Spain: June 1536, 6-10

Pages 137-162

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, 6-10

6 June. 61. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Rep. P.C.,
Fasc. 230, No. 32.
On the 24th inst., the eve of Ascension Day, immediately after the return of the express I sent to Your Majesty at Pontremoli, secretary Cromwell forwarded to me the packet of letters dated from that town, desiring me at the same time to inform him as soon as possible of their contents. For the last two days, said the message, he (Cromwell) had fully intended to call on me according to promise, but had been prevented by press of business; he would, however, do so as soon as disengaged. Hearing which, I did not hesitate, and in order the more to oblige him and dispose him to attend to my requests, determined to repair to his hotel, which I did shortly after. On my arrival there Cromwell told me how he had on that very morning repaired to Court, and seen the King for the sole and express purpose of obtaining an audience for me, and that the King had willingly granted me one for the day after the arrival of the courier, who, he said, had brought despatches from the King's ambassador at Your Majesty's court, so full of pleasant news and assurances of your sincere good-will that nothing more could be desired. Cromwell further assured me that he was more happy and content at that than if he had gained at play 100,000 livres at a single stroke. He had not the least doubt that I should find the King much better disposed than he had hitherto been, not only with regard to the principal matters under discussion, but likewise in reference to my own particular affairs; for, said he, "the King's affectionate love for you has lately been on the increase, owing to certain letters you have lately addressed (the copy of which I now forward) to Mr. de Granvelle. Now-a-days, Cromwell observed, since the execution of the Royal mistress, things will go on better than before, as you may well consider." He, himself had been authorised and commissioned by the King to prosecute and bring to an end the mistress's trial, to do which he had taken considerable trouble. It was he who, in consequence of the disappointment and anger he had felt on hearing the King's answer to me on the third day of Easter, had planned and brought about the whole affair. (fn. n1) One of the things which had mostly raised his suspicions, and induced him to inquire into her case, was certain prognostications made in Flanders of a conspiracy against the King's life by people, it was said, nearest to his Royal person. After which avowal, Cromwell went on to extol beyond measure the sense, the wit, and the courage of the deceased Royal mistress, as well as of her brother (George); (fn. n2) and, in order the more to persuade me, and instil hope of the good issue of our enterprise, he declared to me confidentially, and with the greatest possible reserve, that the King, his master, being perfectly aware of the wishes and affection of all his subjects, had decided at this next Parliament to have the Princess, his daughter, declared heiress to his crown. Yet I must say, that, notwithstanding this asseveration of Cromwell, the conversation I have since had with him, and of which more will be said hereafter, leaves one in doubt more than ever as to the veracity of his report; for he earnestly requested me, at my next audience from the King, not in anywise to allude to the Princess, and, if I did at all, not to designate her by that title. He told me further; he said that it was necessary before all things that the Princess should write a letter to her father according to a minute drawn up by him (Cromwell), which he then and there exhibited, and which, I must own, could not have been conceived in more honest or reasonable terms than it was. The better to persuade the Princess to do that which was required of her, he (Cromwell) had, at the King's express commands, sent to her a lady in her utmost confidence. At any rate, to do away with all scruples, if any remained on her part, the King proposed asking me to write to the Princess, and send the letter by one of my secretaries, begging her not to offer any difficulties, and subscribe at once to her father's wish in that respect. The Princess' letter would then be translated into English and Latin in order that I might see there was nothing in its contents that was not honest, just, and reasonable.
This translation Cromwell put into my hands the day after I returned from Court. I perused it carefully, but have not since been able to meet him or give my opinion on its contents. True is it, that on the day before, when he (Cromwell) spoke to me about the letter, I had earnestly warned him against any expression or word that should directly or indirectly touch on the Princess honour and rights, or on those of her mother, the late Queen, or on the conscience of either; for otherwise (said I) not all the gold in the world would make her consent to sign it, and in my opinion her refusal would only increase her father's indignation. It was for him (Cromwell), whom the Princess held as her second father (demy pere), to take care that the whole matter was transacted without danger or scruples of any sort. This, Cromwell assured me, had already been attended to, as I could judge by the tenour of the letter itself of which I now send Your Majesty a faithful copy and translation, the very same that Cromwell put then into my hands.
This, however, I must remark in reference to its contents. It would seem to me as if there was in them something of a trap for the Princess to fall into. (fn. n3) Of the same opinion are several people highly placed here, and on whose information I can rely. I have not failed to advise the Princess of this, and, moreover, intend dissembling and not mixing myself up with the affair as long as I can, nor talking or writing further on the subject until I hear what are the intentions of these people as to the principal article of our pending negociation. My excuse at first will be that I have not yet written to the Princess, because the secretary to whom I entrusted Cromwell's minute has actually lost it. When on my return from Court I have ascertained what the King's real intentions are respecting the matter at issue, I shall not fail then to offer such remonstrances as may be fit concerning the unreasonable purport of the letter itself, and look out for the means of moderating the rigorous terms in which it is couched. Meanwhile, Your Majesty will be pleased to give me instructions as to how I am to act, and what I am to say, in case of the King insisting, as I apprehend, on the letter being written and signed by the Princess in the shape and form of Cromwell's minute; for, as Your Majesty must already have seen, the lady whom the King has commissioned to go to his daughter has charge to say that should she refuse to write and sign the letter, such as it is, she will be ill-treated and severely punished.
(fn. n4)Whatever Cromwell may say to the contrary, several influential people here entertain doubts and have their misgivings as to the King's obstinacy with respect to the Princess. Already no less a person than the earl of Sussex stated the other day in the Privy Council in the King's presence that, considering the Princess was a bastard, as well as the duke of Richmond, it was advisable to prefer the male to the female for the succession to the Crown. This opinion of the Earl not having been contradicted by the King might hereafter gain ground and have adherents. A, personage who knows all the secrets of the French embassy said the other day to one, who related it to me, that this King had actually offered the Princess' hand to the duke of Angoulême, and that in consequence of the said offer the, French ambassadors had on the eve of Ascension Day dispatched a courier to their master; and that on the day after, as the said ambassadors happened to talk the matter over, they observed to the King that although nothing had been stipulated respecting the restitution and reinstatement of the Princess in her rights, they took it for granted that it would take place beforehand, as if there was a clear and, perfect understanding on both sides. And I am told that on the King hearing the ambassadors' surmise, he got more furious than ever against his daughter's obstinacy and disobedience, thus showing that his paternal affection for her is by no means great. My impression, however, is that if this King has really made the offer, it is only for the purpose of marring the negociations for peace between Your Majesty and the king of France, which have as a foundation the marriage of the Princess to the said duke of Angoulême.
After trying to ascertain from Cromwell how far the King, his master, was disposed to listen to the above project of marriage, I put into his hand Your Majesty's letter, and summarily communicated to him what you were pleased to write to me about his person. He seemed as much pleased as astonished at it, especially when I told him that immediately after the deciphering of the letter, I should have the honour and the pleasure of delivering it to him under reserve. He failed not on this occasion, as in the preceding ones, to assure me that I should find the King, his master, very well disposed and inclined to the preservation of peace and amity with Your Majesty. I would not enter into more particulars then as to Your Majesty's wishes in case of that amity and friendship being fairly re-established, as I wished to know beforehand how the King proposed entering into the affair. As far as I could then judge by the King's and Cromwell's words, their idea at the time was to keep a strict neutrality, and remain friends with all parties. Since then, as Your Majesty will see, they have been more explicit in their declarations than formerly.
