But you said that she was the rightful Queen and as far as I remember Plantagenets had no crown on continent, so any claim to England was with John, not Arthur and why opinion of continental barons should matter more in England that English barons?
Arthur was the eldest son of King Henry II's third eldest son Geoffrey who was the elder brother and John was the younger. King Henry II had five sons, William who died as a child, Henry the young King who died of dysentery, Richard the Lionheart died of gangrene, Geoffrey Duke of Brittany was the father of Arthur and Eleanor who died in a jousting accident and finally we have King John who died of dysentery and is the youngest brother.
 
Thus reinforcing why John was one of the worst kings of England, more so than Edward II.
For the worst Kings I would go King John, King Henry VI, Edward II and Henry III in this order


True (they might grumble “that man doesn’t speak our language and knows nothing of our customs” and also “who does he think he is trying to tell us what to do?” as Richard the Lionhearted never permanently held court in England and thus they were left to their own devices)
King Richard the Lionheart spend only six months in the kingdom of England his first love was the Duchy of Aquitaine which was very rebellious.
 
Arthur was the eldest son of King Henry II's third eldest son Geoffrey who was the elder brother and John was the younger. King Henry II had five sons, William who died as a child, Henry the young King who died of dysentery, Richard the Lionheart died of gangrene, Geoffrey Duke of Brittany was the father of Arthur and Eleanor who died in a jousting accident and finally we have King John who died of dysentery and is the youngest brother.

So what? Blood proximity-based claim is also a valid source of claim in that era and Geoffrey died before Richard did, thus leaving John as a closest remaining (not most senior, but closest) male relative of Richard on whom Richard entailed that throne and who was acclaimed by the barons of England.
He has got any source of claim he needed to be the rightful king back then. I know that he wasn't Richard's heir by primogeniture, but male-preference primogeniture was simly not used in this period in England, and Henry I wasn't the eldest surviving son of William I when he got the crown either, but who cares?
Still, Eleanor wasn't a rightful Queen of England, it seems like a lot of people are living in the bubble thinking that "Queens Regnant and male-preference primogeniture=good and male relatives claiming the crown, and any system of succesion which isn't male-preference primogeniture=bad", but the reality was more complicated.
 
Tudor Rose over Britannia Chapter 11 New
Margaret had to admit that she was impressed with her new sister-in-law. While her grasp of English was acceptable, she still needed to put more effort. But not only was she wealthy, Madeleine was beautiful, and she was slowly adopting the ways of a proper Englishwoman. She had heard that Madeleine was also learning to how to hawk and hunt, which amused Margaret since that showed that she was not going to let her status as a Frenchwoman hold her back.

While her husband and her brothers were occupied in the hunt, Margaret decided to walk with her new sister-in-law on the walls of Newcastle in an effort to know her better.

“How do you like England so far, my lady?” Margaret asked in French.

“Please speak English, Your Grace. I must become better at it,” Madeleine stated.

Margaret nodded. “As you wish,” she switched back to her native tongue. “How do you like your new home?”

“It is not as busy or crowded like in France, but there is much to do here in this country,” Madeleine answered. “But the men here can be very irritating at times, since they do not allow me to do certain things because I am a woman.”

Margaret chuckled at that. “I know how you feel. I have to deal with the same sort of pigs in Edinburgh and it is indeed irritating. Nevertheless, I have my husband and my children to take comfort in, so the good definitely outweighs the bad in Scotland.”

“But not that Ned is like that. I can say that name in your presence?” Madeleine asked.

“He is your husband and I have seen how happy you two are. You can whatever name you want with me. In fact, you can call me Meg, as we are family after all.”

“Very well… Meg. Going back to Ned, he taught me hawking and he got Harry to consent to me taking part in the hunt earlier in this progress.”

“That is good to hear. It shows that Edmund does care for you, which is astonishing given that you two have just married a few months ago.” Margaret herself was taken to flights of fancy, but fortunately, all of that was still focused on her husband and not anyone else at the Scottish court.

“I find my heart is warmed when I learned more about arranged marriages in the family. Your father and mother grew to love each other, which also happened to Harry and Ellie and to Mary and the Danish king from what I heard. If what I felt with Ned when we are alone together is not love, I do not know what is.”

Margaret smiled widely. “That is… very encouraging to hear. I wonder if God blessed our family so much after all of the tribulations felt by my father before he took the throne.”

Madeleine then had to ask. “Meg, it might not be in my place to inquire, but I noticed the bond that you have between yourself and Ned. I know that you sent letters to each other, but the both of you seem distant. May I ask why?”

Margaret sighed. “You know that I was fourteen years old when I married my husband?” Madeleine nodded. “Well, Ned was still an infant when I went to Scotland and I never saw him again before today. I was too busy with my duties as queen and mother to my three beautiful children, or the ones that lived past the cradle.” Margaret had to hold back tears for her lost babies. “I only had ideas on what Ned would be like, but all of them fell short since he exceeded my expectations.”

