To be a Fox and a Lion - A Different Nordic Renaissance

a Hyperborean Constantine, shining bright with the image of threefold scepters, shadowing the names and deeds of other princes.[
If he is not called the great you have got to be joking me, he accomplished all that in 15-17 years
Edit:wonder what else he will accomplish in his reign

How much population does Scandinavia even have at this point given the wars that have been going on?
 
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It's Back! :love:

So, Christian has done it. I think it is safe to say that Christian has gotten himself over the hump. Not to say that it will be anything approaching easy from this point, but I think one can say that Christian's job by this point is just to not mess it up. If he can honestly just preserve the gains he's made here with Sweden and Denmark, he'll arguably leave the Oldenburg monarchy in a better position than it likely ever was in history. He basically pushed Denmark a century forward in relation to OTL, and he'll have combined the resources of Sweden and Denmark and have negated the massive amount of resources each country spent fighting the other in OTL.

Honestly, I'd say Christian being satisfied with these gains and laying back to put the kingdom on better financial footing through several decades of peace would be smart. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's Christian's style. I suspect he'll at least poke his nose into the religious stuff (the Diet of Speyer is coming up), press a few more claims in North America, and probably start to see if he can spread his influence in Livonia.

As for that map...You know you're reading a good story when you see a fief map like that, quickly go back to the first, and lay back with a feeling of genuine pride and accomplishment with Christian. Good job.
Indeed, IMHO Christian II is now posed to actually implement (or attempt to implement) the many changes he's wrought over Danish and Scandinavian society. There are several loose ends still: The feudal status of Holstein and the Wend Hanse needs to be effectuated and the feud with Lübeck settled. Finland is still in open rebellion, and even if the Sture cause is more or less doomed, it still needs to be attended to. Furthermore, there's the whole restructuring of governance under the new hereditary monarchy that needs to be settled. However, given Christian's OTL and ATL tendency to rush thing through as soon as a thought enters his mind, we might not be in for a steady period of consolidation.

Livonia is a ticking bomb waiting to go off, but I don't think the fuse is short enough in 1523.

Doesn't really need to say this, going to say it anyway, this is a great timeline in all aspects, it's a enjoyment to read, incrtedible well researched and very exciting.
Thank you! Glad you continue to enjoy it.

I would say that Christian II doesn't need to be a early adopter, if he decides to tolerate the early Protestant, while not official adopting the faith, he can wait until the 1540ties to take a decision, he could also stay official Catholic his entire life and let his heir decides. But if persecute the Lutherans it will likely result in a less elegant solution. In fact the nobles could use that as a tool to weaken royal power, with the nobility claiming the right to choose confession on their own estates. In the long run that will likely result in a mess where the Scandinavian nobles (while the German ones end up Lutherans) end up as reformed and their peasants end up reformed too and the burghers and landowning peasant going Protestant too, with only the royal peasantry and the Norwegians staying Catholic. That would lead to some ugly conflicts down the road, where bughers and nobles end up allied to each other. He also risk that the nobles will use this as a tool to make the fiefs heritable.
This is the reading I'm tending towards at the moment - a kind of Frederick I situation where Christian II remains outwardly a Catholic, but with such a reform-drive that he more or less brings the North into the Protestant orbit. I imagine that Hans II is given an upbringing much alike that of his father (ie. spending considerable time in burgher households) and consequently becomes even more endeared to the lower estates - and as such Protestantism. However, Lutheranism was already creeping into both the cities of the Sound Provinces, parts of the Duchies and even amongst some of the top members of the high nobility (Mogens Gøye).

I don't think the Danish nobility would try to press for a regional kind of Cuius regio, eius religio doctrine, because they're simply not sovereign princes. Neither would it necessarily be in their interest to make fief-holding hereditary.


We're on AH.com nothing is too nerdy.
Well true, but the story also needs to move forward.

Another interesting fact that I read in the book, was the danish policy towards the bishoprics of Bremen and Verden. Their strategic position between the Weser and the Elbe made the bishoprics a prime prize for younger sons. Christian III sought to secure Bremen for his younger brother Frederick, but his death prevented it. Christian IV "through bribery, threats of force, and skilful negotiation, he secured for Frederik the coadjutorships of Bremen (1621) and Verden (1623), as well as the post of bishop-administrator of Halberstadt (1624)."
Indeed, the "Episcopal Policy" (stiftspolitikken) of Christian IV was a highly interesting mix of a dynastic imperative and stone-cold power politics about the extremely valuable Elbe/Weser riverine trade. Depending on how the Reformation unfolds in Northern Germany, these secularised bishoprics would be very valuable as places to drop off spare sons (of which the king has a great deal ITTL) and ensure they still maintain a princely lifestyle.

What Lockhart doesn't mention is the fact that Christian IV even wanted to go to war with Bremen, when the city continued to drag its feet about the coadjutorship of his younger son Frederick. This was prevented by the council of the realm which refused to sanction the feud.


