Spain: April 1549

Pages 360-371

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

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April 1549

April 2. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Sire, since my last letter to your Majesty of the last day but one of last month, I have had several interviews with the Protector. It is important that your Majesty should be informed minutely of everything. I have thought it best to send my man, who has ample knowledge of all that passed, to M. de Granvelle. At the same time I shall hear from him your Majesty's pleasure, and act accordingly.
London, 2 April, 1549.
April 3. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Lady Mary to the Emperor. (fn. 1)
May it please your Majesty to know that I have received the letters that it has pleased you to write to me through your ambassador. From them I have heard of your illness, and hope you have since recovered, as I have been sincerely grieved about it. I have also read in your letters and heard from your ambassador the sincere affection and great kindness your Majesty bears me; and it brought me greater comfort than I can explain by my rude letters that it should please you to keep me in your remembrance, writing to me entirely with your own hand, though ill. I thank your Majesty for this with all humility. Your Majesty has been pleased to show your kindness towards me again in that which you charged your ambassador to say to me. He gave his message diligently, although ill with the gout. His coming here gave me great pleasure, as I knew I should hear the truth from him about your Majesty's health and affairs, one of my greatest comforts in this world being to hear frequent news of your Majesty; and particularly now in these miserable times, for after God, and considering the tender age of the King my brother, your Majesty is our only refuge. We have never been in so great a necessity, and I therefore entreat your Majesty, considering the changes that are taking place in the kingdom, to provide, as your affairs may best permit, that I may continue to live in the ancient faith, and in peace with my conscience. I fear, and indeed it is likely, that except it be through your Majesty and at your request, I may not be permitted to do so, judging by what has been settled in Parliament. I therefore commend myself again to your benign grace, offering you my firm intention and purpose that in life and death I will not forsake the Catholic religion of the Church our mother, as I more fully declared to your Majesty's ambassador, when I asked him what help I could look for if they attempted to compel me with threats or violence. He said that he would write fully to your Majesty; wherefore I will forbear from importuning you with a longer letter.
Beaulieu, 3 April.
April 5. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
It is reported here among people of note that the King asked the Scots for a certain sum of money to defray part of the expenses of the war but the people have not consented to pay anything beyond what they are pledged to. It is said that the Scotsmen who guard the castle of Edinburgh will not allow more than a small number of Frenchmen in at a time, not even when the Queen of Scotland goes there. These people (the French) resent it, and say it is no time to show such diffidence when so much is being done and spent for Scotland by the French. They have come to suspect that the English are in it; and that England may win over the people and some of the Scottish lords by bribes of money and secret practices. The King is doing his best to meet the occasion by pensioning the Scottish lords. He has sent over for the purpose his general (fn. 2) of Languedoc, Lempesticq by name, with money. He has another mission too: to ascertain as far as possible what the actual revenue of Scotland amounts to, and how much the Queen of Scots can draw out of the country every year. It is said here, Sire, that the expenses outbalance the income. The household of the little Queen of Scots is now reduced, and by a mutual concession to avoid expense, she is living privately with the princesses, daughters of the King. Scottish gentlemen arrive daily at this court, asking for pensions and rewards for their services. The French are getting very angry about it. If what I hear is the truth, Sire, the King is not far from regretting that he made the alliance, as it is costing him a great deal. He is dismayed to see the English all the more inflamed against him, and his affairs generally less settled; but having taken this matter in hand, he is determined to put it through, and he goes about repeating a saying of his own that the King of England is too small a prince for him. The Constable said the same to me when he spoke of Carrondelis' (sic) journey to Switzerland. He declared that if the King of France had to deal with England alone events would soon yield the measure of his power. It is certain, Sire, that at present they are greatly irritated against one another . . . (Hearsay about the Swiss confederations.)
Poissy, 5 April, 1549.
April 5. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
. . . Sire, after my last letter was written, Carneseque came to see me and assured me that he heard from the Cardinal of Ferrara the information I gave your Majesty about the Swiss league.
He confirmed the information given him by the Cardinal, that the King, from L'Isle Adam, sent him to the fort of Boulogne with special instructions to do his very worst against the English on this side of the Channel, in the territory of Guines, Terre d'Oye, Calais and elsewhere. If the King of England likes to interpret this move as a declaration of war, the King of France says, let him do so; he is indifferent. But the English ambassador here says he cannot persuade himself that the King of France will openly break the peace.
