Arakhor: I don't think pipers just wander around the streets in Scotland. In the same way jazz musicians do not randomly appear in American cities! Either way, I never like Scotland the Brave....
Loki: Yes, Tempest is not to be trifled with. Glad you liked the parts with King James!
Sather: Yes, racism is an evil that is ever present, no matter how different our reality is to theirs it will still be there. As for the Scots, well, they lost their independence in 1530, so my thoughts are that they've become more like Wales, especially since in my game all the provinces but the Western Isles became English culture by the end.
morningSIDEr: Haha! Well, I did my best.
Chapter 26a – The Boy King
Summarised from Chapter 6 of ’Britannia Triumphant’ by Lady Mendenhall.
Naturally a one year old boy could not be expected to govern, so a council of regency was formed in his stead. Several leading nobles including the Duke of York and Lord Saunders formed key positions, while the Italian diplomat Barberini acted as the group’s foreign representative.
Almost immediately they had to deal with the remains of the strife from King James’ reign. With no lands in India the East India Company was forced to fold. It would not be resurrected later when the British returned to India; these lands would then be ruled by the crown directly like everywhere else.
Being as they were members of Parliament, and seeing as how they had long disapproved of the de Vere custom of limiting Parliamentary power, reforms were soon instigated to make it a stronger body. Parliament naturally approved of these changes, and by allowing greater autonomy to the lands especially in France many businessmen and leaders became stronger.
It should not be said though that these events led to any greater representation or overview of Parliament. Rather, those already elected and in the Lords consolidated their power at the expense of a few French aristocrats and nobles.
One of those nobles was Edward Grey, a wealthy and powerful man, the Duke of Flanders and Count of Artois. He and others on the continent had watched the erosion of royal power by the regency with great concern. They had no wish for Britain to become republican or led by a monarch there only with the permission of his Parliament. Edward Grey felt he could foresee a time when the grown up King Henry would be so beholden to his regents that he would do nothing without their approval.
What was more, Edward Grey was the man with the strongest claim on the throne, though that was tenuous. His great-grandmother had been Queen Caroline, the descent passed down through the Queen’s daughter Margaret. It made him 2nd cousin once removed from King Henry, thus making him the focus of discontent.
Furthermore Edward had received very different ideas of kingship from his family and his wife. His wife, Ulrika of Sweden was a princess to one of the most absolutist and powerful monarchies in Europe. At this time they encompassed almost all of Denmark and Finland in addition to Sweden. Though hardly a model husband, he had seen the court of King Karl and saw that a monarch need not be beholden to Parliament. From his upbringing in France as a transplanted English lord over Flemish and French subjects he had seen a very different view of life to the home counties of England.
Matters came to a head when Lord Saunders, a commoner, attempted to increase the land tax on estates in excess of 20 pounds value. This was clearly aimed at the French aristocrats, and the stipulation that it didn’t apply to Parliamentarians enraged the French. The news that this money was going to redesign Parliament did nothing to ease their tempers.
Finally, Edward Grey had taken enough. He gathered together a large force, and while proclaiming that he was ridding the boy king of wicked advisors he invaded Britain. His promises to the nobility, and reassurances to Parliament that he was only after the actual regents ensured that his invasion was not intercepted.
On the 2nd of May 1616 Grey’s army encountered and smashed a militia army at Turnham Green, and the way to London was open. Edward Grey had been liberal with his promises, and he was much more charismatic than the regents in getting his message across.
London welcomed him cautiously as sole regent for young King Henry V, now aged 9.
However, it was reported soon afterwards that the young King had died of a fever. Was he murdered by Edward Grey? Almost certainly. However Edward was very conspicuously in Paris on the day it happened, and seemed genuinely saddened by the death. Perhaps it was remorse, or perhaps it was an act. Edward had a way of playing a duel faced role, even with those closest to him.
Whatever happened, Edward Grey was crowned Edward V, King of Great Britain, France, Lord of the Americas and Lord Regent of Holland. With Henry V died the de Vere dynasty. Though all future monarchs would be related to Queen Caroline they passed through different branches, and are separate.
The de Vere Dynasty had ruled for 187 years, from the heady days in 1429 when Charles de Vere had taken the crown, to its final, ignoble end. From producing one of the most influential and beloved Queens in Caroline to the madness of James and pitiful end of young Henry, England had become a great nation. The question was…could it survive the turmoils about to engulf it?