Henry VIII: March 1541, 21-25

Pages 304-315

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 16, 1540-1541. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1898.

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March 1541, 21–25

21 March. 639. Pardons to Wallop, Wyatt and Mason.
See Grants in March, No. 41.
640. Wyatt to the [Council]. (fn. 1)
Harl. MS.
78, f. 5.
B. M.
Nott's Wyatt,
Is informed by Mr. Lieutenant (fn. 2) that the King's pleasure and their lordships' command is that he should write and declare what passed in the Emperor's Court wherein he knows himself to have offended or incurred suspicion when that Court was at Nice and Villa Franca.
Begs that in those things which are not (fn. 3) fresh in his memory no captious advantage may be taken of him, and he will sincerely declare the truth; and affirms that against the King or any of his issue he has never offended. Never spake with any traitor, knowing him to be such, save to Brancetour at his apprehension in Paris, and to Frogmerton at St. Davis (St. Denis?), which processes their lordships know. “I had forgot in this place a light fellow, a gunner, that was an Englishman, and came out of Ireland with an Irish traitor called James, I have forgot his other name,”—a drunken fellow whom he rebuked out of his house, and who came to advertise him “of that James' coming again”; also a fool, a lame Irishman who was maimed in the Emperor's wars, and went by the name of Rosaroffa because he wore a red rose on his breast.
Never received writing of any suspect of treason, or afterwards proved traitor, save (1) of the earl of Essex (then the King's chief councillor); (2) of “Pagettes” (Pates?) a letter, enclosed within a letter of the earl of Essex, directing another letter therewith to Brauncetour—“Pate's letter I sent to the earl of Essex, Brauncetor not yet known for a traitor”; (3) of Leges, a letter or two, he being in Italy, whereto I answered exhorting him to come and see Spain and return with me to England, he not then being suspected of any offence; (4) of Brauncetour, two or three letters from Tower de Himmes (?) in Castille to me at Barcelona, concerning my money of the bank, twelve months before he was discovered for a traitor. I remember no others “but of the priest (fn. 4) that was my lord Lyster's (sic) chaplain, which I opened and after brought them the King.”
Of communing with any known traitor or sending any message, protests that he is clear. God knows what restless torment he has had since coming hither (fn. 5) to call to remembrance all deeds “whereby a malicious enemy might take advantage by evil interpretation. But, as I complained before to your lordships, it had grieved me the suspect I have been in, being in Spain, that it was noised that I was run away to the bishop of Rome, had not the King's Majesty had so good opinion of me that as I know at my coming home they were punished that had sown that noise on me. And further by examination of Mason, the which thing with that you name the towns Nice and Villa Franca reneweth the suspect thereof.”
At the Emperor's arrival at Villa Franca (which is a mile from Nice), came to my galley a servant, from the bp. of London and Dr. Haynes, reporting their being at Nice, and I forthwith went in my boat to them and got them [lodging] over against mine at Villa Franca; for although they were better lodged at Nice, it was not meet (being full of the court of Rome) for our communication. The “execution thereof” was signified at the time and is not needed in this declaration. I rested not day or night to hunt for knowledge of those things; “I trotted continually up and down that hell through heat and stink, from counsellor to ambassador, from one friend to another, but the things then were either so secretly handled, or yet not in coverture that I with all mine acquaintance, and much less they, my colloquies (colleagues), for any policy or industry that I saw them use, could not get any knowledge.” An Emperor, a French king, and bishop of Rome being assembled, pretending a union of the world to be treated by my Master's mortal enemy, methought I should leave no stone unmoved to get intelligence, “although peradventure my colloquies thought that little to be their charge, but only to convert the Emperor by their learning.” One day only we three and Mason being together at dinner, and the servants gone out, I suggested that Mason should insinuate himself with Pole, to suck something worthy of knowledge; and they both thought it good, and Mason was content to essay it when he should see time. How long I tarried after I remember not for certain, but think I was not there 12 days in all. Afore anything was done in this “the (fn. 6) converture for my coming to the King was made unto me,” in which I had less respect to the offers made than to the promise of the Emperor, Grandvela, and Cavas (sic), that neither with Bishop nor King should anything be concluded until my return if I came within 15 or 16 days. It was so gladsome to me to win to the King, and be at liberty so many days (with posting and pain in so high matters) that “my policy of knowledge and intelligence was clean forgotten. The result your Lordships know, and the success after shows what was meant. The day passed, and before my return the appointment was concluded and the princes departed.”
