Spain: March 1539

Pages 119-137

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 1, 1538-1542. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1890.

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March 1539, 1-31

7 March. 42. The Marquis de Aguilar to the High Commander.
S. L. Sa., de Ga.
Mar y Tierra, L. 15.
B. M, Add. 28,591,
f. 60.
Wrote to the Emperor by Martin Alonso de los Rios. Since then he (Aguilar) has received His Majesty's letter of the 23rd January. Has again spoken to His Holiness about the projected expedition, assuring him that, as far as he (the Emperor) is concerned, it will decidedly take place this spring. His Holiness replied as usual, but expressed the same fears as on former occasions; his arguments amounted in substance to this: He (the Pope) still suspects the sincerity of France, and fears the course of events in Germany and England, should anything happen there whilst the Emperor is absent. Yet, on the other hand, he considers His Majesty's presence in Italy as necessary to bring a certain pressure to bear on the Venetians, who might otherwise make some agreement with the Turk.
With all this his [Aguilar's] impression is that His Holiness, as well as the Venetians, is only waiting to see whether the Emperor really intends to come over and take the command of the expedition, thinking that without such a certainty it would not do for them to spend their money. So, notwithstanding the Emperor's letters, and the repeated assurances of his ministers and ambassadors [in Italy], they still doubt of his coming, and show letters received from Spain announcing that he (the Emperor) will not come. This is quite enough under the circumstances to make them suspend all armaments, and indeed all other military preparations. Whence it is quite clear that His Holiness, as well as the Venetians, is more inclined to a peace or truce with the Turk than to the expedition against the Turk, that being the reason why the latter exaggerate the difficulty of procuring provisions, and say that unless the Emperor orders wheat from Naples or Sicily, they cannot possibly procure it elsewhere.
. Lope de Soria writes from Venice that the Signory has granted to Lorenzo Gritti, son of the deceased Doge, permission to go to Constantinople to take possession of the property left by his brothers. But the same ambassador suspects that he bears a commission from the Signory to ascertain whether the Grand Turk will feel disposed to treat of peace or truce. Having inquired from the Venetian ambassador here what he knew about this, he scarcely denies the fact, and advocates the conveniency of knowing, before taking action against the Turk, how far the latter may be inclined to treat of a general peace or truce.
The viceroy of Naples must already have written home respecting the great armaments the Turk is making by sea and land to march on Castilnovo.
Creation of Cardinals.—The Pope gives as an excuse for not acceding to the Emperor's wishes in this particular, that on the last occasion he created no less than three on the Emperor's recommendation, and would have made a fourth, had not the news of the death of the bishop of Geneva arrived in the meantime, (fn. n1) and had he not, at the king of Scotland's request, appointed a Scotch ecclesiastic. For some time past had king James applied for a cardinal's hat for one of his subjects, a person of great authority in those parts; and His Holiness could not do less than grant it him, especially in the state in which things are now in England. That of Xalon (Chalon) he had made at the pressing instances of king Francis.
Commander Marradas was present at his [Aguilar's] conversation with His Holiness on the subject of cardinals. Nothing, however, could be achieved, one of the causes of the delay being, as it would appear, the very pressing request interposed by the king of France that a cardinal's hat should be given to the archbishop of Orleans, a relative of Mme. de Tampas (Etampes), adding that he would be much offended if the application was denied.
With regard to the Council His Holiness is undoing that which had been done, for he says that according to the state of politics, and the course of events, he will choose what may seem to him the most convenient and best course for the welfare of Christendom, after communicating with the Emperor on the subject, and being, of course, sure of his arrival in Italy, without which he is not willing at present to take any steps in the matter.
The Lutherans, according to late advices, continue making preparations and raising men against the Christians. Here, at Rome, all seem to think that the only remedy for such a state of things is that proposed by cardinal Brundusino. (fn. n2) From the archbishop of Lunsden no news has come; he had gone to the diet of the Catholics in Bohemia, and thence he was to go to that of the Lutherans.
England.—Respecting the English, His Holiness still insists on the Emperor forbidding their commercial intercourse with his dominions, alleging that king Francis is ready to do the same, provided he be asked to act in that way. By which words His Holiness seems to imply that it would not do for king Francis to monopolise that honor, which by right belongs to the Emperor. He (Aguilar) replied to His Holiness that the Emperor is not wanting in good will and zeal for the cause, but that his action must necessarily be guided by the resolution taken with regard to the enterprise against the Turk and the provision in matters of faith against the Lutherans.
Will strictly obey orders respecting the offers of marriage of Mr. de Vendôme, and will also keep the thing secret.
Affairs of Sena, and Miçer Sebastiano, secretary to the duke of Castro—
The Camarino agreement has not yet been signed. His Holiness has agreed to pay the 84,000 crs., and restore the Casale and houses at Rome, which all put together will amount to about.100,000 crs., or the sum which the Venetian ambassador and he (Aguilar) agreed should be paid by the Pope to the Duke. But since then the latter's agents, wishing no doubt to get better terms for their master, have started the objection that the Duke and Duchess ought not to make a cession of their rights to Camarino. Has written to the Duke about it. Fancies that he has been ill advised, for had he accepted at once the terms proposed he might already have received his money; whereas now, if the agreement has not taken place, there is no knowing what the consequences may be; for cardinal Bologna, who left the French Court before the agreement was ratified, has just arrived, and says he thinks that the Papal army might take possession of the duchy of Urbino on account of the Duke's rebellion, and apply it to the Holy See. The Cardinal, as a near relation of the Dauphin's wife, came with a mission from king Francis to attend and answer for her right. His Holiness could not tell him [Aguilar] whether the Cardinal's desire of coming to Rome was so much owing to the fulfilment of his mission as to his wish of settling the suit and residing here, and therefore there is every reason to suspect that the King had chosen the said negociation as a pretence for the Cardinal to come to Rome. It is even said, though he [Aguilar] does not dare affirm it, that the Cardinal had charge from his master to offer the Pope to defray all the expense he might incur for the recovery of Urbino and Camarino. The French ambassador, however, has told him nothing about the Cardinal's arrival in Rome or the object of his mission.
