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Thread: Honor of Lancaster: A Magna Mundi England AAR

  1. #81
    Captain aussieboy's Avatar
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    If this is the good that comes from a retarded idiot, then England is doing pretty good...let's hope we get a better successor...
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussieboy
    If this is the good that comes from a retarded idiot
    I wonder, would an advanced idiot be any better?

    Another good update. I wonder what happens when Protestantism spreads further....
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  3. #83
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    good update as always. shame about Freddy though. Genetics is either hit or miss.
    Last edited by theycallmetight; 03-08-2007 at 21:44.
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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by theycallmetight
    good update as always. shame about Freddy though. Genetics is either hit or miss.
    I would have cried if got such a king in my game.... Everything you planned suddenly becomes so much harder

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  5. #85
    I loved the way you portrayed the autistic king - really great writing.

  6. #86
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    This is all the more interesting for me as I'm in the midst of my own MM England game (currently circa 1485). Will be a useful contrast as I've taken the decision that my ruler will 'go with the flow' and cheer for the Reformation when it arrives. Looking forward to see how events unfold in your parallel universe...
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    David,


    A powerful reading about a man as flawed as anyone else, only more limited.

    Really interesting!
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  8. #88
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    VII. In God's Name


    Six years after Dempier first hammered his 95 theses to the door of the town church, few were willing to take up his cause, and the Danish monk had gone into hiding for fear of being burned at the stake as Jan Hus had been a century earlier.

    For the most part Christians simply did not take Dempieranism seriously. The so-called "Protestant" theology was just another heresy that would eventually be corrected by the church. Any country that showed tolerance to the new doctrine risked excommunication, and the cost of that was great in Catholic Europe. In the United Kingdoms the memories of the Lollards and their short-lived heresy was still fresh, while the pope's influence was strong. Few among the British had even heard of Dempier in 1520. All that was to change in the coming months.

    There was another side to the story, of course; there always is. Dempieranism was tempting to many Catholics for a variety of reasons. The church was in fact riddled with corruption, a fact that was often forgotten in the Kingdoms, since they enjoyed the good favor of many popes. Absentee priests, the practice of simony, the sale of indulgences, all of these created a growing dissatisfaction with the Roman church and a yearning to return to the simpler Apostolic church described in the New Testament. Others, like Frederick I himself, were more rational about the new doctrine: by condemning both monasticism and church excess, it implicitly gave princes the right to seize church assets. In many countries the church was the single largest landowner; in some, it controlled over a third of all land. This made it tempting indeed to many, especially in Germany, where many had made fortunes during the Hussite wars by converting, seizing property and then converting back to the true faith with virtually no consequences. Could a Hussite war happen again?

    The answer was not long in coming. In January 1520 the kingdom of Burgundy converted to the new faith. It is unclear what motivated Phillipe VII to break from Rome the way he did due to later events, but it was very clear to Europe what this meant. There was a collective intake of breath as the sovereigns of Christendom began to look around themselves nervously. The dam had burst, and a flood was coming.

    Crusade!


    Just as he had in Germany, the pope reacted quickly. When Philippe refused to back down and beg dispensation he and all of Burgundy were placed under interdiction, excommunicated from the faith. Good Catholics were urged to rise up and overthrow their king, and although no great revolution followed, Philippe was forced to post extra guards in Bourgogne just as they were needed to carry out the new laws of the country. France and Lorraine broke their alliances with the Burgundian monarch in an almost unseemly haste to be seen as good Catholics. To make matters worse for Phillippe, the papal bull Exsurge Domine was posted in town squares across France and England, condemning Phillippe and Dempier both. Burgundy stood isolated, its people divided and its church under siege.

    Having made his decision on Dempier, Frederick I was unhappy to have the matter come up again in Parliament, but it refused to go away. Calais and Dunkirk sent petitions to London to demand that the Kingdoms intervene to stop this Protestant menace, while the Reichstag met in Vienna to decide what imperial policy should be towards the kingdom of Burgundy. As Defender of the Faith and Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick had no real choice in the matter. When Burgundy again refused to respect the authority of the church, Frederick declared a crusade against Burgundy!

