Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400-1688 [1st ed.] 9783030377663, 9783030377670

This book explores the place of loyalty in the relationship between the monarchy and their subjects in late medieval and

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Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400-1688 [1st ed.]
 9783030377663, 9783030377670

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xv
Introduction: Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain (Matthew Ward, Matthew Hefferan)....Pages 1-11
Front Matter ....Pages 13-13
Tiltyard Friendships and Bonds of Loyalty in the Reign of Edward IV, 1461–1483 (Emma Levitt)....Pages 15-35
‘I claim no right but would this land defend’: Loyalty to the Institution of Kingship in Blind Hary’s The Wallace (Callum Watson)....Pages 37-59
Political Dialogue, Exchange, and Propaganda: Or, How Yorkist and Early Tudor Governments Managed Public Opinion, c. 1461–1537 (Wesley Corrêa)....Pages 61-84
‘Towards God religious, towards us most faithful’: The Paulet Family, the Somerset Gentry and the Early Tudor Monarchy, 1485–1547 (Simon Lambe)....Pages 85-106
Dedicated to Loyalty: Book Dedications to King Henry VIII (Valerie Schutte)....Pages 107-123
Front Matter ....Pages 125-125
Not ‘to Confound Predicaments’: Loyalty and the Common Law, c. 1400–1688 (Michael A. Heimos)....Pages 127-148
Elizabeth I and the Dilemma of Loyalty (Janet Dickinson)....Pages 149-165
Loyalty to a Nero? Publicising Puritan Persecution in the 1630s (Jamie Gianoutsos)....Pages 167-190
‘We have a good king and our imaginations ought to be good to him’: Divided Loyalties Forced on East Midlands Sheriffs, 1580–1640 (Richard Bullock)....Pages 191-208
Front Matter ....Pages 209-209
‘You may take my head from my shoulders, but not my heart from my soveraigne’: Understanding Scottish Royalist Allegiance During the British Civil Wars, 1639–1651 (Andrew Lind)....Pages 211-230
Loyalty, Disloyalty, and the Coronation of Charles II (Edward Legon)....Pages 231-252
Loyalty and Insecurity in Charles II’s Virginia (John Ruston Pagan)....Pages 253-272
Repeated Testimonies of Duty and Affection: Constructing Loyalty in Cornwall and South-West Wales, 1681–1685 (James Harris)....Pages 273-295
Back Matter ....Pages 297-302

Citation preview

Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688 Edited by

m at t h e w wa r d m at t h e w h e f f e r a n

Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688

Matthew Ward  •  Matthew Hefferan Editors

Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688

Editors Matthew Ward Department of History University of Nottingham Nottingham, UK

Matthew Hefferan Department of History University of Nottingham Nottingham, UK

ISBN 978-3-030-37766-3    ISBN 978-3-030-37767-0 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG. The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland


We are grateful to all those who have helped this book come to fruition. In particular, we would like to thank the British Academy for funding the conference at which many of the chapters in this volume were first read, and all those who attended or helped in the running of the conference. Our gratitude also goes to the staff at Palgrave—particularly Oliver Dyer, Emily Russell and Joseph Johnson—who have made the process of preparing this book for publication a rewarding one. Thanks are also due to Dr Bethany Marsh, who cast her early modernist eyes over the introduction. Finally, we are indebted to the contributors of this volume, who have been prompt in preparing their chapters and in responding to our queries, and whose combined interests in the monarchies of late medieval and early modern Britain made this book possible.



1 Introduction: Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain  1 Matthew Ward and Matthew Hefferan Part I Loyalty to Late Medieval and Early Tudor Monarchs  13 2 Tiltyard Friendships and Bonds of Loyalty in the Reign of Edward IV, 1461–1483  15 Emma Levitt 3 ‘I claim no right but would this land defend’: Loyalty to the Institution of Kingship in Blind Hary’s The Wallace 37 Callum Watson 4 Political Dialogue, Exchange, and Propaganda: Or, How Yorkist and Early Tudor Governments Managed Public Opinion, c. 1461–1537  61 Wesley Corrêa 5 ‘Towards God religious, towards us most faithful’: The Paulet Family, the Somerset Gentry and the Early Tudor Monarchy, 1485–1547  85 Simon Lambe vii



6 Dedicated to Loyalty: Book Dedications to King Henry VIII107 Valerie Schutte Part II Loyalty to the Later Tudors and Early Stuarts 125 7 Not ‘to Confound Predicaments’: Loyalty and the Common Law, c. 1400–1688127 Michael A. Heimos 8 Elizabeth I and the Dilemma of Loyalty149 Janet Dickinson 9 Loyalty to a Nero? Publicising Puritan Persecution in the 1630s  167 Jamie Gianoutsos 10 ‘We have a good king and our imaginations ought to be good to him’: Divided Loyalties Forced on East Midlands Sheriffs, 1580–1640191 Richard Bullock Part III Loyalty, Civil War and Restoration in the Seventeenth Century 209 11 ‘You may take my head from my shoulders, but not my heart from my soveraigne’: Understanding Scottish Royalist Allegiance During the British Civil Wars, 1639–1651211 Andrew Lind 12 Loyalty, Disloyalty, and the Coronation of Charles II231 Edward Legon



13 Loyalty and Insecurity in Charles II’s Virginia253 John Ruston Pagan 14 Repeated Testimonies of Duty and Affection: Constructing Loyalty in Cornwall and South-­West Wales, 1681–1685273 James Harris Index297

Notes on Contributors

Richard Bullock  holds a PhD from Nottingham Trent University, where he has been Chair of the Board of Governors. His thesis examined ‘Sheriffs’ Changing Roles in the East Midlands, 1580–1640’. Bullock is himself formerly Under Sheriff of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Wesley  Corrêa is a doctoral candidate in History at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. His research examines ‘Public Opinion and Seditious Language from the Wars of the Roses to the Pilgrimage of Grace (1461–1537)’ and is funded by the CAPES Foundation of the Ministry of Education of Brazil. He has previously worked on Jack Cade’s Rebellion (1450), parliament records (c. 1449–84) and the writings of Sir John Fortescue. Janet Dickinson  is Senior Associate Tutor in History at the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford and a lecturer at the New York University in London. Her research focuses on the nobility and the court in early modern England and Europe, and she has published a number of chapters on these subjects. Her book, Court Politics and the Earl of Essex, was published in 2011, and she is now preparing a second monograph on the Elizabethan nobility. Most recently, she formed part of a team working on an Anglo-Dutch project, ‘Maritime Archaeology meets Cultural History’, focusing on the extraordinary objects retrieved from a seventeenth-century shipwreck off the Dutch island of Texel.




Jamie Gianoutsos  is Assistant Professor of History at Mount St Mary’s University, Maryland. She has previously published in Renaissance Quarterly, History of Education and Reformation & Renaissance Review. She is currently working on her first monograph, The Rule of Manhood: Tyranny, Gender, and Classical Republicanism in England, 1603–1660, to be published by Cambridge University Press as part of the Early Modern British History series. James Harris  received a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2019. His thesis examined ‘Politics and Religion in Later Stuart Cornwall and South-­West Wales’, and he is revising it for publication. He has published articles in Parliamentary History and Cornish Studies. Matthew  Hefferan is a Teaching Associate in Medieval and Early Modern History at the University of Nottingham, where he received his PhD in 2018. His doctoral thesis focused on the household knights of Edward III, and he is in the process of preparing this for publication with Boydell and Brewer. Michael A. Heimos  is a DPhil Candidate at St Cross College, Oxford. He is working on a project entitled ‘“In the Night the Heart Doeth Wander” – Koheleth and Practical Divinity, Expression and Community in England, 1589–1603’. He is the author of four law monographs published by Bloomberg BNA/Tax Management, numerous journal articles and commentaries, and the critically acclaimed two-volume graphic novel, Fever Ridge. Simon  Lambe is Lecturer in Academic Skills Support at Kingston University, London. His research focuses primarily on gentry and royal relations in early Tudor England. Previously, he has worked at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, the Institute of Historical Research and the University of Surrey. Edward  Legon  is Lecturer in Heritage Management at Queen Mary University of London. In February 2019, his book, Revolution Remembered: Seditious Memories After the British Civil Wars, was published by Manchester University Press. Emma  Levitt  received a PhD from the University of Huddersfield in 2016, working on masculine displays in the medieval tournament and the rise of jousting men at the courts of Edward IV and Henry VIII. She has



published articles in BBC History Magazine, History Today, The Daily Telegraph and The Times. Andrew  Lind  is a final-year PhD candidate in Scottish history at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on understanding the allegiance and loyalty of Scottish Royalists during the British Civil Wars (1639–51). John  Ruston  Pagan  is university Professor Emeritus, in the School of Law at the University of Richmond, Virginia. He was Dean of the Law School from 1997 to 2003. Pagan’s book, Anne Orthwood’s Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia, won the American Historical Association’s James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History. Valerie Schutte  is an independent scholar specialising in Queen Mary I and early book history. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Akron and is the author/editor of five books. The most recent of these was The Palgrave Handbook of Shakespeare’s Queens (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Matthew Ward  is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, working on the culture of loyalty in later medieval England. His first monograph was entitled The Livery Collar in Late Medieval England and Wales: Politics, Identity and Affinity (2016). Callum  Watson  received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2016. His thesis examined ‘Attitudes Towards Chivalry in Barbour’s Bruce and Hary’s Wallace’. He works as a battlefield specialist at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre.


BL CCR CPR CSPD EHR Howell, State Trials


British Library Calendar of Close Rolls Calendar of Patent Rolls Calendar of State Papers, Domestic English Historical Review A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanours from the Earliest Period to the Year 1783 …, compiled T. B. Howell, 34 vols. (London, 1816–28). King James Version (Bible) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Online edn.: Oxford, 2005), available at: http://www.oxforddnb.com Oxford English Dictionary Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, available at: http://www.sd-editions.com/PROME/home.html The National Archives, Kew, London Transactions of the Royal Historical Society



Introduction: Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain Matthew Ward and Matthew Hefferan

Throughout the late medieval and early modern periods, loyalty to the monarchy remained a salient concept. In c. 1400, the Alliterative Morte Arthure recounted how King Arthur’s ‘lele lege-men’ were prepared to follow him unflinchingly, while in 1667 readers of John Dryden’s Annus Mirabilis were treated to a portrayal of London’s ‘true Loyalty, invincible Courage, and unshaken Constancy’ in the face of naval warfare and the Great Fire.1 These two quotes, separated by more than 250 years, come from different contexts and epochs. The first is couched in terms of the feudal bond between lord and vassal, while the second focuses on municipal fidelity. Yet they share a common broad theme: that of demonstrating loyalty to the monarch, whilst perhaps also intimating a unifying effect which the virtue can engender. Scholars have suggested that ‘the core of loyalty does not change, but its shape is conformed’.2 It is axiomatic that any concept can evolve and be subjected to challenges over a period of three centuries, and the period between 1400 and 1688 was certainly a

M. Ward (*) • M. Hefferan Department of History, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_1




challenging one for the rulers of the British Isles: there was the Hundred Years War to contend with, two major civil wars, two Acts of Supremacy (three if one includes the Irish Act), countless rebellions and a multitude of depositions, in addition to numerous failed attempts.3 The purpose of this collection of chapters is to examine how the concept of loyalty to the monarchy in England and Scotland was encouraged, expressed and challenged in such a turbulent period. In doing so, readers will be encouraged to consider both continuity and change in this ever-present concept.

Loyalty in History The English word ‘loyalty’ stems from the Old French loialté.4 The noun ‘loyalty’ and adjective ‘loyal’ could have several interpretations, not least in the late medieval period when they were associated with faithfulness, alongside other concepts such as justice, truth, honour and lawfulness.5 Loyalty was intrinsically associated with legality—the French loial comes from the Latin legalis (from lex)—and the link between loyalty and legality continued into the early modern period.6 Contemporaries used the term in connection with individuals (friends, comrades, lords), groups (a military body), institutions (a monastic community) and even principles (the commonweal), but loyalty was not infrequently discussed in terms of the monarch, or indeed the monarchy.7 This is true just as much for the end of our period as the beginning. In the mid-eighteenth century, when compiling the first dictionary, Samuel Johnson interpreted ‘loyalty’ firstly as ‘Firm and faithful adherence to a prince’, and secondly as ‘Fidelity to a lady, or lover’. The adverb ‘loyally’ he described as ‘With fidelity; with true adherence to a king’.8 Rulers did not shy away from appealing to the loyalty owed to them by their subjects; indeed, their very existence depended on it. At the opening of Edward IV’s 1478 parliament, the chancellor Thomas Rotherham, bishop of Lincoln, chose as his theme ‘The Lord rules me and I shall lack nothing’. He reminded members of the faithfulness which subjects owed their king and the penalties for disobedience, quoting St Paul: ‘The king does not carry the sword without cause’. Rotherham also used his address to refer to the reciprocity involved in a loyalty transaction, stressing that King Edward had brought many benefits to his subjects.9 Yet there were circumstances when the apparent ultimate act of disloyalty to the sovereign, in the form of tyrannicide, was permitted and even considered an act of ‘loyalty’ itself. The idea has classical precedents, but one of the most



significant contributions came in John of Salisbury’s Policraticus in the mid-twelfth century. Although his theory is incoherent and he did not actively encourage it, the writer suggested tyrannicide was a legitimate act if the monarch had acted unjustly and failed to perform their due responsibilities. In these circumstances a tyrant has no right to claim loyalty; it was deemed a duty imposed by God and the common good to remove them.10 The work was cited by subsequent political thinkers and was being published well into the sixteenth century. The aforementioned John Dryden referred to the subject of removing the monarch in The Cock and the Fox, first printed in 1700 and based on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Nun’s Priest’s Tale: So loyal subjects often seize their prince, Forced (for his good) to seeming violence, Yet mean his sacred person not the least offence.11

The author no doubt had the forced abdications of Charles I and James II in mind, the former of course an altogether more violent episode than the latter. Richard III also appealed to the sentiment of loyalty in adopting Loyaulte me lie, ‘loyalty binds me’, as his motto in c. 1483.12 ‘Loyalty’ mottoes were common throughout the late medieval and early modern periods: Henry VIII’s close confidant Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk (d. 1545), used Loyaulte me oblige (loyalty obliges/obligates me) as one of his mottoes.13 It is likely that King Richard used Loyaulte me lie for a number of connotations, including loyalty to his brother Edward IV, loyalty to his lady, to his people, to justice and to the law, as befitting his duties as a prince.14 The issue of loyalty was a conspicuous presence throughout Richard’s life. By his late teens he had witnessed Henry VI lose his throne to Edward IV, then briefly reclaim it, only for Edward to win it back in 1471 with Richard fighting by his side. Richard worked tirelessly over the next decade to help Edward establish some kind of order in his kingdom, becoming ‘Lord of the North’ of England. It was in light of this loyal service that Edward apparently appointed Richard as Protector for his son and heir, Edward V. As it was, Richard’s loyalty to the young king was not boundless, and on 6 July 1483 Richard was himself crowned king having seen Edward V first set aside as illegitimate, and then disappear with his younger brother while they were residing in the Tower of London. Although the notion of loyalty remained a key aspect of Richard’s life,



ultimately loyalty to Richard as king was lacking and he was deserted by some of his supporters, including Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland, who failed to fight for Richard at the battle of Bosworth in 1485. Richard III was far from the only monarch in late medieval or early modern Britain to accentuate the value of loyalty, nor was the Wars of the Roses the only period that offered a substantial challenge to the loyalty that a monarch could expect or demand of their subjects. The British Civil Wars of the mid-seventeenth century were equally tumultuous. Unlike any other time in the last millennium, the period from 1649 to 1660 saw an interregnum during which England was ruled as a republic under a variety of different forms of government, most famously the Protectorate of Oliver (and then Richard) Cromwell from 1653 to 1659. Such a momentous and unique occurrence had a profound impact on the nature of loyalty: some subjects remained loyal to an absent and powerless monarchy, while others chose to focus their loyal directly towards a new, kingless state.15 There were comparatively significant developments under the Tudors in the previous century. Henry VIII’s break from the Catholic church in Rome in the early 1530s saw secular and religious authority combine in a way that had never before been seen. As a consequence, loyalty to the monarchy became inescapably entwined with religious belief. Such divisions were particularly prevalent in the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, who had the added complexity of being the first women to rule England in their own right.

Loyalty in Historiography One does not have to look far before coming across the subject of loyalty in the secondary literature. It would be surprising if a book examining the social or political history of the late medieval and early modern periods failed to bring up the topic at some point. Yet studies devoted to the concept are harder to find. Fidelité and loialté were at the root of the chivalric code, and some medieval scholars have approached loyalty as a chivalric concept and knightly attribute. Both Maurice Keen and, more recently, Richard Kaeuper have stressed the centrality of loyalty to the way in which the medieval nobility were expected to conduct themselves.16 Likewise, historical thinking on kingship and the power relations between the monarchy, nobility and gentry have approached loyalty as one aspect of this dynamic. Historians in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were



quick to portray the Middle Ages as an ongoing power struggle between the king and his nobility (or, more accurately, the crown and parliament), in which loyalty had to be actively sought and encouraged by the monarchy, such as through the liberal distribution of financial reward.17 Such a reading of the period was challenged by the work of K. B. McFarlane in the mid-twentieth century, however. By focusing on the people involved in the late medieval polity, rather than the institutions, McFarlane instead argued that the monarchy and nobility were natural allies, and it was only when a particularly poor king sat on the throne that divisions appeared.18 McFarlane’s conclusions have since come to form the foundation of many studies in this area, most notably in the work of influential fifteenth-­ century historians such as Christine Carpenter and John Watts.19 A move towards examining the meaning and significance of loyalty in the medieval period has been made in a recently published collection of essays, edited by Jörg Sonntag and Coralie Zermatten, which focuses on loyalty as a key element of social relationships.20 The volume explores how loyalty was manifested in the context of social bonds: ties between individuals, ties between individuals and groups and ties between institutions and groups, focusing in particular on friendship, political expressions of loyalty and loyalty and faith.21 Loyalty has also been a key facet of early modern historiography. A significant element has been the use and efficacy of royal propaganda. In 1972, Geoffrey Elton suggested that following the 1534 Act of Supremacy, Henry VIII, with the help of Thomas Cromwell, rolled out a comprehensive propaganda campaign which utilised a mixture of print and preaching to persuade his subjects of the rightfulness of his cause.22 Others, such as Bertrand Taithe and Tim Thornton, have more recently highlighted the important role that royal propaganda played in allowing monarchies to communicate with and persuade their subjects of the merits of their policies.23 Doubt has been cast by some, however, as to whether the structures of government and communication in pre-modern Europe were sufficiently developed to allow this propaganda to reach the broader populace. Rather, some such as Steven Gunn and Sydney Anglo have suggested that only the bare bones of state propaganda trickled down to everyday people.24 In addition, a number of historians and literary scholars of this period, such as David Cressy, have focused on treason and seditious speech, themes closely associated with loyalty or more appropriately disloyalty.25 Writers have been drawn to the legal interpretation of treason,26 and the association between the language used and the severity of the



offence (ranging from defamation to treason). Spatial settings have also been addressed, which have suggested that where things were said was just as important as what was said.27 Seventeenth-century studies have addressed loyalty in various contexts, not least conceptions of the divine right of monarchy under the Stuarts, and choosing and changing sides during the British Civil Wars. David Underdown’s work during the 1980s on political ‘allegiance’ in the lead­up to and during the British Civil Wars took a great stride forward in this area, examining the extent to which the English common people took sides (and stuck to them) during the conflict.28 Of similar importance was Glenn Burgess’ Absolute Monarchy and the Stuart Constitution (1996), in which he challenged the established (and in his view oversimplified) understanding of seventeenth-century politics as the gradual polarisation of the ‘absolutists’ of the court—who placed the monarchy’s divine right to rule above all else—and ‘constitutionalists’ of parliament—who opposed tyranny and insisted that even monarchs were subject to the law—which ultimately ended in civil war.29 This enabled Burgess to provide a more nuanced reading of the place of loyalty within the polity at this time, one in which loyalty did not simply have to be for or against the king. More recent research from Andrew Hopper has considered attitudes from across the social spectrum, from the nobility to the commoner, and has cautioned against making conclusions which emphasise homogenous consonance.30 Hopper argues that individuals changed sides during the Civil Wars for a variety of reasons, some based on personal beliefs, and others for practical considerations, such as who was able to offer the highest wages. This chimes well with Malcom Mercer’s study of the gentry in the Wars of the Roses, which similarly suggests that a range of factors determined an individual’s actions and loyalties, from personal principles and ideas of duty, to ties of neighbourhood and kinship.31

The Contribution of This Book The majority of the chapters included in this book were first read at a British Academy-funded conference on ‘Loyalty to the British Monarchs, c. 1400–1688’, held at the University of Nottingham in January 2018. The purpose of the conference was to bring together scholars from a range of periods and academic disciplines to share their valuable work on the theme of loyalty. To these papers have been added a small number of contributions from scholars who were not able to attend the conference, but,



nevertheless, are engaged in important research into loyalty in the late medieval and early modern periods. Together, the chapters in this volume thus represent a collection of the most recent work that is being done to shape our understanding of the place of loyalty in the history of the British monarchy. Within this, there are three key focuses: how the monarchy encouraged loyalty among their subjects through royal propaganda, how their subjects chose to express their loyalty in return and what happened when periods of secular and religious turbulence between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries saw the relationship between a monarch and their subjects break down. In considering these three core themes, the chapters in this book aim to provide a detailed and rounded account of the theory and reality of loyalty to the monarchy in late medieval and early modern Britain. Four chapters deal with the issue of propaganda and royal attempts to foster loyalty among their subjects. The first of these, by Emma Levitt, considers the importance of tournaments in allowing the first Yorkist king, Edward IV, to cultivate friendship and personal loyalty among the English nobility following his usurpation of the crown. Wesley Corrêa’s chapter, meanwhile, focuses on royal propaganda under the Yorkist and early Tudor monarchies and suggests that propaganda was not, at this time, a one-way flow of information, but rather a dialogue in which the crown used the channels of information available to it to promote itself and court the people for approval, legitimacy, taxation and loyalty. Likewise, Michael A. Heimos uses two important legal cases from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries to examine what the common law concept of ‘allegiance’ reveals about the way in which contemporaries understood and discussed the loyalty that each subject owed to the monarchy. Finally, Janet Dickinson examines how Elizabeth I was able to use the concept of courtly love to foster loyalty among her nobles, some of whom had difficulty reconciling their Catholic faith with their allegiance to Protestant England. On the other side of the coin, many of the chapters in this volume are concerned with the way in which the subjects of British monarchs expressed their loyalty. Callum Watson offers a valuable re-reading of Blind Hary’s fifteenth-century poem The Wallace to argue that, rather than being a subversive text written in support of those dissatisfied with King James III of Scotland’s rule, the poem was intended to encourage those with grievances against the king to cling to those values for which the king was supposed to stand, even when the king failed to embody those values himself.



Other chapters explore how loyalty to the monarchy was demonstrated for less idealistic reasons, and more in the self-interest of the person or community professing loyalty. Simon Lambe uses the Paulet family of Somerset as a case study to demonstrate how expressions of loyalty to the monarchy could be used by a gentry family in the hope of receiving royal patronage in the form of land and office, especially as religious reforms gained pace in the 1530s. Similarly, Valerie Schutte uses the previously untapped evidence of book dedications during Henry VIII’s reign to show how the sixteenth-century nobility used dedications to profess loyalty to the king in the hope of receiving royal favour and influence as they navigated a new religious and political landscape. John Pagan, meanwhile, explores how the royal colony of Virginia sought to use the reciprocal relationship of loyalty and protection with the king of England to avoid a parliamentary tax that the colonists found unduly burdensome, but were ultimately unsuccessful in the face of the British monarchy’s unwillingness to use grievance petitions as vehicles for questioning imperial policies formulated by the king and parliament. Finally, James Harris investigates how ‘repeated testimonies of duty and affection’ were used in Cornwall and south-west Wales to reaffirm loyalty to the crown following the restoration of the monarchy in the second half of the seventeenth century. A number of chapters in this volume are, by contrast, interested in disloyalty, dissent and subversion. Jamie Gianoutsos examines how religious persecution in the seventeenth century tested the boundaries of loyalty to the English monarchy. Focusing on the persecution of three key puritan protestors, John Bastwick, Henry Burton and William Prynne, Gianoutsos argues that these men adopted a mixture of religious polemic, historical exempla and gendered language to successfully justify disobedience to the English church. Religious division was not the only cause of dissent in the seventeenth century. The reign of Charles I, and the Civil Wars which it encompassed, was also divisive. This is reflected in the chapter by Richard Bullock, which assesses how sheriffs in the East Midlands found their loyalties divided between the king and their local community when Charles I sought alternative sources of revenue to parliamentary subsidies and the enhanced use of prerogative rights. Edward Legon, meanwhile, examines how disloyalty to the crown continued even after the Restoration in 1660, often with dangerous consequences for those involved. Nevertheless, despite the opportunities for dissent that the Civil Wars presented, others remained loyal to the British monarchy. This included, as Andrew Lind’s chapter demonstrates, a number of Scottish Royalists who, despite the



dangers that support of the crown presented for them, remained steadfast in their deep-rooted belief that good subjects owed loyalty to the king. The chapters in this book are thus intended as a first foray into the malleable concept of loyalty, how it was expressed towards the monarchy and how this changed across one of the most eventful and transformative periods in the history of the British Isles. An argument could be made for extending the scope of this book beyond 1688. However, given the changing dynamic between monarchy and parliament that resulted from the Glorious Revolution, the decision was taken to take this event as a natural stopping point. Even so, subsequent work on loyalty to the monarchy after 1688 would be a worthwhile endeavour and would add further richness to the chapters in this collection. So too would work on loyalty to the monarchs of the British Isles before 1400. As with the period covered in this book, the centuries preceding 1400 witnessed regular conflict and dissent, often on a scale that tested the bonds of loyalty that medieval subjects were willing to give to breaking point. Nevertheless, the period covered by this book was one in which political and religious upheaval tested the bonds of loyalty between ruler and ruled beyond comparison. As such, it offers the ideal opportunity to take a first step towards a fuller understanding of how the concept of loyalty has helped shaped Britain’s past.

Notes 1. King Arthur’s Death: The Middle English Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Alliterative Morte Arthure, ed. L. D. Benson (Indianapolis and New York, 1974), p.  183, line 2389; The Poems of John Dryden, ed. J.  Sargeaunt (Oxford, London and New York, 1913), pp. 18, 35. 2. C. Zermatten and J. Sonntag, ‘Loyalty in the Middle Ages: Introductory Remarks on a Cross-Social Value’, in Loyalty in the Middle Ages: Ideal and Practice of a Cross-Social Value, ed. J. Sonntag and C. Zermatten (Turnhout, 2015), p. xx. 3. Henry VI has the dubious honour of being deposed twice, in 1461 and 1471. 4. OED, loyalty, n. 5. Middle English Dictionary, leaute, n. and lel, adj. & n. 6. J-C. Schmitt, ‘Léal Souvenir’, in Loyalty in the Middle Ages, ed. Sonntag and Zermatten, p. 50. 7. The notion of the ‘king’s two bodies’—the body natural and body politic— allowed for the continuity of the monarchy when an individual monarch



died: E. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, N.J., 1957). 8. Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, 2 vols. (London, 1755), ii (unpaginated). 9. PROME, January–February 1478, mem. 15. 10. C. J. Nederman, ‘A Duty to Kill: John of Salisbury’s Theory of Tyrannicide’, The Review of Politics 50 (1988), 365–89. 11. The Poems of John Dryden, ed. P.  Hammond and D.  Hopkins, 5 vols. (Harlow, 1995–2005), v, p. 365. 12. The motto first appears with his signature on a small piece of paper which also includes the signatures of Edward V and Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham: BL, MS Cotton Vespasian F XIII, f. 123. 13. M.  P. Siddons, A Dictionary of Mottoes in England and Wales (London: Harleian Society, 2014), p. 133. 14. A. F. Sutton and L. Visser-Fuchs, Richard III’s Books: Ideals and Reality in the Life and Library of a Medieval Prince (Stroud, 1997), pp. 271–4. 15. For the exiled Charles II’s attempts to win over the loyalty of his subjects in Ireland and Scotland, see N.  Greenspan, ‘Charles II, Exile, and the Problem of Allegiance’, The Historical Journal 54 (2011), 73–103. 16. See, for example, M.  Keen, Chivalry (New Haven, 1984); R.  Kaeuper, Medieval Chivalry (Cambridge, 2016), pp. 46–50, 244–5. 17. The most famous example is W.  Stubbs, The Constitutional History of England, 3 vols. (4th edn., Oxford, 1906). 18. K. B. McFarlane, ‘Parliament and “Bastard Feudalism”’, TRHS, 4th series, 26 (1944), 53–79, available in K. B. McFarlane, England in the Fifteenth Century: Collected Essays, ed. G.  L. Harris (London, 1981), pp.  1–22; K. B. McFarlane, The Nobility of Later Medieval England: The Ford Lectures for 1953 and Related Studies (Oxford, 1973). 19. J.  Watts, Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (Cambridge, 1996); C. Carpenter, Locality and Polity: A Study of Warwickshire Landed Society, 1401–1499 (Cambridge, 1992); C. Carpenter, ‘Political and Constitutional History: Before and After McFarlane’, in The McFarlane Legacy: Studies in Late Medieval Politics and Society, ed. R.  H. Britnell and A.  J. Pollard (Stroud, 1995), pp. 195–8. See also M. Hicks, English Political Culture in the Fifteenth Century (London, 2002); R. Horrox, Richard III: A Study of Service (Cambridge, 1989); E.  Powell, ‘After “After McFarlane”: The Poverty of Patronage and the Case for Constitutional History’, in Trade, Devotion and Governance: Papers in Later Medieval English History, ed. D. J. Clayton, R. G. Davies and P. McNiven (Gloucester, 1994), pp. 11–13. 20. Loyalty in the Middle Ages, ed. Sonntag and Zermatten.



21. A forthcoming book by Matthew Ward on The Culture of Loyalty in Fifteenth-Century England will look at what contemporaries were saying about the concept during the late medieval period. 22. G. R. Elton, Policy and Police: The Enforcement of the Reformation in the Age of Thomas Cromwell (Cambridge, 1972), pp. 231–62. 23. Propaganda: Political Rhetoric and Identity, 1300–2000, ed. B. Taithe and T. Thornton (Stroud, 1999), pp. 2–3, 9. 24. S.  Gunn, Early Tudor Government, 1485–1558 (Basingstoke, 1995), p. 202; S. Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship (London, 1992). 25. D. Cressy, Dangerous Talk: Scandalous, Seditious, and Treasonable Speech in Pre-Modern England (Oxford, 2010). 26. A statute of 1352 codified and clarified treason under common law. 27. Some of the most notable works in this area are J. G. Bellamy, The Law of Treason in England in the Later Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1970); J.  G. Bellamy, The Tudor Law of Treason: an Introduction (London and Toronto, 1979); M. G. Leitch, Romancing Treason: The Literature of the Wars of the Roses (Oxford, 2015); R. Lemon, Treason by Words: Literature, Law, and Rebellion in Shakespeare’s England (Ithaca, 2006); A. Wood, ‘“A lyttull worde ys tresson”: Loyalty, Denunciation, and Popular Politics in Tudor England’, Journal of British Studies 48 (2009), 837–47. 28. D. Underdown, Revel, Riot and Rebellion: Popular Politics and Culture in England, 1603–60 (Oxford, 1985). See also M. Stoyle, Loyalty and Locality: Popular Allegiance in Devon during the English Civil War (Exeter, 1994). 29. G. Burgess, Absolute Monarchy and the Stuart Constitution (New Haven and London, 1996). For a work that epitomises the earlier, more simplified view of loyalty, see J. L. Malcolm, Caesar’s Due: Loyalty and King Charles 1642–1646 (London, 1983). 30. A. Hopper, Turncoats and Renegadoes: Changing Sides during the English Civil Wars (Oxford, 2012). 31. M. Mercer, The Medieval Gentry: Power, Leadership and Choice during the Wars of the Roses (London, 2010).


Loyalty to Late Medieval and Early Tudor Monarchs


Tiltyard Friendships and Bonds of Loyalty in the Reign of Edward IV, 1461–1483 Emma Levitt

Fifteenth-century England was characterised by political disorder and turbulence. The country was frequently divided by the rivalry between the houses of Lancaster and York and the fight between Henry VI and his distant relative Edward IV for the crown. Of the many sudden changes of political fortune which mark English society in the fifteenth century, none was more remarkable than the recovery of the Yorkist cause. Edward IV’s usurpation of the throne on 4 March 1461, and again on 11 April 1471, heralded a new Yorkist dynasty following the sixty-two-year rule of the house of Lancaster. Edward’s main task upon seizing the crown was to stabilise the country from within, and to do this Edward used the tournament as a way to unify men who had once fought against each other. The civil strife of the Wars of the Roses entailed fighting for local and personal advantages rather than national ideas, since noblemen were often willing to support either side, or even to change sides if they thought it might benefit them. This has led historians, notably Kenneth Vickers, to argue that ‘from the point of view of the fifteenth century nobleman, the

E. Levitt (*) University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_2




Wars of the Roses were seen as a series of magnificent tournaments’, with the crown and revenues of England as the prize.1 By using the tournament as a way to foster loyalty to the crown, Edward was thus calculated in his use of chivalry as a set of ideals and practices that was inherent in military, masculine, and cultural codes of the elite. This chapter analyses the tactics and methods by which Edward IV managed to retain his throne, at the same time as reasserting the prestige of the monarchy and cementing bonds of loyalty amongst a divided court. It demonstrates how, through the revival of chivalry and the use of honours such as membership of the Order of the Garter, Edward IV was able to foster loyalty amongst an inner circle of the Yorkist elite. The first part focuses on how Edward used the tournament as a dedicated space in which to forge bonds between his men following a regime that had its foundation in civil war and fractured government. The second part highlights how the development of a chivalric culture under Edward IV had at its core the Order of the Garter and St George’s Chapel that brought a bestowal of honour to its members and greater physical proximity to the king. This patronage was offered as a reward for martial prowess and loyalty, and thus was a vital instrument through which Edward was able to tie this group of knightly warriors to the crown. Overall, it is, therefore, the aim of this chapter to identify the chivalric devices that Edward IV used to transform the crown’s relationship with the English nobility during one of the most turbulent periods for the English monarchy. The extent to which ‘ideal kingship’ was founded on ‘ideal masculinity’ has been a recent area of research for historians examining medieval monarchs. It was Christopher Fletcher’s monograph Richard II (2008) that initially began to fill a large gap in the study of masculinity and kingship.2 Fletcher took a social approach to masculinity, showing that kings were supposed to pursue vigorous, constant, and violent fighting activity from the start of their reign. He argues that far from being an essentially unmanly king as he has so often been painted, Richard’s desire to pursue conventional masculine activities was constrained predominantly by circumstance. This attempt to understand what Richard’s gender meant to him, how it interacted with his political actions, and how others interpreted it has been a significant development in the study of medieval kingship. In more recent years, Katherine Lewis’ analysis of the contrasting masculine identities of Henry V and Henry VI (2013) has explored how far kingship was predicated on the ability to embody and display ideals of masculinity.3 The office of the king, argues Lewis, is an exemplification of hegemonic masculinity, wherein the masculinity performed by the ruling male is more perfect than,



but similar in type to, the masculinity expected from males at all strata of society.4 What we learn from Lewis’ study is that kings in particular were judged according to their performances of masculinity. Edward III and Henry V are considered great kings because they were viewed as manly kings; Richard II and Henry VI are poor kings because they were regarded as unmanly.5 The effectiveness of medieval kingship based on the ability to master masculine virtues is an important relationship that can be applied to the kingship of Edward IV and his ability to perform his hegemonic masculinity, thus restoring order following the turbulent Wars of the Roses and shedding new light on the events of the fifteenth century.6 To be one of the knights of the tiltyard competing against Edward IV was a definite marker of the king’s trust, since it was not typical for fifteenth-­ century kings to actively participate in jousting competitions. It is true that Edward’s predecessors Henry VI, Richard II, and Henry IV had each held tournaments during their reigns, but all had chosen not to compete as kings, which was an accepted stance as the tournament was a dangerous competition based on exceptional martial skill. Despite being recognised as one of the best jousters in England, Henry Bolingbroke seems to have dedicated little time to the sport after his coronation in 1399.7 Perhaps as a usurper of the throne Henry IV recognised it was too politically risky for him to joust against men who might have tried to deliberately harm him. It is noteworthy that a plot to murder Henry IV and his sons was planned for a tournament held at Windsor on Twelfth Night in 1400, which ultimately failed, but seems to have left its mark. In fact, the last medieval king to compete in tournaments while sovereign was Edward III, well over fifty years prior to Edward IV entering the tiltyard.8 Thus it is significant that Edward IV as a usurper king decided to actively participate in tournaments during his reign, in the absence of a male heir for the Yorkist dynasty, and knowing that he would be competing against noblemen who had previously fought in favour of the Lancastrian cause. It is evident that Edward was not risking his life in the tiltyard for simple enjoyment, or as a way to showcase his martial prowess. His military career was already well established following his triumphs at the battles of Mortimer’s Cross and Towton in 1461, which had proven him a capable leader and warrior king.9 Edward was presented as the very model of chivalry: he had been victorious in every battle in which he had fought. In addition, Edward’s decision to compete in tournaments as a king is testament to how he viewed chivalric activities as a fundamental aspect of his kingship, which were to be taken seriously and not trivialised as kingly hobbies held only for entertainment.



Edward IV was fortunate to be endowed with a tall and broad stature that rendered him visibly and undeniably manly, and well-suited to the joust. At the opening of Edward IV’s first parliament in November 1461, the speaker of the Commons addressed the king, praising his ‘beauty of person’, a description that was evidently not mere flattery.10 This was expanded on by the chroniclers of the age, who all remarked on his impressive height and handsome appearance, characteristics that qualified Edward to be viewed as the archetypal king of the Middle Ages. The Croyland Chronicle portrayed Edward as ‘in the flower of his age, tall of stature, elegant of person’.11 Gabriel Tetzel’s description in 1466 confirmed that ‘the King is a very handsome upright man’.12 Polydore Vergil depicted Edward as ‘taule of stature, slender of body’.13 Even his harshest contemporary critic, Philippe de Commynes, who met him twice, remarked on his fine appearance several times: ‘he was young and more handsome than any man then alive’.14 His modern biographer Charles Ross drew the comparison to Edward IV’s great-grandfather, Edward III, from whom he apparently inherited the full Plantagenet characteristics of great height and good looks.15 When the antiquarians who found Edward’s remains in 1789 in St George’s Chapel in Windsor stretched out his bones and measured them, they estimated his height at just over 6  ft 3  in.16 Edward’s height and build would have made him a formidable force in the tiltyard, which gave the king a natural advantage over his opponents. Hence Edward’s very physique supported his claim to be king as it qualified him to restore the prestige of monarchy, as, unlike his predecessor Henry VI, he looked like a medieval king should. In the 1460s there was a major revival of the tournament under Edward IV, with the joust becoming a regular court activity for the first time since the reign of Richard II. In particular, Edward’s model of kingship marked a stark contrast to his predecessor Henry VI, as he tried to rebuild the image of monarchy by setting a knightly precedent for his men to follow, in the same way as Edward III by competing in tournaments. The resurgence of interest in tournaments in England during the reign of Edward IV has been traced by Richard Barber who concluded that Edward’s court, ‘with its emphasis on splendour, ceremonial, and chivalry, was both a deliberate revival of the courtly culture of the fourteenth century, and an attempt to imitate the courts of Burgundy and Italy’.17 In fashioning a culture of splendour after the European courts, especially that of Burgundy, which was known for its decadent spectacle of chivalry, it is apparent that Edward unlike Henry VI realised the importance of elaborate ceremonial



display to the status of monarchy and to the prestige of England.18 In so doing Edward hoped to restore the faith of noblemen in the authority and dominance of the monarch in England. Edward’s preoccupation with the forms of chivalry is argued by Loades to have been ‘a calculated gesture of solidarity with his own nobility, whose service and loyalty he so badly needed to retain’.19 In particular, the private feuds of the Wars of the Roses created a need for stability in England; it therefore seems likely that Edward used tournaments to demonstrate power and to maintain the appearance of stability and continuity. This was a deliberate attempt by Edward to counteract the political turbulence which had been brought on by the recent civil war in England. As the battles against the Lancastrians ceased, it is evident that Edward turned his attention to chivalric pursuits in the 1460s and set about establishing a new Yorkist court culture through a series of magnificent tournaments. The first tournament of the reign took place in October 1461; another marked the short reconciliation with the house of Beaufort at Whitsun 1463; and a third at the coronation of Elizabeth Woodville in 1465. Then, in 1467, the first large-scale royal tournament held in England for over twenty years took place at Smithfield. In the king’s second reign jousting continued at the creation of Richard, duke of York in 1474, and his marriage in 1478. It is apparent that in the fifteenth century the tiltyard was a venue for political display, as much as chivalric exercises: on 27 May 1465 Edward chose to mark his wife’s coronation with a major tournament. Significantly, Elizabeth Woodville’s coronation was the only Yorkist coronation to be celebrated with jousting, which was not surprising given that Elizabeth was considered an unacceptable choice for an English queen by most of the English aristocracy.20 Elizabeth was one of thirteen children born to Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, widow of Henry V’s brother John, duke of Bedford, but despite the Woodville family connections, she was not considered noble. She was also a widow, already a mother, and brought no dowry nor international connections for England’s diplomatic aims. It is clear, therefore, that Elizabeth’s coronation, in contrast to those of Edward IV and Richard III, was not a focus for taking power, but one of establishing queenship. The magnificent scale of the 1465 tournament is clear from John Wodde’s writ for immediate payment of £34 10s for a bill of items needed for the tournament that included 200 spears, 150 ‘graters’, which protected the hand, and 150 coronals that protected the lances from penetrating the armour.21 He also had to pay twenty-four carpenters and twelve



men to pick up the graters and coronals from broken spears ‘in the field on the day of the joust’, which suggests that a considerable number of English and Burgundian knights took part in this tournament.22 It has been suggested by Barber that the number of spears requested indicates the possibility of a grand mêlée, which was a large mock battle not formalised or even confined to the tournament field, as well as the general jousts.23 The potential that this was a mêlée is important. The mêlée had been at the height of its popularity in the twelfth century.24 It brought hundreds of knights together: some large twelfth-century tournaments claimed to have more than 1000 participants.25 That Edward organised a mêlée at the start of his reign, therefore, enabled a large number of English knights to compete against each other, on the designated tournament field, rather than fighting against each other in actual warfare. The joust and tilt were nevertheless still popular under Edward IV. The joust was a mounted single combat, fought on horseback, usually with lances.26 The two knights would ride from opposite sides of the tilt barrier and would strike at each other with lances, in an effort to break them against their opponents’ armour. Points were awarded for hits made on the body and head in accordance with John Tiptoft’s rules for jousting across the tilt that were formulated in 1466 at Edward’s command.27 The joust offered knights a greater opportunity to showcase their individual prowess as they paraded down the lists in their richest clothing to perform feats of arms.28 Those who gained the highest scores would be rewarded with a prize that might include a falcon, a gold clasp, or even a diamond ring.29 In reframing the rules for jousting contests it is apparent that Edward was making a deliberate attempt to revive chivalry in England by returning to a knightly and martial culture that advanced men according to their individual merits, rather than because of their high birth or kinship. It is evident that Edward used the culture of chivalry to appeal to those traditional members of the aristocracy and, in particular, to those who had fought on the side of the Lancastrians and who had been supporters of Henry VI.30 Even those who had so recently been Edward’s enemies, Ross identifies, ‘were given a chance – often more than one – to enter the service of the new king’.31 For example, Henry Beaufort, duke of Somerset, was granted a full pardon at the Westminster parliament that sat from April to June 1463.32 The king also reversed the attainder passed against him in 1461, allowing him to recover his lands. It is apparent from reports at the time that Edward did not just make peace with Somerset, but actually made a real effort to befriend him, inviting the duke to hunt and to sleep



in his bed, which was a very important mark of his favour. Gregory’s Chronicle reflects the full extent of their relationship: ‘the King, we are told, made full much of him; insomuch that he lodged with the King in his own bed many nights, and sometimes rode a-hunting behind the King’.33 Although Somerset may have been a former Lancastrian supporter, he was young, handsome, and brave, which made for an ideal chivalric companion for the new king. Somerset also shared many of the king’s hobbies and interests, which was important for a king in the youthful phase of masculinity. Edward was just nineteen years old when he ascended the throne and twenty-one years old at the point at which he was developing his friendship with the duke. It is noteworthy that Somerset at twenty-seven years old was considered to be in the ‘golden age’ of manhood in accordance with the lifecycle of manliness as set out by early modern writers, which saw the body reach its most perfect state between twenty-five and forty years old.34 Somerset’s fighting abilities had clearly been recognised by Edward, who held a tournament at Westminster in 1463 in the duke’s honour: ‘out of great love the king arranged a great joust at Westminster, that he [Somerset] should experience some kind of chivalric sport after his great labour and heaviness’.35 Somerset was unwilling to take part in the jousts, but the king made him do so. Gregory’s Chronicle reported that his ‘helme was a sory hatte of strawe.’36 The king’s treatment of Somerset in presenting him with a battered helm was symbolic of his humiliation at having to perform at Edward’s command. Gregory then adds that ‘every man marked him well’, indicating that the duke suffered numerous hits.37 In short, Edward’s treatment of Somerset demonstrated his power and control over the duke in front of his noble peers. Although Edward’s dominance over the duke ultimately proved ineffective, it is important that his courtship of the duke is understood as more than just foolish aspirations for a friendship. These chivalric exercises were used by Edward as a means to exert his hegemonic masculinity, which was essential in gaining the support of the social elite present at tournaments. The view that a disorderly and divided England could be transformed by a revival of chivalry was an integral part of Edward’s strategy to restore the prestige of the monarchy. In particular, both the tournament and the Order of the Garter were part of the king’s endeavour to create a courtcentred chivalry in England that bound the nobility to the crown. In March 1467 Edward organised a tourney at the royal palace of Eltham at which he competed in a team of four knights that included his



brother-­in-­law Anthony Woodville, Lord Scales, John Paston, and Thomas St Leger. The tourney descended from the mêlée style tournament. The knights fought on horseback with swords, staves, and clubs, rather than couched lances, but as in the jousts, the numbers of strokes delivered determined the number of scores.38 The opposing team of knights consisted of his closest companion William Hastings, his other brother-in-law John Woodville, Thomas Montgomery, and John Parr. John Paston’s report to his younger brother John confirms that tournaments were a rarity in England by his comment that ‘it was the goodliest sight that was sene in inglande this forty years of so fewe men’.39 Paston’s delight is obvious from his letter at the return of feats of arms in Edward’s reign. These feats at Eltham acted as a prelude to the grand tournament that was to take place at Smithfield in June against Burgundian knights which will be discussed below. At Eltham, Edward competed alongside a younger generation of English knights, who were eager to take part in tournaments, but who were not of noble status. These men had supported Edward in his fight for the crown; thus it was their loyalty that gained them admittance into the king’s exclusive circle of knightly companions. On the king’s side was John Paston, who was evidently a skilled and keen jouster. He had in his library a Grete Boke that provided a valuable collection of several contemporary military and chivalrous texts including a guide to arms and foot combats, rules for organising jousts of peace, regulations for trial by combat, and several texts of challenges between knights.40 Thomas Hann notes that Paston gathered ‘a reference library of descriptive and how-to books on chivalry – a collection that must have held urgent interest for the first member of a socially mobile family elevated to a knighthood’.41 The Pastons were an established gentry family, but certainly not noble. In commissioning a whole book of such heraldic material Paston was demonstrating his knowledge of the chivalrous past, which was promoted by the Pastons as part of their court ambitions. The other men who made up Edward’s team were Anthony Woodville and Thomas St Leger, who were both the king’s brothers-in-law. Thus, it was this familial connection that brought them close to the king. Though Woodville and St Leger were both very loyal to Edward and protective of his interests, this later prompted them to rebel against the king’s usurping brother Richard, duke of Gloucester, an action that led to their executions. Woodville had pledged his loyalty to Edward following his victory at Towton; hence despite being a previous Lancastrian supporter he was given the chance to showcase his martial abilities to the Yorkist court.42 St Leger had also served Edward



faithfully for years in both a military and an administrative capacity. It is also noteworthy that those who fought on the king’s team were all of a similar age to him. Woodville and St Leger were both twenty-seven years old and Paston was the same age as the king at twenty-five. Thus, all were in the youthful phase of manhood when they competed at Eltham.43 It was only natural that Edward would form homosocial bonds with men who were not only of a similar age, but who shared his chivalrous interests and could emulate the model of manhood on which he based his kingly masculinity.44 The opposing team of knights led by William Hastings consisted of John Woodville, Thomas Montgomery, and John Parr. Hastings, who had long served the house of York, was from a Leicestershire gentry family.45 He was an expert jouster and the king’s closest companion, despite being more than ten years older than Edward, and at thirty-seven he was still able to prove his masculinity in the tiltyard.46 Next, Woodville was the younger brother of Anthony and Elizabeth. He was only twenty-two years old in his first tournament, but he must have sufficiently impressed Edward as he was later sent to compete at the tournament held to celebrate the marriage of the king’s sister Margaret of York to Charles the Bold in 1468.47 Montgomery, a close friend of Edward, had fought for the house of York during the Wars of the Roses at the battle of Northampton in 1460 and at Towton in 1461. In fact such was his loyalty to the Yorkist cause that he became an executor of Edward’s last will.48 The final member of Edward’s jousting fraternity was Parr whose tourneying skills had made him one of the king’s main courtiers and he subsequently became his master of the horse in 1472.49 It is apparent that none of these men were from aristocratic families, but their ability to demonstrate loyalty to the king and martial excellence through jousting superseded the noble status that was merely inherited. By fighting well at Eltham men on both teams were able to distinguish themselves amongst the elite of the English court, and thus prove their high-status masculinity. Juliet Barker has shown that tournaments were both exclusive in that only the chivalric classes could participate fully and also a great equaliser in that there was a tremendous divergence in wealth and social status.50 It is apparent that the ‘equaliser’ that Barker identifies is skill. By competing alongside his men at Eltham, Edward was also able to forge strong homosocial bonds with them as he was presented in the midst of the action, not as a princely spectator. The most magnificent of the Yorkist tournaments was that held at Smithfield in London from 11 to 17 June 1467. It was intended to play a central function in the diplomatic relationship between England and the



Low Countries, including negotiations regarding a marriage treaty between Duke Charles the Bold and Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV. The Smithfield tournament was also a way of emphasising the validity of Edward’s rule, by impressing the Burgundian visitors and the city of London with the authority and splendour of England and the Yorkist court.51 The king’s brother-in-law, Anthony Woodville, was selected as the English champion who competed against Antoine, the Bastard of Burgundy, in a series of fierce contests on the first two days of the tournament, which involved combats with lances, swords, axes, and daggers. The tournament ignited interest across England and on the continent as a unique occasion in which English and Burgundian knights competed against each other in a series of dangerous contests that included jousting without a tilt barrier and with sharp spears. The combats at Smithfield were so memorable that four eyewitnesses recorded accounts, and many of the manuscripts include copies of the letters between Woodville and the Bastard, as well as the contests.52 The letters were written in French and also translated into English, indicating the degree to which the event was to be a large public spectacle. In fact, Edward proclaimed a public holiday and commoners unable to crowd into the enclosure climbed trees to obtain a glimpse of the pageantry and combats. It was unique in comparison to the other Yorkist tournaments held in Edward’s reign as the focus was on international diplomacy, rather than on forging bonds within England. Yet this public display of Edward’s majesty proved to the elite that England could compete with the international glamour of the Burgundian court.53 For Edward the tournament was not just a matter of entertainment; it had a real political and diplomatic value. The diplomatic sensitivity of the festivities was reflected in the restrained nature of the combat, a show of violence rather than a fight to the death. Hence, in the accounts of the final contest between Woodville and the Bastard, we are told that it was halted by Edward who cast his staff and with a high voice cried, ‘whoo!’54 Although Edward did not fight himself, this incident emphasised Edward’s position at the apex of the chivalric hierarchy as only he had the hegemonic status and authority to stop the fight. The inconclusive contest between Woodville and the Bastard was followed by a week of further jousts, banquets, and festivities, with the rest of the English knights jousting against Burgundian knights in the Bastard’s train. Although the event at Smithfield was continental in both political and chivalric outlook it also brought English nobles and knights together as part of a wider display of



Anglo-Burgundian relations. By this point in his first reign Edward was well established on the throne and thus there was not the same acute need to gain loyalty from English knights; instead, they became a part of the royal spectacle of the Yorkist monarchy. It was over a decade before the next major tournament was held at the Yorkist court, when the marriage of Edward IV’s second son Richard, duke of York to Anne Mowbray the heiress of the duke of Norfolk, was celebrated by a spectacular tournament on 22 January 1478. This tournament also turned out to be the last to be held at Edward’s court, as his second reign, from 1471 to 1483, marked a period of stability in which it was not so vital for men to channel their martial energies into the tournament arena. The wedding was a significant Yorkist event, an opportunity to bring the nobility together in witnessing the dynastic spectacle of the Yorkist family. The wedding festivities were recorded by heralds, with the articles and rules pertaining to the tournament being announced by four officers of arms: Clarenceux king of arms, Norroy king of arms, and the Windsor and Chester heralds ‘at two of the clocke at afternoon with Clarenceux at Windsor, at Westminster Norroy and Leicester at the standard in Cheap, Windsor and Chester at London bridge’.55 It is evident that the tournament was to be a grand occasion with English knights coming from all over the south and Midlands to take part in the jousts. The challenge set out by the heralds detailed all three stages of the tournament contest in the fifteenth century, which involved jousts, a tourney, and a foot combat. The king did not compete but watched from a place of prominence along with his queen, as their sons Edward, Prince of Wales, and Richard, duke of York, and their eldest daughter Elizabeth awarded the prizes for each of the three contests. The first contest was the joust in which six gentlemen acted as challengers, ready to compete against all those knights who signed up to take part in the jousts. The six gentlemen were Edward’s two step sons Thomas Grey and Richard Grey, followed by the king’s brothers-in-law Edward and Anthony Woodville, and knights James Tyrell and John Cheyne.56 It is apparent from the herald’s account that those who came to answer the challenge of these gentlemen included those of the English aristocracy who continued to play a central role in court culture. Those listed included Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham; John de la Pole, duke of Suffolk; Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland; and Thomas FitzAlan, earl of Arundel.57 These men qualified for the tournament on lineage alone, but they must also have displayed a skill and enthusiasm



for military pursuits. It is significant that chivalry remained an important undertaking to the nobility in the fifteenth century as it meant that Edward’s deployment of chivalric exercises was an effective method to bind nobles to the crown as they readily signed their names to take part in the feats of arms.58 It is also true that jousting contests were essential to new men such as the Woodvilles and Greys who had been raised by the king and who were distinguished by their chivalric accomplishments as it gave them the opportunity to impress the established nobility on the nobility’s terms. It is evident that the nobility and the greater gentry continued to be trained for and to practice the art of war as the tournament ground enabled them the opportunity to hone military skills. The chivalry that emerged at the fifteenth-century court was not just sport, spectacle, or courtly rituals, but an important part of how Edward harnessed the energies of the nobility. Clearly, Edward IV sought to forge a bond between the monarchy and nobility through his use of tournaments, and this was an integral part of restoring the authority of the crown in the 1460s. A further and significant part of this policy was the use of appointments to the Order of the Garter. The Order of the Garter had been founded by the king’s great-­grandfather, Edward III, in 1348 and represented the highest rank of chivalry.59 In the 1330s, Edward had granted titles, estates, and privileges somewhat recklessly, and as such Mark Ormrod identifies that the Order of the Garter was created by the king as an alternative form of royal patronage that was carefully limited.60 The Order, argues Ormrod, was ‘a means of binding together the greatest warriors of the realm in the brotherhood of arms without granting them any real authority’.61 In this way the Order was a clever tool of royal patronage that rewarded men for their martial prowess without diminishing the crown’s resources.62 The Order, then, argues James Bothwell, acted ‘as not only a relatively cheap, but high status, source of patronage; it also allowed Edward III to differentiate between his men in terms of levels of favour, as well as giving this group as a whole a clearer identity’.63 The original membership of the Order under Edward III consisted of the king’s knightly companions. Indeed, Edward was one of the few late medieval English monarchs to take an active role in the tournaments held during his reign. This enabled him to form strong knightly bonds with his men: the knights of the Garter under Edward III, of whom there were twenty-four at any one time, were united in their devotion to the chivalric ideal and through it, Ormrod argues, ‘functioned as one, cohesive



whole’.64 It is also noteworthy that Ormrod has acknowledged that Edward’s growing success as a martial monarch and political patron was made possible by the strong support of this same inner group of aristocratic friends and allies. A similar argument of status-based favour could be made for Edward IV in his usurpation of the throne in 1461 and efforts to recognise loyalty by conferring membership to the Order of the Garter. Edward IV’s choice to found a chapel at Windsor dedicated to St George and to be buried there rather than at Westminster illustrates his close alignment with the Order. Indeed, Ross noted that Edward had a special affection for Windsor Castle and the Order.65 Edward IV’s appointments to the Order imitated those of Edward III’s in that they too became a way of rewarding men for their chivalric exploits, something which had not been the case under Henry VI.  This allowed Edward to define his manhood and kingship in a way that contrasted sharply to that of his Lancastrian predecessor, and which subsequently enabled him to shape a new identity for the Yorkist dynasty. This deliberate construction of chivalric manhood led to an image of Edward as the new King Arthur. Like Arthur, Jonathan Hughes argues, Edward attempted to bring together ‘feuding barons in jousts of peace where, in sharing danger, they formed bonds of friendship’.66 The men who advanced into the Order under Edward were keen jousters, accomplished soldiers, and manly warriors who embodied the chivalrous model of masculinity which epitomised his kingship. By the start of Edward’s reign, the civil wars in England had created thirteen vacancies among the establishment of twenty-four knights, and thus Edward was able to create a distinct group of Yorkist knights within the English elite from the outset of his reign. Significantly, election to the Garter remained very much a mark of Edward’s personal favour, yet it is evident that the men advanced to the Order had proven themselves loyal to the crown at the start of the king’s reign. Edward’s first promotions to the Order in 1461 included his brother George, duke of Clarence, and William Chamberlain.67 Clarence was an obvious choice given his family connection. Yet, it also placed the eleven-­ year-­old duke in good company amongst the key figures of the reign who offered exemplars of ideal manhood, on which the Yorkist dynasty was to be founded. For example, Chamberlain, who was also elected in 1461, had served Edward’s father, Richard, duke of York, as part of his retinue in France in 1436 and had proven his accomplishments early on.68 The elections of 1462 also had a military flavour. These included William Herbert, John Astley, John Tiptoft, William Hastings, and John Neville.69