Cromwell told me, though not without my dragging it out of him by various contrivances of mine, that the bailiff of Troyes had come to this country for the sole purpose of ascertaining how and in what manner this king intended to be comprised in the peace; and that this king's answer to that question had been, that he did not intend to enter therein save as principal contracting party, and that his wish was to comprise others in his acts, not to be himself comprised in the acts of others. (fn. n5) This declaration the King himself made to me when I told him that the time had come when he could use the proposed peace at pleasure. In confirmation of this, Cromwell told me the other day, that the said bailiff had brought to this country a copy of the answer the King, his master, had made after Your Majesty's moderate and very prudent representations in consistory; and that in that very answer the king of France had by way of reproach stated that without his help and aid Your Majesty would never have obtained the Imperial crown, and that the report made by the bailiff had considerably annoyed this King, since it was for him and for no other to boast of such things. The bailiff, therefore, had been requested to tell his master, king Francis, to make no such statements in his letters, and be more careful and exact in future. Cromwell assured me that the remainder of the French king's answer was so outrageously untrue, that he should have been ashamed to give it as his own. He further told me that the bailiff and the other ambassador, his colleague, had proposed the marriage of the eldest daughter of king Francis to this King, but it was lost time altogether, for king Henry would never marry out of his own kingdom. Having then asked him what reason he (Cromwell) had for making such an affirmation, he stated one which, in my opinion, is futile and weak enough, namely, that if he ever marries a foreign princess of great blood and high connexions, should she misbehave herself he could not punish her, and get rid of her, as he had done of his last wife. After my replying that if such princesses or queens were well-born and kindly treated there could be no fear of such a mishap as had been the case with the good queen Katharine, I suggested, as the opportunity seemed to be at hand, the marriage of the infanta of Portugal, (fn. n6) and likewise that of the infante Dom Luiz to the princess of England, adding on my own account what seemed to me most fit on the occasion. I must say that, with regard to the former proposal, Cromwell took no notice at all; but when Dom Luiz was mentioned he listened attentively, and shortly after began to interrogate me respecting the position and personal appearance of that prince, how many children the king of Portugal, his brother, had at the time. &c. And upon my telling him that although there was no chance at present of that infante inheriting the crown of Portugal, yet Dom Luiz, who was of noble blood and a virtuous prince, had enough property and estates to keep an honourable house and establishment for the Princess; I would not say much better than the duke of Suffolk, and the husband of the dowager queen of Scotland; but I took him so near the mark that he could not avoid alluding to them, and comparing their rank and means with those of Dom Luiz, which he owned to be inferior to his, maintaining that, should all hope of succession to this kingdom be lost through the King having no male children, as might be expected, then Your Majesty ought to do everything in your power for the advancement and welfare of the said infante Dom Luiz.
On Wednesday, Ascension Day, at eight in the morning, I went to the King, by whom I was kindly received. After his congratulating me on my recovery from sickness, and thanking me for the letter I had written to him, I proceeded to inform him of the contents of Your Majesty's despatch of the 13th of last April, as well as of that of the 15th of May; to which he listened with singular complacency and satisfaction. Coming then to speak about what Your Majesty had done at Rome, and perceiving that he listened attentively and with pleasure to what I was saying, I added, according to my instructions, that Your Majesty was as desirous as he himself could be that the honest, juridical and reasonable justifications of your behaviour in all matters should meet with his approbation; he, himself, being among the princes of Christendom the one who could best judge and appreciate, through his singular prudence and wisdom, as well as experience of worldly affairs, the causes and reasons of that behaviour. Your Majesty, I said, would have wished, before bringing forward the said justification of your conduct towards him, to have been able to communicate with him verbally, take his advice, and follow it, as was Your Majesty's desire in all other matters. Hearing which the King gave evident signs of joy, saying to me that he would be delighted to listen forthwith to the said justifications and excuses of your conduct, the more so that on that very day, after dinner, the French ambassadors intended to speak to him on the subject; and that knowing, as he did know, that what those French gentlemen said was not always Gospel, he liked to hear also what 1 had to say on the subject. He then accepted my proposal of reading to him Your Majesty's letter to the Imperial ambassador in France, and. having done so, he begged me to read it again to his Chancellor (Audeley) and to Master Cromwell; which I did then and there, both those functionaries fully approving of its contents and finding no fault whatever in it.
After this, and proceeding to give a summary account of Your Majesty's letter of the 15th of May, I took particular care to confine myself as closely as possible to the text of it, which was so exquisitely drawn that nothing better could he desired; the only alteration I took upon myself to make being that of softening down the complaints of coldness made on a previous occasion; going on to declare that in case of this King refusing to enter freely into the negociation, Your Majesty would consider yourself perfectly justified to follow whatever course you deemed best. This clause, however, I kept for the last, intending not to make use of it unless positively compelled to do so. For the same reason I refrained at first from making any observations respecting the French offers, and their aiming high or low according to their own plans. nor respecting the considerations which had moved Your Majesty to treat with them; though, in the course of conversation, the thing came so apropos, that I could not help alluding to the subject, and convincing the King of the French want of faith; which, however, I had no difficulty in doing, since he owned to me that he was aware of that long ago.
After explaining my charge as well as I could, the King, who was leaning against a window, got up in high spirits, and said that I was welcome for bringing him such pleasant news. "As to me, he said, I am a zealous guardian of peace; I want the princes of Europe to be united and become good friends." The King then proceeded to thank me most heartily for the pains I had taken and the good offices I had rendered in the business, as he had lately learned by the letters of his ambassador, the effect of which he could now clearly see.
After some conversation on such topics, the King said to me, "Persevering in my habit of not concealing anything from you, I am about to inform you of a piece of news I have lately had, though the thing itself is of no importance whatever. The cardinal of Lorraine has complained to my ambassadors [at Rome?] of a rumour which he (the Cardinal) said was current at the Imperial Court, of their having been the instigators and promotors in my name of the peace in contemplation, meaning that that very rumour had been the cause of the negociation not coming to a good end." Though the King could not really believe that such reports could ever have come from Your Majesty's court, I have no doubt that he would have been glad of such being the case.
After telling the King that the whole thing was undoubtedly an invention of the French, as he himself could well see, and that I was sure that if there was any wrong to be repaired in that or any other affair, the remedy would willingly be applied, I told shim that I had heard the French ambassadors had proposed to include him in the treaty; and if so, it seemed to me more profitable and honourable for him to be the principal contractor; and, if he liked, include in his treaty the French or any other nation he pleased. This, I added, would be the easiest thing for him to do. The King's answer was that he had spoken to the ambassador in similar terms, and that, to tell the truth, he could not guess what was the bailiff's charge, for his mission was so vague and so badly framed that whoever drew the mandate up ought to be ashamed of himself. "I would take a bet," continued the King, "that the bailiff of Troyes, himself, could not positively say what the real object of his mission was; I took him once for a man of wisdom and discretion. but nowdays I think differently of him," I suggested that perhaps the faults and vices of the affair itself; rather than those of the personage alluded to, might be the cause of his having so soon changed his mind with regard to the Bailiff's personal qualifications, The King's reply was, "I dare say both causes have concurred towards that end. I am astonished at the manner of dealing of those Frenchmen; they have no resolution at all in their affairs; they never come to the point, but diverge and wander about, touching on various other matters. As a proof I will tell you that many days ago I myself proposed to king Francis certain articles, about which I have had no answer yet. I naturally thought that on the Bailiff's arrival he might himself have been the bearer of the answer; I expected it, but none came, and there was no question of one; whence it follows that so much time has since elapsed that matters have now taken quite a different turn." He then related to me that, among other things, the Bailiff had shown him a copy of the answer which king Francis had made to Your Majesty's allegation in the Roman consistory; which answer, by the way, this King observed, was anything but satisfactory.
