Spain: November 1547, 16-30

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

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'Spain: November 1547, 16-30', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549, ed. Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler( London, 1912), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

'Spain: November 1547, 16-30', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549. Edited by Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler( London, 1912), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

"Spain: November 1547, 16-30". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549. Ed. Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler(London, 1912), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.

November 1547, 16–30

Nov. 20. Paris K. 1485. Advices from Melun (from St. Mauris?).
I have already reported the voyage of Peter Strozzi to Piedmont. Since then it is said here that Dux (i.e. Henry II) is sending him shortly on a voyage to the East, in fulfilment of Stozzi's wish to see the country. But if suspicions here are well founded the real reason of the voyage will be to carry on some very doubtful negotiations. It is reported here that Strozzi has ordered the equipments he had here to be sent to Turin, in order that they may be nearer if necessary next year for a war against the Emperor. It is also said that the Prior of Capua (Leone Strozzi) has been to Nantes and has brought the galleys from there to be newly fitted, as is now being done in the new Arsenal which has been established here. Olsacius has discovered that Dux (Henry II) has requested the four Protestant Swiss Cantons and those attached to them to help him in Piedmont if necessary. He seems anxious to prove to them that he wishes to maintain his friendship with the Emperor; but he says that Piedmont belongs to this crown, and he sends them copies of his titles by means of which he hopes the better to move them (the Swiss), and to extend the present alliance. He speaks only of the defence of his own realm. He urges the delegates (of the Cantons) to enter into an agreement to help him, though he does not wish to assume the offensive, or to give any reason for war.
They have done their best to persuade the Pope to join in these alliances to recover Genoa, it being given out that Cardinal de Sion had in the past helped the holy See considerably by means of the said nation (i.e. the Swiss ?), but Olsacius says that the Holy Father displays much reluctance to allying himself with the Protestant Cantons, although he has not yet given a definite reply.
Recently Dux gave permission to certain Genoese merchants to bring to Lyons a good number of cases of velvet without paying any duties, which he did at the request of some of the Tregoses, who persuaded him that it would be very advisable for him to please the Genoese, in that and similar things, the idea being that in the course of time they might even be drawn to favour his influence in case of the Emperor's death, this last event being the starting point of most of their designs for the future. . . . .
Cardinal Bellay wrote recently to Dux that he saw that Italy would be utterly ruined unless he looked to it and took measures. The only way he saw to prevent it, he said, was to press to the extreme the alliance with the Venetians, and to find some means to bring the Turk down next year. He thought it would be easy if the Turk came to Naples, and the victory would be the more assured by the recent revolt in that place, the wounds of which were still bleeding, and the Neapolitan people all in revolt against the Emperor, however fair things may look at present.
I hear from a good source that a few days ago Dux informed the confederates of the knowledge the Emperor had obtained of the proposals made against him from this side, avowing to them that his only object had been to bring them into good accord, not to injure anyone. The assertion that they (the Swiss Cantons) were to be invaded was publicly current, and he (Henry II) could not avoid mentioning it to them; and he trusted that they would not attribute to him the things laid to his charge, or misinterpret his intentions, which he assured them were sincere in regard to them.
The Constable talking of Piacenza the other day said that in the life of the late King (Francis I) the Piacenza people had offered the place to him if he would consent to their assasinating Pier Luigi; but that he (Francis) would not agree to so disgraceful a thing. It is believed that the Constable said this only to raise the question of the manner of the late Duke's death, for his assertion is not believed to be true. It is, however, a matter of common talk amongst well informed people here that but for the recent events there Dux was to have entered Piacenza immediately and give to Horatio (Farnese) the dukedom of Bourbon. It is asserted that the marriage of Dux (i.e. with Catherine de Medici) had for its principal object to assure to the King (of France) the possession of Piacenza. They find here that the accord agreed upon between Don Fernando (Gonzaga, Governor of Milan) and Ottavio (Farnese) is advantageous to the Emperor. They say that it is quite clear from the terms of this agreement that it is his Majesty's intention to dominate the principality of Parma, and that this is a strong and convincing argument that the murder of Pier Luigi had been effected for the express purpose of at once occupying the two States. To this they add that Don Fernando gave to one of the conspirators one of Fiesco's castles, and that he is treating with equal favour the other conspirators. This they say is an undeniable proof of Don Fernando's complicity, their hatred of Don Fernando being extreme, and their evil stories of him being endless.
