Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline


Anna Maria seems interesting and will hopefully become more of her own person once she is away from Poland. I'd ditch the Governess, she should have no say in matters of a married woman's life esp a Princess.

How are the regular Poles taking the England-Poland royal tie up?
One would hope so
Ursszula Meyerin wasn't a mere Governess (much like Madame de Maintenon wasn't one in France a century later).
ondeed she was also chamberlain of the queens court. Still easiest way to introduce her in for what’s to come
Chapter 18: A Father and A King



Chapter 18: A Father and A King

July, 1610

Sigismund Vasa, third of that name, and King of Poland, took a deep breath, and then in the clear German of his youth spoke. “Ambassador, we thank you for coming on such short notice. There are two main issues we wished to discuss with you.”

“Of course, Your Majesty.” Count Olaf, the Danish Ambassador replied.

“The first matter is the war effort.” Sigismund said. “Currently our forces are doing the majority of the work against both the Swedes and the Russians. Indeed, we are closer to bringing Russia under our control than at any point in the past year.” For that, they had a victory at the beginning of the month to thank. “However, we wish to know whether King Christian is still committed.”

He had been getting mixed signals from his ambassador in Copenhagen. Apparently, King Christian seemed happier to drink and wench than to fight.

Count Olaf, to his credit didn’t flinch or bristle instead he said. “King Christian is committed as ever, Sire. Indeed, with King Carl’s latest provocation, the time has come for the Danish army and fleet to move into primacy once more.”

Sigismund was intrigued by this, he had heard rumours of something happening between Denmark and Sweden, but what they were had never been made clear. “Go on.” He said.

Count Olaf smiled. “The Swedes are attempting to completely go around the sound tolls, and as such have violated an old treaty that was signed with them during the reign of Your Majesty’s father.”

Sigismund nodded. Olaf continued. “Consequently, King Christian has asked me to present a strategy to Your Majesty.”

Sigismund was intrigued now. “Continue.”

“Firstly, His Majesty proposes that the Danish fleet would secure the route to England and elsewhere for Polish merchant ships, and our navy would also engage in harassing Swedish vessels. Our army would engage with the Swedish forces in Scania and elsewhere.” Count Olaf said.

Sigismund nodded, that was a good offer, though it would no doubt come with a catch. “And in return, what would King Christian have us do?”

“Continue as Your Majesty has been doing. Driving the Russians to their knees. Once Russia is removed from the field, then Sweden can be destroyed.” Count Olaf said.

Sigismund nodded. He doubted that it would be quite as easy as Count Olaf had made out, but he was willing to give it a go. Therefore, he said. “Very well, we accept.” Count Olaf smiled, and Sigismund pushed on ahead.

“Now onto the other matter we wished to discuss with you.”

“Sire.” Count Olaf replied.

“Trade.” Sigismund said, noting how Olaf’s facial expression didn’t change.

Count Olaf nodded, but said nothing. Sigismund continued. “In our initial discussions, it had been agreed that we would bring down tariffs to 28%. However, given the work and effort that both sides are putting in, we would suggest a reduction down to 20%.”

He had gone over this proposal with his ministers and they had all agreed that it was a sensible move to make. Denmark could well become a beneficial trading partner, if they played their cards right.

Count Olaf’s facial expression remained the same. Indeed, he remained expressionless. And when he replied his tone didn’t give away any indication of his feelings. “I think that would be an excellent idea, Sire.”

Sigismund nodded. “Perfect, then let us sort out the finer details at a later date.” He rose and dismissed the ambassador with a wave of his hand. He had to see his daughter now.

Sigismund got off the throne and walked down the steps, then walked straight down the hallway, nodding to the guards as they opened the doors. He continued walking straight down the hallway, turning right at the end of it, then taking an immediate left, he then walked up a flight of steps, turned right, and then nodded to the guards at a set of doors. The guards announced him and then opened the doors.

