246 A Rough Wooing

In 1542, Henry’s sought war with France; but before that, he must make sure his northern borders were safe. So began the Rough Wooing, as Henry sought to bring a Pro-English part to power in Scotland, and then bully her into a marriage alliance.

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James V and FriendsArchibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus (1489-1557) was for long part of the pro English camp, but by 1545 he largely opposed Henry VIII’s policy and led the Scottish army to victory at Ancrum Moor and in 156 supported the repudiation of the treaty of Greenwich.

Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox (1516-1571) was a descendant of James II, who spent much of his youth in England. He landed with French troops in support of David Beaton but would soon become a supporter of Henry VIII, thouigh without the resources to have much impact. He would return to Scotland with Elizabeth I’s encouragement, and his son Lord Darnley would marry Mary Queen of Scots and be murdered.

James Hamilton Earl of Arran (c. 1516 – 1575) was a descendant of King James II and therefore the heir to the throne until James V produced children. Although he initially had protestant and pro English leanings, after he became Regent he would become firmly aligned with Cardinal Beaton and the cause of Catholicism. In 1554 he surrendered the regency to Mary of Guise, but remained her lieutenant.

Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland (1515-1560) was the mother of Mary Queen of Scots and firmly Catholic.

Cardinal David Beaton (1494-1546). Beaton was very much in favour of the French alliance, partly because the English were associated with evangelicalism. Initially imprisoned under Arran’s regency, he formed an alliance with him, created the ;’secret bonmd’ of Scottish noblemen opposed to an English marriage for Mary, and pursued heretics. After burning the preacher George Wishart, Beaton was killed by John Leslie and his body hung from St Andrews castle.

James V, King of Scotland (1512-1542) died soon after the Scottish defeat at Solway Moss, leaving the infant Mary as his sole heir.



So, it is a problem with middle age, or shall we say latish middle age, that there is a terrible temptation to revisit the world of your youth; to take out again the brushed denim jacket with Whitesnake carefully embroidered on the back, to try to wash away your worries that you haven’t seen your toes for longer than is comfortable. But if you are a king, you are no longer in the prime, and you’ve just had to cut your wife’s head off, what do you do? Well, you get married again of course, and, you go to war.

Now of course the main object of Henry’s ambitions had always been France – that was the place where, since Edward III, the glory of English kings was to be won. And despite his relative lack of success, or at least relative to Edward III and Henry V, Henry had been able to bask in a relatively benign diplomatic situation most of his reign, in that Francis and Charles V kept trying to claw each other’s eyes out. Only once so far had the two of them seriously patched things up, and that had been very alarming indeed, England had looked seriously exposed for a while.

But by 1542, happily things on the continent were all back to normal, when in July the two were back at it again, in the romantically named fourth Hapsburg Valois war. After the last 30 podcasts or so, you might be forgiven for thinking that we were well into double figures by now, but nope, it’s just the 4. I plan a European catch up at some point by the way, but for the moment let me also mention an interesting development in the world of European diplomacy, the alliance between France and the Ottoman Empire.

This scandalised Christendom – alliance between the most Christian kingdom of France and the infidel Turk was jaw droppingly outrageous. Francis I had started playing with the idea after the disaster of his defeat and capture in 1525, and by 1538 the two kingdoms had collaborated against the HRE multiple times. This is not a little thing – the tide of Ottoman conquest had rolled over Hungary after the disaster at Mohacs in 1526 right up to the walls of Vienna in 1529 and 1532. The idea of the French furiously stabbing the bulwark of Christendom in the back while they faced such an immediate existential challenge on land and on sea was just gob smacking. And in 1542, as Francis activated a plan that involved 4 invasions of the Empire from France and Denmark, the alliance was once again activated, with Sulieman the Magnificent promising 60,000 men and 150 galleys against the empire. In 1543, the two would jointly besiege Nice. So, you know, Henry, Luther and Calvin were not the only folks dismembering the unity of Christendom.

Anyway, that’s as maybe. In response Charles did what anyone would do, and he approached Henry the heretic, and discussions kicked off and would lead to alliance by February 1543. One of the significant diplomatic wrinkles in the discussions was Henry’s styling. Not his hair, since apart from Edward Henry now had no heir and was basically bald which of course saved on barbers bills, but really, it wasn’t acceptable for Charles V to describe Henry as Supreme head of the church, he’d have received a larruping from the Pope if nothing else, even if Charles himself had been able to live with it – which he wasn’t. Meanwhile Francis I was reported to be very worried and you know, feeling bad about his alliance with Sulieman. His mathering was presumably to stop the Pope from shouting at him, but gave the opportunity for Henry for a reasonable gag when he said that whoever Francis chose to give him absolution, he and Charles would impose the penance. It’s a gag which I doubt went down well in either Spain or Rome – it’s actually more likely to have given Francis a bit of a giggle.

