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General Editor: Martin Hume, M.A.


Margaret of Austria

IN THE CHURCH OF BROU (about 1528)
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London: METHUEN & CO.



  Introduction, vii
I. Queen of France, 1
II. Princess of Asturias, 16
III. Duchess of Savoy, 32
IV. The Building of Brou, 50
V. Regent of the Netherlands, 67
VI. The League of Cambray, 86
VII. Margaret's Correspondence, 98
VIII. A Love Affair, 119
IX. Charles declared of Age, 141
X. Death of Maximilian, 158
XI. Revolt of the Duke of Bourbon, 183
XII. Capture of Francis I., 208
XIII. The Ladies' Peace, 242
XIV. The Mission Ended, 268
XV. The Church of Brou, 294
  Inventaire des Tableaux,
Livres, Joyaux, et Meubles de
Marguerite D'Autriche,
  List of Pictures from Margaret's Collection
sent to Brou (1533),
  Catalogue of Manuscripts in Margaret of
Austria's Library at Malines,
  A Few Letters from Maximilian I. to Margaret,
and from Margaret to Various Persons,
  Index, 343



From the Window in the Chapel of the Virgin in the Church of Brou (about 1528).  
Panel in the Imperial Museum, Vienna.
(Photograph by J. Löwy.)
(Photograph by J. Lacoste.)  
(Photograph by Deloeul.)  
British Museum Collection.  
In the Church of Brou.
(Photograph by Neurdein frères.)
From the Painting in the Louvre (Flemish School)
(Photograph by Neurdein frères.)
Painted in 1502 (Margaret's Collection),
now in the Imperial Museum, Vienna.
(Photograph by J. Löwy.)
From the Painting by Mabuse in the possession
of M. Charles Léon Cardou, Brussels.
(Photograph by G. Van Oest & Co.)
From the Painting by Bernard van Orley
in the possession of Dr. Carvallo, Paris.
(Photograph by the Art Reproduction Co.)
CHARLES V.,   154
From the Painting in the Louvre (Flemish School).
(Photograph by Neurdein frères.)
From the Painting by Bernhard Strigel in
the Imperial Museum, Vienna.
(Photograph by J. Löwy.)
FRANCIS I.,   211
From a Painting in the Louvre (French School).
(Photograph by Neurdein frères.)
From the Painting by Mabuse at Hampton Court Palace.
(Photograph by W. A. Mansell & Co.)
(Photograph by Neurdein frères.)  
(Photograph by Deloeul.)  
From the Painting by John van Eyck
in the National Gallery.
From the Tapestry in the Musée du Cinquantenaire, Brussels.
It contains portraits of Margaret and her Nephews and Nieces.
(Photograph by Deloeul.)
In the Church of Brou.
(Photograph by Neurdein frères.)
From a Diptych in the possession of M. Lescarts,
Mons (Margaret's Collection).
(Photograph by G. Van Oest & Co.)



Three of the craftiest royal rogues in Christendom strove hard to cozen and outwit each other in the last years of the fifteenth and the earlier years of the sixteenth century. No betrayal was too false, no trick too undignified, no hypocrisy too contemptible for Ferdinand of Aragon, Maximilian of Austria, and Henry Tudor if unfair advantage could be gained by them; and the details of their diplomacy convey to modern students less an impression of serious State negotiations than of the paltry dodges of three hucksters with a strong sense of humour. Of the three, Ferdinand excelled in unscrupulous falsity, Maximilian in bluff effrontery, and Henry VII. in close-fisted cunning: they were all equal in their cynical disregard for the happiness of their own children, whom they sought to use as instruments of their policy, and fate finally overreached them all. And yet by a strange chance, amongst the offspring of these three clever tricksters were some of the noblest characters of the age. John, Prince of Castile, and Arthur, Prince of Wales, both died too young to have proved their full worth, but they were beloved beyond the ordinary run of princes, and were unquestionably gentle, high-minded, and good; Katharine of Aragon stands for ever as an exalted type of steadfast faith and worthy womanhood, unscathed in surroundings and temptations of XIII unequalled difficulty; and Margaret of Austria, as this book will show, was not only a great ruler but a cultured poet, a patron of art, a lover of children, a faithful wife, a pious widow, and, above all, a woman full of sweet feminine charm.

In an age when princesses of the great royal houses were from their infancy regarded as matrimonial pledges for the maintenance of international treaties, few were promised or sought so frequently as Margaret; for an alliance with her meant the support of the Empire and the States of Burgundy, whilst her two rich dowries from earlier marriages made her as desirable from a financial point of view as she was personally and politically. But with her second widowhood in her youthful prime came to her a distaste for further experiments in a field where, as she said, so much unhappiness had befallen her, and of political marriages she would have no more. Her one real love affair, to which reference will be made presently, is pathetic as showing the sad fate of such an exalted princess, who, being a true woman and in love with a gallant man, yet had to stifle the yearnings of her heart for a happy marriage, and fulfil the duty imposed upon her by the grandeur of her destiny.

There was little of love, indeed, in most of the matrimonial proposals made to her, though for two short periods she was an affectionate wife. From the time when as a proud little maiden of twelve, conscious of the slight put upon her, she was repudiated by the man whom she had looked upon as her future husband as long as she could remember, and was sent away from the country of which she had been taught she was to be the Queen, until her body XIV was borne in state to the sumptuous fane which her piety had raised, but which she had never seen, Margaret of Austria knew that a princess of the imperial house must be a statesman first and a woman afterwards, at whatever sacrifice of her personal happiness.

In the great plot of Ferdinand, King of Aragon, to shut France in by a close ring of rivals, and so to stay her march eastward along the Mediterranean to the detriment of the little realm of his fathers, the first open move was made by the triumphant negotiations with Maximilian, King of the Romans, and future Emperor, for the marriage of Ferdinand's only son, John, the first heir of all Spain, to Maximilian's only daughter, Margaret; and that of Maximilian's only son, Philip, sovereign by right of his mother of the rich duchies of Burgundy, to Ferdinand's second daughter, Joanna. The matches were cleverly conceived, for in the ordinary course of events they seemed to ensure that a band of close kinsmen, all descended from the King of Aragon, should rule over Flanders, the Franche Comté, Burgundy, the Empire, Spain, and Sicily, all banded together to prevent the expansion of France on any side, whilst the alliance which the marriages represented gave to Ferdinand the support of the Emperor as suzerain of Lombardy against the French pretensions in Italy generally, and especially in Naples, upon which the covetous eyes of the Aragonese were already firmly fixed. The marriage of Ferdinand's youngest daughter, Katharine, to the heir of England, at a somewhat later period, was another link in the chain which was intended to bind France, and give to Ferdinand a free hand in the Mediterranean.

XV To Maximilian the marriages of his children with those of Ferdinand was also an advantage, since the only two enemies that the Empire and Burgundy had to fear, namely, France and the Turk, might always be diverted, when necessary, by the action of Aragon in the Mediterranean. Henry Tudor's interest in joining the combination against France is equally easy of explanation. He was a parvenu, anxious for the recognition of the legitimate sovereigns; and especially to secure that of Burgundy, which, under the influence of Margaret of York, the widowed Duchess of Burgundy, had hitherto supported and sheltered the pretenders to his throne. But from the very first each of the three clever players distrusted the others because he knew that he himself intended to cheat if he could, and throughout the whole series of transactions sharp practice is the gentlest term that can be applied to the action of the high contracting parties.

The young people who were used by their parents as pieces on the political chessboard were, of course, innocent, except the Archduke Philip, who, as soon as he was able to take an independent hand in the game, outdid his seniors in depravity; and, as usually happens in the world, it was the innocent—Joanna the Mad, Katharine of Aragon, and Margaret of Austria—who had to suffer the unhappiness caused by the ambition and unscrupulousness of others. Of the three, Margaret was by far the most fortunate, because she was stronger-minded and abler than her sisters-in-law, and, after her early inexperienced youth, she was worldly wise enough to look after her own interests. But even her life was full of pathos and sacrifice, nobly and cheerfully borne, and of heavy XVI responsibility assumed serenely for the sake of the nephew whom she reared so worthily and served so well.

Mrs. Tremayne in the pages of this book has dwelt fully upon the busy later years of Margaret's life, drawing her information from many sources, in some cases not previously utilised, and there is little more to be told of these years than is here set forth. But it happens that since this book was in print a series of hitherto unknown documents of the highest interest have been printed for the first time in Spanish by the Duke of Berwick and Alba, which throw many sidelights upon Margaret's early widowhood, and upon her share in the intrigues by which her brother, Philip, endeavoured to deprive his father-in-law, Ferdinand, of the regency of Castile, after the death of Isabella the Catholic. It is fair to say that, although on one or two occasions Ferdinand's agents complained that Margaret favoured her brother as against his unhappy, distraught wife, which, if true, was quite natural, she generally appears throughout the documents in question as a kindly, gentle mediatress, endeavouring to reconcile the bitter feud that ended so tragically, and to safeguard the children whom she loved and cared for tenderly when their father's death and their mother's madness left them doubly orphaned.

The Fuensalida correspondence, to which reference has been made, opens at the end of 1495, when the treaty for alliance and the double marriages of Philip and Joanna, and John and Margaret, had just been signed, and the instructions given by Ferdinand to the new ambassador, Fuensalida, whom he sent to Germany to keep Maximilian up to the mark, even thus early show the profound distrust which underlay XVII the ostensibly cordial alliance upon which double marriages were to set the seal. 'What you have to do,' run the instructions, 'is to take care to maintain the King of the Romans in his good will to carry through these marriages ... and to strive to get him to give in the Milanese such aid and support as may be needed, declaring war against the King of France, as we have done for his sake.'

Ferdinand knew that the surest pledge he could have of Maximilian's effective co-operation would be the presence of Margaret in Spain, especially if he could manage to get her into his possession before his own daughter Joanna was sent to Flanders. 'If it be managed without inconvenience we should like Madame Margaret to come hither as soon as the betrothal is effected, before the Infanta our daughter goes; immediately if the weather will permit.... It may be done as follows. If at the time of the formal betrothal there are any ships there belonging to our subjects, sufficient to bring the Archduchess safely, the weather being fair, Rojas (i.e. Ferdinand's envoy in Flanders) may take all such vessels at such freight as he can, to be paid on their arrival here in Spain, and bring her in the fleet with God's grace. Her coming thus would be safer, for she would arrive before the affair was publicly known, and if it can be done you will not delay for the Archduchess's trousseau, ornaments, and household baggage, which can be sent afterwards.' But, continues the King of Aragon, if it cannot be done, Joanna shall be sent in a Spanish fleet, and Margaret can embark in it on its return to Spain. The careful Ferdinand remarks in his instructions that he intended to send with his daughter only eight ladies and the other XVIII attendants strictly necessary, and although Maximilian was not to be told this in as many words, he was to be persuaded to limit his daughter's household to accompany her to Spain to the smallest possible proportions.

But Maximilian, who was as wary as Ferdinand, had no notion of allowing his daughter to be sent to Spain before the Spanish Infanta arrived in Flanders, and it was early in March of the year 1497 before Margaret first set her foot on Spanish soil at Santander. Seven months afterwards fate dealt its first crushing blow upon Ferdinand's plans, and the bride, not yet eighteen, found herself a widow. She had become greatly beloved in Spain, and Ferdinand and Isabel, especially the latter, in the midst of their own grief, cherished the daughter-in-law who might yet, they hoped, give them an heir to the crowns of Spain. Ferdinand, in conveying (in December 1497) the news of his son's death to his ambassador for the information of Maximilian, wrote: 'Tell him that our distress has prevented us from sending him the news earlier, and that our grief is increased by considerations for Princess Margaret, although she tries very hard, as befits her, to bear her trouble gently and wisely; and we try our best to console and please her, endeavouring to make her forget her loss. Her pregnancy, thanks be to God, goes on well, and we hope in His mercy that the result will be a reparation and consolation for our trouble. We do, and will, take as much care of the Princess as we would of her husband if he were alive, and she will always fill the same place as he did in our hearts.'

When this hope had fled, and Ferdinand and XIX Isabella proclaimed their eldest daughter, the Queen of Portugal, as their heir, Maximilian took the matter very philosophically, as well he might, for it brought much nearer the probability which Ferdinand had, as he thought, so cleverly guarded against, that the House of Hapsburg might rule over the greatest empire that had existed since the days of Alexander, and poor little Aragon be swamped by its sovereign's larger interests. Margaret had written to tell her father the dolorous news of her child's still-birth, and Maximilian contented himself with sending a message by his secretary to the Spanish ambassador, saying that although such an event naturally caused him some sorrow, he, bearing in mind that it was sent by God, for some good purpose of His own, accepted it without complaint, and thanked the Almighty for all things. Bearing in mind, moreover, that since Prince John himself had died, nothing that happened could increase his grief, for his heart had no room for more sorrow, he had decided to make no demonstration of mourning for the present calamity, and not to suffer any to be made by others.

Margaret appears to have been really grateful to Isabella the Catholic for her goodness to her in her trouble, for she wrote to her father in February 1498, that the Queen had never left her, and had been so kind that, considering the danger she, Margaret, had been in, she would have died but for solicitude of Isabella. When Maximilian told this to Fuensalida, the ambassador, of course by Ferdinand's orders, said it was painful to speak yet of Margaret's remarriage, but as she was young it was but natural that she would marry again. 'There is no prince in Christendom whom she could marry,' replied Maximilian. XX 'The King of Naples has no son of marriageable age; the King of England has already betrothed his son to the daughter of the Catholic sovereigns; the King of Scotland is a poor thing; the Duke of York (i.e. Perkin Warbeck) is married, and not at liberty; the King of Hungary has a wife already; the King of Poland is a nobody; so that there is no fit husband for her. It is true that the King of France is talking of repudiating his wife (i.e. Anne of Brittany), and marrying her to Monsieur Louis with great dowries and states, whilst he keeps Brittany, since he has lost hope of having children by her, and he wants to marry my daughter Margaret. But I will not consent to this on any account, nor would my daughter, for she has a great objection to go to France. Besides, I know for a fact that the King of France caused something to be given to her to bring on her miscarriage, and tried to poison King Ferdinand as well; so that there is nothing to be said about my daughter's marriage yet awhile.'

We may be quite sure that this hint that a French alliance was possible for Margaret was intended to remind Ferdinand that he must be careful not to offend his ally, and the ambassador urged very earnestly in the name of his master that Margaret might be allowed to stay in Spain until her remarriage was arranged: 'because whilst she was with the King and Queen the King of France would be unable to work his will with her, as he would have no opportunity of dealing in the matter, he being on bad terms with the King and Queen; besides which they would, in any case, refuse to listen to anything so shameful. But if, on the other hand, the Princess (Margaret) were in any of these States (i.e. Germany), XXI the King of France might be able to push the matter more warmly. Besides,' continued the ambassador, 'surely it would be best to avoid the risk of bringing the Princess home by sea, and the heavy expense that you (i.e. Maximilian) would have to incur in fitting out a fleet for the purpose.' To all this, and much more to the same effect, Maximilian replied but doubtfully. He knew full well that whilst Ferdinand held so valuable a pledge as Margaret in his hands he could always extort from his ally, her father, whatever he thought fit, and Maximilian, with the matrimonial value of his daughter in view, especially as the Spaniards knew that he was already in full negotiation for peace with France over Ferdinand's head, could only repeat that he must have his daughter back soon, though for the moment the question was dropped.

When some months afterwards, in August 1498, Maximilian had made a separate peace with France, much to Ferdinand's indignation, he determined to bring Margaret home at any cost. Why, asked Fuensalida of Maximilian, was he sending so important and unexpected an embassy to Spain? 'I am sending for my daughter,' replied the King of the Romans. 'If your Majesty means to bring her home at once,' exclaimed the ambassador, 'you ought to have sent notice to my King and Queen, and not bring away so great a princess as she is thus suddenly. In any case she could not come until December.' 'I cannot wait so long as that,' replied Maximilian. 'But,' objected the ambassador, 'she cannot come before. It will take until September for your ambassadors to reach Spain, and all October will be spent in getting ships ready, and then another month XXII for the Princess to join them, and perhaps even two months; and then the season of the year will be unfit for any one to go to sea, and the King and Queen will not like to expose the Princess to such danger. Besides,' continued he, always ready to appeal to Maximilian's parsimony, 'if your Majesty had given due notice to my King and Queen you might have saved a great deal of money, for they would have fitted out a fleet in which the Princess might have come with all honour and safety; and even now, if your Majesty will wait until March, I will do my best to arrange it in this way, and you will not have to spend half so much money.'

But Maximilian knew the value of his daughter in his hands, and replied roughly that he would not wait. He would have her safe home, he said, before he began war again. 'If I send a single carrack from Genoa, and the King and Queen give her a convoy of four barks, she will come safe enough.' In vain the ambassador urged that corsairs and Frenchmen could not be trusted, and that it was a slight for such a princess to be sent home in so unceremonious a fashion. Maximilian was obstinate; he would have his daughter Margaret home at once, no matter at what risk. To add to his eagerness news came from Margaret herself, brought by special messengers of her household, who had much to say of the changed demeanour of the Spaniards, now that Maximilian had made a separate peace. Fuensalida did his best by underhand means, frightening the German ambassadors of the sea-voyage from Genoa to Spain and back in the winter, and of the dreadful corsairs who infested the Mediterranean, until they at last, really alarmed, begged Maximilian in Fuensalida's presence XXIII to let them have a very big carrack for their greater safety. Better send them by way of Flanders, interposed the artful Fuensalida, knowing the long delay which such a voyage would entail; but Maximilian angrily told him that he would do nothing of the sort.

So effectually had the Spaniard frightened the landsmen ambassadors of the sea that they themselves threw every possible obstacle in their master's way, and told Fuensalida that, even though King Maximilian ordered them to go and fetch the Princess Margaret before Christmas, they would not do so. Come what might, they said, they would not put to sea before Easter. They were not allowed, however, to delay quite so long as that, for Maximilian was determined to have his daughter out of the hands of Ferdinand, who he feared was making terms for himself by offering her in marriage to the new King of France, Louis XII. In writing to Margaret in September, her father, referring to his and her own desire that she should return to Flanders or Germany, says that 'no importunity nor pressure of any sort will move him from his resolve to bring her back at once,' and he urges her to insist upon her departure without loss of time.

Fortunately now, especially for the timid German ambassadors, the road overland through France was open, and Margaret travelled in comfort and safety to her home in Flanders early in 1499, to see Spain no more. Thither, too, went soon afterwards the Spanish ambassador Fuensalida, accredited especially to the Archduke Philip and his Spanish wife Joanna, whose conduct was already profoundly grieving Ferdinand and Isabella; and from Flanders XXIV the ambassador was to proceed to England and pin Henry VII. down irrevocably to the marriage of his son Arthur with Katharine. Already Ferdinand more than suspected that Maximilian was playing him false, and forming a league against him by negotiating Margaret's marriage with Arthur, Prince of Wales, already betrothed more than once to the Spanish princess. Fuensalida's mission was a delicate one; for Margaret's Flemish household had come back from Spain full of complaints, and the Court of Flanders was sharply divided by the partisans of Spain and Burgundy respectively, of the Archduchess Joanna and her dissolute husband, Philip. Margaret was to be conciliated as much as possible, and kept in the Spanish interest. 'You will visit our daughter the Princess Margaret,' wrote Ferdinand and Isabella to their envoy, 'and say that we beseech her to let us know how she is after her long journey; for we desire her health and welfare as that of our own daughter. For the love we bear her we will do everything in our power most willingly to aid and forward her settlement.' The envoy was also urged to counteract the efforts of those who wished to make bad blood between Flanders and Spain, and especially to enlist Margaret in favour of poor Joanna, her sister-in-law.

Fuensalida followed hard on the heels of Henry VII. from St. Omer and Calais to London, endeavouring by every means to discover how much truth there was in the assertion that an arrangement had been concluded to throw over Katharine of Aragon and marry the Prince of Wales to Margaret as a result of the mysterious foregathering of the King of England with the Archduke Philip. The story of Fuensalida's XXV successful though turbulent mission to England is told elsewhere;[1] but on his return to Flanders he found Margaret in the deepest anxiety with regard to her own affairs. Neither she nor Maximilian desired to forward by her marriage in England the anti-Spanish combination of England, France, and Flanders which Philip was planning; her dowry from Spain was, as was natural with Ferdinand for a pay-master, in arrear; and the coming voyage to Spain of Philip and Joanna at the urgent summons of Ferdinand and Isabella, who hoped to win over the Archduke, if possible, from his alliance with their enemies, was a subject of the deepest concern to Margaret.

When Fuensalida first saw Margaret on his return to Brussels from England, in August 1500, she welcomed him eagerly in the belief that he brought some special message to her from Spain. He told her that his mission was simply one of affection towards her, and she made no attempt to hide her disappointment. The cause of her anxiety was soon apparent. Fuensalida reported in the same letter that the bastard of Savoy had been to see her secretly, and that she and her father, Maximilian, had looked with favour upon the proposal of the Duke of Savoy to marry her. Such a marriage was, of course, a blow, as it was intended to be, against her brother Philip's anti-Spanish projects, because not only did it leave Katharine of Aragon's marriage with the Prince of Wales undisturbed, but it secured Savoy to the imperial and Aragonese interests against France, which was of the highest importance as touching the French designs upon Italy. Her marriage in Savoy, moreover, was opposed strongly by Philip for another XXVI reason, namely, that he would, in case it was effected, be obliged to hand to his sister the domains belonging to Burgundy which had been bequeathed to her by her mother; and in order to frustrate it Philip brought forward the recently widowed King of Portugal as a fit husband for Margaret, which would have secured her residence in a distant country, and his continued occupation of her Burgundian inheritance.

Successive deaths had now made Philip and Joanna heirs of Spain, as well as of Burgundy, Flanders, and the Empire; the Archduke was already betrothing his infant son, Charles, the future King of Castile, to a French princess, and his open negotiations for the formation of a league against Ferdinand to assert Joanna's right to assume the crown of Castile on the death of her mother Isabella, who was in failing health, had fairly frightened Ferdinand, who knew not whom to trust; for Castilians generally disliked him, and were ready to acclaim Joanna and her foreign husband on the first opportunity—Joanna herself was unstable, violently jealous of her husband, and with strange notions as regarded religion. She would not go to Spain alone, and Philip was determined not to go except on his own terms, and at his own time, and Margaret, living in close contact with the inharmonious pair, struggled bravely to reconcile the clashing interests that surrounded her.

There was a talk of leaving her regent of Flanders in the absence of her brother in Spain, and against this Ferdinand's agents were instructed to work secretly; although Margaret lost no opportunity of professing to the ambassador her attachment to Spanish interests. From several remarks in Fuensalida's letters to Ferdinand it is, however, evident that XXVII her desire was less to rule Flanders than to enjoy the care of the infants whom her brother and sister-in-law were to leave behind. But even this natural desire was opposed by the Spaniards; apparently because the Princess was looked upon as being too ready to follow her brother's lead. Writing in March 1501 of Philip's dissolute life and his disaffection towards Spain, Fuensalida says: 'I am loath to say how much Madam Margaret's good-nature encourages this, for she simply follows her brother's fancies in all things.'

But the departure of Margaret from Flanders in August 1501 for her marriage with the Duke of Savoy put an end for a time to her pretensions to take charge of her brother's children; and when she returned as a young widow early in 1505, the issue between Ferdinand and his undutiful son-in-law was joined, for Isabella the Catholic was dead, and Philip in right of his wife was arrogantly claiming, not only the crown of Castile, but the entire control of its policy against the wish of the great Queen just dead, whose last hours were embittered by the dread that her beloved, her sacred, Castile, would be ruled by a foreigner of doubtful orthodoxy. Philip was abetted in his revolt against Ferdinand by the Castilian officers attached to him who were jealous of Aragon, Don Juan Manuel, the principal Spanish diplomatist of his time, being their leader and Philip's prime adviser. As soon as Margaret arrived in her brother's Court both factions tried to gain her. 'My lady,' Don Juan Manuel is represented to have said to her on one occasion (June 1505), 'I shall be able to serve you quite as effectively as Antonio de Fonseca when I am in Castile and Treasurer-General'; XXVIII and at this time, when Philip and his friends were anticipating the rich booty they would gain in Castile, whither they were bound to take possession of mad Joanna's inheritance, Margaret was beset with offers of reward if she would throw in her influence against King Ferdinand.

It is abundantly clear that she grieved at the unhappy state of affairs. Ferdinand and his wife had been good to her in Spain, and easy-going as she may have been, she must have seen her brother's unworthiness and his bad treatment of Joanna; and yet it was neither prudent nor natural that she should oppose Philip violently. Fuensalida saw her in Bois le Duc in June 1505, whilst she was on her way to Bourg, and discussed matters with her. 'She told me that she had talked to her brother, and had asked him whether he would allow her to mediate between him and your Highness (Ferdinand), and he had answered, "No, you are still marriageable, and so is he, and I will not have any such third person interposing between us." She told me that her father and brother have made her swear that she will not entertain any marriage without their consent. She really believes that those who are around her brother have turned his head, and will not let him make terms with your Highness.... She bids me tell your Highness that she will continue to be as obedient a daughter to you as she was when she was with you in Spain; and that she is going to her own home now for no other reason than that she cannot bear to see in silence the things that are going on, whereas if she spoke of them or protested against them, evil would come of it. She prefers, therefore, to go away, so that she may not witness them personally; for she sees quite XXIX plainly that the destruction of her brother's and her father's house will ensue. She prays your Highness to make use of her services in any way you please, and she will do for you all that a good daughter may. "Why not speak to Queen Joanna?" I said. "Because they will not let me," she answered. I am told that Don Juan Manuel said to her (Margaret), what is the use of your going to speak to a stone? You might just as well speak to a stone as to the Queen.'

Margaret herself was determined not to be drawn into the shameful intrigue by which her brother sought to supplant his wife and her father in order to rule Castile himself and for his own pleasure; but it is evident that no stone was left unturned to gain her, directly or indirectly, by Don Juan Manuel and his friends. One of Margaret's officers was a certain Monsieur Louis, to whom Manuel offered, 'that if he would prevail upon his mistress to follow in all things the wishes of King Philip, her brother, he would get the King to give to Louis from the revenues of Castile an income equal to the highest officer of his household. Louis, he said, knew Castile: let him look about and choose any office or place he liked, and it should be granted to him. Louis succumbed to this temptation; but the Duchess (Margaret) heard of it, and never consented to speak to him again, although he had been her most trusted servant.'

Through this wretched business, which ended in the triumph of Ferdinand by the untimely death, probably by poison, of Philip in Spain, and the lifelong incarceration of crazy Joanna, Margaret is the only person who stands forth pure and unselfish. In the summer of 1505, when Philip and Joanna were about XXX to start on their voyage to Spain, Margaret set out for her own castle of Pont d'Ain, full of her projects for building Brou; but just as she reached the frontier of her brother's dominions she was stopped by the news that her little nephew, Charles, was suffering from fever, and she determined to retrace her steps to see the children again, and bid farewell once more to unhappy Joanna.

From her quiet retreat in Bresse Margaret was summoned, on the death of her brother, to rule the States, and care for the children whom he had left behind, bereft of a mother's care by the lunacy of Joanna. How nobly and self-sacrificingly she fulfilled her trust this book to some extent will tell; but of all the sacrifices she made in her wise and gentle life none was greater than the renunciation of her love, perhaps the only love she ever experienced, for the handsome Englishman who appears to have treated her so shabbily. For Charles Brandon, though his King's first favourite and brother-in-law, hardly played the game of love very fairly with Margaret. Kneeling at her feet in sweet dalliance after the banquet at Tournai, he drew from her finger, as lovers will, a ring, and placed it upon his own hand. In gentle chiding she told him in French, and then in Flemish so like English that he understood, that he was a thief. But soon she became alarmed when she saw he meant to keep it for a pledge; for it was well known and might compromise her; and she prayed him to restore it. 'But he understood me not,' and only the intervention of Henry the King, and a promise of a bracelet of hers in exchange, made Charles Brandon give up his capture. But not for long; for again on his knees XXXI before the Princess at Lille soon afterwards, he took the ring a second time, and all the entreaties of the lady were unavailing to obtain its restoration, though a ring of far greater value was given to her in exchange, with all sorts of imprudent, perhaps not more than half-serious, promises on both sides never to marry without the consent of the other. Margaret, as she pathetically says, had never any intention of marrying at all, so unhappy had she been in her previous marriages: but at all events she hid Brandon's ring in her bosom, unseen by the world, and cherished the secret of her little love passage. Not so King Henry's flamboyant favourite, who made no concealment of his conquest, and vaunted the possession of the jewel, though faithful Margaret could not believe it of him: 'for I esteem him much a man of virtue and wise.'

The sad little romance presents Margaret as a dignified great lady, who for one short space allowed herself to be simply a trustful woman in love, only to find that to such as she duty must be paramount over the promptings of the heart, and that a wooer, though he may be a duke, is not always a gentleman. Thenceforward, for many years, Margaret's life was that of a wise Vice-Regent for the Emperor whom she had reared from his childhood; until death relieved her from the task to which she devoted the best of her life. She died in harness, defrauded of an old age of refined leisure, to which she had looked forward, deprived even of a sight of the splendid church which is her own worthy tomb and monument; but it was perhaps most fitting that she should fall in the plenitude of her powers, leaving her beloved nephew the undisputed sovereign of the greatest dominion in the XXXII world, at peace with all Christendom, thanks largely to her efforts; and that she should go down to posterity remembered mainly as the first and noblest of the women of her imperial race who bore the title of Governess of the Netherlands.

Martin Hume





In the year 1491 an interview took place in the little town of Baugy in Poitou, between a youth of twenty-one and a girl of twelve. The fate of more than one kingdom was involved in this farewell meeting between two playfellows who had been companions and friends for nearly nine years. The youth had tears in his eyes as he hesitatingly made his excuses and unfolded his plan. He told his fair-haired companion that though he loved her with all his heart, yet he had made up his mind to send her back to her father, who had often expressed the wish to have her with him. The little maiden listened to her youthful husband's repudiation of his marriage vows with calm dignity, but when he continued to make excuses for his conduct she stopped him, saying with much spirit, 'that by reason of her youth, those who had counted on her fortune could never say or suspect that this had come upon her through any fault of her own.' The slight thus inflicted, the girl never forgot; and when years later she became Governess of the Netherlands, France knew 2 no greater enemy than Margaret of Austria, former Queen of France.

Margaret was born at Brussels[2] on January 10th, 1480, and baptized in Saint Gudule. Her godparents were Philippe de Ravenstein, Jean de Châlons, Prince of Orange, and Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV., King of England, third wife of Charles the Bold.

Margaret was the only daughter of the Archduke Maximilian, afterwards King of the Romans, and Emperor of Germany, by Mary of Burgundy, only daughter and heiress of Charles, Duke of Burgundy, surnamed the Bold.

When Margaret was barely two years old her mother died from the effects of a fall from a horse at the age of twenty-five, leaving two children, Philip (born 22nd July 1478) and Margaret. The Flemish States, discontented with Maximilian's rule, claimed their ancient right to educate his children, but in accordance with the terms of a treaty of peace signed at Arras between Louis XI. and the Archduke in the year 1483, Margaret was betrothed to the Dauphin Charles, afterwards Charles VIII., and was sent to France to be brought up and educated with the French princes. On the 2nd of June 1483, at the age of three, she made her entry into Paris amidst transports of joy, at the conclusion of the peace of which her presence was the pledge. 'And in honour of my said lady Margaret, who from henceforth was called Dauphine, the streets were decorated, and many people rejoiced.'[3] Louis XI. did not appear at these fêtes; he contented himself with secretly rejoicing over the successful issue of his cunning policy, an issue which would mean, as he foresaw, the downfall of the powerful house of Burgundy.

3 Margaret's dowry was a large one, consisting of Burgundy, the county of Artois, and the territories of Macon, Salins, Bar-sur-Seine, and Noyers. The ceremony of betrothal took place at Amboise with great pomp in presence of a numerous gathering assembled in the public square.

Charles, aged twelve, declared that he consented to take the three-year-old Margaret as his wife. The religious ceremony was performed the same day in the lower church of the castle, in presence of the lords and ladies of Beaujeu, of the Sire de la Trémouille, the Counts of Dunois, d'Albret, and many deputies from the provincial towns. The Dauphin, clothed in a robe of white damask lined with black velvet, married the little princess, and placed a ring upon her tiny finger. A mass was said, and a sermon preached by the Abbé of Saint Bertain, who compared this marriage to that of King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther; after which the Dauphin thanked all those who were present.

Two months later Louis XI. died (30th August 1483), leaving his kingdom to his son Charles, and appointing his favourite daughter, Anne de Beaujeu, as Regent. From the time of Louis' death Margaret was treated as queen, and given the honours due to her rank. Her childhood passed peacefully at Amboise, where she became the pet and plaything of her youthful husband, and of his cousin Louis, Duke of Orleans. It would be interesting to know the story of Margaret's life during the nine or ten years she was under the guardianship of Anne de Beaujeu. Charles's mother, the poor Queen Charlotte of Savoy, died soon after her eldest son's marriage, leaving the education of the young couple to the Regent Anne, whose vigorous intellect was not 4 satisfied with ruling the kingdom of France for her brother. She read a great deal, early fathers, philosophers, moralists and poets, and selected romances for the young people under her charge. Her library contained three hundred and fourteen volumes, some of which are noted in the catalogue as being covered with red velvet, and ornamented with clasps, bosses, and corner pieces of metal.

If it is true that the first years of life, early education and precepts, influence the rest of existence, then Margaret must have had a very careful bringing up at the French Court, to judge from the marked talents, wisdom, and prudence she displayed in later years. Amongst her companions at the castle of Amboise we find Louise of Savoy, her senior by three years. Louise (the mother of Francis I.) was the daughter of the Sieur de Bresse and Margaret of Bourbon, and sister of Philibert II., Duke of Savoy, Margaret's future husband. Louise was a niece of Anne de Beaujeu's, and appears to have been treated as a poor relation, 'only receiving eighty francs at the New Year with which to buy herself a crimson satin dress for state occasions.' Anne's sickly little daughter, Susan, must also have been one of Margaret's younger playfellows.

The Lady of Beaujeu was devoted to hunting, and she hunted, we are told, 'coldly and methodically, with her own eyes examining the trail, and giving the word to hark forward, setting off with her hounds, and skilfully handling her hunting-spear. She probably encouraged this sport amongst her young companions, for we learn in after years that Margaret was a great huntress, and very proud of her stuffed wolves' heads.' Unhappily, no detailed account exists of Margaret's childhood in France, 5 but from what we know of her life at Amboise she seems to have been a bright and lively child, with a marvellously fair complexion, golden hair and soft brown eyes, making many friends, with a gift for repartee and a strong sense of humour, which probably helped her to bear the many sorrows of her later life.

Years after, when Louis of Orleans was King of France, he refers in his letters to Margaret to their happy youth at Amboise when 'she was the second person he loved best in the world; that he desires above all things to embrace his cousin, his vassal, his first mistress, to remind her of their childish games, and after having made her blush by his compliments, to swear eternal love for her.'

In 1488 Francis II., Duke of Brittany, died, leaving only two daughters, Anne and Isabel. The latter did not long survive her father, but dying in August 1491 at the age of twelve, left her sister Anne sole possessor of the important duchy of Brittany. As early as 1480 Duke Francis had tried to arrange a marriage between his daughter Anne, or failing her, her younger sister Isabel, and the eldest son of Edward IV., King of England, but these plans were frustrated by the young prince's murder in the Tower of London.

Negotiations were then begun for an alliance with Maximilian, Duke of Austria, but were postponed owing to the princess's extreme youth. Amongst foreign alliances this seemed the most advantageous, although it offered no guarantee for the independence and maintenance of Brittany's nationality. The best way to ensure this independence would have been to marry Anne to one of the nobles of her own country chosen from amongst those who had pretensions to the ducal crown. These were three in number: John of Châlons, Prince of Orange, a son of one of 6 Duke Francis II.'s sisters; John, Viscount de Rohan, who had married Mary, daughter of Duke Francis I., who claimed to be the direct descendant of Conan Mériadec, first King of Brittany; and Alain d'Albret, husband of a great-granddaughter of Joan the Lame. When Francis II. died, only the last of these three was a widower, and he was an unsuitable husband for a princess of thirteen, being more than forty-five years of age, and the father of eight children.

The Lords of her Council advised the young duchess to marry Maximilian of Austria, King of the Romans, and Anne, who was just entering her fourteenth year, agreed to this union. The preliminary negotiations for the marriage were arranged with the greatest secrecy in March 1490. Maximilian sent the Count of Nassau, Marshal Polhain, Jacques de Codebault, his secretary, and his steward, Louppian, to Brittany to negotiate matters, and arrange the betrothal. A few days after, so secretly that the day is not known, this ceremony took place according to German custom. In order to make the marriage indissoluble, says Legendre, and to give it the appearance of a consummated marriage, the Count of Nassau (others say it was the handsome Polhain, Maximilian's favourite), who had married Anne in his master's name, put his leg bared to the knee into the bride's bed in presence of the lords and ladies who were nominated as witnesses. When the details of this ceremony were divulged they caused great derision amongst the Bretons and French, who ridiculed a custom so different from their own. This marriage was a flagrant violation of the last treaty with France, for Charles VIII., whose ward the young duchess was, had not been consulted. As soon as he received information of the fact, he sent his troops 7 into Brittany, and penetrated farther and farther into that country, and Nantes was taken almost without a struggle by Alain d'Albret. In the first days of the year 1491 Charles VIII., accompanied by the Count of Dunois, Louis, Duke of Orleans, and the Lady of Beaujeu, joined his army in Brittany. The king held his Court at Nantes, and did his utmost to insinuate himself into the good graces of the inhabitants.

Anne, at the head of a small army under her tutor, the Marshal de Rieux, vainly tried to struggle against the French invaders. After many skirmishes, de Rieux obliged the French to retire to lower Brittany, until he received reinforcements from England. Anne showed a courage beyond her years and worthy of better success. She took refuge at last in the town of Rennes with her uncle the Prince of Orange, Marshal Polhain, and several faithful nobles, having only 14,000 men to defend her, principally English archers, Germans, and Spaniards, sent by her husband, the King of the Romans.

In 1491 the French laid siege to the town. Charles gradually drew his lines closer and closer; lack of food and money began to be felt in the beleaguered city. Charles offered the duchess 100,000 crowns a year if she would renounce the Government of Brittany, and choose any dwelling-place she pleased except the towns of Rennes and Nantes; he also suggested the choice of three husbands, either Louis of Luxembourg, the Duke of Nemours, or the Count of Angoulême.

Anne replied that she was married to the King of the Romans, and that if he refused to have her, she still would consider herself his wife, and would never be the wife of another. Should Maximilian die, and 8 she be in a position to remarry, she would only marry a king or the son of a king.

Charles, convinced of her obstinacy, then tried to induce her garrison to desert. Being chiefly mercenary troops they succumbed to persistent bribery, and marched out of the town, leaving it free for him to enter. After taking possession he made a new proposition to the duchess, namely, to renounce for ever all rights to the duchy of Brittany excepting an allowance of £100,000 a year, and retire to the King of the Romans, whom she looked upon as her husband.

Towards the end of the siege of Rennes, Anne's youngest sister, Isabel, died in the town on the 24th August 1491. By her death in her twelfth year Anne was left sole heiress of the largest duchy in Europe. This was too attractive a bait for Charles's ambition, and he made up his mind to break his marriage with his old playfellow Margaret, and to do all in his power to make Anne accept him as her husband.

It is no wonder that the young Duchess of Brittany or rather her advisers were in no hurry to reply to Charles's last monstrous proposition. After waiting some time he again tried a new plan, and, partly by threats and partly by promises, persuaded her advisers to work on their young mistress's mind in such a way as to bring her to think more kindly of him. Her uncle, Prince of Orange, Marshal de Rieux, Montauban, Chancellor of Brittany, and her governess, Frances of Dinan, talked so much on the subject, that by degrees they got her slightly to change her mind. It was no wonder that Anne felt a great repugnance for Charles, who for three years had carried on war against her, ruining her lands, 9 and under pretext of being her lawful protector trying to take her prisoner. For several days her councillors, won over by Charles, endeavoured to bring her to reason, without success; but at last her governess had recourse to her confessor, who persuaded her that God and the Church ordained that she should make this sacrifice for the sake of peace and the good of her country.

Charles, under pretence of a pilgrimage, went with all his Court to the chapel of Our Lady situated near the gates of Rennes. After performing his religious duties he suddenly entered the town, accompanied by his sister, Anne de Beaujeu, Count Dunois, and a hundred men-at-arms and fifty archers of the guard. The next day he paid a visit to the young duchess, and had a long interview with her. Three days later their betrothal was celebrated in the chapel of Our Lady in presence of the Duke of Orleans, Count Dunois, and Anne de Beaujeu on one side; the Chancellor of Brittany, the Prince of Orange, and several nobles devoted to the duchess on the other.

Marshal Wolfgang de Polhain, instructed by Maximilian to betroth Anne to his master, heard a rumour of this hasty alliance. He questioned the French and Breton nobles, but they refused to give him an answer. A few days later he was invited to the marriage ceremony which had been arranged to take place in the castle of Langeais in Touraine. Polhain refused to attend, and hastened to Malines to give Maximilian an account of these proceedings.

This sudden marriage caused great astonishment throughout Europe. How could people believe that the young duchess, then in her fourteenth year, and 10 well able to understand the importance of her acts, had consented to marry a king who for years had made war against her and despoiled her of her heritage! Besides it was well known that since the Treaty of Arras in 1483 Charles had been affianced to Maximilian's daughter, Margaret of Austria.

The rumour got about that the Duchess Anne had been forced into the marriage. The Pope believed this, and in granting the dispensation which was only asked for after the marriage had taken place, he formally announced that he would only confirm this union if it could be proved that it had not been brought about by force. Anne herself undertook to refute this calumny by declaring before an ecclesiastical commission that she had suffered no violence, and that she had gone to Langeais of her own free will to marry Charles.

In the marriage contract a clause was inserted to the effect that should Anne survive Charles, without children, she could only remarry with his successor. Thus was the duchy of Brittany secured to the crown of France, and the king's ambitious scheme realised to Margaret's mortification.

Mézerai tells us that 'a double dispensation was necessary, first to annul Charles's marriage with Margaret, and secondly to free Anne from her contract with Maximilian. The marriages not having been consummated, the Court of Rome did not make any great difficulty.'

When Maximilian heard that his affianced bride had become the wife of Charles VIII., and that his daughter was about to be returned to him despoiled of her title of Queen of France, he made all the Courts of Europe ring with his complaints. War began again and lasted for two years. In 1493 peace 11 was restored by the Treaty of Senlis, concluded between Charles and Maximilian. The King of the Romans renounced the title of Duke of Brittany, and was put in possession of the whole duchy of Burgundy as well as the Franche Comté, and Artois, which had been included in Margaret's dowry.

If we are to believe Pasquier, Margaret had a foreboding of her misfortune before these events took place. One day whilst walking in the garden at Amboise, her ladies and gentlemen noticed that she seemed very melancholy, and one of them asked her the reason. She replied that she had had a strange dream, which she could not forget, for she believed it boded ill. In her dream she thought she was in a large park, and saw a marguerite (daisy) which she was told to watch; whilst she gazed at the flower, a donkey came and tried to eat it; she kept him off as long as she could, but at last he seized and devoured it. This troubled her so much that she woke with a start, and the dream still weighed upon her mind.

No one then anticipated what ultimately happened, but afterwards this quaint dream was looked upon as a forecast of Margaret's broken marriage. Curiously enough her dismissal had been provided for by Louis XI. at the time of the Treaty of Arras, as the following clause in the treaty will show. 'If it should happen (which God forbid) that my said Lady Margaret being of age, my said Lord the Dauphin should not proceed to the perfect consummation of the said marriage, or that the said marriage should be broken by the king, Monseigneur the Dauphin, or others on their part, during the minority of the young lady or after; in which case, my said lady 12 shall be sent at the king's expense or at that of my said Lord the Dauphin, back to my said Lord the Duke her father, or the Duke Philip her brother, frankly and fully discharged of all bonds of marriage and all other obligations, to one of the good towns in the territories of Brabant, Flanders, or Hainault, to a safe place acknowledging obedience to the said Dukes.'

But Margaret remained in France for two years after Charles's marriage with Anne of Brittany, which took place on December 6th, 1491. Neglected by her father, and kept as a sort of hostage until the Peace of Senlis was signed, she passed her time in seclusion. 'When the king had restored peace to Brittany, he returned to France, and gave orders that Madam Margaret of Flanders should retire to the castle of Melun on the river Seine, and take with her the Princess of Tarente'; here she remained for more than a year. An interesting letter written by Margaret to Anne de Beaujeu from Melun has fortunately been preserved. In it she requests that her cousin might not be taken away from her, although the king has ordered her to leave, and mentioning that Madame de Molitart has told her that she is to be better treated than formerly:—[4]

'Madame ma bonne tante, il faut bien que je me plaigne à vous comme à celle en qui j'ay mon espérance, de ma cousine que l'on m'a voulu oster, qui est tout le passe-temps que j'ay, et quand je l'auray perdue je ne scay plus que je feray. Parquoi je vous prie que veuillez tenir la main pour moy qu'elle ne me soit ostée, car plus grand déplaisir ne me scauroit-on faire. Lachault est venu qui a 13 apporté lettres adressantes à madite cousine, par lesquelles le Roy lui escrivoit qu'elle s'en allast; toutefois je ne l'ay pas voulu souffrir, jusques à ce que vous en eusse advertie, en espérant que m'y seriez en aide, comme j'ay en cela et en autre chose ma parfaite fiance, vous priant, Madame ma bonne tante, que quelque part que je soye ne parte point de vostre bonne grâce, car toujours en aurai-je besoin, à laquelle bien fort me veut recommander. Madame de Molitart m'a dit que voulais que je sois mieux traitée que je ne fus oncques, qui est une chose qui m'a fort réjouie, puisque avez encore souvenance de moy, vous disant adieu, Madame ma bonne tante, que je prie qu'il vous doint le plus aimé de vos désirs. Escrit à Melun, le dix-septième jour de Mars. Vostre bonne humble et léable nièce Marguerite.

'A Madame ma bonne tante.'


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Jean le Maire relates that the autumn of 1491 was very cold and the grapes did not ripen. One day when Margaret was at table she overheard the gentlemen of her suite discussing this fact, and with a play on the words remarked sadly that it was not surprising if the vines (sarments de vigne) were green this year, as vows (serments) were of no value (referring to the king's broken word).

Before Margaret left France she was made to swear on the Cross and the Gospels that she would renounce for ever all pretensions to her marriage with Charles. At last she set out on her long journey back to Flanders. Charles took care that she was treated with every respect. Anne of Brittany showed her great sympathy, and tried by all means in her power to make Margaret forget her mortification. At the moment of departure Anne 14 ordered Jeanne de Jambes, her most skilful maid of honour, to make an embroidered coif to offer the princess, as well as some gold ornaments, the whole valued at the large sum of £450.[5]

The French nobles who had been attached to Margaret's person for nearly twelve years accompanied her on her journey. The little princess was calm, but she bore a grudge against France which she never forgot, and which is noticeable in all her later dealings with her first husband's kingdom. When she passed through the town of Arras the citizens cried, 'Noël, Noël,' a French cry that annoyed Margaret; she called back to them, 'Do not cry Noël, but long live Burgundy!'

Thus she was escorted to St. Quentin, from thence to Cambray, Valenciennes, and finally to Malines, where she was received by her brother Philip and by Margaret of York, the widow of her grandfather, Charles the Bold. 'When she alighted from her litter near a mill by a small stream which divided the royal and archducal dwelling, she thanked the said lords and ladies who had brought and accompanied her, begging them all to recommend her very humbly to the king their master, bearing no ill-will because of his separation from her, believing that marriages ought to be voluntary.'

However, Margaret always showed great regard for Anne of Brittany, and even more so when the queen married Louis XII. The documents of the 15 period abound in exchange of civilities between the princesses. Thus ended Margaret's first matrimonial adventure. Her former husband did not long survive his marriage with Anne, but died almost suddenly in April 1498, and left no children. His widow fulfilled the clause in her marriage contract, and married his successor, who ascended the throne as Louis XII.




Charles VIII. was hardly free from his sister's tutelage when he dreamt of conquering the kingdom of Naples, which he claimed as heir to the house of Anjou. An embassy which he received from Ludovico Sforza, afterwards Duke of Milan, made him the more determined to carry out this project.

By the Treaty of Barcelona (January 1493) Charles had agreed to restore to Ferdinand of Aragon the counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne in return for Ferdinand's assurance that he would leave him a free hand in Italy and elsewhere, and would not form matrimonial alliances with the houses of England, Austria, or Naples; but when, in 1494, Charles informed Ferdinand of his intentions against Naples, and claimed his aid in accordance with the treaty, the King of Aragon pretended to be shocked and surprised, and quietly set to work to circumvent his plans and to side with his enemies.

On the 10th of July 1494 the Duke of Orleans crossed the Alps with the advance guard of the French army. Charles soon followed, and was received with great honour by Ludovico Sforza and the Duke of Ferrara. After crossing Italy in triumph, he arrived at Naples without having broken a single lance, and made a solemn entry into 17 the town, whilst the King of Naples, abandoned by his subjects and betrayed by his generals, fled to Sicily.

But in the midst of his triumphs Charles learned, through the historian Commines, his ambassador in Venice, of the perfidy of his allies and of the new league that was formed against him by Henry VII. of England, Ferdinand of Aragon, Maximilian (recently elected emperor after the death of his father), the Pope Alexander VI., the Republic of Venice, and the Duke of Milan. All these confederates combined in a common interest to drive the French out of Italy, and to attack France from different sides at the same time.

'The ambitious schemes of Charles VIII. established a community of interests among the great European states, such as had never before existed, or at least been understood; and the intimate relations thus introduced naturally led to intermarriages between the principal powers, who until this period seemed to have been severed almost as far asunder as if oceans had rolled between them.... It was while Charles VIII. was wasting his time at Naples that the marriages were arranged between the royal houses of Spain and Austria, by which the weight of these great powers was thrown into the same scale, and the balance of Europe unsettled for the greater part of the following century.

'The Treaty of Venice provided that Prince John, the heir of the Spanish monarchies, then in his eighteenth year, should be united with the Princess Margaret, daughter of the Emperor Maximilian, and that the Archduke Philip, his son and heir, and sovereign of the Low Countries in his mother's right, should marry Joanna, second daughter of Ferdinand 18 and Isabella. No dowry was to be required with either princess.'[6]

The conditions of this double marriage were drawn up by Francisco de Rojas, sent to Flanders by Ferdinand and Isabella for this purpose. The proposals were agreed to by both sides, and it was arranged that the fleet which brought Joanna of Castile to Flanders should carry Margaret of Austria to Spain.

The following amusing anecdote is from Zurita, and mentioned in A. R. Villa's Life of Doña Juana la Loca. Francisco de Rojas, who was chosen by Isabella to marry Margaret by proxy, was presented with a brocade garment by Antonio de Valle on his arrival in Flanders, and was told that he must see that he was tidy at the ceremony of betrothal, as according to the German custom he would have to undress as far as his doublet and hose. This he promised to do, but when he came to remove his coat, it was seen that his shirt protruded from his hose at the back. This carelessness caused him to be much teased by the courtiers, who with difficulty concealed their smiles at the time.

By the end of the summer in 1496 a fleet, consisting of one hundred and thirty vessels, large and small, strongly manned and thoroughly equipped, was got ready for sea in the ports of Guipuzcoa and Biscay. The whole was placed under the command of Don Fadrique Enriquez, Admiral of Castile, who carried with him a splendid array of chivalry. A more gallant and beautiful Armada never before quitted the shores of Spain. The Infanta Joanna, attended by a numerous suite, embarked towards the end of August at the port of Laredo, on the eastern borders of Asturias, where she bade farewell to her 19 mother, Queen Isabella, who travelled through Spain to take leave of her seventeen-year-old daughter. On August the 20th the queen wrote to Doctor de Puebla (Ferdinand's envoy in England) from Laredo to inform him that the fleet that was taking her daughter to Flanders, and bringing the Infanta Margaret to Spain, was to sail the next day. 'If they should enter an English port, she hopes that they will be treated in England as though they were the daughters of Henry VII. himself.'[7] The queen also addressed a letter to the King of England begging for the same favours. A navy of fifteen thousand armed men was needed to escort the bride to Flanders and bring back Prince John's betrothed to Spain. For two nights after the embarkation Isabella slept on the ship with her daughter, and when at last the fleet sailed on August 22nd, she turned her back on the sea, and rode with a heavy heart back to Burgos.

The weather soon after Joanna's departure became extremely tempestuous, and the poor princess had a terrible voyage; her fleet was driven into Portland, and one of the largest ships came into collision and foundered. But this was not the end of her troubles, for on the Flemish coast another great ship was wrecked, with most of her household, trousseau, and jewels. Several vessels were lost, and many of her attendants perished from the hardships they had to endure, amongst them the old Bishop of Jaen, who had accompanied her to give state and dignity to her suite. Eventually the whole fleet arrived at Ramua, sorely disabled and needing a long delay for refitting before it could return to Spain.[8] Soon after her arrival in Flanders her marriage with the Archduke 20 Philip was celebrated with much pomp at Lille. At a tournament given in her honour at Brussels, three knights wearing her colours entered the lists and fought against three of Margaret's knights; the latter were dressed in white, and wore 'marguerites' embroidered as their badge. Philip neglected and ill-treated his wife's countrymen to the extent of allowing nine thousand of the men on the fleet at Antwerp to die from cold and privation, without trying to help them; his young wife's Spanish household were unpaid, and even the income settled upon her by Philip was withheld, on the pretext that Ferdinand had not fulfilled his part of the bargain agreed upon in the marriage settlements.

The fleet was detained until the following winter to carry the destined bride of the young Prince of Asturias to Spain. Margaret was now in her eighteenth year, and already distinguished for those intellectual qualities which made her later one of the most remarkable women of her time. She must have been a lovely girl, tall and fair, with masses of waving golden hair, a brilliant complexion, soft brown eyes, and a rather long narrow face, with the full under-lip so peculiar to the house of Austria. It is no wonder that Prince John fell in love with her, or that his parents welcomed her with admiration. In the spring of 1497 Margaret left Flushing and started on her long journey to Spain. She had an even worse voyage than her sister-in-law. A fearful storm arose, and her vessel was nearly wrecked. When the tempest had somewhat subsided, she and her companions amused themselves with each writing her own epitaph. Margaret composed the following well-known distich, which she bound to her arm for identification, and jokingly 21 said might be engraved on her tomb, in case her body should be washed ashore:—

'Cy gist Margot la gentil' Damoiselle,

Qu' ha deux marys et encor est pucelle.'

Fortunately this witty epitaph was not needed. The fleet passed the English Channel in the beginning of February, and was compelled through stress of weather to take refuge in the harbour of Southampton. On February the 3rd Henry VII. wrote the following letter to the Princess Margaret:—

Most illustrious and most excellent Princess, our dearest and most beloved cousin,—With all our heart we send to greet you, and to recommend ourself. We have received through the most renowned, most prudent, and most discreet ambassador of our most beloved cousins the King and Queen of Spain, at our Court, the letters of the admiral and ambassador of the said King and Queen, who accompany your Excellence. By them we are informed that your Highness, enjoying the best of health, has entered with your whole fleet and suite our harbour of Southampton. Our subjects of that neighbourhood had already communicated to us the arrival of your Highness. As soon as we heard of it, we sent our well-beloved and trustworthy vassals and servants, the seneschal of our palace, and Sir Charles Somerset, our captain and guardian of our body, and also a doctor utriusque juris, and keeper of our Privy Seal, to see, visit, and consult you in our name, and to tell you how agreeable and delightful to us was the arrival of your Excellence in our dominions, especially as it has pleased God to give you and your company (to whom we recommend ourself likewise) good health and cheerful spirits. 22 Our servants are to place at your disposal our person, our realm, and all that is to be found in it. They are to provide you with whatever you wish, and serve and obey you as ourself. You will more fully learn our intentions from them and from the letters of the Spanish ambassador who resides at our Court.'

The following is in the king's handwriting:—

'Dearest and most beloved cousin,—Desirous the more to assure your Excellence that your visit to us and to our realm is so agreeable and delightful to us, that the arrival of our own daughter could not give us greater joy, we write this portion of our letter with our own hand, in order to be able the better to express to you that you are very welcome, and that you may more perfectly understand our good wishes. We most earnestly entreat and beseech your Highness, from the bottom of our heart, to be as cheerful as though you were with the dearest and most beloved King and Queen of Spain, our cousins, and that you will stay in whatever part of our realms as cheerfully and without fear as though you were in Spain. In all and everything you want, do not spare us and our realms, for you will render us a great and most acceptable service by accepting anything from us.—Palace, Westminster, 3rd February.'[9]

The king then begs her to stay at Southampton, and even offers to pay her a visit there:—

'Most illustrious and most excellent Princess, our most noble and most beloved cousin,—We have received to-day the letter of the 2nd instant, which your Highness has written from the harbour of 23 Southampton, and are much pleased with it. We are also very glad to learn the good news contained in your letter and the letter of the illustrious ambassador, whom our dearest cousins, the King and Queen of Spain, your most pious parents, have ordered to accompany you. He informs us of your prosperity and good success. We, on our part, have sent to inform you of our inviolable friendship, and to tell you how agreeable in every respect your arrival in our harbour has been to us. On Friday we sent you our servants and domestics, with injunctions to serve you in the same way as they serve ourselves; and a short time after they had left we wrote to your Excellence a letter with our own hand, to give you a hearty welcome in our harbour. We beseech you to have a cheerful face and a glad heart, to be happy and enjoy yourself as safely as though you were our own daughter, or had already reached the dominions of our said cousins the King and Queen of Spain, your pious parents. We pray your Highness, with all our heart, to dispose of us and of everything that is to be found in our realms, and to spare us in nothing, even if the thing is not to be had in our dominions, and to order any service which we are able to execute. For, by doing so, you will bestow on us a signal and most acceptable favour. As we hear that the wind is contrary to the continuation of your voyage, wishing that your Highness would repose and rest, our advice is, that you take lodgings in our said town of Southampton, and remain there until the wind becomes favourable and the weather clears up. We believe that the movement and the roaring of the sea is disagreeable to your Highness and to the ladies who accompany you. If you accept our proposal, and remain so 24 long in our said town of Southampton that we can be informed of it, and have time to go and to see you before your departure, we certainly will go and pay your Highness a visit. In a personal communication we could best open our mind to you, and tell you how much we are delighted that you have safely arrived in our port, and how glad we are that the (friendship) with you and our dearest cousins the King and Queen of Spain, your most benign parents, is increasing from day to day. We desire to communicate to you in the best manner our news, and to hear from you of your welfare. May your Highness be as well and as happy as we wish.—From our Palace of Westminster.... February.'[10]

We have no account of Margaret's accepting Henry's invitation, or of their meeting at this time. After these various adventures the princess at length arrived safely at the port of Santander in the early days of March 1497. An ambassador was sent to meet her with a train of one hundred and twenty mules laden with plate and tapestries. The young Prince of Asturias, accompanied by the king his father, hastened towards the north to meet his bride, whom they met at Reynosa and escorted to Burgos. When Margaret saw her future husband and the king approach, she attempted to kiss the latter's hands, which he tried to prevent her from doing, but she persevered, and kissed the king's hands as well as those of her future husband. On her arrival at Burgos she was received with the greatest marks of pleasure and satisfaction by the queen and the whole Court. Preparations were at once made for solemnising the marriage after the expiration of Lent, in 25 a style of magnificence never before witnessed. The wedding ceremony took place on Palm Sunday, the 3rd of April, and was performed by the Archbishop of Toledo in the presence of the grandees and principal nobility of Castile, the foreign ambassadors and delegates from Aragon. Among these latter were the magistrates of the principal cities, wearing their municipal insignia and crimson robes of office, who seem to have had quite as important parts assigned by their democratic communities as any of the nobility or gentry. The wedding was followed by a brilliant succession of fêtes, tourneys, tilts of reeds, and other warlike spectacles, in which the matchless chivalry of Spain poured into the lists to display their prowess in the presence of their future queen. The chronicles of the day remark on the striking contrast exhibited at these entertainments between the gay and familiar manners of Margaret and her Flemish nobles, and the pomp and stately ceremonial of the Castilian Court, to which the Austrian princess, brought up as she had been at the Court of France, could never be wholly reconciled. The following quaint passage is from Abarca's Reyes de Aragon:—'And although they left the princess all her servants, freedom in behaviour and diversions, she was warned that in the ceremonial affairs she was not to treat the royal personages and grandees with the familiarity and openness usual with the houses of Austria, Burgundy, and France, but with the gravity and measured dignity of the kings and realms of Spain.'

An inventory of the rich plate and jewels presented to Margaret on the day of her marriage is to be found in the sixth volume of memoirs of the Spanish Academy of History. The plate and jewels are 26 said to be 'of such value and perfect workmanship that the like was never seen.'

Nothing seemed wanting to the happiness of the young bride and bridegroom, and that summer they made a kind of triumphal progress through the great cities of the land. The marriage of the heir-apparent could not have been celebrated at a happier time. It took place in the midst of negotiations for a general peace, to which the nation looked for repose after so many years of uninterrupted war. The Court of the Spanish sovereigns was at the height of its splendour; Ferdinand and Isabella seemed to have reached the zenith of their ambitious dreams, when death stepped in, and destroyed their fondest hopes.

Seven months after Prince John's marriage, his sister, Isabella, was united to the King of Portugal. The wedding took place at the frontier town of Valencia de Alcantara, in the presence of the Catholic sovereigns, without pomp or parade of any kind.

While they were detained there, an express messenger brought tidings of the dangerous illness of their son, the Prince of Asturias. Prince John, accompanied by his youthful bride, had been on his way to his sister's wedding when he fell a victim to a malignant fever at Salamanca. The symptoms speedily assumed an alarming character. The prince's constitution, naturally delicate, sunk under the violence of the attack; and when his father, who came with all possible speed to Salamanca, arrived there, no hopes were entertained of his recovery.

