Flower O'Scotland

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

  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 104: Cecil Spins A Web

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK

    Chapter 104: Cecil Spins A Web

    April, 1564

    William looked at the papers before him and then at the man who had given them to him. “You are sure these are genuine?” He asked.

    “I am positive, my lord.” Francis Walsingham, the chief spy in the network William had developed whilst serving under the Duke of Somerset said. “I have had the network analyse them, they confirm them as genuine.”

    “Dee looked at them?” William asked. He did not like John Dee, but the King liked him and that was good enough for him.

    “He has. He confirmed their legitimacy.” Francis said.

    “Very well.” William said. “That means we were right to keep an eye on Northampton and Ms Stanley.”

    “Indeed, my lord.” Francis said. “I believe that being dismissed for questioning Her Majesty’s judgement on the matter of the inheritance has added a sting to Northampton. He has also been meeting with the Earl of Huntingdon and Lord Clifford to discuss ways to undermine the King and Queen.”

    William sighed. “Such a fragile man that Northampton, one would have thought he would not hold such views. Especially given his relationship with the Queen Dowager.” William had made it his business during his rise at court to keep an eye on the former Queen Dowager, Catherine Howard and her husband maintained a close circle of friends of whom Northampton was one, and the Queen Dowager was a strong lady, so this aversion to strong women that Northampton had was surprising.

    “If I might make a suggestion, my lord?” Francis asked. William nodded and the man continued. “I think that Northampton has no objections to strong women per say, I think he has an objection to the Queen and her family. Before the Queen’s father was sent to Scotland, he was given land that Northampton to this day believes was rightfully his. Furthermore, he believes the insult given to his sister, the Lady Catherine was done on the behest of the Queen.”

    “So, he is taking out his frustrations at his own foolishness on our Queen?” William mused. “How very foolish of him.” He made a note of that and then asked. “And what of other nobles, how have they responded to what the King did?”

    “The nobles at court applaud the King’s decision, they highly respect the Queen and believe that she is far more capable than Northampton. Those further away from court and closer to Northampton, such as the Earl of Warwick have their doubts though Warwick is keeping his mouth shut for now.” Francis said.

    “A wise decision given what his father did.” William said. “What of in Scotland?” He knew the King was keen to make England, Scotland and Ireland fall under one Kingdom known as Britannia, but that would not happen until Scotland’s administrators were in lock step with England’s.

    “Most of the Scottish lords do not seem to care. It seems they are more concerned with the administration of Atholl and Arran and how the King’s brother will turn out.” Francis said.

    “Good.” William said. “How did they respond to Article 1?” He had gotten the official response from Arran some days ago, murmurs of agreement and wanting to move things closer, but needing Parliament’s approval. But he needed to see where things went behind closed doors.

    “Arran is all in favour of it, my lord. he believes Scotland can only benefit from an increase in standing. However, Atholl and the Highlanders are nervous. They are worried that they will lose their way of life if it passes.” Francis said.

    “Very well, begin a rumour that Atholl is looking out for himself, and that any true thinking Scot would abide by their King’s wishes.” William said casually.

    “Yes, my lord.” Francis said. There was a brief pause, and then Francis added. “I have spoken with my friends in Bordeaux, the Prince of Conde is preparing for an assault on Paris in the new campaign season. He wished to know if we will be providing arms or money.”

    William said nothing for a moment, the King had never said directly if he wanted to support the Huguenots, he seemed indifferent and wanted only to protect Calais, but there were others in government who despised Rome and wanted to weaken Catholicism wherever they could. William was not one such, he did as the King bid, and the King had said nothing here. “We shall give them money. Give them the deposits from the granary stores.” He commanded.

    “Yes, my lord.” Francis replied before he bowed and left.

