Spain: October 1540

Pages 273-286

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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October 1540, 1-31

Oct. 1. 129. D'Andalot to the Marquis de Aguilar.
S. E., L. 869,
ff. 201–2.
M. Add. 28,593,
f. 190.
The mode and form of the proceedings which I, Andalot, propose instituting in order to ascertain the truth of Fath. Palavicino's deposition against Lope Hurtado, his wife, and other persons of Madame's household, is as follows:—
That Fath. Palavicino be examined by me (Andalot) in the presence of persons qualified and chosen for that purpose, according to the instructions received from His Imperial Majesty, and the truth of the charges he (the Father) once brought—and which he has since disowned by holograph letters of his own—against Lope Hurtado and his wife be inquired into.
Should he (Palavicino) declare that the letters contradicting his former testimony are true and authentic, then, in that case, I, together with the judges appointed for the purpose, will bear witness that Lope Hurtado, his wife, and the rest concerned in the accusation, are to be declared free and innocent of the charges brought against them; and moreover will recommend that, with His Holiness' approval, a letter be written to His Imperial Majesty, as well as a Papal breve to Lope Hurtado, stating that he may go away from Rome whenever he pleases with His Holiness' good grace and that of his (the Farnese) family. And that it is His Holiness' wish that the friar Palavicino be no further examined in the case, and that the proceedings against Lope Hurtado, his wife, and the said friar be stayed.
Having shown this to Lope Hurtado, and asked whether he was satisfied with the above outline of what I (Andalot) propose doing in the affair, he [Don Lope] answered that he was pleased with the arrangement, provided His Holiness gave his consent to it all.
The friar once examined in the manner proposed by me (Andalot), his declarations to be placed in the hands of two cardinals, for them to decide whether there be culpability on the part of Lope Hurtado and his wife or not; if there be any, let them be indicted and defend themselves against the accusation, and should the defence be considered sufficient, let His Holiness absolve them de procenatu and annul omnes confessiones ac processus factos in the cause. Lope Hurtado having read the above memorandum, he also approved of it entirely, adding that should His Holiness disapprove of the former, and choose this latter mode of proceeding in the affair, he (Hurtado) should have no objection whatever to offer.
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
n.d. 130. The Articles drawn out by Giovanne Montepulchano for Jean de Andalot.
S. E., L. 869.
M. Add. 28,593,
f. 192.
The judicial way of proceeding against Don Lope [Hurtado], his wife, and the rest named in the declaration of Frate Palavicino, would be that, charged as he and the rest are with very grievous offences against the honor of His Holiness and also that of the Emperor, Don Lope and the others should at once surrender themselves prisoners. That the wife of the former should also be secluded in a monastery of nuns, there to be examined, and, upon their denying the facts, be confronted with friar Palavicino, who has said and declared again and again that he is ready to appear and be confronted with the accused, sure as he (Palavicino) is that they will not dare deny the facts in his presence. Should it be found, after such confronting, that friar Palavicino is a liar, let the parties, that is Lope Hurtado, his wife, and the rest, be absolved by sentence. Should the contrary appear, justice must have its course, and a time be fixed for the accused to prepare their defence, &c.
[This is followed by letters from Andalot to Lope Hurtado, and from the latter to Andalot and Montepulchano, some in Italian, others in Spanish.]
Italian. Original. pp. 5.
Oct. 11. 131. Cardinal Tavera to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 119,
f. 166–70.
B. M. Add. 28,593,
f. 194.
