Queen Katharine
March 1509, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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G. A. Bergenroth (editor)

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1868

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13-22

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'Queen Katharine: March 1509, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers, Spain: Supplement to Volumes 1 and 2: Queen Katherine; Intended Marriage of King Henry VII to Queen Juana (1868), pp. 13-22. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=93729 Date accessed: 25 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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March 1509, 1-15

1509. 4th March. 2. The Knight Commander Of Membrilla, Spanish Ambassador in England, to King Ferdinand The Catholic.
[Archivo General de Simancas. Patronato Real. Capitulaciones con Inglaterra. Legajo 5 (sin folio). Holograph.]
A Su Alteza del Comendador de la Menbrilla. iiij de Marco de mdviiij.
Catholico y muy podereso Senor,
Mucho e trabajado por salyr vyrgen de inglaterra y por quitar a vuestra magestad de enojos y esperava de dya en dya quel casamyento de la pryncesa de gales se hyzyera y que syn dar enojos a v[uestr]a Alteza se remedyaran los desconciertos de la casa de la princesa y yo confyeso que ha sydo error porque sy con tyenpo se uviera escryto puediera ser remediado y no pasara tan adelante mas mejor es tarde como dyzen. sepa v[uestr]a alteza que ay mucha necesydad de una persona que govierne esta casa y que sea tal persona que Su. alteza le tenga en onor y los de su casa le tengan acatamiento porque agora se govierna le casa por un frayle moço que la princesa tiene por confesor y a mi ver y a ver de todos yndino de tener tal cargo y haze cometer muchos errores a la princesa y como su alteza sea tan llena de bondad como es y tan puesta en conciencia y este su confesor todas las cosas de qualquier calidad que sean las haze pecado si a el no le plazen y con esto haze que se hagan muchos errores y porque va este cryado de la pryncesa a V. Alteza despachado a escuso de mi por dar lugar a los que de mi querran dar querellas no dyre aqui todas las cosas que tienen necesidad de enmyenda syno remitirme a que V. Alteza mande interrogar a este del estado en que esta la casa de la princesa y las cosas que de dos meses aca an sucedido y de su relacion sabra mas de lo que yo podre escrevyr que despues que sepa que han dado a V[uestr]a Alteza sus querellas de mi sy V[uestr]a Alteza quisiere saber la verdad aunque sea contra my yo la dyre y syn mentyr en un puncto a vuestra Alteza mas por quel pryncipio y medyo y fyn de los desconcyertos es este frayle que digo, y dygo que es moço y libiano y sobervyo y en estrema manera escandaloso y sobrel el Rey dynglaterra a dycho a la pryncesa harto rezyas palabras y porque yo e dicho algo que no me parecya byen deste frayle a la princesa y el frayle lo supo ha podido tanto que me ha puesto en tanta desgracya de la pryncesa que sy yo le ubyera hecho alguna traycion no me uviera tratado peor y tengo algunas cartas guardadas para mostrar a Vuestra Alteza que la princesa me a escrito que por cierto syno tuviera la fe que tengo al servycio de V[uestr]a Alteza temor de perder lo que tengo ny de poner a pelygro la vyda no me detuviera mas en ynglaterra que ya me fuera ydo mas el servycyo de Vuestra Alteza puede tanto sobre my que no tengo el libre arbytrio que dios me dio para poder hazer otra cosa sino moryr y serviros. a V[uestr]a Alteza suplico que oyda la ynformacion queste que esta lleva hara porque es criado de la casa y sabe todas las cosas que V[uestr]a Alteza remedie la persona y la casa de la princesa enbiandole un confesor viejo y onrado y de la orden de San francisco porque el tal podria estar en ynglaterra mas syn escandalo que este esta y mas a voluntad del Rey dinglaterra. y porque Vuestra Alteza conosca de que seso puede ser este frayle dyre lo que a my mismo me dixo, y fueron estas palabras formalmente sin afeallas ny hermoseallas. dyxome yo se que os han dycho muchas cosas de my. yo le dixe por cyerto padre no me han dicho nada de vos. dixo yo lo se que quien os lo dyxo me lo ha dicho. yo le dixe bien puede cada uno levantarse falso testimonio mas yo os juro por el corpus Xp[is]ti que no me han dicho nada que yo me acuerde. dixo sia (fn. 2) que en esta casa ay malas lenguas y me an ynfamado y no con lo mas baxo de la casa syno con lo mas alto y esto no es mengua a my y por no hazello verdad estoy aqui que ya me serya ydo. por cyerto dygo a vuestra Alteza verdad que estuve movido y casi fuera de tyento para poner las manos en el y demas desto esta aborrecydo del Rey dinglaterra y de todos los yngleses ver un frayle tan contino en palacio y entre las mugeres que no puede ser cosa mas aborrecida y no es buena señal no remediar el Rey de ynglaterra una cosa que tanto le desplaze. Nuestro Señor la vida y Real estado de V[uestr]a Magd. guarde y acreciente dandole mayores Reynos y Señorios como V. Alt. lo dessea. De londres a iiij de Março de dix. De V. Mt. humilissimo servydor y vassallo que sus Reales manos besa. gutierre gomez de fuensalida.
