Spain: February 1544, 16-28

Pages 47-60

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 7, 1544. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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February 1544, 16–28

18 Feb. 36. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—Your Majesty's letter of the 7th inst. came to hand the day before yesterday, just at the time that I was preparing to go to Court to communicate to the King the message conveyed in the said letter, as well as the orders previously received from the Emperor, as Your Majesty will see by the copy of my letter to him herein inclosed. I have scarcely anything to add save on the revictualling of Theroeinne and Ardres, which this King would willingly have tried to prevent, had he had the means of doing so immediately; but he believes that by this time the French have either actually accomplished their object, or else that before he himself could collect a sufficient force to carry on the proposed military operation, the revictualling of those towns would have been effected. Many weeks ago before the rumours of the French movements had become more consistent he (the King) had caused a letter to be addressed to Monsr. du Rceulx on the subject, and that general had answered that he had then no means of co-operating in an invasion of French territory for the purpose of preventing the revictualling of those two fortified towns on the French frontier.
With regard to the safe-conducts, and to sending salted herrings to France, he made at first more difficulties than ever he did, and yet at the end of the audience he showed himself more disposed to yield, for having heard from me that wine could not be procured in France without allowing the herrings to be imported freely and without molestation of any sort, he (the King) seemed less disinclined than he was to respect the safe-conducts issued in Flanders, for he said to me “if only for a small quantity, that is a different thing.” And yet I could not get from him a decided answer on the subject, for he wanted (he said) to consult his Privy Council about it.
As to licences to import corn and wine into Flanders and the Low Countries on a specified number of French vessels, the same difficulties have been raised. I will try my best to obtain a favourable resolution, and if I do I shall not fail to apprize Your Majesty thereof.
These privy councillors excuse their delay in issuing the letters patent on the observance of the safe-conducts granted by Your Majesty, not so much on account of their own occupations and engagements—which they say are many and multifarious—as of the notice they say they have received of Your Majesty having already issued your own respecting those which the king of England himself may have granted or will grant in future. That is why I beg and entreat Your Majesty to have letters patent drawn out in form as to the manner of observing the safe-conducts, stating at the same time that the English may freight French vessels for the purpose of trade and merchandize provided those vessels are completely unarmed, not omitting a short clause to say that besides the original safe-conduct the masters of the vessels shall have to exhibit, as many times as they may be required, authentic copies of the original patent attested by notaries and other public officers.
Respecting the 1 per cent. duty, the privy councillors have said nothing of late. Should they again speak to me about it I will answer them in conformity with the instructions received from Your Majesty.—London, 18 February 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French Original. 2 pp.
18 Feb. 37. Eustace Chapuys to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—Since the departure of the viceroy of Sicily nothing new or important has occurred here; [the rest as in his letter to the Emperor of the same date,—the letter ending with a paragraph begging for a settlement of his account with the treasury of Flanders].—London, 18 February 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
French. Original draft. 1 p.
18 Feb. 38. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Madame,”—Your Majesty's letter of the 7th inst. came to hand the day before yesterday just at the time when I was going to wait on the King, with whom I conversed for a while, not only on the contents of the Emperor's letter to me, but also on the subjects particularly specified in those of Your Majesty. The King's answer on the whole being in substance that which Your Majesty will see by the copy of my despatch to the Emperor herein enclosed, I can only add, that respecting the victualling of Therouanne and Ardres by the enemy, the King's excuse was that he would willingly have done his utmost to prevent it had he had an opportunity, but that now it was too late; he believed that by this time the French had already accomplished their object, or would accomplish it before he himself could prevent it, and that long before the retreat of the forces he had in that quarter, he had entered into communication with Monsr. du Rœulx, who answered that he had not the means of giving the assistance required.
With regard to the safe-conducts for vessels to take herrings to France, the King made at first the same difficulties, though in the end, hearing that without sending that article as before, to France it would be very difficult to obtain wine, he became more tractable, and said that for such a small quantity of herrings as the one for which a safe-conduct was asked, even then he would raise no objection, only that he would grant no safe-conducts without consulting first his Privy Council thereupon, as well as on the permission applied for of carrying wine and wheat into Flanders on a specified number of French vessels. I shall warmly solicit a resolution on this point, and, if obtained, I will not fail to apprize Your Majesty of it.
