Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: Volume 4
29 July 1525
1525. BRINON and JOACHIM to LOUISE OF SAVOY.
On Thursday the 27th, came from London to Richmond, whither Wolsey had retired for fear of the pestilence. Presented her letters of credence with a Latin speech, and told him they had other and very secret letters from her addressed to him. Then entered on the "principal propos," and continued yesterday. As to the 2,000,000 cr., tried to persuade him to be satisfied with the three parts, viz., the rest of the 1,000,000 of London, the part of Tournay, and the obligation of the generals, of which three there would be 50,000 cr. payable 30 days after the publication, and 100,000 a year payable 1 Nov. and 1 May, at 40s. a crown; secondly, that if anything remained due after the king of England's death, it should be paid at the rate of 30,000 cr., in consideration of the 1,000,000 of London and of Tournay, and that, the other parts being fully paid, the obligation of the generals should be discharged at the rate of 7,000 cr. of the sun yearly; also, that the obligation of the merchants, on which that of the generals had been founded, should be given up to us, and also what remained to be paid.
These two points were discussed at great length for two days. As to the 2,000,000 crs., he finally replied that he had done his utmost to dissuade his master from making war upon us, but that the King had been solicited on all sides to do so; and that in order to make terms with us, without having gained lands to justify it, he had "fait fondement" of the said sum of 2,000,000 crs., from which there could be no abatement. As to the sum payable 30 days after the publication, considering the arrears of London and Tournay, we ought to pay his master 456,000 crs. He offered to content himself with 50,000 crs. ready money, the rest to be added to the amount. As to the valuation of the crowns, he showed by two letters that in the last treaties they were estimated at 38 sous, and that he would sooner lose his arm than enhance them, otherwise people would take him for a dreamer, for the crown of the sun was not worth more according to the true value and purity of the gold. He would be content to receive payment in crowns of the sun according to the number agreed on, viz., 50,000 ready money, and 100,000 a year, and if they were not to be had in France they must be coined. This point he firmly insisted on; and after many remonstrances, on which we left his Grace to sleep, we were not able to gain anything, either as to this, or as to the sum which should remain payable after the present King's death. After long discussions we have agreed to the payment of 50,000 crs. one month after the publication, and 100,000 a year as above, at the rate of 35 sous the crown, or 38 sous the crown of the sun; and if the King die before the whole sum be paid, 50,000 crowns a year to his successors. By so doing, Madame, you increase in money without yielding a foot of land. Give reasons. Hope in time to save about the third part of the sum added to the obligations, to complete the 2,000,000 crs.
Agreed as to the defensive league at the expence of the party requiring it, to omit the clause not to take into our pay strangers, and that the clause touching rebels should be put in without mention of Bourbon. As to allies, there was great difficulty about the Scots. At last we have agreed that they shall be comprehended, but that a declaration shall be made to them similar to that in the two preceding treaties; viz., the treaty with Louis XII., and the last made with Francis, which was shown to us, signed, sealed, and ratified by him. Send a copy. We have had much discussion touching these declarations, which at first sight appear strange; but they say that without them they should never live at peace with the Scots, and could do nothing with us that would hold. They also demanded a declaration about Albany similar to the former one; and, on our remonstrances, have declared to us that they only intend it for 10 months, within which time the minority of the king of Scots will terminate. As to the comprehension of the Emperor and his brother, the discussion was in regard to the states of Italy, which he has tyrannically usurped, the towns of Tournay and Ardre, and the resort and sovereignty of Flanders. Agreed at length that the Emperor should not be defended in the occupation of lands which he had taken from the crown of France, on either side of the mountains, since the last treaty, made between France and England in 1518, but that England should not be bound to aid us in their recovery. They have agreed also to the comprehension of Navarre and of the present king of Denmark, but they will also name on their side the King his nephew, whom he expelled the kingdom.
Discussed next the sureties, about the form of which Wolsey told us his master had made great difficulty. We at last agreed that they should be ratified by you, and further by Francis, as soon as he shall be delivered, with letters written and signed with his hand "dès à present," containing the form of ratification of what shall be done by Madame; the obligations and ratifications of the duke of Vendôme, cardinal Bourbon, the count of St. Pol, the duke of Longueville, and Lautrec; the decrees of the parliaments of Paris, of Rouen, of Toulouse, and of Bordeaux; the obligations of the towns of Paris, Rouen, Toulouse, Lyons, and Amiens. He said he would like four or five more, which he will name to us. He insisted particularly on the Estates. Finally, we have agreed that he shall have the obligations of the estates of Normandy and Languedoc, which are the two parts of France holding the form of Estates, and no others. This done, he required hostages until he should have them. We replied, that you trusted in his faith, and that he ought to trust yours; that giving hostages was a thing unaccustomed in France, and they would not do it. On this he expressed himself satisfied (?). As to our power, he demanded that we should have special power to pass the obligation of the 2,000,000, and other declarations, which we at last agreed to. We then discussed the form of the treaty. He said he had looked at the articles we had delivered to him, but that he would draw up others, which he would deliver to us next day, and would then send for the great personages of the realm to pass the treaty. Meanwhile he would send us the bishop of Gaily (Ely) and the under treasurer Maure (More) to negotiate. During these conferences Wolsey repeatedly said, that when these things were concluded, he would take further measures for the liberation of Francis, and humiliation of the Emperor. As to the marriage of the Princess, they considered themselves released before six months were over; and they had written, both by France and by sea, to their ambassadors the order of the things treated with us, commanding them to dissemble and treat with the Emperor, and also to speak with Francis, if possible, advising him not to bind himself hastily to the Emperor, or grant lands,—as he might, by delay, be in a better position. If they cannot speak with Francis, they are to confer with Mons. d'Ambrun, or the president of Paris. For your sake, he had also provided that his master should not yield to the request made to him, on the Emperor's behalf, by the commander Spurocose (Penalosa). He had also broken off other practices, and says that if you will follow his counsel Francis will very shortly be delivered; for the King had found the Spaniards the most ungrateful nation in their prosperity, and was anxious to do what was agreeable to France. Wolsey thanked Madame for her second letters, saying that he would not speak of his affairs till he had completed those of the King.
The secretary of the signory of Venice has shown us letters from his government, touching the message brought by Mons. de Bayeux, of which he says he had spoken to the Cardinal, who was much pleased on hearing of the Bishop's arrival there. Richmond, 29 July.