Spain: December 1538

Pages 75-97

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 1538, 1-31

14 Dec. 29. Scepperus to the Emperor.
P. Ar. Neg. et Pap.
de Simancas,
K. 1,484, No. 77.
B. M. 28,590, f. 302.
This very morning the constable of France (Montmorency) declared to me his master's immense satisfaction at hearing from Mr. de Tarbes (Castelnau), his ambassador at that Imperial Court, how much Your Majesty's affection and friendship for him has increased of late, as well as your own answer to the importunate solicitations of king Henry of England respecting alliances, giving you carte blanche for the fulfilment of your wishes, (fn. n1) offering to help you in future with all his power, and assist you in all your undertakings, whatever they may be. The King (said the Constable) was well aware of Your Majesty's answer to the English King's overtures on the occasion; you had persisted in the declaration once made by you to Mr. de Brissach (fn. n2) —and later on, and more openly, to king Henry's own ambassadors—that it was useless to insist upon that point, and that the agreement entered into between Your Imperial Majesty and the Most Christian King could never be altered or changed. That your intention, on the contrary, was to go on with the truce, and gain all possible ground until a lasting peace was established, sure, as you were, that the Most Christian King will do the same on his side.
Your Majesty's answer to the English ambassadors has made such an impression on this King, and so confirmed him in his high opinion of Your Majesty, that it is impossible to wish for more. The Constable, himself, in the kindest manner possible, has assured me that such were his master's sentiments, begging me to write home accordingly, and say that he (the Constable), as a man of honor, can vouchsafe for the truth of his statement. Indeed, I am in duty bound to say that ever since I took possession of this office (fn. n3) I have not heard or met with anything contrary to the above professions, but have always found in him a strong desire of promoting that friendship, and whatever else may render it more firm and indissoluble. In proof of which assertion, I must say that the King is now sending his powers to Mr. de Tarbes (Castelnau) to treat with Your Majesty to the effect that neither on your side nor on his is an alliance with England to be made through marriages, confederacies, or otherwise, as Your Majesty has already declared to Mr. de Tarbes, and that the King himself is shortly to make a similar declaration. Indeed, the High Constable has assured me that his master is willing to declare that he will not treat in future with kings, princes, or potentates, unless Your Majesty thinks fit and convenient. In short, that whatever Your Majesty may wish for in this matter of alliances with kings, princes and potentates, he (the King) at once approves of and is ready to grant.
After all such increase of trust and confidence in Your Majesty, and such words in this King's lips, acknowledge no other origin than the declaration once made by your Imperial Majesty to Mr. de Tarbes, because, as I have learnt from the High Constable himself, that ambassador wrote that he had heard Your Majesty say that you intended to prefer this King's friendship to that of any other prince or potentate in the world, not excluding even your own brother, the king of the Romans, if necessary. Words, indeed, so eloquent and effective that they cannot be sufficiently valued, especially coming from the lips of a prince like Your Majesty, incapable of tergiversation or change. The truth is that these words have been received here as true and sincere, and that the Constable has supplemented them, persuading the King, his master, to believe in them, and doing his best to maintain good intelligence with Your Majesty, for as the Grand Master says: "Let me introduce but one finger and I am sure to get my hand in." (fn. n4) For this reason I recommend your Majesty's ministers to write to the Grand Master often, as well as to Monseigneur the cardinal of Lorraine, urging them to contribute to the meritorious work we have in hand.
I tried to see the King before closing this despatch, in order to compare the High Constable's words to me with what he himself might say on the subject; but it was some time before supper, and the King was then asleep. I could not delay this despatch, because the High Constable tells me that he wishes to send it on to-morrow along with the letters of intelligence he himself has received from the Court of the Grand Turk, from England, Italy, and other countries, which he says he intends to forward in future as soon as they come to hand.
Such are the abominable cruelties which the king of England is practising daily with the churches, as well as the principal persons of his kingdom, that the Most Christian King, and all those who hear of his acts, are quite shocked thereat. The High Constable has again told me that the King, his master, is only waiting for Your Majesty's opinion in the matter to conform entirely with your views, and gives the very same answer to the Holy Father, when called upon to help and assist the Church against that King's disobedience and rebellion. Your Majesty will be pleased to send me instructions as to how I am to answer when interrogated on this point.
In the middle of these assurances of friendship for the future there has occasionally been a question as to the means to be employed to gain time and avoid a rupture, for although at present, thank God, there is no appearance of that, yet it is prudent to try and foresee all untoward events, in order to meet them with God's help and favor. In short, it has been agreed that neither Your Imperial Majesty nor the king of France ought to listen to those would-be troublers of peace (sufficiently well known to both of you), who, under color of service, and pretending to make you more powerful and greater than you are—but in reality looking only to their own private interest, which is what stimulates them on—are suggesting far-away and costly, not to say unprofitable undertakings, as some of the past have proved to be. For if the matter be well considered it will be found that, whilst the promoters of such undertakings might have gained through them, Your two Majesties had all the danger to encounter, all the expenses to defray, besides the annoyance, displeasure, and passionate feelings caused by your familiar enemies. (fn. n5) On this particular point the High Constable tells me that there are not a few in that Court who would daily cause a division if they could. (fn. n6) But, as I said before, it has been decided to bar the road to such people, and listen to no living soul speaking of this matter, for, certainly, there are many here for whom peace is a greater evil than war. I am almost sure that Cesare Fracroso stirs up as much mischief as the rest, though I must say that he is no longer so well received at this court as he was when I came to this embassy.