“But?” Madeleine knew there was more.

“I am sorry to be saying this about your husband, but he has not experienced how hard life can be while I was practically left all alone in Edinburgh. I had just my husband and my household from England, but all of the courtiers in Scotland only saw me as a foreigner from a nation that they blame for all of their troubles. That can either break you or make you stronger, and I became stronger. However, Ned had Harry, my mother, and Ellie with him and all he did was play before he got married and went to war in Ireland.”

“So, you think he is still a child?” Margaret did not answer, but she did not need to. Madeleine did not hold anger against her, however, and she had to go back to French to really express her thoughts at the moment. “I understand how you feel. I really do. My father died before I got to know him, and I was thirteen when my mother died. With both of my parents gone, me and my sister were seen as prizes by all of those who wanted our inheritance. Fortunately, my cousin took us in and we were protected just long enough until we found good marriages.”

Margaret could very much understand her sentiments.

“But do you think that Ned did not go through his own struggles?” Madeleine came to his defense. “He fought as a soldier in Ireland and before your nephews were born, he had to carry part of the burden of the Tudor dynasty on his shoulders since he was the heir apparent after Harry became king. If both of them died, then the Tudor dynasty would be wiped out. If Harry died without producing children, Ned would become king. Nothing is sure in this life and Ned has to continually prepare himself should the worst happen. Besides, even though Harry is the king, people still approach Ned in an attempt to gain favors and that is a struggle that you should understand.”

Margaret had never thought of that. Despite now being third in line to the English throne, Edmund was still a prince and held vast landholdings in England and now France while he had a close bond with Henry, something that anyone would attempt to exploit for their advantage.

“Perhaps instead of allowing what you might think of him to influence your views of Ned, why not talk to him and really get to know your brother after all of these years? He is not a boy anymore.”

Margaret exhaled before she allowed a small smile to form on her face. “You truly do love him. I can see that.” She rubbed her neck. “But how do I really talk to him?”

“From what I saw, he likes playing cards, but thank God that he does not partake in gambling. Maybe catch him playing cards tonight and join him,” Madeleine suggested.

After the men came back from the hunt, in which over fifty deer were brought back in a day, Margaret approached Edmund as he was playing cards with his friends Anthony Browne and Anthony Denny. Both of them stood up and lowered their heads at her before she sat across her young brother.

“Can I join, Ned?”

Edmund was surprised, but he allowed her to play. “Do you know how to play primero, sister?”

“Not well. Can you teach me?” Margaret knew how to play, but this was her chance to start knowing Edmund at an intimate level.

Edmund did not sense that and proceeded to teach his oldest sister while Madeleine looked on, happy.



Lord Leonard Grey rode on horseback with two hundred men as they made their marched through the boundaries of the Connaught region and ensuring that the local Irish remained compliant with English rule. Even though Lord Worcester headed the overall administration of the entire province, Leonard Grey was appointed by King Henry himself to effectively police the region with armed force. He had under his overall command one thousand men garrisoned at various points throughout Connaught, which included two hundred horse and eight artillery pieces.

When he heard that the O’Dowd family, a long-established Irish clan were holding an election for their new Taoiseach, which was the Gaelic term for their clan leader, at their castle right on the coast and located at some distance from the town of Sligo, Leonard Grey had to attend and ensure that they did not engage in treasonous practices. He also decided to take advantage of the Gaelic tradition of hospitality, meaning that they were obliged by their customs to treat guests with warm food, drink, and beds.

Riding with his troops from their main quarters in Sligo, Lord Leonard arrived at O’Dowd Castle and found a cold reception among the residents there. Nevertheless, they were wise to not oppose him since they all knew that he had the power of the English crown behind him.

“I heard that there is an election happening,” Lord Leonard went straight to business. “As per the new statutes passed by His Highness Prince Edmund Tudor, the Duke of Somerset and His Grace Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, any new elections to select clan leaders must have a representative of the English crown in attendance. Failure to comply with the new statutes will result in a fine of £50 and being charged with sedition against the English crown.”

The men and women at O’Dowd Castle needed Lord Leonard’s Gaelic interpreter to understand his words, making him more frustrated at how the Irish people were not learning to speak English. One of them stepped forward, a man of authority by the looks of him. He spoke to the Gaelic interpreter, to which he said, “My lord, this gentleman is Cathal O’Dowd, nephew of the deceased leader of the clan. He said that he would welcome you and grant you and your men hospitality one the condition that you do not bring your arms into the castle.”

Lord Leonard chuckled maliciously while he turned around to his troops. “Did you hear that, men? He is asking us to give up our weapons before giving us food.” The troops laughed at the seemingly ludicrous request. Lord Leonard then turned back to the Gaelic interpreter. “You tell Master O’Dowd here that he is no position to make any demands of us. Either he grants us hospitality and allow us to observe the election, or I shall have everyone here imprisoned in chains for obstructing royal authority.” The Gaelic interpreter hesitated, causing Lord Leonard to grab him by the collar. “Why are you not interpreting? You are receiving fifty shillings for your work while we stuff good food into your belly and allow you a warm bed. Do not give me a reason to imprison you as well.”

