Our initial point of divergence deals with Rudolph von Habsburg’s wife – Gertrude of Hohenberg – losing a baby to a miscarriage in the early 1250s. In our world, this baby would have been Matilda of Habsburg. Not only does this plunge Gertrude into a bought of postnatal depression which thoroughly butterflies her subsequent offspring but, come 1273, Rudolph is left with no bargaining chips with which to ply Louis II, Count Palatine of the Rhine and Duke of Upper Bavaria, or Albert III, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg.
So, in TTL, when the election for the German throne takes place, not only does Albert fail to proselytise on Rudolph’s behalf, but Louis actually comes out as somewhat reluctantly supporting the claim of Otakar II, King of Bohemia. When an assassin is captured by Louis’ men, opponents seize the opportunity to discredit Rudolph by accusing him of funding an attempt on Louis’ life. Although Rudolph denies being behind the attempt, these unsubstantiated accusations prove sufficient to tarnish his reputation and narrowly tip the election in Otakar’s favour.
Otakar is crowned as King of Germany in early 1274. Despite this, Rudolph refuses to recognise Otakar’s kingship on the grounds that the claim of Alfonso X (1221-84), King of Castile, had never formally been renounced.
- With Rudolph von Habsburg accused of having attempted to fix the imperial elections, Otakar II of Bohemia is narrowly elected as German King.
- Otakar II is formally crowned King of Germany in the city of Aachen.
- Pope Gregory X opens the Second Council of Lyons in France.
- Rudolph von Habsburg declares war on the supposedly ‘illegitimate’ German King, Otakar II of Bohemia.
- Year of the Four Popes - Gregory X, Innocent V, and Adrian V die in rapid succession. Pope John XXI is elected as Adrian’s successor.
- King Otakar II of Germany defeats Rudolph von Habsburg and his forces at the Battle of Dürnkrut and Jedenspeigen.
Rudolph is subsequently imprisoned in Vyšehrad Castle, Prague, where he eventually dies in 1282.
- Ladislaus IV of Hungary successfully crushes internal dissent, re-establishing royal control over the kingdom of Hungary.
Unwilling to support Rudolph von Habsburg in his attempts to unseat Otakar II, in this world, Ladislaus is able to concentrate his attentions on domestic problems.
- A confederation of German merchants form the Hanseatic Company to facilitate trade.
- Otakar II is invested with the title of Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XXI.
- Rudolph von Habsburg, imprisoned in Prague, dies from a fever.
- Death of Michael VIII Palaiologos. He is suceeded by his son, who takes the Byzantine throne as Emperor Andronicus II.
- After the death of Irmgard, control of the Duchy of Limburg passes to her uncle, Adolf of Berg. Despite protestations from Reinoud I of Geulders - Irmgard's husband - King [Otakar II] formally recognises Adolf's claim. His claim recognised, Adolf promptly sells the territory to John I of Brabant.
With Adolf's claim being formally recognised, in this world there will be no Battle of Worringen in 1288. As such, Henry VI of Luxemburg and his brother both survive, whilst the city of Cologne remains under the control of the archbishop.
- Following the imprisonment of a number of Sicilian revolutionaries by the French occupation, a popular protest in the city of Palmero decends into violence, kick-starting the events of 'the Palmero Uprising'.
Over the next eighteen months, with papal support, the people of Sicily will struggle to successfully eject their ruler, the Angevin Charles I. Pope John XXI excommunicates him following an attempted reconquest of the island, he flees to Naples where he attempts to consolidate his forces, but Charles is eventually captured by Italian mercenaries in late 1285 and imprisoned in Rome. Sicily becomes a nominal vassal of the papacy, whilst the crown of Naples is bestowed on James, younger brother of Alfonso III of Aragon.
- The Italian city-state of Genoa defeats its rival Pisa in the Battle of Meloria, ending Pisa's marine power and hastening the city's decline in power.
- Ladislaus IV of Hungary sucessfully repels an invasion of his kingdom by the Golden Hoarde.
