29 October 1532 – Henry VIII says Goodbye to Francis I

Posted By on October 29, 2014

Henry VIII and Francis I manuscriptOn 29th October 1532, according to Wynkyn de Word, Henry VIII accompanied Francis I to Morgison, situated seven miles outside of Calais, and bid farewell to him there. Francis I then carried on to Paris:

“And vpon the. xxix. daye of October the frensshe kynge departed fro Caleys to Parys ward and our kynge brought hym as ferre as Morgyson which is fro Caleys. vij. myle and so came to Caleys agayne.”

Chronicler Edward Hall dates the farewell to 30th October and writes:

“The morowe after beyng the thirtie daie of October, the two kynges departed out of Caleis, and came nere to Sadyngfeld, and there alighted in a faire grene place, where was a table set, and there the Englishemen serued the Frenchemen of wyne, Ypocras, fruite, & spice abondantly. When the two kynges had communed a litle, they mounted on their horses, and at the very enteryng of the French grounde, they toke handes, and with Princely countenaunce, louyng behauor, and hartie wordes, eche embrased other and so depart there departed.”

The main aim of the trip to Calais was for Henry and Anne to gain Francis I’s support for their union and in that they were successful. Francis was sympathetic to their plight and offered to give Henry French protection against Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Catherine of Aragon’s nephew. As a result of his meeting with Henry VIII, Francis I wrote to the Bishop of Auxerre with instructions to talk to the Pope:

“Perceives from the language used by the king of England at their interview that he also is displeased at the way the Pope has acted in the matter of his marriage, and especially at the citation to appear at Rome, without sending judges to England. Every one knows that it has not been usual to compel kings to come to Rome. Both the Kings desire to inform the Pope more fully of their causes of complaint, so that he may remedy them for the future, and to have some persons present at the interview between the Pope and Emperor who can speak when affairs concerning them are discussed. Intends, therefore, to send the cardinals Tournon and Grammont speedily, with instructions. Desires him to inform the Pope of their coming, to send them news as often as possible, and to inform them of the time and place of the meeting.”

Of course, Henry VIII soon took it upon himself to forget the Pope and marry Anne regardless. Edward Hall writes of how the couple married on Thursday 14th November 1532, St Erkenwald’s Day, the day after they arrived back at Dover, and whether or not that is true they certainly began living like man and wife from that point on.

Notes and Sources

  • The Maner of the tryumphe of Caleys and Bulleyn and The noble tryumphaunt coronacyon of Quene Anne, wyfe unto the most noble kynge Henry VIII, Wynkyn de Worde, p16
  • Hall’s Chronicle, Edward Hall, p794
  • George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat, Clare Cherry and Claire Ridgway, p139-140
  • LP v. 1489
  • Picture: Henry VIII and Francis I of France, manuscript, from http://www.marileecody.com/temporary/images.html

5 thoughts on “29 October 1532 – Henry VIII says Goodbye to Francis I”

  1. Christine says:

    Funny when you consider they couldn’t stand one another yet put on this big display of friendship, a bit like our world leaders today, times haven’t changed much, or at least people havnt, when they’d said their goodbyes they was probably insulting one another to their friends.

  2. BanditQueen says:

    Francis would later describe Henry as the friend that was most difficult to bear because Henry was so changeable and did not stay on the side of France for long, save when he needed Francis to support his latest cause, in this case his marriage to Anne Boleyn. Kings have always had this way with diplomacy, calling each other brother and friend, seeing each other as fellow kings, as equals, even from ancient times; then going off to war with each other. Courtesy and form demanded a show and display of fine dinning and gay living, to impress their fellow Kings, but also it was a show to say: this is what I have, this is the power and respect that I command; this is the political might that I command; this is what you face if you go to war with me. It is nothing new to entertain fellow kings in this way, especially when you wanted to avoid war or to get their support; the Kings of the Hittites wrote to the Pharaohs of Egypt as equals and sent gifts, and vice versa. They addressed each other as brother monarchs. Henry wanted endorsement from Francis, what better way to get it than to wine and dine him in finery for several days.

    However, the visit had not completely been the success that Henry had hoped. The Queen of France and the sister of Francis had refused to attend at Calais and to accept or receive Anne in Paris. Anne was not going to be formerly presented to Francis in Paris as they had hoped as his future Queen even if Francis endorsed the marriage in private and while on English soil in Calais. But still the visit to some extent had been a success and a good time had been had. Dancing, dinner, exchange of gifts, lavish entertainments and so on, and the visit ended cordially with future promises of support and friendship. Anne and Henry returned home in good spirits, but that was not the only reason to be happy, private happiness was to be achieved as well.

    The English were delayed in their return to Dover by storms for a couple of weeks and Henry and Anne took full advantage of it. They consumated their union and according to one source they were married or at least went through a commitment ceremony in France. They certainly slept together and their full commitment to each other was achieved. Anne had held out for marriage but now it was about to become a reality and with nothing to stop them Henry and Anne became a couple in the fullest sense of the word and began to sleep together. It was no wonder that they returned to England in a good mood.

  3. Rute Pereira says:

    I found something here that confuses me. This post says: “…the couple married on Thursday 14th November 1532, St Erkenwald’s Day, the day after they arrived back at Dover…”
    I thought that Henry and Anne married when she was already pregnant with Elizabeth? Isn’t that true? Well, at least that’s what The Tudors say and other posts.
    Can you please help me, I’m a little confused with the dates and the order of events.

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Rute,
      According to the chronicler Edward Hall, the couple married privately on St Erkenwald’s Day, but then there was an official, although still secret marriage, on 25th January 1533. We do not know whether Hall is correct, or perhaps whether it was some kind of betrothal, we’ll never know!

      1. Rute Pereira says:

        Howdy Claire!
        Thank you so much for your help and the information you gave. It helped so much!
        I only knew the date of the marriage when Henry suspected Anne was pregnant, perhaps in January, the official date. I never knew they did another ceremony, prior to this one. If it happened like this they married twice.
        I guess I have to do something like this, lol. Two ceremonies (one private) with close relatives and another one very big. I would be a happy bride!

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