Spain: March 1541

Pages 312-315

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 1, 1538-1542. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1890.

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March 1541, 1-31

3 March. 154. The Same to the Same.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc.
C. 282, f. 18.
I enclose the summary of a statute made here some time ago, and promulgated just now, forbidding the exportation of articles of food and other goods from this kingdom, as well as that of wool, highly-priced manufactured cloth without dressing, and several other articles contained in previously issued statutes. (fn. n1) That will show to Your Majesty what little chance there is for the inhabitants of those Low Countries and other subjects of His Imperial Majesty to carry on trade with this country and enjoy English commodities. Should the Emperor be pleased to order the very same thing in Spain, and not allow anything to go out of the country without permission, I have no doubt that a greater revenue would be derived from that than from the permissions to export wheat from Sicily. That would, in my opinion, oblige these people to be more reasonable, and if by next season the export of hops (hobelon) from Flanders, and cochineal (grance) from Spain, were strictly forbidden, I make sure that these people would soon cry out and come to terms. This would, moreover, be most beneficial for the poor people of the Low Countries, who are, as it were, in the hands of ten or twelve avaricious merchants of this place, who combining together to buy those articles as cheap as possible and bring them to this country, would be obliged, the prohibition once promulgated, to pay a much higher price for those articles; and as the prohibition would never last more than two or three months, they would in the meantime grant anything that was asked of them, for they cannot possibly do without those, especially without hops, which they cannot procure elsewhere.
Nothing new worth mentioning has occurred since the date of my last despatch, except that this King, at the departure of the Sieur de Tes, gave him 300 crs., and that he has recalled near his person, with a very favorable and amicable letter, Me. Huyet et Me. Vualopt—who, as I said in one of my former despatches, had been imprisoned.—London, 3 Mars 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. p. 1.
27 March. 155. The Same to the Same.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc.
C. 232, ff. 7–8.
Your Majesty's letter of the 19th ult., containing a copy of the proclamation (placard) forbidding English merchant ships to lade goods or merchandize in the ports of your dominions, both in Spain and in the Low Countries, has come to hand. This king has not yet said anything to me about it, nor have his privy councillors either; but, to make up for their silence, perceiving there was no other remedy, they have amplified and extended, as I have had the honor to advise by my last despatch, the prohibition already decreed here, so as to meet on all points that issued by Your Majesty. They have, moreover, renewed that of exporting almost any goods from this country except manufactured dressed cloth. (fn. n2) Instead of the defaulters' pain being, as formerly, loss of merchandize, the King has now added confiscation of property and imprisonment for those merchants who should contravene as well as for those who knew of, or consented to it.
As a beginning of the game they are about to play, some days ago this king's Privy Council ordered the confiscation of a Dutch ship and her cargo, because on her return from Andalucia with wine and other merchandize she was obliged by stress of weather to put up at Anthonne (Southampton), where an inhabitant of that port happened to give her captain five bales of wool, which the Dutch skipper, totally ignorant of the new commercial regulations and customs of this country, took innocently on board in plain daylight and before a number of people ready to proclaim his good faith and ignorance of the aforesaid prohibition. All remonstrances of mine have hitherto proved unavailing; and I very much doubt whether I shall be able to recover an indemnity for the skipper's losses, inasmuch as he has often been told by those who have this affair in hand that Your Majesty's proclamation (placard) was the real cause of the seizure of his ship.
About this time, too, this king's Privy Council showed some inclination to treat somewhat rudely the Spanish merchants residing here, by asking from them excessive sums of money on account of the grant and subsidy to the King, of which, however, they have hitherto paid nothing. But about a fortnight ago it was published that on pain of imprisonment and confiscation of property all foreign merchants, Spaniards and French not excepted, (fn. n3) should pay within three days' time what they owed to the King on account of the said grant and subsidy.
About eight days ago a gentleman of the Chamber of king Francis, named the count of Tes, (fn. n4) sent, as far as I can gather, to visit this king on account of his last reported indisposition, arrived here. I have not yet been able to ascertain what sort of negociation there may be now pending between them; all I know is that the ambassador has not had long audiences from the King, nor has he either, that I am aware of, held frequent communications with the Privy Council. They have shown him the Tower of this city, as well as the palace of Anthoncourt, where the ambassador has been feasted and regaled by the King's command. He left yesterday for France, taking the road to Dover, where the King at present is attending to the repair (restoration) of the harbour and fortresses, which he has been constructing in that locality for some time back. After taking leave of the King the ambassador will embark for France.
The duke of Norfolk and the three gentlemen of the King's Chamber who went to the North, have been back in town for the last six days. They have done nothing there, but they leave behind an engineer to report on what kind of fortifications are to be raised on that frontier, and whereat.
The King lately took his queen to Greenwich, and as it was the first time after her marriage that she had to pass through London by the Thames, the people of this city honored her with a most splendid reception, the Tower saluting her with salvoes of artillery. (fn. n5) From this triumphal march the Queen took occasion and courage to beg and entreat the King for the release of Maistre Huyet (Whyat), a prisoner in the said Tower, which petition the King granted, though on rather hard conditions, the first of them being that the said What should confess the guilt for which he had been arrested; and, secondly, that he was to resume conjugal relations with his wife, from whom he had been separated for upwards of fifteen years. What had cast her away on account of adultery, and had not seen her for many years; he will now be obliged to receive her, and should he not do so, and not lead a conjugal life with her, or should he be found to keep up criminal relations with one or two other ladies that he has since loved, he is to suffer pain of death and confiscation of property.
On the same day full pardon and release from prison was granted to Master Waloup (Wallop), who since his return to England [from his French embassy] had been taken to the house of the Lord Privy Seal, and there detained till the hour of his pardon, as aforesaid. His detention, as far as I can learn, was due to his having said something in favor of Pope Paul.
Some time before the return of Maistre Wallop to London, another gentleman, under-warder of Calais, (fn. n6) of the name of Master Palmer, and two provosts from that town, were lodged in the Tower; upon what charge nobody yet knows. (fn. n7) —London, 27 March 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "Copy of letter from the ambassador in England to the Emperor."
French. Original. pp. 3.


  • n1. "Et ce oultre la prohibition des laynez, draptz do priz non appretez et pluseurs autres choses deffenduez par aultres statutz."
  • n2. "Drapz adressez," elsewhere called "appretez."
  • n3. "Et puis quinze jours fust içi publie que sur paine de corps et biens tout le monde deust auoir paye en dedans trois jours, ce qu'estoit deu au dit Seigneur roy a loccasion du dit impost et subside [non] exceptant les marchans hispagnolz et françois." The words exceptant les marchans, &c. ought to have been preceded by the negative particle non, for the measure, as will be seen hereafter, was general, and comprised all foreign merchants.
  • n4. "Puys huyt jours en ça est içy arrive ung gentilhomme de la chambre du Roy de France, que sapelle le sieur de Tes."
  • n5. "Ceulx de ceste ville l'honorerent au mieulx quilz peuvent, et la tourd le salua planteusement (?) dartillerie."
  • n6. "Ung aultre gentilhomme, grand portier de Calais, nomme maistre Palmer." No doubt Sir Thomas Palmer, high porter of Calais. See Gardiner, Letters and Papers, Vol. XI., p. 70. I should say, however, that the charge of high porter must be a translation of "grand portier," or chief gate-keeper (in Span., portero mayor), the officer under whose particular care the gates of a fortified town were.
  • n7. "Et deux prestotz (prevots?) du meme lieu et ne sçait lon encoires bonnement pourquoy."