Spain: November 1548

Pages 309-319

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


November 1548

Nov. 5. Simancas E. 76. The Emperor to Prince Maximilian and Princess Maria. (fn. 1)
His Serene Highness the Prince my son in a letter dated the 22nd of last month, writes that Senor Dezcurra overtook him at Barcelona and, after delivering a letter from the Bishop of Lescar, in virtue of the power conferred to him, discharged his mission, reciting that the King of France had been warned of the negotiations carried on by us about the marriage of the daughter of Henry, Lord d'Albret. He went personally to his court, the better to fulfil his charge, leaving the said Bishop as governor of his estate, with strict orders that in any untoward juncture he was to shut himself up at once in the town of Navarrenx and refuse to give it up to anyone but himself.
He also informed the Prince that the Constable of France and M. d'Aumale were approaching with a good number of men both mounted and on foot, with ammunition in plenty and artillery too, apparently to subdue the riots that have lately taken place. But as these riots are almost entirely quelled, he feared they might divert their forces against the said Henry, Lord d'Albret, (fn. 2) especially as he has had differences with the Constable. The King of France has published a sentence of death against the said Bishop; who therefore sent to ask two things of the Prince, first, help in money and troops to make ready for what might be expected to happen, on the understanding that both should be eventually returned to us; and secondly, a safe conduct so that he might remain in the kingdom without fear.
After mature consideration the Prince replied as to the men and money, that the matter was of such quality that he could come to no determination without first consulting us; but that he would so arrange, that in case matters turned out as he was told they would, pending our decision, a number of men up to 1,500 or 2,000 should be lodged in the above-mentioned town. But no roll is to be called, and he has written to you, that you shall write accordingly to the Viceroys of Aragon and Navarre. As to the safe conduct asked for by the Bishop, it seemed unnecessary to grant it, for the said Bishop may come and go freely in the country according to his pleasure, and he is to be well treated, as you must understand. The answer given by the Prince seems to us satisfactory, and suitable in every way to the occasion, and not merely because he had no more to go upon than what the Senor Dezcurra said to him on behalf of the said Bishop; but because we have since received letters from our ambassador in France that the marriage between the daughter of the Lord Henry with M. de Vendome has been arranged and celebrated with the full consent and pleasure of the said Lord Henry and his wife, and with every outward show of good understanding between them and the King. There is no appearance of likelihood in the story told by the said Dezcurra of dissensions between the Lord d'Albret and the Constable, or the Cardinal de Lorraine and M. de Guise; nor is there any sign that the possessions of the Lord Henry are in any way threatened or that the Constable and M. d'Aumale are at all inclined to mix themselves up in any such enterprise. The story of the Bishop of Lescar seems all the more unfounded because of what we hear about the Cardinal and the House of Guise, and because, even if anyone were of a mind to attack Navarre and the lands of the Lord Henry, this is not the season to do it, and the country is so bare and waste that no one, as far as we can judge, could undertake it with any reasonable hope of finding sufficient food even for the men who are collected together there now. The undertaking would prove most difficult and costly; and on hearing the measures decided upon by the Prince for the proper guarding of our frontiers, and finding ourselves here, not well assured of the turn affairs may take in England, besides the many other grave reasons that prevent us from entertaining any such plan or purpose, we think it would be well that you should recall any order you may have issued mobilising the above-mentioned troops.
The garrison of Pamplona is to be kept up and money must be paid to the soldiers of the garrison, because it appears that the long arrears into which their pay has fallen are the cause of their falling away.
The guard must be reinforced along the frontiers of Navarre, in Fuenterrabia and San Sebastian. Exercise great care and vigilance, as we will here, endeavouring to ascertain the movements of the French and acting on the plans outlined above. We will keep you informed of everything, and what means may best be adopted to foil any attempted novelty. Nothing could happen so suddenly as to leave us without a hint of it, and unable to warn one another and decide upon what should be done. Our ambassador in France has orders to keep you well informed on all points.
