Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: Volume 10
1069. Chapuys to Charles V.
On the 24th of this month, the Eve of Ascension Day, immediately on the arrival of the courier who was despatched to Pontremolo, Cromwell sent me the packet which your Majesty had forwarded to that place, begging that I would impart my news to him without delay. Shortly afterwards he sent to say that he would come and see me, but as, owing to his being so much occupied, he had failed in a like promise two days before, I, in order to put him under greater obligation, went to see him. On my arrival he told me that he had been to Court that morning, only to obtain audience for me, which the King had granted for next day. The said courier had brought letters from their ambassador, giving such news of the sincere goodwill your Majesty bore the King that Cromwell said he was better pleased than if he had gained 100,000 cr.; and he was sure I should find the King otherwise inclined than he had been before, both as regards the principal matter and also as to myself in particular, for I had greatly increased the affection he bore me on account of certain letters I had lately written to him, of which I send a copy to Grandvelle; also that by the death of the Concubine matters would be more easily arranged now than they had been.
He said it was he who had discovered and followed up the affair of the Concubine, in which he had taken a great deal of trouble, and that, owing to the displeasure and anger he had incurred upon the reply given to me by the King on the third day of Easter, he had set himself to arrange the plot (a fantasier et conspirer led. affaire), and one of the things which had roused his suspicion and made him enquire into the matter was a prognostic made in Flanders threatening the King with a conspiracy of those who were nearest his person.
On this he praised greatly the sense, wit, and courage of the said Concubine and of her brother. And to declare to me further the hope of good success, he informed me in great confidence that the King, his master, knowing the desire and affection of all his people, had determined in this coming Parliament to declare the Princess his heir; but by what he said afterwards, which I shall partly report, he left me in much greater doubt than before. For, besides requesting me in speaking to the King not to make any request on the Princess's behalf, and, if she were mentioned, not to speak of her as Princess, he also told me it was above all things necessary the Princess should write a letter to her father according to a draft that Cromwell had drawn up in the most honorable and reasonable form that could be, and that to solicit the Princess to do this he had, by the King's command, sent to her a very confidential lady; but, in any case, to avoid scruple, the King wished I would write to her, and send her one of my principal servants to persuade her to make no difficulty about writing the said letter, which he would have translated from English into Latin, that I might see that it was quite honourable.
This translation he gave me next day as I left the Court; and since reading it I have not found the said Cromwell, to tell him my opinion of it, although I begged him the day before, when he spoke about it, to take care that it did not contain anything which could directly or indirectly touch her right, or the honour either of herself or of the late Queen, her mother, nor yet her conscience; otherwise she would not consent thereto for all the gold in the world, and the King's indignation against her would only be increased; and that he whom the said Princess regarded as almost a father, ought to take good care that the whole was free from danger and scruple. This, he said, he had done, as I should see by the tenor of the letter, of which I send your Majesty the very translation he delivered to me. Besides the evidence that letter contains that there is some bird catching attempted (quy y a de la traynee et pipe), this has been confirmed to me from a good quarter, and I have warned the Princess. I mean to get out of it (de me demesler) and dissemble the affair as much as I can, without speaking or writing of it till I have understood the intention of those here on the principal article of the negotiations. I shall excuse myself for not having sent to the Princess by saying that the messenger (icelluy) to whom I had committed the translation had lost it in returning from Court. When I have learned their intention I shall not fail to make the necessary remonstrances as to the unreasonableness of the letter, and seek all means possible to moderate such rigour; nevertheless your Majesty will be pleased to instruct me what to say and do in case the King insist on having the letter entirely written by the Princess, and that otherwise he means to punish her, as the lady sent by the King to the Princess has given a servant of mine to understand.
Notwithstanding what Cromwell has told me, many fear the obstinacy of the King towards the Princess. The earl of Sussex in the Privy Council proposed to the King that as the Princess was a bastard, as well as the duke of Richmond, it would be right to prefer the male to the female; and as this opinion was not opposed by the King, it may be that some will hereafter favor it. One who knows the French ambassador's secrets told some one that the King had offered the Princess for the duke of Angoulême; on which the said ambassadors (sic) despatched a courier to France on Ascension eve, and on their return next day the King spoke about it again, and the ambas sadors remarked that although nothing had been said of the restitution of the Princess, yet it was quite obvious that that must be presupposed on both sides. Then the King got into a great anger against the obstinacy and disobedience of the said Princess, showing clearly that he bore her very little love or goodwill. I should think he made the offer of the said marriage to interrupt the peace negotiations between your Majesty and France, which are based on the marriage of the duke of Angoulême.
