Henry VIII: March 1517, 21-25

Pages 973-981

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 2, 1515-1518. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1864.

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March 1517

21 March.
R O.
Acknowledge the letters of his majesty to them and their confederates, approving of their answer to his ambassador at Zurich. As the letters were addressed to all the cantons, they have been sent on to the diet at Lucerne, which will be very glad to receive them and confirm the promises already made to the King. Zurich, 21 March 1517.
Lat., p. 1. Add. and endd.
21 March.
Vit. B. III. 125.
Writes, though he is much maligned, both in this court and that. Cardinal St. Peter [ad Vin]cula, nephew of Pope Julius, and Vice-chancellor, died on the 8th. Cardinal de Medicis succeeds him in the chancellorship, to which he was elected on the 24th, when he gave a dinner to the writer, S. Vitalis, S. Eusebius, S. Quatuor, and S. Maria in Porticu. The bishopric of Lucca has been given to the nephew of the said Cardinal St. Peter ad Vincula, "ex nepte Cardinalis S. Georgii;" Padua to De Cornariis. Cardinal Oristagni (Arborensis), a Spaniard, died at the age of 88. On the 16th the last Council of the Lateran was held, when mass was celebrated by the Cardinal S. Crucis, and the crusade against the Turks was determined upon. The bull was drawn up; certain alterations resolved upon in the canon law. Letters have come, of 28 Feb., from the Emperor at Mechlin, offering to head the crusade in person. The insurrection by Francis Maria, late Duke of Urbino, is not yet quieted. Tomorrow, which is Lætare Sunday, is to celebrate mass in the chapel of the palace before the Pope. Rome, 21 March 1517.
Hol., Lat., pp. 3, mutilated. Add.
21 March.
To be ambassador and orator at the Roman court, for the King's subjects in Tournay. Greenwich, 21 March 1516.
21 March.
3042. For WM. ROLT, serjeant-at-arms.
To be keeper of Caversham alias Cawsham park, Oxon, with herbage and pannage, vice Ric. Smyth, deceased. Greenwich, 22 Feb. 8 Hen. VIII. Del. Westm., 21 March.
21 March.
3043. For WM. BROUN, sen., of London, merchant of the Staple of Calais.
Licence to export 600 sacks of English wool, in consideration that a great part of the corn purveyed by him for the King's army beyond sea remained in his hands to his great loss. Del. Westm., 21 March 8 Hen. VIII.
Fr. 8 Hen. VIII. m. 6.
22 March.
Galba, B. v. 147.
B. M.
This day, by the Emperor's command, came to Lyer, where the Cardinal of Sion, sent by the Emperor to meet them, informed them that by report of spies in France a great number of footmen had come down into Champagne; that they were not dismissed, but still retained in wages; and that he thought it advisable that the 3,000 lanceknights discharged by the King of Castile should be kept from joining them by the ambassadors promising each of them a florin till Henry's pleasure was known. As to the audience, they would hear from the Emperor tomorrow whether they should go to him, or he to them. Replied that if the forces were intended for any new enterprise against Charles or the Emperor, England would be ready with the assistance she was bound by the treaty to contribute, and trusted they would do the same in case it were intended against her; that they had no commission to offer pay for any such men, and the doing so might lead to serious consequences; that if the 3,000 foot discharged by Castile were to join the others, they would not endanger Tournay, which is victualled for a year, and has 4,000 Englishmen in it, laborers and others, well supplied with weapons and ammunition. Not even 10,000 or 20,000 such could do much damage. Lyer, 22 March. Signed.
Pp. 3, mutilated. Add.
24 March.
Martene, A.C.
III. 1275.
On reading Worcester's letter, of the 8th of last month, to the King and himself, was sorry to find that the Bishop had taken so much to heart the letters he had received from Wolsey and the King. As for the charge of neglect, it seemed impossible that all knowledge of that infamous bull ("cum dira illa bulla per tot menses expedita fuisset") could have escaped Worcester, had he used ordinary diligence, and been as attentive as usual among the officials of the Palace. Are ready to accept his explanation; for how could he discover that which the Pope (Princeps) had so studiously concealed? Neither the King nor Wolsey ever thought of accusing Worcester of perfidy. His rank, the rewards for his services he now has in England, and those which he may expect, to say nothing of his long employment, make such a suspicion impossible; but it was deemed right that the scandals disseminated by Worcester's enemies should be brought to his notice. Not, indeed, that the King or Wolsey is inclined to lend a ready ear to his detractors, or ever will be. The King is not sorry to see that Worcester has so much dread of his displeasure, and is his friend; as Wolsey will always be, for he cannot forget the good offices Worcester has rendered him.
