A Britain of Panthers and Lions: House of Oldenburg Britain

Question, if Lorraine were to remain in French hands, could the Emperor give the House of Lorraine Gonzaga and Mantua once Ferdinand Charles dies?
 
Chapter 16: Louis The Father
Chapter 16: Louis The Father




The previous year had passed with France in control and dominant. Louis had enjoyed much popularity and security knowing that his son had proven himself capable in the field of battle. And yet now there were concerns mounting. Louis had not yet achieved all he wanted to within the Western front of the war, and he knew that if he pulled out now there would be not a chance of regaining lost ground. That was not something he could allow to stand. Therefore, he had summoned his council of ministers to discuss what would happen.

Lovouis spoke at Louis’s indication. “Sire, we have had reports from Mainz, Monsieur Le Dauphin has written to inform us of the present state of affairs.” Lovouis paused, Louis gestured for him to continue and so he did. “Maximillian, Elector of Bavaria has brought some twenty thousand men to bear on Mainz, and as such has sent another five thousand men under the command of Eugene of Savoy to raid and harass the supply lines. Furthermore, Monsieur Le Dauphin writes that they are running low on food, with the Dutch also appearing and seemingly burning the land as they advance.”

Louis listened to this and felt something gnawing at him. His son might be slow and a dolt, but he was still his son, and the heir to the throne, he needed to be protected. “Has Marshal Luxembourg written with an update as to what he is doing?” Louis demanded, he wanted to know why the man had not bothered to move yet.

“Sire, Marshal Luxembourg has taken Coblenz as you had instructed him to. He is now preparing the defences of that town.” Lovouis replied.

“No.” Louis said sharply. “He must direct himself and his forces toward the relief of Mainz, he must force Maximillian out of the way.” He knew that perhaps that was not the smartest thing to do and that William of Orange would no doubt retake the towns that had fallen under Luxembourg’s control, unless. “Philippe.” Louis said looking at his brother who had decided to grace them with his presence.

“Sire?” His brother replied one eyebrow raised.

“You shall go with Marshal Vauban and the fifth, sixth, seventh and twelve companies of men toward Trarbach and ensure that our gains do not fall there.” Louis said. He could tell that Lovouis was about to protest and so he said. “We know that Vauban was meant to lead the expedition northwards toward the Spanish Low Countries, however for the time being we must prevent the towns we have already taken from falling into enemy hands.” Louis looked at his brother and continued. “You may take your son with you, brother.”

Had this been even five years ago, Louis knew his brother would have jumped for joy and smiled and thanked him. Instead his brother simply bowed his head and replied. “Thank you, Your Most Catholic Majesty.” The use of that title from his brother and the way he said it stung Louis, though he hid it, and turned to find the Marquis de Seignelay looking at him most expectantly.

“What is it Marquis?” Louis demanded.

Seignelay replied quickly. “Sire, the English fleet continue to patrol the waters of the channel, and so long as they do, we cannot garner supplies properly for any such investment as we might wish of the Spanish Low Countries. Would it not be better and proper to engage them in battle now, when the odds are so in our favour?”

“No.” Louis replied. “Let them patrol those waters, they shall exhaust themselves and they will not garner anymore funding for such a pointless venture.” He knew from his own spies how the English worked, their own system was controlled by the Parliament, money was granted that way. They would not have enough to keep going.

“What of the English soldiers present under William’s command? They have been sent to protect the Spanish Low Countries though they are only eight thousand strong, surely we should engage them now and remove them?” His brother asked suddenly eager for battle.

Louis looked at his brother, his brother had gained experience fighting and Louis had often been careful with how he had handled his brother’s exploits. There was the memory of their uncle Gaston that still played fervently within his mind. “The English can sit within the Low Countries all they like, they will not get any more fighting done there.” Louis knew that perhaps he was being a bit too hopeful, but the English were always worrying about money, he knew this from the experiences he’d had with King Charles and King James. Therefore, keep them out of the field of duty long enough, and they would soon have to retire. Louis looked down at the map before them and then said. “We must force a conclusion in Catalonia before the year is out. I do not want the Spanish fighting one more than one front.” He did not want the chances of his descendants ruling Spain being ruled out due to a misunderstanding.

