Spain: August 1536, 16-31

Pages 231-238

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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August 1536, 16-31

16 Aug. 90. The Same to the Same.
S.S. de G., M. y T.,
L. 9.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 34.
Wrote on the 13th inst. in answer to the Imperial letter of the 4th.
Advices from France of the 6th state that the king of that country left Lyons on the 3rd with the Dauphin and the duke of Orleans, though leaving behind his Queen (Eleanor), the duke of Angoulême, and the gentlemen of the long robes. (fn. n1) The Grand Master (Montmorency) with the Dauphin was journeying towards Avignon on the left bank of the Rhone, the King himself towards Caballon on the other. The King had said to one of his courtiers that the lowest Swiss in his pay cost him 8 crs. per month.
Another piece of news is that a herald of the king of England has passed through Lyons, whose errand is said to be to notify to the Emperor that, should he invade France, he must consider the present peace between them as at an end. He (Sylva) wonders at this, and cannot make up his mind to believe it, for the Imperial ambassador residing in England does not mention the fact in his last letter, but, on the contrary, informs us that, notwithstanding the great efforts made by the French to procure his help in the present war, king Henry has not yet decided to give it.
In the same letters to which I allude the taking of Guise (the town, not the castle) is mentioned.
The Venetian ambassador (Cornaro) (fn. n2) tells him (Sylva) that the Signory having heard that count Guido Rangone was recruiting men, and trying to engage colonels and captains, had signified to him to quit at once the territory of the Republic, for they could not tolerate anything of the sort, and that, accordingly, the Count had left, or was about to leave.
In addition to this the Ferrarese ambassador residing here informed him (Sylva) that, according to letters received from his master the duke (Hercole), and from the French ambassador who used once to reside in Venice, count Guido and others of the French party had held a meeting at La Concordia, where it had been resolved to recruit 10,000 foot, who, added to the 13,000 already enlisted, would compose a force of 23,000. Such haste was being made towards arming and drilling those recruits that they would soon be able to take the field. The plan was to march at once to the place where His Majesty now is, although it was feared that, having as they seemed to have, some understanding with Cesaro Fragoso, they might perhaps prefer going against Genoa. Others again will have it that the force is destined against Florence and the kingdom of Naples. Should they take this last direction, he (Sylva) shall not fail to write to the Viceroy (marquis de Villafranca), recommending him to be on his guard, as he has already done to Caracciolo and Figueroa.
(fn. n3)
Pietro Strozzi has lately obtained a "condotta" from king Francis, as well as a commission to raise 1,000 infantry. Though his father, the banker, assures us that he will allow no such thing, he (Sylva) is much afraid that both father and son, being such thorough Frenchmen, and very angry besides at what is now happening in Florence, will ultimately take the enemy's side. Rome, 12 Aug. 1536.
Signed: "Conde Cifuentes."
Addressed: "To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King our Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 4½.
17 Aug. 91. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E., L. 865,
f. 107.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 37.
Has written many a time without knowing whether his letters have reached or not. Since then Eustace Chapuys writes on the 22nd ulto. that the Princess enjoys good health, and that she had gone to a manor three miles from London, where she was some time ago visited by the King, her father, who spent a whole day with her. He departed much contented, saying many kind words to her, and promising that in future she would be better treated, and that at the end of the hunting season, on St. Michael's Day, when he, the King, is in the habit of returning [to Greenwich], he would give immediate orders for her to go to Court. He also caused all the Princess' robes and jewels which had been taken from her to be restored.
This notwithstanding, writes the ambassador, Parliament ended its sessions four days before, on the 28th of July, after passing the statute concerning the succession to the throne of England. It had not yet been printed, but it was averred that both the Princess and the daughter of the King's concubine had therein been declared illegitimate. It is, moreover, established that the son or daughter to be born of this new marriage shall succeed to the Crown, and in their default, whoever the King should please to designate, for the appointment is entirely left to his will and discretion. In case of there being no sons at all of this last marriage, it is believed the King's determination was that the succession should go to his bastard son, the duke of Richamont (Richmond), who, however, being consumptive, happened to die, by God's permission, on the very same day that Chapuys wrote.
