Albion Rising: A Henry Frederick Timeline

Chapter 290: Banks

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Chapter 290: Banks

March, 1646




Henry took a deep breath. Age was catching up with him now, his hair was almost completely grey, his body was constantly keeping him alert to what was and wasn’t happening within it and so much more. Perhaps it had gotten more pronounced after he’d learned about his brother-in-law, Frederick’s death, that had been a shock. The man had been in very good health until his stroke, and then there had been the death of the Tsar of Russia, a man Henry had corresponded with, albeit through their ambassadors, and who he had found to be a decent man.



So many people were dying. So many of them. That was partially why he was so receptive to this new proposal that Exton had come up with, a proposal that the man thought would improve the finances of the Kingdom and allow them to ascend into greatness.



“So, if I have gotten you correct, this new Central Bank would be able to hold our currency in reserve and would be able to give us loans when the time comes, should we require it. This would allow for greater stability in our currency by reducing our dependence on merchant banks many of whom are prone to falling to the trends of markets.” Henry said looking at Exton.



“Yes, Sire.” The man replied.



“And this Bank would not only do that but it would encourage merchants to take our proposals in the realm of finance seriously, knowing as they do that, we have something to back it all up with.” Henry continued.



“Yes, Sire.” The man said.



“I see.” Henry said. “Is this similar to the Bank of Amsterdam?” From what he’d been able to understand, the Dutch Republic’s rise to a power, before its untimely demise had partially been due to the Bank’s presence.



“Partially, Sire.” Exton answered. “But unlike the Bank of Amsterdam, this proposed central bank shall hold our currency in reserve. And unlike the Bank of Amsterdam, our central bank will be able to loan money.”



“I see.” Henry replied. He did somewhat. His years as King had given him an understanding of finance beyond that which was normally given to Princes. “And does this proposal have the support of the merchants?” He asked. There was no point having a central bank with the intention of boosting their credit, if the people they wanted to view them positively didn’t want it.



“The majority of the merchants are in favour, Sire.” Exton answered.



“Who is it that isn’t?” Henry asked.



“The bankers of Herald’s Guild, Sire.” Exton replied.



“Herald’s Guild still exists?” Arthur asked sounding surprised. Henry couldn’t blame the man, the Guild had been setup during the reign of Queen Mary, when things with Spain had been good. That it had survived the following tribulations was impressive.



“Yes, Your Highness, it exists and its merchants are virulently opposed to anything that could lessen their influence within the city.” Exton said.



“How large is their influence?” Henry asked. His spies had said that the Guild’s influence had fallen sharply during the war with Spain, both during his reign and at the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, he hoped they hadn’t started rebuilding.



“They currently control three banks located within London, with a further three taking their lead from them. They also have ten MPs who look to them for ways in which to vote.” Exton answered.



“They should have none.” Arthur growled.



Henry agreed with his son’s sentiment even if he knew that it wasn’t realistic. “I see. And can they be brought round?”



Exton took a moment to reply, when he did eventually answer, his response was slow and dispassionate. “Not without compromising some of what Your Majesty believes.”



That no doubt meant giving ground for Spanish interests, something that Henry would never do. Even if his daughter had given birth to the next in line to the Spanish throne after her husband. “Then we shall crush them.”



He looked at Arthur. “You shall meet with other bankers and other merchants. Get their views on the Guild, then put those views into pamphlets that expose them. Get MPs to speak out against them in Parliament and Lords to speak out against them. We keep this campaign going for weeks maybe months and it shall bring reward.” Of that he was sure, merchants didn’t have the stomach for a long fight.



“Yes, Sire.” Arthur replied bowing his head.



“Once that is done, we shall ensure this gets through Parliament.” Henry said, looking at Exton and with luck, their march to greatness could begin in earnest.
 
Chapter 291: Arthur's Rise

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Chapter 291: Arthur’s Rise

September, 1646




Arthur sat down with a barely concealed huff. He was tired. So damned tired. He’d been working all the hours that God sent, trying to make sure that the task his father had given him months ago came to fruition. It seemed to have finally worked.



“Well?” The King asked, not looking up from whatever letter it was he was reading.



“The last bank that took direction from the Guild has shut its doors.” Arthur said. It had taken time, and a rather large stretching of the truth, but they’d finally gotten there.



“Good.” The King replied. “And the MPs?”



“All of them have denounced the Guild in Parliament.” Arthur said. He’d sat in the gallery watching the debate over the Guild, and he’d seen the MPs who’d previously been happy to take payment from them stand up and shout against the Guild, decrying it as Papist, as vile, as the spawn of the Devil. It would have been amusing if it hadn’t felt so grim.



“You seem concerned.” The King commented, still not looking up.



Arthur didn’t know how his father did that, or rather, he did. He did it himself with his own children. It was as if there was an extra sense that let him know when any of his children were concerned or worried. Or happy.



“I just wonder if there’s potential for this to come back and hurt us.” He said.



The King put his letter down-it was a letter, and it seemed to have come from Scotland, if he recognised the writing properly- “Why?” The King asked.



