Appendix: Miscellaneous 1547

Pages 491-530

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

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Miscellaneous 1547

Jan. 25. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 20. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter in cipher on French affairs.)
It has been declared to Trebatius that a few days ago the King of France sent Paulin to England to request the King of England, as a consequence of the last treaty between them, to include the Scots in the peace, and accept the ratification presented to him by the Scottish commissioners, without insisting on ruptures of the peace which certain Scottish pirates might have committed after it had been notified to them. Paulin was expressly charged to spare no pains, by prayers or otherwise as he might see fit, to make the King incline towards this inclusion; but in case he should find him hardened in his refusal, he was to tell him with all due moderation that if he (the King of England) made war on the Scots, the King of France would be in duty bound to help them as old allies, cousins and friends of his, and that he should greatly regret it if things came to such a pass. It was added that Paulin had also received the authority to open negotiations on some of the differences existing between France and England, such as St. Blancart's galley, the boundaries of Boulogne river and the new forts. So, judging by this report, these people are anxious to arrange their points of difference with the English in the hope of making their profit when the chief business is settled. But above all their object is that the Scots may enjoy the benefit of the peace as being included in it. On the other hand, Sire, the English ambassador here resident told me two days ago that he had been informed from England that the King would by no means accept the ratification unless the Scots, for their part, effectively fulfilled the obligations laid upon them by the last treaty passed between him and them, particularly with regard to assuring the Scottish marriage. Also, as the Scots broke the last peace and are specially left out by the article touching their inclusion under other treaties, no wrong is done them by insisting on their fulfilling the said treaties. Such is the reply the King of England, according to the ambassador, is prepared to make to the French King's ministers. If affairs go this way there is little chance of their coming to an understanding, for the King of France dreads nothing so much as that this marriage should come to pass. However, Sire, Cardinal de Tournon and the Admiral said the other day that they were in hopes that Paulin would come back with a good report, and that before his return he would unravel all these knots.
Not long ago the English ambassador was present at a meeting of the King of France's Council, and certain councillors reasoned with him on the King of England's refusal to include the Scots in the peace unless they came to terms with your Majesty, arguing that the King of England included them in the last peace though he knew them to be at war with your Majesty at the time, and that this reason was so well founded that it might not be denied. To this the ambassador replied that when the last peace was being negotiated and the question of including the Scots came up, the Admiral, wishing to sway the King in their favour, affirmed on oath and on his honour that the Scots had been included in the peace of Crépy though not in writing, and that your Majesty had also promised their inclusion verbally. Thus, trusting to the Admiral's word, the King of England had agreed to their inclusion, which he would never have done otherwise, at least not until the Scots had concluded peace with your Majesty. He moreover said, Sire, that their reason would break down even if they succeeded in justifying it, for no sort of grievance was being done to the Scots when it was considered that the article of inclusion states that the said inclusion is subject to other and earlier treaties, so that the clause, thus generally worded, includes the treaty between your Majesty and the King of England. This consideration the councillors refused to admit, saying that the reservation of treaties could only be interpreted to refer to those between England and Scotland as directly concerned in the matter in hand, and going so far as to assert that at that time there had been no question of any treaty with your Majesty.
La Ferté-Milon, 25 January, 1547.
Feb. 1. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. Edward VI to the Emperor.
Having occasion, by the advice of our dear and well-beloved uncle Hertford, Governor of our person and Protector of our realms, together with the opinion of our faithful and beloved councillors, to make report to you of certain happenings come to pass by reason of the death of our late most honoured sovereign lord (may God absolve him), we have thought well to send to you for this purpose the present bearer Mr. Edward Bellingham, our councillor and gentleman of our privy chamber, whom we beg you to hear and believe as firmly as you would ourself.
London, 1 February, 1547.
Feb. 11. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 23. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extracts from a letter in cipher on French affairs.)
As the King of England's death has been published here, I have had Olsacius asked what plans the King of France was making, and also whether he would wage war for the recovery of Boulogne, as it has repeatedly been said that when the said death took place, so good an opening for war would not be allowed to pass. The reply runs, Sire, that the Council have already met in secret three times to discuss this point, and as far as the informant knew the present decision was to watch the course of affairs in England and to act accordingly. During the discussion it was remonstrated that, though the opportunity ought to be improved, if the French, having just negotiated with England, were to declare war without, at any rate, offering the money, they would not only allow the princes of Christendom to observe, but actually force it upon their notice, that they never intended to be bound by a treaty, but would always break it without reason when they saw fit. However, they by no means intend to push their scruples so far that there is no chance of action for the recovery of Boulogne between now and next July, particularly if there is any seditious revolt in England, and if the Protector and Council of that country are unwilling promptly to come to terms for the restitution of Boulogne (about which the late King had agreed to confer with the French) and propose some fresh means of avoiding the payment of the money. The King of France would not be averse from considering a step such as persuading the Scots to agree to the marriage of their young Princess (Mary, Queen of Scots) with the new King of England, and indeed would immediately give a proof of his intentions, on the condition that, if he brought about the said marriage, he should be set free of his obligation to pay the two millions in gold, by which he thinks he would be doing for England far more than the value of the said two millions. The King of France also intends to have a declaration made to the Protector and Council of England to the effect that, in his opinion, the marriage of the Princess of England (the Lady Mary) with M. de Vendôme would be entirely suitable if only for the reason that it would take the Princess out of the kingdom and avoid any popular rising that might make her a pretext.
The French, Sire, are overjoyed about this death, and when the news came Mme. d'Etampes went running at full speed to the Queen's bed-chamber at an early hour in the morning, and finding the door shut knocked loudly, crying at the top of her voice: “News! News!” making such an uproar that her Majesty feared it might be something bad about your Majesty, and fell into such a fright that she had been in great danger if they had not come to her assistance. With all this Mme. d'Etampes said to her: “We have lost our chief enemy, and the King has commanded me to come and tell you of it!” The same day towards night the English ambassador sent one of his men to the Admiral to find out the truth about the death, which the Admiral affirmed in the presence of Cardinal Tournon, and told the said servant that the King of France felt it deeply, for he had lost a good and true friend, and that at a season when there was little likelihood of finding another, together with more words all tending to prove that the King was incredibly distressed. Nonetheless, Sire, the servant saw them at the same time laughing and joking with the ladies, who were dancing, which moved him to suspect that their grief was not as deep as the Admiral had depicted it; in which he made no mistake whatsoever. The Admiral also told the servant that the King was all the more pleased to hear how the late King of England had caused his son to be crowned and had given him as governor a person so well able to fulfill the duties, because he considered it a great blessing for England that the quarrel about the Princess should be buried in this manner, for it was hard not to fear that that affair might produce grave trouble. At the same time the Admiral used cordial and loving words to show that the King of France desired to live in good and sincere friendship with the young King, hoping that the Protector and Council would be willing to give him satisfaction about Boulogne. All these folk, Sire, show great joy over the said King's death, especially as they make certain that by its means the Scottish war shall cease, and that they shall no longer be put to expense there. Besides this they say that your Majesty will get no more aid from England, as either your Majesty will have to make war on the English or the English on your Majesty, which will mean a considerable lightening of your Majesties' pockets. And this is the sum of what they hope. . . .
Shortly after the publication of the King of England's death, the King fell ill of a cold and had to take to his bed. He said, smiling, that if the King of England had summoned him to follow it would be another matter. He has taken medicine; and report has it that he will not stir from St. Germain yet-a-while unless to go to La Muette, which is near by. They say that for the present he will not go to Fontainebleau because the works lately undertaken there are still incomplete and will not be finished before six months. Certain antiquities, or medals, sent to him from the Levant by the Turk have arrived at Fontainebleau.
Feb. 19. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Emperor to Edward VI.
Because of the old, sincere and firm friendship between us and our late cousin your father, and also because of our consideration for you whom he has left in tender age, we have deeply regretted his death. But as these are things beyond human power and without remedy, being the road common to all men, princes and others alike, we must bow to the Creator's holy will and pray him to have mercy on the (King's) soul, consoling ourselves with the thought that it is His good pleasure that you should suffer this loss, and we be deprived of a good brother and friend. And remembering the brotherly love your good father bore us, of which he made such particular mention at the last, and which we had gladly returned longer if God had so wished it, he has given us cause to return it to those of his house. We also intend to retain the singular affection which we have always borne towards the kingdom of England, answering that which the kingdom has ever had for us, and caring as much for its welfare as for that of our own subjects. As for the close friendship which we wish to maintain with you, doing all that within us lies to render you service and wholly fulfilling everything to which the treaties bind us, we have declared it in full to Mr. Edward Bellingham, bearer of this letter.
Ulm, 19 February, 1547.
March 6. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 25. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager.
(An extract from a letter in cipher, the rest of which is of no importance.)
The third point upon which your Majesty commanded me to inform you, was whether the King of England's death was altering the outlook here. I obeyed this order in my last letters to his Majesty (the Emperor) which I sent by way of your Majesty in order that you might see them. Since then I have made fuller enquiries, and to put the matter shortly I see little chance of there being any fencing between French and English this year. On the contrary, Olsacius' report makes out the King anxious to temporise with the English, and do everything he can in order to gain the Earl of Hertford and the rest of those who rule the country. And the King showed clearly enough that this is true by the great display of friendship he made to the gentleman who was sent the other day to inform him of the King of England's death, assuring him that he wished to bear the son the same love he had had for the father, and that he was overjoyed that the young King had been received and sworn by Parliament and had come to the crown without difficulty, especially as it had been thought that the Lady Mary might give him trouble, together with other remarks all tending to show that he wished to remain good friends with the new King. Now, Madam, I have discovered from a sure source that certain ministers of the King of France have constantly told the English ambassador here resident that the Emperor will shortly make war on the English for Princess Mary's sake, and that his Majesty had on occasion written to the Pope with his own hand, promising to do all he could to carry into effect the sentence given against the late King of England over the divorce, and asserting that without this promise the sentence would never have been pronounced. They further said that the English would do well to keep their eyes open lest secret seditious practices stirred up the people. It is said that the English ambassador argued that the present King is their lawful lord, because he was born at a time when both the first and second wives of the late King were dead, and the matter was consequently beyond all doubt. The Frenchmen answered that his Majesty (the Emperor) would allege that the King of England had been forbidden to contract marriage by the first sentence, and that as he had had his son when he himself was schismatic and living outside the communion of the Church it would be contended that the son was illegitimate. The ambassador made answer that if that reason was valid all children of Protestants born during their parents' heresy would be bastards, which would be too unreasonable and absurd by far; besides which it would first be necessary to decide upon the validity of the said sentence by means of a General Council and also to discover whether the English had been right or wrong to throw off the papal authority, in which case he made no doubt that the English would be found to be justified. And the French not only talk in this strain to the English ambassador here, but write to the English at home to make them distrust the Emperor.
