Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline

Chapter 27: How To Avoid Deportation

Chapter 27: How To Avoid Deportation

September, 1610

It took everything he had not to pace up and down. Robert Carr was anxious. The King had told him the terms by which the Commons would agree to vote for the Contract, and those terms were bad for him. The King said he would never agree to send Robert away, but Robert knew how desperate the King was to clear his debts.

That was partially why he had come to Suffolk House. Increasingly he found himself liking the Earl of Suffolk more and more. The man had common sense, and contacts throughout the city. He knew when someone was pissing before they themselves knew about it. It was impressive and terrifying.

The other reason he was here was to talk the terms of his marriage with Suffolk’s youngest daughter, the eleven-year-old Margaret Howard, who he still hadn’t met. Though he’d met her lovely sister Frances twice now.

“I believe, Lord Rochester, that you and I would do well to come to terms now.” Suffolk said.

“Terms, Sir?” Robert replied.

“Yes.” Suffolk replied. “Would you prefer a cash or land dowry for my daughter?”

Robert thought on that. A cash dowry would give him money in an abstract sense, and might make it easier for the King to take it as payment for organising the whole thing. Land was longer term, and would be an appreciable asset. He’d go for land. “Land, Sir.” Robert replied.

Suffolk smiled. “A man after my own heart.” A pause and then. “There are three properties in East Anglia, that I think would be perfect for you, and I know that they would suit Margaret as well. They are manorial properties bringing in a combined value of around £2500.”

Robert nodded; he felt his heart quicken at the thought of that much money. He wouldn’t need the King’s pension if he got this. “Very well, Sir.”

“I will have my secretary draw up the contract and then we can both sign it.” Suffolk said.

“Of course.” Robert replied, he’d have the Attorney General have a look at it before he signed anything. Suffolk was a wily man, who knew what sort of things he might slip into the contract.

Suffolk clapped his hands and then said. “Now onto more pressing matters.”

“Sir?” Robert asked, though he suspected he knew what the man would want to speak about.

“I am sure you are aware of what the Commons is demanding in return for passing the Great Contract.” Suffolk said with no preamble.

Carr nodded. “I am, Sir.”

“Then you know how much this displeases His Majesty the King.” Suffolk said.

“I do, Sir.” Robert replied.

“Then we must find a way to focus the Common’s Ire on someone other than you.” Suffolk said. “It is imperative that the King has the Contract, imperative. Nothing can stand in its way.”

“I do not quite understand why they are so against me, Sir.” Robert said, speaking honestly. He truly didn’t know what he’d done to deserve such antagonism.

Suffolk sighed. “You are a Scotsman who has risen high, very quickly. Many in the Commons come from families that have been in this Kingdom for a very, very long time. To them, seeing you rise so high so quickly is worrying. It suggests their own influence or that of their family’s is lessening.”

“So, jealousy?” Robert asked.

“Indeed.” Suffolk said. “No amount of money can change that. Therefore, it is important that we give them another target to sate their bloodlust.”

Robert knew exactly what Suffolk meant. Hand over another Scot to give the rampant idiots in the Commons something to shout about. Someone else who’d risen quite high quite quickly, who didn’t have as much favour as he did with the King, but who would still be considered a significant scalp. Robert wasn’t sure who such a person could be. The old entourage that the King had come with from Scotland had either gone back to Scotland following the Gunpowder Treason or had ingratiated themselves with the English nobility.

Well, apart from one man. But would that one man be enough?

“There is one man.” Robert said then.

“Who?” Suffolk asked leaning forward.

“John Ramsay, Viscount Haddington.” Robert said.

“The King’s server?” Suffolk asked.

“Yes.” Robert replied. “He has benefitted from the King’s good graces in the past, and I know that he has been skimming from the top of his accounts to benefit himself.” That in of itself wasn’t a crime, they all did it, but still, Ramsay wasn’t well liked at court, or in Parliament from what Robert could see. The King was still fond of him though.

“And is there evidence of this?” Suffolk asked.

“Evidence that he has been skimming?” Robert asked.

“Yes.” Suffolk replied.

“Yes.” Robert said. “I have friends in Ramsay’s household who have seen the account books he keeps.”

“There are two?” Suffolk asked.

“Yes.” Robert replied. “One to show the King and another for his own record. The last one contains all the details.”

“Good.” Suffolk replied. “We need to get that book. But more importantly we need to get people to come forward with the claims.”