His daughter Anna stood up when he entered. She curtseyed. “Your Majesty.” She said in Polish.

“Anna, sit.” Sigismund commanded, replying in Polish.

His daughter sat down. Sigismund remained standing. “How are you feeling?” He asked. His daughter was leaving for England tomorrow, her things were all packed, and her ladies were all ready to go. There would be a farewell feast for her later tonight, and then tomorrow he’d see her depart.

“I am…” Anna began, before stopping. She frowned and then she said. “I am both nervous and excited.”

Sigismund smiled. “That is normal.”

Anna nodded. “I received another letter from Prince Henry today.”

“Oh?” Sigismund replied. He still didn’t know how to feel about the fact that his daughter and her betrothed/husband had been communicating with one another before they had actually met. When he’d gotten married to Anna’s mother, the first time he’d spoken to her had been on the day of their wedding. Still these young people today did things differently, the rest of them had to catch up.

Anna nodded and smiled. “Yes, he said that he’s looking forward to meeting me.”

Sigismund nodded. He could tell from the way that his daughter was smiling that she already liked the Prince. That was a good thing. It would make their lives together that much easier. “Are you going to respond?” He asked.

“I have.” Anna replied. Sigismund didn’t ask her what she’d said. He was old enough to know that it was rude to ask a lady what she’d written in a private letter.

Anna surprised him then by saying. “I looked up some information on St James Palace, as well.”

“Oh?” Sigismund replied, he wasn’t sure why he was surprised. His daughter was someone who would always want to find out more about where she was going. Unlike her brother who didn’t seem to care.

“Yes, it’s one of the bigger and more organised Palaces in England. It has some two hundred rooms, and Prince Henry has started work on a new gallery for his art collection.” Anna said.

“I see.” Sigismund replied.

“That’s not all.” Anna added. “St James Palace also has one of the best sets of musicians in all of Western Europe. Better than what the French court has.”

Sigismund raised an eyebrow at that. England having something better than France, he wasn’t sure if that was possible.

“Do you think they’ll be willing to learn a few things?” Anna asked.

Sigismund grinned. He knew his daughter; he knew what things she’d ask those musicians to learn. “I’m sure they would, Anna.” He replied.

Anna grinned. “Excellent.” There was a brief pause and then Anna said. “I will miss you, Father.”

Sigismund nodded. “And we will all miss you, Anna, but we shall write to you as often as we can.”

“Thank you.” Anna replied solemnly.

Sigismund took a breath and then said. “I am proud of you, daughter, I am so very proud of you. And I know your mother would be as well.”

Anna looked at him and smiled, it was a watery smile. “I love you, Father.”

“And I, you.” Sigismund replied, trying to keep his composure, for his daughter’s sake more than his own.
Chapter 19: Scotland's Home



Chapter 19: Scotland’s Home

August, 1610

George Home, Earl of Dunbar adjusted the collar of his shirt. It was damnably hot. Some predicted that this would be the hottest month of the summer ever. In the current sweltering heat, George could see where they were coming from. He breathed a sigh of relief when the door at the far end of the hall opened and the King walked in. George suppressed a frown when he saw who was following the King. It was that upstart Carr. He seemed ever present still.

George took a breath and then bowed when the King came into his direct line of vision. “Your Majesty.” He said.

“Lord Dunbar.” The King replied, taking his seat. The King didn’t ask him to sit, which was fine by George, he couldn’t imagine having to sit in this heat. “I trust your journey southwards was fine?”

“It was, Sire.” George replied. Indeed, such was the flow of people coming and going at the border, that this had perhaps been the easiest journey he’d made in the seven years since the King had moved south.

“Good.” The King said. “So, tell me, what is it that you wished to speak of?”

George took a breath. He needed to phrase what he had to say carefully, to ensure that the King didn’t fly into a rage. With Carr present, that was doubly important. After all, who knew what nonsense the other man might whisper to the King. “There have been some concerning reports from the roads between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Sire.”

