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A history of England from the first invasion by the Romans, Volume 6 online

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nobleman had been attainted in the last reign,
but had been rescued from the block by the
prayers and importunity of the archduke Philip.
His present fate was generally attributed to the
advice which the young Henry had received
from his father: it was more probably owing to
the imprudence of Richard de la Pole, who had
accepted a high command in the French army,
aad assumed the rival appellation of the "white
" rose." This at least is certain, that the am*



18 Christianorum principum neminem magis verentur Galii. Pet
Mart.^>. 248. » Rym. xiii. 370. 372.



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HENRY VIII. 33

bassadors at foreign courts received instructions
to justify his execution, by alleging the dis-
covery of a traiterous correspondence between
the two brothers. 20

Shrewsbury and Herbert had already formed Siege of
the siege of Terouanne, while the young king JS^"
loitered for weeks at Calais spending his time Jun * *7.
in carousals and entertainments. At length he Aug. 4.
reached the camp, where he was joined by the
emperor, at the head of four thousand horse.
Maximilian, to flatter the vanity of his young Au fr 12 »
ally, and to avoid any dispute about precedency,
called himself the volunteer of the king of Eng-
land, wore his badge of the red rose, put on the
cross of St. George, and accepted one hundred
crowns as his daily pay. Louis, on the other
hand, determined to relieve Terouanne : he even
advanced to the neighbouring city of Amiens :
but his pride was humbled by the signal defeat
of his army at Novara in Italy : his fears were
ercited by the news that three thousand Ger-
rtian cavalry, and a numerous body of Swiss
infantry in the pay of the emperor, had burst
into Burgundy : and his council earnestly ad-
vised him to avoid the hazard of a battle, and to
seek only to protract the siege. A small quan-
tity of powder and provisions had been intro-
duced by the intrepidity of Fonterailles, who, at
the head of eight hundred Albanian horsemen,



Pet. Mart. p. 286.



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2 * HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

broke through the lines, ordered his followers
to throw down their burdens at the gate, and
wheeling round, reached a place of safety before
the English could assemble in sufficient number
to intercept his retreat. This success encouraged
a v second attempt on a larger scale. The French
cavalry had been collected at Blangy : and,
Battle of dividing into two bodies, advanced along thei
s P urs# opposite banks of the Lis, under the dukes of
Aug. 16. Longueville and Alenfon. Henry had the wis-
dom to consult the experience of his imperial
volunteer, who was acquainted with the country,
and had already obtained two victories on the^
very same spot* By his advice the army was
immediately mustered; Maximilian hastened to>
meet the enemy with the German horse, and
the English archers on horseback ; and the Icing
followed with the principal part of the infantry* ;
To account for the result of the action would be :
a difficult task. The French gendarmes, formed *
in the Italian campaigns, had acquired the repu-.
tation of superior courage and discipline : yet
on the first shock of the advanced guards they
fled : the panic shot through the whole mass of
the army : and ten thousand of the best cavalry
in Europe were pursued almost four miles by
three troops of German, and a few hundreds of
English, horse. Their officers, in the attempt >
to rally the fugitives, were abandoned to the
mercy of th&enemy. La Palice and Imbrecourt^
though taken, had the good fortune to make



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HENRY VII I. 25

their escape ; but the duke of Longueville, the CHAP*
marquess of Rotelin, the chevalier Bayard, s^^t
Bussy d'Amboise, Clermont, and La Fayette,
names distinguished in the military annals of
France, were secured and presented to Henry
and Maximilian. During the action, which the
French, with their characteristic humour, de-
nominated the Battle of Spurs, a sally was made
from the walls, and the duke of Alenf on at-
tempted to break through the trenches : but the
first was repulsed by the lord Herbert, the
second by the earl of Shrewsbury : and Teligni
the gbvernor, despairing of relief, surrendered Aug. 22.
the city. It had proved a formidable neigh-
hour to the inhabitants of Aire and St. Omer,
who Were allowed by Henry, at the solicitation Aug. 27.
of Maximilian, to raze its defences with the
grotind.* 1

"While the king was thus demolishing the Cauaeof
chief monument of his victory, more splendid wiuTscot.
and lasting laurels had been won by his lieute- ,and -
nant, the earl of Surrey, in the memorable field
of Flodden . The reader has noticed in a former
volume, that James IV. of Scotland had married
Margaret, the sister of Heniy. This new con-
nexion did not, however, extinguish the heredi-
tary partiality of the Scottish prince for the
ancient alliance with France : arid his jealousy

* Half, xxxii. xxxiii. Giovio, 1. xi. f. 100, 101. Lutetiae, 1558.
Pet. Mart. p. 288. Du Bellay, 3-7. Park, 1588.



