Spain: August 1540

Pages 244-259

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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August 1540, 1-31

3 August. 115. High Commander Covos to Secretary Juan Vazquez.
S. E., L. 49.
B. M. Add. 28,592,
f. 199.
I was waiting to hear from your Worship, when Pedro de Avila arrived with your letter of the 17th July from Antwerp. The other, which you say was entrusted to the post-master for the merchants of that city, was never received.
Sorry to hear that Contador Manriquez could not do what we asked of him, and that Almaguer was not appointed; I have, however, nothing to say against the nomination of Pedro de Avila, who seems to me to be quite fit for the vacant post, since he is reputed to be both honest and able.
Half fruits:
Respecting Lope Hurtado and his business, I can only say that having by the last post written to secretary Idiaquez about it, I do not see why I should again trouble you with a narrative of his case. There can be no doubt that his honesty and fidelity have been sufficiently proved by his general conduct in Madame's service, as well as by the calumnious accusations brought against him by the friar [Pallavicino]—every one of which has been refuted. I should very much like to know how His Imperial Majesty has taken this affair, and what provision has been made for the future. I beg your Worship to do all you can in favor of Lope Hurtado, who is my friend.
We knew already here of Juanetin Doria's provision (fn. n1) concerning the fleet. As that of Barbarossa—amounting, as they say, to 27, between galleys, "galeotas" and fustees—is stronger than his, and will most probably do some harm on our coast, it will be better for that captain to remain where he is, and for Don Bernardino to go with his squadron to meet that corsair.
Bread is very scarce in Andalucia, and it was with the greatest difficulty that Don Bernardino's galleys could be supplied with a sufficient quantity of biscuit. Corn from Sicily is very much wanted.
England.—A very good joke of the king of England again divorcing his Queen. Not in vain does he pretend and assume spiritual superiority that he may at will decide upon matrimonial cases whenever he himself is concerned. Although this be a wicked and abominable thing to do, yet it must be owned that concerning—as it does the duke of Clèves—the Queen's sister, it is not so bad after all.
By the post-master's letter, I see that the landgrave of Hesse (Philip) and the duke of Saxony have quarrelled. I really think that God permits these things to bring all disputes on matters of Faith to a good end.
The Prince and the Infantas (fn. n2) are well, according to a letter from count Cifuentes (fn. n3) which I have just received. Fever and "modorra" prevails in Castille chiefly, but few die of it if properly attended to. The Queen (Joanna) (fn. n4) also, if I am rightly informed, enjoys good health at Tordesillas, but about a fortnight ago the Marquis (fn. n5) wrote that one man had died in the town of the reigning pestilential malady, and that another one had been struck. Every precautionary measure was then taken to have Her Highness removed to other quarters, but there has been no need since, for the Marquis writes that no more deaths have occurred. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Madrid, 3 Aug. 1540.
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
116. Juan Vazquez de Molina to the High Commander.
S. E. Alemania,
L. 638, f. 165.
B. M. Add. 28,593,
f. 116.
Besides what your Signory will see by the copy of the letter to the king of the Romans (Ferdinand) respecting the conference (colloquio) of Vormes (Worms), Mr. de Granvelle tells me to write to you confidentially and under great reserve that the thirty and odd articles concerning our Faith therein discussed have been finally reduced to three or four only, the principal of them, that relating to Original Sin, having been already settled (concordado). Besides which he (Mr. de Granvelle) has had many assurances and promises on the part of the Separatists, there assembled, that they will do everything in their power to induce the princes and electors, whom they represent, to grant the rest of the points still unsettled. That the Lanzgrave (fn. n6) (Landgraf) has sent his chancellor with a paper signed by himself promising to return to the Faith, and try to induce others from among the Separatists do the same; but that it was necessary that the whole thing should be kept a profound secret till the meeting of the Diet, owing to the inconveniences that might arise should his (the Lanzgrave's) determination be made known.
Mr. de Granvelle is, therefore, of opinion that your Signory, and the cardinal archbishop of Seville, (fn. n7) and no one else, should read this letter together, as well as the answer sent to the king of the Romans thereupon, and having done so, and meditated on the whole, give us your opinion on the whole affair. Of what may happen afterwards Mr. de Granvelle will no doubt inform you through me; for it seems that the matter is in a fair way of being settled, at which he (Granvelle) is exceedingly pleased, and, indeed, he is right to be so, as all of us must be. May God guide and order things for the remedy these many evils require, for if your Signory saw how ruined the country we are going through is, you would be moved to pity!
