A Glorious Exception: James V Survives

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by spamage, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. spamage Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2012
    The Glorious Exception: James V survives
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    James V, King of the Scots and his wife Queen Marie d'Guise

    In early December 1542 James V, the King of the Scots, fell ill to what is believed to be a fever although accounts vary on what type and when exactly he first fell ill. For several weeks, during which a daughter of his was born and named Mary, he drifted in an out of consciousness and was according to some delirious. During this period many of his courtiers, as well as his wife, believed that the King was going to pass away and there were whispers that the Earl of Arran would assume the regency for the King's week old daughter. As the Earl of Arran favored Protestantism, as well closer relations with England, there was backlash against him, especially from both Cardinal Beaton and the Earl of Lennox who were strong Catholics and supported keeping the Auld Alliance intact. This behind the scenes squabbling would be put to rest, however, when James began to surprisingly show signs of improvement. The fever began to subside and by the end of 1542 King James V of Scotland had fully recovered from his mystery illness. It appeared two crises had been avoided, the prospect of a regency for an infant as well as the potential fight for control over said regency between the dominant Catholics and the rising Protestants, which many had believed undoubtedly would occur.

    While some took James' recovery as a miracle, there was no time for him to dwell upon it. Scotland was still at war, and Henry VIII (the Uncle of the King) sought to advance the Reformation in Scotland by defeating them in Battle. James had already been dealt a heavy blow with the loss of the Battle of Solway Moss and viewed it as a personal failure. So much so, that it was said during his period of delirium during his fever that he expressed guilt over the loss of the Battle as well as his standard. The King knew he needed to strike at the English yet again, this time with a victory, in order to either end the war on his terms or at least earn a white peace.

    By late January 1543 the King began to assemble more men all the while sending envoys to England inquiring as to the amount of gold the Kingdom of England would require in order to ransom the high-ranking individuals who had been taken prisoner after the Scottish lines had fallen apart at Solway. This was both genuine and a ploy. James did in fact want many of the highborn lords back in Scotland to assist his war efforts, but he also knew that sending diplomats to his uncle would make it appear as though he was leaning towards peace so as to make the English let their guard down and focus on preparing an invasion of France instead. On their way south however, the envoys were informed that the majority of the high ranking prisoners had been released by Henry, who hoped that upon returning home they'd be less willing to take arms against England and instead would work on advancing its cause within the country. This would be a big blunder on the behalf of the English King ,who had mistakenly believed that James V had succumbed to his fever based on faulty information, as few of the prisoners who had made pledges kept their vows and most rejoined James and the army he was assembling. Scotland, it appeared, was going to strike back.

    There was another issue the King had to deal with following his recovery besides the war against England, and that was the succession. During his sickness there had been numerous questions over whom the King desired take up the regency as well as a general concern over the lack of a male heir. James V cleared up the situation by making a will specifying that Cardinal Beaton, and not the Earl of Arran, would assume the regency in the event of his death. The King passed over his wife Marie d'Guise as not only was she female but she was a foreigner as well, and James had seen how the realm had reacted to his mother, Margaret Tudor, during his minority. Although he never stated it outright many people expected he had passed over Arran due to his connection with Protestantism which made James, a devout Catholic, uncomfortable. The Earl took this as a slight, being the second in line to the throne, and reportedly furiously demanded that the King reconsider, something which the stubborn Stewart refused to do. This created a rift between the distant cousins and allowed for Arran to become largely viewed as the leader of the pro-English and Protestant movement among the nobility, something which disgusted James.

    The formation of this rift motivated James in other areas as well. The King became determined to keep Arran as far away from the throne as possible and the only way he could do so was by producing more legitimate children. James and Marie had once had 2 sons, although both had died within the span of hours with one being a year old and the other little more than a week. The King knew he needed another surviving child if he was to keep Arran, or his children, off the throne and it had to be a son if he was to keep the House of Stewart on the throne. The House had ascended to the throne with the marriage to one of Robert the Bruce's daughters and ever since then had been weary of being replaced through the same means. The other 3 James's, as well as the 2 Roberts before them, had all been able to produce a male heir despite the reputation they had for dying young and forcing a regency upon the realm. In fact, for a time, there had been too many Stewarts, not too few. Before the King finally set off to campaign against the English in early March 1453 Marie reportedly vowed to James that the next time they were together, she would give him a son. Seeing as James and Marie's marriage was not happy and the King was often seen frequenting the beds of mistresses and other women, this instance serves to show how the Queen knew how desperate the realm was for the security a second child, and a male one at that, offered. James would depart a week later, reportedly having frequented his wife's bed in the hopes that her promise to him would come true.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  2. Unknown Member

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    Good start.

    Hope you stick with this and take it to the present day.
     
  3. spamage Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2012
    As do I :)

    In the past I've struggled to keep motivated with other TLs, but those were over a year ago and I feel like I'll stick with this one for a long while ;)
     
  4. Kellan Sullivan Well-Known Member

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    Dec 9, 2012
    I'd like to see how this much underused POD is going to develop. Please keep going:)
     
  5. spamage Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2012
    James V would depart from Falkland Palace, leaving his wife and infant daughter behind, and moved south calling his nobles to assemble with their men near Dumfries. James had never been popular with his highborn subjects, as was seen in his difficulty assembling an army prior to the Battle of Solway Moss, but the defeat had damaged all of Scotland’s prestige, both the nobles’ and King’s alike. While there were some lords noticeably absent, including the Earl of Arran and several other Protestants, the King commanded an army of much greater size than he had 5 months earlier, with troops under his command close to 25,000. By the beginning of April James and his forces began to move south into England, taking a more easterly route as to avoid reminders for the defeat they had only recently suffered.