[Sobre :] Al Catolico y muy poderoso Señor el Rey nuestro Señor.
(Translation.)
2. To his Highness, from the Comendador de la Membrilla, 4th of March 1509.
Catholic and most powerful Lord,
Much have I laboured to depart spotless from England, and to save your Majesty from vexation, hoping from day to day that the marriage of the Princess of Wales would take place, and that the disorders in the house of the Princess would be remedied without annoyance to your Highness. I confess that it has been an error, because if I had written in time it might have been possible to remedy it, and not have gone too far forward ; but it is better late, as they say [than never]. Your Highness should know that there is much need of a person who can rule this household, and that it should be such a person whom her Highness holds in honour, and those of this house hold in respect, for now the household is governed by a young friar, whom the Princess has for confessor, and who, being in my view and in that of every one unworthy of having such a charge, causes the Princess to commit many errors. As your Highness knows how full of goodness she is, and so conscientious, this her confessor makes a sin of all acts, of whatever kind they may be, if they displease him, and thus causes her to commit many faults. This servant of the Princess goes despatched behind my back (fn. 1) to your Highness, to give time to those who wish to make complaints of me. I will not say now all the things which have need of correction, submitting to the opinion of those your Highness may order to interrogate him [the servant] as to the condition in which the house of the Princess is, and as to the things which for two months past have happened, and from his report you will know more of it than I should be able to write. If, after having been informed of their complaints of me, your Highness should desire to know the truth, although it may be against me, I will tell it to your Highness without lying on any point. Because, however, the beginning, and middle, and the end of these disorders is this said friar, I say that he is young, and light, and haughty, and scandalous in an extreme manner ; and the King of England has said to the Princess very strong words about him. Because I have said something to the Princess which did not appear to me right of this friar, and the friar knew it, he has been so far able as to put me so much out of favour with the Princess that if I had committed some treason she could not have treated me worse ; and I have some letters preserved to show to your Highness, which the Princess has written to me. Certainly, unless I were so faithfully devoted to the service of your Highness, neither the dread of losing that which I have, nor of putting my life in peril, would detain me longer in England. I would already be gone, had not the service of your Highness such power over me that I have not the free judgment which God gave me to do any other thing, except to die and serve you. I entreat your Highness that, having heard the information which he who brings this letter, and who is a servant of the house and knows every thing, will give, your Highness amend the life and the household of the Princess, sending her an old and honest confessor and of the order of San Francisco, because such an one might stay in England with less scandal than this one, and more according to the pleasure of the King of England. In order that your Highness may know of what kind this friar is, I will tell you what he said to me, and they were these words exactly, without making them worse or better. He said to me : I know they have told many things of me to you. I said to him : Certainly, father, they have said nothing of you to me. He said : I know it, for he who told you told me. I said to him : Well, any one can rise as a false witness, but I swear to you by the Corpus Cristi that they have told me nothing which I remember. He said : Be it so, but in this house there are evil tongues, and they have slandered me, and not with the lowest in the house, but with the highest, and this is no disgrace to me, and if it were not for contradicting them I should already be gone. Certainly I tell the truth to your Highness, that I was excited and almost beyond power of restraint from laying hands on him. Moreover, the King of England, and all the English, abhor so much to see such a friar so continually in the palace and amongst the women, that nothing could be more detested by them ; and it is not a good token that the King of England does not remedy a thing which displeases him so much. May our Lord guard and augment the life and royal estate of your Majesty, giving you greater kingdoms and lordships, as your Highness may desire.
