Letters and Papers: March 1539, 21-25

Pages 226-239

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 14 Part 1, January-July 1539. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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March 1539

See GRANTS in MARCH, No. 49.
21 March.
R. O.
The first few lines are too faded to be read, but apparently contain an expression of regret that he was unable to go up to the castle (fn. 1) to salute the King and thank him for his treatment and presents. Knowing how much the King desires the return of Wriothesley (Vrisle), has despatched a courier to the queen (of Hungary) to ask her to send him back soon. After arriving here on Wednesday, met the ambassador (fn. 2) who is going to take his place. The King will be well served by him, and Cromwell well pleased. Detains him here three or four days as letters' from the Emperor are expected. Will not leave here till he has news of Wriothesley. The lord Deputy and others here are very kind. * * *
Spanish. Mutilated, pp. 2. Add.: Milort Crumuel, guarda del Privado [Sigi]llo. Endd.: xxj. Martii.
22 March.
Vit. B. xxi.
"After my right hearty commendations, I [have received your letters] dated at Frankfort the 5th of this m[onth] ... afore, I wrote unto you by Reyner W[olfe ... by] whom I think ye have received already ... receive them."
The King has perused your letters, and desires me to thank you for your diligence. He m[arvels] that you have no answer as yet to the principal part of your instruction concerning the confederation against the persecutors of the Gospel, and that the proceedings about the other matter of alliance, on my behalf moved to Burgratus and afterwards to the Duke, are so cold and slaek, and that the Duke has put such long delay therein. He also thinks it strange that princes so wise as the Evangelical princes should, as is reported, take a term of truce under the colour of pacification, which is probably put forward by the Papists and enemies of the word of God to undermine them, and wait for an opportunity to exercise their cruelty upon them. The King therefore charges you to resort again to the Duke and Landsgrave, and to say that he, thinking them to be the first who in those parts earnestly took up the Gospel, and whom the enemies of the same would first invade, sent you to know whether they would stick to it, as he doubts not they will, and to signify his readiness to enter into a league for mutual aid; that your mission thither was, after the respect of God, most for their love, profit, and defence, for the King feels his strength to be such that in so just a quarrel as the maintenance of God's word, he trusts Christ himself would be so good a protector and shield to him, that he doubts not but "to defend his own from the injury ... also to put them to such an afterd[eal that they shall have] cause to be ware at all times af[ter how they attempt] anything against his Majesty be ... And therefore you shall require them that they [will] with mutual correspondence of kindness make [their] answer, as to your gentle sending thither and to [his] Majesty's good will it appertaineth;" further declaring unto them that the King would be very loath to see any of them trapped or harmed by the Papists, who study nothing so much as to disparple, divide, and dissever them, so that they may be destroyed one after the other. The King, however, remits the conclusion of their affairs with any ambassadors or pacificators, to their discretion, not doubting that they will foresee such practices wrought against them under colour of simplicity and good faith, to the detriment of themselves and of all others who profess the evangelical truth, whereunto the King has a special regard, seeing that after their overthrow as the beginners of the abolition of abuses, the Papists would afterwards attempt against his Grace, being of the kings the first that has banished out of his realm the usurped power of the bp. of Rome and his seat, and abolished his superstitious [customs], "requiring and pressing them therefore that [without] a]ny further protract or delays they will send [unto the K]ing's highness their resolute mind and intention, and to show themselves no less grateful and thankful to take and accept his good will and zeal towards them, than it hath proceeded of his Highness to have sent you thither," and so plainly to show his mind and induce them to give a resolute answer without delay, and send sufficiently instructed persons to conclude with the King, or else to give you full information of their purposes.
Also you shall show to Burgratus, or some trusty friend by whom it may come to the Duke's or Landisgrave's ears, that the King has heard that the bp. of Rome and his adherents have taken counsel together how utterly to abolish the maintainers of Christ's word, but that for diversity of opinion they could not resolve how to bring their purposes to pass. "Some of that counsaill, and the most, were of the opinion first to stop that well whence (as they say) the matter is sprung against them, meaning ... country and other Evangelical P[rinces] ... whom they thought quo jure ... by the means of some of th'archbishop [of Lunden's] adherents to rid and dispatch out of the [midst] of them; and specially such as were induced [by the] traitor Pole, cardinal, were of the opinion [that] forasmuch as the King's highness of England, bei[ng] one of the three principal princes, and [who] had most openly rejected the bishop of Rome's usurped authority and abolished it in his realm, and by whose means others might take example, as following his title of Defensor of the Faith, —and besides that, because they esteem his Majesty of such strength," —that if they could overthrow him, the rest of the Evangelical Princes would yield at the bp. of Rome's pleasure. To set forth their malice against him, they have grounded a bull upon the divorce, which is now of a long season out of question, the abolitiou of his usurped authority, and the execution of Fisher, the card. of St. Vitale, as they called him, [sometime] bp. of Rochester, their champion, containing fulminations and censures against the King and his subjects. They are looking for an opportunity to set upon one or the other, and study to keep the princes of their alliance at peace between themselves and with the Turks and others. What they meant against the princes of Almain, deeds do show, and what they intended against the King, has been rumoured, but as yet the princes' words purport rather to the contrary, that they will not meddle with his Majesty but rather keep their treaties, for otherwise they would be likely to have the worst end of the staff.
