European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648

By Frances Gardiner Davenport | Go to book overview

19.
Articles concluded between Spain and Portugal in 1552.

INTRODUCTION.

Near the close of the year 1551, when France and Spain were on the eve of war and Spain was reorganizing the defense of her commerce,1 the Emperor Charles V., acting through Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, his ambassador at the Portuguese court,2 endeavored to arrange with the King of Portugal a union of armaments for securing Spanish and Portuguese shipping against the French corsairs.3 The Emperor had long identified his interest in protecting ocean commerce with that of Portugal;4 but Portugal had preferred a French to an imperial alliance.5 The recent capture by the French of richly laden vessels, bound from Lisbon to Flanders,6 had, however, impressed upon Portugal the necessity of better guarding her ships. Moreover, as was urged, the proposed union of armaments need cause no breach between Portugal and France, since "the corsairs were not a fleet in the pay of the French King but robbers" whom Portugal had a right to punish.7

____________________
1
Fernández Duro, Armada Española, tom. I., app. 14, p. 438, "Prior y Cónsules de la Universidad al Emperador", and pp. 440, 441; Navarrete, Coleccion de Documentos Inéditos para la Historia de España ( 1842- 1895), L. 265 ff., "Copia del asiento de D. Alvaro de Bazan sobre el armada, Valladolid 14 de Febrero 1550" ; Ordenanzas Reales para la Casa de la Contratacion de Sevilla ( 1604), ff. 49-53; Cal. St. Pap., Spain, 1550-1552, pp. 27, 364 ff.
2
Cf. Doc. 15, introduction. Lope Hurtado de Mendoza was first appointed to the Portuguese court in 1527. A few years later he was withdrawn and was reappointed in 1543. Santarem, Quadro Elementar, II. 84.
3
Papers concerning this negotiation are in the Archives at Simancas, Secretaría de Estado, leg. 375.
4
Thus, in 1531, the Emperor had intervened in favor of the King of Portugal in the latter's dispute with France over the issue of French letters of marque against the Portuguese. E. Guénin, Ango et ses Pilotes ( 1901), ch. 6. The Emperor's instructions on foreign policy sent to Prince Philip in 1548 included an injunction "to keep a good understanding with Portugal, especially in what relates to the Indies, and their defence". P. de Sandoval, Historia de la Vida y Hechos del Emperador Carlos V., II. ( 1614) 650; or Papiers d'État du Cardinal de Granvelle, III. ( 1842) 296 (ed. by Ch. Weiss, in Coll. de Docs. Inédits sur l'Histoire de France). Cf. also in Prince Philip letter to the Emperor, Sept. 28, 1544, the passage beginning "Your Majesty knows already that I wrote to the King of Portugal requesting him to send his fleet to the Azores, in order to escort the vessels returning from the Indies". Cal. St. Pap., Spain, VII. ( 1899), 375.
5
Cf. Doc. 17, introduction.
6
Ch. Piot, "La Diplomatie concernant les Affaires Maritimes des Pays-Bas vers le Milieu du XVIe Siècle jusqu' à la Trêve de Vaucelles", in Bulletin de l'Académie Royale des Sciences, 2d ser., tom. XL. ( Brussels, 1875), p. 847, note 2.
7
"Paresce que para buscar los corsarios, unos por una parte y otros por otra, se devria conformar, syn embargo del respecto que el señor Rey de Portugal quiere tener a no romper por el presente con Francia, pues que estos corsarios no son armada que anda a sueldo del rey, syno ladrones, que andan a robar a toda ropa, como paresce por el daño que Portugueses han recibido dellos, y justamente el señor Rey de Portugal los puede mandar buscar y seguir para castigallos." Archives of Simancas, Secretaria de Estado, leg. 375, f. 120.

-210-

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