Henry VIII: May 1541, 21-25

Pages 404-409

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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May 1541, 21–25

22 May. 848. Card. Pole to the Bishop of Trent.
Poli Epp.,
iii. 34.
Congratulations on his appointment to the bishopric. Rome, 11 cal. Junii 1541.
22 May. 849. The Privy Council.
P.C.P., vii.
Note that at Westm., 21 May, the Council did not sit.
Meeting at Greenwich, 22 May. Present: Chancellor, Norfolk, Privy Seal, Gt. Admiral, Durham, Wriothesley, Sadler, Chanc. of Augm., Chanc. of Tenths. Business:—Letter written to the president of the Council of the North signifying that he should receive, of Brian Tunstal, 2,000l. for the bp. of Carlisle for fortifications.
22 May. 850. Marillac to Francis I.
R. O.
Kaulek, 303.
Upon Francis's last letters from Amboise, of the 6th, Marillac thanked this King for his friendly language; who confirmed what he had caused his Council to say, with many gracious words to efface the bruit there that he meant harm. This appears to be true, for, by enquiries of physicians, servants, and friends of the chief lords of this Court, learns that the intention this year is only to fortify the places adjoining France. Norfolk has confirmed this upon his honour, and says he has written it to his brother, lord William, adding that he reckons Calais will, before Michaelmas, be the strongest town in Christendom, and Guisnes will be made tenable. They have nothing else pressing them, and the fear of being interrupted will make them hasten the work. For some days before he last wrote they seemed to have ceased sending men there, but 300 or 400 have crossed since, being the levies from Cornwall, who are trained to digging. Those taken up about London are masons, carpenters, and the like, not fit men for war.
Besides the above appearances, this King shows little wish to innovate (envoyer qu. innover?) anything this year on your side, as he intends (so Norfolk and others say) leaving immediately after Whitsuntide to visit the North, as far as the frontier of Scotland, and cannot be back here till the end of summer. Presumes he is compelled to this by the daily rebellions and conspiracies there, the bruit of which is renewed, and some priests and gentlemen were two days ago led to the Tower to be examined of the names of their accomplices; for the things are not of so small importance but that they are well worth keeping an eye upon.
Touching the money demanded of strangers who wish to remain in England; nothing is demanded of merchants, but poor craftsmen are commanded to leave the realm, or else, before St. John's tide, take letters of naturalisation, which are commonly taxed at 10 or 12 angelots. Frenchmen who are forfeit or banished or worth little, commonly retire to England, where their gains are great, because the English, of their nature, wish to be well nourished and to work little, and are so ignorant in all kinds of mechanical work that they must employ strangers although they love them not.
French. Two modern transcripts, pp. 4 each. Headed: London, 22 May 1541.
22 May. 851. Marillac to Francis I.
R. O.
Kaulek, 305.
(The whole
As instructed, sought a time to test whether Norfolk would make any overture to draw this alliance closer; and, on Sunday the 15th, this King being at mass, Norfolk coming to repeat what he had said in the Council and adding what ample commission he had to treat for Francis's advantage when he went to him last year (when his power was even greater than he would specify, for he saw Francis was not inclined to listen to him, but rather wait the end of what the Emperor had promised), showing causes too long to write why the Emperor disliked him and why he should be affected to Francis's service, Marillac took the opportunity to say, as of himself, that if Norfolk thought good, for distrust of the Emperor, of whom they had had experience, or doubt of France, that this alliance should be drawn closer, he (Marillac) would report and obtain brief answer to any overture he might make. Norfolk said this language was to him very agreeable and worth thinking of, that it would have been well if Marillac had said as much before, and that, at all events, he must speak of it to the King, and would act so dexterously, in the absence of the rest of the Council, that he would make the King like the matter and prove his own affection to serve Francis. Then, after earnestly praying Marillac not to reveal it, he confessed that the other lords of the Privy Council, since last year, had by common consent urged their King to take heed to his affairs with respect to Francis; and they were still frequently putting him in mind of what he had done for Francis in his need, of his patience in not demanding the pensions during the war with the Emperor, and how not only are these not paid in peace time, but no honorable offer of satisfaction is made; on the contrary, Ardres was being repaired, which the French boasted they would fortify in spite of the English, and besides that, for the dispute about the Cauchoide and some parcel of land—for so small a matter with less right, Francis showed a wish to pick a quarrel with them. Finally they said that the more they dissembled for the advantage of Francis the less he did for them, and therefore, opposite Ardres, Guisnes should be fortified and furnished with an experienced captain, and the neighbouring places reinforced (on the presumption that when Ardres was finished war would be begun at once), and that they should not allow France to usurp what belonged to them. These things so moved the King that, but for his affection for Francis, and the honorable language Marillac had held by Francis's command, he would have believed war was intended; and it was therefore no wonder that so much provision had been sent over sea. He said this as in confession to show that his master had thought more of defending himself than attacking, unless the French began, especially on such a light occasion as the dispute about this precious bridge.