Since writing the above it has seemed well to us that a special messenger take to the ambassador in France a copy of the letter of credence of the said Dezcurra and the Bishop of Lescar's letter. He has orders to despatch the messenger to you after sifting the whole affair carefully, to tell you what he can make of it, what truth there is likely to be in it, and what he thinks the intentions of the French may be. We can then provide effectually for the safeguarding of the frontiers, considering that we understand that the troops are being withdrawn, and the Constable is about to return to Court. . . .
Brussels, 5 November, 1548.
Nov. 9. Paris K. 1488. St. Mauris to Prince Maximilian, Regent of Spain.
Sire, I am sending to your Highness copies of my letters lately written to his Majesty. I have nothing further to advise you of, except that on the 21st of October last the marriage of M. de Vendome to the Princess d'Albret took place at Moulins. Everything was arranged too quickly for the ceremonies to be very imposing. The Princess's dowry was one hundred thousand crowns, and if her father were to have male heirs, she is to get nothing more. This is the substance of the marriage contract.
The eldest Princess of Ferrara is expected shortly at St. Germain where the King will meet her, and her marriage to M. d'Aumale who is soon to return from his post will be celebrated with splendid ceremony.
The child Queen of Scots is in Saint Germain. She is being brought up with the royal children. People say she will be married to the Dauphin, as indeed it seems most likely. The Queen of France expects to be confined at the end of January, at St. Germain. Everybody hopes she may give birth to a son.
Nov. 12. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Mme. d'Albret, mother of Jeanne, sends for the ambassador, who gives the Emperor an amusing account of his interview. Mme. d'Albret is a very garrulous person and only requires a little hint now and then to pour out all her heart. She tells St. Mauris that now her daughter is married she is no longer in fear of being spied upon, and asks him to go often to visit her and give her news of the Emperor, adding that both she and her husband would have greatly preferred marrying their daughter to the Prince of Spain, but the King of France refused to listen to a word of any such proposals, not merely regarding Prince Philip, but any of the Emperor's relatives; about which she complains freely to the ambassador.)
Afterwards she went on to speak, Sire, of their wars in Scotland and of their new treaty with the Scots, enlarging on the fact that their equipments by land and sea together with the moneys paid out to the Scots had cost the King more than 1,600,000 crowns, besides a further sum which is being sent to Scotland for the pay of the standing army, and of pensions newly assigned. She remarked that the late King would have known better than to give in so much to the House of Guise, which has nowadays acquired such power, that it can make the King do anything, as this last alliance (fn. 3) clearly proves. She expects nothing from it except, with time, great harm to France, who will find herself obliged to assist Scotland against the King of England, who is determined not to lose it, whereas France cannot give it up without disgrace. All they are getting for their pains, according to her, is a dowerless girl, and opportunities for reprisals from your Majesty in case they hold firm in the question of Piedmont. Mixed with all this, Sire, she often repeated that she could not believe that the alliance would ever take place, and that it might be a blind to gain time and bring the English to a better frame of mind towards French affairs. She blamed the meagre welcome that is given here to French gentlemen returning from Scotland, saying they deserve to be better received considering they go forth at their own expense. All of which she forsees will turn to the harm of France, as the King will need people who give their services willingly if he intends to get another expedition ready.
Poissy, 12 November, 1548.
Nov. 16. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 22. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(An account of an interview between St. Mauris and the Cardinal de Guise, in which the Cardinal complains that the Emperor allows the English to raise troops in Germany and refuses the same privilege to the French.
I then spoke to him, Sire, according to my mission, as your Majesty has ordered about the English vessels taken in Zeeland, with a full recital of all your Majesty has written on the subject, and particularly of the lie by which the French prisoners sought to excuse their misdeed. I laid stress on the point that the vessels belonging to subjects of your Majesty, seized by way of reprisal by the Baron de St. Blancart, should immediately be given up, and that in future no such insolence should be offered unless they wished your Majesty to use counter-revenge without applying first for redress. I laid your Majesty's offer plainly before them: to set free the prisoners but hold back the ships, as these are goods seized from sea-pirates.
