English Foreign Policy 1540-7

Henrician foreign policies 1540-7

HideShow resource information

The Cleves Marriage: 1540

  • Treaty of Nice -- 1538
    • peace treaty between Francis and Charles
  • Treaty of Aigues-Mortes -- 1538
    • treaty between Catholic monarchs and the Pope Paul III
    • Aigues-Mortes was a town associated with treaties before crusades

Because of the above treaties, Henry feared a Catholic invasion. His excommunication had already been re-iterated by Pope Paul III.

He wanted an alliance with the Schmalkaldic League, which at first he found difficult as he was not fully Lutheran. Therefore, he achieved it by marriage to Anne of Cleves.

1 of 7

The Cleves Marriage: 1540

6th January 1540 Henry married to Anne of Cleves

  • marriage went badly. From his first sighting of her at Greenwich, Henry asked Cromwell if there was a way out of the marriage, but there wasn't.
  • Henry claimed he found Anne unattractive and he "could not be provoked nor stirred to know her carnally"

9th July 1540 Marriage annulled due to non-consummation

  • not just due to Anne's supposed ugliness
  • by July relationships between Charles and Francis has broken down. Threat of Catholic invasion had diminished
2 of 7

Return to War

Reasons for War:

  • Henry wanted to conquer Scotland and unify the British Isles. The Auld Alliance, allying France and Scotland, meant that war with France naturally followed
  • Henry wanted to return to the military glory of his younger years
  • James V of Scotland was a threat to the throne
    • his mother, Margaret, was Henry's sister
  • he now had the opportunity for war
  • Treaty of Nice did not last -- he now had an ally in Charles V
  • dissolution of the monastries meant that Henry had far more money to channel into war
  • leading Scottish governmental officials were Catholic
  • Henry had sent letters to James V telling him to dissolve the monastries, but James did not
  • They agreed to meet at York (1542) to talk it over, Henry went but James did not arrive. The crowd had been waiting impatiently, this was considered an insult to Henry
3 of 7

War with Scotland

August 1542 Preparations were made for war with Scotland.

A series of border raids were made.

The Scottish responded with an invasion of the West March

Large Scottish army routed by a much smaller English force:

Battle of Solway Moss 24th November 1542

James V died (allegedly of shame) ===> 6-day-old Mary, Queen of Scots

  • similar to Flodden Field (9 September 1513)
  • Henry wanted to assert English authority by making Mary marry Edward
  • hostages taken at Solway Moss ("assured lords") given to Scotland to promote the English cause

July 1543 Treaty of Greenwich: M to stay in Scotland until she married E.
"built on sand" -- Guy

Ignored by Scots 

4 of 7

The Rough Wooing

Terror should be used to bring the Scots to heel and promote Mary's marriage to Edward.

May 1544 Seymour instructed to raid lowlands and Edinburgh

War on two fronts: Scotland and France

May 1545 3,500 French troops arrive in Scotland

Sept 1545 Seymour raided Tweed valley

May 1546 Scottish protestants killed Cardinal Beaton, the leading Catholic in Scottish government

5 of 7

Alliance with Charles V

Feb 1543 Alliance made with Charles V in order to achieve war with France and Scotland

Dec 1543 New alliance made between them: together, Henry and Charles agreed to invade France

14 Sept 1544 Henry led army into France. Boulogne fell to the English.

18 Sept 1544 Peace of Crepy -- Charles and Francis made peace, France could now concentrate on war with the English.

July 1545 The French gathered forces, aiming to attack the coast. Driven away by the English (Battle of the Solent)

Peace of Ardres, 1546 -- England keeps Boulogne until 1554 when the French might buy it back. Perpetual pension for England, acknowledgement of Henry as Supreme head of the Church of England.

6 of 7

Cost of Foreign Policy

1542-7 expenditure on war was £2,135,000

Paid for by:

  • sale of monastic land
  • taxation
  • forced loans
  • debasement of coinage
  • loans from Antwerp

Guy: "the wars were wasteful and ineffective"

Elton: "a futile disaster"

7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all British monarchy - Tudors and Stuarts resources »