Ferdinand, however, tried to cheer his son with hopes he did not feel himself; but the young prince 27 told him that it was too late to be deceived; that he was prepared to die, and that all he now desired was that his parents might feel the same resignation to the divine will which he experienced himself. Ferdinand took fresh courage from the heroic example of his son, whose forebodings were unhappily too soon realised. The doctors fearing to alarm Margaret, who was expecting shortly to become a mother, had kept from her the serious state of her husband's health as long as possible. Knowing that he was ill, she was anxious to go on a pilgrimage to pray for his recovery. 'When at last she was allowed to enter his room on the 4th October 1497 she was shocked to see the change which a few days had wrought in him. Her dying husband bade her farewell in a broken voice, recommending their unborn child to her tender care. Margaret pressed her lips to his, but when she found them already cold, overcome by emotion, she had to be carried half-dead from the room.' Bowed down with grief, she did not recover from the shock of her sudden bereavement, and soon after her husband's death, gave birth to a still-born child.[11]

This double tragedy is pathetically described by the historian, Peter Martyr, who draws an affecting picture of the anguish of the young widow, and the bereaved parents. 'Thus was laid low the hope of all Spain.' 'Never was there a death which occasioned such deep and general lamentation throughout the land.' Ferdinand, fearful of the effect which the sudden news of this calamity might have on the queen, caused letters to be sent at brief intervals, 28 containing accounts of the gradual decline of the prince's health, so as to prepare her for the inevitable stroke. Isabella, however, received the fatal tidings in a spirit of humble resignation, saying, 'The Lord hath given and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be his name!'[12]

Another historian relates that Ferdinand, fearing that the sudden news of John's death would kill Isabella with grief, caused her to be told that it was her husband, Ferdinand himself, that had died, so that when he presented himself before her, the—as he supposed—lesser grief of her son's death should be mitigated by seeing that her husband was alive. The experiment does not appear to have been very successful, as Isabella was profoundly affected when she heard the truth. (Florez, Reinas Catolicas.) The blow was one from which she never recovered. John was her only son, her 'angel' from the time of his birth, and the dearest wish of her heart had been the unification of Spain under him and his descendants.[13] Every honour which affection could devise was paid to Prince John's memory. The Court, to testify its unwonted grief, put on sackcloth instead of white serge usually worn as mourning. All offices, public and private, were closed for forty days; and every one dressed in black. The nobles and wealthy people draped their mules with black cloth down to the knees, showing only their eyes, and black flags were suspended from the walls and gates of the cities. Such extraordinary signs of public sorrow show in what regard the young prince was held. Peter Martyr, his tutor, is unbounded in his admiration of his royal pupil's character, whose brilliant promise and intellectual and moral excellence 29 gave the happiest hopes for the future of his country. These hopes, alas, were destroyed by his untimely death, and that of his infant child.

Prince John's funeral was celebrated on a magnificent scale, and his body laid in the Dominican Monastery of Saint Thomas at Avila, which had been erected by his parents. A few years later his treasurer, Juan Velasquez, caused a beautiful monument to be raised to his memory, and himself added a short but pathetic epitaph. This tomb is the masterpiece of Micer Domenico of Florence, and resembles the exquisite royal sepulchres at Granada. It is placed under an elliptical arch, in front of the high altar, and is one of the finest specimens of an Italian Renaissance tomb. The handsome young prince is depicted lying full length on his marble couch, his hands together as if in prayer. The whole figure is exquisitely simple and dignified in its perfect repose; and if the beautiful marble effigy was true to life, we can understand the overwhelming grief of Spain at his loss.


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After her husband's death Margaret became so popular 'that she was often obliged to wait in the fields under the shade of the olives till night fell, as she dared not enter the towns and cities by day, because the people pressed with affectionate tumult round her litter to see her face, crying aloud that they wished for her alone, for their lady and princess, although when the Queen of Portugal, the heiress, made her solemn and pompous entries in broad daylight, they hardly greeted her.'[14] Prince John's eldest sister, the Queen of Portugal, was next in the succession, but by her death in the following year, and that of her infant son two years later, 30 her sister Joanna, wife of the Archduke Philip, became heiress to the thrones of Aragon and Castile.

Margaret was treated most affectionately by the king and queen, who made her a very liberal provision, and tried in every way to comfort and console her. Whilst she was at the Spanish Court we hear of her teaching French to her little sister-in-law, Katharine, who was betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales. On July 17th, 1498, De Puebla is instructed to write to the Spanish sovereigns that 'the Queen and the mother of the King wish that the Princess of Wales should always speak French with the Princess Margaret, who is now in Spain, in order to learn the language, and to be able to converse in it when she comes to England. This is necessary, because these ladies do not understand Latin, and much less Spanish. They also wish that the Princess of Wales should accustom herself to drink wine. The water of England is not drinkable, and even if it were, the climate would not allow the drinking of it.'[15]

Margaret spent nearly two years at the Spanish Court. After the first anniversary of her husband's death had passed, and his memory been duly honoured by pompous services at Avila, her return to Germany was discussed. Her Flemish attendants had never become accustomed to the wearisome etiquette and stately ceremonial of the Court of Spain, and by their unreasonable demands stirred up discord between her and the king and queen. Maximilian hearing disquieting reports, urged his daughter to lose no time in returning to him, which the princess decided to do. Ferdinand and Isabella seem to have 31 had a real affection for their widowed daughter-in-law, and when the time for parting came, expressed much sorrow at losing her. At last she set out on her long journey back to Flanders (1499). Her former husband, Charles VIII., had died suddenly in April 1498, leaving his kingdom to his cousin, the Duke of Orleans, who ascended the throne as Louis XII. Hearing that his old friend and playfellow was returning to Flanders, Louis wrote a most affectionate letter offering her a safe conduct through his dominions. Margaret was now twenty years old, but in spite of her youth she had seen much sorrow. Twice through a cruel fate she had missed the proud position of queen—first of France, then of Spain. For the second time she returned to her father without husband or child; but sorrow had deepened and enriched her character, and the time she spent at the Castilian Court was not wasted, as it gave her an insight into the management of state affairs and political intrigues, which with her knowledge of Spanish was of infinite importance to her in later life, and helped to form the able politician and wise administrator who, as Governess of the Netherlands, commanded the admiration and respect of the cleverest men in Europe.




On the 7th of March 1500, between seven and eight o'clock in the evening, a brilliant procession wound its way through a covered passage from the Archducal Palace in the old town of Ghent to the church of Saint John. The line of route was lit by more than a thousand torches which flashed on the gorgeous clothes and jewels of the princes and high officers of state who had come to grace the baptism of the infant son of the Archduke Philip and Joanna of Castile. The baby's step-great-grandmother, Margaret of York, widow of Charles the Bold, carried him in her arms, seated on a chair covered with brocade, and borne on the shoulders of four men from the palace to the church; at her right walked Margaret, Princess of Castile, the infant's other godmother, dressed in a mourning hood and mantle. She had come to her brother's Court two days before to stand sponsor for her nephew, who had been born in the palace at Ghent on February the 24th. The little prince, wrapped in a cloak of rich brocade lined with ermine, was baptized by the name of Charles, in memory of his great-grandfather the last Duke of Burgundy, his father conferring upon him the title of Duke of Luxembourg. After the ceremony, which was performed by the Archbishop of Tournay, trumpets sounded, and money 33 was thrown broadcast about the church, whilst the heralds cried 'Largesse, largesse!' The procession then re-formed and returned to the palace in the order in which it came, arriving between eleven and twelve at night. A visit was immediately paid to the Archduchess Joanna, who was informed that her son had been duly baptized. She received the congratulations of the assembled guests lying in her state-bed, which was hung with green damask and covered with a gorgeous quilt of brocade. Near at hand were displayed the beautiful presents the infant had received. Gold and crystal cups, flagons, goblets, and salt-cellars sparkling with precious stones and pearls, amongst them his Aunt Margaret's gift, 'a standing cup of gold with cover weighing four marks, set with precious stones, a great balass ruby on top, surrounded by twenty smaller rubies and diamonds.'[16]


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The old town of Ghent held high festival in honour of the birth of the heir of Austria and Burgundy. The dragon on the belfry ejected Greek fire from mouth and tail; torches and paper lanterns swung gaily from the tower of Saint Nicholas to the belfry, and the object of all this rejoicing was the infant who was one day to become the Emperor Charles V. by a long train of events which opened the way to his inheritance of more extensive dominions than any European sovereign since Charlemagne had possessed, each of his ancestors having acquired kingdoms or provinces towards which their prospect of succession was extremely remote. But his early childhood was clouded, for he hardly knew his parents, who left the Netherlands for Spain in November 1501, barely nine months after his birth. When his mother returned in 1504 her mind was already troubled by the 34 gloom which settled on her in later years. After Queen Isabella's death his parents again left for Spain to take possession of their kingdom of Castile (April 1506), and Charles did not see his mother until 1517. But if he never knew a mother's care, he had an admirable substitute in the affection and guidance of his aunt.

Margaret spent two years with her father after she left Spain, during which time she studied the management of German affairs, and tried to forget her sorrow in improving her mind and cultivating her many gifts. Her high birth, beauty, and accomplishments brought her many suitors amongst the princes of Europe; we hear of her marriage being discussed with the Kings of Poland and Scotland, and even with the Prince of Wales, who was not yet united to his long-betrothed bride Katharine. Finally her choice fell upon the young Duke of Savoy, who had previously married Louisa Jolenta, daughter of Amadeus VIII., Duke of Savoy, but who had no children. The young Duke Philibert II., surnamed the Handsome, was born in the castle of Pont d'Ain on the 10th of April 1480; he was therefore about the same age as Margaret. His youth had been spent at the Court of France, and at fourteen he had accompanied the expedition of Charles VIII. against the kingdom of Naples. The following year, which was that of his accession to the dukedom, he had taken part in the war waged by the Emperor Maximilian against the Florentines. Tall, strong, courageous, extremely good-looking, an accomplished rider, devoted to horses, hunting, jousting and feats of arms, he was indeed a gallant young prince, well fitted to win the heart of a beautiful and accomplished princess. Politically this alliance was popular 35 in Savoy, where it was feared that a too close connection with France might impair the independence of the duchy.

On the 26th of September 1501 the marriage contract was signed at Brussels. The Archduke Philip settled 300,000 golden crowns on his sister as dowry. She also enjoyed a revenue of 20,000 as Dowager-Princess of Spain. It was agreed that if the Duke Philibert should predecease his wife she should receive a dowry of 12,000 golden crowns, raised on the county of Romont and the provinces of Vaud and Faucigny.

Margaret left Brussels towards the end of October to join her future husband at Geneva. She travelled slowly, for the roads were bad and the days short. Margaret of York accompanied her for half a league and then took leave; her brother Philip going with her a short way, he left her a company of Flemish nobles to escort her as far as Geneva at his expense, Duke Philibert having sent two hundred and fifty knights to meet his bride and act as her bodyguard.

The inhabitants of the towns she passed through turned out to give her a hearty welcome and to wish her good luck. They offered her gifts of wine and venison, wild boars, partridges, rabbits, and fatted calves. The Bishop of Troyes gave her the keys of his cellar whilst she stayed in the episcopal town. At Dôle the inhabitants made her a present of 'six puncheons of wine, six sheep, six calves, six dozen capons, six wild geese, and twelve horses laden with oats.'

The duke's natural brother René, who was known as the Bastard of Savoy, married her by proxy on Sunday, November 28th. He presented the bride with a heart of diamonds surmounted by a very fine pearl, 36 and a girdle set with twenty-six diamonds, ten large carbuncles and pearls (marguerites) without number. When the evening came, Margaret, dressed in cloth of gold, lined with crimson satin, and wearing splendid jewels, was laid on a state-bed, whilst René in complete armour went through the ceremony of placing himself beside her, 'all those who had been at the betrothal being present.' After a few moments he rose from the bed, begging madame's pardon for having interrupted her sleep, and asking for a kiss in payment. The kiss was graciously given, and René, throwing himself on his knees, swore to be always her faithful servant. Margaret made him rise, wished him a good-night, and presented him with a valuable diamond set in a gold ring.[17]

From Dôle Margaret travelled to Romain-Motier, a small village about two miles from Geneva, and buried in a lonely valley. The ruined cloisters of the old abbey of black monks may still be seen where Philibert met Margaret one winter's morning, and where the marriage was celebrated by Louis de Gorrevod, Bishop of Maurienne, on the 4th of December 1501.

A brilliant reception awaited the young couple at Geneva. Magnificent fêtes, jousts, and tourneys were given in their honour, which 'cost the town a great deal in games, dances, masquerades, and other amusements.' Together they made a triumphal progress through the principal towns to the duchy of Savoy during the spring and summer. At Chambéry they received a royal welcome. At Bourg the inhabitants greeted the bridal pair with enthusiasm, although the humble burghers had been much perturbed as to how they should do honour to an emperor's daughter.

37 They had just bought fifty thousand bricks wherewith to erect fortifications, and this expense had emptied the municipal coffers. After much consultation they decided to borrow seven hundred florins from the priests of Our Lady of Bourg. These ecclesiastics lent the sum required on receiving authority to reimburse themselves from the revenues of the town. A deputation was sent to meet the duke and duchess and to offer them and the Governor of Bresse four dozen Clon cheeses, four puncheons of foreign wine, and twelve pots of preserves. The following detailed account of their reception is to be found in the archives of the town of Bourg:—

'At last the long-looked-for day came, and the duke and duchess arrived at Bourg on the 5th of August 1502. From early dawn the bells of the monasteries and churches were ringing, guns firing, and a stir of general excitement was in the air. The picturesque wooden houses were hung with coloured tapestries, decorated with five hundred escutcheons bearing the arms of Savoy and Burgundy. Eight platforms had been constructed in different parts of the town on which were to be enacted masques and allegories. At the sound of the trumpet the crowd collected in front of the town-hall, from whence issued the municipal body, preceded by the syndics in red robes, one of them bearing the town keys on a silver salver. The procession marched with trumpets blowing to the market-place, when soon after a warlike fanfare and the neighing of horses announced the arrival of the ducal cortège, headed by Philibert and Margaret. The sight of the young couple evoked shouts and cheers. Margaret, wearing the ducal crown, was mounted on a palfrey, covered with a rich drapery, embroidered with the arms of Burgundy, 38 and with nodding white plumes on its head. Through a veil of silver tissue her sweet face appeared framed in long tresses of fair hair. A close-fitting dress of crimson velvet stitched with gold, bordered with the embossed arms of Austria and Savoy, set off her graceful figure. With one hand she held the reins of her horse, with the other she saluted the crowd, whilst at her right on a fiery charger rode the handsome Philibert, delighted with the enthusiasm which burst forth at the progress of his lovely wife.

'The syndics, kneeling on one knee, presented the duke and duchess with the keys of the town. John Palluat, head of the municipality, made a lengthy speech according to the fashion of the time, full of whimsical expressions, puns and witticisms, comparing Princess Margaret's qualities with those of the flower that bore her name.

'Having entered the town the ducal procession alighted, and two gentlemen—Geoffroy Guillot and Thomas Bergier—advanced towards the princess: the former had been chosen by the council to explain the mysteries, moralities, and allegories; the latter to hold a small canopy over the princess's head. At the market gate on a large platform a huge elephant was seen carrying a tower. This tower, emblem of the town, had four turrets, in each of which was a young girl typifying one of the four attributes of the capital of Bresse. These attributes were goodness, obedience, reason, and justice. After listening to verses sung in her praise by the four attributes, the princess, still preceded by Geoffroy Guillot, arrived at the market-place, where on another platform was represented the invocation of Saint Margaret, virgin and martyr. The saint with a halo, treading an enormous dragon under foot, was smiling at Margaret. She held her 39 right hand over her as a sign of her protection in this world, and with her left pointed to the sky and the eternal throne that God had prepared for her. A group of angels sang a hymn about heaven envying earth the possession of Margaret; whilst the priests of Notre-Dame and the preaching friars enacted the legend of Saint George and the Archangel Michael on the platforms before their church.

'Further on, before the Maison de Challes, the exploits of gods and heroes of mythology were shown. Two persons, one wrapped in a lion's skin and carrying on his shoulder an enormous club of cardboard, the other in a helmet and draped in a red tunic, were supposed to represent the departure of Hercules and Jason to conquer the Golden Fleece. At the other end of the theatre Medea, dressed in a silk robe, gave vent to the fury she felt at her adventurous husband's indifference.

'Before the fountain of the town the crowd was so dense that the guard and Geoffroy Guillot found it difficult to force a passage for the duchess. There the monks of Scillon had arranged a curious fountain in the shape of a gigantic maiden from whose breasts of tinted metal two jets of wine flowed into a large basin; her body held a puncheon of wine which was cleverly replaced when exhausted. Finally, in front of the entrance to the ducal palace, Margaret witnessed the conquest of the Golden Fleece. Before carrying off this precious spoil Hercules and Jason had to fight a multitude of monsters, dragons and buffaloes, which were disposed of with their club and sword. The crowd having loudly cheered this curious exhibition, the duke and duchess entered the castle situated in the highest part of the city.

'The syndics in the name of the town then presented 40 the gift they had prepared for the duchess, a gold medal weighing one hundred and fifty ducats. This medal, struck at Bourg, showed on the obverse the effigy of the duke and duchess on a field strewn with fleurs-de-lys and love-knots, with this inscription:—


On the reverse was a shield with the arms of Savoy and Austria impaled, surmounted by a large love-knot and surrounded with this inscription:—


Thus ended the town of Bourg's splendid reception of their young duke and duchess.'[18]


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Philibert and Margaret continued their tour of the duchy, and returned to Bourg in April 1503, when they took up their residence at the castle of Pont d'Ain, where the happiest years of Margaret's short married life were passed.

From this favourite castle of the Dukes of Savoy on the river Ain, there is a splendid view of the undulating country, distant hills and forests, which in the days of Philibert were well stocked with game. It would be hard to find a more beautiful spot, and it is no wonder that Margaret loved it and spent most of her time there.

When Philibert succeeded to the dukedom after his father's death, his first act had been to give an appanage to his natural brother René. He bestowed upon him the county of Villars, the castle of Apremont, and the Seignory of Gourdans. This brother, who was known as the Bastard of Savoy, was of an 41 ambitious and grasping nature. Knowing that Philibert hated business and preferred spending his time in hunting and warlike sports, René worked on his indolence until he practically had the management of the duchy in his own hands. He persuaded Philibert to grant him an act of legitimacy and also to give him the title of Lieutenant-General of the States of Savoy. When Louis XII. wished to pass through the duchy to reach Milan he communicated with René. The French monarch made him many promises, which were mentioned in the treaty concluded at Château-Renard with the Cardinal d'Amboise. Duke Philibert, in virtue of this treaty, allowed the passage of the French troops, received Louis XII. at Turin, displayed an extraordinary magnificence, and even accompanied the king to Milan with two hundred men-at-arms. In return for his civility Louis granted him an annual pension of 20,000 golden crowns from the revenues of this duchy.

René's influence over his half-brother was put to a hard test when Margaret became Philibert's wife. The young couple truly loved each other, but the princess could not brook this divided authority. She did all in her power to get rid of René, whom she heartily disliked. The struggle was keen but decisive. Margaret made use of her father's authority, who as the Duke of Savoy's suzerain nullified the deed of René's legitimisation. She also had recourse to religious intervention to accuse him of extortion. At her instigation Friar Malet, the Court preacher, drew a picture of the people's misery and sufferings in a sermon. Addressing Philibert, he exhorted him to 'drive out the thieves who were in his household, who,' he said, 'were leeches sucking the blood of his unhappy subjects.' René was not long in perceiving 42 that his credit at the Court of Savoy was gone. He came to his brother and asked permission to retire to his property. 'I wish,' Philibert answered, 'that you would not only retire from my Court, but also from my State, and that within two days on pain of death.' René took refuge at the Court of France, but even there Margaret's dislike followed him, and all his goods were confiscated after a mock trial.

Philibert had only changed his Prime Minister. After René's departure Margaret took up the reins of government and ruled Savoy and Bresse unhindered. She obtained many privileges from her father, amongst others the temporal jurisdiction over all the bishoprics of Savoy, Piedmont, Bugey, and the provinces of Geneva and Vaud. This concession extended Savoy's right of sovereignty over all lands east of the river Saône, which is still called locally 'the side of the Empire.'

In April 1503 the Archduke Philip paid his sister a visit at Bourg on his return from Spain, where he had been to take possession of the crown of Castile, which through the death of Queen Isabella had descended to his wife Joanna. A grand tournament was held on the Place des Lices in honour of his visit. Philip was then escorted by his sister and her husband to the castle of Pont d'Ain, where fresh festivities were prepared. The nobility of Bresse and Bugey flocked there to welcome the royal guests, and there is even a tradition that the 'Holy Shroud,' usually kept at Turin, and which had long been in the possession of the House of Savoy, was there exposed for the archduke's veneration.

During the next few years the peace of Europe was unbroken, and Philibert was unable to satisfy his warlike inclinations. His exuberant spirits found an 43 outlet in hunting, jousts, and tournaments. He loved splendid armour, gorgeous apparel, and brilliant fêtes. A contemporary chronicler has left an account of the entertainments given by the Court of Savoy in 1504 on the occasion of the marriage of Laurent de Gorrevod (who later became Governor of Bresse and Count of Pont-de-Vaux) with the daughter of Hugues de la Pallu, Count of Varax, Marshal of Savoy. All the nobility of Piedmont and Savoy were assembled at the castle of Carignan on the 18th of February, Shrove Tuesday, where a tournament took place in the presence of Philibert, 'Madam Margaret of Austria, Madame Blanche, Dowager of Savoy, and many other young and beautiful ladies, as much to pass the time as to please the ladies.'

A long and wearisome description of the tournament is given, in which Philibert and his brother Charles carried off several prizes. Such were the duke's favourite pastimes, whether at Turin, Carignan, or at Bourg, where the lists were opened under the castle walls.

Philibert had inherited his passion for hunting from a long line of ancestors who were all devoted to this sport. The castle of Pont d'Ain, standing high on a hill overlooking Bresse and Bugey, with the river Ain flowing at its feet well stocked with fish, and its plains and vast forests abounding with game, was an ideal home for a sportsman like Philibert. Here he and Margaret enjoyed the pleasures of a country life. Accompanied by their nobles and friends the duke and duchess often started at dawn of day on their hunting excursions, returning with the last rays of the evening sun. We are told by Jean le Maire that one day Margaret had an accident which might have proved very serious. When she and her husband were hunting 44 in the fields near the town of Quier in Piedmont, the powerful horse on which she was mounted became quite unmanageable, and kicking and plunging, threw her violently to the ground. She fell under its feet, the iron-shod hoofs trampling on her dress, disarranging her hair, and breaking a thick golden chain which hung from her neck. All those who witnessed the accident were paralysed with terror, believing the duchess could not escape alive, and recalling a similar accident in which her mother, Mary of Burgundy, had lost her life. But Margaret had a miraculous escape, and got up without any harm beyond a severe shaking.

One morning, early in September 1504, Philibert went out hunting, leaving Margaret at Pont d'Ain, and though the weather was extremely hot, followed a wild boar for several hours. All his followers were left behind, and his horses having succumbed to the heat and hard riding, he descended a narrow valley about midday on foot, and at last arrived breathless and bathed in perspiration at Saint Vulbas' fountain. Delighted with the freshness of the spot, he ordered his meal to be served in a shady grove; but before long he was seized with a sudden chill, and pressing his hand to his side in great pain, mounted a horse which was brought to him, and with difficulty rode back to Pont d'Ain, his nobles and huntsmen sadly following. On arriving at the castle the duke threw himself heavily on a bed, and Margaret was immediately summoned. She tried by all means in her power to relieve him, sending in great haste for the doctors. When they came she gave them her precious pearls to grind to powder, and watched them make an elixir with these jewels which she hoped would save the duke's life. 45 She made many vows, and sent offerings to distant shrines, invoking the help of heaven by her prayers. But Philibert was seized with pleurisy; his vigorous constitution resisted the violence of the attack for some days. The physicians bled him, but all their doctoring was in vain, and soon they had to confess that they could do nothing more. 'He himself feeling his end approaching got up, and wished to go and say an eternal farewell to his very dear companion, embracing her closely. After having asked for the last sacraments, and by many acts of faith and devotion shown his love for the holy Christian faith, Duke Philibert expired in Margaret's arms on the 10th of September 1504, at nine o'clock in the morning, in the twenty-fourth year of his age, in the same room in the castle of Pont d'Ain where he had first seen the light.' Margaret's grief was heart-rending: we are told that her sobs and cries echoed through the castle. The whole duchy of Savoy mourned with her for the gallant young prince, so suddenly cut off in the flower of his age.


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The duke's body was embalmed, and attired in ducal robes, with the rich insignia of his rank, laid on a state-bed in a spacious chamber, where a crowd of his subjects came to gaze their last on their young lord. The body was then placed in a leaden coffin on which the deceased's titles were engraved, and his funeral carried out with much pomp. The magistrates of Bourg had a hundred torches made bearing the arms of the town; they were carried by burghers who went to escort the body from the castle of Pont d'Ain to the church of Notre-Dame, though Margaret wished her husband to be laid in the priory church of Brou, near his mother, Margaret of Bourbon's tomb.

46 In 1480 Philibert's father, whilst hunting near the same spot, where later his son contracted his fatal illness, had fallen from his horse and broken his arm. He also was carried to Pont d'Ain, and his life was in danger. His wife, Margaret of Bourbon, then made a vow that if her husband's life was spared she would found a monastery of the order of Saint Benedict at Brou. The duke recovered, but the duchess died in 1483 before she fulfilled the vow, the accomplishment of which she bequeathed to her son Philibert, whose early death also prevented him from carrying out his mother's wishes. Margaret now took upon herself the duty of founding the monastery, and also of erecting for them both, and, above all, for him whom she loved, 'a great tomb which should be their nuptial couch,' where she herself would be laid to rest when her time should come.

Stricken with grief, a childless widow, deprived for the second time of the husband she loved, at the age of twenty-four she felt as though all joy in life had ended, and 'immediately after her husband's death she cut off her beautiful golden hair, and had the same done to her own ladies.'[19]

Margaret passed some years of her widowhood at the castle of Pont d'Ain, where several traces of her sojourn remain. She made some additions to the building; the principal staircase still bears her name. Here she lived in seclusion, mourning her lot, and describing her loneliness and sorrow in prose and in verse. In spite of the imperfections of a free versification Margaret's poems show a certain harmony, smoothness, and charm in the informal stanzas, of which the following is a good specimen:—



'O dévots cueurs, amans d'amour fervente,

Considérez si j'ay esté dolente,

Que c'est raison! je suis la seule mère

Qui ay perdu son seul fils et son père,

Et son amy par amour excellente!

Ce n'est pas jeu d'estre si fortunée[20]

D'estre si fortunée!

Qu'est longue fault[21] de ce qu'on ayme bien!

Et je suis sceure que pas de luy ne vient,

Mais me procède de ma grant destinée!

Dites-vous donc que je suis égarée

Quant je me vois séparée de mon bien?

Ce n'est pas jeu d'estre si fortunée!

Qu'est longue fault de ce qu'on ayme bien!

Mais que de luy je ne soye oubliée!!!


Deuil et ennuy, soussy, regret et peine,

Ont eslongué ma plaisance mondaine,

Dont à part moy je me plains et tourmente,

Et en espoir n'ay plus un brin d'attente:

Véez là comment Fortune me pourmeine.

Ceste longheur vault pis que mort soudaine;

Je n'ay pensée que joye me rameine;

Ma fantaisie est de déplaisir pleine;

Car devant moy à toute heure se présente

Deuil et ennuy.


Plusieurs regrets qui sur la terre sont,

Et les douleurs que hommes et femmes ont,

N'est que plaisir envers ceulx que je porte,

Me tourmentant de la piteuse sorte

Que mes esprits ne savent plus qu'ils sont.

Cueurs désolés par toutes nations,

Deuil assemblez et lamentations;

Plus ne quérez l'harmonieuse lyre,


Lyesse, esbats et consolations;

Laissez aller plaintes, pleurs, passions,

Et m'aidez tous à croistre mon martyre,

Cueurs désolés!


Aisn vous plongés en désolation,

Venez à moy!...

Le noble et bon dont on ne peult mal dire,

Le soutenant de tous sans contredire,

Est mort, hélas! quel malédiction!

Cueurs désolés!


Me faudra-t-il toujours ainsi languir?

Me faudra-t-il enfin ainsi morir?

Nul n'aura-t-il de mon mal coignoissance?

Trop a duré; car c'est dès mon enfance!

Je prie à Dieu qu'il me doint tempérance,

Mestier en ay: je le prens sur ma foi;

Car mon seul bien est souvent près de moy,

Mais pour les gens fault faire contenance!

Pourquoy coucher seulette et à part moy,

Qu'il me faudra user de pacience!

Las! c'est pour moi trop grande pénitence;

Certes ouy, et plus quant ne le voy!'

These verses, and many others, were written at Bourg, or at the castle of Pont d'Ain. This castle, built towards the end of the tenth century by the Sires de Coligny, Lords of Revermont, had passed through marriage to the Dauphins du Viennois in 1225, and in 1285 to the Duke of Burgundy. In 1289 this duke exchanged it, as well as the lordship of Revermont, with Amé IV., Count of Savoy, who was Seigneur of Bresse in right of his wife, Sybille de Baugé. The buildings having been much damaged in the wars, Amé's son, Aimon, rebuilt them. The last warlike episode in the history of the castle 49 occurred in 1325 when Edward, Count of Savoy, came to take refuge in the fortress after his defeat near Varey. The pleasant situation of the castle at the extremity of the chain of Revermont, its proximity to France, and equable climate made it the favourite home of the Dukes of Savoy. Below in the valley, which extends to the Rhone, the waters of the river Ain join those of the Suran. To the south and east are the mountain ranges near Bas Bugey, with wooded slopes and prosperous villages, to the north and west the undulating plain of Bresse, crowned by forests. The Princesses of Savoy loved this spot. Amedeo VIII. lived here for a long time with his wife Yolande of France. Philibert and his sister Louise (the mother of Francis I.) were born here, and here their mother, Margaret of Bourbon, came to spend her last days. In this peaceful spot Margaret passed the first years of her mourning, attached to Bresse by memories of her love and sorrow.




Besides her many poems Margaret has perpetuated the memory of the chief phases in her life by means of devices, a symbolical language much in vogue in the Middle Ages.

When she returned to Flanders, after her first marriage with Charles VIII. was annulled, the device she chose was a high mountain with a hurricane raging round the summit, and underneath, 'Perflant altissima venti.' This device ingeniously expressed the idea that those in a high position are more exposed than others to the winds of adversity. After the death of Prince John of Castile and her child, Margaret adopted another device, a tree laden with fruit, struck in half by lightning, with this inscription, 'Spoliat mors munera nostra.' This device is attributed to Strada.

Lastly, as the widow of Duke Philibert, she composed the famous motto which we find reproduced everywhere on the tombs, walls, woodwork, and stained-glass windows of the church at Brou:


And this was her last motto, which she kept to the end. This enigmatical inscription has been variously interpreted. Cornelius Agrippa, her panegyrist, and Gropheus, Chevalier d'Honneur to the princess, who composed a Latin poem in her praise in 1532, saw 51 no other meaning in this device than the résumé of her life ... a plaything of fortune; and they explain the word 'infortune' by the third person of the present indicative of the verb 'infortuner,' Fortuna Infortunat Fortiter Unam—'La fortune infortune (tries, persecutes) fort une femme.' Guichenon adopts this version and says the princess composed her device 'to show that she had been much persecuted by fortune, having been repudiated by Charles VIII., and having lost both her husbands, the Prince of Castile, and the Duke of Savoy. This,' he adds, 'is the true meaning of this device, although another interpretation has been given to it: Fortune Infortune Fortune. Fortune to have been affianced to the King of France, misfortune to have been repudiated by him, and fortune to have married the Duke of Savoy; but this explanation does not agree with the device.' In fact, it is not admissible, for it supposes the device to be composed of three words only, whilst on the marble it is clearly composed of four:


The small church of the monastery of Brou, founded in the beginning of the tenth century by Saint Gérard, had a great reputation for holiness. It was here the bodies of Philibert and his mother were laid. Margaret's thoughts were constantly occupied with the monument she wished to erect to her husband's memory, the magnificence of which should satisfy her artistic taste. She proposed devoting her dowry to this object in order to raise the necessary funds. Philibert's brother had succeeded to the ducal crown under the title of Charles III., but the state of the duchy's finances made it difficult for him to pay Margaret's dowry, which consisted of 12,000 écus d'or per annum in French coin, or in lieu of this sum the 52 usufruct of Bresse and the provinces of Vaud and Faucigny. Charles III. on his accession had found the revenues greatly reduced; besides Margaret's dowry, three other dowager-princesses enjoyed the income from a great part of his estates. Blanche de Montferrat, widow of Charles I., had the best part of Piedmont; Le Bugey was in the hands of Claudine of Brittany, widow of Duke Philip; lastly, Louise of Savoy received the largest portion of Chablais. This was the state of things when Margaret complained of the insufficiency of the revenues from the properties of Bresse, Vaud, and Faucigny, revenues far from equivalent to the sum of 12,000 écus d'or per annum according to the terms of her marriage contract. As Charles remained deaf to her complaints, Margaret had recourse to her father, and travelled to Germany to persuade Maximilian to give her his support. Charles at last agreed to send four jurisconsuls empowered to arrange this business. During the meetings which took place at Strasburg, Margaret explained the motives which made her insist on the fulfilment of the clauses with reference to her dowry. 'Her intention being to found a church and monastery on the site of the Priory of Brou, the resting-place of the Lady Margaret of Bourbon and Duke Philibert, she must needs collect all her resources to meet the expense which such an endowment would require. She also pointed out that, according to the Lady Margaret of Bourbon's will, the church and monastery were to be erected at the expense of her heirs and successors. Now this charge falling on Duke Charles, he could not conscientiously dispense with carrying out his mother's last wishes, but as she, Margaret, offered to fulfil this task at her own expense, he was ill-advised to dispute with her what was legally her 53 due. Charles III.'s envoys had nothing to say to this argument excepting the state of penury and embarrassment in which their master found himself.'

At last, on the 5th of May 1505, in the presence of Maximilian, a treaty was signed in the hall of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem at Strasburg, by which Duke Charles granted to Margaret the county of Villars and the Seignory of Gourdans, with all rights of government as well as power of redeeming the mortgaged lands of Bresse to the amount of 1200 florins. After the ratification of this treaty Margaret returned to the castle of Pont-d'Ain and prepared to carry out her plans.

She first called her Council together and explained her intentions. Margaret of Bourbon's vow was to build a church in honour of Saint Benedict, but as this order had already become lax, Margaret wished that the church and monastery should be placed under the protection of St. Nicolas de Tolentin, who had lately been canonised, and was noted for the number of miracles worked by his intercession, and for whom she felt a particular devotion.

The princess's Council, foreseeing the enormous expense which the execution of this plan would involve, tried to dissuade her from it, and endeavoured to turn her mind to completing the church of Notre-Dame de Bourg, which Jean de Loriol was then building. At the time of the young duke's death they had promised to bring his body to rest in the Abbey of Haute-Combe near the Dukes of Savoy, his predecessors. But she would not listen to this argument, and replied 'that she had been informed of the vow which the late lord and lady, her husband's parents, had made to found a monastery of the order of St. Augustine on the site of Brou, but the former, 54 after he succeeded, forgot to fulfil it, and neglected the duty of accomplishing his vow, and that it had pleased God to take her lord and husband in his youth in such a way that he had not leisure nor time to fulfil his father and mother's vow, but that she, with the help of God, would do so.'[22]

The series of objections from the Council, and Margaret's firm determination, are still more apparent in the following quaint dialogue recorded by a witness in Paradin's Chronique de Savoie:—'When several prominent people pointed out that as she was the daughter of a great Emperor, and had been Queen of France, and had since married so great and famous a Prince, she would be put to heavy and intolerable expense in order to accomplish something worthy of her greatness, she replied that God would take care of the expense. They, moreover, said to her: "Madame, possibly you regret that the body of Madame, his mother, is buried in this little place of Brou; a dispensation could easily be procured from the Pope to carry it elsewhere"; she answered, no dispensation was needed for a thing one could do oneself; they also put before her that after she had done what she intended, if a war should break out in this country, the enemy could retire and quarter themselves there, and from thence fight the town, which in the end would mean the destruction of the monastery. Margaret replied: "The power of princes is nowadays so greatly increased by artillery that should Bourg be besieged there would be no need to wait for the attack." They then pointed out that in the church of Notre-Dame de Bourg there was a very fine beginning, and that if it pleased her to employ what she wished to spend on this monastery, 55 she would have the prayers of ten million people, for every one in Bourg goes once a day to pray in the said church of Notre-Dame. To that my said lady replied, shedding big tears: "You say truly, and it is my greatest regret, but if I did as you say, the vow would not be accomplished which by the help of God I shall fulfil." These are the objections that were made, and the replies which she gave when they tried to persuade her to give up this enterprise.' Margaret had already had the plans and estimates drawn up for the church and monastery of Brou, with the help of Laurent de Gorrevod, Governor of Bresse. The estimate was given to the workmen in the early spring of 1505, and the first stone of the sanctuary laid by the princess herself in the spring of the following year.

On the 11th February 1503 Henry VII. had lost his queen, Elizabeth of York, who died in the Tower of London, a week after giving birth to her seventh child. She had been a good and submissive wife to Henry, whose claim to the throne she had strengthened by her own greater right. The bereaved husband retired 'heavy and dolorous' to a solitary place to pass his sorrow, but before many weeks were over he and his crony De Puebla put their heads together and agreed that the king must marry again. Amongst other alliances the widowed Queen of Naples was suggested, but the lady decidedly objected to the marriage. In November 1504 Queen Isabella of Castile died, and the crown descended to her weak-minded daughter Joanna. A struggle was seen to be impending for the regency, and Henry was courted by both sides in the dispute. He had taken as his motto 'Qui je défends est maître,' and both Ferdinand, King of Spain, and the Emperor 56 Maximilian were anxious to win him to their side. Margaret was secretly offered to Henry as a bride by Philip and Maximilian, and a close alliance between them proposed. Margaret, with her large dowries from Castile and Savoy, was now one of the richest princesses in Europe. Whilst Ferdinand was trying to ingratiate himself with Henry, it was clear to the astute King of England that he had now more to hope for from Philip and Maximilian, who were friendly with France, than from Ferdinand.[23]

Early in August 1505 De Puebla went to Richmond to see the Princess of Wales, and as he entered the palace one of the household told him that an ambassador had just arrived from the Archduke Philip, King of Castile, and was waiting for an audience. De Puebla at once conveyed the news to Katharine, and served as interpreter between the ambassador and the princess. After delivering greetings from the Emperor Maximilian, the Archduke Philip, and the Duchess of Savoy, the ambassador said his mission was a secret one to settle with the King of England about his marriage with the Duchess of Savoy, of whom he had brought two portraits. The Princess of Wales wished to see them, and the ambassador went to fetch them. One was painted on wood, the other on canvas. The princess was of opinion that Michel would have made better portraits. She asked the ambassador when the King-Archduke and the Queen-Archduchess were to leave for Spain. The ambassador replied as soon as possible, but that he had come to consult the King of England as to all arrangements.'[24]

57 On the 7th January 1506, after having presided at the Chapter of the Golden Fleece in the old Abbey of Middlebourg, the Archduke Philip, King of Castile, set out from Zealand with his wife, Queen Joanna, their second son, Ferdinand, an infant of a few months old, and a retinue amounting to two or three thousand persons. They embarked (January 8th) on board a splendid and numerous armada composed of more than twenty-four vessels, intending to go to Spain. All went well until the Cornish coast was passed, and then a dead calm fell, followed by a furious south-westerly gale, which scattered the ships, and left that on which Philip and Joanna were without any escort. A gale which lasted thirty-six hours dispersed the fleet. Despair seized the crew, and all gave themselves up for lost. Philip's attendants dressed him in an inflated leather garment, upon the back of which was painted in large letters 'the king, Don Philip,' and thus arrayed he knelt before a blessed image in prayer, alternating with groans, expecting every moment would be his last. Joanna is represented by one contemporary authority as being seated on the ground between her husband's knees, saying that if they went down she would cling so closely to him that they should never be separated in death, as they had not been in life. The Spanish witnesses are loud in her praise in this danger. 'The queen,' they say, 'showed no signs of fear, and asked them to bring her a box with something to eat. As some of the gentlemen were collecting votive gifts to the Virgin of Guadalupe, they passed the bag to the queen, who, taking out 58 her purse containing about a hundred doubloons, hunted amongst them until she found the only half-doubloon there, showing thus how cool she was in the danger. A king never was drowned yet, so she was not afraid, she said.'[25]

Sandoval also mentions that Joanna displayed much composure during the storm. When informed by Philip of their danger, she attired herself in her richest dress, securing a considerable amount of money to her person, in order that her body, if found, might be recognised, and receive the obsequies suited to her rank.

Driven to land at Melcombe Regis, on January 16th, Philip sent to acquaint Henry VII. with his arrival, calling him 'father,' and expressing himself desirous of seeing him and his Court. Immediately the king hastened to show the archducal pair every mark of respect, and sent letters to gentlemen dwelling near the seaside to attend upon them, and afterwards despatched palfreys, litters, etc. They were entertained by Sir Thomas Trenchard at Wolveton in Dorsetshire; and he is traditionally said to have summoned his kinsman, John Russell, to assist him, because the latter having been in Spain, was well qualified to act as interpreter. Portraits of Philip and Joanna have been preserved in the Trenchard family, as well as a white china bowl on a foot bound with silver, said to have been left by them at Wolveton. On the 31st January Henry received the King-Archduke at Windsor, the two monarchs saluting each other with glad and loving countenances. The next two days being Sunday and Candlemas were devoted to religious exercises, and 59 the following week to recreation. It is curious to read amongst all the state details that when 'the King of Castile played with the racquet, he gave the Lord Marquis (of Dorset) fifteen.' On the 9th February Philip was invested with the Order of the Garter. 'Immediately after mass, certain of the King of England's and the King of Castile's Council presented their respective sovereigns with the draft of the treaty of peace, having divers new articles and confirmations inserted therein. The kings, seated in their stalls, in St. George's Chapel, signed the writings with their own hands, and the pledges were solemnly sworn upon a fragment of the true cross, by which the rebel Earl of Suffolk was to be surrendered to his doom, and Philip's sister Margaret married to Henry, and England bound to the King of Castile against Ferdinand of Aragon.'

Joanna was deliberately kept in the background during her stay in England. She had followed her husband slowly from Melcombe, and arrived at Windsor ten days later, the day after Philip with great ceremony had been invested with the Order of the Garter, and had signed the treaty. On her arrival at Windsor she was welcomed by the King of England and her sister, the Princess of Wales, though she was not allowed to see the latter alone. The Cottonian MSS. tells us that Queen Joanna did not see her sister until just before her departure; they were not even then more than an hour together, and were never left alone, and Katharine left the next day for Richmond. 'On the twelfth the King of England went to Richmond to prepare his house there for the King of Castile, who joined him on the fourteenth, the Queen of Castile proceeding on the 60 same day to the seaside to her ships lying at Dartmouth and Plymouth.' The rest of the time Philip was at Richmond was spent in recreation, and 'all the season the King of Castile was in the King of England's Court every holiday.' On the 2nd of March he took his leave, the King of England accompanying him on his way a mile or more, defraying the charges of all his servants, and giving rewards.' During the whole time of Philip and Joanna's sojourn in England their expenses and those of their suites were paid by the king's officials, and they were entertained with dubious hospitality for nearly three months. During this time Henry VII. availed himself of the situation to extort three treaties from his guest not altogether reconcilable with sound policy or honour. The first was a treaty of alliance, the second that of his marriage with the Archduchess Margaret, and the third a treaty of commerce. The latter was so disastrous to Flemish interests as to be known by the name of 'Malus intercursus.' It was agreed that the three treaties should be confirmed, sealed, and delivered at Calais, at fixed dates; but when the English envoys reached Calais they waited in vain for Philip's messengers. Henry VII., writing on August 19th to Maximilian, informs him that 'the new ratifications were to be exchanged in the town of Calais, the treaty of alliance and marriage before the 20th of June, and that of commerce before the last day of July. His ambassadors were at Calais by the appointed time, with all the necessary papers, but the ambassadors of King Philip have not arrived up to this day; nor has he heard anything of the approval of the Pope, which had been promised him, nor of the securities for the dowry and the consent of the archduchess. 61 However, he is willing to consent to a prorogation of the term to the end of August.'

On the 23rd of April 1506 Philip and Joanna having reassembled their fleet, embarked at Weymouth, and reached Corunna, in the north-western corner of Galicia, after a prosperous voyage, on April 28th.

The following summary of the treaty between Henry VII. and Philip, King of Castile, concerning the intended marriage with the Archduchess Margaret, is interesting:—

The King of Castile binds himself to pay to the King of England 300,000 crowns, each crown of four shillings sterling, as the marriage portion of the Archduchess Margaret; he also promises punctually to pay the 18,850 crowns a year to which she is entitled as her jointure in Spain; he moreover binds himself to pay to Henry 12,000 crowns a year instead of the revenues from the towns, castles, and lands, which have been assigned to the archduchess as her jointure in Savoy. The King and Queen of Castile bind themselves to consent to the marriage, and to permit Henry's proxies to conclude a marriage per verba de præsenti with the Archduchess Margaret. The King of Castile promises to send his sister at his own expense to the town of Greenwich within a month after the first instalment of 100,000 crowns has been paid. King Henry promises to perform the marriage ceremonies within a month of the archduchess's arrival at Greenwich. Provisions are then made in case of the archduchess's or Henry's death with or without children by the marriage. The archduchess is at liberty to dispose by will of her jewels and ornaments. Should there be children by the marriage, 62 they are to succeed to all inheritances in Spain, Flanders, etc., that the archduchess may become entitled to. King Philip promises to request the Pope to confirm this treaty, and both the King of Castile and his father, the emperor, promise to use all their influence with the Archduchess Margaret to persuade her to consent to this marriage.

King Philip signed the treaty at Windsor, March 1st, 1506, and Queen Joanna at Exeter, March 18th, 1506. The ratification of the treaty by Henry VII. follows; it is dated, Palace of Westminster, 15th May 1506.

On the 20th July Maximilian wrote to King Henry from Vienna that 'he had heard with great joy that the marriage between Henry and the Archduchess Margaret is arranged.' He begs him to send ambassadors to Malines, and has already despatched ambassadors to the same place. But on the 30th of July John le Sauvage wrote to Maximilian that 'the Archduchess Margaret decidedly refuses to marry Henry VII., although he, at first by himself, and afterwards conjointly with the Imperial ambassador, had daily pressed her during a whole month to consent.' But John le Sauvage adds, 'The alliance with England is not endangered thereby. For Henry desires the marriage between his second daughter and the Prince of Castile (Margaret's nephew Charles) more than his own with the archduchess.'

On August 6th G. de Croy wrote to the emperor that 'he is afraid that the refusal of the archduchess will cool the friendship of Henry.' On August 8th Ulrich, Count of Montfort, and Claude Carondelet also sent a letter to Maximilian to inform him that 'they have travelled with all haste to Savoy in order 63 to see the Archduchess Margaret, whom they found in company of the President of Flanders. They pressed her very strongly to consent to marry the King of England. Her answer, however, was that 'although an obedient daughter, she will never agree to so unreasonable a marriage.' On the 16th of August Monsieur de Croy and other councillors write to the King of Castile 'that they have written to the King of England ... and have received this very day his answer, and send the letter of the King of England to him; they are much afraid that the King of England has cooled in his friendship in consequence of the answer which the Archduchess Margaret has given to the President of Flanders, and afterwards to the Count Montfort and the Bailly of Amont, ambassadors of the emperor, and again to the President of the King of Castile.' On September 24th Maximilian wrote to King Henry that 'he had not been able to persuade his daughter, the Archduchess Margaret, to marry him; but he would go and see her in order to persuade her.' Whilst these negotiations were taking place, an unexpected event freed Margaret from this distasteful marriage, though it added another sorrow to her lot.

In September of the same year her brother Philip was attacked by a malignant fever at Burgos, brought on, it was said, by indulgence or over-exercise, and for days lay ill in raging delirium, not without strong suspicions of poison. He was assiduously attended by his wife Joanna, who never left his side, but in spite of all her care the disorder rapidly gained ground, and on the sixth day after his attack, on September 25th, he breathed his last. Philip was only twenty-eight years old, and had been King of Castile two months, dating from his 64 recognition by the Cortes. After his death Queen Joanna still stayed by his side, deaf to all condolence or remonstrance, to all appearance unmoved. She calmly gave orders that her husband's body should be carried in state to the great hall of the Constable's palace upon a splendid catafalque of cloth of gold, the body clad in ermine-lined robes of rich brocade, the head covered by a jewelled cap, and a magnificent diamond cross upon the breast. A throne had been erected at the end of the hall, and upon this the corpse was arranged, seated as if in life. During the whole of the night the vigils for the dead were intoned by friars before the throne, and when the sunlight crept through the windows the body, stripped of its incongruous finery, was opened and embalmed and placed in a lead coffin, from which, for the rest of her life, Joanna never willingly parted.'[26]


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Philip left six children—Eleanor, Charles (afterwards the Emperor Charles V.), Isabella, Ferdinand, Mary, and a little daughter, Katharine, born five months after his death. Philip was of middle height, and had a fair, florid complexion, regular features, long flowing locks, and a well-made figure. He was so distinguished for his good looks that he is designated on the roll of Spanish sovereigns as Felipe el Hermoso, or the Handsome. His mental endowments were not so extraordinary. The father of Charles V. possessed scarcely a single quality in common with his remarkable son. His poor wife Joanna never recovered his loss, her mind became more and more affected, and though she survived him for nearly half a century, she dragged out her cheerless existence a sort of state-prisoner in the palace of Tordesillas, a queen only in name.

65 Margaret herself composed her brother's Latin epitaph, which ended with a cry of anguish from the Lamentations of Jeremiah:—

Ecce iterum novus dolor accidit!

Nec satis erat infortunissimæ Cæsaris filiæ

Conjugem amisisse dilectissimum,

Nisi etiam fratrem unicum

Mors aspera subriperet!

Doleo super te, frater mi Philippe,

Rex optime,

Nec est qui me consoletur!

O vos omnes qui transitis per viam,

'Attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus!'[27]

Erasmus also dedicated a Latin eulogy to the archduke, and Jean le Maire, who had been attached to his person, addressed some verses to Margaret entitled: 'Les regrets de la dame infortunée sur le trespas de son très chier frère unicque.' She also received a sympathetic letter of condolence from Louis XII. Her reply, written from Bourg where she was staying, is as follows:—

'Monseigneur, très-humblement à vostre bonne grace me recommande; Monseigneur, j'ay par vostre président Villeneufve receu voz bonnes et gracieuses lettres et ouï ce que de vostre part il m'a dit et présenté dont ne vous saurois assez humblement remercier, mesmement le bon vouloir qu'aves à messieurs mes nepveurs et à moi, auquels, Monseigneur, vous supplie vouloir continuer et avoir toujours mes dits seigneurs mes nepveurs, leurs païs et affaires et moi, en bonne et singulière recommandation; ce que m'assure 66 ferés volentiers, ensuyvant le contenu de vos dites lettres; et s'il y a chose en quoi vous puisse faire service, de tout mon pouvoir le ferai, aydant Nostre Seigneur auquel je prie, Monseigneur, vous donner bonne vie et longue. Escript à Bourg, 25 Octobre 1506.' Addressed: 'Monseigneur, Monseigneur le Roy de France.'

But although her brother was dead, Henry VII. had not given up all hope of winning the reluctant Margaret for his bride. On October 1st he wrote to her father that 'he has been informed that Madame Margaret makes great difficulties about ratifying the treaty of marriage'; and then threatens 'it would not be a thing to be wondered if he were to accept one of the great and honourable matches which are daily offered to him on all sides.' On October 31st we read that 'the French ambassadors are on their way to England, in order to offer to the King the daughter of the Duke of Angoulême in marriage. But the King of England has decided not to accept the proposal, as he still hopes to obtain the hand of the Duchess Margaret.' However, his hopes were vain, and Margaret was stern in her refusal. Henry next proposed to marry Joanna, the widowed Queen of Castile, but this iniquitous plan too was thwarted, and he remained a widower to the end of his life. Philip's death imposed new cares and duties upon Margaret; his children were left minors, and upon them she lavished the wealth of affection which fate had denied her giving to her own offspring. Her nephew Charles was her especial care, and he could hardly have entered political life under better tutelage, though his aunt's masterful nature may have checked the development of his own individuality.




By King Philip's death the Netherlands were left without a ruler, for his eldest son Charles was barely six years old. A few weeks later, at eight o'clock on the morning of the 18th of October 1506, the deputies from the provinces assembled at Malines in the Salle de la Cour to discuss the desirability of appointing a regent for the Netherlands, and a governor for King Philip's children. The fair-haired child the Archduke Charles was present with the members of his family, his Council, and the Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece, all clothed in the deepest mourning. After a long preamble, in which he recounted the chief events in Philip's last voyage to Spain, the Chancellor of Burgundy proposed that the deputies should choose a regent and provide for the tutelage of the late king's children.

The representatives from Brabant, Holland, Zealand, and Friesland voted for the emperor; those from Flanders, Artois, Lille, Douai, and Orchiés said they were without instructions; but the deputies from Hainault and Namur refused to express an opinion, fearing to annoy the King of France, whose troops were already threatening their frontiers. The choice was therefore left to the States of Brabant, who immediately sent their ambassadors to Ems to offer the regency to Maximilian. Pleased with the 68 deference the States had shown him, he accepted their offer; but, under pretext of the burden of state affairs arising from the management of his kingdom, he deputed his daughter Margaret to bring up and educate Philip's children, under his direction, and appointed her regent of her nephew's dominions until he should come of age.

At Maximilian's invitation the States-General of the Netherlands met at Louvain in March 1507 to arrange for Margaret's installation. The Duke of Juliers, in the name of the emperor, administered the oath of 'mambour,' or governess; Margaret was then recognised as Governess-General and Guardian of Philip's children.

'Maximilian,' says Garnier, 'could not have chosen a more able and intelligent minister; she was also the most dangerous and active enemy that France could have.' The emperor, who was the most fickle of men, was only constant in his hatred of France. In order to feed this inborn aversion, he often re-read what he called his red book. This book was a register in which he noted carefully all the slights that France had made him and his country suffer, in order, he said, to pay her (France) off at his leisure; and in August of the same year (1507) he made a furious speech at the Diet of Constance, in which he called Louis XII. an ambitious traitor, a perjurer, and a disturber of Christianity.

Margaret chose Malines for her residence, and here for many years she held her Court. As the principal home of the Regent of the Netherlands, Malines, already a flourishing city, gained much in riches and importance. Its motto, In fide constans, had been given to the town in recognition of the courage and fidelity of its inhabitants, who had often 69 proved their loyalty to the House of Burgundy. This fact may have influenced Margaret's choice of Malines as her principal residence, but it had also been the home of her godmother, Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV. of England, the last Duchess of Burgundy, known as 'Madame la Grande,' who had been a second mother to her in her early youth, before she left her home for Amboise. Margaret of York had died at Malines in 1505. Her husband had settled the town and seigniory upon her as dowry, and besides an income of sixteen thousand florins or 'Philippus d'or,' she also owned the palace called La Cour de Cambray, which she had bought, as the Court possessed no residence at Malines, and left it in her will to Philip and his sister. Margaret lived in this palace, which was later known as the 'Cour de l'Empereur,' with her nephew Charles and his three sisters, Eleanor, Isabella, and Mary. Her youngest nephew, Ferdinand, had remained in Spain with his grandfather, the King of Aragon, who educated him, and whose favourite he became. Philip's youngest daughter, Katharine, born after his death, shared her mother's captivity in the old palace of Tordesillas, until her marriage seventeen years later.

Finding that the palace at Malines was not large enough for all her requirements, Margaret persuaded Maximilian to buy another house exactly opposite belonging to Jérôme Lauwrin, which he presented to her after redecorating and altering it to suit her requirements. On July 6th, 1507, she made her solemn entry into the town and installed herself in the palace with her nephew and nieces.[28]


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70 Jehan le Maire gives an interesting account of a memorial service in memory of Philip, King of Castile, held at Malines a few days later in the church of Saint Rombault on Sunday the 18th of July 1507. This record of an eye-witness is addressed to the 'très illustre et très claire princesse, Madame Marguerite d'Autriche.'[29]

In his description of the gorgeous procession, headed by the late king's officers and servants, which slowly wound its way through the streets of Malines to the cathedral church of Saint Rombault, Le Maire enumerates the motley crowd of priests and chaplains, begging friars, lawyers, and deputies from the states in their robes of office, the processions from various churches, and all the guilds of Malines in their state costume, carrying countless crosses and banners, followed by a crowd of humbler citizens bearing flaring torches. The procession of ambassadors, bishops, and nobles with their arms and devices; each contingent led by heralds on richly caparisoned chargers carrying the arms and banners of Hapsburg and Burgundy, with the banners of King Philip's ancestors, those of the Emperor Frederick, Charles the Bold, Isabel of Bourbon, and Mary of Burgundy being minutely described. In the midst of his chronicle Le Maire suddenly addresses Margaret:— 'You, gracious lady and princess, were also present, secretly praying in your oratory for the soul of your only brother, whom may God absolve, very simply dressed in your mourning, and covered by a veil, in company with your noble ladies.'

In the cathedral, the young Archduke Charles sat facing the pulpit, whilst the late king's confessor, John, Bishop of Salubri, preached the funeral oration, 71 dwelling at much length on King Philip's virtues and great gifts. Le Maire relates that the large congregation was so touched by his eloquence that many were melted to tears, and he adds: 'I believe, very gracious Madame, ... that you too were secretly weeping in your oratory.'

At the end of high mass, when the Bishop of Arras pronounced the words, 'Et verbum caro factum est,' the heralds cast down their banners on the marble floor before the high altar, and the king-at-arms of the Golden Fleece threw his staff of office on the ground and cried three times, 'The king is dead.' After a pause he picked it up, and raising it above his head, proclaimed: 'Long live Don Charles, by the grace of God Archduke of Austria and Prince of Spain.' ... Then the first herald raised his banner, and waving it on high, cried, 'Of Burgundy, of Lostrick, and of Brabant.' And the second herald took up the cry, as he lifted his banner, proclaiming Charles 'Count of Flanders, Artois, Burgundy, Palatine of Hainault, Holland, Zealand, Namur, and Zutphen.' Then the third and fourth heralds raised their banners and continued the stately roll-call, ending with 'Marquis of the Holy Empire, Lord of Friesland, of Salins and Malines!'

The cap of mourning which had been worn by the young prince was now removed from his head by the king-at-arms, who took the great sword, which had been blessed by the bishop, from the altar, and held it in front of the Archduke Charles, thus addressing him: 'Prince Imperial and royal, this sword of justice is given to you from God ... and from your noble ancestors ... that you may protect the most Holy Faith and all your kingdoms....'

The king-at-arms then kissed the sword and gave 72 it into the young archduke's hands, who took it by the hilt, and, with the point in the air, advanced and knelt before the high altar.[30]

Henry VII., writing on October 18th, 1506, to condole with Maximilian on the death of his son, promised to remain his good friend and the friend of the Prince of Castile, and to assist them in everything. If King Philip had lived, he says, the treaties which he had concluded with him would have been carried out. Maximilian replied that he 'hopes Henry will not forsake the poor orphan, who is Maximilian's son as well as Henry's.'

The few years of Philip's government had been relatively peaceful, but at his death troubles broke out anew. It is difficult to draw a line between the Dutch and Flemings, yet the Dutch provinces were, as a whole, distinct in character and interests from the Flemish; and much more deeply were the commercial and manufacturing Flemish provinces divided from the French-speaking states of Artois, Hainault, West Flanders, Luxembourg, and Franche Comté. The latter were held under the empire, and the youthful Charles, as Count of Flanders, was also a peer of France. The princely diocese of Liége, French in language and sympathy, but politically connected with the empire, was only separated from the Flemish group by the Burgundian lordship of Namur, Limburg, and Luxembourg. Lorraine stood between Franche Comté and the Netherlands, Franche Comté having a far closer connection with the Swiss than with the Netherlands, whilst the fortunes of Limburg and Luxembourg were destined to be quite distinct from those of the Dutch and Flemish provinces. It was to be the task of the future ruler to revive 73 monarchical institutions and to create a national unity among alien races and interests. At Philip's death Charles succeeded to a wasted heritage. All the chief factories and industries peculiar to the Netherlands had dwindled and diminished, and even the fishing fleet of former days had shrunk to only a few sail in some of the ports of the Zuyder Zee.

During the early years of Charles's life we only get a few glimpses of a shy and inarticulate boy. We read of him dancing round a bonfire with his sisters on Saint John's Day. His grandfather, Maximilian, gave him a wooden horse, and amongst his prized possessions was a sledge in the form of a ship, with masts, ropes, and flags. In games, like most children, he liked to be on the winning side. When he and his page played at battles between Turks and Christians, Charles was always a Christian, and the page, who commanded the paynim host, complained that the Christians were always made to win. The boy was brought up to like manly sports. He shot skilfully with the bow, and took great delight in hunting, which pleased the old Emperor Maximilian, for otherwise, he wrote, the boy could not be his legitimate grandson. Charles as a child is described as graceful and well-built, but his face was pale, and he looked delicate. His long projecting lower jaw, so peculiar to the Hapsburg family, embarrassed mastication and caused hesitation in his speech. He had clear and steady eyes, and a calm, intellectual forehead which gave a pleasant and dignified expression to his face. His childhood was spent at Malines, and there watched over by his aunt Margaret he was brought up in the strict etiquette of the Burgundian Court.

Charles was devoted to music, a taste which he 74 cultivated throughout his life. As a boy we hear of him and his sister Eleanor having lessons on the clavicord and other instruments from the organist of the chapel. He was carefully educated. His grandfather appointed William de Croy, Lord of Chièvre, as his governor, and he was taught to read and write by Juan de Verd, who in 1505 was succeeded by another Spaniard, Luis Vaca, who after six years gave up his charge to Adrian of Utrecht, Dean of Louvain, the future Pope Adrian IV. But the boy was not a willing pupil; he complained of being educated as if he were intended for a schoolmaster. The future ruler of so many vast kingdoms was never a good linguist. He learned very little Latin, and was never proficient in German. Two years after he became King of Castile and Aragon he only knew a few words of the national language. His knowledge of Italian was barely elementary. Flemish was the tongue of his birthplace, but he did not begin to learn it until he was thirteen. French was his natural language, but he neither spoke nor wrote it with any elegance. Of theology the champion of Catholicism knew little or nothing. He could scarcely read the Vulgate, and in his latter years his comprehension thereof had to be aided by very simple commentary. Mathematics he studied when over thirty, as he believed they were essential to the career of a great captain.[31]


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At the time of Margaret's appointment as Governess of the Netherlands she was twenty-seven years old. She is described as a 'fair young woman with golden hair, rounded cheeks, a grave mouth, and beautiful clear eyes.' And when she reappeared in Flanders, with the added charm born of her many sorrows, she was received with unanimous joy by all 75 the people, with whom she was extremely popular. Amongst other poems written at this time in her honour the following was composed by Jean Molinet, her librarian and almoner:—


Fleur de noblesse, odorant Marguerite,

Germe sacré de royal origine,

Manne du ciel, rameau plein de mérite,

Palme de paix jurée et bien escripte,

Du bien public exquise médecine,

Fruict, feuille, fleur, couleur, plante, racine,

Chefz d'œvre sont; mieulx faire on ne pourroit:

D'ung autre aymer mon cueur s'abaisseroit.

Toutes feuilles tendrettes

Chéent d'autres fleurettes

Quand vent de bise poinct:

Marguerites proprettes

Sans périr toujours prestes

Demeurent en ung point.

Splendeur vous vient d'Autriche archeducalle,

Bonté, beaulté d'une fleur de Bourbon.

