"Now Blooms the Tudor Rose."

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Space Oddity, Jun 4, 2011.

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  1. SavoyTruffle Rabbit Tank

    Sep 14, 2010
    He's still the same Henry from OTL, since the POD's after his head injury.

    Of course he's less stressed.
  2. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010
    Actually--no. The jousting accident you're thinking of happened in 1536. Three years AFTER the POD. He's still had a minor head injury from another, earlier accident that's left him with recurrent headaches. And as I've noted, Henry was fairly unpleasant BEFORE the accident. It was just after it he gets really, REALLY bad.
  3. SavoyTruffle Rabbit Tank

    Sep 14, 2010
    Ah. My mistake. :eek:

    Will that head injury be butterflied away and thus a less mercurial Henry?
  4. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010
    Horrific freak accidents are--I tend to think--heavily butterfly prone. For example, I don't think it'll be much of a spoiler to say that Henri II's death by lance shard isn't happening ITTL--that was a mix of very bad luck, and events occuring in a precise way that is highly unlikely to be duplicated.

    But yes--Henry hasn't had that accident ITTL. Though he's still pretty mercurial. It's... who he is.

    Next post, a who's who on the Privy Council. (Which won't be everyone, just a few of the more prominent members...)
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  5. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010

    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.

    Anne's maternal uncle, Norfolk is a strange combination of stodgy traditionalism and naked opportunitism. A man who can trace his descent 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 withh 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.

    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.

    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 profitted 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  6. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010

    --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. [1] Anne is also missing Cromwell. Not that she regrets toppling him from power--she did not ruin Wolsley 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 wonderous 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 recieved 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? [2]

    --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 conveniantly 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. [3]

    --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.[4] 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? [5] 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 it's 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 subcombs 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 Cramner.

    --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.

    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 recaltricant 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 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 recieves 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 Cramner. Norfolk appears agreeable, and promises to speak more of this subject later.


    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 nomcomital.

    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 glady 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. Ahh. 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


    --As Stephen Gardiner awaits his trial, Thomas Cromwell is invited back into the government. Among his tasks--handling the Mary Tudor problem...

    [1] 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.

    [2] I'm sorry. I'm weak.

    [3] Norfolk lived to 1554 IOTL, surviving his eldest son, who Henry had executed.

    [4] IOTL, Darcy joined forces with the Pilgrimage of Grace, and became one of its leaders.

    [5] IOTL, Darcy was in communication with Charles, through Chapuys, where he asked for just this kind of help.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  7. stevep Member

    Mar 21, 2006
    Space Oddity

    Good update and the carriage of state wobbles on. Love the "Henry was successfully walked back from Really Bad Idea #1849" line and Anne is rapidly becoming the heroine of the TL I think.:D

    Dramatic with Norfolk assassinated, another rebellion defeated and the leading non-royal peer of the realm converting to Protestantism by the sound of it. Had a feeling that this second pilgrimage, especially since it involved an open challenge to Henry himself, was more likely to drive him further from Catholicism rather than frighten him into 'returning'.

    A bit worried about the 'friendly' relations between France and the Hapsburg's but suspect that Anne is right and they mistrust, not to say hate each other too much to combine against England. Also Charles has got problems with the Turks and probably by now the Dutch. What might be more dangerous is if France tries something on it's own while Charles is busy elsewhere. Probably little danger of the provided that Henry doesn't do something stupid to anger Francois, which is unlikely - oh shit we're talking about Henry VIII:eek:!

    What is happening in Ireland and Scotland? Unrest in one or hostility in the other might be more serious threats. Especially given the ancient alliance between Scotland and France. The former might have recovered from Flodden by now.

    Good to see that TTL has the same high standards of historical accuracy in its entertainment [sorry I mean education] as OTL.;) Not quite sure what the PLAYBILL STATION is? Presumably some private film/TV station or producer. Actually, to be honest, sounds like it is rather more accurate than a lot of films OTL produces. Does sound, since the subject sounds like a fairly upbeat view of Norfolk's, that England is going to stay Protestant.


    PS Have made my interest formal by subscribing. :)
  8. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010
    Well, thank you.

    Henry Howard hasn't so much converted to Protestantism, as he has converted to hating the Pope. There is a distinction, though his descendents are most likely to continue the march. That said--England's Catholics have just watched their most powerful family switch sides.

    All IOTL actually. They came out of the Italian War of 1536-38 in a full 'Defeat means friendship' mode. It didn't last--though Henry's being more strident in his break from Rome might change things. Or it might not.

    The Turks, yes. The Dutch on the other hand, love their giant-jawed Emperor. Even if he is Catholic.

    Again, things aren't so different from IOTL there.