Mr. de Granvelle has also requested me to write that in the present state of European politics, and the season being so advanced, he is afraid that before the Emperor can return to Spain, events may arise here to oblige him to show front (hacer rostro) in these foreign parts, and principally in Italy; as letters from that country advise that Rincon is back from Constantinople, and intends going thither again in three months' time to concert, as it is understood, what his master, the king of France, and the Grand Turk are to do next summer towards helping each other, and at the same time witness the great preparations for war being made at Constantinople. That is why Mr. de Granvelle thinks that your Signory and the rest of the privy councillors ought at once to write to the Emperor, earnestly begging him to shorten the business he has in these parts of Germany, and return as soon as possible to those kingdoms of Spain, without forgetting to point out to him the inconveniences and dangers of a contrary course. I myself am here procuring and preaching the same, and since your Signory (fn. n8) understands as well as I do with what difficulty any help could reach his Imperial Majesty from Spain, if any untoward event should happen here, I also beg and entreat, that when you next write to His Majesty, you represent to him in forcible terms the need there is of his presence in those realms. (fn. n9)
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 2.
10 Aug. 117. Mr. de St. Mauris to the Emperor.
P. Arch. Nat.
Neg. et Pap. de
K. 1485, f. 167.
I have purposely delayed sending to Your Imperial Majesty my despatch of the 5th inst. until the departure of the gentleman bearer of this present, because, being important and not ciphered, it would have been imprudent on my part to entrust the former to other hands than those of this gentleman, who, besides being a confidential friend of mine, is much devoted to Your Majesty's service.
On the 6th inst., two hours before Your Imperial Majesty's messenger arrived with your letters of the 4th, asking for details of the affair of which I wrote in my ciphered letter. Having therefore in part answered the contents of that letter, this one will be principally of condolence with Your Majesty at the sharp and long attack of gout from which you are still suffering owing to your journey to Iceland, and I pray to God to restore you to health, and preserve you from that illness and its inconvenient results.
With regard to the Clèves' marriage, Your Majesty will see by my despatch of the 5th, as well as by that which I intend writing in two or three days hence, what little information I have been able to obtain on the subject. I shall, therefore, refer you to the said despatches, and will only add in this present one that, to say the truth, I never thought that what the King told me at first, and afterwards repeated to Your Majesty when you passed through this kingdom, concerning the duke of Clèves could possibly have been said in earnest; and yet I wrote to Your Imperial Majesty at the time that the marriage spoken of between the Duke and the daughter of Mons. de Labrit (d'Albret) was open to suspicion, inasmuch as within eight or ten days the envoys of the duke of Saxony and landgrave of Hessen were expected to form a defensive league in the Duke's favor, should Your Majesty attempt to expel him from the duchy of Ghelders.
This information was imparted to me (as I then wrote) by Mons. d'Ezcurra, who had it from Mons. Antoine de la Cruz, Labret's bastard brother, to whom it appears Mme. de Navarre had spoken confidentially, complaining of the nonsuccess of the Navarrese affair. (fn. n10) I do not doubt that the information, such as it is, comes straight from that lady; but it ought to be considered that if the marriage above-alluded to is really and truly the pivot on which turns the aforesaid negociation, Your Majesty's adversaries will soon know what the object and meaning of that marriage are; and, although Your Imperial Majesty writes that you cannot believe king Francis can afford any plausible excuse in promoting that marriage, I answer that it is not he, but his servants and ministers who are doing that mischief under his name, knowing very well that this sort of intrigue cannot last long, if the laws of friendship and alliance are to be observed, especially after the receipt of Your Majesty's last letter to cardinal Tournon, who, whenever I speak to him or to the King on politics, answers, as he did once to me or to Your Majesty, that he expected much, and nothing at all had been accomplished.
I understood perfectly well what the King meant, and what the sore part of his wound is, when he told me at Lunel that many promises had been made to him, not one of which had been fulfilled. That was then my reason for asking the Cardinal [de Lorraine]: "Pray, what did the King, your master, expect from the Emperor, in which he has been disappointed, or what did he want that the Emperor has not immediately granted him? Has not my Imperial Master done for your king and his family a good deal more than could reasonably be expected of him?" The Cardinal's answer was: "No; I mean the duchy of Milan, which the King, my master, thinks ought to have been given to him openly and without difficulty, as the Emperor has often promised and written through his ambassadors in this country. And yet (continued the Cardinal) nothing has come of that, nor has the subject been alluded to verbally or in writing since his Imperial Majesty visited this kingdom in 1539. Instead of that there has only been a talk about the Low Countries, Burgundy and Charolois, in a manner, as the King's councillors think, highly inconvenient for the crown of France, to the preservation and aggrandizement of which the King is continually and exclusively devoted."