The Gaelic interpreter nodded, and the result was the men and women of the O’Dowd clan glancing at each other as if they could not believe what they had just heard. To prove his point, Lord Leonard dismounted, walked up to Cathal O’Dowd, and backhanded his face so hard that he fell to the ground. All of the O’Dowd people were shocked, but they could not defend the nephew of their late clan leader as Lord Leonard’s troops unsheathed their swords, readied their pikes, and drew their bows.

“As Deputy Constable of Roscommon Castle, I hereby order that the election take place tonight!” Lord Leonard commanded.

“My lord, they need a few more days before all of the clansmen arrive,” the Gaelic interpreter explained.

“And I do not care. I will not spend one more day than necessary among these savages, and they have not realized that things are different now. It is time that they understand who their masters are, and I will use force if they make me.”

Lord Leonard took up his night quarters in the rooms previously held by the deceased clan leader and his men proceeded to take from the meager rations and ale that the castle had, while the local clansmen could do nothing.

Lord Leonard did not originally see himself being active in Ireland, but as the second son of the Marquess of Dorset, he was not going to inherit the substantial Grey fortune and thus saw Ireland as an opportunity to gain wealth and lands for himself. He already received a royal charter in which he obtained one thousand acres within the Connaught region alone, which also contained five hundred male tenants. He could then petition Dublin Castle to become a viscount under those conditions, so things were already looking up for him.

But while he and his troops were sleeping, the feelings of anger and resentment stirred amongst the O’Dowd clansmen, who would not forget how they were mistreated by those claiming protection from the English crown.

Look up Leonard Grey, who actually was quite an SOB in Ireland.
 
Oof. That Grey guy really isn't good news and exactly the kind of person you don't want enforcing your authority because men like him mean that there will always be fresh revolts and assorted other kinds of unrest.
 
But while he and his troops were sleeping, the feelings of anger and resentment stirred amongst the O’Dowd clansmen, who would not forget how they were mistreated by those claiming protection from the English crown.
Well, I guess Ireland's gonna be an ulcer and a half when England comes to blow with Scotland. Congratulation Leonard Grey, you'll be the first head to fall.
 
Well, I guess Ireland's gonna be an ulcer and a half when England comes to blow with Scotland. Congratulation Leonard Grey, you'll be the first head to fall.
To be honest, it would make me feel bad if people get hurt just because they kill him (which, to be honest, is perfectly justified).
 
To be honest, it would make me feel bad if people get hurt just because they kill him (which, to be honest, is perfectly justified).
I just read about his report boasting about being one of the figures who brought about the killing of Irish women and children by the Tudor English forces and for it to be seen as acceptable by the establishment.
 
Oof. That Grey guy really isn't good news and exactly the kind of person you don't want enforcing your authority because men like him mean that there will always be fresh revolts and assorted other kinds of unrest.
Well, I guess Ireland's gonna be an ulcer and a half when England comes to blow with Scotland. Congratulation Leonard Grey, you'll be the first head to fall.
To be honest, it would make me feel bad if people get hurt just because they kill him (which, to be honest, is perfectly justified).
I just read about his report boasting about being one of the figures who brought about the killing of Irish women and children by the Tudor English forces and for it to be seen as acceptable by the establishment.
Like in any war of occupation, the English occupiers in Ireland are made up of the sorts that you would not have lunch with on a normal basis. And in those days, the second sons of wealthy magnates are usually the most aggressive and thus more likely to commit acts that we would consider heinous. Leonard Grey was a real POS and the only mistake he made was that he pushed his luck too far, to the point where families such as the Butlers saw him as interfering on their turf, and he got executed by Henry VIII's orders.
 
Tudor Rose over Britannia Chapter 12 New
Henry grinned as he saw Margaret and Edmund walk together in the yard of Newcastle, with his wife Madeleine smiling and talking with them. Whatever Madeleine had said must have done the trick, as his oldest sister and younger brother were truly getting to know each after not seeing each other for over fifteen years. The only person missing was Mary, but she had duties in Denmark, and he would have to arrange another meeting so that she would be able to come.

But as of now, Henry had a private dialogue with his brother-in-law King James. The progress had to move on and while he enjoyed the festivities between the English and Scottish parties, Henry had to focus his mind on state matters again. And with the King of Scotland in the same presence chamber, there would be much to talk about between them.

“I must congratulate you, Your Grace. You have two sons to carry on the Stewart name and one healthy daughter,” Henry began.

“And I must extend my congratulations to you as well,” King James replied back in English, with his distinct Scottish brogue. “You already have two sons to carry on your family’s hold on the English crown. God has blessed you very much.”

“Indeed, Your Grace. Now, I hope that my next child with my queen will be a girl, as England needs to have princesses as well as princes.”

