Spain: September 1536, 1-20

Pages 238-246

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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September 1536, 1-20

2 Sept. 95. The Same to the Emperor.
Rep. P. C.,
Fasc. 229½, No. 41.
On the 25th ult. I wrote to Your Majesty respecting the state of affairs here. (fn. n1) Since then, on the 26th, I held a conference with secretary Cromwell, the bishops of Hertford (Fox) and Chichester (Sampson), who, after magnifying and exaggerating the importance of a peace between your Majesty and the king of France at the present juncture, expressed their astonishment at your not showing a stronger inclination to comply with their master's wishes in that particular. However, after hearing my reasons on the subject, all seemed satisfied and convinced, especially the Secretary; for the other two, though they gave in, contended with me that in the event of peace being made this king ought to be the arbiter of it. At last Cromwell interrupted us, and said, "Enough of that, and let us go to business. I imagine that, before arriving at the conclusion of peace, God will permit that king Francis shall receive some sort of punishment for his cruel treatment of the duke of Savoy, and his temerity in commencing war."
After this we talked for some time of the principal matter, and upon my fully stating to Cromwell and his colleagues the reasons I had for believing that their master ought at once to declare openly against king Francis, they answered me, as on a former occasion, that they did not think that could or ought to be achieved before next winter, unless their master could in the meanwhile find some honorable excuse or cause for rupture, and alienation from the friendship and confederacy of France. Besides, there was not (they said) in England now a fleet for the protection and defence of their mercantile navy; and, in addition to that, there were at the present time many English vessels and considerable merchandise in French ports, which could not well be recalled or brought back before the spring. Although I refuted one by one all their arguments, and tried to do away with their scruples and difficulties, Cromwell and his two colleagues persisted in their opinion; being much astonished, as they said, at Your Majesty, who rather than wanting troops, had too many under your banners, applying to England for men and ships of war. What Your Majesty wanted most was money, of which there was so little in your treasury that it was a known fact that your financial ministers in Flanders were paying a most usurious interest for the little they had been able to raise. "Not long ago," added Cromwell, "a great lord of those parts, who certainly would not have dared do it without proper authority, and Your Majesty's consent, sent hither certain bankers from Flanders to see if money could be borrowed in this kingdom, however high the rate of interest might be. Such being the state of things, we strongly recommend you to declare at once to us how much money the Emperor wishes our master to contribute."
The more Cromwell and his colleagues spoke on this last point, the more did I persist in my request that the King should declare himself openly, knowing well that this was the best way of making them agree as to the contribution in money. I, therefore, went on representing to them how advantageous the King's declaration would be for the good issue of the affair in question, at the same time owning to them that, although Your Majesty had plenty of loyal and rich subjects in your vast dominions willing to come to your assistance with a gift or loan of money, or the purchase of annuities (fn. n2) from the State, yet money was not always forthcoming when wanted; that being the chief cause of the enormous interests to which they had alluded. It was, I said, of great importance that the King, their master, should help you with a good sum of money proportionate to the expenses of the war, the number of men you had in the field, and the great advantages to be derived from the undertaking. I did not hesitate to speak in this manner, owing to the councillors having expressly told me twice or three times over that it was of no use dissembling; they knew, as a fact, that your Majesty was in straitened circumstances just now.
Subsequently, after a good deal of conversation on that subject, the councillors said, in substance, that the King had deputed them for the express purpose of hearing how far the instructions alluded to in Your Majesty's letter of credence in my favor empowered me to consent to their demands, and finding out whether I should be more tractable than before. Should I be unable to take the engagement in Your Majesty's name, that no peace should be concluded with France unless the King, their master, was previously reinstated in all his rights to part of that country, or consented otherwise to the making of that peace, there was no occasion to break our heads about it and lose our time. If, on the contrary (said they), I was empowered to grant their demands, and would at the same time name and specify the sum which Your Majesty desired their master to contribute, they would immediately send a message to the King and ask his commission to treat thereof. My answer was that they might at once apply for the commission, and that I on my own part would do my best to take in your name the engagement that was wanted. "As to my naming and specifying the sum of money which the Emperor may want (said I), that is more than I can at present say; the King, your master, knows better than any man in the World what the daily expenses of an army such as that of the Emperor may be, and if he only takes into account the sums which he himself contributed towards the expenses of the last war with France, it seems to me that he can easily fix and determine its amount, taking also into consideration the cause and circumstances of the war itself, and the higher pretensions he now has. I have no doubt that your master cannot fail to recollect how much he molested the Emperor, and importuned him to prosecute the war with France at the time that king Francis was his prisoner in Spain. Should your master have forgotten the circumstance I appeal to the bishop of Chichester (Sampson), here present, then English ambassador in Spain, who made the offer."