There was another problem though – the back door. As you’ll know, in windy weather it’s important to shut the back door before you open the front, because otherwise it’ll be blowing a gale through your house and who knows what will get broken. The back door in this case was Scotland, Scotland the Brave. Let us go north, over the bleak glory of the fells of Northumberland and the majestic hills and green valleys of the Scottish Borders, and talk about king James of Scotland, the fifth king of that name.

The Scottish monarchy had its dynastic troubles through it’s history, famously with the broken body of Alexander III lying at the foot of the cliff in 1282, but when James IV died at Flodden in 1513, he left just one heir in James V who was but 1 year old when his Dad died, and therefore there was that long minority. This is not the place to go through the troubled life of his mother, Margaret Tudor, Henry’s sister, but relationships between mother and son were difficult, as Margaret constantly tried to gain some control over political life, while hampered by a rather incontinent personal one. Plus Margaret was consistently pro English, rarely a recommendation for popularity in Scotland. Anyway, by the time Margaret died in 1541, she’d won some sort of rehabilitation through the strength of her relationship with James’s wife, Mary of Guise.

I am going to attempt some sort of survey of the key figures in Scottish politics, in the hope that the investment I ask each of you to make now will pay dividends, since we are in a period of shall we say active relations with England. Though you should be aware that shares can go up or down, so let’s hope the dividend is good. Hopefully you have a paper and pencil handy.

One of the factions was that of the Douglas. When I spoke of an incontinent personal life, Margaret Tudor’s marriages after the death of James IV were what I was thinking of. She married first a member of the Douglas family, the earl of Angus, with whom she had a relationship that could not have appeared in an advert for washing up liquid; Margaret managed to get a divorce from Angus in 1527, and she would marry again, but the Douglas faction would remain a force in Scottish politics, often in support of a pro English strategy. Margaret and Angus’s daughter would be the redoubtable Margaret Douglas, a firm Catholic even during the reign of Elizabeth in the period where a group of Catholics together are in danger of being referred to as a nest. Their son, Darnley, would be a future husband of the most famous Mary Queen of Scots.

James Hamilton, the Earl of Arran was a descendant of King James II and therefore the heir to the throne until James V should produce children; at the start of the story he’s protestant and pro English, but try not to hold on too hard to that fact, for that will change.

Then we have Matthew Stewart, also a man with a claim to the Scottish throne, should James V die without an heir, since he was like Arran a descendant of James II. He also spent much of his youth in England. He shall be known as Diego, no he won’t, he’ll be referred to as the Earl of Lennox, for such was his title.

And then a fourth person you need to know about is Cardinal David Beaton. Unsurprisingly, he’s Catholic – the Pope would have been upset with him wandering around calling himself cardinal if he wasn’t, it’d have been a cardinal error. Beaton was very much in favour of the French alliance, and not necessarily simply from a love of croissant, though that would be reason enough, but because the Pro English camp were beginning to be associated with Evangelicalism.

Enough set up; just to check, we have a Douglas, who shall be referred to as the earl of Angus, married for a while to the Queen Mum Margaret, we have the Earl of Arran, currently protestant but not for long, and the Earl of Lennox, and the Cardinal Beaton, the French advocate. These people need to be put into that greatest love of the management consultant, the 2 x 2 grid, a Boston Box or whatever they are called these days. The axes of our 2 x 2 are Protestant-catholic on one axis, and Pro English to Pro French on the other axis. Henry wanted supporters in Scotland down the left hand bottom corner – Pro English, protestant. The history of what becomes known as the rough wooing is the history of most Scots resolutely moving to the top right, Catholic, Pro French but we’ll come to that.

