Right on. Despite the financial gains from Ireland, both Henry and Edmund will realize that it is not a simple process and a lot more effort will need to be expended before they can truly make Ireland into the cash cow that they wish it to be
It's for that reason I do not think they can make serious gains in France the occupying armies will cost too much even with the support from the Hasburgs. Also Spain and France thought a 40 years war in the 17th century to see which would be the most dominant nation. Neither really won the war but France did emerge the most strongest nation in Europe until the reign of Louis 16 and the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. As for Scotland that is a different matter but as long as Franch armies are fight to take Calais and they cannot cross the sea it doesn't really matter what the Franch have in terms of money and resources. Henry VIII could launch a landed raid like Edward iii to distract the French and give him is military glory and cash from ramsons but he would gain nothing in turms of lands. Think is also come down to timing and if it would Henry in old age or his son Edward V/Vi could even be his grandson that looks to take lands in France after think have calm down in Britannica. I say Edward V just because it was in later centuries that changed because he was never a anointed King. What are your thoughts on the matter will you be sticking to just the lives of Edmund and Henry or will it go beyond their lifetimes.
 
It's for that reason I do not think they can make serious gains in France the occupying armies will cost too much even with the support from the Hasburgs. Also Spain and France thought a 40 years war in the 17th century to see which would be the most dominant nation. Neither really won the war but France did emerge the most strongest nation in Europe until the reign of Louis 16 and the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. As for Scotland that is a different matter but as long as Franch armies are fight to take Calais and they cannot cross the sea it doesn't really matter what the Franch have in terms of money and resources. Henry VIII could launch a landed raid like Edward iii to distract the French and give him is military glory and cash from ramsons but he would gain nothing in turms of lands. Think is also come down to timing and if it would Henry in old age or his son Edward V/Vi could even be his grandson that looks to take lands in France after think have calm down in Britannica. I say Edward V just because it was in later centuries that changed because he was never a anointed King. What are your thoughts on the matter will you be sticking to just the lives of Edmund and Henry or will it go beyond their lifetimes.
I plan on covering at least the third generation of Tudors, including the royal line from Henry VIII and the Somerset line from Edmund.

I might have Edmund marry Madeleine de la Tour, as I looked through other European royalty/closely-connected noblewomen in this era and very few meet the criteria for the future Duchess of Somerset
 
I plan on covering at least the third generation of Tudors, including the royal line from Henry VIII and the Somerset line from Edmund.

I might have Edmund marry Madeleine de la Tour, as I looked through other European royalty/closely-connected noblewomen in this era and very few meet the criteria for the future Duchess of Somerset
Do you think you May add new names for future kings of England like Lionel or Edmond.
 
Tudor Rose over Britannia Chapter 7
Winter 1515

Henry was glad that Edmund was currently occupied with dancing with the good ladies at court at the moment. He was very pleased that his young brother had become a good dancer just like himself and turned out to be very good at it, but today, he had more pressing business to attend to and he could not have Edmund interfere. What was being discussed at the moment would determine his future. Most importantly, it would spell either good fortune or ruin for the family, as well as England.

At the moment, Henry, his mother of fifty years, his wife Queen Eleanor, his Lord Chancellor William Warham, his new Lord Privy Seal Thomas Ruthall, and Sir Richard Wingfield, Lord Deputy of Calais, sat across the French ambassador and a representative of a very well-connected family in France, the Counts of Auvergne. His mother, Sir Richard, and Henry all spoke French, which was enough to avoid any misunderstandings. There was snowfall outside, and Henry made sure that the hearth was kept warm while everyone present wore heavy furs.

Henry began the discussion by speaking directly to Louis de La Trémoille, who was the cousin of the Counts of Auvergne through their mutual descent from Georges de La Trémoille. “Thank you very much for coming all this way here, my lord,” he began in French. “I am sure that the journey was not an easy one.”

“Not at all, Your Majesty,” the French lord answered. “I come behalf of my cousins Anne and Madeleine de La Tour.”

“And I have the full power of the French crown behind me during these discussions, Your Majesty.” The French ambassador pulled out a letter which William Warham took, and it had the seal of King Francis on it. “His Majesty King Francis has allowed me much discretion.”

“That is good to hear, my lord,” Queen Eleanor joined in while speaking impeccable French. “I do hope that an agreement can be reached today and that we can celebrate with the feasts that will happen soon.”

