Long story short: what if Edmund (OTL earl of Lancaster and Leicester), second son of King Henry III of England, becomes King of Sicily in 1263?

Long story long: OTL, Emperor Frederick II, who was also the King of Sicily, managed to make himself an enemy of a long list of Popes. When Frederick died in 1250, the last of these, Pope Innocent IV, began looking to replace Frederick's dynasty on the Sicilian throne. Sicily--which was right next door to Rome--was a Papal fief, and the Pope could theoretically invest it in anyone he chose. Innocent favoured Charles of Anjou for this appointment, as he was a brother of the pious and powerful King Louis IX of France. But Louis told his brother to refuse the offer, believing that it would set a bad example to depose Conrad, the rightful ruler.

Innocent then turned to Charles of Anjou's brother-in-law King Henry III of England, promising to make his younger son Edmund the next King of Sicily, so long as Henry agreed to pay an outrageously large sum of money to the papacy. Henry, in his naivety, accepted this offer in 1254 without having consulted with his barons, who detested the 'Sicilian Business.'

Still, it took until Innocent's successor, Pope Alexander IV, for the papacy to grow weary of the fact that Henry (restricted by his barons) had not yet paid the outrageous sum in full, and so he tore up Edmund's paperwork in Dec 1258. Still, Alexander couldn't come up with a viable replacement before his death in 1261. It would be up to his successor, Pope Urban IV, to bring Charles of Anjou back into the picture. Luckily for him, Louis IX had a change of heart before May 1263, and allowed his brother to accept the Pope's offer, eventually resulting in the defeat of Manfred, Conradin, and later the Sicilian Vespers and the formation of the Neapolitan Angevin dynasty.

But what if Louis IX didn't have a change of heart? What if he refused to let his brother accept the offer of the Sicilian throne a second time? Urban IV would be left in quite a bind--he needed a strong ally to oppose the Stauffers yesterday, and now he was back to square one. So, he decides to give Henry III another offer, this time without requiring him to pay such a large sum--all Henry has to do is get his butt to Sicily and Urban will invest Edmund with the kingdom.

Now for the knock-ons:

1) How do the barons take the Sicilian business 2.0? Henry wasn't deterred by their coolness before, and now the barrier to entry is a lot lower (all he has to do is get enough support to launch a campaign), but I still can't imagine they'd be too happy about the arrangement. The Second Barons' War erupted in 1264 immediately following Simon de Montfort's return to England the year prior; does the rebellion against Henry grow even stronger than OTL?

2) If Henry manages to land in Sicily with an army, does he succeed in defeating Manfred? Conradin? King Peter III of Aragon? Would military success abroad secure his position at home?

3) If Henry somehow succeeds in setting up his son in the Regno, how do the Sicilians feel about it? Will a rebellion against English rule break out a la the Sicilian Vespers OTL? Henry wasn't very popular in England, so I can't imagine he'd do very well in Sicily. How does Edward Longshanks fare in this scenario? Will he have time for campaigns in Wales and Scotland or will he be busy helping his brother Edmund keep his Sicilian throne?

4) How does Charles of Anjou's career turn out as only Count of Anjou and Provence? What happens in Hungary without the Angevins to claim the throne upon the extinction of the Árpáds? If the ship carrying all of Mary of Antioch's possessions still sinks in 1270, to whom does she sell her claim to Jerusalem in order to shore up funds?
 
It's actually a quite interesting scenario,no Capet-Anjou dynasty on Sicilian throne would change medieval history a lot.
But I simply don't believe the Henry III we know could ever successfully conquer anything…
 
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It's actually a quite interesting scenario,no Capet-Anjou dynasty on Sicilian throne would change medieval history a lot.
But I simply don't believe the Henry III we now could ever successfully conquer anything…
One thing I didn't take into consideration with the POD is that Edward Longshanks is just on the cusp of making a name for himself in the Second Barons' War, so he's conceivably old enough to go to Sicily in his father's stead.

And Longshanks would have an easier time conquering stuff than his father, surely, though he's still a bit hotheaded at this point.
 
One thing I didn't take into consideration with the POD is that Edward Longshanks is just on the cusp of making a name for himself in the Second Barons' War, so he's conceivably old enough to go to Sicily in his father's stead.

And Longshanks would have an easier time conquering stuff than his father, surely, though he's still a bit hotheaded at this point.
Edward of course was militarily capable,but even he lacked the Italian Francophile's support that otl Charles de Anjou enjoyed.
And he was left to govern Palermo,given his way of ruling conquered lands,I think Sicilian Vespers would almost certainly still happen…
 

Vitruvius

Donor
Not exactly the POD but what about having Richard of Cornwall accept the Pope's offer? It struck me as odd that he balked at the price the Pope demanded but then ended up spending a lot of money in Germany to gain Election there to a crown that was a lot less powerful.

