Spain: February 1548

Pages 246-259

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

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February 1548

Feb. 5. Simancas Estado, 806. A patent in Latin signed by James earl of Arran as Regent of Scotland, in the name of Mary the Queen, dated in Dumbarton, reciting that Henry II, King of France, the constant friend and ally of Scotland against the English, had sent to Scotland the famous Italian soldier Captain Ubaldino to perfect the Scots in the knowledge of arms and to organise the defence of the realm. He is hereby appointed to the supreme command for this purpose of all the Scottish forces by land and sea, and to have access to all the fortresses, munitions, etc.
Feb. 14. Vienna Imp. Arch. Extracts of Letters from the Flemish Council of State to the Imperial Ambassador in England.
We have been recently informed that the Court Master (fn. 1) and the merchants of English nationality in Antwerp had retired from that city, and that the Court Master had issued certain ordinances, amongst which was one prohibiting any merchant of English nationality from buying or selling merchandise in the city of Antwerp or sojourning there for more than one night. Being desirous of discovering the truth of this we have caused enquiries to be made, and we have ascertained that the prohibition in question is such as to be not only a violation of the written law, but against all treaties and conventions, especially against the treaty of close alliance, the second clause of which expressly stipulates that the subjects of the two sovereigns may freely, frankly and safely, use and frequent their respective dominions and transact business in them, converse and reside in them as long as it pleases them to do so, in such towns or places as they may choose. It is also laid down that the subjects must mutually favour each other, and deal honestly together.
The prohibition referred to not only enjoins the English merchants not to do this, by forbidding them from staying over a night in Antwerp, but further restrains them by ordering them to remain in the town of Bruges, even though they may have business elsewhere. This, it will be seen, is not “mutually favouring” the Antwerp people in accordance with the clause quoted above, but appears rather to hold them as enemies to be avoided. In the interests of the due fulfilment of the treaty his Majesty the Emperor cannot allow this.
The prohibition referred to is, moreover, a distinct infraction of the commercial convention of 1485, in which the tenth clause is so worded as to give to the subjects of both contracting princes the right to frequent and use their respective dominions, to reside in them and remain as long as they please without any hindrance or obstacle whatever. It is also stipulated in this convention that for thus residing or remaining abroad the respective subjects may not be accused, indicted or punished, by their own rulers or authorities. By the first clause in the commercial convention of the year 1520 it is also laid down that this liberty on both sides should be freely enjoyed, and it is again repeated in the eleventh clause of the treaty of close alliance which repeats the wording of the already quoted clause in the commercial treaty of 1485.
If the terms of the treaty be fulfilled, therefore, it is evident that the King of England himself cannot compel his subjects to confine themselves to any particular town, but must allow each one full liberty to carry on his business in such place as may best suit him. If this be the case, as it is, much less can a mere Court Master do such a thing, and especially here in the dominions of the Emperor, where he has neither footing nor jurisdiction to interdict one of the cities and compel the merchants to remain in another city at his good pleasure, under the threat of pains and penalties.
In fulfilment, therefore, of our duty in safeguarding the rights and prerogatives of his imperial Majesty as Duke of Brabant, we have resolved to commence proceedings against the said Court Master, as may appear desirable. We have nevertheless thought best to defer doing so until we had informed you of the matter; and we desire that you will take the earliest opportunity possible of requesting audience of the Protector and the members of the Council, for the purpose of remonstrating with them on the abuse and insolence of the said Court Master.
You may say that it is impossible for us to pass the matter over, as it is altogether too injurious to the rights and dignity of his imperial Majesty as Duke of Brabant, recognising no superior. It is also a flagrant violation of the treaties in force between his Majesty the Emperor and the King of England, and we hope sincerely that, in the interests of the fulfilment of the treaties and of the continuance of the friendship between the two sovereigns, they (the English Government) will not favour or support the Court Master in his proceedings, but will give orders for him to abstain from any similar action for the future.
