Spain: December 1541, 1-20

Pages 406-425

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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December 1541, 1-20

3 Dec. 209. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
ff. 67.
Your Imperial Majesty must have been acquainted by my despatches of the 6th, 9th and 11th of November with what passed in this king's Privy Council. Since then, on the 25th of the same month, I received Your Majesty's letter of the 16th of October, of which I immediately gave cognizance to the Lord Privy Seal and to the Admiral, that they might at their earliest convenience communicate its contents to the King. This they did immediately, informing me that the King, their master, had taken the communication in good part, and thanked me for the news. Then they said to my man that the King had that very morning received letters by way of France, advising that Your Majesty had brought your enterprise to an end with all honor and glory, and that by that time you ought to be back in Spain. However, they (the councillors) wished that intelligence not to be made public, or, at any rate, that they should not be called the authors or reporters of the news. (fn. n1)
Since then, the clerk of the Privy Council having come to me for the purpose of which I will write hereafter, he has given me to understand that the said news proceeded from Venice, and that together with that letter this king had received another, stating that the king of France, some time before Your Majesty's embarcation [for Africa], had sent two ships with men, provisions and ammunition, at which news this king and the members of his Privy Council had been very indignant; their indignation being greatly increased by that foolish and very rash report circulated by the French at the time of the approaching marriage of the duke of Orleans with the Princess, and also that Master Waloup had written from Guisnes that the news from every part of France was that such was the general talk throughout the country, (fn. n2) and that owing to it the garrisons of towns and castles of Flanders bordering on Guisnes and other towns of this king had been re-inforced by order of Your Imperial Majesty, which is, as I fancy, one of the causes of this king sending his Lord Privy Seal to me, as I wrote on the 19th ult.
This same clerk was again sent on St. Andrews' day to tell me that the day after Colpeper and Durem (Durham) would be tried for high treason, begging me to send one of my secretaries to be present at the trial. The same notice and invitation has been handed round to the ambassador of France, to the Venetian Secretary, and to the gentleman of the duke of Clèves, who is still here. All the privy councillors witnessed the trial, which, after a long discussion lasting six hours, ended in the condemnation of the two abovementioned gentlemen, who were sentenced to be hung and quartered as traitors. Durem (Durham) did confess having known the Queen familiarly before she was either betrothed or promised to the King; but said he did not know that there was any wrong in that, inasmuch as they were then engaged to each other. Colpeper persisted in denying the guilt of which he was accused, maintaining that he never solicited or had anything to do with her; on the contrary, it was she who had importuned him through Mme. de Rochefort, requesting him (Colpeper) to go and meet her in a retired place in Lincolnshire, to which she appointed him, and that on that occasion he (Colpeper) having kept the appointment, she herself told him, as she had on the first instance sent him word through Mme. Rochefort, that she pined for him, and was actually dying of love for his person. It is thought that both will be beheaded to-day. Dame de Rochefort would have been sentenced at the same time had she not, on the third day after her imprisonment, been seized with a fit of madness (frenesi) by which her brain is affected.
True is it that now and then she recovers her reason, and that the King takes care that his own physicians visit her daily, for he desires her recovery chiefly that he may afterwards have her executed as an example and warning to others.
The Queen is still at Syon House, and it is believed that the King, to show clemency in her case, will make no innovation whatever with regard to her, or do more than he has hitherto done until Parliament meets and decides what her fate is to be.
It was thought that the King, who has been amusing himself in the neighbourhood of this city to divert his sorrowful thoughts (pour divertir ung peu sa fantaisie), would perhaps have gone as far as the place where Mme. de Clèves resides; but no, he has taken quite a different route, (fn. n3) and as yet there is no sign at all of his being in the humour of retaking her. As the clerk of the Council to whom I allude has for a long time been on intimate terms with me, I did not hesitate to propound to him, at all hazards, that if the King separated himself from this queen on account of her having had connexion with a wan before her marriage to him, he would have been justified in doing the same with Mme. de Clèves, for if the rumour current in the Low Countries was true, there were plenty of causes for a separation; for, considering that queen's age, her being fond of wine, and of indulging in other excesses, as they (the English) might have had occasion to observe, it was natural enough to suppose that she had failed in the same manner. The Clerk did not deny the strength of my argument, (fn. n4) but said that he did not believe the King would again retake her, or marry another woman unless Parliament positively forced him to it.
Three days ago the French ambassador's secretary sent me word that his chief had received letters from France of the 23rd ult., and at the same time full powers and instructions to treat of the marriage of the duke of Orleans with the Princess (Mary). He (the ambassador) was to make offers on a very large scale, without stopping, as at other times, at the arrears of pensions and any similar claims by way of a dowry for the Princess. He was above all things to take particular care not to offend the English in any way, nor give them occasion to take Your Imperial Majesty's side. And, as the said secretary affirms, it appears that his chief has now good hope of fulfilling his commission, and accomplishing the marriage in question, and that he knows also the means of preventing it. What those means are the ambassador would not declare to the secretary, who, however, did not insist much upon knowing them, making as if he did not care; perceiving also from, certain expressions of his chief that he is not at all satisfied at not having received yet some assurance in answer to his offers of service in future, tacitly implying thereby that he does not wish to have all his secrets wormed out of him, to be afterwards cast away when he has nothing more to give.—London, 3 December 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England du iii. de Decembre. Received at Madrid on the 14th Jan. 1542."
3 Dec. 210. The Same to the Queen Regent.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
ff. 78–9.
