An Unexpected Prince

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Sep 2, 2019.

Loading...
  1. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Great point there. The Bishops would've been freed once things were sorted out in terms of the regency council, one would think. Before that nobody is quite sure what the situation is.
     
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 8: Winchester

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 8: Winchester



    July, 1688

    Peter Mews, Bishop of Winchester looked at the painting above him. It showed the Virgin Mother with her child, the Lord Jesus as a babe, whilst the Angel Gabriel watched on from the heavens. It had been commissioned by King Charles I when his son and namesake had been born. Peter remembered hearing about it as a young lad in the church. He had served the King who had been responsible for the painting for a time, before becoming Bishop, and now here he was to meet the King’s niece. Princess Anne looked like her mother Anne Hyde, but with her father’s eyes and inquisitiveness.

    “Thank you for coming, my lord,” the Princess said. “I hope the journey was not too bothersome?”

    “Not at all Your Highness.” Peter responded. “I came as soon as I could.”

    “I wished to speak with you about a few things, my lord.” The Princess said. “I know that you could not come to the meeting to decide the regency council, and I wished to know your views on what was decided.”

    “I am in favour of a united regency council, Your Highness.” Peter responded. “I believe that is the best way to deal with any potential chaos or meddling from foreign powers. However, I could not come because there was one key matter which was not discussed.”

    “My lord?” The Princess asked.

    “Yes,” Peter continued. “Before he died, His Majesty King James ordered the arrest and trial of Seven Bishops amongst them His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. Nothing was said about their fate, and as such I had come to hope to settle the matter with you, Your Highness.”

    Something strange happened then, the Princess blushed, before clearing her throat. “I must admit, my lord, until quite recently I had quite forgotten about them.” Something must have shown on his face, for the Princess quickly added. “It was not for lack of thought or concern, but simply that there was so much that needed to be done to resolve the matters arising from the King’s death.”

    “I understand, Your Highness.” Peter said, and he did. “Still, now that those matters have been resolved, what will happen to them?”

    The Princess shifted slightly, and Peter glanced up at the painting on the ceiling. He remembered what had come from that and from everything else that King Charles had done. “I have spoken with the Lord Chancellor and it has been agreed that the case against the Bishops is not strong, indeed, it was never strong. As much as it pains me to admit this, His Majesty King James was wrong to do as he had done. Therefore, the order is being made right now to have them released and restored to their offices.”

    Peter nodded, he was relieved to hear that. “That is good, Your Highness. The Kingdom does not need another scandal.”

    “My lord?” the Princess asked.

    “I simply mean that since the King died and his son ascended the throne there has been a lot of talk, mostly gossip that there were some amongst the nobility who were plotting on removing the King.” Peter said.

    The Princess’ face went white then, and Peter wondered at it. “I see. You do not believe such rumours, I trust, my lord?”

    “Even if I did, they are no longer relevant. King James is dead, and his son sits the throne with a regency council to steer him towards a true and clear Protestant course.” Peter said, making his meaning clear by the way he looked at the woman opposite him.

    The Princess nodded. “Of course, my lord. We will not be trying to bring any religious indulgences any time soon, of that you have my promise.”

    “That is most wise, Your Highness. The Church and the Crown are intimately linked together, when the Parliament fails to support the Crown, it is the church that does so.” Peter said, repeating something his father had once said to him.

    “Of course.” The Princess replied. There was a knock on the door, and a messenger hurried in, he handed the Princess a note which she read and smiled. The messenger left, and the Princess turned to him and said. “You will be delighted to know that the Bishops have been released of this moment and are returning to their parishes on the Morrow. There will be a feast today though, I trust you will stay behind.”

    Peter smiled, the woman was clever. He looked forward to working with her. “Of course, Your Highness.” He said. “It would be my honour.”
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 9: Sunderland

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK


    Chapter 9: Sunderland

    August, 1688



    Robert Spencer had spent most of his adult life in service to the crown and to the Stuarts. He had found them a mixed sort of personnel. Charles II had been flamboyant and carefree with a hardened edge of steel, James II had been stubborn and driven, he did more work in one day than his brother did in a month. And now there was Princess Anne, the possessor of the new King and the main regent. She was like her father in that she worked hard, but completely unlike him in that she listened first, and talked later.

    Today was no different. This first meeting of the regency council began with him speaking. “Your Highness, my lords, since the writ was sent out for a new election in England and Wales, we have received steady confirmation that the Court party led ably by Sidney Godolphin will win a majority in the Commons, thus ensuring that it shall be far easier for us to get business through that blasted chamber.”