Here ending his discourse, without waiting for an answer, because, mass being said, the King was withdrawing into his chamber, he said he would let Marillac know when they could talk further of this; who, without showing any solicitude about it, agreed that it should be when he pleased. The same afternoon, the Duke, after being three hours with the King, went to a house of his ten miles from London, from whence, on Monday morning, he wrote that he had had no opportunity to communicate these affairs to the King, but would do so this week:—which was as much as to say that his master had heard the whole, but required time to think before answering, for, without danger of his honour and his life, the Duke would not have dared to keep the conversation from his master. But Marillac only told the personage who brought his letter of excuses that there was no hurry.
Yesterday morning was with him, at his request, at his lodging in London, where, after talking two or three hours, he said nothing worth writing other than is mentioned above. Speaking of his last journey he regretted the occasion of negotiating that was then lost, and alleged the envy which the other lords had conceived against him, and that the King had formerly said all his councillors were Imperialists except only the duke of Norfolk. Subsequently he tried every way to learn whether Marillac had commission from Francis to speak as above mentioned, and, on his persistent denial, said he knew not well how to declare this affair to the King, for he was sure his fellow councillors would object the matter of pensions and the bridge. So that it would seem before passing further they expect some gracious reply from Francis on these points. Answered briefly that Francis would be guided by what his Council found reasonable as to the pensions and the bridge,—that as to what he (Marillac) had proposed, the Duke need not pursue it further,—that what he had done was grounded on the honourable language Norfolk had often held to him and his own desire as a minister to increase the amity; adding that for himself it was enough that he had made his desire apparent. And without showing further interest he took his leave.
Thereupon Norfolk, unable to conceal that he had this affair greatly at heart, called him back and begged him not to grow cold in this business, and he himself would still see what he could do, but Marillac should do his part to get Francis to make some honest excuse or reply about the pensions, and should write all these conversations as having proceeded from him (for Marillac, to prove he had no charge, made difficulty about daring to write) and beg Francis not to communicate them to his brother, lord William.
By the above it appears that the English would willingly listen to new treaties provided the overture came from France, in which case, according to their custom, they might draw back and become more difficult when they saw themselves sought; and therefore it seems best to let them think some time, considering that they have no intention of harming France this year.
French. Two modern transcripts, pp. 7 and pp. 8. Headed: London, 22 May 1541.
22 May. 852. Marillac to Montmorency.
R. O.
Kaulek, 308.
The English have no intention for this year but to fortify their places beyond sea; and they will use the more diligence as they have the building material ready (viz., stone from demolished churches and monasteries, which is daily transported thither) and have no other affair to spend [money] upon, and fear at length to be hindered by the French. After Whitsuntide, this King goes towards York and Northumberland, to visit his places on the frontier of Scotland, or rather to take order about the conspiracies daily made there by certain priests and gentlemen, who labour to raise the people, some of whom were brought here two days ago and lodged in the Tower. There is no other news but what he writes to the King in cipher, which he supposes Montmorency will see. Reminds him of his poverty and begs his intercession with the King.
P.S.—Is just informed, by a gentleman of this Court, that the queen of Scotland was brought to bed of her second son, but that, within eight days after, he died, and the eldest also, at which there was great sorrow there. This information coming from the English only, Marillac dare not write to the King until he sees more appearance of its truth.
French. Modern transcript, pp. 3. Headed: London, 22 May 1541.
23 May. 853. Canterbury Cathedral.
Add. MS.
32,311, f. 109.
B. M.
Grant of lands to the cathedral and metropolitan church of Christ of Canterbury. Westm., 23 May 33 Hen. VIII.
Lat. Contemporary copy. 71 large leaves (originally a roll) written on one side only.
Grants in May, No. 59.
Add. MS.
5,490, f. 2.
B. M.
2. Modern copy of the same.
Pp. 39.
Harl. MS.
1,197, f. 352.
B. M.
3. Draft of the same.
Pp. 32.
23 May. 854. The Privy Council.
P.C.P., vii.
Meeting at Greenwich, 23 May. Present: Norfolk, Privy Seal, Durham, Wriothesley. No business recorded.
23 May. 855. M. de Vendôme to Marillac.
R. O.
Kaulek, 309.
Could not let this packet pass without thanking him for his late letter and promise of continual information as long as Vendôme remains here, where he will yet make some sojourn. No news.
French. Modern transcript, p. 8. Headed: 23 May 1541.
24 May. 856. The Privy Council.
P.C.P., vii.
Note that 24 May the Council went from Greenwich to Westminster and there sat in tne Starre Chamber.
24 May. 857. The Magennises.
Lamb. MS.,
603, p. 43a.
Agreement, 24 May 33 Hen. VIII. between Donald Juvenis Magunesse and Arthur, son of Phelim Magunesse, as to the chieftainship of the country of Yviaghe or Magunesse. Made by the arbitrament of Sir Ant. Sentleger, deputy of Ireland, John Alen, chancellor, Thos. Walshe, baron of the Exchequer in England, John Mynne and Wm. Cavendish, commissioners in Ireland, Gerald Aylmer, chief justice of King's Bench, and Robt. Cowley, master of the Rolls.
