Spain: July 1547, 1-15

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

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'Spain: July 1547, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549, (London, 1912), pp. 116-125. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

. "Spain: July 1547, 1-15", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549, (London, 1912) 116-125. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

. "Spain: July 1547, 1-15", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549, (London, 1912). 116-125. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,

July 1547, 1–15

July 3. Vienna Imp. Arch. The Queen Dowager to Van der Delft.
Since writing our letters of the second of last month, we have received yours of the 29 May and of the 16, 17, and 24 ultimo, by which we have learnt details of your negotiations, both in the matter of the restitution of the estates of the Emperor's subjects in the Boulognais, and in that of the compensation for the injuries inflicted upon other subjects of his Majesty at sea, as well as the occurrences in England generally.
Although the Protector and the other members of the English Council are very ready to give you fair words, we can see up to the present no indications whatever of their giving anything else, as they continue to procrastinate and will come to no definite resolution. We cannot understand why they should require a declaration of those subjects of the Emperor who have estates in the Boulognais in their occupation before they have announced whether or not they intend to restore such estates to the owners, unless, indeed, the demand is simply for the purpose of further delaying the affair; and then perhaps after all of their finding some pretext for refusing the restitution altogether. Nevertheless, in order not to stick on this point of difficulty, you may demonstrate to the Protector, Paget and others to whom you may deem it advisable to speak on the matter, that it has never been our intention to demand anything for subjects of the King of France, to whose prejudice their own King acted in leaving Boulogne in the occupation of the English. Our action has been simply and solely on behalf of the legitimate Flemish subjects of the Emperor, who, without fraud of any sort, are domiciled in the dominions under our government, and who did not take any part against the English, and who consequently, as allies of the latter, cannot justly be deprived of the estates belonging to them in a country under English rule. On the contrary they should unquestionably be restored to the enjoyment of their property, as they have been by the French in that part of the Boulognais in the occupation of the latter. If they are treated otherwise by the English they will have good reason to complain that they are worse dealt with by their allies than by the French whose enemies they were. If, however, they (the English government) will consent in principle to the restitution in favour of Flemish subjects of the estates belonging to them in the country now held by the English, it being understood that such subjects took no part against the English during the war, we will undertake when the restitution is to be carried into effect that no person shall enter into possession of such restored estates without proper attestation that he is a bona fide subject of the Emperor, and that he has taken no part against the English. This we think in all reason should suffice if they (the English) are really dealing with the matter in good faith, as such matters should be dealt with between allies. We cannot, however, undertake at the present juncture to make a general declaration of all those who own estates in the territory in the English occupation.
You can, of course, let them know that the principal claimants to such estates are the Princess de Gavre, Dowager Countess d'Egmont for her land, farms and appurtenances at Fiennes, the Sieur de Morbecque, captain, on behalf of his wife, for the estate of Souverain Moulin and its appurtenances, the Sieur de Mamez and several other private gentlemen and honest burgesses, of whose names we cannot as yet send them a list. After they (the English) have consented in general terms to the principle of the restitution we will willingly send you the list of claimants. You will not fail, however, to point out to them (the English) the patience that these Flemish subjects have exercised in this matter of restitution, which now should be carried out promptly, the prejudice to the claimants having been already very considerable as the lands have remained waste and uncultivated. This is an additional reason why the restitution should be granted without any further delay.
Whilst your letters of the 23 ultimo were being delivered to us three Spanish merchants resident at Bruges arrived here, and made great complaints to us of the serious wrong and damage the English are inflicting upon them by retaining possession of the merchandise belonging to Lope de Carrion. The said merchants have presented to us the enclosed petition, and we have had them informed of what you recently wrote. This has somewhat tranquillised them, and they are willing to hold over their petition until you have informed us of what you may have arranged with Paget touching their business. It may be feared that if at this juncture the English will not provide some satisfactory solution of this affair, these Spanish merchants may seek a remedy elsewhere.
With regard to other private claims and complaints of merchants, we can only recommend you again to get them cleared up and settled as far as you are able: and you may assure Paget that if any English merchants have made any complaints to them of injustice being done to them on this side since the last treaty of close alliance, and he will have the complaints submitted to us by the English ambassador here, we will promise to take such measures as will give the complainants every reason to be satisfied and we will not allow any delay to take place in the settlement.
