Spain: August 1541

Pages 344-360

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

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August 1541, 1-31

9 Aug. 176. King Francis to his Ambassador in England.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. C. 231,
ff. 21–48.
Monsr. de Marillac, your despatch of the xxix of [July?] (fn. n1) has been received. All the arguments brought forward and the means employed by the Emperor's ministers everywhere to persuade the English that he (Charles) and I are on the eve of coming to terms, and making together some new treaty and alliance; their statements concerning the duke of Clèves, (fn. n2) my nephew, and other reports of the same kind, have lately been found—as they really are—false, lying and deceitful (mensongieres). This can easily be proved by the letters I once wrote to you announcing the capture of Messieurs Cesare Fragoso and Rincon. True is it that I cannot and will not deny that I have been often requested and solicited by the queen of Hungary and others to hold another interview with the Emperor; but knowing for certain that the object was merely to favor and push on the Emperors affairs, and on the other hand engender suspicion and fear in the hearts of my friends, I would never consent thereto. Had I accepted the proposed interview, it would never have been without letting my good brother the king of England know of it first, and asking his opinion and advice in the matter, since I am quite satisfied with having seen the Emperor once. (fn. n3)
Meanwhile you ought to know that the Emperor has gone to Italy with six or seven thousand lanskennets, and that I myself having previously sent to Piedmont my marshall of France, Mr. de Hannebault, I have caused a good body of men-at-arms (gendarmerie) and infantry to follow him. I am besides keeping in readiness 10,000 Swiss, in case they should be wanted to defend the towns and fortresses at present under my dominion, my intention being to have such places as I possess in Piedmont fully provided with men, stores, and ammunition to protect the open country and my subjects against the attacks, robberies, and oppressions of the enemy.
I will, nevertheless, inform you that I am in receipt of letters from Ratisbonne (Regensburg) of the 23rd July, in which they advise me that the Emperor was to leave on the 26th to pass over to Italy at the head of the said lanskennets, and that he was to start on that expedition without the help and assistance which he had in vain solicited from the Diet against my nephew, the duke of Clèves. Also that Monsr. de Savoie (Carlo III.) had at one of the sittings of the said Diet made some proposition or other against me, which proposition had been opposed and met by my advocate Remon, who by way of remonstrance had made so clear an exposé of my rights on Piedmont that the princes and delegates attending the Diet were persuaded of that, and seemed desirous and disposed to favor my claims. I tell you this much that you may communicate with the King my good brother and the members of his Privy Council accordingly.
A duplicate of this letter will soon be forwarded to you.—Triant, &c., 9 of August, at the Park les Moulins.
10 Aug. 177. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc
C. 232, ff. 37–40.
Madame, immediately after the receipt of Your Majesty's letter of the 17th ult. Concerning the Duynekerken (Dunkirke) affair, I despatched one of my men to accompany the deputations from that town to Greenwich, that they might plead their case before the Privy Council. They, however, got no other redress or answer to their complaints than the one contained in the enclosed memorandum of the councillors, who, in justification of this king's answer, and exaggerating the great injury and loss sustained by his subjects, made a long speech to my man in the very presence of the said deputation, as they again did next day to me here, in London, alleging, among other things, that it was very strange behaviour on our part, and against the good friendship and neighbourhood between England and the Low Countries, to allow the subjects of the kings of Portugal, France, and Scotland to export as much copper as they chose to have, whilst the English were refused the small quantity they required. Not one of those kings (said the councillors) would have tolerated such injury as that inflicted upon the English by forbidding their merchants to buy any quantity of copper they pleased. The King, their master, therefore, had good reason to complain of the said prohibition, in contravention to his treaties with the Emperor, and that it was worth considering that there were now about the world various persons, wide awake and watchful, lying in wait for the least sign of coldness in the mutual relations of the Emperor and their master the King, with a view to kindle the fire of discord between them, who, perceiving, on the contrary, that those amicable relations were decidedly improving, would infallibly set about with redoubled ardour to prosecute their wicked work. Indeed, were not the King, their master, moved by considerations of another kind, as well as by the hope that the injury and loss sustained by the English merchants will be shortly repaired, he would immediately have forbidden the export of various commodities from his own kingdom. That the affair had, moreover, raised the suspicions of this king, who began to suspect that all the assurances which I (Chapuys) had given him of the Emperor's friendship and affection towards him would end in smoke, especially as Mr. de Granvelle was known to have said many a time to his ambassadors, both before and since the stoppage of the ammunition for which the King had asked, that the Emperor would expressly write to Your Majesty to gratify the King and his subjects as much as possible; instead of which (added the councillors) the King is worse treated than the lowest merchant in the world. Should the Low Countries be really in want of copper, and that metal not to be procured elsewhere, there might be some apparent excuse for not letting the English merchants have the quantity they require; but that is not really the case. If the king wishes for copper he can procure as much as he wants from Hamburgh, Lubeck, and various other towns, without being under obligation to us, merely by paying his money down. And, indeed, had the King been aware of the difficulty, and of the impediments that have been thrown there in the way of his merchants, he would certainly have applied elsewhere for it.
