Spain: November 1538

Pages 55-75

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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November 1538, 1-30

10 Nov. 23. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E. Roma, L. 867,
f. 129.
B. M. 28,590.
f. 259.
As Lope Hurtado tells me that the Dowager Duchess [of Florence] is about to send an express to Your Majesty, I will only relate what has happened since my letter of the 2nd. (fn. n1) On the following day, which was the 3rd, before the Duchess' arrival in this city, His Holiness wished to have laid before Him the deed specifying the obligations of each of the confederated powers for next year's undertaking against the Turk, which deed he then proceeded to sign, as did also the Venetian ambassador (Contareno) and myself. (fn. n2)
On that very day the Duchess came to dine at a villa of her own, half a mile from Rome, accompanied by the duchess of Castro, (fn. n3) the lady Costanza and her sons, besides other relations or ladies of her household. The duke of Castro (Pier Luigi) came also, having escorted the Duchess [Margaret] during the whole of her journey from the frontiers of the Florentine territory. In the morning several cardinals, among whom were the Vice-chancellor, the Camarlengo, Santiago, and Ottavio, (fn. n4) had gone out to receive her. After dinner came His Holiness' family and that of the above-mentioned cardinals, the Rota and the rest of the offices, each according to order of precedence, the Consul and Senator of Rome, with twelve wellappointed gentlemen, who were all the time round Her Excellency's horse, a most beautiful hackney, and richly caparisoned, which cardinal Farnese (Alessandro) had sent in the morning for her riding. She (the Duchess) made her entry between cardinal Farnese and cardinal Santiago (Sarmiento), and I must add that the concourse of people was as thick and numerous as if Your Imperial Majesty had entered Rome. In the Quirinal all the cardinals were present, and the Duchess herself, after kissing His Holiness' foot, answered all his questions with such promptitude and discretion that all present were astonished to hear her, and His Holiness particularly pleased.
On that very day His Holiness told me that the marriage had better be ratified immediately, so that the festival should be complete. My answer was it might be so done if His Holiness wished. I said this much, because I cannot help thinking that His Holiness has got some scent of what passed when the Duchess at first refused to grant the powers, and that he might perhaps have some scruple thereupon. Nor could I have met His Holiness' hint in any other way, for as the powers themselves were not forthcoming, I could not do less than take the engagement in Your Majesty's name, subject to their ratification when received. And, therefore, on the 4th inst., in the presence of His Holiness and of all his cardinals, of the ambassador of the Most Christian king of France, who had only arrived the day before, and had entered Rome in the Duchess' suite, as well as of the other resident ambassadors, the marriage contract was read aloud in Italian, that every one present might understand it. Then, after an oration by cardinal Archinto in praise of the married couple, the marriage ceremony was celebrated, and the contract ratified; after which His Holiness sent to the Duchess a jewel, consisting of one diamond and one balass, (fn. n5) valued 11,000 ducats, besides a ring estimated at 1,500.
Her Excellency supped with His Holiness at his own table, and at another close by were the ladies and other principal persons. The feast and rejoicing lasted till past midnight; His Holiness showing all the time how pleased he was at the discretion, beauty, virtues, and other accomplishments of the Duchess. He has since requested me to remind Your Majesty how pleased he would be if the marriage could be consummated about next Christmas.
The deposit of the 200,000 ducats, and the bills of L. Ansaldo are already in the Duchess' hands, and His Holiness has given orders that all property once belonging to the Medici family, here at Rome and elsewhere, should be at once restored to her, most particularly the Roman property, which is said to be worth upwards of 60,000 a year, without including another estate, called Paludes Pontinas (the Pontine Lakoons), which has been found to belong to the Medici. These estates, and others which will turn up, will greatly increase the Duchess' dower.
Since His Holiness has an interest in finding out what property the late duke of Florence (Alessandro de Medici) owned here, at Rome, there can be no doubt that the most minute inquiry will be made. Had it not been for this marriage, surely half that the said Duke possessed would have been lost.
His Holiness has sent to Naples for Dr. Gilberto Albertino, the manager of the Sessa estates, that he may enlighten him as to the value of certain lands, which he wishes to purchase for the Duchess' dower. The marquis della Valle Siciliana (Alarcon), amongst others, wishes to dispose of his.
To the question asked by the Venetians as to whether, in case of Durazzo or some other place in the enemy's territory not being taken, as is expected, it would be advisable to choose Corfu for the winter-quarters of the Spanish infantry, the Signory have answered—and Lope de Soria writes in confirmation of it—that they will be delighted to have the Spaniards with them.
I called upon Mr. de Griñan, the French ambassador. He seems to me to be a wise and discreet gentleman. After telling me that his master, the King, was as inclined as ever to the keeping of the truce, and had given him orders to communicate with me without reserve, he added: "I have another good piece of intelligence for you, namely that the king of England has requested my master to join him that both may make war on Your Majesty, and that my master's answer has been that he had for a long time wished to become the Emperor's friend, and that now that God had granted him that boon, he fully intended to keep it." He (king Francis) had admonished the king of England to return to the obedience of the Church, and forsake the path he had hitherto followed. The ambassador had already been received twice by His Holiness, and had spoken to him in the same terms as he did to me. Interrogated, as His Holiness himself has informed me, whether the King, his master, intended or not to help in the enterprise against the Turk, the French ambassador replied that he certainly did intend to do so, and that at the expiration of his truce with Solyman—which would only last a few months more—people would see whether he was in earnest, and whether his intentions were rightful or not. "My own private opinion (added the ambassador) is that the house ought first to be swept clean, and the domestic enemies reduced," meaning that matters ought to be so managed that the king of England and the Lutherans should first, in one way or other, be recalled to the path of Faith and Christian union. Some days after, whilst commenting upon these words of the French Ambassador I said to His Holiness: "No doubt the ambassador is right, and yet it seems to me as if the greater danger ought to be attended to by preference; for without getting first rid of the Turk, and breaking down his power, or insuring ourselves against it, there is no use trying to extirpate the evil at home, especially under present circumstances, and when a league and confederacy has been formed which the Venetians themselves have joined, &c."
