, however, confess that, as far as His Holiness is concerned, he does not attach much faith to what is said with regard to him, because there is certainly some angry feeling in that quarter. (fn. n3) The better to understand what the motion (proposicion) means, and what the news from the Turk are, he has been anxiously expecting Lope de Soria's letters; but has not heard from him for three days.—Rome, quinto Novembris, mdxxxv.|
|Signed: "El Conde de Cifuentes."|
|Spanish. Original. pp. 3½.|
|5 Nov.||225. Dr. Ortiz to the Same.|
|S. E., L. 863,
B. M. Add. 28,588,
|I consider it my duty to inform Your Majesty that a Parisian doctor, who has lately arrived here, tells me that an Englishman, named Master Hains, (fn. n4) doctor in Theology, had gone to Paris for the purpose of secretly consulting the Parisian doctors as to whether it could be established and set down that regal power was superior to Papal power. The Parisian doctor above-mentioned, having been made aware of this, went and warned their colleagues of the Englishman's intentions, and advised them not to give any private opinion on the subject, but wait until the matter was amply discussed and decided by the assembled Faculty; and the Englishman having heard of this, desisted from his question and went away. It is a wonder to me that he came on such an errand, and that the king of France, knowing of it, did not insist upon his putting the question to the Parisian Faculty, which was not a safe thing to do considering the risk he and they ran. (fn. n5)|
|The same Parisian doctor informs me that at first king Francis had written a letter to the Faculty of Theology, ordering them to discuss certain propositions sent in by Philip Melancthon, and that the Faculty answered the King that His Royal Highness knew very well that any controversy or dispute on matters of Faith, in public and with the heretics, was strictly prohibited; and the King replied that he was under the impression that the matters to be disputed related to Church ceremonial, not to Faith. Upon which the Faculty retorted, showing the many heresies contained in the propositions; and that if Philip Melancthon, in obedience to the King's commands, came to Paris, it should be not to dispute on matters of Faith, but to be convinced of his error, and shown the causes and origin of it. For that purpose he was to be interrogated as to whether he believed, or not, in that article of the Christian Faith which says that there is one holy Church, and that the Œcumenical Council cannot err. That he should declare which Councils he held as catholic, and which not, and who are the catholic doctors to whose words or writings he attaches credit, and so forth, &c. My informant adds that the King sent this answer of the Sorbonne to Germany, and that was the reason why Melancthon's journey to Paris is postponed till next summer.—Rome, 5 Nov. mdxxxv.|
|Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."|
|Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.|
|10 Nov.||226. Viscount Hannaërt to the Empress.|
|P. Arch. Nat. Neg.
Pap. de Sim. 1484.
B.M. Add. 28,588,
|Has not written since the 3rd of September. The most Christian has been unwell lately, so weak that for the last ten days he has not left his bedroom. His physicians, however, say that there is no danger for his life. The duke of Orleans and his wife the Duchess have also been laid up with fever, but are now better.|
|The marriage of the king of Scotland (James) to the daughter of Mons. de Vandoma (Vendosme) has not yet been concluded, owing to some difficulty between the parties, which that King's ambassadors have sent home for consultation. The King's answer is expected.—Dijon, 10 Nov. 1535.|
|Signed: "Jo. Hannart visconde."|
|Spanish. Original. p. 1.|
|15 Nov.||227. Pier Luigi Farnese's Negociation with Charles V.|
Fasc. 229½, ii. 60.
|Pier Luigi [Farnese] has alluded to the proceedings and sentence against king Henry, in the execution of which Francis has offered to help, provided Charles promises to do the same. Francis is king Henry's ally; his sole object is to compromise Charles. (fn. n6) His Holiness ought to exact from Francis a full and authentic promise in writing, so that he may not retract hereafter. Henry ought to be proceeded against rigorously.|
|The Pope ought to take care that Francis has no pretext whatever for entering Italy, for that would be tantamount to preparing a fresh war. Charles has offered 50,000 crs. annually to one of Francis' sons, provided his father, the King, leaves Italy in peace; also the marriage of Angoulesme (the duke Charles) to Mary of England, which was at first declined by Francis.|
|Charles has since heard that at the interview of the two queens (Eleanor and Mary) the admiral of France (Philippe Chabot) had introduced the question of peace between the Emperor and his master, the King, (fn. n7) and consequently both the French ambassador in Spain and the Imperial one in France have been reminded of the two means proposed to bring about that peace.|
|With regard to the proposed marriages, the Emperor consents to that of Pier Luigi to the daughter of the duke of Savoy, not to that of the prince of Piedmont with the daughter of Pier Luigi.|
|French. Contemporary copy. p. 1.|
|Endorsed: "Copy of the negociation, &c. sent by Cyfuentes to queen Mary of Hungary."|
|15 Nov.||228. Eustace Chapuys to Nicolas de Granvelle.|
Fasc. 229½, ii. 30.