I would also imangie they might try to further control over Sweden and Norway aka integration
Sweden is a very interesting case as of now. In my mind, I'm a bit torn over how easily the realm could be further integrated without renewed resistance. The most probable course would be for the viceregal government to establish itself and act as a proper authority. The consolidation of the three realms' mercantile policy would, IMO, help in lessening the at this point somewhat inherent Swedish resentment towards the union. Still, I haven't ruled out the chance of a second Kalmar treaty.

But i could see it happening as part of a gambit as to promote Scandinavia as the 'Emperor of Protestantism' or some sort if Butterflies doesn't remove the War of Religion in Northern HRE
I think an armed confrontation between Protestants and Catholics in the Empire is still very much on. Of course, it also depends on how the reformation plays out in Scandinavia. Still, without a fiercely orthodox Protestant North (whose sovereign is related to the emperor), I imagine that the North German princes might be a bit more cautious in forcing a confrontation.

If he is not called the great you have got to be joking me, he accomplished all that in 15-17 years
Edit:wonder what else he will accomplish in his reign

How much population does Scandinavia even have at this point given the wars that have been going on?
Indeed, but remember that even Margaret I (arguably the most skilled and accomplished Scandinavian sovereign of all time) wasn't known as the Great in posterity.

Population-wise, IIRC, Denmark and Sweden (with Finland) each had some 600.000 inhabitants while Norway had around 200.000. I can't remember the numbers for the duchies, but as they were the most heavily populated and urbanised domains of the Oldenburg composite monarchy, I guess they in total must have been on par with Norway at least.
 
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would be for the
The what?
However, Lutheranism was already creeping into both the cities of the Sound Provinces, parts of the Duchies and even amongst some of the top members of the high nobility
he more or less brings the North into a Protestant orbit
Given the decreased influence of germans on Scandinavia and the increasing russian influence through trade(i imagine they have or will gain considerable influence )could a Scandinavian reformation reform on orthodox lines?(eastern orthodox)(iotl there was talk between orthodox and protestant theologians)I could see the moderate clergy accepting such a thing since so as to keep the traditions of the church(it is an interesting thought )
 
The what?
Arh, you're too quick! I hadn't even finished my edit yet.

Given the decreased influence of germans on Scandinavia and the increasing russian influence through trade(i imagine they have or will gain considerable influence )could a Scandinavian reformation reform on orthodox lines?(eastern orthodox)(iotl there was talk between orthodox and protestant theologians)I could see the moderate clergy accepting such a thing since so as to keep the traditions of the church(it is an interesting thought )
I wasn't aware of any theological discourse between Protestant and Orthodox clergy in OTL, but to me there's negligible chance of Orthodox influence on reform for the following reasons:

1. Russian influence was minimal at this point in Scandinavia. Besides, the Muscovite state was perceived as an alien 'other' by the Swedes - the boogeyman of the East, if you will. This was most recently shown in the war of 1495 where Ivan III sent a force into Finland as part of an alliance with Hans I or in the panicked rumours that the Danish king had promised the grand prince Finland as part of a marriage alliance between Christian II and Ivan's daughter.

2. German (as in Hanse) mercantile influence might be decreasing as a result of the rise of Dutch and Nordic trade companies, but culturally speaking, Denmark (and Scandinavia on the whole) very much remains part of the North German Kulturraum. A majority of Scandinavian prelates were educated at German universities (Greifswald being a particular favourite) while in OTL, Christian II sent for scholars from Wittenberg to invigorate the university of Copenhagen. As such, it would make little sense for the impulse of reform to originate anywhere else, IMHO.
 
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This is the reading I'm tending towards at the moment - a kind of Frederick I situation where Christian II remains outwardly a Catholic, but with such a reform-drive that he more or less brings the North into the Protestant orbit. I imagine that Hans II is given an upbringing much alike that of his father (ie. spending considerable time in burgher households) and consequently becomes even more endeared to the lower estates - and as such Protestantism. However, Lutheranism was already creeping into both the cities of the Sound Provinces, parts of the Duchies and even amongst some of the top members of the high nobility (Mogens Gøye).
Another way would be to make Christian II outwardly being inclined to follow the pope, but being very hands-off in terms of what his subjects believed in terms of religion, as long as they honored the core tenets of Christianity and the Bible. Implicitly acting as if any Christian denomination (defined as upholding the Bible) were to be equally accepted, optionally defending his position from theological accusations, by pointing out acknowledged Catholic thinkers of past that was mutually imcompatible.


I think an armed confrontation between Protestants and Catholics in the Empire is still very much on. Of course, it also depends on how the reformation plays out in Scandinavia. Still, without a fiercely orthodox Protestant North (whose sovereign is related to the emperor), I imagine that the North German princes might be a bit more cautious in forcing a confrontation.
Oh, i agree that some sort of confrontation between Protestants and Catholics are probable, but it might things might be different enough that it doesn't neatly influence Scandinavia.

That said ... a person such as Christian II might well be caught up in a realpolitik line of thought deciding that the relationship with the Emperor is worth less than substansially increased influence in Northern HRE
 
If the Oldenburgs go Prot but have Habsburg blood, the Netherlands might have a good alternative to Philip II...
Well, there's still a good deal of time before the events that kicked off the Dutch revolt. Maybe ATL Philip II avoids appointing the Duke of Alba as his governor in the Netherlands?