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2&



HISTORY OF ENGLAND.



CHAP, ©f his English brother was repeatedly irritated
by a succession of real or supposed injuries.
1°. James had frequently claimed, but claimed
in vain, from the equity of Henry the valuable
jewels, which the late king had bequeathed as a
legacy to his daughter the Scottish qtieen. 2°. He
had complained of the murder of his favourite
sir Robert Ker, the warden of the Scottish
marches, and had pointed out the bastard Heroa
of Ford as the assassin ; and yet neither Heron,
nor his chief accomplices, had been brought to
trial. 3°. Lastly he demanded justice for the
death of Andrew Barton. As long ago as 1476
a ship belonging to John Barton had been plun-
dered by a Portuguese squadron : and in 1606,
just thirty years afterwards, James granted to
Andrew, Robert, and John, the three sons of
Barton, letters of reprisal, authorizing them to
capture the goods of Portuguese merchants, till
they should have indemnified themselves to the
amount of twelve thousand ducats. But the ad-
venturers found their new profession too lucra-
tive to be quickly abandoned : they continued to
make seizures for several years : nor did they
confine themselves to vessels sailing under the
Portuguese flag, but captured English merchant-
men, on the pretence that they carried Portu-
guese property. Wearied out by the clamour
of the sufferers, Henry pronounced the Bartons
pirates, and the Lord Thomas and sir Edward
Howard, by the royal order, boarded and cap-



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HENRY VI U. 27

tured two of their vessels in the Downs, la CHAP,
the action Andrew Barton received a wound, ^h^/
which proved fatal : the survivors were sent by
land into Scotland. James considered the loss
of Barton, the bravest and most experienced of
his naval commanders, as a national calamity :
he declared it a breach of the peace between the
two crowns ; and in the most peremptory tone
demanded full and immediate satisfaction. Henry
scornfully replied, that the fate of a pirate was
unworthy the notice of kings : and that the dis-
pute, if the matter admitted of dispute, might be
settled by the commissioners of both nations at
their next meeting on the borders. 22

While James was brooding over these causes James fa-
of discontent, Henry had joined in the league French,
against Louis : and from that moment the Scot-
tish court became the scene of the most active
negociations ; the French ambassadors claiming
the aid of Scotland, the English insisting on its
neutrality. The former appealed to the poverty
and the chivalry of the king. Louis made him
repeated and valuable presents of money : Anne,
the French queen, named him her knight, and 1512.
sent him a ring from her own finger. He cheer- Jul J 10 -
fully renewed the ancient alliance between Scot-

33 It is extraordinary that after this, in 1540, another demand foe
compensation to the Bartons was made on the king of Portugal j
(Lesley, 336, Romse, 1578) : and that the letters of reprisal were
ittfced to remain in force till 1063, that is, 87 years after the com-
mission of the offence. See Mr. Pinkerton, ii. 61, mrte.



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28 HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

land and France, with an additional clause reci-
procally binding each prince to aid his ally against
all men whomsoever. Henry could not be igno-
rant that this provision was aimed against him-
self; but he had no reason to complain: for in
the last treaty of peace, the kings of England
and Scotland had reserved to themselves the
power of sending military aid to any of their
friends, provided that aid were confined to de-
fensive operations.

It now became the object of the English en-
voys to bind James to the observance of peace
during the absence of Henry. Much diplomatic
finesse was displayed by each party. To every
project presented by the English the Scottish

1513. i cabinet assented, but with this perplexing pro J
viso, that in the interval no incursion should be
made beyond the French frontier. Each nego-
ciated and armed at the same time. It had
been agreed that, to redress all grievances, an
extraordinary meeting of commissioners should
be held on the borders during the month of
June. Though in this arrangement both parties

June, acted with equal insincerity, the English gave
the advantage to their opponents, by demanding
an adjournment to the middle of October. Their
object could not be concealed. Henry was
already in France : and James, having sum-
moned his subjects to meet him on Burrow
July 26. moor, dispatched his fleet with a body of three
thousand men to the assistance of Louis. At



