Spain: September 1538

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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, 'Spain: September 1538', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 1, 1538-1542, (London, 1890) pp. 31-48. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Spain: September 1538", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 1, 1538-1542, (London, 1890) 31-48. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "Spain: September 1538", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 1, 1538-1542, (London, 1890). 31-48. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

September 1538, 1-30

Sept. 8. The Memorandum of the English Ambassadors.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. 231.
ff. 136–7.
Whereas the Emperor's Majesty did some time ago make overtures to the Royal Majesty of England concerning two marriages, one of them between the Most Excellent prince Dom Loys, infante of Portugal, and the Most Excellent lady Madme. Marie, daughter of His Majesty, the king of England; the other between the said King, and the most noble lady Madme. the duchess of Milan—which overtures, though mutually accepted and discussed have, for want of ample commission and full powers to treat of, and conclude the said marriages, remained for some time in abeyance, without one single more word being said respecting them—whereas matters have come to such a pitch that the said Majesty of the king of England, considering not only the great distance between Spain and England, but the doubts and scruples that might arise, and perhaps, too, cause delay or hesitation in the matter; considering the very affectionate desire shewn by the Imperial Majesty, and by the Most Excellent Princess, the queen of Hungary, and Regent in the Low Countries, to bring the two aforesaid matrimonial alliances to conclusion, deems it opportune and necessary that some fit and sufficient commission and mandate should be addressed by the Emperor to the Most Excellent Queen for the purpose of forwarding the said negotiations.
And whereas the Emperor's ambassadors residing in England, as well as the King's own in Spain, have since certified that the said commission and powers had been forwarded to, and are already in the hands of the Most Excellent Queen; and His Majesty, the king of England, has been informed by credible people that, although the said commission and powers have really been addressed to the Queen, as ordered and promised by the Emperor to Sir Thomas Wyat, Knight, His. Majesty's ambassador [in Spain], still he (the Emperor) does not seem inclined to act in the matter as firmly and affectionately as he pretends—the aforesaid commission and powers to the Queen, can be merely for the purpose of making good countenance and show of friendship, and keeping the affair in suspense, and the king of England in balance and for the purpose of showing to the world that the king of England is under his power and arbitration, and that he can, at his pleasure, make him conclude or not the said marriages; so much so that many well-qualified persons have spread the rumour that the aforesaid duchess of Milan had been secretly offered in marriage to various princes in France, Cleves, and other countries. And whereas His Royal Majesty cannot possibly imagine that either his good brother and ally, the Emperor, who is a prince of honor, and his great friend, or the said queen, whom His Royal Majesty considers to be a most virtuous and good lady, can by dissimulation or deceit abuse so honorable a prince as he is, and one who has so long persevered in amity and friendship towards their two Majesties, His Royal Majesty, considering the length of time that the said commission has remained in the Queen's hands [without making use of it], has now resolved to send the present embassy to Her Grace and pray most affectionately that being, as she is, a princess of great virtue and honor, she be pleased to signify frankly to him whether the Emperor's ministers and her own still persist or not in good countenance, and disposition, and are as much inclined to the accomplishment of the two said marriages as they were when the first overtures were made.
The Queen's answer to the above declaration and question on the part of the king of England was, that His Imperial Majesty is a prince of honor, very desirous of preserving the King's friendship, and, therefore, it never had crossed his mind to use dissimulation with His Grace; on the contrary, he was still quite of the same mind in the matter of the marriages, and she, herself, was very glad that the negociations were being carried on, and would give her utmost diligence and attention to them.
His Majesty, the king of England, wrote again to Her Grace that, since the Emperor and Her Grace continued to be so favourably disposed towards him, His Majesty, the King, in order to show that his own sentiments were the same, and that he was equally well inclined to the accomplishment of the aforesaid marriages, had granted to his ambassadors, still residing at Her Grace's court, full and sufficient powers to treat thereof with Her Grace on reasonable and honorable conditions; which request was responded to by the Queen with the assurance that a date would soon be fixed for beginning the negociations, and treating with the English ambassadors at once, or immediately after the interview. (fn. n1) Which answer of the Queen being received, the king of England requested Her Grace to be pleased to appoint an early day before the interview, since, at the time when there was a talk of it, Her Grace had already in her possession the Emperor's powers to represent him in that affair; or, if that could not be done, to write a few words to the King, stating that she had certainly heard his ambassadors' request, but had deferred entering into communication with them until after the interview, immediately after which she proposed, and it was her intention, to proceed without delay with the affair, in such a manner that her good brother, the king of England, would clearly perceive that His Imperial Majesty, as well as the Queen herself, proceeded with good faith in the matter. To which the ambassadors added that should the Queen be pleased to write a letter to that effect, as requested, they would be glad to have a copy of it, that they themselves might write home in accordance with the Queen's missive and the present memorandum. (fn. n2)
French. pp. 3½.
