BHO

Appendix: Miscellaneous 1548

Pages 531-581

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

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

Citation:

Miscellaneous 1548

Jan. 18. Besanon Collection de Granvelle, 4. The Emperor's instructions to his son, Prince Philip.
My son: As the hardships I have endured have bred in me certain infirmities, and I have recently been in danger of death, I feel uncertain what fate may befall me by God's will, and wish to give you the present advice in case that event were to occur.
And though the everlasting instability and changeable nature of earthly things renders it impossible that I should give you an all-embracing and abiding rule for your government of the kingdoms, lordships and states that I shall leave to you, yet my paternal love and desire that you may succeed in the cause of God, and thus unburden your conscience and mine, compels me to touch upon certain points for your instruction. I beseech the Divine Clemency and Goodness, which causes kings to rule, so to guide your heart, in these as in all other things, that you may ever set it in God's holy service.
The firm, principal foundation of your good government, should always be to incline your heart to God's infinite mercy, and to submit your desires and actions to His will. If you thus fear to offend Him you will obtain His help and succour, and will have the most essential element of success in government. That He may enlighten and favour you, you must always give the greatest care to the observance, maintenance and defence of our holy faith in general, and in particular in all the kingdoms, states and lordships which you are to inherit from us. Favour divine justice, and command that it take its course scrupulously and without respect of persons against all guilty and suspicious individuals, and have the greatest solicitude to avoid, by all means in your power compatible with justice and reason, heresies and sects that are contrary to our ancient faith and religion.
And since, after all the labour and money I have spent on leading back to our religion the straying Germans, no sufficient means nor remedy have been found other than the Council, to which, under pressure, all the states of Germany have now submitted, I beg and command you, if it be not completed at the time of my death, to set your hand to it and, in concert with the King of the Romans, my brother, and the other Christian kings and potentates, to see to it that the Council be celebrated and carried through, and, in everything concerning yourself and your states and kingdoms, to do all that befits a good prince, obedient to our holy mother Church. Besides this, you will always show yourself obedient to the holy apostolic see, to which you will bow and obey in everything, as a good king and Christian prince is bound to do. If under the pretext of this obedience there should be abuses and excesses in your states, to their damage and hurt or your own, you will be careful to remedy them with all due respect and, as far as possible, without scandal, letting your sole object be to protect your states from evil.
It ought to be your care to appoint persons of learning, experience, good life, example and qualities to the churches, dignities and benefices of which the nomination or patronage belongs to you, in order that the said benefices be properly administered with regard to the intentions expressed in their foundation. Besides this, see to it that your nominees administer and rule their churches and do their duty without deviations, except for just and legitimate causes, for this is of great importance to the service, exaltation and preservation of our holy faith, and to the welfare, spiritual and temporal of all men.
And, as peace is one of the things of greatest weight in God's eyes, without which He cannot be well served, not to mention the infinite evils that war brings with and after it, you must always try to avoid war as much as possible, and never enter into it without God and the world seeing and knowing that you could not do otherwise. You ought to be all the more anxious to keep the peace, because the states you will inherit from me are very weary and worn with the past wars that I have been obliged to wage in their defence, and to protect them from oppression, for it is well known that I have many times been forced to stand up against attacks from many quarters for the above reason. But God has helped me in such manner that, though I have endured many hardships, I have yet with His help (be He praised for it!) kept and defended my states, and even added to them others of notable quality and importance, but it has been at the price of grievous wasting of all of them, so it is necessary that they should rest, and I charge you to see to it.
I have several times been obliged to alienate or pledge considerable portions of my states, with great loss to public revenue and finance, and you will have to recover them, taking as great pains to do so as I would have taken had I been able, as I have always hoped I might, because of my affection for my states, and desire to leave them to you whole.
I know from repeated experience that it is not always, possible for those who would willingly avoid war to do so, and it is all the more difficult for one who possesses many large states, some of which are very far from others, like those which God in His divine goodness has given me, and I, if it be His pleasure, will leave to you. The difficulty consists in the good or ill will of your neighbours and other potentates, but it seems to me well to give you what advice my experience suggests, for the conduct you shall observe towards them.
You should place your chief trust and friendship in my brother, the King of the Romans, and in my nephews, his sons, who, I am certain, will amply requite your confidence. You will act in close understanding with my brother, and seek his and his sons' good with whole-hearted sincerity, abetting his imperial authority and policy as is your duty towards a good uncle. Besides the fact that this is right and in accordance with God's commands and the demands of near kinship, such alliance and union will force your enemies to face him and you together, so that the greatness of the one will aid and add lustre to the other's fame.
You may always consult him with entire confidence, and advise him in your turn with the respect due to one who is for you a powerful uncle, and for me a good brother. Thus I did all in my power to further his election to the dignity of King of the Romans, and firmly to establish him in the same, in order that, during my absence or in case of my death, he might govern Germany. In the same cause I shall still do my utmost, and now that by God's favour and help (may He be praised for it!) in this last war I have been able so to dispose the affairs of the German states that they are now in a prosperous condition, my brother will be able to take some repose, especially in view of what I said before regarding the states' submission to the Council, and of the five years' truce concluded with the Turk. My brother will certainly strive to preserve matters in their present shape, for it is obvious how important to him and to Germany's welfare it is that he should do so, thereby governing with the required authority and keeping his own states in order and subjection.
It is also necessary to persuade the estates of this country to furnish a goodly sum of ready money to be used in its defence, either against the Turk or any other stranger who may threaten it. I mean that this should be done for the common good of Germany, and particularly to assist my brother the King, for I well know that I could never raise a large sum from my own dominions for such a purpose, and that you would be even less capable of helping the King in this respect after my death. My states would be unwilling to consent to such policy, nor is it reasonable to expect that they should consent, being so consumed as they are, and always heavily taxed by continuous war against the infidels, without mentioning other neighbours and potentates, of whom you will always do well to be wary.
Considering the impossibility of procuring money from my own dominions to be used for German needs, without exposing them to manifest difficulties and risks, I command you to refuse absolutely to attempt to do so, unless it be in a cause that nearly concerns them and Flanders if, as I hope, I succeed in uniting Flanders and the neighbouring states with the states of Germany. In this event, whether it come now or later, it seems to me well that they should give aid against the Turk and for other of Germany's needs, according to the agreement that shall be made, and I am of opinion that this ought to absolve you from the necessity of furnishing any other assistance. As for the rest, especially the truce I have ratified, you will see to it that it be scrupulously observed on your side, for it is right that everything to which I or you agree be observed in good faith towards all parties, whether they be infidels or not; and this is the duty of rulers and all good men. It is important that you should act in this manner towards the Turk, not only because of the dominions you are to inherit, but also of Germany and, particularly, all Italy, and also to avoid giving the French further opportunities of disturbing Christendom, as they have done in the past.
Some men may be of the opinion that you ought only to concern yourself with the government of the dominions that I shall leave to you, and not inquire into what lies beyond them, leaving all to those who are set over Germany and the other states. Nonetheless, experience shows that it is impossible to live in peace and protect your own possessions against the attacks that are certain to be directed against them, unless you are careful to watch and ascertain the movements of your neighbours and the general condition of politics, and to keep up friendly relations in all quarters. This applies particularly in your case, for, as I said, certain of your states are far removed from the others and are, though unjustly, objects of envy, for the wicked have never lacked pretexts for stirring up faction and warfare, especially against those whom they think to take unawares. Hence you will do well, besides living in close friendship and understanding with the King my brother, to maintain friendly relations with the electors, princes and potentates of Germany; a thing that is certain to be of great use to you in all your undertakings in Italy and Flanders. However, do not spend much money in gaining them, nor in paying them pensions, for what the Germans want is to be paid, though even so they will not accomplish much unless gratifications are given them for every piece of work done. We have seen again and again that, if you want troops in Germany, you can always get them while you have money in your hands, and you need never lack if you pay them well. It will be all the easier for you to obtain them because I leave you great credit there, and my brother and his sons enjoy the same.
You will observe similar conduct towards the Switzers; but never take them into your service when you can find Germans, for I have always found that to be the best policy. Still, you will do well to show them favour, and have them, well treated and regularly paid that which is due to them, on account of the hereditary league between them and the house of Austria and Burgundy. Also, if the league we are now negotiating with them is passed, they may subsequently be useful in other ways, particularly if anything is a-foot in Italy.
You already know how the present Pope, Paul III, has always behaved towards me, and above all how scurvily he observed our agreement touching the last war, backing out and leaving me alone in it. You are aware of the scanty interest he takes in the welfare of Christendom and the celebration of the Council, in spite of the fact that I married my daughter Margaret to his grandson Ottavio out of my hope that he would assist me in these matters. But in spite of all that has happened, I beg you to be more mindful of the Pope's position and dignity than of his deeds, and treat him as long as he lives with all due respect. Also be gracious to my daughter and her children, and to Duke Ottavio for their sake; for she has always been most obedient to me, neglecting all other calls, even her own children's, to follow my will, particularly in all that concerns Piacenza. Consequently you will favour and protect her and hers.
Remember that the present Pontiff is stricken with years, so if he dies soon after me you will do all you righteously can that the new Pope be the man Christendom so sorely needs. For this purpose you may follow the instructions I have sent to my ambassador in Rome, which aim at no other end than that a good election be held, and the contrary intrigues defeated. On this and all other occasions you will act in a similar manner, putting your trust in God, Who will further and guide your holy intentions.
Your principal difficulties with the Pope will be three: first, that of the enfeoffment of the kingdom of Naples and the agreement arrived at with Pope Clement (VII.) on that subject; the second, that of the monarchy of Sicily; and the third, concerning the decree published in Castile. In all these things you will remember to act justly on your side; and if other difficulties arise you will handle them, as I said above, in the spirit of submission that becomes a good son of the Church. You will avoid furnishing the popes with just cause of discontentment against you, but act in such manner that nothing prejudicial to the welfare and peace of your dominions be effected or attempted.
You will have no quarrel nor dispute that I know of with the other potentates of Italy, nor do I think I have given them any reason for stirring up trouble. You will keep the treaty and league I have made with the Venetians for the sake of its dispositions regarding Naples, Sicily and the state of Milan, of which I have given you the investiture, and also of Piacenza, as I said before; and always display a willingness to remain good friends with them, showing them all the favour you can deal out to good allies.
Since I provided the Duke of Florence with his state, he has constantly appeared devoted to my cause, and I believe he will continue in like friendship with you, as he has received so many benefits; if he does so it will be to his own good, because of the designs the French are nurturing against his state, and also because of his relationship with the house of Toledo. Hence I trust you will bear him good will and favour in all his undertakings, for besides the reasons already given, he is of excellent judgment, and maintains his state in a manner that might enable him to be very useful in that particular part of Italy.
The Duke of Ferrara is deeply obliged to me for the good justice I rendered him, leaving all other considerations aside, in the affair of Modena, Arezzo and La Rovere against Pope Clement, which moved the Pope to reprisals against me. But though the said Duke has always confessed that such is the case, I hear that his relationship with France, and the fact that his brother the Cardinal is in favour there, are inclining him to that party. Therefore you will temporise with him, and keep a narrow eye on all his goings and comings.
You may trust the Duke of Mantua, as I do his uncles the Cardinal and Don Fernando (Gonzaga), and also because of the alliance concluded with his will and the Duchess' with my niece, the daughter of the King of the Romans. Besides, his states of Mantua and Monferrato have greatly suffered for having taken my side in the wars, and the Marchioness, the Duke's grandmother, his mother and the Duchess have always been devoted to my cause, which attitude the Cardinal and Don Fernando have seemed to approve.
I expect to make sure of Genoa now and in the near future; but whether I succeed or not, you must see to it that that city be on your side because it matters vastly to the security of all Italy and the states and kingdoms of Naples, Sicily and Milan, and not for that alone, but also for the sake of other Spanish kingdoms, Sardinia, Majorca and Minorca, which also are needed by the Genoese. (fn. 1) On this ground, and because of my servants within the city, whom benefits received have confirmed in my devotion, I hope that if you handle the matter skilfully, Genoa may remain yours. The thought of my brother the King of the Romans and the protection afforded by the shadow of the Empire, to which the Genoese owe their freedom, will also work for the desired effect.
I hope that the King of the Romans will take over the protection of Siena, that I have exercised, because the town has always been true to the Empire and most devoted to me. When the present discords are quieted, as I hope they will soon be, you will do wisely to show Siena and the republic of Lucca great favour, for they, in order to preserve their liberties, will desire to continue under the Empire, and will oppose all movements that threaten the peace of Italy.
Count Galeotto (della Concordia) is living in Italy, and certain people have pressed me hard in his favour; but I have been unwilling to forgive him because of the gravity of his offences, and out of consideration for enemies of his who have done me good service. I believe there will be persons to implore you to intercede with the King my brother that he may forgive him, and you receive him into your favour, but I do not recommend that course to you for the above reasons, and it would be even less wise than before, now that I have got Piacenza into my hands. Also the Count's manner of life and close connexion with France forbid us to place any confidence in him.
As for France, I have always, since the beginning of my reign, done what I could to live in peace with the late King Francis. I have frequently shown him kindnesses, and made many a treaty of peace and truce with him, which he has never observed, as is quite notorious, longer than during such time as he was unable to fight, or was waiting to catch me napping and deal me an unexpected blow. Judging by what I hear and calculate, my good offices have been of no more avail with the new King his son, and the business he is engaged in in many quarters clearly shows that he is firmly resolved to follow in his father's footsteps and evil disposition, as all former Kings of France have also acted towards our forebears. Be this as it may, I advise you to take care to keep the peace with him as long as you can, for the sake of the better service of God, the weal of Christendom, and of our own dominions.
I hear that the new King does not wish to ratify the treaties made between his father and me, but would like to negotiate new ones in another sense which would entirely alter the position, his object being sooner or later, when he sees his chance, to repudiate the renunciations made with regard to the kingdom of Naples and Sicily, and the States of Flanders, Artois, Tournay and Milan, together with other points contained in the said treaties, especially those of Madrid, Cambray and Crpy. Therefore you will insist upon it that these renunciations must always remain in force and being, and on no account depart from this policy, the result of which will be that your dominions will come to you with perfect right and undeniable justice. But if you were to yield on any one point, it would be to open a way towards throwing the whole question into controversy once more. For experience has always shown that these kings, fathers and sons and all their ancestors with them, have wished to usurp their neighbour's property whenever they have had a chance, and have acquired the habit of never keeping a treaty, especially with me and my fathers, with the excuse that they were unable to do so to the injury of their crown. This being the case, the only course is to hold out on every heading rather than enable the French to attack you later, and expose all the rest of your dominions to danger of being lost.