- Archbishop Jakub Świnka orders all priests subject to his bishopry in Poland to deliver sermons in Polish rather than German, thus unifying the Polish Catholic Church and fostering a sense of national identity.
- Alexander III, King of Scots, perishes in a riding accident, leaving the 3-year-old Margaret of Scotland as heir to throne of Scotland.
- King Philip IV of France imposes the 'gabelle': a hugely unpopular tax on salt in the form of a state monopoly.
- King Alfonso III of Aragon conquers the island of Minorca from the Moors.
- The first Treaty of Birgham is signed by the Guardians of Scotland and Edward I of England.
The treaty stipulates that Margaret, heir to the kingdom of Scotland, should be sent to Scotland before 1 November 1290, and that any agreement on her future marriage would be deferred until such a time.
- The 6-year-old Margaret of Scotland arrives in Scotland, having travelled across the North Sea from Norway.
In this world, Pope John XXI granted a Papal Bull that gave dispensation for the marriage of Margaret and Prince Edward outright, with no need for assent from the Guardians of Scotland. This allows negotiates to proceed at a greater speed, and Margaret crosses the North Sea sooner, narrowly avoiding the disaster that befell her in our world.
- Following negotiations, the second Treaty of Birgham is signed by the Guardians of Scotland.
This treaty allows the marriage of Margaret of Scotland to the Prince of Wales, on the condition that Scotland is to remain “separate and divided from England according to its rightful boundaries, free in itself and without subjection”, and that control of Scotland should rest with a Regency Council until Margaret reaches the age of majority.
- James II becomes King of Aragon following the death of his father, Alfonso III.
- Upon the death of Pope John XXI, the conclave of cardinals elect Cardinal Matteo Orsini, a native of Rome, as his successor. He takes the papacy as Pope Lucius IV.
- Philip III of France agrees to give the hand of his daughter, Blanche Capet, to Edward I, in exchange for a cessation of hostilities between the two countries, and a renunciation of English claims to Gascony and Aquitaine. A not insignificant dowry on Philip's part helps to seal the deal.
- With aid from Novgorodian forces, the natives of Karelia sucessfully repel the Swedish incursion of Torkel Knutsson and his troops in the short-lived Third Swedish Crusade.
Subsequently, the rulers of Karelia conclude a treaty with Novgorod in which the Karelian territories are recognised as an independent vassal of the Republic of Novgorod, and are to be defended from future attacks by Novgorodian forces.
- England and Portugal enter into the first iteration of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.
- The death of Kublai Khan allows the four khanates of the Mongol Empire to seperate, each embracing formal independence.
- Death of Otakar II from old age. He is suceeded as King of Bohemia by his son, Wenceslas II, whilst *Louis IV, Duke of Upper Bavaria replaces him as the elected King of Germany.
- Upon the death of Albert II, Saxe-Lauenberg is reunited with Saxe-Wittenberg under the rule of Erich I, Duke of Saxony.
- Edward, Prince of Wales, marries Margaret of Scotland.
- Prince Wenceslas of Bohemia marries Marguerite of France.
In this world, Edward I's first choice of bride was available, leaving Marguerite unmarried. The Premysids are on the up, and Philip IV knows a good opportunity when he sees one…
- Prospecters discover large silver deposits at Kutná Hora in Bohemia.
Wenceslaus II subsequently took control of the industry by making the extraction and refinment of silver a royal monopoly. Kutná Hora was one of the richest European silver strikes ever: between 1300 and 1340, the mine may have produced as much as 20 tons of silver a year. We might see this as an opportunity for the invention of highly experimental mining technology, such as the steam-pump. Also worth noting is the fact that mirrors which need superior reflelectivity for visible light are made with silver as the reflecting material in a process called silvering. This gives us a prime opportunity to make Bohemia a centre of optical telegraphy technologies…
- Upon the death of John of Holland, the Gerulfingian dynasty becomes extinct. The County of Holland becomes a part of a personal union with the County of Hainaut.
