Alternate History

Timeline (A Kingdom and a Horse)

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A Kingdom and a Horse

A Kingdom and a Horse

House of York

1483–1505 – The reign of Richard III. His reign would bring an end to the Wars of the English Succession and launch England into a new era of prosperity.

1485 – The Battle of Bosworth Field. The King and his fellows meet Henry Tudor and his rebels in combat. Henry Tudor is killed, and the Lancastrian forces routed [1].

The first cases of sweating sickness are recorded in England.

1486 – Stanley's Rebellion – Margaret Beaufort and Lord Stanley attempts to rally the remaining Lancastrian support against King Richard to seize the throne for her. Their attempt is mired by her gender, as the nobles are less than willing to install a woman on the throne – particularly a woman so unsuited to puppetry. Richard executes Lord Stanley and imprisons her in the Tower for life, but his sister–in–law ensures that Beaufort is treated in a suitable manner.

This is traditionally regarded as the end of the Wars of the English Succession.

1487 – Richard III marries Joanna of Portugal, and their first child is born in September: a girl named Elizabeth.

1489 – Further small–scale Lancastrian revolts. Richard decides to pledge his daughter to a continental monarch, to ensure the security of his throne.

Edmund, Prince of Wales is born to Joanna and Richard.

1490 – Princess Isabella marries Crown Prince Alfonso of Portugal. Later that year, her brother – the heir apparent to the thrones of Castile and Aragon – dies suddenly of consumption. She becomes the heir apparent to the Castilian throne, while the subtleties of Salic law mean that Alfonso becomes the heir to the throne of Aragon in the event of Ferdinand dying without conceiving another boy.

1491 – A young Genoese merchant called Christopher Columbus approaches Richard with ideas for an expedition to the far West to discover a trade route to Asia. Richard agrees to fund it in exchange for the lands being claimed in his name.

The treaty of Ghent is signed, allowing for the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Philip of Burgundy upon her fifteenth birthday (1502).

The Peace of Pressburg is signed between Austria and Hungary. Among other things, it allows for Archduke Maximilian’s ascension to the Hungarian throne, should the current King die with no male heir.

1492 – Columbus sets off from Barnstaple to find a route to China and the Indies. It takes over a month, but he finally reaches a land on the other side of the ocean, which he proclaims to be China. He claims it in the name of Richard III, and returns to England with his news [2].

Richard's experts, however, are not convinced that the land is Asia. After questioning Columbus's men, they come to the conclusion that they never went near Asia, and that their "Asia" is in fact a hitherto–undiscovered land in between, as in the ancient legends of Hy–Braseal. Richard names the land High Brasil.

1493–5 – Christopher Columbus launches his second expedition to High Brasil (or Asia, as he still believes). He maps much of the coastline of the area surrounding the landing site (or St. George's Land, as it is known).

Jean Cabot sails from Bordeaux on behalf of King Charles VIII of France, and maps a series of islands south of St. George's Land [3]. He names the sea Carolina in honour of his patron.

1493 – Death of Emperor Frederick III. Maximilian I inherits his father’s lands, including the title of Holy Roman Emperor.

1494 – John II of Portugal dies, and Alfonso V takes the throne of Portugal.

1494-5 – The War of the Neapolitan Succession. The death of Ferrante I of Naples results in a French invasion, as Charles VIII attempts to claim the kingdom for himself. He is forced to back down by Ferdinand II of Aragon, who would prefer to see his cousin Alfonso gain the throne.

In 1495, Charles VIII forces Alfonso out of Naples, and Alfonso abdicates. His son, Ferrante II, is championed as Ferdinand’s candidate, and placed on the throne once the French have been forced out of Naples once more by the League of Venice, a military union encompassing Milan, the Papal States, Venice, and Aragon.

1496 – Richard appoints the Duke of Norfolk as the first Lord Chamberlain.

1497 – Portuguese sailor João Álvares Fagundes is contracted by the Cortes at Lisbon to explore the seas of Carolina. He discovers a region filled with small islands – the Fagundas, as they would become known. South of the Fagundas is a much larger land, named Terra Juana by Fagundes, but later known to Anglophones as “Low Brasil” [4].