Honneur vous suyt de l'arche triumphalle

Des Bourguignons et de l'aigle royale,

Semence et vie et de terroz fort bon:

Vostre renom, haultain comme ung canon,

Est de tel nom que cestuy si adresse,

Chantant de tout bien pleine est ma maistresse:

Vertu vous environne;

Elle croist et fleuronne

En vous et point n'empire;

Digne estes d'avoir throsne,

Royal sceptre et couronne.

D'ung glorieux empire.

Pour paix avoir on vous avait plantée

Au fleurissant, souef verger de France,

Comme des fleurs royne plus exaltée.

Se pour aultre en estes dejectée,


Portez le doux sans amère souffrance.

Qui souffre il vainct; vivez en espérance.

A vous ne loist, pour estre supplantée,

Plourer comme femme desconfortée.

Entre fleurons de lys,

Doulx que pommes de lys,

Avez été nourrie

Sans vicieux délicts

De vertus ennoblis,

Ayant grant seigneurie.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chacun vous ayme, oncques telle on n'ouyt;

Le bruit en court en France et en Savoye;

L'œil qui vous veoit de plaisance jouyt,

Le cueur qui pense à vous se resjouyt,

La bouche rit qui d'en parler savoie;

Peuple même, qui va courant sa voye,

Après vous tend œil, cueur, bouche et oreille,

Disant, je ne veis oncques la pareille.

Chef d'œuvre tres parfaict,

Mygnonement bien faict,

Fleur de riche vallue,

Où rien n'est imparfaict,

Prenez en gré mon faict;

Molinet vous salue.

Jean Molinet,
Bibliothécaire et Aumônier de
Marguerite d'Autriche.

Margaret was lucky in her councillors. She was seconded by such clever and devoted ministers as Burgo, Mélun, Viry, Le Vaux, Caulies, Mercurin de Gattinare, Ferry de Carondelet, and Albert Pio. One of the ablest amongst them was Mercurin de Gattinare, who came of a noble family of Verceil, and was one of the greatest jurisconsuls of his time. He had been a councillor of the late Duke of Savoy's, and afterwards president of the Parliament of Franche Comté. In 1508 Maximilian sent him to Louis XII.'s 77 Court to negotiate on the subject of the Treaty of Cambray.

On February 3rd, 1507, Margaret wrote from Malines to James d'Albion, King Ferdinand's ambassador in France, that 'she was very sorry that the peace between the King of France and the King of the Romans was not concluded. If the King of France should attack the estates of Prince Charles,' she says, 'she would do her best to defend them, and she hopes that the King of England and King Ferdinand would assist her. She begs that this may be communicated to King Ferdinand.'

Margaret was no sooner invested with the government of the Netherlands than, accompanied by her young nephew, she visited all the towns of Flanders, and promised in the prince's name to preserve the rights and privileges of the seventeen provinces, whose homage and oath of fidelity she received. Mercurin de Gattinare paid homage to Louis XII. in her name for the county of Charollais and the Burgundian territories. The letter in which he tells Margaret of the accomplishment of his mission contains this curious passage: 'J'ai fait vostre hommage entre les mains du roi, et l'ai baisé en vostre lieu, et me répliqua encore de nouveau qu'il eût mieux aimé vous baiser que moi.'

On July 20th, 1507, Margaret convoked the States-General at Malines, and asked them to levy a 'philippus' on each household. This tax was to be employed in paying the army in Gueldres, and in redeeming the prince's mortgaged lands. The States did not welcome this proposal, but voted a subsidy of 200,000 philippus. Charles, who was now seven years old, made his first public speech before the States at Louvain, where Margaret had cleverly 78 brought him to support her claim for the subsidy. Its purport was understood rather from his gestures than the sounding quality of the boyish voice; but at all events, the chronicler adds, the people could not fail to be well pleased. Reassembled at Ghent, the States refused to support the cost of an army of 10,000 infantry and 3000 cavalry, which Margaret judged necessary to guard the country during the prince's minority. They objected that in the present circumstances this levy seemed to them useless; but if the country was really threatened it should be attended to; yet at that very moment Holland and Brabant were attacked by the Duke of Gueldres, aided and abetted by the King of France.

The States' refusal to grant proper subsidies greatly irritated Maximilian. In a remarkable letter he tried to show them that the war with Gueldres was not only of interest to Brabant, as they pretended, but to all the Netherlands, and that all ought to take part in it. He recalls how the princes of the House of Burgundy had laboured from the days of Charles the Bold to reduce the duchy of Gueldres, and the efforts of the French kings to defraud them of their legitimate rights. He complains above all of Louis XII., who had employed every imaginable means to leave the contested country to Charles of Egmont. 'And what is his real aim?' he asks. 'He pretends through the medium of the said country of Gueldres to separate our country from the Holy Empire, and from the House of Burgundy, so as to better hold this country in subjection.'

On September 16th Maximilian wrote to Margaret to acknowledge her letters in which she requested him to come to Flanders in order to conclude a new 79 alliance with England. He has, he says, been prevented from doing so, but begs that King Henry may be amused with false hopes, and kept from concluding an alliance with France and Spain. 'If she would consent to marry the King of England, it might be arranged that she should remain Governess of the Netherlands, and pass three or four months every year in her own country.'

A few days later De Puebla, writing from England to King Ferdinand, informs him that ambassadors have arrived at the English Court from Maximilian and from Flanders, the former to beg King Henry to make war against France, alleging that the French king was usurping his grandson's (Prince Charles's) dominions. The ambassador also broached the subject of the prince's marriage with Princess Mary, King Henry's daughter. The Flemish ambassador, Don Diego de Gueyara, told the king that King Louis had declared war against all the seigniories of Burgundy, and invaded them with an army, excepting Flanders and Artois, which two provinces recognised the sovereignty of France, and the appeals from their tribunals went direct to the Parliament of Paris. The ambassador begged for King Henry's help against France and the Duke of Gueldres. The English king promised to ask the French monarch not to meddle in German affairs, but at the same time he wished to keep friends with France, and so put off the ambassadors with polite and general phrases which meant nothing. De Puebla adds in a postscript: 'The King of England sends six horses and some greyhounds to the Archduchess Margaret, and a letter.'

A few weeks later De Puebla tells King Ferdinand that Margaret had sent a very loving letter to King 80 Henry the previous week, holding out hopes that her father would send a 'great personage' as ambassador to England with full powers to conclude all the treaties which her brother Philip had arranged, and if necessary to grant more favourable conditions. De Puebla states that when he asked King Henry what the treaties were about, the king replied 'they were very good treaties, and very advantageous to himself personally, and also to his kingdom, for, besides his own marriage with the Archduchess Margaret, an alliance had been concluded between the Archduke Charles and his daughter, Princess Mary, and all matters respecting commerce settled according to his wishes.' De Puebla wound up his letter by informing Ferdinand that King Henry was anxious to keep friends with the Emperor Maximilian, and not to break off negotiations with him, at any rate not without first consulting the King of Aragon.

On December 4th Maximilian wrote to Margaret acknowledging her letters and the articles concluded between the Flemish and English ambassadors. He told her that the French king had complained to the Pope, King Ferdinand, and even to the Diet of Constance, that he (Maximilian) had broken his word in marrying Prince Charles to Princess Mary. In order to satisfy his honour the emperor requests that a clause should be inserted in the marriage treaty to the effect that the whole treaty should be null and void, and not even the penalty paid if the King of France declare himself ready, within one year, to marry his daughter Claude to Prince Charles. On the 21st of December 1507 two treaties were drawn up and dated Calais. One, a treaty of alliance between Henry VII., Maximilian and Prince Charles, 81 was practically the same as the former treaty concluded between Henry and the Archduke Philip; and the other, concerning the marriage of the Archduke Charles with the Princess Mary, was between Henry VII., Maximilian, the Archduke Charles and the Archduchess Margaret, but was unsigned. In this treaty the Archduke Charles is to conclude the marriage with the Princess Mary, either in person or by proxy, before the following Easter. He is to contract the marriage by ambassadors sent to England for the purpose within forty days after he has completed his fourteenth year. The King of England is to send Princess Mary to the Archduke Charles within three months after the marriage shall have been contracted per verba de præsenti. The dowry to consist of 250,000 crowns. The Emperor Maximilian, the Archduchess Margaret, Charles de Croy, Henry, Count of Nassau, bind themselves to pay 250,000 crowns to King Henry if the Archduke refuses to contract the marriage. The King of England and his nobles bind themselves to pay an equal sum to Maximilian if Princess Mary refuses to fulfil the agreement. The treaty to be ratified by the contracting parties before the following Feast of Easter.

An interesting account exists of an interview between King Henry's ambassador and the Emperor Maximilian. In it we learn that the emperor had long conferences with his daughter respecting her marriage with King Henry, which had been settled by her brother Philip. In order to persuade Margaret, Maximilian told her that the marriage was necessary for the good of the House of Austria, besides being honourable to her, the King of England being 'such a pattern of all the virtues.' He added 82 that it was also necessary on account of commerce, and in order to secure the Spanish succession, and keep the Duke of Gueldres at bay; without it the King of England might marry into another family and endanger the marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Mary. The emperor told the English ambassador that the Archduchess was fully aware of King Henry's many virtues, and that should she marry again, she would marry no one else but him. But as she has already been three times unfortunate in her marriages, she is much disinclined to make another trial. Besides, she said she believed she should have no children, and that she might thereby displease the King of England. Seeing that he could not prevail on Margaret to change her mind, her father called the Privy Council together, his grandson Charles being present. The question of the marriage was once more discussed, but the Archduchess remained firm in her decision. The ambassador remarks: 'From all this it is clear that the emperor has done all in his power to persuade his daughter to consent to the marriage, and that he can do nothing more.' But in spite of Margaret's absolute refusal to marry Henry, his agents for more than a year pressed her to reconsider her decision. The utmost that could be obtained was to prevail on her to write, from time to time, flattering letters to him in order to secure some advantages for her father.

On January 28th, 1508, Maximilian wrote to Margaret from Bolzano to tell her that 'he is sending Andreas de Burgo to England, and that he has ordered him to see her before he starts. Andreas has some money, but it may not be enough to defray his expenses; he has therefore given him 83 directions to take some money for his own use from the 100,000 gold crowns which the King of England is expected to give.' He also begs her to write a pleasant letter to King Henry.

A few weeks later Maximilian again wrote to Margaret excusing himself for not having sent the ratifications of the treaties with England. He has been so much occupied, he says, with his great undertakings in Italy and Spain, that he has really had no time to attend to that business; but he has now done so.

In May of the same year Henry VII. wrote a letter to Sir John Wiltshire, Comptroller of Calais, about a correspondence with Margaret, in which King Henry tried to persuade her to arrange a meeting with him at Calais to treat with him in person about her nephew's marriage with Princess Mary. He suggests that some 'discreet and able personages' should be sent on before to 'reduce the said matters to a final and perfect conclusion' before he and Margaret met, so that when they did meet they could talk of 'other pleasant and comfortable matters,' and all business could be concluded before their meeting. But Margaret does not seem to have accepted this invitation, and the meeting so much desired by King Henry did not take place.

On July 23rd Maximilian wrote to tell her that he has received her letters, in which she begs him to alter the instructions given to his ambassadors who are starting for England. He says he cannot do so, as she knows that the principal reason which has induced him to betroth Prince Charles to Princess Mary is to get a good sum of money from the King of England. King Henry has promised 100,000 crowns, but has requested that in the security to be 84 given by the towns of Flanders, each town should be responsible for the whole sum. But the utmost that the towns can be induced to do is that each town would be responsible for a certain portion. If the King of England is not content with this proposal, it will show that he loves money more than his friend, and the marriage of his daughter with Prince Charles shall not take place. But Maximilian adds, 'should the Flemish towns after all be willing to sign the bonds in the manner the King of England wishes, he will not object.'

Henry VII., who had been ailing for some time, now fell seriously ill, and his illness appears to have been the cause of the postponement of Prince Charles's marriage with Princess Mary, which was to have been solemnised before the Feast of Easter. Johannes de Berghes was deputed to go to England and perform the ceremony according to the rites of the Church, in the name of the Archduke.

'On the 7th of October 1508 Charles was indeed wedded by proxy to the English princess, and at the age of eight wrote or rather signed his first love-letter, addressed to little Princess Mary Tudor, to whom he presented a jewel bearing the monogram K., and the posy, Maria optimam partem elegit, quae non auferetur ab ea.

'This was the last of Henry VII.'s many diplomatic triumphs; and it was no nominal momentary union, but was confirmed in 1513, and the boy-bridegroom then visited his brother-in-law Henry VIII. in his newly-won city of Tournay, his first royal visit. The following year the future King of Spain and Queen of France were parted in the shuffling of the cards, and although Mary Tudor married the old French king, statesmen on both sides regretted the 85 more natural alliance. Before six years more had passed Charles was pledged to his betrothed's younger namesake, and thirty-four years later he showed all a young lover's eagerness in courting this second Mary Tudor for his son Philip.'[32]




Though Margaret's time was now fully occupied by her new duties, she did not forget the work she had begun at Brou. Early in 1508, immediately after her arrival in Brussels, she made a will, designating the church of the monastery of Saint Nicolas de Tolentin at Brou, near Bourg-en-Bresse, as her place of sepulture, where she wished to be buried near 'her very dear lord and husband.' 'The Duke Philibert of Savoy to lie between her and his mother, Madame de Bourbon.'

By an endowment she ensured the building of the monastery and the church of Brou, and the erection of the three tombs. Solemn religious services were to be performed there during each season, and only on certain days the people and magistrates were to be allowed to enter the sanctuary to offer up their prayers with those of the priests and monks. She also made gifts to the church of Notre-Dame de Bourg, and to several religious houses in the town, on condition that they should hold certain services; and she left legacies to the hospital, infirmary, and plague-house, and dowered fifty marriageable maidens of Bresse and fifty of Burgundy. Lastly, she ordained the ceremony of bringing her body to Bresse and the details of her funeral. All these provisions she made, lest death should take her 87 unawares and stop the work she had so much at heart. This interesting will, expressing as it does Margaret's most intimate thoughts, also throws great light on the customs and practices of the time. The document is dated March 4th, 1508, and confirmed by a codicil twenty-two years later, in 1530.

From the year 1508 Margaret's life is no longer a private one. The part she took in politics from the date of her investiture as Governess of the Netherlands until her death belongs to European history. By her talents, ability, and rare aptitude for business she eclipsed more powerful rulers, and soon became the pivot of political life in Europe.

Strong as she was in the qualities her father lacked, she yet knew how to defer to his wishes, whilst holding strongly to her own opinions, and was always an affectionate and dutiful daughter. Maximilian's radical inconstancy and indecision of temper led him into many troubles, and his extravagance involved him in perpetual pecuniary difficulties, which destroyed all dignity of character; but he seems to have had the greatest admiration and respect for his clever daughter, to whose wise judgment he constantly deferred, as his many letters to her testify.

The warlike Pontiff, Julius II., had announced his intention of 'driving the barbarians out of Italy by force of arms.' He it was who first instigated the League which was to prove so disastrous to France, and was to be the cause of so many years of bloodshed in Italy.

Julius II. had been favourably impressed by Margaret's exemplary piety, and the respect and deference she had shown towards the Holy See. On several occasions he willingly granted her requests, 88 and also sent her many relics and objects of devotion, amongst others two thorns from the true Cross, which, until the eighteenth century, were still preserved at Brou.

The League so desired by the Pope, known to history as the League of Cambray, was soon brought into discussion between the great powers of Europe. Two subjects were to be negotiated at the conference: the one consisted in the reconciliation of the Duke of Gueldres with the government of the Archduke Charles, and the other, which was to be kept secret, was the formation of a league against the Venetians. The princes who were to take part in it were the Pope, the King of France, the Emperor Maximilian, and Ferdinand, King of Aragon. Henry VII. of England, whose daughter Mary was betrothed to the Archduke Charles, had a direct interest in the Congress, as the Archduke's affairs were, ostensibly at least, the principal subject of the deliberations, but he does not seem to have been invited to join it. He begged the Archduchess Margaret, through Edmund Wingfield, to combine with the Cardinal of Amboise, in order that Ferdinand might be excluded from the negotiations and from the intended treaty; but the result was such as might have been anticipated—Henry did not exclude Ferdinand from the League, but Ferdinand excluded Henry from all advantage in it. This exclusion was so complete that, whilst the King of Hungary, the Duke of Milan, the Dukes of Savoy and Ferrara, and even the Marquis of Mantua were invited to join it, Henry's name was not even mentioned, though, as an afterthought, his ambassador was allowed to be present at the meetings. Moreover, the emperor and Ferdinand, who until 89 now had been at variance, were reconciled, and postponed their differences concerning the regency of Spain until the war against Venice should be concluded.

On October the 8th Maximilian wrote to Margaret from Schoenhoven in answer to a letter of hers asking for his permission for the Papal Legate to confer the rite of confirmation on the Archduke Charles and his sisters.

'Very dear and much-loved daughter,—We have received your letters in which you tell us that you think it well that the Legate should, before his departure, confer the holy Sacrament of Confirmation upon our dear and much-loved grandchildren, and that he has agreed with you to do so; but because our dearly loved grandson Charles is at Lyère, you do not know which we prefer, whether our said grandson should be brought to our granddaughters at Malines, or our granddaughters to him. In consulting our wishes in everything you give us much pleasure. Wherefore, very dear and much-loved daughter, we inform you that we are content that our said grandson travel to Malines to receive the said holy Sacrament and the benediction of the said Legate, in our name and his. And for this reason we are now writing to our very dear and loyal cousin the Prince of Chimay to take him there. Until then, much-beloved daughter, may our Lord have you in His holy keeping.'[33]

On the 27th of October Maximilian again wrote to Margaret informing her that 'he has heard that she is preparing to go to the Congress of Cambray. As he is told that a great number of strangers are 90 expected, he advises her to engage all the houses on one side of the town, and to leave the other half to the Cardinal of Amboise. She must,' he says, 'take the English ambassadors to Cambray, especially Wingfield, and admit them to the deliberations. If an ambassador from the King of Aragon come, she is to ask him whether he is provided with authority from the king, and if he is, to admit him.'

He tells her that 'his ambassadors have not yet gone to England, because he has not had time to furnish them with instructions. He has now ordered them to set out immediately, and will send the instructions after them.' Breda, 27th October 1508.[34]

In November 1508 Edward Wingfield wrote to Margaret to inform her that 'Henry VII. has it much at heart that the affairs of the Emperor and the Prince, his son (Prince Charles, his grandson), should be settled to the greatest advantage in the approaching Congress of Cambray, and that their enemies should be entirely discomfited. As long as the alliance between the King of France and the King of Aragon continues, he says, it is to be feared that the principal enemy of the Emperor and Prince Charles will triumph. For if he be assisted by France, the King of Aragon will most probably be able, not only to keep the usurped government of Castile in his own hands, and the other dominions belonging to that kingdom, as long as he lives, but also to deprive the Prince of his right of succession. To prevent this, it seems to Henry that the best plan would be to exclude the King of Aragon from the treaties that are to be made at Cambray, and to sever the alliance existing between him and the King of France. The King of Aragon has usurped the 91 government of Castile only by means of the help of the King of France. If he were to be isolated, he would be unable to preserve it, and the Emperor would have it in his power, aided by those who are inimical to the King of Aragon, to take the government of that kingdom into his own hands....'[35] Margaret also kept ostensibly on the most friendly terms with Louis XII., whose correspondence with her about this time shows that to him at least she concealed her hatred of France. In each of his letters he takes a pleasure in reminding her of their early friendship and of their childish games, in the days when she was 'la petite Reine' at Amboise.

It is evident that being on such excellent terms with the chief sovereigns in Europe gave Margaret some advantage where negotiations and treaties were concerned. In fact she intervened as arbitrator or negotiator in most of the political events of this time. Her experience and knowledge of different countries made her old for her years. 'Madame Margaret,' says Jean le Maire, 'has seen and experienced more at her youthful age ... than any lady on record, however long her life.'

It is, therefore, not surprising that Margaret was deputed by Maximilian and Ferdinand to act as their representative at the forthcoming Congress. Hostilities had continued more actively than ever between the Duke of Gueldres and the provinces of the Netherlands. At last a truce of forty days was declared during which time Margaret went to Cambray to meet the Cardinal of Amboise, and to confer with him with a view to concluding a final peace. She arrived at Cambray in November 1508 with an escort of a hundred horsemen and a company 92 of archers. Half the town was reserved for her and her suite; the other half had been placed at the disposal of the Cardinal of Amboise, who was acting on behalf of the Pope and Louis XII., and was accompanied by Étienne de Poncher, Bishop of Paris, and Alberto Pio, Count of Carpi.

Margaret, invested with full powers by Maximilian, was escorted by Mathieu Lang, Bishop of Gurk, the emperor's confidant and secretary; Mercurin de Gattinare, President of the Burgundian Parliament; Jean Peters, President of the Council of Malines; Jean Gooselet, Abbot of Maroilles; and Jean Caulier, President of the Privy Council. She was also instructed to admit Jacques de Croy, Bishop of Cambray, and Edmund Wingfield, the English ambassador, to the negotiations, as well as King Ferdinand's envoy, if he should send one.

The Sieur de Chièvres (de Croy) and other members of the Burgundian Council accompanied the princess as far as Valenciennes, and remained there to receive daily reports of the proceedings at Cambray, and to give their help if necessary. Maximilian stayed at Malines to transact the business of the Netherlands during his daughter's absence. Du Bos, speaking of the part that Margaret played in the League of Cambray, says: 'This princess had a man's talent for managing business, in fact she was more capable than most men, for she added to her talents the fascination of her sex; brought up as she had been to hide her own feelings, conciliate her opponents, and persuade all parties that she was acting blindly in their interests.'

Another contemporary writer says: 'This princess received the Cardinal with great honour, captivated him by her courteous, insinuating, and caressing 93 manners, and was so successful in charming him, that he could refuse her nothing.'

Margaret and the Cardinal began by fixing the laws of the dependence of the principal provinces of the Netherlands with regard to France. Louis XII. did not wish to cede what he called the rights of his crown, and Margaret would not yield any of the prerogatives obtained by the last Dukes of Burgundy. She and the Cardinal had many hot disputes, and several times were on the point of separating. Margaret argued until she often had a headache, and we are told they 'cuydoient se prendre au poil.' Finally they agreed to leave the most difficult questions until the archduke should come of age. It was decided that Charles Egmont should have (provisionally) the duchy of Gueldres and the county of Zutphen, but that he should restore three or four places which he had taken in Holland to Charles, who, on his part, should give up certain castles which he still held in the duchy of Gueldres; that things should remain thus until the respective commissioners nominated by the Emperor Maximilian and the King of England on one side, and by the Kings of France and Scotland on the other, had examined the rights of both sides and given their decision.

With regard to the second part of this treaty, which was to be kept secret until it was executed, no difficulty was raised. It was to share the spoils of the Venetians, and this sharing was done in advance.

Maximilian and Ferdinand agreed to postpone their differences concerning the regency of Castile until this division was successfully accomplished. At last, on December the 10th, 1508, the League of Cambray was signed by Margaret of Austria and the Cardinal of Amboise, 'pour faire cesser les dommages, 94 injures, rapines, et maux que les Vénitiens ont faits tant au Saint-Siège apostolique qu'au Saint Empire Romain, à la Maison d'Autriche, aux Ducs de Milan, aux Rois de Naples, etc.' Immediately after the treaty was signed, Margaret, the Cardinal, and King Ferdinand's ambassador took a solemn oath in the cathedral of Cambray to observe the treaty which they had just concluded. 'This League was the result of a new political system which was beginning to prevail in Europe: a coalition was formed between powers having different interests against a single state whose ruin they desired.'

Besides the Emperor Maximilian and Louis XII., Ferdinand of Aragon and Pope Julius II. were included in the treaty and 'whoso else should claim that the Venetians were occupying any of his territory.' A pious preamble set forth the common desire of these princes to begin the crusade against the enemies of the name of Christ, and the obstacles that the Venetians offered to this holy purpose by ambitiously occupying cities that belonged to the Church; these obstacles the allies proposed to remove, in order afterwards to proceed unitedly to such a holy and necessary expedition. 'In the division of the spoils the Pope was to have Faenza, Rimini, Ravenna, and Cervia, which no doubt did belong to the Holy See, in the same way as the rest of Romagna might be said to belong to the Papal States; Maximilian was to have Padua, Vicenza, and Verona, as belonging to him in the name of the Empire, and Friuli and Treviso as pertaining to the House of Austria; the King of France, Cremona, the Ghiradadda, Brescia, Bergamo, and Crema; the King of Spain to have back Trani, Brindisi, Otranto, and the other ports on the Neapolitan coast which 95 had been given in pledge to Venice for sums of money advanced to the late King Ferdinand II. of Naples. The Pope hesitated and temporised, although he had been the original instigator of the League. It was only after he had attempted to make terms on his own account that he ratified the League at the end of the year.'[36]

'It is therefore solely jealousy and cupidity which united so many hostile powers against a state that some had good reason to uphold and others no reason to fear.'[37]

Margaret's joy at the success of this negotiation, so disastrous to the political interests of France and Italy, breaks forth in the letter she wrote to the King of Aragon's ambassadors in England immediately after the treaty was signed. She informs them that 'she has concluded all the affairs she had to transact with the Cardinal of Amboise at Cambray to her satisfaction, and thanks the King of England, whose ambassadors have assisted her. She has communicated the secret matter to the English ambassadors, in order that they may inform their master of it.' Cambray, December 10th, 1508.[38]


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The proceedings between the allies were kept so secret that the Venetian ambassador, Antonio Condelmerio, who had followed the Cardinal of Amboise to Cambray, had no idea of the real facts, and even wrote to the republic that they could rely more than ever on Louis XII.'s friendship and support. At last the allies announced their intention of uniting to make war upon the Infidels, and tried to pick a quarrel with the Venetians by reproaching them 96 with placing obstacles in the way of their carrying out this holy object, which, they said, obliged them to force the Venetians to restore what they had usurped, for the glory and good of Christianity. On April 16th, 1509, the French herald formally declared war to the Venetians, in terms which, as the Doge Leonardo Loredan remarked, were 'fitting rather to be used against Saracens and Turks, than made to a most Christian republic.' The French vanguard had already begun hostilities on the previous day. Pope Julius followed on the 22nd, and Louis XII. crossed the Alps with a large army and arrived at Milan.

On the 14th of May 1509 the battle of Agnadel was fought, which broke the power of Venice and decided the fate of the war, victory being with the French. In writing to inform Margaret of the battle of Agnadel, Maximilian says: 'Our ambassador, Adrian de Burgo, who was present at this victory, writes that he has seen quite four thousand dead. Through other letters from France we hear that there are from ten to twelve thousand men either dead or taken prisoners, and that our said brother and cousin (Louis XII.) has taken forty pieces of artillery. We also hear that the Venetians were twenty thousand strong, and the French force rather stronger.' So far the emperor had not taken an active part in the great struggle. The low state of his finances and the war with Gueldres had kept him in the Netherlands.

On March 31st the States met at Antwerp and had voted a subsidy of 500,000 crowns as a gift to Maximilian and the Archduke Charles in acknowledgment of the services rendered by the former in defence of the country and in concluding 97 the Peace of Cambray. At the same time a sum of sixty thousand pounds was voted for the Archduchess Margaret in recognition of the trouble she had taken in arranging the peace.

Meanwhile Louis XII. had seized Brescia and Bergamo almost without a struggle. The Venetian army retreated as far as Mestre, whilst the French advanced to Fusino. Maximilian at the head of a powerful force approached Venice from the other side. The Venetians, surrounded by enemies and left without a single ally, shut themselves up in their capital as their last refuge. This rapid success, however, proved fatal to the Confederacy. The memorable decree followed, by which Venice released her Continental provinces from their allegiance, authorising them to provide for their own safety. The allies, who had remained united during the struggle, now quarrelled over the division of the spoil. Old jealousies revived, and the Venetians, taking advantage of their opportunity, recovered part of the territory which they had lost, and appeased the Pope and Ferdinand by concessions in their favour, and at length dissolved the Confederacy which had brought their commonwealth to the brink of ruin.

Prescott says: 'The various negotiations carried on during this busy period, and the different combinations formed among powers hitherto little connected with each other, greatly increased the intercourse amongst the European nations; while the greatness of the objects at which different nations aimed, the distant expeditions which they undertook, as well as the length and obstinacy of the contest in which they engaged, obliged them to exert themselves with a vigour and perseverance unknown in the preceding ages.'




After a reign of twenty-three years Henry VII. died at Richmond on the 21st of April 1509, and the whole aspect of affairs was suddenly changed. He, like his rival Ferdinand, had been avaricious from deliberate policy; and his avarice was largely instrumental in founding England's coming greatness, for the accumulated riches he left to his son lent force to the new position assumed by England as the balancing power, courted by both the great Continental rivals. The new king, Henry VIII., was a very different man from his father. From the time when he ascended the throne, at the age of eighteen, he adopted an opposite policy.

Ambitious and incautious, and immeasurably vain, he courted rather than evaded diplomatic complications. The death of Henry VII. had indeed cleared away many obstacles; Ferdinand had profoundly mistrusted him, but with the younger Henry as king affairs stood differently. Even before his father's death Ferdinand had taken pains to assure him of his love, and had treated him as a sovereign over the old king's head.

The news of Henry VII.'s death was longer in reaching Spain than might have been expected. First a courier arrived from Flanders, who had met another Spanish courier in France, who came from England, and informed him that King Henry was 99 dead. Thus King Ferdinand remained for some time in uncertainty whether his adversary was dead or alive. He did not wait for the arrival of positive news, but at once ratified the treaty of marriage between Prince Charles and the Princess Mary. King Ferdinand may have preferred a Portuguese alliance for his grandson, or a marriage with the Princess of Bohemia; but the chief advantage was that no immediate danger was attached to the English marriage. As Prince Charles was only nine years old, King Ferdinand could trust to time, and felt tolerably sure to find more than one pretext for breaking off the engagement before the betrothal could become an indissoluble union.

On the 3rd of June 1509 Henry VIII. married Princess Katharine of Aragon, his brother Arthur's widow, and on the 24th of the same month their coronation took place at Westminster.

On the 17th of July the new king wrote to his father-in-law, King Ferdinand, to inform him that he and Queen Katharine had been solemnly crowned on the day of St. John the Baptist. He mentions that his father died a good Catholic, after having received the holy Sacrament; and that his burial had been magnificent.

Henry adds that 'he diverts himself with jousts, birding, hunting, and other innocent and honest pastimes, also in visiting different parts of his kingdom; but does not on that account neglect affairs of state.'

In the meanwhile Maximilian had gone to Trent, and from there had written to thank Louis XII. for having helped him to recover his former territories. As a proof of his eternal gratitude he mentions that he has burnt his 'red book,' which was kept at Spire, in which he entered all his grievances against France. 100 As a sign of friendship Louis sent the Cardinal of Amboise to meet Maximilian at Trent with promises to provide him with four thousand men. The emperor in return conferred upon Louis a new investiture of the duchy of Milan, including the newly won towns and territories.

A day was fixed for a meeting between the emperor and the French king near the border town of Garde. Louis kept the rendezvous, but Maximilian did not go farther than Riva di Trento; after staying there for two hours, he abruptly returned to Trent and sent word to Louis that he had been recalled on matters of urgent business, but begged for another interview at Cremona, which he promised faithfully to attend. The indecision shown by Maximilian in this instance has been attributed to suspicions he entertained as to his old enemy's good faith. But Louis was naturally annoyed at these marks of distrust, and being anxious to recross the Alps, he returned to Milan without waiting any longer for his ally.

It was fortunate for King Ferdinand that Henry VII. had been excluded from the League of Cambray, as it left his son (Henry VIII.) free to act as he thought convenient. The Spanish king resolved to make use of his son-in-law's liberty, and wrote a letter to his daughter Katharine on the 13th of September in which he spoke in general terms of the affairs of Venice, and referred her to an accompanying letter in cipher, in which his views on the subject were fully detailed. In replying on the 1st of November, King Henry thanked his father-in-law for having communicated to him his views on Venetian affairs, praised his wisdom and moderation in rejecting his confederates' iniquitous proposal to entirely destroy 101 Venice, and enlarged on the necessity of preserving the republic, which formed a wall against the Turks. Before the month was out Henry was a zealous advocate of the Venetian republic, and interfered in its behalf in Rome, in France, and with the emperor, furnishing King Ferdinand at the same time with an excellent pretext for advising his allies to reconsider the question whether Venice should be destroyed or not. The voice of England was, after a long interruption, heard once more in the councils of Europe on a measure of general policy. The King of France seems to have regarded the unexpected audacity of his young neighbour with a feeling of surprise mingled with contempt. King Louis' answer was very uncivil, and Frenchmen boasted openly that they would soon make war upon England in order to punish her for her arrogance. As for these threats King Ferdinand truly observed that France was not in a position to attack England.

In 1509 the Venetians, taking advantage of Maximilian's vacillation, recaptured Padua. The surrounding population and peasantry immediately rose in favour of the republic, which recovered the town and fortress of Legnago. Padua's capitulation did not prevent Louis XII. from recrossing the Alps after he had concluded a new treaty with Pope Julius II. at Biagrassa, in which they mutually promised to help each other. Maximilian now decided to crush the republic by a decisive blow in laying siege to the capital. But although Louis seemed to agree with this plan, the Pope disapproved, and Ferdinand formally opposed it.

The emperor finding it impossible to lay siege to Venice without help from his allies, prepared to retake Padua; but after sixteen days of firm resistance 102 from the Venetian garrison, he withdrew to Limini, on the way to Treviso. From there he went to Vicenza and Verona, bitterly complaining of the treatment he had received from the Pope and the King of France, because the former had consented to receive the Venetian ambassadors, and the latter had caused the loss of Padua through his delay in sending help. Having failed to retake Legnago, Maximilian seemed inclined to make a truce with Venice, but the republic turned a deaf ear to his advances, and he returned to Trent discontented with himself and his allies.

Julius II.'s changeable policy increased the dissensions which undermined the League. In spite of remonstrances from Maximilian's and Louis' envoys, Julius wished to receive the Venetian ambassadors and pardon the republic. He was secretly encouraged in this by the King of Aragon and openly by the Archbishop of York, representing Henry VIII. Julius thought he could save the republic by overthrowing the French rule in Italy, and for this reason he made friends with England, and encouraged the Swiss in their discontent with France.

In a long letter to his daughter Queen Katharine, written on November 18th, 1509, King Ferdinand says 'that he has touched on the subject of the preservation of Venice in his negotiations with the King of France, but very cautiously and without discovering his plans, his intention being to keep his negotiations secret until he has won over Maximilian. He tells Katharine that a short time ago Madame Margaret sent her secretary to him. The secretary spoke about the alliance, but he (Ferdinand) intends to make a further communication to Madame Margaret, who is the person who has the greatest 103 influence with her father, and she would think herself honoured if so important a business as the conclusion of the alliance were intrusted to her hands. He begs Katharine to see that the English envoy who is sent to Madame Margaret is an honest, intelligent, and discreet man,' and adds, 'he must go alone and not be accompanied by any other person, and it is necessary that he should be able to speak and express himself well on the subject he has in hand.'[39]

In the following December Miguel Perez Almazan, King Ferdinand's First Secretary of State, wrote to Margaret's secretary to inform him that news had arrived that the King of France intended seizing the cities of Verona and Vicenza; and that he was also making preparations to besiege Venice on every side. 'If he should carry out his designs he would probably become master of Italy and perhaps of Christendom, unless the emperor and King Ferdinand take prompt means to stop him, which they ought to do for the sake of their common grandson, Prince Charles.' Almazan goes on to state that Henry VIII. had sent a letter to King Ferdinand, in which he expressed a wish to enter into a close alliance with Spain and the emperor. If such an alliance were concluded the King of France would be kept from injuring the allies.

'This letter,' he says, 'is sent in order that the secretary may use his influence with Madame Margaret, and induce her to help forward the alliance between the emperor, Spain, and England; a task which is certainly not difficult for her, and the execution of which would secure her lasting fame.'[40]

104 Whilst Maximilian was trying to extract a subsidy for the continuance of the Venetian war from the Diet at Augsburg, Julius II. was maturing his plans. When the Venetian ambassadors accepted his proposed treaty (24th of February 1510), he took them back into favour, and solemnly gave them absolution.

Subjects and vassals of the Church were bidden to help the republic, and Julius openly quarrelled with the Duke of Ferrara, who wished to remain faithful to the League of Cambray. He urged Henry VIII. to declare war against France, and King Ferdinand secretly did the same. As the Pope observed, the object of the League of Cambray ceased to exist.

At this crisis Louis XII. lost his faithful friend and able Minister, Cardinal d'Amboise. He was succeeded by Florimond Robertet, who had none of his predecessor's great qualities. The Cardinal died at Lyons on the 26th of May 1510. André de Burgo was then Austrian ambassador at the French Court, and writing to inform Margaret of the Cardinal's death, he says, 'I assure you your House has suffered a great loss.'

Encouraged by the death of Georges d'Amboise, the Pope continued to make preparations, and declared that God had chosen him to be the Liberator of Italy. In spite of his age and infirmities he was present at the siege of Mirandola, in January 1511, and entered the town by a breach.

In 1512 he concluded a treaty with King Ferdinand and the Venetian republic, which the allies called the 'Holy League.' The apparent object of this League was to defend the unity of the Church, and restore the ecclesiastical state; but the real object was directed against France.

105 Julius II.'s designs were helped by the Swiss, who entered Italy more than sixteen thousand strong, determined to re-establish Maximilian Sforza in the duchy of Milan; but the Pope and his allies received a check when a new general appeared at the head of the French army. Louis XII. had made his nephew, Gaston de Foix, Duke of Nemours, Governor of Lombardy. This young general of twenty-three soon distinguished himself by winning three victories in three months. By a well-planned march he brought help to the town of Milan, which was left without means of defence; and forced the Swiss to recross the mountains. He then obliged the Army of the League to raise the siege of Bologna. After reconquering Brescia, which was occupied by the Venetians, he marched on Ravenna, garrisoned by papal and Spanish soldiers. But his troops had hardly begun the attack when the Army of the League arrived with reinforcements. A battle took place on Easter Sunday, April 11th, 1512, outside the walls of Ravenna. Gaston de Foix, in the moment of victory, was surrounded, thrown from his horse and killed, as he was charging the retreating Spaniards. His death was disastrous to the French cause in Italy.

When Julius II. heard of Gaston's victories it is reported that he tore his beard with rage. One of Margaret's correspondents writes: 'Madame, there is news from Rome ... that after the Pope heard that the Venetians had taken Brescia, he expressed the greatest joy imaginable, and ordered the bells of Rome to be rung, fireworks, and many other rejoicings; but since he heard that his people and the Spaniards had retired from Bologna, he was much displeased, and caused a strong and furious letter to 106 be written to the Viceroy of Naples, captain of the said Spaniards, ordering them to return to Bologna at once, and on no account to leave; and, moreover, when he heard that the French had retaken Brescia and slaughtered the Venetians, they say he tore his beard with rage.'

During this struggle the emperor remained passive. Although he agreed to Louis' proposed reforms, he evaded his promise to send German bishops to the Council the French king had convoked at Lyons. The truth was that Margaret had forbidden the bishops to attend. Louis naturally complained, and threatened the princess with his Government's displeasure. Margaret replied to his threats by reproaching him with his conduct in reference to the Duke of Gueldres. He protested that he had neither furnished the duke with men or money, but she would not accept his excuses, and soon after successfully formed a league between her father and the Kings of Spain and England, which league she said represented the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

Julius II. died on the 21st of February 1513. He had been one of the chief promoters of Italian independence, and through his warlike policy had considerably enlarged the papal states.

On the 11th of March 1513 Cardinal John de Medicis, then in his thirty-sixth year, was unanimously elected Pope by the twenty-four Cardinals assembled in conclave. The new Pope (Leo X.), who was of a peaceful and diplomatic nature, refused to ratify a treaty concluded at Malines on the 5th of April in the same year between Margaret, acting for her father, and Henry VIII.'s ambassadors; a treaty which would have forced him to send the papal troops 107 to invade Provence or Dauphiny. He arranged a truce with Louis XII., who, after Gaston de Foix's death, had lost most of his Italian possessions. The Sforzas were reinstated in Milan, the Medicis in Florence, and Genoa became once more a free republic; the king's army was beaten by the Swiss at Novara, and by the English at Guinegate. A treaty signed at Blois, on the 28th of March, was ratified at Venice on the 11th of April. The Venetian republic agreed to help Louis to regain Milan and Genoa, and the king promised to assist the Venetians to recover their territories on the mainland, which were occupied by Maximilian's troops. The political balance of Europe now depended entirely on the goodwill of Henry VIII. On the 25th of May 1513 Jean le Veau wrote to Margaret that 'the time had come to be firm, and that she ought to imitate the English, who always showed their enmity against France.'

A treaty was concluded through Margaret's intervention in 1513 between the emperor and Henry VIII., which aimed at humbling France, but only resulted in the battle of Guinegate, where Maximilian served as a volunteer in the English army, and received a hundred crowns a day as pay. It was on this occasion that Margaret ordered the town of Therouenne on the borders of France and Belgium to be completely destroyed. Whilst he was with the English army Maximilian sent a messenger to Margaret asking her to join him at Tournay. In reply she says: 'Monseigneur, I have received the message that you have been pleased to send me by Marnix, my secretary, about my going to Tournay. As for me, Monseigneur, if you think that my going there is necessary, and can be of service to you, I 108 am ready in this and in all else that it may please you to command me; but otherwise, it is not fitting for a widow to be trotting about and visiting armies for pleasure....' But a little later, after the reduction of Tournay, Margaret met her father and Henry VIII. at Lille.

In June of the same year King Ferdinand wrote to his ambassador in Flanders 'to tell Madame Margaret that before and after he concluded the truce with France in his own name as well as in the name of the emperor, the King of England, and Prince Charles, he wrote to his ambassador, Don Pedro de Urea, and ordered him to explain all his reasons to the emperor.... Having concluded the truce from pure necessity, he is forced to observe it this year.' King Ferdinand tells his ambassador to beg Madame Margaret to use her influence with the emperor, and to show him that the policy he has hitherto adopted can have only one result, viz. 'that of making the King of France master of the world; whilst if the emperor follows his (Ferdinand's) advice, nothing will be lost.'

He writes that 'Madame Margaret is willing to deliver Don Juan Manuel up to him as prisoner. She is to be told that Don Juan has not only behaved badly to King Ferdinand, but also speaks so ill of her that for this alone he deserves punishment.'[41]

And when, a little later, Margaret has asked Maximilian's permission to arrest Don Juan Manuel, because he had spoken against King Ferdinand, Maximilian answers that 'if Don Juan has committed a crime which is punishable according to law, he may be arrested; if not, it will be sufficient to banish him from the Court.'

109 But although Margaret as Governess of the Netherlands took part in the greatest events of her century, yet her private life in her home at Malines was of the simplest and most domestic kind. We get a very good idea of the way she spent her days from her interesting correspondence and from her father's letters which have, fortunately, been preserved. These letters are in French, but Maximilian's spelling is chiefly euphonical, and the meaning often obscure. In spite of the quaint style, these letters form an interesting history of Europe at the dawn of the Renaissance. Beginning with the drama which opens at the League of Cambray, in which England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain all play their parts, and ending with the disaster of Pavia, the humbling of France, and the triumph of the House of Austria, there is not a negotiation, war, or treaty, whose secret cause and real origin is not disclosed. Although the correspondence comprises a comparatively short period, and does not go much beyond the first quarter of the sixteenth century, still the age was one of thrilling interest and brilliant personality. Amongst the illustrious personages who pass in review before us are Louis XII., Anne of Brittany, Francis I., Louise of Savoy, Margaret of Angoulême, the Cardinal of Amboise, and the Chevalier Bayard, Ferdinand of Aragon, Gonzalva of Cordova, and Ximenes, Henry VII., Henry VIII., and Cardinal Wolsey, Charles V., and Luther.

Margaret's correspondents included most of the sovereigns of Europe and their various ambassadors. Besides the personages already mentioned, we come across the names of Raulin, Carondelet, Alberto Pio, the Cardinal of Gurk, Caulier, and Laurent de Gorrevod, to whose conferences and intrigues we are 110 introduced, and sometimes to the snares they laid for their best friends. Amongst them we find André de Burgo, Maximilian's 'faithful councillor' and ambassador in France, whose despatches to Malines are masterpieces of finesse and diplomacy. The pages in which he describes the events of which Julius II. is the hero are full of interest. In a witty and delightful manner he records the ambitions, cabals, and various factions which hastened the end of this warrior pontiff who was 'always dying but never buried.' He frequently announces that the Holy Father is the victim of a violent fever, and that the doctors hardly hope to save him—it is whispered that he will be 'in paradise before a year and a half is out.' The Cardinals prepare to 'choose a good and holy Pope,' but before they can do so, the dying Pope recovers, or at least he is 'so much better that he thinks himself cured and has lost his fever.'

Then there is André de Burgo's successor, Chancellor Perrenot, the father of Cardinal de Granvelle. Also the Granvelles' enemy, Mercurin de Gattinare, a skilled diplomatist and picturesque writer. More than once we read of his reminding Margaret of the respect she owes him, and he tells her, not without pride, that she does not deserve to have a servant like himself, and when she gave him some unmerited rebuke, he replied: 'These words should be addressed to a stranger and an unknown man, not to me, whom you have known and tried.'

In Margaret's time Malines was a flourishing commercial city, whose manufactures were exported to all parts of Europe. Commerce, industries, and navigation had made great progress under her wise rule. Her palace was the centre of life in the old city and the meeting-place of many illustrious families 111 and learned men who came from all parts of the Netherlands to visit her Court. Jean Second, Erasmus, Cornelius Agrippa, Jean Lemaire, Mabuse, Coxcie, and Van Orley were amongst her frequent guests.

One of her chief ladies was the Countess of Hochstrate, who had charge of her maids of honour and the women of her household. Her husband, Count Hochstrate, was the princess's chevalier d'honneur, and commanded her bodyguard of twenty-seven noblemen, whose duty it was to attend her wherever she went. He also was in charge of the stewards, cooks, pastrycooks, bakers, cupbearers, carvers and the other servants, besides the keeper of Prince Charles's lions and rare birds, so that his post was no sinecure.

Margaret took great pride in keeping up an establishment worthy of her rank. She lived in great luxury, and her table was always furnished with the choicest wines, and every kind of fish, fowl, and game in its season. In spite of her habitual melancholy, she took part in the usual amusements of her time. We read of her attending many feasts, dances, and jousts; and it was seldom she did not have music during her meals, either fife, tambourin, or violin players, or sometimes the choristers of Notre-Dame de Sablon, or Monsieur de Ravestein's singers, who played and sang songs before her. Another day we read of her watching the performance of 'two large and powerful bears' brought by some strolling Hungarian players; or sitting in the vast hall, silent and dreamy, listening to old airs of German minstrelsy.

Maximilian occasionally visited his daughter, and then Malines was en fête. Sometimes he invited his young granddaughters to spend a few days with 112 him at Brussels, 'to see the park and enjoy themselves.'[42]

But Margaret's favourite occupation was superintending the education of her nephew Charles. She had a wonderful aptitude for teaching, and was not satisfied that he should excel in manly sports, which was usually all that was required of princes, but she insisted on his studying history, languages, and science. She also found time for more domestic employments. From the letters we find that she spun flax, and amongst the objects mentioned in her inventory are a spindle, distaff, and winding reels. She was accustomed to work with her needle, and once she surprised her father by sending him 'good linen shirts,' which she had made herself, and Maximilian, delighted with this present, hastened to thank her: 'I have received by this bearer some beautiful shirts and "huves" which you have helped to make with your own hand, with which I am delighted.... Our skin will be comforted with meeting the fineness and softness of such beautiful linen, such as the angels in Paradise use for their clothing.' Margaret also sent her father receipts for various dishes which pleased her, and we find her recommending him to eat some preserves during the heat of summer which she has tried herself and found excellent. 'I have a good apothecary,' she says, 'called Countess de Horne, who takes care to supply me every year with the best preserves in the world, which she makes with her own hands, and as I find them good, it seems to me that you will also, even in this great heat.'

Margaret took much interest in her maids of honour, and when necessary did not spare them either advice 113 or punishment. She warned them especially to avoid gossiping or foolish conversation. During the long winter evenings she played chess, or when summer came with long fine days, she rode with them through the forests of Scheplaken, Groenendael, and Boisfort, followed by her greyhounds. If one of her maids married, Margaret took care to prepare the trousseau. Sometimes she put aside a certain sum for this purpose from her privy purse, and often begged a post from Maximilian for the girl's future husband. Thus she dowered and provided for many maidens whose names are mentioned in the Archives of Lille.

As a rule, Margaret and her father treated each other with the greatest confidence. Maximilian took a fatherly interest in whatever concerned his daughter's happiness. He would like to have seen her married to Henry VII., for then, as he said, she would not have been 'a person lost and forgotten.' Sometimes he made her small presents, 'a carbuncle which his father the Emperor Frederick had valued,' or a haunch of venison off which she could 'feast at some dinner or supper.' On another occasion he sent her the plan of a triumphal arch before 'having it erected, so that it might remain for ever as a monument to their perpetual glory.'

One day, in a fit of rare generosity (for he was very impecunious), he made her a present of 100,000 crowns. Margaret will be ungrateful, he says, 'if she is not well pleased with him.' He tells her his most secret thoughts ... that he intends soliciting the papal tiara, for the Pope 'cannot live long.' He wishes to be nominated coadjutor of the Sovereign Pontiff, so as 'to be assured of having the Papacy and becoming a priest and afterwards made holy.' With this intention he begins to 'win over the cardinals' with 114 two or three thousand ducats, and he sends 'a messenger to the King of Aragon, begging him to help him to get what he wants.'

But this confidence between the emperor and his daughter was often broken. Maximilian sometimes complains that she treats him badly and 'takes him for a Frenchman!' She was not always his 'good daughter;' she sometimes speaks too plainly and asks him when he intends sending an answer to the English ambassadors, who have been kept waiting for eight months, and reminds him ironically 'that it is time to move in this business.' On another occasion she writes these words in a letter which he calls 'rude and ungracious': 'I know that it is not my business to interfere in your said affairs, as I am an inexperienced woman in such matters, nevertheless the great duty I have towards you emboldens me to ... beg of you ... to take care whilst there is yet time.'

But in spite of these small recriminations each tried to help the other, as we see from the numerous requests they constantly made to each other in favour of various persons in whom they were interested. In spite of the Netherlands' general prosperity, both Margaret and her father suffered greatly from lack of funds, as is shown in nearly every page of the correspondence. Maximilian hardly writes a letter without mentioning that he has need of 'a sum of money.' One day he humbly begs for 10,000 florins, another time for 70,000 or 80,000, which he must have. He knows, he says, that the States complain that he only thinks of 'knavery and taking their money for nothing,' but all the same he begs Margaret to do all in her power to find him the sum he requires. His lamentations, resources, and importunity in begging 115 are most pitiable. 'We must,' he says, 'in order to raise money quickly, pawn two gold chains set with many valuable and precious stones, one (chain) being larger than the other.' Sometimes Margaret was as hardly pressed for funds as her father, and several of her letters have this sad ending, 'The treasurer does not know where to turn for money; he has no "deniers" (old Roman coins) left.' The Swiss and German infantry were unpaid, and Maximilian for this reason kept out of the way, and fled to the Tyrolese mountains on the pretext of hunting. His daughter wrote to him severely: 'I hoped that you would have come here, but from what I see, you are going further and further away, which displeases me, for it was very necessary that you should come here.' At another time she tells him that she will be forced to become 'bankrupt' if she cannot quickly raise '24,000 florins from the King of England.' She has appealed to the States in vain; for some 'cannot agree,' whilst others 'have settled nothing yet ... for they are obstinate and disagreeable.'

Even the ambassadors were hampered by lack of means. André de Burgo could not go to Lyons, where he was afraid to stay for want of money. 'It is a pity,' he says, 'for so good and loyal a servant of your house to have so often to beg and ask for the wherewithal to live, as God's poor do ... he is ashamed not to be able to pay his creditors, and shall be reduced to sell half his plate to some Jew.'

Even Mercurin de Gattinare had to give up an important journey, and states he will have to go 'bankrupt' if he cannot sell a gold chain. For Anne of Brittany's accouchement the other ambassadors had ordered coloured clothes; he alone has to appear in black garments, and is much distressed. 'I have only 116 black,' he writes in Italian, 'and have no means of buying colours.'

Besides these oft-recurring complaints, the correspondence is full of the hatred which Margaret and her father still felt for France. Maximilian never liked the French, and his letters abound in maledictions against them. He tries to stir up his daughter's aversion, and congratulates her 'on the goodwill and diligence she has shown in resisting them. We have,' he says, 'more experience of the French than you have ... and we would rather you were deceived by their fair speeches than ourselves, so that you would take more care in future.' He knows their 'treachery and falseness,' for they only act by abuse, dissimulation, and deceit, as they have done for the last hundred years past, and will still be doing a hundred years hence.

Maximilian himself served as a private soldier in the King of England's army on the Continent, and advised Henry VIII. to land at Crotoy, where he proposed meeting him 'on condition that his said brother gave him the money he had promised, and that he sent the second portion with the first.' Margaret certainly shared her father's aversion for all things French, although she disguised it in writing to Louis XII. She secretly rejoices at every French defeat, and when she hears of the victory of Guinegate, 'she is more happy than she can say.' She also reminds Maximilian of old wrongs to rouse up his wrath, and ironically recalls 'the good faith and loyalty of the French.' Several times she points out how easy it would be to conquer their hereditary enemy: 'There is no boundary between our country and France, and you know the deep inveterate hatred the French bear us.'

117 These words express all Margaret's hatred and ambition, and show one of the reasons why she took such a special care of Prince Charles's education. In him she hoped to see realised all her dreams of the future greatness of Austria and Burgundy. With infinite trouble she directed his masters and mistresses, was herself present at their lessons, and often interceded with Maximilian on their behalf. Thus she recommends Anne de Beaumont 'for the first vacant post over the ladies of the household ... or a good annual pension, as a reward for her past services, which ought to be noticed'; she also praises Louis Vacca 'for great and worthy service which he has daily rendered as tutor for eight years, teaching Monseigneur with such great care and diligence, as a good and loyal servitor should.'

We read of the child's rapid progress in his lessons, and also of a fever he caught after attending his sister Isabel's wedding, at which 'he behaved as a good brother, accompanying his sister in the dances so perfectly, and perhaps rather more than was good for him.' A few days later 'he began to get better,' and it is hoped that he 'will soon be restored to health,' as he has such a good appetite 'that now it is difficult to satisfy him.' He is learning to shoot, but it is dangerous for the passers-by, as he shot a man by mistake, 'when Monseigneur, my nephew, went to play at Wure. On Whit-Monday he fired off his gun, and had the misfortune to kill a workman of this town, a drunkard and ill-conditioned man ... which has caused my said Lord and me much sorrow and regret, but there is no help for it.'

When the boy went hunting near Malines Maximilian wrote joyfully: 'We are well pleased that our son Charles takes so much pleasure in hunting,' but 118 at the same time he recommends, 'when the weather is mild, to send him to Anvers and Louvain to take the air, and to pass the time, to ride on horseback for his health and strength.'

Maximilian then goes on to describe his own sport. He has taken 'at least four large stags in the morning, and after dinner five herons. Ducks and kites we catch daily without number; even to-day we got four herons besides, and thirteen ducks or river birds in twelve flights in one half league. Every day we get three kites, for here there is any amount, and all in the most beautiful country....'

These few quotations will show that the letters are more or less memoirs of Margaret's life for about twenty-five years, and give us a good idea of the part she played in the stirring events of her time.




After the reduction of Tournay and Therouenne in the autumn of 1513, Henry VIII. and Maximilian met Margaret at Lille. She was accompanied by the Archduke Charles and a large retinue. This was Henry's first meeting with his wife's nephew; it was also Margaret's first introduction to the man whose engaging manners and brilliant personality nearly made her give up the resolution to which she had adhered for so many years, and marry again.

Amongst Henry's VIII.'s officers was Sir Charles Brandon, one of the handsomest men of his time, and a great favourite with the English king, who, in May 1513, had been created Viscount Lisle. The new Lord Lisle had accompanied his master to the war in France, being marshal of the host and captain of the foreward, with 3000 men under him. Hall, in his Chronicle, gives the following interesting account of the meeting of Margaret and Charles Brandon:—'Monday, the 11th day of October, the king without the town received the Prince of Castile, the Lady Margaret, and divers other nobles of their countries, and them brought into Tournay with great triumph. The noise went that the Lord Lisle made request of marriage to the Lady Margaret, Duchess of Savoy, and daughter to the Emperor Maximilian, 120 which before that time was departed from the king with many rich gifts and money borrowed; but, whether he proffered marriage or not, she favoured him highly. There the prince and duchess sojourned with great solace by the space of ten days. On the 18th of October the jousts began, the king and Lord Lisle answered all comers. Upon the king attended twenty-eight knights on foot, in coats of purple velvet and cloth of gold. A tent of cloth of gold was set in the place for the armoury and relief. The king had a base and a trapper of purple velvet both set full of fine bullion, and the Lord Lisle in the same suit. There were many spears broken, and many a good buffet given; the strangers, as the Lord Walon and the Lord Emery, and others, did right well. When the jousts were done, the king and all the others unhelmed them, and rode about the tilt, and did great reverence to the ladies, and then the heralds cried, "To lodging!"

'This night the king made a sumptuous banquet of a hundred dishes to the Prince of Castile and the Lady Margaret, and to all the other lords and ladies, and after the banquet the ladies danced; and then came in the king and eleven in a masque, all richly apparelled with bonnets of gold, and when they had passed the time at their pleasure, the garments of the masque were cast off amongst the ladies, take who could take.

'The 20th day of October, the Prince of Castile and the Lady Margaret, with many great gifts to them given, returned to Lille with all their train.'

A few months after this meeting Lord Lisle was created Duke of Suffolk (February 1st, 1514) on the same day that the dukedom of Norfolk was restored 121 to the Howards, and when there was only one other peerage of that grade, namely, Buckingham, existing in England.

In October Henry VIII. wrote to Leo X. to tell him that he had conquered Tournay, and that the French ran away so quickly that it was impossible for him to follow them. He also mentions that he has conferred with the emperor and the Archduchess Margaret about the affairs of the Prince of Castile, and especially about the marriage of the prince with his sister, the Princess Mary. He mentions that 'Prince Charles came in person to Tournay.'

In the following May, when in England, the king and the new Duke of Suffolk were present at a tournament and 'defenders at the tilt against all comers,' dressed as black and white hermits, having the following motto written in white letters on their black staves: 'Who can hold that will away.' Gossip said that this posy was made for the Duke of Suffolk and the Duchess of Savoy.

Be that as it may, Henry soon grew alarmed when rumours reached him that his favourite was thinking of marrying Margaret. He at once wrote to Maximilian expressing his annoyance, and the same day (the 4th of March) sent a letter to Margaret enclosing the one he had written to her father, leaving it to her discretion to forward it or not as she thought best. King Henry says, ... 'Because it has come to our knowledge that the common report is in divers places that marriage is contemplated between you and our very dear and loyal cousin and councillor, the Duke of Suffolk, we are making all possible diligence to know and hear from whence this report can come and proceed; and if we find that it comes from overthere, we will cause such grievous punishment 122 to be inflicted, that all other inventors and sowers of lies will take example from it.'

The following letters, referring to the subject, are in the handwriting of the English ambassador, Sir Richard Wingfield, to whom Margaret addressed herself. They were evidently translated from the French, in which the originals were written, and were either translated by Sir Richard, or he transcribed the version, the matter being so secret for his despatches home:—

MS. Cotton.

'My Lord the Ambassador,—Since that I see that I may not have tidings from the emperor so soon, it seemeth me that I should do well no longer for to tarry to despatch this gentleman. And for that by my letters addressing unto the king and to the duke, of that I dare not adventure me to write unto them so at length of this besides, because that I fear my letters to be evil kept, I me determine to write to you at length to send that of all ye may the better them advertise of mine intent.

'Ye may know, my lord the ambassador, that after some days having been at Tournay, knowing from day to day the great love and trust that the king bare and had to the personage which is no need to name; also with the virtue and grace of his person, the which me seemed that I had not much seen gentleman to approach it; also considering the desire the which always he showed me that he had to do me service; all these things considered by me, I have always forced me to do unto him all honour and pleasure, the which to me seemed to be well agreeable unto the king his good master; who, as I may imagine, seeing the good cheer and will the 123 which I bare him, with the love which he beareth unto him, by many times spake unto me, for to know if this goodwill which I bare unto the said personage it might stretch unto some effect of promise of marriage, seeing that it was the fashion of the ladies of England, and that it was not there holden for evil; whereunto many times I answered the most graciously that was to me possible, knowing this thing not to proceed but of love which he bare him, the several of reasons wherefore it was not to me possible, unless I should fall in the evil grace of my father and of all this country. Also that it was not here the custom, and that I should be dishonoured, and holden for a fool and light. But all my reasons might not help me, that without rest he spake thereof to me. That seeing, and that he had it so much at the heart, for him not to anger, I found to him one other reason, to him saying, that if now I had well the will so for to do, that yet I nor would nor durst think, seeing his return to be so nigh, and that it should be to me too much great displeasure to lose so good company; of the which he contented him somewhat better, and passed the thing unto his departing, and then began to say to me that the departing drew nigh, and that he knew well I should be pressed for to marry me, and that I was yet too young for to abide thus; and that the ladies of his country did remarry at fifty and threescore years.

'Whereupon I answered that I had never had will so to do, and that I was too much unhappy in husbands; but he would not believe me. And after, by two times, in presence of the personage that ye know, he returned to say the same words, saying more, "I know well, madame, and am sure that my fellow shall be to you a true servant, and that he is 124 altogether yours, but we fear that ye shall not do in likewise, for one shall force you to be again married; and that ye shall not be found out of this country (i.e. in this country) at my return." That which I promised to him I should not do; and for that he desired greatly thereof to be more assured, he made me to promise in his hand that howsoever I should be pressed of my father, or otherwise, I should not make alliance of marriage (with) prince of the world, at the least unto his return, or the end of the year. The which I did willingly, for I think not to again never to put me where I have had so much of unhappiness and misfortune. And afterwards made his fellow to do the same, who, as I believe and seemeth me, said of adventure, as his master me showed again, that he should never do thing, were it of marriage, or to take lady nor mistress, without my commandment, but would continue all his life my right humble servant; and that it was to him enough honour, so much honestly, and of so good sort as was possible. And these words were said at Tournay in my chamber one night after supper, full late. The other time was at Lille, the day before that they should depart, that he spake to me long at the head of a cupboard, he and his fellow, of the departing, which was not without displeasure full great of all persons. And again, after many devises and regrets, he made me to reconfirm in his hand, and the same of his fellow, the like promise aforesaid. And the said personage in my hand, without that I required him, made me the semblable, and that for always he should be to me true and humble servant; and I to him promised to be to him such mistress all my life as to him who me seemed desired to do me most of service. And upon this there was no more 125 words of this affair, nor hath not been since, if not some gracious letters, the which have been (enough or I know) evil kept.'

Further as to the words.

