Spain: October 1547, 1-15

Pages 162-177

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

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October 1547, 1–15

Oct. 1. Vienna Imp. Arch. The Queen Dowager to Van der Delft.
We have hitherto delayed communicating to you our intention with regard to the negotiations of yourself and Councillor Van der Burch with the English Commissioners in the matter of the exaction of duties which are demanded without warrant by the English from the merchants and merchandise of these dominions, and also in the matter of many other private claims and complaints of the Emperor's Flemish subjects. The reason of our delay in dealing with these questions is that we considered that the death of the King would cause the Councillors to be so busy in the direction of the young King and in the settlement of the affairs of the realm that they would not have leisure to attend to the subjects referred to.
We have now, however, caused the report of yourself and Councillor Van der Burch to be maturely considered, and we note that the English Commissioners remain practically at the same point with you as they took up at Bourbourg with the representatives that we sent thither in the year 1545, with the exception that the English have exhibited to you certain registers and books of their dues, by which they claim to prove that the customs and tallies in question have been levied in England for a hundred years past, according to the declaration made upon a sheet of paper commencing with the words Compendium eorum vectigalium, etc., which the said Commissioners delivered to you. We have had the contents of this statement communicated to some of the merchants here, who find it quite preposterous and untrue, for the reasons set forth in a certain document which has been drawn up in the form of a remonstrance, and also in view of several Acts of the Parliament of England, of which we are sending you herewith Flemish translations.
After you have thoroughly studied all these documents and incorporated them, it will be advisable for you to place them before the English Council and discuss the matter with them, with a view to redressing the various evils complained of. You will request the Councillors to be good enough to furnish you with extracts of the Acts of Parliament since the year 1445, which is the year specified in the commercial treaty providing for the payment of dues by the merchants of these dominions; “such as were exacted in the said year of 1445.” By such Acts of Parliament it will appear that several of the duties which the merchants here have been made to pay have been imposed subsequent to the aforesaid year 1445, and also that the books which they have produced to you, and from the contents of which they have drawn up the Compendium above mentioned, are false and have been concocted to suit their own contentions and pleasure, as you will learn by an attestation made before the King of England's Justice immediately after the reply of the merchants was made.
We send you herewith a portfolio with several extracts from the reply that the English Commissioners at Bourbourg handed to our representatives there at the Conference. You will see plainly by the contents of this portfolio that the merchants of these dominions have been in the past greatly robbed, and large sums extorted from them in England over and above what was warranted by the Commercial treaties. This ought to be stopped for the future, both in accordance with equity and also in view of the confession made by the English Commissioners (i.e. at Bourbourg). We are sending you the original reply; so that you may, if necessary, produce it. You had better request that the confession referred to, and also the declaration, shall be despatched as Letters Patent to ensure attention, and to prevent the English officers from continuing their exactions; each one may then know exactly what he has to do and to pay, which hitherto has been most difficult to ascertain in consequence of the perversity that has been displayed with regard to the exaction of these duties. If they raise any difficulty to granting the Letters Patent you request, on the pretext that the merchants on this side have complained without reason, and that the amounts demanded of them in the past have not been such as stated by them, but only such as is confessed by the English Commissioners in their reply, you will say that even if this were the case, the Letters Patent would still be necessary, because if they be needed there are innumerable witnesses to testify to the said exactions. At all events it is necessary that Letters Patent of the Confession referred should be despatched; so that at least in the future these illegal demands may not be made. The officers at present do it easily for their own private benefit and still will do so unless the abuse is obviated in time, as will be done if these Letters Patent are despatched. If, after all, your efforts to obtain this are fruitless, and you find that they will not issue the Letters Patent referred to, you will insist at least, that the reply in question be signed and certified by one of the principal Secretaries of State.
It will also be advisable for you to enquire very carefully whether in the coming Parliament or any other that may in future be summoned in England, any new duties or imposts are likely to be granted to the new King, and if the tonnage and poundage tax, which was a charge imposed in the time of the late King and for his life only, will be continued. You will give us full information on these points, in order that we may provide for the indemnity of the merchants here as we may consider advisable.
With regard to the wools, in the handling of which the merchants of the staple of Calais commit many faults and abuses, which up to the present time the English Commissioners have refused to redress or prevent, we send you the commercial treaty (traictie d'entrecours) concluded in the year 1522, which, as you will see, is made for a specified period, and will expire by the effluxion of time and King Henry's death in seven or eight months. You will accordingly sound the members of the King's Council to discover what their inclination is with regard to remedying the abuses referred to, either by a new commercial treaty or by some other means by which the trade may be properly regulated, since it is entirely impossible to tolerate the present abuses any longer.