The ambassador of Mantua resident here writes frequently to the Cardinal of Mantua, saying that they ought to keep in well with Dux and gain the friendship of the Constable, who he says they will find very well affected towards their house (i.e. that of Gonzaga). They should, he says, receive with attention all Frenchmen of position who pass through or visit Mantua, and he recommends him (i.e. Cardinal Gonzaga) to make presents of hunting birds to Dux. He has also pressed the said Cardinal to endeavour to negotiate here through him for the re-incorporation of the portion of the State of Montferrat now occupied by the French, giving him to understand that good conditions might be obtained. The Cardinal, however, has been unwilling to agree to such negotiations, and replied that the whole question would be referred to the Emperor, and that he would not touch the matter without his Majesty, although he approved of the proposal to send Dux a present of birds, and to welcome Frenchmen who came to Mantua. The said ambassador is of course a thorough Frenchman, having a life pension from this king granted to him by Francis I, and he is desirous of doing something notable in favour of the French with the Cardinal, who, notwithstanding his affection for the ambassador, will not depart a hair's breadth from his firm attachment to the Emperor. He, indeed frequently instructs the ambassador to keep in touch with the imperial ambassador here, and to communicate to him anything that occurs touching his Majesty's interests. The ambassador does this as well as he can, underhand. They publish here as coming from their ambassador in England that . . . . is to marry in England to Madam Mary, and the King of England to one of the daughters of the said . . . . (fn. 1) It is also reported that Madam de Lorraine made the journey to Augsburg in order to marry the Prince of Piedmont. They say, moreover, that the Prince of Spain (Philip) is to go immediately to Italy, and this is generally believed, so credulous are these people.
It is asserted here that Maraillac sends word that after the Diet his Majesty (the Emperor) took his road towards the Franche Comte, and that he would reside at Besançon, with the sole object of moving war next year against France in the duchy of Burgundy and against the protestant leaguers. Under this pretext they have sent commissioners to despatch four hundred men at arms to Burgundy; whilst, with the object of assuring their frontiers, they are sending a similar force to Champagne and another to Picardy, as well as six hundred to Piedmont. These will, however, remain in Savoy and the Dauphine. They say that these men for Piedmont are sent because the Emperor is placing his 250 lances in the State of Milan, whereat they are far from pleased, whilst the force for Picardy they excuse by saying that his Majesty has proclaimed on the Artois and Hainault borders that all reserve and supernumerary men at arms are to hold themselves ready. They are thus trying to find excuses to arm their forces gradually. Their troops are, it is true, very badly equipped as they are not kept in the field as formerly. The Constable has recently revived some old ordinances in this respect, and has made some new ones, all tending to avoid the burdening of the people, which Dux will on no account allow. This has been carried so far that the bodies of troops when they march have been given the list of lodgings they are to go to from day to day, and they are not to stay in one place longer than another.
Dux is doing his utmost to get new cannon forged and powder made and other munitions of war prepared. He is spending money liberally in this. His plan is to supply Piedmont as well as he can, sending from Lyons by land and from Marseilles by water. He is specially sending certain double cannons for bombarding, and he foretells that he will have six of his legions supplied with these cannon, a hundred great pieces for each one, such as in Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc, Guyenne, Normandy and Brittany, so that these countries may be no longer defenceless. With this view he has made arrangements with several Germans and Lorrainers to get him some cannon from Germany, by way of Lorraine, through Fontenoy and the Vosges. The Fleming Orpheure has advised that Dux intends to raise more lansquenets, of whom Marshal Mants, a German, is to take charge. I have learnt this from no other source; but the Fleming asserts that he has heard it, and that the intention arises from the great fear of Dux that the Emperor may begin war against him from Piedmont next year. It is certain that the French people have much suspicion of this, and it is a subject of public discussion.
M. de Vendome (fn. 2) is at present in high favour with Dux; to the extreme that Vendome's return to Court was hastened, and he usually dines with Dux, which he would not formerly have been allowed to do. The reason for this favour is said by some of these courtiers to be that if the negotiations for the marriage of Madam Margaret with the Prince of Spain or the Prince of Piedmont hang fire they may be taken in hand for her marriage with M. de Vendome, but I have not heard this from any trustworthy quarter.