Touching the complaints presented by (English) merchants at Bourbourg, and also by the commissioner they recently sent hither for the purpose, relating to occurrences that took place previous to the conclusion of the last treaty, we do not intend to deal with these in any way, as we consider that such matters were all settled by the treaty in question, which provided that all past complaints were estopped and extinguished. If we entered into these old claims and grievances there would never be an end. We would not on our side claim redress for any grievance that occurred prior to the signing of the treaty, which, in effect, would be in greater number than those put forward by the English. In order, therefore, not to prejudice the treaty referred to, the best course will be to confine ourselves on both sides to matters that refer to the period subsequent to the signing of the last treaty.
We send you herewith the petition that has been presented to us by a poor Friesland sailor named Simon Symonson of Bolswort, who is powerless, as he says, to pursue any further his claim in England, and we recommend to you the expedition of his business.
With respect to the complaints in general made by the merchants about the customs-dues and other extortions with which the English trouble them, several of the Antwerp merchants have come to us at Brussels, for the purpose of demonstrating to us by means of the full information which they say they possess, that the “great dues” of England were imposed after the year 1445, and that, therefore, in accordance with the commercial treaties they (the merchants') should be exempt from the payment of the same. They allege that the English are only trying to circumvent us by exhibiting the books they have drawn up. We have not yet come to any resolution with regard to the contention of these merchants, but as soon as we do so you shall be informed. For the same reason also we have not conveyed to you the decision of the Council here on your own report and that of Councillor Van der Burch.
We are sending with the present letter the packet we have just received for you from his Majesty, and although we expect that you will be fully informed of the successful progress of his Majesty's affairs, we think well to let you know that on the 19th of last month the Landgrave of Hesse surrendered himself into his Majesty's hands at his mercy and discretion (genade en opgenade) making his complete submission, and craving his Majesty's clemency, in accordance with the capitulation made with him, a duplicate of which we send you herewith in case you should not receive it from elsewhere.
According to the information that reaches us we gather that his Majesty will shortly proceed to Ulm, where he intends to hold an Imperial Diet. With regard to the southern towns which have not hitherto submitted, they are also at present entering into negotiations to be received again into the Emperor's favour, and they consequently hope that with God's blessing, since the two leaders of the rebellion have submitted themselves, the others will not persist. They have neither the power nor the resources to do so, and they will also be denounced under the Imperial ban, which will deprive them of all their privileges and render them liable to be captured by anyone. The neighbouring nobles will do their duty in this respect.
Binche, 3 July, 1547.
July 9. paris R. 1487. St. Mauris to Cobos.
The bearer of the present, a Spaniard named Juan de La Rea, has been in this Court requesting me to urge the King's ministers to compel Peter Strozzi to restore to him a ship which he seized in the port of Corunna. Cardinal Tournon and the Admiral of France had already informed me that previous to the seizure referred to the English had seized and pillaged a French ship in the port of St. Lonnery(?) in Spain with the connivance of the Spaniards, who had done nothing to prevent it.
Peter Strozzi having been informed of this, and hearing that at Corunna there was a Spanish ship loaded with merchandise for the English, when he was there with his galley he captured it in return for the French ship that had been taken. The vessel seized by Strozzi was manned by Frenchmen and sent to France, but on the voyage thither it was re-captured by the English and taken to England. They (i.e., the French ministers) added that Strozzi had already seized at sea and sent to France two English ships; but that one of these had by the fortune of the sea been cast upon the coast of Spain, where it still remains embargoed as a reprisal for La Rea's vessel seized at Corunna. The Cardinal and the Admiral therefore begged me to submit to the Emperor and to the Prince (Philip) a request that they would restore to Strozzi the ship that had been driven into a Spanish harbour, and to prevent any future attacks upon French shipping in Spanish ports.