Having endeavoured first to ascertain from Cromwell the King's inclination upon the above subject, I delivered to him your Majesty's letters to himself, and communicated to him the substance of what you had written to me; at which he showed himself as pleased as could be, especially as I told him that, to simplify matters, after my letters were deciphered, I would show him everything in confidence. He said to me, as before, that I should find the King his master very well disposed to peace and amity with your Majesty. I would not then enter into particulars in case of revocation and establishment of amity until I saw how the King proceeded; and by what I have perceived hitherto of the King and Cromwell, they only reckon upon preserving neutrality and remaining friends with all the world; but they have since spoken "plus avant." Cromwell tells me (but I have only been able to extract it from him by divers means) that the bailly of Troyes had come to know how the King wished to be comprehended in the peace, and that the King had replied he wished only to be comprehended as a principal contrahent; and he wished to comprehend the others, not the others to comprehend him.
The same was declared to me by the King, to whom I said that the thing was in his hands to do so if he pleased. Cromwell also told me that the bailly had brought to show the answer which the King his master had made to your Majesty upon the very honorable proposals made by you in Consistory; and that in that answer the king of France, by way of reproach, had said that without his aid you would not have obtained the Imperial crown, nor even have gone into Spain before it. At these words this King had been sorry, for it was his part to boast of these things and not that of any other, and begged the bailiff to advise his master to put in his answers things more true or more probable. Cromwell also said that the rest of the answer was such that he should have been ashamed to make it. He also said that the said bailiff [and] the other ambassador had proposed the marriage of the eldest daughter of France with this King, but that it was labour lost, for this King would never marry out of his kingdom. On my asking why, he gave me a very slender reason; viz., that if a foreign queen of great connections misconducted herself as to her person she could not be punished and got rid of like the last. And on my replying that this was a misfortune not to be expected in generous and well brought-up persons, as they might see by the example of the late Queen, I took the opportunity to suggest the marriage of the Infant Don Loys, saying everything that seemed to me suitable. As to the "Infanta" ("linfante") Cromwell passed this over altogether; but as to the Infant Don Loys, he gave ear to it readily, enquiring several times of his age and personal qualities, and how many children the king of Portugal, his brother, had. And on my saying that although there was no hope of Don Loys succeeding to the crown of Portugal, yet, besides being of so noble blood and so virtuous a prince, he had enough goods of his own to maintain honorably the estate of the said Princess, I would not say better than the duke of Suffolk and the queen of Scots' present husband, but I came so near this, that he himself said so, and, moreover, that it was certain that, failing hope of the succession of this kingdom by a male child of the King, your Majesty would, it is to be hoped, in that event do something for the advancement of the said Infant.
Next day, Ascension Day, I was with the King at 8 a.m., who, after kindly congratulating me on my convalescence, and thanking me for the letters I had written to him, began to make recital of your Majesty's letters of 13 and 18 April and of 15 May, and showed in everything the greatest satisfaction. The conversation turning on your Majesty's visit to Rome, I, finding the King in such good humour, said, in addition to the contents of the letters, that your Majesty was more desirous of the King's approval of the reasons you had given in your justification than for that of all other princes, as the King was one of the principal of all Christendom, and by his wisdom and experience was most competent to judge such matters, and that your Majesty would have been glad, before putting forth the said justifications, to have taken counsel with him about them, as you would do in all other matters. He appeared very glad to hear this, and said I should do him very great pleasure by communicating the said justification,—all the more so as, after dinner, the French ambassadors were to speak to him about that matter, and they did not always speak the truth. He took in good part my offer to read the copy of your Majesty's letters to your ambassador in France; and after talking together a while, begged that I would read them to the Chancellor and Cromwell. I did so, and they found it all so good that they had no criticisms to make.
Coming to the recital of the last letters, I studied to keep as close as possible to the text, they were so wisely and exquisitely couched, only I kept silence about "la frondeur quil avoit, et lautre fois," and refrained from saying that if this King would not go roundly to business, your Majesty would be justified, reserving that clause till it should be necessary. I also forebore to mention at once the offers of the French to treat haut et bas in what concerned him, or the delay your Majesty had made therein; but afterwards it came in very opportunely to tell him, and I had no great difficulty in persuading him of it, for he had long suspected it.