The King has not hitherto consented to confirm the privileges of the city of Paris, as he intends to reform matters, and to deprive the city of an infinitude of little offices formerly in its gift. He has even compelled the payment from private citizens and the city, of the money they were in the past liable to pay, the principal sum having amounted to over 300,000 francs, by which the King will profit greatly, so they say, although the people of Paris are in desperation and assert that the city will be desolated and unable in future to help Dux, against whom and his principal ministers they are much incensed. The city of Orleans is in similar case, as the King also refuses to confirm their privileges. Dux, indeed, is reducing that city to such extremity, in order that in future it may not have the means of fortifying itself; this to avoid occasion for future trouble.
The new Queen (Catherine de Medici) being in travail, a lady of her chamber asked M. de Vendome which he would like best, whether that a son should be born to the Queen or one born to M. d'Albret. This is regarded as being rather an adroit dilemma. (fn. 3) He replied that he would be glad if the Queen had not only one son but twelve, rather than that Albret should have any at all, inasmuch as from the former nothing but advantage could come to him, whereas in the other case the Princess (Jeanne) d'Albret would not be so rich as he should like to see her. This reply has been written and circulated and greatly praised, especially as the question was specially devised to draw from the Duke of Vendome an avowal whether he would be vexed if another son of France was born. As fate has decreed otherwise he is in higher authority than ever, and they introduce him into their most secret councils. The Constable does his best also to please him, as also does Silvius, although rumour says that he is not over well affected towards the Constable, as the latter monopolises all the credit.
A certain Don Francisco, a Portuguese, is making great efforts here to prevent the French from navigating in future to Brasil or to other Indies belonging to the King of Portugal. He has, however, completely failed to get any such promise. They (the French) tell him that sea navigation is free to everyone, but especially to them in this case, as they have been in the habit of sailing to Brasil for many years past. The same Don Francisco has, it is said, been pressing for a judgment also in the matter of the captures at sea by French and Portuguese, and praying for a suspension of the letters of marque and reprisals. This he has obtained, and an assurance given to him by the Privy Council that strict justice shall be administered in France in future. As for the past, he asserts, that he has not heard of a single pirate having been hanged or otherwise executed here, their crimes in fact having been winked at, which is quite true. At the same time they summoned before the Council and Don Francisco one Pacquelou, who is pressing for a letter of marque. Much talk took place between them, in the course of which Don Francisco charged Pacquelou with having carried arms to the Moors and having sold some Portuguese to them. Pacquelou denied this, and said that Don Francisco was telling an untruth. He said that he (Pacquelou) had in fact only done in this matter what he had been ordered to do by the late King (Francis I). Don Francisco considered himself aggrieved by this answer, saying that he had been given the lie direct, and demanded reparation for the insult. He was told by the Council that in this country it was not considered insulting to rebut an assertion by saying that it was untrue and that the opposite was the fact.
It is now reported that a ship has arrived in a port of Brittany with gold and pearls, there being on board no foreigner, but only some French pilots. Enquiries have been made as to where this vessel has come from, and it is believed that she has been captured and robbed and the sailors drowned at sea. It is also said that Jean Longovis, count of Dieppe, is arming and provisioning four war ships for two years, with the intention of sending them to Brasil: but the real intention is doubtless to plunder the ships on their voyage home from the Indies, as usual. It is certain that Dux is beginning to give permission to several of his subjects, especially in Normandy, to fit out ships for voyages. The Normans have declared here that if they are not allowed to do this the trade of Normandy must perish, this being their pretext. Notice is being sent to Spain that a watch may be kept . . . . .