I have sent a copy of the statement to the Emperor, and have thought advisable also to inform you thereof, in order that you may take what steps may seem best in the matter. The bearer himself has spoken to Strozzi on the matter, and the reply he got was that his ship was not in Strozzi's possession, but in that of the English, and that consequently it was impossible for him to restore it to him. He had better address the English about it. I have not pressed the ministers further on the point: it is very evident that they would not give the bearer any other answer than that given to him by Strozzi. At the very pressing request of the bearer I make this statement to you, in order, as he says, that he may obtain redress or indemnity in Spain.
Only three days ago a beginning was made in hearing evidence in the charge against M. Calvasao, who is making great efforts to end the examination before the King's (of France's) fleet against the English sails, which it is considered certain that it will do by the 15th instant at latest, the galleys having already arrived at Havre de Grace. It is true that the big ships from Marseilles have not yet appeared, but it is said that the fleet will not delay its departure for them. It is said that there are as many as 600 or 800 Spaniards in the fleet.
Honfleur, 9 July, 1547.
July 10. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
I have been to-day with the Protector, who has acceded to the demand of your Majesty's subjects in the Boulognais to be put into possession of their properties on submitting to the King of England and making the usual declarations of homage and fidelity always having regard to your Majesty.
During my conversation with him he said he was extremely sorry that your Majesty should hold such an opinion of him and of this realm as he had been informed that you did. He was told that your Majesty had said that people here were worse than the Protestants, and that there was no religion at all; and, moreover, that his (the Protector's) government was displeasing to your Majesty. He could not bring himself to believe that this was true, he said; and as I saw that he was much disturbed and evidently wished me to write to your Majesty, I said that I should be quite ready to do it, but that I thought it would be derogatory both to him and to me, as he ought well to consider that your Majesty would never say such things but only such as you were convinced were true. With regard to England, I said, your Majesty had received no other relation than such as had been contained in my own letters which certainly had never given such odious information. I said, moreover, that even if he chose to believe that your Majesty had made use of such words (which, however, was entirely unfounded) it would make your Majesty very justifiably believe that he was too ready to accept as true things that were not worthy of credence.
I pointed out to him how lacking in probability the assertion was, and especially in view of the good opinion your Majesty had of him, which was proved, I said, by letters I had received from you. He replied, “I know full well that the Emperor is as good and virtuous a Prince as any in the world, and is not in the habit of speaking ill of anyone, and certainly not of his friends and allies, or of his very humble servant, as I have always been and am, but I have been assured that the words were not only said by his Majesty but they were the subject of public discussion in his Court.” To this I replied that, whatever your Majesty might have said must necessarily have been derived from my letters, which I should be pleased to show him at any time, and he would find in them only that which tended to maintain and preserve the existing friendship between allied and confederate princes, and nothing to disturb it by suspicion and discontent; although I confessed that I had seen much here which I could not praise. In accordance with the affection that I bore him, and seeing that in his position of authority he could amend matters, I preferred to address him personally and remonstrate with him frankly to writing to your Majesty blaming him.
He thanked me very much for this, and as I saw that this was a good opportunity for carrying the matter further, I said that it was quite true that I had received letters from the Queen (Dowager), in which she desired me to inform her whether all things were so much profaned here as was generally asserted in Flanders; and I had replied to this enquiry by saying that the Mass, the Holy Sacrament, the Confession, the fasts and fish-days, were all celebrated here as customary; that the bishops were in their respective dioceses preaching and performing the duties of their office; which I told him ought all be maintained or everything would inevitably go to ruin. He took also very amiably my remark that I would not conceal from him that I had been much displeased to see that immediately after the death of King Henry, nothing was heard but preachers on every side, some to proclaim their opinions and others to inculcate and enforce their fallacies, as if the government of a country consisted, of nothing else than that.
I urged him finally to take great care to maintain the respect and dignity of the bishops and other ecclesiastics, as they were as worthy here as could be found anywhere and if they were further depressed there would be an end to all law and obedience.
He (the Protector) displayed a great desire, as he always does to maintain friendly relations with your Majesty and to please you in every possible way. He divulged to me in confidence that Paulin immediately after the death of King Henry had striven to win him (the Protector) to the side of France, by means of a large annual pension, which, as was only right, he had always declined. Notwithstanding this, however, Paulin, the last time he came hither was instructed to offer him the assignment of the pension, and as he (the Protector) had afterwards learned, had brought with him, already signed, the deed of assignment. But with all these offers and grand promises of the French to divert the English Government from their alliance with your Majesty, he said he had always remained constant and would continue to do so, being well aware of the ancient amity which it was so necessary to preserve intact for the welfare of both parties.
