Field of the Cloth of Gold

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field Field of the Cloth of Gold the scene of a meeting between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France near Calais in 1520, for which both monarchs erected elaborate temporary palaces, including a sumptuous display of golden cloth. Little of importance was achieved, although the meeting symbolized Henry's determination to play a full part in European dynastic politics.
fields have eyes and woods have ears one may always be spied on by unseen watchers or listeners; an urban equivalent is walls have ears (see wall). The saying is recorded from the early 13th century.

see also a fair field and no favour, out of left field at left1.

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Field of Cloth of Gold, 1520. This was an extravagant diplomatic spectacle staged by Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France (1515–47) on 7–24 June 1520 at the Val d'Or, half-way between Guines, in the ‘pale’ round English Calais, and Ardres. An encampment of several hundred luxuriously decorated tents and pavilions was created for the occasion. The two kings and their entourages spent the time jousting, wrestling, and feasting, concluding with a mass and a banquet. Though the meeting was a great cultural spectacle, as a device to foster friendship between England and France following the treaty of London (1518) it failed dismally. Henry VIII negotiated with the Emperor Charles V both before and after the meeting, and in 1522 and 1523 English troops invaded France.

Euan Cameron

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Field of the Cloth of Gold, locality between Guines and Ardres, not far from Calais, in France, where in 1520 Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France met for the purpose of arranging an alliance. Both kings brought large retinues, and the name given the meeting place reflects the unexampled splendor of the pageantry. The political consequences were negligible, because Henry, who had been undecided whether to support Francis or Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, had already turned toward the emperor and shortly afterward made an alliance with him.