'And I promise you, my lord the ambassador, that this is the truth, and I know not other thing. I cannot tell if the king, which was "trwcheman" (interpreter), because of the love which he beareth him, might have taken it more forward for to interpret more his desire, but the thing is such, and truth.

'My lord the ambassador, for that it hath been said unto me that he might have showed a ring where there is a diamond of mine, that which I cannot believe, for I esteem him much a man of virtue and wise, but always I will well show you the truth, to the end to answer to all. I take none in this affair to witness but the king and him; and himself first: it is that one night at Tournay, being at the banquet, after the banquet he put himself upon his knees before me, and in speaking and him playing, he drew from my finger the ring, and put it upon his, and then showed it me, and I took to laugh, and to him said that he was a thief, and that I thought not that the king had with him led thieves out of his country. This word "laron" he could not understand; wherefore I was constrained for to ask how one said "laron" in Flemish. And afterwards I said to him in Flemish "dieffe," and I prayed him many times to give it me again, for that it was too much known. But he understood me not well, and kept it unto the next day that I spake to the king, him requiring to make him to give it me, because it was too much known. I promising him one of my bracelets the which I wear, the which I 126 gave him. And then he gave me the said ring, the which one other time at Lille, being set nigh to my lady of Hornes, and he before upon his knees, it took again from my finger. I spake to the king to have it again, but it was not possible, for he said unto me that he would give me others better, and that I should leave him that. I said unto him that it was not for the value, but for that it was too much known. He would not understand it, and departed from me.

'The morrow after he brought me one fair point of diamonds and a table ruby, and showed me that it was for the other ring; wherefore I durst no more speak of it, if not to beseech him that it should not be showed to any person; the which hath not all been to me done. (Thus, my lord the ambassador, see all of this affair, and for to know mine advice upon all, I shall give it you more at length, which is this.)

'That if the things had not been so published, the which I find the most strange of the world, knowing that creature of the world, at the least on my part, could thereof never speak, for that which I had said and done was for not to annoy the king, for I knew well that it came to him of great love for to speak so far forth as of marriage. And of another prince I had not so well taken it as of him, for I hold him all good, and that he thinketh none evil, wherefore I have not willed to displease him. And in this business I have found myself more impeached for to know that which me seemed touched to the king than that which me touched.

'By one bylle (note) I shall put you in writing all the inconveniences which may happen of this thing. Also that which seemeth to me for the remedy of it 127 to be done; but, for that I have no leisure, I shall make an end, praying you to do with this that which the bearer shall say you, and no more. I trow that ye know this hand.

(Thus signed, M.).'

The second writing:—

'My lord the ambassador,—Ye may have seen how the things have been, and ye know the unhappy bruit which thereof hath run not only here but on all parts, as well in Germany as in all countries. Whereof I have found myself so much abashed that I cannot imagine wherefore this thing is said so openly as in the hands of merchant strangers. And for to say you the truth, I have been constrained as well by the counsel of my servants as of the lord Berques and others, to make inquiry whereof it came, and as well by information as writings always I have found that it proceeded from England. Whereof I have had a marvellous sorrow. And I have letters of the self hand of an English merchant, the which hath been the first that hath made the wagers, as Bresylle knoweth well. Now, my lord the ambassador, the king, at the request of the said Bresylle, and the personage also, have done many things for to remedy to this fortune, wherein I am holden unto them, but yet I see that the bruit is so imprinted in the fantasies of people, and fear if that it continue long, that all that which is done is not enough, for I continue always in fear. And also I know that I may not show towards the personage the weal and honour which I desire to do as before.

'For yet I dare not write unto him when I have anything to do towards the king, nor I dare not only speak of him. And I am constrained to entreat him 128 in all things like a stranger, at the least before folks, the which doth me so much displeasure that I cannot write it, seeing that I take him so much for my good friend and servant; and that I am constrained so to do, and also I see that to this gentleman only which is here I dare not speak or look to him. Whereof I am so much displeased that nothing more. He himself perceiveth well that every one beholdeth him of the other side.

'And as to the descent[43] of the king it shall behove me to speak so soberly as I may me constrain, for it is the thing that I desire as much as his coming. And the same of my lady Mary, as God knoweth. The heart me breaketh when it behoveth me to dissemble, not in this but in many others. And it seemeth to me that I may not so well serve the king, being in this fear, as before; so when the king shall descend that I shall be always in this pain, and I feel me I shall not dare speak nor show good semblance to the said personage; whereas I would make to him much honour and good cheer, I shall not dare behold him with a good eye, which displeasure shall be the same to him and to me. And I know no remedy[44] but the same that Bresylle shall show you for to put remedy to all. I would not constrain him to it against his will, but, and he desire ever that I do him honour or pleasure, it is forced that it be so, not for that I have not the good will towards him, such as ever I have had, but for that I am for mine honour constrained so to do. I pray you very much to take pains for to make well 129 to understand to the king and to the personage this thing, to the end that I may do to him better service and to his fellow pleasure. I pray you to do of this as of the other.(Likewise signed, M.).'

(Endorsed, Secret matters of the Duke of Suffolk.)

Although these interesting letters are so badly transcribed from the original French that their meaning is often obscure, they undoubtedly prove that Margaret had fallen desperately in love with the handsome English favourite, who, on his side, appears to have been more or less serious in his flirtation with her. How deep were Brandon's feelings for Margaret we shall probably never know. It is certain that Henry VIII. did not look favourably on his suit, and as Margaret herself sadly observed to the English ambassador in her letter quoted above: 'I know no remedy (to stop the gossip) but the same that Bresylle shall show you,' namely that Brandon should look elsewhere for a wife. The rumours and reports concerning Margaret and the Duke of Suffolk reached as far as Spain. King Ferdinand heard of them, and in July he wrote to Luiz Caroz de Villaragut, his ambassador in England, asking 'if it is true or not that Madame Margaret is to marry Monsieur de Lisle (Charles Brandon)?'[45]

But in the midst of all these troubles and anxieties preparations for the first wedding in the little circle at Malines turned Margaret's thoughts into another channel.

On Trinity Sunday, the 11th of June 1514, her niece, Isabel of Austria, was married by proxy to Christian II., King of Denmark, who had succeeded to his father's throne the previous year. In a long 130 letter to Maximilian Margaret gives an interesting account of the wedding:—

'Brussels, the 12th of June.

'Monseigneur,— ... After the arrival of the Danish ambassadors on Wednesday last they had their public audience on Thursday, and visited Monsieur and Mesdames and delivered their king's messages with many good words; they then withdrew until Friday, when I sent the Chancellor of Brabant, the President of Burgundy, and other deputies to call upon them.... The next day, which was Saturday, they expressed a great desire that the marriage should be solemnised on the following day, which was Trinity Sunday, on which day the king their master held the festival of his anointing and coronation. But, Monseigneur, it was very difficult to arrange such a solemn function in so short a time, for it could not be as honourably held as I should have wished, but, anxious to please them and gratify their desires, I agreed that the said ceremony should be held on Trinity Sunday, which was yesterday, and I did my best to have everything arranged and put in order. The parties assembled on the said day between ten and eleven o'clock, with as much state and honour on our side as was possible, owing to the short notice, in front of the great hall of this house, where Monsieur de Cambray gave the promises and performed the espousals by word of mouth, as was right between the King of Denmark ... and Madame Isabel, my niece, whom it certainly did one good to look at. The said promises given, they went to hear high mass in this hall; and the ambassadors were seated according to their rank, he of Spain beside Monseigneur, to the great content of all, but those of England were not there because "on ne les 131 scavoit accorder." And when evening came, supper was served and every one sat down in order, and after supper there were dances and tourneys until very late, when they retired to put the bride to bed ... as is the custom amongst great princes. Thus all was very solemnly and duly accomplished, to the great delight of the said ambassadors, who thanked me very much at their departure; as they had fulfilled their mission they were anxious to hasten their return, and I believe they will guard your honour and that of this house as much as possible....'

The next day Margaret writes to say that Charles danced too much at his sister's wedding, and made himself ill. 'Monseigneur,' she says, 'showed himself such a good brother, and carried out everything, even to the dances in which he accompanied the said lady, his sister, to perfection ... and a little more perhaps than his constitution could bear, for the day after the said espousals he was attacked by fever....' A fortnight later Margaret writes thankfully to tell her father that Charles is convalescent.

As the Princess Isabel was barely thirteen, it was arranged that owing to her youth she should remain at home for another year. When the marriage at last took place it was not a happy one, the king being a notorious libertine, who was later known as 'the Nero of the North,' and after a few years of misery the poor little princess died, leaving her children to Margaret's care.

Isabel's younger sister, Mary, was sent this year on a visit to the Court of Hungary, possibly with a view to her future marriage. Margaret mentions her journey in several letters. In April she wrote from Malines: 'Touching the departure of Madame Mary, all is ready; and she will start from here 132 without fail on the 2nd of May ... and will go by Grave as you advised.'

On the 5th of May Florent of Egmond writes to Margaret from Maestricht: 'Madame, Madame Mary arrived here this evening in very good disposition, without having met any danger on the road to her person or otherwise; to-morrow we pass from here to Aix-la-Chapelle.' The princess accomplished her journey safely, but her marriage to Louis of Hungary did not take place until seven years later.

In 1507 Henry VIII.'s sister, Princess Mary, had been betrothed to Prince Charles of Austria, and the marriage contract signed at Calais between her father, Henry VII.'s, and Maximilian's ambassadors. It had been arranged that the betrothal should take place in London before the following Easter; but the King of England's illness and the emperor's engagements had delayed the ceremony until the 17th of December 1508. It was agreed to wait for the completion of the marriage until Charles had attained his fourteenth year in February 1514.

In the month of October 1513 the king and emperor still appeared to be willing to fulfil the contract, and signed a treaty arranging that Maximilian and Margaret should accompany the Archduke Charles to Calais before the 15th of May following for the celebration of the marriage. But six months later Ferdinand and Louis signed another treaty agreeing to marry the archduke to Renée, Louis XII.'s daughter, who was barely four years old. Ferdinand, as Charles's maternal grandfather, claimed the right to control the marriage of his grandson and heir. He informed Maximilian of the contents of the treaty, but begged him to keep it secret from Margaret, as he intended to keep it secret from the 133 English king. Margaret, left in ignorance, continued to beg her father to celebrate the archduke's marriage with Princess Mary, but the emperor always evaded her requests with fresh excuses. She reproached him for his negligence in a letter written in March 1514 in which she showed how necessary it was that he should hasten the marriage to secure peace to the Austrian dominions, and especially to the Netherlands.

Anne of Brittany had been in failing health for some years, and as far back as 1511 had had a serious illness which placed her life in danger. De Burgo, Margaret's ambassador at the French Court, in one of his letters to his mistress's secretary says: 'The queen, as I lately informed Madame, was nearly well again, but last night she was suddenly attacked with fever and other symptoms so violently that her life was in danger.' Later on he wrote that the patient had had such a bad night, she had lost all power of speech, but after having received the last sacraments she gradually became better. Anne recovered, and on the 4th of April De Burgo wrote the news of her convalescence.

But on the 23rd of January of the following year Jean Leveau informed Margaret that 'the day before yesterday, which was the 21st of this month, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the queen was delivered of a still-born son, much to the king's grief, though others take it calmly since God wills it thus.' This was Anne's last child. In the following March she again had fever, and did not leave her bed until May. De Burgo gave Margaret an account of an audience he had with Anne on the 19th of May. 'Madame, although the queen is not yet quite well and speaks to no stranger, she was pleased to wish 134 to see me, to hear what the emperor had written to me about some days ago, and that I might take leave of her; I found her in bed, but looking well, and much improved in health.'

Anne, however, never really recovered, and on January the 9th, 1514, passed away at Blois, leaving the king with only two daughters, Claude and Renée. Ferdinand soon tried to find Louis another wife, and proposed that he should marry Margaret, who was now thirty-four years old, or her niece Eleanor, who was only seventeen. Louis chose the latter, and had the marriage articles drawn up.

In a long despatch to Juan de Lanuza, his ambassador in Flanders, written in March, King Ferdinand says that he hears that Madame Margaret does not approve of the mission on which Quintana (his secretary) was sent to the emperor. Quintana was sent to find out the emperor's wishes about concluding a truce with France for one year between Austria, England, and Spain.... Had he believed that Madame Margaret entertained a different opinion from that of the emperor, he would have consulted her first. Not knowing that she would disapprove of the treaty, and considering delay dangerous, he had sent Quintana to the emperor, and ordered that as soon as he arrived, Luis de Gilaberte should go to Madame Margaret, and inform her of what was going on. As the truce is now signed according to the orders of the emperor, it must be observed....'

'In addition to the commission to conclude a truce with France ... the emperor ordered Quintana to propose in his name to the King of France a marriage with Madame Eleanor of Austria.... King Ferdinand says that he is astonished to hear 135 that Madame Margaret opposes his plans, as he is only following her father's counsel, and thinks she must be imperfectly informed of the true nature of this affair.... Madame Margaret, he says, dwells on the great difference of age between the King of France and Madame Eleanor. Lanuza is to tell her that in marriages of great kings difference of age is never taken into account. The King of France has no son and no heir. A son of Madame Eleanor's would, therefore, be the heir to the throne of France. It would be of incalculable advantage to Prince Charles if his sister's son were King of France. Madame Margaret is mistaken if she thinks it a disadvantage that Madame Eleanor is so thin. Thin women generally ... bear more children than stout ones. If the King of France were to marry Madame Eleanor, Austria, France, England, and Spain would form but one family, of which the emperor would be the head....'

'Ferdinand hopes that Margaret will not dissuade the emperor and the King of England from ratifying the truce with France, and wishes that the marriages (Prince Charles's and his sister Eleanor's) might be concluded in her presence and under her guidance. He goes on to say that Madame Margaret is a very pious and virtuous lady, and he expects that she will act like a good Christian, and prefer peace rather than war and bloodshed.... Should it be necessary, he must speak with Madame Margaret's confessor in secret, and ask him to use his influence with her....' Ferdinand ends the despatch by saying that 'he hopes Margaret will help him to secure incalculably great advantages to the emperor, himself, and to Prince Charles.'

In the same month King Ferdinand wrote a most 136 affectionate letter to Margaret evidently in the hopes of winning her consent to his wishes by flattering speeches. The letter is addressed to his 'beloved daughter,' and begins by thanking her for all the great services she has rendered to himself as well as to 'his brothers, the emperor and the King of England, and to his son, the Prince (Charles).' 'She is,' he says, 'the most important person in Christendom, since she acts as mediator in almost all the negotiations between the princes of Christendom.'

In another letter to Lanuza a few days later, Ferdinand is still anxious lest Margaret should oppose the truce with France, and observes that 'Madame Margaret is the person on whom, more than any one else on earth, peace or war depends, and beseeches that she may use her influence in favour of peace.'

King Ferdinand tells Lanuza in confidence that he believes Margaret wishes to marry the French king herself, and that if this is the case, Ferdinand would not oppose it; but the King of France is anxious to marry again because he hopes for a son and heir, and he does not wish to marry Margaret because he fears that she would not bear him children....[46]

Whilst these negotiations were under discussion, Henry VIII. was contemplating marrying his sister Mary to Louis XII., in order to prevent the French king's marriage with Eleanor of Austria. It was now in the King of England's interest to be on good terms with France, as he was deserted by those who had formerly sided with him against her. Full powers for Princess Mary's marriage with Louis XII. were sent to France on the 29th of July. The next day Mary solemnly renounced the promises made in 137 her name with reference to her marriage with the Archduke Charles, and on the 7th of August the marriage contract with Louis was signed in London by the ambassadors, without Margaret having any suspicion of the truth.

When at last she heard rumours of the Anglo-French marriage, she did not believe them, and even ordered Jacques de Thienne, Lord of Castres, to tell the King of England that she had never believed the report to be true. De Castres only started on his mission in the middle of August, and the marriage treaty had been signed since the 7th of the same month, and Mary had married the prisoner Duke of Longueville[47] by proxy at Greenwich on the 13th.

This public ceremony at last convinced Margaret of the unwelcome fact that her nephew had been thrown over. She bitterly complained of King Henry's want of good faith, and threatened to publish the promise he had given in writing to marry his sister to the Archduke Charles.

Before Louis XII. married the eighteen-year-old Mary Tudor he sent his first painter, Jean de Paris, to London to paint her portrait and plan her trousseau. Accompanied by King Henry, Queen Katharine, and a great retinue of nobles as far as Dover, the bride set sail for France, escorted by the Duke of Suffolk. Amongst her ladies we find the names of the Ladies Grey and Anne Boleyn. Gorgeous pageants greeted Princess Mary; King Louis went himself in state to receive her at Calais, accompanied by the Duke of Valois and Margaret of Angoulême, and loaded her with presents and costly 138 jewels. The wedding took place at Abbeville on the 9th of October. With reference to this marriage, Louise of Savoy, whose son, the Duke of Valois, was heir-presumptive to the throne, made the following spiteful entries in her diary: 'Le 22nd Septembre 1514, le roi Louis XII., fort antique et débile sortit de Paris, pour aller au devant de sa jeune femme, la reine Marie.'

'Le 9 Octobre 1514, furent les amoureuses noces de Louis XII., roi de France, et de Marie d'Angleterre; et furent épousés a dix heures du matin.'

On the 5th of November the new queen was crowned at St. Denis, and during the ceremony Francis, Duke of Valois, held the crown above her head.[48]

Henry VIII., in writing to thank Louis for a richly caparisoned Spanish genet which he had sent as a present, expressed his hopes that Mary's lively disposition might not harm conjugal peace. But Louis was quite fascinated by his youthful bride, and for her sake changed all his habits, and breakfasted at noon instead of eight in the morning, and went to bed at midnight instead of six, and soon ended by falling seriously ill. His wife amused him whilst he lay in bed by singing romances to her guitar; but three months after their marriage the worn-out old king of fifty-two died during a terrific storm which raged throughout New Year's night, 139 1515. Only a few faithful friends were with him at the last, and when next day Mary was informed of her loss she fainted, and with every sign of becoming grief shut herself up according to the custom of royal widows for six weeks in a darkened room.

Towards the month of March 1515 an English embassy was sent to France, headed by the Duke of Suffolk, to bring back the Queen-Dowager of France to England. Margaret writes to her father: 'Monseigneur, I have received your three letters of the 14th instant ... and in reply I write to inform you that the King of England has despatched a large embassy to the King of France, in charge of the Duke of Suffolk, who I hear is sent to bring back the Queen-Dowager.... As for the ambassadors who are to go to England with the Bishop of Brixen, I have communicated that part of your letters to the lord of Chièvres, as head of the finances and government of Monseigneur, who replied that the various personages were ready, but that the difficulty was finding money to provide them suitably. And I think, Monseigneur, he speaks the truth,' but, she adds sadly, 'I can do no more, for now I do not meddle in any business.'

After this date Margaret's letters to her father become much less frequent.

Soon after any dreams that she may have indulged in of a fourth and handsome husband in the person of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, were finally dissipated by his marriage with the young Queen-Dowager of France.[49] Mary Tudor was eighteen years younger than Margaret, and was considered 140 one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe. These facts may account for Charles Brandon's preference. At any rate, after this episode Margaret remained a widow to the end of her life, and although the manuscripts in the British Museum abound with her letters to Henry VIII., Wolsey, and others on grave political affairs, they probably comprise no more than those already quoted that have so direct a reference to the affairs of her heart.[50]




Soon after midnight on the 2nd of January 1515 Francis, Duke of Valois, was aroused by an excited crowd rushing into his chamber and hailing him King of France. 'May you have a happy New Year!' cried his friend Fleurange, 'Les belles étrennes!'

The new king was in his twenty-first year, and in May 1514 had married Louis XII.'s eldest daughter Claude, thus securing Brittany to the French crown. Young, brave, and handsome, with fascinating manners, passionately fond of beauty in every form, he was undoubtedly the most accomplished 'chevalier' in the kingdom, but his love of pleasure and extravagance were carried to excess, and marred the brilliancy of his many good qualities. 'This big boy will spoil everything,' Louis XII. had predicted, more struck by his son-in-law's failings than by his virtues.

On the 15th of February Francis made his state entry into Paris, and at the banquet given the same evening, the Flemish ambassadors were present, having been previously received in audience by Queen Claude. Mercurin de Gattinare wrote to Margaret from Paris giving her an account of their reception. 'Queen Claude,' he says, 'is very small and extraordinarily fat, but her graceful way of talking makes amends for her lack of beauty.' When the ambassadors 142 were presented to her, 'she kissed Monsieur de Nassou, but gave her hand to Monsieur de Saint-Py and all of us.'

Francis I. found his kingdom prepared for war. From the time of his accession he dreamed of winning glory in Italy, and reconquering the duchy of Milan. As soon as he had made the necessary preparations he entered on the campaign; and in August led a brilliant army of 60,000 men and 30,000 horse across the Alps by narrow, unfrequented roads over the Col d'Argentière, entering Italy by the valley of the Stura, thus avoiding the passes guarded by the Swiss, and finally taking up a strong position to the south-east of Milan, near Marignano. Against him were the emperor, King Ferdinand, and the Swiss Cantons, Venice being his only ally. Fifteen thousand Venetians under Alviano advanced by forced marches to help him, and had reached Lodi, four miles distant. Milan itself was occupied by 30,000 Swiss, who were resolved to prevent the junction of the two armies, and attack the French in their own trenches. They opened fire late on the afternoon of September 12th, and all that evening until it grew pitch dark the battle raged. When morning dawned the two armies were still facing each other, and with the first rays of the sun the battle continued with renewed vigour until ten o'clock, when, at sight of the Venetian advance-guard led by Alviano, the Swiss began to waver, and hastily retreating to Milan, left the French masters of the field.

Marshal Trivulzio, who had been present at eighteen battles, declared that all the others were child's play when compared to Marignano, which was 'a battle of giants.'

After the victory Francis wished to be knighted 143 by Bayard, who, though only a lieutenant, had so distinguished himself that the whole army looked upon him as a perfect model of a Christian soldier, and gave him the name of 'le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche.'

Maximilian, writing to Margaret from Innsbrück, thus describes the battle of Marignano:—

'Very dear and much-loved daughter,—We have had news that on the 13th of this month[51] (September), the French being quartered about two leagues from Germany, near Milan, they set out and appeared before the said town. Wherefore the Swiss who were in the town of Milan, having quitted the flat country, being informed of this fact, left the town about twenty thousand strong and marched against the French, and about four o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, the Swiss and French began to fight each other, more by way of skirmishing than giving battle, for there were so many ditches that the French men-at-arms on horseback could not help their foot-soldiers, and fought so long that night surprised them; and all that night the said Swiss and French remained on the field of battle, without attacking each other until the morrow, the 14th of the month, when they renewed the battle, which lasted quite three hours, after which fight about three thousand of the said landsknechts (foot-soldiers) and as many or more Swiss were left dead upon the field. And because there was mutiny and division amongst the said Swiss, through some of their people making peace with the French and refusing to fight, they retreated some to Milan and others to Como, without either party pursuing or trying to fight the other. 144 And because they could not subdue the mutiny, the day after they left the above-mentioned places and returned to their own country....'

After the battle Maximilian Sforza, Duke of Milan, yielded his rights to the conqueror and accepted a pension of 30,000 crowns.

Before the year was out, Francis I. and the Pope met at Bologna and arranged a peace which was signed at Fribourg and called 'La Paix perpétuelle.'

In the lull that followed the battle of Marignano Maximilian found time to turn his attention to the interesting occupation of planning marriages for his grandchildren. His Court has been called a sort of matrimonial agency, and his letters to Margaret abound in projects and schemes for grand alliances for his granddaughters. In the spring of 1515 he had met the Kings of Poland and Hungary at Vienna. Vladislav II., King of Hungary, had a son Louis, whose marriage was now arranged with Mary of Austria, whilst his daughter Anna was betrothed to Ferdinand of Austria, Maximilian's youngest grandson. It was hoped that this double marriage would secure the kingdom of Hungary to the House of Hapsburg, besides carrying out the original treaty of 1463 between the Emperor Frederick III. and King Mathias.

In one of his letters to Margaret, Maximilian reminds her of his remark that, in order to find a husband for the 'Lady Léonora,' his eldest granddaughter, he must wait for the decease of one of the three principal queens of Europe, either of France, England, or Poland. He now writes to say that the Queen of Poland is dead, and it has been suggested to him that the widowed king is thinking of Léonora, 145 and he would like to know his granddaughter's wishes on the subject.

'As to our opinion,' he says, 'we are willing that the said marriage should take place; for the said King of Poland is a handsome person, somewhat fat, anyhow he will never be fatter; with a white face and body and very white hands, the height of Seigneur de Berges at the age of twenty, with a handsomer face than Monsieur de Berges has, for his face is open and very honest.... He keeps great state, is beloved by his subjects and by all those with whom he comes in contact, of whom I am one, and also my whole house. He is, as he told me with his own mouth, which is beautiful and red, forty-six or forty-seven years old, his hair is already a little grey; his kingdom, two hundred miles from Germany, large, warlike, and can raise a hundred thousand fighting-men.... The king and all his court speak German and Latin as well as their native language....'

Margaret replied that in accordance with Maximilian's wishes she had spoken to Léonora about the projected marriage with the King of Poland. 'I spoke to her,' she says, 'on my own account, telling her of the virtues and beauty of the said king's person, with the greatness of his kingdom, and all that there was to be said on the subject; she listened to me willingly, very gently, and rather timidly, and after several subtle devices, I could only draw from her the words that....' (Here the letter tantalisingly breaks off.)

Sigismond I., King of Poland, of whom the emperor draws so attractive a portrait, was in truth a very accomplished prince—but he did not marry Eleanor of Austria, and eventually became the 146 husband of Bona, the daughter of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan.

The Archduke Charles was now fifteen, and Maximilian declared him of age and handed over to him the reins of government of the Netherlands. He was inaugurated Duke of Brabant in February 1515, Count of Flanders in April, and successively took possession of Holland and Zealand, Leeuward, Harlingen, and Franicker. Charles's letter to the president and councillors of Flanders announcing his emancipation has been preserved:—

'Very dear and Well Beloved,—It has pleased the emperor, my lord and grandfather, to emancipate us and free us from his guardianship and regency, placing the government of our country and lordships ... in our hands, and consenting that we be received and sworn to the principality and lordship of the same.... Therefore it is fit and reasonable that all things which concern our rights, greatness, lordship, and even the doing of justice and our other affairs, should be conducted henceforth in our name and under our title. For this cause we write to you; we require and command that all letters, acts, and other things which will be done and expedited towards you for our aforesaid affairs, shall be drawn up and despatched under our aforesaid name and title, placing at the end of the letters: Given under the seal which the emperor, my lord and grandfather, and we have used during the time of our minority....

'Charles (1515)'

In addressing the deputies from the States-General Charles made the following speech: 'Gentlemen, I thank you for the honour and great affection you 147 bear me. Be good and loyal subjects, and I will be your good prince.'

Margaret does not appear to have been consulted about Charles's emancipation until it was an accomplished fact, and we can well understand that, accustomed as she had been to exercise sovereign power for eight years, she felt some secret anxiety in seeing this power taken from her. Monsieur de Croy, Seigneur de Chièvres, had always opposed the princess's administration, and was anxious to exclude her from the government; it was therefore an added blow to know that he would now, as Charles's counsellor, be in a position to deprive her of her nephew's confidence.

Margaret no longer presided at the State Council, and was only appealed to as a matter of form. The emperor's letters were not communicated to her, and she even heard rumours that she was accused of personal avarice and of having been unsuccessful in her rule. She keenly resented these accusations and complained to her father, and also addressed a memorandum to her nephew containing a sketch of her government, and accounts, with a full list of the gifts and payments made out of her private income.

Maximilian replied that he has written to Charles, and encloses a copy of the letter, in which he says: 'We make no doubt, because of the honour and love you owe to our very dear daughter, your aunt, that you communicate your chief and most arduous business to her, and that you take and use her good advice and counsel, from which, for natural reasons, you will always find more comfort, help, and support than from any other. In which, as a royal father, we exhort you always to continue, begging you affectionately to remember the way she laboured during your minority in the administration of your country ... and also 148 that you are her whole heart, hope, and heir,—that you will give her a good allowance, such as she has had until now ... for she has well deserved it from you.'

On August the 20th, 1515, Margaret presented a memorandum to her nephew before the assembled Council containing a justification of her government, which began thus: 'Monseigneur, as I evidently perceive, after having had such long patience, that by divers means they try to give you suspicions of me, your humble aunt, to withdraw me from your goodwill and confidence, which would indeed be a poor recompense for the services which I have rendered you until now, I am constrained to excuse myself....' She bitterly complains of the way she has been put aside, and protests against the calumnies brought against her. To justify her conduct, she recalls her services during Charles's minority, and firmly maintains that she always acted uprightly and loyally without any profit to herself, serving the prince from love, without any thought of gain. If any error should be found in the detailed account presented to the Council, she requests that it may be pointed out to her before the prince, so that she can answer it herself, for 'I prefer,' she says, 'that they should speak before me, than behind my back.' She then relates all the principal acts of her government, from the time the emperor first confided the regency to her care, and recalls her long struggles with the Duke of Gueldres, who, aided and abetted by the King of France, broke all treaties, and feared neither God nor man; and recounts the part she played in the alliance with England, and also at the Treaty of Cambray, which was only brought to a successful issue after much pain and trouble. She indignantly denies that she has been 149 the cause of renewed wars with Gueldres, for far from seeking war, she has ever striven for peace. 'And what has been the reward of all this service and sacrifice?' From the time of her appointment as regent she has given her time and money for her nephew's service, without touching a 'denier,' and spent more than three thousand florins from her own income. The prince's proposed emancipation was kept from her, though had her advice been asked she would not have opposed it; her opinion was no longer asked, and through calumnious imputations it was tried to injure her with her nephew. The payment of her pension was purposely delayed, though every nobleman could count on receiving the allowance due to him. 'If mine is larger,' she adds, addressing herself to her nephew, 'I am also your only aunt, and have no other son nor heir but you, and I know of no one to whom your honour is dearer than to me. You can rest assured, Monseigneur, that when it pleases you to make use of my services, and hold and treat me with the esteem which is reasonable, I will serve you well and loyally, not sparing my person or my goods, as I have done heretofore. But if you are pleased to give ear to what they tell you against me, and allow me to be treated as I see they have begun to do, I would much rather look after my own small affairs and gracefully retire, as I have already begged the emperor to allow me to do by my secretary, Marnix, when he was lately with him.'

After the young prince had listened to this eloquent justification, he declared, and the Chancellor agreed, 'that Madame was held fully discharged from all things, with many other fine words and promises.' On the back of the paper is a note containing 150 the names of the councillors present when Charles received the document, and at the end is a full account of the money received at different times from the Flemish States, and an appendix showing the various gifts from Margaret's own collection of treasures which she gave for the service of her government during her regency.

Peace was once more restored, and we hear of Margaret accompanying Charles at the various festivities which marked his majority.

The following extract is from Margaret's memorandum of gifts and sacrifices made by her during regency:—

'1. To the Duke of Juliers, who had accompanied her on her return from Germany, a large silver-gilt goblet, weighing sixteen marks, which had been given to her by the town of Antwerp.

'2. To the Controller of Calais, who had come on an embassy from the King of England, half-a-dozen cups, two jugs, and two flagons, all of silver, weighing together fifty-five marks.

'3. To the English ambassadors who came to treat about the marriage between her and the late King Henry VII., and who were afterwards sent to take part in the Peace of Cambray, viz., to the Count of Surrey a golden goblet out of which Madame drank every day, weighing three hundred golden crowns; to Richard Wingfield, second ambassador, twenty yards of velvet, twenty yards of satin, and twenty yards of damask; to the third ambassador ... twenty yards of velvet and twenty yards of damask; and to their herald, twenty yards of damask.

'4. To Monseigneur the Legate at the Treaty of Cambray, by the advice of the Council, a very beautiful golden goblet, weighing nearly six hundred 151 crowns, with a cover ornamented with large pearls, forming five trefoils of five pearls each, and between each trefoil a very fine balass ruby, each of the five table rubies valued at more than three hundred and fifty golden florins. The foot of the goblet had also five trefoils of medium-sized pearls and five balass rubies.' In short, this cup, surmounted by a great and beautiful emerald, was valued at more than four thousand golden florins. The Cardinal d'Amboise thought it so exquisite and beautiful that he considered he ought to present it to King Louis XII.

'5. To the Bishop of Paris, being an ecclesiastic, was given a beautiful and rich Book of Hours, which had been bought from Maillardet for the sum of four hundred golden crowns. It was ornamented with gold; and on both covers were two superb table diamonds, and to mark the place a large balass ruby, set clear, which was valued at more than a thousand florins, and to which were attached twenty-five silken cords, each one finished with a pearl.

'6. To the Count of Carpi, two large and rich silver flagons, which Madame had brought from Spain, each weighing twenty-two marks, of good workmanship.

'7. To the heralds, ushers, and other members of the French embassy, from four to five hundred gold crowns. "All given in order the better to nourish peace and love between France and this House, as the affairs of Monsieur require it." Other ambassadors, officers, and gentlemen received various gifts and presents to the amount of five thousand florins.

'Item.—Madame has lent her money for State affairs, and has greatly reduced the expenses of her own household.... For three years, far from having 152 a pension for her services, she spent her dowry as long as it lasted. It will also be found that during her government she never gave any gratuities to her dependants from the finances of Monsieur.'

This document, corrected in the margin by Margaret, is found in duplicate in the archives of Lille.

Magnificent fêtes everywhere inaugurated Charles's coming of age. The Pope presented him with the Golden Rose; and Maximilian, writing to Margaret on the 8th of December, hopes that she will see that the Pope's ambassador, who brought the gift, is well received by Charles, and orders that a sum of £700 be given to him.

M. Tailliar gives an interesting account of the young archduke's state entry into Douay, accompanied by Margaret: 'On the 15th of May 1516 Charles, King of Spain and Count of Flanders, having made his joyous entry into Douay, went next day, the 16th, to the market-hall to receive the oaths of fealty. The square in front of the hall was richly hung with velvet and cloth of gold. After hearing mass, the king appeared, accompanied by his aunt, Madame Margaret of Austria, and by his eldest sister, Madame. He took the oath in the prescribed manner, and likewise all those present swore fealty to him.'

King Ferdinand of Aragon had died on the 23rd of January 1516. By his will, Charles was excluded from the kingdom of Aragon, which was left to his younger brother, Ferdinand, who had been the old king's favourite; but in his last moments, repenting perhaps of this unjust arrangement, he made a codicil, in which he not only left Charles heir to all his estates, but also made him Grand Master of the Military 153 Orders, leaving Ferdinand with a pension of 50,000 ducats a year.

Although Queen Joanna was still alive, Charles assumed the title of King, and was first proclaimed Sovereign of Castile and Aragon, conjointly with his mother, at Brussels, where Ferdinand's funeral obsequies were celebrated in the cathedral of St. Gudule. 'Twice the king-at-arms of the Golden Fleece called aloud, "Don Ferdinand." Twice the answer came, "He is dead," and on this the great standard clattered to the ground. Then cried the herald, "Long live donna Jehanne and don Charles, by the grace of God Catholic kings," whereon Charles, doffing his mourning, received and brandished the sword of justice.'[52]

In Spain this assumption of the royal title was regarded as a breach of custom, and caused comment and discontent. Nevertheless Cardinal Ximenes had his young master proclaimed in Castile. The regency of Castile had been intrusted to him by Ferdinand until Charles's arrival, and that of Aragon to the late king's natural son, the Archbishop of Saragossa.

Before Charles succeeded to his Spanish kingdoms, his sister Mary had already left home for her short, though comparatively happy, marriage with the ill-fated Louis of Hungary, while Isabella had begun her miserable life with the brutal and licentious Christian II. of Denmark. His brother Ferdinand and his youngest sister Katharine were being brought up in Spain. Only Charles's eldest sister Eleanor remained at Brussels. About this time she seems to have had a rather serious flirtation with the handsome Count Palatine Frederick, who was the most accomplished nobleman of the Court, and though seventeen years his senior, Charles's earliest personal friend. The 154 affection between the count and Eleanor was mutual, and led to clandestine correspondence. Chièvres set Charles on the track of one of the count's love-letters. Pretending to wish his sister good-morning, he snatched it from her bosom before she had time to read it, and after a brief scrimmage secured the prize. 'Upon this his constancy into a like affair,' wrote Spinelli to Henry VIII., 'many do conject in him good stomak and couraggy, and how he will be fast in his determjnacions, and much extime the honnor of the worlde.' This singularly sound forecast of the character of the hitherto problematic boy of sixteen gives, perhaps, the first glimpse of his personality.[53]

Educated by the courtly William de Croy, Lord of Chièvres, with Adrian of Utrecht as preceptor, Charles developed manners and characteristics, half patrician, half plebeian, which was probably due to his tutors' opposite influences. De Croy's courteous manners gave him a stately bearing, reserve, and dignity which subsequently attached him to the Spaniards; while from Adrian he acquired the popular, easy-going and simple ways which made him so beloved by his Flemish subjects.


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His intellectual faculties did not develop early—he even showed marked aversion for science and letters, and preferred military exercises to the study of government. De Chièvres, however, made him study the history not only of his own kingdoms, but of those with which they were connected. He accustomed him, from the time of his assuming the government of Flanders, to attend to business, and persuaded him to read all papers relating to public affairs, to be present at the deliberations of his privy-councillors, and to propose to them himself those matters concerning 155 which he required their opinion. From such an education Charles contracted habits of gravity and recollection which scarcely suited his youth. The first openings of his genius did not show that superiority which its maturer age displayed.[54]

The French envoy once expressed surprise at Charles's diligence before De Chièvres, who replied: 'My friend, I am his tutor and master. When I die, I want him to be free, for if he does not understand his own affairs, after my death he will be obliged to have another tutor, and will always have to lean on others.'

Charles did not hurry at once to enter into his new possessions. He remained in Flanders until the repeated entreaties of Ximenes, and the advice of his grandfather, Maximilian, at last prevailed on him to embark for Spain. Before he set out he confirmed Margaret in the government of the Netherlands, and appointed a Council to assist her. Accompanied by his sister Eleanor, De Chièvres, his Prime Minister, and a splendid train of Flemish nobles, he set sail from Flushing on September the 8th, and after a dangerous voyage, landed at Villa Viciosa, in the province of Asturias. For six weeks Charles wandered through the wild mountainous country without entering any large town. On the last day of October the Constable of Castile met him, and soon the Spanish nobility flocked to greet their sovereign from all parts of the kingdom. But before Charles would show himself to his people he visited his mother and his youngest sister Katharine at Tordesillas. Queen Joanna was surprised to find Charles and Eleanor grown up, and asked if they were really her children. A little later Charles tried to remove his young sister 156 Katharine from her gloomy surroundings, but her secret abstraction caused her mother such grief that she had to be restored.

About this time Maximilian wrote to Margaret, sending advice to Charles, and begging her to continue to help him: 'My good daughter, thinking day and night about the affairs of my heirs, I have decided, chiefly for the good and honour of my son, King Charles, to write to my deputies who are with him, certain things concerning their good and that of their subjects. Knowing that you will be required by my said son to accomplish an honourable charge, we desire and we require that you should fulfil it; in so doing you will do a thing very pleasant and honourable to yourself, as you will more clearly understand from our deputies, Messieurs André de Burgo and Nycasy. And so 'A. Diu.' Written on the 2nd of March by the hand of your good and loyal father, Maxi.'

Charles's arrival in Spain caused great excitement among high and low, and every one was speculating about his appearance, character, and accomplishments. The Bishop of Badajoz sent the following interesting, though somewhat exaggerated, description of the new king and his surroundings to Cardinal Ximenes: 'The prince,' he says, 'has good parts, but he has been kept too much isolated from the world, and, in particular, he knows too little of Spaniards. He does not understand a single word of Spanish. He obeys his councillors implicitly; but, as he has entered the seventeenth year of his age, it would be well if he took part in the discussions of his Council.

'Monsieur de Chièvres is the most influential person in the prince's Court; he is prudent and gentle, but avaricious. The same may be said of the Chancellor 157 of Burgundy. On the whole, love of money is the besetting sin of the Flemings. They buy and sell the Government offices, and it is to be feared that they will introduce the same custom into Spain.... Monsieur de Chièvres is a Frenchman by birth, and keeps the prince very much under subjection to the King of France. The prince signs his letters to the King of France, "Your humble servant and vassal," ... and though he signs himself to others "Principe," he likes to be called king....'

Cardinal Ximenes' health was now rapidly declining. When the news of Charles's arrival in Spain had been brought to him he revived a little, and sent the young king letters of welcome, filled with good advice as to the best way of securing his people's affection. Charles answered in the most deferential manner, but his Belgian Ministers, fearing that the Cardinal would exercise too much influence over him, prevented their meeting by keeping the king in the north, and estranging him from Ximenes. Through their advice Charles wrote to the Cardinal in a very different strain, depriving him not only of the regency but of all share in state affairs. When the letter was brought to Ximenes at Roa he was dangerously ill. Adrian de Burgo was with him, but feared to tell him of the royal command, and the great Cardinal, who had preserved the kingdom of Castile intact for his master, passed away without the knowledge of Charles's ingratitude. He died on the 8th of November 1517 in the eighty-third year of his age.

De Chièvres had now no rival, and hoped to be as powerful in Spain as he was in the Netherlands.




On the 18th of November 1517, ten days after Ximenes' death, Charles, accompanied by a gorgeous train of nobles, ambassadors, and the flower of the Spanish army, made his state entry into Valladolid, the capital of Old Castile. The splendid procession slowly wound its way through the narrow streets of the town. First came thirty falconers, with birds on wrist, some wearing the king's livery of white, yellow, and red, others the red and green of Ferdinand, then two hundred of the royal guard, a contingent of Spanish Lancers, with the nobles' drum and fife bands, followed by twenty led chargers from the king's stables. Behind rode three hundred Spanish and Flemish nobles, then two hundred men-at-arms, with foreign ambassadors and heralds; and lastly Charles appeared, a truly regal figure in surcoat of crimson silk and gold brocade over his steel armour, seated on a prancing horse, 'with the majority of its legs always in the air,' but, as an eye-witness observed, the king no more stirred nor swayed than if he had been glued thereon.'[55]

Fêtes and tournaments followed, and the people flocked from far and near to see their king; but beneath the rejoicings there were murmurs and discontent, for the chief posts were given to Flemings, 159 to the exclusion of Spaniards, who naturally felt themselves slighted, and the clergy, to show their annoyance, rudely refused to quarter the royal suite. Jean le Sauvage, Grand Chancellor of Burgundy, was made Chancellor of Castile, and to De Chièvres' young nephew, a mere boy, was given the archbishopric of Toledo, the wealthiest see in Spain.

Amidst general discontent the Cortes opened on February 2nd, 1518. The town deputies began by objecting to the new Chancellor presiding over their first meeting. After some stormy debates, the oath of allegiance was taken to Charles and his mother conjointly, but it was appointed that Joanna's name should be placed before that of her son in all public acts. A generous subsidy of six hundred thousand ducats was voted for three years. Charles was petitioned to marry at once, and to keep his brother in Spain until there was a direct heir to the throne. To these requests he gave evasive answers, but when implored to learn Spanish, he replied that he had already begun to study the language. As a matter of fact he only knew a few words, and his answers were extremely abrupt and hesitating. An Italian envoy who was present remarked: 'He says little, is not of much ability, and is entirely ruled by his Flemish governors'; whilst the Marquis of Pescara, who became one of his greatest generals, reported that in three audiences he had not said three words. But the young monarch was only biding his time, and was soon to prove that he was not such a cipher as he allowed himself to appear.[56]

When Charles became king, his Ministers were anxious to bring about a reaction against Maximilian and Margaret's hostile attitude towards France, and 160 for this end Charles hastened to inform Francis I. of his accession. The French king replied by sending the Sire de la Roche with his affectionate congratulations, and expressed the hope that their friendship would become still closer. In an enthusiastic letter to Francis, Charles said: 'Monseigneur, in order to continue the fervent love I bear you, I wished as a good son to a good father, to inform you of my prosperous accession here, which is such, that in giving thanks to our Creator, who directs all things, yesterday, after mass was solemnly celebrated in the temple of our said Creator, accompanied by many ambassadors, yours amongst them, I was splendidly well received, and unanimously acknowledged lord and king of these my realms of Castile, Leon, Granada, and their dependencies, by the prelates, nobles, and representatives of the said kingdoms, with such great reverence and goodwill that ... nothing could be better....'[57] But Charles had a long progress in front of him, and soon after left Castile and set out for Saragossa, the capital of Aragon, in order to attend the Cortes of that kingdom. On his way there he took leave of his brother Ferdinand, whom he sent to Germany on the pretext of visiting Maximilian. This prudent but unpopular manœuvre probably saved Charles his Spanish dominions, for in the struggle that followed with the Cortes of Aragon the Spaniards would willingly have offered the crown to the younger brother, who had been brought up amongst them, and who was a favourite with all the people.

All this time Margaret was anxiously following every movement of her beloved nephew, and was kept well informed of his reception and progress. 161 In one of her letters to Maximilian she says: 'Yesterday I received letters from the king, my lord and nephew, who is very well, and behaves himself so wisely and discreetly, that it is to his great honour and profit. He is, I understand, thinking of sending his brother over here about the month of April, which I much desire.'

On July the 24th, 1518, Charles issued an edict from Saragossa authorising his aunt to sign all documents in his name, giving her full power as though she was ruler, and causing the following announcement to be published in the Netherlands:—'By our letters-patent given in our town of Saragossa, on the 24th day of July last, and for the things contained therein, we have ordained that our very dear Lady and Aunt, the Lady Margaret, Archduchess of Austria, Dowager of Savoy, etc., shall sign from henceforth all letters, acts, and documents with her own hand, which are issued for us, and for our business over there, which ought to be sealed with our seal. Signing with these words: 'Par le Roy. Marguerite'; that she shall have the care of the seal of our finances, and that she alone shall provide and dispose of the appointments of this our country, for we have given and left the disposal of them to her, assisted by the chief and other members of our privy council....'[58]

Maximilian was delighted when he heard of Charles's renewed confidence in his aunt, and wrote to Margaret expressing his pleasure in the following letter, which was one of the last he was destined to write to her:—'Very dear and much-beloved daughter, we have received your letters of the 25th of October, and hear through them of the honour and 162 authority that our good son, the Catholic king, has lately bestowed upon you, which gives us great pleasure, and we have good hope that you will so acquit yourself to the wellbeing, guidance, and direction of his affairs, that he may not only have cause to be pleased, but as your good nephew he will increase your said authority more and more. In doing which he could do nothing more pleasing to us. This God knows, and may He, very dear and much-beloved daughter, have you in His keeping. Written from our town of Wels, the 12th day of December, in the year 1518. Your good father, Maxi.'[59]

This same year Margaret's eldest niece, Eleanor, was married to Emmanuel, King of Portugal, who had previously married first Isabel and then Maria, both daughters of Ferdinand and Isabella. Her elderly husband did not long survive his third marriage, but died in 1523, and was succeeded by John III., who, in the following year, married Eleanor's youngest sister, Katharine.

Since the summer Maximilian's health had gradually been declining. In July he presided for the last time at the Diet of Augsburg, and earnestly pressed for the fulfilment of his two dearest wishes—the fitting out of a crusade against the Turks, and the elector's promise to secure the succession to the imperial crown for his grandson, Charles. To this latter request there existed the obstacle, that as he himself had never been crowned by the Pope, he was only regarded by the Roman See as King of the Romans, and therefore Charles could not be invested with that dignity. Maximilian, however, spared no means to gain his ends, and bribed heavily 163 wherever he thought it advisable. Charles appears to have objected to the exorbitant price that was put upon the imperial crown, knowing well that he would one day have to raise the promised sums from his resources in Spain, but his grandfather and Margaret, with their councillors, overruled his objections, and strongly advised him not to bargain for fear of the French king profiting by his stinginess. In an enigmatical letter Margaret thus expresses herself:—'The Lord King, my nephew, has written to us that the horse on which he wishes to come and see us is very dear. We know well that it is dear; but as matters stand, if he does not wish to have it, there is a buyer ready to take it, and, since he has broken it in, it seems a pity that he should give it up, whatever it costs him.'[60] Whilst Maximilian was engaged in taking measures to obtain his desires, the elector's attention was fully occupied by formidable religious troubles. The monk, Martin Luther, had arisen and vehemently declaimed against certain practices of the Church of Rome, and a spirit of revolt and restlessness was in the air. Maximilian does not appear to have been greatly interested in the commencement of the Reformation. Although in his letters to Margaret he often satirically complained of 'les beaux pratikes de la sainte mère de l'Église,' still he was far from upholding any schism in the Church, and urged on by the solicitations of the monks, he wrote to Leo X. asking him to determine the religious disputes by his decision, and summoned Luther to appear with a safe conduct before the Diet of Augsburg to answer for his attack on the system of Indulgences. Luther arrived too 164 late for the Assembly, and the emperor never saw him, but at the subsequent interview that took place before the Cardinal Legate the monk was told he must either recant his heresies or depart. He refused to recant, and departed to Wittenberg, there to write and publish an account of his interview, which was read far and wide, and helped to further the spirit of schism and revolt.

After a summer spent at Innsbrück, where he was attacked by an intermittent fever, the emperor travelled to Wels, in Upper Austria, hoping that the pure country air would restore his health. But the fever continued, aggravated, it is said, by too violent exercise, and an imprudent indulgence in melons. Soon dysentery supervened, and on the 12th of January 1519 he passed away in the sixtieth year of his age.

As long as he had been able to do so, Maximilian bravely attended to public business, but racked with fever at night, and unable to sleep, he tried to soothe his weariness by having the history of the House of Austria and legends of the saints related to his house read aloud to him. Feeling that his end was near, he asked for a Carthusian monk from Brisgau. When the monk entered his room the emperor sat up and received him with every sign of joy, and turning to the officers standing round his bed he said: 'This is the man who will show me the way to heaven.' With an untroubled mind, and every semblance of piety, he received the last sacraments, and gave minute directions as to his burial, which he wished to be as simple as possible. To show the emptiness of human greatness he ordered that after death his teeth should be drawn, his body polled and shaved (rasé et épilé), and exposed for a whole day, 165 then enclosed in a sack of quicklime and placed in a coffin which he had carried about with him since 1515, and buried in the church of the castle of Nieustad under the altar dedicated to Saint George, in such a position that his head should be under the feet of the celebrant. His heart he wished to be buried at Bruges, near his first wife, Mary of Burgundy, 'sa réelle épouse.' Having thus made all arrangements, he took leave of those present, raising his hand and giving them his blessing. 'Why do you weep,' he asked, 'because you see in me a mortal? Such tears suit women better than men.' And thus calmly and fearlessly Maximilian faced death, reverently responding to the monk's prayers until his voice failed; but when he could no longer utter, still showed by signs that he followed the holy office, until sinking into unconsciousness, with a smile upon his face, he passed away before the dawn.


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Maximilian was twice married; first, to Mary of Burgundy, through whom he became possessed of the vast domains of that house; and secondly, to Bianca Sforza, daughter of the Duke of Milan, by whom he had no children. Of a kindly and chivalrous nature and endowed with many good qualities, Maximilian was popular amongst his subjects, but obtained little esteem from his contemporaries, owing to a radical inconstancy and indecision of temper, and an extravagance which involved him in perpetual pecuniary embarrassments. Margaret was not present at her father's death, but no one felt his loss more keenly than she did, for he had ever shown himself an affectionate and devoted parent, and though so often parted, their intercourse had been, as their correspondence proves, of the closest and most intimate 166 kind. Her grief found vent in a long poem or lament, in which she enumerates her many sorrows:

'.... O mort trop oultrageuse!

Tu a estain la fleur chevaleureuse

Et as vaincu celluy qui fust vainqueur,

Maximilien, ce très-noble Empereur,

Qui en bonté à nul ne se compère.

C'estoy César, mon seul seigneur et père,

Mais tu l'as mis en trop piteux estat,

Sépulturé au chasteau Nieustat....'[61]

Amongst the condolences which she received there is an interesting joint-letter in Latin from Anne of Hungary (who was betrothed to Ferdinand of Austria), and from Ferdinand's sister Mary (affianced to Louis of Hungary). The letter is written from Innsbrück on the 22nd of January and signed by both princesses.

Maximilian did much to improve his country, and greatly encouraged art and learning. He especially favoured the universities of Vienna and Ingoldstadt, and caused at least two works to be written under his own personal direction—Theuerdank in verse, and Weiss Künig in prose—in both of which he figures as the hero. He also rendered an important service to Germany by abolishing the famous secret tribunal of Westphalia.

Charles was on his way to Barcelona when he received the news of his grandfather's death. Deputing Adrian of Utrecht to hold the Cortes of Valencia, he hurried from Barcelona to Corunna on the Galician coast, intending to set sail for his new kingdom. His appointment of Adrian as sole regent was the crowning insult to Spanish feelings; the 167 Cardinal had little experience and less ability; above all he was of low birth and a foreigner, and the king had promised to bestow no office on 'those who were not natives of the kingdom.' Besides, a Cortes had been summoned to meet at Santiago in Galicia, outside Castile, and the Castilians felt deeply injured. Discontent was rife on all sides, and many wild rumours were afloat. It availed little that Charles in his broken Spanish promised to return in three years. The deputies were not mollified, and demurred to granting the desired subsidy, which was only reluctantly voted. Charles excused his hurried departure from Spain on the plea of his obligation to attend to his new dominions, but this excuse did not pacify his discontented subjects, who foresaw the misery of his prolonged absence, with a hated foreigner as regent.

Maximilian's death revived Francis I.'s hopes of gaining the much-coveted imperial crown, for he was not long in recognising the equivocal and expectant attitude of the electors who had formally promised their votes to the dead emperor. He now entered the lists as Charles's rival, and tried to gain over the electors by every means in his power.

Margaret was in despair at the apparent small chance of her nephew's success, and with the advice of her Council prepared to send the Archduke Ferdinand into Germany to look after his brother's interests, and suggested that Charles should waive his claim in favour of Ferdinand, whose candidature would be less likely to be opposed by the Pope and the German princes.

But Charles was as adamant, and indignantly rejected this proposal, asserting that it had been his grandfather's wish that he alone should succeed to 168 the imperial dignities, and for this end the electors had promised him their votes. If Ferdinand was chosen, the empire would be weakened, and the House of Austria divided, to the gratification of his enemies. 'He alone,' he haughtily said, 'ought to be emperor in order to uphold the splendour of his House, and realise the great designs he had conceived for the good of Christianity. Should our person be elected, as is reasonable from what has gone before, we could carry out many good and great plans, and not only preserve and keep the dominions that God has given us, but greatly increase them, by giving peace, repose, and tranquillity to all Christendom, in exalting and upholding our holy Catholic faith which is our chief foundation....'[62]

Margaret hastened to justify her conduct in a letter to Charles on the 21st of March, in which she said that when the news of Maximilian's illness reached the Netherlands, the Council had judged it wiser to send Ferdinand to Germany to watch over Charles's hereditary domains, but that the archduke would yield to his brother's wishes, 'for,' she added, 'one could not see a better or more debonair prince of his age.'

As matters turned out, Charles's determination was fully justified, for Francis's methods had not proved successful, and had only alienated him from some of his most powerful supporters. The condottiere, Franz von Sickingen, the Duke of Bouillon, and his brother Érard de la Marck, Bishop of Liége, offended by Francis's treatment of them, went over to the Court of Brussels and upheld the interest of the Spanish king.

The rivalry which from henceforth existed between 169 the two young monarchs promised ere long to break the friendly relations with which Charles's reign began, but Margaret with her usual diplomacy saw the danger of a rupture with France at such a moment, and strongly advised Charles to keep on good terms with his rival. Acting on this wise advice, when Robert de la Marck left France and joined the Court at Brussels, Charles's ambassadors hastened to assure the French king that their master had taken no part in Robert's defalcation, and to support their assertion proposed that Charles should marry Francis's youngest daughter, Princess Charlotte, which offer was very well received.

To get an idea of the activity and political talents Margaret displayed in connection with Charles's election one must read her correspondence with Frederick, Count Palatine, Maximilian de Berghes, Henry of Nassau, her treasurer Marnix, the Cardinals of Sion and Gurce, John de la Saulx, and Gérard de Pleine, and glance through her accounts and receipts, which show what enormous sums were spent in presents, bribes, pensions, and salaries on all those who were likely to contribute to the desired end. The Archbishops of Cologne, Mayence, and Trèves, and their councillors received between them nearly five hundred florins in gold. In these curious accounts large sums appeared to have been lavished not only on the principal negotiators, but on their relations, friends, and servants. Thus five hundred florins are given to the Archbishop of Trèves' nephew, a hundred to the Cardinal of Mayence's valet-de-chambre, and a present of two thousand florins is promised to Count John, the elector of Cologne's brother, who is supposed to have more influence than the elector himself.[63]

170 Margaret also drew largely from her own revenues in furthering her nephew's interests, and transferred to him the duchies and lordships she had inherited from Maximilian. In grateful appreciation Charles presented her with the town and territory of Malines for her life and a sum of two hundred thousand golden florins (the deed being signed on September the 18th, 1520, at Brussels). In a long letter written from Barcelona, on the 22nd of February 1519, he thanks her warmly for all the trouble she has taken with regard to his election, recommending her to spare no means to obtain the desired end. He says:—

'Madame ma bonne tante et très chiers et féaulx, nous avons reçus vos lettres des viii et onze de ce mois, ensemble plusieurs copies de lettres que ont été escriptes à vous notre tante, d'Allemagne, d'Angleterre et ailleurs, par lesquelles vos lettres avons congneu le grand soing, devoir et diligence que portez en tout nos affaires et singulièrement en celuy d'Allemagne, et louons les bonnes dépesches que y avez fait vers les princes électeurs et autres, et l'envoy des personnaiges tant en Allemagne, Angleterre et Rome, louant aussy Dieu notre Créateur que nos affaires sont en si bon train partout, et que y faites si bonne provision de votre cousté, comme faisons ici de la nôtre, sans y rien épargner, et ne cessons de continuellement en écripre à Rome, Angleterre, Allemagne et ailleurs par tout où il est besoing et necessité; car, pour un tel et si gros affaire, ne voulons cette fois riens obmettre. Vous recommandant tousjours persévérer en vos bonnes diligences, selon la confidence que en portons à vous.

'Il nous semble que le seigneur de Zevenberghe et autres nos conseillers, out très prudement fait et advisé d'avoir envoié le marquis Casimirus et comte de 171 Mansfeldt devers le marquis Joachim et de là outre vers le duc Fédericq de Saxe. Nous espérons que les deux bonnes lettres que avons naguères écript de nostre main au comte Fédericq palatin, inclineront luy et son frère à persévérer en la promesse qu'ils nous ont faite. Nous tenons aussy que le comte de Nassau ou de Hoghostraet en passant pardevers l'archevêque de Coulongne, feront quelque bien vers luy. Nous désirons que faites pratiquer Franciscus de Seckinghen si fait ne l'avez, pour l'avoir en notre service, et appointer de son traitement avec luy, ainsi que, par plusieurs fois, le vous avons écript.

'Nous faisons présentement response au seigneur de Zevenberghe sur lesdites lettres, et luy envoions nouveau pouvoir, instruction et lettres de crédence, délaissant le nom en blan de celuy qui en aura la charge par l'advis des gens de notre conseil d'Isbroeck, pour envoyer devers les Suisses renouveller et confirmer les alliances que nos maisons d'Austriche et de Bourgogne ont avec eux, et les faire plus estroités et meilleures, s'il est possible.

'Nous escripvons aussy au Cardinal de Gurce, ledit seigneur de Zevenberghe, Villinger et autres nos conseillers, que s'ils sont requis de notre part par la grande lighe de Swane d'assistance come chief d'icelle lighe, et voyent que ce soit notre bien, proufit, seureté et avancement de nos affaires, qu'ils prendent led. Franciscus de Seckinghen avec six cens chevaux pour un mois ou deux, et les baillent en assistance de ladite lighe contre le duc de Wirtemberghe, et payent iceux chevaux des deniers que Amerstorff avoit emporté pour lever les IIIIm piétons que devoient aller à Naples.

'Par les lettres que naguerre nous a écript le roy d'Angleterre, et ce que nous a dit son ambassadeur 172 étant lez nous, avons entendu la bonne affection qu'il nous porte à l'avancement de notre élection, et qu'il a écript bien affectueusement à notre Saint Père le pape de la vouloir favoriser et donner charge au Cardinal de Syon soy trouver de sa part à la journée de l'élection, pour y faire pour nous ce qu'il sera possible, et soubs espoir que avons notredit saint Père donnera ladite charge audit Cardinal de Syon, et la confidence que prendons qu'il nous servira bien en cest affaire, mandons au Foucker et à Villinger bailler à iceluy cardinal mil florins d'or pour l'ayder à ses dépens.

'Et pour mercyer ledit roy d'Angleterre, lui escripvons présentement gratieuses lettres et aussy au cardinal d'Yorck, et pareillement à notre ambassadeur maître Jean Jonglet, en la sorte que verrez par nos lettres cy rendues ouvertes, lesquelles leur envoyerez closes et diligemment....'[64]

The Pope at first warmly upheld Francis I.'s claim and opposed his rival, but he soon saw that the French king had small chance of success, whilst all seemed in favour of Charles. Leo X. did not dissemble that he would have preferred a less powerful emperor than either the King of Castile or the King of France—'but,' as Charles confidently wrote to his envoys in Germany, 'if it should come to choosing either of us two, he has given out that he would be better pleased with us than with the said King of France, and would not refuse us the said dispensation nor any other thing that we should ask.'[65]

Although things seemed to be in his favour, still 173 the King of Spain's election was far from a certainty. Henry of Nassau, writing to Margaret, did not conceal the difficulties that had to be overcome. 'The king,' he says, 'is little known in Germany; the French have said much against him, and the Germans, who come from Spain, have hardly said any good.'

Whilst the struggle between the rival kings' agents continued, the kings themselves were no less anxious as to the final issue. Charles was certain that if the imperial crown left the House of Austria the French would lay claim to his hereditary German states as well as to his kingdom of Naples; and besides being forced to renounce for ever the recovery of the duchy of Burgundy, he might even run the risk of being despoiled of the Netherlands.

On the other hand, the possible election of Charles filled Francis with dismay. On the 16th of April 1519 he wrote to his ambassadors in Germany: 'You understand the reason that moves me to acquire the empire and prevent the Catholic king from acquiring it. If he gets it, seeing the greatness of the kingdoms and lordships he possesses, he might, in time, do me inestimable harm. I should always be uneasy and mistrustful, and it is to be feared that he would take good care to drive me out of Italy.'

But at last the long struggle came to an end, the Pope withdrew his opposition, and Margaret was rewarded by Charles's election at Frankfort as King of the Romans on June 28th, 1519, five months and ten days after Maximilian's death. The news of his election was conveyed in nine days from Frankfort to Barcelona, where Charles was detained by the Catalonian Cortes. His coronation, which gave him the title of 'Romanorum Imperator,' did not take 174 place until the following year. The title of Emperor, though carrying with it no possessions, gave him the position of 'first of earthly potentates in dignity and rank.'