The said Cardinal made answer that, as I was speaking plainly, so would he roundly declare his opinion on the seizure of the said vessel; this being that they could neither swallow nor digest the taking of it, and that it would have fitted in better with the requirements of good friendship to have allowed the vessel to follow her course without hindrance, particularly as she was in charge of subjects of the King returning from Scotland, and in the pay of the said King, and not, as had been said, of pirates. The King found such proceedings still more strange, as the men were French, and the misdeed, if any, had been committed on the high seas, which are no man's land and free to all, and yet note had been taken of the occurrence in your Majesty's dominions, which he interprets as an attempt to favour the English to the detriment of the French, this being manifestly against the rules of mutual friendship. He further assured me, Sire, that the people who were taken and questioned about the seizure of the vessel had no authority to say what they said about the King's intention of declaring war (on England) as soon as the young Queen of Scots should have reached France. They were guilty of misrepresentation on this point, and the ambassador had made it clear that there was no war with the English, and would be none, if only the English would prove not entirely unreasonable. True it is, said he, that the English are trying to get Scotland entirely into their hands. The King will do everything in his power to prevent it, being now King of Scotland through the marriage of his son to the young Queen; and he is determined to carry the quarrel between Scotland and England to a final issue, and make it a matter personal to himself.
He informed me, Sire, that ten days ago the Protector had caused their ambassador resident here to declare to the King, then at Eu, that all prizes taken by the English from the French fleets on the way to and from Scotland would be considered lawfully come by, so that the King has good cause for claiming the English vessel as a lawful prize to even matters up a little. He hopes that when these fresh points are put before your Majesty, you will see fit to withdraw all the difficulties in the way of the restitution of the vessel, as the English can make no complaints on the subject.
Poissy, 16 November, 1548.
Nov. 16. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. The Emperor to St. Mauris.
(Marriage of Jeanne d'Albret.)
The French ambassador, Marillac, presented himself a few days ago before M. de Granvelle, saying that the King his master had written to him to negotiate the following points with us, and requested him to assist him in obtaining an audience, which, owing to the gout which has sorely tried us for some time, was deferred until to-day, this being in all truth the very earliest date on which it was possible to grant it. The ambassador laid the following matters before us: that the King his master had heard that after having prevented the English from raising troops in Germany and even in Cleves, we now allowed them to draw as many soldiers to their pay as they pleased; and that he had also heard that he whom our ambassador resident in England left in charge in his place (fn. 4) when he lately came over here, had told the Lord Protector of England and his Ministers that they should be assisted besides with ammunition and with anything that they might require for the war. The ambassador said that the King held these practices to be little suited to the observance of friendship, which we nevertheless continued to profess for them. Moreover, we had prevented and hindered his master from raising troops in Germany, although the assistance he was giving to the Scots was not in contravention of any treaty, not even between him and the English. We made answer that it was true that we had long deferred our consent to the raising of troops in Germany by the English, although strongly pressed to give it, but that they had since represented to us with great feeling that we could not refuse them the troops they required for the defence of their own country, against the Scots, our common enemy; and after considering this point fully, and the obligations laid upon us by our treaties, we could no longer refuse. The King of France claimed that he might lend armed assistance, as he did in effect, to the Scots; we trusted he would consider that we too must be bound by our treaties. We were all the more inclined to do this because of the hostile attacks of the Scots upon our subjects and territories, after which they took refuge, with their plunder, on French soil, where we were unable to obtain compensation. As occasion arose, we inserted other considerations, such as that the King had never asked our permission to levy men, and when the prohibition was issued generally, we had heard that the King's ministers said they would draw as many Germans out of Germany as they pleased, whether we liked it or no; adding that the King had men in his pay in Germany, though there was no war; and his ministers boasted that these men were kept to fight against us. As to the communication made by our ambassador in England, we supposed that it was in reference to what was said above, and were it otherwise, he had made it without authority, and the English had not followed the matter up.
