Spain: May 1545, 1-15

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

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, 'Spain: May 1545, 1-15', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 8, 1545-1546, (London, 1904) pp. 97-111. British History Online [accessed 24 May 2024].

. "Spain: May 1545, 1-15", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 8, 1545-1546, (London, 1904) 97-111. British History Online, accessed May 24, 2024,

. "Spain: May 1545, 1-15", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 8, 1545-1546, (London, 1904). 97-111. British History Online. Web. 24 May 2024,

May 1545, 1–15

7 May Paris Arch. Nat. K. 1485. 49. St. Mauris to Francisco de los Cobos.
Letters of 4th and 17 April received. With regard to the preparations here against England, it is certain that they have decided upon war both by land and sea. The plains for the French to send to sea 300 ships and 25 galleys, with five galleasses and 10,000 men, in order to make incursions on the island of England where they intend to make a fort on the coast avoiding proceeding inland. When this is done, they will land their men near Boulogne, where the King of France expects to be able to force the harbour with wooden booms, and to construct a fort on the beach like that which was demolished by the English. (fn. 1) The object of this will be to prevent the English from re-victualling the place. They (the French) intend to have a large number of pioneers to fill the moat and enter over the walls. This is the exact plan of the French up to the present time. The fleet from Marseilles was to leave port on the 1st of this month.
Touching the declaration of the alternative marriage, neither the Duke of Orleans, who has been with the Emperor, nor the Secretary who preceded him, had done anything further than to thank the Emperor for his goodwill. This, I am informed by the Emperor himself, although many things to the contrary were said here; and I am of opinion that the King of France still thinks we shall seek him for a marriage with our princess, in which he is much mistaken.
The English are only besieging Ardres from the neighbouring places where they have garrisons, and consequently victuals are constantly being introduced into the town under cover of night. The place is thus able to hold out. It is to be revictualled on the 20th of this month.
If a man be sent here to claim the two ships seized, I am promised that he shall be referred to the pilot and sailors of the ships, in order that he may be able to learn exactly what happened. I have obtained an order from the King of France that the property seized is all to be embargoed, and an inventory made of it.
The only thing I have to write about the intelligence, between the Pope and this King is that everything is going smoothly again, because his Holiness has undertaken to furnish the cost of a contingent of 3,000 men against the English for four months, the money being supplied instead of the men. It is true that the French still demand 4,000 men; and I am told that Cardinal Farnese has arrived at Worms in relation to the settlement of some misunderstanding between the Pope and the Emperor. There is, I am assured, good hope that he will succeed. The Cardinal is afterwards to come hither, for the purpose of inducing the French to send representatives to the Council (of Trent).
The negotiations between the English merchant and Chastillon have been broken off, as the French insist upon recovering Boulogne, and the English insist upon keeping it. The Admiral of France recently sent his secretary to discuss the matter with the Admiral of England, and to offer an increased pension (i.e., national tribute) part of it to be paid in ready money, if they would surrender Boulogne. The English admiral replied that they had better reduce the pension and let English keep Boulogne.
These people (the French) are using every means to influence the Duke of Savoy in the marriage of his son. (fn. 2) But he replies that, however much he may desire it, he will never consent to any match without the goodwill of the Emperor. The Prince of Piedmont is now going to visit his Majesty. News given by the Venetian ambassador to the King of France about the Turk. The latter is making great war-preparations, and has imposed a special war tax. Still hopes continue to be entertained of a truce, by means of the King of France. The Emperor will send a man with the French envoy to Turkey. When the embassy was decided upon, the King of France sent a message to inform the Turk, and to obtain passports for our envoy, who will go direct to Ragusa. The object of the King of France in seeking the truce is to avoid giving the contingent he has promised the Emperor against Turkey; but the Emperor has only consented to the truce, on condition that he does not waive his claim to the contingent, and I have negotiated to this effect.