I have just received by my man Your Majesty's letter of the 27th ult., and must, before all things, humbly thank Your Majesty for the good you have been pleased to do me by ordering the settlement of my account, and also for recommending the treasurers at Brussels to be more punctual in future.
With respect to this king's ambassadors, it seems to me as if it were a very prudent and wise measure to let them alone as long as they do not renew their complaints, of which, however, I very much wonder that the Lord Privy Seal has not spoken to me for some time, especially now that the French—as the ambassador's man, who has just called, says—are continually representing to these people the shameful trick which they pretend the Emperor has played them by means of the Navigation edict, exaggerating beyond measure the consequences that measure may have upon their trade, and saying that had this king acted towards France as he has acted towards the Low Countries, they would no doubt have resented it, and yet that king Francis prized too much the friendship of England not to postpone his own and his subjects' interests, without taking it in bad part and retaliating as the Emperor had done.
It seems to me that this king is already sufficiently edified and convinced concerning Mr. de Granvelle's stay at Rome, since besides telling him what Your Majesty will see by my despatch of the 19th ult., I have since given him to understand that one of the chief reasons His Imperial Majesty had for leaving that minister behind was the great inclination and desire which you know him to have respecting the accomplishment of those things of which the bishop of Winchester (Gardiner) spoke to him (Granvelle) at his departure from the Imperial court. For that very reason also had Mr. de Granvelle accepted the charge of remaining at Rome and negociating with His Holiness. Nor did I fail then and there to exhibit the letters and papers which Your Imperial Majesty caused to be addressed to me respecting the late doings at Rome, and how that Imperial minister had appeared before the Holy Father for the matter of the observance of the truce.
I cannot see that there is at present any appearance of a new treaty or closer alliance between these people and the French. Should there be any negotiations on foot for one, it will be my duty, according to His Imperial Majesty's commands, to use great care and vigilance in finding it out, and, if so, preventing it with all my power. Enclosed is the duplicate of what I have written to the Emperor on the occurrences in this country.—London, 3 Dec. 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 2.
3 Dec. 211. The Same to Mr. de Granvelle.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
f. 65.
By my preceding letters of the 10th and 19th of November, (fn. n5) your Lordship must have heard the news of this place. What has happened since your Lordship will see by what I now write to the Emperor. I could not if I wished add anything to them, save say that this king has wonderfully felt the case of the Queen, his wife, and that he has certainly shown greater sorrow and regret at her loss than at the faults, loss, or divorce of his preceding wives. (fn. n6) In fact, I should say that this king's case resembles very much that of the woman who cried more bitterly at the loss of her tenth husband than she had cried on the death of the other nine put together, though all of them had been equally worthy people and good husbands to her: the reason being that she had never buried one of them without being sure of the next, but that after the tenth husband she had no other one in view, hence her sorrow and her lamentations. Such is the case with the King, who, however, up to this day does not seem to have any plan or female friend to fall back upon. (fn. n7)
The queen of Hungary has sent me a report of what passed lately between His Imperial Majesty's ministers and those of king Francis in the presence of His Holiness respecting the observation of the truce. I will, according to the Queen's instructions, make use of it whenever there is an opportunity, which I fancy will present itself soon, of talking to this king, for on his return from the country, whither he is gone for change of air and to divert his sorrow, I know he intends sending for me.—London, 3 December 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
8 Dec. 212. King Francis to his Ambassador in England.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 231,
f. 79.
Monsr. de Marillac, &c., I have received from several quarters the most pitiful intelligence of the rout of the Emperor's army at Algiers, first owing to the storms that sank, as it is reported, seventeen of his galleys, and one hundred and fifty transport vessels of all sizes; and, secondly, in consequence of the distress and famine caused by the loss and dispersion of the Imperial fleet. Owing to which reason the Emperor has been obliged to raise the siege of Algiers and take to the galleys and ships still afloat, not, however, without a great number of his men being drowned or slain by the enemy, at which sad event I am greatly concerned (dont il me desplait grandement). There is much uncertainty as to the place where the Emperor has taken refuge. Some think that he is at Bulgea (Bugia); others say that he is still on the high seas, driven by the winds, and in danger of being swallowed by the waves.
As the English might imagine that owing to the sad event to which I allude my affection for their king has cooled down, and that from this moment I should be less solicitous in procuring closer friendship and alliance with them, you will try to make them understand—nay, assure them in the most positive manner, that no event whatever, prosperous or adverse, will in the least change or diminish my affection and goodwill towards their king.—Fontainebleau, 8 December 1541.
Indorsed: "Copy of a ciphered letter from king Francis to his ambassador in England."
French. p. 1.
11 Dec. 213. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 85–92.
By my last dispatch of the 3rd inst. I informed Your Majesty of the condemnation and sentence of Colpeper and Durem, who were both executed, the former, having obtained the grace of being beheaded according to his petition; the other meeting with a more cruel death, according to the sentence passed by his judges. Not to leave the Tower empty of lodgers, no sooner had the above-mentioned left for the place of execution than the old duchess of Norphocq (Norfolk), (fn. n8) second wife of the father of the present Duke, was conveyed to it, along with the wife of Lord Vullien (William), (fn. n9) who himself had returned from his embassy to France only eight days ago, and was the day before yesterday also lodged in the Tower. It would appear that the mother, as well as the wife and a sister of Lord Vullien (William), have been arrested in consequence of the declaration made by a secretary of that lord, who was himself arrested on St. Andrew's eve. This man declared, among other things, that his master and the said ladies of his family were well informed of the improper conduct of this queen before she was in the grace and favor of this king, which is considered a great crime. Until now no other cause is pointed out as likely to have caused their imprisonment. The duke of Norphocq (Norfolk), some time before the return of his half-brother to London, had left for his estates in that county. It is presumed that he did not go thither of his own free will, but was sent on some pretence or other, to have him away from the Privy Council now that business touching his own family must necessarily be discussed therein.