After the above and some other talk, I. by the advice, nay, the prayer of Cromwell, referred to the letters I had lately received from king Ferdinand's court, announcing the departure for Italy of a number of lansquenets, as well as the levies in men and horse that were still being made in Germany. As Cromwell had told me some days before that the King had a very imperfect idea of the forces of which Your Majesty could now dispose, and had strongly advised me to inform his master on the subject, I took the opportunity of telling him what my news from Genoa was, and of the retreat of the forces which Camil de Goussage (fn. n7) and his comrades had levied in that district. "That," observed the King, "constitutes king Francis, principal argument of Your Majesty having been the first to break the peace." But on my replying, that, according to the letter of the Madrid convention and of the treaty of Cambray, king Francis could not entertain practices or make levies of men in Italy for the purpose of making war in Italy, and. besides that, the men raised by Camillo and other "condottieri" of king Francis were mostly Italians and subjects of Your Majesty and of the Holy Roman Empire, and therefore Your Majesty's generals and ministers had perfect right to treat them as they had done, he made no reply, and seemed satisfied with my argument.
Towards the end of the audience, Cromwell, who was present, fearing lest I should forget to exhibit the copy of Your Majesty's answer to the French ambassador at Lucques (Lucca) came forward and reminded me of it. I accordingly read it to the King, who not only found it correct and proper in every way, but hinted that there seemed to be after it still less chance than before of an agreement between Your Majesty and king Francis, which is what these people have constantly been aiming at. To conclude, the King said that if I had power to treat he would at once refer me to his Privy Council, and if I had not, that I ought to write home and ask for such powers. My answer was that I had no special ones, but that I knew partly what Your Majesty's intentions were, and that in order to gain time, if it was his pleasure, I could communicate with Cromwell on the subject, and that, in view of the conclusion we might come to, I would apply for the said powers, and, if necessary, some honourable personage would come to England, the better to authorise the negociations. To this proposal of mine the King readily assented, saying that he would bear it in mind, and think of it. Soon after my leaving the presence chamber the King sent me word by Cromwell that, instead of wasting time in communication with his secretary, it would be far better for me to apply at once for the said powers from home, and wait. But on my instating on my former proposal, and Cromwell interfering, the matter was put off until three days after, when I was told I was to receive a written communication, and the conferences were to begin.
Until the ensuing Monday, the 29th inst., there was no opportunity to meet Cromwell, he having been so much engaged with other business that, according to his own words, he had scarcely time to take his daily meals. On the morning of that day I went by appointment to his hotel. The first thing he told me was. "You may perhaps suspect that my delay in answering your note and appointing a day for our conference has been caused by our desire of treating with the French in the meantime. If so, you must change that opinion altogether. Matters are not just now in a condition for us to treat with the French; even if they were, I can assure you that nothing would be done to the Emperor's disadvantage. True, we are now expecting news from France before writing to our ambassador at the Imperial Court; but that will be no impediment to your getting an explicit answer. After this, Cromwell began to speak about the Princess' business as one from which depended the good issue and stability of the. affair in question. I failed not to point out to him the iniquitous and humiliating terms of the letter demanded from the Princess; upon which he begged and entreated vie to amend and correct it as I pleased, or else draw out a fresh one, but still do my best to have it written and signed. There will be nothing amiss in that, for surely the Princess is determined to follow my advice in the matter. Cromwell told me that every day since my last audience, the Princess' case had been discussed in the Privy Council, and that certain arguments and persuasions of mine in her favor had been taken into consideration; that even the King no longer objected to or made difficulties about declaring his daughter heiress to his crown; and, lastly. that the idea of the Princess' union to the infante Dom Luiz had been well received in Council; the marriage, of course, not to take place until after the full restoration of the Princess' rights. As to that of the King, himself, to the princess of Portugal no hopes were given, the King having declared that he was unwilling to marry out of his own kingdom. Gromwell might just as well have told ms that his master had already selected one among his own subjects, namely, Jehanne Semer, (fn. n8) as I wrote on the 25th of May to Mr. de Grantvelle. (fn. n9) And yet I am told that on Ascension Day, being interrogated on the subject by the French ambassadors, the King had denied the fact, and said his choice was still unfettered. Upon which, I hear, the day after they dispatched a courier to their master in France. Having then asked Cromwell whether it was true that upon the French ambassadors claiming the Princess' hand for their Dauphin, the King, her father, had refused, but had offered it for the duke of Angoulesme, he owned to me that it was perfectly true; the offer had really been made, but that I ought to consider that it was one of those political stratagems of which princes often made use to deceive each other, and conceal their real aims and purposes. Indeed, Cromwell had the impudence to tell me, though the observation could only refer to his master, the King, that princes did frequently practise such dishonest and exorbitant acts, though he himself would rather lose one of his arms than be obliged to have a hand in them.
After making Cromwell read Your Majesty's letter to me, which he found wonderfully well suited for all purposes, I ventured to ask him "Do you not think, after all, that the moment has come for our treating of a new alliance and closer friendship between His Imperial Majesty and the King, your master? Methinks, I added, that we have not worked in vain, since there has been no discordance nor dissent on either side." (fn. n10) Cromwell having agreed, and owned that I was right, I went on telling him how very frequently physicians wished for sickness, and barristers for law-suite, among their own friends, that they might the better show by experience the love they professed them, and the care they took of their health and affairs. That, in the present instance, God, without any special wish or prayer from either of us, had afforded an apparently just and legitimate occasion and opportunity for us to acknowledge that the memory of that friendship and amity which once existed between Your Majesty and the King. his master, had not been entirely obliterated; as likewise to show to the world how zealously and successfully he (Cromwell) had worked for God's service, the tranquillity and welfare of Christendom at large, and the exaltation of our Faith, And that since the King, his master, had hitherto taken such trouble in conciliating and making peace between Your Majesty and the ling of France—so much so that he might well deserve in future the titles of author, preserver, and guardian of peaceit seemed to me as if he were also called upon, and had now a better opportunity than ever to inveigh against the wilful disturber of that same peace, especially at a time when Your Majesty was engaged in so laudable, holy, and necessary an enterprise against the enemies of the Faith. That for this and other evident reasons, which I scarcely needed point out to his master's sagacity and wisdom, such as the intimacy existing between king Francis and Barbarossa, the corsair, and especially the Turk, with whom, according to information received from various parts, it was notorious that he had been for some time treating, I thought the moment had come for taking up Your Majesty's side, and interfering in the quarrel. Indeed, that alone seemed to me a sufficiently just cause for all the princes of Christendom to take up arms against the said king of France, more particularly he of England, who, besides being one of the principal members of Christendom, was, by his very title of Defender of the Faith, in duty bound to throw his sword into the scale. "That, said I to Cromwell, would be a meritorious work for your master to undertake, inasmuch as he would thereby recover his good fame, and do away with the rumours purposely circulated in France that he is not a good Christian.
