NOW BLOOMS THE TUDOR ROSE: GOLD EDITION [thread=198307]Discussion Thread[/thread] PART 1: IN THE REIGN OF HENRY VIII (1533-1545) King Henry VIII Tudor, of England “…early on September 9th, Queen Anne went into labour. Despite Henry’s worries, the birth would prove easy--or as easy as any birth could be in that time--with the child delivered at five in the afternoon. Attending physicians agreed that both child and mother were in good health, much to the King’s relief. But this was hardly the only thing Henry had to celebrate. Anne had proved as good as her word. By evening, the word was spread all over London… Henry had a son…”  ----Maria Gwynn-Jones, 'From The Bulwen Woman to Good Queen Anne', (1972) ---------------------- 1533-4 --The child is christened in an extravagant spectacle at the Church of the Obedient Friars. Henry, who has been leaning towards naming the child 'Edward', does a last minute swerve, and decides that, no, it'll be 'Henry' after all. The court winces, but goes on with their business, because it's Henry VIII, and this is pretty much what you expect. --Imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys has the difficult job of breaking the bad news to Charles. He does hold out some hope--he has it on "good authority" that "the child is sickly, and will likely soon die". When this fails to pass, Chapuys offers yet another consolation--"the young bastard" shows signs of being "slow-witted". --Aside from Chapuys and his "good authorities", most people who see Prince Henry agree he seems healthy and active, with many comments on his bright red hair and blue eyes. Both of his parents dote on the young prince in their own ways--Anne as a loving mother, Henry as an almost obsessively protective yet rather distant father. --Catherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary handle matters about as well as can be expected, especially as Henry starts making it clear that he no longer feels obligated to them in any way, shape or form. Or more exactly, the subordinates he has dealing with them make it clear, because Henry really doesn't want to see them, as he might start feeling guilty, which he really doesn't like. Both refuse to acknowledge Anne as Henry's wife. -Francois I and Henry VIII are of course, good, dear allies who are going to stand with each other against that wily no-good Emperor Charles no matter what. At least so runs the official line. Tensions are, of course starting right below the surface, mostly because each man has an ego so large that accommodating anyone else's is rather problematic, and Henry, in his heart of hearts, can never quite cotton to this whole 'get along with the French' idea. Still, it would be wrong to say he's the big stumbling block--well, no it wouldn't, but he's not the only big stumbling block. By the end of 1534, Francois is rethinking his whole stance on this Protestant thing, in light of the 'Affair of the Placcards', and this is naturally making him rethink his alliance with Henry. Even if Henry swears up and down he's not a Protestant, merely a man who has a few issues with the Pope. Still, for the time being, both realize that the alliance is good sense, and they're sticking with it. The question is, when will they allow themselves to think otherwise. --In other French diplomatic matters, Francois continues to politely push for a marriage between the Dauphin and Mary. Henry really isn't too keen on this, and for once, his court is in agreement--even ardent Francophile Anne. True, Mary is technically a bastard now, if you accept Henry's ruling, but if you don't, she's the legitimate heir, which makes handing her off to a Catholic monarch rather troubling, even if right now, he's insisting he's your bestest buddy in the world, and will never, ever betray you. Which doesn't mean that some marriage alliance won't be in the cards--Anne is very keen on the idea having her son marry a French princess. The only problem is that the selection at the moment is rather limited. Francois' eldest daughter is the sickly Madeleine of Valois, who, in addition to her health and age problems, was already promised to James V of Scotland, though Francis has walked back from this due to the aforementioned health problems. His second daughter, Marguerite, is unattached, but still ten years older than Prince Henry, a more significant age gap than lay between Catherine and Henry when they wed. And look how that turned out. Still, everyone is hopeful that some sort of accommodation can be reached. --And turning to the biggest Catholic of them all, Pope Clement VII finds himself in a tough spot. Technically, he can and probably should take action against Henry for what he's done, but the fact remains--Henry now has a son he considers legitimate, and expecting him to chuck him aside on the Pope's say-so is... well, a bit optimistic. And so, despite pressure from Charles, he dithers. Privately, overtures are made to Henry, suggesting that if he makes some form of penance--a large donation, a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, a vow to fight against the insidious Turk--the Church would be willing to let this matter slide, recognize the annulment and Prince Henry's legitimacy, and basically get this whole ugly affair behind them.  It's actually a pretty reasonable offer, even if it is presently an unofficial, under the table sort of thing. Unfortunately Clement is dealing with Henry VIII--and he's dealing with him right after he's just had what he takes as a sign from God that he's been right the whole time. Henry insists that the Church's recognition of what he considers readily apparent matters is worthless. What he wants is assurances that he, and the monarchs who will follow him on the English throne, will never find themselves in the awful bind he was in--dependent of the whims and rulings of a man miles away under the thumb of a foreign ruler who should be minding his own business. And Henry is going to get this, no matter what the Pope's opinion on the matter is. Indeed, even as the Pope is making his proposal, the English Parliament is putting through acts that will make Henry the official head of the Church of England. How Clement would have dealt with all this is an interesting question--however, he really doesn't get a chance to, because somebody feeds him death cap mushrooms by mistake, or possibly 'mistake'.  He's succeeded by Paul III, who has a lot of things on his table right from the get-go, which causes him to put England on the back-burner, not in the least because it's such a knotted little problem. On the one hand, Henry's pretty blatantly usurping Church authority. On the other hand, moving against him might just push him even further into the Protestant camp. And so, the Pope continues to hold off and consider his options. He knows he's going to have to do something eventually. But what is proving a handful. --The Act of Succession passes Parliament. Included in it is a provision requiring the swearing of an oath (if asked) that one finds the annulment, marriage, and Henry's status as Head of the Church of England valid. This last bit in particular sticks in the craw of Bishop John Fisher and Sir Thomas More, though honestly they aren't too fond of the first two parts either. Henry does not take this well. You know the drill... --And as 1534 comes to a close, it has become readily apparent that Anne is pregnant again... ------------------  For those wondering, yes, this is Anne Boleyn in 1533. IOTL, she went into labor on September 7th. But this isn't the POD--just (very) minor butterflies.  And now we see our POD, which was--obviously--a little under nine months ago. Obviously, this will have a serious effect on England--and the world...  IOTL, Henry was back and forth on the name of his 'son' for quite some time. Either 'Henry' or 'Edward'. When Elizabeth popped out, the point became moot, though Henry did consider naming her 'Mary' as kind of an extra 'Screw you' to Catherine. Classy guy.  If you're wondering why Prince Henry is 'the young bastard'--aside from this being Chapuys' genuine opinion on his legitimacy, the name is to make him distinct from his half-brother Henry Fitzroy, who everybody agrees is a bastard. Only not so young. Well, in comparison to Prince Henry Tudor, anyway.  The Affair of the Placcards--which happened OTL--occurred on October 17th, 1534, and consisted of anti-Catholic posters appearing all over Paris, Blois, Rouens, Tours, and Orleans, with one even being hung on Francois' bedroom door. In what is probably the most spectacular backfire in public relations history, it lead to alienating most of the moderates in France, including Francois, who not only publicly came out in favor of Catholic doctrine, but shifted from seeing Protestants as basically decent folk to seeing them as threatening conspirators.  IOTL, Clement didn't dither very much at all--he quietly excommunicated Henry and Archbishop Cramner. But the entire son matter does give Henry that extra bit of leverage that makes Clement stay his hand.  Which is what happened IOTL. Thomas More "In Germany the Reformation began on principle, advanced through argument, was defended by arms, and won through courage. In England, it began on lust, advanced through farce, was defended by tyranny, and won through inertia. And yet England was securely Protestant within two decades, while the German people would have to brazen out decades of wars. So history makes fools of us all." --Heinrich Roeder, Wittenberg Lectures (1870) 1535 --Early in the year, Anne gives birth to a daughter, who is named Elizabeth after both of her grandmothers.  While Henry did have some hopes for another son, he is still delighted, commenting to anyone who'll listen that it's nice to finally have "a lawful daughter", to the discomfort of virtually everyone around him. Even Anne, who has on occasion, suggested that she wouldn't necessarily be displeased if through an act of divine misfortune, Mary were to, just as an example, fall down a flight of stairs and break her neck. --Pope Paul III is very put out. His plan of 'ignoring the Henry problem until it either goes away, or I get an idea' has inadvertently resulted in the imprisonment of two devout Catholics, one of whom is a bishop. This necessitates something being done. The problem is Paul is still in a bad position here, and he knows it. He can't let Henry walk all over him, but Henry believes God is on his side, and quite frankly, the Almighty hasn't given any apparent sign to the contrary yet. With that kind of attitude, Paul realizes that if he pushes Henry too hard, it'll likely send him even further into heresy--and that could be destabilizing to all of Europe. But Paul hits on something! He sends Henry a strongly-worded warning that if Henry continues to act in this manner, Paul will be forced to excommunicate him. He bids Henry to release Fisher and More, and again quietly hints that the See is willing to recognize the validity of the annulment and the marriage, as long as Henry is willing to stop with this present nonsense and at least make some gesture to show that he's sorry. Henry's response to this is, from Paul's point of view, disappointing. He declares that excommunication is nonsense, a political power that the Bishops of Rome have appropriated to themselves to help them usurp the authority of Kings. Henry's eyes may have been blind before, but now he sees, thank God, and he is going to make sure he gets what's his. Paul, realizing that he is dealing with "a most intractable heretic", has by the end of the year gotten to work excommunicating Henry. --Thomas More and John Fisher are trying to get out of swearing the oath without getting killed through legal shenanigans. Using the concept of silence implying consent, they argue that they don't have to take the oath as long as they don't speak against it. This isn't exactly winning over their judges, and when the King's Solicitor General Richard Rich's testimony comes up, they are in trouble. Rich explains in a private conversation with More, More poised a hypothetical question that made it clear that he didn't think that Parliament could make Henry the head of the church, while in a private conversation with Fisher, Fisher denied it outright. More loudly denies that he said any such thing--or that if he did say it, it didn't mean what Rich makes it out to mean--while Fisher is simply shocked that opinions given by a priest in confidence are being used as testimony. This destroys the last fig leaf of protection the two possess, and they are quickly sentenced to be executed.  The resulting executions inflame public opinion against the King, the Queen, and the court, with nearly everyone trying to back away from the whole affair. Henry will later insist the blame rests on evil councilors. Anne will, to her dying day, insist she was against the whole thing, and told Henry as much. (As one cynic notes, that may be so, but if it's true, she didn't tell him very loudly.) Thomas Cromwell will privately declare that the whole affair was, naturally, regrettable, but insist that technically Fisher and More were both guilty. --Turning to Cromwell--aside from turning a bishop and a politician into martyrs, he's been busy having his men check on the monasteries, all in preparation of his grand scheme to dissolve them, and enrich the crown. He's facing quite a bit of opposition in the court in this matter, and from some surprising corners--Anne, for example, while in favor of dissolving the more abusive and decrepit orders, wants the money to go into creating charitable and educational organizations that will take the monasteries' place. This could be a problem, but for the moment, Henry has decided that he really wants that money, and so he's listening to Cromwell, while the chance of an organized resistance forming is troubled by the fact that the Catholics are suspicious of the Queen, and vice versa. Anne's ability to serve as a lynchpin is further compromised by the fact that she is pregnant once again, which tends to eat up her time. --Anne's latest pregnancy is not the only... joyous news in England. King's bastard Henry Fitzroy and his young wife Mary Howard are expecting as well, despite Henry VIII's suggestion not to overindulge in hanky panky.  While Henry's a bit worried that his son might not be following his instruction, he is delighted at the thought of becoming a grandfather. Indeed, Henry is about as happy as he gets. After years of worry that the Tudors were going to die with him, things are looking up. Yep, great to be him. Extra great, anyway. --Eustace Chapuys writes the Emperor with "good news". Anne and Henry's marriage is getting rather tense, as Henry is starting to realize the bad side of having a wife who's smarter than him--or rather, who's smarter than him and lets him know it. He's still very fond of Anne--she's given him a son, after all--a healthy, happy son--but, well, she can be a bit trying at times, and the succession of pregnancies are not helping her nerves any. While Eustace acknowledges that there now exists no chance of Henry taking back Catherine, he is fairly certain that the woman who has usurped her place will be displaced herself in the near future. While Eustace is exaggerating things somewhat, many of his essentials are quite correct... --Catherine and her daughter, meanwhile are both suffering virtual imprisonment, with Catherine's health rapidly failing. Both take the news of Elizabeth's birth, and yet another pregnancy very hard. --Turning to the international scene, Francois I and Charles V continue to circle each other like wary prize fighters, waiting for the next chance to go at it. In a little while, the pair are going to turn Italy into their dueling ground once again. In another point of contention between them, Anne remains dedicated to the French alliance, while Cromwell thinks they should shift over to the Emperor, in an effort to prevent one side or the other from getting too powerful. Still, this is a matter he's willing to give way on--indeed, he's rather uncertain that the Emperor will even be willing to entertain the possibility of allying with the King who insulted his beloved aunt right now. Waiting might be the best option. Still, England may not get that option. Francesco Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, dies late in the year. The Duchy of Milan has long been a point of contention between the French and Spanish thrones--if the childless Sforza died without heirs, war will almost certainly begin. Fortunately, he has one--his brother, Giovanni Paolo. Unfortunately, Giovanni dies en route to Milan to take up his new ducal seat. Which means that the peace of Europe relies on Francois Valois not wanting to start a war. As history demonstrates, those are bad odds right there. --Francois is still hoping for a match between the Dauphin and Mary, even though that's looking very unlikely. Right now the most likely marriage contracts between France and England are 'Prince Henry and a hypothetical French Princess', and 'Charles of Orleans and Princess Elizabeth'. Neither is definite, but both are possible. --In early October, the first complete English language Bible is printed. It is an odd beast--a mixture of recent translations and archaic older ones that hang together very awkwardly. The man responsible for much of the most recent translation, especially in the New Testament, William Tyndale, languishes in a prison in Vilvoorde. Anne and Cromwell would both like to see him freed, but Henry isn't that interested--Tyndale, like quite a few Protestants, disagreed with Henry about the validity of the divorce, and consequently, as far as Henry is concerned, he can go bugger himself. --As the year ends the Act of Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries is brought before Parliament... -------------------------------  As I've noted elsewhere, the chances of the first-born daughter of Henry and Anne being named something besides Elizabeth are somewhat slim. IOTL, Anne followed Elizabeth with another pregnancy that ended with a miscarriage. Here, she's a great deal calmer and more secure, so her second pregnancy goes on without a hitch.  This is exactly what happened IOTL. Simply put, I don't see OTL Elizabeth being a boy changing Fisher or More's opinion that much, and... well, Henry is going to be Henry.  