7 Sept. 9. The Emperor to Pope Paul.
S. E. Roma, L. 867.
f. 63.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 215.
Is glad to hear from his Nuncio, as well as by letters of the marquis de Aguilar, that His Holiness reached Rome in good health. He, himself, landed at Barcelona in excellent health and good spirits, and so were the Empress and his sons when he met them here at Valladolid.
As the Marquis [de Aguilar] is now being written to concerning the political affairs of Christendom, he (the Emperor) has nothing more to say than to assure His Holiness that his only wish is to secure the peace and prosperity of the Christian community, and that he is already making preparations for the next campaign against the Turk, though he has not yet, for certain considerations, given full publicity to his plans.—Valladolid, 7 Sept. 1538.
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
8 Sept. 10. The Emperor to the Marquis de Aguilar.
S. E., L. 867,
f. 64.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 216.
On the last day of August a Roman courier dispatched by His Holiness brought your letter of the 16th, with an account of what has occurred since Our departure from Genoa. The Pope's letter to his Nuncio was in conformity with what you yourself wrote, namely, to exhort Us to the enterprise against the Turk next year, and at the same time compliment Us on the peace with France lately concluded at Aigues-Mortes. The letter referred likewise to the projected marriage between Ottavio Farnese, and Our daughter, the dowager duchess of Milan, as well as to the matter of the cardinals' hats.
With regard to the offensive war against the Turk, no exhortation whatever is needed. Both His Holiness and the Republic of Venice may be sure that nothing shall be omitted on Our part. We know very well what Our duties are as a Christian Prince, and it appertains to Our Imperial dignity and authority to take the lead in an enterprise against the Infidel. The occasion seems to Us most favorable now that king Francis, owing to the peace concluded with him, is expected to assist and help the undertaking, or at least not to oppose it. For this reason, and others that might be adduced, We are quite willing to employ Our person and substance in the enterprise, preparing and furnishing everything that is required, as We have no doubt His Holiness and the Republic of Venice will also do on their part. But although this latter, as Our ambassador (Lope de Soria) must have informed you, has answered that they persist in the league against the Turk, and are ready to contribute towards it, yet it is necessary that an express declaration be made by them (the Venetians) specifying the number of infantry, cavalry, ordnance, vessels, and other things required for the undertaking which they will furnish.
Having, as His Holiness well knows, spoken to the Most Christian king of France about the League, and found him willing to join it, it seemed to Us not only convenient but necessary to communicate Our plans to him. We have, therefore, sent to him Our Master of the Horse, and Mr. de Pelu, gentleman of Our Chamber, as you will see by the enclosed copy of the instructions given to them. King Francis and his ministers, when officially informed of the proposed undertaking, approved of it; and only objected that in their opinion the period was too short to prepare for so important an undertaking. It might perhaps be that finding us all so well prepared for it, he may now waive his scruples and help at once, or at least not throw impediments in the way of it. Had We been wanting in courtesy towards him, he might have been discontented and shown spite at his not having been invited to join an undertaking, which he was inclined to favor and help. We need not tell you what harm might be done to the execution of Our project had we not done so. But you must be careful not to let out of your hands the copy of the instruction to Our ambassadors, for should the particulars therein contained be divulged, he (king Francis), might be offended, and We would not for the present give him occasion for resentment.
In the instructions, as you will see, it is not expressly said that the expedition is irrevocably fixed for next year. Although such is Our decided intention We would not for certain considerations say so; the Cortes of Spain will soon meet at Toledo, and although there can be no doubt that the members will vote a considerable service of money, yet as Our subjects have had so much to suffer lately from Our wars and frequent absences from this kingdom of Spain, it would not be prudent on Our part to exact so large a sum within so short a space of time. That is why We have dissembled in the instructions to our ambassadors, and will also dissemble at the Cortes, and have instructed Our Master of the Horse (Bossu), and Mr. de Pelu (Peloux), to act in this matter as follows: the former of the two, after communicating with the Most Christian king of France, and leaving his colleague behind to obtain and bring Us the King's final resolution in this matter, and to go to Rome and tell you what he has been able to get, that you may at once inform His Holiness thereof, and then go over to Flanders, and make the States understand that, although in consequence of the peace with France, they had right to expect Our visit, in order to set things in order there, and attend to the restoration of the duchy of Ghelders, which belongs to Us, yet We shall not be able to visit them next year on account of the projected expedition. It seems that the duke of Ghelders having died, the duke of Clèves has forcibly taken possession of that estate; and, therefore, it is for Us to revindicate Our rights to it. But, as We say, the engrossing interest of an expedition against the Infidels absorbs for the present all Our attention, and it will be impossible for Us to visit Our Flemish subjects for some time. Our Master of the Horse is to represent that in Our name, and at the same time engage and freight for next year as many merchant vessels as he possibly can, capable of transporting men, and horses, and even artillery. We are told that shipping abounds in the Low Countries, and as prince Andrea Doria and other captains experienced in naval affairs write that in the ports of the Levant no more than 60 or 70 vessels of that description can be procured, Our said Master of the Horse has been instructed to see about it and freight as many as he can in Flanders and Holland. In a like manner circulars have been addressed to all the ports of Spain, from Fuenterrabia to Barcelona and Colibra, asking what number of ships and transports can be found there.