[The affair of Lope Hurtado de Mendoza and the duchess of Florence.]
Ferrara and its Duke.—His Holiness and the Duke (Hercole II.) have not yet settled the Modena affair. The difference lies in 40,000 cr., which the Pope lent on Modena to the emperor Maximilian, the Pope insisting upon the deed being drawn up without expression of the right which the Holy See may have to that sum. I have done all I could to give a decided turn to the affair; but have found obstacles on both sides, and principally on that of the Duke, who is very irresolute. I have even proposed that the debt be reduced by one-half; but the Duke wants to give in payment certain claims he has on France, as well as other sums of money on revenues he says he is entitled to.
The Church of Valencia and the Cardinal of Trento—bishop of Lunden.
Bishopric of Arras to Prothonotary Perrenot, son of Mons. de Granvelle (Nicolas Perrenot).—The bishop of Cambray had already nominated for the provotship (prepositura) of San Thoma; but since Your Imperial Majesty orders it, steps will be taken for the appointment of Maestro Odoardo, with a pension of 300 florins for Eustace de Croy.
The Cardinal of Naples asks Your Majesty's consent to renounce the bishopric of Acherra (Acerra) in favour of Dr. Paulo de Chisis (Cesis?), His Holiness' referendary—Cardinal Jacobatiis.
The viceroy of Naples (D. Pedro de Toledo) writes on the 9th inst. that Barbarossa was in the canal of Corfu with the whole of the Turkish fleet, and that he had done already some damage at la Faraja and in Chefalonia. He had also taken some vessels, of what nationality it was not stated. He had met with fair winds so as to go in search of Your Majesty's fleet and that of the Holy League; but owing to the difficulty of crossing the canal with winds from the east, it was not known what he had done. (fn. n6) The intelligence is of the first inst., sent by the proveditor of Corfu.
I was about to close this letter when the Venetian ambassador sent me the news from Ragusa of the 26th ult., purporting that Castilnovo had been taken by assault, with the death of 200 Turks, who composed its garrison. Five thousand more, who came to the relief of the place, had also been defeated with a heavy loss in killed and prisoners.—Rome, X. November, 1538.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Postscriptum: Giovan Pietro Cafarello, whom the duke of Castro employs, whenever he or His Holiness wants to expose goods in the market-place, has just this moment called to say that the Duke and Duchess are not at all pleased with the proposed marriage of their daughter (fn. n7) to the son of Mr. de Vendôme, (fn. n8) and that he (Cafarello) wonders why the Duke, having said that he desired particularly to know your Majesty's will, in order to facilitate or bring about the said marriage, had not heard from me. Cafarello was requested to find some means of making me reveal what your Majesty's wishes may be on that point. I answered that I knew nothing of the affair save the instructions received from home after His Holiness' Nuncio had spoken on the subject.
My impression, however, is that the French ambassador (Grignan) since his arrival here, has spoken of that very marriage, and asked no doubt a considerable sum of ready money [as dower], which His Holiness is not at all prepared to give, and that these people wish me to take a hand in the affair, and try to make Your Majesty prevent the marriage, and give them some compensation. I also fancy that they would be glad to return to the marriage of duke Cosmo with the Pope's granddaughter, because the duke of Castro has lately been heard to say that the viceroy of Naples is actually promoting a marriage between the said Cosmo [of Florence] and his daughter (Leonor). The marchioness of Pescara is now here, and I have reason to believe that she talks of the marriage of her son by Ascanio Colonna. (fn. n9)
Spanish. Original. pp. 5.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. C. 231.
ff. 150–1.
24. The Advice tendered by an Anonymous Council upon the Treaty of Closer Alliance to be Concluded with the King of England.
That the Emperor may know what is most expedient, convenient, and even necessary in the negociation with the king of England's ministers, in case of a closer alliance being contracted, and the Palatine Countess' (fn. n10) rights to the crowns of Denmark and Norway being made over to the King of that country, the following considerations are respectfully submitted:—
In the first place it must be borne in mind that in the year 1506 the late king Philip, (fn. n11) being obliged by stress of weather to land in England, (fn. n12) made then and there with the king of that country a commercial treaty highly detrimental to the interests of these Low Countries, and one, in fact, that the inhabitants thereof could not well endure. Which treaty, such as it was, the king of England's ministers have always asserted and maintained to be perpetual, founding their assertion on the words of a clause (subjoined to this present Advice (fn. n13) ), wherein it is said that the said commercial treaty was to last until a new one was prepared and concluded. To this revision or renewal of the treaty the English ministers have never consented; they have, on the contrary, on various occasions solicited the confirmation of that of 1506, which for many urgent considerations has always been equally refused on our side. Since then several provisional ordinances, professing to regulate the intercourse of trade between the two countries, have been promulgated on both sides, and the question whether the commercial treaty of 1506 was perpetual or not, and whether it ought to be observed or abandoned, has remained in abeyance, as appears from the subjoined abstracts (fn. n13) of the intercourse (entrecour) or commercial convention of 1515. Ever since the queen of Hungary took into her hands the government of these Low Countries, knowing how interested the Emperor's subjects were in the strict observance of the treaties, she has often requested the king of England to consent to a new one being made for the regulation of trade between the two countries. The King having acceded to her request, sent his deputies to Calais, whilst the Queen sent hers to Dunkerk; but the English maintaining all the time that the treaty of 1506 was perpetual and ought to be strictly observed, whilst those of the queen of Hungary held that it could not be perpetually valid, inasmuch as it lacked confirmation, and the time of its duration had already expired, no good whatever was done, and although the Emperor's deputies were disposed and willing to have the same treaty of 1506 revised and brought into reasonable terms, equally advantageous for both the contracting parties, the English would not hear of it.
