The Gold Rose: An Edward of Angoulême timeline

As promised, here is the second update from the last round of voting. "Guelders War" will come on February 11.

"Battle of Newcastle" has run away with the last poll and will hopefully come on February 21.
AMAZING work as always man!

And YAY! Can't wait for it! It's gonna be great! Britain first!
Very good chapter, Brittany is in chaos with it's leaders fighting the French, allying to the English, then betraying said countries, and finally repeating it. I think France will annex Brittany this time around instead of waiting for an advantageous marriage. With Edward V being successful in British affairs, why not have Charles VI do so (at least for a while) in French affairs? I can't wait to see how England responds to Brittany being conquered. The upcoming Newcastle chapter will be awesome, Edward better conquer Scotland 😎😎😎 (or at least take a lot of Lowland territory and puppet the Highlands). Keep up the amazing work 👍👍👍.
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Well, it seems that the Duke of Brittany is only marginally more succesful diplomatically than the late King of Navarre. What a mess
In 1392, an assassination attempt was made on Clisson. Jean was the most obvious suspect. Charles VI raised an army to bring the duke down once and for all. His campaign would bring the Caroline War between England and France to an explosive end.
Very much looking forward to that explosive end though!
In 1392, an assassination attempt was made on Clisson. Jean was the most obvious suspect. Charles VI raised an army to bring the duke down once and for all. His campaign would bring the Caroline War between England and France to an explosive end.
I hope France annex Brittany once and for all.
Guelders War
Guelders War
The Guelders War was a conflict between the duchy of Brabant and the duchy of Guelders that lasted from 1385 to 1390. The two duchies had gone to war twice in their recent histories and issues lingering from their earlier conflicts led to the renewal of hostilities. The war drew in both the kingdom of England and the kingdom of France, opening up a new theater of the Caroline War.

Jean III, duke of Brabant, died without a direct male heir in 1355. He named his eldest daughter, Jeanne, as sole heiress to his lands while providing cash settlements for his two younger daughters. This sort of arrangement was allowed under Brabantian law, but it did not sit well with his younger sons-in-law and they repudiated the deal after his death. In 1356, Louis II, count of Flanders, and Reinoud III, duke of Guelders, declared war on their sister-in-law, Jeanne, now suo jure duchess of Brabant, to carve up Brabant and the duchy of Limburg between them, touching off the War of the Brabantian Succession.

Jeanne was married to Václav I, duke of Luxembourg, who was a younger brother of Emperor Karel IV. The emperor was a powerful potential ally, but he withheld his support until Jeanne agreed to recognize that, as a woman, all her property was her husband's by right and that it should go to her husband's heir should she die childless. Jeanne agreed to this, signing a treaty with the emperor in early 1357. Just a few months later, though, Jeanne signed a separate treaty with the count of Flanders naming his wife, who was the elder Jeanne's two sisters, as Jeanne's sole heir in the event that she died childless. This brought hostilities between Brabant and Flanders to an end, but conflict between Brabant and Guelders continued intermittently through 1379.

By 1385, Reinoud, Václav, and Louis were all dead, but the wars that they had fought in the decades prior had long-lasting repercussions. Václav and Jeanne's marriage had been childless, but Jeanne's treaties with the emperor and the count of Flanders set out contradictory lines of succession, leaving Václav's nephew, King Václav IV of Bohemia, and Jeanne's niece, Marguerite of Flanders, with claims to the duchy. At the same time, the ambitious and warlike Willem I, duke of Guelders, was eager to take back land that his father's duchy of Jülich had lost to Brabant in the 1370s. As these local rivalries were coming to a head, a new power was emerging in the region.

Philippe II, duke of Burgundy, was lord of one of the great appanages in France. Burgundy was married to Jeanne's niece, Marguerite, who held the French counties of Artois, Flanders, Nevers, and Rethel as well as the imperial county of Burgundy in her own right. Burgundy also acted as regent for his nephew, King Charles VI of France, and was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in all of Europe even before the possible inheritance of Brabant.