Having explained my charge to the best of my power, the King, who had been resting in a window, rose up very glad, and told me that I had brought him the most agreeable news, and for his part he was desirous of peace and amity with all the world; yet he thanked me very much for the trouble I had taken in these matters, and the good service I had done therein, as he had learned from the letters of his ambassador. After some other talk he added, that in accordance with his custom to conceal nothing from me, although the matter was of small importance, the cardinal of Lorraine had made great complaint to his ambassadors that he had heard in your Majesty's court that they had solicited and obtained, in the name of the said King, peace and amity with your Majesty; thereby insinuating that that had hindered peace between your Majesty and the king of France; and though the King does not believe that such reports have emanated from your Majesty's court, yet he will be glad if the thing be accomplished. I said these were French inventions, as he might suppose, and that I was sure if there was anything to remedy in the said case, or any other that concerned him, it would be done with great goodwill. I then said I understood the French had proposed to comprehend him in the treaty of peace, and that it would be much more profitable and honorable for him to be the principal, and comprehend the French if he thought good, and that it only rested with him to do so. He replied that he had made pretty nearly such an answer to the French ambassadors, and that he could not well say for what the bailiff of Troyes had come, for his commission was so vain and so ill founded that it was a shame, and that he would engage that the bailly could not tell distinctly what charge he has, and that formerly the bailiff had appeared to him a man of good judgment and experience, but now he found him quite otherwise. I said I thought that it might have been the fault of the matter and not of the person, that had given him such an opinion of the bailiff. He said both causes concurred, and that he was astonished at the terms of the French, who would never come to the point about anything, and were only seeking a multiplicity of matters, and that long ago he had proposed certain things to the French king by his ambassadors, to which he had not yet had any reply, though he had expected that the bailiff would have brought it, and so long a time had elapsed that the circumstances had altogether changed. He said that the said bailiff, among other things, had communicated to him the answer of the French king to the propositions made by your Majesty in Consistory, but it was no great thing.
After these and other conversations, by the advice and even request of Cromwell I recited what had been written to me from the Court of the king of the Romans of the lanceknights who have already passed into Italy, and of the preparations still made in Germany, both of foot and horse, which makes me doubt that the said King was ill informed of the forces of your Majesty. Cromwell also begged me to relate to the King what had been written to me from Genoa and elsewhere of the retreat and disbanding of the men levied by Canigno de Gonzaga and his companions. It is on this, as the King affirms, that Francis bases his argument that your Majesty was the first to violate the peace; but on my showing him that as it was against the treaties for Francis to negociate or levy men in Italy against your Majesty, and that as, besides, those Italians raised for the French king being all or most of them subjects of your Majesty and of the Empire, it was lawful for your Majesty to treat them as you had done. He made no reply, but seemed quite satisfied.
Towards the close of our conversation. Cromwell, fearing I might forget to show the King your Majesty's answer to the French ambassador at Lucca, came forward to remind me about it. The King approved it entirely, even though he seemed thereby to have less hope of an "appointement" than by what had taken place before, which is what those here have always demanded. In the end he said to me that if I had any power to treat he would order his Council to attend to it, and, if not, I ought to write for it. I told him that I had no special power, but that I knew part of your Majesty's intention, and that to gain time, if he pleased, Cromwell and I would communicate, and that according to the decision we came to I would engage to have the said power, and if it was necessary, that some honorable person should come, to give the matter more weight. To which he consented. Shortly after I left the chamber he sent to me by Cromwell to say that it would be better, before wasting time in conference, to write for the said power and wait for it; but on my insisting on the opposite view, Cromwell, after speaking again with the King, arranged on the third day after to make answer to me, and begin our conference. He was so busy, however, that we could not confer till the Monday following, which was the 29th ultimo. I then visited him at his house, and the first words he said to me were that perhaps I suspected that the delay of my answer was owing to some hope they had of treating meanwhile with the French; but I must banish that opinion, for matters were not in such a state, and, even if they were, I might be assured they would treat nothing to the prejudice of your Majesty; yet it was true that they expected news from France before sending a dispatch to their ambassador with your Majesty, but my answer would not be delayed by that. Hereupon he began to speak about the matter of the Princess as that on which depended the stability of all the other matters to be discussed. On which I showed him the injustice of the letters which he wished the Princess to write. He asked me to moderate, correct, and amend what I pleased, or to dictate another letter such as I would have, and to use my influence to get the Princess to write; in which there will be no difficulty, for the Princess is determined to do only what I advise her.
