Spain: November 1547, 1-15

Pages 192-206

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

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November 1547, 1–15

Nov. 3. Vienna Imp. Arch. The Flemish Council of State to Van der Delft.
The representatives of the town of Antwerp have informed us that one of the burgesses of the said town named Peter Bawens has been arrested in England, and all his goods taken from him, he being at the present time detained at Dover, it is not known on what charge as no one is permitted to communicate with him. We are writing this to you for the purpose of requesting you to make representations to the members of the English Council, in order that this man may either be at once released or be brought to justice: that you should be made acquainted with the accusations brought against him. You should require that he shall have a proper opportunity for defending himself, and that they should do the same justice to this man as they desire should be administered to English subjects on this side. Every day complaints are made to us from the subjects of the Emperor in this country of the treatment they receive in England, and you will consequently do well to assist such complainants to the best of your ability when they request you to do so, as the English ambassador here does for his countrymen. He indeed mainly occupies himself in negotiating private claims, etc., on behalf of English merchants.
Brussels, 3 November, 1547.
Nov. 3. Vienna Imp. Arch. The Flemish Council of State to Van der Delft.
The Queen Dowager having ordered us to open and examine all packets addressed to the Emperor or her Majesty from France and England, we have read what you wrote to the Queen Dowager under date of 23rd of last month. By the said letter we learn what had passed between Secretary Paget and yourself, with regard to the proposed treaty of peace with the Scots.
We fully recognise that it will be very difficult to recover everything that the Scots have plundered from the Flemish subjects of the Emperor, and that some of the pirates may be insolvent, as is alleged by Paget, but nevertheless the widowed Queen (Mary of Lorraine), the Regent and the other members of the Scottish Council, etc., who as we are given to understand, shared in the proceeds of the pillage and robberies committed by the pirates, are perfectly able to return it all. Indeed, the realm itself could do so, as it is notorious that the merchandise and other property captured was taken to Scotland and sold there: in fact it is asserted that the money proceeding from the sale of some of the merchandise was sequestrated, and probably is so still if they have not taken it for the purposes of their war. It would appear, moreover, from Paget's expressions to you that the English Government have an idea that they may negotiate with the Scots, and, with the consent of his imperial Majesty, cancel the damages committed on the Emperor's subjects by the Scots, or at all events a part of such damages, which idea we consider to be marvellously unreasonable. It would be, in our opinion, in the highest degree derogatory to the prestige and reputation of the Emperor for his Majesty, for the sake of obtaining peace with the Scots, to allow the English to negotiate for him to his own and his subjects' prejudice, so that the English might make their profit by it.
For this reason, in the event of the Protector or the members of the English Council or Paget again addressing you on the subject, you must persist in carrying out the instructions sent to you by the Emperor and the Queen Dowager, namely that his Majesty will consent to the proposed treaty on the conditions laid down in the letter from the Queen Dowager dated the 2nd of last month. You will also make them understand very clearly that his imperial Majesty has been extremely considerate of the welfare of the young King and of the realm of England in consenting so readily as he has done to their treating at all before the Scots had humiliated themselves to him. It is, indeed, according to all right and reason that the Scots should also seek to make peace with his Majesty; but, nevertheless, the latter, desirous that so good an opportunity for negotiating should not be missed as that offered by the English victory, has been ready to put aside his own views, and has consented to their (the English) discussing peace, on condition that the treaty which may result shall have regard to the interests of his Majesty's subjects, as well as to the advantage of the English. To concede anything further than this would be out of the question, for the reasons set forth above; and if it is suggested to you, you may say that you cannot undertake to write any such suggestion, as you fear it would give offence.