From London, the 4th of March, 1509.
Your Majesty's most humble servant and subject who kisses your royal hands.
Gutierre Gomez de Fuensalida.
[Addressed :] To the Catholic and most powerful Lord the King our Lord.
9th March. 3. Katharine, Princess Of Wales, to King Ferdinand The Catholic.
[Archivo General de Simancas. Patronato Real. Tratados con Inglaterra. Legajo 5. f. 59. Holograph.]
Princesa de Gales. Rixamonte,
9 de Marzo, 1509.
Muy alto y muy poderoso Señor,
Por una carta que V[uestr]a Alteza al enbaxador escrebyo vy como esta determynado envyar aquy un perlado paraque se de fin a los negocyos por lo qual beso las manos a V[uestr]a Alteza que sygun las cosas de aqua syenpre se enpeoran y my vyda se aze ynconportable no puedo allar ya manera como se çufra que los que asta aquy e tenido agora ya no me aprovechan por que my fortuna quyere que los que V[uestr]a Alteza aquy enbya a le servyr por mas sufycyentes que sean ayan de estropear en lo que toca a su servycyo que es my remedyo y estado de venyr este enbaxador ya creo sabe V[uestr]a Alteza quanto esta fuera de la voluntad del Rey de ynglaterra y en tanta manera que no le quyere veer ny oyr no porque el no sea fyel a lo que creo mas por no le saber tratar por que asy como el dotor de puebla tenya demasyada dulçura en lo que cunplya en los negocyos para con el Rey este otro a tomado sobrado rigor con el y con los suyos mayormente en este caso donde yo tengo de quedar sujecta a ellos no me puede aprovechar syno lo que con medyana raçon se aze y por esto yo suplyco a V[uestr]a Alteza no olvyde lo que muchas veces le tengo escryto que es mandar presto envyar aquy el remedyo como mas fuere servydo y con determynacyon de la manera en que V[uestr]a Alteza quyere que yo vyva por que por my imposyble tengo poder çufryr lo que asta agora e pasado y pasa asy de los desabrymyentos del Rey y de las maneras que conmygo tyene especyal despues que su fija se ha desposado con el pryncype de Castylla que le parece que no tyene necesydad ya de V[uestr]a Alteza pues syn su consyntymyento esto se a echo y pyensa azermelo entender con muchos desamores aunque en lo secreto syn confesarlo vyen conoce que en no tener la voluntad de V[uestr]a Alteza le falta la mayor y myjor parte y esto me causa tanta pena por ser en deservycyo de Vuestra Alteza que aunque otra no tuvyese no me dexa que la pase syn azerselo saber y dyos sabe la que yo recybo en enojar a V[uestr]a Alteza con syenpre escrebyrle tantas desventuras y necesydades mas acordandome como su fija no puedo acabar comygo de no le avysar para que lo mande remedyar como a su estado y servycyo pertenece y asy mysmo para decyrle como ya my necesydad es tanta que no se de donde me pueda sostener por que astaquy me (fn. 4) camara se a vendydo lo que no e podydo escusar ny se de donde lo pueda aver por que el Rey a my mysma pocos dyas a me dyxo ablandole yo sobre mys necesydades como no era oblygado a dar de comer a los myos ny aun a my propya persona syno que el amor que me tenya no le daba lugar a que otra cosa yzyese por esto vera V[uestr]a Alteza de que manera estoy quando con solo el comer se me amenaza que casy me le dan por lymosna y una de las cosas que mas syento es ver a todos los myos tan perdydos como estan que aunque todos no me ayan servydo como debyeran tengo pena por lo que toca a my concyencya no les poder pagar y despedyr a los que me son causa de muchos enojos especyal a Juan de Cuero que se me aze muy grave de çufryr sus atrevymyentos por que es causa de que otros no agan lo que an de azer y esto tengolo de desymular por la necesydad que a V[uestr]a Alteza e dycho y sobretodo lo que mas congoja me da es no poder en nynguna manera remedyar la de my confesor porque le tengo el myjor que nunca muger de my manera creo que tuvo asy en vyda y santa dotryna como en muy buenas letras como a V[uestr]a