|Has considered it his duty to act in favour of the Queen and Princess; yet this King is so blinded that he will certainly fall lower and lower into the labyrinth of the Devil, and proceed to his total perdition. He will not be saved from ruin by the hackbuts he has lately ordered from Flanders. The order, however, looks suspicious, and I cannot help calling the Emperor's attention to it.|
|As you desire me to give you a detailed account of secretary Cromwell and his origin, I will tell you that he is the son of a poor blacksmith, who lived and is buried at a small village distant one league and a half from this city (London). His uncle, the father of a cousin of his, whom he has since considerably enriched, was cook to the last archbishop of Canterbury (Warham). In his youth Cromwell was rather ill-conditioned (mal conditionné) and wild. After being some time in prison he went to Flanders, Rome, and other places in Italy, where he made some stay. On his return to England he married the daughter of a fuller (tondeur de draps), and for a time kept servants in his house who worked for him at that handicraft. Later on he became a solicitor (solliciteur de causes), and thereby became known to the late cardinal of York (Wolsey), who took him into his service. At his master's fall he behaved very well towards him; and on the Cardinal's death, Master Wallop, now ambassador at the Court of France, somehow threatened and insulted him; whereupon, to save himself, he (Cromwell) asked and obtained an audience from king Henry, whom he addressed in such flattering terms and eloquent language—promising to make him the richest King in the world—that the King at once took him into his service, and made him councillor, though his appointment was kept secret for more than four months. Since then he has been constantly rising in power, so much so that he has now more influence with his master than the Cardinal ever had; for in the latter's time there were Compton, the duke of Suffolk, and others, to whose advice the King occasionally listened, whereas now-a-days everything is done at his bidding. The Chancellor (Audley) is but a tool in his hands.|
|Cromwell is eloquent in his own language, and, besides, speaks Latin, French, and Italian tolerably well. He lives splendidly; is very liberal both of money and fair words, and remarkably fond of pomp and ostentation in his household and in building.|
|Brian Tuke retains still the charge of treasurer, but has lately retired to a country seat of his, the duties of his office being filled by a deputy during his absence. I fancy, however, that he would not dislike to be relieved from his charge just now. London, 21 Nov. 1535.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|French. Holograph. pp. 3.|
|21 Nov.||229. The Same to the Emperor.|
Fasc. 229½, i. 137.
|Ever since I last wrote to Your Majesty, stating that Master Cromwell had spoken to me about this King's proposal of sending to Your Majesty a notable embassy, and had besides asked my advice about it, there has been no sign or indication whatever of the plan being carried into execution, from which I conclude, and, indeed, Your Majesty cannot fail to perceive, that the intention of these people is only to lull us with words and hopes, and thus gain time for their own political purposes and plans.|
|On Friday, the 12th inst., there was, by the King's command, the most solemn procession that ever took place in this kingdom, at least in the memory of man. It was composed of three bishops and four mitred abbots, dressed in pontifical robes, besides innumerable friars, priests, and other ecclesiastics most richly accoutred. As to people of all classes attending it, their number was incalculable, and in addition to that there were several bands of musicians playing on all manner of harmonious instruments. The very precious and most Holy Sacrament of the Altar was taken by the bishop of London through the streets of this capital, almost the whole length of it; all this being intended as a thanksgiving and praise to God for king Francis' convalescence. Many thought that the French ambassador himself and some of the lords of this court should have attended the ceremony; but there was nothing of the sort, and, I hear that, even before the procession was ordered and after, this King has shown disgust enough at king Francis' late doings; though upon the whole he has perhaps gladly seized the opportunity of gratifying the French nation on that score with so edifying and charitable a work, and at the same time making his subjects believe in the existence of a great friendship and brotherhood between the king of France and himself,—a belief which, under the circumstances, it is necessary for him to inculcate if he is to raise, without scruple or difficulty, the heavy taxes he has imposed on his people. The better to accomplish this end, and at the same time disseminate their perverse and damnable errors, a rumour has been secretly, though adroitly, circulated that the object of the procession is to praise and thank God for his Divine goodness in inspiring king Francis to follow the right path, and make him the chief of the Gallican Church. (fn. n8)|