- Florence is established as the banking state of Europe, and its coin – the florin – becomes the dominant European currency.
- After five years in which Poland begins to disintegrate into its constituent territories, a coalition of Polish nobles issue a declaration of their support for Wencelas Premyslid’s claim to the Polish throne. Despite strong opposition, Wenceslas manages to fight his way through the south of the country, eventually being crowned as nominal King of Poland in the city of Krakow.
As one of his first moves as Polish monarch, Wenceslas enacts a system of rule based upon the role of the ‘starosta’ - provincial royal officials. Over the following years, a combination of military force and political patronage allow him to buy his way to a partial restoration of stability. During his reign, he embarked on a programme of castle-building and the fortification of towns and cities.
- The Battle of Kortrijk; Philip IV’s attempted re-establishment of French rule over the County of Flanders is defeated by a significant infantry force assembled by the Flemish townspeople.
- Edward of Caernarvon (later King Edward II of England) becomes the first Prince of Wales.
- Death of Lev I of Haylch. His son, Yuriy, replaces him as King of Halych-Volhynia.
- King Birger of Sweden grants territories to his brothers, Erik and Valdemar. Valdemar is named Duke of Finland, and Erik is named Duke of Sudermannia.
Here, Birger is never turned against his brothers and Sweden is spared the OTL sibling intrigues and rivalries which weakened the kingdom through the 1310s and 20s.
- Margaret of Scotland gives birth to her first child, Elizabeth.
- Marguerite of France gives birth to a son. Named Otakar after his grandfather, he is sole heir to the thrones of Bohemia and Poland.
- The Duchy of Brabant launches an attempt to take possession of Hainaut’s recent dynastic acquisitions in Holland and Zeeland. Despite Hainaut’s geographical difficulties in defending their possessions, the threat of an assault against southern Brabant proves sufficient to end their plans.
In this world, the Flemish repelled the French in 1302 and, as are too busy constructing new lines of defence against the future French threat to aid Brabant in their plans to increase their respective territories.
- As a measure against the anti-clerical nature of Philip IV of France, Pope Lucius IV issues an edict uniting the Christian military orders of the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller.
- Death of Pope Lucius IV. Despite a distinct cooling of Franco-Papal relations, the cardinal conclave convenes to elect Cardinal Landolfo Brancaccio - a Neapolitan moderate - as Lucius’ successor. He takes the papacy as Pope Anastasius V.
- Philip IV of France exiles the Jews from France.
- Margaret of Scotland gives birth to a son and heir, *Edward.
- Herschel Mayer (b. 1272), a Jewish alchemist living in Prague, perfects a technique of ‘silvering’, which can be used in the production of high-quality mirrors.
This advance is part of a decade-long Germanic scientific boom. Fuelled by a greater exchange of information and texts between Byzantium and the Holy Roman Empire, in this world, copies of the work of the Iranian alchemist, Al-Razi, find their way to North Italy and - by 1306 - Bohemia. This text provides the primary inspiration for Mayer's work. This primitive ‘silvering’ technique, although nowhere near the quality of modern mirrors, is still a significant leap for medieval Christendom.
- England and Portugal sign a treaty of trade. Denis of Portugal founds the Portuguese State Navy to administer Anglo-Portuguese Commerce.
- The Teutonic Order launches a fresh offensive against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Under the military leadership of Gediminas, Grand Duke Vytenis commits the majority of Lithuanian troops to resisting the incursion.
- Death of Yuriy I of Halych-Volhynia. His sons Andrei and Lev contest the throne, plunging the territories of Halych-Volhynia into a brief but intense struggle, from which Lev II emerges victorious.
With the military forces of Lithuania engaged by the Teutonic Order, there is no common external enemy to unite the two potential claimants and, for now, there is the freedom to pursue personal ambition.
- The death of King Edward of England results in an unprecedented constitutional anomaly, as his son and heir takes the English throne as Edward II. For the first time in British history, the King of England is married to the monarch of the Scots.