I have nothing more to say as to the plot about Perpignan; but certainly these people are finely anxious to get the place back. One of them said lately that it was a wound that would never stop bleeding. The Dauphin, especially, wishes to recover it to retrieve his lost honour. I have no doubt M. D'Albret is just as anxious to regain Navarre; but he is much too weak, and he is now sending to pray the Emperor to give him some compensation for his rights. He is desirous that the political rights and privileges of Navarre (fors) shall be respected. He wishes the Emperor to propose a marriage between his daughter (fn. 3) and the second son of the King of the Romans. He (D'Albret) has spoken to me about it, but I told him that he ought not to enter into any negotiation unknown to the King of France; to which he replied that, if the Emperor took the initiative, the King would not be displeased. All this is with the object of getting something at present; or at least that he should be allowed to retain the title of King of Navarre. The Carmelite friar, who intervened in the peace, has returned from Rome and brings a brief by which the Pope requests the Emperor to declare against the English. The reply of the Emperor to this was that as he was an honourable prince, he intended to keep his word to both monarchs. Another reason why he could not declare against the English was that he was engaged against the Turk, but he would endeavour to bring about peace between them (i.e., the French and the English) if possible. The Carmelite was authorised (by the Emperor) to declare to the King of France that, if the latter would consent to a truce he (the Emperor) would negotiate it, Secretary Paget having told him that his master was willing if he was allowed to retain Boulogne. The Carmelite is now being sent back to Rome by the King, to pray the Pope to write to all Christian princes, calling upon them to aid France against the King of England; as it is now a question of executing the sentence of the Apostolic See against a Schismatic. The King of France declares that he will never negotiate a peace which does not restore Boulogne to him. In the meanwhile, the Emperor is determined not to allow the supply of victuals from his dominions to either of the combatants; and a general prohibition has been issued in Germany against any persons leaving the country to enter the service of either prince. But still the King of France expects to obtain 8,000 lansquenets. With reference to this, M. Leyton has informed me that he learns on good authority that two or three thousand Spaniards have gone over to the King of France's service from the Biscay provinces, travelling in bands of 400 by way of Fuentarrabia. There is a Spaniard here in the French service named Salcedo, who says that these Spanish troops are expected. I willingly send notice of this, because these people (the French) ceaselessly endeavour to embroil us with the English, and to make the latter believe that our people are helping the French. For this purpose they are making use of this Carmelite, who is a Spaniard, and the Emperor has ordered him not to accept any more commissions from them without his permission.
A fortnight ago there arrived here a Genoese of the family of Fiesco requesting the aid of the King of France, in order to render the latter paramount at Genoa, and to drive away Prince Doria. He says he has brought the plot to a point, and holds out hope that the people will favour it, if they see themselves supported from here. The plan, however, did not commend itself to the King, to the great disgust of the Dauphin, who urged that the offer should be accepted. This shows his ill-will towards us.
Count William (of Nassau?) is still a prisoner, as the Prince Roche sur Yonne refuses the ransom offered of 20,000 crowns, of which the Emperor is to pay 5,000. The sum originally demanded was 35,000. The King refuses to moderate the demand, though I have begged him from the Emperor to do so. I have no news yet of the reply given by the Protestants to the two points submitted to them, namely religion and aid against the Turk, but these people (the French) say that the Protestants will not consent to the Council, unless it be free, or in other words that decisions shall rest in other hands than in those of the princes of the church. They write to me, however, that the presence of the Emperor will greatly influence a favourable reply, which will be given as soon as his Majesty arrives at Worms. I expect that will be in three days from now, as he left Antwerp seven days ago, after he had dismissed the Duke of Orleans, to whom he gave the choice of following him to Worms or returning to France. (fn. 4) The King of France thought that his son ought to come hither to take part in the campaign at Boulogne; whilst the Duke wished to go to Germany on account of the Turk, and to frighten the Protestants out of their evil inclinations. It is certain, however, that the Emperor was not at all anxious for him (the Duke) to go to Germany. So everybody was satisfied.
The French have not sent anyone yet to the Council. They say that this is because the Lutherans are so cool about it, and they (the French) are waiting to see whether they will agree to it. Their intention is to send a number of prelates, amongst others M. Du Bellay, Bishop of Rennes, and the Bishop of Arles, the rest of the prelates being given leave to go if they please.
News comes from the King of Portugal that the Turk intended to send a strong force against the Indies. Negotiations between the writer and the French ministers for the revocation by the France of the letters of marque against Portugal, and the settlement of the claims on both sides.
The statement that the Duke of Savoy intended to commence hostilities against France in Piedmont is now proved to be a lie. The statement that Martin Varotten, the Bastard of Geldres, and Duke Maurice of Saxony, were raising troops for the English has also been found untrue.
The King has made his Keeper of the Seal, Grand Chancellor; the late Chancellor Poyet being deprived of his offices, and declared for ever incapable of holding any position. He is condemned to a fine of 100,000 francs, and five years' imprisonment in the Bastille. Count William is in the same prison, and came to the gate to receive him and bid him welcome.