At this stage of my peroration Cromwell interrupted me, and said; "You are right, and I was about to say as much. Were there no other consideration than that last mentioned by you, that would, in my opinion, be sufficient ground for the King, my master, to declare at once against king Francis, and work in favor of the Emperor. Were he to do so, I have not the least doubt that with England's assistance, and the forces your Emperor has at his command, king Francis would be soon ruined, or at least reduced to such an extremity that he must henceforward leave the world in peace. Yet I confess to you that I see a danger in such a declaration on the part of the King, my master, which is this: the Emperor might in the meanwhile treat with the French, which is the thing he most desires just now, to judge from the offer he has made of the duchy of Milan to the duke of Angoulesme. Had the Emperor considered well the consequences of bestowing the investiture of that duchy on one of the sons of king Francis, I take it that he would have preferred the duke of Orleans to Angoulesme (Charles). (fn. n11)
I must here remark that during my last audience the King had spoken to me in almost similar terms respecting the said bestowal. Hearing which I failed not to assure Cromwell that, should matters come to such a point, of which there was no probability whatever, Your Majesty would never treat with the French without his knowledge and consent, much less to his prejudice and against his honour. If, however, the King made the least difficulty about the declaration that was asked of him, we should be contented with his neutrality and pecuniary assistance. I said this much, because, in my opinion, it is important for us to quicken the negotiation, and ascertain at once what are their ideas on the subject; for, were we to wait for an answer to our first proposal, there would have been no end to the thing. Respecting the defences of Flanders I told Cromwell that there was no need of explanation; it was evident, indeed, notorious that the King, his master, was bound by severed treaties to defend and protect that country against the attacks of any enemy. Upon which Cromwell assured me that as he himself was about to leave [Greenwich] to come to London and receive me at his own house in town, the King had warned him that one of the points I could not fail to bring forward in our conference, would be the said protectorate of Flanders. (fn. n12) Cromwell also told me that if he were to follow his own inclination, he would immediately persuade the King to make the declaration I asked for, and, moreover, would help to that end as much as he could; but that in the meanwhile, if I thought that the King, his master, ought to interfere in the quarrel, or send an ambassador to king Francis for the purpose of dissuading him from his undertaking, that would be done immediately. My reply was that with regard to the embassy of which he spoke, my opinion was that it ought not to be sent, for many considerations. It would have no effect at all, no more than the water that farriers pour over the hot iron shoe; it would only serve to make it redder; (fn. n13) and therefore mention of peace would be of no use just now. If the King, his master, felt a desire to advocate and bring about one between Your Majesty aud king Francis, he must follow the advice and example of Solon, the Athenian legislator, who, in order to settle the differences that might spring up in his city, made a law purporting that no citizen could reside in it without declaring for one or other of the parties. Cromwell owned that I was right, but observed, "There is still the drawback above alluded to; the moment the French hear that we are about to join the Emperor, they are sure to increase their offers, were it for no other purpose than that of doing us harm." This objection of Cromwell I met with satisfactory arguments, with which he seemed contented; and he ended by saying he would see the King, and report our conversation as favourably as it was in his power to do, and that on the ensuing day he would let me know the King's answer.
Next day Cromwell sent me his excuses, saying that neither on that nor on the following day could he see me. On the third, which was the first of June, he again sent me word that he was obliged to go out of town for a few days, but that immediately upon his return he would certainly give an answer on the subject of our conversation, which could not fail to be most agreeable.
I must not forget to mention that among other suggestions of mine Cromwell singularly approved of one I made, which was that this was not the first time that the kings of France had thrown the affairs of Christendom into trouble and confusion. Their vainglory, ambition, and detestable nature (he said) had once been the cause of the loss of the Holy Land, as, owing to their unfaithfulness and malignity, that brave and chivalrous prince, king Richard, "heart of Lion," who had achieved so many conquests in Palestine, had been obliged to retreat therefrom owing to the unjust war which Philippe of France, stimulated by envy, had made upon him, thus obliging him to come back for the defence of his own dominions. I went on relating the many grievances and injuries which the French had done England at other times; besides which, I said, they were continually boasting in public that their Dauphin would ultimately conquer this kingdom by force of arms, just as another Dauphin of theirs had done at the time of king John of England; and that in order to stimulate and encourage the present one to that conquest, they had fabricated (controuvé) and adapted certain prophecies and old prognostics, and had printed and circulated them; not that the Dauphin himself needed such an encouragement, for he is quite enough inclined to an invasion of England, having been heard to say in the presence of Englishmen, who have reported it elsewhere, that he is determined to snatch away from the kings of England those titles and arms which they unjustly bear, and something more if he can, as he (Cromwell) must have heard from various quarters, Cromwell could not do less than assent and own that I was right, adding that there were many other reasons for adopting the measures I recommended. He, himself, was of my way of thinking entirely, and said that nothing would be left undone on his part to gain our object.
These people, however, have so long delayed a formal answer to my proposition, waiting, no doubt, for news from France, as Cromwell himself inadvertently told me some days ago, that I begin to fear that when that answer does come it will not be as satisfactory as we might wish. I mast say, however, that the delay, such as it is, casual or intentional, was not particularly unpleasant to me under the circumstances, for I thought that in the meantime George, my man, might come back with news and letters from Your Majesty. And so it was, for he arrived on the first inst. Notwithstanding that this king, as above-stated. and as I am also informed by Mr. de Grantvelle, seems to have made up his mind already with regard to the questions at issue, I shall not fail, according to the instructions now received, to bear testimony to Your Majesty s singular affection and goodwill in that respect,—nay, to inculate the same in terms more ample and specific than those contained in my instructions,—for, in my opinion, there is no danger of our being taken at our word; yet I will do my best to prevent its being said that our offers are like a proposal to stand godfather after the christening of a child. (fn. n14)
The day before the arrival of George, another man of the French ambassador, who had left this almost conjointly with him, to convey to the French court the very same intelligence of which George was the bearer, came also. The moment he dismounted he went hastily to Cromwell's residence, and delivered to him certain letters he brought with him. On the ensuing day the French ambassadors called on Cromwell, and two days before Pentecost they went to Greenwich to see the King.
On the eve of that festivity, in the morning, Cromwell came to my lodgings, though I had sent him word to wait for me at his own place. After announcing to me, by way of rejoicing news, that the King, his master, and the new Queen had both been singularly pleased with the wise and discreet letter written by the Princess,—which letter, by the way, is totally different in its contents from the minute prepared by Cromwell, and has nothing that may hereafter turn to the Princess' injury,—he added that the King in particular teas determined to constitute her heiress to his crown, which he (Cromwell) fancied was the principal article in my commission, and the one from which all others depended. Such was Cromwell's statement; and yet there is a rumor afloat that the King's intention in to declare his daughter heiress to his kingdom, without, however, giving her the title of Princess [of Wales], and excluding her altogether from the inheritance in case of his having other children, male or female. If so, and should I find occasion, I shall not fail to avail myself of the information to make my dutiful representations on the subject. Should not an opportunity occur naturally, I shall not look out for one, considering that peace being once firmly established, and friendship increasing, the Princess' great virtues and wisdom, which the King, her father, cannot fail to acknowledge and appreciate, will cause her to be declared in time the true and rightful princess of Wales, and heiress to the English crown,—the more so that, according to the opinion of many people here, there is no fear of the King having any other successor, male or female.