Although Our deliberate and firm purpose is, as above explained, and We need no exhortation or encouragement thereupon, yet that We may have better justification with Our vassals at the Cortes of Castille, it would not be amiss if the Holy Father were to write Us a breve exhorting Us &c. His Holiness might also write to the Most Christian King, or send some one urging him to help and favor the enterprise. The same might be done with the rest of the Christian princes, and German electors. The letters for these last might be sent through the king of the Romans, Our brother, by Cardinal Brundusino—who, according to the agreement made at Genoa, was to go to Germany to treat about matters of the Faith—so that convenient use should be made of them; for it must be borne in mind that owing to the measures lately taken, and the levies of men throughout Germany, the said princes and electors may become suspicious and afraid of some attempt about to be made upon them, but, if spoken to, will become more tractable.
Hearing from the Nuncio here that His Holiness has raised some difficulty about the deposit of the 400,000 ducats for the expences of the undertaking, and as any sum, however small, retrenched from that would be an obstacle in the way of the enterprise, We have agreed with the Nuncio—and think that he ought to approve the agreement—that His Holiness is to deposit 400,000 ducats to be spent in the expedition, and that We on our side are to mortgage to him property and estates of that aggregate value. Should His Holiness approve of this agreement, which We have no doubt he will, since a better and more convenient mortgage for the Farnese family could not be found in Italy—the 15,000 ducats of the Duchess' dower might be included in the mortgage.
Such has been Our proposal to the Nuncio: he has neither accepted nor rejected it altogether; but he thinks that His Holiness will approve of the arrangement.—Valladolid, vii., Sept. 1538.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 12.
8 Sept. 11. The Emperor to Lope de Soria.
S. E., L. 1314,
ff. 36–7.
B. M. 28,590,
ff. 223.
Your letters of the 25th July and 1st of August, informing Us of that Republic's final resolution in the matter of the League, have been received.
In July last, at Aigues-Mortes, We had a conversation with the Most Christian king of France on this matter of the League. Since then nothing new has occurred save that Our resident ambassador goes on writing that both the king of France and his principal ministers persevere in their affection and good - will towards Us, and seem determined to keep peace and friendship. The King (says Our ambassador) was now sending to Us the bishop of Tarbes (fn. n3). That Signory may be sure that no peace will be made by Us, unless it be to preserve and augment the friendship and confederacy We have with them. You may assure the Signory of that, and the truth is that whilst at Aigues-Mortes in France nothing was said to their detriment.
Your conduct with the French ambassador residing there with the Signory is very wise and prudent; go on doing the same, and showing great friendship towards him and his master; treating him, always according to his acts and behaviour in the affairs of Christendom, and those of the Turk—especially now that Rincon has gone to the latter. With regard to Cesare Fragoso you acted very discreetly with the Signory and with the duke of Urbino. You may continue to do so, taking care to give the Duke all possible satisfaction. That you may well understand Our intention on this point, We may tell you that what We wrote at the time was owing to the great importunities and pressure then put upon Us.
Prince Doria had already effected his junction with that Republic's fleet. His diligence and provisions are such that no doubt can be entertained about his doing what is right, and that he will seize every opportunity of inflicting harm on the Infidel. Though We do not consider it necessary on Our part to write to the Prince and to Our viceroy of Sicily on this subject, it has already been done.
You know the esteem in which We hold the duke of Urbino, (fn. n4) and how glad We should be to have him near Our person in an undertaking of this sort, but the fact is that the command-in chief of the forces cannot be bestowed upon him for many a reason, the chief one being that all the confederates will most likely send captains in command of their respective contingents, and should king Francis join the League, he will be at the head of his own people or send someone—perhaps his own son—to command in his place, We ourselves intending to be general commander-in-chief. However this may be the duke of Urbino may be sure that his offer will be taken into consideration.
With regard to your conversations with Dionisio della Vecha, prince Doria has been written to, that he may act as he thinks fit according to time and circumstances; that is all We can do at present, but you will tell Dionisio and the others that We shall keep them in mind as their good services and affection to the Empire deserve.
The above was already written when your letter of the 10th ulto. came to hand. We need not reply to it, but will only refer you to the above. Go on informing Us of whatever happens there at Venice, and as We shall soon want you for a post at Milan, do prepare for the journey, whilst We appoint a fit person to succeed you in that embassy.
