Spain: March 1542

Pages 477-487

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


March 1542, 1-31

5 March. 234. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 48–58.
My despatch of the 21st February must have acquainted Your Imperial Majesty fully of events in this country, as likewise of what king Francis had written to the ambassador residing here for him. Since my despatch of the 27th and three following days, the said ambassador has been actively attending to the charge and commission given to him by the King, his master, having been in frequent communication with the privy councillors, at the end of which he dispatched a messenger to the King to ask urgently for more ample and special instructions, such as the importance of the affair and the over-scrupulous tendency of these English people required. The powers and instructions which had been sent to him, besides being expressed in general terms, had another great defect, inasmuch as nowhere in them was it stated what sum of money the King, his master, was likely to demand as dower of the Princess besides the extinction of all debts in pensions, loans, etc., due to this king. The ambassador further said in his message that in his opinion it would be very difficult, if not altogether impossible, to induce these people to consent to the total extinction of the debt by way of a dowry, inasmuch as the arrears of pension alone amount to nearly one million of gold.
In short the ambassador has sent to ask for fuller instructions as to the dowry or revenue which the King, his master, is willing to settle on the Princess, adding that in his opinion the English would much prefer that the dowry was consigned on the duchy of Milan, which, according to all accounts (the ambassador says), is to be shortly in the hands of Monsieur d'Orleans (Charles). If the Dauphin [Henri], after duly renouncing that State and passing it over to his brother, the duke of Orleans, would also engage himself to help and assist in the conquest of that duchy whenever requested (fn. n1) by his brother (says the ambassador in his letter to the King), the affair might be settled at once to the satisfaction of the parties concerned. Such, I am told, is the substance of the ambassador's message to king Francis respecting the marriage in question, the negociation of which he fully expects to be able to promote efficiently within three or four days after his receiving from home a categorical answer to his questions, as well as fresh instructions on the whole.
That is not all; the ambassador in his letter applies urgently for a copy of the treaty of the year 1527, which these people keep quoting continually. (fn. n2)
If I am to tell Your Imperial Majesty my opinion on the matter, I must say that notwithstanding the above plans and intrigues, and the means both parties are employing to gain their individual aim, I still hold the same view, that the marriage spoken of will never take place. I think, nevertheless, that it would be wise and convenient at all hazards to remove beforehand any chance there may be of these people ever falling in with the French, for if ever they see themselves despised or neglected by Your Imperial Majesty, and perceive or suspect that you care not to treat with them, they may half in despair and spite do many things to Your Majesty's prejudice, and listen to the gallant and enticing promises of the French. (fn. n3)
Your Imperial Majesty, with your great wisdom and political experience, will know best what to do. I really believe, however, that for the last forty-eight hours more business has been transacted between the King's privy councillors and the French ambassador than in the last four months, but I know also, nay, I am certain, that there is nothing at the bottom of it, especially on the part of the English, than an attempt to render Your Imperial Majesty jealous. I am the more convinced of that, that a certain doctor, whom the privy councillors employ as a spy upon me and the French ambassador at the same time, has this very morning called on me and related, without my asking him any questions, that the French ambassador was almost every day closeted with the members of the Privy Council, and boasted of being on the point of achieving great things. (fn. n4)
During his conference with the ambassador the duke of Norfolk begged him to transmit his commendations to Mme. d'Allebrecht, whom the Duke calls his mistress (maitraisse), and tell her in his name that he would at any time furnish 10,000 crs., and, if necessary, borrow 10,000 more, if he knew where—the whole to be spent and employed, besides his own person, in the acquisition of the kingdom of Navarre. Such is the message which the Duke begs the French ambassador to convey to Mme. d'Allebrecht, but I (Chapuys) do not believe a word of it, and whatever promises the Duke may have made, I am sure, that he will not spend one single tournois out of his own pocket in a similar enterprise. (fn. n5)
The above information comes to me from the ambassador's man, who would very much wish to have a pension on the receipt (recepte) of Artois for his mother. In addition to that he has lately applied to me, through a third person, for a larger sum of money, though it must be said that he has done this with great humility and moderation, asking for it by way of a loan. I have not hesitated to supply the man's wants, because I think his information is more important than ever for Your Imperial Majesty's service. As to myself, I again pray as humbly as I can that my own case be looked into, and Your Imperial Majesty's frequent orders be promptly obeyed concerning the payment of my arrears, for, as I have frequently stated, I am over head and ears in debt, and unless the Treasury of Flanders come soon to my aid, I shall be quite unable to represent as I ought, and wish to do, Your Imperial Majesty's person in this country.—London, 5 March 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Holograph. pp. 10.
