I have just returned the favour - thank you for nominating 'Queen Is Dead!' @pandizzy and nominated this TL for an Early Modern Turtledove.

If anyone would like to hop over to the Early Modern nominations thread and second my nomination, that would be great.
Chapter Thirty Five - Burgundy

King Philip I of Portugal.

On 4 of March 1591, Maria de’ Medici, the youngest surviving daughter of Francesco de’ Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany, arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, to wed her betrothed, King Filipe I. They had been promised to each other since 1584, as had Philip’s older sister, Joan, and Maria’s brother, Lorenzo. The older couple had already been married, and their only child, a boy named Cosimo, was born in 1590.

The double alliance with the House of Avis was highly valued by the Medicis, as it increased their social standing and, more importantly, brought them more legitimacy in regards to the two branches of the Medici family. The male line of Lorenzo the Magnificent had died out in 1537, while the children of King Sebastian were his direct descendants through their maternal grandmother, Catherine de’ Medici, who was Lorenzo’s great-granddaughter. So, it was easy to say that, after the end of the war of the Triple Alliance, Tuscany needed Portugal more than Portugal needed them.

And this was made clear with the Duke of Aveiro. Jorge of Lencastre, the lover of King Philip’s mother, believed Maria de’ Medici to be too lowborn for his king, as the Medici Family was not noble. Because of this, he attempted to convince Philip and Queen Margaret to break the betrothal in favor of a Habsburg or Valois princess numerous times. Philip, however, didn’t care about his new bride’s lack of familial nobility, while Margaret of Valois thought that by breaking their agreement with Tuscany, they would be risking the safety of her daughter, Giovanna, Princess of Florence. Instead of a new marriage treaty, George only gained the complete enmity of his liege, and this would be his downfall.


Maria de Medici, Queen of Portugal.

With her, Maria brought to Portugal a substantial dowry of 800,000 cruzados and 2,000 people who made up her suite. At the age of sixteen, she had brown hair and eyes with a high forehead and long nose. She was not considered to be beautiful and many said that the most attractive thing about her was her considerable wealth. She met her husband on 6 March, and they were married two days later in a lavish ceremony at Lisbon Cathedral, or Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa, in Portuguese. Maria was crowned Queen of Portugal the next week.

Their marriage didn’t start well and their personalities clashed. King Philip of Portugal was devotedly religious, quiet, and timid. He, along with his younger siblings, disliked his mother’s favorite, whom he thought to be trying to usurp his deceased father’s place. Mary, on the other hand, was considered to be loud, rude, and of a very jealous temperament. She had been instructed by her father to please the Queen Mother in all regards and she befriended George of Lencastre, with the two often exchanging pleasantries and gifts.

Philip didn’t like that. He had hated the Duke since 1589, when, after he turned fourteen years old, George of Lencastre supported his lover in retaining her power as a ruler. Margaret of Valois assumed a position as head of the royal council, delegating the King to a symbolic and consultative role only. Although Philip assumed that his marriage would signal the start of his majority and his personal rule, this wasn’t the case, and his mother continued to govern the Portuguese empire in his name.

Maria and Filipe’s first child, a son called João Filipe, or John Philip, was born on 1, January 1592, nine months after their wedding. He had red hair like his father and brown eyes and was nicknamed ‘The New Year’s Prince’, or O Príncipe do Ano Novo. He was automatically heir apparent to the throne and named Prince of Portugal upon his birth. The birth of a male heir was much celebrated in Portugal, as it had been twenty-two years since the last Prince of Portugal was born.

The child’s birth coincided with a series of developments in the Portuguese Empire, also called the Ultramar Português (Portuguese Overseas). The Tordesillas boundary between Spanish and Portuguese control in South America had been increasingly ignored by the Portuguese in the name of Sebastian I, who pressed beyond it into the heart of Brazil, allowing them to expand the territory to the west. Exploratory missions were carried out both ordered by the government, the "entradas" (entries), and by private initiative, the "bandeiras" (flags), by the "bandeirantes". These expeditions lasted for years venturing into unmapped regions, initially to capture natives and force them into slavery and later focusing on finding gold, silver, and diamond mines.