Again has the Venetian ambassador spoken to Us and to Our Privy Councillors on behalf of the duke of Urbino. We have told him that We intend to command personally the expedition against the Infidel, and, therefore, that the appointment of Captain-general of the League, which the Duke asks for, cannot be given to him. And upon the ambassador representing to Us (with every possible protestation, and as if he only obeyed the orders of the Signory) that the Duke would be hurt at prince Doria getting the title of Captain-general of the sea, if he himself did not get that of Captain-general of the land forces, at the same time requesting Us to declare that whenever We ourselves are absent he (the Duke) may have the title of Captain-general of the League, We have for the Signory's sake consented to that, and decided that according to one of the articles of the treaty the Duke be named during our absence Captain-general of the League, and exercise the duties of that office in the army. (fn. n5) The Signory of Venice, the marquis de Aguilar, and the Duke have already been informed of this Our determination.
In what We have just written about the Duke, there is, however one thing to observe. It might come to pass that before, and previous to Our formal declaration to the Venetian ambassador on behalf of the Duke, as above, His Holiness had thought of suspending the nomination of Captain-general of the League, and leaving it for the future as an unnecessary appointment at this present juncture. You will mention to the Doge and Signory this scruple of Ours with all possible moderation, and should His Holiness have decided to leave this matter for the future, let it be so, and do not oppose the suspension, because in reality the declaration asked, and which We are ready to make, is not immediately needed.—Valladolid, 8 September 1538.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 18.
14 Sept. 12. Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 806,
f. 60.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
ff. 23.
The king of England was so long about granting my passports that I could not leave the country as hastily as I might have wished. On my arrival at Dobla (Dover) I found the King there, and lest he should have anything to add to what he had previously said [at Greenwich] to Chapuys and to myself—as Your Majesty will see by our joint despatch (fn. n6) —I informed Cromwell of my arrival in that town, and sent him message that should the King desire to see me, I would immediately wait on His Highness. Cromwell's answer was that he himself would call on me, and so he did in the course of the day.
He came (he said) to declare to me his great sorrow and tribulation, as well as the King's discontent and anger, at finding that the dowager queen of Hungary had long been in possession of Your Majesty's powers [to treat of the marriages] without his having been informed of it. Many other complaints of the same kind did he (Cromwell) make, adding that to judge from the manner in which the whole affair had been conducted, it seemed to him as if the sending of the powers to the queen of Hungary had been designed as a compliment more than as the means of effecting any good. The King (he added) had also to complain of both of us (Chapuys and myself) inasmuch as in answering the Princess' questions thereupon we had thrown all the blame on him (the King) and his ministers.
My answer to such charges was, respecting the first: That Your Majesty's complimentary offers and good-will from the very beginning must at once have convinced them that there was no dissimulation or feint in them. If the queen of Hungary had not informed the King of the receipt of the powers, it was owing to her certain knowledge that the English ambassador from Spain, and We ourselves in England, had communicated the whole of their contents, which was actually the fact. The Queen, therefore, knowing how desirous the King was of bringing that affair to an end as soon as possible, and knowing also that he was sufficiently well informed of the contents of the said powers, would no longer throw fresh impediments in the way of the conclusion of the marriages, and naturally enough thought that, in order to gain time, the King would send to Flanders some one duly empowered and instructed to carry on the negociation. (fn. n6)
Respecting our answer to the Princess, I said to Cromwell that His Highness, the King, having in our very presence accused Your Majesty of irresolution and delay in the dispatch of that as well as of other affairs, we thought (Chapuys and I) that we were bound to undeceive His Highness as to that, and throw all the blame on those who were the real cause of the delay. Cromwell's answer was: "I do not deny that the King, and even his councillors, are partly to be blamed for the coldness and indifference complained of on both sides; but things have since changed, and the King, my master, is now better disposed than ever he was to treat of the affair. Let you, Mendoza, explain to the King how matters stand at present, and when you write home please tell the Emperor that notwithstanding his present close alliance with the French king, the friendship of such mighty princes as he is ought to be secured and preserved with the utmost care and diligence."
I answered that I hoped to God, and to Your Imperial Majesty's virtues, as well as to those of the Most Christian King, that the friendship now established between you two will last for ever, and that, in a like manner, that between Your Majesty and the King, his master, which is no small matter, will likewise be preserved as long as Your Majesty wishes. It was in his (the King's) hands to foster that friendship, and convert it into an indissoluble tie by means of the marriage alliances, &c.
Cromwell also showed, in the King's name, a certain jealousy at the Queen's journey to France, and principally at her having stayed a few days at Breda, where, as the rumour goes, a marriage had been concerted between the dowager duchess of Milan and the prince of Orange, he (Cromwell) adding that we (Chapuys and I) had banquetted and visited the French ambassador, and congratulated him on the occasion.
