Spain: July 1545, 21-25

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 8, 1545-1546. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1904.

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'Spain: July 1545, 21-25', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 8, 1545-1546, ed. Martin A S Hume( London, 1904), British History Online [accessed 15 July 2024].

'Spain: July 1545, 21-25', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 8, 1545-1546. Edited by Martin A S Hume( London, 1904), British History Online, accessed July 15, 2024,

"Spain: July 1545, 21-25". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 8, 1545-1546. Ed. Martin A S Hume(London, 1904), , British History Online. Web. 15 July 2024.

July 1545, 21–25

21 July. Vienna Imp. Arch. 100. Chapuys to Van der Delft.
Just as I was mounting my coach this morning at Malines to proceed to Louvain, I received the enclosed letters from his Majesty, but as my deciphering clerk was already at Louvain, I brought the courier hither with me; though I did so to my great regret, seeing the haste with which he had been sent, and the time he had already lost in seeking me. When finally I arrived here, and read the dispatch, I was the more sorry that I had not sent him straight on without delay, for I have nothing to add or substract to the contents.
I am, moreover, greatly afflicted with the toils of the journey, which have moved the humours in such a way that the gout has seized my shoulders; and, what is worst, I cannot sit. I consequently refrain from saying anything more about the arrangements for the future security of navigation for his Majesty's subjects; but the draft I sent you before with the copy of the convention made with Paget in Brussels, will serve as a basis for negotiation on the matter. I am delighted to hear that his Majesty has consented to the release of the seizures made in Spain, in the way stated in his Majesty's letters. I did not fail to write specially about this in my last letters to M. de Granvelle, saying that you would be very much perplexed at no mention of this most important subject having been made in his Majesty's former letters, and that I myself was very anxious, for fear that my bold and frank advice to his Majesty had given offence.
Thank God, however, his Majesty's letters has relieved both of us; and there is no need for me to give my opinion of the manner in which the release is to be effected, since his Majesty fully states it, and the English are quite ready to accept the arrangement.
With regard to the fresh denial given by the English Ambassador that the peace treaty with France was concluded by his King's consent, you know what I said to the King about it, and repeated in my memorandum written to you from Gravelines. Even after the peace was made, when M. de Carriéres and I spoke with him (Henry) at Boulogne three times, he never expressed the slightest annoyance about it. I need only refer you on this point to the memorandum I sent you; but I must say a word in refutation of the King's argument that in the case of a treaty so solemnly executed as the alliance between the Emperor and the King, it is not reasonable to make any alteration in it on a mere verbal report by a subject. In addition to the reply given by his Majesty to the ambassador on this subject, it might be gently pointed out to the King, that it was clearly laid down in the treaty, that neither of the parties should enter into negotiations with the common enemy, without the consent of the other; and yet the King thought that ach one might seek his own end, as seemed best to him. He had, indeed, been the first to listen to French overtures, (fn. 1) and had even arranged certain conditions with them, before he knew for certain he Emperor's wishes on the matter. And yet, in accordance with clause of which he makes so much, the King was bound to ascertain what were his Majesty's views. If you find an opportunity, you might use this argument; but it should be borne in mind that should be pressed lightly, and not dwelt upon sufficiently to give the King a chance of entering into fresh disputes; as it is the Emperor's wish that matters should be settled amicably.
I have nothing to add to the cipher despatches, excepting to say that I do not attach much importance to obtaining a declaration that no claim or demand shall be made upon his Majesty on account of the invasion of Guisnes last year; since it is unquestionable that, for several reasons, his Majesty was not bound on that occasion to provide the aid requested; and especially, as the siege did not last. With reference to the demand that his Majesty should declare himself still at war with France, and prohibit his subjects from trading with that, country, that point has been so convincingly discussed that Paget made no difficulty in agreeing in his master's name, that the Emperor's subjects should trade with France, on condition that they did not carry thither munitions of war or victuals.
As we are on the subject of the security of navigation, I thought well to say these few words, although doubtless you will have appealed to Paget's agreement to effect the release of the ships seized since it was made; my remarks consequently being confined to the ships taken previously.