On the 5th inst. Mr. de Morvillier (fn. n10) arrived here, on his way to Scotland, sent by the king of France, and also, as himself has given people to understand, on certain business of Monsieur de Guise. He remained in this city until yesterday, the 10th, in the afternoon, waiting for his passports, which the French resident ambassador has solicited and obtained for him, without either he or the other ambassador having seen the King or the privy councillors about it.
The ambassador's secretary has informed me that Morviellier (sic) would, by the express command of the King, his master, have taken the direct route to Scotland by sea, had not unfavorable winds and a very high sea obliged him to pass through this city, and that the French resident ambassador and he himself (Morvillier) had been very much engaged in devising excuses, for fear this king and his ministers should find fault with his voyage, or, what would have been still worse, refuse him a passport. Among the excuses they thought of, one was to say that Morvillier was going to condole with king James, on the part of king Francis and of the duke of Guise, for the loss of his royal mother [Margaret Tudor]. So it was that the ambassador's man, my confidant, sent me word that for two consecutive days after his arrival in this city Morvilliers had not left his room, thus showing that he did not like to be seen, or that this king and his ministers should know that he was in England, as most of them must have seen him the last time that the bishop of Terbez (Tarbes) (fn. n11)since deceased in Spain—was here. The secretary (my confidant) had been with him some time, and tried to learn what his mission was, but he could get nothing important out of him. The only person Mr. de Morveillier spoke about was the duke of Clèves, whose wit, dexterity, and power he extolled beyond measure. The same praises did he sing of the duke of Saxony, saying that he was the sincere friend of the King, his master, and ready to do his will in all matters, and that he had lately sent to Madame d'Alebret, (fn. n12) whom these Frenchmen call queen of Navarre, the portrait of his wife and of the rest of his family.
For the last two days the news of Your Majesty's retreat from the coast of Africa has been known here; I am sure that this king will be sorry to hear of it, or at least the majority of his privy councillors, though, on the other hand, the hope of treating more readily and advantageously with Your Imperial Majesty will sweeten their sorrow, unless they lean too much on the other side of the balance, for fear Your Imperial Majesty should gratify the French more than before. I will, however, take every possible care to watch and discover the whims of these people and report accordingly. The French ambassador has not yet had news of the affair he has in hand, but the admiral of France (Brion-Chabot) wrote to him on the 19th and 29th ult., that he and his colleagues considered the enterprize in which they are now engaged a difficult one.
Two honest citizens were three days ago confined to prison for having lately stated, after the publication of this queen's misbehaviour, that the whole thing seemed to them a judgment of God, for, after all, Mme. de Clèves was really the King's wife, and, although the rumour had been purposely spread that the King had had no connexion whatever with her, yet the contrary might be asserted, since she was known to have gone away [from London] in the family way from the King, and had actually been confined this last summer, the rumour of which confinement, real or supposed, has widely circulated among the people. (fn. n13) —London, 11 December 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England, the xith of Dec. 1541. Received on the 8th of January 1542."
French. Original, partly in cipher. pp. 3.
14 Dec. 214. Mr. de Granvelle to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 1188,
ff. 129–134.
B. M. Add. 28,593,
f. 85.
On the 30th ult. I despatched an express to Your Majesty with our common letter (Aguilar's and mine), giving an account of what passed up to my departure from Rome, and making also an abstract of the intelligence contained in the letters of the king of the Romans, dowager queen of Hungary, and Your Majesty's ambassador in England during my stay in the Papal court, as well as a discourse (fn. n14) of what seemed to me ought to be provided for in each particular case, according to the state in which Your Majesty's political affairs and those of other princes are just now. I fancy that both my letter and the paper alluded to have safely reached Your Majesty's hands, and therefore I will not append the duplicate thereof to this present despatch, which goes by a courier of the king of Portugal.
The last news we have of Your Majesty is that you had arrived at Bugia, and that prince Doria was daily expected at Genoa with his galleys, for Figuerca's advices are that on the 5th inst. the Prince's galleon had entered that port, and that on the same day several German and 200 Spanish soldiers had landed. The marquis de Aguilar writes from Rome on the 9th that people lately arrived from Palermo certified that the viceroy of Sicily (Ferrante Gonzaga) had reached Sicily with 11 galleys on the eve of Saint Catharine's day, and that the Spanish infantry that was to winter in Sardinia were already in that island. The Marquis del Gasto also writes that he hears Your Majesty was about to send to Lombardy nine companies (banderas) of Spanish infantry under field-marshall Vargas; but that at the time he closed his letter only the 200 men above alluded to had landed. The greater part of the Italian infantry has also landed at Liorna (Livorno), Piombino, and other ports of Tuscany without accident of any sort. Cano also came through this place (Siena), and told us that the retreat had been caused entirely by the loss of some transports with provisions, but that it had been executed in perfect order and without confusion. The loss in armed galleys had not been so great as was said at first, nor had it happened in the manner described. Cano's report (fn. n15) in writing I have sent to the Privy Council in Spain.
