Flower O'Scotland

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

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  1. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Very true, though I do have plans for Mary.
     
  2. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    They better be good ones...
     
  3. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    ;)
     
  4. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Well she can be married to some relative of the king of Portugal... rich, influential enough in Portugal but without any external political power (like the match who Richard III wanted between Elizabeth of York and the then Duke of Beja)... A Lencastre or Braganza would be perfect

    Ah and Duarte is the youngest brother of João and Luis, not their nephew...
     
  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 18: France

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 18: France

    May. 1544

    Francis fought back the urge to put a hand to his forehead. Increasingly, his head was paining and his body was giving up on itself. Why this was he did not know, nor did the doctors. It seemed as though that which had affected his great rival Henry was also affecting him. The difference being that he had a male heir whilst Henry had not had a grown adult to succeed him. He was also a grandfather, with his son Henry producing three children, Elisabeth who was betrothed to the Scottish heir, Francis, who was his son's heir, and now another son named Henry, after his son.

    He took a breath and looked at his council ministers. "What word has there been from the Pale?" The fact that the English still held part of France aggravated him greatly, how they held it, he did not know.

    "Sire, the current captain of Calais does not like the regent, and is underpaid. I believe that if were to offer him a sufficient bribe, he would be willing to turn the other way if we ate up part of the Pale." His Steward and Constable Montmercy said.

    "And Calais itself? How has our drive gone?" Francis asked, he had made use of the publishing tools to publish pamphlets attacking the English and their abandonment of their people in Calais hoping to turn them against London.

    "Unfortunately it has not worked as well as we had thought it would, Sire. The people of Calais fear English guns more." Montmercy replied.

    Francis sighed, the pain was getting worse. He looked at his son Henry, who seemed more interested in the letter in his hand. "What does that thing say?" He demanded of his son.

    Henry looked shocked that he had been asked something, usually Francis did not bother talking to him during these meetings. "It's a letter from one of our sources in London, Sire."

    Francis nodded, he knew the letter's contents. "And, what do you think of it?"

    His son looked hesitant. "I think that we must treat it with caution, otherwise we will bring England into the war."

    Francis nodded approvingly, and then looked at Montmercy. "What has that fool the Emperor been doing?" The Emperor was his greatest rival, and the greatest thorn in his side.

    "Sire, he is tied up with fighting the war against the Duke of Julich, he has strained his forces there and in the fight against Ottoman expansion. I believe now is the right time to make a move into Milan." Montmercy said.

    "Agreed, we must take advantage of this. Send our cousin the Duke of Vendome to aid our allies there. We shall command the host fighting in Milan." Francis said, feeling a sharp pain in his head then.

    "Yes, Sire." Montmercy said.

    Francis rose, and said. "That is all for now."
     
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 19: Magnificent

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 19: Magnificent

    July, 1544

    Suleiman kept his horse steady, the streets of Constantinople were winding and dangerous at the best of times, at the worst, such as during the summer rains they could be slippery and treacherous. He'd lost a few advisors to the slippery nature of the streets, and would need to do something about them before long. Still, he was in a reasonably good mood as he and his courtiers rode through the streets, the heretics in Hungary were once more on the defensive, and his grip over the Holy Land grew only stronger.

    "What word from France?" Suleiman asked. The thought of being allied to a member of the infidel, was something new to him, and at time he sometimes wondered if he had made the right decision. Still to see them fight one another was a benefit.

    "Your Majesty, King Francis of France declared war on the Austrian Emperor and moved southwards to Milan, to take what he believed was his." Gamal Pasha, an exile from Egypt told him. "And initially victory was his, throughout wherever he went he won, but as he approached Milan properly, he was hit by a cannonball and died. His son, the Dauphin is now trying to keep things together."

    Suleiman sighed. "So, Francis is dead?" That was not good news, not good news at all. "What is his successor like?"