It is said by members of the Constable's household that the King has certain information that Duke Maurice (of Saxony) is discontented with the Emperor in consequence of the detention of the Landgrave (Philip of Hesse) and the suit of Katzenellenbogen and they (the French) think that in consequence of this the said Duke Maurice may at a future time traverse his Majesty's (the Emperor's) interests. They speak as they wish! (fn. 4)
The new Queen (Catherine) sent lately to the Florentine ambassador and complained bitterly to him of the order given by the Duke of Florence that none of his subjects should leave his dominions to take service under any other prince, without his permission, on pain of death. This looked as if he desired to stop his subjects from crossing into Piedmont for the King of France; and the latter was much offended at it, as was also the Constable. The Florentine ambassador, who seems to be a good servant of the Emperor, replied that the prohibition was a general one. They had greatly regretted that any annoyance should have been felt by the King of France in the matter, but the order had been given by the Duke in the interest of the conservation of his dominions, and it was common for all potentates to take such a step. But they (the French) still persist in pressing the ambassador warmly to request his master to suspend the prohibition, and to allow his subjects to go where they please to serve. It is also reported that the new Queen exhorted the same ambassador, as if of his own accord, to urge his master to come to terms with Dux; not that it was needful for the present, but that at least he should give an assurance that at the death of the Emperor he should be on their side. The Queen pointed out that when his Majesty died the position of affairs in Italy would change, and there would be less stability, so that the Duke (of Florence) would have need of the help of Dux (the King of France), whom he would find faithful to him and a good ally. He (the King of France) would also influence the Strozzis to be friendly, and would pacify the complaints now made by the Strozzis with regard to Florentine freedom. (fn. 5) By these means he (the Duke) and his people would be assured. The Queen confessed that for the present the Duke had no good reason for deserting the Emperor, who had been so good to him; but he would be doing him no wrong by changing sides after the Emperor's death. She swore that she would rather see the state of Florence in the Duke's possession than in that of any other prince, (fn. 6) and Dux was of the same opinion. We have learnt this from one who had it from the ambassador's secretary, who added that the ambassador replied that he would be very sorry to stand in the way of such an understanding, but he knew well that his master would flatly reject the proposal, his entire devotion being towards the Emperor. It has been thought well to give this information to show the ardent wish of Dux and his friends to get the lordship of Italy and to stir up trouble there if they can get the chance.
On the 28 November last a proclamation was made in this place of Melun summoning all the gendarmerie of France, and it is said that Dux intends even to increase their number by a third; and that he will send them to their garrisons, all the frontiers being prepared for defence. It is said, moreover, that the legionaries are being made ready for when they are wanted. The excuse for all this is that they fear the Emperor and Germany on account of Piedmont, and they wish to be strong and ready. It may be feared, however, that the preparations may be for other ends, inasmuch as the Pope and the States of Venice, it is said, may league with him (Henry II). Without this the French are hopeless of effecting anything. It is impossible to speak confidently of their future plans, but it is certain that they are in great fear of the Emperor here; although they are 1oth to confess it and are as blustering and insolent as ever since the beginning of this new reign, during which they think to subdue all the world. All this they expect from the greatness of Dux (Henry II) with whom Silvius, and the Cardinal of Ferrara, solemnly feasted at Fontainebleau lately; and it is said that the matter in hand was the marriage of M. d'Aumale with the second daughter of Ferrara, which affair is now looked upon as settled.
Well informed people say that Aumale will go to Piedmont as Lieutenant General for the King, and that the Prince of Amalfi will still not budge from his command. The appointment, however, seems only in case the Emperor sends troops to Italy, and Dux wishes to have Aumale there, owing to the great confidence he reposes in him to hold Piedmont to the very end.
The belief here is general that the King will make a journey to Burgundy at the beginning of March, and will thence go to Lyons, though there is some talk of his going by Touraine. The decision was only taken a week ago, but the particular road he will follow depends upon the progress of affairs. If Dux can be satisfied about the Emperor, and learns for certain that his Majesty is not going to Italy, he (Henry II) will go to Normandy and temporise with the English and keep them in hand for the solace of the Scots.
Messengers are constantly arriving in this Court from the confederated Protestants. They come post and return at once. It is reported that the Protestants fear the Emperor, and Dux increases their alarm, urging them to stand firm and join for mutual defence. Some men from Geneva have been here saying that the Emperor was coming to attack them, and so to seize Lyons, then closing the road to Italy. They came to beg for aid in money to arm and fortify their city.
Dux is assembling the States of his realm who grant him supplies, and he demands of them money for the necessities of his government. He is grabbing as much money as he can, and he has ordered his treasurer to pay nobody without his express command. The truth is that he has not just now much ready cash. He has brought from the Louvre most of the money his father left him, which amounted to less than 800,000 crowns. He has paid this money away for debts secured on his domain, to the leaguers, etc. Necessity, therefore, makes him hoard money, spending very little from day to day, much less than his late father did. He is very sparing, too, in giving presents to the foreigners who visit him; and altogether he is as stingy as his father was liberal. He would not even allow what he owed at Lyons to be paid, determined to have ready money at any cost for the needs of his realm. We shall see whether the new taxes will be increased. If they do it will be suspicious.