I can't wait to see what is happening meanwhile on the alternative Italian War!
You're in luck! Next chapter will focus largely on wider European events, including Italy.

Another way would be to make Christian II outwardly being inclined to follow the pope, but being very hands-off in terms of what his subjects believed in terms of religion, as long as they honored the core tenets of Christianity and the Bible. Implicitly acting as if any Christian denomination (defined as upholding the Bible) were to be equally accepted, optionally defending his position from theological accusations, by pointing out acknowledged Catholic thinkers of past that was mutually imcompatible.
Well, Denmark already has more or less severed all ties with Rome bar acknowledging the pope as head of the universal church. I have, however, painted myself into quite a bit of a corner with including Poul Helgesen in the current events. He's gonna react quite virulently to any "spreading of Lutheran poison."

Oh, i agree that some sort of confrontation between Protestants and Catholics are probable, but it might things might be different enough that it doesn't neatly influence Scandinavia.

That said ... a person such as Christian II might well be caught up in a realpolitik line of thought deciding that the relationship with the Emperor is worth less than substansially increased influence in Northern HRE
One modern reading of his religiosity is that he in fact was an earnest and devoted Lutheran. Simply because his decision to change confession while at the mercy of his brother-in-law the emperor made absolutely no political sense whatsoever.

@Milites what was the situation in Newfoundland/Vinland/ Terra Nova over thw winter 1522-1523?
Probably cold, wet, freezing and with very rather low quality food. Just like being home in fact!
 
Chapter 22: Another Arrow Through the Lion's Jaw
Chapter 22
Another Arrow Through the Lion's Jaw



Help this pure Realme, in partyis all devydit !
Us ſuccour ſend, that wair the crown of thorne
That with the gift of grace it may be gydit !

For, but thy help, this Kynrick is forlorne
-
William Dunbar, 1517[1]





With the acclamation of Christian II’s hereditary monarchy at Viborg, Scandinavia was finally set upon a path towards peace. In Sweden, Henrik Krummedige skillfully pursued Måns Bryntesson Lilliehöök through Närke and Västergötland, trapping the remnant of the Sture host inside the episcopal city of Skara. Withstanding the unionists for a time, Lilliehöök was never the less compelled to surrender when Norwegian and loyalist Västgöta troops under Ture Jönsson of Älvsborg and Karl Knutsson of Bohus joined the besiegers. Although he had been promised safe conduct and amnesty, Måns Bryntesson was seized by the viceroy’s men and sent packing to Stockholm in irons. This double-cross failed to stir up much sympathy amongst the war-weary Swedish nobility as the disgraced Lilliehöök had proven himself “... twice a traitor and double a turn-cloak.” By Christmastide 1523 Sweden had more or less been subdued and rebel activity contained to the rural parishes of Dalarna and Värmland. Finland alone held out for Lady Kristina, but Henrik Krummedige was confident that with Denmark secured, the king would send “... a magnificent force of men and ships...” to break the backs of the intransigent Sture widow and her partisans.

At Åbo, the Sture court greatly lamented the death of Magnus Eriksson and the rapid collapse of the Finlandsjunker’s cause in Sweden proper. Finland was sparsely populated with the main settlements scattered along the Baltic coastline, making the provinces vulnerable to seaborne attacks by the formidable Oldenburg Navy Royal. Without having a coherent fighting force in the field in Sweden, there was nothing to prevent Krummedige or the king himself to come East across the Sea of Åland and reestablish the crown’s authority. As such, time was running out for Lady Kristina. She had little faith that a compromise could be reached with either Christian II, with whom she was entangled in a virtual Danse Macabre, or with the unionist ascendancy in Stockholm, who hated her for the 1519 execution of Sten Kristiernsson Oxenstierna[2]. The only course left was to seek help from abroad. An embassy under Knut Mikaelsson was dispatched to king Sigismund of Poland, but given the failure of the first mission[3] and the fact that the armistice between Poland and the German Order established at the Compromise of Tórun would soon expire, the Lady Steward did not expect much of it. Consequently (and much more controversially), a second embassy was secretly sent East to the court of the Grand Duke of Moscow, Vasili III. Headed by the veteran Sture enforcer, Peder Jakobsson, the delegation was to request immediate Russian military support against the Oldenburg menace and, eventually, material and monetary assistance in reconquering Sweden proper. In exchange, Jakobsson was mandated to offer wide territorial concessions in Finland[4], perhaps as far West as Tavastehus. The fact that Lady Kristina was moved to seek help with the hated Muscovites is testament to how dire the Sture position was and a contributing factor to the secrecy by which the embassy was organised. Still, one cannot help but wonder whether the Sture regent fully understood what a Pandora’s Box she was about to open.