Upon which, after answering the privy councillors' allegation, i.e., that in virtue of the treaties of England with the Low Countries, they (the English) were entitled to purchase thereat any merchandize they pleased—and this I did in pursuance of the instructions lately received from Your Majesty—I began to address to them various representations, which it would be too long and tedious for me to reproduce here in full. Among other things I told them, one was to declare that Your Majesty was still animated with the same sentiments towards their king, and as well inclined as ever, not only to the preservation of the friendship between the Emperor and himself, but likewise to increase that same friendship, and render it perpetual and indissoluble. That such inclination and desire on Your Majesty's part had moved you to solicit and procure a new treaty of commerce between England and the Low Countries as the thing most needed and requisite for the accomplishment of your wishes, as well as for the welfare and comfort of the inhabitants of both countries, and that I was sure, nay, certain, that were it not for certain considerations standing in your way, Your Majesty would have immediately granted to the English free trade in copper as long as they wished—nay, would make the King a present of more than the quantity asked for; but they (the English) ought to consider and bear in mind that your Majesty is not absolute sovereign of Flanders and the Low Countries; that even if you were such sovereign, you know very well that the inhabitants of those countries, though ready to serve their princes and contribute with money whenever they are required, wish, on the other hand, to be maintained in their liberties and privileges and guarded by their princes against oppression and injury. It might also be that, accustomed as they are to speak out freely enough whenever they have cause for discontent or grievance, the people of the Low Countries would represent to Your Majesty that for some time back not only had you favored the English in all things much more than before, but you had lately allowed them to take out of that country prohibited goods, such as ordnance and ammunition, of which an immense quantity had, within my knowledge, reached England of late years; and that owing to that facility, viz., of purchasing abroad anything they might want—they (the English) had been encouraged to frame many laws and statutes to the detriment of the inhabitants of the Low Countries and other subjects of the Emperor. That during the government of Mdme. Marguerite, (fn. n4) the English were by no means so well treated there as they are now, nor were the Emperor's subjects as oppressed in England; thereby implying that it was in some measure Your Majesty's fault for having persuaded the Emperor's Council to delay the execution of the edicts until the pretended grievances of the people of the Low Countries should be looked into and verified. (fn. n5)
After this, Madame, I again insisted on the need there was of a fresh commercial treaty between the two nations. The councillors' answer was that I ought to know already this King's nature, who dislikes exceedingly to be rudely led or forced into anything against his will, and that after Your Majesty has gratified him by the release of the copper and ammunition which he has caused to be bought in the Low Countries, the remainder will be settled to Your Majesty's satisfaction. They then begged and entreated me to write home for the release of the goods, which release, under Your Majesty's benevolent correction, and that of your privy councillors, I am of opinion ought to be granted at once, considering that the quantity of copper seized is by no means large, that if this king chooses he may procure elsewhere all he may wish for, and, above all, that the Low Countries are not at present in need of that metal. Besides the above considerations, and others which cannot have escaped Your Majesty's attention in the present condition of public affairs, and in the state of our relations with England, it seems to me as if the release of the copper would be, under present circumstances, a political convenience; for, although the measures taken by Your Majesty have been admirably suited for the purpose of making these English feel that they are not so formidable as they themselves think, and that we are not afraid of them, yet that very fact will render the present concession more agreeable, and make them less sensible to the effects of the Navigation edict promulgated in that country, of which, though I know that they feel it immensely, they have not yet said a word of complaint to me. I am sure that Your Majesty will provide in this matter as most convenient for the Emperor's subjects. I will refrain from further observations on this topic, all the time begging Your Majesty to pardon me if I have in any way outstripped the limits of my charge.
Though the chief topic of the letter I addressed to these privy councillors turned on the answer which the King, their master, ought to make to the king of the Romans (Ferdinand) on his application for help against the Turk, and that my own secretary has since pressed them hard on the point, yet, as Your Majesty will see, not a word was said about it in the letter they wrote to me, of which a copy is enclosed. Neither did they allude to it in the least when my secretary called. The only thing they told him was that the King had duly received the letter of the king of the Romans, and had written to his ambassador [at Vienna] to signify his intention.
