Henry VIII,the Reign
16 June 1524
When he asked Bourbon to give his oath and homage to the King, found him somewhat perplexed. He answered that he was content to swear the King king of France, according to his treaty with Russell.
Pace said he had made no mention of such a treaty when Pace was lately with him in the field, and that Pace could not conclude upon a treaty he did not know of. Bourbon then told him to speak to Beauren about it secretly, which he did immediately. He said that Bourbon was lately in great perplexity, for two causes: first, that he had heard a friar had been sent into England by the French's king's mother, and had had secret communication with Wolsey; and, secondly, he heard that the Pope will turn all his power against the King and Emperor, if he makes any such oath.
Told him he should not give credence to friars or fools in the King's matters, but to orators; that he was privy to all the treaties passed in England with the Pope and others, and that like mention was made of Bourbon for his surety, as of the King and Emperor. To this, Beauren said that he did believe Pace, and that Bourbon would undoubtedly keep his promise, reserving the liberty of his Duchy and Provence; but he asked the King to allow the matter to be kept very secret and delayed for a due time, because, if the said oath and homage came to be known by his friends in France, it would interrupt many of his practices, especially among those who wish him to take the crown himself. Could not bring the matter further at this time. Three days before Pace came, the archbishop of Capua passed this way, and spoke with Bourbon and the Viceroy, and half put them in despair of any aid from England. Told them the King had sent him, not the Archbishop, to give an account of his intentions, and that he had sufficient authority to treat, if he saw any good order taken for invading France.
Next day arrived Wolsey's letters dated 18 May, with tidings of the despatch of Sir J. Russell with 20,000l. Is surprised that he cannot hear where Russell is. Asks Wolsey to take care that any money sent comes in time, as the lack of it makes the soldiers murmur, and hinders enterprise. There is no lack now, as the Emperor's money is here, but he must know where the other money is before they cross the mountains, for no conveyance is so sure as having it with them. If it does not come before they cross, has arranged with the duke of Milan to send it on to the field.
The viceroy of Naples has sent to the Emperor to provide more money if the war continues longer than is supposed; and Bourbon and all the captains have asked him to make the same request to the King,—although they hope to make an end with what they have. It were a pity they should lack in time of need, for there never was seen a more valiant or better disposed army. They have victual enough for six weeks, even though they found none by the way.
Has written to certain bankers for a loan to be repaid when the King's money comes, but it is hard to get money now, because Milan and Genoa are infected with the pestilence. Supposes that when Wolsey instructed him to reside with Bourbon, he did not intend him to pass into France; but as the army is so near marching, the King cannot be informed of what happens, unless he accompany them, and thus he shall by chance become a soldier. Will go without fear, for the army is able to fight all the power of France, and determined to do so. It is now high time to look to the recovery of the King's right; for if this army, for lack of support, is obliged to retreat, such another will never be got together again.
Sends this courier in all haste, and wants him sent back with comfortable tidings. Recommends Antoni Vivalde, who has been his faithful friend.
Montecalere in Piemont, 16 June.
Will send the news to Clerk, as Wolsey wished. The Viceroy and he have determined to write to the Pope and other Italian powers for money, but there is not much hope of it.