Your Majesty's letter of the 16th ulto. came duly to hand, after dispatching the last messenger with our answer to previous letters. That will dispense us from writing on the points then referred to. With regard to Bona, things must have passed as Your Majesty says. When Francisco Duarte wrote that it was wise to keep Bona until the negociation (platica) with Barbarossa should come to an end one way or another—lest it should be said hereafter that Your Majesty had failed in your promises to that corsair-captain—neither prince Doria nor the viceroy of Sicily (Gonzaga) had received Your Majesty's orders from Lovayna (Louvain), enjoining them to attend to Duarte's advice. In case of the negociation with Barbarossa coming to an end, they were to accept the terms offered by the king of Tunis, on condition, however, of the coral-fisheries in the island of Tabarca remaining, as they are now, at Your Majesty's disposal, and Bona itself receiving a garrison of Spanish infantry, till it should be known whether Barbarossa was in earnest or was acting with duplicity. It must be said, however, that, considering the evidence in our hands; considering that Barbarossa has lately had his son married in Constantinople, and what Juan de Aguirre, and Hernando de Segura have since related, on the authority of Dr. Romero, very little reliance, if any, can be placed on that corsair's words. Indeed, prince Doria has since written that it is far preferable for Your Majesty's service, and the security of your own dominions, that the king of Tunis should remain in possession of Bona, than let that place fall into the hands of the Turks, who are apt to break their word whenever it suits them; in addition to which the possession of that town would enable them to do greater harm to Christendom. That is why Your Imperial Majesty's resolution that the Spanish infantry when once in Naples or Sicily should go to Bona—if not to Susa or Monesterio—for winter quarters seems to us a very wise one. Besides which Naples and Sicily will thus be relieved from the expense of victualling the Spaniards, and they themselves will be more at hand in case of emergency on that coast, though, on the other hand, it is not probable that they will remain long in Africa without pay, and with their daily food only.
It appears that the captain, whom Joanetin Doria took prisoner of war, declared, when interrogated by him, that when captured he was going to Algiers to join the fleet in that port, and then invade our eastern coast, which intelligence agrees well with that received from other parts, and if it be true, as Barbarossa asserts, that he has ordered his galleys not to move from that port, one of two things must be inferred, either that the corsair's commands are no longer obeyed at Algiers, or else that he is guilty of double-dealing with us.
Owing to the above reasons, we all here are of opinion that the undertaking against Susa, Monesterio (Monastir), and other towns occupied by the Turks in Africa, which prince Doria recommended some time ago, ought by no means to be abandoned, and that the Spanish infantry should be employed in preventing the Turks from penetrating into the kingdom of Tunis, and that Bona itself be either restored to the King on favorable conditions or abandoned altogether, after razing its fortifications to the ground, which, after all, seems to us the best expedient to adopt, for it is quite certain that should that town fall next winter into the hands of the Turks, they will thereby become masters of all the African coast, having, as they have, possession already of the kingdom of Algiers, and Your Majesty will be obliged to prepare another powerful fleet and army for the purpose of defending or recovering the said kingdom of Tunis, as it may be; for although the keeping of Bona with a sufficient garrison of Spaniards might still be of use, as above stated, for defending that kingdom from Turkish invasion, yet it must be borne in mind that the garrison will be unable to remain long in it with food only; the men will also require money for dress, for they cannot possibly be in winter without clothing and shoes and other articles of indispensable necessity.
Your Majesty's orders to the viceroy of Sicily (Gonzaga) respecting the victualling of La Goleta and Tunis were immediately forwarded, with such recommendations on our part as were then deemed necessary. We sent him also the memoranda of Don Francisco de Tobar and Alvar Gomez. The same was done respecting the fortifications of La Goleta; the orders were sent to the viceroy of Sicily and to prince Doria.
On the arrival of Alvar Gomez, who has been recalled, Your Majesty's orders respecting him shall be punctually executed. At present, if what Commander Giron, as well as Martin Niño and the others, writes about him turns out true, there is cause for proceeding against him. The whole inquiry will be placed in the hands of the Commander.
Scarcity and dearth of bread in Andalucia; yet, with the mere announcement of the provision that is to come from Sicily, the price has gone down to seven, eight, and ten reals the "fanega" (sack) in Andalucia, and in Extramadura to one ducat. It is to be hoped that on the arrival of the corn the price will be still lower, as I wrote by Don Pedro de la Guerra. The viceroy of Sicily sent the other day 1,000 "salmas" of it to Mallorca, to make biscuit for the imperial galleys—a very wise measure, under the circumstances, considering that the galleys lose the greater part of the summer in sailing backwards and forwards to Malaga to load biscuit. The Viceroy and Regent (fn. n1) in the island have been written to on the subject, and 800 ducats forwarded to pay for the "nolitas" (freights) of the ships that brought the corn from Sicily.
