By A. F. Pollard
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Additional resources for History Makers Henry VIII
67] Nowhere was the king more emphatically the saviour of society than in England. The sixty years of Lancastrian rule were in the seventeenth century represented as the golden age of parliamentary government, a sort of time before the fall to which popular orators appealed when they wished to paint in vivid colours the evils of Stuart tyranny. - There was no subordination in the State. The weakness of the Lancastrian title left the king at the mercy of Parliament, and the limitations of Parliament - were never more apparent than when its powers stood highest.
There was some justice in the charge. James was bound by treaty not to go to war with England; he had not even waited for the Pope's answer to his request for absolution from his oath; and his challenge to Henry, when he was in France and could not meet it, was not a knightly deed. Henry wrote to Leo for permission to bury the excommunicated Scottish King with royal honours in St. - The permission was granted, but the interment did not take place. In Italy, Louis fared no better; at Novara, on 6th June, the Swiss infantry broke in pieces the grand army of France, drove the fragments across the Alps, and restored the Duchy of Milan to the native house of Sforza.
The correspondence of the time bears constant witness to the peaceful tendencies of Henry and his council. - But - Henry's actions proclaimed louder than the words of himself or of others that he believed peace to be the first of English interests. He waged no wars on the continent except against France; and though he reigned thirty-eight years, his hostilities with France were compressed into as many months. The campaigns of 1512-13, Surrey's and Suffolk's inroads of 1522 and 1523, and Henry's invasion of 1544, represent the sum of his military operations outside Great Britain and Ireland.