Alteza muchas veces e escryto pename mucho no le poder tener como a su ofycyo y my estado requyere por my estrema necesydad en la qual el syempre me a servydo y con tanto trabajo y pena que nynguno otro lo çufryera y esto con mucha lealtad asy en su ofycyo como en todos buenos consejos y exenplos y en pago desto no me parece que es raçon dexe de azer saber a V[uestr]a Alteza quan malamente el enbaxador se avydo con el en lo qual mucho me a enojado por que en este caso a ido contra el servycyo de V[uestr]a Alteza y la causa a sydo porque el enbaxador a tomado tanta aficion con este mercader francysco de grymaldo que aquy truxo consygo y con una my cryada francysca de caceres en tanta manera que ellos al fyn con su fabor se ubyeron de casar contra toda my voluntad mas como estoy de tal manera ubelo de dysymular por la onrra y onestydad de my casa y vyme en tanto estrecho que dy una cedula de suma de dyneros a mas no poder y vyen creo si V[uestr]a Alteza supyese lo que a ello me movyo sy toda my camara le mandara no me culpara mas antes me lo ternya a echo de cuya fija soy y por el enojo que esta mujer me a echo yo la eche de my casa y el enbajador de V[uestr]a Alteza la a tomado en la suya y a su mesa que aun por lo que toca a su ofycio en representar la persona de V[uestr]a Alteza no me a parecydo vyen echo. ame echo tantos synsabores con este mercader cada dya queryendo darme a entender que se querya yr y llevar el dynero del dote syno le enpezaba a dar algo de lo que le promety de lo qual no le devo nada sy byen se myra my letra y porque my confesor desto todo me avyso el enbaxador tomo tema con el y de que conoce quan sin raçon esto a echo por escusarse dyce agora que el dycho my confesor se ponya a entender en su enbaxada y esto por vyda de V[uestr]a Alteza que es el mayor juramento que yo puedo azer no es asy syno porque le enbye a demandar la capytulacion para ver un punto de que tenya necesydad porque el Rey no quyere que le vea fueme forçado envyarsela a pedyr y el con este enojo ase dexado decyr tantas cosas que por no ser para escrebyr a V[uestr]a Alteza no dyre mas syno que no a myrado byen su servycyo ny la onrra de my casa y no dizyendo verdad en ellas por lo qual yo suplyco a V[uestr]a Alteza le mande escrebyr dandole a entender como no es servydo ny consyento que asy se aya con my confesor a la qual por me azer Vra Alteza señalada merced lescryba otra tenyendole en servycyo de la manera que me a servydo y mandandole que lo contyne syenpre y que no me dexe por que el con estas cosas que el enbaxador con el ha pasado cada dya me pyde lycencya y creo en nynguna manera aquy quedara si V[uestr]a Alteza para ello no le fuerza y porque me arya mucha falta tal persona yo suplyco a V[uestr]a Alteza se lo estorve y escriva al Rey como V[uestr]a Alteza a mandado a este padre que este cōmygo que el por amor de V[uestr]a Alteza le quyera mandar muy byen tratar y saborear y a sus perlados los tenga vuestra Alteza en servycyo su hestada aquy por que la mayor ayuda que para mys trabajos tengo es la buena consolacyon y esfuerço que el me da porque crea V[uestr]a Alteza que ya me veo tal que casy como desesperada envyo este cryado myo a V[uestr]a Alteza para suplycarle se le acuerde como soy su fija y lo que por su servycyo e pasado y como contino se me acrecyenta y no me dexe asy perder syno de lo que fuere mas servydo luego con este me lo mande escrebyr porque sygun me veo temo de my no aga alguna cosa que ny el Rey de inglaterra ny V[uestr]a Alteza que es mucho mas me lo puedan estorbar syno que forçadamente por my aya de enbyar para que aga el fyn destos pocos dyas que me quedan syrvyendo a dyos que para my sera el mayor vyen que en el mundo me podra venyr y en guardar a V[uestr]a Alteza cuya vyda y muy Real estado Nuestro Señor guarde y acrecyente como yo deseo. De Rixamonte a ix de Marzo.