This is all his share of Mason's device with Pole, Used the like afterwards at Toledo, setting Mr. Foleman's brother and another merchant that had been spoiled to spy who resorted to Pole's lodging, and so discovered Brancetour's treason (which he notified) and Grandvela's being secretly with Pole (whereupon he got of Grandvela “further knowledge of Pole's suits and demands”). Did this without consultation, having no “colloque” at the time. At Paris used Welden and Swerder, with the participation of Mr. Late (Tate) and the bp. of London, to be spies over Brancetour till he was apprehended, Weldone being in the chamber with him. “Our Lord defend these men,” that what was meant for the King's service “should be prejudiced by suspect in this behalf.”
To return to the matter of Mason, I met the Emperor at sea before Marseilles, “coming in a boat from Aquas Mortis, both in hazard of the Moors and naughty weather” to prevent the Emperor and French king's meeting at Aquas Mortes, but was “too late to break anything.” The Emperor had been at Genes, and there Mason had gotten occasion to enter with Pole, but “could suck nothing out of him, for that he seemed to suspect him. At Venes (Genes?) was I never.” This was while I was still in England, and Mason said he wrote to me and the earl of Essex what he had done, which letters never came to me, nor almost a year after to the earl of Essex. The Earl told me this at my coming home, and how honestly Mason declared himself, and further, how in searching Mason's papers the minute of the letter was found, and how the letter itself afterwards came to his hands. He added “They meant at Mason, but they shot at thee, Wyatt”; and I answered “They strake at me, but they hurt me not; therefore I pray God forgive them, but I beshrew their hearts for their meaning.” Mason wrote to me in Spain “that he was detained with a quartan, but I knew by Grandvela that he was detained by examination wherein I was suspect.” As may appear by my letters, I solicited my coming home for my declaration.
The credit of an ambassador might well discharge such stretches as these. If I presumed it was in zeal for the King's service, and I have always thought that the King “either should send for ambassadors such as he trusteth or trust such as he sendeth. But all ye, my good lords and masters of the Council, that hath and shall in like case serve the King, for Christ's charity weigh in this mine innocence, as you would be deemed in your first days when you have charge without experience.” If an ambassador is to be so scrupulous as to do nothing without warrant, he should lose many occasions of service. Touching the bp. of London and Haynes “calumning” in this matter will, if examined, show the malice that moved them, and knows that “they cannot avoid their untruth in denial of their consent in this cause of Mason.” Begs their Lordships not to let his life wear away here. “The King's true faithful subject and servant, and humble orator, T. Wyatt.”
“This without correcting, sending, or overseeing.”
Copy, pp. 4. Headed in the same hand: A declaration made by Sir Thomas Wiatt, knight, of his innocence being [in the Tower] (fn. 7) upon the false accusation of Dr. Bonarde, bishop of London, ma[de to] the Council the year of our Lord 15—.”
Begins: “Please it your good Lordship (sic, qu. Lordships?) to understand.”
641. Sir Thomas Wyatt's Defence.
Harl. MS.
78, f. 7.
B. M.
Nott's Wyatt,
“To the judges, after the indictment and the evidence.” (fn. 8)
Addresses “my lords,” desiring them, since he cannot spare time to move their hearts to favour him (because he may not, as in France or in the civil law, retain counsel for his defence), not to be both judges and accusers, that is, not to aggravate his cause to the “quest,” for although “these men” must pronounce upon him, he knows the force of a small word of their Lordships to these men that seek light at their hands. Then, turning to his “good masters and Christian brethren” [the jury], he wishes that he had time to have read what “my masters here of the Kings Majesty's learned counsel” have penned in his indictment, and to have written his answer; but, as that may not be, he must answer directly to the accusation, which will be hard for him to remember. Explains that the accusation comprehends the indictment “and all these worshipful men's tales annexed thereunto,” the length and cunning weaving of which may well deceive them (the quest) and amaze him; but he gathers the whole as aiming at two marks, a deed and a saying. The deed is that Wyatt, the King's trusted ambassador, had intelligence with the King's traitor Pole. The saying amounts to this, that Wyatt maliciously, falsely, and traitorously said “That he feared that the King should be cast out of a cart's arse, and that by God's blood if he were so he were well served, and he would he were so.” Begs them not to be prejudiced by any tales they may have heard of him, and to remember that, for the condemnation of a man, it is not sufficient to be accused only, but proof is requisite. “My masters here, Serjeants and other of the King's counsel,” were never beyond the sea with me, so that neither “these men which talk here unsworn” nor the “indictment at large” is evidence. If quests fetch their light at indictments at large, a man is condemned unheard; and then had my lord Dacres been found guilty, for he was indicted by four or five quests, but the “honorable and wise nobility” looked at the evidence and the malice of the accusers. It will be said that “there is the right reverend father in God the bishop of London and Mr. Dr. Haynes, the King's chaplain” that depose against him, ambassadors like himself. Explains that intelligence does not mean mere speaking or writing, as “my lords” can declare, for he might bid