Louvain, 21 July, 1545.
23 and 24 July. Vienna Imp. Arch. 101. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
I wrote on the 10th that I was on the point of leaving London, and I accordingly set out to follow the King. It happened that on the 14th the Chancellor (Wriothesley) and myself had to pass the night at the same village; and as I had long sought an opportunity of having a conversation with him, I was determined to seize so good a chance of doing so. I therefore had a watch set upon him very early in the morning, and contrived to start a quarter of an hour before him. I rode on gently, in order that he might overtake me, which he soon did, and after some civilities, we rode together all day and had much interesting discourse. As it is impossible to repeat all this in detail, I will only touch upon what is essential. This may be summarised under two heads, namely the redress to be granted to your subjects, and the promotion of the peace negotiations.
With regard to the first, I will only say that in my opinion we shall gain little or nothing, unless the seizures in Spain are released.
With reference to the question of peace which I discussed with him, I said that my greatest regret was to see the two monarchs at war, and I knew how glad your Majesty would be to see them reconciled. I had, I said, long been desirous of speaking to him, in order to assure him of your Majesty's desire to be of use for the promotion of peace; and I then, pointed out to him that, since peace must be made sooner or later, it was better that it should be sooner, so that the evils and hazards of war might be avoided; and it behoved us to cast about for some means by which peace could be attained. He took this in good part, but still showed some annoyance that your Majesty had not intervened otherwise, and that hitherto nothing but words had been achieved. I replied that the fault was on their Bide, because they neither gave any indication of their wish for peace, nor ceased to treat your Majesty's subjects harshly. This, I said, was not calculated to increase your Majesty's good-will or desire to serve them.
When we arrived in the evening at the village where we were to sleep, he asked me to sup with him; he himself coming to my lodging to invite me. After supper he resumed the conversation that we had had on the road about the peace, and concluded by saying that he hoped I should do my best in the matter; and, for his part, he knew of no other means, except for your Majesty to send an envoy to the King of France, to show him the terms of the treaty of alliance you have with England, and to inform him that you could not avoid fulfilling these terms, unless he consented to agree to peace. With this a courier arrived with letters for him, and the Chancellor took leave of me.
When I arrived at my lodging, I found awaiting me the bearer of this letter, bringing me your Majesty's letters of 9th instant, with a credence for me to express to the King your Majesty be extreme displeasure at the continuance of the war; and your wish o aid actively in a reconciliation. This letter came most appositely, and I thought well to inform the Chancellor that I had received it. This I did on the morrow; and he expressed much pleasure at the news, asking me to use my best influence in the interests of peace. If, he said, the King perchance let slip any angry words, he prayed me not to notice them. This was in confidence, and in accordance with my request that he would speak frankly to me, after which he thanked me, both for Majesty's goodwill and my own, and I then left him, as he was going to visit some other places and villages of his, whilst I continued on the road to Portsmouth.
On the morning of my arrival there, namely on the 17th instant, I sent to secretary Paget to ask for audience of the King. His Majesty's answer was that if the matter was very important I could come at any time, but that he would prefer the following Sunday. I was glad of this, as I inferred from it that the Chancellor had informed the King of my mission. In the meanwhile the King sent to me the Queen's Chancellor, to show me the fleet which is in this harbour. He afterwards took me on board the flagship called the “Great Harry.” (fn. 2) The admiral (fn. 3) received me very civilly, and asked me to dinner for the following day, where I was very handsomely entertained with three or four Knights of the Garter.
The fleet did not exceed 80 sail, but 40 of the ships were large and beautiful, and they said they expected from the west country about sixty more.