Whilst the Stures were resolved to continue the fight against Christian II, Lübeck was, conversely, desperately looking for a way to end the fighting. One by one, the confederated cities of the Wendish Hansa had been seized by Albrecht VII’s Landsknecht army. Rostock’s fall in late 1522 was followed by that of Wismar in March the following year. By June 1523, the Duke of Mecklenburg had marched unopposed into the Elbe-provinces owned by the Fredericikian ally Magnus I of Saxe-Lauenburg and was thereby well placed to launch an attack on Lübeck itself. Matters only worsened when Søren Norby rejoined the Danish navy blockading the mouth of Lübecker Bay in July. Bringing with him the remaining Fähnleins in Christian II’s employ, Norby managed to seize the strong, but weakly garrisoned fortress-city of Travemünde, paving the way for the Oldenburg fleet to, as the admiral put it himself “... ravage that city which is called the Queen of the Hansa.”

Although Lübeck’s formidable walls might have withstood a prolonged siege, it was apparent to all that the war had been lost. The reigning city council headed by the savvy Thomas von Wickede was, furthermore, pressed from within to initiate armistice negotiations by a grumbling peace party headed by Evangelicals such as Jürgen Wullenwever and Herman Israhel[5]. Clinging to the vain hope that the allies might squabble amongst themselves for long enough that help might arrive from Danzig and the Baltic League, von Wickede was finally moved to seek terms when Christian II himself brought the remaining Oldenburg forces down from Viborg and joined his host to those of Søren Norby and Albrecht von Mecklenburg. Gathering in Hamburg under the auspices of Sigismund von Herberstein and Dr. Johann Sucket, the two sides sat down to bring an end to the short, but devastating conflict.

When the subsequent Treaty of Hamburg was signed on August 19th 1523, it signalled the complete vindication of the imperial proclamation of 1521. The Hanseatic League was forced to acknowledge the transfer of feudal suzerainty over Holstein from the Bishop of Lübeck to Christian II. Furthermore, the city humiliatingly pledged to accept the Sound Due and the presence of Nordic and Dutch merchantmen in the Baltic. However, the Danish claim to territory within the city of Lübeck[6] itself was not pressed by the king’s negotiators Albert Jepsen Ravnsberg and Ove Bille, who understood that such a demand would be both difficult to effectuate and almost impossible for the Lübeckers to accept. The Counts of Pinneberg and Lauenburg, however, were not so lucky. Both had been chief allies of Frederick I and contributed substantial funds to the Gottorpian war effort. While Magnus I of Saxe-Lauenburg only suffered the disgrace of having his Elbe domains ceded to Albrecht VII of Mecklenburg, the two co-regents of Pinneberg were simply turned out of their county and the territory joined to the Duchy of Holstein. However, Christian II and the imperial ambassadors graciously offered the pair to redeem their ancestral home by paying an enormous fine to both Charles V and the King of Denmark[7].




The Free and Imperial City of Lübeck, Capital of the Hanseatic League by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg ca. 1570. Although Lübeck would continue to play an important mercantile role in the decades after the Frederickian Feud, the Treaty of Hamburg marked the definite beginning of the city’s political and military decline in the Baltic.​



Meanwhile, the War of the League of Windsor continued to grind on. In Scotland, the Duke of Albany’s regency had managed to withstand an initial invasion under Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, chiefly by the virtue of not facing him in the field. Deprived of an enemy to fight, strained logistics and bad weather, Brandon had instead put the Dumfries countryside to the torch, slaughtering the peasantry on account of their “... unnatural rebellion and sedition against the lawful king of Scots.” While the prospect of an English invasion was the greatest threat to the continued reign of Alexander IV, it also, paradoxically, proved to be the one event that conclusively united the country behind the Lord Protector. Albany’s printers immediately engaged in a ferocious propaganda attack on the dowager queen and her exiled supporters at the Scotland Yard, whilst praising the government for its resistance to English tyranny. Slowly. but steadily, Albany began to marshall a substantial force which he equipped and trained according to the French fashion he had become acquainted with during his stay in the Auvergne.

In London, Henry VIII cursed the slow progress made by the Duke of Suffolk and sent repeated commands to Brandon’s headquarters at Berwick to march on Edinburgh. The king’s chief minister, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, had cautioned against the invasion, pleading with the king that the terrain, costs and bad weather would make: “... it but a lost cause to make any invasion into Scotland.[8]

Nevertheless, the king was determined to pacify Scotland and restore his sister and oldest nephew to power in Edinburgh. Furthermore, in order to put some iron in Suffolk’s glove, Henry ordered the mustering of a second force in the North under Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who boisterously promised his liege that he would enter into Scotland and “... diligently put another arrow through the mouth of the Scottish lion.”[9] Hoping to sow dissent within Scotland, Henry also, albeit wearily, agreed to send his brother-in-law, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, to Berwick. According to Sir Thomas More, the decision was more of a courtesy to his sister Margaret (who by now had become tired of the “young witless fool”), than a serious strategic move. As More related to Cardinal Wolsey, “... the King’s Grace is very glad that the matters of Scotland be in such good train, and would be loath that they were now ruffled by the Earl of Angus.”[10] Douglas would indeed ruffle feathers, but primarily those of his English allies - with disastrous consequences to booth.

