S. E. T. c. I.
129. Pope Alexander VI. to Doctor De Puebla.
Empowers De Puebla to treat and conclude, in his name,
with the ambassadors of the other members of the league,
and with those of Henry, this holy alliance for the benefit of
God, and perhaps to the detriment of the Turks.—St. Peter's,
in Rome, 10th of April 1496.
Latin. pp. 9.
S. E. T. c. I.
130. Ferdinand and Isabella to Doctor De Puebla.
After finishing their other letter, received the letters of
De Puebla, dated the 25th of February and the 3rd of March,
which Nicolas Beltram brought from Fuentarabia. Are
astonished that their letters, sent by Johan de Bermio, had
not reached his hands at the last date of his letters, since the
said Bermio left Tortosa on the 30th of December, and sailed
from Fuentarabia on the 28th of January. Sent two other
copies of the same despatches through Diego de Soria to
Flanders, whence, most probably, they were forwarded in the
vessels which are said to have been driven to Ireland by
stress of weather. Had also sent Salvador de Ugarte, on the
30th of January, with a whole bundle of letters, powers, and
briefs, and had given orders that a ship of the royal navy
should be ready for him. But the sea had been so rough during
the last three months, and up to the 26th of March, that few
vessels were able to leave port. This circumstance, and not
neglect, has been the reason why they have left him for so
long a time without instructions. Are very sorry for it ; more
so than he can be. All the above particulars must be communicated
|Inactivity of the
King of the
Romans and the
Duke of York.
Henry has expressed his astonishment that the King of
the Romans and the Archduke Philip, having such just reasons
for quarrelling with the King of France, have undertaken
nothing against him. Their inaction, he affirms, makes him
cautious in his dealings with France, whilst, on the contrary,
their activity would spur him on (le pornia espuelas.) Have
given the utmost attention to the reconciliation of Henry with
the King of the Romans and the Archduke, in order to induce
those powers not to favour him of York, and to give security
to Henry with respect to this matter. Have, since he of York
rose, always considered it their principal business to deprive
him of all assistance. Have thus entirely neglected saying
anything to the King of the Romans and the Archduke about
the war with the King of France. The King of the Romans
and the Archduke are now determined not to favour him of
York. But if he should obtain assistance in Scotland, it
might happen that some person might persuade the King of
the Romans, or the Archduke, to espouse his cause. One of
their daughters being about to be married to the Archduke,
and another to Prince Arthur, it would be a most lamentable
misfortune if the husband of one sister were in arms against
the husband of the other sister. To avoid such an occurrence,
it was most necessary first to conclude the alliances. In
order not to delay them the war with France has been thrust
quite into the background. But now the marriage with Philip
will ere long be concluded ; and when that is done he will assist
them, because he will be their son, and will aid Henry
because he will be bound to do so by his treaties.
Are glad that De Puebla informs them of everything that
occurs in England. He must continue to write all particulars.
Are pleased with the gracious behaviour of Henry towards him,
and with the desire of the English to conclude the alliances.
Hope that all will end well. He must employ the greatest
diligence. The speedy conclusion of these negociations is of
greater importance than it is possible for him to imagine.
The means employed by him for the reconciliation of
Henry and the Archduke are approved of. This reconciliation
will benefit all parties.
Approve of his remonstrances to Henry in respect to the
French embassy. He must take care that no arrangement
take place between France and England, and also that it be
made apparent that Henry does not wish it. Henry will
make no great difficulties, as he knows that France, when
involved in war, can give him but little assistance in pacifying
Purport of them.
"We have read all that has passed between you and the
King of England with respect to Scotland, and how he has
told you of our ambassadors having offered the King of
Scots our daughter in marriage, &c. If you had received our
letters at the time he told you that, you would have been
able to answer him with more precision. It is as true as
God is truth that we have no other purpose in our negociations
with Scotland than to win over the King of Scots, and
to make him friends with the King of England, so that he
may no longer show favour to him of York, or enter into an
alliance with France. At all events, we intend to put him
off some time longer with vain hopes, in order that he may
not begin war with England or join the King of France.
Whatever negociations we have with him are only for this
purpose. The instructions which our ambassadors took
with them were to procure peace, or a long truce, between
Scotland and England. We said the same thing very
seriously to the (Scottish) ambassador who came to us. Our
ambassadors in Scotland ought to have written all this to
you, and we are astonished that they have not done it.