The bruit has been very sore that the Emperor will attack the King, and the French king also, at the bp. of Rome's intercession, for no cause but for "mesprising and avoiding of his abuses and maintaining of the word of God; f[or other cause]' there be none at all, ner for any ... question thereof cessing, ner for ... then Goddes own, and the fame and ... hath been extended to the farthest part of Christ[endom]. And the whole assembly at Frankeford hath ... and yet nevertheless they have made at that [diet] as though it had been nothing of importance, a[nd] winked at it," though well considered, it is their own matter, for the Papists' malice against the King is grounded only on their envy at the religion common to the princes of Almain and him.
You may as of yourself lament to some of your friends by whom it may come to the Duke's ears, or else show to the Duke and Landsgrave as of yourself, that the King sent you over before he knew of any practice against himself, for the zeal he bears to the Gospel, to declare to them that upon honest conditions he would not refuse to condescend to some mutual aid [for the de]fence of the Gospel; yet nevertheless as ... the time did nothing touch them, but as [it were] winking through their fingers, not only they have given no admonition to the King of the common rumours, as correspondence of gratuity required, nor offered him any manner of aid for the defence of the common army, which he would have taken very thankfully, but also they retain you there without any resolute answer. Although by the grace of God he will be able to defend his realm, and offend the invaders, yet they might have considered that virtus unita vincit, dispersa decrescit, and that nothing would be more fearful to the Papists, nor more encouraging to the Evangelical company, than to see all the professors of the same joined in an indissoluble knot; assuring them that if the King had heard that they were threatened, he would have given them advertisement and aid; "with such other good allegations besides those as ye m[ay think best to] conduce to have them somew[hat repent of their] oversight and slackness in showing [such lack of] gratuity, and by that for to prick th[em to] redubb the same, and give you more f[riendly] answer, for the recompense of it, with expeditio[n]. As for the matter of the alliances, whereof I ... the charge unto you touching Cleves sollicit ... ye to have an answer, and if ye shall perc[eive] in them any untowardness or long delays, that then, having your answer touching the other matter, ye shall no further press them for the matters of alliances," but return in diligence through the duke of Cleves' country, and communicate on your way with Dr. Owton (fn. 3) and Mr. Berde. London, 22 March. Signed.
In Derby's hand, pp. 9. Mutilated. Add. Endd.
22 March.
R. O.
As Will. Barbar was taken on suspicion of counterfeiting a penny of twopence, as I showed your Lordship in the King's chamber at Westminster, I have searched in his house at Horwood for such tools as were necessary for that feat, but nothing was found except what is recorded in this bill, the testimonial of his neighbours. It would be a pity to send him to gaol as your Lordship commanded if he be innocent. Woburn, 22 March. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Lord Privy Seal. Endd.: Anno xxx.
22 March.
R. O.
Asks him to get the King's signature to the enclosed bill of a patent for the lieutenantship of Risbanck. Does not know whether the King meant him to have also Sir Nic. Carewe's annuity of 109l., but sends the copy thereof for the more surety. Found the fortress of Risbanck as raw and bare a house of war as ever was seen, with good artillery but not half a barrel of powder and no bows and arrows. Begs him as soon as he sees the commissioners' book thereof to set forward the work. Will send a "plott." Calais, 22 March. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Privy Seal. Endd.: Ao xxx.
22 March.
R. O.
Hears from his bailly of Vere that the ships of Holland are ready to sail, and the wind being good, hopes that he will use all diligence for the furtherance of the voyage in the Emperor's service. Must remain here three or four days on business of importance. Orders him to sail eastward (sic) and tarry for him in the Downs or Camber for two or three days. Zandenburg, 22 March.
Thinks it best for him to tarry under Wight.
Add.: Captain in the Admiral's ship of the ships prepared in Holland for the Emperor's service.
ii. [The Same] to Jasper Crayte.
Bids him send the preceding letter. Sandenburgh, 21 March Ao. 38 afore Easter.
iii. Matthew Clawye to Jasper Crayte.
"My lord" bids him send to the captain to tarry for him before Wight. 22 March, from Caunfer.
Translations, pp. 2. Endd.: Extract of the letters taken of the mariners at Dover concerning the fleet.
22 March.
Add. MS.
28, 591, f. 82.
"Instruction pour l'escuyer Wynacourt, prévost de Mofts."
To hasten to Dunkirk and learn if the English ambassadors (fn. 4) who last left Brussels have passed that town. If not, he shall command the lieutenant of Dunkirk to find out on their arrival if they intend to take any other road in returning to England than the straight road towards Gravelines. If they mean to take another road the lieutenant shall go to the secretary Vuersle, chief of the said embassy, and show him in all gentleness how since his departure from Brussels, the Queen has news that the King, his master, has ordered Eustace Chappuis to sojourn at Calais until the said secretary arrives at Gravelines, intending that he and Chappuis should cross the frontier simultaneously. He shall therefore request the said secretary to go on to Gravelines, and, if he seem unwilling, shall say he has orders to prevent his going any other way.
