Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: 1539 Volume 14
103. CHRISTOPHER MONT
Instructions given by the King to Chr. Mo[unt].
First, the said Christopher, taking with him the King's letters and the writings prepared for his despatch, shall with speed repair to the duke of Saxony wherever he shall be. There he shall first enquire for Burgartus, the vice-chancellor, to learn the news and get access to the Duke. If Burgartus is absent, then he shall apply to some other minister of his acquaintance.
Access obtained, he shall present the King's letters credential, and say the King thanks the Duke and his kinsman, the landgrave of Hesse, for their letters concerning the detestable sect of the Anabaptists, although his Highness had already by his laws condemned such leaders of that faction as could be apprehended and had banished the rest by proclamation. His Majesty marvels that since the Duke's orators went from hence with favourable weather and were soon home, he has had no answer upon the communications had with them here. Moreover, it is said that the Duke intends to alter certain leagues and that the Emperor has said he trusts the princes of Germany will be conformable to the rest of Christendom; the King wishes to know the Duke's mind upon the matters reported by his orators and also upon this.
Further, the said Christopher is to find out the inclination which both dukes of Cleves, father and son, bear to the bishop of Rome; he shall also enquire, in case they are still of the old popish fashion, whether they will be inclinable to alter their opinions. If the Duke and the Landgrave are together the said Christopher is to address himself to both; if not, he shall go first to the Duke and then to the Landgrave. He shall solicit the sending of the notable legation spoken of at the said Duke's orators' last being here. Signed at the head by the King.
2. "A memorial of instruct[ions given by] the lord Cromwell, lo[rd Privy Seal, to his] friend Christopher Mount."
Whereas the King at this time sends Mount to the duke of Saxony and the Landgrave for certain affairs, the said Mount shall take occasion to confer with Franciscus Burgartus, the Duke's vice-cha[ncellor], and late his orator here in England, deliver Cromwell's commendations and letters and remind him of their conversation in England concerning a marriage between the young duke of Clev[es] and the lady Mary.
The Duke, his master, as he has written to Cromwell, is desirous to set forth the matter at his next meeting. Cromwell has therefore suggested the matter to the King, who seemed by his visage to approve of it, and answered that for the duke of Saxony he would do much, but would make no answer until requisition was made by the parties. If Burgartus desire the "picture of her face," and say he wrote for it, Mount shall remind him that she is a King's daughter and that it was never seen that the pictures of persons of such degree were sent abroad. Burgartus, too, has seen her and can testify of her proportion, countenance, and beauty, and though she is only the King's natural daughter she is endued, as all the world knows, with such beauty, learning, and virtues, that when the rest is agreed, no man would stick for any part concerning her beauty and goodness.
Further, Mount shall diligently enquire of the beauty and qualities of the eldest of the two daughters of the duke of Cleves, her shape, stature, and complexion, and, if he hear she is such "as might be likened unto his Majesty," he shall tell Burgartus that Cromwell, tendering the King's alliance in Germany, would be glad to induce the King to join with them, specially for the duke of Saxony's sake, who is allied there (with the Cleves family), and to make a cross marriage between the young duke of Cleves and lady Mary, and the King and the elder daughter of Cleves; for as yet he knows of no conclusion in any of the overtures of marriage made to his Grace in France or Flanders. First it is expedient that they should send her picture hither. Mount is not to speak as if demanding her, but rather to give them a prick to offer her. Signed: "Thomas Cromwell."