Carneseque told me in confidence that some time ago negotiations were being carried on between the French and English Kings, but that they came to nothing, because the English demanded and insisted that Fort Chatillon should be demolished, (its erection) being a distinct breach of the treaties; nor would they lend an ear to the inclusion of the Scots, which the King of France demanded. He would have been pleased enough to make a truce if Scotland had been included, and both sides to keep what they had got. Carneseque assures me too, that although the King and his ministers keep up a cheerful countenance over the Scottish business, in their own hearts they are beginning to be sick of it. Their hope now is to push the King of England into a corner and then open negotiations again on the terms mentioned above. . . . I informed your Majesty some time ago that an Irish gentleman at present living at this court was being solicited by the King to lead a rising in Ireland with his help, or at least to make an expedition to Scotland. He was reluctant to undertake either business, and has since definitely refused, saying he is not willing to serve against his sovereign prince. Thereupon, the English ambassador residing at this court offered him a free pardon on behalf of the Proctector and Council of England, assuring him that he might safely return to his own country and that a competence should be granted him until such time as the King of England, coming to ripe years, might decide about restoring his property to him, which was confiscated, giving him an assurance that they would lend him their support in the matter. He has neither accepted nor refused up to the present, and is doubtful about (the sincerity of) the offer, remembering how his people were wronged in the past, and sent to the scaffold for little or no reason. The King of France heard of the transaction and sent one of his gentlemen, Breton by name, to exhort the young Irishman not to yield, and to consider that his life was at stake; whereas if he would serve France he should be safe and honourably treated. If he felt unwilling to declare himself definitely against the King of England, let him make no move at all for the present. On the other hand the English ambassador is pressing him hard not to engage himself with France if he ever wishes to return to England again, and the young Irish gentleman seems wholly inclined to his side, but wishes the King of England would give him a pension to live on. This is how the business stands at present. The said Breton, who was sent to argue with him, was ordered these last few days to go to Ireland to find out if there are any grounds for inciting the people to rise. He took presents from the French King to a few Irishmen. He found matters fairly well disposed for a future revolt, if the said Irish gentleman could be induced to join it, for he is among the first of the land. The English are equally well aware that if they could get him to England an occasion for revolt and a cause of discontent would be removed. Both English and French are doing their utmost with him. Cardinal Pole would give him no definite advice; he charged him to consider well before he decided, saying that he would commend him for returning to his mother-country, if he could be assured of receiving good treatment.
Poissy, 7 April, 1549.
April 7. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
. . . Sire, the Papal Nuncio resident here enquired of the King, on the Pope's behalf, how the league with the Swiss was progressing; adding that his Holiness had several good reasons for wanting to know. The King answered him, affirming that, some time before, he had sent to Ménage a packet containing his instructions, wherewith there went a document of such a nature, that a refusal was not likely. Matters were shaping so well, thanks to the diligence displayed by Menage and to the goodwill of the Swiss confederations, that nine cantons had signed the document independently of one another, without consulting together. He had arranged that a general assembly of the said confederations should be called together, where the contents of the document should be published, and as he confidently expected, subscribed to by the other cantons, which were being approached too in the meantime. He was in good hopes that the league would be effected soon in full accordance with his wishes. Three several people, who heard it from the Nuncio, repeated to me what is said above. It has been said also that the Rhinegrave might perhaps have been sent by the King to the Swiss confederations to exhort them to sign the league; but on the other hand the English ambassador has heard from a German personage worthy of respect that the Rhinegrave is expected in Germany, and he could suggest no other explanation except that he is going there to levy men. For his own part he believes that his mission is to prevent the English from raising Germans if they intended doing so, by trying on the same trick they (the French) played once before on the English when the lansquenets in their pay refused to march beyond Liege, their leaders having been bribed. Colonel Melun has confirmed the information he gave me that the Rhinegrave is to go back to Denmark, and that there are boats ready to carry 400 men he has raised there. Talking of this, he went on to say that the King and his ministers are beginning to feel sure that your Majesty is not going to move war on them this year, and that they now intend to get ready a powerful army for Scotland, knowing that the English are sending a large army to invade it. M. de Thermes is to cross with 200 men-at-arms and 3,000 foot soldiers at the end of this month. They hope besides to raise German troops, and they say it will be a fair army, when their men who are in Scotland and the Scottish soldiers are reckoned in too. The Scots are hurrying to get ready, and their eagerness is increased by the late exploit on the captain of Haddington, the certain news of which have been received. They expect things to go better and better.
