Venice: June 1520, 11-20

Pages 61-72

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1869.

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June 1520, 11–20

June 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxix. p. 20. 80. Letter from the French Court, dated 11th June, sent to the College by the Signory's Governor Triulzi.
The King of England and all the English nobility are at Guisnes two miles from Ardres, where the most Christian King is with all the nobility of France.
They have two camps with a great quantity of magnificent tents. On Corpus Christi Day they held a conference in the country, on the borders of the French and English Pale.
The King of France was always on the right hand, and his retinue more numerous and in more costly apparel, namely in gold and silver brocade, for velvets, satins, and other silks were held in no account. His cavalry the best.
The King of England had a handsome retinue, richly clad, and each of his gentlemen wore a massive gold chain round his neck, and they were superbly dressed. There was no great difference between the nations, save that the French were in greater number.
The two Kings each wore a treasure of pearls, diamonds, rubies, and other stones.
In stature, beauty, grace, and address in jousting there is little difference between them, save that the King of France appears to me rather the taller, and the English King has rather the handsomer face and more feminine, though in truth they are two very fine men, and have a splendid retinue.
On the following Saturday, the 9th, they met in the lists.
On Sunday the King of France went to dine at Guisnes with the English Queen, and the King of England came to dine at Ardres with the Queen of France.
On Monday the Kings went to the lists, and remained together in a wooden house upwards of three hours, and then, having armed, each attended by seven companions, jousted upwards of three hours, and many spears were broken. The two Kings bore themselves valiantly, especially the King of France, who shivered spears like reeds, and never missed a stroke; but there was little choice, for in truth the English behaved well.
The Queen of England came first, with many ladies, both in waggons and on horseback, superbly arrayed, and in like manner the Queen widow of the late King Lewis.
Then followed the Queen of France, with the King's mother [Louise] and his sister the Duchess of Alençon, the Duchess of Lorraine, the Duchess of Bourbon, the Duchess of Longueville, and other ladies. The French women were better arrayed and handsomer than the English, and the two Queens, who had not yet seen each other, exchanged greetings and compliments, the Queen of France being always on the right hand; and then both Queens went in procession into a place sumptuously prepared for them. The French and English lords and ladies assembled in a wooden house to see the jousters, some 40 in number.
Today, in like manner, they have recommenced jousting.
The King of England has built a banqueting house of timber; one of the handsomest and costliest ever witnessed, and so well adorned with carpets, satins, and taffeties of various colours as to appear a miracle, and the French hold it in great account. The King of France has pitched a tent covered with gold brocade, said to have cost 300,000 ducats; the Queen also has a very handsome one, and the King's mother a third, and there are others both rich and beautiful.
On the day of the first conference between the two Kings, from 3,000 to 4,000 men, horse and foot, were hidden about the country, within call of the King [Francis,] but this was a secret, as the number of persons allowed to attend the conference was limited. The King of England got some hint of this, and as King [Francis] had more troops actually present than the stipulated amount, the King of England took umbrage, and well nigh determined to withdraw; but when King Francis heard of this, he desired all, under pain of the gallows, to return to the village of Ardres, save those of the King's household; and thus upwards of 2,000 horse went back. On hearing this, the English King proceeded without hesitation.
The King of England had many troops with him, but inferior in number to the French.
I visited the English camp with the agent of the Cardinal de' Medici, and they allowed us to follow the King, and thus we witnessed the interview. Many cardinals and bishops were there as spectators, including Cardinal Wolsey, now Legate, who, when he came the first time on behalf of his King to visit King Francis at Ardres, was accompanied by 400 horse, gentlemen, and archers, and others of his own household, all dressed in crimson velvet; the 150 gentlemen all wearing massive gold chains; and though not well mounted, they formed a gallant company, and were highly commended by the French. In short, the English managed their business well, and are valiant; so their prowess is now admitted, and they have done themselves honour, though the French excel them in several points.
Liches [Linck?], two miles from Ardres, 11 June 1520.
Registered by Sanuto, 5th July.
June 12. Mantuan Archives. 81. Soardino, Mantuan Ambassador at the Court of France, to the Marquis of Mantua.
On Saturday, at about the 20th hour, the Kings, each accompanied by 50 mounted gentlemen, and 100 archers, rode simultaneously to the lists.