By Easter 1523 Suffolk had consolidated his command with Surrey’s men and a small auxiliary force under Angus, bringing the Tudor army up to a total strength of some 22.000 soldiers. On the 3rd of May, the host crossed the River Tweed and proceeded North along the Eastern coastline taking the cities of Ayton, Dunbar, Tantallon and Haddington without meeting any substantial resistance. A month later, the English van was sighted off Edinburgh with the city fully besieged on the 7th of June. Meanwhile, Albany and his supporters had gathered an army of 20.000 men at Stirling which were well supplied and highly trained by the Lord Protector’s French allies shipped over from Brittany by Antoine d'Arces[11]. Albany’s government was not, however, entirely free from dissent when prominent nobles such as the Lord Home and James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, appeared at the English siege camp to swear allegiance to the deposed James V. Hamilton had a strained relationship with both Angus and Albany, initially supporting the latter against the former, before finally plotting to usurp the regency himself. However, the Earl of Arran was positively mortified (as were Suffolk and Surrey), when Douglas during a feast loudly declared that King Henry was “... determined to put the governance of Scotland into the King of Scots’ own person, expel those who favour Albany and France, and make the King of Scots follow his advice and council utterly.”[12] In other words, the Earl of Angus invariably confirmed what the Lord Protector’s propagandists had been espousing: That James V’s cause was the cause of English supremacy and Scotland’s subjugation to mere vassalage. Fuming with rage, Surrey supposedly grabbed Angus by the arm as he was leaving the tent and angrily asked whether the earl was “... a traitor, a fool or both?” When Douglas indignantly declared that he was the husband of the Queen of Scots, Howard is said to have shouted back “... so it is both then!



The Siege of Edinburgh in 1523, wood-cut from Holinshed's Chronicle by an unknown artist. In the centre, David’s Tower and the Constable’s Tower are clearly visible as the focal point of the Earl of Argyll’s defences. In the upper-most right corner, a moving forest of Scottish pikemen are seen advancing towards the siege-lines. To the left of Edinburgh castle, Archibald Douglas’ command is depicted under a sole flag bearing the cross of St. Andrews.​


On the 12th of June, the Duke of Albany marched his host down from Stirling, circumventing Suffolk’s western flank and taking position on the high ground to the South of Edinburgh. The Scottish artillery train was quickly deployed and soon Suffolk and Surrey’s siege lines were being bombarded from both the Lord Protector’s position and from the walls of the besieged capital. Although Suffolk displayed considerable skill in orchestrating the siege, he had arrayed almost his entire artillery corps towards Edinburgh. By the time his artillerists had managed to redeploy the heavy cannon, Albany’s men had enjoyed fire superiority for long enough to goad Surrey into charging his division up the hill towards the Scots.

Keeping his head cool, Suffolk swiftly ordered the rattled English army to advance in support of the Earl of Surrey: The Duke taking charge of the right wing whilst George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury[13], commanded the left. The defence of the camp was left to the Earl of Angus and his pro-English auxiliaries, possibly because none of the Tudor commanders trusted him to not get in the way during the melee. Unlike at Flodden, the Scots maintained their position, their officers directing the battle from behind the front, whilst the English billmen struggled to march up the hillsides under a barrage of arrows and lead. When Surrey’s men charged into the Scots’ pikes they were quickly enveloped, viciously hammered and forced to fall back. Suffolk and Talbot now joined in, stabilising the line and proceeded to systematically chop up the Scottish centre under the Earl of Lennox. Seeing the battle begin in earnest, Edinburgh’s castellan, Colin Campbell, 3rd Earl of Argyll, led a ferocious sortie, which completely overran the weak English camp defenses. When Argyll’s men breached the siege lines, the Earl of Arran immediately switched sides, joining the Edinburgh garrison in burning the English tents and slaying Douglas who had valiantly tried to rally the defenders. Seeing his train being sacked, Suffolk immediately resolved to attempt a fighting retreat towards Dunbar, which turned into a rout when Albany ordered an all-out assault on the English line. In the laconic words of a Scottish chronicler the slaughter “... was cruel and none were spared.” Of the 22.000 English soldiers, more than half perished, including the Earl of Shrewsbury who fell whilst defending the army’s rear. Conversely, Albany had suffered fewer than 4000 casualties. The defeat at Edinburgh was made even worse by the fact that the entire English artillery corps had been captured by the Scots, leaving the cities of Cumberland and Northumberland woefully ill-prepared for a Scottish counter-invasion.

It would soon become apparent that this was exactly what Albany had in mind. Upon returning to Berwick a few days after the battle, Brandon desperately wrote to Henry VIII informing him of the defeat and warning that “... considering that the Duke of Albany has now the whole of our ordinance in his hands and that the Lords of Scotland are united and sworn to him, it is doubtless that he will not only destroy his enemies at home, but also that he will invade this your realm.”[14]
On the 6th of July 1523, Suffolk’s fears were confirmed, when the Lord Protector arrived at Berwick, smashed its depleted defenders aside and crossed the River Tweed into Northumberland. By the end of the year, the Northern parts of England between the Tyne and Tweed rivers and from Berwick to Carlisle were occupied by the Scots, whilst Suffolk and Surrey regrouped their survivors at York with reinforcements dispatched by the ageing Lord Dacre at Pontefract Castle.