IOTL, Henry ordered the marriage to remain unconsummated, fearing that it was overindulging in sex that killed his brother--here, what with a legitimate son to serve as heir, he's feeling a bit more secure, and has walked back his original order to a strong suggestion. Ironically, doing so has probably done a better job securing the succession... King Francois I Valois, of France KING JOHN. Though you and all Kings of Christendom Are led so grossly by his meddling priest, Dreading the curse that money may buy out, And by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust, Purchase the corrupted pardon of a man Who in that sale sells pardon from himself; Though you, and all the rest so grossly led, This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish, Yet I alone, alone do me oppose Against the Pope, and count his friends my foes. PANDOLPH. Then, by the lawful power that I have, Thou shalt stand curs'd and excommunicate, And blessed shall he be that doth revolt From his allegiance to an heretic, An meritorious shall that hand be calle'd, Canonized and worshipp'd as a saint, That takes away by any secret course Thy hateful life. --John Shaxper, The Troublesome Reign of King John of England, (1595)  1536--Part 1 --Pope Paul III formally excommunicates King Henry VIII, and Archbishop Cranmer, and then informs them of this, while still holding out the carrot of a possible reconciliation if Henry will just come to his damn senses. Henry is a bit nonplussed--he's gotten so used to the Popes quivering to his provocations that he actually thought they were going to cave in, somehow. But he's still feeling pretty damn cocky, and remains convinced that he's bigger than any puffed-up Bishop of Rome. Though they make sure not to mention the matter to Anne for the moment, on account of her pregnancy. --The Act of Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries passes Parliament, to Thomas Cromwell's utter satisfaction. It is significantly less satisfying to just about everyone else. Anne has her brother, George, broach the matter to her uncle, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Norfolk's position on the dissolution is complex--unlike his niece and nephew, he's a Catholic--however, his Catholicism ranks somewhat below his ambition, and he's not exactly opposed to getting his hands on some nice monastic lands at a bargain price. Still, he agrees that Cromwell is getting too big for his britches, and could stand to get knocked down a peg or two. Norfolk begins to gather support for a move against Cromwell, should the opportunity arise. --Catherine of Aragon dies. Henry marks the occasion by dressing in festive yellow, and having Anne bring Prince Henry and Elizabeth to court. Chapuys, writing to the Emperor of the incident, notes that Prince Henry is "a very lively boy", while Elizabeth favors her mother in appearance. Even Charles has, by this time, reconciled himself to the fact that Prince Henry is in all likelihood going to be the next King of England. --Those who were expecting Francois to start yet another Italian war using the deaths of the Sforza brothers as an excuse are demonstrated to have the King of France down well, as Francois invades Milan and occupies Turin. England's involvement is limited to tacit support, as Henry is a bit busy at the moment. The war swiftly grinds into a stalemate. --Chapuys makes an unusual comment to Charles in one of his letters, noting that one Jane Seymour, lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne--and earlier, lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine--has been dismissed under rather mysterious circumstances, and that he will be able to give Charles the whole story shortly. Some historians speculate that Jane was one of Chapuys' informants, explaining why he has knowledge of such a marginal figure, but this isn't certain, and it might just be the ambassador displaying his bloodhound-like affinity for gossip.  --The dissolution of the monasteries begins in earnest, to the discomfort of the many, and the pleasure of a few. Henry and Cromwell are both delighted with how things seem to be going. So delighted that they ignore the warning signs that they are pissing people off in a big way. --Anne suffers a miscarriage, much to the disappointment of both her and Henry. Henry is reported, in a rare display of sensitivity, to have consoled Anne, noting that they have two beautiful children, and, God willing, shall have more.  --Henry Fitzroy's health takes a sudden, horrific turn for the worse in June, just as his wife comes to term. As his child--a boy--is being born in one room, Henry is dying of 'consumption' in the next. Told of the birth of his son, Henry is said to have asked that the boy be named Arthur "for my good uncle, who I am going to meet". He expires on June 24th, a mere 17 years old. Henry is devastated, and very solicitous of the health of his young grandson. However, despite fears, young Arthur Fitzroy is by all signs a healthy baby. --Francois I's long-wished for marriage between the Dauphin and Mary shifts from unlikely to completely impossible when young Francois dies suddenly in August. While poisoning is suspected, the Dauphin's health has never fully recovered from his lengthy imprisonment in Madrid. With his death, young Prince Henri becomes heir to the throne--and he is already married to Catherine de Medici. As well as conducting an affair with a 34-year old widow by the name of Diane de Poitiers, who is also rumored to have had a fling with Francois I way back when. Needless to say, this pretty much kills any chance of bringing Mary Tudor into the family, and so Francois throws himself into having Charles of Orleans marry the Princess Elizabeth. --Chapuys finally gets around to telling the whole story of Jane Seymour to Emperor Charles. As he tells it, Henry, getting just a bit tired of Anne's temper and biting wit, took a liking to Jane, who mixed being reasonably attractive with lacking these traits. After awhile, his little infatuation translated into proposing that Jane become the new royal mistress. This plan was derailed when Anne got wind of it, and--again, as Chapuys tells it--stormed into Henry's chambers with children in tow, demanding to know what she'd done so wrong that Henry must ill treat her so. Henry rather sheepishly insisted that he had no plan to do any such thing whatsoever, honest, and Jane was quietly dismissed, and married off by her obliging family. Curiously, her brothers appear to have gotten slightly more lucrative appointments in the court after this, though Chapuys isn't sure whether they were simply bought off by the King in return for keeping quiet about the whole embarrassing matter, or whether they were the ones who informed Anne, and are being rewarded for their service.  While Chapuys turns the whole story into a joke--look at the silly English King and his shrew of a wife!--the situation illustrates Anne's precarious situation. She can let Henry have dalliances--but a long-term mistress is a significant threat to her, largely because she used to be one. Indeed, as an arguable heretic, Anne knows she would be easily removed, if Henry ever really wanted to do so. Her only real protection is that she is the mother of his son. --As the dissolution of monasteries is carried on up north, it hits a bump. People are upset, seeing the monasteries taken apart, and they're suspicious. Rumors are circulating that this will be followed by seizing the church plates of small parishes, and starting a tax on baptism. And so it happens. In a few locations, people begin to protest. In the town of Chester, in Cheshire, the people take over the church, and start making demands. That falls apart a few days later when Henry sends troops in, but the news inspires other uprisings in the North. And the first Pilgrimage of the Faithful has begun...  ------------------------  This is a fairly faithful rendition of a bit from John Shaxper's OTL sibling William's play King John. The pair possess very similar minds on some matters. (Plus, they both probably ripped it off from another, anonymous play.)  This is by many reports, pretty much what he did IOTL. Once again--classy guy.  Yes, it's her. Clearly, she's never going to become Queen of England ITTL. This is probably to her advantage.  Why a miscarriage now? Because she's gone through three successive pregnancies in about as many years, and this is a pretty tense time for her.  This is a month earlier than his death IOTL. Chalk that one up to butterflies.  What's this you say? The Seymour boys still playing a part in English politics? Well, my answer to that is, when you're as ambitious as the Seymours, you find a way. They're not going to climb as high as they did IOTL--but they are going to climb some.  Yes, it's this timeline's Pilgrimage of Grace, with a slightly different starting point. Of course, I hope people are noticing the ominous 'first'... Pilgrimage of the Faithful "England's Pilgrims never lacked for courage, for fire, for faith. What they did lack was any idea of what they were doing." --Luis Garcia Vargas, "Musings on the Anglican Settlement" Essays on the British Nation, (1914) 1536 Part 2: First Pilgrimage of the Faithful --The first Pilgrimage of the Faithful is not only the first such occurrence, but also the largest, and in some respects the most impressive. Tens of thousands gather throughout the north of England in protest of the dissolution of the monasteries, sometimes taking over towns. And yet this very size works against it--the Pilgrimage is not a coherent movement, but a fairly spontaneous uprising of people with grievances.  Stop the dissolution! Down with Cromwell! The True Faith must be reestablished in England! Or, perhaps, merely left alone in the North! Prince Henry is particular stumbling block for the Pilgrims--a few Catholic diehards hold he is a bastard, and must forfeit his claim for his sister, Mary.  The Marians are, however, a minority--more common are demands that Prince Henry be brought up Catholic, or simply ignoring the entire matter. While generally these differences are papered over, sometimes, they are not--in Lincolnshire, a group of Marians are assaulted by their fellow Pilgrims, who call them rebels and traitors. This lack of coherence damages the Pilgrims greatly--many sympathetic nobles who would otherwise support the movement hold back from what they perceive as a dangerous rabble, and later join in its suppression. Indeed, men who will go on to lead later Pilgrimages receive commendations for fighting this one. All this comes later, however. For the moment, the Pilgrimage is massive, dangerous, and seemingly invulnerable. --Emperor Charles receives news of the Pilgrimage. While he's a bit occupied with the latest Italian War, the version he receives sounds grim enough for Henry to get him thinking about an invasion--after all, aside from being an apostate who has divorced his aunt, and imprisoned his young cousin, Henry is an ally to Francois, and might just join the war in the future. It may actually be the wisest course to strike at him when he's at a disadvantage. Ideally, Charles needs some sort of casus belli. And he thinks he has the perfect one. Reginald Pole is an English theologian that's been drifting around Europe in self-imposed exile since 1532, who has presently attached himself to the Emperor's retinue. He is a dedicated Catholic, and a brilliant proponent of the Counter-Reformation--indeed, Pope Paul is rumored to have flirted with the idea of naming him a Cardinal, but decided against it as needlessly provocative.  He is also, by a great bit of luck, a descendant of the Plantagenets, which could serve as a fairly plausible rationale for handing him the throne, thus putting England back in the hands of the Catholics--indeed, in the hands of the right sort of Catholics. Admittedly, Reginald has several items, among them an elder brother, that weaken such a claim, but with a good amount of swords behind him, Charles is pretty sure it could stick. Especially if Reginald marries Charles' cousin, Mary, neatly tying it all together.  Charles explains his plan to Pole, who is... less than happy with it. While he doesn't agree with much--or really, any--of Henry's actions of late, this seems rather blatantly treasonous. He has family back in England, and this would almost certainly hurt them--Reginald has in fact been doing his best to keep his mouth shut on the whole matter for their sake.  And honestly, he doesn't see England rushing to embrace a pretender with a dubious claim backed by a lot of foreign soldiers, even if he does promise to bring Catholicism back. Unfortunately for Reginald, he doesn't understand that kings are pretty much kings, even when they're generally pleasant Holy Roman Emperors. Charles isn't taking 'no' for an answer on this one. Reginald is going to be Charles' cat's-paw for a prospective English invasion, whether he likes it or not. Charles has Pole escorted to the Low Countries under heavy guard--for his own protection, of course--where he will wait for Charles to launch his invasion. Which if this present uprising continues in the manner it's been going so far, will probably be any day now. --For the last few months, Cromwell has been the victim of an organized whisper campaign. Henry keeps hearing rumors that the dissolution is not being done with quite the integrity that he's been told it has, that Cromwell is botching things, that King Henry is being made a fool of. Nothing definite, mind you, no out and out accusations--just constant rumors meant to get Henry in just the right frame of mind to give Cromwell the boot, and perhaps something more permanent. Of course, Cromwell is a sharp cookie, and he knows that this is happening, though at first he chalks it up to the opposition that self-made men of power always have to face in politics. Eventually, he realizes that this goes a bit deeper. People are actually aligning against him. And when the Pilgrimage starts he realizes that the jig is up. He's going to lose now. All he can do is make sure that he doesn't lose too much. Cromwell starts by approaching the woman he suspects has been behind much of the maneuvering--Anne. While the exact details of their conversation are somewhat sketchy, Cromwell leaves it certain of one thing--Anne does not want him dead, merely suitably humbled. This is good news. That leaves the King to deal with. On November 23rd, he arrives at a council meeting in tears, begging Henry's forgiveness. He has failed the King--he has been misled by others, and thus, misled Henry--he has been the victim of rogues and villains, and thus, made Henry their victim as well. He begs Henry to accept his resignation and his most abject apologies. Henry does so. The next day, Cromwell retires to his estates, having lost his office, but kept his head, though he is well aware that it might require further effort on his part to keep it there in the near future. Still, he considers it a decent exchange. Living men can recover from setbacks. Dead men generally cannot. --When the news of Cromwell's resignation reaches the Pilgrims, the results are dramatic--most of the Pilgrims start heading home. They have long viewed Cromwell as the author of all policies they disapprove of, and are certain with him gone, the battle is won. Besides, it's cold out. The remaining Pilgrims are Catholic diehards, mostly, but not entirely Marians, who remain convinced that they have to continue until the King restores the Faith, and (for the Marians) the proper succession. This remnant is far more disciplined and dedicated then their fellows--but now, the Pilgrimage is no longer an awe-inspiringly huge, seemingly relentless public uprising, but a minor rebellion by a smattering of malcontents. Henry sends Norfolk up with soldiers to put down the remainder, while nobles who have been hiding in their castles and mansions suddenly issue forth to battle these dangerous rebels. As the year ends, the First Pilgrimage of the Faithful is not over, but it is clear that it is approaching its end... ------------------------------  So what has happened to make this less cohesive than the IOTL Pilgrimage of Grace? Well, again, Henry getting his hoped for son doesn't make his case seem quite so shabby, and he hasn't followed up his first divorce with getting rid of wife #2 with a show trial, which is then followed by a swift marriage to wife #3. ITTL, Henry doesn't seem quite so bad, which means that while people are about as pissed, they're a bit less sure of themselves for the most part. The result is a public uprising that after its initial fury, quickly devolves into a hopeless muddle.  IOTL, some Catholics actually requested that Mary be put back in the line of succession before any potential heirs. ITTL, with the general muddle that typifies the first Pilgrimage of the Faithful, the roughly equivalent view is the province of a small faction of diehards.  Which is why he isn't a Cardinal ITTL. If you were wondering.  Eustace Chapuys was actually throwing ideas like this around IOTL, until Reginald became a Cardinal.  He was keeping his mouth less shut IOTL--he'd actually written a pamphlet on why Henry was wrong and sent it to Henry when Henry asked Pole for his opinion of the divorce. But again, this whole situation has people double-guessing themselves--and truthfully, Pole does seem to have wanted to keep a certain distance from the whole issue at this point IOTL--here, it's just stronger. William Tyndale "Some men are the victims of their own folly. Reginald Pole was the victim of the folly of others. And to make his predicament worse, those men were kings..." --Jason Mackenna, The Saddest Man in Christendom (1987) 1537 --The remnants of the first Pilgrimage of the Faithful are crushed piece by piece over the next few months under the direction of the Duke of Norfolk. Henry scales back--but does not stop--the dissolution of the monasteries, except in Ireland, where the whole effort has folded rather neatly into Henry's longstanding project to bludgeon the Irish into submission, and is thus continued apace. That said Henry is having one of his failures of nerve. He's had an awful lot of bad things happen to him in a short space of time, and he can't help but feel that God is trying to tell him something. A part of him is wondering if mocking the Pope and getting excommunicated was such a hot idea, but unfortunately, now Paul III is the one who's being difficult on the whole reconciliation matter. (Though he does continue to not broadcast Henry's state to the world.) Still, other parts of him are blaming something else... --Eustace Chapuys notifies the Emperor of the Pilgrimage's sputtering out. He also notes that Henry and Anne have reconciled their differences for the moment, and appear to be getting along. Just how much they've reconciled becomes apparent when Anne announces she's pregnant again. --Charles, hearing of the end of the Pilgrimage--and dealing with the fact that Francois has struck a deal with the Turks--shelves his invasion plans, along with poor Reginald Pole, who gets stuck in a secluded house on the fringes of Antwerp, under lock and key. To protect from the malice of the King of England, of course. Rumors of the whole affair reach England, but at the moment, they're only that. --Mary Howard, Dowager Duchess of Richmond and Somerset, and her little son Arthur Fitzroy receive a missive from the King, who wishes his grandson to join Prince Henry's household "that my son may have a companion, and that I may know my grandson". It's thought that some of the initiative in this design comes from Anne--Arthur is not only a potential competitor to her own children, but thanks to the King's generosity to his father, one of the greatest landholders in England. This being so, it's best to have him and his mother viewing themselves as allies to Anne, not enemies. --The betrothal of Princess Elizabeth and Charles of Orleans becomes semi-official, though it remains in a fairly nebulous state that both parties can back out of easily if they have to. Francois and Henry are both starting to have