BBC - Scotland's History - The Auld Alliance
See also the succeeding Category:France–Great Britain relations. History of rugby union matches between France and Scotland (2 P). ▻ French people of. Alliance', as the Scots referred to their relationship with France, is more than usually between Scotland and France, there has persisted to the present sense of. Scotland's most famous connection with Europe was the Auld Alliance with France. First agreed in /6 the Auld Alliance was built on Scotland and France's Between and , 15, Scots left from the River Clyde to fight in.
Besides these high dignities, there were a whole host of Scots as priors, canons, curates, and other positions in the service of the Church in France.
This election was disputed by a French ecclesiastic, who wished to secure the place for himself, as being illegal, through Hamilton being a Scotsman and an alien.
The case was tried, and Hamilton's cause defended by a Mr Servien, an able advocate, who proved by the letters- patent granted in favour of the Scots that any of that nation living in France enjoyed equal privileges with the natives, and were eligible to hold any office, secular or spiritual. The decision was accordingly given in Hamilton's favour. In the University of Paris, Scotsmen held an important place. The records show there have been no less than thirty of them who at different times held the high position of Rector of the University of Paris, and this, too, at a time when the office was of far more importance, both in Church and State, than it afterwards became.
They were given at Amiens in the month of September 15 InHenry II. This same king, Henry II. These letters were given at Villiers-Couterets, in Juneregistered, with some modifications, in the Parliament of Paris July the i ith, at the Exchequer-Chamber on the 13th of July, and in the Grand Council on the 19th of the same month.
The charter was also printed in the Scots Acts of Parliament. It would take up too much space to quote these letters- patent in full, but the following extracts will give an idea of their scope and aim: And forasmuch wt our beloved and trusty counsellor, the Archbishop of Bourges, Bishop of Moray, now ambassador with us, from our most dear and most beloved brother, cousin, and ally the King of Scotland still reigning, and our beloved and trusty counsellor and Chamberlain, Sir Robert Stewart, Lord of Aubigny, Captain of our Scottish Guard, and of the hundred lances of our said ancient ordinances of the said nation, have remonstrated to us bow much it hath been always desired, that the Scots, when called to our said kingdom of France, and our subjects who might go to live in that of Scotland, Whereby we, the aforesaid things considered.
The following is an extract: Whereas, since the marriage between our most dear and most beloved son the King Dauphin, and our most dear and most beloved daughter the Queen of Scotland, Dauphiness, his consort, the deputies of the states of the said kingdom have, taken to our said son the oath of fidelity. FRANCE having become, as shown in our previous paper, a sort of second home for the aspiring Scots both as soldiers and churchmen, it followed as a matter of course, that their countrymen engaged in commerce, with that sagacity and foresight so characteristic of the race, soon seized the opening for new enterprise, and the foundation of a large and steadily increasing trade was laid.
A great number, availing themselves of the letters-patent of naturalisation, settled down permanently in their adopted country; while a still larger number engaged in the shipping trade, both export and import. The exports comprised salmon, herring, cod, and other fish, wool, leather, and skins, while the latter was principally composed of wine, of which large quantities were annually imported; also silken cloths, sugar, and spices.
Auld Alliance - Wikipedia
The first privileges that we can find granted exclusively to Scottish merchants were by Francis I. Be it known to all present and to co: To prevent this they approached King Henry IV. We are inclined to think it was Charles VI. It appears strange at first sight that a monarch should chose foreign and mercenary troops for a body guard; but when one looks at the state of France at the time, it seems the wisest course for him to have taken.
Half of his kingdom was in revolt against him, and even those who were ostensibly on his side were so wavering and uncertain in their attachment that he could not trust them.
In these circumstances the Scots would naturally present themselves as the most suitable They were the staunch allies of the French King, and the sworn enemies of the English.
They were poor, fond of adventure, daring, and faithful, while their good descent and gentle blood made them more fit to approach the person of the Sovereign than ordinary soldiers. And never had a French monarch cause to regret the great trust thus placed in the hands of the Scots.
There are, moreover, an hundred complete lances, and two hundred yeomen of the said nation, besides several that are dispersed through the companies; and for so long a time as they have served in France, never hath there been one of them found that hath committed or done any fault against the Kings or their State; and they can make use of them as of their own subjects.