    In England the news of James’ survival infuriated Henry VIII, and the King’s mood was made only worse by the fact that many of the same nobles who had made pledges to the King had been some of the first to once again take up arms against him. Henry sent several diplomats to James requesting the immediate return of the prisoners which had been accidentally released and had broken their vows. Reportedly James avoided seeing the diplomats himself and remarked that he believe that vows made to heretics did not count. This would only serve to increase the rage Henry felt at his nephew, rage he would take out on several people other than the King of the Scots.

    Scandal would rock the court of Henry VIII when Thomas Seymour, an uncle to Henry’s son and the brother of his late wife Jane, married Catherine Parr, a member of the Lady Mary’s household. While Henry VIII had expressed interest in Catherine, and made hints that he wished to marry her, he had become distracted by the war and she had fallen by the wayside and, believing the King no longer wanted to marry her, had married Thomas Seymour in secret. Naturally this was a large scandal as Catherine had only recently been widowed and Henry became determined to punish both Thomas and Catherine, whom he viewed as traitors. The couple was separated and both were placed in the Tower while the King began drawing up charges against them, both were charged with treason alongside adultery (as Henry made it clear he did not view their marriage as valid) and were subsequently sentenced to be beheaded, as was Henry’s common method of removing enemies and opponents in his realm. On the morning of July 12th, 1543 both Catherine and Thomas would be executed.

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    The doomed bride: Catherine Parr (1512-1543)

    During the scandal in the court of Henry, James officially entered England and moved south towards the town of Carlisle, where he would find Thomas Wharton (the commander of the English forces during the Battle of Solway Moss) awaiting him with 7,000 men. Unlike in the past, the Scots were prepared and unified and launched a vicious and merciless attack at the English lines which were unprepared for the surprising level of ferocity. By early afternoon the English retreated and Carlisle was taken by the Scottish army on the morning of June 5th, 1543.

    It was widely agreed that the defeat at Carlisle, along with the heartbreak of having Catherine marry Thomas Seymour, was too much for King Henry who fell into a period of illness brought on by stress and depression in June 1543. It was during this time that the King scrapped his plans to invade France, as Scotland remained unconquered and the realm was near bankruptcy, and this infuriated his ally, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V who then decided to negotiate a truce with Francis largely at the behest of the French Queen, and Charles’ sister, Eleanor. The Emperor wished to focus on the Protestants in northern Germany and Francis wished to seek revenge on the English for their alliance with the Hapsburgs. The truce was officially signed in August 1543 and was made with the intent of lasting peace. Charles and Francis both withdrew their conflicting claims over Burgundy and Naples respectively and Francis’ second son Charles was to marry Mary, the daughter of the Emperor.

    Henry’s illness grew worse upon hearing that the Emperor had betrayed him and Francis, his onetime ally, was intending to continue the war against England. Rumors abounded that Francis intended to invade England, leading the command himself, and establish James V as the ruler of England alongside Scotland. These whispers grew highly popular among Catholics in the realm, especially in Wales and the north, and forced the dying King to make a clear path of succession. As fall began to approach Parliament was forced to confirm the Act of Succession (1543) declaring that Edward was next in line for the throne and then, should he die without issue, was to be followed by Mary and Elizabeth after her. It was also stipulated in the Act that no descendants of Margaret Tudor would be eligible to inherit the throne. He and Margaret had always had a tense relationship while she was still living (with him having counselled Margaret against divorcing James IV only to then go on to split with the Pope when he wouldn’t grant Henry a divorce) and the King had always favored his younger sister Mary over Margaret. This, combined with the fact he was at war with Margaret’s son, made it an easy choice for the now bedridden and dying Henry. With the succession now clear and James V believed to have been removed from the throne, Henry quietly passed away on November 24th, 1543. It was the one year anniversary of the Battle of Solway Moss, the last time the King had tasted victory. Edward, his son, was hastily crowned Edward VI and the Catholics, led by Bishop Stephen Gardiner (who was named to be an executor of Henry’s will) attempted to seize power back from the Protestants who dominated the King’s regency council. All the while the young Edward was being educated by a devout and fervent Reformer, John Cheke despite the best tries by the Catholics to get a more moderate tutor.