After dinner the admiral told me that he had the King's orders to take me to his Majesty, as he would rather see me that afternoon, in consequence of the whole of his time being occupied the next day visiting his ships and dining on the flagship. I approached the Knights the usual obeisance and handed to him your Majesty's credence; proceeding then to express your Majesty's desire to bring about peace, and your regret at the recrudescence of the war. I then recited at length what your Majesty had written to me. The King took it very well, but at once fell to the old complaints, which I refuted as- well as I could: though I thought better that I should well too much upon this part of the subject, or dispute about the point of the assistance demanded, as I considered that these questions would disappear if peace were concluded. But still I persisted as to the redress due to your subjects, who have been so rudely and unjustly treated; and I made in this respect a full and pertinent statement of claim. Reverting again to my credence, I assured the King of your Majesty's wish for peace, both for the sake of Christendom at large, and on account of your ancient amity with the King. Your Majesty, I said, was most anxious to be of use in the matter, but did not know how to take the first step; and if the King would confide in me, I pledged myself to maintain the discretion necessary for his honour and profit, as if I were his own subject; and I assured him that he might believe me, seeing how earnest was your Majesty's wish to obtain a peace which should redound to his advantage. With these and similar gentle words, I endeavoured to soften his angry remarks, and persisted in my request that he would give me some indication of his goodwill, in order that I might do my best in the matter. He seemed much pleased at this, saying that if your Majesty's anxiety was such as I assured him, it would doubtless be shown in deeds, and that you would do him a friendly turn, as you knew how he had entered into this war. At my repeated suggestions that he would give me a lead for the opening of negotiations, he said that the lead should not come from him. His desire for peace was good; and he had not refused any conditions, as none had been proposed to him. When I said that the war was now being waged for Boulogne— though I did not persuade or dissuade him in the matter of its restitution— he replied that he had it, and would hold it, by right of conquest. As for the rest; if the overdue pensions were paid, and he was reimbursed for the cost of the war, he was willing to consent to peace. With this end he was willing to submit the question of the amount of indemnity to your Majesty's arbitration; but if he was expected to surrender Boulogne your Majesty could o nothing for him. If he would consent to give up Boulogne he could make peace without any intercession, for in such case he might dictate his own terms to France, and choose his hostages. We ought not, he said, to trust so much to the French as we did; which made me think that there might be some negotiations for a settlement between them; and indeed, under correction, I am of opinion that your Majesty ought now to move actively in the interests of peace, and become the means for bringing it about, for various reasons, especially as the King might otherwise become better friends with the French than with your Majesty. Pray pardon my boldness in thus stating my own view. To resume: I added that your Majesty was willing and ready to send (to France) such personages as might be considered fitting to forward the negotiations if the King wished: whereupon the latter asked me rather tartly whether the embassy suggested would only go to the King of France and not to him. I replied I was not advised on that point; but that my personal opinion was that the embassy would go to both sides, and this answer pleased him. When I saw this, I at once proceeded to beg him to consider what, he could suggest in the interests of peace; but he rejected this; repeating that the first steps should not come from him. I then said, amongst other things, that, although it did not behove me to exceed my instructions, yet if he was willing to listen to me, and would pardon my boldness, I would give him my own opinion. He told me to speak my mind; and after many arguments showing how injurious it was to Christendom that the war should continue for such a town as Boulogne, I said that his magnanimity should make him consider how praiseworthy an action it would be to put an end to the contest. He had, I said, on a former occasion displayed such noble and virtuous liberality, not in surrendering, but in giving towns of great importance like Tournai; and though I did not presume to advise him, one way or the other, about surrendering Boulogne, I yet begged him to weigh and consider well, even if Boulogne was worth the trouble of fighting about. For my own part I. thought it was not; and that if he could obtain in another form all his demands from France, he might well act regarding Boulogne as his magnanimity might dictate, for the French did not like losing their own. He replied that Boulogne was not the first town that the French had lost. With regard to Tournai and Therouanne, he had, he said, not acted as I seemed to think, but he would tell me what had happened. He then went on to say that he had held Tournai for about three years after peace had been concluded; and on the occasion of making a new and closer alliance with France, he had surrendered the town, the King of France doing him a good turn at the same time; (fn. 4) whilst Thérouanne was demolished before he gave it up. In short, Sire, it seems to me that he might by some means be induced to yield Boulogne if he could safeguard his prestige, by keeping the place for a certain time, or by some other such device. Finally, after much kind discourse he referred me to his council.