Fancying that this new chapter of complaints indicated some fear—and no inconsiderable one—on the part of Cromwell, (fn. n7) and that there was no reason to suppose that sentiment to be feigned; considering the temper and condition of these Englishmen, as well as the present state of things, I answered Cromwell's accusations in the most moderate and courteous terms possible, as Your Majesty's instructions to me prescribe, without attempting to remove his suspicions, if he had any on the matter, and also without affirming or denying anything. That they are now in fear of an invasion, more or less soon, there can be no doubt; they have been for some time back busily engaged in sending troops and ammunition to Calais, and other fortresses on the frontier; they have spent money in the fortifications of Dobla Chambra (Dover Castle?) and other ports, which the King himself has many a time inspected, and was actually inspecting when I left England.
I took leave of Cromwell, who gave me his most humble commendations to Your Majesty, and when I again asked him whether the King, his master, was likely to send soon a personage to Flanders to treat of the affair of the marriages, he answered that his master would not, though I fancy that his refusal on the occasion was not so harsh and peremptory as at other times. I then asked him whether he thought that I ought to see the King before embarking. His answer was that I might, if I chose. I, therefore, sent a man to the King to ascertain the hour at which he would give me audience. The man came back and said that he had seen and spoken to the King himself, whose answer had been that he was then so much engaged, that he could not possibly give me a long audience. If my visit was merely one of courtesy, and I had no particular business to talk about, he would spare me the trouble of going to him. I since heard that when the King received my message, he was busy conversing with certain French ladies of the suite of the late queen of Scotland (Magdalen), now about to return to France, with whom he has lately been banquetting and feasting. To two of them, one called Mme. de Montrul (Montreuil), the other De Brun (Le Brun), mother and daughter, the King has given diamond bracelets worth 250 ducats each. (fn. n8) The rest of the ladies, six in number, were presented with rings (sortiguelas) and medals of the value of 30 crs. each, a very small gift according to the ladies, who are not at all pleased with it. (fn. n9)
That very night I was invited to supper by the ambassador of France, to meet the above-mentioned ladies of the deceased Queen's suite. After supper, he himself accompanied me to the sea shore, and left me on board the vessel; but as the weather was foul and the wind unfavourable, I returned to Dover, and spent a few hours with the Frenchman. He told me that this King and his ministers could not make out whether they were in Heaven or on the Earth, so disconcerted were they at the prospect of an alliance between France and the Empire, and that now was the time for Your Majesty and the King, his master, to arrange matters between you two so as to profit in common. The King had that very afternoon mentioned to the ambassador that I had applied for an audience, but that being at the time engaged with the French ladies as above, and very much entertained with them, he had declined my visit.
At Calais I met several people, and persons of my acquaintance, whom I had known whilst in England, who told me that they had come by the King's commands to reside in Dover; they were all men of rank and experienced soldiers, and I was well received and entertained by them.
I learned whilst at Calais that at the bridge of the Passo (fn. n10) looking towards Dunquerque (Dunkerke), and at other bridges in the place, there had been for the last 20 days a strong guard kept at night, which in my opinion is one of the most unwarrantable and uncalled for measures of precaution, which these people, generally suspicious, or pretending to be so, could take at the present moment. (fn. n11)
I then came to Brussels, where I kissed the Queen's hands, and delivered the King's letter as well as the credentials in my favor, as Your Imperial Majesty will see by Chapuys' letter and mine. I likewise placed in the Queen's hands the report which Your Imperial Majesty ordered me to make, both verbally and in writing, of all the incidents of the negociation with this King and his ministers. This being done, a despatch was prepared for England, as Your Majesty will see by the Queen's letter to me.
As my report embraces many days, and contains particulars referring to various times, I was unable to draw it out as soon as I might otherwise have wished; at any rate it is now done, and in the Queen's hands, as above stated.
The English ambassador at this Court died the other day. He was a jovial, good-humoured man, more fit for courtly and social intercourse than for political business, for which he had no great taste or capacity. As the English seem to desire that the pending affairs should be quickly settled, and must for that purpose send another man to reside at this Court (Brussels), they might appoint some person of quality and parts, as well as wisdom, well furnished with sufficient powers and instructions to terminate and conclude the affair. By that means the objection the English make of sending an extraordinary envoy for such a purpose will cease at once, since they must needs have soon an ordinary one to reside here.
With the Queen's leave I went next to Breda, whence this letter is dated, to visit the marchioness of Zenete. (fn. n12) On my arrival at the gate of the Castle, I heard that the marquis had died. I lamented his death, as it was right to do, owing to the loss his widow has just sustained, and also because Your Imperial Majesty will be henceforwards deprived of his valuable services, he having been, whilst he lived, one of Your Majesty's most devoted vassals and servants.
As she (the Marchioness) and the Prince (fn. n13) are sending on this courier with the above melancholy and distressing news, and I consider the man a safe and trusty messenger, I have given him the enclosed in cipher from my colleague in England, informing Your Majesty of all the incidents of our negociation. As I had no cipher by me when I arrived at Brussels, I borrowed one in that city, lest Your Majesty should not be acquainted in time of what has been done both in England and in these Low Countries respecting the proposed marriages.