The ambassador wished to maintain and argue that the Scots must be understood to have been included among the allies and confederates in the Treaty of Crépy, and we referred him to M. de Granvelle, who could lay the proper reply before him. This M. de Granvelle has done, remonstrating that the Scots were never included in the said treaty, and that their inclusion had never been admitted. On the contrary, we had made answer to the late King of France's envoys, when they urged the point strongly, that the Scots were our declared enemies according to the treaty we had passed shortly before with the English, the terms of which were expressly respected by the said Treaty of Crépy, and must remain so, unless they would first come to terms and meet the costs and damages incurred. When the article in the Treaty of Crépy was being discussed, in which it was provided that new allies and confederates might be named within two months, the words: “by common consent,” were expressly inserted for the Scots, and answer to this effect was made to the Admiral and Chancellor of France, and to Bayard, at the time of their visit here. As the said ambassador again asserted that the assistance given by the French to the Scots was merely intended for their defence, he was answered that the army sent to Scotland by the French King was an army of attack rather than of defence, whilst the help we had given, being only six hundred horse, could not be so interpreted. Moreover, we were at war with the Scots before the said Treaty of Crépy, so that, besides being at war with the English, they were our own enemies, and we were at liberty to send assistance against them. Even had they been included among the confederates and allies mentioned in the said treaty, they had no claim to the enjoyment of the benefits of peace, having, to our great hurt, continued their hostile practices against us and our subjects, taking refuge on French soil, where no compensation, reparation nor restitution could be obtained from them.
In case you are spoken to about what has passed here, you may put forward these same arguments in answer as necessity requires; and we have therefore wished you to be advised of the matter.
Brussels, 16 November, 1548.
Nov. 22. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
Sire, I have lately received two letters which it pleased your Majesty to write to me on the 16th of this month, in which you commanded me to answer in conformity with the orders given therein, if the subject mentioned by your Majesty were broached to me here. The Cardinal de Guise has spoken to me on this very matter during the last negotiation I had with him, as I informed you in my last letter. I despatched my secretary incontinently to the said Cardinal to communicate the substance of your Majesty's letters to him, being unable to go myself through illness. I sent an apology for my absence to the Cardinal. He read my letter with an even countenance and answered my secretary that the matter was of such quality and importance that the Council must weight it and, this done, he would see that an answer should be sent if the King, who had received information to the same effect from his ambassador, Marillac, desired to make any. A few days later, being relieved of my illness, I went to see the Cardinal in case he desired to say anything to me on the subject of the said letter. The answer he gave me, Sire, was that with respect to the permission granted by your Majesty to the English to recruit cavalry (in Germany) the King was resolved to write his intentions to the ambassador, who would communicate them to your Majesty, and that if the treaties were correctly interpreted your Majesty was not obliged to assist the English in attacking the Scots, but merely to help them in the defence of their own territory, if the Scots were to invade territory held by the English at the time the treaties were signed. The enmity between your Majesty and the Scots was no ground to build upon, and they should enjoy the advantage of the Treaty of Crépy notwithstanding the arguments alleged to the contrary.
The French commissioners who took part in the negotiations for the peace of Crépy, and notably the Admiral, certified and would always (be ready to) affirm that your Majesty promised at the time that the Scots should be included. The matter was left pending because the King of England would not then give his consent, which was essential; but definite hope of obtaining it was held out on your Majesty's behalf, as the Admiral had often affirmed and declared since. He inserted into his speech other considerations, as for instance that the King had raised a few lansquenets to make a show at his coronation, following the example of his predecessors, as the Constable explained to me at the time, with an assurance that he had no hostile intentions against your Majesty, who could judge whether any colour of misunderstanding could be lent to the act. He added to what is said above, concerning the attacks and robberies committed by the Scots on the sea that both the late King and the present one had complied with our requests in dealing with the Scottish pirates who sought shelter in French ports, and that the punitive measures should be enforced again whenever your Majesty made a request. But the King finds it hard to believe, Sire, that the Scots have committed fresh robberies against the subjects of your Majesty as M. de Beures wrote to M. d'Arras. When the names of the guilty are forthcoming he will have them punished, whether they be in France or in Scotland, and he has written to that effect to the Queen Dowager of Scotland and to the Governor.