When James V was but an tiny little boy, in 1517, the Scots and French signed the Treaty of Rouen, part of the grand tradition of the Auld Alliance. Spelt with an A. 20 years later in 1537 the 25 year old James completed a diplomatic coup and a glittering marriage when he married Madeleine the daughter of the king of France in Paris, in a magnificent ceremony, where Francis pushed the boat firmly and forcefully out. But sadly Madeleine was not well, and she died almost as soon as she arrived back in Scotland. James’s heart remained firmly with the French alliance, still with a A, and in France he’d noticed a lady called Mary, daughter of the Duke of Guise. He thought she was nice so when Madeleine died he said, hmm, Ok, I’ll marry her now then. Mary was not initially not so keen, not because there was anything wrong with the cut of James’s jib, his jib was both fine and even occasionally dandy, but just because she’d only recently lost her own husband and younger son, and would have to leave behind her little 3 year old nipper if she married James. But Cardinal David Beaton came over to France, was persuasive, the deal was negotiated, and marry James she did, and she proceeded to get on well with her mother in law Margaret, and bring her back into the body politic before Margaret’s death. She gave birth to two boys with James which should have been enough but tragically was not, because both died young. None the less, in 1542, she was once more pregnant, so, third time lucky as they say.

Now we last heard about James when in 1541 he had stood his uncle up at York, his uncle being Henry VIII. Henry had been giving his nephew some friendly advice about becoming nice and protestant because you know, the pope was the anti Christ and anyway dissolving the monasteries was a nice little earner. James was not interested in becoming a protestant, and also he had no heir at the time, no one was going to risk him going to York, nice though York is, and having him captured by the English king or I don’t know falling down a hole or something. But it undoubtedly raised the temperature – no one likes being publicly stood up, and between kings it can be a matter for war. Henry gets most of the grief for the coming trouble; I say most, he gets it absolutely 360 degrees for the coming troubles, but this was not well handled by the Scots either.

So now, French diplomacy has a key priority – to cause war, discord, strife, pain and despair between England and Scotland so that England can’t invade France because of that back door thing I mentioned. Henry’s objective is to close the back door, anmd firmly too – however it happens, make sure the Scots are not going to stab him in the back as they have done so many times before. Despite standing Henry up, the Scots were not keen to have a war with Henry either so at a conference between diplomats in 1542, they agreed with Henry’s demands and agreed that James would come to England at Christmas. Two things are reasonably clear.

  • That Henry’s demands were both aggressive and excessive
  • The Scots were fibbing. They had no intention of complying.

Along with the news of the battle of Haddon Rig in August 1542, where the Scots gave the English a good trouncing in a skirmish, but you know, a win is a win, and captured the English commander, Henry was inclined to force the issue, and demanded his commander back from Haddon Rigg. Now Henry isn’t a terrible diplomat, and in the Renaissance cut and thrust with the Empire and France in his later years he more than holds his own, but here it is generally agreed that he is overbearing and bullying, and that doesn’t help. Though it’s not clear either that, keen through they were to avoid a war, the Scots were ever going to abandon a French alliance. However, as the Scots searched for excuses at York, he sent any army over the border under Norfolk to do a bit of harrying to encourage the Scots. Norfolk does a reasonably pitiful job, getting no further than Kelso before poor logistics forced him back, but nonetheless, in the Aesop’s parable Henry is being the wind rather than sun and as Aesop would have it, the sun did a better job of getting the man to take off his coat, and all Henry was achieving was to have the Scots pull the cost closer around them.

Francis I was delighted. Yipee he said, in French, or actually he is supposed to have said to the English Ambassador

Your Majesty had begun with the Scots and the Scots had given you your hands full

It’s very unlikely that James had wanted a war, the English had invaded his country, so now his blood was up, and the blood of his Councillors was in a similar location, and the cry was that

All is ours! The English are but heretics’

So it was in a spirit of revenge, conquest and religious war that a Scottish army of 15,000 was gathered and in the last week in November they crossed the English border into Cumberland, burning as they went. No one had been expecting them to call, so they could have high expectations of a thoroughly enjoyable bit of burning and pillaging. In command was one Robert, Lord Maxwell, a distinguished councillor of James V, in his late 40’s. Sadly he had been appointed rather at the last minute so was not entirely in control, but since no English army was ready to receive them that didn’t matter, and he could expect to revenge his father by killing a few English – his father had died at Flodden.