It is, moreover, plainly evident by the negotiations that took place at Bourbourg and also by those carried on by you and your colleague Van der Burch, that the English Commissioners have been unwilling to put an end to the grievances of so many of his Majesty's subjects who have been disgracefully pillaged and rifled by the English both at sea and in England itself, notwithstanding all the efforts-and solicitations that have been made to prevent it. It is now really necessary, once for all, to have a definite settlement on the point, and we send you herewith also a portfolio containing all the information and particulars, by which, in addition to what you already have learnt on the subject, you may be thoroughly conversant with the present position in which the matter stands. You will endeavour by the aid of this information to obtain a settlement by means of amicable and mutual discussion, on the best terms that you may find possible, and as speedily as may be, in order that the persons who have been plundered may recover that of which they have been unjustly deprived.
If you see that all your efforts to come to an arrangement are frustrated by the delays, subterfuges and other pretexts raised by the English Commissioners, you may demand officially, in the name of his Majesty the Emperor, that these complaints and claims of the merchants here shall be submitted to the decision of a legal tribunal, before judges who are not open to suspicion, appointed for the purpose. You will also expressly require that these cases shall be dealt with summarily and plainly, without the form and procedure of regular lawsuits, the sole object being to verify the facts alleged. As to submitting cases of this sort to the ordinary legal procedure in the Courts, we have hitherto learnt by experience that the long delay and great expense incurred make such a course quite insupportable to the unfortunate persons who have been despoiled, especially as, after all, little or no redress is gained in this way. By doing justice to the Emperor's subjects in the manner now suggested, they (the English) will not only be acting as they ought to do, but they will be obliging us greatly, which will naturally incline us to favour the English merchants, and other subjects of the King of England who reside in or visit these dominions.
Brussels, 1 October, 1547.
Postscript.—It will be better for you to keep the reply referred to (i.e. the reply given by the English Commissioners at Bourbourg to the complaints of the Flemish representatives) and the other original documents sent to you, so that they may be ready to hand if they are needed.
Oct. 2. Vienna Imp. Arch. The Queen Dowager to Van der Delft.
In reply to your letter of the 22nd instant, I am in doubt as to whether affairs are so far advanced as Controller Paget gave you to understand with regard to an arrangement being arrived at between the Protector of England and the Regent of Scotland, before you could receive this reply to your letter, in which arrangement the Emperor and his dominions would be included in general terms.
You will therefore persist in the contention you have already advanced in your communications with Paget, that his imperial Majesty is at war with the Scots solely for the purpose of pleasing the English; and that the Scots have for some time past been offering to treat with his Majesty, if the latter had been willing to listen to them. This the Emperor has always refused to do, so as not to contravene the terms of the treaty of close alliance. For this reason the English should be all the more scrupulous on their side to respect and safeguard the interests of his Majesty and his subjects, and to avoid negotiating with the Scots without the Emperor's consent. They (the English Government) will otherwise be unable to deny that they have violated the provisions of the said treaty.
Although I do not believe that his Majesty would desire in any way to hinder the conclusion of a fair peace and good friendship between him and the English on the one hand, and the Scots on the other, especially now that the victory gained by Protector seems to provide a favourable opportunity for bringing about such a desirable end, his Majesty nevertheless could not acquiesce in any treaty, unless it provided that he and his subjects were entirely compensated and satisfied for the unjust pillage, robbery, damages and losses, which the Scots have committed upon them. The treaty that the English propose to make with the Scots must therefore be regarded as conditional upon the fullest satisfaction being provided for his Majesty and his subjects, at least to the extent of the property plundered from them subsequent to the signature of the treaty made between England and France, in which both the Scots and his imperial Majesty were comprised, a certain period being fixed for the indemnity to be effected, failing which the English should be bound to declare themselves at once the enemies of the Scots, in accordance with the clauses of the treaty of close alliance. In addition to this they (the English) should also include in their treaty with Scotland not only his Majesty's Flemish and Netherlands dominions, but generally all his realms, territories and dominions whatsoever, no matter where situated, and more especially should Spain be comprised by name. With this proviso, and the guarantee for full satisfaction being given as aforesaid, I have no doubt that his Majesty would willingly accede to the said treaty, as you may see by the extract of a letter from his Majesty written to me on the 12th October, 1546, which I send you enclosed.
