Henry VIII, the Reign
Letters & Papers: Volume 19 Part 1
Chapuys to Charles V.
This King sent two of his Council to tell Chapuys that he had decided to send his first secretary, the bearer, to return reciproque visitation and to communicate the news of Scotland and state of preparation for the approaching enterprise. To-day the King has sent the said secretary to communicate letters which the king of France has written him and his reply, of which the said secretary will carry the originals (at least that of the king of France) to the Emperor. From what he sees and learns from the said secretary, all possible diligence is made here to hasten affairs; but he very much doubts that things will not be so soon ready as the Emperor desires and the occasion requires.
The cause of delay will be the zeal (not to say obstinacy) which the King shows to go in person, for whose surety so many things have to be done that they will not be finished for some days. Chapuys's own foolish opinion is that the King will not act prudently in attempting the journey, for, besides his age and weight, he has the worst legs in the world, such that those who hare seen them are astonished that he does not stay continually in bed and judge that he will not be able to endure the very least exertion without danger of his life, yet no one dare tell him so (et que toutesfois personne ne luy ose remonstrer).
It is clear that his presence might he very useful if health permitted it, but as he now is it will be a danger. Wherefore, and for other reasons which Chapuys has lately written, it would be a good work, for which every means should be sought, to rid the journey of his presence, though, for the furtherance of affairs he might remain at Calais during the enterprise.
London, 18 May 1544.