As your forefathers have held Naples and Sicily, and also the lands of Flanders with God's help against the French, you may also trust in Him to help you to guard them when, with perfect right as I said above, you inherit them. And now, strengthened as you are in Italy by Milan and Piacenza, and as you will further be by the steps you will take, and likewise reinforced in Flanders by what I have added to it, namely: the duchy of Gelders, the lordships of Utrecht, Friesland and others, it will be much easier to keep them united and defend them. If the French try to fight you in Italy, you will have Milan fortified, and it will be well provided with the artillery I took in Saxony and am sending there, which will enable it to resist the first onslaught, the most dangerous moment with the French. And if they attempt going on down Italy towards Naples, it will be very difficult for them, as they will have to leave Milan behind untaken, and will run great danger on the way from Florence. They will be unable to help themselves by sea, for there you are stronger than they, and will be able to assist Naples and Sicily, besides which the city of Naples is well fortified with castles, protected by several other castles and strongholds of the kingdom, and strengthened with the artillery which even now I am sending there. In like manner, the kingdom of Sicily is well fortified, especially the cities of Messina and Palermo, and, as I already said, if the first rush is driven back, the Frenchmen are always prone to lose heart and pluck, as experience shows. You will further be careful to give the Pope and the Venetians no excuse for a rupture as long as you can possibly avoid it; and I do not believe that either of those powers will easily be moved to declare war against you for the King of France's sake. For they well know how little he is to be trusted, and will not care to expose their states in the company of a prince who would be unable to protect them in the long run, especially as they know that you are strong in dominions and allies, that you control the sea and could always send the needful help, or even raise men here by virtue of the credit I shall leave you and the favour of the King of the Romans.
It is true the Neapolitans have been rebellious lately, but after careful examination there appears to be no symptom that may encourage the Pope or the French. On the contrary it seems that those who started the trouble and are to be suspected of infidelity and desire of change are few, and that the mass of the kingdom is what good vassals ought to be; besides which the Neapolitans have already had experience of evil that came upon them through the French. We have also seen that the Milanese do not want the French in their state; and if Neapolitans and Milanese are able to rest and recover from the heavy misfortunes which, in truth, they have had to bear, and you govern them with kindness and justice, as you will be careful to do, you will always find them good and faithful vassals.
Though you must needs save money as much as possible, as you will be in debt, and your dominions burdened, you cannot allow that to deter you from keeping up a certain number of Spanish troops in Italy, according to the demands of the day and of French or other plans to attack you. Troops will be the one bridle to prevent war and land-grabbing operations, and, in short, they will be ready if need arises. You must be vigilant to have the soldiers kept, as much as possible, on frontiers and in strongholds where they can do little harm to your subjects and allies, and command their leaders to preserve strict discipline and prevent the men from causing scandal and misery where they are quartered. In accordance with this idea, I have left orders, in case I were to die, that the Spanish troops now here be marched off to Milan to remain there, which will do no harm in case the French or anyone else were disposed to be troublesome, for once there the Spanish troops may be used for any purpose that offers in Italy, and particularly for keeping the French within bounds. If the Lord were pleased to take me, you ought to be brisk in ordering affairs in Milan, as you see the general outlook requires. It will also be wise to keep the Spanish frontiers, especially those of Navarre and Perpignan, well manned, for there is little fear of the French dealing a sudden blow in the direction of Flanders.
I see no possibility of ceasing to keep up the Spanish, Neapolitan and Sicilian galleys, for the defence of those realms and their inhabitants, and against Turks and Moors; for we cannot put so much trust in the truce with the Turk as to start disarming, were it only because of raiding pirates and corsairs, without mentioning the French and others who might disturb the Italian or Spanish coast. If we were to let the galleys go, we should be unready if any need arose; and for these reasons I think we must also retain the Genoese galleys, and try to hold the good-will of that people. Besides, if we were to dismiss them, they might enter into the French service, and if the French got the upper hand at sea our Italian policy would be gravely menaced, and also Catalonia and other sea-board regions of Spain might suffer. Therefore you will not allow yourself to stop keeping up the galleys on account of the expense, for though this be great, its end is to avoid a greater evil; that is unless there were to be a certainty of lasting peace with France and no fear of the Turk, of which there is no likelihood at all: on the contrary I see much trouble ahead unless we keep up our galleys.
The territory of Flanders is well fortified, and I have planned to make it still stronger. Also those dominions are as loyal as one could wish, particularly the nobility, and since the pacification of Ghent and the stronghold of that place, and also the reduction of Cambrai castle, we need have no fear that the French may accomplish anything there, as they once persuaded themselves to hope. If the French try to wage war in that quarter, Flanders will be quite able to resist them, which will be all the easier if there is a good sum of money ready, provided either by such grants as you may be able to obtain from the country, or by other means, and if Flanders be allowed to rest a little now, it will easily bear the burden of such expense.
In those regions, however, there is the county of Burgundy, (fn. 2) so isolated and distant from our other dominions that it would be difficult and costly to defend it against the French. For this reason, during the past wars, I have always taken care to stipulate with the French that it should remain neutral, and also to secure to it the benefits of the hereditary league between the house of Austria and the Switzers, in which the said state is included. You ought to do the same in case of a rupture with France, but you cannot trust the French, or the Switzers either, as they wish to curry favour with France. Since the French would much like to get the part of the county which is nearest to them, and particularly the salt works, into their hands, I have commanded that the city of Dle, the principal town of the county, be fortified, and I have spent in so doing the grants I have obtained from the said county. You must see to it that these works be completed, and those of Gray as well. Have the castle of Joux repaired, and other parts of the county fortified, and let all the money you obtain from it be used in these works, and in providing artillery, ammunition and provisions as long as there is need of them. For this county is the house of Burgundy's oldest possession, and most convenient to use against the French if occasion should offer. Besides all this, our vassals there have always been most faithful servants to us and our fathers, and you may also enjoy their good services; wherefore I recommend to you the fortification, defence and preservation of the said state.
It is not likely that the French will wage open war against Spain, nor assist M. d'Albret, as they have come to grief every time they have tried, and Spain could easily hold them off, now as on former occasions. And if the French might invade us in many quarters, it is nonetheless true that they will be afraid to do so, and experience shows that they cannot keep up troops and support great expense in many different places at the same time.
Be careful to watch the French, and to see whether they ever intend to send, openly or covertly, a fleet to the Indies. Make the governors of those regions strong enough to beat off the French if need arises; and though the French have many times attempted expeditions there, their fleets do not hold out long, and even if at first they defend themselves, they soon lose heart and break up; and so it is a good thing to be ready for them. You must always keep on the best terms with Portugal, especially on account of the Indies; but never let any consideration move you to agree to any proposal from the King of France, or to relinquish any part of the possessions you are to inherit. Be constant and ever watchful; put no trust in friendly words or talk of peace, and continue to fortify and prepare wherever it may be necessary, that you may be ready to defend yourself if they declare war on you, and to prevent the French if they try to steal something from you, as they often do, especially when they have been demonstrating affection. Your position will be all the stronger if you also profess to be willing to observe all the treaties, and draw the bonds of amity closer by all reasonable and suitable means. If you are firm in this course, you may hope that God will assist you to keep all your dominions clear of trouble and protect them from French designs. Adopt no other policy, let whomsoever advise you to do so and whatever fear and danger of war it may entail. For it is enough that we should leave pending the matter of the duchy of Burgundy, our very own patrimony, out of consideration for the treaties; and though I do not intend to start war afresh on this score, you must never abandon or conceal your just and rightful claim to this our patrimony, which belongs in justice to me, and will belong to you.
Beyond this there is the restitution of Hesdin, which the French ought to carry out with reasonable compensation, and you will insist on this point when you see a favourable opportunity; but I am not of opinion that you ought to go to war on that account, for though Hesdin be useful to us in that quarter, it is not important enough to outweigh all the evil that war brings with it.
The French are most jealous of all, according to common report, of the Duke of Savoy's dominions on both sides of the mountains, which they have seized, and which ought to be restored, as I have always insisted, particularly when the late and present Kings of France have come to me with talk of closer alliance. This is and was my duty towards the imperial authority, my kinship with the Duke, the private agreement I have entered entered into with him, and my solicitude for his son (i.e. Emanuel Philibert, Prince of Piedmont). The Duke continually asserts that he will not come to terms unless he has his dominions, above all Piedmont, restored to him, and as the French seem to intend to keep Piedmont for ever, I consider that it will be very difficult and dangerous to arrive at an understanding. For it is most certain that the object of the French in keeping Piedmont is to be able to interfere from there in Italian politics, seize Milan, ravish Genoa, go on to Florence, and, finally, reach Naples and Sicily. All their words and actions obviously point to this intention, and it will become impossible to put any limit to an ambition the French have always been shameless enough to show, so that the interests of the Empire are threatened by allowing the French to stir up Italy as often as they please, waging war against my dominions there and those of my friends and allies, and forcing me to continuous expense and anxiety. Therefore I am unable to advise or approve of any such agreement, (fn. 3) even if both parties were to be quite at one about it. I have preferred and still prefer to leave matters as they were, rather than consent to a course so prejudicial to the Duke, and generally so harmful and evil, hoping that God will provide a way to remedy the cruelty that father and son have shown uncle and cousin.
It is true that I am sorry for the Duke and Prince, and lament that they should have to remain so long out of their state; but as they have endured this injury, evil and violence until now, it is less ill that they should hold out and trust in God to enable them to get their own back and keep their ancient possessions whole, than that they should consent to an agreement that would deprive them of their best lands and reduce them piteously, besides being the source of so much possible trouble. The Duke has always displayed this frame of mind, and the Prince's attitude shows that he also shares it, as came out strongly in the case of the proposed marriage between him and the daughter of France (i.e. the Lady Margaret), which he now refuses explicitly, and will probably continue to refuse. The King of France well knows the injustice his father and he have committed, and neither of them have ever trusted the Duke and Prince, but have done all in their power to abase and subject them, with no consideration at all for the relationship that binds them, and this seems to be the nature of Frenchmen, for they act in similar manner towards M. d'Albret, though he is married to the sister of the late King.
The late King of France displayed great indignation against the Duke of Savoy for inclining towards my side, both before and after the Duke inherited his dominions; but nonetheless did the King and his mother quarrel with the Duke, and go so far as to declare war against him to usurp his state, as the said King and his friends have often openly declared. Therefore their one aim is to oppress the Duke and keep him in subjection, in order to unite his states with France and have an open road to go and play the tyrant in Italy. I, anticipating this, always saw that the Duke's best plan, as I advised him after I broke with France, was to do his utmost to remain neutral, temporise with the late King and make friends with the Switzers; but the Duke did not do this; and the French and Switzers combined to usurp his state on both sides of the mountains, far more out of passion and love of gain than to punish him for his friendship with me.
None of these disasters was my fault, and I have always favoured the Duke, helping him as far as I could and preventing the last remnants of his possessions from being lost, and you will do well to remain good friends with him because of the bond of kinship, and the good-will father and son always show us. You will help them in every possible manner, and particularly in protecting what the Duke still holds, for besides your affection for him, this point is of the greatest importance to the security of Italy; particularly that of Milan. As for the pensions I have allowed the Duke and Prince to help to support them, you will do in the future what you reasonably can. For the past, they must be satisfied with what they have had, for I have not done less than my best, and when I allotted the Duke his pension I thought it would be provided by the state of Milan, which was then in a condition to pay it. But what with the continuation of the war, the danger of other wars, and, particularly, efforts made in the interests of Piedmont and the Duke's other states, enormous expenses have continually cropped up, so that I can do no more for him, and in the future Milan will be unable to bear such a load. Therefore you may with reason and honour say that the utmost has been done in the past, and that in the future you will do your best. As for the Prince; see to it that his pension or part of it be paid, according to the course of events and your own means.
Be very cautious about helping them to get back their state, and do not let them convince you that they ought to begin war for that purpose, or that you yourself should join in, unless you have solid ground to go on; as for example, that you should have the favour and help of the Empire, and France be occupied with England, or in some other fashion that might render the opportunity a good one; and be particularly wary with the Switzers, not to expose any of your dominions to attack from them. There is small likehood that any such opportunity will arise for several years yet, considering in what condition German affairs now are, that the English will probably temporise with France while their King is a minor, and also that it is necessary and essential that we should allow our dominions to rest for a while. Also, if you do decide to attempt it, you must be sure to avoid furnishing the French with any ground for saying that you are breaking the treaties or provoking war in Christendom to the prejudice of the same.
Should the Duke and Prince be unwilling to await such opportunity for recovering their states as God shall send, but decide to come to an agreement with the French in spite of the foregoing considerations, and you see that you will be unable to prevent it, you will endeavour to bring the agreement about with as little damage to them as possible. Do your best to make certain your position in Italy, and above all in Lombardy and Milan, not forgetting Genoa, Monferrato, Florence and other states belonging to our friends and allies, so that all may realise that you have shown proper solicitude for their and your security.
When I came to terms with the Duke, I promised him that he should freely receive the revenue of his lands, in which there are now great numbers of my troops. In sending them my safety and his were my only object, and you will have a care to allow the Duke to enjoy the same rights as long as it may be necessary to keep up the troops there, as the treaty stipulates. Do not remove the garrisons, especially from the more important places in Piedmont, for we may be sure that if the Duke comes to terms with the French, the French will subsequently get possession of all, even against the Duke's and Prince's will; so you will be acting for their own good. Besides this, it would be unjust if, after defending the said lands, in my confidence in the Duke and Prince while they were enemies to France, these lands were afterwards to be lost and thus cause difficulties for me, whose only object was their security.
Among other strongholds, pay particular attention to the castle of Nice, and try to gain the devotion of its commanders, making them swear never to hand it over to the French, for whom it would be of the greatest importance. Even if they make terms with France, always try to remain good friends with the Duke and Prince, and be sure that the French will always do their utmost to turn them away from you.
