The Extra Girl: For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dr. Waterhouse, Apr 19, 2018.

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  1. Threadmarks: The Life of the Elector Alexander of Saxony, England and the Holy Roman Empire, 1553

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    800px-Circle_of_William_Scrots_Edward_VI_of_England.jpg

    Edward VI, Circle of Edward Scrope - The original cinnamon roll too good for this world, too pure


    The Silent: A Life of Alexander of Saxony
    , by Tamar Levy

    In April 1553, the young Duke Alexander was summoned from the spartan but sun-filled rooms provided for him at the court of Mary of Hungary to receive a special visitor. With newly impeccable French, Alexander greeted Julius of Braunschweig, the diplomatist and fixer who was becoming ever more indispensable to his father, the Elector Friedrich IV of Saxony. Julius had come to fetch him home. What neither realized at the moment was that this was the beginning of that rarest of relationships in the history of Saxony's ascent through the ranks of the German principalities, a genuine friendship between prince and chancellor. Julius of course had not yet achieved the chancellorship. For all the skill he showed, he was still just 24.

    Other German rulers and their chancellors certainly had productive partnerships, but these were just that, partnerships. And in the case of some of the most celebrated, in particular Erste and Kettler, they came with all the grudges and quarrels of difficult marriages. By contrast, Julius's long service to Alexander was founded on a deep and abiding trust. And there has been no shortage of the historians who have attributed that closeness to this moment: Alexander's early years, dominated by a father who was first off leading armies against the emperor, who was then that emperor's prisoner, and who then traded Alexander into that emperor's custody for his own freedom, had been characterized by constant instability and insecurity. The man, young enough to be closer to an older brother than a father, who appeared in Mechelen to take him home would now forever represent the comfort of home, familiarity and freedom to the young duke.

    Their itinerary would take them first to England. The primary reason for this first and foremost was safety. The way overland east to Saxony was dominated by Catholic ecclesiastical states and minor principalities which were rife with brigands in the best of times, and which now, after a decade of hard warfare, scarcely knew any kind of order at all. By contrast, the storms of the Channel and the North Sea were a much more acceptable risk.

    Of course, the Elector was never one to waste an opportunity, and had instructed Julius to make use of this stop on the journey to try to secure a consort for Alexander. Alexander for his part, Julius recorded in his extensive correspondence to Friedrich detailing his activities, was eager to meet his cousin, the boy-king Edward VI. He also informed the elector that his son was bright, healthy, if somewhat skinny, and perhaps most importantly, showed no objection to drinking the wine when he took communion, indicating that he was still Lutheran in his observances.

    Of course, Alexander was to be disappointed in his wish to meet Edward. By this point the last male Tudor was deep in his final illness. This would lend added piquancy to the descriptions of many courtiers to the effect that they thought Alexander seemed "little thicker than a rod", his look "scarcely a recommendation for the care of his uncle the emperor", and perhaps most cruelly, "possessing little of the sanguine vigor of our own good king."

    Nonetheless, following the purchase of appropriate attire from eager London merchants, Julius took Friedrich to meet his kinsmen and -women. The reception of the Lady Mary was predictably flinty, though Alexander's first stab at delicate diplomacy was astute: he offered her the compliments of the Emperor and Mary of Hungary with the warmth of a fellow Habsburg, with no note of the political or religious complexities. He also visited the Lady Elizabeth at Hatfield House, which was a wholly different endeavor. Julius was determined to make a marriage happen between the two, the eleven-year age difference between them notwithstanding: Friedrich, no less than his mother previously, was intent upon a royal match that among other things would secure England's assistance to Saxony for the indefinite future.

    Friedrich could not imagine, once an English royal princess had made a home for herself in a court of the empire as an electress, that the English king and parliament would permit her to come to danger at the hands of a foreign army for want of their support.

    He even envisioned this stratagem as one that would find favor with the various court factions: a king of England's daughter could not contest the English throne from the banks of the Elbe.

    In the end though, these plans of Friedrich and Julius's ran into opposition from the coalition of nobles governing the kingdom. The problem was not Northumberland, who was congenial to Friedrich's idea of removing the Princess Elizabeth so as to clear away potential rival protestant claimants to the succession, should Edward in fact die. Instead, it was Suffolk. Katherine, the Duchess of Suffolk, had convinced Henry Brandon that Friedrich's 1533 disclaiming of the English succession had been a ruse, and that the marriage of Alexander to Elizabeth would be a way of resolving that problem, given that their children could still have a good claim to the succession through their mother independent of Alexander's as a great-grandson of Henry VII. To Katherine, Friedrich's attempt to win Elizabeth for his son was nothing short of a gambit to win the English throne for his heir, thus stealing it in her view from her husband Henry, who, if the will of Henry VIII, and the devise for the succession of Edward VI, werr effective would inherit to the exclusion of the old king's surviving daughters.

    Julius was astonished by this notion, which had taken root in Katherine's long stay in England, the likely product of ten years' of court intrigue against the Seymours, Dudleys and others. He labored and labored, but could not convince the duchess this was not Friedrich's attempt to spirit away the crown but to help clear her husband's way to it. With the Suffolks so completely opposed, Northumberland would not provoke a breach by moving against their wishes, and Julius, mindful that given the length of time Alexander had been away already, he did not have forever to get the young duke Alexander back to Saxony, after several weeks relented and arranged passage for them home with a respectable escort from the English navy.

    The rest of the way home passed without incident. If Julius feared his failure at securing the hand of the Lady Elizabeth would sour his reception, he was certainly in error. The arrival of Duke Alexander in Wittenberg on Johannistag, or the Festival of the Nativity of John the Baptist, in 1553 was a scene of utter rejoicing. Though Friedrich, seemingly keeping with the theme he had practiced so extensively in Alexander's youth, was away fighting the French in the service of the Emperor, the Electress Dorothea was so overcome at the young duke's return she could not be troubled to observe the protocol of the occasion. The retrieval of the Wettin heir, returned intact and sufficiently Lutheran to be fit for purpose, was worth more to the assembled than any of his father's conquests or military victories.

    And it may seem like a small matter, but there was even relief that the future Elector Alexander could finally be painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder. For as it was generally thought then, until a member of the House of Wettin had sat for the now aged master, they may as well not even have been born.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  2. Threadmarks: The Flight of the Brandons, England and the Holy Roman Empire, 1553

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    800px-Maria_Tudor1.jpg

    Mary I by Antonis Mors

    The Second Cousins' War: Causes and Contexts by Lucille Garvey

    In the early days of September 1553, Wittenberg seemed far from the center of political or military activity. The elector was still away campaigning in the service of the emperor, a concept so strange most ordinary subjects had difficulty comprehending it, like some exotic creature described in a book that no one had ever actually seen with their own eyes. "Off fighting with the Emperor, but not fighting against the Emperor, are you sure you heard that right?"

    For his part, Duke Johann was in Weimar, attending to the ordinary administration of the electorate as it pertained to the harvest and the payment of rents, performing the scutwork for which he he was developing less, and not more, patience as years passed. The Duchess Sybille was in Torgau, in the grip of an illness which was beginning to cast the specter of fatality. Johann and Sybille's various children were scattered to the wind, hunting in the woods with the first chill of wind on the air, or engaging in the awkward business of making heirs as part of the various dynastic plans for which they had been yoked together, or hiding in obscure castles in the far reaches of Thuringia with full wine cellars, and where duty would be less likely to find them. Thus the only Wettins in residence at the small, but symbolically pivotal, castle that dominated the western corner of the ax-head shaped town was the nine-year old Alexander and his mother, the Electress Dorothea. In attendance upon him was Julius of Braunschweig, presently occupying an odd position part-tutor, part-advisor, and part-guardian, under orders that any effort to move the young duke from the premises for anything more than a day trip to pick berries or hunt small game was to meet the business end of a halberd.

