Letters & Papers: 1539 Volume 14 Date: 12 August 1539 No. 35 Title:MARILLAC to MONTMORENCY [French update on fortifications and Henry VIII on Royal Progress]
35. MARILLAC to MONTMORENCY.
12 Aug.:—Has gone to the King, 60 miles from London, not far from Portsmouth and Southampton.
Visited the new fortifications and certainly found all conformable to his previous despatches. Of the 90 ships that were at Portsmouth only 7 or 8 are left, which ordinarily are there, and a fine "galiace" well equipped.
The remainder of the ships which belonged to the King and his chief ministers have moved into this river Thames to disarm, and those which belonged to merchants have already sailed away on their own business.
The fortifications at the said places are almost finished and of very great extent, sufficient to make good defence of that coast. True they are not very durable, being made of stakes filled with earth as it made in a hurry.
As to those at Dover the persons who are continually passing them can best describe them. Recently a ship has been sent charged with artillery and munitions for Berwick, a strong place overlooking Scotland as Calais does France.
This King continues his progress, gradually approaching London where he will be at Michaelmas to attend Parliament, which commences 1 Nov. and lasts till Christmas.