Rebellion, Government and the Scottish Response to Argyll's Rising of 1685

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    The short and militarily inglorious rebellion launched in May 1685 by Archibald Campbell, 9th earl of Argyll against the regime of James VII and II is often overlooked, partly on account of its rapid disintegration and partly because outside events – not least the much more famous Monmouth rebellion in south-eastern England – tend to draw attention away from it. Yet in ignoring the rising, historians risk missing its value as a tool for understanding the social and political dynamics of late-seventeenth-century Scotland. This article presents a reassessment of Argyll’s rebellion from that perspective, demonstrating how the insurgency and the government counter-attack threw the ongoing processes of Highland/Lowland convergence into sharp relief, while also revealing the nature, and limitations, of Stuart pretensions towards monarchical ‘absolutism’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-59
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Scottish Historical Studies
    Issue number1
    Early online date1 Apr 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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