Spain: June 1549

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

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'Spain: June 1549', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549, ed. Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler( London, 1912), British History Online [accessed 24 July 2024].

'Spain: June 1549', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549. Edited by Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler( London, 1912), British History Online, accessed July 24, 2024,

"Spain: June 1549". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549. Ed. Martin A S Hume, Royall Tyler(London, 1912), , British History Online. Web. 24 July 2024.

June 1549

June 1. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor. (fn. 1)
Sire, this day I was sent for by the Protector, who told me that he had thought over the various points I lately put before him, and had consulted the Council upon them, which he affirmed to be entirely devoted to your Majesty, more than the council of a foreign nation ever was before, not desiring merely to keep your friendship for the King their master, but increase it if possible to the advantage of your Majesty and for the common good of both countries. He affirmed that he would never show preference for anyone else, for his whole and real intention was to please and serve your Majesty to the whole extent of his power at the present, as in the past he had done, and he hoped your Majesty was convinced of it. They (the English) were resolved to send an envoy to your Majesty, a man known and acceptable to you, namely Controller Paget, to present, together with their ambassador, a re-affirmation of the existing friendship, and make certain proposals which in their estimation would serve to increase it. I attempted to deflect their purpose, knowing your Majesty's intentions as to the coming of the said Controller Paget, by saying that this course was not necessary, but on the contrary might give rise to unrest unless his mission were of such a nature as to ensure success. I should have been glad to fathom their real intentions by the baits I threw out to them, and I repeated over and over again that in my opinion their innovations and changes in the matter of religion would make all negotiation difficult. But he answered every objection by saying that the Controller would be invested with sufficient powers, and he hoped that his embassy would prove fruitful. I should hear all about it from Paget himself before his departure.
I perceived that their minds were made up, and offered no further objections; but I hied me at once to the Controller to discover if the Protector had given him accurate information of your Majesty's intentions, so that he should at least go well provided if go he must. We had a long talk. He said to me “I am not so eager to go to his Majesty as I might be, because his Majesty probably thinks I might influence the religious question in a different direction, but this is impossible for the present, though as I have always done my duty, I shall continue to exert my influence for good.” I reiterated that it behoved him to induce the Protector to restore religion to the form in which the late King left it. He made this answer: “I will tell you something I would tell to no other man alive, for it might suit me ill to do so. I think with time matters that cannot be touched now may yet be mended. If the Emperor is lenient, it will help in this. If he were to declare before our ambassador, when we are both with him, that he has a good opinion of the Protector (who, believe me, is a good man, and as eager as possible to please his Majesty), he would show more disposition to please his Majesty, knowing that he stands in good repute.” I replied that I had not been backward in asserting the fact to the Protector, and had done so again that very day, when the Protector professed himself to be your Majesty's servant. I regretted that the ambassador should be present as a witness to his interviews with your Majesty, and he replied: “True; but his Majesty will be able to contrive at the audience that the courtiers entertain the ambassador while I speak freely to his Majesty.” I perceive clearly that the object of his mission is to elucidate and confirm the treaty, which by their interpretation is binding on your Majesty but not on their present King, as no sovereign, they say, can sign a bond for his successor. In the belief that your Majesty will not be able to preserve the peace with France for very long, they are anxious to ascertain whether you would plan some undertaking with them, and they would abide by your good pleasure (in the nature of it). They intend to do their best to please your Majesty in the matter of the Portuguese alliance; and you will find Controller Paget entirely devoted and ready to do good work in this and in other matters, as he has always proved himself to be, both in public and in private affairs where your Majesty's subjects were concerned. He told me he wished your Majesty might request them in the presence of the ambassador to stay their hand in religious matters. After this he was summoned to go to the Council, and put off our interview to another time, saying he would talk more fully to me before his departure, the date of which is still uncertain.
