Spain: September 1536, 21-30

Pages 246-262

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, 21-30

22 Sept. 98. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Rep. P.C.,
Fasc., 229, No. 40
As I informed Monsieur de Grantvelle (sic) on the 14th inst. I left this city for a place 50 leagues distant, whereat the King was then staying; secretary Cromwell, who was with him, having written to me that his master would be glad to see me, and hear from my own lips the confirmation of the report made by his own commissioners. I was already on my way to Court, intending to be there on Saturday, the of September, which was the day fixed for the appointment, when a messenger from Cromwell met me on the road, announcing that the King had decided that the meeting should be posponed until next Sunday, and that quarters had been accordingly prepared for me at an abbey four miles distant from the place where the King then held his Court. The messenger also stated that his master, the secretary, wished to inform me that the King had lately received intelligence from abroad of such a nature that, should the news turn out true, his master would have every reason to resent and blame Your Majesty's conduct in the matter. Cromwell further begged and entreated me to vise all possible moderation as well as dexterity in my argumentation, should the King, stung to the quick as he seemed to be, speak to me angrily.
I was, the messenger said, to avoid as much as possible to goad or irritate the King, for fear the negociations we were carrying on should be interrupted. Having then interrogated the messenger as to what he, thought might be the cause of the King's displeasure, he answered that he could not guess, unless it were the Dauphin's death by poison, inasmuch as within the last few days a copy of the proceedings against the man who administered the poison (venefique) had been brought to London. I immediately replied that I could in nowise conceive that the King, having on so many occasions put to the test and experienced the many virtues, integrity, and even sanctity of Your Majesty, could do you such injury as to listen for one moment to such wicked falsehoods, of which, however, I failed not to allege then and there various examples, much less attach faith to them. [could not (I added) for a moment suppose that the King, considering his great wisdom and many virtues, and the friendship he professed for Your Majesty, would broach the subject to me, as otherwise I would immediately write to the secretary to try and stop the audience; for should that or a similar charge be brought against Your Majesty, I could not refrain from answering as my honor and the duties of my office required. I knew very well that in all other matters princes had the privilege of giving vent to their angry passions; but in one of that sort, in which Your Majesty's honor was concerned, I knew I could scarcely master my feelings. Should the King, his master, enter upon the subject, I would do my best to keep within respectful bounds and follow his (Cromwell's) advice in the matter as that of a man of wisdom, who on all occasions had tried to promote the perfect union and sincere friendship between Your Majesty and the King, his master. My message ended by thanking the secretary for his advice.
I arrived at Court on Sunday at dinner-time, and immediately after was taken into the King's chamber by the brother of the present Queen. The King's reception was middling, neither warm nor cold. After my summarily reciting to him the substance of my credentials, and declaring the substance of the conference held with his commissioners, the King sent for all three, besides the Comptroller and Master Quin (Coyn?), the only privy councillors then in attendance at his court, and began to say that I had touched on many points, which properly speaking could be reduced to, and condensed into two articles, namely: Your Majesty's justification as to the present war, the more than reasonable offers made by you in order to put an end to it; the personal injuries proffered by the French against you; and last, not least, the persevering obstinacy of king Francis. The second article was Your Majesty's request that he should declare against the French and in your favor.
Respecting the first article, the King said that, notwithstanding the specious arguments I had put forward, it was quite clear to him that Your Majesty had first been the aggressor in as well as the promoter of the present war, and that the fault of peace not having been made was solely to be imputed to you, not to king Francis, who had solicited it with great urgency, and worked for it in every way. So it was that the Papal Legates sent expressly to inquire into the matter, and to find out who had been the first to take up arms, and at the same time empowered to try and make peace between Your Majesty and the French king, had solemnly declared,—which formal declaration had been made by the Legates in the presence of all the ambassadorsthat Your Majesty was in the wrong. "Besides (the King said) it is quite clear and manifest from the curt and crude answer in writing that the Emperor has made to my letter on this subject, that he has no such intention of coming to terms of peace.