Half-fruits—Mesta (fn. n2)
All the letters and despatches of Your Majesty's ambassadors relating to the affairs of France—the marriage of the duke of Clèves with the daughter of Mr. de Labrit, and the league made, as it was understood, for the defence of the duchy of Ghelders; the overtures of Mr. de Labrit himself to the Imperial ambassador, offering the hand of his daughter for the Prince [Philip], son of Your Majesty, and declaring what steps he meant to take in order to get her out of king Francis' hands, and what his conditions were should the offer of marriage be accepted—have been duly received and examined in Council, and our opinion concerning the last, and perhaps too the most important, point is this: There can be no doubt that the proposed marriage has its advantages, if carried into effect with king Francis' consent, for prince Philip might thereby be greatly benefited in what touches Navarre and the French claims upon it; but, on the other hand, it is very unlikely that such a marriage can take place without that King's knowledge, for in the first place it appears almost impossible to take the bride out of France, either by land or sea, without people becoming aware of it, especially if the people placed next her person are, as it is right to suppose, chosen by king Francis himself, or by his sister, Madame de Labrit (Marguerite). Even supposing that they were not so, and that they might be bribed, the lady could not leave France without the King being made aware of it, thus giving a pretext and excuse for the King to break the truce. Nor could we, in such an event, allege as a sufficient justification for our connivance in her escape from France what Mr. de Labrit himself has said to the Imperial ambassador concerning the league between king Francis, the dukes of Clèves and Saxony, and the landgraf of Hesse for the defence of Ghelders, for no sooner would king Francis hear of it than he would invade and occupy Mr. de Labrit's dominions without the least opposition. Indeed, we cannot see what defence that Prince could make, nor how we ourselves could assist him during the winter, and when the passes (puertos) in the Pyrenees are closed by the snow. On the other hand, Don Enrique's conditions are such that whatever lands king Francis took from him would be so much loss of reputation for your Majesty, if you allowed it. Even supposing that the daughter was safe out of France, and could be married to the Prince, we cannot see what security there is—should his wife, who, as Your Majesty knows is old, die—of the prince not marrying again; for if he did so, and had children by his second wife, who shall say that, notwithstanding all renunciations, cessions of rights and donations, the legitimate sons of his second marriage, if any, would not claim the very same right that their father had or pretended to have on Navarre?
Besides, the very exorbitance of the conditions proposed is such that we are inclined to think that Mr. de Labrit does not desire it as much as he says, for otherwise he would have been more moderate in his demands, and not let us suspect, as we all do, that perhaps the proposition has been made with the King's consent and knowledge, or at least with that of his sister, which comes to nearly the same.
Our opinion, therefore, has been, and is still, that the difficulty, not to say total impossibility, of accomplishing the said marriage is so notoriously evident, and at the same time so fraught with danger of all kinds, that the idea of such a marriage ought to be abandoned. Indeed, the despatches of Your Imperial Majesty's ambassador in France, as well as the intelligence since received from other quarters, tend to prove that king Francis is planning and intriguing everywhere, all with a view to oblige Your Imperial Majesty to accede to his wishes, and grant him what he wants.
From the contents of the letter which Mr. de Granvelle wrote to his brother-in-law, the ambassador, and which we have perused attentively, it is evident that the offer which Your Imperial Majesty has made of the person of your own son, prince Philip, for the daughter of king Francis—an offer so liberal and handsome that it could not emanate from political or interested views, but merely from your own good wishes, as a Christian prince, your love of peace, and your abhorrence of the evils caused by war—could not be surpassed, whereas king Francis' refusal to accept such liberal terms for the consolidation of peace show clearly that he is aiming solely and exclusively at the possession of Milan, not, indeed, for the duke of Orleans, as before, with the securities and conditions stipulated, but to incorporate the same into the crown of France.
We wrote last respecting the orders sent to the viceroys of Naples and Catalonia, as well as to Sancho Martinez de Leyva, and to the captains and governors of Roussillon, enjoining them to go and inspect the castles and fortresses of their respective frontiers. The viceroy of Catalonia had not visited his since taking the command of that province. New orders have again been issued for each of them to make a visit of inspection, and the governors of Navarre and Guipuzcoa have been told to be ready in case of emergency, but to make their preparations as secretly as possible. With regard to D. Francés de Beamonte, whom Your Majesty has ordered to the Roussillon frontier, with express commands to the governor of Perpignan to deliver that fortress and town into his hands, and take that of Salses instead: after mature deliberation, the Council has resolved, as announced by Don Pedro de la Guerra, not to execute that order until Your Imperial Majesty is again consulted thereupon, for the said Don Francés is so disliked and hated in that town and province, and the dissensions and scandals between him and the people of Perpignan have reached such a pitch, that they have earnestly requested and begged that he should be removed and sent somewhere else. Should an invasion of the enemy take place on that side of the frontier, not only would the said Don Francés be unable to get the citizens to help him, but he would require a special guard to defend his person. For the above reason we venture to say that Don Francés is the last person to whom the defence of Perpignan could be entrusted under the circumstances, and therefore beg Your Majesty to reconsider the matter, and send Don Francés de Beamont, who is otherwise able to do good service, elsewhere. Meanwhile an order has been sent to the viceroy of Catalonia to repair to the frontier of Roussillon, and do the work required until Your Majesty decides who is to go thither.