The young duke of Witemberg (fn. n7) has arrived here, for what purpose I was at first unable to learn. I know very well that some time before Your Imperial Majesty resolved to send me here, the said Duke had been residing at Plombiers (Plombières), a town on the frontier of the county of Burgundy, belonging to Your Majesty, and that he was not on good terms then with his father, the Duke. I have since ascertained that the young Duke comes straight from Bavaria, whose Duke, (fn. n8) as far as I can gather, has lately been warmly solicited to enter into a league with the princes and towns of Germany that have separated from the Faith. If effected, the league would be an awful blow, for few princes and towns of Germany keep to their old faith now, whilst the Separatists, being in the majority, may one of these days out-vote the former in the Diets, to the great injury of Your Majesty's rights, as well as those of your brother, the king of the Romans. I must, however, say that the current rumour here is that for all that the Catholic princes above-mentioned do not intend for the present to forsake the faith of their fathers. For this reason I make bold to say that it would be wise to gain over some of them by good means and sweet words, so as to render them secure and confident under Your Majesty's just and benevolent rule—if they are not already so—for they are in fear of the Separatists, who are strong, rich, well armed, and equally determined to do something, as men who are in despair, and begin to fear that the present peace, if consolidated, may become the cause of their ruin. It would, therefore, be advisable, now that the opportunity seems favorable, that Your Majesty at once inform the Most Christian King as to the best means and form of breaking up the said factions, and recalling the Separatists to their duty, since the Most Christian King himself has declared that he is willing to help in that undertaking, as I had the honor to state in my despatches of 22nd ult. and third inst. (fn. n9)
I cannot pass over in silence the praise and commendation which the queen of France (Eleanor) justly deserves for her strenuous efforts for the amplification and increase of the friendship now existing between Your Majesty and the King, her husband. She is indefatigable in her exertions, and ready to promote any scheme that may be agreeable to Your Majesty. She is, however, still intent upon the marriage of her daughter, the princess Mary of Portugal. Should that of the duke of Orleans with the princess Infanta of Spain, of which there has been a talk, not take place, (fn. n10) she wishes her to marry the above Duke. She is continually speaking to me about that, and is anxiously waiting for the return of Mr. de Lordres.—Paris, 14 Dec. 1538.
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
7–13 Dec. 30. The Report of the Duke of Aarschot, the Sieur de Lickerke, and Dr. Loys Schore, of their Conferences with the Ambassadors of the King of England.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc. 231,
f. 103–144.
The Queen finds it no less strange that the English ambassadors should think the Emperor capable of changing his words. It is the English, who never would answer within the period fixed the overtures once made about Milan. That period having elapsed, and the Emperor's circumstances with regard to that duchy having changed, owing to engagements between the Emperor and the king of France, of course the situation is different. (fn. n11) The English ambassadors said that the King, their master, having heard by their letters the answer made on the first instance by the Queen's deputies, had found it rather strange that so much difficulty should now be raised for the delivery of the duchy of Milan, the investiture of which the Emperor had been the first to offer in favor of the Infante of Portugal, Dom Luyz, upon his marriage with Madame Mary, his daughter, which offer had since been renewed at Barcelona, after the interview of Aigues-Mortez.
The Queen maintains that the Emperor's powers to her are quite sufficient, and that she is well acquainted with the Emperor's intentions, as well as with what his ambassadors in England and ministers in Spain have hitherto negociated with those of the king of England. They also said that the King, their master, found it equally strange that after His Imperial Majesty's declaration to the English ambassadors residing at his Court, that he (the Emperor) was about to send to the Queen Regent, his sister, full powers and sufficient instructions to treat of the said marriage, as well as of closer alliance and confederation, that same Lady and her Privy Council should not have been more plainly informed and instructed of the overtures made and conditions proposed by His Imperial Majesty.
On the receipt of the first communication from the King, it was stated by the Queen's ministers that it was not customary among princes to furnish copies of such documents, but merely to have them read at the beginning of the negociations. The negociations at an end, just before the conclusion of a treaty, the parties gave each other copies of their powers, for if the treaty was not concluded there was no need of exhibiting the powers. The King found it likewise strange that the Queen should have refused to give a copy of the powers she had received to that effect.
The Queen cannot persuade herself that the Emperor's ambassadors in London could possibly have done so; for Den Diego de Mendoza's report, and the memoranda of the discussion with the King and Privy Councillors respecting that point say nothing about it, at least, she (the Queen) never heard that they had. Both Don Diego and Chapuys are so wise and cautious, as well as sensible of their duty, that they would never have failed in advising her, had they done so. The English ambassadors also stated that those of the Emperor in England had fully consented to the marriage of Madame Mary, the King's daughter, in the position and rank which she then held, according to the statutes and laws of England, Dom Loys (Luyz) of Portugal swearing to observe those very statutes and laws.
This may be answered with the last sentence of the preceding apostille. That the King, their master, seeing the coldness and indifference with which the affair was treated on this side, had every reason to suspect, and even believe, that there was more readiness and desire to communicate with his ambassadors and talk the matter over than of doing any real work or coming to a conclusion.
On these points no reply was made, considering that the preceding notes were sufficient for all purposes. The English ambassadors went on hinting that the Queen might write to the Emperor, informing him of the communications that had already passed between them and the commissioners, as well as of the answers made by the latter, together with their own reply. In the meantime, and whilst the answer was coming from Spain—as well as the Emperor's assent to the desire expressed by their master, namely, that the Infante of Portugal should accept the hand of of his daughter, as determined by the statutes and laws of England, which he (the Infante) would promise to observe—the negociations for the King's marriage with the dowager duchess of Milan might be proceeded with.