Preserve friendly relations with the English, and keep the treaties concluded between the present King's late father and myself; for this nearly touches me and all the possessions I shall leave to you. Such conduct will also puzzle the French, who have many quarrels with England on account of Boulogne and the arrears of the pension, and it seems unlikely that they will ever arrive at a lasting understanding. It is also probable that when the King of England, who is now a boy, comes of age, he will resent the hostile acts which the French have committed and shall commit to his hurt during his minority. You, however, will be careful to take no side in their quarrel if you can avoid it, and to stick to the terms of our treaties with both countries. Above all, you will never consent to any proposition of the English that might, directly or indirectly, work to the disadvantage of our holy faith or the authority of the apostolic see.
As for the Scots, if you could make some terms with them for the safety of trade and shipping, that would be the best you might hope of them.
You will do well to keep the treaty with the King now in possession of Denmark, without picking any quarrel for the sake of King Christiern or our nieces. But endeavour to bring about a reconciliation between them and the present King, and to obtain kind treatment for King Christiern, though not in such a way as to risk his escape, in which case he might again provoke trouble in Flanders, as on other occasions.
Apart from all the above, it is essential to the peace and safety of the dominions that I shall leave to you that, as you cannot always be present yourself or visit them regularly, you should give them good viceroys and governors. These officers of state must be zealous to govern with reason and justice, and you must choose men of sufficient capacity to carry out the various policies that you see fit to recommend to them, and to be ever-watchful in their duties. See to it that they behave in office as befits your lieutenants, and never exceed the authority with which you invest them. Let them realise that if they take more upon themselves you will be displeased, refuse to condone such abuse, and be ready with the necessary remedy, be the offender who he may. And though you are not to give credit to all the complaints made against these viceroys and governors, do not shut you ears to them, for if you do so you will only assist the viceroys and governors to become absolute tyrants, and your vassals to fall a prey to despair.
Particularly in the case of the Indies, it is most necessary to make sure of the truth of everything that goes on there, and to organise government as God's service requires, that you may be obeyed in those regions, and they may be justly governed, repopulated, and become prosperous once more. The tyranny of the conquerors and other persons in authority there must be put down, together with the evil for which they have made the same authority a blind. The Indians must be succoured and encouraged, and in order to win their good will and devotion you must preserve over the said conquerors the authority, pre-eminence and advantage to which you have ample right. And this is the end for which the Council of the Indies must work, setting aside private considerations; for the matter is all-important.
The system of taxation to be applied to the Indians has been the object of many reports and opinions, and we recently wrote to Don Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, commanding him to send us his own. As you already understand, the question is of great present and future importance, and you must give it the closest attention for the reasons adduced in the last paragraph. When you are in possession of the necessary information, go into it thoroughly and talk it over with disinterested men of sound judgment who have practical experience of Indian affairs, and whose one object is the royal supremacy and the common good of our Indian possessions. Also let taxation be as moderate as possible, and not of a nature to harm those who have to bear it.
The surest means of keeping the vassals and subjects of any nation in fidelity to their lord, are to present them with children who shall be as it were guarantees for the stability and durable nature of each one of the states belonging to the prince, and thus supply them with hope of having lords who shall govern them well; and this is particularly true in the case of Flanders. Therefore it seems to me not only advisable, but necessary, that you should marry again, choosing a match such as the public welfare demands, and a person who, with God's help, may give you children; and my paternal love for you and affection for the said states (i.e. of Flanders) compells me to advise and pray you to do so.
I do not wish to influence you in your choice, but would only remind you to let your main consideration be the service of God, the welfare of Christendom, and the benefit and satisfaction of your dominions. If a marriage with the daughter of France could be arranged in a satisfactory manner, respecting the existing treaties and making the restitution of the Duke of Savoy's lands a condition, and if sufficient guarantees were given, it seems to me, as it always has seemed, that this would be the best match, and that the difference in age ought to be overlooked in the presence of so many advantages.
If this alliance does not take place, the Princess d'Albret seems to me a suitable match, on the condition that the marriage treaty should solve the difficulty of the conflicting claims to the kingdom of Navarre, and that the Princess be removed from France; for though the French would object to this, it is probable that they would conceal their resentment if the marriage were to take place, and you were to become stronger by the possessions of M. d'Albret. You ought not to allow yourself to be deterred from this match by what has been said about difficulties that might arise between the various children born of it; for there is nothing in such talk that withstands a serious examination, and we hear that the Princess is a pleasant, virtuous, prudent and well-bred person.
But if neither of these marriages is arranged, for the present I see no match for you except one of the King of the Romans' daughters, or the Infanta, daughter of my sister, the Queen Dowager of France. But as these matches are not necessary to increase the bonds of friendship and kinship, it would be better to seek to establish another relationship. However, I leave you to choose the person who pleases you best; and as I bear equal love to each of my nieces, I can only pray God that you may choose for the best.
I have considered the marriage of your sisters, my daughters, from every point of view, especially that of the elder one (i.e. Doa Maria), and it seems to me that no match could suit her better than my nephew, the Archduke Maximilian; for neither is her age suitable for marrying her to the Prince of Portugal, nor would it be honourable or just to go against what I have already agreed to touching the said Prince and my younger daughter, a match as suitable from the point of view of age and in every other respect as that of your elder sister and the Archduke Maximilian would be. This result would also give great pleasure to my brother, whose present position is so excellent, that the Archduke will profit by it, and father and son will be of great use to you in everything that concerns Italy and Flanders. Therefore we are confirmed in our wish that, with God's blessing, this marriage be celebrated, according to the considerations expressed in our will and that of the Empress (may she be in glory!), and with the sums contained and appointed in the wills as dowry. I have given much thought to the dispositions of the said wills with regard to Flanders and Burgundy, and, considering the importance of those states, and the fact that I have increased them by the conquest of the duchy of Gelders, I have come to the conclusion that you had better keep them yourself. Consequently I hope that God will give you more children; and I adjure you to see to it that this other marriage also be celebrated without delay, for your sister is of proper age and, as we have already said, no other equally suitable match is forthcoming. Besides, when the time for your coming to these parts arrives, you might bring your sister with you, as no more favourable opportunity could be desired for the accomplishment of the journey in a manner befitting your dignity. But although you yourself were not to come, you must not put off her departure and marriage, and I beg and command you most earnestly to insist that it be carried into effect.
It has been suggested that, when the said marriage between my nephew, the Archduke Maximilian, and your sister takes place, the Archduke might be entrusted with the regency of Flanders, for experience has shown that the Flemish will not stand being ruled by foreigners, and that among themselves there is no one out of reach of their envy and hatred, wherefore we have always appointed a person of our own blood to that post. Other advisers have pointed out that, were the Archduke to be appointed, there would certainly be no lack of people to put into his and your sister's heads notions of attempting to obtain possession of the said states, and that as you will be unable to reside in them, or visit them often, their population might become devoted to the Archduke and his wife, especially if God were to give them children. I am inclined to believe that they would do their duty towards you; but as the matter at stake is of such enormous importance, they might possibly weaken with time. For this reason I have been unwilling to come to a decision until you come and see the said country, and may judge of its importance and the temper of the people, and also know and converse with the Archduke Maximilian. It is true that if we could persuade the Dowager Queen of Hungary to continue in the post she has held so long, it would be the best solution possible, because she has been most successful both in peace and in war; but she is determined to retire. Be this as it may, we will, with God's consent, settle everything when you come.
You will in due time have the marriage of your sister, my second daughter, with the Prince of Portugal celebrated, as has been arranged, for it is well to keep your word in this matter, which is one of importance to the crown of Spain and our friendly relations with Portugal. My brother-in-law the King, the Infante Don Luis and the Cardinal (fn. 4) have always shown me great devotion, and the Queen my sister has ever given proof of the liveliest affection for my person and welfare.
My experience of my sisters, the Queen Dowager of France and the Queen Dowager of Hungary, has been of a nature to inspire me with equal confidence. I am sure that both will continue very well disposed towards you, and I beg you to respect them, as is your duty towards your aunts, and show them favour in all circumstances.
Finally, I solemnly recommend to you the observance and fulfilment of my will and codicils, as well as those of the Empress, and also the pious legacies for our souls' welfare. I am sure that you will carry out all of them, doing your duty and deserving the paternal affection I have always had for you. I pray God to protect you and guide your wishes in His service, that you may reign and govern as a good King should, and finally earn Heaven, with my blessing.
Augsburg, 18 January, 1548.
Jan. 25. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter in cipher, mainly on Italian affairs.)
Not long ago, Sire, there arrived in this court a papal nuncio going to Scotland, by whom the Pope sent to the new Queen (of France, Catherine de' Medici) a rose, which was presented with endless ceremonies in which most of the knights of this court took part. It is said that this nuncio and the nuncio resident here have once more confirmed the league and amity existing between the Pope and the King, who has promised to assist the Pope and not to allow him to be bullied on account of the Council (of Trent) or for any other reason. And several persons affirm here that help is actually to be given to the Pope.
(The ambassador ends his letter by thanking the Emperor for sending instructions to Spain that his salary be paid, but adds that he has not yet seen any money, and that twenty months are owing to him.)
Paris, 25 January, 1548.
Jan. 25. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Council of State.
(Extract.)
My Lords: I have received two of your letters, one of the 12th December aud the other of the 14th of this month. The first makes mention of the Scottish pirates' depredations upon his Majesty's subjects, and was given me by an envoy sent hither by the three sea-board towns which had made the complaint. This man told me that he only had instructions to ascertain whether the King of France had already taken any measures against the said depredations, but that he did not wish to begin a suit for the restitution of the goods. After I had assured him that some time ago proclamations had been issued in the seaports to arrest the said Scots and all goods found in their possession, he departed without waiting any longer. Nonetheless, my Lords, I have not ceased making complaints to the King and Council about these depredations, affirming that the French often had a hand in them, as great numbers were with the Scottish pirates, and that they were never punished, or their officers either, who quite openly winked at these prizes, allowing the pirates and Frenchmen accompanying them to enter and return to their harbours without let or hindrance. Such conduct, I said, was precisely the same as if the King declared war against us, and I begged him to mend it. My Lords, he replied as he has so often replied, that he not only did not wish it to go on, but meant that it should immediately cease, and was going to see to it himself. The Constable said the same, and appeared greatly vexed at these outrages. But it amounts to nothing but a piece of mummery, and they will never do anything to put the matter right for all my verbal remonstrances; for I know they are laughing at me in their sleeves and repeating that the Scots are giving the Emperor's subjects what they deserve, and are enabled to do so by the help and countenance lent them by the French. And this I write to your Lordships for my own discharge, for I can do nothing more in the matter here.
In your second letters your Lordships instructed me to collect information on certain stations the French are setting up, and on the number of the troops they say they are sending to Throuanne. I have done my best, and have had Captain Salcedo, a Spaniard in charge of that frontier, questioned by a third person. Salcedo affirms that as far as he knows the King is planning nothing against the Emperor, but that they (the French) would, if possible, much like to surprise a fort occupied by the English, and called Boulancourt, because it blocks the way to Boulogne. As for sending men to Throuanne, it has been decided to send a good number of horse, because the King is resolved to reinforce his garrisons on all sides, and in that particular one he will put a greater force because there he has both the Emperor and the King of France as his neighbours. I hope soon to go to court, and will then find out from Olsacius and others the truth of this. In the meantime it will be best not to trust these folk. . . .
Paris, 25 January, 1548.
Feb. 13. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager.
(Extract.)
Madam: Since my last letter to your Majesty I have been with the English ambassador, and have heard from him that, upon the remonstrance he made to the King of France about the oppression visited on their men near Ardres, he has been answered with haughty challenges to declare whether the chapels referred to were in this kingdom or not, for the French hold them to be in their territory and have prevented their fortification. Further, that if the King of England wished to maintain the contrary the point must be cleared up by one of two ways: either by means of commissaries from both sides, to which the King of France would willingly consent, or sword in hand, in which case he would have his sword ready, for though desiring peace he would not refuse war. Since then another person has assured me that the King of England would be content enough to depute men to settle that and other difficulties on the condition that the English should be restored in possession of the said chapels and that the recent outrages should be compensated for, a thing, Madam, that I should be glad to see done as far as the last point is concerned, for the King of France holds that he is right and the English are wrong.
The said ambassador told me he had again complained that common report and the preparations going forward here seemed to indicate that the King of France intended to help the Scots against the English, declaring that to do so would constitute a breach of the last treaty of peace between the two countries. They had answered him that if the King of England had included the Scots in the peace as the treaty provided, this doubt would never have come up, and that the King of France would not violate the treaty as long as the King of England observed it on his side, without giving any further reply. And this the said ambassador regards as very suspicious, judging that at this rate help will be sent to the Scots.
The French are beginning to talk openly about it, Madam, and I have heard from several sources that de l'Orge is being sent to Scotland with the nuncio whom the Pope has despatched thither, and there are three great ships at Brest ready to take on board them and their retinue, which will consist of a number of Breton and Norman soldiers. The nuncio and others have made it known that the French galleys at Nantes will also sail for Scotland in May under the command of the Prior of Capua, and at the same time or sooner 6,000 soldiers and 100 men-at-arms are to be sent there. The Prior has gone to Nantes to superintend the fitting out of the galleys and the payment of the men, and also has instructions to put on board a large number of pikes and similar weapons, which leads one to suppose that the French intend to make use of the lansquenets they have in the Boulonnais, as they are sending pikes to Scotland, and that the ships will pick them up at St. Valry, as the galleys picked up soldiers from their garrisons last year when they undertook the expedition to St. Andrews. I have heard from Olsacius that now the present expedition has been decided upon, the Scottish ambassador here resident speaks of it openly and is pushing it forward as best he can. It is true Olsacius says that if the King of France were to be attacked by the Emperor, he might easily withdraw his help from the Scots, so that he will try to temporise with his Majesty until he feels certain of his intentions. He will carry on the present undertaking in the name of the Pope and the Guises, in order that the King of England may have no grievance against him; and Olsacius added that if the King did not suspect his Majesty, and fear that he might fall upon him if he made open war on the King of England, the assistance sent to the Scots would be much stronger. As it is his principal object is to recover a certain castle (fn. 5) at a sea-port which has recently been fortified again by the English, for he considers that all the rest will be an easy matter. I will obtain minute information about this expedition and transmit it to your Majesty.
The French have been complaining to the English ambassador that the English have once more arrested their shipping, and say that if all is not released at once they will take the same steps over here. They refuse to leave the matter to ordinary justice as violence has been used against them.