second thoughts on this whole alliance, which hasn't exactly netted them the incredible glory they feel they were promised. In Francois' case, his increasingly conservative Catholicism is really making being allied to 'swears he's not a Protestant, but then acts just like one' Henry very uncomfortable indeed. Prince Henry's future marriage remains open-ended, though Marguerite de Navarre is suggesting a match between the young Prince and her daughter Jeanne. Henry in particular is less than thrilled with this idea--true, Navarre is a kingdom, but it is mostly occupied by the Spanish, and he likes to think his son could do better than that. --In other French marriage news, the young wife of James V, Madeleine of Valois, dies after only a few months of marriage. James has married Madeleine because of her bewitching beauty, despite her father's suggestion that he marry another French princess due Madeleine's poor health. James mourns awhile, and then starts negotiations for a new French marriage. Indeed, he already has his eye on someone who attended his wedding--a young widow named Marie of Guise. --Mary Tudor has spent the time since her father's remarriage in virtual seclusion, shuffled from household to household as Henry puts the pressure on her to just accept the fact she's a title-less bastard. Mary is very much the child of her parents, however, and refuses to give in. She is the lawful Princess of Wales, her father's true heir, and 'Prince' Henry is nothing more than the bastard of her father's evil whore of a mistress. However, in the middle of the year, Mary finds her hardships shift from merely awful, to genuinely terrifying, when she is quietly arrested and actually imprisoned. Mary soon learns she is charged with a variety of crimes--being in contact with rebels; celebrating her good stepmother's 'misfortune' (that's a polite way of saying 'miscarriage'): wishing ill against her lawful brother and sister; wishing ill against her stepmother, the Queen--with a few really awful crimes--conspiring to achieve the death of her half-brother Henry Fitzroy through sorcery ; conspiring to do the Queen ill through sorcery; treason; plotting to depose the king--being held up in the wings. Mary holds up to this barrage as best she can, certain that this is Anne's latest plot to destroy her. She is in fact, dead wrong. This is all her father's doing. With each year, Henry has grown more and more convinced that his 'unlawful' wedding of his brother's widow is to blame for all his ills. And now, he's half convinced himself that his refusal to "be done with" the last reminder of said marriage is what has caused all the recent misfortunes he has suffered. And yet he holds off. Killing your own child is after all, a big deal. Anne, to her credit, is horrified. Oh, she wouldn't necessarily mind Mary dying--recent events have demonstrated that she is a threat to her children and the realm in general, simply by serving as a rallying point. But she has always pictured Mary dying quietly of some nameless illness, or an unfortunate accident. Not being dragged out in a public spectacle apparently designed to rid Henry of his massive guilt complex. People still like the ex-Princess, and they've just taken care of what amounts to a mass-movement of her partisans. This is a bad idea, but Henry is quite taken with it at that the moment, and as she's learned, he can't be forced out of bad ideas--merely eased out of them. --Another individual is also dealing with the King's ill favor, though things go quite quickly in his case. Richard Rich, Solicitor General, and Cromwell's former right-hand man is arrested, and charged with treason, fraud, corruption and assorted other crimes. The gist of the accusations against him is that Richard abused his position to grow rich of the dissolution, thus making him responsible for the Pilgrimage. Richard denies the charges, but then Edward and Thomas Seymour step forward and testify that Richard boasted to them of the great wealth he was accumulating, and tried to inveigle them into a land-buying scheme. Richard is sentenced to death for the crime of profiting off the dissolution, by a group of judges who have all profited by the dissolution. His execution is a painful and bloody affair, and a least one chronicler insists that the only man who mourns him is his tailor. --Cromwell's fall from power, and the Pilgrimage of the Faithful have resulted in his replacement not by one man, but many--Henry's privy council (which will be more fully detailed shortly) is presently the driving force in English politics, or more the second force, after the King's own will. While it's tough to say anyone dominates it, the Duke of Norfolk is probably the most influential member. A conservative Catholic at heart, he's using his influence at the moment to try and roll back some of the theological reforms Archbishop Cranmer has instituted--though not the dissolution, which he is surprisingly keen on. Henry is unsteady on this matter--on the one hand, the Pilgrimage has him spooked, and in many respects, he's also a conservative Catholic at heart--on the other hand, he doesn't like to back away from things, and there are just enough reformers on the Council to make him second-guess himself. The result is a temporary state of inertia in matters of faith. Of course, how long it will hold is anybody's guess. --Anne gives birth to her third child, a son. He is named Edward. Henry is, of course, relieved to have 'an heir and a spare', though somewhat alarmed at the child's apparently lackluster health. Anne insists that it is nothing more than fussiness, but the King is not convinced. --William Tyndale is executed as a heretic in Flanders. The efforts of Queen Anne on his behalf have bought him a little more time, but in the end, they have not saved his life. Tyndale's Book of Psalms--his last work of translation, completed while he was in prison--will be published shortly after his death.  --------------------------------------------------  Anne got charged with this IOTL.  He died in 1536 IOTL. I figured with Anne free to worry about herself a lot less, she's able to spend a bit of influence to try and keep him alive, which spares poor Will a while longer and lets him get a little more work done. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk THE PRIVY COUNCIL OF HENRY VIII, CIRCA 1537-8: PROMINENT MEMBERS The Privy Council is a small group of advisors who are supposed to help Henry run the realm. While Kings have relied on such groups for centuries, with many of the titled positions on the Council be quite old, Henry has formalized much of it, partially because he needs it to be so, and partially because he likes being able to blame people when one of his hare-brained schemes collapse. Finally, it must be pointed out that Anne does not sit on the Privy Council, or even attend its meetings, and thus must find out what they're planning after the fact. This disadvantage is mitigated by the fact that she has family on it. What follows are a few prominent members of the Council to help give an idea of the byzantine political maneuverings that are going on. THOMAS HOWARD, 3RD DUKE OF NORFOLK, LORD HIGH TREASURER, EARL MARSHAL Anne's maternal uncle, Norfolk is a strange combination of stodgy traditionalism and naked opportunism. A man who can trace his ancestry back to Edward Longshanks, he is one of the more conservative members on religious matters, excepting of course, when he can get ahead by the changes. In foreign affairs, he's old-fashioned--other nations are for invading, or possibly allying with to invade somebody else. Norfolk probably has more clout than any other individual member on the Council, though it's more of a 'first among equals' affair. His relationship with his niece is an odd and complex one--he doesn't quite cotton to her newfangled religious beliefs, or the way she plays politics, but in the end, family is family. Unless the tide really turns against her. Then he's dropping her like a hot potato. Nothing personal, mind you. I mean, he's pretty sure she'd do the same for him. CHARLES BRANDON, 1ST DUKE OF SUFFOLK, LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL One of Henry's dearest friends, Charles Brandon has long enjoyed the King's favor--indeed, Brandon actually married Henry's sister Mary, and got away with it. (Said lady is now dead, with Brandon now on his fourth marriage--a young heiress who was originally engaged to his son.) Charles is a not exactly a man of strong convictions--he's gotten this far in life by being buddies with the King, and he's sticking to what he knows, damn it. On religious matters, Charles doesn't exactly have much convictions one way or the other, but his wife does, and so he's found himself allied with the Reformists. THOMAS BOLEYN, 1ST EARL OF WILTSHIRE, LORD PRIVY SEAL Henry's present father-in-law, it would be easy to dismiss Thomas as a man who's only sitting here because his daughter married the King. Such a verdict is too harsh--Thomas is an accomplished diplomat with a record that would do any man credit. While he's undoubtedly profited by his daughter's marriage, his past achievements are what won him the glory necessary to bring her before the King in the first place. That said, Thomas is now an old man, whose health is failing. On religious matters, Thomas is neutral, a Catholic whose children are Protestant. GEORGE BOLEYN, VISCOUNT ROCHEFORD, LORD WARDEN OF THE CINQUE PORTS Anne's brother, George definitely owes his advancement to being just that--that said, his ability to keep his positions rest largely on his own merits. George is probably one of the most eloquent and dedicated members of Parliament serving at the moment--and he knows it. George is a dedicated Protestant, and his sister's closest ally on the Council. STEPHEN GARDINER, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, KING'S SECRETARY A skilled theologian and closet Catholic, Bishop Gardiner supported Henry on the divorce, but feels that Henry's other theological actions are a bit... off. And he's argued this with Henry, who keeps him around partially as a a symbol that he doesn't kill everyone who disagrees with him, and partially because he'll need somebody to implement the rollback if he changes the mind. Gardiner is presently allied with Norfolk on the 'make the Church of England more Catholic' project, though he spends quite a bit of time abroad on embassies, making his influence rather sporadic. SIR WILLIAM PAULET, COMPTROLLER OF THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD, LORD CHAMBERLAIN If Charles Brandon is a weathervane by natural inclination, Sir William Paulet is a weathervane by art. He gets along with everyone on the Council--he is liked by the King and the Queen--he's even friends with Cromwell, which demonstrates an epic amount of congeniality. Sir William has no fundamental views whatsoever, save that the realm must be served, and that Sir William Paulet remaining alive to serve it is good for all involved. Thomas Cromwell BOLINGBROKE. But why thinkest thou we shall succeed against a King who hast by the mere showing of his countenance undone a rebellion that had London in its grips? WOODSTOCK. Bah! Mention not those poxy villains to me! That throng were geese that thought themselves falcons, Foolish sheep that mistook themselves lions. Whilst their folly was on them, they didst well Having great numbers in their service-- When it left, they scattered like the curs they were. We are great men of renown and standing, the pillars on which this isle's good rests. When the vile many rise, it as is nothing-- when we the rare few rise, it is as all. Kings we have unmade, as it pleased us, And to see this callow boy unmade wouldst be most pleasing, most good in mine sight. --John Shaxper, The Tragedy of Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester (c. 1597)  1538 --Henry is starting to miss Cromwell, complaining bitterly how his Privy Council are bunch of opportunistic inefficient bastards, and how Cromwell was able to do everything they claim to much better by himself.  Anne is also missing Cromwell. Not that she regrets toppling him from power--she did not ruin Wolsey simply to replace him with a Protestant equivalent, thank you very much. But he was a tireless ally, a coreligionist--and honestly, a friend, before he decided to work all the angles. Having him back--albeit with an understanding that he's not going to be the second most powerful man in England anymore--might be helpful. Cromwell meanwhile, sits on his estate--and waits. --This year's Twelfth Night celebration at Greenwich Palace sees a wondrous thing. Mary Tudor, former princess of the realm, appears before her father and stepmother, formally renounces her titles and acknowledges Henry and Anne's marriage. She then bows before her half-siblings, and kisses Prince Henry's hand. Mary has spent the last several months living in fear of execution, until she received a suggestion that it might be possible to make it all go away, if she would just acknowledge the new order. Even Mary's stubbornness has limits, especially in the face of hideous death, and she finally caved. Much of the (rather ambiguous and vague) evidence against her was dismissed, while the few hard pieces were recanted, the men and women who gave them swearing that they were acting under orders of the Pope to bring Mary Tudor's name into it. Henry is of course, furious at the papal plot to make him kill his own daughter. Anne on the other hand, is relieved that Henry was successfully walked back from Really Bad Idea #1849. Though this does leave the question of how Mary is going to be handled open. After all, how do you solve a problem like Mary Tudor?  --Norfolk, as mentioned, is probably one of the most powerful men in England right now. His niece is queen. His daughter is mother to the King's grandson, and presently one of the Queen's chief ladies-in-waiting. He is Earl Marshal, and Lord High Treasurer, two posts of extraordinary prestige. And he is also presently the most hated man in all England--indeed, he is hated more than former most hated man in all England Thomas Cromwell ever was. Protestants hate him because he's a Catholic who's trying to undo all the hard work that's been done establishing the True Faith in England. Catholics hate him because he's one of the leading agents of the suppression, glutting himself on monastic lands. Southerners hate him because he's an overbearing Northerner, come down from up there to meddle in politics. Northerners hate him because he's an overbearing Southerner--as a man based in Anglia, Norfolk may be conveniently passed off as belonging to the other section of England if you don't like him--who's come up from down there and killed quite a lot of them, both in the first Pilgrimage of the Faithful, and after it, tracking down ringleaders, and alleged ringleaders. (Many people assumed after Cromwell fell that amnesty was on its way. They assumed--incorrectly.) Most of England unites in its hated of the Duke of Norfolk, a hatred, that as demonstrated, breaks the barriers of religion and geography. And all of this hatred is going to have a very dramatic effect on Thomas Howard's life. In late March, Norfolk is walking down a street in London when a man calls his name. Norfolk and his companions turn to look at said man, and thus miss the second man who walks behind Norfolk and stabs him several times with a knife. Both men then rush away, blending into the crowd--it is a mark of how hated Norfolk is that the crowd makes no move to detain the men, and in fact blocks any attempt to capture them. The identities of Norfolk's assassins are in fact one of history's great unsolvable mysteries, as is whether his last words are the "Who are you?" he directs to the man who calls his name, or a moaned "Sweet Jesu, have mercy on me", as he lays dying in the street. (Other sources insist he said nothing at all, and merely "groaned endlessly, without word or meaning".) However, Norfolk's death will have significant consequences.  --As soon as he hears of Norfolk's assassination, Thomas Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy de Darcy, springs into action. He rallies up some men, and sends the word out--Henry's wicked minister Norfolk is dead. The time to act is now. It's time to try another uprising, only this time, it's going to be disciplined, and lead by the right sort of people, not like that one they had a while back, which in point of fact, Darcy helped put down. Throughout the North, the invitation goes out--come join the Baron Darcy on his Pilgrimage of the Faithful. (Most historians believe Darcy actually coined the term, which was then retroactively applied to the first Pilgrimage--however a significant minority argue that the term was actually used by the Pilgrimage's participants and that Darcy was merely attempting to connect his uprising to the earlier, spontaneous and popular one.) And so begins the second Pilgrimage. Having done this, Darcy winds up... sitting on his ass for a month at Pontefract Castle, trying to get other lower nobles to enlist, and waiting for enough people to gather so that he can actually do something besides declare himself lord and master of Pontefract and Wakefield. (This lengthy delay is the main reason historians debate whether Darcy had Norfolk killed or not. While he certainly seems to have been planning to take advantage of something, the lack of preparation does suggest that Darcy's uprising is a spur-of-the-moment affair. Once again, we'll never know...) Meanwhile, instead of the absolute chaos Darcy's envisioning engulfing the North, Thomas Howard's son and heir, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey has quickly taken control of the situation, and is notifying people NOT to go on the Pilgrimage, if they like having all their body parts attached, and gathering his own troops. As a result, Darcy does not get the flood of outraged Northern nobles and gentry that he's expecting. He does get a significant number of people, in time, though nowhere near the number of the first Pilgrimage--Norfolk has been doing his job, so quite a few Pilgrims are dead, and an even larger number are spooked. With the men he's gathered, Darcy moves on Leeds. Unfortunately, instead of surrendering immediately in 'fear', Leeds closes the city gates. Darcy does not have the men or the time needed to besiege it, and is forced to retreat back to Pontefract, something that becomes rather urgent when he hears Surrey is on his way with a fairly sizable army of his own. As they retreat, Darcy reveals the ace up his sleeve--he's got help coming. Holy Roman Emperor Charles is bringing troops from Flanders, who will arrive with the land's true King, Reginald Pole who shall marry good Princess Mary, and when that happens--well, the joke will be on Surrey, and his wicked master Henry, won't it?  