“The Duke of Noailles, writes to say that the war there will nearly be done. He is convinced that Carlos will surrender rather than see his own lands destroyed much further.” Lovouis replied.

Louis smiled. “Good. Dismissed.” He walked out of the room, and made his way toward his own private apartments, within time his dreams would come true, and France would reign supreme.
 
A little spoiler for you
 

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Chapter 17: William-Battle of Trarbach
Chapter 17: William, Battle of Trarbach



For as long as he could remember the French had been his enemy. They had always tried to encroach on what had traditionally been a border between the Dutch Republic and France. The Spanish Low Countries had at times been well defended, but under Carlos the Bewitched they had been invaded countless times. And now, with Louis looking to exert control once more, William had sent the English to the Spanish Low Countries to defend the area. Louis had not sent men there, but he would eventually. Now, however, there was a chance to regain land that had fallen. Trarbach was a big town, an important one for its location and William was determined to take it.

Now the town was before him. William could see its towering walls, flying the Fleur de Lis, and he could smell victory. Take the city and the French would cower. But of course Philippe Duke of Orleans, a man William had fought before, was standing in his way. Whilst the Duke had to prove his manhood by commanding from the front, William commanded everything from the rear, observing the twists and turns with a keen eye. His whole life had been one bloody war. Now he observed the fighting, heard the men screaming and barking and he spoke. “Waldeck, what is the status of the left?”

Waldeck was his chief military advisor and someone he approved of greatly. “Highness, reports are that the left under de Witt has managed to push through. They are currently challenging the French’s left and are looking at the city gates.”

William smiled. Excellent. “Good, and the right?” The right was under the command of someone he was not sure about. His heir apparent, Henry Casimir, the man was a cousin, but to William he seemed more of a fop than anything else.

“Highness, the right is struggling. It seems that Orleans brought Vauban with him and as such the man brought some new instruments of war, that are currently challenging Sir Henry’s ability.” Waldeck said.

William grimaced, he could not let his cousin die. The man was his heir and had one son. William did not want the child as his heir, for he knew the estates would never allow a child to succeed. “Waldeck, go with the third and fourth regiments and ride to Henry’s aid.” Waldeck bowed and rode off, barking commands as he did so. William remained a horse. He watched the fighting with interest. Bentwick approached then.

“Are you sure it is a wise idea sending Waldeck to fight to aid Sir Henry, Highness?” William looked at Bentwick and raised an eyebrow. “I only mean that Sir Henry is not the most patient of people, and he might well lead a charge that damages the plans that you had set out. Leading the Duke of Orleans toward the ditches.”

William sighed. “The ditches are not the important part. Our own army might get stuck within them. I want Orleans lured away from the town yes, but I also want his right and left defeated. Keep the main centre under attack and he cannot ask for more aid. Ideally, Vauban would be dead by this point but there is nothing to it.”

“Is that wise, Highness? Vauban as a prisoner would be a hefty reward.” Bentwick replied.

“Vauban is nothing more than a threat now. He has shown it time and time again. If he is allowed to live, we shall suffer for it.” William said firmly, closing that topic of conversation.

A rider appeared then, covered in dirt, blood and looking slightly wild. “Highness.” The man gasped. “Highness, the centre, the centre must engage.”

“What has happened?” William demanded, the rider looked as though he might collapse.

“The French left has been aided by the Duke of Orleans, De Witt is dead, Highness.” The rider said.

William pulled out his telescope and looked, he saw bodies lying on the ground, he heard the shouts and screams, and he saw the Fleur de Lis getting closer. He swore. He put his telescope away. “We ride now. Engage the centre.” He roared. The command was echoed throughout the line, he spurred his horse on, as the animal galloped down the slope toward the battle, he said a prayer, then drew his sword.

