Spain: March 1536, 1-31

Pages 66-79

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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March 1536, 1-31

6 March. 35. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E., L. 865, f. 86.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 223.
His last letter, announcing the death and martyrdom of the queen of England, was dated the 30th of January, (fn. n1)
Since then he (Ortiz) has received one, dated the 19th of January, [from Chapuys?], informing him that the Princess (Mary) was in good health. The Queen before dying showed well what her whole life had been; for not only did she ask for, and receive, all the sacraments ordained by the Church, but answered the questions put by the priest with such ardour and devotion that all present were edified. Some of those who were by her bedside, having suggested that it was not yet time to receive the sacrament of Extreme Unction, she replied that she wished to hear and understand everything that was said, and make fitting answers. She preserved her senses to the last, &c.
They say that when the king of England heard of the death of his Queen, dressed in mauve silk as he was at the time, and with a white feather in his cap, he went to solace himself with the ladies of the palace. (fn. n2) In fact it may well be said of him and of his kingdom what the Prophet Isaias says, cap. lvii., "Justus periet, et non est qui recogitet in corde suo, et viri misericordia colliguntur quia non est qui intelligat."
Her Highness the Queen was buried with the honors of a Princess [dowager], 18 miles from the place where she died, at an abbey called Yperberu (Peterborough), the King having only sent thither some ladies of his Court to attend the funeral. The King and the concubine were not in London, but at a place on the road called Octinton (Huntingdon).
Anne Bolans is now in fear of the King deserting her one of these days, in order to marry another lady.
The King having sent his ambassadors into Scotland to persuade the king of that country to separate from, and refuse obedience to, the Apostolic See, it happened that the very day and moment when the English were delivering their embassy a storm arose, and a most tremendous clap of thunder was heard, at which king James horrified rose from his seat, crossed himself, and exclaimed, "I scarcely know which of the two things has caused me most fear and horror, that thunder and lightning we have just heard, or the proposition you have made me." After which, and in the very presence of the English ambassadors, he ordered unconditional obedience to the Church to be proclaimed throughout his dominions.
Here, at Rome, when the news of the good Queen's death arrived, the Papal bull excommunicating king Henry for his iniquitous conduct, and depriving him of his kingdom, was already sealed and closed. Since then nothing further has been done in the matter, but the executory letters (executoriales) in the principal cause have actually been taken out, though with no small trouble.—Rome, 6 March 1536.
Since the above was written I have had a letter from the Imperial ambassador in France, in date of the 15th ultimo, intimating that, according to news received from England, the King wished to marry the Princess to a gentleman of his kingdom, and that king Francis had told the Imperial ambassador that in consequence of a fall from his horse king Henry had been two hours unconscious without speech; (fn. n3) seeing which Ana Bolans (Boleyn) was so struck that she actually miscarried of a son. Great news these, for which we are bound to thank God, because, were the Princess to be married as reported, she may at once be considered out of danger; for her marriage may hereafter be dissolved and declared null, as it would effectually be owing to the violence used, and the evident fear the Princess has of her life, should she not consent to it. At any rate, it must be owned that though the King himself was not converted like St. Paul after his fall, at least his adulterous wife has miscarried of a son.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2½.
(fn. n4)
10 March. 36. Viscount Hannaërt to the Empress.
P. Ar. Nat.
f. 226.
Wrote on the 14th ulto. by Joan de Nava, a servant of the Queen (Eleanor), who was going to Portugal. Said then that the Emperor had been written to concerning this King's pretensions, and that an answer was anxiously expected here. The answer has come, though not so satisfactory and explicit as this King might have wished, and therefore he has written again. Should the reply be according to the Most Christian King's wishes, he will immediately send the Admiral (Brion-Chabot) with powers to conclude the treaty of peace. He (Hannaërt) has striven as much as was in his power for the French fleet to go to the Italian seas; but he has been told that it is a thing settled that it is to sail for Italy, and that the Admiral (Brian-Chabot) is to invade Savoy, Piedmont, and Niza, and seize whatever in those parts belongs to this king and to his sons ; at the same time it is stated that should the Emperor assist the Duke, and attack him (Francis), he will defend himself and do the utmost harm he can.— Lyon, 10 March 1536.
Signed: "Jo. Hannaërt Viscount."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
10 March. 37. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Rep. P. C.,
Fase. 229½.