A few days ago the French resident ambassador, on the receipt of letters from his master, went in haste to see the King. As soon as I hear what his business at Court was, as I hope to do soon, I shall not fail to inform your Majesty.
I forgot to say that neither to me nor to my secretary was anything said respecting the motives this king's deputies may have had for not attending the dinner given on the occasion of the marriage of the duchess of Bar; (fn. n6) but my impression is that it was for the purpose of showing that they do not consider her marriage to be lawful, pretending that the marquis de Pont (fn. n7) could not legitimately marry any other lady than Dame Anne de Clèves, as the Marquis himself said to me. Since then I have not spoken to him.—London, 10 August 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original, partly in cipher. pp. 5.
12 Aug. 178. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
p. P., Fasc. C. 232,
ff. 41–4.
The day before yesterday (10th inst.) I wrote to Your Majesty at full length, and yesterday, the 11th, your letters of the 5th came to hand. I regret exceedingly that owing to a slight indisposition of mine, as well as of my own men (ten of whom are still lying in bed struck by fever), I was unable to repair immediately to Court in obedience to Your Majesty's commands. In order to make up for the said fault—which I humbly beg Your Majesty to forgive—and knowing also that this king had remitted to his Privy Council the cognizance of the affair alluded to in my last despatches, to be there examined and discussed, I did much prefer to communicate first with the privy councillors, ascertain their opinion on the matter, and persuade them to report favorably on the whole affair. However, as most of the privy councillors were then out of town (aux champs), whatever diligence the Chancellor (Audeley) used, they did not meet until this morning in the Chancellor's rooms, where I myself was present. After explaining to them what had passed between Your Majesty and this King's deputies and ambassadors, in conformity with the tenour of Your Majesty's letter of the 5th, the councillors said that, in the first place, they were much surprised to hear that the English ambassadors could ever have said or thought such things respecting the Emperor and Your Majesty, as they are reported to have uttered in Your Majesty's presence. If they had, the words and remarks must have escaped them inadvertently, as happens often with ambassadors and others who have long discourses to deliver. As to them (the councillors), they would not dispute as to whether Mr. de Granvelle, in talking about the treaties between the Emperor and their master, did allude or not to the old alliance between the Empire and England. It might after all be, as I had said to them, that what the English ambassadors had alluded to was the confirmation of the treaty of Cambray, and that the Emperor's answer had been, as I myself had been informed by letters from home, that there was no need of making new treaties, inasmuch as the Emperor wished to observe that one entirely, in all its clauses. Having, moreover, told them, for greater evidence of the fact, how unlikely it was that the said Mr. de Granvelle in speaking about treaties should have alluded to the commercial ones, I explained to them that the Emperor could no longer be obliged to observe those particular ones, as had been formally declared more than once. Nor was it to be expected that a treaty so injurious to the Emperor's subjects in general, and to the natives of the Low Countries in particular—and of which, notwithstanding the leagues, confederacies, friendships, and alliances since established between the two countries, it had been impossible to obtain the absolute confirmation—should be revalidated and corroborated by the mere words of Mr. de Granvelle. For had such been the Emperor's intention, instead of writing to me, on the same day that the English ambassadors spoke to Mr. de Granvelle, that he (the Emperor) would see with pleasure at his court an ambassador from this king to discuss with his ministers the political affairs of both countries, he would have written that there was no necessity to throw doubt on the validity of the treaty, which he wished to be observed in all its parts. Hearing this answer of mine, the privy councillors made no reply, and contented themselves with saying that they would report faithfully to their master, and let me know the result.
On the validity of their statute and refutation of the edict placarded in the Low Countries, which was their second point, the privy councillors insisted a little more sternly than on the first; but after repeating to them the substance of the answer made to their commissioners [in Brussels], and adding some observations of my own, they seemed almost convinced and kept silence. Among other arguments of mine I told them that were Spain to revive and enforce the old laws and ordinances (pragmatiques) forbidding foreign ships to lade any sort of merchandize, as long as there was a Spanish ship in port, the English would very soon find, before two years were over indeed, that they were unable to keep one-fourth of the ships they now have on the water, and that their maritime trade was completely ruined. They ought (I said) to consider that the privilege, which they alleged had been granted to foreigners for seven years, not to pay "tonlieu" in the ports of Flanders and of the Low Countries, had been given simply and purely without the restriction of lading on English ships, and that the ordinance was promulgated one year and a half after the said foreigners had enjoyed freely the said privilege—if the intermittence of an undue and unjust tax could ever be called a privilege—as may be proved by many documents and the registers of the tonlieu.