Don Juan de Albion, governor (alcayde) of Perpignan, had orders from us to go to Salses and inspect its fortifications. He did so, but the lieutenant-governor of the latter fortress delayed so long the delivery of the place that it was necessary to write to the Viceroy and to Juan Muñoz de Salazar about it. It would be necessary also for the better security of the town of Perpignan, should the French, as they threaten, invade on that side, to grant an annuity to the many citizens who, for one cause or other, are fugitives from the place, with the exception, perhaps, of two or three of them, whose crimes are enormous. The viceroy of Catalonia, or the person Your Imperial Majesty might appoint to the charge of captain-general and the inspection of Roussillon, might, on his arrival, grant the annuity, as if it had been obtained at his intercession.
The above-mentioned despatches of the Imperial ambassador at the Court of France allude also to certain licences granted by king Francis to his subjects to sail for the East and West Indies. Immediately after the receipt of Your Majesty's letter on this subject, we wrote to Luis Sarmiento, enclosing a copy of that letter, and requesting him to call on the King, and ascertain from him what measure he intends to take against the injury intended. No answer has yet come, but, slow as the Portuguese generally are in their deliberations, it is not yet too late to expect it.
Of the recess of the Haghenau Diet, the conferences (colloquio) of Vormes, the departure of Mr. de Grandvelle from Ghent, (fn. n3) the Diet convoked for Ratisbone, and Your Imperial Majesty's determination to visit all those towns of the Low Countries previously visited, so as to be at Milan next spring, we have been duly informed.
The death of king John of Hungary could not have happened at a worse time, considering the state in which the affairs of Christendom are. Please God that the determination of the king of the Romans may be successful, for it is to be feared that the intrigues of the French king will mar the effect, for already it is asserted that a message has been sent to the Grand Turk advising him to take under his protection the son of the late king.
After the departure of Pedro de la Guerra with the news of the capture by Don Bernardino de Mendoza of the galleys and galeotas which had sacked Gibraltar, one of those that were in the fight has come and related that Don Bernardino had anchored at Malaga, that the wound he had received in the head was not dangerous, and that he was already recovering from it. It had not yet been ascertained how many Turks had died, nor how many were still alive and prisoners; but it was believed that their number would amount to 500 between Turks and Moors, besides 600 or 700 Christian slaves manning the oars, who had been released from captivity. Our loss consisted of about 100 killed, many more wounded.
Luis Sarmiento has been written to concerning the false doubloons (doblones), and the fleet of war-ships for the Indies.—Madrid, xi Oct. 1540.
Spanish. Original. pp. 24.
14 Oct. 132. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 869,
f. 100.
B. M. Add. 28,592,
f. 206.
Wrote on the 19th in answer to the letters and papers brought by Mons. de Andalot. Since then His Imperial Majesty's letter of the 13th has come to hand. Was about to send an express messenger to advise His Holiness' answer, and what had been done in the affair concerning Madame, the Duchess, when his brother, the Cardinal, was suddenly taken so ill that within the week it pleased God to take him. The Emperor has lost in him a good servant, and his death has also been much felt by His Holiness, as well as by all his colleagues in the Sacred College. As to himself (the Marquis) and his sons the loss is wholly irreparable. The Cardinal's death was caused by a pestilential fever, caught no doubt from cardinal Borja at the time lodging with him, and whom he attended during the short illness which carried him off. After cardinal Borja's death cardinal Manrique never rallied, and went on rapidly declining until he himself died, from which some people have inferred that both had died of poison. The former account, however, seems the more probable one.
Alluded in one of the 22nd ulto. to the fact that His Holiness had been pleased to revoke the nomination of Giovan Matheo [Gibesti], the bishop of Verona, for the Diet (colloquio) of Worms.
18 Oct. 133. The Same and Mr. de Granvelle to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 869,
f. 104.
B. M. Add. 28,592,
f. 216.