In my letter of the 7th inst. I mentioned the fact of Mr. Cromwell showing great desire of holding a conference with me. I thought at first that this was caused by the suspicion and fear these people have of Your Majesty coming to friendly terms or contracting a close alliance with France,— of which they are extremely suspicious. As, however, they must have since received intelligence from that country that there is no probability at present of such an alliance being made, I observed that Cromwell did not show so much eagerness for the proposed interview. This very day, however, he has sent me word that if he knew when I should be disengaged, he would call on me, were it for no other purpose than to know how I was faring. I will still wait a day or two to see what he intends doing, and if he does not come, shall go to him, and hear the news he has, so as to prevent their making a treaty with the French to Your Majesty's prejudice; from which, however, as far as I can gather from various quarters, they are now farther off than ever they were, being thoroughly disgusted with their neighbours, so much so that they will not hear about them and their intrigues,—not even the duke of Norfolk, who some time ago, in conversation with the French ambassador and with his brother, was heard to say that one of the greatest boons this King could confer on him would be the permission for him to raise 10,000 men and lead them across the seas in the service of king Francis ; whereas now, lately, upon the French ambassador mentioning to him his master's great military preparations, and how advantageous it would be both for Francis and Henry to join in a common enterprise, the Duke merely observed, in the coldest possible manner, that he and the rest of the Privy Councillors were too much pre-occupied with parliamentary affairs just now to mix themselves up in French wars. And even today Cromwell has assured one of my men that, whatever the French might say or do, they could never prevail on the King, his master, to join in that dance; after which he began to abuse them for their inhumanity towards Monseigneur of Savoy. The same French ambassador has this very day had a long conference with the Privy Councillors at Westminster for the sole purpose of remonstrating against the griefs, annoyances, and injuries of which the most Christian King pretends his subjects here are the victims,—a most odious and unpleasant task, which the said most Christian King seems to have taken much to heart, writing continually and urging his ambassador to get redress thereof. Nothing, however, has yet been decided in favour of or against the said French claims, and I am told that this king is about to send four doctors into France, there to discuss the affair. Yet it strikes me that if the French really wish to treat with these people, they ought not to cause them annoyance in matters of this sort.
Today a courier returning from Scotland has arrived. He has related to some one, who came and told me, that it had been decided that immediately after Easter this king and that of Scotland shall hold an interview at York, and that for the security of the latter the duke of Richmond, the eldest son of Norfolk, and the son of the marquis [of Dorset], shall be given as hostages.
This Parliament has resolved and made it law that all abbeys and priories not possessing a revenue exceeding 1,000 crs. per annum are to be destroyed and rased to the ground; and I understand that the measure has already begun to be executed in some parts of the country, which will enormously increase the King's budget. Yet, not satisfied with this addition to his revenue, and the numberless ways and means he is daily devising to procure money, he has caused a motion to be made in Parliament to this effect: All and every one of his subjects to be obliged, according to the amount of his fortune, to offer a "saint sacrament;" the offerings to be collected by officers appointed by the King, and spent in food for the poor and weak, as well as for the robust and strong, who for the benefit of the kingdom are to be employed in public works, such as the harbour of Dover and similar undertakings.
This King has likewise forbidden the greater part of the Clergy to have anything to do with confession, which is henceforth to be entirely at the charge of the curates, to whom it has been enjoined not in anywise to give absolution to parties unless they previously acknowledge the Pope to be the Anti- christ, and himself (the King) the Chief of the Church, and adhere to the rest of the articles of the Creed in conformity.
Cromwell, finding that the cross which toe asked the Princess to surrender, as I wrote on the 25th of February (fn. n5) was not so rich as he at first imagined, and that it only contained a relic of the "Lignum Crucis," for which these people seem not to core much just now, sent it back to the Princess; but hitherto not one of the things which the late good Queen, her mother, bequeathed to her by will has been forwarded. London, 18 March 1536.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original. pp. 3.
25 March. 38. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E., L. 865,
f. 87,
B. M. Add. 28, 588,
f. 228.
Has received her letter of the 25th ultimo. Since then the Imperial ambassador in England (Eustace Chapuys) writes that the Princess is doing well. (May God be praised for it.)