The ambassadors ended by declaring openly that they bad express charge from their master not to communicate any further or go beyond the above statements with regard to the matrimonial alliances and other matters connected with them until an answer came, and there was agreement on the two following points:—
As the Queen has no power to appoint a substitute, and considering that it is not customary for queens and ladies to attend meetings and assemblies where matters of this kind are discussed and debated, she has, in order to prove that what her deputies are doing emanates from her, given them, in writing, commission to negociate and treat, in her name, of the affairs above mentioned, on condition that they report on the progress of the negociations. When those have reached the end, the Queen intends, in virtue of her powers, to ratify whatever may have been agreed to between the King's ambassadors and her own deputies; for to give the English ambassadors the letters they demand, as specified in the article, would be an unnecessary innovation, since the Queen herself is on the spot, in the very town where the negociations are being carried on, and she can immediately approve whatever agreement is made. 1st. As the Queen, by virtue of the powers granted to her, cannot substitute another person in her place, let her give to the English ambassadors letters under her signature and seal, detailing and explaining the overtures once made by the Emperor concerning the duchy of Milan, as well as the offers of matrimonial alliance and closer friendship and confederacy. This, of course, to be on the understanding that she is first to request the Emperor to allow her to substitute another person or persons to treat of and negociate on the said alliances, promising, also, to agree to whatever decision the King's ambassadors and her own commissioners may come to, and confirming the said agreement in virtue of her own full powers.
Besides which the insistence of the English ambassadors to have the said letters of substitution would arouse the suspicion that, instead of pressing on the negociation, what they want is to delay it as long as possible, for, after all, the demand which they make is not at all essential to the proceedings on the principal matter.
The Queen knows very well that the Emperor considers the king of England to possess all the qualities they, the ambassadors, give him; so does she herself; yet no less respect and consideration is due to his Imperial Majesty's honor and reputation, and if the same is acknowledged respectively, there is no difficulty whatever in the matter. 2ndly. That in due consideration for the honor of the King, their master, who is a wise and much experienced prince, it should be openly declared at once whether on the part of the Emperor, or of the Queen Regent, his sister, there is any desire or inclination to proceed sincerely and openly with the aforesaid negociation.
[By which second point the ambassadors seemed to intimate that were we to proceed otherwise on our side inconvenience and difficulties might spring up.]
Besides the above, the Queen's deputies have verbally declared to the English ambassadors that the Emperor's intention, and the Queen's also, in virtue of her powers, is to proceed in this affair openly and sincerely, provided there be correspondence on the other side. That for her own part she wishes to remain as she has hitherto been—the good neighbour, friend, and ally of the king of England, as well as of his subjects and kingdom, telling the King's ambassadors openly and freely that it is not the Emperor's intention that one marriage be effected without the other.
Not satisfied with this answer, such as it is, the English ambassadors still insisted upon having the letter above alluded to from the Queen, saying that they had express mandate from their King, as appears from the instructions which they then and there exhibited, not to prosecute the negociation unless they held in their hand the aforesaid letter of engagement. This was reported to the Queen, who caused the following answer to be made to the English ambassadors:—
"The Queen Regent is very much astonished at the English ambassadors demanding from her the obligatory letter in question, and asking that she should engage beforehand to approve of negociations that have not yet begun, a thing which is quite unreasonable, which she herself cannot do, and which ought in nowise to be demanded from her. The ambassadors ought to trust in the Emperor's powers sent to her, which after proper reading and minute inspection have been found clear, precise, and sufficient. His Imperial Majesty is not a prince to abuse the powers he grants; he is, on the contrary, in the habit of always proceeding honorably and with sincerity in all treaties like the present—intended for closer friendship and alliance, especially when he meets with a corresponding wish on the other side. Indeed His Imperial Majesty has hitherto been so generous and so magnanimous in all his dealings with other princes, and so universally recognised as such, that there can be no scruple or fear of any sort on that score. If, nevertheless, the English ambassadors insist upon the said obligatory letter and engagement being made out beforehand, the Queen Regent sees no other way to surmount that difficulty than to write to the Emperor and enquire what his will and pleasure are; though she is pretty sure, and, indeed, does not hesitate to say, that he wishes as much as ever to preserve the old amicable relations and alliances with the king of England, his kingdom and subjects, trusting and taking it for granted that in a like manner the king of England does and will do the same."
To the above answer of the deputies the English ambassadors replied: That they thought it strange that so reasonable, and at the same time so unimportant, a request as theirs should be refused to the King, their master, after the honor he had conferred on the Queen Regent by sending his ambassadors to treat of affairs, (fn. n12) which would eventually turn out rather to the profit of the inhabitants of the Low Countries, than to those of his own kingdom. The King, their master, was not a prince to seek his own profit in his negociations (fn. n13), and whilst he was looking out for the means of ensuring good neighbourhood and friendly intercourse with the Low Countries, he thought it very strange that the Queen Regent should insist on refusing so reasonable a demand. Nor was it fit and just (they said) that, whilst they, the ambassadors of the king of England, came there to Brussels, and exhibited their own full powers, they should begin to treat with the Queen Regent's deputies, who had no powers at all, and were besides more advantageously placed than they themselves, inasmuch as were they inadvertently to say or propose anything to the prejudice of the King, their master, the Queen's deputies would at once snatch at it as a measure highly convenient for the Emperor's interests; whilst if, on the other hand, the proposition was in any way favorable to their King and likely to be carried, the Queen's deputies would have to refer home for fuller powers to treat and conclude. That having received instructions from their King not to proceed further with the negociation, unless they could complete it, they absolutely declined to take further steps in the matter. Then after reading aloud the article of their instructions relating there-to—although the Queen's deputies told them that they did not want to hear them again—they declared that the conference was at an end.
The deputies then replied that the Queen Regent had not the faculty of transferring her powers to others, as had been stated from the first, and, therefore, that the affair ended with herself. She could not furnish the obligatory letter they asked for, nor in any way engage to approve beforehand all that the ambassadors and deputies conjointly should agree to. She had, however, given such a mandate and commission in writing, as ought reasonably to be considered sufficient to empower her deputies to communicate with the English ambassadors and report on the result of their deliberations. This she herself might ratify in the Emperor's name according to the powers she held from him.