Louise of Savoy bitterly alludes to her son's successful rival in her diary. 'En Juillet, Charles Ve de ce nom, fils de Philippe, archiduc d'Autriche, fut, après que l'Empire eut esté vacant par l'espace de cinq mois, éleu roy des Romains en la ville de Francfort. Pleut à Dieu qu'il eust plus longuement vacquée, ou bien que pour jamais on l'eust laissé entre les mains de Jhésus-Christ, auquel il appartient et non à d'autres.'[66] Public rejoicings and processions gave expression to the Netherlanders' joy at this great event, and the States enthusiastically voted 200,000 crowns for the expenses of the forthcoming coronation. On the 30th of June Margaret informed the governors of the provinces of Charles's election, and at the same time ordered the towns and villages to give thanks to God 'by processions, sermons, pious prayers and orisons,' and to have 'fireworks, rejoicings, and other festivities which were suitable and usual in such a case.' In her letter to the Governor of Lille she triumphantly says: 'We have, this hour, received letters from the ambassadors of the king, my lord and nephew, who are now in Germany, in which they inform us that ... MM. the electors of the Holy Empire have unanimously, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit ... elected my said lord and nephew King of the Romans.... We command you ... to inform his good subjects ... requesting them to praise and render thanks to God our Creator, by processions, sermons, devout prayers and orisons.'

175 Margaret's instructions were well carried out, and the festivities lasted a month until the end of July.

But Charles was badly needed in Flanders, for the four years' truce with Charles of Gueldres had expired, and the Guelderlanders were again giving trouble. Margaret's hands were full, and she anxiously awaited her nephew's arrival. After having handed over the government to Adrian of Utrecht, he left Barcelona on the 20th of January, and disregarding the murmurs of his Spanish subjects, who were smarting under the insult of a Castilian Cortes being summoned to meet at Santiago, passed through Burgos, Valladolid, and Gallicia to the port of Corunna.

He set sail towards the end of May and steered a straight course for England, intending to pay a visit to Henry VIII. and his aunt, Queen Katharine. A negotiation had for some time been secretly carried on between Cardinal Wolsey and the Court of Spain, and this visit was not as sudden as it appeared. In the previous March Charles had sent envoys to England to propose a friendly visit during his intended journey from Spain to Flanders. In a letter written to Charles by his ambassadors from London on the 19th of March 1520 we learn that King Henry sent for them to Greenwich on the previous day, which was a Sunday, and after mass took them aside, Cardinal Wolsey and Queen Katharine being present, and told them that he was very glad that things had turned out as they had done, and addressing Queen Katharine said, that when the emperor, his brother, and her nephew should arrive, he hoped to see him before meeting his brother of France.... That he had written to the French king to postpone seeing him until later, but had 176 taken care not to give any reason for so doing. He hoped he would receive a favourable reply, for he thought it hardly possible that the King of France had heard of the emperor's intended visit to England, for when he heard of it he would not be pleased, and for this reason things were to be kept as secret as possible. 'The queen then raised her eyes to heaven and praised God for the hope she had for the fulfilment of her dearest wish, which was to see your Majesty, and humbly thanked her lord the king, making him a very low curtsey, and the said lord king took off his cap and said to her, "We on our side will do all that we can...."'[67]

With every precaution of secrecy a treaty was signed on the 11th of April minutely arranging the reception of Charles by Henry and Katharine, either at Sandwich on his way to the Netherlands, or at a subsequent meeting between Calais and Gravelines.

It was towards the end of May when news was brought to Henry at Canterbury that the emperor's fleet had been sighted off Plymouth, and was sailing up the Channel. Wolsey was sent off at once to greet Charles with a Latin speech and invite him to land. Surrounded by his suite and a goodly retinue, Charles landed at Dover on May 26th, and was conducted to the castle, where, early on the following morning, Henry arrived and warmly welcomed his nephew. Amidst cheering crowds, who wondered at the simplicity of the Spanish king's dress and following, the two monarchs rode together to Canterbury, where Queen Katharine impatiently awaited her sister's son. By her side was her little daughter, Mary Tudor, a fair-haired child of four, with big 177 brown eyes, and near her stood the elder Mary Tudor, the beautiful Duchess of Suffolk, former Queen of France. Charles stayed four days feasting at Canterbury, during which time he cleverly managed to attach Wolsey more closely to his interests by whispering promises of future assistance when the papal throne should become vacant, and deeply impressing the English king by his mature judgment, deference, and courtesy. It was agreed that the two sovereigns should shortly meet again between Calais and Gravelines, and that Henry should be accompanied by Katharine and Charles by Margaret. And so, with many expressions of goodwill on all sides, Charles set sail from Sandwich for Flanders on the same day that Henry embarked at Dover for Calais on his way to meet Francis between Ardres and Guisnes at the memorable scene of splendour and display known as 'the Field of the Cloth of Gold.'[68]

On the 1st of June Charles landed at Flushing at four o'clock in the afternoon, and continued his journey to Bruges, where he was warmly welcomed by Margaret and his brother Ferdinand, surrounded by the chief Flemish nobles, ambassadors from Venice, and deputies from the principal German towns.

Charles was now in his twenty-first year. Of middle height, with well-proportioned limbs, a pale sallow complexion, light blue eyes, aquiline nose, and a protruding lower jaw, his expression, though heavy, was at once dignified and reserved; no trace of passing emotion disturbed the serenity of his features. His broad forehead and penetrating glance 178 gave strength to his expression, and his gentle courtesy and charm of manner won him the affection of all those who had to serve him. An interesting insight into his character is given in a letter from Gérard de Pleine to Margaret:—'There is no one great enough or wise enough in his kingdom to make him change his opinion, if he does not see a reason for changing it. I have known many princes at different times, but none who have taken greater pains to understand their affairs, or who disposed of them more absolutely than he does. He is his own treasurer of finance and his own treasurer of war; he bestows offices, bishoprics, appointments as God inspires him, without listening to the prayers of any.'

A little later, Aleander, whom Leo X. sent to persuade Charles to condemn Luther, gives an interesting estimate of the emperor's character. Aleander was a man of the world and a scholar, and though well aware of the faults of the Church and the folly of the Papacy, was eager to extirpate what he believed to be the seeds of social and ecclesiastical anarchy. On being granted an audience he addressed the emperor in French; Charles replied by declaring his willingness to risk his life in defence of the Church and the Holy See. He spoke at some length, but so extremely well that Aleander was much impressed by his ability, and wrote admiringly, 'Say what they will, this prince seemed to me well endowed with sense and with prudence, far beyond his years; to have much more, however, at the back of his head than he carries on his face.'[69]

Charles had asked his aunt to convoke the States-General, and he found them assembled when he 179 arrived at Brussels. In a long speech he praised Margaret's wise administration, loyalty and devotion, and thanked her Council for the help they had given. He repeated that, in spite of his absence, 'his heart had always been with them.' He then gave a summary of his sojourn in Spain, and informed the States that he had returned to take possession of the imperial crown, as well as the domains he had inherited in Germany, but that he was badly in need of funds, and asked them to do their best to help him.

The meeting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, where Francis I. tried by every means in his power to ingratiate himself with the English king, was hardly over when Charles started for Gravelines to try and efface the impression produced by his rival. Gravelines was a small place, ill-fitted for the reception of kings, but Charles had different methods than those employed by Francis, and he succeeded in confirming himself in his uncle's good graces by showing him the most courteous deference, and flattering his vanity in offering that he should act as arbitrator in any differences which might arise between Spain and France. Henry and Francis had already signed a treaty on the 6th of June whereby it was settled that the Dauphin should marry the Princess Mary; but on the 14th of July another treaty was secretly arranged in which the French alliance was indefinitely postponed, and Charles's marriage with Mary agreed upon, although at the time he was pledged to marry the French Princess Charlotte. Wolsey was largely responsible for this change in affairs, for he was now bidding high for the emperor's favour, though outwardly he still kept on good terms with Francis.

The Chronicle of Calais gives an interesting 180 account of Henry's meeting with Charles at Gravelines on the 10th of July 1520. Margaret accompanied her nephew, and together, with a brilliant following of lords and ladies, the two monarchs and the regent journeyed to Calais. Within the town a large tent had been erected intended for a banqueting-hall, the seats arranged in tiers and draped with rich tapestries. The roof painted to represent the sky with sun, moon, stars, and clouds; but a great storm of wind and rain arose, and during the night the great tent, with all its fine decorations and tapestries, was blown down and ruined.

The two kings spent four days together, first at Gravelines and then at Calais, when, after taking an affectionate farewell of each other, they parted; Charles and Margaret journeying by slow stages towards Aix-la-Chapelle, which, by a decree of the Golden Bull, had been chosen as the scene of the emperor's coronation.

At Maestricht he reappointed Margaret as regent, and gave her a Council presided over by Philippe de Bourgogne, Bishop of Utrecht, and Érard de la Marck, Bishop of Liége. The Council of Malines, the Court of Holland, and the tribunals of the other provinces were henceforth made subordinate to the Council of the Regency established by the emperor. This arrangement infringed the privileges of these bodies, but Charles, deaf to their protests, abolished all privileges which were contrary to this new régime. In order to put an end to petty squabbles and ensure an equal protection to all, he gave, before starting for Germany, the command of the army to Count Henry III. of Nassau. Accompanied by Margaret he then left Maestricht and passed a night at the castle of Wettheim.

181 Charles's election had called forth much enthusiasm in Germany. The towns he passed through gave him a hearty welcome, for they looked to him to restore order and redress their grievances.

On the 22nd of October he made his state entry into Aix-la-Chapelle, where the electors of Mayence, Cologne, and Trèves, and the ambassadors of the Duke of Saxony and the Margrave of Brandenburg had arrived the day before. Charles had been elected emperor on June the 28th, 1519; but it was not until October 23rd, 1520, that he was crowned at Aix. There in the church of Notre-Dame, in presence of a vast assembly, with every detail of gorgeous ceremonial, the crown of Charlemagne was placed upon his head; he swore to uphold the Catholic faith, defend the Church, administer justice, maintain the rights of the empire, recover its lost possessions, and render due obedience to the Pope and the Roman Church. The Archbishop of Cologne, turning to the assembled crowd, asked the German people if they would swear fealty to their prince and uphold his government. A loud assent was given. 'Charles was then anointed on his head, breast, arms and hands, clothed in the deacon's robe of Charlemagne, and girt with the great emperor's sword, crowned with his golden crown, and then with ring on finger and ball and sceptre in hand, he was led to the stone seat of empire.'[70]

The next day the Archbishop of Mayence proclaimed that Charles had assumed the title of Roman Emperor Elect. His coronation as Emperor and King of Lombardy did not take place until 1530, when he was crowned at Bologna by Pope Clement VII.

182 On November 1st he summoned the States to meet at Worms, and in January 1521 travelled thither to be present at the Diet, where he and Martin Luther met face to face for the first and last time.




Almost at the same time that Charles was crowned at Aix, the most enterprising and accomplished of the Turkish sultans, Solyman the Magnificent, ascended the Ottoman throne. The world has seldom seen such a brilliant constellation of rulers as now filled the principal thrones of Europe. Leo X., Charles V., Francis I., Henry VIII., and Solyman the Magnificent each possessed talents which would have made them conspicuous in any age, but which together made the history of Europe during the first half of the sixteenth century peculiarly interesting.

After his coronation, Charles returned to Brussels with Margaret. For some time past alarming news had reached him from his regent in Spain, where open rebellion had now broken out. Adrian of Utrecht was quite unequal to the task of coping with the insurgents, and first Medina del Campo, then Valladolid, and lastly Tordesillas (where Queen Joanna was confined) fell into the hands of the rebels. The great seal and state papers were seized, Adrian narrowly escaped being taken prisoner with his Council, and only saved himself by flight.

When Joanna heard that the rebel leader Padilla and his host had arrived before Tordesillas she ordered the townspeople to welcome them, and ostensibly 184 made herself head of the revolution, authorising the leaders to summon the Cortes to meet in her palace. But although the members of the Junta declared her sane, Joanna's refusal to sign any documents or come to any decision hopelessly checkmated their efforts, and early in December the Government troops were able to take Tordesillas by assault after four hours' desperate fighting.[71]

Meanwhile imploring letters reached Charles from his Councillors begging him to return to Spain and quell the rebellion; this he refused to do, until it suited his convenience, but appointed two Spanish nobles, the Constable and Admiral of Castile, to assist Adrian in restoring order, with strict injunctions to make no concessions. Before many months were out peace was once more restored, and the Communeros finally crushed in the following April at the battle of Villalar.

In January 1521 Charles sailed up the Rhine to attend the Diet which he had summoned to meet at Worms. It opened on January the 28th, and dragged on its wearisome deliberations for several months. Of all the questions the emperor had to solve, that of Luther was the hardest. The Pope did his best to complicate matters by urging that Luther should be condemned unheard; but the state of public feeling was such that Charles deemed it wiser to consult the Diet, who decided that the monk should be heard. A herald was therefore despatched to Wittemberg bearing a letter from the emperor with a promise of safe conduct. Luther appeared at Worms on April the 16th. Brought before Charles, he admitted the authorship of his books, but refused to withdraw any of his doctrines. He spoke boldly 185 and impressively, but when he enlarged upon the Pope's iniquities, the emperor reprimanded him, nor would he listen to the monk's denial of the authority of Councils. Charles was not impressed by Luther's manner or bearing, and during the interview was heard to remark, 'This man will never make me a Lutheran.' This was their first and last encounter, for the emperor and monk were destined never to meet again.

The next day Charles handed his remarkable declaration to the German princes in which he said: 'My predecessors ... left behind them the holy Catholic rites that I should live and die therein, and so until now with God's aid I have lived as becomes a Christian emperor.... A single monk, led astray by private judgment, has set himself against the faith held by all Christians for a thousand years and more, and impudently concludes that all Christians up to now have erred. I have therefore resolved to stake upon this cause all my dominions, my friends, my body and my blood, my life and soul.... After Luther's stiff-necked reply in my presence yesterday, I now repent that I have so long delayed proceedings against him and his false doctrines. I have now resolved never again, under any circumstances, to hear him. Under protection of his safe conduct he shall be escorted home, but forbidden to preach and seduce men with his evil doctrines and incite them to rebellion....'

But Luther's brave bearing at Worms was his most heroic moment, nor was his power in Germany ever again so great as in 1521, nor was he ever again so truly the voice of the people.[72]

On April the 25th Charles ordered him to leave 186 Worms, and next day the monk departed, escorted by twenty horsemen. A few days later an edict was published in the emperor's name, and by authority of the Diet, depriving him of all the privileges he enjoyed as a subject of the empire, forbidding any prince to harbour or protect him, and requiring all to help in seizing his person as soon as the time specified in the safe conduct had expired. In less than a fortnight he had disappeared, rescued from his adversaries by the Elector of Saxony, who kept the place of his retreat carefully concealed.

Meanwhile Francis I. had been actively engaged in sending forces against the frontiers of Belgium and Italy. Charles, through Margaret, made an appeal to the States-General convoked at Mons on February 9th, 1521. In a spirited speech she pointed out the perfidious conduct of Francis, who she declared was daily trying to induce the European powers to make war against the emperor's dominions. Amongst others she quoted his efforts to obtain support from the Kings of Denmark and Scotland, the Dukes of Savoy, Lorraine, and Ferrara, the republic, the Swiss League, and Charles of Gueldres. She then implored the assembly to grant help to protect the empire from its enemies. The people were flattered by this appeal to their patriotism, and hastened to prove that their emperor had not appealed to them in vain.

On the 5th of May 1521 the Archduke Ferdinand concluded his marriage with Princess Anne of Hungary, and Charles conferred the five duchies of Austria, Carinthia, Carniola, Styria, and Tyrol upon his brother, to which he added later the German possessions inherited from Maximilian.

On May the 29th he confirmed a secret treaty 187 with Leo X. through Don John Manuel, his ambassador in Rome, by which the Pope and emperor agreed to join forces to expel the French out of the Milanaise, to restore Parma and Piacenza to the Church, the emperor helping the Pope to conquer Ferrara, in return for the investiture of the kingdom of Naples. This treaty was carefully concealed from De Chièvres, whose aversion to a war with France was well known. When at length he heard of it, his grief was so great at this proof of his loss of influence over his former pupil, that it is said to have shortened his days. His death at this juncture certainly hastened the war with France, though it freed Charles from an irksome subjection and greatly helped in the development of his character. From henceforth the emperor was his own master, nor was he ever again under another governor. Instead of his boyish motto—'Nondum' (not yet), his device in future was 'Plus ultra' (yet further).

The French were the first to cross the Pyrenees and begin hostilities. When Charles, who was then at Brussels, heard the news, he exclaimed: 'God be praised that it is not I who begin the war: the King of France wishes to make me greater than I am; for, in a short time, either I shall be a very poor emperor, or he will be a poor King of France.'[73]

On the 17th of July Margaret again addressed the assembled States at Ghent, for the exchequer was very low, and men and money were needed for the war. She implored them to use every effort to protect their country, and restore peace by voting the much-needed subsidies. She begged them to avert the threatening storm, and with a voice moved by emotion said: 'Because of the love and peculiar 188 affection his Majesty bears you, being a native of these lands, born, brought up, and nourished amongst you, he is anxious to protect you from danger, and preserve you from all harm and oppression, by driving war from out of his dominions, keeping you in peace. Which things his Majesty has willingly put before you as his good and loyal subjects, because of the entire confidence he has in you, so that you may know all his affairs and understand the danger you are in, for on this depends either your safety or ruin.' She then promised 'a perpetual safety and abundance of all good things' after peace was restored, and freedom from subjection to France. She praised the fine example of Spain and Austria, who, although they hardly knew his Majesty, had nevertheless of their own accord raised superb armaments; 'and you who have his person with you ready to use his life, his goods, and all that God has given him to preserve, help, and defend you, ought not to be less generous or less courageous than others, seeing that the case touches you so closely, and with the noise of war so near, knowing the harm which may come upon you if war breaks out, and seeing that the quarrel is just, which is as true as God is, and that He will help his Majesty. And on this account you ought to take courage and show yourselves bold and fearless, and be more willing and anxious than any others, as his Majesty does not doubt you will be, and without waiting to be asked, offer liberally your persons, goods, and chattels (as you have always done in times past) to help his Majesty in this same enterprise, which is for your own and the public good.'[74]

Margaret had not miscalculated the effect of this speech on her audience. Enthusiasm and loyalty 189 towards the emperor and herself passed all bounds and spread like wildfire throughout the Netherlands. An army of 22,000 men was quickly raised, and assembled in the outskirts of Malines. Part of these troops the emperor despatched under the Count of Nassau to subdue the inroads of Robert de la Marck, lord of Bouillon, known as the wild Boar of the Ardennes, who had been giving considerable trouble. The emperor having offended him, he left Charles's service and threw himself upon France for protection. In the heat of his resentment he had the audacity to send a herald to Worms to declare war against the emperor before the assembled Diet. To punish this insolent vassal the Count of Nassau was sent at the head of 20,000 men to invade his territories, and in a few days took every place but Sedan, and reduced De la Marck to beg for clemency. Nassau then advanced towards the borders of France, where Charles of Gueldres was ravaging the Northern provinces, and Henry d'Albret had crossed the Pyrenees and occupied Navarre.

Meanwhile a congress had been held at Calais, under Henry VIII.'s mediation, with a view to settling all differences and establishing peace. Henry gave Wolsey full powers to arrange the negotiations, but the Cardinal, anxious to please both Francis and Charles, ended by satisfying neither, and the congress broke up without any definite result. During its progress Wolsey journeyed to Bruges and had a meeting there with Charles and Margaret, the latter having come in hot haste to visit her nephew, anxious to use her influence to procure an armistice. The Cardinal was received by the emperor and his aunt with as much respect and magnificence as though he had been King of England, but instead of furthering 190 the treaty of peace, Wolsey, in his master's name, concluded a secret alliance with the emperor against France. This treaty, which was drawn up at Bruges on August 25th, 1521, and signed by Margaret and Jean de Berghes for the emperor, and by Wolsey for the King of England, arranged a marriage between Charles and his cousin Mary Tudor (King Henry's only child and apparent heir) as soon as the princess should have completed her twelfth year; both Charles and Henry agreeing to invade France in the spring of 1523 from opposite sides, each with an army of 40,000 men—the emperor promising to visit England on his way to Spain early in the following year. It was especially stipulated that 'one month before Charles undertook the voyage he would notify the time of it to the King of England, who would then send his fleet to sea, with about 3000 armed men on board, to drive away all enemies and pirates from the Channel and English seas, so that the emperor might safely come over to Dover or Sandwich. The King of England would receive the emperor with the greatest honour and accompany him to Falmouth, whilst the English navy would escort the emperor's fleet from Zealand to Falmouth, and together remain in that port until he embarked and then accompany him to Spain.'[75]

During the years that had passed since Margaret left Savoy she never lost interest in the memorial church she was building at Brou. In September 1521 she sent her treasurer Marnix and some members of her Council to report on the progress of the work. The church was rapidly gaining shape, and the outer walls were nearing completion under the skilful direction of Louis Van Boghen. The 191 following letter from Loys de Gleyrens, prior of the monastery of Brou (written to Margaret on the 2nd of September 1521), gives a detailed account of de Marnix's visit:—

'To our much-honoured Lady and very gracious Mother,—God grant you a good and long life. You will be pleased to know that the day of the feast of Saint Augustine Monseigneur Marnix came to visit your church of Brou, with the gentlemen of your Council of Bourg, and saw the progress of the same, and found that your two chapels in the aisle of the choir are roofed over, as well as the higher and lower aisles and oratories above and below, on the side of the belfry, and that the pipes and gurgoyles for carrying off water falling from the roofs are fixed on the said aisles. And the belfry has grown this year to the height of twenty-three to twenty-five feet....' He goes on to say that the workmen have plenty of materials, wood, etc., to finish the work—but that money is running short, and that only about fifteen or sixteen florins are left, which will hardly last till All Saints Day, and unless more is supplied, the work must be interrupted ... 'but at present it is in the best state and appearance possible, and ought shortly to be finished, as those will tell you who have seen it....'[76]

Meanwhile the league between Charles and the Pope had produced great results in Italy; Lombardy being the chief centre of war. On November the 19th the Papal-Imperialist army entered Milan, and within a fortnight the French held only the town of Cremona, the fortress of Milan, and a few scattered strongholds. Parma and Piacenza surrendered to 192 Leo X., but amidst the rejoicings which followed this brilliant victory and the fulfilment of his dearest wishes, the Pope was suddenly struck down with malaria at Magliana, and died after a few days' illness on the 1st of December 1521, in the forty-sixth year of his age.

This wholly unexpected event caused a cessation of hostilities for a while—both monarchs turning their attention to the proceedings of the Conclave. News of the Pope's death was brought to Charles on the 12th of December, and he hastened to write a diplomatic letter to his uncle, King Henry, and fully explained his intentions to the Bishop of Badajoz, his ambassador in England, promising to do his utmost to secure Wolsey's election to the Papacy. But after the Conclave had sat for fourteen days, it was announced on the 9th of January 1522 that not Wolsey, but Adrian of Utrecht had been elected Pope. The election of the emperor's old tutor came as a surprise to Europe. Charles received the news at Brussels, and on January the 21st wrote to Mezza, his ambassador in London: 'However anxious was our wish that Pace (Henry VIII.'s secretary) should have arrived in Rome at the right time, and that the letters we had written in favour of the Sieur Legate (Wolsey) had been conducive to the fulfilment of his wishes, and those of our uncle the king; yet must we be thankful, the object we had at heart having thus failed, that the choice fell upon Cardinal Tortosa,[77] whose elevation, next after the Cardinal of York, will certainly be most for the good, not of ourselves only, but of the whole of Christendom. I hope to 193 have the greater interest with him, who under my own roof was my instructor in morals and literature.'[78]

The new Pope was in Spain when the unexpected news of his election was brought to him. Adrian VI.'s letter to his former pupil, dated Saragossa, May 3rd, 1522, is interesting as confirming the emperor's statement that he did not interfere in favour of his election, but honestly did his best for Wolsey, to whom he had promised his influence with the Conclave.

'Very dear and much-beloved Son!—Health and apostolical benediction. I have been rejoiced on receiving the letter which your Majesty has written to me with your own hand.... I am fully convinced of the satisfaction which you will derive from my election to the Popedom; and I never entertained a doubt that had it depended alone on your goodwill and affection towards me, your suffrage would have been in my favour; but I was equally aware that it was neither suitable to your own interests nor to the good of the Christian commonwealth, that you should have used any solicitation in my behalf, knowing that such interference would have been fatal to your good understanding with one (Wolsey) who at this moment is of all others most necessary to your welfare in Italy.... Although my election may in one respect be attended with inconvenience, in taking me away from the management of your affairs in Spain, yet this will be so much overbalanced by other considerations, as nowise to diminish the joy which it will occasion you. And in this my election, the feeling which 194 influenced the sacred College of Cardinals, as you will readily believe, and as has been intimated by them to Don John Manuel, was, that it would be a choice agreeable to your Majesty: for no one, it appeared, would have obtained their votes who could be considered objectionable either to you, or to the King of France.

'I cannot, therefore, express my satisfaction in having attained to this elevation without the exercise of your influence, inconsistent as that would have been with the purity and sincerity which divine and human rights require in such proceedings; and in saying this, you will be assured that I feel as much, if not more truly devoted to your Majesty, than if I had owed to your means and prayers my present advancement....

'Sire, I pray God to grant you a happy and long life. Written at Saragossa the 3rd of May, ad tempus sacræ Romanæ ecclesiæ. Entirely yours.'[79]

Adrian VI. was an upright, conscientious, and honest man, but quite unfitted for the high position he was called upon to fill, and his reign of ten months was unsuccessful and unhappy. As he himself once exclaimed, 'Let a man be never so good, how much depends upon the times in which he is born.' A learned scholar and rigid disciplinarian, he regarded the conduct of the reformers with horror; but at the same time candidly acknowledged the abuses and corruptions that disgraced both the Court and Church of Rome. This moderation, whilst it disgusted the great ecclesiastics in Italy, tended to encourage the reformation in Germany. A host of pamphlets and caricatures were circulated, 195 and helped to popularise the new ideas and spread the reformed religion far and wide. Charles hastened to forbid under pain of death the printing of literature directed against the Pope or the Church of Rome, and ordered Francis Van der Hulst to hunt all Lutherans out of the Netherlands.

On the 15th of March 1522 Margaret convoked the States-General at Brussels. The emperor, through his Chancellor, complimented the citizens on their loyal conduct and bravery at the recent siege of Tournay, which had greatly helped towards its reduction. 'The French,' he said, 'have sustained a great loss in losing Milan and Tournay, which are of such importance, as every one knows.' His approaching journey to Spain was then announced, and he informed them of the treaties he had made, and the precautions taken for the defence of the country, thanking his brave subjects for the zeal they had shown in his service. He informed them that during his absence the government would be confided to Margaret, 'who for so long has shown by her praiseworthy, memorable services and great experience, that she well knows how to honourably acquit herself of the said government and administration. For which good rule and conduct his Majesty and you are beholden to her through the fervent zeal and natural love she bears you.' The Chancellor ended his long speech by saying that the emperor hoped they would live peaceably with each other during his absence—'for their strength lay in unity....'[80]

Charles, who was now preparing to visit England on his way to Spain, was sadly in want of money. Margaret did her best to help him, and in order to 196 raise funds pawned her jewels to the Count of Hochstrate. 'My said Lady, obeying the order of his Majesty, has offered to leave her rings with the said Hochstrate, until he has been acquitted and discharged of the last sums he furnished ... at the very pressing request and insistence of my said Lady, knowing that in this lies his Majesty's honour, but he has behaved so well that he will not keep them.'[81]

Before leaving Bruges the emperor made his will on the 22nd of May 1522, arranging that if he died in Flanders his body was to be buried at Bruges, near his grandmother Mary of Burgundy. He then bade farewell to Margaret and set out for England, sailing from Calais, with a gorgeous retinue of a thousand horse and two thousand courtiers, and landing at Dover towards the end of May, was welcomed by Wolsey in his master's name. It had been arranged that King Henry should meet the emperor on the downs between Dover and Canterbury; but to show him greater honour the king rode into Dover, and after together inspecting the English fleet, which was duly admired by the emperor and his train, the two monarchs made a triumphal progress through Canterbury, Sittingbourne, and Rochester to Gravesend. From Gravesend the splendid processions rowed in royal barges to Greenwich. At the entrance door of the palace Queen Katharine stood awaiting her nephew, surrounded by her ladies, and holding little Princess Mary by the hand. The emperor, kneeling on one knee, then asked for his aunt's blessing, which was readily granted, and from henceforward for six weeks his visit to England was a continual round 197 of feasting, dancing, hunting, masquerading, and splendid entertainments.

But amidst all this hospitality his thoughts were mainly fixed on Spain, and as he wrote to Margaret, 'the six weeks seemed a thousand years.'

Whilst Charles was at Greenwich a messenger arrived from France bearing a letter to King Henry, in which Francis I. bade defiance to the King of England. The letter was handed to the emperor for his perusal, who must have rejoiced at its contents, for now he and his uncle could join forces against their common enemy France; and soon after an eternal friendship was solemnly sworn between them upon the Sacrament in Saint George's Chapel, Windsor, and an abiding alliance in peace and war cemented by Charles's betrothal to his cousin Mary Tudor. Glittering pageants in London and Windsor, where Charles was made a Knight of the Garter under his uncle's presidency, brought his visit to a close, and on July the 6th the emperor set sail once more for the port of Santander.[82]

A few weeks later an Anglo-Belgian army, under Florent d'Ysselstein, Count of Buren, invaded Picardy, whilst the Earl of Surrey's fleet hovered off the Norman coast, and threatened all French shipping in the Channel.

Margaret meanwhile was busily employed in harrowing the Duke of Gueldres, whose troops appeared before Leyden, and pillaged the village of La Haye. The States of Friesland upheld the regent in her endeavours, but it was not until June the 4th, 1524, that a truce was concluded with Gueldres, and peace restored.

198 Whilst Charles, Henry, and Francis were thus employed wasting each other's strength, the Turkish sultan, Solyman the Magnificent, invaded Hungary with a large army, and took Belgrade. Encouraged by this success, he besieged the Island of Rhodes, then the seat of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. The Grand Master of Villers de L'Isle Adam sent imploring messages to the powers of Europe begging for assistance. Adrian VI. did his utmost to persuade Charles and Francis to forget their quarrels and join forces in saving Rhodes, then the chief bulwark of Christianity in the East. On March the 3rd, 1523, he wrote to Charles exhorting him and all Christian princes to make peace with one another, and wage a common war against the Turks. He complains that 'so far all his exhortations have been fruitless, and the Turks have conquered Belgrade on one side, and it is said they have taken Rhodes on the other. There is no doubt that the Turks will continue their conquests in Hungary (where the emperor's sister Mary is queen), as well as in the Mediterranean, till they have rendered themselves masters of the whole of Europe. This danger can only be averted by a reconciliation of all Christian princes....' The Pope ends by saying that he has written in the same sense to the Kings of France and England.[83]

But the rival princes turned a deaf ear to all these entreaties, and after six months of incredible courage, patience, and bravery on the part of the garrison, the gallant little band of knights were forced to capitulate, and the town was razed to the ground. When too late, Charles, Henry, and Francis, ashamed of their conduct, tried to lay the blame of this misfortune 199 on each other, and Charles, by way of reparation, gave the Knights of Saint John the Island of Malta, which from henceforth became the chief home of their order.

The year 1523 was marked by the revolt and conspiracy of the Constable of Bourbon, a powerful and accomplished French nobleman descended from the Montpensier branch of the Bourbon family, who through his marriage with Suzanne, daughter and heiress of the Duke of Bourbon, had acquired the wealth and honours of that powerful house. Francis I. on his accession had made him Constable of France, and treated him with every mark of favour.

When the king left Italy in 1516, Bourbon remained behind as lieutenant-general of the French forces, and greatly distinguished himself by his military talents and valour; but soon after his return to France he fell into disfavour, and from henceforth became the victim of a vindictive persecution. The cause of this sudden change is generally attributed to a passionate attachment on the part of Louise of Savoy, the king's mother, who, on his wife Suzanne's death in 1521, offered her hand to Bourbon; but the Constable declining the honour, the humiliated queen, in revenge, disputed Suzanne's will, herself claiming the succession to the Bourbon estates as next of kin. In this she was aided and abetted by the Chancellor Du Prat, and soon persuaded the king to withhold Bourbon's appointments, and disallow his just claims for money he had furnished during the war in Italy. The Constable at first bore these indignities with great moderation, but when in presence of the whole army the king passed him over, and gave the command of the van to the Duke 200 of Alençon, the injured Constable retired from the Court, and began a secret correspondence with Charles's Ministers, offering his services to the emperor.

The campaign arranged between Henry VIII. and his nephew for the simultaneous invasion of France had not proved successful, but led to a more formidable attempt in the following year. Charles therefore welcomed the proposed advent of so powerful a partisan as Bourbon, from whose revolt he expected great advantages, and warmly received his secret overtures. It was proposed that the emperor should enter France by the Pyrenees, whilst Henry VIII., in co-operation with Margaret, should invade Picardy, and Bourbon with twelve hundred Germans penetrate into Germany. A lengthy despatch sent to Charles from London, on June the 1st, 1523, by De Praet, his ambassador, and Marnix, Margaret's treasurer (both accredited at the English Court), gives a full account of a negotiation with Wolsey on the conditions of the above confederacy, and shows what a large part Margaret played in the arrangements. In the latter part of the despatch mention is made of the King and Queen of Denmark's visit to the Netherlands, where they fled to take refuge from the troubles which threatened them in Denmark.

' ... Sire! By our last letters your Majesty has been able to see and understand the offers we have made to the King of England and the Sieur Legate (Wolsey) through the intervention of madame, your Majesty's aunt, in reference to the co-operation and assistance of the army which the said king would send across the sea against the common enemy of your Majesty and himself.

'... Sire! They could nowise be satisfied with 201 the number we have to offer for the said co-operation, but persisted in pressing for three thousand horse and five thousand foot with the half of the artillery munition and equipage, requiring us to write immediately to the said lady, which we have done, and have, moreover, received her answer. She, having communicated with M. de Beuren, your Majesty's captain-general, and acting on his advice, declares that it is quite impossible to augment the number she had already offered, to wit, two thousand good horse, and four thousand foot, with twelve pieces of field-artillery; but if they would pass the sea, we should be ready to give all the assistance in our power; and were the enemy to offer battle or commence a siege, there would be a force always ready of ten or twelve thousand Flemish foot to come to their assistance....' The despatch goes on to say that after several days spent in discussions, during which time Wolsey pressed for more troops from the Netherlands, and lost his temper, nothing definite was settled. 'Although I, Marnix, have ... pressed for permission to return, the Sieur Legate has nevertheless wished and requested that I should be present and concerned in these proceedings, with me De Praet, in order to make a report of them to madame.

'Sire! The said madame (Margaret) has written to inform us how the King of Denmark,[84] who, with the queen and his children, is, as we have already made known to your Majesty, in your Low Countries, has demanded of her three things. One that she should 202 be willing to render sufficient aid and assistance to enable him to reconquer his kingdom; a second, that she should grant a passport to one of his people whom he intends to despatch to your Majesty, and by him should write to you in his favour; the third, that you should write to monseigneur, your Majesty's brother, and the electoral princes, that right and justice may be rendered to him in his quarrels and contentions against his uncle the Duke of Holstein, who, with the aid of the city of Lubeck, has occasioned his expulsion. To these demands, in as much as regards the two latter, madame has signified her willing acquiescence; but, in respect to the first, she begs to be excused, on account of the impossibility of acceding to it; and refers all to the good pleasure of your Majesty....'[85]

In a postscript of the same despatch De Praet says, referring to Bourbon's intended revolt: 'In truth, Sire, this affair, I know not why, has not long remained a secret, and in a short time cannot fail to be publicly known. Even at this Court there are to my knowledge more than ten people now acquainted with it. The day before yesterday, when the cardinal and I met concerning the present war, he immediately began to talk of the coming over of Bourbon, and related the whole transaction from beginning to end, and this in the presence of the Duke of Suffolk, Messieurs Talbot and Wingfield, three bishops, and the treasurer Marnix. M. de Badajoz and I knew it ever since the past month of January, but we obstinately denied it before the King of England and the cardinal, until your Majesty orders us to be candid on the subject.'[86]

The emperor sent Adrian de Croy, Lord of Beaurain, 203 to treat secretly with the Duke of Bourbon, and on the 22nd of July he writes: 'Sire! I came into communication with M. de Bourbon the 3rd day of July at Monbrison, which is three days' journey within the French territory, and there treated with him.

'Monsieur de Bourbon is ready to declare himself the enemy of France.... I have despatched ... my secretary to the King of England to apprise him of all I have thought necessary, urging him to hasten his army according to the advice of M. de Bourbon; and I have advertised madame (Margaret) that if she should hear of what has passed, respecting the said duke from any other quarter, to be cautious, lest any difficulty should be thrown in the way.

'M. de Bourbon has made friends with many rich people who are ready to come forward with several thousand crowns for the payment of his debts, at which I rejoice, for he is a fine fellow....

'I have treated with him according to the secret articles with which you were pleased to charge me. He will take in marriage either Madame Eleanor or Madame Katharine,[87] but would greatly prefer the former.

'M. de Bourbon will stir up a fine commotion in France.

Adrian de Croy'

On the 9th of August 1523 Louis de Praet also wrote to Charles that 'the Duke of Bourbon declares himself ready to serve him (the emperor) against all and every person, whoever he may be, and to enter into his offensive and defensive league ...' but in return 'the duke expects that he (the emperor) will 204 give him his sister (Eleanor, Queen of Portugal) in marriage, or if the queen refuses to be his wife, Madame Katharine. The dower of Madame Eleanor or Madame Katharine to consist of 200,000 écus, while the duke promises to give his future wife a jointure of 15,000 écus a year....'

'The Duke of Bourbon also expects that the emperor will give him the command of ten thousand German troops, and 100,000 écus wherewith to pay the German as well as the other troops ... and that the King of England will contribute 100,000 écus for the maintenance of the German and other troops of the duke....'[88]

Soon after Bourbon made good his escape and reached Italy in safety, although Francis, whose suspicions were aroused too late, tried to arrest him.

On hearing of his safe arrival the emperor, writing from Logrono, hastened to send him a warm welcome. 'My brother, on the 16th of September Gracian arrived and gave me news of you, which afforded me the greatest satisfaction.... Anxious as I am for your safety, you may rest assured there is nothing which the King of England, my good father, and I, as well as all our friends and allies, will not be ready to do for your succour and assistance; and that, faithful to my promise, you will ever find me a true prince, your good brother, cousin, and friend, who, come what may of good or evil fortune, will never abandon your interest, as I am sure you will never cease to feel and do the like for me....

'I pray you, my brother, if it be possible, that you will speedily unite yourself and yours with my army, at least with that part of it which is in Italy, as I have 205 communicated my desire to them that this junction be accomplished, when and where the occasion may offer....'

At the same time the emperor wrote to Margaret, and, after referring to the difficulties of communication with Bourbon, and lamenting that Francis had seized several of the duke's friends and adherents, he asks her to write to Henry VIII. and request him to order the Duke of Suffolk (then commanding the English troops in Picardy) to detain every prisoner of rank and not allow them to be ransomed. This was no doubt by way of reprisals, but when the English army under Suffolk was within eleven leagues of Paris, it was driven back by Vendome and his troops, and a severe sickness breaking out amongst the soldiers, this unsuccessful campaign was brought to a close. Thus the intended great invasion of France by the allies dwindled from various causes into three separate and unavailing attacks from Spain, Germany, and England.

On the 14th of September 1523 Adrian VI. died in Rome after a short illness, and was buried in the church of Santa Maria dell'Anima. His death again raised Wolsey's hopes of the Papacy. Although Margaret sincerely mourned the loss of her old friend, still she lost no time in doing her utmost to procure the English cardinal's election. De Praet, writing from London to the emperor on the 6th of October, says: 'Moreover, Sire, I have to inform your Majesty that I have received letters from madame (Margaret), dated the 25th of last month, containing the afflicting news of the decease of the Holy Father, which took place on the 14th of the said month, commanding me on this account to repair without delay to the said cardinal (Wolsey) to give him as it may so happen the first intelligence of this 206 event, and to offer him on her part all the favour and assistance in her power towards his promotion to this dignity. This I lost no time in doing according to her order, as well on the part of your Majesty as on hers; to which he made the most grateful and suitable reply, expressing his profound thanks to madame for such demonstrations of her goodwill in offering her services for his advancement to a dignity of which he felt himself utterly unworthy.

'Nevertheless, in acknowledging her gracious intentions, he could not but bear in mind in what manner your Majesty, when with the king at Windsor, had touched upon this subject, exhorting him to think of it, and promising every possible aid on your part in bringing about its accomplishment.

'He expressed the willingness of one who was always ready to conform with the wishes and advice of both your Majesties, begging that madame, in case such a promotion and election should appear to her as tending to the benefit of Christendom, and to the common interests of your Majesties, would write without a moment's delay to your ambassador in Rome, and to other of your good friends there....'[89]

The emperor replied from Pampeluna on November 27th: 'The principal point is the advancement of the cardinal (Wolsey) to the papal dignity. We have always desired, and with most sincere good feeling and intention have wished to promote this to the utmost of our power, having full recollection how we and the king, our good father and brother, being at Windsor, opened to him our minds on this subject, exhorting him to think of it, and promising our best services in his assistance, because it appeared to us that his promotion and election would be attended 207 with great good to Christendom, and advantage to our common interest.... We firmly believe that the Cardinal de Medicis will give his assistance to the Sieur Legate, from the little chance, we are informed, of his own success; and we well know and acknowledge how cordially and sincerely madame, our good aunt, is occupied in this affair, not only in her own name, but in ours. We entertain a good hope, therefore, that all these efforts will prosper, and are anxiously expecting favourable news which has been hitherto retarded on account of the tempestuous weather at sea.'

On the 15th of December the emperor writes to De Praet: 'We have here received the news by a letter from the Marquis de Finale that, on the 19th of November, Cardinal de Medicis was elected Pope. ... You will do well to communicate the above to the seigneurs, the king, and the cardinal, advertising them that our ambassador, the Duke of Sessa, had written to inform us that he was doing everything in his power, and with the utmost diligence, to influence the votes of the Conclave in favour of the Sieur Legate.'[90]

It certainly appears from the above correspondence that Charles used all his influence in Wolsey's favour in both this and the former election, but the cardinal himself chose to consider otherwise, and from this date he visibly cooled in his friendship, and though outwardly affecting to rejoice in the Cardinal de Medicis' elevation, he never forgave the emperor his supposed duplicity.




On September the 24th, 1524, Margaret's youngest niece, Katharine, who had lived most of her life shut up with her mad mother in the gloomy palace of Tordesillas, was married to John III., King of Portugal. The marriage took place at Anyaguia, in the presence of Charles, who had but lately recovered from a bad attack of fever. In a letter to the Duke of Bourbon on September 5th, he says: 'Regarding my own person, I would most willingly have gone to Barcelona according to your wish, if my affairs had permitted me to do so. But I must first conclude the marriage of my sister, Madame Katharine, and despatch some affairs of this kingdom. Besides, I have for several days been suffering from an intermittent fever, which has hindered me from attending much to business. The said fever is, however, much diminished, and I hope, with God's help, to be soon restored to health!...'[91]

During the spring of the same year Bourbon (who together with Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, and the Marquis of Pescara was in command of the imperialist army) had gained his first success over the French, and driven them out of the Milanese with the loss of the Chevalier Bayard (April 30th); but during the 209 following summer the rebel duke found great difficulties to encounter. He had marched on Marseilles, hoping to reduce that town, but lack of means and provisions obliged him to retrace his steps to Italy, where he was met by a powerful army under Bonnivet. The French general soon retook Milan, and then laid siege to Pavia, held for the emperor by Antonio de Leyva. Francis I., disregarding all advice, hastened to join his army in Italy determined, as he said, to take Pavia or fall in the attempt. For four weary months the siege dragged on, and then came the news which startled all Europe. On February the 24th (the emperor's birthday), 1525, was fought the battle of Pavia, and before night fell the French army was utterly defeated, the king a prisoner, and the flower of the chivalry of France either dead or taken captive.

Whilst the battle was still raging the Abbot of Najera sent the following despatch to the emperor:—'At midnight the army began to move. The soldiers penetrated into the enclosure by three openings they had made in the wall. At daybreak the enemy attacked the rearguard, and the Imperial German and Spanish troops engaged the Swiss, German, and Italian troops of the King of France, who soon fled as they heard the "good" Antonio de Leyva was in their rear.

'The victory is complete. The King of France is made prisoner. He has two very slight wounds in the face. His horse has been killed. When he fell to the ground the viceroy placed himself immediately over him. The king has also an insignificant wound in one of his legs. The whole of the French army is annihilated.

'The Admiral of France died in my arms, not fifty 210 yards from the place where the king had fallen. La Pallice is dead. The King of Navarre, Lescun, Montmorency, and other captains are prisoners.

'A great number of French infantry have been drowned in the Ticino. The imperial army is still pursuing the enemy. It is expected that at the end of the day 10,000 of the enemy will have been killed.

'The Marquis of Pescara has done wonders. He has three wounds. The imperialists had sixteen pieces of artillery, but not a single shot has been fired.... (From the palace of Pavia, the 24th day of February 1525.)

'Postscriptum.—To-day is the feast of the Apostle Saint Matthew, on which, five-and-twenty years ago, your Majesty is said to have been born. Five-and-twenty thousand times thanks and praise to God for his mercy! Your Majesty is from this day in a position to prescribe laws to Christians and Turks according to your pleasure.'[92]

Charles de Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, wrote the same day announcing the victory to the emperor:—

'Sire,—We gave battle yesterday, and it pleased God to give you victory, which was so well followed up that you hold the King of France a prisoner in my hands. I beseech you, earnestly as it is possible to do, to think of your affairs, and to make prompt execution now that God has sent you such a favourable opportunity; for you will never have a more propitious time than the present to demand restitution of the crowns justly appertaining to you, for you owe no obligation to any prince in Italy; nor can they longer hope for protection from the King of France, as you hold him captive. Sire, I think you 211 remember the saying of M. de Bersale, "that God sends to men once in their lives a fruitful August, but if they allow it to pass without gathering a harvest, it is a chance whether the opportunity is given them again." I say not this believing that your Majesty is disposed to neglect your advantages, but only because I feel it a duty so to speak. Sire, M. de Bourbon acquitted himself well, and performed good service. Sire, the victory which God has given you happened on St. Matthew's Day, which is the day of your Majesty's birth.

'From the camp where the King of France was lodged, before Pavia, the 25th day of February 1525.

Charles de Lannoy'[93]


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Francis showed extraordinary courage throughout the battle. When surrounded, unhorsed, and wounded he refused to yield to Bourbon, exclaiming: 'I know no Duke of Bourbon but myself!' but handed his sword to Lannoy, who received it on his knees, and immediately offered the captive king his own, saying, 'It did not become so great a monarch to remain disarmed in the presence of one of the emperor's subjects.' Francis was immediately taken to the imperial camp, and de Lannoy despatched Commander Peñalosa to the emperor announcing the great victory. Francis gave the envoy a passport through France, and the following letter to his mother, Louise of Savoy:—

'Madame,—To let you know the extent of my misfortune—of all things nothing remains to me but honour, and life which is safe. Knowing that in your adversity and sorrow this news would give you comfort, I requested permission to send you this 212 letter, which was readily granted. I beg you not to yield to the extremity of grief, but to direct all things with your accustomed prudence; for I have firm hope that at last God will not abandon me. I commend to your care my children and your own. I beseech you, moreover, to grant free passage to the messenger who brings you this letter, as he is bound for Spain, on a mission to the emperor, to learn what kind of treatment I am to receive. Commending myself to your favour and affection, I remain, your very humble and obedient son,


With Francis were also captured Henry, King of Navarre, the Marshal de Montmorency, the Duke de Nevers, the high treasurer Babou de la Bourdaizière, the Count of Saint Paul, the Marshal of Fleuranges, Du Bellay, and many others. Meanwhile Margaret had been kept well informed of the progress of affairs in Italy, and on the 6th of March wrote to the Count of Gavre, Governor-General of Flanders: 'I have had certain news to-day that on the 24th of February the emperor's army attacked the King of France in the camp of Forte; that, although it was well fortified, the king was made a prisoner, fourteen hundred men of war killed in the camp, and that the rest who took flight were all taken and killed, and it is not known if any escaped. I require you, because of the consolation this news will be to the vassals and subjects of your government, to inform them of it, and exhort and command them to give thanks to God for the victory he has sent us, by fireworks, processions, prayers, and other devout works, and above all to pray for the souls of those who have died.'[94]

213 On the 13th of this same month she confirmed this joyful news in a letter sent from Malines to the Council of Flanders announcing the arrival of Grapain 'with letters in which he certifies that he was present at the said battle, and the capture of the King of France by the hand of the viceroy, he himself helping to disarm the king, and confirms the capture and death of the principal personages in the kingdom ... and in the said battle only a hundred and fifty of our men were killed ... and that the said king has sent to release the Prince of Orange and the Lord of Bossu and others of our side who were prisoners.'[95]

This great victory was of the utmost importance to the Netherlands, and Margaret hoped that it would lead to the recovery of the duchy of Burgundy and the county of Charolais and their dependencies.

Three days after the battle Francis received a visit from the chiefs of the victorious army, who offered him their sympathy, the Marquis of Pescara even appearing in mourning. During the interview the king showed great fortitude, and with a show of cheerfulness discussed various points of the battle with his capturers. The castle of Pizzighitone was chosen for his temporary prison until instructions were received from Spain.

The emperor was at Madrid when the messenger arrived with the news of the victory. Charles showed extraordinary self-control, and neither by voice nor manner gave any outward sign of exultation. As if dazed, he repeated the words of the messenger: 'The battle is fought and the king is your prisoner!'[96] And then, hardly permitting the congratulations of the surrounding 214 courtiers, he retired to his oratory, where, falling on his knees, he spent a long interval in prayer, after which he asked for details of his victory. Bonfires and illuminations and all public rejoicings were strictly forbidden as being unsuitable 'when a Christian king had fallen into such great misfortune.' This moderation and humility called forth the admiration of all who witnessed it. Dr. Sampson, King Henry's ambassador at the Court of Madrid, wrote to Wolsey: ' ... The emperor hath used such demeanour in all things, both by word, deed, and countenance, and toward all manner of persons, that every wise man hath been most joyful to see it....'[97]

On the following day Charles went in procession to the church of Our Lady of Atocha to give thanks for the victory, the preacher, however, being forbidden to enlarge on the triumph. But this extremely humble attitude did not prevent Charles from making the most of his success. On the 14th of March he sent the following letter to his brother-in-law, the King of Portugal:—

'It is known to you how the King of France, at the head of a powerful army, made a descent upon Italy, to seize and usurp territories appertaining to our empire, and also our kingdom of Naples, which he had sent the Duke of Albany to invade, and how he had besieged the city of Pavia, and the progress he had made, all which he wrote to you by Luis Alvarez de Tavora, a noble hidalgo of your own lineage. By a courier who came to us from thence (Pavia), we learned the news of the victory which God has given to our army against the said King of 215 France, whom we hold prisoner, all which we did not then make known to you, because we were expecting the arrival of a cavalier who was present at the battle, bringing letters from the captains-general of our said army. This said cavalier has since arrived, from whom we have minutely heard all that occurred, which is as follows: On St. Matthew's Day, the day of our birth, which is the 24th of February, although the said King of France was entrenched very strongly, and tried by every possible means to avoid giving battle, his camp was forced by our army with no small labour; when it pleased God, who knows how just is our cause, to give us victory. The said King of France is taken, and the Prince of Béarn, Seigneur d'Albret, with many other principal nobles. The Admiral of France, M. de la Trimouille, and M. de la Palice are killed, with numberless others of equal note, so that all the chief nobles present at the battle are either taken or slain. The loss of the French, we are informed, amounts to 16,000 men, while we on our side have lost only 400. We have given, and do give thanks to our Lord for this victory; and we hope that it may conduce to universal peace throughout Christendom, which is a thing we have always desired, and still desire. Remember to avail yourself of the knowledge of these matters which Don Alonzo Enriques de Guzman possesses, who is the bearer of this letter, and a gentleman of our household; for we know that this news will give you pleasure, even as it pleases us to hear good tidings of you. Most serene and very excellent king, our dear and much-loved brother and cousin, may the Holy Trinity have you in special keeping.

'From Madrid, this 14th day of March 1525.

'I, the King'

216 On the 30th of March Queen Katharine sent her congratulations to her nephew from Greenwich:—

'I have charged the ambassadors of the king, my husband and master, now going to Spain, to inform your Highness of the great pleasure and content I have experienced at hearing of the very signal victory which God Almighty, by His infinite mercy, has been pleased to grant to the imperial arms in Italy, trusting that your Highness will offer thanksgiving to that same God, as the king, my master, is now doing, ordering solemn processions and other religious acts, throughout this kingdom.

'As the king, my husband and master, has never failed to be the constant and faithful ally of your Highness—as his words and deeds have sufficiently testified on every occasion—and as from the continuance of such friendship and alliance the best results may be anticipated, I humbly beseech your Highness to persevere in the path of friendship and affection towards us, since the king has always done his duty and is now rejoicing at your success. I shall say no more, but will refer entirely to the said ambassadors, to whom your Highness will be pleased to give full credence on my part.—Greenwich, 30th of March.

'(Signed) Your good aunt, Katherina'[98]

The emperor also received congratulations from Henry VIII. and Pope Clement VII. On the 31st of March the king wrote:—'My most beloved Son,—This present letter is to congratulate you upon your recovery, as also upon the honourable victory which our Lord has been pleased to grant to your arms, having vanquished and taken prisoner the French king, our common enemy....' The letter is signed, 217 'C'est de la main de votre père, frère, et cousin, et bel oncle, Henry.'[99]

Just before the battle of Pavia Margaret had sent ambassadors to England with instructions to try and persuade King Henry to send substantial help to the imperial troops, which were badly in need of money, suggesting that an attack might now be made on France during the absence of the king in Italy. Margaret concludes her instructions by proposing that the Princess Mary (who was only nine years old) should be sent to Spain with an increased dowry, and placed under the emperor's care until old enough to be married. The ambassadors are told to add 'that madame and the legate (Wolsey) having already been match-makers in two different cases, there is no reason for not promoting this one. She herself desires this marriage more than any other thing whatsoever, and will leave nothing undone that can bring it about.'[100]

Wolsey replied to these requests by stating that the king, his master, was quite ready to cross the Channel into France under the following conditions: 1st. That madame (Margaret) should provide 3000 horse and 3000 foot. 2nd. That the army should enter France by way of Normandy. 3rd. The emperor should procure sufficient money to keep up his Italian army, etc., etc. But when the envoys stated that 200,000 ducats, which the emperor was sending to his army in Italy, had fallen into the hands of the enemy, the cardinal replied, that if madame agreed to make remittances of 50,000 crowns, the king would contribute an equal sum, to which the envoys answered: 'Madame has not the means to do that; nobody will lend her money, though she is willing, for the stipend of the said 3000 horse and 218 3000 foot, to sell or pawn her own rings and jewels.' Respecting the delivery of Princess Mary, the cardinal said 'that she was too young, and that the English looked upon her as the treasure of the kingdom, and that no hostages were sufficient security for her.'[101] But soon after the small princess was made to send a fine emerald to the emperor with a message that when they married she would be able to know by the clearness or otherwise of the jewel 'whether his Majesty do keep himself as continent and chaste as, with God's grace, she will.' The emperor being twenty-five, whilst his little fiancée was only nine, the cases were hardly similar; and three months later Charles had engaged himself to marry his cousin, Isabella of Portugal.[102]

A council was held in Spain in order to decide what was to be done with King Francis, in which the Duke of Alva suggested the most exorbitant terms as the price of the king's freedom. The Bishop of Osma pleaded for more generous treatment, but the duke's advice prevailed, and Francis was offered the most humiliating terms, which he indignantly rejected, but finally agreed to the proposals that he should marry the emperor's sister Eleanor, the Dowager-Queen of Portugal, and settle the duchy of Burgundy upon the issue of the marriage; that he should pardon Bourbon, restore the whole of his possessions, giving him his sister, the Duchess of Alençon, in marriage; pay a large ransom, and furnish troops to attend the emperor's coronation in Rome.

Francis was sent to Genoa and thence to Spain in charge of Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, to the indignation 219 of Bourbon and Pescara, who both hoped to have had the honour of escorting the royal prisoner to Madrid.

On his arrival in Spain Charles sent a courteous letter to Louise of Savoy, who was acting as regent during her son's absence. Louise in reply says: 'Monseigneur! By the letter which it has pleased you to write to me, I have learned the arrival of monseigneur the king, my son, in your country, and the goodwill and good disposition you entertain to treat him well, for which I know not how sufficiently to express to you my thanks and gratitude, humbly beseeching you, sir, to continue to act in this liberal manner, which so well befits your greatness and magnanimity. As for the rest, monseigneur, in pursuance of what you have required of me, I have given a safe conduct to your courier, desiring to do your pleasure in this and all other things, as I would for the said monseigneur, my son, the king, and this the Lord knows, whom I pray to give you a good and long life.—Your most humble Loyse.'[103]

On June the 25th, 1525, Charles wrote a long letter to his brother Ferdinand from Toledo, in which he says: 'As to the movement of the Lutherans, and the evil they have done, and to all appearance mean to do, it has annoyed, and does continue to annoy me bitterly. If it were in my power to remedy it speedily, I would spare neither my person nor my estates in the cause, but you see the difficulty there is in it, especially since I hope to be in Italy so soon, in order to take possession of my crowns[104] as I have already written you word.

220 'When that is done, I mean to exert all my power in the extermination of this said sect of Lutherans....' Charles goes on to say, in answer to his brother's request that he would use his influence to get him (Ferdinand) elected King of the Romans, that for the present the matter had better be kept secret until he had been crowned emperor, as the electors 'would probably allege, and with truth, that at present I am myself, in fact, no more than King of the Romans, and that on this account the election of another ought to be deferred....

'The King of France is now here. I have caused him to be placed in the castle of Patina, where he will be well treated. He has offered me certain articles of peace, which I send you a copy of, and has promised to do still better. I will let you know the result; and if it tends to my honour and advantage, and to the preserving of my friends, I will follow your advice in coming to terms, well knowing that it would be very propitious to my interests to make peace before I leave this for Italy. If the said peace cannot be concluded, I shall order the said King of France to be kept here in all safety, and will deliberate on the subject of a war for next year....

'In order to leave these kingdoms under good government, I see no other remedy than to marry the Infanta Donna Isabella of Portugal, since the Cortes of the said kingdoms have required me to propose myself for such a union, and that on his part the King of Portugal offers me a million of ducats, most of them to be paid at once, in order to assist in defraying the expenses of our said journey to Italy. Were this marriage to take place, I could leave the Government here in the person of the said Infanta, who should be provided with a good council, so that 221 there would be no apparent cause to fear any new movement.'[105]

On the 31st of July Charles again writes to Ferdinand: 'As to the affairs of my marriage in Portugal, it remains in the same state as when I last wrote to you, waiting for the consent of England, as also for your advice on the subject. Besides, it is right that before my departure, I should know whether I shall have peace or war; and seeing that there is every hope of the said peace being concluded, only that time is requisite for it, I have settled to put off my Italian journey till next March or April. Thus I shall have time enough to be married in September, by which arrangement also I shall be able to receive the said consent, and your advice, and to ascertain the fact or failure of the said peace.'[106]

The following letter from Charles to Henry VIII., breaking off his marriage with Princess Mary, and giving all his reasons for so doing, is a most interesting diplomatic document. It is a pity that King Henry's answer has, as far as we know, not been preserved:—

'My good Father and Brother,—I had ordered Peñalosa to tell you what you must since have heard through your ambassadors at this my Court, who have likewise delivered your message to me. My answer to them has been that no alliance in the whole of Christendom could give me more pleasure than yours, not only owing to the great friendship which has existed of old between our royal houses, but on account of the great affection and love which you have shown me, whenever we have met together. I 222 believe that my sentiments are well known to you, and I can assure you that my affection has not diminished in the least, but, on the contrary, is daily increasing, so as to become in time an almost indissoluble tie betwixt two brothers.

'You must know as well as I do the disasters and public calamities which this present war has brought on the Christian world at large, and on the empire in particular, and the great lack there is of appropriate remedy. To the cure of those evils it is my intention to apply myself entirely, since I am duly bound to do so; but I find one great obstacle in my way. You are aware of the great evils and disasters which my absence from these kingdoms once caused, owing to my not having been able to make such provision as was needed for the government of this country. In consequence whereof my subjects are pressingly requesting me to marry a princess who may fill my place, and govern during my absence, which is, in my opinion, the only way to keep them contented, and enable me to go about freely, and attend to my personal affairs. The only remedy I see for this difficulty, and for many others—which to so poor a writer as myself would take too much time to describe—is to anticipate the time of my said marriage, and likewise the payment of the sums to be allotted as the princess's dower. But as your ambassadors here have positively declared to me, in your name, that this expedient can nowise be adopted, nor the said marriage effected until the conclusion of a solid and lasting peace, I see no way to obviate the said difficulties, and ward off the impending evils. I hope you will be reasonable enough to appreciate at its due value the answer I have just given to your ambassadors, and will consider it as 223 both just and expedient in the present state of my affairs. As to the continuance of our mutual friendship, on that point there is not the least danger. I can assure you there is nothing I desire so much, being of opinion that, although the form and terms of our alliance might be altered through my marrying in another quarter, yet our amity is to continue the same as ever, and so to be increased as to secure the mutual and lasting alliance which would have ensured from my union with the princess, your daughter. The better to accomplish the said object, and provide for our common interest, thereby promoting the welfare of Christendom at large, I propose that you and I should work together for the conclusion of a durable peace, likely to turn to our own mutual advantage and profit, so as to satisfy our consciences and discharge our duty towards God as Christian princes; and if, through our enemy's fault, the said peace should not be made, to devise together such means as may ensure the fulfilment of our common wishes, and the satisfaction of our claims.

'If, therefore, owing to the above-named reasons, I were obliged to marry (another princess), I beg you not to take it in bad part, or suffer it to be the cause of our mutual love and affection being lessened, for I can assure you that I shall wait for your answer, and delay as much as possible the said marriage; and that when the ambassadors receive your powers and communicate your wishes to me, you will be convinced of my goodwill and desire to foster and increase our mutual amity, and to procure your welfare as much as my own. And that you may trust to the sincerity of my professions I hereby affix my signature as a proof of my constant wish to 224 be for ever your good son, brother, nephew and good friend.


'(Toledo) 12th August 1525'[107]

We do not know how King Henry received the above communication, but soon after, the news reached Margaret that he was thinking of entering into an alliance with France. This she foresaw would probably lead to another war, and at once prepared to put the Netherlands into a state of defence. She summoned the States, and again begged for 100,000 florins. The States refused to grant her request, saying the country had been drained to the uttermost, and commerce was at a standstill. But Margaret would not give in, and the States were convoked again at Gertruydenberg. The Count of Hochstrate, as head of the council of finance, going from town to town trying, by coaxing and promises, to raise the desired sum.

