Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline

Interesting developments- guess not everything is going well in the HRE.

Wgat sort of Emperor has Matthias been?
So far? A fairly balanced one, he's respected the Peace of Augsburg whilst building up his base of support toreally bring in the Counter Reformation.
“Well, Sire, normally I would suggest Spain as per normal Imperial policy, but they lack a bride who is of the right age.” Klesl said. “Therefore, there are two main considerations I would think.” Klesl shifted and then said. “The daughter of His Imperial Highness the Archduke Ferdinand, and Nicole of Lorraine.”
So Infanta Margarita is dead as OTL? Or her health is not considered the best thus OTL Electress of Bavaria is selected instead?
Chapter 104: New Parliament

Chapter 104: New Parliament

January, 1613

Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk and Lord High Treasurer of the United Kingdom of the British Isles took a deep breath. The King had just departed having given the opening speech for the first Parliament of the Union. It had been a rather inspiring speech. The King had clearly not had anything to drink for some time, for his words were clear, concise and to the point. He had spoken of unity, of ushering in a new Arthurian age, and as Thomas looked around the chamber, he could see that the speech had clearly made an impact. That was good. That was very good, it would make his job much easier.

“The Lord High Treasurer, the Earl of Suffolk!” The Lord Chancellor Lord Ellesmere called out.

Thomas stood up and nodded to Ellesmere. “Thank you, Lord Chancellor.” He looked around the chamber and then spoke. “My lords, we all heard the speech that His Majesty gave. We all know what our purpose is here. Therefore, I shall get right to business.”

He inhaled, then continued. “To ensure that His Majesty’s plans for the Union go well, the first proposal for consideration is a bill for the funding of Berwick and Carlisle. Instead of keeping them as garrison towns, this bill would turn them into merchant towns over a period of four years. Replacing some of the garrison workings with features to make them friendlier for merchants and for trade.”

“In the case of Berwick this would include removing the restrictions that were imposed during the reign of Henry VIII and allowing all to trade freely in all wares allowed under the Crown’s permit.” Thomas said.

There was some murmuring and Thomas took that as a sign to push home the point. “Estimates compiled by the Treasury indicate that doing this would allow for an increase in income to the Kingdom of some £600,000. Especially if Berwick is allowed to reach its full potential, something that has been denied to it since the Wars of the thirteenth century.”

Thomas looked around the chamber again, fixing his gaze on the Earl of Morton, one of the border lords who would have an impact on whether the King’s plans worked. “Consequently, I implore all of you gathered here today to vote for this bill to give prominence and positivity to your fellow subjects.”

Thomas sat down. “Well done.” Robert Carr whispered to him from his right. Thomas nodded and waited.

“The Earl of Bedford.” The Lord Chancellor called out.

Bedford was a partisan of Suffolk’s having been won over through a bribe of a court office, something the King had only reluctantly approved. Bedford rose and nodded to the Lord Chancellor. “Thank you, Lord Chancellor. I only have one thing to say so, I shall keep it short.” Bedford looked around the chamber and said. “I believe that we owe it to the people to try and make this bill succeed. The people of Berwick and Carlisle have for too long been ignored. The time has come to rectify that.”

Bedford sat down. The Lord Chancellor then called out. “Lord Dacre!”

Thomas leaned forward with interest. Dacre was an interesting man, he held seats in Cumbria and Sussex, and came from a long line that dated back to the time of Edward I. In the Commons he had been quiet, but now, Thomas got the sense that he’d be far more vocal. Especially as Carlisle sat within his vicinity.

“Thank you, Lord Chancellor.” Dacre said. “My lords, I understand the desire to bring improvement to Carlisle and Berwick. It is something that I have often pushed for myself over the years. But I have one concern.” Dacre took a deep breath as if considering his next words carefully, he then continued. “If this bill goes through, what is there to say that once initial changes are made anything else will go through?”