As yet the French are not stirring on the frontiers of Lombardy, nor in France either is there any hostile movement announced on the part of Anibaut (Hannebault) or Langes. Nevertheless about La Mirandola they brag considerably, and make show of enlisting captains and men. Cheri has been, or is still, in the Modenese with 15 horse making a great fuss, and thence he is going to La Mirandola; but nowhere else is there any stir. As to count Pitigliano and Paulo de Chieri, (fn. n16) they have certainly been trying to make levies in the Roman States, and here it is reported that they have had secret conferences with His Holiness. As the intelligence comes from the Florentine ambassador in Rome, I attach no great faith to it, nor to another piece of news which the duke of Florence (Cosmo) has written to me, namely, that Pitigliano and Chieri might very easily have gone to Perose (Perugia) where they can raise 5 or 6,000 men. Though I do not believe in such reports, however much the Pope may countenance those two condottieri, as it is surmised, I have, nevertheless, written to Rome to the Marquis that he may be on his guard.
The Marquis del Gasto has sent count Landriano to ask me whether I approve or not of his taking in his pay for the defence of Lombardy 2,000 German lanskennets from those lately landed from Algiers, to be in the meanwhile supported by Florence and the people of Lucca. My answer has been that he may enlist the Germans if he finds that he cannot possibly do without them; but that they must be sent straight to the estate of count Malespina, and once there we can treat with the duke Cosmo, who, I hear, has at this moment a large quantity of wheat in store, and who, for fear of those Germans penetrating into his estate, would rather support them outside or give them money to go elsewhere. He has since written to me that since he hears that the Emperor is about to send to Tuscany some of the Spanish infantry that was at Algiers, he prefers the latter to the Germans, and besides that there is no fear of king Francis undertaking anything in Italy for three months to come. I have told him that I approve of the measure, but that in any case, whether Germans or Spaniards, they must go first to the lands of the count of Malespina and take up their quarters there; for according to the advice of Don Juan de Luna, now here with count Landriano, that seems to me to be the best course to pursue in these matters of the quartering of troops, it being always preferable to tax the inhabitants in that way than extort money from them.
From the Levant and from Venice I have no other information than that contained in the letters of D. Diego de Mendoza, here enclosed. (fn. n17)
No news from the bishop of Fossombrone, (fn. n18) His Holiness' Datary, who started several days ago for France. I very much fear that king Francis will keep him there without coming to a decision until he hears what is to be the probable destination of Your Majesty's fleet, and how and where your land forces are situated; then he will answer, not before. For the present I see no danger for Italy; but I am afraid of Flanders, where matters are not very smooth just now, as the Queen Regent writes.
It also seems to me, subject to correction, that the remarks made by me in the above-mentioned discourse with regard to England ought to be taken into consideration, chiefly if the account sent by Your Majesty's ambassador in that country (Eustace Chapuys) of his conversation with the Lord Privy Seal, and the latter's overtures, can be depended upon; because if it were possible to make there, in England, some sort of agreement (concierto), it might serve to bridle in some manner the turbulent spirit of the French, though no other result might come out of it than that of inducing the king of the former country to declare openly against France.
What state German affairs are in just now Your Majesty will be able to judge by the enclosed letters of the king of the Romans, and by the instructions of the duke Lewis of Bavaria and of the councillors of the Catholic League. I have noted on the margins of the latter paper my own observations about it, and written to the king of the Romans in conformity.
I have received a ciphered letter from the Marquis del Gasto respecting the quarters for the Spanish infantry; I enclose it also. (fn. n19)
Ever since my arrival in this city (Sena) I have been continually working for its pacification in union with cardinal Sfrondato. On Sunday, the 4th inst., I myself went to the Council rooms, to a meeting attended by no less than 500 persons, and after a discussion, which lasted from the 22 to the 24 hours of the day, it was resolved that one "capitano di Giusticia" should be created for criminal cases and another for the civil ones; that each of these should have a vicar, lieutenant or legal assessor, and two "barrachellos," one for the city and the other for the country, with a number of foot and horse. That the salary and perquisites of each captain should amount every month to 160 "scuti." This captain to replace the six judges that existed before, and who never administered justice except by favor. It was agreed that the first time the captain should be elected by me, and that after one or two years, according as his government was good or bad, he should cease in his office. The next two elections to be made by the Imperial Senate of Milan or by the Collateral Council of Naples, and after that the Republic to elect their own captain, provided the latter be one attached to the Imperial party, not a native of this city, nor residing within so many miles of it. This being agreed upon I have written to the Marquis del Gasto at Milan, to designate, conjointly with the president of the Senate of Milan, the Chancellor, and ambassador Figueroa, the person they may consider most fit for the charge. It was likewise agreed that a new "Balia" of 40 persons should be elected instead of the 20 who were before, and that I myself should appoint eight more bailiffs, two for each "monte."
The election and appointments took place, passed very well and with great order and respect for Your Imperial Majesty, most of the people of this city being sincerely attached to your service, only I observed that at each ballot there were always 80 black balls, which I presume were thrown in by the Salvis (fn. n20) and their party, or by people in their pay. I will dissemble in this as in other matters, and will forward to Your Imperial Majesty a full description of what passed in that consistory or assembly.
The election, as I said above, lasted from five to seven, (fn. n21) which reminded me of the celebrated sitting at the Cortes of Monçon. Upon the whole it turned out satisfactorily enough, only that several deserving persons were excluded from it owing to family feuds and parties—of which there are many here—the same whom I afterwards appointed according to agreement, considering them to be honest citizens without too violent bias. Of the Salvis (Salviati?) not one was elected, owing to their being much hated in this place.