My answer to His Reverence was that Mons. de Pelux (Peloux) and myself at Lyons, (fn. n11) had really engaged to sign the treaty on such conditions as were once approved of by Mons. de Tarbes and Mons. de Brissach. We had not shewn to the King's ministers our instructions to that effect, but had declared so in writing. The copy of that declaration must be in the Royal ministers' hands. In the very same words, had Mons. de La Vaur, (fn. n12) and Hellin, the King's ambassadors in Spain, been addressed by us, and I was therefore right in concluding that they had not omitted to report upon it. The Cardinal replied that the King, his master, had never been informed of such a declaration; on the contrary, he had often heard him complain of want of reciprocal courtesy on that point. I retorted: "This is then the occasion to repair all faults, if there are any; it is not yet too late; the instructions which I can exhibit justify the Emperor as to that or any other similar charge. Your Reverence ought, if there is an opportunity, to give the King to understand the true meaning of my words—that in future there should be no more complaints of Your Imperial Majesty's conduct in the affair, since the principal basis of those accusations falls to the ground." The Cardinal promised to do so. I have since spoken to the Queen, whom I had previously informed of my conversation with the Cardinal, and have begged her to use her influence with the King. I have likewise called on the High Constable (Montmorency), and asked him whether it was true or not that I myself had made the proposal and sent in a copy of my instructions. He owned to me that I had, and that the offer had really come from me according to instructions received from home, and that he could not make out how the King, his master, could seem to ignore the fact. I cannot say whether the Cardinal has, or has not, spoken to the King on the subject, and if so, what the King has said to it, because I have not seen him since; nor have I deemed it necessary to speak to the King in the same terms; but if Your Majesty orders it I will do so.
I will take care that Mons. d'Ezcurra and the others, with whom I am in constant communication, do not act contrary to my instructions, but limit themselves to obtaining information on this particular point, namely, that of the marriage of Clèves.
As regards the Venetians, perceiving that I could not discover what they were negociating at this Court, I called yesterday on the High Constable (Montmorency), and told him that I heard with regret that the Signory's ambassador was in frequent communication with, and called more than ever on, the English one, and that this circumstance, joined to certain reports of Your Majesty's ambassadors, both in England and in Rome, made me suspect that something was being planned against Your Imperial Majesty; and that, although I was almost certain that nothing injurious to you could be treated at the conferences of which he (the High Constable), was not immediately informed, yet the duty imposed upon me was to ascertain what your enemies might be doing to impair the friendship and alliance between Your Imperial Majesty and the King, his master. That not knowing what the said Venetian and English ambassadors were about, and on what ground their hopes for such result as the breaking up of that friendship rested, I begged and entreated him to be so kind as to enlighten me on that particular, since he enjoyed the King's entire confidence. His answer was that on the side of England there were no news of importance; this he assured me on his honor. The Venetians (he said) have not yet made their arrangements with the Turk, and, therefore, not feeling secure on that side, they are naturally looking out for protection," by which words, the High Constable no doubt meant that the ambassador of the Signory was actually soliciting his help and influence in case of need. Pondering over the High Constable's quick and ready answer to my question respecting England and Venice, I cannot help thinking that there must be some other intrigue in which these Frenchmen are also concerned. I confess, however, that I am unable to guess what it may be. It is natural to infer that the negociations of the Venetians with the Grand Turk, and their need of this king's favor and influence in Constantinople, may have been the cause of their sending here at this present moment an extraordinary ambassador; but, if so, how is it that king Francis does so little towards securing a general truce?
As to the High Constable himself, his favor with the King continues the same; it certainly does not increase, but there is no evident diminution of it; enemies he has many, who are continually striving to unseat him, but hitherto they have been unsuccessful. The admiral (Brian Chabot) is still in Paris; the other day there was a talk of his coming over here, but I doubt whether his business there, which seems to be a long one, will allow him to come.
Respecting my keeping on good terms with the Chancellor, the cardinal de Tournon, and Mme. d'Etampes, I am doing my best according to Your Majesty's instructions. I fancy that the Chancellor and the lady are not much attached to Your Majesty or Your ministers, especially the latter, who has had nothing to do with Your Majesty's late resolution. I hear from a good quarter that the reason for her angry feelings (enojo) is that when Your Majesty passed through this kingdom [to go to Flanders] you did not make so much of her as she expected, which has hardened her heart in such a way that it will be very difficult, nay, almost impossible, to appease her.
The archdeacon of Althona left a long time ago to return to his master; at present there is no English ambassador here; but only one secretary for the purpose of writing home the news of this court, of the negociations, and so forth. Owing to that I have been unable to ascertain why the negociations for the marriage of Monsr. le marquis de Pont, of which I wrote in one of my despatches, have suddenly been interrupted. If an opportunity offers, I will enquire from the Cardinal's secretary, who is a friend, but who happens now to be absent from Court in one of the Cardinal's abbeys.