The Protector said to me that I had not heard the whole of the answer brought back by the gentleman they sent to the French King, about whom he spoke the other day. The French had returned fair words, he said; but they had asked besides that the quarrels about the frontier-lines and the outrages inflicted and suffered might be settled by special commissioners, promising to nominate some on their side, if the English would do so too. The Protector had determined to send the Earl of Southampton, who was once Chancellor, the Lord Warden, the Treasurer (fn. 2) and Dr. Smith, one of the First Secretaries, and let no time be lost.
I told him I had heard that two gentlemen sent by Cardinal Pole had travelled hither with safe conducts. He admitted this to be true but did not explain the reason of their coming, nor have I been able to discover it yet.
Greenwich, 1 June, 1549.
June 8. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 18. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
We have received your letters of the 28th of last month answering our own carried by your secretary. With regard to matters of religion in England and the conversations you have had with the Protector on the subject, you will keep to the same terms whenever circumstances afford an opportunity, saying that the changes are great and grievous, discordant with our holy faith, contrary to it and to the immemorial practice of our Mother Church, and a scandal to the whole of Christendom. We offered our strictures upon them because the long-standing friendship between our predecessors and the Kings of England, which we desired to preserve intact, laid the obligation upon us to assist in bringing about the peace of conscience, welfare and tranquillity of the present King and his realm; and we charged you to open your mind in confidence to the Protector, to whom we also bore affection, so that he might discharge his office of Protector to the King and his realm to better purpose. We held for certain that he, as a prudent man and of good counsel, would understand and take (our exhortations) in good part, exerting himself in his duty of restoring the kingdom to the obedience of our Mother Church, and supporting the general observance of the old religion.
With regard to the Princess our cousin, the Protector and all other worthy people must understand that her near kinship to us and close affinity, the perfect friendship we have always felt and feel for her, make it impossible that we should ever desist from our endeavours to save her from molestation in the free practice and observance of her faith.
The Protector's answer, that the Princess must obey the laws of the realm, is too bare and harsh to our cousin, the King's own sister, and conveys clearly that the King is not himself the author of the innovations and changes we refer to, the chief responsibility resting with the Protector, who should consider that reason, respect and courtesy demand that she be not included in the general dispositions made for the subjects of the realm, particularly in her religion, so that she may enjoy freedom in that respect.
It would be greatly preferable that the matter should not be touched upon until the King her brother comes of age, and that they should forbear from attempts to persuade or punish her, directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever to induce her to forsake her religion. Neither we nor our brother, the King of the Romans, nor any of the relatives of the Princess could tolerate such attempts, as the Protector might well suppose. Press this point as a matter of importance and part of your mission and duty, explaining that you are doing so out of a desire that our relations with the King may continue in amity and sincerity, and from your own affection for the person of the Protector. Make use of all your cleverness so that the Protector may not interpret our words as threats of any kind, or imagine that we might resort to violence; but on the other hand do not let him suppose that we will ever give way on the point of the letters of assurance (to guarantee the freedom of religious practice for the Lady Mary).
As to the marriage with the Infante Don Luis, though we see no likelihood of it ever taking place, yet you must temporise if they speak of it again, and keep to the answer given before in accordance with what we wrote to you. The Protector having put off speaking to you about the closer alliance to be proposed by them, you will wait and hear first what he may have to say about it before you make any mention of it yourself. Moreover, do all in your power to ascertain how matters stand between France and England.
With regard to Sebastian Cabot, you will procure that he may go to Spain in accordance with what the Protector said to you.
Your letters of June 1st have just been received. We note what passed between you and the Protector, and more especially between you and Controller Paget with reference to his mission to us. You did well to make the observation to which you refer, so that Paget may not arrive here without ample powers, and so that the proposals they desire to make together with their requests and conditions may be heard by us beforehand, to facilitate the discussion of them. Your were right to speak as you did concerning the religious innovations. Adhere, with discretion, to the same terms; and if in spite of everything they wish to send Paget by hook or by crook (en nom de Dieu) we shall see what he has to say. Meantime ascertain as much as possible about his mission and advise us of what you hear.