    Once he had decided on a course of action, Frederick burst into action. He spent frenetic days laboring away in his library, writing orders and making plans for the invasion. He worked tirelessly and wore out a succession of assistants and aides de camp, and no little time was spent during these first months in expanding the royal bureaucracy considerably to deal with the war preparations. And they were sorely needed; never before had the Kingdoms had to deal with so much at once.

    With the tacit support of France, 12,000 troops were ferried from Brittany to Calais while another 20,000 German troops were outfitted in England for the invasion. By late spring Frederick was confident of success, and in June the armies proceeded cautiously into the Low Countries. For several weeks the crusading armies pushed deeper in, but Frederick wrote a flurry of orders, keeping his officers on short leash, refusing to believe that Burgundy was finished yet.

    His patience was rewarded in July when the lack of resistance was suddenly explained. French support for the crusade was always lukewarm, and Phillippe had been able to call on old favors to allow his army across France to attack Brittany. Leading a massive force of 23,000 men, Phillippe marched into the Vendee. Had Brittany not been stripped of its defenders for the crusade the British might have been able to repulse this surprise attack. As it was, the 10,000 British troops in the duchy were forced to withdraw and allow Nantes to be besieged. Frederick sent Sir Sydney Cook to take command of the Breton forces and authorized local militias to be added to the British forces, but his 13,000 were thoroughly defeated when they tried to raise the siege in September.

    Hearing the news, the Earl of Moribhan proposed raising a salt tax to pay for the war, but the king demurred. The crusade was still going according to plan. Not all was perfect, however: at home simony became even more abundant, and support for the heresy increased.

    In Brittany, Sydney led a second, hopeless attack against the Burgundians. The battle was a loss, but Frederick was not displeased. Burgundy could ill afford the losses, while the Kingdoms had a seemingly inexhaustible number of volunteers from the Empire. Phillippe's 16,000 men were still enough to take Nantes, but increasingly it seemed like his aim of taking Brittany would falter midstep, while the Low Countries were now completely in British hands. Phillippe must have been nervous indeed, for he began offering reparations to the United Kingdoms. Frederick refused to listen, singlemindedly insistent that he achieve his own war aims: Burgundy must give up its dangerous heresy, the one thing Phillippe would not do.

    The British advance into the Low Countries was so successful that Phillippe broke off his invasion of Brittany and fled to Burgundy to lead a counterattack there. The 6,000 men that remained in Brittany were exhausted, out of supplies and still besieging Nantes when Sir Sydney Cook's men tore into them that autumn. Although an able general, Cook was unable to use his numerical advantage to good effect in the terrain. The battle was costly for the British, and the Burgundians aquitted themselves honorably in battle before reluctantly quitting the siege.

    In the Low Countries, Phillipe's return gave spirit to the few remaining Burgundians who continued resistance, and they managed to harass the British occupying the country until winter. On New Year's Day the British commander finally managed to pin down all remaining forces in Holland and met Phillippe's 3,200 men with his own 15,000. The Burgundians refused to surrender and were wiped out to the last man, with a last, titanic sacrifice to allow Phillippe himself to escape capture.

    The massacre of Antwerp is considered one of the most important battles of the 16th century. The battle was far from the turning point that some historians make it out to be; the war had been decided in Brittany months earlier. Had Phillippe not split his armies the way he had, he might have been able force the British onto the defensive while they ran out of supplies. Instead, the British were able to hold onto the areas they conquered and push the Burgundians back repeatedly while Phillippe's leadership was wasted in Brittany. No, the battle is far more important for two of its longer-reaching effects.

    The victory was cheered in London, and Frederick himself permitted a rare smile to escape his lips. He then proceeded to analyze the battle thoroughly; the Crown Report of 1522 made a number of recommendations based on the battle that produced the new Maurician tactics used by British infantry from 1522 onwards. That was one effect. The other, however, completely dwarfs this in the annals of world history, to the point that few schoolchildren have even heard of Maurician tactics.