Peasants were the first line that got cut down. There was a boy, not much older than William had been at his first battle who got his sword stuck and got cut down. William moved on. The peasants fell. Cannon echoed around them, but nothing mattered more than getting to Orleans. He could tell where the fool was by the flying of the Fleur de Lis, Orleans never had much sense. William’s sabre got much work done, the bodies rose around him. He continued, pushing through, until suddenly the noise around him stopped. He looked down and found that instead of his horse, he was looking at the ground, the mud, the dirt. William wondered how he had gotten here, he looked around, saw his horse’s head somewhere nearby, saw a cannon ball a few feet away, he covered himself as it exploded.

Dazed and confused he felt hands dragging him up, and retreating. The French were celebrating, or at least someone was, someone was trying to talk to him. He couldn’t hear a word, but he knew things had gone badly. He swore and closed his eyes.
 
I'm assuming he got rescued. If he's captured, that's very bad. As if the war escalating by the Dutch going on the offensive wasn't bad enough, if the Dutch were dealt a major blow liek the Prince of Orange being captured that really changes the war front in the Low Countries.
 
I'm assuming he got rescued. If he's captured, that's very bad. As if the war escalating by the Dutch going on the offensive wasn't bad enough, if the Dutch were dealt a major blow liek the Prince of Orange being captured that really changes the war front in the Low Countries.

That it would, that it would. Expect Parliament in England to demand either the troops get some action or they get withdrawn. So far, France is dominating, but can they hold on, with the Emperor turning his attention slowly toward them.
 
Question, if Lorraine were to remain in French hands, could the Emperor give the House of Lorraine Gonzaga and Mantua once Ferdinand Charles dies?
There is nothing stopping the Emperor from doing this. It is more of a question of how house Lorraine reacts to being given a small Italian duchy in exchange from their home land and how the people of Gonzaga and Mantua feel about a French ruler.
 
There is nothing stopping the Emperor from doing this. It is more of a question of how house Lorraine reacts to being given a small Italian duchy in exchange from their home land and how the people of Gonzaga and Mantua feel about a French ruler.

Alright interesting
 
Question, if Lorraine were to remain in French hands, could the Emperor give the House of Lorraine Gonzaga and Mantua once Ferdinand Charles dies?

I expect the emperor will give the Duke of Lorraine a pension and a palace in Vienna. He's worth far more for the emperor in Vienna with a claim on Lorraine than as a minor Italian duke.
 
Chapter 18: Sunderland
Chapter 18: Sunderland



Robert had served two Kings, and now one Queen, and they were all different in the way they approached ruling. King Charles had been very relaxed almost lazy in his approach, though everyone knew his word was final. King James had been highly energetic and always attended every single meeting and gave his view in as many words as he could. His daughter, Queen Anne was like her father, incredibly energetic, but unlike her father, knew when to play the game and get people to agree to what she wanted without making it seem like they were. That was how Robert found himself as Secretary of State for the Southern Department, standing before the House of Lords about to give a statement on the war in the continent.

Robert cleared his throat, then spoke. “My lords, it is my honour to present before you the statement from Her Majesty, the Queen, as pertains to the war effort against France. As many of you are aware, after his defeat at the Battle of Trarbach, His Highness, Prince William who is Her Majesty’s brother by marriage, agreed to commit the forces of Her Majesty’s army under the command of John Churchill, Lord Churchill southwards, to fight off a French force under the command of Marshal Vauban.” Robert paused catching his breath, Churchill was an ambitious man, and his wife was just as ambitious. Robert had considered whether he should marry his own son and heir to one of their daughters, it would be good to get a close connection with that family. “It is with great delight that I report Lord Churchill’s forces were successful in defeating Marshal Vaubhan’s forces at the Battle of Julich. The French were forced back to Trarbach and Prince William has written to Her Majesty to advise that a second engagement at Trarbach would be advised.”

