Изображения страниц


miles by a few German and English troops (August 22nd, 1513). In the following month Tournay was taken and destroyed, after which Henry, satisfied with his military exploits, returned to England (October).

5. The Battle of Flodden Field. During these events James IV. of Scotland, and Henry's brother-in-law, brooding over many causes of discontent, some real, some fancied, and all of them trifling, renewed in 1512 the ancient alliance with France, and sent aid to Louis. At the same time the Scots invaded England with one of the most numerous armies they had ever raised. James passed the Tweed at its confluence with the Till, and after reducing the castles of Norham, Wark, Etal, and Ford, encamped on the hill of Flodden, the last of the Cheviot Hills, which borders on the Vale of Tweed. When the Scots crossed the border, the Earl of Surrey lay at Pontefract; he at once summoned the gentlemen of the northern counties to meet him at Newcastle; he hastened to Alnwick, and then sent two messages to the King of Scots, the first offering battle on the following Friday, the other a defiance from his son, Lord Thomas Howard, whom James accused of having murdered Andrew Barton, a Scottish pirate. (In 1476, a ship belonging to Barton's father had been plundered by a Portuguese fleet, and in retaliation James had granted Andrew and his two brothers, in 1506, letters of reprisal against the Portuguese. But the adventurers transgressed the limits of their authority; and being declared pirates by Henry, Lord Howard and his brother had captured two of their vessels in the Downs, and Andrew had been slain in the action.)

On the same day (September 6th) that James encamped on the hill of Flodden, Surrey mustered his forces in Glendale, amounting to 26,000 men. From Bolton he advanced to Wooler-haugh, within five miles of the enemy; but on perceiving the strength of their position, he crossed the Till, and advancing along the right bank till evening, re-crossed the river at Twissel Bridge, and next morning approached the rear of the Scottish army. On this the Scots set fire to their huts, and in the concealment of the smoke took up their position to the north, on the hill of Brankston. The battle began between four and five on the afternoon of Friday (September 9th, 1513), and was decided in less than an hour. It consisted of several distinct actions, owing to the disposition of the opposing forces. That portion of the right wing of the English vanguard under Sir Edmund Howard was defeated by the opposite body of the Scots under Lord Home, and only saved from complete destruction by the appearance of a band of outlaws under Heron


of Ford, and the English reserve under Lord Dacre; while the remainder of the English right did not overcome the rest of the Scottish left under the Earls of Huntley Errol, and Crawford, without an obstinate and bloody contest, in which the last two earls were slain. The Earl of Surrey in the centre was attacked by the Scottish centre, and was almost defeated, when his left wing, consisting of Lancashire and Cheshire bowmen, under Sir Edward Stanley, came to his relief, after having overthrown the Scottish left under the Earls of Lennox and Argyle. Stanley drove his opponents over the hill, and then wheeling to the right fell upon the rear of the enemy's centre. In a few minutes the Scottish King, who had fought gallantly on foot, was slain by an unknown hand, and fell about a spear's length from the feet of Surrey, and with him fell the greatest part of his nobility. The body of James was conveyed by Lord Dacre to Berwick, whence it was conveyed to London and interred in the monastery of Shene. The Scots would not believe that their great King was slain in the battle, but said he had been murdered by traitors during the pursuit, or had gone on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

In reward for this great achievement, Henry restored to the Earl of Surrey the title of Duke of Norfolk, which his father had forfeited by fighting on the side of Richard in the battle of Bosworth field.*

all her

6. Circumstances which broke up the Holy League. After the fall of Tournay, the coalition against France was broken up, chiefly through the artifices and diplomacy of Louis. By appealing to the individual interests of the confederates, and infusing into their minds suspicions of each other's sincerity, he detached them one by one from the league. It has been already said that Leo X. was opposed to the league, that Ferdinand of Spain considered. the permanent possession of Navarre paramount to all other England considerations of the war, and that Henry had only deserted by Maximilian for an active ally. The latter, however, now became reconciled to France. During the detention of the Archduke Philip in England, Henry VII. had made him promise to marry his son Charles to the princess Mary, Henry's youngest daughter. Henry VIII., before he left Flanders, demanded that this engagement should be renewed. Maximilian promised that his grandson should wed Mary, at Calais, before the end of seven months. But shortly afterwards the French King offered to Charles his own daughter Renée, with the duchy of Milan as a dowry, and the bait was too tempting for the Emperor to refuse.


* Lingard, VI., 18-25.


The death of his wife, Anne of Brittany, the widow of Charles VIII., enabled Louis to take advantage of the effect which this treachery of his ally produced upon Henry. He proposed to marry Mary himself, and although he was 53 years of age, and she was only 16, and deeply in love with Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, the most accomplished of the English courtiers, and Henry's chief favourite, the proposal was accepted by the King, and the marriage was solemnized by proxy, both at Greenwich and Paris, and afterwards completed at Abbeville (Sept. and Oct., 1514). The Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, Anne Boleyn, and others, accompanied the princess to France, but within three months the amorous old King died. Francis, Count of Angouleme, ascended the French throne, and in the following March (1515) Mary secretly married Brandon, without first asking that Marriage of permission from the King which the law, enacted in Henry Henry's the Sixth's reign, declared necessary to make the marriage of a princess of the blood with a subject, lawful. Henry, however, was easily reconciled to the match, through the good offices of Wolsey, who had now become the King's chief adviser; and he caused the marriage to be publicly celebrated before him at Greenwich. Francis, who had encouraged Mary to the private marriage for purposes of his own, also interceded for her and her lover; he renewed all the engagements which Louis had made with Henry, and the two Kings flattered themselves that they had made a perpetual alliance between the two countries they governed. Circumstances soon occurred which showed how much they deluded themselves.