“Indeed, Your Grace.”

“So, let us get to business. What does the good Madeleine de La Tour bring when she marries my son the Duke of Somerset?” Elizabeth asked.

“My cousin brings the county of Boulogne with her as well as extensive properties throughout the counties of Auvergne, Clermont, Berry, Castres, and Louraguais. All of which bring a total dowry of more than sixty thousand of your English pounds, and a yearly income of more than seven thousand. King Francis is also prepared to add to her dowry substantial gold plates and jewels, as they are distant relatives.”

Henry gulped. That value was beyond what he had expected and would certainly bring great comfort on his brother.

“While the monetary benefits to this union are obvious, my lord,” Queen Eleanor said. “Men are taken with beauty. Does she have that?”

“Of course, Queen Eleanor,” the French lord smiled widely. “Her beauty is without limit, with fair skin, brown hair, and strong eyes. She also has been educated as befitting of a lady of her station, but unfortunately, her grasp of English is not very good.”

“Well, that will have to be fixed, if she wants to be successful wife and Duchess of Somerset,” Elizabeth said.

“What does France expect from England, if this marriage is to proceed?” Sir Richard asked.

“As France is still engaged in the war in Italy and there has been peace between our nations, King Francis has expressed his wishes that the marriage will continue that peace. He was also wished that a gathering between King Henry and King Francis take place, as it will be a joyous occasion between our two great nations.”

Henry exchanged looks with Elizabeth, Eleanor, Warham, Ruthall, and Sir Richard. “A gathering? Do you mean like a festival?”

“Yes, King Henry,” the French ambassador nodded. “It is to signal to all of Europe that the peace that has defined our bonds will persist and that the wedding between the Duke of Somerset and Madeleine de La Tour will be the symbol of that peace.”

Henry did like the sound of that. After all, he had heard that King Francis was just like him in many ways and wanted to see if the King of France could match him in what he could do.

“Any other terms, my lord?” Queen Eleanor was not too happy that the union was happening, as her relatives were fighting France and her adopted country were still occupied with the Irish campaign, but she had deep affections for her brother-in-law and wished him happiness.

“As Madeleine’s sister Anne is currently married to the Duke of Albany in Scotland, King Francis has also expressed that the closer ties between the Duke of Somerset and the premier lord of Scotland will result in continued peace between England and Scotland.”

“Ah.” Henry finally understood why King Francis allowed this marriage to take place. It was true that the northern border was largely peaceful besides the occasional border clash and that there was no trouble between his sister Margaret and brother-in-law King James IV, but Henry had to keep watch should the Scots do anything such as renewing their Auld Alliance with France. By having the sister of the Duke of Albany’s wife married to Edmund, King Francis just connected the three nations together.

“I am sure that a continued tranquility with Scotland and Meg will benefit all of us.” Elizabeth saw Henry’s hesitation and silently told him to not jeopardize the negotiations.

“And should this marriage take place, will my brother also have safe conduct to review his wife’s lands?” Henry asked.

“Of course. It will be granted and signed by King Francis himself.”

Henry glanced at his wife, mother, two councilors, and Sir Richard once more. After seeing that they were not holding reservations, he bobbed his head. “Then under these terms, we accept the marriage contract.”

Later that night, Eleanor and Elizabeth brough Edmund to Henry’s presence chamber, where he was waiting with the portrait of Madeleine de La Tour, currently covered. “I assume that the both of them told you of the news, Ned.”

“They did. They said that I was going to be married.”

Henry smiled and hugged him. “But what is wrong? You do not seem very happy.”

Edmund chuckled lightly. “I thought I had more time, Harry. More time to have fun, play, learn.”

Elizabeth patted her youngest son’s head. “You will not marry her right away, Ned, but the contract has been signed. And you cannot deny that this marriage has many benefits, all of which you will enjoy.”

“And I hear she is pretty, even though she might be French,” Eleanor added.

Henry could see that he was still unsure. “Listen, Ned. I might have a son now, but we are going to need more Tudor heirs. And I want to know what it is like to be an uncle, while mother would like more grandchildren. Would you deny us both that chance?”

Edmund sighed before he shook his head. “No, of course not.” He noticed the covered portrait. “Is that her?”