The Lords stamped their feet in celebration and Robert smiled, though he suspected that Shaftesbury who was the spokesperson for the opposition would not be so high in praise. The man took a moment then spoke. “This is great news indeed. For it shows what I have been saying for a long time. We have one of the best forces in the continent.” Sunderland snorted, he knew for a fact that Shaftesbury had said no such thing, and had indeed been complaining to his master, the Earl of Devonshire of this thing. Devonshire himself remained silent on the back benches, he was neither a member of the court or opposition parties, though he directed the opposition.

The applause continued for another few moments, then Shaftesbury raised a hand and continued. “There is one thing that I have a query for, that I am sure other members of this most vaunted house have as well.” The man paused for effect, then when Sunderland knew that most of the people there were listening Shaftesbury continued. “We have won one victory, that has come after Prince William’s stubbornness cost him an advantage. How do we know that he will not simply do as he has done before now that he has had some of the pressure eased off of him?”

It was a valid question and one that Sunderland had debated with the Queen, or rather listened as she had debated the various merits and points about it. He stood up, statement in hand and said. “My lord is correct, this is a concern. Her Majesty has written to His Highness and has received assurances from him that there would be repeat of the decisions which saw defeat at Trarbach, now the Prince is committed completely to ensuring that the forces under Lord Churchill get full use.” Indeed, the Prince was sending Churchill’s men off to the Spanish Low Countries where it was believed that the Duke of Orleans was preparing to invade, of course Sunderland did not mention that, for the Queen had instructed him not to.

Shaftesbury stood up. “And what of the navy? The ships of our kingdom have sat docked within Dover and London without a seeming need. The French have never engaged with the ships that are out patrolling the channel. Shall we continue to fund a needless engagement?”

Sunderland did not smile though he was desperate to. Those words had Devonshire all over them. “The fleet remains engaged as always. We do not know when King Louis might change his mind and get involved in the waters. We must control those waves for the Dutch have given their strength to the ground forces.”

Shaftesbury stood up and summarised his thoughts with a simple. “Very well, I trust then that Her Majesty knows what will be best for the Kingdoms.” The man sat down again.

Sunderland remained standing. “Her Majesty has also asked of me to confirm that the Occasional Conformity Bill shall not be getting royal assent.” It was a sign of how more important the war was seen that this got nothing. Sunderland sat down and other issues were debated to do with grain and produce. He wondered then, whether they could consider a peace. Word had come that King Carlos was ill, very ill.
 
Chapter 19: Leopold Politician
Chapter 19: Leopold Politician



The seasons came with constant regularity, there was no disputing that. Leopold often thanked God that that was the case, there had been far too much disruption within his life to ever have made something such as being Emperor palatable without something constant. He had had three wives, and numerous children, but only the daughter from his first wife, and the children from his third wife had survived. He knew the importance of dynasty with Carlos of Spain dying, Leopold and his family were the last of the Habsburg dynasty, a dynasty that could not afford to die out. These thoughts weighed heavily on him, as he sat in the imperial conference room in Schönbrunn reading through the dispatches sent from the front, his advisors around him.

Leopold put down one letter and said. “The Turks have gained the upper hand in Southern Serbia . Charles, were you not the one who said that the Turks could not stand to gain anything from launching an attack there and that they would instead look to marching to Sarajevo to reinforce their control there?” Leopold had hoped that that was what the Turks would do, that was what he wanted them to do.

Charles, Prince of Salm and Imperial Field Marshal swallowed, Leopold could hear him thinking. “Sire, my apologies. I misinterpreted the movements of the Pasha. I had thought that they would follow common sense. They are now facing a difficult battle within Southern Serbian, though as you have seen Sire, they are gaining support.”

Leopold looked at Salm, and put the anger and the frustration he felt at this news into that look. Rightfully Salm trembled under the look. “You had advised us that the Serbian people would never wish to float under the whims of the Turks once they were liberated. Would you now care to explain to us, how this has happened?”