“Very true, King Henry. I have three daughters myself besides Christina. Even though they were not of legitimate birth, I still love them as any father would.”

Henry nodded, for in his mind, no one could blame a king for having mistresses. “As we are both kings and busy men, I believe we should move on to business.”

“Please, King Henry,” King James urged.

“I have heard many reports of men loyal to Lord Bothwell, the commander of your fleet, has been making raids on Northumberland. Why is that, Your Grace?”

King James shook his head. “I would not know of any seaborn marauders making raids on English lands.”

“Of course,” Henry accepted. “However, a soldier reporting to Lord Northumberland was sure that he saw the Bothwell banner on one of the ships as they stole £100 worth of cattle and sheep from his lands.”

“That amount of money, I am sure, is a loss that Lord Northumberland can afford. He is the most powerful lord in Northern England, is he not?”

“At the same time, he is charged with the defense of the border between our countries, and I would be remiss if I ignored his complaints.”

“As I said, King Henry, I know nothing of seaborn marauders raiding Lord Northumberland’s domains. If anything, I have ordered that my lords do nothing to antagonize your kingdom, as I have much to gain from peace with you, so long as you do not go to war with France.”

“Do you believe that you will renew the Auld Alliance?” Henry asked with concern.

“I have no reason to, as our nations are at peace despite the occasional troublemakers. Rest assured, my lords will not disobey my orders, despite their personal feelings.”

Henry was intrigued. “What do you mean by that, King James?”

King James sighed. “There are those who are concerned with your Irish campaign and how quickly you overran that island. I trust that you are aware that the Scottish people have close bonds with the Irish?” Henry nodded. “There are those such as in the Highlands and along the western coast of my kingdom that are concerned, especially since Ulster is now completely controlled by your troops and is within striking distance of lands belong to clans like the MacDonalds.”

Henry was frankly concerned about the clans in Ireland and in Scotland, for they behaved like the same nobles that led England to over thirty years of civil war in that they held loyalty only to their clan leader and not their sovereign lord and king. “I trust that you can keep the clans under control.”

“If I am to be honest with you, King Henry, there is only so much that I can do regarding the clans in especially the Highlands. The Romans failed to conquer them, my predecessors were not entirely successful in bringing them under control, and it was Highlanders who ultimately showed to your predecessors that you could not subjugate Scotland as long as the Highlands remained untouched.”

Henry crossed his arms. “If that is the case, King James, should any of your clans behave out of line and causes trouble with my troops, will you come to their defense?”

“I am their king, and I therefore have a responsibility to protect them.” Henry stiffened. “But as I ordered them to keep the peace, if one of them went on an unauthorized expedition against England, I will not do anything because why would I exert effort on behalf of those who disobeyed my commands?”

Henry was not entirely satisfied with his brother-in-law’s response, but it would have to do. “I am glad that we have an understanding.”

Later, Henry saw Edmund, Madeleine, and Margaret playing cards along with Edmund’s friends, Anthony Browne and Anthony Denny. As he approached them, both Anthonys bowed in reverence to their king while his siblings and sister-in-law simply stood up.

“What are you playing?” Henry asked as he sat down to join them.

“Pope Julius, my king,” Madeleine answered.

“But where is the money?” Henry knew that it was a gambling game.

“We are wagering on what gifts we can give each other instead, Harry,” Margaret answered. “So far, Edmund will get a Scottish dagger from me, Madeleine will give me a necklace from Paris, and Master Denny here will receive a favor from Ned, the favor being that he will talk to St. John’s College and allow him entry.”

Henry liked what they were wagering. “In that case, I will put forward my own wager.” He turned to both Anthony Denny and Anthony Browne. “Gentlemen, if the both of you can outplay me, I shall grant you knighthoods.”

Denny and Browne dipped their heads. “Thank you, Your Grace.”

Henry then turned to Madeleine. “Madeleine, will you join the hunt tomorrow? Ellie will also come.”

Madeleine’s face brightened up, as did Edmund’s. “If it is Your Grace’s pleasure.”

“It is. Excellent. You can come also, Meg, but please ask your husband first.”

Margaret nodded. “I shall be delighted, Harry,” before they finished shuffling the cards and they played.



Boats from the western coast of Scotland approached their mark slowly and quietly. All of the daylight is veiled by the growing darkness, as dusk was upon them. One of the rowers began making too much noise while pulling on his oar.

Lord MacDonald turned around and hissed at the rower. “Quiet! We do not those English shites to find out we’re coming.” The rower, as well as the others in the nearby boats, nodded in understanding. They were nearing a very dangerous part of the English-occupied lands and they needed to maintain stealth if they wanted to succeed in their mission.

Alexander Carragh MacDonald, 5th Lord of Dunnyveg, had heard of this Antrim relatives’ call for help when the English overran Ulster, with their king himself leading the charge. As they all carried the same blood and were descended from John of Islay, son of Angus MacDonald, the Highlander hero at Bannockburn, Alexander had to go help them. However, King James got wind of his relatives’ call for help as well and forbid them from committing an unsanctioned attack on the English garrison in Ireland. Naturally, the Highlanders and those along the western coast of Scotland protested, as increased English presence in Ireland would naturally threaten their territories, but they could do nothing.

