Henry VIII: March 1520, 11-19

Pages 223-231

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 3, 1519-1523. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1867.

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March 1520

11 March.
Mon. Habs.
Abth. II.
Bd. I. 117.
1. He is to hasten his journey as much as possible, deliver Margaret's letters to the Bishop of Elna, and tell him that Charles has sent her a power, with instructions in letters of credence to treat for the interview between him and the king of England at Hampton, leaving it to her to add to or take from those instructions what she thinks fit; copies of which Le Sauch will show to the Bishop. 2. Understanding from her secretary Des Barres, and from the Bishop's letters sent with him to Charles, that the conclusion of the interview must not be delayed, and for considerations contained in the memorial she has delivered to Des Barres for Spain, seeing also that she had sent by him the overture about the Isle of Wight, which had not been accepted; she has thought it advisable, rather than make use of her powers, to send Le Sauch to intimate the acceptance of Hampton, and to send to Spain for an alteration of their powers. Has given Le Sauch letters to the King, Queen and Wolsey, to whom they shall say that she has heard by her secretary the King's answer to her overture, and thanks him for his good will toward the interview; that the day before the arrival of her secretary she had letters from the King her nephew, intimating his agreement to the place chosen by her, whichever it should be; which letters they shall show, if necessary, but retain. She had also powers and instructions for fit personages to go to England and treat for the interview, and accept the Isle of Wight, with an intimation that she should have other despatches if needful. Understanding, therefore, that the King wishes the place to be Hampton, they shall state that she accepts it in the name of her nephew. Has sent her secretary in post to her nephew to obtain the necessary powers, which he will bring back in three weeks or a month, and also the time at which the interview may take place. Keeps certain personages in readiness to send over to prepare matters as soon as she receives the despatches. If the King object that this is done to gain time, and that he will not be sufficiently assured, they shall say that he has good security from Margaret by the letter in her hand, in which she promises to get the whole accepted by her nephew. If this does not satisfy him, they are to deliver her seal, receiving that of the King of England in exchange, containing a promise to receive her nephew and his men at Hampton, in case of the latter ratifying what Margaret shall promise. Le Sauch shall tell the Bishop of Elna that she has seen and deciphered the letter written to him by the King (Charles). Thinks it right (in order not to let the English see the necessity by which they are compelled to seek them, but rather to give them the idea that they are applied to by the French, and could make their profit with them if they abandoned England) to suppress that part of the letter which she has underlined, and also the note of the French ambassador. This, however, she leaves to the Bishop's discretion. Malines, 11 March 1519. Signed. Countersigned: Des Barres.
12 March.
Hall's Chron.
p. 601.
Proclamation by Wolsey, containing certain articles, accepted and approved by the two kings, for the interview. (1.) The king of England shall come personally with the Queen and his sister Mary to the castle of Guisnes before the end of May; the French king, with the Queen and his mother, to the castle of Ardres, within four days after. Commissioners shall be appointed. The king of England to advance half a mile beyond the castle of Guisnes towards France, and to be met by the French king. The two kings to be on horseback, and meet in an open place, not dressed with any pavilions. (2.) Next day the king of England to visit the queen of France, and dine with her privately. The king of France to visit the queen of England, and do the same. (3.) Both princes to do some fair feat of arms between Guisnes and Ardres; the place to be apparelled, ditched and kept by an equal number of French and English. The kings and queens to visit each other familiarly. (4.) When the king of England enters the territory of the French king he is to have the pre-eminence; and vice versâ. (5.) No person to be at the interview with a larger number of retainers than shall be written in letters of licence. (6.) To promote the familiar intercourse of the two kings, two gentlemen with sufficient company of equal number to keep the ways and watches, to examine all suspected places, and drive away all suspected persons. (7.) "We, Cardinal abovesaid, by express authority and power to us given, by these presents bind the said princes to do, &c. all and every the things abovesaid herein contained." 12 March 1519.