The most Christian King rode “Dappled Duke,” of the Mantuan stud, already mentioned, and the English King admiring the horse greatly the most Christian King made him a present of it, dismounting on the spot, and thus they exchanged steeds; the most Christian King accepting as a gift the one ridden by the King of England, which was a Neapolitan courser, but far inferior to “Dappled Duke.”
The next day the most Christian King went to Guisnes, to dine with the Queen of England, and the English King came to dine at Ardres with the most Christian Queen. The two Kings mounted on horseback at the same moment, according to the signal guns. . . . . . The most Christian King arrived thus at Guisnes, where a house had been built, the like of which was perhaps never seen, for it was constructed in a short time, of wood and canvas, and resembled one of the palaces described by Count Matheo Maria [Bojardo] in the “Orlando Innamorato” or in Ariosto's “Orlando Furioso(fn. 1) . . . The dinner was served solely by Englishmen, with the exception of the cupbearer, who was French. None but Frenchmen were admitted into the banqueting room as spectators; the only English present were those who served.
Amongst other remarkable things at this display were two cupboards, on one of which were many vases of massive gold, and set with beautiful jewels. From these vases the King and Queen were served. On the other cupboard were vases, also of massive gold, but not set with jewels, and these served for the other guests at the royal table. There was besides an infinite number of silver-gilt vases. . . . . . . .
The most Christian Queen at Ardres received the King of England in similar state.
He wore a garment of cloth of gold, and in the belt across the breast was a treasure of jewels, principally rubies and diamonds. The folds of his doublet were loaded with precious stones. Round his neck was a stone, supposed to be a carbuncle, bigger than a “Mocenigo” ducat; and in his cap another large stone, supposed to be a ruby. Englishmen alone were admitted into the banqueting hall, and no Frenchmen save those who served. . . . . . . .
The next day the Kings jousted at 2 p.m. Each King with his band were eight in number.
Against the two Kings the challengers ran two bands of Frenchmen, and two of Englishmen. The first French band was that of the Duke of Alençon, the other that of the Admiral [Bonnivet]. Of the two English bands one was that of the Admiral [the Earl of Surrey], the other, that of a certain Duke whose name I cannot remember. (fn. 2) Few spears were shivered, and no notable strokes were made, save in one encounter, when the King of England's spear was splintered, but his hand received no injury. The lists were without counter-lists, so that the horses often swerved, and strokes were made but rarely. The tilting commenced at 4 or 5 p.m., and lasted until after 7.
The English Queen was the first to ascend the gallery or platform (palco) raised in the stockade, and she had a great retinue of ladies who were neither very handsome nor very graceful; they were ornamented in the English fashion, and were not richly clad. There were some 40 ladies on hackneys or hobbies trapped with gold and velvet, and about six waggons [or chariots], covered with gold and velvet, for their accommodation.
The Queen of England being placed on the platform, the most Christian Queen arrived in a litter, accompanied by 40 ladies of high rank, richly dressed and with jewels, and mounted on 40 hackneys. There were also seven waggons occupied by the waiting maids.
Saw 40 of the English ladies ranged in front of the platform. One of the number took a large flask of wine, and putting it to her lips, drank freely, and then passed it to her companions, who did the like and emptied it. Not content with this, they drank out of large cups, which, during the joust, circulated more than 20 times amongst the French lords and those English ladies. (fn. 3)
Lisen [Linck ?], 12th June 1520.
June 12–19. Sanuto Diaries, vol. xxix. p. 44. 82. Letter from the Court of France, seen by Marin Sanuto.
At the banquet given on the 12th by Cardinal Wolsey, Mons. de Yendome, the Duke of Lorraine, Mons. de Lautrec, the Admiral, Mons. de Chateaubriant, Mons. de La Valle, and many others were present. The Cardinal maintains great decorum, ceremony, pomp, and formalities, and the extreme splendour of his dwelling is incredible.
Today, the 13th, it blows a terrible gale, and as the Kings were unable to joust, they went to the lists to see some Bretons and Englishmen wrestle.
Notice from Mons. de Lautrec that the King had told the Pope's ambassador that he had taken La Concordia under his protection, when the ambassador replied that the Pope had done the like by La Mirandola. Mons. de Lautrec says the Kings will part on the most friendly terms.