On Easter Day the young Princess D'Albret made a public declaration in a chapel in the palace of Plessy, where the King was present, to the effect that she had never wished to contract marriage with M. de Cleves; and she swore this by the body of God of which she had that day partaken, and by the holy gospels. I have sent a written copy of this declaration to the Emperor, and it will come in very apposite, for I expect the Duke (of Cleves) will now marry one of the daughters of the King of the Romans.
The Duke D'Albret arrived here to-day, and sent to salute the King and Queen, he said by the orders of the Emperor. I think he will not mention his rings here, so small is his hope that they will return them to him, the King still being of opinion that the whole matter should be decided by his Privy Council. The Venetian ambassador has news that the envoy sent by the King of the Romans to the Turk died of fever on the very day fixed for his first audience. The Hungarians have made every preparation possible to resist the Turk.
They say that the Duke of— (fn. 5) has taken the field with 4,000 men and has entered the territory of Cologne against the aged M. de Cologne, who has married in his old age. There is also a rumour that the Duke of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse are arming, though it is said to be only because they fear to be taken unawares.
The King of France requested by the Secretary he sent to the Emperor, that his Majesty would sign the declaration of the alternative marriage. The reply given was that the declaration exhibited was the one which he (the Emperor) had ordered to be written, and as I was his ambassador here, no further signature was necessary. His Majesty has since written ordering me, if I am asked to do so, and not otherwise, to certify at the foot of the declaration that it is the document sent to me.
It has been agreed that the Scots and the Netherlanders may trade with each other, under safe conducts.
The Marquis del Guasto is at Genoa awaiting the Marchioness, who comes from Naples by sea.
The King of France is fortifying seven places near St. Disier.
The Cardinal of Lorraine returned from Nancy two days since, having made the division of the patrimony between his two nephews, M. de Lorraine and M. de Metz. (fn. 6) The latter obtained for his share 15,000 crowns; and the Duchess of Lorraine has given him 10,000 francs worth of furniture. Some lordships have also been given to M. de Guise, to increase his portion, so that they are all provided for.
M. de Gragnan, who was sent to Worms by the King of France, has declared to M. de Granvelle that he had been sent for three objects: to induce the Protestants to agree to the Council, to prevent the Duke of Lorraine from again receiving the Dukedom of Bar as a fief of the Empire, as the King was informed he intended to do, to his, the King's, prejudice; and thirdly to recover a sum of money owed by the Duke of Bavaria to the King of France. The real reason of his going, however, is believed to be simply to traverse all our plans, and come to an understanding with the Protestants. With reference to this, a prince-elector, I know not which, sent recently to the King of France, to say that the latter ought not to trust in the Emperor at all, as he was sure his Majesty would not keep his word: and advising him (the King of France) not to abandon his old friends in Germany, whom he would always find faithful.
The King of France has proposed a re-trial of Poyet, who, he says, has not been condemned to a sufficient punishment. It is said that this is done at the request of Madame d'Etampes, who wishes to obtain the rest of Poyet's property.
The said person (Madame d' Etampes (fn. 7) ) is now tracking down Cardinal Tournon, and has already caused his chief secretary to be arrested. She charges the Cardinal with peculation in the penultimate war, when he was Governor of Lyons.
These people here are delighted at a defeat inflicted by the Scots upon the English. They assert that 4,000 men were killed, including the commmander, and many nobles captured. (fn. 8)
M. de L' Orge is being pressed to embark as soon as possible to succour Scotland. It is said that the English are awaiting him on the Irish coast to attack him. I know for certain that the (French) galley fleet left Marseilles on the 30th April last.
Sends documents for the payment of his salary in Spain. Don Enrique de Toledo has passed through here and was very kindly received by the King. He went with M. D'Albret to salute the King; and the latter made them both kiss all the ladies in the French fashion. The ladies were assembled in the saloon to receive them after the King's supper. There was a great deal of astonishment at this.
The writer will have to appoint a representative in Spain to receive his salary, etc., but as he knows nobody there, he prays Cobos to recommend someone. The writer suggests Secretary Gonzalo Perez.
Blois, 7 May, 1545.