Brabant was second only to Flanders in terms of wealth and prestige in the Low Countries, and Burgundy shamelessly used his position as regent of France to further his personal interests there. The resources of the French crown were deployed to curry favor with Jeanne and Brabantian lords. Jeanne, short of cash and fearing the ambitions of the young duke of Guelders, was open to Burgundy's bribes and confirmed Marguerite as her heiress.

Václav was no less committed to seeing Jeanne honor the treaty she had made with his father. The great Luxembourg estate had been divided between members of the family upon Emperor Karel IV's death in 1378, leaving the emperor's eldest son and would-be successor, Václav, with far fewer resources and struggling to make ends meet. Bohemia was inarguably the jewel of the Luxembourg patrimony, but the silver mines that had enriched generations of its kings had begun to run dry, and there was no support to reform the kingdom's tax system. The rich duchy of Brabant thus presented Václav with a solution to his financial problems. Unable to compete for Jeanne's endorsement by making a bribe of his own, though, Václav looked to force Jeanne's hand in the matter.

The rapid expansion of French power in the Low Countries spooked many local lords and townsmen, who enjoyed great autonomy in the largely decentralized Empire. The Germanic opposition to the Burgundian encroachment lacked a clear leader until Willem of Guelders reached his majority. Willem had inherited the duchy of Guelders from his mother as a child and he was set to inherit the duchy of Jülich from his father in the future. The young duke sealed an anti-Burgundian alliance with Václav in December 1383. Then, in 1384, he opened talks for the return of Gangelt, Millen, and Waldfeucht, which Brabant swiped from Jülich in the 1370s. Negotiations broke down in spring 1385, around which time Willem forged an alliance with England.

Burgundy dispatched his ally Albrecht I, duke of Bavaria-Straubing, who was regent of and heir to the counties of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland, to placate the young duke of Guelders and buy time. The French were planning to invade England in summer 1385 and Burgundy imagined that the duke of Guelders would be far less belligerent once England had been put to fire and sword. Burgundy had terribly misjudged his young rival.

Local war
Talks between Albrecht of Bavaria and Willem of Guelders began in May, but did not last long. Willem was too emboldened by his alliances with England and Luxembourg and too eager to win glory on the field of battle to seriously entertain talks at this late stage. He was at the head of his army before the end of the month.

Willem moved quickly against 's-Hertogenbosch, Brabant's main defensive position against Guelders. The city held out long enough for Jan II, lord of Wittem, to bring a relief army and force the Guelderians to retreat. Willem regrouped and led a raid into Outre-Meuse. The raid was devastating to the local population and lined the pockets of Willem's men, but held no real strategic value, as Jan II, lord of Gronsveld, kept Willem from capturing any major Brabantian position. Willem withdrew after word of a counter-raid into his own lands reached him. He spent the rest of 1385 defending his own territory.

On 24 June 1386, Willem ambushed Jeanne's forces outside 's-Hertogenbosch, capturing two of her top lieutenants, several knights, and food and supplies intended for her outlying defensive positions. It was the start of a new, more strategic campaign by the duke of Guelders. He passed on making a second attempt at the well-defended 's-Hertogenbosch after the previous year's failure, and instead picked off Jeanne's smaller defensive positions along the border. He took both Ammerzoden and Middelaar in the confusion that followed the ambush. He then turned his attention to Grave, whose position on the Meuse would give him the ability to strike deep into Brabantian territory. The lord of Wittem tried to save the city, but Willem arranged for his bastard daughter to wed the castellan's son and the city opened its gates to the Guelderians.

Grave was a major loss for Brabant. Jeanne, an old woman by this time and largely removed from the administration of the duchy, moved her court to 's-Hertogenbosch to oversee the situation more closely. She sued for peace, but Willem refused to meet with her ambassadors when they arrived at Grave on 1 September. Then, on 14 September, he launched a raid deep into Brabant as a demonstration of his new power in the region.

