Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline

Chapter 25: Cromwell

Chapter 25: Cromwell



September, 1610




Oliver Cromwell, nephew of the MP for Huntingdonshire, and his namesake Sir Oliver, sat in the viewing gallery of the Commons, and buzzed with excitement. He couldn’t believe that he was here, actually here, in the place where laws were debated and made, where the future of the Kingdom was decided. It was inspiring.



Oliver had been excited when his uncle had written to him confirming that the King had granted him permission to attend a sitting of Parliament and as such had packed everything he thought he could need before departing down south to London. His excitement to be in Parliament hadn’t abated, even if he didn’t find London quite as appealing as he’d thought he would.



The fact that the sitting had continued despite the Earl of Salisbury suffering an accident, was impressive and showed the members commitment toward good governance. Oliver had arrived back in Parliament with two rolls with meat inside them, to find his uncle standing over the Earl of Salisbury, shouting for a doctor. One had emerged and Salisbury had been taken away to a secluded corner of the Palace of Westminster.



Oliver hoped the man would recover, he liked him.



“Sir Oliver Cromwell.” The Speaker of the Commons said, which forced Oliver to focus. He wanted to hear what his uncle would say.



“Thank you, Mr Speaker.” His uncle said. “The Honourable Gentleman raised an interesting point earlier, before the break, and I believe he deserves an answer.” The Gentleman in question being Sir William Godolphin an MP from Cornwall.



“Whilst, yes, there has been some concern about expenditure in government, I can confirm that this money will be used wisely. His Majesty has agreed to the formation of a committee on the Privy Council that will properly oversee expenditure, accounting for every penny.” Oliver frowned, was that true? Would the King really do that?



His uncle continued. “Furthermore, His Majesty has also agreed that where doubts arise regarding the suitability of expenditure he will consult with that Committee and forward on proposals to this House and the Lords, for due deliberation.”



Oliver felt his frown deepen. What did that mean?



His uncle finished off. “Finally, His Majesty has decided to send Lord Rochester on a mission to Ireland, to assess their governance and their ability. He hopes to bring more revenue into that Kingdom.”



From the way members of the House started murmuring amongst themselves, Oliver got the feeling that that was a good thing. He hadn’t met Lord Rochester, but he’d heard rumours about him. Apparently, he was a lech and a dangerous man.



“The MP for Huntingdon, Thomas Harley!” The Speaker called out.



Cromwell peered down; he’d met Harley once before. He didn’t like the man; he was pompous and an idiot.



“Thank you, Mr Speaker.” Harley said in that odd voice of his. “The Honourable Gentleman raised a few valid points just now. But the one that I am most interested in, is the proposal that Lord Rochester head off to Ireland. Is this genuine?” Harley sat down.



Oliver frowned, why was Harley asking whether the King sending off one of his men was genuine or not? That smacked of impertinence.



Sir Oliver stood up. “It is.” He said simply. He sat back down again.



There was a murmur around the chamber, and Oliver wondered whether Harley was going to say anything else. When he didn’t, the Speaker banged his gavel and spoke. “If there is nobody else who wishes to ask questions or raise a concern, then I do announce the adjournment of the House until 9 am, tomorrow morning.” The Speaker banged his gavel and rose, Oliver watched him depart accompanied by his guards, then when the MPs started to rise, he got up and walked down the aisle, walked up a set of steps then opened a door, then walked down a set of steps, turned right, down another flight of steps, then opened another door and found himself in the lobby area between the two chambers of Parliament.



That had been an interesting session. The first part before the break had been filled with life and activity, people shouting, people cheering and booing, and then there had been the break, Salisbury had had his accident, and then this short section afterwards had been a damp squib, if Oliver were being honest with himself.



“Oliver.” A voice called out his name, Oliver turned and found his uncle walking toward him. Oliver bowed his head.



“Uncle.”



The older man came to stand at his side and asked. “Well, how did you find that?”



“It was interesting.” Oliver replied. “Very interesting.”



His uncle snorted. “Come, let us walk.” His uncle started to move, which prompted Oliver to do the same. As they walked out into the main corridor and toward the doorway, his uncle spoke again. “Truly, what did you make of it?”



“It was interesting.” Oliver said again. “But the second part of the day was rather damp. Why?”



“Salisbury’s illness has gotten everyone worried.” His uncle said bluntly. “Many are worrying over his health.”



“He’s that popular?” Oliver asked, surprised. He’d always heard that no-one not even the King truly liked Salisbury.



“He is. He’s also the King’s main minister. So, if anything happens to him in Parliament, it raises nerves.” Sir Oliver said.



They nodded to the guards on the door and then they were out into the street. “Come.” His uncle said, turning right and making his way toward the quay where their boat was waiting, they would be venturing to the Palace of Whitehall, where his uncle had an apartment.



As they walked, Oliver asked. “Why did Harley ask you about Lord Rochester?” That had really confused him, especially as it seemed that Harley didn’t believe the King’s word.



“Because he despises Rochester.” Sir Oliver said.



“Why?” Oliver asked.



His uncle sighed. “The same reason any man would despise someone like Rochester. Greed and jealousy.”



“Two of the deadliest sins.” Oliver remarked.



“Indeed.” His uncle replied. They stepped onto their boat and as it started to move, his uncle asked him. “So, has this given you a clearer idea of what you want to do?”



Oliver nodded. “It has.”



“And?” His uncle asked.



“I wish to become an MP.” Oliver said. “I know I need to get someone’s patronage, but I will get it.”



His uncle nodded. “I know you will. I can speak with the King if you’d like?”



“Yes, please, that would be brilliant.” Oliver said, trying to disguise his enthusiasm and failing miserably.



His uncle nodded. “Very well. Now, take some time, and get to know London.”