You may say that they (the members of the English Council) will recognise with their usual wisdom what view neighbouring nations will take of the friendship between his Majesty the Emperor and the King of England, when they see that a mere Court Master dares to take the liberty in his Majesty's dominions of forbidding English merchants to frequent and reside in the cities. You may also point out to them, that if his Majesty, who certainly in his own dominions has not less authority than a Court Master, were to take upon himself to order the English merchants under heavy pains and penalties to confine themselves to certain cities, and forbid them from doing business in others, or to stay in a place for only a limited time it would certainly be said that his action was a violation of the treaties in force. Even though his imperial Majesty is a sovereign prince, he cannot in his dominions as a just ruler prohibit his own subjects from frequenting the city of Antwerp.
It is not the intention of his Majesty to compel the English merchants to frequent or reside in the city of Antwerp or to exclude them from that of Bruges; but only to insist upon their freedom to frequent and stay in whatever towns or places they please, in accordance with the treaties and conventions in force, and without any pains or penalties being inflicted upon them for exercising their undoubted rights in this respect.
You may say to the members of the Council that they will recognise at once, that, having regard to the continuance of the friendship between his imperial Majesty and the King of England, we have every reason to resent very strongly the action of this Court Master in presuming to forbid the English merchants from frequenting any of his Majesty's cities, which certainly does not look like favouring the subjects of his Majesty, as they (the English) are bound to do by the treaty of close alliance.
It may possibly be objected to you by the Council that in accordance with the commercial convention of 1520, the English are not allowed to make any statute against any towns or private persons in his Majesty's dominions unless the burgesses of such towns, or the private persons referred to have unfairly or fraudulently dealt with or otherwise injured the English merchants; and it may perhaps be alleged that the Antwerp people have treated them in a way which displeases them. (fn. 2)
We have no knowledge of anything of the sort; but if the Court Master should seek to defend himself by advancing such an assertion, you may tell the Council that we do not believe that the burgesses of Antwerp have treated the English merchants otherwise than they are bound to do, as true allies of his Majesty in accordance with the treaty made between the citizens of Antwerp and the English subjects in the year 1538.
We enclose herewith a duplicate of this treaty. You may point out that, even in the event of the Antwerp people having acted otherwise the treaty in question itself lays down the procedure by which the matter should be settled. If the Court Master had given notice of any such complaint steps would have been taken to remedy what he complained of to his satisfaction, even in the case of the procedure enjoined by clause twelve of the treaty of close alliance being rejected. Even so, the Court Master cannot advance any such defence in this case, nor is it possible for him to do so by the tenour of the commercial convention of 1520, as will be clearly seen by an examination of the clauses of the convention itself.
Feb. 23. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
I have received your Majesty's letter of the 31st January, containing the warrant giving me authority to act in the business of the wool staple. I will be guided in the matter by the instructions that have been sent to me by the Gentlemen of the Council of State. In pursuance of these negotiations I visited the Protector and informed him that I had been commissioned to treat with him for the prolongation of the agreement with regard to the staple. I took this step somewhat hurriedly because the Protector was leaving London the next day, in order to inspect the ports, the isle of Wight and other portions of the coast opposite France.
I also laid before the Protector the complaint sent to me by the members of your Majesty's Flemish Council respecting a certain order issued by the Court Master of the English merchants prohibiting the latter from sojourning for more than one night in the city of Antwerp, and enjoining them to remain in that of Bruges, where they now are. This, I pointed out to him, was not only a violation of all the treaties and conventions but was an encroachment upon the prerogatives of your Majesty, as sovereign Duke of Brabant, especially as the said order is to be enforced by pains and penalties.
With regard to the wool staple the Protector replied that personages should be appointed to arrange with me for the continuance of the commercial convention of 1523.
In the matter of the Court Master, however, the Protector maintained that the prohibition was not an infraction of any of the treaties or conventions between your Majesties. The English merchants, he said, had been granted permission by your Majesties to choose any of the towns of your Majesty's Low Countries that they might like, in which to sell their merchandise. The merchants had from time immemorial been subject to the control of their Court Master, and had voluntarily submitted to his rule. The Court Master might therefore command and regulate according to his discretion the English merchants, subjects of his King. The Protector added that he had no doubt the Court Master had good reason to resent the action of the Antwerp people, for he (the Protector) recollected that from the time that he was at Brussels with the bishop of Winchester to wait upon your Majesty there were frequent complaints of the bad treatment of the English merchants by them.