    "Sire, so far he seems to be more interested in the pleasures of the flesh rather than anything else. He has a mistress many years older than he, he abandons his wife's bed only for the giving of children. I do not know how committed he would be to the alliance." Gamal answered honestly.

    Suleiman sighed. "Then we had best ensure that he remembers the benefits that this alliance gives him." He paused, thinking for a moment. Navigating his horse through the muck, his heart going into his mouth as his horse stumbled only to be righted. "Send him spices and gold, and remind him that we keep the Austrians occupied in our north so that he can take what is his."

    Gamal nodded. "A most wise course, Sire."

    Another member of his court, and a senior advisor, Kamal, spoke then. "Sire, there might be another way to strengthen the alliance."

    "What way?" Suleiman asked, though he had a sneaking suspicion that he knew what the man was going to suggest.

    "Grant the French the right to travel to the Holy Land without the usual traveller's fee, do that and I think he will put more stock into the alliance." Kamal said.

    Gamal looked at him and said. "Sire, do that and others will also demand it. They will demand favouritism, and the Safavids will want more."

    "We have nothing else to offer to add to this bid." Kamal replied.

    Suleiman spoke then before an argument could break out. "Very well, see to it." He would handle the Sharifs when they protested, and those guarding the Holy Land later.

    His horse did a sharp bend, and once again his heart entered his mouth. He swore silently, and then spoke about his sons. "And what of Mustafa and Mehmed, how do they fare?"

    "His Royal Highness Prince Mustafa continues to show himself as the right sort to rule over his regions, all reports show him as a kind and just ruler, with a firm grip of justice." Gamal said.

    Suleiman nodded, he knew that Gamal was somewhat impartial to his firstborn son, but Suleiman knew there were qualities that the boy had that would make him a dangerous candidate as heir. "And what of Mehmed?"

    "He displays a strength of wit and brain that allows him to ensure the administration has been greatly strengthened." Kamal said.

    Suleiman hummed in pleasure, it was good to know his favourite son was doing so well. As he was about to speak, his horse hit something on the road, it raised itself high into the air, and then came crashing down to the ground. Suleiman yelled, heard something snap and then felt the wetness of blood.
     
  7. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Also, Kamal and Gamal are the ancestors of two men who will go on to shape their respective countries, can you guess which?
     
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 20: Whirlwinds

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 20: Whirlwinds

    September, 1544


    Tahmsap kept his breathing leveled, something the doctor had told him would help with the nerves that occasionally hit him. He'd had the doctor killed the next day, so as not to give the court gossips any reason to think there was something wrong with him. Strength was the most important tool he had in this war. If he lost the aura of strength, he would be finished, and his dynasty was too new to allow that. He took a breath and then spoke.

    "Our provinces continue to prosper, the empire grows healthier and wealthier after the time of chaos, the khans in the provinces have been brought under control. Yet, we still feel that there is something lacking. Why?"

    His chief advisor Muhammed spoke. "Sire, the financial in take has risen by thirty fold the number of strictures being infected onto the people has reduced. We are in fine fettle."

    Tahmsap looked at the man and responded. "That does not answer our question, Muhammed, tell us something, when the wind shifts, does the tree's leaves blow or not?"

    Muhammed was too use to his changing tones and moods to be thrown by this. "The tree remains stationary but the leaves move, Sire."

    Tahmsap looked at the man and said. "This is what we mean. The tree is remaining stationary and it loses leaves during the ensuing wind rush. We cannot allow that to happen to us. We might be growing stronger financially, but unless we use that growth to make the state stronger we shall decline. We shall not allow that."

    His chief finance minister spoke. "Sire, I would recommend investing more in centres of learning and academies, the only way we can challenge the Ottomans without the need for war is in the art of learning."

    "Doing that would raise questions from the clergy." Muhammed pointed out.

    "They will listen to what benefits them. This will benefit them as it will challenge that heresy the Ottomans practice." Tahmsap said warming to the idea. He turned to his finance minister and said. "You have our lead to begin this process, identify the land where the schools should go and go from there."