If the Scots themselves are desirous of obtaining an abatement in the amount of their liabilities for the damage they have inflicted upon the subjects of the Emperor, which you may say, in your opinion, would be extremely difficult to obtain, they should address their petition to that effect directly to his imperial Majesty or to the Queen Dowager, as Governess of the Netherlands. You may say with reference to this that the English, having regard to their friendship with the Emperor, ought not to solicit or advocate this cutting down of his Majesty's claims, but on the contrary they should assist in every possible way to bring pressure upon the Scots to redress the injury they have inflicted. They (the English), must bear in mind that no matter what treaty they may conclude with the Scots, even if the latter should surrender to them the entire country, the Scottish people will still remain their ancient enemies, in whom no trust can be placed. There would always be the fear that, if they were able, the Scots would employ their power against the English, and the poorer they were the less likely would they be to rebel or commence war. Besides this, the English ought to consider that if it is their intention greatly to benefit themselves by means of the treaty they expect to conclude with the Scots, as indeed they will easily do, it is only reasonable and fair that his imperial Majesty, who entered into the war solely on account of the English, should have his interests and those of his subjects recognised, and compensation given to the latter. The object of all this will be for you to persuade the English ministers that you can see no means of entering into negotiations for the abatement of the claims for damages sustained by the Emperor's subjects, unless the English send to his Majesty or the Queen Dowager specially on the subject. You will follow this course pending the receipt by you of fresh instructions from her Majesty, to whom we have forwarded your letters, she being at present at Thionville. As the Protector has now returned from Scotland, you will do well to request him to give you the warrant for the restitution of their estates in the Boulognais to his Majesty's subjects, of which we made mention in our previous letters of the 21st of last month.
We are also sending you herewith the deposition of a Spaniard, who has, according to his own account, come hither by way of England, and there frequented your apartments. We shall be glad if you will inform us what knowledge you have of this man, and if you were told of his imprisonment and know the cause of it. This is to enable us to discover whether he is such as he says.
Brussels, 13 November, 1547.
Nov. 9. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
On the last day of October I received two letters from your Majesty and three from the gentleman of the Council of State, with the letters of the Emperor. With regard to the first, which bears date of the 1st October, in which your Majesty forwards me certain writings and records supporting the complaints made generally by the merchants of undue impositions and exactions from them in England, to the detriment of the international intercourse, I have considered it advisable to present these complaints immediately, as Parliament was just about to commence its sittings. I therefore submitted them at once to the Protector, who referred them for consideration to the first Secretary, Dr. Petre, who was one of the Commissioners at Bourbourg; (fn. 1) he being instructed by the Protector to communicate with me on the matter.
I likewise addressed the Protector on the spoliations and robberies inflicted upon our people, and he replied that he had for his part done his duty fully to everyone, he had caused justice to be administered impartially, and if there was anyone who sought justice he would take care that it was obtained promptly. I made great demur at this, whereupon he did not fail to cite some persons to whom the King had, in order to satisfy them, given very largely out of his own resources. I made no mention of a desire that judges beyond suspicion should be appointed to deal with the outstanding claims on the part of private persons, although it is true that the path of justice in this country is a long one, because I am not sure that we should gain any advantage in England by the choice of any other judge for the purpose than the present one. I will however insist that the present judge shall be ordered to administer prompt and summary justice in the matter, leaving until I receive some fresh instructions from your Majesty the question of asking for a change in the person of the judge. I may say, however, that I have not received the schedule of claims that your Majesty says was enclosed in the letter.
In the same letter your Majesty mentions that the commercial treaty of 1522, which was for a fixed term, will expire very shortly, and that I am to sound the inclination of the Council as to their consenting to negotiations with the object of remedying all the abuses that now exist, either by means of a new treaty or by some other arrangement. I have not yet been able to do this, as I have not up to the present entered into communication with Secretary Petre. I am also somewhat perplexed in the matter as I do not know how I can gather a knowledge of their inclinations towards a new treaty, in view of the directions contained in the last letters of the gentlemen of the Council of State, dated 21st October, in which I am ordered to say nothing about it, and to take no steps at all until further instructions reach me from your Majesties. I will, however, not fail to set forth the just reasons for the complaints made by the deputies of the towns of Haarlem, Delft and Leyden, of the obstacles placed in their way by the English at the wool staple at Calais, as I am also instructed to do by another letter from the Privy Council.