My answer was, in the first place, that he was misinformed as to the commission entrusted to the Legates. Their charge was not, as he stated, to examine and inquire into the respective rights or wrongs of the two parties, much less make a declaration conjointly as to the result of their inquiries. Cardinal Caracciolo had not made his appearance at the court of France; and as to cardinal Triulzio, if he had really been there no account at all should be taken of it, inasmuch as he was more than a Frenchman at heart, especially on matters relating to Milan, for the reasons which I then and there alleged. There was still, I added, another most potent argument, which was that the declaration, if at all made, had not been made, as stated, in presence of the ambassadors of foreign powers, inasmuch as Your Majesty was not represented by your own or by any other minister in your name. That Your Majesty's justification at Rome could not possibly be more explicit and legitimate than it had been, having been made not only in the presence of the Pope himself, the true judge of princes, and the only one who knows no superior in cases of infraction of peace, but likewise before the consistory of cardinals representing the universal Church, with the attendance of the French ambassadors residing either at Rome or in Your Majesty's court, of cardinal Trivulcio himself, the protector, as I believed, of France at the Roman Court, and of several other cardinals known to be partial to France (the Pope himself being also suspected of the same). And yet (I said) there was no one who did not at the time consider Your Majesty more than sufficiently justified. There was therefore no cause for saying, as king Francis pretended, that his own ambassadors had not replied to Your Majesty's manifesto, for the contrary could be proved by what Mr. de Velly himself had stated at the time. This last proposition, however, the King refused to grant, maintaining and arguing that the words of that ambassador could in nowise be regarded as a reply to your own peroration in Consistory.
With regard to the King's remark that Your Majesty, relying perhaps too much on your own forces, had altogether declined accepting peace at his intercession, I did not hesitate to reply that in addition to the many warnings he himself had given from time to time against Your Majesty disposing of the duchy of Milan, I knew for certain that both he (the King) and his secretary (Cromwell) thought it imprudent that it should go into the hands of the French owing to its dangerous vicinity to Naples; which, or similar words from his own lips, as well as the fear, which he and his secretary had openly expressed when the news came from France that peace was on the point of being concluded, had led me to believe that he (the King) did not wish for peace between Your Majesty and king Francis. I had, therefore, written home in that sense, and tried to persuade Your Majesty not to agree to the terms proposed. Besides which, I said, you yourselves have to complain of the French in that particular negociation, for, hearing of the proposed, mediation, they had made no overtures, much less exhibited their pretended titles to Savoy, as they had done to the Pope at Rome.
Hearing this the King attempted to dissemble his having made the statement which I had just contradicted, but finding that he could not possibly deny it he changed his tactics, and endeavoured to colour his words, meaning that the French had offered to submit to his arbitration, as likewise to explain the origin of their pretensions to Savoy;though there was no need of that, inasmuch as the papers had been examined and approved of at Rome.
Respecting the second article, that is his own declaration against the French, the King said that he could not for his honors sake do such a thing as that: the French were his friends; they had done him no harm, nor given him cause or occasion to declare against them. There was (he said) no treaty between Your Majesty and him that could oblige him to make such a declaration; all the reasons alleged in order to induce him to take that step were founded on mere supposition, and were such that Your Majesty would not dare maintain them, especially that concerning the French and their having tried to treat with him to Your Majesty's injury. He (the King) was sure of the contrary, for he had since then had occasion to peruse the instructions given to the French ambassador residing at Your Majesty's Court, at the time that he was empowered to treat about Milan. And upon my remarking that the French must have been sadly deficient in wit and political wisdom if they could not find their way to alter those very instructions and shape them according to their fancy and views at the moment, it being entirely in their power to do so without the danger of being found out; the King's reply was that he was convinced there had been no trick in it, and that the instructions he had seen were genuine, and had not been altered or forged; for just at the time that they were drawn up and sent to the French ambassador they had been shown and communicated to his own agents at Rome. And upon my observing that the French were proud and boasted of having gained much credit with so wise a monarch as he was, and by such means persuading him to work in their favor, and that he ought to consider that, wishing to conceal their game, the French might have shown to his ambassador's one set of instructions, and sent private ones, and fuller, to their own ambassador, inserting in them secret articles which were not to be divulged, the King still persisted in saying that that could not be done; it was not the custom, to do so; he himself had never employed such means, and he called to witness the two bishops there present. He knew very well (he continued) that the French had never solicited at Rome, nor consented to a sentence being given in favor of the late Queen; for that would have turned to Your Majesty's profit, which is exactly what they wished to avoid. My reply was that he ought to suppose that for a long time back the French had thought of nothing but of breaking the ancient and perfect amity existing between Your Majesty and him, and considered the sentence as the best means of arriving at their end; for had it been in favor of the divorce they knew very well that Your Majesty would have yielded to the reason, justice, and authority of the Holy See, and not opposed it in the least, but would on the contrary have continued to be his friend as before; whereas the sentence being given in the Queen's favor, as it had been, he (the King) could not, and would not, obey it; neither could Your Majesty decently derogate from it to the prejudice of the Queen, your aunt, which would have become the source of everlasting discord. He (the King) could very well understand that the affinity and consanguinity which united you to the Princess would never have prevented you from following that step; and the French also knew too well that, had a sentence been pronounced in favor of the divorce, the Princess would have been held as legitimate all the same, as they themselves considered and wished her to be, since king Francis had solicited her hand for one of his sons, intending to profit through that marriage.