    William looked at the letters on his table and moved them slightly. “Soon enough.” He murmured.
  2. fraa Jad Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2008
    If I may point something out: I've been seeing a lot of "per say" here on AH, to the point that it does not seem to be a typo. It is grating. It is per se. I'm sorry if it was a typo in this particular case.
  3. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Noted :)
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 105: Charles The Timid

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 105: Charles The Timid

    July, 1564

    “Sire, the Duke of Guise writes to say he is closing in on the Huguenot forces commanded by the Prince of Conde. He also writes to say he expects there to be an open battle, not the siege that had previously been reported. It seems that Conde does not wish to chance the defences of Bordeaux.” Cardinal Lorraine said.

    “That is good is it not?” Charles asked. “Bordeaux has never fallen, and I do not wish to see thousands of soldiers die in a useless siege.”

    Lorraine looked torn between nodding and sighing. Charles did not like the man, he was both arrogant and cold. “It is good, Sire. However, I fear that engaging Conde in open battle would be like walking into the mouth of a great beast as its jaws are closing.”

    Charles raised an eyebrow. “How so?”

    “Conde is not a fool, he knows how to work his army, he will be looking for weaknesses and strengths in his army and in ours. And he will then act accordingly.” Lorraine said.

    “As any half decent commander would.” Charles pointed out. He narrowed his eyes. “Are you suggesting you do not have confidence in the Duke of Guise?”

    “Nothing of the sort, Sire. Indeed, I believe the Duke will be the reason we win this battle. I am merely pointing out that it will not be easy.” The Cardinal said.

    “Indeed.” Charles said. He looked at his mother then and said. “We cannot just rely on defeating Conde, for I am sure some other power will try and cause disruption soon enough. We must arrange marriages for both myself and for my brother and sisters.”

    His mother who had barely said anything for most of the time he’d been ruling by himself, suddenly sprang into action. “I agree, Sire. I believe that a marriage between Claude and the Duke of Lorraine would make the most sense. They are of a similar age, and it would strengthen our eastern border. I would recommend a marriage between yourself and a daughter of the Emperor, to show that we are not going to antagonise both Spain and Austria needlessly. I still believe a marriage between Margaret and Prince Henry of Navarre is necessary to secure peace between our two families.”

    “Lorraine and Claude I agree with. However, I do not agree that I should marry an Austrian Princess. I want nothing to do with the Habsburgs. As for Margaret and Navarre? Perhaps when Navarre’s father is dead.” Charles said. “And what about Henry?”

    “I would recommend Catherine of Guise, for Henry.” Mother said. “It is a simple marriage and it comes with a large dowry.”

    Charles nodded, he was never going to marry his brother to the Guises, he needed a way to destroy them, not aid them in their ascent in power. Eventually he said. “Who else other than a Habsburg might I be able to marry?”

    “There is Maria Anna of Portugal, the daughter of King John of Portugal.” Cardinal Lorraine said.

    Charles smiled then. “Yes, I like that. Send word to King John, inform him of my request.”

    “Yes, Sire.” Cardinal Lorraine said.

    Charles smiled. “Soon, we shall force King Philippe out into the open and then his support for the heretics will be exposed.”
  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 106: Desmond

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 106: Desmond

    October, 1564

    Gerald looked at the map spread out before him. His instructions had been quite clear. Find a weakness in the native clans and exploit it for all it was worth. “So, you’re telling me that after centuries of fighting us the McCarthys are finally down to their last man?” He asked looking at his uncle Maurice.

    “Yes, my lord.” Maurice replied. “Their current King Donal has no sons, and his daughters are all married to men under our control. The McCarthys are finished.”

    “How strong is their army?” Gerald asked. He was doing the thinking in his head now.

    “Roughly three thousand strong, my lord.” Maurice responded.

    Gerald nodded. “An easy enough number to surmount with our resources alongside those forces the Lord Deputy is willing to bring.” Gerald smiled at the thought of adding the McCarthy lands to his own. They were rather large lands as it happened, and he knew his father had dreamed of doing so many years ago as well.

    “Indeed, my lord.” Maurice responded.