It is, therefore, probable that if a new commercial treaty be negociated, the King of England's ministers will persistently try to have that of the year 1506 ratified, and will perhaps endeavour to gain their object by means of covered words, a thing to which great attention should be paid. If matters could be so managed as to entirely do away with the debated question whether the commercial treaty of 1506 be perpetual or not, and have the treaty itself declared invalid and nul, a great boon would be conferred on the inhabitants of these Low Countries, and it might lead the way to an arrangement for a more reasonable one.
To attain this desirable end it ought to be stipulated that in future, for a period of five or six years, at least, the letter of the commercial covenant made and concluded in the month of April, 1520, should be strictly observed, and that during that time there should be a meeting of deputies from both countries to reconsider and re-examine those points, in which there might be detriment to either of the parties, the whole of this being done in a spirit of perfect impartiality and good fellowship, so as to meet the convenience and benefit of both parties. At the expiration of which period of five or six years all previous treaties for the intercourse of trade are to be virtually abolished and declared nul.
Should this not be attainable, as most likely it will not be, at least great care should be taken that no confirmation of the said treaty of 1506, nor even of that of 1520, take place directly or indirectly, unless it be provisionally and for a limited period of time, lest the English should allege that according to the clause herein subjoined of the treaty of 1520, that of 1506 must be considered as fully confirmed.
On the other hand in granting to the king of England the cession by the Countess Palatine [of the Rhine] of all her rights to the crowns of Denmark and Norway, care should be taken that all subjects, natives or inhabitants of those countries, whether patrimonial or otherwise, who have placed or may hereafter place themselves under His Majesty's rule, as lord of these Low Countries, and settle therein with their boats, ships, goods and chattels, merchandise and so forth, gold and silver, both coined and in bullion, be allowed without trouble and at their ease to go about, frequent, reside in, and inhabit, go to and come from the said kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and their dependencies, as well by sea as by land or sweet waters, and principally by the Sund of Bette (Sund ), going to or returning from Prussia, Rierevel, Dantzig, and other neighbouring countries or lordships, without being arrested or hindered in their persons or properties, provided they pay the anciently established customs dues (tonlieux) and other usual taxes as in time of peace, each being, however, responsible before the judges for all private and personal debts.
As, moreover, generally speaking, it is customary to stipulate in all treaties with princes and lords of those Austral regions that each contracting party is to keep the roads and passes perfectly free and secure from corsairs, pirates, and privateers—who generally abound in those regions more than in others (many gentlemen thinking that robbing on the high seas is no crime or misdemeanour) (fn. n14) —it would be well to stipulate that should the king of England obtain the possession of the said kingdoms of Denmark and Norway he shall be obliged to keep a guard, deliver, secure and preserve the roads, straits and passes leading to and from the said kingdoms, as well by sea as by land, or sweet waters, from robbers, thieves, highwaymen, cut-purses (destrousseurs), corsairs, pirates and "ecumeurs de mer," so that those who wish to visit, for the purpose of trade or otherwise, the aforesaid kingdoms, may do so freely, and without impediment of any sort go thither and return whenever they like.
That the king of England is not to grant safe-conducts, nor allow them to be granted by others, to the said robbers, thieves, highwaymen, cut-purses, corsairs, pirates and privateers, for them to be received, housed (herbergez) or otherwise sheltered, and that should any property or goods belonging to subjects of these Low Countries, and taken by sheer force from them at sea or on land, be found in any port of the said kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, or elsewhere, the owners may claim the same, and pursue their action of recovery, until indemnified of their loss, the king being bound to have all property restored without delay or impediment of any sort.
Likewise that neither in the said kingdoms nor in their dependencies are the enemies of these Low Countries to be sheltered, received, favored or allowed to treat; that they will not be allowed to make recruits, or be furnished with ammunition, provisions and victuals, vessels, maritime stores, or anything else appertaining to war, as stipulated in the treaty of truce made three years ago with the duke of Holstein, some articles of which bearing on this point are also here subjoined. (fn. n15)
It would again be advisable to stipulate that in the event of the King leaving after him more than one son, and that the one now living succeeds to the crown of England, the second of those sons shall occupy the throne of Denmark and Norway, as the perpetual union of the latter kingdoms to the crown of England might prove a rather dangerous coalition for these Low Countries, and is more to be dreaded than that which the duke of Cleves is now trying to effect of the duchy of Ghelders to those of Cleves and Jullers (Julièrs), Berghe and La Marche.
It would also seem expedient to stipulate that should the king of England come to treat with the duke of Holstein respecting the Austral Towns, or other principalities bordering on Denmark, he (the King) should not be empowered to treat, grant or consent to anything likely to turn out to the detriment and injury of these Low Countries. Otherwise the King, who, as may be presumed, is only asking for the said kingdoms of Denmark and Norway for the purpose of monopolizing the trade of those countries—which is in reality the principal profit he can get from them—might easily enter into a treaty with the duke of Holstein, and make over to him his right to the crown of Denmark and Norway, on condition that all merchandize coming from Oost and passing through Denmark should be landed there, and then put on board of English or Danish vessels to be conveyed to England, by doing which the Low Countries would be deprived of the direct trade with those kingdoms, and their shipping interest would suffer materially, for all merchandize coming from the West and from France are there distributed so as to answer for that coming from Oost. The greatest attention should be given to this last point.