(The rest of this letter is concerned with the private affairs of the Queen Dowager of France.)
March 10. Paris K. 1488. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager.
In former letters to your Majesty I have spoken of rumours that the Kings of France and England were trying to make terms about their respective possessions, and this has been confirmed to me by the English ambassador, but with the addition that the conditions had not been yet fixed upon, because the King of England wished to be reinstated in the chapels of which he was violently dispossessed, whilst the French stick to the opposite view and desire to have the incident ignored and held not to have occurred. Later, Madam, the Cardinal's secretary assured me he knew that the King of France and the Constable, if they succeeded in bringing the said disputes to a close, would declare themselves ready to proceed to the payment of the sum of money stipulated by the last treaty for the restitution of Boulogne, but that their disposition would entirely alter if the English declined their offer and refused to admit the inclusion of the Scots together with restitution of the places occupied by them in Scotland. This agreement between the English and French is being discussed quite openly in this court, and by no vulgar persons; but I am unable to understand what can be arrived at, because of the inclusion of the Scots, which the King of England refuses to consider unless it be on terms that allow him to retain the places he is now occupying. It is also rendered doubtful by the great advantage the English now enjoy over the Scots. The King of France is certainly sending them a nuncio from Rome, a few foot-soldiers and some captains, but the foot-soldiers are only a few and will go as if of their own accord. To pay the troops 30,000 crowns are being sent from here with 15,000 contributed by the Pope, and another 24,000 are to be raised from the Scottish churches. Less than a week ago a Council meeting was held at which the Scottish ambassador was present and it was decided that the French galleys should proceed to Scotland in May, and also 6,000 foot-soldiers and 400 lances. This I have from a person who heard it from the ambassador, and also told me that if the Scots recover their places occupied by the English between now and May the assistance will not be sent, in which case the King of France would feel secure from the Emperor for the whole of this year. I doubt not that he will help the Scots, though not openly, but will temporise with the King of England and pretend to treat with him while still carrying on this undertaking, which is the French way of doing things. These folk have heard of M. de la Chapelle's and several other Frenchmen's deaths in Scotland, which grieves them sorely, and they are all the more depressed about it because they see that at this rate Scotland is going to be lost for them.
March 20. Simancas E. 502. The Emperor to the Queen Dowager.
Press of business has prevented me from writing to you earlier, and I also put it off until I should come to a decision on the French ambassador's solicitation to M. de Granvelle to obtain amends for the words spoken by the executioner of the high court of justice of this place after he had decapitated Vogelsberg. (fn. 6) In order to inform you fully of all that has happened in this matter, I am sending you a copy of the reply made to the French ambassador and sent to be communicated to the King of France and his ministers as occasion demands.
Two days ago a gentleman arrived here, sent by Cardinal Farnese to the Legate Sfondrato and to the Cardinal of Trent, to treat of the suggestions the said Cardinal of Trent had put forward as if on his own account to prevent still further harshness being shown in the matter of the Pope's reply to my ambassador, Don Diego de Mendoza, when Don Diego made a protestation in my name about sending back the Council to Trent. And in order that you should also see what is occurring in this matter, I am sending you copies of the articles written by the said Legate in the Cardinal of Trent's name, which contain the substance of the said gentleman's instructions, together with a copy of the reply made on the question in order to proceed with the negotiation. And as far as what it has been possible to get out of this gentleman goes, the Cardinal wishes to have it believed that no treaty has been passed between the Pope and the King of France, though we have information to the contrary. For this reason the reply to the point concerning Piacenza is given in the terms you will see. At any rate, it seems that the Pope wishes things to calm down between himself and me, and Cardinal Farnese feels the same. Therefore we must proceed in this matter with an eye to the exigencies of our present undertakings, so that we may accomplish something in this Diet to alter his Holiness' position, and also we must take care to breed mistrust between the Pope and the King of France; though given their characters it is unlikely to be very great or of long duration.
On the other hand, judging by my ambassador in England's letters which you saw before your departure, there is little love lost between the English and French; and if his report of the last defeat of the Scots is true, the King of France will be more than ever hampered by having to send ships and men to Scotland. The news we have from Switzerland do not make it likely that the King of France will get men from that quarter, nor that he is a favourite there; and as he founds his hopes on the erring cantons, the others, that are Catholic, are less well disposed towards him and show better will to me, and to a closer confederation with me, than they do to the Pope or the King of France.
I am giving you so full an account of the above matters that you may understand the import of all that has occurred since you left. It may be that the King of France, seeing that many of his enterprises have vanished into smoke, will make some suggestions for a closer alliance when you are on your way through Lorraine, or on your return to Flanders. In that event you may lend an ear to him in conformity with the conclusions the King my brother, you and myself arrived at recently, of which, complying with the request you made on your departure, I will now recall to you the substance. If, as might easily happen while you are in the neighbourhood of Lorraine, any member of the house of Guise or any representative of the Cardinal of Lorraine were to meet you, you might assure him that you left me as willing as ever to listen to proposals for a better understanding, in spite of the fact that they (the French) have been talking in the Levant, in Italy and with the leagues here in a manner little calculated to encourage me to remain in the same mind, for they ought to be sincere on their side if any good is to come of it. You may say that I have always desired, particularly in the late King's day, that the Cardinal and M. de Guise would busy themselves in this matter, building on the affection they showed for me when the Treaty of Crpy was passed and later; and that when our niece the Duchess wrote to me about it at their request, I answered her in the same tone, and have since continued equally well disposed. And as they are now in favour and the Cardinal is the chief director of affairs, it would give me great pleasure if he cared to take up so good a cause, trusting as I do in his, and all the Guises' honour, believing that they will proceed with all good faith, and that what they negotiate will be observed. Also, the Cardinal could hardly choose a matter more nicely suited to his rank and profession, or one that would bring him and his family greater credit and renown. You may shorten or lengthen this speech as you see occasion requires, not forgetting that you will never be able to make sure of the Constable by trying to keep him out of this negotiation or by letting him see that you do not trust him.
If such a conversation takes place you may let me know about it, and also write to my ambassador in France of what has happened, and particularly how he had better approach the said Constable in order to persuade him that in him I put my chief trust, because of the honesty and good will of which he gave proof when the last peace was made, and that you spoke as you did (in Lorraine) because the matter came up, and also to enable the Constable to accomplish much, as you remember he himself was glad of such help when I was negotiating with the Cardinal of Lorraine. And that you went so far as to speak in that manner, being yourself very anxious to further so good a cause and knowing my own wishes, but always taking it for granted that his (the Constable's) opinion would weigh most of all. If there is no talk of this nature while you are near Lorraine, and if an opportunity occurs on your return to Flanders, you may report my intentions as above if you see them willing to do their share sincerely and straightforwardly. You will inform me of what you are able to find out, and, if necessary, write to my said ambassador that he may discover, as far as he is able, how your reply is being taken in France, and if there is any prospect of advancing the matter successfully. He must take care to see whether the Constable wishes to handle it all himself or prefers to give others a share, especially the Cardinal of Lorraine; and he must sound the intentions of the said Cardinal and other members of his family, and inform me about it in order that I may know what course to take.
If the person who confers with you raises any particular points, as might easily happen, such as the marriage of my son with the Lady Margaret of France, the confirmation of treaties, the payments due to the Duke of Savoy or the differences between the French and English, you may reply to each as follows.
Touching the said marriage, say that you positively know me to be as willing to treat now as formerly, as I gave the Constable to understand through my ambassador. That is to say, that I would consent if by means of the marriage a peace such as God's service and Christendom's welfare require might be established, not forgetting what is due to the Duke of Savoy and the Prince of Piedmont, his son. Refer for details to the ambassador's declarations.
You may also refer to my written instructions to the ambassador regarding the observance of former treaties. And their tenor is that I am sure that if the Constable considers the matter fairly, he will freely confess that honour and reason demand full observance of the treaties on the part of the French.
Make it clear that I am most anxious to come to a satisfactory settlement of the Duke of Savoy's affairs, and that if the King of France were willing to suggest means, I should be glad to do all in my power to help, as I have always declared. Do not venture to make any definite statements that might seem to run counter to my engagements towards the said Duke and Prince, or that might give the French an opportunity for making capital out of your words. You will do quite enough if you limit yourself to insisting that the French ought to make a plain declaration of such conditions as they may be willing to suggest, without accepting or refusing anything.
Speaking of this point, I will inform you that, while this letter was being written, M. de Julin came to M. de Granvelle and said that the Prince, his master, had had news from his father of the reception of letters from Mnage, formerly ambassador in my court, to the effect that the King of France was still disposed to negotiate with the said Duke and Prince, but keeping back Piedmont, or if he were to restore that, he wished to keep other places and in their stead give. . . . (illegible because of a tear in the sheet) without specifying which, or where situated. But, as far as the said Julin understood, the Duke of Savoy was decided not to negotiate unless he received all. This shows that the French are doing and will do all they can to treat with him, and that they are not as firm as they were about the retention of Piedmont; if what Julin says is true.
As for England, you may frame your reply in generalities, saying that we did not enter into details on that subject, and that you have nothing to say beyond what was declared to the Admiral and Chancellor of France when in Flanders, and what they know of the treaties I made with the late King of England. But you may add that you are certain I will do all I can to bring about peace and a settlement of all difficulties between the two countries.
Our guiding principle should be to attempt to discover how the French are disposed towards the establishment of a better understanding, and accordingly to know how far we may go in that direction, and by what means. And you will obtain a good opportunity for doing this by continually holding up to them, and assuring them of our great desire to meet them half-way, and that you only wish them to show their intentions, in order that you may the better serve their cause by giving me a straightforward account of what they tell you. But if you find them cold, and see that we would merely waste time and risk making them all the more insolent by going further in the matter, it would be better to temporise and wait to see if time and good management will render them more tractable. And this I leave to your discretion, being sure that they will not outwit you. (The rest of the letter refers to the disputed possession of a place called La Motte.)
Augsburg, 20 March, 1548.
March 26. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager. (fn. 7)
Madam: In recent letters I have told your Majesty of the French expedition to help the Scots. Preparations have been continued so fast that the expedition was publicly announced to-day, and is to be put into effect with as great despatch as possible. It is believed that it will consist of 6,000 foot, 200 men-at-arms and 500 light horse. Among the foot-soldiers there are three companies of Italians from Piedmont, who are now supposed to be at Nantes, as they were embarked some time ago at Roanne-sur-Loire. There may be about thirty armed ships without counting the galleys which are to take on board a number of French soldiers from the Boulonnais, but it is uncertain which course the fleet will steer, whether it will choose the route by Brittany or make for the straits of Calais. The English ambassador is desperately anxious to discover this, for he told me in confidence that the English are resolved to attack the French at sea if they are able to, and to spare them still less on land, for he well knows that the French are pushing on their preparations as fast as possible, and only seek to gain time until the expedition is entirely ready. So true is this that the King of France is sending every day to Brest to hasten matters and is doing his utmost, so that it is said that one force will leave by the end of April, and the galleys soon after if the weather permit. I am convinced that the galleys will take the same course as last year, wherefore it will be necessary to keep an eye on the Emperor's ports.
When the English ambassador saw that preparations for war were being continued, he complained to the King of France that such action was contrary to the treaty and to friendly relations. The King replied that he was bound to help the Scots by treaties passed long ago between France and Scotland, though for his part he had always wished that the English quarrel with Scotland might be made up and still wished it so much that he would offer to take a share in the negotiations, but while matters remained in their present shape, he could not do otherwise than assist the Scots. By so doing he was in no sense infringing the said treaty, because by its provisions the Scots were included in the peace, and the King of England had refused to observe this point. He certainly did not mean to break the peace with England by sending assistance to Scotland, any more than the English would do so were they to assist the Emperor if attacked by him, as indeed they would be obliged to do by their treaties. And the ambassador has been unable to get any other reply out of the King or his ministers, say what he would. Several French captains are going in the expedition, and some Italians, but it has not yet been made public who is to command it, though some mention the Marquis du Maine for that post, and Andelot as colonel of the infantry. The King of France recently sent one of his own gentlemen to the Queen of Scotland to tell her that she should soon be succoured, and not long before his ambassador in that country, M. Basel (?), carried her the same tidings. The other day a good quantity of the lately forged artillery was sent by water from Paris to le Havre for the expedition, and most of the troops are being raised in Brittany, Poitiers and the neighbourhood of Angers. Well, Madam, we shall see what exploits they perform, and whether they will come back as brave as they set out, for to hear them talk one would think nothing was impossible to them or their King.
In spite of the fact that this expedition is so nearly ready, the French and English are nonetheless negotiating about sending commissaries from both sides to settle the differences resulting from several incidents that call into question the interpretation of their last treaty, as far as Boulogne is concerned. And this is quite certain, for the English ambassador confessed it to me, saying that the origin of it had been that he demanded the payment of the pension which was due. The French answered that they would be willing to pay the pension, provided that all the other difficulties arising from the said treaty should be settled, offering for their part to send commissaries to whatever place might be selected, and particularly pointing out that it would be well to clear up the matter of handing over the money for Boulogne, where the English should take possession of the sum, and how, as it was so large, and this had not been provided for by the last treaty. They also raised some other questions which have formerly come up, considering that it would be wise to solve them all. The ambassador told me that the Protector and Council had been glad to enter into communication, and that he had been selected as a commissary, with Mnage on the French side, so that nothing remained but that the commission should be despatched, for all the rest was ready. I enquired from the said ambassador what he hoped the result of the communication would be, taking into consideration that the English were still at war with the French, who notoriously assisted the Scots, their enemies, and asked him whether he had any hope of settling that matter, and if they would treat of it in the coming negotiation. He replied, Madam, that he hoped that if all their differences were not speedily disposed of, some at least might be, but the English were determined not to hand back Boulogne before the time appointed by the treaty, and nothing at all was going to be said about Scotland, for the Protector had decided to bring that business to a conclusion, and to force the Scots with a strong hand to fulfil that which they had solemnly sworn and promised by the last treaty; indeed it was expected that the Protector would undertake the journey to Scotland by land, to put heart into his army. My opinion, Madam, is that the French have proposed this communication in order to keep the English from declaring war on them, and also to give their own subjects to understand that they are at peace with England, for the French people are afraid the Emperor and the King of England may join arms against them, because of the help they are giving the Scots. And I take it that the English, having their hands full in Scotland, are happy enough to treat and mask their real intentions, which, from what I hear from their ambassador, are one day to give the French a practical token of their gratitude for the help given to their enemies. The commission ought to have been despatched a month ago, only the French have not yet sent theirs, though they were the first to put their irons in the fire (i.e. to suggest a negotiation); and the English would like to know the cause of the delay.