Salm hesitated, Leopold could sense that he was not comfortable with the news he had to give, and that simply raised Leopold’s suspicions. “Sire, I think that they are growing tired of the constant fear, that they live under and they wish to simply have some peace and quiet. The Turks are promising them that, Sultan Mehmed has guaranteed their freedoms. Our own men are not quite so prompt.”

Leopold bristled at that and the implications behind Salm’s words. He took a breath, then looked at another one of the commanders on his council. “Caraffa, what are your views on this matter?”

Caraffa was a man who Leopold trusted and increasingly believed that the man was worth more than Salm, for he had predicted that the Serbs would settle but at a cost. “Sire, I believe that we must increase the monetary gains that the Serbs feel they would get from being under your most august rule, rather than that of the Turk.”

Leopold looked at his treasurer and the man said. “I can speak with the bankers, Sire, and arrange loans to make these payments.” Leopold nodded and gestured for the man to do just that.

Deciding that he wished to focus on other matters for the time being, Leopold looked at the map before him and said. “The French have suffered defeats on the Rhine. Metternich, have there been any more letters from within Versailles?” Leopold had been surprised that the Sun King would consider surrendering now, though he was suspicious also, thinking that perhaps this was a simple play for time.

Metternich shook his head. “No Sire, there have been none, though the Duke of Savoy has written to say he is more than happy to apply pressure to the French’s southern flank with an invasion of the Dauphine, provided he receives support.”

“Send Prince Eugene and a contingent of men with him to Savoy then.” Leopold said at once determined to put as much pressure on King Louis as possible. “And what of our dearest son by marriage, what word has he sent?”

“Sire, the Elector reports that things are looking better than they were previously. The Duke of Brunswick has gotten the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel and several other German Princes into an alliance to add to the fight against the French. They are marching on Mainz and hope to take the city before the year ends.” Caraffa said.

“And, where is the Dauphin?” Leopold demanded, if they could capture that oaf, then perhaps they could end this war.

“Safely ensconced within Philipsburg, Sire.” Metternich replied. Leopold nodded, they would need to take that town to ensure there was nothing more of contention. “There is something else, Sire.”

“Speak.” Leopold said.

“Sire, my spies report that the Dauphin’s wife is pregnant once more and according to the spies amongst the midwives, it seems she is carrying a daughter.” Metternich said. Leopold leaned forward, the Dauphin had three sons already, a daughter could well make things in regards to Spain far more interesting.

Leopold nodded. “Very well, thank you for informing me.” He dismissed them and remained within the imperial conference room, and once he was sure the others were gone, he picked up the letter that had come from his daughter Maria, he read it again and considered its contents.

Dearest Father,

I write to inform you that I have given birth to a girl, that myself and my dearest husband have agreed to name Margaret Theresa, after our dearly missed Mother.

Yours Faithfully

Maria Antonia.

He put that letter down then read the letter that had come from Rome, from the Holy Father himself.

We would be most happy to grant a dispensation for this marriage between Your Imperial Majesty’s son Charles, and Your Imperial Majesty’s granddaughter Margaret.

He sighed then. The Dauphin’s wife had better not deliver a child at all now, otherwise this war would likely grow worse.
 
A couple of minior bastard-related questions:
1. What of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_FitzJames,_1st_Duke_of_Berwick TTL? Did he return to Imperial service after his father's (TTL) death?
2. Another Royal bastard, https://www.geni.com/people/Dudley-Bard/6000000015099716364 (though he's likely dead by PoD, so no point in asking).
3. Any odds https://www.geni.com/people/Ruperta-of-Palatinate-Simmern-Lady-Howe/6000000000307194467 may end up married to Duke of St Albans? OTL her father wanted a betrothal, even sent his Order of Garter to then Earl of Burford on condition that he marries his daughter when he grows up? Asking because a) Ruperta is unlikely to meet her OTL husband TTL, as he wouldn't be of OTL stance at court; b) if James FitzJames is on good terms with his half-sister the Queen TTL (and I think Britain would benefit from his military talents), he can snatch the OTL wife of the Duke of St Albans (maybe taking de Vere surname and claiming Earl of Oxford legacy in process).
 