Gaddi has many a time asked me, and urgently requested through his secretary, by what means he could procure that the embargo on his Neapolitan property, which Your Imperial Majesty granted him at this king's solicitation, should be raised. I knew not what to answer him until Your Majesty's last letter came to hand, wherein it is expressly said that orders have been forwarded to the viceroy of Naples (Toledo) to proceed with regard to the half-fruits of his beneficios, and their sequestration as king Francis will decide, to whom, as well as to the College of Cardinals, Your Majesty has written on the subject. Please Your Majesty to let me know what I am to do next to satisfy the Cardinal.
Cardinal Ferrara, through Mme. d'Etampes' influence, has obtained a place in the King's Privy Council; at which many here are surprised and disgusted, saying that important business of State ought not to be intrusted to foreigners, and especially to men of the stamp of the Cardinal.
There has been a rumour afloat here that Barbarossa has taken Andrea Doria prisoner; that the Arabs have retaken possession of Tunis; that prince Doria has sailed thither with 60 sail in order to succour La Goleta and take ammunition to the garrison; and lastly, that the king of Tunis has raised the siege of that capital.
The King will leave this place in eight days, but they say that he has changed the plan of his journey; he will no longer go from Rouen by the river, but will go to Rectavil to see some ordnance being made at that place of cast steel, and so highly polished inside and out that it is a wonderful thing to behold. He (the King) is determined to have a good many pieces of that ordnance cast. At the same time, in contravention to his treaties with the king of Portugal, he is openly granting licenses to all those who wish to go to the Indies to try their fortune there in the discovery and conquest of new lands.—Aug. 10, 1540.
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
21 Aug. 118. Lope Hurtado to the Emperor.
S. E., Leg. 868,
f. 89.
B. M. Add. 28,592,
f. 170.
This lady is doing well. After I wrote last, His Holiness sent bishop Duranti to visit her in his name, and on the 13th inst. Ottavio [Farnese] and count Santafiore arrived by post. The former alighted at Madame's palace, though it was supper time. He was invited to supper, but declined, and went to an inn, whither, by Madame's order, everything he might want was sent. After supper he (Ottavio) returned to the palace, and saw Mme., who received him more joyfully (con mas regozijo) than she is in the habit of doing. He then asked her to let him sleep at the palace, (fn. n13) but she excused herself by saying that Andalo (D'Andelot) had agreed with the Pope that, until an answer came from Your Majesty, things might remain in the same state as they were, and that, since he had come by post, and must be tired, he had better go to bed and rest. Next day, after dinner, he called again to take leave; he left for Rome, and thence, as it is said, went back to his usual quarters.
The monk's declaration as well as that of the Saluça are public property at Rome; even from Spain letters have come alluding to them. That is the reason why this lady wishes Your Majesty to have a proper inquiry instituted on the whole affair, as she herself sent to request the other day by Andalo (D'Andalot). She feels the more the necessity of an inquiry that this blow has come after she had complied with the wishes of the Farnese in every respect. It is, therefore, imperative that justice be done in this case, because all here know the friar's written declaration in the first instance, whereas what he himself has since said before a public notary in contradiction of his former statement is known only by a few, and, therefore, we (my wife and I) shall still appear criminal; neither will our lady and mistress remain entirely free from blame, (fn. n14) and, unless the case is cleared up, fresh calumnies will be raised against her. One of the women, who said to Andalo that she and her comrades had actually seen the head of a dead man side by side with that of the notary (fn. n15) before whom the legal proceedings against the friar are going on, is the very soul and confidant of the governor of Rome. That is why it is suspected that if head there was, that woman brought it in, or managed to put it in the room, that it might be shown to Madame's servant, who happens to be a friend of hers. Had any one but her brought the head in, the maid-servants, who never quitted Francesca's bedroom until she died, and who went thither very often, would certainly have seen it. From their saying so to Andalo after the friar's imprisonment and declaration, it seems evident that the whole was a treasonable intrigue well worthy of severe punishment. Indeed, if the parties are allowed to go scot-free, this lady will remain in greater danger and tribulation than before D'Andelot's arrival, and we ourselves shall be dishonored for ever.
His Holiness has been told that Madame knows already of the friar's declaration, and yet he has sent her no message about it, nor has Mme. attempted to broach the subject to the Pope or write to Your Imperial Majesty, waiting until she actually gets an answer to her former letter. When she has she will give you to understand how indebted we must feel in this, as in other things, to Your Majesty's servants here in Rome for their having represented our mistress as guilty, and us (my wife and myself) as thorough knaves, (fn. n16) since they refuse to have an in juiry instituted, as was their duty, and are trying to excuse the misdemeanors of these people, as Antonio, the bearer of this letter, will verbally tell. I beg Your Majesty to give him credence.—Tiboli, 21 Aug. 1540.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "From Lope Hurtado, 21 of August."