    This order did not list the boy's mother as in any way exempt from its provisions.

    So Wittenberg was presently without its rulers, and more to the point without the proud names of bold-faced history stomping through its streets with grandiose purpose: no Luthers, no Friedrichs, no Elizabeths of England. To all appearances it was just another sleepy river town, albeit one with supported by odd industries. Cranach's workshop was still the largest employer, engaging in addition to the various decorative goods it provided to the electoral court an array of other profit-making activities, including wine-selling and an apothecary shop. It attracted an endless string of customers, both from the nobility and some prosperous commoners of the towns, including couples purchasing Cranach's trademark "tasteful" "boudoir" artwork, in which for example a bride could pose as Judith with her new husband the likeness for the severed head of Holofernes, and take the result home.

    Wittenberg's other great institution, the Leucorea, was as ever wholly invested in the Lutheran enterprise--producing theological justifications for the present doctrinal divisions in the Christian Church, articulating Lutheran doctrine as to every possible obscure or trivial theological question, and training priests to be sent out into the wilds of Germany and Scandinavia to spread the word in the vernacular. Of course, the training of one student now took precedence over all others. The Duke Alexander was subject to exhausting interviews on his ideas about religion, and even more exhausting lectures on what those ideas should be. While he lacked his father's talent for disputation, and even the most gifted boy of his age would be challenged by the concepts and the details he was asked to master, Alexander acquitted himself adequately, though he already was showing the trademark reticence and caution that would define his reputation, and which marked him even then as in some ways more Habsburg than Wettin. One exception though occurred the day, around this time, when one of his tutors overheard Alexander speaking Latin with some familiarity and aptitude. Shocked, the poor man fell into a dead faint, only for it later to be discovered Alexander was merely practicing a passage he had been asked to memorize from Commentaries on the Gallic War.

    Such were the lazy days in Wittenberg as summer slid towards the chill of autumn.

    Until, that is, a barge arrived from Hamburg, bearing what to most of the townspeople appeared to be an odd troupe of performers. The leader among them was a beautiful blonde woman in filthy clothes that had been on her back perhaps a month. She was at least thirty years of age, and had almost no understanding of German. Arriving at the water stairs on the wall by the Coswig gate, with a man and a nurse holding a caterwauling baby girl in her company, the woman labored to make herself understood. She won some sympathy from the townspeople and the guards of the nearby castle, until she managed to inform them all she was Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk. The assembled knew this to be wrong: the Duchess of Suffolk was their own Katarina, a daughter of this house, whom any adult person of Wittenberg would know by sight, and who certainly could speak in the language of this town. Their patience taxed and their suspicion aroused, the Wittenbergers conveyed the strange woman and her entourage to the rathaus, where they were held under lock and key until someone from the castle saw fit to look into the matter for themselves.

    Then two days later on another barge arrived a young boy and a girl who claimed to be a married couple. The girl, who had some facility with languages, and who had managed to teach herself some German the past few days, managed to explain that she was some manner of niece of the elector, that her name was Jane Dudley, and she was with her husband, Guildford. They were conveyed to an adjacent room, and another messenger was sent to the castle requesting some attention to this odd matter.

    Four days after that, the third barge arrived. Immediately, it was obvious the situation could be deferred no longer. Attended by servants and accompanied by her own teenage son, the tall woman had the center of this party was a shrieking, filthy wreck, inconsolable, virtually mad, her demeanor and present condition in a sharp contrast to the fineness of the garments she had been caught in when misfortune had struck. Unlike the others, though, she was instantly recognizable to the townspeople. This was the actual Katarina, sister of the Elector Friedrich IV of Saxony, sole daughter of the Elector Johann and Elizabeth of England. But she called herself now the queen of England.

    Taken into the castle, Katarina found herself in the odd situation of being cared for and soothed by the Electress Dorothea, her nemesis in times past, and her ladies. At length the other English parties who had already arrived were brought from the rathaus and made as presentable as possible. The Duchess Katherine who had been first to arrive, as it turns out, was Katherine Willoughby, the fourth wife of Charles Brandon, the stepmother of his son Henry Brandon, and hence the stepmother-in-law of Katarina. Finally, Katarina was given an audience with the Duke Alexander that was in fact the opportunity to explain herself to Julius of Braunschweig, who would relay all to the Elector. In her hoarse, rambling speech, she related that her husband had succeeded Edward VI on his death as king of England, been quickly crowned, only to then run afoul of the most evil and treacherous bastard, murderess and usurper, Mary, daughter of Henry VIII by Katherine of Aragon, who had raised an army of papist brigands and then killed Katherine's lord husband Henry IX, and now unnaturally meant to rule England as if she were a man. Katarina demanded, immediately, that she be allowed to go to her brother in person, wheresoever he was, and there beg him to lead an army straight to England, there to install her son on his rightful throne as King Henry X. For she was certain Friedrich could make it all alright.

    In these circumstances, the young duke's habit of listening quietly without offering his opinions served him well.
     
  3. Threadmarks: The Life of the Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1553

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Königstein-01.jpg

    Plan of the Konigstein Fortress, 1690, as Plan of the Konigstein Fortress before its transformation by the construction of the Schottisches Schloss, the Belvedere, and the Residenz der Kaiserin.

    Sigismunda Killinger, Lecture Record, November 16, 1998 Charpentier-Synthtranslate Edition.

    Today is going to be a somewhat awkward class, given that we must begin from events outside our subject matter. This is not a class on English history, for which I am thankful, given that the obscure dynastic accidents of that country's depressingly centralized political life offer little pleasure. But today we must do English history to know the German. I promise as short a digression as possible into the matters of Henry VIII's codpiece.

    So on July 7 King Edward VI dies at Greenwich. Immediately there springs into action a plan long-developed, by which Henry Brandon, Second Duke of Suffolk, is acclaimed king. With hindsight, we today tend to think of this as some madcap plan born of desperation to avert the rise of Bloody Mary. In truth, a Brandon succession in 1553 had the support of Henry VIII's will, and of Edward VI's own Devise for the Succession.

    And simply put, for our purposes, even their sex aside, both Edward's sisters presented enormous problems as heirs. The elder, Mary, daughter of Katherine of Aragon, had essentially been declared a bastard as the daughter of a null marriage. The younger, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Anne Boleyn, a woman convicted of treason by way of adultery against the king. And if one took the position that the marriage of the king to Katherine of Aragon was legally effective and legitimate, then it was Elizabeth who was the daughter of the null marriage.

    So questions hung over both princesses. Though each could argue she was the daughter of a king, never mind that a few courtiers in the case of Elizabeth might cough behind their hand the names of Thomas Wyatt or George Boleyn, what neither could promise was that she would be legitimate to all fractions of what was in 1553 a divided kingdom.

    And all this is besides the fact that the last time England had a woman ruling it was way back in the time which had inauspiciously come to be called The Anarchy.

    Now, Henry VIII's will also emphatically disinherited the line of his elder sister Margaret, both her children by the Stuart kings of Scotland and her subsequent issue by Archibald Douglas. And as we discussed all the way back in September, Friedrich disclaimed the English succession in return for his uncle's assistance against the Habsburgs. This left the surviving son of Henry VIII's youngest, and favorite, sister, Mary, and his best friend, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

    Brandon had come to Saxony in 1534 with the Elector Friedrich on his return from his visit in England, ostensibly to learn all about war-making. What he quickly learned of war was that whatever skills his father had possessed had not transferred to him. And so he settled into a dilettante's life of hunting and whoring at court. He married Friedrich's sister Katarina, the two of them offering the land of Saxony in its years of deep crisis little more than a steady stream of conspiracies until the Electress Elizabeth sent them packing back to England in 1542.

    Henry Brandon, who before his father's death used the courtesy title Earl of Lincoln, but from 1545 was Duke of Suffolk in his own right, had little more to recommend him for the throne than the fact that he was the first adult man in line once the two king's two problematic daughters, the Scots, and the Saxons, were all excluded. But he was of course also a reliable, if not the most pious or theologically keen, Protestant.