5 March. 235. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 238,
f. 15.
"Madame,"—This morning the privy councillors sent me a message to this effect. A few days ago Master Vualopt (Wallop), the governor of Guiez (Guisnes), caused a horse to be bought for his use in Flanders; but it appears that in attempting to cross the frontier, the bailli of Dunkerke had the horse seized and detained at the frontier, though the license and permission of Your Majesty was exhibited at the time. The permission, it is true, is not in the name of Master Vualopt, but in that of Dr. Carne, who transferred it to the former. The privy councillors are much interested in the release of the horse, and as Master Vualopt has always shown attachment to the Emperor, and has moreover done all he could in Your Majesty's favour, I do not hesitate to recommend his case.—London, 5 March 1542. Eustace Chapuys.
P.S.—After dating and signing the above, and being on the point of sealing and closing it, Your Majesty's letter of the 25th ult. came to hand. I will answer it by the first courier, and add only that it has come very opportunely.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Queen of Hungary."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
10 March. 236. The Same to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 238,
f. 59.
Incloses copy of the letter to the Queen Regent, (fn. n6) and then adds by way of postscriptum: "And since then nothing new has occurred worth mentioning.—London, 10 March 1542."
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original. pp. 3.
14 March. 237. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 12–8.
"Venerable chier et feal,"—We have received your letter of the 30th of December [1541] and 11 of February [1542], together with copies of your despatches of the same date, addressed to the dowager queen of Hungary, Our good sister, by which letters and despatches We see plainly how dexterously you are conducting the negociation with the king of England and his privy councillors. We are glad to hear of the good will and affection which that King is manifesting towards Us and Our personal affairs, for which you will thank him most cordially in Our name, as well as of his having informed you of king Francis' intrigues with the duke of Clèves and other German princes. You will equally thank him in Our name for the regret and sorrow he has manifested at the ill-success of Our late expedition against Algiers. We are above all very grateful to him for the good will and readiness he shows to treat of a closer friendship and alliance with Us, which We equally desire greatly. We should have sent you long before both instructions and powers how to act, but considering the small security there is on the side of France, and fearing lest the courier bearer of them should be stopped at his passage through that country and his papers seized, We have preferred to wait a little longer and send them by sea and by way of Guisnes through a discreet and trusty personage, with particular orders from Us that should he be in danger of being taken prisoner he is to cast all the papers into the sea, so that they should not fall into the enemy's hands. On his safe arrival at Guisnes, as We hope will be the case, the gentleman We allude to has orders to direct the said instructions and powers to the Dowager Queen, Our sister, that she may immediately forward them to you. And although this route is far longer than that of France, yet We have considered it the safest and most expedient under present circumstances.
Though We have no doubt that the powers and instructions to which We allude will be in your hands shortly after the receipt of this, yet that no time be lost, and that you may begin to treat and negociate almost immediately, should such be that King's pleasure, We write by this post to Our sister to send you her powers, as governess and Regent of the Low Countries in Our name, to begin in the meantime, and whilst Our own are on the way, promising and assuring that We will confirm and ratify everything you (Chapuys) may do in virtue of the said powers and instructions from Us as if they were Our own.
As soon as you have received Our sister's powers you will take care to inform the King, or his privy councillors, thereof, as you may think best, and solicit them to enter into communication with you at once, and according as you see the King's ministers more or less disposed to begin the negociations, and are able to guess what their intentions are, and what they mean, you will proceed to business, and let Us know as often as possible the progress made.—Valladolid, 14 March 1541 (1542).
Indorsed: "From the Emperor and King to his ambassador in London."
French. Original draft pp. 6.
14 March. 238. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 9–11.
"Venerable, chier et feal,"—You will see by the other letter of the same date, herein enclosed, what We have deemed fit to answer to your despatches of the 30th of December [1541] (fn. n7) and 11th of March [1542], (fn. n8) which answer, as you may easily conceive, was drawn up on purpose that, if necessary, you might show it to the King or to his privy councillors, as you may think best, taking good care, however, not to let Our said letter out of your bands, nor give a copy of it to any one, for fear of the English turning it to their profit with the French, or king Francis saying hereafter that We were the first to break the truce and contravene the treaties between him and Us; the more so that you, yourself, have never been able to ascertain or prove in a positive way that the French ambassador in England had really and truly received powers and instructions from his master to treat with king Henry, but that on the contrary, as appears from your own despatches, you had reason to suppose, from the King's own assertion, that nothing of the kind had yet taken place between the French ambassador and the English king.