In correction of my last statement I admitted, Sire, and acknowledged that certain provisions had been made during the past and present reigns against the pirates, and judgments rendered accordingly; but I could affirm as a positive fact that they had never been put into effect, though the merchants in whose favour they had been rendered pursued the matter diligently. The fault lay with the officers of the ports, who perverted justice to so great an extent that the merchants had preferred to withdraw (their claims) altogether, otherwise the costs incurred by them would have amounted to as much as the capital involved: all of which I remember having said to the present King, laying bare the tricks of the said officers. The King then replied that his purpose was quite different, and that he had no intention of allowing these malpractices to continue and would order an inquiry to be made. But I have heard nothing further about it, but hear instead how the pirates continue and prosper in their thieving. I added, Sire, that the Queen Dowager of Hungary (fn. 5) had despatched a special embassy of persons of quality to the Queen Dowager of Scotland to press for compensation for these robberies; but it proved impossible to come to an understanding.
I went on to say in the matter of the inclusion of the Scots in the peace of Crépy that I well knew the Admiral had often declared that your Majesty had not consented to it; and also that whenever I heard the question raised I had given the same answer that your Majesty had recently written to me. As to the permission given (to the English) to raise 600 men in Cleves, I said in accordance with your Majesty's orders, that the English having asked for the troops and being prepared to pay for them for their own defence no refusal could be reasonably given without committing a breach of the treaties. I observed that the French professed that they had no intention of attacking England; yet the King's powerful navy gave food for thought to the English, who were open to an attack by sea upon every side, so that they were making ready to guard against any danger; adding that your Majesty was doing nothing against the King, the Scots being your Majesty's enemies, in allowing the said soldiers from Cleves to be employed against them. I said that facts notoriously proved that the Scots were enemies, and openly hostile to your Majesty, by the constant robberies and attacks they practised against your Majesty's subjects. If necessity compelled us, we should retaliate point by point with pillage and robbery too, so that the King might see for himself what losses and incalculable damage the subjects of your Majesty suffer.
Sire, they seem unable to take in good part that the English should be allowed by your Majesty to raise men, as they fear that they will raise a much larger number, and I am convinced by what I see of their humour that they intend to ask the same permission as the English from your Majesty, in the belief that it could not be denied without too palpable injustice towards them. But if they come to do this, I conjecture it is very likely they would do it rather to give the English cause for jealousy than for any need they have of men. The above is an answer, Sire, to your Majesty's letters, together with the writing joined herewith, which was given me by the King and Council.
Poissy, 22 November, 1548.
Nov. 26. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(The first part of the letter deals at length with the private affairs of the Queen Dowager of France, Eleanor.)
It has been certified to me that the Sorbonne has not given leave to the booksellers to print the Interim, not that they do not hold the Interim to be a catholic, holy and christian piece of work, but because it proceeds from your Majesty, who, they say, may not lay hands on the management of spiritual matters. I hold for certain, Sire, that they have received orders from above, inspired by flat despair and extreme regret that the affairs of Germany have shaped so well in the matter of religion. I have heard for certain, Sire, that the King is having a large number of big vessels manned in Normandy and Brittany, and that he is about to send three to four thousand foot soldiers to assist the Scots. They are to embark at Brest and go by way of Ireland. They are believed to be the old troops lately returned with Bonnivet from Italy to Bordeaux, whence they will soon march to Brittany, with other Gascons. These men are being sent to do their utmost to recover Haddington. The French believe that the English cannot hold the town, owing to its distance from England, except by sending supplies constantly, so that the cost of re-victualling it continually will prove to be a greater expense than they will care to undertake. . . .
(News from Guyenne; news of Philip's journey, etc. . . .)
Poissy, 26 November, 1548.