Thereupon the English ambassadors said that although they were positively instructed to ask for a copy of the Queen's mandate to her deputies, besides her own engagement in writing to ratify what should be concluded by them, yet they would take on themselves the responsibility of the article, and be satisfied with a copy of the instructions which the Queen herself had given to her deputies. This the deputies refused, on the plea that they could not do it without express orders from the Queen Regent. Then the English ambassadors suggested that if the original commission was not exhibited to them, they ought at any rate to be furnished with an attested copy, signed by one of the Queen's secretaries, without which, they maintained, they could not possibly proceed any further in the negociation, unless it were with the Queen Regent herself. This the deputies offered to represent to the Queen, all the time remarking that it was a very hard thing for the Queen to have to intervene and take part in communications of that sort, and to debate and discuss personally with the English ambassadors on the conditions of the affair; that was not customary between high princes.
Upon which the Queen again ordered her deputies to declare to the English ambassadors that she had deputed trusty persons to treat with them, and that they ought in reason to be satisfied with that, without insisting upon holding in their hands the document they asked for; which document it was not customary to ask for or give when the prince, who appoints deputies, is present in the town where the meeting is to take plaee. This very thing happened lately when the Queen herself was in France; her deputies met and communicated with those of the king of France on matters relating to the execution of the truce of Nyce (Nizza), without asking for (no more did the French) any particular commission in writing. When the meeting was over, and the treaty of truce was concluded, the king of France and the queen regent of the Low Countries ratified the whole. The Queen, therefore, is quite ready to do the same whenever, and each time that, one of the articles discussed happens to be agreed upon and settled, or whenever the English ambassadors may so require it. She thinks that they (the ambassadors) ought to be satisfied with that, and yet, if they wished to communicate personally with her—which, considering the great many and important affairs she has in hand, would be exceedingly difficult—the Queen Regent would have no objection, for the honor of the king of England, and for his sake personally, to enter into communication with the English ambassadors as often as they might wish to explain the points of their charge.
On the 11th of December the deputies communicated to the English ambassadors the Queen's answer, and the ambassadors stated, and repeated again, that they could not, if they were to follow strictly the instructions received from their master, hold any sort of communication unless they had first cognizance of the aforesaid document. That they would be glad to attend on the Queen whenever she was pleased to send for them; but as to declaring at once what their charge was, that they could not do, for they had been sent by their master, the king of England, to hear from her own lips what she herself had to say in the Emperor's name respecting the negociations of the Imperial ambassadors in England for the marriages and alliances in question, and what the Emperor himself had proposed through them; and although they themselves, at the request of the Queen's deputies, had put forward certain conditions for the marriage of the Infante of Portugal (Dom Luyz) with the daughter of their King, yet no answer had been returned, and the whole had been referred to the Emperor, as though the Queen herself had no instructions whatever to guide her in the affair.
The answer on the part of the Queen's deputies was that since they had been sent for, and were fully accredited at her Court, they could not do less than declare what their commission was respecting the proposed marriage of the King's daughter, as well as respecting that of himself with the dowager duchess of Milan. They ought to be the first to speak; for if they had well understood, and remembered what the answer had been at the time, they would have to speak conjointly of the two marriages, not of one of them only. If the whole affair had been referred to the Emperor, it was because they (the ambassadors) had been unsatisfied with the answer given to them. As to their saying that no answer had been returned respecting the duchy of Milan, the deputies' argument was the same as before, &c.
The ambassadors replied that at Barcelona, on his return from Aigues Mortes, and just about the time of his dispatching the powers to the Queen Regent, the Emperor had positively agreed to give that state to the Infante Dom Luyz [of Portugal]. This last statement on the part of the English the deputies contradicted at once, saying that they could not conceive how the English ambassador, then residing at Your Majesty's Court, (fn. n14) could possibly have announced what in reality had never taken place. After that the ambassadors said that if there was any difficulty about the marriage of Dame Mary to the Infante Dom Luyz, they were willing to waive it, and treat first of that of the King, their master, with the dowager duchess of Milan; which proposition was met by the deputies with the objection that the Queen Regent was not empowered to treat of one marriage only, but of the two conjointly. The ambassadors then replied that they had no objection to begin to treat of a closer alliance and friendship, and the deputies, having assented to that, took upon themselves to inform the Queen Regent thereof, who, they said, would let them know the day and hour at which she would receive them.
On the 13th of December the English ambassadors, having appeared before the Queen Regent, formally declared that their instructions were not to communicate or treat with her deputies unless they were furnished with a copy of her commission to them, which had been refused. They were, therefore, obliged to communicate with her personally, and as they had received no answer on the conditions proposed by them for the marriage of the Infante (Dom Luyz) with Dame Mary of England, they would be contented with treating exclusively of the point of closer alliance and friendship. Upon which the Queen Regent said that she would be glad to treat with them personally, and whenever the affairs of the Regency allowed her to do so, provided they (the ambassadors) were willing to declare the whole of their commission, or charge, at once, and that being done, she would then answer them upon the whole.
As to their saying that they had received no answer on the conditions proposed by them, the Queen Regent said that as they must have heard and understood the reply of her deputies, she did not think that it was needful to repeat it. Neither did she see the necessity of treating just now of closer alliance and friendship between the Emperor and England, inasmuch as the old alliances and friendships between the two Crowns were so good and perfect that they could not be improved. Nevertheless, should the king of England wish those alliances to be still more closely binding and also amplified and extended; should he declare through his ambassadors what his conditions were, he would find the Emperor, and herself personally, as much inclined as possible to respond to that wish in a manner that would give them complete satisfaction.
As to their allegation that the closer alliance and friendship had first been put forward by the Emperor, and that the King, their master, had sent expressly to ask them what were the conditions of that new alliance, the Queen Regent observed that the Emperor had always wished to preserve the old ones, and, if possible, render them closer and more binding through the double marriage proposed, considering that double union the best and most efficacious means of increasing the friendship between the two Crowns. If, however, the king of England desired different conditions to render that friendship and alliance still closer and more effective, he (the King) had only to declare what those conditions were, and he would find that on the Emperor's side the proposal would be received, as above stated, with pleasure, and answered in a satisfactory manner.