His Holiness has spoken to Ercole Varana in the presence of these cardinals. He will be glad (he said) to give him Camarino for life according to the deed of investiture, on condition of his paying over to the Apostolic See 160,000 crs., which had been spent in war and in an indemnity to the Duke. (fn. n3) Varana answered that he had nothing to say to that except to invoke Papal faith in the fulfilment of promises. Upon which His Holiness replied that his offer was in accordance with his promise. The fact is, that the Pope himself purposes going to Camarino after the Octaves (ochavas), and taking with him five or six cardinals of his own household, whom he may possibly consult as to the investiture of the Duchy, and then decide whether it is to be given to Varana, according to his promise, or to Horazio, the brother of Octavio. Though this is a mere conjecture of my own and of others, who profess to know well His Holiness' craving for the aggrandizement of his family, yet His Majesty must be told of it, that steps may be taken with the Pope or elsewhere to prevent the spoliation of Ercole.
The Papal dispensation for the commanders of the military Orders of Calatrava and Alcantara to marry has not yet been obtained. His Holiness, taking the advice of cardinals Simonetta and Ginuccis, has decided that for many respects the resolution should be delayed forty days, because in the meanwhile it will be seen whether it be convenient or not to assemble the General Council. It would not do (say the cardinals above alluded to) for His Holiness to grant such a dispensation to the commanders of the Orders and others entering a rule in which marriage is forbidden, which is what the Lutherans are asking for, just at the time of the meeting of the Council.
Lope Hurtado, &c.—
His Holiness wishes Ottavio Farnese to go to Spain, and in the meantime, during this Lent, has sent him to his own estates. The Duchess, his wife, has already taken possession, by judicial sentence, of the palace at Rome, and other houses in the neighbourhood renting about 400 ducats yearly, and will soon do the same with the castle of Santangelo. (fn. n4)
Cruzada—Cardinal Siguenza.—Francisco Duarte recommended.
Auditor Aragonia is dead, leaving a vacancy in his bishopric of Bossa in Sardinia, worth about 600 ducats. There no longer remains in the Rota a Spanish auditor except Dr. Mohedano, whom he (Aguilar) recommends for that bishopric, or else Capisuchiis, (fn. n5) the vicar of the same Tribunal. This last, besides being a worthy and learned man, did once, as is well known, good service in the Queen's matrimonial suit, and still continues ready to promote the Emperor's interests in this Roman capital. As to Dr. Juan Luis, whose services were once so great as to deserve the bestowal of a bishopric on his brother [Nicolas], now deceased, he hardly needs commendation on his part, and the Emperor might grant him a pension on the bishopric of Bossa.
Is at a loss how to refrain from alluding to Lope Hurtado and his wife, Da. Margarita, for he knows very well that the subject is one, as the Emperor has justly remarked, quite unfit for his personal duties and authority; but the matter is of such gravity that were he to be silent about it, he (Aguilar) would not be doing his duty towards His Majesty, or vindicating his own honor, as he is bound to do. It would appear that the duke of Castro (Pier Luigi Farnese) and his wife, the Duchess, called the other day on Madame Margaret, and spoke to her in His Holiness' name of two things. One was that he (the Pope) and they themselves could not but resent the behaviour of Lope Hurtado and his wife; for appointed, as they had been, by the Emperor to remedy by their dexterity and good services any fault which their grandson, Ottavio, through his youth and inexperience of matrimonial life might commit, not only had they neglected the duties of their office, but on the contrary had told their mistress (Margaret) things calculated to lower him (Ottavio) in her estimation, and make her forget the love she is bound to entertain for him. The other was that Her Excellency, having by her discretion and tact, as well as by her amiable disposition won the hearts of all those who spoke to her—this being more requisite in Rome than anywhere else—they (Hurtado and his wife) had put into her head certain punctilious and rather unreasonable ideas, with a view to estrange her from, and place her on bad terms with, her relatives, (fn. n6) and principally with Signora Costanza (fn. n7) and other ladies, who were only thinking how they could serve her best and give her most satisfaction. This (the Duke and Duchess maintained) was purposely done by Hurtado and his wife, that they both might exclusively enjoy the favor of their mistress, Da. Margarita, whose intimacy and familiarity with them was naturally the greater, owing to their being the principal instrument of the said estrangement, &c.
The Duke and Duchess ended their admonition by saying that since His Holiness loved her so much, and was continually thinking of what might be agreeable to her, they could not but resent such conduct on the part of her bad counsellors.