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HENRY VIII. 2 9

the same time a Scottish herald sailed to France
with orders to require the retreat of the English
army out of the French territory, and to denounce
war in the case of refusal. He found Henry in
his camp before Tecouanne, and received from
him an answer equally scornful and passionate. Aug. n.
But James had already begun hostilities : he did
not live to receive the report of his messenger. 851
• The first signal of war was given by the lord invades
Home, chamberlain to the king of Scotland, who
on the same day on which the herald left Terou- Aug. la.
anne with the reply of Henry, crossed the Eng-
lish borders, and plundered the defenceless in*
habitants. He was intercepted in his return by
sir William Buhner, and lost, together with the
booty, five hundred of his men slain on the spot,
and four hundred made prisoners. For this
check James consoled himself with the hope of
speedy revenge ; and left Burrow moor at the
head of one hundred thousand men. The num*
bers who crowded to his standard, prove that
little credit i£ due to those Scottish writers, who
represent the enterprise as disapproved by the
nation; and have invented the most marvellous
tales, to make the king alone responsible for the
calamity which followed. If we may believe
them, James determined to make war in despite
of the advice of human and celestial counsellors.
His obstinacy could not be subdued by the tears

* The particulars of these negotiations have been collected by the
industry of Mr. Pinkerton, ii. B9—9J.



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30 HISTORY OP ENGLAND.

or entreaties of his queen ; nor by the remon-
strances of the most able among his nobility and
ministers; nor by the admonition of the patron
saint of Scotland, who in the guise of an old
man, announced to him in the church of Lin-
lithgow the fate of the expedition ; nor by the
warnings of a preternatural voice which was
heard in the dead of the night from the cross of
Edinburgh, summoning the principal lords to
appear before an infernal tribunal. Followed by
one of the most numerous armies that had ever

Aq$. 22. been raised in Scotland, he passed the Tweed at
its confluence with the Till ; and turning to the
north, laid siege to the strong castle of Norhara.
The governor deceived the expectations both of
his friends and foes. By the improvident expendi-
ture of his ammunition he was unable to protract
the defence ; and having repulsed three assaults,

Aug. 29. on ^e sixth day surrendered his trust. Wark,
Etall, and Ford, border fortresses of inferior
account, followed the example of Norham.

is opposed When James crossed the Tweed, the earl of

J SuneyT Surrey lay in the castle of Pontefract. Having
summoned the gentlemen of the northern coun-

Sept 3. ties to join the royal standard at Newcastle, he
hastened forward to Alnwick ; from which town
he dispatched on Sunday Rouge Croix, the pur*
suivant at arms, to the king of Scotland with two
messages. The one from himself offered battle
to the. enemy on the following Friday : the
other from his son, the lord Thomas Howard,



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HENRT VIII.



31



stated that, since James at the border sessions CHAP,
had repeatedly charged him with the murder of



Barton, he was come to justify the death of that
pirate ; and that as he did not expect to receive,
so neither did he mean to give, quarter. To
Surrey the king courteously replied, that he ac-
cepted the challenge with pleasure : to the son
he did not condescend to return an answer.

Having demolished the castle of Ford, 84 James
led his army across the river, and encamped on
the hill of Flodden, the last of the Cheviot moun-
tains, which border on the vale of Tweed. The
same day the earl mustered bis forces at Bol- Sept. 6.

■ - , ■-*

* It is probable that James demolished Ford to revenge the
death of his favourite, sir Robert Ker: not that William. Heron,
the owner of the castle, had been the assassin : for he was at that
moment a prisoner in Scotland (Hall, xxxix.): but that the mur-
der had been committed by one of the family, John Heron, who,
though pronounced an outlaw by Henry, was permitted to go at
large, and actually fought, and was wounded in the battle which
followed (Hall, xlii. Giovio, 103). Elizabeth, the wife of William
Heron, in the absence of her husband petitioned the king to spare
the castle : and had obtained, on that condition, from Surrey the
liberty of the lord Johnstone, and of Alexander Home. (See the
earrs message, Hall, xxxix.) But James refused the exchange,
and rejected the petition of the lady. I suspect that this is the only
foundation of the tale which is sometimes told, that James was
captivated by the charms of Mrs* Ford, who revealed his secrets .
to Surrey; and that he spent in dalliance with her that time, which
ought to have been employed in penetrating into England. But it
should be recollected that the whole time allotted for the capture
of Ford, Etall and Wark, is (comprised within a short space, be-
tween the 29th of August; when Norham surrendered, and the 3d
of September, when Surrey reached Alnwick. The king therefore
appears to have lost but little of his time.