To the above observations of mine the privy councillors presented no objection whatever, save saying that they did not choose to dispute the case any longer, but would report to the King, and let me know. They wished, however, to know from me if the King could not, if he chose, abolish a privilege so highly detrimental to him and to his kingdom. My answer was that supposing it not to be a privilege, as in reality it was not, the King could not justly or reasonably do away with it; neither, if it was really a privilege, could he revoke it on account of the injury and loss to be sustained by those who had materially enjoyed it, for, as lawyers say, not only are princes bound by their word, God Himself is obliged to keep it. If they looked well into the thing, they would find that the permission granted [to foreign vessels] was very advantageous for England, which country exported a good deal more goods than before, as well as most beneficial for the King, the tonnage duty having since the immunity increased twofold.
Respecting the treaty of commerce, the privy councillors declined to entertain it, alleging that they were not sufficiently instructed as to the details of the affair and its precedents, but they did not forget to request me again and again to write home, and procure the release of the ships and goods as aforesaid.
They likewise begged me to declare to them if, besides the general offers made by me, I had any particular thing to mention likely to promote the negociations for a new commercial treaty, as desired by Your Majesty. I told them that I had none, neither had I heard from Your Majesty to that effect.
At last, after some more talk, I took leave, and begged them to be so kind, in case of my being prevented from returning by the illness from which I am still suffering, or otherwise, to excuse my absence altogether, and do their best, as good and loyal councillors of the King, towards persuading him to consent to a new treaty of commerce between the Emperor's subjects and the English, and that, for the considerations above expressed, and others, which I then submitted to them, they should have their objections, if they had any to offer, put down in writing. Nothing (said I) was so certain as Your Majesty's sentiments in the affair; it was your very singular and great zeal for the preservation and increase of the friendship and good understanding between the Emperor and the King that moved and stirred you on. That Your Majesty had long considered and reflected that very often the indignation and anger of princes does not proceed so much from injury or damage to their interests as from small annoyances (petistes fascheries), and that there is no better means to keep up old and true friendship than to know exactly what are our common duties towards each other, and that if in making the commercial treaty each party bore in mind and attended to that axiom, the negociation could not but be successful and afford mutual satisfaction. By that means all scruples and causes for quarrel, which very often rise between neighbours, would be removed. My opinion was that Your Majesty must be now in great perplexity, for, on the one hand, you would like to gratify with all your power this king, as well as his subjects, the English, who consider themselves aggrieved (grefvez) for want of observance of the commercial treaties; and, on the other hand, the Emperor's privy councillors at Your Majesty's court, as well as the lawyers and scholars (gens de lectres) versed in such affairs, say and affirm that the Emperor is not bound to observe the said treaties, such being also the belief of all the inhabitants of the Low Countries; and that as Your Majesty is not so used to, or well informed in, such economical matters as the Emperor's councillors must necessarily be, you might probably in the end be obliged to conform to their advice and prescriptions. Should, however, a declaration be made in the new treaty regarding these affairs, Your Majesty will take care that none of its clauses be infringed or altered by any one.
These words of mine the King's privy councillors took in very good part, and after withdrawing into another room and deliberating together, came to me and said that they saw clearly that I maintained my good intentions for the preservation of friendship between Your Majesty and the King, their master, for which intentions they and the King thanked me; they themselves would do such good offices with the King that Your Majesty, and I also, would have occasion to be satisfied, adding many other courteous and polite expressions to that effect. After we got up from our seats, the Chancellor, taking me apart, said to me confidentially: "One thing I should like to ask you: should there be any question of a new commercial treaty to be made, where do you think the negociation had better be carried on—here in England or in the Low Countries?" I answered that for many reasons Brussels seemed to me a litter place than London, especially as the English ambassadors were already on the spot. The Chancellor made no reply, and went away.