Nov. 30. Simancas E. 76. Prince Philip to Juan Vazquez de Molina. (fn. 6)
You will have understood from what I wrote from Collioure, the day and hour of my departure. What has happened since is, that having left that port with fine weather, but unsettled, it seemed wise to Prince Doria not to go out to sea, but sail close to the shore so as to be able to take refuge in Aigues-Mortes if the weather changed. Everything happened as he had foreseen, for after we passed Cape Leucate, about 30 miles further on, the weather changed, so that had we been caught in the gulf we should have had great trouble, and even so we were not spared, as great efforts had to be made to reach the said harbour. However, it pleased Our Lord to allow us to reach it on the 10th of this month, a Saturday afternoon about nightfall. Soon after my arrival a captain, accompanied by a few gentlemen, came to visit me on behalf of the Count of Villars, brother to the Count of Tende, saying that the King, his master, hearing that I was to pass along this shore, had ordered him to come to Aigues-Mortes by the post, so that if I required any refreshment or any other thing he should provide it, and he would do so with great pleasure. I answered what seemed to me most suitable (to the occasion) thanking him, and saying that if opportunity arose we should make use of him with the same confidence that he would feel, were he to find himself within the dominions of his Majesty; and upon this they went away, with show of great satisfaction, and making demonstrations of good-will on the part of the King their master.
The weather compelled me to remain in that place (Aigues-Mortes) six days; until it pleased God that it should improve, on the following Friday, and enable me to continue my journey. On the same day we arrived early at the Pomegue of Marseilles, (fn. 7) where a gentleman paid me a visit on behalf of the Count of Tende, and offered me refreshments and whatever food we might need for the galleys, and brought me a present of edibles. I thanked him for his offer, but had no need to accept it, as on the following night before daybreak I departed thence and arrived with fair weather on the same day at the island of Hyères. I anchored in a port under the tower or castle; but having lost time by going into another harbour more to the east, I was not merely prevented from advancing by the change for worse in the weather, but had to go back three miles to Port Cros where I remained three days by reason of the rains and storms that waxed fearfully, and gave us endless trouble as there was not room enough for all the galleys in the harbour and a few were caught in the current running between two islands. We departed thence a few days later, on a Wednesday, with fine weather, and arrived at the island of Ste. Marguerite early in the day. I went ashore to sup, and on the same night before daybreak I left, intending to make the port of Villefranche by Nice; but as the weather was still holding when we came up to it, we agreed not to enter it, or delay before it, but proceed, as we did. Shortly afterwards the weather turned against us; but we pushed on, and succeeded in casting anchor at Porto Maurizio, near Cape Mele, where we spent the night; with some difficulty, though, because the sea was churned by the blowing of contrary winds. The next day, Friday, I continued my journey, and notwithstanding that the wind was against us, it pleased Our Lord that I should reach Savona two hours before sundown; and I went ashore to sup, returning on board the galley to sleep, with the intention of setting sail for this town before the rise of day. I should have done this, had not a frigate come, with letters from the Ambassador Figueroa (fn. 8) who informed me that as the people who were to get ready my apartments had only arrived the day before, my lodging could not be got ready unless I delayed my arrival for two or three days. It seemed well to me to delay till Saturday, and continue my journey on the Sunday, so that the apartments could be got ready; and it all happened so, and I arrived at this town on Saint Catherine's day in the evening. The citizens gave me a good welcome, the Seignory and the guard received me at the gate, and escorted me under a baldaquin to the house of Prince Doria where I lodged. On the way four ambassadors were sent to greet me at the place near Nice where the territory of the Seignory begins, and eight were sent to Savona, all chosen from among the greatest men here. Besides giving me fair words they have proved their good-will towards me by entertaining in the hostelries all those who come in my suite, and those who have followed me here. . . .
Genoa, 30 November, 1548.


  • 1. His daughter and son-in-law, Regents of Spain during Prince Philip's absence.
  • 2. Henry II d'Albret, King of Navarre, married Marguerite d'Angouleme, sister of Francis I and widow of Charles, Duc d'Alencon, in 1527. She is the authoress of the Heptameron and of the Marguerites de la Marguerite des Princesses. Her daughter Jeanne, born in 1528, married Antoine de Bourbon, Duc de Vendome, descendant of Robert, Comte de Clermont, sixth son of Saint Louis; and Henry IV was born of this union.
  • 3. Of the young Queen of Scots to the Dauphin.
  • 4. Jehan Dubois.
  • 5. The Emperor's sister Maria, Regent of the Netherlands.
  • 6. This letter is autograph.
  • 7. One of the islands of the Ile d'If group, just outside Marseilles harbour.
  • 8. Gomez Suarez de Figueroa, imperial ambassador in Genoa.