Cromwell assured me that every day since I had spoken with the King, they had been discussing the affair of the said Princess, and that certain remonstrances I had made with him and others of the Council had been well taken, and that the King no longer made any difficulty in making the said Princess his heir, and that he had approved of the overture I had made for the marriage of the Infant Don Loys, which might be pursued after the restoration of the Princess, but not before. And as to the other marriage of the Infanta of Portugal, it was impossible, for the King did not intend to marry out of the kingdom. Cromwell might have said also that the King had already fixed on a wife, to wit Jane Semel, as I wrote to Granvelle on 20 May. Yet the King denied it on Ascension Day (fn. 2) to the French ambassadors, telling them he was at liberty; whereupon, as I am told, the said ambassadors next day despatched a post. On my telling Cromwell that I had heard that on the French requesting to have the Princess for the Dauphin, the King would not consent, but offered her to the duke of Angoulême, he confessed it to me, saying I might well consider what the worth of this offer was; that these were artifices of princes; and he dared to add (at which I was astonished, especially as the case only applied to the King his master) that princes often do things so extravagant and dishonest that he would rather lose one of his arms than think of acting so.
After reading to Cromwell your Majesty's letters, which he liked very much, I said if it was only a question of treating of a new and stricter friendship, we had labored to no purpose, seeing that there was no rupture or innovation on either side. And when he admitted this to be true, I went on to show that as sometimes physicians desired illness for their friends, and lawyers disputes, in order to show their true love and regard for them, and as God, without the wish of anyone, had offered a great opportunity of showing that the memory and root of old friendship was not extinguished between your Majesty and the King, and, moreover, to show the zeal he had for the service of God, the peace of Christendom, and the promotion of the Faith, the King had taken so much trouble to conciliate the Emperor and the king of France, so that he might be justly called the author and conservator of peace, that he had all the more reason to be angry at the wilful violator of peace, especially at such a juncture, when your Majesty was on the point of completing your holy and necessary enterprise against the enemies of the Faith; and that by this and other evidences, of which the King his master was fully informed, especially the understanding of the French king with Barbarossa and the Turk, with whom he had made a treaty, all Christian princes were justified in taking arms against the said King, especially the king of England, who, besides being a principal member of Christendom, bore the title of Defender of the Faith, and besides doing a good deed, would wipe out the evil rumors spread of him in France that he was no good Christian.
On this Cromwell suddenly said to me that I had taken the word out of his mouth, and that if there were no other reason why the King should declare himself against Francis, he believed that Francis could be immediately crushed, or at least reduced to such terms that he would hereafter leave the world in peace; but he saw one danger in the King's so declaring, viz., lest your Majesty came to treat with the French, to which you appeared to be very well disposed, considering the offer of Milan to the duke of Angoulême; and if your Majesty considered well the consequence, you would as little consent to give the said duchy to the duke of Angoulême as to the duke of Orleans. This advice about not giving Milan to the duke of Angoulême had already been given to me by the King. I told Cromwell that in the event of your Majesty making any treaty with the French without the consent of his master, and in case his master made any difficulty about the said declaration, I proposed that he might give pecuniary aid. This I thought necessary to accelerate the negociation, and to find out the better what is in their mind, for to wait an answer to the first objection there would be no end. As to what concerns the defence of Flanders, I told him there was no need to speak, for it was notorious that the King was bound to the defence of Flanders by several treaties. Cromwell assured me that the King his master had said to him, just as he was leaving the Court to wait upon me at his house, that he knew well that among other points I would not forget to speak of the said protection of Flanders.
Further, Cromwell said to me that if it rested with him he would resolve suddenly to make the said declaration against the French king, and that he would use all his influence to that effect; but that if I were of opinion that the King his master should meanwhile interfere in behalf of peace, or should send some ambassador to the king of France to advise him to desist from his enterprises, that would be done at once. I replied that as to advising the king of France, I did not think it expedient, for reasons he might sufficiently understand; it would only serve like the water which farriers throw upon the fire, and that if the King wished to induce peace he must act on the advice of Solon, the legislator of Athens, who, to appease the dissensions that might arise in that city, ordained a law that, in case of trouble arising, no citizen should remain who did not declare himself either on the one side or on the other. Cromwell said this was true, but there remained the objection that if the French knew that England was going to join with the Emperor they might offer terms, even to their own disadvantage, to injure the King his master.
To this objection I gave, I think, a satisfactory answer, with which he appeared to be content, and said that he would make a favorable report to the King, and next day give me answer. Next day he sent to ask me to excuse him, because it was impossible to speak to me either that day or the day following. On the third day, which was 1 June, he said he was obliged to go to the country, and would give me on his return an agreeable answer.
Must not omit to mention that, among the remonstrances which Cromwell approved of, he noted particularly that it was not at this time that the kings of France had first troubled the affairs of Christendom, and that their glory and ambition had caused the loss of the Holy Land, and compelled that chivalrous prince Richard Cœur-de-Lion to withdraw, Philip of France having made war upon him unjustly.