“I can have my friends come forward.” Robert said. “Nobody knows they’re attached to me.” He’d been very careful to ensure that.

Suffolk didn’t immediately respond, indeed he seemed to be considering the suggestion. When he seemed to have gone over all the pros and cons he spoke. “Very well. Ensure they come forward in a staggered manner. One first, then two, then three, you get where I am coming from.”

“Of course.” Robert replied, better to make it seem like people were feeling more comfortable coming forward after a brave individual had broken the barrier.

“And make sure you do not tell the King beforehand.” Suffolk said.

“Of course.” Robert replied.

Suffolk nodded. “Good.”

Robert smiled. “If that’s all, I think I’ll be on my way.” Suffolk nodded, and showed him to the door, which he then opened, as he walked out, he caught a glimpse of a tail end of a dress, it was dark blue. He made a note to see whether Frances liked that colour and then carried on his way.
Seems like Carr is after the wrong daughter here.

Throwing someone else to the Wolves? So Spin Doctor. I hope the Commons still demands Carr leave as well.
Chapter 28: Cranborne

Chapter 28: Cranborne

October, 1610

Henry was annoyed. He’d received word from Petts that the ship he’d commissioned, the Prince Royal, would not be ready until later this month.[1] Given the amount of money he had put into the building of the ship, he felt he was right to be annoyed. No doubt there was someone in the Dockyards and the Navy who was responsible for it. His friends within the Dockyards always complained about how late they were in getting paid, and how the men responsible for such things were never there when they were needed.

He would address that issue as soon as he could. But, now, as Anna Maria squeezed his hand to get him to focus, he needed to listen to what his friend William and William’s wife Catherine Howard-who was most unlike the rest of her family, right down to the blue dress she was wearing-had to say. They’d claimed it was important, and as such, though Henry had wanted to venture to Richmond today, he’d ordered the household to remain in St James for another week. They’d leave for Richmond later.

“Speak.” He commanded.

Catherine spoke first. “Your Highness, thank you for agreeing to listen to what I have to say. I bring word from my father.”

“Your father?” Henry asked. Had Suffolk decided to use his daughter’s tie to Henry as a means of imbuing himself with him? If he had, Henry would have to disappoint him. He did not like Suffolk.

“Yes, he met with Lord Rochester yesterday.” Catherine replied.

“Lord Rochester?!” Henry exclaimed. “Why?”

“To formalise the marriage of my sister, Margaret, with Lord Rochester.” Catherine answered, a look of such disgust on her face that told Henry what she thought of that. He glanced at Anna and saw that she too was frowning. His wife had been practising her English with her ladies and with Elizabeth, much to her governess’ disapproval.

“And?” Henry asked.

“The agreement was reached, I believe they will marry when my sister comes of age in three years’ time, Your Highness.” Catherine said.

“I see.” Henry replied, uncertain as to how he could help prevent that marriage from happening. Much as he might feel sorry for the girl, he didn’t have the power to stop the marriage. Only the King did, and Henry had a strong feeling that the King was the one who had arranged the marriage to begin with.

“But that is not the only thing they discussed, Sir.” Catherine said.

“What…else…did they discuss?” Anna Maria asked in halting English.

“A way to prevent Lord Rochester from being forced from the Kingdom.” Catherine answered looking at Anna now.

Henry shared a look with Anna. He’d told her a bit more about Rochester since their wedding day, and Anna had briefly met Rochester during their wedding celebrations as well. Anna seemed to have made up her own mind and didn’t seem to like the man, which Henry was just fine with. He then looked back at Catherine and said. “Go on.”

“It was decided that they needed to have someone else to put up as a sacrificial lamb to Parliament. Someone whose crimes would be considered comparable to Lord Rochester’s or at least severe enough to invoke Parliament’s ire.” Catherine said.

That made sense, a life for life and all that. “And who did they choose?”

“Lord Haddington, Your Highness.” Catherine said.

“Haddington?!” Henry exclaimed. Haddington had been a fixture at his father’s court since Henry could remember. Indeed, Henry was pretty sure the King considered Haddington a surrogate son. What had he done to be considered like this?

“Yes, Your Highness.” Catherine replied. “It seems that they intend to use the fact that Haddington has been skimming to bring him down.”