Thomas Wharton, Captain of Carlisle, was on the other side of the border when news reached him that the Scots were up. Wharton was a gnarled, experienced and skilled man of the borders. His family had been a well known and respected member of the gentry of Westmoreland and Cumberland for donkey’s years, time immemorial. Also in his 40’s, he’d spent most of his life doing what the gentry did – serving his local magnate, in this case the Cliffords and Percies. I say respected, I did not say liked – Thomas Wharton was a pretty rough bloke who argued with his neighbours and was no more popular with his tenants. But unlike the northern magnates who Henry and Cromwell pushed aside – Dacre, Clifford, Percy – he was competent. And so after Percy died, from 1537 he worked directly to the crown as a warden of the marches, as a rather neat example of that developing direct relationship between king and gentry. When we spoke about this a few episodes ago, about Cromwell’s policy towards the north, there was mention of the theory that the changes in the north may indeed have encouraged a closer relationship between people and state, and pushed the magnates into a service role, but maybe damaged the defence of the north. Well, the defences of the north were about to be tested. So we’ll see about that.

Wharton probably didn’t worry too much about the news at first – the news came from the debateable land, a patch of land on the border that both kings of Scotland and England swore blind belonged to them. It was notably lawless and violent in the lawless and violent society of the borders, so it might have taken a while to realise this was something a bit different, he was probably always getting news from there. Either way, the resources he had available were pretty limited. But it’s unlikely Wharton worried much about that either. He was confident that 1 Englishman was worth 5 Scots any day. As it happens this is not just a figure of speech, since 3,000 men were all Wharton could scrape together, so if 1 Englishman was not to prove worth 5 Scots in this particular situation, then he was toast. Could I just distance myself from any implication, by the way, that I share such a divisive philosophy? As far as I am concerned the exchange rate should always be 1 English – 1 Scot. Just saying, that’s all, I don’t want any trouble.

Anyway, I have got hung up, let me get on with it. Its 24th November. As the Scots came charging over the debateable land, they suddenly realised to their horror that there was an English force on the top of the hill ahead of them. It was puny, 1/5th of their size, but it was coherent, and commanded by a nasty looking bloke. And look, Maxwell was barely in control, so when Wharton sent his small cavalry force to charge the Scots, chaos ensued in their ranks. Maxwell dismounted, and they reformed as well as they could and tried to hold the banks of the River Esk, but they were none the less forced back and they found themselves trapped between the river and the moss – the peat bog. Many tried to flee and were cut down, or drowned in the moss. In the end about 1200 Scots were captured, including 2 Earls and 500 gentlemen, and who knows how many died.

Before we move on, just a further note about Wharton’s career, because it’s quite interesting actually. We tend to see the dramatic 16th century as one of terribly difficult split loyalties, where the poor people of England were pulled from pillar to post in agonies of conscience; the poor protestants appalled and suffering agonies at the Bishops hands under Henry, and then with Queen Mary, the poor old Catholic recusant families harbouring their brave priests and so on a so forth. Thomas Wharton, a bit like the Duke of Norfolk, had one guiding principle, and that was loyalty to the king. Where we can see his religious affiliation, he is quite clearly traditional – in 1549 he voted against the act to allow priests to marry for example. But that came second to his loyalty to the king, and he has a successful career whatever monarch was on the throne. His son would have rather more religious sensibilities but would also die in his bed. My point is that for many in England throughout all the shenanigans, the French Ambassador was right to say that most of the English would worship Mohammmed if the English King told them to do so. Solway Moss also we might suggest gives the lie to the idea that Henry and Cromwell damaged the defence of the north. It isn’t quite as simple as that. It is worth saying that using the revenge argument to justify launching an invasion could be used at any time by either England and Scotland; there were constantly raids by either side, it is impossible to have a real ‘they started it sir’ argument here. In the world of constant raids, therefore, it’s not just about these big set pieces – the argument is that in some key places along the English border, English manors were more vulnerable. So fair enough, but it’s also clear that English defence remained robust, and in this case, very effective.

The continually repeated story is that when James V died a couple of weeks later on 6th December 1542, that he died of grief from the defeat at Solway Moss. Clearly it’s utter tripe but gets repeated everywhere, including me here now. I am so sorry. James V had been ill just before the battle, he fell ill after it, and he died, aged 30. He left a wife, Mary of Guise, and a titchy tiny daughter, called Mary. Known to history as Mary Queen of Scots.