In order that all the troubles may be remedied, and especially to provide for the indemnity of Flemish subjects after the expiration of the Commercial Treaty, the Council of State has ordered me to furnish them with a report setting forth my opinion as to the best course to pursue. In this matter, Madam, I must confess I know not what to say, as I understand nothing of the conduct or progress of the Calais wool trade, and there is no one available here who can give me information on the subject. I well recollect that when Master Adrian Van der Burch was here on the business of the same complaints the English Commissioners rejected them on the ground that they were accumulated without reason, alleging that the fault was more on the side of our merchants than on theirs. But they said if there were any fault on their side they would send letters to the merchants of the Calais staple, ordering them in no way to contravene the said commercial treaty. I therefore feel unable to excogitate any better way of remedying the evils complained of in the wool market than to obtain a prolongation or renewal of the existing commercial treaties. Very little time for deliberation exists if this is to be done, as I hear that the English merchants are desirous of obtaining in the present Parliament the abolition of the Calais staple, so that they may employ their wools in England itself, the wool being now, as everyone asserts, extremely dear in this country.
In accordance also with the instructions contained in the letter from the Council of State, I have explained to the Protector what had taken place on the other side respecting the claims of Madame de Egmont and the Sieur de Mourbeke to be restored to the possession of the properties in the Boulognais; and that both the English ambassador (in Flanders) and the Governors in the Boulognais had replied with great rudeness that the King their master would never listen to such a demand. The Protector did not appear very much shocked at this, saying: “They are ignorant of what was granted to you. Besides you recollect very well the decision that I announced to you just as I was leaving London for Scotland; namely, that it would be necessary for us to have a specification or schedule of the properties of which the restitution was claimed. You then told me that no properties would be claimed for restitution but such as had been enjoyed by subjects of the Emperor previous to the war, and that the Queen Dowager would take care that such should be the case. In view of this promise I referred to her Majesty the cognisance of the claims, assuring you that the various claimants should be put into possession of their properties immediately, in accordance with the specification or schedule which the Queen Dowager should have certified.”
I perceive, Madam, that without the said specification they will not consent to grant any letters of restitution nor surrender the properties, and I therefore consider it useless to insist upon the particular claims of Madam de Egmont and the Sieur de Mourbeke; besides which if I were to do so it would undoubtedly make more difficult the pursuit of the claims of others who would thus be prejudiced. My reason for saying this is that I always find these people (the English ministers) after they have satisfied one demand pay very little attention to any others that follow, thinking apparently that by settling one case they have settled all. Under correction therefore, your Majesty, it seems to me that it would be less trouble and more advantage to those persons who benefit by the Protector's concession, if they would furnish your Majesty with a specification of the properties they claim, so that they may all be dealt with together and at once. This really would be a much better way than to make long solicitations for separate letters for particular claimants, which will prove too tedious and difficult for each separate demand. So far as I can see there will be no excuse or delay in effecting the complete restitution of the properties in queston as soon as the specification vouched for by your Majesty is produced here.
The Protector described fully to me the underlying intrigue of the war in Scotland; which he confessed that he had not previously understood so well as he did at present; although he had been in the country during the lifetime of the late King. God had, however, aided him to gain this great victory, and they had been thus able to win, not a battle alone, but a country. They had occupied, and held, he said, three strong places there, all well provided with munitions; and he hoped at another time to push further forward, as he saw no appearance now of any arrangement being made with the Scots, the Regent, who had previously solicited the appointment of commissioners to treat for peace having now changed his mind as soon as the English army had marched out of the country.
Intrigues, continued the Protector, were being carried on between the Regent and the French, as he had been informed, with the object of placing into the hands of the latter the strongest fortresses of Scotland. Notwithstanding this, however, the Scots in the neighbourhood of the three strongholds held by the English were coming in every day in numbers to give their adhesion; and other chiefs with their followers in more distant parts of the country were offering their services to the English, who were not desirous of receiving them until he (the Protector) was in a position to aid and support them better than he could at present. He had no wish to lead them into danger, and he had therefore sent them instructions to keep their attachment to the English secret until a more convenient opportunity.
Being desirous of discovering something about the reasons for the convocation of this Parliament I mentioned the matter to the Protector, and after much conversation he told me that they had decided to abolish and to modify several of their laws which at present were too severe, and to give to the subjects a little more reasonable liberty, without in any way releasing them from the restraints of proper order and obedience. I fear nevertheless that the ecclesiastics will be made to suffer.
The earl of Huntly still remains here and goes about the town accompanied by a guard.
The bishop of Winchester still remains in prison and very little is said about him.
The earl of Southampton, the late Lord Chancellor has also come to London, and attends the sittings of Parliament every day. He bears his fate patiently.
Lord Rich was recently created Lord Chancellor.