She had been removed to a smaller house, inferior to the first. Of Anne [Boleyn] the news is that she begins to fear that the King may desert her one of these days, and that to prevent that she feigns to be "enceinte" of a son, lest the King, perceiving that she is only capable of conceiving daughters, should entirely repudiate her. Also that a friar of Mount Sion, who had been induced through fear to adopt the errors which are fast spreading in England, had preached before the King that there was no purgatory; and that another friar who was present and heard the proposition got up and said, "You' lie"; upon which he was immediately arrested, and most probably will suffer martyrdom.
An Austin friar, who, owing to his being a Lutheran, had formerly been compelled to quit England, had now returned, and was so much favoured by the King that he sent him on a mission to Lubeck and Hamburgh in order to pervert the inhabitants of those towns, and induce them through their erroneous doctrines to make alliance and confederation with England. The King, moreover, had given him a bishopric. Heretical books written by him and others had been printed, denying the existence of purgatory, inveighing against sacred images, and against the respect and honour paid to the saints. A list has been drawn out of the monasteries and abbeys in the kingdom, as well as an inventory of their property, with a view to distributing their lands among laymen.—Rome, 22nd of March mdxxxi.
Signed : "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed. To the Sacred Imperial Catholic Majesty of the Empress and Queen, our lady.
Spanish. Holograph. Pp. 2.
25 March. 39. The Empress to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 33,
f. 26—7.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 229.
Is in receipt of his letters of the 18th and 20th ulto., referring to those of the ambassador at the court of France (Hannart), and to king Francis' answer when he was asked to account for the many armaments he is now preparing. Is inclined to believe that, for the reasons specified in his (the Emperor's) letters, the negociation about Milan ought to be prosecuted, were it for no other purpose than to gain time, and not wholly exasperate king Francis. Hannaërt writes in date of the 10th that he could not prevail on Him (the King) to suspend sending his army to Italy; far from it. He said to him that the Admiral (Brion) would soon take possession of Piedmont and Savoy ; the county of Bressa (La Bresse) was already in his power, as well as Chambery and other towns in Savoy. Artillery he was sending to batter the castle of Monmelian, (fn. n6) which is said to be a strong place, and was already invested by St. Pol. (fn. n7) The 8,000 Germans were already in the Bresse, close to the Delfinazgo (Dauphinois). On the other hand, the Swiss had entered the land of the Duke, and taken possession of the town of Iverdun (Verdun ?), the county of Romont, &c.
How afflicted she is at this news, and at the state in which her sister (fn. n8) and the Duke (Carlo III.), her husband, must be after the death of their son, (fn. n9) she (the Empress) will not stop to describe. She trusts, however, that God will not allow king Francis to execute his ambitious designs to the prejudice of Christendom. Glad to hear the provision that has been made in Germany, as well as in Italy, besides the league with the Venetians and other Italian powers.
Don Alvaro de Baçan writes that on the 1st of April he will be ready with his 15 galleys, and Don Verenguel (fn. n10) with his 12. The Marquis says he has provisions for the 3,000 infantry, who are to go in the galleys, and therefore it has been decided that instead of the men going to Cartagena, as was thought at first, they shall go to Malaga; and if they cannot be all accommodated in the galleys to put on board those only who can; the rest may go on other vessels.— Madrid, 25 March 1536.
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.
28 March. 40. The Emperor to Chapuys.
S. E., L. 806, f. 57.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
f. 232.
Respecting the first point, namely, the King's separation from the Roman church, and what he is now doing against it, that is, as you think, a very important matter, and one which requires being looked into, for it may be feared that one of these days the king of England, owing to the opinions of his vassals, as well as to his holding so tenaciously to his own projects and opinions, (fn. n11) will become more intractable than ever. It will be a fit thing for you to do to try and bring him back to the obedience of the Church, and help his reconciliation with the Pope, using such language and reasoning as you may deem most fit, putting before him the danger to his conscience, the division, schism, and confusion likely to distract his kingdom, and the manifest peril in which he himself is, should His Holiness, the Pope, proceed to the execution of the censures already fulminated against him, and the consequent deprivation of kingdom with which he is threatened. Indeed, should the Pope ask for that purpose the assistance and co-operation of the kings, princes, and potentates of Christendom, We and the rest of them could not well refuse his application, and the King, with those who counsel him, cannot but feel immense anxiety on that score, lest he himself should, as he has already begun to do, suffer this heavy penalty during his life. How far better then. would it be for him if, in order to avoid the above-mentioned evils, he would free himself and exempt his kingdom there from. This might at the present juncture be accomplished to the satisfaction of all his subjects, either by sending information thereof to the future Council and promising to obey its decision, or else by entrusting Us with the negociation at Rome, in which case the King may be sure of the result. We shall take care that the thing is done in the most straightforward and gracious manner possible. If you yourself could ascertain which of the two means above pointed out the King would prefer, much time might be gained thereby. Probably the King will choose the last of the two proposed, rather than take the engagement of appearing before the Council, and submitting, as it were, to Our arbitration. We must also own that the said means would seem to Us preferable, as otherwise the King might do all he could to prevent the meeting of the Council, and although he might in the end consent to its convocation and meeting, he might also, with the help of those who have separated from the Church, render the general remedy still more difficult.