At last, his Antrim relatives sent a representative to Islay, in which they saw his back had been brutalized by English whips. Lord MacDonald hesitated to go against the orders of King James, but in the face of growing anger amongst the clan and realizing that his position as the clan leader if he continued to do nothing, he assembled one hundred volunteers and rowed across the sea towards the coast of Ulster.

Once they assembled with their Antrim relatives at Dunluce Castle, the main fortress of the MacDonalds, Lord Alexander was able to gather a total of two hundred and fifty men. They decided that their destination would be Carra Castle, home of Conn O’Neill, formerly king and now Baron O’Neill of Tyrone. His uncle was killed by the English king’s troops and to the Gaelic lords in Ulster, he was a coward since he submitted to England too easily. It certainly did not help that the Archbishop of Armagh essentially forced him to submit on pain of excommunication, meaning that the Irish church was on the side of England.

All of the clansmen judged that the O’Neills were weak, as the only reason why they remained in power and in control of their lands was because of the English garrison at Carra Castle. If they could take charge of that castle, they could then move on the O’Neill lands. Also, this would send a message to the rest of the English garrisons in Ireland that it would take more than a few years of sieges for them to truly defeat Gaelic valor. Lord MacDonald, along with his clan, identified themselves with Gaelic tradition anyways rather than as subjects of Scotland.

Satisfied that they were not detected, they landed their boats about a mile away from Carra Castle. Ensuring that their boats were hidden, Lord MacDonald’s men sneaked all the way to the gates, which were surprisingly open.

“Arrogant bastards,” one of the clansmen scoffed. “They think they won and that no one is going to fight them.”

“Save that talk, Angus. We have yet to begin fighting,” Lord MacDonald said to him.

“Look!” another clansman pointed. They saw an English soldier walk outside of the gate and pulling down his pants to relive himself. That clansman did not wait and a few others followed him as they ran towards that soldier.

“Wait!” Lord MacDonald tried to call them back in vain. Instead, he could only watch as that clansman pulled out his knife and threw it at the soldier’s neck, killing him instantly. Groaning, he had to support his kin. “Charge! Charge!”

As they charged through the gate, they found only six other English soldiers inside and they were quickly overcome. The MacDonald clansmen got them all on their knees while they found the rest of the castle emptied.

“Where is your lord? Your captain?” Lord MacDonald mustered his best English.

“Lord O’Neill and Sir Thomas are at Dundalk,” one of them answered. “They are meeting with Lord Kildare.”

Lord MacDonald cursed in Gaelic, for they had missed their chance to cause major damage at the first time. Not willing to take prisoners, he told his clansmen to cut their prisoners’ throats and he watched as they bled to death on the castle yard. “Burn everything here!” he commanded.

After taking the castle’s livestock and anything of value, the MacDonald clansmen burned everything else. As they left, Carra Castle went up in smoke and Lord MacDonald swore that the fire could be seen for miles around against the darkness of the night. However, they failed to do the first strike against their English enemies and their Irish collaborators, and he knew that it would not be so easy the next time.

With their plunder, they rowed back to Dunluce Castle, anticipating a response.

It's quite fascinating but yet very dark, the history associated with Clan Donald and its many branches, with one being the victim of the infamous Glen Coe massacre.
 
Hmm, well, I don’t blame the highlanders for being concerned by the English activity in Ireland. But if this goes on it is definitely going to widen the rift between England and Scotland.
 
Tudor Rose over Britannia Chapter 13 New
Autumn 1518

Edmund sat on the center seat of the long table, alongside the Duke of Norfolk, William Rokeby as both the Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, John Rawson as the Lord Treasurer of Ireland, Richard Golding as Chief Baron of the Exchequer, Thomas Rochfort as the Master of the Rolls, and Patrick Bermingham as both the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland and Lord Chief Justice. Also in attendance was Lord Kildare and Sir Thomas Clifford, younger son of Lord Clifford who remained in Ireland after being appointed as Constable of Dublin Castle.

Before them was Sir Humphrey Dacre, the second son of Thomas Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre, whose family hailed from Cumberland and was very influential throughout northern England. Sir Humphrey took part in the opening stages of the Irish campaign and took part in the subjugation of the O’Rourke kings of Breifne. For his services and as a favor to Lord Dacre, Henry granted him ten thousand acres in the new county of Coleraine, centered around the town of the same name. Sir Humphrey was also appointed the sheriff of the county, meaning that maintaining law and order in Coleraine was his responsibility.

And that was the reason why Sir Humphrey stood before Edmund and the other members of the ruling council of Ireland, for they received reports of increased rebel activity along the Ulster coasts.

“And you say that Irish rebels came in and just… burned your castle?” the Duke of Norfolk asked.

