|6 Feb.||151. The Same to the Same.|
Rep. P., Fasc.
C. 282, f. 6.
|Those who I said in my last were about to leave town, namely, the duke of Norfolk for the borders of Scotland, and his brother Guillaume for France as ambassador, besides the earl of Harfort for the delimitation of the frontier of Ghynez (Guisnes) and Ardres, have already departed for their destination, in addition to which ordnance and ammunition have been sent to the borders of Scotland.|
|As far as I can hear from authentic sources no substantial charge has yet been brought against Master Huyet, and with the exception of words, which elsewhere than here would not have been noticed, nothing has been proved against him; but these people are so suspicious that they are apt to qualify as mortal sin any innocent doing and saying that may at the time thwart their political plans.|
|Eight days ago there came here a Spanish soldier (soudart) named Dez Guignonez, (fn. 1) for the purpose of applying for a neutral field against the marquis del Gasto and certain others, which application this king has refused to grant, as has also king Francis, to whom the Spaniard applied first. Also a gentleman from Provence, who brings letters of favor from the most Christian for this king, as well as for the French ambassador residing here. His object, as I am given to understand, is to ask for a safe-conduct for certain knights of Rhodes, sent here by the Grand Master to persuade this king to restore to their rights certain knights of that Order, who have been entirely suppressed and deprived (extraintz et abolyz.) I believe there will be no difficulty at all in granting them the safe-conduct asked for, but as to their restoration it will be, in my opinion, time lost.|
|The Princess recommends herself most humbly to Your Majesty's good graces. She is, thank God, in good health just now, though exceedingly distressed and sad at the death of one of her damsels, who has actually died of grief at her having been removed from her service by the King's order.—London, 6 Feb. 1541.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|French. Original. p. 1.|
|6 Feb.||152. The Same to the Same.|
Rep. P., Fasc.
C. 282, ff. 8–11.
|After closing the despatch which goes along with this, and immediately after the departure of the courier, Your Majesty's letters came duly to hand, at the same time as the copy of that addressed by Your Majesty to the Emperor. I could never sufficiently thank you for the very courteous, wise, and prudent language of those letters, calculated, as they are, to excuse and exonerate me, and at the same time allay the suspicions of these councillors, with whom one must always proceed with adequate dissimulation and caution. It seems to me that Your Majesty has taken the right course with regard to the proclamation emanating from the Emperor on the lading of foreign ships, and that by taking such a step Your Majesty has found the real way to assist the progress of the commercial measures which these people are daily introducing against Your Majesty's subjects, thus obliging them to consent to the new treaty of commerce which Your Majesty desires to establish. But, in my humble opinion, in order that the wise measures adopted by the Emperor and by Your Majesty should produce the desired effect, it would be highly desirable that the Emperor should order the old ordinances (pragmaticas) relating to the confiscation of imitation cloths—as most of those woven here and introduced into Spain are—to be again re-established in their full vigor. This would be a just punishment (bastonnade) to these English, and a great advantage for the Spaniards, and not less for the natives of Flanders and the Low Countries, who, for one piece of cloth which they now sell in Spain, might then sell ten. It seems to me as if without the measure to which I allude Your Majesty might be frustrated of your good intentions towards the reform of the commercial treaties with this country, and that the merchants and ship-owners, subjects of Your Majesty, would be equally injured; for after all this king, in order to defeat the proclamation issued by the Emperor, might very well revoke his own edicts, and at the same time annul or revoke the privileges granted to foreign merchants trading in his kingdom. Yet I think, under correction, that though this king agreed to the navigation going on as before informally, as in old times, yet there ought to be no revocation until it was found whether the additional amount which he has lately ordered to be paid by foreign merchants, subjects of the Emperor, that is to say, the double of the former tax—and the threat of expelling them from England—is or is not in contravention to the treaties between the Emperor and this king, as it appears to me to be. These are, in my opinion, the two fundamental points on which, for want of better argument, our defence ought to rest; they are also those on which they are likely to insist, namely, the inequality of the prohibition decreed by the Emperor—affecting all foreign ships without modification of any sort, as that of this king has.|
|I have no doubt that the first thing he will do as soon as he has read Your Majesty's answer will be to attack me on this point. I will obey Your Majesty's commands according to instructions, and try as much as possible to ascertain how the King takes the thing, and what his intentions are; but I beg and entreat that the utmost secrecy be kept, so that these people may never say that I have been suggesting and soliciting what I consider really favorable and advantageous for them.—London, 6 Feb. 1541.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|French. Holograph, almost entirely in cipher. pp. 2.|
|22 Feb.||153. The Same to the Same.|
Rep. P., Fasc.
C. 282. f. 12.
|Waiting for an opportunity, and owing to the arrival of letters from the bishop of Winchester (Gardiner), I have not yet been able to signify to this king, or to the members of his Privy Council, Your Majesty's answer respecting the revocation of the edict or proclamation on the freight of vessels. True is it that I have conversed with the privy councillors on the subject, and told them that a particular friend of mine, and member of Your Majesty's Council at Brussels, had sent me a private message to the effect that all my efforts to obtain the revocation of the said edict would be in vain, as there was not the least appearance either of reason or equity in my application. Upon which these privy councillors, not only at the request of the ship-owners of this country, but also of the people in general, have made a provision specifying that even in the case of there being here no English ships to export merchandize to Flanders and the Low Countries, those of that country would not be allowed, as before, to take such merchandize on board. As to ships of other nations,—namely, Spanish, French, and others—there has been no innovation. The Privy Council has, moreover, resolved to forbid, under pain of confiscation of body and property, the exportation of prohibited goods from this country, which amounts to a total prohibition of all kinds of merchandize except woollen cloth, lead, and tin (estain lavource), so that there is no hope for the present of the inhabitants of those countries being able to enjoy other English commodities; for although the exportation of them in foreign bottoms had been strictly prohibited, yet as there was no other penalty for the transgressors except the confiscation and loss of such prohibited goods, when found on board of foreign vessels, many skippers ventured to export from this country corn, beer, leather, cheese, timber, and other articles, which they will now take good care not to do under the new provision, thus causing much injury to the Emperor's subjects in Spain and the Low Countries. It would be just and reasonable that His Imperial Majesty's subjects could barter and negociate here as freely as the English do there, especially in those commodities and merchandize which were not prohibited at the time that the treaties between the Emperor's ancestors and those of the king of England were made.|
|The French ambassador has not visited Court since the Christmas festivities; neither has he for a long time received letters from his master, except the one announcing the arrival in France of Millort Vulliem, (fn. 2) at which king Francis seemed much pleased, not only on account of the new ambassador's rank, but because he has always considered his half-brother, the duke of Norfolk, as a friend of his. Yet I fancy that hitherto there has been no practice or intelligence between the French and the English.|
|1541.||Having heard from a friend that Your Majesty wished still to secure the services of a secretary well versed in languages, especially Latin and German, I think it my duty to recommend one, who, as far as I can gather from his frequent visits, is as able, discreet, learned, virtuous and well-qualified for that office as any young man of his age. His name is Guillaume Zenocarus, of Bruges.—London, 22 February, 1541. (fn. 3) |
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|