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    A portrait of an elderly King Henry VIII

    With Henry VIII now dead there were numerous issues which arose over how the Church of England was to move forward. The traditionalists, some of which wanted to go entirely back into the Catholic fold, moved boldly within weeks of Henry’s death and formally accused Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury and one of the leading Protestants in the realm, of heresy. This was meant primarily as a way to stifle further reform of the Church of England and diminish the Protestant hold over the young King, whose own mother had been a Catholic. Opposition arose from the Protestants on the regency council, but mainly from Edward Seymour, the King’s uncle and head of the Protestant faction. After weeks of political maneuvering it became clear that there had been months of plotting by the Catholics who were quite extensive in number. With the King in his minority it initially seemed as though Cranmer was doomed and that the Catholics would have the power and support necessary to get him removed from office. Seymour would move decisively to prevent this however, and in early December took his nephew to one of his estates with his tutor in tow. It was clear that the King was not going to be moved for quite some time. He did this discretely though, and the following week at Hampton Court Gardiner was barred from entering the Council Chambers much to his surprise and anger. Seymour organized a Protestant lead investigation into the extent of the plot and in the meantime bullied the remaining Catholics besides Gardiner into standing down through various methods, primarily bribery and the threat of execution. It was a stunning turn of events which grew even more surprising when Gardiner himself was arrested on the morning of January 4th, 1544 and taken to the Tower of London to be imprisoned. Without a clear leader the Catholic faction in England grew much weaker at court, so much so that the heir to the throne, Henry’s daughter and devout Catholic, Mary withdrew herself to her newly inherited estates. Within two months of the old King’s death the Regency Council had already gained a clear leader in the form of Edward Seymour and the Catholics had seen their position surprisingly reduced.

    Both the Catholics and the Protestants on the Regency Council could agree on one thing though, the war had to be ended. The realm was nearly bankrupt and had now tasted defeat following the loss of Carlisle and further Scottish incursions in the north. Diplomats were sent to James V and Francis, both who would consent to peace on their terms. James wished to keep Carlisle, and rule it as had once been done by Scottish Kings prior to him along with the return of his uncle, and onetime host, the Earl of Angus, on whom James wished to take revenge for near imprisonment during his childhood. Francis meanwhile wished for a series of monetary payments be made to him despite the fact that England was nearing a complete lack of funds and even, some whispered, debt. The regency council had no choice but to accept, and the Treaty of Westminster was signed, turning the war from a near Scottish defeat into a victory in nearly an instant. James V returned to Falkland Palace in December and found, as promised, that his wife Marie was indeed pregnant and set to give birth within a couple of weeks. It appeared that the glory James had once had, possessing two sons and prestige worldwide, lost since the Battle of Solway Moss, had once more returned.

    Marie went into labor on December 17th, several weeks earlier than expected, and at long last James had another son, conveniently named James. The birth was extremely hard on Marie however, and she was bedridden for several weeks afterward. It was a close call, but she pulled through, although some believed that it meant she was no longer fertile, a charge which she would fervently deny. The boy was baptized into the Catholic faith by Cardinal Beaton and unlike his children in the past, was to be kept near the King in order to, hopefully, secure his survival.

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    Prince James and his mother, Marie d'Guise (1544)

    With the war over, and the threat England posed greatly reduced, the devout James began to work on suppressing Protestantism in Scotland. The Earl of Arran was imprisoned on paper for refusing to join the King in his campaign against England but it was widely accepted that it was a part of James’ disdain for him. Shortly after the King began, with the backing of Parliament, to actively hunt down and imprison Protestant preachers within the realm. This made waves all across Europe as Scotland made it clear that it wanted nothing to do with the increasingly reformed faith in England and instead wished to remain in union with Rome and allied with France. Ironically, despite his professed devotion to the Church, he partially contributed to the increased disillusionment with Catholicism by appointing his illegitimate children, many of whom were exceptionally young, to the various church offices in the realm. This blatant nepotism would come under increased fire in the realm, although the spark could not catch on due to the King’s active persecution of reformers. Seven men were burned at the stake, and numerous more were imprisoned and forced to recant their beliefs.

    In the meantime across Europe the Pope began to plan and organize the Council of Mantua, which had been long delayed and had been cancelled on several occasions. The primary goal of the council was to reform the church in answer to some of the calls of reform alongside making it much more acceptable as a way to win back Lutherans, Calvinists, and other Protestants. It was now clear that the Reformation was much more than an issue between members of the Church, but instead the early stages in an attempt to formulate separate sects of Christianity, whether intentional or not. Scandinavia, England, and Northern Germany had already begun to convert and there were whispers that Austria, Bohemia, France, and Scotland were not far behind. Furthermore with Charles V announcing he intended to take military action against the Protestants in the Holy Roman Empire now that France had made peace with him, Pope Paul III knew that the Church had to act if It was to retain some influence on ending the Reformation. To allow Charles to solve the problem without assistance from the Church would undermine the position of the papacy and set a precedent, or so Paul believed. Therefore a call to council was enacted on February 18th, 1544.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  6. Unknown Member

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    Have you watched the Tudors, spamage?

    Edward becomes king several years earlier? That's interesting.

    Wonder if Scotland will get any successful colonies ITTL.
     
  7. Kellan Sullivan Well-Known Member

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    Dec 9, 2012
    I personally wonder if wee Mary Stewart will be sojourning in France here? Or will she be kept in Scotland (that might be a bit more stable) longer.
     
  8. spamage Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2012
    Several years ago, yes. Although my memory of it is quite fuzzy.



    Mary's definitely going to have not near as much of a role, or a sad life, as she did OTL.
     
  9. Ultimate Paragon Banned

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    Dec 8, 2013
    Brace yourselves for Mothra-sized butterflies.
     
  10. spamage Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2012
    Indeed, the Europe of this timeline is going to be extremely different fairly fast due to the events the survival of James has caused, delayed, or even prevented.
     