The war against the Triple Alliance caused both sons of King Philip II of Spain to become extremely anti-Portuguese, especially Felipe, who had seen his inheritance in Europe become smaller than before due to the conquests gained. In 1591, a Spanish fleet under the Prince of Asturias’ orders captured a large Portuguese carrack off the Azores. The Mãe de Deus, as it was called, was loaded with 900 tons of merchandise from India and China estimated at half a million cruzados (nearly a fourth of the size of the SpanishTreasury at the time). That same year, Cornelis de Houtman was sent by John of Austria the Younger to Lisbon as a spy, to gather as much information as he could about the Spice Islands.


John of Austria the Younger and the Mãe de Deus.

John of Austria, also known as John of Spain, or Johan of Burgundy, was the second and youngest surviving son of King Philip II of Spain. He had been raised since the age of two at Flanders, in the Netherlands, so he could become culturally Dutch and inherit the lands independently from his half-brother. He was the son of an uncle-niece marriage and its effect was seen in his sickly disposition. John was not physically strong and was unable to receive training as a soldier since most of his tutors thought it would be too much on his body.

Instead, he was given an extensive education, being taught from military strategy to finances. He could speak Dutch, Spanish, English, Latin, and French fluently, though he always preferred the Dutch language, and was considered to be very charming. He spoke with a lisp due to his enlarged lower jaw, which many said was unnoticeable because of his engaging personality. Because of a childhood accident where he fell over a set of stairs, John walked with a limp, relying heavily on the use of canes.

William of Orange, also called William the Silent, said of him, “If it were not for his poor health, he would have conquered the world.”

John Habsburg married Countess Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau in August 1592. He was fifteen and she was sixteen. They had been betrothed for many years and, through their personal letters, it’s shown that they loved each other very much, and John never took a mistress during their long marriage. Many were happy to compare the young couple to John’s grandparents, Charles V and Isabella of Portugal. Their first child, a boy called Johan, was born in 1594 and five more would follow him.


Countess Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau.

In late 1592, Spanish settlers in the Americas were shocked to discover the Portuguese city of Goiânia, miles beyond the borders of the Treaty of Tordesillas. Their letters, reporting this to their King, would reach Madrid only in April 1593 and two months after the death of King Philip II.

Philip died of what is now believed to be cancer. He had been married four times, three of whom were to close relatives of his, and left behind seven surviving children. He was succeeded in Spain by his eldest son, now Philip III, and in the Netherlands by John of Austria, who had recently turned sixteen. The two brothers made the decision to firmly express their love for each other, with Philip III offering his daughter Luisa as a bride to the firstborn son of John, a proposition that was summarily accepted.

John, now Lord of the Netherlands, didn’t wish to be seen as subservient to his older brother, however, and made a decision that would change the political layout of Europe forever. John, called Johan in Dutch, summoned the highest-ranking nobles of his realm to his capital in Antwerp. The seventeen provinces that had slowly been inherited by his ancestors were legally divided, with each having a different set of laws and customs. John was determined to change that and, encouraged by his father-in-law, began to negotiate a formal and legalized union under one law, one king.


The inheritance of John of Austria.

The nobles, who had long chaffed under Spanish rule, were eager to have a Dutch King who would live and died in the land as they did, rather than task other foreigners with ruling under his name. The Union of Flanders, or rather The Bungurdian Union, united all seventeen provinces under the Kingdom of Burgundy, the new name taken from the ancestral title of rulers of the Low Countries in the fifteen and sixteen centuries.

Each noble could continue ruling their land, but they had to do so following the laws written by John. To prevent a future union with Spain, desired by no one, the starting point of the new line of succession would be the unborn children of John of Austria, with his brother and sisters lacking any right they might have over the land.