“Yes.” Henry walked eagerly to the portrait and pulled off the cover. As the French lord had described, she had fair skin, brown hair, strong eyes, and a defined neck as well as having a slim body. Her nose and lips fit well and there was nothing out of place. Henry was amused at how Edmund kept staring at it, taken with his betrothed. He put his arm around Edmund’s neck. “It seems that Ned’s heart has now been taken,” he jested.

Edmund chuckled. “Well, it is a good flattery. I have yet to meet her.”

“You will meet her soon, Ned. Very soon,” Eleanor was also happy for her brother-in-law.



The Duke of Buckingham drank his wine heavily as the court heard the news of Prince Edmund’s betrothal to a wealthy French noblewoman who was closely connected to King Francis. He had considered offering his daughter to the youngest son of the Tudor family, but now his hopes for a royal match were dashed.

All the while, the Duke of Norfolk looked on with disgust. He might have had his own ambitions for his family, but he was more careful about it and certainly practiced more discretion. “Perhaps you have had enough, Your Grace.”

“Leave me alone, Norfolk. I now have to endure being on the sidelines much longer.”

“I would hardly call your status on the sidelines.”

“Just like my father with Richard III and myself during the first Tudor king, I have to endure the humiliation of submitting myself to a ruler whose only claim to the throne came a from a bastard through his mother’s line.”

The Duke of Norfolk shook his head. “You know, it is not really in my interest to warn you, but you really have to be careful with that kind of talk. King Henry has a son and a younger brother to secure the crown on his head. The Tudor line will live on.”

“And I should listen to you, because you are spending much time with the runt of the Tudor litter?”

The Duke of Norfolk exhaled. “Very rarely do I see potential in young men, but you would do well in not taking Prince Edmund lightly. He has ideas, all of which can change the face of England. I plan to be there with him.”

The Duke of Buckingham got up in a huff. “You have made your bed, Norfolk, but I do hope that you see the truth in my words.”

Norfolk saw Buckingham walk away to his apartments in his drunken state and groaned. He was taken aback to the de La Poles and anyone else having designs on the throne and all of them ended up dead. He was surely not going to follow them and instead increase his family’s power underneath the throne.
 
Tudor Rose over Britannia Chapter 8
New Years, 1516

“Happy New Years, Ned,” Anthony Browne presented Edmund with his gift, which was a bow used by Turkish archers on horseback.

“Thank you, Browne.” Edmund eagerly accepted the exotic bow. “What a great gift. I shall use it well.”

“Happy New Years, Ned.” Edward North stepped forward and gave his gift, which was a jewel-studded dagger from the lands of Persia. Edward’s stepfather was Sir Ralph Warren, as his birthfather Roger North died seven years prior, but both were merchants with wide connections, and they were afforded the occasional luxuries that could not be found anywhere within Europe.

“Beautiful.” Edmund marveled. “Tell Sir Ralph that he is welcome to dine at court and I shall have the pleasure to host him.”

“He will like that very much, Ned.” Even though Edward North was five years younger than Edmund and both of his father figures were essentially “new men,” he liked Edward and thought of him as the younger brother that he wanted.

“Happy New Years, Ned.” John Gates came forward and brought him a ring. “My father got that as part of the spoils of war in Munster and thought that you would like it.”

John’s father, Sir Geoffrey Gates, came from a more acceptable background to court, as they hailed from Essex gentry. Sir Geoffrey was granted the honor of being a knight banneret and currently commanded a company of one hundred Essex men in the County Clare within Munster, where he was also given a grant of three hundred acres by Henry himself for bravery.

Edmund smiled as he put the ring on his fifth finger on his right hand. “Tell your father that I said thanks and that I shall wear this ring as a reminder of my friend’s father’s bravery.” John was the same age as Edward and like him, Edmund treated John like a little brother.

Last was Anthony Denny, who Edmund welcomed as part of his circle of friends. Anthony Denny was near the same age as himself and Anthony Browne. As both of them shared the same name, the both of them agreed to call each other by their last names. Denny’s father was a Baron of the Exchequer, which was not a glamorous position within the legal profession, but he did live well enough to be at court.

“Happy New Years, Ned.” Denny gave Edmund a bracelet made of gold. “My father recently solved a matter to everyone’s satisfaction and one of them gave them this as a sign of his thanks. As we cannot keep gold in the house in case someone tries to steal it, what better person than a prince?”