If the ambassadors have passed Dunkirk, Wynacourt shall say nothing to the lieutenant but go on to Gravelines. There he shall await their arrival and immediately thereupon shall inform Chappuis. He shall then graciously inform Vuersle of the above and require him to obey the order of his master and not pass further until Chappuis shall be out of the obedience of the said King. If Vuersle refuse to listen he must be arrested by the lieutenant of the captain of Gravelines castle. If the ambassadors have already passed Gravelines he shall return without making mention of his charge. Brussels, 22 March 1538, "avant Pasques."
French. Modern copy from Brussels, pp. 2. See Spanish Calendar VI., I., No. 50.
Add. 28,173,
f. 281.
2. Another modern copy.
Pp. 4.
22 March.
Vatioan MS.
* * * If anything is heard there about the affairs of England, whether the bull is published or not, the Pope would like to hear, especially in this cessation of letters from France and Spain. * * * Card. Pole was met 11 Feb. by Card. Cialons at his return from Spain into France, two posts from Toledo, well, but a little fatigued. The French ambassador in England has returned together with his wife, and another was to go in his place. He reports that the Mass, Confession, Lent, Friday, and Saturday are observed as before by the King, who is a Catholic in all that does not bring him profit or hurt the Pope and Holy See, to which he is daily more hostile. He reports, too, that the King has pulled down all the houses of friars and monks there and appropriated their revenues; and that there remained 15 or 16 monasteries of religious gentlewomen which he has also pulled down and given each [gentlewoman] four crowns to enable her to return to her father's house; which the Ambassador says has much displeased those people. He adds that Scotland is in great danger of sharing the poison because many Scots have passed into England who follow the same errors, and that the Scotch king and the Card. of Mirapoix have enough to do to remedy it. * * Rome, 22 March 1539.
Italian, pp. 2. From a modern extract in R.O.
23 March.
R. O.
Surrender (by Eliz. Souche, abbess, and the convent) of the monastery and all its possessions in co. Dors., and elsewhere in England, Wales, and the marches thereof. 23 March 30 Hen. VIII. Signed by Eliz. Zouche, abbess. [See Deputy Keeper's Eighth Report, App. II. 40.]
Seal much injured.
Enrolled [Close Roll, p. 5, No. 18] as acknowledged, same day, before John Tregonwell, King's commissioner.
R. O. 2. Pensions assigned to the late abbess and convent of Shaftesbury, 22 March, 30 Hen. VIII., viz:—
Eliz. Zouche, abbess, 133l. 6s. 8d.; Kath. Hall, prioress, 20l.; Eliz. Monmouthe, sub-prioress, 7l. Eliz. Bryther, Marg. Hymmerford, Joan Amys, Elise Jakes, sick and lame, 6l. 13s. 4d. each; Philippe Cattisby, Marg. Cookes, Eliz. Godwyn, Ursula Payne, Amys Ball, Jane Farrendon, sick and lame, Avice Brente, Alice Brente, Alice Champeney, Joan Kelly, Alice Payne, sick and lame, Joan Longford, and Edith Kemer, 6l. each; Bridget Fauntelaroy, Kath. Gelise, Alice Baker, Eliz. Care, Joan Benbury, Jane Percevall, Marg. Mewe, Anne Awdeley, Alice Pecocke, Mary Cressett, Julian Burdeauxe, Joan Towse, 106s. 8d. each; Anne Philpott, Marg. Butsett, and Eliz. Ayssheley, 100s. each; Christian Weston, Edith Magdalen, Eliz. Horsey, Marg. Nuton, Alice Gerard, Ursula Johnson, Eliz. Larder, Alice Rogers, Dorothy Clansey, Anne Bodenham, and Eliz. Denham, 4l. 13s. 4d. each; Thomasine Hussey, alice Bonde, Eliz. Wortheton, Marg. Keylewaye, Marg. Aysshe, Jane Weste, Kath. Hayward, and Marg. Lovell, 4l. each; Eliz. Babington, Marg. Frye, and Alice Bysse, 56s. 8d. each. Signed: Thomas Crumwell : Jo. Tregonwell: William Petre : John Smyth.
Pp. 3.
R. O. 3. Another copy of § 2. Signed by Sir Ric. Ryche.
Pp. 3.
23 March.
VI. I. No. 51.
Has received her letter of the 22nd and will embark for England with the first fair wind. Secretary Voiselay (Wriothesley) arrived yesterday at Calais. Chapuys and the writer accompanied him to dinner to-day at the invitation of Monsieur le Debitis (my lord Deputy). We have not heard him complain of ill treatment, so there will be no need of excuses, especially as Chapuys says his own letters on that matter have been misunderstood, as he will explain to the Queen. Calais, 23 March 1538.