After dinner, by way of mirth and pastime, I asked the privy councillors how they could excuse themselves for not having made, with respect to the commercial treaty, the same attacks they had directed against that of Cambray, which read expressly that the Emperor's subjects could freely trade, deal, and reside in England as long as they pleased, exactly as if they were residing in their native country, and that, notwithstanding that, most of them had been expelled therefrom. Hearing this, the privy councillors began to look at each other, and after a while one of them said, rather inconsiderately, that it had been a very just and right measure to send back foreigners to the countries of their birth, for it was against nature for a subject to abandon his liege lord to go and reside under another prince. After my replying to the privy councillor in a manner that he did, not much like, I came to touch on the last point, which certainly must have been very disagreeable to him, for I said, among other things: If you call that unnatural, what will you say of your behaviour in this country to foreigners, whom you have made to swear fidelity to your king in exchange for a permission to reside in this country, which is equivalent to making them, renounce the allegiance they owe to their natural prince, and after that take away from them one-third of their capital? Hearing which the Chancellor and the others lowered their heads without saying one word more. And I must add, whilst on this topic, that I am surprised that Your Majesty's deputies have made no use of such arguments as this whilst negociating with the King's ambassadors, the more so that I myself have twice called Your Majesty's attention to this point in my despatches at the time that the Navigation edict was first promulgated and placarded.
To-morrow the Privy Council dispatches a messenger to the King, who is upwards of one hundred and fifty miles from this city. My secretary will accompany him. When I know what both have done there, I shall not fail to inform Your Majesty. Thanks for the 2,000 ducats just received.—London, 12 August 1541.
The great haste in which I am was the cause of my forgetting to again beg and entreat Your Majesty to bear in mind what I have written respecting the release of the copper and other goods seized on board of the English ships, and the rest of this king's present demands, and at the same time accept my excuses if I am over importunate in these affairs, for I cannot do otherwise, hard pressed as I am by these privy councillors, and also fully convinced that should what I propose be done, affairs would go on much better.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. p. 8.
12 Aug. 179. Abstract of the Despatch of Ambassador Marillac to King Francis.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
ff. 45–8.
The duke of Norfolk has often said to ambassador Marillac that the King, his master, is very affectionately disposed towards the king of France, and much inclined to be his friend. Although in past times one of the two may have had cause to complain of the other, the differences between them are now entirely forgotten.
With regard to the question of a marriage between the duke of Orleans (Charles) and the Princess (Mary), the Duke says that when they, the English, saw that you (the King) approved what I myself had brought forward, I should have a conclusive answer to my proposals. The Duke also said, as if coming from himself, that the true path to the friendship we talked of was a treaty of marriage, but that the proposal must needs come from France first.—Lincoln, 12 Aout 1541.
French. Deciphering. p. 1.
180. The King of France to his Ambassador in England.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
f. 149.
I (the King) am glad of the news about the marriage; yet, in order to conceal that the proposal really came from me, it must appear as if you, my ambassador, fearing lest I should disapprove of your having made such overtures, had written to the admiral of France (Brion-Chabot) my cousin, who, having always been in favor of the English friendship and of the proposed marriage, could not but approve of your acts and excuse you. (fn. n8)
The news from Rome is that the Emperor is greatly disappointed about his expedition to Algiers. Heavy expenses and costs. An army of about 30,000 men, who will most likely remain some time with him in Italy. At the interview which the Emperor proposes to hold with Pope Paul there, his intention is, among other things, to ask him for the meeting of the General Council, which cannot, however, be assembled, save to the great detriment and injury of the king of England.
Instructs the ambassador as to the manner of communicating the above news to the King.
With regard to the marriage, the ambassador is to limit himself to two points, namely, that the pension paid by France be done away with, or else be considered as the dowry of Dame Marie; (fn. n9) the other, that the king of Scotland, my good son-in-law, be comprised in the treaty of alliance.
French. Deciphering. p. 1.
24 Aug. 181. Commander Covos to the Marquis Del Gasto.
S. E., L. 638.
B. M. Add. 28,593,
f. 24.
I have to thank you for the particular and private account of what you yourself knew of Fragoso's case, and the justification by you offered first to Mr. de Langes, and afterwards to the Most Christian king of France himself, sending to them count Landriano with explanation of the Rincon and Fragoso case. I entirely approve of your conduct in that affair, though, if I am to believe what ambassador Figueroa writes from Genoa, king Francis does not seem at all satisfied with the excuses offered. I have, however, no doubt that Your Excellency has acted in all this affair as was most suitable; though we fear that all this may lead to bad feelings—of which there seems to be abundance everywhere—being set in motion, especially now that the invasion of Hungary by the Turk seems to be a certainty.—Madrid, 24 August 1541.
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
n. d. 182. Idiaquez to Francisco de Los Cobos.
S. E., Cor. de Cast.
L. 52, f. 356.
B. M. Add. 28,593,
f. 23.
