Spain: November 1549

Pages 465-481

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

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November 1549

Nov. 1. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire, in several of my former letters to your Majesty I mentioned that a defensive league was being negotiated between the Pope and the King of France, and that couriers and messengers were going to and fro daily to come to an arrangement and dispose of the difficulties that had arisen while preliminaries were been discussed. Since the reply made on your Majesty's behalf to the Pope on the matter of Piacenza, the league is being more actively pushed forward than before, and both parties are now favourably inclined towards it. Now I am informed that Cardinal du Bellay has brought back a reply to the articles sent to the Pope with M. de Ville, a Ferrarese, who left Compiègne at the time when the King returned from Boulogne, and which were, in substance, that the King would consent to the marriage of his bastard daughter with Orazio Farnese, the Pope's nephew, whilst the Pope was to hand over Parma to Orazio, who in his turn must turn it over to the King in exchange for the sum of 50,000 crowns, which the King would grant and assign him in France. The King would also make Cardinal Farnese sure of the bishopric of Narbonne, recompense him for the sum of the revenues or benefices he held under your Majesty and might lose, as a result of the league, or if your Majesty were to lay hands on his benefices at Monreale or elsewhere, and receive and protect him in France and show him all favour. For the further assurance and solidity of the league, the Pope means and desires that the King shall immediately deposit in Rome by correspondence and on the security of Lanfredino, the Florentine banker, or in ready money, 500,000 crowns, so that whenever the Pope may see fit and occasion demands, he may take a part of the said sum and convert it to such purposes for the league as the payment of troops, and other necessary expenses.
Beyond this, the King consents that Provence and Brittany may be placed under the papal obedience, jurisdiction and authority as they formerly were. According to Carneseque, this league will yet be arranged, and both parties are trying to gain time with these articles, the Pope waiting to see what your Majesty may succeed in negotiating in Germany. The King is making a stand on the question of the money and the Pope's age. I am constantly trying to ascertain the rest, and to obtain a copy of the articles, which will be difficult over here.
The said Cardinal, besides having brought the reply, is spreading a report that the King has commanded him to go to England and propose certain terms of peace. M. de Blandy has told me that du Bellay had long been soliciting for leave to return, specially since the arrival of the Cardinal of Ferrara at Rome, which took all affairs out of his hands, and also because of the heavy expenses he had to meet with his own and other peoples' money, and because he resented all the delays and weariness that kept him so far away from home, his houses, delights, and pleasures. He well understood that the Constable was keeping him out of the negotiations and going so far as to write to the French ambassador in Rome not to inform him of what happened, and all because of some old grudge. It is certain that there is also friction between other persons, though they all understand how to dissimulate, and I see no likelihood of truth in the report of a journey, nor that the King, who considers himself to be the King of England's superior, should be proposing terms of peace, unless the real object be to conspire and plot in England while the troubles that have recently begun afresh last. The French say that these disturbances have been caused by your Majesty's ministers, in order to make them a pretext for leaping over to England and place the Princess on the throne; things which I look on as calumnies and inventions. It is said that such changes have been wrought that the Earl of Warwick, who was admiral before the Protector's brother, now dead, and several other great personages of the realm have taken the matter of religion into their hands, and given the King to understand how evilly and scandalously the Protector had acted in thus risking the ruin and destruction of the land, together with other considerations, which so much alarmed the Protector that he retired to a stronghold with a small following. The goldsmith told me he had been taken and thrown into London Tower, that the estates of the realm were about to provide for the government, that the said Earl had had mass sung, and had the King in his devotion. The French show that they regret this, imagining that if the people of England are led back to the old faith, your Majesty may more easily incline them to your service. . . .
News have reached the King of a sally the men of Boulogne made upon the French near the Dunette, in the course of which 300 or 400 foot and horse were defeated. It is said that Hacfort, a captain from Gelders, and Tiberio, an Italian, were in command, and that several shiploads of provisions entered Boulogne harbour without the French being able to stop them. More trustworthy news may be obtained from the papal and Venetian ambassadors, who have gone to visit those parts. . . . The King is having thirteen pieces of artillery made after the fashion of double canons, and calls them the thirteen apostles. He wished to see three of them fired on the day he arrived here.
Paris, 1 November, 1549.
Nov. 4. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 18. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
We have received your letters in reply to our last, and heard what you write of subsequent happenings in that quarter. We have no doubt that more has occurred than you relate, and we must have more exact information, which you will procure.