I have heard in confidence from Olsacius that the King intends to attempt something against Boulogne while the English are busy in Scotland, and has two artillery-men here who are promising him wonders, especially to mine Boulogne castle. He also told me that for the last twenty days twelve men from Picardy have been here, and assert that they have an understanding with the people inside Boulogne, holding great hopes of having the town handed over. I have ascertained through other persons that these individuals stayed a long time here in Paris, at the Golden Cross hostelry in the Faubourg St. Germain, at the King's expense, and never left the house. Now they have gone to Fontainebleau. Olsacius says that the French may attack Boulemberg near Boulogne, for they are informed that that castle is in very bad repair. I have heard that the English ambassador is informed of this, and nonetheless continues to urge the French to hold a peaceable consultation; and I doubt not that the French will do so when they see that their moves are discovered.
The above, Madam, is all I have been able to learn about French relations with England, except that a few days ago the English ambassador here complained about the taking of some English ships by Scottish pirates, and that they took their booty to St. Valry, and were welcomed in this kingdom. He has obtained no reply as yet, but according to what I hear the King will declare that the prizes were lawfully seized, and that he intends to remain neutral, admitting in his harbours prizes taken on both sides. If this is the case, it will serve the more to feed the flame.
Melun, 26 March, 1548.
March 27. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Council of State.
(The first part of this letter reviews the chances that the French will make war on the Emperor the same year. The ambassador thinks not, as they are so busy in Scotland, though an unforeseen incident might upset all calculations.)
Speaking of the Prior of Capua and the island of Walcheren, I have heard from the Florentine ambassador, who sees much of some of the Strozzi's intimate friends, that for this year the Prior has no other instructions than to proceed with his galleys to Scotland and besiege Broughty Craig castle from the sea, whilst the land force also make their attack. Paquelon has told me the same, adding that if the Prior has any idea of visiting Walcheren, it is only a question of taking shelter there in case of a heavy storm. I have heard similar accounts from the Portuguese ambassador here resident and certainly, my Lords, I have been unable to scent out anything about attacking Zeeland. In any case the French could not do it until their Scottish expedition is over, which may give them more trouble than they look for, and they cannot think of undertaking so many different things at once. It is true that they are strong at sea with their thirty armed ships and galleys, but everyone says all is for Scotland. And I have heard from a good source that the King has decided to send someone to pray the Queen Dowager (Regent of the Netherlands) to afford shelter to his ships if sea-luck force them to ask for it, as he for his part would always welcome the Emperor's. Nonetheless, as they are so well armed, it will be well to be on our guard and not trust them, as all their deeds warn us. The French have already said that the Prior has had certain ports in Zeeland examined, but only with the idea of running in there with his ships if we are willing to allow him to do so as a friend. . . .
Melun, 27 March, 1548.
April 2. Paris K. 1488. The Queen Dowager to the Emperor.
(A letter giving an account of several conversations between the Queen Dowager and M. de Guise, in which the Queen's attitude is that indicated in the Emperor's instructions to her of 20 March. Guise states over and over again that the King of France is anxious to be good friends with the Emperor, but avoids making any definite statement, only hinting that the chief obstacle in the way of an agreement is the question of Savoy.)
The next day, after I had thought the matter over, we continued our conversation, and M. de Guise found an opening to say that the current report that your Majesty wished to declare war on the French had made this negotiation somewhat suspicious in their eyes. I told him I could assure him that your Majesty had never thought of such a thing, and the French would have had to have given very great provocation before your Majesty would have become angry, considering the devotion you had always shown in the cause of peace. The assurance your Majesty had given that your intentions were far otherwise than warlike must prevail, for the French had learnt by experience how firm your Majesty was to keep your word, which no one could say you had ever broken. This he frankly confessed, giving me an opportunity for saying clearly that the French would do well to confirm their friendship with your Majesty, in order that I might have no suspicions of their sincerity; though I saw they had so many troops massed near our frontier that the very first thing I should do on my return to the Low Countries would be to strengthen our side, and raise men to strengthen it still more if need were to arise. He assured me that their only reason for having troops in Picardy was their imperfect understanding with the English, and that they had been obliged to destroy a fort the English had built in violation of the treaty. I told him that, as he wished me to speak frankly, I would inform him that he might be sure we knew how many troops the English had on this side of the sea, and that the English could not reinforce their garrisons without the French knowing about it first, being obliged to transport their men over the sea. Therefore it was evident that the force they need keep up against the English was not at the present as large as they seemed to think, seeing that they would always have time to reinforce before the English could do so. He might remember that all princes are jealous of their states, and be certain that I, by reason of my post, could not allow troops to be massed near the frontier of my government without fortifying my side in return, for however well the two princes might be disposed, a disagreement over one word might lead to very evil consequences. M. de Guise asked me whether I would stop raising men if they withdrew their people. I replied that if the cause they were giving me ceased I would also stop, for in this I would be guided by them, not wishing to be taken by surprise. He told me he would endeavour to have the French troops withdrawn, asking me if I thought that the best course. I told him that as he asked my opinion I would say to him that I agreed, because such things could only breed mistrust and possibilities of something worse. He replied that mine was the correct view, for he was sure your Majesty's intentions were good, as he knew his own master's to be.
Metz, 2 April, 1548.
April 6. Paris K. 1488. News sent by St. Mauris to Prince Philip.
(Detailed accounts of happenings in Italy. The King of France has had the Marquis of Saluzzo taken prisoner, under the pretext that he had plotted with Don Fernando Gonzaga to hand over Turin to the Imperialists, but in reality in order to seize his state and unite it to the French Crown. The French say their King may well do this if the Emperor is to be allowed to continue fortifying Piombino. French hopes of winning over the Duke of Florence. A dispute about precedence between the ambassadors of the Dukes of Florence and Ferrara.)
As for making war this year, the common opinion of gentlemen, merchants and other respectable folk is that the King of France will not do so, though he will see to it that he be in a position to suffer no move of his Majesty's on the frontier, but resist in arms, without, however, intending to fight unless peace is broken (by his Majesty).
The said King went to see his children a short time ago and stayed several days, because of a cold he had caught while playing at ball. During this interval he went to Paris in disguise to see his new artillery, most of which he tested, and at the same time went to the Louvre to inspect a new room which his father began not long before his death. It is said that this room is most excellent and rich in decoration; and the artillery is very good and in great quantity, more being cast every day. They say they have 1,800 quintaux (fn. 8) of gun-powder, such an amount that the King has ordered no more to be made, but good store of saltpeter to be collected. The French sometimes make things out bigger than they are in reality, and for all they say they have not stopped turning out about two quintaux of powder a day at Paris.
It is known for certain here that the Constable spoke the other day with great anger about the German captains (fn. 9) who had been beheaded, saying that the Emperor might remember there were in this court subjects of the King of France to whom the King might find an opportunity for doing what the Emperor had done to his subjects for having entered the French service. Perhaps this was meant for Montfalconet and the rest, who had better be on their guard, for it seems the King of France considers himself deeply insulted by the punishment referred to, so much so that they say he will revenge himself sooner or later, and will wait for a good occasion. When the news of the said captains' death were published here, knights and populace unanimously demanded amends, and were of the opinion that in return the King ought to do the same with the Emperor's subjects to be found in these parts, and even with his Majesty's ambassador. The Cardinal of Lorraine was greatly scandalised about it, and being at the time in Paris made mighty lamentations in the presence of the Queen Dowager (the Emperor's sister), saying that his Majesty had done the King a grave wrong, and losing all measure in his speech. This bears witness of their resentment, but the worst of it is that they care nothing for the right, and are only moved by pure prejudice, disappointment and rage. The conclusion they all come to is that the King will revenge himself, and they seem to consider the outrage all the greater because they hold their King to be the first among all princes, and so great that all others ought to bow before him, and yet to have been scurvily treated. They add that the Emperor, by being so blind and ruthless, has only injured himself and invited ruin to overwhelm his fortunes. But after all, this is nothing but French bragging, for their bark is always worse than their bite.
For several days past a German captain who was turned out of Moret(?) has been here, and Brissac has communicated with him frequently. It has transpired that his name is Maximilian Hopp and that he is in the Count Palatine's (i.e. the Rhinegrave's) service. He has come in the rebels' name to ask for pecuniary help from the King of France, in order to stir up as much trouble as he can in those parts. They say the King of France has listened to him and promised him secret assistance if he is sure anything may be accomplished, and he goes so far as to say that he is able to raise troops in north-western Germany and lead them to Friesland or Gelders.
The French are spreading a report that the King of Denmark is going back to his Majesty, who has brought this about by persuading him that his object was not to subjugate all Germany and make the state of Denmark a dependency of it. But the French say the King of Denmark may well believe the contrary, and they make certain he will be seized. For this reason the King of France has recently sent envoys to confirm and cement afresh the ancient friendship and alliance that existed between the King of Denmark and the late King of France, and also to the King of Sweden, assuring him that he will find in him a prince who keeps his word and acts in good faith. All these negotiations are carried on through the Low Countries by means of go-betweens the King has there, especially in Antwerp and other towns, according to what they say here.
M. de Chtillon returned here a few days ago, bringing news from the fort near Boulogne that some Scottish pirates had taken certain English ships in the Channel between Boulogne and Calais. The French are delighted about this, and say that the prizes shall not be given up even if taken into a French port, for the King of France is bound to favour the Scots. But the English ambassador says that the prize was nothing but a boat loaded with wood which was making for Boulogne, and that when the Scots were proceeding with the boat to St. Valry in order to sell the wood there, they were persuaded to put into Boulogne by one of the English prisoners, but when quite near Boulogne harbour they were seized by people from St. Valry. This explanation caused great merriment. Chtillon also brought tidings that the captains in the fort near Boulogne have been murdered by their own men, which has made a painful impression here, as the captains were good soldiers who had served the King faithfully.
It is known here for a fact that, now the German soldiers in the French service have seen the fate of the three captains, they fear that when they return home to Germany the same may befall them, and are anxious to leave France at once. The King of France, fearing that they may steal off in small companies, has placed bands of cavalry on the roads to break them up and make them come back. The King feels to his very entrails the prohibition against taking troops out of Germany, for his ministers had intended to levy a large number there this year, though they absolutely deny this. Count Piquelin (?) promises to do his best to remedy this matter, for he is now living in Paris, and is anxious to obtain from the King some post which may enable him to support his household.
Olsacius' letter has made it known that the King of France is greatly alarmed by Germany's consent to give the Emperor help against the Pope and his league; so much so that he immediately sent to the Pope telling him that their best course would be to deny flatly the existence of any such league. Consequently not much has been said here of late about the confederation, and Olsacius affirms that the King is sorely afraid that the states of the Empire may be ill-disposed towards him for having interfered with the Council of Trent, and that the Emperor may have animated them. Therefore the King is determined to write to the electors privately and justify himself, assuring them of his desire to see Germany united and to remain firm in the friendship his father cultivated with German princes and potentates, and adding that he intends to complain of the wrong the Emperor inflicted on him by killing three captains in his despite.
It is known here that the King is levying men secretly without sound of drum, and sending part of them to Lyons, but it is said that they are to be put into garrisons in Piedmont, whence troops have been sent to Scotland, and that the King has decided to have nothing but French soldiers in Piedmont. When his force returns from Scotland he will send the Italians that come with it towards Boulogne.
A short time ago news arrived here that most of Gascony resented the heavy taxes the King had laid upon the province this year, and that some great popular movement might be the result.
The people of Paris have protested so much against the charges weighing upon their city that the King has been half-obliged to remit 600,000 francs which were granted under compulsion in exchange for 80,000 crowns (fn. 10), at the risk of causing a revolt. It is said publicly in this kingdom that if the King goes on next year extorting so much money the farmers will have to leave their houses, to such an extent are the people impoverished and starved, not to speak of the fact that they now see the King deceived them when he said the Emperor intended to make war on France. However, it seems they will have to pay, and the money is being raked in and carried to the Louvre as fast as possible, where 200,000 crowns were deposited when the King was in Paris in disguise, for he wished to be present when this was done, showing the greatest desire to put by money.
Peter Strozzi came back the other day from Italy to give the King an account of his proceedings against the Marquis of Saluzzo, which most of the gentlemen here dislike, and censure most violently his strange behaviour towards the Marquis. It is not yet known how the King of France will take it; in any case he welcomed Strozzi kindly, has talked long with him while hunting, and given him a sword.
They say here that the same Strozzi is going to Scotland as colonel of the Italians, and he is believed to have started for Nantes already. This is not quite certain, but he is reported to have done everything in his power to avoid going, and the Constable, perhaps wishing to get rid of him, insisted that he should go, telling him in a multitude of words that he would never find any employment of greater service to the King or honour to himself.
(The letter ends with news relating to plans for the marriage of Jeanne d'Albret with M. de Vendme. The report is being circulated that the Emperor had been anxious to wed her to Prince Philip.)
April 14. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. Edward VI to the Emperor.
As, in accordance with the advice of our dear and well-beloved uncle, the Duke of Somerset, Governor of our person and Protector of our realms and dominions, we have decided to withdraw our dear and trusty Councillor, the Bishop of Westminster, at present our ambassador at your court, with the intention of employing him in other of our affairs here, and as we desire by all means to continue and keep up the ancient friendship, alliance, confederation and intelligence existing between the two countries, we desire to send in his stead to fulfil the duties of ambassador our dear and well-beloved Councillor Philip Hoby, knight, gentleman of our privy chamber. We pray you that, as long as the said Philip Hoby remains with you, you may be willing to grant him favourable access to your person and benevolent audience, as the perfect and mutual friendship binding us requires, and that you may place all trust and confidence in what he shall expose to you from time to time on our behalf, as you would in ourself were we with you in person.
London, 14 April, 1548.