    William O’Shane, his local advisor spoke then. “I would venture carefully if I were you my lord. The McCarthys might be down to just the one old man, but their tenants will still fight brutally to defend the land that they see as their home. Furthermore, they are all Catholics.” The last word was spat out with some venom.

    Gerald nodded. He had no opinion on the new religion that the King had created, but he knew some in Ireland had taken to it quite strongly. “And yet, Catholic or not they have no support from Rome. And none of the remaining native Kings have dared give them support until now.”

    It was true, The O’Brien and O’Neil clans had resolutely ignored the McCarthys for years now, due to some feud or the other that Gerald was convinced his grandfather had started through a whispering campaign. “That might be so now, my lord, but if they sense the balance shifting too far the other way, they might soon emerge through.” O’Shane said.

    Uncle Maurice snorted. “Why would they suddenly develop extra support? They are isolated, alone and very much down to one man. There is nothing there for anyone to support.”

    William shrugged. “I thought I would mention the possibility. The Irish Kings are known for being unpredictable at the best of times.”

    “You were right to do so.” Gerald said, smiling at William. He made a note to himself that once they had conquered the McCarthy territory to name William a Lord, or rather petition the Lord Deputy to name William a lord. The man had earned that right.

    He took another look at the map and then said. “We shall enter from the northern edges of the territory, flying the flag of St George. We must let them know that they are being conquered in the name of the King of England. And that whatever else they might be, they are to bend the knee at once.”

    There was only one thing that Gerald regretted and that was that they were no longer Catholic, therefore they could not bring the cross in with them to truly show the Irish how they were viewed. It mattered little, sooner or later the whole island would be under the crown’s control. He looked up at his uncle and William and said. “We had best get prepared. We are to leave before winter sets in.”
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 107: Lady Jane

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK

    Chapter 107: Lady Jane

    September, 1565

    Two moons after having had another son and a year after having had their daughter Elizabeth, Jane was about ready to tell her husband that she wanted no more children. However, she also wasn’t ready to stop accepting him into her bed so she kept quiet on that front. James had been somewhat apologetic when they’d learned she was with child. And for that she loved him. Of course now that she had had Alexander, there was another thing they needed to talk about and it was a consequence of her pregnancies.

    “You know, I appreciate that you dismissed the Marquess of Northampton for what he said about me. And I appreciate you including me in the discussion of council business, my love, but I think you have to handle it with more care.” Jane said.

    James who had been massaging her feet looked at her then. “What do you mean? They were saying that just because you are a woman you should not be asked for your view on council business. You are as much my advisor as they are, indeed you are my most important advisor as my wife.”

    Jane smiled, she loved how James held firm against everything their society was telling them was good and right. He set a good example for their children, he truly did, still. “I know that, James, but the lords don’t see it like that. They are all used to being the only voices listened to. We’re lucky that Cecil is so understanding as is Walsingham, but the others? The others are like as not to be formenting discord.”

    “They served under a Queen did they not? Two Queens and a female regent.” James pointed out.

    “Yes, but in those instances, they didn’t have a choice. And the Duke of Norfolk did everything in his power to make sure his niece was discredited.” Jane pointed out.

    Her husband did something that she was so used to their sons James and Arthur doing it almost made her laugh. He placed his arms on top of one another and placed them next to his chest and said. “Well, if they don’t like it they can get on with their lives, for I am not changing.”

    Jane rolled her eyes then and asked. “And what if one of them decides to rebel?”

    “Northampton already tried to arrange one.” James said.

    “He did?” Jane exclaimed.

    “He did. We found evidence of him conspiring with Lady Stanley and the Earl of Huntingdon for an attempted uprising. Stanley has been arrested, Huntingdon was our man on the whole scheme, whilst Northampton will be arrested before the week is done.” James said smiling.

    “What do you plan on doing with him?” Jane asked. She wondered why her husband had not told her this crucial bit of information. She decided she would ask him at a later time.

