Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: Volume 1
146. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Luis Caroz De Villaragut, his Ambassador in England.
On the 18th of June, sent Pedro de Lanuza with a mission to the King of England, who detained him almost six months. Pedro de Lanuza returned as late as the end of November. As his envoy had written to tell him that King Henry had declined to conclude any treaty, and as he had received by way of Italy news that the King of England had returned to his own country, with the intention of abandoning his enterprise in France, and of occupying himself only with the affairs of Scotland, he (King Ferdinand) had not made preparations for war. Is, nevertheless, still animated by the same feeling towards the King of England and the Emperor. The King of France has asked him to make a separate peace with him on whatever conditions he (King Ferdinand) likes, and the Queen of France has begged him to prolong the truce. Has, however, rejected all these offers, declaring that he would not make peace or war, except in conjunction with his allies viz., the Emperor and the King of England.
When such was the state of things Pedro de Lanuza arrived with the treaty which was concluded between the Emperor, the King of England, and him, by which war with France is to be resumed next summer. According to his instructions, the Spanish ambassador had not signed that treaty.
The disadvantages of a war with France are much felt in Spain. Both countries are neighbours. The frontier from Salsas to Fuentarabia is of great extent. War at sea entails heavy burdens. Besides, the Spaniards are fully aware that the war is not to be undertaken in the interest of their country. The public treasury is empty, for the continual wars with the Moors and those in Italy have absorbed all his resources. The expense of the sustenance of a large army amidst the mountains of the Pyrenees is excessive. All the provisions for it must be carried from Andalusia on carts, and the cost of their transport is more than thrice as much as they are worth. In Navarra there is a famine. Thus, having to carry on the war in the south of France by himself, his expenses and sacrifices will be much greater than those of the Emperor and the King of England put together.
But, considering on the other hand that the war is to be undertaken in the interest of Holy Church, of the King and Queen of England, and of Prince Charles, and wishing and hoping to live and die in the friendship of the Emperor and the King of England, he declares himself ready to undertake the war, and hopes that God will help him. He is to tell the Emperor and the King of England, in his (King Ferdinand's) name, that they must make sure of the assistance of God, by binding themselves to undertake a general war with the Infidels if He gives them victory in this enterprise.
Has signed the treaty brought by Lanuza and ratified it. Sends the ratified copy together with this despatch. Has, however, altered some articles of the treaty. His alterations do not change the character of the alliance.
1. Has changed some portion of the preamble, and inserted the true reason which moves them to undertake the war with France. The principal reason for the war is that the King of France and his followers are schismatics. But, as he is informed that the King of France is about to reconcile himself with the Pope, and that the Pope is inclined to pardon him, it is necessary to add to their first reason all their other reasons for beginning war with France, in order that, if the King of France satisfies the Pope, he may be obliged to satisfy their demands likewise.
2. The King of England styles himself, in the treaty sent to him by Pedro de Lanuza, "King of France." Has suppressed those words. Did not himself assume the title of "King of Naples" and "King of Navarra" until he had entirely conquered those kingdoms. The King of England ought to follow his example. Is ready to assist the King of England in conquering France. But the title of "King of France," without the possession of France, is an empty phrase.
3. In the treaty sent by Lanuza the article in which he binds himself to make war upon France was placed before the article in which the Emperor and the King of England take upon themselves the same obligation. As the King of England and the Emperor are the chief parties interested in this war, and he is only their auxiliary, he has reversed the order of these articles. Has, besides, added that the King of England is to take the field in person, because the war is an English war. If the King of England, however, is prevented from doing so, he can send a lieutenant.
4. If fortresses in Guienne are to be demolished the King of England is to bear the expense of the demolition ; but it is hardly probable that such cases will occur.
5. The treaty contains an article according to which the King of England is to pay him 20,000 gold crowns a month for the 6,000 German troops. This is the most important article of the whole treaty. In order to understand it properly, it is necessary to bear in mind that whenever the King of France has sent an army against Spain that army has contained a considerable number of German and Swiss troops. It is, therefore, clear that the French army which is to oppose his invasion of Guienne will likewise comprehend, in addition to French troops, numerous contingents of Swiss and German soldiers. If the Spanish army had only to defend Spain against troops such as these, it would suffice, even if the forces were composed of Spanish soldiers only. But, as the Spaniards are to invade France, to besiege towns, to render themselves masters of the open country, and to wage pitched battles, it is more than desirable that they should be reinforced by German troops. It is notorious that whenever Spanish, united with German troops, have fought with French troops they have been victorious ; but, on the other hand, whenever Spaniards alone have been engaged in a battle with French and German troops their victory has by no means been certain. There is not a single experienced captain to be found, in whatever country, who would advise the employment of purely Spanish troops against an army which contains a considerable number of German soldiers. It is therefore necessary that the German auxiliary troops should arrive in Spain in the month of May next.