I also know, Madam, that not long ago the King of France remarked at table that the Emperor could not do better than come to an understanding and negotiate a close alliance with him, so that the two together might help Princess Mary to get possession of the state of England, for in her cause he would do as much as if she were his near relative. God knows with how much charity and sincerity he says this, Madam; and the French, prompted by their desire to sow discord between the Emperor and the English, go about everywhere spreading the report that his Majesty is going to Flanders to wage war on the English for the Lady Mary's sake and to drive out King Edward. The other day the English ambassador spoke to me about this rumour, repeating all the above gossip, and saying that he was unable to imagine what possible reason anyone could have for denying their young King's title. With this he spoke very highly of the Lady Mary, saying that she was called to the throne if the young King were to die, and that no one had ever seen females inherit before males in France or in any other kingdom. I replied, without entering into argument with him, that I supposed the late King of England to have made all the necessary arrangements regarding his successor, and that it was a mistake to pay attention to the current tittle-tattle here, where everyone said what he wished to believe. I assured him, also, that the Emperor would always be a true friend to the English, justifying the confidence the late King had shown in him on his death-bed; and I made much of this point, telling him that the elation of the French ought not to cause the English to weaken in their hope. Nonetheless, Madam, I could see by his face and manner that he was not free of suspicion that his Majesty might hereafter wage war upon them on account of the Princess. This over, the ambassador said to me that God had shown mercy to the late King and to his people in that the Earl of Surrey died before him, for otherwise he would have given the government trouble, though of course he would have been unable to allege anything against young King Edward. He greatly censured the late Earl's insolence, aud hinted that he had been put out of the way because it had been feared he might stir up some commotion, adding that the Earl of Hertford, Protector of England, had with him sixteen others who had been set up by the late King to administer the realm, and that there was good hope of their living together in such perfect friendship and unity that matters of state should soon be set right. He believed that they would not attempt more than to keep what they already possessed, without embarking on any fresh enterprise, unless their young King were attacked, in which case they would put up a valiant defence, for the late King had left his son much money, and had not spent in the late wars as much as some might think, for the reason that his people had come to his assistance. I was well aware, Madam, that he talked to me in this tone because of the suspicion the French have implanted in his breast; and he never converses with me but he ends with the same conclusion: that England makes so sure of his Majesty's friendship that all are convinced his said Majesty would protect them, as he always had done, whenever they were in need. In this opinion I strengthened him with generalities, not venturing upon anything more. He declared to me, by the way, that he believed the war against Scotland would be stopped and all preparations discontinued now that the King was dead, for it was not lawful for administrators to do what their prince, when alive, might command, but only to guard what was theirs.
In the same connexion, Madam, I have discovered from Olsacius that the English gentleman told the King of France, among other things, that he had been instructed to inform him that the Protector and Council would be inclined to accept from the Scots a ratification of the last peace, on the condition that the Scots should make reparation for the wrongs and outrages inflicted by them upon the English since the said peace; that the Council would agree to release Baron St. Blancart's galley, and come to a satisfactory decision of the river limit question, and also would promptly see to settling the matter of the 500,000 crowns; moreover the late King had declared on his death-bed that the last treaty with France was to be observed. Hence the gentleman wished to know what the King's will on these points might be, and particularly whether he was willing to observe the said treaty. The King of France made no immediate reply, but put it off until the next audience, during which he said he desired to live in friendship with the young King, and would take him under his protection if anyone tried to make trouble in his kingdom, hoping confidently that the Protector and Council would come to terms about the restitution of Boulogne in accordance with the last treaty, which he wished to be binding not merely upon the young King and himself but upon their successors, provided they would satisfy him with regard to Boulogne and accept the money when he offered it. I believe, Madam, that all the above happened as I have given it, and your Majesty will thus be able to judge what the French are aiming at; for they are making no preparations for invading Boulogne, but intend to dissimulate with the young King. Olsacius says the King of France has decided to adopt this course because he is not sure of his Majesty's friendship and does not wish to put himself into any difficult position until he has negotiated with him. As for Boulogne, he will be as well able to get it back at any time during the next four years as he is now, or better, particularly as affairs seem to be in a more favourable way for the maintenance of the kingdom of England than had been supposed; and thus he will wait to see whether the Emperor takes any steps against the English, in order to attain his ends if he has not been able to do so before. Therefore, Madam, the King of France is dissimulating with them at present, and he and his subjects are studying the means of putting them at variance with the Emperor, which I make no doubt his Majesty will be able to avert by his great prudence. The English ambassador is caressed here much more than before, it is said because be is one of the sixteen, and the King is consequently anxious to gain him over, especially as he is soon leaving to go home. I have been assured that the French, in order to make a still livelier impression against his Majesty on the English, are spreading a report that his Majesty is approaching the Council (of Trent) to make a declaration of the English error, so that King Edward may remain illegitimate as long as the late King is held schismatic. Such, Madam, are their suspicious proceedings, which they will redouble if they notice that the English are taking them seriously, as they make no doubt the English will do, the object of the supposed plottings being the one thing the English most fear to lose, namely their young King. In order not to rouse fresh suspicions in the English, the King of France has decided to put off the journey through Normandy which he was going to take this year, and will not go far from this town of Paris, or approach Picardy, above all now that he has heard that his Majesty is nearing the Low Countries. However, these are things that alter from day to day. I will add, Madam, that I have heard through Olsacius that the King of France will do his utmost to conciliate and win over the men chosen to stand beside the Earl of Hertford in the government of England, and has already written to his ambassador to do all he can to gain them. And this, Madam, is all I have been able to discover of this matter, in reply to the third point of your Majesty's letter.
Paris, 6 March, 1547.
March 12. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. Edward VI. to the Emperor.
High, excellent and mighty prince, our dear and well-beloved father and cousin; most affectionately do we recommend ourselves to you. We have received your letters, and have also heard from M. de Chantonnay, bearer of the same, the great grief and displeasure you felt at the news of the death of our father and sovereign lord the King of England. We thank you with all our heart for your condolence in our sorrow, and are happy to hear and perceive the paternal love and good understanding that endures between us, as we hope it ever shall. For our part we shall never cease to follow the footsteps and example of our late father in the singular affection he bore you, and doubt not that we shall find the same sentiment in you towards us.
Westminster, 12 March, 1547.
March 25. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 23. St. Mauris to the Emperor. (fn. 1)
Sire; By my last letters I informed your Majesty that preparations were being made in this place for the late King of England's obsequies. On the 21st of this month they were celebrated in the church of Notre-Dame in Paris, in which was assembled a great multitude of people. In this solemnity M. d'Enghien, the Duke of Montpensier and M. d'Aumale took a share, walking before the Cardinals de Ginoye (?), Meudon and Armagnac, who in their turn were followed by the ambassadors except the nuncio and the Portuguese ambassador who stayed away,—the nuncio because the late King of England died schismatic, as he replied to the heralds, and the other because he was ailing. After the said ambassadors, came bishops to the number of six. Nothing took place beyond the usual service, except an oration in French lamenting the said King's death and praising him particularly for his magnanimity, liberality and prudence, also commending him for certain books published under his name. The conclusion of this harangue pointed out that the late King had made the recent peace in order to live in quiet for the rest of his days, and that God had been pleased to grant him peace everlasting and at the same time to admonish the English to take care to keep the young King in good and enduring friendship with the King of France, who for his part desired to requite it fully and in good faith. When the ceremony was over, the English ambassador came up to take leave before returning home, and I observed that most of the lords present, especially the cardinals, spoke with the said ambassador, all assuring him that the King of France had no dearer wish than to live in true, perfect and inviolable peace with the young King, begging him to certify this to the King. Protector and high officers of the realm, and to believe it himself. The ambassador, Sire, promised that he would not fail thus to do and that the French would find them quick to respond.
As far as I am able to judge of the Frenchmen's temper they are displaying or feigning a desire to keep peace with the English, proclaiming themselves well satisfied with the results of Paulin's mission, who returned a few days since. And it is confidently asserted that they have obtained the release of St. Blancart's galley, the crew of which has been set free according to English law. Also it is said that they have settled their differences touching the river near Boulogne and the new fortifications. I make no doubt that your Majesty will have heard that these folk say there is no difficuly left between them and the English except the main one, which is settled by the treaty in such a manner that they are certain that when they pay the money Boulogne will be given back to them, going on to say that they will have the sum ready by the end of next October, and will then be able to decide whether it will pay them better to hand it over to the English or turn it to another use. I have heard from the English ambassador that, as the other points have been cleared up, they are no longer alarmed about the preparations being made on the sea-board. To a question whether the King of England would treat with the Scots, he replied that the King of France was urging him and the Council to accept the ratification, but the Scots were going on doing their worst at sea against the English, and gave no cause to show them favour, but rather to regard them as enemies. This he said without saying definitely whether they would treat or not, but almost giving to understand that the English would like to attack the Scots if the King of France made no difficulty about it. It is true the said ambassador told me that the Scottish ambassadors were still in England trying to get the ratification accepted, and were present at the young King's coronation. A few days ago these ambassadors were informed that the English had taken at sea the chief Scottish ship, called the Lyoness, and sunk two others, which considerably amazed them, as it also did the French when they heard of it; for these Frenchmen are not moved to keep peace with England for charity's sake, but only as a means of injuring your Majesty, which is their main object. Indeed they are unable to refrain from saying it aloud, repeating that they would never have treated the English as honourably as they did recently, had it not been for your Majesty and their hope of checking your designs. The news here are that the Pope has translated the Council to Bologna, and that it has been done by mutual understanding between him and the King of France, who intends to take this opportunity of revoking his ambassadors, saying that he gave his consent to a Council at Trent, but not at Bologna. They add that the Pope also did it because of his small wish to see the Council reach the desired end, and in order to induce your Majesty by these means to open negotiations with the King of France. And they are nourishing a hope of thus preventing your Majesty's righteous designs in Germany, and that you will be unable to bring the matter of religion to a conclusion without their help. As for the translation of the Council. I do not positively assert that it is an accomplished fact, for I do not know it to be true; but your Majesty may be certain that the King of France is trying for it for the above reasons, and has frequently said that by his treaty with your Majesty he was only obliged to send his men to Trent, which was the place chosen by common accord between your Majesties.
In former letters I warned your Majesty of the preparations the King of France has been making with the pretext that they were merely intended for the defence of his kingdom. And as it has come up sometimes in our talk, I took pains to say a word on the subject to Secretary La Goutte, who sees a good deal of the Admiral and of Bayard, in order that he might let them know I was aware of it. This he did, Sire, as if of his own accord, and later came to see me in my house on the high-road to Enghien to tell me that he had taken upon himself to say to the Admiral that I had informed him of the preparations carried on here, and that I could not believe the King of France and his ministers should so far forget what they had charged M. Ménage to say to your Majesty. The Admiral, however, replied that they were making no preparations beyond the ordinary, such as setting the gendarmerie on foot and reviewing part of their legionaries to see whether their discipline was good and their numbers complete, but without raising so much as a single new soldier; and if I cared to have a talk with him on the subject he would be able to give me so good an account of it, and so thorough a justification of their procedure, that the King's word would be seen to have been kept. This justification, Sire, is enough to make me suspect the contrary, as these people always do the opposite of what they say. Consequently I do not care to take this talk seriously, and am trying to get at the truth about the armaments. I have found out that the Council have been conferring with several captains sent from Rambouillet, and also with a quantity of others about whom I have heard from La Roque. (fn. 2) This I know through Olsacius, who still assures me that it is not with a view to making war on your Majesty, but because they fear your Majesty may invade them. And Olsacius says that their apprehensions have in no way been soothed since they have seen the resistance opposed to your Majesty in Saxony, or by their hope that the Baltic sea-board towns will do the same, as they are everlastingly encouraging them. Nonetheless, Olsacius affirms that the captains have no orders to raise a single infantryman, but only to have the troops ready in case they were needed, though they want to have the gendarmerie in order and also some light horse, getting together a provision of money and strengthening all the frontiers. Beyond this they will do all they can to upset your Majesty's plans in Germany and incite the cities that have come to terms to fresh revolt. For this purpose they will supply the former Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse with sufficient sums to hold out against your Majesty.
