MS. Eg. 616. f. 14.
the coming of the
283. Henry VII. to Ferdinand and Isabella.
Has received their letters dated Seville the last day of
April, and delivered to him by Gomez de Fuensalida, Knight
Commander, their counsellor. Rejoices to hear of their prosperous
estate, and of the victory gained by them over the
Saracens. Is grieved to find that the Lady Katharine's
coming, which he had so ardently desired, is postponed from
September until October. Although for many reasons, he had
desired that she should come to England by the time first
agreed upon ; yet, on account of the great perils by sea which
she would have to encounter if her journey were not delayed,
he would, setting aside all inconveniences, consent that her
voyage should be postponed until the Feast of St. John Baptist
in the following year. But it must be on this condition, and
none other ; namely, that they should by the next Christmas
send back, signed and sealed by them, the paper now sent to
them ; for it seemed to his counsellors that otherwise all which
had been agreed upon with regard to the coming of the Princess
would be rendered uncertain.—Greenwich, 24th July 1500.
Addressed : "To the serene and mighty Princes, Ferdinand
and Isabella, by the grace of God, King and Queen of
Latin. pp. 2.
Printed in Gairdner's Letters and Papers, I. 121.
S. E. T. c. I.
284. Ferdinand and Isabella to De Puebla.
Doctor De Puebla, our ambassador and our counsellor.
We have read your letter dated the 5th and 6th of June.
The clause respecting the alliance is to our satisfaction, as it
contains what we have desired. We shall send you, by
another courier, the letter of which you speak, respecting the
inclusion of the King of the Romans, for we approve of it.
Your servant who, as you say, brings the ratification of the
treaty of alliance, and the other papers, has not yet arrived,
nor have we heard of him. When he arrives we shall see the
despatch which he brings, and give our orders respecting the
publication of the alliance, and whatever else it is incumbent
on us to do.
We have read what you and the Knight Commander of
Haro have negotiated with the King of England respecting
the departure of the Princess of Wales, the English ambassadors,
who are to bring the power of the Prince of Wales when
he shall have completed the fourteeth year of his age, and
with regard to the repetition of the marriage ceremonies
immediately before the Princess embarks. You say that the
King of England intended to send ambassadors to Spain, but
that you advised him not to do it. It is well known to
you that you wrote to us that the ambassadors were to come
at the beginning of this year, and that we answered it would
be better if the ambassadors would come when the Prince had
accomplished his fourteenth year. We have never said that
they should not come. Tell the King of England that our intentions
are unchanged. We love him and the Prince of Wales,
our son, so much that it would be impossible to love them
better. We appreciate the union with him, and his friendship,
so much that we wish to see the Princess as soon as
possible married and living in the house of her husband
the Prince. We would not, for all the riches of the world,
be untrue to what we have concluded with the King of
When we have accomplished what we have promised, we
hope that the King of England will do what we ask him ; for
the sake of the honour of the Princess, and because it is
customary in similar cases. We do not doubt that the marriage
which was contracted with the dispensation of the Pope,
per verba de prœsenti, is valid and binding, and that God
alone can dissolve it. Nevertheless, as he knows, it is
customary for royal personages who have contracted a marriage
by proxy (which is perfectly valid) to perform the
ceremonies once more when they meet. We wish, therefore,
that the Prince and Princess of Wales should go through the
ceremony once more when they meet. The marriage would
not be rendered more indissoluble thereby, but such ceremonies
are generally performed in honour of the sacrament of
marriage. If such be the custom amongst persons of a lower
degree, how much more necessary is it that Princes should
conform to it? Although the marriage between the Prince
and Princess of Wales has been concluded with the dispensation
of the Pope, and is perfectly valid, it must be celebrated
again as soon as the Prince of Wales has completed the fourteenth
year of his age. It is especially necessary for the
honour of the Princess that the act should be performed before
she embarks with the ambassadors whom the King of England
is to send with the power of the Prince of Wales. The Prince
of Wales will accomplish the fourteenth year of his age at the
beginning of winter, and we shall not be breaking the
promise we have made if we do not send the Princess
Tell the King of England that he may send the ambassadors
now ; and as soon as the Prince of Wales has completed the
fourteenth year of his age he may forward to them the power
of the Prince by a special courier. We are already preparing
the fleet and the other things necessary for the departure of
the Princess. When the power of the Prince of Wales has
arrived, and the marriage ceremonial has been performed, she
may go in the name of God. All she has to take with her is
ready, and we have ordered the ships to be in readiness.
Thus, we are fulfilling all our obligations.
Tell the King of England that we would not in any circumstances,
or for any cause, dissolve the union which we have
concluded with him. If the Princess of Wales were our
only daughter we should still believe, as we believe now,
that in no country in the world could she be so well married
as in England. The King of England may believe us. Send
his answer to us soon.—Granada, 25th July 1500.
Signed by the King.
Signed by the Queen.
Post datum. [In plain writing.]
He must inform them who the ambassadors are to be.
Would have already approached the place where the Princess
is to embark if they had not been occupied in the wars with
the Moors of Alpajara and Alecrin. Hundreds of them come
every day to be baptised. The King of England would excuse
the delay occasioned by so holy a work. Promise to hasten
the departure of the Princess as much as possible.
The letter is finished the 5th August 1500.
Spanish. Written in two keys of cipher. The cipher is
intermixed with some words in plain writing.
Deciphered by the editor.