After this came a long discussion on the Pope's affairs and the authority of the Apostolic See, Cromwell and his two colleagues insisting upon your Majesty's positive declaration never to consent to any measure injurious to the King, their master, being taken by the Pope or by the General Council. It was at last agreed that no mention whatever should be made of the Pope in the projected treaty, either good or bad; and I must own that towards the end of the conference there was some hope of my various remonstrances on that point having already produced some good effect. (fn. n3)
In conclusion, it was settled that the councillors would inform the King of the result of our conference, and try to obtain the necessary powers to treat. They, nevertheless, requested me to be more explicit at our next interview, and to declare frankly and sincerely how far my private instructions empowered me to enter into the discussion of the terms of the projected alliance.
On the last day of August the commission and powers for the aforesaid councillors arrived from Court in pretty good form and sufficiently ample, the only objection being that, among the titles given to this King in the heading of the document, there was that of "Chief Sovereign of the Anglican Church;" of which, however, though it displeased me highly, I took no notice for fear the negociation should be impeded or delayed. On the very same day that the mandate came we again met, when the King's councillors reproduced the same argument used on previous occasions, namely, that it would not be honorable for a king so powerful as their master was, to declare against the French merely in words without showing his hostility in deeds. My answer was that the effects of that hostility would sufficiently be seen from the fact of the war being partly made in their master's name, and his contributing to the expenses of it, and that it would be no small glory and honor for him to serve, as it were, under Your Majesty as a sort of lieutenant-general of your armies. If that was the King's only difficulty, I thought Your Majesty would have no objection that the army under Mr. de Nassau should be called the army of England; all the time protesting that what I said was on my own account, and by way of expediency to remove obstacles, &c. Hearing this, Cromwell attempted to argue, though he did not sufficiently explain his mind, that should his master, as proposed, accept the command of a foreign army, the English peasants might be hurt and discontented at their being considered useless for warfare, and at their own king paying an army, of which they themselves did not form part. And I also fancy, though he did not positively start the objection, that the King could not possibly do that without consulting his Parliament first and applying for pecuniary aid.
The article of the manifest declaration being put aside, the royal commissioners came to discuss the amount of the King's contribution towards war expenses. After rating Your Majesty's. forces at 60,000 men for both your armies, under the false impression that those of the Italian League would also join, and that the Italian princes and republics actually paid their own contingent of men; after deducting from that number the retainers of several lords and private captains serving at their own cost—and this they did with such scrupulous nicety that I began to think the whole matter would be speedily settled—they proceeded to calculate what amount of money would be required. Yet when I had shown them by letters from Genoa and other towns that Your Majesty had actually in the field and in your pay no less than 70,000 infantry and seven or eight thousand horse, without counting the army of Monseigneur de Nassau, or the men on the fleet; when I assured them that the revenue of the duchy of Burgundy was not the fourth, nay the sixth, part of that of the two duchies of Guienne and Normandy, which the King, their master, claimed for himself, they all seemed astonished; and perceiving that there was no chance of fresh overtures on my part, they frankly owned that the case touched their master much more nearly than they had thought at first, and that as he (the King) knew best the importance and quality of the affair in question, they prayed me not to take it in bad part if they consulted their master about it beforehand. The affair would not suffer through it; it would, on the contrary, go on much better, and there would be no delay, for next day all three would go up to the King, who, they had no doubt, would immediately send for me; if he did not, they would apprise me of his determination and will. The royal commissioners, moreover, put into my hands a copy of their mandate, and likewise asked me for one of mine. I cannot decide whether this is a stratagem of theirs or not, but this I can say, there are, and there were at the time, evident signs of their wishing that the negociations for the treaty should begin at once,—especially on the part of Cromwell, who showed so much ill-will against the French that he did not hesitate to assert that the King, his master, would lose his throne, or have to work the ruin of the French.