Louise of Savoy now sent her secretary, Viardi, to Brussels to persuade Margaret to arrange a truce of six months in order to give her time to treat for the king's ransom and conclude a peace. Margaret listened favourably to Viardi's mission, and commanded the Count of Hochstrate, the Archbishop of Palermo, and the Count of Berg to meet him at Breda, where a truce was arranged in Henry of Nassau's palace. Charles does not appear to have been consulted as to the terms of this armistice, and, much annoyed, he sent the following sharp rebuke to his aunt:—

'Madame, my good Aunt!—I have received your letters by Richard, and quite approve what you were 225 able to communicate to him in what your memory served you.

'I have received also a copy of the treaty of cessation of hostilities, which you have concluded. But I cannot conceal from you, madame, that I have found it very strange, and very far from satisfactory, that this should have been done without knowing my intentions, and without receiving instructions on this behalf, and powers from me. I have found it convenient, both for the advantage of my affairs and the preservation of my authority as heretofore, to declare to the ambassadors of England, and still more to those of France, that since the said treaty has been entered into without instructions and powers from me, I shall neither acknowledge it, nor ratify it, nor cause it to be observed.

'Before the arrival of the said Richard, I was already in communication on the subject of a cessation of hostilities in all my kingdoms and countries generally, which I consider much more suitable than any partial or particular arrangement, and have just concluded a treaty, with the participation and consent of the said ambassadors of England (as principal contracting parties jointly with myself), wherein the articles are much more to my honour than they were in yours. In fact, there are two points in the latter so ill-advised as to condemn the whole. You bring forward England alone as an ally (as does also the Duke of Cleves), and promise to offer no assistance to the enemies of France, which is directly in contradiction with the treaties in force with England, and tending to call forth war against Spain and other of my states, in which case you become incapable of offering any assistance whatever. Thus the ambassadors of England know very well how to pretend 226 that they cannot escape from the position in which they would be placed, which is in fact as much, or more, to my disadvantage than theirs; and as to the French, they may fairly say that all which has been demanded has been granted them.

'I am quite sure that this great error, madame, is not arising from any oversight of yours, and that you have been led to understand that there was some necessity for it; at the same time I am very far from being satisfied with those who have allowed themselves to proceed in this matter without my command, and who have presumed to counsel you on subjects of such grave importance as ought never to be treated of without my knowledge and approval.

'Madame! I send you a copy of the cessation of hostilities concluded here, in order that you may cause it to be published duly, and at the time therein declared, and to be strictly kept and performed according to its form and tenor, setting aside your own as null and void, as well as the publications which may have taken place; for it is my express intention that it should not be held of the smallest force or value; insomuch that if I had not even concluded a treaty, as aforesaid, here, I would not have permitted yours to be carried into effect.

'Madame! may our Lord have you in His holy keeping. Written at Toledo, the 13th of August.

'Further, madame, ... I have ratified the neutrality of Burgundy, as you desire, and I have included you, as well as my brother the archduke and all your country and subjects, in the treaty for the cessation of hostilities, which has been here negotiated; and in all I may be able to do for you, for your affairs and your welfare, I shall always and most willingly do 227 the same for you, my good mother and aunt, as for myself, praying God to give you all your heart's desire. Written at Toledo, the 15th of August 1525.'[108]

We can imagine how much upset Margaret must have been at receiving this severe rebuke which was called forth by the report that the emperor had just received from his ambassadors in London giving an account of an interview they had had with Wolsey, in which he expressed great surprise and annoyance at the truce which Margaret had just concluded with France. 'The treaties of Windsor stipulated,' he said, 'that neither of the contracting parties was to conclude a truce without the consent and full approval of the other one. We have so far adhered to this, that, though the king has been often solicited by the French, he has never given his consent to it.... I should never have thought that, after so many stipulations, promises, and declarations made by madame, she would have been the first to break through them.

'... Any plans and designs which the emperor, Mons. de Bourbon, and the king, my master, may have formed in this particular matter are ruined for ever through madame having granted this truce to our common enemy.

'... In fact, I do not know how I shall be able to appease the king's anger when he hears of it, for he has always maintained that madame was incapable of doing anything in this matter without letting him know first. The perplexity and doubt by which madame is said to be assailed, and which have induced her to take this step, are no excuse for her 228 acting thus; for she ought first to have consulted the king, my master, and stated her reasons, instead of deciding, as she has done, for herself, and then sending an agent to acquaint him with her resolution, which was by no means an honourable proceeding....'[109]

Margaret's reply to her nephew explaining her reasons for her conduct has unfortunately not been preserved, but she evidently found means to soothe his anger, for ere long they were again on the best of terms. Charles was genuinely devoted to his aunt and held her in the highest esteem, and to the end of her life Margaret enjoyed his full confidence, and was always consulted by him on every occasion of importance.

King Francis had been brought to Spain in June, but it was not until August that he was removed from Valencia and its neighbourhood to Madrid. On his arrival in the latter town he was bitterly disappointed to learn that the emperor was away hunting in Segovia, for he had hoped much from a personal interview and his own powers of persuasion. Although comfortably lodged and treated with every mark of respect, the unaccustomed life of seclusion soon told on his health, and the report spread that he was dangerously ill. On hearing of his illness his sister Margaret, Duchess of Alençon, hastened to Spain, provided with full powers from her mother, the regent, to treat for peace. On the evening of September the 18th Charles was out hunting when he received the news that the French king was dying. Immediately he set out for Madrid, and without hardly drawing rein he rode straight to the Alcazar. 229 Francis was asleep when he arrived, but the emperor waited until his prisoner awoke, and then as the invalid slowly raised himself, exclaiming, 'Here I am, my lord emperor, your servant and your slave!' courteously replied, 'Not so; you are my good friend and brother, and I hope that you will always be so.' He begged Francis to keep up his spirits, and only to think of getting well: saying 'that when his sister the Duchess of Alençon arrived, peace and liberty would soon follow, for he only asked for what was reasonable, and did not doubt that Francis would do what was just.'[110] The next day Charles paid the king another visit, and was equally kind and considerate, leaving him very much improved in health. As the emperor descended the stairs from the invalid's room, he met the Duchess of Alençon, who had just arrived, and after warmly greeting her, conducted her to her brother. The Duchess Margaret was a very attractive, graceful woman, and Charles had been warned by his Ministers not to receive her, for as they said, 'Being young and a widow she comes ... to see and to be seen,' and they feared that the emperor might fall in love with her; but though Charles kissed her and had private interviews, not all her charms could make him relax one point in his conditions of her brother's release. After many fruitless efforts and endless discussions Margaret was obliged to return to France without having secured the much-desired peace. On the 19th of November 1525 Perrenot de Granvelle[111] wrote a long letter to Margaret of Austria from Toledo, giving her an account of the Duchess of Alençon's visit:—

'Madame!... In fulfilment of your wishes, and 230 in accordance with the good pleasure of the emperor, ... I forthwith went to take your letters to the king (Francis I.), and on your part to pay him a visit. I had long audiences with him, at four different times after the fever had subsided, when I found him in a good disposition to receive me, though extremely weak from the severity of his malady. He told me that he and his kingdom were much indebted to you, madame, for the desire you had manifested for peace, and a good intelligence and amity between the emperor and him, and consequently for his deliverance; which, if God should please to grant, he must always esteem you, even as a second mother, with whose advice and counsel he should be happy to govern his affairs; adding many other fair and courteous expressions. On this subject and his ardent desire for peace, as well as for the friendship and good graces of the emperor, he spoke much, devising at large the means of effecting it, and always recurring to the idea of a marriage as the principal thing to build upon. He also repeated his assurances of the desire he had to contribute to the aggrandisement of the emperor, and to assist in forwarding all his enterprises, referring all the means and details to the aforesaid Madame d'Alençon.... Madame! I met on my journey the said lady, and delivered to her your letters; and whilst I had this opportunity, with the knowledge and will of the emperor, I went to visit her, and have reason to think that I gave satisfaction without any cause of distrust on the one side or the other.

'Madame! I have since recovered the copy of the letter which the emperor had written to M. de Praet, and of other writings which I now send, as a summary of the communications which here took place. At 231 the commencement, the said lady recapitulated the proposition which had already been entertained respecting the marriage, the ransom, or the cession of the duchy (of Burgundy) on condition that it should be pronounced by the Parliament of Paris a possession belonging of right to the king, who would be ready to give hostages in this case, to ensure its surrender. On this point, however, the emperor declared, as he had before done, without any reference to the marriage, that no ransom would satisfy him, nothing less than the duchy, his ancient heritage, the foundation of his order, of which he bore the name and arms, rejecting the conditions attached to it as wholly inadmissible. Some days afterwards, the said lady made a proposition to the emperor, who went to visit her at her lodgings, to choose arbitrators, which he had before refused, and which he then, as she told me the same day, was ready to agree to. Afterwards, however, when she was in conference with the ambassadors, they came to a standstill when they touched on the aforesaid condition relating to the Parliament of Paris, and the hostages which the emperor, they maintain, would not accept.... Communications have passed in writing on both sides, of which the result has been nothing more than is above related. They have now taken their leave, both the Duchess of Alençon and the ambassadors, declaring that the king has fully made up his mind not to resign the said duchy except on the condition already proposed, choosing rather to submit to perpetual imprisonment; and this very day the said lady has sent to demand her passports, that she may return to France under the same security as she travelled hither, which has been granted her. No further movements or proposals have since taken place, the 232 emperor continuing in the same determination to obtain possession of the duchy; and if the said lady takes her departure, as appears her intention, the hope of peace which has been excited by her arrival, and the subsequent attempts at negotiation, as well as by the arbitration supposed to be agreed on, will altogether vanish for the present.

'Madame! On Sunday last, the 15th of this month, I received by Richard the letters and other papers which you were pleased to send me. The emperor was at that time on a hunting expedition five leagues hence, with a few attendants, having previously taken leave of the Duchess of Alençon; and on his return I presented to him your letters. I discussed with him at length the two principal points relative to the peace or truce, and the commercial arrangements in which your country is concerned.... To all this his Majesty gave a willing ear, and seemed to take in good part all that was said....

'Madame! Whatever might have been the opinion offered, it has certainly come to pass ... that peace has been made with England, and according to articles which had been proposed and resolved upon before the battle and capture of the king.... Among other causes, it has chiefly arisen, as is pretended, out of the truce made in your country, as well as from the correspondence which has passed, and your frequent declarations, that as far as your interest was concerned, you had abandoned all thoughts of war. Concerning this matter I gave a sufficient explanation, and satisfied his said Majesty, as I hope thereupon....'[112]

At last, on the 14th of January 1526, the Treaty 233 of Madrid was signed between Charles V. and Francis I., and the emperor at once wrote to Margaret to inform her of the joyful news, enclosing a summary of the treaty. In return for his freedom the French king agreed to give up the much-coveted duchy of Burgundy and the counties of Charolais and Hesdin, to allow the sovereignty of Flanders and other countries of the emperor within France. To renounce all claim to Naples, Milan, Genoa, and Asti, as well as to Tournay and Arras. To reinstate the Duke of Bourbon in all his property; and set at liberty the Prince of Orange without any ransom. It was agreed that all prisoners on both sides should be liberated; and that the Duke of Gueldres should be allowed to retain his title during his lifetime, on condition that at his death his duchy should pass to the emperor.

The king's marriage with Queen Eleanor of Portugal was to take place as soon as possible, the queen bringing 200,000 crowns in gold as her dower, besides the counties of Macon, Auxerre, and Bar-sur-Seine, which were to be settled on her and her heirs. It was especially stipulated that if the king should be unable to restore Burgundy or carry out other parts of the treaty, he should again return to captivity, leaving the Dauphin and his second son as hostages.[113]

The emperor also wrote to Margaret on the 15th January asking her to convoke the States-General for the 22nd of May, to inform them of the peace that had just been concluded.

But Francis had no intention of keeping the promises which had been wrung from him under compulsion, and he secretly resolved to break faith with the emperor as soon as he regained his liberty.

234 A few days after the Treaty of Madrid had been signed Margaret had the sorrow of losing her niece, Isabel, the young Queen of Denmark, who died near Ghent on the 19th of January, at the age of twenty-five, and was buried in that city. Her life with Christian II. had not been a happy one, and it was said that she died of a broken heart. Her three children, John, Dorothea, and Christina,[114] she left to her aunt Margaret's care, 'whom she had always called her mother.' Margaret nobly fulfilled this trust, and tenderly watched over the children until her death. She appointed the learned Cornelius Agrippa, then residing at her Court, as tutor to Prince John, who at the time of his mother's death was only eight years old. In a letter to Ferdinand Charles thus mentions their sister's death: 'I am very sorry for the death of our sister the Queen of Denmark, and have taken care that prayers should be said for the repose of her soul. I would willingly recommend to you her children our nephews, who are at present in the hands of our dear aunt in Flanders.'


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On Ash-Wednesday, the 14th of February, Charles de Lannoy wrote to Margaret from Madrid to inform her that the emperor had arrived the day before, and King Francis had gone outside the city to meet him. After supper they had spent two hours talking together, and seemed well pleased with each other. The king had begged permission to see Queen Eleanor, which was granted, with the assurance 235 that as soon as he set foot in Provence she should be delivered over to him.

Lannoy goes on to say that he has been ordered to attend the king on his way to France.

On February the 26th the Abbot of Najera mentions in a long letter to the emperor that peace had been proclaimed in Milan on St. Matthew's Day, the 24th of February, which was looked upon as a good omen as it was the emperor's birthday as well as the anniversary of the victory of Pavia. But a little later John Jonglet wrote to Margaret from London that 'it was publicly asserted that the King of France would not keep his treaty with the emperor, as the States-General of his kingdom would never sanction the dismemberment of his crown.'[115]

Charles himself seems to have suspected that Francis might play him false, for, on the 19th of February, he had written to De Praet that ... 'as the said Seigneur King (Francis) is bound to deliver up to us certain hostages, as you will see by this treaty, we desire that you will well and carefully inform yourself who the said hostages are to be, whether the king's two eldest sons, or Monseigneur the Dauphin, and twelve of the principal nobility ... that you take especial notice of, and be regardful of the persons of the three children of France, that you make yourself thoroughly acquainted with the visage, physiognomy, size, and person of each, that when it comes to the delivering of them over ... there may be no trickery in substituting one person for another, and that you may be able of a certainty to recognise them as the identical persons whom we ought to have. Our Viceroy of Naples is to take the charge of the said delivery and acceptation, 236 and as you are aware he can have no particular knowledge himself of the said children, it is a matter of necessity that you should be well acquainted with all these particulars....' In another letter to De Praet he says: 'On Shrove-Tuesday we reached Madrid, where we had the satisfaction of finding ourselves with the Sieur King, reciprocally exchanging such sentiments and good offices as two attached friends and brothers entertain and exercise together....

'We remained at Madrid Tuesday evening, Wednesday, and Thursday, and on the following day departed thence with the said king our brother, and slept four leagues from Madrid, in order to reach Illescas, two leagues further, on Saturday. At Illescas we shall find the queen our sister (Eleanor). Here they will meet and see each other, and speak together; and then the king will return to Madrid, and we shall continue his companion in the evening. The next day he will begin his journey direct for Bayonne accompanied by our said viceroy. Soon afterwards our sister the queen will also set off for the same, attended by our Constable of Castile. And as to ourselves, we intend to take the road towards Seville, where we shall find our empress, and where our marriage is to take place.'[116]

On the 16th of February Charles wrote to Louise of Savoy:—

'Madame, my good Mother,—Since I have given back a good brother to the king your son, and am offering you the queen my sister for a daughter, it appears to me that, in order not to present you one son only, I should resume the name which I used 237 formerly to give you, and should again address you as my good mother; and seeing that I do so consider you, I pray you to act as such towards the said queen my sister, as well as towards myself. I came to this town of Madrid to see the king your son ... and I was sorry not to have been able to do so sooner, but I am greatly rejoiced at finding both his health and his affections in so different a state from what they were when I last saw him. The love and friendship which he professes to bear towards me have given me no small satisfaction, and I nowise doubt the sincerity of these good feelings, which I hope you will assist in confirming, as you have promised me by your letters that you would do. On my part I assure you that the love and friendship I bear towards him are most sincere, and that I am fully prepared to accomplish everything I have promised.

'You request in your said letter that the king ... should take the queen, his wife, my sister, with him. As soon as the king ... has ratified and sworn to the treaties, and that all things are concluded between him and me, she shall be given up at Bayonne according to your desire. This shall be done by my Viceroy of Naples after he has liberated the king ... and has received the hostages that are to be given.

'And now, madam, that he may no longer distress you by his bad writing, he who looks upon you as his good mother will conclude by recommending himself with all his heart to your kindness, and will sign himself,—Your good son,


'To Madame the Regent of France, my good mother.'

From the emperor's Itinerary we learn that Queen 238 Eleanor left off her mourning on being affianced to the King of France. On her arrival at Talavera she was met by the emperor and the Duke of Bourbon. On the 20th of February the emperor and the King of France went together to Illescas, where they paid a visit to the Queen Eleonora and Queen Germaine de Foix, accompanied by the Countess of Nassau and other ladies, who received them on the stairs. They then went into a saloon, where the four sat down under a canopy, and were engaged in conversation, whilst the ladies of the Court amused themselves by dancing.... On the 23rd of February the emperor took leave of his sister, the Queen of France, who remained at Illescas, and pursued his journey towards Seville, where the Princess Isabella of Portugal, his affianced bride, was to meet him on the 9th of March. He made his entry into Seville on that day, and on the 10th his marriage was celebrated with much pomp. At the magnificent festivities which followed, it is recorded that M. de la Chaux opened the ball.[118]

In a letter to his brother Ferdinand, Charles thus briefly refers to his wedding: 'I have now entered upon the estate of marriage, which pleases me well.' And yet this marriage, begun under such unromantic conditions, turned out very happily, for Isabella was a capable princess, who, besides her beauty and clear complexion, had a good heart and sound judgment, and Charles, we are told, 'lived in perfect harmony with her, and treated her on all occasions with much distinction and regard.'

Guillaume des Barres, one of Margaret's secretaries, sent his mistress the following description of the bride: 'I would give much that you could see 239 her, for if you have been told of her many beauties, virtues, and goodness, you would find still more, and you should see how happy they are together.'[119] On April 26th, 1526, Margaret sent an embassy to Spain to congratulate Charles on his marriage, and present her good wishes to the empress, to whom she wrote, 'that she wished that things could be so arranged that she could come and visit the countries over here (Flanders), which are so beautiful and adorned with such fine towns....'[120] Amongst other things her ambassador was ordered to tell the emperor 'that the archduchess had the greatest pleasure in trying to extirpate the sect of the Lutherans,' and on his own account he added that his mistress lived so simply and economically that there was no chancellor of a province, nor sub-governor or lieutenant in the country, who lived as simply as she did.[121]

Meanwhile, on the 17th of March, King Francis had been set at liberty. Charles in a letter to his brother says: 'The King of France was restored to his kingdom on the 17th of this month (February), on my receiving the Dauphin and Duke of Orleans as hostages, whom I have desired to be taken to Burgos; and the said King of France promises to accomplish all that he has engaged in by the treaty of peace....'

Guicciardini gives the following interesting account of the exchange of prisoners at Fuenterrabia: 'By this time the French king was come to Fuenterrabia, a town appertaining to the emperor, standing near the Ocean Sea upon the frontiers of Biscay and the duchy of Guyenne; and on the other side the Lady Regent was arrived with the children of France at Bayonne, which is not far from Fuenterrabia.... 240 Then the 18th day of March, the French king, accompanied by the viceroy, Captain Alarçon, with fifty horse, came to the shore of the river that divideth the realm of France from the kingdom of Spain; at the same time M. de Lautrech, with the king's children, and the like number of horse, presenting themselves on the other side. There was in the midst of the river a great barque made fast with anchors, in which was no person. The king approached to this barque in a little boat, wherein he was accompanied by the viceroy, etc.... all armed with short weapons, and on the other side of the barque were likewise brought in a little boat, M. de Lautrech, with the hostages ... after this the viceroy went into the barque ... and the king with him.... M. de Lautrech fetched out of the boat into the barque the Dauphin, who being given to the viceroy ... was forthwith bestowed in his boat, and after him followed the little Duke of Orleans, who was no sooner entered the barque than the French king leaped out of the barque into his boat with such swiftness that his permutation was thought to be done at one self instant, and then the king being brought to the shore, mounted suddenly (as though he had feared some ambush) upon a Turkish horse of a wonderful swiftness, which was prepared for the purpose, and ran without stay to St. John de Luz, a town of his obedience, four leagues from thence; and being there readily relieved with a fresh horse, he ran with the same swiftness to Bayonne, where he was received with incredible joy of all the Court.'[122]

In a despatch to the emperor, written on March 241 23rd, Ochoa de Ysasaga announced that 'The day that the King of France was released from his captivity he leaped from the boat, with water up to his knees, mounted a horse that had been prepared for him, and rode without stopping to St. Jean de Luz, where he dined, and was visited by the flower of the French nobility, who came to congratulate him.[123]

And thus Charles let slip his chance, and omitted to reap the fruitful August, which Lannoy, in announcing the victory of Pavia, had declared comes to a man once and once only in his life.




The eventful year 1526 was not to close without further troubles for the House of Austria. The Sultan Solyman, taking advantage of the war in Italy and the consequent absorption of the principal rulers of Europe, had pushed his conquests in the east until his vast hosts encamped before the walls of Vienna. Louis II., King of Hungary, who had married Margaret's niece Mary, seeing his kingdom thus invaded by the Turks, sent urgent appeals for help to all Christian princes. But either the neighbouring powers were too much occupied with their own affairs, or they did not realise the actual danger, for they returned cold and indifferent answers, and even the emperor delayed sending aid to his brother-in-law until too late. On the 29th of August a decisive battle was fought on the plains of Mohacs between the Hungarian army and the troops of Solyman, and ended in the utter defeat of King Louis, who before the day was over lost his crown and his life. Two months after, his body and that of his horse was found sunk in a bog, into which he had ridden during the retreat. His next heir was his sister Anne, who had married Margaret's nephew, the Archduke Ferdinand. And it was in right of his wife that a few months later Ferdinand was elected to the thrones of Bohemia and Hungary.

243 An interesting correspondence between Margaret and her nephew Ferdinand gives full details of these stirring events. On the 18th of September Ferdinand wrote to Margaret from Lintz:—'Madame, my good Aunt,—The news has just reached me that the Turk with two hundred thousand men met the King of Hungary, my late brother-in-law, about twenty miles from Buda, where he was with forty thousand men to defend his country. On the 29th of August last he gave battle, which (battle) was won by the Turk, and all the late king's large quantity of artillery was destroyed and he himself slain, some say whilst fighting, others, that seeing the said battle was lost, he retreated, and thinking to escape, entered a morass, where he remained, which seems most probable. Thus, madame, you can imagine how perplexed I am to be deprived of money and help against such a formidable power as the said Turk.... To-day news has reached me that the said Turk has taken the town of Buda and that he has despatched two of his principal captains, each with a good number of men, one to invade my country of Austria ... and the other to do the same in Styria, which they have already begun to do, and have gone within fifteen or sixteen miles of Vienna. And you ought, madame, as a good lady and experienced princess, to help the emperor, my lord and brother, to make peace with our common enemies to his greater honour and safety, as soon as possible ... and diligently make every effort to repulse this cursed Turk, which I very humbly beg you to do, for if his Majesty does not quickly find a remedy, not only I, our House of Austria, and all Germany will fall into complete ruin and desolation, but also the whole of Christianity....

'As to the affairs in Italy, they are, madame, also 244 in a very bad way, owing to the enemies' great power and our insufficient number of men.... I have sent Messire George de Fronsberg ... to Augsbourg with the best jewels and rings that I have ... for, madame, I neither have or know of other means to raise money to send help ... so you can imagine to what poverty I am reduced.... And at present I do not know of anything else worthy to write to you about, excepting to beg you, madame, very humbly to send some help and succour if you can ... for I am so much in need of money, without which I can do nothing, because of the great expenses I have had since I came to Germany.... And it may be that for lack of help and succour you may soon have the same news of me as of the late King of Hungary. And as to the queen, my sister, she is about ten miles from Vienna, very unhappy and desolate, as you may imagine. I have sent for her consolation and also for her safety some good people and some infantry.... I will inform you of anything more that occurs....' Then follows a postscript in Ferdinand's handwriting: 'Madame, je vous suplie vouloir tenir la main à la pais; car vous voyés bien que c'est plus que besoin.'[124]

Margaret replied: 'My good Nephew,—I have received your two letters, one of the 18th and the other of the 23rd September, and by them have heard of the sad and pitiable news of the death of the King of Hungary, the loss of the kingdom, and the state of the poor queen, your sister, my good niece, and above all, the danger which you, your country and subjects are in. I do not know how to express to you the regret and sorrow that I feel, and you can believe that it is not less than if the misfortune had befallen me, and that I was in the position 245 of the queen, your worthy sister, or yourself. In any case it becomes us to conform in all things to the will of God, our Creator, the refuge and consoler of the desolate, who never forsakes or abandons those who pray to Him with their whole heart....

'I have ordered your courier in Zealand to cross the sea with the first good company that leaves, which is the safest way, and I have written to the emperor reminding him of your conduct and the services you have rendered him, exhorting and imploring him first to assist you in your great and extreme necessity, as I hope he will, and on my part in this and other matters I will do what I can for you and your service. John Seigneur de Temstel, whom Monseigneur de Bourbon sent to you, and also Messire George de Fronsberg have been to see me and told me that the said Messire George has not been able to raise money from the Fuggers or others on the rings you gave him ... for which I am sorry. I have informed the King of England and the legate of the loss of Hungary and the death of the king.... Monseigneur, if it should happen that you should see the Queen of Hungary, your sister, or ... that you should send or write to her, I beg you to recommend me to her, and console her for her misfortune as much as is possible, and comfort her and forward a letter which I have written to her.... I beg you, monseigneur, to often send me your news, and I will send you mine from here, and assist you in every way in my power, with the help of our Lord.'[125]

Ferdinand also received a sympathetic letter from Charles, in which the emperor said that 'he could not well express his grief on hearing of the misfortunes and death of King Louis of Hungary, and at first 246 could not believe the news, although it reached him from various parts.... When his (Ferdinand's) letter arrived he had already sent his last penny to Italy, and was therefore unable immediately to send help, but he had done his best to procure money, and would shortly send 100,000 ducats in bills by a gentleman of his bedchamber, whom he was sending on a mission to him and their sister Mary with instructions to carry out his (Ferdinand's) wishes in every respect, and hoped that the archduke's affairs would soon be satisfactorily settled....'[126]

On the 17th of December Queen Mary announced that her brother, the Archduke Ferdinand, had been duly elected King of Hungary and Bohemia on the 16th by all the barons and nobles present at the Diet. When Charles heard this welcome news he at once sent to congratulate his brother and thanked the States for the part they had taken in his election, promising 'to spend all his treasures and all his blood in their defence.'[127]

But other important events now claimed the emperor's attention. Francis I. had no sooner gained his liberty than he deliberately evaded his promises and refused to ratify the Treaty of Madrid. On May the 22nd, 1526, he entered into an alliance with the Pope, Venice, the Duke of Milan, and Henry VIII. This League of Cognac had for its ostensible object the peace of Christendom, but in reality aimed at expelling the emperor from his possessions in Italy, and checking his growing power. As soon as the treaty was concluded, Clement VII. absolved Francis from the oath he had taken to observe the Treaty of Madrid on the plea that he had acted under compulsion. When the emperor discovered that the King of 247 France intended to break faith and elude his most solemn promises, his wrath knew no bounds, and he publicly denounced Francis as a prince without faith or honour, at the same time accusing the Pope of base ingratitude. To these reproaches Francis replied by challenging the emperor to single combat, but this interesting duel was not allowed to take place. The peace for which Margaret had 'grandement tenu la main' was broken, and war broke out again fiercer than ever.

The North Italian towns made overtures to the French, and the imperial troops received a decided check in Lombardy. Money was very scarce, and, worried on every side, Charles grumbled that Margaret showed lack of energy in raising funds, and reproached her for not squeezing more out of the Netherlands. To his other troubles was added the knowledge that Lutheranism was making enormous strides in the Belgian provinces. Margaret's attitude towards the reformers showed great moderation considering the irritation she felt against those sects who added religious dissension to the troubles of a foreign war. She was convinced that overmuch zeal on the part of the orthodox could only do harm, and addressed a circular letter to all religious houses within her jurisdiction, recommending that only wise, tactful, and enlightened orators should be allowed to preach, and advising them always to speak gravely and prudently, and never mention either the reformers or their doctrine. She also forbade all meetings where the divine office was reduced to only the reading of the Bible. 'These meetings,' she said, 'aim at alienating the people from the reverence due to the sacraments, to the honour which belongs to the Mother of God and the Saints, to prayers for the dead, fasting, 248 and other precepts of the Church.' She imposed various fines on those who were convicted before a magistrate of reformed practices—twenty francs for a first offence, forty for a second, and eighty for a third. All who were unable to pay were to be banished. But these measures had no effect, and a little later a new edict appeared in which it was proclaimed that in order to check the progress of heresy, those who possessed books written by Luther or his followers were to bring them to the governor of the place, under pain of confiscation of goods, or even death. Extreme measures were against Margaret's nature, but circumstances and the spirit of the times forced her into them.

In May of the following year (1527) she received the joyful tidings that a son and heir (Philip II.) had been born to Charles on the 22nd at Valladolid. But in the midst of the rejoicings that followed the infant's birth came the startling news that Rome had been taken and sacked by the imperial troops, that the Constable of Bourbon had fallen whilst leading the assault, and that the Pope was a prisoner in the castle of St. Angelo. This astounding information caused the christening festivities to be brought to an abrupt conclusion, the emperor ordering instead that the Court should go into mourning and Bourbon's obsequies should be celebrated for five days. Charles expressed himself as horrified at the outrages which his lawless troops had committed against the Holy See, and was anxious to disclaim any share in the tragedy, which he stoutly maintained had been perpetrated without his knowledge and against his wish. He even addressed a circular letter to the various crowned heads, in which he said: 'His soldiers, perceiving that the Pope had been unfaithful to every 249 treaty made with him, were determined to march to Rome in spite of their generals. Though the excesses and cruelty of the exasperated soldiery have not been so great as his enemies chose to represent at the time, he is still very sorry for what has happened, and can assure them that he has felt the disrespect of his troops towards the Apostolic See more than he can express, and certainly would have much preferred to be conquered than to conquer under the circumstances.'[128]

We can imagine, too, with what horror Margaret received the news from Rome, and how her compassionate heart must have bled as she heard the ghastly tales of murder, rapine, and sacrilege which had been committed in the sacred city.

On May the 30th the emperor wrote to Mendoza, his ambassador in England: ' ... We shall not fail to inform you ... of whatever is being done here (Valladolid) with regard to the French and English ambassadors, and their commission. We shall likewise apprise madame, our aunt, but as the cipher which you possess is safer than hers, we will use yours for the purpose of transmitting our orders and wishes thereupon.... Meanwhile you will write to madame in our name, that without appearing to distrust the English in any way, she may, as of her own accord, immediately provide for the defence of the frontiers both by sea and land, in Flanders as well as in Holland and Zealand, and remember what his Reverence the Legate of England (Wolsey) said on a previous occasion, that once the Flemish frontier is broken in upon, the conquest of the land would be an easy matter. Should madame require our assistance for the protection of our dominions in those parts, you will tell her in our name that we 250 shall do our utmost to provide her with money and troops for the emergency, and that she is to inform us, as soon as possible, of the military preparations she intends making, in doing which madame is to use your own cipher, of which a copy shall be sent to her immediately, that she herself may write to us, if she so prefers.'[129]

About this time rumours of the unhappy matrimonial relations existing between Queen Katharine and King Henry reached Charles from his ambassador in England. On the 13th of July Mendoza wrote from London that ' ... the king and his ministers were trying to dissolve the marriage between the queen and himself, alleging that the Pope had no power to grant a dispensation for the queen to marry two brothers as she had done.... The emperor may believe him (Mendoza) that there is so much feeling expressed here ... about the queen's divorce, not only on her own account, but because ... her daughter the princess would be declared illegitimate, that should six or seven thousand men land on the coast of Cornwall to espouse the cause of both mother and daughter, forty thousand Englishmen would at once join them....'[130]

In a sympathetic letter to Queen Katharine on the 27th of August Charles said:—'Madame and my Aunt,—I have perfectly understood the verbal message brought by Francisco Phelipez from you respecting the affair (of the divorce), and the reason why you sent him to me.... You may well imagine the pain this intelligence caused me, and how much I felt for you. I cannot express it otherwise than by assuring you that were my own mother concerned, 251 I should not experience greater sorrow than in this your case, for the love and affection which I profess to your Serene Highness is certainly of the same kind as that of a son towards his parent. I have immediately set about taking the necessary steps for the remedy, and you may be certain that nothing shall be omitted on my part to help you in your present tribulation. But it seems to me that in the meantime your Serene Highness ought not to take this thing so much to heart, as to let it impair your bodily health, for if this is preserved, all other matters will be remedied with God's help.'[131]

Early in September of this same year (1527) Margaret sent a courier to the Spanish Court to announce the birth of a son and heir to Ferdinand.[132] Charles was delighted to receive the news, and at once sent a letter of congratulation to his brother, saying 'that he rejoiced more at the birth of his nephew than at that of his own son Philip.'

Although, after several months' imprisonment in the castle of St. Angelo, the Pope had at length come to terms with the emperor, still the war in Italy dragged on, with many recriminations on all sides. France and England had joined hands against Spain, and trade with the Netherlands was at a standstill. At length, when all Europe was sick of war and longed for peace, Wolsey suggested to Margaret that she should use her influence to try and bring about a better understanding among the nations, and especially between France and Spain.

On March 12th, 1528, Margaret wrote to her secretary, Guillaume des Barres, from Malines, instructing him to 'go with all diligence to London 252 to Monsieur de Burgues' (Iñigo de Mendoza, just appointed Bishop of Burgos),[133] the emperor's ambassador at that Court, and present his credentials, and tell him 'that we have received his letter of the 11th instant and heard of the overtures of peace made by the legate. We are indeed very happy,' she says, 'to see the good turn the affair is taking. You will tell him that we shall spare no personal trouble or fatigue to bring about a general peace, ... though it seems to us, and indeed to almost all other people of honest intentions and quick understanding, that King Francis ought to have accepted at once the emperor's offers, by recalling his Italian army and giving up Genoa and his other conquests before his sons were actually released from captivity.... You will ... request Mons. de Burgues to acquaint the legate with our readiness to help towards the accomplishment of peace, ... that we have sent you for that purpose, and wish this affair to be conducted between us without the intervention of any other person whatsoever ... and,' she adds, 'it is but proper that he himself (Wolsey) should have the honour of the affair since the proposal originated with him.'

A conference was held in London, and at Wolsey's request Margaret was invited to take in hand the arrangements for a general peace, and more particularly one between France and Spain. She was asked to work at it conjointly with the cardinal. Des Barres then proceeded to declare his mistress's intentions and wishes respecting the peace, expatiating at large on the evils resulting from the war to Christendom in general, and more particularly to the 253 dominions and subjects of the emperor and the King of France, as it afforded the Turk every facility for an invasion, and encouraged the Lutheran heresy to spread far and wide. After discussing the subject at length, Wolsey begged Margaret immediately to send a messenger by land to the emperor, to acquaint him as soon as possible with the result of the conference held with his ambassadors, and the means which they and he conjointly propose for the furtherance of peace. The cardinal promised to apply for a safe conduct through French territory for the gentleman whom Madame Margaret might choose to appoint.[134]

About this time Margaret seems to have conceived the idea that it would be better for the interests of all concerned if the arrangements for the peace were made by ladies only, and she accordingly proposed to the emperor that she should meet her sister-in-law Louise of Savoy at a neutral town and discuss the conditions with her. In a letter to M. de Rosymboz, her chief steward, dated Malines, 3rd of January 1529, containing instructions to be laid before the emperor, Margaret gives her reasons for this suggestion, and says:—'First, that the bitterness of the reproaches written and spoken on either side were such that ill-will and hatred were the inevitable consequences. The hostilities also which ensued were so fierce that neither of the two sovereigns could compromise his dignity by being the first to talk of reconciliation, a challenge having been given and accepted for settling the differences and disputes by single combat. On the other hand, how easy for ladies ... to make the first advances in such an undertaking! Secondly, that it is only by a mutual 254 forgiveness of all offences, and the total oblivion of the causes of the war, and of everything that had passed in writing concerning them, that the idea of peace could be entertained. This could not be thought of or proposed by the princes without a sacrifice of what they held most precious, their honour; but ladies might well come forward in a measure for submitting the gratification of private hatred and revenge to the far nobler principle of the welfare of nations. Thirdly, were the King of France to conduct negotiations with the emperor, it would be necessary for him to act with especial reference to allies and co-operators, the Venetians, Florentines, etc., and here a difficulty would arise in effecting a reconciliation with the emperor, not to be surmounted without the probability of some stain upon his honour; but the act of the Lady of Angoulême, his mother, would in such case take away all responsibility on the part of the king, whilst a similar advantage would present itself to the emperor in silencing the complaints of his friends, who might make objections to the terms of peace. Again, in the event of any of the great powers being called in as mediators in a negotiation, such as England or the Pope, their own particular interest it is probable would be too much considered, and something perhaps required in little territorial concessions as the price of their interference; whilst the intervention proposed could be subject to no such inconvenience; as the mother of the king and the aunt of the emperor, who regarded him as her son as well as heir, would keep in view one sole object which they had mutually at heart—the general good of Europe, in the reconciliation of these two great princes.'[135]

255 To these wise arguments the emperor lent a willing ear, and invested Margaret with full powers to treat with Louise of Savoy; and chose the neutral town of Cambray as their meeting-place.

On May the 15th Margaret wrote to Jehan de la Sauch from Brussels, whom she had sent on an embassy to England, bidding him tell King Henry how often she had been requested by Louise of Savoy to listen to overtures of peace. She had informed the emperor of the said overtures through Rosymboz, her chief steward, and her secretary, Des Barres, whom she had sent to Spain; and the emperor, not wishing to be an obstacle to the said peace, sent her at once full powers to treat with all Christian princes in general and with King Francis and his mother in particular. This fact having been communicated to the Duchess of Angoulême, measures had been taken to appoint a time and place wherein the preliminaries of peace might be at once discussed and settled. 'She has no doubt,' she says, 'that King Henry will be glad to hear the news, and will help to the utmost of his power in establishing peace. For her part she need hardly say how glad she will be to labour for so meritorious a purpose.' Maistre le Sauch is ordered to return as soon as possible after delivering his embassy and report every word the king and Wolsey may say on this occasion, and also what impression the idea of the proposed meeting has produced on each of them.[136]

On May the 26th Margaret wrote a long letter to the emperor in cipher from Brussels, informing him that she had, with the advice of her Council, agreed to meet Louise of Savoy on the 15th of the following June at Cambray, and there discuss with her the 256 preliminaries of a lasting peace, which she (Margaret) had no doubt would be easily obtained, provided the French king felt disposed to be as reasonable as the emperor. She also said it was important to keep on good terms with the English, as their assistance would certainly be required with regard to the indemnity and the debts. And for this end Maistre Jehan le Sauch has been sent to inform King Henry of the proposed meeting, stating that nothing shall be negotiated without his being comprised in it.... Respecting the emperor's visit to Italy (for his coronation), the arrangement of which has given much pleasure to all his faithful vassals and servants, she hopes that he will provide himself with plenty of means, money, provisions and men, for money cannot be procured in Italy, and as to reinforcements from Germany, it will be next to impossible to procure any under two or three months' notice.... In short, all things considered and 'subject to the emperor's superior wisdom,' her opinion is that the embarkation ought to be delayed until after the negotiations at Cambray are concluded, for if the meeting takes place and is brought to a happy conclusion, the emperor will be able to carry out his plans at less cost and with greater chance of success. The French king being unable to help his allies in Italy, the Pope and Venetians will soon come to terms, and everything will turn out well.... She then goes on to point out the various difficulties that may arise at the forthcoming conference, and asks for further instructions from the emperor. In a postscript written on the following day she adds that a gentleman from Queen Katharine's household has just arrived from England with a message that King Henry has recommenced judicial proceedings for 257 his divorce more briskly than before, and Queen Katharine begs her (Margaret) to send two qualified persons to England to counsel and help her. Margaret says that 'she intends sending to Malines to obtain the opinion of experienced lawyers in that place; and if the person appointed by the emperor to replace Don Iñigo (Mendoza) has not yet left Spain, his departure should be hastened, for the poor queen is much perplexed, and there is no one in England who dares take up her defence against the king's will.'[137]

On May the 27th, Wolsey wrote to Margaret from Richmond thanking her for her letter received through her secretary, Le Sauch, and informing her how glad the king was to hear the news of the prospect of peace. 'As to himself he need hardly say that he is entirely at her service.' The letter is addressed to 'Madame ma bonne mère,' and signed 'Votre très humble serviteur et filz.'

Early in June Margaret received Le Sauch's report of his visit to England. On the 23rd of May he had had a message from Cardinal Wolsey ordering him to present himself at Windsor on the following day before the dinner-hour. He was introduced to the king on the 24th, who made many inquiries after Madame Margaret's health and her present place of residence, and asked what news he (Le Sauch) brought from Flanders. The king then said: 'The news brought by madame's ambassador is very gratifying to me ... for certainly I am a man of peace.... You are welcome to my Court; I am very glad to hear that the emperor is so well disposed towards peace....' The king also said: 'You will offer madame our most cordial and affectionate 258 commendations, and will tell her that we thank her most earnestly for the good news she has been pleased to send us ... and nothing shall be left undone on our part to forward her views, when we have seen the articles, which will, we presume, be sent for our inspection before peace is finally concluded.' Le Sauch then saw the cardinal, who, after likewise expressing his joy at Margaret's message, said: 'You ought to remember that last year I confessed to you that madame was, in my opinion, an excellent princess, and that something good might in that sense be expected from her.' After which flattering speech Le Sauch took his leave, and the next day left London for Flanders.

On the 22nd of June he sent Margaret an account of his interview with King Francis and Louise of Savoy at Chantilly. 'After presenting his respects to Madame Louise, he was conducted to King Francis, who asked after Madame Margaret's health and when she was likely to return to Cambray,' adding that 'it was his earnest wish to see the present preliminary negotiations come to an issue that he might himself see and speak to madame.' After delivering polite messages from his mistress, Le Sauch informed the king that she had intended leaving Brussels on the previous Wednesday or Thursday, and hoped to arrive at Mons on Saturday, stay there over Sunday, and go to Valenciennes on Tuesday, and there wait for news. Le Sauch mentioned that Margaret had been warned not to go to Cambray for fear of King Francis taking her prisoner, but that her answer had been that 'she had no mistrust or fear of any sort as regarded Madame Louise or the king, and that if any of her councillors or courtiers were afraid, they might go home.'

259 When it was suggested that at least she ought to have a strong escort sufficient to cope with the French, and, if required, with the people of the town, her answer was 'that if she brought one single armed man in her suite people might imagine she was going on a warlike enterprise, and not on a work of peace. She had started on a mission of peace, and hoped, God willing, to be successful.'

The Duchess of Angoulême then said there was nothing she desired so much as to see her sister (Margaret), whom she loved extremely, and cooperate with her in the establishment of a solid and lasting peace. She would have come much sooner had she not been prevented by a severe illness.... She then told Le Sauch to announce that on Wednesday next without fail she would be at St. Quentin, and 'that you, madame, would do well to inform the emperor of the impediments thrown in her way by the English and the rest of the Italian confederates.... She had no objection to make respecting the arrangements and preparations at Cambray for your mutual visits, and was glad to hear that your dwelling and hers were close to each other.'

Le Sauch ends by saying that he hears the meeting is not likely to take place before the following Sunday or Monday, for 'it is not likely that the queen-mother will travel from St. Quentin to Cambray, a distance of eight leagues, in twenty-four hours, and most probably she will not stop at Crève-cœur. However ... nothing has yet been officially announced.'

In another despatch, written on the following day, he says: 'Madame, the queen and the king, her son, arrived last evening in this town (Compiègne). The next day ... I repaired to the apartments of the 260 queen, who was just going to dinner. I found, however, means of penetrating into her chamber, and so contrived that she saw me, beckoned me to approach, and asked whether I had news of madame. I answered that I had heard of your departure from Brussels on Thursday, and that I had been particularly requested to inform her of the fact, and send back what news I had of her intended movements. The queen then observed that she could not well arrive at St. Quentin before Saturday, and went on to say: "I depart upon this journey frankly and full of confidence in my sister (Margaret), sincerely hoping that our meeting and conference will turn out as I wish, and that whatever is agreed upon between us the emperor will approve and ratify. I know not whether you are aware that some of the conditions have already been settled between madame and myself by letter, and that I hardly think madame would like me to undertake this journey for nothing, though I confess that I would have taken even a much longer one for her sake, and to have the pleasure of seeing her." My answer was: "There can be no doubt that both of you will agree on all points—the emperor is sure to consent, and madame herself is not likely to propose anything that he cannot approve."

'The Duchess of Angoulême then said: "Madame need not be jealous of the English, or imagine that they can prevent my journey to Cambray, for in no case would I miss the appointment.... The King of England has sent full powers to treat in his name; he and my son being allies, they are therefore unable to discuss peace separately." ... She then asked if the Cardinal of Liége were coming with madame, and if he was a man who would aim at good? I answered: "Yes, he is coming ... and is strongly attached to 261 peace, and that Madame Margaret is incapable of bringing in her suite people who do not desire peace."

'The queen-mother then said that she intended bringing her own chancellor ... but would not have any princes or nobles in her suite because "her good sister was bringing none, and in truth they were not needed.... Of women," she said, "I only take with me those of my own chamber, who are numerous enough, for when Queen Claude died we kept them all in our service, and many are also wanted for the children.... You may tell my sister what my plans are, and that I hope we may hear of each other daily. Write also to her boldly that we must necessarily contend and argue, but that I sincerely hope it will be without anger or ill-will. I will tell her things which she will be astonished to hear. She thinks that the Pope is the emperor's friend, but I can assure her that he is very far from being such, for he is evidently trying to prevent the emperor's journey to Italy before the treaty is concluded between the parties, and in all other matters he will be found very different from what you think. I do not mean to imply thereby that he acts any better towards us; such is, however, his condition, that he is of no good to us, nor to you, nor to the Church itself."'[138]

Margaret made her entry into Cambray at three o'clock on the afternoon of July 5th, 1529, accompanied by a brilliant suite, and was welcomed by the Cardinal of Liége and Monseigneur von Ysselstein, who had preceded her. The Bishop of Cambray, the Archbishop of Palermo, Count Hochstrate, and many others accompanied the procession which slowly wound its way through the town to the abbey of 262 St. Aubert. Margaret was seated in a magnificent litter, surrounded by a guard of twenty-four archers on horseback, dressed in black suits edged with velvet, and followed by a train of ladies mounted on palfreys. At the abbey, where rooms had been retained for her and her ladies, she alighted, and awaited the arrival of the queen-regent. Two hours later Louise of Savoy made her entry, accompanied by her daughter, the Queen of Navarre, and the Countess of Vendôme; and were immediately conducted to Margaret's apartments, where they remained in conversation with her for two hours. They then retired to the Hôtel St. Paul, opposite the abbey, but connected with it by a temporary covered way which had been erected for the convenience of the princesses, who could thus visit each other unseen. Many years had passed since Margaret and Louise had last met, for they had parted when Margaret set forth on her wedding journey to marry Louise's brother, Philibert of Savoy, and we can imagine that the meeting between the two princesses must have been one not unmixed with pain. For three weeks they remained together, discussing the political situation from all sides. At last, on the 24th of July, at ten o'clock in the morning, peace was proclaimed, but was again broken for various reasons, and in despair the queen-mother threatened to leave. However, a few days later all differences were satisfactorily settled, and the treaty ratified on the last day of July. Margaret again won general admiration for the able way in which she conducted this difficult negotiation. For this treaty, known as 'the Ladies' Peace,' was as advantageous to Spain and the Netherlands as it was humiliating to France. The terms were, in fact, a mitigation of those of the Treaty of Madrid. It was 263 agreed that the restitution of Burgundy was not for the present to be insisted on, though the claim was still maintained. But the king's sons were to be set at liberty on the payment of 2,000,000 crowns, and the marriage with the emperor's sister Eleanor was now to be consummated. King Francis was to abandon all his allies, and renounce his claims on the suzerainty of Flanders and Artois, and abstain from sending further help to the Duke of Gueldres or Robert de la Marck. Charolais was to belong to Margaret for her lifetime, and after her decease to the emperor, but was to revert to the crown of France at his death. The possessions of the Duke of Bourbon and the Prince of Orange were to be ceded to Francis. On the 5th of August the two princesses, attended by the Papal Legate, Salviati, the ambassadors of King Ferdinand and of the King of England, repaired to the cathedral of Notre-Dame, where a solemn mass was celebrated by Robert de Croy, Bishop of Cambray, who preached a sermon on the benefits of peace. The princesses and the English ambassador then knelt before the high altar, and swore on the consecrated Host and the Gospels to faithfully observe the peace just concluded. After which the Dean of Cambray advanced and in a loud voice proclaimed that peace had been concluded between the Pope; the Emperor Charles; Francis, King of France; Ferdinand, King of Bohemia and Hungary; and Henry, King of England. A separate peace between King Henry and Madame Margaret was also proclaimed. The choir chanted a Te Deum, and with a blare of trumpets and clashing of cymbals the heralds announced to the waiting crowds that 'Peace was made.'

The princesses were then conducted with much pomp to their lodgings, and money was thrown 264 broadcast amongst the people, whilst wine flowed freely from fountains in the streets, and the whole town gave itself up to merriment and rejoicing.[139] A beautiful carved wooden mantelpiece was also erected in the council-chamber of the Hôtel of the Liberty at Bruges to commemorate the capture of Francis I. at Pavia, and the consequent treaty of peace between the nations at Cambray. In the centre the statue of Charles V. stands in complete armour, surrounded by twenty-seven shields of various kingdoms with which he was allied. On his right are his paternal grandparents, Maximilian I. and Mary of Burgundy, whilst on his left are his maternal ancestors, Ferdinand and Isabella. This beautiful wooden trophy was the work of Hermann Glosencamp, Andreas Rasch, and Roger de Smet, after a design and under the direction of Lancelot Blondel of Bruges and Guyot de Beaugrant of Malines.[140]


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Clémont Marot and Jean Second also celebrated 'the Ladies' Peace' in verse, though their poems are not of a very high order.

Francis I. awaited the issue of the Congress at the abbey of Mont Saint Martin, and on hearing of the conclusion of peace he set out on the 9th of August to pay Margaret a visit at Cambray, and was present at the festivities given by his mother at the Hôtel Saint Paul. Margaret was anxious to conciliate Francis, who was so soon to become the husband of her niece Eleanor, and during the days they all spent together at Cambray she succeeded in making great 265 friends with him; and Massé, who was an eye-witness, tells us that he left on the 20th for Paris 'quite delighted' with his visit.

A few weeks later we find him writing pathetic letters to Margaret begging her to use her influence with the emperor that his sons (who were kept in Spain until their ransom was paid) might be better treated, for he heard through his officer, Bodin, that they were not as happy as he could wish. Margaret was touched at this mark of the king's confidence, and wrote a long letter to the emperor, begging him to grant Francis's request, for 'Monseigneur, God has given you the blessing of beautiful children, so that you may better feel what a father's love is worth, and can sympathise with the sorrow of the said king; wherefore I beg of you to ... grant his request, which is so just and reasonable....—Your very humble aunt, Margaret.'

Shortly after, the long-delayed marriage between Francis and Eleanor was consummated, the king receiving his sons from the hands of his bride at Bayonne, where he met them at the frontier. The Marshal of Montmorency, who accompanied King Francis, thus writes to Margaret from St. Jean de Luz:—'Madame, I found the queen, whom I have been to see the last few days since her arrival at the frontier, so wise, beautiful, and honest a lady, who conversed with me in as kind and pleasant a manner as possible ... and we ought again to thank God for having given us so good and virtuous a lady, of whom it seems to me that I cannot express to you a third part of the good and honesteté that I found in her.'

Margaret also received constant news from England concerning the progress of Queen Katharine's affairs. 266 In September 1529 Eustace Chapuys had written to her from London telling her of an audience he had had with King Henry, and later with Queen Katharine. The conference with the king, he said, would have been much longer and more to the purpose had not his Majesty been in a hurry to go to dinner in order to repair afterwards to the hunting-field ... as he is in the habit of doing at this season of the year. As usual the conversation turned chiefly on the queen's business, the king treating the matter as one in which he was deeply concerned, and which he had much at heart, and trying to appear very learned in canon law. After dinner the king gave permission for Chapuys to be conducted to the queen's apartments in order that he might deliver the emperor's letter to her. During the interview her Majesty thanked him for all he had said in her favour. On the 27th of September Chapuys wrote another long despatch to Margaret giving lengthy details of a further audience with the king, in which the subject of the queen's divorce was once more fully discussed.[141]

Immediately after the ratification of the Treaty of Cambray Margaret and Louise entered into a negotiation to consolidate the peace by a double marriage between the emperor's children and those of King Francis. From Bologna, where he had gone for his double coronation, Charles sent Margaret the necessary powers to treat in his name. In this document, which is published amongst the State papers of the Cardinal of Granvelle, he says:—'Because of the very great, perfect, and entire confidence which we have in our said lady and aunt, as in ourselves, and in her experience and prudence, which was 267 shown in the conducting, concluding, and perfecting of the said peace made at Cambray, we have by these presents constituted and made our aunt our general and special proxy, etc....'

But Margaret did not live long enough to carry out this interesting negotiation which would have worthily crowned her political career. As it was, the Peace of Cambray was her last great diplomatic triumph, but she lived just long enough to see her nephew Charles attain the zenith of his power, and receive the double crowns of Lombardy and the empire from the hands of the Pope, an honour for which her father, Maximilian, had sighed in vain.




Before Charles left Spain for Italy he had concluded a separate treaty with the Pope at Barcelona, the terms of which were more advantageous to the Holy See than Clement VII. could have expected, considering the emperor's recent successes. But Charles was anxious to atone for the insults and outrages committed during the siege of Rome, and if possible win the Pope as an ally, and get him to oppose his aunt Katharine's divorce. Amongst other articles he promised to restore all property belonging to the ecclesiastical state, reestablish the Medici in Florence, and marry his natural daughter, Margaret, to the head of that powerful house; allow the Pope to decide the fate of the Sforza and the possession of the Milanese. In return Clement was to grant the emperor the investiture of Naples, absolve all who had been implicated in the plundering of Rome, and allow Charles and his brother to levy a fourth of the ecclesiastical revenues throughout their dominions.

On October the 2nd, 1529, Margaret wrote a long letter to the emperor from Brussels, in which she plainly expressed her opinion of the Treaty of Barcelona and its probable results:—'I do not pretend to say,' she says, 'that the alliance with the Pope is not a good and desirable thing; but your Majesty 269 must bear in mind the character of his Holiness, his inconstant humour and fickle disposition; and that he must be greatly changed in temper and general condition if he does not try now, as he did last time, to expel you from Italy after he has got all he wants from you.... Respecting Milan, my opinion is that, considering the expense hitherto incurred, your Majesty ought by all means to endeavour to remain master of it by investing your son with it, and treating with Massimiliano Sforza.... The king, your brother, in the meanwhile, must be fully provided with the means of defence, and money procured for him to carry on a good enterprise against the Turk....

'Your Majesty might attend to your own affairs in Italy, and everything being settled there, depart for Germany at the head of all your forces, leaving only in Italy those strictly required for the defence of Milan and Naples. This would naturally result in great honour and reputation to your army, which might be paid out of the money collected for the intended expedition, and then you could not only succour your brother, repulse the Turk, and perhaps also follow him up to his own dominions, but also increase our faith, which will be a far greater honour and merit than losing your precious time in the recovery of a few towns in Italy....'[142]

At last the long-looked-for day came when Charles, after a triumphal progress through Italy, entered Bologna, on November the 5th, for his coronation, at the head of twenty thousand veteran soldiers, and, in token of his humility as an obedient son of the Church, kneeled down to kiss the feet of that very Pope whom he had but recently retained a prisoner. 270 On St. Peter's Day, February the 22nd, 1530, he received the iron crown of Lombardy, and two days later (St. Matthew's Day), the thirtieth anniversary of his birth, he was crowned by Clement VII., in the cathedral of San Petronio, with the imperial crown of Charlemagne, amid all the gorgeous display and ceremonial befitting so great an occasion.

In the grand procession at the emperor's coronation at Bologna, Antonio da Leyva, the veteran hero of Pavia, crippled with gout, was borne in a chair by the emperor's command, next to Andrea Doria, before the archbishops and bishops, and his horse led by two noblemen. Brantôme gives the following account of the procession:—'Four thousand Spanish soldiers, veterans who had served in the late wars, marched at the head of it under the command of Antonio da Leyva, richly dressed, borne in a sort of chair covered with crimson velvet. Afterwards came eighteen pieces of heavy artillery, with their ammunition waggons and all their accompaniments, followed by a thousand men-at-arms of the old equipment of Burgundy, all well mounted and cased in armour, over which hung their beautiful and rich mantles, with lances at the thigh. Then came the pages of the emperor, about four-and-twenty in number, superbly clothed in yellow, grey, and violet velvet, mounted on beautiful horses. These were followed by the Grand Ecuyer in steel armour, bearing in his right hand his imperial Majesty's sword of state. After him rode the emperor, mounted on the most beautiful Spanish genet, a dark bay, clad in the richest armour, inlaid with gold, over which was a mantle of cloth of gold, leaving one side and the right arm exposed; on his head he wore a bonnet of black velvet without ornament or plume. The cardinals 271 came next, with their large hats on. They were followed by some of the principal nobles of the Court heading a troop of four or five hundred gentlemen. To these again succeeded fifteen hundred light horse and men-at-arms all accoutred with helmets. Three thousand men on foot, Spaniards, Italians and Landsknechts, formed the rear-guard.'

This, adds Brantôme, was a procession 'fit for a great emperor, enough to make the earth tremble, as well as the Heaven itself, when the artillery began to roar with the devil of a noise, which Don Antonio knew well how to play off, with discharges of the arquebusades re-echoing from the whole line of soldiers.'

He afterwards mentions the ceremonial observed between the Pope and emperor when the latter performed his act of submission or homage. 'When they approached each other, the emperor, sinking on his knees, kissed the feet of the Pope, and rising, kissed his hand. His Holiness on his part, whilst some of the attendants behind raised the mitre from his head, kissed the emperor's cheek. This done, the emperor was again on his knees, when the Pope, making a gracious gesture, begged him to rise. One of the attendants then drawing a piece of gold from a pocket in the imperial mantle, placed it in his Majesty's hand, of which the emperor made an offering to the Pope as a representative of his power, and thus addressed him: 'Holy Father, thanks be to God above who has conceded to me so great a favour that I should arrive in safety here to kiss the feet of your Holiness, and be received with greater kindness than I can ever merit, and thus I place myself under your safeguard.'[143]

272 But for Clement VII. this ceremony can have been no pleasant task. 'The Pope,' wrote the Bishop of Tarbes, 'tried to show the emperor the best cheer possible; but I think he never in his life performed a ceremony which touched him so near the heart, nor of which less good is likely to come to him. For several times, when he thought no one saw him, he heaved such sighs that, heavy as his cope was, he made it shake in good earnest.'[144] This memorable day in the annals of the House of Austria marked the summit of Margaret's ambitious hopes for the nephew she had mothered with such unceasing care. She had lived to see the children over whose welfare she had so tenderly watched grow up to fill some of the most brilliant positions in Europe. Charles was now a thrice-crowned king and emperor; Ferdinand, King of Hungary and Bohemia (and was shortly to be elected King of the Romans); whilst Eleanor had become first Queen of Portugal and then Queen of France; the short-lived Isabel, Queen of Denmark; Mary, Queen of Hungary; and Katharine, who succeeded her sister, Queen of Portugal.

Although only in her fiftieth year, Margaret began to look forward to the time when she could hand over the government of the Netherlands to her nephew Charles and spend the rest of her days in quiet seclusion. For her life had been a very strenuous one, full of great responsibility and unceasing work, and now that she felt her mission accomplished, she longed for her nephew's advent and her own retirement from political life. Chiefly owing to her intervention, that peace which it had been her lifelong endeavour to promote, now reigned throughout Europe, and under her wise rule the Netherlands had reached 273 the zenith of their prosperity. Art, industry, and commerce flourished in the Low Countries as they had never flourished before. Encouraged by Margaret, a brilliant group of artists, poets, and literary men settled at her Court at Malines. Merchants from England, Spain, France, and Italy attended the great fairs, and traded in arms, embroideries, tapestries, velvets, satins, cloth, and leather goods. Malines became noted for its various industries, and Brussels, Ypres, Liége, Ghent, Lille, and Tournay all rose rapidly into commercial centres. Architecture made enormous strides, and music, painting, and literature received a new birth.


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In her palace at Malines Margaret collected all that was rare and beautiful, and her rooms were veritable museums, as the inventory written under her direction shows. Priceless tapestries hung on the walls, some of which she had brought from Spain, whilst others were presented to her on various occasions. Many rich and valuable objects are mentioned in her catalogue: Statuettes, gold and silver caskets and mirrors, crystal, chalcedony and jasper goblets and vases, carved ivories, amber, corals, and curiously wrought chessmen, beautiful fans, medallions, clocks of rare workmanship which struck the hours and half-hours, magnificent plate, sometimes inlaid with precious stones, glass and pottery, suits of armour, ivory hunting horns, and various relics of the chase. Her private library contained many rare and valuable books, chiefly bound in velvet (crimson, green, black, and blue), with gold and silver clasps, besides illuminated manuscripts, several bearing her devices in the borders and strewn with painted 'marguerites.' The 'Bibliothèque Royale' at Brussels possesses several manuscripts from Margaret's collection. Amongst others, 274 her 'Book of Hours'; four of her albums; 'La Bible Historiale,' with portraits of her and Philip kneeling at their 'prie-dieu'; Her 'Album Musical,' and her book of 'Basses Danses' on black paper, with gold notes and letters, containing a set of dances fashionable in her day—'La Marguerite,' 'l'Espérance de Bourbon,' 'M'amour-m'amie,' 'Filles à marier,' 'Le joyeux de Bruxelles,' etc. A portrait of Margaret in water-colours is also in the library, and is probably by Horembout. When Margaret undertook the regency of the Netherlands in 1507, her father, Maximilian, gave her as a New Year's gift a beautifully illuminated Livre de Chants, in the frontispiece of which the United States are represented swearing fealty to her as regent. Maximilian is seated in the centre on a throne; in front of him sits his grandson Charles, with Margaret opposite; and the three young arch-duchesses, Eleanor, Mary, and Isabel, are grouped seated on the ground, whilst the representatives of the United States stand round, and with uplifted hands swear to uphold the regent's rule. This interesting book was one of Margaret's most prized possessions, and is now amongst the archives of Malines.