In the meantime, the Pilgrims will merely have to wait for Emperor Charles, who is coming any day now. --Emperor Charles is of course, making no plans to come at all. He's got a war with France to wind down, another war with the Turk to fight--that one's not going so good--and to be frank, his finances aren't looking so hot at the moment. He has been cultivating men like Darcy with the idea of using them in the future, but he was rather hoping they'd stay put. He might be willing to invade if an uprising actually looked like it was--you know--winning, or at least holding its own, but Darcy's hasn't exactly impressed him. Meanwhile, Reginald Pole continues to enjoy Charles'... hospitality in a little house outside of Antwerp. His protectors--this is all that is shielding him from Henry's wrath, remember--declare in letters to Charles that Pole seems melancholy and listless these days. --The court reels from the twin blows of Norfolk's assassination and Darcy's Pilgrimage. Henry almost succumbs to panic, but Anne manages to steel his nerves. As it quickly becomes clear that Surrey has the situation in hand, and assassins aren't lurking in every corner, the mood lifts. Mary Tudor remains nervous--she has just regained her freedom, and rejoined court, albeit in a diminished state, and now she fears losing it all again. Especially after stories of Darcy's declaration reach the Court. She is reassured that of course they know she isn't plotting with the Emperor, even as inquiries are made to make sure that she isn't plotting with the Emperor. Bishop Gardiner is overjoyed. Not because he thinks the Pilgrimage will succeed, but because he's fairly certain that this one will tilt the King even further away from Protestantism. Indeed, just as the first Pilgrimage toppled Cromwell, so might the second be used to topple Archbishop Cranmer. --Darcy's revelations do not cause the upsurge of confidence he imagines they will in his fellow pilgrims--many are in fact, rather offended to find that they are the agents of a foreign power. Darcy loses a steady trickle of his men all the way back to Pontefract. Some go back to their homes--others take to banditry, hoping to start a 'real' Pilgrimage of the Faithful. Darcy holes up with the remainder in Pontefract. Surrey arrives shortly thereafter, and besieges it. --The present Italian War comes to an end with the Truce of Nice, which is mediated by Pope Paul. After two years and then some of fighting, Francois' grand reward--is to keep Turin, the city he took over at the start. He considers this a noteworthy victory. Francois and Charles continue their negotiations--indirectly, as the two men hate each other--and come to an agreement that Francois' daughter Marguerite should wed Charles' son Philip. The English response is... worried. Francois and Charles talking to one another is always bad news for Henry, as they might realize that working together, they could really mess England up. Something that they can do now, and consider God's work, technically. Anne tries to assure Henry that everything is fine, that Francois won't betray them, but damn it, even she's getting worried now. --As it becomes painfully clear that Emperor Charles is not coming, Sir Robert Constable, Darcy's de facto second in command, seizes control of the Pilgrimage, and surrenders to Surrey. Darcy, Constable, and the other ringleaders are taken in chains back to London. As for the rest, the recalcitrant are hung, while the remainder are sent into exile. Surrey is invited to come take his father's title and positions, once he finishes rounding up the remnants of the second Pilgrimage. Darcy is attainted, his titles and lands forfeit, and he is sentenced to die a traitor's death, but the King's mercy turns this into merely a beheading. Constable is sent into exile, as well as Darcy's family. Most of this batch of Pilgrims wind up hanging around the Low Countries. --Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, arrives in London, and receives a hero's welcome. He is quickly recognized the 4th Duke of Norfolk, and appointed Lord High Treasurer. Bishop Gardiner approaches him to recruit his support for a move against Cranmer. Norfolk appears agreeable, and promises to speak more of this subject later. --SCENE FROM PLAYBILL STATION'S EPIC-NOMINATED SERIES, 'THE TUDORS, SEASON 2, EPISODE 5 'THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD'. Setting: House of Lords Men are filing into the House, mumbling to each other. GARDINER approaches NORFOLK. G. I hope sir, that you have thought on what we spoke of. Norfolk nods dully. N. I have. Gardiner smiles. G. Good... good... So you are with me? Norfolk moves away, expression noncommittal. N. It is time for me to speak, sir... G. Of course, of course. Norfolk moves to the center of the room. He regards it majestically, but also rather tiredly. N. Lords and Peers, I stand before you honored by your love, raised to this great position despite my youth. It is an honor beyond counting--and yet I would gladly give it up to have my father back again. Assorted murmurs of assent from the crowd. N. But that is not to be in this world. No, in this world he has been torn from me, in the troubles that have so recently befallen us. Troubles that I feel can be lain at the feet on one man. A man who disguises himself in the mantle of a priest, and uses it to work evil, and destroy our way of life. More murmurs. Gardiner smiles to himself. N. I speak of course, of the so-called Bishop of Rome. Gardiner's smile vanishes, to be replaced by an expression of horror. N. He has spread revolt and murder among our people, setting them against our lawful king! Not content to be the vicar of Christ, he has set himself up as an earthly potentate, and now wages war against England! More murmurs of assent. Gardiner is now trying to make himself scarce. N. But we will not be cowed! Even though he has his agents among us--yea, seated in the highest posts of government, plotting against us--he will not defeat us! Even now they whisper, these two-faced servants, these spies for this Italian king. They tell us we have been too harsh in our dissolution of the monasteries. Too harsh? Gentleman, we have been too lenient! We have been gentle and kind, and given way to them, and what has been the result? They have turned themselves into fortresses of sedition! Norfolk points to his audience. N. I have seen them give aid, comfort and shelter to rebels, these 'holy monks'. And when they are not hiding their 'faithful pilgrims', they are working to destroy us from within, working to destroy the love our folk should bear to our king, and our land... More murmurs of assent, now loud and very favorable. N. And they tell us other things. Our ten articles are to blame, they say. They discomfit the faithful. Nonsense! They are fine articles, Christian articles, English articles. No honest man can object to them! What discomfort exists is induced by these prating traitors, these agents of the King of Rome, spreading lies against them, confusing the poor and the desperate, so that they raise arms against what they should protect! Gardiner has headed to the door. Two men step before him. M1. Ah. Bishop Gardiner. We wish you to come with us... Gardiner gulps. G. I... I know you. You... you are the Seymours... The Lord Warden's men... Edward Seymour smiles. E. On... occasion. We merely wish to ask you... some questions. Regarding... certain letters you may have sent. Among... other things. Gardiner seems on the verge of panic--but then he deflates, and meekly accompanies the brothers out. Back at the floor, Norfolk continues to speak. N. Yes, they spread their lies--but we are not fooled. We mark their treachery, and wait to see it paid with the proper coin. England shall prevail! Loud applause. N. God save the King! And the Devil take the Pope! --Tudors Chatroom sumguy: well that was over the top. 'i protestant now! smash pope.' lectriceel: It's just a show, guys. Hystorian3490: That doesn't mean they can just do whatever they want to history. lectriceel: Actually, yes it does. Hystorian3490: I mean, Gardiner was actually arrested--and not by the Seymours--BEFORE Norfolk ever gave an address to the House of Lords. And that speech was bits from five or six different speeches, all mixed together with the context removed. lectriceel: Just a show. Hystorian3490: Well, it bugs me. I mean--yeah, after Darcy's Pilgrimage, Norfolk 4 started viewing the Catholic Church and the monasteries with suspicion. When you think the Pope had your dad killed, that's what happens. But it's not like he immediately turned into a diehard Protestant overnight. On a lot of things, he was pretty conservative... lectriceel: Just a show. Hystorian3490: And then lectriceel: JUST A SHOW! IF YOU ARE SO INTERESTED IN REALISM, WHY DON'T YOU OBJECT TO THE FACT THAT THE WOMEN SHAVE THEIR ARMPITS?!!! --As Stephen Gardiner awaits his trial, Thomas Cromwell is invited back into the government. Among his tasks--handling the Mary Tudor problem... ---------------------  Interestingly enough, another play, frequently given this name, was written IOTL and generally is numbered among the Shakespeare apocrypha, though the scene is not from it.  He did the same thing OTL after he had Cromwell executed in 1540. Henry was prone to regretting actions that got other people killed significantly after the fact.  I'm sorry. I'm weak.  Norfolk lived to 1554 IOTL, surviving his eldest son, who Henry had executed.  IOTL, Darcy joined forces with the Pilgrimage of Grace, and became one of its leaders.  IOTL, Darcy was in communication with Charles, through Chapuys, where he asked for just this kind of help. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester "...Thomas Cromwell's miraculous return to power, after nearly all had dismissed him as a spent force was greeted with shock in England's political circles. Eustace Chapuys declared, with a levity that suggests he scarcely grasped his upcoming difficulties, 'Let no man doubt the dead may rise from their graves, if the Lord wills it, for now I have seen it is so'..." --Ronald Cole, The Cromwells: Story of a Political Dynasty (1967) 1539 --Stephen Gardiner's year begins and ends unpleasantly with his trial and execution for treason. (Among the witnesses called at his trial are: William Paulet, William Paget, Edward and Thomas Seymour, and John Leland.) Gardiner, after several attempted bargains to save his life fail, faces his death bravely, declaring that he has spent his life in the service of his King and his faith and that he would have gladly continued to do so had not Henry forced him to make a choice. His former position of Bishop of Winchester is taken by one Matthew Parker--his position of King's Secretary is taken by Cromwell. --Gardiner is not the only one whose year begins with an inauspicious start. France and the Empire sign the Treaty of Toledo, a refinement of the Truce of Nice. Among its clauses, a promise that neither shall seek the aid of England against the other.  Henry is livid. The Privy Council is fearful. Even Anne is angered at Francois, declaring that "he has used us sorely". Without being able to use France and the Empire to balance each other, England is now dangerously isolated. It needs allies. Quickly. Cromwell--after giving everyone a few "I told you so"s--is put on the case. Curiously, it neatly folds into his other project. --The combination of this latest provocation and Darcy's Pilgrimage result in Eustace Chapuys being thrown out of England. When he protests to the Viscount Rocheford, who brings him this news, the Lord Warden replies that Chapuys should count himself fortunate that he is not being executed, as his abuse of his ambassadorial status in the last few years been downright horrific. Chapuys leaves England for the Low Countries, but not before writing one more letter to Charles where he politely protests the Emperor's handling of the English situation, which he states has made it impossible for him to do anything. It's a good illustration of the difference between Charles and Henry that one of his subordinates will actually criticize him, and that Charles will actually listen. --In another bit of fallout from the second Pilgrimage, the Poles are arrested, though quickly released again when it becomes obvious that they know nothing of the plot to put Reginald on the throne. News of this incident spreads to the English expatriate community in the Low Countries, who notify Reginald. (He's been receiving visitors--mostly former Pilgrims--though under a very careful watch.) Reginald manages to send out a letter to Henry and Anne in which he thanks them for their kindness in sparing his family, and then bemoans his fate, declaring himself "the saddest man in all Christendom". The letter is, of course, publicized by the English, to the Emperor's great embarrassment, which appears to have been Reginald's idea. Needless to say, the visits stop. --Relationships between France and England are tense, albeit not as bad as between England and the Empire. Henry considers the Treaty of Toledo the renunciation of all past agreements, and is bitterly offended by this. Francois sees it a little more ambiguously, but reacts to all accusations by pointing out that England did not exactly come riding to the rescue in the last war. Henry replies that this doesn't warrant what is a pretty naked betrayal. Needless to say, this means that Charles of Orleans and Princess Elizabeth's semi-official engagement is off, and Prince Henry's hypothetical marriage to an unidentified French princess has moved further off into the realms of fancy. --Thomas Boleyn dies. His son George assumes his titles Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and is named Lord Privy Seal by Henry. In a very real sense, Thomas' death marks the end of an era--the Privy Council is increasingly dominated by younger men. What's more, the Catholic faction is now essentially finished. The Council is divided between those who are Protestant, and those who are merely not Catholic. This is not, however, a neat breakdown between moderates and radicals--George is a dedicated Protestant, and yet he leans towards his sister's views on the dissolution of the monasteries--phased, gradual, with new Protestant state institutions being created to take their place--while Norfolk, a man who believes in the Real Presence, wants as fast a liquidation of the monasteries as can be managed, and a review of all bishops in England, to make sure they aren't holding any... suspect loyalties. --After sitting on the matter for years, Pope Paul III finally lets it be known that Henry is excommunicated, as is Archbishop Cranmer. And figuring that if he's going to make that public, he might as well go the whole hog, he also publicly excommunicates Anne, most of the more Protestant leaning bishops, and the entire Privy Council, with special notice being given to Norfolk. The response is not as overwhelming as Paul might have hoped--rumors have been circulating about the excommunication for years now, and quite a few people suspected that this whole 'make yourself head of the church' deal wasn't quite standard theology. What's more, England's Catholics have been battered and bashed by years of repression, and the side-effects of two failed uprisings. Right now, they aren't exactly up to overthrowing their heretic King. And those who are excommunicated just see it as more proof that the Pope is just an Italian politician pretending to serve as God's representative. Norfolk--whose hatred of the Papacy has become so intense that even ultra-mega-Protestant Cromwell finds it off-putting--boasts about it publicly, and calls it a badge of honor. --The dissolution starts up in full force again--not that ever exactly stopped, mind you, but now it's really hopping. Cromwell provides the brains, and now, Norfolk is providing the brawn. It's a scary time for Catholics, especially up north. And it gets worse--Paul's excommunications of bishops have backfired, drawing a road map to just the ones who need to be checked. An awful lot of bishops wind up having to... answer a few questions. --Cromwell is hard at work on his other little projects. England needs allies. Fortunately, Cromwell has long been dreading the day when France and the Empire stopped fighting and started considering a Catholic pact to crush and destroy England. And he's got plans. The Schmalkaldic League is an alliance of (mostly) North German princes, united in their Lutheran faith, and dedicated to not having Emperor Charles crush them like bugs. (It also briefly counted Francois I as a member, but religious issues, and the whole French thing ultimately scuppered that.) If England can ally with them--or at least associate with them--then Charles will be nervous about attacking. If Charles is nervous, then Francois will be nervous, largely because he'll suspect that Charles might try to take advantage of him if he does. (Francois tends to imagine that everyone else in the world is like him. This is probably one reason he rivals Henry in badly thought out foreign policy.) And so, England will not have to face a horrible invasion. But it's not that easy. The Schmalkaldic League is very Lutheran, and they look slightly askance at Henry's weird little schism. They chuckle at his divorce--even Philip of Hesse, arguably the one man in Europe Henry can feel superior to in regards to handling marital difficulties. But still, as things have continued, they've come to view the Anglican Church as something of a potential ally--if it isn't quite Protestant now, it stands an excellent chance of becoming so in the future. And so, they are willing to talk. --Henry VIII's continued insistence on living as if he were still in his twenties catches up to him when he suffers a horrible jousting accident, falling from his horse, while his left leg is caught in the stirrup. His injuries are severe--Henry is unconscious for several hours, and incoherent for a long time after that. He breaks both his right leg and his right arm at the shoulder. The immediate result is moderate panic. The King is injured. Maybe dead. Maybe dying. What do we do? And England has just seen two rebellions in three years, people know the King--and most of the government--are excommunicated now, there have been more reprisals... Basically, everyone worries that this might be it. The spark that's needed to set everything off. The Council and Anne rise to the occasion. Anne rushes off to Hatfield, gathers the children and then has them go to London and appear before the people, demonstrating that--even if the worse happens--England has a King. The Council divvies up the responsibilities and starts getting ready just in case anybody--angry Catholics, its neighbors--decides now's the time to start something. Thankfully, nobody does. Despite all the shocks, England's Catholics have been too bludgeoned of late to try anything right now. (Other than a few roving bands of robbers who've been running around since Darcy's Pilgrimage, most of whom have lost track of any goals they might have had regarding 'restoring the Old Faith'.) Meanwhile, France, the Empire, and Scotland all have problems of their own to deal with. For now--the peace holds. --Robert Aske, a former lawyer, and unofficial head of the exiled Pilgrims in the Low Countries--Constable is viewed as something of a sellout--marries a local woman, another sign of the expatriate community there putting down roots. Like many he reacts hopefully to news of Henry's misfortune, but attempts nothing, and goes on with his life as soon as