As it seems uncertain, judging by what you write, when Paget will be able to come, and as perhaps they may in the meantime try to put pressure on our cousin in the matter of religion, you will abide by what has been written on that point, using your discretion as necessity arises, to support her, and turn aside anything they might attempt against her. If Paget comes, we will speak and remonstrate with him on the question of religion as opportunity offers, having regard to what you write has passed between you on the business of religion.
We are informed that the Seignory of Venice is sending a certain Daniel Barbaro as resident ambassador to England. You will behave towards him according to his conduct; and you will take pains to gain information about him, keeping as a maxim that we are, and desire to remain, friends with his Seignory.
Brussels, 8 June, 1549.
June 9. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher. Affairs of the Prince of Orange, etc.) . . . It is certain that the Count of Thermes is gone with 30 ships and about 2,000 men to Scotland. The King has decided to attack the forts built by the English in the island of Origny (fn. 3) and is getting a fleet ready for the purpose, which is being equipped in Normandy to sail under the orders of the Admiral and Peter Strozzi. He is sending a thousand foot soldiers. They say here that the plan for the fortification of the said island is due to a man named Bertheville, a French refugee. However that may be, the forts annoy the King greatly, as in the last fortnight the English have sunk two French vessels laden with salt, and it is said publicly that your Majesty aids and abets the English, who would otherwise soon be brought to reason. The Constable gave me clearly to understand this, as your Majesty will have gathered from my last letters. The said Bertheville, whose brother's head was cut off here in Paris for some treachery he was suspected of, is captain of the forts for the English. . . .
Paris, 9 June, 1549.
June 10. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. Edward VI to the Emperor.
Whereas we have now upon the advice of our very dear and well-beloved uncle the Duke of Somerset, Governor of our person and Protector of our kingdom, dominions and subjects, sent to you our well-beloved and very faithful counsellor, Mr. William Paget, Knight of our Order and Controller of our Household, to visit you on our behalf, and hold communication with you on certain things concerning the good and ancient friendship between our two houses, we pray you to hear him well and patiently, and give faith to what he shall say and propose to you, as you would to our own person.
Richmond, 10 June, 1549.
June 10. Simancas E. 806. Somerset to the Prince of Spain. (fn. 4)
My Lord, the King my sovereign lord being about to send his very dear and well-beloved counsellor, Mr. William Paget, Knight of the Order and Controller of his Household, to visit his good brother the Emperor, your father, and treat with him of matters of importance to the continuation and increase of their good brotherly love, mutual friendship and alliance, the honour of both and welfare and utility of their countries and subjects; the said Mr. William Paget being charged by my sovereign lord to visit you and congratulate you on your coming and safe arrival in the Low Countries, I have requested him earnestly to present you my most humble, cordial and loving recommendations when he finds himself in your presence; as from him who desires in all things to honour, serve and please you. I entreat you, Sir, that, in accordance with the long and unbroken union and intelligence between the two houses, you will lend your hand to assist the proposals for which the bearer of this present is being despatched. Moreover, my Lord, if there is aught here which would gratify or please you, you will find me disposed and ready to employ all my little power in your gratification and pleasure. So, my Lord, may our Maker keep you in His holy care.
Richmond, 10 June, 1549.
June 10. Simancas E. 806. Edward VI. to Prince Philip.
Whereas we have charged our ambassador resident at the court of our very dear and well-beloved brother the Emperor and King to tell you the pleasure we have received from your safe and happy arrival in your Low Countries, where you now, by God's mercy, after many travels and long sojourning on the way, are arrived safe and sound, and having despatched to our very good brother the Emperor our very dear and well-beloved councillor, Mr. William Paget, Knight of our Order and Controller of our Household, on the advice of our very dear and well-beloved uncle the Duke of Somerset, Governor of our person and Protector of our realms and dominions, on certain business concerning the continuance and increase of the good friendship between us and the welfare of our subjects, we have expressly commanded him to visit you on our behalf and tell you again of the great joy and comfort we have received from the news of your arrival. We beseech you, most high and excellent Prince, our very dear and well-beloved cousin, to give him faith and belief as you would to ourselves; and moreover to lend your help to further the business on which he is now being sent.