In early 1594, Johan and Louise Juliana were crowned together as the first King and Queen of Burgundy. After that, Burgundy was finally ready for war against Portugal alongside Spain, King John not blind to the opportunity to do what he wanted for long: take full control of the Spice Trade.


The Union of Flanders (1594).
Aaah English is such a difficult language. Once again, I had difficulties in conveying my intentions with these chapter, which is a disappointment, though I think it went rather well in the end! But if any part makes you think Wtf, please let me know!!

And we'll see what King Henry III thinks about this kingdom name soon enough, guys, dont you worry!
Such a great update! Johan is displaying some real political prowess - hope it works out well for him. (Also, awwww on his and Louise Juliana's marriage!). Hope Filipe and Maria can figure stuff out... can't wait to see how Henri III responds to the Kingdom of Burgundy!
Brilliant update! Also looks like Philip is in trouble, though I suppose he could sent Jorge onto the front lines with a small force against a massive Spanish one. Hopefully Philip can get to rule his Kingdom in his own right.
Aaah English is such a difficult language. Once again, I had difficulties in conveying my intentions with these chapter, which is a disappointment, though I think it went rather well in the end! But if any part makes you think Wtf, please let me know!!

And we'll see what King Henry III thinks about this kingdom name soon enough, guys, dont you worry!
Don't worry everything seemed fine to me.
@pandizzy: the Grandukes of Tuscany were already direct descendants of Lorenzo the Magnificent since the beginning thanks to Cosimo I’s mother Maria Salviati, daughter of Lucrezia de Medici, firstborn of Lorenzo.
@pandizzy: the Grandukes of Tuscany were already direct descendants of Lorenzo the Magnificent since the beginning thanks to Cosimo I’s mother Maria Salviati, daughter of Lucrezia de Medici, firstborn of Lorenzo.
Damn. All my readings failed to mention that.

Alright, I'll see what I can do to fix it.
Chapter Thirty Six - Mehmed the Cruel
In 1592, Holy Emperor Ernest I began to make his mark on the political map of Europe. He started by betrothing his daughters to future rulers in an attempt to gather allies for his ongoing war against the Turks. His eldest, Archduchess Maria, born in 1584, was betrothed to Prince Henry Philip, Duke of Rothesay, and heir to the Scottish throne. With this betrothal, Ernest pledged his own troops in case a war of succession to the English throne broke out, and a dowry of 500,000 guldens. Maria’s younger sister, Johanna, was promised to Cosimo de’ Medici, three years younger than her and second in line to the throne of Grand Principality of Tuscany. This would be the first act that recognized Tuscan rule from any of the three Habsburg courts after the War of the Triple Alliance. More importantly, in 1593, his daughter Anna, who was still an infant, was promised to Prince João Filipe, heir to the Portuguese throne. At the time, both Portugal and Austria had strong anti-Spanish courts, and Portugal was at war against their Iberian neighbors for their overseas colonies. King Philip III’s prayers were answered, however, when Ernest didn’t join the war, preferring to focus his resources on his own war in the continent.

The girls weren’t alone in their new prospective marriages, however. Ernest’s heir, Archduke Maximilian, born in 1586, was betrothed in April 1592 to Princess Margherita of Savoy. Margaret was the eldest child of Charles Emmanuel of Savoy, two years older than her intended and a granddaughter of King Sebastian I of Portugal, making her a second cousin once removed to the Habsburg children. After the death of King Philip II of Spain, her father expanded his lands from a Dukedom to a Kingdom, as he conquered the Duchy of Milan during the War of the Triple Alliance. This made him the first King of Savoy and caused him to be known to history as Charles Emmanuel the Great (Carlo Emanuele il Grande, in Italian), and his children as highly sought-after marriageable pawns due to the pristine location of their father’s territory.