    The massacre of Antwerp had reverbations across Europe, but none so powerful as in nearby Flanders, where the writer Luciano Paruta was sickened by the news. He used the war as inspiration for his radical theology, and wrote about religion in strict, martial terms that appealed to some who felt the Catholic threat demanded a martial response. Paruta's new faith was far more radical and far more dangerous than anything Dempier ever intended, and the new, radical Reformed faith failed to appeal to the masses in the way that Protestantism had. Nevertheless, it caught on in places as far away as Austria or Bremen, and gave lie to the crusade's successes. Ironically, even while victory in Burgundy was assured, the greater war against heresy was being lost in Europe - and even at home.

    In the Kingdoms themselves, Dempierism seemed to gain strength from the news of the war. Soldiers and traders returned from Calais and Brittany brought strange ideas and tracts with them, and throughout 1522 parts of the United Kingdoms began to embrace the new tenets, slowly at first, but as Frederick failed to act, more boldly. Some have suggested that Frederick held secret Protestant sympathies; his diaries reveal something entirely less torrid: he failed to see these heresies as threats to the Kingdoms as long as they respected his laws. Without a British inquisition, the heretics gained strength and in many areas became a majority.

    In May 1522 the British army finally reached Bourgogne only to find the Burgundian capital in the throes of a Catholic counter-revolution. The unfortunate-named Lord de Villaine led several thousand Catholic die-hards who were resisting Phillippe's Reformation, while the king himself barely had the forces to put it down. With the royal army closing in, Phillippe's Protestant Burgundy was doomed. Recognizing that his fate was sealed, the French moved across the border to put down a loyalist rebellion in British-occupied Burgundy. The following winter, the two exhausted, depleted armies clashed one final time. Phillippe was slain in battle and all of Burgundy was under British occupation.


    Political realities dragged the crusade out for years until troops could reach the Burgundian capital in Bourgogne


    Phillippe's son Henri began negotiations with Frederick to salvage his inheritance, but time and again refused to convert back to the Catholic church. As months dragged on into years, the British occupation continued to tie up Imperial forces, giving heart to tens of thousands of Protestant sympathizers across Europe. In 1524 Savoy, Croatia and Luxembourg all broke away from Rome; in 1526 Switzerland and Kurland did as well, and meanwhile in the United Kingdoms, Protestants had become a majority in London itself! While the king was put under increased protection, even the loyalty of his guard came into question...


    By 1526 the Reformation was gaining strength across Europe


    The final insult came in 1526, when Frederick, exhausted by the crusade, demanded to be recognized for his efforts by being crowned emperor in Rome. The pope, clearly afraid that he had created a monster in Europe, refused. Although he had been elected emperor several years earlier, Frederick had never been officially crowned and never made the pilgrimage to the papal states required of the emperors. It is clear that he was pressured into this demand by his advisors, but he also seems to have thought that it would somehow end the Protestant threat. His writings around this time are confused, and it is clear that exhaustion was taking its toll on the Grey King.

    Finally, Frederick fell back on a secondary plan. He demanded the Cosmopolitaine regions of the Low Countries from Burgundy, the provinces of Artois, Picardie and Hainaut (Frederick quickly released Hainaut, believing it to be in his best interests not to conflict with the empire and not wanting to deal with yet another culture in the Kingdoms). These areas had been quick to convert to the Dempieran heresy and threatened British Calais with their missionary tracts. In addition, Frederick won from young Henri a recognition of the clear and eternal British claim to Dunkirk and Calais, and agreed to pay to Frederick reparations worth the property he had seized from the church so far. The wisdom of this plan was seen a year later in June 1527 when Henri returned his country to the Catholic faith. Without the Cosmopolitaine Protestant backbone, Henri lacked support for his Reformation, and he was accepted back into the folds of the church reluctantly but fully. Those Protestant Frenchmen, however, were now Frederick's problem, and it was only months before the Cosmopolitaine there rose up in angry revolt against their new masters.