Spanish. Holograph. (fn. n17) pp. 2.
27 Aug. 119. Vazquez de Molina to Luys Sarmiento.
E., Cor. de Cast.,
L. 49, f. 343.
M. Add. 28,592,
Your Worship does well in acquainting me with the news from France; we ourselves have had none for some time from that country, nor from Flanders either, though letters of the 22nd of July have been received, announcing that His Imperial Majesty was in Holland, and about to return to Brussels, and that political matters in France remained in the same state as before.
It was announced in those letters that the king of England was about to divorce the Princess he had lately taken to wife (a sister of the duke of Clèves), on the plea that she had been previously betrothed or married to another: which intelligence, after all, is not a bad piece of news, considering that the Duke, her brother, intended to ask that King's help and assistance for the occupation of the duchy of Ghelders (fn. n18) to which he pretends to have a right.
It was also said that the lantzgrave (landgraf) of Hesse (Philip), after divorcing his wife, the daughter of the duke of Saxony, was about to take another (fn. n19) ....Madrid, 6 of August 1540.
Addressed: "To Luys Sarmiento, Imperial ambassador in Portugal.'
Spanish. Original draft. p. 1.
30 August. 120. The Imperial Ambassador in France to the Emperor.
P. Arc. Nat., Neg.
Pap. de Sim.,
K. 1485,13.
B. M. Add. 28,592,
f. 162.
The King left Lunel (fn. n20) on the 16th ulto., en route for the port of Gratia, (fn. n21) and has only stayed three days at Naufbourg and the villages in the neighbourhood of that place, with such want of ease and comfort that matters could not be worse, especially as it was some time before the harvest. No provender could be procured for the horses, no wine or cider for the men; and, what is still worse, there was no water to be had on the road, as the wells were almost dry, so that we were obliged to drink polluted water, very injurious to health; owing to which, and to the excessive heat, there was great mortality among men and beasts, especially among the sheep, of which many must have died, for we found them lying dead both in the fields and in the houses of the villages and hamlets through which we passed. This has naturally diminished the number of courtiers, who, not being on duty, have voluntarily followed the King in this his journey, because in such cases every one looks out for his own convenience and pleasure, as well as for personal security, in the way of lodgings, provisions, and so forth. However, there are still here a good many sick, such as Mons. de Lautrech, and the eldest son of Mr. de Guise, who is very ill indeed; in fact, neither the one nor the other is considered by the physicians to be out of danger. (fn. n22) Monsr. d'Orleans has had hemorrhage (fluxo de sangre); it was, however, stopped in time, and I hear he has since recovered, and is staying at Vateville, one long league from this place, where the King, his father, arrived on Friday, coming from the port of Gracia. The King himself is suffering from pains in his stomach, chiefly caused by his too great ardour for and indulgence in the pleasures of the chase, in which he delights, having lately spent no less than a fortnight or three weeks, doing nothing else but hunt. His indisposition, however, is of no consequence, and it is expected that he will soon get well.
After that he will pass by Rocion, where the road leads to Fontaineblau, in order to witness the vintage of the Royal vines there. (fn. n23) In short, neither in reality nor in appearance, does he show any lack of desire of attending to, or taking part in, the pastimes of his courtiers, or going away from them, but, on the contrary, attends daily to business; every day there is a council, which the King sometimes attends, holding long conferences with his High Chancellor and with cardinal Tournon, who, together with Mme. d'Etampes (fn. n24) —the real president of the King's most private and intimate Council—are continually with him, pointing out what they consider to be the right path to Christendom's welfare, that is peace, union, and good understanding with Your Imperial Majesty; for nowadays the common sentiment of all these courtiers, high and low, is that without that such a boon cannot be attained. Every day influential courtiers address me in this sense, observing that were this king to follow the advice of the contrary party, no longer in power, all would be lost. I always answer as modestly as I can the fears entertained by these latter, because I do not believe in them. No later than yesterday the King assured me of the contrary, and I know that he trusts implicitly in Your Imperial Majesty, who, besides, has given him no occasion to think otherwise. To this they answer that the King does not entirely open his heart to me, but has secret thoughts, which he only imparts to one or other of his favorite damsels, telling them how he is preparing for war, the means he has to carry it on successfully, the obstacles he can raise in Your Majesty's path, how he can promote the invasion of Hungary by the Grand Turk, Barbarossa's piratical excursions in the Mediterranean, and so forth. Of all these things I am perfectly aware, having lately obtained most reliable information from one of the said damsels.