7 May. Paris Arch. Nat. K. 1485. extract. 50. St. Mauris (Imperial Ambassador in France) to the Regent Prince Philip.
According to the treaty of peace between Spain and France, only such captured vessels are to be restored to their owners as were seized after the conclusion of the treaty. The King of France has now issued a decree prohibiting vessels of all kinds from conveying victuals or munitions of war to England. Since the publication of this order, a Biscay-ship loaded with hides, belonging to English subjects, and other merchandise, the property of Spaniards, sailed from Ireland for Spain. On the high seas she was captured and confiscated by the French, who in justification of their action, quote the old law, which declares neutral ships and neutral goods to be subject to confiscation, if a portion only of the cargo belongs to the enemy. This appears to be a very strange and unjust contention, as free commerce between Spain and England was expressly reserved by the last treaty of peace made by the Emperor, with France; whereas, if this French law now evoked be really operative, such commerce would become impossible. Has remonstrated to this effect with the French Government.
Blois, 7 May, 1545 (Spanish translation in the handwriting of Gonzalo Perez).
9 May. Vienna. Imp. Arch. 51. Chapuys to the Emperor.
On the 3rd instant I received your Majesty's letters of the 25th ultimo; and I immediately sent to Court to request audience, in order to take leave of the King, in accordance with your Majesty's instructions. The King fixed the audience for the next morning at 10; but I anticipated the appointment by an hour. When I had entered the back door of the King's apartments, having traversed the garden facing the Queen's lodgings, and arrived nearly at the other end, close to the (principal) entrance of the King's apartments, my people informed me that the Queen and the Princess were following us quickly. I hardly had time to rise from the chair in which I was being carried, before she (Queen Catharine Parr) approached quite near, and seemed from the small suite she had with her, and the haste with which she came, as if her purpose in coming was specially to speak to me. She was only accompanied by four or five women of the chamber; and opened the conversation by saying that the King had told her the previous evening that I was coming that morning, to take my leave of him. Whilst on the one hand she was very sorry for my departure, as she had been told that I had always acted well in my office, and the King had confidence in me, on the other hand she doubted not that my health would be better on the other side of the water. I could, however, she said, do as much on the other side as here, for the preservation of the amity between your Majesty and the King, of which I had been one of the chief promoters. For this reason, she was glad that I should go; and although she had no doubt that so wise and good a monarch as your Majesty, would realise the importance and necessity of maintaining this friendship, of which the King, on his part, had given so many proofs in the past; yet it seemed to her that your Majesty had not been so thoroughly informed hitherto, either by my letters or otherwise, of the King's sincere affection and goodwill, as I should be able to report by word of mouth. She therefore begged me affectionately, after I had presented to your Majesty her humble service, to express explicitly to you all I had learned here of the good wishes of the King towards you; and likewise to use my best influence in favour of the maintenance and increase of the existing friendship. She asked me very minutely, and most graciously, after your Majesty's health and expressed great joy to learn of your Majesty's amelioration, adding many courteous and kind expressions. I then asked to be allowed to salute the Princess, which was at once accorded, she, the Queen, being anxious, as it seemed to me, that I should not suffer from having to stand too long. She withdrew seven or eight paces, so as not to overhear my conversation with the Princess. The latter, however, appeared unwilling to prolong the interview, in order not to do detain the Queen, who stood apart regarding us. The Queen would not allow me to accompany her back to her apartments. The conversation with the Princess was confined to my assurance of your Majesty's good wishes towards her, and her humble thanks for the same. In default of power to repay your Majesty in any other way, she said she was bound to pray constantly to God for your Majesty's health and prosperity When the Queen saw that I had finished my talk with the Princess, she returned immediately to me, and asked if, perchance, some of the gentlemen who accompanied me had come from your Majesty. She then many enquiries as to the health, etc., of the Queen (Dowager) of Hungary, to whom she desired to be most affectionately remembered. She said that the King was under great obligation to her Majesty for having on all occasions shown so much goodwill towards him; and she (the Queen of England) continued with a thousand compliments on the Queen (Dowager's) virtue, prudence and diligence. After some other conversation, the Queen returned to her lodgings without allowing me to stir from where I was.