a traitor avaunt, or write him a challenge without committing treason. Never spake with “him” (Pole) beyond sea, and but once on this side, nor sent him message except by his servant Frogmerton, at St. Daves (sic) in France, refusing a present of wine and other gear, in presence of Chambers, Knowles, Mancell, Blage, and Mason, who “heard what pleasant words I cherished him withal.” His accusers will ask, Would you believe Wyatt that is not ashamed to lie so manifestly? Has he not confessed sending Mason to Pole at Nice? Has Mason not confessed it? Have not the bp. of London and Haynes accused him of it? Never a whit; he neither sent Mason nor has confessed it. “Call forth Bonner and Haynes; their spirituality letteth not them from judgment out of the King's court.” They say Mason spoke with Pole at Genes. Here they accuse Mason, not him. Call Mason. “He is defendant, his oath cannot be taken”; but he says that Bonner, Haynes, and Wyatt being together at Villa Franca, Wyatt, in great care for intelligence (seeing, an Emperor, a French king, and a bp. of Rome, all within four miles, treating a peace by means of the bp. of Rome, the King's mortal enemy, and Pole, the King's traitor, there practising against the King) suggested setting Mason to “undermine” Pole; which they all thought a good device. “What word gave I unto thee, Mason? What message? I defy all familiarity and friendship betwixt us, say thy worst.” My accusers are accused in this more than I, for, whereas I confess it, they deny it. “What mean they by denying of this? Minister interrogatories. Let them have such thirty-eight as were ministered unto me, and their familiar friends examined in hold and apert as well as I, and let us see what milk these men will yield! Why not? They are accused as well as I. Shall they be privileged because they, by subtle craft, complained first; where I, knowing no hurt in the thing, did not complain likewise. But they are two! We also are two. As in spiritual courts men are wont to purge their fames, let us try our fames for our honesties and we will give them odds.” They are not the first openers of the matter. Bonner wrote it out of France long after he came from Wyatt out of Spain. Haynes came home. But Mason wrote it to the earl of Essex from Genes, where he had spoken with Pole, while Wyatt was in England, being sent by the Emperor in haste from Villa Franca, and doing a service which the King esteemed. Mason's letters of this to Wyatt were never received, and those to Essex not for a year after; but, at Mason's examination by Essex, the duke of Suffolk, and bp. of Durham (when Wyatt was in Spain), the minute of them was found among his (Mason's) papers by Mr. Bartlett, Essex's servant, who can perhaps depose, although the minute be lost. Doubtless Mason wrote that he went by the ambassadors' consent, and the accusers' denial of this requires proof. To accuse them does to clear himself, but it cannot be shown but that his dealings with Pole were meant to undermine him. Has often been thanked by the King and Council for what he has done, and urged to use all his policy and dexterity; and, by setting two spies over Pole at Toledo, he discovered Brancetour's treason and Pole's practices. Before Pole left Rome in post to the Emperor, Wyatt sent intelligence of it. Wrote again, “He is on the sea, or else as far as Genes by land hitherward.” Wrote later how Pole was in Spain and, by his (Wyatt's) means, was neither received nor rewarded, and was despatched with loss of reputation; all before the King's letters by Francis the courier arrived. Supposes Pole has received no gladder news these seven years than this of Wyatt's trouble. To set spies over traitors is no new practice with ambassadors. “He of France that is now here had he not, trow ye, them that knit company with Cappes (fn. 9) afore he was delivered here?” Last year, at Paris, I appointed We[ldon] and Swerder, scholars, to entertain Brancetour; with the privity of the Bishop and Mr. Totle (sic), I would have had Mason do it, but, before the Bishop, he refused, “alleging that he had once swerved from him in such a like matter.” As to saying that he had this intelligence with Pole because he shares his opinions and is “papish,” thinks he should have more ado with many to purge himself from suspect of a Lutheran. The King and Council know the hazard he was in in Spain with the Inquisition for speaking against the bishop of Rome (“where peradventure Bonner would not have byd such a brunt”), so that the Emperor had much ado to save him. What the King and Council thought is shown by their dismissing Mason at his first examination.
Deals then with the second accusation, viz., the words imputed to him, and, after showing how the malicious inversion of a word may alter the sense, asks whether he is so very a fool as to use such words maliciously with them with whom he “had no great acquaintance and much less trust.” If he ever used that proverb it was not with Bonner or Haynes, but with Blage or Mason who can declare how he used it. The place where they say it was used (at Barcelona) proves that they lie; for, after Nice and Villa France and Aquas Mortes, the King “was left out of the packing indeed,” and Wyatt sent the copy of the conclusions in which the King was not mentioned, “contrary to the Emperor's promise and to the French king's letters;” so that instead of using the future tense Wyatt would, at Barcelona have said, “He is left out of the cart's arse, and by God's blood he is well served, and I am glad of it.” Because he is wont “sometime to rap out an oath in an earnest talk,” they have craftily guarded a naughty garment of their own with one of his naughty guards. The labour be took in the King's affairs is proof that he meant not that naughty interpretation.
