[Ill health of Henry VIII and lamenting Cromwell’s execution]
3 March 1541 590 Marillac to Montmorency.
Received, two days ago, a packet from the Court, in which were only two little letters from the Chancellor, written at Chambourg (Chambord), 21 and 22 Feb.; the one mentioning that the Commissioners about the bridge of Ardres had taken no resolution, and that word should be sent if the English compelled French subjects to pay the tax on strangers. The writer's previous despatch reported that they were not compelled, but were threatened that they were not exempt; as he now writes to the Chancellor. The other letter (recapitulated) explained Rincon's return from Constantinople. Had heard by letters from Venice of Rincon's escort there, and thinks the Chancellor's letter needs no answer.
With regard to his letter to the King, this King's life was really thought to be in danger, not from the fever but from the leg, which often troubles him because he is very stout and marvellously excessive in drinking and eating, so that people worth credit say he is often of a different opinion in the morning than after dinner.
Directs attention to the instability of the people and this King's impression of his ministers, whom (besides what Marillac writes to the King) he sometimes even reproaches with Cromwell's death, saying that, upon light pretexts, by false accusations, they made him put to death the most faithful servant he ever had.
The ramparts at Dover, Portsmouth, Hampton, and elsewhere are clean fallen down, and the King so annoyed that he will go in person and direct how they are to be rebuilt. Has written before of an edict here that strangers, to enjoy their privilege of paying the same customs upon exports as Englishmen, should lade in English ships if such could be found.
In Flanders they were so indignant at this that they made an edict that none should lade in English ships, without any distinction whether others could be had. The English complained, and, through Winchester, tried to get that edict mitigated. Not succeeding, they, eight days ago, proclaimed that none should lade in Flemish ships upon any pretext.
Such rigors might end in war; and he thinks well to inform Montmorency of them, as he has done the Chancellor, to show there is not such union between the English and the Flemings as might be thought.
Thought to add to the above news the execution that was talked of of certain lords who are in the Tower, but it has not taken place.