I replied to the best of my ability, in accordance with the information sent to me by the Flemish Council of State, and am writing more fully to the Council on this business, in order not to trouble your Majesty unduly with it. I may say, however, in short, that so far as I can see the Protector is disposed to support the Court Master in his action, although he said that he did not wish to do anything to displease your Majesty.
In order to discover how they stood with the French I asked the Protector whether it was true that the King of France had a force of cavalry ready to ship and send to the assistance of the Scots. He replied that he had been informed that such was the case, though the King of France was at the present time displaying more amiability towards them than previously, expressing his desire to comply with the treaty he had with them (the English), though he said he was bound also in reason to keep the promise he had made to the Scots to help them in their need. Nevertheless he (the King of France) offered to employ his best endeavours to bring about some satisfactory settlement between them and the Scots. If, however, they would not come to any agreement he could not avoid fulfilling his promise and aiding the Scots, though he would do so without infringing the treaty in force between him and the King of England. The latter he (the King of France) said, had in like manner reserved in the treaty referred to, the treaties with the Emperor.
It is evident, Sire, that they have no doubt that the King of France will help the Scots, but they are still sanguine of being able to gain more of the country by means of the fortresses that they have taken care to hold, and by the help of the principal people of the country, who are inclined to think that they will fare better under the treatment of the English than under that of the French, since they have come so low as to be inevitably subject either to one or the other.
They have, for the second time, attempted the siege of Broughty Craig some two miles from Dundee, which is a good harbour and a handsome place, though without a wall. Inside the place there was a Scotsman named Lord Gray, who took the side of the King of England so zealously that he was able to convert all the inhabitants to his way of thinking. He thus held Dundee for the English awaiting re-inforcements from here, until the earl of Argyle came against him with a considerable force of Scotsmen accompanied by M. de la Chapelle and his company of Frenchmen. Lord Gray, seeing that no succour was likely to reach him from here, thereupon abandoned the town. Before the earl of Argyle had arrived at Dundee he sent to the fortress of Broughty Craig for the purpose of seeking a parley with the commander. The latter, however, distrusting Argyle, sent in his place a certain sea captain, who after he had parleyed with Argyle and was passing through the town of Dundee with a number of troops took the artillery and bells (cloces) that were there and carried them off to Broughty Craig. (fn. 3)
The earl of Argyle afterwards entered Dundee and issued a proclamation ordering all the burgesses to return to their own homes under pain of the gallows. This they did on condition that they were pardoned for all they had done in the past.
With this Argyle and his men appeared before Broughty Craig, from which place the English sallied and in the ensuing engagement the Scots and French were defeated. In the fight a Frenchman very richly accoutered was shot, and the English observing the great pains taken by the Scots to find the body, made such efforts that it remained in their hands. The English afterwards learnt from the prisoners they had taken that the corpse was that of M. de la Chapelle himself and although the news of this was spread through this city (London) the lords of the Council have refrained from publishing it as a fact until they were quite certain of it. (fn. 4) It is, however, now believed by everybody to be true and the Protector himself told me so. The earl of Argyle thereupon retired, on the pretext that he was going to obtain heavier artillery and a larger number of troops, but it is generally believed that he has forgotten to return. The English had sent thither one of the best officers they have in their service, named Palmer, (fn. 5) in order for him to see what will be necessary for the security of Broughty Craig and the fortification of the town of Dundee. He decided that if a mountain about half a mile distant from Broughty Craig were occupied and some slight defensive works constructed it might be held with little trouble or expense against all the force of Scotland, and would effectually prevent any siege of Broughty Craig.
The Protector has therefore sent thither with all speed men and money and everything else necessary to execute Palmer's plan. It is believed that they will have arrived there ere this, but no news to that effect has been received.
They also think of fortifying another mountain near Edinburgh, which will also be of great use to them, and thus they will gradually win the country bit by bit, much as the French may try to prevent them.