  11. Unknown Member

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    It seems like James's nepotism may come back to haunt his successor.

    Waiting for more.
     
  12. spamage Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Following peace with the Holy Roman Empire, France too would embark on a movement to end Protestantism in the realm. In 1540 anti-Catholic posters had been placed all throughout Paris in what was known as the Affair of the Placards and had caused Francis to issue the Edict of Fontainebleau, which turned his policy towards Protestants from one of relative tolerance to one of enmity. Although initial persecution had commenced, much of it was halted due the war between France and the Hapsburgs. With peace however, Francis could now move freely to remove the reformers from his realm, ironically some whom he had allowed to flourish just years prior.

    In the peace between Charles and Francis it was specified that Charles, the Duke of Orleans and second in line to the throne, was to marry Mary Hapsburg, the Daughter of the Emperor. This formed a rift between Charles and his older brother Henry, the heir to the throne; as Henry was furious to see his father give up many lands and titles that ought to go to him as his father’s heir. Henry was backed by his wife, Catherine de Medici and reportedly the stress of the incident caused her to miscarry in late 1543. Catherine had been rumored to be infertile and so her pregnancy was a surprise to almost all of the royal court in Paris and its sudden end deemed devastating. Although their marriage had been deteriorating for some time, Henry stood by Catherine, instead placing the blame for his unborn child’s death on his brother and even, a bit, on his father. Although Catherine would once again be pregnant in February 1544, neither she nor her husband ever forgave the Duke of Orleans.

    Mary Hapsburg was sent to Paris shortly later in the summer of 1544 and received a frosty reception in Paris by everyone except her betrothed and her aunt, Queen Eleanor. Although Eleanor had no political pull whatsoever, and remained ignored by her husband, she proved to be a crucial ally for her niece and helped her make sense of the situation she had been dropped into. On August 17th, 1544 Charles and Mary were officially married in Saint Denis Cathedral and performed their marital duties later the same night. Catherine de Medici skipped the ceremony, using her pregnancy as an excuse, and her absence was widely noted, most of all by the new Duchess of Orleans.

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    Catherine de Medici the Dauphine of France

    In England while Edward Seymour had succeeded in taking custody of the King, as well as getting the regency council to name him the Lord Protector of the Realm in the weeks following Gardiner’s arrest, the situation could be described as anything but stable. Having just recently ended war with France and Scotland, and being recently betrayed by the Hapsburgs, England found itself without an ally and that left it very vulnerable. Furthermore many of the Catholics who had been forced to stand down following the arrest of Gardiner soon became alienated with the new government when it continued to became clear that England was drifting slowly, but certainly, towards Protestantism and further away from Catholicism. Edward VI appeared to be a devout reformer himself, despite being just 7 years old, as he was influenced not only by his tutors, but by his uncle as well who often openly expressed his disdain and complaints towards the Catholics in the realm who, unfortunately for him and his policies, remained the majority.

    The common people of England, especially those in the north and west of the country were hostile to the ideas being enacted by Seymour, Cranmer, and many others. Furthermore Seymour himself was widely viewed with suspicion for having stood by the King when his brother was set to be executed. Naturally when word got out that Edward was being tutored by Protestants the government’s unpopularity was only increased. Plotting abounded in the summer of 1544 in England, so much so that many at the time referred to the period as the Summer of Intrigues. Mary Tudor, the King’s eldest sister met covertly with Catholics at some of her estates apparently planning to abduct the King and give him a Catholic tutor, although they never acted. There were also attempts by Norfolk to get Gardiner released but the Duke was too free about informing others about this plot and word soon got to Seymour. The Catholics weren’t the only ones plotting however, as Edward Seymour and the council began to inquire into moderating the Act of Succession. Mary, while absent from court, was still a potent threat to the council simply by remaining a devout Catholic and both sides knew it. Much of the Privy council argued for slow reform just because they feared future punishment from Mary in the event the young King were to die. This plot too was forced to be dropped however, when word leaked and a mob assembled in the city of London threatening action. With memories of the Pilgrimage of Grace still fresh, the Council backed down and the people dispersed. Mary herself would not learn of this attempt to remove her from the Succession until after her brother was crowned.

    The official coronation of Edward took place on June 7th 1544, having been delayed several months over rumors that disease was present in London. The young King rode horseback through the city and towards Westminster Abbey where he was officially crowned in a much shorter ceremony than other Kings had used in the past (as the Reformation had rendered some aspects completely irrelevant). Cranmer issued a fiery sermon calling upon the King to continue the Reformation in England and to expel the evils of the Papacy, all while the Lady Mary, Norfolk, and several other English Catholics looked on.

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    The Coronation of Edward VI (1544)

    Following the coronation, Edward was once more returned to Seymour’s custody and the Lord Protector took full advantage of this by getting royal approval from Edward to set up the Council as he saw fit. Almost immediately Thomas Howard was removed and sent back to his estates in shame. Despite having control of the Council however, Seymour could not convince them to hand over all of its power in order to make him sole regent. Sole regencies in the past had often lead to war, discontent, and power struggles as had been seen with John of Gaunt, Isabella the "she-wolf", and Margaret Tudor in Scotland. Even so, while not dissolved, the Council became much more of a formality than a necessity as Seymour continued to work to increase his power, wealth and, most of all, influence.