12 March. 674. ST. PETER'S, YORK.
Inspeximus and confirmation to Brian Higdon, dean, and the chapter, of pat. 27 Jan. 8 Hen. VII., which alludes by reference to several confirmatory documents, to a charter of Hen. I., a patent of 10 Edw. II., and another charter of 17 Ric. II., touching the privileges of the church. Westm., 12 March.
Pat. 11 Hen. VIII. p. 1, m. 25.
13 March.
R. O.
Has not written for some time, as there has been no news. Has obtained from the Pope, and sends with this letter, a confessional with special graces, for the souls of Henry, his Queen, the Princess, and any future children. Mr. Parcher left Rome for England a few days ago, with some horses for Henry. Sent one by him, and hopes the King will accept it. Rome, 13 March 1520. Signed.
Lat., p. 1. Add.
13 March.
Vit. B. IV. 48*.
B. M.
No news since his letter of the 3rd to the King. Has sent the King's confessional with a licence for eating flesh. Don John Emanuel is daily expected. Rome, 13 March 1520.
P.S. in his own hand.—Made a request in his previous letter touching his poverty. Although the Pope is well disposed towards him, yet his vacancies are rare, and he has many kinsfolks. Any hopes Campeggio can have in that quarter are very remote. Had no time to illuminate the confessional, as it was expedited by a bull for the sake of greater authority.
Lat., mutilated, p. 1.
13 March.
Calig. D. VII.
B. M.
677. FRANCIS I. to [WOLSEY].
Thanks him for the pains he has taken in arranging the interview. Trusts him entirely to see that the dignity of the two crowns be equally observed. Will move to the frontiers as soon as Wolsey writes that the King his master has done the same. Encloses [a paper], signed with his hand, of what he thinks needful. Angoulesme, 13 [March]. Signed.
Fr., mutilated, pp. 2.
Calig. D. VII.
B. M.
2. Arrangements proposed for the interview.
Francis will send marshal Chatillon to Ardre. Henry will send the "conte de Roscestre" (earl of Worcester), lord chamberlain, on the 8th or 10th of next month, to view the place and make arrangements. As Francis yields the point of honor by entering the English territory first, the tournament shall be at Ardre, at which the king of England shall be present, and shall wear the King's colours and run the first, and there shall be his shield with his arms on his right hand and in the place of honor. The same shall be done at Guisnes, vice versâ. An arrangement for the time of the tourney in the month of May or June ... (fn. 1) At the entrance of the camp all the tenan[ts] shall enter the lists on horses armed and barbed, lance on thigh, or sword in hand, by twos and threes. In consequence of the difficulty of arranging the field and the lists, it is proposed that the arrangements shall be according to the ... aforesaid. For the publication of the articles of arms the King undertakes to send at his own expense "ung officier d'armes" to Spain and Italy, and the king of England shall do the same for Flanders and ... The King shall have 16 men-at-arms in his colours ... without any jewelry. But if the two Kings desire more for distinction's sake, they can determine upon it at the meeting. The King's colours are white, yellow and black; and those who are to be with him at the tourney are the duke de Vendosme, Sainct Pol, Montmorency, Brien, Nichault de Saincte Mesme, Boucal and Tavannes. Chasteauneuf, 13 March 1519. Signed by Francis.
Fr., mutilated, pp. 3.
13 March.
Calig. D. VII.
180. B. M.
Has received his letters, bearing date the 4th, enclosing a do[cket] of letters to Francis, who sent for him to Jarnacke. On arriving there the same night the King expressed his delight that the interview was fixed for May;—then discoursed with Wingfield on all those points on which the Cardinal desired to know his pleasure. After consulting with his mother, next day the King assented to them all, as will appear by instructions sent to his ambassadors in England, to be showed to Wolsey. Wingfield urged on him the necessity of repairing to the Low Countries. He answered he would only stay four or five days to keep his Easter at Blois, and enter it this day, instead of Thursday as he had proposed. Sends Wolsey one m ... in the debating of certain points. Wishes that a sum of money should be expended in putting Guisnes in a proper state of defence, as it is not fit to be seen at present. Angoulême, 13 March. Signature burnt off.