In the course of conversation he asked me about the mission of Secretary Veltwyck to the Turk with the French ambassador; the secretary, he said, having been sent by your Majesty. I denied this, and maintained that he had gone as the representative of the King of the Romans; but both the King and myself persisted in our respective views, the King finally saying that at least the ambassadors themselves had declared what he asserted, to the Seigniory of Venice.
When I left the King, he bade me farewell more amiably than he had ever done before, and I at once went downstairs to the Council, to whom I repeated what I had said to the King. We conferred and disputed for a very long while; in the first place about the indemnification of your subjects. The Councillors continued to plead as a set-off the seizures effected in Spain, and displayed great resentment at the letters of reprisal granted there, of which they offered to show me copies. They were equally offended at the orders sent by your Majesty to the Chancellor of Brabant, which, they said were a violation of all treaties. I answered them as seemed fitting, pointing out to Paget the unjust way in which we were treated. Your Majesty, I said, had on his (Paget's) bare word released all the seizures at Antwerp, whereas the agreement he had made had not yet been fulfilled with regard to a ship belonging to some merchants of Burgos, whose property had been sold at Rye.
After much disputation they asked me to put in writing the remaining claims of your Majesty's subjects here, which claims they promised me should be disposed of in a day or two, justly and to my satisfaction: and they begged me at the same time to use my influence to get the seizures released in Spain.
Coming to the question of the peace, they complained that they had thus been left alone at war with France by your Majesty. I replied that your Majesty had not left them, or failed them in any way. You were obliged to observe your treaty with France, which had been made by their consent. They gave the same reply to this that the King had done; namely that, even if he had consented— which was not the case— the treaty of alliance with them (i.e., the English) over-rode all other treaties past and present. The very treaty with France, they said, showed this, as it recognised the obligation of your Majesty towards this King. I maintained that the consent of the King annulled all objections, as was demonstrated to them at Brussels; and, as to the treaty with France, I was not in a position to reply, as I had no copy of it and was ignorant of the clauses: whereupon they offered to lend me a copy whenever I liked.
In speaking of the peace mediation, they suggested that your Majesty might send the two personages to each of the princes, and request a cessation of hostilities; the King of France being constrained thereto, by showing him the terms of your Majesty's treaty with England, which, they said, would bring him to reasonable conditions of peace. I replied that this course was not desirable; but I thought, speaking quite unofficially, the King of England ought to recognise your Majesty's treaty with France, in order to avail himself of the arbitration clause contained in it This, in my opinion, was the most friendly and advantageous procedure; but they rebutted this view, and so we remained without deciding anything, except that they would talk the matter over again with the King.
On the following day, Sunday, whilst the King was at dinner on the flagship, news came that the French were only five short leagues away. This turned out to be true, for within two hours their fleet in great force was seen in front of this port, and the King hurriedly left the flagship. The English fleet at once set sail to encounter the French, and on approaching them kept up a cannonade against he galleys, of which five had entered well into the harbour, whilst the English could not get out for want of wind, and in consequence of the opposition of the enemy. (fn. 5)
Towards evening, through misfortune and carelessness, the ship of Vice-Admiral George Garew foundered, and all hands on board, to the number of about 500, were drowned, with the exception of about five and twenty or thirty servants, sailors and the like, who escaped. I made enquiries of one of the survivors, a Fleming, how the ship perished, and he told me that the disaster was caused by their not having closed the lowest row of gun ports on one side of the ship. Having fired the guns on that side, the ship was turning, in order to fire from the other, when the wind caught her sails so strongly as to heel her over, and plunge her open gunports beneath the water, which flooded and sank her. They say, however that they can recover the ship and guns. (fn. 6)
On Monday the firing on both sides went on nearly all day, and could be plainly witnessed from here. Some people say that at nightfall the English did some damage to a French galley.
