Thomas Cromwell to Stephen Gardiner and John Wallop, 8 January 1536

Excerpt from My Hearty Commendations: The Letters and Remembrances of Thomas Cromwell.

In the wake of the death of Queen Katherine, Thomas Cromwell requests Gardiner and Wallop to use caution in sharing the news of her death in Paris. In the postscript, they are further urged to be less cordial to the French king due to the probability of reconciliation of England and Spain, suggesting Cromwell spoke with the King between signing the letter and adding the extra page.

To myn asured Freend My lord of Winchestre and sir John Wallop knight the kinges highnes Ambasadors in fraunce.

After my most hearty commendations to your lordship, and in like manner to you, Master Wallop, being here now at London, having received letters of the departure yesterday of the princess dowager, whose soul God pardoned, to the intent you may as well declare the same to the French  king if you have occasion to speak with him, before you shall receive any other letters. As knowing the state here, use yourself thereafter in your proceedings. I thought I could no less do but thence immediately advertise you  of the same, which upon this, my advertisement, you may be bold, being the same certainly true, to speak as you shall have cause and think convenient for the advancement of the king’s highness’ affairs, tempering your doings there in such matters as you have now in treaty, by the same, as by your wisdoms you shall think may best serve for the king’s highness’ purpose in that behalf. And thus, in haste, most heartily fare you well from the Rolls, the 8th of January at night.

Your lordship’s and your assured friend


Post script:

The king’s highness, having seen this letter, willed me for your more ample instruction to write to you somewhat at more length. Albeit his highness doubts not your wisdom to be such as without long letters, can fully convey what may best conduce to the advancement of his affairs, yet his highness thought good somewhat to advertise you of his gracious pleasure in this part, which is that considering the death now of the said lady Dowager whereby the Emperor, having none other cause or quarrel to the king’s highness, will of great likelihood by all ways and means sake for the king’s highness’ amity, being the only matter of the unkindness between them now abolished by the death of the said lady. You therefore, in your conference and proceedings with the French king and his council shall not only keep yourselves the more aloof and be the more frosty and cold in relenting to any their overtures or requests, but also by such policies as by your discreet wisdoms shall seem most expedient to set forth this matter. So as it may appear to them what fruit the king’s highness may now have at the Emperor’s hand if he will, who now you may say will offer as well great pleasures and benefits to the king’s highness to attain amity as he did to their dominions or possessions. Say to the Admiral it shall be good for them if they will come to any conformity in this treaty to accelerate the same before the king’s; highness be so much sought or pressed by the Emperor. Which matter being handled and proposed by  you after such sorted and with such other reasons and arguments as the king’s highness doubts not you right wisely can shall be a mean to cause them the more simply come to such point as shall be agreeable to the king’s highness’ expectation and the better conducing of his gracious affairs.