CHAPTER I. HENRY VII (i), 1485-92 - THE NEW DYNASTY
By Midsummer France had enlarged her demands since the treaty of Frankfort, requiring the withdrawal of the English from Brittany as a preliminary not to her own withdrawal but to arbitration on her claims. In September the shifty King of the Romans reverted to an alliance with Henry for mutual defence; and the scheme of his marriage with the Duchess Anne was pressed on. Marshal de Rieux had by this time become reconciled to the Duchess, thrown over D'Albret, and come into agreement with Henry. At this time, moreover, Henry ratified publicly the Spanish treaty which had been accepted by Ferdinand and Isabella eighteen months before; but he also submitted an alternative treaty [Footnote: Busch, England under the Tudors. pp. 59, 330; and Gairdner's note, p. 438.] (which Spain rejected) modifying the portions which placed the contracting Powers on an unequal footing. By this step he forced the Spanish monarchs to resign any pretence of having treated him generously or having placed him under an obligation; and the step itself was significant of the increased confidence he had acquired in the stability of his own position. In December Maximilian was married by proxy to Anne - whom he had never seen - and not long afterwards she assumed the style of Queen of the Romans.
[Apparent defeat of Henry's policy]
Ostensibly, the object of Henry's diplomacy had failed. Spain had rejected his proposals: and the direct results of Anne's marriage were that the activity of France was renewed; Spain, with the pretext of the Moorish war to plead, was less inclined than ever to render assistance; Maximilian as a matter of course proved a broken reed; D'Albret, his pretensions being finally shattered, surrendered Nantes to the French by arrangement. England was apparently to bear the entire brunt of the war. Henry was justified in appealing to his subjects for every penny that could be raised, and resorted to "benevolences" - an insidious method of extortion which had been declared illegal in the previous reign, but under the existing abnormal conditions could hardly be resisted. A great demonstration of warlike ardour was made, on the strength of which Spain was urged to pledge herself to throw herself into the war next year with more energy and on more reasonable terms than the existing treaty of Medina del Campo provided for. But in the meantime the French were reducing Brittany, and held the Duchess besieged in Rennes. The French King, Charles VIII., proposed that the marriage with a husband whom she had never seen should be annulled, and the dispute be terminated by his wedding her himself. Resistance seemed hopeless; Anne assented; the necessary dispensations were secured from Rome, and Anne of Brittany became Queen of France.
[1492 Henry's bellicose attitude]
Now the defence of Brittany had been the primary ground of England's quarrel with the French; with Henry himself, however, this object had been secondary to the matrimonial alliance with Spain, from which the latter was now not likely to withdraw. Henry, moreover, had made use of the whole affair to acquire a full money-chest; and since it was of vital importance that this should be done without turning his subjects against him, it had been necessary to lend the war as popular a colour as possible. Hence it was part of his policy to emphasise at home as his ultimate end the recovery of the English rights in the French Crown, so successfully utilised by his predecessor Henry V. in the first quarter of the century. It would have been manifestly dangerous for him in establishing his dynasty to recede from a claim which both Yorkists and Lancastrians had maintained. Incidentally also, there was the matter of indemnities owing to him by Anne of Brittany for which Maximilian had been made responsible.
[Sidenote 1: France makes peace] [Sidenote 2: Treaty of Etaples (Dec.)]