After hearing which from the Queen Regent's lips, the English ambassadors thanked her, and said that they would forthwith advise their master, the King, thereof; they thought he would be satisfied with her answer, and at the same time requested her to inform the Emperor of it. As soon as they heard from England they would not fail to apprise the Queen Regent of their master's determination.
French. Minute. pp. .
Dec. 31. Deliberations in the Emperor's Council of State.
S. E., L. 1460,
ff. 53–5.
B. M. 28,590,
f. 290.
The Councillors are requested to deliberate and report on the following points:—
1. The Councillors have read Duarte's letters, and are in possession of the last news from the Levant. With respect to the armada (fleet) now in the Levant, and the letters from Francisco Duarte to the viceroy of Naples (marquis de Villafranca) and to the High Commander of Leon (Cobos.)
2. Since the thing is done, and no remedy is possible, and at present there is no appearance of similar disorders recurring, the Councillors are of opinion that it will suffice to write to the captains and officers in command of the Imperial forces to take care that in future nothing of the sort take place, for it might endanger the expedition against the Turk. The taking of Castilnovo and its two castles, the disorder and confussion between the captains and soldiers, on land as well as at sea, and the discontent produced in their ranks.
3. His Imperial Majesty has long ago declared what his will is in such matters; it is very important that his orders be obeyed in every case, and he trusts so much in viceroy Gonzaga's affection for his service, that he is sure he will never allow, for so trifling a matter, a dangerous novelty to be introduced. It is, therefore, necessary that the two pieces of ordnance should at once be restored, or their estimated value recovered from the Viceroy. As to those stolen by the men, an inquiry must be instituted. Viceroy Gonzaga's pretensions to the ordnance [taken at Castilnovo], what has become of it, and what provisions have since been made for the future. It is said there were no less than 15 heavy pieces, of which Don Fernando (fn. n15) took two, and the lighter ones were stolen by the men.
4. It seems as if the provisions already stored were sufficient for the purpose, and such as may be wanted in any case. There is nothing more to be said about this. The garrison appointed for the defence of Castilnovo, and what provisions of food, ordnance, and ammunition were made for it, considering that the force amounts to 4,000 men, under the command of Field-Masters Juan de Vargas, and Francisco Sarmiento.
5. His Imperial Majesty may be sure that if the reports of the viceroy of Naples, and of the marquis de Aguilar, drawn up with His Holiness' participation, and the express consent of the Venetian ambassador in Rome, have reached their destination in time, (fn. n16) as may be rightly supposed, an agreement has probably been already entered into as to the winter quarters, both for the army and for the fleet. No doubt, by this time measures have been taken for the common weal of the League and of the undertaking, as well as for the convenience and security of the Venetians, whose ambassador at this Court has not ceased making repeated applications to that effect. What resolution has been taken for this present winter, respecting the quartering of the men, and where are the galleys of the League to anchor during the winter-months and until the expedition is decided upon?
6. The viceroys of Naples and Sicily are to be written to with regard to this, telling them that the Venetian ambassador has made, and is making here, repeated and most urgent applications for provisions from the above two kingdoms, not only for next year's undertaking, but for the support of their Levant fleet during this winter, as well as for their castles and fortresses in Candia and Napoli di Romania. It has been promised to them that for the sake of the League, and considering this year's bad harvest, His Majesty will do all he can that way; but that they, themselves, must look out elsewhere for such provisions if they can be obtained. The amount of money and provisions asked from the viceroy of Naples for the pay and support of the forces of the League.
7. Taking for granted that the Prince has maturely weighed the advantages of wintering at Melfi, the opinion of the Councillors is that the thing must be entirely left to his discretion; but he must inform us of his final determination, that we may communicate with him, and send him the news of these parts, as he will no doubt let us have his, wherever he may be for the rest of the winter. Prince Doria's determination to pass the winter at Melfi, (fn. n17) and what Francisco Duarte writes about it, hinting that the former ought to winter at Genoa for the reasons explained in his letters.
8. Let the Papal galleys be put in order, as many as possible, because the more numerous the fleet, the better, as Francisco Duarte writes. With regard to the Papal galleys, they are in such bad order and so scantily provided, that it would be far better that His Holiness helped with money than with his galleys, such as they are, under an admiral, too, quite unfit for the command.
9. The thing seems difficult in itself, considering the many occupations of the Portuguese navy in the Eastern seas and elsewhere, especially now that the season is so far advanced. The opinion of the Council respecting the forty or fifty caravels of Portugal.
10. When His Imperial Majesty has carefully examined both opinions, that of viceroy Gonzaga, and that of Prince Doria, he will signify his pleasure and will thereupon. Meanwhile the Councillors adhere to the preconcerted plan, as in their answer to Francisco Duarte's paper on the subject. The paper by D. Fernando [Gonzaga], proposing a land attack, and Prince Doria's contrary opinion that it should be made by sea.
11. His Imperial Majesty is referred to what has been done on this point. The bishop of Castilnovo.
Besides the above, and in order to complement all the points relating to the Armada and next year's undertaking, the following information, received from various parts, will be of use and help in the deliberations of the Council:—
12. Since the resolution on this matter has already become public at Rome, it is important to take good care that the measure be carried into execution, and that what His Majesty has written to his ambassador in that city, announcing his determination to command the expedition in person, be read over again. The resolution taken concerning the provisioning of the fleet and army destined for next year's expedition against Turkey, has already been made public at Rome; His Majesty (fn. n18) has declared his intention to go thither in person, though he has distinctly pointed out the difficulty of the undertaking, as well as his own want of means for carrying out his project, unless he be helped by the League.
13. The same answer as above. The Venetians persist in the undertaking.
14. Let it be so if they do insist upon it; but let them declare in time the name of the person, in order that there may be no failure or delay in the enlisting of the German levies. Yet they wish to have a colonel of their own, German born, although up to this hour they have not yet declared whom they wish to appoint.