In addition to the above, I must say that the ambassadors of England and Venice are more solicitous than ever, calling almost every day on the privy councillors, and negociating with them. What the negociations may be about I cannot tell—such is the secrecy kept—but to judge from appearances the subject must be an interesting (fn. n25) one for the parties concerned. Some think that it may be some league or other of the three powers; but, if so, for what purpose, or against whom? The Papal Nuncio, with whom I hold frequent conferences, is of my opinion, though I must say that he is both anxious and suspicious at the frequent meetings of the ambassadors. Were I to state my own opinion in the matter, I should say that a league and confederacy between France, England, and Venice is certainly being negociated nowadays; but I think, also, that until the present no conclusion whatever has been arrived at, at least with England, lest the king of that country should be charged one of these days with having broken his word. On the other hand, it seems as if some progress had been made, in order that, should the plan arrive at maturity, both the kings [of France and England] may meet half way, and then declare against Your Majesty. (fn. n26)
An ambassador of the duke of Saxony has arrived here, who, on his first audience from the King, remained for more than one hour and a half with him, the King's chancellor being also present. As far as I understand, the ambassador spoke, among other subjects, of the help and assistance which the Duke, his master, and other German princes intend giving the duke of Clèves in case of Your Imperial Majesty invading Ghelders. If this be true, there is reason to believe that the German princes above alluded to will make a league together, and, perhaps, also join that which is now being, negociated here, under the excuse of the king of England's marriage with the daughter of Mr. de Labrit (d'Albret), which marriage, according to my own private information, has not yet been decided upon, for it appears that this king, upon consideration, is not so much in favor of it as he was at the beginning, and is now trying to delay his consent until he sees the result of the expedition against Ghelders, for which, as they believe, Your Imperial Majesty is already making preparations. The ambassadors who took to Clèves a copy of the stipulations of the treaty have not yet returned here, though I think the conditions are not of such a nature, or so hard, that the Duke can reject them, considering the stress in which he himself is, and the greatness of the protector he is trying to secure against Your Majesty.
Should these premises turn out true, Your Imperial Majesty may be sure that there will be war, for this king will help and assist, as much as he can, the Duke in retaining possession of Ghelders, whilst he will try, as he has done at other times, to recover the kingdom of Navarre, which he says belongs to France. This last he can do openly or underhand, by making Monsr. de Labrit (d'Albret) believe—for otherwise he could not—that he would never have consented to the English marriage without some engagement or promise respecting the above two points. Of these things there is already a talk, and the matter will be soon in everybody's mouth. As a proof of that, Mons. d'Ezcarra has lately informed me that the plan is for the Duke to place 15,000 German foot and 1,300 men-at-arms on his frontier, whilst this King is to furnish a contingent of 6,000 adventurers, 500 men-at-arms, and 800 light cavalry, and as much ordnance as may be wanted; Mons. de Labrit 10,000 foot from Gascony, besides 500 men-at-arms, to accomplish which he has left Court and gone to his estates in the south of France, and has already made, with bankers and merchants of Lyons and other places, a secret contract to obtain a loan of 500 or perhaps one million of crowns on mortgage upon his property. With that money, and the help of his allies, Mons. de Labrit will try his luck, as a smaller number of Germans might be sufficient for all purposes, according to the time and season when the undertaking against Navarre begins. Mons. d'Ezcarra says that, such being the case, the King will take half his Germans, and, with 6,000 more Italians and 1,000 men at-arms, try and effect a diversion on the side of Perpignan. In this manner, by promoting war and attacking Your Majesty's frontiers, will king Francis obtain possession of Milan, in spite of Your Majesty, either by sending to Italy, at the head of his army, the duke of Orleans (Charles de Valois), or compelling you, as it were, to give him the investiture of the Duchy. Besides these and other means which the King has of aggravating Your Imperial Majesty, and forcing you to comply with his terms, he is now trying to ally himself for that purpose with the king of Denmark, the duke of Saxony, the landgrave of Hesse, and others, that they may help, with 10,000 Germans, to maintain the duke of Clèves in the possession of Ghelders.
Until now there has been no talk of the English king having joined the confederacy against Your Imperial Majesty, owing principally to his divorce from Anne de Clèves; (fn. n27) and yet the gentleman he lately sent to authorize in a certain manner the marriage of Labrit's daughter, is still here for the purpose, as it is said, of inducing the Most Christian king, whose friendship he wishes to preserve, to write an affectionate letter to the duke of Clèves, begging him to tolerate his sister's divorce without showing offence at it, that he (the Duke) may thereby secure the co-operation of England and the possession of Ghelders, by which means both the King and the Duke are, as it were, in this king's hands, and will ultimately serve his projects.