But to return to the principal matter. Cromwell told me that he had faithfully reported to the King the whole, of our conversation, and that he had listened patiently and with signs of pleasure to all he had to say, noting down and making occasional remarks thereupon. After that the King had given audience to the French ambassadors, whose overtures he had answered rather roughly, telling them that respecting the marriage of the Princess to the Dauphin (Francis) he could not understand why they (the French) insisted so much upon it, for at the conference of Calais he had resolutely answered the king of France, his brother, that it could not be thought of and with regard to the duke of Angolesme (Charles) he was too young for the Princess, who had already attained marriageable age.
As to his declaring against Your Majesty, he saw no reason whatever or pretence to do so. Notwithstanding all French assurances that Your Majesty had always been, and was still, his enemy, he (the King) had seen no signs of that enmity they spoke of. He (the King) would have more occasion to regret and complain of the conduct of others who professed to be his friends, for he had proofs in his possession and could testify to the part they had taken [at Rome] in the question of his deprivation and in other matters. With regard to the danger they spoke of, namely, that Your Majesty aimed at universal monarchy,—a danger which they pointed out as the sole and exclusive object of their hostility to you,—and the surmise that Your Majesty, being naturally of a vindictive disposition and never forgiving an injury, the English, after cajoling and making common cause with France, were sure to meet their fate,—he had no fear whatever of that, knowing, as he did, Your Majesty's nature (fn. n15) and for several other considerations. As to his assisting and contributing with money towards the war they meditated, he would do nothing of the sort for the reasons above stated.
With respect to their asking that he, (the King) should take this affair in hand, and try to reconcile Your Majesty and king Francis, or write to you and obtain a suspension of hostilities whilst the negociations for peace were going on, the answer was that it seemed unreasonable on various considerations that he, himself, should write such a letter, especially when friendship between Your Majesty and him had not yet been fairly established and consolidated. He, however, had no objection to beg me (Chapuys) to write to Your Majesty to condescend, notwithstanding past events, to an honest and reasonable peace, and would make or cause to be made to me all fitting and proper representations thereupon. All things considered (he said), he had no occasion to mix up or trouble himself with such affairs, considering that they (the French) had turned round and applied in every quarter seeking treaties and alliances, even to his prejudice, and employing to that end his principal enemy, the Pope, without communicating to him anything of importance. Only at the very end, and when on the verge of a rupture, by way of compliment they had sent to ask him how he wished to be comprised in the peace; whereas Your Majesty's conduct on the occasion had been very different, since you had honestly and cordially done him the honour of informing him that it was now in his power to become one of the principal contractors, and have all the princes he chose comprised in the said peace. Which words the King, as Cromwell tells me, laid great stress upon, adding that after playing such antics, and tendering a thousand offers, some of which he specified, before the ambassadorsespecially those which the cardinal of Lorraine had made to Your Majestythey (the French) being abandoned by every prince [in Europe], and in danger of being run over and destroyed, came to him and tried to make him fall into the pit into which they, through their blind folly and bad counsel, had well nigh been precipitated. (fn. n16) No wonder then if their affairs went on so badly, considering, among other causes, the envy and dissensions of the Grand Master of France (Montmorency) and of the Admiral (Brion-Chabot), who were by far the most influential members of the King's Privy Council. This was no longer the time (he said) for boasting and bragging, as they had done and did, to be afterwards obliged to lower their ears. Your Majesty conducted your affairs with less noise (fanfar), in a more honourable, prudent and judicial manner, thus showing to the World that you were far from being in that state of want and penury in which the French said you were.
After this the King inveighed most bitterly against the cruel and most unjust attack of the French on Monseigneur de Savoie. These and other accusations of the same kind, as Cromwell assured me, did the King address to the French ambassadors on the occasion, ending by declaring to them that if the King, their master, wished him to interfere, and bring about a peace between Your Majesty and himself, it was necessary that, putting aside all passion, affection, and cupidity, king Francis should submit entirely to duty and reason, which, in his opinion, were incumbent on the sovereign of a monarchy, so opulent and powerful as France, contenting himself with what he had already, without irritating the flies by which he might be bitten to the quick, and, therefore, that they had better write home at once to ask what the King's intention in the matter was, and then present him a memorandum to that effect.
After relating and explaining to me, as above, the King's answer to the ambassadors of France, Cromwell proceeded to point out to me the inconveniences that might arise from war, and the many benefits that would accrue from peace, during which a mighty expedition against the Infidel might be prepared, the kings, both of France and England, joining their forces to those of Your Majesty. King Henry himself (said Cromwell) would take care that all this should be done without any damage to Your Majesty's honor and interests, and therefore I was again requested to write home as soon as possible. No time (he added) would be lost by the delay, inasmuch as I lead not yet received particular instructions respecting Your Majesty's wishes and intentions in the renewal of the negotiations for peace. Perhaps I myself had no sufficient information about the articles in the treaties, which Your Majesty declared had been broken by the French; and, lastly, that, should king Francis refuse to offer more honest and reasonable conditions than those his ambassadors had put forward, the King, his master, would have better excuse to declare against him, and would, not be charged with caprice, were he to do so suddenly.
After this, Cromwell said to me, without my having broached the subject in the least, that with regard to the Council it was not to be thought that the King, his master, wished to make a God of his own, nor separate himself from the Christian community altogether; he wished as much as any one else for the celebration of the said Council, provided it were convoked by Your Majesty as chief and head of the Christian princes. Upon which I observed to him that it was suitable for this time to leave the Pope in possession of the right of making the said convocation, for, should the Council itself determine otherwise, it might be done so in future, and therefore it was better to leave matters now as they were. I begged him, however, to think over it, and put down on paper what his idea was respecting the said convocation, and how Your Majesty could make it without the Pope's co-operation. This Cromwell promised to do; and therefore, not to spoil the negotiation in its principal part, I avoided as much as possible any discussion on that point, as there will be hereafter plenty of time for that.