Apparently the French fleet consisted of over 300 sail, without counting the 27 galleys they had; but still these people here seem determined to give battle, as soon as they get their ships together and the wind is favourable
On Tuesday the French landed some men on the Isle of Wight, opposite this town. They set fire to four or five places, as we saw from here, and it is said that they burned ten or twelve small houses; after which they had several skirmishes with the English, who held the entrance to a strait, and who repelled the Frenchmen twice with some loss. At length the number of Englishmen kept on increasing until they reached 3,000 or more, and the Frenchmen were obliged to fall back and take refuge in a small earthwork fort.
A large force was sent against them, so that the English have now no fear whatever of the French, as there are now 8,000English soldiers ready to resist their enterprise, and they say it will be easy to do so, as the island is covered with woods and hedges. (fn. 7)
Yesterday, Wednesday, and the previous night nothing could be heard but artillery firing, and there was a rumuor current that the French intended to land at another point. In view of this, and the fact that neither the King nor the Council had said anything to me about the assistance, I thought it advisable to sound their feeling on the matter without delay, for your Majesty's information. I there- fore sent to the Council to ask for audience, saying that it was already four days since they had promised me an answer to my last communications to the King, and I wished to have something to end to your Majesty. I was ready, I said, to bring them the memorandum of claims made by your subjects here; and I wished therefore to speak with some of the individual Councillors, as I was aware that Council itself was so busy with the war. After communicating with the King, they sent me word that I might come to them to-day at about 9, and they would then tell me what the King had ordered.
I kept the appointment, and they at once gave me their message; to the effect that the King had considered my conversation with him, first on the point of your Majesty's wish to reconcile the two inches now at war, which assurance had been given to them on several previous occasions, although nothing more had come of it. Now, when the enemy was actually at their doors, direct proposals are tardily made. As things had been allowed to go so far, the King, as a prince of virtue and courage, was determined to show his power and to see what fortune might bring him. Nevertheless, as I had so urgently pressed him for some opening towards peace negotiations, and out of respect for your Majesty's good-will, which I had so emphatically asserted, the King had instructed them to tell me in confidence that if his overdue pensions were paid and punctual payment assured for the future, the cost of the war— which had been increased by his being left so long to fight alone— being reimbursed to him, the amount to be left to the arbitration of your Majesty, he would enter into negotiations for peace. With regard to Boulogne, however, he would never surrender the place to force. If they wanted it they must induce him by other means. As I myself was witness, the councillors added, that the enemy was now in England, the King was despatching instructions to his ambassador with your Majesty, to demand the assistance stipulated in the treaty of alliance, and they begged me to write to your Majesty to the same effect.
I replied that, as to your Majesty's goodwill, that was as earnest as ever, and more so than I could express; but I reminded them that when I spoke to the King there was no knowledge of the coming of the enemy. I sincerely thanked the King for the confidence he reposed in me, but I could perceive no amendment in the terms they recited to me to those mentioned by the King when I saw him. Since I had so openly endeavoured to incline the King to peace, I was bound to say that as in my opinion Boulogne was not so necessary to his realm as to be worth keeping up the war for it, they ought also to have made similar efforts to discover some expedient that would have given your Majesty a chance of initiating a peace. I found, on the contrary, that I was frustrated. They made no answer to this, and did not even mention the proposal that your Majesty should send envoys: this omission, I think, being intentional, in order that your Majesty might send the personages on your own motion; depending as they (i.e, the English Councillors) did upon my good offices in the matter.
As to the assistance demanded, I said I would willingly write what the King ordered: but as I descried at present some difficulties which might cause your Majesty to hold back, I thought it would be better for us to examine and discuss the question here, if they (the English) were anxious to advance it. I knew your Majesty wished to settle everything on a reasonable footing; but you had ample reason first to require” that redress should be given to the large number of your subjects who had been so inequitably treated. Following this line, I recapitulated the points contained in your Majesty's letters on the subject; and I pointed out firmly that the war was being waged solely for Boulogne, which place was not comprised in the treaty which they invoked; asking them finally, if under these circumstances your Majesty thought fit to give the aid, what form they considered it ought to take. But, Sire, they refused either to listen or reply; saying that they were sure your Majesty would not raise such difficulties as I did. There was nothing, they said, to examine or discuss; and the King was determined to know one way or the other. For that purpose he was now sending to his ambassador to obtain your Majesty's reply. If your Majesty excused yourself on the ground of the sequestration of your subjects, or otherwise, they (the English) must make the best of it; but if on the contrary your Majesty fulfilled your treaty obligations, your subjects, now and in future, should be treated in a way which would please them and me. They promised me to release all goods claimed by such subjects, on security being given for the value of merchandise suspected of being owned by Frenchmen; but before doing anything, the King desired to have your Majesty's reply about the aid. When that comes everything would be released. They understood very well, they said, that my words were well intended; but they had no further instructions, and hoped I would take it in good part and do my best.