Madam Mary has returned from the country and is now staying at a place near London, some seven miles away. She is to come to London shortly.
London, 9 November, 1547.
Nov. 10. Simancas Estado 644. The Emperor to Diego Hurtado de Mendoza.
Since the last letter the Legate Sfondrato and the Nuncio Mirañuelo came to us saying that they had letters from Cardinal Farnese and the Duke of Camarino, and begged us, that since the Cardinal of Trent (fn. 2) was going to Rome we would give him some instructions relative to the business of Piacenza, in order to console his Holiness, who, we would readily understand, was sorely in need of consolation. (fn. 3) They had, they said, entire confidence in our goodness and justice, and they saw that by this matter the Pope might be induced more easily to give way on other points. We replied suitably, and the Legate then harking back to the beginning set forth once more the reason of his having come from Rome, and repeated the arguments he had submitted to us at Bamberg on the English matter, which was, he said, one of the principal objects of his mission.
He then entered upon the question of the Council and the urgent instance he had made to us on behalf of his Holiness that we should endeavour to get these States of Germany to submit to the Council. He reminded us that he had not said at that time that if they did submit the Council should return to Trent, and it would, he said, therefore be well, now that the Cardinal of Trent was to proceed to Rome to endeavour to obtain this promise from the Pope, and that he should carry with him such decision with regard to Piacenza, in order to bring his Holiness to agree to the rest. We replied to his remarks about England by referring him to what we had said on the previous occasion, to which at present we had nothing to add; and with respect to the Council, we told him it was true, as he said, that he had urged us to endeavour to bring the States of Germany to submit, but so far as his present assertion went that he had not promised the return of the Council to Trent if they did, we could only say that we should not have been at all surprised if he had made such a promise, inasmuch as the Pope thought that these States would never submit to the Council, even if he promised the return to Trent and very much besides.
Now, however, that our Lord had been pleased to inspire them to such a good and salutary work, (fn. 4) we were persuaded that his Holiness, in fulfilment of the duty he owed to his dignity and office, and to the interests of our Holy faith, could not fail to consent to the re-assembly of the Council of Trent; especially as he had always promised to do so. There was, we said, no necessity to mix up this point with the business of Piacenza. It was not in accordance with his Holiness's dignity that it should appear that for the promotion of his private interests he had been brought to agree to so necessary a proceeding as the return of the Council to Trent; which indeed was demanded by his high office. It had never been our custom, we said, to mix our private affairs with public negotiations. We had repeatedly said this and we believed that his Holiness would be guided by this principle in the matter of the Council.
With regard to the Piacenza affair we would look into the rights of the case, as we had already promised to do. The Legate again returned to the subject, urging us to give his Holiness some hopes, so that he might be induced the more easily to agree on the other points; as he (the Legate) said that up to the present nothing but vague answers had been given to him. To this we replied that we would think the matter over further, and with this the conversation ended without any promise having been given that Cardinal Trent should be commissioned to refer to the Piacenza affair.
We have thought well to give you an account of all this for your guidance and information. In addition to the written instructions given to the Cardinal (of Trent), of which a copy is enclosed, he has been instructed verbally to deal with the question of Piacenza, as if of his own accord. He is to say, in as conciliatory a way as possible, that few would advise us to surrender the place again, seeing its importance to the general interests of Italy, and especially to those of the State of Milan, apart from our well-founded claims to Piacenza and Parma. In view of this he (the Cardinal of Trent) is to endeavour to persuade the Pope and his friends to request us to grant some recompense for the two cities, in order that they may the sooner get out of the hole. Having regard to our own claims and rights he is to try and persuade them to be satisfied with the smallest possible recompense, in order not to give us a pretext for drawing back altogether by his asking too much of us, and so deferring the matter indefinitely.
These matters being so important it will be necessary for you to act with the Cardinal; co-operating with him in the matter of the return of the Council to Trent, and fresh letters of credence are enclosed for the purpose. You will leave affairs there (Piacenza) in good hands and go to Rome to meet Cardinal Trent, as the matter is urgent and important.
Nov. 12. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager.
After I had written my other letters I received a message from Controller Paget, saying that the Great Master of the Household (Lord St. John) he, himself, and Secretary Petre would come and dine with me on the following day. They accordingly came, and after dinner they announced to me that the Protector had commissioned them to communicate with me respecting my complaints about the customs and tallies.