In connexion with the matter, Olsacius confidently declares that they may soon send Paulin to Saxony to strengthen the outlaw (fn. 3) in his contumacy, and to take to him as much as 40,000 crowns. He will soon have the same mission to fulfill with the Landgrave of Hesse and the men of Lübeck and Hamburg. Olsacius says he will make straight for Strassburg. To return to the preparations for war, I find that most people here are not at one with Olsacius' opinion that they are only defensive and not intended for an invasion. And my suspicions are confirmed by the Abbé de Flavigny, who pretty well confessed to me that the nobility wanted a war, but that he has it from a good source (and I know that it is from Cardinal de Tournon, whose intimate friend he is) that the King is not disposed to make one this year if he is not forced to by your Majesty. . . .
New Scottish ambassadors have arrived in this court, Sire, and have already complained to the King's ministers of continued preparations for war against them on the part of the English, and that the English refuse to accept their ratification of the last treaty of peace. They have also justified themselves of robberies which their men are said to have committed at sea, which robberies they deny, and offer to have a judicial inquiry and make any amends the King and his council may decide upon.
Paris, 25 March, 1547.
April 24. Simancas E. 874. The Cardinal of Coria to the Emperor.
The Cardinal of England (fn. 4) gives so good an example in this holy college by his learning and life that I am well disposed towards him. Your Majesty knows why it is well to remember him, for he has no hope for his country's welfare, or for his own, but in your Majesty. For this reason he is sending the Abbott of Sta. Salute, bearer of this letter, in order that he may remind your Majesty of this. And I humbly beg your Majesty to hear him and consider what is due to the Cardinal's good qualities, his spirit, and devotion to your service.
Rome, 24 April, 1547.
May 2. Simancas E. 874. Don Diego de Mendoza to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter, passages of which are in cipher.)
I had a meeting at Viterbo with Cardinal Sfondrato, who is going as legate to your Majesty. We recalled our former friendship, and he asked me to tell him, speaking as Diego to Francisco, your Majesty's intentions, and he would tell me the Pope's. I answered that he was going to undertake short and definite negotiations, but that I had always had a great mass to look after, so that he must tell me on what points I was to give him my opinion, and I would do it with the very best will, as he should see. He replied that he wished to act ingenuously with me; and it looked as if he was being more ingenuous that I gave him credit for, as he said that he was going with fear, as Juan de Vega had told him he would not be welcomed. He then put forward three points, the first of which was how I thought your Majesty would answer him on the matter of the league against England for the purpose of reducing that country.
The second point was whether your Majesty would persevere in your present attitude towards the Council, and what I thought the prelates left at Trent would do, for the session at Bologna was so near that he would be unable to reach Germany and mend matters first. He said it would be necessary to summon them and come to some decision, because if they went away from Trent without going to Bologna doing neither good nor evil, or if they remained where they were without answering, small harm would be done, though it would be bad enough; but if they were to answer in such a way, as to lead the world to suppose that they were getting up another Council, it would be the very devil, and a matter to be mended by fire. And he indulged in much bragging after the manner of someone badly frightened.
The third point was what did I take to be the best way of bringing your Majesty to terms with the Pope both in public and private affairs.
From these words, and from what I have heard here and there, it is possible to put together that his commission is to talk with your Majesty, first of all about peace with France, but insincerely, for he touched upon this point in such manner, without speaking clearly. Afterwards he will continue according to the temper in which he finds your Majesty. Then he will go into the reduction of England by force or by negotiation, and will urge that it may be by force if nothing is achieved by negotiation; for they know that your Majesty will not consent to using force, as has already been said. Anyone wishing to judge uncharitably might think that their object was to induce your Majesty to accept this proposition, or lend ear to it, in order to complicate matters in Germany and further the league which is being negotiated between England and France; and since my arrival here they have published that the negotiation of this league has not ceased with the death of the King of France, in spite of the fact that the time was not favourable for the announcement. For this reason I replied on the English question that it would have to be undertaken either by force, or by authority and negotiation, and that I was unable to form a favourable opinion of his Holiness' intentions in this matter, because he was going about it at a moment which seemed inopportune, since neither your Majesty nor anyone else would take two wars in hand if he were able to get out of one of them, and since his Holiness had endeavoured to diminish your Majesty's authority by publishing the capitulation with the Switzers, by breaking off the league, by refusing money to Don Juan (de Mendoza) and Don Francisco de Toledo (without mentioning other things that had occurred), and by sending an apostolic legate and publishing that he was going to make a league against England, though the negotiation was to have been secret; as I called upon him to judge for himself.
The second point, which is the most urgent at present, is that he is charged to induce your Majesty to order the bishops to go to Bologna, or if not, to send them away from Trent to any place you please; and if this will not do, to let them stay there and hold their tongues. If he cannot obtain that and your Majesty persists in continuing the Council at Trent, or convoking some national Council, to let it go on there, and the (papal) legates remain here (in Italy). They fear a reformation by General Council like fire, and I believe that to avoid it the Pope would reform the Church himself and mend many matters your Majesty is anxious to remedy in your states. . .
It has been said and generally believed, and his Holiness' nuncio wrote it from France on the 27th of last month, that a defensive alliance had been concluded between the late King of France and England. Cardinal de Mendoza informed me that the Pope received letters from France on the 19th of last month in which they told him that the King had written to his ambassador here to discontinue negotiations for a league with the Pope, as they were no longer necessary. I have heard something of the sort from the ambassador, and the discontent his Holiness shows may be because of this. I may add what Cardinal Farnese told me, and I have heard from other sources, about the King of France's ambassador having said to the Pope that if he did not yield to the King what the King's father held in Normandy and Brittany he would take it by his own authority in such a manner that his Holiness should gain little reputation thereby. But in all this it is necessary to be careful that these news are not false and negligeable, for I am told that his Holiness is in the habit of running to and from Rome in this way when he is treating something of importance. (fn. 5) . . .
Rome, May 2, 1547.
June 6. Paris K. 1488. St. Mauris to Prince Philip.
As for the present state of affairs between these people and the English, I can assure your Highness that the Dauphin (Henry II.) has not yet confirmed the last treaty made by the late King with the English, nor paid the instalment which fell due on the first of May last; and it seems certain that he will put it off as long as possible, or until he sees whether he is able to treat with the Emperor, because of his great desire to recover Boulogne, which his late father had so much at heart. Shortly before his death the said late King made a defensive alliance with the English; but the Dauphin has not yet entered into it. The English are showing that they desire his friendship, and are not pressing overmuch for the payment of the instalment. They say that all the images are being pulled down from the churches in England, and that all the people are becoming Lutherans. It is quite certain that if the Elector of Saxony had had any success the King of England would have helped him with money, especially as the English regret it when they hear any news favourable to his Majesty (the Emperor), because of their suspicions that he may at some later time attack them on account of their heresies.
The Scots are still at open war with the Emperor, and refuse to surrender the prizes which they have unlawfully taken from his Majesty's subjects.
Poissy, 6 June, 1547.
June 24. Simancas E. 1318. Don Juan de Mendoza to the Emperor. (fn. 6)
My last letter to your Majesty was dated 11th of June. Since then what has happened or been told to me amounts to the following. One Venier, who was ambassador in Rome, came here with a commission to renew the league, as he seemed to his Holiness a fit person because of the scoundrelly disposition he had shown there. Among other things he said your Majesty wished to hold a Council after your own fashion, and in it treat of states that had changed masters, paying no attention to any (de facto) possession, of however long duration. He was heard in secret Council, and though a discussion took place afterwards neither this point nor any other of those he raised was proposed in the Council of the Pregai, because, besides the fact that they have determined to do no more than listen in this matter, they take Venier for a violent partisan of the French. Later, the Bishop of Fano arrived and touched upon the same question, assuring this Republic of his Holiness' good intentions. In the matter of the permission he is trying to obtain in order that the Duke of Urbino may go to Rome to get married, he referred to his agent here, and in all that concerns the league to what Venier had said or the legate should say. I hear that the legate has been urging them about it once more, and has always proposed that the league should be defensive to start with. The reason why the Romans do not abandon this theme is, it seems to me, because the Venetians do not say them nay, and go on listening to them, though without saying yea, and they always have some hope left, so that the affair revives from time to time, as we now have occasion to see. We hear that the ambassador this republic keeps in your Majesty's court writes that in this Diet your Majesty is going to put forward a league that shall be defensive for the states of the Empire and offensive against those who have occupied any part of them. This has stirred up the Venetians a little, as they know a portion of what they possess to come under this heading; and they have written to their ambassador to make more enquiries and let them know the truth when the matter comes up for discussion, if he is unable to do so earlier. I have no idea who can have put this notion into the ambassador's head; but it would not be surprising if they had written it from Rome to the nuncio out there, or if the nuncio had said it of his own accord, in order to cause something to be believed that might help along the league, since up to the present no other method has succeeded. Indeed this suggestion has made more impression upon them than any of the expedients yet adopted by the Pope or the French. In accordance with the above your Majesty will be able to calm them down now and again, for though I do not think they will change their present mind, which is to remain friends with your Majesty, I would nonetheless like to wash them of their doubts, and do all I can, only wishing I could do more. But their conscience so pricks them for having made peace with the Turk, and for the Marignano affair, and above all your Majesty's greatness so terrifies them, that the merest bit of news, or any unfounded conjecture, makes them uneasy.
The republic had settled upon an ambassador for England, and when the news of a league (fn. 7) was confirmed by their ambassador in France they commanded their new envoy to proceed to England at once. He has already departed, though the English ambassador here will not own up about this, but only because he objects to confession (fn. 8). Your Majesty will be able to ascertain the facts of the matter.
Venice, 24 June, 1547.
June 30. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 23. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
I will inform your Majesty of what I have heard about the King of England and the French. M. de Vielleville, on the day after his return from England, went to the Privy Council with the English ambassador. There a dispute arose with regard to the sea-wall which the King of England is having built near Boulogne harbour, and the French maintained that this amounted to a new fortification in violation of the last treaty, saying that they had caused the wall to be examined by unprejudiced experts, whose report showed that it was a fortification, and insisted on its demolition. The English ambassador replied that the wall had been built solely for protection against the sea, in order that vessels should be safer in the harbour, and neither should nor could be called a fortification, affirming that the English Council had had it visited, and had written to him that it constituted no violation of the treaty. In conclusion, Sire, they gave the English ambassador to understand that if the wall was not demolished they might lend a hand to it themselves, but would nevertheless send MM. de Châtillon and d'Estrées (fn. 9) to give their views. From these remarks the English ambassador has formed an opinion that the French will attempt to break up the wall by night, about which I have no doubt he has been warned. I have heard from him that their artillery in Ardres tower, which defends the fort, is all mounted and ready to let fly as soon as need be. At the same meeting the inclusion of the Scots in the last peace was again discussed, and the French made a communication to the effect that a refusal of the said inclusion amounted to a direct violation of the treaty. By way of reply, Sire, the ambassador used the oft-repeated arguments, coming to the conclusion that the Scots could not be included without your Majesty's express consent, and unless they made full amends for all their depredations upon the English at sea, saying that it would be showing them very great favour if they were admitted on these terms, for they had notoriously broken the last treaty by the raids, invasions and robberies they had committed in violation of it, and consequently remained entirely shut out from any good that might have come to them through it. The French replied that as the treaty mentioned the said inclusion in general terms and without any restriction, the inclusion should not be interpreted as subject to any restriction; and they stuck to this point, alleging moreover that the English had begun raiding the Scots after the last treaty. Thus, Sire, M. de Vielleville brought home no settlement of the above affairs, and everything was left to be fought out over there by the French ambassador, by whose means they hope to achieve more. In short, matters are still in a sour condition. . . . (A repetition of news from Scotland given in the preceding letter.)