I asked the Protector what was the talk I heard about the King of France having been made protector of Scotland, and that the whole of the fortresses had been placed in his hands by the Scots. He replied that he also had heard this said, but how true it might be he did not know. He then recounted to me all that had passed that same day between him and the earl of Huntly, who, as your Majesty knows, is a prisoner here. The Protector said that he (Huntly) seemed an honest man, but that he hardly liked to trust him in the offer he now made; namely, that he should be allowed to go to Scotland in order to induce the Queen and the Regent Arran to come to terms with the English. If he failed in these efforts Huntly promised to resign all his offices and authority in Scotland, and to return hither as a prisoner again, thus keeping his faith. He could not, he said, endure to see his country brought to utter ruin and destruction by being handed over to the French, as would inevitably be the case if the King of France gave them great assistance; for he would then naturally make himself their master. Their country would be equally destroyed by the English, who would certainly not desist from continuing the war upon them now that they had gained so advantageous a footing in the country; so that the poor Scots would be under the yoke of both of them and harried and ruined on every side.
Before this the Protector had sent Controller Paget to me, for the purpose of informing me of their intention of taking the mountain in Scotland to which I have referred, and also to say that they had sent to Lubeck, Hamburg and other towns of Germany in consequence of their having been informed from trustworthy source that the King of France was intriguing there to obtain men and ships from those places, and they (the English) were of opinion that this might be directed against them and especially with the intention of sending succour to Scotland. They had therefore considered it necessary to send to the towns mentioned for the purpose of refreshing their memory as to the good friendship that had always existed between the King of England and them; and to say that they (the English) hoped that the towns on their side would maintain the same, and would not extend favour or assistance to those who were opposed to them, which they (the English) felt assured they would not do. The Controller made great excuses that I had not been informed from the first of this mission to the towns, which he assured me had been entirely his own fault. He had, he said, been instructed to inform me of it before the departure of their commissioners, but out of pure forgetfulness he had neglected to do so.
The ordinances on religion are rather tending to improvement here just now than otherwise, for orders have been issued that Lent is to be observed and fish days kept. It has also been commanded that service in the churches shall be conducted as formerly. (fn. 6) Mass is celebrated likewise in all the churches, and before the King; but in the private houses of some of the principal men there is nothing but sermonising. Although some most scandalous lampoons upon the ecclesiastics have been played before the King, to the great contentment of the spectators, these things have since been prohibited. It looks to me as if these people did not know what path to take, now that they have separated from the only good one, and that they find themselves in utter confusion.
I am given to understand that the principal bishops and other learned men are in consultation, for the purpose of drawing up the ordinances and declarations which every person will have to follow, and there can be no doubt that these will not be entirely in conformity with our true and ancient faith, since the bishop of Winchester is not of their opinion. He has, indeed, opposed it so strongly that he has been ordered since his release from prison not to leave his own house. It is expected, however, that he will end by giving way to them, and he is to make his declaration shortly.
The two Italians are preaching, one in Latin at the University of Oxford, (fn. 7) and the other, Friar Bernardin, in Italian in this city of London. As this Friar Bernardin had already gained renown in Italy by his preaching all the Italians resident here have been anxious to hear him. (fn. 8) But those who had already heard him preach in Italy say that he has lost all the grace and eloquence that he formerly possessed, and they recognise that God has deprived him of his gifts now that he has begun to misuse them. He thus grows daily less and less esteemed, and I sincerely hope that at last he will have no auditors at all, unless it be the Duchess of Suffolk (fn. 9) and the Marquis of Northampton the brother of the Queen Dowager (Katharine Parr). With regard to the said Marquis, I have been told in strict confidence that by means of his sister the Queen and of the Duchess of Suffolk he recently took for his wife (fn. 10) the daughter of the Deputy of Calais, and that eight or nine days afterwards he was obliged by the command of the Council to put her away and never speak to her again on pain of death, in consequence of his having already a wife living, although he has long been separated from her. He is only spoken of secretly and does not show himself at Court, although during this Lent there are here many pastimes where all the ambassadors are invited and where we have been most graciously welcomed by the King.
Sire, I have learnt from a courtier here named Philip Hoby, first master of the Ordnance and Gentleman of the Chamber to the late King Henry and also to the present King, that he has been selected to go as ambassador to your Majesty. The Protector has not, however, yet mentioned the matter to me. This Hoby gained the favour of the late King by his skill in languages, and he was in the habit of serving the King in the entertainment of foreigners. He is much liked by the Protector, as he takes the same view in religious affairs as he does. I have never had much conversation with him, and therefore his qualities are not well known to me. I will nevertheless make enquiries about him, and though he has the reputation of always having been favourable to foreigners it seems to me that he is also very cool and can dissemble well.