On the contrary, were the matter to be privately discussed with the king of England, the issue would be much easier. We could then efficiently mediate between His Holiness and the King without scruple or jealousy of any sort; and as the acts which have placed him in such an inconvenient and dangerous position had their origin in the judicial proceedings on the divorce case, and in the sentence pronounced against him at Rome, as well as in the particular interest of the English people in the matter of the annates and other rights which the Roman Church once enjoyed in England, it seems to Us that, with regard to the first point, the inconvenience will cease the very moment that We come to treat of the Princess, our cousin. As to the second, if a declaration moderating the said annates and rights, and another respecting the authority of the English Church, were made, the King might be persuaded to have the whole matter arranged to his own honor and profit as well as that of his kingdom.
The above remarks are intended to help you in the negociation, and also that you may meet the King's arguments if any are raised. Use them as you deem most convenient; but, above all, be particular in making these various suggestions as if they proceeded entirely from yourself; or, if you prefer, make them by way of an interrogatory addressed to the King himself or to his Ministers, though without asserting that such and such a mode among the various ones proposed will secure Our consent and approbation; for until We know what that King persists in, what decision he takes, or to which of the modes proposed he is the more likely to lean, We do not choose to express ourselves more openly on this particular, for the affair is not of such a nature that We need enforce Our opinion, (fn. n12) or subscribe tacitly or expressly to any measure touching the diminution of power, or damage to the Roman Church ; that We could never do without the Pope's permission and consent. You may be certain, however, that We will do our utmost, and, as aforesaid, will work with the best good-will in commendation and favour of the said king, for his honor and reputation and the welfare of his kingdom.
Lastly, should you perceive that it is quite impossible to withdraw him from the error in which he is, endeavour all the same to ascertain fully what the King's intentions are respecting the aforesaid two points, because, provided he do not want to oblige Us to follow and abet him in his erroneous path, rather than break off the negociations at such a juncture as this, We would condescend, though with some reluctance, to set this point aside for awhile, and treat with him without mentioning it in any way. Without abandoning altogether the two remaining points, We imagine that this would, in the end, be the best expedient under the circumstances, for it would be equivalent to leaving him in the inconvenient and dangerous position in which he now finds himself, and, if still impenitent, letting him go on to worse.
You will also try to ascertain, as far as you can, what the King's intentions are respecting the Council, to the convocation and meeting of which he ought not, as I think, to offer any difficulties, especially if the Pope's affairs, and those relating to the Princess, our cousin, be therein treated as aforesaid, (fn. n13)
With regard to the second point, namely, that concerning our cousin, the Princess, the principal point must be to avoid, in all possible ways, any negociations or acts which, directly or indirectly, may diminish the honor in which the memory of the late Queen, our aunt, is held, or tend to prejudice her daughter's legitimacy, and her right to the succession and crown of England. On the contrary, whatever be treated of in that line must tend, as you propose, to have the Princess declared and held as legitimate, her own right to the succession being expressly reserved. Should the King not consent to this declaration and reserve, you are to allow the matter to drop and things remain as they are for the present; and let the Princess reserve her rights, whatever they may be, until after the King's death, having her married in the meantime as befits her quality and rank, with an ample revenue. But in this matter of the Princess' marriage three things ought to be attended to :—The first, that as long as the King, her father, lives, neither he nor We ourselves, nor any other relative of the Princess than her father, can claim authority to interfere for her sake, or consent to an intervention on the part of others. Even if her mother's death had not been brought about in so sinister a manner, as there is ground to fear; even if the execution of the sentence on the divorce suit were to be proceeded with, and the King were to take another wife, such interference ought to be avoided, so as to show that the King's mistress could do nothing to impair the Princess' right to the succession.