These Scotch troops behaved themselves valiantly, maintained their ground, would not stir one step from the King, and were very nimble with their bows and arrows, with which, it is said, they wounded and killed more of the Burgundians than of the enemy. Out of the hundred Life Guards, there were chosen, twenty-five who were called "Gardes de Manche," or Sleeve- Guards, and were in constant and close attendance on the King. Two of them were always present at mass, sermon, vespers, and ordinary meals.
On State occasions, such as the ceremony of the Royal touch, the erection of Knights of the King's. Order, at the reception of Ambassadors, public entries into cities, and so on, there were on all such occasions six of them close to the King— three on each side.
Whenever it was necessary for his Majesty to be carried, only these six were allowed that honour. The twenty-five picked men—the Gardes de Manche—kept the keys of the King's sleeping apartment, had charge of the choir of the Royal Church, and the keeping of the boats used by the King on the river. Whenever he entered a city the keys had to be handed to the Captain of this band, who was also on duty on all state ceremonies, such as coronations, marriages funerals of the Kings, baptisms and marriages of the Royal children; and the coronation robe became his property after the ceremony was over.
Sir Walter Scott writes: Each of them ranked as a gentleman in place and honour; and their near approach to the King's person gave them a dignity in their own eyes, as well as importance in those of the nation of France. With these followers, and a corresponding equipage, an Archer of the Scottish Guard was a person of quality and importance; and vacancies being generally filled up by those who had been trained in the service as pages or valets, the cadets of the best Scottish families were often sent to serve under some friend or relation in those capacities, until a chance of preferment should occur.
The coutelier and his companion, not being noble or capable of this promotion, were recruited from persons of inferior quality; but as their pay and appointments were excellent, their masters were easily able to select from among their wandering countrymen the strongest and most courageous to wait upon them in these capacities.
Franco-Scottish alliance against England one of longest in history
He wore his national bonnet, crested with a tuft of feathers, and with a Virgin Mary of massive silver for a brooch. These brooches had been presented to the Scottish Guards in consequence of the King, in one of his fits of superstitious piety, having devoted the swords of his guard to the service of the Holy Virgin, and, as some say, carried the matter so far as to draw out a commission to Our Lady as their Captain-General.
The Archer's gorget, arm pieces, and gauntlets were of the finest steel, curiously inlaid with silver, and his hauberk, or shirt of mail, was as clear and bright as the frostwork of a winter morning upon fern or brier. He wore a loose surcoat, or cassock, of rich, blue velvet, open at the sides like that of a herald, with a large white St Andrew's cross of embroidered silver bisecting it both before and behind—his knees and legs were protected by hose of mail and shoes of steel—a broad, strong poniard called 'The Mercy of God' hung by his right side—the baldric for his two-handed sword, richly embroidered, hung upon his left shoulder; but, for convenience, he at present carried in his hand that unwieldy weapon, which the rules of his service forbade him to lay aside.
In spite of this, however, Frenchmen did find their way by degrees, for an old writer says—" This regulation did not hinder afterwards others than Scots from being sometimes admitted, as appears by the remonstrances made upon that subject from time to time by the Queen Mother, and her son, James VI. Three-fourths of the yeomen, as well of the Body as of the Sleeve, was still, however, Scots. It was but afterwards and by degrees that this Company became filled with French, to the exclusion of Scotsmen, so that at last there remained no more than the name, and the answer, when called, I am here.
Franco-Scottish alliance against England one of longest in history
In that immense conglomerate of all kinds of useful and useless knowledge, the 'Dictionnaire de Trevoux,' it is set forth that 'la premiere cornpagnie des gardes du corps de nos rois' is still called 'La Garde Ecossaise,' though there was not then a single Scotsman in it Still there were preserved among the young Court lackeys, who kept up the part of the Hundred Years' War, some of the old formalities.
But the place is still more noted for its being a residence of kings, and where the memorable League, offensive and defensive, is recorded to have been signed between Charlemain and Achaius, King of Scotland, in LEAVING the vexed question of when the Alliance originated, we proceed to note when it ended; for like all other temporal things it came to an end at last. Several influences were at work for many years before this was accomplished.
