|King of Anglia|
|Reign||11th March, 1686 - 7th September, 1715|
|Born|| 24th June, 1660 |
|Died|| 7th September, 1715 |
|Spouse||Elizabeth Tyrwhitt, Countess of Kesteven|
|Mother||Catherine of Moers-Saarwerden|
Born in Kassel, in 1660, the eldest child of Louis and Catherine of Moers-Saarwerden, Henry's early years were marked by a relative hardship. The Landgravate of Hesse-Kassel had been hard hit by the still raging Fifty Years War and the family was almost penniless. Even when Louis was chosen by the Anglian Witenage to succeed the childless John V the frugal Louis made sure the family lived comfortably within its means.
His mother and father would both die of measles in March 1686 and Henry was proclaimed king by the Witenage on 1st April. Henry planned a tour of his new kingdom though he would have to postpone this, for quite a considerable length of time as it turned out as on the 11th of May Denmark declared war on Wessex.
Having caught Wessexian spies red-handed with money meant for the Catholic rebel army currently causing havoc in North Germany, Denmark declared war on the Catholic state, eager to remove its influence. Anglia, a member of the Kalmar Union (albeit it had only rejoined the alliance in 1684), was Wessex's obvious target for military operations despite the fact the Danes had barely consulted the Anglians and they had merely been presented with the war as a fait acompli. Wessex duly mobilised and had seized the newly improved fortress of Kettering by July. The Anglian army, caught somewhat unawares, took longer to reach strength but as Wessex had concentrated its efforts on Kettering the Anglian militias could fend off the Wessexian probing attacks until the full army could be brought to bear.
Henry would see action in battle in these tense early meetings, commanding the militia of Peterborough against a small force under William Cecil, Baron of Cobham. His military credentials earned he would mostly spend the rest of the war behind the scenes; immersing himself in planning, logistics and diplomacy.
Once at full strength the Anglian army, under the command of Henry's uncle, Count Philip of Kaltenholzhausen, was in good shape thanks to the reforms of Louis' reign and was slightly ahead of Wessex in terms of equipment, tactics and logistics. But much of both nation's efforts went into capturing and recapturing the impressive array of fortresses which lined their long border. There was little in the way of deep probing attacks and pitched battles were avoided. Hopes that the Kalmar alliance would slowly tip the balance were mostly dashed. Hordaland was effectively already at war with Wessex in Ireland and had no interest in switching theatres. The Kalmar nations of Leifia and the North Atlantic ignored calls for assistance. The Danes spared a small Vikene army which was useful but the main Danish army would take virtually an entire year to hunt down and destroy the Catholic rebels in Germany and wouldn't land in Anglia until 1691. And again they impulsively tried to open a new front in Kent rather than consult with Henry and his lords and join the Anglian-Vikene force to the north. Much of that year's campaign was wasted extricating the Danes from their pinned-in position.
Henry, privately seething at his allies ineptitude, would be forced to defend them in the Witenage. When the buffoonish Prince Eric of Närke arrived with a poorly equipped Gothenlandic army in 1695 this facade disappeared and Henry began to be openly critical. Much of the war's conduct and lack of progress was slowly heaped onto the failings of Anglia's allies, soon to include the plucky but outgunned Brittany-Maine. Anglia's army and its leaders, were praised and fully supported.
Eventually in 1701 a decisive blow was achieved. The battle of Woburn left the Wessex army in disarray and, ignoring the fortresses, Philip of Kaltenholzhausen marched on Bristol. Wessex, its war effots far more onerous on the country than in Anglia, and its army now in pieces, would sue for peace. By the Peace of Lancaster Wessex ceded various island territories and Derbyshire; to be split between Anglia and Man. Henry ordered a month of celebration and various monuments to mark the victory but agreed with the Witenage that the entire war had been an expensive disaster. Anglia, especially along the borders, had been scarred and would take years to recover. The actions of its supposed allies had utterly failed to secure Anglia which was the whole purpose of the Kalmar Union in the first place. Anglia would henceforth remain a member, but effectively withdrew from any activities.Rebuilding Anglia's fortunes would take up much of the remainder of the reign. As the war dragged on he had spent more and more time at the Witenage and kept the same routine during peacetime, successfully cajoling the chamber to raise modest taxes, fund a larger navy and expand poor laws to assist those in the border regions. The chamber began to resemble the modern institution it is now in that it slowly coalesced into four parties; Merjar, Bywiifer, Venner's and Rioolar. (Their names were mostly derogatory epithets linked to obscure events of the War of the Scottish Emergency.) Towards the end of his reign there was a concerted push back against what many saw as Henry's overbearing influence on the chamber leading to Henry grumpily leaving Lincoln for Bury St. Edmunds, and the downfall of the capable Chancellor Kelham. This would pre-stage a series of long-running battles in the Wittenage over the exact limitiations of the power of the monarchy; a process which would dominate and colour a large proportion of his successors' reigns.
Louis had been acutely aware he had been elevated to the throne by a legal slight of hand and hence he was keen to tie his large and growing family into the Anglian nobility. Henry was betrothed to the young Countess of Kesteven, Elizabeth Tyrwhitt. The marriage was considered a good match; her natural ease at court contrasted with Henry's often distracted air.
Only two of Henry and Elizabeth's six children would reach adulthood; Henry and Amöena. When Henry died in 1715 he was succeeded by his 'exceedingly dull' son Henry, however he would die after only 2 and 1/2 years on the throne.
|Ancestors of Henry V of Anglia (The Kalmar Union)|