Hearing which Her Excellency sent for the cardinal archbishop of Santiago (Sarmiento) who happened to be in the house at the time, and all four had a conversation together on the subject. On that very day Her Excellency went to visit the Pope, and on leaving asked his permission for the Cardinal (Sarmiento) to go and speak to him alone. It would take too much time to relate here what passed between His Holiness and the Cardinal at the audience; the upshot of it was that Her Excellency said she was exceedingly sorry that, owing to the enmity existing between Lope Hurtado and him (Aguilar), she should have to suffer—hinting that it was entirely the fault of the latter, who, in order to revenge himself from pretended injuries on the part of Hurtado, was now trying to prejudice her with His Holiness. All this he (Aguilar) knows from the Pope's lips, and, although he fully promised then not to report it, yet, implicated as he is in the affair, he cannot help informing the Emperor of the whole and clearing himself from such au unjust accusation; a minister capable of doing such things would be an unloyal wretch, deserving severe punishment, and he (Aguilar) can only say that always, on every occasion, he has tried as much as was in his power to compound matters between Madame and His Holiness' family, and to mend the faults which owing to the bad management of Lope Hurtado and his wife have occurred, as His Holiness and they themselves know very well. Meanwhile he (Aguilar) has spoken and given friendly advice to Hurtado respecting the Pope and his complaints. That he (Aguilar) had already done twice in the presence of commander Marradas, and once more having by his side Lope Hurtado, who listened attentively to his statement. And what did that gentleman say on the occasion? Nothing at all; he threw all the blame on Madame, which is very unfair and not to be credited, for after all she is known to be guided entirely by him and his wife, and to do nothing but what they want her to do, as commander Marradas, who has witnessed some of the above scenes, will soon inform His Majesty.
Upwards of two months ago His Holiness told him (Aguilar) that he was determined to send some one to Spain about this affair. Has done all he could to prevent it, but unless matters can be satisfactorily settled in the meantime, he fears that one of these days His Holiness will do some rash act with regard to Lope Hurtado. In the midst of it all, he is exceedingly surprised at His Holiness having been told by someone that he (Aguilar) is on bad terms with Don Lope; the truth of the matter is that such a thing never crossed his mind; between Hurtado and himself there can be no "punctilios" nor cause for quarrel. (fn. n8)
The ambassador of the Most Christian called the other day, and showed him a letter from his master, which he read to him from top to bottom, the substance of which is: that he is to place himself entirely at my disposal, and communicate all his ideas and doings. That the Most Christian and Your Majesty, for the good issue of their public and private affairs, as well as for the consolidation of the peace they are now enjoying, had settled and agreed that neither Your Majesty nor he (the Most Christian King) could individually, and without the previous knowledge and consent of each other, make any treaties, confederacies, or particular alliances through marriage or otherwise with the king of England; and that, for the ratification of the said agreement, deeds and documents, with each other's signatures and seals, had been duly interchanged. Told the ambassador that his instructions were also to communicate and tell him all his (Aguilar's) affairs with the Pope, but that as to the particular case of England he had no instructions whatever from Your Majesty, nor did he think there could yet be time for an answer to come to the despatch in which he had asked for them. As soon as those instructions came to hand, he would without fault fulfil Your Majesty's orders, which he supposed would be in accordance with those he himself had received; in the meantime he might act as he pleased. It was, therefore, agreed between us to keep the thing secret, and dissemble—even in the event of His Holiness touching on the affair—till instructions came from Your Majesty as to how he was to act. The ambassador himself called afterwards on His Holiness, who, as he informs him, did not touch on the English affair at all, save by talking in general terms about the remedy to be applied to the extravagant cruelties of the English King, as he has done at other times. If the thing passed as the French ambassador tells me, the agreement must be reputed as holy and excellent, and most convenient for the public welfare as well as for Your Majesty's particular and personal interests.—Rome, vii. May 1539.
Signed: "El marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. pp. 6.
8 March. 43. Proces Verbal of what passed between the English Ambassador and the Deputies of the Queen Regent on the 4th-8th of March.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. 231,
f. 2–5.
Among other proposals brought forward by Secretary Vorythesly (Wriothesly) one was, that since the cause for which the Queen had ordered the recall of Eustace Chapuys, the Emperor's ambassador in England, had ceased, the King, his master, wished him to remain in England until news came from the Emperor, and, if not, that another ambassador should be sent in his room, lest people should judge that measure to be a sign that the old friendship and confederacy existing between the King, his master, and His Imperial Majesty was waxing weaker every day.
To this request of the ambassador, the Queen replied that she was ready to send to reside in England, in place of Messire Eustace Chapuys, another person; and that, in order to remove all cause for suspicion, she had already appointed the dean of Cambray, her chief almoner—a learned and middle-aged personage, and the only one she could at first think of—as better qualified for the charge of representing the Emperor in England until his pleasure should be known. Messire Thomas was immediately apprized of this resolution, and was glad to hear of the Dean's appointment.
The Queen, perceiving the sudden change in English politics—indicated by the recall of Messire Thomas, and that the two other colleagues of that ambassador had taken the road to Ghelders, for the purpose, as they said, of visiting that country as travellers; and that, in addition to that, there was no news at all of Chapuys' return; doubting, moreover, whether the Imperial ambassador had not been prevented from coming, determined to amuse the English ambassador with fine words and dilatory expedients, without, however, granting or refusing him leave to go away, in the hope that during that time news might come of Chapuys, so that, if forcibly detained in London, the same might be done with the English ambassador here until Chapuys be released and allowed to depart.