It is evident, Sire, that the King of France will not forsake the Scots. He is much disappointed that the English have revictualled St. Andrews castle, have taken away to England the man who killed the late Cardinal of Scotland (fn. 10), and have still kept the Regent's son a prisoner there. These matters are the subject of daily consultations in the hope of remedying them; and the French also talk them over frequently with the Scottish ambassador, who receives more favour here than any other ambassador. As for the King of England's force, his ambassador here says it is to be sent to Ireland, but does not deny that it might fall upon Scotland if the English found themselves obliged to take up the sword against seditious enterprises there. The above shows clearly enough that there is but poor understanding between the King of France and the English, and convinces me that the King of France will not attempt anything against your Majesty this year, nor as long as he is at odds with the English, against whom he would much like to use his strength, as Olsacius and others about the court tell me. But he will not set about it without first making surer of your Majesty's friendship, and negotiating afresh with you. And his desire will make him readier to consent to your Majesty's proposals than he otherwise would be; so much has he taken the recovery of Boulogne to heart. According to Paquelon, Roberval has already arranged for the fitting out of as many as one hundred great flat-bottomed hulks for cavalry transport. It seems that with these vessels it would be easy to land on any shore without having to make for the harbours, for they would be left high and dry on the sand and be floated off by the next tide, so that 6,000 cavalry and as many infantry as desired might be landed at once, which would give a great shock to the enemy. This is the proposal put forward by Roberval, who makes it his business to discover ingenious devices. The whole matter has been referred for examination to Count de Languillart, the Prior of Capua and others; but it has not yet been decided whether the said vessels are to be got ready. I have no doubt, Sire, that the whole affair will vanish into smoke like so many plans made every day in this place, where everything changes from one moment to the next. . . .
Poissy, 30 June, 1547.
July 19. Simancas E. 1318. Don Juan de Mendoza to the Emperor. (fn. 11)
In my last letter, written to your Majesty on the 8th of this month, I spoke of the reception of 12,640 crowns sent by the Viceroy (of Naples), of the coming of Don Esteban's (fn. 12) reply and decision, and of Rocandolfo's servant. I also mentioned the arrival in this place of a servant of the King of France, who proposed the defensive league, offering bullion to the King of England. In order not to leave a stone unturned he presented a writing, and I, not wishing to present another or to indulge in great harangues, and seeing him despondent, took a different road, which led me to go and talk to these people (the Venetian Seigniory) and remind them of their excellent behaviour in past instances, and of the insult the Pope had inflicted upon them by offering them to the King of France. I praised the good will they had shown towards your Majesty, and in return promised them your Majesty's good offices and my own when occasion should arise, together with sincere professions of the friendship they have always seen your Majesty display to this republic. I said I was not speaking in this tone because I believed them not to be sure of the truth of my words, or because I doubted of their constancy or prudence, but merely because several days had gone by without my seeing them, which I knew surprised them, and I had taken this opportunity to pay them a visit as I should have taken a lesser one. They appeared to be pleased, and in fact I have heard that they remained satisfied. My words were subsequently discussed, which gave our friends an opportunity of speaking at length in our defence, as I have been informed, and of routing the French advances to great effect. While all this was happening, your Majesty's letter of the 7th arrived, and with it I returned to the college to perform what your Majesty commanded; and this I did. After that I put in several reasons for not believing that your Majesty had done the Landgrave any wrong, and this with the help of a letter Don Fernando Gonzaga sent me for the purpose, because it was called for.
They behaved as if a little estranged over the matter of the league against those who have occupied territory belonging to the Empire, and also about the last point, so what I did was not only well, but necessary. And it must have taken effect, because the day before yesterday, after a discussion, they gave the King of France's servant his answer, saying that they wanted no leagues. For this purpose they balloted, and we went over the results, which, out of nearly 200 present in the Council of the Pregai, only gave the French 13 votes. The substance of this answer to the French King's servant was, that being friends of the King they stood in need of no leagues to continue the same. I am told that when the game was lost, the legate said to Duke Pier Luigi's agent: “They do not know how to negotiate. They negotiate like Frenchmen.” So this is the result of their plots. But though it now looks as if they were put to flight and forsaken, it will be well to be as much on our guard as before, lest now that this snake's head is off, the Pope's wand conjure up seven more. Indeed I am informed that the Pope is trying to spoil our game by making the Venetians believe your Majesty intends to subject them. I appeal to the truth.
An ambassador has been demanded of this Seigniory on behalf of the English, even though it were one who had formerly served as secretary. Therefore the present man was appointed; and he has been delaying because of illness. It seems that they are inclined to reconsider his appointment, and I hear this was the cause of his hurried departure, and not any other conjecture it was possible to make at the time. . . .
Venice, 19 July, 1547.
July 19. Simancas E. 874. Don Diego de Mendoza to the Emperor.
(Extracts from a letter in cipher.)
In the last consistory the Pope spoke at length about the Council in such a manner that none understood anything beyond a reproof intended for the prelates who had left Bologna.
The Pope has decided not to leave this place for the present, as all his physicians and astrologers have counselled him. It seemed to me, the last time I talked with him, that he was very poorly; and (Cardinal) Farnese has told me that he wishes to have a private conversation with me about the election. May it please your Majesty to answer my questions on this point, naming two or three persons, or one definitely, who might be raised to the dignity, in order that I may inform your Majesty of what reputation they enjoy here, and any drawbacks that might exist. It seems that if those French Cardinals come here it will be for a like purpose. . .
In this college there are two sorts of aspirants to the Papacy. One is neutral, and the other addicted to France, to your Majesty, or to Cardinal Farnese. Of the neutrals one is as good as another. The French faction is strongest, and was the most compact until these neutrals came in. . .
The Cardinal of England is one for whom it would be well to do something, for he has an upright conscience, unless this talk about “Justification– (fn. 13) does him harm (and it is not of as small account as they say). He desires the reformation, is a constitutional enemy of France, and is such a poor creature that for all his youth he is older than anyone else. The great drawback is the hatred he would have for England as Pope, for he shows it being a cardinal. Many would vote for him. . .
Rome, 19 July, 1547.
July 20. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager.
(Extract from a letter in cipher.)
I wrote to your Majesty not long ago that the French galleys had gone to Scotland, to help the Scots against the King of England in case the Irish force (fn. 14) were to invade. Since then, Madam, I have learnt that the said galleys were sent to bring the Dowager Queen of Scotland and the Princess, her daughter, to France, and that it had been done at the Guises' expense, because they feared the King of England might ultimately be enabled by the spies and plotters he has in Scotland to seize the said Princess. The English ambassador, informed of this, has written to the Protector to be on his guard; and it is said that the force intended to go to Ireland will do its best to fall upon the said galleys on their homeward passage if need be, of which the French are sorely afraid.
July 20. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(A letter in cipher giving an account of a long conversation between St. Mauris and the Constable of France, in which St. Mauris says that the Emperor finds it difficult to take the King of France's prostestations of friendship seriously while the French continue to arm. The Constable shows why his master, though desiring peace with all his heart, considers it necessary to be prepared.)
The Constable said that several of the King of France's servants were aware of the indifferent offices performed by the late King when he sent money to the Protestants against your Majesty and carried on other practices in Switzerland, which might well cause them to fear that your Majesty would be angry with the late King's son and attack him because of his father's faults, which nonetheless ought not to be imputed to him. He declared, Sire, that even though everything else were calm, the King still had an urgent reason for not being too quick to get rid of his troops, for he had the King of England so near him that he must be watchful. He confessed to me that though there was peace between them, the King of England ought to keep what he had agreed to and refrain from aspiring to more than was due to him, and that he was really doing the opposite. I believe, Sire, that the Constable was referring to the re-building of the sea-wall near Boulogne harbour, and to the exclusion of the Scots as a violation of the treaty; and he hinted that the King would have a serious grudge against the English unless their conduct became more reasonable. . . .
Poissy, 20 July, 1547.
July 27. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
Sire: If it please you, your Majesty may learn from my last letters what I negotiated with the King of France and the Constable at Courrières, of which I delayed informing your Majesty until after the coronation, in order to give you an account of the said ceremony, as the copy accompanying this letter will show. Had I known of M. de Brissac's mission to your Majesty I would not have failed to send a letter by him. They say here that he is going to make a proposal of peace and closer alliance; but I have no certain knowledge of this. Some persons who would like to believe what they say affirm that he is to tell your Majesty that you ought to hold the County of Flanders as a fief of the French crown and do homage for it. I can hardly believe this, if it be true that the French desire your Majesty's friendship, which I think they are seeking because of their quarrel, with the King of England. They say openly that if your Majesty would not take any part in this quarrel they would wage war on England next year and punish the King in order to stamp out heresy there, adding that as your Majesty has repressed the insolence of the Lutheran sect, so the King of France could not better deserve the name of “Christian King,” or put his first arms to a worthier use, than by bringing that country out of its present profligate condition and back to the Roman Church. Such, Sire, are the vain words of the French; for they make sure that if they were to go to war they would easily overcome the King of England because he is young, and his people consequently the more prone to sedition and revolt, if they had to supply money for a war, which they say the King would be unable to carry on without demanding it.
I have it from a good source that the King of France is very angry with the English, and will make war if he feels sure of your Majesty's friendship, but will do nothing of the sort until he has treated with you. This is very probable; and the Constable shows unmistakably that he wants war, as the Guises also do on account of Scotland. I have been told that unless the King changes his mind he means to send towards Boulogne his lansquenets, a certain number of legionaries from Champagne and Picardy, about 1,500 Switzers, 2,000 Gascons and a few men-at-arms, to have them ready there until he has finished the jetty the late King of France began over against Boulogne harbour, and which the English destroyed not long ago. It is certain that the King wishes to have this jetty built, because it would entirely command Boulogne harbour; but the plan may possibly be suspended for this year. However, the King and his ministers hope that the display they have made may induce the King of England to negotiate with them, and that they may now get the English to consent to the inclusion of the Scots, to the building of the jetty and the total destruction of the sea-wall. The King of England's ambassador is still in this court, and says he is greatly amazed at these alarums, remarking that the English will defend themselves valiantly, and will go to war more willingly to defend their young King than if the late King were still alive. The French say, Sire, that their galleys won the recent sea-fight, of which I informed your Majesty, and took four well-found English men-of-war. They make a great matter of this victory, and esteem the Prior of Capua more highly than ever. As soon as the news arrived, they sent off the Admiral to Le Havre to make all necessary arrangements, and took this opportunity to get rid of him. . . .
