Spain: July 1537

Pages 369-374

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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July 1537, 1-31

3 July. 158. News from France.
A. N. Neg. Pap. de
S. K. 1633, ol.
C. 39.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 341.
Sieur de Molieri: (fn. n1) I wrote to you from . . . . , advising that king Francis was in that district. The present is to inform you that since then both the King and the Queen came to this town of Alençon on the 22nd of June; that the King is still indisposed, and that until he recovers and gets quite well, he will not go down that way, the more so now that Don Fadrique (fn. n2) is dead. The King, however, has sent a message to them purporting that he will give him a governor for his daughter, and the King and Queen have answered that they themselves wish to be the governors, and intend taking her with them.
With regard to king Francis, I beg leave to inform you that he has returned from Fontanableo (Fontaineblau) and gone to Compiena (Compiegne); whence he is going to Picardy, owing to Mr. de Nassau having, as I told you in my last, invaded that province, taken St. Pol, and passed to the sword 120 men-at-arms and 1,200 infantry of its garrison. He is now besieging Edin (Hesdin). As king Francis has heard this news he is preparing to go thither himself at the head of his forces, having already sent forward the Grand Master of France (Anne de Montmorency). Of this army which king Francis had collected, and which, as I wrote to you, is encamped at Lyon and its immediate neighbourhood, 12,000 Germans, and as many Swiss, besides 5,000 Italians, a few Frenchmen, and the whole of the cavalry, are now marching on Savoy and the duchy of Milan. No forces from that army will be dispatched to Picardy, because, besides the abovementioned, the King has under his banners 20,000 men, with part of whom he can, if there be need, reinforce his army in Picardy. At present the general-in-chief of the forces destined for Italy is Mussiur de Humiera (Humieres). They say that on the return of the Grand Master from Picardy, he will go and take the command in Italy; but it is unlikely, because the latter has made and is making all efforts not to go thither.
The belief here is, that the English have come to an agreement with the Emperor, and I must tell you that it is so generally spread that people begin to fear Bayonne will be attacked one of these days. That is the reason why Galiote, the Grand Squire, and captain-general of the artillery to king Francis, has been lately appointed captain-general of that frontier, and that the 400 lances of Guyenne are being sent to the defence of Bayonne.
A levy of 6,000 men has likewise been ordered to be made in Gascony and in the Beam, ready to go to Bayonne at a moment's notice; but I must say that the people of that country do no more trust the king of Navarre than they would trust the Turk, and that is the reason why Galiote has, as I say, been sent in command of the army on that frontier.
I must also tell you that it is generally rumoured that should the Emperor attempt to reinforce his Italian army, the above-mentioned 400 lances and 6,000 infantry, besides the Germans the King has with him, will be at once sent into Italy, unless it be thought preferable to attempt Fuenterravia or Navarre, and thus divert the Emperor's attention from Italy.
Such are the rumours afloat. How far they may be correct no one knows. Perul (?) will depart in the course of next week; he will be the bearer of a letter of mine, and tell you besides verbally how matters stand here.—Delançon (D'Alençon), 3rd July 1537.
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 1½
7 July. 159. Luis Sarmiento [de Mendoza] to the Emperor.
S. E. Port, L. 371,
f. 64.
B. M. Add 28 589,
f. 342.
Wrote on the 1st inst., communicating this king's message concerning the Portuguese lawyers, who are to meet those of king Francis at Fuenterrabia or Bayonne.
Yesterday the King summoned me to his presence and gave me the enclosed letter for Your Majesty. The Queen did the same, as well as the Infante Don Duarte, and his wife, Da. Isabel.
As to the Infante Dom Luys, he asked me on two or three occasions whether I knew anything of the arrival of an English ambassador at the Imperial court, or of Don Diego de Mendoza, (fn. n3) whom your Majesty sent several months ago to England. My answer was that I did not think there was time for news of the arrival of Don Diego in that country to have been received. He then told me that, although letters from France had come, they contained no news at all of England. Other news, however, had been received, purporting that king Henry, knowing that an English cardinal (Reginald Pole), lately appointed by the Pope, was in French territory, ready to cross over, had written to Francis, asking him to deliver the said cardinal into his hands, owing to his being his vassal. Francis' answer had been that he could not possibly do that, for he had no jurisdiction over his person, but that he would willingly order him to quit France immediately, which he did, the Cardinal going thence to Cambray, where he is at present.
The Queen has asked me to recommend Luxan, the nephew of. . . . . Luxan, who came here as His Highness' page at the time of her marriage. He has taken a wife in Portugal.
Ruy Gomez, the bearer of this letter, will inform Your Majesty verbally of the affairs of this court, and therefore I will put an end to this present letter by adding that he (Gomez) (fn. n4) is to be the bearer of a golden chain and short sword which Don Duarte, the Infante, sends as a gift to Your Majesty.—Hebora (Ebora,) 7 de Julio de 1537.
Signed: "Luis Sarmiento de Mendoza."
Addressed: "To His Sacred Catholic Imperial Majesty of the Emperor and King, our lord.
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2½.
10 July. 160. The Emperor to Luis Sarmiento [de Mendoza], his ambassador in Portugal.
S. E. Port, L. 371,
ff. 174-6.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 345.
All your letters, including the last of the 15th ult., (fn. n5) have been duly received. We have not answered them sooner because those which We expected from Don Diego de Mendoza had not yet come to hand. One, however, was received about a week ago, the substance of which may be summed up in three points, as you will see by the enclosed memorandum, and the copy of the letter We ourselves have written in answer. We could have wished that there had been sufficient time to consult that King (Dom Joaõ) before We returned an answer to king Henry's missive; but We were then journeying towards this town (Monzon), (fn. n6) and considering the time required for a categorical answer; considering also that king's versatile humour, and that in the paper, of which We send you a, copy, various questions quite extraneous to the matter are introduced—such as the General Council, the Faith, and others, the solution of which is not Our province, nor could We take upon ourselves to decide them to the honor and glory of Our Lord, or the satisfaction of Our conscience—We thought it best, for the good issue of the negociations that are being carried on, to shape Our answer as enclosed, which you will show to the King and to the Infante.
Of the operations of the French army on the frontiers of Flanders, and of the King's retreat from that country after provisioning and garrisoning Hesdin, (fn. n7) and other places on his frontiers, you must already have heard by a Portuguese courier coming from France, who passed through this place going to Portugal. Since then advices have been received stating that king Francis was going to Provence and to Lyons, whence he intends sending reinforcements to Piedmont, &c. We have accordingly given orders that Perpignan in the Roussillon, St. Sebastian, Pamplona, and Fuentarrabia be further strengthened, and that all along our northern frontier great watch be kept so as to check successfully the enemy's advance, should he attempt to pass the Pyrenees.
As to the Turk, We hear that his military preparations continue still. It is not quite certain that he is, as rumoured, at La Belona, still less that he intends commanding his fleet in person. There can be no doubt, however, that the preparations go on briskly, and are intended against Naples and other parts of Italy, owing to king Francis' anxiety to divert Our forces and put Us in difficulties.
Naples and Sicily—Andrea Doria and his fleet—Florence and count Cifuentes—The Infanta duchess of Savoy (Maria Beatrix)—French privateers.
Among other news from the Levant it is reported that the Grand Turk was lately fitting out in the Red Sea (fn. n8) a fleet of galleys to send to the East Indies, under the command of an admiral named . . .; (fn. n9) and though there is no certainty of that, yet We send you the information that you may impart it to the King.
Respecting the man who said he was sent by Priest John, We shall be glad to hear what he is about, how the King treats him, and what he thinks of his mission, real or pretended. (fn. n10)
With regard to the guard of the ports, and the introduction of mules, the King's pleasure shall be done. You are to tell him so; but he must not allow horses to be secretly exported out of these Our kingdoms to be afterwards imported into France, for that is a thing contrary to the ordinances (pragmaticas), and which, under present circumstances, and in times of war, cannot be tolerated.
Doña Maria de Velasco.
Glad to hear that the horses and arms sent as a present to the Infante Dom Luyz have been much admired.
The French galleon that fought Alvaro's galley (fn. n11) is being repaired, we hear, at Ceuta, in order to go out again on a cruise. Tell the King that We wonder much why, after the agreement made between him and Us, French ships of war and privateers are still allowed to take shelter in Portuguese ports.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 10.