My firm balief is that the Princess has now greater need than ever of being commended to God in our prayers that she may stoutly persevere in that firm and resolute conduct which that holy martyr, the Queen, her mother, followed to the last.
The illustrious earl of Kildaria (Kildare), who, the year before, finding himself helpless and in want of resources, went to London, by the advice of his uncles, and placed himself in the hands of king Henry, has been sentenced to death, together with his two uncles.
Master Abel, queen Katharine's chaplain, about whom I have frequently written to Your Majesty as having been committed to prison for preaching a sermon in which he said that the King ought to punish his privy councillors for the bad advice they had given him, in order that in future no bad councillors should surround princes and lords, is still in prison, without any hope of ever being set free, at least as long as this schism and pertinacious heresy of England lasts. The father (fn. n4) of adulterous Anne, who was beheaded, has been deprived of almost the whole of his property by the King.
The queen of Hungary writes to me that count Nassau, with his army, has entered France, and laid siege to Guise, which he has closely invested. The duke of Gueldres makes no movement at all.—Rome, 17 Aug. 1536.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
23 Aug. 92. The Emperor's answer to King Francis' Manifesto.
P. Arc. Nat., Neg.
Pap. d. S., k. 1642,
Olim D. 5.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 39.
The Papal Nuncio has this day put into our hands king Francis' answer to cardinal Trivulzio respecting the peace. He says therein that past events, and what His Holiness himself and all the world knows, are sufficient to demonstrate what Our duty and that of king Francis is. He fully acknowledges that We both have done on Our side what befitted us in order to bring about that peace, and that there is no need of saying or writing anything more about it. Yet to say that he has always made reasonable proposals, which have been at times accepted, and other times rejected, that is inexact, and may be easily refuted and contradicted. Cardinal of Lorraine will not deny what his Imperial Majesty, after speaking in presence of the assembled cardinals, told him when he came to him. If what We then said to the Cardinal was faithfully reported, and king Francis brings it to his recollection, he will find that never, upon any occasion, did he (the King) ever propose terms of peace between us two. Not only has he not accepted those terms which We offered him at Rome, and before We went thither, but, on the contrary, he has always persisted, and still persists, in getting better ones. The more inclined to peace have We been, the more difficult has the king of France grown, asking, as he still does, the most exorbitant and preposterous concessions.
These pretensions of his are fully specified and detailed in the paper which the Papal Nuncio has put into Our hands, without taking into consideration what has happened since Our departure from Rome, the return [to France] of cardinal Lorraine, the strong force and fleet We have [in Italy], and what We have undertaken and done up to this time. There is no need of the king of France increasing his offer, nor entreating the king of England more vehemently than ever to become a mediator of peace, because We have already had more than sufficient time to show to the World what those forces are intended for. If king Francis only considers how often We have declared and published what the object of Our armament is,—if he will but be great and magnanimous, have consideration and pity for his own kingdom, and remember that We are so close to him and his army,— of which until now no portion has been seen that has not been immediately defeated,— We may possibly understand each other, and come to an amicable settlement of our differences. We cannot make out on what ground king Francis can now insist on his former demands, nor what justifiable reason he can have to retain what he has taken from the duke of Savoy under the plea of arbitrage, as every one knows, especially since the King himself owns that he has no right whatever to what he takes from the Duke, since he has a pledge in his hands of which he has never made use. (fn. n5) Any one may guess what Francis' plans are in thus trying to make a truce with the Duke under present circumstances, and estimate the good reasons for and equity of his action.