The post from Flanders has brought letters from the marquis de Aguilar of the 27th June, the substance of which is that Martin Alonso arrived there on the 19th. Finding that His Holiness was absent from Rome, he went out and met him at Passano, where he had audience and kissed his hand, telling him about the Diet, &c. After that Martin Alonso prosecuted his journey.
The ambassador explains the causes of the differences between the Legate and Papal Nuncio with Andalot. It would appear that the Pope having ordered the imprisonment of one Geronymo de Carpi—once a chamberlain of the duke Alessandro [de' Medici], whom the duchess [Margaret] favors on account of his having once been in her service—as the barachel was taking him to prison Andalot and his servants went out and released the prisoner. After this the Duchess herself, Ottavio [her husband], Cardinal Farnese, and the Imperial ambassador [marquis de Aguilar] took the man before the Pope to be examined by him, and see whether he was guilty or not. It appears that he was accused of having said before witnesses that His Holiness had caused the assassination of Cardinal de Medicis, and other things. The Pope, for the Duchess' sake, ordered the man's release at once, but refused to forgive Andalot, and his indignation against him is still very great.
Letters have also come from the viceroy of Naples in date of the 16th of June. Martin Alonso had not yet appeared there. On the coast of Puglia there were no less than 18 Turkish fustees; a landing had been effected on some points, but Scipione di Suma [Soma?] had successfully opposed them and no harm had been done.
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
28 Aug. 183. The King of France to Mr. de Marillac.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
f. 147.
The King has a great desire for perfect friendship and alliance with the king of England.
Relates the arrest of Sieurs Fregouse (Fregoso) and Rincon, a thing of the most serious and momentous consequences for the future.
Has heard through the Admiral (Brion-Chabot) the overtures that have been made for the marriage of his son [the duke of Orleans], which he finds both honorable and suitable. He entirely approves of them; but the ambassador must inquire in what quality, as to rank and position, the King intends giving away his daughter, and with what advantages to her as to dowry, &c.—Chavaignes, 28 August 1541.
French. Deciphering. p. 1.
28 Aug. 184. The Admiral of France to the Ambassador.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
f. 149.
The Admiral has informed the King, his master, of the marriage proposals, which have been thought very good and acceptable. The ambassador, above all things, is to beg the duke of Norfolk to keep the affair secret.—Chauaignes, 28 August 1541.—Brion.
n. d. 185. The Ambassador's Answer to the King of France.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
f. 150.
The ambassador finds the duke of Norfolk well disposed to favor king Francis' views in every respect, but the rest of theKing's councillors are envious of him, owing to the ambassador having only confided the affair to him in the first instance. They will, therefore, do all they can to mar the negociations for the marriage. Has kept profound secrecy about the whole thing, and asked in what quality and rank the King intends giving away the Dame Marie. The answer, after four days, has been that the King will be very glad that the marriage take place, and as to the quality of Dame Marie that, after the conditions of the marriage are agreed upon on both sides, that is to say, what her dowry and marriage portion are to be, the King will then—not before—declare his intention as to the status on which she is to be married, and how and in what cases she is to succeed to his crown, adding, as if it came from him personally, not from his Privy Council, that he (the King) would have no difficulty whatever about her legitimisation, presuming, as he said, that without that requisite the whole of the negociation would fall to the ground. His opinion on the subject was that with regard to the succession, the young prince of Wales, his son, and all other children of the King, male or female, that he now has or may have in future, with the sole exception of the daughter of queen Anne, called Isabeau (Elizabeth), are to come first. As to the dowry, he said that an especial commission of the king of France under his royal seal was absolutely indispensable for treating of the affair; that could not be settled otherwise.
The difficulties to be surmounted in the affair are, in my opinion, three: 1st. That when I talked to the duke of Norfolk about the duke of Orleans as a husband for Dame Marie, he said that the Duke was too great a prince for them (the English), and that they did not wish for one so great. 2nd. That it is forbidden in England to call Katherine, her mother, queen, but only Mme. Katherine. For no other reason, as Mr. de Norfolc tells me, has the hand of Dame Marie been refused to the Emperor [who asked for it] than the fear of the succession coming eventually to her, and her husband coming to rule over England through a viceroy of his, as the Emperor is doing in Naples, which would be an unbearable state of things for the English.
The third difficulty that I see in it is that the king of England will naturally ask that the formal proposal come first from France, as well as the conditions and articles of the marriage treaty, and the advantages and advancement which the king of France intends bestowing on his son, the duke of Orleans, without, however, the king of England declaring openly what his will and intention are on the subject, thus leaving a back door open through which he may escape from and elude the treaty whenever he chooses. (fn. n10)
French. Deciphering. pp. 2.