Whilst waiting for the King's pleasure, Cromwell has sent me several messages by one of the bishops in whom he trusts, begging me to be more tractable in what concerns the Pope, and also to declare more openly what my instructions are in that respect. As to him, he has made no attempt to speak to me in private, nor, as he himself says, has he dared invite me to dinner, as he would otherwise have wished, on many private considerations, respecting which I have refrained to interrogate him.
With regard to the Princess, Cromwell told me that without fail she would shortly be appointed heir apparent to the Crown, and that the King, his master, approved entirely of her marriage to the Infante Dom Luiz [of Portugal], but said that it was requisite to proceed very slowly and with great caution in the matter, and that for the present it was enough to talk about the principal business. He, however, wished me to repeat before his colleagues what I once told him concerning the person, quality, and good parts of that Infante, which I did at once, and fancy that a good impression was produced. With regard to their favoring the pretensions of the Palatine duke Frederic, they said that it was an accessory to the principal point, and that they would do their best to persuade the King, their master, to include in the next treaty an article relating to it.
At last, upon my telling them that it was desirable for the King to promise, unless he chose to take a formal engagement, not in any wise to interfere with or prevent the meeting of the Council, they said to me, half smiling, that I did artfully make so many demands in order to get one half; but that they would answer me on the whole after reporting to the King and knowing his intentions. I fancy it is for the above reasons that the said commissioners are delaying as much as they can the conclusion of the treaty. It might also be for the sake of waiting for news of the war, and ascertaining whether Your Majesty is successful or not. No solicitation shall be wanting on my part to obtain a speedy resolution upon the whole affair, and I am determined, according to the turn affairs may take hereafter, to press this king to contribute largely towards the expenses of the war besides lending Your Majesty a good sum of money, taking care to remind him of the offers once made by his ambassador at Toledo. When a resolution is taken or any progress made in the negociation, I shall not fail to inform Your Majesty as soon as possible.—London, 2 Sept. 1536.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original, ciphered. pp. 12.
7 Sept. 96. Dr. Ortiz to the Same.
S. E. Roma, L. 865,
f. 97.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 63.
Wrote on the 9th of July and 17th Aug. Since then letters from Eustace Chapuys in date of the 12th ult. have been received, purporting that the Princess was much better treated than before, and that the King, awakened to her good qualities and many virtues, had ordered that she should now be attended just as his bastard daughter used to be when her mother Anne was alive. It is expected that very shortly her state and condition will be fixed in a permanent manner.
The King, says the letter, is at his usual amusement of the chase, with the Queen, as he is in the habit of doing every season; he will remain longer than usual this year.
King James of Scotland left his kingdom more than 20 days ago, sailing away with four vessels, nobody knows whithes. At the date of the last letters from London there was no news at all of him.
The Imperial army of Flanders has taken Guise, with great stores of provisions, ammunition, and artillery inside. After setting fire to the town and garrisoning the castle, the army marched off, and took a town called Buain (Bouchain?) and its citadel. The inhabitants of St. Quentin then sent to Perona (Peronne) for help, stating that unless they got it in time they would be obliged to surrender to count Nassau; which being ascertained by the latter, he marched forthwith against Perona, to which he is actually laying siege.
That wretch Barbarossa landed the other day on the coast of Calabria, near a place called Castelon, belonging to count San Severino, and sacked it, killing or carrying away upwards of 1,000 of the inhabitants. He has since taken himself off to his galleys, of which he has no less than 60, and gone away.
The Ancona legation has been given by His Holiness to cardinal de Trani, (fn. n4) who is going shortly to take possession of it; that of Bologna, formerly held by cardinal Cibo, he has bestowed on cardinal Santaflor (Santa Fiore). He himself (the Pope) is now going to Viterbo to inspect the lands of his own private estate. (fn. n5) Two nuncios are also being sent; one to the king of the Romans (Ferdinand), another to Germany, to look after the convocation of the General Council; and some days ago his chief secretary, Ambrogio, was sent to the Emperor as nuncio, and another one to king Francis, to try and advocate peace between the two. His Holiness, moreover, has sent for certain Italian prelates and lawyers, as members of the preliminary Council to be held here in this city.
The woman whom the king of Scotland has married had previously been another man's wife for two years, and was divorced from him on account of consanguinity in the third or fourth degree, for which no proper dispensation had been obtained. (fn. n6) During the time that she was separated from her first husband, the lady had a son, whom the king of Scotland calls his own, although born during a marriage not dissolved. And since, according to Civil Law, a child born in wedlock must be held as legitimate, the King has sent here to ask for a dispensation from the Apostolic See, together with a declaration that the child is legitimate and his own. His Holiness, however, has refused to grant his petition.