His Holiness was thankful for his inquiries on the health of the duke of Camarino. The application for the 2,000 infantry in aid of the Hungarian campaign was renewed. Should the Turk invade that country, as it is believed he will do, notwithstanding the truce made with the king of the Romans, the Pope promised to send thither the stipulated contingent. With regard to his contribution in money His Holiness answered in general words, but without specifying the sum he intended giving.
The confirmation of the Catholic League, and the sum His Holiness is to contribute towards it, was likewise discussed, when, after many excuses, the matter was satisfactorily settled.
As to sending a prelate to Germany for the reformation of ecclesiastics, His Holiness made no difficulty at all, proposing at once the bishops of Verona and Modena, besides one Venetian; the final election to be made on the Pope's return to Rome. Meanwhile the instructions for those elected will be prepared.
The Council, &c.—The truce with France—No hope whatever of the defensive Italian League against Francis, nor of the Pope contributingt o its expenses—Archbishop of Valencia.
No movement to be apprehended for the present in Italy as far as the French are concerned. True is it that a rumour is afloat of their trying to procure bills on Germany for 600,000 ducats, and 600,000 more on other countries; but there is no foundation for it. At Bologna, however, they are trying to get 100,000.
There is also a talk of Xatillon (Chastillon) going to Portugal to ask for the hand of the Infanta Doña Maria, on the plea that the queen of France (Eleanor), her mother, wishes to have her in her company, and that a safe-conduct has accordingly been applied for, that the Bishop may travel through Castille.
The abbey of St. Michel, belonging to the duke of Savoy, is still occupied by king Francis. They (Aguilar and Granvelle) have remonstrated against it.
Sfrondato, the Milanese senator, has gone to Sena fully instructed by us as to what he is to do there.
Complained of the late Papal bull granted to cardinal Triulzo, giving him ecclesiastical jurisdiction over certain castles of the Astesan, and compelling the garrisons and inhabitants to swear fidelity and obedience to him as bishop of that territory. The answer was that the Archbishop's proceedings had been suspended until the matter should be looked into.
His Holiness is much pleased at his son the Cardinal having been appointed protector of Germany at Rome. As to his Nuncio Pogio (fn. n4) having been named by His Imperial Majesty for the bishopric of Tropea, that is a favor which the Pope values more than if it had been granted to one of his own grandsons.—[Rome], 18 Oct. 1540.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
23 Oct. 134. Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
W., Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
ff. 3–4.
On the 12th inst. the packet containing the grievances complained of by some of the Emperor's subjects came to hand. I immediately applied for an audience from the King's Privy Council, which was granted for the next day, two of its principal members, namely, the Admiral, and the Lord Privy Seal, having been deputed to call first upon me to know what my business was. When the two said councillors had heard from my lips the nature of the complaints of the ship-owners and merchants of Antwerp and other places, they at once gave me hope of redress, and promised to do everything in their power to obtain the same. Indeed, the councillors having on the very same day reported on the nature of my claim, the King gave orders to examine the treaties of commerce between England and the Low Countries, and again report to him thereupon, promising besides that whatever the opinion of his Privy Council might be, he himself would mediate in favor of my application.
I will do my best to get as favorable an answer as the case requires, and, although the packet containing the memorials and papers of the Antwerp merchants came rather late—having been upwards of 15 days on the road—I hope to be able in two or three days to say what the resolution of the Council has been, and at the same time state my own opinion of the whole matter.
These councillors' daily doings and sayings make me believe that their alliance with the French has somewhat cooled of late, and that their aim at present is to introduce some sort of jealousy and suspicion between the Emperor and king Francis. Indeed, they keep telling me on every occasion that at all times their friendship and confederacy with His Imperial Majesty had been more solidly and firmly established than any of the French with the Empire, giving as a proof of their assertion the unjustifiable practices of their king with the Turk, with the Pope, the Venetians, and the duke of Clèves, as Your Majesty will more readily understand by my long letters to the Emperor on the subject. From these hints and innuendoes on the part of the privy councillors I tried at first to disengage myself as graciously as possible by appearing to take no notice of them, as the present alliance and friendship between the Emperor and the king of England seems to demand; but the councillors, observing my reluctance to go further into the question, went on saying that, according to a rumour sprung up in France, my return to England, as Imperial ambassador, was for the purpose of soliciting and bringing forward the Emperor's marriage to the Princess (Mary), which, if achieved, would be a great source of displeasure for the French. And they proceeded to say that if my mission was such I ought no longer to tarry, but seize the opportunity and declare it at once, for the King, their master, was disposed to do anything for the sake of maintaining and binding anew the present alliance.