These privy councillors have made their excuses for net having yet issued the letters patent for the observation of the safe-conducts already granted, or that Your Majesty may grant in future on the plea of their multifarious engagements, and also that they were waiting until Your Majesty has issued similar ones respecting those which this King may have granted. That is why I humbly beg Your Majesty to order that such letters patent be issued in the most ample form possible, expressing that the English may carry their property (biens) or merchandize on board French vessels, provided these are not armed, not forgetting a clause that equal faith be attached to a copy of the said letters attested by a notary, or other public officers, as to the originals.
Respecting the import duty of 1 per cent.(le centiesme denier) these people have said nothing of late (n'ont fait oucun semblant); should they speak to me on the subject, I will answer them in conformity with Your Majesty's instructions and orders, and state my opinion in writing.—London, 18 February 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
Addressed: “To the Queen.”
French. Original. 2 pp.
18 Feb. 39. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Sire,”—Your Majesty's letter of the 25th ult. came to hand on the 11th inst, together with the papers and documents therein mentioned, after a careful examination of which I sent to ask the King for an audience in order to communicate to him their contents. The King's answer was the same as in the morning, when I sent to inquire when and at what hour he could receive the duke of Najera, just arrived, namely, that he must needs go as far as Greenwich on certain business of his own, but that on Sunday next, which was yesterday, he would be back and willingly grant me audience.
Yesterday at the hour fixed I waited upon the King, who, notwithstanding that he had heard from his ambassador the substance of what passed between Your Majesty and cardinal Farnese, yet showed much pleasure and contentment at being so minutely informed of all the circumstances of the case. Two points, above all, were particularly agreeable to him, namely, those which Mr. de Granvelle touched in his letter to me. One was Your Majesty's remarking to the Cardinal in conversation that His Holiness the Pope ought not to resent so much your alliance with him as the conduct of king Francis in allying himself with the Lutherans [of Germany], for, to say the truth, the service of God and Christian religion were as well observed in this kingdom of England as in any other country of Christendom barring Papal authority (which is a particular article). (fn. 1)
The other point was that the Cardinal had been given to understand that should His Holiness help king Francis with one single armed man against England Your Majesty would resent it as a personal injury, and take such measures as You thought fit To give Your Imperial Majesty an idea of the Ring's content and satisfaction on the occasion, and how much obliged he felt, I can only say that he touched his cap by way of acknowledgment (remerciment), and took in good part the notice which the queen dowager of Hungary had given to his ambassador [at Brussels] of the arrival at her Court of a gentleman sent by the queen of France, (fn. 2) and the cause of his coming. To which piece of news I added, by way of supplement, that Your Imperial Majesty having received information that the duchess of Bar was preparing to go to your camp, you had sent her notice that if peace was the object of her journey she had better remain at home; unless her purpose was merely to kiss his hand and visit the princess of Denmark, her sister.
This statement of mine the King took in very good part, after which I communicated to him Your Imperial Majesty's resolution with regard to Don Fernando de Gonzaga's report, which resolution, together with the letter of the 7th inst., came to hand yesterday, just at the moment that I was about to start on my visit to him. Concerning the Spanish hackbutiers asked for, after repeating to him my previous arguments and the many reasons there were for Your Imperial Majesty not agreeing with him on that point, the King seemed contented enough and well satisfied, and I believe that this result is owing principally to the fact that the King thinks he will not be in need of Spaniards on the side of Scotland, where, if I am to believe what people outside the Privy Council tell me, affairs are going on prosperously enough for this King, though the privy councillors themselves have carefully avoided speaking to me about it, imagining that if they succeed quickly, that might prevent (ostreturber) or delay Your Imperial Majesty's declaration against the Scots, which this King and his Privy Council desire above all things, and are urging in the most strenuous manner.
Notwithstanding the refusal in sending the Spaniards, the King has made no difficulty in contributing towards the expenses of the expedition to Piedmont. Perhaps he thinks that there will be no need of it, inasmuch as the French there having been reinforced, Your Imperial Majesty's generals will have enough to do to keep and defend the State of Milan, and whatever else they hold in Piedmont, without attempting anything else, especially if there be any understanding between the Venetians and the French, as the King supposes, and really believes, for he has spoken to me about it. With regard to his contribution in money to treat with the Swiss and gain them over, in spite of all the representations I have again addressed to him on the subject, adding fresh ones on this occasion, I have been unable to obtain a satisfactory answer, the King still persisting in his refusal.