    And the fact that he was married and had produced his own heir already of course helped. If all went according to plan, England might even go more than one generation without a succession crisis under the Brandons. Whatever the case, the council governing for Edward VI could look on Brandon as a solid option to succeed, should Edward not make heirs of his own.

    Brandon was so favored that English court ceremonial during the late reign of Edward VI rarely missed the opportunity to put him in armor and on horseback. That he was hopeless on the tiltyard in a manner that had shamed his father, and lacked the minimum skills and preparation to partake in anything like actual battle, was openly known. Nonetheless, he aptly played the part of the warrior for the teeming masses, cutting a majestic figure in the saddle.

    So when Edward died, cousin Suffolk was more than ready to step in. Henry and Katarina had been astute enough following an early period of rivalry to cultivate the Duke of Northumberland and secure his assistance in the matter. They were somewhat helped in this by Brandon's own reputation by this point as a bit of an imbecile: those who had profited under the kingship of a young boy looked forward to not that much sterner of a taskmaster in Henry IX.

    Nonetheless, Brandon at the beginning of the enterprise was remarkably sure-footed. He quickly secured the allegiance of Edward VI's council, Parliament and critical officers and courtiers controlling the treasury, the ports and Calais, which had a standing armed force that had proven crucial in previous struggles over the throne.

    Then he set out for Hunsdon, where Mary was in residence. The Tudor princess had been summoned to the deathbed of her brother, had not come, and was deemed now to be fleeing into the arms of her Habsburg relations. Henry intended to overwhelm whatever guards or loyalists Mary surrounded herself with, return her to London, and secure her in the Tower. What would follow that, we can readily guess.

    What the putative Henry IX did not count on was first, that word escaped London of his own preparations, and second, that the character of the princess in question would not permit her to be passively captured. Instead, no sooner had Mary declined the summons to London to appear at the bedside of her brother, than she had left for Norfolk, there to gather an army in the affinities of the Howards and the supporters of prior uprisings against the Protestant regimes of Henry VIII and Edward VI.

    From the beginning, the conflict between the two claimants to the throne was enveloped in religious significance. The insignia of Henry Brandon was a lamb bleeding into a chalice, inspired by Luther's favored symbolism. Before Henry Brandon was even Duke of Suffolk, he had subscribed to the notion that Lutheranism could mediate between the religious conservatism of Mary and the radicalism of Edward. Once again, Henry Brandon had no head for theology: in his mind this was little more complicated a matter than that halfway between the Seven Sacraments of the Old Church and the one sacrament of the Geneva radicals, there were Luther's three.

    So long as Edward had ruled though, and Suffolk's power was dependent on figures closer to the young king like Seymour and Northumberland, Brandon's agenda was submerged beneath all the pieties expected of a member of good standing of the regime. But with Edward gone, and Brandon no longer the Earl of Lincoln or Duke of Suffolk but in his own eyes, at least, Henry IX, he felt he had no reason to hide his preferences any more.

    Mary, meanwhile, gathered men under the old Tudor banners: the dragon of Cadwallader, the portcullis of Beaufort, the red rose of Lancaster. It came as a surprise perhaps only to Henry Brandon that these symbols exerted more power than his, that her networks in the old quasi-feudal affinities were more vital than his; that her force accumulated strength, while his atrophied.

    Henry pursued her towards Norfolk, and got as far as Braintree before his scouts reported that her army dwarfed his own. Daring not to engage her directly, he decided to return to London, there to make use of the city walls, the Tower, and most importantly the treasuries and other monetary resources the city offered.

    On August 10 Mary sent a herald, offering him a final opportunity to renounce his claim and accept her as queen. The terms of her offer were direct. If he bowed, he would live. Refusing meant the fate of a traitor. He refused, and contemptuously offering her the same bargain.

    Then at Romford, on August 12, the two armies faced each other, Mary's force catching Henry's before it could reach the walls of London. The result was a foregone conclusion, with most of Henry's army melting away before a pitched battle could be fought. The putative Henry IX was caught attempting to flee in the borrowed garb of a common soldier, and was even identified for Mary by his own men.

    Mary felt all the mercy required in the circumstances she had already offered. The next day he was found guilty, stripped of all lands and titles, and executed in the manner prescribed for a traitor. Henry Brandon did not distinguish himself at the end, and for all the sensitivities of English historians about this progenitor of their royal family, no one has abstained from reporting that Henry Brandon groveled at the end of his life, asking for the same bargain he had previously rejected out of hand.

    For her part, the Duchess Katherine had retired to the Tower of London to plan the festivities of an untroubled coronation while her husband went to fetch their intransigent cousin. Though historians have ever chosen to cite her overbearing pride in these matters, Katarina was quick to react when things went awry.

    When word reached her that Mary had gathered an army too formidable for her husband to engage, Katherine did not tarry. To flee too quickly might mean embarrassment, but to flee too slowly might lose her everything. So Katarina, not unlike some latter day Margaret of Anjou, gathered her son Henry, who had been demanding his chance to enter the field with his father, crossed the Thames, and began making plans to flee for the Continent.

    Two days later she and her "Prince of Wales" were on a fishing boat bound for France, most of their wealth left behind them due to the haste with which they were forced to move. The Protestant nobility that had governed England under Edward and supported the Brandon succession was no less caught by surprise. Some stayed in the hopes of ameliorating the wrath, and eventually winning the trust of, the new queen. This number included Henry Brandon's sister Frances, now Frances Grey, Marquess of Dorset. But Grey's eldest daughter Jane, now married to Lord Guildford Dudley, a younger son of Northumberland, chose to flee. In the disorder of fast departures to uncertain destinations, the great and good of Protestant England were scattered, so that for a long while outside the core members of the Brandon family, no one knew who had made it out of England, who were being held by the new queen in some manner of honorable confinement, and who had fallen already to the executioner's ax.

    The lurid details of the Brandons' arrival in Wittenberg is of course the stuff of imagebox historical melodrama, and we need not recite it here. In my view the far more important scene occurred in the far west. When the herald arrived from Wittenberg bearing Julius of Braunschweig's account of all this, he found the Elector Friedrich IV of Saxony already knew everything. For Friedrich had been traveling with his new ally, the Emperor Charles V. And Charles had received updates on all these events as they had transpired, with information flowing much more freely across the North Sea to the Burgundian court than to the distant forests of Saxony.

    Each new turn of events had been received in the Habsburg camp with cheers and toasts for the conquering princess, many of them for Friedrich's benefit. These were not the idle displays of dynastic pride. Since 1534 England had in some years done more to fund the Saxon army than the actual tax moneys of Saxony. Never had that flow ebbed to less than a third of Saxony's total military expenses. In addition there had been the incalculable benefit of England's diplomatic support, and help in practical matters like procuring mercenaries in the Swiss Cantons. That assistance had never been in the cause of family solidarity. Henry VIII had understood his commitment to religious reform had made it entirely possible he might face an alliance of Catholic powers, and so he had strengthened the evangelical princes of the Empire to provide Charles a foe in his backyard stubborn enough that he could never truly contemplate the invasion so ardently wished for by his English co-religionists in support of the restoration of the old faith.

    Friedrich had, of course, given Henry everything he wanted, and the councilors of Edward VI had gleefully continued the arrangement. Now that era had drawn to a sharp conclusion. Saxony could no longer rely on England to pay the bills for its exercise of military power in a way it could never have afforded on its own. Even if Mary I were to involve herself in the drama of imperial politics, Friedrich could not expect her to be in any way on his side. Thus his only statement to the new queen regnant, so fresh from slaughtering his brother-in-law, and sending his own sister and nephew running for their lives, was a short letter of polite congratulation, with a postscript inquiry on the continued terms of Saxony's pepper trade concession in London, which had been originally established in the terms of his mother's 1509 marriage contract.

