Spain: January 1547, 16-31

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.

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'Spain: January 1547, 16-31', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549, ed. Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler( London, 1912), British History Online [accessed 19 July 2024].

'Spain: January 1547, 16-31', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549. Edited by Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler( London, 1912), British History Online, accessed July 19, 2024,

"Spain: January 1547, 16-31". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549. Ed. Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler(London, 1912), , British History Online. Web. 19 July 2024.

January 1547, 16–31

Jan. 23. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor. (fn. 1)
I wrote to your Majesty on the 24th of last month (fn. 2) about the indisposition of this King (Henry VIII). For the first day that the King granted the audience for which the French ambassador and Paulin had been so urgently pressing, I also was summoned with your Majesty's Commissioner, who had been recalled by the Queen your sister, since his further stay here would be fruitless, and who desired to take his leave of the King on his return. We were admitted before the others, and were requested not to speak to the King at length in consequence of his indisposition. I accordingly limited myself to saluting him in your Majesty's name, and congratulating him on his convalescence. He took it in good part, saying that he had suffered and passed through a great deal since I had seen him last; and he instructed the Commissioner to give his kind remembrance to your Majesty if he went to Germany, and in any case to the Queen your sister if he went no further than Flanders. After we had taken leave, the French ambassador and Paulin went in, and I am told that they spoke rather longer to him than we did.
On the following day Secretary Paget sent to tell me that the said French ambassadors had given an account to the King of how the city of Genoa had revolted, and that the greater part of the galleys had either been sunk or had gone over to the Turks, which is considered a great disadvantage to your Majesty, as indeed I fear it would be if affairs are as they are represented. We are not in a position here to learn the truth, but I would fain presume to discover my suspicion to your Majesty, in the hope that you will pardon me for expressing my humble opinion. It is that the King of France is meditating some enterprise, as he is mustering his forces, and has also sent orders to his pensioners in Germany to hold themselves ready, as I am informed by people here. He is also soliciting this King (Henry VIII), Paulin still remaining here, whilst the Baron de Saint Blancart is going backwards and forwards. The Commissioners also of the Protestants, namely, the Chancellor of the ex-elector of Saxony (fn. 3) and others, came on hither after they had conferred on their business with the King of France, who as I am informed here, received them very favourably, so that if the occasion should be propitious, or this Genoa business is really as serious as they make out, it may be feared that the whole intrigue may be directed against your Majesty. If not, it may possibly all be intended to the detriment of these people here (i.e., the English), though from what I can perceive they themselves are in no great fear of it, which makes me all the more apprehensive on your Majesty's behalf. This is increased by the fact that the King of France maintains his galleys in full commission on the coasts of Brittany, where a large number of new galleys have also been constructed, and these galleys might be able to interfere greatly with the commerce of your Majesty's dominions if they were to take the offensive against you, whilst maintaining their (i.e., the French) friendship with this country. I do not know how true it may be, but they are saying that the King of France intends to keep these galleys always in these seas (i.e., the Channel), and that as a consequence he has had constructed several new galleys at Marseilles to be employed on that side (i.e., in the Mediterranean).
With regard to the secret of what they (the French) are soliciting here, I have been hitherto unable to discover it, as there is very little communication between us, in consequence of the indisposition of the King, and I have had no opportunity of entering into conversation, which is usually very agreeable to them (i.e., the English Councillors) about it. Nevertheless, so far as I can make out, the Council remains steadfast in favour of friendship with your Majesty, although for the present the earl of Hertford is the principal of them. I cannot believe, moreover, that this King would ever fall away from the friendship and alliance with your Majesty, having regard to the conversation he (King Henry) had with me, in which he urged your Majesty to come to some amicable arrangement in Germany, in order thereafter to join with him, and together avenge yourselves upon the French, as I wrote to your Majesty on the 14th of last month. (fn. 4)
I will seek an opportunity, one of these days soon to get speech with Paget, since there is no chance of my gaining access to the King, in order to discover, if I can, the cause of Paulin's continued stay here. I shall try to get information from him also about the coming of these protestant Commissioners, and to find out how they (i.e., the English) stand with the Scots, whose ambassadors are still here, although the Lord Chancellor (Wriothesley) told me the other day in answer to my question that he had no hope of coming to any agreement with them, and would not communicate anything of importance with them without letting me know.
