A Thorn In The Rose: A War Of The Roses TL

Chapter 196: Mother To Son
Chapter 196: Mother to Son

January, 1468


“Why are you stopping George and Isabel from marrying?” Cecily demanded once she’d taken her seat.

Her son looked at her somewhat surprised and then said. “Because of what George did in Richmond.”

“You mean hitting Henry Percy?” Cecily asked. She’d heard all about that. Percy had offered to dance with Anne Neville and had made her laugh or some such, but then he’d said something inappropriate that had caused Anne to blush, and George had stepped in. Percy was still sporting the black eye her son had given him, apparently.

“Yes.” The King said. She knew it was the King she was speaking to because his tone was solemn, and the lines were back.

“Why?” Cecily asked. “What Percy did was disgraceful. Talking like that to a girl.”

The King sighed. “I know, and the man has been censured for it. But George should not have reacted the way he did.”

“You think he shouldn’t have punched Percy? What would you have done if Percy had said something like that to your daughters?” Cecily demanded.

The King sighed again. “That is not the point, there are procedures in place for this sort of thing. Procedures George knows about because I made sure to tell him about them before he departed. He fell for Percy’s trap.”

“What do you mean?” Cecily asked.

“Percy set his son on Anne Neville knowing that George would rush to defend her to earn a good spot with Isabel and with Lord Salisbury. He wanted to show that George is still immature and impulsive. He’s trying to show the northern lords that George isn’t the man for the role.” The King said.

“Ah.” Cecily replied. Now that her son had laid it out for her, she could see it. No doubt Percy would try and force the King to replace George with someone else. Someone more malleable. Someone he could control. “So, what will you do?”

“I have censured Percy’s son and banished him to Berwick. I have also taken a fine of £500 from Percy and one of £300 from George.” The King said.

“That’s almost a third of his income!” Cecily protested.

“I know. It will teach him a lesson.” The King said simply.

“And are George and Isabel ever going to get married, or is this to be another opportunity gone?” Cecily asked. She knew that George was running out of patience and that he would eventually want to run away with Isabel. She didn’t want him to do that. She knew how badly the King would take it.

“Soon.” The King said.

“How soon?” Cecily demanded.

“In three months’ time. I have already spoken with Salisbury and with Canterbury. Westminster Abbey shall be the venue for their wedding.” The King said.

Cecily felt her eyes widen. “Does George know?”

“No. I will tell him soon though.” The King said.

“You had best tell him quickly, before he does something foolish.” Cecily insisted.
 
Chapter 197: Westmorland's Dodge
Chapter 197: Westmorland's Dodge

March, 1468

James looked at the man who had entered his study. Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland. The man was ageing quite rapidly. His hair was white as snow; his face was covered in lines and marks. And yet, James knew not to rule the man out. After all, he had survived a long time, and had avoided the pitfalls of many others who had pledged to the King from the Lancastrian cause.

James took a breath then spoke. "What news do you bring?" Westmorland always had news, even when James thought something was not important there was always something more lurking behind the words that the man spoke.

"Percy met with the Powlett family." Westmorland said.

"And?" James asked. As far as he knew the Powlett family were minor gentry in Yorkshire, nothing impressive.

"They've reached an agreement. In return for Percy agreeing to marry his daughter to Powlett's son, Powlett will play for Percy's interests in Parliament." Westmorland replied.

Intrigued, James leaned forward and asked. "So, what does this mean?"

Westmorland smiled. "It means that the little incident at Richmond between the Duke of Clarence and Percy's son is going to cause some long lasting trouble for King Edmund. Tax bills will be delayed, funding for the navy could be delayed, trade issues will be raised. Anything to make King Edmund's life difficult."

James raised an eyebrow. "Powlett, is that powerful?" He had not thought that the man was. As far as he knew, Powlett was only minor gentry. Nothing serious, no serious backers, nothing.

"Powlett isn't, but the men who Percy has introduced him to are." Westmorland said.

"And who are those men?" James asked.

"Wentworth, Vane, Clifford. Men who have influence and friends on committees and other such places. They've been given good incentive. Now, they're going to wreak havoc." Westmorland said.

"And what do you think King Edmund will do?" James asked.

"I think he will dismiss them at first, but as they raise their objections, he will have to take them seriously. Which could mean the removal of Clarence from his post in Richmond, which would antagonise the two brothers. Clarence will have Salisbury's support though, because that man wants his granddaughter as a Princess." Westmorland said.

"At the risk of angering his King?" James asked. Nothing he'd read about Salisbury or that he could remember of the man suggested he was like that.

"Yes, Sire, I think so. Salisbury is ambitious. If he thinks his granddaughter can become a Princess, he will do everything he can to ensure that happens. Even if it means angering the King." Westmorland said.

"How sure are you of this?" James asked. Wondering, not for the first time if Westmorland was blinded by his hatred of Salisbury.

"Very sure, Sire. My sources confirm that that is what Salisbury is angling for." Westmorland replied. "Indeed, they say that Salisbury is urging Clarence to have a runaway marriage with Lady Isabel."

James frowned. Truly, a runaway wedding, that does not sound like Salisbury. Still, James supposed he would have to take Westmorland at his word. "Very well, and where do you come into this?"

"Well, Sire, if you would permit me, I would take three hundred of the gallowglass south, to raid Salisbury's lands. They won't be tied to you, given the fee I would pay, and of course, Salisbury will be distracted." Westmorland said.

"And you are sure you will succeed?" James asked.

Westmorland nodded. "I am, Sire."

James considered this then sighed and said. "Very well, I shall tell Atholl to prepare the Gallowglass for you." He would also tell his brother to leave a trace for the English to know that he had had nothing to do with this. Westmorland was going to die, and James wanted no part in that.

Westmorland smiled. "Thank you, Sire."

James nodded and said. "Of course, you have been a most useful servant." It's just a shame that I don't really see you as one of mine own.
 
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"Wentworth, Vane, Clifford. Men who have influence and friends on committees and other such places. They've been given good incentive. Now, they're going to wreak havoc." Westmorland said.
Did Lord Westmorland mentioned Clifford?
The John Clifford? The 9th Baron Clifford and 9th Lord of Skipton?

Oh Nellie, let's see how Westmorland's plan comes to in play.
 
Ooh, I like the mayhem Westmorland is plotting!
Maybe he can have an epiphany and make an oath to King Edward IV?

Who said he ever stopped serving the Lancastrians?
That should be granddaughter, shouldn't it? If she's OTL Isabelle Neville ;)

Right you are, have changed it
Did Lord Westmorland mentioned Clifford?
The John Clifford? The 9th Baron Clifford and 9th Lord of Skipton?

Oh Nellie, let's see how Westmorland's plan comes to in play.

He did indeed.
 
He did indeed.
Oh Baby, it's about time Lord Clifford showed up in the TL.

I already mentioned him before mainly because he was the one who murdered Edmund Plantagenet of York.

Now that Edmund is now King of England and Lord of Ireland, I wonder what will "Butcher" Clifford be up to now besides doing Lord Westmorland's plan.
 
Oh Baby, it's about time Lord Clifford showed up in the TL.

I already mentioned him before mainly because he was the one who murdered Edmund Plantagenet of York.

Now that Edmund is now King of England and Lord of Ireland, I wonder what will "Butcher" Clifford be up to now besides doing Lord Westmorland's plan.
;)
 
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