As to the French having ever solicited His Holiness to decree the deprivation, the King said that he could not believe it, for they knew very well that the Pope had no power to do anything of the sort, no more than the most insignificant temporal prince in the world; it was more likely that if any suggestions had been made in that line it was Your Majesty who had brought them forward. Indeed, there was some reason for his believing that it was so, for a personage living at Rome on familiar terms with the present Pope and with his councillors had lately written to him that Your Majesty had actually offered Reggio, Modena, and Urbino to Paul, and the duchy of Milan and other estates to his son (Pier Luigi Farnese), provided he should compel him and his kingdom to return to the obedience of the Roman Church and Apostolic See,—on condition, however, of his preventing the French from laying their hands on Milan. "If the report be true," the King added, "I should have reason to complain of the Emperor and do him all possible harm. If it were necessary to come to such an extremity your master would soon find that he had made a very bad bargain, and would consider himself most happy that if I did not declare in his favor, I should at least forget the offence offered, and not declare altogether against him." My answer was that I thanked him very much for his indulgence, and the many other favors received at his hands, but that it was no less true that the news he alluded to had been prepared and concocted through a third person after the French themselves had had them cut, sewn, and shaped by others according to a given pattern; but they had set to work rather indiscreetly, forging things not only contrary to truth, but even beyond the limits of probability, owing to many reasons I then and there alleged, without meeting, I must say, with much contradiction on the King's part
On the contrary, he went on to say that if Your Majesty really wished for peace, and for the tranquillity and welfare of Christendom at large, you might easily bestow the investiture of Milan on the youngest son of Francis, who, by the death of his elder brother the Dauphin, had now become duke of Orleans; and that since Your Majesty had always intended and even offered to give the Duchy to one duke, he saw no difficulty in giving it to his brother. There was no use my telling him over and over again that Your Majesty's offer had always been for Francis' third son, that is, the duke of Angoulême, not for the duke of Orleans; he insisted upon his former assertion, and would have persevered obstinately in it, had not the councillors who were present confirmed my statement.
(fn. n1)
At last, finding that he was defeated on that point, the King began to draw attention to another, no less unjust and abusive, such as stating with very bad grace indeed that Your Majesty had been badly advised to undertake such a war, and march your armies info France. It would have been far better (he said) for Your Majesty to have remained a little longer in Piedmont, and waited until some means of effecting a peace should be proposed, rather than invade France, and lose so many men without accomplishing anything of importance. "That will not, I assure you, increase much your master's military reputation, though he himself may have been present, for after all, his successes, if any, have been very scanty; the taking of Aix and other towns in Provence by a force of nearly 100,000 men is no remarkable feat of arms; the same might have been accomplished with only 500, considering there was no resistance at all. Your Majesty hitherto (he continued) had not attempted to attack fortified places or divisions of the French army likely to offer resistance. As to the small advantage gained on the forces of Montian, (fn. n2) Your Majesty could not well boast of it, you had not attacked him; it was he, on the contrary, who had imprudently marched against you" Nor would the King own that it was disgraceful for the French to have, out of fear and consternation, totally wasted the whole of Provence, and retreated behind their fortresses. The King went on to say that your chief pretence and excuse for taking up arms had been to drive the French out of Savoy, and yet there they were as powerful as ever. The army before Turin had been shamefully broken up, the men being in constant mutiny, and ill-treated by the inhabitants, who, notwithstanding, had not made one sortie by themselves without obtaining some advantage over their enemy. In saying which the King seemed to forget that the chief aim of the French was Milan, and that if they had invaded Piedmont it was in order to penetrate into the Duchy; and that to that, as well as to their sudden retreat, was owing their having taken no fortresses in that country, with the single exception of Monmillan, which they had bought from its governor for ready money.