Nor is it unworthy of consideration that after the alliance and confederacy thus made with the king of England—which cannot always remain secret—the duke of Holstein, at present holder of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, being made aware of this or any other alliance, will naturally suspect that the treaty has been framed to his detriment, and will try by all means in his power to fortify himself against His Imperial Majesty and these Low Countries, to whom he will attribute all the inconveniences of his situation, and will readily ally himself closely with the first Lutherans he may come across, and even with the electors of Saxony, the landgraf of Hessen, and the duke of Cleves, with whose assistance he can very easily make invasions in these Low Countries. To meet such a danger as this it would be advisable to stipulate, or at least to enter into some sort of agreement with the king of England that in case of his marrying the dowager duchess of Milan, the Queen, his wife, may negociate with the said duke of Holstein, usurper of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, and make peace or truce with him as may best suit, provided matters relating to the security and preservation of the Low Countries are alone treated of, not those which might turn to the detriment of the King, her husband.
This present advice (avertissement) is tendered by the good pleasure of Her Majesty (the queen of Hungary) and under the correction of the lords, who will intervene in the negociations for the treaty. (fn. n16)
French. Entirely ciphered. pp. 11.
Imp. Arch.,
ff. 77–82.
25. Memorandum (fn. n17) respecting the Proposed Marriage of the King of England with the Dowager Duchess of Milan.
Respecting the marriage in contemplation between the king of England and the dowager duchess of Milan, and that of the princess of England (Mary) with the Infante Dom Luyz of Portugal, the Emperor's wish is: 1stly, that his ambassadors in England do grant nothing against Holy Mother Church, or against the authority of the Holy Apostolic See.
Also that nothing be granted by them against the rights of the Princess to the succession.
That the Infante of Portugal and the said Princess may not be compelled to sign any statutes or articles against the Church or the Apostolic See.
To ascertain what are the King's intentions and views with regard to the marriage between the Infante of Portugal and the Princess his daughter, and what dowry he purposes to give to the latter.
That the king of Portugal [Dom Joaõ III.] is ready, owing to the affection he bears to his brother, to allot him property or revenue in his own kingdom sufficiently large to allow him to keep up a princely state, and that at all events the king of England ought rather to look to the personal qualities, merits and age of the personage than to his material wealth.
That the Emperor engages that any promises made by the Infante Dom Luyz, and by the king of Portugal shall be fulfilled.
That whilst giving his consent to the above marriage, the Emperor will be glad to enter into a defensive and offensive league of the respective states of both parties. (fn. n18)
That the king of the Romans (Ferdinand) will also intervene and join the said league.
Should the king of England speak of ratifying the last treaty the ambassadors will decline any conversation on the subject, on the plea that in those treaties are contained many points and articles, with which they themselves are not acquainted, which articles have nothing in common with the proposed marriage, and in nowise concern the king of Portugal or the king of the Romans.
Again, should the king of England hint at a new league and confederacy between the Emperor and himself, the ambassadors are to listen to the conditions of that league without admitting or rejecting the terms altogether, however hard they may appear to them.
Not to grant anything respecting the old confederacies with Scotland.
To take good care of the succession to the throne of England, in the event of the King's death without male and legitimate children, going to the Princess.
To procure that the King assigns to the Princess, his daughter, the largest dower possible on some estate or country the revenue of which she herself may enjoy, besides a considerable sum of money as dowry.
It will be wise and convenient to have the said dower properly estimated and valued, so that in the event of the King's death during the life of the Princess, should the King's successor on the throne wish to curtail some of it, the Princess or her representatives may know what sums they are to claim.
The ambassadors are particularly charged to keep in mind the following points:—
1st. That the king of England will be glad to make a league against the Turk and declare against him, provided His Imperial Majesty on his side will declare against the Pope.
That the King refuses to declare the legitimacy of the Princess, and, therefore, that in point of fact she is to him neither a legitimate nor a bastard daughter.
That he will, nevertheless, declare her heiress to his throne should he die without legitimate children, male or female, of his late marriage, and that in any case she is to be preferred to the daughter of Anne de Boullant (Anne Boleyn), the beheaded queen.
That he did offer to give her 100,000 crs. at once, and 20,000 more every year as dower, though since then his ministers have considerably reduced that sum by the suppression of the yearly revenue. (fn. n19) And that the Imperial ambassadors said that for every 100,000 crs. the King would bestow on his daughter, the Infante of Portugal, Dom Luyz, engaged to give the Princess 5,000 as marriage portion. It must, however, be observed that no definitive agreement was taken on that point; the annual revenue, which the Princess in the first instance was to have, was not definitely fixed; besides which, as the ambassadors know, the King's consignment was originally made upon the property of the suppressed abbeys and monasteries, not in ready money. On the other hand, the King's conditions were that the Emperor should defend him against the Pope. Also that the General Council was not to be held at Cambray. In addition to that the Emperor was to promise that wherever the Council met nothing would be treated therein to his detriment.
It must likewise be borne in mind, that the ambassadors had tacitly owned that the Emperor intended giving the duchy of Milan to the Infante Dom Luyz, which declaration was so much to the King's taste that he had immediately offered money to defend him [the Infante] against all enemies, and also to declare against the Turk. The King, nevertheless, requested that the investiture of Milan should be delayed until the conclusion of the marriages.
Since then the Emperor had actually offered the state of Milan to the King on condition of his making a league, defensive and offensive with him against all enemies, and of both attending conjointly to the defence of their respective dominions. Which proposition, however, the English declined to accept, excusing themselves on the plea of the heavy expense they would have to sustain, the Emperor having so many enemies that it would be impossible for them, as they said, to bear such a strain on their treasury.
The King's Marriage with the Dowager Duchess of Milan.
Cromwell was the first to bring it forward in conversation with the Imperial ambassador in London (Eustace Chapuys), saying that it would be advisable to treat of such a marriage, and at the same time conclude that of the prince of England (Edward) and the Emperor's daughter (Maria); of the King's daughter by Anne Boleyn (Elizabeth) with the son of the duke of Savoy [Charles III.], or with the son of the king of the Romans (Ferdinand).