I pray and entreat Your Majesty to send me instructions as to what I am to do next, and urge the Queen Regent to dispatch me so that I may go back to Spain, and employ myself in Your Majesty's service.
Other letters and reports of less importance, which cannot be well entrusted to another person, or are too long and minutely detailed to be transcribed in a short time—and yet will not suffer by the delay—I keep by me here until there be the opportunity of a trusty messenger or I be allowed to present myself to Your Imperial Majesty. In case of leave being granted I should wish it might come as soon as possible.
The Princess (Mary) when I last saw her was in good health, but for the last few days (I hear) she has been rather delicate. I fancy the cause to be the confinement (estrechez) in which she lives, for nowadays she is kept much closer and more poorly than before. Her Highness' personal commendations I reserve for next occasion when I am in Your Imperial Majesty's presence.—Breda, 14 Sept. 1538.
Signed: "Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King our Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 7.
14 Sept. 13. The Same to the High Commander (Covos).
S. E., L. 806, f. 61.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 237.
Going from Brussels to Breda to visit the marquis [de Zenete] who was ill, and kiss the marchioness' hands, I learned at the very gate of the castle the death of Mr. De Nassau, which I feel exceedingly, not so much on account of the widowed marchioness [Da. Mencia de Mendoza]—who is a friend and kinsman of mine— (fn. n14) but because in him the Emperor, our master, has lost the most capable and faithful vassal in these Netherlands. So afflicted was the Marchioness with the loss she has lately sustained, that I could not see her, nor could I, though I tried, see the Prince. Both have despatched a messenger to the Emperor acquainting him with the Marquis' death, and are now writing again to ask for the Prince the same offices, wages, and emoluments that his father, the Marquis, had, as well as begging your Lordship to intercede in their favour. It seems to me, that if I am at Court when their petition arrives, I ought to join my prayers to theirs, &c.
By our joint letter to the Emperor, and by that which I have since written by myself from this place, your Lordship must have been informed of the state of affairs in these parts. The Queen (Mary of Hungary) is continually sending for me, and asking me a thousand questions. I have put down in writing all the information she may require on the business in question, and begged her to dispatch me at once. She told me that during the journey she is about to undertake to France, she will attend to the English matter. Now I beg and entreat your Lordship to have pity on me, and if possible write a letter to the Queen saying that I am wanted in Spain. Though the journey is not a long one, yet it is costly, and I have not one farthing to bless myself with. So let your letter come with a draft on some banker before or during the journey, it comes to the same thing provided it brings money.
The salt-cellars and other articles which seemed to me pretty and worthy of your Lordship's acceptance, I will take with me. I rather think that if on the liquidation of our account, at the end of the year, you turn out to be my debtor, it will be for a very small sum indeed.
The money that your Lordship told me to draw upon the Imperial Treasury before leaving England, that which the King of that country himself gave me, (fn. n15) and 1,000 ducats which I borrowed from merchants, were insufficient to pay all my debts. That is why I sent to Spain a servant of mine named Sala, to procure, without troubling your Lordship, the payment of the aforesaid sum borrowed from merchants of this city. When I myself go to Spain I have no doubt that the Emperor will give me, at least, a portion of that sum in remuneration for my services.—Breda, 14 Sept 1538.
Signed: "Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza."
Addressed: "To the most Illustrious, the High Commander of Leon."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
22 Sept. 14. The Emperor to Cardinal Cesarino.
S. E., L. 867,
f. 69.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 239.
All you say in your letter of the 3rd of August concerning the peace and friendship between Us and the Most Christian king of France is in conformity with the affection and goodwill you have always shown Us, and the reciprocal sentiments by which you are animated.
Spanish. Original draft.
22 Sept. 15. The Same to the Marquis de Aguilar.
S. E., L. 867,
f. 64.
B. M. Add. 28,390,
f. 216.
Wrote to you on the 8th inst. Since then We have received your despatch of the xxix. ulto., brought by Andalot, to which, however, no answer is needed for the present.
During the last few days a gentleman in waiting (fn. n16) of the Most Christian queen of France, Our sister, has arrived with the ostensible object of inquiring how We were faring after Our sea voyage, and certifying to Us the affection and esteem which the King, her husband, bears Us, and which We fully share. The gentleman in question added, that wishing to make that peace and friendship as firm and lasting as it could possibly be, and that it should continue during the lives of Our sons and successors, she (the Queen, Our sister) had bethought her of proposing the following royal marriages, namely, that of Prince Philip, Our son, and Me. Margaret, the daughter of King Francis; that of the duke of Orliens (Orleans) with the Infante, Our daughter, or else with the Infante [Maria] of Portugal, her own daughter, saying that the King, though fully determined to preserve and cultivate Our friendship to the last, is yet unwilling to have a hand in that affair lest it should be in any way disagreeable to Us.