To this argument of mime the King knew not what to answer, save that Monsieur de Nassau had done the same, for he had gained no town of any importance, save the castle of Guise, which he had purchased for a sum of money, as he would prove by certain letters he had, and that Mr. de Nassau had been so roughly handled (frotté) before that place that he would in future take good care not to return to those parts. Of course the King would not mention as a make-up for that the fact of Peronne being a much stronger place than Therouanne, and yet its governor, with a much larger force than the one Mr. de Nassau had under his orders, had not dared lay siege to it, and that the Grand Turk himself had once been for thirty consecutive days before Gunse (Günz), (fn. n3) a mere nutshell, without being able to reduce it. After this and other examples, old and modern, which I alleged, and to which the King replied in his usual aggressive manner, I ended by stating that it was not for Your Majesty to repent of what you had hitherto done, and listen to terms of peace, especially now that it could no longer be made without injury to your honor and reputation, and that, even granting that Your Majesty (which may God forbid) should be defeated or taken prisoner, affairs would not look so desperate as he made them out to be. That before many days were over he would hear that the rumor afloat that the Italians were about to march upon Genoa in order to cut off Your Majesty's retreat, would end in smoke ; and that although it was quite true that the camp at Turin had been, as he said, raised, it was for the purpose of marching against the Italians under count Guido Rangone, who, as I had been informed, in order to obtain payment of certain arrears due to him in France, had taken the command of a force, which he would, as I thought, very soon resign. Thank God, Your Majesty's affairs were in a prosperous state, much better than he himself had been informed, and I confidently expected that before the 15th of October he would know it by experience. In short, that perceiving that his ears were crammed full with French inventions, the relative truth and value of which time would shortly show, I desisted from the task of opposing his arguments.
Thereupon the King alleged that Your Majesty before the present war had flattered yourself that you could by force of money prevent the Swiss from taking service under France, but that you had been grossly 'mistaken, for king Francis had no less than 10,000 of them under his banners, and as many German lanskenets. My answer was that Your Majesty had not spent one farthing in Switzerland, nor was it likely that the French could have in their pay such a number of Swiss, considering that at the diet of Baden, on the 4th of April last, a resolution had been taken forbidding people to enter the French service unless the articles concerning Savoy were first observed, namely, that the territory occupied by the French should be restored to the Duke. (fn. n4) I further told the King that the more objections he made, and the more obstacles he placed in your way, the greater was my hope of Your Majesty's success, and the more certain it seemed to me; and as a proof I quoted many examples of former days, and especially the case of Pavia, where, when your affairs were at a low ebb, you had ended by gaining a most important victory over your enemy, and taken him prisoner.
This last argument of mine could not be very agreeable to the King, for he suddenly exclaimed, "The glory of that victory must not be attributed to anyone save to me, for had I not furnished money to the Emperor's men (souldars) they would have deserted or died of hunger." After this he added that king Francis after all was to be much praised and commended for what he was now doing, inasmuch as he alone, and without the help of anyone, was carrying on the present war. But in saying so the King, no doubt, forgot or rather purposely omitted to mention the case of the duke of Ghelders, and what he himself had said only a few moments before about the Italian bands, the Swiss, and the German lanskenets in king Francis' pay.
Pursuing his attacks the King went on to say that the rumours that had been spread of a powerful fleet under Messire Andrea Doria, which was to achieve great things by sea, must have been false, or else have ended in smoke, for nobody had ever heard anything about it, nor was it known where the said fleet was now. My reply was that the fleet under the Prince of Melphi was actually in the Mediterranean, and consisted of so many vessels, having such a force on board, &c., and that it was quite evident to one that he listened to no news or information except what came from the French, who, as was their wont, always disguised things at their convenience, and took good care not to impart any news except those which were bad for Your Majesty, and that he might be quite sure that since the French in their report had not mentioned Doria's fleet, it was the very proof of its efficiency, and the fear they themselves had of it.
Immediately after this remark of mine the King gave signs of impatience as if he thought that the audience had lasted long enough, and that it was time for me to go away; perceiving which I addressed myself to him, and said, "If I am to go away without an answer, I shall be in greater uncertainty than when I came here;" and I then proceeded to relate in detail what had passed at the conference with his commissioners, and how, after a full discussion of the pending matters, their only objection had been that he (the King) could not at present declare openly for Your Majesty and against the king of France, owing to certain considerations which they alleged; but that he would be ready to contribute secretly with such sum of money as would be deemed advisable, and that as they themselves had, no experience of such matters it had been decided that I myself should fix the amount of the contribution. Hearing which the King feigned both astonishment and anger against the said commissioners, saying that he had never authorised, them to make any offer of money, and that he himself was not a prince to do things of the sort stealthily. If he lead a legitimate cause to declare against any one he would do it openly, for rightly and reasonably he feared neither Your Majesty nor the king of France; but that he found no reasonable nor apparent cause for declaring against king Francis, who was his friend, much less pronouncing in favor of Your Majesty, who had invaded France, to the defence and protection of which he was bound by various treaties.