As to what you say in your last letters of the steps the Venetian ambassador took towards the Councillors, and of the favourable impression made by his congratulations on the change in government, and your wish to know whether you ought to do the same because it seems to you that your neutral attitude has caused the Council to take umbrage, we do not see the advisability of your uttering any congratulation after the manner of the Venetian ambassador. However, you may visit the Councillors as soon as you like, and tell them on our behalf that we have heard what has happened over there; and feel certain that they acted with good cause. As they see that their success has been guided by the hand of God without any great trouble befalling they ought to be all the more careful to render thanks to Him and dispose everything as His holy service demands, for their King's good and the kingdom's welfare, being most zealous in restoring religion and furthering the King in the same, that when he is older he may be well instructed in it and the better acknowledge the mercy the Creator has shown him, and not have to resent changes made during his minority. In so doing they will give us the best of reasons for continuing in the deep affection we have always borne, and still bear, to the King and his kingdom's welfare. For your own part, and as if of yourself, you may, with all due modesty, perform all good offices to this end whenever opportunity arises. As neither the Lord Warden nor Ambassador Hoby has arrived here, and we have had from you no precise information as to their mission, we can say nothing concerning it except that we shall wait to see what they say, and act accordingly.
We know not what the Lady Mary, our cousin, will have said to your man, and until we hear it we cannot give an opinion. It seems to us best that she should continue to conform, with regard to recent changes, with the declarations you made to her on our behalf. For the rest, we recommend you to push forward our subjects' private affairs whenever you have favourable opportunity, specially those of Loupes Decains (sic) which concern the ships recently taken from certain Spanish merchants, and of the children and heirs of Girard Velrman, touching the rings and jewels taken from them some years ago. You will do everything in your power to enable them to obtain restitution of their property.
Brussels, 4 November, 1549.
Nov. 7. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Sire, I have put off writing to your Majesty so long because I had not enough to say, principally for the reason that the Earl of Warwick had sent me word that he was coming to see me as he wished to talk with me. Thus have I been awaiting his visit for the last ten days, and he has finally excused himself because of an illness that came upon him when he left Windsor. Seeing that the delay was being prolonged, I sent a man to call upon him and find out what course he intended to adopt for the improvement of affairs. He took this in very good part, saying that he would not have delayed so long had his indisposition not retained him, and that he would not fail to come as soon as he was better; but he disclosed nothing in particular, either of their ambassadors' mission, or of their plan for the management of affairs, only saying that with your Majesty's favour everything would go better than before, and that the same day he had received news from Lord Clinton, Lieutenant of Boulogne, who had skirmished with the French to such good purpose that he had driven them from the dunes (fn. 1), whence they had been harming the townspeople. Finally he said that he wished to declare in confidence that he would not so soon have lent a hand to this undertaking to succour the realm had it not been for the talk he had with me when he came to see me in the country. However, Sire, his remarks on that occasion were not so open and clear but that I perceived much more from his looks and facial expressions than from his words. Since he gave me no other message, and as I heard from certain persons that there was a split in the Council, and that Paget was to be shut out or at least kept away from it, and put in the shade with the pretext of appointing him Lieutenant or President of Wales, just as the Earl of Warwick was treated when the Duke of Somerset was made Protector, it seemed to me wise to sound the Earl of Southampton, who is the most experienced of the Councillors and still has most authority with the Earl of Warwick. So yesterday I sent some one to visit him under cover of his not being in the best of health, but as he is lodged at court like almost all the more prominent Councillors, and a great number of lords were calling upon him, he told my man to come back this morning at seven o'clock. In the meantime the courier came bringing your Majesty's letters of the 4th instant, so I told my man to demand audience for me at the same time. After thanking me for the attention, the Earl said that if the matter were not very pressing he would beg me to wait until the Earls of Warwick and Arundel might be present. My secretary said the matter was not one to disturb them, but only to bear witness to your Majesty's affection for the King and his kingdom's welfare, but the Earl still displayed a desire that I might wait for the said lords' return, which also seemed to me best, subject to correction, for the rest of the Councillors take a small part in the management of affairs. By way of reply to my message; that I had heard there was some discord in the Council, and that if he thought it fitting that I should endeavour to persuade any of them to bestir themselves in the matter of religion I would gladly do so, he said that he had always been aware of the goodly affection I bore the kingdom, for which they were all very grateful to me, and that for this reason he would not conceal his hope that with your Majesty's favour, and with time, which must also perform its office, their affairs might be righted. There was no discord between the Councillors, and I should be persuaded of it, for though the lords were of various conditions, every one was animated by the same devotion to the King's service, and all should come right in the end. By this, Sire, I presume he refers to the matter of religion, and that like a wise man he will search out the best means and methods to achieve his desire, which is to see things in the same state in which the late King left them. And though he makes no mention as yet of the Bishop of Winchester's release, I am sure he is his whole-hearted friend and abettor. I also caused my man to tell him that I was rather surprised that when their ambassadors came to me they told me nothing of their instructions, and he replied that that was ill done, without making any declaration either.