Willem's attacks on Brabant in 1385 and 1386 were timed to coincide with French preparations for an invasion of England. The 1385 invasion had been postponed after the town of Ghent breathed the last gasp in its long revolt in Flanders. The 1386 invasion, which was far larger in scale, was then canceled after the English launched a surprise attack on the French armada while it was anchored off Sluys. The news cut the Guelderian raid into Brabant short, as Willem feared that the duke of Burgundy would lead the remnants of France's massive army against Guelders. On 26 October, Brabant and Guelders agreed to a six-month truce. This was extended in March 1387 for another six months. Willem used the time to bring the English more directly into the war.

Diplomatic interlude
In spring 1387, Willem personally led a diplomatic mission to England. He was a guest of honor at the annual Garter ceremonies at Windsor Castle, where he directly negotiated for a closer alliance against France and Burgundy with King Edward V of England. The two had a great deal in common. They were the same age, had both already won accolades for their leadership on and off the battlefield, and shared an interest in crusade. They soon became friends as well as allies.

Edward and Willem were later joined by Przemysław, duke of Cieszyn, one of Václav's closest allies and favorite ambassadors. It was not Przemysław's first trip to England. In 1381, he had led an embassy to London to negotiate Edward's marriage to Václav's sister, Anna. He had all but sealed their marriage contract when the English parliament objected to its lack of dowry, refusing to grant taxes to support a foreign queen in the wake of an anti-tax revolt. Negotiations fell apart in 1382 when it became clear that Václav could not afford a dowry and that he was making diplomatic overtures to France. Przemysław had a different arrangement in mind now, offering Anna's hand in marriage to Edward's younger brother, Richard of Bordeaux, earl of Richmond.

Václav's financial position had not improved since the early 1380s, but he did not pretend that it had. In lieu of a cash dowry, Przemysław relayed Václav's intention to put 500 men-at-arms from Luxembourg at England's disposal for a full year and to hold Luxembourg against the French, disrupting the movement of men and materials between Flanders and the two Burgundies. In exchange, the English were asked to make no peace with France that did not include Václav's recognition as heir to Brabant.

The framework for a three-way alliance between England, Guelders and Luxembourg was established by the end of the spring. Its details were filled in that summer. Edward sealed the treaty with Przemysław in September in Shrewsbury. Edward granted his brother, Richard, an annuity of 600 marks to compensate for the lack of dowry. Anna, who was waiting in Luxembourg for the treaty to be ratified, was finally called to England, but fears that she would be kidnapped in an attempt to wreck the new Anglo-imperial alliance created travel delays. She could not cross the Channel until 20 January 1388. She and Richard wed two days later. In the hours before the ceremony, Edward made Richard the duke of Clarence, a rank more befitting the brother of a king and brother-in-law of a would-be emperor.

Proxy war
Willem returned to the continent in summer 1387. He entered into negotiations with Brabant, as the truce was set to expire in the fall. This was done merely for appearances, as the duke had already drawn up a plan of attack with the English. Negotiations were dominated by Burgundians, who now controlled every major office in Brabant. Jeanne was still duchess in her own right, but she had effectively handed control of the duchy over to her nephew-in-law. The duke of Burgundy himself was back in Paris, though, dealing with a fresh crisis in Brittany. Willem, believing Brabant was vulnerable while Burgundy was distracted by events in France, withdrew from talks and launched a hastily-prepared campaign in August, two months before the truce was set to expire.

Guelderian forces ravaged the land as far as Maasland, but Willem's overeagerness nearly proved to be his undoing. Burgundian reinforcements poured into the area, fortifying key positions and cutting off the young duke from his own lands. In early fall, Scheiffart von Merode, lord of Hemmersbach, ambushed Willem's forces in the night, capturing 30 knights and putting the rest of the Guelderian army to flight in such panic that they abandoned most of their loot. Among Merode's prisoners were several Englishmen who'd followed Willem back to the continent in the summer.