He has, however, manifested great pleasure and seems much gratified at Your Imperial Majesty having granted his request respecting the count of Bueren and his services. He will not fail, as he tells me, to remit [to Flanders] the necessary funds for the pay of the 2,000 foot who are to be under the command of that general, as well as for that of the 4,000 foot and 2,000 horse that Christofle de Landembourg has promised to raise. Having, according to instructions received from the queen of Hungary, asked their King which country he preferred, whether Low or High Germany, for the infantry to be recruited in, he answered me that he had no choice in the matter, and would leave it entirely to Mr. de Bueren's (sic) discretion, who must well know which are more easily recruited and more serviceable. The same sign of approbation alluded to in the above paragraph did the King make when I mentioned to him Tour Imperial Majesty's acquiescence in his wishes respecting Mr. de Bueren; he touched his cap with gracious thanks.
With regard to the King's declaration against the duke of Holstein I have spoken to him at length. At first he made difficulties, repeating the very same reasons and arguments with which I have acquainted Tour Imperial Majesty in my former despatches, saying besides that inasmuch as the Duke had lately done him the honor of appointing him arbitrator in his case, at the same time assuring him that neither king Francis nor any other prince or cause in the world would ever have influence on him, and that he would remain for ever his friend, he could not now declare against him. But on my remonstrating with him that that was only a French stratagem to lull him asleep, and that since the declaration we were asking would not put him to any expense for the defence of his kingdom against the Duke—as might be required in conformity with the treaty of alliance—considering the defiance and challenge made by the Duke, and considering also the men he had assembled, the declaration could not do harm. He was not asked, I argued to arm against him, but merely to make a public declaration, which could be revoked any day. He, therefore, should make no difficulty about it, as it might be the cause and the means of inducing the Duke to come to terms with Your Imperial Majesty and accept reasonable conditions, especially since, according to the information I had received from the queen of Hungary, the Duke had actually sent again (renvoyé) his deputies to Tour Imperial Majesty. Should the King (I added) make the declaration asked of him, there would be no difficulty or delay on Your Majesty's part to make that against the Scots.
To the above and other arguments of mine the King replied at some length, ending by telling me to go to his Privy Council and argue the case there, which I did immediately after leaving him. I found the privy councillors much colder (beaucoup plus froictz) than before with regard to the declaration against the Duke, and, on the contrary, warmer and more vehement in demanding ours against the Scots, showing marvellous displeasure and disappointment at the delay, especially having heard, as they asserted, from the Low Countries that the Scotch residing there had been of late much better treated than they had been at other times. They found the proceedings in that affair very strange (said the councillors), for, in the first place, Your Imperial Majesty had referred entirely to the Queen Regent; secondly, the Queen had answered that the very moment that the war between the English and the Scotch became an authentic fact Your Imperial Majesty would publish this declaration against them, and yet now that Your Majesty had been certified of the hostilities having commenced, the declaration was delayed and the condition asked for that the king of England should also declare himself against the duke of Holstein. They (the councillors) fully believed, nay, were certain, that the King, their master, would take in very bad part the delay incurred in the affair, the more so, that between friends and allies such indifference and procrastination could not be accounted for.
Though I finally represented to them that, at any rate, their master's declaration ought to precede that of Your Imperial Majesty—inasmuch as I myself had been in the field first, and had urgently applied for it when the Scots were not as yet the King's enemies, and the Duke had not only assisted and helped Your Imperial Majesty's enemies, but had declared war to the Low Countries, and had long conspired against their master and boasted that he would make war upon and conquer the kingdom of England, which he pretended belonged to him, adding on this subject many particulars which the Queen Regent had written to me in one of her despatches—I could not shake (esbranler) their opinion on the subject; they persisting all the time in their idea that Your Imperial Majesty's declaration ought to precede theirs, adding that should their master be informed in an authentic manner that the Duke had actually declared war, had helped and assisted the common enemy, and assembled troops for the purpose of war and invasion, he (the king of England) would, in conformity with the treaty, which he intended to observe in all its parts, not delay his own declaration. Neither Your Imperial Majesty nor your subjects (they said) could sustain injury or damage of any kind from the declaration against the Scotch; on the contrary, much more good than one could think of might result therefrom for the common intelligence of the allies and for the undertaking they had in view, whereas the declaration against the Duke could not be of any profit or advantage to Your Imperial Majesty, whilst it would be extremely prejudicial to them, begging me, as one who had worked so much for the closer friendship between Your Imperial Majesty and their master, to beg and entreat You to consider their representations.