November ? Paris K. 1485. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager of Hungary.
A week since the Scottish ambassador named Paniter came to see me at my lodgings. After some personal chat he told me that the principal reason of his coming was to learn from me whether your Majesty would be willing to enter into negotiations for peace with Scotland without referring the matter to the consent of the King of England. He said that he was confident that if your Majesty would consent thus to treat with them direct and without the condition aforesaid the Queen of Scotland and the Regent wished for nothing more ardently than to win the friendship of the Emperor.
He dwelt upon the old alliance and confederation that had existed for so many years between the houses of Burgundy and Scotland, which had only been broken when his Majesty the Emperor declared against them during the last war. This, they knew, had been done at the instance of the King of England (Henry VIII). Even then, if matters had not been so hurried, and the Emperor had well understood the position, he would have seen many reasons for not acceding to the King of England's demand, at all events without hearing the parties concerned. Paniter professed the highest esteem for the friendship of the Emperor, and greatly praised an answer which he says the Emperor gave him on one occasion; to the effect that he would maintain, and even increase, the friendship, and would never be instrumental in handing over Scotland to be the prey of her enemies. He enlarged much, Madam, upon the present unfortunate calamity of Scotland, owing to the inequality of her forces in battle with those of her enemy. The King of England, he said, had treated them cruelly and unjustly, and the injury inflicted upon them by him would for ever rankle in the mind of the Scots, until they could be revenged with God's help. He trusted that this might be soon, as the Scots were burning to avenge the ignominy they had suffered. Heaven and earth and all the elements of nature, he said, cried aloud for redress, and he prayed that all good princes and Christians and friends of the Catholic faith would assist his country against the oppression which they had cast off. Even, he continued, if Scotland, was deserted and abandoned by all the world, the King of England could never bring her to his rule: all he could do would only embitter and anger her the more. If some of the Scottish lords had temporised with the King of England, it was only done out of sheer necessity and to gain time. Brute force was for the moment on the side of the King of England, but Scottish hearts were as far as ever from being subdued.
I heard all he had to say without interruption, and when he had finished I asked him what had moved him to come to me to learn the intentions of your Majesty. He replied that, as I was the ambassador here representing the Emperor, and he being very anxious to see his country reconciled and friendly with his Majesty, he had conceived the idea of approaching me and speaking as he had done. He therefore took the opportunity, he said, of begging for enlightenment on the above point, in order that it might not be said that Scotland had suffered the shame of asking for peace and had been repulsed, or at least denied, unless with the consent of the English, which would be to make peace impossible, as the English only sought their entire ruin. The matter therefore turned upon one point alone; namely whether your Majesty would make peace with them without referring them to the present King of England. He added that he spoke thus because he thought it possible that the treaty of close alliance which had been made (i.e. by the Emperor) with the late King of England had not been renewed with his son.
I took special note of the last point, Madam, believing that it was mentioned in order to sound me and discover whether I knew anything as to the renewal or otherwise of the said treaty, convinced also that this proceeded from someone higher than the speaker and from a French source. Madam, I therefore repeated to him in substance what I had represented here to the King of France respecting the continued depredations committed at sea by the Scots, against the subjects of the Emperor, in violation of the safe conducts on both sides. I set forth to him in detail these outrages, committed notwithstanding all the remonstrances that we had been able to make. Your Majesty, I said, had even appealed directly to the Council of Scotland, but without any good result, for no restitution had ever been obtained of the plunder taken so unjustly. The Emperor and your Majesty, I said, nevertheless persisted in demanding this, that the goods seized should be restored and the injury redressed. This I had on several occasions repeated here when I had been spoken to on the subject of the advisability of his Majesty's making peace with the Scots. I could not therefore understand how they could expect us to listen to peace proposals direct from them until, at least, they had restored our property and made some reparation for the injury inflicted. I said that he (Adam Paniter) must understand that I said this on my own account alone, and as arising from my own experience and observation of how these affairs were dealt with. I would, however, write to your Majesty an account of what had passed between us, without adding anything of my own. I praised his goodwill and desire to secure peace in Scotland.
