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The French Reconquest of Boulogne-sur-Mer from Henry VIII of England

Important early view of the Siege of Boulogne, illustrating the French Troops under Henry Ii of France laying siege to the English controlled city.

The secondary title, in Italian, reads:  "This is the true portrait of Bologna in France occupied by the King of England ... besieged by ... King of France."

The fortified and un-fortified positions of the French and English armies are shown, with multiple groups of soldiers, both foot and mounted, can be seen throughout the image, along with encampments.  Across the river is the Fortezza de Franses, which is now the town of Marquis.

The Siege of Boulogne

A Siege of Boulogne took place in 1492 when the English Tudor King Henry VII laid siege to the lightly defended lower town of Boulogne in the Pas-de-Calais, France. Fifty years later as allies of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, during the war against the French, the English returned led by Henry VII's son and heir, Henry VIII. There were two further sieges during this war. Boulogne was fortified and defended as an English possession on the French from September 1544 to March 1550.

The Second Siege of Boulogne was an engagement late in the Italian War of 1542–1546. The Dauphin's army descended on Montreuil, forcing the Duke of Norfolk to raise the siege; Henry VIII himself left for England at the end of September 1544, ordering the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk to defend Boulogne. The two Dukes quickly proceeded to disobey this order: leaving some 4,000 men to defend the captured city, they withdrew the rest of the English army to Calais.

The English army, outnumbered, was now trapped in Calais.  The Dauphin, left unopposed, concentrated his efforts on taking Boulogne.  On October 9, a French assault nearly captured the city, but was beaten back when the troops prematurely turned to looting.

According to Bifolco, there are 5 states:

  • State 1: Salamanca, without  text
  • State 2:  imprint of Claudio Duchetti (no copies known to survive)
  • State 3:  Orlandi
  • State 4:  Henricus Van Schoel
  • State 5:  Francesco de Paoli
Condition Description
Minor soiling and discoloration along centerfold
Bifolco/Ronca #400.3