Last Wednesday the earl of Surrey was executed. Four or five days previously he had defended himself at his public trial from nine in the morning until five o'clock in the afternoon. The principal charges against him were that he had usurped the royal arms of England, and had also used certain ancient (sic) pictures representing him, suspected to have been inspired by evil thoughts. It was further urged against him that he had maintained that his father was the most qualified person, both on account of his services and his lineage, to be entrusted with the government of the Prince (Edward) and of this realm; and, that in order to bring this about more easily, he, Surrey, had exhorted his sister the widowed Duchess of Richmond to come to Court and lay herself out to please the King, and so to gain his favour. With regard to the arms, the earl maintained that they were his by right and he was entitled to bear them. As to the picture, which represented a broken pillar against which he was leaning with a young child beneath the pillar, he excused himself by saying that he had done nothing to the prejudice of anyone, nor had he acted maliciously. With regard to the accusation as to his father, he confessed that he had said what was alleged, and set forth his merits and services in comparison with those of those who had been preferred to him. When he came to the point referring to his sister he emphatically denied the truth of the allegation, although he was shown a certain writing in the hand of his said sister in which she made this charge against him; whereupon he exclaimed: “Must I, then, be condemned on the word of a wretched woman"? He did not spare any of the Lords of the King's Council, who were all present, and he addressed words to them that could not have been pleasant for them to hear. (fn. 5) At length, twelve men were summoned and they condemned him. His father (the Duke of Norfolk) is still in the Tower and very little is said about him.
Parliament has opened and sessions are held daily, but nothing has yet been decided upon. It is said that the Prince (Edward) is to be recognised as the rightful heir to the throne, and that he will be placed in the government and possession of the State, that the earl of Hertford is to be created a duke, and that the Lord Chancellor (Wriothseley), the Lord Admiral (Dudley), the Master of the Horse (Sir Anthony Browne), Paget and Master Seymour will all receive accession of title.
London, 23 January, 1547.
P.S.—Since writing the above I have heard that Captain Paulin is much pleased with the good words he has received from these people (the English). This makes me more solicitous than ever to get to the bottom of all this business; but I have no other means of doing so than to get hold of Paget.
23 Jan. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
I have received your Majesty's letters dated 10th instant, bringing me the copy of what you had written to the Emperor for which I humbly thank you, and also for the directions you have pleased to send me the better to enable me to carry out my office here. If your Majesty will deign to permit me to give my opinion I must express my admiration for the good advice and reflections you sent to the Emperor in the aforesaid letter. Especially would I venture to praise the advice you give to his Majesty to make an end with the Germans, in order that he may the sooner and more effectually take measures in his dominions in case of any danger appearing to them from France. This Madam, it seems to me, is very greatly to be feared, for the reasons set forth in your Majesty's letters, and also in view of the efforts the French are making here to win over the King of England.
They are persuading him that the city of Genoa has revolted, and all the galleys are dispersed, a number of them being sunk and the rest gone over to the Turk. However this may be, Captain Paulin is still here; and the same day that he had audience of the King, the Commissioner Van der Burch, who had to take leave, and I were also summoned to the palace and were admitted first, the members of the Council having requested us to converse as briefly as possible with the King because of his indisposition. After I had saluted the King on behalf of your Majesties he told me that he had suffered greatly since I had seen him last, and he bade the Commissioner remember him to your Majesty, thanking you for the presents you had sent him, and for the others you promised. When we had taken leave of him, the French ambassadors entered, and I am told, were rather longer with him than we were.