Mutilated, pp. 2.
14 March.
Vit. B. IV. 48.
B. M.
Thanks him for the letters written for his promotion. Rome, 14 March 1520. Signature burnt off.
Lat., mutilated, p. 1.
14 March.
Vit. B. IV. 47.
B. M.
Wrote on the 3rd. The Pope cools on his journey to Florence. It is reported that the interview between Francis and Henry is fixed upon. If the King approved, the Pope would like to send a nuncio to the meeting. He is not pleased that he has never been consulted, and has ordered Silvester, the sub-collector, to write. Has sent three bonnets (birreta) for the winter; now sends three for the summer. The new ambassador is expected from Spain in fifteen days. The understanding between the two courts has not hitherto been very cordial. Begs that Wolsey will urge his promotion to the Pope. He must be pressed assiduously, especially with the argument that it would be disgraceful not to oblige England, as he intends to create cardinals for other Powers. The French at Rome speak very highly of the King and Wolsey. Rome, 14 March 1520.
Lat., mutilated, pp. 2. Add.
Calig D. VII.
B. M.
The King removes in two days from this, and proceeds to keep his Easter at Blois; will set off "lendemain des Feriers" for Paris,—thence to Picardy. The King has consented, at Wolsey's request, for delay to fix the interview for the 31st of May, and the tourney on the 4th of June; but as the Queen will be eight months in her pregnancy, he cannot extend it further. As the King consents to give the "premier honneur" to the king of England by entering his territories, hopes he will be met in a liberal spirit, and that the arrangement for the tourney at Ardre, and the position of the King's shield in the place of honor, and of the king of England's at Guisnes next day, will be acceptable. Chatillon will start from here in two or three days, to be on the 8th or 10th April at Ardre, and make arrangements. Chateauneuf, ... March. Signed.
Mutilated, pp. 4.
15 March.
Er. Ep. XII. 34.
Thanks him for the breve he has received. Expects shortly to be at Rome, unless the return of Charles (from Spain) occasion some change in his plans. Antwerp, id. Mart. 1520.
15 March.
P. S.
683. For WOLFF alias WOLFGANGNUS REICHARTT, of Bavaria, alias of London, Organmaker. (fn. 3)
Protection; going in the retinue of Sir John Pecche, deputy of Calais. Greenwich, 22 Feb. 11 Hen. VIII. Del. Westm., 15 March.
16 March.
R. O.
Hears by his servant Lacy that Wolsey wishes to know the number of the men and women who will accompany the French queen when she gives attendance upon the King at his journey to Calais, and also how many horses will be needed. Encloses a list. Has not attended the council lately, as the Queen has had several physicians for her disease in her side, and cannot yet perfectly recover her health. Has been twice in London to wait on him, but both times she sent for him, so that he was obliged to return instantly. Nevertheless she is now so much better that on Tuesday or Wednesday he will attend on him. Croidon, 16 March. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: To my lord Cardinal's good lordship.
16 March.
Calig. D. VII.
B. M.
Presented to the King the sword which Henry had delivered him, "for the nimble handling whereof he hath or knoweth no feat, but thought it not maniable, and called the Admiral to him and caused him to feel the weight thereof; who showed him that he had seen your grace wield one more pesaunt than the same as delyverly as could be devised, but for such promise as he had made your highness he might not disclose the manner how, saving that it was by means of a gauntlet." Francis accordingly desired Wingfield to ask Henry on his behalf for such a gauntlet; offering, in exchange, if Henry would send him one of his arming doublets, to make him a pair of cuirasses, such as he had not seen, to be ready before the interview; "the secret whereof was only for the easy bearing and sustaining of the weight of such pieces as rest upon the cuirass, which most commonly is borne upon the shoulders; and in this sort of cuirasses the shoulders should sustain no burden." Wingfield said he had no doubt Henry would send the doublet, and asked if "the great esquire had any feat for the handling of such a pesaunt weapon." Francis said he thought not, but would ascertain, and meanwhile asked Wingfield to thank Henry for it.