Sire, I have heard from a secret source that a Florentine merchant called Antonio Guidot (i.e. Guidotti) is being sent from here to France in order to find out whether there is no manner of making peace, and it is supposed that this means the restitution of Boulogne, though as neither Warwick nor Southampton have said anything about it to me I am at a loss what to suspect. At the same time men are being sent to Boulogne, and plenty of ammunition, and Captain Germigny (fn. 2) is going with his company of 250 Burgundians. He has told me that he is obliged to stay over here until he is able to serve your Majesty, which he desires above all things. I hear that the English intend to do great deeds again this winter near Boulogne, but in Scotland their affairs are not prospering so well, for the French and Scots have forced back their people, of whom two German bands have been sent to the Boulonnais, and Courtpennick is also to go home. Captain Herry Hacfort (fn. 3) and his men were dismissed in the Protector's time, which was a great disappointment to these lords, as so well equipped and accoutred troops had never before been seen in England. The pay is also very poor, and this is the cause of bitter complaints. Not a word is being said about the Protector or those who went to the Tower with him, but the Council are trying to persuade everyone that he is to be kept there until the King comes of age, which I find difficult to believe, for it seems to me more likely that he will not last long.
The Lady Mary holds by her former declaration made according to your Majesty's advice, though she said the other day to my secretary that she desired more than ever to be out of this kingdom, for she is unable to believe that religion is to be restored while the common people are so infected, and God's punishment is to be feared, as the peasants are not yet entirely pacified, and great disorder among nobles and peasants is evident. Therefore she thinks she is the only person here exempt from scandal and trouble, which are so prevalent that no man may get off without his share. I am exhorting her to remain constant in her patience, since she is assured that your Majesty will not forsake her, but will always study her welfare and safety; and the Councillors have not as yet pressed her or exacted from her anything against her will, for the letter she received from them while the Protector yet held out at Windsor was but a justification of their actions. And so, Sire, she is awaiting the upshot of the matter, not without apprehensions.
The Earl of Warwick has accepted the admiralty, which he held in the late King's day. Paget is to give up his post as controller, and it is said that Mr. Thomas Arundell, (fn. 4) a good man and of the old faith, is to have it. A few days ago he went to the Lady Mary and asked to be received into her service, which the Protector had formerly refused to permit. Even now she has, by my advice, put off accepting him, though in the most gracious manner, that she may not be thought to have had anything to do with the changes, for Arundell was a prime instrument in uniting the lords against the Protector. I have ceased holding communication with Paget, in order not to cause him to be suspected, until I shall have been with the Council. Parliament opened last Monday, but business is sluggish because of the said Councillors' indisposition.
Your Majesty will forgive me for bothering you with the rumour current here: that the ambassadors have instructions to demand in marriage one of the King of the Romans' daughters for the King. The origin of the report is the fact that Ambassador Hoby took with him a striking likeness of the King in painting.
London, 7 November, 1549.
Nov. 11. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
(The first part of this letter gives accounts of depredations committed on Flemish and Spanish shipping by the French.)
Among other points touched on by the Constable while we were discussing the foregoing was, that the King was having some ships built at Dieppe and Rouen, and intended to fit them out, but it must not be thought that they were going to interfere with the commerce of your Majesty's subjects, for they were to be used against the English only. I attempted to discover what these ships were, and heard from the admiralty clerk that the King was fitting out twenty, which will be ready in two months at the latest at Dieppe and Rouen, and besides these, twenty or thirty more were being built at Havre and Tréport, and were intended to be thrown into Boulogne harbour and sunk when a good opportunity and a favourable wind should arise, and thus prevent ships from going in there, as was done in the port of Savona. No better means of recovering the town could be devised than blocking up the harbour, and this plan has long been maturing, as I wrote to your Majesty. The Captain, (fn. 5) however, tells me that this might easily be prevented, if the English were warned in time, either by burning the ships with Greek fire or by other means, besides which the sea is so deep that it will always be possible to get ships past at high-water. The same man who is conducting this undertaking promises to take Ardres tower after a few days' siege. Next spring the King will reopen hostilities by digging trenches which he intends to make between Boulogne and the said Ardres tower. In some manner which has not yet been explained to me, and notwithstanding these preparations, it is certain that since the Protector was taken and the last turmoil took place in England, provisions and wine have found their way into Boulogne, together with beeves, sheep and other victuals, and 500 Spaniards and Italians who were formerly in Scotland, and that the French have been worsted in the skirmish and sally of which I informed your Majesty in my last letters. The French have heard that the English are restoring religion, seeing to the defence of Boulogne, and looking after their affairs in quite a different spirit from that which prevailed under the Protector, who was blinded by heresies and errors. When they heard over here that the English were sending a gentleman to your Majesty, they succeeded in inducing the lord who is captain of Boulogne to parley with MM. de Châtillon and d'Andelot, who spoke to him of an arrangement, saying that whenever the King of England was willing to act in a reasonable manner, the curses of war might be avoided, for they were sure that the King of France, who wished to be at peace with every man, would make acceptable terms. To such good purpose did they talk that the commission which was ended some time ago was renewed for the purpose of discussing a peace, and d'Andelot has recently arrived here to inform the King of it. I hear that the English are favourably inclined. On behalf of the King of France MM. de Châtillon, de Selve, who was once ambassador in England, and President Bertrandi, have been appointed, and on the King of England's a gentleman of that country who is a knight of the Order, the ambassador (fn. 6) who was recently arrested over here, and the lord who is in command of Boulogne. These are the men who are to negotiate, though time and place have not yet been settled. A good informant told me that the day after the Constable returned from the Boulogne frontier, he said to the papal nuncio that the King would recover Boulogne before Christmas, hinting that the English would treat, and that the place would be handed over for a smaller sum than that agreed upon by the last treaty made with the late King of England; and I know not whether this proposal for an arrangement be made with a desire to deceive the English once more, or out of necessity and fear. The French desire to avail themselves of these means of making good the error they committed when they began this war and undertaking to recover Boulogne by force, in which they have neither succeeded nor will ever succeed if the English defend themselves. I leave the question to your Majesty's better judgment, but many are of opinion that this arrangement is being attempted in good earnest. There was some talk of putting the negotiations into Cardinal du Bellay's hands, but the Constable did not approve, and when the Cardinal excused himself on the ground that he was ill and weary after his journey by post, and suffering from a wound in the leg, and expressed a desire to retire to his house at St. Maur-les-Fossés to rest, the Constable did not press him.