    The beginning of 1544 would saw James V and Cardinal Beaton continue working to remove Protestantism in Scotland. George Wishart was captured during a sermon in a disciple's home in Edinburgh and with him a dozen of his followers were taken into captivity as well. Wishart was burned without a trial, but the remainder of his followers were given a chance to recant their beliefs by the specific intervention of the King. Around half chose to do so and were returned home humiliated but the other 6 refused to. Among those burned were several craftsmen but most notably a former Catholic priest by the name of John Knox who followed Wishart into martyrdom despite Wishart's wishes otherwise. It appeared, for the time being at least, that the Reformation in Scotland had been dealt a huge blow.

    While James intervened to give the accused an option to recant, he largely left Beaton to the formal matters regarding heresy while he focused on foreign policy. Francis and James agreed informally in the Fall of 1544 that, should Catherine de Medici give birth to a son, who would likely be the King of France one day, him and Mary were to be married. James was also cautious in this union however, and got Francis to agree that the union could be cancelled should Prince James die before ascending to the throne as a way to prevent the inheritance of Scotland by France, something James saw both as impractical and likely to fail. James wished desperately for a second son, but by the fall Marie remained not pregnant and the King gradually began to return to the beds of his many mistresses.

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    Wishart, Knox, and several others are burned for their beliefs as Beaton (center) looks on (1544)

    During this same time Pope Paul III continued to organize the Council of Mantua, despite wishes that the location be shifted elsewhere by the Emperor. Invitations were sent out to the various cardinals abroad including Beaton in Scotland, the illustrious Reginald Pole, and numerous others abroad. The Pope's decision to invite Pole was a symbolic one, as he still was not ordained but Paul III wanted to convey the message that he intended for England to once more be brought back into the Catholic fold. Furthermore Pole was chosen as his mother was widely viewed to be a martyr who was wrongfully accused and executed by Henry VIII (the most notable of her supporters was her former mistress Mary Tudor).

    Luther meanwhile rebuked the call of the Council having come to believe the Papacy itself as intrinsically flawed. Instead of praising the Church's efforts he published pamphlets emphasizing that the changes made would likely be too few to amount to any real change. He also pointed out the inconsistency of the fact that while the Catholic Church was calling a council to reorganize itself and mend the broken relationship with Protestants, Charles V was mobilizing men and marching towards the Protestant league to do so by force and James V was burning subjects just for speaking their beliefs.

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    Martin Luther

    The Emperor was indeed preparing for war against the Protestant princes in Northern Germany, who were woefully unequipped to hold of the Emperor without outside assistance. Requests were sent officially to France, England, and Scandinavia but all were denied. Francis had just made peace with the Emperor and made one of Charles' daughters his son's wife. Seymour and the Privy Council responded from London that they were too busy reforming their own government to be of any real assistance and pointed out that many of the Princes still supported Luther, a man who had famously sparred with, and insulted, Henry VIII. Scandinavia meanwhile preferred to be left to its own devices. Relations were tense between Denmark-Norway and Sweden despite the fact they shared the same faith, and both were worried that the other would take advantage of the war in Germany against them. While appearing ascendent in England, to many it appeared Protestantism was in grave danger in Germany.
     
  13. spamage Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2012
    Ironically, by killing the leading Protestant in Scotland James increased his problems. While in the past the majority of the reformers had remained loyal to the King, just wishing to see the Church reformed, the Crown’s all-out war against Protestantism forced them to oppose James as well. Revenge was plotted by noblemen and commoners alike with many condemning James, along with Cardinal Beaton, for making many more martyrs. There was an assassination attempt against the King on August 17th, 1544 when he was walking through the streets of Edinburgh, as he often did due to his love for the common people, in which the would-be assassin’s gun jammed and James’ guards were able to subdue and kill the man with plenty of assistance from the other citizens. James was a Stewart however, and instead of backing down the tensions only served to increase his stubbornness on the subject of ending the Reformation in Scotland. Parliament eagerly passed laws outlawing the speaking of heresy, punishable by having one’s tongue removed, as well as giving the King the right to strip Protestant nobles of 1/3rd of their land should they refuse to recant. This policy was in fact successful as by October 1544 the Earl of Arran reluctantly recanted his former beliefs and was thereby allowed by the King to return to his estates, his pride now in ruin. Several other nobles openly recanted as well, but whispers persisted that they continued to practice in private.

    Determined to integrate Carlisle once more into Scotland, James V announced publicly that he intended to do away with the Reivers (raiders along the border between England and Scotland, many of whom were now solely in Scotland's territory due to the slight gains made in the war against England) and the King began to organize plans throughout late October and Early November, preparing to lead an army himself. Scotland had longed been plagued by raiders, rebels, and the English to the south and, with the fall of House Douglas coupled with the gains made during the war, the primary problem became almost solely the raiders who harassed Scottish trade. By November James called the banners and was once again marching south, this time intending to fight some of his own subjects, not the English.

    Immediately upon arriving in the South the King discovered the task would be much more difficult than he had previously expected. The raiders were unorganized and avoided direct confrontations with the Scottish army, instead letting attrition and disease do their job. Seeing little success, many of the soldiers began to resent the King, preferring to return home to their families. It appeared James had failed, for by January only 7 men had been caught and rumor had it those men, who had been put to death, were in fact innocent bystanders.

