Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Nov 29, 2018.
Chapter 57: Lady Jane Grey
When they had first come to Scotland, Jane had found it to be quite depressing. It rained all the time, the people were gruff and well there was little to do. Then she had become friends with a few of the girls about the court, and had gotten to know little Princess Mary and of course the Duke of Rothesay and things had gotten better. And then her father had told her she was to be betrothed to marry the Duke and well she had not know what to feel about that. She was a full three years older than the Duke, and though he was heir to the throne, he was not the person she had had her eye on. Though of course now things were changing. She was making a concerted effort to get to know her future husband, and well she found she actually quite liked him.
They were out walking in the gardens of Stirling Castle, and enjoying the rare burst of sunshine. As was proper she waited for her betrothed to speak. “You know something, Jane,” they had dispensed with formalities some time ago. “I think I can understand now why Edward Bruce made that deal with the English commander about Stirling.”
Her betrothed was an avid reader of history and so Jane had taken to it to, and found she quite enjoyed it herself. “And why is that, James?” It still felt so odd saying her betrothed’s actual name and not his title.
“Because he was counting on the English King coming to rescue the garrison.” James replied.
“What makes you say so?” She replied.
“The fact that Stirling was the last bastion of English power in Scotland and that if the garrison surrendered then Edward would face complete humiliation and likely another rebellion by his barons.” James said.
Jane thought on it and then said. “Indeed, I think you are right, James. Though it was quite the gamble by Edward Bruce. He would not have known whether his brother’s forces could defeat the English in open battle. And of course he could not have known that his brother would so readily agree to this battle.”
James looked at her and asked. “You think he was being foolish?”
“I think he was being a man, and a man who wanted to move from his brother’s shadow.” Jane said.
James looked intrigued by what she had said and as they kept walking he asked. “What would you have done?”
“I would never have made the agreement, instead I would have found someone who knew the way into the castle through an entrance the English did not know about and I would have taken the castle that way.” Jane replied.
Intrigued, James asked. “But how do you know the English would not have expected that, given the way the Scots had been fighting until then?”
“Exactly, they had fought that way on the ground. Taking a castle is another thing.” Jane said.
They sat down then, with their chaperone being a few feet away. Jane saw her betrothed look at the chaperone with disgust. “I don’t understand why we need that person there following us. Guards I can understand, but why them?”
“It is to ensure neither of us do something we would later regret, James.” Jane said, daring to take her betrothed’s hand in hers.
“But what would we do?” James asked.
Jane wanted to say a lot of things, but instead she simply said. “Adults worry unnecessarily about a lot of things. Better to let them have this than not.”
“I suppose so.” James said.
Deciding to change the topic, Jane asked. “What have you learned in your lessons with the Honourable John Knox?” She had secretly gone to listen to one of his sermons the other day and found him a fascinating speaker. He toed the King’s line of reform, but spoke with ferocious passion that she shared.
“He spoke about how we as rulers need to do more for the people, under God’s word. That we need not always follow Rome’s example for things to do. That we innately know right from wrong being God’s chosen.” James said.
Jane could tell that confused her betrothed and so she asked. “Do you not agree?”
“I don’t know. I just find it hard to see that with what we are taught by the Church.” James said. “And it does sound oddly like heresy to say that we should not be listening constantly to Rome.”
Jane thought on that and then replied. “I think that perhaps what the Honourable Knox is saying is that, instead of always looking to Rome, think for yourself about what should be done and whether or not that fits with the Church’s teachings. After all you deign authority from God, above all else.”
“I see. I suppose that makes sense.” James said. “I really do like these walks of ours.” Her betrothed said.
This should intrigue you @FalconHonour, will be curious to see your thoughts
I have just squeaked. I love the dynamics that are blossoming here. I am currently working, so can't give you any fully coherent thoughts, but suffice it to say I am very happy
Glad to hear it
Chapter 58: War
Henri looked at the situation before him and sighed. “We are never going to be able to take the English down unless we push ahead, this delay is unacceptable.”
“Sire, we are not within range for our cannons. If we advance without that, the English are liable to push ahead and ensure we can never get within range.” Louis, Duke of Montpensier said.