Rheims, 27 July, 1547.
Inclosed in this letter is another of the same date, also signed by St. Mauris, in which he complains that the Emperor's intention to reduce his salary from eight ducats to eight crowns a day will decrease his income by over 400 crowns a year, and that he is unable to afford to lose so much, as his living expenses are very large. He also begs the Emperor to write to Spain that twelve months arrears of his salary be paid to him.
30 July. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 22. The Queen Dowager to St. Mauris.
(Extract from a minute.)
The French galleys that passed by these shores have reached Scotland, we know not for what purpose. We hope, however, considering that the King of France and the Constable have assured you that nothing, directly or indirectly, shall be done against the Emperor, that these galleys will do no damage to his Majesty's states or subjects. At the same time it is certain that the Scots are our enemies and have refused to keep the peace, notwithstanding the reciprocal inclusion made by them and his Majesty at the time of the last treaty of peace between the late Kings of France and England, and in spite of the offer we made them through a secretary whom we sent to Scotland to this end. Hence we can expect no good from them, and still less if the said galleys join them. It would be well for you to accost the Constable about this matter, or the King himself if need be, to find out from them what we must look forward to from these galleys, and if they are going to join forces with the Scots in order to pretend they are in the Scottish pay, and then prey upon the merchant vessels, fishermen and other subjects of these dominions. And please let us know of their reply at once. . . .
Binche, 30 July, 1547.
Aug. 15. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Emperor. (fn. 15)
Sire: your Majesty will have heard of the taking of St. Andrews castle in Scotland by my last letter. The English ambassador here has now, on behalf of the King, Protector and Council of England, made a great complaint about this to the King of France, arguing that the last treaty of peace had been totally violated by this action and by the French sending their galleys to Scotland, because it was notorious that the said castle was held by the Scots in the name of the King of England, and had been conquered under the orders of the late King; a fact further proved by the well-known circumstance that the castle was revictualled by the English fleet. He went so far as to say that the King of France had not been satisfied with sending his galleys to Scotland, but that his men had most notoriously and inexcusably incited the Scots to rise in arms against England, which was a direct breach of the treaty, and would forever exclude the Scots from its benefits. The end of his speech was, in accordance with special instructions, to ask the King of France whether in good earnest he wanted war with them, praying him to say so frankly rather than look for further opportunities of letting them guess it. For though their positions were already seen to in a suitable manner, they would take care to put their affairs in still better shape, and continually to make their King secure, for they had no intention of allowing him to be bullied. And if God permitted him to reach maturer years, he might not improbably remember the oppressions visited upon him in defiance of the last treaty, which he had always been ready to observe to the letter.
In reply, Sire, the King of France justified the capture of the said castle, alleging that it had been unjustly seized since the last treaty, in which the Scots had been included, which was enough to vitiate what the ambassador had adduced about the thing having been done under the King of England's orders; for it was a course of action which the said King neither should nor could allow with any show of reason. Further, he looked upon the deed as still more ignominious because at the same time the good Cardinal of Scotland had been killed, merely because he served his mistress faithfully and well. It was true enough that the castle had been held by Scotsmen, because it had been treacherously seized by men of that nation, who were therefore rebels against their sovereign lady the young Queen of Scots, towards whom, and whose country, he was bound by a close and ancient friendship. So that, having been pressingly begged by her and her relatives to help her both to recover the said castle and to punish those rebels, he was of opinion that he had done a work of charity pleasing in the sight of God, and though his only object was to recover his ward's property for her, he considered the money it had cost him to be have been well and usefully spent.
If the matter were properly examined, it would be found that he had done nothing contrary to the said treaty by sending his galleys, but rather that the King of England had broken it, after having given his consent, by ordering the taking of the castle, as the ambassador himself confessed, which might also mean that he was guilty of the Cardinal's death, a matter of itself so scandalous that no words could sufficiently describe it. Lastly, that his own actions in this matter showed clearly that he had given the late King of England no just reason for war, and that he was not looking for war himself as long as the other side should be willing to keep the provisions included in the said treaty; but if the English refused to do this, and showed a desire to attack him, he would know how to take care of himself, though he asked for nothing better than friendship if only they would reciprocate, and observe the treaty.
The ambassador made answer that the King of England had by no means violated the treaty by taking the castle, because since the treaty the late Cardinal of Scotland had, entirely without reason, practised things contrary to the welfare of England, for which cause neither he nor the place where he held out deserved to enjoy the benefits of a peace from which all those who broke it were excluded. And whatever reason the French might have had for seconding the recapture of the castle, they still, by all the rules of honour and amity, ought to have held communication with the English on the subject, and not set about it as they had done; for whilst pretending to wish to remain friends and urging them to do likewise, they had attacked the castle without letting the English know anything about it. The ambassador never ceased insisting upon it that the castle had been held in the King of England's name, which defeated their contention that they had given help against rebels, for they had in reality done so against the friends and confederates of the English. And as for the King of France's declaration that he desired to observe the treaty if the English would do the same, he would be so bold as to discover to him that since the late King of France's death the English had neglected no means of assuring him of their intention to keep the treaty in the most scupulous manner. In the first place the gentleman who came to condole with him on the death of the late King of France, told him that the King of England meant to observe the treaty; the same had been done by the envoy who brought the news of the late King of England's death; and since then they had begged him to ratify what Paulin negotiated in England. This regarded the boundaries of the Boulonnais and the river question. Nevertheless the King of France had refused to give his consent, merely saying that Paulin had had no authority and had exceeded his powers, and that there had been a misunderstanding, the truth being that the agreement had been sworn during the lifetime of the late King of France after the mature deliberation of the said King, who had given Paulin express authority to negotiate. In the matter of their difference about the wall which was being built inside Boulogne harbour, after long discussions both sides had agreed to depute persons to examine the wall and decide whether it was a fresh fortification or not. And about the inclusion of the Scots in the peace, as the King of France and his ministers had greatly pressed the point in the Scots' favour, the King of England and his Council had finally agreed that they would consent to the said inclusion, given your Imperial Majesty's good-will, without which they were unable to do so on account of their treaty of closer alliance with your Majesty, but that as soon as your Majesty's consent could be procured they would give theirs, provided the Scots would make restitution of what had been unlawfully taken from the English at sea, and also on the condition that all former treaties between the Scots and the English should remain valid. The result had been that the King of France had approved of all the above and declared that he would solicit your Majesty and the Queen of Scotland, and that the English ought to do the same, wherefore they, persuaded that matters would be arranged in this fashion, had sent commissioners with ample instructions to negotiate with the Queen and Regent of Scotland, and clear up certain pretentions they wished to have disposed of before proceeding to the said inclusion. By so doing they had performed their share of what had been decided between them and the King of France; and yet the King of France had chosen that very time to send his galleys to Scotland without warning the King and Council of England, who had made sure that their difficulties with the Scots would be settled amicably, in place of which there had been entirely unforeseen acts of violence; and the English Council deeply resented having been trifled with in this manner. Their attitude in all these affairs abundantly proved their good faith in the observance of the treaty; but as for keeping it in future, the ambassador was obliged to leave the question to the King of England's better judgement, for the said King had a very just and urgent reason for not doing so as far as the Scots were concerned, as they had notoriously moved war against him by attacking a castle which the late King of England had taken in Scotland during the last war.
In reply the King of France only said, Sire, that what had happened in Scotland in no way touched the last treaty of peace, but was only a punishment inflicted on rebels, that the inclusion of the Scots in the treaty still stood intact, except for the infringement of the treaty the English had committed, and that they could do no better than include the Scots in it. The said ambassador has also spoken about the above matter with the Constable, who replied to him substantially as the King had done, repeating several times over that the murder of the late good Cardinal of Scotland was a very evil deed, that all in all nothing had been done or attempted against the King of England, who would be well advised to take no steps on that account, but consider that everything was for the best. At the same time the Constable gave him an account of the taking of St. Andrews, telling him that it had been bombarded from the sea and from the town, on which sides it was exposed, until the Prior of Capua made a great breach with the guns from his galleys. The breach made, the Prior planned an assault, taking a certain number of those slaves who knew something of war out of each galley and offering them their freedom if they did their duty. So he landed about 600 men; but when those within saw them approaching, they offered to surrender under certain conditions which the Prior refused. Later the Prior accepted their surrender at his discretion, which he exercised by throwing most of the surrendered into the galleys in place of his own slaves, keeping back two prisoners only, who were said to be of good family.
I have heard all this, Sire, from the English ambassador here, and also that the Protector and Paget had made up their minds to help the said castle if it had held out. The former Admiral of England (fn. 16) was already on the Scottish frontier waiting for his army, which was to be large, and which he intended to march through Scotland in order to impress the inhabitants and break up the considerable forces they had got together, for the whole of Scotland had risen in arms as if in accordance with a long-projected scheme. Indeed the Protector and Paget had declared to the French ambassador in England, that they were going to assist St. Andrews castle, and would see what would happen, a saying which the King of France judged to be very hard, and his ministers more than strange, repeating that nothing was being done against the King of England. Notwithstanding, the French go on talking as if they wished to keep their last treaty with the English, as the English ambassador tells me, as long as the English will also observe it, and say they will not be the first to declare war. But in reality they are longing to do so as soon as they have treated with your Majesty. And this I have heard from several persons, who equally assure me that the French will not fight unless forced to, without first coming to terms with your Majesty, whom I humbly implore to command that my salary, of which a whole year is owing, may be paid to me from Spain. Otherwise pure necessity will oblige me to abandon this post and pray your Majesty to appoint a successor.
Compiègne, 15 August, 1547.
Aug. 24. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Emperor to Somerset.
I have heard from my ambassador the honourable words you have spoken to him, and what you have confidentially declared to him touching the state of my cousin's kingdom, for which I thank you warmly, assuring you that for my part I shall always observe the treaties between my said cousin and me, and will gladly do all I can to please and favour him, and also you in the post you now occupy. For I have a singular regard for the said King's welfare, and the success of all his affairs.
Augsburg, 24 August, 1547.
Aug. 26. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(A letter full of Italian gossip obtained by one Don Francisco, a Portuguese lord, from another Portuguese in the employment of the Legate, Capo di Ferro. The Pope is angry with Pier Luigi Farnese and would like to deprive him of Piacenza. A quarrel about Orazio Farnese's marriage settlement etc., etc.)
The Legate, Sire, speaking of the translation of the Council, said that the Pope could not help it, for as he made over to the Council all his powers so far as the Council was concerned, his hands were bound, and he proposed to remit the whole matter of the translation to be settled by the Council. Beneath such wiles and false words do they hide their malpractices, never ceasing to solicit the King of France to send his prelates to Bologna, to which he has now agreed. Thus two of his envoys will shortly depart, and with them several bishops, among them the Bishop of Noyon. And they have been instructed to go to Bologna and model their conduct on that of the largest and strongest party in the Council.
