Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline

Chapter 209: Aftermath

Chapter 209: Aftermath

November, 1623




“Please be seated!” The Speaker of the Commons called out. Silence fell over the house ever so briefly and Oliver prepared for what was to come.



Ever since word had come of the defeat of Nottingham and his men, and of Nottingham’s death, The King and the Council had been preparing for the inevitable blowback. It hadn’t come initially, but it was sure to come. Indeed, as Oliver surveyed the room, he fully expected it to come now.



“Sir Oliver Cromwell.” The Speaker called.



Oliver stood up. “Thank you, Mr Speaker.” He took a deep breath then spoke. “His Majesty has announced an enquiry into what happened against Spain, and what lessons can be learned from it. His Majesty has also decided to order to a complete and thorough investigation into the fitting of ships and the management of the Naval Dockyards.”



There were some murmurs at that. Oliver continued. “I hope that the House will join me in offering condolences to those who lost their loved ones fighting against the Spanish.”



Everyone bowed their heads for a moment, and allowed the thoughts of remembrance wash over themselves. Oliver found himself wondering who it would be who would rise to the attack to begin with and whether or not there would be any sense in their attacks or not. Sometimes, there was, but as of late the House had seemed incredibly inward looking.



After the moment, had passed, the Speaker called out. “John Pym, Knight of the Shire for Gloucester.”



This should be good. Oliver thought to himself.



“Thank you, Mr Speaker.” Pym said, his voice soft, his face expressionless. “The Right Honourable Gentleman says that there is to be an enquiry into what happened against Spain. I can tell him what happened. We saw the result of decades of neglect and corruption inflict a humiliating defeat on our Navy.”



There were murmurs at that, Pym continued. “Firstly, the greatest mistake that was made was believing that the former Earl of Nottingham-God rest his soul-could stand a chance against the newly reformed Spanish navy. Much as he was a hero of the past, Nottingham was also stuck in that same past, as the testimony from naval officers who served has shown.”



Oliver frowned, that sounded like Warwick’s words. The man had argued in front of the Privy Council upon his return that Nottingham was a fool and that he should have been given command. Something he hadn’t said anything about before the battle.



Pym continued. “Finally, an investigation into the Royal Dockyards is welcome but long overdue. How can we be sure that it will be carried out properly?”



There were murmurs at that, and Oliver felt the urge to either blush or scowl. There was an insult there, and he knew it and judging by the barely concealed grin on his face, Pym knew it as well.



Pym sat down, and at a nod from the Speaker, Oliver rose.



“The Knight for the Shire raises interesting points; however, I will say that his comments sound more like an afterthought than properly judged analysis.” Oliver said. He saw Pym grimace and continued. “Furthermore, he speaks of naval matters, but I was not sure if he has had any experience on a ship let alone in a war.”



Pym was scowling now.



Oliver continued. “He speaks of naval matters and reform as if he is a seasoned expert, but he is not. And as such I think it mightily impudent of him to question whether there will be actual reform or if investigations will be carried out properly.”



Oliver sat down, and waited. Oliver St John-a former client of Buckingham’s-leaned in to whisper. “I think you’ve got him there.”



Oliver smiled but waited. Pym seemed to be in conference with William Strode-a most detestable man as Oliver had found-and as he continued talking, the silence stretched on, until the Speaker had to speak.



“Mr Pym are you going to reply, to the Right Honourable gentleman?”



Pym looked at the Speaker with such ill-disguised loathing that Oliver was surprised the man didn’t rot there and then. When he replied, his voice was harder. “With your leave, Mr Speaker.”



The Speaker waved a hand indicating that Pym could reply. Pym rose and cleared his throat and said. “The Right Honourable gentleman says that I know nothing of naval affairs, and that may be so, but I also know that I have a duty, a duty to those who voted for me, and I intend to make sure that I do that duty.” He sat down then.



“Sir Oliver?” The Speaker asked looking at him. Oliver shook his head, he had nothing more to say on the matter, and neither did Pym it seemed. “Very well, we shall move onto discussing the Means and Ways Bill for the continuance of funding for roads and the dealing with bandits.”



Oliver tuned that conversation out and whispered to St John. “Did you find out what I asked you to?”



St John nodded. “I did.”



“And?” Oliver asked.



“I think your initial guess was right, Sir.” St John said. “Pym has been meeting with several more radical groups all of which have started taking influence from Venice.”



“So, he’s a traitor.” Oliver murmured.



“Yes, Sir.” St John said.