Recited also to Cromwell several other wrongs done by the French, and how they boasted that the Dauphin would subdue the realm as another Dauphin had done in the time of king John; and that on this subject they had invented certain prophecies, which they had got printed, to encourage the said Dauphin, though he is well enough inclined to it himself, and some time ago dared to say in the presence of Englishmen that he would regain the title and arms which the king of England bore, and something more besides. Cromwell acknowledged it was all true, and that there were other arguments for the same course, and it would not be his fault if it were not adopted.
They have delayed my answer so long awaiting news from France, as Cromwell let out to me. The delay was to my great annoyance, as I feared that meanwhile my man George would arrive with letters from your Majesty. He came on the 1st inst., and, according to your Majesty's command, although the King has made his decision, as I have already mentioned and have before written to Granvelle, yet I will not forbear to declare the affection and goodwill of your Majesty in this point, even more amply since there is no danger of being taken too literally; yet I will take care that it cannot be said this is an offer of being godfather after the child is baptised (que ce soit ouffre de comparaige apres lenfant baptiste).
The day before George's arrival the man of the French ambassador came, who had left the same day, and to take the same news as George to the Court of France; and as soon as he had dismounted, he went in great haste with letters to Cromwell. Next day the two French ambassadors were with Cromwell, and were at Court the day before Whitsun eve.
On Whitsun eve, in the morning, Cromwell came to see me at my lodging, although I had sent to request him to wait for me at his own, and first told me, pour joyeuse entrée, that the King and the new Queen were wonderfully well pleased with the wise and prudent letters the Princess had written (in which, nevertheless, there was nothing corresponding to the draft abovementioned, nor anything that could prejudice her), and that the King was resolved to make her his heir, which he supposed to be one of the principal articles of my charge on which the rest depended. Now, it is true that I had perceived some indications that there was a proposal to declare the Princess heir without giving her the title of Princess, and she will remain excluded in case of a son or daughter being born. If this be so, and I see an opportunity to remedy it, I will speak about the subject. If not, I will not stick at it much, hoping that by the establishment of peace and augmentation of amity, with the great prudence and virtue the King will perceive in her, that she will be declared true and just princess,—although, according to the opinion of many, there is no fear of the occurrence of any issue of either sex. Coming to the principal subject,
Cromwell said that he had repeated to the King his master the communications we had had together, and the King had given him patient audience, well noting and considering everything, and that he had since heard the French ambassadors, to whom he had made a brusque reply, first as to the marriage of the Dauphin with the Princess, that he knew not why they urged it, as at the meeting at Calais he had resolutely replied about it to the king of France, his brother, and as to the duke of Angoulême he was too young for the said Princess, who was of marriageable age. As to declaring himself against your Majesty, he saw no ground for it, and though they said that your Majesty had been and was his enemy, he did not see it; he had much greater occasion to complain of several who had called themselves his friends, and he could very well testify what they had done about the "privation" and other things; and as to the danger which they alleged to him, which was the sole motive they made use of, that your Majesty aspired to universal monarchy, and that you were revengeful of injuries—that the English, after feasting France, would have their St. Martin—there was not the slightest fear, for they knew the nature of your Majesty, and for other good reasons besides.
As to assisting them with a contribution for the war, he also declined it for the same reason. As to the suggestion that he should take this affair in hand in order to bring to agreement your Majesty and the King their master, and that he would write to your Majesty to procure an abstinence of war while they were treating of peace, he replied that it was not reasonable that he should write such letters, for several reasons, especially as the amity between your Majesty and him was not well consolidated, but he would request me to write with diligence to your Majesty to consent, notwithstanding past matters, to an honorable peace, and used such arguments with me as he thought fit. But, considering everything, he had very little occasion to meddle with such matters, seeing that they had turned about on all sides in their negociations, even to his disadvantage, employing therein his principal enemy, the Pope, and without informing him of anything important, except at the end when the matter came to be broken off. For a compliment, they had asked him how he would be comprehended in the peace, in which matter your Majesty had acted more honorably and cordially, having told him by me that it was in his power to be the principal contrahent, and to comprehend those whom he pleased. At which words Cromwell said the King showed great delight, saying further, that the French, after so much trifling and making a thousand offers, which he repeated to the ambassadors, especially those that the cardinal of Lorraine had made to your Majesty, and seeing themselves deserted by everybody and in great danger of being completely baffled, now came to him and tried to make him stumble with them in the ditch into which they had blindly precipitated themselves, and that it was no wonder their affairs went so badly, considering the envy and dissension between the Grand Master and the Admiral, who were chief of the Council, and that they need not have made so much boast hitherto to lower their ears immediately after, and that your Majesty managed your affairs more honorably without so much fuss, and yet showed clearly that you were not in such need and poverty as the French had pretended. And here the King inveighed strongly against the cruel enterprise of the French against the duke of Savoy. Such was, as Cromwell affirmed, the King's reply to the French ambassadors, which he ended by telling them that if their master wished him to promote this peace, they must put aside passion and cupidity and submit to reason; which, in his opinion, suggested that a king of France should be satisfied with such a wealthy kingdom, without irritating the flies by which he might be provoked. And he desired that the ambassadors should write with diligence to learn the will of the King their master upon this matter, and have it set forth in articles.