    There was some hasty note taking, and then his spy master spoke. "Sire, we have received good news from Constantinople."

    Tahmsap leaned forward, those words were rarely said together. "Go on."

    "Sultan Suleiman has died." the spy master stated. "His horse slipped on something whilst he was travelling through the streets and crushed him."

    Tahmsap kept his voice expressionless and said. "How have his sons responded?"

    "His eldest son has hurried to Constantinople and had himself proclaimed Sultan, whilst his other son Mehmed has been proclaimed by the people under his governorship. There is a third claimant also. The Sultan's third son, Selim was proclaimed by some within the northern provinces."

    Tahmsap laughed. "Excellent. And where are they drawing their troops from?"

    "From the provinces near Constantinople. Though word has come that they are drawing more from Arab lands. Mesopotamia is weak."

    Sensing an opportunity, Tahmsap banged his hand on the table and said. "Prepare raiding bands, we shall test the water and then make a move if the response is favourable."
     
  9. Threadmarks: Chapter 21: Rothes

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 21: Rothes

    December, 1544


    How he had ended up here George did not quite know. He had firmly embraced the reforms that the King had brought to the Church and had ensured his own family had embraced them firmly. He had ignored overtures from Argyll and others to consider turning toward Luther or that other heresy, and yet he, not Argyll was here. The King was sat before him in the empty throne room in Falkland Palace, and George felt his heart hammer.

    "Lord Rothes, we trust that you are well and will forgive us for asking you to venture here from your estates so close to the Michaelmas celebration." The King said, George went to respond, but the King continued."We have asked you here because we understand that some members of the court or perhaps of the nobility have approached you with ventures for something that is most definitely heresy and treason. We wish to understand your view on their approach and why you rejected them."

    The King finished and there was a pause for some time, George did not quite know what to say, he thought for a time and then when he saw the King begin to fidget he spoke. "Sire, I was indeed approached by three lords, one of them was the Earl of Argyll, the others were lairds of some importance on the western coast." He paused then thinking of the best way to really get things across, and then continued."They approached me because they know that my estates are between the lands that straddle the River Tay, and they know that my lands are the gateway to further printing presses, under Your Majesty's authority.They wished to bring me into their fold to spread their heresy." The King nodded, seemingly aware of all this,still he gestured for George to continue and therefore he did. "I refused to bend to their demands or their suggestions, because I am not a traitor,Sire.I believe in the reforms you have instituted and would much rather sit and allow your works to be spread than their heresy."

    "And do you know why a man such as Argyll who claims to be such a prominent supporter for our reforms would turn his way toward this heresy?" The King asked.

    George hesitated here, he would need to think very carefully about this, Argyll was powerful and had allies within George's own lands. He did not want a knife in the dark.He thought for a moment and then said. "I believe they are seeking some way to force Your Majesty's hand,Sire.They know that the religious reforms will stand, but they do not want the economic reforms you are proposing. Argyll especially does not want the economic reforms to stand as they would remove his right to collect the tithe on his own without oversight."

    The King said nothing for a time, and George wondered if he had perhaps fallen into some trap or the other, then the King spoke. "We believe you have the right of it." The King clapped his hands and a servant came out bearing a sash of office. "From this day forward you are our Chief Collector of Revenue. Do well in this service and your lands will be expanded."

    Stunned, George took the sash from the servant and bowed. "I....I...I thank you most humbly Sire.I promise I will not let you down."

    The King smiled. "Good." A pause and then the King added."One more thing, your son Andrew is of an age with our own son. He shall come to court to foster with our son."

    George nodded,please. "Of course, Sire."

    The King waved a hand. "Meet with the Cardinal he will instruct you further on what to do now."