He told me that the French with some sixteen or eighteen galleys and two saccres had passed through the Straits of Dover, sailing in a northerly direction, and he suspected that their destination was to reinforce the Scots. He knew for certain that the latter had united all their forces with the intention of entering the territory belonging to them which the forces of the King of England now occupied, and of taking a fort, which however, was of very little importance. He believed, nevertheless, that they would not gain anything by their attempts, and that after they had done their best he would be able to win from them in a fortnight more than they could recover, to which end he had already, he said, made good preparations.
With regard to Boulogne, the wall which they had begun to construct was still being continued, and was already so far advanced that the French would not be able to hinder them in the work.
When he asked me if I had not any news from your Majesty I replied that I had nothing fresh. “Well,” said he, “I will make you a sharer of the news I have received respecting the Landgrave (Philip of Hesse) who has been received into the grace and favour of the Emperor on certain conditions, of which I will send you a copy.” I thanked him for the intelligence, and then took my leave of him, after which I took leave of all the members of the Council. I was in private conversation with the Protector for more than two hours and on leaving him I asked him whether he wished me to write to your Majesty about the complaint he had made as to the remarks ascribed to you respecting his Government, to which he answered “I consider you very discreet and my very good friend, so I will leave it entirely to your discretion.” I have thought best, however, to let your Majesty know all that passed.
If your Majesty will please pardon me for doing so I will change the opinion I formerly held, namely that the Earl of Warwick, as he is the most splendid and haughty by nature and in high reputation would probably determine not to give way to the Protector. I think now that, contenting himself with the preeminence he at present enjoys, before all the others except the Protector, he will not persevere in the management of affairs, nor is he, indeed, so able to support the work, which appears to be unable to tire the Protector. The latter accordingly knows everything, and nothing whatever is done without its passing through his hands. Your Majesty will please consider if it will be advisable to keep him (Somerset) in his good devotion towards you by means of a favourable letter, such as I ventured to suggest to your Majesty recently.
The Queen (Dowager Katharine Parr) was married a few days since to the Lord Admiral, (fn. 1) the brother of the Protector, and still causes herself to be served ceremoniously as Queen, which it appears is the custom here. Nevertheless when she went lately to dine at the house of her new husband she was not served with the royal state, from which it is presumed that she will eventually live according to her new condition.
I recently visited Madam Mary on her departure for the North Country. She received me in most honourable fashion, and although since the death of the King, her father, she had refrained from dining in public, she did so on this occasion to celebrate my visit, and insisted upon my dining with her. After dinner she talked for a long space with me, enquiring most particularly about your Majesty's health and the progress of your affairs. Finding myself on confidential terms with her I endeavoured to discover from her whether she knew anything about the amount of her dower, and also asked her if she was going willingly to the North country, whether she intended to stay there, and what allowance was to be made to her.
She replied that she was going to the North by her own desire, as she wished to see personally the estates that had been assigned to her, the value of which she was informed was about twelve thousand ducats (per annum). I said this was a most miserable allowance, and I thought her father had made a far different provision for her by his will; to which she replied quite frankly that the testament which was said to be that of the late King might or might not be genuine; she did not know. She had heard, however, that the provisions of it, so far as related to her, were not more favourable than those contained in the will he had made when he was about to cross over to Boulogne (i.e. in July 1544). On this I asked the Princess where her mother's dowry was now, to which she replied: “I know nothing about it and the matter has never been mentioned.”
After a long conversation I remarked that I had heard that she was to be married in France; whereupon she said that she herself knew nothing of it, except that on one occasion a duke in France had been spoken of, although nothing had been said to her about it. She then asked me what I thought about the Queen (Dowager's) marriage to the Lord Admiral. I answered that it appeared to me to be quite fitting, since the Queen and he were of similar rank, she having been content to forget the honour she had enjoyed from the late King. I was also the more pleased at the marriage, I said, because it meant that she herself (the Princess Mary) had thus escaped an alliance with the personage in question, for which, according to common report, she was at one time designated. She laughed at this, saying that she had never spoken to him in her life, and had only seen him once; and she took in very good part my remark that, but for the perfect confidence I had in her prudence and discretion I should have come to her and have begged her to bear in mind her great descent and the respect due to her person, which should never tolerate such a degradation.