Cromwell's speech at an end, I begged him to thank the King most warmly in my name for the good will and affection he has shown towards Your Majesty and your affairs. I also thanked him for the pains he himself had taken and was taking in achieving so laudable and meritorious a work, and began after that to praise and extol the King's very wise and commendable words in answer to the French ambassadors, and above all his excuses for not writing the letter which they wanted him to address to Your Majesty; for, not being sufficiently well informed, as I thought, of the state of affairs on the Continent, and especially in Italy, he might, had he acceded to the request of Francis' ambassadors, have asked for things and conditions which Your Majesty could not well grant without notorious and irreparable damage to your own interests. Had he done so, Your Majesty would have been placed in great perplexity between the fear of displeasing him and his wish to concilitate all matters. I added that after speaking again to the King, I had no objection to write to Your Majesty a letter, wherein I should mention the French ambassadors' application, as well as the King's answer to them; and that although I had no particular charge to discuss the conditions of a peace with France, yet, considering the wish you had always manifested of such a peace, even accepting what I called most iniquitous and damaging conditions in order to ensure that peace, I did not hesitate to say that Your Majesty will not refuse to treat, provided the conditions are both honorable and reasonable, and do not affect or invalidate the rights of the parties concerned. The King might have seen with what amount of faith the French had observed previous treaties, and, therefore, there was reason to think that, should another one be made now, they would do the same, and Your Majesty would be guilty of over confidence were you again to believe in people who had deceived you so many times. One might well apply to Your Majesty that Latin sentence, "Improbe Neptunum accusat qui iterum naufragium fecit." The Lacedemonians had deposed their king for having suffered many injuries without giving signs of revenge. The King must believe that the French were just now very low; they had no place of refuge, no hope in those in whom, according to people's ideas, they placed all their trust (fn. n17) (I meant the Turk), since they came to ask for this King's mediation. "The Emperor, my master" said I to Cromwell, "would have wished for nothing better than to see your King become the arbiter of the dispute before things had gone so far;" for it must be observed that it was only after your African expedition, in which you spent so much treasure for nothing at allthe French themselves being the principal cause of the war owing to their secret understanding with the infidel Turkthat king Francis commenced hostilities. Your Majesty (I said) had spent already incalculable sums; but the French were looking out for the means of rendering that expenditure useless, for it is evident that the thing they strive most after is to impoverish and ruin Your Majesty, and make you waver respecting your promises to the Italian powers. I imagined (I added) that the German princes, especially several of them who had voluntarily gone to serve Your Majesty in that expedition, would not be very much pleased with the conduct of the French; and yet it was necessary to keep them in good humour, in case their services might be hereafter wanted, especially against the French themselves, who kept neither faith nor law. Indeed, unless their wings were a little clipt, it was with them a case of finishing and beginning again; and therefore my own private opinion was that Your Majesty could in nowise consent to the peace proposed, unless Burgundy, which undisputably belongs to you, should be restored, together with an indemnity for its lost revenue and the expenses of your present army, as well as all damage and cost sustained by Monseigneur de Savoie during the present war.
The above reasoning of mine was entirely approved of by Cromwell, who added he had no doubt the King, his master, would bear the whole in mind, and attend to it as was just and proper to do.
With regard to his former suggestion, i.e. that it seemed to him, as if I took no particular notice of king Francis' frequent contraventions to former treaties, on which the King, his master, had grounded the declaration I asked for, I made Cromwell perceive that I was sufficiently well informed as to that, and that were I to specify all the cases of such contravention to the treaties alluded to in Your Majesty's letters to me, I should never end. I might, without going further, mention their stopping the payment of the yearly pension due to this country, which, in my opinion, is a more legitimate and just cause for now declaring war to them than the challenge and defiance which, at king Francis' and cardinal Wolsey's instigation, this king had addressed to Your Majesty. Cromwell answered that I was right, but that the princes alluded to (meaning Francis and Henry) were so scrupulous in matters touching their honor that he begged me to say no move about that, but accede at once to his master's wishes in that respect, and do my best to have the thing settled. My reply was, "There is no longer any need of waiting for news from the Emperor to know what his conditions would be in case of treating for peace between him and the king of France," "I know that well," said Cromwell, "but the King, my master, chooses to ignore them, in order to be polite and use that compliment towards the French." Upon which I prayed and entreated him, as affectionately as I possibly could, in fulfilment of his duty towards God and the whole of Christendom, for the service, honor, and, glory of the King, his master, as well as for his own and England's reputation, to apply all his good sense and wit to persuade the King to decide for Your Majesty without any further delay. Cromwell's answer was that the delay of a few more days was of little importance; things in the end would turn out according to Your Majesty's wishes. He ended by again praying and entreating me, for God's sake, to do my best for this king to be made the arbiter of peace, assuring me that in that case the French would never get one inch of ground in Milan, that Burgundy would be looked into, as well as all other matters and wrongs to which I had alluded, during the conference. This he repeated to me several times.
The French ambassadors who were to go to Court this very morning have been put off till to-morrow that I myself might see the King first. Accordingly, this morning, before the King's levee I was at Greenwich. No sooner had I been announced than a message from the King came, delivered by secretary Cromwell himself, to the effect that the King begged to be excused if he did not immediately come out of his chamber to receive me. I answered that the King did me injury and wrong by standing upon such ceremonies with me, for he ought to consider all Your Majesty's servants as his own; that I was one of them, and ought, therefore, to be traded as such. With these words of mine Cromwell was singularly pleased, so much so that he went in, and repeated them to the King.
On his return from mass, after repeating the above excuses, and thanking me for my answer to Master Cromwell, the King began by asking where Your Majesty was. I told him that at the departure of the man who had brought me your letters and instructions, Your Majesty was one day's journey from Alessandria [della Paglia], and that, besides the letter which I had shown to Master Cromwell, there was another in answer to my own, announcing the arrest of the woman whose execution he (the King) had ordered. And that upon my remarking that she (Anne) richly deserved her fate, inasmuch as it was rumoured that her crime was a conspiracy against the King's life, Your Majesty, on hearing this, seemed to be troubled, astonished, and much grieved at it, asking those who were with you at the time, whether it was possible for such wickedness, malice and perversity to be in the world, as to attempt the life of so humane and virtuous a prince, who could not have done more in favor of the woman than he had done. And that after thus expressing your astonishment, Your Majesty had begun to praise God for having saved him from such a danger, and permitting that the foul conspiracy should be detected in time. When the King heard these things from my lips, he appeared to be extremely rejoiced and happy, telling me that he was much obliged to Your Majesty for your sympathy and good wishes. He then asked me how it was possible that the bearer of my despatch with such news could be back in London. I answered him that it was so in fact, and that, besides the duplicate of Your Majesty's last letter, my man had been the bearer of another, in which you instructed me to express your deep regret and, astonishment at the event precisely in the very terms that I had done, ordering me likewise, after the usual commendations, to make the overtures which had been the subject of my conference with Cromwell. Again and again did the King request me to thank Your Majesty for your kind regard and good will; adding that he found your conditions very just and reasonable, and that, even if he had not already taken another wife, he could not have accepted either of the marriage alliances proposed, owing to the consanguinity and affinity of the princesses to him; but that, nevertheless, he was extremely obliged to Your Majesty for the offer.
Mass over, I accompanied the King to the apartments of the Queen, whom, with the King's pleasure, I kissed, congratulating her on her marriage, and wishing her prosperity. I told her besides that although the device of the lady who had preceded her on the throne was "The happiest of women," I had no doubt she herself would fully realise that motto. I was (said I) sure that Your Majesty would be equally rejoiced, as the King himself had been, at meeting with such a virtuous and amiable queen, the more so that her brother had once been in Your Majesty's service. It was almost impossible, to believe (I added) the joy and pleasure which Englishmen of all ranks had felt at the marriage, owing especially to the rumour that had circulated abroad that she was continually trying to persuade the King, her father, to restore the Princess to his favor, as she formerly was. Among the many felicities which I enumerated, I said to the Queen, certainly the chief one was the Princess, in whom, without having had the pain and trouble of bringing her into the world, she had such a daughter that she would receive more pleasure and, consolation from her than from any other she might have. I ended by begging her to take care of the Princess' affairs; which she kindly promised to do, saying that she would work in earnest to deserve the honorable name which I had given her of pacificator, that is, "preserver and guardian of peace."