It is likely that the Constable said the above to the nuncio in order that the Pope might be informed of it, and to counter-balance the talk of those who discuss politics in Italy and elsewhere, who have little praise for the manner in which the King set about this war, saying he both went into it and came out of it too quickly, and chose to make your Majesty a spectator of his exploits at a time when failure would mean great difficulties, loss of reputation, dwindling away and breaking up of his forces, exhaustion of his finances and weakening of his country in men and provisions. Or it may be that these remarks were made in the hope of persuading the Pope to enter the league, which Carneseque assures me has not yet been passed, as I wrote to your Majesty, whatever articles and capitulations may have been sent from one quarter to the other. I also submit this to your Majesty's consideration.
Speaking of the league, there is a prothonotary in this court who told me that, on the contrary, an agreement between the Pope and your Majesty was being discussed, on the basis of the restitution of the revenues of Parma and Piacenza to the Duchess of Camarino, whilst your Majesty should keep the citadels and forts and receive into your court and service, or into our Prince's (i.e. Philip's), the Duke of Camarino. If this plan succeeded, to which Don Fernando's (i.e. Don Fernando Gonzaga) consent might easily be obtained if his advice was asked, the Council (fn. 7) would prosper far more than could have been supposed, and the said league would be not only avoided, but entirely overthrown, and a good way would appear for joining the said towns to the Duchy of Milan after the Pope's death, recompensing Duke Ottavio in Naples or elsewhere. He also said that his Holiness would consent to a fresh investiture of the empire, for he cared for nothing in this life but recovering Piacenza, and your Majesty might hold the forts in order to be free of any suspicion that they might be used against the Duchy of Milan or in an understanding with the King of France. When the King heard of these negotiations he sent post-haste to Rome to dissuade Cardinal Farnese, the Pope and his directors and advisers, and to come to a final agreement about the league, which he would rather pass to his own disadvantage and hurt than lose the chance and thereby open the way for an agreement on the Piacenza question. After making all the inquiries possible, I have not heard that the league has been passed yet, though the French are confident that it will be, and say openly that they have Pope and Switzers on their side. . . . (The letter ends with details of the French dislike of the Emperor's journey in Germany, and an account of rumours of a French enterprise in Ireland, which are more fully given in Simon Renard's letter to the Emperor, 14 November, 1549.)
Paris, 11 November, 1549.
Nov. 14. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
There is a report in this court that the Protector of England is dead, and that there is great division in the land, part of the nobility and people desiring to maintain the King in his possession of the realm which he has enjoyed since the late King his father's death, and the other faction favouring the Princess, and wishing to transfer the crown to her. But as I have no trustworthy information I cannot assure your Majesty.