I will add, Sire, something told me by the English ambassador here resident. Speaking of the wrong done by the French and Scotsmen to the English, he assured me that there was nothing in the rumours of a defensive alliance between the English and French. He confessed that the late King of France had pressed them so hard to consent to such an alliance, that they had agreed, but on the express condition that the exact words of the treaty between them and your Majesty, referring to the mutual assistance to be given in case of attack from the French, should be reproduced in the agreement in order that they might not infringe the said treaty. After examining the question, the late King of France had decided to go no further with the proposal, judging that on these terms it would be rather to his disadvantage than otherwise.
Compiègne, 26 August, 1547.
Aug. 26. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 25. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
Madam: Having the opportunity offered by this bearer I am writing to inform your Majesty of what I heard two days ago from the ambassador of Mantua here resident. Namely, that the King of France intends to build the jetty over against Boulogne harbour, running it out from one of his forts. Moreover, the ambassador tells me that he knows from a good source that the King is sending in that direction 500 men-at-arms lightly armed, with two horses for each man, and is despatching them in small companies in order that they may pass unobserved. He has taken them out of the majority of his bandes d'ordonnance, eight or ten out of each, in order to avoid breaking up the bands, and it seems that these men-at-arms are only intended to escort the pioneers. It is said that the King is sending his galleys to étaples harbour to remain there until the fortifications are finished, for fear of interference from the King of England. I am certain, Madam, that your Majesty will provide against any unexpected turn affairs might take, for everything changes daily here. It is stated that the English are marching into Scotland in force, which the French resent very much. The French are consequently ill-disposed towards the King of England, and he still worse towards them, as I hear every day from the English ambassador, who two days ago made complaints to the Chancellor, who is in charge of affairs at present, about rumours to the effect that two forts were being built, and about the castle (St. Andrews) taken from the Scots, which castle the English had seized during the last war, and had remained in possession of it by the last treaty of peace. The Chancellor replied that he knew nothing about the forts, and referred to the King of France, who would not infringe the said treaty as long as the English observed it, including in it the Scots and demolishing the wall they were building inside Boulogne harbour. As for (St. Andrews) castle, it had been taken without the knowledge of the King of France, who had no desire to support the Scots beyond reason; and in any case it would be necessary to hear from the Scottish ambassador how and wherefore the thing had happened. The English ambassador replied that, as for the wall, they had already torn down what had been built, and the late King (of England) had two or three times over declared to him that the jetty might not be built, without violating the treaty. I judge from the ambassador's remarks, Madam, that the Protector and Council will hardly tolerate the building of the said forts, and will sooner divide their army. I have heard from the Chancellor, with regard to sending help to Scotland, that the King of France could not cease assisting the Scots with men and money, which he may lawfully do as the King of England is in open war against them, but that the French did not look upon it as a matter of great importance, being convinced that the Scots would easily be able to resist, and that the King of England could not do more than harry the Lowlands and then retire, which was the kind of war usual between the Scots and English. The English ambassador still has instructions to remain in this court; and the Protector has written to him that they will not be the first to break with France, unless the French King gives them very evident cause.
I have seen, Madam, what your Majesty has had written to me by the President (of the Flemish Council) touching his Majesty's health. The French have also heard about it, and are careful to obtain news from time to time; but I have good hope that with God's help the news may be quite different from what they hope. And I have my reason for saying this, for the French are already speaking ill to their own advantage. . . .
Compiègne, 26 August, 1547.
Sept. 1. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 25. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager. (fn. 17)
Madam: As M. de Glason's man is returning to Flanders I thought it well to inform your Majesty that the King of France is to be in this place on the last day of this month (sic), and would have arrived sooner but that while he was at Orleans he was seized by an abdominal flux to which he is often subject, and from which he has now recovered. His people and courtiers, Madam, saw fit to imagine several things about his journey; particularly that he would take Boulogne if the King of England refused the offer of the money, which now seems to be a favourite theme of theirs. However much they may talk about this money, it is more than certain they have not got it by a long way. To-day they have not at the Louvre more than 300,000 crowns at most, out of 800,000 which the late King of France is said to have left at his death.
A few days ago, Madam, the King of France was informed by his ambassador resident in England that several French ships had been arrested over there. The King immediately sent a man to the King of England to say that he wanted to know the reason, and if everything taken were not returned at once he would have his men lay hands on everything they could reach belonging to the English. I have spoken about this with the English ambassador to find out what it amounted to, and have discovered that the ships were arrested at Dover by certain English merchants, who had had some of their ships arrested without any cause in several harbours of this kingdom six weeks ago, and that as this was an act of violence, the King of England had thought it well to retaliate in like fashion. Of course the French will be unable to obtain any justice in this matter of the prizes, and the ambassador tells me he expects that both sides will soon cease talking about it, and that the King and Council will not attempt anything against the French, but will only do as the French do and revenge themselves for injuries inflicted upon them, and if no provocation were given they would do nothing. He added that he had to complain that a short time ago one of his men had been held up for more than a day at Abbeville and prevented from going on by the post to England, whither he was sent; and also that the Admiral of France had recently opened at Dieppe some letters sent to him (the ambassador) from England. He had instructions to ascertain whether the French government intended to allow such annoyances to continue, for the King and Council of England found them very strange. I will do my best to find out what they answer him; and I have no doubt that the French will temporise until they see what chance there is of treating with the Emperor, and if they are unable to do so they will seek every means of settling their differences. The King of England and his ministers seem to be inclined to a peaceful solution, from what I learn from the English ambassador; and will do their utmost to avoid war with the French unless they are hard pressed to it. It is true that their army in Scotland greatly annoys the King of France; but as the season is far advanced he hopes it will accomplish but little. The ambassador is at present urging the Chancellor to send a commissary to examine the sea-wall and give an opinion on it, as was decided between them when the King of France some time ago actually nominated his commissaries. And the object of this request is to further the possibility of an agreement between the two countries, a thing which I believe the English to desire. Speaking of the jetty and of the new fort, the English ambassador sometimes remarks that if the late King of England were alive he would not stand either the one or the other, especially the jetty, but that he does not know whether the English Council is of the same opinion to-day, because of their regard for their young prince whom they ought to keep in peace if possible, and not give him as hard an adversary as the King of France. And this, Madam, is a further confirmation of what I have just said, that they do not want to fight the French, who I think will also avoid war until they treat with the Emperor.
Compiègne, 1 September, 1547.
Sept. 20. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(A letter in cipher, the first part of which deals with the private affairs of the Queen Dowager of France. Rumours that the Emperor is trying to obtain the Imperial Diet's consent to a league embracing the Empire, several Italian states, Savoy and Burgundy, and that this league is to be directed against France.)
By way of more news, the Cardinal of Lorraine said that when M. de Chantonnay left Bar he was going to England to confirm the last treaty of closer alliance on behalf of your Majesty. I assured the said lady (the Queen Dowager of France), Sire, that to my certain knowledge M. de Chantonnay was in Burgundy, and that as this piece of information was false, so the other one respecting the league was likely to be, for I was sure your Majesty wanted nothing but peace and sincere friendship with the King of France, provided that the King was willing to do his part in the same.
Speaking of this league, the French have been badly frightened about it, and as I have heard from a good quarter, they have secretly done all they could with the (Swiss) leagues and their friends in Germany to defeat it, or at the very least to get themselves included. And I have been told, Sire, that they hear the English are trying to get into it as well, in order to be helped by the Germans if attacked by the French. And as they have heard that even the (Swiss) leagues are thinking of requesting the Diet to allow them to join, they have sent to dissuade the said leagues from this step, exhorting them to remain united.
At present the French are sending Monluc to Venice, as far as I can gather for a double purpose: the more important being to go on from Venice to the Levant, and the other to sound the Seigniory again about entering into a defensive alliance with them. Touching the journey to the Levant, I have been told by the English ambassador that he has it from a friend of his that the King of France would like to break the five years' truce (fn. 18) and prevent the Turk from giving his ratification. I have heard from a different source, Sire, that the King of France has been advised by his ministers to send envoys to the Turk, to confirm the ancient alliance and friendship which the late King entertained with him, and urge him to continue in it, and that they will persuade the King to do this by telling him that your Majesty and the King of the Romans will come to some arrangement with the Turk for the safety of your dominions, and that if he wishes to prosper he can do no better than feed discord between the Turk and your Majesty. As for the alliance with the Seigniory, it is firmly believed here that the Seigniory have refused to grant it; but the secretary of the Seigniory told a friend of mine a short time ago under seal of secrecy that the Seigniory had verbally assured the King of France that they would help him if your Majesty were to attack him in Piedmont, provided he did not begin the war, that the King of France had given the same verbal promise to the Seigniory, in case they were attacked, and the same had been done with the Pope; but there was nothing in writing as yet. They certainly are deeply disappointed by the cessation of the uproar at Naples and the submission of the Genoese, having hoped that this fire would give forth a greater flame, for when they saw it lighted they planned building forty galleys on their east coast (Provence) in order to lord it over the sea and help our enemies. And they are pushing forward the building of these galleys, for which they are procuring wood from near Grenoble and floating it downstream to Marseilles.
The Pope, Sire, is always begging the French not to desert him in case your Majesty were to take up arms against him, promising to leave the Council at Bologna, come what may, and exhorting them to send their prelates to Bologna, which they are doing, but with injunction not to go elsewhere if the Council were subsequently to be translated to another place. I have again heard that the French say there is no better way of balking your Majesty's plans in Germany than to keep the Council out of that country, it being understood that the Protestants will attend it in Germany only, as it was agreed. Judging by the passion with which the French ministers speak, I cannot help being convinced that what I have just said is being done by common consent between them and his Holiness, merely to defeat the just and holy intentions of your Majesty, whom I humbly beg to write to Spain that what is due to me of my salary, which in two months' time will be fifteen months, be paid to me; for without obtaining this, Sire, I cannot remain in this court.
Melun, 20 September, 1547.
Sept. 21. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 25. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager. (fn. 19)
Madam: As the Spaniard who is to bear my letters to the Imperial Majesty passes through Flanders, I have prayed him to deliver this to your Majesty, for it appears to me important to remind your Majesty of what I wrote from Compiègne on the first of this month about certain happenings between the Kings of France and England. Namely, that if the French ships arrested in England were not released within eight days, and damages paid, the French galleys would do all they could against English shipping. The English ambassador warned the Council to this effect; but afterwards, before the expiration of the eight days, six French galleys took a man-of-war between Boulogne and Dover and carried her off to Dieppe, where they threw the principal persons found on board into prison. The English ambassador made a complaint about this, especially as it took place within the eight days. They replied that it was true they had some time before issued orders to certain captains of galleys to take all the prizes they could from the English, and as these captains had been at sea, they could not have been informed of what had been agreed upon; but if the King of England would consent to the restitution of their ships, they would do the same. The English ambassador has complained most bitterly of this injury, saying that it was enough to go to war about, because it had been done as an act of violence, whilst the French ships had been arrested in England at the request of private individuals. The French answer that, if the English had not started it, they would not have attacked them, that they knew the King of England to have been the chief mover of their ships' arrest, and they had really treated the English far too kindly, for the crew of the captured ship had resisted, and consequently deserved exemplary punishment. They say here that since the said prize was taken, the galleys have again put to sea in order to follow the King of England's force which is going to Scotland and, if they see their opportunity, make a raid somewhere on land merely to create a diversion for the English land force on its way to Scotland. The French have made a mighty fuss about the man-of-war, proclaiming that it was the King of England's strongest ship; but it is known that they are quite mistaken, and if the man-of-war had had wind they would not have taken her so easily. Moreover she did fight, and every man on board was wounded, and even so they wanted to set fire to her out of pure despair to avoid falling into the enemy's hands.