Wingfield then showed him the expediency of having "the articles of the enterprise written clean, after such manner as he thought," that they might be sent to Henry before publication to know his pleasure upon them. Francis replied that, though Henry's pleasure should be his, he thought some little changes necessary, of which Wingfield transmits a memorial. "And upon this he caused the said articles [Some lines lost.] * * * always referring his opinion to ... the debating of this matter in his garderobe the s ... La Tremoylle, the admiral, the marshall Chastillion, the [bailly of] Caen, Poitou, and two other personages of his privy chamber." Thinks, after Henry has seen them, the articles should be published with all diligence, to enable those at a distance to come to the tourney. Francis has already dispatched the officers to the frontiers of S[pain] and Italy for the publication, which, on Henry's pleasure being known, Wingfield [thinks] may be effected by the 1st of May; "yet there [should be] two months of term for all such as shall have desire t[o see] the pastime wherein there would be used the more diligence." Chatillon leaves this day for the English confines. He expected to be on Tuesday, the 10th April, in [Guisnes or] at Ardre. The King leaves on Monday for Blois, and in four days after will proceed to the place of meeting. Written at ..., 16 March.
Signature burnt. "Your most humble" in Wingfield's hand.
Mutilated, pp. 2.
16 March.
R. O.
Wrote last on Tuesday. Sends by this post to the King the articles of the challenge "put in nett and qualified by the King here," and a memorial of considerations upon them by the King. They should be sent to the places of publication with diligence. Angolesme, 16 March. In four days, two months of his diet will be expired. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: [To m]y lord Cardinal's [good] grace. Endd.
17 March.
Adv. MS. 43.
Has written several times about the priory of Whitherne (Candida Casa), and feels sure his holiness will do as he is requested. Wishes the schedule of his brother, concerning Scone, detained so many months after the consistorial provision, to be returned to him. The cases of Scone and Whitherne are not the same. His brother has already resigned the priory. Desires credence for his secretary. Paris, 17 March.
Lat., copy, p. 1.
19 March.
Vesp. C. I. 298.
B. M.
Wrote his last on the 6th from Valladolid. Is now at Benevento with the King, whom the Count has received with much honor. Departs tomorrow for St. James's, and hopes to reach it at the latter end of March. By April all things will be despatched with the estates of Castile, and the King on his way to England. Theamond with two men-of-war is at the Groyne, and others at Laredo in Biscay. Duplicates of this King's despatches were sent to the Bishop of Helna from Burgus. The messenger departed with a rowing carvel, and it is thought will arrive before the originals. This proposal to visit England is taken as a mark of great confidence between the two crowns. This day, the 19th, the writer is at Pontferrat, and was told by Chievres that when Francis heard of the visit to England he sent thither the bailiff of Caen with many offers, among others to meet the King at Calais. This news Chievres had from the French court; but professed he did not believe it.
By letters dated from Rome 20 Feb., the Pope has proposed new means to come to a conclusion with the king of the Romans, who has refused to stir in the matter without the advice of the king of England; to the disgust of the Nuncio, who says he will not do wisely to put himself into the hands of that King. Ponferrat, 19 March 1519.
P.S.—Tomorrow the King goes to Villafranca. The queen of Portugal was delivered of a son, and Lashawo has gone to visit her.
Hol., cipher, deciphered by Tuke; pp. 3. Add.: T[o my l]ord Cardynall's grace.
19 March.
Mon. Habs.
Abth. II.
Bd. I. 121.