23 March.
R. O.
I am requested by Jean Verotte, merchant of Bordeaux, for whom I before wrote to you, when you gave a favourable answer, to ask you to despatch him, as I have no doubt you will do. Let me know by the bearer what you do. As the King your master has left Dover, I have no doubt you will have seen to it. Francis is sending Mons. de Mareillhacq to England. He has been here since Friday and is waiting for wind to cross. Boulogne, 23 March. Signed.
Fr., p. 1. Add.
23 March.
Sadoleti Epp.
No. 320.
Referring to Pole's visit nearly in the same terms as in his letter of 1 Feb. to Contarini (No. 199). Carpentras, x. cal. Aprilis 1539.
24 March.
R. O.
"This morning about three of the clock a letter here inclosed, addressed to my lord Warden, the King's Grace over read" and commands that you shall "over read" and forward it to my lord Warden, who must at once repair to Dover; and that you send lord Russell in post towards the West, where he is appointed; "and that your Lordship shall provide such remedy as ye shall think meet in avoiding the danger that may ensue thereof." Gravesend, Monday, between 3 and 4 a.m., 24 March.
Hol., p. 1. Add.: Lord Privy Seal. Endd.: Ao xxxo.
24 March.
R. O.
Will let one of his servants have the cell at Lincoln in farm, as he asks by his letter of the 14th. Will send one of the brethren up after Easter to conclude the matter. York, 24 March. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Lord Privy Seal. Endd.
24 March.
R. O.
I have spoken with divers persons here, both spiritual and temporal, and perceive many things which are too much to write of, for it is kept so secret that no man may know their exact meaning, but it will certainly break out within 14 days what they purpose to do. Their aim is either Gueldres, Denmark or England, but I think England is in no danger as they know the King is prepared to receive them. I think you are not ignorant of the treason of certain gentlemen of Gueldres secretly sworn to the court of Burgundy, of whom three are taken and have confessed. It is said the duke of Cleves shall have the duchess of Mylone, and ambassadors are expected from Cleves this day at the court of Burgundy, but the Keyser is certainly determined to have Gueldres for the House of Burgundy whether the duke of Cleves have this lady or not. There are 70 good ships prepared in Holland, but whither they shall go no one knows. Artillery is made daily in Antwerp and all the spiritualty in the Emperor's lands are assessed to an enormous sum of money to maintain the war; yet they pay much more to the Pope; still they would be content to pay it all to avenge the Pope's quarrel against the king of England. I will inform you more about this by month when I come over, and also of certain things I have heard of Friar Elston and about the King which I dare not write, but I will do my duty as a true Englishman. To-day I take my journey "upwards." Dated at head: Antwerp, 24 March 1538.
Hol., pp. 2. Add. Endd.
24 March.
R. O.
This morning the bearer, Bernard Grite, serjeant of Gynes castle, came to his chamber and, finding Bekensaw was an Englishman, talked to him of his own affairs and common rumour. Told him nothing was more unlikely than that the kings should be adversaries, considering Henry's conduct when he might easily have destroyed Francis. Some say "il y en avoyet que sen repentyron du bryeff." One day a commissary and sergeant came to a house where Englishmen dwelt and it was reported that it was to arrest Englishmen, but in fact it was to take a runagate monk of Orleans. This makes him give little credit to people's words.
Conjectures that these men would fain have war with us but cannot tell how to begin, and so vex the King's subjects by processes and himself by not paying his money and loving his enemies, so as to provoke him to begin war or give some notable occasion.
Sent letters this morning by John Coke, and on Friday his lordship's books by an Irishman, who accompanied him who brought Bonner's letters. Paris, 24 March 1539.
Hol., pp. 2. Add.: My lord of Hartforde the King's Mate of England his ambassador with the French king. Endd.
24 March.
V. II.
No. 221.
Acknowledges a letter by the abbot of S. Salut, bearer of this. Francis is writing in answer to it, who will do as much as the Emperor in furthering the Pope's intentions. Nogent sur Seyne, 24 March 1538. (fn. 5)
From a MS. at Vienna.
25 March.
Close Roll,
30 Hen. VIII.
p. 1, m. 40.
Rymer XIV.
Grant by Thomas, abbot, and the convent of St. John Baptist, Col-chester, to Sir Thos. Audeley, the lord Chancellor, of the manors or messuages of Rye in Leyer de la Heye, and of Gossebekkes in Stanwey, Essex, now held to farm by John Clamp; with a wood in Threbbe opposite the latter, between the wood of Sir John Raynesforth, parcel of Olyvers, and the highway leading by the said messuage towards le Beken, one end abutting on the highway from Colchester to Stanwey, and the other upon a waste claimed by Emma Sayer, widow, for common:—in exchange for the rectory of Long Compton, alias Compton Manour, and advowson of the vicarage, which belonged to the late monastery of Walden, and which Audeley has granted to them by his charter indented of this date. John Cristemas and Arthur Clerk to be the abbot's attorneys to take possession. Chapter house, 25 March 30 Hen. VIII.