    George bowed and walked out, his heart thumping in his chest. He walked through the hallways of the palace his heart doing a dance, he was now one of the most powerful men in the realm, and Argyll would not be able to touch him without invoking the King's wrath. This was brilliant, simply brilliant. He stopped before the Cardinal's rooms, the guard announced him and the door opened. He bowed before the Cardinal. "Your Eminence,"

    "My lord Rothes, what can I do for you?" The Cardinal asked.

    George hesitated and then said. "Your Eminence, His Majesty the King has made me the Chief Revenue Collector,and has asked that I see you for more advice."

    The Cardinal did not seem surprised, instead he said. "Very well, let us begin." They sat and talked for an hour or more, and when they were finished, the Cardinal looked at him and said. "Be careful, my lord, the King has given you his favour now, do not let him regret it."
     
  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 22: Argyll

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 22: Argyll

    February, 1545

    Archibald looked at the two men sat opposite him and repressed a shudder. Graham was an idiot, but he was a useful one, Ruthven was actually clever and more of a threat to the ambitions of House Campbell than anyone else other than the King. Archibald had summoned this meeting to talk about the recent appointment the King had made over the Michaelmas. Court had been hectic for the past month, and so now they were trying to consider what to do next.

    "Sooner or later the King is going to move against us. That much is clear. He will come for us and when he does we will need to be ready." Archibald said simply.

    Ruthven nodded. "Appointing Rothes is a clear sign that he wants people who agree with his view in his council, nothing else matters to him. Not religion, not policy, just having yes men around him. I say we seriously consider the alliance Stewart has proposed."

    Matthew Stewart, heir to the Earldom of Lennox and a claimant to the throne had resided in England for a great many years and it seemed had gotten the ear of King Edward's regency council. A plan had been proposed and Archibald saw its usefulness. "My only issue with this plan is that Stewart wants to take the throne himself. None will support us if that is the intention from the get go."

    "Then we have it put out there that we are fighting to remove the King's bad advisors. Sincliar top amongst them." Ruthven said. "Orkney cannot go to that man."

    Archibald nodded, he knew Ruthven was more here for the claim he had to Orkney, and not any religious issue. "I say we put out the leaflets and the right amount of pressure on the lairds of the west, they will come down on our side." He knew there would be a lot more to do, but it would make sense.

    Graham spoke then. "Why not simply use the fact that Sinclair despite being a minor noble has so much access to the King? That will get those on the eastern coast more likely to side with us, and it will also force the King to decide. I'vealso heard that the Queen wants Sinclair gone. As does Knox."

    Archibald looked at Graham surprised, he had not thought the man had that much sense in his head. "Where did you hear this?" He asked.

    "My cousin William serves as Knox's attendant, he told me that. It's one of the few things the Queen and Knox agree on." Graham said.

    Ruthven spoke then. "Then perhaps we should cultivate that tension. Knox is someone who I believe could be very useful to us. He is of a more reformed bent than the King and seems to have great influence over the education of the Royal Dukes." Ruthven paused and then looked at Graham. "Perhaps you had best make a return to court."

    Graham looked surprised. "What? Why?!"

    "So, that you can get to know Sinclair and Knox and then work on Knox." Ruthven said. "This is the simplest way to get what we want."

    Archibald had his doubts but he kept them hidden, instead he said. "Very well. Graham, you shall attend the meeting of court at Stirling and then get to know Knox and Sinclair both, sow the seeds and move from there."

    Graham looked both terrifed and confused but nodded all the same. "Alright then, anything to serve the cause."
     
  11. Tyler96 Well-Known Member

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    Does Henry's earlier death mean there was no marriage between Matthew Stewart and Margaret Douglas?

    Shouldn't Matthew already be Earl of Lennox? His father was assassinated in 1526, which is significantly before the POD.
     
  12. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    The marriage has been delayed somewhat, due to Lennox's schemes. And aye, he is technically Earl of Lennox but as he's been in exile most of his life, the King hasn't recognised him.
     
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  13. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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  14. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

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    I like the sound of that!
     