The Bishop wrote last, on the 15th, by John de Bargia, who returned by sea, and sent a duplicate through Madame. Since then Le Sauch has arrived, bearing the charge from Madame, which he will understand from Des Barres. The turn affairs have taken has arisen from the despatch which the Bishop received by sea; but the arrival of Le Sauch has been of great service, for Madame's letters have been very well accepted, and they have shown the Cardinal a letter and note written by Charles to Madame, promising to land at any place she agrees to. Have, by virtue of their powers, accepted Hampton or any other convenient for both Kings, or even Sandwich, until the arrival of their colleagues. Le Sauch, being "plus portatif," has come in advance of the others in order to accept the said place, and has shown Wolsey the power sent by Charles to Madame, for them and the others, assuring him that they would soon arrive. Wolsey expresses great satisfaction; he says that it seems God has willed things to take this turn, "et que Mons. St. Thomas (fn. 4) le a ad ce inspire;" for it is the best place that could be, considering the state of affairs, and the arrangement for the interview between the kings of England and France; to which they say they have been compelled by our slowness, and because we would not answer plainly, yes or no. He thinks Charles should come before they meet the king of France, and after the interview he and the king of England could go together to Calais; to which proposal the bishop has made no answer; or, that the one should go to Calais, and the other into Flanders, which they will endeavor to get adopted. It was but a momentary suggestion of the Cardinal's, which it would be easy to efface. He said that if you had no long time to talk together, you might yet arrange a second interview beyond the sea after that with the king of France, for the King meant to do everything for the honor of Charles that was not contrary to his alliances with France, against which power, however, he would assist if Francis broke the treaties, as he instructed his new ambassador Wingfield to inform Francis, after Helna had declared to him the contents of the note delivered to Charles by the French ambassador. So you may be pretty sure France will not invade you.
As to the time of the interview, the Cardinal still holds out for May in England, or the whole of July beyond sea; and if the French king agrees to prolong the time of their interview till June, as they hope he will, they will expect Charles all the month of May, and beyond sea all the month of August. When they know the answer of Francis, they will inform him. It is agreed by the treaty for the French interview, that Henry shall be at Guisnes before the 31st May, and Francis at Ardre, and that within four days after they shall meet in a place to be agreed upon, it being settled that Francis shall come one league within the English territory. The French king had sent instructions to the Cardinal that Henry should be bound to come one league within his territory; but Wolsey, by virtue of the powers he has received from both Kings, has made the contrary arrangement, which Francis has accepted. The Cardinal showed us these articles in the original treaty. Wolsey urged strongly that after the interview in England, another should take place beyond sea, Margaret to be there; that it was much desired by the Queen; that it would induce Henry to act according to Charles's desire, although naturally he is inclined to do so; and that he himself was anxious to promote Charles's glory After thanking him, asked what they should do till the arrival of their colleagues. Wolsey said there was nothing but to conclude the arrangements for the interview, for which purpose he had ready all the previous treaties, in order that, on the arrival of their colleagues, a new one might be concluded, ratifying the former ones, and making sure of the interview; and that there was an article about mercantile intercourse, which had been conceded for five years, about to expire, and which concerned the English. Answered that they did not know what it was, but thought their colleagues would be able to speak more fully, and that Margaret had ordered some of them to make memoranda of the points contained in those treaties, that they might understand each other the more readily. To this he replied, "Come, and you shall be welcome; ask and you shall have; speak openly and freely, and we shall say Amen to whatever you say." Thanked him again, and asked how they should conduct themselves towards the King and Queen, to whom they had letters from Margaret. He said he was at that time expecting the French ambassador, and after his interview he would send to them next day to tell them what to do; which he has done. Yesterday morning, Sunday, he bid us go to the King at Greenwich; which we did.
