Parliamentary representation in early modern scotland: concepts and practices

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    This communication considers how representation was understood and articulated within the context of the two elected estates of the Scottish parliament (the representatives of the towns and of the counties who sat alongside the estates of peers and bishops who sat by individual right). I will discuss the general principles by which representation was conceptualised and examine in more detail two manifestations of representation. The first consists of the written and verbal interactions between the elected representatives (‘commissioners’) and their electors before, during and after parliamentary sessions. The second comprises the texts of their ‘commissions’, the official documents that the elected representatives carried with them to parliament. These documents recorded their election, acted as their mandate and included language indicative of the electors’ understanding of their relationship with their representatives. So this paper will consider three separate aspects of this topic: the theory of representation in the early modern Scottish parliament; how that theory operated in practice; and political rhetoric expressed in the mandates of elected representatives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDois Seculos de Constitucionalismo Eleitoral im Portugal, 1820-2020
    Subtitle of host publicationTwo centuries of electoral constitutionalism in Portugal, 1820-2020 : conference proceedings
    EditorsVital Moreira, Jose Domingues
    Place of PublicationLisbon
    PublisherUniversidade Lusiada Editora
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)9789896402396
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • representation
    • parliament
    • elections
    • Scotland


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