29 Aug. 186. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
ff. 17–8.
My secretary returned yesterday from Court, but he has brought no other answer than that which Your Majesty will see in the enclosed memorandum and note from the privy councillors who are now away with the King. Indeed, I fancy that those who are here in London have not been consulted at all, as they were the other time, for if I am not mistaken the latter must have written to Court in conformity with Your Majesty's wishes, or nearly so, whereas the note of the former is anything but reassuring. As the affair was important my secretary stayed four days at the King's court, during which time the duke of Suffolk, in the name of the entire Privy Council, made him all manner of compliments and excuses for the delay, telling him that the affair being one of weight and importance, and he himself and the rest of the privy councillors having to entertain their master and provide for his amusement, they had been unable to attend to our business as steadily as they would have wished. For the same reasons as above alleged, they would have avoided giving us an answer in writing, but since we so desired it, they had complied at once with the pressing requests of my secretary.
Your Majesty, by your great wisdom and insight, will be able to judge by the contents of the letter, as well as by the proceedings of this king's ambassadors, what little chance there is of his being ever persuaded to revoke or reform his laws and statutes, much less consenting to enter into a new commercial treaty with Your Majesty, believing, as no doubt he does, that the new treaty can never be so advantageous for him and his people as the old ones were. That is why I am of opinion that there is nothing that can make the King come to his senses but to put in force the two ordinances (pragmatiques) which from time immemorial have been observed in Spain, one of which forbids foreign vessels to lade any merchandize as long as there are Spanish ones to be freighted. This would be the fit season and proper opportunity to enforce the said ordinance, for in a month, or six weeks at the most, there will be in Andalusia upwards of sixty English ships to lade wines, raisins, figs, oil, salted meat, and other merchandize; and provided the ordinance were kept and observed during two years, most of these skippers would be obliged to sell their ships and give up navigation altogether, which would tell sadly against this king's intentions and purposes, who has had his statute framed for the sole purpose of increasing his own navy.
The other ordinance which in my opinion ought to be revived and enforced is that which forbids, under pain of confiscation, the introduction into Spain of woollen cloth woven and prepared as almost all the English cloths are. The same thing, I think, might be done in Flanders without the English having cause or reason to complain.
Meanwhile, under such protest as might be deemed advisable, the subjects of this King might be allowed to take away what they have bought, in the shape of copper and ammunition, after having, if it was thought convenient and opportune, represented to this King's ministers that they ought not, for the reasons already alleged, to find fault with Your Majesty for having forbidden the export of those articles from the Low Countries, since they themselves had denied to the Emperor in former times the export of grain—once particularly for the provision of biscuit to the Imperial galleys bound for the coasts of Barbary and Turkey.
In short, without any further application to these people on the subject, the Emperor's edict ought to be enforced in all its parts, and in this manner, I take it, the English will be deprived little by little of all their advantages in matters of trade and commercial treaties. Then it will be time for Your Majesty to negociate, and I have no doubt that things will go on better and upon more equal terms.
I must not forget to say that the other day the duke of Norfolk, talking familiarly to my secretary of various matters, said to him that the King, his master, and all the privy councillors knew very well Your Majesty's very particular inclination towards the preservation of the friendship and good neighbourhood of the two countries—England and the Low Countries—but that they also were aware that Your Majesty guided your actions by the Emperor's Privy Council sitting in Brussels, and that there were among the members of that Council two who were so strongly attached to the French that they would do every thing in their power to prevent the good understanding between the Emperor and their master. They told him also that concerning the king's contribution for the expenses of the war against the Turk, there was no difficulty at all, their master being determined to help and assist, provided all the other princes assisted duly.
My secretary has also brought from Court a declaratory note respecting the last memorandum I sent to Your Majesty, the duplicate of which in cipher is here appended.
The King is coming back from his long tour, and it is thought that he will be back in this city or its neighbourhood in about a month hence.—London, 29 August 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 4.
n. d. 187. The French Secretary in England to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 231,
ff. 87–102.
In his last letter to his ambassador, dated Lan en Bresse, the 17th of September, the King writes that he has heard from reliable quarters of the shameful defeat that the king of the Romans (Ferdinand), the Emperor's brother, has lately sustained near Buda with great loss. In that letter the Emperor is accused of not having gone to the succour of his brother, king Francis remarking that by this time it is believed the Turks have taken possession of Vienna. Such a conflict for Christendom (the King remarks) would never have happened, had not Rincon been made prisoner, as he has actually been, together with Cesare Fragoso.