Herbert was rewarded by Edward for his military service at Mortimer’s Cross. Astley was renowned for his service in France and for his feats of arms at tournaments and was later a patron of chivalric texts. Tiptoft went on to frame the rules for jousting for the king, and Hastings led the team of knights in the tourney against the king at Eltham. Finally, Neville, the younger brother of Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, was the king’s leading lieutenant in the wars against the Lancastrians. Many of the elections of 1463 followed the same pattern. In this year, John Scrope of Bolton, James, earl of Douglas, and Robert Harcourt also entered the Order. Scrope was chosen for his support of the Yorkist cause and as a reward for his service in the wars with France and Scotland. Likewise, Douglas was recognised for his military service in the Scottish wars, and Harcourt, another war leader, was eventually killed by the Lancastrians in 1471. The final elections in Edward’s first reign to the Order in 1466 included his youngest brother Richard, duke of Gloucester (the future Richard III), and his brother-in-law Anthony Woodville, a year before he represented the king at the Smithfield tournament, whose promotion no doubt increased his status amongst the English elite. This patronage was thus offered in recognition of military achievement, as it had been under Edward III.  Unlike Edward III, however, this patronage was primarily granted to those who had faced Lancastrian forces on the battlefields of England and had thus proven their loyalty not to the country, but specifically to Edward IV and the Yorkist cause.70 That said, it is notable that amongst the earlier nominations to this exclusive club was the duke of Somerset, who was elected in 1463 despite having previously fought with the Lancastrians as part of the king’s decision to embrace the duke and bring him into his company and under his protection.71 It is thus evident from Somerset’s appointment, then, that Edward used election to the Order of the Garter as a political and diplomatic tool, as well as a reward for men’s martial achievements. A useful case study that encapsulates well the valuable place that the Order held during Edward IV’s first reign can be found in William Hastings, the king’s closest companion, who, as noted above, was elected to the Order in 1462.72 A loyal supporter of the house of York, Hastings fought alongside Edward at Towton and was knighted by him on the field.73 Soon after his appointment to the Garter in 1462, he was promoted to the peerage as Baron Hastings. Hastings went on to become one of the most important courtiers of Edward; few if any had more influence over the king. It is notable that despite receiving little attention in the



secondary works, Hastings was recognised by his contemporaries as being a constant presence around Edward from an early stage in his reign. John Paston reported that Hastings was ‘gretest about the kyngs person’.74 Hastings had clearly developed a reputation for chivalry: writing later Sir Thomas More considered Hastings ‘an honourable man, a good knight’.75 Commynes in his memoirs described Hastings as ‘a man of great sense, virtue and authority’, which was evidently an opinion shared by many.76 For Hastings, then, his remarkable rise at court was due to his relationship with Edward and was, importantly, founded on their shared commitment to the knightly ethos. Strikingly, Edward arranged for his best friend Hastings to be buried next to him at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. This final honour that Hastings received from Edward following a lifetime of service is representative of the status that he had acquired during Edward’s reign. Thus Hastings’ place of burial symbolises the close bond between the two men, as likewise Hastings preferred to be buried alongside his royal master, rather than beside his wife near his home. It is also significant that Hastings was buried there despite being executed for treason by Richard III in 1483.77 This suggests that, in spite of his own feelings towards Hastings, Richard remained loyal to his brother, and was prepared to honour the relationship that had existed between Edward and Hastings. Moreover, it reaffirms the extent to which Edward’s men continued to show loyalty to him and his sons even after his death.78 Indeed, it was Hastings who wrote to Richard to warn him of the power of the Woodvilles, advising him to secure the person of young king, Edward V, in order to head off the potential threat to Richard’s position as protector. Hastings’ support was also crucial to Richard’s confirmation as protector as his power and influence was extensive throughout the realm, and it seems that, initially at least, Hastings was happy to support Richard. The Croyland Chronicle reported that ‘the lord Hastings … was extremely elated at these changes to which the affairs of the world are so subject’.79 And yet, all of this suddenly changed with Richard’s usurpation of Edward IV’s son, Edward V. Dominic Mancini claimed that Richard, concerned with the loyalty of Hastings and a small group of his associates, including John Morton and Thomas Stanley, ‘sounded out their loyalty through the duke of Buckingham, and learnt that sometimes they foregathered in each other’s houses’.80 This was enough for Richard to claim that Hastings, Morton, and Stanley were plotting against him. Others, such as Thomas More, also suggest that Hastings’ response to Richard’s decision to claim the throne led to his sudden execution.81 This does



indicate that Hastings’ elimination was an essential prerequisite to Richard’s attainment of the crown, since he was unwilling to allow the crown to pass over Edward IV’s heir, and that Hastings remained loyal to his king and friend until his death. The Order of the Garter was similarly important during Edward’s second reign. In the 1470s, the king’s extensive rebuilding of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, was designed in large measure to strengthen the Yorkist monarchy’s association with chivalry and the Order of the Garter.82 Likewise, it is evident that loyalty remained the key motivation for the election of members, particularly following the political crisis of 1469–71, which resulted in the deposition of the king.83 Those advanced in 1472 in recognition of their military service during the most recent civil war included William FitzAlan, earl of Arundel; John de Mowbray, duke of Norfolk; John Stafford, earl of Wiltshire; Walter Devereux, baron Ferrers; Walter Blount, baron Mountjoy; and John Howard, baron Howard. It is significant that the men elected to the Order in Edward’s second reign were taken from the established nobility who had been long-serving officers of the crown, which suggests that the Order also became a political tool for the king.84 The Garter men who advanced in the 1470s were also prominent military leaders in the king’s French campaign in 1475, which was no doubt on account of both their elite status and their warrior credentials. Therefore, it is apparent that the Order under Edward retained its essential martial element and thus remained true to the original values founded under Edward III as it continued to reinforce loyalty and recognise military prowess. The Yorkist period marked one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the English monarchy. Between 1461 and 1483, Edward IV usurped the throne of Henry VI, only to be briefly deposed, forcing him to seize the crown once more. Edward was also confronted with the problem of maintaining the loyalty of powerful magnates and the increasingly influential county gentry. In order to restore the authority of the crown, Edward’s reign heralded a new era of chivalry as he modelled his kingship on a chivalrous version of masculinity, which saw him take a leading role in all fighting activity, both on the battlefield and in the tiltyard. In so doing, Edward set an exemplar of manhood for his Yorkist men to follow, and which encouraged them to fight against each other in tournaments. This allowed Edward to successfully channel masculine aggression into the brutal competition of the tournament, and away from the actual battlefield. Moreover, by competing alongside his men, Edward was able to



form close ties of chivalric loyalty. Indeed, despite the competitive nature of the joust, it offered an exclusive space in which the king and his men were in close proximity. It is also apparent that Edward was strategic in his use of chivalry, with the tournament being used as a political tool to unite noble men in England, whilst also providing a model of masculinity that appealed to men of high status. The ties of English noblemen to Edward were also expressed symbolically through the Order of the Garter, which acted as the most visible sign of high-status masculinity. It is evident that Edward used the Order to create a loyal body of military support which he could rely on in times of crisis. As king, Edward was the head of this Order and his knights were bound to him. Thus, it was through the ethos and practice of chivalry that personal loyalty and friendship were transferred to the new Yorkist king of England.

Notes 1. K. Vickers, England in the Later Middle Ages (London, 1913), pp. 439, 494. 2. C. Fletcher, Richard II: Manhood, Youth and Politics, 1377–1399 (Oxford, 2008); C.  Fletcher, ‘Manhood and Politics in the Reign of Richard II’, Past and Present 189 (2005), 3–39. 3. K.  Lewis, Kingship and Masculinity in Late Medieval England (Abingdon, 2013). 4. Ibid., p. 34. 5. Ibid., p. 59. 6. R. Connell and J. W. Messerschmidt, ‘Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept’, Gender and Society 19 (2005), 829–59. A leading and very influential contributor to the field of masculinities, Raewyn Connell notes that a cultural hegemonic model of masculinity was an ideal enacted by an elite minority. 7. I. Mortimer, The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England’s Self-Made King (London, 2013), p. 36. Henry stands out as one of the most remarkable exponents of the joust the English royal family had ever produced according to Mortimer. 8. R. Barber, ‘Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur and Court Culture under Edward IV’, in Arthurian Literature XII, ed. J. Carley and F. Riddy (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 133–57. 9. For a recent study of Edward’s martial kingship see A. Corbet, Edward IV, England’s Forgotten Warrior King: His Life, His People, and His Legacy (Bloomington, 2015). 10. PROME, November 1461, mem. 2.



11. Ingulph’s Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland with the Continuations by Peter Blois and Anonymous Writers, trans. H. T. Riley (London, 1854), p. 424. 12. A. R. Myres, English Historical Documents, Volume IV: 1327–1485 (New York, 1969), p. 1168. 13. Polydore Vergil, Three Books of Polydore Vergil’s English History, ed. H. Ellis (London, 1844), p. 156. 14. Philppe de Commynes, Memoirs: The Reign of Louis XI 1461–83, trans. M. Jones (London, 1972), p. 188. 15. C. D. Ross, Edward IV (New Haven and London, 1997), p. 10. 16. The Grey Friars Research Team with M.  Kennedy and L.  Foxhall, The Bones of a King: Richard III Rediscovered (Chichester, 2015), p. 130. 17. Barber, ‘Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur’, pp. 133–57. 18. A. Brown and G. Small, Court and Civic Society in the Burgundian Low Countries, c. 1420–1530 (Manchester, 2007), p. 36. 19. D. Loades, The Tudor Court (London, 1986), p. 22. 20. E. W. Ives, ‘Marrying for Love: The Experience of Edward IV and Henry VIII’, History Today 50:12 (2000), 48–53. 21. CPR, 1461–67, p. 435. See also, TNA, C 81/802/1630. 22. TNA, E 404/73/1/45A. 23. Barber, ‘Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur’, p. 144. 24. M. Vale, War and Chivalry: Warfare and Aristocratic Culture in England, France and Burgundy at the End of the Middle Ages (London, 1981), pp. 63–99. 25. D. Crouch, Tournaments (London, 2005), p. 1. 26. R. C. Coltman, The Medieval Tournament (New York, 1987), p. 3. 27. John Tiptoft’s ordinances were copied into numerous collections. These collections are kept in the College of Arms, the British Library, and the Bodleian Library, Oxford. College of Arms: MS M. 6, ff. 56v–57r; MS L5bis, ff. 121v–122r. BL, Add. MS 33735, ff. 3r–4r; Add. MS 46354 f. 58v; Harley MS 1354, ff. 13r–14v; Harley MS 1776, f. 45r; Harley MS 6064, ff. 86r–86v; Harley MS 6079, f. 34v; Stowe MS 1409, f. 209r. Bodleian Library: Ashmole MS 763, f. 148r; Ashmole MS 1116, f. 108v. 28. J.  Barker, The Tournament in England, 1100–1400 (Woodbridge, 1986), p. 145. 29. BL, Harley MS 6064, f. 36v. In a tournament held during the reign of Elizabeth I, the four challengers are first detailed as receiving prizes, which included a tablet of diamond, a chain, a ring full of diamonds, and a chain of gold. Then three prizes are listed for victors in the tilt (a chain), the tourney (a diamond), and the foot combat (a ruby). 30. The transition from the tiltyard as a focus for training in warfare to being instead essentially a theatre for spectacular pageantry is argued by S. Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry and Early Tudor Policy (Oxford, 1969).



31. Ross, Edward IV, pp. 64–5. 32. M. Jones, ‘Beaufort, Henry, second duke of Somerset (1436–1464)’, in ODNB, available at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/1860 (accessed 28 June 2016). 33. The Historical Collections of a Citizen of London, ed. J. Gairdner (London: Camden Society, 1876), p. 219. 34. T. Elyot, The Castel of Helth … (London, 1541), pp. 12–13. 35. Historical Collections of a Citizen of London, ed. Gairdner, p. 219. 36. Historical Collections of a Citizen of London, ed. Gairdner, p. 219. 37. Historical Collections of a Citizen of London, ed. Gairdner, p. 219. 38. G.  Richardson, The Field of Cloth of Gold (New Haven and London, 2013), p. 136. 39. Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, ed. N.  Davis, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1971–76), i, p. 396. 40. BL, Lansdowne MS 285, ff. 155r–199v. G. Lester, Sir John Paston’s Grete Boke: A Descriptive Catalogue, with an Introduction, of British Library MS Lansdowne 285 (Cambridge, 1984), p. 37. 41. T.  Hahn, ‘Gawain and Popular Chivalric Romance in Britain’, in The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance, ed. R. Krueger (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 18–34. 42. M.  Hicks, ‘Woodville, Anthony, second earl Rivers (c. 1440–1483)’, in ODNB, available at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/29937 (accessed 28 December 2018). 43. A.  Shepard, Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2006), p. 9. 44. For tourneying fraternities, see R. M. Karras, From Boys to Men: Formation of Masculinity in Late Medieval Europe (Pennsylvania, 2002), pp. 58–67. 45. R.  Horrox, ‘Hastings, William, first baron Hastings (c. 1430–1483)’, in ODNB, available at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/12588 (accessed 3 January 2018). 46. These theories of age in the Middle Ages have been argued as having only a tenuous connection to the reality of men’s lives and men’s bodies. See F.  Dunlop, The Late Medieval Interlude: The Drama of Youth and Aristocratic Masculinity (York, 2007), p. 13. 47. The wedding celebrations inspired a number of eyewitness accounts. An English account is found in BL, Add. MS 46354, ff. 41v–50v. 48. Corbet, Edward IV, p. 153. 49. R. Horrox, ‘Parr, Sir William (1434–1483)’, in ODNB, available at: http:// www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/21404 (accessed 29 December 2018). 50. Barker, The Tournament in England, p. 117.



51. Barber, ‘Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur’, pp. 133–56; M. Keen and J. Barker, ‘The Medieval English Kings and the Tournament’, in Nobles, Knights and Men-at-Arms in the Middle Ages, ed. M. Keen (London, 1996), pp. 83–101. 52. The four eyewitness accounts are found in the following places. The English accounts can be found in BL, Lansdowne MS 285, ff. 18r-24r, 29v-43r, 99r-100v, and College of Arms MS L5bis. The BL account (that of the Chester Herald) can found in print in S. Bentley, Excerpta Historica (London, 1831), pp.  176–212; L.  C. Scofield, The Life and Reign of Edward IV, part 1 (London, 1923), pp. 414–20; H. F. Cripps-Day, The History of the Tournament in England and in France (London, 1918), pp. 96–8; R. C. Clephan, The Tournament: its Periods and Phases (London, 1919), pp. 76–7. The Burgundian accounts can be found in O. Marche, Memoirs (Ghent, 1556), pp. 489–90, and Utrech University Library, MS 1776, ff. 186r–225v. The Burgundian accounts can also be found transcribed and translated in R. Moffat, ‘The Medieval Tournament: Chivalry, Heraldry and Reality, an Edition and Analysis of Three Fifteenth-Century Tournament Manuscripts’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Leeds, 2010). In addition to the four sources cited, the following all mention the 1467 tournament: W. Worcester, Letters and Papers illustrative of the Wars of the English in France during the Reign of Henry VI, ed. J. Stevenson, 2 vols. (London: Rolls Series, 1861–64), ii, p.  478; Hall’s Chronicle, Containing the History of England During the Reign of Henry IV and the Succeeding Monarchs to the End of the Reign of Henry VIII, ed. H.  Ellis (London, 1809), pp. 267–70; J. Stow, Annales (London, 1631), p. 406. 53. Brown and Small, Court and Civic Society, p. 36. 54. BL, Lansdowne MS 285, f. 43r. 55. Bodleian, Ashmole MS 656, f. 94v. 56. BL, Harley MS 69, ff. 1r–2r, printed in Cripps-Day, History of the Tournament, Appendix IV. 57. Bodleian, Ashmole MS 856, ff. 94v–101v. 58. Vale, War and Chivalry, p. 79. 59. R. Barber, ‘The Order of the Round Table’ in Edward III’s Round Table at Windsor: The House of the Round Table and the Windsor Festival 1344, ed. J. Munby, R. Barber and R. Brow (Woodbridge, 2007), pp. 137–49. 60. W.  M. Ormrod, ‘Edward III and the Recovery of Royal Authority in England, 1340–60’, History 72 (1987), 4–19. 61. Ormrod, ‘Edward III and the Recovery of Royal Authority’, 4–19. 62. H. Collins, The Order of the Garter, 1358–1461: Chivalry and Politics in Late Medieval England (Oxford, 2000). 63. J. S. Bothwell, Edward III and the English Peerage: Royal Patronage, Social Mobility and Political Control in Fourteenth-Century England (Woodbridge, 2004), p. 107.



64. W. M. Ormrod, ‘The Foundation and Early Development of the Order of the Garter in England, 1348–1399’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien 50 (2017), 361–92. 65. Ross, Edward IV, p. 274. 66. J.  Hughes, Arthurian Myths and Alchemy: The Kingship of Edward IV (London, 2002). 67. G.  F. Beltz, Memorials of the Order of the Garter (London, 1841), pp. 162–4. 68. Ibid., pp. 162–4. 69. Ibid., pp. 162–4. 70. C. Donohue, ‘Public Display and the Construction of Monarchy in Yorkist England, 1461–85’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of York, 2013), p. 126. 71. J. L. Sanford and M. Townsend, The Great Governing Families of England, Volumes 1 & 2 (Edinburgh and London, 1865), p. 191. 72. Ross, Edward IV, p. 73. 73. E.  Ashmole, The History of the Most Noble of the Garter; and the Several Orders of Knighthood in Europe (London, 1715), p. 515. 74. The Paston Letters, A.D. 1422–1509, ed. J.  Gairdner, 6 vols. (London, 1904. Reprinted Cambridge, 2010), iv, p. 61. 75. T. More, The History of King Richard the Third: A Reading Edition, ed. G. M. Logan (Bloomington, Indiana, 2005), p. 22. 76. Commynes, Memoirs, p. 241. 77. C. D. Ross, Richard III (New Haven and Yale, 1983), p. 83; P. M. Kendall, Richard the Third (London, 1955), pp. 190–6. 78. M. Hicks, Richard III and his Rivals: Magnates and their Motives in the Wars of the Roses (London, 1991), p. 229. 79. Ingulph’s Chronicle, trans. Riley, p. 488. 80. D.  Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard III, ed. C.  A. J.  Armstrong (Oxford, 1969). 81. More, The History of King Richard the Third, pp. 44–5. 82. N.  Saul, The Three Richards: Richard I, Richard II and Richard III (London, 2005), p. 166. 83. T. Gumus, ‘Court Chivalry and Politics: Nominations and Elections to the Order of the Garter, 1461–1483’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Bilkent University, 2007), p. 146. 84. Donohue, ‘Public Display and the Construction of Monarchy’, p. 128.


‘I claim no right but would this land defend’: Loyalty to the Institution of Kingship in Blind Hary’s The Wallace Callum Watson

Blind Hary’s The Wallace is a long narrative poem written in the late fifteenth century, purporting to recount the life and times of Sir William Wallace.1 Traditionally, the poem has been understood as a work written to express a frustration with recent developments in Anglo-Scottish diplomacy and reflecting contemporary concerns over the direction of Scottish foreign policy. Certainly, Hary demonstrates a deep distrust, even hatred, of the English, suggesting a dissatisfaction with Scottish policy at the time of writing. However, insofar as the poet offers an indication of how he believes this policy might be changed, he draws on precedents established in the almost two centuries that separated him from his subject. In this chapter, Hary’s depiction of Wallace as guardian and Wallace’s relationship with Robert Bruce will be examined to assess how far removed his perspective on the nature of guardianship was from the many fourteenth- and fifteenth-century examples of this concept in practice. It will be argued that Hary recognised a distinction between the institution of the crown and the

C. Watson (*) University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_3




person of the king, and that the powers associated with the crown might be conferred on another individual if the king was judged to be failing in his responsibilities—especially in regard to the defence of the realm. However, Hary is careful to present Wallace’s guardianship as being limited in term to the resolution of a particular crisis and guided by the community, a depiction largely in keeping with the expectations placed upon various historical examples of guardians and lieutenants he had to draw upon. The Wallace survives in a single manuscript written by John Ramsay in 1488 and is bound alongside the only complete manuscript copy of The Bruce, an earlier poem written in the 1370s by John Barbour, archdeacon of Aberdeen, notionally recounting the life of King Robert I of Scotland (r. 1306–29).2 Aside from this single handwritten example, fragments of the poem can be found in printed editions made by Chepman and Myllar around 1509 and by Robert Lekpreuk in 1570, which Matthew McDiarmid used to construct his formidable scholarly edition of The Wallace for the Scottish Text Society in 1968.3 While it is relatively easy to date the surviving manuscript, dating the poem itself is somewhat more difficult. G. Neilson uses Hary’s reference to Edward I as ‘reyffar king’ to date the poem to around 1482, when a Scottish parliament had denounced Edward IV as ‘Revare Edward’.4 More recently, McDiarmid has placed the date of composition no earlier than 1471 and no later than 1479, arguing for the years 1476–78 as the most likely period in which Hary was writing.5 This would place the composition of the poem in the reign of King James III of Scotland (r. 1460–88), during a period when the king’s increasingly friendly foreign policy towards England was creating tensions between the royal administration and certain sections of the nobility, but before the major crises of the 1480s. The narrative of The Wallace is plagued by historical inaccuracies. Hary adapted real history as he pleased, for instance to fit the prediction that Wallace would save Scotland from English rule three times.6 Hary invents a wife for Edward I in 1297, despite his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, having died in 1290 and his marriage to his second wife, Margaret of France, not taking place until 1299.7 He writes of ‘artailye and nobill men with gyn’ defending York from a Scottish attack in 1297, and mentions the sound of gunfire during a sea battle with the so-called Red Reiver, despite the use of gunpowder weapons being highly anachronistic for the late thirteenth century.8 The meeting between Wallace and Bruce after the battle of Falkirk has a literary precedent in Walter Bower’s Scotichronicon,



but has little basis in historical reality.9 Hary’s work also contains contradictions within the text itself. For instance, Wallace is said to be eighteen years old the year before the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 but is later stated to be forty-five when he is captured by the English in 1305, a mere nine years later.10 This serves as ample demonstration that The Wallace is far more useful as a source for attitudes than it is as a record of actual events. As Ronald Jack has noted, ‘the full meaning [of Hary’s work] is only revealed diachronically and allegorically’.11 The content of the poem is thus much more illuminating on subjects relating to the 1470s than it is for the period it purports to record. Despite the scholarly attention his work has received, Hary himself remains a somewhat obscure figure. The accounts of the lord high treasurer record five payments made to one ‘Blind Hary’ between 1490 and 1492 for the reciting of poetry and song.12 This at least gives us a figure to whom we might tentatively attribute the poem, but still gives us little detail about his character beyond what we can infer from the text of the poem. On the basis that these payments occur exclusively at Linlithgow Palace, McDiarmid has suggested that this may allow us to conclude that Hary lived in Linlithgow or its environs.13 McDiarmid further speculates that Hary may have served as a soldier in France at some point, based on his use of French terms in some depictions of fighting.14 Even the question of whether or not Hary was blind is subject to debate.15 Balaban has questioned whether Hary was blind until after the poem’s completion, a position that is at least supported by the fact that the writer makes no reference to this disability in the text itself.16 The image of Hary as a blind minstrel was particularly attractive to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century readers for its romantic appeal, but remains essentially speculative.17 McDiarmid has observed that the term ‘blind’ could also be roughly synonymous with ‘bardic’, although he nonetheless favours the notion that Hary had at least become literally blind later in life.18 The very name ‘Blind Hary’ has certain linguistic implications that have been the subject of some interesting discussion among historians. The etymological origins of the phrase ‘Blind Hary’, being a popular name for the devil, have led John Balaban to conclude that the author of The Wallace was working under a pseudonym, building on an earlier suggestion made by William Schofield.19 Whereas Schofield suggested that the use of an alias was to avoid English reprisals for the rampant anti-English sentiment present in The Wallace, Balaban has instead suggested that the use of ‘Blind Hary’ specifically indicates the writer’s intention to place the poem



firmly within the popular folk literature tradition.20 Balaban’s thesis is supported by the likelihood that Hary relied heavily on various folk traditions that had grown up around Wallace in the time between his death and the composition of the poem. Schofield himself refers to the poem as being ‘outrageously pagan’ in tone.21 As Balaban points out, the view of The Wallace as having been heavily influenced by folk tradition also helps to explain more fantastical episodes like Fawdoun’s ghost and others, which may well have their origins in folk tales.22 Such adoption of traditional folk tales may help to explain The Wallace’s continued popularity in Scotland over Barbour once the work had been taken out of its immediate context.23 While such discussions are undoubtedly fascinating, ‘Blind Hary’ remains in effect simply the name modern scholars apply to the writer of The Wallace. Details about Hary’s audience are somewhat easier to reconstruct than the writer himself, although not without problems. Firstly, Hary directly acknowledges two contemporary individuals as having directly influenced the composition of The Wallace, namely, Sir William Wallace of Craigie and Sir James Liddale of Halkerston.24 Priscilla Bawcutt and Janet Williams have cautioned against viewing either of them as patrons of Hary’s work— as Sally Mapstone does—but Hary mentions both men as having influenced the content of the poem.25 Wallace of Craigie appears several times in parliamentary records between 1464 and 1479. In January 1464, Wallace of Craigie participated in judicial proceedings that found Alexander Cunningham, Lord Kilmaurs, innocent of treasonably assisting the exiled James, 9th earl of Douglas, in a recent attack on the West March.26 Wallace of Craigie is also named in a parliamentary sederunt of November 1469, the first such gathering of James III’s personal rule, an assembly that saw a concerted effort by the royal administration to redress the perception that the administration of law and justice had been compromised during the king’s minority.27 In March 1472, Wallace of Craigie’s procurator, Sir Walter Douglas, lodged a complaint with the lords auditor, while in March 1479—shortly before his death—the lords auditors found in favour of Sir William in a dispute with Hugh, Lord Fraser.28 Liddale too appears in a parliamentary sederunt of March 1472, and another in March 1479.29 However, Liddale’s main claim to fame was as the steward and trusted associate of Alexander Stewart, duke of Albany and younger brother of James III. Indeed, Norman Macdougall has suggested that Liddale’s presence at the March parliament of 1479 was to provide intelligence for the duke, who was by this point openly resisting



his brother’s efforts to promote his ‘pro-English’ foreign policy.30 Liddale may have provided a similar service for Albany during the duke’s enforced absence from Scotland between 1479 and 1482.31 Although he did not share in the duke’s first exile, Liddale quickly reconciled with Albany on his return to Scotland, accompanying the duke to the annual exchequer audit at Stirling in 1482—at which Albany seems to have sought the support of Queen Margaret and the young James, duke of Rothesay, in his efforts to be installed as lieutenant-general.32 In June 1483 Liddale was forfeited at the same parliament that forfeited Albany, following the failure of the duke’s efforts to supplant his brother, the king, at the head of the Scottish government.33 Ultimately, Liddale would prove to be the duke’s most faithful supporter, even at the cost of his own life, facing execution after being caught trying to help the duke return clandestinely to Scotland in 1485.34 Aside from these two contemporary individuals specifically named by Hary in the text, a number of other figures mentioned in The Wallace had relatives living in Hary’s own time. These figures can also be used to partially reconstruct the poem’s intended audience. One of Wallace’s most loyal supporters—‘Gud Robert Boyd, that worthi was and wicht’—may have been intended as a reference to Robert, Lord Boyd, who had dominated the government of Scotland from 1466 to 1469.35 The Boyd administration had begun in a remarkably audacious fashion when Lord Boyd’s brother Sir Alexander Boyd of Drumcoll—seemingly capitalising on his earlier role as the young king’s tutor in arms—effectively seized James III during a hunting expedition near Linlithgow in July 1466.36 Lord Boyd was able to use physical possession of the king to have himself recognised by parliament as ‘governor’ of the king’s person, a role that for the next three years gave Boyd effective control over the royal administration.37 In reality, the Boyds’ grip on power in this period was somewhat tenuous, as is reflected in their reticence to call parliament during this period.38 This did not prevent Lord Boyd using his newfound authority to significantly enhance his family’s domestic position, aggrandising their own landed holdings and even securing a marriage for Lord Boyd’s son Thomas to James III’s sister Mary.39 Unsurprisingly, the Boyd administration quickly and dramatically collapsed when James III’s minority came to an end in 1469. Lord Boyd and his son Thomas fled the country, Lord Boyd having done so on the pretext of a diplomatic mission.40 The absentee Boyds were condemned as traitors and forfeited, and King James was left to take revenge on Boyd of Drumcoll, the only one of the Boyds left in Scotland.41



The actions of the Boyd family were dubious at best but in some cases, such as the creation of the earldom of Arran, were outright illegal.42 Other contemporary figures may also have felt a resonance with certain characters in The Wallace. McDiarmid has suggested that Stephen of Ireland—another of Wallace’s most prominent supporters—may have been intended to appeal to John Ireland, a close familiar of King James III.43 Ireland was a learned and well-travelled individual, whose career James III invested a great deal of time and effort in promoting from the early 1480s onwards.44 For example, in May 1485 the king made a supplication to the pope recommending Ireland as a candidate for the archdeaconry of St Andrews.45 While events conspired to prevent Ireland from assuming this office, it nonetheless demonstrates the level of investment James had in Ireland’s advancement. Such was Ireland’s closeness to King James that he reportedly heard the king’s confession before the fateful battle of Sauchieburn in 1488.46 Ireland had penned a vernacular work in the genre of specula principum, begun during James III’s lifetime though not completed until the reign of James IV.47 William Crawford of Manuel, who Hary claims ‘ay was full worthe’, was likely intended to compliment Archibald Crawford, abbot of Holyrood, whose father was called William.48 Abbot Crawford’s career in service of the Scottish crown had begun in 1464, during James III’s minority, when he helped negotiate a long truce with England.49 He served as king’s treasurer from 1474 to 1479, but would also serve as treasurer for the interim administration established by King James’ half-uncles during the crisis of 1482–83.50 References to ‘a squire Guthre’ and ‘Elys of Dundas’ in The Wallace may have been aimed at Sir David Guthrie and Sir Archibald Dundas, both of whom died in 1478.51 Guthrie had served as comptroller to James III in 1467 and clerk of the rolls in 1471 and was sent as an ambassador to France in 1473 in an attempt to negotiate the return of Saintonge.52 Dundas sat on the assize that found Alexander Boyd guilty of treason in 1469.53 McDiarmid has also argued for a more general sympathy for the exiled Black Douglases.54 The fall of the Black Douglases had been one of the defining moments of the reign of James II, and has been discussed in great detail elsewhere.55 The earls of Douglas had already established themselves as some of the foremost magnates in the kingdom during the fourteenth century, but during the minority of James II in the 1440s William, 8th earl of Douglas, had greatly expanded his personal power and influence. James II’s success in dismantling Black Douglas power in Scotland and driving the remaining members of the family into exile in the first half of the 1450s was both



a consequence of internal divisions that had emerged within the wider Black Douglas affinity during the recent minority and a reflection of the changing nature of lordship in fifteenth-century Scotland. The surviving members of the Black Douglas kindred and a number of their supporters remained at large in England, forming what Macdougall has characterised as a ‘fifth column’ of sorts that even in the 1470s could serve as a potent threat to the Scottish royal administration in the event of conflict between the two kingdoms.56 As well as this possible sympathy for the Black Douglases, Michael Brown has recently suggested that Hary’s condemnation of Lady Ferrers may be evidence of a distaste on Hary’s part for the contemporary Red Douglas earls of Angus, and perhaps the higher aristocracy in general.57 Two points emerge from this. First, Hary’s work was likely intended to appeal mostly to the lesser nobility, and, secondly, those whose attention Hary seems to have sought to attract were men associated at one time or another with the royal administration of James III. Hary seems to have expected to find his likely readers mostly among members of the lesser nobility and their supporters from a fairly specific geographical area.58 The individuals to whom Hary appears to have been appealing also all had some connection to those areas of the kingdom in which the bulk of the action in The Wallace takes place—Ayrshire, Clydesdale and parts of Perthshire, Fife and Angus. MacDiarmid has noted that a number of family names mentioned in The Wallace mostly belonged to a ‘minor class of old landed gentry’ who had found advancement through government service in the mid-fifteenth century.59 Several of these had good reason to harbour resentment towards James III. Liddale of Halkerston was perhaps the most committed Albany hardliner, eventually facing execution for his loyalty. The Boyd family too had used physical possession of the king in 1466 to dominate the government for the following three years, resulting in most of them being driven into exile when the king came of age in 1469, their property forfeited, and moreover their lives in jeopardy should they return to Scotland. The Black Douglases had been dramatically driven from Scotland in 1455 and by the time Hary was writing had already proven themselves willing to act against the Scottish royal administration in the hopes of recovering their Scottish estates. This remained a very serious threat that the English government could still level at James III in times of heightened tensions between the two kingdoms, and yet Hary appears to demonstrate at least some sympathy with their cause. Mapstone has used Hary’s association with figures such as Liddale to argue that the



poem expresses ‘ideological opposition’ to the royal court and has suggested that the figure of Wallace represents a ‘challenge to the idea of Stewart kingship’.60 Yet not all of the contemporary figures whose ancestors receive acknowledgement in The Wallace were men with reasons to feel dissatisfied with James III’s reign. Some of these individuals—like the Boyds or the exiled Douglases—had reason to resent the royal administration at the time of writing, while others—such as John Ireland—enjoyed a positive relationship with the king. Other figures, such as Archibald Crawford, abbot of Holyrood, had a more ambivalent experience of James’ reign, as suggested by Crawford’s service in the interim government established by James III’s half-uncles in 1482. But on balance Crawford’s experiences would likely lead him to view James III in relatively positive terms. This is especially likely if McDiarmid’s dating of the composition of The Wallace to the period 1476–78 is accepted. The inclusion of characters intended to appeal to men with such differing perspectives towards the king suggests that Hary hoped to appeal to an audience representing a wider range of political attitudes than has often been appreciated. By connecting these contemporary figures through their ancestors’ supposed support for Wallace, Hary sought to unite these figures behind a shared goal. The nature of this shared goal is explored below, and is concerned with the maintenance of those values for which the king was supposed to represent regardless of whether the king embodied those values or not. The most discussed element of Hary’s narrative is its rampant patriotic fervour. Stevenson has noted Hary’s language is emotive rather than instructive and so concerned with nascent patriotism that it frequently overpowers the chivalric ideals and morals that are so prevalent in Barbour’s Bruce, a work that otherwise had an enormous influence over the composition of The Wallace.61 Carla Sassi and Silke Stroh categorise The Wallace as belonging to a fourteenth- and fifteenth-century trend of ‘literature of political antagonism between England and Scotland’.62 The overtly patriotic aspects of Hary’s work are often explained by consideration of the poem’s immediate context.63 Hary was writing at a time when the king was pursuing a policy that was increasingly conciliatory towards England. In 1474, James III betrothed his one-year-old son to Edward IV’s daughter Cecily, beginning a major reassessment of Anglo-Scottish relations as a whole.64 The chief opposition to such diplomatic manoeuvres was centred on James’ brother the duke of Albany, Alexander Stewart, who was twice forced into exile for his attempts to usurp executive power.65 Based on



Hary’s stated association with Liddale of Halkerston, Stevenson notes that Hary may have used Albany as a model for his depiction of William Wallace.66 Wilson also supports the notion that Hary was objecting to the policy of reconciliation with England.67 Morton has gone so far as to suggest that the duke of Albany actually used The Wallace as propaganda to oppose his brother’s attempts to treat with England in 1474.68 McDiarmid too in his commentary on The Wallace sees the episode in which Wallace wears the crown for a day in the hopes of provoking the English into facing him in battle as ‘a reference to a possible role for Albany in the kind of national emergency for which James would be unsuited as a leader’.69 Even Macdougall, who has cast some doubt on whether any direct connection between Hary and Albany can reasonably be identified, has observed that The Wallace seeks to recast Albany as ‘a popular hero rather than a squalid conspirator’.70 Hary makes the claim that parliament can choose a king, in spite of the issue of heredity.71 Reading this as a potentially radical suggestion, James Goldstein has argued that Hary’s Wallace begins to read like something of an anti-royalist tract, with Wallace standing in for Alexander Stewart and Bruce standing in for James III.72 In Hary’s account of the battle of Falkirk, the Steward compares Wallace with the prideful owl whose ‘pryd reboytyt all the layff’, to which Wallace responds that he has acted in defence of ‘Scotlandis rycht’.73 However, Hary notes that Wallace spoke ‘Our haistely’, and Royan has suggested that this may suggest that Hary intended to convey the message that even Wallace could go too far in assuming the rights traditionally associated with the king.74 Thus rather than interpreting The Wallace as a piece of anti-royalist propaganda, Hary may in fact be promoting a view of kingship that he hoped might resonate with readers who were dissatisfied with James III’s reign and those who were not. When considering Hary’s attitude towards ‘national’ allegiance, and particularly how it connected to the concerns of his contemporary audience, it is vitally important to examine Hary’s presentation of the crown as an institution being distinct from the person of the king. Alexander Grant and Fiona Watson have argued convincingly that the medieval sense of ‘national’ identity tended to be tied to the king rather than the geographical area.75 In Hary’s Wallace, the discourse on kingship centres on the relationship between Wallace and Robert Bruce. McDiarmid has previously noted the emotive weight Hary places on the interactions between Wallace and Bruce in his work, despite these interactions taking up a relatively short section of the poem.76 As Goldstein puts it, the entire poem is



‘plotted in a linear pattern structured on the hero’s need to rescue Scotland three times, until the seeds are planted in Bruce’s mind to lead the national struggle himself’.77 Writing with the benefit of hindsight, Hary ignores the association of the historical Wallace with efforts to have John Balliol restored, instead presenting Bruce as the legitimate King of Scots following the death of Alexander III in 1286.78 Bruce and Wallace occupy contradictory positions for most of Hary’s poem.79 Bruce is the rightful king but refuses to accept this position. Wallace, on the other hand, is always fiercely committed to the cause of resistance to English rule but has no legitimate right to lead, save arguably for a vision he receives of St Andrew and the Virgin Mary in which he is encouraged to take up arms in Scotland’s defence. Goldstein sums this contradiction up as ‘legitimacy plus effeminate inactivity versus illegitimacy plus manly action’.80 Hary is well aware of the distinction between Wallace’s role as guardian and Bruce’s right to rule as king, and insists that Wallace refused the opportunity to be crowned as King of Scots. Wallace is offered the crown while leading a raid into England after his victory at Stirling Bridge, and refuses it outright as he is unwilling ‘to reyff my rychtwis king’.81 Instead, Wallace states that he is merely seeking to fulfil his ‘dett’ (i.e. ‘duty’) to ‘fend the rwem’.82 After some debate among the Scots, a knight named Campbell—surely a nod to Colin Campbell, earl of Argyll, a contemporary of Hary’s who had been involved in James III’s negotiations for peace with England in 1474 but later supported the king’s imprisonment in 1482—and Malcolm, earl of Lennox, offer the compromise that Wallace might be crowned for a day, simply to encourage the English to face the Scots in battle.83 Still Wallace refuses. Next the common soldiers begin clamouring for Wallace to be crowned, but Wallace dismisses the idea as ‘a scorn’ and brings the discussion to a close.84 Instead, Hary claims that the Scots convinced a pair of English knights that Wallace had been crowned and sent them to report this to their superiors, hoping this would provoke an armed response.85 Only in the closing lines of the poem does Hary finally ‘admit’ that Wallace did accept the crown after all, but reiterates that this was done only for a single  day and simply ‘To get battaill’.86 Hary’s account of Wallace’s temporary assumption of the crown hardly reads as a ringing endorsement for the replacement of the rightful king. Wallace assumes the guardianship in defence of Scotland but whenever the English are driven from the kingdom he leaves the effective governance of the realm to others, often spending the intervening periods adventuring on the continent. Hary claims that Wallace ‘To rewll the



rewm he maid him gudly ford’ on his return to Scotland following this raid.87 However, when he receives an invitation to visit the king of France, Wallace holds a council at which a ‘governour’ is selected to stand in for Wallace during his absence.88 That the resignation of Wallace as guardian and the appointment of another is done in council is particularly interesting here, as it implies that Hary understood guardianship as being conferred on Wallace by the community. This is all the more noteworthy in this case, as this particular episode seems to be entirely Hary’s own invention, suggesting that it reflects his apprehension of how such an arrangement ought to be conducted. Later, following the battle of Falkirk, Hary has Wallace publicly resign the guardianship at a gathering of the nobles: Wallace sadly, quhen thir dedis war don, The lordis he cald and his will schawit thaim son. ‘Gud men,’ he said, ‘I was your gervernour. My mynd was set to do you ay honour, And for to bryng this realm to rychtwysnas … … My office our her playnly I resing; I think no mar to tak on me sic thing.’89

Again, Hary presents Wallace as resigning the guardianship once the threat posed by the English had been eliminated, and the appropriate arena for settling it on an individual is in council with as much of the nobility as possible. Clearly, Hary envisaged the scope of Wallace’s guardianship as being limited to the particular crisis caused by the English invasion and as being conferred not merely by his personal characteristics but by the community as a whole. As guardian, Wallace is able to assume the functions of a king but does not put himself above the law or allow personal ambition to tempt him to retain the role beyond the point when the true king takes office—that is, before Bruce accepts his responsibilities as king and assumes the role that Wallace has thus far fulfilled. Hary presents Wallace as assuming the authority of the king not to supplant Bruce, but rather in the hope of providing a model that might inspire Bruce to correct his behaviour. When Wallace offers an opportunity for reconciliation to the duplicitous Corspatrick, earl of Dunbar, in the aftermath of the battle of Stirling Bridge it is interesting to note that the offer is expressed in terms of the earl submitting not to Wallace personally but to the crown:



Than Wallace said. ‘Will ye her to consent, Forgyff him fre all thing that is bypast Sa he will cum and grant he has trespast, Fra this tyme furth kepe lawta till our croune?’90

Richard Moll has already suggested that the episode featuring Corspatrick was specifically invented by Hary as a reaction to recent political turmoil and intended to encourage his audience to set aside ethnic, linguistic and political differences in favour of a sense of national unity.91 That Wallace’s first instinct is to offer to reconcile Corspatrick at all further reinforces the impression that Hary wished to encourage a sense of unity within the political community in spite of the differing attitudes of his audience towards the king. It is perhaps most interesting to note that Corspatrick, as a powerful but disgruntled border magnate operating out of Dunbar, bears a striking resemblance to Albany’s own position in the 1470s. In the immediate context of the section of the poem in which it appears it is of course necessary that Corspatrick swears loyalty to the crown rather than the king since at the time the ‘true’ king—Bruce—is absent. Hary’s apparent intention is to emphasise the theme of loyalty to the office of the crown over obedience to the man in whom the duties of the office is currently invested. Mapstone has observed that despite what she interprets as Hary’s exasperation with James III he at no point offers an alternative candidate to be king.92 As Nicola Royan and Dauvit Broun have previously noted, Wallace’s loyalty is not merely to the king but rather ‘something more nebulous, an idea of independent Scottishness’.93 In this sense The Wallace constitutes a more general call to cling to established values in times of trouble. In Scotland at the time Hary was writing the poem could be read as a plea for loyalty to the institution of kingship more generally, and it offers the possibility of redemption for a king who—as James was by some of Hary’s contemporary audience—judged to be unable or unwilling to fulfil the expectations of that office.94 In late medieval Scotland, the evidence for an appreciation of this distinction between the person of the king and the institution of the crown is quite striking. As Christine McGladdery put it, the Scottish political community had, in light of the various crises and minorities since 1286, by the mid-fifteenth century ‘developed … a concept of the office of the crown and what it represented in terms of preserving an argument for autonomous and independent rule separate from any claims of superiority advanced by the English crown’.95 As early as 1286 the sudden death of



Alexander III and the succession crisis that followed led out of necessity to the establishment of a council of guardians who could govern Scotland in the absence of the monarch.96 The apparent effort to ensure that this council broadly reflected the various political, cultural and linguistic divisions of the Scottish nobility as a whole is noteworthy.97 Official documentation invariably emphasised that this council was appointed by the community and existed to serve their interests.98 As we have seen above, this notion of the guardian acting with the consent of the community of the realm is particularly reflected in Hary’s depiction of Wallace’s actions towards Corspatrick. In 1296, the forced abdication of John Balliol again led to the appointment of a series of guardians who assumed executive authority on behalf of the absentee king.99 One of these guardians was of course William Wallace himself.100 Under the circumstances, defence of the realm was a crucial aspect of the guardians’ responsibilities.101 In 1320 the Scottish political community’s conception of the crown as an institution distinct from the person of the king received perhaps its most celebrated expression in the form of the so-called Declaration of Arbroath, arguably the most famous document produced in medieval Scotland.102 The ‘declaration’—a letter addressed to Pope John XXII ostensibly from the barons of Scotland—famously claimed that the community of the realm reserved the right to remove from power a king who failed in his duties, particularly in his duty to protect his subjects from aggression. The support of the barons for Bruce’s kingship is expressed in terms of his having delivered Scotland from their enemies, and he is described as ruling with ‘the due consent and assent of us all’. In one of the most famous—and seemingly radical—passages in the letter, the barons assert: Yet if he [King Robert] should give up what he has begun, seeking to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King.103

The significance of this passage should not be overstated. Recently Roger Mason has questioned the influence that the Declaration of Arbroath had over subsequent political thought in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Scotland.104 Even in its original context, the extent to which the letter reflects the genuine sentiments of the men whose seals were attached to



the document is subject to debate, and in fact the Bruce regime itself may have had a guiding hand in the content of the letter.105 Certainly by the end of the year in which the ‘declaration’ was produced a number of those whose seals had been attached to it had been implicated in a plot to remove King Robert from power, suggesting that their ‘assent’ had been either coerced or otherwise given falsely.106 Roland Tanner has argued convincingly that documents produced during King Robert’s reign often belie the level of influence the royal administration had over their creation, and that the Declaration of Arbroath is no exception.107 Yet the fact this statement made it into the document at all confirms the existence of an understanding on the part of Scots in the early fourteenth century that the role of the king went beyond a single individual and was closely tied with service as a war leader. While in 1320 the Bruce administration may have been cynically seeking to exploit this idea to retroactively excuse Bruce’s seizure of power, it must have had at least some force already by this period in order for the regime to attempt this justification. The enforced absences of David II from 1333–41 and 1346–57 saw the appointment of further guardians.108 The language surrounding such arrangements was beginning to change, with those exercising power frequently being referred to as ‘lieutenants’ rather than ‘guardians’, but the role of these individuals remained largely focused on the maintenance of order and the defence of the realm while the king was indisposed.109 In the 1380s a precedent was set for the removal from effective power—although not from office altogether—of a king who was deemed unfit to rule, when in 1384 Robert II’s eldest son John, earl of Carrick, assumed control of the government as king’s lieutenant. The legislation that elevated Carrick to the lieutenancy identified the king’s chief failing as his inability ‘to be attentive continually to the execution of justice and the law of his kingdom in person’.110 The person of the king having thus been found wanting, the responsibilities associated with the office of the crown were to be invested in one who it was believed could fulfil them, in this case the king’s son and heir. It is clear from the context of Carrick’s lieutenancy that a general frustration with the king’s record in defence of the realm was also influential in the decision to install the more bellicose Carrick as lieutenant.111 In 1388 Carrick’s younger brother—Robert, earl of Fife—took over as lieutenant, and part of Fife’s remit in this office was ‘for the defence of the kingdom with the king’s force, as set out before, against those attempting to rise up as enemies’.112 In this case, ‘defence of the kingdom’ was understood in terms of both external and internal threats; the realm was to be guarded



not only against English aggression but also against lawlessness and civil unrest. After succeeding as Robert III in 1390, Carrick would for most of his reign be effectively sidelined by either Fife, who in 1398 was created duke of Albany, or his own son David, duke of Rothesay.113 When Rothesay was appointed ‘kyngis lieutenande’ in 1399 he was authorised to exercise: fwl powere and commissioun of the kyng to governe the lande in althynge as the kynge sulde do in his persoun gife he warre present.114

Not only was Rothesay’s authority to act in this manner granted by the general council that met at Perth in January 1399, he was also to be advised by a council of twenty-one individuals—including Albany and Archibald ‘the Grim’, 3rd earl of Douglas, who had both been instrumental in supporting his appointment as lieutenant—emphasising the point that in theory at least the community was to have a say in shaping the lieutenancy. In the last decades of the fourteenth century and the first decades of the fifteenth century then, it is abundantly clear that the Scots drew a clear distinction between the office and the person of the king. During James I’s imprisonment in England from 1406 to 1424, Albany, and from 1420 his son Murdoch, would act as ‘governor’ on behalf of the captive king.115 While this title was unprecedented, it most likely reflects the fact that James had not yet been crowned at the time of his capture in 1406.116 This period in particular offers a particularly fascinating insight into the extent to which the Scots perceived this distinction between the institution of the crown and the person of the king. In 1420 and 1421 Henry V brought James I with him on campaign in France in an effort to discourage those Scots who had been fighting on behalf of the beleaguered French royal administration from continuing in French service. Henry’s plan failed spectacularly, even after he had Scottish captives taken at the siege of Melun hanged as traitors for refusing to give up the defence of the town after learning that King James was in the besieging English army.117 As Brown has pointed out, the failure of this strategem demonstrates that Scots were even willing to take up arms against their own monarch so long as it could be justified as being in the interests of the kingdom.118 Finally, the minorities of James II and James III would have still been fairly recent memories for Hary’s audience and some of the men he seems to have been addressing—notably the Boyds and the Black Douglases—had been among those who, legally or otherwise, sought to exercise power on behalf of the king. Thus the notion of the crown as an



institution, one that carried with it a responsibility to see to the defence of the realm, and the idea that this institution was distinct from the person of the king would have been concepts that Hary’s audience appreciated. The precedents set in the previous two centuries had also established specific limits on the authority of those who exercised power on behalf of the king, and Hary appears to have been aware of this as well. Given the political strife that Scotland had endured in the 1470s and 1480s, the very period when Hary was most likely writing, it is entirely understandable that the writer would look to this distinction between the office and person of the king as offering a potential means of resolving the tensions emerging in the Scottish political community. Hary is at pains to justify Wallace’s ongoing conflict with Bruce in terms of Bruce’s refusal to behave in a manner befitting his rightful role as king, and emphasises that until Bruce accepts his duty to defend Scotland against her enemies then Wallace will discharge this duty for him. This can be seen in Wallace’s stated refusal to submit to Bruce on the basis that Bruce behaves in such a way that would make Wallace a subject of Edward.119 When the two men finally confront one another across the River Carron Wallace makes it clear that he fights the English because he is loyal to what Bruce as King of Scots should be, as opposed to how Bruce himself actually behaves: Than Wallace said, ‘Bot in defawt of thee, Throuch thi falsheis thin awn wyt has myskend. I cleym no rycht bot wald this land defend, At thou undoys throu thi fals cruell deid. Thou has tynt twa had beyn worth fer mair meid On this ilk day with a gud king to found, Na five mylyon of finest gold so round That ever was wrocht in werk or ymage brycht!’120

In this way Hary acknowledges a more abstract conception of proper kingship, based around the defence of the realm and a strong sense of patriotic pride, to which an individual can devote himself even if the king himself does not live up to these expectations. It may be that Hary did indeed envisage—perhaps even hoped to advocate—a period of guardianship to address the growing challenges facing James III’s government in the 1470s, but this is not to say that Hary envisaged an especially dramatic solution to what he perceived as Scotland’s problems. As we have seen, the notion that an individual might exercise the duties attached to the office of the crown when the king himself would or could not was understood in



medieval Scotland and had in the past been put into practice in times of crisis. The examples of such instances from the previous two centuries had established reasonably strict limits on how such an arrangement could take place, which Hary shows an awareness of in his poem. When Wallace acts as guardian in Hary’s work, he does so with the consent of the community, seeks their assent for his actions, and demits the office when the crisis has passed. Crucially, Bruce is a redeemable—and indeed, by the end of the poem, a redeemed—character in The Wallace. To an extent Hary is limited in how creative he can be in this regard; both Hary and his audience were after all well aware that Bruce had indeed become King of Scots. Yet if Bruce is truly analogous to James III then the fact that the narrative of The Wallace takes him from a figure unwilling to live up to the responsibilities he has inherited to Scotland’s hero-king would suggest that Hary envisioned a similar arc was possible for the real king too. That Hary was writing in response to the mounting tensions surrounding James III’s policies towards England is highly likely, and the family names he drops into his text strongly suggest that he sought to attract the attention of those with an interest in the proper governance of Scotland, whether they were satisfied with or suspicious of James III’s performance in the office. Hary’s Wallace offers a somewhat conservative and potentially unifying message for such individuals. Hary is willing to acknowledge at least the possibility that an ‘unfit’ king might be replaced by someone who better embodies the values for which the king was supposed to stand. However, the right to do so is conferred communally, and the right to exercise the king’s authority is contingent on the crisis at hand. Hary places the emphasis not on the personal superiority of Wallace to Bruce but rather on Wallace’s efforts to inspire and redeem the king. In doing so, he invites his audience to embrace the traditional values for which the Scottish crown had ostensibly stood since Wallace’s own time.

Notes 1. In completing this chapter I would like to extend enormous thanks to Professor Steve Boardman for his years of patient and insightful supervision. I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to my parents Denise and Trevor and my grandfather Dennis on whose unfailing support I have always been able to rely. Finally, I wish to extend my thanks to the good people at the Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society (LAMPS) at the University of Edinburgh and especially to Dr Lauren Chochinov for always being there for me.



2. National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, Advocates’ MS 19.2.2 (II). 3. Blind Hary, The Wallace, ed. M. P. McDiarmid (Edinburgh: Scottish Text Society, 1968–69), pp. ix–xii; McDiarmid argued convincingly that the differences in the text between the printed fragments and the manuscript copy derived from different manuscript copies of The Wallace and therefore allowed for a more accurate reconstruction of the poem in its original form. 4. The Wallace, Bk. 6, line 381; G.  Neilson, ‘On Blind Harry’s Wallace’, Essays & Studies 1 (1910), p.  109; The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 (afterward RPS), ed. K. M. Brown, et al. (St Andrews, 2007–2015), 1482/3/44, available at https://www.rps.ac.uk/ (accessed 10 December 2018). 5. The Wallace, p. xvi. 6. W.  H. Schofield, Mythical Bards and the Life of William Wallace (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1920), p. 155. 7. M. Prestwich, The Three Edwards: War and State in England, 1272–1377 (London, 1980), p. 23. 8. The Wallace, Bk. 8, line 808; Bk. 9, line 292. 9. G.  G. Wilson, ‘Barbour’s Bruce and Hary’s Wallace: Complements, Compensations and Conventions’, in Studies in Scottish Literature 25 (1990), p.  191; W.  Bower, Scotichronicon, ed. D.  E. R.  Watt, 9 vols. (Aberdeen, 1993–98), vi, p. 95. 10. The Wallace, Bk. 1, line 192; Bk. 12, line 1427. 11. R. D. S. Jack, ‘Scots Poetry in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries’, in The International Companion to Scottish Poetry, ed. C. Sassi (Glasgow, 2015), p. 17. 12. J. MacQueen, ‘The Literature of Fifteenth-Century Scotland’, in Scottish Society in the Fifteenth Century, ed. J. M. Brown (London, 1977), p. 195; Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, ed. T. Dickson, et al., 13 vols. (Edinburgh, 1877–1978), i, pp. 133, 174, 176, 181, 184. 13. The Wallace, p. xxix. 14. M. P. McDiarmid, ‘Rauf Colyear, Golagros and Gawane, Hary’s Wallace: Their Themes of Independence and Religion’, Studies in Scottish Literature 26 (1991), p. 329. 15. G. Morton, William Wallace: Man and Myth, (Stroud, 2001), p. 36; The Wallace, pp. xxviii–xxiv. 16. J.  Balaban, ‘Blind Harry and The Wallace’, The Chaucer Review 8 (1974), p. 246. 17. Morton, William Wallace, p. 36. 18. The Wallace, pp. xxviii–xxiv. 19. Balaban, ‘Blind Harry and The Wallace’, p.  246; Schofield, Mythical Bards, p. 160.