All this the councillors told me for no other purpose, as I take it, than to hear whether I had any overtures to make. Nor can I say with certainty whether they spoke in the King's name, or for their own profit and advancement—Your Majesty's superior judgment will decide.
After hearing the request and demand of the Dunkercke merchants, the King sent me word that they may send for the quantity of timber they want, (fn. n5) and that when seen and inspected by the custom-house officers, an equally convenient settlement will be made.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "To the Queen. From the ambassador in England. Received at Cambray, the 3rd of November 1540."
French. Original. pp. 2.
31 Oct. 135. Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., C.
Fasc. 332,
ff. 6–9.
Although I have almost incessantly solicited from these people an answer to my note respecting the novelties and oppressive measures introduced in their tariff, there was no possibility of obtaining one until yesterday morning, when I received from the Privy Council an official notice to this effect: That the King, after weighing and considering the substance, as well as the letter, of the treaties between Your Majesty and himself, did not think that either the statutes of his kingdom or the ordinances lately promulgated contravened the former, or impaired in the least the good and reciprocal unity and mutual good understanding. He (the King) thought that it was allowable—nay, necessary—for him to introduce such policy in his kingdom as might purge the land from a number of wicked and scandalous people infected with heresy, who were continually coming to England. As to merchants and other worthy people from foreign parts, the measures were in nowise intended against them; the King does not expel them from his kingdom; on the contrary he wishes them to remain, and will give them every opportunity of doing so to their profit.
With regard to the grant and subsidy, which the merchants of this kingdom have lately granted him, the King intends making such use of it that Your Majesty's subjects may have no occasion whatever to complain.
As to the ordinance forbidding foreign merchants to lade goods or merchandize except in English bottoms, unless they pay the usual custom-duties in full, the measure (the Council asserted) did not affect in the least or injure Your Majesty's subjects; on the contrary, the measure was highly beneficial to them, inasmuch as should Your Majesty be pleased to do the same in your dominions, neither the King nor the Council would object in the least; they would only wish Your Majesty to grant the merchants of these countries the privilege of lading goods in the Low Countries, as well as in Spain, in vessels owned by Your Majesty's subjects. (fn. n6) This is the substance of the answer I have just received from the King's Privy Council, couched in the most polite and flattering terms, begging me to use my best offices towards Your Majesty for the whole to be accepted.
The same sort of answer, as to substance and terms, was yesterday put into the hands of the French ambassador, although, as I had the honour to say in my last despatch but one, that which he had previously received was rather sharp. Yet, with all that, and notwithstanding the fine words and persuasions of the Privy Council, the ambassador has not been convinced, and holds that the statutes and new ordinances in commercial affairs are in contravention of the treaties between this King and the Most Christian. So dissatisfied seems the ambassador to be with the answer he has received, that having this very morning expressly sent to him one of my own men to ask what remedy he thought the King, his master, would apply to the evil, he answered that he did not know yet, but was sure that measures of retaliation would be taken promptly. Were I to be asked to state my opinion on the subject, I should not hesitate to say, under correction, that the two first points in the note do not seem to me of such importance as to necessitate a revise, as I have already stated in my last despatches. That forbidding foreign vessels to trade with this country seems to me to be highly detrimental to Your Majesty's subjects, and especially to the ship-owners (maronniers) of Antwerp, who cannot easily employ their vessels except in the trade with this country, whence they must needs return without a cargo to their great loss. (fn. n7) True is it that this state of things cannot last longer than five years, which is the period of time assigned in the ordinance, and yet such a privilege to the English merchants would be injurious to the skippers of the Low Countries. It would be advisable, therefore, that Your Majesty ordered the same thing to be practised in your dominions, for, as I pointed out in my last despatch, the shipping interest in Spain, the Low Countries, and the rest of Your Majesty's dominions would be greatly benefited by the measure; skippers would become rich, and those of this country be ruined, and if the king of France promulgated a similar ordinance in his kingdom, the English would look twice before they enforced theirs. I fancy that there is in Spain a rescript (pragmatica) forbidding foreign vessels to load merchandize as long as there are in port national ones; indeed, I am almost sure of it, for I recollect very well this King and his Admiral of the Sea begging me on more than one occasion to intercede with Your Majesty that the said prohibitory rescript should not be carried out. I am not aware whether the said Royal ordinance is or is not in vigor in the Low Countries; if it is not, no better opportunity could be offered than the present to introduce it, since the English themselves give us occasion for it. This could easily be managed, even without invalidating former commercial treaties with this country, or inviting the king of France, who is equally interested, to join in the attempt. I doubt whether in the present state of affairs Christendom might not suffer from measures likely to over-irritate the king of England against Your Imperial Majesty, but since he himself, as I have already observed, owns that you can do the same in your dominions, I do not see much harm in it. Indeed, should this king consider it an offence and resent it, this might be the cause of his trying to become the friend of king Francis, towards whom he now shows some ill-will, and should Your Majesty retaliate, it would not be amiss for the ship-owners of Antwerp, who are most interested in the affair, if an ordinance were promulgated to this effect: that no English merchant should be entitled to maritime privileges unless he loaded on Antwerp ships.