    “I plan on executing him and placing his head atop the tower hill.” James said simply.

    “A smart decision.” Jane said.

    “I will then give the estates he had accumulated to Arthur, as part of his inheritance as Duke of York.” James said.

    Jane calculated the value of the estates and said. “That will make Arthur one of the richest lords in the realm. Aren’t there a few nobles who have claims to those lands, especially men within the council?”

    James smiled. “And they will have to accept this or face falling out of favour.”

    Jane nodded, she didn’t like the way James was handling this particular piece of news, but supposed it was better than denial. “Very well. At least we have foiled another plot.”

    “Indeed.” James said.
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 108: Lady Margaret

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 108: Lady Margaret

    December, 1565

    William despised the cold and the rain that seemed an ever present fixture in the Hague, but he would bear it for now. This meeting was important as it would determine the fate of the Netherlands for generations to come. Why he’d been chosen as the representative of the dissenting faction he did not know, but it seemed he was the only one that the governor was willing to meet with.

    The governor, Lady Margaret, Duchess of Parma was a sister to King Philip of Spain and was a stern woman who had governed well enough before the troubles had begun. Now they were meeting to prevent those troubles escalating into war. William cleared his throat and spoke. “My lady, thank you for agreeing to meet with me. I come not as a messenger for the dissenting side, but as a man seeking to bring peace between two warring factions, to prevent a war.”

    The Lady nodded. “I know, go on.”

    “My lady, there are concerns abound about the way in which Protestants and other dissenting religious peoples are being treated under the new laws. They are seeing their homes seized, and many are being tried under no law that currently exists in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the inquisition has grown more powerful than we were told it would. All of this is making people nervous. And they wish to see justice done.” William said.

    “What justice would they like to see done?” Margaret asked. “I understand their concerns about the trials, I have written to the King to ask him to rectify such an issue, but I do not know whether I can stop the inquisition.”

    William nodded he had expected as much and had told Horn and others just that. “I understand, my lady. I do think that the best way to proceed is to ensure that the laws His Majesty is trying to implement are thoroughly investigated by judges and lawyers to make sure that they are in accordance with our traditions and beliefs. Meaning no insult to you of course, my lady.”

    “None taken.” Margaret said. “I shall speak with Jan, and see what can be done there.” A pause and then. “However, I have some concerns I wish to raise myself.”

    “My lady?” William asked, he had somewhat been expecting this, but it was still a surprise.”

    “There has been many a report that has comet o me of churches being sacked and their imagery destroyed. This is not acceptable. The dissenters cannot demand peace and tolerance when they refuse to tolerate others as well. And the last time I saw any information on this, Catholics were the majority in the Netherlands.” Margaret said.

    William bowed his head, he had told Horn and others that this would be brought up, they had dismissed it. “I understand your concerns, my lady, and will tell you that it is only a small minority of dissenters who result to such barbarous tactics. Most dissenters simply wish to worship in peace. I shall try my hardest to find those doing these terrible acts and have them punished accordingly.”

    Lady Margaret nodded. “Very well, since we have discussed our mutual concerns, enough of this talk. Let us have a drink, talk about some more pleasurable activites and then move on with our lives.”

    William nodded, though he sensed this would not be the end of the issue. “Yes, my lady.”
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 109: Anger

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 109: Anger

    May, 1566

    “We have given them their concessions, we have confined the Inquisition to only those areas with a majority Catholic area, and still they demand more.” Felipe said feeling his blood boil as he read the letter from his sister. “Perhaps it was a mistake to give them the concessions in the first instance. They shall never be happy.”

    Francisco Godoy his foreign minister spoke then. “Sire, I would recommend implementing a subtle change in direction.”

    “What do you mean?” Felipe demanded.

    “Why not have those printing papers start printing material that shows directly the benefits of the changes. Her Ladyship has said that the printers are not printing anything positive on her orders, so perhaps from yours they will?” Francisco suggested.