“What reports?” The King demanded sharply, and from the way the King’s tone changed, George knew he was thinking that someone like Bothwell had come back.

“There is a minister of the Kirk who has started preaching in the villages along the Edinburgh to Glasgow road. He preaches against the Kirk’s established structures with Bishops, he denounces the Church of England as something heretical and close to Rome, and finally, he says that Your Majesty has been possessed by the Devil.” George said.

“What in the name of God?!” Carr exclaimed.

The King exhaled and then asked. “What is this man’s name?”

“Richard Cameron, Sire.” George replied.

“Is he affiliated with that Clan?” The King asked.

George shook his head. “No, Sire. He is not. Nobody is quite sure where he is from.”

“Have you been able to find him?” Carr demanded.

“Not as of yet, no. The man is able to disappear with relative ease.” George said.

“You mean you’ve not been able to find him because he’s figured out a way to elude your network of spies. Are you losing your touch, Lord Dunbar?” Carr asked, with a hint of bite.

George ignored the man, and instead spoke to the King. “I believe there might be some within the old Kirk network who are aiding him, Sire. Consequently, I think there are two options that can be used to deal with this problem.”

“Find them, torture them and then burn him out.” The King said.

“Indeed, Sire.” George said.

“That’s the method I would use.” Carr said.

And you would end up getting murdered in your bed if you did. George thought, Carr wouldn’t survive in Scotland. He was made for the weaker climes of England. George focused on the King. “The second method is to challenge the man to a debate, to expose him for the fool that he is.”

“You would have me debate this insolent dog?” The King asked.

“Not you, Sire. That would be far beneath you.” George said.

“Then who?” The King demanded.

“The Bishop of Dunkeld, Sire.” George said.

“Dunkeld?!” The King exclaimed. “You want me to entrust that man with the rebuttal of this traitor?”

“Yes, Sire.” George replied. “I know that Dunkeld is not the most savoury character, but I feel that that is exactly the reason for why he should be allowed to debate Cameron. Let Dunkeld present the arguments for the Church and let him dissect everything Cameron says. Nobody is as good as Dunkeld at such things. Apart from Your Majesty, of course.”

“What is there to say Dunkeld won’t just agree with Cameron?” Carr asked. “After all, Dunkeld is not in support of increasing the power of Bishops despite being one himself.”

That was true, the Bishop of Dunkeld was an odd man in that he didn’t want more power for himself, instead trusting the Presbytery to exercise good judgement. But, that was a strength rather than a weakness. “That is why he will win, and won’t agree with Cameron.”

“How?” Carr demanded.

“Cameron stands for everything that Dunkeld finds unpalatable about the radical Presbyterians. He thinks that whilst Bishops should not have complete power, they should still exist. He also thinks the existing Church system works. Cameron wants to tear it all down. He is not wanting a return to the Church of old, but some anarchic new structure. And that is complete anathema to someone like Dunkeld. Dunkeld will be incentivised to destroy Cameron.” George said.

“And Cameron will come out of his hole?” The King asked.

“To debate someone like Dunkeld?” George replied. “Most definitely.”

The King seemed to be contemplating what George had said, he hoped the man agreed, otherwise, George was at a loss at how to handle Cameron. Eventually, the King replied. “Very well, set things up. We give you our official approval.”

“Thank you, Sire.” George replied bowing. He tugged at his collar, wondering if that was it.

The King spoke once more however. “There was one other thing we wished to speak to you about, Lord Dunbar.”

“Sire?” George replied.

“How much progress has been made with getting the main Scottish Lords in favour of a Union?” The King asked.

George took a breath. This was the King’s pet project, after the failure of earlier union talks a few years ago, the King had abandoned proceedings, only to take them up again about a year or so ago. George had been tasked with getting prominent Lords like Argyll, Atholl, Erroll and the Earl Marischal onside. It had been a difficult task, but one that he thought he had managed reasonably well. Especially as the King had made his job easier, by agreeing to a few concessions.