After relating this to me, Cromwell began to show me the inconveniences that war would entail, and the good that would ensue from a peace, during which an expedition might be got up against the Infidels, these two Kings joining their forces with those of your Majesty; and the King his master would take care that it was all without prejudice to your Majesty; adding that the King requested that I would write about it without loss of time, since I did not know particularly your intention about this renewal of peace, and perhaps I was not perfectly informed of all the articles in which your Majesty considered the French to have infringed the treaties, and that if the French king would not consent to more reasonable conditions than he had done hitherto, the King his master would have the more occasion to declare himself, and it could not be imputed to rashness on his part, as it might be if he did so suddenly. Afterwards Cromwell said to me, without my proposing the subject, that, as to the Council, it must not be supposed that his master wanted to have a god apart, and separate himself from the union of Christians; he desired the Council as much as anyone else, provided it was called by Your Majesty as chief of Christendom.
On this I replied that for this time it was right to leave the power of summoning it in the Pope's hands, and if it was otherwise determined at the said Council use would be made of it accordingly. I begged him, however, to consider and put in writing how your Majesty could effectually call the said Council; which he promised to do, and therewith I got rid of the matter for my part as far as possible, in order not to spoil the principal matter, considering that there is time enough to treat about the Council. After Cromwell had finished his discourse I warmly thanked the King for his goodwill to your Majesty, and Cromwell for the trouble he had taken in so meritorious a work. Therewith I began to praise the wise and prudent answers the King had given to the French ambassadors, especially the excuse he had made for not writing the letter they wanted him to write, because the King, not being informed of the disposition of affairs there, might have requested something of your Majesty, which you could not grant without serious damage, and you would have been in great perplexity, not wishing to refuse the King anything that was in your power. I said that, having spoken with the King, I would willingly write to your Majesty as above, and although I have no charge to discuss the said matters of the peace, yet, considering the desire you had always shown to have peace, [even] accepting unjust and injurious conditions, I would dare promise that your Majesty would not refuse the said peace if it could be assured with true regard to the right and wrong of everyone. The said King had seen how the French had observed preceding treaties, and it might be regarded as rashness to trust them again. They were now very low, and had no refuge except the Turk, with whom they wished to negociate, and they wanted the King to mediate, which the Emperor would have been very glad of if the King had been made arbiter from the first. It must also be observed that the French, seeing your Majesty had spent a vast sum of money on the expedition to Africa, and in guarding yourself against them, would seek means to make that expense unavailing; for one of the things they seek is to wear out your Majesty's money, and make you vacillate in your promises to the Italian princes; and I did not know how the Germans would be satisfied, especially some who had come at their own expense to serve you; and that it was necessary to maintain such men for the need one might any day have of them, especially against the said French, who keep no faith; and I thought your Majesty ought to consent to no peace till Burgundy was restored, which so justly belongs to you, with the arrears and expenses you had incurred for this army, and an indemnity paid to the duke of Savoy. He said his master would assuredly have good regard to everything as reason would.
As to what he had before said, that I had no particular information of the infringements of treaties by the king of France, which is the ground the King takes for [not] making the declaration which I demanded, I observed lightly that I had, and related to him what you had been pleased to write to me, telling him, besides what I had said to him last time, that even if there were no other pretext but the stoppage of payment of their pension, that was quite as fair a cause for declaring war against them as when the Cardinal had declared it against your Majesty. Cromwell said that was true, but these princes were marvellously scrupulous not to wound their honors, and it was necessary in this matter to yield to the King, begging that I would therein do a good office. I said it was not necessary to wait for other news from your Majesty to know what you would demand in case we came to negociate for the establishment of peace between you and his master.