Has explained to the King Worcester's letters in reference to the bishopric of Tournay; for which Wolsey is only concerned as it touches the King's honor and the security of that town;—as for himself, he has never received a farthing from it. Must be satisfied with the Pope's excuses, and his promise, conveyed in Worcester's last letter, to revoke the bull of the Elect of Tournay. Worcester is to send word if the promise be not observed. He is not to allow the dispute to be protracted; for it is beneath the King's honor, who has done so much for the Pope, to have a litigation about two breves with a contemptible fellow in so patent a matter. Had only two breves of the same form, which he was compelled to send to Tournay. By the letters sent him Worcester will understand how the cause stands at present.
Thanks him for the two very handsome Cardinals' hats (galeri); begs him to send over some birretia, according to the pattern sent. The last he received from Worcester were too big for his head. Will arrange for Worcester's money, next week, with Briccio Suz (Brian Tuke ?), and see him repaid the money he has laid out. Sends him 500 gold crowns, partly for payment of the Cardinal of Ancona, part for proctors and notaries, as expenses for the bull De ordinandis clericis. The King begs him to expedite the business of his organist Dionysius (Memo).
Will receive with these, a letter for the Pope touching Tournay, another for reformation of the calendar, another for the crusade, another for the college on the same; also for the Cardinals Surrentinus, Ancona, Bologna, and the Duke of Urbino. More secret matters will be found in his other letters.
From my house at London, 24 March 1517.
24 March.
Er. Ep. App.121.
Received his letter, on the ides of Feb., speaking highly of his expectations. If fortune offer, advises him to embrace it. Would have invited him to England, that he might have enjoyed, in his present retirement from the bench, the pleasure of Erasmus' conversation, but is unwilling to frustrate his hopes. Needs not be anxious about his pension. Has sent to Maruffo to transmit Erasmus a sum of money free of all expence. Canterbury, 24 March 1517.
24 March.
Galba, B. v. 132.
Since their last letters, in which they wrote that the Emperor had sent thither the provost of Brescia to solicit the confirmation to the King of Castile, have remained here in daily expectation of it, trusting the Emperor's oath should have been given according to my Lady's promise. Understand, however, that Chievres and the Chancellor have induced the King of Castile by no means to consent to put the omission of the words in the Emperor's arbitrament. The day after they spoke to the Emperor, Sion, who had all this time been at Brussels without having any audience of the King of Castile, was sent for by the Emperor. Afterwards Berghes told them that there would be no difficulty about the confirmation if the words were left out, and that Chievres would, if they wished it, show them the treaty lately concluded at Cambray. Replied they need not repeat the declarations of Henry's mind on the subject, and that they were ready, according to the Emperor's answer, to deliver the confirmation, omitting those words for the present, and leaving the matter to the Emperor's arbitrament, if the King of Castile would do the same. Berghes told them they had not ascertained whether the King would submit to the Emperor's arbitrament or not, but he would send them word.
Next day he sent to tell them he saw no towardness in the King's Council, and that it would be better to inquire the Emperor's pleasure. Accordingly sent Richmond to the Emperor to know when they might have an audience, and were informed that next day he would let them know his pleasure. Next day were sent for by the King of Castile, who told them, in the presence of his nobles, that he was determined to maintain the amity with England. The Chancellor assured them that nothing had been concluded at Cambray contrary to the English alliance, and that the King would let them see the treaty. Nevertheless, his master was willing to enter a stricter amity if he might with honor. On this Worcester replied that Henry's intention to maintain the amity was no less cordial than that of Charles; and that they had come to Brussels, by the command of the Emperor, for the express purpose of perfecting the confirmation. Were answered that the King would commission certain persons to show them his further mind. Chievres and the Chancellor were immediately deputed for that purpose, from whom they obtained an answer that the King was ready to enter any league with England consistent with his honor, and to confirm the league made by his ambassadors in England, with the omission of the words relative to invasion. Touching the fourth way they were silent. Replied, that the King had already consented to refer it to the Emperor's arbitrament; and, if the Emperor pronounced for a new confirmation, trusted the King of Castile would be content; and that it touched his honor not a little to refuse confirmation of a treaty made by his authority. They said the Spanish ambassador had only been commissioned to conclude a defensive league, and had exceeded his powers, and that the same reasons which led him to refuse the confirmation induced him not to refer it to arbitration. Informed the Emperor of this answer; who sent to them Lewis Marroton, desiring them to wait two days, and he feared not all should yet be to their satisfaction. That day the King of Castile went to the Emperor, who, however, fruitlessly attempted to induce him to a compromise.
