Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: 1534 Volume 7
5 Dec. 1507. Chapuys to Charles V.
On Wednesday last the admiral of France left. His negotiation has been so secret that no person has spoken about it with certainty, though some of his chamber and others of his suite said he was not returning satisfied, for the King would not consent to anything that he had proposed, especially that a marriage might be treated between the Dauphin and Infanta, which he opposed very strongly, and to show his dissatisfaction the Admiral declined to go to Windsor and other places, as the King desired, though he had promised to do so beforehand; but no great faith is to be put in these reports.
In consequence of the cordial language which the said Admiral held to me the first time, and to encourage those who take the Queen's part in the belief that his coming was not to her disadvantage, and further to get something out of him for the consolation of the Queen and Princess, besides that several persons of influence advised me to cultivate his acquaintance, I paid him two more visits, the first on St. Andrew's day, and the second on the day of his departure. On St. Andrew's day, when he repeated some things which he had said to me about Nassau's negotiation in France, I said to him, to get him to speak his mind to me, that although it was quite apart from my charge, if he thought I could do any good, I would willingly exert myself in the matter. He thanked me many times, and said he would like very much if the proposals made to Nassau in his master's Court were concluded, for the delay of such an important matter might do more injury than good, especially as there were many who tried to interrupt it, and that his master was urged from many quarters to conspire against your majesty. He confessed, however, that none of those who made him such proposals did so out of goodwill to Francis, but would be glad of his ruin and that of your majesty also, and that they are only moved by fear and envy of your greatness, and that you would easily provide a remedy by gratifying his master with some things which you did not wish to keep for yourself, but had given to others to whom you are under no obligation of blood or affinity, and whose friendship would not be so beneficial to you as that of his master; and that if your majesty would consider this, you might in favor of his master set right again those who had gone out of the way and those who murmured.
Seeing the drift of his remarks, I thought it right to say no more than that I was assured your majesty would gratify his master in everything that you lawfully could. On leaving him he thanked me for the honor I had done him in visiting him, especially as it would show the world the friendship between your majesty and his master; and I said, since it was so, I would come and see him again before his departure. In accordance with this promise, I went to see him at the very time of his leaving. When I arrived he was in the middle of a great hall, surrounded by the Treasurer, the Master of the Horse and other courtiers, especially Cromwell, who was there to make the present. As soon as I arrived, he disengaged himself from the crowd, which was very great, with scant civility (maigre mine), and turning to me, with a very different countenance, led me to a window. On my saying among other things that those here, who had shown him the Tower and several other things, had not shown him the principal gem of all the kingdom, to wit, the Princess, he suddenly replied that he was as much vexed as possible that he went away without having seen her, and that he had no opportunity of doing so, although he had several times spoken about her and used means to that effect. I asked if he had been refused a sight of her, and he confessed he had not expressly requested it, but that the King never would come to the point. He added that he had never heard lady so praised as the Princess, even by those who were giving her trouble, and certainly he was her devoted servant, both on account of her great virtues, and because she was so nearly related to the Queen his mistress, and that he hoped for certain soon to do her good service; which he repeated to me two or three times,—with great goodwill, as it seemed to me,—adding that the King had called him for some other matter than he expected, and that he thought he had been called partly to speak about the matter of the said Princess, but the King had given no thought to it.
And having said this, not very well pleased with those here, as it appeared, he added as coming to the point he was aiming at, “Let us bring our masters to accord, and all the rest will go well.” On this I said, to feel how he took the disobedience of those here to the Church, that to conclude a universal peace, the King his master, as being Most Christian, should begin to redress matters. He said it was not for the King his master to trouble himself much about the conscience of this king; by which remark it appeared to me that he approved of the King's proceedings, and that they will not be sorry if he continue in his folly to keep always a beam in the eye of your majesty. And it is to be feared that, whatever fair countenance the Frenchman shows, he will act as in the past, especially that he will do nothing to remedy affairs here, for this king, having now the means of drawing money from churches, will spare no efforts to raise up troubles. But if we look to affairs here, as it will be very easy to do, the French, who it seems wish to prescribe conditions to your majesty, would have to take them from you and be compelled to observe them.
The King, besides having defrayed abundantly the costs of the Admiral, has caused two great entertainments to be given him; the one by the duke of Norfolk on St. Andrew's Eve, and the other by the duke of Richmond the day following. On Tuesday the King gave him one himself; and at all three the gentlemen of the said Admiral were present. It is said the present made to him in gold and silver plate amounted to 8,000 ducats. The greater part of his company have also received presents. While here he only despatched one messenger, and he gave me to understand that he sent him to Germany at the request of the King, by whose desire also Langeais, who came here with him, will go to Germany, where he boasts that he has great influence, and that he had negotiated there that the King his master should obtain 50,000 lanceknights any time he wanted them. This king holds it certain that the French king and he will be together again before April, as he declared loudly enough on the evening of his banquet to the vicomte de Diepe, who arrived here on Sunday last with a galleon well equipped with men and artillery, to bring back the men and baggage of the said Admiral. The said Langeais and other Frenchmen have published the same thing in various places.
Cromwell, who, as I am told, always maintained that your majesty would give no aid to the Irish, declared of late the contrary at a full table, where several lords were present, saying that the King his master was very little bound to his majesty thereby, and the King has accordingly begun to revenge himself upon the order of the Toison, which he has not worn this year. On St. Andrew's Eve, instead of going to vespers, he played tennis with the Admiral, and next day with another, and at mass he would not go out, so that it was unnecessary to wear the said order. As to the affairs of Ireland, it has been published in this Court that, Kildare being in the field to fight the King's men, one of his brothers and his band passed over to the English; on which Kildare took to flight, and withdrew to a castle where he was besieged. These news very few believed, and they are very improbable. I hear nothing from Scotland, except that one who has come from there of late has told me that he left your majesty's man still there, and perhaps the Scotch king delayed his despatch till he had learned whether the Admiral had tried to get this king to consent to the marriage with the daughter of France. 5 Dec. 1534.