|The same personage who, as I had occasion to write on the 6th inst., sent me a message to the effect that the King had decided to rid himself of the Queen and Princess at this next session of Parliament, came yesterday to town in disguise, and called at this embassy for the purpose not only of confirming his former statement, but also to beg and entreat me, with the greatest possible speed, to write to Your Majesty, applying for a prompt and efficacious remedy to these many evils, adding that as the King noticed that some of those to whom he had resolutely told his determination respecting the Queen and Princess, shed tears, he began to say that the case was not one for crying and grimacing, for, though he should lose his crown through it, he would insist upon the said measures being carried at once into effect. (fn. n9) The above is too strange and execrable a report for me to attach implicit faith to it, and yet, considering what has passed and is daily passing in this country, the persistence of the threats, and above all the wickedness of the concubine,—who for some time past has been attempting their lives,—I am afraid there must be some truth in it. For certainly the lady in question has for some time back thought of nothing short of putting the Queen and Princess to death. It is she who now rules over, and governs the nation; the King dares not contradict her. In short, the danger is imminent, and I very much doubt whether the King is not—as I have already written to Your Majesty—attempting to make the members of this Parliament take part in his mischievous designs, that they may thereby lose all call upon Your Majesty's clemency and commiseration, and thus be readier and more determined to defend themselves in the event of an invasion. (fn. n10)|
|Tomorrow Master Briant will start post haste to visit king Francis in the name of this King; but I firmly believe that under the plea of a courteous visit, the ambassador has charge also to solicit the release of several English merchant vessels detained at Bourdeaux in virtue of certain ordinances promulgated about one year and a half ago, the copy of which I then forwarded to Your Majesty, and which not only concern the English, but also all other nations trading with France.|
|Out of the 12 English ships captured in Denmark by the king of Sweden, eight have been allowed to return here without any serious injury to their hulks or loss to their cargoes, except that the said King has thought proper to keep in, by way of a loan, some of their artillery and ammunition, as well as other necessary apparel. The rest of the ships being larger, strongly built, and more useful for warlike purposes, have been retained, not so much to make use of them in warfare, as to prevent the Lubeckers from employing them for hostile purposes. The merchandise that was on board of the Dantzig ships is still here under embargo. Some of the owners have told me that they were not in a hurry to apply for the release of the sequestered goods, inasmuch as they were quite sure of being by-and-by compensated in full, and obtaining perhaps the double of their capital and interest on it—London, 21 November, 1535.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|Addressed: "To the Emperor."|
|French. Original, entirely ciphered. pp. 4.|
|21 Nov.||230. The Same to Granvelle.|
Fasc. 229½, iii. 30–4.
|Monseigneur, the personage mentioned above, as well as in my despatch to His Majesty, has just sent me a message to the effect that four or five days ago, whilst speaking of the Princess with one [of his courtiers], the King was heard to say that shortly he would take such measures concerning her that she would no longer want either train or company, but should be set up as an example to the world that no one can with impunity disobey the law. He was (the King added) desirous to ascertain how far the prediction about himself was true, namely, that at the beginning of his reign he would be as mild as a lamb, but towards the end would become more fierce than a lion. He would have all those who were confined in the Tower at once despatched, and many more, who had not yet been sent thither.|
|The personage alluded to suspects he is one of those the King means to treat in that manner, and has sent to request me not to dissemble so much with the ladies as I have done hitherto, lulling them with hopes and fair words, but, on the contrary, let them know, now that there is a better opportunity for doing so, the danger in which both are, and warn them that they may advise what had better be done under the circumstances, and, if necessary, send an express messenger to His Majesty representing their position, &c.|
|French. Original in cipher. (fn. n11)|
|22 Nov.||231. Dr. Ortiz to the Same.|
|S.E., L. 863, f. 49.
