Tag Archives: Louis XII

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 1515 – Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon officially married

Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon were officially married on 13th May 1515 after Mary was widowed following her marriage to King Louis XII of France.

It is believed that Mary and Charles were already in love when her marriage to the King of France was arranged by her brother Henry VIII. Mary was originally betrothed to the future Holy Roman Emperor, Charles in 1507 but following a change in allegiance Henry broke off the arrangement and began negotiating with France with the aid of Cardinal Wolsey. At the age of 18 Mary was sent to France to marry the 52 year old King, with a deal in place that Mary would do her duty by marrying Louis but when he dies Mary would be able to choose her next husband.

When the elderly King died in January 1515 negotiations began to bring Mary back to England. Henry had charged his closest friend with escorting his sister home under the promise that he would not propose to the Dowager Queen of France. One reason for this is that Henry was keen to see Mary return to England with the jewels and gold plate that the old King had promised his wife along with her substantial dowry.

Mary would confide her feelings in the new King of France, Francis I, about Brandon and he set about arranging the first meeting when Brandon landed on French soil. Francis saw that if Mary and Brandon married then Henry would not be able to use her as a political pawn by marrying her to the future Holy Roman Emperor, as she was originally suppose to.

On 5th March 1515 in a small chapel in Palais de Cluny, Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon married in secret, essentially Brandon had committed treason as they did not have the permission of the King to marry a Princess. The Privy Council called for Brandon to be imprisoned or even executed and it was only when Cardinal Wolsey intervened did Henry begin to calm down. Henry was close to both his sister and Brandon and so let the couple of with a heavy fine. The fine was £24,000, paid in yearly instalments of £1,000, along with Mary’s dowry from Louis of £200,000 and the gold plate and jewels that were given to her by her late husband.

The couple were officially married on 13th May 1515 at Greenwich Hall with Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon in attendance, a feast and celebration followed but it was deemed a family affair. They would go on to have four children, two daughters and two sons.

Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon

On this day in 1496 – Mary Tudor was born

Mary Tudor was born on 18th March 1496. She was the third daughter and fifth child of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Mary was born at Richmond Palace.

In 1507 Mary was betrothed to the future Holy Roman Emperor, Charles. However, with Henry VIII changing political allegiance to favour France the betrothal was off. Instead Mary was promised to the aging King of France, Louis XII and at the age of 18 in 1514 she was married and proclaimed Queen of France. Less than three months into the marriage Louis died.

Henry VIII sent an envoy to France to bring his sister home, amongst them was Charles Brandon. Mary and Brandon were married in secret on 3rd March 1515. As the marriage was without the King’s permission they had caused treason, upon return to the English court they were summoned to explain themselves. Henry was furious and the couple were eventually let off with a heavy fine and an official marriage ceremony on 13th May 1515 at Greenwich Palace.

Mary was opposed to the King’s divorce to Katherine of Aragon and didn’t hide her feelings on the matter causing the once close siblings to fight. Mary also opposed Henry’s choice of new bride, Anne Boleyn. Anne was a maid in waiting during Mary’s time as Queen of France.

Mary Tudor

Mary died at her home in Westhorpe, Suffolk on 25th June 1533 and buried at Bury St Edmunds Abbey. After the dissolution of the monasteries her body was removed and re-interred at St Mary’s Church. Mary and Charles had four children and through her eldest daughter Frances was the grandmother of the nine day Queen, Lady Jane Grey.

On this day in 1511- Prince Henry Tudor died

In 1511 on 1st January, 18 months after their wedding, Katherine of Aragon gave birth to a boy, giving Henry his first born son following the tragic stillbirth of a daughter the previous year. The boy named Henry was quickly made the Duke of Cornwall and was expected to be invested as Prince of Wales soon after. Prince Henry was christened on 5th January, which saw his godparents include King Louis XII of France, Duchess of Savoy and the Archbishop of Canterbury. A lavish jousting tournament was thrown in the prince’s honour with the King competing under the banner of Sir Loyal Heart, proclaiming his love for his Queen and new son. Tragedy struck on 22nd February when the young Prince suddenly died, he was given a state funeral at Westminster Abbey befitting his status. England would have been such a different place had this young boy survived.