29 October 1532 – Loving behaviour and hearty words

Henry VIII and Francis I manuscriptOn this day in history, 29th October 1532, according to Wynkyn de Word, King Henry VIII accompanied his French counterpart, King Francis I, to Morgison, situated seven miles outside of Calais, and bid farewell to him there. Francis I then carried on to Paris.

The two kings had spent four days together in English-held Calais and four days together at the French court in Calais, but now it was time for these ‘beloved brothers’ to part and get on with ruling their kingdoms.

As Clare Cherry and I explained in our book George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat “Ostensibly the meeting was to discuss the defence of Christendom against the Turks, but in reality it was to discuss the steps necessary to bring about the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and to enlist the King of France’s active support.” Francis I was sympathetic to the couple’s plight and promised his support if England needed help against Catherine of Aragon’s nephew, Emperor Charles V.

You can read more about Henry VIII and Francis I’s farewell on this day in 1532 in my article 29 October 1532 – Henry VIII says Goodbye to Francis I and here is a timeline of the 1532 trip to Calais with links to articles and videos where relevant:

  • Friday 11 October 1532 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn set sail from Dover on The Swallow at Dawn and arrive at Calais at 10 o’clock in the morning.
  • Wednesday 16 October 1532 – While Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII are lodged in Calais, the Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Derby and a group of gentleman meet with Anne, duc de Montmorency, “the great mayster of Fraunce”, and his men at the English Pale, six miles outside of Calais.
  • Monday 21 October 1532 – Henry VIII leaves Anne Boleyn in Calais to spend four days with Francis I, “his beloved brother”, at the French court in Boulogne. Click here for more.
  • Friday 25 October 1532 – Henry VIII and Francis I arrive in Calais, and Henry VIII plays host. Click here for more.
  • 27 October – Anne Boleyn makes her entrance in a lavish masque – See https://youtu.be/JDGwNNM6G_E or click here for article.

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7 thoughts on “29 October 1532 – Loving behaviour and hearty words”
    1. Well one minute were friends with France then the next we wasn’t, France has always been called Englands natural born enemy, although millions of years ago Britain was part of Europe, a tsunami split us apart and as with some countries who are very nearby, a certain enmity prevails, they did resent the fact we owned Calais but as for was Francois and Henry actually friends we have no idea, all monarchs called their fellows my brother or sister, like Elizabeth and Mary of Scots but they were always aware of the fact that under the sychopantic talk and gestures of friendship their feelings cannot really be taken as genuine, it was for expedient sake nothing more, politics always had a hand in wether two monarchs professed love for each other, Anne had a love of France and must have had some fond memories of her youth there, I would not be surprised if she did not speak glowingly of Francois to Henry, which maybe irked him a little? He was a very vain and in his youth asked many a foreign visitor who was the taller between the two of them, and he liked to draw attention to his calves, Francois legs were rather spindly in comparison, we can see there was a healthy normal interest in the French King, they were both exceptionally tall in an age where the average man was about five foot six, Francois I must admit I have always found fascinating, he was dark and saturnine looking to Henrys golden Adonis like beauty, he was ruler of the most elegant and fascinating yet depraved court in Europe, he was debauched and yet there is something a woman finds so interesting about a man who is a self confessed womaniser, he has a long face with a long nose and wide sensual mouth, he looks sardonic in his full length portrait and I should imagine in real life, he was very eloquent and charming, he also welcomed many learned men to his court, one of them Leonardo da Vinci who was to die his arms, a scene which was captured in oils by one of the foremost painters of the day, it is impossible not know how many women he had bedded but in his lifestyle caught up with him and he died not long after Henry V111, possibly of some venereal disease, by comparison Henry conducted his love affairs most discreetly, and there are probably more we do not know about, he is said to deplored his ‘dear brothers’ way of living but then Francois never became a tyrant and he certainly never murdured his wives, apart from the fact that they were near neighbour’s and fellow monarchs, both Francois and Henry could not have had much in common, they were both cultured Renaissance princes however, as most European rulers did have a very good education befitting their status.

      1. Thank you Christine. I was curious because their ‘romance: was such a roller coaster ride over the years I couldn’t tell if it was a serious friendship or court etiquette and personal convenience

  1. This is a beautiful illumination. This is the first time I have seen it and it’s fantastic. Just look at the beautiful golden robes and the closed crowns. The last day saw magnificent entertainment and the company of knights and guaranteed support from King Francis I. This was important and held France off from invasion as well as gaining them as a valuable allie. Henry and Francis also discussed a possible crusade against the Turks in Tunisia but Henry wasn’t committed to that idea. Anne Boleyn was triumphant and soon looking forward to becoming Queen. Henry made his own stuff happen and his marriage to Anne either took place on 14th November or 25th January or both, depending on how one interpreted the source of Edward Hall. Anne was pregnant by the end of December and her crowning and Queenship had to be confirmed as soon as possible if her “son” was to be born in lawful wedlock.

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