“Argyll and Atholl are both very happy with the proposals, Your Majesty. The Earl Marischal is also very happy. Erroll will need a bit more convincing, but he will come around.” George answered.

“And the others?” The King asked.

“Well, most are happy with the terms. Keeping Scottish Law in place, ensuring that there are no tariffs for trade between the two Kingdoms, and of course, voting rights to a joint Parliament for those who meet the requirements. There is one issue that the Earl of Eglinton mentioned though, Sire.” George said, wondering how the King would respond to this.

“And what was that?” The King asked.

“He wondered if it would be possible to increase the number of MPs elected to the Commons from 40 to 50, to better reflect the numbers in the Scottish Parliament.” George said.

“And what would Eglinton bring if he got this?” Carr demanded.

George frowned at Carr, the man was impertinent. The King waved a hand dismissively at Carr to get him to be quiet. The King then looked at George and said. “I will speak with my men here, and see what they say.”

“Thank you, Sire.” George said. Wondering who it was that the King had gotten to assess the English willingness for Union.

“Your next task is to choose five men who will work with the English on a Commission to hammer out the finer points of the Union agreement.” The King said.

“Of course, Sire.” George said.

“Good, you may go.” The King said.

George bowed. “Sire.” He then rose, turned and walked out of the room, hoping that he didn’t faint from the heat.
Family Tree of James I and VI


Family tree James I of England, VI of Scotland.jpg
Interesting interview. Home not liking London was quite amusing. I liked the debating idea. Public arena and vivisection of Cameron will see the ideas he has spread die.

Surprised none of the Scottish Lords are asking for the Capital to be further north like York, Durham or Chester in return for supporting the Union. London is a looooonng way from the border now let alone in the 17thC.

Carr. I am sure you have your uses but... I just cannot like you.
Chapter 20: Courting



Chapter 20: Courting

August, 1610

The doors to Suffolk House swung backwards, allowing Robert Carr to enter the grand mansion that was situated close to the River Thames. Robert nodded to the footman and followed another footman into the main hallway. The footman took a sharp right, and then a sharp left, before stopping before a set of doors.

“Sir Robert Carr.” The footman announced.

Robert frowned. The King hadn’t yet issued the letters patent that would create him a Viscount, which was annoying, but he supposed the King had a good reason for doing that. Therefore, he pushed his frown away, and plastered on a smile as the doors opened and he entered the sitting room.

He was surprised to find himself faced not with the Earl of Suffolk and his daughter Margaret, but with the Countess of Essex, Frances Howard. Her hair was done in an elaborate bun, and her dress was one of green and gold. She rose and nodded to him. Robert bowed as etiquette demanded.

“Sir Robert.” Frances said. “Thank you for coming.”

“Thank you for inviting me, my lady.” Robert replied. His heart starting to thump.

Frances looked past Robert to the footman and dismissed him with a nod of her head. “Please, sit down.” Lady Essex said, gesturing to a seat not too far from hers.

Robert did as he was bid and took the cup of wine that a servant-where had the man come from-offered him. “Thank you.” He said.

The Countess of Essex smiled at him then-she had a very, very nice smile-and spoke. “I apologise for the surprise. I know that you were expecting to speak with my father and my sister. Unfortunately, my sister has taken unwell, and my father has had some business to attend to. Therefore, here I am.” The Countess didn’t sound too annoyed by that, but given what Robert had heard her husband was like, he felt compelled to ask.

“Does your husband not mind, my lady?”

The Countess laughed, and it sounded bitter. “My husband barely notices me, Sir Robert, he would not care even if he did know.”

So, all is not well then. Robert thought to himself, that was good to know. It might make his job easier, if he ever decided to woo the Countess. For now, though, he simply said. “I am sorry to hear that, my lady.”