Suplyco a V[uestr]a Alteza luego mande despachar a este mensajero y le mande dar para la vuelta porque aunque lo que fue menester para la yda ube de mandar vender algo de my camara y asy lo ago syenpre aun para comer quando no me syento byen dyspuesta sy es tyenpo de pescado porque carne aunque este para moryr en casa del Rey no la daran por que tyenen por erejes a quyen la come. Hum~ll servydora de V[uestr]a Alteza que sus manos besa. La pryncesa de gales. [Rubricado.]
[Sobre :] Al muy alto y muy poderoso Señor el Rey my Señor.
3. Princess of Wales, Richmond,
9th of March, 1509.
Very high and very mighty Lord,
From a letter which your Highness has written to the ambassador I have seen that you have determined to send hither a prelate to conduct these negotiations. I kiss the hands of your Highness for it, for as things here become daily worse, and my life more and more insupportable, I can no longer bear this in any manner. Those [servants] whom up to this time I have had are no longer of any use to me, because my ill fortune wills it that those whom your Highness sends hither, however sufficient they might be, have always so much crippled your service, that the sending of a new ambassador is my only support and comfort. Your Highness knows already how much the King of England, who does not like to see or to hear this one, would be pleased at it. Not that he is not loyal, but I think he does not know how to treat matters. For as Doctor de Puebla conducted the affairs with too great gentleness in every thing that regarded the interests of this King, so this other behaves with too great rigour towards him and his servants, especially as I, being dependent on them, cannot make use of anything that is not done with moderation. Therefore, I beseech your Highness not to forget what I have written to you so many times, but immediately to send redress, and to determine as to the way in which your Highness desires me to live. It is impossible for me any longer to endure what I have gone through and still am suffering from the unkindness of the King and the manner in which he treats me, especially since he has disposed of his daughter in marriage to the Prince of Castile (fn. 3) , and therefore imagines he has no longer any need of your Highness, as this has been done without your consent. He tries to make me feel this by his want of love, although in secret and without confessing it he knows that as long as he does not possess the goodwill of your Highness, he is wanting in the greatest and best part. All this causes me much pain, as being against the interest of your Highness, and if I had not any other cause, this alone would not permit me to let it pass without making you acquainted with it. God knows how much I am grieved that I have to write you always of so many troubles and difficulties. But remembering that I am your daughter, I cannot prevail upon myself to conceal them from you, and not to beg you to remedy them as your station and service require. To tell the truth, my necessities have risen so high that I do not know how to maintain myself. For I have already sold my household goods, as it was impossible to avoid it, and I do not know whence I can have anything else. Some days ago, speaking with the King about my wants, he said to me, that he was not bound to give my servants food, or even to my own self, but that the love he bore me would not allow him to do otherwise. From this your Highness will see to what a state I am reduced, when I am warned that even my food is given me almost as alms. What I feel most, is to see all my servants in such a ruined state as they are. Although not all have served me as they ought, it gives me pain and weighs on my conscience that I cannot pay them, and send those away who cause me great annoyance, especially Juan de Cuero, whose audaciousness it is very difficult for me to bear. He is the cause that others do not do what they ought to do, and I must be silent, owing to my necessities, of which I have informed your Highness. What afflicts me most is that I cannot in any way remedy the hardships of my confessor, whom I consider to be the best that ever woman of my position had, with respect to his life, as well as to his holy doctrine and proficiency in letters, as I have oftentimes written to your Highness. It grieves me that I cannot maintain him in the way his office and my rank demand, because of my poverty, during which he has always served me with such labour and fatigue as no one else would have undergone. He is very faithful in his office as well as in giving good advice and a good example, and it seems to me it would be ingratitude if