You will make Paget clearly understand that I have no special power to give the Emperor's general consent to any arrangement, but I have gone so far as to write the aforegoing to you in order not to lose the opportunity that apparently offers in the interests of peace, having no doubt that if the two points specified above are covered clearly and specifically, the treaty being made subject to his Majesty's ratification the Emperor will be pleased.
For more ample information I refer you to what I wrote in my letter dated 2 December last, with the memorandum attached, giving full particulars of all that had hitherto been negotiated with the Scots. But it will not be necessary to mention at present the agreement made, as the English will negotiate with the Scots. You must, however, maintain in principle that the Scots should be bound to surrender what they have captured from the merchants of these dominions, and from the Emperor's Spanish and other subjects, subsequent to the treaty (of peace) made between England and France, this being in accordance with the principle maintained by the English as against the Scots, namely that the latter have violated the said treaty (of peace) with France, both by reason of the pillage of which they (the English) have been the victims, as well as the subjects of the Emperor. Take great care not to go beyond this until you receive a reply from his imperial Majesty.
With reference to the excuses the Protector advances for not issuing a written order for the restitution of the estates in the Boulognais to the Emperor's subjects to whom they belong, I find the pretext a very poor one, and but ill harmonising with honesty to have granted a thing and then refuse to put it into writing for execution, without which formality the subjects will never recover possession of their property. You will therefore renew your representations to the members of the Council, to obtain in writing the order of the Protector on the subject; and if you cannot get this notwithstanding your efforts you will urge, at least, that they should give you a special order for the Lady Francoise de Luxembourg, Princess de Gavre and Dowager Countess d'Egmont, to be restored to her estates of Fiennes and its appurtenances, to enjoy the same as she enjoyed them before the commencement of the last war between England and France. Ask for a similar order in favour of the Sieur de Mourbecque, the Captain of Aire, in right of his wife for the estate of Souverain Moulin with its appurtenances. If they refuse separate orders such as these it will be absolutely useless for us to send the general statement of all the estates claimed by the Emperor's Flemish subjects, which I do not see my way to do. But if the two claimants above mentioned are restored to the possession of their properties the others will come and declare their claims, and you may assure the members of the Council that I shall denominate no person who is not a loyal and bona fide subject of the Emperor not attached to the French party. If they (the English Councillors) will not consent to grant the special orders requested, it will be a clear indication that they do not intend to make the restitution at all.
Touching the matter of the three Flushing ships captured by the English and released after they had completely ransacked them, it is true that our people confessed that they first seized the pinnace coming from Scotland, under the impression that it was a Scottish vessel, and as the soldiers who were on board refused to produce their papers, our people had good reason to retain possession, without incurring the liability of being plundered for doing so; for, as the saying goes, return good for evil (mal prendre et bien rendre).
This occurrence has come very inopportunely seeing that I had caused orders to be given to all the war ships at sea to favour and assist the English to repel the Scots, and that a good understanding should be maintained with the former to annoy the common enemy. This the others have not chosen to do, having heard of the ill treatment that was meted out to these Flushing ships. For the English to defer the restitution of the property captured by them until the return of the captain from his Scottish journey is tantamount to saying that if he does not return from Scotland the Flushing men will not get their property at all. When the captain returns from Scotland they may well send him somewhere else, or he may absent himself; so that, after all, these poor subjects of the Emperor will remain despoiled, without knowing how to obtain redress or restitution. You will again bring this matter before the members of the Council, so that they may take such steps as will ensure these people of ours obtaining restitution of that which was taken from them as is their right under the treaties.
It is satisfactory to learn that Lope de Carrion has been satisfied, although I presume that he has not received all he claimed but has accepted what they were willing to give him. Please do what you can with Controller Paget so that the others who have been unjustly prejudiced may also receive satisfaction, and on our part there shall be no failing to provide that prompt and strict justice shall be accorded to any English subject who may have received damage here since the treaty of close alliance. Up to the present no person has made any representation to me to that effect, and I conclude from this that none of them have been prejudiced by acts of injustice, nor would I permit such a thing to be done.
Brussels, 2 October, 1547.
Oct. 6. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
Since I wrote my last letter to your Majesty on the 22 ultimo, the members of the Council have sent to ask me whether I had not received a reply from your Majesty to the message brought to me by Controller Paget, which I conveyed both to your Majesty and to the Emperor. It appears to me that they are extremely anxious to obtain the consent to negotiate with the Scots, and the only reason that I can imagine for this is their distrust of the French.
