Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Sep 2, 2019.
Aha, where do you think it's going
Scotland and England are still legally separate and only joined in a personal union headed by an infant.
Different traditions, different Parliaments, different laws.
And in theory England is allied to France who is just about to enter into a war with the husband of the second in line to the throne. At a time when infant mortality is high.
Indeed this is very true
Chapter 6: King’s Mother
All the great and powerful of the three Kingdoms were floating into London. Mary knew that they were coming to discuss who would be on the regency council for her son, their King. She knew they would discuss whether to have one regency council or two, and whether or not there would need to be something made for her. She had seen her son a few times since giving birth to him. Her step daughter was not cruel, but indifferent to her. Mary was with her son now, she looked at him and feared for him. So many power-hungry people would be deciding the fate of his Kingdom and that of his own life for many years to come.
She turned when the door opened. Her step daughter walked in. She inclined her head. “Anne.”
“Mother.” Anne said. The girl had always called her that since her own mother had died. They had been close once, indeed she hoped they would remain so.
“You have come to tell me what is to be done with me?” Mary guessed.
“Yes.” Anne said. “I know you want to be involved with the King’s life, and upbringing, but you cannot do that in your normal capacity.”
“Meaning?” Mary asked. She wondered if her step daughter was about to banish her into the beyond.
“Meaning that whilst you will be able to interact with your son, you won’t be able to have any say over who tutors him, or who is in his household. Nor will you be able to decide how he is brought up in faith.” Anne said.
That all felt like a blow, effectively she would be a stranger in her own home, to her own son. “I see. And who decided this?”
“I did.” Anne replied. “As the King’s guardian until he comes of age.” There was a pause as Anne clearly felt awkward. “The King rules over three kingdoms which are Protestant, he cannot be a Catholic. And if we were to allow you to raise him, there is a general fear that he would become Catholic, which would lead to instability.”
Mary knew that would be said, she knew that her step daughter was the King’s guardian and yet still it stung. “I see.” There truly was no point in her being here then. She would rather make it official and become a stranger to her son then remain here and not really be known by the boy. She looked at Anne then and saw that she was shifting about, doing the thing she always did when she was nervous. “What bothers you?” Mary asked kindly.
As if she was relieved to be asked, Anne responded. “There’s been nothing but silence from the Hague and from William and Mary, ever since I sent that letter. They’ve not done anything, not even recognised the King as King. And the ambassador remains silent whenever I press him on it.”
Something passed through Mary’s mind then, the whisperings she had heard when she had given birth to James. “Have you heard anything from the country party?”
Something flashed across Anne’s face then. “You think they are in contact with one another?”
Mary raised and lowered a shoulder. “It should not be considered unlikely, given what would happen if they worked together.”
Mary was not a political person by any means, but even she knew where this might go, and she suspected her step daughter did as well, for Anne said. “You are right. That’s why this regency council meeting is so important.”
Mary caught onto what the woman was implying and replied. “I will make sure to make myself scarce as can be then.”
The other woman nodded. “Thank you.”
Mary nodded, then Anne turned and left, and Mary turned back to look at her sleeping son. She barely murmured her next thought. “Perhaps it would be better for you if I took vows and never returned here.”
Now is it realistic to think that Mary of Modena would go off to a nunnery to in her mind make things easier for her son?
I do not know about the nunnery but maybe she can return to Modena?
Would she want to remain close, have some impact rather than none?
I think a part of her defiintely would, but then there's the impact that might have on her son
Would she really just meekly abandon her son to be raised a Protestant (and doubtless, in her mind, consigned to Hell)? Rather than making an embarrassing fuss and having to be forced off?
Given its that or see her son kicked off the throne
It's that or be told your mum abandoned you.
Indeed, which definitely causes all sorts of shit for James to deal with
I mean, she and James II raised him such that he didn't convert even when it might have made restoration possible IOTL, no?
Indeed this is very true, though here she's not the Queen nor is her husband alive so and Anne has possession of his person
Chapter 7: Bridge The Divide
Anne took a moment to compose herself, she straightened out her thoughts and then spoke, placing a smile on her face. “Gentlemen, my lords, I thank you all for coming. We come here under sad circumstances. The death of King James, who was my father, has required that his infant son, King James ascend the throne not in full control of his powers, being a babe, but with a regency council. Given the nature of my father’s death it is necessary that we hold a meeting to discuss who shall sit this regency council.” She paused, and then waited to see if anyone would object to her hosting this meeting, as a woman. When nobody did she continued. “We shall first hear from the Lord Chancellor of England, Lord Jeffreys on his view, and then from Lord Drummond, Lord Chancellor for Scotland, before Lord Shrewsbury shall speak.” She stopped and then gestured for Lord Jeffreys to speak.
Jeffreys had earned a reputation as an evil man for his role in the Bloody Assizes following the Monmouth rebellion, and Anne had found him repulsive since then. But in the past month she had come to respect his intelligence and his wit. He’d shown himself to be a firm loyalist and wanting the best for the Kingdom. “Thank you, Your Highness.” Jeffreys looked around the great audience chamber, which was packed. “My lords, Your Highness, I believe that the best way to sort out this predicament we find ourselves in, is to have a regency council that comprises members from all three governments and Kingdoms. Whilst it might be true that since King James I ascended the throne of St Edward, the governments have been kept separate, they have traditionally followed a similar policy to one another. Now, with an infant King on the throne, the need for cooperation is greater than ever. Should something happen that would drive us apart individually, our enemies in France and elsewhere would seek to capitalise on that. We cannot allow that to happen. We must unite behind one banner, under the King’s banner as one single regency council to work for unity.”