“Yes, Your Grace. However, some of the people in the town also said that they heard Scottish voices amongst the raiders. I have reason to believe that the Scots are involved in the wanton destruction of my castle and the theft of my livestock,” Sir Humphrey answered.

“And how would they know what the Scots sound like, Sir Humphrey?” Edmund asked.

“Your Highness, the people in my county have close links with the clans along the western coast of Scotland. From what I had read, the peoples between those regions have enjoyed freedom of movement until now.”

Edmund’s private secretary kept track of everything that was said. “If what you say is true, why do you think that the Scots have decided to attack your lands now?” Edmund continued his line of inquiry.

“Your Highness, with our arrival in Ireland, or our imposition of more direct rule from England, the old structures that have influenced the fabric of the Irish people are under threat. Your Highness might have completed the conquest of this country a few months ago, but I have discovered that nothing much has changed besides the appointments of Englishmen in positions of power. The clans are still in control and we now have those in our Irish lands that have close links with the those along the Scottish western coast, which we cannot reach.”

Edmund sighed. William Rokeby decided to ask his own question. “But you are the sheriff of County Coleraine. What measures have you undertaken to ensure that law and order is maintained?”

Sir Humphrey kept silent, catching the council’s attention. “Answer the archbishop’s question, Sir Humphrey,” Norfolk pressed.

Edmund then had to ask. “When did the most recent rebel raid occur, Sir Humphrey?”

“Five days ago, Your Highness.”

The Duke of Somerset groaned. “So, instead of trying to control the situation as mandated by your duties as sheriff, your first instinct was to come here and ask us for help?”

Sir Humphrey gulped. “Do you not have six hundred men under your command, Sir Humphrey?” Norfolk was also clearly annoyed.

“As this is a set of circumstances that I had not anticipated, my lords, I came here for guidance.”

Edmund shook his head. “Sir Humphrey, what is the point of making you sheriff and putting you in charge of a garrison if you are not going to use your powers and troops to solve a problem by yourself?”

The Lord Chancellor stepped in. “Wait outside, Sir Humphrey.” He dipped his head before leaving the council chamber.

“Well, my lords, it appears that so soon after I had completed the subjugation of this country, we are already facing a rebellion on our hands,” Edmund remarked.

“Should we not put all of the garrisons on alert, especially those along the Irish coasts, Your Highness?” Sir Thomas Clifford suggested.

“We should also send out agents throughout the country,” Lord Kildare added. “We have to ensure that any unrest does not reach unmanageable levels and have those loyal to the crown report on those with treasonous intentions.”

“We have to also remind the Irish people on who should command their loyalties,” the Lord Chief Justice put forward. “Your Highness, I believe it is time that we begin to dismantle the clan system.”

“That is easier said than done, my lord,” Lord Kildare pointed out. “With the arrival of the king’s troops, all of the privileges enjoyed by the clans and their leaders were ended. However, we have to keep in mind that the clans also represent families, and the same families that are part of the clans have inhabited this island for over a thousand years. If we try to do eliminate the clans too quickly, not only will we face outright rebellion. The entire social fabric of this country might be ripped apart.”

“So, Lord Kildare, you mean to say that we are to tolerate treasonous actions because of how the Irish people view family?” Norfolk posed.

“With respect, Your Grace, you are not an Irishman and you have not been in this country before a few years ago. If we assume a drastic approach, we will be facing years of rebellion, guaranteed.”

Edmund saw the merits in both arguments. However, he had a duty to his brother the king and to his family, which took precedence over other types of concerns. “So far, the raids are only occurring along the coasts and we have not received reports on disturbances further inland. To prevent the raiders from even coming close to the shores, should we not hire boatmen to fight them?”

“Your Highness, we can call up fishermen and other merchants to hand over their boats for armed purposes, but along the southern coasts. The northern coasts will be trickier, as Ulster is too close to Scotland and as previously stated, the people will not take well to their freedom of movement being restricted,” Sir Thomas Clifford stated.

“Well, we should do something.” Edmund made up his mind. “I propose that a levy be raised, a small one to gather ships and sailors, for the purposes of protecting our coasts. All in favor?” Despite Sir Thomas’ words, all of the councilmembers raised their hands. “Very good. We should also reinforce especially the coasts of Ulster, ever since the reports came of those aligned with the Scottish MacDonald clan raiding those areas and stealing livestock. We cannot have that, not while the harvest is underway.”

“Agreed, Your Highness.” The Duke of Norfolk was a reliable partner and Edmund appreciated his presence in Ireland.

Although he planned on spending the harvest season overseeing his estates in England, Edmund had to respond to what was happening in Ireland, as that was part of his official duties as Lord Lieutenant. However, he intended on spending Christmastide with Henry, Eleanor, his nephews, and his mother at Eltham, so he was not going to stay for long in Dublin Castle.