15. Right; but let them make the appointment as soon as possible, though, in the Councillors' opinion, if means could be found of preventing such an appointment it would be far better. Neither have they yet made up their mind as to whom they will choose in place of the Duke of Urbino, in case of the latter not being appointed to the command of the infantry.
16. They (the Venetians) must be referred to the orders sent to the viceroys of Naples and Sicily on the subject, as well as to the marquis de Aguilar, and the marquis del Gasto must be written to in the same sense, approving at the same time Lope de Soria's advice. The urgent applications of the said Venetians to be provided with corn and food from Your Majesty's dominions, and Don Lope's letter to the marquis del Gasto as regards the provisions from Milan.
17. It would appear that the Venetians demand Castilnovo in virtue of one of the articles of the League. The affair might be referred to the prince of Melfi (Doria), and to Don Fernando Gonzaga, for them to decide what had better be done, having regard to the security of the League, and reduction of expenditure, and especially to the good issue of the future undertaking. Indeed, it would seem as if for the above consideration it would be better to leave matters as they are for the present until we see the result of the expedition, all the time assuring the Venetians that the restitution of Castilnovo will without fail be made to them. That the same Venetians claim to have possession of Castilnovo, in virtue of one of the articles of the League.
18. Let him procure as much reliable information on this point as he can, though without raising the suspicions of the Venetians, and let us and the marquis de Aguilar hear from him as often as possible. What Don Lope de Soria writes about Barbarrossa's secret negociations with the Venetians, wishing them to make their peace with the Grand Turk.
19. Those words are only generalities, on which no great reliance can be placed. What we have written to the marquis de Aguilar on the subject will be sufficient to probe the king of France's purpose. The conversation which the French ambassador had with His Holiness respecting his master's help against the Turk, even in the case of the present truce with him coming to an end.
20. Let the ambassador procure reliable information on this point, but without raising suspicion. The secret understanding which, according to the same Lope de Soria, the king of France continues to keep with the Grand Turk.
21. Let the Imperial ambassador in France employ the same means as heretofore, and use the same manner of negociating. The queen of France's touching the galleys.
Besides the above points relating to the fleet and enterprize, the following may be of use:—
XXIV. (fn. n19)
24. To write in conformity with previous letters, showing pleasure and contentment at what has happened on the Duchess' entry into Rome, and her reception there; the ratification of the marriage contract; the delivery of the 300,000 ducats, and so forth; taking care that all the legal actions and rights of the Duchess be acknowledged and treated amicably. The Duchess' entry into Rome; the solemn notification of her marriage to Ottavio Farnese; the gifts and presents she received; the delivery by the Pope of the 300,000 ducats of her dower; the news from Florence, and the repeated and pressing requests for the consummation of the marriage.
25. To maintain what the marquis de Aguilar has been written to on this subject. Let that ambassador show apparent conformity with the plan, though without making the French suspect that we want to prevent the marriage in question. The overtures made by Cafarello (fn. n20) in the name of the duke and duchess of Castro for the marriage of their daughter with the son of Mr. de Vendome, and the marquis de Aguilar's opinion on that affair.
26. Since the Marquis has not been instructed to speak about those marriages, he must forbear entering into the question at all. He must, however, report about that of the daughter (fn. n21) of the viceroy of Naples [with Cosmo de Medici]. What the marquis [de Aguilar] has heard concerning the projected marriage of the Pope's nieoe to the Duke of Florence (Cosmo) or to the son of Ascanio Colonna.
27. The Papal Nuncio here has been expressly told to request His Holiness not to undertake anything against the duke of Urbino. The marquis de Aguilar has also received instructions to that effect, and been ordered to do his best to prevent any attack on the part of pope Paul, for the reasons and considerations laid down in our last memorandum, and which the Marquis knows well. But since the Marquis has written that His Holiness was still intent upon attacking the place, and had alluded to it in his speech to the ambassadors, it becomes urgent to speak again to the Nuncio, and write to His Holiness, reminding this latter of his promise to the Emperor and to his ministers, never to cause a stir in Italy without first letting him know of it and waiting for his answer. The Emperor might write a holograph letter to His Holiness about this, and at the same time instructions should be sent to all the Imperial ministers [in Italy], that every one and each of them individually might try to divert him from that purpose. The Marquis, moreover, might speak to Alessandro Vitelli, and do what else he can to prevent the proposed undertaking against Camarino and the duke of Urbino. That the Pope has sent for Alessandro Vitelli, to consult him concerning the enterprise of Camarino.
28. Besides the instructions already given to Lope de Soria upon this particular affair, let that ambassador try to ascertain how far the thing be true, without approving or disapproving of the appointment, but showing the best goodwill for and trust in the person of Alessandro Vitelli. Should, however, the Signory press the matter further, let the ambassador report at once, in order that measures may be taken here, since other persons besides him are also candidates for the post. What the said marquis de Aguilar had heard of Alessandro Vitelli being probably appointed governor of the Venetian armada instead of the duke of Urbino, which intelligence agrees with that sent by Lope de Soria.
29. The viceroy's answer to Colonna's letter was very wise. As to the latter's letter to the High Commander, begging to be excused if the galleys cannot be sent, and announcing his visit, ambassador Figueroa ought to be written to and have credentials for Ascanio, so that he may by honest means prevent him from coming here [to Spain], and, at the same time, from taking the command of the expedition against Camarino and the Duke. The letter of Ascanio Colonna to the Viceroy [of Naples] on the recovery by force of the duchy of Urbino, and another to the High Commander (Cobos) announcing his journey to Spain.
30. The articles must be examined again and reported upon. The articles sent in by the French ambassador and signed by the King, his master, in which the latter replies to the objections contained in the answer to Mr. de Brissach's proposals.