As your Majesty's letter arrived here yesterday evening I sent this morning to inform Paget that the reply had reached me. He had, however, already left London to go and meet the Protector, who is expected to arrive here in three or four days. I expect that directly he arrives he will seek me to learn his Majesty's intentions on the matter that concerns them so much, especially if it be true as is reported that he (the Protector) has granted safe conducts to certain Scottish nobles to come hither to treat with him on behalf of the Queen (Dowager of Scotland) and the Regent. In any case, Madam, I will not proceed further than your Majesty now instructs me to do, until I receive other orders from you. I will nevertheless entertain them with fair words such as those suggested in your Majesty's letter, and I will not fail to impress emphatically upon them that unless and until the entire and prompt satisfaction for the damages inflicted upon his Majesty's subjects, and the inclusion in the proposed treaty of peace of all the dominions and territories of his Majesty wherever situated, especially the realms of the Spanish crown, his Majesty will never agree, no matter what arrangement they may come to otherwise. This of course is only reasonable.
It is reported that the Protector has continued to prosper in Scotland; he having captured several fortresses in which he has distributed his army, and he expects to be able to hold all the country as far as Edinburgh. The principal port of the river of Edinburgh is Leith, but as at low tide this place is dry, the Protector has had fortified a little island lying in the river near Leith, the name of which is given as Saint Colmes. Further on, beyond St. Andrews, in another river (i.e. the Tay) they are fortifying a place called Broughty Crag, which is a rock they think they can make quite inaccessible, and they consider it to be the key of the whole district. So that with all these strongholds, and the fortresses they have taken called Hume Castle, Roxburgh and Blackness, they consider themselves the masters of the principal part of Scotland and the whole of its navigation.
I have sent to Court every day to learn news of the progress of their arms, but I can hear of nothing beyond what I have already written to your Majesty. It is certainly a most extraordinary thing that no one has come from those parts, big or little, except those sent by the Protector to the Council, no private letters having been received at all.
Controller Paget has sent to tell me how, and in what manner, their ships have captured the Scottish vessels. It seems to have happened as follows. A Scottish gentleman of rank named Beton, an inhabitant of Leith, came to the Protector and feigned a willingness to place in his power all the great ships of Scotland, of which he was the commander. He requested the Protector to send the English vessels to the place whither he (Beton) had sent the Scottish fleet, a place far up the river. The Protector listened to his proposal and ordered the English ships to proceed to the place indicated by Beton, the latter accompanying them. When they were approaching the Scottish ships Beton caused the English to put him ashore, for the professed intention of fulfilling his promise. But as the Scottish ships were observed by the English to be drawn up in good order under the shelter of the fortress of Blackness, and it was seen that they had placed all their artillery on the side the English would approach, the latter understood Beaton's falsity: for when they drew near the whole of the Scottish vessels opened fire upon them at once, more than twenty (English) men being shot dead and a great number wounded. In the end, however, the English mastered them, and carried off with them the principal of the Scottish ships, burning those that they could not take. Some of these ships have already arrived in England with the ships of the King of England, and they are now in the port of Harwich. The Protector, recognising that Beton had tried to deceive him, and had fled, set fire to his house in the town of Leith, and this has caused the destruction of the rest of the place.
There is not so much being said about the French galleys as before, although they have heard that the King of France intends to arm them with the Germans. The bishop of London, who has been in prison, has been let out on bail, as it is said; and the bishop of Winchester has been put into prison where he still remains, in very good spirits as I have heard. (fn. 1) An ambassador from Portugal recently arrived here. His name is Fernando de Silveira, and he comes well provided, it is said to reside here. I will discover whether he has any special mission.
London, 6 October, 1547.
Oct. 6. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
(The letter is in substance identical with that of Van der Delft to the Queen of the same date.)
Oct. 7. Simancas Estado 644. The Emperor to Diego Hurtado de Mendoza.
When we returned from our hunting expedition (fn. 2) the Legate Sfondrato requested audience, which we granted on the 2nd instant. He began his address by congratulating us on our health, saying that our hunting and the country air had done us much good, as he saw by our colour and strength. He then deplored his own misfortune, which he attributes to his having come at a time when discontents and turbulence prevailed, this preventing him from being able to do what he had desired. To all this we replied in general terms.