The King further remarked that Your Majesty had not shown a great desire for his friendship, since you had declined to treat with him unless he formally and at once declared in your favor, and against the king of France, who was his friend, all the time without offering him any compensation or reward for such a declaration. My reply to that argument was that he (the King) might be well assured that Your Majesty prized more his friendship than that of any other prince in this world, lay or ecclesiastic; and that were it not that the question under discussion referred to a closer friendship and confederacy between Your Majesty and himself in order to obtain reparation from him who had unjustly seized and was continually seizing other people's property, it would have been superfluous to renew treaties between the Empire and this kingdom of England, which, I thought, were still in full vigour, as he and his own secretary (Cromwell) had frequently intimated. He himself had always tacitly, though intelligibly enough, implied to me that he would willingly enter into a new league and confederacy with you for the purpose of recovering that which belonged to him, and had, moreover, sent me express messages to that effect through his ministers, ordering them to inquire whether Your Majesty's powers to me had really any clause to that purpose, which orders from him I had fully complied with, since that had become the principal subject of discussion at the conferences. That after the commissioners' report on the third conference, to which no article had been added, he (the King) had given full powers to his own deputies to treat with me, and that it was no use alleging that their mandate was merely to treat of the peace between Your Majesty and the king of France, for I had distinctly said both to him and to his ministers that I had no powers at all from king Francis (fn. n5)
Not knowing exactly what to reply to my argument the King began to warm up, and to say half between his teeth that the powers he had given to his commissioners were merely for the purpose of ascertaining what 1 had in my bosom, and that it was easy to perceive that since Your Majesty had not remitted the treaties of Windsor and London that they might be confirmed or modified, it was quite clear that Your Majesty was not in earnest, but only dissembling. And upon my answering him that Your Majesty might be excused from sending the said treaties here, inasmuch as you had them not by you at the camp, and knew besides that they could, be procured here, in England, and, moreover, that there could be no fear or suspicion of forgery, since Cromwell and his colleagues had promised to bring them to the next meeting, when and where, if he liked, they might be looked into and examined, he said, "That is no business of mine, and I care not whether the treaties are produced or not." And upon my requesting him, as courteously and moderately as I could, to allow the said treaties to be produced and examined, as that would undoubtedly lead to the good issue of the affair under discussion, and help both him and me by comparing the political tendencies and views of those times with those of the present, he told me resolutely that he would do nothing of the sort; and subsequently, seeing no reason to deny what I asked of him, he said that he knew very well that an inspection of those treaties would only tend to my objecting to confirm them just as they were, and that if I undertook first to confirm and have them ratified, he would show them to me, not otherwise. Fearing, however, lest I should take him at his word, he immediately added, "But do not imagine for that that I am inclined to break my friendship with France, and leave the certain for the uncertain, for up to this moment I have been paid in full all the money the French owed me" I could not hear such an assertion from the King's lips without observing, as I did, that, as far as my information went, the French had not for the last three years paid any portion of their annual pension, and that what they had paid before that time had only been for fear he should make an alliance with Your Majesty. There was, I said, no so certain security afforded, as he himself had once told me, for recovering the amount of the French debt than to be on friendly terms with Your Majesty. I did not exactly know what reciprocal terms he could expect from Your Majesty, except that you should help him to recover the territories, which he said belonged to him and the French had occupied, which was a mightier thing than the whole of Burgundy, by which Your Majesty showed that your aim was not, as had been said, universal monarchy, but the defence of what you actually owned. The King replied that Your Majesty had no claim at all on Burgundy, having renounced your right to it by the treaty of Cambray, and besides that duchies in France did not pass to females. And although I maintained that by the said treaty the right on Burgundy had been reserved to Your Majestywhich statement of mine was confirmed by the councillors there presenthe still persisted in his opinion; and upon my telling him that the alleged exclusion of females from the inheritance of duchies in France worked against him, for his right to Guyenne came down from Madame Eleanor, the daughter of the duke St. Guillaume, he answered,, as he had done on many preceding articles, that most of what he had told me was said for the sake of disputation, the better to open out the matters tender discussion, and be enlightened thereon; he did the same with Francis ambassadors.
At last, after a good deal of conversation on this subject, having asked him for a final resolution in the affair so that I might inform Your Majesty, he answered that I might write home that should Your Majesty agree to treat of a league and alliance with him without prejudice to the treaties of friendship he himself had with France, he would willingly consent to it; he would likewise, with your full consent and approval, endeavour to bring about a peace between Your Majesty and the king of France. Upon which, perceiving that accordingly it was impossible to obtain a more favorable resolution, I said that I would write to Your Majesty, and that 1 had no doubt you would return as soon as possible an answer to that. Meanwhile he might be certain that anything Your Majesty could do for him, and for his sake would be done, and that he ought to remember that for no other prince or private person in the World would you do half as much as you were prepared to do for him.