We then entered into the discussion of this question and great disputes ensued, some of the disputants growing quite heated in their arguments. I alleged all the reasons that I could think of in support of our contentions; but they (the English Councillors) persisted in the attitude they have always assumed; namely, that the subsidy of tonnage and poundage with the schawage (?) was paid by us previously, at the time of the commercial convention of 1495 and ever since, as they demonstrated by the production and exhibition to us of their books and registers. As I clearly perceived that the extracts and documents contained in the statement that your Majesty sent to me and submitted by me to them supported by my own advocacy were powerless to persuade them (the English Councillors) to the contrary, or indeed to produce any effect upon them, I finally told them that doubtless they would further consider the arguments I had adduced and would, on studying also their own acts of Parliament, of which I requested copies, arrive at a true knowledge of the case.
I continued, however, that in order to provide against the grievances which are still constantly arising, it would be necessary for them to give us letters patent guaranteeing the observance of the declaration and confession exhibited by their Commissioners at Bourbourg in answer to our allegations. This, I said, would, at all events, do away with the opportunities afforded to the officers on this side to continue their iniquitous exactions. To this they replied that they had not at hand for inspection the answer we referred to, as it was at present in the hands of the Dean of London who had been the Commissioner in the last Conference. (fn. 5) In consequence of the Dean's absence they must defer the reply on that point until his return, which was expected in a week or so. Notwithstanding all my persistence I was unable to obtain letters patent, the utmost concession that I could get being that I should have a copy certified by one of the principal secretaries of State of the reply given by their Commissioners at Bourbourg. It would be desirable for me to have the original reply, which, however, was not enclosed in your Majesty's letters to me.
London, 12 November, 1547.
Nov. 12. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor's Council of State.
I have received the letters from your Lordships dated 21, 23 and 24 ultimo, with those of the Emperor and the Queen Dowager attached: to which latter despatches I reply as you will see by enclosed.
Since then I have received two other letters, that of the 3rd instant bringing me good definite instructions as to how I am to conduct myself in the event of negotiations being undertaken for an accord with the Scots. I have always kept the matter in hand, in accordance with the instructions conveyed to me in the Queen Dowager's letter of the 2nd October, saying that her Majesty hoped that the Emperor, having regard to the opportunity offered by the English victory over the Scots and to the welfare of this country, would accept the settlement they might make with the Scots, always on condition that his Majesty and his subjects were fully indemnified. The observations that Paget made to me on the subject, as I wrote fully to the Queen Dowager, with regard to the difficulty which, peradventure, the Scots might make to this, were accompanied always by the declaration that they (the English) would on no account make any agreement with the Scots without the express consent and entire staisfaction of his Majesty. We may therefore rest more assured that the English have no intention of doing anything to our prejudice, although I must say that I see very little appearance of any settlement between them, as I wrote to the Queen.
Touching your Lordship's second letter, in which you instruct me to assist a certain burgess of Antwerp named Pierre Bauwens, now a prisoner at Dover, and also to help all other subjects of the Emperor who appeal to me for aid, in the same way that the English ambassador in Flanders aids English subjects, I may reply that if I had known before of the imprisonment of this Pierre Bauwens, or of the wrong done to him, your Lordships would not have been troubled with the matter, and I would have assisted him, as I constantly and daily do in the case of all the Emperor's subjects, no matter from what part of the dominions they may come, whose property, being returned to them, no more is said about it. Many of those who press their complaints and claims there (in Flanders) have never made them known here at all. I am quite aware that some of them complain with perfectly good reason of affairs in the past, both on account of the wrongs they have suffered and of the long delays and procrastination in the decision of their claims, to their great expense and damage. But I am bound to say also that there is no lack of complainants who come over here constantly to present all manner of ill-founded claims and demands, of which I have to bear the shame and discredit, after I have believed their representations and supported their unreasonable claims. Nevertheless I do not fail to help to the best of my ability all those who appeal to me, so that in good truth, I am not only the advocate, host, creditor and pleader, to my great expense and detriment, but I must needs be also the solicitor for them all. Thus it happens every day, that for some trifling thing or other, one complainant employs me at the Admiralty, another sends me to the Chancery Court, and a third to the Mayor's Court, without speaking of the continual prosecution of the claims which I carry on with the Council.