During the delay thus intentionally procured, the English ambassador kept applying urgently for permission to leave and return to England, openly declaring that he could wait no longer, and that, with the Queen's leave or without, he would quit the Low Countries and return home in obedience to his master's commands. He (the ambassador) knew for certain that Chapuys had also applied for leave, and that his application had not been refused, only that the King had begged him to remain in England until the arrival of his successor. Should Chapuys decline the King's offer, he would nevertheless be allowed to depart, and not be hindered in the least. That, however, was no reason, added Messire Thomas, for his being detained in this country, for, even if Chapuys were forcibly kept in England, there was residing at the Emperor's court, as his master's ambassador, a gentleman of birth, not inferior to Chapuys in any respect, besides which it was improper to retain two for one. (fn. n9)
Upon which, and in order to gain time and proceed as courteously and mildly as possible with the said English ambassador, the Queen Regent sent him a deputation composed of the duke of Aarschot, (fn. n10) the count of Hoochstraste, and the Sieur de Liedekercke (Jean Hannaërt), to induce him to remain. On three or four different occasions did the Queen's deputies try, though in vain, to persuade him (Sir Thomas) that the delay in granting his application was in nowise owing to any mistrust or suspicion entertained about him, but with a good end and purpose, and for a few days only, until another ambassador had come from England to replace him, whilst the Emperor appointed Chapuys' successor to the Imperial embassy. That for the reasons he himself had very properly alleged, should there be no mutual ambassadors in both countries, people might say that the political relations between England and the Empire were no longer on the footing they were before. The Queen's deputies, moreover, assured the ambassador that the Emperor's wish was to observe strictly the letter of his treaties with England, and they ended by requesting Messire Thomas to delay at least his departure until news came from the King, his master, or from Chapuys himself, to both of whom the Queen would immediately write, as she has done since, trusting that the king would not take in bad part the detention of his ambassador, but. would, on the contrary, be glad of it, as done for the sake of the existing friendship, and to do away with scruples on either side.
Notwithstanding which reasoning on the part of the Queen's deputies, the English ambassador persisted in his determination to take leave, unless the Queen commanded him positively to remain, for (said he) "I know very well that if I am forbidden, I cannot depart without leave, and yet that very order in writing will be my excuse with the King, my master." To make the thing work more smoothly, the Queen sent again to request him to remain [in Brussels] a few days, until she received an answer to her letters. Upon which the ambassador again declared that he would not heed any prayers, but would disobey her commands unless they were in writing. Then the Queen replied that it was not fitting to address commands to the ambassador of a prince such as he represented; that she could not do, but she begged him to grant her prayer, as his master's friend, and the ambassador at last consented to stay until he heard from his master.
All these mysterious dealings have been deemed necessary in consequence of Messire Chapuys having three days ago dispatched one of his own servants with an insignificant letter, it is true, but with a verbal message to say that, having asked an audience from the King, he was referred to the Privy Council, and that, having gone thither, he had declared that he had received letters from the Queen commanding him to come over to transact certain business of the Emperor's, and that, as he had also some of his own to attend to, he intended to apply for the King's leave. The councillors' answer was that he (Chapuys) was well justified in asking leave, since, after eight or nine years' residence in England as Imperial ambassador, he must certainly need to attend to his own private affairs, and that they would let the King know.
Two days after this one of Cromwell's secretaries came to him and said that the King thought he ought to delay his departure until he had news from the Emperor, or his successor in the embassy had arrived. Upon which Messire Chapuys, fearing the rash acts (follyes) of the country wherein he resides, and wishing to avoid all dangers, has prayed the Queen to retain the said Messire Thomas Wriothesly by some plausible means until he himself should come back, which is the principal cause which has moved the Queen to retain the said Messire Thomas in the manner above mentioned.
Chapuys' messenger has also related that all the ports and passages of England are closed and shut up, and that it was with great difficulty that he himself managed to cross over. He had heard that all merchants and skippers, the Emperor's subjects, residing in England, had been arrested without their knowing the cause of it, which report, if true, seems so strange that it would have been of itself a sufficient cause for the detention of the English ambassador, who, being interrogated on the subject, said that he knows nothing about the arrest of those merchants, which, after all, might have been caused by the complaint of the English when they heard that their ships would not be allowed to quit the ports and harbours of the Low Countries. (fn. n11)
Let it be understood that, in order to supply the ships that were being prepared and fitted out for His Imperial Majesty's contemplated expedition against the Turk with proper crews, it was deemed necessary some time ago to issue an ordinance for merchant vessels of all nations not to leave the ports of Flanders and the Low Countries until the Government had selected those wanted for the ships of this country. Had the Queen not ordered this, the seamen and mariners would have gone away, and it would have been almost impossible to procure able crews. It is indeed with the greatest difficulty that a sufficient number of men has thus been procured, for seamen in general, and most particularly those who frequent these seas, prefer serving elsewhere in the most remote regions to braving the perilous navigation of war-time. 'Tis true that this English ambassador, when he heard of that prohibition, complained to the Queen, saying that by our commercial treaties with England we could not directly or indirectly prevent or impede the merchants of that nation in their trade, nor could they ours, without warning and notifying each other six months in advance, and requesting that all English ships should be allowed to proceed on their navigation without impediment of any sort. To this request of the English ambassador the Queen has immediately acceded, in order to remove all causes of dispute and mistrust, thus showing that her wish is to satisfy the English in all respects before any other nation. Yet this has been done under the solemn declaration that the prohibition was exclusively due to the necessity of providing the Emperor's ships with seamen for such a just and holy enterprise as the war against the Infidel, undertaken for the safety and welfare of Christendom. Measures of this sort were under the circumstances imperative and preferable to all others, and it could not be presumed that the embargo laid on the vessels had had its origin in any other sentiment than the above—the defence of Christendom—not a desire to contravene the treaties of alliance and commerce between the Emperor's subjects and the English.