On the following day Secretary Paget sent to say that the French ambassadors had informed the King of the mutiny at Genoa, and he (Paget) said that it would be a great disadvantage to his Majesty (the Emperor) if things were as they were represented here. In such case it may give an opportunity for the King of France to undertake what we have been fearing; and as these people here (the English) are less in fear of him than before we have all the more reason to be distrustful. I understand that the King of France has decided to keep his galleys in Brittany, and that he is building certain new galleons at Marseilles to be employed on that side (i.e., in the Mediterranean), which, in good truth, seems to me a very dangerous thing for the interests of the Emperor's dominions; especially for Spain and the Netherlands, if the galleys should occupy these Straits (i.e., the Channel) with ports of refuge in England. Your Majesty better than anyone else will be able to realise the disadvantage of such a position. I have not been able to get to the bottom of the intrigue which the French ambassadors are carrying on, but I will seek every opportunity of getting into communication with Secretary Paget, since the illness of the King prevents all access to the latter.
The Germans who have come here, namely, the Chancellor of the former Elector of Saxony (i.e., John Frederick) and Dr. Brun, I am informed, met with a favourable reception in France, although up to the present no great welcome has been extended to them here. In my own opinion these people (the English) will not be very favourable to them, so far as his Majesty (the Emperor) is concerned, but with respect to our holy father the Pope they may probably agree together to thwart, as far as they can, the Council (of Trent).
I have not been able to learn anything fresh about the Scots, whose ambassadors are still here, except that when I asked the Lord Chancellor about it, he said that they were still in the same position with them as before, and that no appearance of a harmonious agreement existed. He said that I should be apprised of everything that might be done in this respect. I have since been informed from a good source that these Scotsmen (the ambassadors) are in constant daily communication with the French, and both parties three or four days ago sent couriers to their respective governments, and are expecting a reply shortly. It is asserted that M. de Guise is to go to Scotland; and that the men who are holding the castle of Saint Andrews have made some sort of capitulation to surrender the place, one of the conditions they require being that they should be granted remission and absolution of the Pope; this it is said having been put forward simply to gain time.
Your Majesty will see by the aforegoing that I have had no opportunity of presenting the demand for the restitution to his Majesty's subject of the properties they owned in the Boulognais, but I will do so without fail on the first possible occasion.
On Wednesday last the Earl of Surrey was executed.
(The rest of this letter is a copy of that of the same date addressed by Van der Delft to the Emperor.)
London, 23 January, 1547.
23 Jan. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to Loys Scors.
I wrote to you to-day by Councillor Van der Burch, who is leaving here this afternoon, and I have thought well to advise you of this by the present letter, which will probably arrive sooner than he will. You will learn from my letters to the Queen everything that is passing here, and I am also writing fully to the Emperor. I informed you in my recent letter that the packets sent from Flanders hither are delayed too long on the road, so that letters written on the first day of the month, for example, do not arrive until the 18th, and the postmaster excuses this by writing that he is only instructed to send the packets, not to expedite them. I think that if it was properly managed their Majesties would be better served and at less expense by the couriers, who every day are requesting me to pay them according to the usual custom. I wish your Lordship would see to it, for I have no wish to hear the blame of these mens' faults.
London, 23 January, 1547.
31 Jan. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Five days since I sent my man to the Queen, your Majesty's sister, at the request of Secretary Paget, to ascertain whether your Majesty would be displeased if the King (Henry VIII) undertook to approach you for the purpose of urging you to come to some accord with the protestants, on terms that would be entirely to your Majesty's honour and advantage; and the King's desire in this respect had already been further demonstrated by his having represented to me your Majesty's position with regard to France as being very doubtful. All this was set forth at length in the message I sent to the Queen by my man.