As far as I can gather there are three different factions or parties in this city. Some are honestly looking out for the remedy, no matter whence it comes. Others would have it immediately, so that by crushing the Salvis and their adherents they might afterwards gain the superiority. These are divided into two sections; one is that of the archbishop and his brother, who may perhaps think that it is the surest path to the cardinalate; those who went to Lucca to lay their complaints before Your Majesty claim also, as far as I can gather, to have sooner or later the command of this place.
As to the third faction, the Salvis, they would prefer that things remain as they were, because they hope that when I am gone they will be able to effect a revolution, and perhaps also become masters of Siena (Sena) with the assistance of the Pope and of France. That is what the Sienese attached to Your Majesty tell me every day—that if I go away without providing sufficient means for their defence, even though the duke of Malfi (Amalfi) should have the command of the place in Your Majesty's name, they will leave this city and settle elsewhere, and that upwards of one hundred well-to-do citizens are ready to emigrate. Those who went to Lucca, on the contrary, pretend that nothing of the sort will happen whether the Duke returns or not, because the Salviatis do not exceed the number of 150 at the utmost, and have no chance against all the other "monti."
The Duke, moreover, is accused, even by his own partisans—and the truth is that he has very few—of having given way too much to the Salviatis, from which I conclude that it is not desirable that he should return here, for having, as he has, lost credit during his government, no one will trust him in future.
After much consideration I fear that when I leave this city, whatever arrangements may be made, there will be soon some revolution or disturbance; for I am given to understand that among the Salviatis there are many who have committed murders and most horrible crimes all over the land, and who cease not to threaten and brag. They are known to be all well armed, and to have under their houses secret and subterraneous passages leading to the city walls, through which they themselves can escape, or at any time introduce foreigners. I have, therefore, made arrangements for the garrison, now consisting only of 80 soldiers, Spaniards and Italians, to be reinforced by 300 of the former nation from Milan, and an agreement has also been entered into with the citizens that, although the revenues of the Republic are mortgaged for many years to come, and they themselves are very poor, they will share their food with the garrison. Meanwhile I have written to Don Juan de Luna to send me 30 Spaniards, with whom, and with those who are already here, I hope to keep this city in peace, and prevent any mischief on the part of the Salvis. When the rest of the Spanish infantry comes I myself will go to Milan, and thence to Genoa to embark for Spain, although they tell me that I am watched, and that my life is in danger.
Count Noguerol is now here on his way to Rome to inform His Holiness of a conversation he has had with the Grand Turk concerning Hungary, and to ask him for help and assistance against that Infidel. I have acquainted him with the state of our negociations here at Rome with the Pope, and encouraged him to explain the object of his mission, though, in my opinion, there is but a small chance, if any, of his obtaining a better answer than that which Aguilar and myself got from his own lips.
With regard to the negociations for the agreement to which the Marquis del Gasto alludes in his letter, it would appear that the promoters of it art the friar and bishop Estatydius, (fn. n22) all with a view to adjusting the differences existing between the Queen and her son, and also her own private affairs with the King; the thing was not certain, only the latter was determined to do in it all he possibly could to arrive at such an agreement.—Siena (Sena), 13 December 1541.
Signed: "Perrenot."
18 Dec. 215. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
ff. 77–81.
Since my last of the 11th there has been nothing new worth reporting from this city, except, perhaps, that the secretary of the French ambassador has procured me the ciphered letter, of which a copy is enclosed. The said secretary was yesterday to have communicated with one of mine respecting other matters, but must have been prevented somehow, for on my man going to the appointed place, he did not find the other there.
Ever since the Lord Privy Seal called on me this king has been constantly out in the fields, for the purpose of diverting his ill humour, and escaping from the labour of administrative business and government in general, of which he will not hear just now. In three days hence he is expected back at Greenwich, and then, should he not send for me according to promise, I shall not fail to apply urgently for an audience, as I am particularly anxious at this moment to speak to him and see what humour he is in, that I may inform Your Majesty of his present disposition, inclination, as well as will. This I hold to be more necessary now than at any time before, also to bring him over to Your Majesty's side, owing to the secret practices of the French in every quarter, with which, besides the information obtained elsewhere, I have lately been made sufficiently acquainted by the queen regent of Flanders.
The King's letter to the French ambassador, which I myself have deciphered, is as follows:—
Copy of the letter of the king of France to his ambassador, Monsr. de Marillac: I have received from various quarters the pitiful news of the defeat of the Emperor's army at Algiers, caused principally by the terrific storm—which sank, it is said, no less than 17 of his galleys and 150 other transport vessels, large and small—as well as by the famine which ensued, and which obliged the Emperor to re-embark, which however, could not be done without great loss in men. I am exceedingly sorry to hear of this, especially as it is not known at present whether he himself is safe, and where he may be, some presuming that he is at Bugia, whilst others think that he is still at sea.
As the English might think that an event of this sort is likely to cool down the affection I entertain for them, and make me less desirous of their friendship and alliance, you will make them understand, and at the same time assure them, that no event whatever, prosperous or adverse, will ever change or diminish my good-will and affection towards their king, and that I beg them to attach implicit faith to my words.
I am also in receipt of news from Germany, stating that the inhabitants of Silesia and Moravia have actually revolted against the king of the Romans, and elected a prince of their own—Maurice, the son of duke Hans of Saxony; and that in consequence of that and other losses lately sustained, the said king of the Romans has fallen into such a state of despondency and grief that many think he must be dead by this time.