The next consideration is that in this manner the Princess might in time be removed from England, and delivered from the continual danger in which, as you know, her life is, be married to a person suitable to her quality and rank, and, when the time came, assisted by her allies in demanding her rights, maintaining the same, and recovering the kingdom that belongs to her. Besides which, should there be any issue, especially male, to the Princess' marriage, the King, her father, might have a fair opportunity of restoring her to her rank, and calling her and her sons to the succession. All this, We imagine, may be effected through the treaty between Us two, and Our good offices towards him.
The third consideration is, that whatever the issue of this negociation may be, on no account can Our bargain with the king of England be called a bad one provided We succeed in recalling him to the obedience of the Apostolic See, and allowing a portion of the dues and perquisites belonging to the English Church to remain in his hands, and the Princess, our cousin, to be married out of England, since by doing so there would be no damage done either to the one or to the other. Means might be found in future to reinstate the Church all its rights and dues, especially if the Princess came to the succession; and as to the Princess herself, it is evident that any act, deed, or treaty subscribed by her to the prejudice of her own rights would be of no value whatsoever, since it would be publicly known that fear of violence, detention, or death had been the sole causes of her acquiescence in such acts So though the King's mistress might disapprove of both of the above-mentioned means,—that is the declaration or the suspension of the sentence,—which after all she and her adherents ought to think highly beneficial to them, in the state of fear and danger in which they continually are,—even if the said royal mistress should claim for her daughter, and other children she may have hereafter, the succession to the Crown, that is no reason for discontinuing the negociation, but on the contrary prosecuting it steadily in order to ascertain what it will come to in the end.
After declaring to the King whatever you may deem fit for the success of the negociation now entrusted to you, if you see that his demands are really exorbitant, you will tell him that you wish to inform Us thereof; and having first claimed from Cromwell the assistance he has so often offered and promised, you will use all your dexterity and talent in what concerns the Princess, our cousin, trying to obtain on the above specified basis all that may promote her interests, removing as far as possible all that may prejudice them. If there be anything that, according to your judgment, ought to be kept a secret, or hidden from the Royal mistress or her adherents, let it be done accordingly. Should, moreover, the King try to marry again, do not offer any opposition, provided the marriage be a true union, and convenient for the furtherance of Our plans ; since, after all, neither the Princess, Our cousin, nor We ourselves, are now in a situation to prevent the said marriage; besides which, it will be in the end a further proof, if any more are required, of her own and her mother's indisputable rights, and might eventually be the cause of her being better treated. Indeed, We do not hesitate to say that should king Henry marry a third time in a fit and convenient manner, We should not object to help him in conformity with the said treaty. Moreover, as one of the points on which the King as well as his mistress and her adherents lay most stress is to whom the Princess, Our cousin, is to be married,—and the point is very important, let Us discuss it. Should the Princess be removed from England for her greater security, you will discreetly sound the King as to his intentions in that respect, and try to ascertain from him to which side he leans most; and, as of your own accord, not letting him suppose that it is with Our advice or approval, propose as husband of the Princess the Infante of Portugal, Dom Luiz, Our brother-in-law, who lately accompanied Us in the undertaking against Tunis. You will do your best to impress the King, or Cromwell—and among the King's ministers this latter seems to Us the most fit—with the idea that no marriage so suitable could be thought of for the good of the Princess, of her father, and of the whole kingdom, nor of which the Royal mistress could be less suspicious, than that of the said Infante, the Portuguese being such good neighbours of Ours, a peaceable and by no means a quarrelsome nation. Yet the marriage, if approved of, to be effected with such dower and settlements as the quality, rank, and honorable condition of the bridegroom require.
With regard to the third point, namely, the help against the Turk, We have no doubt that the king of England, as Cromwell has assured you, provided a suitable resolution be taken on the two former, will readily contribute to the expenses of Our armaments, the more so that, if We are rightly informed, he must now be rich in money received from the English clergy, which money could not be better spent at the present moment for the speedy relief of his conscience than in a crusade against the Infidel Turk, &c.