It is quite time that the commission appointed some time ago to settle differences between French and English has been renewed to treat for peace, and the French are only awaiting news that the English commissaries have crossed to Calais to send their own, whom I named to your Majesty. The Portuguese ambassador spoke to me of whisperings that the Cardinal du Bellay was to go in order to lend weight to the commission, and the King makes certain that if the commissaries meet they will not do so fruitlessly, and that either peace, or a suspension of arms for some time, will be granted. However, the said lord (i.e. the King) and his Council fear that your Majesty may prevent this agreement, and that the English may behave like merchants and sell their goods at top price, meaning that Paget's and another English gentleman's journeys (for they say another has been sent to your Majesty) may work against them, and that your Majesty may be lending an ear to offers of alliance or conditions on which you would assist them, inferring that your reason could only be to seize the opportunity to make war on France. According to an Englishman in Cardinal du Bellay's service, money is all that is wanting at the present time to enable the King of France to rid himself of this war with the English, if the commissaries succeed in meeting. He also said that the King was waiting to settle a great marriage which he is treating but has not concluded. I can think of none other than that of the Lady Margaret with the Prince of Ferrara, or the bastard daughter's with Orazio, and the Captain has also given me news of a secret marriage, the parties to which he has been unable to discover. The Chancellor told me that the Constable had called together four of the most learned men in Paris to consult on the articles of some marriage, but left me in suspense like the others; Councillor Chaillot told me that Advocate Séguier had been summoned, but had excused himself, saying he could not advise the Queen-Dowager of France as he was occupied on the King's business. If your Majesty had not dispelled the suspicions I had conceived from news received and transmitted to you, I would suspect the Prince of Piedmont. It is a fact that the King is making ready a fleet in Brittany and Normandy, and arming some forty ships, for what purpose it is not known, unless it be against Boulogne, as the Constable said to me. Since I attempted to discover from M. Chaillot whether they were intended to go against Ireland, I have heard nothing about it from anyone else, and the goldsmith says he cannot believe it, because that country is as sterile as Scotland, and the island of Ireland would bring the King as much loss as gain. They can hardly be meant to attack Zeeland and your Majesty's dominions, for that is incredible at a time when the French are so badly frightened and thinking more of defence than of provocation. It is true I have had wind of something that Chaillot has also confirmed to me: that a few days ago the King instructed a Gascon colonel named Doese to raise eight companies of foot and have them ready by the end of January, but I know no more. Though this information may never be cleared up, it may still serve as a hint to take care with these folk, for such smoke usually comes from a fire, and it is peculiar to the French to say one thing and do another.
Paris, 14 November, 1549.
Nov. 21. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter, the first part of which gives news of the death of Pope Paul III. Preparations for the papal election. The French are setting their hopes on the Cardinal of Ferrara, brother of the Duke of Ferrara and a cousin of Don Fernando Gonzaga. The King of France's desperate efforts to raise money.)
According to what I have heard the King has got together in this place 800,000 crowns, and hopes to be able to raise it to 2,000,000 in gold before Easter by the above-mentioned methods. For he puts all his hope in the papal election, being confident that if he has a pope at his beck and call he will combine spirituality with temporality, and free himself of his dread of your Majesty, for which purpose he is determined to give all. In the meantime he is trying all possible means of coming to an agreement with the English, as I wrote to your Majesty. I have heard from the Captain that on the 26th of last month a congregation or assembly took place in England, in which many questions were debated, and while discussion was in progress many persons of importance showed themselves to be well-disposed towards your Majesty's side, but that the other party included a man who was said to have been Chancellor of England in the Protector's day, and who declared that your Majesty offered many favourable conditions, but it was necessary to think what they would lead to, and in particular the offer of 20,000 men, that he said your Majesty had tendered, would give much trouble because of the difficulty and embarrassment of paying troops, and that the King of France himself could ask for nothing better calculated to reduce and impoverish the English; moreover that so large a force might be suspected of an intention to seize and overpower the kingdom, so it would be better to come to terms with France than to continue the war. He concluded by saying that your Majesty was an eagle that lorded it wherever you soared. My informant could not tell me what was decided, but the King of France is half-persuaded that he will get his way by means of money.
Paris, 21 November, 1549.
Nov. 24. Paris K. 1488. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
The death of the Pope having been confirmed by many couriers sent by the Cardinal of Ferrara, the King of France caused the cardinals then in France to depart.
An intimate of the Cardinal of Ferrara told me that he thought none other than Cardinal Cibo would be Pope, for Cardinal Farnese and all his party would give him their support.
I held a mighty interview with the Constable about this creation, telling him that your Majesty's will on the subject was the same as what he asserted the King of France's to be, that was to say: that the Pope should be such a one as should have the welfare of Christendom at heart. The Constable told me it was true that the King had commanded his cardinals to elect the man who should seem best fitted, though the way of cardinals was to dissemble out of hypocrisy while they were cardinals, and to reveal themselves later; he desired they might elect someone agreeable to your Majesty, and who would do his duty towards Christendom, repress heresy, further the cause of the faith and reform morals, but he still believed in the proverb: “A good cardinal makes a bad pope,” and preferred to leave the matter to the cardinals whose business the election was, rather than burden his conscience with it. He said the King desired to continue in his ancient friendship with your Majesty, as he had shown by declaring to you his intention to carry on the war against England, which he would not stop until he achieved his object, for he wanted no more than was his own, and justice and reason demanded. He not only hoped God would help him in this, but God was helping him, as might clearly be seen from the sedition and discord sprung up between the factions in England, which were a divine chastisement.