Three days afterwards I learnt from a very confidential source that the King, whom may God receive in His Grace, had departed this life, although not the slightest signs of such a thing were to be seen at Court, and even the usual ceremony of bearing in the royal dishes to the sound of trumpets was continued without interruption. I should like to have conveyed this intelligence to your Majesty before this, but that all the roads have been, and still are, closed; so that in order to send the present letter a passport has been necessary. This I obtained after Dr. Petre, one of the principal secretaries, and another member of the Council, had come to visit me, sent, as they said, by the Council to convey to me their sorrow and grief because it had pleased God to call to Him their master the King, who had expired on Friday morning the 28th instant. In his last instructions, they said, he had very expressly enjoined all his Council to maintain your Majesty in good friendship with his people above all others, and had declared the great confidence he reposed in your Majesty, not doubting that you would always be to his people a true father and protector. They would, they said, more amply set this forth to your Majesty by a gentleman of great confidence of the King's Chamber, named Bellingham, who would very shortly be with your Majesty.
I understand that the late King appointed as governors and administrators for his son and the realm, the earl of Hertford, the Lord Chancellor (Wriothesley), the Great Master of the Household (Paulet, Lord St. John), the Lord Admiral (Dudley, Viscount Lisle) and Paget; but I do not yet know the secret of it, although it is said that the earl of Hertford will be the chief, and indeed was in possession of the place before the King died.
The Prince was to-day proclaimed and recognised as King Edward, the sixth of the name, and this afternoon he will make his entry into the Tower to assume his first crown, although the full solemnity of his coronation will not be performed for the next fortnight.
No mention whatever is made of Madam Mary. Many people assert that the Duke of Norfolk has been secretly despatched in the Tower, which may well be believed.
London, 31 January, 1547.
Jan. 31. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager of Hungary.
Although I was secretly informed the day before yesterday that this King (Henry VIII) had on the previous day, the 28 of January, 1547, passed from this life—God receive him in His Grace!—I was unable, notwithstanding all my efforts, to advise your Majesty of the fact earlier than now, the passages all being closed, as indeed they still remain.
I have been promised a passport for a letter for this day; Secretary Petre and another member of the Council having been to see me this morning. They said that they had been deputed by their colleagues on the Council to express to me their great sorrow and sadness since God had been pleased to work His will upon their royal master, who in his last moments had expressly enjoined all his Council to maintain good relations with the Emperor before all other sovereigns. He had also to the last declared the entire confidence he had in his Majesty, who, he doubted not, would always be a true protector of the English nation and a father to his (Henry's) people. The Council intended to convey this more at length and formally to his Majesty by means of a gentleman named Bellingham, who was greatly trusted by the late King, and who would in a very short time start on his journey to visit the Emperor in the name of the new King.
I am given to understand that the late King appointed as administrators and guardians of his son the earl of Hertford, the Lord Chancellor (Wriothesley), the Great Master of the Household (William Paulet, Lord St. John, later Marquis of Winchester), the Lord Admiral (John Dudley, Lord Lisle) and Secretary Paget, but I am not quite sure yet of the secret. It is whispered already that the leading man will be the earl of Hertford, who, indeed, occupied that position before the death of the late King.
The Prince has been this day publicly proclaimed King Edward, the sixth of his name, and will after dinner this afternoon make his entry into the Tower to assume his first crown. The final solemnity of the state coronation will take place in fifteen days from now.
There is nothing said about Madam Mary. Many people are saying that the Duke of Norfolk has been secretly despatched in the Tower of London, which is easily believed.
London, the last day of January, 1547.
Jan. 31. Vienna Imp. Arch. The Queen Dowager to Van der Delft.