These last words of mine produced rather a good effect on the King, as well as the news I afterwards told him that the dowager queen of Hungary (Mary) had ordered the immediate release of certain English ships that had been embargoed in Flanders. On my departure he graciously granted me a passport for the bishop [of Llandaf], the late Queen's confessor, besides certain other requests and petitions of various Spaniards who had been arrested or otherwise ill- treated in this country, saying "Adieu" to me in a more amiable and courtly manner than when I first came into his presence.
Going out of the Royal chamber I took Cromwell apart, and begged for a few minutes' conversation with him. He came soon after, and I began to tell him that matters were not exactly as he and his colleagues had represented to me. I warmly requested him to try again to set things right, and persuade the King, his master, to have the treaties of Windsor and London examined, as by doing so he would know that Your Majesty really desired his friendship, and wished to do everything in your power to please him. His answer was that he was extremely sorry and dissatisfied with himself at the turn the affair had taken, and that no less displeased had his colleagues been at hearing what the King had said to me. He was exceedingly annoyed at it (he said), and thought that the news from Home had in a great measure spoiled the affair, which was before in good train. He would (he said) see me here, in London, in three or four days' time, asking my forgiveness if at such a late hour he could not speak to me more in detail. There hung, he said, such a suspicion over us two that he could not remain longer with me at such an hour and at such a place. After which he quickly left me, and returned to the King's chamber.
To convince myself thoroughly of the obstinacy and dissimulation of these people, next morning I sent one of my men to Cromwell to inquire whether he had spoken to the King after my leaving Greenwich, and whether he thought that by assenting entirely to the letter of the treaties there was some chance of the King changing his opinion. After hearing my message Cromwell went into the King's chamber, and then came out and said to my man that he himself would come to London in two or three days, as he had told me, and that then we would converse fully on the matter. Then, after some consideration, he added, "Tell the ambassador that the King, my master, is a great king, but very fond of having things his own way;" and without any more remarks sent him away. 1here was, I presume, no danger for Cromwell in thus expressing himself about the King, his master, and in sending such a message through a man of this embassy; for had the thing become public he (Cromwell) might easily have denied it, and, besides that, nothing in my opinion will induce the King to accept the, offer made, for after all the above-mentioned treaties contain several articles very advantageous and favorable for the Apostolic See, as well as for the protection and increase of Papal authority.
The day after I left Greenwich these people dispatched a courier to France, and some add that after stopping at Venice the courier will visit Your Majesty's camp.
Yesterday was the day fixed for Cromwell's visit, and therefore I have delayed for forty-eight hours the departure of this messenger; not that I had the least hope of receiving some answer or other to my application, but because I thought I could in the meantime learn something of the French intrigues with these people, of which I must confess I have been unable yet to unravel the web. Yet I fancy that unless king Francis casts away entirely his obedience to the Roman Church, as these people have done, he has no chance of getting this king to contribute one single penny, for he has of late been too sparing of his money to risk his coin without any hope of gain. I even fancy that, whatever their dissimulation, the King would not willingly stake too much money in attempting to recover what he says belongs to him in France, nor would he accept of it if given to him owing to the difficulty and expense of keeping it. He feels that he is getting old, and has no male children to succeed him on the throne, and knows that he will have enough to do to keep the peace in his own kingdom, where the novelties he has introduced are not generally approved of. He, therefore, thinks of nothing else save making good cheer and filling his coffers with the feathers of those whom he wishes to put down; all his late shifting and dissimulation has no other origin than the fear he has of Your Majesty's affairs becoming prosperous again, and your coming over to England to chastise him (fn. n6)
I must not pass over in silence that having said to the King among the many just causes he had for declaring war to the French, one was their having totally failed to pay the annual amount of their pension to this country, I observed, That seems to me by far a more legitimate "casus belli" than the one the cardinal of York had for challenging Your Majesty to pay a debt for which there was sufficient security in English hands. Having told him this much, the King replied that it was not the Cardinal's doing,—a thing which until the present he has completely deniedit was he who had done it, not indeed on account of the said debt, but to have his revenge upon you for not having continued the war after Francis' defeat and capture at Pavia. "But" he added, "there is no question now of such light offences, or of challenging a prince on the least breach of promise, for if it were so I myself might have plenty of reasons for declaring war both to the Emperor and to the king of France."