Our answer has been that We always did, and do actually, dislike treating of the marriage of Our children until they are of an age fit for it.
That of the duke of Orliens (Orleans) with the Infante of Portugal (Maria) We have rejected altogether, because another one with Our niece, the daughter of the king of the Romans, (Ferdinand) has been proposed to him as a settlement for the duchy of Milan—a condition, which could not well be changed, or the king of the Romans himself might have a just ground for complaint. The gentleman is now about to depart with this Our answer, and We have no doubt that king Francis will approve of Our reasons. The Nuncio has been informed of this in general terms, that he may write to His Holiness. The enclosed copy of the memorandum put into the Frenchman's hands, will fully acquaint you with the details of the proposition, as well as with Our answer to it; but you must keep this latter by you and not let a living creature see it. Should, however, His Holiness inquire about its contents, you must tell him, as if the whole of this were a secret and confidential matter, on the considerations above expressed, that the move is entirely Our sister's, not the King's.
1538. After the gentleman in waiting came another ambassador from the king of France, that is the bishop of Tarbes, (fn. n17) who, however, has not said a word about the affair in question, limiting himself to general protests and affirmations of his master's sentiments towards Us. We have already appointed to reside near Our brother of France the abbot of St. Vincent, (fn. n18) who resided once in that court before the late war as Our ambassador. We have no doubt that the Abbot's person will be acceptable, for Cornelius Scepper writes [from Paris] that he cannot fail to be well received by king Francis.
We need not recommend you in the meantime to keep up a correspondence with the said Cornelius by means of the cipher, which you have by you, and which is generally used by Our ambassadors.
Our ministers have assured the French ambassador here that his master, the Most Christian King, and Ourselves can safely place Our trust in His Holiness, as in our common father, and, therefore, that he (the ambassador) need not have any scruple about communicating to the Papal Nuncio residing at this Our court, his ideas, whatever they may be, on the proposed marriages and other affairs.
On one disagreeable point only has the ambassador touched, which is that of the duke of Savoy (Carlo), complaining that his ratification of the truce is not such as it ought to be; declaring besides that in Piedmont there are symptoms of revolutionary movements, and asking Us to send a person thither to interfere, though it must be said that the Duke complains equally of the French King's ministers.
You must know how interested we are in the welfare of duke Cosmo of Florence, whom We have taken under Our protection. His agents at this Court tell Us that he has lately been summoned to appear before the Rolta at Rome, together with the Commander of Alto Passo and the patrons (patrones) of that commandery. This in Our opinion is a very harsh measure, derogatory to the Duke's authority, and one which ought not to have been taken with regard to his person. You will, therefore, pray His Holiness in Our name not to use in that and other matters such terms with the Duke, but treat him in that or any other matters that might supervene, as his quality and authority demand, according to His Holiness' own promises at Genoa before his departure for Rome, when he said to Us and to Our ministers that he would consider Cosmo as his own son and favor him in all things.—Valladolid, 22 Sept. 1538.
Addressed: "To the Marquis de Aguilar."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 6.
Sept. 16. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. 231,
ff. 83–6.
I have heard from D. Diego Hurtado de Mendoza what you and he have negociated there [in England], where you are, with the King and his ministers, respecting the new alliances, as well as the state in which those negociations were [when Don Diego left that country (fn. n19) ]; and although it seems to me that they are now as far from ending as they were at the commencement, yet, as the Emperor, my lord and brother, has sent me, as you know, full powers to continue and effect the said matrimonial alliances, provided the King of that country responds with sincerity, and proposes decent and reasonable conditions equally favorable to His Imperial Majesty in the present state of his affairs, and political relations with other princes and powers, his good friends and allies, you may be sure that nothing shall be omitted on my part, and that I will do my duty towards the Emperor, no pains being spared by one who, like me, desires the re-establishment and strengthening of the old friendship and good understanding between this house of Austria and that of England for the common benefit and tranquility of both reigning families.
The King's letter, of which Don Diego was the bearer, informs me of his wish that for the honor of both parties, and before a solemn embassy be appointed, the chief and most effective points of the commission I have received from the Emperor respecting the proposed matrimonial alliances, be at once communicated to him in order that he himself may, without difficulty or delay, take such a resolution on the affair as may be honorable to the parties concerned therein. To that desire of the King I have answered, as you will see by the enclosed duplicate of my letter to him, which I order you to put into his hands. You will easily understand that respecting the points discussed by you and Don Diego with the King's ministers, I cannot, under present circumstances, go as far as you and your colleague have gone; for in the first place, the affair of Milan has since undergone considerable change, owing to the renewal of the friendship between the Emperor and the king of France, and, therefore, that all references and hints on that point are to be carefully avoided, or allowed to pass on as smoothly and quietly as possible.