1498 Prince John born to Alfonso and Isabella of Portugal.

1499 – The Treaty of York proclaims an “everlasting peace” between England and Scotland.

1500-4 – The First Italian War, as Louis XII of France attempts to conquer the Duchy of Milan. He is opposed by Naples, Aragon, and after 1501 by the Archduchy of Austria as well, but is supported by the Republic of Venice until 1503, when the Republic signs a separate peace with Austria. The French incursion is soundly trounced, and Louis is forced to surrender his claims on both Milan and the Kingdom of Naples.

1501 – Amerigo Vespucci sails to Brasil, where he maps much of the Carolinian Sea west of the Fagundas.

1502 – Princess Elizabeth of England marries Philip of Habsburg, as stipulated in the 1491 Treaty of Ghent.

The first permanent settlement in High Brasil is founded in St. George's Land.

1504 – Isabella of Castile dies. Castile and Portugal are joined in personal union under Alfonso V of Portugal and XII of Castile.

Princess Elizabeth gives birth to Prince Richard of Ghent.

1505 – King Richard III dies in a hunting accident, and Edmund accedes to the throne, with the Duke of Norfolk serving as the Six-Day Regent (until Edmund reaches the age of 18).


1505-1517 - the reign of Edmund I of England. His reign would see much of England's French holdings returned to her.

1506 - Warwick's Rebellion. George Grey, the Earl of Kent, agrees to back Warwick's claim to the throne. The two garner support in the south of England, but are defeated at the Battle of Gravesend. Both Grey and Warwick are executed for treason, and Edmund's claim to the throne is secured.

1508-10 - The Second Italian War. Pope Julius II, growing concerned about increasing Venetian power in northern Italy, forms an alliance of Milan, Rome, Austria, Naples, Aragon and the Duchy of Ferrara to end the Venetian threat. Ferdinand of Aragon is brought into the Holy League in exchange for recognition of his claim over Navarre. Maximilian of Austria attacks Venice on his way to be crowned Emperor, and triggers the war.

Venice is not without allies, however - Louis XII of France is still smarting after his defeat in the Milanese war earlier in the decade, which ended the French presence in Northern Italy. He agrees to aid the Republic in the war, and begins a second invasion of Milan with the acquiescence of Charles II of Savoy (who allies with France and Venice in exchange for some Milanese border territory disputed between the two lands for generations).

The Franco-Savoyard armies besiege Milan, and Duke Ludovico is forced to flee the city for Rome, where he is taken in by the Pope. However, a new player enters the war in the form of King Edmund of England, eager to regain ancestral lands in northern France, and to carve out a new English dominion over the land. Edmund and Margaret of Ghent launch a joint invasion of northern France, penetrating French territory to the Somme in the south, though Edmund's private goal of reaching Paris is not achieved. Much of the Norman coast is seized by the Marquess of Suffolk and his twelve-thousand strong army, resulting in the siege of Rouen. In the south, Aragon annexes the Kingdom of Navarre before concluding a peace treaty with France.

As a result of the Anglo-Habsburg incursions in the north, Louis is forced to withdraw his troops from Milan, leaving Savoy to fend off the Holy League. The occupation of Milan is lifted by an army of Swiss mercenaries in conjunction with an internal rebellion against the Savoyards. The Austrians begin a siege of Venice, and a Neapolitan blockade of the city's waters ensures that the capital falls to the siege.

The war de jure ends in the early August of 1510, but the Peaces of Ravenna and Amiens are not signed until December 10th and 14th, respectively. The Ravenna treaty concludes that:

  • Austria will gain Istria, Verona, Vicenza, Padua, and the Friuli;
  • Milan will annex Brescia, Crema, Bergamo, and Cremona;
  • Naples will receive Otranto;
  • Venetian including Rimini and Ravenna, will fall under the dominion of the Pope;
  • What is left of Venice will be asked to pay for the damage caused to Milan in the course of the war.[5]

The Peace of Amiens is less harsh, but decrees that:

  • The Duchy of Normandy will become a possession of the English Crown;
  • Louis XII will recognise Aragonese rule over Navarre;
  • The Duchy of Burgundy will be returned to Maximilian I;
  • All territories in the Netherlands historically Burgundian will become sovereign states of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • The region surrounding Amiens will become part of the Duchy of Normandy, and as such will fall under the jurisdiction of the English crown.