31. To persist in what has already been written on the subject to the king of the Romans, instructing the Imperial ambassador in France to represent, whenever he finds the opportunity, the difficulty there is of the two Kings meeting, owing to the late season and the many engagements of the latter. The proposed interview of king Francis with the king of the Romans (Ferdinand).
32. To persist in the contents of the last letter to the king of the Romans, excusing the Emperor on the ground of honesty, &c. The pressing application which the Most Christian queen of France is making for the marriage of her daughter [Mary of Portugal], and the mission entrusted to Mr. de Lordres for the king of the Romans.
33. That would be indeed a meritorious work, provided the person appointed were one of some authority, an honest and worthy man, from whom good offices might be expected. One would think that the cardinal of Tournon, (fn. n22) or the bishop of Soissons, (fn. n23) might be apt for that task, but the surest way will be to write to the ambassador (Scepperus), and tell him to entertain the matter and gain time until news come from the archbishop of Lumsden. This latter must, therefore, be written to, and told to send to the ambassador his written opinion on the affair, as well as that of the king of the Romans, and in the meantime some final resolution will be taken concerning the expedition to the Levant. It will then be seen what the king of France proposes to do, and then it will be time for the Imperial ambassador in France to press the matter or set it aside. What passed between the Imperial ambassador and the Constable of France on the subject of the reduction of the German Separatists, and the Most Christian King's determination to send thither some one to tell them that he (the King) is determined to cooperate with His Imperial Majesty to that end.
34. That the person alluded to here (fn. n24) will be spoken to according to the Emperor's resolution on that point. Then we will write to the Imperial ambassador to act in concert with the Queen and the High Constable, but let a great show of confidence be made, and whatever else may be considered convenient or opportune in the affair, since, after all, the proposition and advice come evidently from the King himself, and Mr. de Therbes (Tarbes) here has spoken about it. In short, the queen of Navarre is to be said not to dispose of her daughter's hand finally without His Imperial Majesty being acquainted with it. The dissatisfaction of the so-called queen of Navarre, and the advice given by queen (Eleonor) to the Imperial ambassador to go on keeping up her hopes in that quarter.
35. Letters will be written in conformity with what the Emperor said lately to the English ambassador. However this may be, it seems advisable to persist in what was lately written to the queen of France, and wait for news as well as for an answer to the Royal overtures here made to Mr. de Brissach. The conferences between the queen dowager of Hungary and the English commissioners seem to have turned on three principal points, which the latter insist upon with all their force, namely: 1st On the Emperor giving away the duchy of Milan. 2nd On the king of England considering the princess, his daughter, a bastard. 3rd On the Infante, Dom Luyz, swearing to the statutes of the kingdom.
36. This much depends from what will be resolved respecting the points brought forward by the English ambassador. The letter of the Imperial ambassador in England, and his account of the various conversations he had with the King's ministers respecting the proposed two marriages, setting aside the state of Milan, and suggesting if those marriages cannot be effected, that treaties of closer and more binding friendship and alliance ought to be made.
37. The ambassador should, and will be, recommended to send information about the state of England. The news from that country.
38. It is hardly to be supposed that king Henry can push matters to such extremities. However, if the ambassador who is there in England considers it probable, let him go to Flanders whenever he thinks it most fit. The danger which the Imperial ambassador in England is afraid of must also be taken into account, and requires consideration.
Spanish. Original draft. (fn. n25) pp. 23.
Dec. 32. Points of the Treaty with England, respecting which the Queen of Hungary would like to receive Instructions.
Imp. Arch.,
Rep. P.C., Fasc. 231,
ff. 152–3.
Whereas the English ambassadors, after various conferences held with the Queen's deputies, have stated that, in order to remove certain difficulties standing in the way of the projected marriage of Dom Luyz of Portugal with Dame Mary of England, they should be glad to treat first, and before all things, of closer friendship and confederacy between the Emperor and the King, their master, their kingdoms, &c., and also to know from her (the queen of Hungary) what are to be the conditions for the said friendship and confederation, which they said and maintained had been first proposed by the Emperor's ministers, the Queen has answered: That the old friendship and confederacy between the two princes (the Emperor and the King) were so perfect and binding that they could not be improved and strengthened except through marriage alliances, such as the Emperor himself had brought forward for the confirmation of the same. Those treaties of friendship and confederacy the Emperor always intended to observe and keep, having no doubt whatever that the king of England, on his part, was disposed to do the same. Nevertheless, if the King's wish was that she (the Queen) should declare to his ambassadors what were His Imperial Majesty's conditions for the treaty of closer friendship and confederacy, she was quite ready to reply to their questions in such a manner as would, no doubt, give them complete satisfaction.
The English ambassadors then said that they would report to their master, and requested the Queen to inform also the Emperor of the whole, which request was granted without difficulty.
It is, therefore, requested that the Queen be instructed as to what she is to do in the event of the king of England commanding his ambassadors to go on with the negociation for both the marriages, as well as for a closer alliance.
Should the English ambassadors entirely waive or put aside the point of Milan, as well as the other two conditions proposed by them for the marriage of the Princess with the Infante Dom Luyz, namely, that he must take her in her present position and rank, as determined by the statute and law of the kingdom, the Infante himself swearing to such statute and law—and, secondly, that they must know first what property the Infante is to bring in marriage, how is the Queen to answer and act? For most likely, should the English ambassadors desist from the two above-mentioned conditions, it is to be expected that they will the more press the Queen to declare what personal property the Infante has for the support of the Princess, and what his own conditions are as to dower. And they will most likely back this demand of theirs on the ground that the marriage was in the first instance brought forward in the Emperor's name, and that, according to custom, men soliciting women in marriage ought to speak first, so that the ladies' dower may be regulated in proportion.
Should the English insist on this point, the Queen will not know what to reply unless His Imperial Majesty sends her full instructions thereupon.