    The Scottish had one advantage over the reivers however, and that was organization. While the raiders were able to continue their work with the King nearby, signs that they were divided were soon evident. Miscommunication got the Olivers, Jamiesons, and Ridleys captured while poor timing allowed the King to take core members of the clans Armstrong and Nixon captive as well. These successes, taking place in early February 1545 allowed the King to return north with members of the clans captive in order to ensure good behavior. The prisoners were treated well, many of them just children, and it was the intent of James that they be oneday returned to their clans in order to organize and modernize them from raiders into actual noble families. There is some evidence that the King also wished to do similar fighting in the Highlands in order to centralize that region as well, but it was soon realized Scotland lacked the men and climate for that to be possible.

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    Border Reivers had been, and slightly remained to be, a problem on the Border

    All eyes would be on the Royal Court of Francis during the later months of 1544 as Catherine de Medici neared the end of her pregnancy. The Dauphine was extremely cautious, not wanting to have a second miscarriage, but it was jested that her husband was even more careful, shunning Catherine’s bed for that of a mistress. On November 21st, 1544 Catherine began to experience early pains of labor and was immediately rushed to her chambers with her physicians in tow.


    As the labor was sudden, Catherine’s husband was nowhere to be found, causing her to panic. Guards reportedly searched through the palace only to find the Dauphin with his mistress, Diane de Pointiers, something which was scandalous even in France. The prince would rush to be near his wife soon enough however when he was informed what was occurring he spent the next several hours waiting outside her bedroom door. After quite some time the child was delivered. It was a boy, Henry and Catherine finally had a son. The child was named Henry, even though the original planned name had been Francis as the Dauphin still resented his father for having so easily given his younger brother lands and titles after his marriage to Mary Hapsburg. Charles had power close to that of a King, something which worried Henry while Catherine was jealous of Mary Hapsburg, and the ease with which she conceived, for the foreign princess was clearly pregnant by September 1544 and the speed with which it occurred commented on by many.

    The persecution of Protestants in France was proving to be unsucessful as the number of Reformés (as the Protestants called themselves) continued to grow. The Dauphin urged his father to take a much harder line against them and personally believed that measure ought to be enacted similar to those in Scotland where even uttering heresy was a severe crime. Francis was reluctant to take the next step however, partially out of stubbornness and partially out of indecision because his second son, the Duke of Orleans, advocated for an alliance of sorts with the Protestants in order to weaken the Catholic faction at court led by the House of Guise.

    Whatever the case, the rivalry of his sons and the lack of success in regards to religious matters was very taxing for the King who gradually began to show signs of decline. He reportedly visited his mistress less and less and became more accustomed to mood swings. Several weeks later, in December 1544 the King fell from his horse and the outlook looked bleak. He and his eldest son had a tearful reconciliation in early January when it became clear that the King was on his death bed. After several more weeks of suffering and an eventual infection on one of the cuts the King sustained when falling off his horse, Francis quietly slipped away Early in the morning on January 13th, 1545.

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    Francis I of France (1494-1545)

    Henry ascended to the throne as Henry II of France and reportedly moved swiftly almost immediately after his father's death in order to prevent opposition from his younger brother. While the Duke of Orleans was en route to the Duchy of Bourbon, his wife remained behind at the Court in Paris intending to follow her husband by carriage as she was too pregnant to ride. Henry quickly made it clear his sister in law was not going anywhere and scrapped her plans to follow Charles who remained unaware of Francis' death. While some would later criticize the King for taking such drastic actions before his father was even buried, Henry knew that his brother could be unpredictable and tended to act rashly. Furthermore some nobles in the realm were rumored to prefer Charles to Henry as they viewed the elder of the brothers as too weak following his captivity in Spain. By securing his sister in law and his brother's unborn heir (assuming the child was male) Henry gained the immediate upper ground.

    When Charles was finally informed of his father's death and his wife's inability to follow him, he did not move swiftly, instead remaining at his Duchy almost a week before finally returning to Paris where he treated his brother cordially. Henry II wanted his brother close to him, so he would be limited with his plotting, and therefore invited him to remain at court with his wife and soon to be born child. Charles, who had no choice but to agree, actually was quite content with the arrangement. Rumors that he had supported the Reformés cause had caused him to gain quite a bit of unpopularity amongst the common people and some had even sent the Prince death threats. By taking refuge at the court of his brother Charles was guaranteed nominal safety as well as a position close to his brother where, if he could mend their relationship, he could command quite a strong position.

    One of Henry's first actions as Court was to remove his father's courtiers and replace them with people more to his liking. The late King's mistress was dismissed at the behest of Diane de Pointiers (with whom she had often sparred) and the Queen Dowager Eleanor was given the cold shoulder by her stepson. Eleanor refused to leave for the time being however, preferring to keep her niece company until at least after her pregnancy was completed.

    Another action Henry would enact by the March of 1545 was the increased punishments directed at the Reformés which he had urged in favor of several months earlier. Heresy was punishable by death, land could be taken from Protestant nobles, and courts were assembled across the country to detect and root out people even suspected of being a Protestant. Naturally this favoritism showed towards the Catholics in the realm allowed for the devout House of Guise to further its power in the realm. This became evident when Henry had the Cardinal of Guise sent to the Council of Mantua as part of the French delegation and as the King's personal representative. Naturally such harsh policies made Henry a polarizing figure, with the Reformés viewing his as the devil and the Catholics seeing him as doing the right thing. It is estimated over 5,000 Protestants were killed within the first 4 months of Henry's rule in France.