When I left the Queen, I went to the Councillors and repeated to them the contents of your Majesty's letter, both in relation to my departure and the reason for it, and the other points (such as that of Carceres, the restitution of the ship captured by Renegat, and the restitution of the ship from St. Sebastian taken by Windham). The Councillors expressed regret at my departure, for reasons similar to those stated by the Queen; but entertained the same hope with regard to it as that expressed by her. With respect to the second point, they promised me to do their best to discover the whole of Carceres' proceedings and said they would report fully. Referring to the two remaining points, they assured me that there should be no failing in the entire restitution of the ships and goods mentioned; in the assurance that similar steps would be taken in Spain, in accordance with right and justice. There was no need for me to excuse the reprisals effected in Spain, as they did not refer to the matter in the least. When this subject was finished the Chancellor (fn. 9) and the Duke of Suffolk (fn. 10) came to me, for the purpose of talking privately: and after a great prologue about the friendship the King had always shown towards your Majesty, and the importance of maintaining it, the mutual good feeling of the subjects on both sides, and the responsibility and expense the King had incurred for the sake of his love and goodwill to your Majesty; they begged me very earnestly to inform your Majesty fully of everything, and to strive, to the extent of my power, for the maintenance of the friendship, which had not only been advantageous but necessary for your Majesty. They expressed an opinion that the King of France would not be very long before he re-opened the war against your Majesty; to judge, they said, from their (the English) experience of French good faith. If your Majesty would help the King (of England), even with a few men, waggons and victuals, he thought he would be able, not only to keep the French quiet, but to benefit all parties. They then asked me what I had heard of the truce proposed by Your Majesty, and what expedient could be adopted to arrive at a peace or a truce. I replied that I believed your Majesty had received no reply respecting the truce; and I suspected (as I had told them before) that this arose from the confidence with which the French had been inspired by the sending of the Secretary of the Duchess d' Etampes. With regard to the means or expedient about which they asked, I said that that was a subject upon which I could not venture to speak in the presence of such prudent personages. I had no doubt that both the King and they had already well ruminated on the matter; and if they cared to open any point to me, I would submit it to your Majesty either on their behalf, or as of my own motion. They replied that up to the present there did not appear to be much chance of anything being settled, since the Christian King insisted upon the recovery of Boulogne, which place the King, their master, had not the slightest intention in the world of giving up. They repeated that they did make much account of the friendship of the King of France; and especially if your Majesty would agree to give them the assistance above-mentioned. After some farther conversation on this, and other points, we went to dinner.
After we had finished dinner the Chancellor and Suffolk repeated almost entirely what they had said before, and begged me very earnestly to give them my opinion as to the expedient which might be adopted to bring about peace or a truce. I excused myself, as before; but in order to escape their importunity, I said (after making due reservation), that I saw no other means at present than to find some person to whose custody Boulogne might be confided during the truce. They asked me whether I meant that the place should he held by your Majesty; to which I replied that I was not speaking of your Majesty, or of any other specific person; but of any sufficient and suitable person. They appeared somewhat pensive at this; and said that there would be a good deal of trouble to find any such sufficient and suitable person. They asked me not to mention this conversation to the King, nor would they, and they begged me to believe that what they had said was entirely on their own account, and without the King's knowledge. He was, they said, not so anxious for peace as many people might think. After having assured them of your Majesty's great affection and goodwill towards the King, I went on to say, that, since the hearts of the two monarchs concurred in true and sincere amity, it was surely unnecessary to wrangle over the words of the treaty, and would be better only to regard the honesty of both sides. If, I said, there was anything that need be added to or substracted from the treaty, in order that all possibility of disagreement should be banished, it would be well that it should be done, the treaties in their entirety remaining. For my own part I wished the matter to be so clear that in future no man of the long robe should ever have an opportunity of meddling with it; and I should have the honour of having, not only commenced, but carried through and finally established affairs upon a sound basis. They expressed their pleasure at this; and asked me to say in what particular I thought the clauses required elucidation. I replied that it appeared to. me, that as your Majesty always desired to comply with the tenour of the treaties, and had taken up so well-founded a position, the declaration requested of you was out of the question. It was for them (the English) to consider the, matter, and moderate their demands in accordance with reason. The only reply they made to this was that I spoke wisely; and that when matters came to that point, they hoped that I would use my best efforts, as I had done in the past. After a word or two about the long stay of the Scottish ambassador in Flanders, they (the Councillors) called Secretary Paget to come and talk with me, whilst they (Wriothesley and Suffolk) seated themselves a little lower down in order to leave room for Paget and myself to communicate the more freely. After Secretary Paget had recited to me the whole particulars of his negotiations in Flanders, and had even repeated several notable and praiseworthy discourses which he had heard from your Majesty, of all of which, he said, he had made full and kindly report to the King, he went on to say that he was infinitely perplexed and troubled to see that, since his departure from Flanders, things had not progressed there as he had hoped. He had intimated to the King that he had very good reason to feel aggrieved at this, especially in the case of the Scottish ambassador, whose immediate expulsion from (the Emperor's) Court he (Henry) might have demanded under the treaties, but which ambassador was still with your Majesty, greatly to the King's regret. Secretary Paget continued that he was also much perplexed, because he had assured the King that there would be no difficulty about the export of the arms and munitions that he (the King) had gathered in Antwerp. These arms, &c, had been brought from Italy and Germany, without the slightest detriment to your territories, and, but for his confidence in your Majesty's affection, he would certainly have sent them by some other route; although nothing but profit could accrue to your Majesty's dominions by their carriage, and to the merchants who had the business in hand. Notwithstanding this, your Majesty was stickling about granting the licences for the exportation of the things. At least, in such case, your Majesty, he said, ought to order that the King should be released from the bargain he had made with regard to them with Erasmus Brusquel; and he (Paget) begged me sincerely—as he again did on my departure—to write most urgently to your Majesty about it, in order to avoid giving offence to the King, both on account of your Majesty's self, and also in regard to his (Paget's) assurance to the King of your Majesty's great affection for him.