The above is in substance what Mons. d'Ezcurra tells me of the Most Christian's projects. He shows good will for Your Majesty's service, and wishes to be employed wherever he can be of use. I believe in what he says, and that this king wishes for an opportunity to declare war to Your Majesty openly. That is the general opinion here, and it is also mine; for a great personage of this realm was heard to say the other day that the King can now make war upon you with advantage, though there are two great drawbacks in the matter; one is lack of experienced captains to lead the men, or of a fit commander-in-chief for the army (alluding no doubt to the High Constable, who is both old and infirm); the other that there is not money enough to suffice for so many wants. In short, there are as in any opinions on this point as there are winds. (fn. n28) I think, therefore, that the King will be unable to compass them all, much less undertake at once so many things; that fear, more than anything else, is what makes Monsr. d'Ezcurra speak out in this manner, and that what he wants is some remedy or other for the evils which he foresees are in store. That a radical one is necessary in all cases, and especially in this particular one, cannot be doubted, because, if I am to tell the truth, though I have done my best to penetrate this King's real intentions, I have hitherto been unable to guess what he is about. My impression is that he is more inclined to war than to peace with Your Imperial Majesty, and that, whenever he finds the opportunity, and considers it advantageous for himself, he will commence hostilities. Meanwhile, he will have Your Majesty molested and worried in your own dominions, both in Spain and in Flanders, so as to prevent in all possible ways your aggrandizement, of which he is remarkably envious. Indeed this jealousy of his, joined to his ambitious projects about Milan, which keep him in a continual state of irritation, are the cause of all those who know him despairing of a lasting peace between Your Imperial Majesty and him. As to present negociations, I cannot hope, from what I see and hear, that they will ever come to a satisfactory issue, because such are this King's ambition and lust of power, that he will never be satisfied; the more he has, the greater will be his pretensions for the future. This opinion of mine respecting king Francis and his projects is by no means intended to deter Your Imperial Majesty from treating with him of peace on terms equally advantageous for both the contracting parties, but only in order that Your Imperial Majesty may choose the best means of securing that peace. This very day, and whilst I am writing this despatch, the Dauphin's wife was suddenly attacked by a catarrh, which brought her within two inches of death, so much so, that she was senseless for a space of eight hours; she could neither hear nor speak, all those who attended on her giving her up for dead. Though she has since recovered from her attack, she is still in a precarious state.
The young Count Palatine has returned to his estates after accepting service under the Most Christian with an annual pension of 6,000 ducats, on condition of keeping always in readiness twenty battalions (banderas) of German infantry, which he is to command in case of war. This will show this King's military preparations. Some time before he had retained in his service a number of captains of that nation, whose names I transmitted to Your Majesty in a former despatch, granting them commissions for thirty other battalions (banderas) of infantry, and it is to be presumed that if war is declared, they will choose the oldest and most experienced soldiers that can be procured in Germany, unless Your Imperial Majesty orders a levy to be made beforehand. In addition to this there is still a talk of a marriage between the eldest son of the duke of Guise with the daughter of Pier Luigi [Farnese], and the rumour is that the negociations for that marriage will soon be resumed, for the purpose, as it is said, of detaching His Holiness from Your Majesty's alliance, and bringing him over to this king's side, on the plea that the house of Lorraine has a right to, and claim on, the kingdom of Sicily, and that the Pope may decide in favor of Guise. Such is the rumour afloat; although not well authenticated, there is some likelihood in it, to judge from what the Germans themselves are doing in favor of this king, by annoying and molesting Your Imperial Majesty in every possible way. Meanwhile the French are by this and other means trying to obtain from His Holiness the concession of the half-fruits on all ecclesiastical benefices (beneficios) in the kingdom, and in this manner the King will collect in France and other countries, in the space of six months, a sum of six millions of francs. Lastly, the count della Mirandola has lately received the Order of St. Michael, which this King has just sent him to keep him at his devotion.
The King sent some days ago Monsr. de Trumel, one of his chamberlains, to the frontier of Picardy, to inspect the fortified towns, their garrisons and ammunitions. I understand that this is done every year, and yet I cannot help thinking that this measure forms part of the military preparations above alluded to, and that Your Imperial Majesty must also be prepared with some useful alliances in that quarter, or else insist upon the fulfilment of the treaties between yourself and the king of France, in order that if the war breaks out, the rupture may not be ascribed to you, because, as said above, this king spares no money to fortify his frontiers, and especially those of Picardy.
Spanish. Original. pp. 6½.


  • n1. "Ya acá teniamos la nueva de la persona (sic provision?) que hizo Juanetin Doria."