The proposal being renewed in more explicit terms, the Imperial ambassadors (Chapuys and D. Diego) declined to treat of such marriages on the plea that the parties were by far too young, and of such unsuitable ages that contracts now made could hardly be kept; and, moreover, that the Emperor did not know what the intentions of the king of the Romans or of the duke of Savoy might be with regard to that. But if the king of England wished to treat of his own marriage with the dowager duchess of Milan, the Emperor would be glad to grant her hand with a dowry of 100,000 crs., besides an allowance of 15,000 crs. annually, together with such rights as the Duchess might have to her mother's inheritance. In addition to that, the Emperor would endeavour that the Countess Palatine (fn. n20), her sister, renounced in her favour her right to the succession to the crowns of Denmark and Norway, and would even promise, if necessary, his help and assistance for the conquest of those kingdoms.
Upon which the King had asked for an increase of the Duchess' dower and marriage portion, and desired that both should be consigned upon the Flanders Treasury, alleging that the consignment on Milan was not secure, and that he did not care for the rights the Duchess might have to the kingdom of Denmark. Which reply was met by the Imperial ambassadors with the rejoinder that the dowry assigned was quite sufficient, and that the King ought to be satisfied and not insist on such trifles.
It was also offered by the Imperial ambassadors that every effort should be made by the Emperor to mediate between the Pope and the King, so as to make them friends on honourable conditions suitable to the King's reputation. But this the King would not hear of, refusing to enter into any sort of agreement with His Holiness.
Then after that the King asked the investiture of Milan for his daughter, saying that the Emperor was in a situation to grant that. The ambassadors' answer was that His Imperial Majesty could not then dispose of the duchy of Milan without the consent of the Italian powers; and, moreover, that the King had nothing to fear in that quarter, since in the agreement entered into with king Francis there was no clause whatever to his detriment.
In a despatch addressed by Don Diego de Mendoza to the queen regent of Flanders, that ambassador says that in treating of the marriage between the princess of England (Mary) and the Infante of Portugal (Dom Luyz) great care should be taken that she be declared legitimate and lawful heiress to the Crown in view of failure of legitimate male heirs. Should the King not agree to that, no mention at all of his refusal was to be made in the marriage contract for fear of injuring her rights to the succession. To insist, however, upon the largest possible and most secure dower for the Princess, bearing in mind that she is the daughter of queen Katharine, who had one amounting to 200,000 ducats.
That it would be fit and expedient to draw out a secret protest to this effect: that in treating of the Princess' marriage it must be well understood that her rights to the succession are in nowise impaired thereby.
The Emperor writes that on the two points brought forward by the king of England and his ministers, firstly: that he (the Emperor) is not to consent to the celebration of the General Council, lest something be said or done there to his prejudice; and secondly, that he himself, is unwilling to declare the legitimacy of his daughter, the Imperial ambassadors' answer at the time was fit and proper. With regard to the first point they replied that the Emperor could not make such a promise, and that even if he made it, he could not keep his engagement, for it was one against God and reason; and with regard to the second, that if the King refused to acknowledge and proclaim the legitimacy of the Princess, his daughter, he was at least bound to reserve her right to the succession in case he himself died without other children. (fn. n21)
In a letter of the 28 July 1538, the Emperor writes that the English ambassador at his Court had requested him in his master's name to urge on the two said marriages, and that even in the case of that of the Princess with Dom Luyz of Portugal not taking place immediately, his wish was that his own with the dowager duchess of Milan should be proceeded with. So that, although formerly the King insisted upon the two marriages taking place at the same time, his ambassador seemed now to put off that of the Princess and Dom Luyz, and advocate solely and exclusively that of his master with the dowager duchess of Milan; making no objection to the Emperor's voluntary disposal of that state, and offering besides, in his master's name, to contribute to the defence of that duchy, provided full powers were sent to queen Mary, the regent of the Low Countries, to treat of his own marriage with the Duchess.
The Emperor's intention, however, is that the Queen, his sister, endeavour to make out what the king of England means by this new proposal, and treat of the two marriages as above. But in order not to afford a cause of displeasure to the king of France, she (the Queen) is to conclude nothing without letting the Emperor know of it first, much less arrange an interview with the King at Calais or elsewhere—a thing which the English ambassador seems most anxious for—nor enter into any definitive agreement whatever with respect to Milan itself. For this is the most important point in the negociation, and the French have not yet lost all hope of getting possession of it somehow. Should, therefore, the king of England or his ministers make any mention of it, let the Imperial commissioners' reply be that as the King's answer to the Imperial ambassadors on that particular point had been both cold and unmeaning, nay, far from corresponding to the warm overtures proffered by the said ambassadors, it was necessary that the King should make a fresh and formal declaration of his views within a fixed period of time according to the present state of affairs, not forgetting to state that the Milan question is nowadays open to many considerations.
The English ambassador at the Imperial Court has complained of his master, the King, not having been comprised in the truce of Nyce (Nizza), except in general terms, and as one of the Christian princes. He could not possibly assert that by that omission his master would be prejudiced in his treaties with the Emperor, but he feared he might be so hereafter. The answer has been that the King was duly comprised in it, though in general terms, and that nothing had therein been discussed or meant to his detriment. Upon which the English ambassador observed: "Perhaps by not mentioning my master in the treaty of Nizza (fn. n22) the object was to show that he is not a Christian king, since he has denied obedience to the Church of Rome?"
The said ambassador again, in his master's name, requested that the Emperor should engage, in case of the General Council meeting, that no matter should therein be discussed to his detriment, although he himself were not present, for certainly he did not intend to attend it. The answer was that the King's request was unreasonable, and that the Emperor could in nowise comply with it.
Another request of the English ambassador is that particular instructions be forwarded to the Queen Regent respecting the dowry and the rights of the dowager duchess of Milan, besides the cession which the Palatine Duchess [her sister] is to make of her own rights to the crown of Denmark. This has been granted, and a promise made to that effect.