The Countess waved a hand dismissively. “It is nothing. Now, enough about me. Tell me more about yourself and about court. You must have a lot of stories.”

Robert grinned. “Which ones would you like to hear?”

The Countess’ eyes sparkled, in a way that made Robert’s heart quicken. “Surprise me.” She said.

Robert’s grin widened, and thinking on his feet he replied. “Lord Haddington is having an affair with Lady Kinghorne.”

“No!” The Countess exclaimed, her eyes sparkling, her mouth wide open.

“Oh yes indeed. They’re being very discreet about it, Lord Kinghorne doesn’t know about it, but the tells are obvious if you know what to look for.” Robert replied. And he was very, very good at looking for tells.

“And what about Lord Haddington’s wife?” The Countess asked.

“She’s given her consent to the whole thing. It seems she’s too ill to sate her husband’s needs.” Robert said.

“How scandalous.” The Countess said, grinning.

Robert grinned. “That’s not the only scandalous thing happening.”

“Oh?” The Countess asked.

“The Earl of Morton’s brother was caught in a compromised position with a serving boy and girl two days’ ago.” Robert said.

“Really?!” The Countess exclaimed. “What’s happened to the three of them?”

“Well, the person who caught them has been paid a handsome sum to keep quiet, the serving boy has been sent elsewhere, and the serving girl has become the man’s mistress.” Robert said.

“How surprising.” The Countess said.

“Indeed.” Robert said. What he didn’t mention was that it had been one of his spies who had trapped Morton’s brother, the girl had been Morton’s brother’s mistress to begin with, but Robert had used one of his spies to entrap her, and thus entrap Morton’s brother. Robert had had another one of his spies ‘find’ them and take payment as a way of keeping ‘quiet.’

Now Morton owed him, massively, even if he didn’t know it.

“It sounds like something from one of Shakespeare’s plays.” The Countess commented.

Robert nodded, though he didn’t like Shakespeare, he thought the man was pretentious. “He’s writing a new one, you know.”

“A new play?” The Countess asked, sounding excited.

“Yes, on the King’s ancestor, Robert II.” Robert said. Robert wasn’t sure what appeal an old dusty King from an age past had for someone like Shakespeare, but the King seemed intrigued, as did the Prince of Wales, and so Robert was keeping an eye on the play.

“Oh? The First Stewart King of Scotland.” The Countess said. “That will be interesting.”

Surprised that the Countess knew who Robert II was, Robert asked. “How so?”

The Countess raised an eyebrow at him as if he’d just asked the most ridiculous question yet, and he found himself shifting rather uncomfortably. His stomach was churning with butterflies. “Well, for starters there’s his entire life before he became King. Scheming, plotting, love, romance, the works. Then as King there’s more scheming and plotting and war. It’s something that would make a fantastic play. Particularly his relationship with Elizabeth Mure, and how he and she handled the scorn of their peers.”

Robert was impressed. He knew very few Scotsmen, let alone women knew much about the first Stewart King, and so to hear an Englishwoman recite all of that, was…it was attractive. “I see, I’m very impressed, my lady. How do you know so much about Robert II?”

“It was something I shared with my brother when we were younger, an interest in the history of these Isles.” The Countess said.

“She was always interested in strange things.” A deep voice said from behind the Countess.

Robert stood up and bowed, as the Earl of Suffolk walked into the room. “My lord.”

The Earl of Suffolk waved a hand. “Please, Sir Robert, be seated.”

Robert sat back down. “I trust you were not bored of my daughter’s company?” The Earl asked, putting a hand on the Countess’ shoulder.

“Not at all, the Countess is great to talk to.” Robert said, and surprised himself by meaning it.

“Good, now, I think it’s best if we get to the heart of why you are here.” The Earl said. “Thank you, Frances.” The Countess got up, smiled at Robert then departed.

Robert watched her go and found himself wishing he’d asked for more time with her. He liked her. He really liked her.
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