After due consideration We see no necessity of adding anything more to Our previous answer respecting the peace. On the contrary, We consider the King's reply wholly without foundation; and though We think that cardinal Trivulzio has done his duty in this affair, We would willingly have broken off the negociations for peace had not Our wish for the welfare of Christendom, and Our respect for Our most Holy Father the Pope, prevented Us. Therefore, since His Holiness understands the evils likely to fall on this kingdom [of Naples] in consequence of the war which king Francis has commenced with such fury and violence, provoking and obliging Us to come so far on account of that war, as he says, against the duke of Savoy, but in reality against Us, it would seem as if the time had come for king Francis to try his forces against Ours, or else subscribe to conditions of peace fitting the present state of things. At any rate, one way or other, We are ready to meet him (and this time the king of France will not have far to go), as he has often threatened to do; he will find Us close upon or within his own kingdom.
As to the king of England, whether he take part for any of us or remain neutral, right and reason, and the letter of the treaties, demand that he should side with Us.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 3.
28 Aug. 93. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Rep. P.C.,
Fasc. 229½, No. 40.
Finding, that Cromwell had on three consecutive occasions failed to keep the appointments he himself had made to bring me the Kings answer to my last proposals and conversation on the subject of closer alliance, I sent one of my secretaries to him the day before yesterday for the purpose of reminding him, and pressing him to procure an answer as soon as possible. Cromwell owned to my secretary that the delay and excuses of which they had lately made use had been principally occasioned by the King's desire to wait for Your Majesty's answer to his autograph letter; but that now that the answer had come, nothing would prevent the speedy termination of the affair in hand. Your Majesty's letter, he said, arrived yesterday; it was so kind and gracious that the King, his master, had been most glad and pleased with it; so much so that he had immediately granted him leave to come to London to-morrow morning to meet and talk about the credentials therein enclosed, and at the same time declare part of his master's intentions on the whole. And although my secretary earnestly represented to Cromwell that it was for more expedient, and a shorter way to the conclusion of our business, that I myself should meet him at Greenwich, he could not be prevailed upon to change his mind, and insisted on his determination of coming to meet me here; which, as Your Majesty, with your great tact and wisdom, cannot fail to discern, is only an excuse of these people to gain time. Indeed, I really believe that, what- ever Cromwell may have said to my secretary, he will be much longer than he says in coming to me, and that when he does it will be either without sufficient powers, or without his master's final resolution, and that merely for the purpose of making me agree in your name to some of their own conditions concerning the Pope, namely, that Your Majesty at the future Council do not allow anything to be said or done to this king's injury for his having shaken off Papal obedience.
Cromwell said also to my secretary that the French ambassador had assured this king that it was the prince of Asculy who had caused the dauphin of France to be poisoned, and that he intended to have the same thing done with king Francis and his two remaining sons. And that since wickedness and ambition are making such a rapid progress [among your ministers] he (king Henry) ought to look to his own affairs, as it might one of these days be his lot to be assassinated. And that when the King told him of the French ambassador's report, he (Cromwell) replied "That is certainly not the sort of poison I fear for my master, but the more secret and dangerous one of French intriguing, which, had it been successful, would have brought ruin and confusion to England, as Mr. de Granvelle had lately remarked to the English ambassador at the Imperial Court, and you yourself have told me many a time"
Secretary Cromwell has, moreover, sent me word by my man that this very morning a letter from Your Majesty to this king, of the 11th inst., has been received a copy of which I myself have, in obedience to your commands, forwarded to the Queen Regent of Flanders. I will attend, as it is my duty, to the instructions in cipher contained in mine. The papers (escriptz) drawn at the camp close to Ferioux have not yet come to hand; (fn. n6) but I heard on the 15th, by a servant of the bishop of Winchester, who reported it on his arrival here, that his master had written from Lyons stating that Your Majesty's men had routed or taken prisoners nearly 3,000 Frenchmen, in which number 500 horse and many captains were included.