- The Scottish Civil War (1309-15); Edward II’s benign but misjudged attempts to standardise the system of Scottish taxation sparks revolt and counter-revolt in the north of the Scottish realm. Initial scuffles between royal forces and peasants eventually descend into outright civil war.
Loyalties are divided, to say the least. Led by the Red Comyn, who decries Margaret as little more than a puppet of her husband, a significant minority regard any English meddling in Scottish affairs as intolerable. They seek to depose Margaret and install John the Red as her successor. Nevertheless, despite being somewhat wary of Edward’s activities, the majority respect Margaret’s birthright. Some support the de facto joint rule of Edward and Margaret, whilst another faction launches a simultaneous rebellion in the name of their Queen and their position as a separate kingdom as stipulated in the original treaties of Birgham. Still, most of the influential figures in the Scottish nobility took the pragmatic route, declaring neutrality, and waiting to see which way the tides of war turned, rather than throwing in their lot with a losing army.
- Margaret of Scotland dispatches an envoy to the kingdom of Norway, requesting military aid from her uncle, Haakon V, in the fight against the Red Comyn.
In an ironic twist, the envoy and his crew drown in a severe storm, and the plea doesn’t even get as far as Orkney. Margaret is unaware of this disaster, and continues to await a response.
- 54 members of the Knights Templar are burned at the stake as heretics in France.
- Margaret of Scotland gives birth to a second son, Richard.
- The Maybole Pact; following negotiation, the influential Bruce dynasty declare support for Margaret in the Scottish conflict.
With Margaret and Edward unwilling to deploy English troops in fear of alienating their supporters, and amid the Red Comyn’s occupation of much of northern and eastern Scotland, the royalists approached Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, in an attempt to gain his support. Initially, their pleas fall on deaf ears, but the deal is made when Margaret offers to endow Robert with the Scottish Lord Chancellorship. Robert agrees to commit his forces on the condition that the original treaties of Brigham are to remain when determining the nature of the rule of Scotland once the conflict is over.
- Battle of Suvalkai; Lithuanian forces manage to rout the knights of the Teutonic Order, repelling their two-year assault against the Grand Duchy. However, victory comes at a cost. Lithuanian casualties are significant and Gediminas, the Lithuanian military leader, is thrown from his horse, incurring several major injuries. Weakened by his wounds, he dies two months later.
Without Gediminas, Vytenis’ younger brother, Vainius, succeeds him as Grand Duke in 1316. Under his leadership, the Grand Duchy follows a policy of domestic consolidation and economic self-strengthening, as opposed to the path of unfettered military expansion followed in our world.
- Margaret sends a second envoy to Norway. Six months later, a messenger arrives with a response. Haakon V has committed several units of Norwegian infantry and a number of warships to the conflict.
- Valdemar, Duke of Finland marries Ingebourg Eriksdotter, niece of Haakon V of Norway.
- Erik, Duke of Sudermannia, marries another Princess Ingebourg, Haakon V’s daughter.
- With Norwegian aid, the superior forces of Edward II and Robert the Bruce drive the armies of the Red Comyn back to the Scottish highlands.
From 1314, the Red Comyn and his supporters manage to maintain their occupation of Northern Scotland, with the frontier of fighting remaining relatively stable until the Treaty of Inverness.
- The Treaty of Inverness marks an end of sorts to the Scottish Civil War. The occupied Scottish highlands are granted recognition as the independent Kingdom of Albany under King John I (‘the Red Comyn’), Margaret is recognised as legitimate Queen of Scots with Robert the Bruce as her Chancellor, and Norway reaffirms its possessions in Shetland and Orkney.
- Vytenis, Grand Duke of Lithuania dies whilst destroying castles built by the Knights of the Cross. His younger brother, Vainius, assumes leadership of the Grand Duchy.
- Death of Ladislaus IV of Hungary. He is succeeded by his 31-year-old son, who takes the Hungarian throne as King *Béla V.
- Edward II’s daughter, Elizabeth, is married to Thomas Bruce, son and heir of Robert the Bruce.