it becomes clear that Henry isn't dead, and the country isn't up in arms. --Henry recovers slowly from his accident. His right leg is practically useless, he will never fully be able to lift his right arm again, and an ulcerated wound has opened up on his left leg, the result of the exacerbation of a previous injury that never healed properly. In addition the recurrent headaches that have been bothering him since a previous jousting accident have gotten much, much worse--sometimes the pain is so intense, he is incapacitated. Still, there is some surprising good news coming his way--Anne is once again pregnant. Well, Henry thinks it's good news. Anne has more mixed feelings about it. She is, after all, not as young as she used to be. --Thomas Cromwell unveils his plan for gaining ties with the Schmalkadic League through one of its most prestigious allies--the Kingdom of Denmark. Mary Tudor shall wed King Christian III's brother, John. It is, Cromwell feels, the perfect solution--or close to it. Denmark is Lutheran and willing to acknowledge the annulment as legal, so they won't be invading with the true Catholic monarch in tow in the near future, as France might have done. And it gets better--John is the brother of the King, but thanks to Denmark's byzantine succession laws, he's not a Royal Prince. This means that his brother isn't making extraordinary demands as the price of taking Henry's cast-off daughter. (This is part of what ruined Cromwell's first choice, William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg , who kept making elaborate dowry proposals. Including, at one point, Calais.) True, John is a little younger than Mary, but not horribly so. Henry is hesitant. Of all the traits he could have picked up from his father, he's managed to acquire the tendency to play games with his children's betrothals, and the almost instinctual belief that it's usually better to have something theoretical than an actual marriage. But Cromwell and much of the rest of the Council are in a rare state of agreement--this matter is serious. England has to start exploring allies beyond the old Empire-France shuffle. And Mary has become too much of a liability to keep in England--she's proven a continuous rallying point for Catholics. So after much consideration, Henry agrees to the marriage. After all, it's not like Thomas hasn't brought him plenty of other betrothal material to mess around with. Philip of Hesse is interested in matching his daughter Barbara with Prince Henry. William of Jülich-Cleves-Berg is willing to marry Princess Elizabeth at some later date for less than he wanted for wedding Mary (though the price is still too high). The Elector of Saxony is suggesting marrying his eldest son to Princess Elizabeth, or, failing that, his second. And those are just a sample. Yep. Plenty of stuff for Henry to play games with. --As the year ends, Mary Tudor is wed by proxy to John of Denmark. She will be sent to her new husband next year. Thomas Cromwell, for his services to the Crown, is created the Earl of Essex. The dissolution of the monasteries continues. And tensions continue to rise... ----------------------------------  Pretty much what happened OTL.  Philip is actively pursuing the right to be married bigamously. Not one of Lutheranism's shining moments. Or Martin Luther's for that matter.  And here's the thing--while an individual jousting accident can be butterflied away, the situation is very much like motorcycling--if you do it, you are almost certainly going to have a serious accident someday. Indeed, Henry's already had several such accidents--and kept up his jousting routine, the same as always. Some people simply do not learn.  Anne of Cleves' brother. Believe it or not, they actually did try to arrange a marriage between him and Mary before trying to wed Anne and Henry. Obviously, it didn't work. Catherine Howard "Catherine Howard joined the court under the auspices of her illustrious family, certain that great things were in store for her. To an extent, she was correct, but not in the way she imagined... Catherine began her career as lady-in-waiting showing something of a lifelong trait--a firm belief that the unsavory aspects of the past could be ignored if one tried hard enough..." Antony Belton, "The Velvet Cat: The Life and Times of Catherine Howard, Adventuress, (1986)" 1540--Part 1 --Anne's cousin Catherine Howard joins the court as a lady-in-waiting. In letters to her stepgrandmother and former caretaker, the former Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, Catherine talks incessantly of her life in court--and how dull it is. Catherine, expecting her blood relation to the Queen to immediately move her to the inner circle, has found instead that Anne prefers the company of older women such as her sister-in-law, Jane, or Anne Parr, and her sister, the widowed Lady Latimer, with a smattering of fairly compliant younger women such as Anne's other cousin, Mary Howard. Catherine, a young woman followed by rumors of impropriety, has been left somewhat on the outside. Further, she expected serving as a lady-in-waiting to be fun and exciting, filled with music, feast, and dance. Instead, it is filled with mostly sitting around, sewing, and long theological discussions, or as Catherine puts it in one letter 'talks they hold of which I know not what they speak on'. Of course, one should not assume her letters are all complaints--they are also filled with pleas for money. Which Catherine swears over and over are for valid expenses. And not gambling debts. No matter what people may have told the former Dowager Duchess. --Reginald Pole dies in Antwerp. Charles tries to claim that Henry's agents had him killed. Henry insists that he was the victim of Charles' cruelty. Both are stretching the truth, but Charles is stretching it a great deal more than Henry. A record heatwave on the continent has lead to ill health all around, and Reginald--in low spirits for years now, and kept in a well-secured house until Charles could potentially make use of him--was among those to succumb, despite the best efforts of his keepers to save him. Reginald's death is the final nail in the coffin of Charles'--somewhat naive--original invasion plan. More worriedly, Emperor Charles finds the whole situation has not helped his publicity any. And the fact that he's losing a publicity war with Henry VIII is really, really worrying. --In a good example of why this is worrying, Edward Lee, Archbishop of York dies while being questioned by the King's agents. One of the more conservative English churchmen, his death causes all sorts of unsavory rumors. In truth, Lee, an old man, simply had a heart attack, and was under special orders to be gently treated--he was in fact a good friend of Cromwell's, despite their differences in opinion. --Mary Tudor arrives in Denmark and meets her new husband, with whom she shares neither a language nor a religion. She is not happy with her lot, and only went along with it because she feared for her life if she remained in England. Especially with her father's declining health, and her stepmother's growing power. (Mary has no idea that in point of fact, it was her father who wanted to execute her, and Anne who pulled the strings to avoid that. This is probably a tender mercy.) --Henry's health is declining. Very rapidly. The growing tendency towards stoutness he's shown over the past few years has become exaggerated to a grotesque degree, through a combination of immobility, and increasing binge eating. Henry is already so fat that they've had to build new devices to replace the devices they built to let him get around after his accident. He is in constant pain. And then there are the headaches, which, when they come, can leave him insensate. Anne has had to step in as Regent on several occasions during his more virulent attacks. Everyone is expecting Henry to start making preparation for his looming death. And yet he holds off. Even in his diminished state, Henry possess a raw vitality that seems to keep his battered, broken form alive. For a little while longer, at least. And he still likes screwing with people. (In a metaphorical sense, of course. He just hasn't been in the shape to do it literally anymore.) --Canterbury Cathedral surrenders its status as an abbey, reverting back to its earlier status as a 'college of secular canons'. This latest blow hits England's Catholics hard--especially rumors that there are plans to remove Thomas Becket's holy bones. For once, the rumors are true, though debate between the various factions has kept such an action in the far future. For now the moderate Protestants have held the day, with their occasional not-Catholic ally. (Henry Howard may not think much of the ill will of the Pope--but moving Becket's bones? That's another story.) Ironically, conservative Henry VIII is rather annoyed--he was rather hoping to despoil Becket's corpse as payback for discomfiting his ancestor, and even had Cromwell write up an essay explaining why the Archbishop really didn't deserve to be a saint. What can one say--the man keeps his grudges. Even the ones centuries' old. --Anne's latest pregnancy comes to term. As she goes through what will be a long and difficult labor, Henry suffers another health crisis, brought on by his infected left leg. Rumors of the resulting leadership gap circulate throughout the country, and reach the ears of Sir Francis Bigod. Bigod is a Yorkshire property owner who can boast of having taken part in both earlier Pilgrimages of the Faithful. True, in the first one, he wound up claiming to have been dragged along by the rabble against his will and took part in the suppression, while in the second, he surrendered with Constable, but still--that's a sort of dedication that gets angry people to flock to your banner. Bigod has slipped out of his proscribed exile--assuming he ever went into it, as our sources on his whereabouts are rather sketchy--and spent quite a bit of time preparing for the next Pilgrimage of the Faithful. You see, Bigod has thought the matter over, and it seems to him he knows what went wrong with the first two. The First Pilgrimage was too big and directionless--it looked good, but it had no clear goals and never really developed any leadership. The second had arguably the opposite problem--Darcy had a very clear list of things that were supposed to happen, and when they didn't, the entire thing just collapsed. Bigod's plan has been designed to get around these weaknesses. Bigod and his associates--among them Sir Stephen Hamilton, Sir Nicholas Tempest, and Sir William Lumley--will circulate through the North, gathering men, and waiting for an opportune moment to strike. If an uprising happens, they'll take advantage of it--directing it, so it doesn't turn into another muddled mess. His associates will try to seize whatever's opportune, and use those as bases/bargaining chips, while Bigod will lead a march on London. His hope is the combination of his threatening march, and successes up North will make the government blink, so that the rebels, bargaining from a position of apparent strength, can get at least some rollbacks on some issues, and ideally, a return to the Catholic faith. As rumors of the Queen's confinement and the King's ill health circulate through the North, Bigod plays his hand in Lincolnshire. It goes well--he and his followers are able to seize the city. Bigod sends notice to his associates now's the time to move. And the third Pilgrimage of the Faithful is on... --------------------------------------------------  She's the former Dowager Duchess because her stepson has died earlier ITTL, as I'm sure you all recall, making his wife the present Dowager Duchess.  That is Catherine Parr, if you're wondering. Yes, three of Henry's OTL queens are now serving in court at the same time. If I could only figure out how to bring Anne of Cleves to court I'd be a happy man.  He died in 1544, IOTL. Leader of Bigod's Rebellion, the second part of the Pilgrimage of Grace IOTL. Banner of Third Pilgrimage of the Faithful "Sir Francis Bigod. Few men I think can boast of devoting themselves so thoroughly to a task and failing so utterly. His plans were elaborate and logical. That he alas failed to consult with reality in the making of them seems the paltriest of mistakes..." --Luis Garcia Vargas, "Musings on the Anglican Settlement" Essays on the British Nation, (1914) 1540--Part 2: The Third Pilgrimage of the Faithful --Bigod's associates each make their way to a different location--Tempest to Chester, Hamilton to York, and Lumley to Leeds--gathering followers along the way, while Bigod marches on London. The Privy Council is in panic. They send out Norfolk, Shrewsbury, and Suffolk with troops, and start debating what to do next. They're hoping the answer is 'not die'. --Anne has delivered twins--a boy and a girl--who, if somewhat small, seem all right. It has been her most difficult delivery, and she is left to rest and recuperate. Which she does, until someone lets the news of Bigod's Pilgrimage slip. Anne gets out of bed, gets into something presentable, and drags herself to the Council meeting, where she immediately gives them a piece of her mind. What is going on? Why was she not told as soon as possible? Did they think they were helping her? The Council is nervous--as terrifying as Henry can be at times, Anne is arguably worse, since when she gets mad, she always means it--and of course, very conciliatory. Once Anne has calmed down, she quietly begins to provide some leadership, getting everyone to work on reminding people that they're in control, even if a mob of Northern Catholics are marching towards London. --Bigod's march hits something of a snag when it arrives in Cambridge. You see, Bigod and his followers have failed to consider something. It's only natural. Most of them don't travel that much, and those that do--such as Bigod--are of a slightly fanatical mindset, and tend to hang out with people with the same opinions. The present situation is not very popular up north. It is less unpopular in the South, which, anyway, views these damned Pilgrimages as a lot of obnoxious carrying-on by the Northerners, and a threat against their King and his good Queen. True, they may not have thought much of Anne at first, but it's been awhile, and she's grown on them. They definitely aren't going to let her get pushed around by a bunch of rowdy Northerners! And so, in Cambridge, a large mob has gathered to duke it out with Bigod's large mob, and may the best mob win. While they have limited success--one of the reason the Pilgrimages are so feared is that the North is encouraged to arm itself to discourage Scottish raids--they do delay Bigod long enough for Norfolk's troops to arrive. Bigod's followers are forced to scurry back to Lincolnshire. Bigod is not among them, having died in the fighting. --Rumor of the brawl in Cambridge passes quickly throughout the North, often outrunning the rather unwieldy 'armies' of Pilgrims. For many this is all the encouragement they need. While the North is far more conservative than the South, it is filled with people who are simply sick of the Pilgrimages. They're disorderly, and they result in the Duke of Norfolk hanging people. Leeds, which shut the gate on Darcy's Pilgrimage, takes up arms against Bigod's when it arrives--the Pilgrims are repulsed, with their leader Lumley captured. In York, which has earlier surrendered, citizens begin to fight back--Hamilton eventually crushes it, and winds up hanging some of the ringleaders, but it badly saps his strength. Chester, likewise captured early, remains secure, though troubled by loyalist partisans bushwhacking scouts. And that is not all. The North is awash in blood, as old feuds are settled in the name of loyalty to the old faith, or the King. And in London, angry mobs gather, shouting out 'God save the king! The devil take the pope!', and their eyes peeled for monks, friars, and Catholics. Needless to say, a few dozen people wind up getting killed, but the Privy Council is looking on the good side--the country's coming around to their way of thinking. Or parts of it, at least. --As peace returns to London, the twins are christened Margaret and Thomas. They will be Anne's last children--her age aside, Henry is now more or less incapable of fathering offspring. --One by one, the Pilgrimage's strongholds fall. Norfolk takes Lincoln, Suffolk takes York, and Shrewsbury captures Chester. The third Pilgrimage, after such a promising start, has turned into the bloodiest failure yet. And Henry, his health crisis past, wants to make it extra bloody. He wants family of Pilgrims executed. He wants friends of Pilgrims executed. He wants friends of family of Pilgrims executed, and he wants the family of friends executed as well, if that's possible. Needless to say, the more moderate portions of the council attempt to rein in his... more violent impulses, and while they do succeed somewhat, a lot of people are killed for the crime of being tangentially connected to the Pilgrimage. Or, more exactly, they are killed for the crime of 'aiding rebels', or 'wishing ill to the King' or... well, the list goes on. And of course, there are witnesses for every charge. Strangely enough, many names repeat among the witnesses, including the ubiquitous Edward and Thomas Seymour. --SCENE FROM 'ATTABOY, 'ENRY' (1970) CARDINAL WOLSEY walks into a small office. A scroll hangs from the wall 'Seymour and Seymour--Professional Witnesses'. He rings a bell on the desk, and then glances around the room. Various instruments of torture are hung on the walls. CUT BACK to Wolsey. EDWARD SEYMOUR, and his brother THOMAS have appeared. They are a pair of vaguely threatening men. EDWARD seems a bit more dapper than the more hulking Thomas. EDWARD. (Cockney accent) Can I help you sir? Wolsey leaps in alarm. Throughout the scene his mannerisms are rather effeminate. WOLSEY. Oh, yes. I--I need help for a trial. EDWARD. Well, then you've come to the right place, sir. Nobody comes to trial without going to the firm of Seymour, and Seymour. THOMAS. (reciting) "Our prices can't be beat, but those that have it coming most certainly can be." WOLSEY. (nervous) Well... you seem very... enthusiastic... EDWARD. We hanker to be of service to the cause of justice, sir. Now, then, what charge do you want? Treason...? THOMAS. (reciting) Whilst we were drinking together in a tavern, we did overhear that party state ill intentions to the King... WOLSEY. What? No... no... I think you... EDWARD. Ahh. Too heavy. Right. Conspiracy then? Very light charge. Gets them in jail, and--well, we just let nature take it's course. THOMAS. (reciting) Whilst we were drinking together in a tavern, this party did attempt to inveigle us in a wicked design... WOLSEY. I... I don't think you gentlemen understand. EDWARD. You're right, sir. Conspiracy is a crap charge. We only use it on them who can't afford better. How about espionage? That's a good charge. Has just the right sort of weight to it. THOMAS. (reciting) Whilst we were drinking together in a tavern with a Spaniard, he happened to say that this party is in the employ of his master, the King of Spain... WOLSEY. No. No... This is for a woman... EDWARD. Ahhh. One of