After this preface he spoke of Piacenza, dividing his discourse into three points. First he dwelt upon our rectitude and goodness, saying that everybody would believe, since we were so catholic, just and virtuous a prince, that we could know nothing of the conspiracy there. But as to Don Fernando (Gonzaga) he had, on the day before the revolt, made preparations for the event in Pavia, Cremona and other neighbouring places; and this, in addition to other indications, produced the conviction that he was almost certainly a party to the affair, and had an understanding about it with the conspirators. But from our own actions it would be seen whether his Holiness had any grievance against us. The Legate pressed for prompt action; and gave us to understand that if due satisfaction was not given to the Pope trouble and disturbance would ensue. (fn. 3)
The second point was to dwell upon the affection that Duke Ottavio had always displayed towards us, and upon his services to us, and the consideration we owed him on account of his relationship towards us and our affection for Madam (i.e. Margaret Duchess of Camarino the Emperor's daughter) who had borne two sons to her husband (Ottavio). Notwithstanding the ill feeling between the Pope and ourselves, he said, Ottavio had never ceased to follow us, and had continued to devote his life and property to our service. If for no other reason but this, he said, we ought to show signal favour as was fitting, to the Duke in the matter of Piacenza.
The third point was the respect due personally to the Pope, and, although his Holiness confessed his political distrust of us, he had always shown the greatest esteem and respect personally to us as a good son, prince and Catholic. Apropos of this the Legate set forth what the Pope had done for us, and how much money he had spent and the help he had given us always, and especially during the last troubles in Germany where he had sent 600,000 crowns. After reference to other general affairs he said that his Holiness did not desire to mix these up with the affair of Piacenza, and thus he ended his speech, pressing hard for the restitution of Piacenza, saying that the sooner it was done the better the world would recognise what was universally expected of our justice and goodness.
We answered, avoiding the references to our person, leaving, as we said, the world to judge of our actions. We had, we said, always held Don Fernando to be a truthful man, and we could not therefore refuse him credit in what he had written on the subject, as the Cardinal himself had seen in his letters. But if Don Fernando had consulted us we should not have been in favour of his entering Piacenza nor of his accepting its surrender, although we had always been of opinion that Don Fernando had done as he did with very good reason, and believing that it was for the best, moved by the suspicion that the French or others might at once have taken possession of the place whilst it was thus divided. This would have caused much inconvenience to the State of Milan, which was entrusted to Don Fernando; and it was his duty to safeguard its interests and defence. This was Don Fernando's view, and in the circumstances it appeared to us that if we had been in his place we should have done the same in order to avoid its (Piacenza's) falling into other hands.
But as we had only just returned from hunting and had not yet entirely heard what Algarzin had to say, we were still only partially informed on the matter; which we would consider later. This brought us to the question of Duke Ottavio, of whom we said that, of course, we loved him as a son, and had always been satisfied with him. We had also been much displeased at the death of the Duke (Pier Luigi Farnese) his father, and even at the entry of Don Fernando into Piacenza. But this had now been done; and, as we had frequently said when in our private negotiations with the Pope the latter did not act fittingly, we were not to be expected to consider either the Duke (Pier Luigi) and his sons, or even our own daughter. With regard to the Pope's vaunting of what he had done for us, we said that all the world knew what we also had done in return for the benefit of his house, and the respect we had had for his authority and for the Holy See; more than had been shown by any other Christian prince, whereby his Holiness had drawn great advantage from our realms and dominions. It was true, we said, that he had helped us in the German enterprise, but it was notorious that very much more had been spent upon that enterprise by us; and all the world knew how the Pope had left us at the most critical time when the greatest need existed for the forces to bring the people to submission on the religious point after the danger in which the Pope placed us by the publication of the articles in Switzerland. This had immensely complicated the business as our forces were not mustered at the time. We also set forth what occured to us of the actions and attitude of the Pope hitherto, and in answer to the Legate's remark as to what difficulties might arise, we said that we were perfectly aware what the Pope could do in Italy. But if his Holiness tried to stir up trouble, without there being any just cause of complaint on the part of his Holiness or others against us, we could so manage as to take care of our own affairs and obviate any fresh undertaking to our detriment.
We thus gave the Legate to understand that nothing would be gained from us, nor would we be deviated in the least from what was right and just, by all these discontents and dissatisfactions of the Pope. With regard to his remark that the Pope did not wish to mix up this business of Piacenza with affairs in general, we said that we quite agreed with this: it had never been our custom to mix up our private questions with public negotiations, whereas the Pope had always done so.The worst of it was that he had continually spoilt general business by insisting upon dragging in his private interests, and had sacrificed the public welfare on that account. It might well be, we said, that these events of Piacenza and others of a similar sort, were a judgment of God in punishment for this.
We then returned to the point of the occurrences of Piacenza, as the Legate continually called it, and we repeated that, as we had just returned from our hunting expedition and had not yet heard fully Don Fernando's envoy, Algarzin, the whole matter would be considered later and such action should be taken as seemed desirable. The interview then closed.