On the side of Hungary the news is that the Turk has retreated to Constantinople, where some sort of truce will probably be made to last until the 23rd of April, or so. This is the news I can give you up to the present.—Fontainebleau, 8 December 1541. François. (fn. n23)
The above is an exact copy of the French King's letter to his ambassador, Marillac.—London, 18 December 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Original. pp. 2.
18 Dec. 216. The Same to the Queen Regent.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 232,
f. 32–3.
Madame,—Yesterday Your Majesty's letter of the 4th inst. came to hand. Its very wise and discreet contents have been more than sufficient to instruct me as to Your Majesty's will and intention, as well as commands. To obey these in all matters I will take the greatest possible care and trouble, according to time and circumstances. Indeed, had it not been that this king is actually absent from Court, for the purpose, as I have already written to Your Majesty, of escaping his councillors' debates on politics, or in any other way having to attend to business, I would easily have found some opportunity of going to him; but as in three days hence he is expected back at Greenwich, I think that he will neither refuse me an audience nor delay it, as he did lately when I asked him for one through the Lord Privy Seal's intermediation. Of whatever may pass at that audience between the King's privy councillors and myself I shall not fail to inform Your Majesty immediately.
Enclosed is the copy of a letter from the king of France to his resident ambassador at this court. (fn. n24) I have procured it from the ambassador's man, who was to have met yesterday one of my own, for the purpose of confiding to him certain secrets of his government; but he must have been prevented from doing so, for he did not keep his engagement.—London, 18 December 1541.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England, xi Dec. 1541. Received on the viii. of January."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
19 Dec. 217. The Same and Mr. de Granvelle to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 870,
ff. 97–8.
B. M. Add. 28,593,
ff. 106–7.
Are in receipt of the Emperor's letter dated Cartagena the 4th. Since their last of the 23rd Nov. the bishop of Fossombrone (Andrighelli) has returned from France. He has not yet arrived in Rome, owing to some slight indisposition, which has detained him on the road; but he has written, giving an account of his mission, the substance of which is that king Francis declares that, as regards peace, he will not for the sake of it accept the marriage proposed with the suzerainty of Flanders as dowry. That as to the observance of the truce, no further declaration on his part is needed; and, therefore, he begs no more should be said about it. It was not he who had broken the truce. As to the bishop of Valence (Valencia), he would release him as soon as he had heard that his own ambassadors were safe and free. As to the Avignon business, he had no knowledge whatever of it. Such is the substance of king Francis' answer to the Papal Nuncio.
Cardinal Carpi says that his news from France is that king Francis intends declaring war next spring, and attacking the Emperor on every side in Flanders, Naples, and Piedmont. Flanders was the point whither he was likely to direct the greater part of his forces, since he counts, as it appears, upon the assistance of the duke of Clèves and other allies in those parts.
The Marquis del Gasto writes from Cremona that he is on the eve of returning to Milan for the purpose of borrowing from bankers and merchants money to pay the Spanish infantry and the 500 light horse he had lately enlisted. Respecting Barbarossa, there is no other news save that contained in Don Diego de Mendoza's letter to me, which I enclose. The viceroy of Naples (Don Pedro de Toledo) writes also that no intelligence has lately come concerning that corsair's doings.
The French in Piedmont are quiet enough for the present. Here, in Tuscany, count Pitiglian and Paulo de Cheri (Paolo da Ceri) still bluster and brag of enlisting men and suddenly attacking Siena, thinking, no doubt, that I should not stay here more than three or four days, as was my intention at first, and that they would soon find an opportunity as well as the means, of creating some disturbance; but they are cooler now, though they still keep threatening, as Your Imperial Majesty will see by the Marquis' letters to me, which I enclose.
As to the Datary's mission to France, Tour Imperial Majesty will see by the Marquis' letters, as well as by those of commander Valençuela, what little hope there is at present of king Francis answering categorically the questions which His Holiness has addressed to him. The Commander adds that cardinal Frenesio (Farnese) told him in secret that king Francis seemed to be harder than ever, and rejected entirely the proposal made by His Holiness of part of Flanders with the hand [of the Infanta Doña Maria]. With regard to Mr. de Valence, the Datary had not yet had time to speak to him. My opinion is that king Francis will delay as much as possible answering His Holiness' request, in order to consider what he had better do for securing the friendship of the Grand Turk, of the king of England, of the German Lutherans, and, in fact, of such among the Italians as wish for troubled times in order to make their own profit out of the confusion, especially if what the Queen Regent (Mary) writes of French intelligence in Germany turns out true, which is most likely to be the case, considering the wretched state of Hungary and the failure of Your Majesty's expedition to Algiers. It is therefore urgent to consider what measures may be adopted to counteract the bad intentions of the French, and in the meantime send us instructions as to how I and the rest of Your Imperial Majesty's ministers are to act in the emergency, both here and in Germany.
In this latter country things are as they were some time ago. There is nothing new, save that councillor Naves writes that the French in these parts, as well as those who were no friends to Your Imperial Majesty, had spread the rumour that you took no notice whatever of the danger in which the affairs of Christendom were, and that to all those who had spoken to him in that sense, that councillor had answered as best he could, excusing Your Majesty, and alleging that your interview with the Pope [at Lucca], and the commission given to me for the remedy against Turkish invasion and religious dissension, were the real causes of the apparent indifference with which they charged you.
With regard to the charge of count Noguerol, who passed the other day through this city on his way to Rome with a mission from His most Serene Majesty, the king of the Romans, Ferdinand, I have nothing to say, save that having shewn me his instructions, and consulted me thereupon, I gave him such advice as I could, and have besides written to his master the letter of which the enclosed is a copy.
