WI: James IV survives Flodden Field

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Razgriz 2K9, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Razgriz 2K9 Banned

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    The Battle of Flodden Field on September 9, 1513 was one of many conflicts fought between England and Scotland prior to the personal union in 1603. It was also the conflict where James IV would die in the field of battle.

    But what if James and at least some of the nobles who took part in the campaign, managed to survive Flodden Field? Would James continue to persecute War with England, or would events run similarly to OTL?
     
  2. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    What sort of health is he in, what sort of condition is his army?
     
  3. Razgriz 2K9 Banned

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    Let's assume that with the losses accumilated, it would be somehere along the lines of 15,000 soldiers, probably still rattled from a similar esque defeat. As for James' health, I cannot say if he was physically ill before he went to battle, but James would survive relatively unscathed.
     
  4. Pericles Well-Known Member

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    James could have several more children. Margaret Douglas, Charles Stuart and Lord Darnley would never exist. Also, there is a possibility of a. Marriage between James V and Henry VIII's daughter Mary.
     
  5. Razgriz 2K9 Banned

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    Wait, what? Why would he seek to marry the crown Prince of Scotland off to the presumed crown Princess of England?
     
  6. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    Well if he's still in reasonably good shape post battle and his army is mostly intact, or reassembleable - there might be another fight in this campaign. He might even win.
     
  7. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    Because it would give Scotland control of England. I mean sure realistically England would be the dominant power but its a possibility.

    As for a surviving James IV, maybe Scotland can avoid the near century long regency that was the 16th century. The long regencies were what helped destroy Scotland and assured England being much more powerful.
     
  8. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    The best thing would be for him to continue to honor the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry. Of course Henry had made this very difficult with some calculated slights early in his reign, and Louis XII had provided some inducements for James to go to war. But if Scotland is stable, at peace, and not at the receiving end of an actual English invasion, it always has more to lose by going to war against its larger southern neighbor than it has to gain, unless England is in spectacularly bad shape, which in 1513 it is not. I don't see the problem as a bad battle. I see it as a misguided policy by which James permitted himself to be coopted by Louis against his kingdom's own best interests.

    Of course Margaret told him all this before he rode south, but her advice was discounted as being (1) a counsel of cowardice and (2) evidence of Margaret's greater attachment to England than Scotland. Yet had he listened, Scotland would have been much better off. Margaret Tudor: underestimated and underappreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  9. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    In order to guesstimate just how long James IV might have lived had he lived to the same natural lifespan of other fifteenth century Scottish monarchs. But then I found out how few Scottish monarchs lived out natural lifespans in the fifteenth century. In any case, Robert II made it to 74 and Robert III lived until 69. If James IV were to live to 70 he would reign until 1543, which without the struggles of the regency could make for a nice period of stability and growth.
     
  10. Razgriz 2K9 Banned

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    So even with or without persecuting the war further, we mght see an additional thirty years of much needed political stability for James IV and his successor (either OTL James V or Mary, depending on whether the former still dies of cholera or not). Now I doubt this would prevent the possibility of an Anglo-Scottish personal union, but could that resist a potential (and possibly eventual) English economic domination of Scotland?
     
  11. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Well the key to the Anglo-Scottish personal union most likely depends on what happens on the other side of the border. And the truth is that there are so many separate contingencies in England that led to the Stuart succession it's easy to see at least one of them failing given even minor butterlfies from the point of departure. These are in fact the prompts we see all on the pre-1900 board all the time: Katherine of Aragon stops her unhealthy fasting and gives birth to a healthy baby boy; a different Henry-sperm wins the fight for Anne Boleyn's egg and we get Henry IX rather than Elizabeth; Princess Mary actually gets married in a timely fashion and creates successors of her own body; the Duke of Richmond does not die and leads a faction powerful enough to install himself as king after Edward VI's death; Edward VI does not die before marriage but has lots of happy and politically compliant Protestant children; Lady Jane Grey somehow makes it as Jane I; the Howards pull off shenanigans and take the throne using Margaret Douglas; Philip of Spain conquers England with the Armada. You can use any of these, and perhaps a dozen other mechanisms to do the deed.