    England and the rest of Protestant Europe were horrified to see the actions the Catholics were taking in order to end the Reformation with Charles' campaign in Germany, new laws in France and Scotland, and the Council of Mantua. Seymour and the regency council in England resolved to send money to the Reformés in France in order to fund opposition to Henry II. Furthermore, English preachers were covertly placed throughout Scotland in an attempt to gain as much support for the Reformation there as possible. These preachers directly attacked King James V as a "collaborator with the anti-Christ" (the Papacy).

    In order to prevent England itself from returning to Catholicism the Privy Council authorized Cranmer and several other reformist Archbishops to standardize the Church of England as well as its services. Henry VIII had always prided himself on his religious orthodoxy, viewing himself as a follower of Catholicism without the Papacy. In fact, just as many Protestants were killed by the King as those loyal to the Pope. Seymour was of the opinion that this was an untenable position and left too much room for a return to Catholicism. "The only way we can save the Church of England", he reportedly told his nephew, the King, "is to reform it". Edward was becoming a loyal Protestant himself, having openly criticized his sister Mary for her continued devotion to Catholicism and attempted to force her to convert. She,inheriting the same hardheadedness as her brother did from her father, refused to do so and requested instead that she be kept exempt from the policy of no masses within the realm, a request in which she was refused.

    This refusal to comply with the King's orders gave the Protestants the cause they needed to remove Mary from the Succession, as disobeying the King was tantamount to treason. It was not acted upon however, as Seymour was well aware that should he do so, it was likely the common people would rise up and throw him, and even perhaps his nephew, aside in favor of Mary. Thus the situation in England remained tense, with the Protestants still on top and planning a way to further their following in the realm.

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    Mary, the heir to the throne of England

     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  14. spamage Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Any comments? The lack of response is concerning me :eek:
     
  15. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    Behind a black gate and to the left of a grove
    I suppose my denomination will never exist in this TL.
     
  16. spamage Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Presbyterian?

    The religious map will look different, as will the positions of some of the denominations, I can assure you of that ;)
     
  17. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Multiverse-Land.
    This is great. I hope the Protestants wins in the end.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  18. Germania09 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Mobile, Alabama
    I love it honestly a Catholic dominated Scotland is a win for sure here's hoping they succeed and hoping Mary gets through all of this with her head :D
     
  19. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Oh, yes, this is a good TL.

    Can't wait to see how the Age of Exploration turns out.

    (BTW, I'm Presbyterian, too, but I haven't attended church since the early 2000s.)
     
  20. spamage Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    The much anticipated Council of Mantua officially opened on March 1st, 1545 after much anticipation, preparation, and deliberation. Pope Paul III himself opened the proceedings which many knew could end up going on for many years. Members of the Church from all throughout Europe were present, with the only notable (but expected) absences being the Protestant countries of England, Scandinavia, and Northern Germany. The Pope was only present for the opening of the Council however, as both Francis and Charles had argued that he might interfere and adulterate the proceedings in his favor and therefore he was required to appoint representatives instead. The Papal legate to the first session was none other than Reginald Pole, who was placed in order to make it clear the Pope had designs on regaining Europe, one way or another.

    The initial session was focused on addressing the points of Protestantism and issuing a general rebuttal. Predestination was condemned by the Cardinals as were most of Luther's teachings and theses. Officially addressing all these points, and the Church's general opinion, took over a month and so by March 1545, the Council ended its first session. Members agreed that the Council would be an ongoing, annual occasion until it was agreed by the majority that the issues facing the Church had been resolved. After events developed in France however, it became certain that it would indeed be quite some time.

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    The Council of Mantua

    The Council also condemned the expansion of the Ottoman Empire along with the destruction of the Byzantines by them. As Francis was dead, and Henry II hadn't yet worked to ally himself with the Turks yet, the French delegation was not overly offended, also some choice words were reportedly exchanged between Cardinal Guise and a group of Spanish Clerics outside the chambers where the Council was conducting itself.

    In Northern Germany Charles V continued to wage war against the Protestant League. The bigamous Landgrave of Hesse was captured on his lands after a crushing defeat was delivered to him by the Catholic forces. This was not entirely unexpected however, as Philip had earned widespread condemnation and lost much support, due to his bigamous marriage which many of the Protestant Princes saw as unnecessary baggage. Charles' plans to reconvert the area hit a snag however, when mobs of Protestants desecrated and destroyed the churches in the city rather than seeing them go Catholic. Furthermore they fiercely resisted the Emperor's troops, using hit and run tactics in an attempt to wear down the morale of the Catholics. This tactic proved successful and by mid June Charles was forced to leave the area and move forward to fight other Protestants. The Langrave was in tow however, to ensure good behavior.

    Campaigning against the Protestants wasn't the only thing on Charles' mind during this period. The Emperor was well aware how out of the way the Queen of France went to make her sister in law, Charles' daughter, embarrassed and as a result plotted to replace Catherine de Medici and her husband Henry II with Mary Hapsburg and Charles the Duke of Orleans respectively. Charles had long expected to use the Duke of Orleans against his brother, and with the chance now clear of having a grandchild on the throne of France, he acted.