On the 17th, the King of England and Queen Mary came there to dine; the most Christian King and Madame [Louise] going to dine with the Queen of England.
Dated 12–19 June. Registered by Sanuto, 12th July.
June 13. Sanuto Diaries, vol. xxviii. p. 533. 83. Count Alexandro Donado to Giovanni Francesco Griti.
On Sunday, the 10th, the King of France went to dine at Guisnes with the Queen of England, and the King of England went to dine with the Queen of France. Both banquets were superb, and followed by music, dancing, and singing; the Frenchmen making merry (stando in fesle) with the English women, and the Englishmen with the French women, most especially the two Kings, who were richly clad in gold “sopvarizi” and wore beautiful jewels.
The French King's pavilion was very spacious, and had a strong foundation of brickwork, 12 feet high, surmounted by boards painted in imitation of bricks to the height of some 30 feet. Its covering was of azure-coloured cloths with golden lilies. Within, the pavilion was hung with tapestry, and it was destined for entertainments.
Some of the tents were covered with cloth of silver and purple velvet, embroidered with gold lilies; and there were other smaller tents covered in like manner. The furniture within was of cloth of gold and silk. Describes another large pavilion, 120 feet high, covered with gold brocade, and surmounted by a St. Michael of excellent workmanship. There were also three smaller pavilions near it of the same fashion.
The house of the King of England covered four square acres. Outside the gates were two columns, one on each side; on one the God of Love, on the other “Carità” [Hospitality?], most admirably wrought, with a Bacchus on a fountain, which on the day of the banquet spouted wine. There was a superb gate, with two towers on each side, and wooden statues, well wrought, of wild men with hand guns, stones, and crossbows, and similar statues in various niches around the building, and especially at the corners where the towers were. This gate led to a large square, with a flight of 18 steps, leading to a hall as lofty as that of the Pesaro palace at San Benetto, but longer, with a ceiling of green sarcenet (ormexin verde) and gold roses, decorated with hangings of silk and gold, wove with figures and horses represented to the life. This hall occupied onefourth of the building, the rest being divided into sundry corridors, chambers, and closets, with ceilings of cloths of gold and silk, and tapestries. There was also a chamber hung with cloth of gold and silver, and a chapel with a ceiling embroidered in gold, and two closets above the chapel decorated with gold, where the King and Queen went to hear the services. In the closets were desks, on which were gold shrines and images, and an incredible quantity of jewels. Also a superb and very beautiful silver organ, with gold ornaments. Around the courtyard of the house were chambers and winestores. The basement of the house was brickwork, to the height of 18 feet or thereabouts, surmounted by canvas painted in imitation of bricks, and above the canvas were panes of glass, the upper story being glazed as far as the roof, so as to give the appearance of being in the open air. The roof was of painted oilcloth and the chimneypieces of stone.
On Monday, the 11th, the jousts commenced. The English arrived first, arrayed in purple and gold, with handsome plumes of feathers. The French wore white and gold, with beautiful plumes, all the horses being trapped in like manner. The two Kings tilted, and the French against the English, and the English against the French, with small rebated spears; and, after the first course, a second band tilted very gallantly.
Ardres, 13th June 1520. Registered by Sanuto, 26th June.
1520. June 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxix. p. 15. 84. Letter from the Court of France to the Magnifico Pietro Montemerlo, Royal Senator.
On Sunday, the 10th, the most Christian King went to dine at Guisnes with the Queen of England, and the King of England at Ardres, with our Queen. The most Christian King was accompanied by the Duke of Lorraine, the Dukes of Bourbon and Vendome, the Admiral, Mons. de la Trimouille, Mons. de Lautrec, and many others, all clad in gold brocade.
The two Kings quitted their quarters at the same time, according to signals made by salutes of artillery. The English King met the most Christian King in the lists, half-way between Guisnes and Ardres and, having embraced each other and conversed together, they proceeded on their way, the King of England being accompanied by his chief Lords, in good array, but not to be compared to ours. When near Ardres the King of England was met by the Duke of Alençon, the Cardinal of Bourbon, the Cardinal of Lorraine, and the Cardinal d'Albret, the King of Navarre, and all the gentlemen and Lords the Court. Nothing was visible but gold and silver, and fortunate the tailor who can cut suits better.