    “I can confirm that the same is true in the Scottish Parliament, Your Highness.” James Drummond, Earl of Perth said.

    The Princess smiled. “Excellent work, gentlemen. When Parliament meets later this month we shall of course have much to discuss. There is a lot of legislation that our father and the previous King had passed or declared true by writ that must be undone.”

    “Most prominently the bill of repeal the Test Acts.” Robert said. He knew that that bill would cause all sorts of trouble he had advised King James of that, but the man had not listened to him.

    “Of course, that bill will be the first thing that is considered before Parliament.” The Princess said smiling.

    “Then of course there is the need to consider the military, Your Highness.” Charles Middleton, Earl Middleton and Northern Secretary said. “The King had kept it at unreasonably high levels for peace time. Parliament will want to discuss that.”

    Before the Princess could speak, Robert spoke. “I think Parliament will understand that the situation on the continent is such that we shall need to keep that military personnel high in order to be best prepared for whatever might come.”

    “You expect a war to come?” The Princess asked.

    “Yes,” Robert responded. “Even though the Pope has chosen Joseph Clemens of Bavaria as the new Archbishop of Cologne, Louis of France believes that the Pope was influenced by Emperor Leopold. Consequently, he is contesting the election decision and is prepared to invest Philipsburg with men and arms to ensure his decision is respected. The Emperor will not respond well to that, and of course there is the Spanish Netherlands to consider. Louis has always wanted that in return for the failure of Spain to pay his wife’s dowry. He will not just stop wanting that.”

    “And if the Spanish Netherlands falls under French jurisdiction, then our trading routes into the continent are lessened, Your Highness.” Sir John Belasyse, who was nominally there as governor of Ireland, but was actually First Lord of the Treasury, said. “Our trading routes get effected then the people and Parliament will get onto our cases.”

    “Very well, keep the military at the levels it is. If we can afford it?” the Princess said.

    “For defence we can, Your Highness.” Belasyse said. “But if we need to have a longer more thought out war plan, then Parliament will naturally need to provide the funds.”

    “Do not worry about that, I will ensure that happens.” Robert said, he had helped half of those who were soon to become MPs get elected in their seats, he would make sure they did as the government wanted.

    “Very well.” The Princess said.

    “There was one other thing that needed discussing, Your Highness.” Middleton said then. “In officials documents you are listed as Duchess of Cumberland, but His Majesty King James had not yet had the patents filed for the proclamation of the new title. Would you rather hold it be decree then or by Parliamentary act?”

    “I would recommend decree with the later introduction of the Duke in Parliament, Your Highness.” Robert said then. “That way there can be no bickering of such things.” He knew some in the Lords would look down on having a foreign Prince take the title that had once belonged to Prince Rupert, but there was little that could be done about it.

    “Very well, then that is what I shall do. Lord Jeffreys please see that the appropriate work is done.” The Princess said.

    “Yes Your Highness.” The man replied.
     
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 10: Devonshire

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 10: Devonshire



    August, 1688


    William Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire looked at the two other men in the room with him and wondered how they had gotten to this point. They were supposed to be on the up, Prince William would come into England and be the hero they needed and save them from the tyranny of King James. But then King James had died, leaving his infant son as King, and well, here they were. Meeting in his main estate, in great secrecy the day after the election results had been announced.

    “With the majority they have, the Tories will dominate government for the next five years at least.” William said, referring to the fact that the Tories had won 350 of the 513 seats in the Commons, leaving them with very little room to function.

    “You mean the court party.” Charles Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury said. “There is no Tory party, not yet anyway.”

    William shrugged. “Same difference really. They will dominate, and that can only be bad for us.”

    “I disagree.” Henry Sydney, the man who had drafted an invitation to Prince William said. “The Tories will keep the army large, which will be necessary for the upcoming fight with France.”

    Sydney was a military man, which was fair enough, that was why they had recruited him in the first place. But he didn’t think politically or even long term. “And do you think they won’t use the army to keep those who disagree with them intimidated and in line?” William demanded.

    “Princess Anne is not like that.” Sydney responded.

    “Princess Anne is her father’s daughter. See how quickly she acted to get possession of the King and confirmation of her right to sit on the Regency Council.” William said. “You were there Charles, you know what she is like.”

    Talbot nodded. “She is dangerous. And she has her father’s temper. We would do well to keep a very low profile when Parliament meets next week.”

    Sydney looked completely shocked. His jaw was wide open, he immediately shut it and then opened it again. “You cannot be serious. She would not dare do something so callous, so tyrannical. Not when we know what she was doing before her father died.”