Indorsed: "Procès verbal of what passed between Messire Thomas Wriothesly, secretaire and ambassador of the king of England and the Queen's deputies."
French. Original draft. pp. 5½.
10 March. 44. Queen Mary of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. C. 231,
f. 6.
I lately wrote to you that as the Emperor wishes to employ you in certain affairs of his service in these Low Countries, you were to come here to me, in order to hear what His Imperial Majesty's commands may be with regard to your person, telling you at the same time that you were to take gracious leave of the king of England, my good brother, and maternal uncle. I am astonished at not having yet heard of your departure from that country, and, therefore, write again, ordering you, in the Emperor's name, to hasten your departure, and return to this country as soon as possible. And in order that during your absence the Emperor's affairs in that country may not suffer, and that the good intelligence and amicable relations, as well as alliances and confederacies with that King, may continue not only without change or interruption of any sort, but on the contrary, may increase mutually, thus affording to the World a manifest proof of the Emperor's wishes in that respect, as well as removing any scruples which your retirement might cause, I now send the dean of Cambray, (fn. n12) my first almoner, to fill your post and discharge the duties of ambassador at that court. He (the Dean) will leave in a day or two at the latest, and I inform you of this that you may the more hasten on your journey and return.
But I must inform you that in order to prevent and stop the continual emigration of sailors and seamen natives of these Low Countries, who, in order to escape serving on board the vessels His Imperial Majesty has ordered to be equipped in Zeeland and Holland, were daily quitting these ports, I some time ago decreed a general embargo to be laid on all ships and vessels, as well as crews, of whatever nation they might be, until the number of sailors and mariners wanted for the Imperial transports could be provided. And yet, notwithstanding that, at the request of Messire Thomas Wriestheby (fn. n13) (Wriothesly), one of that King's ambassadors, I did immediately order the said embargo to be raised as far as it might affect the trade and shipping interest of English subjects.
Since then, however, having heard that the Emperor's official purveyors had at last been able to procure through those means a sufficient number of sailors, the general embargo has been levied, and, therefore, should this Our letter reach you before your departure from England, you are requested to inform the King thereof, and tell him how matters stand here; at the same time assuring him that neither in this nor in any other affair has there been the least intention on my part to go against the sincere good friendship, old alliance, and perfect understanding between the two countries, as I more openly and in detail declare to the King myself in my letter of this day. Also requesting him that if, as I hear from merchants and shipowners, subjects of His Imperial Majesty, he has ordered a similar embargo on their ships and crews, to have the same raised at once, so that there may be equality on both sides. This request of mine you are directed to forward as soon as possible, and push it on with all diligence.
Messire Thomas Wriothesly represented to me some days ago that in obedience to his master's commands—which he said he had received — it was his intention to go back to England; but as a step of this kind might engender suspicion and mistrust among the people of both countries, who, generally speaking, judge differently from, and often misconstrue the intentions of princes; as, on the other hand, that ambassador's colleagues have already taken their departure for Ghelders, at present a suspected country, for these reasons, and for no other, have I requested the said English ambassador, as earnestly as I could, to continue here, and delay his departure for some days, until I hear of your arrival and receive the King's answer to my letter. Though at first Messire Thomas showed great reluctance to grant my request, alleging that his master's orders were peremptory, and that he was bound to obey them, yet, in the end, on the security I gave him that the King, his master, will not be displeased, but glad of his acceding to my pressing prayer and request, he has at last condescended, on the above-mentioned considerations, to remain here a few more days. I have likewise written to the King on the subject, begging him to take the whole in good part, and with that sincerity which characterizes all his acts (fn. n14) allow his ambassador to stay. It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to make the King and the members of his Privy Council take in good part and approve the temporary stay of Messire Thomas Wriothesly, according to my request, which, as aforesaid, is entirely owing to my good and honest intentions, and in no wise dictated by mistrust or suspicion of any sort, assuring them, on my part, that the friendship, alliances, confederacies, and understandings between the two nations do remain on this side as complete and perfect as ever.—Brussels, x. March 1539. (fn. n15)
Indorsed: "Copy of the Queen's letters to the ambassador in England, 1538."
French. pp. 3.
17 March. 45. The Emperor to the Marquis de Aguilar.
E. Roma, L. 868,
f. 116.
M. Add. 28,591.
After writing to you on the 13th ult. your letters of the 9th and 19th have been received, in reply to which there is nothing to say, save that, having sent to Venice both Commander Giron and Martin Alonso de los Rios, We had every reason to believe that some categorical answer from the Republic might have come by this time. Since then, as Lope de Soria informs Us, a new Dux has been appointed, (fn. n16) and, therefore, there is no longer an excuse, and We confidently expect that the said answer is already on the road.
Respecting the marriage of the sister of Octavio Farnese (fn. n17) with the son of Cosmo de Medici, of which His Holiness spoke to you, We wish that it could have been effected; but by this time the Duke himself has, of his own accord, contracted a marriage with the daughter of Our viceroy of Naples (marquis de Villafranca). (fn. n18) You will tell the Pope that We regret not to be able to serve him in this particular, but if at any other time he should hear of any advantageous match for his granddaughter, We shall be glad to assist and help him.