    “We should not have to have printers show the good work we have done. It should be self evident.” Felipe complained.

    “But it is not, Sire. Therefore, you must do something to change the tide.” Francisco said.

    “Why not simply declare war?” Juan Rodrigo his War Minister asked.

    “Because such a thing would be costly and would provoke outright rebellion. They are dissenters not traitors.” Godoy countered.

    “They are dissenters religiously, we all know that means they follow the heretical faiths. There is no other faith than the true faith. We have the right reasons for the war right there.” Rodrigo said.

    “And yet His Holiness has said that he wishes no more wars against dissenters only understanding and working together.” Godoy said.

    “Sire, you cannot allow for this to go unchallenged. They are trying to change things with the Netherlands and will corrupt everyone there.” Rodrigo said.

    Felipe banged his fist on the table. “Enough! We will not invade and declare war on them. instead, we shall simply remind them of the benefits that they have now.” He changed the topic now and asked. “What word from our brother?”

    He had entrusted his brother, John of Austria with leading Spanish forces as part of the Holy Alliance and desperately hoped for some good news. Godoy spoke then. “Cyprus has been defended. Northern Egypt has fallen under Lord John’s control, and other forces are now moving toward Tripoli and other assorted territories. Indeed, there has been talk of freeing the Greek Islands themselves.”

    Felipe listened to this and then said. “Northern Egypt has been claimed for us of course?” He did not phrase it as a question, but that was what it was.

    “Yes, Sire. His Holiness has agreed to that. However, there is some concern than the Ottomans might finally be done with their infighting.” Godoy said.

    “And who has emerged as the winner?” Felipe asked.

    “Prince Suleyman, and he has declared before all those who supported him that he intends to retake every territory that has been lost, and he will force an attack on Cyprus and even Malta.” Godoy said.

    Felipe looked at the man and said. “Then the time has come for the putting aside of individual tension. Write to the French and tell them we wish to strike an alliance against the Turks.”

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

    “And tell them we offer our son Don Carlos for their daughter Princess Margaret.” Felipe said.

    “Yes, Sire.” Godoy said.
  9. Threadmarks: Chapter 110: Arran

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 110: Arran

    November, 1566

    James Hamilton, Duke of Arran looked at the papers before him and mused on how much things had changed. Lennox was gone, many years dead now, his wife and children were residing in some hovel in Lennox, not as the rulers, but instead simply as Lords of Darnley. James had taken control of the estates that Lennox had had in the west and the centre of Scotland, greatly adding to his wealth. He also had a Dukedom one of the few to hold that honour in Scotland alongside his fellow governor the Duke of Atholl. Yes, he was very happy with how things were going.

    He cleared his throat and spoke. “Gentlemen, we know why we are here. There are two Bishops who refuse to preach from the Common Book of Prayer that His Majesty instituted following the great council all those years ago. Both these Bishops swore an oath to respect the will of the King, therefore they are committing treason. However, they claim there is nothing we can do to them. I wish to know whether this is true.”

    “Your Grace,” John Lyon, Lord of Glamis and Lord Chancellor said. “I have looked through the articles of the law pertaining to this case, and to me it seems that the Bishops are operating under the old system.”

    “Meaning?” James asked.

    “Meaning that before we broke with Rome, they could not be tried under a civil court for breaking oaths sworn to the King, only a Papal court. But since the break with Rome they have come under civil authority, per the articles issued by His Royal Highness the Duke of Albany. Therefore, we can indeed try them for treason.” Lyon replied.

    James smiled. That was the news he had been hoping for. “And do you think this will go by without much complaint?”

    Atholl spoke then. “We both know that there will be complaints from the two Bishops but they and the people cannot do anything. The law is the law.”

    “Indeed, it is.” James responded. “Send out the writs and summons. It is time we sorted that mess out.”

    “Yes, Your Grace.” Lyon said.