Waited for the King when he came out of his chamber to go to mass, when Le Sauch presented Margaret's letters, with which he was much gratified. After mass, they went with him to the Queen's quarters. The King, Queen and Cardinal had a long conversation, not upon their business, but about their own voyage; after which the King and Cardinal turned towards the ambassadors, and the King said, "Well, I am very glad that affairs are in such good order, and I think all will go well." He then called the Queen, and said to her, "The Emperor, my brother and your nephew, will come hither this time. I hope we shall see him before the king of France; otherwise I shall be dissatisfied, although in that case I could not help it, for it is not my fault. And in order to give more time to the Emperor my brother and nephew, I have written to the king of France to desire him to defer the time of our interview, but I have taken good care not to write to him the reason; so that I hope I shall have a good answer, for it is not possible he can yet know the state in which matters are between the Emperor and me; for if he knew it, he would not grant it. For this reason the thing must be kept as secret as possible." Then the Queen, raising her eyes to heaven, with clasped hands gave praise to God for the grace she hoped he would do her that she might see Charles, which was her greatest desire in the world; and she thanked the King her husband, making him a low curtsey (ung honneur fort bas). The King took off his bonnet, and said to her, "We will do on our part all we can;" then he added, with a cheerful countenance, "As to what the king of France has said to the Emperor my good brother and nephew, I am not troubled about that, for I am very sure he will take good care not to do anything against the treaties; for if you do not want war, he wants it still less. I have also told him frankly that it will be of no use our holding an interview to begin war on the morrow; for I must abide by my promise to the invaded against the invader. But in everything where I can, I will readily employ myself to pacify the difficulties which may exist between the two, as they will know this season; for if it is not done this time, I shall have very little hope for it hereafter; but I trust that God will hear us, and will know the good intentions for which we do it, at least on my part, which is to establish peace in Christendom, and that we may conclude to do some good thing to the honor of God, and increase of his Holy Faith and Christian religion against the Infidels." Assured him that Charles's desire was the same, but made a little representation of the dishonor it would be if France allowed any of her vassals to invade his kingdoms during the interview, and if Charles should be obliged to send to summon Henry in Francis' presence to his aid against him. Henry said there was no fear, and that Charles might be assured he would immediately turn his back upon the other, and assist him with all his power; adding that we might talk about all the rest with the Cardinal. Thus ended their conversation, when Le Sauch presented Margaret's letter to the Queen, who was very glad, and said, "You will speak to us again another day."
After dinner took leave of the Cardinal, telling him that whenever they had news from Charles or Madame, they would inform him. Fearing that Charles had not yet satisfactory news from the Pope, they asked him to induce the King to inform his Holiness of the amity between him and Charles. Wolsey answered, that after the interview they would bring the Pope over entirely to Charles's wishes, for a blind man needs a guide. Think the King and Queen are in as good a disposition towards Charles as ever, and if one of their colleagues had come, everything would have been arranged by this time. Sandwich, where the King wishes the interview to be, is two leagues from Dover in the English Downs as you go towards Zealand. Great vessels cannot come alongside there, but may anchor two leagues off, at the turn of the Downs, without danger from any tempest, except one of extraordinary violence, and with a favorable wind they can cross in three hours to Flanders. Small or middle sized ships can come to the wall of the town, which is about as large as Vilvorde, but better built, and with houses more suitable for lodging men without horses (et plus logeable pour gens sans chevaulx poevre poeuple); still it is the nearest port to Flanders, and therefore more convenient than Hampton. London, Monday, 19th March.
19 March.
Mon. Habs.
Wrote the day before yesterday of their arrival. Sent a duplicate of the despatch to Charles by sea. She will have understood the turn affairs have taken since the departure of her secretary Guillaume des Barres. Are writing to the King of what they have done since their arrival, as Margaret will see by the letters, which they send open, and request her to put into cipher, as Elna's secretary does not know French, and neither himself nor De la Sauch have ever used the cipher. It is important to write in French, that there may be no mistake. The letters will inform her how they have used her letters to the King, Queen, and Cardinal, and the good will the King and Queen show to her. Hope that on the receipt of Elna's letter of the 9th to Charles and herself, she has promptly despatched those who are to come here, and that they are already on their way; otherwise the King and Cardinal will think that they wish to put them off with words, especially as the French are constantly buzzing about their ears to secure their own affairs, and we are always behindhand. If La Roche and the Audiencer had come along with La Sauch, the interview would have been settled by this time. London, Monday, 19 March. Signed.
Fr. Add.


  • 1. Much mutilated.
  • 2. Erasmus wrote on the same day to Campeggio and Chieregati letters of similar import. XII. 35, 36.
  • 3. i.e., maker of guns called organs.
  • 4. St. Thomas à Becket.