If the agreement with the duke of Ferrara (Ercole d'Este) is not yet concluded, do promote the conclusion of it according to the Duke's wishes.
Francisco Hurtado brother of the Duchess' chamberlain (fn. n19) will be the bearer of the deed for the consignation of her dowry in Naples, according to the marriage contract and orders sent to Our viceroy of Naples.
Cardinal Pole has arrived. The enclosed copy of Our letter to the ambassador in France (Scepper) will inform you of what passed between him and the King, and what answer We have given to this latter's request. Accordingly, you will speak to the Pope in conformity with Our said answer, and the considerations therein contained; and let Us hear as soon as possible what the Pope thinks of the whole.
Ottavio Farnese and the Duchess's dowry—Roche Guillerma and other lands of the duke of Aarshot.—The duke Cosmo, as heir of duke Alessandro de Medici, is the person bound to pay the mortgage upon it. (fn. n20) We Ourselves have nothing to do with it.—Toledo, 17 March 1539.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 3.
17 March. 46. The Same to the Same.
S. E. Roma, L. 867,
f. 117.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 75.
After drawing up the instruction whereof Andalot (fn. n21) is bearer, the Venetian ambassador called again, and begged Us to declare and explain to him certain passages of Our late conversation respecting which he had doubts. He first inquired what We meant by saying that His "Holiness had proposed to occupy himself exclusively with matters of Faith, and the subjection (reduction) of Germany, as well as with proceedings against England, and that for that reason he (the Pope) had excused himself from contributing his share of the ships and galleys, and had offered money instead. Such a declaration on the part of His Holiness (continued the Venetian) made the Signory suspect that either from the causes alleged, or for other plans and designs he might have respecting his authority, he (the Pope) might perhaps wish to desert the League, in which case the war against the Turk would remain entirely in the hands of the Signory. Such being the case, it was expedient to invite the Most Christian and other princes to join the League. By "other princes," as We conjecture, the Venetian ambassador means, no doubt, the king of England, for just now great intimacy exists between the two ambassadors, that of the Signory and that of the English king.
The Venetian ambassador spoke again about provisions, and the want they were in of them, saying that the Signory could not possibly provision the fleet sufficiently unless corn was sent to them from Sicily. Our answer was a short but true account of what happened after the expedition to the Prevesa, (fn. n22) adding that what We had said to him and to the Papal Nuncio on the occasion was not meant to inculpate any one, but merely to induce them to consider, by the experience of the past, what had better be done in the present emergency. Neither were Our observations to His Holiness to be imputed to mistrust, suspicion, or fear of his deserting at any time the League. On the contrary, We had always recognized in him the sincere wish that the undertaking should be carried out, as he himself had said to prince Doria, and his Nuncio at Our Court had repeatedly assured Us. What His Holiness had said and declared respecting matters of Faith, and respecting England, was merely intended to feel, as it were, his ground, bearing in mind the season that was so far advanced, the great difficulty of the offensive expedition, and, above all, that it was doubtful whether the effect would correspond to the magnitude and cost of the military preparations. His Holiness had then written to Us, saying that he had strongly solicited king Francis to enter the League, and that he (the King) had returned a hopeful answer to his solicitations; in short, that means could and might be found for that negotiation without touching on the affair of Milan, &c.
The Venetian seemed satisfied with Our answer. It is now for you, Lope de Soria, to guide your movements accordingly. However, let no reference be made to Our promises and declarations to the Venetian ambassador, as above stated; only in case of his writing home, as if he still had scruples and doubted Our statements, will you make use of the information here contained, for We are aware of his intimacy with the English ambassador, whose lodgings he frequents, We know that he is besides very suspicious and quick to apprehend though not so experienced in State affairs as he ought to be, and but slightly inclined to Papal authority. Of this last remark of Ours respecting the Venetian ambassador, no mention should be made at all by you unless it came first from another quarter.
As to Castilnovo, considering the perilous state of the garrison if not promptly relieved, the difficulty of provisioning it—which could not be effected except by means of a considerable fleet—and last, not least, the loss of reputation We should incur were the place to be taken by the Turk, as happened with Coron some years ago, We should be glad for the Venetians to take charge of its defence, We have written to Doria in this sense; should, however, the Venetians refuse our offer, We would then consult the Pope and them as to what had better be done, declaring at the same time that on no account will We bear the burden any longer; and that should the Venetians and the Pope refuse to take charge of Castilnovo, or defray the expenses of the garrison and relieving force out of the funds of the League, We are determined to send orders for its immediate evacuation and dismantlement. If Doria, however, is of opinion that Castilnovo ought to be kept a little longer in order to treat more advantageously with the Turk, he will let you (Soria), as well as Aguilar at Rome, know what is to be done with it.—Toledo, 17 March 1539.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 6.
17 March. 47. The Emperor to the Pope.
S. E. Roma, L. 868,
f. 118.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 178.
Your Holiness' letter brought by the Most Reverend cardinal Pole (fn. n23) came duly to hand. I gave him audience and talked long with him respecting the business for which he came, as he himself must have written, and the marquis de Aguilar cannot fail to have explained in my name.
Since perusing the reports brought by Alonso de los Rios of the provisions actually stored in Naples and Sicily, I have written fully to Aguilar, my ambassador, respecting the resolution I have taken in the affairs of the League. I beg your Holiness to listen to him, and give entire credence to his words, as if they came from my own lips, all the time assuring Your Holiness that I shall not fail in my duties towards religion and the welfare of Christendom, your own authority, and that of the Apostolic See.
