Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Mini History Blogs: Eustace Chapuys
Eustace Chapuys is thought to have been born around 1490 in Savoy, the son of Louis Chapuys.
As Imperial ambassador he arrived in England 1529 to support Catherine of Aragon through her troubles, he admired Catherine greatly but on the other hand he hated Anne Boleyn.
Chapuys seems to have been able to hold his own in the English court being able to stand up the English nobles.
It has been said of Chapuys.
"speaks whatsoever came, without respect of honesty or truth, so it might serve his turn....A great practicer, with which honest term we cover tale-telling, lying, dissimuling, and flattering."
Saying anything out of turn may have cost an English speaker his life, being a foreign ambassador Chapuys was certainly protected, being booted out of the country is as much as he might expect. Saying what he thought is one thing but thoughts do not pass down through history, Chapuys however, wrote down much of what he thought and how he felt, and many of his letters are still with us today.
Why is Eustace Chapuys so fascinating?
I admire him for his support of Catherine and also for not being afraid to snap at the ankles of those in Henry's court. To historians, it is because his writings are extremely important, though him we can see into the Tudor world.
Eventually Chapuys health failed and he retired as ambassador and left England to live in Louvain. Once home, he founded a college and a grammar school.
Eustace Chapuys died in 1556.