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    Charles V

    After several months at court in Paris the Duke of Orleans had been made well aware that there was likely little he could do to mend his relationship with his brother, thereby eliminating any chance he had of increasing his power in the Kingdom except by claiming the throne. Charles V's agents had managed to allow communication to flow discretely from the Emperor to the Duke of Orleans, and back again, and it was agreed by both that the Duke would escape the city of Paris under the cover of darkness with the assistance of the Emperor's agents and go to one of his many estates with his wife and newborn son. A boy had been born to Charles and Mary in the late spring, aptly named Charles in honor of both his father and grandfather. From there the Duke would call upon the nobles of France to rise up and remove his brother from the throne. Henry II had not been King for long and rumor had it many of the nobles preferred to see the Duke of Orleans on the throne instead. Furthermore it was likely many French reformes would join him as under Henry's new policies, they were bleeding. Charles would back his son in law with the might of the Spanish Army and navy. The Emperor did so because even if the Duke of Orleans was unsuccessful, France would still be drawn into civil war, giving Spain and Austria time to grow and increase in strength by comparison.

    As planned the Duke and his wife quietly left Paris on the morning of July 2nd, 1545 headed for the Duchy of Bourbon. They arrived 3 days later and immediately Charles declared himself to be Charles IX, the King of France. The area of Bourbon was chosen by the Emperor as it was not only close to the Protestant population of France, but it was also spaced perfectly between Charles V's two main domains, allowing for him to assist from both the east and the west. Immediately, as expected, men began to assemble around the newly crowned "king" and swore fealty to him. Furthermore, Charles' cousin and the devout Protestant, Jeane of Navarre pledged her support to him, eager to remove the risk of a Spanish invasion of her lands while also advancing the cause of Protestantism within her country and swiftly left Paris. Charles himself remained quiet on the religion issue and was, like his father in law, willing to play the factions against each other in order to advance his own interests.

    When Henry II was made aware what Charles had done, panic gripped the city of Paris. Many doubted the King's military prowess and many more were concerned with the threat Protestantism would pose if given an equal position to Catholicism in the realm. The King had the steadfast support of both the House of Guise and James V who were disturbed by the prospect of a Reformed France. The King's strongest supporters however turned out to be both his wife and his mistress both who immediately moved to keep the French loyal to their King. Catherine by getting pregnant and Diane by attending to the King in other ways.

    The alliances were certainly strange, as the Hapsburgs and Protestants hardly worked together and furthermore there was intense fighting between them concurring in Northern Germany simultaneously as the French Civil War (although it should be noted the Lutherans and Calvinists were two completely different sects), however Charles V was not as religious as it seemed, and was willing to ally with the Reformes if it meant a France more friendly to his own beliefs. After all, the Emperor had seen his armies sack the city of Rome when the Pope had defied him.

    Charles knew he had to establish a firm hold of the country rapidly if he was to win the throne. Men under the command of the new King quickly seized the cities of Nevers, Moulins, and Clermont. While this was occurring the Spanish navy arrived at Marseille and took the city.

    The people of France were more than willing to fight amongst themselves, but the intervention of Spain, as well as the rumors that Charles was also courting English intervention spoiled many of his potential subjects to him in the north, initiating widespread support for Henry II there. Furthermore the Calvinists Charles had aligned himself with were a religious minority and outnumbered greatly by the number of Catholics in the realm.

    Charles' army with the supposed "King" at its head moved north following initial successes in the Southern half of the country during the winter, expecting to take Henry II and the city of Paris by surprise and end the war early. Henry surprised his brother however, and in the city of Orleans (ironically the main title of Charles) the two brothers did battle. Initially it was anyone's guess as to who would win, but increasingly it became clear that Charles' middle was unable to withstand the constant pounding of his brother's forces. The would-be King retreated back towards the South on January 8th, 1546 intending to meet up with Spanish troops entering the country there and assault again the following spring. In the meanwhile the rest of Europe looked on with horror what was occurring in France.

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    The Battle of Orleans (January 1546)

    In England the Emperor was plotting as well, although the decision to focus primarily on the French Civil War had caused him to abort, or at least postpone, the idea of invading the Island and establishing Mary as the Queen, something which she was likely unaware of.

    A new argument was arising in England with the sudden dawn of the French Civil War. The Protestants at court and in power suddenly found themselves at odds with each other over whether or not England ought to get involved. While Seymour advocated and enacted full neutrality due to his belief that regardless of the monarch France would remain Catholic, a couple of idealists at court thought otherwise, among these was the young King's tutor, John Cheke. Cheke believed that it was England's duty to secure the safety of other Protestants, whether Anglican, Lutheran, or Calvinist and Edward VI soaked it up. In his journals the King began to draw up plans for invading both Scotland and France and setting up Protestant Kings. While these were only childish fantasies, they showed how devout the young King was truly becoming. Seeing the King influenced by beliefs undermining his own agenda however, Seymour would dismiss Cheke from his job and replaced him with a tutor more in line with his views. Edward VI would never forgive him despite being a boy of just 9.


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    Edward VI, the King of England and devout Protestant