I also beg Your Holiness to be so kind as to order the dispatch, as offered, of the bull granting the ecclesiastical half-fruits to defray the expenses already made, now making, or which will ultimately be incurred by the war against the Turk and other infidels; and may Your Holiness be pleased to expedite the said bull in the form and manner that my said ambassador will explain, so that no one escape paying, as otherwise the concession would be insufficient to cover the immense cost I am now sustaining.—Toledo, 17 March 1539—Humble Son of Your Holiness—I, the King.
Spanish, Original holograph. Minute very much corrected. pp. 1½.
19 March. 48. Maioris (fn. n24) to the Queen of Hungary.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. C. 231,
ff. 9–10.
To inform Your Majesty of my journey, I will say that on Sunday last I arrived in this town of Calais, where, out of respect for the Emperor and for Your Majesty, I was most kindly received and honourably entertained by Mr. Le Debitis (fn. n25) and other great officials of the place. I counted upon embarking on Monday last, but the wind being contrary I remained on land. On Wednesday, at midnight, I was already on board, ready to set sail and depart, when a letter of Messire Eustace Chapuys was put into my hands, begging me to remain at Calais until his arrival, as he had to make me certain important declarations concerning Your Majesty's affairs. I accordingly caused my luggage and traps to be taken out of the vessel, and I am now waiting for that ambassador's arrival, which I hope will take place to day, and, after hearing what he may have to say, will again undertake the voyage which Your Majesty has ordered me to make.
The news here is that the king of England has ordered his grand esquire (grand escuyer), governor of the castle of Rocha-fort, near Calais, to be beheaded, on the charge of being in connivance with the French to deliver up that place to them.
Millour Camberlen, governor of Guyennes (Guisnes), arrived here last Sunday. On the ensuing Monday, at his entrance into Guisnes, he was received with salvoes of artillery, and preparations were made just as in time of war, thus showing that the English think it will break out soon. As soon as I get more reliable information on this point, I shall not fail to advise.— Calais, 19 March 1539.
Signed: "Maioris."
French. Original. p. 1.
19 March. 49. The Same to the Same.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. C. 231,
f. 11.
Since my last of this very morning, Messire Eustace Chapuys has arrived in this port. I have conferred with him respecting the many affairs committed to his charge, and about which he tells me he has already written by post to Your Majesty; in the present state of which Messire Chapuys has been of opinion that I myself should not leave this port for England until I receive Your Majesty's orders thereupon. I have accordingly despatched the express messenger bearer of this letter, in order to know Your Majesty's pleasure. Am I to prosecute my journey, or return immediately? In either case I beg to be informed as soon as possible, in order to do the one or the other without loss of time.—Calais, 19 March 1538 [Old style].
French. Original. p. 1.
22 March. 50. Instruction for Esquire Wynacourt, Provost of Mons.
B. Neg. d'Ang.,
f. 89.
Esquire Wynacourt, provost of Mons, shall go post haste to Dunkerke, and there try to ascertain whether the English ambassadors, who left Brussels lately, have passed through that town or not. Should they not have passed, he will address himself to the lieutenant-governor of Dunkerke, and put into his hands the ordinance of which he (Wynacourt) will be the bearer, enjoining him expressly, on the arrival of the English ambassadors, to inquire secretly and in the best manner possible whether they intend, on their return to England, to follow any other route but the direct one to Gravelinges (Gravelines).
Should they purpose taking another route, the lieutenant-governor [of Dunkerke] shall go to secretary Vuersle (Wriothesley), principal chief of the said embassy, and remonstrate with and tell him, in the mildest possible terms, how after the English embassy had left Brussels, she, the queen of Hungary had received intelligence of the king of England, his master, having ordered Messire Eustache Chappuys (sic), the Imperial ambassador in England, to remain at Calais as long as he (the secretary) had not reached the port of Gravelines, and that she (the Queen) was given to understand that the King had decided that the said Chappuis (fn. n26) and he (the secretary) were to leave and enter simultaneously his dominions. The lieutenant-governor is to request the English secretary on that account to continue his journey to Gravelinges.
Should, however, the ambassador refuse to take that road, the lieutenant-governor will inform him expressly that his orders are not to let him pass on, and show him Her Majesty's ordinance to that effect.
After recommending the lieutenant-governor to keep good watch, and not allow the English embassy to take any other route than that of Gravelinges, or else in case of the English ambassadors not having already passed Dunkerke; in either case esquire Wynacourt will proceed on his journey without mentioning to the lieutenant-governor or to any one else the subject of his charge. He is to do exactly the same thing in case of the embassy not having reached Dunkerke yet. He will start for Gravelinges, and wait there for the English ambassadors, and immediately after apprize Messire Eustache Chappuys of their arrival in that port. On the arrival of the ambassadors at Gravelinges the esquire will inquire from the English ambassadors whether they wish to go on and leave Belgium before the arrival of the said Chappuis at Gravelinges, in which case he is to call on the said Vuersele (Wriothesly), chief of the embassy, giving him to understand most graciously that he cannot leave the country, and requesting him to accommodate himself to his master's commands, and not proceed on his way as long as the said Messire Eustache Chapuys continues in his dominions. Should the ambassador take no notice of this warning, and prepare to depart, then, in that case, esquire Wynacourt will show him his orders, and tell him that he will be arrested by the lieutenant-governor of Gravelinges.