Richmond, 10 June, 1549.
June 12. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Lady Mary to the Emperor. (fn. 5)
May it please your Majesty to know that the King my brother and sovereign lord has, by the advice of the Lord Protector, now commanded his very faithful counsellor and Controller of his Household, my friend Sir William Paget, to go to see and visit your Majesty. I have been so bold as to write in these rude letters my most humble recommendations (of him) to your Majesty; for he is my friend, and as it seems to me, has a great desire to preserve the ancient friendship between your Majesty and this realm, and to render honour and service to you above all other princes save my brother his natural lord. For these respects I think it pertains to my duty to recommend him to your Majesty in my rude letters.
Kenning Hall, 12 June, 1549.
June 12. Simancas E. 77. The Emperor to the Bishop of Fano. (fn. 6)
We have seen and examined an account of what happened in Rome between the ministers of his Holiness and the Ambassador Don Diego de Mendoza concerning Piacenza, together with the documents given to him. We do not perceive that any authentic matter was put forth to support his Holiness's pretensions to the restitution of Piacenza. These pretensions dwindle further by comparison with the titles and rights of the Empire, promptly exhibited and published, as it was declared in writing to the ministers of his Holiness in Rome, and verbally here to the Nuncio Fano, and Giulio Ursino. Although the matter stands thus, his Majesty (fn. 7) who desires that matters may proceed smoothly, will concede that a mere exhibition of the Pope's titles to his ambassador may be taken as evidence of their existence, enabling his Holiness to set forth his claims as conveniently and advantageously as possible, and justify his pretensions easily and comfortably. His Majesty will carry out in all sincerity and good faith his former promise that Piacenza shall be restored, or a compensation granted, if it be proved to have belonged to the Church or the house of Farnese. If the Church cannot prove her right to it, the Emperor will make a gift to the Church (to liquidate her doubtful claim), as the answer sent to Rome duly set forth. His Majesty is now pleased to grant, if Parma is restored and given into his imperial hands, and in consideration of the fact that grounds for treating, as the second proviso sets forth above, have been forthcoming, a gift of 40,000 crowns a year immediately, guaranteed in the safest manner and in the best conditions which can be devised for the advantage of the house of his Holiness and his Holiness's grandsons. His Majesty desires that the negotiation be put into effect at once, and that the claims of the Church and those of the Empire be drawn up and duly set forth to guarantee both parties from loss or prejudice. His Majesty trusts that in matters of religion and other public and private affairs, his Holiness will make a fitting return for the good-will and good deeds of his Majesty. If the offer is refused, the negotiation will remain in the same terms as before.
Brussels, 12 June, 1549.
June 12. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
(Extracts from a letter written in cipher.)