I asked him in the course of conversation whether all hope had disappeared of their being able to come to terms with the King of England. This was for the purpose of hinting that unless they did this it would be difficult for them to arrange with the Emperor, as well as to sound him on the subject and see whether any negotiations had been opened with the English. He replied that it would be more difficult now than ever it had been to bring them together. He said that if they (the English) had been content to do nothing more after the Castle of St. Andrews had been taken, affairs might easily have been arranged and a favourable peace made; but that all chance of this had been destroyed by the inhumanity displayed since by the English, which inhumanity was even now continuing every day against the Scots, the principal object being to obtain possession of the young Princess to marry her to the King of England, to which the Scots would never consent. It would, moreover, be most unreasonable in any case to arrange her marriage, she being only five years old; but in the present case it was specially unreasonable, because it would mean placing her realm in the hands of one, who, so far as could be seen, would for the whole of his life be alienated from the Catholic faith, and might well draw Scotland into the same heresy as himself; Scotland being now so firmly Christian as to hate such an idea; and all the more if it came from the hands of the King of England.
Referring further, Madam, to the depredations of the Scots at sea, he said that if Mr. Strick (fn. 7) when he was in Scotland had consented to submit to summary proof any single fact of which proof was necessary, and had produced signed attestations from a Secretary of Scotland, this would have sufficed to secure the condemnation of one of the principal Scottish pirates, and the restitution of what he had plundered, in addition to the severe punishment of the offender. He remarked in reference to this that the safe conducts guaranteeing navigation between the subjects of the Emperor and the Scots were in his opinion nothing but a signal fire to attract such robberies; the sea being so large and the corsairs so numerous. He said that he recollected perfectly well pointing this out at the time that the safe conducts were granted; he, at that time, being anxious to bring about peace, which would have been much better for them in every way. He condemned earnestly the doings of their pirates, and confessed that they deserved severe punishment, whilst the restitution of the plunder they had taken was more than reasonable when the facts and the offenders had been ascertained. He tried to excuse the piracies that were at present taking place by assuring me they were the work for the most part of Englishmen and naturalised Scotsmen in England, who retire to certain remote islands the better to hide their misdeeds. He was certain, he said, that this would be found to be the case.
He declared that the Scots felt to their very entrails the small effort made by these people (the French) to get them included in the last peace treaty they had made with the King of England. They had even left them in the lurch, he said, in their negotiations with the Emperor, since on all sides they (the French) were so anxious for their own advantage that they had sought both treaties of peace whilst ignoring their friends and allies the Scots. They (the Scots) had specially sent word to Dux (Henry II) on his accession to the crown to this effect, urging him to send an envoy to England for the purpose of securing their inclusion in the last treaty of peace, which had been flatly refused by the King of England. For this reason poor deserted Scotland found herself now afflicted as she was. What grieved him (Paniter) most, he said, was that they had lost the favour of your Majesty; and he concluded his discourse by assuring me that Scotland was anxious to return to peace with the Emperor of its own accord, without any mystery or the intervention of others between them, in order that your Majesty might recognise the more clearly their sincerity. He declared that in the past he had always advocated this course, and he adapted this to his previous observations by repeating to me that he would have been willing for the question to be referred to the English for the sake of arriving at a peaceful solution; but that they had been haughtily repulsed. I said I would submit the whole question to your Majesty; but I always kept before him the matter of the piracies, with the need for restitution and redress.
He asked whether in my opinion they on their part should send an envoy to your Majesty in order to discuss the matter of the restitution of the plunder, which envoy might at the same time broach the principal question of a separate peace. I replied that the late King (of France), and even the present one, had often held out hopes that he would cause to be sent to your Majesty Scottish ambassadors to bring about the restitution in question. This, however, had never been done; and I felt certain, in any case, that they (the Scots), could not fail eventually to do their duty in this respect and to negotiate conveniently, but I was only speaking for myself, and must leave the answer to his question to your Majesty. This is all that passed between us at the time.
I have no doubt that this step is taken with a desire to bring about peace, and it may be observed that one of the reasons why these people (the French) may wish to arrive at it by these means is that it may introduce division between the Emperor and the King of England. From this, and from what I have said above, Madam. I infer that Scotland is at present very hard pressed; because the country is naturally insolent and haughty in matters of arms, she would otherwise be unwilling to humble herself, and would prefer to continue the depredations.