Henry snorted. “Carr is playing with fire if he wants to do that.” Henry suspected that Carr’s own skimming was quite numerous, it was only the fact that he hadn’t kept any record of it that meant he was still around. Well, that, and the odd hold he had on the King.

“Ow’ do they intend to prove this?” Anna Maria asked.

“Carr claims that he has people in Lord Haddington’s household who have seen the books that Lord Haddington keeps, Your Highness.” Catherine said. “One book which he presents to the King and another where he keeps the actual accounts. It’s this second book that will do him in if Lord Rochester gets his hands on it.”

Henry sighed. It was a clever move. Present actual evidence of Haddington’s wrongdoing, incense the Commons and shift attention away from himself. It was infuriating, and that Suffolk was helping Carr was even more infuriating. Which made Catherine coming here, even more curious. He raised an eyebrow and looked at the woman. “If your father is helping Rochester, why did you decide to come here, to me?”

He felt Anna Maria squeeze his hand, to suggest she thought he’d asked something inappropriate, but to her credit, Catherine merely stood there and replied. “Because I do not like Lord Rochester. I think he is bad for England, and he must be removed. My father is many things, but he does not always see clearly, especially when it comes to power.”

“I see.” Henry said. He could appreciate that. He wondered what to do next. Obviously, he couldn’t let Carr succeed, but the question was, how to prevent him from succeeding. He didn’t have any people in Haddington’s household, and it would look strange if he suddenly tried to get people placed there.

He looked at Catherine and saw that she was looking at him expectantly, clearly, she thought he’d come up with a plan and give her, her marching orders. He then looked at her husband. William was not a great thinker, he was good at administration and at long term thinking, but politics? Politics escaped him.

It was Anna who eventually broke the silence. “We must scare Lord Rochester.”

“How?” Henry asked, looking at his wife.

“We must make him think that the net is tightening and that he is running out of time to act.” Anna replied.

“How?” Catherine asked.

“Impeachment.” Henry said then. He glanced at Anna, saw her smile and then continued. “I can speak to a few of the MPs from Cornwall, get one of them to table a motion for impeachment against Carr, using the claims that he has been profiting from his offices in the King’s household. That he has used those offices to steal from the Crown.” How he’d get tangible proof he didn’t know.

“Will it work?” William asked. “The Commons hasn’t impeached anyone in centuries.”

“It doesn’t need to work.” Henry said. “We just need someone to propose it to scare Carr. Once he’s scared, he will try and rush things through on Haddington and he will make a mistake.”

“Are you sure, Your Highness?” Catherine asked. “Lord Rochester does not seem like the type to make a mistake.”

Henry smiled at Catherine. “Trust me, when it comes down to it. He will make a mistake. People always do when they feel threatened.” And Henry fully intended to make Carr feel threatened.

[1] In otl, the ship was ready by September. The reason it’s been delayed here is due to corruption, and can you guess who’s linked with that?
One hopes this does not backfire on you Henry. Your father will not be pleased.

A quiet word to Haddington might also be in order- he is your father's man/son/friend, I am sure he will see you.
For those who know about the little activities Carr and James get up to? Definitely.
Aside from the period typical homophobia, it’s also just the fact that Carr is the king’s side piece and is using that to enrich himself. He’s a commoner who is sleeping with the king and advancing himself. It’s the same reason why people hated Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Woodville.
Aside from the period typical homophobia, it’s also just the fact that Carr is the king’s side piece and is using that to enrich himself. He’s a commoner who is sleeping with the king and advancing himself. It’s the same reason why people hated Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Woodville.
Indeed this is very true, though Carr himself is descended from a family that is I think at best middle gentry in Scotland.
Aside from the period typical homophobia, it’s also just the fact that Carr is the king’s side piece and is using that to enrich himself. He’s a commoner who is sleeping with the king and advancing himself. It’s the same reason why people hated Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Woodville.
His side piece lol
Other people would see Carr as not caring for the King but using the King’s affections to advance himself to a noble title and a suitable marriage.
Other people would see Carr as not caring for the King but using the King’s affections to advance himself to a noble title and a suitable marriage.
Which is already happening, seeing his growing affections for lady frances. King james will be nursing a broken heart soon
He might be middle gentry in Scotland but when has that ever mattered to the English.

It was the term that fit best. He’s a man so mistress didn’t fit and I couldn’t think of anything else.

Depending on when you're looking at, either a fair bit, or not at all. So fair.