Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/31

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

John Wallop, which was engaged with the emperor's forces in besieging Landrecy, then in the hands of the French. Charles V, in a letter to Henry VIII, praised Surrey's 'gentil cueur' (21 Oct.). The campaign closed in November, and Surrey returned to England, after taking leave of the emperor in a special audience at Valenciennes (18 Nov.) Henry received him kindly, and made him his cupbearer. In February 1544 he was directed to entertain one of the emperor's generals, the Duke de Najera, on a visit to England. He was then occupying himself in building a sumptuous house, Mount Surrey, near Norwich, on the site of the Benedictine priory of St. Leonards, and there, or at his father's house at Lambeth, Hadrianus Junius resided with him as tutor to his sons, and Thomas Churchyard the poet as a page. Mount Surrey was destroyed in the Norfolk insurrection of 1549 (cf. Blomefield, Norfolk, iv. 427). In June 1544 he was appointed marshal of the army which was despatched to besiege Montreuil. The vanguard was commanded by Norfolk, Surrey's father, who wrote home enthusiastically of his son's bravery. On 19 Sept. Surrey was wounded in a futile attempt to storm Montreuil, and his life was only saved by the exertions of his friend Thomas Clere. When the siege was raised a few days later, Surrey removed to Boulogne, which Henry VIII had just captured in person, and seems to have returned to England with his father in December. On St. George's day 1545 he attended a chapter of the Garter at St. James's Palace, and in July 1545 he was at Kenninghall.

In August Surrey was sent in command of five thousand men to Calais. On 26 Aug. he was appointed commander of Guisnes, and in the following month the difficult post of commander of Boulogne was bestowed on him, in succession to William, lord Grey de Wilton [q. v.], together with the office of lieutenant-general of the king by land and sea in all the English possessions on the continent (Rymer, Fœdera, xv. 3 Sept.) Surrey actively superintended many skirmishes near Boulogne, but he was reprimanded by Henry (6 Nov.) for exposing himself to needless danger. In his despatches home he strongly urged Henry VIII to use every effort to retain Boulogne, but his father, writing to him from Windsor on 27 Sept., warned him that his emphatic letters on the subject were resented by many members of the council, and were not altogether to the liking of the king. In December he paid a short visit to London to consult with the king in council. In January 1545-6 the French marched from Montreuil with the intention of revictualling a fortress in the neighbourhood of Boulogne. Surrey intercepted them at St. Etienne; a battle followed, and the English forces were defeated. In his despatch to the king, Surrey fully acknowledged his defeat, and Henry sent a considerate reply (18 Jan. 1546). Early in March his request that his wife might join him at Boulogne was refused, on the ground that 'trouble and disquietness unmeet for woman's imbecillities' were approaching. A week later Secretary Paget announced that Edward Seymour, lord Hertford, and Lord Lisle were to supersede him in his command. Surrey and Hertford had long been pronounced enemies, and Hertford's appointment to Boulogne destroyed all hope of reconciliation. Negotiations which proved fruitless were pending at the time for the marriage of Surrey's sister, the widowed duchess of Richmond, to Hertford's brother, Sir Thomas Seymour. Surrey sarcastically denounced the scheme as a farce, and he indignantly scouted his father's suggestion that his own infant children might be united in marriage with members of Hertford's family. On 14 July Surrey complained to Paget that two of his servants, whom he had appointed to minor posts at Boulogne, had been discharged, and that false reports were abroad that he had personally profited by their emoluments. In August 1546 he took part in the reception at Hampton Court of ambassadors from France.

In December Henry was known to be dying, and speculation was rife at court as to who should be selected by the king to fill the post of protector or regent during the minority of Prince Edward. The choice was admitted to lie between Surrey's father and Hertford. Surrey loudly asserted that his father alone was entitled to the office. Not only the Seymours and their dependents, but William, lord Grey of Wilton, whom he had superseded at Boulogne, his sister, and many early friends whom his vanity had offended, all regarded him at the moment with bitter hostility. In December 1546 facts were brought by Sir Richard Southwell, an officer of the court at one time on good terms with Surrey, to the notice of the privy council, which gave his foes an opportunity of attack. Before going to Boulogne Surrey had discussed with Sir Christopher Barker, then Richmond Herald, his right to include among his numerous quarterings the arms of Edward the Confessor, which Richard II had permitted his ancestor, Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, to bear. The College of Arms, it was stated, forbade the proposed alteration, but Surrey, in his anxiety to prove the superiority of his own ancestry to that of the Seymours or any of the new