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The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707$
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Jacqueline Rose

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266038

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266038.001.0001

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Consultation, Counsel and the ‘Early Stuart Period’ in Scotland

Consultation, Counsel and the ‘Early Stuart Period’ in Scotland

(p.193) 10 Consultation, Counsel and the ‘Early Stuart Period’ in Scotland
The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707

Alan R. MacDonald

British Academy

The impact on Scotland of the union of 1603 remains contested, with many seeing 1625 as more significant. Some believe that the advent of ‘absentee monarchy’ in 1603 coincided with a failure in counsel-giving mechanisms, ultimately leading to the revolution of 1637–8. Others reject the concept of ‘absentee monarchy’, and some argue that earlier institutional developments allowed government to function without daily royal participation. This chapter examines how central government sought and received counsel during James VI’s reign, exploring the diversity of institutional contexts, secular and ecclesiastical, for counsel. It traces developments before and after 1603 to assess the regal union’s impact and perceptions about the king’s departure. Considering one key individual’s views in 1625 highlights the importance of institutional mechanisms for counsel-giving and their perceived failures by that point. The continuities recognised by English historians between the reigns of James I and Charles I were also present in Scotland.

Keywords:   Scotland, 1603, James VI, Charles I, parliament, general assembly, convention of estates

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