Fernandez, one of our ambassadors (in Scotland), is now
returning to us, and says that the Doctor of Glasgow is
accompanying him. He is the same person who has been
already to see us at Tarazona. They are now waiting for
us at Soria, because they know that we are going to that
town. As soon as we see them, we shall know what they
have to say to us, and shall directly inform you of it.
We are very sorry for what the King of Scotland did in
the garden of the Castle, especially as our ambassadors were
present. We shall without loss of time write to Don
Martin, who is remaining in Scotland, telling him to
manage to keep the affairs of Scotland and England in their
present state, and at all events to prevent a war between
them. It is our intention to request the Scottish ambassador
to write to the same effect to the King of Scots."
|Duke of York.
"With respect to what you say, that we ought to get him
of York into our power (aver a nuestras manos), we have
already written our opinion to you, which is, that we shall
not entice him to come to Spain ; but if you can bring him
into our power, you may do so, for the reasons which
you give. There is, therefore, nothing more to be said in this
Though Henry has desired him to go in person to Scotland
with the brief of the Pope, he must not go before the
alliances are concluded, especially since, according to information
received from the King of the Romans, the King of
Scotland is not requested to enter the league, but only not to
give aid to the King of France. The brief must be sent by a
messenger to Scotland without any furtner delay. If Henry
wish that the King of Scotland should join the league, he may
"With respect to what you write, that the King of France
has sent a paper, with the seal of his council, and a declaration
from the King-at-arms of Portugal, stating that he of
York is the son of a barber, and offering to send over his
father and mother, &c., we have to observe, that if the King
of England wish something of the kind we can do it much
better than the King of France. We can send him the
declarations of many persons who know him, amongst whom
is a Portuguese knight, of the name of Ruy de Sosa. He
is acquainted with the whole matter, and is a person of
authority and good faith. Having been Portuguese ambassador
in England, he knows the Duke of York very well,
and has seen him there. Two years later he saw this other
person in Portugal. You must speak of this matter to
the King of England as though it all came from you, and
inform us what he says in reply."
|Letters from the
King of the
Have written to their ambassadors at the court of the King
of the Romans to soften the language of the letters which
are sent to England, in order to render the demands of the
King of the Romans, by which Henry was deterred from
his good purposes, less hurtful. The new offers which pleased
Henry have been made in consequence of these letters.
|War against France.
De Puebla has written that it is impossible for Henry to
make such demonstrations of war against France as are done
by other countries, "for it is an English custom to begin war
"in France only with great forces, to conquer or die, &c."
That is all very well ; but Henry can, at all events, after
the conclusion of the alliance, join his fleet with that of
Spain, give orders for the Spaniards to receive all possible
assistance in English ports, and make proclamation that he
will assist the Pope and Spain.
|Entry of Hen. VII.
into the league.
Are glad that Henry has declared his readiness to enter
into the league. As to the conditions, nothing can be said
respecting them at present, because the conditions which the
King of England makes are not yet known. The principal
thing is that he must aid the Pope and Spain. All other
points may be conceded.
He must continue to inform Rojas of all that occurs in
England, in order that Rojas may know what he is to do in
Flanders. Rojas is ordered to do all he can to prevent the
old Duchess from assisting him of York, and doing harm to
"The King of England has, so you say, told you that the
King of France pointed out to the English ambassador an
ambassador from me, the Queen, and that he was a clergyman,
or man of letters, whom I had sent, and that he
had communicated to the said English ambassador the
subject of his mission. This is the greatest piece of humbug
(burla) in the world. I have never sent any such ambassador,
messenger, or letter, or any other thing like it to France,
or since the beginning of the war. You can swear and testify
this in my name. This is like everything that comes from
the King of France."—From Daroca, on the road to Soria,
14th April 1496.
Indorsed : "Copy of what was written by their Highnesses
to Doctor De Puebla from Daroca the 14th of
April 1496. Fernand Alvarez gave the despatch to
the Queen, our Lady, to be forwarded by her."
Draft. Spanish. pp. 10.
S. E. T. c. I.
131. Maximilian, King Of The Romans, to Doctor De
Empowers him to treat and conclude, with the commissioners
of the other members of the league, the conditions
on which Henry VII. is to be admitted.—Augsburg, 18th of
The whole document is written by Maximilian himself
without a single error.
Latin. pp. 3.
S. E. T. c. I.
132. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
Have received, through Diego Lopez de Ayala, on the 22d of
April, his letters of the 11th of March and 7th of April.