The Powers of Western Europe in January 1524. After the Battle of Edinburgh, the Auld Alliance was clearly in the ascendance. Whilst Habsburg forces were tied down in the Netherlands dealing with the Duke of Guelders and Henry VIII scrambling to stabilise the situation North of the Tyne, Francis I was preparing to take the field once again. Full resolution can be found here.



Albany’s victory at Edinburgh was widely hailed in Scotland as a glorious reverse of the dishonour suffered at Flodden ten years before and made his dominion undisputed. The Tudor government, conversely, was shocked to its core and Henry VIII raged against the perceived incompetence of his generals, supposedly roaring that “... in all of this realm of England only my lady wife knows full well to kill Scots.”[15] If Suffolk and Surrey did not secure the North quickly, the Tudor monarchy could very well face a threat not seen since the Cornish Rising of 1497. Already reverberations were being felt in Ireland, where crown control was often a theoretical institution rather than a practical application. The Yorkist Fitzgeralds of Kildare seized upon the instability to reignite their old feud with the Butlers family, the head of which was the incumbent Lord Deputy of Ireland. With skirmishes breaking out throughout the isle, Dublin, Waterford and Wexford became the only bastions of royal order in a sea of chaos.

In Paris, Francis I received the news from Scotland with unabashed glee and cemented the good fortune of the Auld Alliance by throwing his weight behind Richard de la Pole, known as ‘The White Rose’ and his claim to the English throne. Planning to use the Yorkist pretender as a pawn to further destabilise the Tudor government, Francis pledged to supply a force of 12.000 Breton mercenaries as well as all the ships and ordnance needed to effectuate an invasion[16]. However, before Francis would commit to helping his ‘Cousin England’ regain his throne, he needed to stabilise the situation in Italy, where the forces of Charles V were advancing.

The Battle on the Ticino in 1522[17] had weakened the French position in Italy considerably, but the situation was in no way disastrous. Although the last Valois stronghold in Milan had fallen when Georg von Frundsberg seized Novara in early 1523, Savoy, Saluzzo and Genoa remained firmly under the control of Francis and his anti-imperial satraps. Attempts were made to dislodge the French in July, when a joint Spanish-Papal force marched into Liguria, hoping to finally take Genoa. Prospero Colonna had retired to Milan due to prolonged sickness[18], with command over the emperor’s forces going to the skilled Marquis of Pescara, Fernando d'Ávalos. The Marquis was in turn joined by Charles III Duke of Bourbon, who had renounced fealty to Francis I over an inheritance dispute, and a strong contingent of Landsknechts. When von Frundsberg brought his own contingent down from Milan, the size of the imperial host grew to some 30.000 troops.

Faced with such a daunting enemy force, the French armies of Thomas and Odet de Foix withdrew to Provence, where they awaited the arrival of fresh reinforcements led by Francis I himself. By the winter of 1523, the King of France had mustered a force of 18.000 soldiers, while Anne de Montmorency and Pierre Terrail secured the employment of an equally strong force of Swiss mercenaries near Chambery[19]. The two French armies rendezvoused at Grenoble, where Francis presided over a Christmastide convocation of the local parlement.

Also present in the royal train were the two most prominent pretenders within the French court: Richard de la Pole and Christian III of Holstein. Both of them were eager to earn the continued favour of Francis through deeds on the battlefields of Italy. They would, as the subsequent campaign went on to prove, have ample opportunity to do so.




Footnotes:


[1]
From an OTL poem by William Dunbar titled “Quhen the Governour Past in France” where Dunbar laments the sorry state of Scotland after Albany was forced into exile in France. ITTL, Scotland is still “divided into parties” although the situation isn’t quite as dire

[2]See Chapter 7 for a rundown of Lady Kristina’s government in Stockholm.

[3]As in OTL, Steen Sture the Younger had already offered the Swedish crown to Sigismund in exchange for help against Christian II.

[4]Based on the Russian territorial ambitions in Finland during the 1497 war. I haven’t been able to establish the exact claims, but it would most likely be based on a some of the lines mentioned in the 14th century Treaty of Nöteborg.

[5]Both played leading role in OTL. The former as the leader of the radical ‘democratic’ faction within Lübeck while the former was instrumental in financing Gustav Vasa’s rebellion.

[6]See Chapter 11.

[7]At this point what matters most to Christian II and Charles V is ready cash to respectively fix the hole in the royal treasury and fund the ongoing war with France.

[8]From a letter to Henry VIII in September 1522. The original reads: “... it schuld be but cost lost to make any invasion in to Scotland; besides the greate difiicultie in conveyaunce of ordinaunce thorowght such soft groundes, as be nere adjoynyng to your Borders, by which, of necessitie, your ordinaunce must passe, if any invasion schuld be made.

[9]After the Battle of Flodden in 1513, Thomas Howard was granted an augmentation of honour to his personal coat of arms, showing a Scottish lion pierced through the mouth by an arrow.

[10]From an OTL letter by Thomas More to Wolsey, dated sometime in 1524.

[11]Who avoids his OTL assassination obviously.