Seeing that they refused to entertain my replies, I took my leave, and returned to my lodgings to draft this letter, as they are sending off their courier, and mine must accompany him, in order to ensure his passage, the ports being closed, as I wrote in my former letters. I therefore write somewhat hurriedly, so that your Majesty may be preadvised. I have decided once more to discuss fully the whole of the subjects to-morrow with Secretary Paget, who is in the highest favour here, and appears the best inclined to settle matters justly and honestly. If I can manage to delay the couriers until after my conversation with him, I will do so; and in such case will add to this the particulars of my interview; but if the couriers start before then I will send another specially to your Majesty.
Portsmouth, 28rd July, 1545.
Postscript.— Sire. They said they were ready yesterday, but their despatch was not so forward as I thought. I have therefore had time to speak to Secretary Paget before the couriers started. I did so early this morning, my principal object being to learn whether they would be satisfied with a pecuniary subvention, of which some slight hint had been thrown out yesterday by the Bishop of Winchester: my second object being to discover if they were of opinion hat your Majesty, as a consequence, should prohibit commerce between your subjects and France. I opened the conversation by saying that, in accordance with their request of yesterday that I should use my best efforts with respect to the reply they had given me, I had been thinking all night, but could devise no excuse or ground for assuring your Majesty that your subjects should be indemnified; since they (i.e., the English Councillors) gave me no earnest of such a step; but that on the contrary all ships, loaded and in ballast, were still detained in English ports. He (Paget) replied that, as to the redress, there would be no failing in that respect, but at the present time, and with this pressure upon them, they were not able to settle the matter. With regard to the ships detained here, they had no necessity to make known the cause of the arrest to the sailors and others; but in confidence he would inform me of it. This was solely that the King was quite determined to give battle to the French, and if the worst came to the worst, and the English were defeated, he intended to make use of these ships. To come to my point, I remarked that I fancied I had understood the Bishop of Winchester to say yesterday that the King required the aid in the form of money; but before writing to that effect to your Majesty, I wished to know what was their meaning. I said that if matters went so far as for your Majesty to consent to give the aid, it was impossible for them to think that you would re-commence your war with France in consequence, since peace had been made with their consent; or even that you would forbid your subjects to trade with France. I added that in saying this I was not moved by any doubt on the point, but merely to let them understand that if they thought otherwise they would waste their time and trouble. It was perfectly clear and obvious that your Majesty was bound to fulfil implicitly your treaty with France, and they evidently understood this, because they had told me in the King's name that henceforward your subjects trading with France should not be molested, unless there was a well-founded suspicion that they were conveying French property, in which case they might be boarded for the purpose of inspection, and if there was still any doubt, the merchandise should be released against security, as was agreed with him (Paget) in Brussels. He replied that, with regard to the Bishop of Winchester's mention of pecuniary aid, he (Paget) had no instructions from the King; and, for the rest, he hoped your Majesty would not desert them, in so far as you were bound to the contrary; seeing them in such extremity as they were. He made along harangue, going over the old ground already so often repeated, the only conclusion of it being that the King would never withdraw from what he had once agreed to. This, I understood to refer to the commercial question; and it looks very much as if the only thing they demanded was the assistance, which I have always held in suspense, whilst they seem quite sure of obtaining it. Whilst we were thus talking, Paget was summoned to the King and we parted. Since then I sent to ask the Secretary when his courier was to leave. He said early to-morrow morning, and I sent him the name of the bearer to insert it in their courier's passport. This led him to say that he had spoken to the King about our conversation of this morning, and the King was quite content to leave to your Majesty, the decision as to whether the assistance should assume the form of men or money, but that in any case he begged that it might be sent promptly. With respect to the question of trade between your subjects and France, he said that I could well understand the meaning of what he had told me. It was plain enough.