Are pleased that Johan de Santa Gadea has arrived, but
are astonished that their letters, sent by land, have not reached
him, as couriers had gone from Burgos to Flanders. Intend
to write to Diego Lopez de Ayala and to Juanoto de Montaner
to make ready two light vessels, to sail between Spain and
England at least once a month in either direction. The
delays hitherto occurring have not been owing to them. Have
written many letters, and sent many messengers. Santa
Gadea was detained in the port for two months, and Salvador
de Ugarte, for three months, without any possibility
of leaving. Salvador sailed on the 10th of April from
Fuentarabia, and most probably arrived in England four or
five days after his letter was written. Salvador is the bearer
of most important papers, instructions, powers, of the brief
of the Pope, &c. Have written four or five times since
of the French
Are glad to hear that the French ambassadors have been
ungraciously received, and have not obtained what they
asked. Henry says that he has sent to the King of France,
and requested him to leave Naples, to restore Ostia to
the Pope, to keep peace, &c., adding that if his demands are
not consented to, the King of France must excuse him if he
consider himself no longer bound by his promises. Believe
that Henry has told the truth.
The King of France has given Henry to understand that
they have secretly sent an ambassador to France, in order
to renew their alliance, and that they have asked nothing
but security for their kingdom of Sicily. The King of France
has pointed out their ambassador to the ambassadors of Henry.
Repeat, in answer to this accusation, what they have already
written in a former letter ; that is to say, that since the
beginning of the war, especially since Charles returned from
Italy, neither a public nor a secret embassy, nor anything
of the kind, has been sent from Spain to France. Cannot
imagine who the person could have been whom the King of
France pointed out to the English ambassadors.
(Marginal note.—Do not say that they would not send an
embassy if the peace of the Christian world required it. Only
that they have not done so.)
of the King of
Henry must as little believe what the King of France tells
him about them, as they believe what the King of France
says about Henry. Only a short time ago, there was a proclamation
made in Bayonne and Bordeaux that a new peace
with England had been concluded.
Approve of his refusal to dine with the French ambassadors.
He must, without loss of time, write them the answer of
Henry to the French ambassadors. If Henry do not show
"deeds," he must be carefully watched.
|Clauses of the
Send new powers to him for the acceptance of Henry
as a member of the league. Do not quite understand in
what the limitations to the second and third clauses of the
league consist. If Henry do not like to invade France,
it is only necessary to observe that the said clauses do not
bind him to do so. If he wish to be exempted from the
obligation of always keeping the same number of soldiers
ready as the other members of the league, he may be
indulged in this demand, provided he keep England continually
in such a state as to be able to assemble an army
in the shortest time. But whatever his conditions may be,
the league will be altered by them, and time will be lost by
consulting its different members. The best thing would be
for Henry to enter the league as it is at present constituted,
and then the clauses which he does not like might be altered
Henry VII. and the
Are much pleased with the alliance and friendship concluded
between Henry and the Archduke Philip. Are not
of opinion that Philip, in the confirmation of his treaty
with Henry, ought to include the Pope, Spain, and the
King of the Romans. Are, on the contrary, persuaded that
the alliance between Spain and England will benefit both
parties, and that Henry, in order to make this alliance possible,
must first be reconciled to the Archduke. If Henry
object to this reconciliation, friendship with the Archduke is
preferable to any alliance that could be made with the King
of England. Hope they may not be obliged to make a choice
between them, but think that the Archduke ought to ratify
the treaty with Henry without any addition.
|Marriage of the
Respecting the marriage between the Princess Katharine and
the Prince of Wales, there is nothing more to be said but
that the marriage portion must be as small as possible, and
the time of its payment as favourable to them as can be.
The alliance and marriage must be directly concluded and
proclaimed. It will suffice at present, for Henry to assist
Spain on the seas only, and to give a friendly reception to
Spanish vessels in English ports. As to the obligation of
Henry to invade France in person, when Ferdinand invades it
in person it will be time enough to negotiate that matter.
He did quite right not to speak to Henry about the
conditions of the King of the Romans respecting him of
Ireland, and the security they intended to give ; for when
their letter arrived the King of the Romans had already got
rid of him.
What are the instructions of the embassy of Henry to the
King of the Romans?