    Atholl then took charge of the conversation. “We must speak on the matter of the proposed union that His Majesty has brought before us all.”

    James nodded, he agreed with the King, they would be better placed to face of against the Spanish if they were united as one nation. “I believe that the King’s proposal is a sensible one. The Spanish and the French will continue to try and play us against His Majesty’s government in England if we are not united. We are loyal subjects here and our interests are aligned with England’s because we share a common King. Furthermore, His Majesy has agreed that we shall have equal representation in the Lords, therefore, I believe we must agree.”

    Lyon spoke then. “The King has also agreed that there would be separation of laws, and that Scots Law would apply in Scotland and English law in England. There is nothing much I can find fault with.”

    The Earl of Crawford spoke then. “And the fact that Parliament in Edinburgh will be meant useless, that we shall pay taxes to London now?”

    “A fair exchange for getting more sway over the continent and His Majesty.” James said.

    “Shall we put it to a vote?” Atholl asked.

    “Yes.” James said immediately.

    “Very well, those in favour?” Atholl asked.

    “Aye!” James said raising his hand as did Atholl, Glamis and Huntly.

    “Those against?” Atholl asked.

    “Aye,” Crawford said raising his hand alongside Argyll.

    “Those in favour have it.” Atholl said. “We shall write to His Majesty expressing our support.”
  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 111: Parliament

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 111: Parliament

    April, 1567

    The first day of the new Parliamentary session. James had trooped in dressed in all his regalia knowing that the first thing he would do was speak of the Act of Union currently needing to be passed by the Lords. He straightened out and watched as his wife fiddled with something on her dress. He took her hand and squeezed it. She squeezed back then they pulled apart as the Lord Chamberlain spoke.

    “Gentlemen, be prepared for the speech from the throne.”

    The lords fell silent, and all eyes turned to James. Though he had given this speech some eleven times already, he still felt nervous each time he prepared for it. This time he took a breath and said. “My lords, we sit before you now, King of three Kingdoms. However, due to the actions of the Scottish Parliament in passing the Act of Union there remains only two Kingdoms needed for this bill to be passed and become law. We know there are those of you with concerns about the act, and we are willing to hear them. However, we fully believe that this act is something that is necessary for the security and safety of our great nation. We were once one Kingdom ruled by a legendary King. We do not claim to be King Arthur, but we do admit that there are benefits to us for this also. The Parliament of Ireland is now considering the Act of Union and is due to pass it later this morning. We would be much obliged if we could hear your thoughts now.”

    There was a brief pause, then the Duke of Somerset sat on his left hand side stood up and spoke. “Sire, we understand why you wish for the act to be passed. However, how do we know that we won’t be swarmed with Scots and Irishmen the moment the bill becomes law?” There was some murmuring at that, suggesting some level of agreement.

    “You would know that had you read the bill itself, that there are limits to the number of Scottish and Irish lords that can sit in the Lords. Together they would number two hundred and fifty. Whereas there are currently six hundred peers in this chamber right now and more who have not yet attended.” James responded.

    There was some murmuring at this and Somerset back down embarrassed, he was nothing like his great father and was more of a fool. Another person, this time the Duke of Suffolk rose. “Sire, we appreciate that there has been a great deal of thought and process put into this bill. Yet surely you can understand that we would harbour reservations? Scotland has long been a Kingdom that has been hostile to England, and to see some nobles in the house who would have once fought against us is something that makes some of us feel uneasy.”

    Wars that were started because the English couldn’t accept that the Scots had their own right to sovereignty. James thought to himself, aloud he only said. “We understand that. However, the Scots have shown their loyalty time and time again. We request that you consider this bill with good intentions.” He stopped then and nodded to the Lord Chamberlain.

    The man stepped forward and said. “Voting shall commence soon.”

    James got up with his wife and walked out of the room toward the chambers where he would sit and wait for the vote. Once he arrived there, the doors were closed shut. He turned to Jane and asked. “How do you think it will go?”

