Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: 1534 Volume 7
1437.18 November 1534
Chapuys to Charles V.
Nine days ago the Admiral arrived at Dover, but he did not enter this city till yesterday. The cause of his long delay upon the road was that his train, consisting of 350 horses, could not cross so soon, and to give leisure to those here to make the necessary preparations for his reception, about which the King has shown himself very solicitous. Among other things, the King has caused a number of beautiful ladies to come to the Court, and has proclaimed by sound of the trumpet that no one should dare to do the least outrage or speak any injurious word of any of the said Admiral's company, even if lawful occasion were given, seeing that he came for the honour and profit of all the realm.
He has also proclaimed that on the coming of the said Admiral to Court, no gentleman beneath the degree of lord should pass further than the lower hall (la basse salle), to give place to the nobility who come with the Admiral.
Many murmur at these prohibitions; others mock at them, because they only show and increase the hatred this nation bears to the French.
Immediately after my last dispatch, I was informed that the secretary of the French ambassador, when I wrote that he went to France at the intercession of this king, and that Cromwell had furnished money for his passage, was sent to urge the coming of the said Admiral, to whom the King wished to communicate, as he said some things which he would not like to say to any other. I do not yet know if, as I wrote to your majesty, there was any proposal of marriage to induce Francis to send the said Admiral and suspend the negotiation with Nassau. Many think the coming of the said Admiral was intended for the reputation of this king with his people, especially the gentry, who began to distrust the king of France for continuing to adhere to the Church and refusing the interview, and because Nassau came to him. It is also probable that one of the principal matters of which Henry wished to speak was to persuade the king of France to throw off his allegiance to the Church, knowing that otherwise their friendship will not be lasting; and it must have seemed to him that he could not have a better opportunity than when he sent to request the coming of the said Admiral, for the Pope was almost regarded as dead, and a schism was fully expected after his death. Moreover, the French cardinals who might have dissuaded the King from this intention had gone to Rome, and at that very time the King boasted at a full table that he would make such a reformation that in the end he should be eternally remembered in all Christendom.
I have just heard that this morning the King has been declared by act of parliament supreme head of the English Church, and that as such the tributes and moneys that the English used to pay to the Holy See are to go to him. They have also ratified all that was ordained at the last parliament against the Holy See, taking away all the conditions and suspensions which were then made.
Cromwell has been so busy, especially about the coming of the Admiral, that we have had no opportunity yet of conferring about the treatment of the Queen and Princess, as had been agreed. I see no improvement in it, especially in that of the Princess, in whose case the hope given of better treatment has been of short duration. She has relapsed into some slight illness, from which she would have recovered but for the importunity and rudeness of her gouvernante, the aunt of the Concubine, to induce her to renounce her title of princess. Moreover, the duke of Norfolk has placed in a tower a young lady who was the person who did her most service, and whom she most trusted, accusing her of having called her mistress, princess; and among other things of which the Duke inquired very curiously, he wished to know who had informed me when I waited for the said Princess by the river side to see her pass.
There is no news from Ireland, but that Kildare is master of the country, and that every day he does injury to those who take the King's part, and that some succour has entered Dublin, but some say it will be all the worse for the inhabitants of the town, from the great scarcity of provisions. London, 18 Nov. 1534.