And whereas Monseigneur de Granvelle has not yet returned from his mission—though We have no doubt that he must by this time have informed you how on his return home he had been obliged, through the alarm caused by the French galleys off Marseilles, to touch at the island Dieres (d'Hières), and thence go back to Genoa—We, being unwilling to send through France the powers and instructions which We now transmit to you, have directed them by sea to Genoa, that they may from thence be forwarded by way of Germany to Our sister, the Queen Regent in Flanders. All this has been done, as you well know, and Our sister has been requested to send you the said powers and instructions by the surest possible route and trustiest messenger. We have besides written to Our sister that, in order to save time, she may, if necessary, send you similar powers and instructions in Our name, as governess and Regent, as she is, of the Low Countries, to commence negociations and go on with them as far as the king of England or his ministers wish it, with a most solemn promise to them to have the whole confirmed and ratified by Us. In this manner much time may be gained, and the negociation can begin at once. On the receipt of this letter you (Chapuys) will call on the King and tell him that you have had an answer from Us, and beg him to accept Our excuses for not having sent sooner the powers and instructions, adding to or retrenching from the above explanation of Our motives whatever you think proper, according to the inclination to treat which that king shows, and the present state of his relations with France.
Meanwhile, as above said, you will, on the receipt of the powers and instructions from Our sister, the Regent, try to enter at once into negociations, so as to ascertain as far as you possibly can what the King's real intentions are, since you know well, and better than any one else does, the state of Our relations with him at present and at other times, and how convenient it is for Us to establish a true and perfect amity and alliance between Our respective kingdoms and dominions. To this purpose you are, of course, to aid yourself with the old treaties between the two nations, confirming, adding to, or retrenching from, them, as you may deem fit, for the better binding and knitting together of Our mutual ties, and the benefit of Our kingdoms and subjects in general, and particularly those of the Low Countries, endeavouring to ascertain, above all, what the King's real intentions are, whether he is in earnest or only feigns to be so, and what he is now aiming at. Having done so, you will go on negociating with the King's ministers, as well as trying to defeat the intrigues of the French by all means in your power, until you see that the treaty is progressing and in a fair way of being concluded, and you will not forget as often as possible to inform Us and Our sister, the Regent, of every incident in the negociation, that We may, at all events, instruct you how to act. For that very reason we have resolved that Mr. de Courrières, who had asked Us leave to return home through France, do remain here (at Valladolid) until We hear how the negociation there entrusted to you goes on. If well, as We have reason to think likely, he may, if need be, and such is your advice, be sent straight to England by sea with letters of credence for the King and his Privy Council.—Valladolid, 14 March 1542.
P.S.—After the above was written, and just as this present courier was about to start, your despatch of the 9th of February, referring to a previous one of the 29th of January, came to hand. This last, however, has not reached Us; We presume that it may have been sent through Italy, to the care of Monseigneur de Granvelle, who will no doubt send it on by the first courier. However that may be, let the contents of the above be an answer to your despatch of the 9th. (fn. n9) That is all We can say to you for the present, and will only add that your report of the French ambassador's discontent with that king's ministers is pleasing news for Us, as it will admirably serve Our purpose under present circumstances. We, therefore, again recommend you to enter at once into negociations with that King, and keep him and his privy councillors at Our devotion as long as possible. We hope that your first despatch will inform Us of the particular mission which the bishop of London is now bringing Us, for certainly We should like, if possible, to know something about it before his arrival.
As to the Queen's condemnation, We have nothing to observe, except that you will do Us service by ascertaining as far as possible whether king Henry is, or is not, inclined to marry again, and in what direction his fantastic tendencies drive him nowadays. You are by all means to try and prevent his retaking Anne of Clèves as his wife, for under present circumstances, as you well know, it would be exceedingly inconvenient were he to effect a reconciliation with her.—Valladolid, (fn. n10) 14 March 1542.
Indorsed: "Deciphering of the Emperor's letter to his ambassador in England. 14 March 1541, before Easter."
French. Original draft.