25 March.
R. O.
This morning at 8 o'clock I received your letters, and incontinently wrote to your deputy of the Isle to defend the country if the ships came and tried to force a landing, but if they only sent for victual to treat them gently. As there is much lack and disorder at Portsmouth, I intend to be at the Court by to-morrow at noon; where I pray your Lordship to be with the rest of the Council that I may be dispatched and return post to Portsmouth; whither in my absence I have sent my cousin Freeston, the King's servant. Not doubting but all shall be safe, for there is good substance of men, store of ordinance, and beacons ready to warn the country. Cowdrey, 25 March. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Lord Privy Seal. Endd.
25 March.
R. O.
Rymer XIV.
Surrender (by Cicily Bodynham, abbess, and the convent) of the monastery and all its possessions in cos. Wilts, Soms., Hants, and elsewhere in England and the marches thereof, 25 March 30 Hen. VIII. No signatures. [See Deputy Keeper's Eighth Report, App. II. 49.]
Seal almost gone.
Enrolled [Close Roll, p. 5, No. 40] as acknowledged, same day, before John Tregonwell, King's commissioner.
R. O. 2. Pensions assigned to the late abbess and convent of Wylton, Wilts, 26 March 30 Hen. VIII., one quarter's pension to be paid at Lady Day, and afterwards half yearly:—
Cecil Bodenham, abbess, 100l. "and the house of Foffounte (Fovant) with the orchards, gardens, and three acres of meadow and pasture belonging to the same, and also every week one load of wood to be taken out of the wood of Foffounte by the appointment of the King's officers for time being"; Joan Kente, prioress, 10l.; Joan Trowe, 6l. 13s. 4d.; Alice Brabston and Margaret Zouche, 7l. 6s. 8d. each; Kath. Brabonde, Alice Brabonde, Cecil Sorage, and Joan Forgett, 6l. 13s. 4d. each; Elinor Auntell, Alice Langton, Isabel Nevyll and Thomasyn Andrewys, 6l. each; Mary Burbage, Cecil Lamberte, and Alice Hussey, 106s. 8d. each; Joan Boneham, 6l. 13s. 4d.; Crystyan Willoughby, 106s. 8d.; Mary Gylman, Joan Serbyngton, Crystyan Wodelonde and Dorothy Lacell, 100s. each; Mulyer Chenye, Joan Stylman, Eliz. Mogridge, Lora Staunter, Kath. Auntell, Dorothy Moggerige, Anne Dauncye, Ursula Flomyng, Dorothy Kelwaye and Joan Bonwaye, 4l. each; Anne Asshe, 40s.
Signed: Richard Ryche.
Pp. 2.
R. O. 3. Another copy of § 2, signed by Cromwell, Tregonwell, Petre and John Smyth.
Pp. 2.
25 March.
R. O.
I have received yours of the 15 March, declaring your pleasure for the preferment of my son, your servant, to be a knight of the shire for Cornwall. Before it came there was great suit made by Sir Piers Egycombe, Sir John Chamond and John Arrundell, son and heir to Sir John Arrundell, knight. The writ has not yet come. Mr. Ruckewood promised to advertise your lordship of the execution of Will. Kendall and his servant Qwyntrell and of the evidence that Flamacke gave at the inquest, which touched Walter Kendall very highly. I send inventory of Will. Kendall's goods taken before Sir Piers Egecombe's deputy, under escheator or feodary of Cornwall, appraised by Walter Jagow and Cornyshe, two of the King's servants. I have not yet got Qwyntrell's inventory. "Such a cry for debt and pollyng and brybyng I never heard at no man's death." At my house, 25 March.
Hol., p. 1. Add.: My Lord Privy Seal. Endd.
I have received your loving letter. You think the inventory of Walter and Wm. Kendall very bare. Since I wrote I have knowledge of two geldings and more cattle of Will. Kendall "and so of Watter in like wise, and one silver cup; yt al thys ys to no purpos to the porte that they bare." I have had such business at the quarter sessions, I have had no time to view their houses again. Direct me what to do with their servants, wives and children. The priest gave them no knowledge, but when he came home said Will. Kendall was called a traitor openly at the arraignment of the marquis of Exeter. He said it for no love of them, and others reported it also; whereupon they made conveyance. Walter Kendall had farms of the prior of Trewardreth, and William of my lord of Huntingdon. He says he has no land but by his wife. Henry Pyne is her heir. Further particulars of their property.
Hol., p. 1. Add.: Privy Seal. Endd.: Ao xxx.
25 March.
R. O.
The bearer, Jean Verot, is going to you. He complains that notwithstanding the letters you wrote to me, his ship has been arrested (arte) anew, which I cannot believe, for without further occasion it would be very strange. I beg you will see justice done to him. Boulogne, 25 March. Signed.
Fr., p. 1. Add.
25 M[arch].
Galba, B. X.
