Flower O'Scotland

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 74: Foreign Policy

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 74: Foreign Policy

    September, 1557

    James blinked. It was getting harder to stay awake with the long hours he was working. Jane kept telling him he needed to take more rest, but he knew that if he did that, things wouldn’t happen. There were too many people trying to prevent him achieving what needed to be achieved. And so here he was, desperately fighting to stay awake during one of the most important meetings of the day and the week.

    “Say it again.” He commanded.

    “Of course, Sire.” Sinclair said. “It is my understanding that with the death of her daughter Princess Katherine, Queen Mary has given over more power to her husband His Royal Highness the Duke of Lancaster as well as His Grace the Duke of Somerset. Consequently, it is both of them who we should be interacting with.”

    James nodded. He couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a child. The thought of either his Mary or James dying terrified him. “And have either man talked about a desire for renewed conflict?” He asked. He had listened to the border lords and heard their worries about raiding.

    “No, Sire. From what Lennox says, it was simply something that Northumberland did. The Duke of Lancaster has spoken with Northumberland and has written to say that it will not happen again.” Sinclair responded.

    James nodded, he extended a hand for the letter which Sinclair duly passed to him. It was not that he did not trust Sinclair-after all his father had trusted the man- it was simply that he preferred to see these things with his own two eyes. He read the letter and then put it down. “Very well, send word to Douglas and others, tell them to be safe and to keep an extra watch on the borders. We in particular want Lochmaeben garrisoned properly.”

    “Yes, Sire.” Sinclair said making a note of that.

    “Sire, would that not risk antagonising the English and making them think that we are preparing for a war?” Robert Maxwell, Lord Maxwell asked.

    “No.” James replied simply. “It is a simple measure. Lochmaeben is a strategically viable castle and one we must ensure never falls into enemy hands.” Who those enemies where he did not say. He was not foolish he knew where the trouble might come from. James then turned to the Earl of Atholl and asked him. “And what of France?”

    Atholl was a good man, leal and true and someone James knew he could count on when the time came for war. “Sire, France is looking toward experiencing trouble.”

    “How so?” James asked.

    “The regent Dowager Queen Catherine has alienated some of the more prominent nobles including King Antoine through allying strongly with the House of Guise.” Atholl said. James leaned forward intrigued, hearing about his mother’s relatives always interested him.

    “Go on.” He commanded.

    Atholl hesitated for a moment but then continued. “Sire, the Duke of Guise is pushing for a more hard line stance towards those who practice the reformed faith, or as they are known within France Huguenots. He believes they challenge the very integrity of France and as such deserve the strictest of punishments.”

    James found himself agreeing with his uncle, but remembered something Jane had once told him and asked. “Have they done anything to invoke such suspicion?”

    “No Sire.” Atholl replied. “All they have done is follow their own faith and pay their obedience to the King.”

    “And have any measures been introduced?” James asked.

    “There are measures which have reduced the number of Huguenots who can assemble in any one place. They cannot bear arms, and they cannot attend private ceremonies. Something which contradicts the assurances that King Henri gave them.” Atholl said.

    “But no one has been killed?” James asked.

    “Not yet, Sire.” Atholl replied.

    “But you think it will happen?” James asked.

    “I do, Sire.” Atholl replied. “There are too many vested interests in making sure France is one way or the other. Antoine wants the throne of France, and Guise wants his children close to power.”

    “We see.” James responded. “This leads us to our next point. Our sister Mary is now of an age to wed. The question is who. We shall not marry her to France, and Spain has no one of appropriate age.”

    “Sire, Prince Frederick of Denmark is available and he is a man grown and heir to the throne of Denmark and Norway. It would help us re-establish a network within the northern sea and provide another trade route.” Sinclair said.

    “Prince Frederick is a great deal older than Her Royal Highness though.” Atholl pointed out. “Furthermore, the English are also looking to bring Denmark within their sphere of influence. Personally, Sire, I would favour Prince Erik of Sweden or his brother Prince John. Both are from a Kingdom that is on the rise and would be far more beneficial for trade.”

    “Prince Erik is older than Prince Frederick, and his brother stands to inherit nothing.” Sinclair retorted.