“Yes, Uncle.” Oliver replied.
 
Can Cromwell promise a Privvy Chamber committee on this expendature? I didn't think the King had agreed to that!

Get to know London- it is a hive os scum and villany, and that's just Westminster... heh.

Oliver Cromwell jr as an MP- he should be a good ally or foil for Prince/King Henry when he is older.
 
Can Cromwell promise a Privvy Chamber committee on this expendature? I didn't think the King had agreed to that!

Get to know London- it is a hive os scum and villany, and that's just Westminster... heh.

Oliver Cromwell jr as an MP- he should be a good ally or foil for Prince/King Henry when he is older.
Got to give them the carrot first ;)
 
Chapter 26: A King's Whim

Chapter 26: A King’s Whim



September, 1610


“His Majesty the King!” The herald announced. James pushed past the man and entered into Salisbury’s bedroom. The man quickly propped himself up on a few pillows and bowed.



“Your Majesty.” The man said, his voice hoarse.



“Robert.” James said, deciding to use the man’s first name and be informal. “You are well?” He asked. He’d been riding with Rochester in St James Park when a messenger had arrived, out of breath and red in the face, to tell him that Salisbury had had some sort of episode and had been ordered back to Salisbury House by his doctor. James had wanted to go and visit him immediately, but had been dissuaded from doing so by Rochester who said that Salisbury might be ill with something. After being told that his friend-for that was what Salisbury ultimately was- wasn’t ill, James had ignored Rochester and gone on a barge and come here.



Salisbury’s face was pale. His eyes were drooping, but his voice was still sharp. “Much better than I was before, Sire.” He replied.



“Good.” James said. “You gave us a mighty fright with your antics.” He saw Salisbury frown and added. “Did the Doctors say what it was?”



“My apologies, Sire, that was not my intention. And as for the cause, it seems that there is something in my system that is eating away at me.” Salisbury replied matter of factly.



“Eating away at you?” James asked horrified, was there some sort of parasite in his best minister?



“A combination of stress and eating habits is what caused it. Nothing serious. I am changing what I eat and how regularly.” Salisbury said.



“Good.” James said, noticing how his main advisor didn’t say he would change his work habit. That was good, James wasn’t sure what he’d do if Salisbury had to retire.



“You will take as much rest as you need and come back when you are fighting fit.” James commanded. “I do not want you to be suffering again.”



“Sire.” Salisbury replied, sounding relieved.



“As for the matter of the Contract, you need not worry about that.” James said. “Suffolk has volunteered to guide it through the Lords, and Cromwell will do the same in the Commons.”



He saw something pass over Salisbury’s face then, but just as quickly as it came, it went. James wondered at that, but didn’t have time to ponder overly much about it, for the man quickly replied. “That is good, Sire. I think Sir Oliver will be able to massage any doubts that the Commons has over the Contract to ensure that it is properly presented before it reaches Your Majesty.”

James snorted. “Indeed, it seems he has already found one way to smooth things over.”



“Sire?” Salisbury asked frowning.



“He has proposed that I send Lord Rochester away for a period of time so that he isn’t present for the vote.” James said. If Sir Oliver had been a shorter man, James would have hit him for suggesting such a thing. He would not dismiss his Rochester for anything.



Salisbury sighed. “I was aware that he might recommend such a thing, Sire. Before my accident we had briefly spoken about it.”



James felt his eyes widen. “But you said you thought it was a ridiculous thing to suggest, did you not?”



“I…” Salisbury began, he coughed and then continued. “250 MPs voiced concerns about the Contract and they tied that concern in some way to Lord Rochester, Sire. Those are significant numbers.”



“I will not send away Rochester just because some MPs are foolish enough to think that I have not learned from the errors of my ways.” James fumed. He needed Rochester. He needed him like a plant needed air and water.



Salisbury sighed. “Then I think the Contract will run into difficulties, Sire.”



“Are you truly telling me that Commons would throw away this Contract all to ensure that Rochester doesn’t get anything? Even though I have said he will get nothing?!” James demanded. Did his word count for so little now?!



“I am simply saying that Lord Rochester has done much to take the good will that is present within the Kingdom and turn it sour because of his demands, Sire. He need not be gone forever, only until after the Contract is passed.” Salisbury said.



“Where would you have me send my Rochester?” James demanded. He was torn. He didn’t want to send Rochester anywhere, but he also wanted the Contract to pass. Everyday he worried the debt would grow larger and larger.



“Ireland, perhaps. He could serve as the new Viceroy.” Salisbury suggested.



“Ireland?” James replied. It was a possibility; Chichester was an idiot who was slowly getting on James’ nerves. They’d just barely avoided another rebellion there thanks to Sir Cahir arriving in England on the day when Chichester had sent men to arrest him.[1] He’d been kept on because he had powerful friends, mainly the man sat on the bed before James, but, if Salisbury was suggesting Ireland, then perhaps it wasn’t a terrible solution.



“Yes, Sire. He would be close at hand, would be able to show his commitment to Your Majesty and the Contract would be passed.” Salisbury said before wheezing.



James sighed. “I shall consider it.” He turned and walked to the door, stopping once to say. “Get better soon.” Then he walked out of the room, down the hallway, down a flight of steps and straight into his carriage. The moment the carriage set off toward where his barge was waiting, he turned to the figure sat to his right and said.



“They want me to send you away!”



“What will you do, Sire?” Rochester asked.



“Not that. I will find another way. I will speak with Coke. There’s always another way.” James said. And he’d bloody well find it. He was King of England after all, not some bloody mouse that he needed Parliament to tell him who he could and could not associate with. He would not make the mistakes his mother had made.



[1] More of this later.
 
One thing the MPs could do is introduce George Villiers into the court which would distract James from Rochester and allow the Great Contract to go forth.
 
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