B.M. Add. 28,588,
|Wrote on the 1st and 8th of September and 24th October, of the receipt of which I am ignorant. On the 14th the Imperial ambassador in England wrote, saying that both the Queen and the Princess were doing well. He had sent here one of his servants, who arrived on the 5th inst., and who has since departed with letters from the Queen, and despatches for Your Majesty. The former, the Queen says, are her last appeals to justice, and as it were her last will, since the state to which she has been reduced, and the Acts (ordinaciones) which are expected to pass Parliament in this very month of November, make us all fear that both she and the Princess, her daughter, will be sentenced to death; which martyrdom the Queen is ready to suffer as a testimony of our holy Catholic Faith, as did before her cardinal Fisher and the other holy martyrs. One thing above all afflicts her, that her life has not been so holy and virtuous as that of the Cardinal and the others, and likewise that she feels pity and commiseration for the many souls that are every day doomed to perdition.|
|The Princess is now staying at the same house where the daughter of the King's mistress is residing, and has only three women (mugeres) for her service. The whole establishment is governed by an aunt of Anne (Boleyn); and though at one time the Imperial ambassador (Chapuys) was allowed to send twice a week to inquire about her health, and so forth, that permission has now been withdrawn. Having, moreover, asked that she might be allowed to live with her mother, the Queen, the ambassador has been told that it was highly inconvenient that the Princess should go and stay where the mother is, inasmuch as she would the more persistently refuse to obey the statutes of the kingdom;—which is very unlikely, considering the pains there established for the offenders. And they say that the King has promised his mistress that as long as he is alive the Princess will not marry, whilst the said Anne has repeatedly told him that it is she (the Princess) who wages war against them both, and that she ought to be treated in the same way and manner as Bishop (Fisher). Indeed, many a time has she said to the King, "The Princess will be the cause of my death unless I get rid of her beforehand; but I will so manage that if I die before her, she shall not laugh at me."|
|It is further related that the ambassador (Chapuys) having claimed certain arrears due to the Queen from the time she was in possession of the estates which constitute her dower, not only was his application denied, but he was also told that the Queen must look to reducing her household expenses, and be contented with the pension paid by the King.|
|The earl of Kildare, who, as stated in a former despatch, had gone to London at the solicitation of an uncle of his, who pretended that the King would willingly pardon him, after passing a fortnight at Court and attending the Royal hunts, and hearing many gracious words from the King's lips, has been confined in a dungeon of the Tower, where his own father died, and from which no one goes out except to be executed.|
|King Francis sent the other day to England, besides the resident ambassador, a relative of the Grand Master (Montmorency), named the Bailli .de Troya, who visited Anne's daughter (Elizabeth) as if she were a real princess. The ambassador was afterwards heard to say that if he had visited the daughter it was merely by the wish of the mother, who had actually asked him to do so; and that the king of England sent the bishop of Excetre, who in former times had endeavoured to be counted among the good ones, and disapproved of the King's conduct, whereas now he is one of the worst.|
|In some of the English monasteries all good (habiles) friars have been forcibly removed, leaving only the bad ones (inhabiles), and these are left with such small means for their sustenance that they will be compelled to forsake their orders. All nuns under 25 years of age have received notice to quit their convent; and one of the commissaries who went for the purpose had addressed them in indecent language (impudicamente), upon which the nuns had severely rebuked him, saying that their Apostolic privileges were infringed. To which the commissary replied that his power as representative of the king of England was greater than that of all the Apostolic chamber put together. And they say that when Master Cromwell, now the King's principal secretary, and the person through whose hands all these measures pass, heard of the allegation of the nuns, he exclaimed, "That is only the beginning of the end."|
|In the various abbeys they are actually appointing gentlemen's sons, though they may be mere infants, that they may receive the revenues thereof.|
|On the gate of London, I hear the three heads of cardinal [Fisher], of Thomas Moore, and of one Carthusian friar, who also suffered martyrdom, were affixed; but that of Fisher, I am told, which was in the middle of the other two looked every day fresher and fresher, although the others got black. Which being perceived, and that the passers-by noticed it, the head was removed and cast into the river.|
|The cardinals here, to whom His Holiness has committed the English cause, are giving out that they have orders to declare the king of England deprived of his kingdom, and his subjects absolved and relieved of obedience to him, as well as of their oaths of fidelity; but, after all, the draft that has been prepared, and which I have seen with my own eyes, is but a monitory brief.—Rome, 22 Nov. mdxxxv.|
|Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."|
|Spanish. Original, pp. 5.|