Now for their other conjectures of his intelligence with Pole. “Wyatt grudged at his first putting in the Tower.” If grudging means grieving he grants it; but if it includes a desire to revenge, he says that they lie, and that he knows Mason would not interpret it so. His “two honest men” accuse him of saying “God's blood! the King set me in the Tower and afterward sent me for his ambassador! Was not this I pray you a pretty way to get me credit?” Granted that he had spoken so like an idiot, what revenge finding is in that? Never imputed his imprisonment to the King. Mr. Lieutenant here can testify to whom he imputed it. Yea, my lord of Suffolk “can tell that I imputed it to him, and not only at the beginning, but even the very night before my apprehension now last; what time I remember my saying unto him, for his favour, to remit his old undeserved evil will, and to remember like as he was a mortal man so to bear no immortal hate in his breast. Athough I received the injury at his hands, let him say whether this be true.” Came out of the Tower in the commotion time, (fn. 10) and being appointed to go against tire rebels, went (until countermanded) as speedily and as well furnished as he could; and, after, he was made sheriff of Kent and ambassador; and he has boasted thereof to show the King's trust in him for all his putting in the Tower. They add that Wyatt wished that the King had sent him to Newgate instead of as ambassador. The Council know how reluctantly he took the office, who “was given to a more pleasant kind of life”; and, to his solicitude that the King might be well served, Mason, Blage, Mr. Hobby, Mr. Dudley, and others who were with him can testify. If he (foolishly) named Newgate, would one who sought revenge wish himself there? They found fault that I did them not the honour due to the King's ambassadors, that I did not lend them my horse when they left Barcelona, nor accompany them. I report me to my servants and theirs, and let themselves answer. Did ye not sit at the upper end of the table? Went we abroad but one or other was at my right hand? Came any to visit me whom I made not visit you too? Had ye not in the galley the best places? Were ye charged one groat, was I not charged five? “Was not I, for all this, first in the commission? Was not I ambassador resident? A better man than either of ye both should have gone without that honor that I did you if he had looked for it. I know no man that did you dishonour but your unmannerly behaviour, that made ye a laughing stock to all men that came in your company and me sometime to sweat for shame to see you.” As to lending his horses, they never stirred out but they had mule or horse, footcloth and harness of velvet. “Mary! it was thought indeed amongst us that Bonner could have been content to have been upon a jennet with gilt harness.” These men came and went in post, and to have without necessity lent his horses to ride post or to have ridden with them! “Children would not have played the fool so notably.” A pretty article for Bonner to allege against me! Another is that I should say they were more meet for parish priests than ambassadors. I never liked them, indeed, for ambassadors, nor did most that saw them, but I never remember saying that, nor is it likely, “for, as far as I could see, neither of them both had greatly any fancy to Mass, and that ye know, were requisite for parish priests.” And while there not one of them ever said Mass or offered to hear Mass, “though it was but a superstition.” Both Mason and I, “because of the name that Englishmen then had to be all Lutherans,” had to entreat them to show themselves sometimes in the church. “It was not like then that the bishop of London should sue to have the Scripture in English taken out of the church. But [this] I have not to do withal. I must here answer to interrogatories that, upon this occasion belike, were ministered against me, Whether (fn. 11) he thought he could be a good subject that misliketh or repugneth his prince's proceeding.” If misliking includes disobeying I think him no good subject, but otherwise I know no law to the contrary; and as to Mason's saying that I thought the law of words hard and the first devisers well served in falling into it, meaning lord Rocheford or the earl of Essex, I never remember saying so, but what treason is in it? Allows that he might say to Mason that the Act of Supreme head was a godly Act, the King being so virtuous, wise, and learned, but with an evil prince it were a sore rod. All absolute powers are sore rods in evil men's hands. Another point is, by Bonner's letters to the earl of Essex, “that I lived viciously amongst the nuns of Barcelona.” “There be many nuns in the town, and most of gentlewomen which walk upon their horses, and here and there talk with those ladies, and, when they will, go in and sit in company together with them talking in their chambers, gentlemen of the Emperor's chamber, earls, lords, dukes, and I among them. I used not the pastime in company with ruffians, but with such, or with ambassadors of Ferrat, of Mantua, of Venice, a man of lx years old, and such vicious company.” And now to Bonner; for his crafty malice abuses “the other's” simpleness. Come on, now, my lord of London, what is my abominable and vicious living? “I grant I do not profess chastity, but yet I use not abomination.” Have you seen any harlot in my house? Or a woman dine or sup at my table? “None but, for your pleasure, the woman that was in the galley, which I assure you may be well seen, for, before you came, neither she nor any other came above the mast. But, because the gentlemen took pleasure to see you entertain her, therefore they made her dine and sup with you; and they liked well your look, your carving to Madonna, your drinking to her, and your playing under the table. Ask Mason, ask Blage (Rowes is dead), ask Wolf, that was my steward. They can tell how the gentlemen marked it and talked of it. It was a play to them, the keeping of your bottles that no man might drink of but yourself, and that the little fat priest were a jolly morsel for the zora. This was their talk, it is not my device.” Reviews these stories as meant rather to defame than sincerely accuse him. Belike Essex desired Bonner to spy him, to know whether he did so good service as reported; for so Essex desired Wyatt to do towards my lord of Winchester, then ambassador in France, who can tell, “by Bonner's means and one Barnaby's, what a tragedy and what a suspect they stirred against him. Well! all this is reconciled; but yet I say that it is the likelier that he would take that office toward me that used it to another, and then conceiving in his mind (and that, as God judge me, falsely) that I had letted him in Spain that he had no reward of the Emperor, conceived therewithal a malice.”