We have received from the hand of your Secretary, who is the bearer of the present, your letter of 23rd instant: and have heard what Secretary Paget proposed to you, as a means of pacifying German affairs: that the King would willingly act as intermediary if he had reason to believe that the Emperor would accept his help towards a settlement, but that he (the King of England) is anxious not to expose himself to the slight of a refusal. We have no doubt that this proceeds from the sincere affection which the King bears to the Emperor, and from a desire that the affairs of the latter may prosper; and you will accordingly thank him for it, in our name, when opportunity offers. We know well that the intervention of no prince in Christendom would be so welcome to the Emperor as that of the King of England, but since you wish for our opinion as to whether his Imperial Majesty would at present accept his intercession, and Paget reposed this confidence in you, we will inform you of the present state of affairs in Germany, according to our advices. Since the submission of the Duke of Wurtemburg and the cities of Ulm and Frankfort, the people of Augsburg have become reconciled, submitting themselves to his Majesty's clemency, and accepting the conditions prescribed to them. The Strassburg people have also sent their representatives to make a similar arrangement: although some have striven to prevent them from doing so. The ex-Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse are seeking by every possible means to become reconciled with his Majesty: the Landgrave having even prayed our brother the King of the Romans through the Landgrave's son-in-law, Duke Maurice, to agree to an arrangement; but as our brother the Emperor has no intention of treating these two (i.e., the Landgrave and the Elector of Saxony) as princes; regarding them as his vassals, and rebels who, by means of false libels and other writings, have declared him to have forfeited the Imperial crown, and to be no longer their liege lord and sovereign, with many other shameful insolences too execrable and hateful to be repeated, his Majesty has caused them to be informed that he will not deal with them unless they submit to his mercy, or as it is called in their language, “ingnade.” In such case, his Majesty will make known his pleasure to them. Others whose offence has been less grave than theirs have thus made their submission, and having regard to their great transgression and injury towards their sovereign, we do not see how his Majesty can possibly act otherwise, without a sacrifice of his dignity. Now that the cities that supported them have submitted, it may be hoped that it will be easy to punish their great insolence, and although we know that the intercession of the King of England for the Landgrave and the Saxon would be very agreeable to the Emperor, yet we are not without fear that the latter would decline to enter into any capitulations with them if they did not first submit to his good pleasure. We do not believe that, considering the King's sincere friendship for the Emperor, he would advise him to act otherwise, particularly bearing in mind the condition and quality of the offenders; who are but rebel vassals. You will communicate this to Secretary Paget in the same strict confidence with which he addressed you, assuring him that, beyond what we have said, we are quite ignorant of the Emperor's intentions, but if we can discover anything further with regard to it, we will, with due secrecy, inform you of it. Thank him also for the good offices he performs in his Majesty's affairs.
If the French attempt to sustain the rebels, or mix themselves in this war, we trust that the Emperor will find means to resist them, and that they will be unable to avail themselves of the aid of the Turk, who, during the coming year, will not invade Hungary. According to the latest news we have from the East, the third son of the Turk, who has been sent against the Persians with a great force, was defeated, and consequently the Turk, who had come from Constantinople to Adrianople for the purpose of preparing his army for the attack of Hungary, had returned to Constantinople, and had thrown the whole of his forces against the Persian and his adherents. The Turk had also immediately sent back the Ambassador of the King of the Romans, with most gracious messages, whereas before the said ambassador had the greatest of trouble even to obtain an audience. This gives us hope that by this means God may afford time and opportunity for a beneficent union of Christian Princes, for the purpose of jointly directing their forces against the Turk.
The Emperor in his latest letter to us repeats what you wrote to him about the impending change of government in England, in order that we may consider what can be done to improve the way in which his interests are dealt with there, and to preserve the good friendship now existing. Our opinion is also desired as to whether it would be advisable to take any fresh or special steps in this direction for the purpose of influencing those who are at present in the English government or those who may succeed to the charge of the young Prince and the realm after the death of the King. You will please send us your opinion on this point as soon as possible and your advice on all else that may occur to you with the object of keeping England friendly, and especially tell us if there is any way of preventing the country from further surrendering itself to sectarianism.
Binche, 31 January, 1547.
January. Paris K. 1487. St. Mauris to the King of the Romans.
An ambassador has been sent by the King of France to the Turk to request him to make a descent upon Sicily, and to press him earnestly to attack Austria, in the assurance that the Protestants, although they have retired now, are determined to re-commence the war next year. They are in no want of money and have plenty of means to take the field. One half of them will join the Turk, even, if necessary . . . .