B. M.
601. R. N. to _.
On Friday last there came a [post from] the Emperor to the Queen, she being removed two days before from Brussels to La Vewre, about five of this [country's] miles thence, to take her pastime for ten or e[leven] days. Immediately on the post's arrival, she returned to Brussels, went to Mons. de Hougstrate's house at eight in the morning, and sat in council till dinner; after which they went to a place called le Pr ... three miles off. It is said that the [duke] of Saxon, the landgrave van Hesse, the duke de Cleves, and almost all the rest [of] Almania, Prucia, Livonia, Dania, and some cities Imperial, with the cities of ... South there, notwithstanding their being at Frankforde, had raised a great company to have passed through the country of the duke of Bronsbourghe (Brunswick), towards Denmark or some other [place]. The said Duke, with the help of the bp. of Mens, "le countes de Palantyns," and the duke of Bavyere, which [are] Imperial, went to resist them, so that they durst not proceed, but remain there encamped.
There are 7,000 or 8,000 "petons" on the frontiers of Fryseland toward Cleves, who have often been asked whence they come and whom they intend [to serve]. They answer only that they have a good master and that they [are] well paid. As they often rob the people of the duke of Cleves, he has killed 400 or 500 of them. It is thought here that they are at the commandment of the Emperor, for otherwise George Skynke, who is a valiant captain and a great ruler in Fryse, would not suffer them there to encamp without making them some manner of sport. One of the wisest and chiefest of the company has been with the Queen, and now returned to his company, who are still at the abbey of Elder, a nunnery as big as a proper town. An embassy has gone to the duke of Cleve to treat for his marriage with the duchess of Milan. It is said the Duke will have for him and his heirs 40,000 gold cr. yearly, besides 200,000 in ready money. I have heard that the Queen spake these words unto one of her chamber, that the king of England would restore with a good will all the rents he has taken from the Church and cloisters, and reëdify the same, and that the Emperor would be contented therewith. These words were reported again by Madame Degmond and by the Queen's chief cook. It is evident that the Emperor will do all that he dare to conquer the king of England, for they trust in sedition or strife among his people. It is likely the Emperor will try to produce it. I have heard from ... and Spaniards that money is good merchandise from Spain to An[twerp], better by 3 or 4 in the 100 than usual. All the captains are ready here in this country. It is likely that the Emperor, or some great company for him, is coming speedily. Brussels, 25 M[arch]. (fn. 6)
"V're bonne amy. R. N."
Hol., pp. 3. The text in English, though the subscription is French. Slightly mutilated. Endd.
25 March.
Calendar, V.,
II., No. 222.
Has received his letter, dated Livorno (fn. 7) the 16th instant, and understood the whole business in which he is engaged, and the answer made by the Emperor to the Pope's proposals. Approves of his object and of his intention to wait at Avignon till he has an answer from his Holiness. The Pope will always find Francis ready to promote the weal of Christendom in accordance with what the Emperor may do on his side. Wishes Pole while at Avignon to keep the Nuncio well informed of his proceedings. Nogent sur Seyne, 25 March 1538. (fn. 8)
From a MS. at Vienna.
25 March
R. O.
At my departure from the Emperor's court 24 Feb. I wrote you the result of my demand to his Majesty about the affairs of England, and left the letters with the Nuncio to forward. Although I wrote that I had good hope of passing at once to the French king on the same business, nevertheless, considering the matter more carefully, (as my commission appeared to be founded upon his Holiness' hope that the Emperor would make no difficulty about allowing the censures to be published and stopping all commerce with the king of England as one whom his Holiness has already declared to be excommunicated, of which the Nuncio's letters before I left Rome had given the best hope, whereas I have found quite the contrary, that is, that the Emperor refused to do this execution at present, as impossible for several reasons which I wrote to you and will now repeat) it appeared to me that before proceeding further I should stop in some convenient place and await a new commission; for I did not wish in so important a matter to go too far, and did not see what more could result except that I might compromise again my own life and the honour of the Apostolic See as I did when I went to Flanders, especially as I learn, from those who know the king of England's practices in France, with how many means he procures my death, and chiefly in that kingdom, where he has more ways and methods on account of its nearness to that country (England). This private reason would not delay me if I saw I could benefit the Holy See, but this I do not see, because coming into France, a place near to England, if the King, following the Emperor's example or for some private reason, also refused to publish the censures and forbid commerce it would without doubt be a very great wound to Mother Church, and bring those afflicted people of England to the lowest despair, making the enemies of God and the Holy See more insolent than ever. On the other hand, if the French king showed himself as ready against the king of England as the Emperor shows himself hesitating, it would be a hindrance to the union of these two princes, upon which the salvation of Christendom mainly depends. Meanwhile, to avoid either danger, I have stopped until I may know his Holiness' mind; but I have sent a gentleman of mine, the abbot of Turin, (fn. 9) to the French king with letters accounting for this my delay, and have likewise written to the queen of France, the queen of Navarre, the card. of Lorraine, and the Constable, praying their favour with the French king to this holy cause. I have also commissioned this gentleman, if he should find the French king jealous, owing to my not going to him, that the Emperor was treated with more confidence than himself, to say that if only the French king finds some way honourable to the See Apostolic, I for my part (although I would much rather put my life in danger of the snares of the king of England than show any distrust) am ready to go to his Majesty, in whom I have my chief hope of finding a remedy to the ills of that poor island, and although the cause requires me to await [a] new order from his Holiness, yet if the French king thought I should go to him, I had no doubt his Holiness would wish me to obey.