London, 23 February, 1548.
Feb. 23. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Flemish Council of State.
After the receipt of your Lordships' letters, with those of his Majesty the Emperor enclosing me the authority to negotiate for the continuance of the commercial convention of 1523 on the wool staple, I went to visit the Protector, and laid before him the commission that had been entrusted to me for this purpose. He informed me that personages should be deputed with full powers to arrange for the continuance of the Convention referred to, and I will follow the instructions sent to me by your Lordships in this negotiation.
I also informed the Protector that the restitution of their estates to the Countess of Egmont and the Seigneur de Morbecque had not yet been effected, although the letters he had caused to be written giving directions to this end to his officers in the Boulognais had been duly presented to Wallop. I said I had failed in not requesting a copy of these letters. He asked me what difficulty had been raised to the restitution, and I then showed him Wallop's reply. After he had read this the Protector said: “From the very wording of the reply itself it is easy to see what we wrote from here, as it is evident that Wallop would not have dared to write in such a way for a moment if he had not received definite instructions from us to make the restitution of the estates. With regard to the duplicate of the letter I doubt whether the Secretary will have kept it, as it is not our custom to retain copies of such documents as this. But if there be any necessity for a duplicate, which we do not think will be the case, we will write to Boulogne and will obtain a duplicate for you.”
I should have accepted this offer at once, only that the period taken by Wallop is about to expire, and I thought it would be better to wait a little, to see whether it would be desirable to obtain some more formal warrant for the restitution than an ordinary letter. I also bore in mind that the Countess of Egmont does not wish to be aided by great solicitation on her behalf. The letter of instruction referred to was written and closed here to be sent direct to the Boulognais, and I undertook the charge of it and sent it to your Lordships, so that it might be presented to the authorities by the parties interested, and a reply might be obtained direct from the English officers to whom it was addressed. Otherwise they might have dissembled the matter, and the authorities here might have been satisfied with having given the orders for the restitution, without caring to concern themselves further, which might have deferred the restitution indefinitely.
Having finished this subject with the Protector I then spoke to him touching what your Lordships conveyed to me respecting the action of the English Court Master in Flanders. He replied to my representations that the order issued by the Court Master prohibiting all English merchants from buying or selling merchandise or sojourning for more than one night in the city of Antwerp, was in no sense an infraction of the treaties and commercial conventions; because, according to the terms of these, the English merchants were allowed to choose any place in the Emperor's dominions in which to carry on their business. The English merchants, he said, had always from remote times submitted voluntarily to the control of their Court Master, and had obeyed and maintained what regulations he considered it necessary to make. This had also been authorised by the Kings of England, and the merchants were therefore in some sense the subjects or servants of the Court Master, and bound to follow the orders he gave at his discretion. I quoted in support of our view the tenth clause of the commercial convention of the year 1485, subsequently confirmed by another convention, and more recently still by the treaty of close alliance: but the Protector continued to protest that the words quoted by me could not be otherwise interpreted than as giving to subjects on both sides full liberty to frequent such places as they chose, without any hindrance from the respective sovereigns or their officers. This, he said, would prevent the Emperor from being able to prohibit the English merchants from frequenting his dominions, and that similarly the King of England could not hinder the Emperor's subjects from staying here. But nevertheless, the authority of each sovereign over his own subjects remained intact wherever they were, especially in cases such as this, where from time immemorial the merchants had quite voluntarily accepted such authority and had obeyed the orders of the Court Master.