“For shame!” Thomas found himself yelling, others joining in. Was Dacre seriously questioning the King’s commitment, was he seriously questioning Thomas’ own commitment?!”

Dacre, to his credit was not flustered by this sudden outbreak of opposition, instead he continued. “I am not one to challenge the King. But I simply do not want a commitment to be made if it is not guaranteed that those who are brought into it are able to keep it. The people of Carlisle and Berwick have experienced enough trauma and disappointment as it is.”

Dacre sat down.

“Lord Suffolk.” Lord Ellesmere called out.

Thomas stood up. “Thank you, Lord Chancellor.” He paused. He knew he needed to be careful about how he approached this. One wrong word and he would have jeopardised the King’s plans.

He fixed Lord Dacre with his gaze and spoke to him more than anyone else. “My lords, I understand the concern that something might go wrong. And I appreciate the fear that people might be let down. But I urge you all to consider what might happen if we do not do this.”

He saw Dacre’s brow go up and knew he had him then. “Lord Dacre is right, for too long the people of Carlisle and Berwick have been disappointed. This bill is a chance to change that. To remove the threat of war from their walls and to replace it with that thing that brings happiness, trade, commerce and profit.”

He looked away from Dacre toward the entire hall now. “Yes, there is risk, but there is always risk. We cannot live without first embracing the risk and conquering it.”

“Here, here!” Someone, maybe Rutland proclaimed.

Thomas smiled. “Finally, I urge you all to consider this bill and to take it in good faith. Our fellow subjects are counting on you.”

He sat down and was greeted by a round of applause. Thomas glanced up and saw Dacre was applauding as well, which caused his smile to widen.

The Lord Chancellor banged his gavel and said. “We shall break for lunch and then return for initial voting.” The man banged his gavel once more and then got up and departed through the back door. Thomas watched him go and found himself wondering who he could get to replace Ellesmere.
Only a couple of speeches after the King and already lunch? I see Parliament hasn’t changed then…

Does the new government include representatives from all parts of the new Kingdom?
Only a couple of speeches after the King and already lunch? I see Parliament hasn’t changed then…

Does the new government include representatives from all parts of the new Kingdom?
Aha, tbf, the opening ceremony does last for a while.

And it does indeed.
Chapter 105: Linlithgow

Chapter 105: Linlithgow

January, 1613

Henry read through the letter that his former guardian, the Earl-now Marquess-of Mar had written to him and snorted. It seemed some things never changed. Court was a cesspit of scheming, with an added layer now that there were more Scotsmen and Irishmen in London. Henry didn’t miss it. Not at all. He had really enjoyed the last few months in Edinburgh, first in Holyrood and now in Linlithgow. Getting the chance to walk about, relatively untroubled, meet with people who he could handle and control and then spend time with his wife and their children.

He didn’t really want to go back to London, but he knew he had to. The King would not be pleased if his heir decided to remain in Scotland forever. He put the letter to one side and looked up to see Anna Maria looking at him intently. She was more beautiful than ever and Henry thanked God that she was his.

“What?” He asked.

“What caused you to snort?” She asked in return.

Henry sighed. “Mar has sent word from London. It seems the council is divided again.”

“Between who?” Anna asked.

“Those who follow Suffolk and Rochester who want to ally closely with Spain, and those led by Montgomery who oppose that position.” Henry said.

“Montgomery and Suffolk have separated?” Anna asked surprised. Henry could understand her surprise, Montgomery had been stuck to Suffolk for as long as anyone could remember that they were now enemies was very surprising.

“Yes, it seems the issue of Spain has divided them.” Henry said, that was something he was grateful for. Allying with Spain would be a great betrayal of everything the British Isles was meant to stand for.

“And where does Mar stand?” Anna asked.

“Somewhere in between. He knows why allying with Spain is bad form, but he is also aware of the commercial benefits that could come from it.” Henry said, he could appreciate Mar’s honesty. It was far more than what others had given him.