After this there came to us Sforza Palavicino, who had been sent by Duke Ottavio. He said that, as we had already been informed of the events of Piacenza and the death of Pier Luigi, the Duke (Ottavio), with his love for us, upon whom he alone depended, hoped that we would bear in mind and consider the right and justice he had on his side. He complained of Don Fernando de Gonzaga who had treated him so harshly, not in the past alone, but now in wishing to occupy the territory of Parma, proceeding with as much rigour in the matter as if he (Ottavio) was a traitor and a rebel against us. This and the shame he felt at seeing himself thus misused by our ministers caused him more pain that had the death of his father and the loss of Piacenza. (fn. 4) We answered him in the same way that we had answered the Legate, but without touching upon the Pope's business. Both the Legate and Palavicino pressed us for a definite answer; but for the present, until we have considered the business maturely we have only caused to be given to them the reply which you will see by the enclosed copy. The Legate considered this reply not so definite as was desired by them, and he requested that it should be given to him in writing. He was told that as he himself confessed that he had no special instructions from the Pope to discuss the matter and we could not go any further than we had done.
We have given you full information of all this, in order that you may act in accordance if the Pope and his friends speak about it. It is supposed that this despatch will reach you in Siena, but as you can go from there to Rome in twenty-four hours you will consider whether it will not be advisable for you to go thither, in order to carry out this Commission and discover their intentions; giving us full account of what they reply, and all else that seems necessary.
Oct. 10. Paris K. 1487. St. Mauris to Prince Philip.
(In a letter of this date giving an account of French armaments, detailed elsewhere in this Calendar, the following paragraph occurs relative to the victory of Pinkie and other English affairs.)
“In accordance with your Highness's instructions to advise you of events in England since the departure of Schippières, it is confirmed that the King of England has won a battle against the Scots, in which the victorious army was led by the Protector in person. About fifteen thousand Scots were slain, with two thousand prisoners, amongst whom was one of the principal Earls of Scotland, whilst the Governor of the realm was pursued to the gates of Edinburgh, in the fortress of which place he has taken refuge. This castle is extremely strong.
“The English army is still in the country doing all the harm it can, and a week after the aforesaid battle there was a naval engagement in which the Scots lost most of their ships, some captured and some sunk. The widowed queen and her daughter have retired to the remotest part of Scotland, and the Scots have lost all their artillery.
“Sire, in consequence of so many English ships having been seized in France the King of England has caused about forty French vessels to be arrested in Dover, on the pretext that the English merchants had demanded that this should be done. The Dauphin (Henry II.) has complained of this as being a violation of the freedom of trade, and the answer given to him through the English ambassador was to the effect that as no justice was done to them in France they had availed themselves of this means, as being more efficacious than making claims here. The Dauphin was much put out at this reply, and at once sent six of his galleys to sea which captured an English ship well armed, and also subsequently some merchant vessels. Since then, however, these two monarchs have entered into negotiation on this matter, and at the present time arrangements have been made for simultaneous restitution on both sides. The English stood out firmly that their armed ship which had been captured by force should be restored first, but the Dauphin's council refused to consent to this.
“So far as I can gauge affairs here, Sire, the Dauphin will not commence war on the King of England unless he first makes terms with the Emperor. This may be taken as certain. In this connection your Highness will doubtless have heard of what has passed with M. de Brissac, who has proposed a marriage between the Prince of Piedmont (i.e. Emanuel Philibert of Savoy) and Madame Margaret (of France), the Dauphin ratifying the treaties of peace but still not restoring Piedmont. The Emperor decided to refer the question to the Duke of Savoy. Your Highness will also have been informed of the death of Pier Luigi (Farnese) and that Piacenza is in the possession of the Emperor, a thing which annoys the Dauphin extremely; for he had negotiated the marriage of (his daughter) with Horatio (Farnese) in order that the latter might bring Piacenza to him. This Pier Luigi had agreed to; and he was to have the Duchy of Bourbon in recompense for Horatio. The latter at the instance of the Dauphin started at once for Rome to beg the Pope to establish him in Parma, so that the Dauphin may still have his hand in it. But I hear that Ottavio (Farnese) Duke of Camarino, has been beforehand with him, and I conclude that he would be on the side of his Majesty (the Emperor). This makes the Dauphin more desperate than ever, for his whole plan turns upon his dominating Italy, and then to commence war before the death of the Emperor.