The English ambassador, Madam, spoke recently with the King of France at Charenton Bridge, and laid before him the causes that move the King of England to make war on the Scots, among which figured the little castle notoriously taken in violation of the last treaty. Before entering Scotland the Protector intended to call upon the Queen and Regent to give him satisfaction on certain points, and if they refused, his mind was made up to do his worst against them. The King answered that he wished for a good understanding between England and Scotland. He knew that Scotland had always been willing to submit to reason, so he hoped that when the Protector issued his summons some expedient might be discovered, and he would inform the Queen of it. The Constable said the same to the ambassador, hoping by these means to delay the action of the English army, which as they have now learnt, has already entered Scotland by sea and by land. They are exceedingly vexed about this and have told the English ambassador so. He tells them that the Scots have been unwilling to submit to reason, the Constable affirming the contrary and accusing the ambassador of falling short of his word. And thus matters stand between them. I have heard from the said ambassador that the French ambassador resident in England has been urging the Council, on behalf of his master, to disband the army, saying that Anglo-French relations would thereby be enormously improved, and adding that the Scots are old friend of theirs. But they have always answered him, without entering into any discussion, just as the ambassador here has answered the King, that the Scots broke the peace.
As for the quarrel between the Kings of France and England I hear that the questions of the river boundaries, the breakwater in Boulogne harbour and other fortifications are now being examined by commissaries deputed by both sides, who have been so busy with these points that nothing has yet been done about the little harbour or the jetty; and I am certain that the ambassador is trying to arrange that the ships arrested by both parties may be restored. I believe the King of France will consent unless he comes to terms with his Imperial Majesty; for this is the gist of several important personages' remarks: that however likely war between France and England may appear, the King of France will not declare it until he has treated with his Majesty, adding that some people would very much like to see them engaged in a war, but the King will take care to keep out of it. By the way, the King has assigned the English ambassador a lodging in his house, and the ambassador, thinking it was in order to keep an eye on him, wrote to the Constable that to move him from his usual lodging was an injury to the King of England. The Constable replied that the King of France wanted to have him near in order to treat him well, for considering how matters stood just at present he thought it would be well to have him at hand so that they might have better opportunity for putting an end to their quarrel. This, Madam, seems to favour the conjecture that the French intend to enter into closer relations with the English unless they see a brighter look-out on the Emperor's side, and the same is said here openly. So unless the army that has been sent to Scotland angers the French into breaking off, I believe they will eventually come to terms, and also that the King of France will try to patch up matters between the English and Scots, if he is unable to make an agreement with his Imperial Majesty.
Melun, 21 September, 1547.
Oct. 3. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 25. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
Madam. Since leaving Compiègne I have written to your Majesty twice by the courier (bougette) of this place, and twice by servants of Mme. d'Aigremont and M. de Glason, and have always informed your Majesty of what I have been able to ascertain of the state of affairs between France and England. Since then I have found out that the commissaries who were deputed to examine the frontier of the Boulonnais and other questions have accomplished nothing, and the whole business has been put off until the quarrel about the ships seized by both parties shall have been settled. The English ambassador is at present engaged with the French Council on this matter, and the restitution of the said ships is being discussed, the English offering to be the first to comply on the condition that the King of France will promise to do his share, to which the King has already consented; and nothing remains but to come to an agreement about the damages incurred, which the English ambassador, who told me all the above, says do not amount to much. I have also heard from him that the other day the Constable, while speaking to him of this decision, used various equivocal expressions, such as that if the English wanted a war they should have it, and might also have peace if they wished, but that the King was not for tolerating long their manner of detaining his subjects' property, especially by way of reprisals. To this the ambassador replied that the ships had been arrested at the request of the individuals concerned, who had obtained this favour because the French had been the first to indulge in such proceedings, and because of the small likelihood of their being able, after a long trial, to achieve anything in the courts. For the rest the King of England and his ministers had no dearer wish than to live in peace with France, and would continue in the same temper as long as the French would reciprocate.
Eight days ago, Madam, the said ambassador declared to the King what had happened in the battle (fn. 20) between the English and Scots, expressing regret that things should have gone so far, but saying that as the Scots had been unwilling to hear reason, the English had been obliged to make them listen by force. The King told him he was very sorry that matters had fallen into such confusion, and that for his part he heartily wished there might be peace between them, a thing he desired all the more because the Scots were his old friends and allies. The victory has been published here by the English ambassador, and the Scotsman on the contrary is trying to persuade the French lords that the English lost more men than the Scots and will have to retreat. Nonetheless, Madam, the King, his ministers and the whole court have been greatly upset by the news of this victory, which reached them a short time after the tidings from Piacenza (fn. 21), and served to redouble their grief; for they feel both deeply, but most of all what occurred at Piacenza.
Melun, 3 October, 1547.
Oct. 17. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1 Edward VI. to the Emperor.
In accordance with the advice of our dear uncle the Duke of Somerset, Governor of our person, and of our realms, dominions and subjects Protector, and that of our other counsellors, we have now commanded our well-beloved and faithful counsellor, our reverend father in God the Bishop of Westminster (fn. 22), our ambassador resident in your court, to present himself before you with all possible despatch and to expose to you on our behalf our own instructions to him. You will therefore do us great pleasure by granting him a favourable audience, giving him the same credit, as to what he shall say to you, that you would to ourselves; and this we beg you most affectionately to do.
Hampton Court, 17 October, 1547.
Oct. 22. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 22. The Emperor to St. Mauris.
(Extract from a minute.)
As for what the Constable said to you about certain ambassadors having used ill offices with the English, by which he seems to mean that we caused it to be done, you may reply and certify the naked truth, for such it is, that we have never encouraged ill offices against the Christian King, but have always contented ourselves, when addressed on the subject of the differences between him and the King of England, with saying that it would be best to settle them in a friendly spirit and obviate an appeal to force. We have always approved the same course with regard to the Scots, given the restitution of property seized by them in defiance of the treaties, and the payment of damages. Nor shall we ever be found to have spoken or written, or caused anything to be spoken, against the Christian King, but only denied and disproved the ill reports circulated about ourselves, though we have had ample occasion for so doing given us by the inexcusable conduct of the said King's ministers both in and outside Christendom. Proofs of this are coming to light every day, and such proofs as are little calculated to further the friendship about which the King and Constable talk so much. And the Constable may consider that if we wanted England on our side we could always have her. Also that we think it exceedingly strange that the Christian King, without the slightest regard for the fact that his father agreed with us to further the Council summoned for the remedy of our Holy Faith at Trent and sent thither his ambassadors and certain bishops, should have solicited the Pope against all reason to translate the Council precipitately to Bologna, and have sent to that place ambassadors and bishops, some by the post and others with all despatch; and, moreover, that the French should use such peculiar language concerning the remedy necessary to this Germany of ours. And it seems to us well that you should speak in this tone to the Constable, and with his consent to the King, in order to avoid the disagreeable results their conduct might produce, to the disservice of God and regret of all good people who desire the remedy of our holy faith and the peace of Christendom.
Augsburg, 22 October, 1547.
Oct. 30. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extracts from a letter written in cipher, and enclosed in another letter of the same date from Melun.)
Those who were present when the King of France arrived not long since before Boulogne, relate that when he saw how strongly fortified the place was, tears fell from his eyes, and he said it would be impossible to obtain it by force, but that the best way of recovering it would be to invade England and fortify some town there, in exchange for which Boulogne might be restored.
On that occasion the King also decided to build a jetty over against the harbour, in accordance with expert advice, and to enlarge his fort on a certain plan made for M. de Châtillon. This gentleman was married a few days ago at Fontainebleau, where great rejoicings took place, especially mummeries in which the King took part, dancing whenever he got a chance. . .
A Scottish gentleman recently visited the King and confirmed the last defeat, which greatly troubled the King and all his court; for they had persuaded themselves that not much harm had been done. However, they still assert that the affair was of small importance in order to keep their people in good temper, and they have even forbidden the said gentleman to publish what he knows. He has said here that the Queen Dowager of Scotland censures Secretary Paniter, who was residing here as ambassador, for not having done his duty and demanded help from the King; but it is certain he did all he could to obtain it. However, he found himself deceived of his confident hope that the Scots would win the battle.
Nov. 21. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Council of Flanders.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
I do not know what grounds the Antwerp merchants can have for their news about a fresh truce between France and England. I have heard nothing of it, and believe the truth to be that no agreement has been hit upon between them beyond the restitution of the ships arrested by both parties, which has finally been achieved, because trouble was apprehended on both sides after permission to trade again had been issued. I have seen the writing which was drawn up here, and have already informed the Queen Dowager of it.
It is said here by persons of quality that the King is working for an understanding between the English and Scots, and that by his advice the Protector has sent some persons to Berwick, on the English border, to confer with the Queen of Scots' envoys about the marriage of the King of England and the Princess of Scotland. By means of this marriage the Protector holds out hopes of coming to terms with the King of France, who does not object to a discussion of the marriage, but insists that the Princess must not stir out of Scotland until the same be consummated. It is true that I have no certain knowledge of this, but I have had the English ambassador's secretary sounded on the subject, and he let out the fact that the English have envoys in Scotland ready to treat. Soon afterwards the ambassador declared to me that the said marriage might not be refused because it had been solemnly agreed to and sworn; but he denied that any negotiations were taking place, saying that if the Scots would consent to the marriage, then would be the time to treat, if the Emperor were of the same mind. He said he hoped that the English would compel the Scots to consent by force unless the King of France backed them up, which both he and the Protector suspected the King might do.
Melun, 21 November, 1547.
Nov. 25 (?). Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. News from France.
(Extract from a letter in cipher.)
They are publishing in this court news from their ambassadors, to the effect that the King of the Romans is going to marry the Lady Mary in England, and that the King of England will marry one of the King of the Romans' daughters.
Nov. 26. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 24. St. Mauris to the Council of Flanders.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
The Scottish Secretary Paniter was in this court less than ten days ago, whither he was re-called by the King, though at the time he was in Brittany ready to take ship for Scotland. However he only stayed there four days and came back directly. It is said that the King summoned him for the express purpose of commanding him to declare to the Queen and Regent of Scotland that he would not forsake them, and they were to resist with all their might, for he would see to sending French and Italian troops to help them, as well as arms and supplies. And it is certain that the King has sent several great ships to Brest, which are supposed to be for Scotland; but there is no rumour that troops are being sent from here, a practice the King of England complained of a week ago, as he also did of the manning of the ships. This I have heard from the English ambassador, who would not admit that there were any negotiations for peace on foot between English and Scots, but affirmed that there could be no peace unless the marriage took place.
Melun, 26 November, 1547.
Dec. 2. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Emperor to Edward VI.
We are now writing to our ambassador resident in your court, M. Francois Van der Delft, to speak to you on our behalf touching the treaty of intercourse (fn. 23) between your realm and our Low Countries, and other things, concerning the common good of the same. We beg you to hear him as you would ourself.
(Enclosed is a letter to the same effect to Somerset.)
Dec. 20. Paris K. 1487. St. Mauris to Prince Philip.
