Tag Archives: France

On this day in 1514 – Mary Tudor married King Louis XII of France

On 9th October 1514 Mary Tudor, sister to King Henry VIII, was married to King Louis XII of France. Mary was just 18 years old whilst Louis was 52. The wedding took place in the great hall of the Hôtel de la Gruthuse, Abbeville.

Mary wore a French style gown of gold brocade that was trimmed with ermine whilst King Louis also gold and ermine. In place of her brother, Henry, Mary was given away by the Duke of Norfolk and the Marquis of Dorset and the Bishop of Bayeux performed the ceremony itself.

A letter from the Venetian ambassador to the Bishop of Asti, Antonio Triulzi, which was dated the following day on 10th October, described Mary Tudor on her wedding day;

“Then followed the Queen, under a white canopy, above and around which were the roses, supported by two porcupines. She was alone beneath it, and Monseigneur (d’Angoulême) on her left hand, but outside. She rode a white palfrey, with rich trappings, and was herself clad in very handsome stiff brocade.

Next came her litter, very beautiful, adorned with lilies; then five of the principal English ladies, very well dressed; then a carriage of brocade, on which were four ladies, followed by a second carriage with as many more ladies. Next came six ladies on horseback; and then a third carriage, of purple and crimson velvet, with four ladies; after which a crowd of ladies, some twenty in number; then 150 archers in three liveries. In this order they went to the Queen’s house, which was near that of the King. It was a sumptuous entry, and these noblemen of England have very large chains, and are otherwise in good array.

Before the entry there was a heavy shower, which drenched them all, especially the ladies. The Queen was dressed in the English fashion. In the evening, ‘Madame,’ the King’s daughter, wife of Monseigneur d’ Angoulême, went to visit her, and they gave a ball. This morning the King had preparation made for the mass in his own hall, whither the Queen came, preceded by 73 English barons and gentlemen; the King doffed his bonnet, and the Queen curtseyed to the ground, whereupon his Majesty kissed her. The treasurer Robertet then presented to the King a necklace, in which were set two beautiful jewels, and his Majesty placed it round the Queen’s neck; after which mass was performed.

The two candles were held, the one by Monseigneur de Vendôme. After the King had kissed the 1 pax at the mass, he kissed the Queen. At the offertory Monseigneur gave the money to the King, and Madame to the Queen.

The mass by Cardinal de Bayeux being ended, he gave the consecrated wafer, one half to the King and the other to the Queen, who kissed and then swallowed it; and after making a graceful curtsey she departed, the King and Queen going each to their own apartments to dine. In the evening the Queen arrayed herself in the French fashion, and there was dancing; the whole Court banqueting, dancing, and making good cheer; and thus, at the eighth hour before midnight, the Queen was taken away from the entertainment by Madame to go and sleep with the King.

I promise you that she is very handsome, and of sufficiently tall stature. She appears to me rather pale, though this I believe proceeds from the tossing of the sea and from her fright. She does not seem a whit more than 16 years old, and looks very well in the French costume. She is extremely courteous and well mannered, and has come in very sumptuous array…”

The marriage would last just three months with King Louis XII dying on New Year’s Day. Mary would go on to marry Charles Brandon.

tapestry-showing-mary-tudors-marriage-to-louis-xii-of-franceA tapestry depicting the marriage between

Mary Tudor and King Louis XII of France

On this day in 1558 – Mary Queen of Scots was betrothed to Francis future King of France.

On 19th April 1558 Mary, daughter of King James V of Scotland was betrothed to Francis the Dauphin of France. Mary was queen of Scotland since she was six days old.

On 27th January 1548 in the Châtillon treaty the marriage of Mary and Francis was put forward and aged six Mary was sent to France to be bought up in the French court until she was old enough to marry. Mary left Scotland in the hands of regents.

Formally betrothed on 19th April 1558 the agreement allowed Scotland to maintained their traditional rights but when Francis ascends the throne Scotland would unite with France. However, if Mary died without the couple having any children the Scottish throne would go to the Earl of Arran. The wedding was set for 24th April where Mary and Francis were married at Notre Dame Cathedral by Cardinal of Rouen. Mary wore a long trained white dress accompanied with a Diamond necklace and a golden coronet adorned with jewels.

Francis ascended the throne in 1559 to become King Francis II and Mary became his queen consort. As Francis was only 15 when he ascended the throne and already in ill health he created a regency to reign on his behalf, he appointed his wife’s uncles the Duke of Guise and Cardinal of Lorraine along with his mother Catherine de’Medici. However, with his mother still in mourning for her husband all orders were given by Mary’s uncles. At the time of the wedding Mary signed a secret agreement that contradicted the betrothal agreement. Mary agreed that if she died childless then Scotland would stay in control of the French.

King Francis II died in December 1560 and once it was established that Mary was not carrying the heir to the French throne she returned to Scotland landing in Leith on 19th August 1561. Mary went on to remarry and give birth to a son who would unite the thrones of Scotland and England.

Francis and Mary