Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline

Chapter 24: Problems

Chapter 24: Problems



September, 1610


Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, Lord High Treasurer and the King’s chief minister frowned as he made his way over to the bench where Sir Oliver Cromwell was sat. The pain in his chest had been getting worse over the last few months. His doctor insisted that he take some rest, and Robert was beginning to think that that might not be terrible idea.



Still, he had work to do, and until it was done, he couldn’t go anywhere. Therefore, he took a deep breath and sat down next to Cromwell. Cromwell looked at him and said. “Lord Salisbury.”



“Sir Oliver.” Robert replied.



“You are well?” Sir Oliver asked.



Robert winced as a shot of pain passed through him, but he smoothed over his features and replied. “As well as can be.” He took another breath and then asked. “How has the session gone?” Parliament’s first day after the recess had just started, and as such, Robert was desperate to know how the Commons were. The Lords were fine, they were all people desperate to keep the King’s favour. It was the Knights of the Shire and Burghs who worried him. With all their radical talk.



“My nephew has found it quite interesting. He’s been observing from the public gallery.” Sir Oliver said. “He’s just gone to get some food from one of the taverns, he’ll be back in time for the next sitting.”



Robert nodded, he’d briefly met Sir Oliver’s namesake nephew[1] the young man appeared shy and a bit aloof, but Robert suspected that much like his uncle there was more to him than met the eye. “Good, and the general nature of things?” Robert asked, deciding to press on.



“Good, most of the MPs are willing to vote for the Great Contract.” Sir Oliver said.



“Most?” Robert replied, raising an eyebrow. What objections had emerged now?



“Some MPs led by Thomas Gamull; the MP for Chester have voiced concerns about where the money might go if it is granted.” Sir Oliver stated.



Robert felt pain lash through him then. It took all his self-control not to cry out. He took a deep breath instead and asked. “Why?”



“The King’s creation of Sir Robert Carr as Viscount Rochester.” Sir Oliver replied. “They fear that the man might take some of the money that is granted as part of the Great Contract for his own ends.”



“They do know that the King’s debt is considerable, and that the money they grant would be used to pay off said debt. At least initially.” Robert said. He had had to argue long and hard with both the King and Suffolk over that particular point. Both men had argued that the initial grant of money should be used for other purposes. Robert had argued against that, pointing out that the longer the debt remained, the harder it would be for the future. Government business and salaries needed to be paid after all.



“They are aware, but they still insist that the money be properly allocated. They know it is a considerable amount.” Sir Oliver said.



“The King will never agree to that.” Robert responded. The King had barely been convinced of the need to give up some of his prerogatives, if he had to allocate money for purposes, he’d be infuriated.



Sir Oliver sighed. “And these MPs won’t agree to vote for the Contract unless they receive assurances that the money won’t be handed out without due cause.”



Robert frowned. It would have to be a sizeable grouping for Sir Oliver to be worried about them, otherwise he’d normally be more positive. “How many MPs does Thomas Gamull have?”



“250, Sir.” Sir Oliver replied.



“250!” Robert exclaimed as a jolt of pain ran through him. “You made it seem like it was a dozen, not half the damned house!”



Had Carr really alienated that many people that they were willing to vote down the best chance at sorting out the crown’s finances?



“My apologies, my lord. But the issue is serious.” Sir Oliver said. “The fear that Lord Rochester inspires is great. They don’t want him getting a penny.”



Robert groaned. If this contract failed, the King would blame him, and might even dismiss him. If that happened, then the Kingdom was in danger for the Howards and Rochester would be in power, and he doubted their ability. He seriously doubted their ability.



“If I might make a suggestion, my lord.” Sir Oliver said.



“Go on.” Robert said, he was having difficulty breathing. Why was it so hard for him to breathe?



“Perhaps in order to keep the Commons happy, whilst not giving up any of his prerogative, His Majesty might send Lord Rochester on a diplomatic mission? Either to Poland to replace the current ambassador, or to Spain, if he wishes to be seen as maintaining that alliance. Either way, I think it would be beneficial for Lord Rochester to be out of the Kingdom for a time.” Sir Oliver said.



Robert thought on that. It was a sensible proposal, Rochester was arguably toxic, as demonstrated by the number of MPs allied against him. The King would need to decide whether he preferred to keep his favourite or his money. Robert winced as pain lanced through him. His breathing was becoming laboured. “I will see what I can do.” He heard the tolling of the bell which indicated the break was over. He got up, as did Sir Oliver, they shook hands and then Robert turned to walk, but instead of moving found himself stuck.



“Lord Salisbury, are you well?” Sir Oliver asked, though Robert couldn’t turn around to reassure him that he was. All he could hear was the thumping of his heart. His vision was starting to blur. What was happening to him?



Robert opened his mouth to say something but the words wouldn’t come. Instead, all he heard was mumbling nonsense. He tried to turn and ended up tripping over his own feet, as the ground rushed up to meet him. Was this the time he was going to die? Or was this something else. Pain was coursing through him now.



He should’ve listened to his doctor. This was no way to die.





[1] Yes, that one. This debate he witnesses will be informative for him.
 
Because in OTL, King James began to prefer Villiers over Carr so if that happened earlier, then our problems would be solved. Unless we hate Villiers even more than we hated Carr.
 
Damn, poor Robert. Hopefully Oliver C can bring his idea to someone else and send Carr as far away as possible
I think they might need to delay proceedings of Parliament for a little bit, which might give Robert time to recover.
in order for Carr to really fall from grace, perhaps an earlier entrance from a certain George Villiers is needed.
in order for Carr to really fall from grace, perhaps an earlier entrance from a certain George Villiers is needed.
Because in OTL, King James began to prefer Villiers over Carr so if that happened earlier, then our problems would be solved. Unless we hate Villiers even more than we hated Carr.
You'll have to wait and see.
I would love to see Lord Rochester and Sir George Villiers duke it out on who's going to be King James's one and only boy-toy. :cool:
LLol
 
LIVE Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury LIVE!

Send Mr Carr to the colonies? England has some by now yes? if not invade America and get some....
 
LIVE Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury LIVE!

Send Mr Carr to the colonies? England has some by now yes? if not invade America and get some....

They've got a tenative colony in Virginia, which is running into some difficulties. So, might not be too bad a shout.
 
You could make Carr governor of Virginia. He’s too young and has no experience but that’s the point. The colonists will eat him alive metaphorical and perhaps literally as there was a food shortage.
 
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