“Well, the Guild has ties to Madrid, we know that.” Arthur answered, that had been the first thing they’d discovered when this campaign had begun, though it hadn’t really been a surprise. There was not a chance that such a Guild could survive without some of that support “And we know that King Philip was heavily invested in its success.” That had been a surprise. A very big one. “How do we know that the man won’t try and salvage the situation.”



“Because King Philip is a smart man.” The King said. “He knows to abandon a dying situation when he sees one.”



Arthur wasn’t sure about that, if the letters-coded of course-that Mary had sent him were any indication, her father-in-law was not someone who knew when to let go. “I…”



“I know that Mary might paint a different picture.” The King said, Arthur was surprised that the King knew about what he was thinking, but then he really shouldn’t be, the King knew everything. “But Kings cannot afford to be so stubborn when an asset fails.”



“So, we won’t experience any pushback?” Arthur asked, hoping against hope that that was true.



“Not from Madrid at least.” The King said.



“But you think there will be some pushback?” Arthur asked.



“From the Guild, yes. No matter how defeated they are now, there will be some members who will try and do something. The whole is weak, the individuals may not be.” The King answered.



“Should something be done about them?” Arthur asked.



The King shook his head. “No.” Arthur wanted to ask why, but he knew the King had his reasons. “Now, how did the other merchants take your proposals?”



The proposals the King spoke of included increasing the franchise to even the lowest of merchants who earned roughly £60 a year, and to put two or three merchants onto the Privy Council, chosen from a selection put forth by the merchants themselves. Arthur had thought of these ideas after his conversations with the merchants where all of them had expressed support for the Central Bank but had worried that their concerns might not be heard in the push within Parliament.



“They were supportive, Sire.” Arthur said. “Indeed, Master Flowers said he had candidates in his head already for the positions.” Flowers was the most enthusiastic of the lot, alongside Rolfe. Both were making a fortune from the cotton trade that had started developing during Arthur’s grandfather’s reign.



The King snorted. “I am sure he was.” A pause, then. “Was there any outright opposition?”



“None, Sire.” Arthur replied. And none that his own spies had been able to detect.



“Good.” The King replied.



“What happens now?” Arthur asked.



“Now, the final draft of the Act for the Central Bank will be put before Parliament. Cromwell will introduce it in the Commons whilst the Duke of Norfolk introduces it in the Lords. With luck this thing shall be done before Christmas.” The King said.



Arthur nodded relieved.



The King smiled at him. “You have done very well, Arthur. I am proud of you.”



Arthur smiled. “Thank you, Sire.” Now if he could get George away from that Bess woman then all would be good.
 
Bank of Albion is another thing to add to Henry’s legacy. Well done Arthur, though I think he is right to worry there.

Perhaps a formal visit to Spain might be in order at some point?

Henry has been faithful hasn’t he? So no bastards to muddy the lineage? How about his kids?

How’s the colonies doing after all this time? Still slave free one hopes?
 
Last edited:

VVD0D95

Banned
Bank of Albion is another thing to add to Henry’s legacy. Well done Arthur, though I think he is right to worry there.

Perhaps a formal visit to Spain might be in order at some point?

Henry has been faithful hasn’t he? So no bastards to muddy the lineage? How about his kids?

How’s the colonies doing after all this time? Still slave free one hopes?
Oh indeed, and a visit to Spain may be in the offing soon.

as for Henry? No illegitimate kids. He loves his wife too much for that. Same for Arthur and Henry sigismund, tho he younger son may have one or two.
 
Chapter 292: Ships

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Chapter 292: Ships

December, 1646


Robert had to laugh as he put the letter to one side. The stories that people, especially young women came up with was something else. This woman-Eliza-claimed that his son Henry had slept with her two nights ago. And that as a result she needed payment or she would go to some pamphleteer she claimed to know in London and spread the story. There was only one problem with that story, two nights ago, Henry had been with Robert during the time the woman claimed, they’d been inspecting ships, and Henry acting as if he were a wild-eyed boy of ten, and not a man grown of twenty had been staring at some of the new ships in awe.



“What is it?” His nephew, Henry Sigismund asked.



Robert passed the letter to him, he didn’t mind Henry Sigismund-or Iron Hand as the men called him-knowing about this, the lad had a good sense of humour and had taken Robert’s Henry under his wing.



The younger man read through the letter and laughed. “She can’t be serious.”



“She is.” Robert replied.



Henry handed the letter back to him and asked. “What will you do?”



“Nothing.” Robert said.



“Nothing?” Henry replied surprised.



“Nothing.” Robert confirmed. “I pay attention to her, she’ll demand more, and if I threaten her, she’ll think I’m scared. No, I will do nothing.”



“And if she goes to this pamphleteer that she claims to know?” Henry asked.



“She won’t.” Robert said.



“How can you be so sure?” Henry asked.



“Because if she was actually going to do what she says she will in that letter, she would never have written the letter in the first place.” Robert replied. “Such people, if they are genuine never reveal their intentions until it is too late to stop them. No, this woman wants attention and I will not give it to her.”



“Will you tell Henry at least?” Henry asked.



“I will. Tell him to be careful.” Robert said, he didn’t want his son making any foolhardy decisions. Especially not after the nonsense that his son in law, Robert Montagu had gotten involved in last year.