At Genoa all is quiet, as ambassador Figueroa writes to me. The inhabitants are extremely sorry at the ill success of the expedition against Algiers, for they love Your Imperial Majesty most sincerely.
Cardinal Carpi has been, and is, very useful. He is sincerely attached to Your Imperial Majesty, and enjoys great credit with the Pope. I beg to recommend him most particularly to Your Majesty, for his knowledge of French affairs is very great, and he is desirous of doing service. Let a letter be written to him, and the rest may remain a profound secret.
Mr. de Granvelle.—
Here in Siena, since the appointment of a "Captain of Justice" for the criminal, and of 40 members for the new "Balia," which is to last two years, the edicts and ordinances herein enclosed have been duly promulgated and cried. All goes well, and law is obeyed. I have also obtained that a Spanish captain, with eight or ten men, also Spaniards, and if necessary more, should take charge of the Rocca or castle of Porto Hercole, provided he swears to keep the same for the security of this city, and to answer for its remaining faithful to Your Majesty; and I have written to Don Juan de Luna, at Milan, to pick out and send me from the garrison of the castle a captain and soldiers in whom he can trust. All this I must say has been done with the consent and approval of the Salviatis.
There is still another castle in the neighbourhood of this city which is in the hands of a native of Corsica, a captain of the Papal galleys, who has gained so much credit with the Sienese that it will be a difficult matter to gain him over, and make him give up his stronghold. We shall see what can be done, although there is no hurry just now, for the castle itself is of no great importance, and besides it is not likely that His Holiness will attempt anything on this side.
An agreement has been entered into with the Salviatis. Julio, the eldest, is to remain here; the other four brothers are to go to Milan, and serve there the time that Your Majesty may decide. This they have willingly accepted, hoping, no doubt, that Your Imperial Majesty will hereafter pardon their many excesses and crimes. Meanwhile, with the authority of the Senate, the judicial proceedings instituted against them have been suspended. It could not be otherwise dreaded as they are all round, especially after what happened between Julio and Ludovico de Bearne, whom many people here suspect, but who, in reality, can brew no mischief except with the help of his brothers, much less now that the Rocca at Porto Hercole will be in good hands. Besides which Julio is not the man to undertake anything single-handed; he is now much crest-fallen and intimidated at the administrative changes lately introduced, and thinks that enough has been done in his and in his brethren's favor. (fn. n25)
The only point remaining unsettled is that of the duke of Melfi (Amalfi), who begins to perceive clearly enough that he cannot possibly return here as governor; firstly, because the people will not have him; and, secondly, because there is no fund from which to draw his salary. Indeed, many think that were he to return here in command that would be cause for fresh riots and troubles. I have sent him a message through count Francesco Sfrondato, representing the danger of his return to this city, and what my opinion is in the matter. The Prince, who for the last month has been detained by illness at Piença, has answered that he is ready, as a good vassal of Your Imperial Majesty, to follow my advice. He will shortly send his resignation to the Senate. I will take care that it be accepted honorably for him, and if I can get a pension for his son, the Marquis, who is living here with his wife, I think that the affair will be satisfactorily settled for both parties. All I hear about the Prince is that he is a most excellent, honorable, peaceful, and virtuous man; whilst he was governing here justice had its course, and no violences were committed, and yet people are terribly afraid that should he resume the command of the place the Salviatis would again raise their heads, and cause a fresh revolution with their robberies, their violences, and their crimes of every description.
This point once settled, and the Captain of Justice—who is already on the road with 200 Spanish infantry—having arrived from Milan, I myself will take my departure, leaving count Sfrondato behind for a few days until the Spanish infantry comes. It will be for him to decide if the force that is to come from Milan will be sufficient to maintain this city in order; if not he will apply for more men, and not leave Siena until he is satisfied that everything is in perfect order and secure. Sfrondato, who, besides being an honest and worthy man, prudent and wise, has done good offices here, will remain here at the expense of this Republic.
I have also prevailed upon the Archbishop of this city, (fn. n26) as good pastor and father of all the Sienese, to do his best to prevent family feuds and other causes of discord among the inhabitants; he has promised me to do so, and I have warned Sfrondato to be on his guard, and take care that order and peace be not disturbed by anyone. I, therefore, imagine that, in case of an attack by the enemy, this city will defend itself without the assistance of any considerable force, such is the devotion which the people in general seem to have for Your Majesty. And let me be excused and pardoned if this report, destined for the Emperor's inspection, is couched in Spanish instead of French, because I fancy that the privy councillors, through whose hands it has to pass, will understand it better so than if it were written in the latter language. (fn. n27) —Siena (Sena), 19 December 1541.
Signed: "Perrenot."
Addressed: "To the Sacred Imp. and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 12.