Edmund was also anxious to return to England for another reason. Just last month, he and Madeleine were informed that they were about to be parents, for his wife’s belly had quickened. Henry, Eleanor, and his mother were overjoyed, with Henry looking forward to being an uncle while his mother wanted another grandchild. As usual, many were hoping for a boy, as that would secure the Somerset line of the Tudor family, although they did not worry about the royal line now that Eleanor gave birth to two sons. Margaret in Scotland and Mary in Denmark also sent letters of congratulations after they both received the news.

Madeleine could not come with him, as travel was deemed harmful for their baby and thus, she had to be confined at court in preparation for the birth. However, they still wrote letters to each other and both Henry and Eleanor assured him that the physicians were giving her the best care possible.

Once Edmund had completed his duties and delegated the responsibilities in Ireland to the proper figures, he would embark on the first boat out of Dublin. Norfolk would also join him, for he too did not wish to stay in Ireland longer than necessary and he had interests in England that needed his constant attention.

“How is my cousin doing up in Berwick?” Edmund asked the Duke of Norfolk. The Duke was married to his aunt Anne of York, and out of the four children she bore him before she died, only one survived, a son named Thomas, who was now called the Earl of Surrey.

“He finds the management of a castle a good education, better than the one I had provided him, Your Highness.” Part of the reason why the Duke remained in the affection of Edmund’s family was because of cousin Thomas, who was the only son of Anne of York and therefore deemed precious after she died.

“That is good to hear, Your Grace. But tell him to not get too comfortable up in the north. Myself and the king might have use for our beloved cousin soon enough.”

“Of course.” The Duke was astute enough to remain in the good graces of the Tudor family, especially after he saw what happened to all other nobles with Yorkist blood when they tried to rebel like the poor departed John de La Pole, Earl of Lincoln. As with Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devon and son of Catherine of York, the Duke’s son and heir grew up close to his Tudor cousins. However, Edmund preferred his cousin Thomas, particularly since the Earl of Devon was very prone to debauchery and heavy feasting, just like his brother and the Duke of Suffolk while Thomas was more earnest and appreciated the value of hard work. This was shown when Thomas went over the account books for Dublin Castle over a full day and recognized deficiencies in the tax collection and other streams of revenues. For that, Edmund recommended that he be appointed Governor of Berwick Castle along the Scottish border, which Henry confirmed.

As they boarded the ship back to England, Edmund could not wait to spend time close to Madeleine and his arriving child. Although everyone prayed for a boy, for there was no harm in three Tudor princes being born within a short span of time, Edmund himself did not mind, for he was going to love their child just as much as he grew to love Madeleine. All he could do now was pray and hope that no complications came during the birth.

I had the only confirmed child of the Duke of Norfolk and Anne of York live because that would probably be a good reason why the Duke would be quick to support Edmund. But oh man, the trouble in Ireland is just starting.
 
Of course. They get too obtrusive with their raiding and henry's gonna rain hellfire on them (and probably as much of scotland as he can too since he'll almost certainly assume that james was in on it and just being a lying bastard)
Either that, or Henry will deem that James lost control of his subjects and the consequences will be just as bad
 
Tudor Rose over Britannia Chapter 14 New
Elizabeth held Edmund’s hands as they heard Madeleine’s screams outside the chamber. She did her best to reassure her son, especially since this would be his first child. Henry and Eleanor both had matters of state to attend to, with the former with the privy council and the latter with the ambassador from Portugal, but they had their best physicians attending to Madeleine.

“Please, Ned. It will be all right,” Elizabeth said after seeing her son strain against the cries of his wife.

“I try to remind myself of that. I remember when Eleanor gave birth to both Edward and Lionel, but this is my child.”

Elizabeth kissed his forehead. “Your father felt the same when we had Arthur, but all we could do was to put our trust in our God. And I am sure that if your father was still alive, he would be happy for you today.”

Elizabeth knew that for certain, even though Edmund did not know his own father that well.

Then, one of the wet nurses approached them. “Queen Elizabeth, Prince Edmund. The Duchess has delivered a boy, a healthy son.”

Elizabeth gasped happily while Edmund could not believe what he was hearing. Seeing her son was unable to move from his own happiness, Elizabeth pulled her son towards the chamber and they both saw the nurses wiping the sweat off of Madeleine’s brow while she held their baby in her arms.

“Ned,” she whispered while Edmund went forward and kissed Madeleine before looking upon their son.

“My God. He is so beautiful.”

“A blessing indeed,” Elizabeth looked upon her newest grandson. They both saw that the boy had auburn hair while they could make out blue eyes.

“What shall we name him, Ned?” Madeleine asked him.

Now that their son was born, Edmund did have a few names that would be proper for a Tudor prince. Both Henry and Edmund were safe choices, while Edward and John were good choices for those from a Lancastrian or Yorkist line. However, there were already many Henrys in England, the Prince of Wales was named Edward, and he thought to reserve Edmund for another son if he was so blessed. At the same time, he thought it would be unwise for him to use a name from one of his Welsh ancestors for his son, as the Tudors had to maintain their new English identity while slowly making others accept their Welsh roots.