Henry Sigismund nodded, and then changed the topic of conversation. “I spoke with Northumberland earlier.”



“And?” Robert asked, wondering what new prediction the man had for them.



“He says that the new designs have been approved by the King and that they are expected to be built within the next two to three years.” Henry Sigismund answered.



Robert smiled that was good news. They needed to build new ships to make sure they didn’t fall behind the French or the Spanish, though given the way the King was shaping his foreign policy, the French were to be the bigger concern. “Good. What do you make of the designs?” His nephew had overseen some of their initial drafting, even having a hand in drawing some of the designs himself.



“I think it is a good thing that we won’t need to rely purely on a merchant fleet alone.” Henry replied. “Those ships will pack far more of a punch than anything we’ve had before.”



“And they will be better equipped to fight in the oceans.” Robert added. The ships they’d had during the Spanish war had suffered for not being properly equipped to both traverse the waves and fight. They’d lost a lot of good men because of that.



“The only concern I have is that with the King having removed the Herald’s Guild, we won’t be able to spy quite so much on the Spanish emissaries.” Henry said, referring to the Spanish sailors who were often found in London at the Guild over time.



Robert sighed. He knew why the King had done what he had done, but that didn’t make it regrettable. They’d gotten some very good information from the Guild members they’d been able to bribe or threaten. “We will make adjustments.” He said then. Especially if his own Henry had been able to charm the Spanish ambassador’s daughter.



His nephew nodded and then asked. “What about the Jamaica Station?”



Robert had been pushing the King to grant a warrant for the setting up of a new Naval Station in Jamaica so that it would become easier for them to patrol and maintain the waters between their new colonies. The King had initially been reluctant due to the expense but seemed more willing now at least. “I think we’ll see it by the end of next year.”



Henry’s eyes widened then. “So soon?” the younger man asked.



“Indeed. The King has had a change of heart.” Robert replied, well, that and Robert may have admitted to his brother that he’d already started building the station anyway using his own money. The man’s son didn’t need to know that though.



“That’s brilliant. We are truly making progress then.” Henry said.



“Indeed, we are, indeed we are.” Robert replied. He just hoped they could keep this going. They couldn’t afford to slow down for a moment.
 
Ah bribery and scamming, 17thC version…

Good that Britain is getting her own war fleet, but they are going to need American wood soon given the deforestation of the UK.

Building a station on Jamaica is a good idea since they are going to need to keep an eye on France and Spain in the region.

Did the King or Prince of Wales visit their American holdings during the Spanish war btw?
 

VVD0D95

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Ah bribery and scamming, 17thC version…

Good that Britain is getting her own war fleet, but they are going to need American wood soon given the deforestation of the UK.

Building a station on Jamaica is a good idea since they are going to need to keep an eye on France and Spain in the region.

Did the King or Prince of Wales visit their American holdings during the Spanish war btw?
I don't think deforestation has happened quite as much as it would later on otl.

And they did not, they were too busy ravaging Spain as it were.
 
Philip IV of Spain

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Philip IV of Spain.jpg
 
Charles? As in Henry's brother Charles?

And they do, Carnarvon is their favourite residence when not in St James' Palace.
Yeah, I realised you where doing Henry's descendents not the whole extended tree.

I guess the whole sweep of King James' family would be one big mfo of an image....
 
Re. Duke Edward of Clarence (BTW, Cumberland would go as a Dukedom for Prince Henry of Wales, second son of the Prince of Wales), a good wife for him is the TTL version of Anne Hamilton (as is the daughter of 1st Duke of Hamilton and Cambridge and late Anna Sapieha) - not a heiress per se as the Hamilton& Cambridge dukedoms would go to her uncle, but a highly prestigious bride.
That is provided no Bishop career for him or something.
 

VVD0D95

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Re. Duke Edward of Clarence (BTW, Cumberland would go as a Dukedom for Prince Henry of Wales, second son of the Prince of Wales), a good wife for him is the TTL version of Anne Hamilton (as is the daughter of 1st Duke of Hamilton and Cambridge and late Anna Sapieha) - not a heiress per se as the Hamilton& Cambridge dukedoms would go to her uncle, but a highly prestigious bride.
That is provided no Bishop career for him or something.
Re. Duke Edward of Clarence (BTW, Cumberland would go as a Dukedom for Prince Henry of Wales, second son of the Prince of Wales), a good wife for him is the TTL version of Anne Hamilton (as is the daughter of 1st Duke of Hamilton and Cambridge and late Anna Sapieha) - not a heiress per se as the Hamilton& Cambridge dukedoms would go to her uncle, but a highly prestigious bride.
That is provided no Bishop career for him or something.
This is very true, of course I’d the patent creating the dukedom’s for her dad still has the female line inheritance she could well become an heiress aha
 
This is very true, of course I’d the patent creating the dukedom’s for her dad still has the female line inheritance she could well become an heiress aha
IOTL the Dukedom went to 1st Duke's brother. Unless his sons TTL went in the Navy and died in Anglo-Spanish War, she's not a heiress to titles (but can be heiress of fair sum of money).
 
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