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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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Councils, Counsel and the Seventeenth-Century Composite State

Councils, Counsel and the Seventeenth-Century Composite State

(p.271) 14 Councils, Counsel and the Seventeenth-Century Composite State*
The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707

Jacqueline Rose

British Academy

This chapter explores how the lack of a fully developed system of British councils contributed to friction in the seventeenth-century dynastic union. British councils were occasionally mooted, involving joint mutual representation of Englishmen and Scots on each kingdom’s privy council, or an additional new British council to resolve disputes. At their most ambitious, such notions involved a wholesale rethinking of the British — even European — state system. However, they were rarely implemented, and many writers on union did not discuss British councils. This conclusion explores why counsel, rather than councils, was left to do the work of lubricating the multiple monarchy, and how its failure to do so exploded in both English and Scottish resentment of foreign counsels in the years around 1700. The two decades after the Revolution of 1688 were a liminal period in which old and new ideas about counsel, parliamentary power and fiduciary monarchy blended.

Keywords:   union, counsel, councils, Anglo-Scottish relations, Covenanters, Committee of Both Kingdoms, William III, Darien, Portland, Revolution of 1688

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