The King entered Ardres side by side with the Legate. The King wore a doublet of cloth of gold and silver tissue, and a very superb collar of precious stones. He rode a bay charger, given to him by our King the day before. The Queen and all the ladies came to the door of the hall, superbly dressed. The Queen herself was with “Madame,” the King's mother, and the chief ladies. She went to meet the King outside the hall, and they embraced each other. After some little conversation they entered the hall, and the Queen accompanied him as far as the chamber where he was to repose.
With the Queen were the Lord Chancellor, Mons. d'Orval, Mons. de Memorantin, senior, and all the other great men. The four Generals each wore a collar worth 2,000 crowns. Mons. d'Esparre and Mons. de l'Escu, and the masters of requests were also there.
The hall where they dined was covered with pink brocade.
The King, having changed his dress, came into the hall and the banquet was served thus:—
First, the viands were brought from the kitchen accompanied by 24 trumpeters, who played the whole time until the dishes were placed on the table. After the heralds came 12 of the King's house stewards, in pairs, with their wands, followed by the Lord Steward [De Boissi] with a gold bâton, all embroidered, which he carried over his shoulder; all these individuals being dressed in brocade. The viands were carried by lords and gentlemen, in gold dishes with gold covers, and with each course there was vocal and instrumental music, the instruments being of various sorts, and the like was never heard before. The courses were as many as could be devised.
They remained at table upwards of four hours, and then commenced dancing. The King and many others joined, and they danced well nigh until night, when the signal gun was fired for the departure of the most Christian King from Guisnes The King of England mounted on horseback, having first embraced and kissed the Queen and “Madame,” and the other Duchesses,—namely, the Duchess of Alençon, the King's sister, the Duchess of Vendôme, and the Duchess of Némours,—and the other chief ladies of the Court. Accompanied by the above-named, he proceeded towards Guisnes, meeting the most Christian King at the lists, where they held a long conversation, laughing together; and, after mutual embraces, they proceeded to their respective quarters.
The most Christian King was dressed in royal cloth of silver, all slashed, the slashes being joined by silver bosses, and instead of buttons, his apparel was covered with the most beautiful pearls ever seen; and the furniture of the mule he rode resembled his own.
On Monday the 11th the jousts commenced at the lists, where a tree is planted, with a gilt trunk, and leaves of green damask. On this tree are the shields of the two Kings, France to the right and England to the left, surmounted by imperial crowns; and beneath are the shields of those who joust. There are also two wooden houses, one for each King, to arm in.
The Queens were present; first, the English Queen, in a beautiful litter covered with crimson satin, embroidered with gold in relief; next, Queen Mary in a litter of cloth of gold, wrought with lilies, and two letters, namely, an L and an M joined together, and covered with porcupines, the emblems of King Lewis. Three waggons followed, one covered with cloth of gold, one with cloth of gold on crimson, and the other with cloth of gold on azure, crowded with ladies, the rest of whom were on palfries; they were handsome and well arrayed. The Queen [Katharine ?] ascended a wooden platform decorated with brocade. Then came the Queen of France in a litter of cloth of silver, wrought all over with gold knots, the horse coverings and furniture corresponding. Twelve ladies accompanied her, dressed in stiff brocade, with many jewels round their necks, and the coverings and furniture of their horses matched the Queen's litter. The Queen was dressed in cloth of silver, the under garment being of cloth of gold, and she wore a necklace of precious stones. Three waggons followed, covered like the litter, and the horses trapped in like manner; they were full of well-dressed ladies. Then came “Madame,” in her litter of black velvet, with an infinite number of ladies all dressed in crimson velvet, their sleeves lined with cloth of gold, a beautiful fashion, which the English [fashion] is not. The Queen ascended the balcony (baltrescha), where the Queen of England was, and greetings were exchanged, after which both came upon a stage (tribunale) to see the jousts, talking and amusing themselves, surrounded by great personages and their favourite ladies. (fn. 4) . . . . . .
Towards evening it commenced raining, and all went to disarm, after which the Kings ascended the ladies' stages, and amused themselves; and Mons. de St. Pol and the Master of the Horse appeared on two horses, which were always in the air. Then the Kings and the others, having embraced, returned to their lodgings.