those! Understood, sir. One charge of adultery, coming right up. THOMAS. (reciting) Whilst we were drinking together in a tavern, a soldier did say that this lady did make lewd advances to him, and allowed him carnal knowledge... WOLSEY. An old woman! EDWARD. Oh! Understood, sir. Witchcraft. Takes out an old dame, every time. THOMAS. (reciting) Whilst we were drinking together in a tavern, Satan did say to us that this woman was his loyal thrall, to whom he had gifted supernatural might... WOLSEY. I want her protected! Not sentenced! The Seymours stare at Wolsey in shock. Then they frown. EDWARD. Oh, one of those, eh? THOMAS. (shaking head) Should have known... EDWARD. Listen here, sir, I don't know what country you think you're in, but this is England and if King Henry's put you on the block, you must be guilty of something. THOMAS. Stands to reason. EDWARD. (puffing out chest) Our job is to make sure that this is the case. And allow me to state, we are the best there is. THOMAS. Second to none. EDWARD. And you would have us ruin our reputation--nay, our very integrity--by appearing for the defense? THOMAS. How dare you! EDWARD. (waving his hand angrily) Out with you, sir, out with you! You sicken me! THOMAS. And don't come back! Wolsey backs out of the shop. As soon as he's gone, Thomas looks at Edward. THOMAS. Want me to rough him up some? EDWARD. Nahh, that was Wolsey. We're witnessing him commit treason next week, remember? THOMAS. Oh, right. (scratches head) They kind of blend into one another, after awhile. James V Stuart, King of Scots "History hands us tangles. While official dates can give us a rough idea, it is in fact impossible to say exactly when Henry VIII ceased to be the major force in English politics, and Queen Anne firmly supplanted him. In ill health, and by some accounts with a less than firm grip on reality, he nonetheless seems to have maintained an undeniable grip on power for years, even as his faculties diminished..." --Maria Gwynn-Jones, 'From The Bulwen Woman to Good Queen Anne: A Life of Anne Boleyn' (1972) 1541 --In England, the year starts off with the festive execution of Stephan Hamilton, who receives the full traitor's death. Hamilton is the most hated of all of Bigod's rebels, for his 'execution' of leader's of the counter-rebellion, and thus, his gory hideous death is met with great rejoicing. --The bloody happenings in England are something of a sideshow to much of Europe. Francois and Charles' rapprochement is rapidly failing, as Francois can't give up France's interests in Italy, Charles can't help but want a bit more of French Burgundy, and neither can stand the other. As the pair prepare for another conflict, Charles starts leaning on various Protestant princes in his vast domains, hoping to stifle resistance before it starts, as well as stepping up his little war to acquire Gelre, and pursuing his other great love, war against Muslims. (Hey, it's a busy life being the King of Spain and the Holy Roman Emperor.) All of Europe begins to maneuver as its two greatest Kings prepare for war... --The infinitely charming William the Rich is wed via proxy to the twelve-year old Jeanne d'Albret, who throws an understandable hissy fit during the ceremony, while wedding his sister Amalia to French prince of the blood, Francois de Bourbon, Count of Enghien. This is all part of William's scheme to to get French support in his war to claim his questionable birthright, Gelre, from its even more questionable claimant, Emperor Charles. At the wedding, Amalia's sister Anne gets the notice of King Francois, who sends a groom to inquire if she'd be willing to spend a little... quality time with him. Said groom gets a slap for his troubles, by most accounts. --The dissolution of the monasteries continues. Henry has funneled a good portion of the proceeds into a series of forts near the Channel, a bigger navy--and quite a few castles, including the gigantic Nonsuch Palace, Henry's largely self-designed monument to himself. Anne has managed to funnel another good portion into the various 'Queen's Colleges' and 'Queen's Hospitals' that have often taken over the sites of various monasteries. Cromwell has funneled most of the remainder into the governing of England, with a nice little bit extra going into his pocket. England's great monastic tradition is essentially finished, though many former monks and nuns are now enjoying pensions. In other news, Henry's lengthy policy towards Ireland finally pays off--he's established enough control to be named King of Ireland by right of conquest. He briefly toys with giving young Arthur Fitzroy the crown, but decides against it. And so England's long dream to rule over a nearby island that wants little to do with it is fulfilled. For now. --Mary is doing her best to get used to her new state in life, though it's proving hard. Her husband, John is doing his best to accommodate her, despite differences of faith--though John was raised a Catholic and is in fact, trying to quietly--well, make her more sympathetic to Lutheranism. This is also proving hard. Still, both sides appreciate the fact that the other is trying. That counts for something. --Henry's health continues to decline, though the man's natural vigor seems to be slowing it somewhat. (This is more like an object hurled from a high tower hitting terminal velocity than any sort of recovery.) The headaches are proving the most constant problem. The side-effect of this is that Anne is now attending Privy Council meetings regularly, as Henry never knows when she might have to take over as Regent for awhile. Indeed, sometimes, he's been incapacitated in the middle of a meeting. As the countdown to Henry's death drags on, it seems very likely that she'll be formal Regent for Prince Henry during his almost certain minority. Norfolk is less keen on this idea. He loves his cousin dearly, of course, but damn it, some jobs are men's jobs, to his mind, and he thinks he's just the man for it. He broaches this subject to his occasional ally/enemy Cromwell. Cromwell can understand his viewpoint, to a degree--in Cromwell's mind, he's just the man for it himself. But Cromwell is a more--political animal than Howard. He understands that his taking this role became virtually impossible after his resignation. That pretty much leaves it between Anne and Howard, and given that choice, he'll take Anne. Howard as the most powerful man in the country is an option Cromwell finds... uneasy. So, Cromwell nods, smiles, promises his support, and begins to think of some way to clip Howard's wings, just a little. He doesn't want to completely ruin the man, after all--when you want the Council to see the wisdom of a little summary action against Popery, Howard's your guy. He just needs to be more... manageable for the foreseeable future. --A new Imperial ambassador, François van der Delft, takes up his duties, after much pleading and begging on the Empire's part. With relations with France suddenly--ungood, Charles can't afford to not be on speaking terms with England. Indeed, despite their recent difficulties, he's hoping that he can rope Henry into another war with France, on the basis of their mutual hatred of King Francois. (Admittedly, it will be difficult, as he theoretically can't sign treaties with Henry as an excommunicated heretic, but then, Charles has a definite talent for getting around such technicalities.) France, meanwhile, is hoping they can get Henry onboard despite all the recent back-stabbing based on the recent anti-Hapsburg slant to England's foreign policy. Sadly for both parties, Anne has a great deal of influence on foreign policy at the moment, and among her many abilities is being able to really hold a grudge. Oh, the Empire and France can both dance and crawl all they want--indeed, she rather hopes they do--England's not getting directly involved in their little squabble if she can help it. Which she most certainly can. --King James V of Scotland suffers a grave disappointment--indeed, a personal tragedy--when his first and second legitimate sons die in a month of each other, leaving him heirless. This is not the only disappointment he's had. It's becoming blatantly clear that France views the "Auld Alliance" as nothing more than a bargaining chip to gain English support, with Scotland's interests being largely beneath notice. This is bad enough. But James is getting... ideas. James, you see, is a good Catholic. And he's Henry's nephew. Now, Anne's children are all illegitimate Protestant bastards. Mary would be legitimate, but she's chosen to give up her claim to the throne, is now married to a Danish Lutheran, and likely to spawn more of the same. Suffolk's remaining children by the elder Mary are all girls, and Protestants to boot. So, as James sees it, he's now pretty much the lawful Catholic successor. And there's also James' little grudge on the man he blames for his father's death... Of course, James isn't so foolish as to think he could claim the throne of England with only the might of Scotland behind him. There's a reason the Auld Alliance came to be, after all. But still--if he could only get a foreign nation behind him... if a Pilgrimage of the Faithful allied with him... if... if... They're mad dreams. And James, in his better moments, knows they're mad dreams. But they persist. And they make James... a tad suggestible. A bit open to ideas he'd reject out of hand normally. And as his uncle has so amply demonstrated, when the man in that state of mind is a King... well, bad things happen. James' mother dies at the end of the year. He now has one less thing holding him back... -------------------------------------------------------  This bit is OTL. Ahh, royalty. Fun times. Fun times. Chapuys' successor IOTL, albeit, at a much later date.  This happened OTL. Charles V & I, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain "By 1542, Catherine Howard seemed to have settled into a comfortable life as a minor lady-in-waiting. If she had stayed in that function, she doubtless would have made a profitable, socially advancing marriage, and have vanished from the view all but the most dedicated historians. However, two things stopped that comfortable destiny--Catherine's tawdry past, and bad judgement..." --Antony Belton, "The Velvet Cat: The Life and Times of Catherine Howard, Adventuress" (1986) 1542 --War between France and the Empire is all but inevitable. Indeed, the only reason it hasn't broken out already is that Francois doesn't think it would be chivalrous to attack Charles while he's fighting the Muslim hordes. Meanwhile, he also checks to make sure his alliance with the Ottomans is good--it is. Francois may be losing the race to claim the title 'major late Renaissance monarch most oblivious to his own amorality' to Henry but he's not giving up without a fight. --Scandal rocks Henry's court when gentleman of the chamber Thomas Culpepper is murdered by one Francis Dereham in a crowded tavern. Dereham--lately returned from the fighting in Ireland--spins a spicy little tale once caught. It seems that he and young Catherine Howard, lady-in-waiting, were... deeply involved back when she lived with her guardian, with Dereham seeing their relationship as 'man and wife'. Catherine's views appear to have been more mutable, as when Dereham returned to England, he found she was now deeply involved with Culpepper. At this point, Dereham's story becomes somewhat questionable--he claims he challenged Culpepper to a duel, and that Culpepper refused, then tried to stab him, forcing Dereham to kill him in self-defense. This doesn't match the recollections of most witnesses, who are fairly sure Dereham started the fight. That said, a love letter from Catherine to Culpepper does confirm some sort of relationship between the two. When questioned, Catherine continuously changes her story, especially as old friends start popping up to shed light on the state of things between her and Dereham. Needless to state, by the time it's over and Dereham is executed for murder, she is viewed throughout England as 'a woman filled with licentiousness', and booted from the court. She retires back to the country, 'the most scandalous lady in England'. Henry takes the opportunity to upbraid his courtiers for their immoral way of life. He's got a title to uphold, after all. --Emperor Charles' squeezing of Protestants has created one interesting side-effect in neighboring Denmark. For years now, Charles has been playing diplomatic hardball, holding out the threat of Christian II's daughters (who, oddly enough, happen to be Charles' nieces) as a basis for concessions. Christian III is getting sick of this, and makes the preparation for war. But Christian is not Francois. He does not see war as a pretty game and launch invasions. Christian's war will be simple, elegant, and in many respects, quite brutal. --Needless to say, someone has to wind up taking the fallout from the Catherine Howard affair--besides Catherine, of course. And that someone happens to be... Henry Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, who was, after all, acting as something of a patron to the girl. Surrounded by unseemly rumors, Howard quits the court for a while, retiring to his estates to sulk, and write poetry. Thomas Cromwell and Anne share a mutual sigh of relief. --Ambassador van der Delft writes to the Emperor on the Tudor children. Even though he's writing to Charles, and thus puts the expected scorn on "that woman", he is, it appears, quite charmed. Henry and Elizabeth, he states, are intelligent, good-natured, and sociable, as is their nephew Arthur, who van der Delft confesses he at first mistook for their sibling "for he is as close to the Prince as a brother". Edward is more diffident then his older siblings, but still seems bright, "speaking as a child far older than his years". That stated, he notes that Henry seems rather wary of the child, as opposed to his siblings. Court rumors state that this is because at his first public appearance, Edward shrieked in horror when forced to approach the King, and that Henry has never forgiven his little son this. --Francois begins the latest Italian War by sending his troops into Italy and the Low Countries simultaneously. England responds by sending Sir John Wallop to Calais--just to make sure nobody gets any ideas. Denmark takes the opportunity to declare war on the Empire as well, which largely boils down to closing the straits to Dutch shipping. Meanwhile, William the Rich declares war, eager to regain his theoretical birthright. Charles gears down for another grind against the French menace. --James V and Marie of Guise have their third child--a girl who is quickly named Mary. While somewhat disappointed, James still holds out hope for a son. James has also been in semi-secret discussions with Imperial agents about replacing the Auld Alliance with a shiny new Imperial one. Charles, through his representatives, heavily implies that he's also aware of James' theoretical place on the line of succession from a Catholic point of view--and that he might be willing to support that place in the near future. Maybe. James replies that he might just appreciate such help. Perhaps. Needless to say, nothing on either side is definite--indeed, both go out of their way to be ambiguous and evasive in their language, as too apparent a statement on the subject could put them in the other party's power. But they're talking. This is quite dangerous. ------------------------------------------------- Believe it or not, Henry Howard was one of the men who jumpstarted the English Renaissance, inventing a little sonnet form in his translations of Petrarch that would be adopted by a certain fellow we call Will Shakespeare. William the Rich, Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg "As the latest Italian War continued on, Charles was forced to admit that things were turning against him. In a discussion with young William of Orange, the Emperor sadly declared that he feared he was looking at the low ebb of his house. "He was wrong about that, though sadly for him, not in the manner he imagined. For the war was about to take a very unpleasant turn for the Hapsburgs--one that would change the German Reich forever..." --Alexander Moss, "Further Beyond: The Life of Charles V" (1978) 1543 --Young Princess Mary of Scotland is attracting notice. Henry sends out a suggestion that she be betrothed to Prince Henry, as well as that James meet with his uncle--or more exactly a representative, as these days, Henry's ability to travel tends to waver between 'can be wheeled/carried around the London area if you make sure not to leave him out in bad weather' to 'bedridden, possibly dying'--to discuss this Reformation business, something Henry feels James should try out for himself. James of course, politely holds out. He is, again, a good Catholic, even as Scotland's Protestant population steadily increases. Anne meanwhile is rather unhappy about the idea of betrothing her son to a Scottish princess. Henry argues it's just good sense, if they can do it. Besides, Anne has always wanted Prince Henry married to a French princess, and Mary is half-French, so to Henry's mind she should be behind this wedding. --Duke William the Rich spends the early winter months gathering his mercenary army for his next attack on Brabant all so he can make sure that Gelre is HIS. A significant portion of said army are English 'Pilgrims'--most of the English Catholics cast adrift by the uprisings have found themselves with a distinct lack of job opportunities, and have wound up taken one of the few professions which has a fairly steady demand. Thus Lutheran Duke William is leading mercenaries wearing the very Catholic symbols of the Pilgrimages of the Faithful into battle. (Admittedly, William isn't that DEVOUT a Lutheran, and so really doesn't make that big an issue out of it.) It is just one of the many strange twists in lawyer-turned-insurgent-turned-mercenary captain Robert Aske's life. Indeed, he'd probably be surprised to know that much of the coin he's being paid in is being quietly provided by the King he rebelled against in the first place, in the form of very nice loans to Duke William, as part of England's ongoing 'Screw you, Emperor Charles' project. Funny, the turns life takes sometimes. --The latest Italian war carries on. In the south, Francois enjoys victory, thanks largely to Ottoman pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa, seizing the city of Nice, and marching onto Lombardy. While the situation in the northern front proves less impressive, due to a series of missteps that border on a comedy of errors even there Charles and the Empire remain largely on the defensive. For the first time in their long rivalry, Francois has the upper hand.  --Mary Tudor is finally beginning to adjust to life married to John of Denmark--a fact evidenced by her pregnancy. Meanwhile, as the war against the Emperor... well, simmers, Christian plans to give his brothers a share in his lands. --James V's talks with the Empire continue, though they remain in the realm of 'planning to make plans'. James has also started to sound out the still predominately Catholic Northern Marcher lords. Again, he's doing all this as carefully as he can, with everything being in the form of vague hypotheticals. Unfortunately for James, he's not as good as this as he thinks, and his opponents are much better than he realizes--however fortunately for him--at least, for the nonce, they are also savvy enough to avoid starting anything. Well, Anne and Cromwell are. Henry is really kind of disappointed he hasn't been able to declare war on somebody for awhile. --William launches his attack on Brabant, confident in his mercenary army. He probably shouldn't be--Charles has a much better mercenary army and they beat his handily. A little too handily--William is severely wounded in the fighting, dying during the retreat, while, according to Robert Aske's account, he screams for a Catholic priest to administer the Last Rites, apparently wanting to err on the side of caution regarding his eternal rest.  Charles is not happy when he learns of this, as it complicates his state of affairs immensely. You see, William has left no children--indeed his marriage has never even been consummated, as he has never even met his very young French wife. The ins-and-outs of German Salic Law inheritance are--well, complicated--women cannot hold land, but they can give a right to hold land to their husbands and guardians. This would mean that William's lands and titles would likely pass to his oldest sister Sybille and her husband. (Amalia and her husband could make a claim for a share, but Francois de Bourbon is a) French, and b) leading an army in Italy at the moment, so it's fair to say that he has a limited chance of success.) And this is a problem, because Sybille's husband is John Frederick, Elector of Saxony, one of the most prominent Protestant nobles in the Empire, a leader of the Schmalkaldic League, and a guy you don't want to mess with when you're in the middle of fighting the French. And yet, if Charles allows him to take possession, John Frederick stands a good chance of becoming too powerful. Charles, facing a dilemma and distracted by the ongoing war, dithers and debates. It is a costly mistake, for as he does so, Anne of Cleves notifies Sybille of their brother's death. John Frederick quickly takes possession of William's holdings. This is a problem. John Frederick is not, after all, William the Rich, the Schmalkadic League's spotty rich kid who was let into the club because he had money and a neat car, but who nobody could stand. He is, again, a linchpin, one of its leading members. So far, despite the actions of Denmark and William, the League's stayed out of the war. But if Charles presses this issue, that could change. But if he doesn't press the issue soon, the side-effects could be dangerous. And so, Charles continues to dither and debate... --As the year ends, Henry's health takes a sudden downturn. It is obvious now his death is coming sooner, rather than later. -----------------------  This is more or less what happened IOTL--however, there Charles had the support of England waiting in the wings, leading to an invasion of France. Here--that's not happening, so Charles' situation is more worrying.  IOTL, William was defeated in '42, signed a treaty, and lived to marry one of Charles' nieces. (In fact, he's an ancestor of the British Royal family. And Kaiser Wilhelm, and Czar Nicholas.) Here he's had just enough extra power to last longer, then get himself into real, REAL trouble, all thanks to a more Protestant-leaning England. Christian III Oldenburg of Denmark "By 1544, James V was a man obsessed with lost chances, convinced that he had let the throne of England slip from his hands through inaction. His eyes were fixed almost maniacally on the south, waiting for what he imagined to be his moment. And yet through it all, he maintained a surprisingly realistic view on matters, dismissing the Imperial pretensions. England remained a stronger nation than Scotland, despite constant assurances from Imperial ambassadors that it lay on the brink of dissolution, and that the Empire would, of course, support any moves on James' part if he made them. James recognized this talk for the folly it was--still, he could not help but hope that his chance would come..." --Neal Macnial, "The Shores of Hibernia--History of The Scottish Nation" (1993) 1544 --King Henry surprises everybody by staging a partial recovery. While it's amazing that he's still alive, he is still far, far weaker than he was earlier--which was pretty damn bad. It's clear to everyone that Henry is probably going to die within a year--maybe a bit longer if he's lucky. Anne and the Privy Council are looking for him to make some sort of official instructions on how to handle Prince Henry's minority. But the King continues to drag things out--making half-serious suggestions, then drawing them back. Henry seems to remain in partial denial about what's happening, though another part of him seems to want to let his advisers duke it out after he's gone in an almost Alexander-like desire to let the strongest win. --Emperor Charles is a man facing too many problems at once. He's got war with France on two fronts, the Elector of Saxony suddenly becoming distressingly powerful, his Burgundian Dutch subjects calling on him to come to a deal to get Denmark to let their ships back in, and his son's marriage to Maria Manuela of Portugal to deal with. With the exception of the last one, these are all significant problems where Charles faces an array of bad choices, and has to puzzle out the least bad one. (For the last, Charles thanks God that his son's idea of a love match is with a cousin that strengthens Hapsburg connections with the Portuguese throne.) In the war with France, it's not all bad news--they've managed to mostly push Francois' forces out of the Seventeen Provinces, but they haven't been able to progress much further and take the fight to him. In the south, on the other hand, it's been unmitigated disaster--Francois continues to make gains. Charles starts making peace proposals, in the hopes that Francois will want to quit while he's ahead for once. His initial proposal runs as follows--Francois gets to keep Nice. The title of Duke of Savoy will be recognized as owing fealty to the King of France, and given to Francois' son Charles of Orleans. (This bit offends Charles of Savoy, the present titular Duke, and his son Emmanuel Philibert, whose been serving with the Emperor, but quite frankly, the Emperor's looking at minimizing his losses at the moment, not keeping random hangers-on happy.) Orleans will be betrothed to either the Emperor's daughter, with Burgundy as a dowry, or the Emperor's niece, who will be given the Duchy of Milan as a dowry. In many respects, it's a good offer. Suspiciously so, in fact, and Francois notes that. The Emperor has been trying this same trick for years now, and he's not biting. Emperor Charles' plan is simple--set the Dauphin and Orleans against each other, by making Orleans a virtual King in his own right. And Francois has other reasons not to take up this offer--he wants the Duchy of Milan acknowledged as his birthright, not as some Hapsburg wedding present that can be yanked away whenever they decide it's served its purpose. So, for now--no dice. But they're talking. It's a start. The matter of John Frederick is even more complicated--as noted earlier, Charles can't risk letting him get more powerful, but attacking right now is extremely risky. Charles debates and debates, and finally comes up with a course of action. It's a gamble, but EVERY course of action in this case is a gamble. He sends a declaration to the Elector that as Duke William died fighting against the Emperor, his lands were technically forfeit, so John Frederick should politely give them up. John Frederick of course, refuses--William may have been rebelling against the Empire, but he and his wife weren't, so they aren't giving up their rightful inheritance. Which is about what Charles expected--he warns them that they're risking an Imperial ban, and then gets back to work with the war on France. He's laid the groundwork for a move against Electoral Saxony not as a matter of religion, but as a matter of keeping a Prince from acquiring lands he really shouldn't, something the always fractious German nobility can get behind. (He's had another matter he could use to put the ban on Electoral Saxony for some time, but it's very much a Protestant-Catholic thing, so it will continue to wait in the wings.) And he gets in contact with a few of John Frederick's rivals, and politely suggests that if they were to attack the Elector, he really wouldn't mind. Wink, wink. Finally, as for Denmark, Charles abases himself, and on bended knee, apologises for all his attempts to cause Christian III trouble, and promises never to do it again, because Christian is so clearly the lawful King of Denmark. Christian indicates he should go on. Dutch ships are still being kept from Danish waters, with the English picking up the slack--and making out like bandits, it should be noted--but it looks like things will be back to normal shortly. And so matters stand. Charles has taken a bunch of options that he hope happen to be the best of a group of bad choices. He might be wrong, and he knows it. But that's what being a monarch is about. Making choices. --In Scotland, James V continues to walk himself to the brink of a bad choice, then back. He has gotten word from several of the Border lords, that if he were to perform certain hypothetical actions, they would give him their hypothetical support. And his wife is pregnant again, with what James is certain is his son and heir. More and more, James hears the whispering in his mind, the temptation to leave his son a greater monarch then his father left him. And yet--he can't be sure it will succeed. It probably won't. Better to wait. --With Henry's growing incapacity, Anne's hold on the government--already quite significant--is strengthening monthly, and she is growing increasingly alarmed by the situation on the Scottish border. She's walking back the 'Prince Henry weds Mary' proposal, and suggesting 'Edward weds Mary' instead, an option that she hopes will prove less... inflammatory. She also sends her brother George up there to try and remind any Border lords who are wavering that even if Henry is on death's door, the government is still quite strong. Unfortunately, this plan gets derailed when George falls from his horse on the road. He dies several days later, leaving his titles to his young nephew Henry Carey, and his wife and sister devastated. Anne is particularly troubled by this--George was always her favorite sibling, as well as her most reliable ally. Now he's gone, which means she needs a new right hand on the Council. Cromwell is out--yes, Anne appreciates his skills, which is why he's just become Lord Chamberlain, but simply put, he tends to work to his own advantage. Anne needs someone who will work towards hers. And so, William Paulet becomes the new Lord Privy Seal. True, Paulet has no loyalty that can't change when necessary, but he likes to stay on the winning team, and he realizes that's almost always the house. By Renaissance court standards, that's a rock. Anne has other matters to deal with--her ailing estranged sister Mary has been trying to get in touch of late, largely to see if Anne can't do something for the rest of her children. George's death has made Anne a bit more sentimental--at least for the short term--and so the Staffords come join their half-siblings the Careys at the court. --Even as Christian enjoys watching Charles sweat he finds time to deal with affairs by granting his half-siblings their share of the royal lands in a complicated land-sharing arrangement that is far too tedious to describe here. John becomes the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Haderslev. This joyous news is soon marred by tragedy--his wife Mary Tudor goes into a lengthy, difficult labor, and though the child (a son who will be named John Christian) is delivered successfully, Mary dies shortly thereafter. Duke John is devastated. He will never remarry, and indeed, will carry a pair of Mary's gloves, and a locket with her portrait and a lock of her hair with him for the rest of his days. --Francois is enjoying what has, by his admittedly sub-par standards, been one successful war. True, he's bleeding money (and his soldiers are bleeding, well, blood), the Ottoman connection has turned out to be embarrassing in all sorts of ways, the war in the North has not exactly been massively successful, and his health has not been the greatest of late, what with being a man with advanced syphilis leading an army over miles of terrain. But he's got Charles on the ropes! Finally! And then suddenly two things happen that make him start feeling mortal. Which tells you what a big deal this is, as Francois and Henry are soul brothers on the whole King as 'narcissistic man-child' thing. First, the Count of Enghien, commander of the force in the south, dies heroically during a skirmish with Imperial forces. While the French position in Italy remains strong, Enghien--who leaves behind his German wife, and an infant daughter, Francoise de Bourbon--was an exceptionally talented commander, whose loss is deeply felt both tactically, and as a morale killer. But the second thing is... even worse. Charles of Orleans is the apple of his father's eye, a bright, happy and daring Prince who reminds Francois of himself. He's taken an active part in the war, taking Luxembourg early on, even if he did run off to fight somewhere else, leaving it undermanned so that the Empire took it right back. For Orleans, like his father, this is really something of a game. He demonstrates this during his second siege of Luxembourg by attempting to ride around the city walls three times, naked. He makes it around twice before some man with an arquebus decides to take a shot at the nude idiot disrespecting his city. The shot hits, and Charles is thrown from his horse, dying a day later from his extensive injuries.  This the sort of thing that makes an aging man feel old, and the birth of his grandson to the Dauphin--named Francois, of course--doesn't help. The King of France is now willing to consider a peace deal. A really, really good peace deal. --News of his daughter's death hits the ailing and reliably sentimental after he's screwed you over Henry hard--still weak from his last health crisis, he promptly has another one. Naturally, even as the Privy Council assure everyone that everything's fine and under control, some people are certain that the King is dying or dead and that everything is falling into chaos. One such man is Henry Neville, the 5th Earl of Westmorland--and Neville is just fine with that. A Northerner and a Catholic, Neville is one of the many people on James V's little mailing list, and he's been throwing hissy fits about the English political situation for years. England has already gotten much too Protestant for his liking, and he's pretty certain that when the King dies, it'll get worse. Something must be done--and by gum, Westmorland is the man to do it. And so, when he hears that Henry is dead, or as good as it, he rallies his men, sends notice to his fellow border lords that the time to act is now, notifies James that he's pretty much lawful King of England, and declares--a new Pilgrimage of the Faithful! Only led by the right sort this time! The real right sort, also, not like that upstart Darcy! Historians will debate whether Westmorland's uprising counts as a Pilgrimage at all, as he not only draws no popular support, he doesn't even manage to go anywhere. Unfortunately for Neville, you see--he's been made. He no sooner starts bringing his forces together, then Shrewsbury is knocking on his door with a force that includes a good selection of the Border lords he thought were his allies. As for James, he comes to the border with a force of his most loyal Catholic underlings--he's worried about the unrest, wink, wink--but he doesn't plan on crossing it unless things suggest it will take off, which--this doesn't look like it will. And... it doesn't. Westmorland is crushed and captured before he can even get started. And so his uprising ends. And that would be the end of things--except there are now a group of Scottish soldiers, and a group of English soldiers staring at each other from across the border, with the Scots insisting they weren't planning anything untoward, really, and the English saying 'pull the other one, it's got bells on it'. In a situation like that, it's all too easy for something to happen. And it does. What is tough to say, because everybody has their own version. Maybe some English soldiers cross over into Scotland. Maybe some Scot soldiers cross over into England. Maybe they both cross over--maybe nobody crosses over at all, but everyone is convinced they have. All that's certain is that there's some sort of disturbance--maybe a few shots fired--and suddenly, Shrewsbury is leading an army into Scotland. And then James fights him off--Shrewsbury's men are still a bit worn out from crushing Westmorland--and then James is leading an army into England. News of this reaches London in time for a somewhat recovering Henry to croak out a declaration of war, and then get sick again. Which is quickly followed by learning that James' army has run into the army they had Norfolk call up just in case Westmorland's effort took off, gotten badly mauled by this and Shrewsbury's reassembled forces, and is now limping his way back to Scotland. While Anne and the Privy Council can't exactly... undeclare war at the moment, they do decide to hold back, and see if James is... willing to be reasonable. --James of Scotland is not the only man watching careful plotting being undone by that one idiot who couldn't follow the plan. Emperor Charles is as well, and in his case, it's even worse, because he actually knows what he's doing. His plan to isolate John Frederick is working, with the Schmalkaldic League hesitating to support the Elector on this matter, despite him being its virtual leader. Indeed--almost because of this--John Frederick is an overwhelming personality, who follows his passion--Protestantism--with an almost obsessive interest, as if trying to win some 'Most Protestant Prince in Europe' award. You rededicating the family chapel to the Lutheran rite? John Frederick has built a new one specifically for it, and had Martin Luther over to give the first sermon. You thinking about spreading the good Lutheran word? John Frederick has personally supported the printing of Luther's translations. You got a quarrel with the Emperor? John Frederick has probably killed more of Charles' proposals to settle this whole 'Luther' matter amicably than anyone aside from Luther. He's brave and smart, but also prickly and just a tad fanatical. And so some people are hesitant to help him. But you see, John Frederick has a cousin, Maurice, the Duke of Saxony. Maurice is also an overwhelming, obsessive personality, but his obsession isn't Protestantism--even though he is a Lutheran--it's avenging perceived slights against himself. The present leading source of said slights is his cousin John Frederick, starting back when they were growing up together, and continuing with John Frederick's tendency to handle joint family matters unilaterally. Maurice is ready--nay, eager--to unleash some summary justice upon John Frederick's posterior. And so, he takes up the Emperor's furtive call to deal with the Elector--only without quite working to make sure that he can pull it off. He gets some troops. He goes to Charles' brother Ferdinand, King of Bohemia, and borrows a few more troops. (To Ferdinand's credit, Maurice manages to suggest he's got more people backing him up on this then he really does.) And then--he attacks the Elector. It does not go well for Maurice. He's one of the few Protestant German Princes not taking advantage of England's 'Loans If You Want To Screw Over The Emperor' program--indeed, he's one of the few who aren't a member of the Schmalkaldic League--while John Frederick is on their favored customers' list, especially as they need him coming out of this okay if they're ever going to get back the loans they made to Duke William. Even with his extra Bohemian troops, Maurice is badly outmatched, and as a result, he is defeated, and captured. After signing an agreement to hand over some of his lands to John Frederick as a consequence of his unwarranted attack, Maurice proceeds to sing like a bird, telling him all about how Charles put him up to it, with just touch of exaggeration so that he can set himself up as the victim here. John Frederick has him put it down in writing, and then, after releasing him, goes to his fellow Schmalkaldic League members waving said confession around for all its worth. And that is plenty. Now, they know that Charles is plotting against them, hoping to tear them down one by one, and that the move against the Elector is the start of that. Whatever they may think of John Frederick, they cannot let this aggression stand. And so, even as Charles begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the present Italian War, the First Schmalkaldic War is only beginning... --In Scotland, James V is dying. His nerves have been shot since his defeat, during which he's took a rather unpleasant wound that is now festering. He has seen the flower of Scotland's Catholic nobility cut down around him, and his dreams of being King of Scotland and England die with them. His only hope lies in his new child, being born miles away. He is doomed to another disappointment--Mary brings forth another girl, his second legitimate daughter, named Antoinette after Mary's mother. "So be it," says the King of Scotland weakly--or so the legend goes. "It began wi' a lass, it'll pass wi' a lass."  