Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: 1540 Volume 15
38. Wyatt to Henry VIII.
368. Reports how they have executed his commands received along with his letters to the Princes, and copies of the same by letters of my lord Privy Seal, dated the 21st and 24th ult. Has observed the same order he wrote on the — (blank) ult., “and to the apprehending of this Brancetour it is well proceeded.” Mentioned that Tate and he had reminded Grandvela of what he had said about Brancetour. Next day after the Emperor's entry into Paris, he and the bp. of London sent to the Constable for audience and were told there was no time that day. Next morning, the 3rd, went themselves to his chamber door but he escaped by a back door. Spoke with him, however, after the King's mass, and he arranged an audience for them after the King's dinner. Dined with him meanwhile and told him in general terms the purport of their charge without naming the person.
Had sure watch kept on Brancetour's movements, lest he should escape to Flanders, employing in this one Swerder, a young gentleman of my lord of Canterbury, learned and well languaged, and one Weldon, a student here belonging to Mr. Pate. After dinner went with the Constable and delivered the King's letters to Francis, who was most friendly and said even if there were no treaty the King might rely on obtaining such a request from him, especially as it concerned his person. The Constable received orders for Brancetour's arrest and ordered the provost to do it. Gives an account of their tracing him to his lodging, where Wyatt hurt his leg, and seizing letters, which, on their approach, he had flung into the fire. Wyatt plucked them out, but the provost secured them, and he gave the provost other writings as well, charging him to deliver his writings and himself into the hands of the Emperor, whose servant he claimed to be. The provost left his men to keep him and went to consult the Chancellor. Wyatt meanwhile urged Brancetour to submit to the King, but he made the Emperor his master, and told Wyatt he had come from Pole not three months past, that he had come with him to Avignon and to Rome, and that now he was come into Spain leaving Pole at Rome. The provost, on his return, insisted on taking the man to his own lodgings and on keeping his writings. Wyatt sent two servants with him and returned to his lodging, where my lord of London and Mr. Tate awaited him.
Early next morning, Sunday, the 4th, Wyatt and Tate spoke with Grandvela, saying the King had written to the Emperor upon the subject. He professed to know nothing of Brancetour being entertained by the Emperor, and promised to get them an audience, but it could not be that day. Afterwards found my lord of London and got another interview with the Constable, requesting him to give orders that the man should be delivered up. He promised to speak to the provost to that effect. Spoke also with the Chancellor, who, next day, examined Brancetour and his papers, and bade him put his tale into writing; but he declined in spite of all remonstrances to deliver him till he had spoken with the Constable. A servant of Grandvele's then came and promised them an audience of the Emperor after dinner.
Had access to his Majesty, along with Tate, on Twelfth Even after dinner, who, after reading the King's letters and hearing their credence, asked who the rebel was. Said, Brancetour. “Ah, quod he, Robert? That same Sir, quod I. I shall tell you, quod he, Monsieur l'Embassadour, it is he that hath been in Perse. As he saith, quod I. Na, quod he, I know it by good tokens; for when I sent the knight of the Rhodes, he of Piemont, (fn. 18) with charge to the Sophi, through Turkey, he fell sick, and this man, for the love he knew between the King and me, helped him; and in conclusion, when he saw he should die he opened his charge unto this man and told him what service he should do to me and to all Christendom, if he would undertake it. And he did so and it seemed true, for the King of Perse the same time did invade, and he went about the tother way by the sailing of the Portygalles and brought me sure tokens of the man, as well what money I gave him as other things. And this was no small service that he did; and I have had him follow me this 10 or 12 years in all my voyages, in Africa, in Province, in Italy, and now here; and since that time I know not that he hath been in England, whereby he hath done offence to the King, unless it be for going with Cardinal Pole that asked me leave for him by cause of the language.” Wyatt insisted that his long absence from England and service to the Emperor could not excuse his treason to Henry, and that he had solicited Englishmen in Spain to revolt from their duty, of which Grandvele had informed him, who alleged nothing of the Emperor entertaining him and wondered what he did in the Imperial Court. His conspiracies, Wyatt said, had made him “convainquysht in hole Parliament.” The Emperor said he never heard this before, and when he came into his own territory he would make answer according to the treaties. He complained, however, of Wyatt getting him arrested here when he knew him to be a follower of the Emperor's Court, and declared he would ask his deliverance both of the Constable and of Francis.
Finding he could get nothing more on this point, Wyatt spoke of the ill usage of the English merchants in Spain by the Inquisition as mentioned in my lord Privy Seal's letter. He said the Inquisition had been established for good considerations which he would not break, “no, not for his grandame,” and Englishmen in his countries must obey his laws. Replied that when he was in Spain the Emperor himself agreed with Covos and Grandvela that there should be “moderation in respect of that office” for the sake of English commerce; that Henry VIII. punished all heresies, and the only difference was about the bp. of Rome. The Emperor insisted that that concerned the Faith. Wyatt asked if there would be no redress unless Englishmen changed their opinion on this? The Emperor said he would write to Henry himself. Wyatt said the King would have to warn the English that they traded in Spain at their own risk, as there was a power there dependent on his adversary, the bp. of Rome, against which the Emperor could not protect them. Tate appealed to promises made when he was in Spain, and the Emperor promised to write to the Card. of Toledo, the chief Inquisitor, when he had examined the statement of grievances given to Grandvele. The ambassadors further complained of preachers who defamed their King and nation and stirred the Emperor's subjects against the King's. The Emperor said preachers would speak against himself. Tate then intimated his recall, and the Emperor said he would write in his favour to the King.
They went home, and Wyatt informed my lord of London of their little success, praying him to speak with the Constable, as his leg was sore with long standing. He did so next morning, and Brancetour was delivered and sent to his lodging without notice of the fact being sent to Wyatt; who, meanwhile, had written as he might. Never saw the Emperor so vehement and imperious, especially about the Inquisition. Noted with this “the things that afore he passed with me of Gueldres, almost in as notable manner as this”; also Tate's conversation with Grandvele, of whom he went to take leave while my lord of London sought to speak with the Constable,—Grandvele explaining that he never knew the Emperor had employed Brancetour because he was then ambassador in France, (fn. 19) and that when he spoke to the Emperor on the matter, as a thing that touched the amity, the Emperor said plainly no man should speak to him in it. Grandvele added that if the King would forbear to intrigue with the Almains or others against the Emperor nothing would be done against the amity.
Gives his own explanation of the Emperor's attitude:—That he wishes to keep Henry neutral till he goes to Almain, showing that by illtreating Henry's subjects he can fully requite the injuries Henry does him by the Almains and Geldrois; while on the other hand he keeps France in treating for Milan. Suggests that the bp. of Durham, or some man of weight, should tell him roundly that the King will not pay so much regard henceforth to an alliance in which he finds so little reciprocity, unless he came to new treaties. The time was never better to make him declare himself; for he will never part with Milan, and without that certain amity will never ensue. These Princes depart to-day for S. Denis, and so they go to Chantilly, whence Francis returns, some say to Amyas; but whether the Dauphin and Orleans go to Flanders is uncertain. This legate (fn. 20) goes not after the Emperor, nor know I of any Englishman that comes with him. I remain till Saturday. Paris, 7 Jan.
Draft in Wyatt's hand. Endd.: as follows:--
“The vij of January.
To my lord Privy Seal.
To my lord Admiral.
To Sir Thomas Poyninges.
To Mr. Dun (?)
To Mr. Solyman.
To my brother Lee.”