In pursuance of this duty I sent word yesterday that I was about to wait upon the Council, and Paget, the controller came to see me instead, as the French ambassador had already made an appointment with the Council for that day. Before my communication with Paget in this interview he began to make a long prologue, to the general effect that I was a very estimable person and a worthy man but too ready to give easy credence to the merchants and other claimants who came to me with their tales. He added that the indemnities and compensations that had already been granted, many of which had really not been due, had been conceded for the sake of the Emperor and with a desire to satisfy the requests that I had put forward so zealously. He (Paget) was, however, he said, of opinion that I ought to re-consider the whole question, and allow each plaintiff to prosecute his claim before the ordinary Courts of Justice, as was done in Spain, Flanders, and elsewhere, instead of myself pushing them with so much vehemence and daily persistence before the Council.
After making several complaints of the way they administer justice here, I said that if there was any undue importunity on my part they had only themselves to blame by reason of the wrong and injury they suffered to be done to us, and I then showed him your said letter, which, as your Lordships will understand, came in most opportunely and could not have served my turn better than at that moment. I humbly thank your Lordships for the admonition, although I hope that it will be found on consideration that it was not altogether necessary.
Touching the deposition of the Spaniard which your Lordships send to me, really, to tell your Lordships the truth, I can assure you that there is not a single word of truth in it, except that I am subject to attacks of gout which sometimes trouble me for four or five days, from which, however, no one suffers but myself. In order that your Lordships may be thoroughly informed of what passed here with this Spaniard, I enclose herewith extracts of what I wrote to his Majesty on the subject, and the replies of the Emperor to me. Since his Majesty wrote to me I continued to insist that the man should not be released without his Majesty's consent, and I was promised that he should not be. But for the celebration of the King of England's coronation all the prisoners and malefactors of the realm were granted their pardon and I could not prevent the liberation of this Spaniard, who remained here detained for the costs. For some reason unknown to me, he wished during this period to come often to my house, which I would not permit him to do, both on account of the displeasure he had done to the Emperor, and for the suspicion I entertained that he wanted to ask me to give him pecuniary assistance, as all the other subjects of his Majesty do here, whereby I am grievously burdened and annoyed.
I also bore in mind that on a previous occasion a similar Comendador had been here, and had greatly deceived me by the complaints he made, to the effect that the English had taken away from him I know not how many horses and a trunk of double ducats. He had come hither to inform the King of England of this, but seeing that the Council only offered him four or five hundred crowns he refused to accept the sum, and showed me letters from the Queen of France (fn. 6) to the Queen Regent. On the strength of this he requested me to let him have some hundred pounds sterling, so that he might go over to Flanders and fulfil the mission entrusted to him and there make his complaints. The whole thing, however, was false: and I have since understood that he would not have escaped your hands if he had stayed any longer in Gueldres pushing his case with the Queen Dowager. Nevertheless I hope that her Majesty will have pity upon me for having assisted the bearer of her letters, and will make good the bond the man left me for the money I advanced him.
There was, moreover, no reason to admit the first named Spaniard (to my house) as the Duke of Alburquerque, from whom he presented a letter here, wrote to me saying that he had not given nor signed any such letter, and did not even know such a person. Spain, he said, was a large place, and there were many scoundrels in it, as there were in other countries. The Duke also wrote to the King (Henry) to the same effect, and to all the gentlemen of his acquaintance here, as the letters themselves will prove. (fn. 7)
London, 12 November, 1547.
Nov. 15. Vienna Imp. Arch. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
We have duly received your letters of the 18th and 23rd of last month, and by them have learnt the details of your conversations with Controller Paget respecting the proposed treaty with the Scots. He positively assured you that they (the English government) on their part would never come to any understanding with the Scots except with our consent, in conformity with the mutual obligation we have contracted by treaty, and he was anxious to learn our intentions with regard to the matter. The English ambassador resident with us has also addressed us to a similar effect. The answer you gave to Paget was a very proper one, that we had no desire to stand in the way of an agreement between them, on condition that we and all our states and dominions were comprised in any treaty that might be made, and also that we and our subjects should be indemnified and compensated for the injuries, losses and detriments that we have suffered at the hands of the Scots, with whom we went to war solely on account of the English.