On Tuesday the 12th and on Wednesday the weather was bad, being windy and rainy, but the Kings were on the ground with the Queens, though there were no new devices, save that on the Tuesday Mons. de l'Esparre, the brother of Lautrec, entered the lists with a band to attack the Kings, who, however, were not armed, but only their attendant companions.
Today, although the wind was high, and the weather bad, the Kings armed, each with three companions. With the most Christian King were the Duke of Vendome, Mons. de St. Pol, his brother, and Mons. [Anne] de Montmorency, dressed in murrey velvet, embroidered with golden letters, forming the motto “Quando” around, and many other devices.
The King of England had with him the Duke of Suffolk, the husband of Queen Mary, the Duke Mirlot [sic; Marquis of Dorset], and the Captain of Calais [Peachey], dressed in gold tissue and russet velvet, embroidered with branches, and their doublets and horse coverings were wrought with handsome gold flowers.
Against the Kings came Mons. de la Trimouille, with his band of 12, all dressed in black velvet, with pennons and plumes. Each man ran eight courses against the attendants.
Mons. de l'Escu entered next, with 12 others dressed in black velvet and brocatel, with black plumes, each of whom in like manner ran eight courses. The King of England and Mons. de l'Escu tilted against each other, and both did well; and after the joust Mons. de l'Escu gave the English King the fine horse he rode.
Mons. de Lautrec is always in attendance on our Queen [Claude]. They will remain here for this month, and attend to nothing but jousts and banquets.
The Emperor is at Ghent. According to report the King of England is negotiating peace between him and France. The two Kings are never happy unless together.
Dated 14th June. Registered by Sanuto, 5th July.
June 15. Mantuan Archives. 85. Soardino, Mantuan Ambassador at the Court of France, to the Marquis of Mantua.
On the 12th, four French and English challengers ran three courses, two against Englishmen and one against Frenchmen; as it was windy they ran badly. The two Queens were not at the stockade, but Queen Mary and other English ladies were present. The Duchess of Alençon, with the French ladies, did not come. Madame de Vendome, Madame de Lautrec, Madame la Grande [wife of the Lord Steward, De Boissi], and many other ladies of the Court were there, and brought a number of maids. The wind being high, there was no further tilting, but the two Kings witnessed wrestling by Breton and English wrestlers and archery. The English were superior in wrestling, but the best wrestlers of Brittany were not present.
On the morrow, Thursday, the two Kings and the two Queens went to the stockade at mid-day.
* * * * *
The head-dress of the English Queen was in the Spanish fashion, with the tress of hair over her shoulders and gown, which last was all of cloth of gold; and round her neck were most beautiful jewels and pearls. She was in a litter, covered completely with cloth of gold, embroidered with crimson satin foliage, which was also wrought with gold. The litter was open, with certain small gilt columns, like a triumphal car—a very beautiful sight. The horses and the pages were all covered in like manner, as also the 40 hackneys of her ladies and the six waggons.
The challengers on that clay were eight—the two Kings, three Frenchmen, and three Englishmen. The wind was so strong, that of the five spears which tilted three were lost. The bands were four—two French, those of Trimouille and L'Escu, and two English, all in brocade and gold tissue and velvets. The most Christian King rode the Neapolitan courser given him by the King of England, but it did not do him good service. The English King and his companions were dressed in biparted garments. One half cloth of silver, the other gold, silver, and black velvet, (fn. 5) the horse coverings and dresses of the horsemen in attendance being of the same description.
All, owing to the wind, did very ill, and an infinity of spears were lost, but they continued tilting until evening.
Dated 15th June.
June 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxix. p. 2. 86. Antonio Surian, Venetian Ambassador at the Court of England, to the Signory.
Communicated the Turkish newsletters to Cardinal Wolsey, who said he had subsequent advices, and that whenever the Signory desired to obtain some object, they put forward news from Turkey.
[Guisnes?], 16th June. Registered by Sanuto, 1st July.
June 16–17. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxix. p. 1. 87. Giovanni Badoer and Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Signory.
Jousts performed daily; on the 17th attended them with the King. Reported in the Court that Cardinal Wolsey would make terms between the Emperor and France, as follows:—the most Christian King to have the duchy of Burgundy, and the Emperor the duchy of Milan. Mentioned this report to the King of France, who replied he did not intend to make any fresh agreement; that the Catholic King should abide by the promise already given him, he, on his part, having done the like; and that in eight days he should remove with the Court to Paris. Madame [Louise] answered in like manner, as also did Robertet. The report continuing, returned to the King, and requested him in any arrangement made with the Emperor to bear in mind the Signory's interests. Were desired by his Majesty not to be apprehensive, as he did not mean to make any change.