From the titles of the books in her library we learn how large and varied was her taste in reading: Froissart, the Fables of Æsop and of Ovid, several editions of Aristotle, Livy, the Letters of Seneca, and the Commentaries of Julius Caesar, Saint Augustine's City of God, of which she had four copies, and Boethius On Consolation. Besides these, there were The Golden Legend, The Round Table, Lancelot of the Lake, Merlin, The Story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, etc. Also several books on chess, on the interpretation of dreams, on the nature of birds, and on manners and 275 customs, such as the Miroir du Monde and the Miroir des Dames; various works of Boccaccio, Le Livre du Trésor, and Phebus on hunting, etc. Besides many missals, breviaries, lives and legends of the Saints, 'Books of Hours,' and other religious works.

Jean Lemaire says: 'Madame Margaret not only read wise books, but she also took the pen in hand to write' ... and fortunately many of her poems have been preserved. Through nearly all there runs a strain of sadness, of loneliness, and disappointed hope, for Margaret's life was very solitary in spite of her great position and many duties; every one came to her for help and sympathy, but there was no one on whom she could lean. Her verses are simple, graceful, and to the point, and may well bear comparison with those of her contemporaries. The following charming rondeau in her handwriting is a good example:—

'C'est pour jamès qu'un regret me demeure;

Que sans sesser nuit et jour à tout eure

Tant me tourmant que bien voudroi mourir;

Car ma vie n'est fors seulement languir,

Et s'y faudra à la fin que j'en meure.

De l'infortune estais bien seure

Quan le regret maudit où je demeure

Me coury sus pour me faire mourir,

Car ma vie n'est fors

Seulement languir:

Sy faudra que j'en meure.'[145]

Her poem, 'La complainte de dame Marguerite d'Autriche, fille de Maximilien, Roy des Romans,' is an interesting résumé of her life and misfortunes, full of feeling charmingly expressed, but is too long to quote here.

In the following she gives advice to her maids of 276 honour, and warns them not to trust to lovers' deceitful promises:—

'Fiés-vous-y en vos servans

Dehure en avant, mes demoiselles,

Et vous vous trouverés de celles

Que en out eu des décepvans.

Il sont, en leurs ditz, observans

Motz plus doulx que doulces pucelles,


En leurs cueurs il sont conservans,

Pour decepvoir, maintes cautelles,

Et puis qu'il ont leurs fassons telles,

Tout ainsi comme abavantz


And again:—

'Belles paroles en paiement

A ces mignons présumptieux

Qui contrefont les amoureux

Par beau samblant et aultrement.

Sans nul credo, mais promptement

Donnés pour récompense à eulx

Belles parolles.

Mot pour mot, c'est fait justement,

Ung pour ung, aussi deulx pour deulx.

Se devis ils font gracieulx,

Respondés gracieusement

Belles parolles.'

Sometimes she expresses herself resigned to her lonely life:—

'Tout pour le mieux bien dire l'ose

Vient maleur qui fault soubtenir,

Si c'est pour à mieux parvenir

L'endurer est bien peu de chose.

Mon cueur en franchise soy tenir

Tout pour le mieux.


De ma part rien je ne propose;

Viengne ce que pourra venir

Car dire veulx et maintenir

Que des emprinses Dieu dispose

Tout pour le mieux.'

In the following verses she announces her intention to remain unmarried:—

'Tant que je vive, mon cueur ne changera

Pour nul vivant, tant soit il bon ou saige

Fort et puissant, riche, de hault lignaige,

Mon chois est fait, aultre ne se fera.

'Il peut estre que l'on dévisera,

Mais je pour ce ne muera mon courage,

Tant que je vive.'

These few fragments give an idea of Margaret's style, which was simple, clear, and well expressed, but throughout her rondeaux, songs, and ballads, there is an echo of sadness and disappointment. Many of her words and expressions are now out of date, but the charm of her personality still lingers in her poems with a mournful pathos none the less touching though written in a French of long ago:—

'Dame infortunée

Dame de dueil tousiours triste et marrie.'[146]

But amongst all the treasures she had gathered together, her picture-gallery at Malines was not the least interesting part of her wonderful collection. More than a hundred portraits and paintings are mentioned in her catalogue, chiefly by famous artists of the day. Amongst others there are several by Bernard van Orley (her Court painter), John Memling, Michel von Coxie, John van Eyck, Roger van der Weyden, Mabuse, Bouts, Jacob de Barbari, Jerome Bosch, Gerard Horembout, etc.

278 The John Van Eyck of John Arnolfini and his wife Joan Cenani of Lucca (who settled at Bruges in 1420), now in the National Gallery, London, was one of the gems of Margaret's collection, and is thus mentioned in her catalogues of 1516 and 1524:—

'Ung grant tableau qu'on appelle Hernoul-le-Fin avec sa femme dedens une chambre, qui fut donné à Madame par don Diégo, les armes duquel sont en la couverte dudit tableaul. Fait du painctre Johannes.'

'Ung aultre tableau fort exquis qui se clot à deux fuelletz, où il y a painctz un homme et une femme estantz desboutz touchantz la main l'ung de l'aultre, fait de la main de Johannes, les armes et devise de feu don Dieghe esdits deux feulletz nommé le personnaige: Arnoult fin.'

Its history is peculiarly interesting. Before 1490 it belonged to Don Diego de Guevara, one of Maximilian's Councillors, who added shutters to it, on the outer side of which were painted his arms and motto. Don Diego presented the picture to Margaret. After her death it came into the possession of a barber-surgeon of Bruges from whom Mary, Queen of Hungary, bought it in exchange for a place worth a hundred florins a year. The picture is mentioned in an inventory of the queen's effects in 1556. Later it was taken to Spain, and in 1789 was in Charles III.'s collection at Madrid, but afterwards fell into the hands of one of the French generals. In 1815 Major-General Hay, who had been wounded at Waterloo, found it in the house to which he was removed in Brussels, and after his recovery purchased it and brought it to England, where in 1842 it was bought by the National Gallery for £730.


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Unfortunately we cannot thus trace the history of all Margaret's collection. Her library at Malines 279 was hung with family portraits, from Charlemagne on through many Dukes of Burgundy—her grandfather, the Emperor Frederick; her parents, Maximilian and Mary of Burgundy; her brother Philip; her husband Philibert, Duke of Savoy; her nephews and nieces, at different ages, were all portrayed; and there was also a portrait of herself as a girl. Her pictures are all fully entered in her catalogue, with such charming descriptions as:—'Une petite Nostre-Dame disant ses heures, faicte de la main de Michel (Coxie) que Madame appelle sa mignonne et le petit dieu dort,' or 'Ung petit tableau ront de Nostre-Dame que Madame fait mettre au chevet de son lit,' or 'Ung petit paradis ou sont touxs les apôtres,' etc.

Margaret not only collected pictures, but she drew and painted skilfully herself, a most unusual accomplishment for a princess at that time, and amongst her possessions was a paint-box and brushes; she also is said to have drawn part of the plans for a church at Bruges.

During her regency architecture made great progress, and many beautiful buildings were designed and executed. The belfry at Bruges, the cloisters of the Convent of the Annunciation near the same town, and the Tower of St. Rombault at Malines, the Hôtel de Ville at Ghent, besides several churches which were restored and embellished, such as the churches of St. Peter and St. Stephen at Lille, the spire of Antwerp Cathedral and Ste. Gudule at Brussels. But the greatest monument to Margaret's memory and taste in architecture is the church of Brou, near the town of Bourg en Bresse, of which a full description is given elsewhere, and for the construction of which Mercurin de Gattinare advised 'sa très redoubtée dame de vendre jusqu'à sa 280 dernière chemise.' In this beautiful church the spirit of Margaret seems to pervade every part, bringing into perfect harmony the work of the various Flemish, French, German, and Italian artists she employed.

Margaret also did much to encourage a taste for music, and the names of several of her musicians and composers have been preserved. Maître Agricola wrote accompaniments to her songs, and Bruneel, Josquin des Prés, Compère, Henry Isaac, and Pierre de la Rue are all mentioned as attached to her Court. Flemish singers were sought for far and wide, especially in Italy and France, and many of the Pope's choir were recruited from the Netherlands.

But if Margaret did much for art, she did no less for literature. Grouped around her stand forth the names of such men as Jean Molinet, Jean Lemaire de Beiges, Adrian of Utrecht, Cornelius Agrippa, Erasmus, Massé, Nicolas Everard, Renacle de Florennes, Louis Vivés, and many others whom she welcomed to her Court, lodged in her palace, and counted amongst her friends. It is no wonder that they sang her praises in prose and in verse, extolling her beauty, her golden hair, fresh complexion, and soft brown eyes, exclaiming how lovely she looked when attending the dances given on festive occasions, or dressed in satin with long hanging sleeves lined with ermine, and followed by her greyhound, parrot, and marmoset, she wandered amongst her roses in her sweet-scented garden at Malines.

Molinet, her librarian, comes first among the poets who celebrated her charms. Besides his chronicles, he wrote 'La Récollection des Merveilleuses,' and several epigrams. The following verses on Margaret's return are a curious tour de force:—


'Par vous nous vint grâce, miséricorde,

Paix et concorde, et cordastes la corde,

Qui se discorde et veult discorder,

Par bien corder, cordons par concorder,

Et recorder, accord fut par cordée,

La bonne harpe est tantôt accordée.'

Jean Lemaire de Belges was born about 1473; after the death of Louis XII. he attached himself to Margaret's Court and became her historian. He published a curious work called Les illustrations de Gaule et singularitez de Troye, avec la Couronne Margaritique et plusieurs autres œuvres. In the Couronne Margaritique, Margaret figures as the heroine. Jean Lemaire also published the Triomphe de l'Amant vert, which is the history of a green parrot given by Sigismond, Archduke of Austria, to Margaret's mother, Mary of Burgundy, after whose death it passed into Margaret's possession. She was naturally very fond of the bird, and when it died composed the following epitaph:—

'Souz ce tumbel, qui est un dur conclave,

Git l'amant verd, et le très noble esclave,

Dont le noble cœur de vraye amour, pure, yvre,

Ne peut souffrir perdre sa dame et vivre.'

The parrot died whilst Margaret was on a visit to her father in Germany. In Lemaire's poem 'L'amant vert' laments his beloved mistress's absence, he stops talking, and contemplates 'putting an end to his short days.'

'... Et comment pourroit un cœur si gros,

En corps si faible et si petit enclos,

Passer le jour que de moy te dépars?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

O demy-deux, o satyres agrestes,

Nymphes des bois et fontaines proprettes,


Escoutez moy ma plainte démener,

Et tu Echo, qui fais l'air résonner

Et les rochers de voix répercussives!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Or doy-je bien haïr ma triste vie,

Veu que tant t'ay par terre et mer suivie,

Par bois, par champs, par montagne et valée,

Et que je t'ay maintes fois consolée,

Et tes dangers, naufrages et périlz,

Ésquels sans moy n'avois joye ne riz,

Et maintenant tu laisses ton amant.'

'Or pleust aux dieux que mon corps assez beau,

Fust transformé, pour ceste heure, en corbeau,

Et mon colier, vermeil et purpurin,

Fust aussi brun qu'un more ou barbarin.'

'Pourquoi t'ay veu tes parfaites beautez,

Et ton gent corps plus poli que fin ambre,

Trop plus que nul autre valet de chambre,

Nud, demy-nud, sans atour et sans guimple,

Demy-vestu, en belle cotte simple,

Tresser ton chef, tant cler et tant doré,

Par tout le monde aymé et honoré.

Quant maintes fois pour mon cœur affoller,

Tes deux maris je t'ay veu accoller:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Au moins, princesse, en extrême guerdon,

Je te requiers et te supplie un don:

C'est que mon corps n'y soit ensevely,

Ainsi le me mets en quelque lieu joly,

Bien tapissé de diverses flourettes,

Où pastoureaux devisent d'amourettes,

Où les oiseaux jargonnent et flageolent,

Et papillons bien coulourez, et vollent

Près d'un ruisseau, ayant l'onde argentine,

Autour duquel les arbres font courtine.'

The poor 'amant' hopes that pilgrims will come and weep over his grave, and ends by a touching farewell to his mistress:—

'Or, adieu donc, reyne de toutes femmes,

La fleur des fleurs, le parangon des gemmes,


Adieu, madame, et ma maistresse chère,

Pour qui la mort me vient montrer sa chère.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Fay moy graver sur ma lame marbrine

Ces quatre vers, au moins, si j'en suis digne.

Then comes the epitaph quoted above. L'amant vert finally addresses his mistress from the tomb, and describes his descent into Hades, where he meets Mercury and converses with him in the Elysian fields.

Rénacle de Florennes sang Margaret's praises in Latin verse, and it was largely due to her influence that the emperor appointed him his private secretary. The four Everards and Jean Second all added their tribute in her honour; whilst Adrian of Utrecht, the future Pope, and the learned Cornelius Agrippa remained through life her firm and devoted friends.

During the sixteenth century the beautiful industry of tapestry-making reached almost its highest point of perfection. After the fall of Arras in 1477 the workmen from that town settled in Bruges, Brussels, and Tournay. Amongst the great tapestry-workers were Stephen of Brumberghe, John of Roubrouck, Perquin d'Ervine, Peter van Oppenem, John van den Brugghe, etc., but the prince of tapestry-makers was Peter van Aelst, who for more than thirty years turned out tapestries innumerable from his workshops, the most celebrated being 'The Acts of the Apostles.' Although during the Middle Ages the designs chiefly represented religious subjects from the Old and New Testaments, in the sixteenth century, with the influence of the Renaissance, there crept in a taste for mythological and historical scenes such as those in the Hôtel de Ville at Brussels, or the Legend of Notre Dame du Sablon, which latter contains contemporary 284 portraits of Margaret and her nephews and nieces;[147] or the Legend of Trajan, the Story of Herkenbald, and the History of Julius Caesar attributed to the designs of Roger van der Weyden. John de Maubeuge, or Mabuse, and Bernard van Orley also exercised a wide influence over the industry, and their beautiful compositions were much sought after. With Van Orley a secular feeling prevailed even in his religious subjects. His saints and angels, Virgins and Apostles, appear almost pagan in design. It is easy to follow the different phases of this beautiful industry in such pieces as 'The Acts of the Apostles' in the Vatican, 'Saint Gregory's Mass' at Nuremberg, 'The Story of Psyche' at Fontainebleau, 'The Triumphs of Bacchus,' the 'Rape of the Sabines,' etc.


It contains portraits of Margaret and her Nephews and Nieces
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After his coronation at Bologna the emperor continued his progress through Trent, Bötzen, Innsbruck, to Augsburg, where he attended the Diet which opened on June the 20th, 1530. There he met Melanchthon and listened to his famous confession, and the long arguments which followed on religious questions. Lutheranism was rapidly spreading in Germany, but the emperor was powerless to prevent it. Charles remained at Augsburg until November 23rd, and then continued his journey towards the Netherlands, where Margaret was anxiously awaiting him; but she and her beloved nephew were destined never to meet again on earth, for when he reached Cologne he received the news of her death.

For some time past Margaret seems to have cherished the hope of retiring to the Convent of the Annunciation which she had founded outside the 'Porte des Anes' at Bruges, and spending the rest 285 of her days there in quiet seclusion. From Malines she wrote to the Mother Superior:—'Ma Mère, ma mie,—I have ordered the bearer of this, whom you know well, to give you news of me, and tell you of my good resolution for some days past, and also inquire how you are, which I hope is as well as you could wish for me. My hope is in the good God and his glorious Mother, who will help and keep you for better things. I have given him (the bearer) a memorandum for you, and the Pater, your good father, which is from my own hand; from this you will learn my intention. I desire that it shall not get talked about ('n'en soit faict grant bruit'), and for good reason, and with this I will end, begging you to recommend me to our good father's prayers, and also to all my good daughters, praying the Creator and His blessed Mother to give His grace to you and also to me.—Your good daughter, Margaret.'

Then follows the memorandum to Estienne, her valet de chambre, concerning what he is to say to the Pater and the Mère Ancille:[148] 'First, that I wish above all to put my religious (community) in such a state that they will never be in great poverty, but will be able to live without begging; and I wish to know ... if more money is needed, and if so, how much, that they may not be stinted; for with God's help I will see to all; and every other thing that they desire, they must let me know, for I intend to make there a good end, with the help of God and our good Mistress, His glorious Mother.

'Amongst other things say to the Mère Ancille, my good mother, that I beg her to make all my good daughters pray for the purpose which I have always 286 told her; for the time approaches, since the emperor is coming, to whom, with God's help, I will render a good account of the charge and government which he has pleased to give me; and this done, I shall give myself up to the will of God and of our good Mistress, begging you, my good Mother, "ma mie," that I may not be forgotten by yours, and always remain your good daughter, Margaret.'

Concerning the death of the Regent of the Netherlands very little is authentically known, but from a MSS. in the archives at Ain, written by an Augustine monk, the following account is found:—'Early on the morning of the 15th of November, before rising, Margaret asked one of her ladies, Magdalen of Rochester, for a glass of water. The maid of honour brought her the drink in a crystal goblet, but in taking it back Magdalen unluckily let it fall near the bed, where it broke in several pieces. She carefully picked up all the fragments she could see, but one piece lay hidden in Margaret's high-heeled embroidered slipper. When the princess got up a few hours later, she put her bare feet into the slippers, and tried to walk towards the fire, but immediately felt a sharp pain in the sole of her left foot. On examination it was found that a piece of broken glass was in the foot; this was at once extracted, but the wound remained, and bled very little. Margaret, who was always plucky, soon thought no more of the accident, and neglected the wound. A few days later, however, her leg became greatly inflamed, and she suffered much pain. At last, on the 22nd, doctors were called in, and a consultation was held. They found that gangrene had already set in, and decided that the only way to save her life was to amputate the foot. The next day, 287 the 23rd, they commissioned M. de Montécute, her almoner and confessor, to break the news to her, and prepare her for the terrible operation. She was naturally much surprised and upset, but with great fortitude consented to undergo the dreadful ordeal. For four days she shut herself up, and would see no one, spending the time in prayer and confession; on the morning of the 27th she received the Sacrament, and on the 28th and 29th she arranged her earthly affairs, and added a codicil to the will she had made in 1508. This codicil did not, however, fundamentally alter her former testament. She left Charles her sole heir, with the exception of a few bequests, such as 'one of her best rings' to his brother Ferdinand, and legacies to her old officers and servants. 'And in order not to abolish the name of the House of Burgundy ... my said lady begs and implores the Lord Emperor to be pleased to keep in his own hands the said county of Burgundy, and its dependencies, as long as he lives, and after his death to leave it to the one of his children or other heirs who may succeed to these countries (the Netherlands), without dividing or separating it.'

'And as a last request of my said lady made to the said Lord Emperor, she begs him for the universal good of Christianity and the safety of his State, to keep, guard, and observe peace and friendship with the Kings of France and England, their realms, countries, and subjects; as she hopes to say to him with her own mouth if it pleases God to spare her life until she can see him.'

On the next day, the 30th, the doctors decided to operate, but before submitting herself to their hands Margaret dictated a last touching letter to Charles, in which she bade him an eternal farewell:—'Monseigneur, 288 the hour has come when I can no longer write to you with my own hand, for I feel so ill, that I doubt not that my life will be short. With my conscience at rest and peace, and resolved to receive all that it may please God to send me, without any regret whatever, excepting the privation of your presence, and not being able to see and speak to you once more before my death, which is partly supplied by this my letter, though I fear that it will be the last that you will receive from me. I have made you my universal and sole heir, recommending you to fulfil the charges in my will. I leave you your countries over here, which, during your absence, I have not only kept as you left them to me at your departure, but have greatly increased them, and restore to you the government of the same, of which I believe to have loyally acquitted myself, in such a way as I hope for divine reward, satisfaction from you, monseigneur, and the goodwill of your subjects; particularly recommending to you peace, especially with the Kings of France and England. And to end, monseigneur, I beg of you for the love you have been pleased to bear this poor body, that you will remember the salvation of the soul, and the recommendation of my poor vassals and servants. Bidding you the last adieu, to whom I pray, monseigneur, to give you prosperity and a long life. From Malines, the last day of November 1530.—Your very humble aunt, Margaret.'

And so having arranged all her earthly affairs Margaret took a tender farewell of her attendants and friends, and placed herself in the physicians' hands, who, hoping to spare her the pain and shock of an operation, gave her a dose of opium, which was so strong that she fell asleep never to wake again. 289 She passed away during the night of the 30th of November 1530 between midnight and one o'clock, in the fiftieth year of her age, and the twenty-third year of her regency.

The Archbishop of Palermo, Jean de Carondelet, and Antoine de Lalaing, Count of Hochstrate, at once sent to Cologne to inform the emperor of the sad news. In their letter they said that the inflammation (gangrene) had spread from the princess's leg to her body (probably from the long delay), and therefore an operation would have been useless. No one, however, seems to have been blamed, and Philip Savoien, her surgeon, was given thirty philippus 'for having treated madame as well as he could, and for having embalmed her body.' As the archbishop and the Count of Hochstrate wrote to the emperor: 'Madame has indeed shown in her end the virtue that was in her, for she died as good a Christian as it seems to us possible to be. She is a great loss, Sire, to your Majesty, and to all your countries over here.'

Charles was greatly distressed when he learned that his beloved aunt had passed away, and ordered magnificent obsequies to be performed in the cathedral of Cologne, which he attended with his whole Court. The funeral sermon, delivered in Latin by Jean Fabri, was listened to with rapt attention by the large congregation which filled the building.

Margaret was deeply mourned by all who knew her, and especially by the people over whom she had ruled so well.

In her will she directed that her heart should be given to the Convent of the 'Annonciades' at Bruges, her intestines to the church of St. Peter and 290 St. Paul at Malines, and her body to the Monastery of St. Nicolas de Tolentin at Bourg en Bresse, where she wished to be buried beside her husband, Philibert of Savoy, in the church of Brou.

Her funeral services began in the church of St. Peter and St. Paul at Malines by three solemn masses, and were continued in the cathedral church of St. Rombault, which was hung with 120 yards of black cloth for the occasion. The Archbishop of Palermo conducted the service, which was attended by the Grand Council and Magistrates, and all the guilds of the city. Here Cornelius Agrippa preached her funeral oration, dwelling at much length on her many virtues and great talents. 'We have lost,' he said, 'the anchor on which our hopes rested. We are weighed down with this great affliction, for no greater loss could have befallen us and our country. What consolation can we find in the death of the very saintly Princess Margaret? We all weep, we all lament her! All the provinces, all the cities, all the towns, all the villages, all the hamlets are plunged in grief, sorrow, and mourning.'

On the 22nd of January 1531, a funeral procession, headed by the young Crown Prince of Denmark, as chief mourner, escorted Margaret's body and heart to Bruges. Whilst awaiting translation to its final resting-place at Brou, her body was laid in a vault beneath the high altar in the Convent of the 'Annonciades'; her heart, enclosed in an urn, was placed in the tomb of her mother, Mary of Burgundy, in the church of Notre-Dame, but on the 6th of February following, it was given to the Mère Ancille by the emperor's command to replace her body, which, on April the 21st, 1532, was sent to Brou. This long delay in carrying Margaret to her final resting-place 291 was due to the fact that at the time of her death the church of Brou was not finished, and it was two years before the tombs were completed. But at last in June 1532 Margaret was laid to rest beside Philibert and his mother in the beautiful church which her love and piety had called into being, but whose glories she had not lived to see completed. The funeral ceremonies lasted three days, the 10th, 11th, and 12th of June. Accompanied by the chief men of the town, the Syndic of Bourg went out to meet the funeral cortège, which was escorted by the Marshal of Burgundy, the Count of Hochstrate, the Archdeacon of Fauverny, and Claud de Boisset, who was afterwards Bishop of Arras. At the service the sermon was preached by Brother Anthony of Saix, Commander of the Abbey of St. Anthony of Bourg, in French as well as in Latin, so that all might understand. Amongst her many talents he mentioned 'her subtle excellence in painting,' in which pastime he asserted she frequently indulged.

The leaden urn which contained her intestines was placed in a vault in front of the high altar in the church of St. Peter and St. Paul at Malines, but in 1778 the urn was found to be much damaged, and was enclosed in an oaken chest, and reburied under one of the stone slabs in the choir, between the first step of the high altar and the wall, where a small X in the pavement marks the spot.

By her will Margaret dowered fifty maidens of Bresse with fifty pounds apiece, and amongst other legacies bequeathed her wine-glass incrusted with silver, a silver spoon and silver medal to the 'Annonciades' at Bruges; besides a gilded and illuminated copy of the Gospel of St. John, and her rosary, which contained ten agates, on the largest of which were engraved the 292 virtues of the Holy Virgin Mary. This relic had been worn by Jeanne de Valois, the unhappy wife of Louis XII. of France, foundress of the Order of the Annunciation. The other stones were interspersed with small beads of gold, a gold heart hanging from the end of the rosary. This gift was accompanied by a portrait of Margaret painted on wood by Bernard van Orley, and two touching letters addressed to the Mère Ancille. The Church of the 'Annonciades' was demolished in 1578, when the nuns retired to a house called 'Fluweelhof' at Bruges, carrying Margaret's remains with them.

In 1531 the emperor caused an alabaster monument, decorated with gold statuettes, to be erected to Margaret's memory in the church outside the Porte des Anes. But in 1578 it was horribly mutilated by the rebels, and what was left of it was transferred in 1714 to the church of the new Convent at Fluweelhof. A pavement of black and white marble was added, and a figure representing the Annunciation of the Virgin, before whom Margaret was depicted kneeling at her prie-dieu, holding her 'Book of Hours' in her hands, with her patron saint, Margaret, behind her, and her maids of honour by her side, bearing the arms of the empire, Burgundy, Bourbon, and Castile. The débris of the former monument was used to make these figures. In the centre of the niche containing the monument was placed a painted heart in a mirror with this inscription in Flemish:—

'Here lies the noble heart of the very excellent Archduchess of Austria, Madame Margaret, daughter of the invincible Emperor Maximilian and of the Lady Mary of Burgundy, his wife, foundress of this Convent of the Annunciation at Bruges, niece of Jeanne, Queen of France, and foundress of the Order 293 of the Annunciation, widow of the Prince of Spain, etc., aunt of his Imperial Majesty Charles V., who gave this heart in the year 1531, the 6th of Feb., in eternal remembrance.'

In the same niche behind the figure of St. Margaret is the inscription which the emperor also caused to be erected at Malines:—

D. O. M.

Illustrissimae Margaritae,

Archiducissae Austriae,

Invictissimi Maximiliani imperatoris natae,

Ac principis Hispaniarum primo,

Deinde ducis Sabaudiae relictae,

Harum inferiorum regionum gubernatrici.

Carolus Quintus, Caesar Augustus,

Amitiae posuit.




The church of Brou, near the town of Bourg en Bresse, was built by Margaret of Austria in the beginning of the sixteenth century, as a monument to her husband, Philibert of Savoy, and in fulfilment of a vow made by Duke Philibert's mother, Margaret of Bourbon, in 1480.

The first stone was laid by Margaret in 1506, and the building finished in 1530; but the work did not really begin until 1513, and the interior decoration was not completed before 1532.

Whilst in Flanders Margaret carefully watched over and superintended the progress of the work, but she did not live to see it finished, and after her death Charles V. took little interest in the completion of the building.

The church was consecrated on the 22nd of March 1532 by Bishop Jean Joly de Fleury and dedicated to Saint Nicolas de Tolentin.

The church of Brou is of the latest, and not the best, period of Gothic architecture, but the genius of Margaret is visible in all its details, harmonising the work, whether Gothic or Renaissance, and creating a building of extraordinary beauty. French, Italian, and German artists helped in building this princely monument, which remains a fitting memorial to one of the most cultivated women of her time.

The plan of the church is very simple. A Latin 295 cross with five naves; the transept and sanctuary separated by a rood screen. The length is about 225 feet, and its greatest width, in the transept, 120 feet. Outside, the central building is divided into three distinct stories. The façade, with its great door decorated with devices and emblems. An Ecce Homo in the centre, on either side Philibert and Margaret kneeling between two angels, and accompanied by their patron saints. A statue of Saint Nicholas de Tolentin guarding the entrance.

On the second story are three pointed windows between two galleries. Above the upper gallery is a triangular gable with a rose window in the centre, surrounded by three triangular windows, a symbol of the Trinity. Inside, the carved woodwork of the choir stalls is remarkable for its beauty of detail, variety of design, and delicacy of carving. The stalls are the work of Bressian artists, foremost amongst whom was Pierre Terrason of Bourg. They were finished and put up in 1532. There are seventy-four stalls on each side, in two rows—twenty-one above and sixteen below. The design on each stall is different.

But the tombs in the choir are the most interesting features of the church of Brou.

Jean Perréal (called Jean de Paris) had been commissioned by Margaret to prepare the plans, and after years of work he presented her with a design which she considered perfect, and gave orders to have it carried out. But soon after Perréal was dismissed, and Van Boghen presided over the work. There is little doubt that he made use of the French architect's designs, which Margaret possessed,[149] but he evidently 296 made important modifications, as the work bears distinct traces of Flemish influence. The best Belgian, French, Italian, and Swiss workmen were employed on these monuments. The principal work was given to a Swiss, Conrad Meyt, who undertook to make the five large statues. The three monuments are placed in the positions Margaret desired in her will of 1508—Duke Philibert in the centre, his mother on the right, and her tomb on the left.

Margaret of Bourbon's monument is built into the thickness of the wall. The princess's statue rests on a slab of black marble, her head on an embroidered cushion, her feet on a greyhound. Four white marble children support shields with her initials and the arms of Bourbon. On the pillars on either side are five exquisite statuettes. Saint Agnes and Saint Margaret stand near her feet, between them a symbolical female figure, whilst near her head are Saint Andrew with his cross, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria dressed as a maid of honour of Francis I.'s Court. The sarcophagus is decorated with nine niches containing five cherubs and four 'pleureuses,' or weeping women, whose faces are almost hidden by their drooping hoods, sprays of marguerites being scattered everywhere in great profusion about the moulding of the pillars.

In the centre of the choir, facing the high altar, is the tomb of Philibert the Handsome, Duke of Savoy. It is divided into two sections. Underneath is the 'gisant,' or naked body, a little larger than life. Twelve pillars, ornamented with niches containing statues of saints in the dress of the period, surround the dead prince and support a slab of black marble on which the figure of Philibert rests in armour, with his coronet on his head, an embroidered surcoat 297 covers his cuirass, the collar of the Annunciation (composed alternately of fifteen enamelled roses and the letters F.E.R.T.) round his neck, the mantle of the Order wrapt round him, his feet resting on a lion. His face is turned towards his wife on the left, his praying hands towards his mother on the right.[150]

Margaret of Austria's tomb under the arcade which separates the choir from the chapel of the Virgin is much larger than the other two. The princess is represented twice; underneath lies her dead body in the habit of the Annunciation, her beautiful hair covering her like a mantle, and her feet bare, showing the wound on the sole of the left foot which caused her death. Above she lies as though on a state-bed, 298 wearing her coronet and embroidered robes, her arms folded on her breast. Four beautiful cherubs bear her armorial ensigns, two at her head and two at her feet (the work of Thomas Meyt, the brother of Conrad). Four columns richly moulded spring from the base of the tomb and support the heavy canopy overhead, around which runs her motto: 'Fortune. Infortune. Fort. Une'; whilst everywhere in the richest profusion are carved her emblems, marguerites twining round a palm branch, and the Briquet of Burgundy in the form of a B interlaced with a St. Andrew's cross resting on three stones.[151] And in the niches of the pillars figures of Saints and Virgins, marvels of beauty, stand grouped around, as if guarding her last sleep.

This magnificent monument was the work of many skilled sculptors, amongst others Jean de Louhans, Jean Rodin, Amé de Picard, and Amé Carré. Close to Margaret's tomb, behind the altar of the Virgin, is a beautiful bas-relief deeply cut in white marble, divided into scenes representing the seven joys of the Virgin Mary, a masterpiece of carving. In the choir are the original stained-glass windows, happily uninjured by time. The figures of Philibert and Margaret appear in their robes of state with their patron saints, and are represented kneeling and adoring the Saviour. Love-knots and marguerites abound in the mouldings round the windows.


View larger image

In the princess's chapel the stained glass is particularly rich in colouring, and represents the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin by her Divine Son and God the Father. The apostles below stand round the empty tomb gazing upwards at the 299 glorification of the Mother of God. In the lower lights Philibert and Margaret, richly dressed, kneel at their prie-dieus, supported by their patron saints.

On the pavement round Margaret's tomb a few of the enamelled tiles may still be seen with which formerly the entire chapel and choir were paved. Behind the princess's chapel is her private oratory, which was divided into two stories, with a fireplace above and below. From her apartments in the monastery she could enter the church by a passage across the screen and a hidden staircase, and thus hear mass and see the elevation of the Host on both altars, without being seen by those who attended the services in the church. All these details had been carefully thought out by the architect, as a letter to Margaret from her secretary, Louis Barangier, shows. In November 1512 he wrote to her from Brou: 'As to your chapels, madame, ... he (Van Boghen) will make them opposite this building (the monastery), and intends to construct one which will be a real work of art, for you will be able to descend from above the screen ... into your chapel, from which you will see the high altar over your tomb.' Margaret had also intended to build a similar oratory in the prince's chapel, but the executors of her will omitted to carry out this wish, and the chapel was never finished, and is now the sacristy.

Beyond Margaret's oratory is the chapel of her Councillor, Laurent de Gorrevod, Governor of Bresse, which is dedicated to Our Lady of Pity. It contains the tombs of Laurent de Gorrevod and his two wives, Philiberte de la Palud, and Claude de Rivoire, and several members of their family. The beautiful recumbent bronze figures of Gorrevod and his wives 300 were destroyed at the revolution, and only the slab on which the statues rested remains, with the founder's motto—Pour jamés (jamais), and the initials L. F. and L. C. (the letters of his and his wives' names) joined by the girdle of St. Francis.

Near the south door is the Chapel of Our Lady of seven sorrows, founded in 1516 by Antoine de Montécuto, Margaret's confessor and almoner. A fine painting on a wooden panel, by a Flemish artist, hangs over the altar, and was one of the sacred pictures sent by Margaret from Flanders. On the ground outside the church is a curious sun-dial, composed of twenty-four stones arranged in a huge oval, on which are engraved numbers from one to twenty-four, representing the hours of the day. In the centre of the oval are twelve stones arranged in two rows of six each, bearing the initial letters of the twelve months of the year. In order to tell the time, the spectator must stand on the letter of the current month, and his shadow then falls on the hour of the day, he himself being the index. This interesting dial dates from the building of the church, and was probably made for the use of the workmen. It was formerly placed a little further from the edifice, and composed of tiles, but, as it was in danger of being worn away by the constant traffic which passed over it, Lalande had it moved nearer to the church, and the worn tiles replaced by slabs of stone, but carefully preserved the original size and dimensions of the dial.

When Francis I. visited Brou on the 1st of October 1541, he was struck by the unique beauty of the church, though he observed that the white stone of which it was built was too soft to stand frost, and would in time crumble away. Paradin, in his Chronique de 301 Savoie, mentions the king's visit:—'Je me souviens aussi,' he says, 'avoir veu descendre le feu roy François, quand il vint à Bourg, qui après avoir veu cette esglise restoit ravy en admiration, disant n'avoir veu ny savoir temple de telle excellence, pour ce qu'il contenoit. Vray est qu'il se print garde (comme il esttoit prince excédant en bon esprit tous les rois de son temps) que ceste pierre blanche, dont est l'esglise bastie, ne seroit de durée à la gelée, pour estre trop rare et tendre. Et s'est trouvé depuis qu'il disoit vray: car long temps après, tombèrent du quarré du clochier aucuns de ses grans bastions ou gargoles, qui conduisent les eaues sur le couvert de l'esglise, du costé des cloistres, chose qui fit grand dommage au bastiment.'

On the 17th of September 1856 (326 years after Margaret's death) the entrance to the vault at Brou was accidentally discovered in raising some flagstones near Philibert's monument, and on December the 1st of the same year it was opened in the presence of a committee of ten persons. Count E. de Quinsonas, who was present, gives an interesting account of the visit of inspection. The vault, which had not been opened since Margaret's coffin had been placed there in 1532, was entered by a flight of steps from the choir. The three coffins were found exactly under their respective monuments in the church above; Duke Philibert of Savoy's in the centre, Margaret of Bourbon's on the right, and Margaret of Austria's on the left. Philibert's coffin was intact, and of a great length, but those of the two princesses had broken open, and their remains were scattered on the floor of the vault. The three coffins rested on iron trestles.

Margaret of Bourbon's coffin was of lead, shaped 302 like an elongated square, but had originally had an outer coffin of oak, the remains of which lay on the ground. The princess's skull was intact, and showed a tress of chestnut hair. The inscription on the leaden coffin was in French as follows:—


Marguerite de Bourbon
ce 27 Avril fut esevelie.

Philibert's coffin was found in a perfect state of preservation, in shape similar to that of Margaret of Bourbon, but of gigantic size. The duke's body had been placed in an oaken coffin enclosed in lead, which probably accounted for its preservation; whilst the two princesses had been laid first in lead and then in oaken shells, the outer cases of which had rotted away from the damp, and the inner coffins had broken open. The following is the inscription on Duke Philibert's coffin:—


Cy gist, tres excellent et tres puissant prince Philibert.
Due de Savoye IIe de ce nom. tres vertueux le quel
trespassa et rēdist lesperit a Dieu lā mil Ve et
quatre le Xe jour de Septembre au chasteau
du Pont Deyns et fust enterre ceans le
XVIe du dit mois. pries Ntre
Seignr pour luy.

Margaret of Austria's leaden coffin had also originally been enclosed in one of oak, and was shaped like a mummy case to the form of the body. The inscription on the coffin was as follows:—


Hic jacet corpus Dn̄e Margarete Archiducisse Austrie
Comitisse Burgūdie et qdam Maximiliāi Cesarie filie Caroli
vero Quinti Imperatoris et Ferdinādi Romāōrum Regis
fratrum amite Philiberti Ducis Sabaudie vidue huius
mō̄sterii Sancti Nicolai de Tolletino patroe et
fūdatricis que kalendis Decembris in suo
Mechliniensi op̄īdo Cameracensis diocesis ano
Dn̄īmillesimo quengentesimo tricesimo
diem suam clausit extremam anima
eius in pace quiescat.

From the bones found in the coffin it was evident that Margaret, though not tall, was above middle height. Her skull, with its well-developed forehead, was covered with bright golden hair, which showed no trace of grey. The bones of both feet and legs were intact, proving that no amputation had taken place.

After reverently collecting the scattered bones of the two princesses, and placing them in new oaken coffins, they were temporarily removed until the necessary cleaning and restoration had been made in the vault, which had suffered much from damp. On the 5th of July 1858 they were enclosed in outer coffins of lead and, with Philibert's coffin, replaced in their former positions, but on a stone slab which had been erected to support the three caskets instead of the iron trestles, which had suffered much from decay. When all was accomplished a solemn service was held before the final closing of the vault, conducted by Cardinal Donnet, Archbishop of Bordeaux:—

'So rest, for ever rest, O princely pair!

In your high church, 'mid the still mountain air,

Where horn, and hound, and vassals never come.

Only the blessed Saints are smiling dumb,


From the rich painted windows of the nave,

On aisle, and transept, and your marble grave;

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The moon through the clere-story windows shines,

And the wind washes through the mountain-pines.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And, in the sweeping of the wind, your ear

The passage of the angels' wings will hear,

And on the lichen-crusted leads above

The rustle of the eternal rain of love.'

(The Church of Brou, Matthew Arnold.)



des Tableaux, Livres, Joyaux, et Meubles de Marguerite D'Autriche, fille de Marie de Bourgogne et de Maximilien, empereur d'Allemagne, fait et conclud en la ville d'anvers le XVII d'avril MVCXXIIII; document inédit, publié par M. le Cte de Laborde, membre de l'Institut.

Et Premièrement: Chappelle.

1. Une grande et haulte croix d'argent dorée, avec son pied fait à feuillage de chardons pesant viiim vio xve

(Une petite croix, une paix, deux calicés, deux boetes à nosties, un eaubenoistier, deux clochettes, quatre pottequins.)

Furnements de Velours et aultres draptz de soie servans ordinairement en ladite chappelle.

(Ces objets sont sans intérêt et je ne cite pas deux missels et trois livres d'heures dont la description n'offre rien de particulier. Linges servans en ladite Chappelle.)

2. Ornemens faiz pour le voiaige de Cambray que Madame y fit en l'an xxix.


(Je ne cite ni les sallières, ni les tranchoirs, ni les cousteaux.)

3. Une petite cuillier d'or, avec une petite pièce de licorne pesant xo xiiiie.

4. Item ung eschauffoir d'argent à eaue.

5. Ung reschauffoir à feu.

(Gobbelets, aiguières, pots, coupes, tasses.)

(7 plats, 44 écuelles, 12 saucerons, 12 tranchoirs.)



6. Une boete d'argent toute blanche gonderonnée, avec sa couverte, en laquelle se met la pouldre cordiale que Madame prent a l'yssue de ses digné et souppez.

7. Deux baulx gobelletz servans es Medecines.

(Plusieurs chandeliers.)


8. (Parmi ce grand nombre de Tapis velus, de verdure à feuillages, je ne vois aucune Tapisserie à personnages qui doive etre cité.)

Autres pièces estans en la Librairie dont la déclaration s'ensuyt:

9. Premier: La representacion de feu Monseigneur de Savoie que Dieu pardonne, fete de mabre blanc de la main de Me Conrat.

10. Son harnast complet.

10. bis. La representacion de Madame fete de mesme main et mabre que la précédente.

11. Ung petit manequin tirant une espine hors de son pied fait aussi de mabre blanc, bien exquis.

11. bis. La representacion de la seur du Roy d'Angleterre fête de terre cuyte.

12. Ung petit Jhesus taillé en bois.

13. Une petite Lucresse aussi taillée en bois.

14. Item delivré audit garde-joyaulx, depuis cest inventoire fait, la pourtraicture des nayn et nayne du Roy de Dannemarcque faicte par Jehann de Maubeuge, fort bien fait.

15. Ung petit manequin taillé aussi de mesme bois, à la semblence de maistre Conrart.

16. Ung petit homme nu, taillé en bois, qu'il tient ung chien en l'une de ses mains et ung gros baston en l'aultre.


17. Vingt tableaux de painctures estans à l'entour du manteau de la chemynée et ailleurs, assavoir la pourtraicture du Roy d'Angleterre; 18, celle de feu monseigneur de Savoie; 19, celle du Roy Loys de France; 20, celle de l'empereur trespassé; 21, celle de la Royenne de France; 22, celle du Roy de Dannemarque; 23, celle du Grant Turcq; 24, celle d'ung vieux homme et une vielle femme; 25, ung Sainct François; 26, ung personnaige en manière d'ung docteur; 27, la Royenne d'Espaigne, moderne; 28, le Roy Philippe; 29, la pourtraicture dudit feu monseigneur de Savoie; 30, trois visaiges de gens d'eglise dont l'ung est habillé en cardinal; 31, ung tableau de Notre Dame; 32, ung petit tableau figuré de certaine bataille où il y a ung empereur sur ung cheval ousser, la ousse semée de fleurs de liz sur azul et la pourtraiture de Mitelze (Nutelze ou Imtelze?).

33. Une teste de cerf avec la ramure, estant au milieu du manteau de la chemynée, à ung cruxifis en chief.

34. Les pourtraitures en toile de madame Mairie, l'empereur, et de mes trois dames ses sœurs en V. pièces.

35. Une grande paincture en toille, représentant aucunes armes et batailles d'Italie.

36. Ung Sainct Anthoine sur toille.[152]

37. Ung aultre moien Sainct Anthoine, aussi sur toille.

38. La pourtraiture du siège Vannelot, sur toille.

39. Ung beau buffet, à la mode d'Italie, donné à Madame par monseigneur le vice-roy de Naples.

40. Une belle riche table carrée, en deux pièces, l'une garnie de plusieurs beaux menuz ouvraiges taillez.

41. Une aultre petite table, à la mode d'Espaigne, qui se ouvre et clot, à quatre blassons aux armes de Bourgogne et d'Espaigne.

42. Troys myroirs ardans, dont l'ung est doré sus la menuyserie.

(Je passe une longue série de généalogies en par-chemins.)

43. Deux mappemondes bien vielles en parchemin.

44. Ung Saincte livre en paincture.

45. Ung chasteau faict de papier avec plusieurs tourelles.

46. Ung sainct homme habillé d'une robbe de taffetas noir et ung bonnet rouge.

Vaicelle de Cristalin.

(Dans cette longue liste d'objets en cristal, je passe les bassins, pots, flacons, fyolles, verres, coupes et tasses.)

47. Item une cuvelette.


47. bis. Une couppe, où il y a ung cerf au milieu.

48. Dix escuelles, à la mode d'Italie.

49. Deux verres bleux.

Aultre Vaicelle.

50. Quatre couppes d'oz, bien tailléez, que semblent estre salières.

51. Ung beau grant pot de porcelaine bleue à deux agneaux (anneaux) d'argent.

52. Deux aultres petits pots de pourcelaine.

53. Six plats et escuelles et salières de pourcelayne de plusieurs sortes.

54. Ung plat d'estain ou il y a dedans aucun fruyt.

55. Ung mortier de mabre.

56. Une coquille de lymesson de mer.

57. Ung petit dragon élevé sur une motte, verre meslangiée de ratz.

58. Quatre aultres moiens pots de pourcelayne. Accoustremens de plumes, venuz des Indes, présentées de par l'Empereur a Madame a Bruxelles, le xxe jour d'Aoust xvcxxiii et aussi de par Monseigneur de la Chaulx, le tout estant en ladite librairie.

(Quarante articles répondent à ce titre; je les omets parce que l'art au moins l'art tel que nous l'entendons, n'est pour rien dans la composition de ces objets. On lit à la suite de ce chapitre:)

59. Ung tableau où est escripte la complaincte de Madame.

60. Le couronnement de l'empereur fait à Bologne.

61. La bataille de Pavye.

62. Receu à Bruxelles de l'empereur par les mains de Symonet son varlet de chambre, les pourtraitures de la Royne douairière d'Ongrie sa seur faicte sur toille par Me. Jehan, paintre de feu Madame.[153]

63. Et deux tableaux de pourtraitures des deux fils et des deux filles du Roy des Romains don Fernandez, le fond desdiz tableau est de cyprès.


Cabinets déans l'hostel de madite Dame, en sa ville de Malines.

Et premièrement en la première chambre dudit cabinet. Painctures:

64. Ung tableau de la prinse Nostre Seigneur a vii personnages. Le fond dudit tableau gris.

65. Ung autre tableau de la pourtraiture de la fille du Roy Henry d'Angleterre, moderne, habillée de velours noir et une cotte de toille d'or, tenant ung papegay sur sa main senestre.

66. Ung aultre tableau qui s'appelle l'Infante de Fortune, à ung hault bonnet rond, habillé d'une robe noire sans manches et sans fante devant. Le fond de mabre tirant sur pourpre.

67. Ung autre tableau d'ung personnaige habillé d'une robbe et chapperon bleu, à court cheveux, fait après le premier duc de Brabant. Le fond noir où est escript: Waysellaws.

68. Ung tableau fait après le Roy de Dannemarcque, tenant une lettre en sa main, ayant une chemise à hault collet, pourtant la thoison d'or pendant à ung courdon de soye, le fond verd.

69. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture du feu Roy Don Fernande, Roy d'Arragon, ayant une chayne d'or à son col, y pendant une croix.

70. Ung aultre tableau de Nostre Dame, ayant ung manteau rouge; ès bors dudit tableau il y a quatre A et quatre E.

71. Ung aultre tableau, bien fait, après la Royenne d'Angleterre, à ung chief ayant une robbe de velours cramoisy, une chayne d'or au col y pendant une baguette.

72. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture, de feu monseigneur de Savoie, habillé d'une robbe de velours cramoisy. Le seon de satin gris, tenant une paire de gants en sa main senestre. Le bors dudit tableau painct et doré.

73. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture du feu cardinal de Bourbon, tenant une teste de mort en sa main.

74. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture de feu monseigneur le duc Jehan de Bourgogne, à l'entour duquel sont six raboz dorez.


75. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture de MS. le duc Charles de Bourgogne habillé de noir, pourtant la thoison d'or pendant à une chayne et ung rolet en sa main dextre, ayant le chiefz nuz.

76. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture de feu MS. le duc Phelippe, habillé de noir et ung chapperon bourelée sur sa teste, portant le colier de la thoison d'or, ayant ung rolet en sa main.

77. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture de feu le Roy don Philippe de Castille, ayant vestuz une robbe de velours cramoisy fourrée de martre sabble, le colier de la thoison d'or dessus, pourtant ung bonnet de velours cramoisy.

78. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture du feu Roy d'Arragon, semblable à la précédente, réservé qu'il n'y a point de croix pendant à sa chayne.

79. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture de l'empereur Maximilien, père de Madame, que Dieu pardoint, habillé d'une robbe de drapt d'or, fourré de martre, à ung bonnet noir sur son chief, pourtant le colier de la thoison d'or, tenant ung rolet en sa main dextre.

80. Ung aultre tableau de la pourtraiture de la feue Royenne d'Espaigne, done Ysabel, que Dieu pardoint, à ung colier de meraudes, parles, et aultres pierres précieuses et une bague du coustel de son chief à une parle y pendant.

81. Feu Roy Henry d'Angleterre, pourtant le colier de la thoison d'or, habillé d'une robbe de drapt d'or, tenant une rose rouge en sa main.

82. L'empereur moderne, habillé d'une robbe de velours cramoisy, fourée de martres, les manches coppées à deux boutons et ung prepoint de drapt d'or, les manches d'aringue, ayant ung carquant au col et une enseigne devant sa poitrine sur cramoisy.

84. Madame Anne d'Ongrie, femme de MS. l'archiduc, habillée d'une robbe de damas rouge bandée, les manches descoppées de parles et aultres bagues.

85. MS. l'archiduc don Fernande, habillé d'une robbe de drapt d'or fourrée de martres et ung prépoint de satin cramoisy, à une chayne d'or au col, y pendant la thoison.

86. Feue Madame Ysabeau de Portugal, habillée d'une robbe de satin verd, doublé de damas cramoisy, sainte d'une large sainture blanche.


87. L'aisnée fille du Roy d'Arragon, qu'il fust marié en Portugal, habillé de noir et d'ung couvrechief à la mode d'Espaigne, en manière de deuil.

88. Madame Marie, Royenne d'Ongrie, habillée d'une robbe de drapt d'or bigarré de velours noir à losanges, à ung colier au col et une bague y pendant à troys parles, à ung bonnet richement painct sur son chief.

89. L'empereur moderne, habillé d'une robbe de velours cramoisy, doublé de satin noir, à ung séon de drapt d'or et ung prépoint de velours gris pourtant le colier de la thoison.

90. Madame de Charny, le chief accoustre d'ung couvrechief à l'antique, la robbe noir fourrée d'armignes, saincte d'une large couroie de damas rouge ferré d'argent doré.

91. Feu l'empereur Fredericq ayant une croix pendant au col à vii parles ayant aussi ung bonnet noir et long cheveux, le fond dudit tableau d'asul.

92. Madame Marie d'Angleterre ayant une robbe de drapt d'or, les manches fendues tenant une palme en sa main et ung bonnet noir sur son chief.

93. Madame la Contesse de Meghe (Nieghe) habillé d'une robbe d'homme de velours noir, tenant ung mouchon blanc en sa main, espuee (appuyée) sur ung coussin de drapt d'or.

94. Ung aultre petit tableau d'une femme habillée à l'enticque, sa robbe rouge fourée d'armines, saincte d'une large couroie tissue verde.

En ladite première chambre du cabinet.

95. Sept coffres, que grans que petiz, faitz de pâte cuyte à la mode d'Italie, bien ouvrez et dorez.

96. Deux patins de cuyr, à la mode de Turquie.

97. Ung pot de porcelaine sans couvercle, bien beau, tirant sur gris.

98. Ung myroir ardant d'assier, tout rond, à deux bors dorez et entre deux ung sercle d'asur, auquel est escript diverses lettres, l'envers dudit myroir tout doré.


Aux armaires de ladite chambre.

99. Quatre courporaulx, esquelz est painct au fond la seyne de Nostre Seigneur, fête de Illymynure et au couvercle l'empereur trespassé et Madame adorant Nostre Dame, environnée de raiz de soleil et du croissant de la lune, au pied fraingez de soye rouge et blanche.

100. Ung jue de bois, rond, pertusier tout à l'entour de seze guillettes blanches et rouges y pendantes.

Tappisseries de drapt de soye.


Au riche Cabinet.

101. Madame à fait fère ung tableau de xx petites painctures exquises des xxii cy-après escriptes, a la garnitures duquel tableau y a entré seize marcs d'argent.

La seconde chambre a chemynée.

102. Ung beau coffret, à la mode d'Italie, fait de pate cuyte, doré, bien ouvré, à vi blasons à l'entour d'ycelle, aux armes de Bourgogne, assis sur iiii pomeaux de bois dorez.

103. Ung aultre coffre, plat, carré, fait de pate cuyte bien ouvré, à x personnaiges et sur le couvercle qui est de mesme à une roze au milieu.

104. Ung aultre coffre, plat, de bois, longuet, tout à l'entour fait de menuz ouvraiges d'oz, d'ivoire et aultres choses, qui se ouvre en trois pièces estant au pied du lict de campt.

105. Ung myroir d'acier, carré, à trois bors dorez. Le fond de velours cramoisy, brodé de fleurs et de fil d'or, garni à l'entour de verre d'une roze fête de fil d'or trait.

106. Ung fainct livre, couvert de velours violet à deux fermiletz d'argent dorez, aux armes de Madame, à trois escailles, une petite boite d'argent et v pinceaux, garniz d'argent dedans ledit livre. Le tout servant pour le passe temps de Madame à paindre.

107. Trois panniers faits de bois et de fil d'archant doré et le bois aussi doré lesquels se deffond chacun en troys pièces et servent à porter fruit sur sa table, envoyé par la Royenne de Portugal à Madame.


108. Ung grant chasteau d'argent assis sur boiz, bien ouvré et doré en plusieurs lieux, à trois tours principales, garni tout à l'entour de murailles d'argent, avec six tournelles estans sur chacune desdites tournelles ung homme arme tenant baston de deffence. Et iiii pilliers estans emprez les deux grans portes et a sur ung chacun desdits pilliers ung enfant nuz tenant trompettes et autres instrumens. Et devant la première grande porte a ung serpent doré à trois testes, dessus lequel est assis ung petit enfant nuz, jouent d'instrument, avec seze personnaiges, que petitz que grans, estans dedans ledit chasteau et au-dessus du donjon a une marguerite sur laquelle est une femme tenant ung pot sur sa teste.

Riches tableaux de Painctures et aultres estans a ladite seconde Chambre a chemynée.

109. Premier: ung tableau de la portraiture de feu MS. de Savoie, mary de Madame, que Dieu pardoint, habillé d'une robbe de velours cramoisy fourée de martre, prepoint de drapt d'or et séon de satin brouchier, tenant une paire de gand en sa main, espuez sur une coussin.

(On lit en marge cette remarque écrite d'une autre main et d'une autre encre:) Donné par ordre de madite dame à la doucesse de Hocstrat.

110. Ung aultre tableau d'une Lucresse, habillé d'une robbe d'homme fourée de martre ayant une chayne d'or au col, le fond du tableau noir.

111. Ung aultre petit tableau de Nostre Dame en chief où est la représentation de l'empereur moderne et de Madame à genoux, adorant ladite ymaige dessus ung blason aux armes d'Espaigne et de Bourgogne et quatre blasons ès quatre coins.

(On lit en marge:) Délivré par ordonnance de madite dame à son aulmosnier.

112. Ung aultre tableau de ecce homo ung escripteau pendu au col et petitz anges en chiefs, tenant en une main ung fouet et verges et en l'autre une canne, le fond rouge. (En marge:) Délivré aux prieurs et religieux du couvent de Broux, comme il appert cy-après folio vi vii et les quatres ensuivants. (Voir nos 113, 114, 115, et 116. Ces cinq tableaux se retrouvent sur l'inventaire du mobilier de l'église de Brou, dressé en 1659.)


113. Ung aultre tableau de Nostre Seigneur, fait après le vif, et plusieurs lettres d'or à l'entour dudit tableau. Ledit tableau couvert de verre.

114. Ung aultre tableau de Nostre Dame de Pitié, à vi personnages, comprins Nostre Seigneur.

115. Ung aultre tableau de Nostre Dame habillée de rouge, assise sur ung tabernacle de massonnerie, qu'il se clot à deux fulletz et ausquelx il y a escript une oraison en latin commencent: Virgo decus.

116. Ung aultre tableau figuré comme Nostre Seigneur aloit à la mort portant sa croix, les bors dorez.

117. Ung aultre petit tableau d'ung homme habillé de noir à nue teste. Le fond dudit tableau verd.

118. Ung aultre tableau d'ung personnaige de moien eaige, ayant une robbe noire à un collet fourée de martre et ung chapperon noir sur son espaule, à hault bonnet. Le fond dudit tableau de brune verd.

119. Ung aultre tableau d'ung personnaige, comme marchant à rond bonnet ayant les mains l'une sur l'aultre. La robbe de pourpre, le fond dudit tableau verd.

120. Ung aultre petit double tableau, où il y une jeusne fille, habillée à la mode d'Espaigne, ayant ung bonnet rouge sur sa teste, l'aultre cousté plain d'escripture.

121. Ung aultre tableau d'ung marchant ytalien, à rond bonnet, son habit de couleur de pourpre le fondz verd, à grosse chevelure.

122. Ung aultre petit tableau de la portraiture de Madame de Horne, ayant un carcant au col.

123. Ung aultre riche tableau de la portraiture de Madame, fete en tapperisserie après le vif.

124. Ung aultre tableau de Nostre Dame tenant Nostre Seigneur nuz devant elle, clouant à deux feuillêtz, où il y a deux anges tenant l'ung une espée en sa main.[154]


125. Ung aultre tableau de Nostre Dame, ayant une couronne sur sa teste et ung petit enfant tenant une longette paternostre de coral.

126. Ung aultre petit tableau de sainct Françoys au bout duquel il y a escript: Saincte Francise ora pro nobis—

127. Ung Saincte Anthoine à manteau bleu, ayant ung crucifis emprès de luy, tenant ses mains joinctes; sur toille.

128. Ung aultre tableau de Nostre Seigneur, en habit rouge, tenant un baston ou canne en sa main destre, à une couronne d'espine sur son chief.

129. La portraiture de Madame, fort exquise, fête de la main de feu maistre Jacques (de Barbaris).

130. Ung aultre tableau de une jeusne dame, accoustrée à la mode de Portugal, son habit rouge fouré de martre, tenant en sa main dextre ung rolet avec ung petit sainct Nicolas en hault, nommée: la belle portugaloise.[155]

131. Ung aultre tableau de deux petitz enffans, embrassant et baisant l'ung l'aultre sur l'arbette, fort bien fait.

132. Ung aultre tableau exquis de la portraiture d'ung ancien homme, a rond bonnet, son habit fouré de martre, le fond du tableau verd, le dit personnaige venant des mobz de Bruxelles.

133. Ung aultre tableau fort exquis qui se clot à deux feulletz, où il y a painctz un homme et une femme estantz desboutz touchantz la main l'ung de l'aultre, fait de la main de Johannes, les armes et devise de feu don Dieghe esdits deux feulletz nommé le personnaige: Arnoult fin.[156]


134. Ung petit tableau vieux où la représentation de feu le roy dom Phelipe et de Madame, du temps de leur mynorité et portraiture, habillez de drapt d'or.

135. Ung aultre tableau double, assez vieux, figuré de la passion Nostre Seigneur et aultre mistère donné à Madame par MS. le conte d'Hocstraté (on lit en marge: delivré au prieur et religieux de Brou. Voir No. 112).

136. Ung double tableau, en l'un est Nostre Dame et l'autre, le cardinal de Liegne, laquelle Nostre Dame a este délivrée audit couvent de Broux et le cardinal demore par decha.

137. Ung aultre bon tableau de la portraiture d'ung Espaignol habillé d'ung manteau noir, joinée de velours noir, ayant une petite chayne à son col, ayant aussi une fauce parruque.

138. Ung aultre tableau exquis, où il y a ung homme avec une teste de cerf et ung crannequin au milieu et le bandaige.[157]

139. Ung cruxifis, joignent ledit tableau, fait de la main de maistre Jaques; au pied de la croix sont deux testes de mors et une teste de cheval.

140. Ung aultre petit tableau de la pourtraiture du contrôleur Ourssin.[158]

141. Ung aultre tableau de MS. Sainct Anthoine tenant ung livre et une bericle en sa main et ung baston soubz son bras, le fond de bocaige et estranges figures de personnaiges[159] en marge: délivré aux prieurs et religieux de Broux. (Voir No. 112.)


142. Ung aultre tableau de Nostre Dame, à deux feullets, esquelx sainct Jehan et saincte Barbe, Adam et Eve son painctz.[160]

143. Une petite Nostre Dame fort bien fête, à un manteau rouge, tenant une heures en sa main, que Madame appelle sa mignonne.[161]

144. Ung aultre petit tableau de Nostre Dame tenant son enfant, lequel tient une petite patenostre de coral en sa main, fort anticque, ayant une fontainne emprès elle et deux anges tenant ung drapt d'or figuré derrière elle.[162]

145. Ung aultre tableau de la passion de NS., fait de Illyminure, a l'entour duquel sont les vii paroles que NS. proféra en la croix, ledit tableau de bois de cuprès.

146. Ung petit tableau de NS., sur ung champt de damas verd, tenant son enfant.

147. Ung petit enfant de terre cuyte, tenant sa main senestre sur sa poitrine, dormant.

148. Receu, puis c'est inventoire fait, ung double tableau: en l'ung est Nostre Dame habillée de bleu, tenant son enffant droit, et en l'autre Madame a genoulx adorant ledit enffant.


Mentioned (No. 148) in Margaret's Inventory of 1521.
View larger image

Aultres pièces de Brodure et aultres tableaux et painctures estans dedans les armaires.

(Je ne citerai, parmi les tableaux faicts de brodure, que le No. 149, il suffira pour montrer que c'était bien l'equivalent de peintures.)

149. Ung tableau de brodure, du chief de NS. à couronne d'espine, fêtes de fil d'or et d'argent, qui se clot à feullets, doublé des deux costés de satin noir, ferré de ferreres d'argent, au commencement de l'ung des feulletz est escript: vere langores nostros, etc.


150. Ung riche et fort exquis double tableau de Nostre Dame, doublé par dehors de satin brochier et monseigneur le duc Charles de Bourgogne painct en l'ung des fulletz estant à genoux, habillé de drapt d'or, à ung cousin de velours noir et une heure estant sur son siège devant luy, le bors dudit tableau garnis de velours verd, avec trois ferrures d'argent doré servant audit tableau.