The ambassador has also spoken about the defence of Milan, and the answer has been in general terms that the assistance proffered is now subject to other considerations, since the circumstances have greatly changed. The ambassador was also told that if his master wished for the negotiation of the two above-mentioned marriages to be resumed and go on, he must proceed in it more seriously and effectively than hitherto.
The Emperor's resident ambassador in England (Chapuys), in his despatch of the last day of August 1538, advises, among other things: That the king of England objected to the powers sent to the Queen on the ground that they were insufficient to treat of the marriage between the Infante Dom Luyz and the Princess, which was the principal point of the two. That the Emperor did not know yet what personal property and estates the Infante had to offer as security for the Princess' dower. Neither had he (the Emperor) received from the Infante sufficient powers, without which it was impossible to proceed with the negociations, and that in addition to that he (the King) wished the negociations to be carried on in England through the medium of the queen of Hungary. The Emperor's answer to such objections was that the English ambassador residing at his Court had seen the powers, and that Dom Luyz himself would not contradict any statement made by the Emperor.
The same Imperial ambassador in England remarks that by the King saying that the Princess' marriage was the principal and most important of the two, it is clearly demonstrated that his sole aim was, and is still, the state of Milan, in order to create jealousy and suspicion between the Emperor and the king Francis.
Cromwell must have said somewhere that a marriage between the dowager duchess of Milan with the young duke of Clèves was in contemplation, and that it was a disreputable transaction for his master, the King, to be refused for a duke, or be accepted after him. Also, that once in possession of Milan, his master's affairs would go on prosperously, and all the rest be settled to his satisfaction. In addition to which the King said once to the French ambassador that he would have Milan in spite of any other prince who wished for it, and that the Emperor had actually offered it to him, even after the interview at Aigues Mortes. (fn. n23)
Indorsed: "Instructions respecting the king of England's marriage with the dowager duchess of Milan."
French. Original minute. pp. 10.
Nov. 26. Report of the Imperial Deputies of their Negociations with the English Ambassadors.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. 231.
ff. 87–102.
At Brussels, on the 16th day of November 1538, the English ambassadors were the first to make an "exposé" of their commission. They said that the Emperor, through his ambassadors in England, properly accredited for the purpose, had made once certain overtures in view of renewing, re-establishing and re-binding together the alliance, confederacy and defensive league between him and England, the above-named Imperial ambassadors having proposed in His Majesty's name a marriage between Dom Loys (Luyz), Infante of Portugal, and Mme. Maria, daughter of the king of England, which proposal, made, as aforesaid, by the Imperial ambassadors, had been taken into consideration and discussed between them as to the conditions of the said marriage and so forth. That simultaneously, and in a like manner, there had been a question of a matrimonial alliance between the King, their master, and Mme. Crestien (Christine), dowager duchess of Milan, but that all negociations on that score had remained without effect or conclusion, owing to the Imperial ambassadors not having received sufficient powers and instructions to treat thereof, though lately, and whilst he himself was at Barcelona, the Emperor had declared to the ambassadors of the King, their master, resident at his court, as well as through his own ambassadors in England, that he was ready to send, and would send to the Queen, his sister, regent in these Low Countries, full powers and instructions to treat of and conclude the said matrimonial alliances and confederations.
After this above exposition of the charge entrusted to them by their master, the English commissioners and ambassadors stated that before proceeding to business it was requisite and necessary that the powers granted by each of the parties should be examined and inspected, asking to see and have in their hands a copy of those of the Emperor to the Queen Regent, his sister, and offering likewise to exhibit their own, both of which were then and there read.
After which the English ambassadors asked to see and inspect the tenour of the commission given by the Queen Regent to her deputies, to which the latter answered that the Queen herself could, in virtue of her powers, conclude any treaty on that score whenever the negociations had come to a close, and a settlement had been made; yet, that, if the English ambassadors entertained any doubt about her having substituted the Emperor's powers for her own, that doubt would disappear on the approval and ratification by herself of all settlements agreed to by her deputies.
This the English ambassadors contradicted and impugned, replying that the Queen's powers were insufficient and too general, and insisting upon having a copy of it to forward to the King, their master, and to his Privy Council, to be examined and inspected in England, in order to see whether the powers were sufficient or not.
The Queen's deputies then replied that, if there was any flaw or mistake in the powers, it was for the English ambassadors to point it out, as they themselves could not discover in them anything incorrect or defective, but on the contrary found them good and sufficient. Upon which the ambassadors retorted that they left that for their master, the King, and for his Privy Council to decide, and declare whether they considered the powers sufficient or not.
18 Nov. 27. Second Report of the Imperial Deputies.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. 231.
f. 122.
On the xviii. of the said month of November the English ambassadors, after hearing the Queen's answer to their application in the first instance, and when they made verbally the exposé of the mission on which they were sent, replied that they thought it very strange that a copy of the powers granted to her by the Emperor to treat with them the question of inter-marriages and closer alliance should have been denied to them, considering that they themselves had offered to exhibit their own.
With regard to the state of Milan, they were the more astonished (esbahis) at the difficulty now raised that the proposal had come directly from the Emperor, who had always offered to give that duchy to Dom Loys (Luyz) in consideration of his marriage with his daughter, which offer had since been confirmed, even after the interview at Aigues Mortes, the Emperor having then and there declared that he was ready and willing to resume and continue the negociations for that marriage in the terms and with the conditions previously stipulated, without retrenching anything on the points upon which there was an agreement on both sides. The English ambassadors fully expected that the Emperor, who was a man of his word, would observe what he had so often promised and keep his engagements.
The English ambassadors went on to say that perceiving that the Queen's deputies avoided giving an answer, they had proceeded to the second point in their commission, which was the succession of Dame Mary. That succession, they said, had already been settled and established by the laws of the kingdom, which the King, their master, could not and would not alter, since they had been sworn to by his subjects.