I continued to insist, however, that the action of the latter was not only a violation of the treaties but that it was an imputation upon the sovereign rights of his Majesty the Emperor as Duke of Brabant to impose pains and penalties within the jurisdiction of his courts and without his permission. It was also, I said, opposed to reason and decency that the subjects of the King of England should be forbidden to stay for two nights in succession in the city of Antwerp, but must needs stop outside the gates. I said that in this matter we respected the liberties of the English subjects more than we did our own profit; for I well knew that this interdict was against the desires of the English merchants themselves, (fn. 11) as had been a similar prohibition issued in the year 1537 by another Court Master of theirs named Hutton, who was sent out of the place; the Commissioners of the city of Antwerp of whom I at that time was one, having given him a good lift on the way. (fn. 12) This I told the Protector might be seen by a document drawn up at the time, in which it was set forth that from that time forward the English merchants might frequent Antwerp as they had always been accustomed to do. The Protector, however, still argued that the Court Master had the power to make whatever regulations and orders relating to the merchants of his nation as he might in his discretion consider necessary. Such action, he continued was not by any means now adopted for the first time, but it had been done on many occasions before the year 1537 mentioned by me.
He began thereupon to recite a long statement of the reasons why the English merchants had formerly left the city of Bruges, and he concluded that for similar reasons they had now left Antwerp. They had, he said, done so before on several occasions, and had frequently wished to do so more recently; but they had always been induced to stay by the fine promises of the authorities of the city. These latter, finding themselves at present in such flourishing circumstances, make no account of the English merchants, and these merchants accordingly used the liberty they possess to go elsewhere. To this I replied that what he said supported my contention, that the merchants possessed the liberty he alleged to go and buy and sell whithersoever they chose, and I knew perfectly well that the merchants themselves desired to exercise this right.
The Protector retorted that the master merchants, who were here in London, assured him to the contrary. The men on the other side, he said, were only their clerks and factors; and both they and their masters were subject to the control of their Court Master as they always had been. The action of the Court Master, he maintained, was in no way an infraction of the sovereign rights of the Emperor; and it was of no avail for me to tell him that, even if the gentlemen of the law at Antwerp had given offence to the Court Master he need not have resorted in these interdicts and banishments as a retaliation, and there were other and less objectionable means of showing his displeasure and obtaining redress.
“Well,” he asked me, “why have not the Antwerp people given such satisfaction, as they have been so frequently requested to do, even by me and the bishop of Winchester when we were over there to see the Emperor?” In fact, I find the Protector so well informed on the matter and so well inclined towards the Court Master, that I think he will support him in his action, although he said he did not wish to drive matters to such extremes. But he always threw the responsibility upon the Antwerp people.
As your Lordships inform me in your letter that you have decided to have proceedings commenced in the courts of justice against the said Court Master, it seems to me that it would be desirable that I should make known to you that on several occasions since I have been here I have heard that the Court Master has visited England and he has always addressed his complaints to me. He has, I have no doubt, also presented similar grievances to the King and the Council, as they have frequently reproached me for the evil treatment dealt out to their subjects in the Low Countries, especially when I had to complain of the sufferings of the subjects of the Emperor at the hands of the English.
Only quite recently when I learnt from the rumours current amongst the merchants of the prohibition now complained of, I laid before Controller Paget the wrong that was being done by the said Court Master, and he replied to me in a joking way by saying “You are an Antwerp man yourself, but we will talk about this business more fully later.” Accordingly, after I had received your Lordships letter on the subject I should much have liked to cummunicate with Paget about it, but unfortunately he is absent. I am therefore distinctly under the impression that the Court Master has done nothing without the full knowledge of all the members of the Council; and if the case is to be ventilated in the Courts of Justice I could wish that the Antwerp people had a better justification for their contention than we had in the year 1537, when a very similar interdict was issued. To tell the truth we should have had great difficulty in making out our case on that occasion but for the favour of the Queen Regent, which the President of the Council will no doubt recollect as he was at that time interested in our efforts. Your Lordships will be able to consider whether it will not be better for the Antwerp people to make the best of it, and endeavour to win over the Court Master by sauvity rather than letting matters come to an extremity, which might result in a greater disadvantage and injury to them than at present. It might, indeed, end in the Antwerp people finding themselves after all mistaken in the conviction that I have heard so often expressed by them there: namely that the English would never abandon Antwerp, and that all the talk of their doing so was nothing but vain threats. I say this because, as far as I can hear, the merchants are really determined to take up their residence in the town within the Emperor's dominions where they find the best treatment extended to them. I did not mention here that proceedings at law were contemplated against the Court Master, but only the enquiry that had been ordered, of which he (the Protector) made no account.