20. Balaban, ‘Blind Harry and The Wallace’, p. 248. 21. Schofield, Mythical Bards, p. 160. 22. Balaban, ‘Blind Harry and The Wallace’, p. 249. 23. Ibid. p. 249; numerous printed editions of The Wallace were published in the three centuries after the poem was originally produced, as noted in J. J. Smith, Older Scots: A Linguistic Reader (Edinburgh: Scottish Text Society, 2012), p. 14. 24. The Wallace, Bk. 12, lines 1444–6. 25. P.  Bawcutt and J.  H. Williams, ‘Introduction’, in A Companion to Medieval Scottish Poetry, ed. P. Bawcutt and J. H. Williams (Cambridge, 2006), p. 7; S. Mapstone, ‘Older Scots Literature and the Court’, in The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature, volume 1: From Columba to the Union (until 1707), ed. T.  Clancy and M.  Pittock (Edinburgh, 2007), p. 277. 26. RPS, 1464/1/2. 27. Ibid., 1469/2; N. A. T. Macdougall, James III: A Political Study (2nd edn., Edinburgh, 2009), pp. 87–8. 28. RPS, 1472/54; 1479/3/74. 29. Ibid., 1472/3; 1479/3/2. 30. Macdougall, James III, p. 161. 31. Ibid., p. 177. 32. Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 23 vols. (Edinburgh, 1878–1908), ix, p. 213. 33. RPS, 1483/6/5. 34. Macdougall, James III, p. 237. 35. The Wallace, Bk. 1, line 436. 36. R.  Nicholson, Scotland: The Later Middle Ages (Edinburgh, 1974), p. 411; Macdougall, James III, p. 71. 37. RPS, A1466/1. 38. R. Tanner, The Late Medieval Scottish Parliament: Politics and the Three Estates, 1424–1488 (East Linton, 2001), pp. 185–6. 39. Macdougall, James III, pp. 75–6. 40. Ibid., pp. 82–3; Nicholson, Scotland: The Later Middle Ages, p. 419. 41. RPS, A1469/2; Boyd of Drumcoll appears to have been imprisoned at Edinburgh Castle shortly after seizing the king in 1466, and may have been scapegoated by his brother Lord Boyd in the aftermath of this outrageous act. 42. The creation of the earldom involved the alienation of royal lands, something explicitly forbidden by the so-called ‘Act of Annexation’. For the act itself, see RPS, 1455/8/2. For a discussion of the act and its significance, see C.  McGladdery, James II (2nd edn., Edinburgh, 2015), pp. 164–5. 43. The Wallace, p. xxv.



44. For more detail on the patronage James lavished on Ireland, even at the cost of alienating his formal favourite William Sheves, archbishop of St Andrews, see Macdougall, James III, pp. 269–72. 45. RPS, 1485/5/14. 46. Macdougall, James III, p. 347. 47. The Meroure of Wyssdome composed for use of James IV, King of Scots AD 1490 by Johannes de Irlandia, Professor of Theology in the University of Paris, ed. C.  Macpherson, F.  Quinn, and C.  McDonald (Edinburgh: Scottish Text Society, 1926–65), 3 vols. 48. The Wallace, Bk. 7, lines 1299–1302; ibid., i, p. xv; ii, p. 218. 49. Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland: Preserved in Her Majesty’s Public Record Office, ed. J.  Bain, 4 vols. (Edinburgh, 1881–88), iv, no. 1341. 50. Nicholson, Scotland, p. 459; Macdougall, James III, p. 200. 51. The Wallace, p. xvi; Bk. 9, line 775; Bk. 12, line 534. 52. RPS, 1467/10/33; 1471/5/51; 1473/7/7. 53. RPS, A1469/2. 54. The Wallace, pp. xxi, lii; Bk. 12, lines 1209–10. 55. For detailed analysis of the downfall of the Black Douglases, see. M.  Brown, The Black Douglases: War and Lordship in Late Medieval Scotland, 1300–1455 (East Linton, 1998), chapter 13; McGladdery, James II, chapters 5 and 6. 56. Macdougall, James III, p. 49. 57. M.  Brown, ‘Barbour’s Bruce in the 1480s: Literature and Locality’, in Barbour’s Bruce and its Cultural Contexts, ed. S. Boardman and S. Foran (Cambridge, 2015), p.  224; Hary says of the marriage of Sir William Douglas ‘the Hardy’ and Lady Ferrers, to whom the Red Douglas earls of Angus traced their ancestry (The Wallace, Bk. 10, lines 872–4): A marriage als thai gert ordand him till The lady Fers, of power and hye blud, Bot tharof com till his lyff litill gud. 58. N. A. T. MacDougall, ‘Foreign Relations: England and France’, in Scottish Society in the Fifteenth-Century, ed. Brown, p. 111. 59. The Wallace, pp. xlviii–xlix. 60. Mapstone, ‘Older Scots Literature and the Court’, p. 277; S. Mapstone, ‘The Scotichronicon’s First Readers’, in Church, Chronicle and Learning in Medieval and Early Renaissance Scotland, ed. B.  E. Crawford (Edinburgh, 1999), p. 41. 61. K.  Stevenson, Chivalry and Knighthood in Scotland, 1424–1513 (Woodbridge, 2006), p. 150. Hary himself acknowledges his familiarity



with Barbour’s Bruce in the text of The Wallace, for example, at Bk. 12, lines 1212–14. 62. C.  Sassi and S.  Stroh, ‘Nation and Home’, in The International Companion to Scottish Poetry, ed. Sassi, p. 145. 63. McDiarmid, ‘Rauf Colyear, Golagros and Gawane, Hary’s Wallace’, p.  329; R.  J. Goldstein, ‘“I will my process hald”: Making Sense of Scottish Lives and the Desire for History in Barbour, Wyntoun and Blind Hary’, in A Companion to Medieval Scottish Poetry, ed. Bawcutt and Williams, p. 40. 64. Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, viii, pp. lviii–lxiii. 65. Macdougall, James III, pp. 159–60. Macdougall notes that Hary’s attitudes may reflect Albany’s hostility towards James III’s conciliatory foreign policy but he casts doubt on McDiarmid’s idea that Wallace is directly modelled after Albany. 66. Stevenson, Chivalry and Knighthood in Scotland, p. 81. 67. Wilson, ‘Barbour’s Bruce and Hary’s Wallace’, p. 195. 68. Morton, William Wallace, p. 37. 69. The Wallace, p. xxiv. 70. Macdougall, ‘Foreign Relations’, p.  18. For Macdougall’s scepticism about a direct link between Hary and Albany, see Macdougall, James III, p. 159. 71. The Wallace, Bk. 8, lines 646–7. 72. R. J. Goldstein, The Matter of Scotland: Historical Narrative in Medieval Scotland (Lincoln, Nebraska, 1993), p. 279. 73. The Wallace, Bk. 11, lines 133–48. 74. The Wallace, Bk. 11, line 144; N. Royan, ‘“Mark your Meroure be Me”: Richard Holland’s Buke of the Howlat’, in A Companion to Medieval Scottish Poetry, ed. Bawcutt and Williams, p. 62. 75. A.  Grant, Independence and Nationhood: Scotland, 1306–1469 (Edinburgh, 2001), pp. 24–5; F. Watson, ‘The Enigmatic Lion: Scotland, Kingship and National Identity in the Wars of Independence’, in Image and Identity: the Making and Re-making of Scotland Through the Ages, ed. D. Broun, R. J. Finlay and M. Lynch (Edinburgh, 1998), p. 24. 76. M. P. McDiarmid, ‘The Gododdin and Other Heroic Poems of Scotland’, in Scotland and the Lowland Tongue, ed. J. Derrick McClure (Aberdeen, 1983), p. 12. 77. Goldstein, ‘“I will my process hald”’, p. 44. 78. Hary does, however, acknowledge Balliol’s brief tenure as king, but dismisses this has having been achieved ‘contrar rycht’, The Wallace, Bk. 1, lines 69–72. 79. Mapstone, ‘Older Scots Literature and the Court’, p. 278. 80. Goldstein, The Matter of Scotland, p. 239.



81. The Wallace, Bk. 8, line 640. 82. Ibid., Bk. 8, line 643. 83. Ibid., Bk. 8, lines 651–60. 84. Ibid., Bk. 8, lines 666–72. 85. Ibid., Bk. 8, lines 675–7. 86. Ibid., Bk. 12, lines 1447–8. 87. Ibid., Bk. 8, line 1592. 88. Ibid., Bk. 9, lines 77–86. 89. Ibid., Bk. 11, lines 761–5, 777–8. 90. Ibid., Bk. 8, line 11. 91. R. J. Moll, ‘“Off quhat nacioun art thow?”: National Identity in Blind Hary’s Wallace’, in History, Literature and Music in Scotland, 700–1560, ed. R. A. McDonald (Toronto, 2002), p. 137. 92. Mapstone, ‘The Scotichronicon’s First Readers’, p. 42. 93. N.  R. Royan and D.  Broun, ‘Versions of Scottish Nationhood from c. 850–1700’, in The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature, ed. Clancy and Pittock, p. 176. 94. Macdougall, James III, p. 160. 95. McGladdery, James II, p. 254. 96. Nicholson, Scotland, p. 28. 97. G.  W. S.  Barrow, Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1976), p. 15. 98. Ibid., pp. 16–17. 99. Ibid., chapters 6 and 7. 100. For a concise summary of Wallace’s activities as guardian, and particularly the emphasis he placed on the defence of the realm, see F. Watson, ‘Sir William Wallace: What We Do – and Don’t – Know’, in The Wallace Book, ed. E. J. Cowan (Edinburgh, 2007), pp. 33–5. 101. Grant, Independence and Nationhood, p. 3. 102. National Records of Scotland, SP13/7. For the most influential translation of the document, see J.  Fergusson, The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320 (Edinburgh, 1970), pp. 5–11. 103. Ibid., p. 9. 104. R. A. Mason, ‘Beyond the Declaration of Arbroath: Kingship, Counsel and Consent in Late Medieval and Early Modern Scotland’, in Kings, Lords and Men in Scotland and Britain, 1300–1625: Essays in Honour of Jenny Wormald, ed. S.  Boardman and J.  Goodare (Edinburgh, 2014), pp. 265–82. 105. Barrow, Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm, pp.  308–9; G.  G. Simpson, ‘The Declaration of Arbroath Revitalised’, The Scottish Historical Review 66 (1997), 11–33.



106. M. Penman, ‘“A fell coniurecioun agayn Robert the douchty king”: the Soules Conspiracy of 1318–1320’, The Innes Review 50 (1991), 25–57. 107. R.  J. Tanner, ‘Cowing the Community? Coercion and Falsification in Robert Bruce’s Parliaments, 1309–1318’, in The History of the Scottish Parliament, volume 1: Parliament and Politics in Scotland, 1235–1560, ed. K. M. Brown and R. J. Tanner (Edinburgh, 2004), pp. 50–73. 108. For detailed analysis of these periods, see M.  Penman, David II, 1329–1371 (Edinburgh, 2004), chapters 2 and 5. 109. Robert Stewart was, for instance, identified as locum tenens in correspondence produced in 1339, locum tenente in a parliamentary roll of 1344 and locum tenens when appointing ambassadors to negotiate the release of David II in 1357: RPS, 1339/1; 1344/2; 1357/1/1. 110. RPS, 1384/11/4. 111. S.  Boardman, The Early Stewart Kings: Robert II and Robert III 1371–1406 (East Linton, 1996), pp. 123–4. 112. RPS, 1388/12/1. 113. For a detailed analysis of Robert III’s reign and his efforts to assert his personal authority, see Boardman, The Early Stewart Kings, chapters 7 and 8. 114. RPS, 1399/1/3. 115. For instance, Murdoch is identified as gubernatoris in legislation produced at a general council held at Perth in March 1416; RPS, 1416/2. 116. S. Boardman, ‘Stewart, Robert, first duke of Albany (c. 1340–1420)’ in ODNB, available at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-26502 (accessed 13 December 2018). 117. Bower, Scotichronicon, viii, p. 123. 118. M. Brown, James I (2nd edn., Edinburgh, 2000), p. 24. 119. The Wallace, Bk. 11, lines 474–5. 120. Ibid., Bk. 11, lines 458–65.


Political Dialogue, Exchange, and Propaganda: Or, How Yorkist and Early Tudor Governments Managed Public Opinion, c. 1461–1537 Wesley Corrêa

Introduction In the 1490s, an Italian travelling through the kingdom of England wrote that the English ‘do not trust each other to discuss either public or private affairs together’.1 Still, there is evidence that public discussion of significant matters was taking place throughout this period, and was most likely increasing by the 1530s. It was perhaps due to this intensification that, in April 1533, the Imperial ambassador anticipated that the king, Henry VIII, was going to ‘forbid everyone under pain of death, to speak in public or private in favour of … Queen [Catherine of Aragon]’.2 One can certainly be suspicious about both of these comments, but there is no question that governments were concerned with what was communicated to their subjects and how they reacted. Proclamations were increasingly W. Corrêa (*) Corpus Christi College, Oxford, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_4




issued and, from Edward IV’s reign, delivered in English with explanatory preambles.3 After 1484, the government used the printing press to distribute proclamations and statutes widely and quickly, and from then on the crown and its ministers only built upon this technique. Similarly, there was nothing new in making use of preachers as Henry VIII did, but he was in control of all the pulpits in the kingdom by the 1530s.4 Thereafter, communication reached new and unparalleled levels, and political exchange invariably followed the trend of such developments. Historians of this period have dealt with political communication in various ways, but there are two primary interpretations of how royal policy interacted with its subjects. The first approach is concerned with the development of ‘propaganda’. There is evidence that political dialogue was increasing; that a sense of communication was virtually present in all statutes, proclamations, and printed materials; that people were being ‘invited’ to politics during and after the Wars of the Roses; and that there was a growing awareness about the necessity of influencing public opinion.5 On the one hand, Bertrand Taithe and Tim Thornton have recently asserted that the concept of ‘propaganda’ still allows historians to examine means of ‘communication and persuasion’. At the same time, even though one might lapse into the inherent weaknesses of seeing the same linguistic strategies as the ‘rise of the public sphere’, they argued that we have a chance to look at how the language of this communication appealed to established perceptions and political cultures.6 On the other hand, scholars have also demonstrated that there were no coherent and structured efforts of propaganda; that it was usually intended for high levels of society; that only the simplest messages might have reached the common people; that people needed simple and easily recognisable symbols; and that propaganda is, in fact, an ‘academic invention’.7 Secondly, academics have also focused on the growth of governmental control over political ideas and dissent. Geoffrey Elton envisaged a full-­scale propaganda campaign during the ‘revolution’ of the 1530s, conveyed mainly through printing and preaching—which was part of a more complex machine run mainly by Cromwell himself.8 Christopher Duggan argued that the new treason legislation emerged from the new notion of authority in which people’s thoughts became irrelevant to politics, but they needed to be controlled to avoid the spread of sedition.9 Similarly, David Cressy has highlighted that governments in the early modern period believed that the common people had no business with the ‘affairs of the kingdom’, and because of that premise it became increasingly dangerous to dispute



politics.10 The intensification of the state is also the focus of John Cooper’s approach, but he advances a significant element of political exchange between the crown and the western counties.11 In this sense, although control, censorship, and the enforcement of authority remain critical to approach political communication, we still need to go farther than that. Despite their importance to this study, both the propaganda and the political control perspectives outlined above demand too many assumptions. First, we cannot expect a conscious and widespread propaganda policy in this period, either as manipulation or as thought-control, because we cannot expect a well-centralised government. Secondly, both approaches generally dismiss the possibility that the people were the imagined and primary target of a political dialogue. This overlooks the fact that, although the commons were indeed often depicted as ignorant fools, the government nevertheless feared potential rebellions and seditious language, particularly during turbulent periods. Indeed, if there are grounds to believe that levels of propaganda and control were increasing, this was precisely because communication was also flourishing. Both these reservations are centred on the fact that the dialectic and dialogic interactions between government and people, which have a great deal to reveal to historians, have been neglected in favour of a one-way relationship merely because there were unequal levels of power involved. Therefore, this chapter will advance the argument that political communication did not increase because the crown was overwhelmingly obsessed with controlling and manipulating minds and bodies, but because the government wanted to influence and earn people’s favour by engaging in a productive political dialogue, and through a process of exchange.12 It will also be observed that this political dialogue was broad and complex. Through this lens it becomes possible to see the role of political communication in this period differently: not as part of an early modern authoritarian machine, but as scared of and responsive to public and popular speech. Indeed, the government decisions which affected people’s lives at this time—made in the king’s council, in parliament, or via a more individual measure proposed by the king or the chancellor—increasingly came to consider the resistance and opposition they were likely to encounter as part of the decision-making process, and the primary way in which this was mitigated was through improving the levels of political dialogue. Considering that this was a dialogue of unequal proportions, conflict naturally permeated this dynamic. Whenever the crown preferred to avoid such political struggles, strategies of what has been here named ‘pretend



dialogue’ were necessary: official instructions, performances of unity, silences, and enforcement of obedience. Moreover, while there were innovations during this period, this chapter will emphasise the continuity of ideas over change: though the means of conveying official communication shifted and frequency increased due to the pressure of extraordinary circumstances, royal authorities employed virtually the same tactics and a very similar vocabulary later in the period. The chapter is divided into two sections, each of which will address a cluster of questions. The first will ask: what are the grounds for seeing ‘propaganda strategies’ as a political dialogue? Did the crown use the same terms as the subjects? If yes, did it share ideas, exchange and replace them with others, or did it only respond to critical issues? The second considers: in which situations should we recognise that the dialogue was false or pretended? Why did the crown sometimes choose silence over a direct approach? Moreover, how did the government manage to pretend stability and unity, expecting quiet obedience from the people?

Dialogue and Exchange First and foremost, this section aims to paint a better picture of the vocabulary and mechanics which surrounded the exchange of ideas between the crown and its subjects. It will be demonstrated that the crown answered public complaints both directly, in delicate contexts, and indirectly by addressing issues in advance. Similarly, it shall be observed that these ‘answers’ were both negative—in the majority of cases—and positive. Following this, the shared political culture between government and subjects will be illustrated, not only by highlighting common vocabulary and tropes, but also by examining the implied echoes of public opinion. Although in unusual circumstances the crown answered widespread concerns directly, this does not mean that dialogue was not a central part of this process. In the Yorkist and early Tudor period, following established practices, the government focused on the ‘traitorous purpose’ that would subvert the ‘common weal’, such as in the rebellions of 1470 and 1483.13 The emphasis was almost invariably on distorting the rebels’ discourse—which usually expressed loyalty to the king—by claiming they were about to destroy the ‘common weal’, ‘the south parts’ (in 1489), or the whole kingdom.14 On the face of it, these official claims may sound as if they were not interacting with the people sufficiently. However, while the crown generally called the ones involved ‘traitors’, they also suggested



many were blinded by their leaders. Consequently, the crown often promised the punishment of the extortionate leaders in exchange for the renewed loyalty of the rest. By the 1530s, direct responses to critical issues of public knowledge progressively became a matter of public order—still holding on to the same techniques. Preaching against the Nun of Kent’s prophecies and supporters, for instance, was perceived in November 1533 as serving to ‘blot out from people’s minds the impression … that [she was] a saint and a prophet’.15 During the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536–37, the crown was prompted to publish materials for the first time directly addressing and answering rebels. Two out of four publications which addressed the rebels were characterised as ‘answers’. Even though they seem quite different from simply banning hostile perspectives or announcing official ones, these answers thoroughly emphasised how inappropriate the rebels’ behaviour was, and how they were simply mad, ‘rude and ignorant’.16 The other two, both by Richard Morison, were printed subsequently as an attempt to cool down the rebellion and prevent further unrest. The first of Morison’s efforts, A Lamentation, addressed the rebels again as ignorant, but the fear of rebellion is clear when Morison states that ‘the King’s Grace will so prudently … order this [rebellion] that hereafter England shall have little fear of insurrections’.17 This sentence implies that ‘thus far’ England had a great fear of rebellions and it is clearer in his second piece, A Remedy for Sedition, that he hoped a solution was actually on the way by enforcing obedience.18 We cannot know whether these publications circulated much, although the rebels’ sympathisers among aristocratic circles might have read, heard about, and discussed some of them.19 Consequently, Morison’s proclamations claimed that the rebels were, obviously, traitors, but most importantly that there were ‘slanderous, false, and detestable rumours, tales and lies’ responsible for alienating the people’s hearts from the king. When the pardon was granted, the offence was said to proceed of ‘ignorance and by cause of sundry false tales never minded or intended by his highness’.20 Ultimately, although the government’s answers were quite hostile to the commons and their leaders, mostly through threats and the enforcement of loyalty, they show that political communication was sought regardless of its contents. The need to label the rebels’ statements as falsehoods demonstrates an awareness of the risk that the rebels could indeed be widely believed; hence the government had to engage in a way that minimised such risk.



Occasionally, though, the government’s attitudes towards public complaints were positively administered. Henry VIII attempted to be responsive to public issues when, after listening to a series of ‘grevous byllis & complayntis’ while progressing through the country, he decided to send his father’s hated ministers, Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley, to the Tower and execute them, which apparently appeased the ‘indignation of the people’.21 Likewise, in 1525 there was unrest when Thomas Wolsey attempted to impose his Amicable Grant, which was in essence a forced loan. Resistance was particularly fierce amongst those who had already paid substantial sums in taxation in recent years. This led some members of the clergy to claim that ‘Cardinall [Wolsey] and all the doers therof were enemies of the king and to the common wealth’.22 The muttering only increased until people openly rebelled, and despite several attempts of persuasion in Suffolk, Kent, and elsewhere, the levy was cancelled.23 Two things must be taken into account here: the negotiations in both contexts demonstrate an acute attempt at being positively responsive to public opinion; and the significant use of the common trope of ‘the commonwealth’ deserves a few observations. Conceptions of the common weal and commonwealth were increasingly handled in this political dialogue. Historians have shown how this was related to an intellectual debate, as well as to how the commons understood the concept independently from the humanistic language.24 It can be argued here that the discourse of the commonwealth was used by the crown to tighten the political dialogue with the people. This phenomenon was reasonably clear in the language of rebels and came into daily practice from 1453 onwards, also accompanying the development of the Wars of the Roses.25 The ‘common weal’ was part of the argument in favour of the king’s title in 1484, as the ‘commonwealth’ would be against the pope’s title in 1535.26 In proclamations, the government could either attack rebels and traitors with such arguments or advance economic and social issues.27 The problem of enclosures, also under the discourse of the commonwealth, was perhaps one of the areas in which the tightening of dialogue between the crown and the people can be more easily observed. According to Gwyn, the bad harvests of the 1510s and 1520s may explain both the complaints and the crown’s answers.28 In London’s suburbs complaints seem to have started around 1513, and proclamations were soon ordered as an answer to repute ‘enclosers’ and ‘engrossers’ of farms as ‘enemies of the commonwealth’.29 Enquiries about the enclosure of lands were ordered several times between 1517 and 1528, and Thomas More referred to their problems in his



Utopia.30 The destruction of enclosures, however, was ordered only in 1526 and 1529 together with other proclamations to control offenders; and in 1528 the king suggested that ‘relaters and furtherers of the commonwealth’ should bring bills complaining of enclosures before Wolsey.31 Gwyn claimed that there is no reason to suppose that Wolsey did not believe in what he was performing, but the one thing that is clear here is that the ‘commonwealth’ discourse was both tightening and stretching the relationship with popular discourse.32 Less directly than the defence of the common weal, some indirect responses to public knowledge also clarify the government’s awareness of public discussion and highlight the political exchange. In the Yorkist period this was almost exclusively the case in times of rebellions, such as in 1469–70—either via proclamations or by the sponsoring of semi-official narratives.33 Narratives such as the Chronicle of the Rebellion in Lincolnshire—a ‘pamphlet’ covering a few weeks of 1470 and devised to propagate the rebellion as the ‘subtile and fals conspiracie’ of Clarence and Warwick—were certainly directed to nobles and gentlemen, but what matters here is how responsive they were to the ‘commotion’ among the people.34 Another old technique, the use of preaching, was useful to attack Edmund de la Pole in 1501, revealing the fear that the number of plotters would rise.35 These approaches were also adopted by Henry VIII when he attempted to annul his marriage after 1527. Proclamations probably managed to suppress a few rumours but the publications of that period advanced more clearly that it was ‘fylthye and sklaunderous’ for a man to marry his brother’s wife; that the bishop of Rome had no authority over this matter; and that a few other problems would follow if women inherited the crown—resembling Fortescue’s argument in favour of the Lancastrian title back in the 1450s–60s.36 Implied ‘obvious’ arguments, from the crown’s perspective, were also present in the repetition of the words lawful and unlawful to refer to the king’s new and old marriages in a proclamation of 1533.37 The Imperial ambassador saw these moves as justifications, inventions, and threats, and although he was undoubtedly too biased to be taken very seriously, he had plenty of reasons to interpret the situation as such.38 Be that as it may, these examples were all indirect answers to rumours, complaints, and frequent thoughts, hoping to offer alternative views and avoid the escalation of criticism or disloyalty. Common and shared ideas and concerns also demonstrate an intersection of political cultures. Academics have demonstrated that late medieval and early modern people were increasingly more creative in their reactions to



official and elite discourse; hence the crown had to adjust to this new reality to show concern with dialogue.39 Although the surviving proclamations about wars, truces, and peace treaties do not show special appropriations, the very fact that they were widely distributed shows a willingness to engage in an interaction. In the Yorkist period they were ordered at least four times between the 1460s and 1470s, and in 1471 the truce with Scotland was alleged to be ‘for the weal’ of both realms.40 More successfully, the old popular title to the crown of France was frequently used to secure taxation, despite the occasional failures. In parliament, the government argued in 1474 that the problem of a great number of ‘disbanded soldiers’ after the late civil wars could only be solved by an expedition to France—which had been the key to success of past monarchs, even Henry VI who was a notable example of failure in that regard.41 This rhetoric ensured the initial granting of funds by parliament and became a central part of William Worcester’s Boke of Noblesse in 1475—a mirror of the commendable English past in France since Edward III.42 Henry VII attempted the same strategy between 1489 and 1492, with relatively limited success.43 Similar vocabulary was repeated in 1502, when Henry was urging his people to take action against the Turks, and in 1514–15 when peace was agreed with France.44 Even proclamations about the intercourse of merchandise in the 1490s made clear the shared concerns between commons, merchants, and the government.45 The increased resistance to war levies should not necessarily imply that the title to the crown of France became unpopular but that the dialogue also increased in that respect, and the ‘negotiation’ occasionally proved fruitful to the commons—such as in 1525.46 All these measures, therefore, might well have sounded quite responsive and self-explanatory as they offered news that justified the extraction of taxation, lengthy negotiations, the mustering of troops, and both failed and successful military expeditions. The crown also echoed various public concerns about economic and social issues which were likely to cause murmuring among the people. In 1464, Edward IV decided to solve the scarcity of coins in the kingdom, stating that although seditious language was being raised, anyone who had reasons to think the measure was not ‘for the common weal but rather a loss and hurt, [should] come before him and his council and show them’.47 Such readiness to engage in dialogue is again evident in his skilful claims that he would ‘live upon [his] own resources’ in the parliament of 1467— an echo of the manifestoes of Jack Cade’s rebellion in 1450 and the Kentish men in 1460.48 In July 1483 Richard III allegedly responded to the ‘clamor, grugge, and complaints’ that people in England were raising



against the difference in the value of the Irish coins—an issue which would be raised another three times in the 1490s.49 Another great concern was with the availability, or more importantly the scarcity, of grain. The enforcement of statutes against illegal trading of grain was particularly addressed in 1491 as being a policy aimed at the ‘common weal’ of the subjects, then similarly several times in Henry VIII’s reign.50 Mendicancy was treated similarly, as it was commonly believed that beggars carried the seeds of revolt, spread rumours, robbed and murdered the people, and meant the decay and ruin of the commonwealth.51 The enforcement of local jurisdiction, especially in suppressing extortion, was likewise propagated as part of the ‘advancement of the commonwealth’.52 Consequently, by responding to such popular concerns, the crown was not only echoing the voices of the people but also legitimising them. Such legitimation was cleverly explored to justify the title to the crown of England when it was necessary. In 1461 the proclamation which announced the title of the Yorkist king referred to the state of the realm in terms strikingly similar to those of the commons both inside and outside parliament in 1449–50, stressing ‘the lamentable state of this realm’, foreign policy, and the oppression of the people.53 These sorts of appeals had to stress commonly accepted principles to be effective—especially during the Wars of the Roses. In 1467 Edward IV echoed this proclamation in parliament, still emphasising that England was (before his accession) ‘barren of justice, the peace not kept, nor the laws properly administered’.54 Such attitude towards preventing the ‘subversion of the realm’ took place once again in 1470 to attack the alleged involvement of Warwick and Clarence in the rebellion in Lincolnshire in March, and in 1471 when the ‘truth of God’ appeared in battles.55 Besides, xenophobia was seemingly part of these shared values. It would play a role with the emphasis on the Lancastrian French and Scottish support in 1461 and on the fact that Margaret of Anjou was ‘French-born’ and ‘daughter [sic] to the enemy’ in 1471; likewise, Henry Tudor’s French support was used as an attempt to undermine his sympathisers in 1484–85.56 The defamation of the enemy would also be based on other popular themes such as the ‘evil council’, avarice, and, once again, the decay of the ‘politique weal’—ideas used by Richard III against the Woodvilles in 1483, just as they were used in the 1450s and 1460s.57 Although it is taken for granted that both Edward and Richard drew on the themes of their father’s campaigns against the Lancastrian government, they did it because it had proved to be a successful strategy of dialogue with the commons.



Thus, among echoes, direct and indirect answers, and shared familiar tropes, it can be seen that governments did significantly address the people in this period. In that sense, there are substantial grounds to perceive these dynamics as political dialogue and an exchange process, pushing beyond ideas of propaganda and obsessive control. The interaction was variable but if we highlight its dialectic aspect, we can reinterpret the evidence of ‘propaganda’ as demonstrations of responsiveness, and the evidence of ‘political control’ as uneasiness towards sedition and the possibility of ‘losing people’s hearts’ and, ultimately, their loyalty.

Pretend Dialogue This section should not be seen in opposition to the previous one. Even a ‘pretend dialogue’—that is, when the crown was not necessarily answering anything and did not expect interaction either—was technically still a dialogic interplay. This kind of dialogue implies simply that the crown was more clearly exploring its unequal power in the political exchange. First of all, an analysis of the government’s initiatives in instructing the people will introduce this section’s argument. Then, evidence of how the crown pretended or over-emphasised unity will be followed by periods of silence and the recurrent theme of obedience in political communication. First of all, the government frequently behaved as if it were instructing the people with an official ‘truth’. This was mainly to avoid the rise or proliferation of rumours and dissent. When a new king usurped the throne, for instance, the late and somewhat exaggerated problems of the previous reigns had to be part of the ‘new truth’.58 Some refined instructive strategies were attempted by Edward IV with the production of impressive genealogies to educate his courtiers (and possibly others) on the legitimacy of the Yorkist title to the throne, as well as with narratives known as the Historie of the Arrivall of Edward IV and the Chronicle of the Lincolnshire Rebellion.59 We should not dismiss the symbolic importance of these tactics, but perhaps more emphasis was put on Sir John Fortescue’s Declaration Upon Certain Writings Sent Out of Scotland after he reconciled with Edward IV.  With this dialogue, the former Lancastrian was forced to publicise his recognition of the ‘grete noyse’ caused by his previous pamphlets in favour of Henry VI and Prince Edward. More significantly, he stressed that his refutation should ‘come to knowlache of the people’ as clearly as the Yorkist title.60 In comparison, Richard III promoted the practice of printing parliamentary statutes in 1484, amongst



which was his title to the crown, while Henry VII was probably the first English monarch to effectively advise the kingdom with printed materials beyond statutes: the summary of the papal bull recognising his title to the crown (March 1486); the confession of the pretender Perkin Warbeck (c. September 1497, repeated in 1498); and the royal pardon to Empson and Dudley (c. 1508).61 Printed in 1548, Edward Hall’s narrative—not ‘official’ but sufficiently biased—might give us clues to how the Wars of the Roses were being perceived and propagated in Henry VIII’s reign and later: as a ‘domestical sedicion & ciuile discorde’ and as the result of the king not having a clear and legitimate heir at the time of his death.62 That perception partially explains why Henry VIII, in the 1530s, was especially concerned with self-explanation, with the circulation of the legality of his divorce ‘amongst the vulgar and the populace’, and with the production of tracts such as the A Glasse of Truthe.63 The crown’s perspectives in these narratives sound as if the king and his ministers believed that if they did not convince the people, their original claims would have been weaker. Hence the necessity of increasingly informing the people with what the government thought they should clearly understand to avoid rumours and disloyalty. An essential later expression, ‘papist’, demonstrates that the crown even had to innovate, establishing a new concept ‘to enfourme [its] louynge subiectis of the trouthe’. This phrase was in the title of the ‘Nine Articles’ of 1533, a new piece of printing to justify the king’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and an attempt to drive away ‘sayings or preachings of any papists’.64 This word was devised in this period not only to talk about opposition to the reformation of the church, but it became a synonym for a traitor from the 1530s onwards. Sermons and treatises would invariably treat the conservatives pejoratively as ‘papists’, as well as force everyone to use the terminology ‘bishop of Rome’, instead of ‘pope’.65 Perhaps the most compelling of these treatments was Thomas Swinnerton’s A Litel Treatise (1534), in which he legitimised the Act of Supremacy with his arguments against the ‘papists in corners’ and also attempted to manipulate popular themes such as taxation, by alluding to the pope’s ‘tyrannie and pillage’ of English money.66 When the king wrote to a justice of the peace about the northern rebels in 1536, he also attributed the revolt to ‘certain papists’.67 In this context, Richard Morison skilfully suggested that there should be an annual triumph in the kingdom, with bonfires, processions, feasts, and prayers to celebrate their freedom from ‘the bondage of the Papacy’.68 Another writing submitted to Cromwell put forward



many ideas for the ‘advancement of the commonwealth’, which should exclude ‘popish ceremonies’.69 Therefore, the fact that the crown’s pens had to invent a new expression against the opposition is as significant as the appropriation of common tropes. Both the words ‘papist’ and ‘popish’ suggest the government’s contempt towards the conservatives at the same time that it instructs the people with another political and religious concept. Another related strategy towards public knowledge was to emphasise stability and unity while facing a variety of situations. It was not that the kingdom was united and peaceful all the time, but the necessity of this impression for keeping internal peace prompted several approaches. The claims against the French and Scots that have been briefly seen above also held this kind of appeal, particularly in proclamations about truces and peace treaties, simultaneously stressing the ‘repose and tranquillity’ of England.70 This was also why the ‘common weal’ was highlighted in proclamations of peace and why the collection of the Amicable Grant started with commissioners making processions and bonfires to celebrate the recent French defeat before announcing the collection of the subsidy.71 Henry VII’s pardons to the rebels in 1485, 1489, and 1497 all stressed peace and unity.72 The recall of the Act of Supremacy in a proclamation of 1535 confirmed its lawfulness and its purpose promoting ‘unity, and tranquillity to all the public and common state’.73 Steven Gunn has demonstrated that special bell-ringing, processions, the singing of Te Deum, and bonfires were enough to make the people know of significant occasions such as suppression of revolts, military victories, peace treaties, and dynastic occasions.74 Consequently, these performances that supposed unity for various purposes were again reinforcing dialogue by pretended ways— having a possible dampening effect on dissent and sedition. There is also compelling evidence that several different public performances were attempting to promote unity. Chancellor George Neville preached a political sermon at Paul’s Cross in 1461 to reinforce the Yorkist title—a practice later replicated during Henry VI’s Readeption (1470–71) and by Richard III in 1484.75 Edward IV also ordered processions for his success against the Lancastrians in 1462 and probably in 1471.76 It has been argued that Edward needed to highlight certain rituals while creating others in order to strengthen his royal power—which includes the acclamation of the people, specific rites of coronation, the repetition of the ceremony in 1471, the confirmation of his title to the throne via ‘common petition’, and the symbolic reburial of his father Richard of York in 1476.77 Richard III followed his brother’s rites in several aspects and invested in



his coronation and other festivities in 1483, as well as progressing through a few cities in July that year.78 The climax was achieved at York, later repeated by Henry VII in 1486 for other reasons.79 Moreover, the first Tudor monarch did not spare anything to promote his dynasty at his and his wife’s coronations, as they were the precise foundations of the Tudor dynasty and a common feature of the monarchy’s aggrandisement, promoting the unity not only of the houses of York and Lancaster—to paraphrase Edward Hall—but of the whole kingdom.80 Henry VIII had tried a solemn coronation of his second queen, and although it was described as a disappointment to everyone, Anglo argued it was concurrently an important public statement of Henry’s policy.81 Also, perhaps more effective to this sense of unity was the expectation and celebration of royal babies in a period in which the succession to the crown was never obvious.82 All these performances, then, were meticulously planned as public statements of unity and legitimacy which often required only spontaneous acts from subjects, working perfectly as pretended forms of dialogue. In all these celebrations, the crown partly imagined what the people were, or should be, feeling as they needed to be united in a single political body and react as ‘true subjects’, which suggests that their presence and rejoicing partially legitimised the whole ceremony. Similarly, physical demonstrations of the royal person or, the complete opposite, of ‘enemies of the public weal’ should be recognised as an effective practice for support and integrity. Edward IV immediately took care to display the earl of Warwick’s body in 1471, following his rebellion, and the royal presence proved crucial for the collection of benevolences later.83 Richard III appealed personally to the crowd of Londoners in 1483, and he later showed the ‘traitors’, who were about to be executed and had to remain in silence ‘least their wordes [would incline] men to pytie’.84 Henry VII’s decision to show the real duke of Clarence’s son in London must also have put significant pressure on people who were prone to believe in the story of the impostor Lambert Simnel—just as the exhibition of Perkin Warbeck was used to suppress rumours in 1499.85 Likewise, chroniclers and foreign ambassadors thoroughly recognised the symbolic importance of public execution of traitors.86 As the promotion of unity took several forms, even the capture, imprisonment, and execution of conspirators was as performative as the exhibition of the king’s person in crucial moments. A further brief point here is that, because this was a dialogue of unequal proportions, the crown could certainly ignore the people. At times, there is little or no evidence that the government addressed the people by any



means. In 1459, the author of the Somnium Vigilantis alerted readers to the fact that it was hard to abolish a rumour that was once ‘taken in the vulgare voice’ and this was probably what guided periods of silence.87 In the Yorkist period, there are huge gaps in 1464–69 and 1475–83, for instance, and Henry VII did not mention any of the conspiracies he had to face until he found himself in a safe position—which was also partially the case in 1469.88 In 1525 too, no proclamation was ordered to cool the turmoil in Suffolk and elsewhere against the Amicable Grant. The crown’s deliberate avoidance of dialogue—either out of fear of possible misunderstandings or based on a careful strategy—was noticed not only by historians but also by contemporaries.89 Thus, this avoidance of interaction was, at times, a better move than engaging in an undesired or embarrassing form of dialogue. By contrast, it often was the case that governments in this period preferred to enforce obedience (and silence itself) instead of reacting or avoiding interaction. This is not to emphasise what historians of the Cromwellian period have been calling a ‘theory of obedience’.90 Richard Morison was right by saying in 1536 that the remedy for sedition was obedience, but considerably earlier writers would recognise that a due subjection of the people was the basis of the ‘commone welthe of a royame’.91 More importantly, the crown’s obsession with illegal retaining suggests that this precedes the alleged ‘theory of obedience’ of the early Reformation period.92 The monarchs and other contemporaries saw illegal and private retaining of soldiers as potentially dangerous for the ‘division’ of loyalty—namely, a seditio in its original meaning.93 This was indicated by the many times the government addressed the issue in the Yorkist and early Tudor period, but explicitly commented on in 1472, 1489, and 1502, associated with riot in 1514 and 1523, and symbolically orchestrated by the badge of the rebels in 1536—implying allegiance to ‘papists’.94 Accordingly, several other approaches implied obedience and silence, especially when rumours were afloat. The government could attempt to achieve support against rebellions by stressing the treasonous purpose of the enemy, such as during the rebellion of Robin of Redesdale in 1469; or by trying to prevent another turmoil, which was the attitude of Richard III in a proclamation sent to Kent in January 1484—only a few months after Buckingham’s rebellion affected the region.95 Statutes against unlawful assemblies passed in the context of Perkin Warbeck’s plot likewise suggest that the crown attempted to take steps in advance of political dissent.96 The chronicler Edward Hall described the monarch busily studying ‘howe



to restreyne and kepe in streyte closure diuerse malefactours’ when the rumours were growing about Edmund de la Pole in the early 1500s.97 The enforcement of obedience was also the case in times of collection of taxes, when the government was usually taken by surprise facing reactions such as those of 1489, 1497, 1513, and in 1523–25.98 In 1531, the Imperial ambassador reported that the Commons in parliament warned the king about tax rebellions in the past so that he would give a second thought to possible new ones.99 This was especially the case during the summer, on the eve of St John and St Peter, such as in 1533 when ‘the King and his Council [were] mightily afraid’ of possible rebellions.100 When these rebellions finally came in 1536–37, the careful approach to dealing with the rebels demonstrated the crown’s increasing attention to obedience, then more stressed than ever by the Oath of Supremacy, proclamations, preaching, and printed tracts. The radical changes that came with the developing stages of the Reformation Parliament (1529–36) resulted in an increasing level of resistance. As a result, the government devised more legal tools to enforce the duty of allegiance and people’s complete subjection, considering evidence of disagreement of any spoken, written, or printed ideas. Earlier, people certainly had a sense of what could or could not be publicly uttered, and all the governments in this period could rely on the parliamentary statutes of 1275—against ‘devisors of slanderous tales’—or adaptations of the Statute of Treasons of 1352 under the charge of ‘compassing and imagining the king’s death’.101 Although punishment of speech was controversial, examples survive as early as the twelfth century (1194), and both Edward IV and Richard III also preceded the Tudors in executing people for seditious and treasonable language.102 Even so, nothing can possibly compare to Henry VIII’s period. Before the accession of Thomas Cromwell, both Wolsey and Thomas More had tried to cool down the discussion of evangelical ideas by proclamations and the prohibition of books which implied disobedience to the king or the church.103 Rumours and criticism around the king’s mistress Anne Boleyn would be the second of the government’s concerns. As the mayor of London was instructed early in 1527, people should not talk about the king’s marriage at all, and far-reaching sermons started in 1529 to defame the pope’s authority.104 Things happened quickly from then on: important dissenters such as More and Fisher were silenced; the Nun of Kent’s case was skilfully dealt with; sermons enforcing obedience multiplied; Katherine of Aragon lost her title of queen to Anne Boleyn; people were forbidden to speak in Katherine’s favour; and the Act of Supremacy soon



concluded the first phase of reforms.105 Obedience was still one of the main issues after the Act of Supremacy was passed in 1534, and Cooper has demonstrated the crown’s growing enforcement and control by a sequence of decisions during the Cromwellian regime from the Oath of Allegiance to the Second Succession Act of 1536.106 Ideally, though, the duty of obedience should not have needed this much public reinforcement. Although both people and government cared for the same priorities of the 1460s— peace, unity, the common weal, and safe transmission of the crown—circumstances had changed, and both Cromwell and his king defied public opinion by several means. If those priorities were not hastily pursued, the dangerous times of ‘intestine and private war’ could well return, and this anxiety explains why political dialogue and its disguised forms had to take the paths that it did. In certain aspects, Henry VIII and Cromwell were recognisably despotic, but in this chapter, I also demonstrated that there is considerable evidence to suggest that the English government became more dialogical in their period than it had ever been.

Conclusion This chapter has examined the dynamics of political communication between the Yorkist reigns and the Pilgrimage of Grace through the reinterpretation of well-known sources to challenge established ideas about propaganda and government political control. It has sought to emphasise the importance of public pressure, political dialogue, and exchange to the understanding of public opinion in late medieval and early Tudor England. It has been seen that the crown did engage in public discussion, and tried to meet people’s expectations either by replicating successful strategies of their predecessors or by engaging with public opinion about popular concerns, often resorting to both direct and indirect answers. As a result, the political exchange frequently took place due to the simple fact that the crown and the people shared crucial strands of political culture. Nevertheless, this dialogue was undoubtedly unequal as the government had all the tools to enforce an interpretation of events while the people had very little; hence the reason why the crown and its officials often simply instructed, ignored, and pretended that everything was stable, and ultimately enforced allegiance and political consent. From the evidence above, it is clear that the crown discussed questions of public relevance with the people more often than it merely responded to, or appropriated, popular perspectives. Consequently, it can be argued



that it was more natural to expect passive obedience from the people than to keep struggling with some imagined popular opinion. And yet, the crown explicitly tried to change the terms of public discussion in controversial periods and, in attempting to convince the people of an official viewpoint, echoed a significant number of public concepts. Enforcement of obedience was a common feature of this political dialogue, but I must conclude by stressing that such a dialogue—sometimes pretended, sometimes real—was nonetheless more persistent and significant than what historians have hitherto seen as campaigns of propaganda and a period of increasing control of dissent. Violent repression was only an alternative when the crown was facing dangerous rebellions and conspiracies. All this was supposedly escalating by the 1530s: censorship, violence, and the ‘theory of obedience’. Nonetheless, this apparent escalation was only a natural growth of political communication in a period of crisis—when the crown had every reason to stress loyalty while most people were concerned and irritated with taxation, some ‘evil councillors’, or the preservation of the ‘commonwealth’. Dialogue, in one way or another, kept taking place and indulged the dialectical movement between what the crown imagined of public opinion and what the people thought about their government.

Notes 1. A Relation, or rather, a True Account of the Island of England …, ed. C. A. Sneyd (London, 1847), p. 33. 2. Calendar of State Papers, Spain (afterwards, CSPSp), ed. G. A. Bergenroth and P. de Gayangos, 13 vols. (London, 1862–88), iv, pt. 2, 1058, pp. 630–2. 3. B. Taithe and T. Thornton, Prophecy: The Power of Inspired Language in History, 1300–2000 (Stroud, 1997) p. 7. 4. J. P. D. Cooper, Propaganda and the Tudor State: Political Culture in the Westcountry (Oxford, 2003), pp. 26, 51, 216. 5. S.  Gunn, Early Tudor Government, 1485–1558 (Basingstoke, 1995), p.  202; M.  Hicks, English Political Culture in the Fifteenth Century (London, 2002), p. 211; A. R. Allan, ‘Political Propaganda Employed by the House of York in England in the mid-Fifteenth Century, 1450–1471’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Swansea University, 1981), p.  3; C.  D. Ross, ‘Rumour, Propaganda and Popular Opinion During the Wars of the Roses’, in Patronage, the Crown and the Provinces, ed. R. A. Griffiths (Gloucester, 1981), p.  15; G.  R. Elton, Policy and Police: The Enforcement of the Reformation in the Age of Thomas Cromwell (Cambridge, 1972), p. 173.



6. Propaganda: Political Rhetoric and Identity, 1300–2000, ed. B.  Taithe and T. Thornton (Stroud, 1999), pp. 2–3, 9. 7. Allan, ‘Political Propaganda’, pp. 4–5; J. Hughes, Arthurian Myths and Alchemy: The Kingship of Edward IV (Stroud, 2002), p. 72. Also implied in B.  Guenée, L’opinion publique à la fin du Moyen Age d’après la ‘Chronique de Charles VI’ du Religieux de Saint-Denis (Paris, 2002), pp.  8–9; Gunn, Early Tudor Government, p.  200; S.  Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship (London, 1992), p. 130. 8. Elton, Policy and Police, pp. 171, 224, 231–62. 9. C.  Duggan, ‘The Advent of Political Thought-Control in England: Seditious and Treasonable Speech, 1485–1547’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Northwestern University, 1993), pp. 119, 158–65. 10. D. Cressy, Dangerous Talk: Scandalous, Seditious, and Treasonable Speech in Pre-Modern England (Oxford, 2010), p. 48. 11. Cooper, Propaganda, pp. 210–39. 12. For communication and dialogue, see J.  Dumolyn, ‘Political Communication and Political Power in the Middle Ages: A Conceptual Journey’, Edad Media: Revista de Historia 13 (2012), pp. 41–2. For the related approach of ‘political exchange’, see the introduction to L’espace public au Moyen Âge: Débats autour de Jürgen Habermas, ed. P. Boucheron and N. Offenstadt (Paris, 2011), pp. 1–17. 13. CCR, 1468–76, 528–9, pp. 134–6; 533–4, pp. 137–8; 537, p. 138; York House Books, ed. L.  C. Attreed, 2 vols. (Stroud, 1991), ii, p.  414; J.  Gairdner, History of the Life and Reign of Richard III (Cambridge, 1898), pp. 343–4. 14. Gairdner, Richard III, p. 344; Tudor Royal Proclamations: Volume 1, The Early Tudors (1485–1553), ed. P. L. Hughes and J. F. Larkin (London, 1964) (afterwards, TRP), 19, pp. 20–1; 25, pp. 26–7; The Paston Letters: 1422–1509, ed. J. Gairdner, 6 vols. (London, 1904), vi, 1039, pp. 129–31. 15. CSPSp, iv, pt. 2, 1154, pp. 866–7. 16. Humanist Scholarship and Public Order: Two Tracts against the Pilgrimage of Grace by Sir Richard Morison, ed. D. S. Berkowitz (London, 1984), pp. 172–3, 177–8, 182–3. 17. Humanist Scholarship, ed. Berkowitz, p. 90. 18. Humanist Scholarship, ed. Berkowitz, pp.  112, 116–17; Cooper, Propaganda, p. 239. 19. Elton, Policy and Police, pp. 207–8. 20. TRP, 168–9, pp. 244–7. 21. The Great Chronicle of London, ed. A.  H. Thomas and I.  D. Thornley (London, 1938), p.  366; The Anglica Historia of Polydore Vergil A.D. 1485–1537, ed. D.  Hay (London: Camden Society, 1950), pp. 152–3.



22. Hall’s Chronicle, Containing the History of England During the Reign of Henry IV and the Succeeding Monarchs to the End of the Reign of Henry VIII, ed. H. Ellis (London, 1809), pp. 696–7. 23. TRP, 105, p. 149; G. W. Bernard, War, Taxation and Rebellion in Early Tudor England: Henry VIII, Wolsey and the Amicable Grant of 1525 (Brighton, 1986), pp. 150–6. 24. J.  L. Watts, ‘“Common Weal” and “Commonwealth”: England’s Monarchical Republic in the Making, c. 1450–c. 1530’, in The Languages of Political Society, ed. A. Gamberini, et al. (Rome, 2011), pp. 147–63; D. Rollison, A Commonwealth of the People (Cambridge, 2010), p. 237; M. Knights, et al., ‘Commonwealth: The Social, Cultural, and Conceptual Contexts of an Early Modern Keyword’, The Historical Journal 54 (2011), p. 669. 25. Sixty examples are found in the period 1453–1504 (see PROME). 26. Gairdner, Richard III, pp. 343–4; TRP, 158, pp. 230–2. 27. The Coventry Leet Book … 1420–1555, ed. M.  D. Harris (London, 1908–9) (afterwards CLB), ii, pp. 340–6; Archaeologia; or, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Antiquity, 72 vols. (London: Society of Antiquaries, 1770–1933), xvi, p.  1; Gairdner, Richard III, pp.  343–4; York House Books, ed. Attreed, ii, p. 570; King’s Letters, ed. R. Steele, 2 vols. (London, 1903–4), ii, p. 23; TRP, 19, pp. 20–1; 75, pp. 122–3; 77, pp. 124–5; 110, pp.  154–5; 118–19, pp.  172–5; 123, p.  186; 128, pp.  192–3; 133–4, pp.  201–3; 138, pp.  206–7; 142, p.  212; 163, p.  239; 168, pp. 244–5. 28. P. Gwyn, The King’s Cardinal (London, 2002), pp. 422–3. 29. Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, p. 568; TRP, 75, pp. 122–3. 30. Gwyn, King’s Cardinal, pp. 412–15. 31. TRP, 110, pp. 154–5; 113–14, pp. 163–4; 119, pp. 174–5; 123, p. 186. 32. Gwyn, King’s Cardinal, p. 434. 33. CLB, ii, pp.  340–6; CCR, 1468–76, 528–9, pp.  134–6; 533–4, pp. 137–8; 537, p. 138; Chronicle of the Rebellion in Lincolnshire, 1470, ed. J.  G. Nichols (London: Camden Society, 1847), pp.  5–18; Allan, ‘Political Propaganda’, pp. 143–91. 34. Chronicle of the Rebellion in Lincolnshire, ed. Nichols, p. 5. See the full account and discussion in P.  Holland, ‘The Lincolnshire Rebellion of March 1470’, EHR 103 (1988), 849–69. 35. Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, pp. 495–6. 36. TRP, 130, pp.  197–8; Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, pp.  772–3; E.  Foxe, ‘The Determinations of the Moste Famous … Vniversities … (1531)’, in The Divorce Tracts of Henry VIII, ed. V. Murphy and E. Surtz (Angers, 1988), pp.  36–47, 166–7; A Glasse of Truthe, T.  Berthelet (London, 1532), A2d-A3r, B7v. For the comparison with Fortescue, see



M.  L. Kekewich, ‘“Thou shalt be under the power of man”: Sir John Fortescue and the Yorkist Succession’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 42 (1998), 209–22. 37. TRP, p. 140. 38. CSPSp, iv, pt. 2, 1158, p. 317; v, pt. 1, 1, pp. 1–2; 7, p. 24; 9–10, pp. 30, 35–6. See also C. S. L. Davies, ‘Eustache Chapuys, Diplomat’, in ODNB, available at https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/ 9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-70785?rskey= 92591a&result=1 (accessed November 2018). 39. S. Walker, ‘Rumour, Sedition and Popular Protest in the Reign of Henry IV’, Past and Present 166 (2002), pp. 53–4. 40. CCR, 1468–76, 772, p. 208. 41. Literae Cantuarienses … volume 3, ed. J.  B. Sheppard (London, 1889), p. 282. 42. H. Kleineke, Edward IV (London, 2009), pp. 172–6; W. Worcester, Boke of Noblesse, ed. J. G. Nichols (London, 1860), pp. 1–8. 43. The Reign of Henry VII from Contemporary Sources, ed. A. F. Pollard, 3 vols. (London, 1913–14) (afterwards, RHVIICS), ii, 18, p. 22. 44. TRP, 52, pp. 57–9; 76, pp. 123–4; 79, p. 126. 45. TRP, 33, p. 37; 45, p. 49. 46. See the sequence of proclamations: TRP, 65, pp. 94–5; 71, pp. 103–4; 73, p. 113; 79, p. 126; 104–5, pp. 148–9; 147, p. 217. For the cancellation of the Amicable Grant, see note 23, above. 47. CCR, 1461–68, p. 216. 48. PROME, 1467, item 7. 49. Letters and Papers … of Richard III and Henry VII, ed. J. Gairdner, 2 vols. (London, 1861–63), ii, Appendix B, i; TRP, 25, pp. 26–7; 43–4, pp. 47–9. 50. TRP, 26, p. 27; 66, p. 96; 75, pp. 122–3; 125, p. 188; 127, p. 191; 134, pp. 201–3; 151, pp. 221–2. 51. CCR, 1468–76, 1090, pp.  298–9; TRP, 16, p.  17; 22, p.  23; 30, pp. 32–4; 63, pp. 86–91; 80, p. 127; 118, pp. 172–4; 128, pp. 191–3; 131–2, pp. 198–9; 141, pp. 211–12. 52. TRP, 17, pp. 18–19; 138, pp. 206–7. 53. CCR, 1461–68, pp. 54–5. 54. PROME, 1467, item 26. 55. CCR, 1461–68, pp. 54–5; 1468–76, 529, pp. 135–6. 56. CCR, 1468–76, 703, pp. 188–9; Chronicles of the White Rose of York, ed. J.  A. Giles (London, 1845), pp.  280–1. For more evidence, see A Relation … of England, ed. Sneyd, p. 33; Great Chronicle, ed. Thomas and Thornley, pp. 248–9, Anglica Historia, ed. Hay, pp. 242–5; Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, pp. 586–91. For a discussion of xenophobia: L. B. Luu, ‘“Taking the Bread Out of the Mouth”: Xenophobia in Early Modern



London’, Immigrants and Minorities 19 (2000), pp. 1–3; and I. Archer, The Pursuit of Stability (Cambridge, 1991). 57. Chronicles of the White Rose, ed. Giles, pp. 273–5. 58. CCR, 1461–68, pp. 54–5; CLB, ii, pp. 374–5; Literae Cantuarienses, ed. Sheppard, pp. 274–85; Chronicles of the White Rose, ed. Giles, pp. 273–5; D. Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard the Third, ed. C. A. J. Armstrong (Oxford, 1969), pp. 110–13; PROME, 1484, item 1[5]. 59. Many biblical genealogies, secular pedigrees, and prose descents (in English and Latin) were produced under Edward IV: Allan, ‘Political Propaganda’, pp. 256–319; Hughes, Arthurian Myths, pp. 19–20, 72, 168–76, 222. For a digital edition of one of these genealogies, see the Canterbury Roll Project and its resources, available at https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/canterburyroll/ (accessed February 2019). For the Chronicle of the Lincolnshire Rebellion see notes 33–4 above. See also Historie of the Arrivall of Edward IV …, ed. J. Bruce (London: Camden Society, 1838). This is approached in detail in W.  Scase, ‘Writing and the “Poetics of Spectacle”: Political Epiphanies in The Arrivall of Edward IV and Some Contemporary Lancastrian and Yorkist Texts’, in Images, Idolatry, and Iconoclasm in Late Medieval England: Textuality and the Visual Image, ed. J. Dimmock, J. Simpson and N. Zeeman (Oxford, 2002), pp. 172–84. 60. J. Fortescue, ‘Declaracion upon Certayn Wrytinges’, in Sir John Fortescue, Knight: His Life, Works and Family, ed. T. Fortescue, 2 vols. (London, 1869), i, pp. 523, 525, 532. 61. Richard III’s title to the throne is in PROME, 1484, item 1[5], and is discussed briefly in G. R. Elton, ‘The Sessional Printing of Statutes, 1484 to 1547’, in Wealth and Power in Tudor England: Essays Presented to S. T. Bindoff, ed. E. W. Ives, R. J. Knecht and J. J. Scarisbrick (London, 1978), pp. 68–86. See also Gunn, Early Tudor Government, pp. 188–9. For Henry VII, see TRP, 5, pp.  6–7; Chronicles of London, ed. C.  L. Kingsford (Oxford, 1905), pp.  219–21; Great Chronicle, ed. Thomas and Thornley, pp. 284–6, 337–9; RHVIICS, i, 120, pp. 175–6; S. B. Chrimes, Henry VII (London, 1972), p. 92; CSPSp, i, 85, p. 50. 62. Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, pp. 496, 499, 754. 63. A Glasse of Truthe, C4r; CSPSp, iv, pt. 1, 415, p. 696; Calendar of State Papes, Milan, ed. A.  B. Hinds (London: H.M.S.O, 1912), 833, pp. 529–30; 838, pp. 532–3. 64. Records of the Reformation: The Divorce, ed. N. Pocock (Oxford, 1870), ii, p. 523. 65. C. Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England during the Reigns of the Tudors, volume 1, ed. W. D. Hamilton (London: Camden Society, 1875), pp. 30, 33–5; TRP, 158, pp. 230–2. 66. T. Swinnerton, A Litel Treatise ageynste the Mutterynge of Some Papistis in Corners (London, 1534), B8r.