Respecting the fourth and last point, the league offensive and defensive, though naturally subordinate to the other three, We still deem it most important; for without expressly and openly requesting the King to declare in Our favour and against the king of France, there can be no real use in the other three, unless to gain time and prevent England from helping France in the approaching contest. The indignation which you say the King and his Privy Councillors feel at this moment against the French may be only feigned, and therefore you must try to ascertain what is the real state of their relations with Francis, and whether they will, or will not, give Us help against him. Should the King and his councillors positively refuse to declare against France, you will temporize and gain time so as to attain later the above-mentioned object, or at least a suspension of the aid they might otherwise have given to Our enemy. Should they plead, as an excuse not to decide for Us, that their existing treaties with France forbid such a declaration, then you will give them to understand that Ours are older, and that the king of England is equally included in those of Madrid and Cambray, which king Francis has wantonly violated without cause, having taken into his service the duke of Ghelders, and induced him afterwards to take up arms against Us, sent money to the people of Würtemburg that they might revolt against Our brother Ferdinand, and, lastly, invaded the territory of the duke of Savoy;—all which blameable acts are in contravention to the peace of Cambray, which king Henry signed and ratified as one of the contracting parties! You may besides tell the King that there is a most potent reason for his now declaring against Francis, which is, that the latter makes no scruple in declaring that he is in league with the Turk, and that he will, as he did once before, bring him against Christendom. This circumstance, as king Henry knows well, is more than a sufficient reason for excluding Francis from all treaties, relieving himself from the pressure which he has hitherto exercised on him on account of the divorce, and taking revenge for the manifold molestations and annoyances which, as Cromwell has told you, his master has received, and is still receiving, from the French.
Indorsed: "Paragraphs of a letter written by the Emperor to his ambassador in England. Gaeta, 28th of March MDXXXVI., before His Majesty's arrival in Rome.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 14.
28 March. 41. Cardinal of Mantua to Count Cifuentes.
S. E., L. 9.
B.M. Add. 28,588,
f. 231.
Hears that letters have come from France,—by whom and where written he (the Cardinal) cannot say,—advising that when king Francis heard of the arrival of the German lanskennets at Peschiera, and the design manifested by Antonio [de Leyva] of marching at their head into Piedmont, and there opposing the French, be exclaimed, "So " much the better; I am very glad to hear of it; for, if so, I " shall be able to go forward and invade the duchy of Milan." As his brother, the Duke, (fn. n14) is not at Court just now, his Lordship will perhaps be kind enough to inform the Emperor thereof. He (the Cardinal) may be wrong in his conjectures, as he is not a military man; but he cannot conceive how king Francis can possibly attack Milan, leaving Piedmont behind him; for, after all, unless he has his shoulders well guarded, he will be unable to get provisions, which can only come to him from Savoy and Saluzzo, all the rest of the country being in favor of his Imperial Majesty.—18 March [1536].
Signed: "Her[cole] card. Mantua."
Italian. Original. pp. 2.
29 March. 42. Jean Hannaërt to the Empress Isabella.
S. E., L. 1484,
f. 107.
B.M. Add. 28,588,
f. 239.
Thanks her [the Empress] for her letter of the 16th inst. and the enclosed bill of exchange for 1,000 ducats, which has been gratefully received.
Since the departure of don Frances de Veamont, (fn. n15) who took home his last despatch, and that of the French ambassador residing in Portugal, on the 10th and 16th respectively, the news is that the Admiral (Brion-Chabot) left this court on the 23rd. It is said that he will stop a few days at Grenoble, until the whole of the French army (armada), which is to consist of 30,000 infantry, 1,200 men-at-arms (lanças gruesas), and 1,000 light horse, besides two parks of artillery now getting ready, has assembled ; it will then march on Piedmont. Some time before he (Hannaërt) left, the Admiral (Brion-Chabot), who is to have the command of all the forces, said to him that he had express orders from the King, his master, not to attempt or undertake any movement against the Emperor's dominions, unless the Duke [of Savoy] received help and assistance from us.
The same statement was, after the Admiral's departure, confirmed to him (Hannaërt). The King himself said publicly that he had sent orders to the governors of the provinces adjoining Flanders and Spain not to make any stir there, but to allow the inhabitants of those countries to enter the frontiers of France freely, as in time of peace. His (Hannaërt's) answer was that the Emperor on his side will observe the treaties strictly, not allowing any infraction of them. Yet, though there is no sign at present of any French troops being directed towards the frontiers,—all armaments being apparently destined for Italy,—it would be wise to be on the alert. Has written to the Emperor about it, and is daily expecting an answer.