She seemed to have entire confidence in me, and begged me to write to her sometimes, although she expected to be back in London again before Christmas.
I thereupon took my leave of hor; she being very much pleased that I had given notice to the Protector of my intention to visit her for the purpose of thanking her for the honour she had done me in standing Godmother to my child, to which he had sent me a reply that I should do well in going as I proposed.
London, 10 July, 1547.
July 10. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
I sent yesterday to ask the Protector if I should receive the answer about the Boulognais claims here or at Hampton Court, whither I had heard that the King was going, and in reply he gave me an appointment to wait upon him to-day.
After some conversation we came to the business of the claims in the Boulognais, which he told me they would concede to such subjects of the Emperor as had not taken the part of France in the last war against the English. He said that he did this out of consideration for your Majesties, and on condition that the claimants should do the customary homage and enter into the usual obligations of fidelity, undertaking, moreover, not to claim more than they had possessed and enjoyed before the war. I accepted this concession saying that it was in conformity with right and justice, and that your Majesties would, I knew, act in similar righteous manner towards them in any case that might arise. I also promised to communicate the fact to your Majesty at once.
The Protector displayed a great disposition to please your Majesties, whilst still complaining that there were certain rebel subjects of theirs (the English) sheltered in Flanders. These had been cloistered persons here and had possessed pensions from the King, and they had nevertheless fled secretly across the sea to Flanders, where they had entered into cloisters, both in Bruges and elsewhere. They had also, he said, incited to treason in this country, as had been clearly demonstrated by two presbiters now prisoners here. He then asked me if I had any news of the Emperor, and whether I knew how his Majesty now stood with the Landgrave (Philip of Hesse). I replied that I knew nothing for certain; whereupon the Protector told me what had passed in the matter, and promised to send me a copy of the agreement made between the Emperor and the Landgrave.
He also told me that he had received intelligence that sixteen or eighteen galleys and two saccres had passed through the Straits of Dover sailing in a northerly direction. He suspected, he said, that their destination was to reinforce the Scots, who he knew for certain had concentrated all their forces with the intention of entering the Scottish territories occupied by the English, and of obtaining possession of a fort, which, however, was of no great importance. Nevertheless, he said, he hoped they would not be able to take it: but in any case after they had done their utmost he would take from them more than they could get back. He had already made full preparations to this effect. As for the wall they (the English) had commenced at Boulogne, they would continue its construction; for they had already made such progress with it that the French could not hinder them.
In a day or two the members of the Council will leave here for Hampton Court, and will make a little progress with the King. I am therefore afraid that I shall not get any good opportunity of terminating Lope de Carrion's affair and those of the merchants mentioned in the petition sent to me by your Majesty in your last letters, for the Council will not return to London again until the winter.
I have no other news to communicate to your Majesty, except that the Queen (Dowager Catharine Parr) was married a few days ago to the Lord Admiral. (fn. 2) She still causes herself to be served with royal honours, according to the custom of this country as I am told.
London, 10 July, 1547.


  • 1. The exact date of Katharine Parr's marriage to Lord Seymour has always been uncertain, though it was known to have taken place after the 4 June, 1547. This letter of Van der Delft's would seem to indicate that the marriage took place early in July 1547.
  • 2. The exact date of Catharine Parr's marriage with Seymour has hitherto been uncertain, though the letters between them still extant prove that they were plighted lovers soon after the removal of Catharine to Chelsea early in March. They were evidently not married on the 4 June, because Princess Mary's dignified letter to Seymour (printed in Ellis' Letters) of that date refers to his petition that the Princess would intercede with the young King in favour of Seymour's suit. The letter from Van der Delft for the first time fixes the date of the marriage at some time in the first week in July, 1547; though it has been surmised that there was a secret marriage at the end of May. Their child was not born until the 30 August of the following year, 1548.