Charles Emmanuel, however, was an ambitious man, and wouldn’t stop at just taking Milan. Encouraged by his victories in the War of the Triple Alliance, he invaded the Marquisate of Saluzzo in 1584, taking advantage of the recent developments in the French Wars of Religion, and occupied the territory. The Marquisate of Saluzzo was a historical Italian state that included French and Piedmont territories on the Alps and was the focus of much ambition amongst the House of Savoy since the late 15th century. Saluzzo was a part of France since the deposition of the last Marquis Gabriele and had annexed it to the crown but nothing would stop Carlo Emanuele.

The French Wars of Religion were brought to an end in 1590, however, as King Henry III applied numerous acts of tolerance to the different sects of the christian faith (see: Edict of Nantes). With this resolved, Henry demanded the restitution of that land, but Charles Emmanuel refused, and war ensued. The broader conflict involving France and Savoy ended with the Peace of Vervins (2 May 1592), which left the current but separate question of Saluzzo unsolved. After the King of Savoy started talks with Spain, seeking a new friendship between the two enemies, Henry threatened to return to war until, with the Treaty of Lyon (17 January 1594), Saluzzo went to Savoy in exchange for Bresse and other territories over the Alps. Charles Emmanuel’s second daughter, Maria Carlotta (1588), would also be married to King Henry’s eldest son and the Dauphin of France, François of Valois (1590), and her dowry would be considerable.

savoy kingdom.png

The Marquisate of Saluzzo and the Kingdom of Savoy in 1592.

With peace once more reigning in the Alps, it was imperative that it too returned to Eastern Europe, and Emperor Ernest was determined to see to that. Since 1589, the war with the Ottomans was in a stalemate. The two countries were gathering their strengths after the Battle of Buda, which saw the Muslims retake the city of Buda, and the death of fourteen thousand men; eight thousand of whom were Austrians. Around 1591, Austria was facing steep economic decline due to the long war, and Ernest was eager to see it done, even with little territorial reconquests, in order to focus his attention on recovering the finances of his country. Austria’s rejection of all things Spanish didn’t help its economy either, as many trade deals had been procured between the two sister courts.

So, to resolve the conflicts amongst two of the three branches of Habsburgs, Ernest sent envoys to King Philip III after his father’s death in 1593. Ernest had been raised by King Philip II and was reported to be much saddened by the death of his uncle, and regretful of the way their relationship had soured in the end. The envoys found a more willing King in Philip III, as he too was eager for peace amongst the members of the House of Austria.

Philip III did what his father could not and recognized the marriage between Emperor Ernest and Elizabeth Báthory, even sending the Empress a galley named La Isabel, as a Christmas gift. La Isabel, King Philip said, was to be used by Elizabeth if she ever wished to visit him. The two courts exchanged gifts over 1594, and it was thought that the family had been reunited once more.

Before that, however, it was essential that the new army of twenty thousand soldiers gathered around Vienna in 1592 won significant victories against the Ottoman Turks. As Ernest gained information about Mehmed’s own plans surrounding the two cities of Buda and Vienna, twelve thousand men left the safety of the Austrian capital to fight against the eight thousand janissaries gathered at the border between the two great lands.

The two armies met outside of Bratislava, a city near the border between royal and Turkish Hungary, next to the Danube River, on 4, June 1592. The Battle of Bratislava, as it would be known to history, lasted for a day and a half, killing five thousand Turkish and three thousand Austrians, and ended with an Austrian win. Emboldened by this victory, Emperor Ernest sent the rest of his army to Buda, intent on retaking the city once again, alongside the eight thousand that had remained in Vienna.


The modern city of Bratislava and the Danube River.

The seventeen thousand men conquered the city of Buda without difficulties and secured the surrounding area with minor skirmishes against the remaining janissaries with little difficulty over the rest of the month of June. Emperor Ernest thus sent peace terms to the Ottoman Sultan, announcing that there would be peace once more if Mehmed III recognized the loss of Buda and the lands of Transylvania, as well as recognized Austrian rule over them (Emperor Ernest was also King of Hungary).