Upon which, having promised them that Your Imperial Majesty would make the declaration against the Scots first—provided they gave me security that within a few days after the King would make his against the Duke—they only promised in general terms to fulfil all the conditions of the treaty. In fact, one of the things which they mostly tried to bring forward was that they were to be authentically apprized of the causes for which they were obliged to make the said declaration [against the Duke]. That is why, in my opinion, it will be necessary that Your Imperial Majesty be pleased to order that the said declaration be drawn out and sent; for if it were possible to gratify this King in some way or other, it would be very à propos for fostering the friendship and warm affection which he is manifesting for Your Imperial Majesty's service. There is danger of these and other scruples of the same kind throwing cold water on the affaire. It seems to me, considering the great gratification which this King would receive therefrom, there would be no harm if Your Imperial Majesty made the declaration first, for it will be always in your power, should these people not do the same reciprocally, to revoke it; besides which Your Imperial Majesty would have the advantage of being able to prove a contravention of theirs to the treaty of closer alliance; (fn. 3) which proof might be of service on future occasions, as Your Imperial Majesty by your divine prudence can consider much better than me.
With regard to safe-conducts for the Scots, in case of Your Majesty's declaration against them, the King will inform the Queen of those he grants here, in order to procure and obtain their confirmation and the Queen's “placet,” as is just and reasonable, and in order to avoid inconveniences.
In compliance with orders received from the Queen Regent I have spoken to the King respecting his sending commissaries to Flanders for the purpose of collecting and storing provisions, requesting him to send a note of what is wanted, in order that on the arrival of the commissaries everything may be ready. He has promised to do so, and as to help in ships there has no longer been a question, and no mention has been made.
The King still perseveres in his purpose of attending the expedition to France in person, for which he continues to make incredible preparations in the way of provisions, never ceasing, as he told me yesterday, to apply himself to whatever relates to, or is connected with, the undertaking, and considering that the season is close at hand and time must not be lost. The affairs of Scotland are not likely to impede his departure, for, as I said above, they are in good trim. Yesterday the earl of Harfort (Hertford) told me that he will depart for the Borders in a couple of days, and that he is to be there governor and commander-in-chief (capitaine general) instead of the duke of Suffolk, who is coming back, and that he thought that the Scotch business would be much sooner settled than the French one. I also hear that the duke of Norfolk has obtained permission from the King to lead the vanguard of the army against France; and as to French practices, I do not hear of any just as this moment. Should there be any I will keep my eyes open.
After I had been a long while with the King the duke of Najera came to present his respects to him, and was well enough received (assez bien recueilli) by the King. After that the Duke and I called on the Queen and on the Princess, who most particularly (tres curieusement?) inquired after Your Imperial Majesty, both of them begging me to make their most humble commendations to Your Imperial Majesty's grace. Though the Queen herself was slightly indisposed at the time, yet she would come out of her room to dance for the honor of the company. She showed all possible favour to the Princess, who ever since the signature of the treaty has been treated by the King, her father, with the utmost esteem and consideration, so much so that at this last meeting of Parliament she has been officially declared able to succeed to the Crown of England should the Prince happen to die. Parliament has also granted and remitted to the King the whole of the money that was lent to him the other year, which amounts to an almost incalculable sum.—London, 18 February 1544.
Signed: “Eustace Chapuys.”
Indorsed: “To the Emperor, from the ambassador in England, the 18th of February. Received at Spiere (Spires) on the 26th of the same month, 1543.”
French. Original. 9 pp.
20 Feb. 40. King Henry to Granvelle.
Wien, Imp. Arch. Is now sending Paget to the Emperor to treat with him of certain points concerning their mutual friendship. Begs Granvelle to help and assist Paget in the execution of his charge.—Westminster, 20 February 1544.
Signed: “Henry.”
French, Original. 1 p.