Respecting the third point in their (the English ambassadors') charge, namely, that Dom Loys (Luyz) was to swear to the statutes and laws of England, the Infante ought to make no difficulty whatever, since those very statutes and laws were greatly beneficial to him, who, by taking his oath to comply strictly with them, would naturally ensure and confirm the eventual succession of Dame Mary to the Crown (according and in pursuance of the nomination made by the King, her father), and would thereby make himself agreeable to and loved by the English. And that although it was not customary to introduce such clauses as that in the marriage contract of princes, yet the King insisted upon it, since it was not in anywise injurious to the Infante of Portugal, who ought to offer no opposition, considering that the King, their master, who was a wise and prudent monarch, intended it as a safeguard against the inconvenience that might hereafter arise in his kingdom with regard to the succession.
The ambassadors ended by saying that considering that the Queen's commissioners would like to answer separately each of the above three points, should there be any difficulty in the answer, or should the whole or part of their propositions be contested, they would be glad to have the answer in writing, that they may inform the King, their master, thereof—at the same time that the Queen's deputies informed the Emperor—and that during that time the negociation for other conditions respecting the said inter-marriages and alliances might be proceeded with, on all which points they hoped to get an answer in six days' time.
The Queen's deputies then took upon themselves to inform the Queen and her Council, which has been done, the resolution taken being that the English ambassadors may write to the King, their master, as desired.
French Minute. (fn. n24) pp. 2.
P. Neg. & Pap.
de Sim.
L. 1484. No. 51.
28. What the Admiral of France said to the Queen Regent, and what her answer was.
In the first place the Admiral said to the Queen that he had charge to offer his most cordial and affectionate commendations on the part of the queen of France (Eleonor), to which the Queen Regent replied that she thanked him extremely for having taken the trouble of coming as far as Cambray, accompanied by princes and princesses of the Royal blood of France, to visit her. That (she said) had been for her a great source of satisfaction; she was ready to do, in favor of Eleonor, and of the Most Christian King, her husband all that might be in her power.
The Admiral next went on to say that he had also a special charge from his master, which was to assure her (the Queen) that not only did he desire to preserve the existing friendship and peace, but wished to establish fresh and closer bonds of union between the two countries. Much had been said on either side, but no definitive agreement had yet been come to. One of the parties had perhaps asked too much, the other had offered too little; nothing had been settled or concluded, and yet both being closely united much time and money might have been spared. For the Most Christian King being the Emperor's brother-in-law, married to his sister, and king Francis being equally the Emperor's brother, nothing would be easier for them than to come to an agreement on all points. The Most Christian King (he said) might help and assist the Emperor in all his undertakings, whilst the latter, who had plenty of land to dispose of, could easily part with a comparatively small territory in Italy, which evidently belongs to him and to his descendants, though at present usurped, and which, if ceded to him, he would assist to conquer.
On the other hand should the Emperor meet with a reverse in his encounter with the Infidels, the Most Christian King would all the same do all he could for him, and go on negociating for a closer friendship; for he holds the Emperor to be so high-minded a prince, and so noble-hearted, that no victory of his own, however great and decisive, would ever deter him from his firm purpose of helping his brother in every way.
The Queen's answer was that she knew His Imperial Majesty's condition to be such that no victory or good success of his own could ever make him change his opinion respecting his friends. They would find him better inclined than before to establish good intelligence with the king of France with regard to the universal redressing of Christendom, without innovating in any thing, but keeping to the letter of former treaties and stipulations.
The Admiral replied that past treaties had been made in times of pressure; the Most Christian King asked nothing from the Emperor, save that by way of a new friendship to be established between the two powers, without involving any obligation on the part of the Emperor, he would graciously grant the King's request, or even prayer, if necessary. Should the Emperor refuse to give what was asked of him, the Most Christian King would remain peaceably within his kingdom, enjoying himself, trying to gain friends, and fortifying his frontier towns, not indeed with a view to molest the Emperor, but in order to defend himself afterwards in case of need. "As soon as the King, my master, (continued the Admiral) enters into closer friendship and confederacy of this sort, all his friends and allies will naturally desert him; the Emperor's power will increase, and my master's diminish in consequence. For that reason it is not prudent for the king of France to take any engagement of that sort without knowing first whether the Emperor intends or not doing any thing for him, granting his request or giving him some equivalent. The King, nevertheless, would be glad to negociate upon all and each of the above-mentioned points, provided something be done for him, or if he has the assurance that a portion at least of his demands will be complied with presently or at a future time. It was for the Emperor to answer these overtures, since he (Francis) had always been the first to speak, make explanations (aclaraciones) on the subject, propose means, and so forth."
With respect to the common weal of Christendom, which also concerns the Emperor most particularly as bead of it, there is nothing to be said, save to declare and propound the means of carrying into effect so meritorious a work. The Most Christian King will then show to the world that he has as much desire and will towards it as any other Catholic prince, provided care be taken to make him participate in the honor and glory of such an enterprise, and he be acquainted beforehand of the means to be employed to attain such an end. As his predecessors, the kings of France have always been, the Most Christian is ready to stake his person and kingdom for the service of God and Christendom against the Infidels, as he has already offered to do many a time.
The Queen's answer to the above was that the Emperor, her brother, was particularly observant of the treaties he had with other princes, and, therefore, that it was out of the question to demand from him things which he could not do owing to former engagements. Those treaties the Emperor could neither alter nor revoke without the consent of the contracting parties. Yet, should the negociations turn upon matters tending to promote the weal of Christendom at large, that might become an excuse for altering for the King's benefit some of the stipulations which could not otherwise be changed. She was sure that the Emperor would do for him and for his sons anything he could honestly do, indeed, as much as he would for his own.