[12]A slightly rewritten quote from a letter by Wolsey to Henry VIII in 1524, wherein the Cardinal relays the supposed feelings of James V after the deposition of Albany’s regency. The original reads: “… that the King of Scottes, nowe having the governaunce of his realme in his owne person, and they which favored the Duke of Albany and Fraunce amoved and expelled from him, is utterly determined to folowe your advise and counsail.”

[13]Whom Wolsey in OTL suggested Henry VIII make his Lieutenant in the North around this time.

[14]A slightly rewritten quote from a letter to Henry VIII by Wolsey from 1521. The original reads: “... And consideryng that the Due of' Albany hath nowe the yong Kyng inhis handes, and that the Lordes of Scotland be unite and sworne to hym, it is to be doubted lest he woll not onely destroy the said yong Kyng, takyng upon hym by usurpacion the Crowne thear, but also thear is greate apparaunce, that they woll invade this your realme.”

[15]Catherine of Aragon had been regent of England at the time of the Battle of Flodden.

[16]This is all OTL.

[17]See Chapter 18.

[18]Of which he will die later in the year, as in OTL.

[19]Without Charles Brandon pillaging his way through Normandy and Italy, the French finances are in a much better state in 1524.
 
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Yah the update times are increasing! jesus i do not know how on earth you make those map, they are fantastic, uh oh look like henry postion is rapdily collasping unless he is able to turn it around soon
also I guess what will happen is that the finnish will come to deal with russians but something something happens and they don't actully get any terrriotry and swedish get it all back but now they have a claim to that terriotry
 
Bravo! Another great update!

Pinneberg is a small yet valuable prize, as it controls Hamburg's access to the Elbe estuary.

I cannot wait to see what happens in Scotland and Lombardy.

By the way, I think the story's most important potential butterfly regarding England, is the possibility of not uniting with Scotland. An independent Scotland would mean that England stays a second-rate power. Moreover, what will happen with the Tudor (re)conquest of Ireland? If delayed and if the Ulster Plantation never takes place, then the english control of Ireland would be tenuous at best.
 
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Was Pinneberg redeemed or is it Danish now? Looks like England and Scotland get to have another gruelling war, and Kristina Sture just poked the bear...
 
I guess you're doing a 'balancing the scales' sort of thing with Great Britain? I see quite a bit of difficulty for Henry VIII at this point, even if Francis doesn't create a long standing series of rebellions under Richard. It does have some symbolic value. England/Wales/Scotland/Ireland stay divided while Denmark/Sweden/Norway/Finland unite. In this case, Wales and Ireland in this case probably end up the semi-states that Norway and Finland were for centuries.

My main reaction for this chapter though...RUSSIA?! Why, Kristina?! Christian has your eldest son, and Sweden quarreled with Denmark a lot because Denmark cared more about Germany while the Swedes feared Russia. History has shown people will do stupid things when backed into a corner, but sometimes you just have to shake your head.

Well, I guess that is one way to get Christian looking east; Moscow occupying half of Osterland and Moscow 'supporting' the Stures. A decent result could actually be a good alliance with Poland-Lithuania. If I remember correctly, the ceasefire between them at this point could end in 1527 if it isn't extended. Sigismund the Old would likely jump at the chance of retaking Smolensk, if Moscow has forces that far north. Sigismund also received an offer from Kristina, but he didn't bite the first time and he has too many other enemies already without making another. In the event of a Oldenburg-Jagiellon alliance against Moscow, I could see the Livonian War happening earlier since Livonia would literally sit in the middle of those three with a crucial strategic position.

This is what I'm imagining this 'Pandora's Box' will be. Vasily probably moves to occupy the land Kristina is offering, probably with little intent to do more or merely provide as minimal a commitment as possible to her other goals. Viborg is crucial to Christian's Nordic Trading Company though. He can't have it in Russian hands. It's almost 1524 by now. I could see skirmishes breaking out, but Christian probably uses this as a propaganda tool against Kristina by pointing out to the Swedes that Kristina has given away Swedish lands to Moscow. Portray the Stures as just a Russian agent by this point, like what Albany did to England. Christian probably builds up his strength while negotiating with Sigismund for a coordinated offense in 1527. The war probably ends with Russia gaining no land in Finland, not sure about the fate of Smolensk, but Kristina probably flees to Russia since she's burning all her bridges in the event of her not winning. Assuming Ivan is still born, he's still seven years out, that is a better casus belli for him then others he pushed. Taking Viborg to hurt the Oldenburg monarchy and its share of the Baltic trade would be a trade goal of his. As early as 1550, Christian is probably going to be cursing Kristina even more than he soon will be. That conflict would easily expand into an alt-Livonian War. A PLC-Oldenburg alliance there could vastly reduce that war's timeframe, and the results. Maybe Sweden takes the entire Karelian Peninsula, and the PLC gets Livonia. Or since Karelia isn't worth as much, maybe the Oldenburg's get the 'Duchy of Estonia' due to Denmark's old claims. Or Ivan turns his full focus to the west, and shows the terrifying force of Russia.

Other aspects that interested me. I wonder if the Prussian homage will go through. Probably, as I don't think Christian did anything to interfere with the Polish-Teutonic War.