Lat. Copy, pp. 2. See Carew Calendar, No. 154.
Lamb. MS.,
603, p. 98.
2. Another copy.
Lat., pp. 2.
24 May. 858. Baron Jeorjus ab Heideck to Henry VIII.
R. O.
St. P., viii.
Although Henry has a worthy “legation” at this diet of Ratisbon, thinks it his duty also to write the news. The duke of Gulich has married the daughter of the French king's sister. The duke of Savoy is here and labours with the Emperor and the princes of the Empire to be received as one of them, and to recover what the French king took from him; but nothing is done as yet. The Duke of Wirtemberg and his sons have failed as yet to come to an agreement. The king of the Romans has 2,000 men at Buda and hopes to take that city, but the Turk is entering Hungary with a very large band. Henry's envoy will have written about religious matters; some articles have been settled and more are under consideration. From Italy we learn that the families of Colonna and Ursino have united against the Pope. The king of Poland has sent ambassadors hither to get the proscription against Albert duke of Prussia taken off. Ratisbon, 24 May 1541. Signed.
Latin, p.
1. Add. Endd.
24 May. 859. Thomas Massey.
R. O. Copy of grant. See Grants in May, No. 67.
Paper roll of 2 sheets.
25 May. 860. The Privy Council.
P.C.P., vii.
Meeting at Greenwich, 25 May. Present: Abp. of Canterbury, Chancellor, Norfolk, Privy Seal, Gt. Chamb., Hertford, Gt. Admiral, Durham, Treasurer, Comptroller, Mr. of Horse, Vice-Chamb., Wriothesley, Sadler. Business:—Thos. Thwaytes, who had been prisoner in the Tower for lewd words, brought up and discharged with a lesson to use his tongue with more discretion.
25 May. 861. Sir John Wallop to the Lord Privy Seal and Lord Admiral.
R. O. Yesterday I saw a letter from Sir Chr. Morres to Arkayne to repair to England. I stayed him until this forenoon, in order to send some advertisements to the King, sending out two spies, to Arde and into the country. The latter reports he saw a gentleman with a threefold gold chain about his neck go out of Arde, towards Leekes abbey, with 20 horsemen. He also met 80 horsemen going in the same direction, and in the midst of them a thing carried by two horses, after the manner of a horse litter, but it was more like a coffin of 8 foot long, and covered with yellow cloth, the horses being ridden by pages in damask coats and yellow caps. A Burgundian told him that a company of men-of-war lay between Abbeville and Amyas, and another Burgundian said the Grand Master of Flanders was expected this night at St. Tomers, coming by Remyngham in Braynard; “and there shall be a new castle built where th'old was.” (fn. 1)
The other spy who went to Arde saw come in six pieces of ordnance, accompanied by horsemen, of whom the captain detained 20 (so that there are now 40) because of a report that there were 80 horsemen in garrison at Guisnes. The rest returned to Abbeville, carrying with them a gentleman in what resembled a bier more than a horse litter, as though he were dead. At Arde it was said that Mons. de Rewes, Grand Master of Flanders, was coming to St. Thomas and Remyngham, and if he did so, 5,000 or 6,000 Frenchmen would come down to the frontier. A post is laid at Arde, to accelerate news to Mons. Vandosme, who lies sick at Mounstrell. There is much distrust of the Emperor and England: the more as the Emperor has prohibited export of war material to France, though it is free to Englishmen; and the captain of Tournehem lately sent me tumbrils and pioneers. Guisnes, 25 May. Signed.
3. Add. Endd.: 1541.
25 May. 862. Dr. Nich. Wotton to Henry VIII.
R. O.
St. P., viii.
Very little known of the duke of Cleves' doings in France; indeed, it was even rumoured that he was imprisoned. Now, within two days letters have certified that he is already married, and will shortly be home. Saw Olisleger, who excused himself for not having spoken with Wotton, as he promised at Easter, and told him of the Duke's coming to Paris, and reception by the Dolphin and duke of Orleans at Amboise. The French king defrays all his expenses; and, by the last letters, of the 14th inst., he would be married immediately, at Tours—not Tours in Tourayn, but the Queen of Navarre's town of that name, near Guienne—perhaps he meant Touars. Wotton said he thought, as the daughter of Navarre was sickly, the Duke would have the French king's daughter. Olisleger answered that she was recovered, and he supposed the French king's daughter would marry the duke of Vendosme the same day. The lady of Navarre would, if there were no son, succeed to her father's lordships of Bierne, Bigorre, Foix, Albret, l'Islejordan, &c.; so she is a great match.
A gentleman of Holland or Brabant, Lyberd Turke, has come from Reighensburgh into Brabant, to raise lanceknights for the Emperor. The Council here have therefore ordered the Duke's horsemen to lie on the borders, and proclaimed that if the lanceknights begin to run through the country, the people shall rise and slay them. The country people have attacked and dispersed the lanceknights that were assembled about Breme, and now there are none between the Mase and the Weser. Cleves, 25 May 1541.
Hol., pp. 4. Add. Endd.: 1541.


  • 1. The new castle was built at Montoire.