“Queen Elizabeth, why did your name Ned’s brother Arthur?” Madeleine asked.

Elizabeth was brought to when she married Henry Tudor and they had grand plans for their firstborn son. “The Tudor name needed to be established and what better way to proceed cementing the Tudor dynasty than associating it with the legacy of King Arthur and his court of Camelot? That is why we chose Winchester as his birthplace.”

Madeleine nodded, for she also knew the story. “While I was going through the history of this country, I came across a great king, one that repelled the pagan barbarians and helped keep England for the English. And was Winchester not the capital of this king’s kingdom?”

Edmund recognized who she was talking about. “Alfred?”

“You said that the Tudor name had to be associated with England and what better name than that of Alfred the Great?” Madeleine posed. “I remember reading that Henry III had the same thing in mind when he named his heir before he came to the throne as Edward I.”

Edmund and Elizabeth looked at each other. Alfred was not a common name, but so was Edward before the Hammer of the Scots ascended to the English crown. And there was no harm in further legitimizing the Tudor name than with one of their princes being named after a great king.

“Then let it be so.” Edmund smiled at his son. “Alfred Tudor, future Duke of Somerset, we are so happy to see you.”



Eleanor met with the Portuguese ambassador to the English court. Her sister Catherine, the future Queen of Portugal, expressed her father-in-law’s intentions to renew the alliance between England and Portugal, which would be accomplished by a marriage between Edward and a Portuguese princess. Such a marriage would require a papal dispensation, as both the Tudors and the Portuguese royal family had the blood of John of Gaunt in their veins, but Eleanor’s sister and her Portuguese in-laws were fairly confident that the pope would sign it. Even though the war with France had ended, there was no certainty that the French would simply give up their Italian claims. Eleanor knew that the pope was not very pleased that England was distracted by the Irish campaign, but out of a wish to not antagonize England, the pope did not protest.

Eleanor had to groan. Even though the pope and other churchmen interfering with temporal politics was not a new occurrence, Eleanor did not relish having to negotiate the contradictions between her religious faith and her obligations as a secular authority onto herself.

“I bring salutations and blessings from your sister, Princess Catherine,” the Portuguese ambassador began with while speaking Spanish. “And I also bring congratulations on her behalf, for England can take comfort that they have four Tudor princes, including the Duke of Somerset, that will ensure that the same dynasty will remain on the English throne.”

“Indeed, ambassador,” Eleanor replied back in Spanish. “After thirty wars of civil war, a succession crisis is the last thing people in England want and with the birth of my nephew Prince Alfred, the threat of such strife is further away.”

The Portuguese ambassador nodded. “I have brought forward an offer from your brother-in-law and your sister, Queen Eleanor. As the Prince of Wales is still healthy and will grow into a fine man, it is important that negotiations begin for his marriage.”

Eleanor sighed. “I agree with my sister’s reasoning, my lord, but you came forward at a very awkward time for us all. We have to ensure that peace is maintained in our new holdings in Ireland and we also received approaches from especially Italian sailors asking us to fund their exploration of the New World. With the peace and new incomes from Ireland, my husband the king has his sights focused on new sources of wealth.”

“That can be part of any betrothal agreement between our two kingdoms, Queen Eleanor,” the ambassador said. “We have expanding interests in the New World and especially in the far distant lands of India. Portugal has become rich and we believe that sharing that wealth with England will go a long way to ensuring the our alliance continues.”

“Of course.” Although Eleanor knew that Henry was more likely to spend money rather than try to make more, he was not going to deny a chance to increase his wealth, as the wars he wanted to fight with France would be expensive. “But I would ask that you save your negotiations for a later date, for we are preparing to christen the future Duke of Somerset and undertaking more policies to full incorporate Ireland into England. We also are in the process of creating my two sons as the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, respectively.”

“I understand, Queen Eleanor. However, I would recommend that you do not delay. There are many who would seek the hand of Princess Maria. There is even talk that your brother-in-law would grant her the duchy of Viseu in perpetuity along with other incomes when he becomes king, so the monetary benefits of a Portuguese marriage to an English prince is undeniable.”

Eleanor nodded, as that was one of the reasons why her in-laws also pursued the marriage with the de La Tour woman. And if she was being honest, she would like a Portuguese princess to be married to her eldest son, but it was too soon, and Henry would have the final decision despite her own personal feelings. Most importantly, it would be premature since there were probably more than a dozen eligible princesses from families also wanting to be connected to England. She was a queen, and she had to look through all available options.

Manuel I of Portugal did have one daughter by Maria of Aragon, but she was stillborn (here, she lived). Also, hoped you liked my choice of name for Edmund's first son.
 
ooo so we’re talking the Infanta maria who was born and died in 1513 IOTL for edward’s future wife? Also I’m not sure I would’ve gone with Alfred for the future Duke of Somerset, Henry seems more appropriate and I don’t even know if Alfred was used in England at this time anymore. But it’s your TL so it’s fine.
 
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