This day had an audience of my Lady, in which a letter was read to them from Cardinal Gurk, recommending a proposal, by whom they know not, which the ambassadors declined as unsatisfactory. Enclose a letter from Cardinal Sion to Sir Robert Wingfield, desiring that Henry may be apprised of it. The King will see by it how far they are from accomplishing the objects of their mission. Desire briefly to hear the King's mind on all their charges. Brussels, 24 March. Signed.
Pp. 8, mutilated.
24 March.
Galba, B. v. 137.
In accordance with his instructions wrote, on the 11th inst., by Norroy, to the Dean of Tournay. Encloses a copy of his letter and the Dean's answer, dated the 16th; also a later letter of the Dean, and one of the Lord Bussy, Grand Master of France, and a copy of his answer to the Dean's last. Does not intend to write to him any more, since he has sent his first letter to the Grand Master, but believes those he has written will do little hurt. Desires to have instructions what he shall do further in the matter. Today one Sir Richard Ponder, son of Grantham, a merchant, whom Sir John Hussey knows, has been with him. He has been in the French service eight or ten years. Thinks the French King and my Lord of Suffolk were well advised of him. He now wishes to go to England, and desired Worcester to write for his pardon, having been in the company of Richard de la Pole before the King's last wars: he refused, however, to attend De la Pole in the wars, and was on that account put in prison at Paris. He promises to reveal many things to the King, and to the King only, if he have his pardon, which he wishes given to his brother, who knows where to find him. Sends a bill of some information communicated by him. He begged Worcester's intercession, with tears in his eyes, saying the French are so set against England that he cannot bear to remain there. Has written to Bryan Tuke for more money: his day ended on the 22nd inst. for the 500 marks received of Mr. Heron. Has spent much of his own money besides the eight days he was in London with sixty horses at his own cost. Begs Leonard Frescobalde may be ordered to advance him what is necessary. Is sorry the King's affairs are going so ill. If they do not mend, wishes he had broken a leg before he left England rather than have had to deal "with such untrue and variable princes and councillors." Brussels, the xxii[ij] (fn. 1) March. Signed.
Pp. 3, mutilated. Add.. Lord Cardinal of York.
f.139. ii. "The saying of Sir Richard Ponder, knt."
It is said at the French court that the King is sending 22 pieces of artillery, 20,000 pikes, 1,500 haggebushes and crowches, 6,000 handguns, 10,000 Almayn rivets with saletts and wambraces, and 8,000 halberds to Albany; that he has 50 men-at-arms of his old companions, and that they are sending over to him a body of Swiss; that if the French obtain their wishes with the Emperor, they will make a secret attempt on Tournay before the castle is finished; that there was a Swiss embassy at Paris when he left, which made a secret treaty with France; that the King had held a great council at the time of the great muster at Cambray, with all the captains of his ordnance and foot in France; viz., Malard, Graunt John the Picard, &c., and the captains of the lanceknights, viz., the Countie of Wolfe, Gavance, Brandacre Clawde, Shynke, &c., and the four marshals of France. Richard de la Pole has been twice with the King within these two months since he came to Paris; and always sees the King by night. The French have spies in England; among whom is one Henry, a Scotchman, calling himself an Englishman, along with a merchant of Paris. The Viscount Galeas, soon after his coming to the French King, exposed the designs of the English against France, showing the letters of the King and Cardinal.
In the hand of Worcester's clerk; pp. 2, mutilated.
24 March.
Galba, B.v. 130.
3049. TUNSTAL to [WOLSEY].
Wolsey should read, first the letter written by all three of them, afterwards that by Tunstal and my Lord Chamberlain, showing that things are likely to run contrary to the King's expectations. After this rejection it would be better to stand the old amities than to make further application and be deceived, which will be the case if the King consent to the omission of the two words. Their last answer was that they would only accept the league with the omission of the words about invasion. Pretend not to be surprised at their strange dealing. Sion is not omnipotent with the Emperor, though he wishes well to England. If the King consent to the omission of the words, he must send either a new confirmation, or a commission to the ambassadors to strike out certain other words. Begs to have a brief answer. Brussels, 24 March.
Hol., pp. 2, mutilated.
24 March.
Calig. E.I.II.?