25 March. 239. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 61–2.
Since my last of the 5th the French ambassador, in consequence of a letter from his master, the King, has called twice at the Privy Council and communicated with its members, and once more with the duke of Norfolk alone. Until now I have been unable to learn what the ambassador is about, nor did my informer from the French embassy send me any message; but just as I was writing these lines I received from him a number of papers and letters in cipher, and among them one from the ambassador himself to the King, his master, and other documents, none of which I have yet had time to examine owing to the hasty departure of this courier, but intend to decipher and read afterwards. This being done, though I do not believe them to be of much importance, the papers in question will be forwarded by the next post to the queen of Hungary in Flanders, that she may, if necessary, send them on wherever Your Imperial Majesty may be.
With regard to other news of this country I can only say that the States of this kingdom here assembled are to be dismissed (licenties) or prorogued in two or three days till All Souls' Day, when they are to meet together again. As I hear from a good quarter nothing has yet been made public concerning their deliberations, although according to most reliable information they are about to raise the value of coin, as has been done in France.
The Princess has been lately somewhat indisposed, but thanks to God she is now better. The King, her father, has done her the favor of sending people to visit her in his name, and inquire after her health, and ordered his physicians to attend, as he has done with Mme. Anne de Clèves, who is ill at Richmond with tertian fever. (fn. n11) The wife of milort Vullien and two other damsels, who were sentenced to imprisonment for life in the late Queen's case, were set free soon after her execution, and if it be true, as reported, that the King has given most gracious audience to lady Vullien, there is every reason to think that he himself and the duchess of Norfolk, his mother, will soon recover their liberty.
About a week ago count Glaude (Claude) Ran gone, and another young count with him, and a captain named Camille arrived in this town. They must have left France in a rather discontented mood, for they have not called on the ambassador of that country, and intend returning to Italy through Flanders and Germany. I hear that in order to make themselves more acceptable to this king, they have given him to understand that they are not on good terms with the Pope, but I believe that their enmity to His Holiness will not profit them much here, nor will they get much money out of this king, unless they offer to murder cardinal Pole. (fn. n12) —London, 25 March 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England on the 25th of March—Received at Valladolid on the 12th of April."
French, Holograph. pp. 2.
27 March. 240. The Same to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
f. 16.
"Madame,"—Your Majesty will see by the enclosed copy of my despatch to the Emperor, in date of the 5th of March, the late occurrences in this country, as well as the information I have been able to obtain of the secret doings of the French.—London, 27 March 1542.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. p. 1.
31 March. 241. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P., Fasc. C. 233,
ff. 14–8.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—We have just received letters from the Emperor, Our lord and brother, and along with them two more for you, (fn. n13) which We enclose that you may read them attentively and act accordingly. As the Emperor orders Us to send you powers and instructions, whilst those he is sending you by sea by way of Italy are on the road, that you may at once commence negociations, and find out whether there are means of contracting a closer alliance with the king of England, We now send you full powers in Our name, as regent of these Low Countries for the Emperor, Our brother, that you may at once enter into negociation with that king's ministers. You may exhibit them whenever you deem it opportune or expedient, but not give a copy of them unless you receive orders to that effect from His Imperial Majesty. Instead of instructions We send you credentials for the King. Indeed, We could not, if We desired, give you any more ample and fuller ones than those contained in the Emperor's second letter to you, (fn. n14) to which We refer you entirely, having no doubt that you will know how to make good use of them, in order to gain time and ascertain what king Henry's real intentions are. You may assure the King, in Our name, that We have always desired to keep, observe, and if possible increase, the good friendship which has at all times existed between His Imperial Majesty and the king of England, and his predecessors on the throne; which friendship ought to be considered firmer and closer than any other, inasmuch as it was never so subject to quarrel and dispute as others are and have been, nor has the Emperor ever attempted anything directly against England, as some of her neighbours occasionally have. To which may be added that the kings of England have reciprocated by observing the very same conduct towards the Low Countries, and keeping up friendly relations with them. That is why it is imperative for the Emperor, as well as for the king of England—now more than ever, when Christendom is so disturbed—mutually to confirm that very friendship and closer understanding, that they may remedy the present evils and save their own subjects from destruction and ruin. Towards this desirable end His Imperial Majesty is willing enough to contribute with all his power, and listen also to all reasonable means the king of England may propose or suggest; whilst We Ourselves will confirm and ratify, or have confirmed and ratified by the Emperor, all and every agreement which you (Chapuys) may enter into in Our name, in pursuance of the above-mentioned powers and instructions. Should the king of England resent the objections lately raised respecting the free intercourse of trade between these Low Countries and his own subjects—from which measure, however, Our own merchants suffer and might complain more than the English—you will tell him or his ministers, that in order to put a stop to any future alterations We propose to make a fresh treaty of commerce with England, by means of which the English merchants frequenting the ports of the Low Countries will be much better treated, and will obtain more favor here than We ever thought of claiming for Ours in England, as We have signified to you (Chapuys) more than once, as well as to the King's ambassadors, who were last with Us. Should the King mention, or allude to, the confirmation of the old treaties between the Low Countries and England, you will first inquire which treaties he means, in order to let Us know, assuring him that We shall have no objection to confirm any of them, provided it be not that of the year 1506, which cannot possibly be confirmed and ratified without bringing utter ruin on Flanders and the Low Countries, that being the sole reason for its not having been accepted. As to the other treaties, and principally that of the year 1520, they might be observed for a length of time if the alliance which the King now proposes to make with Us should turn out profitable, and the King's ministers relent in their constant and almost daily attacks upon that treaty; for after all that of the year 1520 must not be considered as distinct from the previous ones, but only as a confirmation of the others. We have entered into these details that you (Chapuys) may take full cognizance of the whole affair, and to help you to defeat the arguments of the King's privy councillors, who have always considered, and do still, consider the said treaty of 1520 as good and in operation as long as that of 1506 is not confirmed and ratified.—Brussels, on the last day of March 1541, before Easter [1542].
