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* Isabella's father was John II., the grandson of John of Ghent and of his wife Constantia of Castile. Her mother was Isabel, grand-daughter of Philippa, Queen of Portugal, the daughter of John of Ghent.


Henry VIII. reigned thirty-seven years and nine months, from 22nd April, 1509, to 28th January, 1547. Born 28th June, 1491. Married (1) Catherine of Arragon, June, 1509; (2) Anne Boleyn, January, 1533; (3) Jane Seymour, May, 1536; (4) Anne of Cleves, January, 1540; (5) Catherine Howard, August, 1540; (6) Catherine Parr, July, 1543. Died in the Palace at Westminster, 28th January, 1547. Buried in Henry the Seventh's chapel.



1. Before the Wars began. Long before his death, Henry VII. had lost the affections of his subjects, and the accession of his son was hailed as the commencement of a new era. Every monarch since the deposition of Richard II. had been considered a usurper by a portion of the people, but Henry united in himself the titles of York and Lancaster, and thus had an undisputed title to the throne. In every respect his character was the exact reverse of his father's. He had been well educated, and having been prevented from taking any part in public business, had contracted in his retirement a taste for literature and the arts; his people gave him credit for more virtues than he really possessed, while the vices, which in after times made him universally detested, were not yet sufficiently developed to excite alarm or attract attention.

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His first measures after his accession were directed by the advice of his grandmother, the venerable Countess of Richmond. His marriage with Catherine was completed; the least obnoxious of his father's ministers were retained, and Empson and Execution Dudley, in order to gratify the popular vengeance, were and Dudley brought to trial, and executed: not because they had plundered the people by their extortion and rapacity, but because they had, it was said, formed an absurd conspiracy to deprive the King of his succession to the throne. This statement was false; indeed it was too ridiculous to be true; but English law had no delicacies in those days, and it was a constant custom for the courts of justice to convict all persons prosecuted by the crown, without any regard to the evidence brought against them. The two ministers were condemned by an act of attainder, after having been convicted by the regular courts, and were beheaded on Tower Hill, August


18th, 1510. At the same time many of their agents, called "promoters," were punished, and in some places torn to pieces by the people. The King and his council made some show of making restitution to those who had suffered by the extortions of these men; but so many applied that the council withdrew their purpose, and Henry expended the immense wealth his father had acquired, in pleasures and amusements, in balls and revels, devices and pageants, tiltings and tournaments, which engrossed the attention of the court for the next two years.

Henry's courtiers were politic enough to let him carry off most of the prizes in these games, by which his vanity was inflamed; and he longed to engage in real warfare, the prowess which his flatterers told him he displayed in these military pastimes. The position of affairs in Europe soon afforded him the opportuuity of gratifying his wishes.

2. The events which led to the League of Cambray. Louis XII., who succeeded Charles VIII. in the throne of France, was resolved to extend and follow up the scheme of his predecessor in the conquest of Italy. Besides the old claim of Naples which attached to his throne, he brought a new one of his own upon Milan, which he derived from his grandmother, Valentina, a daughter of the house of Visconti. He promised a share of the The French booty to Venice and the Pope (Alexander VI.), and the Milan. conquest thus made easy, was accomplished while the victims of it were yet in treaty for foreign assistance. Milan was captured 1499, the usuper, Ludovico Sforza, dying in prison in the following year.


Cremona and some other places, became the portion of Venice: the Romagna was allotted to Alexander, who purposed bestowing it upon his son Cæsar Borgia. This conquest of Milan would have led to an immediate attack upon Naples, had it not been necessary to have some previous communications with Spain. The parti Ferdinand the Catholic was the kinsman of Frederick, tioning of Naples. King of Naples; but while he formed an alliance with him, and sent his best general, Gonzalvo di Cordova, with a considerable force to the aid of Frederick, he proposed to Louis that they should divide the country between them; that the Spaniards should enter on the south to defend it, and the French on the north to subdue it; and that on meeting, instead of giving battle, they should shake hands and partition the kingdom. This was the basis of the treaty of Grenada (1500), which was basely executed in the following year, 1501. But angry disputes, followed by a war between the two, immediately arose; each


prince would fain have taken the whole country to himself; and the end was, that the French were driven out of Naples. But they retained Milan; and thus two foreign powers acquired a firm footing in Italy: the French in Milan; the Spaniards in Naples.