I. 129 (139.)
(First leaf wanting.) "... number of our ships is nine ships of men-of-war. [Th]er is Scotsmen and other small sails. The number [of t]he whole is 22." Thinks the King's great ship will never get out of New [Ha]vyn. She is to be broken up, as she is rotten under water. The King (Francis) demands of Rouen and Normandy 300,000 crowns; wishes them to collect all their silver vessels, and offers ten per cent. On his coming home from Scotland will send the news. Desires of his mastership some place in Calais. "Jesu have you and my Lady in his keeping. Written at Rome, the 24th day of March."
P.S.—"I have send my Lord's crossbow and the trownslat by the same ship. The French King lies at Amyas."
Hol., p. 1, mutilated.
Vit. B. xx. 38.
3051. [PACE] to WOLSEY.
Received his letters, whereby [he is informed of the] "league concluded in Engl[and] ... [to] be ratified by the King [Catholic] ... that the King's grace hath provide[d ample securi]tie whatsoever the Emperor scha[ll do. And in] like manner I have understood yo[ur grace's] commandment and desire in obtaining the Swiss's letters, in such manner as is comprised [in] your said letters," and that I should advertise you of all occurrences, and remain here for a time "for [certain] respects," and discreetly entertain the Emperor's ambassadors here as they are entertained in England. Is very glad to hear of the ratification of the league, and wishes to know the fina[l] end of it, "pro fama tantum: for a[s tou]ching the principal effect of * * * quod pejus est, if they ... by their demeanor that ... t but rather disseve the ... neade ut sæpe antea vidi ... I pray God to put in the [King's mind to] trust in no man's power [but his] own: for so his grace shall be least [decei]vidde," and "doing otherwise, not un ... vidde."
Before receiving Wolsey's [letters] had word of the ratification of the league, but that it was not [done] "nisi cum consensu Regis Gallorum (fn. 2), quæ res fraude [minime] vacat." Is glad, knowing and seeing these falsehoods, that Henry has made provision for the safety of his realm.
As to the letters desired by Wolsey from the Swiss, in the last diet, when they gave a reply in wri[ting] to Pace and the Imperial ambassadors, they made a solemn act * * * "manner should engender one [sus]picion, and cause them to believe that the King doth doubt of their faith;" so all would be lost. The Swiss may be soon lost in [two] ways: 1. if they suspect their faith is doubted; 2. if promises made them be broken. The lords of Zurich have [received] the King's letters transla[ted] into their own tongue with great joy, "* * * ... arriving of the Kinges ... of Zurich immediately did ... the wisest men in their city ... him unto the diet with ... honorable letters commanding ... them to be read amongst all ... of the thirteen, and that done to [cause] answer to be made unto the King's grace [th]eyre most faithful friend. These were [their] formal words." Has sent a special person with the ambassador to solicit excuse. Expects an answer shortly.
Lately, after the arrival of Anchises Visconti, a report suddenly got about that shortly [a ne]we enterprise should be made by the "[ ... for] the recovery of Milan * * * The French King has provided for defence upon this bruit, [and has sent] to his pensionaries in S[witzerland to] provide an army to be ... at should be arreysidde ... The lords of Suycelande hearing [thereof have made] cries under pain of death [that none of their subjects] should take his wages; and when he [demanded the reason] hereoff, they did devise him this c[olored] answer, viz., that their soldiers sch[ould serve] no prince, but abide at home. At th[e same] time all the great captains of the [Swiss] resorted to me hither, offering [their] full service to the King; and here [there be] with me secret messengers of all [the coun]treye appertaining to the Lords [of Sur]ryke, offering their service to th[e King's grace]." Assures Wolsey that no [King] Christian shall have so many men in S[wice]land for his money as the King. "The lords and governors of the country * * * my lord they do say privily ... realm were a this side ... [h]ys grace's help, would make [them all] weary of all their double [dealing,] sit penes nos secretum.
The Emperor's orators [do abide] here with me, and I do entertain [them in] the best manner I can devise, notwith[stand]ing that the Emperor doth write [no]thing to them; and they do tell ... n other. As they have dealt subtilly with me, I have somewhat dealt craftily with [them;]" and by spending ... florins he has got possession of all their secrets. The sum of all is this. The Emperor (they say) has "[mad]e no peace" with the French King but by [ex]press consent of Henry, and that he will follow the King in every way. To [their] own friends they have declared [that] the Emperor has made perpetual peace with the French King without the King's [consent], and that he will [soon fin]de means * * * "And for this cause the King's grace ... letters did come hither in season ... on of his grace's mind in th[at behalf], which also I have declared in th ... manner. The Emperor's orators hath ... hereof in certain places openly ... your grace may hereby consider in [what] case the Swiss doth stand, havi[ng no] friend nigh unto them, and the ... ferr off. The Cardinal [Sion] writes hither to his [frien]ds that the Emperor has deceived [him,] "commanding them to sp[eak no]thing thereof." Prays this be kept secret, as it was told him as a friend." Con[stance], x ... 1517.