As the Protector made no mention of the embargoes I thought better that I should not mention them. It is true that three days after the embargo had been decreed there was a rumour here that all the ships and merchandise belonging to English subjects had been detained in Antwerp, and the Council sent to me to learn what truth there was in it. I replied that I had heard nothing whatever about it, and I considered it nothing but empty gossip, which made them less suspicious in the matter.
With regard to the javelins, lances and saddles consigned to the Lord Privy Seal nothing has been said to me on that subject either. He is very influential here and especially in the matter of claims, he being the oldest member of the Council. (fn. 13)
Touching the matter upon which your Lordships instruct me to advise you, namely, the present condition and prospects of the cause of the late Jerome Cricklemans and Gherard Wekemans, I can only say that I am unable to give you a good account of all that has taken place in this cause, or of the present condition in which it stands. After M. Adrien Van der Burch and I had had long discussions on the matter in question with the King of England's Commissioners, the latter asked from whom the attorney appearing in the case held his power of procuration. The attorney was summoned and declared that he held the procuration from the trustees of the widow. The English commissioners thereupon told him that the widow herself would not admit that this was the case, although to us it appeared quite the contrary. They therefore exhibited to us a document which they alleged to be a discharge signed by the widow and also, if I recollect aright, by one of the trustees for, and in the name of, the children. We were extremely astonished at this, but we insisted nevertheless, on behalf of the children, that they had other guardians in Antwerp. To make the case even more pitiable we asserted that the children were almost reduced to beggary. They replied to this that some of the children were here in London, and that if the guardian in Antwerp would not agree to the settlement that the King of England had effected with the widow and the children it would be to the prejudice of the latter. How the matter remained at last and still is, M. Van der Burch can give a much better account than I can, because being a matter of written law he will be able to recall the details better.
After the event just related he had several conferences with the English Commissioners alone, without me, but as he himself told me at the time without any result. He will have already reported this to the Queen. I can only add to this that it appears to me that the matter is now, even to a greater extent than before, dependent upon the written law; and that these people will continue to persist in the attitude they have assumed, because they are now aware that the real plaintiffs are not the heirs but the creditors of Cricklemans.
During my conversation with the Protector I asked him what news he had from Scotland, and if the rumour I heard was true that the King of France had a force of infantry and cavalry ready to embark and go to the assistance of the Scots. He replied that he had been informed that this was the case.
(The rest of the letter is practically identical with the letter from the writer to the Emperor of the same date.)
London, 23 February, 1548.
Feb. 27. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Since I despatched my letters to your Majesty on the 23rd instant, intelligence has been received here that the King of France had sent four galleons and some other vessels well found and furnished, with men-at-arms, both horse and foot, and a considerable quantity of warlike stores and a good amount of money for the help of the Scots.
But what has displeased these people (the English) even more than this news is the information they received from a gentleman on the Scottish Border to the effect that his father Lord Wharton, who is one of the three wardens of the Marches, had entered the western portion of the Scottish border country with great confidence in his men, and in the Scotsmen, who in considerable number had displayed much zeal and anxiety to do good service and prove themselves faithful subjects of the King of England; but that the earl of Angus, who was also in the field, had been able secretly to convert these Scotsmen and had induced them to desert the English side and follow him. The gentleman who sent the news therefore feared that his father and the troops he had with him would suffer much and be unable to escape. But this morning certain news was received from the Warden himself saying that, after all, he had been victorious, having put to flight the said earl of Angus, who left either dead or prisoners in the hands of the English about a thousand Scotsmen. (fn. 14) The Protector, however, has not received any further particulars of this, although he is expecting fresh news from one hour to another. I believe that this is the reason why he has deferred advising me of the matter, but as I heard of it from those who themselves have read the letters, and I have the convenience of the present courier ready to start I have thought well not neglect to inform your Majesty of the occurrence.
The departure of the Protector is again postponed for three or four days.
London, 27 February, 1548.


  • 1. He was the president of the Guild of English merchants in Flanders, or as he would now be called English Consul. His name appears to have been Thomas Chamberlain, and it will be seen in page 558 of the last volume of this Calendar that he had already made himself extremely obnoxious to the Flemish government, who demanded his dismissal.