22 Feb. 41. The Emperor to Prince Philip, his Son.
S. E., Alemania, L. 640, f. 53, 306. By Juan çapata, who left this town on the 8th inst., We wrote to you of political and other events up to that date. We also sent you a copy of Our answer to cardinal Farnese when he proposed to Us in His Holiness' name and in that of the Cardinals' College a peace with France. Though We always wished, and still wish now more than ever, for a lasting peace with king Francis, if calculated to ensure the welfare of Christendom at large, We cannot but say that the proposals were backed in such a manner that they did not admit of the least consideration. Indeed, the conditions were so dishonest and unreasonable, and so unlikely to secure a firm and lasting peace, which is Our constant aim, that We were actually obliged to reject them.
Matters being in this state, and the affairs of Italy and Germany being as they are, We have made up Our mind to invade France next June with an army composed of 16,000 High and 10,000 Low Germans, and 9,000 Spaniards in all, counting those We have with Us here, and the new recruits expected from Spain, besides 7,000 horse between men-at-arms and light cavalry. The king of England, at the same time, is to invade France at the head of 35,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry, including in that number 2,000 Germans We have already furnished him, and 2,000 horse more that We are bound to supply him with according to a clause in the treaty of defensive and offensive alliance. With this force We are confident, and trust to God that king Francis will be obliged to sue for peace, and that a firm and lasting one will be obtained with great profit and advantage to Us and Our kingdoms. Should We fail in any of Our engagements with the king of England, besides losing reputation, it is probable that king Francis would treat and ally himself with him against Us, which would be, as you may imagine, a most undesirable state of things, as We might then be compelled by necessity to sue for that same peace, and make concessions, and accept to Our great regret dishonourable conditions for Our person and subjects, which is to be avoided by all possible means. That would make the Pope and other Italian powers, who are anxiously watching the turn of affairs, declare openly for France and against Us, thus placing Us and matters of faith in a most dangerous position.
Since the ensuring of success and the remedying of the evil depend very much on the execution of the financial measures specified in the note that çapata took to Spain, We have no doubt that by this time you have already provided funds to repay the 250,000 ducats remaining out of the 500,000 which We asked for, namely, 400,000 by the courier who left Avenes, and 100,000 more by Don Luis de çuñiga, (fn. 4) partly spent in reimbursing the Fuggers at Brussels for the 276,000 borrowed from them, and 100,000 which Our ambassador in Genoa (Gomez Suarez de Figueroa) was compelled to borrow from merchants and bankers of that city. All that, if not more, will be needed if the French, who are now all-powerful in Piedmont, and in combination with the Turkish fleet again, threatening Nizza and the coasts of Sicily and Naples, are at all to be resisted.
It is not only Spain that is called upon to help in this emergency; other kingdoms and dominions of Ours have already contributed to the utmost of their power. Flanders has already voted one million of gold; Naples and Sicily with a larger sum, the utmost they can give. Should the remittances We expect from that country (Spain) fail, the whole of the structure would fall to the ground. We could not keep this army of Ours longer; all the money hitherto spent would be as good as thrown away, and the harm done for want of proper help and assistance at this moment be incalculable.
We have, by Juan Çapate, written to you on this point more in detail, and given him besides a particular Instruction respecting what he has to say to you. We refer you to it. Be sure that every statement therein made, as well as in Our letter, of which We sent you a duplicate by way of Italy, is no exaggeration at all, but the plain and simple truth, and that upon the success of this enterprise of Ours depends in a great measure the good or the evil of all Our kingdoms, dominions, and estates. If the undertaking is at all successful, king Francis must either apply himself to the remedy of his own affairs here—as he has actually begun to do, and be thereby prevented from sending his armies to Spain, which would be of no small comfort to Us—or else he will send his fleet to the Mediterranean in combination with the Turkish to ravage the coasts of Naples and Sicily. As to the harm which he and Barbarossa may do on the coast of Catalonia, We are not afraid of that; provided the measures of defence We pointed out in Our last have been properly attended to, there is no cause for apprehension. That is why we pray and request you to avoid as much as possible all delay in the execution of Our orders; let, at any rate, the money and the men come as soon as possible.