Letters have come from Dieppe advising that the king of Scotland (James) had arrived there with 12 small craft on the 10th of September last, and that immediately upon his arrival he took post for the court of France. The letters do not say whether the King had or had not an armed force on board; most probably he had not, for the vessels were not fit to carry guns, and could only have small crews on board. It is thought that he only went thither, among other things, on account of the succession he claims to the estate of the duke of Albany, deceased. Next time I speak to Cromwell I will try to ascertain if that was really and truly the object of that King's journey, and shall not fail to report the result of my inquiries.—London, 22 Sept. 1536.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original, almost entirely ciphered. pp. 26.
24 Sept. 99. The Emperor to Chapuys.
S. E., L. 34, f. 254.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 67.
Your despatches of the 2nd and 3rd inst., received here [at Frejus], will be answered from Niza, whither We intend going almost immediately. For the present there is nothing to advise, except that after signing and sealing the letters that go along with this, and which could not be sent from Zaes (Aix), owing to foul weather and the heavy sea, We raised our camp on the 13th, and arrived here at Frejus with the vanguard and "batalla" (centre) of our army on the 20th, the rear-guard with the artillery coming up on the following day. We here found our galleys that had anchored in the port two or three days before. Enemies We have met with none on the road, except 40 or 50 light horse, whom the other day our cavalry behind the rear-guard discovered in the distance. As to provisions, some have been found on the road; but as We had given orders for the fleet to disembark near Marseilles those which might have been deemed necessary for this expedition, We have been in no want of them so much so that there is a good deal left, which We will take with Us to Nice, for which place We intend to leave to-morrow, the 25th.
From thence We shall start for Lombardy with all possible haste. Our intention is to go to Savona, which We shall reach as well as We can with such provisions as may be landed from the fleet, or brought from the stores at Genoa and its Ribiera. But for the future We trust entirely on you, and hope that by that time you will have put yourself in communication with our ambassador at Genoa, as well as with Gutierre Lopez de Padilla, Don Alvaro de Luna, and the governor of Alessandria della Paglia, and see that our army is plentifully provided for, and that from Savona to Alessandria, as well as from the former place to Piedmont, stores of provisions be placed at various points on the road.
You must also be aware that at Carignan, Cuny (Cuneo), Fossano, Asti, and Alessandria stores of wheat, flour, barley, biscuit, and ammunition were collected by our order in case We should be tempted to go to Savoy with our army. Having since changed our mind, We sent thither Martin Niño with orders to collect the whole, and get it ready for our service wherever provisions may be wanted. If Niño has done so, you will direct that the whole be sent to Alessandria; and, if he has not, have the thing done without delay.—Frejus, the 24th of September 1536.
Signed: "Carolus."'
Countersigned: "Covos, High Commander."
Addressed: "To the most reverend father in Christ, cardinal Caracciolo, our governor of the State of Milan."
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.
24 Sept. 100. Dr. Ortiz to the Emperor.
S. E., L.365, f. 98.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 69.
Is in receipt of His Majesty's letter of the 27th August. He himself wrote on the 9th of July, 17th of August, and 6th inst. Has nothing new to report, except that the ambassador in England (Chapuys) writes, in date of the 2nd, that the Princess (Mary) is enjoying good health, and enjoys now the attendance due to her rank, and that on the King's return from hunting she is to go to Court, and be appointed successor to the Crown in case of the King, her father, having no male children from this, his third wife, which is not likely to be the case considering her complexion and the state of health in which the King himself is.
Her most Serene Highness the Queen of Hungary writes, in date of the 10th, that count Nassau with the Imperial army under his command was besieging Perona (Peronne), and hoped to take it soon, although the garrison inside was strong and well appointed.
His Holiness has not yet returned from Viterbo. Barbarossa is at La Belona.
The king of Scotland (James), of whom no one knew anything for 20 days, has turned out to be in certain islands of his where troubles have arisen.—Rome, 24 Sept. 1536.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Empress and Queen, our Lady."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
28 Sept. 101. The Emperor to Cardinal Caracciolo.
S. E., L. 255–6,
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 72
Has arrived at Nizza, and sent on the marquis del Vasto (Gasto) with part of the forces to Arbenga, (fn. n7) thence by the Riviera of Genoa to Asti, where the Germans who remained at Turin, and those of his brother Ferdinand who came last, are to join him. Wishes to know as soon as possible what is the state, condition, and number of the said forces, horse and foot, their quarters, and for how long they are provisioned; what are the news of the enemy; what their number is at Turin and in other parts of Piedmont; and what their plans of campaign may be for the future. The information on these several points to be as exact and precise as possible, and forwarded to Arbenga, where, God permitting, he (the Emperor) will arrive on Thursday or Friday following. Should the camp have gone to Arbenga, the despatch to go on to Savona, and a duplicate of it to be left in the former place with the Marquis, who has orders also to proceed to Asti.