In March and April 1388, Burgundy transferred 300 men-at-arms and half as many archers from Flanders to Brabant as the two sides prepared for campaign season. Renaud, lord of Fauquemont, and Hendrik II, lord of Boutersem, were made co-commanders of the Brabantian army. They began a siege of Grave at the start of June, but a direct attack was repulsed. They decided to starve the defenders out, but several attempts to cross the Meuse were thrown back and they were unable to fully encircle the town. The siege seemed futile as supplies continued to make their way into Grave. Brabantian morale sank.

On 27 June, the Brabantians broke off the siege and moved north to Ravenstein. Willem led a small force of 300 elite fighters to the area, taking care to keep out of enemy sights. He allowed the Brabantians to begin moving across the bridge at Ravenstein before pouncing upon them. A panicked retreat led to chaos. The bridge was packed with men and horses, forcing scores of men to retreat across the river itself. Most of them drowned, weighed down by their armor or simply unable to swim. The Guelderians charged across the bridge in pursuit, scattering the Brabantians on the other side. A massacre followed.

Willem celebrated his victory at Ravenstein by penning a mocking letter to Charles VI. In it, he declared that Edward V was the true king of France. Charles was outraged. Burgundy was delighted. Burgundy had been trying to bring France directly into the Guelders War for months, but his control over royal government had seriously weakened following the disastrous 1386 Battle of Écluse and 1387 Breton Crisis. Now, the duke of Guelders had pushed the French king to Burgundy's side.

On 27 July, Edward V sat on Dover with 5,200 archers and 1,800 men-at-arms. He was set to sail across the Channel in two days' time for his first continental campaign. He had pledged to do exactly this when the duke of Guelders visited England the year prior. The plan was to land in Calais and lead a Flemish uprising against the duke of Burgundy. The Flemish exile Pieter van den Bossche, a leader of the Ghent Revolt of 1379-1385, had convinced the English that anti-Burgundian sentiment ran so high that the king's arrival in Flanders would inspire the county to rally to him. This was absolute fiction, but the English were riding high after their victories at Arkinholm and Écluse, and so bought Bossche's story, hoping that the conquest of Flanders would end Burgundian dominance of the Low Countries and expose Brabant to attack from three sides. The French, it was believed, would be spread much too thin by threats from Brittany and Gascony to respond to a crisis in the Low Countries, allowing England, Guelders and Luxembourg to completely upend the balance of power in the region. The plan fell apart.

On 1 August, three days after the king's sail date, Edward and his army were still in Dover, as an alarming series of reports had poured in Ireland, Mann, and Scotland. Raids across both the eastern and western marches were worrisome enough on their own. The property damage was said to be incredible and at least 400 Englishmen had been taken prisoner, with many more killed in the violence. Perhaps more worrying, though, were simultaneous attacks on the Isle of Mann and Ulster. Few could recall the Scots launching raids so well-coordinated or on such a scale. Despite this, it remained the majority opinion that the king should move on to the continent. Edward overruled his councilors, though. He called off the expedition to Flanders, dispatched the English fleet to the Irish Sea, and moved his army north.

Guelders and Luxembourg were on their own for the year. Unfortunately for them, Willem's letter had so enraged the king of France that he sought peace with Brittany and summoned an army for an invasion of the Low Countries. These events moved quickly and news of them only reached the English after Edward had begun his move north to confront the Scots. By then, it was too late to turn back.

On 3 September, Charles arrived in Montereau with his uncles, the dukes of Berry and Bourbon. More than 16,000 men-at-arms were waiting for him there, along with 5,000 to 8,000 servants and attendants. The king made a ceremonial inspection of the army before leading the massive host toward Luxembourg. Jan, duke of Görlitz, who was Václav's younger half-brother, led the defense of Luxembourg. Awed by the size of the French army, though, local garrisons threatened to mutiny if ordered to fight. Jan sued for peace and ultimately allowed the French to pass through the area unmolested.