That was one of the reasons why Edmund decided to befriend him. Browne, John, and Edward were pleasant company enough, but Denny was very honest and not afraid to show his true feelings. In a court of sycophants, Edmund found that refreshing, and he needed more friends like him.

“Well, Denny, I shall keep it safe then.” Edmund put on the bracelet.

“What do you think, Ned, now that you are about to be married?” Browne asked.

“I do not know, honestly.”

“From what I heard, this French lady is rich and quite beautiful,” Edward added.

“I have seen the portrait, but I am not due to marry for two more years. By then, I will have reached eighteen years and she will be nineteen.”

“Why do they delay the marriage?” Denny inquired.

“She is… using this time to sort out her inheritance with French authorities and her sister Anne, who is married to the Scottish Duke of Albany.”

“Is that a fact?” John was surprised. Even though he was still a boy, he had some familiarity with international politics.

“Yes. Who would have thought that my brother-in-law was the highest peer of the lands north of here?” Edmund noted dryly.

“It might not be that bad. We have peace with the Scots and having the Duke of Albany as your blood can help keep it should there be tension,” Browne stated.

“I am not so sure about that. The Scots can be quite tricky to deal with at times.” Edmund had read the letters sent by his sister in Scotland regarding the Scottish court.

“If I remember correctly, the Duke of Albany does not have children with your betrothed’s sister.”

Edmund looked at Denny curiously. “How did you know that?”

“You are my friend, Ned, and I decided to look around regarding your new wife’s family. The Duke of Albany does not have children and it has been over ten years since their marriage, meaning that should she die and the Duke of Albany dies, all of her titles will go to your new French lady and therefore to you.”

Now that Edmund had thought about it, the lands that came with Anne’s dowry to the Duke of Albany would be a nice addition to the wealth awaiting him already. “Whatever the instance, Denny, I am not going to wish ill on the Duke no matter what I will gain and my personal feelings towards him.”

“You have not met him, but I understand,” Denny nodded.

“Will we be invited to your wedding?” Edward asked.

“Of course, Eddy.” Edmund grinned. “All of you will. I will make sure to have you seated as close to my family as possible.”

Just then, the doors of his apartments opened and in came Henry, Eleanor, and his baby nephew, along with his own friends Charles Brandon, Thomas Knivet, and William Compton. Immediately, Edward North, John Gates, Anthony Browne, and Anthony Denny bowed deeply to the king and queen while Brandon, Knivert, and Compton snickered at the boys. Eleanor shot them a look and they all stopped instantly.

“Looks like Ned here is enjoying New Years.” Henry hugged his brother tightly. “Thank you for the gift, brother.”

“Of course, Your Grace.” Edmund had given him a watch made by a German craftsman named Peter Henlein in the city of Nuremberg and he commissioned the watch to be made out of gold.

“And I very much loved my watch, Ned.” Eleanor waved hers around in front of the others.

Edmund eyed baby Edward. “How is my nephew, my queen?”

“Very strong and spirited, like his father. Would you like to hold him?” After seeing Edmund nod eagerly, she carefully handed the Duke of Cornwall into his arms.

Edmund could see that he had inherited the red hair and fierce eyes that so defined the Tudors. Red cheeked, the baby was moving around with his arms and legs, and Edmund did not notice his friends gathering around and looking upon the future king of England with awe. After taking in his nephew, he handed the baby back to Eleanor.

“So, how is our Prince Edmund dealing with the news that he is about to be married?” Charles Brandon asked.

Edmund tolerated him because Henry liked him, but he found him insufferable at certain points. “Certainly as well as I can hope, Sir Charles. Are you ready to marry Lady Lisle soon?”

Charles Brandon was betrothed to Elizabeth Grey, Viscountess Lisle, who was a well-connected noblewoman with ties to families such as the Talbots. He could see the sense in the match, for Henry wanted to enrich his friend.

“Ah, he is not just going to Lord Lisle soon. I have made him the Duke of Suffolk as a New Years’ gift,” Henry revealed.

“Suffolk?” Edmund was surprised. The last person to hold that title was a de la Pole and while Charles Brandon’s father had held their father’s banner at Bosworth, a dukedom was very unexpected for someone who came from low-ranking gentry.

“Is there a problem, Ned?” Henry asked.

“No, no, my king,” Edmund denied. “Giving titles to whom you choose is within your rights, but a dukedom is very unexpected.”