Monluc has been arrested at Paris at the request of the Turk, as being too favourable to the interests of the Emperor.
The Protestants have sent hither three ambassadors, Sturmius and the Chancellors of Saxony and Hesse, to beg for French aid, and to endeavour to negotiate an offensive and defensive alliance with this King (Francis I). There came with them two Switzers, sent by the Protestant Cantons. It is ascertained that the King (of France) promised to treat with them for a defensive league only, to provide them with 60,000 crowns monthly during a period of six months, and to lend them 200,000 crowns in cash to be sent to Basel for the defence of the States of Wurtemberg, Hesse and Saxony. The cities of Basel and Strassburg are to be the guarantors of the sum advanced, and the King promises to lend more on the same or similar good security if need should arise. The condition is that all the said Protestant States and cities are to stand united against the Emperor, without which the pledges of France fall through. Sturmius has been sent to the Princes to urge them to hold out, whilst the Chancellor of Saxony has gone over to England to persuade that King if possible to help them and enter into the alliance. They are to explain to him (the King of England) that he is equally interested in the conflict as they are, as they seek to destroy and the Emperor to maintain the Papal supremacy, and if the Council goes on he (the King of England) will be the first to be attacked. They report here that the King of England has told some private friends of his that he would be very willing to enter into a confederacy with the Protestants, but he excludes the Landgrave in consequence of the trick he played him last year. (fn. 6)
The King of England has had the Duke of Norfolk, his son and fifteen gentlemen arrested as it is alleged that the Duke had been concerned in a conspiracy to raise him to the throne on the death of the King, he being near the succession. The English ambassador here tells me that the son of the Duke greatly aggravates his father's offence. The King of England has also on some suspicion he entertained, changed all his officers in Boulogne, and the other places he holds on the coast.
There is great hope here of the marriage of Horatio (Farnese), the Pope's nephew, with the consent of Dux (the Dauphin). The latter makes a condition that the Pope shall furnish 400,000 crowns in ready money to buy estates for Horatio. On this point the King recently said to Hercules (Guise), that he asked for this sum mainly for the purpose of making the Pope unable to give any more help to the Emperor. It is undoubted that the King did have the Pope requested indirectly to find some pretext for avoiding to furnish more aid to his Majesty, knowing full well that the Emperor will ask for it before he listens to any proposal for the marriage of Madam Margaret with our Prince (Philip). He (the King of France) declares that if the offers made by his ambassadors in Bruges for the said marriage are accepted he will undertake to give aid against the Turk and the Protestants, do his best to secure the entire success of the Council (of Trent) and furnish money for the recovery of Hungary.
It is said that the Pope is on this account urging the Emperor to enter an alliance with this King of France against the Protestants, and to cement the friendship by consenting to the marriage in question, by which, as he says, the Emperor would be able to settle everything satisfactorily, whilst on the other hand the rejection of these advances would infinitely protract them. From what I can understand, his Majesty could hardly approve of the retention of Piedmont by France.
Your Majesty will have been informed that up to the present the Scots have remained at war with the Emperor, and that recently the King of France had approached his Majesty with the request that he might be allowed to negotiate peace. The Emperor declined to accede to this, but in the course of the negotiation his Majesty said that the King of France might cause some Scotsmen to come and treat with him (the Emperor) direct, in which case he would receive them. I have acted on these instructions and the Scottish representatives will soon arrive in Flanders. (fn. 7) The two principal points to be discussed are first the redress for the injuries caused to the Emperor and his subjects, and, secondly, the restoration of the plunder unjustly taken by the Scots from his Majesty's subjects in violation of the safe conduct. The King of France confesses that these demands are reasonable, but he nevertheless begs that the said offences may be passed over, as it is a (poor ?) country and wishes for peace with the Emperor, because the King of England will not allow the Scots to frequent his country until it is made. The King of England asserts that he is bound to assume this position and made a declaration to that effect recently in the presence of the imperial and the French ambassador when a discussion arose as to the interpretation of the terms of the last treaty between England and France.