    Of course, Friedrich's game efforts to play off the import of these transformative events did not change the underlying truth. Even now, his participation in a campaign with the imperial army, alongside soldiers and generals who a few years before had ardently sought his death and who even now viewed it their Christian duty to return his land to the Catholic Church by any means possible, were held off not even by Habsburg military discipline, but by the certain knowledge that a betrayal and assassination of the Elector would be avenged by the still-more-ardently-Protestant, still-more-aggressive, Duke Johann. But now, if Friedrich were to fall, if Charles were to take him prisoner, if any of the long history of slights and abuses passing from Elector to Emperor were cited as reason to deprive Friedrich of his liberty, what now could Johann look to, to fund that war to vindicate Saxony?

    Each day now Friedrich stayed in the field with Charles, he spent down the vital reserve that he might need to use against Charles, if the Emperor's intransigence on the matters of a permanent religious settlement for the empire, or even the fraught matter of the Hessian succession, led to war.

    Saxony had gone for several years walking between the raindrops, betraying the terms of the agreements with the Emperor by which Friedrich had been set free to little cost, avoiding the disastrous French alliance and its military consequences, then reaping the benefits of its alliance with the Habsburgs, while doing little of the work required of that alliance. But those days were now over. A Saxony without the resources to field its army was also a Saxony without leverage.

    So Friedrich began work on manufacturing a story about an illness of the young Duke Alexander that would allow him to discreetly withdraw from the Emperor's presence and return to Saxony with his army, like a performer who realized he had overstayed his time on the stage, and now found his audience fidgeting and impatient.

    Never again in Friedrich's lifetime would Saxony be able to act on the same stage as the great military powers, parrying great Spanish generals like the Duke of Alba. What the nightmare of the loss of England's support revealed was that Saxony could not exert itself externally against the Habsburgs unless it was politically and economically self-sufficient. But the Saxony that could do this did not exist yet, and creating it would be out of Friedrich's reach. Instead that work would fall to someone else.

    Dusk was falling on the Holy Prince.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  4. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Sorry everyone. I erred when I uploaded this last update and accidentally submitted an older draft of this, then--wait for it!--deleted the most recent version. Hence the roughness, and a few errors that I'm rushing to correct. You may want to check back shortly for a better version.
     
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  5. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Okay! Done now. Thank you for your patience everyone. Any questions after this big change? The next update is going to take us out of the main narrative a bit, to help us flesh out what all this means and to introduce some new characters.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  6. Threadmarks: Supplemental on the English Exiles in Wittenberg, 1553-present

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Mary_Tudor_and_Charles_Brandon.jpg

    Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Charles Brandon, by Jan Gossaert

    Wittenberg: The Heart of Germany

    Englishtown

    The Englischestadt is the district of the old walled city just east of the Coswig gate and north of the old electoral castle. Today it abuts the Mauergarten and is easily reached by pedestrian bridges across the moat of old Wittenberg. The first homes of the Englischestadt were originally built in the mid-sixteenth century. At that time, most of the land inside the walls of Wittenberg was still vacant, with tanner’s yards and paddocks for various livestock occupying much of the town’s territory. The first English families to arrive in Wittenberg were attracted by the court of the first Duchess, then Electress, Elizabeth and the trading opportunities opened by her presence in the city. Even in the first decades of the Lutheran reformation, many reform-minded Englishmen preferred the Netherlands or other German towns to study the new theology.

    All this changed in July 1553, when the first members of the nobility fleeing the failed attempt to install Henry Brandon, Duke of Suffolk as king of England arrived in Wittenberg. Before his death, Edward VI had attempted to will his throne to Suffolk, his first cousin, in contravention of a prior act of Parliament that named his sister Mary his successor. Of course, the case for Suffolk was made stronger by his being a man: the argument went that even asides from the absence of a tradition of uncontested rule by women in England, a male ruler would be better able to execute the responsibilities of defending the realm and preserving public order. And it went without saying that the strongly Protestant Brandon would be more likely to preserve and consolidate the English Reformation as it had come to be in the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI than the Roman Catholic Mary I.

    For all these reasons, Brandon has been declared king while Mary advanced on London with an army recruited among the commons of East Anglia. Defeated north of the city, the putative Henry IX was captured and then executed. Following Mary’s triumphant entrance into the city in the company of her sister Elizabeth, other executions followed, including that of the Brandon’s chief co-conspirator, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland.

    Once Mary won, she acted quickly to revive the medieval prohibitions on Lollardy, which carried the death sentence. This left the other members of the Brandon family and other Evangelical nobles exposed to charges not just of treason but heresy.

    So Wittenberg witnessed the arrival of a great many number of English subjects vulnerable to prosecution. Foremost among these were the Duchess Dowager of Suffolk Katherine Willoughby, stepmother of the dead Henry IX; Henry IX’s widow Katerina, or Katherine Brandon, originally a ducal princess of Saxony who had been Duchess of Suffolk and still styled herself Queen of England; Henry IX’s son and heir, also named Henry; and as many of the rest of the descendants of Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor the French Queen as could escape. Notably, Frances Grey, the elder daughter of the two, was held in honorable confinement by Mary I.

    Though they had been invited by Friedrich IV, the sheer burden of housing and feeding so many of his highborn English relations, their servants and supporters quickly proved too much for his treasury. This was especially so given he had by virtue of these very events lost the financial support of England, he anticipated the possibility of a fresh war with the Emperor, and the influx of silver from the New World was slashing the value of the main product of Saxony’s mines.

    For that reason, the various Brandons and the families attached to their cause were quietly invited to settle in Wittenberg and support themselves however they could with the help of only modest subsidies. This involved for many of them a disappointing reduction in their quality of life. For instance, none of them were able to maintain during these years households remotely equal even to that of the common-born Cranach family, who were after decades of patronage from the electoral court for their renowned work in the decorative arts, and with several other thriving businesses, a leading family of Wittenberg.

    This unexpectedly marginal situation of the English exile community was complicated further by the question of religion. Though the Holy Prince was famously lax on the enforcement of doctrinal uniformity, the same could not be said of the town’s society. To them the Calvinist tendency of many of the new arrivals to treat the eucharist as something other than the actual body and blood of Christ was a dire affront to the Christian religion. On that account, some members of the Brandon family attempting to conduct business in Wittenberg found themselves treated worse than even the town’s few residual Roman Catholics. One slur in particular encapsulates this problematic relationship: to many of the Lutheran elite of electoral Saxony, the English were “Island Jews.”

    The situation was not helped by the fact that these members of the English upper classes hailed from a society still largely marked by feudal deference. An endless series of brawls, knife-fights and duels involved claims various English lords and ladies had been denied their due respect by Wittenberg commoners, who in turn considered the foreigners objects of forbearance under the best of circumstances. The longstanding, and defining, Wittenberg antipathy of townsfolk for the Leucorea students, and vice versa, faded in importance, as instead all native Germans now began to take the side of each other against the band of foreign heretic interlopers who expected them to bow and scrape.

    In the late-sixteenth century a series of satirical woodcuts nicely illustrated these resentments. They inaugurated another German epithet for the English, that of the Siemuere. (This is a phonetic German rendering of the name of the English noble family from which came Henry VIII’s third wife, who were closely connected to the Brandons.) As depicted in the woodcuts, a Siemuere was essentially a syphilitic Calvinist who was so convinced every single tenet of the Christian religion was papistry that he held no actual positive belief at all. Moreover, the Siemuere interspersed his lectures on religion with lengthy binges drinking and whoring. But perhaps worst of all in the eyes of the Saxon townsfolk of the sixteenth century, though he was always flamboyantly dressed and had outlandishly expensive tastes, he was forever running up, and running out on, astronomically high debts.