67. King’s Letters, ed. Steele, ii, lxxii. 68. In his A perswasion to the Kyng that the laws of the realme shulde be in Latin (c. 1536), quoted in S.  Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry and Early Tudor Poetry (Oxford, 1969), p. 266. 69. TNA, E 36/197, Clement Armstrong, Sermons and declaracions agaynst popishe ceremonies (1530). Armstrong is briefly discussed in Anglo, Images of Tudor Kingship, pp. 24–8. 70. TRP, 147, p.  217. See also 23, p.  24; 29, p.  31; 40, pp.  43–5; 51, pp. 56–7; 120, pp. 175–7. 71. TRP, 79, p. 126; Cooper, Propaganda, p. 132. 72. TRP, 2, pp. 3–4; 19, pp. 20–1; 35, pp. 39–40. 73. TRP, 158, p. 232. 74. S. Gunn, ‘War, Dynasty and Public Opinion in Early Tudor England’, in Authority and Consent in Tudor England, ed. S. Gunn and G. W. Bernard (Aldershot, 2002), pp. 135–7. See also Cooper, Propaganda, pp. 31–2. 75. Great Chronicle, ed. Thomas and Thornley, p. 195; C. A. J. Armstrong, ‘The Inauguration Ceremonies of the Yorkist Kings and Their Title to the Throne’, TRHS, 4th series, 30 (1948), p. 57. 76. Allan, ‘Political Propaganda’, pp. 12–14. 77. Ibid.; Armstrong, ‘Inauguration Ceremonies’, p.  72; The Reburial of Richard Duke of York, 21–30 July 1476, ed. P. W. Hammond, A. F. Sutton and L. Visser-Fuchs (London, 1996), pp. 1–3. 78. Armstrong, ‘Inauguration Ceremonies’, pp. 53–5. 79. C. D. Ross, Richard III (London, 1981), pp. 148–9, 151–3. For Henry VII in York, see A. H. Smith, ‘A York Pageant, 1486’, London Mediaeval Studies 1 (1939), pp. 382–3. 80. Chrimes, Henry VII, p.  58; English Coronation Records, ed. L. F. G. Wickham Legg (London, 1901), pp. 219–39; Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry and Early Tudor Poetry, pp.  10–19, 49; The Crowland Chronicle Continuations, 1459–1486, ed. N. Pronay and J. Cox (London, 1986), pp. 190–1. I also refer to the official title of Hall’s chronicle: ‘The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre & Yorke, Beeyng Long In Continual Discension for the Croune of This Noble Realme …’, Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, p. vi. 81. Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry and Early Tudor Poetry, p. 260. For a contemporary comment, see CSPSp, iv, pt. 2, 1081, p. 704. 82. For a discussion of Prince Arthur (b. 1486) and Prince Henry (b. 1491), see Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry and Early Tudor Poetry, pp. 48–9, 52–6; M. Bennet, Lambert Simnel and the Battle of Stoke (Gloucester, 1987), p. 3. For a contemporary comment about Princess Elizabeth in 1533, see CSPSp, iv, pt. 2, 1161, pp. 881–4. Prince Edward’s birth (1537) and the accompanying celebrations are discussed in Gunn, ‘War, Dynasty and



Public Opinion’, p.  139. Contemporary reactions can be found in Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England, pp.  44, 64–7; R.  Morison, A Comfortable Consolation (London, 1537), A2f. 83. J. Waurin, Anchiennes chronicques d’Engleterre, ed. L. M. É. Dupont, 6 vols. (Paris, 1858–63), iii, p. 128; Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, p. 297. As for benevolences, see R.  Fabyan, The New Chronicles of England and France, ed. H. Ellis, et al. (London, 1811), p. 664. 84. Mancini, Usurpation, pp. 98–101; Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, p. 364. 85. Anglica Historia, ed. Hay, pp.  18–19; G.  Smith, ‘Lambert Simnel and the King from Dublin’, The Ricardian 10 (1996), pp. 506–7; Six Town Chronicles of England, ed. R. Flenley (Oxford, 1911), p. 174. 86. Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England, pp. 5–6, 14, 28–9; Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, pp. 272–5, 286, 364, 369, 468–70, 488–9, 623–30; Fabyan, Chronicles, pp.  659, 669, 687–8, 700; Anglica Historia, ed. Hay, pp. 76–9, 92–3, 152–3, 168, 181–2, 187–8, 242–5; Great Chronicle, ed. Thomas and Thornley, pp. 236–7, 242, 258, 287, 289, 291–2, 318, 325; Chronicles of London, ed. Kingsford, pp. 226–8; CSPSp, i, 249, p. 213; v, pt. i, 45, p. 131; 156, pp. 452–4; 183, p. 517; v, pt. ii, 55, pp. 124–7; Six Town Chronicles, ed. Flenley, p. 192. 87. J. P. Gilson, ‘A Defence of the Proscription of the Yorkists in 1459’, EHR 26 (1911), 512–25. 88. CLB, ii, pp. 340–6; Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner, v, 719, p. 35. 89. C. S. L. Davies, ‘Information, Disinformation and Political Knowledge under Henry VII and Early Henry VIII’, Historical Research 85 (2012), 228–53; Elton, Policy and Police, pp. 218–22. Contemporary comments are found in Calendar of State Papers, Venice, ed. R.  Brown, 38 vols. (London, 1864–73), ii, 456, p. 182; 505, p. 198. 90. Cooper, Propaganda, pp.  88–91, 215–6; Elton, Policy and Police, pp. 217–62. 91. For Morison, see notes 17–18 above. Earlier ideas found in Gilson, ‘A Defence of the Proscription’, p.  518; Worcester, Boke of Noblesse, pp.  71–4; E.  Dudley, The Tree of Commonwealth, ed. D.  M. Brodie (Cambridge, 1948), pp. 88–90. 92. For instance, the problem of retaining as approached in M. Hicks, ‘Bastard Feudalism, Overmighty Subjects and Idols of the Multitude during the Wars of the Roses’, History 85 (2000), 386–403. For the political s­ymbolism of liveries and badges, see S. Gaunt, ‘Visual Propaganda in England in the Later Middle Ages’, and T. Thornton, ‘Propaganda, Political Communication and the Problem of the English Responses to the Introduction of Printing’, both in Propaganda, ed. Taithe and Thornton, pp. 27–37, 41–2. 93. Contemporary comments on this are found in George Ashby’s Poems, ed. M.  Bateson (London, 1899), p.  30; J.  Fortescue, The Governance of



England, ed. C. E. Plummer (Oxford, 1885), pp. 127–30, 140; Dudley, Tree of Commonwealth, pp. 15–16, 45–6. See also seditio in the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, available at http://www.dmlbs. ox.ac.uk/web/welcome.html (accessed October 2018). 94. CLB, ii, pp. 314, 319–20, 374–5; PROME, 1461, item 39; 1467, item 41; 1485, item 15; 1487, item 17, 23, 26; 1495, item 43; TNA, DL 5/1/133; Letters and Papers … of Richard III and Henry VII, ii, 26, p.  79; Appendix B, p.  288; RHVIICS, ii, 39–41, pp.  67–70; 45–6, pp. 79–82; York House Books, ed. Attreed, ii, p. 609; TRP, 50, pp. 55–6; 77, pp.  124–5; Letters and Papers … of Henry VIII, ed. J.  S. Brewer, et al., 21 vols. (London: H.M.S.O., 1901–32) i, pt. 2, 3353, p. 1413; King’s Letters, ed. Steele, ii, liii; Six Town Chronicles, ed. Flenley, p. 198. 95. Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner, v, 719, p.  35; CLB, ii, p.  353; The Stonor Letters and Papers, 1290–1483, ed. C.  L. Kingsford (London: Camden Society, 1919), i, 112, pp. 115–16; Gairdner, Richard III, pp. 343–4. 96. RHVIICS, ii, 45–6, pp. 79–82. 97. Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, p. 496. 98. Further to the ones already quoted, see State Papers, Venice, ed. Brown, ii, 456, p. 182; Further Supplement to Letters, Despatches and State Papers, Spain, ed. G. Mattingly (London, 1947), p. 99. 99. Further Supplement to Letters … Spain, ed. Mattingly, pp. 450–1. 100. CSPSp, iv, pt. 2, p. 1091. 101. The Statutes of the Realm (London, 1810–28), 3 Edw. I, c. 34; and 2 Ric II, c. 5. 102. First observed by S. Rezneck, ‘Constructive Treason by Words’, American Historical Review 33 (1928), 544–52. 103. Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, pp. 772–3; CSPSp, iv, pt. 1, 345, p. 585; TRP, 122, pp. 182–4; 129, pp. 194–7. 104. Hall’s Chronicle, ed. Ellis, p. 728; CSPSp, iv, pt. 1, 232, pp. 367–9; 509, pp. 817–20; iv, pt. 2, 922, p. 412; 934, pp. 427–8; State Papers, Milan, ed. Hinds, 861, p. 541. 105. King’s Letters, ed. Steele, ii, lxv; TRP, 140, pp. 209–10; CSPSp, iv, pt. 2, 1058, pp.  630–2; 1062, p.  646; Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England, pp. 23–4, 33–5. 106. Cooper, Propaganda, pp. 87–90.


‘Towards God religious, towards us most faithful’: The Paulet Family, the Somerset Gentry and the Early Tudor Monarchy, 1485–1547 Simon Lambe

Introduction This chapter explores three concentric elements within the political structure of early Tudor England: the individual in society, the county and, finally, the broader ‘Tudor State’. These features will be examined in a biographical manner through the lives and careers of two members of the same Somerset gentry family: Sir Amias Paulet (c. 1457–1538) and his son, Sir Hugh (c. 1500–73), of Hinton St George, near Crewkerne in the south of the county. What stands out about the Paulets is their continuity within the county from the beginning of Henry VII’s reign to the end of Henry VIII’s. In many ways, the Paulets were a typical gentry family, with father and son experiencing similar careers. Amias and Hugh were both lawyers at Middle Temple, London, with Amias acting as treasurer in 1520 S. Lambe (*) Kingston University, London, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_5




and 1521; both were involved in county administration as both sheriff and justice of the peace (JP); both were members of parliament (MPs); both were involved as soldiers during England’s wars with France (in 1512–13 and 1544–46 respectively) and in suppressing rebellions in the south-west (in 1497 and 1549 respectively); finally, both married well into prominent and wealthy south-west families.1 But what marks the family apart is their ubiquity within county affairs and their political progress throughout the entire Tudor period; they navigated their way through particularly troubled waters but seemed to weather each storm and ultimately profited from their loyalty to their monarch. The Paulets were prominent in their native shire and appeared both at Westminster and at some of the most significant occasions at court, perhaps the most significant of which being Sir Hugh Paulet’s presence at the christening of Henry VIII’s long-awaited son, Prince Edward, on 15 October 1537 at the royal chapel at Hampton Court Palace. Hugh would have rubbed shoulders not only with some of England’s leading nobles, including Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, and Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, but also the princesses Mary and Elizabeth.2 Yet, despite featuring in a number of other events of national importance, not least their role in warfare and in enforcing the Reformation, the Paulet family could not claim to be regulars at court nor hold the ear of the king. They were not regularly to be found away from their native county or keeping company with the great and good of the kingdom. But this chapter is not primarily concerned with the court; its purpose is to view the cultures and structures of the county of Somerset through their eyes, as important operators within the confines of the county as a distinct administrative unit. What is needed, then, is a reappraisal in a biographical approach of the Paulet family over two generations under the early Tudor monarchs, specifically the lives and careers of Amias Paulet and his eldest son, Hugh. Indeed, Hugh Paulet would go on to have a successful career at home and abroad, including domestic administration and, towards the end of his career, international diplomacy. The focus here is, first, on Amias Paulet’s role in suppressing—and subsequently punishing the participants of—the two rebellions of 1497 and, second, on Hugh Paulet’s role in supporting Henry VIII’s Reformation agenda during the 1530s. While we follow this father and son through the early Tudor period, we can also contrast Amias Paulet against Giles, Lord Daubeney, a powerful local noble and advisor to Henry VII who held a monopoly of offices and land in the south-west. As such,



Daubeney was a looming presence in the region until his death in 1508. The key message here is the slow rise of Amias Paulet and the sharp decline of Giles Daubeney. The central argument is that there were three key features to the careers of the two Paulets: ambition, flexibility and, perhaps most appropriately, loyalty to the crown. As for the nobility and gentry of Somerset, what seems clear is that—generally—they acted as the crown’s enforcers in the hope of receiving royal patronage in the form of land and office, especially as England’s religious reforms gained pace in the 1530s. As such, it will be argued that Amias Paulet and his son, Hugh, were responsible for the subsequent fortunes of their family through an observable upward trajectory from the beginning of Henry VII’s reign, largely through loyalty and flexibility in their dealings with the crown, ultimately leading to the ennoblement of their descendant John Poulett, 1st earl Poulett, on Christmas Eve, 1706.3 As we shall see, perhaps predictably, acquiescing to royal will was a good career decision, while obstruction could be destructive.

The Paulet Family The Paulet family’s lineage in England goes back to Sir Hercules of Tournon in Picardy in northern France who accompanied Geoffrey Plantagenet, count  of Anjou, to take the English throne from King Stephen in the mid-twelfth century. Geoffrey’s son, Henry II, subsequently rewarded Sir Hercules with a gift of land in the lordship of Paulet, just outside Bridgwater in Somerset, from which the family took their name.4 By the beginning of the fifteenth century, the family had relocated to Hinton St George, which had been obtained through the marriage of Amias Paulet’s parents Elizabeth Denebaud (c. 1415–97) and Sir William Paulet (c. 1404–88), after the death of Elizabeth’s father, John Denebaud, in 1429.5 Born around 1457, Amias was one of six children, with four sisters, Elizabeth (b. 1444), Florence (b. 1449), Christiana (b. 1452) and Alice (b. 1452), and one brother, Christian (b. 1469). Amias Paulet’s early life is frustratingly difficult to recount owing to a lack of evidence, although Colin Winn has helpfully sketched out a likely upbringing for him. He would have been educated as a ‘country squire’ followed by training for a military career. Such a conclusion was drawn given that Amias followed his family’s Lancastrian inclination during the fifteenth century.6 Amias was evidently a capable soldier, the most obvious example of which being his performance at the battle of Stoke in 1487.



Amias built on his growing reputation a decade later as a key member of the force that suppressed the western rebellions of 1497, alongside Sir Hugh Luttrell and Sir John Byconell.7 After 1497, however, Amias was not called to arms until the early years of the following reign, that of Henry VIII. Sir Amias married twice: first to his cousin Margaret, daughter of John Paulet of Basing, Hampshire (for which they received a papal dispensation) and second to Laura, daughter of William Keilway of Rockbourne, Hampshire, around 1504.8 Amias’ first marriage was childless but his second produced four children. There were three boys—Hugh, John and Henry—and a daughter named Elizabeth (who later married Somerset man John Sydenham).9 Between 1485 and 1509, Amias Paulet amassed a substantial collection of offices within Somerset, the explanation for which may be as simple as his service to Henry Tudor before and during the battle of Bosworth in 1485. Amias had been involved in Buckingham’s rebellion in October 1483, fighting at Newbury in Berkshire,10 and was subsequently under suspicion of treason having been attainted by Richard III in the aftermath of the event.11 Following the failure of Buckingham’s rebellion, Paulet and Giles, Lord Daubeney, who had also taken part in the rebellion, fled to France and returned with Henry Tudor on his successful campaign in 1485. Amias’ attainder was subsequently reversed once Henry claimed victory at Bosworth, with Paulet being made sheriff for Somerset later that year.12 Two years later, on 16 June 1487, Amias gave a valiant and martially proficient display at the battle of Stoke and was knighted on the battlefield (at around the age of thirty).13 During this period of Lord Daubeney’s dominance of the county under Henry VII, Amias Paulet received a series of grants within Somerset, including his appointment as steward of the bishop of Bath and Wells in 1493. While this was essentially an honorary position, such an office bestowed great prestige on the Paulet family, thereby confirming them as the pre-eminent gentry family in the county. Yet, one event that has drawn particular attention to the Paulet family was an alleged incident at the turn of the sixteenth century, recorded by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey’s gentleman-usher, George Cavendish. Cavendish alleged that, at the turn of the century, Sir Amias Paulet set a young Wolsey in the stocks at a fair in Limington, Somerset, an incident which captured the imagination of contemporary chroniclers. An account is recorded in The Interlude of Youth, a morality play from the mid-1550s. In it, we find the main protagonist, Riot (Paulet), preparing to place his nemesis, Charity (Wolsey), in the stocks by his feet.



Riot: Let him come, if he will. He were better to bide still. And he gave thee crooked language, I will lay him on the visage; And that thou shalt see soon, How lightly it shall be done. And he will not be ruled with knocks, We shall set him in the stocks To heal his sore shins.14

Consequently, Wolsey, ‘Wrong’d by a Knight’, made the ‘cleargy-­ scorning Knight repent’, through a supposed period of disgrace between 1515 and 1523, involving grounding him in London, with Amias allegedly later making amends for his actions by bankrolling extensive building works at Middle Temple, namely embellishing the gate there with Wolsey’s personal coat of arms as a form of penance.15 Consequently, the life and career of Amias Paulet has been too easily cast aside by historians and cited merely as an example of Wolsey’s ruthlessness. This oversight presents the historian with a problem. Given his family’s position and his involvement in local affairs, Amias was perhaps the obvious ‘successor’ to Giles, Lord Daubeney’s political inheritance after his death, given his local pre-­ eminence and his loyalty to Henry Tudor before the battle of Bosworth and should have been increasingly involved with the magistracy and with delivering county administration in the wake of Giles Daubeney’s death in 1508, something that was slow to be realised.16 In reality, the story was either simply a local allegory, inaccurately recorded from confused notes by Cavendish and perpetuated by later writers, or an attempt to adjust ‘reality to fit political convenience’.17 Indeed, Peter Gwyn noted that this story was probably not true as it is unlikely that Wolsey ever took up residence at Limington. As a ‘clerical careerist’, Wolsey would have been loath to have become too comfortable in his first post, before resigning to become chaplain to Henry Deane, archbishop of Canterbury.18 In his own account, Cavendish himself also subsequently comments on the meaning of this story. For Cavendish, the tale is a reminder that authority and fortune are not permanent and that one’s position can soon change: authority ‘may slide and vanish, as princes’ pleasures do alter and change’, perhaps making this story less a comment on Amias’ punishment and more a reflection on Wolsey’s later demise at the hands of Henry VIII.19



As we shall see, it seems more likely that Amias’ slow political maturation was rather owing to his local association with the late Henry VII’s unpopular fiscal policies, in particular in the aftermath of the 1497 western rebellions. In addition, given his involvement at the Inns of Court between 1515 and 1523, this period appears to have been the launchpad to Amias’ career and political profile. Yet, if true, this story illustrates the personal nature of Tudor government and shows how important royal and ministerial favour could be within this context.

The Balance of Power Following the political turbulence and military activity of the mid-fifteenth century, the most pressing matter for the new king, Henry VII, on his accession in 1485 was to prevent further civil unrest and dynastic conflict within his kingdom. Accordingly, Henry set about firmly establishing his rule in England, whether through rewarding those who had been loyal to him in the run-up to Bosworth or by opting for continuity of personnel wherever possible.20 Henry VII created a ‘close personal oversight of every aspect of government’, in other words direct government, meaning the court became an important ‘point of contact’ for the king and his nobles, allowing the former to open a channel of communication with the localities through the medium of the nobility, while the latter was able to benefit from the former’s patronage.21 Of course, we must remember that Henry VII owed much to the previous Lancastrian and Yorkist governments. Indeed, David Starkey has emphasised the ‘continuity between the Lancastrian court and the Yorkist … [and] between the Yorkist and the Tudor’.22 Richard II’s court-­ county policy in particular has been highlighted, especially his cultivation of a gentry affinity used to circumvent powerful regional nobility. Consequently, these knights were then invited to court by Richard and rewarded with robes and liveries to work for the crown, albeit in an unsalaried capacity.23 Similarly, in 1400, Henry IV’s council advised him that those elite members in each county ‘should be retained’ to perform royal duties. However, Edward IV took the opposite approach, selecting men of his own household to link the court to the country through a ‘system of interlocking territorial lordship centred on the court’.24 As Henry VII’s immediate predecessor, it is worth considering Richard III’s approaches to cultivating an affinity as a point of direct comparison. Partly owing to the limited timeframe between his accession and Henry



Tudor’s advance, Richard failed in his attempt to harness support in the localities and move beyond entrusting his own retinue with positions of authority.25 In a similar way to his predecessors, Richard III attempted to connect the court to the country by enlisting the support of the household by positioning key personnel within the county structure, similarly as a ‘point of contact’. He attempted to further his affinity, especially in the south where his support was particularly weak, through the use of patronage and reward for members of the local gentry, a tactic employed by both Richard and his brother, Edward IV, for the obvious influence they could bring.26 However, Richard failed to bestow patronage on anyone other than those who had been previously loyal to him for fear of ‘rewarding the uncommitted or the actively hostile’.27 One of the lasting characteristics of Henry VII’s reign was his attempt to disable the nobility through a series of bonds and recognisances.28 Henry’s system of government, essentially styled on the French approach of noble control under the direct authority of the king, involved rapid centralisation. This is supported by Dominic Luckett’s work on the south-­ west of England between 1485 and 1509, which showed that, like Richard III, by entrusting responsibility to his ‘familiars’, Henry VII caused local alienation and frustration among those individuals on which the crown relied.29 This fragile balance of regional and national politics was most obviously disturbed during the western uprisings of 1497, the first of which reached as far as Blackheath in south-east London.

Rebellion What is clear is that Henry VII’s suppression of noble power created a narrower body politic, which relied less on broad noble consent and more on a small and loyal group of advisors. But the involvement of the south-­ west’s political elite in the rebellions of 1497 further demonstrated Henry’s lack of political awareness, by his failure to secure loyalty from an initially supportive group.30 These rebellions had the potential to spread far beyond the south-western peninsula, although each movement’s reach quickly exceeded its grasp. Regardless, the events of 1497 certainly created an opportunity on which Amias Paulet could seize. The growing uncertainty over Giles Daubeney’s loyalty to Henry at this time and the subsequent damage to his reputation allowed Paulet to perform the dual act of retribution and income generation on behalf of the crown through the collection of post-rebellion fines, directly under royal orders.31



Perhaps it is unsurprising that the chief gentry rebels of the 1497 rebellions hailed from Somerset and Dorset, owing to Daubeney’s monopoly of local power and office there.32 Indeed, the rebellions of 1497 were a powerful response to Henry VII’s failure to craft an effective balance of power that was both robust enough to perform as a source of local government and flexible enough not to create a sense of frustration and resentment from those who felt they were owed something by the king for their efforts before, during and after Bosworth.33 There was, perhaps surprisingly, a contemporary suggestion that Daubeney, as a native of Somerset, may have empathised with the rebels’ cause during the first rebellion: primarily to protest against the levying of additional taxation to finance border skirmishes against the Scots but also, from the elite perspective, to protest against the narrow focus of patronage after Bosworth.34 Accounts of Daubeney typically present him as a staunch Henry VII loyalist,35 yet in 1497 he appears to have faltered. Why would a man who had been so generously endowed by his monarch do anything to jeopardise his patron’s security? Dominic Luckett has offered three possible explanations. The first is that he was reluctant to take arms against his friends and family within his native county. There is indeed evidence to support this suggestion, for Sir Hugh Luttrell, one of the leading rebels, was married to Daubeney’s half-sister.36 The second suggestion is that Daubeney in fact lacked commitment to the nascent Tudor dynasty once rumours began to spread that the king was ill37 and, finally, that Daubeney wanted to ensure he was on the ‘winning side’: with the rebels or with the crown.38 Giles Daubeney had taken a risk during Buckingham’s rebellion of 1483, a gamble which eventually paid off. But that was during a particularly turbulent period under a new monarch and Daubeney must have sensed something in the offing. In 1497, Daubeney’s neighbours rose up against the king in response to a series of unpopular fiscal policies. It is unlikely that Daubeney would have wanted to oppose the overwhelming local feeling of dissatisfaction against the king, perhaps because he had neither the inclination nor sufficient manpower to do so. Indeed, Daubeney did not directly rebel against Henry, he simply failed to halt the rebels’ progress. Nonetheless, by the time of the second wave of rebellion in 1497, Perkin Warbeck’s rebellion, Daubeney had sided firmly with the king. The chronicler Edward Hall noted that, on hearing that Perkin Warbeck was en route to Taunton, Henry VII ‘hastened after him with al spede […] and



hym followed a great compaignie of noble men, knyghtes and esquyers’, including Sir Amias Paulet. When Warbeck got wind of Henry VII’s assembled and mobilised army, he fled with forty men from Taunton, Somerset, to Beaulieu in Hampshire, on the edge of the New Forest.39 Daubeney, leading one of three branches of the king’s army, was sent after Warbeck, capturing him at Beaulieu Abbey in September 1497.40 Once Warbeck’s threat in the south-west was over, Henry VII decided to head westwards in an attempt to calm the region.41 On 29 September 1497, just as the Anglo-Scottish treaty of Ayton was being signed and sealed, promising a seven-year truce between the two nations, Henry arrived in Somerset and stayed at Bath in the north-east of the county.42 He then travelled eighteen miles south-west to Wells, accompanied by a force of over 10,000 men. At Wells, he was ‘received in state’ by the mayor, Nicholas Trappe, and stayed in the city until Sunday 1 October. The following day, Henry travelled to Glastonbury at which point he rendezvoused with Daubeney’s branch of the royal army.43 While there, the king stayed at the new lodgings by the great chamber at Glastonbury Abbey (thereafter called the ‘King’s Lodgings’). On Tuesday 3 October, he travelled west to Bridgwater, James, Lord Audley’s area of influence, presumably to admire— and indeed to stay at—the castle there before again travelling south-west to Taunton, positioned in a valley between the Quantock and Blackdown hills, presumably with the intention of confronting Warbeck’s remaining supporters head-on in a natural bottleneck.44 On 5 October, Warbeck was brought as a prisoner to the king’s itinerant court at Taunton. The following day, Henry left the county for Exeter having confronted the pretender, Warbeck, and deciding to imprison him initially at Taunton before transferring him to the Tower of London.45 While Henry VII could, to an extent, rely on his nobles to support him during this ‘crisis’, the same could not be said for the majority of the broader social elite. Not only were the rebels allowed to progress with surprising ease, support for—or at least tacit approval of—their cause snowballed along the way. The following year, once Henry had ‘weded out the evel and corrupt hartes of his English subiectes’, he issued a commission to Robert Shirborn, archdeacon of Taunton, Sir Thomas Darcy, William Hattecliffe and Sir Amias Paulet to collect fines in Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire, from those involved in the rebellions.46 The details of these fines suggest that support for the rebels in Somerset was widespread. Even the abbots of Forde, Cleeve, Muchelney and Athelney were included in the records of fines for providing sustenance for the rebels.47



Most significantly of all, on 5 December 1506, Giles Daubeney himself was bound in a recognisance to the crown for £2100, payable in annual instalments of £100.48 This recognisance was an attempt by Henry to curtail Daubeney’s power without leaving a power vacuum in the south-west that he was neither prepared nor able to fill. Evidently Henry’s confidence in Daubeney had been knocked following his ‘slackness and inefficiency’ in opposing the rebels.49 Henry’s attempt to disable the nobility and to develop the role of the gentry was a difficult affair. Even his most trusted counsellors were prone to moments of hesitation and opportunism; indeed, reliance on the obedience of a select few was something of a gamble. But we can also see the successfully enhanced role of the gentry exemplified in the commission to collect fines after 1497, for it consisted of an archdeacon and three members of the gentry, including Amias Paulet. Paulet’s involvement in this endeavour seems to have made a lasting impression. On 28 March 1525, when attesting to the age and character of Richard Whiting, abbot of Glastonbury, one of the religious there, Dom John, included Paulet as a witness whom he had known for ‘eight-­ and-­twenty years’: in other words since 1497, the time of the rebellions. Dom John specified that he had been aware of Amias since his occupation in collecting fines from those with ‘real or supposed sympathy with Perkin Warbeck and his Cornish rebels’.50 But while Amias was called on to collect fines after the event, he could not rely on the entire gentry society to support him, for ‘the king’s chief friends in the county, Sir Hugh Luttrell, Sir John Speke and John Sydenham encouraged the rising’, with Speke being fined £200. Surprisingly, these men were selected just four years later to escort Catherine of Aragon on her arrival in England, from Crewkerne to London.51 Yet, despite his loyalty to Henry VII, Amias Paulet experienced slow political development over the coming years. It is commonly held that Amias’ delay in promotion was attributed to his treatment of Thomas Wolsey in 1500 but there is perhaps an alternative explanation for his alleged side-lining during the early years of Henry VIII’s reign. If Amias was politically marginalised, it could have been because he too closely represented Henry VII’s parsimonious final days, especially his assistance in collecting these fines.52 However, it seems the early Tudor period did not see Amias politically side-lined at all, insofar as the totality of his interests are concerned; indeed, this period in fact seems to have been the making of Amias because he was enhancing his professional profile at Middle Temple, London, and providing invaluable county administration, such as



the 1523–24 subsidy, rather than being held under effective house arrest by Wolsey.53 Indeed, following Giles, Lord Daubeney’s death in 1508, Somerset developed a more horizontal socio-political structure, escaping the grips of a single, dominant figure.54 This structural change was possible because, from the time of Henry VIII’s accession in 1509, Westminster harnessed support from local elites while bolstering royal influence with the introduction of members of the king’s ‘affinity’ to local commissions, thereby creating a ‘political connection in the localities directly attached to the personal authority of the king’.55 Indeed, Henry VIII’s ‘affinity’ included around 200 knights in the 1520s, but had risen sharply to 263 knights by 1535.56 This strategy was not wholly dissimilar to the approach adopted by Richard III who had earlier attempted to preserve (and presumably to enhance) the power structure left by his brother, Edward IV, largely by maintaining members of his household and central administration. Yet, Richard in fact focused his attention too narrowly, largely relying on his personal retinue; this act in itself was enough to nurture deep resentment towards him and play into the hands of a potential rival by creating ‘opposition among men with little material reason for dissent’.57 For Henry VIII, the royal affinity supplanted the noble affinity by transferring the previous focus on a noble to the king.58

Loyalty A recurring, but perhaps unsurprising, feature of the Paulet family’s story is Hugh’s ability to build on his father’s patrimony. Indeed, much of the Paulet family’s fortune and power came from Amias’ post as steward to the bishop of Bath and Wells, a position which was later inherited by his son. Hugh’s position was also enhanced by his receipt on 8 November 1538 of a grant in fee for £1000 of the manor and borough of Sampford Peverell, Devon, formerly belonging to his father.59 But, despite his father’s role in Somerset (and beyond), it has been suggested that Hugh’s early rise to prominence was probably owing in part to his close association with Richard Pollard, the son of Lewis Pollard, through marriage to Richard’s sister, Phillipa (Hugh’s first wife), around 1530.60 It was also from this marriage that Hugh became a father. Hugh had three sons, Amias (the child’s grandfather’s namesake—and later to become jailer of Mary Queen of Scots), Nicholas and George, and two daughters, Jane and Anne. Shortly after his father’s death on 1 April



1538, Hugh Paulet was appointed to the Somerset bench, presumably through his connection with Thomas Cromwell, an association which began as early as 1534. At this time, John Clerk, bishop of Bath and Wells, sought to clear himself of a ‘malicious report’ and it was to Paulet whom Cromwell turned for assistance in the matter.61 Moreover, as an MP for Somerset in 1536 and 1539, Paulet and Cromwell would have been in attendance together at parliament.62 Paulet was knighted on 18 July 1536 at the time of the dissolution of that year’s parliamentary session, alongside Anthony Kingston, Richard Cromwell (Thomas Cromwell’s nephew), John Arundell, Ralph Sadler, a prominent member of Cromwell’s household, and Richard Pollard, Hugh Paulet’s brother-in-law.63 His father, Amias, had excelled in traditional, chivalric activities which he was able to demonstrate regularly in the early years of Henry VII’s reign and which culminated in his elevation on the battlefield.64 In contrast, Hugh received his honour in an altogether less magnificent fashion. His knighthood is assumed to have been awarded as part of Cromwell’s efforts to boost his authority in the localities during the Reformation period. This gives the impression that Hugh was able simply to reap the rewards of his father’s military prowess with an altogether more political knighthood. The circumstances of these two knighthoods perhaps mask the reality of Hugh Paulet’s martial capabilities. Described as ‘a captain expert in war’, Paulet personally attended Henry VIII at Ampthill, between Bedford and Luton, in 1536 during the Pilgrimage of Grace with a retinue of 300 men.65 Hugh was not alone, for his fellow Somerset men Sir Thomas Speke, Sir John St Loe, Sir William Stourton and Sir John Horsey were also in attendance with their own personal retinues. Meanwhile, despite his ailing health, Sir Nicholas Wadham was enlisted to be responsible for performing watches in Somerset at the time of the Pilgrimage of Grace owing to the lack of elite presence in the county.66 In 1539, Hugh Paulet was listed in the Somerset muster as commanding at least thirty servants and five tenants, with access to forty harness, thirty bills and twenty bows.67 Later, Paulet impressed Henry VIII with his martial proficiency during the 1544–46 French campaign—just as his father had done under Henry VII almost sixty years earlier—and was subsequently appointed treasurer of Boulogne for his efforts. Sir Hugh later fought the western rebels in 1549 with John, Lord Russell, an event which significantly bolstered his political position.68



While Paulet developed numerous political interests abroad as his career progressed, he did not neglect his local duties at home as demonstrated in his substantial collection of domestic administrative appointments during his career. Hugh was JP for Somerset for around forty years beginning in 1532 and continuing until his death in 1573. As mentioned above, he also inherited from his father the profitable and highly prestigious role of steward to the bishop of Bath and Wells. He carried out the post solely from 1534 until 1572 and, in the last year of his life, together with his son, Amias, in 1573. Having already been appointed JP for Somerset in 1532 and then steward to the bishop of Bath and Wells two years later, Hugh was picked as sheriff of Somerset and Dorset for three spells during the 1530s and 1540s: 1536–37, 1542–43 and 1547–48.69 Indeed, it was from the late 1530s, following his father’s death in 1538, that Paulet really began to add political feathers to his cap. Two years before his father’s death, Sir Hugh had been appointed vice-­ admiral for Somerset and Dorset from 1536 until the end of Henry VIII’s reign (under consecutive admirals Sir William Fitzwilliam from 1536 to 1540 and John, Lord Russell from 1540 to 1542).70 But it was in 1539, the year after his father’s death, that Hugh began to establish himself as an important presence in the south-west. From February 1539, Paulet was the sole surveyor of coastal defences for Somerset. The reason for this solitary position was because the county’s coastline was short, meaning only one surveyor of coastal defences was needed there. Although Hugh’s growing collection of crown offices could be viewed as pluralism, it is unlikely that this particular post was a mere sinecure and perhaps marks growing ‘royal favour’.71 Hugh’s appointment came at a critical time, with England anticipating an imperial-French invasion in response to the country’s on-going religious reform.72 Indeed, Paulet appears in Cromwell’s ‘remembrances’ and accounts throughout the 1530s. For example, in April 1538 Cromwell made an additional note in his ‘remembrances’, after a series of west country names, that he ought to ‘remember Sir Hugh Palet’.73 The following year, Cromwell then noted in his accounts that he had a receipt of a payment to ‘Sir Hugh Pallet’ for one hundred marks in 1537.74 While disappointingly vague in their detail, these notes suggest, at the very least, some level of professional interaction and cooperation between Cromwell and Paulet; not just at parliament, but when the former was at Westminster and the latter was at home in his native county.75



Hugh was subsequently appointed to the Council of the West in 1539, an environment in which he would be not only recognised as probably the most influential member of the Somerset gentry (as the only Somerset representative) but also one in which he would be able to rub shoulders with the elite from his neighbouring counties in an official capacity. The following year, he received two additional posts, the first and most significant being surveyor of Glastonbury’s lands and estates and the second as commissioner of the western circuit from 1540 to 1573.76 As Amias Paulet’s son and heir, Hugh inherited many of these posts from his father. Such profitable posts could explain why Hugh did not necessarily go out of his way to seek patronage at court.77

Religion The impact of religion on national and local politics in early Tudor England has been well documented. What also seems clear is the importance of flexibility in religious matters by members of the gentry in the name of self-preservation (and indeed promotion); in other words, bending to the will of the crown. Gentry compliance with the crown’s instructions was a necessary means of securing their local socio-political position.78 Some gentlemen profited greatly from the dissolution of the monasteries, aided largely by knowledge of the most lucrative properties.79 In 1535, at the height of England’s religious reform and the year after the enactment of the Act of Supremacy, Henry VIII and his queen, Anne Boleyn, embarked on an elaborate progress across the west country in a show of support for reformist gentry in the region and to calm religious anxiety, following the publication of the Bible in English and the outlawing of traditional religious practice.80 Surprisingly, despite the impact of the Reformation, the south-west of England seemed to hold the king ‘in high respect’ at the time of his death, with ‘general obedience’ of reform.81 But the gentry’s assistance in proceedings in Somerset does not necessarily mean that the process of religious reform was popular with the county elite. Rather, the gentry were simply responding to a potential threat to the socio-political status quo, recognising a clear opportunity to protect their own interests through property acquisitions within the county. For example, a number of west country courtiers and royal officials were actively involved in suppressing monasteries (and received numerous properties in return) despite remaining religiously conservative, including Sir Thomas Arundell and Sir John Tregonwell.82



Nonetheless, the reformed religion certainly struck a chord with Sir John St Loe of Sutton Court in Somerset. In 1556, following Mary I’s attempted Counter-Reformation, St Loe was suspected of holding firm to his reformist outlook and was subsequently bound in a recognisance of £1000 to remain in London. St Loe’s apparent loyalty to the reformed religion was perhaps secured in the wake of the dissolution when he was granted former monastic land as a reward for being a ‘Protestant sympathiser’ to ‘secure allegiance’ in a tense political environment.83 In contrast, the Wadham family of Merrifield in Somerset were staunch religious traditionalists who saw their social and financial position gradually decline after the 1540s, although the family still possessed sufficient financial clout to establish Wadham College, Oxford, by 1610.84 These examples hint at the contrasting fortunes the gentry could expect in the wake of the dissolution of the monasteries, fortunes dictated by compliance with supporting and enforcing the reformed religion. After the dissolution, the overwhelming majority of monastic land was in royal possession (some ninety-eight per cent), before being distributed by gift or sale to those in favour or simply going to the highest bidder.85 In Somerset, we find that around seventy per cent of royal gifts were given to those at the centre of power, namely courtiers and councillors, with resident members of the gentry next, followed by gentry without. Perhaps the most revealing purchase came in 1537 when Hugh Paulet leased the priory of Barlinch and with it the manor and parish of Morebath, Devon, making him ‘effectively the parish’s landlord’. This is in itself an uncomfortable association given Morebath’s religious conservatism and Paulet’s ostensible zeal for reform.86 At its dissolution in 1537, Paulet, described by the parish of Morebath as ‘master’, salvaged a window from Barlinch Priory (valued by Hugh at £3 and by the parish at £2).87 Hugh then donated this recycled window to the church along with the ‘yre and stone’ and 40s.88 In return, Paulet asked for the parish’s intercessory prayers, all the while imposing on them the cost of the window’s removal.89 Not for the first time, Hugh Paulet pursued interests outside his native county by venturing into neighbouring Devon. Paulet would later go on to work alongside the Carew family in Devon as ‘co-leaders’ of the county’s political structure in the mid-1540s: not an altogether popular move.90 The bestowal of former monastic land as a reward for assistance with the dissolution process could bring not just loyalty to the crown, but a commitment to the reformed religion, as was the case with Sir John St Loe, mentioned above. Similarly, from the outset of the Reformation, Sir



Hugh Paulet changed religious course rather than going against the theological grain, with his career taking off in the 1530s, demonstrating the advantages of flexibility in religious outlook. While some were resistant to religious reform and sought to impede its progress, some were more willing to further it. Hugh Paulet, for example, was keenly involved in providing valuations for the monastic lands which ultimately led to his acquisition of such property. It was perhaps this decision which saw the development of the Paulet family and punctuated their loyalty to the Tudors.

Conclusion We have seen that the Paulets were a compliant family in early Tudor Somerset, and ultimately within the ‘Tudor State’, but they were by no means an extraordinary one. Diane Willen arrived at a similar conclusion regarding John, Lord Russell, claiming he was ‘typical of a generation of courtiers who supported the Tudors in order to become the new men at court’ despite not being ‘an outstanding figure’.91 Willen even suggests that Russell’s career might usefully be compared to that of another Paulet: William, comptroller of the royal household, a man who experienced a long career under successive Tudor monarchs, an achievement which was accomplished through adaptability to a constantly changing political and religious world.92 So, it may not simply be the case that such men were ‘ordinary’; rather, they were prepared to bend their political and religious outlook in accordance with the will of the monarch. Hugh Paulet, like Russell, would go on to serve under successive Tudor monarchs. We have seen three key elements in the careers of the Paulet family: ambition, loyalty and flexibility. Their ambition was expressed in their steady acquisition of offices throughout this period. We have also seen that the family ‘profited from successive political crises’ by bending their outlook to the royal will. Indeed, during the process of monastic dissolution, Hugh Paulet was keenly involved in the valuation of former monastic land and property which placed him in a favourable position with the crown. These themes are perhaps revealed in Elizabeth I’s view of Hugh Paulet’s own son, Amias—and probably the most famous member of the Paulet family owing to his role as the jailer of Mary Queen of Scots—a man she deemed to be ‘towards God religious, towards us most faithful, by calling honourable, by birth, in respect of the antiquity of his house, most noble’.93



When Hugh Paulet died on 6 December 1573, he had continued on the path set out by his father. But Hugh’s rapid career development would perhaps have surprised even his father. Having risen to prominence in the 1530s, within two decades Hugh had become the most important member of the county structure. From then on, Hugh Paulet entered the slipstream of political advancement and was soon involved in central political matters. These two men, Amias and Hugh, were responsible for the establishment and development of the Paulet family: a family on the path to ennoblement in the early eighteenth century. However, these members of the Paulet family must be remembered instead for their understated contribution to early Tudor government and society. The Paulet family’s broad political contribution was characterised by their ‘duty and responsibility fulfilled’.94 Yet their ordinariness must not be interpreted pejoratively; it was compliant families such as the Paulets that enabled Tudor government to work.

Notes 1. A. R. Ingpen, The Middle Temple Bench Book: Being a Register of Benchers of the Middle Temple from the Earliest Records to the Present Time, with Historical Introduction (London, 1912), pp. 57, 128, 360, 416. For Sir Hugh Paulet, see pp. 363, 416. 2. J. Loach, Edward VI, ed. G. W. Bernard and P. Williams (New Haven and London, 1999), pp. 5–6. 3. J.  M. Rigg, ‘Poulett, John, Fourth Baron and First Earl Poulett (c. 1668–1743), politician’, in ODNB, available at: http://www.oxforddnb. com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb9780198614128-e-2263414 (accessed December 2018). 4. A.  Bethell, ‘Sir Amias Paulet’, Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society 17 (1871), 63–72. 5. C.  A. H.  Franklyn, A Genealogical History of the Families of Paulet (or Pawlett), Berewe (or Barrow), Lawrence and Parker (Bedford, 1963), p.  60; TNA, C 136/66/8; C 142/61/14; David Ashton’s record of ‘Deneland’, rather than Denebaud, is a mistake which seems to have been repeated from the original ODNB entry for Amias Paulet: D. J. Ashton, ‘Paulet, Sir Amias (c. 1457–1538)’, in ODNB, available at: http://www. oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/ odnb-9780198614128-e-21611 (accessed 14 December 2018). 6. C. G. Winn, The Pouletts of Hinton St George (London, 1976), p. 16.



7. I. Arthurson, ‘The Rising of 1497 – A Revolt of the Peasantry?’, in People, Politics and Community in the Later Middle Ages, ed. J. T. Rosenthal and C. Richmond (Stroud, 1987), pp. 5–9. 8. Ashton, ‘Paulet, Sir Amias’. 9. A.  Collins, The Peerage of England: Genealogical, Biographical and Historical, 9 vols. (London, 1812), iv, p. 3. 10. L. Gill, Richard III and Buckingham’s Rebellion (Stroud, 1999), p. 176. 11. M. A. Havinden, ‘The Resident Gentry of Somerset in 1502’, Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society 139 (1998), 1–15; J.  R. Lander, Crown and Nobility, 1450–1509 (London, 1976), p.  272; C.  Rawcliffe, The Staffords: Earls of Stafford and Dukes of Buckingham, 1394–1521 (Cambridge, 1978), p.  41; BL, Harleian MS 283, f. 70. 12. Winn, Pouletts of Hinton St George, pp. 16–17; S. W. B. Harbin, ‘The High Sheriffs of Somerset’, Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society 108 (1964), p. 38. 13. W. A. Shaw, The Knights of England: A Complete Record from the Earliest Times to the Present Day of the Knights of All the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland and Ireland, and of Knights Bachelor, 2 vols. (London, 1906), ii, p. 25. 14. I. Lancashire, Two Tudor Interludes: The Interlude of Youth; Hick Scorner (Manchester, 1980), pp. 58, 122–3 (lines 297–305). 15. D. J. Ashton, ‘The Tudor State and County Politics: The Greater Gentry of Somerset, c. 1509–1558’ (unpublished DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 1998), pp.  34–5; G.  Cavendish, Thomas Wolsey, Late Cardinal: His Life and Death, ed. Roger Lockyer (London, 1962), pp. 31–3. 16. Ashton, ‘The Tudor State’, pp. 3–4, 13–16. 17. T.  Thornton, Cheshire and the Tudor State, 1480–1560 (Woodbridge, 2000), p. 175. 18. P. Gwyn, The King’s Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Wolsey (London, 1990), pp. 2–3. 19. Cavendish, Thomas Wolsey, pp. 32–3. 20. J. Guy, Tudor England (Oxford, 1988), pp. 55–7. 21. S.  Gunn, ‘The Courtiers of Henry VII’, EHR 108 (1993), 23–49; G. R. Elton, ‘Tudor Government: The Points of Contact, III. The Court’, TRHS, 5th series, 26 (1976), 211–28. 22. D. Starkey, ‘Henry VI’s Old Blue Gown: The English Court Under the Lancastrians and Yorkists’, The Court Historian 4 (1999), pp. 1–2. 23. Sir John Fortescue, On the Laws and Governance of England, ed. S.  Lockwood (Cambridge, 1997), p.  129; C.  Given-Wilson, ‘The King and the Gentry in Fourteenth-Century England: The Alexander Prize Essay’, TRHS, 5th series, 37 (1987), 87–102.



24. Guy, Tudor England, p. 165; C. Given-Wilson, The Royal Household and the King’s Affinity: Service, Politics and Finance in England, 1360–1413 (New Haven and London, 1986), p. 219. 25. R. Horrox, Richard III: A Study of Service (Cambridge, 1989), pp. 325–33. 26. Ibid., pp. 16, 226–72. 27. Ibid., p. 329. 28. J. R. Lander, ‘Attainder and Forfeiture, 1453–1509’, Historical Journal 4 (1961), 119–51. 29. G. L. Harriss, ‘Political Society and the Growth of Government in Late Medieval England’, Past & Present 138 (1993), 28–57. 30. D.  Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Local Administration in Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire, 1485–1509’ (unpublished DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 1992), p. 157; S. Gunn, ‘Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex (1472–1540)’, in The Tudor Nobility, ed. G. W. Bernard (Manchester, 1992), p. 168. 31. TNA, E 101/516/24. 32. Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Local Administration’, p. 103. 33. D.  Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Political Morality in Early Tudor England: The Case of Giles Lord Daubeney’, EHR 110 (1995), pp. 582–3, 589. 34. E.  Chisholm Batten, ‘Henry VII in Somersetshire’, Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society 25 (1879), p. 58. 35. Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Political Morality’, pp. 578–95. 36. Ibid. For more on the relationship between Daubeney and Luttrell, see the discussion within my doctoral thesis: ‘The Paulet Family and the Gentry of Early Tudor Somerset, 1485–1547’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Surrey, 2016), pp. 88–9. 37. S. B. Chrimes, Henry VII (London, 1972), pp. 308–9. 38. Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Political Morality’, pp. 588–92. 39. Edward Hall, The Union of the Two Noble Families of Lancaster and York (Menston, 1970), ff. 46r–47v; Chisholm Batten, ‘Henry VII in Somersetshire’, p. 66; Arthurson, ‘Rising of 1497’, p. 9; Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Political Morality’, pp. 581–2; TNA, C 82/2/21. 40. F. Bacon, The History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh, ed. R. Lockyer (London, 1971), pp. 173–4; Chrimes, Henry VII, pp. 90, 111–12. 41. J. P. D. Cooper, Propaganda and the Tudor State: Political Culture in the Westcountry (Oxford, 2003), pp.  27–9; Bacon, King Henry the Seventh, pp. 130–49; Chisholm Batten, ‘Henry VII in Somersetshire’, p. 49. 42. J. D. Mackie, The Earlier Tudors, 1485–1558 (Oxford, 1994), pp. 147–8. 43. Chisholm Batten, ‘Henry VII in Somersetshire’, p. 66. 44. C. Woodforde, Stained Glass in Somerset, 1250–1830 (Bath, 1970), p. 274. 45. Bacon, King Henry the Seventh, pp. 184–7.



46. Hall, Union of the Two Noble Families, f. 36r. 47. F. A. Gasquet, The Last Abbot of Glastonbury and Other Essays (London, 1908), pp. 15–16. 48. Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Political Morality’, pp.  592–3; BL, Lansdowne MS 127, ff. 33r–34v; TNA, E 36/214, f. 193. 49. Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Political Morality’, pp. 592–3. 50. Gasquet, Last Abbot of Glastonbury, pp. 15–16, 21. 51. Arthurson, ‘Rising of 1497’, p. 6; Luckett, ‘Crown Patronage and Local Administration’, pp. 139–40; Chrimes, Henry VII, p. 327. 52. Bacon, King Henry the Seventh, pp. 90–102, 239–40; Chrimes, Henry VII, pp. 194–239. 53. TNA, C 66/642, in J.  Gairdner and J.  S. Brewer, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, 21 vols. (London, 1862–1932) (afterwards LP), iii, 3282; C 66/643 (LP, iii, 3504); C 66/645, mm. 1d–8d (LP, iv, 547). 54. P.  Fleming, ‘Politics’, in Gentry Culture in Late Medieval England, ed. R. Radulescu and A. Truelove (Manchester, 2005), pp. 156–7. 55. H.  Castor, The King, the Crown, and the Duchy of Lancaster: Public Authority and Private Power, 1399–1461 (Oxford, 2000), pp. 7–8. 56. A.  Wall, Power and Protest in England, 1525–1640 (London, 2000), pp. 48–9. 57. Horrox, Richard III, p. 327. 58. S. Hindle, ‘County Government in England’, in A Companion to Tudor Britain, ed. R. Tittler and L. N. Jones (Oxford, 2004), p. 101. 59. LP, xiii, pt. 2, 967 [13]; D.  Lysons and S.  Lysons, Magna Britannia: Devonshire, 6 vols. (London, 1822), vi, pp. 430–51. 60. Richard Pollard appeared on Henry VIII’s council fourteen times between 2 May 1516 and 9 May 1525: W. H. Dunham, ‘The Members of Henry VIII’s Whole Council, 1509–1527’, EHR 59 (1944), p. 210. 61. J. Collinson, The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset, 3 vols. (Bath, 1791); S.  T. Bindoff, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1509–1558, 3 vols. (London, 1982) (afterwards HP), iii, pp. 71–2; TNA, SP 1/88, ff. 42r-43v (LP, vii, 1612). 62. HP, i, pp. 1–2; iii, pp. 71–2. 63. Collinson, County of Somerset, iii, p. xxxii; Shaw, Knights of England, ii, p.  50. David Ashton claims that Hugh Paulet was ‘knighted alongside [Thomas] Cromwell’ but there is simply no evidence for this. The most obvious explanation is that Ashton has confused Thomas Cromwell with his nephew, Richard, who was knighted at that time: Ashton, ‘The Tudor State’, p. 42. 64. M.  J. Bennett has even argued that gentry participation at the battle of Stoke and the northern risings of 1487 and 1489 respectively suggest that



the gentry were vital to the security and promotion of the Tudor dynasty because of their compliance: M. Bennett, ‘Henry VII and the Northern Rising of 1489’, EHR 105 (1990), pp. 52–5. 65. HP, iii, pp. 71–2; S. de Carteret, Chroniques des îles de Jersey, Guernesey, Auregny et Serk, ed. G. S. Syvret (Guernesey, 1832), p. 71. 66. P.  Williams, The Tudor Regime (Oxford, 1979), p.  438; Gunn, ‘Henry Bourchier’, p. 156; Guy, Tudor England, pp. 184, 192. 67. TNA, SP 1/146, ff. 1r–139r (LP, xiv, pt. 1, 652). 68. Collins, Peerage of England, iv, p.  4; Collinson, County of Somerset, ii, p. 167. 69. Collinson, County of Somerset, i, p. xxxvii; LP, xvii, 1154 [75]. 70. R.  G. Marsden, ‘The Vice-Admirals of the Coast’, EHR 23 (1908), pp. 741–2, 749–50; TNA, SP 1/143, ff. 188r–195v (LP, xiv, pt. 1, 398); LP, xv, 282 [102]. 71. Williams, Tudor Regime, p. 82. 72. R.  C. Braddock, ‘The Rewards of Office-Holding in Tudor England’, Journal of British Studies 14 (1975), p. 41. 73. BL, Cotton MS Titus B I, f. 465 (LP, xiii, pt. 1, 877). 74. TNA, SP 1/156 (LP, xiv, pt. 2, 782). 75. Hugh was not the only member of the ‘triumvirate’ to be remembered, as Sir John St Loe also featured in Cromwell’s aide-mémoire. TNA, SP 1/131, ff. 193r–194v (LP, xiii, pt. 1, 878); S.  E. Lehmberg, The Reformation Parliament, 1529–1536 (Cambridge, 1970), pp. 217–48. 76. HP, iii, p. 71; Collins, Peerage of England, iv, p. 4; Collinson, County of Somerset, ii, p. 286; iii, p. 318. 77. E. W. Ives, Letters and Accounts of William Brereton of Malpas (Chester, 1978), pp. 11–12. 78. M. C. Noonkester, ‘Dissolution of the Monasteries and the Decline of the Sheriff’, Sixteenth Century Journal 23 (1992), pp. 689–90. 79. J.  H. Bettey, The Suppression of the Monasteries in the West Country (Gloucester, 1989), pp. 72–4, 131–3, 140–2; D. Knowles, The Religious Orders in England, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 1995), iii, p. 393. 80. N. Samman, ‘The Progresses of Henry VIII, 1509–1529’, in The Reign of Henry VIII: Politics, Policy and Piety, ed. D.  MacCulloch (Basingstoke, 1995), pp. 59, 64, 73; R. Bell, ‘The Royal Visit to Acton Court in 1535’, in Henry VIII: A European Court in England, ed. D.  Starkey (London, 1991), pp.  120–5; H.  M. Colvin, ‘Castles and Government in Tudor England’, EHR 83 (1968), p. 230; TNA, C 82/704 (LP, ix, 914 [22]). 81. Cooper, Propaganda and the Tudor State, pp. 18–19; G. W. Bernard, The King’s Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church (New Haven and London, 2005), p. 320; TNA, SP 1/106, f. 134 (LP, xi, 405); G. R. Elton, Policy and Police: The Enforcement of the Reformation in the Age of Thomas Cromwell (Cambridge, 1972), p. 110.