Anyways if Richard invades and secures Sicily for himself you could still get an English line of Kings in Sicily through his son Henry (who probably wouldn't be murdered here).
 
Not exactly the POD but what about having Richard of Cornwall accept the Pope's offer? It struck me as odd that he balked at the price the Pope demanded but then ended up spending a lot of money in Germany to gain Election there to a crown that was a lot less powerful.

Anyways if Richard invades and secures Sicily for himself you could still get an English line of Kings in Sicily through his son Henry (who probably wouldn't be murdered here).
Yes, I suppose that could work too. I thought about mentioning it as a possibility, but I didn't want to clutter up the OP more than it already was lol (I didn't want to create extra confusion, either, as I know not everyone is well-versed on the topic).

Richard of Cornwall would certainly be more 'get up and go' than his brother would have been. I wonder if his reluctance had the same root Louis IX's did (e.g. that undermining dynastic legitimacy would be a stupid thing for a hereditary monarch to do, if he could avoid it). After all, the title of King of the Romans was well-known to be elective. Sicily's status as a papal fief was more ambiguous.

My long-held assumption has been that Louis IX's change-of-heart was caused by the illegitimate Manfred assuming the throne (at which point dynastic legitimacy has gone out the window). If that assumption holds true, then perhaps an earlier death for Conrad (and thus an earlier usurpation by Manfred) would cause a similar change-of-heart in Richard of Cornwall?
 
Not exactly the POD but what about having Richard of Cornwall accept the Pope's offer? It struck me as odd that he balked at the price the Pope demanded but then ended up spending a lot of money in Germany to gain Election there to a crown that was a lot less powerful.

Anyways if Richard invades and secures Sicily for himself you could still get an English line of Kings in Sicily through his son Henry (who probably wouldn't be murdered here).
A brief view of where that could go is here:
The Blessed Kingdom
View attachment 339169

Situated on the islands of Valetta and Gozo are the last remnants of the Blessed Realm, the residence of Alberto III King of Jerusalem, Sicily, the Arberine, Sardinia, and Carthaginia, Duke of Naxos, Grandmaster of the Knights of Solomon, Lord of the Tyrrhene, Defender of the Faith.
The Realm has its origins in the purchase of Sicily by Richard of Cornwall from Pope Innocent IV, securing it by feat of arms and marrying his son Henry to Isabella Conradina the Hohenstaufen Queen of Jerusalem (and claimant to Sicily).
Despite claims of an origin in St Piran's Flag, and vice versa, the flag appears to have its basis in the simplification of Henry I's arms of argent cross patty on gold with a black border containing 12 bezants. A banner in the Gelre Roll shows a golded edged cross on black, where the cross does not stride the full field - a square or greek cross..
During the Valona dynasty 2 flags/banners come in to use - one the plain argent and gold cross on black, the other with 4 golden crowns for the royal command.
With the accession of the Duke of Carthage, Grandmaster of the Knights of Solomon, the current flag appears - a white cross bordered in gold upon a black field strewn with argent crosses.
 

Vitruvius

Donor
Sorry, I didn't mean to get this off track. As for Louis I thought I remembered reading that the original offer came soon after the death of Frederick but before the death of Conrad and at the time Louis was focused on crusading and so wanted to keep his family focused on that endeavor but I could be mixing up the chronology on that.
 
Sorry, I didn't mean to get this off track. As for Louis I thought I remembered reading that the original offer came soon after the death of Frederick but before the death of Conrad and at the time Louis was focused on crusading and so wanted to keep his family focused on that endeavor but I could be mixing up the chronology on that.
There's no need to worry about it! There was really no 'track' I was intending to keep, so there was nothing 'off-topic' about your suggestions, in my opinion.

I think that chronology is right, but I'll have to double-check.
 
The Pope would have had to go with someone else in 1263, if for whatever reason Charles of Anjou didn't go through with it. Henry was facing revolt that year and was in absolutely no position to even think about Sicily. His closest supporters were of course his brother Richard and son Edward, and they would both be needed at his side.

Henry would need to be in a much stronger political position by 1255 in order to have any chance of obtaining the crown of Sicily. While not impossible, the amount of things needed to happen for Henry to be in a stronger position is possible with a very narrow set of circumstances.
 
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