  • 2. There is in the Archives Royales at Brussels (Papiers d'Audience, 1547) an official copy in English of the minutes of the meeting of the Court of English Merchants at Antwerp, 21 October, 1547. The minutes recite that the City of Bruges had petitioned the English merchants to hold their next year's mart there instead of at Antwerp; and, having regard to the unjust and oppressive treatment which the merchants had suffered for so long notwithstanding their protests from the Antwerp authorities, the Court unanimously resolved by show of hands, on the proposal of Mr. Osbourne, to accept the invitation of Bruges.
  • 3. The Commander of Broughty Craig was Sir Andrew Dudley, who in his letters to Somerset (Scottish Calendar, Bain, Vol. I.) gives a spirited account of these proceedings. Argyll seems to have summoned Dudley to confer with him at Perth at the request of the people of Dundee who dreaded a siege by Argyll's highlanders. Dudley sent Wyndham in his stead: who was received by Argyll in a chapel outside of Perth. Argyll demanded the immediate surrender of Dundee, under threat of fire and sword. Wyndham said that as the people had all run away the place should be delivered to him "but bare enough." Wyndham then took "all the town ordnance, bells, copper and brass that was in the church, and burnt the steeple, but not the town of Dundee in case we get it again."
  • 4. Dudley describes this man as one chief French captain with a tuft of black and white feathers in his morion. It was not, as here stated, the French commander M. de la Chapelle who was killed in the engagement.
  • 5. Sir Thomas Palmer. An account of his plan for strengthening Broughty by fortifying a hill within 2,000 feet of the castle is given in a letter from Lord Grey de Wilton to Somerset on the 1st February (Scottish Calendar, Bain). Palmer left instructions with an Italian called “Captain John” how he was to proceed when Argyle's force appeared before the Craig. This plan was enthusiastically endorsed by Lord Grey de Wilton, the English Commander in Chief.
  • 6. On the 28 January, a circular letter from Bonner as Dean of Canterbury had been sent, by Cranmer's orders, forbidding various superstitious ceremonies during the Lenten season. The effect was that at once the more zealous opponents of the Roman ritual commonced a series of unsparing attacks upon the old observances. In order to check the indiscretion of the reformers, a royal proclamation was issued on the 6 February to the effect stated in the above letter. See Burnet, and Heylin.
  • 7. This was Peter Martyr.
  • 8. Bernardino Ochinus.
  • 9. Katharine Lady Willoughby D'Eresby the widow of Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk. Although her mother was a Spaniard and the devout Catholic friend of Katharine of Aragon the Duchess was a zealous protestant and took refuge in Germany on the accession of Mary.
  • 10. The Marquis of Northampton's famous divorce case was at this time in question, the first case of the sort since the papal authority had been repudiated. Northampton had married Anne Bourchier daughter of the last earl of Essex of his line, and had been granted a divorce by the ecclesiastical courts shortly before on the ground of her adultery. It was undecided whether this divorce gave him the right to marry again and at his request a commission was appointed by the Council to settle the point in January. Whilst the Commission was sitting Northampton tired of the delay took the matter into his own hands and married the daughter of Lord Cobham. This step gave great offence and Northampton was summoned before the Council, and ordered to send his wife to live with the Queen Dowager until the decision of the Commission was given. This eventually was favourable to him and his second wife thereafter lived with him.
  • 11. That this was not the case is seen by the official minutes of the Court referred to on page 248, the resolution to trade in Bruges having been unanimously adopted by the Court of Merchants formally assembled.
  • 12. This was John Hutton who was English crown-agent in Antwerp. He died in 1538. He was succeeded in his office by the celebrated Stephen Vaughan. The house of the Guild of English Merchants in Antwerp stood in the Rue des Princes (formerly the Rue Neuve) until quite recent years.
  • 13. John, Lord Russell, afterwards Earl of Bedford. He had recently been appointed also Lord Steward, having held the Privy Seal since 1542.
  • 14. A full account of this raid is given by Wharton and Lennox in a letter to Somerset, p. 81, Scottish Calendar, Vol. I, Bain.