Although he was eager to continue the war and humiliate the Austrians, Mehmed was shown by his mother and most trusted advisor, Safiye Sultan, that the Empire had been much weakened by this war and it was time to step back before their loss became too great to bear. Much like Austria, the economy of the Ottoman Empire was in shambles because of the cost of continuing the war.

And so, the Treaty of Buda was signed on August, 14th, 1592, bringing an end to the War of Hungarian Rekonquista that had lasted over six years. In it, Mehmed recognized the loss of Buda and Transylvania, while Ernest promised not to wage war for the remaining parts of Hungary for another thirty years. If either of them broke their part of the treaty, such as Mehmed invading Buda or Transylvania, the other would be allowed to continue what had been left unfinished, like the Reconquering of Hungary.

If any of them was more likely to break the peace, it was Mehmed. As he blamed Ernest for the death of his father, Sultan Murad III, he was determined to see Vienna burned to the ground, and nothing signed in a piece of paper would stop him from doing so.


The Principality of Transylvania. The light part is the one that was once under Turkish control.
Maps really will be the death of me in this timeline, as I venture further and further away from OTL modern borders.

Does anyone know any good map making app btw? I used Paint on the Kingdom of Savoy one, and I'm honestly ready for someone telling me that it's likely to be wrong. I can't for the love of me understand Italian geography and all the maps I could find for the duchies of Milan and Savoy were not from the end of the 16th century, so I just sort of... painted what I thought was correct.
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I use paint too, one thing I found helpful was looking at maps with mountains and rivers and other such things. Since political borders will often follow landmarks, I found those helpful.
Thanks! I think my greatest difficulty is seeing where things are in real life, like Milan's location, rather than natural landmarks. But I appreciate the advice!
Thanks! I think my greatest difficulty is seeing where things are in real life, like Milan's location, rather than natural landmarks. But I appreciate the advice!
Maybe have a map with labelled cities beside the alt map while you are making them? That or have an otl map nearby so you can see what you want to change. I haven’t made maps before though so I don’t know how difficult or easy they are to make.
Maybe have a map with labelled cities beside the alt map while you are making them? That or have an otl map nearby so you can see what you want to change. I haven’t made maps before though so I don’t know how difficult or easy they are to make.
I'm using otl maps to make mine, lol! I'm not as daring as to do it blindly
Fascinating update, especially with the peace between Hungary and the Ottomans... Hopefully the King of Portugal can succeeding in getting rid of his mother's lover...
Chapter Thirty Seven - Burgundian or Dutch
Posted on 12/13/2008 by Maria De Jong.


The flag of Burgundy.

Since I first moved to England, ten years ago, I have been asked many things by those who learn I was born in Amsterdam, Burgundy, but no questions are as frequent as the following: What’s the correct term, Burgundian or Dutch? And isn’t Burgundy also a place in France, re the Duke of Burgundy? Well, to answer shortly, both and yes. Confusing? Well, why don’t you sit down, get yourself a nice cup of tea, relax, because things are about to get more complicated.

Like many other countries in the world, Burgundy is not made up of just one ethnicity, just one culture. In fact, we have many different cultural groups residing within the borders, which I personally think is more fun. For example, about 20% of our population is Portuguese, and they are mostly located in the south, around the territory known as Luxembourg. Dutch people just happen to be the majority, and there were times, where they were mostly the ones doing the traveling and meeting of the foreigners, making people believe that everyone who is born in Burgundy is Dutch, though that is far from the truth.

The country is so diverse that although our two official languages are Dutch and French, more on that later, we have other seven recognized minor languages, with official status inside our borders. They are German, Luxembourgish, West Frisian, Low Saxon, Limburgish, Flemish, and the Walloon language. So why should we all be called Dutch, when some of us aren’t?