Lis [Linck?], 16 and 17 June. Registered by Sanuto, 1st July.
Jane 18. Sanuto Diaries, xxviii. p. 534. 88. Letter from the Court of France to the Magnifico Pietro Montemerlo, Royal Senator [of Milan].
The King of England has had a house built, the foundation of brickwork, to the height of about 12 feet above ground, the rest of timber, painted externally in imitation of brickwork. The building is so well designed, that the writer believes that the Florentine master, Leonardo, (fn. 6) could not have done so well or so judiciously. (fn. 7) On one side is the King's lodging, on the other, the Queen's; and between them, two very large banqueting halls. On another side is the lodging of the Cardinal; and on the fourth, the lodgings of the Duke of Suffolk and of Queen Mary, the King's sister.
Beneath the building is a cellar, containing some 3,000 butts of the choicest wines in the world. One cannot go there without tasting them, for visitors are compelled both to eat and drink. Never was such abundance witnessed as in this house. In the banqueting halls there are five or six cupboards, all full of vases and flasks of gold, and sundry other golden vessels, forming the most stupendous sight in the world.
Behind the building, adjoining it, is a chapel, also built of timber and canvas, but the ceiling entirely of gilt wood. All around was a frieze, gilt most richly, and below the frieze, the entire decoration was of gold brocade. There is a most costly altar, the parapet being wove throughout in gold and silk, the altar-piece likewise being wrought in the same manner with figures, some persons supposing it to be needlework. Also a massive gold crucifix, studded with pearls, 4½ feet high; and six saints of massive gold, each upwards of 3 feet high. The chapel is, moreover, furnished with a very beautiful organ, and an organist who played admirably.
Over the chapel are two closets, one for the King, the other for the Queen [Katharine]. so that they may attend mass without coming downstairs. Both the closets are hung with gold brocade, and have canopies of the same material. Each closet has likewise its altar, on which are divers golden images, but not so large as the others in the great chapel.
Guisnes, 18th June 1520. Registered by Sanuto, 26th June.
June 18. Sanuto Diaries. v. xxviii. p. 520. 89. Alvise Marin, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the Signory.
The first interview between the Kings of France and England took place on the 7th between Ardres and Guisnes. All those who accompanied their Majesties carried no weapons but swords. When the two Kings were at a bowshot's distance from one another, each being accompanied by only three horsemen, they advanced and exchanged greetings, and then remained alone under a tent for half an hour; after which the others approached the tent.
On the morrow, the King of England was to give a banquet to the most Christian King; and the Emperor would confer with King Francis in the course of this interview.
Dated 18th June. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd June.
June 19. Mantuan Archives. 90. Soardino, Mantuan Ambassador at the Court of France, to the Marquis of Mantua.
On the 15th, although it blew a gale, there was tilting at the lists; but the Kings did not arm, neither were the two Queens present, though other French and English ladies attended. The Kings amused themselves during the courses, part of the time on horseback, and part with the ladies. The two bands that tilted were French, the one that of La Trimouille, the other that of the Marquis of Saluzzo. They all in general tilted badly, on account of the wind, with the exception of the Marquis of Saluzzo, who shivered seven spears, and touched the eighth. To the present time no one has broken as many as he.
On the 16th, the two Kings tilted, and the Queens were present. The most Christian King rode the “Mantellino,” which carried him very well for 12 courses, and then commenced swerving, as there were no counter lists, and he was obliged to change his horse. Two bonds of Englishmen, each numbering 15 men, richly and elegantly clad, tilted against the challengers, and all very well.
On the Sunday there was no tilting, but the most Christian King, with Madame, his mother, went to dine with the English Queen at Guisnes, and the King of England came to Ardres to dine with the most Christian Queen, accompanied by Queen Mary. It had been arranged for the two Kings to depart at the same hour, but the most Christian King quitted Ardres with his mother so much before the appointed time that he got to Guisnes ere the other King was on horseback, and having dismounted, went straight to the palace inside the castle of Guisnes; whereupon the King of England hastened to meet him, returning thanks for such a token of security, and then rode to Ardres.