French. Original draft. pp. 6.


  • n1. "En oultre le dit ambassadeur a escript instanment (sic) destre adverty et instruit sur quoy lon vouldroit assigner le douaire de la princesse, disant que a son advis les Anglois pourroient asseoir plus dassurance sur ce estat de Milan que le roy son maistre baille en appenaige a Mons. dorleans, si Mons le Daulphin apres avoir renunce au dit estat, et le tout cede et quicte au prouffit du dit sieur dorleans, son frere, et se obligeroit aussi de layder et secourir de tout son pouvoir a la conqueste du dit estat toutes et quantes fois quil en seroit requis."
  • n2. "Que ceulx luy reluy remestoient cop sur cop au devant."
  • n3. "Mesmes prestant les oreilles a si caulx et si rusez galans que les françois."
  • n4. "Je crois bien que doies ung ou deux jours ceulx-cy eussent peu auctant exploicter avec le dit ambassadeur quilz ont faict en quatre mois, et quilz lont faict pour donner jalousie a vostre maieste et nont failly me faire advertir par tierce main dung medecin dont ilz se servent despie envers le dit ambassadeur et moy, comme le dit ambassadeur avoit este si souvent et si longuement aux dites communications, et quil debvoit traicter de grandes choses."
  • n5. "Le due de Norphocq durant les dites communications pria le dit ambassadeur de ses recommendacions a madame dallebrecht, la quelle le dit due appelle sa maistresse, et que icellui ambassadeur la voulsist advertir quil fourniroit tousiours de dix mille escuz et si sçavoit ou il en trouveroit autres dix mille pour les employer oultre sa personne au recouvrement de son royaulme de Navarre; mais quoiquil en dye (dise) je ne pense quil y vouldroit employer ung tornoy."
  • n6. Probably that of the 5th, which is the last, unless there be an earlier one of February missing.
  • n7. No. 221, pp. 430–50.
  • n8. See above, No. 236, though it is dated the 10th, not the 11th.
  • n9. Both on the 29th and 30th of December Chapuys wrote to the queen of Hungary. See above, Nos. 220–1. On the 30th he also wrote to Granvelle (No. 222), but no letter of his to the Emperor has come from Vienna; it was most likely intercepted. As to that of the 9th of February 1542, it will be found at p. 468, under No. 230.
  • n10. The Emperor was at Valladolid from the 26th of January till the 27th May, when he reached Burgos. On the 12th of April the bishop of London (Edmund Boner) had audience from the Emperor at Valladolid, having arrived there on the 26th of March.
  • n11. "Le roy son pere luy a faicte ceste faveur que de lenvoyer visiter et luy mander sez medecins comme aussy yl la faict a dame Anne de Clevez quest malade a Richemont de la fierre tierce."
  • n12. "Et croys que pour estre les mieulx venus a ce roy ilz ont deu donner a entendre quilz ne sont bien avec le pape, mais pour cela non rapporteroient ilz. grand loyer si ce nestoit quilz offrissent de occire le cardinal Pole."
  • n13. Of the same date (14th March). See above, Nos. 237 and 238.
  • n14. That of No. 238. See p. 481.