Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/520

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enemy whom France was so anxious to conciliate as England. The death of Anne of Britanny cleared the way for Louis to enter the state of matrimony again at the age of fifty-two, and Henry had n& scruple about giving him the hand of his own sister Mary, a beautiful girl of eighteen. On August 7 there were concluded in London a treaty of peace with France and another for the marriage, a pledge being given by French commissioners for the payment of 1,000,000 gold crowns by half-yearly instalments of 50,000 francs. The marriage was actually celebrated at Abbeville on October 9.

This new alliance with France astonished the world, and spread serious alarm in many places. Henry certainly harboured deep designs in connexion with it, especially against his father-in-law; while Louis considered that he should now be able most effectually to prosecute his claim to the duchy of Milan. But Europe had scarcely had time to consider what might come of these arrangements, when they were virtually at an end. Louis XII died on January 1, 1515; and, as he left no sons, the Count of Angouleme succeeded him as Francis I. There was, indeed, no disposition, at all events on the part of Francis, to break off the amity with England; but it was clear from the first that that young and chivalrous King would be a rival, and not a help, to Henry in his European schemes. The embassy sent to him from England on his accession was headed by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, in whom the hope had been raised of marrying the widowed French Queen. Unfortunately for the other purposes of the Duke's mission, Francis found out his secret, and, after putting him to the blush, promised every possible assistance in the matter he had most at heart. The King was as good as his word; but the impatience of the young couple, who feared strong opposition in England, induced them to be married in France before they left. On their return Suffolk was in serious danger from the indignation of King Henry and his nobles; but by Wolsey's intercession he procured his pardon.

Suffolk's indiscretion had, in fact, entailed the failure of some secret diplomacy with which he had been charged; and succeeding ambassadors could not remedy the result of his mismanagement. Francis renewed the treaty made with Suffolk's predecessor, and took his departure for Italy in order to assert his claim to Milan, evading an inconvenient demand that he should prevent the Duke of Albany from proceeding to Scotland.

John Duke of Albany was the son of Duke Alexander, who had tried to supplant his brother James III in Scotland, and had been driven into exile in France. There his son had been brought up and was now living,—a Frenchman in birth and feeling, but next heir to the Crown of Scotland after the two children of James IV. For this reason the Scottish people desired his coming. Immediately after the battle of Flodden, it is true, the widowed Queen Margaret was