Sire, on Whitsunday the English ambassador had an audience at St. Denis, where the King is at present. He complained of the uninterrupted attacks of the captains in the Boulonnais, in violation of the last treaty and of the assurances, received when he complained of Chatillon's sallies and attacks on Boulemberg, that all hostile acts should cease, and that special commissioners should be appointed to inquire who was responsible for the first assault, and consequently restore the former conditions, and abide by the treaties in the future. He declared to the King that during the last three weeks the regiment of light cavalry called the “stradiots” had attacked the English in the neighbourhood of Ardres, and within the last fortnight Chatillon's men had entered by a ruse the harbour of Boulogne with 20 to 25 ships, and with fagots and devices of Greek fire attempted to seize and burn the ships in the harbour; all such conduct being entirely contrary to the last treaty, and in open breach of the assurance lately given and the proposals for the settlement of their quarrel, recently made and entertained. The King replied that he had no knowledge of the alleged occurrences; that everything had been done without his knowledge; that he would obtain information and give a more detailed reply; that he had recalled his light horse regiment from the neighbourhood of Ardres; and that he was still of the same mind, with regard to the nomination of commissioners and the observance of the treaties. He pursued the matter no further, keeping to general terms. The Constable had given him (the ambassador) the same answer before, adding certain remarks to the effect that the English had begun attacking and damaging the King's subjects, and had given occasion for reprisals, but the King of France would be found to be reasonable if they would submit to reason themselves, adding that it would be a good thing to beware of what a (prolonged) state of hostility might bring forth. But Cardinal Guise and my Lord of Guise, with whom the ambassador dined, did not dwell on the matter, appearing to treat it as a blind, meant to deceive the English with words whilst other plans were being put into execution. The Cardinal, after other talk, told him it would be suitable to set matters right by a proper understanding, and pursue the plan of the commission, seeking to settle all the points at issue; and told him the King was informed that Mr. Paget was going to his Majesty to negotiate something contrary to the proposed settlement, and that the English had built forts towards Normandy and were trying to build another, which would be prevented. He said also that your Majesty's design was to foster the quarrel, and so weaken them; and that they should not trust so much to the present as to forget the future. The ambassador replied that he had received no information about Paget's mission, nor about the occasion of it, and that in his opinion the object was to settle the differences of intercourse, which were of long standing; and that Paget was probably being sent as the person who chiefly concerned himself with such matters. He said he knew of no practices between your Majesty and the King his master beyond those set forth in the treaties; and that when the truth came to light it would be found that all the trouble proceeded from the French.
The Cardinal replied that Paget was not a man to be sent to your Majesty on a trifling errand; and he reverted again and again to the advantages of an understanding between France and England, offering to do his part in bringing it about, being one of the lords who desired peace, amity and prosperity in both countries. Matters are now on this footing, as I hear from the English ambassador. Others have told me that he has mentioned the possibility of an arrangement, and given an answer to the King concerning the proposals recently made for the inclusion of the Scots, (in the peace) or the delaying of the marriage between the Dauphin and the young Queen of Scots until she arrives at a marriageable age, and including a suspension of hostilities on both sides and mutual acceptance of the present conditions. But the ambassador is so reticent that I can get nothing out of him; and the people who mentioned the arrangement to me are suspect. Whatever there may or may not be in it, both parties are dissembling, and getting ready in the meantime, while outwardly appearing to seek for means of coming to an understanding. The French are making light of the recent affair near Ardres, when they were taken by surprise and lost over sixty men in the skirmish, and of their repulse and flight from Boulogne harbour before their plans could be put into effect because of the hurry they found themselves in to set sail for home. The King has secretly called up the legionaries from Normandy, with no beating of drums, and the captains of the light cavalry are also getting ready to carry out the King's orders directly the entry into Paris is over. He is said to be of a mind to fight England. It is certain, Sire, that he fears your Majesty may make war on him while he is fighting the English, and thus hampered; and this consideration will weigh more than any other with him and incline him to seek the means of arriving at an understanding with them. Paget's embassy to your Majesty swells his fears, increased further by the reported progress of your Majesty through Germany, by the supposed intention of your Majesty to approach his frontiers, by the submission of Strassburg, by the fact that the league with the Pope is not concluded, that your Majesty's captains are known to be going about in Germany bespeaking men, that affairs in Germany are not in the condition he supposed them to be, that the Kings of Sweden and Denmark make no move and are on neighbourly terms, that the King of Poland has sent an ambassador to your Majesty, so that the public affairs in which they (the three sovereigns just named) have a stake will take a different turn from the expected one.