Language map of Burgundy.

If you are getting confused by this, let me give you an example: England and Wales. Don’t call English someone who is Welsh, or you might offend them! It’s basically the same thing. Someone born in Burgundy is Burgundian. Someone from the Dutch culture is Dutch!

And about French Burgundy. To explain this, you must first learn the history of my country.

Burgundy, as we know it today, began at the end of the 16th century with an important King named John, or Johan in Dutch. John was born in Madrid, Spain, and he was the son of King Philip II. Philip was also the ruler of the seventeen provinces known then as the Low Countries, or the Netherlands (if you want to understand this name, see my post about the geography of Burgundy, here). The seventeen provinces didn’t like Spanish rule, so King Philip decided to do as his father had done, and divide his lands amongst his two sons, so at least someone of the family would rule there, as the Habsburgs are known for trying their damned hardest to keep their vast inheritances in Habsburg hands. To his eldest son, also named Philip, Philip II gave the bulk of the Spanish empire, while John was set to inherit the Low Countries. Two-year-old John was thus sent to Flanders, to be raised as a Dutch, so his subjects wouldn’t feel like a foreigner was ruling over them.

Alright, but what does everything have to do with the two Burgundies? Well, Philip II claimed the title of Duke of Burgundy, the French one, because he was a descendant of Mary of Burgundy, last ruler of the House of Valois-Burgundy, who was the ruler of the Netherlands. Her dad, Charles the Bold, ruled over vast tracts of land in Europe, but sadly died before he could make himself a King. Since he had no son, the Dukedom of Burgundy was taken by the French, because of Salic law. Generations of Habsburg rulers had tried to take those lands back, but the French held on fast to them. They held that land so fast that by the time Philip II died and John ascended to the throne, there was basically no hope of him regaining the territories.


But the name remained in use. John thought that the lands he inherited wouldn’t survive on a personal union alone, that coupled with the desire to be of the same rank as his older brother, caused him to decide to unite the Seventeen Provinces under one kingdom, one law. This was the Union of Flanders, in 1594. Because his relatives called him the Duke of Burgundy, John chose Burgundy as the name of his new Kingdom, a name that was accepted by most of Europe.

Except for France. France hated this. The King of France, Henry III, was the first cousin of John (their mothers were sisters) and he sent many angry letters to his cousin, demanding to know if he intended to go to war for French Burgundy. Henry also prohibited the title of Kingdom of Burgundy to be used, declaring instead that his cousin’s country would be called Kingdom of the Netherlands, or le Royaume des Pays-Bas. This was a terrible diplomatic crisis that could have escalated to war if John wasn’t such a clever man, nor had he inherited his mother's tactful diplomacy.

At his instigation, the two kings met on 14 July 1595 in Menen, at the border. Henry was accompanied by his wife and mother, Mary Eleanor of Spain and Anna of Austria, while John was with his wife, Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau. Together, the two kings brought over five hundred courtiers and servants to observe as they decided what would be the one. For two weeks, the two cousins bargained, discussed, argued, made declarations of love, and feasted with each other. In the end, it was decided: John and his descendants would not attempt to conquer the Duchy of Burgundy for themselves, and Henry would recognize the proposed borders, as well as the name Kingdom of Burgundy (French: Royaume de Bourgogne. Dutch: Koninkrijk der Bourgondië). The two kings also promised not to wage war against each other, or join wars that threatened the other for ten years. Henry’s daughter, Anne Elisabeth was also promised in marriage to John’s eldest son, also called John. This last decision displeased John’s older brother, Philip, whose daughter Louise had been informally betrothed to her cousin (don’t we love the Habsburgs?), but his displeasure meant nothing.


A modern depiction of the meeting between King John I and King Henry III. Guess which one is the French?

And so this is the end. A long explanation, and a short answer. Two in one. I hope you understood everything and if you didn’t, just drop a comment down below and I will try to answer you as soon as possible!