After this address of mine the King, who in the meantime had been talking with the ladies of the Court, approached us, and began making excuses for the Queen, saying that I was the first ambassador to whom she had spoken; she was not used to that sort of reception; but he (the King) imagined that she would do her utmost to obtain the title of "pacificator" which I had greeted her with, as, besides being herself of kind and amiable disposition and much inclined to peace, she would make the greatest efforts to prevent his taking part in a foreign war, were it for no other thing than the fear of having to separate herself from him.
The dinner over, I went to the King's chamber, where, after due protest on my part that, although rather unsatisfied with Cromwell's answers, I would not, for fear of trying his patience, allude to our last conference, I begged him to listen attentively to some observations of mine respecting that secretary's manner of meeting my overtures. And upon the King kindly telling me to speak boldly and without reserve, I began to repeat a portion of the representations I had addressed to Cromwell. He answered me that I was perfectly right in arguing that the leagues and confederacies between Your Majesty and him were much older and better founded than those between England and France, and yet, although it was quite true that the cause for which the latter had been made did no longer exist, that was no reason for his breaking the promises he had once made. He was, therefore, bound to consider both parties, and defend him who had been attacked first. The French pretended to be in their right in declaring war to the duke of Savoy, owing to his refusal to give up Nice, which was but a pledge in his hands; that they could very well do without infringing the general peace, for it was a different thing to invade the estate of one comprised in a treaty of peace from making war against the dominions and subjects of one of the principal parties in the contract. He begged Your Majesty to pay particular attention to that, for fear, in attempting anything against France, it should hereafter be imputed to you that you had been the aggressor, and he himself thereby obliged, according to the letter of all leagues and confederacies, to take part against the aggressor, which would greatly displease him. And upon my showing him the many articles in which the French themselves had contravened the treaties of peace, he replied that with regard to Ghelders he could not judge, for he was scantily informed of events in that country. He knew very well that a French gentleman, who had just taken thither money in the name of king Francis, had been taken prisoner at Brussels; but still he could not imagine that Your Majesty could consider that a casus belli, when you yourself had made no mention of it at Rome in your memorandum of complaints against the king of France.
Respecting Würtemberg the King also tried to excuse the French, pretending that the Duke himself had gone to solicit them, and that the money furnished had been for the purpose of purchasing certain lands and estates. The Duke, besides, was no subject of Your Majesty at all, though slightly dependent upon the Empire, as he of Savoy was. The King laid still more stress on what the French had done with respect to the usurper of La Mirandola; though I must say that towards the end of the audience he considered himself beaten on almost every point, with the exception, perhaps, of the incursion made by the French into Artois, which he also endeavoured to excuse, saying that it had been entirely planned and executed by peasants of that frontier without any orders from king Francis.
At last, after a good deal of talking on these matters, the King ended by signifying to me, indirectly and in a vague manner, that in order to calm down and soften the feelings of both parties, it was desirable to tell each of them their fate, and show some mettle; (fn. n18) and that he begged Your Majesty well to consider what a boon a new peace would be at the present time. I must add that, on this present occasion, instead of exhorting or almost commanding me to do my best towards the accomplishment of that object, he begged and entreated me to do so, always using the verb "prier;" repeating over and over again, more than ten times running, such expressions at these, "Monsieur ie vous supplie," "Monsieur, faictes, considerez," "Monsieur, escripvez," and other similar words indicative of excessive courtesy on his part.
At last, perceiving that there was no means of making the King declare himself one way or other, I asked him point blank what was I to write to Your Majesty on the subject. He answered me, "That you ought to know better than me; but since you press me, I will tell you. My advice is that you write home that if the Emperor wishes me to take, this affair in hand, and bring about peace between him and king Francis, I will do so with great pleasure, taking care not to stipulate for conditions that may be considered unjust or unreasonable for him." And upon my observing that I wished I could, with his permission, add another paragraph to my letter, namely, that should he find the French to have been the real infractors of that peace, as well as the aggressors at this present juncture, and see them unwilling to accept reasonable terms, he should at once declare for Your Majesty, he answered me joyfully and in high spirits, that certainly I might boldly do so in his name, and assure Your Majesty thereof. After which he repeated to me what he had said before, namely, that he must needs observe strict impartiality towards both parties, Your Majesty and the king of France, in case either should be in the wrong. There was still another consideration to be attended to: should fresh conditions more grievous and unreasonable than the former be demanded by one of the two parties concerned, he would consider himself as cheated by them, unless their demands were on account of expanses made, or losses sustained, since the beginning of the war; which, as I had represented to him, were matters worthy of consideration.
To the above explanation of the King's views with respect to his arbitration, if accepted by Your Majesty, my answer was that he (the King) was to make up his mind to one thing, namely, that the French had all the wrong on their side, and that they were the sole cause of the present troubles, as he could easily understand if he only brought to his memory what I had told him, and he himself had confirmed, namely, that never would the French subscribe to conditions honorable and just for both parties; and, therefore, that I again bagged, him to think from this moment of a new treaty of alliance and friendship to be made with Your Majesty, and openly declare to one what would be his own conditions in case of that treaty being made. The King replied that certainly he had not yet thought of it, but would consider the matter over, and give me an answer; all his Privy Councillors not being with him at the time, and the courier, the bearer of this despatch, being about to start in haste, he could not for the present let me know his resolution. He would, however, assemble his Council as soon as possible, and in the meantime I might write to Your Majesty that my very first despatch would convey his own views in the matter.
I must here observe that a few minutes before, in the course of conversation, the King himself had said to me that he would make a disclosure, though with great protestations that it was not in terms of reproach, but merely by way of argument, and that he begged me to keep the thing secret, and not to inform Your Majesty thereof unless I considered it necessary for the good issue of the affair in hand. He said that the promise once made [by Your Majesty], of making incessant war against France until the king of that country should lose his crown, had not been fulfilled, and that he was afraid that, should he now treat with Your Majesty, the same might happen. This objection of the King, however, I met with reasons and arguments which seemed to satisfy him for the time.
Soon after my departure from Greenwich, as I afterwards learned, the King sent for the members of his Privy Council, who were in attendance in an adjoining room, and recited to them the whole of our conversation, whilst I in the meantime went to talk with the brother of his present queen, whom I perfectly well instructed respecting the great boon that might he conferred, not only on his own sister, her relatives, the kingdom of England in general, and in fact on the whole of Christendom, by allowing the Princess to retain her rank and position. I am sure that he will do everything in his power to gain that object. Meeting afterwards the duke of Norfolk, he said to me, "You see, the King needs no chancellor and no council to deliberate and return an answer: he does all that himself without previous consultation" After that I approached Cromwell, and repeated to him the substance of my conversation with the King, and the rather harsh words he had said to me with regard to the proposed arbitration and his views of the matter;—all the time excusing the King for having, as it were, already assumed the office of a judge appointed to sentence a suit between two parties, and decide who was right and who was wrong. Cromwell answered, "You speak like the Gospel; it is very important for the good issue of this affair that you should know the King's nature, and what a deal of artifice there is in him. I can, however, assure you that all will end well. I pray to God that during these negotiations the Emperor's army may make progress, and gain some advantage. The Princess being reinstated in her right,—which I fancy will take place not later than next Saturday,—all the rest will go on famously. The Queen herself, after your departure, spoke to the King very warmly in her favor, not forgetting to bring before him the greatness and kindness of all the princes, her relatives."