1511 - Death of Ferdinand of Aragon, and Alfonso of Castile and Portugal ascends to the throne, to become Alfonso V of Portugal, XII of Castile, and VI of Aragon. Iberia is united under a single ruler for the first time in a thousand years.

King Louis XII recalls the Estates-General to cope with the financial aftermath of the Second Italian War.

1513 - Elizabeth of Habsburg gives birth to twins Margaret and William.

1514 - Portuguese settler colonies are founded in the Fagundas, and Spanish explorers are permitted to explore the Carolinian Sea for the first time. Amerigo Vespucci discovers a land to the west of the Fagundas, and names it Nueva España or "New Spain".

Portuguese activity in East Asia begins the transition from trading to cultural hegemony.

1516 - Ferrante II of Naples dies childless, and his half-brother Alfonso takes the throne.

1517 - London is hit by the Sweating Sickness, or "Tudor's Plague" as it becomes known, due to its first outbreak being shortly after the Battle of Bosworth [6]. Among the victims is King Edmund, an event that reinforces its status as a ghostly vengeance.

His sister Elizabeth takes the throne as Elizabeth I, but the status of her husband (Philip of Burgundy) is less certain, as few want to crown a Habsburg as King of England. He is eventually granted the title of King Consort, but it is made plain that England desires no Habsburg interference in her affairs.

House of Habsburg

1517-1531 - Reign of Elizabeth I of England, the first Habsburg Monarch of England (though she was Habsburg only through marriage, and some discount her in favour of her successor). Her reign was blighted somewhat by her lengthy absence from the realm, and her Regent was often forced to suppress revolts both noble and popular against unpopular measures.

1517 - Maximilian arranges for Philip to be elected King of the Romans. Ladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary dies, and Maximilian gains the thrones of Bohemia and Hungary, as agreed in the Treaty of Pressburg twenty-five years earlier.

Louis XII dies, and is succeeded by Francis I [7].

1518 - Death of Emperor Maximilian I. Philip inherits his father's hereditary thrones, and is seen as the main candidate for the Imperial throne, being the son of the predecessor. He wins the election through liberal access to his treasuries, and is crowned Emperor Philip I. He also succeeds to the thrones of Hungary and Bohemia, though many nobles in both lands are discontented with this state of affairs.

The first Castilian colony is founded in Low Brasil. Before this, only Portuguese settlers had permission to cross the Atlantic.

1519 - The beginning of the Protestant Reformation, as Martin Luther speaks out against the practice of selling indulgences. He is ordered to cease and desist his spread of heresy by the Emperor, but refuses, and is protected by Frederick of Saxony.

1521 - Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, sailing for England, discovers a large mass of land in the far west of the Carolinian Sea [8]. He supposes that it links the Brasils, and names it Terra Nova, which would later be shortened to Terranove.

1522 - The Proclamation of Ghent declares Luther to be a heretic and his ideas to be the word of the devil. He is ordered to leave the Empire on pain of death. He is whisked to safety by Landgraf Philip of Hesse, and remains hidden in Marburg for some months under the name "Johannes Althaus"

1523 - The dissolution of the personal union of Scandinavia, as Denmark is forced to acknowledge Swedish independence.

The beginning of the Regency period in England, as Queen Elizabeth departs to Flanders with her husband. She appoints the Earl of Westmorland as Regent in her absence, but he fails to win huge support among the nobility of the land, and spends much of his time suppressing small revolts.

The Chinese Navy captures Portuguese ships, complete with culverins. These are presented to Emperor Houcong.