We send our consent to the negotiations herewith, in order that you may use it as you find convenient, and you will follow the same course in respect to the question of obtaining the abovementioned indemnity and compensation for the injuries sustained, in accordance with the instructions that have been sent to you by our sister the Queen Dowager of Hungary, or by the members of our (Flemish) Council of State, whom she has left there in charge of the affairs of the Netherlands, etc., during her absence from the seat of government.
In addition to the aforegoing the Bishop of Westminster has again addressed us a day or two ago, by virtue of a letter of credence that he had received from the King, his master, saying that the Duchess of Saxony, the wife of John Frederick, and her children had begged the King (Edward VI), as also had the Duchess of Cleves, to be good enough to intercede with us for the deliverance of the said John Frederick of Saxony. The King of England, being desirous of complying with the request of the Duchess, and also because he likewise desired the liberation of John Frederick, had instructed his ambassador here to submit the request to us very earnestly, in the hope that, out of consideration for the King of England, we would display clemency towards the person in question. He (the King of England) felt quite certain that we would willingly do more for him than that, and the ambassador expressed his regret that he was unable to express himself in the French language so eloquently and earnestly as his instructions enjoined him in presenting this request to us. He assured us that the King of England was extremely desirous of obtaining the favour he craved, and he prayed us sincerely that we would please him in this.
We replied to this, first praising very highly the action taken by the King of England in this matter. Being a young prince as he was, it was quite right and proper that he should incline to clemency, and should be easily persuaded to accede to the prayers and requisitions of other princes and princesses to gain and preserve their friendship. But, we continued, the imprisonment of John Frederick of Saxony was of such grave importance and concern for the public welfare of the whole of Germany that at present we were unable to decide touching the disposal of the person of John Frederick. Nevertheless, we said, the King of England might rest assured that the affection we felt towards him was such that if the matter was in such a position that we could decide to liberate John Frederick we would rather do it on the intercession of the King than of anyone else. You will seek an opportunity of making a similar declaration to the King of England himself and to the Protector. We are much obliged to you for the other advices and particulars contained in your letters, and we request you always to let us know everything that is going on as often as possible, especially with regard to the state of Scottish affairs.
Augsburg, 15 November, 1547.
Nov. 15. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Since the receipt of your Majesty's last letters, dated the 18th ultimo, I have been to visit the Protector for the purpose of fulfilling the mission with which I had been entrusted by the Queen Dowager and the Council of State, acting for her during her absence, concerning the long pending general and particular claims and complaints of your Majesty's subjects.
It appeared to me that the opening of the Parliament here afforded a favourable opportunity for presenting to the Protector your Majesty's letter for him, as I thought this might lead him to have greater regard during the sessions to prevent parliament from carrying matters too unreasonably. After some talk, therefore, I delivered the letter to him with a courteous address in accordance with the contents.
He very humbly thanked your Majesty for the honour you had done him, and for the good will you bore him, which he said he desired to reciprocate with his utmost service for the whole course of his life. He was bound thereto also for a long time past by reason of the favour he had received from your Majesty: “as,” continued he, “I have assured you on former occasions, and I am confident of the friendship between the Emperor and the King my master. As the Emperor has always kept his word to everyone I cannot believe that we alone shall be singled out as an unfortunate exception to the contrary.” On his part he said there never had been and never should be, the slightest misgiving in the matter, and there would be no failure on the part of the King with regard to the entire fulfilment of all the alliances and treaties existing between them. There was some talk, he said, about war in Italy, and he might say that if any necessity existed they (the English) would do not only that to which they were bound by treaty but more in your Majesty's favour. As I thought that perhaps this mention of Italy might indicate an idea on his part that the letter I had given him was intended to make more sure of him in that respect, I repeated with greater emphasis than before that his good words to me, and the suspicion he had expressed of the French, had moved your Majesty, in view of what I had written to you, to express your thanks and gratification for his affection towards you, and at the same time to assure him of your friendship towards the King his master, and your intention to maintain the treaties between you. This message, I said, was sent by your Majesty at the time when they (the English) were distrustful of the French, as he would see by the date of your Majesty's letter. He recognised this.