The French insist that the Scots are included generally in the treaty, and the King of France is much annoyed with the King of England on the matter, blaming him entirely, and asserting that by thus excluding the Scots he has already violated the treaty. He says that it is clear that the one object of the King of England is to reduce Scotland to his rule. You may see by this, Sire, how little true friendship exists between these two Kings (of France and England), and so far as can be seen there is scant appearance of greater cordiality for the future on account of the daily squabbles that arise between them about the new forts near Boulogne, which the King of England says he will visit this spring.
The King of France claims that these forts ought not to be constructed, because they were not commenced before the conclusion of the peace, which is quite notoriously untrue, and the King of England insists upon proceeding with the work. The King of France says that next October, at the latest, he will tender to the King of England the two millions in gold, and they (the French) are making all possible provision of money with this object, not having lowered the tallies nor other subsidies, which are now heavier than during the war. The tallies for this year amount to nearly five millions of francs, and the taxes to three millions and a half. They are withholding the money which was to be repaid to the merchants at Lyons, paying for it an interest of 15 per cent. If the King of England refuses to receive the money (i.e., the indemnity for Boulogne) the French say that they will spend it next year in making war upon him. They have retained their galleys in the Channel, most of them being at Rouen. From the best information I can gain it is my own belief that they really mean to make war upon England if the money is not accepted, as they are determined that the King shall not go on fortifying Boulogne. They are very anxious therefore to keep the peace with the Emperor. They think it sufficient to fortify and victual Piedmont, and to complete all the forts they are already constructing by the end of May. They have made arrangements to this effect with various engineers for the sum of 500,000 francs.
They are victualling their fortresses in Picardy and Normandy for three years, Salcedo, a Spaniard, having charge of the operations. Under colour of defending and assuring their strong places they are putting in readiness four of their legions, namely, those of Burgundy, Picardy, Normandy and Champagne. The captains in command of these were warned not to fail; but they protested that it was impossible for them to muster the men ready by the time mentioned by the King, namely the end of this month (January, 1547). They pointed out that the King had previously caused them to dismiss their men entirely, so that it is very difficult to get fit men together again in a short time. The King sees by this what a mistake he made in not keeping the forces afoot. He was prevented from doing so by the fear that if the people were trained and accustomed to arms they might rise against him and refuse to pay any more taxes. The mustering of these legions is a good sign that they (the French) will undertake some enterprise if they see a favourable opportunity. But, Sire, there are many reasons that may divert them from making any move against the Emperor, the King of England not being friendly with them and the Emperor having given them no pretext for quarrelling with him.
Their desire to tender the money to the King of England and to make war upon him if he refuses it, in order to prevent him from growing stronger on this side of the Straits, also would make them hesitate. Time will show, however, what is the object of their preparations.
The Papal Nuncio has complained to the King of France of his receiving so frequently and welcoming all Protestants that resort to him, as well as the official representatives of the Protestant Princes. He points out that this action is likely to make them more obstinate than ever in their heresy. The King replied that as the Emperor had desired that they (the Protestants) should be included in the peace of Crépy against his (Francis') wish, he could hardly refuse to listen to what they had to say. Besides this, when he (Henry) was at war with the King of England the Emperor received all the Englishmen who came to him. It was only reasonable that he (Francis) should be allowed to make and keep what friends he could. Even if he made treaties with these Protestants, he said, he would take care that nothing was done against the peace (of Crépy) since they were included in it. He was the more justified in this course by the fact that the Emperor had another treaty with the King of England, of which neither he (Francis) nor his ministers had ever been able to obtain details, they being informed that its object was limited to settling certain difficulties arising out of former treaties; which was extremely hard to believe.
