Consultation, Counsel, and the ‘early Stuart period’ in Scotland

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    Assessments of the impact on Scotland of the union of 1603 remain divided, with many continuing to regard 1625 as a more significant transition. Some believe that the advent of ‘absentee monarchy’ in 1603 coincided with a failure in mechanisms for counsel-giving, which persisted and led ultimately to the revolution of 1637-8. Others reject the concept of ‘absentee monarchy’, and some argue that institutional developments before 1603 allowed government to function without the day-to-day participation of the king. This chapter examines the means by which central government sought and received counsel during the reign of James VI. It explores the diversity of institutional contexts in which this operated, both secular and ecclesiastical. It traces developments before and after 1603, assessing the degree to which the regal union was an epoch and how the departure of the king was perceived by those it affected. Through a focus on the views of one key individual at the crucial transition of 1625, it highlights both the importance of institutional mechanisms for counsel-giving and the perceived failures of those systems by that point. It concludes that the continuities recognised by English historians between the reigns of James I and Charles I were also present in Scotland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707
    EditorsJacqueline Rose
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherBritish Academy
    ISBN (Print)9780197266038
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the British Academy
    ISSN (Electronic)0068-1202


    • Government
    • Communication
    • Scottish history
    • James VI
    • Charles I
    • Consultation
    • Consent
    • British history


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