Also, if you need any help regarding Russia, feel free to ask. I think, there would be greater push south, if the Ottoman Empire is weaker TTL, without need to shift northwards.
Though I'm not sure of the structure of alliances you've planned come 1700, so...
 
A couple of minior bastard-related questions:
1. What of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_FitzJames,_1st_Duke_of_Berwick TTL? Did he return to Imperial service after his father's (TTL) death?
2. Another Royal bastard, https://www.geni.com/people/Dudley-Bard/6000000015099716364 (though he's likely dead by PoD, so no point in asking).
3. Any odds https://www.geni.com/people/Ruperta-of-Palatinate-Simmern-Lady-Howe/6000000000307194467 may end up married to Duke of St Albans? OTL her father wanted a betrothal, even sent his Order of Garter to then Earl of Burford on condition that he marries his daughter when he grows up? Asking because a) Ruperta is unlikely to meet her OTL husband TTL, as he wouldn't be of OTL stance at court; b) if James FitzJames is on good terms with his half-sister the Queen TTL (and I think Britain would benefit from his military talents), he can snatch the OTL wife of the Duke of St Albans (maybe taking de Vere surname and claiming Earl of Oxford legacy in process).

Hey, so with regards to Berwick, I'm unsure what to do with him, he was raised Catholic and joined his father in exile when the glorious revolution happened, but here it hasn't happened. So, should he convert to Protestanism and serve England, or should he remain Catholic and fight in Imperial Service?

As regards Bard, you're right, he's dead unfortunately.

And Ruperta could well marry the Duke of St Albans.
 
Also, if you need any help regarding Russia, feel free to ask. I think, there would be greater push south, if the Ottoman Empire is weaker TTL, without need to shift northwards.
Though I'm not sure of the structure of alliances you've planned come 1700, so...

As for Russia, that would be massively helpful!

I'm unsure what to do with Peter the Great's children, whether to have his eldest son be different or for his sons by Catherine to survive.
 
Hey, so with regards to Berwick, I'm unsure what to do with him, he was raised Catholic and joined his father in exile when the glorious revolution happened, but here it hasn't happened. So, should he convert to Protestanism and serve England, or should he remain Catholic and fight in Imperial Service?
By 1687 he is a bastard, though just raised in peerage, unsure of what to do with his life.
He'll return to Imperial Service for a time being, but in post-war situation a conversion is in the cards for him, if this means getting into good graces of his sister the Queen, given how she's his only living relative TTL. May be talked into this by the Earl (Duke) of Marlborough, his uncle. With James II dead, his uncle may well have greater presence in young man's life.

I'm unsure what to do with Peter the Great's children, whether to have his eldest son be different or for his sons by Catherine to survive.
Peter in OTL had 2 sons by Eudoxia Lopukhina - the ill-fated Alexei and the short-lived Alexander (1691-1692). There was also a third pregnancy in 1693, ending in miscarriage (referred as (fictitious) Tsarevich Pavel, but OTL he never lived though birth, let alone being baptized).
So, how about the following variants:
1. Alexander survives past birth; then by 1698-1700 an epidemics claims lives of both Alexei and Eudoxia.
2. 1693 pregnancy turns out even more complicated than OTL, claiming the life of Eudoxia. Alexei is merely 2 years old by this time. Peter will then likely remarry to Anne Mons whom he was madly in love with since 1692: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Mons
However, this may end up in marital disaster, as Anne Mons was not too faithful to Peter, neither did she really love him (an ambitious mistress wishing to become Tsarina, yes, but no true soulmate). So, she may end up even beheaded for her adultery, prompting Peter to remarry. Maybe even to European princess.

Also, in TL with different Great Northern War Peter is unlikely to meet, let alone marry, Catherine. She was a war trophy, remember.
 
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