It is said that the King of France would rather have the Cardinal of Ferrara elected than the Cardinal of Lorraine, and that Ferrara is being favoured by the Duke of Ferrara, who has sent money for his cause. I believe that the King of France has given your Majesty these loving messages because he wishes to avoid any chance of your Majesty stopping his cardinals on their way through Italy; for he believes that if neither your Majesty nor the Council intervenes, the election will go in his favour, as he disposes of more means of influencing it. The French cardinals had quite made up their minds for what member of their party they would vote, before they left this country.
The Portuguese ambassador told me he had heard that if the Cardinal of Ferrara were elected he would make a point of giving way to the Duke of Ferrara on his claims against the apostolic see, and for this reason he thought the King of France had instructed his cardinals, at the Queen's request, to vote for Cardinal Salviati.
Nov. 26. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Sire, the Earl of Southampton sent word to me, as I wrote to your Majesty, in reply to my demand for an audience, that he would rather put it off until the Earls of Warwick and Arundel, who were then ailing, might be present. So as soon as the said earls were in health again, I presented myself before the lords of the Council and made the declaration your Majesty commanded me in your last letters. They replied that they had no doubt your Majesty had considered that they had not acted without just cause, for God had sent them success without any great attendant trouble, and for this they rendered Him thanks, as your Majesty told them to do hoping that henceforth all things might here be led in accordance with His holy service and to your Majesty's satisfaction, whom they took to be the King's best friend and only patron. As this reply seemed to me to be vague, and as not one of the said earls was present at the Council meeting though they had been informed of my coming, and the Earl of Arundel had spoken to me just before I went in, and even settled the hour at which I was to appear, I was not at all pleased, but became suspicious of some dissention between the Councillors. I also noticed that Paget looked very odd, and dissembled with him when I saw he did not seek me out. I had heard that the King had demanded of the Council that Paget should not be sent off to Wales, where they intended him to reside as president, but might stay here in his place in the Council, and that this had been arranged by the Earl of Warwick, with whom Paget is now great friends and constantly engaged, which makes me fear he has gone over to the new religion, for the Earl persists in, and wishes to maintain it. Consequently, Sire, I thought it prudent to make inquiries and seek to dissuade the said Earl with goodly reasoning from his error and contumacy, and yesterday went to see him in his house, to which he has retired from court as if suffering again from his illness, though this seems to me less likely than that he is using his indisposition as a blind for the purpose of gaining authority and the first place, for the whole Council comes to him every day and all business is transacted in his house. We had a long discussion, and he himself began talking about religion, but I found him exceedingly stubborn, and finally said to him he must admit that the late King had never wished to go so far, but in spite of all his enmity towards the Pope, had stuck to the old faith to the very end, and had left behind him Councillors for his son, not kings of the country who might, according to their whim and fancy, change things with which no king or prince in the world had ever tampered but to his ruin. As God had set up princes to govern this world to his glory, it little became those who had a king to usurp an authority that the king himself arrived at riper years, would not use lightly. He himself (Warwick) had seen what fruit these sects yielded here and elsewhere, and how the new apostles sought nothing but voluptuousness and human pleasures, abusing the world. Therefore, as one who wished well to this kingdom, and also to his own person and house, for which I had no less affection than he had always shown me, I begged him to consider well what road he would choose, that he might give good account of all when he should be summoned to do so, which would be far more easy if things had been left as they were at the time of the late King's death.
After hearing these words he put on gentler mien, thanked me warmly for wishing him well, and said: “I am not as opionated as you think, but we have a law here which was made not by the Duke of Somerset alone but by all the members for the kingdom, and previously the matter of religion had been thoroughly gone into by the bishops and learned men.” While we were discussing this law the Chancellor and Controller Paget came in, for which the Earl of Warwick was sorry, as he sent me word to-day, and hoped we might soon have another opportunity of conversing together.
The said Earl complained that in their extreme need your Majesty had refused them a certain number of soldiers, for whom they had offered to pay, and had thus forced them to recall troops from Scotland and send them to Boulogne. I told him I was unaware of what had been demanded from your Majesty, or what your Majesty had answered, but would remind him that on another occasion your Majesty had given the English just and most evident reasons, that were even advantageous to themselves, for your attitude towards such demands, and that they had been satisfied, but I hoped they would have no need for soldiers now, as Guidotti, the Florentine merchant, had been sent over to France to make peace, with Boulogne up his sleeve, as I had heard. The Earl laughed loud at this, said: “He is a poor man and heavily in debt,” and changed the subject. I repeated my request, that I had already made to the Council on behalf of your Majesty's private subjects, in the presence of the Chancellor and Controller Paget, and then left the three together. They have appointed to be General in Boulogne the Earl of Huntingdon, a brave and hardy man but not over experienced in war. It is said they are forming over there a camp of 10,000 or 12,000 foot and 2,000 horse, and if they do not intend to recapture some of the forts, they must mean to build new ones. Men are also being sent from here to Calais every day.