- Margaret of Scotland dies from a fever. The throne of Scotland passes to her eleven-year-old heir, Edward, who is placed under the regency of the Lord Chancellor and self-styled Guardian of Scotland, Robert the Bruce.
- Death of Erik IV of Denmark. He is succeeded as king by his younger brother, who becomes Christopher II of Denmark.
With no wars between siblings over the rule of Sweden (for now, at least), Erik IV doesn’t get involved and, as such, manages to keep the kingdom of Denmark financially solvent. This means that he never has to mortgage large parts of the kingdom to various German princes and Denmark remains free, for now, from external meddling.
- The death of Haakon V of Norway triggers the First Norwegian Crown War (1319-26). For seven years, the Norwegian throne is contested by Edward II of England; Valdemar, Duke of Finland; and Erik, Duke of Sudermannia, all of whom issues claims in the name of their respective sons, citing semi-Salic laws of matrilineal decent.
- An army composed of English and Scottish troops departs from Edinburgh to fight in the First Norwegian War.
- Death of Philip IV of France. The throne of France falls to his eldest surviving son, who succeeds him as King Philip V.
- The English and Scottish navies lay siege to the Norwegian city of Bergen.
- Prince Otakar succeeds his father, Wenceslas II, as King of Bohemia and Poland, whilst his younger brother, Jan, takes control of the Duchy of Austria.
Being known as King Otakar III in Bohemia, but King Otakar I in the Polish realms, historians refer to King Otakar by his nickname, “the White Eagle”.
- Union of Olmütz; King Otakar attempts to consolidate his power by elevating the Polish duchies and principalities that recognised Premyslid suzerainty (Poland, Schweidnitz, Glogau, Breslau, Opole, Cracow, Kujavia, Sieradz) to a territorial status equal to that of Bohemia, Moravia, Lusatia and Silesia.
- The province of Turów is annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
- The Folkungaätten Pact; following the Anglo-Scottish invasion of Norway, Birger of Sweden, and his brothers Valdemar and Erik sign a mutual non-aggression pact, agreeing to pool their resources to expel the Plantagenets from Scandinavia.
- First recorded use of Mayer mirrors in a communicative capacity. Combined with a light-source, these small devices were initially used by the townspeople of Gdansk to communicate with incoming merchant vessels.
Through the 1320s and 1330s, use of such apparatus will become increasingly widespread throughout the lands of Scandinavia and North Germany, primarily for communication in trade and warfare.
- Death of ‘the Red Comyn’, King John I of Albany. He is succeeded by his son and namesake, who takes the Alban throne as King John II.
- King *Béla V of Hungary uses military force to remove the Csák dynasty, nominal rulers of the Váh and the Tatras regions of Hungary.
- Death of Philip V of France. His younger brother takes the French throne as King Charles IV.
- Edward II of England bribes Christopher II of Denmark to commit Danish forces to the Plantagenet side in the First Norwegian Crown War.
- The forces of Valdemar and Erik occupy Hedmark and Oslo.
- Upon reaching the age of majority, Edward I, King of Scots assumes full control of the Kingdom of Scotland.
- Treaty of Lübeck; Edward II of England agrees to guarantee the Hanseatic Company trading privileges in Plantagenet territories, in exchange for their endorsement of a trade embargo against Sweden.
This move begins to turn the tides of the First Norwegian Crown War marginally in favour of the Plantagenets.
- Aided by Hansa mercenaries, Danish forces occupy the Swedish Island of Gotland.
- The Treaty of Copenhagen marks the conclusion the First Norwegian Crown War. Hosted by the Danish, the treaty formerly recognised Edward, King of Scots, as the legitimate King of a rump Norway, but also recognises the Duchies of Romerike (ruled by Erik), and Trøndelag (ruled by Magnus), both nominally autonomous territories of the Swedish Empire.
- Following the death of Osman I, rule of the Ottoman Empire falls to his son, Orhan.
- Death of James II of Aragon. His son succeeds him as King Alfonso IV.