“The Cardinal of Guise has gone post to Rome, in order to negotiate with the Pope and then to exhort the Venetians to enter into the League, which the Seignory has hitherto refused to do.
“I have news of the Emperor of 20th September. His Majesty was well and the affairs of the Diet were in a good way.”
Earnestly begs for money for his support. He has had to borrow money, as three years' salary is due to him.
Melun, 10 October, 1547.
Oct. 12. Simancas Estado 1193. Ferrante Gonzaga to the Emperor.
“Even if Peter Strozzi comes to Italy at the Pope's instance, as Don Diego (de Mendoza) writes, I shall have excellent facilities by means of Aloysius Gonzaga of having him killed, making use for the purpose of the ministers of the Duke of Florence, one of whom is here for the purpose, in consequence of the private enmity which exists between the Duke and him (Strozzi) which will cover the homicide. (fn. 5) But I have not likeed to resolve upon this matter by myself, in order to avoid the occurrence again of the case of Fregoso and Rincon; for in these times anything is seized hold of to condemn your Majesty, (fn. 6) and I ask you therefore to let me know your wishes.
“The person of this man (Strozzi) is in my judgment of the highest importance to the interests of the French, for lacking him I do not see any other person of strength on their side belonging to the faction, or anybody able to lead or succour them. For the same reason it is of great importance to your Majesty's service that he should be put out of the way. Pray send me your instructions but with all celerity, so as not to lose our instruments, and I will have it executed without hesitation.”
In the margin of this letter there is a long note written by Eraso, which runs as follows:—"He is quite right to think of this, and if it is thought well to consider the matter, it may be referred to the Duke of Florence, to whom it might be communicated by Don Fernando. In conversation with Don Fernando de Toledo the other day the Duke said he would do anything to get hold of this man. In fact the whole aim and object of Peter Strozzi and his brother with the rest of the confederates is to be revenged on the Duke of Florence, and they will spare no effort to get him into trouble. It would be on the whole perhaps better that he (the Duke) should be free from this, and the French could hardly hate him more than they do now in any case. They are only dissembling their hatred because they can do no more, and are awaiting an opportunity to injure him, which will not be easy to find if this man (Strozzi) is out of the way.”
Note. The above letter like all of those from Gonzaga are in Italian, but Eraso's note is in Castilian, evidently intended for the Emperor's guidance.
Piacenza, 12 October, 1547.
Oct. 15. Paris K. 1487. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager of Hungary.
My previous letters will have informed your Majesty of the condition of affairs between the Dauphin (fn. 7) and the King of England, and it is now reported at Court, it is said on the authority of a great personage, that the Constable and Paget are to meet and confer as to the best means to bring about a more sincere understanding between them, and especially with regard to the observance of the last treaty.
As this report still continues here, I, being anxious to find out what truth there was in it, asked the English ambassador here whether it was the fact. He replied that he knew nothing about it, but that he himself had heard that a few days ago the Dauphin sent a gentleman to England on an important mission though he (the ambassador) had not been told anything further. So far as regards the dispatch of this gentleman, Madam, that is quite true. He is the man who was previously sent to the King of the Romans, and his name is M. des Cordes, who to my knowledge has recently made several voyages to England. It is said, indeed, that it is he who is managing the attempts to bring about a fresh understanding between the Dauphin and the English King. In the course of my enquiries about the business I have sought to find out from Olçacius what it really amounts to. He replied that all he knew was that des Cordes had been sent to exhort the King of England and his Council to suspend their hostilities against the Scots, and to offer the Dauphin's good offices to bring about some understanding between them. He will, he says, undertake to get the Scots to consent to any reasonable and tolerable conditions. The Dauphin was almost obliged to take this step, because in the present circumstances he could not succour the Scots, and he did not wish, moreover, to engage himself in this labyrinth, even if he had the means, without first making some agreement with the Emperor; and he was therefore in hopes of being able to bring about an understanding between the English and the Scots. I know not, Madam, what will come of it, but I have no doubt that the Dauphin will try his best to persuade the King of England to some such understanding, though the English will not very willingly consent, unless very good conditions are given in their favour. This is the opinion of the English ambassador who assures me that they have almost conquered Scotland for themselves.
He also declared to me that he thought there would be some difficulty about the ratification of the last treaty (with the French), because the sending of the Prior of Capua (Leon Strozzi) to Scotland was regarded by them (the English) as violation of the treaty; besides which it was notorious that Captain Combes and several others had previously gone to Scotland to assist against the English, with the full knowledge and approval of the King of France. The latter, moreover, had deferred the payment of the instalment of the pension due on the 1st May last, in contravention of the terms of the said treaty. These were points which he (the English ambassador) thought would be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, he said, the Protector and the Council would not refuse to enter into any good peace negotiations with the Dauphin.