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  15. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Sound interesting...
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 23: Seymour Skitz

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 23: Seymour Skitz

    May, 1545
    Edward stretched and then looked at his companions. They were William Paget, a gentleman of the King's bedchamber, and Sir Anthony Brown, Master of Horse. They had accompanied him back to his home, as council was on a break for a week, as the Queen Dowager took the King and her daughter the Princess to Portsmouth to inspect the fleet. Edward pushed down the anger at that thought, the Queen Dowager was doing more to harm the King than benefit him, but he knew that, and the two men with him also knew it.

    "My lords, we are in a time of crisis. The French are in a time of crisis, their King is a young and inexperienced man who relies on the whims of some harlot from a brothel, and his generals do not respect him. We should be expanding our holdings in the Pale of Calais, not simply sat here and doing nothing. The Queen Dowager has not done anything to change our standing and the longer she sits and stalls, the more likely it is that we shall become a laughing stock." Edward began, he took a brief breath and then continued. "We cannot allow this to continue. We are a nation whose traditional enemy is the French. It is our duty as God's own Englishmen to fight them, for our King."

    Sir Anthony, a man who had won his spurs fighting for King Henry during his wars nodded in agreement. "I agree, my lord. That we are sat here, instead of preparing to launch into Normandy is something that I find most disturbing. But what can we do? The Council is in favour of this pacification of the Queen Dowager's, and unless we can swing their votes we shall remain at peace."

    William spoke then. "Then you will be delighted to know that I have gotten the agreement of the Earl of Warwick in this."

    Edward looked at his friend and exclaimed. "How did you manage to achieve such a thing?" Warwick was a notoriously slippery customer, and Edward suspected he wanted his son married to the daughter of the Duke of Suffolk should something happen to the King.

    William smiled. "I dangled the chance of getting His Majesty to agree to a marriage between his son and Lady Jane, and I might well have said the King might consider something for his sister Princess Eleanor also."

    Edward smiled. "That is sure to anger the Queen Dowager!" That was perfect if it could make the Queen Dowager angry she would make a mistake and then Edward's way in would be clear.

    Sir Anthony spoke then. "Speaking of the Queen Dowager, our friends in her household have been whispering in my ear of her relations with Culpepper."

    Edward straightened. This was the big news. "Go on." He had suspected something between The Queen Dowager and Culpepper for months now.

    Sir Anthony spoke with a glint in his eye. "They have been meeting at all sorts of odd hours, without guards present and without members of her household present. They have been overheard plotting and scheming, and my little bird saw them enter the Queen Dowager's bedchamber together. Culpepper left sometime later, looking quite disheveled."

    William banged his fist on the table. "So she is having an affair then! And with that idiot Culpepper to boot. This will most definitely not stand with the council."

    Edward raised a hand. "Let us take some time to consider this. Let us not rush into anything. Anthony, my friend, how trustworthy are your sources?" Edward knew they needed to play a careful game here, otherwise they would all end with their heads on spikes, for the King loved the Queen Dowager as if she were his own mother.

    "I am very sure of their trustworthiness, my lord." Sir Anthony replied. "They were the ones who delivered the message about Matthew Stewart after all."

    Edward nodded, acknowledging the truth in what Anthony said, after all Matthew Stewart had been delivered to them through the whisperings of Anthony's men. Edward looked at him and said. "Keep an eye and get complete proof of this, we will not only need to convince the council, we will need to convince the King." And Edward knew that would be a very difficult battle to win.

    "Of course, my lord." Sir Anthony replied.

    William spoke then. "On the matter of Matthew Stewart, I think the Queen Dowager might finally be willing to move on that."

    "She has finally received assurances then?" Edward asked, knowing that Matthew Stewart was the one area where they agreed.

    "Yes, my lord, it seems that the birth of a daughter to Margaret Douglas and Matthew Stewart has finally convinced her that something might be worthwhile. Especially with Arran on the outs and with Argyll and Ruthven are very much in support." William replied.