“And this doesn’t bother you?” Anna Maria asked surprised.

“No, at least he’s honest and I know he’s working for us.” Henry said simply.

“I see.” Anna Maria replied.

“He’s also been raised to a Marquess for his role in aiding the Union.” Henry said.

“He has?” Anna Maria replied, sounding somewhat surprised.

“Indeed, the King has also raised Suffolk to a Marquess as well, but Mar thinks that Suffolk doesn’t have the funds for the lifestyle.” Henry said.

“Why? Because he’s been busy bribing people?” Anna asked sarcastically.

“Yes, actually.” Henry replied laughing at Anna’s expression. “It seems he realised how vulnerable he was without Salisbury around and so has been trying to win people over with money.”

“And how is that working out for him?” Anna asked.

“About as well as can be expected.” Henry said. He paused then, trying to decide whether to mention the other thing that Mar had said in his letter. Deciding that it was better to say it than withhold it-he didn’t want to keep secrets from Anna-he added. “Mar also mentioned that Rochester has been trying to take control of Scottish affairs.”

Anna Maria frowned. “Why?”

“Apparently he thinks he can handle it all.” Henry said. He snorted when Anna laughed.

“And what has Mar done about that?” She asked, Mar was Secretary for Scotland after all.

“He’s shown Rochester some of the papers but has kept the main meat for himself. Rochester is grumbling but so far the King hasn’t ordered Mar to share more.” Henry said. “Which is surprising.”

“Why?” Anna asked.

“Because the King hates conflict.” Henry replied.

“True,” Anna conceded before adding. “But hasn’t he also been spending a lot of time with Villiers? Couldn’t that be why he’s not ordered Mar to concede to Rochester?”

“I suppose that is true.” Henry admitted, he wasn’t sure. Mother hadn’t said anything about Villiers in her letters and everything that Henry learned about the man’s time with the King came through second hand sources.

“Do you want to go back to London?” Anna asked then.

“Now?” Henry replied. “No.”

“Why?” Anna asked.

Henry sighed and said. “I’m enjoying being away from court, with you and our children. I don’t want to head back just yet.” Into the mess of intrigue and chaos that awaited.

“Good.” Anna replied smiling. “I don’t want to go back just yet either.”

Henry smiled.

“In fact,” Anna said. “I was hoping that we might be able to do some more travelling before we have to go.”

“Where would you like to go?” Henry asked.

“Dunfermline, to see the old Palace.” Anna Maria said. “Anne Drummond has painted a wonderful picture of it and I’d very much like to see it.”

Henry considered this. It would take them perhaps a day and a half to get to Dunfermline if they went via Edinburgh and took the ship over, or around three days if they travelled north and then swung east. He’d need to check with the nurses about whether it was safe to go by ship for Anna and their children, Arthur had been terribly sick on the journey from London and Henry didn’t want his son going through that again.

As if she could sense what he was thinking, Anna spoke. “I’ve checked with the nurses and the doctors, Anne should be fine travelling by ship.”

“You’re sure?” Henry asked.

“I am.” Anna said.

“And Arthur?” Henry asked.

“I think he needs to get used to travelling by ship.” Anna said.

Henry laughed. “Very well, we shall leave in the next week or so.”

“Excellent, I shall tell Urszula to prepare.” Anna said.

Henry nodded, he didn’t like the woman, but Anna had a passing fondness for her and so she remained. “Very well.”

He just hoped the woman learned that she wasn’t in charge anymore. That Anna wasn’t a little girl, but a woman and a mother. If Anna didn’t tell her, Henry would and he would make sure she remembered that. Only as a last resort of course. He didn’t want to infringe on his wife’s prerogatives.
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Dunfermline is quite nice so I can see why they would want to visit.

Can Henry get up to Inverness or the Outer Isles? It would be a heck of a PR thing for the Scottish Heir to visit Orkney, or Oban, or Iona.