The French perceive that they can get no lansquenets, that the Turk cannot advance this year, though they hope he may next year, that the Pope's assurances provide no safe ground to build upon owing to his great age, nor give reliable hopes such as the circumstances now require. I have heard that it was taken ill here that no visits or communications were exchanged with our Prince, who approached the French frontiers on his journey, although the French provided an opportunity by causing the publication of their tourneys to be made before your Majesty. Others have said to me that your Majesty gauges the youth in this kingdom, the dissensions, the hatred of the subjects for their King, thanks to the tolls and taxes he has levied, making the people resentful. Fear prompted the King to despatch a courier to the Pope warning him of what is happening with England and of Paget's embassy to your Majesty, on the very day he heard of it. He has also sent orders to the Prince of Melphi at Turin, to be on his guard and take care as the rumour has been circulated here that Don Fernando (Gonzaga) is about to interrupt the corn and fruit harvests in Piedmont and open hostilities. The King has sent the Lord of Jamais to the frontier, without waiting till his entry into Paris is accomplished; and he has written in the same strain to Burgundy, that they may be on the watch during the Lord of Guise's absence. I judge that his great fear is behind all these actions. They talk of nothing except your Majesty's supposed eagerness to make war on them, and the promise made to the Prince of Piedmont to get his estates back for him. Fear has made the King mass the infantry and put his constabulary force in order. The Venetian Ambassador Contarini is in Rome with the erstwhile secretary of the Venetian ambassador at Augsburg. Another one named Barbaro has arrived here on his way to England to take the place of the one who is there now. . . (Here follows an account of the coronation ceremony of the Queen of France.) . . Sire, since my letters were written I have ascertained that the banker-merchants are very ill-pleased with the King of France for having put off to his own advantage the payment due on the 20th of this month until the 20th of July next. He has damaged his credit very much, as the agent of the Welsers has been telling me.
The King's entry (into Paris) is to take place to-morrow, although the people of Paris requested the King to put it off till Monday next. It was trumpeted everywhere to-day that the entry will take place to-morrow for certain, so that war may incontinently be made on the English, who object to the inclusion of Scotland in the peace, which the King desires.
I have received assurances that the league with the Switzers is not concluded, that difficulties have arisen and that, if your Majesty wishes it, you may prevent it altogether. The King wants to raise a loan in this town, and the means of inducing the citizens to contribute have been discussed in Council. Some suggest that a few taxes should be imposed; others that the wealthier citizens shall be made to lend; others that one-third of the pensions and pay of the chief men in the kingdom be stopped. They are still discussing the means of getting money, and come to no conclusion. A messenger from Bremen has arrived here, and more come every day from the various towns (Hanseatic towns) to the number of ten or thereabouts in all, bearing letters to the King and the Constable with requests for help and assistance, which it is supposed will be given. . . .
Paris, 12 June, 1549.
June 13. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor. (fn. 8)
Sire, the day before Whitsunday, the King being on his way from Greenwich to Richmond, I spoke to the Protector on certain business concerning private subjects of your Majesty. He showed himself fairly favourable to them, and after long conversations about the French attempt against Boulogne, which failed, and the success of the English in Scotland, who crossed the Border and chased the French a long way, he said to me: “I want to tell you a secret that no man must know; and it is, that with the help of God, I hope to accomplish this much, that by next Candlemas there shall not be a single Frenchman left in Scotland, for they will be driven to worse straits than they know how to bear, and they will be in danger of ill-treatment from the Scots too. I intend to take and fortify places which will cut them off from any possibility of revictualling and getting assistance.” He thinks this will make the Scots turn against the French, seeing them helpless, and remembering the damage and harm they receive daily from them. I left him after this. I do not know whether he forgot to tell me, or whether he wished to hide from me that he has sent the present Chancellor (fn. 9) and Dr. Petre, the First Secretary, to the Lady Mary. The lady wrote to me to tell me she knew them to be on their way, and asking for advice on the answer she should make to the said commissioners, for she suspected they were coming to try and induce her to conform with the new regulations, and forbid her to practise the ancient religion, which she would never forsake in her life. She said that it was her custom to receive the Holy Sacrament on the day of the Pentecost, and she feared they might prevent her, unless it were done according to their ritual, which she would never accept.