What do the ambassadors, whom Henry has sent to the
Pope, say? Garsilaso is instructed to induce the Pope to
write often to Henry, because he has great influence in
De Puebla has been of opinion that Ferdinand and Isabella
wished to delay the negotiations with England, as he has
received so few letters. Such is, however, not the case. The
sea, which never has been so rough as during this winter,
prevented the messengers from going by sea, and the messengers
by land have not arrived. He has been sent to England in
order to conclude the alliance and marriage. If they had
changed their mind, would have informed him of it.
Have written twice to Henry, and sent one of the letters
by Salvador de Ugarte, and the other by another courier.
The Duke of Milan has already sent his powers for the
admittance of Henry VII. into the league. It is, therefore,
evident that he is still a member of the league.
Are pleased that Henry has declared his readiness to take
off the burdens laid on Spanish merchants in England.
He may be easy respecting his personal affairs. His
demands will be granted, and much greater royal favours
bestowed on him. Alvarez has already received orders in
|Affairs of Scotland.
Duke of York.
Marriage of the
King of Scotland.
"We have seen all that you wrote about the affairs of
Scotland, and the paper which the King of England gave to
you in order to forward to Don Martin. What you wrote
about it is right. Although we have already often told
you that our intention is to be useful to the King of
England, we will once more briefly state what has occurred,
and in what state the affair now stands. It is of the
utmost importance. We learnt from the Doctor of Glasgow,
who came to us at Tarazona as ambassador from the
King of Scots, that the King of Scots had some complaints
to make against the King of France, and was therefore
willing to enter into alliance with us. He wished to marry
with (a daughter of) us. It seemed to us that this would
be of great advantage to the King of England, in his difficulties
in his kingdom ; and we certainly wish that when
our daughter is married to his son, his realms should enjoy
repose. In order that the King of Scots might not assist him
of Ireland, and that he might set him at variance with
the King of France (which would be equally an advantage
to us and to the King of England), we deigned to send
ambassadors to him, and instructed them that it was their
principal business to procure peace, or at least a long truce,
between Scotland and England, and at the same time to
detach Scotland from France. According to what you wrote
to us, our letters to our ambassadors in Scotland arrived
there before they themselves, and fell into the hands of the
King of Scots, who became suspicious that our embassy
was sent at the instance of the King of England. That
was the reason why our ambassadors in Scotland did not
think it expedient to write much to you, or to receive many
letters from you, for they wished to avoid the appearance
of the negotiations being carried on from that quarter.
But in the affairs between England and Scotland they
never spoke, or demanded or concluded anything, except in
order to induce the King of Scots not to assist him of
Ireland, and the King of Scots gave them his solemn
promise that he would not help him of Ireland before the
ambassadors had returned who were coming to us. With
these conditions, and with the intention of asking our
daughter in marriage, the ambassador has arrived in Spain,
but we have not yet seen him. Certainly, if we had a daughter
(not yet engaged) we would gladly marry her to the King
of Scots, since the King of England desires it for the
reasons you state in your letter. In fact, we think that if
we were to marry one daughter to the son of the King of
England, and another daughter to the King of Scots, it
would, with the help of God, be sufficient to preserve
peace between the Kings of England and Scotland. But
we have no daughter to marry to him, (fn. 1) as you well
know. We write you all these details that you may communicate
them to the King of England, and hear his opinion
as to the best way of dealing with the King of Scots.
We shall now do nothing more but keep the negotiation in
suspense till you, or the King of England, answer us. We
shall send back his ambassador without depriving him of
the hope he entertains that the marriage will be arranged.
But this affair could not remain any longer in suspense
if they were to see that we had disposed of our daughter.
Because, if the marriage between our daughter and the son
of the King of England were publicly concluded, the King
of Scots would change his mind, and, we are afraid, give no
longer any credit to us with respect to the concerns of the
King of England. This is the reason why you must find
out in what manner we can gain over the King of Scots,
and entertain him. Write soon, but do not say anything
about this last portion of our communication to the King of
England, lest he delay the conclusion of the alliances and of
"Although we have said that we have no daughter to
give to the King of Scots, you must tell this to the King
of England alone, and no other person must know it. We
must not deprive the King of Scots of his hope of
having our daughter. On the contrary, we must amuse him
as long as possible. The King of England might, if he likes
it, propose to the King of Scots a marriage with one of
his daughters, and give her such a marriage portion as would
content the King of Scots. We think that would be
very desirable. Our ambassadors in Scotland and ourselves
would lend all our assistance to bring about such an arrangement.