April 20. Paris K. 1488. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: I wrote to your Majesty in my last letters of what was passing between the Kings of France and England in the matter of the communication which was to take place on the frontier in order to settle their differences. Since then I have heard from the English ambassador that one of their principal commissaries has fallen ill, and that consequently proceedings might be delayed. This he said to me with such an expression on his face that I could see the English, for their part, had very small desire that the communication should go any further, and he finally confessed it to me, saying he did not know how it would all end, but many members of the Council had cooled towards the King of France because he had declared against them by sending help to Scotland. It was true the King talked as if he did not intend to break the peace for all that, but this was merely dissimulation, as he very well saw, and it was of little use to settle differences on one side while war was being waged on the other against the English by the King of France. Thus openly did the ambassador speak to me, and added that not long ago he had made the indisposition of one of the commissaries an excuse for putting off the communication, and the King had taken it so ill that the Constable was much cast down, and even went so far as to say that the English were making fun of the King. We shall see what happens if this continues.
I enquired, Madam, from the ambassador whether anything beyond what he had told me had happened between them relative to the help sent to Scotland. He told me that he had heard nothing more about it, though he had again informed the King that he might not send this help without infringing the last treaty, in which it was expressly laid down that, if the Scots broke with England, the French were not to assist them, in spite of which the French had notoriously taken a castle by force that the English had held since the late wars, to say nothing of the outrage perpetrated at St. Andrews. The King answered that he was doing nothing in violation of the treaty, for the English had refused to include the Scots in the peace, and he was obliged to assist them by treaties made long before between the Scots and his predecessors. So matters are continuing in this manner, the French dissimulating on one side and acting on the other; and they say here that before the question be examined in good feeling there will be a rupture, and in that case the King of France will do his best to crush the English. There is a rumour in these parts that Peter Strozzi, who is commander of the fleet, has orders to fall upon the English if he meets them, and he asserts that he will do it whatever befall, showing great desire to do so, and hatred of the English, wishing as he does to climb to the top of his fortune with some mighty and memorable deed.
April 20. Paris K. 1488. The Emperor to the Queen Dowager.
In reply to your letters of the 2nd April, which I have read carefully, you have acted with great prudence in your conversation with M. de Guise on the possibility of a better understanding. Judging by M. de Guise's remarks it looks as if his master's intentions were favourable, especially as the Master of Requests, Mnage, came with him, though I have heard from France that he was sent to help Guise in his administration of the Duchy of Burgundy. Whatever the truth of this may be, we shall soon be able to discover how much there is in what Guise said, and whether the negotiation may be continued. What was written to my ambassador in France is quite right, and he will perhaps ascertain more from the Constable and from Guise himself if, as he seems to intend, he goes to court. If it were found that the matter might proceed successfully, the best course would be to sound the Frenchmen's intentions before Guise or any one else comes to me, and I should prefer this to be done in your court, so do not refuse to see any envoy of theirs, but rather welcome him as I should do in your place. In dealing with him you may make use of my letters that you received not long ago in Lorraine, probing as far as you can what the French are willing to do, and if they care to state any point of the new treaty you may answer them according to my said letters dealing with the principal headings which they will probably wish to discuss, and which in truth are those that are like to give trouble. For the present nothing more occurs to me, as the French have so far made no declaration, and you write nothing about which any opinion may be given. I have no doubt you are aware that Guise says what he thinks, and one may believe he spoke with the best intentions, but the deciding factor in the matter is Cardinal Guise, his son, or the Constable, and we must consequently pay more attention to them than to Guise himself, and if we are to accomplish anything it would be better that the Cardinal should come to me instead of his father, for if his father comes they are certain to give him definite and limited instructions without any authority to exceed them. Therefore do your best, though if Guise has to come we will do what we can to treat with him with all advisable reason and fairness, and it is unlikely that his son will let him come unless he is provided with the authority to treat. Still, taking everything into consideration, it is probable that the French will first wish to know what is to be discussed, and, as I said. I should greatly prefer them to send to you for this purpose. However, if they send to me I will enlighten them, and do you for your part act as you see occasion demands. We must see to it that in this business, whether it is undertaken here or where you are, the French do not behave as Brissac did the last time he was here, when he had no sooner arrived than he used words and made statements that in no sense furthered his suit for a better understanding, a matter which was not improved by the Constable's subsequent repudiation of what Brissac, Mnage and Marillac, who is ambassador here, put forward on behalf of their King, namely what they said about their master's wish to keep and fulfil the treaties which as Marillac afterwards owned, was in accordance with express instructions.
Augsburg, 20 April, 1548.
April 25. Paris K. 1488. St. Mauris to Prince Philip.
(Extract from a letter in cipher dealing mainly with Italian affairs. Murder of Ribot, commander of Saluzzo castle, it is said at the instigation of the French who wish to seize the place. Rumour that Don Fernando Gonzaga was going to pay the Marquis of Saluzzo 10,000 crowns for handing the castle over to him. More French indignation about Vogelsberg's execution.)
The Admiral's band of 40 lances is being sent from here to Scotland together with his son's, also of 40, Gernac's (?) also of the same number, and another 40 levied in Brittany, as well as 300 light horse. The said Gernac is going in person, and with him the Admiral and his son, and they say here that just as the Constable when he was ill sent his band to the Boulogne frontier, so the Admiral is doing now with the gendarmerie. The French have decided to seize the English fleet's provisions, and Andelot has started already, taking many gentlemen with him among whom is M. d'tages. The Vidame of Chartres also wished to go, but the King would not permit it, telling him he wished to keep him and some others for more important enterprises. They say he will go to Scotland to reinforce the 1,000 West-German foot soldiers. It is calculated that the King's expenses for the fleet that is going to Scotland are to be very heavy, and will come to over 300,000 crowns a month, especially as the fleet is large and the King is obliged to pay part of the Scottish troops, for the Scots are unable to raise their ordinary supply because of the territory they have lost. The King has decided to seize as much as he can of property belonging to Scots who have submitted to England. The French are continually urging his Holiness to supply for this war the money he said he would contribute when the late King of France made war on the English, on which occasion the matter remained pending because the King of France demanded more than the Pope was willing to give. They say that the amount he is to contribute for this war is 4,000 men, and he is to give the equivalent in money. By the way, the Pope has banked 300,000 crowns at Lyons, and some say this sum is destined for the purchase of the lands which are to be acquired in France for the Lord Orazio; it may be for the one thing or the other. Report has it that the nuncio who is going to Scotland has not received his instructions, and is therefore prevented from sailing with the fleet, but will follow later when he sees what happens.
May 3. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 22. The Queen Dowager to St. Mauris.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
Touching the warning you gave me some time past that the King of France would request me to receive in a friendly manner his men-of-war and galleys if, under stress of weather or otherwise, they wish to put in to Zeeland or any other harbours in these parts, the members of the Council have written to his Majesty to know his pleasure, and how they are to behave. They have also informed him that, as the said ships and galleys are going to assist his Majesty's enemies the Scots, who never cease robbing, pillaging and attacking his Majesty's subjects both of Spain and of these parts, if we are prepared we ought to treat them as enemies and fall upon them. For if the King of France, without breaking the treaties, may send help to his Majesty's enemies, then for the same reason, also without breaking the treaties, his Majesty may treat as enemies those who are going to serve his enemies the Scots. Besides, by his Majesty's treaty with the King of England, which was reserved by the treaty of Crpy, he is bound not to give shelter in his harbours to the enemies of England or those who are assisting them directly or indirectly. Hence he would be unable to treat the French as friends without giving the English cause for resentment, and risking a quarrel with them. On receipt of this letter his Majesty commanded me not to allow any of the ships or galleys going to Scotland to enter my harbours, nor do I think it would be reasonable to allow them for the above reasons. I am informing you of this in order that if any French ships or galleys find their way to these parts and are not treated according to their fancy, and the French make a grand pother about it as usual, you may with all due modesty speak to the King and Constable and beg them to consider that the Scots are his Majesty's enemies, and also his Majesty's treaty obligations towards the English against whom the said assistance is directed, for which reasons I cannot allow their ships to enter my harbours. And request them to see to it that their said ships do not interfere with his Majesty's subjects, or allow others to interfere with them, that the friendly relations his Majesty desires to keep up with the King of France may not suffer. I have written again to his Majesty asking him to let you know what else you are to do. Besides, fearing the said ships and galleys might find some places unprepared and, using the Scots' name as an excuse, arrest or pillage his Majesty's subjects, I am levying a number of foot soldiers to guard the coast. If the French ask you about this you may say that these men are only intended to guard the seaboard, as I have heard by common report that their ships and galleys are going to pass through the straits between Dover and Calais. . . .
May 8. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 22. The Queen Dowager to St. Mauris.
(Extract from a minute, the first part of which gives an account of a conversation the Queen has had with M. de Biron, repeating the substance of her letter of 3 May. She reminds St. Mauris that the main points are two: first, that the Emperor cannot be expected to afford shelter to those who are assisting his enemies; second, that the Emperor's treaty with the King of England obliges him to refuse shelter to those who are assisting the enemies of England with men, money or supplies. She continues:)
I do not know whether the French have a duplicate of the said treaty, since they are trying to rob its words of their meaning: and the treaty was not passed before the last war but during it, to wit in the month of February, 1542, reckoning from Easter (i.e., February 1543 New Style (fn. 11) ) and its words are so clear that it is impossible to disguise them.
As for the Constable's remarks to you to the effect that in the late King's (of France) lifetime we extended this privilege to soldiers coming from Scotland who found themselves obliged to pass through Zeeland, that is true, but we did it because, out of consideration for the late King, we had agreed to temporise with the Scots with the hope of treating with them. The Scots pretended to be willing to do this until, by virtue of the treaty between France and England, they imagined themselves to be at peace with the English, and then declared openly that they were the Emperor's enemies, in spite of the fact that we had sent them fair speech by our envoy, Secretary Strick, as we have already told you. And if relations between Scotland and this country had remained the same as they were in the late King's day, namely from the treaty of Crpy to the last treaty between France and England, we would now act as we acted then, but as the Scots, since the treaty between France and England was passed, have refused our friendship and declared themselves our enemies, we cannot treat them otherwise than as they wish. But this does not at all mean that I have less regard for the new King than I had for the King his father.
Also, our intention neither has been nor is to treat the Scots' friends as enemies, any more than the late King held the Emperor as an enemy after the treaty of Crpy, because the Emperor was the King of England's friend, and he of France his enemy. But this is not the question, as for my part I mean not only to maintain amity between the two princes, but increase it if I can. The question is whether we ought to admit into our harbours the ships that are being sent to the Scots' assistance, in giving which little heed seems to be paid to the friendly relations existing between the King and the Emperor.
The Constable says that the French are still at peace with England, in spite of the aid sent to Scotland, which consequently ought not to trouble their friendship with the Emperor. But I believe they know very well that if the English fall in with forces proceeding to the Scots' relief they will go for them with a will, and will not allow themselves to be attacked without putting up a defence.
As for admitting their shipping into these ports, I have never made any difficulty about it, and shall always see to it that those that come as merchantmen, and such as are not going to Scotland, be well treated, nor shall I allow them to be ill-used because of the aid sent to Scotland. I trust the King of France may observe the same conduct towards the Flemish ships that enter his harbours, and not treat our merchantmen as if they were going to help enemies of France.
If the Constable confesses that we cannot reasonably be expected to take in their fleet, he ought to confess by the same token that I, having heard by common report that their fleet was going to pass between Dover and Calais, had just cause to make the remonstrance that you have addressed to the King on my behalf. Touching the galleys that might be forced into our ports by sea-luck, their's is a peculiar case, and if a small number, such as three or four, came pursued by a storm we should not treat them as enemies. However, if a greater number arrived we could not take them in, and for this reason we wish they might find a better way, in order to avoid all friction and other regrettable consequences that sometimes follow when men-at-arms meet together. And as the French have no reason whatever for ill-treating Flemish ships in France, if they do so we shall have to act as the occasion demands.
With these arguments, if they are willing to listen in good faith, you may justify what I had said to the King and Constable in order to avoid injuring the friendship between the King and the Emperor, in which there was nothing they ought to resent. On the contrary if they will be reasonable, and suppose for a moment that things were in the same position on their side as they now are on mine and that I were sending help to their enemies, they will admit that they would not grant me passage through their realm or show me any favour. And you are to remember that the most important point is that we do not hold the King or his subjects as enemies because of the aid they are sending to Scotland, as long as they commit no act of hostility against the Emperor's dominions and subjects. . . .
Binche, 8 May, 1548.
June 25. Simancas E. 1318. Don Juan de Mendoza to Prince Philip.
My last letter to your Highness, dated 26th May, contained the news from the Levant (fn. 12) I had received up to that time. I am now sending you in another letter what I have heard by despatches dated 20th and 24th May. The Seigniory has not communicated any news to me, nor have I expected any; for they first manufacture their news to suit themselves, and then publish abroad what they see fit.
In the last few days the populace began to say that the Duke of Ferrara was taking a hand in the negotiations for a league (fn. 13) that are being carried on, and soon afterwards the rumour rose higher than the people. When I heard this and considered the effect it might have on the Venetians, the Duke being powerful and a near neighbour, it seemed to me opportune to create a diversion. So I said to someone, who might write my remarks to the proper quarter, that either the Duke was innocent or he was not. If he was involved in this business he should be welcome, and if not he ought to do something to clear himself, either writing to court or to me, as I was so near. Two days ago the ambassadors of Urbino and Ferrara came to me separately and both told me on the Duke's behalf that he had heard the rumour, and it was not strange that I should have got wind of it. As for the league I might be certain of his innocence, and as for taking charge of La Mirandola (about which there had also been gossip) he would not agree to it without the Emperor's leave, and if he obtained it the Emperor should have La Mirandola at his disposal as he already had the Duke's other possessions. I replied what seemed most fitting, and have published this information in order to calm the agitated spirits of this Republic, to upset the great influence the Pope and the King of France are trying to make people believe they possess with the Duke, and also to sow mistrust between the Duke and the Venetians.
His Serene Highness the Archduke Maximilian enters Trent to-day. The Seigniory has ordered the Captain of Vicenza and the Podest of Verona to proceed to the frontier of the state to receive him; at Mantua great preparations await him, and Don Fernando (Gonzaga) is to be present.
Venice, 25 June, 1548.
July 5 to 16. Paris K. 1488. Advices of Events in Scotland from 5th July to 16th July 1548.
Advices of July 5th.