With this commission I despatched the abbot from Gerona in Catalonia, and expect an answer in a few days, when I shall be able to inform his Holiness more resolutely, especially as the Emperor's answer depends much upon the decision of the French king, as I wrote to you.
I will now write more expressly how much I negociated with the Emperor at Toledo. It is difficult to understand his Majesty's mind fully. It may be learned more readily by conjectures than by his express words, especially to me. At first he did not seem pleased at my coming; then at my departure he thanked me much, by his Council, for my coming, promising that it should bear fruit both to the public cause and to my own benefit. As to the censures published in Rome, in speaking with me at first he said that it ought not to have been done without seeing the way to execute them, and that for many reasons he could not forbid commerce with England. On this the Nuncio, for his discharge, asked Granvela if he had not, with his (Granvela's) consent, written to his Holiness that the Emperor, with the consent of the French king, was prepared to forbid the commerce. Was answered Yes, and that they had said even more; and shortly before my arrival at Court the Emperor had permitted the cause of the ambassador of England (fn. 10) accused of heresy to come before the judges of the Inquisition; of which the said ambassador complaining, his Majesty made him a most severe admonition, saying he ought to be careful how he spoke, otherwise he would let the process be made against him. Besides this, his Majesty had permitted the preachers in public to denounce (bassare) by name the evil courses of the king of England;—all signs that his Majesty had little wish to hold more commerce with England, but rather to break with him; and yet when I went to the Court I could not gather (cavare) that at present more than at any other time he had any intention (rispetto) to break with that King. On this account I say that I cannot judge of his Majesty's will by words but only by conjectures; although I do not doubt, as I said to the councillors on leaving, that his Majesty had much more good will to assist the cause of England than he showed in words, and that when some reason, which perhaps at present made his Majesty more reserved, was removed, I hoped he would show in effect his good and religious mind. What this reason could be I cannot tell. It may be the war against the Turk, about which he made great difficulties, alleging to me that he could not, for his own honour and the safety of his provinces, abandon that enterprise to attend to another, and showing surprise that his Holiness should persuade him to this and to leave that, when last year at Genoa he had much encouraged him (the Emperor) to the enterprise against the Turk. I replied that his Holiness did not change his opinion nor wish to leave off the enterprise of the Turk, although there might be that of England, which compared with that of the Turk was not to be called an enterprise, because it was sufficient that his Majesty and the French king should show that they would no longer suffer those worse than Turkish proceedings, to remedy all without sword or bloodshed. And if for this [end] a short truce was made with the Turk it was not abandoning the enterprise of the Levant but making oneself more powerful to execute it, getting rid of the internal evils of Christendom, and uniting its forces against the Turk with more hope of victory. His Majesty alleged also the impediment of the Lutherans, saying that upon the enterprise against England there was a danger lest the Lutherans should rise in aid of the said King, because of the alliance between them. I answered that if he feared this when he was present it was much more to be feared when he was absent, involved in war against the Turk; and that it was much worse to leave at one's back this enemy who could harm Christendom worse than the Turk; and therefore it would be very expedient, before proceeding further against the Turk, to deliver oneself from these hidden snares and this internal enemy. But with all this I could not move him to manifest himself against the king of England, nor could I clearly understand the reasons which restrain him, which perhaps are fears that if he shows himself willing to make this enterprise the other princes may think he wishes to usurp that kingdom, and therefore perhaps he thinks it better to wait until invited by them rather than to invite them. Or perhaps it is as the councillors said at my departure, i.e., that his Majesty expects to settle the affairs of the Lutherans, and sever them from the assistance of England, which they showed him they could do in six months; and meanwhile they wished to admonish the king of England to return to the obedience of the Church, or, if he refuse, as is very probable, they will be able then with more security, the Lutherans being detached, to attend to that enterprise. It may be that one of these reasons might move him, but I can affirm nothing, and leave it to his Holiness to judge and to instruct me. I have written to Granvela reminding him of my words to him by mouth:—viz., "for the love of God let him take care that, with this their proceeding, they do not without wishing it give a greater wound to the See Apostolic than could the king of England with all his malignity." And this will be the case if they do not obey the censures already published; to which thing, when I was at Court, they replied that they would find a remedy, asking this favour of His Holiness to defer the publication for some time, which in my judgment would have to be done by letters public like the censures.