7. Affairs in Scotland after the Battle of Flodden Field. After the destruction of its King and nobility in the field of Flodden, Scotland presented for some time a melancholy scene of confusion and terror; and border warfare was carried on with all the fury and devastation of former times. In conformity with the will of her husband, Queen Margaret had assumed the regency, as the guardian of her infant son James V.; but her relationship to Henry did not restrain that monarch's hostility, and she early displeased both her brother and the Scottish nation, by marrying the young Earl of Angus, the head of the powerful house of Douglas. The partisans of France at once sent over a deputation to Louis, inviting John, Duke of Albany, to assume the Albany, regency. He was the son of that Duke of Albany whom Scotland. James III. had banished, and was altogether a foreigner, having all his estates in France. This proceeding naturally alarmed the English monarch, and it was one of the chief articles in the treaty

regent of


of alliance which Louis made with Henry when he married the princess Mary, and which his successor Francis renewed and confirmed, that Albany should not be permitted to leave France to accept the regency offered to him. When, therefore, the duke proceeded to Scotland, and assumed the supreme authority, and then compelled the Queen to give up her two sons to his custody, the "perpetual alliance" so vainly boasted of, was completely broken, and Henry began to be jealous of his "good brother" the King of France.

8. Termination of the Italian wars which resulted from the League of Cambray. Francis, whose youth and accomplishments made him the idol of his people, had already formed the most gigantic projects of conquest and aggrandisement. Having


Francis I. endeavoured to pacify Henry by apologies and promises, Italy. he crossed the Alps with an immense army, and by the splendid victory of Marignano (Oct. 13th, 1515), and the reduction of Milan, restored the ascendancy of the French power in Italy. The Italian states were filled with consternation; the Pope solicited the aid of Henry, and to secure the mediation of Wolsey, named him Cardinal Priest of St. Cicely beyond the Tiber. Nor was the Emperor indifferent to the victorious advance of the French; he sought and obtained large subsidies from England, and when these were exhausted, endeavoured to obtain further aid by promising to invest Henry with the duchy of Milan, and to resign the imperial dignity in his favour. This dazzling and romantic proposal would have been eagerly accepted by the vain monarch but for the interference of his council, and the keen good sense of Dr. Tunstall, afterwards Bishop of Durham, one of the ambassadors whom Henry sent to negotiate the affair at the imperial court. This prelate was soon convinced that the proposal was a snare, and as it was Henry's general custom, when he once turned from a line of policy to run for a time in a directly contrary direction, he gave up his projected alliance with the Pope and the Emperor, and entered into one, offensive and defensive, with Francis, who had renounced his union with Scotland, and obliged Albany to return home (October, 1518). To cement the union between England and France, the Dauphin, an infant with Henry. just born, was affianced to Mary, the daughter of Henry, a child not four years old, Tournay with its dependencies was restored to France, on the payment of a ransom, and a pension awarded to Wolsey in lieu of the revenues of that see which he thus lost, and which had been conferred upon him by Henry after its capture.

His alliance


Two years before this, Francis had made his peace with all the continental powers (1516), and the whole of Christendom being threatened in the previous year (1517) by Solyman the Magnificent, Sultan of Turkey, who had conquered Egypt and Syria, Pope Leo X. proclaimed a general truce for five years, and General bound all the belligerents in a confederacy for their claimed." common defence, and the protection of the church against the infidels.

truce pro

Thus after ten years of war and negotiation, of bloodshed and perfidy, were all the powers re-established in the same situation in which they stood before the League of Cambray, with the exception of the kingdom of Navarre, which remained annexed to the territory of Spain.*

These Italian wars were the first events in which all the Results of nations of Europe were engaged since the crusades. The the wars. civil wars of England had ceased; the great feudatories of France had become subjects; the Christian states of Spain had delivered themselves from the dread of Mussulman ambition; the contests of the houses of Arragon and Anjou for Naples led Spanish and French armies into Italy, where the pretensions of the royal families of Valois and Orleans to the duchy of Milan continued hostilities; England, jealous of French conquests, longed to recover her ancient dominions on the continent; while the Emperor, alarmed at the aggrandisement of France, raised Burgundian and Swiss legions to check the growth of a power which threatened his own. Thus the chief nations of Europe were once more mingled, and the mass of Christendom began to form more remote and complicated ties with each other than in any former age.t


9. Wolsey's Early Career and Introduction to Court. When Henry ascended the throne, the leading ministers in the cabinet were-Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chancellor; Howard, Earl of Surrey, Lord Treasurer; and Fox, Bishop of Winchester, Lord Privy-Seal. But among the inferior dependents of the court, there had already appeared in Henry the Seventh's reign, one whose aspiring views and superior talents rapidly enabled him to supplant every rival. This was Thomas Wolsey, a native of Ipswich, generally reputed to be the son of a butcher or grazier, a statement which admits of great doubt. He was, how

* Lingard, VI., 35-40.

+ See Cavendish's Life;

† Mackintosh, II., 114-15,
also Lingard, VI., 32.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »