Spain: April 1548

Pages 261-264

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

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April 1548

April 11. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
In accordance with the authority which your Majesty has sent me and with the instructions received from the Council of State, I have been negotiating with the commissioners appointed by the King of England respecting the prolongation of the Commercial Convention of 1522 touching the wool staple at Calais. The matter has been dragged out somewhat, in consequence of our discovery during the course of the negotiations that our respective copies of the Convention were so different that I considered it advisable to inspect the original document. Having done so I have found that their copy was correct and mine was not. We subsequently agreeed to continue the said Convention, as I am writing more fully to the members of your Majesty's Flemish Council of State. Your Majesty is bound to ratify the agreement for prolongation within six months.
Wool is so dear here at present that this arrangement will be very greatly to the advantage of your Majesty's subjects. To such an extent is this recognised that if I had not have gained over the Protector and Paget beforehand I should never have been able to overcome the strong remonstrances that even now are daily being made by the English merchants against the serious loss to the country and to them which will be caused by the agreement.
These people (the English) are still in great doubt and distrust of the French, and are sending every day reinforcements to Boulogne, four hundred men being even now sent from the neighbourhood of London, and five hundred from the county of Kent. Lord Grey, who had come hither from Scotland, has after all returned thither. His men, it appears, have suffered, a bad reverse; having attempted to surprise the enemy, whom they found in larger numbers than they had been led to expect. They therefore were defeated and left some four or five hundred men on the field. This is causing them to make greater preparations here than before.
During Holy week and the Easter holidays they have done nothing here but preach, all of course, being directed against the Mass. This is a violation of ordinances made in the last Parliament. They have been administering the Holy Communion sub utraque specie, and also according to the ancient rite to those who have desired it thus. At the Mass that is celebrated before the King the elevation is not performed, and a portion of the service is said in English, and this course is also followed in some of the other churches.
Sire, there have recently arrived here two ships from Sicily; which in the course of their voyage encountered two French ships of war called respectively the Maitresse and the Cardinal. These ships, according to the statements of the masters of the Sicilian ships, forced the latter to lower its sails, and afterwards the French captains entered her and, in addition to taking certain wines, they arrested twenty-five Sicilians who were on board of her, for the purpose of carrying them to France to serve them at sea. I have thought well to inform your Majesty of this outrage on your subjects, although it may be strongly suspected that the captains themselves permitted the Frenchmen to act as they did, so far as was consistent with their making a complaint to your Majesty's ambassador in France. I will write to the latter about it by the next opportunity.
London, 11 April, 1548. After Easter.
April 23. Vienna Imp. Arch. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
The Protector sent to tell me the other day that he had been informed that the French ships intended to go to the help of the Scots were expected to sail towards the end of this month carrying a large number of Gascons. He also heard that the King of Denmark had agreed with the French to assist them, and to send thither (to Scotland) two thousand Lansquenechts and a considerable number of ships. He (the Protector) said he could hardly believe this as it seemed improbable that the King of Denmark would consent to assist your Majesty's enemies and offend you. (fn. 1) But, nevertheless, as the intrigues of the French are always to be distrusted, he begged me to take the earliest opportunity of informing your Majesty of this.
Yesterday the Protector sent to me again, to say that he had since received more trustworthy intelligence to the effect that the French had certainly induced the King of Denmark to afford this assistance, by means of promises to promote the marriage of the widowed Queen of Scotland with one of his brothers; but the Protector still desired that I would not fail to inform your Majesty. So far as I can understand these people do not fear so much the going of these Frenchmen to Scotland as they are distrustful lest the object may be to divert the English forces to so distant a place with other views, since the Germans and other soldiers that the French have in the Boulognais are daily approaching closer to the town of Boulogne.
The people here, however, say that they have provided against every contingency and have decided not to make any effort this year except to stand on the defensive; by which means they hope to hold all the strong places they have besides the one that Lord Grey has gone to fortify during the last eight days near Edinburgh. They say, moreover, that the Scots will find themselves rather plundered than protected (i.e., by the French).
The Camp Master (Colonel) Gamboa with the few Spaniards he has now left for Scotland. (fn. 2)
Religion is getting worse and worse here daily and there is much talk that the Mass will not last longer than this month. But I see these people so variable that it is difficult to understand what they are driving at; the only thing evident being that they are constantly getting worse, not without sorrow of a large number of worthy folk. To such an extent is this so that in the county of Cornwall they have killed the commissioner sent down in the King's name to introduce the new ordinances. There is also much talk to the effect that the bishop of Winchester has been summoned to court to make his declaration. As it is said that he remains firm and constant in his doctrine it may be feared that he will have to suffer. Unfortunately, the bishop has lost one of his principal supporters, Sir Anthony Browne, who died yesterday. He was the King's Master of the Horse.
Sire, I had been informed that Captain Schartlin had fled from Germany and as I have noted that all fugitives seem to take refuge here, I thought that Schärtlin might be in hiding in this country. In order to find out if this was so I took the opportunity, whilst talking with one of the Secretaries of the Council, to mention the name of Schartlin; whereupon he, the Secretary, showed me a letter from their ambassador in France saying, amongst other things, that Schartlin had arrived in that country, although it was not known whether he was receiving any payment. (fn. 3) The Secretary also told me that Philip Hoby is destined for the post of ambassador to your Majesty, and will leave this week.
London, 23 April, 1548.


  • 1. Cristiern III, who held the throne that of right belonged to the Emperor's nieces, the daughters of the infamous Cristiern II. and Isabel of Austria, sister of the Emperor. He was a Lutheran, and notwithstanding the grievances that Charles had against him the Emperor could no more afford to quarrel with him than he could with Henry VIII. or his Protestant successor.
  • 2. Sir Pedro Gamboa the commander of the Spanish mercenaries in the English service, of whom many mentions occur in the Scottish Calendars etc., had greatly distinguished himself at Pinkie. Soon after this the jealousy of his compatriots caused him to be superseded, and he was murdered on the 19th January, 1550, by his favourite comrade and Lieutenant, Guevara, in St. Sepulchre's churchyard outside Newgate, London. “Espanoles e Ingleses en el Siglo XVI.” by Martin Hume.
  • 3. Sebastian Schartlin von Burtenbach was the famous Lutheran Condottiere, who had in the earlier stages of the war of religion in Germany (1546) led the march of the troops of the Schmalkaldic League into Tyrol. He was joined at Augsburg by the Elector of Saxony (John Frederick) and Philip of Hesse. After the collapse of the Lutheran movement owing to the Emperor's activity and the slowness of Philip of Hesse, Schartlin, always watchful to serve the cause of the Reformation, offered his sword to France for the impending war against the Emperor.