He said he thought so too, but the King wished not to know it in order to pay this compliment to the French. Thereupon I requested him as earnestly as possible, by his duty to God and the King, and for the benefit of the realm, that he would urge the King without further delay to declare for your Majesty. He said that the short delay till an answer came from you would not matter, and that I might be assured everything would come about as your Majesty desired, requesting me, for the honor of God, at once to use every effort to have the matter of peace referred to the King's arbitration, and assuring me that in that case the French would have nothing in Milan, and that the King would have due regard to Burgundy and the other matters I had put forward. This he repeated to me several times.
The French ambassadors, who expected to go to Court to day, have been put off till tomorrow to give place to me, and this morning before the King rose I was at Court. The King sent immediately to excuse himself by Cromwell that he was not so early out. I replied that he did me wrong to treat me with such ceremony, for he might count all your Majesty's servants as his own. At which words Cromwell showed himself very much pleased, and immediately reported them to the King. On coming from mass the King repeated his excuses to me, and thanked me for the answer I had made to Cromwell. He asked where your Majesty was. I said my man, who had just returned, had left you at a day's journey from Alessandria. He also reported that on telling your Majesty the news of the arrest of her whom the King had justly executed, and declaring the cause to have been a conspiracy against his person, your Majesty appeared astonished and troubled, and asked if it was possible that she could have shown such malice against such a good, humane, and virtuous prince, who could not have done more for any person than he had done for her; and that afterwards your Majesty began to praise God that the King had escaped such danger, and that the matter had been discovered before any mischief was done. On hearing which the King was very glad, saying he was much bound to your Majesty. He then asked if it was possible that the man who had carried those news had already returned. I said, Yes, and that, besides the duplicate of the last dispatch, he had brought letters from your Majesty in which you charged me, besides recommendations, to speak of the offers (partiz) mentioned therein. He thanked your Majesty many times for your goodwill, saying that the said offers were very honorable, but even if he had not been married he could not have chosen either of the two by reason of the proximity of blood. Still he was none the less bound to you.
On his return from mass I accompanied the King to the chamber of the Queen, whom, for the King's satisfaction, I kissed, and congratulated her on her marriage, and said that her predecessor had borne the device La plus heureuse, but that she would bear the reality, and that I was sure your Majesty would be immeasurably pleased that the King had found so good and virtuous a wife, especially as her brother had been in your Majesty's service, and the satisfaction of this people with the marriage was incredible, especially at the restoration of the Princess to the King's favor and to her former condition; and, among other congratulations, I told the Queen that it was not her least happiness that, without having had the labour of giving birth to her, she had such a daughter as the Princess, of whom she would receive more joy and consolation than of all those she could have herself; and I begged her to favor her interests; which she said she would do, and especially that she would labour to obtain that honorable name I wished for her of "pacific," i.e., of author and conservatrix of the peace.
After speaking to the Queen, the King, who had been talking to the other ladies, approached, and wished to excuse her, saying I was the first ambassador to whom she had spoken, and she was not accustomed to it, that he quite believed she desired to obtain the name of "pacific," for, besides that her nature was gentle and inclined to peace, she would not for the world that he were engaged in war, that she might not be separated from him. After dinner I went to speak with the King in his chamber, and protesting "pour non lui altérer son cerveaul," that I would not for the present object to the answers made by Cromwell, I begged him to take in good part that which I should say about the conversations Cromwell and I had had together. He desired that I would speak boldly. And I began to make part of the remonstrances I had made to Cromwell. He replied that it was true that the leagues and confederacies between your Majesty and him are far more ancient and better grounded than those with France; and, that notwithstanding it was true that the cause for which they had been made with France had ceased, he could not on that account fail in the promise he had made, for he was bound to both parties to defend the party attacked, and the French pretended that they were entitled to do what they had done against the duke of Savoy, because he had refused to restore Nice, which was only a surety, without violating the peace, and it was quite another thing to invade one of those comprehended in the peace from what it was to invade the subjects and dominions of a principal con trahent. And he begged your Majesty would look to this, lest by attacking France you might be called the aggressor, and he should be compelled by treaty to defend the party attacked, which would be disagreeable for him. On my showing him the articles in which the French had infringed the peace, he replied, as to Gueldres he was not informed, but he knew that a French gentleman who had been conveying money to Gueldres on the part of Francis had been taken at Brussels, and he did not think your Majesty would pretend a rupture on that account, seeing that you had made no mention of it in your statement at Rome.