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.32




HISTORV OF ENGLAND.

ton in Glendale. They amounted to twferity-six
thousand men, chiefly the tenants of the gentle-
men in the northern counties, and the men of
the borders, accustomed to Scottish warfare.

Sept. 7. From Bolton he advanced to Wooler haugh,
within five miles of the enemy; whence he
viewed with surprise the strength of their po-
sition, accessible only in one quarter, and that
fortified with batteries of cannon . Rouge Croix
was again dispatched to James, with a message,
requiring him to descend into the large plain of
Milfield between the two armies, and to engage
; his adversary on equal terms. The king laconi-
cally replied, that he should wait for the Eng-
lish according to their promise till Friday at
noon.

Surrey was disconcerted by this answer. To
decline the battle was to break his word : to
fight the Scots in their present position was to
invite defeat. He was rescued from the dilemma
by the bold counsel of his son, who advised him
to march towards Scotland and then return, and

Sept. 8. assail the enemy on the rear, ^he next morn-
ing the army formed in two grand divisions,
^ach of which was subdivided into a battle and
two wings . The first distinguished by the name
of the vanguard, obeyed the lord Admiral : the
second, called the rearguard, was led by the
earl himself. In this manner the English crossed
the Till, and keeping out of the reach, of the
cannon, advanced along the right bank till the



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HENRY VIII. 33

pveuiag. At sunrise the following day they CHAP,
again crossed the river by the bridge of Twissel, ^J^,
and returning by the left bank approached the Sept. £
Scottish camp. James iiow discovered the ob-
ject of this movement, which at first had ap-
peared unaccountable. He ordered his men to
set fire to their huts, and hastened to take pos-
session of an eminence more to the north, called
the hiU of Brankston, The smoke, which rose
from the flames, was rolled by the wind into the
valley ; and entirely intercepted the view of the
two armies, and their respective movements ;
so that when it cleared up, the admiral found
himself at the foot of the hill, and beheld the
enemy on its summit at the distance of a quarter
of a mile, disposed in five large masses, some of
which had taken the form of squares, ajqd others
that of wedges. Alarmed at their appearance
and numbers he halted his divison : it Was soon
joined on its left by the rearguard under his
father : and both advanced in one line. At the
same time the Scots began to descend the hill,
in perfect order and profound silence. 25

As the battle, from the disposition of the Battle of
Scottish forces, consisted of several distinct ent
actions, it will be most convenient for the reader
to travel along *the English li^e, and notice the
result of each conflict in succession. The right

* En bon ordre, en la maniere que marchent les Allemands,
sans parier, ne faiie aueun bruit. Official, account apud Pink. ii t
App.456.

VOL. VI. D



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34 HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

wing of the vanguard undersir Edmund Howard,
could not support the overwhelming charge of
a large body of spearmen, commanded by the
lord Home. The English were broken ; and
their commander was unhorsed : but while he
lay on the ground expecting to be taken or
slain, the battle was unexpectedly restored by
the timely arrival of the bastard Heron, with a
numerous band of Outlaws. The fugitives rallied
at his call ; and a doubtful contest was fiercely
maintained, till the lord Dacre, with the reserve
of fifteen hundred horse, charged the spearmen,
and put them to a precipitate flight. The next
was the lord admiral with the major part of the
vanguard, opposed to the earls of Huntly, Enrol,
and Crawford, who commanded a dense mass of
seven thousand Scots. In this part of the field
the contest was obstinate and bloody. At length
Errol and Crawford fell : and their followers,
discouraged by the death of the leaders, began
to waver, fell into confusion, and shortly after-
wards fled in every direction. Surrey with the
rearguard was attacked by the king himself.
James fought on foot, surrounded by some thou-
sands of chosen warriors, who were cased in
armour, and on that account less exposed to the
destructive aim of the English archers. Ani-
mated by the presence and example of their
monarch, they advanced steadily, and fought
with a resolution, which if it did not win* at
least deserved, victory. Though Surrey made