    In all this social friction however, there lay from the very beginning a potent social transformation. Naturally, news of the arrival of so much of the English nobility to a secluded electoral seat on the Elbe triggered intense attention. Virtually from the time Katarina had returned from her tragic tenure as Duchess of Suffolk and then Queen of England, travelers were making their way to Wittenberg to witness the Brandon spectacle. It would be mistaken however to assume such trips were made in veneration, or with the motivation of a modern tourist. Instead, they were more often than not in a spirit of unkind gawkery: depending on how far in arrears the exiles were in paying their servants, one might be able to catch a glimpse of a descendent of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York killing a chicken for the supper pot.

    But nonetheless the presence of so many highly educated, and financially hard-pressed, courtiers, triggered explosive cultural growth. Volumes of the exiles’ memoirs, poetry, religious reflections, legal arguments and utopian theorizing all found their way to the Wittenberg printers, in English, German and Latin. Several of the English noblewomen, such as Katherine Willoughby, ran what was, after a fashion, finishing schools for the daughters of merchants and tradespeople. Simultaneously, taverns and other establishments catering to the English became centers for the transmission of news and gossip. The most famous of these was the Minotaur, named after one of the supporting creatures on the Brandon coat of arms.

    Eventually, the ways of the English had a dramatic effect on the life of Wittenberg, both inside and outside the official court. In an era where the obsessive preoccupations of most German princes were eating, drinking and hunting, by the 1580’s a German lord arriving at the court of the then elector Alexander I would be expected to pen sonnets, compose orations, and display facility with classical languages. The effect of this culture on the prestige of the Saxon electors was incalculable. They may not have been able to compete with their Habsburg nemeses in opulent material culture or court ceremonial, but the idea of Wittenberg as a “beacon in the wilderness” was hugely attractive to the other German princes. No doubt, the Leucorea and the renown of professors like Luther, Melanchthon and their heirs provided much of that luster. But much of the rest was provided by the English.

    Once Mary I was succeeded by her sister Elizabeth I, many exiles wasted no time returning to England. Some waited to make sure of the durability of the new regime, others for the official restoration of the reformed practices by the English church. But some would never return. This included not just the devastated and permanently un-well widow of Henry IX, but Jane Dudley and several other descendants of Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor. Though these families would ultimately Germanize, they carved out a singular place in the life of Wittenberg, aligned with the Wettins and yet not of the German nobility, evangelical, but not of the Lutheran elite, and forever trying to stay ahead of their parlous finances.

    In ways they could not have foreseen when a disheveled Katherine Brandon stepped off her bark on the Wittenberg shore on a hot August day in 1553, these families would hold a disproportionate influence on the future of Saxony, and thus Germany. After all, it was not even thirty years later, it would be one of Guildford and Jane Dudley’s sons who would broach as a solution to the elector Alexander’s ever-worsening financial problems the idea of calling the Saxon estates to vote new direct taxes like an English parliament would. Of course, Alexander would refine this scheme by charging the commons for the privilege of electing their representatives. From that beginning, we can trace the whole winding course of Saxon, and by extension German, democracy.


    Sites to visit in Englishtown

    (A) Suffolk House. This gothic four-story stone residence with adjoining garden was constructed during the exile of the Brandon dukes of Suffolk during the reign of Mary I and the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth I. Retained after the return to England and the accession of Frederick I of England, it served as a residence for other members of the family and for many years as a kind of embassy. Later, it was the official residence in Wittenberg of the English ambassador until the Sixth General War. (EXPAND)

    In the years since it has been the site of many historical events. The visitor’s center, located in the old stables, includes a selection of technospectral reenactments. Also, be sure to note the crenellations on the roof, added during the original construction to give this somewhat small dwelling the appearance of a fortified castle. (EXPAND)

    (B) The English Chapel. In this small church, various Brandons, Dudleys, Seymours and others attended services delivered in the rites of the English Church as they had been under Henry VIII and Edward VI. From the 1580’s the chapel was the site of serious doctrinal contest between those Anglicans of Wittenberg who favored more formal, ritualistic services and those who preferred a more thoroughly reformed religion. Most famously, the English Chapel was the site of the marriage of Henry Brandon the Younger, the third duke of Suffolk, to Mary Howard, who would be the mother of Frederick I. Several members of the Brandon family, including Jane Dudley, are buried on the premises. Extensive reconstruction was necessary after an RCR terrorist attack in 1894. (EXPAND)

    (C) The Minotaur. Restored in the nineteenth-century, The Minotaur alternates its décor and period dress among the various periods in which it flourished and the various uses the building has served the English exile population. Depending on season, one can visit the late medieval tavern, the seventeenth-century tea house and the eighteenth-century coca parlor, encountering technospectral reenactors appropriately simulating the historically specific activities, and intoxications. (EXPAND)

    (D) The Statue of Charles and Mary Brandon. On the southwest corner of the small Englische Markt, these legendary forebears of England’s royal family are rendered in monumental bronze atop a granite plinth. The fifteen-foot tall likenesses of the lovers, arm-in-arm, are supported by allegorical figures. Charles Brandon’s side is borne by PIETY and FIDELITY, and the French Queen’s by CHASTITY and HUMILITY. (EXPAND)

    (E) Leibniz House. One of several residences in Wittenberg associated with the great polymath, the Leibnitz House in the Englischestadt has been restored to as it looked during Leibniz’s time there. Purchased because of its proximity to the old castle of Wittenberg and the diplomatic offices maintained there in the late seventeenth-century, the Leibniz House is but the most prominent of the many homes maintained by fashionable Germans in the English quarter because of the opportunities for access and information it presented.

    Unfortunately, because of the sheer number of other institutions in Greater Wittenberg exhibiting material pertaining to Leibniz, including the Leucorea Public Annex and the Imperial Science Delpheum, Leibniz House is rather short of authentic Leibniziana. However, it does maintain in its collection several early-model commercial reckoners. (EXPAND)

    (F) Dudley House. Next to Suffolk House, the most historically significant home in the Englischestadt is Dudley House, or as it was originally called, Northumberland House. It was built in 1555-6 by Guildford Dudley, son and heir to the Duke of Northumberland who had been executed following the failed effort to make Henry Duke of Suffolk king of England as Henry IX. Lord Dudley had fled to Wittenberg with his wife Jane, where she would maintain a diplomatically significant presence throughout the English exile.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  7. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I like the detail and little Easter eggs in the updates as to the future of TTL...
     
  8. Cate13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    I'm so excited that you choose to resurrect this timeline. I really enjoyed Tudor bulls, meet 16th century German china shop. One thing I remember from reading it, was I began to lose track of everyone, there were so many Fredricks and Henrys. Would you ever post a family tree or character sheet?
     
  9. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    I remember having a terrible time trying to format family trees for the old timeline. But I understand they're necessary, especially considering that genealogy matters, both in terms of succession politics and otherwise. What I'm also trying to do in order to make this a bit easier to follow: paring down the number of descendants; diversifying the names (fewer Elizabeths and Elisabeths, more Dorotheas and Sybilles); trying to remember that because of disabilities and other factors, there needs to be members of each generation who will not be marrying and making heirs. Before re-starting the timeline I read a great biography of the Winter Queen (whom you know will be a major player here down the line). While this family could not be mistaken for typical, I was shocked by how some of her daughters supported themselves by painting, and how some found their way into Protestant convents. So I think there's a lot we can do to make things less repetitive. :)
     
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  10. Threadmarks: The Life of Jane Dudley, Holy Roman Empire, 1553-1609

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    streathamladyjayne_crop.jpg
    The Streatham Portrait of Lady Jane Grey

    Jane Dudley In Wittenberg


    Jane was particularly important to the Brandon family’s quest to win the English throne in the difficult years of mid-century. She was the eldest daughter of Frances Grey, who was herself the elder daughter of Charles Brandon and the French Queen. Following the execution of Henry IX, the Brandon heir was his son, also Henry. If for any reason that Henry Brandon died, then the Brandon claim to the English crown would pass to Frances, who was at that time held in honorable confinement at the court of Mary I. In the event of her death, that claim would pass to Jane.