On 22 September, the French entered the lands of Jülich. Heavy rains had been falling for two weeks and the roads had turned to mud. Ahead of them was the climb into the high, heavily forested hills of Schnee Eifel. It would have been a daunting journey for such an army in the best of weather, but with the roads washed out, it seemed a fool's errand. The French army sat for three days as its commanders bitterly argued over whether to proceed or turn back. Ultimately, it was decided to move ahead so as to spare Charles the embarrassment of calling off a second major campaign, after the aborted 1386 invasion of England. The journey was treacherous, as Willem had hired brigands to pick off foraging parties and his own men launched night raids on the French camp.

On 8 October, Charles arrived outside Grave. The French army was in a sorry state. The rain had washed out roads and created mudslides that made it impossible for wagons to pass. Tons of food and supplies had been abandoned. Foraging for food had become too dangerous as a result of the brigands who lurked around every hilltop. What food men were able to carry was soaked and rotted. The hills were steep. It was so cold in some areas that the rain turned to snow. The army was exhausted, frostbitten, and starving. Still, the French vastly outnumbered the Guelderians at Grave.

Willem personally led the defense of Grave. He had about 1,600 men under him. Charles had left France with between 20,000 and 25,000 men, and though he had suffered losses on his journey, Brabantian and Burgundian forces in and around the area could offer 5,000 to 8,000 more in reinforcements. Climate and geography had already almost broken the French, though, and Willem himself noted that food would only grow more scarce and the weather more inhospitable every day that passed. French commanders noted these same problems and urged the king to sue for peace.

On 12 October, a mere four days after the French arrival, Charles received Willem in a ceremony that was designed to overawe the duke. The king sat enthroned on a raised platform in full armor, surrounded by his three surviving uncles—the dukes of Berry, Bourbon, and Burgundy—as well as the constable of France, considered one of the great military minds of his generation, and dozens of French lords and knights. Willem apologized to the king for the impertinence of his letter, but did not repudiate it entirely, limiting his apology strictly to the the letter's tone and not its contents. His recognition of Edward as the rightful king of France was glossed over entirely, though Willem did deliver his apology on bended knee. The duke would not even submit to Charles for arbitration of his dispute with Brabant, though he at least couched his refusal of the offer on the fact that Charles's regent, Burgundy, was allied with Brabant, so that Charles could save face. It was an absurd event designed to spare the teenage king from being completely humiliated. The French withdrew the following day.

Willem of Guelders emerged from the showdown at Grave as one the most famous men in Europe. The dramatic tale of the young duke standing strong against a king whose army outnumbered his own 15-fold made him a hero to people in the Germanic Low Countries. The details of the story faded as it spread, the broad strokes being all that was important as the David-and-Goliath tale reached far beyond the borders of France and the Empire. Charles, on the other hand, had to suffer yet more indignity.

The French withdrawal from the Low Countries was chaotic. The Catholic Church was divided in two by the Western Schism. Arnold van Horne, the prince-bishop of Liège, was obedient to Pope Urban VI of Rome and had fought an Avignon pretender for a year before taking control of his prince-bishopric a decade prior. His brother, the lord of Horne, had a long-running dispute with the count of Hainaut, who was the duke of Burgundy's closest ally in the Low Countries. Liège was the quickest and easiest route from Grave to France, but the prince-bishop was naturally predisposed against allowing the French, who were obedient to Avignon and allied with his brother's rival, safe passage through his lands. Bridges were guarded, towns were shut, and food was emptied from the countryside. Heavy rains flooded rivers and prevented fording, which further complicated the French journey. Many attempted to cross the swollen rivers anyway and drowned for their efforts. The roads were no safer or easier, as the rains turned them to mud and the men were preyed upon by bandits and kidnappers in search of easy ransoms. The duke of Guelders and prince-bishop of Liège encouraged such attacks. Charles's army returned to France in the final days of October, badly broken and demoralized.

On 3 November 1388, Charles VI presided over a great council at the archbishop's palace in Reims. The meeting was hastily-arranged, but attendance was remarkably high, given the large number of lords that had turned out for the Guelders campaign and then followed the king straight to Reims upon their return. Charles, still a month shy of his twentieth birthday, declared the regency government to be at an end in his opening remarks. His uncles were shocked. The French intervention in Guelders had cost Burgundy control of the government and he had not even won Brabant's safety, as the war continued on as a local conflict and the threat of English invasion remained. Ultimately, the war resolved itself barely a year later.

