The Marriage of the Century - A Burgundian Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by BlueFlowwer, Jan 30, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1. Summer 1468

    BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Chapter 1. A joyous Entry


    Margaret and Charles.jpg

    Portrait of Charles the Bold and Margaret of York by Hans Memling, 1470-72. The duchess is wearing her necklace of white and red roses, a english symbol.


    The marriage of Margaret of York, sister to the victorious York king Edward IV of England and Charles the Bold got off to a grand start. After a short, but hard crossing over the English Channel, the bride and her retinue arrived at Sluis on the evening of Saturday on the 25th june in 1468. Greeted by the Bishop of Utrecht and the Countess of Charny, her bridegroom’s illegitimate half-siblings by the late Duke Philip the Good, the english princess received a magnificent welcome with burning torches held by the people lit in the already dark port.

    The chief burghers of the city gave their new duchess a purse with twelve gold marks upon her arrival and escorted her to the residence of the wealthy merchant, Guy van Baenst, who had lent his town house to her for the stay. Margaret would enjoy the pageantry at Sluis for a week until she continued, well rested after the journey, to continue to Damme by a barge up the river where the celebrations continued in great magnificent. In Sluis, two days after her arrival Charles the Bold himself met his bride for the first time. The meeting was formal, and Margaret was acclaimed as duchess of Burgundy with him besides her. Charles and Margaret were married in Damme in a private ceremony, whereupon Charles left for Bruges, to give his new wife the full honours of a Joyeuse Entrée into the city on her own.

    The full celebrations of Margaret’s entrée would be the immortalised in the memory of history; great progressions with merchants from all over Europe attended (writers identified Florentines, Genoese, Spanish and Scots among very many others) finely attired in silk, brocade and embroidered velvets, bishops and abbots from all over Charles’s realm lead large entourage with papal crosses soaring above them, and the city magistrates and musicians clad in black damask completed the picture. The ducal household, which consisted of chamberlains, councillors and servants, attended as well, a delegation in purple, crimson and black, the Burgundian colours. Bruges itself had put on a festival outfit, tapestries and flowers decked the houses and spectators crammed for the best view of their new duchess as well as the spectacular pageants, many which displayed biblical themes as well as those grounded in classical mythology. Esther and Ahasuerus, the Song of Solomon and the marriage at Cana mixed with the deeds of Heracles and Cleopatra and Alexander the Great.

    Oliver de la Marche and Jacques de Villiers were the geniuses behind the decorations and had a whole army of craftsmen from the whole of the duchy and artists to make the pageants for this marriage. Their work certainly paid off, as the arrival of Margaret in Bruges would be immortalised in the Burgundian lore and even re-enacted for tourists today. The rain would however put a damper on the whole thing, but Margaret charmed her subjects by waving at them from her carriage.

    The new duchess reached the ducal palace, brightly decorated with sculptured fountains flowing with wine and ippocras (mead and honey) for a private mass and rest before the dinner later. The banquet that followed was even more festive than the entrée into Bruges.

    Nine days of feasting on gilded swans, peacocks and oranges (a luxury at that time) accompanied by mimes of the deeds of Heracles and dancing. The nine days seemed to have exhausted the Englishman John Paston, as evident by his letter home:

    As for the Duke’s Court of ladies and gentlewomen, knights, squires and gentlemen I heard never on none like it save King Arthur’s court…for of such gear and gold and pearl and stones they of the Duke’s Court, neither gentlemen or gentlewomen they want non; for without that they have it by wishes, by my thoth, I have never of so great plenty as there is.


    Later came the tournament of The Golden Tree, arranged by Anthony, Count of La Roche, an epic display of both chivalry and brutality. Margaret was the centre of attention, as the valiant knights would honour their new liege lady. The participants were richly dressed with horses clothed in gold and silver fabric and harness. The fighting itself were brutal, La Roche broke a leg and other knights were wounded in the joust, to the point of alarming Margaret who signalled her husband, himself in the thick of it, to put a stop before it got even more out of hand. The victors were Sir Edward Woodville, brother to the queen of England and Lord d’Argueil, brother to the Prince of Orange.

    The celebrations ended on 13 July when Charles the Bold left for Holland and Zeeland. The english guests returned home and the Burgundian went back to work. All of them with a wonderous memory of the greatest marriage of the century.

    Margaret herself set off to journey into her new homeland to get to know her people and the realms that she would now, more than she knew, hold in her hand.



    Source: Christine Weightman, Madam La Grande – The life of Margaret of York


     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  2. Kellan Sullivan Well-Known Member

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    Dec 9, 2012
    A Burgundian TL *rubs hands* Can't wait to see where this goes.

    Do you mean mimes?
     
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  3. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2017
    I had this in my head for a long while, so now I am posting my grand idea!

    Thanks for spotting the mines, I meant to write mimes.
     
  4. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

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    Nov 16, 2018
    Ohh. If Margaret has a son in this TL, a Yorkist Duke of Burgundy, could change things dramatically... Subscribed!
     
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  5. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Thank you! Who knows what will happen in this TL? The first chapter is mostly just a recap of historical events, but I figured that I could start there.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 2. Winter and Spring 1468-9.

    BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    Chapter 2. An even more joyous birth


    Duchess of Burgundy and Lothringia, of Brabant, Limbourg, Luxembourg and Guelders, Countess of Flanders and Artois, of Burgundy, of Hainault, Holland, Zeeland, Namur and Zuphten, Marchioness of the Holy Roman Empire, Lady of Friesland, Salins and Malines and so on. Margaret’s new titles were long. One of the most extensive gatherings of territories in the early renaissance, it would rival and outshine many other realms. A rich one, in both people and resources, it lay along the trade routes of Europe. Both northern wares, such as fish and fur, along side southern olives and wine would flow in, meeting the industrial craftsmen in Ghent, Liege and Brussels; Burgundy was immense and dynamic realm.

    upload_2019-1-31_12-56-51.png
    Margaret of York performing acts of charity, miniature from Benois seront les Miséricordieux


    Margaret of York took a very active part in the duchy, like her husband she spent much time traveling through various cities, like from Boulogne to Brussels, from Burges to Picardy, to Flanders and Brabant. Margaret had reached Aire, near St Omer, in September 1468 when she started to feel strange and faint. She took to rest for a while, something that worried her household, if their new mistress was ill with some malady.

    Fortunately, she got better and left for Brussels, traveling across Brabant in the one of the worst Novembers and arriving at Brussels. A physician was called to confirm what Margaret suspected after September and the overjoyed duchess was able to tell her duke that their marriage would bear fruit after the summer’s celebrations. Margaret of York was indeed pregnant.

    The news that Burgundy might have a male heir spread over Europe like wildfire. If the duchess gave birth to a living son, then Mary of Burgundy would not inherit her father’s domains. The news is said to have pissed of Louis XI of France, who stated “and despite all of my effort, that insufferable lady might triumph after all!” Edward IV of England was delighted at the news and sent both gifts and regards for his sister, promising Charles that he was a great ally and much more. Even Emperor Frederick III sent a envoy to discuss a alliance between the Holy Roman Emperor and Burgundy and to give his personal regards to Margaret, whom he declared was a woman “much fit for a splendid realm”.

    To prevent any harm or stress, Margaret’s spring was spent in Cassel, where the pregnant duchess spent time reading, playing chess as well as keeping herself updated on matters of state. She was accompanied by Mary, her step-daughter and dowager Duchess Isabella of Portugal, her mother in law. Those two ladies greatly eased Margaret’s confinement when her pregnancy progressed.

    And to great joy, herself, Charles and Burgundy’s, in the first week of April, on the 3rd in the evening 1469, Margaret was delivered of a healthy son. Charles the Bold had a male heir at least.
     
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  7. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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  8. ALF0N53 Well-Known Member

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    Oh boy. France's gonna do something about this...
     
  9. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    Well, everyone is gonna react to Charles the Bold having a son, but what can France do at the moment?
     
  10. galileo-034 Extreme Centrist Conspirator

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    Baiona , Ipar Euskal Herria (Bayonne, FR)
    For the time being, that's no so bad, relatively speaking. That means the estates of Charles will not break up after his death, but come the two questions of Anne of Britanny's wedding and Richard III's succession, and we'll see the real problems.
     
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  11. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how Anne of Britttany affects Burgundy, she was heiress of her own duchy?

    The effect on the Anglo-Burgundian alliance with a Yorkist heir is however a interesting one. OTL, Edward IV was not overtly keen on aiding Margaret after Charles's death at Nancy. With a potential heir who is his nephew, would his reaction change?
     
  12. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

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    Nov 16, 2018
    And in return, would Margaret and her son be keener on supporting Edward V against the machinations of Richard III should it come to that. Also, if Margaret has a daughter with Charles prior to his death, wouldn't the little Lady of Burgundy make a splendid bride for her English cousin? *hint, hint* (Well, the first request worked *shrug*)
     
  13. galileo-034 Extreme Centrist Conspirator

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    She was, and the issue of her marriage was a strategical question. Her marriage with Maximilian of Habsburg triggered a French invasion of the duchy and de facto end of its independence.
    As I argued in another thread, there would have been a real danger of seeing her wed to Charles' son as she was to Maximilian. The Bretons' view was about ensuring their independence with a powerful bride, or so I think.
    Plus, as the son of Margaret and a powerful and wealthy ruler with his Burgundian possessions, Charles' son is in an ideal position to take up the Yorkist claim on England after Richard III's defeat if it ever happens as IOTL.
    Given Charles' ambitions, if his son goes his father route, I think the ingredients for the HYW to reignite are all gathered.
     
  14. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Margaret's first choice would be for a stable england to protect the interests of Burgundy. Otl, she worked her ass off to get Edward IV more involved in times of trouble. If having to choose a adolencent little king or a adult warrior king I think she would go with Richard.

    Are you saying that little newborn heir to Burgundy is not good enough for one of Edward's daughters? Hmpp!
     
  15. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    Little heir to Burgundy and Anne of Brittany match? That is interesting.
     
  16. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

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    Not in the slightest. That would make me happy too :)
     
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  17. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

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    I just hadn't thought of that :p
     
  18. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    On the other side, a Burgundy-Brittany-England empire would be amazing. :cool:
     
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  19. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

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    Ohhhh *eyes light up*
     
  20. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2017
    But it's still 1469, so if that happens, it won't be until a while.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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