Hol., pp. 7, mutilated. Part cipher, deciphered. Add.:... dno. D. Tho., &c., [Ebo]racen. Domino, &c.
24 March.
Congé d'élire vice Isabel Braynton, Abbess, deceased. Eltham, 15 March 8 Hen. VIII. Del. Westm., 24 (fn. 3) March.
Pat. 8 Hen. VIII. p.2, m. 23.
ii. Petition of Marg. Tewkesbury, Prioress, and the Convent, for the above. The late Abbess died on Tuesday the 10th inst. 13 March 1516.
24 March.
To be bailiff, during pleasure, of the lordship of Ledenham and Fulbeke, Linc., late of Margaret Countess of Richmond. Greenwich, 4 March 8 Hen. VIII. Del. Westm., 24 March.
Pat. 8 Hen. VIII. p. 2, m. 19.
25 March.
Galba, B. v. 140.
Have explained in other letters their proceedings, in the hope of obtaining the King of Castile's confirmation. Cannot understand the change, or whether the Emperor be pleased with it or not. The councillors went from Brussels to Allost, a town which highly favors the Emperor, to inform him of the said mutation. Think they would not have done so if it had displeased him, and that, if the objects of the Emperor and the King of Castile really differed, they would have had conferences during the absence of these councillors at Cambray. Have remained at Brussels by the Emperor's command since the beginning of the month, and have not been visited by any of the King of Castile's court except Berghes, although their tarrying there has enabled the Castilians to obtain better terms of the French at Cambray by the representation that they bore hard upon the King of Castile. Lord Ligny told Worcester he had been taunted with being an Englishman by Nassau and Ravenstein, who said the King of England would have their master make war if the French kept the dowry of the French Queen, although England had dissappointed Charles of her. Worcester replied, that Charles and his Council had refused her.
Tunstal had a visit from the Audiencer, which was not usual with him, in which he explained that the things passed at Cambray were of no great consequence, and not to the prejudice of England, some overtures tending that way having been rejected; and in reference to the new amity with England, he said his master could only confirm it with a clear conscience if certain words were omitted, as the Pope had written to him, and as great clerks had told him. Tunstal replied it was well known by what importunity the Pope's brief was obtained, and that great masters could get great clerks to say what they liked; that no great clerks could excuse the King from confirming the treaty made by his own ambassador, and sworn to by himself. On Tunstal's recapitulating the four ways proposed by the Emperor, of which England had chosen the fourth, the Audiencer said that way had never been brought before the King's Council, though the other three were. This was just before the refusal of the King of Castile to submit to the Emperor. The day on which this was declared Tunstal went to visit Gurk, who had been absent from the Emperor's court ever since their coming to Brussels, and gave him the King's letters and thanks for his services, and besought his help in the King of Castile's Councils. Gurk replied that he had understood some negociations were going on between Henry and the Emperor, which he thought it would be difficult to bring to effect. He knew the Emperor by long experience, and it would be hard to make him other than Maximilian; that is to say, he would always use moderate means and no rigor. Advised Henry to do the same with the King of Castile, who would one day have need of his services. As to the refusal of the compromise, he thought the ambassadors had better not write to England till they saw what came of the Emperor's effort to arrange matters.
Ligny told Worcester that he was sent for to have the Order of the Toison, but was refused it by Chievres, who said he was too much of an Englishman. Cannot believe, even if Henry consented to the omission of the two words, that they would allow the confirmation to pass. What hope there is of the meeting, and of the other things promised by Sion, the Cardinal's letters to Wingfield, enclosed in their own of this date, will clearly show. Hesdin said, in a passion, within these two days, that in two days it would appear whether they might ever have hope in the Emperor. There is now less likelihood of it than ever. Desire to know what they shall do if the Emperor go to meet the French King after Easter. Enclose a letter from a company of 3,000 lanceknights, dismissed from the King of Castile's service in Friesland, who desire to enter Henry's. Told them England was now at peace with all princes, and if Henry required soldiers their good service to their former master would be their recommendation. See no preparations for Charles' going to Spain. Worcester is told the governors have promised the French he shall not go this year. The Emperor will not listen to a personal meeting. Brussels, 25 March.
P.S.—Request that the King's letters may be sent either by special messenger or in cipher. Signed.
Pp. 8, mutilated.


  • 1. Supplied from margin.
  • 2. Sic.
  • 3. 23 on Patent Roll.