    Atholl went to say something, but James interrupted. “Sinclair is right. We shall send an offer to the King of Denmark and renew that old alliance.”
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  2. FriendlyGhost Haunting history for 45+ yrs

    Very nice - the divergences from OTL are getting bigger - religion, alliances, etc.

    Just one small nit-pick (sorry, bad habit of mine): you wrote 'Atholl was a good man, leal and loyal...' Leal means loyal, so this sounds a bit strange - a more common phrase, iirc, was 'leal and true.'
  3. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Glad you like it!

    And ahhh, thanks, will change that :)
    Kerney likes this.
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 75: A Grieving Father Must Rule

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 75: A Grieving Father Must Rule

    December, 1557

    Luis rubbed his eyes. He was tired and ill. But he had promised Marie that he would help her as much as he could and if that meant attending council meetings whilst she spent time with their only surviving daughter, then so be it. It gave him something to do, rather than sit helplessly at Maria’s bedside as she too succumbed to the illness which had taken her sister.

    Luis cleared his throat and then asked. “What is the situation with France? Edward, you had said you had something?”

    Edward, Duke of Somerset one of the few Englishmen that Luis found he could tolerate nowadays spoke. “Your Royal Highness, reports from our ambassador and from Calais suggest that the situation in France is getting worse. The Guise family are increasingly dominating the court of King Charles and are leaving the Bourbons out of the council of the King. Consequently, they are pursuing policies which are harming the Protestant minority in the country and also infringing on their rights.”

    Luis found that he did not care. If heretics were being punished so be it, but he knew that Somerset and one or two other members of this council had once been Protestants so he bit his tongue there, and instead asked. “Do you think it will break out into war?”

    “I do not know, Sire.” Somerset answered honestly. “Personally, I would not be surprised. Antoine, King of Navarre has support of the southern French nobility and the Guise have support from the northern nobility. There are long standing grievances there. It will take just one thing to spark a rebellion.”

    Luis considered this. “Should a war break out in France, then there would no doubt be people fleeing from their homes towards a place which they would consider neutral. Mainly Calais. Do we have the necessary procedures in place to ensure we are not swarmed with people?” He knew Calais, it was a town that could not hold more than the current population.

    Pembroke spoke then as Minister for War. “Your Royal Highness, we have enough supplies for the current population and perhaps an extra one thousand people. But that is it. Should the French decide to send people our way we would have no choice but to repel them.”

    Not for the first time, Luis felt slightly aggrieved that his wife and her countrymen placed such a high importance on Calais. It was nothing more than an albatross around their necks. “And one or more of the factions might use it to attack us to draw support.” Luis surmised.

    “Then perhaps we should move some our main procedures away from Calais toward the outer reaches of the Pale, closer to Bolougne. There the French would struggle to get involved without involving the Spanish.” Pembroke said.

    Luis considered this and then said. “Very well, I shall give the request to Her Majesty and then we shall proceed from there.” Pembroke nodded. There was a brief moment of silence and then Luis asked. “Now, was there anything else?” He hoped there was, he did not want to have to return to his chambers to find Maria there crying.

    “There was, Your Royal Highness.” Cranmer said. Luis did not like the man but looked at him all the same.

    “Speak.” Luis commanded.

    “There was an incident in Devon a week ago, where a lawyer by the name of Charles Baker was stabbed to death by three men, all of whom were Catholics. They claimed that Baker had cheated them of their coin whilst he gave them legal advice.”

    “What happened to these three men?” Luis asked.

    “They are currently facing sentencing.” Cranmer said. “But Baker was a Protestant, Your Royal Highness. A Lutheran.”

    “So, he was a heretic.” Luis said.

    “By the law of the land, yes.” Cranmer said.

    Luis wanted to ask the man what he meant by that, but instead said. “So, why are you bringing this up? The three men murdered a man in cold blood, they are to be punished, what of it?”

    “I am concerned that the judge might well dismiss the case against them, which would then spark all sorts of things.” Cranmer said.

    “Why would the judge do that?” Luis asked.

    “Because they are Catholic and the man they murdered was Protestant and the judge is Catholic, Your Royal Highness.” Cranmer said.

    Luis sighed. “If the judge does that, then he does not deserve to sit the bench.” There was a pause and then Luis added. “I shall visit this judge to ensure he does the right thing.”
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