His Highness, the king of the Romans, was to have entered Trent on the eve of the Nativity of Our Lady, the 7th inst. Rome, 7 Sept. 1536.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: To the Emperor.
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
19 Sept. 97. Antoine Perrenot [de Granvelle] to Cardinal Marino Caracciolo, Governor of Milan.
E., L. 34, f. 259.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 65.
Might be accused of negligence or forgetfulness for not having written from Ferfoux (Frejus), but the fact is that M. Luis Belcorps, the Duchess' (fn. n7) secretary, having left the Imperial camp at Aix [in Savoy] with letters for Her Excellency, as well as for your most reverend Worship, his bad luck would have it that, riding to the coast for the purpose of embarking, he was met by villains who murdered and plundered him. I am very sorry for that, for he was a good man and very honest. I am now sending duplicates by a servant of the gentleman, my cousin. (fn. n8) As I am given to understand by Mr. de Grandvelle (Nicolas Perrenot) that your Reverence has forgotten to write to the Duchess in favour and commendation of Doctor Juan Bartholomé de Gattinara, (fn. n9) I do not hesitate to write in his favor. No man is better fit than he is to administer the Duchess' property and look to her affairs, besides which he is loved and considered here by all of us as if he were our own brother.
The Prince of Asculi (Antonio de Leyva) died on the 7th inst. at the camp before Aix; he expired as a lamp that is extinguished for want of oil.
As we are now returning to Milan I shall not be prolix, and will leave for our next interview the full narrative of the reasons and considerations which have prompted our Emperor to retreat. As the artillery and heavy luggage are to go by sea to Genoa, it is to be hoped that before many days have passed we shall be able to shake hands.
I suppose you to be well informed of what passed between the Legate Tribulcio and the Papal Nuncio on this business of the peace, and will, therefore, forbear making any comments upon it, as the wishes and aspirations of both parties seem to me too vaguely expressed and obscure to be defined; but this much I can tell you, that unless the French plenipotentiary expresses himself in milder terms, and the Papal Nuncio, on the other hand, tells us clearly what he expects and wants, there is no chance whatever of peace. Prothonotary Recalcato, (fn. n10) the Pope's secretary, came the other day to the camp at Aix, trying to persuade our Emperor to make peace, offering to mediate, &c.; but, I repeat, though our master is well disposed, he is not likely to accept the Pope's offers. Ferfoux (Frejus), 19 Sept. 1536.
Signed: "A Perrenot."
Addressed: "To the most Illustrious and Reverend Lord my lord Cardinal Caracciolo, governor of the state of Milan, at Milan."
Spanish. Holograph. pp.


  • n1. See> above, No. 85, p. 219.
  • n2. The word used is "juros."
  • n3. "A la fin ilz furent contens mesme en la derniere communication quil ne sen parlat ne en bien ne en mal et ne me laissarent (sic>) a la dicte communication sans espoir que avec le temps mes remonstrances eussent fructifié."
  • n4. At this time Giovan Domenico Cupi was still archbishop of Trani in Sicily,
  • n5. "Y agora se partira su Sd. a Viterbo a ver las tierras de su casada (?), como el ai o pasado fué á Perosa."
  • n6. "La muger con quien se casó el Rey de Ascocia avie sido antes casada dos años, y antes que con ella se casase el Rey de Ascocia se apartó de su marido porque avie cierta consaguinidad en tercero o quarto grado, de la qual no avic precedido dispensacion, y en aquel tiempo tuvo un hijo, el qual dize el rey de Escocia que es suyo, y porque fué en tiempo que el otro matrimonio se tinie por bueno, y el derecho presume que es legitimo del marido de entonces, el rey de Escocia [h]a embiado á demandar," &c.
  • n7. That is, Christina, the widow of Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan,
  • n8. Del gentilhomo myo cusino.
  • n9. Giovan Bartholomeo di Gattinara, the brother of Mercurino, the Emperor's chancellor till June 1530, when he died. See> Vol. III., Part I., pp. 47, 148, 997-9.
  • n10. Better known by the name of secretary Miçer Ambrogio de Recalcatis. See Part I., pp. 318, 353, 347.