- Erik, Duke of Sudermannia and Regent of Romerike, succeeds his elder brother as king of Sweden.
- Robert the Bruce, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, dies in mysterious circumstances. Despite rumours of foul play, nobody knows quite where to lay the blame.
Somewhat perturbed by this, King Edward establishes the Scots Guard; a team of experienced Scottish soldiers dedicated to the protection of the Scottish monarch.
- Death of King Charles IV of France. The French throne falls to his thirteen-year-old son by Blanche of Burgundy, who becomes Louis XI of France. For the first three years of his reign, he was placed under the regency of Philip of Valois (OTL King Philip VI).
In OTL, Louis XI was born as a girl, but in this world, he outlives his older brother, Philip, to become the French heir in 1322. A proud, indulgent and slightly stupid ruler, his reign will see him surrounded by sycophants and flunkies, living the good life whilst plague and economic ruin cause France to crumble around him. We’re looking at a thoroughly Nero-esque figure here; definitely somebody who the dramatists of this world will end up writing plays about.
- Under the leadership Bedreddin II, the Karamanid Empire vassalages the moribund Sultanate of Rûm.
- Under pressure from his father, Prince Edward of England marries Philippa of Hainault.
- Following the death of his father, Rudolf II of Habsburg (grandson of his Premyslid-hating namesake) inherits control of the County of Habsburg. Somewhat prone to whimsical romantic and nationalist tendencies, he proclaims himself the Duke of Swabia, and begins a vicious campaign of territorial expansion.
- Stephen, eldest son of King Béla V of Hungary, marries Beatrix of Bohemia.
- The death of Louis IV of Upper Bavaria, Holy Roman Emperor, triggers an election for his successor. Otakar III wins a significant majority of votes, and is duly elected.
- Battle of Velbuzhd; the Bulgars under Michael III are beaten by the Serbs at Velbuzhd, and large parts of Bulgaria and Bosnia fall to the Serbian Empire.
Stefan II of Bosnia and his son are killed in battle, kick-starting Bosnia’s gradual slide into the Serb sphere of influence under the reign of his brother’s family. Meanwhile, Stefan Uroš III of Serbia engineers the accession of his nephew, Ivan Stefan, to the Bulgarian throne, where the threat of military intervention leaves him as little more than a Serbian puppet by the early 1340s.
- Etienne de Bourgueil, Archbishop of Tours, decries the indulgent and unholy activities of King Louis XI of France. Several other French bishops echo his sentiments in a mass condemnation which gives birth to a wave of uprisings throughout Touraine, the Marshe, Bourbonnais, and Champagne. The initial protestations in Touraine are all-too-rapidly crushed by the forces of Philip de Valois. Philip, ever the opportunist, convinces King Louis XI to add the rebellious territory to the Valois domain. Nevertheless, the following decades see sporadic revolts and aborted uprisings continue, seemingly undeterred.
- Death of Christopher II of Denmark. He is succeeded by his son, who takes the Danish throne as Otto of Denmark.
Otto’s reign will see stronger relations with England, and Anglo-Danish trade routes (operated by the Hansa) boosting the income of the Danish Crown.
- Following his unexpected death in a riding accident, Lev II is succeeded as Prince of Haylch-Volhynia by his son, who takes the throne as Yuriy II.
In the course of Yuriy’s reign, Haylch-Volhynia sends troops to the North, defending Podlasia from Lithuanian conquest, whilst pursuing diplomatic ties with the two Polish duchies that escaped falling into the Bohemian orbit (Sandomierz and Mazovia).
- At the insistence of a relatively powerful alliance of French counts and nobles (made wary by Philip’s sudden acquisition of Touraine), Philip de Valois releases King Louis XI of France from his regency.
- Maria of Portugal, wife of Alfonso XI of Castile, dies in childbirth. Within the course of the year, he has remarried, this time to Eleanor of Guzman.
- Eleanor of Guzman gives birth to the first legitimate child of King Alfonso XI of Castile; Prince Ferdinand.