82. M.  L. Robertson, ‘“The Art of the Possible”: Thomas Cromwell’s Management of West Country Government’, Historical Journal 32 (1989), 793–816; TNA, SP 1/104, f. 214 (LP, x, 1221); SP 1/113, f. 101 (LP, xi, 1430); BL, Cotton MS Cleopatra E IV, f. 257 (LP, xii, pt. 1, 4); TNA, E 315/232, ff. 2r-7v (LP, xiii, pt. 1, 1520); SP 1/140, f. 126 (LP, xiii, pt. 2, 1092). 83. E. W. Ives, The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn (Oxford, 2005), pp. 178, 266, 268; TNA, C 66/678, mm. 29–30 (LP, xii, pt. 1, 311 [33]). 84. J. R. Thackrah, The University and Colleges of Oxford (Lavenham, 1981), p. 118; C. S. L. Davies, ‘A Woman in the Public Sphere: Dorothy Wadham and the Foundation of Wadham College, Oxford’, EHR 118 (2003), 883–911. 85. J.  Youings, ‘The Terms of the Disposal of the Devon Monastic Lands’, EHR 69 (1954), pp. 29–30. 86. E. Duffy, The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village (New Haven and London, 2003), pp. 61–2. 87. TNA, E 321/17/30. 88. E.  Hobhouse, Churchwardens’ Accounts of Croscombe, Pilton, Yatton, Tintinhull, Morebath, and St Michael’s, Bath (1349-1560) (London, 1890), p. 216; LP, xiii, pt. 1, 1115 [63]. 89. Hobhouse, Churchwardens’ Accounts, p.  209; R.  Whiting, The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation (Cambridge, 1989), p. 122; Duffy, Voices of Morebath, p. 90. 90. H.  Speight, ‘Local Government and Politics in Devon and Cornwall, 1509–49, with Special Reference to the South-Western Rebellion of 1549’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sussex, 1991), pp. 80–2, 92. 91. D.  Willen, John Russell, First Earl of Bedford. One of the King’s Men (London, 1981), p. 129. 92. J. D. Alsop and D. M. Loades, ‘William Paulet, First Marquis of Winchester: A Question of Age’, Sixteenth Century Journal 18 (1987), 333–42. 93. J. B. Black, The Reign of Elizabeth, 1558–1603 (Oxford, 1959), p. 378. 94. Winn, The Pouletts of Hinton St George, p. 11.


Dedicated to Loyalty: Book Dedications to King Henry VIII Valerie Schutte

During the course of King Henry VIII of England’s nearly thirty-eight-­ year reign there were ample opportunities to present him with the gift of a book. Be it as a wedding gift, a New Year’s gift, or simply a gift for no occasion, Henry was given many books, several of which were dedicated to him.1 However, when one reads the dedications to Henry, it becomes apparent that dedicators not only directed dedications to him to seek patronage or in some cases to counsel him, but that several authors also wrote to him to express their loyalty. In a time when Henry was known for having a quick temper, executed two wives, and reformed the English church, many gave books to Henry to support his evangelical changes, yet some men also dedicated books to him to express their loyalty to the crown, so they did not suffer the same fate as those around him who did not remain loyal, namely Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell. As recent historiography has shown, dedicators dedicated books to monarchs to elicit patronage, influence their religious settlements, use their names to increase the authority of, and thereby the sales of, a book, and even to offer a monarch counsel.2 Unlike the subject matter of a book, V. Schutte (*) Independent Scholar, Beaver Falls, PA, USA © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_6




the dedication was directed specifically towards a dedicatee or group of dedicatees. This chapter will take as its starting point loyalty as written in book dedications to Henry VIII. This loyalty was demonstrated in three specific ways. The first of these is the dedicator as loyal to himself; these are the dedications where a book is only dedicated in hopes of receiving patronage and because it was a traditional practice exacerbated by humanist practices of informing the monarch with wisdom and morality. This type of loyalty is most evident in dedications to Henry during the first two decades of his reign. Beginning with the 1530s and the tumultuous shifts in religious reform, treason laws, and even Henry’s own marital practices, two new forms of loyalty emerged: loyalty to the crown above all else and loyalty to religion. In the subsection on loyalty to the crown, I will explore the set of dedicators who remained loyal to Henry in spite of religious changes. Some of these men went on to dedicate books to Henry’s children and remained favourites of the royal family, as they were able to show their allegiance to the crown no matter their own personal religious confession, such as Thomas Paynell and Henry Parker, Lord Morley. The final section will explicate dedicators who used their dedications to remain loyal to their own religious leanings, namely Richard Taverner and William Turner, among others. Even at the risk of receiving the king’s ire, these men encouraged Henry to go forth with religious reform, appealing to his vanity by suggesting that the greater the reform the greater his reputation as monarch would be. While the source base for this chapter is relatively niche, the dedications to Henry VIII offer an untapped outlet from which evidence can be examined regarding loyalty to the Tudor monarchs as well as to the growing divide between religion and policy that took place during the sixteenth century. These dedications offer examples of dedicators who put themselves first under the guise of being duty bound to offer their monarch their work, those who placed the crown over religion, and those who stressed religious reform.

Loyalty to Themselves In book dedications to all of the Tudor monarchs, it was very common for dedicators to attempt to use veiled counsel as a way of showing loyalty to the monarch, but ultimately to promote themselves and their books.3 To do so, dedicators would frequently write that they were duty bound to offer their book to the monarch, a trope that even Elizabeth Tudor used



towards her father in the dedication of a translated book that she gave him for New Year 1546, when she wrote, ‘and I am bound unto you as lord by law of the kingdom, and as lord by the law of nature, and as my father by divine law’.4 Often, their duty was to themselves first, in that they hoped to receive patronage, yet it can also be argued that writing to persuade the king about a topic should be seen as a type of loyalty: a dedicator offered themselves and their expertise at the king’s disposal in the hopes that it would boost the nation as a whole. Prior to the break with Rome, texts dedicated to Henry frequently used the idea of duty. These dedications also tended to be generic and an attempt to appeal to his interest in education and humanism, such as The workes of Geffray Chaucer,5 Whittington’s Epigrammata,6 and Thomas Berthelet’s edition of John Gower’s Confessio Amantis.7 These early texts were typically written in Latin, rather than English, also appealing to his humanist education, although Henry received texts in both Latin and English over the course of his lifetime. Two of these early texts to Henry stand out as offering Henry counsel. The first of which is Simon Fish’s A supplicacyon for beggars (1529), a brief tract of only fifteen pages.8 The dedication itself is only one line, ‘To the king ovr souereygne lorde’, with the entirety of the text written directly to Henry.9 In this controversial pamphlet Fish addresses Henry on behalf of the poor and describes to him the evils of the Catholic church and its clergy. The dedication did not offer direct counsel to Henry, but the entire text counselled him indirectly. The other famous pre-Reformation text that offered counsel to Henry was Thomas Elyot’s The boke named the gouernour (1531).10 Elyot positioned his text as beneficial for the commonweal, as it counselled Henry to be wary of bad governors (including counsellors) wielding authority under him. Elyot’s books followed in the tradition of the popular mirrors for princes, so his advice to Henry was not explicitly critical, but meant to assist the king in the governing of his realm. Both of these authors engaged in self-promotion, yet intended to better their society by influencing Henry’s policies. Stephen Hawes, on the other hand, simply dedicated to Henry in the hopes of keeping up a patronage relationship that he previously held with Henry’s father. Upon Henry VIII’s coronation, Hawes wrote a treatise celebrating the coronation that was printed by Wynkyn de Worde.11 Hawes previously had a relationship with Henry VII, printing at least five poems during his reign, one of which was dedicated to him.12 Hawes’ text for Henry VIII is not really dedicated to him, rather having a prologue praising Henry and an epilogue that asks Henry VIII to accept his rude text.



This is not surprising for the period, as Lady Margaret Beaufort had seven printed books that mentioned her only in the colophon as involved in the promotion and printing of a text.13 Hawes ends his treatise: ‘Thus endeth this Joyful medytacyon made + compyled by Stephen hawes somtyme grome of the chambre of our late souerayne lorde kynge Henry the seuenth’.14 Here, Hawes mentioned his previous relationship with Henry VII in the hopes that Henry VIII would continue the patronage distributed by his father. Likewise, John Palsgrave dedicated his French-English grammar and dictionary to Henry in order to remain in Henry’s service.15 Henry appointed Palsgrave to be his sister Mary’s French instructor, and Palsgrave used his dedication to Henry to publicly show his appreciation, while at the same time appealing to continue receiving patronage from Henry. In his dedication, Palsgrave immediately humbles himself to Henry, writing that he was ‘desirous to do some humble seruice vnto the nobilitie of this victorious realme’ and hoped that he lived up to Henry’s expectations.16 He acknowledges that it is common practice for those who receive some type of favour from the monarch or another noble to take up their pen to ‘worthely attayne some lytell thanke and fauour’.17 Palsgrave continues that he is just a modest orator whom Henry has chosen for such an important position, constantly remaining supplicant to Henry in order to earn himself the favour he so desires. Palsgrave goes on to tell Henry that previously he has written two other books on French grammar and presented them to his sister Mary and her husband Charles Brandon, who were both supportive of his work. The couple then ‘put me in a farther hope and conforte/that your highnesse/ which of your great bountuousnesse and notable benignyte nat onely encorage well doers in any kynde of vertue’, would also be supportive of his texts.18 Not only does Palsgrave think his French grammar book will be useful to its readers, especially at court, he hopes it will be a ‘lytell monument vnto your noble graces posterite’.19 Indeed, Palsgrave did so, with Gabriele Stein praising Palsgrave’s book for both its comprehensive coverage of French grammar and comparison of French and English, offering a bilingual French-English dictionary that explained many French idioms in English for the first time.20 While Palsgrave may have written his French-­ English grammar book for the good of its readers, hoping to spread a better understanding of French within England, showing the foresight of the rise of vernacular languages for communication rather than only using Latin, his dedication had one aim: to receive patronage and support.



Palsgrave must have found a favourable response from Henry, as ten years later he dedicated another printed book to him, The comedye of Acolastus, which he translated from Latin and in the dedication similarly described the need for important works to be translated from Latin into English so they could be read by a wider audience.21 In both dedications Palsgrave uses modesty to place himself in supplication to Henry, thereby hoping to earn some favour or payment for his work. Early dedications to Henry VIII employed tropes of duty, appealed to Henry’s humanist background, and even mentioned Henry’s favourite sister in order to either gain or sustain Henry’s favour and patronage. These dedications do not so much show loyalty to Henry, as much as the authors of them show duty to themselves for choosing the highest royal patron possible to dedicate their texts in hopes of receiving something in return.

Loyalty to the Crown After the early 1530s, the dedications and accompanying texts to Henry VIII took on a much different tone. These texts tended to address more religious concerns and praise Henry for the break with Rome. Along with the change in subject matter came a change in language, as the majority of dedications given to him now were written in English. This was likely so that more people would be able to read and understand the dedicator’s religious position, reinforcing the idea that the dedications, while directed to Henry, were also written for general readership. Besides, many early evangelicals who supported reforming the English church also supported having scripture available in English, so it made sense to write or print reformed dedications in English as well. It was after the break with Rome that dedications, for the most part, changed from engaging in self-promotion through humanist language and ideals to dedicators either being loyal to the crown no matter the religious (and marital) changes or being loyal to the advancement of reformed religious change. This section will discuss those dedicators who remained loyal to the crown. Perhaps the most well-known dedicator who remained loyal to the English crown throughout the early and mid-sixteenth century is Henry Parker, Lord Morley. According to David Starkey, Morley entered the service of Lady Margaret Beaufort as a boy. She supported him and his family, going so far as to pay for his education. While Morley never became a courtier, he used his writing and translating skills to stay closely connected



to the court.22 Throughout his career, Morley gave manuscript and printed books to Henry VIII, Mary Tudor, Thomas Cromwell, and even Henry Fitzalan, Lord Maltrevers, who was the son of the 12th earl of Arundel. At least sixteen of his manuscripts and printed books survive, of which six exist for Henry, with several more being now lost.23 All of these manuscripts and printed books contained dedications to his recipients and all appear to have been given as New Year’s gifts. Of course, some of his dedications mention the desire for patronage, such as one of Morley’s earliest known dedications to Henry prefacing his translation of Plutarch’s ‘Lives of Scipio and Hannibal’, in which Morley wrote, ‘I might do some thing to your Maiestie pleasing and acceptable, bounden so to do, as I haue said, ouer and besides myn alliegeaunce for your moste gracious fauour which you haue so vsed towards me vnworthie’.24 Yet later in Henry’s reign, sometime after 1542, in the dedication to Plutarch’s ‘Lyfe of Paulus Emilius’, Morley wrote that Henry ‘hathe shewed in the ruling of your mighty empiris soche moderasyon, clemens, pyte and marsyfull iustes that ye maye well be comparyd, not only to this Pavlus, but to Traian, Titus and Antonius Pius, or to eny other Gresyan or Romayn’.25 So for Morley, early in Henry’s reign he praised Henry and thanked him for his continued favour, yet many years later, and after the break with Rome, Morley praised Henry for his governance, mercy, and his abilities as the ‘most Crysten Kinge’.26 Morley was loyal to Henry because he was a good king, not just because Henry patronised his texts. Concurrently, Morley presented at least eight dedicated manuscripts to Mary, Henry’s eldest daughter, most likely not beginning a relationship with her until at least 1536, the likely date of the first extant dedication to her.27 Of those eight dedications, six accompanied religious works while two were translations of Seneca and Cicero, authors with whom Morley assumed Mary was familiar. Morley gave seven of these dedications to Mary before she became queen, and often referenced her virtue, love of learning, and their time spent together discussing psalms. In the extant dedication that Morley gave to Mary when she was queen, he not only mentions her virtue, but also addresses her role as ‘Defendoresse of the Faythe’, which ‘surpassyth all the rest of your tytles and crounes’, meaning that she must have been married to Philip of Spain by this time.28 The dedications given by Morley to both Henry and Mary often address religion, and it has been pointed out that there was an ‘obvious inconsistency in Morley’s attitude’ towards the role of the papacy.29 Yet it is precisely that vacillation that allowed Morley to remain loyal to both Henry



and his daughter. Morley wrote on both sides of the English Reformation, being anti-papal when needed during Henry’s reign and pro-papal during Mary’s.30 However, Richard Rex suggests that a close reading of Morley’s writings reveal that Morley remained true to traditional religion and the real presence, even if he had to amend his view of the pope.31 Nevertheless, Morley used his dedications to show his unwavering loyalty to Henry VIII, especially in the wake of the Boleyn scandal, and Mary, even if his relationship with Henry was not as personal as his relationship with her.32 Thomas Paynell was another writer who used his dedications to show his loyalty to the crown. Paynell was a prolific translator who began his career as a canon of Merton Priory.33 He dedicated his numerous translations to at least ten different dedicatees, all of whom were royal or with royal connections, such as Henry VIII, Mary Tudor (queen of France), Mary I, Elizabeth I, Bishop Bonner, and John Bourne, secretary to Mary I. Geoffrey Eatough points out that for the most part, Paynell’s translations supported traditional religion, yet he did ‘straddle the religious divide’, especially when it came to social issues.34 Helen Moore has recently suggested Paynell should be considered an important Tudor humanist because of his ‘ability to blend new learning with late medieval pieties’, all while intending his works to have an impact on society.35 Like many humanist author/translators, Paynell’s translations have received scholarly attention, but his dedications and his circle of patrons have not. As for Paynell’s dedication to Henry, from the outset he shows his loyalty to his king, stating, ‘When I consider howe we are bound by the lawe of god, to be faithfull and obedient vnto our gouernour, whiche is so many ways careful for our welthes, surely I thynke that all that we can do, to ayde and helpe hym, both with body, counsayle, goodes, and prayer, is but our dutie’.36 Paynell, like many others, realised that though he preferred traditional, Catholic religion, in order for him to remain in favour and for his translations to reach a wide audience, he must remain loyal to the monarchy and outwardly show his loyalty. It is for this reason he began his dedication to Henry with a statement of duty, while in a dedication to Queen Mary I in 1557, prefacing an index to the works of Thomas More, Paynell began his dedication praising Mary’s virtues and comparing them to those of More.37 Paynell continues in his dedication to Henry that recently there have been cases of people rebelling against Henry’s laws who have since received just punishment. Therefore, he has chosen to translate the tale of Catiline to teach those who would be disloyal to Henry that God does not tolerate disloyalty to his representatives on earth.



Paynell concludes his dedication by again reinforcing his own personal loyalty to Henry and his disdain for those who engage in rebellion against him. Obviously, Paynell, as a prior, wrote of his own loyalty to Henry so as not to be conflated with other religious men and women who had recently been forced out of their religious houses and outwardly criticised Henry’s policies. While he may have not personally agreed with Henry as the supreme head of the Church of England, he outwardly conformed and remained loyal to the monarchy, a tactic likely used by many to stay in Henry’s good favour. One other way in which loyalty to the crown was shown was through shifting book dedications, in which a book would be dedicated to one monarch and then dedicated to a different monarch in a later edition. At least two books dedicated to Henry VIII had a later edition that was dedicated to Edward VI, and in one instance that dedication was later changed again to Elizabeth. In 1538, Thomas Elyot dedicated The Dictionary of syr Thomas Eliot knyght to Henry VIII.38 In the 1552 version, edited and corrected by Thomas Cooper, the dedication to Henry VIII was removed and Cooper offered a new dedication to Edward VI.39 Likewise, Thomas Gemini’s Compendios a totius anatomie delineatio was dedicated to Henry VIII in 1545, Edward VI in 1553, and then Elizabeth in 1559.40 The 1559 edition has an engraved image of Elizabeth that some scholars have even considered to be an adaption of an image of Mary, meaning that the text may have had an association with four Tudor monarchs.41 Unlike Elyot’s Dictionary, Gemini was author of all three dedications to the three different Tudor monarchs. While the example of Elyot shows how a book could remain connected to the monarchy through its dedication, the shifting dedications by Gemini are evidence of a man who remained loyal to the crown, when he easily could have kept the dedication to Henry in all editions or even removed the dedication altogether when printing his book under later monarchs.

Loyalty to Religion It is unsurprising that beginning in the mid-1530s there were dedicators who wrote to Henry of their particular stance on reformed religion. From those who risked the wrath of Henry by writing of how his reformation did not go far enough to those who simply congratulated him for finally being rid of the pope, to those who attempted to sway Henry back to Catholicism, religion was a popular topic among dedications printed in



the last thirteen years of Henry’s reign, and often these dedicators showed loyalty to their religion more so than loyalty to their king. Under Henry’s daughters, loyalty to religion remained one of the most prominent topics in book dedications, with dedicators using more gendered language, such as tying religion to virtue, and often reminding each queen of the value of her councillors in making religious and political legislature. One of the first dedications to show loyalty to reformed religion was by Miles Coverdale, attached to his 1535 English vernacular Bible.42 The dedication by Coverdale is five pages long and offers Henry two specific pieces of advice: one, that the bishop of Rome has falsely usurped authority from princes and kings and needs challenging; and two, that scripture should be available in the mother tongue.43 Coverdale remarks that both the Old and New Testaments declare that ‘auctorite and power geven of God vnto kynges/is in earth aboue all other powers let them call themselves popes, cardynalles, or what so euer they will, the worde of god declareth them yee and commaundeth them vnder payne of dampnacion to be obedient vnto the temporall swerde’.44 Repeatedly, Coverdale reiterates that the papacy is corrupt and that a king has supreme authority within his realm. Coverdale used strong language to tell Henry of his opinion, re-affirming Henry’s position as head of the church in England, while reminding Henry to use his ‘honorable councell’ to make religious changes in England.45 Coverdale goes so far as to counsel Henry that ‘the lawe of God shulde be redde and taught vnto all the people’.46 Conveniently, Coverdale translated scripture into English so it would be easier for them to do so, and his text would gain authority if Henry approved its printing. Two years later, John Rogers offered similar advice. In 1537, Rogers, under the pseudonym ‘Thomas Matthew’, wrote of the custom of dedicating books to royals, stating that men dedicated to kings ‘to thyntent that the worck might frelyer and boldelyer be occupyed in the handes of men’.47 Dedications were also a good practice because they could introduce topics to the king’s subjects, such as the gospel. Therefore, Rogers/ Matthew dedicated his work to Henry VIII as the ultimate protector and defender of Christian scripture. Rogers’ text, in fact, became known as the Matthew Bible, and was composed largely of English vernacular translations of scripture by himself, William Tyndale, and Miles Coverdale. In many ways, Rogers’ dedication to Henry is a representative example of book dedications given to Henry VIII, and all early modern English monarchs, for that matter. Rogers uses a combination of flattery, counsel, and prayer to address his king. He begins his dedication explaining why



dedications were made and how dedicators associated their books with a royal person so that their book would gain wider readership. Here, Rogers explicitly acknowledges that dedications to monarchs were done for self-­ gain; a person dedicated a text to a monarch because association with that monarch gave a text increased readership, sales, and authority compared with other texts. For this book specifically, Rogers was seeking approval from Henry for the Bible to be printed in English, and thereby ‘be occupyed in the handes of men’. Yet, while interested in self-gain, Rogers was clearly more concerned with the spread of reformed religion. Rogers next explains why he chose this specific text to dedicate to Henry, a commonplace in book dedications. Rogers claims he is too lowly to offer something to Henry VIII, but Henry has a reputation of benignity and studies the Bible daily, so Rogers’ text should be of interest to him. Again, Rogers appeals to Henry’s ability to approve a text and pass it on so that others may read it. Henry had the ability to read scripture in Latin, but many others did not, so they needed to read it or have it read to them in English, something that Rogers, Coverdale, and Tyndale were working to translate and that Henry could facilitate. Once done with flattering Henry and acting modestly about the merits of his work, Rogers turns to counselling his king: ‘For the cheafe and pryncypall thyng appartaynynge to Prynces and nobles … is to defende, forther, set out and augment the knowledge of God’.48 This counsel is coupled with examples from scripture, such as Moses being given the Ten Commandments. Here, Rogers argues that Henry not only has the opportunity to provide his people with an English translation of the Bible, but he has a duty to do so. Catholic clergy kept scripture in Latin so that they were the sole authorities who provided God’s words to others, but Henry must let his subjects understand scripture on their own. Finally, Rogers returns to flattering the king and offers his final pieces of advice. His flattery includes telling Henry that he is a gift of a king because he continuously studies the word of God and that Henry is so wise that his godliness will flourish after his lifetime. Rogers’ counsel begins by mentioning that God had recently opened Henry’s eyes so he is the best person for Rogers to dedicate a vernacular translation of scripture to, especially as he can protect the text (i.e. not have it banned). While Henry has already done much for reformation within England, Rogers suggests that he can do more. Specifically, Rogers does so by appealing to Henry’s vanity: the greater the reform, the more famous Henry will be for all of posterity. Rogers concludes his dedication, typically, by asking for a



blessing for the king and his family. While Rogers’ compilation did not get the approval which he sought, those who put together the sanctioned Great Bible of 1539 used the translations put forth by Rogers. He was not alone in pressing Henry to further embrace reformed religion, with others writing to Henry of impropriations of benefices,49 why he needed to be prepared for war against his Catholic neighbours,50 and with attempts to sway him to support justification by faith.51 Richard Taverner was another such dedicator who between 1538 and 1539 offered three printed books with dedications that preferred greater religious changes within England. Taverner was a client of Thomas Cromwell by the early 1530s and is best known for his translations of Erasmus, as well as being one of Cromwell’s propagandists for reform, as he acknowledges in his dedications to the king. Taverner often mentions that he was in the service of Cromwell first, but that Cromwell promoted him to the king’s service, while frequently giving him texts to translate into English.52 In all three dedications, Taverner praises Henry for all of the religious changes that he has made within England, but offers his translations to help further reform, such as his corrected version of the Matthew Bible.53 Interestingly, Taverner also frequently praises Cromwell within the dedications and tells Henry how valuable Cromwell is as a counsellor, even if he has critics.54 These dedications are exceptional examples of how Cromwell, Henry’s chief counsellor, used one of his clients, Taverner, to offer Henry counsel in religious reform, so that it did not come directly from him. When Cromwell was arrested and one of the charges against him was circulating heretical works, Taverner was able to distance himself from Cromwell and the charges.55 In the early 1540s, Henry received two printed book dedications from William Turner, a naturalist and reformer who spent much of 1541–47 in the Rhineland.56 While there, Turner wrote and dedicated to Henry two polemical tracts against Stephen Gardiner, a man whom many continental reformers saw as being the chief obstacle to reform within England. The first of these tracts, The huntyng and fyndyng out of the Romishe fox (1543), suggests that Henry has tried to drive the pope out of England, but he still has followers there, and asks Henry’s permission to hunt out Gardiner and any papal followers.57 Two years later, Turner’s next dedication to Henry takes on a much angrier tone, noting that previously he warned Henry about Gardiner, he knows that Henry is aware of his previous book, and that now someone is protecting Gardiner so that he cannot be removed from England.58 In this dedication, Turner offers no flattery to Henry, but



is angry with Henry for not taking his advice previously. Now, he counsels Henry that not only is it bad enough that Gardiner is still in England, but also that Henry will look weak and non-committal if he is known to harbour a papist. Turner’s decision to not use flattery and veiled counsel resulted in his name being included ‘in a condemnatory royal proclamation’ in July 1546 and cautiously returning to England after Henry’s death.59 This is one clear example where loyalty to religion was punished by Henry rather than embraced as supportive of Henry’s statuary changes. Interestingly, there are very few extant dedications to Henry that remained loyal to the papacy. The only two may be Richard Smith’s dedications in 1546, The assertion and defence of the sacrament of the aulter60 and A defence of the blessed masse.61 Both of these dedications offered Henry only praise and were later burnt by the Edwardian regime, during which Smith offered recantations. However, under Mary I, Smith regained prominence as a Catholic polemicist.62 This is interesting because it has been shown in recent historiography that the English reformations were far from being final or accepted by all during Henry’s reign, so there must have been Roman Catholic writers in England who would have written to their king to stop the Reformation, reconcile with the papacy, or not dissolve the monasteries.63 Perhaps books by these authors were banned from being printed in the first place.64

Conclusion In all of the dedications received by Henry VIII, loyalty is one obvious thread that ties these books together. Unlike the numerous books that Henry collected and stored in his royal libraries, Henry did not choose the books dedicated to him, they were chosen for him by authors and translators.65 For approximately the first twenty-five years of his reign, Henry received dedications that appealed for patronage or sought to establish a textual relationship with Henry so as to increase a text’s readability, saleability and authority. In these early dedications, dedicators showed loyalty to themselves, while using the traditional trope of duty to inform the monarch of the merits of his book. After the break with Rome, book dedicators shifted their strategies from being loyal to themselves, to being more overtly loyal to either their religious position or to the crown so as not to be suspected of hostility towards Henry and his new policies. Dedicators loyal to the crown used devotional, supplicating language and praised Henry for his abilities as a monarch. Often, these same men wrote



dedications to Henry’s children, both before and after their accessions. Those dedicators who were loyal to their religion tended not to use praise and flattery towards Henry, but challenge him to take his reform further, knowing that their words could provoke his ire. While book dedications are only one small piece of book history related to Henry VIII, loyalty as represented in book dedications shows how one group of men approached Henry via literary sources.

Notes 1. Felicity Heal has recently explained gift-giving in early modern England. See her chapter ‘The Politics of Gift-Exchange Under the Tudors’, in The Power of Gifts: Gift-exchange in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2014), pp. 87–120. 2. V. Schutte, Mary I and the Art of Book Dedications: Royal Women, Power, and Persuasion (New York, 2015); V.  Schutte, ‘Perceptions of Sister Queens: A Comparison of Printed Book Dedications to Mary and Elizabeth Tudor’, Sederi Yearbook 27 (2017), 149–66; V.  Schutte, ‘Perceptions of Princesses: Pre-Accession Book Dedications to Mary and Elizabeth Tudor’, in Unexpected Heirs in Early Modern Europe: Potential Kings and Queens, ed. V. Schutte (New York, 2017), pp. 63–83; E. Dearnley, Translators and Their Prologues in Medieval England (Cambridge, 2016); C.  Guardiola-­ Griffiths, Legitimizing the Queen: Propaganda and Ideology in the Reign of Isabel I of Castile (Lewisburg, 2011); N.  Baranda Leturio, ‘Women’s Reading Habits: Book Dedications to Female Patrons in Early Modern Spain’, in Women’s Literacy in Early Modern Spain and the New World, ed. A. J. Cruz and R. Hernández (Surrey, 2011), pp. 19–39; J. Buchtel, ‘“To the Most High and Excellent Prince”: Dedicating Books to Henry, Prince of Wales’, in Prince Henry Revived: Image and Exemplarity in Early Modern England, ed. T. V. Wilks (London, 2008), pp. 104–33. 3. Schutte, ‘Perceptions of Sister Queens’, pp. 154–5. 4. BL, Royal MS 7DX (Elizabeth’s trilingual translation of Katherine Parr’s Prayers or Meditations). The dedication is dated 30 December 1545. The dedication is in Latin. This English translation comes from Elizabeth I, Translations 1544–1589, ed. J. Mueller and J. Scodel (Chicago, 2009), p. 136. 5. The workes of Geffray Chaucer newly printed, with dyuers workes whiche were neuer in print before (London, 1532), Short-Title Catalogue (afterwards STC) 5068. 6. T. Whittington, Libellus Epygrammaton (London, 1519), STC 25540.5. 7. John Gower de Confessione Amantis (London, 1532), STC 12143. A copy of this book was in Henry VIII’s library inventory, suggesting that he was



aware of the text and may have read it: J. P. Carley, The Libraries of King Henry VIII (London, 2000), p. 63. 8. Simon Fish, A supplicacyon for beggers (Antwerp(?), 1529), STC 10883. 9. Fish, A supplicacyon, f. 1v. 10. Sir Thomas Elyot, The boke named the gouernour (London, 1531), STC 7635. 11. Stephen Hawes, A ioyfull medytacyon to all Englonde of the coronacyon of our moost natural souerayne lorde kynge Henry the eight (London, 1509), STC 12953. 12. V. Schutte, ‘The Politics of Dedicated Printed Books and Manuscripts to King Henry VII’, Journal of the Early Book Society 19 (2016), pp. 154–6. 13. Schutte, Mary I, p. 8. 14. Hawes, A ioyful medytacyon, f. 4v. 15. John Palsgrave, Lesclarcissement de la langue francoyse (London, 1524 and 1530), STC 19166. 16. Palsgrave, Lesclarcissement, A. ii.r. 17. Ibid., A. ii.r. 18. Ibid., A. ii.v. 19. Ibid., A. iii.r. 20. G. Stein, ‘John Palsgrave’, in ODNB, available at: https://www.oxforddnb. com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/ odnb-9780198614128-e-21227?rskey=dE9JqB&result=1 (accessed 20 March 2016). 21. Ioannis Palsgraui Londoniensis, ecphrasis Anglica in comoediam Acolasti, The comedye of Acolastus translated into oure englysshe tongue (London, 1540), STC 11470. 22. David Starkey, ‘An Attendant Lord? Henry Parker, Lord Morley’, in ‘Triumphs of English’: Henry Parker, Lord Morley Translator to the Tudor Court, ed. J. P. Carley and M. Axton (London, 2000), pp. 2, 10. 23. For a record of all known manuscripts and printed books given by Parker, see J.  P. Carley, ‘The Writings of Henry Parker, Lord Morley: A Bibliographic Survey’, in ‘Triumphs of English’, ed. Carley and Axton, pp. 27–68. See also, Carley, Libraries, pp. xlvi–li; Forty-Six Lives Translated from Boccaccio’s De Claris Mulieribus by Henry Parker, Lord Morley, ed. H.  G. Wright (Oxford, 1943), pp. lii–lxiii. All dedications written by Parker appear in an appendix in this same volume, Forty-Six Lives, ed. Wright, pp. 160–90. 24. Text of the dedication taken from the reprint in Forty-Six Lives, ed. Wright, p. 161. For dating, see Carley, ‘The Writings of Henry Parker’, pp. 28–9, 31, 40–5. BL, Royal MS 17 DXI. 25. Text of the dedication taken from the reprint in Forty-Six Lives, ed. Wright, p. 165. For dating, see Carley, ‘The Writings of Henry Parker’, pp. 28–9, 32.



26. Forty-Six Lives, ed. Wright, p. 165. 27. Starkey, ‘An Attendant Lord?’, p. 18; Schutte, Mary I, pp. 82–90. 28. Text as reprinted in ‘Triumphs of English’, ed. Axton and Carley, p. 253; BL, Add. MS 12060, f. 2r. 29. Starkey, ‘An Attendant Lord?’, p. 19. 30. R.  Rex, ‘Morley and the Papacy: Rome, Regime, and Religion’, in ‘Triumphs of English’, ed. Axton and Carley, p. 87. 31. Ibid., p. 101. 32. Carley, ‘The Writings of Henry Parker’, p.  27; Rex, ‘Morley and the Papacy’, p. 89. Morley’s daughter, Jane, was wife to George Boleyn, executed for being sexually involved with his sister Anne, Henry VIII’s second wife. 33. G.  Eatough, ‘Thomas Paynell’, in ODNB, available at: https://www. oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/ odnb-9780198614128-e-21661?rskey=RWkQYW&result=1 (accessed 13 March 2016). 34. Ibid. 35. H.  Moore, ‘Gathering Fruit: The “Profitable” Translations of Thomas Paynell’, in Tudor Translation, ed. F.  Schurink (New York, 2011), pp. 40, 45. 36. Constanzo Felice, The conspiracie of Lvcivs Catiline translated into englishe by Thomas Paynell, worthy, profitable and pleasaunt to be red (London, 1541), STC 10751, A. ii.v. 37. Thomas More, The workes of Sir Thomas More Knyght, sometime Lorde Chauncellour of England, written by him in the Englysh tonge (London, 1557), STC 18076, C. ii.v. 38. Thomas Elyot, The Dictionary of syr Thomas Eliot knyght (London, 1538), STC 7659. 39. Thomas Elyot, Bibliotheca Eliotae or Eliotes dictionarie the second tyme enriched, and more perfectly corrected, by Thomas Cooper, schole maister of Maudlens in Oxforde (London, 1552), STC 7662. 40. Thomas Gemini, Compendios a totius anatomie delineation (London, 1545), STC 11714; T. Gemini, Compendios a totius anatomie delineation (London, 1553), STC 11715.5; T. Gemini, Compendios a totius anatomie delineation (London, 1559), STC 11718. 41. P.  M. Jones, ‘Thomas Gemini’, in ODNB, available at: https://www. oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/ odnb-9780198614128-e-10513?rskey=Es9CS4&result=1 (accessed 13 March 2016). 42. Miles Coverdale, Biblia the Bible, that is, the holy Scripture of the Olde and New Testament, faithfully and truly translated out of the Douche and Latyn in to Englishe (Cologne(?), 1535), STC 2063.



43. Ibid., + ii.v. 44. Ibid., + ii.v. 45. Ibid., + ii.r. 46. Ibid., + iii.v. 47. The Byble which is all the holy Scripture: in which are contained the Olde and Newe Testament truly and purely translated into Englysh by Thomas Matthew (Antwerp, 1537), STC 2066, f. 5v. 48. Ibid., f. 5v. 49. Sir Francis Bigod, A treatise concernynge impropriations of benefices (London, 1535), STC 4240. 50. Sextus Julius Frontinus, The strategemes, sleyghtes, and policies of warre, gathered togyther, by S.  Iulius Frontinus, and translated into Englyshe, by Rycharde Morysine (London, 1539), STC 11402. 51. Richard Tracy, The profe and declaration of thys proposition: faith only iustifieth: gathered and set forth by Richarde Tracy (London, 1543(?)), STC 24164. 52. Erasmus, Common places of scripture ordrely and after a compendious forme of teachynge, set forth with no little labour, to the great profyte and helpe of all suche studentes in gods worde as haue not had long exercise in the same by the right excellent clerke Erasmus Sarcerius. Translated into Englysh by Rychard Tauerner (London, 1538), STC 21753, A. iv.v; Wolfgang Capito, An epitome of the Psalmes, or briefe meditacions vpon the same, with diuerse other moste Christian prayers, translated by Richard Tauerner (London, 1539), STC 2748, f. 2v. 53. The most sacred Bible, whiche is the Holy Scripture conteyning the Old and New Testament, translated into English, and newly recognised with great diligence after most faithful exemplars, by Rychard Taverner (London, 1539), STC 2067. 54. Taverner as cited in Erasmus, Common places, A. iii.v, A. iv.r, A. iv.v. 55. A.  W. Taylor, ‘Richard Taverner’, in ODNB, available at: https://www. oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/ odnb-9780198614128-e-27006?rskey=n1Rw2A&result=1 (accessed 13 March 2016). 56. All biographical information comes from W. R. D. Jones, ‘William Turner’, in ODNB, available at: https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-2 7874?rskey=IZ19rK&result=9 (accessed 13 March 2016). 57. William Turner, The hunyng & fyndyng out of the Romishe fox whiche more than seuen yeares hath bene hyd among the bisshoppes of Englong after that the Kynges hyghnes had commanded hym to be dryuen out of hys realme (Basel, 1543), STC 24353.



58. William Turner, The rescuynge of the romishe fox other wyse called the examination of the hunter deuised by steuen gardiner (Winchester, 1545), STC 24355. 59. Jones, ‘William Turner’. 60. Richard Smith, The assertion and defence of the sacramente of the aulter (London, 1546), STC 22815. 61. Richard Smith, A defence of the blessed masse (London, 1546), STC 22820. 62. J.  A. Löwe, ‘Richard Smyth’, in ODNB, available at: https://www. oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/ odnb-9780198614128-e-25885?rskey=2vYKwo&result=3 (accessed 13 March 2016). 63. C. Haigh, The English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society under the Tudors (Oxford, 1993); E. Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c. 1400–c. 1580 (New Haven and London, 1992). 64. C. S. Clegg, Press Censorship in Elizabethan England (Cambridge, 1997), pp. 26–7. 65. For the complete list of books in Henry’s libraries, see Carley, Libraries. See also J. P. Carley, The Books of King Henry VIII and his Wives (London, 2004): for a discussion of books given to Henry at New Year and mention of books dedicated to him, see pp. 53–79.


Loyalty to the Later Tudors and Early Stuarts


Not ‘to Confound Predicaments’: Loyalty and the Common Law, c. 1400–1688 Michael A. Heimos

In 1607, suits were initiated in King’s Bench and Chancery concerning two estates in England that were conveyed to the young Robert Calvin. Robert was born in Edinburgh after 1603, the year of the accession to the throne of England by James VI of Scotland. Robert’s guardians, John and William Parkinson, claimed that Robert had been forcibly dispossessed of the two estates, one by the brothers Nicholas and Robert Smith, and another by a certain ‘Bingley’. The defendants in both cases responded with pleas ‘in disability of Robert Calvin’s person’, that Calvin’s writs were inadmissible because the child was an alien, born ‘within [James’] kingdom of Scotland, and out of the allegiance of the said lord the King of his kingdom of England’. Under English law, an alien was unable to be seised of a freehold in England. The answering pleas established the issue of the case: whether the postnati (i.e., Scottish subjects born within the kingdom of Scotland after the accession of James VI to the throne of England) would have the status of English subjects of James I, king of England, and thus able to take inheritances to lands in England. M. A. Heimos (*) St Cross College, Oxford, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_7




In what became known as Calvin’s Case (1608),1 Lord Justice Edward Coke reported the holding that a subject’s loyalty to the sovereign was both a natural and legal duty that flowed from the Creator and his creation, and not from the operation of positive laws and formal political compacts, English or otherwise. Loyalty (synonymous with ‘allegiance’ or ‘ligeance’) was purely an abstraction, a thought-emotion that, though ephemeral, nevertheless formed the legal, social, and political bedrock of England. Coke defined its essence thusly: [T]hat ligeance, and faith and truth, which are her members and parts, are qualities of the mind and soul of a man and cannot be circumscribed within the predicament of ubi, for that were to confound predicaments, and to go about to drive (an absurd and impossible thing) the predicament of quality into the predicament of ubi … But yet for the greater illustration of the matter, the point was handled by itself, and that ligeance of the subject was of as great an extent and latitude, as the royal power and protection of the King, et è converso.2

For Coke and the other judges of the case, since the essence of loyalty could not be constrained within the bounds of matter, but was nevertheless imposed by the law of nature (i.e., ultimately, by God), neither could loyalty be constrained by the border between Scotland and England. Therefore, the corresponding royal power and protection of James VI/I would not be confounded with respect to his loyal postnati. The natural sovereignty of the king under the concept of ‘the king’s two bodies’ was et è converso to the loyalty the postnati owed to the king, jurisdictional borderlines notwithstanding. Therefore, the postnati born in Scotland were, truly, by nature subjects of James I of England, and they would be able inter alia to inherit and hold lands in England. Eventually, Calvin’s Case came to be seen as the root of the most influential expression of the common law maxim nemo potest exuere patriam: a person’s subject (or alien) status was vested at birth and was based upon his or her place of birth; and being born within lands under the ligeance of the sovereign vested subject-ness, immutably, for the life of the subject. In her thorough analysis and contextualisation of Calvin’s Case, Polly Price situated that decision within the broader contexts of English, Scottish, and continental legal and political thought.3 Price argued that the judges’ resort to natural/divine law in resolving the English inheritance issues served to play a much wider role in James VI/I’s plans to



unite Scotland and England, and that it answered the wide-ranging search for a legal solution to the issue of which classes of persons were entitled to the general benefits of English law.4 Price carefully explained the various arguments (most notably of Sir Francis Bacon, James’ solicitor general)5 and the reported judgement (discussing both Coke’s and Lord Chancellor Ellesmere’s versions), perhaps more carefully than the original authors did themselves. She suggested that lawyers in both the civil and common law traditions had made contributions to the surrounding discourse on the issues presented, and that the political debates that precede the litigation involved the consideration of examples of how other legal systems articulated the relationship of ruler to subjects within hereditary kingdoms. Price further posited that the works of Thomas Craig and Jean Bodin provided solutions that were similar to the one that ultimately prevailed in Calvin’s Case. That is, Price identified a resonance—though not specific, actual connections—between Bodin’s Republique and Craig’s De Unione with Bacon’s arguments and Coke’s report. All the foregoing commentators had identified that the duty of allegiance resulted from a natural law of divine origin that at the same time underlies and supersedes all the man-­ made or ‘positive’ laws of all kingdoms. This common duty would firstly make one a subject, and secondly it would unite all of the king’s subjects, regardless of the existence of separate laws and systems within the separate kingdoms. Still, Price had to limit her view of the case’s influence, allowing that the immediate immigration effects of Calvin’s Case in England were minimal, and that as an enduring precedent the case did not garner much comment—positive or negative—in England for the remainder of the seventeenth century.6 Unlike the other chapters in this volume, which discuss loyalty in its political, social, religious, and cultural contexts, this chapter aims to provide a snapshot of the fundamental law of loyalty which developed in Britain during this period. It will show that the law of loyalty both reflected and guided the general discourse of loyalty in the British kingdoms, and that this legally required thought-emotion had weighty social and legal implications for subjects. The second part of this chapter highlights Calvin’s Case as an apt paradigm of the early modern blend of law and religion, but before this, the first section will discuss an earlier ruling, Storie’s Case (1571),7 and Francis Marbury’s sermon on Ecclesiastes 10:20, preached at the Spittle upon the Tuesday in Easter (1602).8 These two sources connect neatly, and in tandem speak to the wider transmission of the story of immutable subject-ness during our period. In relation to



Prof. Price’s work in this area, the first section of this chapter argues that Calvin’s Case was neither the earliest, nor the most immediately influential, ruling that a subject’s permanent duty of loyalty was vested at birth and was based upon the place of his or her birth.9 And finally, a few words as Epilogue will go towards some legal impositions that have arisen well outside our period, merely to show that (in agreement with Price), Calvin’s Case and its aftermath illustrate the tenacity of a legal doctrine accorded ‘natural law’ status in the late medieval period, long after the political and social situation prompting its formulation changed.10

‘As You Know the Storie of Storie’ In sharp contrast to the voluminous Calvin’s Case, the entirety of Storie’s Case is reported in one elegant paragraph: Doctor Storie, who is notoriously known to be born in England, s. at Salisbury, and by this a subject and liegeman of the realm of the Queen of England, was arraigned of high-treason in [King’s Bench] at Westminster, in this Term, upon an indictment there taken by a jury to enquire in Middlesex, for the three causes of treason in the last term, [f. 298.] committed and perpetuated at Antwerp, in parts of Brabant. And in the indictment he was supposed to be an Englishman born, which he confessed; but he pleaded to the indictment that he would not answer to it, for he was subject and serjeant to King Philip of Spain, and not a subject of our Lady the Queen Elizabeth, and had been so for the space of seven years; and prayed that his plea might be entered and allowed: but the Court would not allow this, but recorded a nihil dicit, if he would not plea otherwise; who would not say otherwise; wherefore judgment of treason was given generally &c.11

Thus Storie, having entered the service of Spain, argued that his English duty of loyalty and his English subject-ness had been wiped away by his swearing of allegiance to Phillip, whereby he had renounced or abandoned the queen and substituted Philip; arguendo he simply was not an English subject, with no duty of loyalty to the queen, at the time of the allegedly treasonous acts. The court seems to have exhibited a level of generosity in giving Storie the opportunity to plead substantively, which he apparently refused to do, intransigent in his theory of substitution (what we now would call, ‘expatriation’).12 Compared to Calvin’s Case, which has an ornate discussion, this failure to plead allowed the court to rule summarily and with thin analysis. The place of birth, established by both notoriety



and confession, was the key fact, and there was no need for further showing of any other facts—that the kingdoms were at war, as to the counts and gravity of Storie’s treasonous activity, and so on. The ruling makes clear that the court applied, at least what it perceived to be, a well-­ established rule of law: an English subject was a person born in England, and he or she could not later deny subject status and deprive the sovereign of the subject’s loyalty. Nihil dicit reads, in this context, as a bit deeper than a simple rule of pleading; here, to have stated that one renounced or abandoned the sovereign was to have stated nothing at all. Thus, the court in Storie’s Case confirmed that under common law the renunciation of the English sovereign was an impossibility.13 This would remain the fundamental English/British rule of immutable subject-ness for the next three centuries. It is fair to say that the facts which come forth from sources outside of the reported decision in Storie’s Case are much more compelling and dramatic than the inheritance issue presented in Calvin’s Case.14 John Storie had studied civil law at Oxford, graduated as bachelor in 1531, took the first ever lectureship in civil law at the university in 1535 and then the doctorate in civil law in 1538, and was admitted as an advocate to the Doctor’s Commons in 1539. The brilliant but tempestuous Storie won a seat in the parliament that met in the autumn of 1547, and it took only two sessions for him to earn his first censure and trip to the Tower. His paraphrasing of Ecclesiastes 10:16 during the debates on the Uniformity Bill, ‘woe unto the land whose king is a child’, resulted in the first known removal and jailing by the Commons of one of its own members. Resolutely Catholic and anti-Edward, Storie apologised only in order to gain his release; he fled England shortly thereafter, and established residence in Louvain. Storie returned to England and to his lectureship at Oxford after Edward’s death in 1553. Soon he was appointed to the chancellorship of the dioceses of London and Oxford, and forward from these appointments Storie gained notoriety as an especially enthusiastic figure in the Marian Restoration and the heresy prosecutions. Appointed to every Marian commission that enquired into heresies, seditious books, and conspiracies, Storie’s most famous exploit was his role in the “Oxford martyrs” episode and his inspired examination of Archbishop Cranmer, which everted Cranmer’s defence and gave Mary a fine pearl of a Protestant recantation. But as Ecclesiastes would say, vanitas vanitatum, as Mary’s death in November 1558 ended Storie’s tenure as a tormentor of heretics.



