Marguerite of Angoulême Letters & Papers: 1540 Volume 15
Date: 17 February 1540
Title: Norfolk to Henry VIII Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk meeting with Marguerite of
17 Feb. 223. Norfolk to Henry VIII.
Sent this morning to the Queen of Navarre [Marguerite of Angoulême], to speak with her before his departure from Dorlaunse.
Found her the most frank and wise woman he ever spake with.
Told her he knew she could never love the Emperor who kept her kingdom from her, and showed her of the article “concerning the disclosing of the partitions of the Emperor's dominions and after of his high words concerning ingratitude.
To the first she answered that I might be sure who had disclosed it, meaning the Constable. To the other she said, What doth he mean? Will he have no equal? Will he be God?” declaring herself his utter enemy in heart. She advised me to make a great trust in the Constable, as your Highness had, for it would not as yet avail to strive against him; and to speak fair with the Chancellor, who was in great credit with the King and easily won with fair words.
Also to try and win Madame d'Estampes. She added that her brother, if a thing were fixed in his head, would hardly let it be plucked out, and the persons who had most influence with him against the Constable's mind are Madame d'Estampes and the Cardinal of Lorraine. Norfolk said he thought it strange to seek anything at such a woman's hand, and she replied that she only advised him as she was compelled to do herself. On asking her what she thought about Milan, she said the King should have it, for the Emperor could not keep it against so many enemies, meaning Henry, the German princes, and the Turk, “and surely, quoth she, for all the entertainment he had here there was never any very familiar fashion between the King and him.”
And she thought they would not long remain friends. She thought the king of the Romans would not come so soon as he was expected, and that the Emperor would fail to win Gueldres. She had heard of a secret friend that the Emperor would make means to have my lady Mary, but I said I did not see you meant to bestow her there. She hoped all this would be kept secret, especially from the French ambassador there. I hope to learn from her when she comes hither on Saturday at furthest, hew Francis takes my words yesterday.
She told me also that this morning on coming from the King she said she was going to speak with me, and he charged her to tell me how sincerely he loved his good brother. She answered, Sir, I trust ye will make me no liar. No, quod he, by the faith of a gentleman, I say as I think. If Francis come hither before I have answer of these from your Majesty, I shall proceed to the rest of my instructions as I see occasion. For God's sake revoke the Bishop hence as soon as ye may, for he [is] marvellously hated here and will never do you good service, though I think he has good will. Bishops are bad ambassadors here, for Winchester is little better favoured than the other. Abbeville, 17 Feb., midnight.
I fear the Chancellor is delayed at Amiens. Hol. Add. Endd.