In TTL, *Ferdinand takes precedence over Pedro, Sancho and Henry II, as he - unlike them - was born in wedlock.
- Death of Béla V of Hungary. He is succeeded by his son, who takes the Hungarian throne as King Stephen VI.
Under Stephen’s rule, Hungary centralises and consolidates further, successfully riding out the chaos and seeds of disorder sown in the wake of the Black Death.
- Alfonso IV of Aragon is succeeded by his son, who becomes Peter IV of Aragon.
- Upon the death of John I of Lower Bavaria, Lower Bavaria and Upper Bavaria are reunited under Frederick I, who becomes Duke of Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine. Frederick marries Margarete Meinhardiner, Countess of Tyrol.
Their decedents will unite Bavaria, Tyrol and the Palatinate under a personal union.
- The death of Yuriy II sees the accession of his son, Danylo II, to the throne of Haylch-Volhynia.
- Following the murder of Leo V of Armenia, the Karamanid Empire annexes Armenian Cilicia.
- Death of Andronicus III, Emperor of Byzantium. He is succeeded by his son, who becomes Emperor John V.
- Edward II of England dies from old age. He is succeeded as King of England by his son, Edward (already King of Scotland and Norway), who takes the English throne as King Edward III.
Edward’s twenty-year reign as King of England, Scotland and Norway sees an overstretched monarch attempting, with the aid of a number of local nobles, to maintain the integrity of the three separate kingdoms, protecting them from foreign threats, and acting in their economic and political interests. Despite being a talented and intelligent individual, historians have excused his various failures, arguing that the task of ruling three kingdoms with relatively divergent interests was simply too great a task for a single man.
- Death of Pope Lucius V from old age. The cardinal conclave appoints a Sicilian, Pope Constantine II, as his successor.
- Danylo II of Haylch-Volhynia marries Czuchna, a daughter of the Polish Tarnowski dynasty, converting to the Roman Catholic faith in the process.
This begins a process whereby Danylo begins to encourage the spread of Catholicism through society. Despite some opposition from domestic religious groups, the campaign proceeds relatively peacefully, ultimately achieving an idiosyncratic syncretism of Catholicism and domestic Christian beliefs.
- Ottoman forces occupy Karasi.
- Following several months of diplomacy and compromise, Pope Constantine II welcomes the Church hierarchy of Haylch-Volhynia into communion with the Rome.
- King Otakar III of Bohemia issues charters for the foundation of universities in Prague, Olmounc, and Gdansk.
- The rulers of Polish Sandomierz pledge suzerainty to the newly-Catholic Principality of Halych-Volhynia.
- Important casualties of the Black Death for 1348:
(1) Orhan I, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He is succeeded as Sultan by his son, Suleyman.
(2) Helena Kantakouzene, wife of John V Palaeologus (and unborn child).
The lack of any children from this marriage means that the reign of John V over Byzantium will, in TTL, be uninterrupted. However, he is heartbroken by this death and, despite reputedly producing a number of bastard children, refuses to remarry.
- Important casualties of the Black Death for 1349:
(1) Margarete II, Countess of Hainault and Holland. With no surviving heirs, she is succeeded by her sister Philippa, wife of King Edward.
This means that if there is a surviving heir of Philippa and Edward, then – upon her death – the counties of Hainault and Holland will fall to the House of Plantagenet.
(2) Otto I of Denmark. He is succeeded by his brother, who takes the Danish throne as King Erik V.
Erik uses his reign to build on his brothers diplomatic works with England and the Hanseatic League, strengthening Denmark’s position as a crossroads between the Holy Roman Empire, England, Scandinavia, and Novgorod.
(3) John of Vienne, Archbishop of Reims. He was quickly replaced by a puppet appointment of King Louis XI, in a move which provoked religious outrage throughout the French kingdom.
- With the coming of the Plague, many English and Scottish nobles (including King Edward) flee to the relative safety of Norway, where the activities of the English and Scottish courts continue uninterrupted.