Having returned to the Commons in Elizabeth’s first parliament, Storie railed against the bill for the Act of Supremacy and bragged about his Marian prosecutorial activities during the debates, which put him in peril of arrest yet again. Nevertheless, he remained free until about May 1560, when he was imprisoned in the Fleet. He appears to have remained under incarceration there until the spring of 1563, after the passage of the Supremacy of the Crown Act 1562 put the dilemma of the Tudor oath before English Catholics: swear allegiance to Elizabeth; refuse once and lose all lands and suffer imprisonment; refuse a second time (in prison of course) and be executed for treason.15 Storie elected to avoid that whole business and to escape from the Fleet, which he successfully achieved on 30 April 1563 by scaling the wall and running straight to the Spanish ambassador’s residence. There, arrangements were made to scurry Storie safely out of England, and he wound up in the Netherlands. By 1566 the duke of Alva arrived and Storie worked his way into the duke’s employment as a ‘searcher’ of docking vessels, tasked to prevent entry of contraband Protestant literature into the Spanish-controlled Netherlands. He soon gained a reputation for extra-thorough inspection and outright harassment of English crews and merchants, which he parlayed into more influence with the duke and with the growing English exile community in and near Antwerp. Unfortunately for Storie, the exile community had been infiltrated by a John Prestall, who had been engaged as an intelligencer by Lord Burghley towards locating and surveilling English fugitives and conspirators. Obviously, the engagement eventually grew to abduction and repatriation of fugitives as well. For, by 1570, Prestall had met and gained Storie’s trust and, as far as the doctor knew, the pair were plotting the deaths of young James VI of Scotland and of Elizabeth, and even planning an outright invasion of England from the Netherlands; all along, Prestall was working with a team of agents on a plan to kidnap the doctor. By Ronald Pollitt’s count there were at least twelve men involved in the caper: Burghley at the top as spymaster; at least one general coordinator, and another local supervisor; a paymaster; Prestall and other pre-abduction cajolers of Storie; the actual kidnappers (three); and complicit ship’s captain and crew.16 Bouncing from ship to ship, from Antwerp to Bergen-on-Zoom, supposedly looking for an elusive cache of Protestant contraband books, the team led Storie on for eight days ‘until I was clapped fast under the hatches’ of a final ship and was taken to Yarmouth.17 But even then the elderly Storie displayed a grizzly-ness, escaping briefly from his involuntary accommodation, only to be



recaptured minutes or hours later, found in the home of a Yarmouth abettor, a Mr Gosling. By September 1570, Storie was in the Lollard’s Tower, where he had examined so many prisoners during the Marian prosecutions, and by December he was in the Tower of London. There he may have suffered torture, but he surely was being manipulated and interrogated, perhaps even by a planted Prestall, for further intelligence on the English fugitives and exiles in the Netherlands. Finally, on 26 May 1571, Storie was tried for his offences. Although the trial seems to have been brief, for it turned on the failure to plead as indicated above, there is slight confusion about just how Storie was tried: one version of the matter has him taken from the Tower to Westminster Hall, where he was arraigned before the Queen’s Bench on charge of high treason; another version suggests that he was tried by parliament on charges of conspiring with Prestall to kill the queen.18 In any case, Storie’s conviction resulted from his abject denial of being a subject of the queen and answerable to his duty of loyalty under English law. Although Storie clearly thought he was dying for his adherence to his Catholic faith, let us not forget the role played in his demise by his passion for Roman law, imbued within him at Oxford, and which was rejected by the court in Storie’s Case. As reported in Howell’s State Trials: Then said the lord Hunsdon, Are you not the queen’s subject? You was born in England. Then said Storie, Every man is free-born, and he hath the whole face of the earth before him to dwell and abide in where he liketh best; and if he cannot live here, he may go elsewhere.19

Ronald Pollitt has made a compelling argument that this harrowing fugitive abduction (which is comparable to the capture of Adolf Eichmann),20 the first major success of the renowned Elizabethan intelligence operation, was the affair that made Lord Burghley’s reputation as a spymaster. It surely sent a terrible warning that ‘he is no where safe from his prince’, that future opponents of the crown could expect ‘a wonderfull vigillancye in every action that her Maty and yor L [Cecil] doth intend’.21 But how truly effective the Storie matter was in deterring sundry disloyalties is at least debatable (especially in light of Lacey Baldwin Smith’s scholarship on the persistence of the ‘unbelievably bungling and self-defeating’ acts of disloyalty that occurred in the Tudor era).22 As Pollitt reported, Protestant polemicists immediately ran with a narrative out of the concern that English Catholics would only be emboldened, and sorely mocked the



way Storie took his execution as being especially undignified, but overall it seems those polemicists lost, at least in the short term of the next few decades. Subsequent events show that English Catholicism did not lose its power to inspire what could be seen as bungling and self-defeating acts, and surely to some real extent the counter-narrative of martyrdom was an effective short-term comfort to faithful English Catholics, ‘it is a subject of gratitude to God that [Storie] has still preserved such men as this in England’.23 And though it is clearly correct that the Storie operation was a coup that set a standard for intelligence operations throughout the remainder of Elizabeth’s reign, what Pollitt did not expand upon was the real staying power of the story of Storie, either as an element in wider cultural discourses of loyalty, or as strictly a matter of legal precedent in loyalty/subject-ness/treason cases. What follows now is one brief example of the story of Storie appearing in transmission, where the concept of an immutable duty of loyalty to the English sovereign emerged within a religious (Protestant and official church) context. Francis Marbury gave the Tuesday Easter week sermon at the Spittle in 1602, about one year before the final sunset of the Tudor dynasty and thirty-one years after Doctor Storie’s execution. Marbury chose to preach from Ecclesiastes 10:20 as his base text. The version of that verse in The Geneva Bible reads: Curse not the King, no not in thy thought, neither curse the rich in thy bed chamber: for the soule of the heauen shall carie the voice, & that which hath wings, shall declare the matter.24

Marbury had set up this epigraph by crafting an introductory, paraphrastic dialogue-epigraph ‘betweene Salomon and his Subject’ that he gleaned from the verses of Ecclesiastes 10: 4–19; the last part of the Subject’s dialogue opens with the verse shouted in parliament by Doctor Storie three decades before: ‘woe to thee O Land, when thy king is a childe, and thy Princes eate in the morning’.25 Lacey Baldwin Smith led his study with this verse as a touchstone, for indeed Solomonic literature generally, and this provision from Ecclesiastes specifically, were the main biblical sources for the notion, put forth so vehemently by the authorities in Tudor England, that sedition and treason were simultaneously political, natural, and religious abominations, and that traitors are answerable to God as well as to the authorities.26 Smith was exaggerating, though not much, in offering that ‘every Englishman



knew the words of Ecclesiastes reiterated in endless official admonitions concerning rebellion’, put forth to blend religious conformity, obedience of the ‘common sort’ to magistrates, and loyalty to the sovereign.27 The message was also palpable in admonitions conveyed outside of, strictly speaking, official proclamations on loyalty. In his Greenwich royal chapel sermon on Ecclesiastes 12: 1–7 given in 1573,28 Bishop Richard Curteys made abundantly clear that his auditores and readers should be ‘thankful unto God for this and other good fruites of the labourers in his vineyards’, and those labourers surely included the queen, as ‘[t]he grace and mercie of God hathe planted the vyneyarde of his Churche in a fertile ground: hath hedged it with his law … hathe made a wine presse of Princes, Judges, and Magistrates … and giveth them the Crowne of mercye and goodnesse’.29 All such things as Curteys would have been expected to say, given the royal chapel setting. Marbury’s at the Spittle revolves round a verse that is all the more direct to allegiance than the one chosen by Curteys; it is a prima facie exhortation to be loyal and obedient to sovereign and magistrate, ‘in thy thought’ and ‘in thy bed chamber’. He spent no time mincing words, concluding his epistolary with the connection of the book’s famous hermeneutic of ‘vanity’ to the requirement of sovereign loyalty: anyone who, like Marbury, is ‘ambitious of loue and quietnesse in my countrey’, should ‘turne all our unnecessarie medlings with Counsels and States, to prayers & thanksgivings for our blessed Lady Queen Elizabeth’, as ‘other surmises are vaine’30—all such things as Marbury would have been expected to say, given the occasion of his ‘first calling to preach at the Spittle’ and the turnabout which distinguishes his vocational evolution (aspects to which we will return shortly).31 Although he opened the sermon by appropriating a recent puritan exegetical innovation (a take on Ecclesiastes’ opening verses that suggests a resolutely repentant, humbled, and feminised Solomon),32 within a few lines Marbury spun back-round to his selected base verse, steering the sermon into an unequivocally authoritarian, classically Tudor use of the text. ‘The principall question of this chap[ter]. beginning it … that subiects that are godly wise, ought to represse in themselues al insurrection of mind, against the supposed scandales of civill administrations, and against the doings of princes, and that a disloyal thought ought not to bee lent thereunto’.33 The Marbury we see in at the Spittle was almost exclusively concerned with affirming the subject’s duty of loyalty to Elizabeth, set in relief with a thoroughgoing anti-Catholic polemic. He did take care to connect his themes with other conceptual aspects for which Ecclesiastes is



well-known—for example, the scripture’s enigmatic stance on epistemological issues, with Marbury being critical of ‘liberal science’ and ‘the rules of the … newe learning’.34 But in general, at the Spittle is a straightforward warning against the indulgence in quarrelsome thoughts against the sovereign or her magistrates. That is to state, even silent disloyalty imperils one’s very soul. A person that fails to ‘keepe tenderly in the reines of their consciences the reuerence of their prince’ is not only a traitor, but is forsaken of the Holy Ghost,35 which is tantamount to his/her being a hypocrite or a reprobate. ‘There is not one man in all these dominions, that desireth a change [in sovereign other than Elizabeth], except he be given over into a reprobate sense’.36 Furthermore, a disloyal conscience can be prodded by Satan himself to tip one over into atheism or popery. And set within the midst of his general polemical hammering, Marbury pointedly attacked exiled English Catholicism,37 its tie to Storie and to the doctor’s contractarian thinking on English subject-ness. Marbury introduced this invective with a rhetorical question and answer as to the position of the ‘Rhemists’, a commonplace that referred to the scholars and students at the English Catholic seminary at Rheims: But what say the Rhemists to this matter? Forsooth that everie man must not be subject to all that be in office, or superioritie; but euerie one to him whom God hath put in authority ouer him, by that he is his superior, and that onely in matters of peace and policie &c. but not in matters of religion or regiment of soules. Where note first that these counterfait Catholicks haue taken libertie to change euen their ciuill superior (as you know the storie of Storie) and that howsoeuer they pretend to be subject in matters of policie, yet they be not without their evasion. For even matters of policie must be judged to be matters of religion, and matters of regiment of soules, if their spiritual superiour doe once so deem them and doome them: yea (which is the complement of all absurditie to holde, and the quintessence of treacherie to resolue of) they play fast and loose, and submit themselues with a quatenus, a popish one I wis, no longer then till they be strong enough to resist and rebell, for then they holde their consciences discharged. And so may Princes see what sure cardes they haue of Papists. But let us leaue them, and let us come to our selues, who by the grace of God doe protest our obedience to our Soueraigne, not after a popish, that is to say, a sophisticall manner.38

The recusant William Allen had fled England in 1565 and founded a Catholic seminary at Douai, Flanders, in 1568; in 1578 the English were expelled from the community and the seminary was moved to Rheims, where it found protection of the French government and the Guise family;



and the general Rhemist programme was to train and ordain exiled Englishman and return them to England as Catholic priests, ready to teach and preach the traditional faith and perhaps reel back the English Reformation. (The reference to the Rhemists also has at least an oblique tie to the matter of Storie—in the early 1580s, Joan Storie, the doctor’s wife, had stayed at the college whilst their son John studied for his ordination. And apparently, the then Cardinal William Allen found her to be as irascible as her late husband.39) In this portion of at the Spittle Marbury relates more or less accurately the Rhemist theory that Catholics could live in obedience and loyalty to the English sovereign and her magistrates in the political sense, but could be true to Rome and their consciences in ‘matters of religion or regiment of soules’. This theory Marbury threw out as utterly disingenuous, that the Rhemists, presumably including Storie’s own son, are ‘counterfait’ both in their faith and as subjects. But most striking here is the direct connection Marbury makes to Storie’s Case— that someone had ‘taken libertie to change euen their ciuill superior (as you know the storie of Storie)’—which reads as both a transmission of the core story, and a reflection of the commonly held understanding of the core story. As to it constituting a reflection of the story, the passage betrays an abiding knowledge of the matter, the very brevity and rhyme of the reference being its most telling attribute. Marbury certainly could have driven home his point by compendiously listing various other stories of executed English Catholic traitors, for example, Edmund Campion, but instead he chose to drop the single story of Storie, ‘as you know …’; thus, it seems we can fairly read, that Marbury was confident that the story still held currency in the social discourse of his own times. And as to it constituting a transmission of the story, Marbury’s reference surely is a concise, accurate statement of the case’s holding, that no one born in England can effectively renounce the English sovereign and enter into the allegiance of another ruler. It is clear that Marbury was thinking that most people would understand the reference, and those who did not (such as the very young) would get it distilled for them through other means, and they eventually would internalise the message along with their compatriots. We can analogise to another case that is in daily transmission and reflection in current American social discourse: fifty years on, no one in the United States needs to be a legal scholar familiar with Miranda v. Arizona40 to know that during an arrest they have a right to remain silent, and if they were not first ‘read their rights’ or ‘Mirandized’ the arrest was unlawful. Basic knowledge of this rule of law and its story is both a reflection of what



people have heard in various and sundry sources, and they also can transmit that story to their fellows with relative ease, by repeating the jargon and relating their various and sundry sources. To Marbury, the story of Storie’s Case still was, some thirty years on, a matter of and for the conventional wisdom of the crowd at the Spital. It is no shock that Marbury gave an authority affirming, anti-Catholic sermon at his first Spital sermon. The outdoor pulpit at St Mary’s Spital was the pulpit in the former churchyard of St Mary’s hospital in Spitalfields, and it was London’s second-largest and second-most popular homiletical site after the one at Paul’s Cross. The two pulpits were used in tandem for London’s Easter sermon series: on Good Friday there was a sermon at Paul’s Cross on the Passion, followed by sermons at the Spital on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after Easter; on the following Sunday, another preacher at Paul’s Cross would summarise and review the four preceding sermons before preaching a final sermon that afternoon. Although the usual theme of the Easter Spital sermons was the importance of almsgiving, meant to garner support for the city’s hospital and to encourage donations taken during the occasion, themes of politics and what Marbury called the ‘politique vertues’ were frequently presented as well.41 Although the outdoor pulpits attracted vast crowds of the ‘common sort’, the preachers were beholden for their appointments to the city’s officials, the bishop of London in the case of Paul’s Cross, and the court of aldermen in the case of the Spital. In both cases, the eminence of the court of aldermen, attending in their full livery, only reinforced the fundamental reality that those spaces were under the control of the authorities, and that the sermons given were not only authoritative theologically but were expected to be friendly to authority.42 Furthermore, it was soon after publication of A parte of a register that Marbury the non-conformist puritan made sea change in his outlook; his stint(s) in gaol apparently proved effective, as after about 1590 Marbury learned to bite his rebellious tongue, had married, and started a family (he was the father of the famous/infamous Anne Hutchinson). By 1594 he was preaching in London, and in 1596 he would declare that he did not favour the erection of presbyteries, ‘[f]or men have enough to do to stand by that religion which her blessed Majesty hath approved unto us by her express laws’.43 So when Marbury delivered at the Spittle in 1602, his serious non-­ conformities were things of the past, and his ‘Northampton hothead’ style of puritanism had definitely cooled.44 Although the epistle for at the Spittle can be read to protest too much that his printed sermon is true to the one



that he delivered live, it was quite normal practice to make alterations from verbal delivery to print, and for the minister to affirm the faithfulness of the printed product.45 Substantively, the sermon reads as four-square within the trend among ‘moderate’ puritan divines of the 1590s, to use anti-Catholic polemics as a means to widen boundaries and to encourage greater unity amongst English Protestants, cloaking in anti-popery their expositions on contentious doctrinal issues.46 Indeed, Marbury echoed himself only a few months later in his Paul’s Cross sermon: ‘when men are lost this way [to Catholicism], they are lost to God, and they are lost to their prince: there is not a papist made, but Queene Elizabeth loseth a subject’.47 Ultimately, the conceivable, if unlikely, authorship issues are irrelevant. We can be confident that Marbury’s sermon, the various hands involved in its production notwithstanding, survives as good evidence, especially probative for its pithiness, that Storie’s Case had a deep and abiding influence on the social discourse of loyalty in England. Whether one would actually take heed of the story is another question, but no one in England needed to be a lawyer to know that if they were born in England they had a perpetual duty to be loyal to the English sovereign and could not effectively renounce that subject-ness in favour of another ruler. Basic knowledge of this rule of law was an item of casual social transmission among English compatriots. And there is little doubt that the case was immediately influential in legal circles. The case was taken either as good and controlling authority or subjected to distinguishing argumentation (which itself is suggestive), throughout the remainder of the period covered in our volume. For example, in the papers concerning trial for treason of William, Lord Russell in 1683 it was noted that ‘Dr Story’s Case’ was settled law and had been cited some forty times to date.48 The case was also seen as relevant in later times and in places beyond England.49 Marbury’s at the Spittle also anticipated one of the core concepts expressed in Calvin’s Case, to which attention will now turn: that the roots of the requirement of loyalty to the English sovereign included the natural law given by God in the fifth commandment. Marbury had said, the ‘doctrine of honouring the Prince in our heart, out of the heart of this scripture [Ecclesiastes]’ was ‘the charge giuen of God on this behalfe in the fifth commandement, though the instance bee giuen of naturall parents: for it beareth proportion most pregnantly this way of all others [loyalty and obedience to sovereign and magistrate]’.50



‘The Case No Feigned or Framed…’ Sir Francis Bacon, His Majesty’s solicitor general in the matter of Calvin’s Case, happens to have been quite familiar with Francis Marbury. T. N. S. Lennam suggested that Marbury had received some support from Francis’ father, Lord Keeper Nicholas Bacon, during Marbury’s early ministry in Northampton,51 and Francis quoted Marbury in his Apopthegms New and Old (1625), stating that ‘Mr Marbure the Preacher would say, That God was faine to deale with wicked men, as men do with frisking jades in a pasture, that cannot take them up, til they get them at a gate: So wicked men will not bee taken up, till the houre of death’.52 The solicitor general was also more than familiar with the book of Ecclesiastes. Bacon’s engagements with the scripture in New Atlantis et  al. framed Michael Hattaway’s study of the influence that Solomonic literature had on sixteenth-­century works that were concerned with human inquiry and knowledge. Ecclesiastes is notoriously self-contradicting, especially on epistemological issues,53 and Hattaway argued that Bacon’s answer to the ‘paradox of Solomon’ was to sever learning from morality and religion, a solution that most of the other writers of the surveyed works would have found to be especially uncomfortable, given that their impulse towards inquiry was so confined by theology and belief.54 Bacon was also quite familiar with the ‘storie of Storie’. Bacon’s argument for the plaintiff and crown in Calvin’s Case included a pithy rebuttal of a defence argument that cited the pleadings in Storie’s Case. He merely dismissed the suggestion that there was precedent in referencing parties as subjects to ‘the kingdom of England’ instead of ‘the king of England’; the defence citations to Storie’s and other cases were anomalous ‘words of the reporter, who speaks compendiously and narrative’, not words of actual, accepted pleadings.55 Bacon was having none of such shallow cleverness, and the analysis he offered for Calvin’s Case had more the timbre of his Cases of the King’s Prerogative56 and of Marbury’s at the Spittle than of the careful processing of Solomonic epistemology that one finds in his New Atlantis. That is, although one might sever inquiry from religion, a subject’s allegiance to the king was inseverable, any clever theory of ‘the king’s two bodies’ notwithstanding. It was Bacon’s argument that carried the day, and since he is a bit more concise and accessible than Coke, we will turn to what the solicitor general had to say about ‘the case of the postnati’. Bacon’s fundamental approach was to acknowledge the existence of the theory proffered by the defence—that the distinctions of ‘the king’s two



bodies’ required a subject to be loyal to a kingdom instead of a king—but simply urged that the theory was inapposite to the case. Bacon’s point was that whilst the king might have ‘a body politic’ for some purposes, the common law of England had always held that the two bodies of the king were generally inseparable and that the allegiance of subjects to the king— of a corporate body subsisting in a natural body, and a natural body subsisting in a corporate body—was inseverable thereto. Bacon had to deny the concept that a subject’s allegiance was to ‘one half’ of the king, his body-politic, and that the duty of loyalty was created by the laws of England, for if allegiance flowed from the laws of the sovereign’s separate body-politic, Robert Calvin would have been an alien in England. Bacon’s answer was that the foundation of a subject’s loyalty to the king was not to be found in the laws of mankind at all, but in the law of nature, which itself was not only the bedrock of the law of England, it was bedrock for the laws of all nations. In this regard Bacon echoed Marbury’s exegesis of Ecclesiastes 10:20 which had analogised the ‘doctrine of honouring the Prince in our heart, out of the heart of this scripture [Ecclesiastes]’ to ‘the charge giuen of God on this behalfe in the fifth commandement, though the instance bee giuen of naturall parents’. Bacon’s argument focused on the ‘original submission’ of subject to sovereign that is precursor or catalyst to legal relations tween the two parties. He drew the same analogy as Marbury did at the Spittle: ‘shall it be said that all allegiance is by law? No more than it can be said, that potestas patria, the power of the father over the child, is by law … even so it is of allegiance of subjects to hereditary monarchs, which is corroborated and confirmed by law, but is the work of the law of nature’.57 It was in the law of nature that Bacon found the unifier for Britain that he and the king were seeking. The law of nature was the bedrock of all the other forms of law (civil, common, etc.), and of all the specific statutes, maxims, definitions, and categories that came about to govern the English and Scottish polities. Just like bedrock, which abides forever and lies deep underneath the rolling surface, it acknowledges no fences or borders; as it is everywhere, any attempt to reduce it to ‘the predicament of ubi’ would be pointless, a living in denial. This is not to say that Bacon did not resort to various English precedents in crafting his case; his argument applied numerous older authorities, the statute De Natis,58 certain preambles from Tudor-era statutes,59 and the case of Cobledike’s Case60 being among the most notable. But critically, since ‘all national laws whatsoever [cases, traditions, etc.] are to be taken strictly and hardly in any point wherein they



abridge and derogate from the law of nature’, that law unifies all of— Christian—humanity, ‘by the law of nature all men in the world are naturalized one towards another’.61 This law of nature and naturalisation was the base of a subject’s duty of loyalty to the king, just as bedrock was the base of the world’s surface. And since natural law and allegiance were inextricable things, they existed together in perpetuity, as Storie’s Case had strongly implied. Ecclesiastes 3:14 may have been a touchstone for Bacon, as it provides that ‘I knowe that whatsoeuer God shall doe, it shalbe for euer: to it can no man adde, and from it can none diminish: for God hath done it, that they should feare before him’.62 So under Bacon’s view of the matter, the postnati were to be considered natural subjects in England, and therefore entitled to full rights and benefits as English subjects, with the corresponding impositions and duties, including the duty to be loyal to the English monarch. Thusly did Bacon’s take on Calvin’s Case both reflect and impact the debates concerning the regal union (whether common monarchy was sufficient or, as James felt, there should be a closer unity between the laws, institutions, economies, and churches of the kingdoms). On the looming question Bacon was fairly candid, stating that though the inheritance case was not ‘feigned or framed’ it was indeed ‘used by His Majesty in his high wisdom to give an end to this great question’.63 Coke’s report of Calvin’s Case adopted the solution Bacon suggested and expanded on many of the details of his argument.64 Precisely, the Calvin’s Case judges reasoned that by application of the law of nature, which was also the law of England, allegiance was due by one born into the allegiance of the king, because of his or her natural connection to the king’s natural body; though the two kingdoms had different and differing laws, yet the Scots were subject to the same natural law of allegiance just as were the English, the distinctions of ‘the king’s two bodies’ notwithstanding; and they held that since both Scottish and English subjects owed allegiance to that same sovereign, Scots who were born into the allegiance of James— who at the time was also king of England—were natural subjects in England. Finally, though most of Coke’s expansions are informative and are well into the realm of dictum, it was the dictum that connects logically to Storie’s Case that would be the most enduring aspect of Calvin’s Case. That is, since the thought-emotion of loyalty was due to the king, not only in a political capacity but personally by every subject to the king in his natural self, like a child’s duty to a parent,65 not only did it naturally port right over the Scotland/England border, but it also could never be lost or renounced.



Seeing then that faith, obedience, and ligeance are due by the law of nature, it followeth that the same cannot be changed or taken away; for albeit judicial or municipal laws have inflicted and imposed in several places, or at several times, divers and several punishments and penalties, for breach or not observance of the law of nature, (for that law only consisted in commanding or prohibiting, without any certain punishment or penalty), yet the very law of nature itself never was nor could be (a) altered or changed. And therefore it is certainly true, that (b) jura naturalia sunt immutabilia.66

Just as Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, ‘I knowe that whatsoeuer God shall doe, it shalbe for euer: to it can no man adde, and from it can none diminish’. This dictum of Calvin’s Case appropriated the clear rule stated in Storie’s Case, that it was impossible for a subject to throw off their allegiance in favour of another sovereign. And it was this dictum that proved to be the most influential part of Coke’s report: [All] those that were born under one natural obedience while the realms were united under one sovereign, should remain natural born subjects, and no aliens; for that naturalisation due and vested by birthright, cannot by any separation of the Crowns afterward be taken away: nor he that was by judgment of law a natural subject at the time of his birth, become an alien by such a matter ex post facto.67

The text emphasised above, which was not necessary to the resolution of the issue in Calvin’s Case, is the root of the maxim we know from it, nemo potest exuere patriam. Though attributed to Calvin’s Case by scholars and judges offhand thereafter, the maxim was not actually used in the case as reported. The full formulation of the maxim was to come somewhat later, in Coke’s commentary piece, The First Part of the Institute of the Laws of England: or A Commentary upon Littleton: Nemo patriam, in qua natus est, exuere, nec ligantiae debitum ejurare possit (‘No man may forswear his native country nor the allegiance which he owes to his sovereign’).68 All the esteemed English legal commentators—Hale, Blackstone, Pollock and Maitland and others—have affirmed that Coke’s version of Calvin’s Case rested on good authority, and have confirmed that the case was repeatedly sustained by the law courts for the remainder of the period covered in this volume.69



Conclusion This chapter has discussed the main episodes in the development of the common law rule of perpetual loyalty during the period covered in this volume. In Storie’s Case and Calvin’s Case, we saw that early modern judges perceived a natural or divine law that connected the subject to the sovereign, which led the courts to rule that both subject-ness and a perpetual duty of loyalty resulted from birth on the soil ruled by the English monarch (which included Scotland, from 1603 onwards). We also saw that such cases could be the stuff of societal transmission, their stories propagating within various and mixed socio-religious contexts. One of those mixed contexts was the public sermon, such as the one given in 1602 by Francis Marbury, a formerly ‘hot’ puritan minister who preached the book of Ecclesiastes as an admonition against disloyalty to the sovereign and her ministers. Dovetailing his exegesis with the touchstone of Storie’s Case, Marbury simultaneously preached the faith, reinforced the anti-Catholic fervour of his auditors, and, last but not least, publicly displayed his own re-fashioned, newly conformed ministry. This ‘story of Storie’ exemplifies the chiasmus of religion, law, nation, and self, in early modern Britain.

Epilogue It is clear that, to paraphrase Price, Storie’s Case and Calvin’s Case and their aftermath illustrate the tenacity of a legal doctrine that was grounded in the natural law, which, to quote Coke, ‘indeed is the eternal law of the Creator, infused in the heart of the creature at the time of his creation’. Subjects and citizens born in the United Kingdom, elsewhere in the British Commonwealth, and in the United States are now several steps closer to living under a more contractarian or Roman view of status ala propounded by Doctor Storie, but the basic English birth right subject/citizen rule persists. For example, the American Revolution did not obliterate Calvin’s Case for America; the case is the wellspring of the just soli rule that flowed through early post-Revolution state laws of citizenship, through the infamous Dred Scott decision, through the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, and into the various federal statutes enacted since 1868 that affect the acquisition and loss of US citizenship. Let us also say that a whiff of the ethos of Storie’s Case wafts into our present times as well, for ‘he is no where safe from his prince’ and the prince’s



tax collectors. Although the constitutional right to renounce citizenship has long been recognised by the US Supreme Court, for several decades there have been federal rules of taxation that have been designed to discourage and penalise renunciation (recently, they were augmented to even penalise former long-term lawful residents or ‘green card’ holders). Readers will thank the Creator that your readings of this volume will not pull you deeper into the US Internal Revenue Code than this, the rule that relates to the ‘exit tax’ rules in sections 877, 877A, and 6039G: for reasons that escape reason, certain individuals who renounce their American citizenship, or their long-term lawful resident status, have their full names published by the IRS in the Federal Register. Practitioners refer to this publication requirement as the ‘expatriate tar-and-feather rule’. Now of course, suffering a tax penalty and a national public notice are not nearly as bad as being hung, drawn, and quartered like the poor irascible Doctor Storie suffered, but it does show that well into the twenty-first century the sovereign remains ever jealous of your loyalty.

Notes 1. Edward Coke, The Reports of Sir Edward Coke…, 13 vols. (London, 1738) (afterwards, Coke), vii, p. 1 [Trin. 6 Jac. 1]. 2. Ibid., pp. 7–8 [portion omitted]. 3. P.  J. Price, ‘Natural Law and Birthright Citizenship in Calvin’s Case (1608)’, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 9 (1997), 73–145. 4. See Price, ‘Natural Law and Birthright Citizenship’, p. 75. 5. See The Works of Francis Bacon, ed. J. Spedding, R. L. Ellis and D. D. Heath (London, 1861–79), pp. 641–79. 6. See Price, ‘Natural Law and Birthright Citizenship’, pp. 121–2. 7. James Dyer, Reports of cases in the reigns of Hen. VIII, Edw. VI, Q. Mary, and Q. Eliz. 3 (Dublin, 1794), p. 300 [East. 13 Eliz. 38]. 8. F. Marbury, A fruitful sermon necessary for the time preached at the Spittle upon the Tuesday in Easter weeke last, by Frauncis Marbury (London, 1602). 9. See Price, ‘Natural Law and Birthright Citizenship’, pp. 74, 121–2. 10. Ibid., pp. 144–5. 11. Dyer, supra. The few side-notes with citations are omitted. 12. The general mode of losing Roman citizenship was ‘substitution’. A Roman was divested of his former civitas immediately upon the voluntary acquisition of another nationality. See J.  W. Salmond, ‘Citizenship and Allegiance’, Law Quarterly Review 17 (1901), 270–82; D.  W. Maxey, ‘Loss of Nationality: Individual Choice or Government Fiat?’, Albany Law Review 26 (1962), 151–86.



13. At this point judges in England were using the term ‘precedent’ vis-à-vis miscellaneous authorities beyond published judicial decisions, from statutes, charters, various traditions, and so on. However, finding discernible distinctions between holding and dictum in Coke’s recordings can be difficult. (Nb: The most enduring aspect of Calvin’s Case is dictum; see below.) 14. See J.  Lock, ‘Story, John’, in ODNB, available at: https://doi. org/10.1093/ref:odnb/26598 (accessed 25 December 2018); R. Pollitt, ‘The Abduction of Doctor John Story and the Evolution of Elizabethan Intelligence Operations’, Sixteenth Century Journal 14 (1983), 131–56. 15. 5 Elizabeth, Cap. 1, § 9. See also, J. E. Neale, ‘The Elizabethan Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity’, EHR 65 (1950), 304–32, esp. p. 315. 16. See Pollitt, ‘The Abduction of Doctor John Story’, pp. 143–6. 17. Howell, State Trials, i, col. 1093. 18. See Pollitt, ‘The Abduction of Doctor John Story’, p. 152. 19. Howell, State Trials i, col. 1096. 20. Pollitt, ‘The Abduction of Doctor John Story’, p. 140. 21. Ibid., pp. 155–6 (quoting TNA, SP 53/6/37). 22. L. B. Smith, Treason in Tudor England: Politics and Paranoia (Princeton, 2014), p. 1. 23. Pollitt, ‘The Abduction of Doctor John Story’, pp.  152–3; Calendar of Letters and Papers Relating to English Affairs, Preserved Principally in the Archives of Simancas, 4 vols. (London, 1892), ii, pp. 326–7. 24. The [1560] Geneva Bible: A Facsimile. With an introduction by Lloyd E. Berry (Wisconsin, 1969), p. 280. 25. Ibid., sig. A6. 26. See Smith, Treason in Tudor England, p. 2. 27. Ibid., p. 2, fn. 3–5. 28. ‘Remember nowe thy Creator in the daies of thy youth, whiles the euill daies come not, nor the yeeres approche, wherein thou shalt say, I haue no pleasure in them’, et. seq. 29. R. Curteys, A Sermon preached at Greenwiche, before the Queenes Majestie, by the reverende Father in God the Byshop of Chichester, the 14 Day of March 1573 (London, 1573), sigs. A5, B3 [portions omitted]. 30. Marbury, At the Spittle, sig. A5. 31. Ibid., sig. A4. 32. ‘This Booke being made after Salomons rising from his fall, hath the commendation both of his repentance and of the experience of his very soule, according to the Hebrue title of precheresse (as one would saie giuen by himselfe) in the feminine gender’. Ibid., sig. A7. One of the arguments offered in my forthcoming thesis is that an interpretive trend seems to have started with the puritan preacher George Gifford in his Eight Sermons on Ecclesiastes (1589). Gifford’s emphasis on the feminine gender of



Solomon’s Hebrew title Koheleth allowed him to finesse to his preaching of Ecclesiastes vis-à-vis political and ecclesiastical authorities, and this innovation seems to have helped other authors to expand and nuance their uses and interpretations of that scripture during the ‘long 1590s’. 33. Ibid., sig. A8 [portion omitted]. 34. Ibid., sigs. C1–C2. 35. Ibid., sig. B8. 36. Ibid., sig. D5. For discussion of ‘hypocrites’, ‘reprobates’, and Calvinist theology, see L. Dixon, Practical Predestinarians in England, c. 1590–1640 (Ashgate, 2014), pp. 273–93. 37. For a general discussion of English Catholicism, see K.  McKeogh, ‘Sir Thomas Tresham (1543–1605) and Early Modern Catholic Culture and Identity, 1580–1610’ (unpublished DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 2017). 38. Marbury, At the Spittle, sig. B8 [emphasis added]. 39. See Lock, ‘Story, John’. 40. 384 U.S. 436 (1966). 41. Marbury, At the Spittle, sig. C7. 42. For a discussion of London’s preaching spaces, see E. Rhatigan, ‘Preaching Venues: Architecture and Auditories’, in The Oxford Handbook of the Early Modern Sermon, ed. H.  Adlington, P.  McCullough and E.  Rhatigan (Oxford, 2011), pp. 87–116. 43. P. Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (Oxford, 1990), p. 443. See also, E.  LaPlante, American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, The Woman Who Defied the Puritans (New York, 2002). 44. Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement, p.  443. See also, T. N. S. Lennam, ‘Francis Merbury, 1555–1611’, Studies in Philology 65 (1968), 207–22. 45. Mary Morrissey has shown that political control of the outdoor pulpits, and the substantive disparities between sermons as-delivered and asprinted, have been overstated. See M.  Morrissey, Politics and the Paul’s Cross Sermons, 1558–1642 (Oxford, 2011), p. 68 et. seq. 46. Ibid., pp. 214–17. 47. F.  Marbury, A sermon preached at Paules Crosse the 13 of June 1602, By M. Francis Marburie (London, 1602), sig. B6. 48. In the trial for treason of William, Lord Russell (1683), it was noted that ‘Dr. Story’s Case’ was settled law and had been cited some forty times to date: Howell, State Trials, ix, cols. 753, 764. 49. See I.  Tsiang, The Question of Expatriation in America Prior to 1907 (Baltimore, 1942). 50. Marbury, At the Spittle, sig. B5. 51. Lennam, ‘Francis Merbury’, pp. 211–13.



52. F.  Bacon, Apophthegmes new and old. Collected by the Right Honourable, Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St Alban (London, 1625), nos. 56, 74–5. 53. See M. V. Fox, Qohelet and His Contradictions (Sheffield, 1989). 54. See M.  Hattaway, ‘Paradoxes of Solomon: Learning in the English Renaissance’, Journal of the History of Ideas 29 (1968), 499–530. 55. The Works of Francis Bacon, ed. Spedding, Ellis and Heath, pp. 655–6. 56. Ibid., p. 776. 57. Ibid., pp. 646–7. 58. Which allowed children born outside of the king’s territories to inherit land as natural subjects if the parents were ‘of the faith and ligeance of the King of England’: De Natis Ultra Mare (1351), in Statutes of the Realm, 11 vols. (London, 1810–28), i, p. 310. 59. For example 11 Henry VII 1495 (‘The King oure Sovereign Lord calling to his remembraunce the duetie of alliegeaunce of his subgettis…That it is not resonable but ayenst all lawes reason and gode conscience that…any thing shuld loose or forfeite for doyng their true dutie and service of alliegeaunce…’). 60. Subjects born ad fidem Regis were ‘no aliens’ in England: Coke, vii, 9b and 2 St Tr 688 (Coke refers to the case dating to the reign of Edward I). 61. The Works of Francis Bacon, ed. Spedding, Ellis and Heath, p.  664. Of course, by ‘natural law’ we must read the ‘eternal law of the [JudeoChristian God] Creator’. Coke, vii, 25. 62. The [1560] Geneva Bible, p. 278. 63. The Works of Francis Bacon, ed. Spedding, Ellis and Heath, pp. 641–2. 64. See Price, ‘Natural Law and Birthright Citizenship’, p. 114. 65. This child/parent concept applied to homage between tenant and lord. Englefield’s Case, Coke, vii, 78 [Mich. 33 Eliz. 34], 80. 66. Coke, vii, 26. 67. Coke, vii, 27b–28a [emphasis added]. 68. See Tsiang, Expatriation, pp. 11–15. 69. This is not to imply the case met with disfavour after 1688. See, for example, Rex v Macdonald (1747), in Howell, State Trials, xviii, p. 858.


Elizabeth I and the Dilemma of Loyalty Janet Dickinson

Loyalty to the queen was of central importance to the construction and maintenance of authority during the reign of Elizabeth I, not least as everything was so unusually focused on the person of the queen herself. Her reign was remarkable for the longevity of service from those who worked most closely with the queen, with men such as William Cecil, Francis Walsingham, Nicholas Bacon, Walter Mildmay and Christopher Hatton serving from the start of the reign until their respective deaths. Elizabeth’s relations with members of her nobility, appointed to serve her by birth rather than by choice, could occasionally prove tense, even destructive, but underlying everything was a set of beliefs and values that sustained a profound level of commitment to the queen and country, fundamentally tied together in the minds and beliefs of those who worked together in matters of state and of government. When members of the elite and the government expressed loyalty to Elizabeth they were consciously connecting into a web of obligation, service and duty that formed an essential part of their own identities but was also of immense practical use in consolidating both internal order and the threat of external attacks. The connected responsibilities of loyalty and service to the crown and the

J. Dickinson (*) Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_8




common good formed part of a nexus of ideals and values that bound together and identified members of the elite community, linked to further ideas of fellowship, honour and faith. Scholars have used different terms to encapsulate this mental world, and the idea of both an honour community and a chivalric code can be useful in defining this set of assumptions and ideas. When a nobleman expressed loyalty to the queen he was invoking a whole set of beliefs and cultural practices. Members of the knightly/noble order of society were identified as an elite, set apart by birth and by the possession and the practice of a set of special values. All of this was wrapped up in a structure of loyalty to the monarch; there were regional, personal ties of friendship, kinship and patronage but these are best understood as having existed alongside and intertwined with ties of service, reward and faithfulness to the monarch. The question of which idea or ideas held most power at any given moment in an individual’s life has been much debated by scholars, as has the question of whether the connection between the crown and their elite weakened over the course of the sixteenth century.1 For the purposes of this chapter, it will be argued that these ideas remained essential to elite identity and that membership of the community of honour linked members into a structure of honour that centred on a specific set of values, headed by loyalty to God, country, monarch and family. These were expressed in a variety of ways, through portraiture and heraldic display as well as in conduct manuals, in plays and in contemporary literature, including the popular genre of chivalric romance.2 John Norden in his instruction manual The Mirror of Honour, published in 1597, wrote that the bonds of friendship were dependent on the maintenance of the key bonds of ‘loyaltie to his Soveraigne or true duety to God, which maine vertues are the cordes of gayning and retayning the faith and absolute amitie of the surest in friendship’.3 To break these bonds meant to risk membership of the community of honour, something which was fundamental to elite identity at this time. At the same time, it would be ridiculous to suggest that loyalty always prevailed and it provided a way of absorbing all difficulties. Inherent within any system of meaning or language is the possibility that things could go awry, which is when the concept of loyalty towards Elizabeth really began to be tested. The question at the heart of this chapter is how individuals who found themselves in opposition to the queen or without her favour coped with these tests of their commitment to serve her.



This question came sharply into view in the 1570s, when the religious compromises of the first part of the reign started to be set aside and the regime began to tighten restrictions on English Catholics and their scope of activity. In the aftermath of Mary, Queen of Scots’ arrival in England and the start of her long nineteen years of imprisonment, the question of loyalty took on a new urgency. The possibility of Mary’s presence acting as a focus for Catholic rebellion was realised in 1569 in the rebellion of the northern earls. Alienated from the queen by their removal from the Council of the Northern Marches, the earls of Westmorland and Northumberland found themselves facing an acute dilemma of loyalty in the fallout from the collapse of the plan to marry the duke of Norfolk to Mary, Queen of Scots, with the aim of containing her threat. Norfolk was a declared Protestant but the Howard family’s longstanding identity as an old Catholic family had enabled the earls, particularly Westmorland, whose wife was Norfolk’s sister, to hope for some degree of future toleration and acceptance by a regime headed by Norfolk and Mary. These plans, predictably, came to nothing when Elizabeth made it quite clear to her court that no such marriage would take place and the support that had up to that point been offered to Norfolk was abruptly withdrawn. With Norfolk sent to the Tower, Elizabeth’s insistence that the northern earls should come to London to meet with her limited the range of possible outcomes to imprisonment, death, exile or rebellion. Even here the earls hesitated to act, Northumberland writing to the queen of his fear that those who had spoken against him had poisoned her mind against him: God and my conscience knoweth, that I never ment or intended any disloyall acte towardes your Majestie, but in the service and defence thereof shall be founde ready whilst I lyve (according to my moste bownded dewtie and bond of allegiance) to spend my lief, my lands, and all that I have, against all persons whatsoever.4

Eventually the earls broke out into overt rebellion, gathering a sizeable army and marching south to occupy Durham before losing conviction, running out of money to pay their mercenary soldiers and fleeing in disarray into Scotland, where Westmorland was helped to escape to the continent and Northumberland was arrested by the Regent, Moray, and handed over to the English. In a confession written after his arrest and under intense pressure, Northumberland told how Westmorland, urged by his Catholic officers to rise for religion, had replied, ‘No … those that seeme



to take that quarrel in other countries are accompted as rebells; and therefore, I will never blot my howse, which hath been this longe preserved without staining’.5 This idea, of ancestral loyalty to the crown, invoked powerful ideas about identity and purpose, lying at the heart of noble dynastic identity. In a further sign of its potency, the idea had also been used by those seeking to bring the earls into obedience. Before the rebellion, Thomas Radcliffe, earl of Sussex and lord president of the Council of the North, called upon the earls to attend the court: if, contrary to your allegiance, you refuse to come, you do not onlye thereby make all your faithfullest frends your enemies, in respecte of their duties to the Quene’s Majesty, but also you seke thereby the utter overthrow of yourself, and subversion of your house.6

The connection between ancestry and royal service was clearly of sufficient value for Sussex to feel that speaking to this aspect of their noble identity could be a way of bringing the earls into obedience; the fact that it failed in the face of the earls’ increasingly desperate situation does not mean that it lacked significance to them. During their rebellion, the earls issued proclamations in the queen’s name, implicitly and explicitly asserting claims to loyalty to the queen if not to her regime’s policies, stating that they ‘intend noo hurte unto the Quenes Majestie’ but only the restoration of the ancient Catholic faith.7 The question of sincerity here is difficult to answer. In some respects, Northumberland’s defence in his confession can appear as just the sort of thing that he would say, once the rebellion had failed and he had been arrested. But understood within the context of elite values, his comments are brought into a fresh light, highlighting the painful extent of the dilemma faced by Catholic nobles at this time, when their options for continuing to assert and employ the political and social power that they had exerted for generations were narrowing and disappearing from view. The breakdown of the relationship between the queen and the northern earls in 1569 was the first major episode in a wider crisis of loyalty when it came to the Catholic elite. It is worth noting that this group included some of the richest and most powerful men and women in the realm who were subjected to increasingly rigorous persecution from the 1570s onwards. Those who were identified as recusants were fined, excluded from government office, forced into exile or imprisoned for long periods. Yet at the same time, they continued to assert their devotion to the queen and their desire to fulfil their responsibilities of



loyalty and service to the crown, highlighting the same dilemma that the earls faced in 1569. The question of how they negotiated this difficult path between faith, persecution and loyalty has begun to be asked over the last couple of decades as Elizabethan Catholics have begun to receive more attention from scholars. We now have studies of Catholic loyalism and on how political thought evolved during this period as well as of theological responses to political events, notably by Arnold Pritchard and Stefania Tutino.8 There have also been studies of what it meant to be a ‘Catholic’ and how many different varieties of Catholic identities were in circulation in later Elizabethan England.9 Much of this discussion has focused on theological disputations and on the issue of how to reconcile loyalty to Rome with loyalty to Elizabeth. Less has been said to date on the way in which these issues played out within other aspects of identity and belief. As has already been suggested in this chapter, the complex of ideals and values attached to noble identity, notably the idea of loyalty, were of vital importance to members of the elite, which created a significant issue for them when loyalty to Elizabeth came into conflict with commitment to the Catholic faith. To see their secular identities as being essentially insincere when their religious beliefs were so important makes little sense. The complexities of negotiating a path between faith and monarch were brought to the fore again in the aftermath of the 1569 rising. A papal bull of excommunication was issued in February 1570, in which the pope explicitly called upon English Catholics to overthrow the queen.10 It can hardly be suggested that this resulted in a rush of serious assassination attempts, but the threat was real and it left Catholics needing to exert considerable caution in how they represented their faith. One particularly prominent spokesman for English Catholics was Thomas Tresham, whose ‘long and difficult relationship’ with the regime has already been analysed in Sandeep Kaushik’s important article, detailing Tresham’s careful reconciliation of his refusal to conform with his loyalty to the queen.11 Tresham undoubtedly suffered greatly from the financial impositions of the regime and found himself imprisoned for long spells, often in poor conditions, at moments of particular crisis such as during the Armada and in the aftermath of Campion’s disputations.12 Throughout this period, Tresham’s letters to members of the government made repeated, explicit connections between his honour, his noble ancestry and his loyalty to the queen and to his ‘native country’, expressed through his duty to serve and defend queen and country.13 On the death of Elizabeth, Tresham reiterated his stance.



As he proclaimed the accession of James a dissenter called out, ‘so as the king prove sound in religion’. Tresham replied, ‘though you differ in religion from the king, in so much as he is a professor of the Christian religion, you upon a far stronger argument are bound to obey him as your king in civil loyalty and obedience’.14 None of these statements can be taken simply at face value and the balance between loyalty and obedience and resistance and criticism was highly complex. Kaushik’s work has demonstrated that Tresham’s protestations of loyalty did not necessarily mean that he did not hold critical views of Elizabeth and her regime. It is obviously important not to overstate the meaning of the rhetoric that Tresham and others used in their defence and in pursuit of relief. There was clearly an extent to which it was deployed as a means of allaying the government’s suspicion and also in the hope of gaining some respite from recusancy fines and the intermittent imprisonment that Tresham and other prominent Catholics were subjected to. In Tresham’s case, it is also clear that he continued to discuss and consider the other options available to him; Peter Holmes has suggested that ‘Tresham’s loyalty was more a matter of expediency than of deep devotion’ and this may well be right.15 He had, after all, few reasons to feel any particular devotion to Elizabeth herself. But the justification of his loyalty to the queen in terms of his own conception of his identity and the ancestral service of his family to the crown made for a powerful statement of commitment and identity that resonated with other members of the Catholic community and also, I would argue crucially, with other members of the Elizabethan elite, a point which we will return to shortly. Viscount Montague was another prominent spokesman for the Catholic cause in England and provides us with another example of an elite Catholic who inserted himself into the political sphere by making use of the language of loyalty. He was in many respects a much less controversial figure than Tresham as his loyalty to the queen was recognised by her and she continued to allow him a relative form of freedom. Montague’s early response to the Elizabethan religious settlement, recorded in a speech to parliament in 1559, demonstrates that his loyalty to the queen was not uncritical and that it also involved an assertion of his right as a nobleman to provide counsel to the monarch and to serve them in this way. God, he said, placed noblemen to be in dignity before others, but to this end that they should be more careful of the honour and safety of the prince and country, than others, and for any of these to be ready and willing to sacrifice themselves.16



Arnold Pritchard has pointed to Montague’s claim that he spoke with great reluctance, ‘not willing to impugn the judgment of others which have spoken therein … in whom I doubt not either certain wisdom and knowledge, nor zeal to the true Religion of Christ’, striking a conciliatory note that reflected the government’s own position at this time. Montague can perhaps be taken as expressing the more general view of English elite Catholics at this date and arguably throughout the reign; as Pritchard points out, ‘Montague’s disapproval of the queen’s policies does not absolve him of his duty of loyalty and obedience to her’.17 The key point to keep in mind here is that finding themselves in opposition to the monarch and the official policy on religion did not release elite Catholics from their sense of owing wider obligations to society and to the maintenance of order in the realm. The gradual process of exclusion from the offices of local government forced men like Tresham and Montague to find other ways of serving the queen and of fulfilling their roles as the leaders of society. It is important to remember that they were brought up to believe that this was their duty and purpose and the idea of simply giving up that identity and withdrawing from society would have been impossible for many to contemplate. The hope was to find alternative means through which to continue to fulfil their function. Military service offered one route through which Catholic nobles could demonstrate their loyalty to the queen and continue to serve her and the common weal. In 1583, imprisoned in the Fleet prison under suspicion of involvement in the Campion affair, Tresham wrote to the privy councillor and royal favourite Sir Christopher Hatton of his wish to be restored to the queen’s favour: declaring before God that he had never had the least intention to offend or disobey her, his most lawful and righteous Queen, his sole sovereign and most reverenced Lady and Mistress, but will ever serve and defend her with life and goods, against foreign invasions and home conspiracies, with as much zeal as any of his ancestors did bear to any of her Highness’ most worthy progenitors, under whom they were dignified with many noble offices and advancements and lived in high prosperity; and at whose feet and in whose service sundry of them … have faithfully ended their lives with honour in the field.18

The idea of bearing an inherited duty of service and a legacy of heroic endeavour in support of the crown provided Tresham with a means through which to assert his claim to be considered as a loyal subject of



Elizabeth rather than as a danger to her safety, and it was one that he used repeatedly. In 1594 Tresham affirmed that his tenants ‘were obliged to furnish a man fit for service, to accompany himself or his son if they were sent to fight for the Queen overseas’.19 In 1590, in the tense aftermath of the Armada, he begged that he and his fellow Catholic aristocrats be ‘employed in that service against the enemy, yea in the former and first ranks of the battle’,20 ‘who are of the short robe, not of the long robe, who daily go armed with weapons as a badge of our vocation; when the best milk we can give is to bleed the dearest blood in our bodies to defend our sovereign queen and famous realm of England’.21 The idea of an inherited duty and of a familial and communal duty in service of the monarch was also expressed through Tresham’s other activities, including his efforts to insert himself in local government through visual display. His building projects, including building a market house at Rothwell in Northamptonshire, near Tresham’s home at Rushton Hall, were liberally decorated with heraldic emblems that asserted his family’s place amongst the leading members of the elite in the region.22 Other members of the Elizabethan elite were also aware of the power and potential of these ideas. In 1588, after the Armada was sighted, the crown summoned the nobility to London to defend the queen. According to a pamphlet account of the response to this call, Viscount Montague, lord lieutenant of Sussex till his removal on the outbreak of the war with Spain, was prominent amongst those that responded: The first that shewed his Bands to the Quéene, was that Noble, vertuous, honorable man, the Viscount Mountague, who, howsoeuer men do iudge of him for opinion in Religion … that he now came, though he was very sickly, and in age, with a full resolution to liue and die in defence of the Quéene, and of his countrie, against all Inuaders, whether it were Pope, King or Potentate whatsoeuer, and in that quarell he would hazard his life, his children, his lands and goods. And to shew his minde agréeably thereto, he came personally himself before the Quéene, with his Band of horsemen being almost two hundred: the same being led by his owne sonnes, and with them a yong child, very comely seated on horseback, being the heire of his house, that is, the eldest sonne to his son & heire: a matter much noted of many, whom I heard to commend the same: to sée a grandfather, father, and sonne, at one time on horsebacke afore a Quéene for her seruice.23

The scene perfectly illustrates the connections drawn between ancestry and loyalty, but disappointingly, it is unclear whether it actually took place.



The account appears in a pamphlet written by Burghley and no independent evidence survives of Montague turning out with a small army including his sons and grandson in order to join the fight against the Armada.24 The image of Montague and his grandson, prepared to die for their Protestant queen, was of obvious use to Burghley as a counter to the Catholic threat, but for a piece of propaganda to work it has to be convincing, and Burghley clearly believed that his readers would find it plausible. In tapping into the rhetoric used by the Catholics themselves, the story of Montague’s decision to back the queen over the representatives of his faith provided a highly persuasive account of the claim of loyalty to the queen winning out over faith to Rome. This idea was echoed in the entertainments devised for the queen’s six-­ day visit to Montague’s home at Cowdray in Sussex in 1591; her first progress after the Armada and another pointed message to the Spanish that, regardless of their religious identities, her nobility were loyal to their queen. Montague accompanied Elizabeth to view a series of entertainments and displays dealing with the issue of loyalty.25 One of the staged speeches echoed Burghley’s description of Montague’s behaviour in 1588 and also the rhetoric used by Tresham and other Catholics. Elizabeth was taken to an oak tree ‘wheron her Majesties armes and all the armes of the noblemen and gentlemen of that shire, were hanged in escutchions most beutifull’, and a ‘wilde man’ assured her that: all these honourable lords, and gentlemen, whose shieldes your Majestie doeth here beholde … when your Majestie shall but stande in feare of any daunger, will bring their bodies, their purses, their soules, to your Highness, being their heart, their head, and their soveraigne.26

The speech to the queen reiterated the language used in the pamphlet account of Montague’s supposed turnout with his family against the Armada, once again emphasising the power of this rhetoric and its usefulness to the queen and her elite subjects. The Cowdray entertainments also draw attention to another key aspect of the displays and claims of loyalty put forward by Elizabeth’s Catholic gentry and nobility, in that they formed part of a much more widely shared set of ideas and practices at the Elizabethan court. Similar language and the same ideas were interwoven in the ceremonial and ritual activities of the court, at the Accession Day entertainments devised by Sir Henry Lee and by courtiers seeking to secure the queen’s favour and to bolster their



ambitions to hold office and achieve power.27 Royal portraits of the latter part of the reign, commissioned by Elizabeth’s courtiers and ministers, constructed an image of the queen that focused on her as an icon of continuity and the focus of love and appreciation from her loyal subjects.28 At a time when the lack of an officially recognised heir provoked particular anxieties about the succession, attention was focused all the more closely on the queen and on the question of her survival and security. The remarkable achievement of the last decade of the reign was that Elizabeth survived to die of natural causes and still in possession of her throne. Given the extent of the economic challenges that her government faced during this period and the pressures of the on-going war with Spain, begun in 1585, together with the outbreak of a major and sustained rebellion in Ireland, this was a considerable feat and must at least in part be credited to the continued loyalty of those who served the queen. One key way in which loyalty was expressed and reinforced for Elizabeth came in the form of the language and ritualised behaviours of courtly love. This language was used throughout her reign by royal favourites and by those seeking to capture the royal favour but its use intensified in the 1590s, as the possibility of any ‘real’ form of courtship disappeared and the age disparity between the queen and the men who served her increased. In its basic form, courtly love involved the expression of the desires and ambitions of aspirational young men towards powerful women. These were overlaid with ideas of devotion and service, in literary terms that of a knight to his mistress, mirroring in political terms the relationship of a male subject to his monarch. There was also a gendered dimension, though as C.  Stephen Jaeger’s work has shown, it was also possible for courtly love to be used within sole-gendered relationships, such as in the case of medieval male monarchs and those close to them.29 In the case of Elizabeth, her femininity was something that both the queen and her subjects invoked as part of her identity and often her behaviour, such as in her famous Tilbury camp speech. When it came to courtly love relationships within the court, the convention was for Elizabeth’s male subjects to admire her beauty and vow to serve her as knights to their mistress, with emphasis on their loyalty to her above all others. At court tournaments, aspirant courtiers would display royal favours on their sleeves and hats and express devotion to Elizabeth, their mistress and the object of their desires. In the political sphere, the queen’s secretary of state Robert Cecil’s treatise on his office compared the relationship between the prince and his/ her secretary ‘to the mutual affections of two lovers, undiscovered to their



friends’.30 At Elizabeth’s court, what were assumed to be the weaknesses of female government could be explained away as the prevarications, indecisiveness and occasional cruelties of a rejected lover’s mistress.31 In the process of loving and being loved, Elizabeth and her lovers were mutually ennobled by their shared understanding of and participation in this mode of courtly behaviour, as well as being equipped with a way of communicating desire and rejection in a safely non-confrontational form.32 The great favourite of the 1590s, Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex, placed the rhetoric of courtly love and loyalty at the heart of his approaches to the queen throughout his career, moving from becoming a royal favourite to developing a serious political and military career that placed him at the heart of the politics of the last decade of Elizabeth’s reign. His career had begun when, as a young and strikingly handsome courtier, he had caught the queen’s eye in the fallout from the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, after which the entire Privy Council had fallen into disgrace. Essex’s appeal also lay in his adept use of the language of courtly love to flatter the queen and to establish a connection between them that was founded on the idea that his actions were inspired by both love for the queen and a profound commitment to her service. Essex served the queen because he believed that it was his duty to do so, constantly reiterating this in his letters to the queen, which deploy the language of loyalty and the supporting values of duty, service and loyalty that tied him to Elizabeth’s service. He signed his letters, variously, ‘your Majesties most humble servant’; ‘your Majesties humblest, faythfulest and most devoted servant’; ‘your Majesties most humble, faythfullest and most affectionate servant’ and ‘your Majesties humblest vassall’.33 In 1597, he wrote that ‘For whatt soever I cold be able to do as your Majesties servant subject creture and humble vassall I did owe yt and a greatt deale more’.34 Here we can see just how perfectly the language expressed the reasons why Essex served the queen, because of a perceived duty of service incumbent on him as her subject and a nobleman. His letters combined this sense of duty and an insistence on loyalty with ideas of constancy, devotion and faith in his love and admiration for Elizabeth. This did not mean that Essex felt bound to obey the queen in all matters. Just as elite Catholics asserted their right to counsel and serve the queen by doing so, Essex used the rhetoric of loyalty, interwoven with the ideals of courtly love, to render his criticisms of the queen acceptable. In fact, the language and behaviours involved could be remarkably flexible when it came to allowing the expression of criticism and even outright



dissent. Essex’s volatile temperament gave rise to a number of examples of this. The disappointments, frustrations and challenges of the first years of Essex’s career in royal favour were contained and defused through the use of the language of courtly love. Essex consciously contrasted the constancy of his service to the queen’s unkindness, something which could not have worked if both parties had not been willing to see this as being part of a ritual of courtly love—to play along with the game, as it were. In 1591, Essex wrote to the queen that ‘no unkindnes from you though yt breake my hart can diminish my affection. butt I will end my life complayning of your injustice and approvinge mine owne constancy’.35 In one letter, Essex appealed to Elizabeth ‘for the honor of your sex, shew your self constant in kindnes’.36 In another, he wished for Elizabeth ‘to be ever thus gracious, yf nott for my merite yett for your owne constancy’.37 It is impossible to know how the queen responded to these plays on her gender in Essex’s case, but some of her responses to another royal favourite, Lord Mountjoy, do survive and indicate that Elizabeth was willing to play along with the ideas associated with her gender in the language of courtly love. She addressed Mountjoy as ‘Mistress kitchenmaid’, playfully casting him in the role of inconstant woman and admonished the doubts he had expressed regarding her own constancy of favour, advising him instead to ‘judge rightly, that none of your carefull services are so evill employed, as … from whome you suffer then doth not with eyes of delight praise God that so hath professed your right endevours, & did conveyed you not to spott your thought with any injurious conceit of her that when all is sayd or done hath been your truest Soveraigne’. Loyalty was clearly something that cut both ways when it came to serving Elizabeth. Courtly love was something that was useful for a young man with military ambitions. But the reciprocity of the relationship expressed meant that its application was far wider than simply being something used to obtain favour; mutual loyalty remained important throughout Elizabeth’s longest lasting relationships. Sir Christopher Hatton’s career in royal favour provides us with an example of someone for whom a courtly love relationship with the queen remained of profound significance from youth to old age. From the point at which he emerged as a royal favourite the queen addressed him using pet names and Hatton responded in kind. In a period of absence from the court in June 1573, Hatton wrote of the pain of being apart from the object of his devotion. Having gained permission to travel to the spa in Antwerp in order to recover from a period of sickness, he repented his absence from Elizabeth’s presence, writing that ‘I



will wash away the fault of these letters with the drops from your poor Lydds … Passion overcometh me. I can write no more. Love me; for I love you’.38 Later he wrote on ‘the twelfth day since I saw the brightness of that Sun that giveth light unto my sense and soul … Madam, forget not your Lidds that are so often bathed with tears for your sake. A more wise man may seek you, but a more faithful and worthy can never have you’.39 Hatton continued in a similar vein for the duration of his time away from the queen, describing himself as the queen’s ‘eternal bondman, with pure love and careful diligent faith, may everlastingly serve you’.40 Like Essex, Hatton remained to some extent a royal favourite throughout his career, so the language of courtly love might be thought particularly apposite in his case. But it was not just those who attracted the queen’s eye that made lover-like approaches to her as a way of establishing a reciprocal relationship of loyalty and devotion; all of the leading members of the court participated in the game. This included the queen’s secretary, Robert Cecil, who merits further attention as an example of a bureaucrat administrator who might be superficially regarded as having little in common with his aristocratic peers, but who in fact shared very much the same value system. Cecil confounded his rather dry reputation when he described the queen as God’s ‘celestiall Creature, who pleasethe out of Angellyke grace, to pardone and allowe my carefull and zealous desires’. He declared that ‘I am most blessed that I am a vassall to His celestiall creature’, using a very similar language to Essex.41 The Rainbow Portrait, one of the most sophisticated expressions of the queen’s eternal youth and object of devotion, is thought to have been commissioned by Cecil to mark the queen’s visit to his new London house on the Strand in 1602.42 In the political sphere, Cecil was also careful to emphasise his loyalty to Elizabeth. In a letter to James VI of Scotland of October 1601, he redrafted the ending several times in an effort to be absolutely clear about the extent to which his loyalty would remain with Elizabeth until her death. Having experimented with telling James that he was ‘after Caesar, yours above all’ and ‘yours to command above all’, Cecil settled for the more direct and carefully formulated statement that he would ‘ever remaine in humblest affections after one, and her alone, at your Majesties commandment’.43 Cecil’s clarity about his order of priorities provides striking evidence of Elizabeth’s continued hold on the loyalty of the most prominent member of her government and suggests the key to the stability of her reign during the early 1600s.



Loyalty, then, offers a key to understanding both how the relationships between Elizabeth and her elite subjects were sustained and developed across the course of her reign. It also had its limitations. The question of how long a subject could remain loyal to the queen in the face of disappointment and frustration remains difficult to answer in certain terms. In the case of the Catholic elite it may be that their expressions of loyalty arose from pragmatism and perhaps also from a nostalgic memory of how things once had been for their ancestors as contrasted to their increasingly uncomfortable relations with the crown. For Essex, loyalty also eventually proved to have its limitations. Having lost the royal favour after a disastrous failure on a mission to quash the Irish rebellion and with no immediate hope of access to the queen, Essex attempted to force the manner in his rebellion of February 1601. Its failure and the queen’s refusal to resume her part of their former relationship left Essex with nowhere to go. Publicly declared a traitor, he was ceremonially degraded from England’s premier order of chivalry, the Order of the Garter, and ritually expelled from the community of honour, just as the earls of Northumberland and Westmorland and the duke of Norfolk had been before him.44 The usher of the black rod visited the earl in the Tower, snatching the George and Garter from Essex; at Windsor, home of the Order, his hatchments were thrown out of the chapel.45 Speaking in Star Chamber after the revolt, Essex’s uncle, Sir William Knollys, acknowledged that some of those present had been the earl’s friends but that ‘in cases of treason, the bonds of loyalty cause all others to be forgotten’.46 In the eyes of their contemporaries Essex and his followers had, by breaking their vows to their monarch, ceased to be noble men. Membership of the honour community was thus contingent upon loyalty to the monarch, demonstrating its centrality to the identities and the lives of the Elizabethan elite, as well as to the survival and security of the queen herself.