  • n2. That is Philip, born on the 21st May 1527; Maria on the 21st June 1528; and Juana (Joanna) on the 24th of the same month 1535.
  • n3. D. Fernando de Silva, count de Cifuentes, the same who had been Charles' ambassador at Rome until he was replaced by the marquis de Aguilar. On his return to Spain in 1537 he was appointed "camarero mayor de los Princepes," and died in 1546. See Introduction to Vol. V., Part II., p. xiv.
  • n4. That is Joanna, the mother of Charles. She lived at Tordesillas till the eleventh of April 1555, at the age of 76.
  • n5. That is D. Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas, second marquis of Denia, and first count of Lerma, keeper at Tordesillas of Joanna the Crazy, widow of Philip and mother of Charles V.
  • n6. Philip, landgrave of Hesse.
  • n7. Cardinal Loaysa, one of the councillors, and archbishop of Seville, 1538–46.
  • n8. "Y pues V. S. vee quan bien podria Su Magestad ser soccorido, si algo succediere, estando por asá, yo tambien le suplico que sobresto se haga grand instancia, que no podrá dejar de hacer mucho fructo."
  • n9. The transcript of this letter is placed among those of 1541, but wrongly, since the date is evidently 1540.
  • n10. "Ezcarra, Ezcarren (?) Segun que me ha dicho el Sr d'Escurra, que lo ha sabido del Señor Antonio de la Cruz, hermano bastardo del Sr de Labrit, al qual Madama de Navarra ha hablado confidentemente, y debido hacer cargo por la empresa de Navarra."
  • n11. Here the copy from Paris reads Lymours. Could it be Limoges, Limouges, Limousin (?) or is it a blunder of the copyist?
  • n12. The original reads La Naur, which I think is a mistake for La Vaur; if so the bishop of Lavaur is meant.
  • n13. "Pidiole que le dexase dormir en palacio; scusose con dezir que Andalo dexó concertado con Su Santd que hasta thener respuesta de V. Md se estoviesen asi las cosas, y pues venia cansado de la posta que se fuese a reposar."
  • n14. "Es muy necesario que se haga justicia porque su dicho saven todos, y lo que despues del ha escrito por su mano lo desmiente el frayle por justicia con escrivano publicamente, es conocido de pocos de manera que nosotros siempre seremos culpados, y Madama no quedara libre."
  • n15. Que habian visto la cabeza enfonçada con el notario del Crimen.
  • n16. "Ni escrevir a vrã Mt hasta thener su respuesta, que despues la hara entender [lo] que debemos en esto a los criados de V. Mt, que en las otras cosas por haber querido (sic) lebar culpada á [la hija de] vrã Mt y a nosotros por bellacos."
  • n17. The copy is in Bergenroth's hand, but either the handwriting of Hurtado was bad, or his style and orthography defective; the fact is that some passages of it are rather obscure.
  • n18. "Escriven que el Rey de Inglaterra dexava la hermana del duque de Clèves, con quien estava casado poco tiempo ha, diziendo que antes era casada con otro[y] desposada, que no es mala nucva para estar el duque de Clèves con intencion de valerse de aquel rey para la ocupacion de Gheldres."
  • n19. The letter is only a minute and has no signature. There are, however, reasons to suppose that it was written by Vazquez de Molina, the secretary of the Council of Regency at this time. Luys Sarmiento [de Mendoza], to whom the letter is addressed, was Imperial ambassador in Portugal.
  • n20. Ennet in the copy—a very defective one, as almost all made for Bergenroth at Paris of papers proceeding from Simancas—but I have not hesitated in changing it to Lunel, in the dep. of Heraut, where king Francis stayed for some time in 1540.
  • n21. Hâvre de Grace.
  • n22. "Que está en el extremo, y no son el uno ni el otro assegurados hasta agora de la vida."
  • n23. "Despues passará por Rocion, por donde va el camino para Fontanebleu, a vendimiar la viña de dicho señor Rey."
  • n24. "Con Mma d'Etampes, que es cabeza del Consejo mas privado."
  • n25. "El asunto debe de interesar mucho."
  • n26. "Quanto a mi, sire, segund que yo puedo conjeturar, se tracta de liga; mas pienso que la conclusion no se ha hecho hasta agora, á lo menos con Inglaterra, porque no se pueda al Rey imputar rotura de las cosas prometidae, u as paresee que se va ganando la delaniera por sy se viniere â declarar tener la cosa medio hecha."
  • n27. Anne de Clèves' divorce was made public on the 9th of July.
  • n28. "En una palabra son, tantas las opiniones y paresceres en la materia cuantoa son los vientos en el quadrante."