This matter, two years past, was before the Council (Mason in hold) and dismissed; and at my coming home the earl of Essex desired me to let it pass, as cleared well enough. Then, within six months, I was again sent ambassador to the Emperor at his coming into France, and the King rewarded me with lands, and it was said that “I was used for the necessity. Yea! and my instrument of treason was sent with me, Mr. Mason.” I came home in the beginning of last summer. If there be anything new against me, why is it not alleged? It is a naughty fear to think a quest dare not acquit a man of treason. It slanders the King, who is not a tyrant, but will only his laws. “What displeasure bare he to the Lords for the acquitting the lord Dacres?” None. Has said all this that he may not perish for lack of declaring the truth; and he prays God to put in their hearts to pronounce upon him according as he has willed to the King.—“T. W.”
Copy, pp. 17. Underneath the conclusion is the following verse:—
“Sir Antonie Sentleger of Sir T.W.
“Thus liveth the dead that whilome lived here
Among the dead that quick go on the ground.
Though he be dead, yet doth he quick appear
By immortal fame that death cannot confound.
His life for aye, his fame in trump shall sound.
Though he be dead, yet is he here alive,
No death can that life from Wiatt's life deprive.”
And on the other side of the leaf is Wyatt's epitaph, beginning—
“Wyat resteth here that quick could never rest.”
22 March. 642. The Privy Council.
P. C. P., vii.
Note that on 21 March the Council did not sit because the King removed from Greenwich to Dartford.
Meeting at Dartford, 22 March. Present: Privy Seal, Gt. Chamb., Gt. Admiral, Mr. of Horse, Vice-Chamb. Business:—Letter sent to the lord Chancellor (enclosing other letters and the form of an oath sent from John Chaterton and John Rydley to the lord Admiral), with the chancellors of Augmentations and Tenths, to examine George Bruges and others of London upon the contents of the said letters, and also to consider the effect of the oath in law.
22 March. 643. Card. Contarini to Card. Pole.
Poli Epp., iii.
Has nothing to write. The princes of Germany are coming hither with tortoise steps. None of the Electors are as yet at this Diet. The Landgrave has reached Nuremberg. The Emperor, who has been at a hunt in a town 10 miles off, has returned in better health. Hopes these suburban disturbances (fn. 12) will cease. Wishes Priulus would sometimes write. Sends commendations to the Cardinals and the Marchioness. Ratisbon, 22 March 1541.
23 March. 644. The Privy Council.
P. C. P., vii.
Meeting at Rochester, 23 March. Present: Privy Seal, Gt. Chamb., Gt. Admiral, Treasurer, Mr. of Horse, Vice-Chamb., Wriothesley, Sadler. Business:—Letter sent to John Gunter and Wm. Wayte, of Chichester, to stay a Flemish hoy laden with wheat and sell the wheat, retaining the money until it be tried whether the wheat is forfeit. John Bannester, examined of his misdemeanour to the deputy of Calais, denied it and was referred to be further examined.
23 March. 645. Maltravers to Henry VIII.
R O. Very mutilated letter which seems to import that he has matters to open to the King which he cannot conveniently express in writing, and requests leave to come to the King's presence, were it only for a day. Calais, “the 23 [of March] in the xxxijth yere of yor most [pr]osperosse [reign.].” Signed.
Hol., p.