Oliver nodded. “Very well, keep digging, let us see what else we can find.” If they could find a compelling case, then Pym and his associates could all be done for, and a potential headache would be well resolved. It was a win-win scenario as far as Oliver was concerned. They just needed to make sure that they had enough evidence.



Oliver tuned back in to listen as Henry Vane, the Knight for Hull gave a speech decrying the state of the road leading into his town and he wanted to snort. Hull, Hull, Hull, there was nothing half as bad as someone from Hull complaining about Hull. At least Vane spoke properly. That was an improvement.
 
So the navy lost, that is a shame- we know Warwick made it back, but where is Robert?

I hope the inquiry is swift, and far reaching in its recommendations - such as trees from n. America. Be nice is some new ship building methods made come of this disaster.

Does this knock Britain out of the war?
 
So the navy lost, that is a shame- we know Warwick made it back, but where is Robert?

I hope the inquiry is swift, and far reaching in its recommendations - such as trees from n. America. Be nice is some new ship building methods made come of this disaster.

Does this knock Britain out of the war?

For the time being, yes, in the long run? No. The Dutch are shitting bricks though.
 
Hmm, that battle should have taken longer unless someone was taking some off the top in the construction and using substandard materials on the British side at the very least. Wooden ships can take a lot of punishment against solid shoot and unless a ship has massed volleys going against by a superior number, shells are being used, or some crazy captain decided to stoke up some red hotshot it takes time to really pound a ship with cannons and usually, it also depends on the weight of guns and the size of its broadside as well as things like the skill of th gunnery crew.

Aside from that though one of the major things as well as how much damage the splinters can do from the impact sites like they will shred a crew member fairly rapidly when it hits them heck some of the most horrific accounts of warfare at this period is the damage splinters can do to a human body
 
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Hmm, that battle should have taken longer unless someone was taking some off the top in the construction and using substandard materials on the British side at the very least. Wooden ships can take a lot of punishment against solid shoot and unless a ship has massed volleys going against by a superior number, shells are being used, or some crazy captain decided to stoke up some red hotshot it takes time to really pound a ship with cannons and usually, it also depends on the weight of guns and the size of its broadside as well as things like the skill of th gunnery crew.

Aside from that though one of the major things as well as how much damage the splinters can do from the impact sites like they will shred a crew member fairly rapidly when it hits them heck some of the most horrific accounts of warfare at this period is the damage splinters can do to a human body
Indeed, the battle didn't last minutes. It did last a while.
 
Indeed, the battle didn't last minutes. It did last a while.
Fair only catching up today on the last few chapter.

Still, I guess the Navy board is due for reform, also did Henery form the Board of Admiralty like Charles did OTL? Would be a smart move since it would streamline the whole day to day operations of the Navy as well enhance the various departments since it gives a clear roles to various people as well as the power of deligating so the various sea lords can focus in on the area required esspecally if they are savy and good at their job.
 
Fair only catching up today on the last few chapter.

Still, I guess the Navy board is due for reform, also did Henery form the Board of Admiralty like Charles did OTL? Would be a smart move since it would streamline the whole day to day operations of the Navy as well enhance the various departments since it gives a clear roles to various people as well as the power of deligating so the various sea lords can focus in on the area required esspecally if they are savy and good at their job.
Navy Board is massively due for reform, as for the Board of Admiralty, that may well be one of the reforms that's coming into being.
 
Chapter 210: Christmas

Chapter 210: Christmas

December, 1623


Filipito looked at the notes that Elisabeth had scribbled down from her meeting with the doctor.



Doctor says that Philipp has a temperature, but that he should be fine with a few days’ rest. Nothing serious.



I have ordered the cooks to prepare a light broth for him.



Filipito breathed a sigh of relief. He was happy that all their eldest son had was a temperature and nothing more. Given the traditions within the family, he’d been terrified that it might be something more.



He folded the paper in half and put it in his pocket and gave his attention to Uceda, the man who he’d asked to meet.



“Tell me what you’ve heard.” Filipito commanded.



“Good news, Sire.” Uceda said. “Since our victory in the Celtic Sea, the British fleet has been made inoperable for the next few months. That has given us a clear shot through the channel and into the Dutch Republic.”



Filipito smiled, that was good news indeed. “What of the French, have their ships been sighted?” That was the last thing he wanted, for them to sail close to France only to be attacked when they least expected it.



“The French are standing by the treaty, Sire. They remain in port.” Uceda said.



“Good.” Filipito said. “Then when the weather is right, I want the rest of the fleet to join Ambrosio in attacking the Dutch fleet.”



“Yes, Sire.” Uceda said.