“He is my friend, Ned. I will make him comfortable and exalted just like good Sir Thomas and Sir William here. I would expect nothing less for you to honor your own friends.” Edmund had to admit that. “We are about to play tennis, all of us. Do you want to join?”

“Absolutely.” Edmund loved royal tennis and was eager to play whenever he came to Hampton Court. “Your Grace, can my friends play also?”

“Only Anthony Browne and Anthony Denny. The other two are too young to play right now, but they can watch,” Henry consented.

Not that it mattered much to Edmund, for he was going to have Edward and John collect wagers from the courtiers while both Browne and Denny prepared themselves for a tennis match with the king.



As Hampton Court watched the Tudor brothers play against each other with their partners, the Scottish ambassador to the English court observed how richly the English courtiers indulged themselves. While he did partake in the pleasures offered in London, he took more pleasure in activities that engaged his mind like writing letters and translating books from Latin to Scots.

“What is the news from Edinburgh, my lord Douglas?” He was surprised that the French ambassador approached him, even though their countries enjoyed traditionally close links.

“I am not a lord, monsieur,” Sir William Douglas of Glenbervie answered in French. “Even though my father was the 5th Earl of Angus. But to answer your question, King James IV has high hopes for the match between his brother-in-law and Lady Madeleine.”

“Indeed. What better way to ensure that peace is maintained between our three great nations than marriage?” the French ambassador also spoke in his native tongue.

Sir William Douglas was the second son of the head of the “Red Douglas” family, who replaced the “Black Douglases” after their rebellion against James II of Scotland, the current king’s grandfather. He accepted the post in London because he needed to get away from the Scottish court for a time, but he found that the Tudors were something to be very much concerned about.

“I am not sure about peace, not after I read the reports of what is happening in Ireland,” Sir William said.

“Men acting like beasts against one another. Nothing new,” the French ambassador remarked.

“But you did not come from this culture, monsieur. We Scots have close ties with our Irish brethren, and we are very much disturbed at what the English are doing.”

“But it is not really your concern, is it? After all, the King of England is also the Lord of Ireland by papal decree,” the French ambassador reminded him.

Sir William was not blind as to why the Tudor brothers were conducting a general subjugation of the entirety of Ireland. “I am just worried that once they taste success in Ireland, who knows if that will be enough to sate their lust for battle? For conquest?”

The French ambassador crooked his head at him. “Conquest?”

“Come now, monsieur. King Henry still calls him King of France and he has stated in public that he looks up to those like Edward III and Henry V, the very one who crushed your people at Agincourt.”

“I know my history, Sir William. What is your point?”

“My point is that once the Tudor brothers succeed in Ireland, do you think that they will stop there? Do you think that they will not pursue grander ambitions such as a war with our countries?”

The French ambassador swallowed. “That is certainly a possibility, but not one my king will concern himself with for now. As of this point, all he sees are English arms aimed at Irishmen and not at Frenchmen. As long as they do not point in our direction, we will not concern ourselves with who they choose to fight.”

Sir William fought back a scoff. He might have had his doubts on Scotland’s peace with England, but he increasingly found the French more unreliable with each decade that they swore to protect Scotland from England’s grasps. It made him wonder. Is our alliance with France even worth it now?

Tudor New Years is around March and for those who are not aware of Tudor pastimes, Henry VIII was an avid tennis player (not the type we are familiar with). Charles Brandon's betrothal with the Viscountess Lisle will go through, but Mary Tudor is out of his reach. And Sir William Douglas' father was the 5th Earl of Angus.
 
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The French go a lot more out of the alliance with Scotland and then Scotland and France. If Frances is fighting the Italians City States and Hasburgs Empire they are more serious threat than kings/Queens of England. I would argue that the valois/bourbon and Hasburgs rivalries where a lot more dangerous and threatening to France than the Plantagenet/Capations, valois wars. Francis the first eldest son Francis and Henry we're prisoners of Charles V and Francis died in captivity grated a hatred between the familys.
 