Nothing fresh has happened here in the war. Both fleets still face each other, but to-day the two flagships approached somewhat nearer together. The French flagship, however, with the whole of he fleet drew away, of which the King sent me word. The wind has continued throughout in favour of the French, who they say have with them 500 light horse.
24th July, 1545.
postscript.— They assert here that they have sunk one of the French galleys, and that the Chevalier D'Aux of Provence was killed on landing in the Isle of Wight.
Endorsed:—Received at Worms the last day of July 1545.
23 July. Vienna Imp. Arch. 102. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
Since my last of 10th instant, I have received letters from the Emperor, enclosing a credence for this King; and your Majesty may learn by the accompanying copies of the letters I now send to the Emperor what has passed here in relation thereto. I send these letters through Chapuys, as I have not time to make a separate copy for him, it being extremely important that his Majesty should e informed of what I learn here respecting the assistance demanded before, or as soon, as the English ambassador, to whom they (the English Council) are now sending a courier. I have consequently enjoined my man to make no less haste than the English courier, and to go straight on to the Emperor, unless he finds Chapuys on the road. I am uncertain where he is just now, as he wrote that he was going to Louvain; but if he be still at Bourbourg or Gravelines, my man will send these letters to him from Dunkirk, and if at Louvain he will forward them from Brussels.
It looks as if this King were desirous of coming to an arrangement for peace, and would be glad of the intervention of the Emperor and your Majesty in his favour. This would be advisable for many reasons: it is certain that whilst the war lasts the Emperor's subjects will not be allowed to sail the seas without being robbed and spoliated by one side or the other. This is recognised already by some of the subjects here, as they complain of the French as much as they do of the English.
Portsmouth, 23 July, 1545.


  • 1. It has been pointed out in the Introduction to the last Volume of this Calendar that one of the reasons for the Emperor's eagerness to make peace for himself, was the fear that Henry would do so before him; and leave him in the lurch. It was, in fact, a game of cunning between the two Sovereigns as to which should be made arbiter of the claims of the other.
  • 2. The Great Harry was a vast old-fashioned, over-gunned ship of 1,000 tons burden, with two tiers of ordnance on the lower decks and a third tier on her half-deck and forecastle. Drawings and full descriptions of all the ships in the navy at this period will be found in Anthony's parchment rolls in the Pepysian Library at Magdelen College, Cambridge; the roll containing the galleases being at the British Museum. Add. 22047.
  • 3. Viscount Lisle. John Dudley, afterwards Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland.
  • 4. This was in the peace treaty between Francis and Henry, when the latter in 1526 determined to repudiate his promises made by the treaty of Madrid after the battle of Pavia; and Wolsey secured Francis temporarily to his master's side in his resentment against the Emperor,
  • 5. An interesting account of the hostilities off Portsmouth on this occasion will be found in Du Bellay's Memoires. See also the Spanish Chronicle of Henry VIII.; the Grafton and Wrothesley Chronicles and the Introduction to “Drake and the Tudor Navy” (Corbett).
  • 6. The loss of the Mary Rose, with the Vice-Admiral Sir George Carew, is described in exactly similar terms to this in the Spanish Chronicle of Henry VIII., the probable author of which (de Guaras), if he did not accompany the ambassador in his journey to Portsmouth, certainly obtained his information from the same source.
  • 7. This is a more closely chronological account of the events related than has hitherto been known. The local details and the strategy employed may be best understood by reading Du Bellay's account and the Introduction to “Drake and the Tudor Navy” (Corbett). See also letter from the Lord Admiral to the King, Hatfield Papers, part 1, Hist. MSS. Com. (in extenso in Haynes).