“We do not care!” Henri said. “We know that if we remain seated here we are going to spend the winter watching our advantages slip away and that is something we cannot allow.”
Montpensier said nothing, but Montmercy said. “Sire, perhaps there is another way we can engage in action before the end of the campaign season without needing to expose the entire army to the conditions.”
“We are listening.” Henri said. He liked Montmercy for the fact that the man never said nothing was possible, instead he thought of solutions and took the appropriate action to make it happen.
“I suggest we station two to three thousand men on the ride outside the town. This will make the English think we are preparing for an immediate assault. They will also expect that we are going to bring the cannons there as well. Instead, we keep the cannons here, we let the men on the ridge begin to make as though they are going to charge the town, we then take the main body of the host toward the borders of the Pale and we begin taking those towns.” Montmercy said.
Henri looked at the man and said. “We do not see how that benefits us.”
Montmercy looked at him as though he were an idiot. Slowly the man said. “Sire, by sending those men toward the ridge, the English will brace for an immediate attack on Calais itself, thinking that we will send the full might of the army here toward it. But if we then divert attention toward the border towns we will secure supplies and a proper route for when winter comes. Thus, making it harder for the Calais garrison and army there to truly do anything.”
Henri thought on this for a moment and then asked. “Are those towns defended heavily?” He knew he needed to achieve something. He had sent the Prince of Conde off to fight the Spanish in Italy, with an army he was not entirely sure he should have given him, and he needed to take Calais to show he was not his father.
“They have between them some two thousand men within them, Sire.” Montmercy said. “One of their commanders though is related to the Queen of England.”
That got his interest. “Oh?” Henri said. He thought on it for a moment and then decided. “Then we shall take the men to these towns and take this relative.” He looked at Montpensier and said. “You shall command the two thousand men on the ridge.”
“Yes Sire.” The man replied.
Chapter 59: Calais
“Your Royal Highness, after looking through the provisions and supplies, I would say we have enough to last into the new season before we need to start worrying about provisions.” The Earl of Pembroke said. Luis liked the man he was straight forward and held no airs.
“And what about the enemy?” Luis asked. If the French were going to be foolish enough to besiege Calais he wanted to know whether they would be able to survive or not.
“I would say that with the King of France having taken the bordering towns, they should be reasonably supplied as well.” Pembroke said.
Luis nodded. The French had made a surprising move months ago and taken two of the border towns on the edge of the Pale. He had been there a few days before they had arrived but had been in Calais when they had fallen. “I see.” He thought on it for a moment and then said. “Then we need to rethink our plan.”
“Your Royal Highness?” Pembroke asked sounding confused.
“We cannot rightly stick to our current plan of outlasting the French when they have supplies coming in from the south. No, we must either force them into battle, or look to pull more supplies from England. Given that it is winter, and that the French fleet is patrolling the channel I doubt that would be advisable.” Luis said. “Therefore, we shall need to think of ways to force them out into the open.”
Pembroke seemed as if he did not quite know what to say in response, instead it was the Earl of Surrey who spoke. “Your Royal Highness, perhaps we might need to think of a divergence just as the French did.”
“Go on.” Luis said. He was intrigued by the Earl of Surrey, the man seemed quite controversial to his fellow peers, but it was undeniable that he had a brain in his head.
“Well, my suggestion is quite simple, Your Royal Highness. We have fewer men than the French therefore they will think that we shall remain in Calais behind strong walls and defences. They will not expect us to divide our host up and sending one portion of it outside to retake one of the border towns.” Surrey said.
Pembroke spoke then. “Such a thing would be akin to madness. We are less than half the size of the French army, we cannot sustain such a divergence and not suffer huge losses.”
“Yes, but the surprise it will cause the French will give them pause and make them think twice about continuing their long standing siege of Calais. Furthermore, if we do this, then we give the Spanish breathing room as well.” Surrey said.
“Surrey is right.” Luis said. He had received a letter from his wife some two weeks ago, which had spoken about the word coming from the Spanish King, that his son was moving into Aquitaine and Gascony with a large force that would likely distract the French as well.
“Your Royal Highness such a move would be madness.” Pembroke said again.
“Would you rather our army starved?” Luis demanded.
