miércoles 07 de diciembre de 1554
Relato del día: Felipe al Duque de Albuquerque, Regente de Navarra.
Letters from Spain have informed me that you were leaving for Navarre, and I was glad to hear it for though it is winter your presence there will be very useful; so if you have put off your journey, I pray you to undertake it at once, and to report to the Emperor and me on the situation there and whether there is anything new about Henri d'Albret (Don Antique de la Brit). In connexion with this matter, his Majesty has seen the memoranda recently sent by Señor de Ezcurra and the offers contained in them. It seems to him that there is now more to go on than there has been in the past, for the allusion to M. de Vendôme deserves consideration, for neither his Majesty nor Queen Mary, my aunt (i.e. the Queen Dowager of Hungary), remember any proposal of such importance being made to us, although this is not in accordance with what Don Anrique says. Be that as it may, the negotiation had better be continued, and you will carry it on in the manner that most recommends itself to you. You will point out that my arrival here was delayed until the middle of July, at which time his Majesty was moving forward to meet the King of France whom, after inflicting heavy losses on him, he obliged to raise the seige of Renty; and since then it has been necessary to fortify a place near Hesdin, which is now ready and greatly menaces the French, besides extending our frontier by twelve leagues, whilst I have been obliged to busy myself with affairs in England which, thank God, are now going well. There has consequently been no time this year to give this question due attention, for the troops destined to put the plan into execution would, for the most part, have to be fetched from Germany, which is a lengthy business.
You will encourage him to hope that we are already considering how best to go about the undertaking, and that as soon as I see his Majesty, which will not be long, a decision shall be arrived at. In the meantime we hope to hear further accounts from you, and you will deal with Don Anrique and his agents in such a manner, though without committing yourself, that they may be persuaded of his Majesty's and my serious intentions. Try to learn as much as you can and help the matter on in the direction which you know we wish to follow, and in case it were really to come to something, make a rough calculation of the number of Spanish, German and English troops that would be required, as well as the cavalry, artillery, munitions and supplies. Think of questions of transport, and above all provisions and fodder for the horses, with which it may be supposed that Don Anrique will help us out, though as a rule this kind of arrangement proves uncertain. Have an eye to roads, valleys and mountains; note down when the army ought to be concentrated and where, and how many days' march would take it from that point to the place where it would have to attack. It would be a good thing if you could get possession of a map of the region, showing the lie of the land there. You will send us your opinion on all these questions, and an estimate of the total amount of the troops' pay and other expenses per month, on the basis of which we will be able to tell what naval preparations will be necessary. Act in all this with such secrecy that no one may get wind of it, for all our chances of success consist in being able to deal a surprise-blow. We would like to hear again whether Don Anrique's strong places will hold many troops, together with any observations it may occur to you to make; for thus you will be doing the Emperor and me good service.
Draft or copy. Spanish.
Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558
Edited by Royall Tyler.
Published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1954.