Apropos of this, Madam, on the last day of September the ordinary French ambassador resident in Scotland arrived in this Court, and also a Scottish gentleman specially sent to demand aid from the King of France. He reported that the King of England dominated a castle, near to a harbour, where an entire fleet could easily lie, and they considered that unless this fortress were conquered the entire ruin and loss of Scotland would ensue. The whole Court was much troubled at the coming of these men with this news, and Dux was three days closeted, and it was said conferring as to sending the help demanded. (fn. 8) It is now asserted that he will give it in the form of money, whilst others say that in the spring he will send expressly to Scotland the prior of Capua, and it is also considered certain that the Pope will contribute funds to the Scots. He is sending a Legate to Scotland with money, who will come here to visit the King (of France) on his way thither.
There is therefore, Madam, little appearance that any accord is being negotiated between the English and the Scots, but if things change I will keep your Majesty well informed as promptly as possible.
I have no doubt that your Majesty will have learnt the truth of the occurrences that have taken place near Ardres, between Dux and the English, of which people here think so much. In order, indeed, to encourage their people they announce that their army under the command of Chatillon had demolished three English forts and hold prisoners all those who were inside. They say that the forts were bravely and smartly assailed. On the other hand, the English ambassador affirms that there was no resistance at all on their side nor gallantry on the other, there having only been a few men in the demolished chapel, solely for the purpose of continuing their ancient possession of it. It is the custom here to make flies into elephants, and these Frenchmen will never abandon this habit of theirs or cease to talk vainly as they do. This (English) ambassador is greatly suspicious of such behaviour, but the Constable endeavoured to justify the affair by saying that the violence began on the English side. He has tried, indeed, to minimise and palliate the affair in every way, saying that it is not their desire to enter into dispute with the English, but rather to avoid all question between them. He declares that Dux wishes to observe the last treaty of good friendship and neighbourhood, and if he undertook anything against the said treaty he hoped that he himself would be repelled. In short, Madam, after doing their worst these people are trying to smooth it all over with fair words, though they have to deal with people who understand them perfectly.


  • 1. The names are left blank in the decipher but there is no doubt but that the rumour refers to the great fear entertained by the French that the Emperor might obtain control of English policy by marrying his cousin, the Princess Mary whilst his daughter Juana might marry King Edward. Such an alliance was of course really out of the question at this time.
  • 2. Anthony de Bourbon Duke of Vendome, who married Jeanne d'Albret, titular Queen of Navarre, in October of the following year, 1548.
  • 3. It must not be forgotten that Anthony de Bourbon Duke de Vendome was first prince of the blood of France after the King and his son, and the talk of his marriage with Jeanne d'Albret, heiress of the feudatory crown of Navarre, was already rife. In either of the two cases supposed Vendome's chance of a regal crown was diminished.
  • 4. It must be recollected that the Landgrave was the father-in-law of Maurice of Saxony, by means of whose adherence the Emperor had succeeded in crushing the Lutherans for a time. Maurice took the continued detention of the Landgrave after his submission as one of the pretexts for his defection from the imperial cause shortly afterwards, a defection which practically secured religious toleration in the Empire. The other subject of discontent mentioned, the suit of Katzenellenbogen, was a territorial dispute between the rulers of Hesse and Nassau, which had been decided in preceding August, by the Emperor at Augsburg, in favour of Nassau.
  • 5. See note page 181.
  • 6. Catharine being daughter of Lorenzo de'Medici, Duke of Urbino, and consequently the reputed sister of the murdered Duke of Florence, Alessandro de'Medici, the predecessor of Cosimo, had naturally not been friendly with the latter, to whom, moreover, the Strozzi and other Florentines in the service of France were bitterly opposed,
  • 7. Particulars of the mission of Strick sent by the Queen Dowager, Mary of Hungary, to Scotland for the purpose of arranging some commercial modus vivendi notwithstanding the existence of a technical state of war between the countries will be found in the last volume of this Calendar.
  • 8. The envoy in question was Sir Walter Ogilvie, and it need hardly be said that his real mission was to arrange the deportation of the infant Queen of Scots to France to be betrothed to the Dauphin. Late in December the embassy returned to Scotland from Brittany “with a hundred French gentlemen, captains for the war sent by the King with a great sum of money. Grey de Wilton to Somerset. Scottish State Papers, Bain. Vol. 1.