The English ambassador had an audience of the King on the 9th of this month. He made a minute declaration of the aggressions suffered daily from the French on this side of the sea. As such occurrences were in direct contravention of the last treaty and a breach of good neighbourhood, the King of England desired to know if the King of France had knowledge of them, and what explanation he could give; for were he of a mind to continue in the same course, the King of England would take his measures accordingly. The ambassador proceeded to relate how the soldiers from the fort, to the number of 400, wearing white shirts over their armour, had twice attacked the castle of Boulemberg by night. Moreover, shortly before this, a number of Frenchmen had crossed your Majesty's territory to the Terre d'Oye, and sacked a few houses. They continually attempted to stop the inhabitants of St. Omer from carrying food to the Boulonnais; and finally, the people in Fort Chatillon made a practice of shooting at English ships on their way into Boulogne. These were all hostile acts. The King replied that for his part he had committed no breach of the last treaty, but observed it in every particular, and would have continued to do so had not the King of England violated it by pulling down the church near Fiennes. The King of England had begun the matter, and he (the King of France) was not going to allow anyone to suppose him to be of a mind to put up with anything from the English, and he intended to take just revenge for the insult. The ambassador replied that the said church had been taken from the English by force, and by force they had recovered it, demolishing it as they had every right to do. They had respected the French who were found in it, in strong contrast with the treatment their own people had received when they were thrown out. The King of France insists that the church must be rebuilt, but the King of England cannot well agree to this; though the ambassador is doing his best to find out if means may not be found to compose the quarrel as far as the territory this side of the sea is concerned. The King's ministers are well aware that the object of the English in this is to be freer to attend to the Scottish business, whilst the French are trying to embarrass them as much as possible on this side of the Channel. It is presumed that they will choose the Terre d'Oye as their field, and take the castle of Boulemberg if they can. They are trying hard to do so because if it were in possession of the French the revictualling of Boulogne by land would become a difficult matter, and the sea passage is half closed as it is. Colonel Melun told me that Chatillon has charge to warn the inhabitants on the frontier of Picardy facing the Boulonnais, and those on the flats about there, to be on the watch and withdraw with as much of their property as they can take to the towns, to avoid surprises. This is done because the King of France is resolved to do his very worst against the English on this side of the sea; and it is to be feared that the King of England, irritated at this, will make incursions into French territory. Unless the ambassador hits upon a means of quieting things down, these people are so heated now on the subject that a great combustion is to be feared, and some one will have to suffer.
Poissy, 7 April, 1549.
April 7. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
Extract from a letter written in cypher: probably the same an extract from which exists in Paris. (Apr., 1549. Arch. Nat. K. 1488.)
(The letter begins with an account of the Strozzi borrowing clothes from the Venetian ambassador and fooling disgracefully before the ladies of the court, etc. . . .) The lansquenets from Guyenne passed by Mantes on the 3rd of this month, going towards Boulogne, and of course they wasted the country which is part of the dower of the Dowager Queen of France (fn. 3). A quantity of artillery and ammunition are being sent to Abbeville. . . . The French spread the rumour that the English burned some houses in Belle Isle in Brittany; but this was discovered to be untrue. The inhabitants of the said island were to blame for the false report, for seeing English vessels in the offing they lighted bonfires to warn one another from afar. They say the English vessels are in a position to do damage to French ships going to Scotland from Brest. Is is said that the King of France has conferred on the Governor of Scotland, for life, the duchy of Chastelherault. The soldiers levied for Scotland are tugging at the halter, and they have to be compelled to go by force. A good number of them ran away, but were brought back. Their attitude gives little hope of their accomplishing much when they get there.
Poissy, 7 April, 1549.