  • n1. Thus in the copy from Simancas, but perhaps Molières is meant, which is the name of a small town near Montauban, in the dep. of Tarn et Garonno, in France.
  • n2. "Quanta mas agora que es muerto el señor don Fadrique y el Rey de Francia le ha ynbiado á dezir que el le dará un governador para su hija, y el Rey y la Reyna le ban respondido que ellos mismos la quieren governar y traer consigo." The passage, however, must be vitiated, or badly transcribed. As it is it seems quite unintelligible, for, in the first place, who is meant by Don Fadrique? Not one of the princes of the family of Albret was known by that name, and yet there can be no doubt that one of them is intended. Let us suppose for a moment that Henrique, that is Henri II. d' Albret, is the prince alluded to; if so, there must be an error, for Henri died in 1555. Only by adding [of Navarre], as has been done after the words "el Rey y la Reyna," can the paragraph have any sense. I shall hereafter abstract a letter from Martin de Salinas, wherein some account is given of Henri's court [at Pau?], in which that prince complains that his only daughter (Jeanne, the sister of Francis I.), who, in 1548, was married to Antoine de Bourbon, duke of Vendôme, and subsequently king of France and Navarre, was retained against her father's will at the court of her uncle, Francis I.
  • n3. The English ambassador was Wyatt. As to Don Diego, his instructions will be found at page 164, No. 64.
  • n4. "Y porque Ruy Gomez va informado de lo de acá como el dirá á V. Md no diré en esta mas de aquel (que el?) señor infante don duarte le dio un estoque de oro, y un collar [que] podra valer todo hasta seiscientos ducados." Not unlikely the Ruy Gomez here mentioned is Ruy Gomez [de Sylva], afterwards prince of Evoli and duke of Pastrana, who became in time the favorite of Philip II. Prince Edward, or Duarte of Portugal, was the son of king Dom Joaõ, and married Doña Leonor de Aragon. As to the Queen, her name was Doña Catalina, daughter of Philip and Joanna, and sister of the emperor Charles. She was born at Torquemada, in Spain, in 1507, and became queen of Portugal by her marriage to Joaõ III.
  • n5. Not in the packet; his last being of the 29th March.
  • n6. There is a blank in the draft, but most likely Monzon was meant, for the Emperor is said to have reached that town on the 14th of April.
  • n7. Hesdin, on the frontier of Belgium, now ill the dep. of Pas de Calais. It was taken and retaken several times during the long wars of the emperor Charles with Francis I.
  • n8. "El mar Rubio."
  • n9. Again a blank in the original.
  • n10. See No. 114, p. 346.
  • n11. Don Alvaro de Bazan (?).