The King also writes that Vincentio Maggio, whom he had sent to the Levant to represent his affairs about the person of the Grand Turk (Solyman), had advised that upon hearing of Rincon's arrest by the Emperor's men, he had immediately arrested Laschi, the ambassador of the king of the Romans, sent him to the fortress of Belgrade, confined him within one of its towers, and sold all his horses. Lastly, that Monsieur the duke of Savoy and his son had both departed in anger from the Emperor.
The latter was in the Tirol, ready to enter Italy at the head of 15,000 lanskenets, exclusive of the Spanish infantry he had with him. These last, however, being raw levies, and by no means well disciplined, might probably be soon dismissed, as a gentleman from the Levant (?) had written to the sieur de Bois-Rigault, his ambassador in Switzerland. (fn. n11)
I cannot well recollect the name of the gentleman, which begins with the letter N, yet I can well recognize him by the contents of the letter which he himself wrote to the said Bois-Rigault, and which I have read entirely from beginning to end, the substance of which letter was as follows: That as the aforesaid 15,000 German lanskenets who are under the command of count Frederik [von Furstenberg] and of his brother, refuse to march in the direction the Emperor wants them to go, it would be easy to make them desert his banners. That is why the Frenchman [from the Levant] had written to the ambassador in Switzerland, Mr. de Bois-Rigault, that if the King, his master, wished to secure the services of the aforesaid 15,000 lanskenets, and 1,000 more who had been refused to pass the last muster, the thing would be practicable, and the whole of them might march wherever they were ordered to go.
If I recollect right the letter was written at Zel. (fn. n12)
n. d. 188. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 231,
ff. 87–102.
The French ambassador's man begs to inform Chapuys of one circumstance which he omitted in his last letter. The king of France, by his note of the 26th July, advised that Mons. de Mongiron, his lieutenant in the Daulphine, having heard of the arrest of Cesar Fregouze (Fragoso) and Rincon by the Spaniards of Pavia, had taken prisoner the archbishop of Valence (Valencia) and coadjutor of Liège, (fn. n13) the Emperor's uncle, and that having asked the king of England's advice as to the manner of retaliating, the latter had answered that he could not give opinion or advice in the matter, as Rincon was a Spaniard, and Fregoro (Fragoso) himself a Genoese, and besides that his brother (king Francis) knew better than himself how to manage an affair of that sort.
The ambassador's reply was that Fragoso was not the Emperor's man at all, but a servant and subject of the King, his master, since he was a Genoese by birth.
The king of England considers the whole thing very strange.


  • n1. "Du xxix. de lautre mois" says the original; but as the letter itself is undated, it is not easy to fix the month.
  • n2. By this time Jeanne, the daughter of Henri II. d'Albret, and Marguerite de Valois, or de Navarre, as she is more generally designated, had been married to Antoine de Bourbon, duke of Vendôme.
  • n3. Tant y a que je me contente assez davoir veu lempereur une fois.
  • n4. Margaret of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Maximilian and aunt of Charles. She governed the Low Countries from 1506 to her death in 1530.
  • n5. Les Anglois nestoient a beaucoupt prez si bien traictez de par dela et les subjectz de sa Mate [lempereur] nestoient aussi oppresses de par de ça et vouldroient par ce donner aulcune culpe a vostre mate la quelle a ceste occasion aura peutestre [este] persuade du Conseil de sa mate de differer la dite traicte (?) jusques aye este advise sur les pretenduez querelles de ceulx de par de la."
  • n6. The duchess of Bar (Bari) is apparently meant for Christina, the dowager duchess of Milan, who after her husband's death took the title of duchess of Bari, the same lady whose hand Henry VIII. solicited.
  • n7. The marquis de Pont-a-Mousson. See above, p. 332 note.
  • n8. The whole is in cipher, though without a date.
  • n9. Mary, the Princess.
  • n10. No date, but most likely August.
  • n11. "Mais que pour estre mauvaise, et nouvelle, pourroyt bien estre contremandee, ainsi que ung chevalier du Levant avoyt escript au Sr de Bois-Rigault, son ambassadeur en suysse."
  • n12. A note, evidently in Chapuys' hand, has the following: It seems to me, subject to correction, that the letter above transcribed is a mere invention, for the king of France is in the habit, in all his letters, of colouring and embellishing his subject so as to lower and understate as much as he can the Emperor's forces, whereas in this present one he does just the contrary.
  • n13. George of Austria, natural son of the emperor Maximilian. See Vol. V., Part II., p. 580.