We cannot omit to remind you again that you might ask the Cortes (el Reyno) to help you with a sum of money for your marriage, as they did once with Us when We married the Empress (Isabella), for it is no new thing in Spain; and, in fact, that money is to be procured [from Our subjects] in any other way you may think of. We have no doubt that Our councillors of State will exert themselves in this emergency a good deal more than they would have done at any other time, and that although they might allege as an excuse that they have no money, yet since they have land and estates they will be able to mortgage them, and they shall be repaid in the shortest possible term of time. (fn. 5)
The above is the substance of the letter which Juan Çapate took to Spain by a man whom the marquis de Aguilar sent Us by land. We here repeat part of its contents in order that, if the express should arrive first, you may be informed of Our wishes and gain time. Prince Doria must have written to you as he did to US, urging for the galleys of Spain to come here and effect their junction with the rest of Our fleet in the Mediterranean, because (says he) if divided they will not be able to accomplish anything, whereas all together they will molest and harass the enemy at sea, and keep him in constant fear. Our answer to the Prince has been that We have referred the affair to you, and that he must communicate with Our Council of State that the plan may be discussed therein, and, if convenient, adopted at once. You will take care that 600 men be sent to La Goleta to reinforce the garrison, because Don Francisco de Tobar writes that he is in great need of them. Here We have no means of supplying that governor with such a force, because, though the viceroy of Naples (Don Pedro de Toledo) has petitioned Us to allow him to recruit 400 Spaniards for the defence of that kingdom in case of attack, We have refused to grant his applition, lest this new levy of men should prevent you from sending those who are to join Us here. Yet not to leave Naples entirely without defence, We have given orders for the recruiting of an equal number of Germans in substitution for the Spaniards.
We are in good health (thank God). On the 20th inst. the Diet commenced its sittings; We will attend to it without loss of time, that We may be free and entirely disengaged for what is to be done next. Let Us hear as often as possible of your health, and of that of the Princess (fn. 6) your sister, and other general news by means of duplicate letters through both seas, for it is now nearly four months and a half that We have not seen your handwriting. We only know through private letters that you had returned from Salamanca, and were back at Valladolid, &c—Spyres, the 22nd of February 1544.
Signed: “Carlos.”
Addressed: “To the most Serene prince of Spain, Our dearest and most beloved son, &c.”
Spanish. Original. 4 pp.
23 Feb. 42. The Emperor to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch. “Venerable, chier et feal,”—About twelve days ago the English ambassador resident at this Our Court (fn. 7) waited on Us, and solicited our declaration against the Scots. We referred him to the Sieur de Granvelle, who could not for some days communicate with him owing to illness (maladie). To-day, however, the English ambassador has called on him, and after explaining his master's wishes respecting Scotland, has received the very same answer that We gave him once before when he first waited upon Us accompanied by the representations, excuses and arguments contained in Our letter [of the 23rd February]. The ambassador was told in substance that We could not declare the Scots our enemies as long as the duke of Holstein was not declared such by the English. Monsieur de Granvelle went still further; he told him plainly that the article of Our last treaty with England specifically bore that the declaration was to be reciprocal. As the ambassador could not well deny the force of this argument, he tried as much as he could to diminish it by hinting, as it were, that the affaire of Scotland might become worse than they actually were if We refused the declaration applied for; the common enterprise against France might in some measure suffer from the want of it. This notwithstanding (the ambassador asserted) the King, his master, would not be in fault, but would on his pari accomplish every thing he was bound to by treaty.
After these and other arguments in favour of or against the declaration, Mons. de Granvelle has decided that, since the affair itself is of such importance with regard to the Low Countries (les pays d'en bas), for the defence of which We are actually making great preparations, as and since the Queen Regent, Our sister, has fully instructed you (Chapuys) on the subject, it would be better to delay for some time the resolution of this point until We hear what has been done by you there [in London], (fn. 8) considering by this time you must have negociated with the King's privy councillors. We hasten to inform you of these particulars that you may write to Us, if you have not done so already, what you yourself have been able to ascertain respecting the King's final intention in this affair, and, finally, if you really think that Our declaration against the Scots is wanted, and that without it the undertaking against France may possibly experience a check, for if so We will give Our consent, as rather than run such a risk We would make one hundred such declarations.