    Let's just say it's TTL's equivalent of another station which put on a... similiarly titled show, and leave at that. :D

    Again, thank you.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  9. Historico Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Interesting update SO, especially about the princess Mary willingly revoking all her titles and such...Keep it coming:D!!!
  10. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010
    Thank you.
  11. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010

    --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. [1] 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 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 Charles 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 recieving 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 semiofficial 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 Cramner. 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 ultramega-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's 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 Schmalkadic 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 maritial difficulties.[2] 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.[3] His injuries are severe--Henry is unconscious for several hours, and incoherant 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've 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 divies up the responsibilities and starts getting ready just in case anybody--angry Catholics, its neighbors--decides nows 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 somthing 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 exacberation 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 incapicitated. 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 Cathlic 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 [4], 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...

    [1] Pretty much what happened OTL.

    [2] Philip is actively pursuing the right to be married bigamously. Not one of Lutheranism's shining moments. Or Martin Luther's for that matter.

    [3] 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.

    [4] 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.
  12. SavoyTruffle Rabbit Tank

    Sep 14, 2010
    Oh, Henry...

    With it making Henry more paralyzed and less of a head injury it means something else...
  13. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010
    Oh, he's had a head injury. Just... a lot of extra damage on top of that.
  14. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Jan 9, 2010
    This is way better than OTL. Way, way better. Awesome.
  15. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010
    Well, thanks. I hope it won't be spoiling things too much to say that 1540 will bring big happenings, including Catherine Howard's arrival at court.

    Of course, she won't be marrying Henry, but... she'll cause plenty of trouble.
  16. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Jul 19, 2010
    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[1], 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, Lady Latimer[2], with a smattering of fairly compliant younger women such as Anne's other cousin, Mary Howard. Catherine, a young woman followed by rumors of impropiety, 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[3]. 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.)

    --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[4].

    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 Stephan Hamilton, Sir Nicholas Tempast, 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...

    [1] 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.

    [2] 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.

    [3] He died in 1544, IOTL.

    [4]Leader of Bigod's Rebellion, the second part of the Pilgrimage of Grace IOTL.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  17. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

    Nov 30, 2010
    I enjoy this TL, keep it up. ;)

    I wondering if Scotland will remain a catholic nation, however the claims of the Stuart remained, so if they survived and the Tudors no as OTL, the union of the crowns could be still possible even in a more long term ( but it could be true the opposite, the Stuart estinguished and the Tudors claimed the Scottish throne...) ... But a catholic Scotland in an UK where England enforced more its protestant side could add more trouble in the Britannic islands...
    Whiteshore likes this.
  18. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

    Dec 18, 2010
    West of Constantinople
    Interesting times, well presented. You get the flower of thematic appropriateness. :D

    Somehow, if Henry is more immobilized than IOTL, that sounds like an all but surefire way to make it so that his temper is worse.

    If you don't mind, I want to make a fake (TTL's AH.com) thread snippet in response to this at some point, since your Tudors chatroom is inspiring the creative devil in me.
  19. stevep Member

    Mar 21, 2006
    Space Oddity

    Two more good chapters. Rooting for Anne to pull through the pregnancy OK and Henry to get out the way, although that could set up problems themselves.

    I don't think there's a great danger of either France or the Hapsburg's launching a major invasion, as their too focused on each other. However some opportune target coming up could be dangerous.

    If I read it rightly the pope has excommunicated Henry and Anne but not any of their children? Hence if/when Henry dies young Henry, despite I presume having been brought up a Protestant, will not be immediately rejected by him? Although with Anne and Norfolk high on any regency council that probably won't stay the way for long.

    Can't see Bigod's rebellion working as probably too late. Too many of those who might have fought have probably been killed, cowered or even converted. Also while the current leadership is somewhat weakened there may be hope that the new king will be less hostile. Could be bad for the remaining Catholics as the fact the ruling elite are possibly feeling more vulnerable is more likely to make them come down harder on potential threats.

    Ironic that Mary is heading off to Denmark think her position would be more vulnerable after her father died.;)

  20. Historico Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Well you could always get the Anne of Cleves to be includeded in the retinue of the Elector of Saxony if his marriage with Elizabeth goes through ITTL. The Lady Mary Tudor in Denmark, in a mostly Lutheran country, shell probably be pretty miserable and unless John of Denmark is one hell of a charmer(ie Phillip of Bavaria IOTL), I don't they well produce issue eventhough Mary is only 24 ITTL, and should be able to produce as many children as her mother and grandmothers(Elizabeth of York and Isabella of Castille). Charles V will not be too pleased when he finds out about Mary's plight, but will he go to war over her...I doubt it, just the way how he responded IOTL.

    Oh and btw SO, could you explain to me why Mary and her heirs would not have a shot of gaining the Crown of Denmark? I don't really know the differences between all the types of succession, since this wasn't really my area of concentration at undergrand. And is John of Denmark an TTL characther, I didn't see his name down as child of King Frederick of Denmark on wiki. Keep it coming buddy:D
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