    This situation was further complicated by the fact that, at the time Mary I squelched the Brandon revolt and succeeded to the throne, Jane’s cousin Henry Brandon, Jane’s younger sisters Katherine and Mary, and even her first cousin Margaret Clifford, were as yet too young to produce heirs. Thus it fell to Jane to produce the heirs necessary to keep the Brandon claim going. During these years, Wittenberg was feverish with rumors of assassination plots against Henry Brandon or Jane, and several times erroneous word arrived of the executions in England of Frances Grey, Margaret Clifford, or even the Princess Elizabeth Tudor.

    Jane bore five children during these troubled years: Katherine (1558), Frances (1559), Margaret (1562), Edward (1564) and Charles (1566), of which Frances, Margaret and Charles died in infancy. In doing so Jane provided much-needed dynastic insurance to the Brandons and their Protestant supporters, though ultimately her younger sisters and Margaret Clifford also provided potential heirs. The importance of Jane Dudley’s offspring was neatly illustrated by the fact that the Saxon electors stood as godfathers to all her children, and Dudley House was protected by the elector’s own guards. And while Katherine Willoughby maintained a strong presence in the court, Jane was favored over Katherine by the Wettins owing to her capacity to make royal heirs and, to a lesser extent, her reputation for piety and erudition.

    Naturally the death of Mary I and the accession of Elizabeth I was a great turning point for the Brandons, but its significance is easy to overstate. In the brief struggle following the death of Edward VI, the Princess Elizabeth had made common cause with Mary as daughters of Henry VIII, and thus inherited along with Mary’s crown her side in the same dispute over the succession with the Brandons. Thus, when representatives of the new queen arrived in Wittenberg with what they thought would be the welcome tidings that the Brandons were pardoned and encouraged to return, they were met with disbelief, and even abject terror. Even letters from Frances Brandon urging her daughter to come home and assume an honored place at court went unanswered.

    It’s believed the strained marriage negotiations during these years between Elizabeth and the young Elector Alexander was almost entirely motivated on Elizabeth’s part by the desire to lure the Brandons home. And even then, decades before the gruesome denouement to Elizabeth’s long rivalry with Mary Queen of Scots, many observers put the darkest possible gloss on these efforts. As one diplomat at the court of the elector wrote to the Emperor Ferdinand, “once again the English are here to entreat a match, yet no one believes it will happen, for the English queen demands as her marriage portion nothing less than the necks of all her cousins.”

    The Brandons knew that eventually at least Henry Brandon would have to return to England if they ever hoped to advance a claim. Everyone agreed, the idea of waiting in Germany for the crown to fall into the Brandons' lap was ridiculously farfetched because of the unlikelihood of the English accepting a king from abroad. But first the Holy Prince, and then his son the Elector Alexander, believed that young Henry Brandon would have to grow old enough to consummate his marriage to Mary Howard and produce heirs before returning home. Otherwise, it would be too easy for him to return to England, have his marriage to Mary declared invalid, and be either prohibited from marrying or simply shut up in the tower.

    This necessity was finally met in 1563, with the birth of Frederick Brandon. At this point things began to happen quickly. In 1566 Francis Walsingham reached the necessary accommodation: having “married, and tarried,” against the queen’s wishes, Henry Brandon would be denied his father and grandfather’s dukedom of Suffolk, but would be created the lesser title of Earl of Lincoln and welcomed at court. Ominously, he was required to bring the infant Frederick with him, along with any other children he might have with Mary by that time.

    Once the Brandons complied, that left the Dudleys. So then when in 1567 Walsingham wrote Guildford Dudley with a similar proposal, it split the exiles like no other issue before. Because Dudley had married Jane in the reign of Edward VI with that king’s blessing, Elizabeth now offered to restore his father’s title in full, and make Guildford Dudley Duke of Northumberland. The significance of this move is hard to underestimate: apart from the on-again, off-again dukedom of Norfolk held by the Howard family, there were no extant dukedoms in the peerage of England at that point, meaning that Elizabeth’s offer would effectively make Dudley the second man, and third person, in the realm. Elizabeth I was even willing to give him back a fair amount of his father’s formerly vast estates.

    For Guildford, there was no question but to return. But for Jane, going back to England would create an unbearable risk. The two quarreled, and the imperious granddaughter of Charles Brandon and the French Queen would not be moved. The Saxon elector, Willoughby and others sided with Jane and counseled that the Dudleys stay, so that not all the Brandon heirs would enter Elizabeth’s power and thus collectively come into a danger they avoided so long as at least some stayed in Wittenberg. The impasse continued for over a year, as Elizabeth’s agents sweetened the offer with additional promises, though none of them had to do with the critical matter of the succession.

    Jane had by now emerged as a leading figure of the court, and maintained a close but non-suspect friendship with the Elector, who was about her age and had some similar intellectual interests. Rumors began to swirl that the true reason Alexander hoped to keep her in Wittenberg was romantic. This led Guildford to comment to the elector on a hunt one day, in general earshot, that, in the words of the Venetian ambassador, “it was ever of his opinion that it did a man no profit to play the jealous husband at the court of a generous prince.”

    Alexander, perhaps one of the least temperamental, and most calculating, rulers the Electorate ever had, was nonetheless furious. In the words of the same ambassadorial letter, he dismissed Guildford peremptorily, and declared “whatever dirty customs he [Guildford] may have learned at the court of Henry VIII, they were not welcome among the people he found himself now.” The problem was not just that Guildford had indirectly insulted his wife’s chastity, or the elector. By publicly opening the question of Jane’s chastity, Guildford had impugned the parentage of his own children. And while their claim to the throne descended through the mother, matters were tenuous enough for Brandon heirs without allegations of bastardy being thrown into the mix.

    As a result of the gaffe, Guildford and Jane were forced to withdraw from the court, though everyone, including the electress, pointedly explained they had no doubt of Jane Dudley’s honor. The problem, rather, lay with her husband. This had the effect of increasing the pressure on Jane to return home.

    Eventually it all came to naught though, when on another of the famous and elaborate hunts of the Saxon princes, Guildford Dudley suffered a tragic accident and died, pierced by some sixteen arrows. Jane was distraught by his death, and when she learned of his death, she reportedly cried “Oh Guildford, oh Guildford!”, but displayed no anger towards her Wettin hosts. Nor did she display any enthusiasm towards the prospect of returning home to England after his death, though the letters from Walsingham kept coming, and grew more, rather than less, insistent.

    It was believed that the Brandons offered Jane the consolation prize of the creation of her son Edward as duke of Northumberland should Henry or Frederick Brandon ever come into the crown. The fact that the Percy family, which had recovered the earldom of Northumberland under Elizabeth after Guildford’s death, were widely reputed to be Roman Catholics who favored a Scottish succession only lent credence to such promises. However, following the War of the English Succession Frederick I chose to not divest the Percies, whom he needed more than ever to secure the rebellious English Borderlands, and instead left the Dudleys stranded without lands or title in Wittenberg, despite Jane’s decades of loyalty.

    Of course, also by that point the Dudleys had become thoroughly Germanized. Though Edward Dudley died in 1606 his son Alexander would fight by the Wettins’ side in the First General War, becoming a general in the Saxon armies. His children in turn received enormous estates on the war’s completion. Though they eventually lost these lands, the Dudleys remain among the most prestigious families of the Protestant nobility in Germany, and as one might expect, delicately nurture the legend of their own founding through measures like the 1910 donation of Dudley House to the state, when because of its size and decrepitude no member of the family had slept inside it for over 250 years.