A copy of these instructions to be forwarded to Gutierre Lopez de Padilla at Genoa.— Nizza, 30 Sept. 1536.
Signed: "Carlos."
Countersigned: "Covos, High Commander."
Addressed: "To the very reverend in Christ, father cardinal Caracciolo, our governor in the state of Milan."
30 Sept. 102. The Same to the Same.
S. E., L. 34,
f. 258.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 70.
Has decided to go to Genoa by sea to avoid the fatigues of the journey by land. Will take with him the gentlemen of his household and great personages of his court. The rest of the army to follow a land route. That time may not be lost, and what is needful against the enemy be done, the Marquis will go forward and effect his junction with the forces in Lombardy and Piedmont. As soon as the Marquis has crossed the mountains, great care must be taken that the men, especially the Germans, be provided with every necessary; for should there be any delay in their monthly payments, evil might ensue. Lope Gutierrez de Padilla and Thomas de Forni at Genoa have received instructions to that effect.
As the Infanta (Beatriz) of Savoy (fn. n8) wrote some time ago that she wished to come to Sahona (Savona) for the purpose of visiting Us, We have answered that she had better come to Genoa that We may talk over Our respective affairs. We command you to go thither also, leaving in your room some trusty officer to conduct that government during your absence, and take care of the duchess of Milan, Our niece, (fn. n9)
Julian del Speza (fn. n10) has brought a statement of the Milanese budget, income and expenditure. We will look into it at Genoa, and Jet you know what We think of it.—Nizza, 30 Sept. 1536.
Signed: "Carlos."
Countersigned: "Covos, High Commander."
Addressed: "To the most reverend father in Christ, cardinal Caracciolo, our governor of the state of Milan."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.


  • n1. "Et sestoit le camp du diet thurin le quelz iournellement auoit este mutinez et mal traictez de ceulx du dedans, les quelz, commil sçavoit pour tout certain nestoient oncques saillis dehors quilz ne vinssent a chief do leurs emprinses."
  • n2. Montjean.
  • n3. The deciphering reads Guise, but it is a decided mistake for Günz, a castle of Hungary, which Soliman besieged ineffectually in 1532. See Vol. IV., Part II., pp. 519, 546, 993.
  • n4. "Et quil nestoit vraysemblable quil y eust en France tel nombre de suisses actendu ce quavoit este traicte et conclud (sic) a la diete de Bade (sic), au quatrieme iour davril.suyvant la conclusion de la quelle ie tenoye quilz ne cesseroient que larticle de la restitution des terres que le roy de france occuppe au due de sauoye ne fut accompli."
  • n5. "Comme luy et aussi Cremuel mauoit dit pluseurs fois ce que luy de tout temps tacitement mavoit touche assez intelligiblement quilz entendoient voulentiers a nouvelle lighe pour recouvrer [ce] que luy appartenoit, et le mauoit il dit plus ouvertement et fait dire par ses ministres depuis, voire aussi le pouvoir de vostre maieste, et mesmes les commis qui la estoieut presens navoient tenu principalement autre propoz, et que sur le rapport de la tierce communication, a la quelle na este depuis a la quarte adiouste article quelconque, il auoit envoye plainne commission aux dictz deputez pour traicter. Et ne failloit quil allegast ce quil disoit que la dicte commission eust este seullement dressee pour traicter de la paix entre vostre maieste et le roy de france, car ie luy auoye tout ouvertement dit, et a ses dictz ministres que navoye telz pouvoirs de la part du diet roy de france."
  • n6. "Et la dissimulation dont il a este na este que pour craincte que vostre maieste venaut au dessus de ses affaires ne luy donnat son chatiement."
  • n7. Albenga, in the Riviera of Genoa.
  • n8. Beatrix, the wife of Carlo III. of Savoy, who being the daughter of Dom Manuel of Portugal, was called "Infanta."
  • n9. The widow of duke Francesco; her name was Christina or Christierna, daughter of Kristiern II., the dethroned king of Denmark, and of Isabella, the Emperor's sister; consequently the latter's niece.
  • n10. Giuliano della Spezzia, about whom see Vol. III., Part II., p. 644, 646, &c. He had formerly been secretary to Doge Antoniotto Adorno.