Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/517

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

was foolhardy; but Howard's gallantry retrieved the honour of the English nation.

For several months preparations had been in progress for an invasion of France by the King in person. It may have been in order to prevent any possible conspiracy at home that the unhappy Earl of Suffolk, whose brother Richard de la Pole was now in the French King's service, was beheaded on April 30, notwithstanding the promise given by Henry VII that his life should be spared. The first portion of the invading army went over to Calais in the latter part of May, and the King himself landed there on June 30, having left the Queen behind him as Regent in his absence. Siege was laid to the fortified city of Terouanne on June 22; but it still held out on August 4, when the King joined the besiegers. On the llth he left the camp and had a meeting with the Emperor Maximilian, between Terouanne and Aire, in very foul weather; of which, indeed, there had been much already. Next day the Emperor visited the trenches and returned for a time to Aire. He was afterwards content, instead of joining the King under his own banner, to serve with his company at the King's wages under the banner of St George; for he was always glad of money, while his great military experience was unquestionably of service to the King. On the night of the llth Lyon King of Arms arrived with a message from James IV, setting forth various complaints against England and requiring Henry to desist from the invasion of a country which was James' ally. To this an appropriate answer was next day returned by Henry.

On the 16th the King removed his camp to Guinegaste in order to defeat any attempt on the part of the French, who were mustering south of Terouanne, at victualling the place. They were presently descried and, after a brief encounter, took to flight, leaving in the hands of the English some most illustrious prisoners, among whom were the Duke of Longueville and the renowned Chevalier Bayard. The engagement received the name of "the Battle of the Spurs" from the speedy flight of the French. A week later, on the 23rd, Terouanne surrendered. The fortifications which had made it so formidable were then blown up, and the invading army passed on to Tournay, which likewise surrendered a month later, on September 23. These conquests were not valuable to England unless she had an interest in Belgium; but Henry looked forward to the marriage of his sister Mary to young Charles of Castile, which, as we have seen, had been arranged in Henry VII's time. The city of Terouanne, as belonging to the House of Burgundy, was made over to the Emperor, whose soldiers ruthlessly destroyed it by fire. On the way to Tournay Henry paid a visit to Margaret of Savoy at Lille, which was within the territory of Flanders; and after the capture of the city she returned the visit, bringing with her the young Prince, then in his fourteenth year. Yet another meeting