England and Europe in the Sixteenth Century by Susan Doran (auth.)

By Susan Doran (auth.)

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To Charles he expressed concerns about the expense and logistical difficulties of marching deep into France, but he was also suspicious that the emperor might let him down as he had in 1523. His commanders in France reinforced his decision. The Duke of Norfolk, who landed at Calais in June 1544, advised a siege of Montreuil 'which they cannot assure us of winning, but are not in despair therof', while Sir John Russell urged attacks on Boulogne and Ardres. As Russell confided to Sir Anthony Browne: And in case we should after this sort wander, as I may well call it, in a wild war, dispending so much, to the King's no little charge, the same cannot sound so much to his Highness' honor; besides that to be bruited in the world that no noble and prudent a prince, the father of all Christendom in this world, as he is, and so reputed and taken, should return home without winning anything.

According to Polydore Virgil, Henry argued: Honour and Reputation 17 that it behoved him to enter upon his first military experience in so important and difficult a war in order that he might, by a single start to his martial knowledge, create such a fine opinion about his valour among all men that they would clearly understand that his ambition was not merely to equal but indeed to exceed the glorious deeds of his ancestors. 12 Accordingly, no expense was to be spared for this venture. Henry made extravagant promises to subsidize the armies of Spain and the emperor, and spent huge sums on providing armour, weapons, ordnance, ships, victuals and land transport for his own invasion force of30-40,000 men, an army at least three times the size of Henry V's invading force.

Outward friendship, however, masked the continuing rivalry between the two kings and competition over status and image. As Glenn Richardson has explained, their cultural interaction 'was designed to assert superior international status through every means other than military confrontation. ' When the two rulers met at Boulogne and Calais in October 1532, each tried to outdo the other in the lavish entertainments provided and the extravagance of the gifts exchanged. 4l Henry's rivalry with Francis lasted until both died in early 1547.

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