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The lord Ferrers and other captains "much were dolent of this chance; but there were some who remarked that the admiral had acted without counsel, and so he had sped." The effect, however, upon the spirits A. D. of the sailors was such, that the officers, upon the plea 1514. that they had now no admiral in commission, determined to do nothing further till they knew the king's pleasure; and accordingly they sailed for England. Upon this the French came out of their harbour; and Prior John drew forth his galleys and foists, made for the coast of Sussex with all his company, landed there, and fired some cottages: the gentry raised the country, and drove him to his ships. Henry is said to have been "right sorry for the death of his admiral." He appointed the lord Thomas Howard to succeed him, telling him to revenge his brother's death. That lord immediately put to sea, and the enemy then thought it prudent to keep within their own ports. Prior John was too skilful a commander, either to give his adversaries an opportunity, or to let one pass. Next year, when the seas were unguarded, he again crossed the channel to the Sussex coast, and landing in the night, at the then " poor village called Brighthelmston, he took such poor goods as he found there," and set fire to the place. But when the beacons were fired, and the people, by the time it was day, began to collect, Prior John sounded his trumpet to call his men aboard. handful of archers, who kept the watch, followed him to the sea, and beat the galley-men from the shore; and when
providence, which the Pagans implied (though wanting the light of grace) in the name of destiny, by them counted inevitable. A destiny lamentable, considering the quality of the person, with the manner of his dying wherein, although many vainly dispute that fortune led him to so miserable an accident, yet if we will lift up our considerations to God, we shall find that He hath reserved such a prerogative over all things which he hath created, that to him only belongeth the authority to dispose all things by the same power wherewith he hath created them of nothing. And yet the foolish world (doting in blind ignorance, but pretending a singular insight in matters of secrecy) blusheth not to talk of, or rather to assever, casualty, chancemedley, misfortunes, and such like foolish imaginations; whereas, indeed, the providence of God compasseth all things whatsoever, for no thing can be privileged from the ampleness of the same."- p. 575.
*Hall, 537. Holinshed, 576.
PRIOR JOHN AT BRIGHTHELMSTON.
the Prior waded to his foist, they followed him into the water, till they were driven back with pikes. He lost an eye in this affair. The wound was dangerous; and looking upon his recovery as miraculous, he had his image made in wax, with the English arrow in its face, and offered it as a memorial at the shrine of our Lady of Boulogne.* The lord admiral resented this expedition, by sending sir John Wallop with a squadron to infest the coast of Normandy; where landing frequently, though with not more than 800 men, he “burnt ships and boats in the harbours," and destroyed more than twenty villages and towns, "with great slaughter of the people." One nation could not in that age reproach the other for this barbarous system of warfare, which inflicted so much misery upon individuals, without con tributing in the slightest degree to bring the contest to an issue.
In the land war which meantime was carried on under the king in person, the English displayed their usual courage, and that want of wisdom which was too often felt in their councils. Terouanne was taken and burnt, and Tournay taken and retained,— a glorious but burdensome conquest, soon to be restored. Peace was made, and followed by a marriage, of which Henry's Low Country allies spake truly when they spake shamefully of it, the marriage of the princess Mary, his sister, then in her eighteenth year, to Louis XII., a feeble and diseased old man. While she waited at Dover till the weather should be favourable for her passage, one of the fleet, a ship royal of 900 tons, was driven ashore near Sandgate, and of 600 men scarcely the half escaped, and the most part of these "sore hurt with the wreck." And when, after Henry had "kissed her and commended her to God and the fortune of the sea, and the governance of the French king her husband," this fair lady had "taken her ship, with all her noble company, and sailed about a quarter of the way, the wind arose and scattered the squadron; some got *Hall, 569. Holinshed, 602.
into Calais, some were driven to Flanders: her ship was with great difficulty brought to Boulogne, and there, at the entrance of the haven, with great jeopardy, the master ran it hard aground." * In less than three months, this unseemly union was dissolved by the death of the French king; the widow lost no time in making a better choice for herself; and the kindness with which Henry received her after her clandestine marriage with the duke of Suffolk, was some reparation for having, in his late disposal of her, regarded nothing but state policy.t
Francis I. wished to recover Tournay, and also to form a close alliance with Henry. He proposed a conditional treaty to Wolsey, that his expected and unborn child, if it proved a son, should be married to Henry's daughter Mary, then only two years old. The hoped contingency took place, the treaty was concluded, and one of the conditions was, that on the day of the marriage Tournay should be given up to France upon A. D. payment of 600,000 crowns of gold. But it was not 1518. necessary to wait for the lapse of time, always so slow to expectant hope. Wolsey obtained a pension from the French king, and it was agreed that Tournay should 1520. be given up before the close of the year. Then," says Hall, began the captains and the soldiers to mourn,—and many a young gentleman, and many a tall yeoman, wished that they had not spent their time there." Sir Edward Belknap, acting for the earl of Worcester, who was commissioned to carry this part of the treaty into effect, refused to deliver up the city to the sieur de Chastillon, who was sent to take possession of it, unless he certified, by an indenture sealed with his
* Hall, 570. On the day after her marriage, "all the Englishmen, except a few that were officers with the said queen, were discharged, which was a great sorrow for them; for some had served her long in hope of preferment, and some that had honest homes left them to serve her, and now they were without service, which caused them to take thought, in so much, that some died by the way returning, and some fell mad; but there was no remedy."
