His brother Arthur, being only 15, married to Catherine,
the daugter of the Spanish monarch.
But in a very few month he sickened and died.
Henty VII arranged that the young widow
should marry his second son Henry,
then 12 years of age, when he too should be 15.
A few years after settling this marriage, in 1509,
the King died of the gout.
King Henry the Eighth was just eighteen
years of age when he came to the throne.
People said he was a handsome boy, but
in later life he did not seem handsome at
all. He was a big, burly, noisy, small-eyed,
large-faced, double-chinned fellow, as we
know from the portraits of him, painted by
the famous Hans Holbein*.
The king was anxious to make himself
popular, and the people, who had long dis-
liked the late king, believed to believe that
he deserved to be so.
He was extremely fond of show and display, and so were they. There-fore there was great rejoicing when he married the Princess Catherine, and when they were both crowned. And the King fought at tournaments and always came off victorious - for the courtiers took care of that - and there was a general outcry that he was a wonderful man.
The prime favourites of the late King, who were engaged in money-raising matters, Empson, Dudley, and their supporters, were accused of a variety of crimes they really had been guilty; and they were pilloried, and
then beheaded, to the satisfaction of the people, and the enrichment of the
The Pope, so indefatigable in getting the world into trouble, had mixed
himself up in a war on a continent of Europe, occasioned by the reigning
Princes of little quarrelling states in Italy having at various times married
into other royal families, and so led to their claiming a share in those petty
Governments. The King, who discovered that he was very fond of the Pope, sent a herald to the King of France, to say he must not make war
upon the father of all Christians. As the French King did not mind this relationship in the least, and also refused to admit a claim King Henry made to certain lands in France, war was declared between the two coun-
England made a blundering alliance with Spain, and got stupidly taken in by that country, which made its own terms with France when it could,
and left England in the lurch. Sir Edward Howard, a bold admiral, son of the Earl of Surrey, distinguished himself by his bravery against the French
in this business; but, unfortunately, he was more brave than wise, for, skimming into the French harbour of Brest with only a few row-boats, he
attempted to take some strong French ships, well defended with cannons.
The upshot was, that he was left on board of one of them with not more than about a dozen man, and was thrown into the sea and drowned.
After this great defeat the King took it into his head to invade France in
person, first executing that dangerous Earl of Suffolk whom his father had left in the Tower, and appointing Queen Catherine to charge of his king-dom in his absence. He sailed to Calais, where he was joined by Maximi-lian, Emperor of Germany, who pretended to be his soldier, and who took
pay in his service. The King might be successful enough in sham fights, but his idea of real battles chiefly consisted in pitching silken tents of bright colours that were ignominiously blown down by the wind, and in
making a vast display of a gaudy flags and golden curtains. Fortune, however, flavoured him better than he deserved: he gave the French battle, and they took such an anaccountable panic, and fled with such
swiftness, that it was ever afterwards called by the English the Battle of
Spurs**. Instead of following up his advantage, the King, finding that he had had enough of real fighting, came home again.
The Scottish King, though nearly related to Henry by marriage, had taken part against him in this war. The Earl of Surrey, as the English gene-
ral, advanced to meet him when he came out of his own dominions and crossed the river Tweed. The two armies came up with one another when
the Scottish King had also crossed the river Till, and was encamped upon
the Hill of Flodden. Along the plain below it, the English, when the hour of battle came, advanced. The Scottish army, which had been drawn up in five great bodies, then came steadily down in perfect silence. So they, in their turn, advanced to meet the English army, which came on the one long line; and they attacked it with a body of spearman, under Lord Home.