Respecting the tax which the late Emperor Maximilian imposed upon English cloth introduced into Brabant of two florins for each piece, the Lord Privy Seal and the admiral of England spoke to me as if it were a most violent measure, and one opposed to the treaties of commerce between the two countries. As to the proposed inspection of woollen-stuffs at their passage through the Low Countries, neither the two above-mentioned officials nor the remainder of the privy councillors have hitherto made any answer, and therefore it is natural to conclude that those passing on into Spain will be subjected to the same tax. It is likewise just that for want of such formality all woollen-clothes should be confiscated, as the attempt was made in Spain four years ago, which the English merchants were astonished to hear of.
I cannot omit to mention what happened the other day. Having sent one of my men with a message to the Admiral, begging him for a brief answer to the above points, lest in the meantime some retaliatory measures should be taken in the Low Countries, in accordance with the note which Your Majesty was pleased to forward to me, he (the Admiral) told my man that there was no hurry, and that even if the queen regent of Hungary (Mary) and the States General of the Low Countries should decree some measure injurious to the trade of this country, as they had threatened in past times, Your Majesty would not be long in repairing the damage done—which shows that the confidence these people have in Your Majesty emboldens them to this and many other acts.
Last week an Italian physician attached to this King's household, and very familiar with the Lord Privy Seal, came to dine at this embassy on four different days. He is the King's spy, and has come, as I have reason to think, for no other purpose than to learn what I am about, and persuade me to intercede with Your Majesty for a closer and particular friendship and alliance to be made with him and to procure also the Princess' marriage. The Italian at first dissembled as much as he could, trying to make me believe that the suggestions came from him, not from anyone else; yet I had no difficulty in guessing, by various loose remarks he made, who had sent him on to me; for in the course of conversation he alluded to certain facts and words which could not be known to him except through the channel of the Lord Privy Seal.—London, the last day of October 1540.
Addressed: "To the Queen."
French. Original, partly ciphered. pp. 5.
31 Oct. 136. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. 232,
f. 5.
By the enclosed despatch to the Emperor Your Majesty will be able to gather what these people are aiming at now, and what their answer has been to my representations respecting the innovations lately made in their tariff, as well as their oppression of foreign merchants. My own opinion on the subject is also enclosed, according to Your Majesty's wishes.—London, the last day of October 1540.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.


  • n1. By Regent (Regente) the president of the Audiencia or Audit's Court is meant.
  • n2. Mesta was the name of a corporation of sheep-owners.
  • n3. "Y yda de Monsr de Grandvelle delante (de Gante?)."
  • n4. That is Giovanni Poggio, Papal Nuncio to the Emperor from 1534 to 1540. See Vol. V., Part II., p. 277. He was appointed bishop of Tropea in August 1540, cardinal in 1551; he died in 1556.
  • n5. "Que les dits de Dunkercke eussent a envoyer le nombre de bois quilz demandent leuer, et icellui veult leur accordera ce quil trouvera convenir."
  • n6. "Bien entendu quilz vouldroint que vre. majesté donnast aucuns privileges a ceulx des pays de par deça, que chargeroyent aux pays de vre. maieste dans vaisseaulx des subjects dicelle."
  • n7. "Et mesmes pour les maronniers danvers, que ne se peuvent bonnement servir de leur charrues sinon pour venir içi, dou sont contrains (constreins?) retourner sans charge a leur grosee perte."