“No, Your Royal Highness, of course not.” Pembroke replied.
“Then we shall do as Surrey advises. In three days’ time, I want a small force prepared and ready. We shall prepare a feint toward the French occupied towns and then move from there.” Luis said.
“Who shall command?” Pembroke asked.
“Someone easily disposable.” Luis said to Pembroke.
“Derby, Your Royal Highness.” Pembroke said instantly.
“Then Derby it is.” Luis said.
@VVD0D95 Can I get a Kitty update? It’s been awhile since we’ve seen her.
Hmm what would you want to see in her POV?
Well, is she still scheming? Is she happy? Is Culpepper still alive? What happened to the kid she was pregnant with when we saw her last? What are her thoughts on Mary's reign and foreign policy? Any of these! Also, doesn't have to be her pov unless you'd like to use it.
Alrighty . I imagine if she is scheming, she's definitely angling for a promotion in the nobility for her husband for sure.
Oh, for sure!
I may have lost track of my Howards- is Surrey Henry Howard (executed late in Henry VIII's reign IOTL) or someone else?
The man executed by Surrey
Surrey was a Howard, he wouldn't have executed a Howard Do you mean by Henry VIII?
Lol yes my bad aha
Chapter 60: Scheming Kitty
“Thomas is away hunting, but he should be back shortly. Thank you for coming Dorothy, I know it must be hard for you to be away from court given your daughters are there.” Katherine said, knowing that by playing on the woman before her feelings for her daughters she’d make her more amenable to what she wanted to discuss.
“Oh it was no trouble whatsoever. I have missed you, Your Majesty. And court is not as fun as it once was.” Dorothy Howard, Countess of Derby by marriage to the Earl of Derby replied.
“Oh?” Katherine asked, though she was well aware of the nature of her stepdaughter’s court.
“Yes, it seems our Queen prefers the sombreness of the church over the pageantry that would keep her lords and ladies happy.” Dorothy said. “It must be her Portuguese husband’s influence.”
Katherine hummed, she suspected that it was more that Queen Mary herself did not like those things compared to any influence her husband might have. But Dorothy was the sort who allowed her husband to dictate everything she did, so she let that go. Instead, she said. “And what word do you bring from court?” She feigned ignorance, but knew full well what stories Dorothy would tell her.
“Well, there is some discontent at court amongst some of the lords over the appointment of the Duke of Lancaster as overall commander of English troops in France.” Dorothy said.
As she had thought, Dorothy was telling her things she already knew. Still, she wanted the minute details so she asked. “And why is that? The Duke has experience in battle.”
“Yes, but Your Majesty, he is a foreigner. The Queen insisted that the Duke be given command instead of someone such as Pembroke who knows more about the French then anyone left alive today.” Dorothy said.
That much was true, but Pembroke was some stubborn idiot, he was not someone Katherine had ever liked. “I see. And who do you think should have been appointed commander, my lady?”
Katherine could almost predict the answer the woman before her was going to give. “Why my husband of course, Your Majesty. The Earl is the most experienced commander that we have, and he served with King Henry during all of his wars in France and the continent from the 1530s. Pembroke did as well, but it was my husband who was appointed captain general the last time the King went to war.”
Katherine thought on that and said. “You are right of course, my lady, but the Duke of Lancaster is a healthy man, and he is the Queen’s husband. It would not be right to honour him with the post of commander of all the forces.”
“Pah. He is a foreigner; no foreigner should hold command of the forces.” The Countess replied.
“In that we are in agreement.” She said. A moment of silence passed between them then.
The Countess then asked. “And what of you, Your Majesty, how have you been?”
“Well enough.” Katherine replied. “Thomas and I have found some comfort in our home and our lands. And our daughter is doing well.” Little Mary named for the Queen of course, but with another purpose. She was pregnant with another child who she hoped would be a son.
“Ah that’s good.” The Countess said she then asked the question Katherine had been waiting for. “Will you be returning to court any time soon, Your Majesty?”
“That entirely depends on if our Queen wants me there.” Katherine said.
“I will be sure to put in a good word. I am sure the Queen would want you there to ensure she can have her family with her.” The Countess said.
Here you go @HRH Cecily
The question now is, can she make a comeback?
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