The Tudor Society

30 August – The Treaty of the More

On this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1525, the Treaty of the More was agreed between King Henry VIII of England and Louise of Savoy, who was acting as regent for her son, King Francis I of France, while he was imprisoned by imperial forces.

Why was Francis in prison? What were the terms of the Treaty of the More? How did this treaty affect Henry VIII's daughter, Mary? And what happened next.

Find out all about the Treaty of the More and its consequences in today's talk.

Also, on this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1548, Catherine Parr, Queen Dowager (sixth wife of King Henry VIII) and wife of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, gave birth to a healthy daughter at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. Thomas and Catherine named the little girl Mary after her godmother, the future Queen Mary I.

Lady Mary Seymour would soon be orphaned, and by the age of two she had disappeared from the records. What happened to Mary Seymour? Find out more in last year’s video:

Also on this day in history:

  • 1501 – Death of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquis of Dorset, courtier and son of Elizabeth Woodville by her first husband, Sir John Grey of Groby. Dorset was buried in the collegiate church of Astley in Warwickshire.
  • 1534 – Death of Thomas Belchiam, Observant Franciscan friar and Catholic martyr. The twenty-eight-year-old friar was starved to death at Newgate Prison. Belchiam had allegedly called the King a heretic. It is also alleged that there was an earthquake at the time of his death.
  • 1582 – Death of Richard Curteys, Bishop of Chichester. He was buried at Chichester Cathedral. In 1600, a collection of ten of his sermons on Psalm 25 was published as “The Care of a Christian Conscience”.
  • 1595 – Death of William Vaux, 3rd Baron Vaux, English peer and Catholic recusant. He was imprisoned in Elizabeth I's reign for his Catholic faith and for harbouring Edmund Campion, a Jesuit priest.
  • 1596 – Death of George Gower, English portrait painter and Sergeant Painter to Elizabeth I, in the parish of St Clement Danes in London. He was buried at the church there.


On this day in Tudor history, 30th August 1525, the Treaty of the More was agreed between Henry VIII of England and Louise of Savoy, who was acting as regent for her son, Francis I of France, while he was imprisoned by imperial forces.

Francis I had been captured at the Battle of Pavia six month previously, when the French were defeated and many of his chief nobles killed or imprisoned with him. During the battle against Emperor Charles V, Francis had fallen from his horse and had been forced to surrender. He was imprisoned first in Italy and then in Madrid in Spain.

The Treaty of the More, so called because negotiations took place at “The More”, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey’s Hertfordshire property, was an about turn for Wolsey who had previously been pro-Empire. However, England was concerned about Scotland renewing its Auld Alliance with France so wanted to get the French on side.

By the treaty negotiated by Wolsey, Henry VIII agreed to help secure King Francis I's release, and to give up claims to several French territories. In return, Louise, who was represented by her ambassadors, Jean Brinon, Lord of Villaines, and John Joachim de Vaulx, agreed that France would award England with a pension of £20,000 per year, and settle what was owed to Henry VIII’s sister, Mary Tudor, Dowager Queen of France.

The following day, Louise wrote to her ambassadors, ordering them to thank Cardinal Wolsey for his “wise discourse, and the affection he shows to France” and to beg him “to continue his efforts for the preservation of friendship between England and her son”. However, it appears that she then received word from her ambassadors regarding the negotiations, for she then wrote another letter regarding the final settlement and wondering that Wolsey had the “conscience” to demand what he did and suggesting that the “declaration desired by Wolsey about the comprehension of Scotland ought not to be so strict” and ordering the ambassadors that whatever was negotiated they “must see that the honor of France be saved.” She then sent them the required “amended power”.

Three years earlier, Emperor Charles V had been contracted to marry his cousin, Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary, but the agreement between England and France allowed him to put that aside and, instead, marry Isabella of Portugal. Poor Mary would not marry until 1554, when she married Charles’s son, Philip of Spain.

King Francis I was eventually free in the spring of 1526 following the 14th January Treaty of Madrid, by which France had to make huge concessions to the emperor, with Frances surrendering lands in Italy, Flanders, Artois, and Tournai. However, when Francis set foot on French soil he repudiated the treaty, refusing to ratify it and claiming that it had been agreed while he was under duress. Instead, he negotiated the League of Cognac, an alliance between France, Pope Clement VII, Venice, England, Milan and Florence, against the Empire.
Yes, it was a complicated time!

Leave a Reply

30 August – The Treaty of the More