But to return to what I have said above about not being able to draw a certain conclusion from the Emperor's words; I hope it will be clearer after the reply of the French king is known; who, I have heard, has been asked by the king of England to give passage, through France into England, to I know not how many Germans (by which one sees how little that King trusts his own subjects); to which demand I hear the French king has not consented. I shall learn and write full particulars at the return of my gentleman. I send with this, copies of my letters to the French king and to Granvela in order that you may see all my progress. As you will see, I sent Granvela a copy of my letter to the King. This I did because, conversing with the Emperor first, and afterwards more at large with his Council, about my going into France, I told them that if they refused altogether the enterprise of England I should be forced to turn to the king of France for the remedies of that island, to which I was much bound for so many reasons, and that would perhaps displease them, so they must reflect that they had only themselves to blame. To this they first answered that they knew the King would not undertake this enterprise; but on my reply that perhaps it would not be a difficult matter that the French king and the King of Scots might be ready for this enterprise, and that if they undertook it the Emperor could not honourably refuse it, and that to me it pertained to solicit it by all ways, they answered, showing that they did not encourage my going into France, saying that I might be the occasion of doing more harm to Christendom than good to England if the means I used were not with great concordance of the Emperor and the French king. I replied that although it would not be my fault if this happened, but rather theirs for refusing their consent in an enterprise so much to God's honour and the benefit of such a member of the Church, yet, if in my going to France there was danger of breaking the union commenced between their two majesties, I would never be an instrument of this; I was not a Milanese or Florentine exile, of whom I have heard that to return into their own country they will turn all the rest of the world upside down, but I was not seeking to enter into my own country if the cause of God, and not my own, did not lead me; which cause I would not practise otherwise than with every due means to the honour of God and the concord of their two majesties, and that the will of His Holiness was that, above all, respect should be had to that concord; and therefore I was sent to both, hoping that, with their consent, this cause might be attended to and might be the occasion of their closer union. And I told them that by the success of the negociations with the French king they would every day see my sincerity better. For this reason I have sent them the copy of the letter to the French king and given you an account of all. I hope His Holiness will take in good part this my stay at Carpentras, considering the cause that has moved me to it. God knows my principal object is the honour of God and of the See Apostolic and therefore I have stopped in the territories of His Holiness, a place opportune both for Spain and France for every occasion of benefiting that Island. However, this shall not be my choice but His Holiness' pleasure, which I will always obey. I seem in a good port in which to restore myself after the many labours of this journey of the body, but much more of the mind. And it is still greater consolation to have found Card. Sadoleto, a person of such rare qualities, desirous of succouring my wants; from whose sweetness and humanity I find much comfort. I will avail myself of it as long as it shall be His Holiness' pleasure, always prepared to do what I can to aid that afflicted Church in England or elsewhere. Carpentras, 25 March 1539. Signed.
Italian, pp. 9. Add. Endd: Recd 4 April.
* This document has been recently acquired by the Record Office.
2. A modern transcript of the above is also in R. O.
Pp. 11.
25 March.
Poli Epp., II.
Fancies Contarini will long for a letter from him as much as he does for one from Contarini. However, he is partly consoled by that which Contarini has written to his, (Pole's) colleague Sadolet, which he has seen. Much commends Contarini's candid criticism of Sadolet's book de Substructione Ecclesiæ, as well as the way in which Sadolet receive it. Sadolet, however, and they all, are grieved that though the book has as yet only been shown to a select few, parts of it have been reported erroneously as if they introduced new dogmas. Such a slight to one of the pillars of their order is unendurable. Asks Contarini to defend the book.
Feels in this house (ædes) as if in a safe port after a storm, and Contarini has no need to ask how he was received, as he knows the lord of it. To tell, however, what has driven him to these shores when his course led elsewhere is a long story, which he refers to "Ludovicus "tuus" (fn. 11) who will also relate the progress of the cause so far. Will only write that, from some years' experience, of all kinds of causes, he has learnt that none are more difficult to obtain than those which pertain to God and religion, although men daily pray to God that His will be done. Necessity of prayer. Seems himself surrounded with difficulties. Commendations to the master of the Sacred Palace. (fn. 12) Carpentras, 25 March 1539.
25 March.
Otho C. IX.
B. M.
Is writing to the King to request he may be recalled and come to the presence of his Majesty "for the safeguard of his royal person [where] he shall hear that no man else shall, which I [would were] done, rather than to have any goods in this world, [and] that done, lytell styme to make an ende." Begs Cromwell to move that some pursuivant be sent hither. Has long since sent his little apparel and would gladly follow himself; but urges this only for his Highness's safeguard. Malta, 25 March 1539.
The rest of the news John Story, the bearer, can explain, both of the Christian army and of the Infidels. He has divers times wished to write to Cromwell to take him to his service. Signed.
Mutilated, pp. 2. Add. at f. 135. *
Ib. 135. 2. Holograph of the same letter, the P.S. a little abridged.
P. 1.


  • 1. Of Dover
  • 2. Philip Majoris.
  • 3. Wotton.
  • 4. Wriothesley and Carne.
  • 5. Wrongly placed in Spanish Calendar in the historical year 1538. It is clearly 1538, avant Paques.
  • 6. Supplied from modern marginal note.
  • 7. Doubtless a misreading of Girona. See No. 586.
  • 8. Like Montmorency's letter of the 24th this is wrongly placed in the historical year 1538 in the Spanish Calendar,
  • 9. Vincenzo Parpaglia, abbot of San Saluto. See p. 208 note.
  • 10. Sir Thos. Wyatt.
  • 11. Beccatelli.
  • 12. Thomas Badia. See Raynuldus, ann. 1538 xliii., 1540 lii.