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HENRY VIII. ^5

every effort, he could not arrest their progress : chap.
they had penetrated within a few yards of the y^J^
royal standard : and James, ignorant of the event
in other parts of the field, flattered himself with
the prospect of victory. But in the mean while
sir Edward Stanley, who commanded the left
wing, had defeated the earls of Argyle and Len*
nox. The ranks of the Scots, as they descended
the hill, were disordered by the murderous dis-
charges of the archers : the moment they came
into close combat, the confusion was completed
by a sudden charge in flank from three com-
panies of men at arms. They began to retreat :
Stanley chased them over the summit of the
hill ; and, wheeling to the right, led his followers
against the rear of the mass commanded by
James in person. In a few minutes that gallant James is
monarch was slain by an unknown hand, and s n "
fell about a spear's length from the feet of Sur-
rey. The battle had begun between four and
five in the afternoon, and was decided in some-
thing more than an hour. The pursuit con-
tinued about four miles : but the approach of
night, and the want of cavalry, favoured the
escape of the fugitives. In the official account
published by the lord admiral, the Scots are said
to have amounted to eighty thousand men : a
multitude from which we may fairly deduct
perhaps one half, as mere followers of the camp,
collected more for the purpose of plunder than
battle. Ten thousand were slain : among whom

d2



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36

CHAP.
I.



Surrender
of Tour-
nay.



HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

were the king of Scots, his illegitimate soa, the
archbishop of St. Andrew's, two other bishops,
two abbots, twelve earls, thirteen barons, five
eldest sons of barons, and fifty gentlemen of
distinction. 26 Six thousand horses were taken,
with the park of artillery, amounting to seven-
teen pieces. 27 Lord Dacre recognised among
the slain the body of the Scottish king, and con-
veyed it to Berwick : whence it was afterwards
carried to 'London, that it might be interred
with suitable honours. 28

When the news pf this important victory
reached the king of England, he was no longer
at Terouanne. He had demolished that city at
the request of the emperor : by the advice of



* We have three contemporary and detailed accounts of this
battle. One by Hall, xlii., another equally minute, but much more
elegant, in the Italian Justorian Qiovio, l.xxi. f. 102, and a third
by the lord Thomas Howard, which is preserved in the herald's office,
and has been published by Mr. Pinkerton, ii. App. 456. See also a
letter from the queen on this victory, in Hedrne's Tit Liv. p, 106.

97 Lesquelles, says the lord admiral, sont les plus cleres, et les plus
nectes, et les mieux faconnees, et avec les moyndres pertuis k la
touche, et les plus belles : de leur grandeur et longuer, quej^aiviz
oncques. Ibid. 458.

38 The common people would not believe that their king had bjeea
slain by the English* When, however, he did not appear, some
said that he had been murdered by traitors, others that he was gone
a pilgrim to Jerusalem. Henry, on the contrary, to blazon his death,
obtained from pope Leo permission to bury the body in consecrated
ground: because he died under the sentence of excommunication, to
which he Jiad subjected himself if he broke the treaty (Rym. xiii.
385). Stow (495) tells us, that he saw it wrapped in lead, and lying
in a lumber-room at Shene, after the dissolution of that monastery.



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HENRY VIII. 37

the same prince her now invested Tournay.
Tonrnay contained a population of eighty thou-
sand souls, and though situate within the terri- Sept 22.
tory of another power, had long been distin-
guished by its attachment to the French crown.
To the summons sent by Henry, the inhabitants
returned a bold and chivalries defiance* but
their resolution evaporated amid the fatigues
and dangers of a siege ; and on the eighth day Sept 29.
they submitted to receive an English garrison,
to swear fealty to the king, and to pay towards
the expenses of the war fifty thousand livres
tournois in one sum, and forty thousand more
by instalments, in * the} course of ten years. 89
The campaign ended with the fell of Ttmimay 1
and Henry, indulging his taste for ostentation
and pleasure, spent several days in the company
of his queen's nephew, Charles prince of Spain,
and of the aunt of Charles the archdutchess
Margaret. But while the principals seemed
intent on nothing but parties of pleasure, their
ministers were busily employed in framing a °° ul ^
new treaty, by which it was stipulated that
Maximilian, in consideration of a subsidy of
two hundred thousand crowns, should guard
the. frontiers with an army of ten thousand men
-during the next half year: that both powers
Should be ready to renew the war by the firstof
June: and that Charles, before the expiration
- i 1 . ■ ; ■ ■ '

* Herbert, 40, 41. Kym. xiii. 377- Du Beilay, 8^



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38 HISTORY OF feNGLANDi

CHAP, of seven months should marry Henrys sister



Online LibraryJohn LingardA history of England from the first invasion by the Romans, Volume 6 → online text (page 3 of 34)