After some further conversation Paget went to the King; and shortly afterwards summoned me to the presence. The King received me most graciously, and after he had said some kind things about my convalescence and my departure from England, I gave him an account of the contents of your Majesty's letters. His answers to the various points were in agreement with those already given to me by the Council, except in the matter of Carceres, (fn. 11) who he said at once, he did not think was a spy. By the report of certain theologians whom he (the King) had sent at Easter-tide in case the man (Caceres) wished to confess, he (the King) learnt that there never was a person so repentant as he for his evil life, or who wept more bitterly his now detested vices. He did not deny that he had behaved very badly, both towards your Majesty and the King of France, whom he endeavoured to deceive, as he did other princes, in order that he might get money to maintain his detestable life. With regard to the rumour that Carceres was a priest, the King said that the man had married in Spain, and was so much worried by his relatives and especially his mother-in-law, that he left the country. Some time afterwards he heard from Spain that his wife was dead; and he had then taken it into his head to become a priest; but just as he was about to take orders he learnt that his wife was still living and well. He had therefore proceeded no further with his intention. To tell the truth, he (the King) had no great reason for punishing him, because, although the King of France had sent him hither to undertake some plot to his (King Henry's) detriment, yet the intention of Caceres always was to enter the service of England, and to obtain some honest preferment here. When he found himself unable to obtain this preferment, he decided to suborn as many of the Spanish and other soldiers who were in the English service as he could. Up to the present it did not appear that he had effected or proposed any evil practice; and had deferred those he had in his mind until his return to Calais. Seeing the King's tendency in this matter, I thought it better not to press him further, but simply remarked that I thought that your Majesty would be more displeased that Caceres should have plotted against him, than for any plots the same man might have made against yourself, who I believed would be very glad to hear of the man's innocence.
The King subsequently repeated the complaint about the long stay of the Scottish ambassador near your Majesty, touching upon the same reasons as those mentioned by Paget. I pointed out to him that this was more to his advantage than otherwise, as he might have learnt from Paget, to whom I had communicated the whole of the said ambassador's mission; and something might be understood to his profit by means of his ambassador. The King replied that this was all make believe. Nothing of importance had been communicated to Paget; and he (the King) had learnt from Scotland (which he almost held in his hand) and also by certain letters he had captured, that the said ambassador was treating for a marriage with one of the sons of the King of the Romans; (fn. 12) which was a very extraordinary thing. I assured him that there had never been any mention of such a marriage, and he replied that he placed as much reliance in my assurance as he did in the note which the ambassador Van der Delft and I had Bigned for the release of the seizures. It did not look well before the world to see the Scottish ambassador so kindly treated in your Majesty's court; and your Majesty's recent attitude towards the Duke of Orleans on his arrival was equally open to objection. He (the King) thought decidedly that all this was in contempt of him. I replied that as for the reception of the Duke of Orleans, your Majesty could not do otherwise than order your subjects to welcome him honourably; bearing in mind that the honour in such case redounds more to the giver than to the receiver, and that it behoved your Majesty to repay the respect shown to you on your passage through France. He replied that the honour was excessive, having regard to the person of the Duke of Orleans; besides which, it was not worth while thus to endeavour to conciliate the King of France, who was apparently mortally ill at the time, and could not take any notice of it. It was true, he said, that the King of France was probably as desperately ill as was alleged; because the Duke (of Orleans), although he came on so important a business, brought no letters from the King, notwithstanding his pretence of seeking them, and saying that he had forgotten them. I thought better to say no more about the (Scottish) ambassador, seeing what I had said to Paget on the matter; namely amongst other things, that Morette had told him (i.e. the Scottish ambassador) on his (Morette's) departure, on no account to leave your Majesty until his (Morette's) return, or until he heard from him. To this I added an expression of surprise that he (Paget) should make so much of the matter, seeing that there was nothing in the treaties which restrained either sovereign from receiving an ambassador from the enemy of the other, providing that everything that passed should be faithfully communicated to the other Sovereign. It was the more permissible for your Majesty to listen to the Scottish ambassador, I said, since his (Paget's) master had the power of giving safe-conducts to Scots to trade in Flanders.