In this connection he also said that the mutual restitution of ships taken on both sides had not yet been effected; the reason for this being that the Protector was still of opinion that the return of the English ship of war captured by force should first be restored. This claim had again been pressed here and the Dauphin had refused to accede to it, whilst his Council were still more strongly opposed to it. It would be, they said, too great an indignity for the Dauphin, and they had, as before, decided that the whole of the captures should be simultaneously restored on the same day. The ambassador told me that he had sent advice to this effect to his King.
He then went on to say that the Constable had conveyed to him the same observations that he had made to me, without his having learnt from me of the bad offices in the matter effected by certain ambassadors in England. But he added; thank God things were still sound between them, and that nothing would be done on the part of the Dauphin which would give occasion for a rupture. His (the Dauphin's) intention was to observe the last treaty, and if any difficulty arose respecting it, an arrangement would easily be arrived at between them; adding that they were receiving great offers on the part of the Emperor. I presume, Madam, that he (the Constable) invented this part of it, as is the custom of these people, in order to get better terms from the King of England, and under this cover to mix themselves up with Scottish affairs. The Dauphin is extremely anxious to succeed in this latter object, as he sees clearly that otherwise Scotland will be utterly lost and nearly ruined. He has this subject much at heart, and would avoid such a wound at the beginning of his reign, especially as he was the cause of the war by sending his force to St. Andrews, and the English ambassador makes the most of this fact by constantly hammering it home. This habit of the French of inventing whatever will best suit their purpose makes me think that the Constable almost certainly feigned his reply to me when he tried to excuse and justify the proposals made for a league against the Emperor, namely that the ministers of the Emperor had made other proposals in writing even more opprobrious, which I take to be mere forgeries made for the purpose supporting their evil deeds by such lies.


  • 1. Gardiner had remonstrated very earnestly with Somerset and the Council against the expediency and legality of the visitations; and had demanded permission to come to London to argue the matter before the Council. He was allowed to do so, and on the 25th September he made his speech to the Council in Somerset's absence in Scotland. He failed to convince the Councillors, who thereupon asked him his intentions as to his obeying the Injunctions. His answer, given after long deliberation, was considered to be evasive by the Council. He pleaded for more time and further discussion before he gave a decided answer; but the Council was obdurate and he was taken at once from the Council Chamber to the Fleet, a prisoner.
  • 2. According to Van der Ness, the Emperor left Augsburg on the 19th September, after a serious attack of jaundice, to hunt in Bavaria returning to Augsburg on the 1st October.
  • 3. That is to say for the murder of the Pope's son Pier Luigi Farnese Duke of Piacenza, and for the acceptance by Fernando Gonzaga on behalf of the Emperor of the custody of the city which was a Papal fief.
  • 4. In the Simancas Archives (Estado 1193) the document sent by the Piacenza conspirators to Gonzaga exists. One of the conditions they attached to their surrender of the place to the Emperor's general was that on no account should they ever again be handed over to any member of the Farnese family. The terms were accepted by Gonzaga, hence the Emperor's difficulty.
  • 5. The Duke of Florence was Cosimo de' Medici, who was married to a Spanish wife, daughter of the Duke of Alba, and was strongly supported by the Emperor. The Strozzi family had opposed him, in union with other Florentine malcontents, on his accession after the murder of his predecessor Duke Alessandro, and the head of the family, Filippo Strozzi, had been captured by him after an abortive attempt at revolution and had been tortured to death. The brothers Strozzi then entered the French service and forwarded to their utmost the French designs in Italy. The feud between them and Cosimo was therefore a double one, and such as could only, according to the ethics of the time, be ended by death of one or the other party.
  • 6. This case happened in 1541. Cesare Fregoso and Antonio Rincon two renegade subjects of the Emperor were employed by Francis I. in negotiating an anti-Imperial league between France, Venice and Turkey. On their way through Lombardy for this purpose the two diplomatists were waylaid and murdered by Spanish troops under the orders of the Marquis del Guasto the Viceroy of Milan. Francis I. was loud in his complaints and the matter nearly precipitated the war which in fact did break out three years afterwards. The Emperor disclaimed the crime, but the French adherents insisted that it had been committed by his connivance and by that of his high officers.
  • 7. It will be noted that St. Mauris still continues to call Henry II. “the Dauphin,” although he had succeeded his father some months before.