Jeffreys sat down. Anne gestured for Lord Drummond, Earl of Perth to speak. “I agree with Lord Jeffreys. Peace is essential here. We already know that some amongst us were seeking to do all sorts of heinous things when the previous King lived,” Anne shifted slightly ignoring the discomfort that brought her, Drummond continued. “Our main enemy is not one another, it is France. And they are a Kingdom that would seek to sow division between us. We cannot allow that. I suggest that we work together in one regency council with members from all across the three Kingdoms as part of it. Members can be based in Scotland, England or Ireland, but they would report to Whitehall here, not to their respective divisions as was before.” Drummond sat down.
Anne knew which way she leaned. She did not trust anyone here apart from perhaps Belasyse, and he might not be allowed to sit on the council due to his religion. She looked around and then said. “Lord Shrewsbury you may speak now.”
Charles Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury was there to represent the country party. Anne knew he’d been in communication with William before father had died, and she worried over what he might say now. And if he knew of her own involvement there. “Thank you, Your Highness.” Talbot said. “Whilst I see the arguments that both Lord Jeffreys and Lord Perth have put forward, I must say that I disagree with them. For eighty years now, we have operated as three separate Kingdoms and three separate administrations. We have not been used against one another, nor have we turned on one another, where it was not prompted by some mal advice by poor advisors to the crown.” There was some snorting there, at the clear reference to the Civil War. “Therefore, I would seek to advise this gathering that we keep it administrations as they are.” Talbot sat down.
Anne looked around, Sir John then looked at her and she nodded for him to speak. He stood up, and though he was a Catholic he was the most experienced member of government present, and he was an experienced politician having been in public life for close to sixty years now. “Your Highness, I find myself agreeing with Lord Shrewsbury, but only on one point. If we are to have one regency council what will be the laws regulating it? Will the Test Acts which apply here in England, but don’t in Scotland apply for all members? If so, that will exclude a significant number of capable administrators from the regency, such as the Earl of Melfort. Such a thing would be concerning and would be used by our enemies to sow dissent. That is not something I would feel comfortable with.” Belasyse sat down then.
Shrewsbury rose. “It would also exclude a gentleman such as Sir John here. And that would be a great crime. Catholic he might be, but capable he certainly is.”
Shrewsbury sat down. Anne was left looking at the men gathered before her. For the first time, she found herself wondering if she’d made the right decision to summon this council. Perhaps she should have just declared herself regent and gone from there. But then she pushed those doubts from her mind as she remembered what Sarah had said. “I understand your concerns, Sir John, and Lord Shrewsbury. However, I can assure you, having spoken with Lord Jeffreys as well as Sir Simon Harcourt, a Justice of the Bench, that should we have one single regency council, the laws of the Kingdoms would be respected, therefore, if a Presbyterian served on the government in Scotland, they could serve on the regency council and act for Scotland, similarly a Catholic could serve on the regency council but for Ireland not England. This is something that has been examined thoroughly and found in accordance with the laws.”
There was some murmuring at that, Anne could feel the tension in the room. She hoped she had played her hand correctly, and not given too much or too little. Eventually, someone else stood up, and this time it was someone who was neither court nor country party. This was someone she had always respected. Henry Howard, Duke of Norfolk and premier peer in the realm behind her own husband and herself. “Your Highness, you have made a compelling case for a joint regency council. And with you as protector of the King that is a fine thing to think about. But there remains one concern that has not been addressed. And that is the matter of the Queen Mother. What will become of her? She is a Catholic, she married the King’s father, out of a desire to produce a Catholic dynasty for England. Will she really be content to not have any say over how her child is raised? And if not, then that leaves us with the major concern of what to do with her.”
Anne was prepared for this, having thought it through herself. “Thank you for raising this point, Your Grace. The Queen Mother and I have spoken at length, after much consideration she has decided that she will return to Modena for some time. She wishes to allow her son the best opportunities that he can have. And though it pains her to do so, she will not be remaining in England for long. Indeed, she has said she will adopt an approach similar to what our grandmother Queen Henrietta Maria did, she shall spend some time here and other times in Modena.” She stopped speaking then allowing the words she said to filter through.
There was another person who rose then. Sidney Godolphin, 2nd Lord of the Treasury and someone close to Sarah. “Your Highness, if I might, who would serve as the King’s chief regent? In days’ past it would go to the King’s closest male relative. However, there are none that exist that are legitimate and native, therefore the issue arises there.”
The Duke of Norfolk spoke before Anne could answer. “Surely it must Her Highness? She is married, and she is the King’s sister. Furthermore, she is based here.”
Lord Jeffreys spoke then. “That is indeed true, Your Grace.”
“So, Your Highness would be the King’s chief regent?” Godolphin asked for clarification.
“Yes.” Anne said simply.
Once she was convinced that all had been agreed, she nodded to the Earl of Mulgrave who was also Lord Chamberlain who said. “Let there be a vote now. Those in favour of a united regency council, say aye!”
Hands shot up then, amongst the gathered notables. Mulgrave looked at his assistants who counted and then wrote the number and handed it to him. “One hundred and seventy ayes.” Anne nodded that was good.
“Now for the nays.” Mulgrave called out.
Hands shot up, amongst them was Shrewsbury. Again the procedure went. The paper was handed to Mulgrave who read it and then said. “Nays have one hundred and ten. The ayes have it, the ayes have it.”
Anne smiled then, knowing that at least this one thing had gone her way.
Perhaps change that to "that are legitimate and native"? After all William is James's closest male relative being next in line after Anne.
Indeed this is true
So who would you all like to see next?
What happened to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the rest of the Seven Bishops. IOTL they were not acquitted until after the birth of James III (29 June) so presumably they were still in jail when the King died.
So how did they get out and what is the Church's view?
Separate names with a comma.