Now, Scotland was subjected to the misfortune of another minority, this time with an aggressive English king to the south. Henry’s reaction was to think that he could control Scotland and keep them out of the war with France, using third parties rather than direct intervention and invasion. It’s interesting this – again Henry’s policy is heavily criticised on the one hand as being bullying, overbearing and aggressive; and on the other as being doomed by a reluctance to invest military resources, wildly optimistic, indecisive. More than one historian says that at this point Scotland was defenceless and use words like there’s no doubt that an invasion would have brought Scotland under Henry’s control. Seriously? Do they not know their Edward I, or indeed the entire history of English invasions of Scotland which repeatedly proved that the English were incapable of controlling Scotland by force? And anyway, Henry didn’t want to conquer Scotland; what he did now want was that his Edward, and James and Mary’s little Mary should marry, and in time would bring the two crowns under one dynasty. He had no desire to launch an invasion of Scotland, he wanted to be fighting in France, not Scotland. He just wanted the back door closed. Oh, and again now a marriage between little Edward and Mary was a possibility.

And so he released all the captured Scottish Lords, Lord Maxwell amongst them, and sent them back to Scotland, on condition that they support the English cause. The Earl of Angus went too, and he married Maxwell’s daughter as it happens. Meanwhile, it was the Earl of Arran that became the Regent, and Arran that had to walk a tricky line between the pro French, Catholic Cardinal Beaton, and the pro English and Protestants. He seemed to accept Henry’s proposal for the future at this point, supported by the likes of Angus and so everything seemed to be going Henry’s way. But he was suspicious of Arran’s real intentions, and rightly so, and he sent Ralph Sadler north to be the Ambassador to Scotland. Remember Ralph Sadler? Faithful member of Cromwell’s household. Sadler made Henry aware that it was a snakepit in Scotland. He explained the three main parties:

‘the heretics and English lords’, that is, the governor and his ‘partakers’; another, ‘which is called the scribes and pharisees’, who looked to France, namely, the clergy and their allies; and a third which was neuter ‘and will take the stronger side in any business’.

In July 1543, the Scottish negotiators agreed the Treaty of Greenwich with England, which committed to this marriage, and that when she was 10 years old Mary would come south to live at the English court, and so still, everything seemed to be going Henry’s way. Henry was suspicious of the Scottish commitment, but he allowed himself to be convinced that everything was sorted, and proceeded to war with France which we’ll cover in the next episode. But actually, Henry’s instincts had been quite right – as regent of Scotland, Arran was playing his own game, the game he thought best for Scotland, unsurprisingly. He returned firmly to the conservative catholic fold, released David Beaton from prison.  The Earl of Lennox landed in Scotland with French soldiers, and Henry’s plan was in flames. In desperation, Henry now turned to the Earl of Angus to be his man, the man who would deliver his strategy. It was always a forlorn hope, Angus was doomed to failure, and by the end of 1543 the Scottish parliament had repudiated the English treaties, and reconfirmed the Auld Alliance.

But really, blink and you would miss the next act in this drama. Lennox now fell out with Arran, disappointed in the actual power he had gained by his support for Arran, and while he crossed over to the English side and asked for support from Henry, he might have met Angus going the other way to Arran’s side. What we have really is a civil war with England as an interested party, and bit like with Henry III in the 13th century. But whereas back then men like Walter Comyn and Alan Durward held back their hands from violence, and Henry III, whatever his faults, was essentially a man of peace and also held back from military intervention, Henry VIII was a man in search of dominance and control, and Lennox and Arran were likewise prepared to draw blood. And don’t forget that we now have a religious element, with Beaton keeping up the pressure to remove the protestants from power and persecute them wherever he could find them; Beaton had also agreed the so called ‘secret bond’ with a group of Scottish lords to stop any idea of a marriage between Mary and Edward.

Henry now turned to Edward Seymour, the Earl of Hertford – Jane Seymour’s brother. Livid with what he saw as the Scots perfidy, reneging on the Treaty of Greenwich, Henry reached for the gun. He would convince the Scots of the love between Edward and Mary by burning their country. This is what is called the rough wooing, which I think is a phrase invented by Walter Scot. Henry told Hertford that he should show the Scots the consequences of their resistance, and convince them that marriage was the best solution, by burning and pillaging the borders up to and including St Andrews. To his credit, Hertford argued that this was the wrong course; not because he was against the idea of burning and killing for his monarch and the greater glory of his country – pretty much everyone in Tudor days in Scotland, England, France, Spain, the world, wherever, saw that as the rightful way of the world. He just thought it wouldn’t work, that the Scots needed persuading; he suggested capturing a few strongpoints, and using these as a base to invade later if needed, and meanwhile keep out the French.