1. Add. Endd.; My 1. Deputy of Calais, 23 March.
23 March. 646. Maltravers and Sir Edw. Wotton to the Council.
R. O. Maltravers (fn. 13) has formerly written of the ill effects of the delay in paying the garrison here. The wool fleet will not set out for Calais until a fortnight after Easter and the dues will be both late in coming and insufficient. Request that 4,022l. 19s. 2d. may be sent before Easter for the payment of the ha[lf year] ending 6 April next and also money for the use of the Surveyor.
Have received no instructions touching the payments extraordinary here, of which they wrote before. Send a book of them herewith, and beg to know before Easter how many shall be “resumed” and how many continue. And whereas “we, the said Lord Mawtravers and Treasurer,” and the rest of the Council here, wrote that the number of gunners (22) was insufficient; your letters of 13 [Octo]ber last to me Mawtravers, directed me to choose meet persons here to add to the number. [The remainder is much mutilated but seems to be that he has “of the scholars here” chosen 20 more, and requests money for their pay to be due from 7 Dec. last.] Calais … of March. Signed (only part of Maltravers' signature remains; Wotton's is lost).
Much mutilated, pp. 3. Add. Endd.: “A l're from the Deputy and Mr. Wootton, Tr.,” 23 March.
24 March. 647. The Privy Council.
P. C. P., vii.
Meeting at Sittingbourne, 24 March. Present: Privy Seal Gt. Chamb., Gt. Admiral, Treasurer, Mr. of Horse, Vice-Chamb., Wriothesley, Sadler. No business recorded.
24 March. 648. Sir Richard Ryche to Scudamore and Burgoyn.
Add. MS.
11,041, f. 16.
B. M.
Is informed by the bp. of Worcester that divers such chancels of churches in cos. Glouc., Heref., Salop, Staff., and Worc., as belong to the King are in such great decay as to need immediate repair. They are to see what is necessary done without delay. London, 24 March 32 Hen. VIII. Signed.
1. Add.: To, &c., Mr. Sckydmore and Mr. Burgoyn, the King's Grace's officers of the Augmentation lands in the counties of Heref. and Worcester.
25 March. 649. The Privy Council.
P. C. P., vii.
Meeting at Canterbury, 25 March. Present: Privy Seal, Gt. Chamb., Gt. Admiral, Treasurer, Mr. of Horse, Vice-Chamb., Wriothesley, Sadler. Business:—Letter written to John Myll and Thos. Welles, of Southampton, who had stayed a Portugalles ship laden with wheat, to sell the wheat, retain the money, and suffer the ship to depart, and to release one Skyers, factor to Geo. Bruges, owner of the said wheat.
25 March. 650. Marillac to Francis I.
R. O.
Kaulek, 278.
The coming of the bearer, De Thays, was well timed, both for the pleasure it gave the King to know that Francis was concerned at his indisposition, and to efface an impression the English had of the king of Scots, who was lately said to have levied 60,000 men to make war on them; which they supposed to be done at the instance of Francis, without whom the king of Scots would not move, as this King told his ambassador (fn. 14) eight days ago. Refers further particulars to the instruction (memoire) carried by De Thays, who can give a good account of his charge.
French. Two modern transcripts, each p. 1. Headed: London, 25 March 1541.
R. O.
Kaulek, 278.
(Almost the
whole text.)
2. Instruction given to M. de Thays, to be shown to the King.
M. de Thays, returning to the King's Court, will report how, arrived at London, 19 March, at 7 a.m., he communicated to Marillac the cause of his coming, which (to show earnestness by haste) was intimated to the Privy Council, who advertised their master and assigned De Thays and Marillac audience the same day, after dinner, at Greenwich. There De Thays presented the King's affectionate recommendations and letter, and received in reply the gracious words commonly said between princes who are good friends. The king of England, entering into conversation, asked if the King his brother was still at Blois, and if there was no talk of his going to Lyons; showing singular desire to hear about this, and the men reported here to have been sent to Thurin and elsewhere in Piedmont, a sign that war was ready to begin again there. It was answered that there was no mention of his leaving the part of his realm where he now was, and if he did move, it would be rather to Amboise, Chastellerault, and other places of Guienne than towards Lyons; that men had been levied and sent to Piedmont, as is customary each year, to reinforce the garrisons after winter, and that there was no news of others being sent thither, although it was likely that M. le Mareschal de Hannebault, as lieutenant and governor of the country, might go thither if the Emperor passed into Italy, or need required.