Willem negotiated a ceasefire with Jeanne of Brabant soon after the French withdrawal. Unlike earlier truces, he actually honored this one. He even extended it to cover all of 1389 as the two sides opened serious peace talks for the first time. Grave, which Willem now claimed by conquest, became a serious sticking point, as Jeanne would not concede it and Willem would not return the town that had made him famous. In early 1390, Brabant and Guelders finally reached a peace deal. Willem returned Grave to the duchy of Brabant, but on the condition that it was enfeoffed to his ally, the lord of Cuijk. Jeanne conceded that the three towns over which the war was launched—Gangelt, Millen, and Waldfeucht—belonged to Jülich, but paid a cash settlement to keep control of these towns until her death. Willem was more interested in the cash than the towns in 1390, as he needed funds to go on crusade.

England and Guelders remained allies, but England's priorities in its war with France shifted to Aquitaine in 1389 and to Brittany in the 1390s. Guelders was of little strategic value to these conflicts and Willem's interest had shifted entirely to crusade by this time, though he was party to peace talks between France and England.

Václav's alliances with England and Guelders broke down. Luxembourg's capitulation to the French was an embarrassment that was made to look all the more pathetic by Willem's stand at Grave just a month later. Drunk and impoverished, Václav spent the 1390s fending off the upper Bohemian nobility just to keep his crown. His role in the Empire, never particularly strong, diminished even further and the dream to be formally crowned as emperor one day disappeared. Despite the military and political failures that the king represented as part of the three-way alliance, the marriage of his sister, Anna, and Edward's brother, Richard, was successful on a personal level.
Here is the third and final update from the last round of voting. Hopefully delivering all three makes up for the break I took last fall x'D

"Battle of Newcastle" ran away with the last poll, which is now closed, and will go up on February 21. The next poll will go up then.
Very good chapter, I hope Richard and Anna have a large and prosperous family, may Richard of Bordeaux be of great use to his brother Edward V. Can't wait to read about Newcastle. Keep up the good work 👍👍👍.
Here is the third and final update from the last round of voting. Hopefully delivering all three makes up for the break I took last fall x'D

"Battle of Newcastle" ran away with the last poll, which is now closed, and will go up on February 21. The next poll will go up then.
AMAZING work as always! Can't wait for it! Britain first!
Will we get a crusade soon? I remember reading Willem talking about wanting cash more than towns to fund it. Where will such a crusade be going?
And please please please have the crusade be successful 🙏🙏🙏? How many times do I have to read about large armies on paper that should deal with invading Arabs/Turks/etc. always failing due to inopportune Christian infighting and bad luck with the terrain?
Very good chapter
Thank you. I have to admit, when I started writing it, I thought "Oh God, why did I make this an option? I hate this" x'D But it ended up being one of my favorites. (Willem of Guelders may even return in a future update ...)

I hope Richard and Anna have a large and prosperous family, may Richard of Bordeaux be of great use to his brother Edward V. Can't wait to read about Newcastle. Keep up the good work 👍👍👍
Richard will definitely be important to Edward's reign!

Will we get a crusade soon? I remember reading Willem talking about wanting cash more than towns to fund it. Where will such a crusade be going?
And please please please have the crusade be successful 🙏🙏🙏? How many times do I have to read about large armies on paper that should deal with invading Arabs/Turks/etc. always failing due to inopportune Christian infighting and bad luck with the terrain?
We could see a crusade. Or two. Or three ...

No promises as to whom they're going to fight, though.
Interesting that the daughter of an emperor goes to a second son here. That being said, Anne was apparently the only one keeping Richard stable, so I stan the match. Hopefully she doesn’t die young of the plague. That they couldn’t have children is also less important here, since Richard’s older brother can take care of the succession