Notes 1. M. James, Society, Politics and Culture: Studies in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 1986); G. W. Bernard, ‘The Continuing Power of the Tudor Nobility’, in Power and Politics in Tudor England, ed. G.  W. Bernard (Aldershot, 2000), p. 45. See also G. W. Bernard, The Power of the Early Tudor Nobility: A Study of the Fourth and Fifth Earls of Shrewsbury (Sussex, 1985), esp. pp. 1–6, 197–208; B. Coward, ‘A “Crisis of the Aristocracy” in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries? The Case of the Stanleys, Earls of Derby, 1504–1642’, Northern History 18 (1982), 54–77.



2. J.  Dickinson, Court Politics and the Earl of Essex, 1589–1601 (London, 2012), chapter 1; A.  Davis, Chivalry and Romance in the English Renaissance (Cambridge, 2003), pp.  26–32; P.  Salzman, English Prose Fiction 1558–1700. A Critical History (Oxford, 1985), pp. 98–101. 3. J. Norden, The Mirror of Honor (London, 1597), p. 30. 4. C. Sharp, Memorials of the Rebellion of 1569 (London, 1840), p. 321. 5. Sharp, Memorials, p. 196. 6. Sharp, Memorials, p. 27. 7. Sharp, Memorials, pp. 77, 41. 8. A.  Pritchard, Catholic Loyalism in Elizabethan England (Chapel Hill, 1979); S.  Tutino, Law and Conscience: Catholicism in Early Modern England, 1570–1625 (Aldershot, 2007). 9. A.  Walsham, Church Papists: Catholicism, Conformity and Confessional Polemic in Early Modern England (London, 1993); M.  Questier, Catholicism and Community in Early Modern England: Politics, Aristocratic Patronage and Religion, c. 1550–1640 (Cambridge, 2006). 10. ‘Regnans in Excelsis’, issued 25 February 1570, available at: http://www. papalencyclicals.net/pius05/p5regnans.htm (accessed 24 March 2019). 11. S. Kaushik, ‘Resistance, Loyalty and Recusant Politics: Sir Thomas Tresham and the Elizabethan State’, Midland History 21 (1996), 37–72. 12. J.  Lock, ‘Tresham, Sir Thomas (1543–1605)’, in ODNB, ­available at: h t t p : / / w w w. o x f o r d d n b . c o m / v i e w / 1 0 . 1 0 9 3 / r e f : o d n b / 9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-27712 (accessed 24 March 2019). 13. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report on Manuscripts in Various Collections, 8 vols. (London: HMSO, 1901–14) (afterwards HMC), iii, pp. 16, 23, 46, 56–7; for originals, see BL, Add. MS 39828. 14. HMC, iii, p. 121. 15. P.  Holmes, Resistance and Compromise: The Political Thought of the Elizabethan Catholics (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 178–9. 16. Pritchard, Catholic Loyalism, p. 47. 17. Pritchard, Catholic Loyalism, pp. 47–8. 18. HMC, iii, p. 27. 19. CSPD, 1591–94, pp. 470–1. 20. Letter to the archbishop of Canterbury and the lords of the Privy Council, HMC, iii, p. 53. 21. HMC, iii, p. 56. 22. S. M. Cogan, ‘Building the Badge of God: Architectural Representations of Persecution and Coexistence in Post-Reformation England’, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 107 (2016), pp. 174–8. 23. W.  Cecil, The Copie of A Letter Sent Ovt of England to Don Bernardin Mendoza… (London, 1588).



24. C. Read, ‘William Cecil and Elizabethan Public Relations’, in Elizabethan Government and Society: Essays presented to Sir John Neale, ed. S. T. Bindoff, J.  Hurstfield and C.  H. Williams (London, 1961), pp.  45–6; Questier, Catholicism and Community, p. 124. 25. Questier, Catholicism and Community, pp. 169–75. 26. Cited in Questier, Catholicism and Community, pp. 171–2. 27. F. A. Yates, Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century (London, 1975), pp. 88–111; S. Simpson, Sir Henry Lee (1533–1611): Elizabethan Courtier (Farnham, 2014), pp. 31–62. 28. R.  Strong, Gloriana: The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I (2nd edn., London, 2003). 29. C.  S. Jaeger, Ennobling Love: In Search of a Lost Sensibility (Philadelphia, 1999). 30. R. Cecil, ‘The State and Dignity of a Secretary of State’s Place with the Care and Perill Thereof’, in P.  Croft, ‘Can a Bureaucrat be a Favourite? Robert Cecil and the Strategies of Power’, in The World of the Favourite, ed. J. H. Elliott and L. W. B. Brockliss (New Haven and London, 1999), p. 83. 31. J. Guy, ‘The 1590s: The Second Reign of Elizabeth I?’, in The Reign of Elizabeth: Court and Culture in the Last Decade, ed. J. Guy (Cambridge, 1995), pp. 1–19, 3. 32. For a relevant discussion of the etymology of ‘courtship’ in the Elizabethan period, see C.  Bates, The Rhetoric of Courtship in Elizabethan Language and Literature (Cambridge, 1992), pp. 6–20. 33. BL, Add. MS 74286, ff. 6, 12v, 36v, 81r. 34. Ibid., f. 54r. 35. Ibid., f. 18r. 36. Ibid., f. 33v. 37. Ibid., f. 52r. 38. Memoirs of the life and times of sir Christopher Hatton, including his correspondence with the queen and other distinguished persons, ed. Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas (London, 1847), pp. 25–6. 39. Memoirs, ed. Nicolas, pp. 26–7; S. W. May, The Elizabethan Courtier Poets: The Poems and their Contexts (London, 1991), pp. 117–18. 40. Memoirs, ed. Nicolas, p. 29. 41. Hatfield House, Cecil Manuscripts, 98.62 (HMC, A Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Most Hon. The Marquis of Salisbury, K.G., &c, preserved at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, 24 vols. (London, 1883–1976), iv, p. 632; cited in, P. Croft, ‘Can a Bureaucrat be a Favourite?’, p. 82). 42. For a detailed reading of the iconography of the portrait, see Strong, Gloriana, pp. 157–61. 43. Correspondence of King James VI of England with Sir Robert Cecil and other in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth…, ed. J. Bruce (London: Camden Society, 1861), p. 14.



44. M. A. R. Graves, ‘Howard, Thomas, fourth duke of Norfolk (1538–1572)’, in ODNB, available at: https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-13941 (accessed 20 May 2019); Sharp, Memorials, pp. 77–8. 45. Acts of the Privy Council of England, ed. J. R. Dasent, 32 vols. (London, 1890–1907), xxxi, p. 180; R. C. Strong, ‘Queen Elizabeth I and the Order of the Garter’, The Archaeological Journal 119 (1962), pp. 253–4. See also Sir William Segar, Honor Military, and Civill (London, 1602), pp. 54–5, 75. At the queen’s commandment, Essex was also stripped of his title in the official accounts of events: Francis Bacon, His Apologie, in Certaine Imputations Concerning the late Earle of Essex (London, 1604), p. 72. 46. TNA, SP 12/278/54.


Loyalty to a Nero? Publicising Puritan Persecution in the 1630s Jamie Gianoutsos

On 23 October 1634, John Bastwick, a member of the College of Physicians, stood before the ecclesiastical Court of High Commission. A traditional puritan, Bastwick would be charged with an extensive list of transgressions, including his authorship and distribution of Elenchus religionis papisticæ [A Refutation of the Religion of the Papists], which had seen numerous editions since 1624, and his maintaining of ‘schismatical and heretical opinions’, including speaking ‘against kneeling at the receiving of holy communion’ and ‘against bowing at the name of Jesus’, and arguing ‘that the institution of bishops was not de jure, and that there is no difference between a bishop and a presbyter or ordinary minister, and that bishops are no lords’.1 On 9 October, Bastwick refused to take the oath to answer charges against him, and, after being ordered to pay a bond of £300, was committed to the Gatehouse. As he stood before the court again two weeks later, his answers ‘were adjudged scandalous, and he was admonished to answer plenè, planè, et directè, upon the pain of £100 fine, with intimation that if he stand out, the court will impose greater fines’. J. Gianoutsos (*) Mount St Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_9




Refusing to enter bond for his reappearance, Bastwick baulked at the court and declared that ‘he stood before them as Paul stood before Nero’.2 In an era of religious contestation, loyalty and disloyalty were often measured through the religious praxes and beliefs of subjects. As faith informed identity, belief became political, evincing where one’s loyalty lay. The bonds of loyalty to a monarch became particularly tested when individuals suffered religious persecution, and the performance of persecution in spaces such as the courtroom and scaffold, and in manuscript and print, provided a significant platform for religious dissidents to woo popular audiences to their cause. During the reforms of Archbishop William Laud in the 1630s, protesting Protestants such as Bastwick effectively utilised these spaces of persecution to challenge the English church and crown. Although these institutions sought to stigmatise heretical sedition through punishment, the prosecuted wielded languages of martyrdom, entombment, and heroic suffering to present themselves as victims of tyranny, and found numerous supporters who interpreted their ordeal accordingly. Although some historians have dismissed the claims of the ‘puritan triumvirate’, including Bastwick, as hyperbolic and their trial as unduly studied or celebrated, a number of recent studies have placed the ordeal and religious polemic of Bastwick, William Prynne, and Henry Burton as a significant event and indicator of the culture of political controversy in the 1630s; as Andrew McRae has described, ‘their treatment at the hands of the state duly took its place in a mythology of Caroline tyranny’.3 This chapter considers, in particular, how the ‘three puritan martyrs’— Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne—adopted the stories and imagery of the Apostle Paul and the tyrannical Roman Emperor Nero to characterise their suffering, to legitimise their religious activities, and to wield a language of dissent and criticism against the Caroline church in the 1630s and 1640s. After an initial section considering the significance of the history of Nero and the early Christian martyrdom of Paul in religious and political discourses of the period, the chapter will focus on the speeches of Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne during their trial before Star Chamber and the subsequent writings and performances of these men, emphasising the significant ways they appropriated stories of the Neronian persecution of Christians, and especially of the Apostle Paul, to represent themselves as true Christian martyrs and to castigate the English prelacy and government as tyrannical. The final section will consider the earlier activities of William Prynne, whose 1633 printing of Histrio-mastix, which led him first to be arrested, likewise included significant discussion of Nero,



although in a different vein. Prynne’s appropriation of Nero included direct comparison of the English monarch with this Roman tyrant, castigating Charles as well as Henrietta Maria as causing the moral degeneration and corruption of English society much as Nero had corrupted Rome. Through a comparison of the cases of Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne, the chapter explores the significant range of criticisms and languages of disloyalty which were levelled against the Laudian church and even the British monarch in this period. Attending to these claims of Neronian and religious persecution demonstrates how conceptions of religion, politics, history, and gender became significantly intertwined in descriptions of tyranny and languages of disloyalty and dissent in the 1630s and 1640s.

Paul, Nero, and Christian Persecution in English Discourse Bastwick’s description of himself as the Apostle Paul imprisoned under Nero was a highly significant one in Stuart England, for the figure of Paul, his writings, and his suffering had been the centre of discourse in religious and political thought for at least a century prior. In the sixteenth century, the writings of Paul had served as the handbook of the reformers, English and continental. ‘The Reformation fought and conquered in the name of Paul’, Albert Schweitzer summarised, and while a host of twentieth-­ century theologians including Schweitzer would argue how gravely Luther and the other reformers had misread the apostle, such agitation to rescue the Pauline epistles from sixteenth-century exegesis only proves the centrality of Paul to reformation theology.4 In the 1545 preface to his collected Latin writings, Luther had described the now famous early moment in his career when he came to his new understanding of the iustitia Dei through reading Paul’s letter to the Romans. Early Protestant theologians, following in Luther’s wake, argued adamantly against their opponents that they did not present novel teaching, but carried forward Luther’s ‘rediscovery of the Gospel’, and, in particular, a more accurate reading of St Paul.5 Pauline authority likewise held a fundamental place in English Protestant thought in the early sixteenth century and beyond. Central to William Tyndale’s insistence on the need for an English Bible well translated was his view that Paul had to be understood for the sake of each reader’s salvation.6 It is, moreover, not incidental that the famous Gerlach Flicke painting of Thomas Cranmer (c. 1545–46) portrayed the Primate of All England and architect of English Protestantism at his study reading



a book labelled Paul’s letters.7 For the godly in seventeenth-century England, the Pauline epistles remained central to Christian soteriology and served as the primary biblical authority in theological disputes. Not only did the epistolary writings of Paul greatly shape English Protestant theology and identity, but the experiences of the apostle as persecuted missionary and martyr resonated deeply with ‘godly’ Protestants. Experiences of persecution in the sixteenth century, especially under the reign of Queen Mary I, had galvanised the English Protestant movement and the English reformed identity; while Marian exiles had been small in number, their impact proved to be significant and long-­ lasting.8 John Foxe especially ensured this legacy, as his Actes and Monuments (Book of Martyrs), with its lavishly illustrated account of the multi-national history of the church and the long-suffering of true Christian martyrs from the age of the apostles until the accession of Queen Elizabeth, would become the single most important literary influence on English Protestant identity. Reflecting the centrality of Pauline soteriology in Protestant thought, Book I of the 1570 expanded edition of Actes and Monuments enumerated ‘The summe of S.  Paules doctrine deliuered to the Gentles [sic]’ as a response to the ‘corrupt doctrine of the Popes Church’; later chapters rehearsed Paul’s life and activities as true Christian martyr.9 According to Foxe, Paul’s beheading under Nero, being one of the ‘fyrst persecutions of the primitiue church’, reflected upon the apostle’s great transformation from acting himself as a persecutor of Christians to one later persecuted by Nero for his ‘labours in promoting the gospel of Christ’.10 The Actes and Monuments celebrated Paul’s long-suffering; although no man had stood with Paul in his first imprisonment, ‘the Lorde stoode with [him]’, Foxe recounted, ‘and did comfort [him], that the preaching of his word might procede by [him], and that all the Gentiles myght heare and be taught’. After his first imprisonment, Paul had been ‘deliuered [by God] out of the Lyons mouth’ in order to proselytise and to bear witness for the true faith.11 Following this brief account of Paul’s first imprisonment and a discussion of the numerous Pauline epistles, Foxe cited the writings of Abdias to provide a fuller account of the apostle’s second suffering and ultimate martyrdom under the tyrant Nero. While in Rome, Paul ‘was accused to the Emperour, not onely for teaching newe doctrine, but also for styrring vp sedition agaynste the Empyre’. This description emphasised that Paul’s sufferings had resulted from being perceived as a threat which was religious as well as political. Despite the apostle declaring his doctrines to be



amicable to peace and the proper ordering of society—Paul had exhorted all men to practice ‘peace and charitie’, ‘Children to obey their parentes’, ‘Wiues to be subiecte vnto their husbandes. Citizens and subiectes to geue their tribute to Cesar and to be subiecte to theyr Magistrates’, Foxe explained—Nero pronounced a sentence of death by beheading. Paul ‘after hys prayers made, gaue his necke to the sword’, and thus ended his manifold labours for the Christian gospel, a true martyr for Christ and a true victim of the Roman state.12 For the godly persecuted in the 1630s, the figure of Paul held remarkable significance due to his authority in determining Christian doctrine and his example as a fellow sufferer of religious persecution at the hands of the state. Indeed, one could argue that, apart from Christ himself, no scriptural figure would have been more significant in godly circles in the 1630s and 1640s.13 The political significance of Paul’s writings and persecution, however, went even beyond these Protestant religious discourses. In Stuart political thought, Paul’s exhortation in the thirteenth chapter of Romans for Christians to obey the higher secular powers served as a locus classicus for debates concerning theories of obedience and resistance to monarchy more broadly. Paul urged in Romans that ‘every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation’.14 As Tudor and Stuart writers frequently commented, the apostle penned this chapter while living as a subject under Nero; his willing acceptance of persecution and martyrdom seemed only to further attest that the Bible demanded unlimited obedience by Christian subjects even to the worst of kings, tyrants, or governments. King James most famously employed this passage and its historical context in The Trew Law of Free Monarchies (1598) to argue for the unlimited obedience of subjects: And vnder the Euangel, that king, whom Paul bids the Romanes obey and serue for conscience sake, was Nero that bloody tyrant, an infamie to his aage, and a monster to the world, being also an idolatrous persecuter, as the King of Babel was. If then Idolatrie and defection from God, tyranny ouer their people, and persecution of the Saints, for their profession sake, hindred not the Spirit of God to command his people vnder all highest paine to giue them all due and heartie obedience for conscience sake, … what shameless presumption is it to any Christian people now adayes to claime to that vnlawful libertie, which God refused to his owne peculiar and chosen people?15



Paul’s writings and his example appeared to present a divine as well as a political argument for monarchical absolutism, whereby monarchs possessed freedom from the restraints of human law and subjects owed unlimited obedience, even to the worst of tyrants. This Pauline admonition to obedience would have been widely known, being preached regularly from Church of England pulpits. An Homily against Disobedience and Wilful Rebellion (1563), included in the Elizabethan Second Book of Homilies ‘to be read in euery paryshe Churche agreablye’, named Paul’s Epistle to the Romans as one of two ‘special places out of the New Testament, which may stand in stead of all other’ concerning obedience, whereby ‘it is most evident that kings, queens, and other princes … are ordained of God, are to be obeyed and honoured of their subjects; that such subjects as are disobedient or rebellious against their princes disobey God, and procure their own damnation’.16 As in James’ Trew Law, the homily emphasised not only Paul’s text but the historical context of his writing: ‘And who, I pray you, was prince over the most part of Christians, when God’s Holy Spirit by St Paul’s pen gave them this lesson? Forsooth Caligula, Clodius or Nero: who were not only no Christians, but pagans, and also either foolish rulers, or most cruel tyrants’. Not only must Christians endure and obey these rulers, the homily argued, but Christian subjects must pray for them, ‘with a confession that their sins had deserved such a prince to reign over them’.17 At the same time, it was commonplace in seventeenth-century writings to declare Nero the ‘worst of tyrants’, a Roman emperor not only decried for torturing Christians but for numerous other heinous crimes. The brief summary of Nero in The Lives of all the Roman Emperors (1636), for example, listed a great number of examples of his ‘insolency and cruelty’: killing Seneca, stealing from the temple, causing ‘his owne Mother Agrippina to be slaine, and her body to be ript open, that he might see the place wherein he lay’, slaying the pregnant ‘Poppae his wife with a spurne or kicke’, practicing magic, laughing as he set the city on fire, and persecuting and slaying ‘an infinite number of Christians’, until he ‘stabbed himselfe to the joy of the whole World’ in the fourteenth year of his reign, at the age of thirty-two.18 While Paul’s Roman epistle appeared to provide an undeniable argument for unlimited obedience, the classical exemplum of Nero, filled with shocking stories of perversity and heinous violence, simultaneously proved dangerous for arguments in support of monarchy. To be asked to obey such a monstrous ruler could prove difficult, and the emperor’s history demonstrated how such tyrannical activity would indeed



lead to rebellion. Nero was threatened by a revolt of the ancient Britons under Boudica, Piso’s conspiracy, and, finally, the revolt of Galba under Julius Vindex, which led the Senate to declare the emperor an enemy of the people and order Nero’s execution. To deem one’s monarch a Nero, thereby, was to level a significant charge of corruption—political, sexual, and religious—against one’s king and to insinuate that he might suffer an untimely and violent end.19 Numerous ballads, plays, poems, works of history, and libels throughout the seventeenth century sought to criticise and to challenge King James, King Charles, and their ministers—including Archbishop William Laud—through comparisons with Nero and other Roman tyrants.20 In their writings, trial, and public persecution, Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton appropriated Paul and Nero’s stories while simultaneously arguing that they sought not to undermine monarchy as such, but to preserve the monarchy by challenging abuses by the prelacy and especially Archbishop Laud, whose policies they believed usurped the king’s prerogative. Henry Burton, for example, in his sermons published as For God and the King (1636), for which he was tried before Star Chamber, argued that Laudian policies ran counter to the king’s ecclesiastical laws, thereby one’s duty to obey the king included resistance to the archbishop. Burton contended, ‘The true servants of the Lord, & subjects of the King, ought not to joyne with those’, including Archbishop Laud and Laudian bishops, ‘that are given to change, whither it bee in the State of Religion, or of the Common-­ weale’ for they endangered the cause of true religion, the king, and the commonwealth.21 While Burton with Prynne and Bastwick deemed this view wholly loyal to the British monarchy and to the upholding of the royal prerogative against unlawful usurpation, Attorney General John Banks repeatedly labelled their views in the Star Chamber proceedings as ‘scandalous’, ‘libellous’, and responsible for ‘stirring faction’ amongst the king’s subjects.22 As Glenn Burgess and J.  P. Sommerville have argued, amongst Protestants the advancement of resistance theories were extremely rare until at least 1638.23 Yet while puritans frequently sought to underscore their allegiance to monarchy, as did Bastwick, Prynne, and Burton in their denial of charges of sedition, several engaged in significant rhetoric that emphasised how monarchs could and did degenerate into tyrannical corruption through unlawful and unchristian activity or belief, and further questioned whether subjects owed obedience to tyrants. As we will see, William Prynne’s Histrio-mastix already in 1633 had outlined reasons why



King Charles could be considered a corrupted and tyrannical ruler, although the work did not directly justify any duty to resist. By the 1640s, Prynne forcefully contended that Christians owed first obedience to God and did not owe a duty of obedience to tyranny. In The soveraigne power of parliaments and kingdomes (1643), Prynne’s close explication of Romans 13 underscored that the Apostle Paul provided no inhibition to resisting ‘Tyrants, or their ill Ministers bent with force of armes to ruine Religion, Lawes, Liberties’. Tyrants such as ‘Nero, who wished all the Romans had but one necke, that he might cut them all off at one stroke’ are not the ‘Ministers of God for our good’ described by Paul as being owed obedience. They are ‘the very Pests, Iudgements, Scourges, Wolves, Cut-throats, destroyers of mankind, and direct Antinodes to all things that are good’. Prynne concluded, thereby, that the apostle ‘implies a lawfulnesse of resisting those who are the Devils Ministers to us for evill, rather then Gods for good’.24 By describing the activities of the Church of England and of the English crown through the lens of Paul and Nero, Bastwick, Prynne, and Burton publicly imagined the limits of civil obedience even while proclaiming their loyalty to the crown. These discourses paved the way for later defences of resistance.

To ‘Cloath Them in Roman Buffe’ Declaring as Bastwick did in 1634 that he stood before the Court of High Commission as ‘Paul stood before Nero’ was a deeply significant speech act. For the three puritan martyrs, it was far from an isolated incident. Across the 1630s and early 1640s, Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne described and compared their trial and extended imprisonment in print and in speech to the treatment of Paul under Nero, and, as early as 1633, Prynne employed the exemplum of Nero to accuse King Charles of tyrannical activity. Their speeches framed disloyalty to the church government as a religious imperative to promote and spread the true gospel in the face of ecclesiastical tyranny. At the same time, with the refusal of King Charles to aid the cause of these martyrs, and the failure of the English legal system to protect their rights under the common law, the rhetoric of Bastwick, Prynne, and Burton expanded from ecclesiastical to political criticism. The writings and activities of Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton, although not initially coordinated, together presented the most thorough and vociferous challenge to the Caroline church and policies of Archbishop William Laud during the 1630s, deeming Anglican bishops, high liturgical



ceremonialism, and Arminian tendencies as popish, absolutist, idolatrous, and declaring them to be the corruption of Antichrist. In 1637, all three were tried together under the prerogative court of Star Chamber and convicted of seditious libel for their writings. These included Bastwick’s Apologeticus ad Praesules Anglicanos (1636) and The Letany of John Bastwick (1637); Burton’s Gunpowder Treason sermons entitled For God, and the King (1636), his An Apology of an Appeale (1636), and A Divine Tragedie Lately Acted (1636) against Sabbath-breakers; and Prynne’s News from Ipswich (1636), penned while already confined in the Tower.25 Their punishment for seditious libel included imprisonment, degradation, pillorying, mutilation, and exorbitant fines of £5000 each. On 27 August 1637, the Privy Council (members of which had sat with the chief justices in the Star Chamber trial) ordered the libellers reassigned to remote islands rather than imprisoned on domestic sites—Prynne to Jersey, Burton to Guernsey, and Bastwick to the Isles of Scilly. This was a truly innovative punishment intended to prevent further ‘contagion’ by these heretics and to ensure their inability to pursue legal recourse, including the writ of habeas corpus.26 During and following their Star Chamber trial, Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne frequently employed the historical exemplum of the Apostle Paul’s persecution under Nero to characterise their suffering as highly unjust according to religious and legal precepts, and to threaten the privy councillors and Lords overseeing their trial that this injustice would be publicised to the far reaches of Christendom. Prior to the Star Chamber hearing in 1637, Prynne had already castigated Laudian bishops as surpassing Nero and ‘the very Divell himselfe’ in their unlawful persecution of true Christians. ‘And whereas Paul though imprisoned under that most bloody Divell and Tirant Nero in Pagan Rome, had so much liberty, as to dwell two yeares space together in his owne hired house, and receive all that came in unto him: Preaching the Kingdome of God’, Prynne contended, ‘Yet these Lord Prelates to shew themselves more cruelly barbarous and Tyrannicall then either the Divell or Nero, have anciently, and yet daily doe shut up diverse of Gods Ministers and people close prisonners’, refusing them the company of friends and the ability to preach sometimes for years.27 During the Star Chamber trial, however, it was John Bastwick who initially and repeatedly employed this imagery to criticise his legal treatment. Arguing that the Lords would be unlawful according to the ‘law of nature, & the law of nations, & the law of God’ to censure him without



reading his book and written answers, Bastwick proclaimed that even ‘the governour, that St Paul was carried before, did first heare his cause’ before censuring him.28 Moreover, in reference to a decree already gone forth about the chopping of his ears, Bastwick exclaimed, ‘I may say, as the Apostle saith, will ye whip a Romane vncondemned?’ Most significantly, after describing the precedent of a former case where, unlike his trial, the Lords had extended a great deal of ‘paines’ and ‘pateince’ to hear answers and depositions, Bastwick threatened: But if that will not prevaile with your honours to peruse my boke, & my answers, which heere I tender in the words of a soldier, a scholler, a gentleman, & a physition I will cloath them in Roman buffe, & haue them dispersed through out the Christian world, that future generations may see the innocence of my cause, & your proceedings in it. This I will doe, if I dy for it, when I haue done.29

Bastwick’s declaration of publicising and clothing his trial ‘in Roman buffe’ for all of Christendom to see would prove to be a threat carried out by him as well as Burton and Prynne. Indeed, a different scribal copy of the Star Chamber trial recorded this warning twice and claimed that Prynne, rather than Bastwick, had asked that the Lords ‘lay aside your Censure for this day, & inquire into my cause, heare my answeare read; which if you refuse to doe, I heare professe, I will cloath it in Roman Buffe, & send itt abroad unto the uiew of all the world, to cleare mine innocencie, and see your great iniustice in this cause’. In the speech directly following, the account described Prynne as again announcing that he would ‘cloath them (as I said before) in Roman Buffe, & disperse them throughout the Christian world, that future generations may see the Innocency of this cause, & your Honours uniust proceedings in itt; all which I will doe though itt coast mee my life’.30 The printed account of their Star Chamber trial and censure likewise included this warning twice and attributed the speeches to Bastwick.31 And yet again, the threat of importing the Roman example appeared in print when Bastwick penned his An Answer…To the exceptions made against his Letany by a Learned Gentleman (1637) while imprisoned and awaiting sentencing. In this epistolary pamphlet, which relied heavily upon the writings and examples of Paul to challenge the Laudian reforms and to label the sacramental practices of the Church of England as Catholic corruptions of the true faith, Bastwick declared his treatment by the High Commission and Star



Chamber to be highly unjust, and he vowed to translate all the court documents and speeches from his ordeal into Latin in order to publicise this injustice to the far-reaching community of true Christians. ‘And I doubt not’, Bastwick concluded, ‘but to make it the famousest story that euer was agitated in any Court of iudicature, since Paul appeared before Nero … I am onely sory I haue no more eares, nor liues to lose for the honour of God, my King and Religion’.32 Bastwick’s reiterations that his ordeal be read through a Roman lens reflected earlier arguments in print by himself and by Burton that their legal treatment superseded that of Paul’s for tyranny because they were required to take the ex officio oath. The ex officio oath, a seventeenth-­ century legal invention, forced the accused to swear before God to answer truthfully all questions even before knowing the nature of the accusations against them. It left witnesses with the ‘cruel trilemma’ of ‘(1) refusing to take the oath, which constituted contempt and subjected the person to torture; (2) taking the oath and telling the truth about their religious beliefs, which, if heretical, were punishable by death; or (3) taking the oath and lying, which was also punishable by death’ or which could constitute a mortal sin for the accused.33 Both Burton and Bastwick challenged the legality of these requirements in print by appealing to the example of Paul under Roman law. In An Apology of an Appeale (1636), Burton condemned the ‘illegality’ of the proceedings against him by describing how the Apostle Paul, ‘when he was most unjustly accused (as I am now) by Ananias the high Priest with the Elders’ of sedition, was taken before ‘Faelix the Governour a temporal Magistrate, knowing well, that Sedition was not an Ecclesiasticall, but a Civill offence, of which Paul there purged himselfe, without being put to any Ex officio Oath, putting them to prove the crime objected by witnesses’.34 The answer of John Bastwick (1637) likewise argued that the ex officio oath was against the ‘Law of Nature, the Law of Nations, the Law of God, and the Law of the Land’, as seen when ‘Paul was brought before Felix, hee taketh not an oath of him to accuse himselfe, but sayth, when thy accusers come I will heare thee’.35 In 1641, Prynne would also reflect upon the legal practices of Star Chamber and the Court of High Commission as tyrannical even in comparison to the practices of pagan judges, including Pilate’s trial of Jesus and the Roman heathens who tried Paul.36 As promised before Star Chamber, Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne did fulfil the warning that their ordeal would be widely publicised through this lens. The realisation of this promise by Bastwick himself, however, became



initially hampered by his island imprisonment, which entailed the most severe isolation of the three martyrs. In St Mary’s castle on the Isles of Scilly, Bastwick ‘was kept close prisoner two years and four months and for seven days and nights, never came into any bed, but lay in a dungeon, and endured unsufferable misery from inhumane jailors’, denied all books, writing, visitors, and conversation with the gaolers.37 As David Cressy notes, even following his release, Bastwick’s polemical writings did not tend to dwell on the particulars of his imprisonment.38 Yet in his reflections in 1645 on his treatment by the Caroline regime in Independency not Gods ordinance, Bastwick did provide some detail concerning his treatment through the lens of Paul’s suffering. Having received the ‘ruin of me, my wife, and many small children … through the power and exorbitant authority of the Prelates’, Bastwick recorded, he had supplicated King Charles, ‘who was the Caesar to whom onely I could then appeal’ to hear his humble petition. Bastwick requested that the king employ his prerogative to allow Bastwick to depart the kingdom with his family. King Charles refused Bastwick’s plea, which led the physician to lament that ‘Paul found more favour from a Heathen Roman Caesar, then I had from a Christian King, a defender of the faith’. Having no further legal recourse, Bastwick was sent into exiled isolation, where he ‘lived a living death and a dying life’.39 From his ‘sad experience’, Bastwick learned that he could only hope in and maintain ‘the prerogative royall of the King of Saints, & King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ’ rather than hope in any earthly Caesar.40 When Bastwick’s exile curtailed his publicity of mistreatment in ‘Roman buffe’, Burton took up the torch. In A Narration of the Life of Mr Henry Burton, written in 1643 following his release from offshore incarceration on Guernsey, Burton offered twenty-seven reasons why his persecution not only rivalled the Apostle Paul’s under Nero, but even surpassed it. Although he considered himself ‘but a dwarfe’ to Paul in spiritual matters, Burton argued that he had suffered in the same manner and degree as the apostle throughout his career, and yet received no help from governmental authorities in contrast to Paul in his initial imprisonment under Nero. As Burton explained, ‘Paul was rescued from the hands of the cruell Jewes, High Priests, and Pharises, by his appealing to Caesar, a heathen Emperour, who protected him from their violence: but I, by appealing from the cruell Prelates, was not rescued from their bloody hands’.41 Here Burton not only castigated the ecclesiastical authorities as worse than Pharisees, but effectively charged King Charles for failing in his duty to rescue Christians from cruel and unjust persecution. Burton went even



further than this, however, declaring that his punishment from the Star Chamber ruling indeed further exceeded Paul’s suffering under the tyrant Nero: Paul (if the story be true) suffered death, by being beheaded, with the sword, under Nero at Rome: And I suffered that on the pilary in England, my native Country, which was more painefull, and no lesse, if not more disgracefull, then such a death. For my head hung two full hours on the pilary, as if it had been separate from my body; and there were my two eares disgracefully and butcherly cut off with the hangmans knife, whereby my blood was abundantly shed, even to the expiring of the soule; all which was, both for the present, and afterwards in the time of healing, much more painfull, then the chopping off of the head with one stroke.42

According to Burton, his mutilation greatly exceeded Paul’s suffering. Furthermore, Charles’ government had surpassed Nero’s tyranny by refusing to allow Burton to meet with friends, use pen, ink, and paper while imprisoned, or bring witnesses to testify on his behalf before the Star Chamber. Bastwick and Burton’s reflections demonstrate how the condemnation of churchmen and high courts could translate into condemnations of the failures of the English king to protect and promote the true gospel in England.

Histrio-Mastix and the Neronian Charles By the time Burton and Bastwick joined Prynne on the pillory in 1637, the fiery and colourful lawyer had already reached celebrity status from his trial, mutilation, and subsequent imprisonment in the Fleet and Tower beginning years earlier in 1634. In February 1634, William Prynne had been charged and found guilty in Star Chamber for writing a seditious book, Histrio-mastix (1633), which attacked stage-plays, masques, dancing, and festivals as ‘sinfull, heathenish, lewde, ungodly spectacles, and most pernicious corruptions’, and which denounced the king and queen for allowing, sponsoring, and participating in such activities. According to his accusers, Prynne’s Histrio-mastix preached rebellion, as he ‘indeavoured to infuse an opinnyon into the people that ytt is lawfull to laye violent hands vppon Princes that are either actors, favourers, or spectatores of stage playes’.43 Attorney General William Noy defended these charges by citing numerous examples in the thousand-page Histrio-mastix,



and he characterised Prynne’s writing as deeply inflammatory, even when indirect. Noy maintained that Prynne often refused to write by ‘precepts’, which ‘would be to[o] playne’ for his purpose, preferring instead to censure the monarch by adopting ‘examples and other implicite meanes’, including ‘sheweinge the lyfe and death of princes that loved stage playes’. Prominent among these historical examples was Nero, the ‘playerlyke, citharedicall lyfe of this vitious emperour, which made him soe execrable to some noble Romanes, that to vindicate the honnor of the Romane empire, which was thus basely prostituted, they conspired his distrucion’.44 In the end, Prynne’s book was deemed to be such a ‘huge, scandalous, infamous, and seditious lybell against the Kinge and Queene’, that he was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment and a £5000 fine, stripped of his legal practice and university degrees, expelled from Lincoln’s Inn, publicly humiliated in the pillory, his ears mutilated at Westminster and Cheapside, and his books burned by the hangman in front of his eyes—the last being an innovative punishment in Caroline England.45 The charge of sedition for a printed book was itself an innovation. In 1578, judges had ruled that ‘sedition cannot be committed by words, but by publick and violent action’.46 With the case of Prynne, one could be charged with sedition for words, even when those words heavily referenced the historical past. Annabel Patterson has well described the irony of Prynne’s book: ‘That drama could have any didactic or analytical function was endlessly denied; yet Prynne himself made copious use of the dramatists’ sources of indirection: old stories, other men’s words’.47 Some scholarly accounts have downplayed the oppositional character of Prynne’s Histrio-mastix, arguing that he ‘had not attacked the crown, even if he had been rude about amusements patronised by it’, or that he ‘had merely spoken in rude and intemperate language of amusements patronised by the King’. Others, ignoring the vast contemporary responses to Prynne, have claimed that his case received ‘little public attention or sympathy’.48 Yet Prynne’s work, as Mark Kishlansky has argued, was fundamentally a work of sedition against King Charles.49 A significant but often overlooked aspect of this sedition were the gendered criticisms that Prynne levelled against Charles and his government through the use of historical examples, including frequent portrayals of Nero and other Roman tyrants. Prynne did not seek through these arguments to abolish monarchy as such in England, but he called for the reformation of Charles, as well as Henrietta and their court, lest the kingdom of England fall to ruin and divine punishment.



Prynne’s Histrio-mastix condemned the ‘sinfull, wicked, unchristian pastimes, vanities, cultures, and disguises’ of the ungodly. Although the theatre was the primary target of his treatise, Prynne also argued passionately against numerous other activities, games, and fashions as being ‘wicked, sinfull, unchristian’ in their own right and ‘concomitants or fruites of Stage-playes’. These ‘vanities’ included ‘effeminate mixt Dancing, Dicing, Stage-playes, lascivious Pictures, wanton Fashions, Face-­ painting, Health-drinking, Long haire, Love-lockes’, practices condoned, culturally associated with, and frequently exercised by the king and his court.50 Indeed, the royal court’s fashions, entertainments, and displays of magnificence, consumption, and cultural patronage were central to the king’s performance of power and international diplomacy, and to the court’s function as an honourable and profitable opportunity and marriage market for aristocratic families.51 On the elaborate sets of Whitehall Palace, and in the gardens and great halls of aristocratic households, the king, queen, and courtiers staged luxurious and deliberately wasteful entertainments, meant to emphasise their grandeur and status. Even those not invited to dance and act in these performances or to witness their spectacles could read about the decadent sets, costumes, and designs in printed accounts or experience them through repeat performances on the public stage.52 Histrio-mastix further targeted Stuart policies concerning observance of the Sabbath, challenging King James’ ruling that many sports and games may be appropriately exercised on Sundays. ‘[D]auncing, either men or women, Archerie for men, leaping, vaulting … May-Games, Whiston Ales, and Morris-dances, and the setting vp of Maypoles’ had all been justified in James’ Book of Sports (1618), which rebuked ‘Puritanes’ for prohibiting recreations on the Sabbath and holy days which the king deemed ‘lawfull’ and ‘honest’.53 Throughout the late 1620s, Sunday Sabbatarians argued that Christians should observe a strict Sabbath and thereby honour the fourth commandment and the practices of the primitive Christian church.54 As Prynne sat imprisoned in the Tower for Histrio-­ mastix, Charles republished his father’s book, intending to remind his subjects of the ‘princely wisdom’ of allowing ‘lawfull Sports’ and presumably also intending to refute Prynne.55 Beyond these explicit assaults upon Charles’ government, Prynne himself most emphasised that his accusers had charged him with deliberately attacking Queen Henrietta Maria for her participation in these courtly activities, especially as she rehearsed Walter Montague’s masque The



Shepherd’s Pastoral (1633) for a performance just six weeks after the printing of Histrio-mastix had commenced. Although Prynne had spent more than seven years constructing his large book, and thereby defended himself as not commenting upon current affairs, it was argued that he had expanded the index to Histrio-mastix during the queen’s rehearsals.56 The index entry that carried especial offence in relation to the queen was ‘Women-Actors, notorious whores’, which cited a law of Justinian banning actresses and several biblical examples from the Apostle Paul before concluding: ‘And dare then any Christian women be so more then whorishly impudent, as to act, to speake publikely on a Stage, (perchance in mans apparell, and cut haire, here proved sinfull and abominable) in the presence of sundry men and women? … O let such presidents of impudency, of impiety be never heard of or suffred among Christians’.57 Although some scholars have written this off as merely a ‘careless entry’ on Prynne’s part,58 this entry was very characteristic of Histrio-mastix as a whole and labelled the practices of the royal court and queen as indecent, irreligious, and a threat to the gendered order of society. In seventeenth-­ century England, ‘whore’ was an extremely common term of abuse which signified all unchaste sexual behaviour, including purchased sexuality and unpurchased promiscuity, adultery, and fornication outside of wedlock. Because women’s lust was understood as peculiarly high due to the humoral composition of their bodies and less-developed rational capabilities, their subordination to men and the stamping out of whoredom were deemed necessary for the spiritual and political order of society.59 Female actors were similarly ‘notorious’, in Prynne’s view, because they performed before men and mixed audiences; as Prynne underscored, Paul had admonished women from speaking publicly in the church, teaching, or ‘usurp[ing] authority over the man’.60 Prynne’s rhetoric thereby emphasised that women actors threatened to undermine the gendered order of the realm, allowing women to assume an unnatural role in the social hierarchy over the command of men—‘ouer-ruling nature and their Husbands both at once’.61 In this position, women actors could engender sinful sexual appetites and irreligious behaviour in the men they dominated. Simultaneously, Prynne’s admonishment betrayed his earlier concerns expressed in The Vnloueliness of Loue-Locks (1628) that ‘our Mannish Impudent, and inconstant Female sexe, are Hermophradited, and transformed into men’, while ‘so diuers of our Masculine, and more noble race, are wholy degenerated and metamorphosed into women’ when women adopted cut hair and men long hair.62



During the 1634 trial, Attorney General Noy explicitly accused Prynne of committing a crime against the king’s person by comparing the king to the ‘vitious emperor’ Nero.63 Noy argued that Prynne in the ‘Epistle Dedicatory’ had made the king worse than Nero by describing how many more playhouses Charles had opened in London than Nero in Rome. Later, Prynne had compared Charles to Nero as a person of ‘rancke and quallitye’, whose voluntary acting in or attending plays led to his downfall; what was most disturbing about this second example, in Noy’s view, was Prynne’s argument that Nero’s ‘playerlyk, citharedicall lyfe … made him so execrable to some noble Romanes, that to vindicate the honnor of the Roman empire, which was thus basely prostituted, they conspired his distrucion’.64 Prynne’s crimes thereby rested both in the direct comparison he was accused of drawing between Nero and Charles, and in the very treasonous suggestion that Charles’ activities could lead to regicide, as Nero’s activities had led to his own death. The prosecution understood Prynne’s turn to history as motivated by rebellious intent and as aiding this rebellion, for as the solicitor general explained, ‘Yf [Prynne] had possitively named his Maiestie in theis places, his meanynge would have been to playnne, therefore he names other princes, and leaves the application to the reader’.65 That Prynne was charged and severely punished for, among other things, comparing the ‘best of men to the worst of tyrantes’ illustrates how very seriously Charles and his government understood negative historical exempla, especially of tyrants and tyrannicide, as a threat to the king’s sacred image and authority. Unlike Bastwick and Burton’s discussions of Nero and Prynne’s later discussions of his 1637 Star Chamber trial, which emphasised the religious persecution of Paul, Prynne’s treatment of Nero in Histrio-mastix focused primarily on how the emperor’s ‘private’ vices led to ‘public’ corruption and disorder. He described, for example, how Nero’s activities drew his subjects ‘to all licentious dissolutenesse, and excess of vice, to the very utter subversion of their States’.66 The ‘pernicious effects’ of stage-plays numbered at least twenty, Prynne argued, including wastefulness, sexual perversion, dissimulation, excessive indulgence, violence, effeminacy, irreligion, idolatry, and, as a result, divine punishment and damnation.67 Although ‘effeminacy’ received its own chapter in Histrio-mastix, almost every one of these vices was understood as a characteristic of failed masculinity in seventeenth-century England, where the ideal man was thought to be rational and in control of his passions.68 Nero’s history served as a significant example of the danger of theatre for a monarch’s masculinity, and thereby effectiveness as a ruler.



His ‘grosse intermperance’, Prynne argued, including excessive drunkenness and luxury, acting on the stage, wearing of women’s clothing, and adopting of women’s gestures, had ‘effeminated’ Nero’s body; as a result, the tyrant indulged in ‘lewd’ and ‘whorish’ practices, even ‘sodomiticall ones’ inspired by his ‘invirility’.69 Being thus corrupted in body and practice, Nero corrupted the entire ‘Roman Nation’, Prynne concluded, ‘and drew them on to all kinde of vice of luxury and lewdnesse’.70 Simultaneously, his kingdom suffered divine punishment through plagues, pestilences, and civil discord.71 Prynne’s Histrio-mastix thereby connected the love of stage-plays with tyranny, as ‘tyrannicall dispositions’ drove emperors to stage-plays, and as stage-plays caused the tyrannical ruin of kingdoms.72 By the next decade, he would argue that Christians did not owe obedience to such tyrants as the Emperor Nero.

Conclusion In 1640, after three years of exiled imprisonment following their public mutilation, the Long Parliament demanded that Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton, the ‘three martyrs’, be released. They re-entered London in triumph through a celebratory pilgrimage, eyewitnesses claimed, with exuberant crowds honouring them with bonfires and bells, rosemary and bays, and thanksgiving to the Lord for their return. ‘Oh blessed be the Lord for this day’, the puritan Robert Woodford joyfully composed, ‘for this day those holy living martyrs Mr Burton and Mr Prynne came to town, and the Lord’s providence brought me out of the Temple to see them. My heart rejoiceth in the Lord for this day; it is even like the return of the captivity from Babylon’. Even those not sharing in the euphoric refrains reported, such as Thomas Hobbes did, that the men arrived ‘as if they had been let down from heaven’.73 Following this triumphal entry, the house of Commons heard Prynne’s testimony and in April 1640 declared the Star Chamber sentence against Prynne to be ‘unjust’ and ‘illegal, and given without any just Cause or Ground’; by June, the Commons approved a bill regulating the Privy Council and abolishing Star Chamber altogether.74 Before and after their triumphant release from exile, Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne’s writings, speeches, and performances highlight the range of critical languages of disloyalty which circulated in this period. Through ruminations upon religious and classical history—upon the most righteous Apostle Paul and the most tyrannical Emperor Nero—the godly



could and did preach for the cleansing of the Laudian church, the reformation of unjust legal systems, and the needed purification of the English monarch. While these men repeatedly represented and understood their protests as targeting Laudian ‘innovations’ and defending the royal prerogative, their employment of Pauline precedent and Neronian language levelled a much wider charge of tyranny against the English courts and eventually the monarch himself; for, continued reflections by Burton and Bastwick upon their mistreatment, ‘cloathed in Roman buffe’, included significant descriptions of the failure of King Charles, their ‘Caesar’, to defend them from religious persecution. Prynne’s adoption of Neronian imagery in the 1630s both participated with and greatly exceeded that of Burton and Bastwick’s. His lengthy discussions of the Emperor Nero demonstrate how historical imagery of tyrannical corruption could lead to charges against the monarch’s person and activities. Although fully canvassed resistance arguments would not circulate widely until the English Civil Wars, these puritan discourses of tyranny and monarchical failure laid the groundwork for Englishmen to imagine their government as tyrannical and to reflect upon the necessity of being forced to choose to obey God, their heavenly Caesar, rather than obey any earthly Caesar.

Notes 1. TNA, SP 16/261, f. 159 (Acts of the Court of High Commission, February 1634–35). For his own account, see J. Bastwick, Praxeis ton episkopon sive apologeticus ad praesules Anglicanos criminum ecclesiasticorum in curia celsae commissionis... (Leiden(?), 1636), pp. 5–6. Bastwick’s puritanism reflected his upbringing by Elizabethan puritans. He sought to distance himself from Alexander Leighton’s radicalism, admitted his doubts about established church practices but claimed he outwardly conformed, denied papal primacy, and emphasised that bishops are subject to the civil power of their kingdom. See W. Lamont, ‘Prynne, William (1600–1669)’, in ODNB, available at: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/22854 (accessed 14 December 2018). 2. TNA, SP 16/261, f. 76 (Acts of the Court of High Commission, October 1634). 3. A.  McRae, Literature, Satire, and the Early Stuart State (Cambridge, 2004), p.  190. Most recently see D.  Cressy, ‘Puritan Martyrs in Island Prisons’, Journal of British Studies 57 (2018), 736–54. See also D. Cressy, Travesties and Transgression in Tudor and Stuart England (Oxford, 2000), pp.  213–33; A.  Bellany, ‘Libels in Action: Ritual, Subversion, and the



English Literary Underground, 1603–42’ in The Politics of the Excluded, c. 1500–1850, ed. T. Harris (Basingstoke, 2001), pp. 99–124. For those who have questioned this reading or characterised the ‘triumvirate’ as hyperbolic, see M. Kishlansky, ‘A Whipper Whipped: The Sedition of William Prynne’, The Historical Journal 56 (2013), 603–27; Lamont, ‘Prynne, William’; W. Lamont, Marginal Prynne (London, 1963), p. 33; K. Sharpe, The Personal Rule of Charles I (New Haven and London, 1992), pp. 676, 680. 4. A.  Schweitzer, Paul and His Interpreters: A Critical History, trans. W. Montgomery (New York, 1964), p. 2; J. A. Linebaugh, ‘Introduction’, in Reformation Readings of Paul: Explorations in History and Exegesis, ed. M. Allen and J. A. Linebaugh (Downers Grove, Illinois, 2015), pp. 11–20; S. Westerholm, Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The ‘Lutheran’ Paul and his Critics (Cambridge, 2004). 5. D. C. Steinmetz, ‘Luther and Calvin on Church and Tradition’, Michigan Germanic Studies 10 (1984), p. 108; D. C. Fink, ‘Was There a “Reformation Doctrine of Justification”?’, The Harvard Theological Review 103 (2010), 205–35, esp. p. 206. 6. D.  Daniell, William Tyndale: A Biography (New Haven and London, 1994), p. 139. 7. A.  Null, ‘Thomas Cranmer’s Reading of Paul’s Letters’, in Reformation Readings of Paul, ed. Allen and Linebaugh, pp. 124–5. As Null notes, the painter here exercised artistic licence, as no such book containing only Paul’s letters had been ever published in England during this period. 8. P. Marshall, ‘Settlement Patterns: The Church of England, 1553–1603’, in The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume 1: Reformation and Identity c. 1520–1662, ed. A. Milton (Oxford, 2017), pp. 45–61, esp. p. 47. 9. J.  Foxe, The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online or TAMO (1570 edn.) (Sheffield, 2011), book 1, p. 50, available at: http://www.johnfoxe. org (accessed 20 January 2018). It should be noted that William Prynne’s relationship to Foxe’s Actes and Monuments throughout his career was complex. In 1641, Prynne had presented Foxe’s Actes and Monuments to his parish church in Swainswick, but during the 1640s, he turned from castigating Laudianism and supporting non-Laudian bishops to advocating the more radical ‘root and branch’ destruction of episcopacy, which would implicitly reject Foxe’s description of martyr legacies in connection to the tradition of bishops. See Lamont, ‘Prynne, William’. 10. Foxe, The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online, book 1, p. 68. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid. 13. In their pillory speeches, especially Burton repeatedly compared his suffering to Christ’s crucifixion. See the extensive account in Bodleian Library, Oxford, Tanner MS 299, ff. 140r–143r.



14. Romans 13:1–5 (KJV). 15. King James VI and I: Political Writings, ed. J. P. Sommerville (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 71–2. 16. The Two Books of Homilies to Be Read in Churches, ed. John Griffiths (Oxford, 1859), pp. 552–3. The other passage of scripture referenced is I Peter 2:13–18. 17. Ibid., pp. 557–8. 18. R.  B., The Lives of all the Roman Emperors, being exactly Collected, from Iulius Cæsar, unto the now reigning Ferdinand the second.... (London, 1636), pp. 14–16. 19. Indeed, this was one of the primary charges levelled against William Prynne in his trial concerning Histrio-mastix (1633). See notes 43 and 44. 20. See J.  Gianoutsos, ‘Gender, Tyranny, and Republicanism in England, 1603–1660’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2014); J. Gianoutsos, ‘Criticizing Kings: Gender, Classical History, and Subversive Writing in Seventeenth-Century England’, Renaissance Quarterly 70 (2017), 1366–96. 21. H. Burton, For God and the King. The Summer of Two Sermons Preached on the Fifth of November Last in St Matthewes Friday-Street 1636 (London, 1636), p.  92. Likewise, concerning Burton’s An Apology of an Appeale (1636), Attorney General John Banks emphasised in the charges before Star Chamber that Burton represented Laudian church policies as ‘Innovations, and alterations in religion...usurpinge, and practisinge a papall, and antichristian power and Iurisdiction exempted from the kinges lawes’, that ‘professe in the kings sole prerogatiuve, and authoritie doe thereby begin to overstepp the Royall throane, and trample the lawes, liberties, and the iust right of your Maiesties subiectes vnder their feete...’: BL, Add. MS 11308, ff. 106r-106v. See also Bodleian, Tanner MS 299, ff. 147r-v and BL, Sloane MS 1983 B, f. 47r, where Burton is accused of seeking ‘to infuse into the mindes and hearts of his Maiesties louing Subiects a causlesse feare of Innouacion in Religion’. For the connection of these arguments to wider puritan casuistic thought concerning resistance, see G.  Burgess, ‘Religious War and Constitutional Defence: Justifications of Resistance in English Puritan Thought, 1590–1643’, in Widerstandsrecht in der frühen Neuzeit: Erträge und Perspektiven der Forschung im deutschbritischen Vergleich, ed. R. von Friedeburg (Berlin, 2001), pp. 185–206, esp. p. 195. 22. BL, Add. MS 11308, f. 107r. Scribal accounts of Prynne’s speeches before Star Chamber likewise emphasise his argument that the prelates ‘entrench on his Maiesties Prerogatiue Royall, & the subiects liberties’. See BL, Add. MS 28011, f. 38v. 23. Burgess, ‘Religious War and Constitutional Defence’, pp.  189–90; J. P. Sommerville, Politics and Ideology in England, 1603–1640 (London,



1986), pp.  69–77; G.  Burgess, Absolute Monarchy and the Stuart Constitution (New Haven and London, 1996), pp. 10–12. 24. W. Prynne, The soveraigne power of parliaments and kingdomes divided into foure parts... (London, 1643), p. 105. See also Prynne’s discussions of the precedent of Nero being disposed by the senate and Seneca’s argument ‘That the Republike was not the Princes, (or of the Prince) But the Prince the Republikes’, in The fourth part of The soveraigne power of parliaments and kingdomes... (London, 1643), pp. 5, 11, 89, 150–3, 194–8. 25. See BL, Add. MS 11308 for a lengthy account of the charges levelled by Attorney General Banks against these ‘Scandalous Bookes and libells against the whole Clergie of this kingedome, and against the gouerment of the Church of England’, from 10 March 1636. 26. Cressy, ‘Puritan Martyrs in Island Prisons’, pp. 739–40. 27. Prynne, A looking-glasse for all lordly prelates (1636), p. 6. 28. Bodleian, Tanner MS 299, f. 137v. 29. Ibid., ff. 138v–139r. 30. BL, Add. MS 28011, f. 38r. 31. Anon., A Brief relation of certain speciall and most materiall passages, and speeches in the Starre-Chamber, occasioned and delivered Iune the 14th. 1637...truely and faithfully gathered from their owne mouthes by one present at the sayd censure (Amsterdam, 1637), pp.  10, 12, reprinted in 1638 in Leiden. 32. Ibid., D4r. 33. L.  W. Levy, Origins of the Fifth Amendment: The Right Against Self-­ Incrimination (Oxford, 1968), pp. 1–2. 34. Burton, An Apology of an Appeale (1636), pp. 13–14. 35. J. Bastwick, The answer of John Bastvvick, Doctor of Phisicke, to the information of Sir Iohn Bancks Knight, Atturney universall... (Leiden, 1637), p. 28. 36. W. Prynne, A new discovery of the prelates tyranny in their late prosecutions of Mr William Pryn..., Dr Iohn Bastwick,...an Mr Henry Burton... (London, 1641), pp. 25–7, 30–2. 37. Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/JO/101/202, cited in Cressy, ‘Puritan Martyrs in Island Prisons’, p. 750. 38. Cressy, ‘Puritan Martyrs in Island Prisons’, pp. 750–1. 39. J.  Bastwick, Independency not Gods ordinance: or A treatise concerning church-government, occasioned by the distractions of these times (London, 1645), pp. 3–4. 40. Ibid., p. 5. 41. A Narration of the Life of Henry Burton (London, 1634), p. 35. 42. Ibid., pp. 35–6. 43. W. Prynne, Histrio-mastix, the Players Scovrge, or, Actors Tragædie (London, 1633), title page; Documents Relating to the Proceedings against William Prynne, in 1634 and 1637, ed. S. R. Gardiner (London, 1877), pp. 1–2.