151. Ung double tableau de bois de cyprès, en l'ung est portrait l'assumption Nostre Seigneur et en l'aultre l'ascencion de Nostre Dame, auquel tableau il y a deux ferrures d'argent.[163]

152. Item en une petite boite en forme de liette de bois, il y a xxii petits tableaux, fait comme il semble tout d'une main, dont la paincture est bonne, de grandeur et largeur ung chacun d'ung tranchoir, figurez de la vie NS. et aultres actes après sa mort. Le premier est figuré de la temptation fête à NS. par le diable; (153 to 172).

173. Ung tableau de Nostre Dame assise en ung tabernacle de massonnerie assez hautelet.

174. Ung petit tableau carré de la Trinité à ung tabernacle de menuiserie et grande multitudes d'anges des deux costés. Le aucuns tenant la croix et aultres figures de la Passion.[164]

175. Ung petit tableau, qui se clot à ung fullet, painct de noir, de la portraiture de l'Empereur Fredericq, iiie de ce nom, la robbe de damas à couleur de pourpre, à ung bouton d'or devant, pourtant ung bonnet rond; le fond dudit tableau d'asul.[165]

176. Ung aultre petit tableau de cyprès de l'histoire de roy David et de Golias.

177. Une mapemonde en parchemin.


178. Item iiii chiefs de paincture, fête de blancset noir, en papier, comme patrons enroolés ensemble. Les deux de NS. et Sainct Pol et les aultres de Sainct Jehan et Moyse.

179. Deux portraitures de Jherusalem, l'une en papier paincte et l'aultre imprimée sans paincture.

180. La pourtraiture du chief de la fille du roy d'Angleterre, en parchemin.

181. Une sancte Marguerite en toille habillée de damas noir, le fond d'asul.

182. La pourtraiture en parchemin d'une dame, le fond de verd.

183. Une fantasie d'ung homme courant en poste sur ung blanc, ayant deux bras nuz, devant son cheval et une devise en ung rondeau et une marguerite en chief.

184. Ung livre en papier, à unze patrons, painct légièrement sur fond bleu.

185. Ung aultre livre en papier, où il y a ix rondeaux, en chacun il y a une teste d'homme de noir et blanc; ledit livre couvert de cuyr.

186. La pourtraiture du sainct suaire de NS. fêtes en toille.

187. Ung plat coffre de bois dedans lequel il y a plusieurs painctures fêtes et enpreinte.

188. Une mapemonde en parchemin.

189. Une toille paincte de xv visaiges que d'hommes que femmes, le fond d'asul.

Aultres meubles estans dedans la petit cabinet, joingnent la chambre à chemynée, tirant sur la gallerie de la chappelle.

(Je ne cite pas trois heures enluminées, ni un livre parlant de Ypolite Rayenne de Cithis depuis nommée Amazeon. Voici les trois autres articles.)

190. Item ung aultres livre escript en latin sur parchemin, de lettres au mole, faisant mencion des illes trouvées, couvert de satin de Bruges verd et dessus la dicte couverte est escript quatre lignes de lettres d'or en latin.

191. Ung aultre livre en parchemin, couvert de satin verd, parlant de la l'entrée de Madame Claude, Royenne de France, en la cité de Paris.


Painctures estans dedans ledit petit Cabinet.

192. Ung tableau d'ivoire taillé, bien ouvré de la Passion de Nostre Seigneur et aultres figures, qui se clot à deux feulletz, esquelx sont painctz feuz messeigneurs les ducs Philippe et Charles de Bourgogne.

193. Ung petit tableau de bois de cyprès d'ung personnaige portant la Thoison d'or et habit d'ung chevalier de l'ordre de la dite Thoison, estant espuié (appuyé) sur ung baston.

194. Ung aultre petit tableau de Nostre Dame, pourtant une couronne sur son chief, assise sur un croissant, le fond du tableau doré.

195. Ung aultre tableau de la portraiture de l'empereur Maximilien, tenant deux fleurs d'ulletz en sa main, habillé de drapt d'or, portant la Thoison.

196. Ung petit tableau de Nostre Dame, pendant à ung petit fillet de soye rouge, ayant une patenostre de courat rouge en son bras, le fond doré.[166]

197. Ung aultre petit tableau de Nostre Dame, d'ung costel et de Sainct Jehan l'évangéliste et de Saincte Marguerite tirez après le vif du feu prince d'Espaigne, mary de Madame, aussi après le vif de ma dite Dame.[167]

198. Ung aultre double tableau, en l'ung est Nostre Seigneur pendant en croix et Nostre Dame embrassant le pied de la croix et en l'autre l'histoire de la messe MS. Sainct Grégoire.[168]


199. Ung aultre tableau vieux de Dieu le Père; tenant son filz nuz entre ses bras, le Sainct Esperit en forme coulombé entre Dieu le Père assiz sur ung arc en ciel et une pomme ronde soubz les pieds de NS.

200. Ung aultre bien petit tableau de bois, où il y a une teste d'ung homme eslevée avec certaine escripture des deux lignes, fête sur couleur rouge et est bien de petite valeur.

201. Une petite Nostre Dame en papier, fête de Illyminure, tenant son fils, son habit d'asul et une petite bande dessus bordée d'ung petit bore d'argent de bassin.

202. Ung petit tableau d'ivoire, à ung vieux personnaige pourtant la thoison d'or les quatres coins dudit tableau d'argent doré et sur ung chacun ung fusil pendant à une petites chaine d'argent.

203. Ung aultre petit tableau carré d'argent doré, le fond d'esmail rouge, à ung personnaige ayant le visaige fait d'ung camehu, derrière lequel tableau est escript le duc de Berry.

204. Ung myroir assiz en gaie (jais) noir, fait en manière de cueur, et de l'autre costel ung cueur en presse sur une marguerite.

205. Ung aultre myroir petit, en forme de losanges, de petite valeur.

206. Ung petit Sainct Jacques, taillé de geitz noir, assiz sur ung pillier de mesme, à trois coquilles en chiefz.

207. La portraiture de feu monseigneur de Savoie, taillée en bois, bien-fête. La portraiture de Madame semblablement taillée en bois, aussi bien fête.


208. Une médaille d'estain, d'ung coustel la portraiture du roy d'Arragon et de l'aultre un roy tenant une espée fichée dedans trois couronnes.

209. Une autre médaille d'argent doré, de Madame d'ung coustel, et de l'aultre ung femme à moitié nue.

210. Une teston d'argent, où le duc Philibert est d'ung coustel et de l'aultre dame Yolent.

212. Diverses médailles de plomb, de leton, cuyvre et aultre gros métal estant à ung coffre.


(Elles ne sont pas décrites avec détail et n'offrent aucun intérêt. On voyait dans le même cabinet:)

213. Ung oyseau mort, appellé oyseau de paradis, envelopé de taffetas, mis en ung petit coffret de bois.

214. Une petite tablette de bois, à x fulletz, en laquelle il y a plusieurs painctures patrons bien fête au pinceau.

215. Cinquante et une cartes toutes rondes, richement painctes d'or, d'asul et aultres couleurs estant en une boite ronde de cuyr.

216. IIII xxxi cartes de papier, carréez, figurés de diverses bestes, oyseaux et aultres painctures.

217. IX petiz crousetz de porcelayne; comprins ung moien.

218. Ung Jesus taillé en mabre.

219. Ung tableau où est feu monseigneur le duc Charles d'ung costé et de l'aultre feue Madame Ysabeau de Portugal, les bois dorez, painct au dehors de noyr.

220. Deux tableaux recus de maistre Jehan le paintre, semblables, en l'ung est Nostre Dame et en l'aultre MS. de Ligne.

Bacques, Menutez (minuties), de Vaicelle, estans au cabinet emprès le jardin où sont les coraulx, le tout d'argent.

221. Ung escequier (échiquier) d'argent, carré, le bors doré, bien ouvré, avec les armes de Savoie ès quartre coins et xxxii petitz personnaiges d'argent servant d'eschaiz audit tableau.

222. Ung esguière de cristalin, garnie d'argent doré, bien ouvrée, avec une couronne d'argent sus le couvecle.

223. Une aultre esguières de porcelayne, sus gris, garnis, le couvecle, le piez et le manche, d'argent doré bien ouvré.

224. Deux aultres esguières d'une sorte de porcelayne bleue garnies les couvecles d'argent doré.

225. Une bericle (lunettes), garnie le manche d'argent et au dessus, dudict manche ung petit lion douré, pour lyre sur ung livre.

Aultres menutez, estans audit cabinet, sans argent.

226. Deux potequins, une fiole et deux flacons de pate cuyte, dorez et bien ouvrez.


227. Ung beau gobelet de porcelayne blanche, à couvercle painct à l'entour de personnaiges d'hommes et femmes. (J'omets cinq articles de Reloge de léton doré.)

228. Ung hercules de cuyvre, tout nuz, tenant en sa main une masse à trois bastons tortillés.

229. Ung enfant assis sur ung cheval de cuyvre, sans bride, ni harnast, painct de noir.

230. Ung tablier garnis d'ivoire, eschequetier d'ung costel blanc et noir et de l'aultre costé pour joué au plus de poins et il y a une petite quehue de serpent de mesme pour joué ausdiz poins.

231. Deux escuelles, l'une moienne, toutes deux d'une beau bois vermis, les bors dorez à manches, les fondz painct d'or et de verd, venues des Indes. (Je crois inutile de citer plusieurs échiquiers et tabliers.)

232. Une mort fête d'ivoire droite entre trois petits pilliers, tenant ung escripteau en sa main.

233. Une petite liette, le fond d'asul, les bors verd où il y a les personnaiges suyvans, assavoir: Saturnis, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercurius et Lunar.

234. Ung cheval de bois, bien taillé, sans selle, ni harnast. (Je passe plusieurs jeux d'échecs d'ivoire, de cassidoine, de bois paint.)

235. La portraiture de feu Conralt, fol de l'empereur, taillé en bois.

236. La portraiture en toille d'ung jeusne enfant, tenant ung papejay sur sa main, habillé d'ung séon cramoisy, quilete de drapt d'argent.

237. Une aultre paincture d'ung petit enfant plourant, ayant une petite banière devant luy.

238. Ung petit tableau d'une jeusne dame fête sur papier colé, le fond rouge, son habit de drapt d'or, à ung escuson en chief, aux armes de Savoie.

Aultres menutez, estans au petit cabinet, où sont les coraux et jardin de fleurs de soie, fil d'or et d'aultres choses fait à l'esgulle dont s'ensuyt les pièces estans d'argent.

S'ensuyt les coraux et aultres choses.

239. Deux myroir de pate cuyte, bien ouvrez et dorez, ayant chacun ung boton et hoppes y pendans.


240. Deux grosses pommes et ung concombre de terre cuyte, painctz.

241. Ung beau tableau auquel est painct ung homme et ung femme nuz, estant les pieds en l'eaue, le premier borc de mabre, le second doré et en has ung escripteau, donné par monseigneur d'Utrecht.

242. Ung petit tableau de bois d'une Lucresse, bien taillée, qui se clot à deux fulletz.

243. Ung belle M. de bois bien taillée à une petite chayne de bois, pendant aux lettres du nom de Jhesus.

244. Ung livre, escript à la main, couvert de velour noir, intitulé, la Corone Margaritique, qui se commence: Plume infelice.

Aultres parties de meubles.

(Je passe sous silence les étoffes pour couvrir les meubles, etc.)

245. Plus receu à Bruxelles, par les mains de Symonet, varlet de chambre de l'empereur, les parties de painctures qui s'en suyvent: premiere la pourtraicture de l'empereur moderne Charles Ve de ce nom, tirée après le vief faicte pas compas, sur toille, fort bonne.

246. La pourtraicture de la reyne Marye, douairiere d'Ongrie, aussi faicte sur toille, de mendre grandeur que la précédente.

247. Ung tableau double de cyprès, déans lequel sont pourtraitz les premiers fils et fille du roy des Romans.

248. Aultres semblable tableau où sont aussi pourtraiz les seconde fils et filles dudict seigneur roy des Romains.

Les pièces de Vaicelles d'or et d'argent cy après escriptes sont es mains dudict garde joyaulx, ensemble les riches tappisseries et aultres biens meubles cy après escripts.

249. Ung grande couppe d'or ouvrée à feuillages pesant VIm Io xiiie. (On lit en marge:) Cette première couppe d'or et du corps de la salière est parlé au IIIe article suyvant, ont par ordonnance de Madame esté rompues et en sont esté faictes trois petites couppes pour en servir le voiaige de Cambray où la paix fut faicte et depuis Madame des donnyt aux marquise d'Arscot, contesses d'Aygremont, et de Gaure qui avoyent esté audit Cambray.


(Je ne cite que cet article mais les autres portent les mentions de même nature, qui prouvent combien les objects d'orfevrerie ont subi de transformation sous les pression des grandes nécessités comme aussi au moindre propos.)

Tappisseries garnies de fil d'or, d'argent, de soie, et aultres estouffes, comme s'ensuyt.

250. Premier: deux pièces de tappisseries, faictes de fil d'or et d'argent et de soie, bien riche, de l'istoire et des faiz de Alexandre le Grant, qui sont venue d'Espaigne. La première contient vii aulnes i cart de haulteur et unze aulnes v carts de l'argeur.

251. Quatre pièces de tappisseries de l'istoire de Ester, bien riche et faictes et ouvrés d'or et d'argent et de soie, qui sont venues de la maison de céans.

252. Trois pièces de tappisserie du credo, belles et riches, où il y a de l'or et de soye, qui sont venuz d'Espaigne.

253. Une pièce de tappisserie de Alexandre.

254. Quatre pièces de tappisserie de Sainct Eslayne (Ste. Hélène), sans or ne argent, qui est venue d'Espaigne, garnie de boucran blanc.

255. Six pièces de tappisseries appellée la cité des Dames données par ceulx de Tornay.

Tapis Veluz.

Tappisserie de Morisque.

256. Six pièces de tappisserie de maroquin rouge, bourdée de mesme cuyr, figuré de drap d'or sur verd, et menuz personnaiges à trois pilliers chacune pièce la brodure d'ambas à seraines (sirennes).

Coussins de Morisque.

257. Quatre coussins, ouvragé de Turcquie, oppés (houppés) de soye verde et rouge, dont il y a v ouppes perdues.

Riche tappisserie, ouvrée de fil d'or d'argent et de soye nouvellement achetée par Madame.


258. Premier: Une belle et riche pièce de tappisserie de v aulnes de haulteur et de v aulnes cart eschars, de largeur historiés comme Nostre Seigneur pourtoit la croix à sa Passion.

(Les sept pièces suivantes, que j'omets représentaient autant de sujets de la Passion. On lit à la suite, écrit d'une autre main.)

259. Depuis c'est Inventaire fait, a reçu le dit garde joyaux ung riche ciel de tappisserie—fait par Pietre Tannemarie à Bruxelles, auquel est figuré Dieu le Père et le St. Esprit, environnez de plusieurs anges.

Hornemens de Chappelle.

Linge de Table.

260. Une riche nappe damassée de grandes fleurs, de xii aulnes quart de long et iiii de largeur.

261. Une aultre nappe, ouvraige de Tournay, contenant vii aulnes de long iii aulnes de large.

262. Une aultre grosse nappe, ouvraige de Venise.

263. Une nappe en touaille damassée, figurée de la Passion au milieu et aussi du nom de Jesus.

De toutes lesquelles pièces de vaicelle d'or, d'argent, tappisseries et aultres biens, meubles, estans présentement ès mains, des officiers cy devant nommés ou d'aultres officiers advenir—(ils en tiennent compte) Ainsi fait et conclud par madite Dame, en la ville d'Anvers, le xvii d'Avril mvxxiiii.

(Signé) Marguerite

One wonders what became of such a large number of treasures and pictures. By Margaret's will, dated 20th of February 1508, and by the codicils of a later date, she left Charles V. her sole heir, but gave her religious pictures to the church of Brou. The first clause distributed the portraits and pictures throughout the royal residences of Austria and Spain; the second gave the others to Brou, where for more than two centuries they remained until they were plundered by sacriligious hands.

M. Baux, in his description of the church of Brou, has mentioned a fragment of Margaret's inventory, which he dates from 1533.

The inventory of 1516 was drawn up by Margaret herself, 327 and the original, or at least the copy published by M. Le Glay, gives this same article thus written. The original, written on parchment and signed by the archduchess herself, is in the collection said to be the 500 Colbert, in the Bibliothèque Nationale. M. Le Glay found in the archives at Lille, and published, an inventory written partly by Margaret and drawn up partly under her supervision. It would be interesting to verify if he has not made duplicate copies of pages drawn up at different times, and which describe the same picture several times over. The inventory of 1524 is more complete, richer, and longer.

The description of the following seven objects I have not noticed in the inventory of 1524:—

Ung tablaux d'argent doré, d'ungne nonciade à deux feuillies de porselleyne, là où est (l'Ymaige) de feu roy don Philippe et la reyne Joanne, sa fame.

Ung petit préaux dedanz lequel a ungne Nostre Dame et ung Sainct Josef.

Ung autre: Au mylieu dudit préaux a ung aubepin flory et madame la duchesse de Norefork l'a donné a Madame.

Ung petit parady où sont toux les apostres.

Ung petit tableau du chief d'un portugalois fait sans couleur par Maistre Jacques Barbaris.

Ung petit tableau du chief de la royne dame Ysabel, en son eage de xxx ans, fait par Maistre Michiel.

Ung tableaul de bonne paincture d'une belle fille esclave, sur la couverte duquel sont Charles Oursson, contrerolleur de Madame, et son père, et aussi le chien de Madame qui s'appelle Boute (ou Bonté).




The following religious pictures are from the Study and Library of the late Madame:—

From the Study.

A small illuminated picture in cyprus wood.

An ivory picture of divers mysteries, which has two shutters, on which are painted the Dukes Philip and Charles of Burgundy.

Another picture of Our Lady very well done, with a red mantle, the background black, and the edges gilt.

A small double picture of cyprus (wood): one the Ascension of Our Saviour, and the other the Ascension of Our Lady.

Picture of Our Lady, dressed in a red mantle; the background of green damask.

Rich double picture of Our Lady, lined outside with satin brocade.

Picture of a crucifix, from the hand of the late Madame.

A little needlework picture of the Trinity, with a cross between the Father and the Son.

Picture of Saint Margaret, in white alabaster.

A small picture of Our Lady sitting on a crescent, with a golden background.

Another small picture of Our Lady, the background gold; the pendant has a shutter of red silk.

A double picture of Our Lady; on one side Saint John, and the other Saint Margaret.


Another double picture. On one side is Our Saviour hanging on the cross, and Our Lady embracing the divine cross; on the other the history of Saint Gregory.

Another picture, where God the Father is holding His Son naked in His arms; the Holy Spirit as a dove.

A small square picture very well done, of Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel, the Archangel.

A similar square picture of Saint John, Saint James, Saint Peter, and Saint Paul.

A small picture of Our Lady, illuminated on paper, surrounded with a little band of silver thread.

A small Saint James carved in black wood.

An ivory picture of Saint John, holding a book in his hand, sitting on a stone.

A Saint James in amber.

A picture of a saint made in amber, ... the head of ivory.

Our Lady in amber with a gold crown on her head.

A small Nostre Dame in silver.

A small Saint Anthony in silver.

In the Library.

A Saint Francis.

Two pictures of monseigneur Saint Anthony.[169]




Velours cramoisy.

Le livre des Euvangilles.
Froissart. (4 vols.)
Les dix livres de la première décade de Titus Livius. (1 vol.)
La seconde et tierce décade de Titus Livius. (1 vol.)
Lancelot du Lac. (2 vols.)
La Forteresse de la Foy.
La Décrétaille.
Le premier Livre des batailles tunikes.
Jehan Davenant. (?)
Le Doon.
Le Régime des Princes; le Trésor. (1 vol.)
Six gros livres de Persefouret.

Velours vert.

Le premier livre de Bocace des nobles malheureux.
Le Commentaire de Julius César.
Joseph d'Arimatye, qu'est le commencement de la Table
Ronde et la Vye Marcelin et de Lancelot du Lac,
jusques à la mort du roy Artus. (1 vol.)
d'Amours, Vertuz et Bienheurté. (1 vol.)
331 Histoire de Lancelot du Lac.
La Généalogie depuis Adam jusques à Jésus-Christ.
Le Livre des propriétés. (En français.)
L'Istoire de Marlin.
Le second volume des Cronicques d'Angleterre.
La Généalogie de tous les Roys de France.
Le premier volume de la Cité de Dieu.
L'Exposicion du Saultier.
Du commencement du monde jusques au temps que Julius
César se partit de Romme pour conquester France.
L'Appocalipce figurée.
La légende de plusieurs saincts.
Le Premier livre des ystoires du grant Roy Nabuchordenosor.
La nature des oyseaulx.
Le livre de l'Eschicquier.
Dictz moraulx des philosophes.
Épistres Senecque, translatées de latin en françois.
Mappemonde fort figurées.
Le Miroir des Dames.
Le Miroir du Monde.
Des remèdes de l'une et l'autre Fortune.
Bocace des clères Dames.
Phebus de la Chasse.
Le Viel Testement.

Velours bleu.

Le premier volume de Beges. (1 vol.)
Le second volume de Beges. Le tiers et quart volume de
Beges. (1 vol.)
Le livre de Jehan Bocace.
Le premier volume des propriétez de toutes choses.
Le second volume des propriétez de toutes choses.
Ung gros livre de parchemin escript en letre ébraycque
(Hebrew) ou autre que l'on ne congnoist point, sans nulle
intitulace que l'on saiche lire, couvert de velours bleu à
fermaulx et cloz dorez.
Les Martiennes.
Le premier volume de Jehan Froissart.
'La Digeste vielle,' preceded by 'Les Droits' et 'la Décrétale'
in Latin.
332 Le premier volume de Saint-Augustin de la Cité de Dieu.
Le derrenier volume de Saint-Augustin de la Cité de Dieu.
Le Livres des eages du monde.
La Légende dorée.
L'Arbres des batailles.
Le premier volume de Jason, la Thoison d'Or. (1 vol.)
La Fleur des Histoires. (2 vols.)
Les Décrétailles. (En françois.)
Les douze Chézariennes.
Le Livre de Lucan.
Les Cronicques troyennes.
Le Livre d'Amours, de Vertus et de Bienheureté.
Le champion des Dames.
Extraict de la Bible.
Le Régime des Princes.
Le livre du Trésor. (?)
Vita Christi.
Les Cronicques de Jérusalem.
L'Estrif de Fortune et Vertu.
L'Orologe de Sapience.
L'Art de Chevalerye.
La Moralité des eschetz.
Livre des Problesmes de Aristote.
Le premier et tiers volume de la Fleur des Histoires. (1 vol.)
Exemples moraulx.
La Relation en brief des Histoires romaines.
Du roy Artus, des douze Pèrs de France, du Chevalier à deux
espées, et des Fables d'Ysopet, en ryme. (1 vol.)
Le Miroir des Curez.
Fables d'Ovide.
Le livre des Prophécies de Marlin.
Le Débat de Félicité.
Les painctures du jeu d'eschetz.
Ung petit livre en latin, de parchemin, escript à la main en
letre ytalienne, illuminé, parlant de plusieurs roys et
princes; couvert et ferré comme dessus.
Le Chevalier au sercle d'or et Perceval le Galois.
Le Livre des trois vertus à l'enseignement des dames et
333 Le Miroir du Monde.
Le Livre des dix commandemens de Notre Seigneur avec la
différence d'entre péchié mortel et véniel.
Moralité des nobles hommes sur le jeu des eschés.
L'Avisement. (?)
D'Armes, d'Amours et de ses combatans et de la geste au bon
roy Euriant. Petit livre ... où sont nommez tous les
poètes ... sans intitulace ...
Le Livre du pélérinage du viel hermite? exposé sur 'Le
Romant de la Ros.'
Décrétales en latin.
Boèce de Consolatione.
Le Livre de Mélibée et de Dame Prudence sa femme.
Dix commandemens de Jhesu-Crist.
Bonnes Meurs.
Livre de l'apostolicque Sainct-Jean avec une autre livre de
Livre du roy Alexandre.

Velours Vert.

Bible en françois.
Alexandre le Grant.
Bible en françois.
La temptation de Saint-Augustin, de la Cité de Dieu.
Éticques d'Aristote en françois.
Chevalier Errant.
L'Entrée de Beges.

Velours Noir.

Alexandre Quinte-Curce.
Le Livre de la première décade de Titus Livius.
La premier Livre de la tierce décade de Titus Livius.
Le secret parlement de l'omme contemplatif à son ame.
Le quatrième volume de la Fleur des Histoires; l'Admonestement
de vivre contre la Vanité de ce monde.
Le second Livre, la Bible moralisée;—Bénoist seront les
miséricordieulx; la somme de perfection;—les Histoires
de Pise;—le Recueil de Tholomey avec ses addicions;—place
334 Secretz d'Aristote;—le Romant de Clomadès en rime;—le
Livre des fais d'armes et de Chevalerye;—ung petit
livre plein de rondaulx;—livres d'Heures, Missels et
Bréviaires; la Bible en latin;—le Chemin de salut;—livre
qui traite des Estatz du monde;—l'Obséque de la
feue reynne de France, duchesse de Bretaigne;—les cent
nouvelles vielles;—Romulus;—Cronicque abrégée depuis
le temps d'Adam jusques à Sévère, empereur de Romme;—Sainct
Graal (en mauvais langaige);—le livre d'Anséis
de Quartaige et de Heuon de Haultonne;—l'Entretenenent
du corps et de l'amme;—le livre des miracles
Nostre Dame;—Paternox de Bloys;—le Triumphe des
dames;—le Débat des deux bons serviteurs;—Oraison et
Paternostres;—de la Fortune des dez;—le livre des
Douze Filz Boon de Mayence, en rime;—la Généalogie et
les Gestes du prince Syach Ysmaël, surnommé Sophie,
roy de Perche;—l'Exposition des Songes, etc.



from Maximilian i. to Margaret of Austria, and from Margaret to Various Persons

Maximilian's letters to Margaret were written in French, but a kind of French-German jargon. Margaret had been brought up in France, and had no knowledge of German, so her father, who knew very little French, was obliged to use this language in corresponding with her, and often mixed up French and German words in a most grotesque fashion.

The following few letters and extracts are from M. le Glay's Correspondance de l'Empereur Maximilien I. et de Marguerite d'Autriche:—

Maximilian to Margaret

He begs his daughter to behave in such a way as to keep the King of England in a good humour; he wishes to see her married to this king. (Autograph.)

(16 septembre 1507.)

... Car i me semble, par tel manière de mariage, vous seré quit de la prison que craindez d'y entrer, sy vous fussés mariée avec le susdit roy d'Engleterre, veu sa test dur et plain, de me lasser en paes; car aussy paer cest fachon, vous gouvernerés Engleterre et la maison de Bourgoingne, et vous ne pourrés estre mis errier de la monde; comme ung person perdu et oblié, cume vous aussy nous avez aultrefois déclaré.

Escript de la main (le xvi jour de Septembre 1507) de vostre bon père,


Maximilian to Margaret

He thanks her for the beautiful shirts that she sent him. (Autograph.)

(le 17 mai 1511.)

Ma bonne fille,—J'ay resceu par le peurteor de cestes les belles chemises et huves lesquelles avés aydé de les faire de vostre main, dont sumus fort jeouieulx, principalement des ce 336 que je trouve en sela que vous vous sousses du corps de nostre person, mesment que quant ceste anné nous pourterons nostre couraige, lequel est rude et pésante, que adunques nostre pooir du cors sera reconforté à l'encontre du bon senteor et dusceur de telle belle thoele, lesquels usunt les angels en paradis pour leor abillement. Et nous feruns aussi bien tost bonne diligence pour vous aussy remercier de ung image d'un futur sainte, aussy fabriké de nostre main.—et à Dieu.

Escript de la main de vostre bon père, qui désirt une foes vous bien tost véor.

Faet le xvii de mai (1511).


Maximilian to Margaret

The emperor tells his daughter—— that he hopes to be elected Pope and become holy. For this reason he is thinking of abdicating in favour of his grandson Charles. But he must have money before he can negotiate with the Pope and the cardinals. (Autograph.)[171]

(le 18 Septembre.)

Très chière et très amée fylle, jé entendu l'avis que vous m'avez donné par Guyllain Pingun, nostre garderobes vyess, dont avons encore mius pensé desus.

Et ne trouvons point pour nulle résun bon que nous nous devons franchement marier, maès avons plus avant mys nostre délibération et volonté de jamès plus hanter faem nue.

Et envoyons demain monsieur de Gurce, évesque, à Rome devers le pape pour trouver fachon que nous puyssons accorder avec luy de nous prenre pour ung coadjuteur, affin que après sa mort pouruns estre assure de avoer le papat et devenir prester et après estre sainct, et que il vous sera de nécessité que, après ma mort, vous serés contraint de me adorer dont je me trouveré bien gloryoes.

337 Je envoye sur ce ung poste devers le roy d'Arogon pour ly prier quy nous voulle ayder pour à ce parvenir dont yl est aussy contant, moynant que je résingne l'empir à nostre commun fyls, Charles. De sela aussi je me says contenté.

Le peupl et gentilhomes de Rom ount faet ung allyance contre les Franchoes et Espaingos est sunt xx combatans et nous ount mandé que yl veolunt estre pour nous pour faere ung papa à ma poste, et du l'empire d'Almaingne et ne veulent avoer ne Francos, Aregonoes, ne mains null Vénécien.

Je commance aussy practiker les cardinaulx, dont IIc où IIIc mylle ducas me ferunt un grand service, aveque la parcialité qui est déjà entre eos.

Le roy d'Arogon a mandé à son ambaxadeur que yl veult commander aux cardinaulx espaingnos que yl veulent favoryser le papat à nous.

Je vous prie, tenés ceste matière empu secret; ossi bien en briefs jours je creins que yl fault que tout le monde le sache; car bien mal este possible de pratiker ung tel sy grand matère secrètement, pour laquell yl fault avoer de tant de gens et de argent succurs et practike, et à Diu, faet de la main de vostre bon père Maximilianus, futur pape.

Le xviiie jour de Septembre.

P.S.—Le pape a ancor les vyevers dubls et ne peult longement fyvre.

Maximilian to Margaret

The emperor wishes his granddaughters to come to Brussels to see the park. (Original.)

(le 20 juin) 1512.

Très chière et très amée fille, pour ce que désirons que noz très chières et très amées filles venir en nostre ville de Bruxelles pour veoir le parck et y prandre leurs ébats par deux ou trois jours, nous vous requérons que nous vueillez incontinent icy envoyer tous voz chariotz, gens d'armes, et leurs damoiselles, comme dit est, lesquelles noz filles ferez logier ès chambres et quartier où nous estions logé, et nous nous tiendrons cependant à Wilvorde et à l'entour dudit Bruxelles. A tant, très chière et très amée fille, nostre Seigneur soit garde de vous.

338 Escript en nostre ville de ..., le xx jour de juing, l'an xvcxvii.

P.S.—Et vueillez avancer ledit envoy, que lesdits chariotz et lytière puissent estre icy demain.

Per Regem.—Plus bas, Renner

Maximilian to Margaret

The emperor sends some venison for his granddaughters.

(Au chateau de La Vueren, le 22 juin.)

Très chière et très amée fille, nous vous envoyons présentement le sommyer du serf que avons ce jour-duy prins à force et vous prions de icelluy faire aprester et en festyer à quelque disné ou souppé noz petites et très chières filles. En quoy, faisant, vous nous ferez chose bien agréable; ce scet nostre Seigneur qu'il, très chière et très amée fille, soit garde de vous.

Escript en nostre chasteaul de La Vueren, le xxii jour de juing, l'an xvc et xii.

Per Regem.—Plus bas, Renner

Maximilian to Margaret

He accepts his daughter's invitation to dinner. He wishes this meal to be at five o'clock.

(La Vueren, le 23 juin) 1512.

Très chière et très amée fille, nous avons ce matin receu voz lettres et entendu par icelles comment vous désirez que vueillions ce jourduy aller au soupper et banquet avec vous et noz très chières et très amées filles. Sur quoy vous advertissons que de buon cueur nous nous y trouverons. Dieu en ayde qu'il, très chière et très amée fille, soit garde de vous.

Donné en nostre chasteau de La Vueren, le xxiii jour de juing, l'an xvcxii.

P.S.—Nous serons à une heure après midi devers vous, pour parler à vous de quelque chose, et pour ce, que le souppé soit prest à cincq heures.

Per Regem.—Plus bas, Renner


Maximilian to Margaret

He is sending her a cross-bow destined to be sent as a gift to the King of England.

(Cologne, le 16 septembre) 1512.

Très chière et très amée fille, nous vous envoyons par nostre amé et féal escuier, Bourgrave de Bruxelles, le seigneur d'Aremberch, une arbalestre garnye d'un coffin et de trectz à ce servans; laquelle désirons que recevez bénignement dudit seigneur d'Aremberch, et que après, vous faictes refaire ledit coffin qui est couvert de cuyre par dessus, ou lieu dudit cuyre, d'argent doré, et puis le tout faire présenter à nostre frère, le roy d'Angleterre. A tant, très chière et très amée fille, nostre Seigneur soit garde de vous.

Escript en nostre cité de Cohlongne le xvi jour de Septembre, l'an xvcxii.

Maximilian to Margaret

The emperor wishes the Archduke Charles to write good letters to his grandfather the King of Aragon, to his mother the Queen, and to his brother Don Ferdinand.

(Weissembourg, le 6 janvier) 1512.

Très chière et très amée fille, nous désirons et vous requérons que par le pourteur de cestes appellé Jehan de Spornede, espaignart, vous faictes escripre nostre filz, l'archiduc Charles, quelque bonnes lettres en walon (that is in French) au roy d'Arragon, son grant-père, à la royne sa mère et à son frère dom Fernande, et qu'il lui baille le titre d'archiduc d'Austriche; car nostre plaisir est tel. A tant, très chière et très amée fille, nostre Seigneur soit garde de vous.

Escript en nostre ville de Wizembourg, le vi jour de janvier, l'an xvcxii.

Per Regem.—Plus bas, Botechon

Maximilian to Margaret

He tells his daughter that he is satisfied with the way she governs, and hopes that she will continue to govern in the same way. (Autograph.)

(le 3 février) 1512.

Très chière et très amée fylle, nous avons resceu une lettre 340 escript de vostre main, laquelle noz a présenté grave et aussi entendu ce que nous a dyt de vostre part maister Loys. Tant y a que noz sumus content de vous, outant que ung père se doyt contenter de sa bonne fylle, et voluns bien que tout le monde le sayche. En oultre désirant que continués en vostre gouvernement comme avés faet jusques issy au présent et vous nous faerés très singulier plaisir dont volentié vous assertissons, et a diu.

Faet de la main le iii jour de février, de vostre bon père,


Margaret to Maximilian

Prince Charles has accidentally killed a man with his cross-bow.

(mai) 1513.

Mon très redoubté, etc.,—Monseigneur, ainsi que monseigneur mon nepveur se estoit allé jouer à la Wure, le lundy de la Pentecouste, et qu'il tiroit à l'arbaleste, est advenu ung meschief de son coup à ung homme de mestier de ceste ville, yvrogne et mal conditioné, dont monsieur de Chièvres vous avertit tout au long; que a causé ung grant regret et desplaisir à mondit seigneur et à moy, ensemble à toute sa compaignie, mais il n'y a remède de savoir résister à telles fortunes. Touteffois, monseigneur, à cause que plusieurs vous en pourroient avertir aultrement que à la vérité, j'ay esté d'advis que ledit seigneur de Chièvres, qui éstoit présent, vous en deust avertir tout au long, comme il fait, à celle fin que en saichés la vérité....

Mon très redoubté Seigneur et père, etc.

Margaret's letter to the Mother Superior Of The Order of the 'Annonciades' at Bruges

Ma mère, ma mie,—J'ay donné charge à ce porteur, que bien connaissés, aller vers vous et vous dire de mes nouvelles et ma bonne disposition depuis aucuns jours, aussi de scavoir de la vostre que desire estre telle que la voudrais pour moy. J'espère en se bon Dieu et sa glorieuse mère qui vous ayderont et garderont pour mieulx. Je luy ay donné ung mémoire pour vous dire et au Pater, vostre bon père, qui est de ma main propre, et cognoitrez par ycelluy mon intention; je désire que 341 n'en soit faict grant bruit et pour bonne cause; et sur ce feray fin, vous priant faire à nostre bon père mes recommandations à ses bonnes prières, et semblablement à toutes mes bonnes filles, priant le Créateur et sa benoiste mère vous donner sa grâce et à moy aussy.

Signé: vostre bonne fille, Marguerite

De Malines.

Memorandum for Estienne my valet de chambre, concerning what he is to say
to the Pater and the Mère Ancille.

Premier, que je desire sur toute chose mestre ma religion en tel estat que pour jamés (jamais) ils n'aient grant povreté; mes qui puissent vivre sans mandier; et désire scavoir ce que se porteur leur demandera, au quel je fay se mémoyre; et premier scavoir s'il est besoing plus de rente et jusques à quelle somme: et que ne le praigne trop eschars; car à l'aide de Dieu je furniray à tout; et toute aultre chose que desireront, ils me le facent scavoir; car je suis délibérée y faire une bonne fin, à l'ayde de Dieu et de nostre bonne maistresse, sa glorieuse mère. Oultre plus dira à la mère Ancille, ma bonne mère, que je luy prie qu'elle face prier toutes mes bonnes filles à l'intention que je luy ay toujours dit; car le temps approche, puisque l'empereur vient, à qui, à l'ayde de Dieu, renderay bon comte de la charge et gouvernement que luy a pleu me donner; et ce faict, je me rendray à la voulenté de Dieu et de nostre bonne maistresse, vous priant, ma bonne mère, ma mie, que je ne soye oubliée aux vostres, et vous demouray tousiours vostre bonne fille,


Margaret of Austria's last letter to her nephew the Emperor Charles V.

Monseigneur, l'heure est venue que ne vous puis plus escripre de ma main; car je me trouve en telle indisposition que doubte ma vie estre briefue, pourueue et reposée de ma conscience, et de tout résolue à receuoir ce qu'il plaira à Dieu m'enuoyer, sans regret quelconque, réserue (si ce n'est) de la priuation de vostre présence et de non vous pouuoir veoir et parler à vous encoires une fois auant ma mort, ce que (pour la doubte que dessud) suppléray, en partie, par ceste mienne 342 lettre que crains sera la dernière qu'aurez de moi. Je vous ay institué mon héritier vniuersel, et pour le tout, aux charges de mon testament, l'accomplissement duquel vous recommande. Vous laisse vos pays de pardeca, que, durant vostre absence, n'ay seulement gardé comme les me laissâtes à vostre partement, mais grandement augmentez, et vous rendz le gouuernement d'iceulx, ouquel me cuyde estre léalement acquictée, et tellement que j'en espère rémunération diuine, contentement de vous, monseigneur, et gré de vos subjects, vous recommandant singulièrement la paix, et par espécial auec les roys de France et d'Angleterre. Et, pour fin, vous suplie, monseigneur, que l'amour qu'il vous a pleu pourter au poure corps soit mémoire du salut de l'âme et recommandation de mes poures seruiteurs et seruantes, vous disant le dernier adieu ouquel je supplie, monseigneur, vous donner prospérité et longue vie. De Malines, le dernier jour de novembre 1530,—Votre très-humble tante,



[1] The Wives of Henry VIII., by the present writer.

[2] Not Ghent, as some historians say.

[3] Mer des Histoires, Liv. III.

[4] Quoted by Denis Godefroi in his Life of Charles VIII.

[5] 'A Jehanne de Jambes, dame de Beaumont, damoiselle de lad. dame, la somme de deux cent cinquante livres tournoys, à elle ordonnée par icelle dame pour la recompenser d'une bordure d'habillement de teste et autres bagues d'or pesans pareille somme de quatres cent cinquante livres tournoys que icelle dame a de luy prinses dès le moys de may derrenier passé, pour envoyer à Madame Margaret d'Autriche, obmys à compter au roole dud. moys. Laquelle somme, etc.' (Argenter de la Reine. Arch. Imp.)

[6] Prescott, Ferdinand and Isabella.

[7] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. i.

[8] Martin Hume, Queens of Old Spain.

[9] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. i.

[10] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. i.

[11] 'Je me tais de son mal d'enfant, duquel elle travailla douze jours et douze nuicts entières, sans intermission et sans pouvoir prendre réfection de manger ni de dormir.'—Jean le Maire, Couronne Margaritique.

[12] Prescott.

[13] Martin Hume, Queens of Old Spain.

[14] Couronne Margaritique.

[15] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. i.

[16] A. R. Villa, La Reina Doña Juana la Loca.

[17] M. Le Glay.

[18] J. Baux, L'Église de Brou.

[19] Couronne Margaritique.

[20] Jouet de la fortune.

[21] Combien est long le besoin, le regret.

[22] Paradin, Chronique de Savoie.

[23] Martin Hume, Queens of Old Spain.

[24] It would be interesting to know what became of these pictures. The portrait of Margaret, now at Hampton Court Palace, may have been one of them, as in it she is represented wearing a widow's dress, and the painting is so indifferent that it may well have called forth Katharine's criticism.

[25] From a Spanish account in MSS. at the Royal Academy, Madrid.—Martin Hume, Queens of Old Spain.

[26] Martin Hume, Estanques Oronica in Documentos Ineditos, vol. viii.

[27] This is a literal translation: 'Another new sorrow! It was not enough for the unfortunate daughter of Cæsar to have lost a much-loved husband; cruel death comes to rob me of my only brother! I weep for thee, Philip, O my brother, of kings the best! and there is no one in the world who can console me! O you who pass by, look and judge if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow!'

[28] In a document referring to Margaret's palace, in the town registers, is a receipt for payment made to Daniel Verhoevren, locksmith, with two double locks with two bolts for Madame de Savoie's library.

[29] Only six copies of the chronicle were printed.—Christopher Hare.

[30] C. Hare.

[31] Edward Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V.

[32] Edward Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V.

[33] Printed in Correspondance de l'Empereur Maximilian, by J. le Glay.

[34] Correspondance de l'Empereur Maximilian, by J. le Glay.

[35] Lettres de Louis XII.

[36] Edmund Gardner, The King of Court Poets.

[37] Bryce's Holy Roman Empire.

[38] Lettres de Louis XII., vol. i.

[39] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. ii.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. ii.

[42] Le Glay, Correspondance de l'Empereur Maximilian I.

[43] Apparently his landing on the Continent.

[44] In the margin is written, 'Bresylle said there was no way to avoid the bruit but that my lord should marry the lady Lisle, as more at length I have written unto my said lord.'

[45] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. ii.

[46] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. ii.

[47] The Duke of Longueville had been a prisoner in England since the battle of Guinegate.

[48] 'Francis of Valois and the Duke of Suffolk were amongst Mary's devoted admirers, but it was noticed that she showed a marked preference for the handsome English duke. Francis gaily entered into a negotiation with Suffolk, and promised in case of Mary's widowhood that he should have the queen en noces officielles. After Louis XII.'s death Francis kept his promise, and authorised Suffolk to marry Mary with permission that she should retain the title of Queen and her dowry.'—R. de Maulde la Clavière.

[49] Lady Jane Grey was the granddaughter of Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor, whose eldest daughter Frances married Henry Grey, Marquis of Dorset.

[50] She was accustomed to address Cardinal Wolsey as 'Votre bonne mère Marguerite,' and even wrote in the superscriptions of her letters, 'à Monsr. le Légat d'Angleterre, mon bon fils.'

[51] Maximilian, writing on the 7th October, makes a mistake in the date. The battle began on September 12th.

[52] Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V.

[53] E. Armstrong.

[54] Prescott.

[55] E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V.

[56] E. Armstrong.

[57] Analectes Belgiques de M. Gachard.

[58] Correspondance de Marguerite d'Autriche.

[59] Correspondance de l'Empereur Maximilien I.

[60] Gachard, Rapport sur les Archives de l'Ancienne Chambre des comptes de Flandre à Lille.

[61] 'Complainte de Marguerite sur la mort de Maximilien son père' (Albums de Marguerite d'Autriche, p. 101).

[62] M. Théodore Juste, Charles-Quint et Marguerite d'Autriche.

[63] These documents are amongst the archives of Lille.

[64] M. le Glay, Correspondance de l'Empereur Maximilien I. et de Marguerite d'Autriche.

[65] This letter was dated from Barcelona, 16th and 20th April 1519.

[66] Journal de Louise de Savoye.

[67] Monumenta Hapsburgica.

[68] Martin Hume, Wives of Henry VIII., and Théodore Juste, Charles-Quint et Marguerite d'Autriche.

[69] E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V.

[70] E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V.

[71] Martin Hume, Queens of Old Spain.

[72] E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V.

[73] Letter from Aleandro de' Galeazzi, dated Brussels, 3rd July 1521.

[74] MSS. de la Bibliothèque de Bourgogne.

[75] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. ii.

[76] J. Baux, L'Église de Brou.

[77] Adrian was Bishop of Tortosa. On July 12th, 1516, he wrote a letter of thanks to Margaret from Madrid, attributing his promotion to the bishopric of Tortosa to her influence.

[78] W. Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[79] W. Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[80] MSS. de la Bibliothèque de Bourgogne.

[81] Correspondance de Marguerite avec Charles-Quint.

[82] Martin Hume, Wives of Henry VIII., and Rutland Papers, The Somers Tracts (Camden Society).

[83] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. ii.

[84] Christian II., King of Denmark, who had married Charles's sister Isabella in August 1515, was hated by his subjects, who combined with the city of Lubeck and the Hansa League to drive him from his kingdom. He then took refuge in the Netherlands with his wife and three children.

[85] W. Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[86] Ibid.

[87] The emperor's sisters; Eleanor, Queen of Portugal, was now a widow, whilst Katharine was still unmarried—but neither of these ladies was destined to become Bourbon's wife.

[88] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. ii. Printed from a copy preserved in the Archives Générales du Royaume in Brussels by M. le Glay.

[89] W. Bradford.

[90] W. Bradford.

[91] W. Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[92] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. ii.

[93] Lanz, Correspondenz des Kaisers, Karl V.

[94] MSS. de la Bibliothèque de Bourgogne.

[95] MSS. de la Bibliothèque de Bourgogne.

[96] E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V.

[97] Ellis, Original Letters.

[98] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii.

[99] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii.

[100] Ibid.

[101] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii.

[102] Martin Hume, Wives of Henry VIII.

[103] W. Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[104] The emperor's coronation at Bologna did not take place till February 1530, when he received the crowns of Lombardy and of the empire.

[105] W. Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[106] Ibid.

[107] Calendar of State Papers, vol. iii.

[108] W. Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[109] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii.

[110] E. Armstrong.

[111] Nicolas de Perrenot, known as the Sieur de Granvelle.

[112] W. Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[113] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii.

[114] Christina married first Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, and secondly the Duke of Lorraine. Her beautiful portrait by Holbein, lent by the Duke of Norfolk, hangs in the National Gallery. Her elder sister, Dorothea, married Frederick, Count Palatine. The portraits of Isabel's three children in one picture by Mabuse are at Hampton Court Palace.

[115] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii]

[116] W. Bradford.

[117] W. Bradford.

[118] W. Bradford.

[119] MSS. de la Bibliothèque de Bourgogne.

[120] Ibid.

[121] Ibid.

[122] Published in 1618. Mentioned by W. Bradford in his Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V.

[123] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii.

[124] Archives de Bruxelles.

[125] Archives de Bruxelles.

[126] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii.

[127] Ibid.

[128] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii. part II.

[129] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iii. part II.

[130] Calendar of Spanish State Papers.

[131] Calendar of Spanish State Papers.

[132] Maximilian II., who succeeded his father.

[133] It was then the custom in the Low Countries and also in France to designate bishops and archbishops by the names of their respective sees.

[134] Calendar of Spanish State Papers.

[135] W. Bradford.

[136] Calendar of Spanish State Papers.

[137] Calendar of Spanish State Papers.

[138] Calendar of Spanish State Papers.

[139] A medal was struck in honour of the peace, having on one side three 'marguerites,' and on the other two hands joined, surmounted by a caducus, with this inscription: 'Pacis ego studiosa, quater bella horrida pressi.'

[140] This mantelpiece, in perfect preservation, is in the Palais de Justice, Bruges.

[141] Calendar of Spanish State Papers, vol. iv.

[142] Calendar of Spanish State Papers.

[143] W. Bradford.

[144] E. Armstrong.

[145] In the Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels.

[146] Régretz de la dame Infortunée.

[147] Now in the Musée du Cinquantenaire, Brussels.

[148] The Mother Superior was called 'la Mère Ancille,' a term of humility, from 'Ancilla,' servant.

[149] Michel Colombe made a model from Perréal's plans for the sum of ninety-four florins.

[150] The Order of the Annunciation was founded by Amadeus VI. in the fourteenth century. The following duties were entailed by the holders of the Order, and by the honour conferred on them they undertook: '(1) To assist the Dukes of Savoy by word and deed on all occasions that their assistance was required, and to protect the oppressed. (2) To wear constantly the collar or chain of the Order, which was composed alternately of love-knots and the letters F.E.R.T. (3) They were to present to the church of Pierre-Châtel a chalice, surplice, and all other articles requisite for the celebration of mass. (4) On their death they were to bequeath 100 livres for the support of that church. At funerals the whole community were to be present, dressed originally in white, and later in black cloaks, which, after the ceremony, they handed over to the Carthusian monks; on all other occasions the colour of the cloak was crimson, trimmed with fringes and embroidered with love-knots.'—(From The Book of Orders, Burke.) Certain alterations were inaugurated by Charles III. of Savoy in 1518, who gave the Order a new name, 'The Holy Annunciation'; he also added fifteen enamelled roses, alternating the word 'F.E.R.T.' repeated fifteen times, conjoined by the girdle of St. Francis, as previously instituted by Amadeus VIII. in the collar in place of the love-knots. Such is the collar worn by Philibert on his tomb at Brou, as well as in his likeness in the east window. The meaning of the word 'F.E.R.T.', or the four initial letters, has not been clearly elucidated. Many interpretations have been suggested; the only one which seems really probable is that which appears on a gold piece struck in the reign of Victor Amadeus I., preserved in the medal cabinet of the Kings of Sardinia: 'Federe et religione tenemur' ('We are united by honour and religion').—Notes and Queries, December 6, 1902.

[151] The Briquet was a kind of gun; the cross of Burgundy was the St. Andrew's cross.

[152] On lit, à la suite de cet article, dans l'inventaire dressé en 1516, c'est de la main de mestre Jacques (de Barbares, le maître du caducée).

[153] Voici un des articles ajoutés à l'inventaire et à la garde de Richart Coutault. Ce Jehan peintre de Madame, doit être Jean de Maubeugé dit Mabuse.

[154] On lit dans l'inventaire de 1516: 'Ung petit tableau d'ung Dieu de pityé estant es bras de Nostre Dame; ayant deux feulletz dans chascun desquelz y a ung ange et dessus desdits feulletz y a une annunciade de blanc et de noir. Fait le tableau de la main de Rogier (Van der Weyden) et lesditz feulletz de celle de maistre Hans (Hemling son élève).'

[155] Cet article me paraît correspondre avec l'article suivant de l'inventaire de 1516: 'Ung moien tableau de la face d'une Portugaloise que Madame a eu de Don Diego. Fait de la main de Johannes (Van Eyck) et est fait sans huelle et sur toille sans couverte ne feullet.'

[156] Voici l'article de l'inventaire de 1516 'Ung grant tableau qu'on appelle, Hernoul-le-Fin, avec sa femme dedens une chambre, qui fut donné à Madame par Don Diego, les armes duquel sont en la couverte dudit tableau. Fait du painctre Johannes (Jean Van Eyck).' Now in the National Gallery, London, and called 'John Arnolfini of Lucca and his wife.'

[157] Cet article est accompagné dans l'inventaire de 1516 de la remarque suivante: 'Fait de la main de feu Maistre Jacques de Barbaris.' Voir l'article No. 139.

[158] Nous trouvons le nom du peintre dans l'inventaire de 1516: 'Ung visaige du contrerolleur de Madame, fait de la main de Michiel (Coxie) sur ung petit tableau.'

[159] Les estranges figures indiquent que l'article suivant, tiré de l'inventaire daté de 1516, désigné le même tableau: 'Ung moien tableau de Sainct Anthoine qui n'a couverture ne feullet, qui est fait de Jheronimus Bosch et a esté donné à Madame par Jhoane, femme de chambre de Madame Lyonor.'

[160] Dans l'inventaire de 1516 on lit après cette description: fait de la main de maistre Hans (Hemling).

[161] L'inventaire de 1516 décrit ce tableau ainsi qu'il suit: 'Une petite Nostre Dame disant ses heures, faicte de la main de Michiel (Coxie) que Madame appelle sa mignonne et le petit dieu dort.'

[162] L'inventaire de 1516 ne donne pas le nom du peintre, mais il décrit ce tableau ainsi: 'Une petite Nostre Dame, faite de bonne main, estant en un jardin où il y a une fontaine.' La petite Vierge de la collection Van Ertborn, du musée d'Anvers, répond très-bien à ces deux descriptions.

[163] L'inventaire de 1516 porte: de la main de Michiel (Coxie).

[164] Voici l'article de l'inventaire de 1516: 'Ung petit tableaul de la Trinité, fait de la main de Rougier (Roger Van der Weyden) aussi vieulx.' L'absence de description me fait hésiter entre ce numéro 174 et le numéro 199.

[165] Cette expression 'painct de noir' trouverait son commentaire dans la manière dont est décrit le même tableau dans l'inventaire de 1516: 'Le visaige de l'Empereur Frédérick en ung petit tableaul noir.'

[166] Les Nos. 125, 173, 194, et 196 répondent, chacun, à chacun de ces trois articles de l'inventaire de 1516:—(1) Une petite ND. fait de la main de Dirick (Stuerbout) (2) Ung petit tableaul de ND. bien vieulx de la main de Foucquet, ayant estuy et couverture. (3) Ung tableaul de ND. du duc Philippe qui est venu de maillardet, couvert de satin bronché gris et ayant fermaulx d'argent doré et bordé de velours vert. Fait de la main de Johannes (Jean Van Eyck). (4) Une bien petite ND. de illuminure, de la main de Sandres.

[167] L'Inventaire de 1516 décrit ainsi ce tableau. 'Ung bien petit tableaul à double feullet de la main de Michiel (Coxie) de l'ung des coustez de Nostre Dame ... de l'autre costez d'ung sainct Jehan et de saincte Marguerite, faiz à la semblance du prince d'Espaigne et de Madame.

[168] Voici le nom du peintre d'après l'inventaire de 1516, beaucoup moins détaillé que celui-ci, mais plus explicite sur les auteurs de ces peintures parce qu'il a été rédigé sous les yeux de l'archi-duchesse elle-même: 'Ung petit tableau d'ung cruxefix et d'ung Sainct Grégoire. Fait de la main de Rogier (Van der Weyden).'

[169] From Histoire de l'Église de Brou, by J. Baux.

[170] A descriptive catalogue of these MSS. was published by M. Le Glay in his Correspondance de l'Empereur Maximilien I. et de Marguerite d'Autriche. This list does not, of course, include any printed books, of which there was probably another catalogue.

[171] Printed in Louis XII.'s letters, it is supposed to have been written in 1512, because it was in this year that the Bishop of Gurce went to Rome. Besides, in 1511 the emperor was still at war with Julius II., and could not treat with him with regard to the Pontificate.

(In another letter) Maximilian does not mention getting himself made coadjutor during the Pope's lifetime, but only obtaining the cardinals' votes after the Pope's death, who was then seriously ill. Maximilian says distinctly that the Papacy is inherent to the Imperial dignity, and that he hopes to have the honour of uniting the Imperial and Papal crowns.

[172] J. Baux, L'Église de Brou.

[173] M. Gachard, Analectes Belgiques.



  • Cambray, Congress of, 89-95.
  • —— Peace of, The Ladies' Peace, 262.
  • Charles of Austria, Charles V., birth and baptism, 32;
    • succeeds his father, 67;
    • attends memorial service, 70-72;
    • character and education, 73, 74, 154;
    • tour in Flanders, 77;
    • betrothal to Mary Tudor, 84;
    • shoots a man by accident, 117;
    • accompanies his grandfather and aunt to Lille, 119;
    • attends his sister Isabella's wedding, 131;
    • emancipation, 146;
    • reconciliation with Margaret, 149;
    • succeeds his grandfather Ferdinand, 152;
    • arrival in Spain, 156;
    • entry into Valladolid, 158;
    • letter to Francis I., 160;
    • death of his grandfather Maximilian, 164;
    • rivalry with Francis I. for imperial crown, 167-173;
    • election as King of the Romans, 173;
    • visit to England, 176;
    • meets Henry VIII. at Gravelines, 180;
    • state entry into Aix-la-Chapelle and coronation, 181;
    • attends Diet at Worms, 184;
    • meets Wolsey at Bruges, 189;
    • makes his will, 196;
    • second visit to England, 196-197;
    • receives news of battle of Pavia, 213;
    • letter to King of Portugal, 214, 215;
    • breaks off his engagement to Princess Mary, 221;
    • reproves his aunt Margaret, 224-227;
    • visits Francis I. in prison, 228;
    • letter to Louise of Savoy, 236;
    • marriage, 238;
    • birth of his son Philip, 248;
    • receives news of sack of Rome, 248;
    • delight at conclusion of peace, 266;
    • treaty with Clement VII. at Barcelona, 268;
    • coronation at Bologna, 270;
    • attends Margaret's funeral service at Cologne, 289.
  • Charles the Bold, 2, 14, 32, 70.
  • —— VIII., 2, 3, 6-10, 13, 16, 17, 31, 34, 50, 51.
  • Charlotte of Savoy (Queen), 3.
  • —— daughter of Francis I., 169, 179.
  • Christian II., King of Denmark, 129, 130, 153, 201.
  • Claude of France, Queen of Francis I., 80, 134, 141, 261.
  • Clement VII., Pope, 181, 207, 216, 246, 268, 270, 272.
  • Cornelius Agrippa, 111, 234, 283, 290.
  • Coxie, painter, 111, 277.
  • Croy, G. de, 62, 63.
  • —— William de, Lord of Chièvre, 74, 92, 147, 154-157, 159, 187.
  • Dunois, Count of, 7, 9.
  • Mabuse, painter, 111, 234, 277, 284.
  • Madrid, treaty of, 233.
  • Magdalen of Rochester, 286.
  • Margaret of Angoulême, Duchess of Alençon, Queen of Navarre, 137, 218, 228-232, 255, 259, 260, 262.
  • Margaret of Austria, early life, 2;
    • marriage to the Dauphin Charles, 3;
    • repudiation by Charles and return to Flanders, 13-15;
    • proposed marriage to Prince John of Castile, 17;
    • composes her own epitaph, 21;
    • arrival in Spain, 24;
    • marriage with Prince John, 25;
    • death of her husband and child, 27;
    • second return to Flanders, 31;
    • stands godmother to Charles of Austria, 32;
    • betrothal to Philibert II., Duke of Savoy, 34;
    • journey to Savoy, 35;
    • marriage, 36;
    • reception at Bourg, 37-40;
    • accident out hunting, 44;
    • second widowhood, 45;
    • poem, 47;
    • her devices, 50;
    • plans for building Brou, 51-55;
    • negotiations for her marriage with Henry VII., 61-63, 79-84;
    • her brother's death, 63;
    • letter to Louis XII., 65;
    • appointed Regent of the Netherlands, 68;
    • residence at Malines, 69;
    • makes her will, 86;
    • attends the Congress of Cambray, 91-94;
    • her correspondence, 109-118;
    • meets Charles Brandon at Lille, 117-121;
    • letters, 122-129;
    • description of her niece Isabella's wedding, 130;
    • annoyance at Charles's emancipation, 147;
    • memorandum addressed to Charles, 148-152;
    • poem on Maximilian's death, 166;
    • political activity, 169, 170;
    • administration praised, 179;
    • journey to Calais, 180;
    • reappointment as Regent by Charles, 180;
    • appeal to the States-General, 186-188;
    • meeting with Wolsey, 189;
    • pawns her jewels, 196;
    • joy at capture of Francis I., 212, 213;
    • annoys Charles by arranging truce, 224-228;
    • congratulates Charles on his marriage, 239;
    • correspondence with her nephew Ferdinand, 244, 245;
    • addresses circular letter to religious houses, 247;
    • negotiations for 'the Ladies' Peace,' 251-261;
    • enters Cambray, 261;
    • peace signed, 262;
    • her art collections, 273-280;
    • poems, 275-277;
    • letters to Mère Ancille, 285, 286;
    • last illness and death, 286-289;
    • funeral, 290, 291;
    • monument at Brou, 297, 298;
    • her coffin discovered, 301-303.
  • ——of Bourbon, 45, 46, 49, 52, 53, 294, 296, 301.
  • Margaret of York, 3rd wife of Charles the Bold, 2, 14, 32, 35, 69.
  • Maria of Aragon, Queen of Portugal, 162.
  • Marignano, battle of, 142-144.
  • Marnix, secretary, 107, 149, 169, 190, 191, 200.
  • Mary of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, 64, 69, 131, 132, 144, 153, 166, 245, 246, 272, 274, 278, 281.
  • —— of Burgundy, 2, 44, 70, 165, 196, 264, 279, 290, 292.
  • —— Tudor, Queen of France, and Duchess of Suffolk, 79-81, 83, 84, 99, 121, 132, 133, 136-139, 177.
  • —— Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII., Queen of England, 85, 176, 179, 190, 196, 197, 217, 218, 221.
  • Maximilian I., Archduke of Austria, King of the Romans, and Emperor Elect of Germany, father of Margaret of Austria, 2;
    • betrothed to Anne of Brittany, 6;
    • rage at his broken marriage, and return of his daughter, 10, 11;
    • urges Margaret to leave Spain, 30;
    • tries to arrange her marriage with Henry VII., 62, 63, 66, 79;
    • offered the Regency of the Netherlands, 67;
    • deputes Margaret as Regent, 68;
    • his red book, 68;
    • writes to Henry VII., 72;
    • letter to the States, 78;
    • letters to Margaret, 80, 83, 84;
    • interview with Henry VII.'s ambassadors, 81, 82;
    • his characteristics, 87;
    • writes to Margaret about his grandchildrens' confirmation, 89;
    • and arrangements for her visit to Cambray, 90;
    • deputes Margaret to represent him at the Congress, 92;
    • letter about battle of Agnadel, 96;
    • burns his red book, 99;
    • fails to meet Louis XII., 100;
    • his vacillation and failure of campaign, 101, 102;
    • serves in the English army, 107;
    • correspondence with his daughter, 109-118;
    • attends meeting at Lille, 119;
    • description of battle of Marignano, 143;
    • letter to Margaret about his granddaughter Eleanor's proposed marriage, 144, 145;
    • hands over the government of the Netherlands to his grandson Charles, 146;
    • letter to Charles, 147;
    • to Margaret, 156, 161;
    • last illness and death, 162-166.
  • Maximilian Sforza, Duke of Milan, 105.
  • Melanchthon, 284.
  • Mercurin de Gattinare, 76, 92, 115, 141, 279.
  • Molinet, Jean, 75, 280.
  • Montécute, A. de, 287, 300.
  • Trèves, Archbishop of, 169.
  • Trivulzio, Marshal, 142.









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