(The following paragraph exists in a letter mainly concerning the marriage of Jeanne d'Albret and M. de Vendôme, and Italian politics.)
The witnesses produced against M. de Vernin affirm that he took money from the English for surrendering Boulogue, though in reality the accused is able to give an account of his money. Still, the witnesses supply information considered sufficient by the French; and it is thought he will be put to death as a warning to the rest, and that his father-in-law will follow him. Against the father-in-law it is asserted that the English have done on his property little or none of the damage they have inflicted on that of others.
Dec. 27. Madrid B. P. Col. Granvela. Van der Delft to Granvelle. (fn. 24)
Your Lordship will consider whether it would not be well to send the power for the renewal of the 1522 treaty on the wool staple, about which I am now writing to his Majesty, before the English have time to change their minds, because of the exceedingly high price of wool over here. It is of the greatest importance to his Majesty's dominions, especially to Flanders and Holland, that the staple fail them not, as it would if the said treaty, which expires at the end of the year, were not renewed. The Dutch towns have sent over their deputies, with the consent of my Lords of the Council of State, to impress upon me the gravity of the matter; but of this I have shown no sign to the English.
I humbly beg your Lordship to remember my little affair, and to send me a line about it at your convenience.
London, 27 December, 1547.
Dec. 30. Simancas E. 1318. Don Juan de Mendoza to the Emperor. (fn. 25)
On the 22nd December I wrote to your Majesty. On the 23rd news came that the Cardinal of Trent had left Rome without accomplishing anything, and this seemed to me the time to speak to the Seigniory and tell them what is set down in the enclosure (fn. 26); all the more because I knew that the French ambassador and the Legate had been closeted, each of them separately, with the Secret Council, and had held forth at length. I have heard that the Legate, after giving an account of what had been answered to the Cardinal of Trent, took the line of begging them not for help merely, but for advice, representing that in such times as the present it would not be strange if a schism were to take place. From what I have been able to ascertain, it seems that their reply affirmed that they had confidence in his Holiness' prudence, and that they could come to no decision on other points until a meeting were held. And though on other occasions when he has spoken to them the Legate has met with a refusal, on the last two they have left him some hope, lest he lose it altogether and fling himself into your Majesty's arms; for in truth their object is to preserve the mediocre in their present condition, and reduce the great to mediocrity. The same Legate has complained to me that though he begged them on behalf of his master to intervene betwixt your Majesty and the Pope in the matter of Piacenza, they have neither intervened nor given him any answer.
On Christmas eve the Legate and I, standing together so near the Prince (Francesco Donato, Doge of Venice) that he could perfectly well overhear our talk, and chatting about one thing and another, happened to speak of the epigram which had been made in Rome on the Piacenza business. The Legate said it had a malicious application, and I affirmed the contrary because it could not so apply with truth. Thus our conversation ran on to a point at which he contended that the epigram was partly justified and I, wishing to bring it to a head, asked what reason he had. He replied that his master had decided to call together the Council of Trent and to open it at a time when, in spite of all advice to the contrary, he had confidence in your Majesty, but now the death of a son and the loss of a state had made him diffident, so that I ought not to be surprised that he, or anyone in his place, should be tardy about sending the Council back to Trent, for he could no longer trust your Majesty as he had done formerly. He wanted to know from me why your Majesty, who had the state of Florence so entirely at your service that you could obtain money and men from it, had been unwilling to give Piacenza to Duke Ottavio under the same conditions, the degree of kinship being nearer in his case than in the Duke of Florence's, and the obligation no less. As for security, your Majesty could have had enough by not handing over the citadel, and by summoning the Duke and his sons to your court, besides which the Pope was old, and might well have been humoured to this extent for his lifetime. After his death Ottavio might have been compensated with something else, by which means the Pope would have been kept quiet, the Council would have continued and your Majesty would later have become Lord of Parma as well as Piacenza.
As for the first point, I replied that the convocation and opening of the Council of Trent had been effected at a time and in a manner that required more explanation than that furnished by the confidence he said the Pope had felt. At that time your Majesty was beset by several difficulties, present and to be anticipated, such as the Algerian affair, the Duke of Cleves' rebellion, the incursions the King of France was making on all sides, the disobedience and unsatisfactory religious condition of Germany, and the coming of Barbarossa provoked by the French: all of which had to be overcome. And over and above all this, the Germans had to be persuaded by force and induced by arguments to come to Trent and submit to the Council's decisions, before there could be any question of what he called confidence. And now that the impossible had happened, and these obstacles had been vanquished, the Pope was able to dissolve, prorogue or translate the Council, as he had just done without any reason, the moment he saw your Majesty with the above difficulties off his hands. If the Pope had any confidence, now, and not then, was the time to show it.
To proceed with his remarks on Piacenza and Florence, the two cases were different, but both in my favour. For Florence was won by the sword, and your Majesty could give it away if you had promised to do so, keeping faith with the dead as you had done. If you could get men and money out of it, all the better; and the Legate was mistaken if he thought anything else. Piacenza, on the other hand, could summon any lord it might think fit, for it had freed itself. And as it had thrown itself into your Majesty's arms and capitulated, your Majesty's conduct would be very suspicious if, after accepting the city, you were to give it to the son of the man its citizens had slain, while your Majesty remained able to call upon some other prince. If your Majesty were to adopt such a course, it would be greatly to the disadvantage of your Majesty's states and of the peace and quiet of Italy.
I told him I did not care to argue about your Majesty's or the Pope's right to Piacenza, about which a great deal might be said beyond the foregoing, but that he might clearly see by all your Majesty's deeds, that your Majesty had had no share in the murder or, for the above reasons, in the surrender of the city. His calculations and assertions, and his way of making your Majesty Lord of Parma after the Pope's death, were not convincing. And if the Pope wanted Piacenza and the rest, his present tactics of soliciting the peaceful Venetians, taking the steps he knew of, favouring the French and listening to the Neapolitans, were not good tactics; for he was quite wrong if he thought to negotiate with the help of an iron rod. Moreover, supposing Pier Luigi to have been the most innocent man in the world, the most rightful Lord of Piacenza, and that he had never mixed himself up in plots to your Majesty's detriment, but had always endeavoured to please you, as would have been right and proper, and supposing all that had occurred to have happened at your Majesty's bidding, there would still be no sufficient reason for preferring an entirely private matter like this to the public welfare of Christianity, or for being moved by passion to sever from the Church so important a province as Germany, and withhold the remedy from the afflicted parts of others, when all might be healed by celebrating the Council at the place to which it was summoned, which was most suitable, and to which the Germans had offered to come.
If the Pope had not been so obstinate in this private affair, and in public matters had spoken and acted in a fitting manner, there would have been no cause to despair about the rest, for your Majesty would have take care of his Holiness' grandsons, repaying his good offices with something considerable, even if not with Piacenza. I reminded the Legate that it was certainly his duty to use good offices in every quarter, being as I believed a good servant of his master, for there was no likelihood of the Pope being able to carry into effect that which his passion caused him to desire in forgetfulness of his office. He shrugged his shoulders and said that the Pope had a passion, and he (the Legate) well knew that forces were unequal, so that he desired peace in public as well as in private matters, if for no other reason than that he had an archbishopric in Benevento, and received the money in Rome.
We spent the best part of Matins skirmishing, and also spoke of the debates at Bologna, in which arguments had been put forward against returning to Trent. When he told me I should find that voting was quite free there, I replied that the prelates enjoyed in voting the same liberty they had brought with them to Bologna, and that what they voted mattered not at all as they did not make up the number (i.e. the prelates at Bologna did not constitute a Council). Afterwards, during the Christmas feast days, whenever we met we returned to the same subject, though after the first conversation I adopted a more reserved attitude. The Legate persists that the Pope must be deceived by the aid of some subterfuge in the private matter.
I am told that grave personages, observing the way affairs are going, say your Majesty will draw up a just accusation based on the grievances your Majesty has against the Pope, and will then create another who shall deprive him. They look upon this as already carried into effect, and the Pope as done for (despachado), and not all of them are best pleased about it.
The Venetians have their mouths full of peace, and the Prince (i.e. the Doge) himself said in my ear one day when we were at mass together that the chief men here were inclined towards peace; and as they are the people who govern and support the expense of war, it is to be supposed that they would be anxious to be rid of it, in order to keep and increase their fortunes. But, to speak out all I have heard here, some folk say that if there were a war in Italy and the Venetians were put to expense for the protection of their state, it would not be surprising if they were to risk a little more money, and that of which I spoke in another letter were to ensue, the Venetians becoming forgetful of that peace, which, to say what looks most like truth at present, they are now doing all they know to keep. I believe this to be accurate, always leaving aside the sudden changes of this Republic which, like all others, is composed of contending factions.
I caused a confidant of mine to tell a Frenchman, who may know something, that there would hardly be any war with your Majesty if the King of France based his hopes of being able to wage it on the help the Pope would give him, because such help might not be considerable, and consequently it was hard to believe the King would begin any war without concluding a league. The Frenchman told him he might be sure the league existed, and one day soon he would show him the terms of agreement.
Cardinal Guise has not come yet, nor has the Frenchman whom I reported in my last to have started. I shall keep an eye open in order not to lose sight of him, and unless the news I am expecting from that quarter arrive, I shall at any rate send someone after him to see where he is making for.
On December 27th I sent Blasio de Breno to go with the Turk's camp, and he is well instructed as to what he must do.
Venice, 30 December, 1547.


  • 1. This letter is almost entirely written in cipher.
  • 2. Probably the same person as Tiberio della Roeca, an Italian captain in the French service, who often sold news to St. Mauris.
  • 3. The deposed Elector of Saxony, John Frederick.
  • 4. Reginald Pole.
  • 5. This refers to the Pope's habit, mentioned by Don Diego in another letter, of going to spend a few hours at places in the neighbourhood of Rome when he wished to meet the French ambassador in secret.
  • 6. All but the first two lines of this letter is in cipher.
  • 7. Between England and France.
  • 8. A humourous reference to English protestantism.
  • 9. Jean d'Estrées, grand master of the French artillery.
  • 10. David Beaton, Cardinal Bishop of St. Andrews.
  • 11. All but a few lines at the beginning and end of this letter is in cipher.
  • 12. This was Don Esteban de Gama.
  • 13. Cardinal Pole was at various times accused of leanings towards the heretical doctrine of Justification by Faith.
  • 14. An expedition was being prepared in England ostensibly for use against the Irish rebels.
  • 15. This letter is written in cipher.
  • 16. This was John, Earl of Warwick, who had been succeeded in the office by Thomas Seymour, brother of the Protector,
  • 17. This letter is written in cipher.
  • 18. The five years truce concluded between the Turk and the Emperor in October, 1545.
  • 19. This letter is written in cipher.
  • 20. The battle of Pinkie, fought on 10 September, 1547.
  • 21. The murder of Pier Luigi Farnese, 10 September, 1547.
  • 22. Dr. Thirlby.
  • 23. The Commercial Convention.
  • 24. This letter is written in cipher.
  • 25. Parts of this letter are written in cipher.
  • 26. This enclosure exists in the same Legajo, Simancas E. 1318. It consists of a repetition of the Imperial official version of the convocation of the Council of Trent, with strictures on the Pope for removing it to Bologna, and ecstatic praise of the Emperor's purity of motive.