April 13. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27. St. Mauris to the Emperor. (fn. 4)
Sire, after my preceding letters were written, the English ambassador declared to me in the presence of M. Renard (fn. 5) that he had spoken to the King on the 10th of this month to hear from him his definite intention about the attacks his people were making on English territory this side of the Channel, on the grounds that preparations for war were being openly made in France, and that Chatillon had been sent to the frontiers. The King answered that he had often said to the ambassador in the past that he did not intend to suffer insults from any King in Christendom, and he repeated it again now. The English demolished the church near Fiennes, he said, and smashed a lime-kiln near Boulogne, so he had attempted to get even with them. But nevertheless he desired to keep on friendly terms with the King of England, if he would do his share and observe the treaties, instead of which he had opened and widened the breach, and fostered ill-feeling between them. The ambassador replied that the French had begun it; and he went into details to prove it. But he assured the King that the King of England and his ministers desired nothing better than to live in good friendship with him. The King of France reiterated his own assurance to the same effect, adding again that he desired it on condition that the English would observe the treaties, as he would put up with nothing else from them. The ambassador seemed pleased with the interview and sent a special messenger to the Protector to apprise him immediately of the result. He told me that unless the King of France broke his word, matters would be patched up between them by a suspension of arms. I took the opportunity offered me to talk to the ambassador about a truce reported as about to be negotiated between them, in which the King of France wished to include Scotland. I did it to try and get some information out of him, but he said he knew nothing of it, and he could not believe, if any truce were ever made, that it would include Scotland. And yet, Sire, Carneseque has again assured me that he heard it was being negotiated, adding nevertheless that the information was not from a safe source. If conjectures may ever be taken as a safe foundation to build a judgment upon, they would bear now the following assertion, that both English and French want to suspend hostilities as far as their possessions on this side are concerned; for they ended up with assurances of desiring each other's friendship. The truth will come to light before long, as the lansquenets are about to reach Boulogne.
Poissy, 13 April, 1549.
April 19. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 18. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
The English ambassador resident here addressed himself to the Bishop of Arras, (the Diet we were holding at the time having prevented us from giving him audience) and presented a request on his master's behalf, that besides the permission we had granted him to levy secretly up to 5,000 Germans from Saxony, and take them by sea to England to fight the Scots, our common enemy, we should grant him permission to raise up to 500 Low Germans for the defence of their territories, conquered before (from the French) offering to send them by way of Guines and Calais ten at a time the better to keep the secret, and to avoid the damage they would cause if they marched through our territory in greater numbers. We granted him what he asked, and gave him permission at his request to buy up to 500 sets of fighting accoutrements for men and horses, a certain number of arquebuses, fuses, and other ammunition. We condescended to this, to prove to the English that we would willingly do our best for them within the terms provided by the treaties; seeking to preserve and increase our friendship, with the hope that they too, on their side, would show corresponding friendship and good feeling by keeping the secret as it was suitable that they should.
We charged the Bishop (of Arras) to notify our consent to their request to the ambassador, and to speak to him about the outrage committed by Master Wallop's men on our territory, the details of which you will find in the information sent herewith. The proceedings seemed strange enough; and still stranger the answer made to the Seigneur de Cahen by the said Master Wallop, who declared they would pursue the Frenchmen's property up to the very gates of St. Omer. We have ordered a verbal declaration to be made to him, that we are determined not to allow either Sovereign (fn. 6) to use violence within our dominions, for these protestations of not damaging our subjects are empty words, and damage cannot be avoided, if they are to resort to violence against one another. If they have any quarrels to settle upon our territory, they must do so through the courts of law. Otherwise we shall be obliged to apply punishment, by apprehending whatever is available, and recovering damages from their merchants in our dominions.
The ambassador agreed that Master Wallop's answer was very strange indeed, and our pretensions reasonable, certifying that he would do his very best, and would report the case to the Protector and Council. He is sending a messenger now, as we suppose, to explain the case. It seems to us right to let you know about the matter so that you may be informed of our intentions. If the opportunity offers, you may speak of it whenever you think advisable. Since the occurrences mentioned above, your secretary has arrived here; and being now in these (illegible) days, we have been unable to come to any decision on the matter about which you sent him here. We will attend to it in due time, and advise you of our determination on the first opportunity.
Brussels, 19 April, 1549.
April 26. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 32. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
This is to inform you of the arrival of my uncle, M. de St. Mauris, who delivered your letters and declared in detail the directions he left with you when you took up the duties of your post. I am certain you will steer your conduct prudently, and serve your master to the best of your ability, with the unfailing watchfulness and care required of you, hearing all that takes place, and sending advice of it from time to time. Be unsparing of your secretaries, both in writing fully and at length, on all you hear, and in using cipher whenever it is necessary to do so.