The French go a lot more out of the alliance with Scotland and then Scotland and France. If Frances is fighting the Italians City States and Hasburgs Empire they are more serious threat than kings/Queens of England. I would argue that the valois/bourbon and Hasburgs rivalries where a lot more dangerous and threatening to France than the Plantagenet/Capations, valois wars. Francis the first eldest son Francis and Henry we're prisoners of Charles V and Francis died in captivity grated a hatred between the familys.
Francis III, Duke of Brittany and Dauphin of France died years after being freed from Madrid. And if his health had taken an heavy toll for his captivity the biggest fault belong to Francis I who reneged the pacts with the Emperor, knowing perfectly who his sons would pay the price for his choices.
 
Francis III, Duke of Brittany and Dauphin of France died years after being freed from Madrid. And if his health had taken an heavy toll for his captivity the biggest fault belong to Francis I who reneged the pacts with the Emperor, knowing perfectly who his sons would pay the price for his choices.
I just remember reading that Francis eldest son died due to captivity I Also read his health decline was also due to the medical help he received.
 
The French go a lot more out of the alliance with Scotland and then Scotland and France. If Frances is fighting the Italians City States and Hasburgs Empire they are more serious threat than kings/Queens of England. I would argue that the valois/bourbon and Hasburgs rivalries where a lot more dangerous and threatening to France than the Plantagenet/Capations, valois wars. Francis the first eldest son Francis and Henry we're prisoners of Charles V and Francis died in captivity grated a hatred between the familys.
Francis III, Duke of Brittany and Dauphin of France died years after being freed from Madrid. And if his health had taken an heavy toll for his captivity the biggest fault belong to Francis I who reneged the pacts with the Emperor, knowing perfectly who his sons would pay the price for his choices.

All of this might come into play later on, especially if the French back becomes so broken that the Scots realize that they lose more than gain with France and thus begin to realign with England
 
All of this might come into play later on, especially if the French back becomes so broken that the Scots realize that they lose more than gain with France and thus begin to realign with England
I believe there it too much bad blood between the noble's of England Scotland for there to be peace James IV still attacked England when he was married to Margaret Tudor the daughter of King Henry VII. As for France the Hasburgs are just too dangerous because they broke the status quo. If it wasn't for the Protestant reformation in northern Germany Charles V might have made the Holy Roman Empire into a working institution.
 
Interesting... sort of like an alliance when the Protestant Reformation gets really serious
I was thinking of something on the lines of the Roman Republic between Marcus crassus, Pompeii Magnus and Julius Caesar. Only this time with Charles V, Francis the first and Henry VIII. However I do not believe this alliance would last for long as soon as the wars in Germany are over than they would like to there own powers. And another thing the France supported the protestants at time in northern Germany due to the fact the Hasburgs broke the balance of power in Europe due to controlling Northern and Southern Italy a long wave Spain and Portugal for a time. And let's not forget the position of Holy Roman emperor and the Duchy and Kingdoms of Austria and Hungary. It just depends if Francis and his successors are comfortable been surrounded buy husband territories I forgot to mention that Charles V is also Duke of Burgundy so yes I think if I was the king of France I would be very concerned.
 
I was thinking of something on the lines of the Roman Republic between Marcus crassus, Pompeii Magnus and Julius Caesar. Only this time with Charles V, Francis the first and Henry VIII. However I do not believe this alliance would last for long as soon as the wars in Germany are over than they would like to there own powers. And another thing the France supported the protestants at time in northern Germany due to the fact the Hasburgs broke the balance of power in Europe due to controlling Northern and Southern Italy a long wave Spain and Portugal for a time. And let's not forget the position of Holy Roman emperor and the Duchy and Kingdoms of Austria and Hungary. It just depends if Francis and his successors are comfortable been surrounded buy husband territories I forgot to mention that Charles V is also Duke of Burgundy so yes I think if I was the king of France I would be very concerned.
That I will consider
 
Tudor Rose over Britannia Chapter 9 New
Spring 1518

Elizabeth stood proudly as her son arrived at Calais straight from Ireland. From what she was told, he had proved himself to be a mature and able Lord Lieutenant, as well as a competent leader of men. Henry and Eleanor had just celebrated the birth of another son, the future Duke of York. Everyone at court was surprised that they chose the name Lionel, given that there was only one other prince in England that had that name, Lionel of Antwerp, but they accepted it as a good name. Elizabeth herself liked it, as she preferred to have different but strong names for the future generations of Tudors.