I neglected to inform your Highness how badly the ambassador has behaved towards him. The service of your Highness suffers thereby, and I have been much annoyed. The reason of it is that the ambassador has strongly attached himself to the merchant Francisco de Grimaldo, whom he has brought over with him, and to a servant of mine, Francisca de Cáceres, who, by his favour, were about to marry, contrary to my wishes. And situated as I am, I had to conceal my feelings for the sake of the honour and honesty of my house. I found myself in so great a difficulty, that I could not help giving a bond for a certain sum of money, and I believe that if your Highness knew the reason which moved me to do so, you would not reproach me, but rather recognise me as your daughter. On account of the annoyance this woman has caused me I sent her away, but the ambassador of your Highness received her into his house and at his table, which did not seem well to me considering his official position as representative of the person of your Highness. He has caused me many annoyances every day with this merchant, giving me to understand that he wanted to go away and to carry off my marriage portion, unless I began to pay something of what I had promised him. But if my bond is attentively considered, it appears that I owe him nothing. Because the confessor gave me advice in all this, the ambassador has quarrelled with him, and when he saw how little reason he had to do so, he tried to excuse himself by saying that the confessor meddled in the affairs of the embassy. I swear by the life of your Highness, which is the greatest oath I can make, that that is not the case. I sent him to ask the [marriage] treaty, of which I wanted to see one article. As the King does not like that I should see it, I was forced to send and to ask it from him. On account of this he grew angry, and permitted himself to be led so far as to say things which are not fit to be written to your Highness, and of which I shall only observe that he has had no regard for the service of your Highness and the honour of my house, and said what is not true. I therefore entreat your Highness to write to him, and to give him to understand that you are not well served, and I do not consent that my confessor be treated in such a manner. Your Highness would render me a signal service if you would write to him (fn. 5) another letter, telling him that you are satisfied with the manner in which he serves me, and commanding him to continue and not to forsake me. For, in consequence of what the ambassador has said to him, he asks me leave every day, and I think, on no condition will he remain here if your Highness does not force him to do so. As I am in great want of such a person as he is, I implore your Highness to prevent him [from going away] ; and to write also to the King that your Highness has commanded this father to stay with me, and to beg him that for the love of your Highness he should order that he be very well treated and humoured ; and to tell the prelates that your Highness is pleased with his staying here. For the greatest comfort in my troubles is the consolation and the support he gives me. Your Highness may believe that I feel myself reduced to such a state, that I send almost in despair this my servant to your Highness to implore you not to forget that I am your daughter, and how much I have suffered for your service and how much [my sufferings] continually increase. Do not let me perish in this way, but write directly by this messenger what you decide ; otherwise, in the condition in which I am now, I am afraid I might do something which neither the King of England nor your Highness, who has much more weight, would be able to prevent, unless, and that is necessary, you send for me so that I may conclude my few remaining days in serving God. That would be the greatest good I could have in this world. God guard your Highness' life and the royal estate, and augment it as I desire.
From Richmond, 9th of March.
I beseech your Highness soon to send back this messenger, and to give him money for his return. In order to provide him for what was necessary for his journey there, I was obliged to sell from my wardrobe. I do the same always when I am unwell during fasting time, for in the house of the King they would not give meat to any one, even if he were dying, and they look upon them who eat it as heretics.
Your Highness' humble servant kisses your hands.
The Princess of Wales. [Sign manual.]
[Addressed :] To the very high and mighty Lord the King my Lord.

Footnotes

1 A escuso de mi, that is, avoiding me.
2 sic.
3 Charles.
4 Sic.
5 The confessor.