I sort of hope that Christian sends some help to Charles in Frisia, against Charles of Guelders. While Christian is short on money, that isn't exactly a battle of armies. Even a token bit of aid could be appreciated, especially if things take a downturn in Italy as implied. Primarily though, a sentiment that had been growing on me these past few chapters as religious discussions have been going on, I just really hope Christian doesn't betray Charles. That guy has enough problems, and I don't want his brother-in-law to add to them. I'd much rather delay the Catholic-Protestant battles to the next generation. Maybe Christian and Charles can work to keep things somewhat civil and stable, even if the former leans Protestant and the latter Catholic. The next generation can then have the break, with ultra-Catholic Philip and a firmer Protestant son of Christian.

Assuming that situation does play out, I'm looking forward to the Dutch Revolt. With England looking like its going to have problems, the Oldenburgs will be the clear choice for a supporter. They're on the ascendant in their region, and a son of Christian can point to having a Hasburg mother. The Dutch offered Elizabeth I sovereignty, it's far from impossible they'd do the same for...King John? A Nordic-Dutch alliance would be a huge player in colonial matters, with Dutch financial and naval prowess added onto already established Nordic colonies ITTL.

Okay. Talked and speculated enough. Great chapter as always. Good luck with your writing.
 
TBH, why should Christian bail out the Finnish Swedes? A Russian Finland provides an external threat with which to keep the metropolitan Swedes frightened and in line, and either attaints the Sture party as catspaw/vassals of the Tsars or outright deprives them of power and land if the Russians betray them. Not to mention Christian is ever-more entangled in the HRE -- I can't see retaking Finland being more important than other Baltic trade matters.

An alternate Prussian vassalization to the Danes would be interesting, and would cement Christian's power among the Germans. Perhaps an Oldenburg-Rurikid detente could temporarily exist, allowing both powers to strike against the Poles in the name of their divergent Baltic interests (which in turn sets up eventual Dano-Russian tensions).
 
In OTL we have seen how the Swedish Realm sought to control river ports to gain valuable tolls. But now, the Crown taxes every single freight of goods in the baltic trade through the Sound Tolls. Thus, it seems to me that there will be less incentive to control for example Riga, Narva, Danzig etc. However, I don't know what would be attitude of Swedish nobles. If they want to expand and grab ports, then the Scandinavians will double tax trade, once in e.g Riga and once in the Sound. In any case, they are bound to milk Baltic trade to the outmost.

I am not sure why a Machiavellian monarch would want to rule the Low Countries. The trend is currently to concentrate power in the Crown. If the Dutch are added to the realm, then a monarch would have to placate the powerful burghers. if the Dutch merchant-princes get a hold on the realm's trade then they might become a new Hansa, an almost independent power. Moreover, a dutch adventure will entagle the Triple Crown in conflicts outside of its zone of influence. After all, traditionally the Danes looked to increase their influence in the Elbe and Weser basins, while the Swedes were focused in the Baltic.
 
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Narva would still be a sensible grab (as would to a lesser extent be guaranteeing Riga's Independence), as it'll block any Muscovite intents of pushing west and challenging the Baltic, while at the same time be a strong staging point (or half a pincher together with Viborg) for any Russian ambitions

With large fortifications in Narva and Viborg (and an independent Riga in pseudo-vassalage) and Muscovite ambitions of entering the european stage is either forced to tangle with PLC (which are a relatively natural alliance for Scandinavia, specially as long as they don't themselves have significant Baltic ambitions), or bee-line into the Black sea and attempt (probably with little luck) to force open the Ottomans
 
In OTL we have seen how the Swedish Realm sought to control river ports to gain valuable tolls. But now, the Crown taxes every single freight of goods in the baltic trade through the Sound Tolls. Thus, it seems to me that there will be less incentive to control for example Riga, Narva, Danzig etc. However, I don't know what would be attitude of Swedish nobles. If they want to expand and grab ports, then the Scandinavians will double tax trade, once in e.g Riga and once in the Sound. In any case, they are bound to milk Baltic trade to the outmost.
Control over these cities will increase Oldenburg attempts to make the Baltic Sea itself into their territory. Too large extent controlling these cities serve to keep them out of the hands of other actors, who could potential threaten this dominance. It’s hard for the future Dutch to threaten Oldenburg control over the Baltic if the major ports of the sea are under Oldenburg rule. It will also allow the Oldenburg to get money from the intra-Baltic trade. OTL Danes could tax what left the Baltic, but they couldn’t tax Lübeck‘s trade with Riga.
 
Control over these cities will increase Oldenburg attempts to make the Baltic Sea itself into their territory. Too large extent controlling these cities serve to keep them out of the hands of other actors, who could potential threaten this dominance. It’s hard for the future Dutch to threaten Oldenburg control over the Baltic if the major ports of the sea are under Oldenburg rule. It will also allow the Oldenburg to get money from the intra-Baltic trade. OTL Danes could tax what left the Baltic, but they couldn’t tax Lübeck‘s trade with Riga.
You are right! I was hasty in my assessment and I forgot the intra-baltic trade.
 
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