    Jane said nothing for a moment and then. “I know that my father will vote for the act, and I know that so too will Warwick and Somerset. I’m not sure about the others. You spoke well though.”

    James nodded. “I still don’t see why these people are so hesitant for the act to go forward. The Scots share the same religion as them, they share the same royal family and it would remove them as a potential invasion threat.”

    Jane sighed and said. “Old prejudices do not die quickly, my love.”

    “It would seem not.” James grumbled.

    They fell into silence then, Jane reading some pamphlet that spoke of something to do with Calvin, and James reading through a letter that had come from Sir Francis to do with the growing tension in France. Eventually, the door opened and James folded the letter and put it back into his coat. “What news?” He asked.

    The Lord Chamberlain smiled. “The vote came back in favour, Sire. all votes in favour, none against.”

    “Excellent.” James said as Jane clapped.
  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 112: Guardian Moray

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK

    Chapter 112: Guardian Moray

    November, 1567

    The King was coming to Edinburgh at the end of the month to declare his brother officially of age and to allow him to assume his duty as lieutenant of Scotland. To that end James had decided to meet with his brother and see what the boy had learned in the time he had been under his tutelage. As he looked at him now, James saw a lot of their father in him, he was tall with dark hair and darker eyes, he had a slight scar under his right eye where he’d been hit during a joust.

    “Tell me, Robert, what do you think of Atholl and Arran” James asked. It was important that the boy give a clear and concise view of the two of them, due to their position and power in Scotland.

    “I believe that Arran is capable but is also very grasping. Indeed, I am surprised he has not yet suggested a marriage for myself and his granddaughter.” Robert responded. “Atholl is quieter, and more reserved. But he is smarter as well. He knows the ways to move within the workings of government.”

    “And which of the two of them do you think is more dangerous?” James asked.

    “Dangerous?” Robert asked raising an eyebrow.

    “This is Scotland, and even if we are now officially part of Britain, there will be those who seek to do all sorts of things to the realm. Arran and Atholl are likely to be rallying figures for them, given their years of ruling here. So, which one do you think is more dangerous?” James explained.

    Robert said nothing for a moment, indeed he seemed to be deep in thought on the matter. Eventually he replied. “I think they are both dangerous, but in different ways.”

    “Elaborate.” James said.

    “I think Arran is dangerous because he schemes, he never stops scheming. He is always thinking, planning and plotting. He wants to achieve something and so he goes about his way to try and achieve it. Atholl is quieter, more reserved but also smarter. He knows how to tell which way the wind is blowing and he will follow that direction. And when he does, he will ensure to take over that direction.” Robert said.

    “And how would you deal with both men?” James asked.

    Again Robert said nothing for a moment, and then. “With Arran I would ensure that he is kept close. I would include him in my councils but I would never reveal everything. I would always make it so that I hold the cards, not he.”

    “A smart choice.” James said, and one he had considered himself.

    “As for Atholl,” Robert said. “I would perhaps take his son as my friend and confidante and therefore ensure that he is tied to me through family.”

    “Why?” James asked surprised, that was not how he would’ve approached it.

    “Atholl is someone that is hard to read.” Robert said. “I think that is the only way to ensure he does not do something that could potentially jeopardize the government of Scotland.”

    James thought on that, it made sense to him so he nodded. “Very well.”

    “Do you think the King will recommend a marriage for me when he is here?” Robert asked, and in that moment he sounded like the young man he truly was.

    “He might well do. It is his right to do so. Who would you marry if you could?” James asked intrigued.

    Robert seemed thrown by this question, for he took after longer to respond that James had thought. Eventually he said. “Someone who brings benefit to the realm.”

    “Very good.” James replied. “You are ready for the King’s visit.”
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 113: Squibble

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 113: Squibble

    March, 1568

    James had gone off to Scotland to name his brother of age and also as Lord Lieutenant of Scotland. He’d left her behind with their children to run the court in his absence. William Cecil continued to run the council and she occasionally sat in on meetings but never spoke. She knew how it would look without her husband there. Instead, what she did was holding regular meetings with her ladies to get the feel of where her husband’s advisors were and what the general mood of the court was.