    William sighed. He knew what the other man was referring to, and he knew it would not stand ground. “She would deny it, if we ever brought it up. And Prince William would deny it also, now that King James is dead. There is little for us to gain by bringing it up now. No, we must wait and see. The Country party will have five years in government, let us see what happens during that time and then we shall act.”

    “War with France.” Talbot said. “That’s what will happen.”

    “You are sure?” Sydney asked. “I spoke with Churchill and he wasn’t sure whether the regency council would want it to happen.”

    Devonshire smiled. “Parliament will. And though Sunderland controls half the Commons, I control the other half. And I assure, they will want war.”

    Sydney thought on that for a moment, before replying. “So long as we are not in danger in our own homes then I am willing to fight.”

    William nodded he understood the concern, given what had been about to happen before King James had died, they were all still on edge. “Be careful and play the game, and all will be well.” Was all he could say.
     
  5. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    I'm not sure the Parliament will be as gung ho as you describe. IOTL they only declared war after James II fled to France, William was King (and already at war with Louis as Stadtholder) AND Louis had supported the invasion of Ireland

    Absent the French invasion then it will be difficult to persuade Britain to take part in the war when they have nothing to gain. Someone (William of Orange?) needs to offer something that Parliament and Anne would want to risk war with France. Perhaps concessions in India or the West Indies.
     
  6. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Indeed this is very true, though keeping the Spanish Netherlands free from French control, would be as good a reason as any no?
     
  7. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    They weren't really threatened until a year or two into the war. A lot will depend on how wide Louis takes the war. Even Holland didn't officially enter until mid 1689
     
  8. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Indeed this is very true. Though of course, a war abroad is a great way to keep focus away from any internal problems
     
    FalconHonour likes this.
  9. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Precisely. Unite the factions in the country behind a common foe...
     
  10. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    And win a few victories, get a few gains then bail as soon as possible
     
  11. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    I agree with all of this but you need to put yourself in the mindset of the time.

    As recently as 1674 England and Holland had been at war. Technically England and France are still allies. Parliament may well cancel the alliance but has not done so yet.

    Louis may declare war on England for example if Mary of Modena is seen to have been exiled and her son "kidnapped" - in which case there is no problem. Or he may have more sense and stir up Catholic trouble in Ireland. Which may lead to war.

    Or he may be very clever and seek to fund the anti-war factions in Parliament. I'm not convinced Devonshire has all the cards.
     
  12. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    This is very true, and Devonshire doesn't, Sunderland has some, Anne has some, hell Belasyse has some as well. Though France is still the traditional foe, which could lead to England putting aside enmity with the Dutch Republic for a small time.
     
  13. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    PS - a Louis XIV viewpoint would be interesting. Channel your inner "Versailles"
     
  14. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    O interesting why Louis?
     
  15. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Because Louis is at the height of his power in Europe and arguably has gone over the top in terms of his megalomania believing that he was unbeatable. And it is Louis reaction to Anne's regency which will effectively determine if England is neutral or hostile to France IMHO.
     
  16. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Interesting, tbf he can't really complain too much about the regency can he?
     
  17. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Well if Mary of Modena turns up at his court he may not be too happy. Remember that the whole Nine Years War is at least partly over the inheritance of his brother's wife in the Palatine (and the also the succession over the Archbishopric of Cologne). Here James III is his cousin once removed (I think - I get these relationships mixed up) and is basically being brought up as a heretic. Louis XIV has only just revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and now his cousin is being brought up as a Protestant. Family ties are important especially when they carry important geopolitical baggage.
     
  18. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    That is very true, I suppose Mary of Modena would no doubt try to avoid Landing up in Versailles for that very reason
     
  19. isabella Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Well his kinship with James III (grandson of Louis’ aunt Henrietta Maria) is not a big trouble. After all his aunt was married to a Protestant King in a Protestant country (and France require conversion of the non Catholics princesses who married there) so he tried with Charles and James to establish a process of conversion who ultimately failed. Remember who he has the same relationship with both William of Orange and his wife so is not like he will be too troubled, his English’s kins being Protestant is the status quo...
    And Palatinate was only a big “try to grab lands with flimsy excuse” on Louis XIV’s part as Palatinate had always applied the Salic law so Liselotte had no right on that inheritance as everyone knew...

    Mary of Modena has little to fear at Louis XIV court as what happened was not her fault... She has done everything she was able for trying to get England back to Catholicism but she was forced to go as doing differently with an infant son would put in danger her son’s life not only his crown (plus she would never be able to take him away)
     
  20. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    True on both counts
     
Loading...