Turning to affairs of Germany, the King said he had news, from his ambassadors in the Emperor's Court, that the Emperor had so gained over the German princes that he was allowed to enter in arms (avec main armée) into Nuremberg and other grounds of the Empire, a thing which none of his predecessors ever did; and the marquis of Brandenburg assured him that all the lords and electors will be at the diet of Ratisbon, even the count Palatine, who was thought doubtful, and the duke of Saxony, who was affirmed to have decided not to be there; as for the duke of Wirtemberg, who (it was answered) would scarcely be there, he confessed he had no particulars. The duke of Cleves had day given him to appear in person; and in this the Emperor acted honorably, for he warned the Duke to bring titles and documents of his claim to Gueldres in order that the dispute might be examined and decided by the Imperial Chamber. Whereupon the Duke despatched certain lords of his court and representatives of his chief towns to go to the Diet and obtain that their master might not appear personally: but the King did not yet know whether this excuse would be admitted. In all these assemblies there was no talk of the Turk preparing war on account of Hungary, but rather that a powerful alliance of the Sophy with the Khan of Tartary called him elsewhere. The king of the Romans has taken some strong places in Hungary and besieges Buda, which may be already taken or cannot long hold out, for the 20,000 horse which the Grand Seigneur was sending to its relief had been countermanded. The Grand Seigneur makes no such great army by sea as people would say, but only enough for the surety of his coasts; nor are the Venetians arming as they do when the Turks advance on Corfu and Italy. Rincon was said to have made terms (articulé) with the Grand Seigneur and promised that the King would make some enterprise they had agreed upon, and in pledge for it the Grand Seigneur demanded Mons. d'Orleans in hostage; but he (Henry) did not believe it. Marillac replied that it was a fabrication, for, the four years he was with the Grand Seigneur, neither La Forestz nor he ever had power to make terms or promises, and it was not likely that that could have been granted to Rincon now when the King's affairs were better than they were then.
That is the substance of what the King said, most of it prompted apparently by the false suggestions of the Imperialists, like the marriage of the Emperor with his eldest daughter, and other things of which Marillac wrote on the 10th. Finally, the King required De Thays to make like recommendations to the King, his brother, praying him to wait a day or two until he had leisure to write.
Other news, which Marillac would have written in the ordinary way, is that Norfolk returned to Court from the North three days ago. He has ordered the finishing of certain fortifications, particularly at Berwick, which has been made smaller than it was in order that fewer men might guard it, with a double platform, fine and large, and ramparts where the walls were weakest. As it was rumoured that the Duke had made musters, Marillac enquired of those who went in his company and others, and finds only that, as the Duke passed through some towns, the gentlemen of the country and chief inhabitants met him armed, as customary, in warlike fashion. Not 3,000 were seen in such array. Fifteen days ago two ships were laden at London with artillery and munitions for Lincolle and other places on the borders of Scotland. There is no news at London of the pioneers who were reported to have gone to reinforce those at Calais. Makes daily enquiry what ships go thither and what they carry.
This King, on Saturday, 19th inst., went from Westminster to Greenwich by water, accompanied by the mayor and crafts masters of London, with the solemnity and triumph [customary] at the first passage of new queens; for she who is “en ruyne” (qu. en royne? i.e., queen at present) had not yet passed under the Bridge. The King left on Monday, the 21st, for Dover, leaving the ladies at Greenwich, where he intended to be back by Palm Sunday.
The Scottish ambassador, Camal (who passed before on his was to Flanders, for causes, as Marillac then wrote, concerning navigation between the Flemings and Scots), passed again through London eight days ago, where, as he informed Marillac, this King reminded him that, on his way to Flanders, he had told him the king of Scots wished to remain his good friend and neighbour, but said he had heard, eight days ago, that his nephew would put 60,000 men in the field to make war on him; and, if so, it must be by advice of the French king, for otherwise he would not move, and the Scots are wont to dance to French music (sont coustumiers de danser au son des François), but that James should look to himself and think of his father and predecessors, and that the forces of England were no less than they were then. Camal replied that he could not believe that report true, and thought the duke of Norfolk had made it at random. Camal says that, when he asked the Privy Council how they stood with the French, he was told, very well, provided they kept their promise and did not trouble them (the English) in their property on the river bank between Ardres and Guisnes. They did not specify what promise nor what property. One of the Councillors told Camal, apart, that the French were in duty bound to pensions, which they called tribute. Thinks these speeches are to be considered.
The commissioners sent for the dispute about the bridge of Ardres have returned. Mr. Walop and Mr. Hoyet are released and their goods restored. They had erred (failly), the one while negociating with the Emperor, the other while at Calais, but the King pardoned them, Hoyet for his wit and Walop for his leadership in war, and both for their great services past and to come.
French. Modern transcript, pp. 10. Headed: “Copie du memoire baillé a M. de Thays pour en faire son rapport au Roy (25 Mars 1541)”.
25 March. 651. Marillac to Montmorency.
R. O.
Kaulek, 278.
The King sent the Sieur de Thays, gentleman of his chamber, to visit the King of England, who had been a little indisposed, and present letters in his (Francis's) own hand to the effect that he was distressed to hear of his illness, and would be glad of news of his convalescence. This came à propos to efface a bruit that the king [of Scotland], at Francis's instance, was preparing to make war on the English, besides the satisfaction it gives them to see that people are grieved at this King's indisposition and glad of his health. Has written an ample instruction (memoire) about affairs here, to which he refers.