    Today was no exception. “What was the name of that poet, you were talking about before, Anne?” She asked Anne Somerset, Countess of Northumberland.

    “Richard Lowecroft, Your Majesty. He hails from Durham and he writes some of the best verse I’ve ever read.” Anne said.

    “What sort of things does he write?” She asked, intrigued. Poets could be used for good effect during the various bills and campaigns her husband wanted to run.

    “About the crusades, Cleopatra and Anthony, and some of the more ancient Roman Emperors, Your Majesty.” Anne said.

    “Why would he write about things that happened so far in the past?” Anne Stanhope, Dowager Duchess of Somerset asked.

    “Because they inform the context of how he sees what is happening now.” Anne Northumberland said.

    “What do you mean?” Stanhope asked.

    “That the way in which the Roman Emperors acted and the way the crusades were carried out, he believes shape the events of the present day.” Anne Northumberland responded.

    “That makes sense, in an odd sort of way I suppose.” Stanhope replied.

    “And this Mr Lowecroft, is reliable?” Jane asked, a thought blooming in her mind.

    “As reliable as can be, I think, Your Majesty.” Anne Northumberland said. “He has never failed in a commission yet.”

    “Excellent.” Jane replied. She made a note of this down and then turned her attention to another one of her ladies. “Lady Arran, you have been awfully quiet as of late, is all well?”

    Margaret Douglas, Duchess of Arran and a woman who Jane knew to be quite smart usually spoke quite frequently and loudly about her opinions and views, but since Jane had reprimanded her husband for going beyond his remit, she had been oddly quiet. “Yes Your Majesty. Apologies, I was merely thinking about something.”

    “And what was that? Pray share with the rest of us.” Jane said.

    Arran shifted nervously. “It is only that I have heard that there are some nobles who are flirting with some of the more impressionable of ladies at court, and are perhaps desiring to ruin their virtue.”

    Jane leaned forward. Such a thing was a crime, but she needed to know exactly who and where before she could send Cecil’s son to act. “And do you know who is planning on doing this?”

    Arran shifted. “I do not know for certain, but I believe it was the Earl of Warwick’s brother, Robert, and some of his friends.”

    “Robert Dudley getting into trouble?” Anne Northumberland jested. “Why does that not surprise me.”

    There was some murmuring of laughter there, but Jane focused on the point at hand. “How certain are you of this?”

    “Reasonably certain, Your Majesty, I overheard Dudley’s friends speaking of this two days’ ago.” Arran responded.

    “Very well, thank you.” Jane said. She knew what to do and how to do it.
  13. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

    Jan 26, 2011
    Is Lowecroft an alt-Shakespeare?

    Dudley was a bit of a political operator as well as a ladies man IOTL - am somewhat surprised Cecil hasn't recruited him yet?
  14. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Lowecroft's going to be ol Will's mentor here.

    And oh he has in some regards, but Dudley's still a bit rogue
    Hoyahoo9 likes this.
  15. pjmidd Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2015
    Shakespeare's plays are normally dated 1590-1615, in 1564 he is not yet 4 ( born April 1564 but as with many in this period we don't have a birth record, The 23rd April often quoted is a traditional date based on his baptism being the 26th ).
  16. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Indeed, hence Lowecroft will end up becoming something of a mentor to him
  17. Tyler96 Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2013
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Good old Duddles.
  18. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Ahaha, he's going to get himself into a lot of trouble
    Tyler96 likes this.
  19. Hoyahoo9 Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, USA
    I'm really enjoying your portrayal of Queen Jane in particular and this TL overall. I've always found her brief and troubled OTL life to be unnecessarily tragic.
    VVD0D95 likes this.
  20. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Mar 15, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Glad you're liking it :)