    The end of the crusade created a British presence in Belgium and another border with France


    The Crusade had achieved its aims in Burgundy, but it had inadvertinely strengthened the Protestant cause in the United Kingdom and in Europe itself. By 1527 Protestantism was supported by many smaller countries, especially in the Holy Roman Empire itself, and the new Reformed faith was beginning to seize hold in certain places. Even countries such as the United Kingdoms and France were suffering from heresy. It was clear now that a crusade was only a temporary solution. The church itself needed to reform itself if ever it hoped to heal the schism.

    The Council of Schwaben


    The church was already in the process of reforming itself by 1527. Years earlier, when the crusade first began, the pope had been convinced of the seriousness of the threat from the heresy and had called for a church council, which opened in September 1522 in Schwaben. The Council of Schwaben was to prove one of the most meaningful in church history, as it defined the early modern Catholic Church's response to the Protestant Reformation.

    In its first two sessions (in 1522), the council decided that faith without works was dead. This had been an issue with the Protestants, who condemned good works since it led to the practice of paying alms in return for dispensation. The council, however, believed that the Catholic Church could deal with the sale of indulgences on its own - good works were still vital to real repentance. The same session also condemned the practice of nepotism in the papacy. The council later decided to allow all to partake from the communion cup, a demand made by Protestants as early as the 14th century. Just as the cup had been offered to the Hussites to convince Bohemia to return to the faith, so now did the church offer it to all in an effort to reach out to the dissatisfied.


    The Council of Schwaben decided many crucial issues of doctrine over the five years it met


    In February 1523 the council met a third time and decided, after lengthly debate, that both Scripture and Tradition were important in the church. This was the church's answer to those who demanded that all doctrine be backed up by support in the bible. This demand had been heard increasingly since translations of the bible into local tongues had begun appearing in Europe, allowing the average layman to read the bible themselves. Many were surprised to find no mention of confession or popes in the bible. The church, however, believed that the fifteen hundred years of tradition and revelation counted for just as much, even if it was not written down on paper. This hard-line policy threatened to close the door to compromise totally, but before the hardliners could take over church policy completely the council ended due to the threat of plague. It would not open again for a year.

    In September 1524 the Council of Schwaben met for the fourth time, where the bishops made it mandatory for clerics to reside in their parishes. This effectively ended the practice of absenteeism, although it would take a generation to take effect. At the same time, many countries began losing faith in monks and nuns and monasticism went into a steep decline across Europe, especially in the Kingdoms, where it had been relatively weak since the 1450s. The council's response was to introduce a number of new monastic orders to deal with the heresies, notably the (now infamous) Societas Jesu, or Jesuit Order. Finally, after the negotiations that ended the crusade in Burgundy, the council met one last time to allow for the vernacular in masses and in the bible, and to call for seminaries to be built in every bishopric.


    Monasticism went into a deep decline in the Kingdoms in the 1520s


    The council's wavering between compromise and orthodoxy reflected the changing political landscapes of the 1520s, and also the differing numbers of Italian bishops at each session. The Italians tended to be relatively unaffected by the Reformation and more inclined to risk collision with them, while the German and British bishops especially pushed for compromise. In the end, the council was split between the two camps, and the issue of whether the Protestants could be wooed back to the church would not be decided for another long decade. In failing to provide a clear focus for the church, both sides had failed. Without leadership, the Catholic cause in Europe was flagging. This was reflected most clearly when, in 1527, the duchy of Austria broke from Rome.


    The Protestant threat was now weeks way from the Holy See


    The pope was suddenly more conciliatory towards the Kingdoms, but it was too late. Spurned by the pope in his imperial interests, tired of religion entirely, Frederick found himself captivated by new obsessions. One of these was government itself; his dislike of governing the Kingdoms had caused many problems. Frederick believed he had found a solution to both his problems and Britain's; his expansion of the royal bureaucracy during the crusade was developed into a formal series of rules, positions and paperwork that created a more modern government for Britain, an administrative monarchy if you will. Frederick typically underplayed this in his diaries:

    New admin. system analysis: efficiency gains +1.5m ducats/yr (3%!) but exp. initial confusion = lower taxes by 3.9m/yr for ~3 years. Overall gd, esp. if coloniz. practical.

