|King of Anglia|
|Reign||30th March, 1670 - 11th March, 1686|
|Born|| 30th December, 1639 |
|Died|| 11th March, 1686 |
Horncastle, Lindsey, Anglia
|Spouse||Catherine of Moers-Saarwerden|
|Issue|| Henry V|
|Father||William of Battenberg|
|Mother||Magdalene of Anhalt|
Louis ruled Anglia for 16 years in the latter half of the 17th century.
As John V outlived all his own children the Witenage was forced to looked further afield for a suitable successor. They had already dredged deep through the cousins of the Norfolk family to find John IV in the first place. Once again the nearest relations were Catholics or already firmly struck out of the succession. A neat solution would be found in Louis however. The grandson of the still wildly popular Anna II, he was young, politically astute and blessed with a small but growing family. Chancellor Marsdon massaged the legalese (in theory Louis was ineligible as his grandparents had married morganatically and had renounced any claims to the Anglian crown) while pamphlets loudly proclaimed the return of the Norfolk dynasty.
Louis and his family would travel to Anglia in late 1668. His father, William, had also been considered for the crown, but it was known he was infirm having been wounded during the Second Hesse War, and besides, had given his blessing. Louis in return abdicated his claim to what remained of the Battenberg estates in Hesse-Kassel to his younger brother William.
Compared to John V's apparent aversion to politics Louis jumped at the chance to witness the goings-on at the Witenage first hand and, even in those early years when his Anglian wasn't particularly good, could be found at most of the Lords' sessions. This had a secondary purpose too, although he may have had his grandmother's reputation to carry him with the commoners he needed friends amongst the nobility and maintaining his visibility was a good way to achieve it.
There was little disruption when John V died in early 1670, he was crowned in May and his son Henry confirmed as Earl of Lindsay later that day. His wife would give birth to their first child in Anglia in November, a girl they named Anke (after his grandmother). Raised in relatively straitened circumstances in war torn Hesse-Kassel Louis took a careful view of money and upon his coronation ordered a full census of Anglia's population and military worth. The subsequent report; Louis' Book, took five years to compile and laid bare Anglia's weaknesses but also its potential for the future. It also produced a detailed map of the country itself, something which would prove invaluable for military planning.
With the navy in a relatively good state, but small, and the army, well-funded but still using outdated techniques, Louis made it clear to the Witenage he had no desire to wage war however wished to restore Anglia's military superiority which had been lost during the War of Anglian Succession. To this end he organised committees led by trusted allies (including his own brother Philip) to investigate and reorganise the whole Anglian military while he himself oversaw a root and branch review of the kingdom's finances.
In John V's reign this kind of intrusion would have caused untold uproar however there now appeared to be a feeling that Anglia was in a state of decline and any doubts over the project were as Louis' tax reforms reduced embezzlement considerably and boosted the income of the treasury. This surplus would be spent on a considerably expanded navy as well as impressive fortresses at Kettering and Harlow. Civilian projects such as canals and further drainage of fen-land would also be approved. There was no attempt by Louis to exercise autocratic control over the state's organs of power; his dealings with the Witenage were frequently described as 'humble but forthright'.
He would also oversee a rapprochement to long-abandoned allies; he helped the transition between the Leijonhufvud and Rothesay dynasties in Scotland, reaffirmed friendship with Luxembourg and Hordaland, and in 1680 allied with Svealand. Anglia would rejoin the Kalmar Union in 1684 apparently as a prelude to the reconquest of Fryslân.
Louis died in 1686 having contracted measles from his beloved wife Catherine. Their eldest son Henry would succeed to the throne. Though Anglia had experienced a peaceful reign Louis' financial and military reforms had not come at a better time; Anglia would soon be embroiled in a war with Wessex.
|Ancestors of Louis of Anglia (The Kalmar Union)|