Two days ago neutrality was proclaimed in London, granting equal protection to Your Majesty's subjects and to those of the French king, and forbidding all Englishmen under severe penalties to meddle, trade, or deal openly or secretly with the people of either nationality; which last clause has since been added to the proclamation, owing to some English ships having been seized in Flanders in consequence of their having a quantity of merchandize on board, under English names, though belonging to Frenchmen.
A Scotchman has just told me that his master, king James, has actually returned from his voyage, and is back at Edinburgh. That king's intention had never been to visit France, as was supposed and rumoured at first, but merely to land in some of the Orcades (Orkney Islands), where there was some commotion.—London, 25 Aug. 1536.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original, partly ciphered. pp. 5.
29 Aug. 94. The Same to the Empress Isabella.
S. E., L. 806, f. 53.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 44.
By Domingo de la Cuadra, Your Majesty's usher, I wrote, giving an account of occurrences in this country up to that date. Since then the want of a sure and faithful messenger has prevented my transmitting the news as often as I should have wished; which inability I particularly regret, inasmuch as for some time past affairs here have been taking a better turn, and will, I hope, soon mend with God's help and assistance.
The Princess (thank God) is in good health, and has been, ever since her reconciliation with the King, her father, well and kindly treated,—nay, with greater ceremony and attention than in times of old, when nobody could dispute her title to the throne of England. Your Majesty ought to be very much pleased at this; for, besides her close relationship both to the Emperor and to Your Majesty, her having escaped safe from the greatest danger that ever a princess was in, and such as no words can describe, the change is of itself a motive for joy and thanksgiving. For it is to be hoped that through the Princess' means, and through her great wisdom and discretion, she may hereafter little by little bring back the King, her father, and the whole of the English nation, to the right path. It would, indeed, have been a great pity to lose such a gem, her virtues being of such a standard that I know not how to express and define her great accomplishments, her wisdom, beauty, prudence, virtue, austere life, and her other great qualities; for certainly all those who have been and are acquainted with her cannot cease from praising her any more than I can. (fn. n7) Her love for the Emperor, her cousin, and for Your Majesty, is such that it cannot be surpassed. Not having facilities for writing, she has charged me to transmit to Your Majesty her most affectionate regards.
I enter into these particulars because I am sure Your Majesty will be delighted to hear of them, especially as I am assured that ere long the Princess will be named and declared heiress to this kingdom.
With regard to the war going on now between His Imperial Majesty and the king of France, this king has hitherto shown and kept the most strict neutrality; and although king Francis has asked him with great importunity to declare for him, he has not yet obtained nor will he obtain such a declaration; on the contrary, I hope that, God willing, this king will ultimately recognize which side right and justice lay.
Your Majesty's opinion is that the merchants of Burgos, as long as the present war with France lasts, ought not to send to these seas their ships laden with wool, for fear of their meeting with the French privateers abounding in this Channel. I take the same view, for, unprotected as they would be, they might be captured by the enemy. I have written to the consuls of that place, as well as to the Reverend Archbishop of Toledo, to look well to this matter, and see that the merchandize and ships of the Burgalese do not fall into the hands of the French, and thus increase their means of carrying on war against Your Majesty.—London, 29 Aug. 1536.
Signed:"Eustacio Chapuys."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.


  • n1. "Y los de las haldas largas," the long-robed; that is, bishops and lawyers.
  • n2. Ambassador in Rome since 1534.
  • n3. The former at Milan and the latter at Genoa.
  • n4. Thomas Boleyn, earl of Wiltshire.
  • n5. "Syno por tener prenda forçada de lo que pretende haver de el, de que jamas ha gozado."
  • n6. Et quant aux escriptez (escripteaux?) au camp pres de ferioux (Frejus) encoires ne les ay reçeuez.
  • n7. "Que de verdad no se como encarescer los extremados cumplimientos, la sabieça, hermosura, austera vida, y tantas otras virtudes que quautos la han tractado, y tractan, y yo con ellos, no podemos acabar de loarla."