Hello everyone, Richard here! Since today is the birthday of Henry VI of England, I decided to an entire story based around him, from his birth to his death, so it going to be a long one! : -D
This story will be based of real life (obviously 9_9) and a bit of Shakespeare too. Henry V will be the golden king that he was in the play, but also ruthless like he was in real life.
Richard III will not be a hunchback, mad man, but he will at times be quite cold and ruthless. Don't worry, fellow Ricardians, he will be nice too! :-D
I hope you all enjoy this brand new story: Henricus Rex VI: The Blood of a Saint and Martyr!
6th December 1421, Windsor Castle
Queen Katherine of England sat in her quarters on an old wooden chair supported by cushions. Her hand stroked her swollen, rounded belly, and she smiled and sighed contently.
She was a daughter of a king- the King of France- Charles VI. He was a mad, depressing old man who had been beaten by her husband, King Henry V, at many battles in France, most notably the Battle of Agincourt. At the Treaty of Troyes in 1420, five years after the battle, Henry had been made heir to the French throne over her brother, Louis the Dauphin.
In the Treaty, she had been promised as Henry's wife, and soon afterwards they had been married. Now, God willing, she would deliver him and England a strong and healthy son any day now.
Henry was a strong and effective leader. His mood could change quite quickly, and in his teens he was quite reckless and rebellious.
But Prince Hal grew in maturity, and became the King that England had hoped for. His father, Henry IV, had been very unpopular because he had taken the throne form the rightful king, Richard II, who had undoubtedly been murdered on his orders.
Henry V, in order to make amends for his father's crime, and to silence rumours of Richard's survival, had reburied the dead king's body in Westminster Abbey, where a priest daily said mass for his soul.
Henry was also a good wooer. He had proved that when they first met In Meulan. He had become enamoured with her, and likewise she with him (which is good if they were going to be married! ; -D).
They had been married on June 2nd 1420, and Henry went away on campaign afterwards, but he had returned in November. Meanwhile, Katherine had been learning the ways of the English Court, and more English, since her native tongue was French. She had been taught it as a girl, since she had been betrothed to Henry from the time when she was a small child…
A large kick from her unborn babe distracted her from her memories. She looked down at her whale of a belly and rubbed it gently. "Ahh, my boy," she whispered. "You are restless, non? Just like your father. I hope you shall grow up to be just like him, and a mighty king for England…"
The baby kicked again, and Katherine smiled. "Your father shall be back soon, pray God, and by then, you shall be born and alive and well, my petit one."
Another kick came from within, and Katherine winced in pain at the baby's activity. She felt strong kicks one after the other, and she suddenly wondered on whether she should call for help. She wobbled to her feet, and steadied herself on the armchair. The kickings stopped suddenly and Katherine let out a sigh, but that sigh soon turned into a loud gasp when she felt and saw a liquid trickling down onto the floor.
Water. Her waters had broken.
The Queen let out a cry, and several maids came running in. When they saw the increasing pool of amniotic fluid rushing out onto the floor, they stopped and gasped themselves.
"Your Majesty!" one of them cried, rushing forward to wrap one of the Queen's arms around their shoulders for support. She turned to the other two. "Send for the physician!" she ordered. "Get a bucket of water, towels! The Queen is in labour!"
The ladies in waiting ran off. "And get the Duke of Bedford and the Duke of Gloucester!" The one supporting the Queen yelled. "Hurry!"
Loud cries echoed out of the Queen's quarters, and ladies were running out constantly with dirty sheets covered in blood or buckets of water.
The Duke of Bedford and the Duke of Gloucester, King Henry's brothers, stood outside, waiting to send the news to a messenger to tell the King, who was currently campaigning in France, in Meaux.
"Pray to God it's a boy…" Bedford whispered to Gloucester.
"What shall we do if it's a girl?" Gloucester whispered back.
Bedford's face-hardened. "Do not think so ill, brother," he said. "A boy is what the King needs, a son to secure his line and Lancaster's future."
Another scream came out from within the birthing chamber, longer and higher than the others, which then soon fell to silence.
Too much silence…
Gloucester and Bedford looked at each other, before they turned to look at the door as it opened.
A nurse came out, holding a bundle in her arms.
Her beaming smile said all that they needed to know.
It was a boy.
So that's the first chapter! I made it long deliberately, so you knew what was going on.
I hoped you all enjoyed it! : -D
By the way, Henry's brothers are John, Duke of Bedford, and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.