    New England


    Frederick tended to go over his own notes obsessively and it was in 1527 that he began writing in his diary about investments. Specifically, he noted that it would take the fledgling New England colony 40 years of sending everything they made back to London to repay the Kingdoms for the expense of colonizing them - and far, far longer in any normal circumstance. To another man this might have signalled a reason to end the colonies; Frederick had cited similar figures earlier. Now, however, he realized that costly wars were a bad investment. The troops required to keep the French Protestants from revolting had alarmed France, and now 66,000 French troops were in Normandy against the 20,000-strong Breton army and 21,000-strong Belgian one. Matters were not improved by the vague treaty with the Burgundians; the border with France was in dispute and the Kingdoms unknowingly inherited a conflict with France that Burgundy had started. War seemed imminent if nothing changed. Frederick decided to seek out new opportunities, and suddenly money began to pour into New England from the royal coffers. In March 1527 Frederick funded a royal expedition to explore the neighboring Indian tribes around New England.


    The Royal Expedition of 1527 was a turning point in the history of Great Britain in North America


    The expedition returned with reports of much more extensive settlements than had been imagined - in fact, with news of tribes weeks away. As the scope of the new world began to sink in, Frederick realized the importance of the colonies to Britain's future. He gave New England a city charter and created the crown colony of Maudland after his wife.

    In 1528 he promoted a new Grand Admiral of the navy and sent him in charge of a flotilla of ships to the New World. Colonial towns began to dot the map as new colonies were founded one by one. Sadly, these new settlements caused grave problems with the natives. Many of them were semi-nomadic, staying in one place until the soil gave out, then moving to a new area, only to return to their original site after years or decades. So it was that the British found sites perfect for colonization and devoid of natives, only to discover years later that the natives had returned to their ancestral homes. The Europeans were of course unwilling to give up the buildings, roads and farms they had built, while the natives were often unable to go anywhere else. Angry recriminations were fanned into hatred by limited interpreters and religious intolerance. It was clear that something had to be done. By coincidence, that same month news from Spain arrived, telling of the immense riches brought back from the New World with their conquest of Mexico.

    Frederick ordered Sir Sydney Cook and Sir William Bedford to the colonies with an additional 5,000 troops, making a full army of 10,000 there to defend British interests. Stormy weather prevented the convoy from leaving until spring, however, and instead the ships anchored at Land's End in August 1528, with plans to leave the following April. Unfortunately, something came up before then.

    Death of a Tyrant


    Sadly, that autumn the crown prince died of influenza. Crown Prince Harold was a likeable man free of his father's ailment and was engaged to be married to a French princess when the latter came of age. An only child, Harold was his mother's darling, although he was largely ignored by Frederick. There were some rumors that he might be too influenced by his mother's family. Mathilda had become even more rigid in her Catholicism, and wanted to institute a holy inquisition to drive the heretics out of the Kingdoms; the open secret of her isolation, however, gave her little clout at court.

    Would the Kingdoms have become more intolerant under King Harold? It is hard to say. Harold was still young when he died; his father was in the prime of his life, and there were no reports of any illness that could have struck him down early and allowed a young Harold to change things during the crucial Reformation years. Harold was said to have been more like his grandfather than anyone else, and a charismatic young king could have done much for the country. Alas, it was not to be.

    Tragedy followed tragedy, as it so often does in history. The death of the Crown Prince threw the succession into question. Frederick of course had no other sons, not even a daughter or a bastard. His eccentricity ended up the death of him, although he was quite healthy when he died. It was almost certainly Harold's death that triggered his own; Frederick was killed, suddenly, of an assassin's dagger on Hallowe'en eve, 1528, as his attacker cried "Die, Tyrant!" The assassin was savagely killed by Frederick's guards but the damage had been done. Regicide is always shocking and Frederick's was to have grave repercussions, but it was welcomed by many in the United Kingdoms.