    Edward smiled. "At least there has been some progress. Ensure that we do not squander this opportunity." They all raised their drinks and toasted to one another, and from there Edward began laying down his plans for the takeover.
     
  17. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    I hate Culpepper with the Fury Of A Thousand Suns. Always screwing it up for Catherine, wherever he goes!
     
  18. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Tbf, Catherine is also screwing this up for herself
     
  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 24: Howard Woes

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 24: Howard Woes


    July, 1545


    Catherine tried to keep things balanced and fair. That was how she had been raised, but increasingly the strain of being regent and mother were starting to get to her. She did not know whether or not there was some way of lessening her burden whilst also keeping power. Truth be told she was worried that if she sought something along those lines she would be locked out completely. It was one thing to be seen as the Mother of the King, but said King was ailing and rarely out of bed now, and another to have a council filled with war hungry men constantly breathing down her back.


    She praised God everyday that her Uncle was not one of those men. She looked at him now and saw a man who was both tired but also incredibly energetic. “I know you have something on your mind, Uncle, you might as well say what you are thinking now.” She knew otherwise it would come out during a meeting of the council, and they could not have that.


    Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk had served under six Kings, dating back to the Yorkist Kings. He had been at court for almost all of their reigns. He knew more about the game than anyone alive. He looked at her and said. “If you continue to delay on whether to go to war with France and Scotland, Seymour and his lackeys will find a way to have you removed.” He paused and then continued. “Your Majesty, I understand your desire to raise the King and the Princess in peace, but that is not something these men understand. You would need some great event to occur for change to really come about in the council. And I do not know whether you really want that.”


    Catherine knew her uncle was just trying to help, but her frustration emerged then. “Are you suggesting I am not capable enough of keeping power within our family, Uncle?”


    Thomas Howard had been raised around powerful women his entire life, he had not qualms about this. “No. You know that is not what I am saying, Your Majesty. But you also know that what I am saying is the truth. War with France and Scotland, or you must devise a way to remove Somerset from the council.”


    “Somerset goes, then his lackeys Browne and Paget will also go.” Catherine said, nodding her head as she thought it through. “Somerset’s brother has been sniffing around that Parr girl, and has even been looking at Lady Elizabeth, I think perhaps we can push them together and invite some sort of scandal and then get rid of them both.” She did not think Thomas Seymour would go for Lady Elizabeth, she was too young for his taste, right now, but Catherine Parr? Her family could well be bought off in exchange for a favour.


    “Catherine Parr would be the more sensible choice.” Norfolk said, and Catherine remembered that the girl was her cousin as well. She nodded with him. “And what of Matthew Stewart, will you give him the men he asks for, or the money?”


    Catherine sighed then. Matthew Stewart held a claim to the Scottish Throne and his wife held a claim to the English throne. They were a very powerful and dangerous union, and Margaret Douglas liked Lady Mary also. Catherine thought for a moment and then said. “The sooner that idiot is out of England the better. Let the Scots handle them. I shall provide them with enough money to buy troops and pay for those that Argyll and Ruthven raise.”


    Norfolk nodded. “Smart. I would ask what you are doing about church reform, but I think that this might be something best served for the churchmen.” With that the Duke got up, bowed before, straightened, then turned and left.


    The moment he was out of the room, Catherine went to the secret door, knocked twice, and then opened it. Thomas came out, he took a deep breath then kissed her. She let out a gulp of surprise, then leaned into the kiss. When they parted, Catherine felt the heat in her cheeks. “I thought that old fool would never leave.” Thomas said.


    Catherine found herself giggling like a little girl. “I know, but I had to talk with him.”


    Thomas held her in his arms, and she burrowed there, feeling safe, allowing herself to let go slightly. “What will we do now? I know that someone is trying to find out what we are doing together.”


    Catherine nodded. “You will have to go with Matthew Stewart to Scotland, to represent the interests of the King.”


    Thomas pulled back and looked at her surprised. “Is that wise? Surely they will only suspect more?!”