French. Modern transcript, p. 1. Headed: London, 25 March 1541.
25 March. 652. John Reskymer.
R. O. Two acknowledgments (on same paper), each signed by John Reskymer, of rents received of Benett Forgew for Christmas and Our Lady Quarter, 32 Hen. VIII., for the manor of Tretherf, and for Brongolow and Petygrew, &c.
P. 1.
25 March. 653. John Aske.
R. O. Memorandum that the King was answered of the profits of all lands within the county and city of York, within the office of Hugh Fuller, auditor of Augmentations there, delivered to John Aske in exchange; due at the Annunciation of Our Lady 32 Hen. VIII. Certified by Robt. Thurston, Fuller's deputy.
P. 1.
25 March. 654. Louyse de Lorraine to the Queen [of Scotland].
Balcarres MS.
Adv. Lib.,
Edin., ii. 153.
Since God has done so much as to give me a good husband, I have not had leisure “de vous en fayr la fayte.” I am happy to be in the house where I am, for, besides the grandeur of it, I have a good lord and father, (fn. 15) to recount whose kindness would fill three sheets of paper. You ought, therefore, to be well pleased with your sister's happiness, who is commanded to offer you the very humble service of the masters and lord of this house. Further we have a wise and virtuous Queen. (fn. 16) Must report the great honour she has done her; “car estant venue espres et scto (?) syenne et vostre mayson usant de la quaye quy ne nous et deu pont estre trop grant honneur,” for she said she came to receive me and took me at once for her humble daughter and servant, and wished me henceforth to be always in her company, in which, for the little time I have been, she has made me great cheer. The Duchess of Milan has done the same. We hope to see her in Lorraine, for the marriage between the Marquis (fn. 17) and her is in very good train. Since my mother's return she has sent me a letter to find out if the road this way (le chemy[n] de desa) will be easier for her than the other; and if I find it so, and you wish to communicate your news to me, I shall be very glad, but the letter you send to me must be in a packet addressed “au duc Dascot,” to avoid getting into wrong hands; for her father-in-law is greatly feared and loved here.
Baumont, (fn. 18) 25 March. Signed: V're treshumble et tresobayssante seur, Louyse de Lorrayne,
Hol., Fr., pp. 2. Add.: A la Royne.
655. Remembrances.
R. O. Mr. Secretary to peruse substantially the matters of Ireland and appoint a day to debate with the Lords at London upon the same. Their opinions to be referred to the King by Mr. Secretary. The Treasurer's request is too general; for the King will allow none of the late Privy Seal's letters but those concerning his Highness' affairs “of the which his being advertised a privy seal shall be directed, &c.” The Bishop's (fn. 19) request the King mislikes “for, that the thing he desireth be conquered, his Highness thinketh meet he should have it of his Highness and not of his own jurisdiction, for avoiding of an evil precedent, referring the same nevertheless to the Council, &c.” My lord Chancellor. The Earl of Angus. Mr. Comptroller.
In Wriothesley's hand, p. 1.


  • 1. The precise date during his imprisonment when Wyatt wrote this letter is uncertain, and it is placed here (with another document following) in connection with his pardon. There is a later copy of this and of the following document among the Yelverton MSS. belonging to Lord Calthorpe, but it is evidently derived from the Harl. MS., all the errors of which it reproduces.
  • 2. Of the Tower, viz., Sir E. Walsingham.
  • 3. The MS. reads “yt” instead of “not.”
  • 4. Gregory Botolph.
  • 5. To the Tower.
  • 6. Originally “my converture,” but the “m” of “my” is lined out, and “e” inserted over the “y” to convert it into “yc.”
  • 7. Supplied from the Yelverton copy.
  • 8. Wyatt was sent to the Tower on the 17th January and pardoned, 21 March, without having been brought to trial, so that this spirited oration was never delivered. It must have been prepared in prison soon after the preceding letter to the Council. The heading is apparently supplied by the copyist.
  • 9. Adrien Cape. See Vol. XIV.
  • 10. The Northern Rebellion in October 1536.
  • 11. Apparently this is the first interrogatory quoted verbatim.
  • 12. Raised by Ascanio Colonna at Rome.
  • 13. The letter is mutilated, but the above seems to be the drift of the first paragraph.
  • 14. Sir John Campbell.
  • 15. Philip, Duke of Arschot.
  • 16. The Queen Regent, Mary of Hungary.
  • 17. The Marquis of Pont à Mousson.
  • 18. Beaumont in Hainault, nearly 20 miles North of Chimay.
  • 19. Of Dublin.