Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: 1534 Volume 7
1482 Chapuys to Charles V.
The French admiral entered this city on the day mentioned in my last, accompanied by the duke of Norfolk and other lords and gentlemen. Early next morning, without waiting, as is the custom here, till the Admiral had spoken with the King, I visited him; and he showed himself in all his conversation completely devoted to your majesty's service, and desirous above all things for the preservation and increase of amity with you; of which there was good hope, especially as the matter was in the hands of Nassau, who was to have arrived eight days ago in Flanders, where he would explain to the queen [of Hungary] your majesty's intentions on his charge.
I expressed the confidence that your majesty reposed in him, and that you regarded him as one of your friends, to which he replied appropriately and asked me to visit him occasionally. I have not since been to see him, for want of an opportunity, waiting till the King had entered with him on the business for which he came.
Till yesterday nothing had transpired about it, and it does not appear that he has yet begun. No one of the Council has anything to do with it except Cromwell. There is some appearance, as I wrote before, that the Council here have made propositions for the marriage of the King's second daughter, and I know from a good authority that the King's ambassador in France has written to his master that it was found by opinions they had collected in France, Italy and elsewhere, that even if the King's first marriage were invalid, the Princess was still legitimate, and the succession belonged to her ; at which the King was very ill pleased.
Of the nine days the Admiral has been here, he has been six at Court, and dined on the first Sunday at the King's table. There have been dances and games of tennis, and the King exercised himself in both, but the said Admiral has been only twice to see the dances, and it would appear he did so merely out of courtesy, and he has not paid that compliment to the game of tennis.
I am told he has not made much account of the Lady, and when the King asked him the first time if he would not like to see her, he replied very coldly that he would do so if it pleased the King; and this was noted by several persons.
On coming away from the first interview with the King, the Admiral was very ceremonious with the duke of Norfolk, declining to go before him, saying he had discharged his commission, and that he was no longer ambassador, which was as much as to say that he had come only to hear what the King wished to tell him.
Next day Norfolk is to entertain the Admiral, and the day after, which will be St. Andrew's day, the duke of Richmond. There was some talk that he would go to Richmond (Windsor) to see the chapel of the Order, but it appears he would prefer taking the road to France if it were not to await the answer of a man whom he dispatched on Thursday,—the only messenger, so far as I can learn, that he has dispatched since coming.
The King, who, as head of the Church in his kingdom, was intending to take back into his hands all Church property, and distribute only a frugal sustenance to ministers of the Church, is for the present satisfied to leave the churchmen in possession of their property, provided they will contribute to him a yearly rent of 30,000l. st., and grant him the first fruits on all benefices.
It is true he has always taken by apostolic privilege the revenues of vacant bishoprics, but now he claims the whole revenue, not only of the bishoprics but of all other benefices, which amounts to an inestimable sum. Since the King was determined to bleed the churchmen, he has done much better to do it thus than to take all their goods, to avoid the murmur and hatred, not only of the clergy but of the people, especially of those who have endowed churches, or of their successors; moreover, it would have been necessary, to stop the months of many people, to give the greater part of those goods to gentlemen and others.
The good prelates here are now in dispute with the doctors whom the King has brought from Germany about the sacrifice of the mass, and whether faith alone without works is sufficient for our salvation. This discussion is carried on in writing, and if the German doctors get the advantage, which God forbid, they will infect the whole country.
Since writing the above, I have just learned form two quarters that the said admiral of France two days ago summoned the King, in conformity with the treaties, to take steps for the completion of the marriage of the Princess with the Dauphin, and protested that there was no obstacle on the part of his master, who, in case of refusal, would have the Dauphin married either to the Infanta or elsewhere.
It is not known how the King received this proposal, but it would seem his Lady is very angry at it, and this agrees with what, as I mentioned, the King's ambassador in France wrote touching the consultation about the legitimacy of the Princess.
And to justify himself the more upon the observance of treaties, those with the Admiral have declared to several persons that there never had been any talk about marrying the Dauphin to the Infants. I will use every effort to ascertain the truth. London, 5 Dec. (corrected to 28 Nov.) 1534.
German doctors and Anne de Boulogne's anger below
Anne de Boulogne's anger