Cromwell's advice is that Your Majesty write a long letter to the King, his master, representing the many wrongs which king Francis has done you, and the great obligation under which Your Majesty is to the former, for his offer of mediation. "The Emperor, he added, should, in view of that, do his utmost to help the King in his arbitration, so that an honourable peace may be obtained for both parties. You might in the meantime send me separately a summary of your own conditions, unless they were forwarded straight to the King." I must add that, from what Cromwell tells me, the restitution of Burgundy cannot fail to be one of them.
Your Majesty's letters of credence for the three dukes (Norfolk, Suffolk, and Richmond) have been delivered. All three thank you for them, and have affectionately offered to help with all their power for the good issue of this present business, and any others that may supervene; especially he of Suffolk, who still feels desirous, as he has signified to me at other times, of serving Your Majesty against France at the head of an English force. He of Norfolk leans more to the French side; I cannot say whether it be on account of his nonconformity with the conditions, or because the annual pension which Your Majesty did assign to him has never been paid. (fn. n19)
There is no longer a talk of the interview of these two kings. He of Scotland, following the example of his father and mother, has taken to wife a mistress of his, and laughs at the French, who were the first to break their promise.
As I do not trust much in the words of these people, it seems to me as if, in fulfilment of my duty and of the instructions received, I could not in this instance have limited myself to a simple despatch stating in concise terms how the negociation stands. I have, therefore, entered into more details in order that Your Majesty may, with your superior tact and wisdom, understand what these people are aiming at, and what their intentions may be.
I beg Your Majesty's forgiveness if the prolixity of this despatch of mine makes it over-tedious.—London, 6 June 1536.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original, mostly in cipher. pp. 52.


  • n1. "Et que [a] luy auoit este lauctorite de descouvrir et parachever les affaires diçelle concubine, en quoy il avoit eu une merveilleuse pene, et que sur le desplesir et courroux quil avoit eu sur la reponce que le roy son maistre mavoit donnee le tiers iour de pasques il se mist a fantasier et conspirer le dict affaire, et que une des choses que lavoit mis en soupeçon et anime pour senquerre du cas, &c.
  • n2. "Et sur ce me loua grandement le sens, esperit, et cueur de la dicte concubine et de son frore."
  • n3. "quil y a de la traynee et pipee."
  • n4. "Quoy que ma dit Cremuel pluseurs doubtent de lobstinacion du roy envers la dicte princesse, et desia y eust quelqung comme le comte de succez qui au conseil prive meit (sic) en avant au dict roy que actendu que la princesse estoit bastarde, anssi bien que le duc de Richemont, que mieulx valloit preferer le masle a la femelle. Et non estant reboutee içcelle oppinion du dict seigneur roy, pourroit estre quelle eust çy apres pluseurs faulteurs. Ung personnage que sçet (sic) tout les secretz de lambassade de France a dit a quelqung, qui me la rappourte, que ce roy avoit offerte la princesse pour le duc dangolesme, et que sur çela les dicts ambassadeurs despecherent, la veille da lascension, ung courier en france, et que revenant le jour suivant les dicts ambaseadeurs a reporter sur içelle matiere et disant a icelluy [roy] que bien que quant il fut question, deuisant du dict marriage, ne fut sonne mot de la restitucion et reintegration de la dicte princesse, toutesfoys cela estoit plus que notoire que cela se presupposait des deux coustetz, lors le dict roy entra en colere contre lobstinacion et inobeissance de la dicte princesse monstrant assez clerement quil ne lui pourtoit guieres daffection ne de boune volonte."
  • n5. Quo le bailli de Troye[s] estoit venu pour sçavoir comme ce roy vouloit este comprins en la paix, et que le dict roy luy avoit respondu quil nentendoit estre comprins on la paix synon comme principal contrahant, et y vouloit comprendre les autres non point que les autres ly comprinssent."
  • n6. Mary of Portugal, daughter of king Dom Manuel of Portugal, and of Eleanor, the Emperor's sister, then married to Francis.
  • n7. Thus in the original, but most probably it is an error of the deciphering clerk for Camillo Gonçaga, a well-known condottiero of these times, who followed Francis' party in Italy.
  • n8. "Aussi bion auroit peu Cremuel dire que desia le dit roy en avoit choisi une, a sçauoir la Jehanne Semer, comme escripviz a Monseigneur de Grantvelle par mes lettres du vingtiesme de may; toutesfois le dict roy le nya le jour de lascension aux ambassedeurs de France, leur disant quil estoit en sa liberte."
  • n9. The letter alluded to under the date of the 25th of May is not amoug the copies of Chapuys' correspondence obtained from the Imperial Archives at Vienna.
  • n10. "Que pour neant aurions nous travaille actendu quil ny avoit rouptore ne innovacion dung couste ne dautre."
  • n11. At this time Francis, the dauphin, was called due de Bretagne. At his death his brother Henri, then duke of Orleans, became dauphin de Viennois, his title passing over to the duke of Augoulême (Charles), who was henceforward called duke of Orleans. However, Henri was then married to Catherine of Medici, and succeeded to the crown of France in 1536, having held it till the day of his death, the 10th July 1559.
  • n12. "Sur ce icelluy Cromwell maffirma que le diet roy son maistre luy auoit dit, ainsi quil vouloit partir de court pour me venir actendre a sa maison, quil sçauoit bien quentre autres pointz ie ne oublieroye de parler de la diete protection de flandres."
  • n13. "Je luy repondiz que quant au diet enhortement ne seroye daduis par les respectz quil pouvoit assez considerer, et que cela ne serviroit synon comme leau que les mareschaulx mectent sur le feug (sic)."
  • n14. "Sy ne lai[sse]ray ie de tesmoigner laffection et singuliere volente de vostre maieste en cest endroit, voyre plus amplement que ne contiennent [les instructions] puis quil ny a point de dangier destre pris au mot, et si auray bien regard que lon ne puist dire quc ce soit ouffre de comparraige apres lenfant baptisé."
  • n15. "Et quant au dangier quilz luy allegoient, questoit le seul motif dont ilz saydoient, que vostre maieste aspiroit a la monarchie universelle, et que comme elle estoit souvenante et vindicative des injures, que ceulx cy apres auoir festoye la France auroient leur saint martin, quil navoit nulle craincte de cella congnoissant assez la nature de vostre maieste."
  • n16. "Du quelz propos, a ce que me dit icelluy Cremuel, le diet roy feit grande feste, disant dauantage icelluy seigneur roy que maintenant les françois apres avoir mene tant de satrolieres (caioleries?) et fait mille ouffres, quil recita aux dicts ambassadeurs, especialement celle que le cardinal de lorraine avoit faict a vostre majeste, et soy voyant destituez de tout le monde et en grand dangier destre folles (foulés) et destruytz ils se venoient recourir a luy et taichoient le faire ioinctement tresbucher en la fosse, &c."
  • n17. "Et que le dict seigneur roy devroit bien croyre que les dicts françois estoient aux (?) leurs bas, et quilz nauoient plus nul reffuge ny espoir de ceulx ou le peuple disoient quilz se confiaient."
  • n18. "Me vint a signiffier par propoz couvers quil convenoit pour adoulcir toutes deux parties leur dire leur sort, et moustrer quelque braverie."
  • n19. "Celluy de Norphorcq incline plus a la part de France ne sçet (sçai) si cest pour la [non] conformite des condicions, ou pour ce que la pension que vostre maieste luy a assignee ne luy fust iamais payée.''