    And to some extent the automatic comeback you get on these boards that "it doesn't matter if there's not a personal union, Scotland will just be an English puppet" is not really necessarily the case in the short term. Remember, Scotland's great traditional partner in Europe is France. And what happens to French military power over the course of the seventeenth century? In fact, England getting sufficient traction to stop French ascendancy is really to some extent dependent on the Stuart personal union to make it possible, so that England is not constantly fighting on two fronts as it did in the Middle Ages but can project its power decisively into continental Europe.

    So really if you intend by having James escape his fate at Flodden to preserve Scotland as an independent kingdom you may end up with a great big splooshy France-wank.

    Which I'm not opposed to. It would likely mean I would have access to better quality cheese and baked goods than I do today. So get to it.

    EDIT: Also, don't forget there are other royal houses available to Scotland other than the Stuarts. Mary could as a second husband wind up with a Huntly or somesuch and that would work. Or you could have a line of Valois kings of another United Kingdom, France and Scotland.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  12. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    England wasn't "constantly fighting on two fronts". It was considerably more able to meddle with Scotland's chances than Scotland was to distract it.

    I doubt this will change in the early modern period - if, that is, England is in a position to "project its power decisively" at all, which I also doubt.
     
  13. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    Yeah I mean was Scotland ever a real threat to England? Because I doubt it. France used Scotland to distract England and had done so for centuries. It just mattered more during the hundred years' war. Not to mention every time Scotland attacked England it lost its King, with the monarch being killed, dieing soon after or being captured.

    As for a more powerful England, I can't see any real change in English power with a union with Scotland. Though we might see a different religious policy. For instance, if Mary married James V I doubt we would see Henry pushing so hard for a divorce from Catherine. After all, from an English POV, Mary's marriage would eventually give Scotland to England.
     
  14. Razgriz 2K9 Banned

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    Did the Tudors (or rather, Did Henry VIII) really want to try and push for a Personal Union with the Stuarts in Scotland? I do know either way, the English position would probably be unchanged (except maybe Scotland might stay Catholic, as would England if Catherine managed to sire a male heir.)
     
  15. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    IDK, I'm not sure if Mary was ever engaged to James V or not. Also, England would remain Catholic either way. Remember here Mary would be married to James V of Scotland and would already have children by the time she succeeds to the English throne. Considering Henry's fertility issues its likely that he would only have one legitimate son again, and if he dies on schedule Mary would be the heiress and in a much better position to fight for it. And with a Catholic England, Scotland would also remain Catholic. Remember Scotland only went Protestant after Elizabeth I gave military aid to the Protestant Lords. So with no Protestant Queen, there will be no Protestant Scotland.
     
  16. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    I love how we assume that Protestantism is doomed in Britain because Mary doesn't get exactly the OTL set of events.

    The Protestant Lords were a pretty significant force even without direct English aid, and that's ignoring popular sentiment. Given the weakness of the kings of Scotland (possibly changed by James IV surviving and derailing the OTL regency century, possibly not) - I don't see Catholicism doing that well.
     
  17. Razgriz 2K9 Banned

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    Well Elfwine, one thing I've come to learn is that not everything is set in stone...

    In any case, even without Englsh support, the Protestant Lords are a significant threat. Assuming that James IV and his successors, given whatever strength they have, remain Catholic, could we see a Scottish War of Religion? I can assume, if England remains Catholic, and if Scotland goes Protestant, it could complicate matters in a dangerous way.
     
  18. Grouchio Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't England and Ireland field superior resources and manpower than Scotland anyways? I would think a sucessful unification of Britain for Scotland through conquest would have a much, much earlier PoD, like around the time of Kenneth Mac Alpin.
     
  19. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    Not set in stone, but there's a substantial difference between "events could work out differently" and "were it not for this perversely irrational/unlikely event that happened OTL, things would work out like X".

    And the attitude that Britain's Protestantism is the latter bothers me, given the lack of hostility to it happening OTL

    Anyhow, it definitely would. Especially if someone who finds this to be a big deal takes either throne - Mary (Henrysdaughter) would count if she's like OTL.

    I don't know about wars of Religion - it might just be more Yet Another Stuart King Dies Prematurely. Could go there if they have a significant block of supporters, however (either as royalists or Catholics - though which one it is may matter in the long run).
     
  20. Blurgle Off stalking Anne Boleyn

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    There's no evidence it was even considered.