The King also complained to me that three French galleys and a galliot had been welcomed in Dunkirk harbour, to which complaint I replied that he might be sure that your Majesty did not know of this. You would certainly not allow French armed vessels to frequent or stay in your ports and seek opportunity to injure English subjects, both on account of your Majesty's friendship for him, and because of the prejudice it might bring upon your own people; but I was of opinion that, in case of necessity, such ships might legitimately take shelter in Flemish ports; as, indeed, his Council had frankly admitted.
Speaking on the subject of the peace or truce between England and France, the King observed that he would very much prefer a settled peace to a truce, as the latter gave but little definite result or assurance; but, after all, if your Majesty would aid him, in accordance with the treaty, he did not care very much either for a peace or a truce with the French. They were, in fact, so short of men, victuals and money, that they could neither injure him nor resist him, as had been proved by the successful exploits of the English on land and sea against them. Even during the last ten days the English privateers not in his service had captured 23 French vessels, and shortly before as many more had been sunk, burnt or captured; so that he calculated that his people had taken no less than 300 French ships since the beginning of the war. He thereupon begged, and even supplicated me, as one knowing better than anyone else, the importance of the treaty of friendship, and also his own loyal goodwill towards your Majesty, that I would report very fully, and use my best endeavours, in every way, to induce your Majesty to declare against the French, in accordance with the said treaty. I replied that there was no necessity whatever to urge your Majesty to fulfil your obligations under the treaties, as you were quite resolved to do so. With regard, however, to the declaration referred to, he had heard so many cogent reasons justifying your Majesty's attitude on the matter, that there was no need for further discussion. I had, moreover, I reminded him, not come now for that purpose; and I could not sufficiently express my surprise that he had not accepted the reference to the arbitration of your Majesty, which the King of France had consented to abide by. By this means, I said, he might either weaken his enemy legally, by obtaining the arrears of the pension, or else excite your Majesty's resentment against the King of France in consequence of the nonfulfilment by the latter of the treaty (i.e. of peace); which might furnish an honourable opportunity for your Majesty to make some such declaration as .that requested. The King replied: that your Majesty had made no approaches to him in this matter; which I admitted was true; as I thought that your Majesty had accepted the arbitration knowing full well the danger of judging between two friends, one of whom is sure to be offended by the decision, and sometimes both. When I said two friends, the King began to shake his head, and afterwards said that your Majesty put a great deal of trust in the King of France, which surprised him (Henry) very much, having regard to all that had happened. Your Majesty also had solicited the King of France to send an ambassador accompanied by a representative of your Majesty to the Turk, for the purpose of obtaining peace or a truce for eight years; but he had no doubt that the King of France would rather hinder any such agreement than help it, so that he might always keep your Majesty apprehensive on that side, and in constant need of his intercession.
The King then went on to say that there seemed some prospect of progress being made in the matter of the Council summoned to Trent, and he was very much surprised that your Majesty was willing for the Council to meet before the affairs in Germany had been placed on a better footing. By this he clearly indicated that he was not pleased with the Council. Finally, he once more urged me to use my best offices with your Majesty, for the effect already mentioned, both on account of my duty towards your Majesty, and also because I had almost forced him to consent to the treaty by my multitudinous arguments and representations. He repeated a great many of these, and told me that he still had the silver pen which I had sent him to sign the treaty.