+"No brother," says Mr. Turner, "could act more kindly than the king, on an event so trying to his pride, and so interceptive of his future politics."
FIELD OF THE CLOTH OF GOLD.
seal of arms, "that it was received as a gift, and not rendered as a right to the king of France." The earl carried this punctilious spirit further, when the French, having sent in the sealed indenture, approached with colours flying: the city, he said, was neither yielded nor won, but delivered for confederation of marriage, and therefore they should not enter with banners displayed. To this also the French angrily but in good policy conformed. The cession was not a popular measure in England. The people had been proud of the conquest, and said, "that the king was evil counselled to give away the city of Tournay, because the maintenance of a garrison there should have nourished and brought up men and younger brothers in feats of war, to the great strength and defence of the realm." When the garrison returned to England, Henry sent for the yeomen of the guard, and, after many good words, granted them four-pence a day without attendance, except they were specially commanded:" yet we are told that many a tall yeoman who lacked living, and would not labour after their return, fell to robbing, pilfering, shifting, and other extraordinary means of maintenance, whereas before they were staid upon a certainty of hope, so long as they had allowance from the king.*
The pension assigned by the French king to Wolsey on this occasion was under the colourable pretext of an equivalent for his emoluments as administrator of the diocese of Tournay. The cardinal has been charged with having listened favourably to proposals for the sale also of Calais to the French: the charge rests upon the single assertion of an historian† who, for general fidelity, is in no good repute, and who bore a particular ill will to Wolsey. According to his statement, the other ministers were sounded upon the subject, and Wolsey, when he found them averse to it, found it dangerous to proceed further. The memorable meeting between the kings of England and France, on the Field
*Hall, 596. 598. Holinshed, 635. Turner, Mod. Hist. i. 144.
of the Cloth of Gold*, took place at this time: it was designed to confirm the friendship between the two kings, and, by the generous frankness which was displayed on both sides, seemed at the time not unlikely to have produced that effect. But ill omens were remembered and applied, after the event had afforded application for them. On one of the days there was such a hideous storm of wind and weather, that " many conjectured it did prognosticate trouble and hatred shortly after to follow." A more impressive incident occurred when the interview with the emperor ensued. The English had erected for this occasion a banquettinghouse within the walls of Calais, "after a goodly device."† The roof was painted to represent the sky, "with stars, sun, moon, and clouds, and divers other things made above over men's heads; and there were great images of great men of divers strange nations,” with escutcheons showing to what country they belonged, and scrolls declaring whom they represented. There were also, as it were, many ships under sail,
There is an ancient picture in Windsor Castle of Henry's embarkation for this interview in the Great Harry. She (for Charnock makes the Great Harry of the feminine gender) has four masts, with two round tops on each, except the shortest mizen. Her sails and pendants are of cloth of gold damasked. The royal standard of England is flying on each of the four quarters of the forecastle, and the staff of each standard is surrounded by a fleur-de-lis. Pendants are flying on the mast heads, and at each quarter of the deck is a standard of St. George's Cross. Her quarters and sides, as also the tops, are fortified and decorated with heater shields, or targets, charged dif ferently with the Cross of St. George azure, a fleur-de-lis or; party per pale argent and vert a union rose, and party per pale argent and vert a portcullis or, alternately and repeatedly. The king is standing on the main deck, richly dressed in a garment of cloth of gold, edged with ermine, the sleeves crimson, and the jacket and breeches the same; his round bonnet is covered with a white feather, laid on the upper side of the brim. On the front of the forecastle are depicted, party per pale argent and vert, within a circle of the Garter, the arms of France and England quarterly crowned, the supporters a lion and a dragon. The. same arms are repeated on the stern. On each side of the rudder is a port hole with a brass cannon, and on the side of the main deck are two port holes with cannon, and the same number under the forecastle."- Charnock, i. 42.
"In such manner as, I think," says Holinshed, " was never seen, with sixteen principals made of great masts, betwixt every mast four and twenty foot, and all the outsides closed with boards and canvass. Over it, and within round about the sides, were made three scaffolds or lofts, one above another, for men and women to stand upon. And in the midst of the said banquetting house was set up a great pillar of timber, made of eight great masts, bound together with iron bands, for to hold them together, for it was an hundred and four and thirty foot of length, and cost six pounds thirteen shillings and four-pence to set it upright."