With regard to the Pope and the General Council, of which the King has often spoken to you, you know very well that the Emperor will never act against the universal Church in direct contravention of his Imperial Office; that is a sort of thing he will never do, even at the solicitation and request of his greatest friend. As to any personal and private matter between him (the King) and the Pope, the Emperor will always behave with the consideration and respect due to his brother and friend, and employ himself in setting right all pending matters in dispute between him and the Holy See.
You may also tell the King that in order to forward those negociations, and proceed more steadily in the matter, so as to bring the whole affair to a conclusion as soon as possible; knowing, moreover, that he has already been acquainted by you with the conditions of both marriages—that of the Infante of Portugal, Dom Luys, and that of the dowager duchess of Milan, our niece—I beg him to be pleased to state to you in writing what property and rank (avancement?) he intends giving to his daughter, the Princess; what dower he purposes for the Duchess, and what property is to be inherited by the sons and descendants of the said marriages, his own and the Princess'. That being done, and perfectly understood on both sides, so as to make things quite clear, the King may send his ambassadors when he likes. (fn. n20)
French. Original draft. pp. 2½.


  • n1. That of the two Queens, Eleonor and Mary, which took place at Cambray, and had been announced soon after the meeting at Aigues-Mortes.
  • n2. The document has no date; but from the allusions to the interview of the two Queens at Cambray, to settle the details of the truce, it is natural to conclude that it was written two or three weeks before at least. In July Granvelle wrote [from Barcelona] to the Emperor, who was already at Valladolid, that the English ambassador had come to inquire how the negociations about the double marriage stood, and that he (Granvelle) had answered that full powers had already been sent to the Queen Regent to go on with the negociation at Brussels. Now the interview at Cambray between queen Eleonor and the Queen Regent of the Low Countries took place in September, and therefore the memorandum of the English ambassadors must have been drawn up at the end of August or beginning of September.
  • n3. Not Grammont, who had been formerly in England, but Castelnau (Antoine) who had been replaced by Marillac. Both had been bishops of Tarbes, the former from 1534 to 1539, the latter from 1540 to the time of his death.
  • n4. Guidobaldo della Rovere, son of Francesco Maria, who had died in 1538.
  • n5. "Y finalmente propuso que le parescia que convenia se declarase que quando nos no habitasemos personalmente en tierra, el Duque usase como capitan general."
  • n6. A note in the endorsement of this dispatch has the following in the handwriting of Granvelle: "Besides what Don Diego and ambassador Chapuys write in their joint letter, this one of D. Diego's contains particulars worth Your Majesty's inspection."
  • n7. "De manera que pareció [querer] hacer libro de quexas."
  • n8. "A las quales ha banqueteado y hecho gran xera, y á dos de las más principales, que llaman, la una Madame de Montrul, y la otra de Brun, madre y hija, dió sendas sortigas de diamantes, de valor de docientos y cinquenta ducados."
  • n9. "Ansi mismo á las demas, que eran seis, dió unas sortiguelas y medallas cada treinta escudos, las quales lo tomaron y por parccellas poco quedaron cos harto descontentamiento."
  • n10. La puente del Passo.
  • n11. "Tengolo por una de las mas livianas sospechas, que suelen dar á entender que tienen."
  • n12. Da. Mencia de Mendoza, marchioness of Zenete, in her own right, married to Henri de Nassau, who died, as here stated, in Sept. 1538.
  • n13. That is René, who succeeded him, for Henri, who had been married three times, left only one natural son, named Alexis de Nassau, lord of Courtoy and Trasnes, who did not inherit the principality of Orange. This went to René, who died without posterity in 1544, being succeeded by his cousin, Guillaume, the Statholder of the Low Countries.
  • n14. The marquises of Cenete, or Zenete, were closely allied to the counts of Tendilla [Hurtado de Mendoza]. The former drew their origin from Rodrigo de Mendoça, first marquis in 1491, whilst the latter were descended from D. Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, first count of Tendilla. Don Diego, the writer of this letter, and Chapuys' colleague in London, was the son of the second count first marquis de Mondejar.
  • n15. That is four hundred pounds sterling which Cromwell gave him in the King's name. See above, No. 7, p. 24.
  • n16. Probably Mr. de Lordres. See above, p. 12.
  • n17. Antoine Castelnau, formerly Francis, ambassador in England.
  • n18. Bouvalot(?).
  • n19. D. Diego left in the first week of August. See above, p. 43.
  • n20. The document is incomplete, and bears no other date than that at the top, 7 bre 1538. A copy of the XVIII. century, though incomplete, bears the following heading:—Copie de la minute d'une lettre de l'Empereur au Sieur Eustache Chapuis son Ambassadeur en Anyleterre, en 7 bre 1538; which is, however, a mistake, since it is the queen of Hungary (Mary), regent of the Low Countries, who writes to Chapuys, not the Emperor.