As to Wirtemberg, he tried to excuse the French, saying the Duke had gone to seek them, and the money the French had delivered was for the purchase of certain lands, and that the Duke was only subject to your Majesty much in the same way as the duke of Savoy. He attaches more importance to what the French have done "en lendroit de loccupateur de Mirandula;" but in the end he gave up almost every point, although he wished somehow to excuse an incursion lately made by the French on the frontiers of Artois, saying it was done by peasants of their own accord. After much talk the King notified to me that it would be necessary, in order to soften both parties, to tell them their wrong and show some "braverie," begging your Majesty to consider the good that would come of a new peace; and instead of commanding, he begged me to do my duty in this matter, not once but at least ten times, saying to me "Monsieur, je vous supplie, considerez, faictez, ecrivez, &c.," which was quite extravagant courtesy. At last, seeing that it was no use pressing him to declare himself, I asked him what, in conclusion, I was to write to your Majesty. He replied that I ought to know better than he; but since I asked him he thought I should write that if you were willing that he should mediate this peace he would do it willingly, and would take care to allow no article that was not honorable to your Majesty. I said he ought to bid me write another article, viz., that in case he found the French to be violators of the peace or aggressors, or that they would not agree to a reasonable peace, he should declare himself for your Majesty. He replied cheerfully and distinctly that I might boldly assure your Majesty of it. He did not repeat what he had said before, that it was necessary also that he should use such "braverie" towards your Majesty in case you were wrong, nor that it must be considered if new conditions more unreasonable than the previous were put forward he should consider himself mocked by the parties unless it was owing to expenses since incurred, or a change in the situation. The King having explained to me as above I told him he might hold it certain that he would find all the fault was on the side of the French, as he would see clearly if he would weigh a little what I had said to him. Moreover, the French would never consent to honorable conditions. I therefore begged him to consider from this time about making a new treaty with your Majesty, and that he would declare to me what he would demand on his part in like case. He said to me he had certainly not considered about it, and for the haste of this despatch, as he had not all his council, he could not at present determine, but I might write to your Majesty that I would inform you of everything by the first despatch.
The King had said to me before with great protestations that it was not by way of reproach, and he begged me not to inform you about it if I did not think it for the benefit of affairs; that, because the promise formerly made to him to continue the war against the king of France, even to the privation of the Crown, had not been kept, he feared that when they came to treat it would be the same thing again. But I satisfied him on this point by several reasons.
On my leaving the King he called several of his Council who were there in the chamber, and repeated to them our communications. Meanwhile I went to talk with this Queen's brother, whom I left very well informed of the great good it would be, not only to the Queen his sister and all their kin, but also to the realm and all Christendom likewise, if the Princess were restored to her rights; and I am sure he will use his good offices therein. The duke of Norfolk afterwards, leaving, told me that I should see without being told that the King his master had no need of Chancellor or Council to make his replies and take his determinations, for he did all his business himself. I afterwards spoke to Cromwell, reporting the brusque words the King had used to me, but excusing him because he had already taken upon himself the office of an arbiter, who to bring the parties to an agreement imputes blame to both. Cromwell replied that I had spoken truly, and he thought it a great advantage that I understood the nature and artifice of the King his master, and that he could assure me all would go well; and he prayed God that during these interludes your Majesty's army might make notable progress, and that if the Princess were restored, which he hoped would be by Saturday next, all the rest could be easily settled; and that the Queen, after leaving me, had spoken to the King as warmly as possible in favor of the Princess, putting before him the greatness and goodness of all her kindred. Cromwell would advise your Majesty to write a rather long letter to the King about the injuries done you by the king of France, your efforts for peace, the expences you have incurred, and offering still to accept a sure and honorable peace, especially for the King's sake; and that you might send me the conditions apart if you did not think proper to write them to the King, among which conditions Cromwell presupposes would be the demand for Burgundy.
I have delivered the letters of credence to the three dukes, who thank you very humbly and promise to use their best offices for the matter in question and all other things, especially the duke of Suffolk, who has again sent for leave to take a command of Englishmen for the service of your Majesty. The duke of Norfolk inclines more to the side of France; I know not whether owing to conformity of conditions, or because the pension assigned to him by your Majesty was never paid. The interview of the two kings is forgotten. The king of Scots, after the example of his "patrisant et matrisant," has also aken to wife "une sienne amoreuse," and laughs at the French who had failed in their promise to him.
Not being too well assured by the words of those here, I thought it my duty not merely to write simply how matters stood, but to add some of the circumstances, that your Majesty might judge more clearly the intentions of these men; for which reason I beg you to excuse my prolixity. London, 6 June 1536.
King John and the Dauphin below