I answered her that she, so wise and discreet, would find a suitable reply for them; but in my opinion it would be best to give them a soft answer if they spoke to her of changing her faith, saying that she could wish, for the good of the King her brother and of his kingdom, that matters had been left as they were found at the death of the late King her father, until the present King came of age, or by a General Council or any other (legitimate) means it were ordered differently. But as she could not remedy what had been done, she could think of no better way than to keep her conscience clear, abiding by the faith in which she was bred, and which was held by the generality in Christendom, in the hope that no pressure would be attempted. I also gave her an assurance that your Majesty would not fail to make her safe from any danger that might threaten her through her consistancy, adding that she must not forego the celebration of mass and her customary devotions. If her priests, fearing the law, were perchance to refuse to officiate as usual, I told her I would send mine to her until another came from Flanders (for me), and in the meantime I expected I should find one here for myself. But I hear that though some rich priests have forsaken her, those who were poor officiated for her on the day of the Pentecost, although the said commissioners had arrived. As I understand from a letter she sent me yesterday very urgently, they told her that the Protector and Council, desiring her advancement, had sent them to ask her if she were constant, and to tell her that a negotiation should be opened with your Majesty, to marry her to the Infante Don Luis of Portugal. I had heard this from Paget who sent for me to come to London to wish him good-bye. I reproached him because they had sent messengers to the Lady Mary to try and persuade her to change her faith, which seemed to me very ill-done, as I had sufficiently explained that even if she were inclined to change, your Majesty, for the sake of your relationship and affinity to her would not permit her to be seduced. He said to me: “You are wrong; I was the one to propose that somebody should be sent to her, for no other reason except that I am to speak to the Emperor and see if a suitable match can be found for her; and it seemed to me reasonable to ascertain her inclinations before any steps were taken.” I could reply nothing against that, as yesterday's letter had not yet come to my hands. In that letter, however, the Lady Mary informed me that the commissioners had told her that the King had made a law which was to be observed everywhere in the kingdom, even in her own household, and she answered them according to what I had written to her, requesting them not to trouble her again on questions of religion. They said they had charge to speak to her people and declare to them the danger of disobeying the law; and this she answered by saying that she esteemed her servants to be worthy people, as ready to serve their King, after their God, to the whole extent of their power, as other subjects of the realm; and for this she considered them as her own kin, and as such, would stand by them. At the end of the interview they showed her the draft of a letter the Protector wished her to write to your Majesty in recommendation of Paget (fn. 10). She answered that if they attempted to speak to her servants she would inform your Majesty in the self-same letter how she was being treated with regard to her priests and her spiritual welfare. On hearing this they departed with soft words, and made no declaration or inhibition to her servants. In exchange she wrote the letter, and wished me to inform your Majesty with all diligence, sending humble supplications to be commended to you.
As to Paget's mission, as far as I can understand, though they are trying to overshadow it with the elucidation of certain articles in the treaties, their main object is to find means, either by a marriage or otherwise, to enter into some confederation with your Majesty for the purpose of curbing the French. Your Majesty will best consider the affair and the means by which the good lady (the Lady Mary) may be saved once for all from further tribulations. Subject to your Majesty's approval, it seems to me best not to attempt the impossible for the present, but that you should merely declare that the said alliance would be acceptable to you, showing at the same time your good-will towards the King and his kingdom. By this you will get more from them than by any other means, according to their nature; and eventually they will come to do anything if your Majesty does not rebutt them now, as Controller Paget, who left to-day, will tell you. He asked me for a letter of recommendation to your Majesty; but I answered him that he did not stand in need of any such letter, because of the mission he is entrusted with, and of the good name he enjoys with your Majesty, which no recommendation could enhance; which pleased him.