His Majesty is away hunting and cannot answer your letters at present. I have thought it well, during his absence, to write to you myself, to give you the above advice, and to inform you of the negotiation I had yesterday with the Ambassador Marillac, in the presence of President Viglius. I laid before him the complaints made to us by the English because some of the soldiers of the King of France have presumed to pass through part of the Emperor's territory, and so reach the English possessions of the former conquest, commit pillage there and carry back their booty through the Emperor's possessions. The English demand reparation, and an assurance that the same abuse shall not occur again. I declared to him in stronger terms than those used in the writing I gave him, that his Majesty was determined not to put up with anything of the kind, and was equally determined not to allow the English to go through his dominions to get at the French. I even added that the French would be putting themselves in the wrong if they attacked the territory of the former conquest comprised in our treaty with England, approved and reserved by our own Treaty of Crépy with France. By this treaty we were bound to defend England, Ireland, the Islands of Jersey and Guernsey and the territory on this side of the Channel called by the English the Old Conquest, being Calais and the neighbourhood of Guines. If the King attacked or invaded any of these places his Majesty would find himself in the necessity of helping the English if they requested his aid, and would have to declare war on France. This did not apply to what the King might do against Boulogne, the Boulonnais and the territory acquired by the English at the time of the last war, these not being comprised in the aforesaid treaty. It must be understood, nevertheless, that no armed incursions into his Majesty's dominions could be allowed, as he did not intend to have them used as a threshing-floor; nor was it likely that while the two were hunting down each other his Majesty's subjects would escape unhurt. His Majesty would not be drawn into it; and they must take care, for it might be of importance to them not to anger his Majesty, and bring him to the point, where he would be compelled to quarrel. His Majesty was doing his best to keep on terms of good friendship, with all the sincerity they could wish for, and would do so as long as they on their side met him with like sentiments; and I requested that they would take this opportunity to remedy some of the wrongs his Majesty's subjects had suffered in the past, and provide that these might not be repeated in the future. You will hear the particulars of the said complaints from the copies of two documents, one in French, the other in Italian, given by us to the ambassador, and other copies I am ordering to be sent to you with this, for your better information. You may remonstrate with them on the subject and provide a remedy, taking your stand on my interview with the ambassador on his Majesty's behalf. You will advise his Majesty in your letters of the substance of your negotiation on this point, and that will serve as an answer to the present letter as far as that matter is concerned.
Brussels, April 26, 1549.
April —. Paris, K. 1488. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire, since the departure of M. de Monbarrey I have heard from all sides about the Rhinegrave's journey to Germany and his business there. A certain man named Villedesaint who went with him, told me that he stayed at Valcole (fn. 7) eight or ten days, and lived in a house of his near Salmesin (fn. 8), not daring to advance into Germany for fear of being taken or killed, as the court here hold the opinion that your Majesty had sent spies after him to Germany. He had been warned by some of his friends. He sent two of his servants on the King of France's business to Saint Nicholas, by way of the mines of Sainte Marine and round to Saint Nicholas. The Duke of Pomerania sent to Denmark a man they called the Germany spy. I have not been able to fathom the Rhinegrave's business except from a few hints dropped since his return, to the effect that your Majesty is free to go to Germany when you please, for something you are not expecting is brewing there, contrary to your designs and intentions, and that all will be made plain in good time. But he has not made himself any plainer.
As regards Denmark.—I heard some time ago that the Rhinegrave was trying to get men from that country, to fight the English. The King of Denmark's answer was that he desired to remain neutral, and had no wish to do more for one of the belligerants than he would do for the other: and, this notwithstanding, that the French had offered to make an alliance with him, and proposed the Duke of Holstein as a husband for his daughter.
As to the Duke of Pomerania I can hazard no other guess about his business here except that, being notoriously in disgrace with your Majesty for having allied himself with the other rebels, and all continuing in disgrace without absolution, both he and they are likely to be encouraged in their obstinacy by the blandishments and hopes held out to them by the King of France. I will do my best to discover more about it.
The same Villedesaint, speaking to the son of a President of the Constable's party, told him that the Rhinegrave had not been able to levy the men he had gone to get. Count George of Wurttemberg is negotiating to join the service of the King of France, first because your Majesty keeps the passes closed, and then because it is a safer course for keeping his goods and his inheritance, for if the King of France were to make peace with your Majesty and the King of England, they (sic) would be deprived of their pay and banished from their territories and possessions. It is true that he has 3,000 men, although they are not seasoned troops. From all I hear the Rhinegrave has achieved little on his tour.
On Easter Sunday last, the King of France ordered one of the servants of the Rhinegrave to cause it to be published in Germany that whoever joins his service now and continues in it, will receive rewards in France. Land and property are to be awarded to them in Picardy, not far from the Port of Boulogne. The Rhinegrave's servant himself gave the information to the person who repeated it to me. He also said that Secretary Baptiste Ferante, a German, servant of the King of France, who has been sent on many errands on his master's behalf, is very discontented, having received nothing but a small pension for his pains, which he earned hardly; giving me to understand that the man is ready to better himself, and would sell me information if I paid for it. However, I answered nothing, as I do not know the man, and because I do not think he is in any position of trust. But I will wait and see whether with time he can prove useful, and if he may be trusted.
