Spain: March 1540

Pages 226-227

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 1540, 1-31

3 March. 105. The Emperor to the Archbishop of Toledo [Tavera]. (fn. n1)
S. E., Alemania,
L. 638, f. 76.
B. M. Add. MSS.
28,592, f. 275.
After writing the above, it occurred to Us to inform you of the late ordinances promulgated in England on matters of trade. You must know that between our Flemish subjects and the inhabitants of that country there used to be from times of yore great intercourse of trade and barter of merchandize, which the latter exported in Flemish vessels returning to Flanders, whilst the Flemish similarly took advantage of English vessels sailing back to export their own goods. Such being the mode of carrying on trade between the two countries, the king of England did abruptly, some days ago, cause a certain ordinance to be promulgated, forbidding all foreign merchants—natives of or domiciled in England—to load goods of any sort on any vessels except the English, and imposing on whoever did so, especially if the vessels belonged to Our Flemish or Spanish subjects, a heavy fine, much heavier indeed than that which had been previously fixed in case of such infractions; all this being done with a view to compel the said foreign merchants dealing with our subjects in the Low Countries and Spain to put their merchandize on board of English vessels.
Matters being in this state, and the remonstrances of Our ambassador having been disregarded, We caused a similar ordinance to be published in Flanders, the result of which has been that all English vessels going thither with a cargo of goods have to return to England empty and without freight. It appears that the king of that country complains of this measure of Ours, and calls upon Us to revoke it. Our answer has been that unless he first revokes his We will make no alteration whatsoever, and Our ambassador (Chapuys) writes to the Queen, Our sister, that in order the sooner to oblige the English to come to terms, it would be expedient to have a new ordinance (pragmática) promulgated, confirming those of Castille, which enjoin that no goods be exported out of the ports of Spain except in vessels belonging to Our subjects, and more particularly those of imitation cloths (paños falsos) from England.
Signed: "To el Rey:" Countersigned: "Vazquez."
Addressed: "To the most Revd. Cardinal, archbishop of Toledo."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2½.


  • n1. Card. Juan Tavera from 1534 to 1545, when he died on the 1st of August. During the Emperor's absence he was one of the governors of Spain. His life was written by Salazar de Mendoza—Chronica del Cardenal Don Juan Tavera, Toledo, 1630, 4to.