INTRODUCTION

1. In 1544 England fought a war against the combined forces of France and Scotland. The highlights of this short and on the whole inconclusive war were the naval battle of the Solent, fought outside Portsmouth (made memorable by the capsizing of the carrack Mary Rose), which prevented a French landing at Portsmouth, and the English capture of Boulogne. After sundry fruitless French attempts to recover the city, the war was ended in 1546 by the Treaty of Ardres, which stipulated that Boulogne was to remain in English hands for eight year, although in the event the French bought the city back in 1550.
2. During the course of the war the Humanistic poet John Leland [1502? - 1552] published two poems, one celebrating the taking of Boulogne and the other the Peace of Ardres. Each was issued as a smal separate book: Bononia Gallomastix (eight pages) was printed at London by John Mayler in 1545, and Ἐγκώμιον τῆς εἰρήνης (sixteen pages) was printed at London by Reyner Wolf in the following year. Although written at different times, issued by separate publishers, and displaying diametrically opposite attitudes towards war and towards the French, in some ways these two poems are contrived to make a matched pair: they are both sandwiched between an initial epigram directed to the reader and a concluding gratulatory epigram, and they both repeatedly use the literary device of the cheer (io).