Spain: June 1536, 1-5

Pages 134-136

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1888.

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June 1536, 1-5

2 June. 58. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E., L. 866,
f. 76.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 284.
[Offers a few considerations on the death and martyrdom of the Queen, which he says is already producing a good effect in England, and then continues:]
His Holiness has news from that country, purporting that the King's mistress [Anne Boleyn] had six friends, (fn. n1) with all of whom she was in carnal connexion; one was her own brother (George), the other a musician, who, finding he was less favoured [than the others], after asking for the King's pardon and the promise that his life would be spared, revealed to him the whole truth. All the culprits having been arrested, it was found that the musician was right. Anne, therefore, was sentenced to death,—first to be degraded of the rank of Queen, then beheaded, and her body committed to the flames. She was, moreover, to witness first the death of every one of her paramours except the musician, who made the revelation. Her own father [the earl of Wiltshire], who was innocent in this case, approved of the sentence.
During the investigation, it was proved that before she conceived the daughter, whom the King thought was his, she had been in criminal conversation with some or every one of the above, owing to which there was a question in England of declaring that daughter (Elizabeth) not to be his own.
Sacred images have been restored to the churches, and already clergymen are preaching from the pulpit that there is a Purgatory. Glory to God for that! He (Ortiz) recollects that the cardinal of Burgos (D. Iñigo de Mendoza), now enjoying God's glory, said to him many a time that while he was residing in London as Tour Majesty's ambassador, a blessed nun (beata) was martyred, owing to her having, at the commencement of Anne's tyranny, had a revelation and predicted that the royal concubine would perish by fire.
Persons in England, to whom we have written to inquire into this most strange event, assert that during the inquiry instituted to prove Anne's guilt, it was found that she had tried to poison Her Highness, queen Katharine of England, and that king Henry is actually paying his court to another lady. When Chapuys' letters arrive we shall have more details. Rome, 2 June 1536.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2½.
2 June. 59. Jo. Hannaërt, viscount of Lombecke, to the Same.
P. Arch. Nat.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 289.
My last, dated the 27th ult., (fn. n2) of which Don Frances de Veamont (fn. n3) was the bearer, contained news up to that date Since then king Francis no longer speaks of peace. "As the Emperor (he says) refuses to entertain my demands about Milan, and to give that duchy to my second son, the duke of Orleans, I must needs go to war with him. I am only waiting to see what he intends doing with his fleet, and whether he will be the first to break the peace or not." Suspecting that Your Majesty may invade France by way of Marseilles and the Provence, he is actually collecting as great a force as he can, with the determination of going to Your Majesty's encounter with 59,000 men, wherever you may land. For this purpose he calculates upon having soon 20,000 men between Germans and Swiss, including the 6,000 he has already; but, in my opinion, there is very little appearance of his being able to enlist abroad as many men as he says. He has, moreover, summoned 20,000 militiamen (legionarios) to be in Provence on a fixed day, and says that he is determined not to offer battle, but to harass his enemy with continual skirmishes, and make you waste your time and your money, thinking that you will be unable to keep up the war at such an expense. His resolution is to send the Dauphin, the eldest of his sons, to Languedoc with a body of men. If so, it would be advisable to have Perpignan and the whole of Rousillon well provided with stores and every material of war. The Prince of Labrit (they say) is to go to Guienne, to pass muster to the 10,000 Gascons already collected in that province. I also know as a fact that king Francis has sent money and men for the fitting out of the three great galeasses and three galleons, besides the big war-ship which he ordered last year to be built in one of the ports of Normandy. (fn. n4) All his ships, it is added, are to sail for the Levant; and should matters remain in the state in which they are at present, and should his fleet reach the Fortunate Islands, otherwise called "Las Accesorias," some mischief might be apprehended, for it is said that Captain Pizarro is shortly expected from Peru with much gold and silver.
Your Majesty has, no doubt, heard by this time that Anne Boleyn, the illegitimate queen of England, has been arrested and sent to the Tower of London, together with her brother, the Earl of Rochefort, and three other gentlemen of the King's Chamber, named Master Norris, Weston, and Brereton, besides an organ player, all of whom were beheaded on the same day, the 16th ulto., having been indicted for adultery with the said Anne, and for conspiracy of a very bad kind against the King's life. After the execution the head and body of the Queen were deposited in a chapel of the Tower, whereas those of the rest were quartered, and it has been found that the daughter she pretended to have had in her marriage with the King was not her own child, but that of a poor family from whom she got it.
It would appear that the proposed marriage of the king of Scotland to the French princess is being delayed more on account of the King than of the lady herself.
The Admiral of France (Brion-Chabot) has arrived. He has left garrisons in Turin, and two or three other towns of Piedmont, which arc to be given over to the marquis de Saluzzo. Yet people here murmur, and say that the Marquis has treated with the Emperor, and sold to him the said towns. There is also a report that the people of Savoy are rising in the mountains, and will soon attack the French.
Of the artillery that was here most is to go to Marseilles; 15 pieces of ordnance have already left.—Leon on the Rhone, (fn. n5) 11 June 1536.
Signed: "Jean Hannaërt."
Spanish. Original. pp. 5.
June. 60. English News of Anne Boleyn's Imprisonment.
S. E., L. 806,
f. 51.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. .
His Majesty hears from England, in date of 11th May, that the King's mistress, Anne Boleyn, who styled herself queen of that country, has been sent to the Tower of London, and imprisoned on the charge of adultery, which she had for a long time committed with an organ player of her private chapel, who has likewise been imprisoned in the said Tower, at the same time with the most favourite of the King's chamberlains (Sommelier de Corps), accused also of the same crime, besides one brother of the said concubine, owing to his not having revealed that which he knew to have taken place.
It is further added that even if the said concubine's adulterous connections had not been discovered, the King was determined to cast her away from him, owing to his being sure, from the evidence of witnesses perfectly agreeing together, that nine years before she had been married to and consummated matrimony with the Earl of Nottemberlan (Northumberland). (fn. n6)
Indorsed: "News from England respecting the concubine's imprisonment."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. p. 1.


  • n1. "Que la manceba del Rey de Anglaterra tinie seis amigos con los quales mal usava de su cuerpo."
  • n2. The ambassador's last despatch (No. 57) bears the date of the 26th.
  • n3. A Navarrese nobleman, father of another Don Frances, who was Philip the Second's ambassador in France during the League.
  • n4. See his despatch of the 29 March, wherein mention is made of that ship.
  • n5. Leon Solarona (So la Rona, i.e. Sur la Rhone).
  • n6. The paper itself is neither signed nor dated; it was evidently destined for Spain to announce Anne Boleyn's imprisonment. The Emperor was then in Piedmont, making war on the French, and therefore it is not to be supposed that the news, however important, could have been conveyed to him before June. Anne's imprisonment and commital for trial took place on the . . . . Chapuys wrote on the 11th, and therefore I have placed this, which has all the appearance of a circular letter, in June. It is, however, remarkable that the account does not entirely agree with Chapuys' despatch of the 19 May. See No. 55, p. 125.