    Of course, it would do Jane Dudley a discredit to say her primary role during the exile was bearing an alternate line of heirs ready to lay claim to the throne of England should the Brandon men come to grief. Her learning in religious matters was so formidable that she earned herself among the English exiles the nickname, not completely flattering, of Erzbishoffrin (or Archbishopress). Her resolutely Calvinist inclinations made herself unpopular with Wittenberg’s Lutheran elite, but celebrated among other Germans of that doctrinal preference, and visits to her by representatives of the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg and Wittelsbachs of the Palatinate late in life had unavoidable significance given their shared principles.

    That Jane Dudley would feel bold enough to flout the confession of her Wettin protectors says something both about her personally, and about the flexibility of the Ernestine Wettins with respect to doctrine, especially when a crown was at issue. Whereas the other great English noblewomen who made Wittenberg their abode compromised to various degrees, Jane Dudley never hid her belief that the idea of the physical presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Communion was “loathsome superstition, more apt to papists than Christians.”

    If she had just held that belief, or shared it in her conversation, that would have been noxious enough to the Wettin court and the Lutheran hierarchy. But in her theological treatise The True Magistrate Dudley championed Calvinist teaching on the communion and other matters at length, sometimes with acid wit. Written during her last two pregnancies, she attempted to commit it to a Wittenberg printer in 1575, saw it rejected by the censor, until finally, using all her influence with the court, she won its publication in 1578. The elector’s guards had to fend off a riot at her front door in response, and the difficulty of explaining his protection of her in terms the Lutheran church would find acceptable tied the Elector Alexander in knots throughout the 1580s. Ironically, it was this work, and no conspiracies involving Elizabeth of England, that would occasion the one earnest attempt on her life, in 1584.

    Other works published by Jane Dudley included the Vindication of the Life of Henry IX, printed in 1590; The Correction of Common Errors of Faith, printed in 1593; and The True History of that Most Excellent Prince, Frederick IV, printed in 1602. It is one of the most widely cited primary sources of Frederick IV’s reign, one of the earliest printed sources to refer to him as the Holy Prince, and one of the chief early laudatory accounts of his life and work for an English audience.

    Sadly for Jane, despite subsidies from the electoral court and, after his accession, King Frederick I of England, she was always in a difficult financial situation (which was one reason why she resorted to publishing her writings). She was unable to afford the amusements and exercises of aristocratic life, and fear for her safety kept her frequently within the confines of Dudley House. At the same time, she did enjoy the excesses of the sixteenth century German diet, so that when she died in 1609, she was corpulent enough to attract comparison to her uncle Henry VIII. She never returned to England, never saw her mother, and never met King Frederick I after the Brandons’ long project came to fruition.

    Today, visitors to Dudley House can see richly detailed exhibits including her four-poster bed, gowns, jewels, plate and extensive journals. Most notable, and somewhat ironic, given Jane’s attitude towards relics as expressed in her religious writings, are a handkerchief believed to be soaked in the blood of the slain Henry IX, and hairs from his head, kept in a gold locket.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  11. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Pierced by not one, not two, but 16 arrows?!? And it's an accident?!? That's like the line in Chicago where a husband ran into a wife's knife...10 times...

    Methinks that was not an accident, @Dr. Waterhouse...
     
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  12. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    What happens in the Thuringian woods, stays in the Thuringian woods. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
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  13. Nyvis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Well, this is excellent, as always. Looking forward to the ripples this will have on England and protestants everywhere.
     
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  14. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Thanks. Next up we're going to backtrack and shift focus back to the Spanish War, the effort to hammer out a modus vivendi for the empire, and all the complications these events create for that.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Supplemental on Present Day Catholicism

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Pope Gregory XX Found Dead at Villa San Felipe; Millions Mourn; Heads of State and Faith Send Condolences.

    1200px-Cannes_-_Villa_Rothschild_-06.JPG
    The Villa Rothschild at Cannes as The Villa San Felipe, near Acapulco


    August 9, 2010

    His Holiness Gregory XX, spiritual leader of one billion Catholics world-wide, has died of an apparent stroke overnight at the papal retreat of Villa San Felipe near Acapulco. From Mexico City the Consistory released a statement: "our hearts are broken by this unexpected and untimely loss of the Holy Father, a stalwart defender of the Church Eternal and Universal." As official statements from heads of state and government have poured forth since, many have referenced surprise at Gregory's passing. Though 80, he was believed to be without significant health problems, and only two years ago went on an extensively publicized hiking trip in Patagonia.

    In over a decade in office in the Regina Coeli, Gregory XX cut a nontraditional figure for a father of the Western Church. He seemed less interested in serving as a pastor for his one billion parishioners than his predecessors. Instead, His Holiness alternated between a hard-bitten, confrontational style and feats of high diplomacy. Most famously, in 2003 he announced he would throw open all the Regina Coeli's files on the abuse of children by priests with respect to every priest then alive, if in return the RCR would likewise make public its notorious blue files, the records of the state's extrajudicial killing of priests accused in these offenses stretching back almost 100 years. In short, he proposed to trade the prosecution of one set of offenders for the other. There had been no previous public r
    eference to the blue files by the Court of the Regina Coeli ever before. Whereas historically the public relationship between the Court and the RCR was so close that various judges did not hesitate to use metaphors of right and left hand to describe it, or to openly and proudly call the Republic the servant of the Western Papacy, the reality of institutional friction between ecclesiastical and secular power was much more complex, fraught and even violent. Revealing this troubling situation had its consequences, and for seven months Gregory lived on the papal yacht in inter-sovereign waters, unable to return to the papal residences, with many wondering if the Western Papacy's long tenure in Mexico City had at last come to an end.

    Today it thus showed how far matters had come from these dark days, when perhaps
    the most important statement on His Holiness's death was made, by First Judge Ulises Wrath Jimenez Johnson, speaking at his ranch near Santa Fe de Bogota where he has been trying to revive stalled talks with a Russian delegation on naval disarmament. Wrath, who had a close relationship to His Holiness in matters of policy, and held monthly meetings with the Holy Father in the Casa de Piedra, spoke of the pontiff's death as being a more grievous loss than his own father's, and decreed a mandatory public holiday for all 577 million RCR citizens.

    Of course the Vatican has struck a much different tone. His Holiness Paul XI offered no public comment, which was perhaps fitting given the difficult relationship he had with Gregory following the unsuccessful 2007 Majorca summit. Speaking from the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, Cardinal Tara Kelly, Secretary of the Permanent Council and Special Legate to the Court of Mexico, said "of course we will pray for the soul of Father Juan Francisco Zhao just as we do for everyone's, but we will also pray that his successor act once and for all to repair this grievous division in Christ's Church."

    This statement has since occasioned a sharply worded rebuke from the Consistory at Regina Coeli: "Leo Radziwill and his followers are of course, as ever, free to pray for whom they like. That does not change the legitimacy of the Apostolic legacy embodied in His Holiness Gregory XX, stretching all the way back to St. Peter. Any breach in the Church can only be cured by the restoration of the true papacy to Rome. We would like nothing better than to inter His Holiness among his most ancient predecessors, hold our Conclave in the great city that is the cradle of the Church, and welcome with our new Holy Father a long-overdue end to this illegal usurpation."



     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  16. Threadmarks: Supplemental on Civil Defense, RCR, 1930

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Republic of Christ the Redeemer Civil Preparedness Advisory, 1930

    Espaniole * English * Labhair Nua * Portugues

    The Republic exists for the protection of its citizens. For that reason, in the unlikely event of kernelsplitter attack, the Republic's citizens have recourse to a general system of Civil Preservation Shelters in which they will be safe as long as necessary, until those enemies of God responsible for the attack are destroyed, and life can safely resume. In order to provide for the safety of citizens, manage resources and preserve public order, it is not permitted for the Republic's citizens to build their own private shelters or bunkers. Such actions can be punishable by fine, corporal punishment or prison.