Last Thursday the King of France made a present to the Rhinegrave of two thousand crowns, it is said, and a Spanish horse; and the Rhinegrave left on the same day in a coach for the Fort of Boulogne. He is to return for the King's entry into Paris, according to Villedesaint, who is getting sumptuous garments and plate ready for his master. There is a rumour that the Rhinegrave is to bring back five companies of infantry and keep them in the neighbourhood of Paris, by the King's orders, when the entry into Paris takes place. Some say this is a device of the Constable's, who is afraid of the hatred and enmity that the princes and many of the King's household bear him. They have come to light lately through a quarrel between the Prince de la Rochelle and M. d'Andelot. They spread a rumour that the King of France had made a present of 5,000 crowns to M. d'Andelot, to rouse the princes to still greater anger, with the comment that this was high favour indeed to show to a simple gentleman, against a prince of the blood, for the Constable's sake. But I believe all this scheming to be mere invention on the part of those who wish the Constable ill. There is really no serious reason for believing that the King of France will draw men away from Boulogne and weaken his position, to protect the Constable when there is no outward sign or suspicion of his needing it. Colonel Melun, in talking over the wars in Scotland and the Boulonnais against England, said that the King of France believed that the business with England would be patched up. He wished to save money and to have fewer enemies to reckon with, greatly suspecting that your Majesty would move war against him next year. He added that the King had ordered certain galleys from the neighbourhood of Rouen to be kept in readiness; but they would not be fitted out until the end of next month. They were not more than seven or eight leagues from Rouen. The King of France did not feel sure of the Pope; the league was far from being concluded on the terms asked for by the King of France, who also had news that your Majesty was offering to renounce your rights to Piacenza in favour of the Duchess of Camerino and M. Charles her son, keeping the citadel and castle of Piacenza. The transaction was being carried on between your Majesty and the Pope, he said, and several clauses had been passed and agreed to; while Cardinal Farnese and Duke Ottavio, for their own private ends were favouring it, forgetting the death of their brother and father. He interspersed his discourse with reflections on the trouble and great expense the King of France had lavished to induce him (the Pope) to renew the hereditary league he had of old with the French on the terms (lately) proposed by them; and how everybody was afraid of your Majesty and was attempting to break up the league (between you and the Pope), or to set another on foot; and that for this reason the King of France was anxious to get his legionaries and infantry men afoot, as the King his father had done, to arm and defend his country in case of an attack from your Majesty. As a matter of fact, they recently took out of Paris twenty-seven pieces of heavy artillery and sent them to the frontiers of Champagne and Picardy. They were about to send more to Boulogne; but were expecting a present of fifty guns from the people of Paris, who said they wished to present them when the King made his entry into the town. . . . It is being said that soldiers are being levied in Lombardy in your Majesty's name, nominally for the English, but that your real intention is to make an incursion on Parma. . . . The rumour has reached here, that two or three hundred soldiers that the King of France raised to send to Scotland have been killed by the Bretons, who could no longer put up with their insolence. The people of Nantes are sending a deputation to present their excuses.
Since the above letter was written I have been told by the English ambassador that the Governor of England has changed the garrisons of Boulogne and Calais and other frontier places, fearing that they might have intelligence with the French; and that the garrisons were made up afresh because they had discovered that the King of France had a plan to attack an important place between Boulogne and Calais, and had sent the soldiers from Guyenne to Boulogne for that purpose. There are no news of any fresh move from the French since they attacked Boulemberg; they are afraid of being forestalled. It is thought that for this year no more fighting will take place in the Boulonnais; both belligerants will lay down their arms and abide by the last treaty made between them. There is not much likelihood of war in Scotland either for this year; and they seem to be looking for means of coming to an understanding.
Paris, April, 1549.


  • 1. The year is not given in the document, which is a signed original in French.
  • 2. Probably means his receveur general of Languedoc, or collector of dues.
  • 3. Leonor, sister of Charles V.
  • 4. This letter is dated (old style) 1548; it is written entirely in cipher.
  • 5. St. Mauris's successor in Paris.
  • 6. i.e. Either of France or of England.
  • 7. Place names are often deformed in Spanish translations. This might possibly be Val-de-Coo, near Spa.
  • 8. Possibly Malmedy.