  • n1. "Et quant et quant dirent a mon homme que le dit sieur roy ce matin avoit reçeu lettres par la voye de France, par les quelles on luy escripvoit que vostre maieste avec grand honneur et gloyre avoit perachevee son emprinse, et que desia a l'heure elle debvoit estre de retourd en Hispagne, de quoy toutesfois ne desiroint ylz estre faicte publication, du moins quilz en fussent alleguez les aucteurs ou relateurs." Here by "enterprise" that of Algiers is no doubt meant. The imperial fleet sailed from Port Spezzia on the 28th of September, but owing to contrary winds little or no progress at all was made. It reached Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands, on the 9th of October; that of Cabrera, in the same group, on the 19th; and two days after, on the 21st, the coast of Barbary was sighted. On the fourth of November the Emperor was at Bugia; on the 26th he landed at Mallorca, and, embarking again, reached Cartagena on the 1st of December, the expedition having entirely failed, owing to the equinoctial gales prevailing in October, and to most of the imperial galleys and transport ships having foundered or been scattered at sea through a most terrific series of storms. The enterprise, therefore, was anything but glorious, as the news from Venice or France purported; which news, after all, might have been artfully turned by Henry's councillors into a report in the Emperor's favor, if their wish, expressed to Chapuys, of not being taken as the originators of the report be taken into consideration. It is improbable that in the full month that elapsed between the re-embarcation of Charles on the 1st of November and his landing at Cartagena on the 1st of December no reliable news of the failure of his Algerine expedition should have reached Venice.
  • n2. "Et que Maistre Valup auoit escript dois Guysnes quil estoit auerty de tous eoustez quil ne se parloit dautre en France."
  • n3. "Qui est alle a lesbat (a l'ebat) icy autour pour diuertir ung peu sa fantasie, dust aller du couste ou est celle de Cleves, mais il a prins autre chemin."
  • n4. "Et que, si le dit roy laissoit cette royne pour avoir este congneue (cognue) auparavant quil leust, selon le commun bruyt quil courroit au pays de par de la, il avoit bien peu laisser la dite de Cleves pour la mesme cause, et que cella nestoit difficile a croire en leage (l'age) quelle estoit. Et considerant quelle patrisoit (practiquoit?) ung peu en cas de vin et autres condicions, comme lon sestoit assez peu apercevoir, ce que ne me nyar."
  • n5. See above, Nos. 204 and 207.
  • n6. "Dont il a plus monstre de regret que de la faulte, perte ou appartement (?) des precedentes."
  • n7. "Et luy en doit prendre comme a la femme, que pleuroit plus fort le xc mary quelle navoit tous les autres ensemble oyres quilz eussent este trop plus gens de bien, mais la cause estoit que jamais elle n'en avoit subterre les autres, quelle ne fut asheuree (assurée) de (du) nouveau, synon au dit xc, et jusques içy nappart quil y aye convencion ni affection nulle (nouvelle?)."
  • n8. Agnes Tylney, mother of Lord William and Lord Thomas Howard.
  • n9. Margaret Gamage (?).
  • n10. Morveillier, Morbillier, or Morvilliers, for his name is spelt in three different ways in this very letter; his name was Jean de.
  • n11. That is Antoine de Castelnau, who died in 1539.
  • n12. Allebrecht or Albret, that is Marguerite de Valois, sister of Francis, better known as Marguerite de Navarre, from her marriage to Henri d'Albret, titular king of Navarre.
  • n13. "Deux honnestez borgeoysez (bourgeois) de ceste ville ont este puyz trois jours confines en prison pour avoyr dict apres la publication du maulvays gouvernement de ceste royne quil sembloit que ce fust jugement de Dieu, car celle de Clevez estoit sa femme, et quoy que lon eust voula donner dentendre que le dit Sr roy ne leust cogneue, yl se monstroit bien le contraire, car elle estoit partie ençaincte de luy et avoit enfante ce este, duquel enfantement, sere, le bruit en a este cydevant bien commung, oerez (oyres) quil nen ait riens este."
  • n14. The discourse (discurso) is not among Bergenroth's copies in the British Museum. Perhaps it was intercepted, or did not reach its destination, since the letter of the 30th of November, which Granvelle lower down says went with it, is also missing.
  • n15. Not in Bergenroth's collection.
  • n16. That is Paolo da Ceri, Renzo's son.
  • n17. Not in the packet.
  • n18. In the original Fon San Bruno.
  • n19. The same remark as in note*. Some of the letters at Simancas have for some reason or other been deprived of their enclosures.
  • n20. Thus in the original at Simancas, but I presume that it is meant for the Salviati, a celebrated Florentine family.
  • n21. That is from ten to twelve o'clock at night according to the Italian mode of reckoning the hours. See the preceding page.
  • n22. "Dice que el dicho frayle y el obispo Estatylius han movido la dicha platica para concertar lo de la Reyna y su hijo, y tambien sus particulars, con el Rey; pero la cosa aun no tenia otra certinidad sino que el dicho Rey era determinado de hacer todo lo que él pudiesse buenamente para venir á este concierto, y en fin es todo en conformidad de lo que scrive el Rey á V. M." For the Queen in the above passage the widow of Jean Zapoli or Zapolski, who died in 1540, must be meant. He left behind him one son, who took the title of prince of Transylvania. As to the "bishop Estatilius," his right name must have been "Statilius," for both Gams in his Notitia Episcoporum totius orbis Christiani, and Cesar Baronio in his Annales Ecclesiastici, call him by the same name.
  • n23. The letter itself is only a duplicate, with a few slight variations, of that already abstracted under No. 212.
  • n24. The same mentioned at p. 411, that is Marillac.
  • n25. "Y tambien que él no me parece de si hombre para emprender algo, y está muy abatido y atemorizado de estas provisiones, y le parece que se ha hecho mucho por él y sus hermanos."
  • n26. Francesco Bandini, from 1529 to 1588.
  • n27. "Y v[uestr]a md y essos señores [del Consejo] que veran esta casta perdonen el atrevimiento de scrivir en español, que lo hago porque pienso que entenderan mejor esto que el traslado sacado del frances."