    Every citizen of the Republic should have already received a card informing them of the nearest Civil Preservation Shelter, a description of the warning system instructing citizens when they are to make use of them, and the preferred route they should take in the event of an appropriate emergency.

    Each Civil Preservation Shelter is managed, staffed and provisioned by the local parish and diocese, making use of Republic administration funding. In the event the Civil Preservation Shelters are put to use, an ecclesiastical officer appointed by the diocese local to each will assume authority for that shelter. That ecclesiastical officer (EO) will both be responsible personally for the safety and well-being of those within the Civil Preservation Shelter, and will have all lawful authority of the state in maintaining the safety and well-being of citizens within the shelter. During the time the Civil Preservation Shelters are in use there will be no recourse or appeal to any decision made by an EO.

    Families with children enjoy priority access to the Civil Preparedness Shelters, and in the event of use the shelters will be open to all children. Despite misperceptions to the contrary, no disabled persons, persons with chronic illness, or the elderly, or caregivers for any of the above, are prohibited or excluded from making use of the shelters. It is however those persons or their caregivers' responsibility to make sure the EO of the shelter to which they have been assigned knows beforehand of any special needs, special supplies or medications that will be needed during their stay. Note, in the event of an emergency requiring the use of the Civil Preservation Shelters, all citizens of the Republic are under an affirmative duty to help other citizens, including those with disabilities or infirmities, to a shelter. Failure to assist others to a Civil Preservation Shelter invites criminal penalties up to and including fine, corporal punishment or prison, and results automatically in exclusion from the Civil Preservation Shelter system.

    It has been left to the discretion of the individual dioceses as to whether competent adult citizens outside the Church will be given access to the Civil Preparedness Shelters. Municipal legislation in Mexico City, Santa Fe de Bogota and Lima do require the applicable dioceses to have a number of extra places in the Civil Preparedness Shelters equal to at least ten percent of the local population. In addition, municipal legislation in Buenos Aires and Cartagena permits citizens outside the Church to buy into the system with a flat-rate donation offsetting costs, but this is currently subject to legal challenge.

    If you are a citizen member of the Church and are not sure whether you have access to the Civil Preparedness Shelters because of questions having to do with your status in the Church, you are advised to speak to your parish priest immediately.

    Pioneers_Defense_Drill_Leningrad_USSR_1937_Photographer_Viktor_Bulla.jpg

    1937 Pioneers Defense Drill in Leningrad, USSR, as The Inaugural Drill of the St. Nicholas of Bari Youth Civil Preservation Corps., at Santiago de Chile, RCR, 1916
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  17. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    If I didn't know any better, I'd say that this Christ Redeemer Republic is a dictatorship, @Dr. Waterhouse...

    Love the worldbuilding and looking forward to more, of course...
     
    Dr. Waterhouse likes this.
  18. Threadmarks: Additional Discussion of RCR Constitution

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Well, those of you who have read the prior iteration of the timeline know just how knotty questions of RCR/Ausrisser political structure can get. Here's the cocktail-napkin simplified version. You have universal suffrage for everyone over 17. Elections are held annually to a chamber of judges, which has a life-time tenure. Winning election to the chamber requires a majority, and a majority of voters, not of votes cast. So theoretically it is very hard to get elected, getting elected requires broad-based appeal, and negative campaigning is rare, because defeating another candidate will not get yours elected. So basically, judges get elected on biography more than anything else. And anyone thinking that by biography, I mean military records, gets the gold star. Making the comparison to US politics, imagine a club in which resume politicians like John McCain, John Glenn and Robert Kerrey can get elected and then do what they want for forty years without worrying about re-election. It can be glorious in all the ways you think it can be glorious and it can be horrifying in all the ways you think it can be horrifying. Committed patriots elected by a broad coalition of ordinary citizens deliberating the future of the country without regard to their personal futures? It can be. Senile, corrupt, time-wasters doing their damnedest to preserve the social mores of yesteryear as long as possible? It can be.

    The first judge, the position we introduced in the Gregory XX post, is basically the first among equals. He is not subject to direct election but is elected by the other judges. And they vote him powers. So we discussed Wrath negotiating a naval disarmament treaty with the Russians. He couldn't do that on the basis of his office as first judge, but because the chamber allotted him the power to conduct negotiations as to X subject matter with Y foreign powers for Z length of time.

    In practical terms, his powers are very limited, and he can be easily stripped of them. Basically, the judges give him whatever powers they think he should have, for whatever duration they like, and should they not like what he does with them, they can create another first judge to replace him. It literally can take as little time to do this as it takes you to read this sentence. Remember, this is not like a British system in our world where, if a government falls, all the members of Parliament can face elections. Instead the same judges, plus any new judges voted in, minus any ones who have died, vote on a new first judge.

    So in terms of politics the Chamber of Judges works a bit like the Roman Senate or House of Lords. It has enormous institutional memory baked in, and that gives the RCR's leadership a surprising degree of flexibility and skill at realpolitik. They in fact tend to regard the prime ministers, presidents and vertreters set against them as children, easily led wherever the judges want.

    Now, judges can be removed in what is basically a process of impeachment, but to put it in perspective this does not amend the rule that judgeship is a lifetime appointment. So, removal from office is accomplished through the death penalty. And false accusations against another judge can trigger that process themselves. So these are very high stakes proceedings, and if a removal process fails, it can turn into a multi-decade vendetta between judges that dominates the politics of the whole country.

    Of course you will also have picked up this is not a liberal state. While it permits other religious observance and non-observance, it makes no promise of equal treatment or of the non-intervention of the state in the religious life of the people. Instead, this is a state with its own morality, its own ferociously enforced standards, its own vision of what constitutes the good life, and it directs its people to comply with that vision rather than to facilitate journeys toward their individual destinations as directed by their consciences.

    But on the other hand, the RCR is also deeply egalitarian. Racism is almost completely extirpated, just like many other modes of economic and social inequality. Life expectancy, educational attainment, and home ownership are all widely enjoyed. Citizens enjoy greater social solidarity, less risk of poverty and more economic opportunity. So, short version, the RCR is very complicated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  19. Nyvis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    How does that happen in a state with a political system that encourages the complete opposite? Judges have zero reasons to care about anyone once elected, and minorities are unlikely to get their own advocates, so they're probably an old boys club of whoever currently holds power.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Additional Discussion of RCR Constitution

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Another weird quirk of RCR politics, and a hazard if you will of me plunging us head first into this world with so little explanation beforehand, is that judge isn't used here in the everyday sense. In Ausrisser/Renegade/RCR parlance, a judge is a political leader modeled after the Israelite chieftains in the Biblical Book of Judges. Their primary functions are to preserve the polity and prevent the people from falling into bondage servitude under foreign masters. The Biblical analogy is very intentional. That they meet in a chamber and act as a legislature is in its way a bit of an afterthought, the effect of their numbers growing to such an extent that a more personal, and informal, system ceased to be workable. In the early years, the judges worked more like a junta, or a council, or the directorate. Then eventually, as the community grew, they had to behave more like a senate or a parliament. But here too the similarities with the roman senate or the national assembly is instructive. When the republic is at war, you know things are serious when a judge arrives with his army. If he's been invested with robust enough powers by the rest of the judges acting in the chamber, it's like the state is there in the person of that one man. But, you might ask, doesn't that invite caesarism? Why yes, yes it does. And that creates a huge tension running all through this history: tired old men around the table versus hungry young men in the saddle.

    Sorry if this is blindsiding. Once again, deep end of the pool worldbuilding has its rewards, but it also can suck in some ways, and I should have been more attentive to describing the building blocks of this exotic political structure first.

    That said though, the judges originally actually did hear cases. At a certain point that power got delegated away to a professional judiciary so they could focus on their other jobs, like fighting the English in the New World and fighting the English in the New World and fighting the English in the New World.

    Anyway, I'm working now on getting us back on track towards the thrilling conclusion of the war between Charles and Friedrich.
     
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