With respect to internal affairs, they are very eager to oppose the French if they attempt anything fresh; they are fortifying their island of Alderney, to the great discontent of the Normans and Bretons. The peasants who had risen to pull down the enclosures of parks, are not yet entirely quieted; but it may be supposed that matters will go no further, as I have heard in deep secret that the Protector declared to the Council as his opinion, that the peasants' demands were fair and just; for the poor people who had no land to graze their cattle ought to retain the commons and the lands that had always been public property, and the noble and the rich ought not to seize and add them to their parks and possessions.
I understand that all the strong places held by the English across the Channel and on the Scottish border are well provided. Their fleet set out to sea recently; and their fleet in Scottish waters took and burnt some Scottish ships laden with salt and victuals.
London, 13 June, 1549.
June 24. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher). . . .
The King has changed his mind about attacking the forts of Origny, (fn. 11) on the report and advice of Strozzi, who declared them to be difficult to win. He is sending an engineer, Jehan Maria by name, to build a fort near Dieppe to prevent the English from sending aid to the said forts or use the harbour of the said island except with great difficulty and expense. The erection of the fort will cost 60,000 crowns.
The rumour is still about that the English and French have agreed to suspend their skirmishing and fighting in the Boulonnais for three months, until the commission has done its work, as I wrote to your Majesty before. But I have heard that they are still skirmishing daily, that the King still intends to attack the castle of Boulemberg, and that a new fort is being built for the purpose of shooting straight into it and into the harbour of Boulogne.
The Governor (fn. 12) of England, by means of the King's ambassador resident in Venice, sent a request to the Cardinal (fn. 13) of England to give his opinion on the changes recently wrought in the religion of the country. The Cardinal might well have refused, considering the cruelties that were wreaked on his kinsmen in England; but he has sent a learned man, in the company of a nobleman, both with safe-conducts, to declare his opinions on the points submitted to him, moved in this by a true spirit of patriotism and proving himself to be a true and devoted subject, forgetting his own wrongs and trying to assist his fellow-countrymen by turning them from their erring ways. The Governor must be in great perplexity, with religious strife at home and war abroad with the French. . The opinion here is that he sent to the Cardinal in Venice, out of fear that your Majesty might resent the changes he had wrought, seeking by these means to obviate the consequences. It is said that Paget's mission is to treat of a marriage between the Princess of England and the Archduke of Austria, (fn. 14) to provide for the defence of the English and their succour. The French are greatly perplexed.
The Lord of Vernin was beheaded on the 21st of this month and his body quartered and hung over the gates of the four chief towns in Picardy, for having betrayed and given over for money the town of Boulogne to the English, the ancient enemies of France, as it was written in his sentence. But he constantly denied it and protested to the end that they were killing him unjustly. A gentleman who was once in his company and saved himself by flight was beheaded in effigy at the same time. On the day of his execution, six or seven hours before, he was racked to make him confess; but he did not confess, and his last words were that he was guiltless and he called upon God to bear him witness, but he accepted death, as it was the King's pleasure that he should die. It is said that he was executed so as to persuade the people that Boulogne was lost by treachery and sold for money, and not taken in fair fight by the English. Before he died M. d'Aumale spoke to him at the pillory where he was beheaded, but I have not been able to find out what he said to him.
Paris, 24 June, 1549.


  • 1. This letter is almost entirely written in cipher; the rest is autograph.
  • 2. The Protector himself was Lord Treasurer at this time. The person referred to is perhaps Sir Edward North, Chancellor of the Augmentation.
  • 3. Aurigny, French name for Alderney.
  • 4. Wrongly entitled “Somerset to the Secretary of the Prince of Spain.”
  • 5. Signed original in French.
  • 6. Or more properly a minute for the letter that was written to him.
  • 7. The Emperor. The minute is rather Carelessly drawn up.
  • 8. This letter is written in cipher.
  • 9. Lord Rich.
  • 10. See p. 388.
  • 11. Aurigny: Alderney.
  • 12. The Protector.
  • 13. Reginald Pole.
  • 14. This must be the King of the Romans.