Besides the above the Sieur de Granvelle has told the English ambassador under reserve that We are in receipt of confidential reports from France, stating that the French, hearing of the answer given by Us to Cardinal Farnese, have been thunderstruck, and no longer have hopes of peace. In their despair and disappointment, they have deliberated to make the greatest efforts to create differences and jealousy between the king of England and Us, and at the same time to try to deceive the English by making them believe that they have plenty of ways and means in their power for effecting a separate peace with them. For instance, they pretend that they can make the dowager queen of Scotland (Marie de Guise) and her daughter (Mary Stuart), and even the father of the former go to England against their own will. (fn. 9)
It is for you, Chapuys, to consider whether you are to make use of this piece of news or not, and if so communicate to the King and to his Privy Council the confidential information We have received. You will also tell the King that according to the very trusty and confidential report above alluded to, the French have lately been treating with cardinal Farnese of the marriage of the duke of Orleans (Charles de Valois) with a sister of that Cardinal, (fn. 10) for which marriage, by the way, some proposals had some time ago been made at Rome. It is easy to conceive how these practices of the French may be connected with the Scotch affair if the indignation of the Pope against the king of England be taken into account. At any rate you will make use of this information as you may deem it convenient and opportune, and at the same time acquaint Us with every incident of the negociation. (fn. 11) —Spire, 23 February 1544.
French. Original draft, mostly ciphered. 2 pp.
Copy of the letters written by the Emperor to his ambassador in England on the 23rd of February.


  • 1. “Que Sa Ste ne se debvoit aultant ressentir que v[ost]re. mate eust traicté avec le diet sr roy que du roy de France que sestoit alligué avec les Lutheriens pour aultant que le service de Dieu et la religion chrestienne estoient si bien observez en ce rovaulme que en province de chrestiente, hors mis (hormis) ce que conceruoit lauctorite papale (questoit article particuller).”
  • 2. “Et prins aussi de tres bonne part ce que la royne douagiere d'Hongrie avoit aduerty son ambassadeur de la cause de la venue devers elle du gentilhomme que la royne de France luy avoit envoyé.”
  • 3. “Car tousjours sera en la main dicelle, en cas que ceulx-cy en apres ne font la reciproque, de la revocquer, et oultre ce vre. mate aura jeu sur eulx de leur prover leur contravention au diot traicte.”
  • 4. That is Don Luis de Avila y Zuñiga.
  • 5. “Y que se busque por todas las otras vias que se pudiere haver, que no dudamos syno que los de nuestro Consejo de Estado haran por su parte en esta coyuntura mas de lo que podran; y que ya que se quisiessen escusar con dezir que les falta dineros, pues tiencn caudal y possibilidad lo buscaran y tomaran sobre ty hasta que se les paguc, que sera lo mas breve possible.”
  • 6. Doña Maria, Infanta of Spain, born in 1528; she was married to her cousin Maximilian II., Emperor of Germany, and died at Madrid, a widow, in 1603.
  • 7. Nicholas Wotton, dean of Canterbury.
  • 8. “Le dit sieur de Granvelle s'est arresté comme l'affaire importoit tant aux pays d'en bas, devers les quels faisons practiquer grosse aide, et que la royne, Madame nostre sœur, vous a escript amplement sur cestuy affaire, que le mieulx seroit differer la resolution de ce point jusques à ce que l'on saiche (sage) ce que avez passe sur cepoint.”
  • 9. “Quilz trouveroient moyens pour faire passer en Angleterre la Royne veufve d' sa fille nonobstant quilz n'en auroient volonté, mesmes le due de Guyse, pere de la dite veufve.”
  • 10. “Et aussi comme nous avons pareillement entendu que lea ditz François traictoient avec le dit Cardinal du marriage du sieur d'Orleans avec la sœur du dit Cardinal, dont desia par ci devant a este practique.” By “the Cardinal's sister,” Vittoria Farnese is meant. Both the cardinal Alessandro and Vittoria were the children of Pier Luigi Farnese, duke of Castro, natural son of Paul III. Vittoria's marriage with the duke of Orleans, if proposed in earnest, was not effected, for in 1548 she married Guidobaldo della Rovere, duke of Urbino. See Calendar, Vol. VI., Part II., p. 594.
  • 11. To this draft, which is entirely ciphered, a deciphering is appended beginning with the usual words “L'Empereur et Roi.”