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Eustace Chapuys: The ProfessionalGossip Guy


Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eustace_Chapuys

https://www.historyextra.com/period/tudor/did-eustace-chapuys-really-despise-anne-boleyn/

https://spartacus-educational.com/Eustace_Chapuys.htm

https://www.henryviiithereign.co.uk/blog-eustace-chapuys-his-first-meeting-with-henry-viii.html

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol17/pp713-743

https://janetwertman.com/2017/03/31/march-31-1536-a-far-reaching-conversation/

https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/resource/quotes-about-anne-boleyn/

Quotations: I told Cromwell that I had for some time forborne to visit him that he might not incur suspicion of his mistress for the talk he had previously held with me, well remembering that he had previously told me she would like to see his head cut off. This I could not forget for the love I bore him; and I could not but wish him a more gracious mistress, and one more grateful for the inestimable services he had done the King, and that he must beware of enraging her, else he must never expect perfect reconciliation; in which case I hoped he would see to it better than did the Cardinal, as I had great belief in his dexterity and prudence; and if it was true, what I had heard, that the King was treating for a new marriage, it would be the way to avoid much evil, and be very much for the advantage of his master, who had been hitherto disappointed of male issue, and who knows quite well, several reasons which he might sufficiently understand; and that although a more lawful marriage should follow, and male issue from it would be to the prejudice of the Princess, yet the affection I bore to the honor and tranquility of the King and kingdom, and towards him particularly, made me desire another mistress, not for hatred that I bore to this one, who had never done me any harm. Cromwell appeared to take all this in good part, and said that it was only now that he had known the frailty of human affairs, especially of those of the Court, of which he had before his eyes several examples that might be called domestic, and he always laid his account that if fate fell upon him as upon his predecessors he would arm himself with patience, and leave the rest to God; and that it was quite true, as I said, that he must rely upon God’s help not to fall into mischief. He then began to defend himself, saying he had never been cause of this marriage, although, seeing the King determined upon it, he had smoothed the way, and that notwithstanding that the King was still inclined to pay attention to ladies, yet he believed he would henceforth live honorably and chastely, continuing in his marriage. This he said so coldly as to make me suspect the contrary, especially as he said so, not knowing what countenance to put on. He leaned against the window in which we were, putting his hand before his mouth to avoid smiling or to conceal it, saying afterwards that the French might be assured of one thing, that if the King his master were to take another wife, he would not seek for her among them. He then said that when an answer came from your Majesty upon the subject of our communication we should discuss everything and do some good work.

Big Shout out to Janet Wertman. I found this excerpt from her website and it gave a great contextual synopsis. Check her out for more!


“Englishmen, high and low desire your majesty [Emperor Charles V] to send an army to destroy the venomous influence of the Lady and her adherents, and reform the realm…When this accursed Anne has her foot in the stirrup, she will do the Queen and the Princess all the harm she can. She boasts that she will have the Princess in her own train; one day, perhaps, she will poison her, or will marry her to some varlet, while the realm itself will be made over to heresy”



I was conducted to mass by lord Rochford, the concubine's brother, and when the King came to the offering there was a great concourse of people partly to see how the concubine and I behaved to each other. She was courteous enough, for when I was behind the door by which she entered, she returned, merely to do me reverence as I did to her. [...] I am told the concubine asked the King why I did not enter there as the other ambassadors did, and the King replied that it was not without good reason. After which they talked together, while I conversed and made some acquaintance with the brother of the young lady to whom the King is now attached [Jane Seymour], always keeping an eye upon the gestures of the King and those with him. There seemed to be some dispute and considerable anger, as I thought, between the King and Cromwell; and after a considerable time Cromwell grumbling left the conference in the window where the King was, excusing himself that he was so very thirsty that he was quite exhausted, as he really was with pure vexation, and sat down upon a coffer out of sight of the King, where he sent for something to drink. [T]elling me also that although he had always pretended that what he said to me was of his own suggestion, yet he had neither said nor done anything without express command from the King. On my asking him what could have made this variation in the King's will, he said he could not imagine what spirit it was [...] and he concluded that princes have spirits or properties which are hidden and unknown to all others. By which conversations Cromwell showed covertly his dissatisfaction at the strange contradictions of his master. [...] [H]e told me that he who trusts in the word of princes, who say and unsay things, and promises himself anything from them, is not over wise, as he had found on Tuesday last[.]

Chapuys notes in his next letter that Princess Mary and her party were “jealous” over the fact Chapuys bowed to Anne, though he protests that he never kissed her hand, nor spoke to her.

Although I would not kiss or speak to the Concubine, the Princess and other good persons have been somewhat jealous at the mutual reverences required by politeness which were done at the church. I refused to visit her until I had spoken to the King. If I had seen any hope from the King's answer I would have offered not two but 100 candles to the shedevil, although another thing made me unwilling, viz., that I was told she was not in favor with the King; besides, Cromwell was quite of my opinion that I should do well to wait till I had spoken to the King.

http://under-these-restless-skies.blogspot.com/search/label/Eustace%20Chapuys Was a great resource and gave really great summaries of the letters.



“No one ever shewed more courage or greater readiness to meet death than she did, having, as the report goes, begged and solicited those under whose keeping she was to hasten the execution. When orders came from the King to have it [the execution] delayed until to-day, she seemed sorry, and begged and entreated the governor of the Tower for God’s sake, to go to the King, and beg of him that, since she was well disposed and prepared for death, she should be dispatched immediately”


On leaving the company I took Cromwell apart, who assured me that the King was very well disposed to listen to the matters of which we had treated, and as to the Princess, the King had lately told him that he felt himself already growing old, and doubted whether he should have any child by the Queen; for which reason he intended, in a few days, to declare the Princess heir of the kingdom, and that then would be the proper time to speak of her marriage with the Infant Don Loys, telling me also in great confidence that the French had made the greatest solicitation to have the Princess for the Dauphin, and being refused, asked to have her for the duke of Angoulême; on which they had given them some good words, but that was all they should have, and that I might trust him that they would do nothing with the French to your Majesty’s prejudice, whatever the pensioners of France, like the duke of Norfolk, might say. I further proposed to him the article which had been already talked about touching the Pope, using several arguments to show that it would greatly assist the enterprise against France; for, besides that the subjects of Guienne and Normandy would be more inclined to declare for the King, means might also be found to make his Holiness declare against France by the indications long since written from Rome to Cromwell; which proposal touching the affair of the Pope, Cromwell repeated in English to the Chancellor and the bishop of Chichester, desiring me for further confirmation to declare it again. And they approved of it.



Now, here are some of my favorite quotes of his that just *SING* Nerdalicious put together six of is most cutting observations and they got it right! https://nerdalicious.com.au/history/the-acerbic-ambassador-six-of-eustace-chapuys-most-cutting-obeservations/




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