The French ships were scattered by violent gales in such a manner that not more than twenty to twenty-five remained together in the harbour. It is not known what has happened to the rest and five of the galleys, except for the five that were lost: two on the sands near Leith, two near Musselburgh and one off Kelso (sic). Yesterday the enemy (French and Scots) bombarded Vindames (fn. 14) and Burnmouth (Bulemet), and afterwards made an assault, but those within met them valiantly and killed a good many, a great captain among the rest. The garrison has strengthened the fortifications of Burnmouth to such an extent that the bombardment appears to have done no lasting damage.
The Regent and M. d'Ess, being informed that the bars of some of the town-gates had been removed and that there was a breach convenient for an assault, went with a large number of seasoned soldiers to reconnoitre the breach, but those within discharged nine or ten pieces of artillery at once, killing four or five and carrying away the legs of the bravest of them. At this the Regent and M. d' Ess retired in haste.
Advice of July 8th.
Lord Grey, fearing that the defenders of Haddington might run short of powder, sent 400 good English and Spanish soldiers, every man of whom bore twenty pounds of powder, which they carried straight through the enemies' camp, and reached the town in safety. He also sent 200 light horse to escort the others, and they attacked the camp, taking some of the enemy prisoners and killing others, and returned without losing a single man.
Advice of July 9th.
The Queen of Scotland came up behind the church that lies outside Haddington to reconnoitre and see the town, but such a storm of cannon-balls from the town broke over her and those who were with her, that many were killed. Sixteen of the dead were of the Queen's principal gentlemen, and she was terror-stricken.
Advice of July 13th.
The French are demanding help from the Scots to storm the town, but the Scots do not seem to be in a hurry to grant it.
Those within have made a mine to countermine the one begun by the enemy, and have erected a mound in defence of Burnmouth, to be used if needed.
The men of Haddington ventured out of the town with an escort of sixty arquebusiers and twenty foot soldiers to look for provisions. A captain of the enemy called Jayme Doga with 100 horse and a company of infantry, some of whom were Germans, attacked them, but the escort, aided by the town's artillery, killed over 70 of the enemy, among whom was a lieutenant of the Rhinegrave's called Meyer, and so the men of Haddington returned loaded with provisions, without losing a man.
The French are still demanding reinforcements, and it seems that the Scots are trying to excuse themselves by saying the French have not done what they promised. The Scots are leaving the camp in crowds.
Advices of July 16th.
Yesterday afternoon the Scots and their allies were ready and determined to storm all the places in the neighbourhood of the town (Haddington). Men, women and children came out to see the sport, but when the garrison heard that the enemy was upon them and ready to storm, so many cannon balls fell among the foe that they turned tail and made for safety as best they might, losing a captain, about 80 soldiers, and a great number of wounded.
M. d'Ess promised the Regent to try to storm the town once more, and said that even if this did not succeed he knew of a way to take it before a fortnight was up. But the Regent, seeing nothing but words and delay without tangible result, began to complain, saying that the French did nothing but lay waste the land. M. d'Ess replied in hot anger that the fault lay with the Regent for having allowed the English to fortify to their heart's content, when he might easily have prevented them, and moreover all the good be (d'Ess) might do was thrown away on such ingratitude as theirs. Thus words were multiplied between them, and the Scots are so much annoyed about the delay that over 1,000 of them have left the camp at night and by stealth.
The French have not kept their promise to try to storm the place to-day.
The enemy, hearing that Lord Grey was coming out to greet them, sent to find a large number of oxen to take their artillery to safety at Aberlady, intending to put it on board their ships, but later decided to maintain the blockade, though with small honour to themselves. However, when they reached the place in question, they made such professions of valour that it seemed the besieged could not hold out an hour against them.
There has been a grand dispute and altercation between French and Scots, and the French say that since they have been encamped before the town they have lost 300 gentlemen, and consequently cannot attempt to storm it as they had resolved to do.
(There follows an account, dated July 17th, of the affray in which Sir Thomas Bowes and Sir Robert Palmer were taken prisoners, almost in the same words as that given in Van der Delft's letter of the end of August.)
Aug. 1. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(A voluminous letter in cipher giving an account of the King of France's journey to Savoy and Piedmont to visit his fortifications there. The ambassador followed him part of the way, and thinks matters look dangerous in Italy. Perhaps the French intend to interfere with the Prince of Spain when he passes through Italy. . . .)
It is openly said here, Sire, that the Queen Dowager of Scotland and her daughter will soon be in the kingdom, and that the King has sent some gentlemen to Brest to receive and escort them towards the Queen of France. It is even said that a marriage will be arranged between the young Queen of Scots and the Dauphin, not that the French wish to have this marriage actually celebrated, but merely to make the English lose hope of marrying her (to their King), and leave Scotland in peace. With this pretext the King will appoint himself Protector of Scotland in his son's name.
Dandino is following the King, and is to be dismissed in Piedmont. He certainly has negotiated the defensive league, for which purpose the King is to send to Rome 350,000 crowns in ready money, and the Pope a third of that sum to Lyons. The French proposed a fine of 50,000 crowns, to be inflicted on either of the parties for non-fulfilment of the treaty, but the Pope refused to admit this condition. The King is to send to Rome part of the said sum in ready money, if he has not done so already, and the rest is to proceed through the banks. Otherwise the bankers refused to undertake the operation. It is believed here that the Duke of Ferrara is of the league, but wishing it not to be known, he has made no public declaration but holds out hopes of doing so if your Majesty attacks the King of France. They say that his envy and jealousy of the Duke of Florence's greatness has led him to this pass. (fn. 15)
Report has it, Sire, that if the King of France needs men, the league provides that the Pope shall assist him with the troops of Perugia and Spoleto, and the galleys shall go and fetch them at a port to be determined later. They talk about other points besides, which have only been decided verbally and not written down, but will come up when season and opportunity demand. Dandino, Sire, is a pernicious individual in whom the French put their trust at present, hoping that be may encourage the Pope in goodwill towards them, and he was consequently well received here.
When they learnt here that the Interim had been published and heard its contents, the matter displeased them as it was contrary to their expectations, and they published abroad that the Church was to remain divided on account of the articles touching the priests (i.e. married clergy) and communion in both kinds, trying to gain credit with the people on this score, and to mask your Majesty's just and holy intention. But men of worth and religion, who are zealous for the welfare of Christendom, took it differently as soon as they saw the argument of the Interim, and the chief theologians of the Sorbonne hope great things of it for the bringing back of Germany to the fold, openly criticising the Pope for having forgotten his duty towards the Council. One of the heads of the Order of St. Francis, named Concily, who has just returned from Bologna, says frankly that the Holy Father upset the Council merely out of prejudice and fear of being reformed, wishing thereby to gain the point of his supremacy over the Council. This made a very bad impression upon the Sorbonne; and the King and his party, above all the Constable, are furiously irritated against the Interim, for they had made certain that your Majesty would accomplish nothing in Germany, and that confusion would be worse there than before, enabling them to keep the Pope in his present temper about delaying the Council. Even since the Interim's publication, Sire, I observe that they are confident that worse troubles may arise out of it, hoping that Germany may be divided. So much so that they immediately cast their nets over Strassburg, and caused the chief personages of that town to be instigated not to accept the Interim. However, as they hear that most of the cities are settling down under it, they are half beginning to lose hope.
Mcon, 1 August, 1548.
Aug. 15. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extracts from a letter written in cipher.)
Sire: I sent a letter to your Majesty on the 2nd of this month. Since then it has been published in this court that the young Princess of Scotland has arrived at Nantes, and it is said she is to be left at Chatellerault to be brought up there. Others maintain that she will be placed with the King's daughters, and it is repeated as certain that her marriage with the Dauphin has been arranged with the Scots' consent, who have wished to see it done because of the English, in order to wreak all the more telling revenge upon them. This was said the other day openly at table, and also that the Scots had sworn fealty to the King of France in his son's name before a proctor sent to Scotland by the King for the purpose, and they had even handed over the Crown of Scotland to be presented to the Dauphin, who might henceforth call himself King of Scotland. From what I have heard the English ambassador here resident say, the Protector and Council of that country are raging about this marriage, for they see they will have to do with a powerful enemy, who may well prevent them from subduing Scotland. The ambassador also says that the marriage opens a black prospect for England and the Low Countries, for with the help of the Scots the King of France may bide his time to attempt an invasion of the Low Countries, and lord it over the sea. The French, speaking of the same matter, in particular M. de Guise, say that the King has good hopes of making the English see reason by means of it, and that his intention is to leave the ordinary garrisons in the Scottish strongholds, and reinforce the frontier. His army will remain there all next winter if necessary, in order to give the English as much trouble as may be. There are no news that the Queen of Scotland is to move from the country, and it is thought that she will stay until things are in a more settled condition in the King's favour. The King is urging the Regent to hand over the strongholds to him, but it is not known how the country will decide. It is said that the Regent is lending a deaf ear, out of fear of being deprived of his government, but that the French are promising him more authority than he had before and handsome treatment. The King is going to give pensions to the prominent men of the kingdom in hopes of luring them away from the English faction, and promises pardon to such as have gone over, provided they will return.
Your Majesty will have heard of the skirmishes in which the French and English have been pommelling one another since the raising of the seige of Haddington, and how the English ambassador depicted the events in a writing which he gave to me and I sent to M. d'Arras. Later, Sire, the French published that they had defeated in open battle 1,400 English horse on their way to the relief of Haddington. I have heard the same repeated by the Chancellor in full Council, and also the Constable had me informed of it by a man whom he left here, for the French made much of it, thinking the English to be broken. They affirm that the English had promised to surrender Haddington within a fortnight, a thing which the English ambassador denies flatly. They greatly praise Peter Strozzi for making his preparations against Haddington in broad daylight, and believe him to be entirely cured of two arquebuse wounds he received some time ago.
(Here follows an account of French designs upon Italy, and of student riots in Paris directed against the building of houses in a part of the Faubourg St. Germain to which they lay claim as playing-fields.)
Since the above was written, the English ambassador has told me that he has heard the Princess of Scotland has not yet arrived, whatever may be said to the contrary, and that the reports of her arrival were scattered in order to put the King of England off his guard. However, he knows the French intend to fetch her soon, and the English seamen know it too.
Mcon, 15 August, 1548.
Aug. 21. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extracts from a letter written in cipher. Fernando Gonzaga has written to St. Mauris asking him if there is danger of the King of France suddenly attacking Italy while he is in Piedmont. St. Mauris says he can hardly believe it, as the King has his hands full with the English, and his affairs in Scotland are not running smoothly.)
In my last letters I advised your Majesty of what the Cardinal of Lorraine and his brother said about the young Queen of Scots' arrival in France, and of the English ambassador's disbelief of the truth of the report. I have since heard from a good source that the young Queen has not come as yet, and that M. de Guise is in great anxiety about it, fearing she may have been taken by the English at sea, for she was to be brought by a small fleet of which Villegaignon is in charge, and taken by the Irish channel to the coast of Brittany. I have heard from one who asserts he heard it from M. de Guise, that it was decided she was to have gone on board a week ago, at a time when it was not known that the King of England had any men-of-war in the seas through which she was to pass, for which reason the voyage was undertaken in a hurry, in order that she might accomplish it conveniently without greatly diminishing the French fleet left in Scotland. The English ambassador, Sire, says that the Scottish annals show that in the past two Scottish Kings have been taken by the English at sea while they were making for France, and consequently he hopes a like event may take place now. He even believes that the said Princess is not yet at sea, for the English ships were scattered by gales a few days ago. . . .
(Here follow news of the Marquis of Saluzzo's death in prison, the rising at Constance, unrest in France, and the salt-works rebellion in Guyenne. The people of Guyenne are clamouring for the same liberties that their ancestors enjoyed under the Kings of England, and which the King of France to whom they transferred their allegiance promised to safeguard. Bordeaux has joined the rebels, and it is greatly feared the King of England may send them help.)
I have heard that the French are trying to soothe general discontent in this country, by persuading the people that the Emperor is in trouble again in Germany with the towns of Constance, Strassburg and Lindau, and that there are hopes of all the others rising against him. They say, Sire, that the envoy your Majesty sent to Strassburg to ascertain the inhabitants' decision about the Interim left without waiting for a reply, because he feared they might do him a mischief, so ill-pleased did they seem to be with the Interim, which (the French say) they will never accept. I have discovered that Duke Christopher of Wrttemberg has secretly and in confidence informed the French that most of the towns that have accepted the Interim have done so out of fear of your Majesty, as they see you are strongly armed in Germany, but that this will not last unless the Council settles something. He also asserts that the Kings of Denmark and Sweden have entered into a plot with the sea-board towns not to consent to the Interim before the Council comes to a decision, and even that Duke Maurice is taking small trouble to induce his people to agree to it, simply leaving the matter to them, because he himself does not sincerely desire to see it observed. The French hope a great schism in Germany may be the result, and that your Majesty may be still more embarrassed thereby. All this concerning the Interim, Sire, is what the chief personages here say, moved by their desire to see disturbances in Germany, but I believe that everything is not going to their taste. I have seen a writing from Rome, the work of some partisan, which says that the Interim will of necessity bring with it the establishment of an Inquisition like that of Spain, and that in order to deal with the towns that refuse to accept it, and with the Protestant leagues, the Pope will be obliged to reform the Interim and take the matter in hand. I also have heard that the French prelates who are still at Bologna have written that the Pope and their congregation are beyond words amazed that your Majesty should have wished to impose your decree and authority in matters that concern the faith, for these are the province of the Church and the Holy Father exclusively. And this is all those who condemn the Interim find to say against your Majesty. But as I wrote before, good and catholic persons praise the work as it deserves of itself, and for my part whenever an opportunity occurs I let the pure truth be heard, for it will win in the end, come what may. Indeed I perceive that all they say here is born of spite.
(The letter ends with a humble request that the writer's salary may be paid. About a year and a half are owing to him.)
Lyons, 21 August, 1548.
Aug. 25. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27. St. Mauris to the Queen Dowager.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher.)