    Catherine waved a dismissive hand. “As much as it pains me, it makes sense. The King considers you a close favourite. None would dare gainsay him.” Thomas looked unsure, and then she kissed him and he hummed against her lips and she knew she had him.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Chapter 25: Maria, Oh Maria

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 25: Maria, Oh Maria



    September, 1545


    Mary shifted through her thoughts, knowing how important it was to collect them to present a coherent argument to her husband. The King did not like disparate arguments and he did not appreciate extravagance in political phrasing. He preferred that for their domestic life. Mary could appreciate that. She also appreciated that he had not taken a mistress since their marriage, and that he was devoted to their children and to her. She had had her reservations had heard about how he had treated his first wife. She took a moment and then spoke.


    “My dear, I was having a conversation with Lord Arran the other day at the Raven’s Feast and he said something interesting to me.” Mary said tentatively.


    “What did he say?” James asked, putting down the book he was reading.


    “He said that the Church of Scotland had more in similarity to the Gallic church than what Rome had, due to his belief that it had merged the aspects of what Saint Margaret had wanted and what had always been there.” Mary said, looking at her husband to see how he responded.


    James looked amused. “And in what context did he bring this up in?”


    Mary thought for a moment and then decided to give part of the context of the conversation not the whole. “We were discussing the recent sermon that His Eminence had given on the matter of divinity. Lord Arran mentioned that before Saint Margaret, the Scottish church retained elements of the Celtic nature and how when Saint Margaret brought her reforms some of that merged into what we now know as divinity truly. He mentioned how during his travels, he had read about the Gallic church’s similar stance.”


    Her husband smiled. “Lord Arran is not wrong. Though I find it interesting that you two were speaking.” He took her hand then. “I was under the impression that you did not like our cousin, dear.”


    Mary blushed slightly. “I do not. But he did raise an interesting point. And he is a senior member of the court.”


    “And he is no doubt trying to get you to look at things from his end as the next council for the church approaches.” James said.


    Mary felt her cheeks heat. “I thought he had some interesting things to say.”


    Her husband still held her hand and said simply. “Aye, and he is saying them to further his own interests. He does not much care for anything but his own power. He is no different to Matthew Stewart.”


    “What are you going to do about him?” Mary asked. The last she had heard, Lennox had camped at Berwick as there had been some argument with the English lieutenant Culpepper.


    “I will see what he wants.” James said, he stopped and laughed. “No actually, I know what he wants. And I think I might just give it to him.”


    Mary thought on that, she had done her reading, and knew that for whatever reason Matthew Stewart had grown up in exile due to some action of his father, and had never been invited back. His marriage to her husband’s sister might have well made this worse. “Is that wise, considering the history?”


    Her husband kissed her hand. “I think it is the right decision. Give him his lands back, invite my sister back and her children with the man, and he will have no reason to support England and their plots. Furthermore, it will embarrass the regent and ensure that England is plunged further into conflict.”


    There was a slight glint in her husband’s eye as he said that. “And what happens if he rejects you?” She asked, not really believing that a man such as Lennox could reject such an offer.


    “If he does that then he is a fool and I shall lead the army out to fight him.” James said simply.


    Mary did not know what to say to that, so she remained silent. Her husband kissed her hand again. “I am sure it will not come to that, my love. Matthew Stewart is not a fool.”


    Mary nodded, then deciding she wished to discuss something else she said. “I have spoken with John; it seems that both James and Arthur are growing more knowledgeable by the day.” She did not approve of having John Knox as her sons’ tutors, but her husband liked the man so she abided by it.


    “Good. They can read and are starting to write, that is very good.” James said.


    “And our daughter is turning into a proper lady.” Mary said.


    James laughed. “I know she chastised me for being late to one of our tea meetings.”


    Mary laughed, their daughter did love those. “Well at least we know she will be punctual.” They both laughed at that and Mary revelled in that, just easy laughing with her husband.
     
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