Learn what are the wishes of the King of England,
and write soon."
|Entry of Henry VII.
into the league.
Have thought much on the entry of Henry into the
league, and are persuaded that it would assist him materially
in arranging his disputes with Scotland. In gaining so many
friends he would gain security in his own kingdom. He
must induce Henry to enter the league. But the negotiations
concerning the league must not interfere with the
marriage and the alliance to be concluded between Spain and
A letter to Don Martin, and a copy of it for De Puebla, are
enclosed. "If we say in it (the letter to Don Martin) that
we are going to marry one of our daughters to the son of
the King of England, and another to the King of Scots,
we do it in order that if the King of Scots should know
what is agreed upon between us and the King of England,
he should not find fault with it and change his mind. He
must imagine that this (marriage) is concluded in order
that his may likewise be concluded."—From Almazan,
26th April 1496.
Indorsed : "Draft of a letter of their Highnesses to
Doctor De Puebla, sent by Arnau, courier, who left
Almazan on the 17th of April. His salary is 55
ducats. Morales has given him 35 ducats to pay
the expenses of the journey, and 20 ducats will be
paid him on his return."
Draft. Spanish. pp. 4.
S. E. T. c. I.
Intentions of Ferdinand
in their negociations
133. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
The King and the Queen.
Doctor De Puebla, of our Council. After this courier had
been despatched, we were much occupied in our thoughts
with the affairs of the King of Scotland, because they are
of such great importance, and we wished to get the
King of England out of his troubles. Although we have
hitherto occupied ourselves with the concerns of Scotland, it
has only been to deprive the King of France of assistance, and
to help the King of England in the difficulties into which he
has been brought by the so-called Duke of York. But now
that we consider the marriage as concluded, we regard his
affairs as our own. It is, therefore, our wish to get as much
influence over the King of Scotland as possible, in order to
conclude either peace, or a long truce between Scotland and
England. We believe that it would be a great impediment
to the accomplishment of our intention, if we were to make
the marriage (between Arthur and Katharine) public
now. We are persuaded, therefore, that it would be best
to conclude a marriage contract now with the King of
England, to be kept secret till we see where the affairs of
Scotland will stop, or till we send a person of great experience
to procure what is necessary, and to liberate the
King of England from the danger he is in through the
Duke of York. We hope to be able to accomplish this
matter, if we do not lose our credit with the King of Scotland.
As for the alliance, it may be concluded publicly or secretly, as
the King of England prefers. We shall be contented with
either. If the alliance were to be made public, there would
be no inconvenience in it, as it could be justified by the league.
Conclude it without delay in one way or other.—From Almazan,
27th of April 1496.
I, the King.
I, the Queen.
By order of the King and the Queen.
Indorsed : "By the King and the Queen. To Doctor
De Puebla, of their Council, and their ambassador in
The whole despatch is written in cipher, the key to which
is extant. The deciphering is by the editor.
[Enclosed in this despatch is a note written in
cipher, different from the cipher of the despatch.
The key to this very complicated cipher has not
been communicated to the editor. According to
his own interpretation, the following is a close
translation of the note.]
We believe that they already know in England that the
state of Genoa, and that of Florence, Lucca, and Sienna, and
further the Duke of Ferrara, the Marquis of Mantua, the
Duke of Urbino, and Micer Johan de Bentivoglio for the
town of Bologna, have come into the obedience of the King
of France. For this reason, we do not care to set down here
the particulars of these occurrences. But write to us what
the King of England, our brother, thinks of it.
I, the King.
I, the Queen.
To Doctor De Puebla.
S. E. T. c. I.
134. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
An abstract of the preceding letter. It is included in the
despatch from De Puebla, dated the 13th June 1496. There
seems to be an error in the dating.
S. E. T. c. I.
Entry of the King
of Scotland into
135. Ferdinand and Isabella to Don Martin, their ambassador
The Pope is continually urging them to induce the King of
Scots to enter into the league for the defence of the Pope and
the Church. All Christian Princes are bound to do so, and
it is expected that the King of Scots will do his duty.
He must likewise conclude a peace or a long truce with
England. For if one of their daughters should be married in
England, and another in Scotland, it would certainly be a
misfortune if their husbands were at war with one another.
Indorsed : "This is a draft of a letter written by their
Highnesses to Don Martin, who is in Scotland. The
letter was sent to De Puebla by Arnau, courier,
who left Almazan on the 27th of April."
Draft. Spanish. p. 1.