The Admiral replied: "If on his return from this African expedition, the Emperor does nothing for my master, the Most Christian king of France, all hope must be abandoned of matters being satisfactorily settled, and the King, my master, will then fall into despair. It is to you, as the Emperor's sister, whose good judgment and inclination to peace are well known, that I address myself on this occasion, begging you to tell the Emperor, that my master, the King, prefers you to any other channel for the conveyance of his prayers and wants."
Upon which the Queen replied, that knowing very well what might possibly happen, as well as the affinity and parentage which united her to both parties, she would be inhuman were she not to nourish a similar hope and desire. There was nothing she wished more in this life, nothing for which she might be so much tempted to forget her duties, as to see perpetual peace established between them for the good of Christendom at large.
After this the Queen, by way of device, made the Admiral understand that on king Francis' part negociations had been for some time on foot between him and the German princes, likely to result to the Emperor's and the king of the Romans' prejudice. The practices still continued, and, although no harm had actually come to the Emperor or to his brother (Ferdinand) through them, whoever wished for a lasting peace and its preservation must needs avoid and, if possible, remove all occasions of impairing that peace. "In fact (added the Queen) if you (the French people) will put aside the intrigues I allude to, that will be a cause for our forgetting the past, and the means of arriving more easily at an understanding in other matters."
The Queen also hinted to the Admiral that much had been done by them in the Ghelder's business, which was not justifiable at all, and that by acting as they had done, future annoyances and molestations might supervene. The Admiral answered that there was nothing in which his master would not do the Emperor's pleasure, provided he himself was pleased and accommodated with a small portion of his demands. The King (he said) had always forbidden the duke of Ghelders to make a stir against the Emperor or his dominions; "should he do anything in that way, it will be entirely against my master's will and without his help and favor."
With regard to the Council the Admiral expressed himself in these or like terms: He said that its celebration was certainly good and necessary, and that the king of England feared nothing short of that. (fn. n25) Were the Emperor and the King to agree in other matters, there would be no difficulty about its meeting, and the Most Christian would at once consent to any place or time designated by the Emperor for its celebration.
The Admiral went also so far as to hint that the king of England's behaviour respecting his marriages, and consequent estrangement from the Church, had certainly given displeasure to many a prince; and therefore that he richly deserved the Papal censures, and to be excommunicated from the rest of Christians; meaning thereby to imply, as it would seem, that were a new understanding entered into between the Emperor and the king of France, he of England would soon be compelled, by reason or otherwise, to pay obedience to the Church, or else to incur the pain of deprivation of his kingdom.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 5.


  • n1. Probably a mistake for the 7th. See No. 19.
  • n2. See above, No. 22, p. 54.
  • n3. Pier Luigi Farnese, duke de Castro, was then married to Hieronima Orsini, daughter of count Pitigliano. By the lady Costanza, the Pope's daughter and Pier Luigi's sister is meant. She was first married to Bozio II., Sforza, count of Santa Fiore, secondly to Stephano Colonna, duke of Palestrina.
  • n4. By Santiago, cardinal Sarmiento, archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, is mcant. Octavio is, no doubt, Ottavio Farnesc, the bridegroom.
  • n5. "De un diamante y un balaj de precio de once mil ducados." Balaj in Spanish is the balass or spinel ruby.
  • n6. "De la qual no se sabia los effectos quc havia hecho por respecto de la traviessa (travesia?) del Golfo con los xaloques."
  • n7. Pier Luigi Farnese had only one daughter, named Vittoria, who married Guidobaldo della Rovere, duke of Urbino.
  • n8. That is Antoine, son of Charles, duke of Vendôme.
  • n9. "Y hambien está aqui la marquesa de Pescara, que erco habla en sa hijo de Ascanio."
  • n10. That is Dorothea, the daughter of Kristiern, then married to the Palatine Frederic.
  • n11. Philip, the father of Charles V.
  • n12. "Contraint par torment de mer prendre terre en Angleterre."
  • n13. Neither of the clauses mentioned in this paper are appended.
  • n14. "De garder les chemins et passaiges francs de coureurs, pillars, et privates qui ont accoustume plus regner a dits quartiers que autres, en tant que pluseurs gentilhommes ne le reputent pour delict ou mefait."
  • n15. As above said (see above, p. 59, note) none of the documents here alluded to is in the bundle.
  • n16. The deputies appointed by the Queen Regent, as will be seen hereafter, were the duke of Aarschot (Philippe de Croy), the viscount of Lombecke (Jean Hannaërt, sieur de Likerke), and Dr. Schore, the chancellor of Brabant. The document is undated, and entirely ciphered. It is addressed to the Emperor, and may be the work of Granvelle (Antoine), at that time secretary of the Council, and therefore in possession of one of the ciphers used by Imperial ambassadors and ministers.
  • n17. Most likely by Don Diego de Mendoza after his return from England See above, No. 12, p. 40.
  • n18. "Pour les estatz de eulx deulx."
  • n19. "Donneroit avecq la princesse cent mille escus une fois et xxm escus de rente, mais depuis ses ministres se retrancherent et arresterent a cent M. escus comme [une] fois."
  • n20. "That is Dorothea, married to the count Palatine Frederic."
  • n21. Son droit de succession en cas quil ne laissa aultres enffans [masles?].
  • n22. There was no treaty at Nizza; at least the interview ended without the Emperor and Francis coming to a definite agreement. The truce was not concluded until their meeting at Aigues-Mortes.
  • n23. Most likely by D. Diego de Mendoza, who, on his return from his embassy, was frequently consulted on the subject by the Queen Regent's ministers.
  • n24. This draft or minute has no date, and seems to be unfinished, for immediately after the last paragraph follow three lines in the same handwriting, which are crossed over, "Monsr j'ai en brief reprins la communication de aujourdhuy, la quelle je vous prye de veoir et corriger a vostre bon plesir (sic) pour apres la faire esoripre (copier?) avecq lautre verbal proces."
  • n25. "Y que el Rey de Inglaterra no tenia (temia?) otra cosa."