The banquets were given thus:—the most Christian King dined apart; the Queen [Katharine] and Madame at one table, but Madame a little below on the left hand; and Cardinal Wolsey gave a dinner to the Princes who accompanied the King. After dinner there was dancing, and a masquerade.
At the table with the King of England there dined the Constable [Bourbon], the Duke of Suffolk, Mons. de Vendome, another English Prince, and Mons. de Lautrec. Then at the head of the table near the King there sat the Admiral [Bonnivet]. With the Queen there sat Queen Mary, on the left hand, but so near as to be under the canopy. Both were well dressed and adorned with jewels, and, above all, both wore most beautiful pearls. After dinner, the dances commenced, Queen Mary being the first to dance.
After a while the English King appeared masked with a handsome company. First, six German drummers dressed in silk of his colours. Then four couples of Eastlanders (Olachai) (fn. 8) also masked, with doublets of crimson velvet and gold brocade in stripes, and red and yellow hose in like manner, with short mantles of crimson velvet lined with gold brocade, and red hats on their heads, of the German fashion, with yellow plumes. Next came five couples dressed in long gowns of murrey satin down to their feet, such as were worn of old by doctors in England, embroidered with mottoes in English letters unintelligible to us. (fn. 9) Then followed five other couples (including the King), dressed in long gowns in the Milanese fashion, checquered, with hoods of gold tissue and gold brocade, and caps instead of hats. After entering the hall, they danced until very late, and then, having changed their apparel, returned home.
On the morrow, Monday, there was jousting. The Kings did not tilt, neither were the two Queens present, but there were other English and French ladies. Many spears were shivered, most especially by the challengers. The two Kings passed the time partly on horseback, and partly with the ladies. At the close, the most Christian King gave the English King six chargers, amongst which were the “dappled Mozaurcha” mare, and “Messer Ludovico's sorrel horse.” The mare showed herself off to the greatest advantage, and Thomaso put them all through their paces.
Today the tilting will terminate, and the sword-fighting on foot will follow. According to report, the Kings remain together the whole of the present week, and for two or three days of next week.
This morning the English King came unexpectedly to Ardres, as if riding post, with a few persons, and dismounting at the house of the most Christian King, ran to his chamber, and found him only just out of bed. Such good greeting was exchanged, that it is impossible to detail one half of it. They dined together without ceremony, and then accompanied each other to the lists, the two Queens being also present there, but the Kings did not tilt. The whole court of France rejoices, for until now no mark of confidence had been displayed by the English King; nay, in all matters he invariably evinced small trust; but the most Christian King has compelled him to make this demonstration, having set the example by placing himself with such assurance in his hands last Sunday in the Castle of Guisnes.
Lisien [Linck ?], 19th June 1520.


  • 1. The first edition of the “Orlando Innamorato” by Bojardo, was printed at Scandiano between the years 1495 and 1499. The “Orlando Furioso” was first published at Ferrara, in April 1516. In note at p. 55, “Rutland Papers,” it is stated that Sir Edward Belknap had the charge of the construction of the palace at Guisnes.
  • 2. It must have been the Duke of Buckingham, as Hall writes that the Duke of Suffolk was in the King's band.
  • 3. “Cosa notabile non m'è parso vedere che possa referire delle donne Anglese, salvo ch' io vidi da 40 donne Anglese al longo di quello palco, et fu per una di esse pigliato un gran fiascone et tiratesello alla bocca bevette assai bene; porgetelo de man in man alle compazine (sic), bevendo con ditto fiascho, lo vodetteno. E non contente di quella volta credo che durando la giostra bevetteno con certi tazoni che continuo andorno in volta fra li Francesi ed donne piu di volte vinte, quelle Anglese Damigelle” (sic).
  • 4. Here follows an account of the jousts on that day, Monday the 11th of June, but with fewer details than in Hall.
  • 5. “Mezo di tela d'argento, Paltre parte oro argento et veluto negro.”
  • 6. Leonardo da' Vinci died at Fontainebleau, on 2nd May 1519.
  • 7. “Non avria saputo fare si ben e con tanta ragione.”
  • 8. See Hall, p. 615.
  • 9. The mottoes were “Adieu Jeunesse.” See Hall, as above.