Has no money. Will, however, in some way or other, find as much money as will be necessary to defray his own expenses, that is to say, for 1,500 men-at-arms, 1,500 light cavalry, an army amounting altogether to 12,000 men, for the artillery, ammunitions of war, provisions of the army, and the transport of them, as well as for the fleet, and for extraordinary expenses. These expenses are enormous. He is to tell the King of England that never has one prince done for another as much as he is ready to do, especially as he is obliged to procure the necessary money by selling and pledging his property. The King of England is therefore, in justice and equity, bound to pay the 6,000 Germans from the moment of their enlistment to the end of their services, the cost of their transport included. The Germans not only leave the service they have entered, but often go over to the enemy, if they are not punctually paid. To prevent this he has added a paragraph to the treaty, by which the King of England binds himself to send the pay of the Germans, calculated at 20,000 gold crowns, to Spain before the month of June next. Has further added an article to the treaty by which his ambassador, Don Pedro de Urea, is entrusted with the enlistment of the 6,000, or at least 4,000 German troops, and with their transport to Spain. Has done so in order that no time should be lost. The Emperor is to select a colonel for the Germans. Don Pedro de Urea is to take care that the German troops be in Spain in the month of May. Is ready to content himself with 4,000 German troops, instead of 6,000. But the King of England is to pay the full amount of 20,000 gold crowns a month, because the deficiency of German troops will have to be made up by Spaniards, or by other soldiers. The only reason why he does not insist on having 6,000 Germans is that he is afraid the enlistment of so many Germans might delay the enterprise.
6. The addition to the treaty by which the Emperor is bound to favour the enlistment of the Germans does not require any explanation.
7. Has altered the articles of the treaty referring to the fleet which he is bound to furnish. Does not like to promise more than he is able to perform. His intention is to arm as powerful a fleet as possible, and to give to Spanish subjects and to subjects of other friendly nations commissions as privateers. Hopes to be able to guard the Spanish seas.
He is to ask the King of England to sign and ratify the articles of the treaty in the form in which he (King Ferdinand) sends them. Will, without loss of time, begin preparations for the war. Begs the King of England to send without delay to Don Pedro the necessary money for the enlistment and transport of the Germans to Spain. If the King of England wishes, he may be styled in the treaty "King of France." Insists, however, on all the other additions and alterations of the treaty. The King of England must get ready his army and his fleet, and not cause delay.
He is to insist upon the King of England using all his influence with the Emperor and with Madame Margaret, in order to persuade them to preserve by all possible means the alliance of the Swiss. If the King of France should succeed in gaining the Swiss over to his cause their enterprise on France would possibly have very different results from what the King of England expects. The Emperor must further, conclude peace with the Venetians. If the Emperor were not to make peace with Venice, the Turks might in that case profit by the war with France, or the Venetians might conclude an alliance which might render the whole enterprise impossible.
Learns by letters from Rome that the Pope, through the interference of San Severino, is entertaining intimate intelligence with the King of France. The King of France has renounced the schismatic council and adheres to the Council of the Lateran, and seven prelates of the Gallican Church are to go and beg pardon of the Pope, who is to grant pardon to France. Begs the Emperor and the King of England to send an embassy to the Pope, and to ask him to assist them in their war with France. He (King Ferdinand), the Emperor, and the King of England have begun the war with France in order to suppress the schism and to defend the states of the Pope. It is, therefore, only just that the Pope, who, in consequence of the war has obtained what he demanded, should at this juncture assist the King of England and Prince Charles, at least with his spiritual weapons, to recover the provinces of which France has robbed them. If the Pope has already absolved or is about to absolve the King of France, and if the schism is at an end, the Apostolic censures against the King of France must last until he gives back that of which he has unjustly deprived his neighbours.
He is to take care that all the servants of the Prince (Charles) who are partisans of France be sent away. He is likewise to see that the Princess Mary be surrounded by persons who are in his interest. Thinks that Francisca de Caceres is devoted to him.—No date.No signature.
Written on the margin of this document : "Fiat."
Indorsed : "Don Luis Caroz."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 19.