One thing which tended to weaken the friendly feeling between the two nations was the overbearing and arrogant conduct of the Guises, who, under the pretence of protecting the rights of their young relative, Mary Queen of Scots, then newly married to the Dauphin, veiled tho most ambitious designs on Scotland.
To show this, the following abridged quotation is given from The Scot Abroad: Their diplomatic relations had changed, at least on the French side, in the assumption of a protecting and patronising nomenclature. The papers revealed to the world by M. Teulet, show that from the time when the heiress to the crown of Scotland came into the possession of her ambitious kinsfolk, they were laying plans for governing Scotland in Paris, and annexing the country to the throne of France.
The Auld Alliance
Dated in the year is a "Declaration" or Memorandum of the Parliament of Paris, on the adjustment of the Government of Scotland. In this document one can see, under official formalities, the symptoms of an almost irritable impatience to get the nominal government vested in the young Queen, in order that the real government might be administered by her kinsfolk.
The Scots Lords now saw sights calculated, as the Persians say, to open the eyes of astonishment.
A clever French statesman, M. D' Osel, was sent over as the adviser of the Regent, to be her Prime Minister, and enable her to rule Scotland after the model of France. A step was taken to get at the high office of Chancellor, with possession of the Great Seal.
The office of Comptroller of the Treasury was dealt with more boldly, and put into the hands of M. These arbitrary proceedings naturally alarmed the national pride of the Scots, and went far to undermine the friendship which had so long existed; but there was yet another influence at work equally if not more powerful.
The Reformed religion, already established by law in England, was making rapid strides among the Scots, and when John Knox arrived in Scotland, fresh from experiencing the horrors of a galley slave in France, and lifted his powerful voice against the French, their religion, and their policy; the whole nation was aroused, and the breaking of the hitherto inviolate alliance was determined upon.
To effect this, it was necessary that the leaders of the movement should negotiate with England for sympathy, and, if need be, for substantial help. Knox himself conducted the first embassy to England, which was one of considerable danger, as the Queen Regent already suspected that there was some understanding between the discontented Scots and the English Court. Queen Elizabeth was anxious to make peace with Scotland, as is abundantly shown from the State papers of the time; for instance, it is said—"We think the peace with Scotland of as great moment for us as that with France, and rather of greater;" and again— "And for our satisfaction beside the matter of Calais, nothing in all this conclusion with the French may in surety satisfy us, if we have not peace with Scotland," with many similar passages.
Nevertheless, Scotland, as remote and impoverished as it was, was now aligned to a major European power. Even if more symbolic than actual, the benefits of the alliance mattered greatly to Scotland. Furthermore, the cessation of hostilities between England and France infollowed by the treaty of "perpetual peace and friendship," allowed Edward to devote all of his attention and forces to attack the Scots.
Scotland, in the end, owed its eventual survival to the military acumen and inspiration of Robert the Bruce and the mistakes of Edward IIrather than its Auld Alliance with France. InRobert the Bruce renewed the alliance, with the Treaty of Corbeil. The motive for this renewal was precautionary more than anything: This, however, rapidly changed after when Edward III set out to complete his conquest of Scotland and to reassert his power in France.
For the first time the Franco-Scottish alliance had been given a sense of emergency. His year absence as Edward's prisoner only increased the internal turmoil and power struggles of Scotland. Even after his release inDavid spent most of his remaining reign attempting to further English interests in Scotland.
Plans were drawn up in for a Franco-Scottish invasion of England. This included the dispatch of a small French force to Scotland for the first time. These plans never came to any form of action after the French invasion failed to materialise. The deteriorating relations between France and Scotland were summed up by the French Chronicler Jean Froissart who "wished the King of France would make a truce with the English for two or three years and then march to Scotland and utterly destroy it".
Between and as many as 15, Scottish troops were sent to France.
As it marked the turning point of the Hundred Years Warthe significance of this battle was great. However, their victory was a short-lived one: Despite this defeat, the Scots had given France a valuable breathing space, effectively saving the country from English domination. Many members of the Scottish expeditions to France chose to settle there. Some officers were granted lands and titles in France.