Again, should the English ambassadors persist in treating of their master's marriage with the dowager duchess of Milan (Christina), and should the King himself show readiness to accept that union with such property, rights, and securities as the Duchess may at present have, besides a good and reasonable dowry, what is the Queen to answer? Is she to grant at once the King's request, or refuse it altogether? And, if so, under what colour or pretext is she to refuse, and how, and in what terms, is she to discuss the Papal dispensation, without which the Emperor cannot possibly consent to the said marriage; whilst, on the other hand, it is to be supposed that the king of England will never condescend to apply for the same at Rome, and receive it from the hands of the Pope.
The Queen wants also to know whether only one of the two marriages proposed is to be discussed, setting the other aside, or whether both are to be brought forward conjointly.
Also, what is she to do in the event of the English persisting in their demand for closer alliance and fresh confederation besides the two above-mentioned marriages? Is she to propose in the Emperor's name additional conditions, such as assistance against the Turk and other enemies?
Should the King, in order to renew the old alliances with Spain, propose an offensive league, what is the Queen to answer? that being, in our opinion, a most important point, and one in which other princes are also concerned.
Should the King be satisfied with a declaration on our part that the meaning of the alliance is that his (the King's) friendship will be preferred to that of any other prince, as he himself has done in his treaties with France, how is the Queen to meet the request?
It is to be presumed that if the King intends putting forward some conditions for a closer alliance, one of them will be the confirmation and ratification of the treaty of commerce of 1520, or else of that of 1516, both of which are highly detrimental to the interests of the inhabitants of these Low Countries. If so, what is the Queen Regent to do, for those commercial treaties ought certainly to be modified and regulated to the advantage of the Emperor's subjects, who might otherwise suffer considerably.
Indorsed: "Articles on English affairs, on which the Queen begs for a speedy answer."
French. Original draft. pp. 3.


  • n1. "Presentandole la carte blanca para entera declaracion de su desseo."
  • n2. Charles do Cossé-Brissac, marshal of France, who, after the interview of Aigues-Mortes, was sent by Francis on a mission to the Empress. See Part II., p. 566.
  • n3. Scepper seems to have replaced Hannaërt, for a time at least, in the French embassy in September. See above, p. 6.
  • n4. "Y como el dize si se le dará (diera?) medio para meter un dedo, materá una ana." Instead of ana, which is the French aulne or aune (the English yard), the original might well read mano (hand), as I have translated. Indeed, the Spanish proverb is: Dejale meter el dedo y meterá la mano hasta el codo.
  • n5. "Las guerras pasadas que no han sido utiles syno á aquellos que han sido causa de las mover, y vosotros dos havido el peligro daño y desplazer y los sentimientos y passiones de spiritu causadas por vuestros enemigos familiares."
  • n6. "Y sobre este puncto me dize el Condestable que hay hartos en aquella Cortc que cada dia querrian procurer la division."
  • n7. This young duke of Würtenberg must be Christopher, the Pacific, son and successor of Ulric, who in 1534 was restored to his estate, of which be had been deprived by Charles. Christopher succeeded his father Ulric in 1550, and lived until 1568.
  • n8. By "the dukes of Bavaria," says the original, but duke in the singular is more correct, that is, William, from 1508 to 1550.
  • n9. The despatches here mentioned are not in Bergenroth's collection.
  • n10. About these marriages, none of which took effect, see above, p. 65.
  • n11. This marginal paragraph, and the rest of them to the end of the paper, are in a different hand, most likely that of the president of the Queen Regent's Council, being no doubt intended as the final answer to the overtures made by the English ambassadors. Of the report itself no less than three different drafts or minutes are preserved in the Imperial Archives of Vienna, and of those three I have abstracted the present (ff. 103–7), which, besides being the fullest of all, has at the end a few lines addressed by the duke of Aarschot (?) to secretary Nicholas Granvelle, thus worded: "Monsr. le Secretaire Nicolas; faictes subitement escripre au net ceste minute jusque aux deux longues rayes, sans rien escripre des responses qui sont apres les deux rayes ¦et aportez le tout a iii heures aprez midy, que la royne veult sur ce tenir conseil comme sçavez." The document is thus headed: "Copie de la copie de ce qne s'est traicte entre les ambassadeurs de l'Empereur et les ministres du roi d'Angleterre au sujet d'une plus etroite alliance et du mariage de l'infant de Portugal avec la fille du roi, et du marriage du roi avec la duchesse de Millan."
  • n12. "Veu mesme l'honneur quil avoit faict á la royne de envoyer vers elle pour traicter des affaires."
  • n13. "Dont les pays de par deça pourroient avoir grandz prouffitz, et non le dit roy, que ne serchoit son prouffit."
  • n14. Sir Thomas Whyatt.
  • n15. Ferrante Gonzaga, count of Guastalla and duke of Molfetta, son of Francesco II., marquis de Mantua, and brother of Frederico, the first duke, was at this time viceroy of Sicily.
  • n16. A sidenote in a different hand has the following: "We hear by letters from Rome that the opinions have been received since."
  • n17. Melfi or Melphi is for Amalfi, in Naples, a seaport town on the coast of Salerno.
  • n18. Here, by a lapsus calami, the scribe wrote Su Santdad instead of Su Magd. I have altered it.
  • n19. Nos. 22 and 23 are not in Bergenroth's copy; whether by oversight of the copyist, or otherwise, I cannot determine. They most likely related to the affairs of England.
  • n20. In the copy before me Casarello, which I have unhesitatingly altered into Cafarello.
  • n21. Doña Leonor de Toledo.
  • n22. The cardinal of Tournon, that is Francois II. de Tournon. See Vol. V., Part II., p. 555 n.
  • n23. As to the archbishop of Lunden in Sweden, his name was Tornbern-Bilde. See above, p. 3 n.
  • n24. As to the person alluded to here, no doubt some agent of Margaret of France, sister of Francis, married to Henri II. d'Albret, is meant.
  • n25. No date whatever to the paper, but as the events recorded, or negociations alluded to, took place within the year 1538, I have not hesitated to insert it at the end of December.