With any luck, they’d destroy the blockade of the Scheldt and free Antwerp from the scourge that was the Dutch.



Of course, to be completely confident that the Dutch didn’t try and do something that scrambled their plans and left them ruing missed opportunities.



“Is our man in London doing what he’d say he’d do?” Filipito asked.



“He has yes, Sire. He’s on the committee that is looking into reforming the navy of Britain and he intends to make that process as slow as possible.” Uceda said.



“Good, the longer he makes it, the more chance we have of completely finishing off the Dutch.” Filipito said.

“Is Your Majesty sure that you do not wish to pursue a raiding strategy against the British?” Uceda asked.



Filipito shook his head. “No, that would needlessly antagonise them and waste valuable resources. Let us focus on the Dutch and bringing them down.” Besides, there were risks that came with raiding a coastline like Britain’s, risks that Filipito was not willing to take.



“Of course, Sire.” Uceda said.



A servant appeared then and said. “The Count-Duke of Olivares, Sire.”



“Show him in.” Filipito commanded, he saw Uceda’s face fall, and hid a groan behind his hands. The two of them didn’t get along, but he did just hope that they didn’t let it get in the way of what they had planned.



Olivares entered the room and bowed before taking his seat. “What news do you bring?” Filipito asked of the man.



“Positive news, Sire.” Olivares said. “I have just received word that some of the prominent members of the States General of the Republic are considering defecting.”



Filipito leaned forward intrigued. “Which members?”



“Men from Holland and from Zeeland, men who sit on the finance committee and men who sit on the Board of Admiralty.” Olivares said, barely able to contain his excitement.



“What has led these men to consider defecting?” Uceda asked cautiously.



“The British defeat.” Olivares said. “It seems that they have begun reconsidering the viability of their cause. That General Spinola defeated an army under the command of Frederick Henry of Orange, surely must have helped sway them also.”



Filipito could feel his excitement rising, but at the same time he needed to be cautious and realistic. There’d been rumours of defections previously and it had never quite turned out that way before. “What do they want?” He asked.



“To keep their lands and their titles, and to serve, Sire.” Olivares said a glint in his eyes.



“How do we know that they won’t turn should something change?” Uceda asked.



“It is a possibility.” Olivares agreed. “But that is why we must make sure nothing changes.”



“And how do you propose we do that?” Uceda demanded.



“Attack the blockade now, instead of next year. Ensure that we get as many men to cross the border once the blockade has been lifted and then move for Amsterdam.” Olivares said.



“That comes with all sorts of risks. Risks that the Admiral was not willing to embrace.” Uceda said.



“The Admiral may be too cautious.” Olivares said. “We must act and we must act quickly.”



“And what of the weather?” Filipito asked. “We all know what storms and adverse waves can do to ships at this time of the year.”



“That is true, Sire. But we also know what can happen when the element of surprise is with you.” Olivares argued. “We must take this advantage now before the Dutch have a chance to prepare.”



“It is far too risky, Sire!” Uceda protested. “We know not what might happen.”



“And if we don’t act, we know what will happen.” Olivares countered. “The Dutch will rebuild and then they will be prepared to fight us and we may well lose the advantage that we had.”



Filipito considered this. He didn’t want to lose the advantage, not at all, but he was also acutely aware that sometimes, fighting in a storm was the most idiotic thing one could do. At the same time, his Kingdom hadn’t had this good of an advantage since the Armada, or maybe Pavia. He needed to do something.



He looked at Uceda. “Send word to the Admiral, tell him to send twenty ships to accompany those already making their way toward Antwerp. And send word to Spinola, tell him to prepare for an offensive.”



“But, Sire!” Uceda protested.



Filipito held up a hand and silenced the man. “This is my will. See it done.”



Uceda nodded silently, and Filipito looked at Olivares. “If this goes wrong, it will be your head that falls.” Olivares swallowed and nodded his acceptance.
 
Merry Christmas, considering the fate of a certain armada I think the Spanish navy having a curious approach is the correct one.
Most definitely!
Merry Christmas!
Also if the reform process takes to long their man will tip his hand.
Oh for sure, it's going to be an interesting process.
Let’s hope the weather is not on Spain’s side here!

Wonder whom the mole on the Navy board is?

Happy Holiday season @VVD0D95 - thank you for all the posts this year.
;) And thank you for reading them all :)
 
Oh for sure, it's going to be an interesting process.
Given the king is breathing down their necks I imagine it will be! Heh maybe he is sat in a room off to the side with a thin wall or behind a screen of some sort to listen in on the deliberations.

I hope they bring some experienced captains and sailors in too.
 
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