If, however, the English embassy had by chance reached Gravelinges and embarked for England before the arrival of esquire Wynacourt in that port, the latter will return to Brussels without doing anything else, always keeping the object of his charge secret without communicating it to any one.—Brussels, 22 March (fn. n27) 1539.
23 March. 51. Maioris to the Queen of Hungary.
ep. P. Fasc. 231,
f. 11.
Your Majesty's letter of the 22nd inst. has come to hand, and, in obedience to the order conveyed in it, I will embark for England with the first fair wind.
Secretary Voiselay (Wriothesley), (fn. n28) the king of England's ambassador to your Majesty, arrived yesterday in Calais. Messire Eustace Chapuys and myself have accompanied him to dinner to day on the invitation of Monsieur le Debitis. (fn. n29) We have not heard him complain of any molestation or ill-treatment, and, therefore, there will be no need of excuses on our part, besides which Messire Eustace Chapuys tells me that his own letters have been misunderstood in reference to that ambassador's (Voyselay's) affair, and that he himself will explain what he meant when in Your Majesty's presence.—Calais, 23 Mars, 1538 [Old style].
French. Original. p. 1.


  • n1. Petrus IV., de la Baume, cardinal and bishop of Besançon (1523), and afterwards of Geneva, where he died, according to Gams, in 1544. He was appointed cardinal in 1539.
  • n2. Gian Pietro Caraffa, called Il Brundusino from his being a native of Brindisi (Brundusium). He was made cardinal in 1536, and in 1555, at the age of 79, became Pope under the name of Paul IV. See above p. 112 n.
  • n3. That is to Guidobaldo, duke of Urbino, who, by his marriage to Giulia Varana, cousin of Ercole, pretended to have a claim, and actually took possession of the duchy.
  • n4. "Madama tiene ya por sentencia la possession de las casas de Roma, con otras que estan alrededor della, que rentan CCCC. ducados, y presto la tendra del castillo de Santangelo."
  • n5. Paolo Capisucci, auditor at the Rota. See Vol. V., Part I., pp. 8 and 226.
  • n6. "La otra que haviendo su Exa siempre con su discrecion y humanidad atrahido á todos los que la conversaban á amarla y deesearla servir, y siendo esto mas necessario en Roma que en otra parte, la ponian en ciertas cosas y pundonores fuera de razon para hazerla estrañar y pouerla mal con sue deudos."
  • n7. The Pope's daughter, and a sister of Pier Luigi, duke of Castro.
  • n8. Aunque no dexo de estar corrido que se haya dicho á Su Sd que yo tengo puntillos con Lope Hurtado, porque en verdad nunea tal me passo por pensamiento; ni los ha habido, ni puede aver (sic)."
  • n9. Who was Chapuys' colleague at the time—a gentleman of birth—does not appear from this correspondence. It could certainly not be Don Diego de Mendoza—closely related to one of the noblest families in Spain—for he had left England months ago, and as to Majoris, who eventually replaced him, as will be said hereafter, he only landed at Dover on the 15th of March.
  • n10. Philippe de Croy.
  • n11. "Ce que pareillement s'est trouve estrange et donné tant plus d'occasion de faire demeurer icelluy ambassadeur, au quel s'est demande sil sçavoit des ditz arretz; il s'est certifie que non, mais disoit-il estoit advenu quil povoit proceder sur l'exclamation que les subjects dengleterre auroyent fait de la deffense de ne laisser partir leurs bateaulx hors des pays de par decha."
  • n12. In the original Cambrer; his name was Maioris.
  • n13. The name of this ambassador is variously written, Writesby, Vrotesly, Vuristely, &c.
  • n14. "Luy pryant la tout prendre de bonne part, et de la mesme sincerite dont [avecq la quclle?] il procede."
  • n15. The date, as in the indorsement, is "De Bruxelles, le xe de Mars 1538," according to the old style still used in the Low Countries, in England, &c. In writing to the Emperor, Chapuys, as it has been observed, complies with the new style already adopted in Spain, though in corresponding with the Queen Regent of the Low Countries (les pays d'enbas), he follows at times the old and at others the new rule.
  • n16. Pietro Lando.
  • n17. Vittoria Farnese, who was ultimately married to Guidobaldo della Rovere, duke of Urbino.
  • n18. Leonor de Toledo, daughter of Da Maria Pimentel Ossorio, marchioness of Villafranca, and D. Pedro de Toledo.
  • n19. I presume that the word hermano or hijo have been left out, for otherwise the chamberlain's name was Lope.
  • n20. The duke Alessandro had mortgaged his estate in Flanders to the Philippe de Croy, duke of Aarschot.
  • n21. Jean d'Andelot, the Emperor's squire.
  • n22. Prevesa in Albania, at the entrance of the gulf of Arta.
  • n23. See above, No. 33, p. 97.
  • n24. Dean of Cambray and the Queen's first almoner, as in Queen Mary's letter to Chapuys, No. 44, p. 129.
  • n25. The chief or head of the Customs.
  • n26. As will be observed, the name of the Imperial ambassador in England is here differently spelt in the same document.
  • n27. The letter is evidently dated according to the old style,—Brussels, the xxii. of March XV.cXXXVIII. before Easter,—but, like others in this collection, the Editor has considered himself bound to calendar them in the chronological order already adopted.
  • n28. He had been Cromwell's secretary for some time.
  • n29. Chief of the Customs or Staples?