But the king was in control of strategy. He agreed to go only as far as Edinburgh, rather than St Andrews, but Hertford must go. Given his orders Hertford carried them out efficiently – he was a decent general. He attacked by sea and land, and by May was in Edinburgh. He ignored the castle, and burned the town, and then came home; this was a punitive raid, no more no less, and joins the long list of English and Scottish punitive raids.

I think we should continue with Scottish affairs to the end of Henry’s reign, so let me go on. Hertford was essentially correct – Hertford’s attack in 1544 just irritated the Scots, it didn’t cow them, they’d been in this situation plenty of times before. The raid did inspire Mary of Guise to make a bid for power to remove Arran as regent – but in this she was unsuccessful, although one day she would indeed get her wish. As 1544 turned into 1545, the English continued to lead raids across the Border, and in February the northern lord Ralph Eure, another longstanding northern English family, led about 5,000 English and German mercenaries, to be met at Ancrum Moor by a small Scottish force, led by the Earl of Angus. The Scots ran off, and Ralph and his army set off in hot pursuit, smelling blood.

The Blood they smelled was their own. As they came over the hill, they met the main Scottish army – the running away thing had been a trick. In the resulting counter attack by the Scots, the element of surprise and the longer Scottish pikes did their job. Eure was killed, the English scattered, and Scottish arms could celebrate a victory. And it not only fed Scottish confidence, but fed French confidence, and Francis now raised the prospect of a joint Franco-Scottish invasion from Scotland.

For all intents and purposes, the Battle of Ancrum Moor ended Henry VIII’s interventions in Scotland, though it did not bring the rough wooing to an end – we still have another chapter in that story under Edward VI, but essentially by the time of Henry’s death the idea of a willing marriage between Edward and Mary was dead. Scotland’s religious future was far from settled, but a man called John Knox at this point enters the story.

Cardinal David Beaton was as determined as the French Catholic Mary of Guise to stamp out heresy in Scotland; and his eye fell on one George Wishart. Wishart was a notable evangelical preacher, tramping the countryside with his message; and one of his admirers was a 30 year old preacher and graduate of St Andrews University, John Knox. In 1545, Beaton had Wishart arrested, he was tried for heresy and in 1546 was strangled and burned.

Retribution was swift. On 29th May, a local landowner and protestant called John Leslie broke into St Andrews castle, killed David Beaton and hung his body from the castle walls. And so began a minor rebellion on the Fife coast, a rebellion of protestant lords holding out in St Andrews castle, where in April 1547 John Knox himself joined them. By July, Mary of Guise had enlisted the help of the French, the castle was retaken, and Knox chained to the seats of a Galleys in the French Navy as a slave, condemned to row. He would be back however.

Ok, so that for the moment is that England and Scotland. As I say, it’s not Henry’s finest moment maybe, but the depth of criticism of the likes of Scarisbrick, Rogers, Matusiak seems a little excessive to me. The accusation is that Henry had two opportunities; at one point a simple walk in invasion after Solway Moss, and that he was too indecisive, seeking to instead to put a pro English Scottish party in power there. And then that secondly there was a great chance to peacefully agree a marriage between Edward and Mary and achieve the 1603 solution, two crowns united under one dynasty, and that Henry’s bullying, and aggressive tactics destroyed this opportunity.

It seems a little inconsistent – that Henry was on the one hand not violent enough and on the other too violent. The Scots had both proved many times that England was incapable of conquering them by force, and Henry at no point planned or attempted to conquer Scotland militarily and he was right to recognise that would have been futile.  It seems to me that the Scots were never going to agree to the marriage between Edward and Mary. In the final analysis though, Henry unlike his namesake Henry III had not proved a friend to Scotland. In one limited respect he did achieve his objective – he kept the back door closed while he fought in France. If there was a bigger opportunity, his clumsy and violent approach made certain that it failed – but you have to question if it really was an opportunity anyway.

Next week then we will finally turn to the survived part of the old doggerel, and to the third Queen Catherine of Henry’s reign, Catherine Parr.

4 thoughts on “246 A Rough Wooing

  1. Sorry for the pedantic spoiler, but croissant is not French, but Austrian. There is a long story behind this if you are interested.

    1. Yup tell me more! I suspect they are going to feel French still, though, bu tit looks as though, depending on the convincing evidence you present, that croissant stereotyping jokes will need to stop…probably a good thing!

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