Madam: I am sending you by M. Thierry de Fontenay, a merchant now in this place (Lyons), two copies of letters which I have recently written to his Imperial Majesty. Since I wrote them it has been published here, and is taken as certain, that the young Queen of Scotland has arrived at the port of St. Pol-de-Lon in Brittany under Villegaignon's charge, with only a few vessels, though there were six galleys that put out to sea to escort the rest. The French are overjoyed, and M. de Guise assured me of it in full Council, saying that the lady in question had been very well at sea, and that since her arrival she had often said she desired to see the King her father, which seems to prove that her marriage with the Dauphin has been arranged, as everyone here believes firmly. M. de Guise also told me that, at the time of her sailing, news reached the Queen his daughter (i.e. Mary of Guise. Queen Dowager of Scotland), that Peter Strozzi had heard of the presence near by of some English ships, had put out with some galleys and sunk two English ships and taken eight, but he had no certain news as yet, though the truth would come out in a few days.
A report was spread here that the English had raided near Ardres, but M. de Guise told me that, as there were always people of ill life in all quarters, an unspeakable Englishman had violently taken several sheaves of corn from a Frenchman, but the garrison of Ardres had wreaked revenge at once, so that they were quits with the English on that score. By the way, they have told the English ambassador here resident that for every pullet the English take in France the French will take two capons from them, and that though the King of France wishes to observe the treaty he means that they shall not violate it either. . . .
Sept. 1. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(The first part of this letter, which is written in cipher, speaks of the spread of the salt-works rebellion northwards from Guyenne. It is feared that Rouen and even Paris may rise. The King is in doubt whether to remit part of the exceptionally heavy taxation that has provoked the rebellion, or to crush it by force of arms.)
A certain person has declared to me that the French are again sending 600,000 crowns to Scotland with the four galleys in which Villegaignon brought over the little Queen of Scotland, and that the French fleet will probably not return next winter, because the King intends to push the campaign forward until he has won back all that the King of England holds in Scotland. He also said, Sire, that many noted personages here criticise the marriage of the said Queen with the Dauphin because of the excessive expenses that will have to be met, and because it will interfere with other more important matters, such as thwarting your Majesty's projects in Germany and mending French finances. I have heard from M. de Cond's Fleming that his wife (Cond's) never ceases vituperating the Scottish undertaking, saying that M. de Guise is promoting it for his private ends, and that she will tell the King so frankly.
Mme. de Guise went off a week ago to receive the said Queen, and it is said she will be taken to the Dauphin's place of residence to be brought up with him.
News have come that Constance and Lindau have surrendered to your Majesty, and Strassburg will do the same. The French are half frantic and in despair about it because they had hoped that these towns would keep your Majesty busy in Germany. Prominent men here say that God furthers His own cause by helping your Majesty, because of the object at which you aim, and is chastising the King of France with justice, because of the evident wrongs he inflicts upon his people.
Lyons, 1 September, 1548.
Sept. 7. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher. News of the salt-works rebellion and of the league between France and the Pope. The Pope wishes the King of France to agree to maintain Orazio Farnese, in such estates as the Pope may give him, after the Pope's death, but the King of France regards this as unreasonable.)
Olsacius says he has heard that if the league is passed they will do all they can to thwart the Council, and will obtain from the Pope a declaration touching the Interim by means of which Germany may be dissuaded from observing it, but Olsacius knows not in what form it will be couched.
A few days ago there was a loud rumour that Constance had negotiated (with a view to entering the said league), but they now contradict this and consider that the city will make its submission, for it has already sent ambassadors to your Majesty for this purpose, together with others from the Swiss Confederations to assist them. I do not know the facts, Sire, but if Constance has really sent envoys to your Majesty, that would account for what the French say about its having come to terms. Judging by what Olsacius says, the French would much like to see the city continue rebellious; so much so that they have written to their ambassador, who is often at Basle, to urge the Confederations secretly to put themselves under French protection, telling him to say nothing of this to any but their trusty friends. However, he tells me they despair of getting the Confederations to give any help against your Majesty and the Empire.
Speaking of the Confederations, they have ambassadors now with the King begging him to grant them the assistance he owes them in infantry and cavalry, in case they were to need it against your Majesty. I hear that the King has granted this aid, and will not break his word. Some of them, particularly the men of Berne and Zurich, have sent to Basle to ask for help in case your Majesty wished to force them to accept the Interim, but Olsacius does not yet know whether they will obtain it in that event, and rather thinks not.
I have heard from Olsacius, Sire, that the French are laying themselves out to persuade the princes and towns of the Empire, with all possible secrecy and dexterity, that your Majesty's intention is to hand over the Empire to our Prince (i.e. Philip) with the King of the Romans' consent, and thus to render the Empire hereditary. In this way they hope to create difficulties for your Majesty in Germany, and it seems that Bassefontaine is to be one of the men entrusted with this mission, which is also to be undertaken towards those of the Swiss Confederations that are most friendly to France. . . .
Lyons, 7 September, 1548.
Sept. 20. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 18. The Bishop of Arras to Van der Delft.
This letter is to inform you that the Emperor received yours of the 7th instant six days ago on the road, the same day on which he entered Louvain. Because he made a deviation from his main road in order to go out hunting, and stayed so short a time at Louvain, his Majesty has commanded me to reply to you, and thank you for doing your duty so well in advising him of the happenings over there and, with reference to the opportunity you found for speaking with the Protector, for talking to him as you did. As for the German cavalry for which he and his ambassador here have been pressing his Majesty, though as you yourself will have seen the remonstrances and considerations expressed on this side were unanswerable, his Majesty has communicated with the Queen Regent on the subject and decided to permit the levy, as was said to the English ambassador at Louvain. It could not have been done sooner because of the journey. The English ought now to send towards his Majesty the person whom they wish to entrust with the levy in order that he may be given assurance of this fact, and also to decide how and by which road the said cavalry may proceed to England, especially with a view to insuring the Low Countries against any harm from them. In this the Protector and the King his master may recognise a proof of his Majesty's great affection, as he waives so many excellent reasons for abiding by the reply and excuses already made.
As for what the Protector said to you, and Controller Paget repeated, about a closer confederation, you may certify and appeal to the evidence of facts that his Majesty holds the present alliance to be strong and abiding, and that in its observance they shall never find him short, for he will always seek fitting means for maintaining and even drawing it closer in every suitable respect. But as the Protector spoke in general terms, you will try to discover more of his intentions, and inform his Majesty of them immediately, in order that he may reply to you. You will assure the English that his Majesty's affection is and will remain great, and that now and always they shall be dealt with in good faith. As I am certain of your desire to do your utmost in all that concerns the perfect amity between his Majesty and the King, I need not repeat this to you.
You make no mention in your letters of the popular risings against the King of France near Bordeaux and La Rochelle. Nevertheless, we have daily news that the revolted subjects are growing in strength, attracting many to their side, and occupying towns and places of importance. It is said the French greatly fear that they have, or may soon have, an understanding with the English, which might make the proximity of that country dangerous, but as we have no certain news we do not know what to believe, and you will do well to write what you hear of it.
Brussels, 20 September, 1548.
The last point in my letter is written in order that you may find such opportunity as may seem best to talk about it to the Protector or Paget, without expressly urging them to take a hand in the game, for the mere fact of your mentioning it will give them a chance of considering it, without permitting them to try to gain credit with the French by telling them that we are egging the English on to greater discord between the two nations. As for the matter of a closer alliance, you will limit yourself to the terms of this letter, and try to ascertain how and by what means they propose to set about it. Do not go beyond this to anything definite, but try to keep the thing in the air and gain time, even if you may hope for no better result that to prevent the English from entering into a treaty with the French, that might be harmful to us.
Sept. 22. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter written in cipher, the first part of which deals with the suppression of the salt-works rebellion in Guyenne.)
The Chancellor, Sire, speaking of the French army in Scotland, told me that the banners won in the recent defeat of the English cavalry had been brought hither; the English force was over 3,000 strong and several captains had been killed. Since that action the French army had encamped before Haddington, though the Scots had most unfortunately abandoned them, and their men had dug so many trenches round about the town, and in such advantageous positions, that the English would be unable to relieve it even if they wished to give battle, unless they desired to invite ruin. In any case the French had little fear of them, for they knew the English to be short of cavalry, and that their foot were not seasoned troops, to say nothing of the fact that the Scots had promised an aid of 20,000 men if the English were to give battle. I have heard for certain from Olsacius that the French have written to Peter Strozzi to come with part of his fleet as far as Boulogne, near which place he is to take on board the rest of the soldiers the King of France has in that neighbourhood and carry them off to Scotland, for the King fears that his force there may prove too weak if it comes to a battle. Strozzi's voyage, Sire, ought to be an occasion for putting your Majesty's subjects who sail the seas on their guard lest he harry them, which I nevertheless do not believe he will do, for the French seem covertly to desire to remain on good terms with your Majesty.
The Chancellor also told me that the English wished to convert the wall they were building in Boulogne harbour into a fort, but the King of France had had their masonry knocked down with cannon-balls, and would do the same whenever they began afresh. He talked very pompously about the extraordinary rapidity with which the French had finished their jetty which, he boasted, now commanded Boulogne harbour. He mentioned by the way that the English had another harbour (fn. 16) about two leagues up the coast, but it was considered not to be strong, for otherwise the late King of France would have laid hands on it. I have heard from Olsacius, Sire, that the King of France intends to destroy the said harbour and sink some vessels laden with stones in it, in order to prevent the King of England from using it to relieve Boulogne. If the condition of public affairs permit it, he may attempt the recapture of Boulogne next year, for it is the matter about which he cares most. . . .
Lyons, 22 September, 1548.
Sept. 21. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 26. St. Mauris to the Emperor.
(Extracts from a letter written in cipher. The King of France is fomenting discontent in Switzerland and Germany, and promising help to all who will rebel against the Emperor.)
It is being said in high circles that the King of France and his Council are inclined to believe that the King of England will eventually make an arrangement about Boulogne with your Majesty, who is to take over the place, giving something as a recompense. However, Olsacius says he has not heard it from a sure source, and does not take it seriously; indeed it seems hardly probable.
The French have been warned that the King of England is looking for a convenient spot to make a harbour beyond Ardres tower, and some are of opinion that it might be done at a certain place where a little stream enters the sea. However, the French look upon the enterprise as difficult, and even say that if it is attempted they will prevent it sword in hand, rather than submit to the humiliation of seeing their jetty rendered useless. . . .
M. d'Andelot has recently returned to this court from Scotland, where he left Peter Strozzi behind suffering from the effects of an arquebuse wound in the leg. It is believed that one of Strozzi's legs will remain shorter than the other because of this wound. The French are deeply disappointed that their Scottish expedition has not met with greater success, and complain loudly of the Scots, especially for coming to their assistance too late to prevent the revictualling of Haddington, about which they are mightily vexed. The King remained in a rage a long time after hearing of it and, it is said, remarked that he would try his luck once more, for the King of England was not the man to withstand him. It is said that the populace, hearing of the failure of this expedition, laments the expense and shame it has brought France, saying that the King has been very unfortunate in the beginning of his reign, and coupling the rebellion of his subjects here with the rest. Indeed they are extremely out of patience with the Scottish undertaking. The Gascon and German infantry is to be left in Scotland and more troops may be sent there if it is thought necessary. The French at one time intended to do this, but it is said that the hardships of winter will dissuade them. It is certainly not going to be easy for them to keep the field, and the French will do all they can to recapture several little castles which the English have taken in Scotland, hoping that this may not be difficult. There is a report, however, that six well-armed galleys are to be sent to that country to guard the coast. . .
Lyons, 25 September, 1548.
Oct. 13. Paris K. 1488. The Emperor to St. Mauris.
(Extract from a minute or copy. The Emperor speaks of the desire for a closer alliance between France and the Empire shown by MM. de Brissac, de Biron, Marillac and Mnage when conferring with the Bishop of Arras. Proposals were put forward for marrying Prince Philip to the Lady Margaret. The Emperor says that all this is empty talk as long as the French refuse to restore the duchy of Savoy to its rightful owner.)
If the Constable says to you anything about an alliance, let us know his remarks, and do not enter into any negotiation yourself, but leave it to him to write whatever he likes to Marillac, or offer yourself to write as he wishes, because we suspect that all this may be aimed against England and that the French may wish to mix up the Scots in it. In any case it cannot be well to give any definite reply until we find out the French attitude towards the questions pending between us and their King, and the restitution of the Duchy of Savoy.
If he talks to you about wishing to assist us in establishing religious matters in Germany, or anything else concerning our authority there, you will be careful to temporise without compromising yourself, in order that the French may not be able to throw this into the balance to outweigh the restitution of Savoy, or to trump it up as an excuse for negotiating against the English, and in this again you will leave everything to be written, as above.
In other letters you will see what Don Fernando (Gonzaga) reports about the lands that were under the authority of the Marquis of Saluzzo, which are notoriously included in others that we possess in those parts, and how outrageous this (i.e. the French pretension to Saluzzo) is, and how contrary to the treaties. You will make such a protest as the case requires, and state that we consider it very extraordinary that the French should so notoriously defy the said treaties.

Footnotes

  • 1. i.e. the Mediterranean islands are of great commercial importance to Genoa.
  • 2. The Francho-Comt, called the county to distinguish it from the duchy of Burgundy, which had been seized by France in 1477.
  • 3. i.e. An agreement between France and Savoy by which the Duke of Savoy should relinquish Piedmont to France in exchange for other compensations.
  • 4. Dom Henrique, Archbishop of Braga and later of Lisbon, proclaimed King of Portugal in 1578.
  • 5. This was Broughty Craig.
  • 6. Vogolsborg was a Gorman captain of mercenaries, boheaded for having served the King of France. The Emperor hoped by this example to put a stop to Germans taking service with his enemies abroad.
  • 7. This letter is written in cipher.
  • 8. One quintal=ca. 110lb.
  • 9. Vogelsberg and other Germans, beheaded for having served the King of France.
  • 10. It is probable that 600,000 francs would amount to 200,000 crowns.
  • 11. This must be a slip: the treaty of Crpy was passed in 1544 N.S.
  • 12. Almost all Don Juan's letters contain full accounts of happenings in the Levant.
  • 13. Between the Pope and the King of France against the Emperor. See letters of 24th June and 19th July, 1547.
  • 14. Conceivably Coldingham. The Scottish names are sometimes not easily to be recognised: Haddington is now Din Don, again Dingon.
  • 15. In a letter to the Archduke Maximilian (Paris, K. 1488) St. Mauris says that the Duke of Ferrara met the King in Piedmont and gave his adherence to the league on the condition that it should be kept secret from the Emperor. The marriage between the Duke's elder daughter and M. d'Aumale was also arranged.
  • 16. This was probably Ambleteuse.