With his death, the ruler of Scotland is a two-year old girl, whose immediate heir is a newborn baby girl. It's tough times ahead for Scotland. --In England, young Thomas Tudor takes ill and dies a week later. A sweet-natured young boy, his death is taken hard by his mother and siblings, especially Edward, who will spend the rest of his life writing eulogies for his brother. King Henry is beyond caring. While he has surprised everyone by surviving to the end of the year, it is the barest sort of surviving--he sleeps most of the time, and when awake, is almost always incoherent, raving about "monks". He will die soon, with England technically at war with Scotland. And with the Duke of Norfolk having an army in the field. It's tough times ahead in England... ----------------  This is better than his IOTL death, which resulted from him falling off a chest.  This is only slightly worse than his IOTL death, which was caused by his rushing into a house that had been sealed up with plague, having a pillowfight with his friends there, and by some accounts, lying down in a plague bed. You just can't butterfly away massive stupidity.  What can I say? I just couldn't throw away last words that good. And James really does seem to have been... if not destined for misfortune, then a highly likely candidate for it. Marie of Guise "How can one hope to sum up the rule of Henry VIII of England? It has always been popular to dismiss the man as 'the unworthy son of an impressive father, and the wretched father of a magnificent son', and while there is a certain accuracy to this judgment, ultimately, it is too facile. For all his folly and extravagance, Henry VIII left his kingdom changed beyond recognition..." --Alexander Wright "Henry VIII: the Power and the Pomp," (1968) 1545 --Let's begin with Scotland. Things are double-plus ungood there. If people were interested in Mary Stuart's hand before, now that she's a bonafide Queen--well, more or less--they're beating on the door. France suddenly finds itself deeply and intensely interested in reviving the Auld Alliance. Anne is sending Marie of Guise letters about Prince Edward, who is, as Anne tells it, so bright, and charming, and handsome, and desperately eager to meet young Mary. Even the Emperor is getting in on the act, wondering if the Queen of Scots would mind marrying one of his nephews--he can even try to make sure it's a handsome one! And naturally, all this foreign interest is turning Scotland into a nest of schemes, schemers, and their victims. A situation like this requires strong leadership from somewhere. Right now, it's not getting it. Obviously, young Mary, Queen of Scots isn't up to ruling the nation right now, as she's largely preoccupied with things like naptime, and running around in circles. That leaves the nation in the hands of the Lords-selected Regent, James Hamilton, the Earl of Arran, who is, by some counts, second in line for the throne, after Princess Antoinette. This is a problem--Arran is a man so devious, he regularly laps himself in his own schemes. He's also a Protestant, though much of his tendencies in that way are political--indeed, every aspect of Arran is political, based on what grants him the immediate advantage. That's Arran for you--an older man's cunning, blended with a younger man's need to aggrandize himself. In other words, pure unadulterated trouble. At the moment, he's head of the Protestant 'English' faction, largely due to his ability to outmaneuver everyone else. But Arran's control of the nation is far from absolute. There's also Marie of Guise to deal with. Marie herself is a tough, capable woman and her brothers back in France are two of the most powerful men in the government. And so, despite the handicaps of being an outsider, a foreigner, and a woman, she's essentially become head of the Catholic 'French' faction, though the fact that a good chunk of what used to be its leading lights are either dead or imprisoned has definitely helped. (Her only real rival, Cardinal Beaton, has also recently been imprisoned--by Arran.) Both sides want to see young Mary wed to their respective 'right' candidates, and Antoinette as well, if that's possible, with an alliance with the nation who will further their ends on top of it. The Guises, on top of that, want Mary (and ideally, Antoinette as well) spirited out of Scotland to the safety of France. Now, take a good look at all that, because by the end of the year, it's going to be completely messed up. --Emperor Charles is gritting his teeth, an act that his huge malformed jaw makes rather painful, so you can tell he's in a bad mood. And why shouldn't he be? While he's been planning a move against the Schmalkaldic League for some time, he was hoping to do it when he was rested up, and able to deal with these pesky Protestant Princes at his leisure. Instead, thanks to one idiot dying inconveniently and another idiot's need to grandstand, he's got them rising up while he's still preoccupied with Francois' latest attempt at glory. The League is assembling their troops, and he can't do anything except wave his fist at them, then go back to having his men make sure that France doesn't decide to come charging over the border again. His armies are battered, tired, and--oh, yes, he is once again skirting the edges of bankruptcy, while his loyal, but often testy Flemish subjects are coughing and gesturing towards Denmark. And so, Charles labors to end two wars so he can hopefully avoid a revolt, and go fight another war. Fun times. --Anne, Paulet, and Cromwell have produced a document supposedly made by Henry during one of his lucid moments which leaves the government on his death in the hands of Anne, acting as Regent, and a "council of worthy gentlemen" who will of course, give her the advice she will require as a frail and foolish woman. It is ever so slightly dubious, but quite frankly, there is only one man on the Privy Council who might just challenge it. Unfortunately, he's sitting in the North with an army. --The Schmalkaldic League assembles its forces in a fairly impressive rallying of the banners and sets out to attack Swabia under the leadership of the League's other head, Philip of Hesse, he of the embarrassing marital status. John Frederick sets out to join them, but winds up having to take a rain check when he discovers that Ferdinand of Bohemia is doing his own rallying of the banners for an attack on Saxony. It is, admittedly, less impressive, consisting of Ferdinand, Albert von Hohenzollern, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, and Albert's best bud, Duke Maurice, who has reneged on his previous agreement and is just aching for another chance to settle the score. (Albert, like Maurice, is a Lutheran, but is exactly the sort of quarrelsome bastard you'd think would have Maurice as a friend, and thus is in this largely for the kicks.) Ferdinand also tried to get William, Duke of Bavaria into the act, but at the moment, he's doing his best to stay out of it. Still, it's a much larger army than Maurice's from last year, and Ferdinand feels it's enough to put the uppity Elector of Saxony in his place. He's wrong. The whole thing turns into a rout for Ferdinand's forces, as he proceeds to scurry back to Bohemia with what's left. Maurice is captured once again, and his best buddy Albert is captured with him. Both are released after swearing oaths not to take up arms against John Frederick--in Maurice's case, he winds up giving up another, larger chunk of his lands as the price of breaking his previous agreement. This time, John Frederick takes the time to send men to claim them, which keeps him from joining the League's army in Swabia. --Henry VIII finally dies, a man prematurely used up. Young Prince Henry is coronated, becoming Henry IX. He is eleven years old. Despite fears, the splendid ceremony goes on without a hitch, as London throngs cheer their charming boy-king. Henry IX inherits from his father an increasingly Protestant nation with ties to the northern German states and Denmark, a fairly bitter rivalry and cold war with the Hapsburgs, and a complex relationship with the Valois. --Francois, despite his recent setbacks, is overjoyed at finally being able to put the screws to the Emperor. He is already picturing his hero's welcome back in Paris, where he will arrive the conquering hero. It never happens. Francois, after a late dinner, goes to bed one night with a slight headache, and wakes up the next day on death's door. He dies in the afternoon, with his dear friend Cardinal Ippolito d'Este by his bedside.  This leaves the peace talks in the hands of France's new King, Henri II, and he is a different man than his father--less shrewd and more yielding. Charles is thus able to keep the peace deal from being quite embarrassment it could have been, despite the fact that Henri does in fact, have him over a barrel. It's still quite bad--France's claims to the Duchy of Savoy are recognized, then granted to Henri's sister Marguerite, and almost half of Milan is handed over to them. (The actual title of Duke of Milan is left up in the air, to be handled in future discussions.) Further, Henri manages to flip the old Dukes of Savoy by engineering the marriage of his sister Marguerite to Emmanuel Philibert, thus neatly tying the two rival claims together, and leaving Charles with one less weapon to use against France in the next war, which is looking very much like a possibility. As bad as all this is for Charles, it finally frees up some troops to deal with the Schmalkaldic League. Next year, he moves against them. For now, he orders an Imperial ban on John Frederick and Philip of Hesse for their numerous crimes against the Empire, notably the deposing of Henry, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg. --In Swabia, the League's forces succeed in seizing control. Their spirits are greatly buoyed by their victory. They probably shouldn't be--in many respects, this campaign has been a debacle, with the Schmalkaldic League forces tripping all over themselves. Part of the problem is that the League's army has too many generals. Its nominal leader, Philip of Hesse is a walking embarrassment factory, who was actually briefly forced out of the League despite being one of its founders. It'd be hard for any man to establish any sort of dominance in that situation, and Philip, whatever his virtues, is certainly not up to it. The result is the League forces tend to mill about, follow half-a-dozen plans simultaneously, take too long to achieve their objectives, and fail to gain full advantage from their victories. Of course, right now that doesn't matter, as they are facing fairly weak opponents. But once Emperor Charles gets his war on, they're going to be in trouble. --Peace is finally formally declared between Scotland and England, with Scotland formally apologizing for causing all this trouble, and agreeing to pay a surprisingly reasonable indemnity. It's all part of Anne's charm barrage, where they will attempt to win the Scots over through the revolutionary tactic of being pleasant and respectful to them. Norfolk is ordered to disband his men, and return to London to take his rightful place in government. This is the moment of truth. If Norfolk decides to return to London at the head of an army, there's going to be trouble. Possibly even civil war. It all depends on his choice. Norfolk disbands his army and returns to London. --Diplomacy with Scotland gets tangled, thanks to a rather large number of factors. First, Anne's charm barrage begins as a three-pronged assault, aimed primarily at Arran and Marie of Guise. Arran is initially thought to be fairly simple to deal with--he is after all, half bought already. And yet Arran quickly proves more... unpredictable, and grasping than imagined. He essentially demands gifts and honors for taking England's part, especially on the marriage. Anne is understandably repulsed by this. Further, Arran is overestimating his pull. While Anne is aware of the advantages of keeping Scotland happy, on this issue, her Continental education is showing--Scotland remains for her a wild backwater, only of interest because it happens to share a border with England. It isn't worth paying Arran a fortune. Arran isn't half so clever as he imagines himself to be, but this doesn't mean he's an utter fool. He quickly realizes that England doesn't value him as much as he hoped it would and so starts quietly shopping around for a better offer. Relations with Marie on the other hand, are expected to be difficult, and thus treated with kid gloves to put her mind at ease. Marie responds warmly with pledges of gratitude and friendship. Admittedly, much of this is a ploy on Marie's part to strengthen her hand, but she does feel some kinship with Anne--in addition to the obvious similarities, both of them actually grew up in Francois' court. She also does what she can to widen the rift between Anne and Arran, and largely succeeds. The Guises seem to be very close to getting control of the situation, and achieving their goals. Then Francois I dies. And this changes everything. With Francois gone, relations with France proceed to thaw, especially when Henri has his first daughter, Elizabeth, and suddenly Anne's long-cherished dream of wedding Henry to a French Princess becomes... well, plausible. Suddenly, Scotland and its little Queen are a lot less important to France, especially if pursuing them means offending England, and a lot less important to England, if pursuing them means offending France. Marie is smart enough to realize this means that the 'spirit the Stuart girls away to France' plan is now massively impractical, and start planning accordingly. Her brothers also realize this, but they aren't sitting in the middle of Scotland surrounded by Protestants, and so they keep meddling. Marie obviously is, and is naturally worried--the third prong of England's charm offensive are the Protestant lords, and this one is working exactly as planned. And so, Marie begins to start improving her own relations with said lords, and starts hinting that having one of her girls marry Prince Edward seems... acceptable to her. Arran meanwhile, has found a patron who's willing to indulge him--the Guise brothers. And so, by the end of year, the leaders of the English and French factions have essentially switched sides. And things are only going to get more confusing. --Norfolk arrives in London, once again to plaudits of the people, and takes his seat on the Council. It's been a busy few years for him--he's spent his self-imposed exile from the court translating Orlando Innamorato, and having done that, was about to start on Orlando Furiso, but stopped. Working on Italian epics made him want to write his own, and so he's started work on a little thing called Brutus, based on bits of Geoffrey of Monmouth. He's really quite excited about it, and is willing read what he's got down to anyone who will listen. Norfolk's arrival coincides with the death of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, another sign of the passing of the old order. As the Privy Council begins its Regency dance, factions form, and deals are made. And the first hints circulate that a new Convocation will be meeting next year... --The year continues to be one of mixed blessings for the Hapsburgs--Philip's new wife bears him a son, but dies in childbirth. The child, named Charles, after his grandfather, is small, sickly, and deformed. And yet, in what he himself will call the most surprising act he ever did, young Charles lives. Philip responds to the death of his wife as he will respond to the death of all his wives, by weeping and swearing he will never know joy again. Meanwhile, Emperor Charles finally gets peace with Denmark. He appreciates it. --As the year ends, Pope Paul III opens the Council of Mantua, which will set the stage for the Counter-Reformation to begin in earnest.  Paul's ability to resist the Emperor's efforts to move it to another more German city are another sign of the Hapsburgs weakening hold on northern Italy. Indeed, relations between Paul and Charles are fairly icy--Paul believes Charles to bear a fair portion of the blame in the whole English matter, and he is bitterly angry over the entire Reginald Pole affair, privately calling it a "murder". The two twin pillars of Catholicism are at odds. Even the failing health of Martin Luther can't overcome that bad news. -----------------------  He lasted a couple more years IOTL. ITTL, the extra campaigning has done him in.  They were married in 1559, IOTL, as a result of a different peace treaty.  IOTL, this was the Council of Trent. --------------------------- HENRY VIII b. 1491 d. 1545 r. 1509-1545 PERSONAL MOTTO: "COEUR LOYAL"