People here are saying that the King ought to help the Protestants, as the Emperor has caused them to be comprised in the treaty with him, and it is said to be the intention of the King to do so, whether with good foundation or not I am not sure. The King has repeatedly told me that he is desirous of preserving the peace with the Emperor, even if he does not form a closer alliance with him, which he is most anxious to do. This last assertion is easily believed; for there is in this country no suitable match for his daughter (Margaret of France); but as for the first, his actions make it doubtful; and in all cases it is well to keep on the alert in dealings with him, as I have no doubt the Emperor is doing. With regard to the above mentioned marriage they justify themselves to all the ambassadors resident here, except the one representing the King of England, who is making every effort to bring about a closer alliance (of the King of France) with the Emperor, leaving Milan to the latter and taking Piedmont as a recompense for himself (Francis). He expresses the opinion that by these means his Majesty would put an end to all his quarrels and give lasting peace to Christendom. He urges this point by every argument and persuasion in his power, but his Majesty should not conclude that his intentions are really directed towards the establishment of peace, but rather to provoke future wars. The design of the King of France in making an arrangement with the Emperor would be first to make war upon the English, and then when a favourable opportunity offered itself to turn his arms against his Majesty from Piedmont. When their (the French) ministers were told that the retention of Piedmont was only for the purpose of keeping Italy in alarm they replied that if the King wished to do that he might easily effect it from the Marquisate of Saluzzo and other places belonging to the Dauphine, without any possibility of interference from anybody. They say also that they have the right to demolish the fortresses of Piedmont, which will never subsequently be able to oppose them, this being only another cloak for their retention of the country.
Some days since a great affray took place at Rouen between the men of the galleys and the townspeople, and it reached such a pitch that the King had to send some of his men at arms to put an end to the disturbance. The Pope has claimed the money which the late Cardinal of Scotland owned in the bank at Paris, which the King (Francis) has reserved for the heirs of the said Cardinal. This is the knot of the difficulty, and as far as can be seen the Pope is likely to get very little out of it. The French are delighted with the advance of the Turk to Adrianople, and hope that he will soon enter Hungary.
There is an ambassador in this Court from the King of Poland requesting the King of France to send a French husband to the widow (fn. 8) (of the Waywode) when the Turk enters Hungary, and to procure for him from the Turk the investiture of the dignity. The King dislikes the proposal. The King (of France) has had it announced that the free cities of Augsburg, Hamburg and Lubeck intend to aid the Protestants with money. They are much rejoiced here also at the report that a certain Danish count will help the Duke of Saxony with twenty-seven companies of infantry, They are forming a strong army and new naval force on the coast of Normandy, as they have lost all their important vessels by fire, tempest, etc.


  • 1. The whole of this letter except the first line is in cypher.
  • 2. See Calendar, Vol. 8, p. 532.
  • 3. John Frederick who had been deposed in the interest of Duke Maurice. For particulars of this protestant embassy, see Vol. 8.
  • 4. Calendar, Vol. 8, p. 528.
  • 5. A Spanish resident in London at the time (Antonio de Guaras) gives a vivid account of the trial of Surrey and quotes especially the earl's indignant abuse of Paget. Spanish Chronicle of Henry VIII, Martin Hume,
  • 6. It will be recollected that the Landgrave, Philip of Hesse, had undertaken to raise a body of mercenary troops for the use of Henry VIII in his war with France, and had without the King of England's permission employed them himself in capturing and depriving the Duke of Brunswick, his private enemy. This attack upon Brunswick, it will be remembered, was one of the Emperor's pretexts for his hostile action towards the leading Protestant Princes.
  • 7. See Calendar, Vol. 8, p. 536.
  • 8. In another letter from the same source written to the King of Romans shortly after the above, but containing little of interest, it is mentioned that the widow in question had sent fresh instructions to the ambassador, who was to ask the King of France to use his influence with the Turk to give to her the reversion of Transylvania in case of the death of her son. A description is also given of an affray in which the said Polish ambassador was concerned in the streets of Paris ending in his imprisonment by officers unaware of his identity.