While Italy was thus the common prey of political intrigues, its relations became more complicated than ever by the election of a new Pope. Alexander VI. died in 1503; Julius II. bought the vacant chair, and grasped with a bold and practised hand the reins of European politics, which for ten years he guided at will. His first project was to annex to the papal see the dominions of Cæsar Borgia; which embraced the Romagna, Bologna, and Ferrara, and which had partly been appropriated by Venice: his next, to form the celebrated League of Cambray (Dec. 10th, 1508), for the League of purpose of humbling the pride of Venice. The confeder- Cambray. ates were Maximilian, Louis, Ferdinand, Henry, the Pope, and others; and their arms had almost annihilated Venetian power when the Pope changed his politics, and with the Swiss, the Venetians, the Emperor, and the Kings of England and Spain, formed a new alliance in order to expel the French out of Italy.

3. The Holy League. This new confederacy was called "The Holy League," and it had for its ostensible object the extinction of schism, and the defence of the Roman church: for as soon as the Pope had declared war against him, Louis had invaded the Ecclesiastical States, and summoned a general council to meet at Pisa, "for the reformation of the church, both in its head and its members." The result of this new league was, that the French were speedily deprived of Milan, and driven beyond the Alps; while Ferdinand, aided by a body of English troops, overran the kingdom of Navarre, which was in alliance with France, and annexed it to the crown of Spain. England derived Navarre neither glory nor advantage from these events.

annexed to Spain.


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Influenced by his father-in-law, Henry had despatched an army to the south of France under the Marquis of Dorset, for the purpose of reconquering the old duchy of Guienne. But Ferdinand had other views, and when the English landed in Guipuscoa, instead of marching at once into France, the operations Spanish King proposed the invasion of Navarre. The Pyrenees. English commander refused to accede to this proposal, and remained inactive at Fuenterabia: but his inaction was of considerable service to Ferdinand, for while the latter overran Navarre, the French were prevented from succouring their allies by the presence of the English army. After securing his conquest, Ferdinand still refused to invade France, and the English returned home in disgrace.

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The English fleet was not more fortunate than the army. lish fleet. Sir Edward Howard, the lord admiral, one of the gallant sons of the Earl of Surrey, while cruising along the coast of Bretagne, fell in with the French fleet off Brest, and though the French admiral's ship, with 900 men, was blown up, the English lost in the same manner their largest vessel, the "Regent," with 700 men (1512). Next year, Howard, blockading Brest, entered the harbour, which was defended with cannon on all sides, with a few galleys, for the purpose of cutting out the enemy's fleet, but he was defeated and slain, and the French fleet rode triumphant in the channel, and insulted the English coasts.


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4. The Battle of Spurs. A month before these last events (February, 1513), Pope Julius, who had been the soul of the league, died, and his successor, Leo X., or the Magnificent, was opposed to the war. The Venetians had joined the French through jealousy of the Emperor, while Ferdinand desired peace that he might have leisure to establish his authority in the newly conquered kingdom of Navarre. Henry and Maximilian therefore carried on the war alone, and the former was all the more eager to continue it, that he might wipe away the disgrace which had hitherto attached to his arms. The English cabinet, we decision of are told by Lord Herbert, was divided by a diversity of cabinet. opinions concerning the fitness of the time for an attack on France; and the discussion which took place is remarkable as being "probably the earliest debate in an English council on the oft discussed question, whether Great Britain should aim at continental dominion, or confine her ambition to maritime greatness and colonial empire."* 'If we must enlarge ourselves," said those who objected to an invasion of France, "let it be by the road which Providence seems to have appointed for us-by sea." "The Indies are discovered; let us bend our endeavours thitherward, and if the Spaniard and Portuguese suffer us not to join them, there will be yet region enough for all to enjoy." Tempted, however, by the entreaties of his allies, who flattered his prowess, and deluded him with promises of a brilliant career, Henry landed at Calais with a large army (June, 1513), where he loitered his time in carousals and entertainments till August, when he proceeded to Terouenne, which Lord Herbert and the Earl of Shrewsbury were besieging. He was here joined by the Emperor at the head of a body of horse, and it was soon after their arrival that the famous battle of Spurs occurred between Plangy and Terouenne, in which 10,000 French cavalry were chased four * Mackintosh, II., 116. + Ibid.


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