As such, with two sons to secure the throne, Henry finally allowed Edmund to go into battle. With a reinforcement of five thousand men, he moved into Munster and besieged Liscarroll Castle near Cork. Apparently, the Earls of Desmond had not responded well to more direct rule from England and thus rose their banners in rebellion. As such, Henry had the Desmond earls attainted and convicted of treason by Act of Parliament, so Edmund was to give no quarter. Elizabeth had heard that nearly three hundred men at Liscarroll Castle was put to the sword while the Lord Desmond himself was nowhere to be found.

Edmund then moved on to nearby Blarney Castle, owned by the MacCarthy family, Lord of Muskerry, and Ross Castle in County Kerry, which was controlled by the O’Donoghue family. Apparently, the MacCarthy lords had heard about what happened at Liscarroll Castle and surrendered without a fight. But Edmund showed them generosity by allowing them to keep their castle and their lands while they had to show complete submission to the English crown. The O’Donoghues chose to fight and as expected, they were shown no mercy and everyone who took up arms against Edmund and his troops were killed. Thus, Edmund had overseen the subjugation of Munster and thus completed the conquest of all of Ireland.

Afterwards, Edmund spent much time at Dublin Castle and was directly involved in the administration of Ireland. Just like what her husband had done after Bosworth, Edmund did much to limit the powers of the Irish lords in order to make them into pliable subjects under the English crown. Sheriffs and Justices of the Peace were appointed, and English garrisons were established. Edmund had also made himself busy with his new lands in Ulster, which was greatly expanded after Henry himself had secured that region. However, whether peace would last was still to be answered with time.

Bringing herself back to the present, Elizabeth’s saw Edmund’s ship dock at Calais and she was struck at how… different he seemed. While she could still recognize him from his face, his eyes reflected what she had seen too many times. Those were eyes that had seen death and the man with those eyes being hardened from violence. She should not have been surprised, for the English lords and soldiers had sung their praises on his ability as a commander, but she was worried now.

Elizabeth hugged him tightly, which he returned with some hesitation. “Welcome, Ned. I hope that you are excited about the festivities.”

Edmund gave a small smile. “Indeed, mother.”

Elizabeth took him by the arm and led him to Calais castle and then onto the fields within the Pale. “By the end of this week, you will be a husband and soon a father.”

“Do not worry, mother. I will do my duty.”

Elizabeth looked at him in the eye. “I know you will, but I also want you to be happy. I never knew that I was going to find happiness with your father, but I did. I pray that you will have that same joy.” Edmund gave that small smile yet again, which made Elizabeth more worried. “What is wrong, Ned?”

“It is nothing, mother.”

“Come now. I am your mother and I know when you are troubled. Please, tell me.”

Edmund sighed, and she was shocked that he sounded annoyed. “It really is nothing, mother. I am just tired from battle.”

Elizabeth stopped just before they entered the castle. “What was it about battle that made you tired?”

“Why are you so curious, mother?” Edmund was increasingly bothered.

“Do not use that tone with me, Ned. I am asking because I am concerned, like any mother would be for her children.”

“And as I said, it is nothing.”

Elizabeth wanted to know more, but not wishing bad bonds between them and right before a joyous occasion, she decided to stop asking. “Perhaps… after this week, we can talk?”

Edmund shrugged. “As you wish.”

After Edmund was settled down in his rooms at Calais, Elizabeth sought out Henry, who was busy with practicing archery with Charles Brandon, the new Duke of Suffolk. “My king.”

While Henry simply turned around, the Duke of Suffolk bowed low. “Yes, mother?”

“May I speak with you?”

Henry nodded while he gave leave to the Duke of Suffolk to continue practicing. “What is it that you needed to interrupt my sporting?”

“I am worried about Ned.”

“What about him?”

Elizabeth told Henry on how he had responded to her inquiries and expressed her concern after hearing of his accolades in Ireland.

“I agree that how he answered you was wrong, and I will talk to him about that. But mother, I am sure that he has much on his mind and maybe a good day of rest followed by more with sporting should be able to make the Ned we know come back.”

Elizabeth nodded, as sporting did much to relieve the burdens off of men’s minds. “I hope you are right, Harry. I just do not want Ned to become someone that I do not know.”

Henry kissed his mother’s cheek. “Worry not, mother. I will make sure that he is looking forward to much comfort and sporting before he has to settle down and marry.”