I forget to say that the King did not confirm the statements made by his Council to the ambassador Van der Delft and myself about the Secretary of Madame d' Etampes; and it is my opinion that, no matter what dissimilation the King and his people may adopt regarding peace, there is really nothing they more desire.
Gravelines, 9 May, 1545.
9 May. Vienna Imp. Arch. 52. Chapuys to the Queen Dowager of Hungary.
I have only to add to the letter I am writing to his Imperial Majesty about English affairs, copy of which is enclosed, that I have refrained from dwelling fully upon the very kind and complimentary expressions used by the Queen of England towards your Majesty, not from my own wish, but because I believe your Majesty has no appetite for these things. But I must not forget the very affectionate messages entrusted to me for your Majesty by the King and Queen, nor the humble regards sent by the Princess (Mary) who is quite well, and is well-treated by the King and Queen.
Gravelines, 9 May, 1545.
Postscript.—I have brought from England with me a thoroughbred dog sent by Paget. I will forward it shortly to Brussels.
13 May. Simancas. E. Genoa. 1377. 53. Andrea Doria to Prince Philip.
Congratulations on the pregnancy of the Princess, his wife. Has no direct news from the Emperor. The twenty galleys which are to serve him (Philip) are in good order. Sends him a letter from ' the ambassador of the King of the Romans forwarded to him by the Viceroy of Sicily.
Seventeen galleys, two galleasses and 20 transports have sailed from Marseilles with 2,000 Gascon soldiers. It is said that this fleet is bound for Normandy; but others assert that its destination is England. Particulars of the expedition are not known, but it is said that Pietro Strozzi is on board one of the galleys.
Genoa, 13 May, 1545.
[Italian, original.]


  • 1. This was an ancient Roman tower surrounded by entrenchments, standing on the coast near the mouth of Boulogne harbour. It was called by the French the Tour d'Ordre, and by the English the Old Man; and after it had been captured and dismantled by the English, the Duke of Alburquerqus urged Henry to establish a strong modern fort on the opposite side of the harbour, predicting that otherwise the French would do so and make it a point d'appui for an attack upon Boulogne. Henry laughed at the advice, with the result seen in these letters. There is no doubt that the principal object of the French Naval attack upon England was to divert Henry's forces and especially the shipping, in order that the fort above mentioned and another which the Spaniards called St. Jean de Rus, north of Boulogne, should be the more easily constructed.
  • 2. That is to say to persuade Emmanuel Philibert, afterwards Duke of Savoy, to marry Margaret of France, which he eventually did many years afterwards.
  • 3. It will be recollected that the Spanish kingdom of Navarre had been seized by Charles' grandfather, Ferdinand of Aragon; and that the house of Albret, in which the Navarrese Crown was vested, were now practically reduced to the position of feudal princes of France, in virtue of their Bearnese and other territories north of the Pyrenees. Charles somewhat later thought (as indeed he had done years before) of marrying his own heir Philip with the young Queen Jeanne d' Albret and so to regulate the relations of his house towards the kingdom of Navarre. It need hardly be mentioned that Jeanne subsequently married Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendome, a prince of the house of France, and that on the extinction of the Valois dynasty (1589) her son Henry of Navarre became King of France and ancestor of the present family of Bourbon.
  • 4. Vandernesse says that the Emperor left Liers for Diest on his way to Germany, on the 31st April, whilst the Stadtholderinn (Queen Mary of Hungary) went to Brussels with the Duke of Orleans, who then returned to Franoe for the purpose (it may be added) of taking part in the campaign against the English, during which he caught the plague and died.
  • 5. Blank in original.
  • 6. i.e., between the Duke Francis of Lorraine and the Bishop of Mete, Jean of Lorraine, afterwards the younger Cardinal of Lorraine.
  • 7. The famous mistress of Francis 1.
  • 8. These reports of great defeats of the English on the Scottish border were doubtless distorted and exaggerated echoes of the unsuccessful movements of Lennox, etc.
  • 9. Wriothesley.
  • 10. Charles Brandon, who died soon afterwards.
  • 11. This was a man to whom several short and obscure references are contained in the previous correspondence. He appears to have been a Spaniard who was ostensibly a spy in France, and had fled to England on the conclusion of pence between Francis and Charles. His surrender was now demanded by the Emperor.
  • 12. That is to say a marriage with the infant Queen of Soots. Needless to say that such a marriage at this time was never contemplated. The remark was probably a feeler from Henry, who was determined if possible to marry his own heir to the imam Marie Stuart.