Sire, the Earl of Southampton is very ill and in danger of death. If he were to fail us now I should fear matters might never be righted, for he is still in good hopes of accomplishing this, and good part of the Council is now well disposed, but would go astray and follow the rest without him, for there is not a man among them of sound enough judgment to conduct opposition. So if the Earl of Southampton does not recover, and the Earl of Warwick remains stiff in his opinion, we shall see terrible confusion and destruction in this realm.
The Duke of Somerset has not yet been brought to trial, and I hear he is not to be judged by this Parliament, which is but a continuation of the last, and will break up next week. It is said that another is to be opened shortly, and there is a prophecy here that one who has ill governed the kingdom shall be condemned to death in jubilee year. The Protector's secretary and chamberlain were thrown into the Tower to-day.
London, 26 November, 1549.
Nov. 27. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 18. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
As you informed us in your last letters, the purpose for which the Council sent the Lord Warden to us was to give us a detailed account of what they had done concerning the Protector, which we believe them to have done in order to justify their actions in our sight. After he had made this declaration, he proceeded to tell us how English affairs were prospering over the sea, laid stress on their fear of losing Boulogne unless we were willing to assist them, and begged us to allow them to raise 4,000 foot and 2,000 horse. He said that unless the English could obtain these troops promptly, in time to use them this winter to recapture the forts the French took last summer, in which they would take advantage of the winter season, as the King of France would then be unable to keep the field because his army is out of forage, they would be unable to recapture their forts, without which they could no longer hope to hold the town of Boulogne. He also asked that they might be provided with carts and provisions, for without these they should not be able to do much even if the troops were accorded them. After having the question thoroughly discussed in Council, out of our wish to do all we could for the English without infringing our treaties with France, we came to the conclusion that to give them such open assistance, especially in a matter concerning Boulogne, which is a recent conquest and not included in our treaty of closer alliance with England, which was expressly reserved by that of Crépy, would amount to a rupture of the said treaty of Crépy. But in consideration of the fact that unless some help is given them they may easily be lost, we replied to the Lord Warden that our former behaviour towards their King must have convinced the English of our affection for him, and that they had witnessed how we had left nothing undone that we could reasonably do in his favour, but we were obliged to abide by our treaties with other countries, without breaking which we could not allow them to levy such a large number of troops, and still less permit these troops to march through our dominions, as well because of our treaty obligations as for the resentment roused here not long ago when Ruffelberg passed through this country. Nonetheless, to show them that we would neglect nothing that might be done for them, we would consent to wink at their raising 600 German horse, which they could send, a few at a time, through this country, and as for infantry, they might get together 4,000 or 5,000 and send them by sea, though we advised them to do this immediately, that the men might be on board before the French heard about it, and that the French might not take it as a pretext to levy a greater number themselves. As for provisions, we had prohibited their exportation from all the harbours in our realms because of our great need of them, and the excessively high prices that might be the result of such exportation. And as for transport, the treatment inflicted upon our subjects during the last war between France and England had been such that without compelling them by force and deputing officers for the purpose it would be impossible to get them to serve, and we could not go so far without infringing the treaties and declaring ourselves openly against France. For the rest, with the hope of making them see they ought not to give up Boulogne lightly, we said that we regretted not being able to do more, not only out of our affection for the King, but also, and particularly, for the Councillors' sakes, in order that they might hold Boulogne and give the King no cause for complaining against them, when he should come of age, on the score that they had lost the fruits of the late King's conquest, which he had so much at heart. And the ambassadors appeared to be well pleased with our reply, saying that they would make a report of it to the council.
We also reminded them of Controller Paget's proposal for a marriage between the Infante Don Luis of Portugal and the Lady Mary our cousin, saying we had determined with Paget that we should write to Portugal, but had as yet received no answer. As the proposal was made in the Protector's day, we wished to know whether the Councillors remained in the same mind, that we might know what to reply when we should hear from Portugal.
Beyond this we recalled to them the suits you were conducting on our behalf concerning Sebastian Cabot, the bulwark near Gravelines, and the ships belonging to our subjects which the English had arrested with the pretext that the said ships belonged to the French. We also asked to see the originals of the Count de Tendes' letters to the Constable, of which Ambassador Hoby had already shown us copies. We command you to continue the pursuit on this point and all others mentioned in our letters, presuming as we do that the Councillors have laid down an orderly procedure for the despatch of business.
Just before his departure, when the Lord Warden came to take leave of us, we once more refreshed his memory on the point of religion in the same terms in which we spoke to Controller Paget at Bruges, as you were informed, adding that this (i.e. a return to Henry's VIII.'s settlement) would be the real way for England to defend herself, with God's help, against all comers, and to take out of the mouths of the French a weighty argument against her, of which they avail themselves in all Christian princes' courts, making her hateful in all eyes because of her religious changes. Jointly with this, they ought to set about consolidating their kingdom this winter, for that would best help them to put up a good defence next summer. We have informed you of the foregoing matters in detail in order that you may conform with the spirit of them in your negotiations.
Brussels, 27 November, 1549.
