Spain: December 1539

Pages 212-214

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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December 1539, 1-31

21 Dec. 95. The Emperor to the Archbishop of Toledo.
S. E., L. 47,
f. 220.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 269.
Don Carlos, by the Divine clemency Emperor semper augustus, king of Germany, of the two Spains, of the two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, &c., to the cardinal of Toledo.
Our dearest and most beloved friend, on the 3rd inst. We wrote to you of Our journey to these parts; it has since been continued, and on the 12th We arrived at Loiches (Loches) where the Most Christian king of France, the Queen Our sister, and the whole of their Court were already waiting to receive and accompany Us on the road. King Francis has all this time travelled in a chaise, owing to his late illness preventing his riding horse or mule, (fn. n1) yet he attempted to mount and come out of Loches to receive Us. No sooner, however, did We hear that such was his intention, than We sent a gentleman of Our suite to beg and implore him not to do so, lest his health should suffer through it. The King acceded to Our wishes, and, instead of himself, the cardinal of Lorraine (Jean de Guise) and the Grand Master of France (Montmorency) came out to Us, followed by a numerous retinue of servants of the Royal household, meeting Us some distance from the first gate of the castle, which We all entered together, being received by the King inside with great joy and content. Within the castle Our first visit was to the apartments of the Queen, Our sister, whom We found in company with the King's daughter (Mme. Marguerite), the wife of the Dolfin (Dauphin), Mme. de Labrit, and several other ladies of the principal families of France.
The reception and feasting, as well as the manner in which We were treated on the occasion, especially by king Francis, and the pleasure and satisfaction he, himself, is showing at Our confidence in coming to his kingdom and trusting to his honor, cannot be surpassed nor sufficiently praised.
On the following day, which was Saturday, We left Loches and went all together to sleep at a castle, close to which was a good deer-park, and on Sunday to a fairly good city called Ambuesa (Amboise), where We rested the whole of Monday, according to the King's and Queen's wishes. We again started on Tuesday, and have since prosecuted Our journey, accompanied by the King, Queen, and the whole of their court, and although owing to this latter circumstance no great speed can be made, yet it is said that We are to reach Fuentenableo (Fontainebleau)—a country seat of this king, distant 15 leagues hence—on Christmas Eve, where We shall stop the first and second days, owing to there being near that place great forests abounding with deer, and the King having a comfortable hunting-lodge therein.
Thence We shall go to Paris, but though We hear that the King has given orders for joustings, tournaments, carousels, and other entertainments to be prepared for Our reception, We shall make as short a stay as possible, and try, after taking leave of the King, to start for Flanders on the 2nd day of January. Though We cannot stop the King's sons and the High Constable from accompanying Us to the confines of France, We shall be in Flanders three or four days after, for the distance is not great.
As people generally look upon things and events in various ways, and might write and comment upon the incident at Amboise, We will tell you what happened. On the day of Our arrival in that town, the King showed Us his pack of hounds. When We had hunted part of the day, We returned to Amboise to supper. As it was near the time of night, and almost dark, in order to avoid the ceremonious reception usual on such occasions, We made haste, attended by a small retinue of servants, to arrive at the castle and ascend on horseback a curiously constructed stair-case in an outer tower, built on purpose to be ascended without dismounting. Those who accompanied Us and others having hastily, and without sufficient care, set light to several faggots of wood intended to illuminate the stair-case from top to bottom, the materials with which the faggots were covered ignited all of a sudden, producing great flame and smoke, so that the poor beasts began to be frightened. The stair-case, however, was ascended, and We all arrived at a square on the top without harm to any one inside. So angry was the King, lest people should say that it had been done on purpose, that he wanted at first to deal severely with those who had had a hand in it, though at last We succeeded with great difficulty in appeasing him.
Of business not one word has hitherto been spoken, and We are in hope that during this Our journey no hint or allusion will be made to Our common affairs. Such was the engagement taken by this King and his ministers, and We must say that hitherto they have faithfully kept their promise. They have, moreover, told Mr. de Labrit not to speak about his own affairs; those in Flanders are getting better, and people are more quiet. From Germany and Italy there is no news of any importance. His Holiness is sending cardinal Farnese to reside near Us as Legate a Latere. The Venetians, owing to the arrival in their city of the Marquis del Gasto, and of the king Francis' Captain-general at Turin, are more moderate in their talk, and have answered in general terms that they are ready to work for the welfare of Christendom now that We and the king of France are so decidedly bent upon it.
Prince Doria and his opinion on the maritime armaments of next year, &c.
On Our arrival in Flanders We will let you know whether the raising of 2,000 foot from Spain is to take place or not.—Orliens (Orleans), 21 Dec. 1539.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 7½.


  • n1. "Y como quiera que el rey ha venido todo este camino en leytera (sic) y tenico porque la enfermedad de la postema que tuvo los dias pasados no le daba áun lugar que pudiesse cavalgar a caballo ni a mula."