1524 - King Alfonso of Naples dies, and the throne passes to Alfonso of Spain. Francis contests this, as is befitting for a French king in this era, and declares himself to be King of Naples. However, the Estates-General refuse to finance a further Italian war, noting the losses of both their Italian possessions and of their northern territories. Francis dissolves the Estates, but finds himself strapped for funding, and is forced to recall the Estates and to comply with their demands.

The beginning of the conflict between the French Crown and the Estates.

1525 - Erasmus speaks in favour of Luther, and is forced to go into hiding. He attracts a following, the Erasmians, who are generally less radical than Lutherans. Both groups are persecuted by the Church for heresy.

Birth of the Dauphin of France, Prince Charles.

1526 - The Turkish conquests continue in Eastern Europe, as Emperor Suleyman leads an onslaught against the Kingdom of Hungary. He is thwarted at the Battle of Mohács, but Transylvania slips from Hungarian rule into that of the Ottomans.

1528 - Marriage of Prince Richard of Ghent and Wales to Anne of Bohemia and Hungary, the daughter of former King Ladislaus. They have a child later that year, Prince Edward.

Queen Elizabeth returns to England, ending the Elizabethan Regency. Her time away has left court politics in a sorry state, as the Earl of Westmorland has been unable to attract enough support to govern the realm effectively.

1529 - Lutheran uprisings in Bohemia, due to what they feel is a harsh imposition of the Proclamation of Ghent.

1530 - King Francis upholds his version of the Proclamation of Ghent, denouncing Protestants of all stripes as heretics, and increasing tension in the nation. Several key members of the Estates have Erasmian sympathies.

1531 - The death of Queen Elizabeth I of England, and the beginning of the reign of her son, King Richard IV.


1531-1551 - The reign of King Richard IV of England, the first Habsburg King of England.

1532 - The death of Philip, Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, Duke of Burgundy, etc. etc. Richard succeeds to all of his father's titles, including the elective Bohemian, Hungarian and Imperial thrones.

1533-5 - The First French Civil War. Conflicts between Francis and the Estates-General reach a head as Francis marches into a meeting of the Estates to arrest several members for following the Erasmian heresies. They were forewarned, however, and are not present at the meeting. The Estates vote to bar the King from entering the Estates without prior permission, which Francis classes as an act of treason. The conflicts cause Protestant riots, and the country descends into civil uprising.

The war is recognised as having begun with the Parisian Revolts, as the widespread conflicts (King and Estates, Catholicism and Reformation) bled into a revolt against the salt tax [9]. The Duc d'Auvergne becomes the figurehead of the rebellion, uniting the discontented peasantry and the Erasmian factions behind him, and southern France (already a hive for Reformists) near-unanimously allies itself with the Reformist cause. Significant Catholic populations still exist in the south, however, and the conflict is not fully stilled.

The most famous battle of the first war is undoubtedly the Battle of Marmoutiers. The meeting of the Duc and King Francis before the battle is recorded in Holbein's epic l'Épurateur, or Purifier. The battle results in the death of the Duc and a fracturing of his allies, as the clashes between Reformists and the Estates exacerbate themselves in the absence of a real figurehead for the rebellion. While the war still progresses, the overall level of conflict is reduced to a skirmishes in the borderline regions, and the time between this and the "Second French Civil War" is considered to be a time of peace.

1534 - the Lutheran states of Germany form the League of Wittenberg in response to harsh enforcement of various anti-heresy laws implemented throughout the Empire. Emperor Richard makes plain his displeasure at this, but has no casus belli to march against the League.


[1] In OTL, he fought for Henry, but it was a close call. This is the POD.

[2] He lands in Chesapeake Bay, roughly on the site of OTL Virginia Beach.

[3] OTL Caribbean Sea.

[4] South America. Look, the English have no sense of humour, okay?

[5] These were the prospective gains in the OTL War of the League of Cambrai.

[6] Actually a few months before, but this should never interfere with a folk legend.


[7] An ATL analogue of OTL Francis, but much the same in general temperament - rash, pompous, absolutist ideals, etc.

[8] OTL Central America, of which Terranove is the Yucatan Peninsula.


[9] Enacted in 1290, and had dramatic effects on France IOTL. Salt-caused civil war is hardly new.

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