(Cipher.) The King, however, has not yet been able to collect all the force they talk so much of, and it will be some time before he can; for, in the first place, he has neither the infantry nor the light cavalry required for his Italian campaign, as he calls it; nor have the 6,000 men expected from Germany arrived, and people begin to fear that resistance will be offered on their descent from the mountains of Susa (Common writing.) Negotiations, moreover, are now being carried on with the Swiss to obtain a good division (banda) of them, though as yet nothing has been settled as to that.
Has done all he could to ascertain what force the King has by sea (cipher), and whether it be true or not that he really has 67 large galleys, but hitherto he has no reliable information to offer on that point. Certain it is that the galleys, whatever their number may be, have not yet left the ports of Normandy. About three months ago the King told him (Hannaërt) that he had given orders for the galleys of Normandy to collect at Marseilles; one very large one, among the rest, which is being built at Abra da Grasa (Havre de Grace) in Normandy, is so immensely large that they have been unable to move her from the stocks, nor will they ever launch her to sea.
(Common writing.) It is not known here when His Majesty the Emperor is likely to leave Naples for Rome, but all think that he will without fail visit the Pope.
The news of the Turk is that he has arrived in Constantinople, sent his ambassadors to Venice, and appointed Barbarossa admiral of his fleet and "sangiac" of Rhodes, which is equivalent to governor.
(Cipher.) Cannot say what foundation there may be for the report, but certain, it is that courtiers here boast that the Turk will soon give the Emperor so much to do in various parts of the Mediterranean sea that he will be unable to defend himself if attacked simultaneously at so many points. The ambassadors of England, (fn. n16) however, confidently assert that their master, the King, is unwilling to help Francis in his wars against the Emperor.
Delivered to the most Christian Queen (Eleanor) the message. She was glad to hear of her (the Empress') good health, as well as of that of Prince (Philip) and the Infantes. She (Eleanor) herself is in very good health, though sad and dejected at the signs of the approaching war.
(Common writing.) Since the above was written he (Hannaërt) has learnt (cipher) that three galleaces and two galleons, besides 10 more vessels, are in readiness to leave for Marseilles, and that some of their captains and masters are now here soliciting money, which is a proof that the galleys will not reach their destination as soon as was thought at first. If no unforeseen obstacle supervene he (Hannaërt) will continue to advise from time to time respecting the said fleet and other warlike preparations.—Leon so la Arona (Lyons on the Rhone), in France, 29 March 1536.
Signed: "Jo. Hannart, Viscount."
Spanish. Original, partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margins.


  • n1. As the letter hero mentioned, which is to be found at fol. 146 of the same volume (the seventeen of the Bergenroth collection), contains no more details than those contained in Chapuys' despatches, I have purposely omitted it. It is wrote to the glorious martyr and most serene queen of England.
  • n2. "Diz que despues que oyo la muerte de la Serenissima reina, vestido de seda morada, y con un plumage blanco, se fué a pasar el tiempo con las damas."
  • n3. "Que el Rey de Inglaterra auia caitlo con su cavallo, y estado mas de dos horas sin habla, de lo qual la Ana tuvo tan grande alteracion que movió un hijo."
  • n4. See Chapuys' letter of the 24th February, No. 29, p. 52.
  • n5. See above, No. 29, p. 59, but the letter is dated the 24th.
  • n6. Montmeillan in Savoy.
  • n7. François de Bourbon, count of St. Pol.
  • n8. Beatrix, daughter of Emmanuel king of Portugal, and sister of Isabella, the Emperor's wife.
  • n9. Lodovico, born the 4th of December 1523; died at Madrid on the 25th of the same month 1535.
  • n10. Don Berenguer or Berenguel D'oms, naval commander.
  • n11. "Se hará mas dificil por el dezir del mundo, y por sus vassallos, y por ser como es, amigo de sus propositos y opiniones."
  • n12. "Que tampoco ea eato cosa de que nos queramos hazer fuerte ni comprobar tacita ni expressamente cosa ninguna que lo que," &c.
  • n13. "Y procurareis de sentir quan adelante pudieredes la yntencion del dicho Rey de Inglaterra quanto al dicho concilio, en el qual él no debria poner difficultad en caso que se tracte quanto à lo que toca al Papa, y a la princesa, nuestra prima, como està dicho."
  • n14. That is the duke Frederigo or Frederico, whose brother was Hercole, cardinal of Mantua, the writer of this letter.
  • n15. The copy has Vianot, which is evidently a mistake for Veamont or Beamunt a Navarrese family.
  • n16. Sir John Wallop and Gardiner