The Protector afterwards asked me upon what terms we stood with the French, and I replied that, so far as I was aware, there was no change in the friendship. “But still,” said he, “the French would have had possession of Parma and Piacenza if Pier Liugi had lived only a little longer.” In reply to a similar question that I addressed to him, namely, how they stood with the French, he replied “One day they are overhanging us and the next day overhanging you. Just now they have ceased their threatening attitude toward us. I do not know whether this means that they are casting their thoughts elsewhere.” I asked him whether the French had in the meantime paid their pension, to which he replied. “Not yet, but they will pay it.”
After some more conversation I referred to the abuses and innovations in the matter of religion that were going on here constantly; and admonished him in my private capacity, and as a true friend and well wisher of England, to beware against all novelties of that sort, from which only confusion and disobedience can arise; as had been already proved. However such changes might be relished by the common people, they were to an equal extent pernicious to the public welfare, which consists of just and honourable limitations being maintained. I had no doubt, I said, that he, who had in his hands the administration of religious affairs here, would maintain the established order without scandal or offence, and I could not therefore believe in the truth of the public rumour now current that the mass was to be abolished. To this he replied: “It is true that it is proposed in this parliament to modify, and in some cases abrogate, some of our laws, which are at present extremely rigorous, and indeed almost iniquitous in their severity; but so far as regards religion I can assure you that nothing will be done against Almighty God. The new ordinances recently promulgated were not introduced by me, but by the late King, who conceived them before his death.”
As if to satisfy me on the point, he alleged that the King (Edward) had that very day attended mass, but in the absence of any further assurance that no religious innovations were to be made, I remain more suspicious than ever as to their intentions in this respect. In the circumstances I could not avoid dwelling at greater length upon the many objectionable effects that had been seen in the past to result from these sects, giving him a sketch of the life and end of the authors of them, as I myself had to some extent witnessed. They had, I said, simply been influenced by their own inclinations, being ambitious and disloyal, as indeed their latter end had proved; and I endeavoured thus to warn him how important it was for him for his own sake to have careful regard for all these things.
He passed it over, saying: “I know very well that whatever is done ill will be laid on my shoulders, and consequently I shall strive my utmost in all things to do what is best for God's service.” But, Sire, from what I can learn from others, they intend to allow the celebration of the mass in English; and it is to be feared that the ecclesiastics will have reason to deplore this parliament, notwithstanding the proclamation recently made in London by heralds with the sound of trumpets, that the King commands the lieges to treat the clergy with the same respect as formerly, and not to insult them either by word or deed, under pain of the gallows.
(The rest of this letter is in substance the same as that from Van der Delft to the Queen Dowager of 9th November.)


  • 1. By reference to Vol. 8 of this Calendar it will be seen that a Commission had sat for some time at Bourbourg to settle pending mercantile claims.
  • 2. Cardinal von Madrutz, Archbishop of Trent, a strong partisan of the Emperor.
  • 3. That is to say for the murder of his son the Duke Pier Luigi, and the occupation of his territory of Piacenza by the imperial troops from Milan under Gonzaga, to the apparent detriment of Ottavio Farnese Duke of Camarino, Pier Luigi's eldest son and the husband of the Emperor's daughter Margaret.
  • 4. As the result of endless intrigue and effort on the part of Charles, the Lutheran electors at the Diet of Augsburg had just consented to accept the famous compromise on religious affairs called the Interim. The principal opposition to it was offered by the Catholics, and particularly by Bavaria; but a few months afterwards the interim was formally accepted by all Germany.
  • 5. The principal Commissioners for the English who endeavoured with very small success to settle the commercial differences and claims in 1545 were Sir William Petre, Dr. Thirlby, Bishop of Westminster, Dr. Carne, the English ambassador in Flanders, and Dr. Trigway, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's.
  • 6. Eleanor of Austria, sister of the Emperor.
  • 7. The Comendador, so called, in question had come to England in the previous year calling himself Portocarrero, and claiming to be related to the families of Cueva and Herrera. It will be seen by the last volume of this Calendar that the Emperor surmised that he was really a certain adventurer named Pedro Pacheco, and as he had appeared in England for the ostensible purpose of forwarding some French aims against the Emperor, he was lodged in the Tower at the instance of Van der Delft on the orders of the Emperor. The letter of the Duke of Alburquerque about him is in Vol. 8 of this Calendar, p. 405.