    Was Frederick a tyrant? He was one of the most unpopular kings of Britain and was hated for much of his reign. He managed to alienate lords and commoners both with his impersonal rule, rages and cold calculations. But historians have had a more mixed reaction. When he chose to rule directly, Frederick could be brilliant. His reliance on others can be explained as understanding his own limitations. It was a weakness, but it was also a strength - his reorganization of the British government was nothing short of brilliant for a single man. He was a sound tactician and it was his intervention that won the nearly bloodless victory over Denmark and the decidedly Machiavellian crusade against Burgundy. In both wars he was capable of making sacrifices, pushing his men into forced marches and knowingly sending them to their deaths in doomed battles for the sake of the greater war. He won all his wars, but at the same time, his policies failed to have the strategic vision of a great king. The crusade failed to stop the Reformation, while his neglect of New England prevented a jump start on the Kingdom's overseas empire.

    In the end, Frederick I Lancaster was neither a great man nor a tyrant. He was simply, tragically, human.

    The United Kingdoms at a Glance in 1528


    Treasury: 40 million ducats
    Estimated GDP: 573.6 million ducats
    Standing Army: 47,000 Maurician infantry and 15,000 knights
    Reserves: 57,000 (thanks to the empire)
    Royal Navy: 12 caravels and 5 flytes
    Prestige: 1st highest (100)
    Reputation: Honorable (0/20)
    Last edited by dharper; 05-08-2007 at 03:46.
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  9. #89
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    good job getting all of those continental holdings. And a great writing style to boot. Excellent AAR!!!

  10. #90
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    WHAT!? The Mass in the vernacular? What has become of the Church... :disapproves:
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  11. #91
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    So...the husband of his oldest sister gets the throne?
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  12. #92
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrumvale
    So...the husband of his oldest sister gets the throne?
    I could be wrong, but I think England uses Cognatic Primogeniture and so the throne would pass to Frederick's nephews via his eldest sister. That's what I plan to go with, anyhow, so as not to lose the House of Lancaster entirely.
    Last edited by dharper; 05-08-2007 at 05:52.
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  13. #93
    Second Lieutenant theycallmetight's Avatar
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    storm clouds gather over Europe as the spread of protestantism continues while france masses its troops at the english border. Oh boy, were gonna have some interesting years ahead great update by the way, I don't usually take well to the history book aars but this one is excellent.
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  14. #94
    Fat Cat Public Servant Sir Humphrey's Avatar
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    The gathering storm! Nice stuff.
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  15. #95
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharper
    I could be wrong, but I think England uses Cognatic Primogeniture and so the throne would pass to Frederick's nephews via his eldest sister. That's what I plan to go with, anyhow, so as not to lose the House of Lancaster entirely.
    Yes, but the nephews are probably underage, which means that the brother in law gets the regency. And also, that does mean an end to the house of Lancaster; now it’s the house of whatever the last name of the brother in law is.

    Which makes the title rather redundant, unfortunately.
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  16. #96
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  17. #97
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrumvale
    Yes, but the nephews are probably underage, which means that the brother in law gets the regency. And also, that does mean an end to the house of Lancaster; now it’s the house of whatever the last name of the brother in law is.

    Which makes the title rather redundant, unfortunately.
    Hmm.

    I mean, yes, yes, that was my plan all along.
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  18. #98
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  19. #99
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    Just a clarification:

    When you mean, "the Mass and the Bible were allowed to be in the vernacular," do you mean that the Pope granted an indult, as is the case today, or is it to the exclusion of the lingua Latina? The former would be legal, though in this era somewhat implausible, while the latter would be pure, unadulterated heresy.
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  20. #100
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    Excellent work, I look forward to seeing the Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Brittanic pretenders to the throne stepping forward.

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