Madeleine watched eagerly as the Duke of Somerset, her intended, prepared himself for the upcoming joust. His opponent was Philippe of Savoy, son of the Duke of Savoy and uncle of King Francis. He wore armor that looked as if it came fresh from the smith, but the armor was not heavily ornamented besides the royal arms of England on the breastplate and shield. From his face, she could see that he was not smiling and merely put down his visor as both he and Phillippe of Savoy engaged in the tilt.

The previous night, Madeleine had danced with her intended while everyone else looked on with eagerness, including the kings of England and France. Despite her being a year older than him, he was very much a grown man, with red hair that went down to his neck, well-trimmed beard, blue eyes, and a strongly built form, which she could tell from the grip of his hands. He was also very tall, taller than his brother, but King Henry did not seem to mind at all, which demonstrated the strength of the bond between the Tudor brothers.

“If it might please you, my lady,” Edmund began in French. “I can go a little slower for you.”

Madeleine shook her head. “It is all right, Your Grace. You are doing fine,” she mustered her best English. Even after two years, she was still struggling.

Edmund’s face softened, surprising Madeleine. “Not bad, my lady,” he answered back in English. “But pray tell me. Who taught you to speak English?”

“Your ambassador at court.”

Edmund pursed his lips. “I see… it does not matter. You will have plenty of time to strengthen your English after you come with me.”

Madeleine cursed herself for not applying herself enough in her lessons. “I apologize if I meant you offense, Your Grace.”

“No, no. You are trying and that is enough for me, my lady. What I do not appreciate is those who do not try at all, and you putting the effort says much about your character.”

Madeleine blushed at the compliment. “Merci beaucoup, Monseigneur. But I must ask. Is it true that you have seen battle in Ireland?”

“I have, my lady.”

Madeleine had to be careful. “I am not going to ask you what it was like, as some other ladies of the court might foolishly do, but I have seen what battle does to men. I have relatives who have fought in Italy and they were changed.”

“Why do you bring this up, my lady?”

“If we are to be married, I do not want us to hide things from each other. Your burdens will be my burdens, and my burdens will be yours. That is what my mother taught me about marriage.”

The Duke of Somerset looked at her, surprised. Madeleine was worried that she had said the wrong thing, but to her relief, he smiled. “If only I knew you to be honest from the start. Never had I heard a more admirable statement from any others before yourself.”

Madeleine stopped herself from giggling in delight, as she was happy that her intended shared the same mind as herself. That was the reason why she tied her favor to the Duke of Somerset’s lance before the tilting, and why she was cheerful when after three strikes of the lance, the Duke of Somerset triumphed.

The wedding ceremony took place at the end of the week, and Madeleine did not pay much attention to the pomp and ceremony that came with the wedding, including the bishop giving his blessings and the royal families of England and France watching in delight. Her sister Anne and her brother-in-law the Scottish Duke of Albany were also present, although the Duke was clearly not looking forward to having Prince Edmund as his brother-in-law. Madeleine told him that the fate of three countries were on the line with this marriage and warned him to not do anything that would jeopardize that.

The wedding feast that took place afterwards also passed by quickly, as more ceremony took place. But everyone attending, including King Henry and King Francis, were apprehensive when it came time for the Duke of Albany to present his wedding gift. He presented a claymore, the type of blade favored by the Scottish Highlanders, which was ornamented by Flemish craftsmen with jewels and gold. Although it was a good weapon, there was also the symbolism behind that blade, as the Highlanders had developed an antipathy to Englishmen in general, which was honestly well-founded given the bad history between the two countries.

Edmund took the blade and observed it, ignoring the angry stare from King Henry who was also familiar with the meaning behind the claymore. To everyone’s surprise, he held out his hand. “Thank you for your gift, Lord Albany. I look forward to more gestures of strength from my brother-in-law.”

Even the Duke of Albany was surprised at how he answered that, but everyone was relieved when Albany shook his hand. Madeleine was impressed, but she was going to have more words with her Scottish brother-in-law, who clearly did not heed her warnings.

Then came the bedding ceremony, which was thoroughly prepared with flower petals and rich scents. After all of the family and bishops left after giving their blessings, with Madeleine awaiting her husband in her nightgown, they both shared one last drink of wine before they proceeded. All she remembered was a long night of bliss and delight as the two truly became one.

I'm a bit of a romantic, but had to keep things implied. Hope that was sensible.

But while Ireland has been conquered, that does not mean that the campaign is over. Expect years of underground resistance.
 
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