Nov. 29. Simancas E. 1196. Fernando Gonzaga to the Emperor.
Yesterday evening the Count di Lodrone (i.e. Ippolito Pallavicini) came to me from Duke Ottavio and made two proposals. One was that the Duke had arranged with his brother, Cardinal Farnese, that for your Majesty's service and consequently their house's welfare, the said Cardinal and all his party should adhere entirely to your Majesty's will in the papal election, and that the Cardinal, persuaded that this course was most likely to benefit their house, was well-disposed to adopt it, and desired that Don Diego de Mendoza and the Cardinal my brother (i.e. Cardinal of Mantua), might be informed of the Farnese's intentions and wishes, in order that they might work together in due and fitting manner. The other point was that the Duke and the Cardinal his brother desired that, as your Majesty and I now saw how devoted they were to your service, I might consent to give them some hope that your Majesty would exchange Siena for Parma, to which plan they would gladly agree, and yield to your Majesty not only Parma and the district of Piacenza, but also Novara and everything Ottavio possesses in the kingdom of Naples, would leave all the strongholds of the Sienese country in your Majesty's hands, even if you wished to fortify one, within the very city of Siena, and would send Ottavio's little son to Spain. I replied highly praising and commending the good decision they had arrived at, accepting it in your Majesty's name and giving them thanks, and on this theme I harped as long as I thought fit. As for exchanging Siena, I excused myself with many arguments, saying that to promise anything great or small concerning the said exchange would be to exceed the authority and commission your Majesty had given me, and calling their attention to the fact that it would be wrong for me to give my word on this point only to have to take it back later in case your Majesty were displeased at my having gone beyond my office, which seemed not unlikely, especially in a matter of so great importance as the fate of Siena. Finally I said that, though I refused to give any promise, I would nonetheless do all I could to assist them in obtaining the result they desired, as they should clearly see by my actions. The said Count showed the greatest satisfaction at all this, and so we agreed that we both should write letters, he to the Duke with an account of all that had happened, in order that the Cardinal might be informed of it, and I to Don Diego de Mendoza and the Cardinal of Mantua in the terms your Majesty may see by these enclosed copies, so that they may take concerted action with the Farnese.
Milan, 29 November, 1549.
Nov. 29. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
The commission that was negotiating so secretly between the English and French for the purpose of hitting upon an amicable fashion of settling their differences has been cooled by the conditions said to have been laid down by the English, by the news of the Pope's death, and, principally, by the confidence with which the English look for help from your Majesty. Speaking of this Councillor du May told me that the King was well enough informed of what the English ambassadors were busied about with your Majesty, and that it was nothing to France's advantage; but nothing further did he say. On investigating the matter, I found that the English wished to maintain the terms of the last treaty of peace between the late Kings of England and France, that the indemnity for this last war might be paid to them in a measure determined by the commissaries, and that further negotiations should be held on the questions of Scotland and the pension and arrears that had accrued. The King of France, on the other hand, insisted that difficulties should be discussed and settled without any regard for the said treaty, which he held to be null, contrary to reason, and the fruit of iniquitous facts and of force, and that the commissaries should go carefully into the cause of the last war and which side had begun it, that any indemnity might be calculated according as the blame lay. I see small likelihood of the commission achieving anything, and it seems plain that the King intends to carry on the war, for he is making great preparations, hurrying on his armaments on land and sea in order to put his plans into execution in the spring. The Goldsmith tells me the King makes sure of getting 4,000 to 6,000 lansquenets out of Germany by way of Switzerland and Lorraine, and as many more soldiers from Switzerland; all of them to be used against Boulogne. He is arming a fleet of forty to fifty ships, among which there is one built with strange artifice to resist artillery, according to the invention of a Gascon called Lesclercs (?) who has been busy on it at Le Havre. The King is also levying from 10,000 to 15,000 men in France, and the commissions have already been sent out.
Paris, 29 November, 1549.


  • 1. The sea-wall in Boulogne harbour was called the Dunette; it is not very clear whether this wall is referred to in the present instance or not.
  • 2. Perhaps the same person as Captain Germain; see Van der Delft to the Emperor, 23 September, 1549.
  • 3. In this case Simon Renard was misinformed about Hacfort's fighting at Boulogne just before this. See Simon Renard to the Emperor, 1 November, 1549.
  • 4. Sir Thomas Arundell, of Lanherne.
  • 5. This informant was one Tiberio della Rocca, who in June, 1549, offered to arrange with other Italians in the French service that Lyons should be handed over to the Emperor. See letter from the Bishop of Arras to Renard, 29 June, 1549 (Besancon, Amb. de Renard, I). Tiberio, Chevalier Marino, Ippolito Marino, Colonel Melun and other Italians had offered to go over to the Emperor, but his Majesty decided that they had better stay in the French service and serve him as informants.
  • 6. See Simon Renard to the Emperor, 8 August, 1549.
  • 7. Of Trent.