44. Proceedings against Prynne, ed. Gardiner, pp.  12–13. By ‘citharedicall’, Prynne is referring to Nero’s citharising, or passion for playing the harp. See OED, citharise, v., and cither, n. 45. Proceedings against Prynne, ed. Gardiner, pp. 20–1. 46. C.  S. Clegg, Press Censorship in Caroline England (Cambridge, 2001), p. 120; C. N. Reese, ‘Controlling Print? Burton, Bastwick and Prynne and the Politics of Memory’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Pennsylvania State University, 2007), p. 35. 47. A. M. Patterson, Censorship and Interpretation: The Conditions of Writing and Reading in Early Modern England (Madison, Wisconsin, 1984), p. 114. What Cressy has likewise highlighted was the remarkable theatricality of Prynne’s public performances and publications. See, Cressy, ‘The Portraiture of Prynne’s Pictures’, pp. 213–33. 48. [My emphasis.] Lamont, ‘Prynne, William’; Lamont, Marginal Prynne, p. 33; Sharpe, The Personal Rule of Charles I, pp. 676, 680. 49. Kishlansky, ‘A Whipper Whipped’, pp. 603–27. For the wider political and cultural significance of Prynne’s trial, see McRae, ‘Stigmatizing Prynne’, pp. 188–207; Cressy, ‘The Portraiture of Prynne’s Pictures’, pp. 213–33; Bellany, ‘Libels in Action’, pp. 99–124. 50. Prynne, Histrio-mastix, ‘To the Christian Reader’. 51. C. Hibbard, ‘Henrietta Maria in the 1630s: Perspectives on the Role of Consort Queens in Ancien Régime Courts’, in The 1630s: Interdisciplinary Essays on Culture and Politics in the Caroline Era, ed. I.  Atherton and J. Sanders (Manchester, 2006), pp. 92–110, esp. p. 102; K. Sharpe, Image Wars: Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England, 1603–1660 (New Haven and London, 2010), pp. 93–9; Sharpe, Personal Rule, pp. 131–208. 52. L. Shohet, Reading Masques: The English Masque and Public Culture in the Seventeenth Century (Oxford, 2010), pp. 63–6, 81–124. 53. James VI and I, The Kings Maiesties Declaration to His Subiects, Concerning lawfull Sports to be vsed (London, 1618), pp. 2, 7. 54. See, for example, T. Brabourne, A Discourse vpon the Sabbath (London(?), 1628), pp. 2–3. 55. The Kings Maiesties Declaration to His Subiects, Concerning lawfull Sports to bee vsed (London, 1633), p. 2. 56. Although he may have spent seven years composing Histrio-mastix, Prynne would have probably had access to his index during the work’s printing, and the particular index entry in question was on one of the very last pages of the text. 57. Histrio-mastix, index, ‘Women-Actors’. This index entry was cited explicitly at the trial. See Proceedings against Prynne, ed. Gardiner, pp. 10–11. 58. L. E. Solt, Church and State in Early Modern England, 1509–1640 (Oxford, 1990), p. 186.



59. M.  R. Sommerville, Sex and Subjection: Attitudes to Women in Early-­ Modern Society (London, 1995), pp. 8–18; L. Gowing, Domestic Dangers: Women, Words, and Sex in Early Modern London (Oxford, 1996), pp. 59–110. 60. Prynne, Histrio-mastix, index, ‘Women-Actors’. He cited I Corinthians 14:34 and I Timothy 2:12. 61. Prynne, Histrio-mastix, p. 205. 62. W.  Prynne, The Vnloueliness of Loue Locks (London, 1629), ‘To the Christian Reader’. 63. Prynne also specifically apologised for comparing the king to Nero in Mr William Prynn his defence of stage-plays, or A retractation of a former book of his called Histrio-mastix (London, 1649), pp. 5–6: It is no disparagement for any man to alter his judgement upon better information, besides it was done long ago, and when the King (whose vertues I did not then so perfectly understand) governed without any controul, which was the time that I took the better to shew my conscience and courage, to oppose that power which was the highest, but had I truly known the King, I must confesse with sorrow, I should not have compared him to Nero the most wicked of the Roman Emperors (as I did in that book) for loving of Stage-playes; nor have given the Queen those bitter and cruell words of whore and strumpet, for playing a part in Mr. Montagues Pastorall. 64. Proceedings against Prynne, ed. Gardiner, pp. 11–13. 65. Ibid., p. 10. 66. Prynne, Histrio-mastix, pp. 451–2. 67. Prynne explored each of these through twenty ‘scenas’ in ‘Actus 6’. 68. A.  Shepard, Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2003), pp. 21–38, 46; E. A. Foyster, Manhood in Early Modern England: Honour, Sex and Marriage (London, 1999), pp. 39–48. 69. See Prynne, Histrio-mastix, pp. 200, 206, 208–9, 213, 511, 514. 70. Ibid., p. 451. 71. Ibid., p. 562. 72. Ibid., p. 517. 73. Quoted in Cressy, Travesties and Transgressions, pp.  230–1; Hobbes quoted in E.  Williams Kirby, William Prynne: A Study in Puritanism (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1931), p. 53. 74. Bastwick’s ruling was likewise reversed on 25 February 1640, and Burton’s on 24 March that year. For Prynne, see Journal of the House of Commons: volume 2, 1640–1643, 20 April 1641, available at: http://www.britishhistory.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=9825&strquery=star.chamber


‘We have a good king and our imaginations ought to be good to him’: Divided Loyalties Forced on East Midlands Sheriffs, 1580–1640 Richard Bullock

Introduction The historical role of the sheriff predated the Norman Conquest and was the prime local royal representative in the Middle Ages, although by the end of the fifteenth century it had become tainted and mistrusted due to the greed and corruption of its holders, especially during times of weak central authority such as the Wars of the Roses. Geoffrey Elton stated

Quotation from ‘The Judgment of Sir William Jones in The King v John Hampden, 1637/38’, in A Complete Collection of State-Trials, and Proceedings For High-Treason, And Other Crimes And Misdemeanours; From the Reign of King Richard II to the Reign of King George II, 6 vols. (London, 1730), i, pp. 501–719 (afterwards Hampden’s Case), quotation at pp. 664–6. R. Bullock (*) Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_10




bluntly that ‘the misdeeds of fifteenth-century sheriffs resulted in the fall from the grace and power of their sixteenth century successors’.1 T. G. Barnes, in relation to Somerset, asserted that ‘if the office of lord lieutenant was a Tudor creation and that of the Justices of the Peace a Tudor augmentation, the office of sheriff was a Tudor demolition’.2 Certainly, under the Tudors, powers which had once been solely exercised by the sheriff became shared with the lord lieutenant and justices of the peace in a triumvirate of local governance, but the sheriff remained the prime local royal representative for matters of the crown’s personal prerogative rights. Later studies of individual counties and areas showed that Barnes was overly pessimistic about the role of the sheriff. John Morrill, for example, could later write about the Tudor period that he was struck ‘by the slow decline of local power structures built around the noble households, the Liberty and the Manor, and the gradual rise of the power of the institutions in the shires – the lieutenancy, the commission of the peace [and] the revival of the shrievalty’.3 The continued use by the crown and the Privy Council of the sheriffs of each county demonstrated their lasting confidence in the office and its holders. However, the tasks required of the sheriffs imposed a divided loyalty between their duty to the crown, which appointed them, and their duty to the community for which they were responsible and to which they would return when their year in office came to an end. The thrust of this chapter is to explore the weight of that divided loyalty and to show how, in the period of Personal Rule, burdens of unsustainable breadth and substance led, in the East Midlands, to an enforced choice of priorities between financial and administrative roles imposed onto under-resourced and unsupported sheriffs which highlighted and sharpened even further that conflict of loyalties. It is significant that there was a fundamental change in the use made of sheriffs after the accession of James I of England (VI of Scotland). Instead of the situation which pertained under Elizabeth I, whereby the sheriffs were, by and large, simply carrying out ancient duties in their locality, sometimes in the absence of a more obvious office to fulfil that duty, they became, under the Stuarts, more closely and intensely focused on the raising of revenues by the implementation and protection of the royal prerogative in their county. This was especially so when the prerogative was used for the raising of such revenue in the absence of parliamentary consent. The Stuarts attempted to use the courts instead of parliament as their ‘great prop’ to validate their revenue raising powers through the prerogative, both in areas of indirect taxation on goods decided by the courts such



as Bates’ Case, and also in areas of direct personal taxation such as ship money, when the king sought the opinions of all the judges before allowing them to deal with Hampden’s Case.4 This consequently meant that the sheriff, as the principal local instrument of personal local assessment and collection, became the unwitting focus of animosity to, and grievances about, such levies. The source and authority for a sheriff’s role arose from the fact of his being personally appointed by the crown to act as its local representative during his year of office. The reliance on the sheriff was also demonstrated by the fact that, unlike the office of lord lieutenant, there was a necessity for an annual appointment. Similarly, again unlike the office of the lord lieutenant, the sheriff was statutorily required, not only to hold land in his county but also to reside in that county unless he had received prior royal authority to be absent.5 In the period under consideration, whereas there was a sheriff appointed for each year in each of the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, there was, in aggregate, for nearly seventy per cent of the period either no lord lieutenant in a particular county or a lord lieutenant who held an appointment for more than one county.6 By way of further emphasis of the responsibility of the sheriff, Elizabeth I decreed that in the absence of a lord lieutenant his powers and responsibilities devolved to the sheriff of the county and particularly so in relation to the militia.7 This was particularly evident in Nottinghamshire during the period of thirty-six years when there was no lord lieutenant after the death of Gilbert, 6th earl of Shrewsbury, in 1590 until the appointment of William, Viscount Mansfield, in 1626. It also applied to Leicestershire when Henry, 3rd earl of Huntingdon, was frequently absent from the county performing his duties as president of the Council of the North or when his successor, George, the fourth earl, died in December 1604 leaving his own successor, Henry, the fifth earl, a minor and unable to take up the office of lord lieutenant for over two years until his twenty-­ first birthday in May 1607. The royal prerogative consisted of the residual duty of the crown to protect the health and safety of the kingdom and its people. It is an elusive and amorphous concept, and so capable of widely varying interpretations, as a subject for authority or action. Tudor and Stuart writers sought to establish its authority as being both divine and ancient. Staunford, writing in 1567, early in Elizabeth’s reign, described it as ‘a privilege or pre-­ eminence that any person hath before another … [which is] most to be permitted and allowed in a prince or sovereign governor of a realm’ on the



basis that ‘he is the most excellent and worthiest part or member of the body or commonwealth, so is he also through his good governance the preserver, nourisher and defender of all people being the rest of the same body’.8 Elizabeth exercised prerogative rights to finance warfare, especially from 1580, without significant principled objection, in order to raise revenue. Elton particularly observed that ‘she entertained no small opinion of her place, and the words “my prerogative” were frequently in her mouth which made sure that Tudor government, like medieval governments before it and modern governments after it, should be the king’s government’.9 It was, however, the Stuarts who extended the reach of the prerogative into wider and deeper sources of revenue, thereby involving the sheriff, either solely or in concert with others, in the raising of revenue from his local community, in novel and increasingly abstruse and controversial areas, as a way of avoiding the need for parliamentary approval or consent. Given the nebulous nature and foundation of the prerogative as the basis for financial levies, and the Stuarts’ increasing use of and dependence on it, the sheriff as its local manifestation was inevitably caught up in a growing test of loyalty between the crown and the paying community. It is noticeable that under Elizabeth, the sheriffs were required to carry out tasks of enforcement and administrative governance involving almost entirely individuals rather than communities, whereas under the Stuarts the collection of prerogative revenues meant that the sheriff was enforcing rights against whole communities, through the individuals within them. On 8 February 1601, for instance, the sheriff of Nottinghamshire was ordered to seize the property and chattels of the earl of Rutland at Belvoir castle based on the belief that it was in Nottinghamshire whereas in fact it lies in Leicestershire.10 The earl had been in open rebellion supporting the earl of Essex, and similar letters for other rebels were addressed to the sheriffs of Stafford, Oxford, Kent, Berkshire, Somerset, Radnor and Hereford. Although, as if to underline the relative status of sheriffs and lord lieutenants, when the trial of Essex and others was arranged, letters were sent on 13 February, not to sheriffs, but to various members of the nobility including the earls of Shrewsbury and Huntingdon (respectively lord lieutenants of Derbyshire and Leicestershire) to attend the trials on counts of treason and rebellion ‘as belongeth to their birth and equality’ with no excuse being accepted for not attending, except ill health, but no such attendance was required from sheriffs.11 In 1595, a problem arose over the authenticity of seals and stamps used in royal service, which under the royal prerogative should have been



graven by the graver of the Mint by warrant from the exchequer to the warden of the Mint. This practice had not been assiduously followed and, as a result, it was suspected many counterfeit seals were in use. The sheriffs of all counties were therefore ordered to compel officers using seals to present them on a fixed day at the Mint for enquiries to discover seals and stamps which were counterfeit or worn.12 This would enable new seals to be taken out by a writ from the queen to the warden of the Mint in lieu of these defective items. Sometimes under the prerogative, the Privy Council ordered sheriffs to carry out duties for which they appeared to be unable to find anyone else to be responsible. These might include matters of disorder in the counties, under the sheriffs’ generalised responsibility to keep the peace. In Nottinghamshire in 1587, the sheriff and justices were told of misdemeanours following unlawful assemblies when ‘a poor market man had been robbed in Sherwood Forest’; or where there had been ‘unburying of the dead fourteen days after interment including superstitious ceremonies to the contempt of justice which caused people to repair to towns in great companies’; or when in 1593 the sheriff and justices of Nottinghamshire were ordered, under this generalised duty of the prerogative, to discover the parties who had uttered lewd words and committed foul acts against the earl of Shrewsbury and Sir Thomas Stanhope including defacing Sir Thomas’ coach and drawing ‘vile pictures’ of the Talbots.13 Sometimes the queen required sheriffs under the prerogative to exercise specific personal judgement using their knowledge of local circumstances. In August 1584, the council wrote to sheriffs instructing them to provide horses and men and particularly insisted that the resources or compensation in lieu should come from recusants thereby requiring the sheriff to exercise judgement on their beliefs.14 This was not always successful and caused problems between sheriffs and individuals in their communities. When John Vernon, sheriff of Derbyshire, chose Edward Bentley and Godfrey Foljambé to meet this obligation they denied their liability and appealed to the council.15 Overall, the council must have been pleased with the sheriff ’s performance because in February 1586 they wrote again on behalf of the queen that she was ‘graciously pleased’ on account of the readiness with which the recusants furnished the light horses for service in Ireland and proposed to grant an immunity from the pains and penalties inflicted by law on condition that they offered ‘some reasonable compensation’ to be paid to her Majesty annually.16 Selecting which local residents were required to make such payments thereby



again imposed difficult choices on sheriffs and exposed the tension between their duty to the crown and their place in the local community. On 20 October 1585, Henry Turvyll, sheriff of Leicestershire, certified that George Shirley of Leicestershire was a recusant and had three geldings in readiness to serve but in the meantime, his armour was in the custody of Thomas Cave. On the same day, the sheriff prepared a certificate of the lands and goods of Mr Shirley and Robert Rooksby, certifying them both to be recusants.17 Another direct intervention by the queen herself shows the reliance on her prerogative to instigate action by sheriffs when in 1593 John Bassett, sheriff of Nottinghamshire, was chastised for not dealing effectively with the ‘notable disorders, riots and misdemeanours’ recently committed at the weir of Sir Thomas Stanhope.18 Her Majesty took it as an offence to herself that the sheriff and associated justices had shown partiality and prejudice which amounted, in her view, to a contempt of justice requiring her to order them to protect or to repair his weir. The queen’s direct intervention no doubt was due to the Stanhope family’s being close to her at court where Sir Thomas’ two brothers were well known to Elizabeth. Basset, on the other hand, was a known supporter and an employee of the Shrewsbury (Cavendish) family. There was another incident by Bassett as sheriff when he denied the Stanhopes the possibility of election to parliament by moving the location of the election, without notifying the Stanhopes, from the shire hall to the castle and thereby enabled the disputed Cavendish candidates to be elected unopposed.19 The requirement by the queen, under the prerogative, for the sheriff to intervene to protect the Stanhopes, clearly highlights the conflict of loyalties the sheriff sometimes faced between his local community and interests within it on the one hand and his duty to the crown on the other. The animosity of these two families was nationally known and, in June 1599, John Chamberlain wrote to Sir Dudley Carleton reporting an attack by the Stanhopes on Sir Charles Cavendish and his friends in his home park at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, where the Stanhopes suffered more damage, in that two of their party were killed and another was thought to have died as he sought to escape, leaving a fourth badly injured and requiring medical help.20 That the sheriffs should be required to intervene in disputes of this nature manifested the duality of loyalty and responsibility between his role as a royally appointed local officer and his place in the local community before and after his year in office as sheriff.



Patrick Collinson has explored the growing ambiguity towards the concept and institution of monarchy as Elizabeth’s reign progressed, and it became apparent that she was to remain unmarried and without an undisputed heir. Loyalty towards her personally continued, but this did not prevent the exploration of what Collinson referred to as ‘the monarchical republic of Queen Elizabeth I’ with references to the ‘gentry republic which comprised the regime in so many Elizabethan counties’.21 Collinson described in early modern England what he saw as ‘a series of overlapping superimposed communities which were also semi-autonomous, self-­ governing political cultures’ of which the lowest level was the village ‘republic’ on which was based, in the counties, ‘the gentry republics and that transcendent level, the commonwealth of England’.22 He adopted as the title of his inaugural lecture as regius professor of History at Cambridge University a phrase from Sir Thomas Smith, Elizabethan lawyer and politician, describing England as Republica Anglorum. He did, however, comment that although ‘gentry republic’ was not in contemporary use, it fitted the circumstances in parts of England especially where there was no lay or spiritual magnate of consequence.

The Succession of James I When James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne in 1603, he had already been king of Scotland for thirty-six years and had developed his concept of the king as God’s vicar on earth in The True Law of Free Monarchies in 1598 and Basilikon Doron in 1599 showing his ardent belief that kings were created before parliaments which could therefore only advise the king and not direct him.23 James had been aware from the earlier years of Elizabeth’s reign and certainly following the execution of his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1587, that there was a high likelihood that he would succeed Elizabeth onto the English throne, a matter on which he frequently addressed Elizabeth herself as well as her leading ministers. In view of his own position in Scotland, as well as the potential for assuming the English throne, and being highly articulate, he was heavily involved in contemporary European intellectual debates on the nature of kingship. He would have been well aware of the ongoing discussions on the nature of monarchy, the possibility of elective or hereditary succession, the different theories as to the possibility of resistance to an unjust or malevolent king, and the different concepts of power, which dominated the European intellectual climate



of the late sixteenth century. His contributions to the discussion and debate are set out in particular in The True Law of Free Monarchy and Basilikon Doron. He described and analysed at length the creation, at the specific request of the Israelites, of Saul as first king of Israel set out in I Samuel 8: 9–20. He argued that if a monarch failed to fulfil God’s authority in the role of the monarch, there could be no reprisals or resistance from the people of the kingdom since the monarch was accountable only to God. His emphasis was on ‘fundamental laws’, which, though unwritten, covered not only succession but also the allegiance which all subjects, and especially the nobility, owed to their king, asserting specifically that fundamental laws could not be challenged either by statute or common law. Glenn Burgess, analysing this attitude of James to the divine right of kings, argued that the divine right of kings and the theory of royal absolutism were not the same thing.24 Consequently, he argues that absolutism involved a claim that the king could give laws to his subjects without consultation (which in practice amounts to a claim that proclamations should have a force superior to that of statutory or common law). This would mean that an absolute monarch would not be a tyrant so long as he respected the moral guidelines for the employment of absolute authority contained in natural or divine law and that a tyrant was distinguished from the true king primarily in moral rather than constitutional terms. Burgess concluded that the writings of James did not amount to an assertion of absolutism because they entailed no commitment to any particular view of the king’s authority to make law, or of the ways in which such an authority should be exercised. James expressed the reservation on royal powers in ambiguous moral words, that although a king may have a right to give laws without consent ‘every just king in a settled kingdom is bound to observe that paction [agreement or bargain] made to his people by his lawes’.25 Analysing Burgess’ contribution to questions on the succession in late Elizabethan England, Pauline Croft observed that he ‘widens the discussion by asking to what extent the English accession altered the political thinking of James I and examines his political ideas both before and after 1603’.26 To the question originally posed by Jenny Wormald as to whether James was two kings or one in his two kingdoms, Burgess argued that James became a different monarch in England because he viewed himself as the holder of a different office.27 He recognised the constitutional diversity and attempted to adjust to the demands of an English kingship, which he believed to be significantly different from the Scottish, in that although both offices enjoyed all the rights of a free



monarch they functioned in distinctive legal and constitutional contexts. In his understanding of the English role, Burgess concludes ‘despite the king’s efforts his political instincts were less well-honed in England, where he had far less instinctive sense than within Scotland of what would be unpopular with his subjects’. Pauline Croft believes that Burgess presents ‘a subtle and carefully-substantiated depiction of James as a foreign Monarch, working hard but not wholly successfully to grasp the politics of his new kingdom’. When parliament failed to grant the revenues to which he felt entitled, he sought revenues from alternative, prerogative, sources, which contributed to the conflicts of loyalty to the crown, which bedevilled the reigns of the early Stuarts. Since the sheriff was the primary representative of the monarch living in each county and historically was responsible for enforcing prerogative rights, it was he who faced most acutely the consequences of tensions arising from any unpopular central policies. As noted above, Burgess argued that James’ political instincts were less well-honed in England than Scotland as he was like a foreign monarch unable to grasp the politics of his new kingdom. An early example of this failure to appreciate the constraints of common law on his kingship came in April 1603 in Newark, Nottinghamshire, on his progress from Scotland to London when, in breach of his right to trial by his peers, he ordered the summary execution of a pickpocket discovered in the crowd.28 This proved a good example of what Wormald called the clash of James’ priority to ‘get things done… against an English insistence on getting them done in the right way’, which she thought not a good omen and so it proved for sheriffs and others acting as royal agents in their localities.29 James, and Charles I after him, believed his role was as the father of the nation so that just as every individual should honour their parents so the nation should honour him as king.30 Collinson pointed out that in the contemporary conduct books setting out the ideals of marriage ‘love flows downwards never upwards’ and that the response to the love of a father was obedient loyalty not reciprocal love.31 In Bates’ Case in 1606, James sought to underpin this expectation of support from his subjects by obtaining approval from the judges for the raising of revenue by proclamation under the prerogative without parliamentary consent to impose a tax on the import of currants from the Levant. Enforcement of prerogative revenues would be the responsibility of royal officers headed in localities by sheriffs. Although this case ostensibly simply involved a tax on currants to regulate the trade from



Constantinople and so had no direct impact on sheriffs, its long-term effects were to create a method of raising revenue without parliamentary approval or consent. As time went on, this became more controversial, resulting in the ship money dispute of the 1630s which had a very considerable impact on sheriffs shown in the trial of principles in Hampden’s Case in 1637. Both James and Charles sought to bolster the image of the king as father of the nation by reference to their own personal familial ties. When the Privy Council wrote to sheriffs demanding revenue, it frequently allied demands for non-parliamentary revenue to the support of James’ daughter (and Charles’ sister) Elizabeth who had married Frederick V, Elector Palatine. On 4 July 1614, the council wrote to all sheriffs, magistrates and mayors indicating that as parliament had failed to grant to James appropriate supply, he wanted them to seek from their counties a demonstration of their zeal in showing ‘the general love and good affection….towards [him]’.32 This appeal failed and on 17 September, the council wrote again, referring to the campaign on the Rhine being waged by the king of Spain and the Holy Roman Emperor, which seriously affected the king’s daughter and her husband.33 James wrote in similar terms in May 1622 to sheriffs and justices that parliament had failed to assist with means in his attempts to recover ‘the patrimony of his children in Germany now withheld from them by force’ and again in June 1624 when seeking volunteers to help defend ‘the King’s son-in-law, only daughter and grandchildren’.34 An extension of the role of the king as father of the nation responsible for the care and wellbeing of his subjects was the range of proclamations and orders on social policy and particularly the three Books of Orders in 1630 put forward by Charles early in his personal rule.35 These books included practical prosaic matters such as keeping prices of corn low, opposing depopulation by enclosure, keeping fish days and fasting on Fridays and throughout Lent all to be enforced by sheriffs.36 Further paternalistic guidance was given by appending to the Orders advice from the College of Physicians on prescribing medicines, ordering the avoidance of overcrowding and the effects of poverty. The Books of Orders were addressed to magistrates for enforcement but supervised by the sheriff of each county who was ordered to report formally in writing to assize judges who in turn were accountable to designated members of the Privy Council on the effectiveness of enforcement. Charles hoped that these orders demonstrated his love for his people who would in turn generate appropriate financial support and loyalty, but his other policies proved



counter-productive and generated suspicion and mistrust towards the king and resentment and animosity towards the sheriffs as the officers charged with implementing or enforcing them. Both James and Charles involved the church in political matters, such as in the raising of non-parliamentary revenue.37 Charles sought speedy grants of supply in 1625 and 1626 to fund his inadequately prepared and resourced foreign policy even when he had not addressed demands and grievances made in parliament. He was forced to dissolve parliament in the summer of 1626 without receiving supply and instead considered issuing a proclamation under the prerogative asking the sheriffs and justices in counties throughout England to call the people together and exalt them to give voluntarily the supply which parliament had failed to grant.38 This was not issued but the fact that it was drafted, as a default in readiness for use, is sound evidence of the nature of Stuart thinking on the implementation of the prerogative as a means of raising revenue by proclamation as a legitimate alternative to parliamentary consent or approval. When it became apparent in September 1626 that his uncle, Christian IV of Denmark, had been defeated and needed support, Charles looked for revenue from the ‘forced loan’ under the royal prerogative.39 To generate support for the loan, he asked the clergy to preach in their sermons an appeal to conscience to support the king. Laura Perille charts the development of Charles’ instructions to the bishops to ‘stir up all sorts of people to express their zeal to God, their duty to the king and their love unto their country’ through this loan.40 In using divine authority to attack constitutional assumptions, those who preached for the king were clearly placing him above the law by supporting taxes based on prerogative rights not governed by the rule of law. Once the prerogative was ‘in play’ and the veil of divine authority pierced, with conscience being made the basis of royal authority, the sheriffs and other royal agents had lost the mystery surrounding a king as a means of control or persuasion in the execution of royal commands or directions. This loss was at the precise time when they would be called upon to perform wider and heavier duties and the cloak of royal mystery and authority would have been of most benefit.

The Stuarts, Parliament and the Law In The True Law of Free Monarchies, James wrote that parliament ‘is nothing else but the head court of the king and his vassals’ where ‘the laws are craved by his subjects and only made by him at their rogation and with



their advice’ and further ‘it lies in the power of no Parliament to make any kind of law or statute without his sceptre be to it for giving it the force of a law’.41 His only concession was that ‘a good king will frame all of his actions to be according to the law’ but was not bound to do so except of his own ‘good will’. Speaking to the judges in the Star Chamber in 1616, he had told them that their power was limited by crown prerogative and that they should deal with nothing that concerned his prerogative or ‘mystery of state’ until they had consulted him because they were ‘transcendent matters’ and ‘not lawful to be disputed’ since that was ‘to take away the mystical reverence that belongs unto them that sit in the throne of God’.42 As his reign progressed and parliament became more willing to challenge the decisions and actions of the king’s ministers, James relied increasingly on the mystical intangible nature of the royal prerogative which Charles developed further, especially in the raising of revenue for which the sheriff would be responsible. In the judgements in Hampden’s Case, there are numerous references to the king’s power deriving from divine authority which should not be questioned by subjects or lawyers but which should receive unquestioning loyalty.43 The nature and extent of prerogative power had long been discussed in divine terms. In 1620, Chamberlain, writing to Dudley Carleton (later, as Viscount Dorchester, the principal secretary of state to Charles I) about the extended and unpopular use of prerogative impositions and patents, said that ‘the prerogative… has become so tender that (like a noli me tangere [do not touch me]) it cannot endure to be touched’.44 The phrase translated the first words of Jesus to Mary on the morning of the resurrection, so deliberately allying the prerogative to divine authority.45 He was probably referring back to a speech of Bishop Neile of Lincoln who used the same phrase speaking in 1614 on the opposition of the Commons to impositions under the prerogative and declared that anyone who had ‘taken the Oath of supremacy and allegiance’ could not ‘with a safe conscience argue or dispute the king’s prerogative in claiming them’, which caused the Commons to seek to remove his bishopric and led Francis Ashley to declare there was ‘no greater offence… than to tax our loyalty and discretion’.46 Sheriffs and collectors of these non-parliamentary prerogative revenues reported to the Privy Council that although many subjects professed loyalty to the crown, they refused to make payments or loans ‘otherwise than by Parliament which they allege is the ordinary and usual way’



(Nottinghamshire in September 1625); or ‘that they submit themselves and their estates to be disposed of by his majesty by way of Parliament’ (Gloucestershire 8 August 1626); or ‘of the people, most cried for Parliament’ (Leicestershire 18 August 1626); or in relation to the loan in Derbyshire that in several Hundreds everyone refused, some with ‘great and joint noise’ and some adding to their denial that they would not pay ‘unless by way of Parliament’.47 Some collectors had doubts that their loyal efforts were appreciated or that the basis of the revenues was legitimate. Having been almost simultaneously appointed lord lieutenant and collector of the forced loan in Nottinghamshire in 1626, William, earl of Mansfield, rallied the other collectors and assiduously raised the sums sought from the county despite opposition from local leaders including the earl of Clare who refused to contribute and Sir Thomas Hutchinson who refused to act as loan commissioner. Neither Charles nor the Privy Council expressed support or gave signs of approval, leading Mansfield to write to a fellow lord lieutenant, Sir Thomas Wentworth, of Yorkshire, that ‘if your Lordship and I lose our counties and have little thanks above neither, we have taken a great deal of pains in vain’.48 Nor, later, did the king or Privy Council show support or sympathy for sheriffs loyally seeking to collect ship money in the face of the ambiguous attitude of the judges towards its legality. In May 1638, Sir Francis Thornhagh, sheriff of Nottinghamshire, reported problems in collection based on judgements of Judges Croke and Hutton contrary to the king in Hampden’s Case and also reported rumours that the king himself had expressed that he did not want debtors distrained against or in prison. He sought guidance from Secretary Nicholas on what he should do with refusers so that he could ‘as near as I can, satisfy the king’s expectations, wrong nobody and keep myself out of danger’.49 The council’s peremptory reply showed no appreciation of the difficulties being faced by loyal local servants. Rather, they only chastised him and passed on the king’s personal special command to carry on collecting ‘without stop or delay’, adding for good measure, ‘we have seen your letter of 18 May to Mr Nicholas, desiring directions concerning those who refuse to pay ship money and marvel that having received so large a power by His Majesty’s writ and so ample instructions from the Council Board you now propound any such question’.50 To forestall court challenges to collection of ship money under the prerogative, Charles had sought and received from the judges a positive



unanimous opinion on whether he was entitled to seek such revenue from all counties and that he was sole judge of whether there was such danger as warranted the exercise of this power. This opinion was, on the orders of the king, read out to the judges assembled in Star Chamber, then published in the London Gazette.51 However, when John Hampden challenged his assessment, the judgements delivered were widely divided and without a clear reasoned majority. Some judges sought to distinguish Hampden’s actual position from the theoretical position on which they had been asked to give an opinion. Even some of those judges who gave judgement for the king relied not on the law as argued but on their ability to trust the king to exercise his prerogative entirely for the benefit of his subjects. Sir William Jones, relying on the king’s personal integrity rather than the law, in a fulsome example of blind loyalty to the crown, quoted the ancient, eminent lawyer Bracton that the king is in the place of God in his own land and as such the king was the supreme judge: ‘God almighty bless the king; it is against presumption of law that the king whose heart is in the hands of the lord should tell a lie. God gives wisdom to govern aright. Lying lips do not become a prince. Truth to God almighty he owes. Does any man think he will put a burden upon his subjects without cause? We have a good king and our imaginations ought to be good of him’.52 Sir John Finch, lord chief justice of Common Pleas, obsequiously asserted that having heard the issues and arguments he believed they only showed ‘with what clemency, wisdom, justice and goodness his majesty had proceeded in this business’ and that we must ‘give all appearance of obedience and dutifulness to his majesty’s commands’.53 Finch went further and said that, to rebut Hampden’s allegation that ‘the king might take ship money for his own use’, he and another judge, Brampton, had spoken to the king who said that ‘he would rather eat the money than convert it to his own use and that to allege he wanted the money for himself was a slander’.54 These arguments are based on the loyalty they believed was due to the king rather than the law as such and therefore centred on whether the king could be trusted. Those who were charged with enforcing the prerogative such as the sheriffs did so based on their own loyalty to the crown as an office as well as to the king personally even though asserting such loyalty meant testing, stretching or even breaking their loyalty to others in their own locality. In Nottinghamshire, when Sir Francis Thornhagh, sheriff in 1637, sought to assess and collect ship money across the county, he faced allegations from the magistrates in the south that he had by



under-­assessment favoured the northern parts where he lived to the detriment of their southern counterparts. Significantly, their petition to the Privy Council was presented by a former sheriff Sir John Byron who lived in south Nottinghamshire. When Byron himself had sought to recover ship money from Sir Gervase Markham who lived in north Nottinghamshire, he received an abusive letter describing the demand as ‘vulture humour’ and, when the Privy Council ordered Markham to apologise, he wrote in terms which Secretary Nicholas described as ‘even more injurious to the sheriff who suffers thereby for doing his majesty’s service’.55 In Leicestershire in 1636, the sheriff, Sir Henry Skipwith, reported to the council that various of his constables had refused to assess and collect ship money in their districts because of the dangers they faced, and that, in the previous shrievalty, Sir Arthur Haselrigge had arrested Thomas Burditt and Andrew Collyns, two head constables, for taking distraint of goods to enforce ship money which ‘had caused such fear to them and all the others of the county that none dare venture to take distress of him’.56 In the case of the judges, the conflict of loyalty lay between their loyalty to the king including their sworn duty to advise him when required and their adherence to the principles of the rule of law. Sir John Finch, when he spoke to the house of Commons on 21 December 1640 in the Long Parliament to defend his judgement in support of the ship money writs, argued that when the king asked him and the other judges to give an opinion of the legality, or otherwise, of ship money, they answered because they were sworn to do so. ‘I did think and speak my heart and conscience freely; myself and the rest of the judges being sworn… were bound by our oaths and duties to return our opinions’.57 It may have been an act of personal and corporate self-protection when he insisted each judge gave a public justification for their decision in a reasoned judgement even when some claimed to be too ill to do so.58 Equally, there was individual self-­ justification by those who sought in their judgements to distance themselves from their earlier published agreement to the king’s sole discretion in asserting his right to ship money under the prerogative.59 Ultimately, the question faced by those in office, whether the judges, sheriffs or local governors, was whether the powers of the king were subject to the rule of law alone or whether that could be overridden by an assertion of a claimed prerogative which was not limited by the common law but embedded in the king as of right by divine appointment. If the latter, it made his right of sovereignty, in the judgement of Sir Edward Crawley in Hampden’s Case, ‘arcana regni [a deep mystery or secret of the



kingdom] not fit for publick debate’.60 It was when the king required this ‘deep mystery’ to be enforced by central and local authorities that their own loyalty to the king and his office, as the holders of positions (including judges and sheriffs) enforcing or declaring the prerogative in his name, and the loyalty of those against whom it was enforced, was, necessarily, intensely tested—in some cases to destruction. The clash of the loyalties of the judges in Hampden’s Case was the sharpest example of the effects of the difficulties faced by royal officers confronted by the implementation of prerogative rights in their particular areas of jurisdictional or geographical duties. Sheriffs in their counties faced the results of this acute conflict between pragmatism and principle daily. What made it even more onerous or sensitive for them was that they were frequently enforcing against their neighbours unpopular royal rights with a dubious legality of which memories would linger long after their year in office had come to an end.

Notes 1. G. R. Elton, England under the Tudors (London, 1991), p. 59. 2. T.  G. Barnes, Somerset 1625–1640: A County’s Government during the ‘Personal Rule’ (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1961). 3. J. Morrill, County Communities and the Problem of Allegiances in the Civil War (London, 1993), p. 186. 4. Arguments and judgements in Bates’ Case are found in, G. W. Prothero, Statutes and Constitutional Documents 1558–1625 (Oxford 1913) (afterwards ‘Prothero’), pp. 340–53. 5. Henry IV, Cap. 5; 9 Edward II, Stat. 2; 2 Edward III, Cap. 4; 5 Edward III, Cap. 4; Richard II, Cap. 11; 23 Henry VI, Cap 7. 6. Richard Bullock, ‘Sheriffs’ Changing Roles in the East Midlands, 1580–1640’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Nottingham Trent University, 2018). 7. CPR, 1596–97, p. 72, item 382. 8. Prothero, p. 174. 9. Elton, England under the Tudors, pp. 394–5. 10. Acts of the Privy Council (afterwards APC), 1600–1, p.  148 (Letter 8 February 1601 [P]rivy [C]ouncil to sheriff of Nottinghamshire). 11. APC, 1600–1, p. 150 (Letters 13 February 1601 to various lords including Huntingdon and Shrewsbury). 12. CSPD, 1595–97, p. 153 (cclv, item 59). 13. APC, 1587–88, p. 98 (Letter 29 May 1587, PC to sheriff and justices of Nottinghamshire); APC, 1592–93, p. 77 (Letter 21 February 1593, PC to sheriff and justices of Nottinghamshire).



14. CSPD, 1581–90, pp. 195–6 (clxxii, items 70 and 74). 15. Ibid., p. 281 (clxxxiii, item 62). 16. Ibid., p. 307 (clxxxvi, items 81 and 82). 17. Ibid., p. 275 (clxxxiii, item 29). 18. APC, 1592–93, p. 267 (Letter 25 May 1593, Council to John Bassett and justices of Nottinghamshire). 19. J. Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London, 1976). 20. ‘Letter Chamberlain to Carleton, 28 June 1599’, in The Chamberlain Letters, ed. E. McClure (London 1966) p. 27. 21. P.  Collinson, ‘The Monarchical Republic of Elizabeth I’, in Elizabethan Essays, ed. P. Collinson (London, 1994), pp. 36, 43. 22. P. Collinson, ‘De Republica Anglorum: Or, History with the Politics Put Back’, in Elizabethan Essays, ed. Collinson, pp. 14, 16. 23. James I, The True Law of Free Monarchies (London, 1598), p.  202; Prothero, p. 400. 24. G.  Burgess, ‘The Divine Right of Kings Reconsidered’, EHR 107 (1992), p. 841. 25. Burgess, ‘Divine Right of Kings’, p. 848. 26. P. Croft, ‘Review of The Struggle for Succession in late Elizabethan England: Politics, Polemics and Cultural Representation, ed. J-C. Mayer’, EHR 121 (2006), p. 217. 27. J.  Wormald, ‘James VI and I: Two Kings or One?’, History 68 (1983), 187–209. 28. T.  Millington, The True Narration of the Entertainment of His Majesty (London, 1603), reprinted in Stuart Tracts, 1603–1693, ed. C. H. Firth (Westminster, 1903), pp. 11, 35. 29. J.  Wormald, ‘James VI and I’, in ODNB, available at: https://doi. org/10.1093/ref:odnb/14592. 30. Exodus 20:12 (KJV). 31. P. Collinson The Birth Pangs of Protestant England: Cultural Changes in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’ (New York, 1988), p. 59. 32. APC, 1613–14, p.  491 (Letter 4 July 1614, PC to sheriffs, JPs and mayors). 33. Ibid. 34. APC, 1621–23, p. 176 (Letter 31 May 1622, PC to sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs etc.). 35. P.  Slack, ‘Books of Orders: The Making of English Social Policy, 1577–1631’, TRHS, 5th series, 30 (1980), 1–22. 36. APC, 1630–31, p. 111 (Letter 12 Nov 1630, PC to bishop of London, sheriffs, JPs and lord mayor). 37. See L. Perille, ‘Harnessing Conscience for the King. Charles I: The Forced Loan Sermons, and the Matters of Conscience’, Exemplaria 24 (2012), 161–77.



38. CSPD, 1625–26, p. 353 (15 June 1626, Draft Proclamation). 39. For a fuller background, see R. Cust, The Forced Loan and English Politics, 1626–1628 (Oxford 1987), p. 49. 40. Perille, ‘Harnessing Conscience’, p. 164. 41. Prothero, pp. 400–1. 42. Prothero, p. 399. 43. Hampden’s Case. 44. ‘Letter Chamberlain to Carleton, 28 October 1620’, in The Chamberlain Letters, ed. McClure, p. 248. 45. John 20:17 (KJV). 46. The episode is dealt with in detail in T. Harris, Rebellion: Britain’s First Stuart Kings, 1567–1642 (Oxford 2014), pp. 131–4. 47. CSPD, 1625–26, pp.  434 (xxxvi, item 34), 399 (xxxiii, item 59), 407 (xxxiv, item 4), 427 (xxxv, item 90). 48. K. Sharpe, The Personal Rule of Charles I (New Haven and London, 1992), p. 629 quoting J. Dias, ‘Politics and Administration in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, 1590–1640’ (unpublished DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 1973), p. 355. 49. CSPD, 1637–38, p. 443 (cccxc, item 116). 50. Ibid., p. 462 (cccxci, item 39). 51. ‘Lord Keeper Coventry speech to Assize Judges, 14 February 1636’, in Hampden’s Case, p. 510. 52. Hampden’s Case, pp. 664–6. 53. Hampden’s Case, pp. 664–6. 54. Hampden’s Case, p. 686. 55. CSPD, 1635, p. 216 (cccxiii, item 50). 56. CSPD, 1636–37, p. 543 (cccli, item 91). 57. A fuller exposition is at W. J. Jones, Politics and the Bench: The Judges and the Origin of the Civil War (London 1971), p. 126. 58. See particularly, Sir George Vernon, Hampden’s Case, p. 637, and Sir John Denham, p. 672. 59. See particularly, Sir George Crooke, Hampden’s Case, p.  646, and Sir Richard Hutton, p. 670. 60. In the judgement given in Hampden’s Case, p. 615.


Loyalty, Civil War and Restoration in the Seventeenth Century


‘You may take my head from my shoulders, but not my heart from my soveraigne’: Understanding Scottish Royalist Allegiance During the British Civil Wars, 1639–1651 Andrew Lind

Introduction On 19 April 1639, George Gordon, marquis of Huntly, the king’s lieutenant in the north, was arrested in Edinburgh by the Covenanting regime which had seized power the year before. The following day, Huntly wrote a formal response to his arrest in which he refuted the Covenanters’ authority and defiantly declared his intention to remain loyal to Charles I, even if it cost the marquis his life. Huntly wrote: ‘to be your Prisoner, is by much the lesse displeasing to mee, that my accusation is for nothing else but loyalty’. He went on to repudiate the Covenanters’ claims of justification through religion, stating that it was ‘in a pretence of Religion, which my owne judgement cannot excuse from Rebellion’. In concluding, Huntly avowed that the ‘Title of Traitor’ would not taint his honour and that ‘You may take my A. Lind (*) University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_11




Head from my shoulders, but not my Heart from my Soveraigne’.1 In many ways, the shaky legal grounds on which Huntly’s arrest was pursued and resisted reveals the fundamental political issue of the British Civil Wars in Scotland: which side was politically justified when both claimed allegiance to the king? The National Covenant of 1638 had emphasised the Covenanters’ loyalty to Charles I, even if by 1639 its adherents had been forced to raise arms against the king’s forces in order to preserve ‘the Kirk of Scotland, the King’s Majesty, and three estates of this realm’.2 The reality of what that meant in practice was far vaguer. When Major-General Robert Monro arrived outside Aberdeen on 28 May 1640 at the head of a Covenanting army, he called for ‘the magistrates to give in a roll or list of theise inhabitants, absent or present, that hath not subscryved the Covenant and Generall Band, that they may be dissarmed as bad and evill patriotts’.3 When both sides claimed to be patriots, who judged whether they were good or evil? More importantly, how did contemporaries see their own allegiance when the political waters of the period were so murky? In recent years, there has been a surge within the historiography seeking to understand what it meant to be a Covenanter. Thanks to the work of Chris Langley, Laura Stewart, Jamie MacDougall and Michelle Brock, amongst others, we have learned that Covenanter identity was mercurial and often deeply individualistic.4 The many shades of Covenanting allegiance which have been seen within these studies led MacDougall to conclude that, by enforcing universal subscription to a vaguely worded declaration of faith and allegiance, ‘the architects of the Covenants unwittingly ensured that the development of competing visions of what it meant to be a Scottish Covenanter was inevitable’.5 This was as true for Royalists as it was for the Covenanters themselves. Moreover, it was exacerbated by the fact that Royalists in Scotland lacked a clear manifesto comparable to the National Covenant, which inevitably created competing Royalist identities. However, scholars have only begun to unpack these complex identities.6 This chapter seeks to help in this regard by analysing Royalist sources in order to identify the motives which led thousands of Scots to reject the Covenant in support of Charles I and Charles II. Instead of simply reinventing the definitional wheel, a case will be made here to view royalism in Scotland as a conservative alliance which incorporated a variety of ideological and theological temperaments. This coalition of allegiances was held together by three fundamental areas of common ground: a deeply rooted belief in honour and duty; a sense of outrage at the ‘illegal’ actions of the Covenanters; and the fear that such religious extremism and blatant



disregard for societal order would lead to instability and anarchy. By exploring these motives and the sources which convey them, it is hoped that we can gain a far better insight into exactly what it meant to be a Royalist in Scotland during the British Civil Wars (1639–51).

Scholarship The study of royalism in Scotland has failed to attract the same level of academic attention as it has elsewhere in Britain. In Scotland, much of the historiography of the Civil Wars has been dedicated to understanding the impact of the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant (1643),7 both in parliament and within the kingdom’s many parishes. The first modern study to engage with Scottish royalism was David Stevenson’s landmark work The Scottish Revolution, 1637–1644 (1973). Stevenson identified three main groupings of Royalists in Scotland: the moderates, who were often individuals caught between the Royalist and Covenanting camps; the extremists, those who favoured Royalist military action against the Covenanters; and ‘covenanter royalists’, who were best personified by the duke of Hamilton’s supporters who sought political reconciliation and de-escalation.8 This nuanced approach to factional identity, recognising sub-groups who shared similar beliefs and motivations, has been shared by John Scally and John Young, both of whom have identified moderate or ‘pragmatic Royalists’.9 These pragmatic Royalists were nobles and members of the gentry who harboured Royalist sympathies, but who signed the National Covenant in the hopes of reaching national agreement within parliament. Most recently, Barry Robertson has put forward the suggestion of splitting Scottish Royalists into two, semi-permeable groupings: Royalists and Monarchists. The former, Robertson argues, represents those who were committed supporters of Charles I who sought a resolution which favoured the king. The latter, however, is used by Robertson to describe those who supported the constitutional authority of the monarchy, but not necessarily Charles I himself.10 While the discord and ideological heterogeneity of the Scottish Royalist camp has become more and more evident, the key motivations underpinning the Scots Royalists as a whole are yet to be fully understood. While investigating the different shades of Royalist allegiance, we run the risk of losing sight of the fact the there was a tangible, albeit rather ineffective, Royalist faction within Scotland. Therefore, it is perhaps more useful to discover what united Royalists, rather than what divided them.



In the pursuit of uncovering those areas of common allegiance, the English historiography can offer a number of useful suggestions. The most influential of these works has been P. H. Hardacre’s study of The Royalists During the Puritan Revolution (1956). This represented the first attempt to analyse the Royalist faction in England. Hardacre concluded that there were four main motivating factors which underpinned Royalist allegiance. These were a dedication to the Anglican church, a resentment of the extremism of the Parliamentarian party, a response to local Parliamentarian military engagements, and the fear that parliament’s actions represented an attack on the fundamental structures of society.11 This depiction of English royalism as largely reactionary and conservative has remained undisturbed. J. W. Daly later noted the prevalence of legalistic language within Royalist literature which he argued was instrumental in winning support for the king throughout the kingdom.12 Alongside this, Jerrilyn Greene Marston’s study of the gentry challenged the traditional view that most of the English gentry supported parliament, concluding that ‘they shared the code of honour which strongly biased them toward loyalty to the king’.13 Perhaps the most significant contribution of these studies has been the acceptance that royalism in England was both ideologically and socially diffuse. Indeed, the traditional view that Royalists were either moderate constitutionalists, primarily concerned with the sanctity of law and the established church, or extremist absolutists, those who believed in the king’s absolute power over his subjects and kingdom, has largely been replaced with the general consensus that English royalism was a collage of various ideological standpoints, unified by the concern that the actions of the Parliamentarians embodied an unprecedented attack on the ancient laws and customs of the kingdom.14 More and more in recent years, there has been a tendency within the English historiography to view royalism as ideologically heterogeneous, but unified by cultural beliefs. This has led David Smith to conclude that royalism ‘was an outlook rather than an ideology, a frame of mind rather than a creed’.15 Thus, royalism can be understood as a ‘social identity that reflected the transgressions of parliament and was premised upon obedience and a hierarchy of “normality”’.16 A number of scholars, including Barry Robertson, Edward Cowan and John Morrill, have argued that we should view royalism as British rather than fundamentally Scottish, Irish or English. Cowan and Morrill have stated that, in Royalist minds, the conflicts in each of the three kingdoms were seen as one, as the defence of the king was not limited by the borders



of his constituent kingdoms.17 Thus, as Cowan put it, ‘to be British was to be royalist; to be royalist was to be British’.18 This then begs the questions: how unique was Scottish royalism, and to what extent did it represent a unified British Royalist outlook? By examining Scottish Royalist bands of allegiance and contemporary accounts, there are certainly overlaps with the Royalist characteristics discussed in the works of David Smith, Jason McElligott and Barbara Donagan. Indeed, Royalists in England and Scotland seem to have shared a conservative outlook which rejected the extremism of the respective parliaments and saw them as threats to societal order. However, like royalism in Ireland,19 royalism in Scotland was forged in the ambiguities and confusion of its context. The warring factions in Scotland both claimed true allegiance to the king, initiating a debate on what extent loyalty to that monarch could be superseded by loyalty to the kirk. It was not vast ideological gulfs which separated these parties, but shades of grey. This explains why Royalists could justify signing the National and King’s Covenants, and why the Engagement of 164720 was so effective at bringing together moderates from both sides of the divide. As there is little in the way of previous studies on Scottish Royalist allegiance, it is apt to return to the source material to see if we can identify similar beliefs and motives within the Royalist sources. Thus, in the space that remains, this chapter will first examine the four most prominent Scottish Royalist bands of allegiance: the King’s Covenant (1638); the Cumbernauld Bond (1640); the Kilcumin Band (1645) and the Engagement (1647). The key themes from these documents will then be cross-examined with other primary sources which discuss Scottish Royalist motives and beliefs. The resulting conclusions will indicate which issues Royalists were primarily concerned with, and perhaps most importantly, which issues united this conglomerate behind the king’s banner.

The Royalist Covenants In the wake of the success of the National Covenant, Charles I and his Scottish advisors sought a way to stem the tide of Covenanting opposition and mobilise their own support within Scotland. The King’s Covenant, published in the autumn of 1638, was a republication of the 1581 Negative Confession, a covenant authorised by James VI which condemned popery and bound the people and the crown together as the defenders of the reformed religion. The King’s Covenant had represented a substantial victory for the marquis of Hamilton and his supporters in the face of an



uncooperative king. Hamilton had managed to convince Charles that the King’s Covenant would represent an officially sanctioned alternative to the National Covenant which would remind the king’s subjects of their duties, as well as holding out an olive branch to those who had been swept up in Covenanting fervour.21 Alongside the reprint of the 1581 Confession, the King’s Covenant included a copy of the 1589 ‘general band’ of allegiance and a declaration from Charles to each of his subjects. These three documents made up the King’s Covenant, which was to be subscribed by every single subject in Scotland, especially those who had already sworn the National Covenant. However, compliance appears to have been limited to areas where there was a strong Royalist support network. Hamilton’s attempt to force individuals to choose between king and Covenant went especially poorly in areas where there was significant Covenanting sentiment, like Argyll where Lord Lorne, the future marquis of Argyll, made excuses to avoid enforcing subscriptions within his jurisdiction.22 Nevertheless, the King’s Covenant represented the first Royalist call for public support, giving us a unique insight into the Royalist position in 1638. In his declaration, Charles explained the recent upheavals as the result of ‘conceived fears of innovation of Religion and Laws’ which he disregarded as groundless. As a gesture of good faith, Charles retracted the observance of the Five Articles of Perth—a controversial set of church reforms instituted in 1618—repealed the new Book of Common Prayer which had sparked the Covenanting rebellion and authorised a meeting of both the General Assembly, the highest church court in the kingdom, and of parliament. In addition, Charles dismissed the notion that the Covenanters’ actions had been intentionally seditious, merely misinformed. He offered ‘freely to forgive all by-gones’ if his ‘loyall and dutifull subjects’ signed his Covenant. Amongst his reconciliations and concessions, Charles made veiled attacks upon those who had ‘exercised such illimited [unlimited] and unwarranted power’ as having subverted ‘Our intentions towards the maintenance of the truth, and integritie of the said Religion’. The band of allegiance took this further, ‘considering the strait link and conjunction betwixt the true and Christain religion…and [our] Soveraigne Lords estate, and standing’ which ‘inward enemies’ threatened. Despite the king’s concessions, his message was clear: the wellbeing of the kirk depended upon the strength of the crown, not the other way around. This sentiment was echoed by the accompanying 1589 band. The band emphasised the king’s God-given authority over his kingdoms and urged loyal subjects to ‘conveen and assemble our selves publickly, with



our friends in arms, or in [a] quiet manner, at such times and places as we shall be required’ in defence of the king’s person and authority. While James VI had used the band to bind the kingdom against the ‘Antichristian league and confederacie’, Charles I and his advisors sought to monopolise the band’s historical legitimacy to remind the king’s subjects of their duty to defend the crown against any and all enemies. The various references to the threat posed from ‘intestine [internal] plots’ and ‘intestine powers’ and its call for a return to the ‘ordinary course of law and justice’ made its contemporary relevance very clear to its subscribers. Those that spurned this opportunity to declare their loyalty were to be ‘esteemed traitours to God, and his Majestie, and to have lost all honour, credit, and estimation in time coming’.23 The same three themes which were present in Huntly’s declaration can be seen here in the King’s Covenant. The King’s Covenant asserted that it was the duty of all loyal subjects to heed the king’s call to arms if required, and if this was refused, the subject forfeited their honour and reputation in perpetuity. Likewise, it discredited the Covenanters’ justification of acting in defence of the true religion. How could the Covenanters’ actions be divinely ordained when they resisted a true Christian prince? These divisive courses risked distracting the king and kingdom away from the greater threat of popery. As such, these actions could not be tolerated and continued resistance against the crown would be equated to treason. By framing the Covenanters’ actions in such terms, Royalist leaders were not only justifying resistance against the Covenanters, but any future use of force against them. The Cumbernauld Bond of 1640 was a very different oath. Unlike the King’s Covenant, the Cumbernauld Bond was not intended to be widely disseminated. Over the course of 1639 and 1640, several nobles had become increasingly concerned by the Covenanting leadership’s actions, particularly those of the marquis of Argyll. The Cumbernauld Bond was a defensive alliance of conservative Covenanters and Royalists against the more extreme elements within the Covenanting movement who they believed threatened the laws and liberties of the kingdom. Many of those who signed the Bond, including the group’s ringleader, the earl of Montrose, the future marquis and commander of Royalist forces in Scotland, had previously sworn the National Covenant. Indeed, signatories included the earls Marischal, Seaforth and Kinghorn, all of whom had been proactive Covenanters during the First Bishops’ War (1639), not to mention Montrose who had represented the most militant branch of the



early Covenanters. As an insight into allegiance, this source highlights the concerns and individual struggles of contemporaries, revealing the moral conflicts over the justification of their respective causes which evidently plagued their minds. First and foremost, the signatories of the Bond defended their actions in signing the National Covenant, having been ‘forced to joyne oure selves in a Covenant’ in defence of ‘Religion King and Countrie’. However, ‘the particular & indirect Practising of a few’ had jeopardised the noble intentions of the National Covenant. Thus, the signatories felt compelled, ‘outt of our Duty to all these respects abovementioned [Religion, King and Countrie]’, to take a stand in order to ensure the ‘safety both of Religion, Lawes and Liberties of this poor kingdome’. They hoped that by taking their stand they could protect their ‘Honour and Christendom’.24 This passage reveals the great mental and spiritual strain which the question of allegiance placed on contemporary Scots. The signatories were evidently conflicted, still loyal to the original tenets of the National Covenant, but uncomfortable with the direction in which the Covenanting leaders were driving the movement. The threat from the Covenanting regime was twofold, as it would require loyal subjects to resist their king, despite the king’s concessions, while also opening the community and commonweal of the kingdom up to division and strife. However, the Bond does not seem to have had the same impact on all of the signatories. While Montrose, Atholl, Seaforth (after 1645) and Perth all continued to support the king’s cause—to varying degrees—the majority of the nineteen signatories slipped back into Covenanting conformity. This was most likely the result of the Incident of 1641 and its aftermath—a failed Royalist coup d’etat which intended to arrest prominent Covenanters and the marquis of Hamilton, which Charles disowned after it had been uncovered. The Bond itself reveals that the key motives of the signatories were the fear that the Covenanting leadership—importantly not the National Covenant itself—was acting outside of the movement’s initial directive and that some signatories felt that their own sense of duty to the king and kingdom was under threat. These same fears and beliefs can be seen four years later in the Kilcumin Band (1645). After raising the king’s standard in August 1644 and securing victories at Tippermuir (1 September) and Aberdeen (13 September), Montrose led the Royalist army through the western highlands, recruiting as they went. To bind his army together before embarking upon a risky winter campaign which would result in the Royalist victory at Inverlochy



(2 February), Montrose ordered that a new bond of allegiance be written and sworn by all ‘faithfull and loyall subjects’. The result was the Kilcumin Band. This oath threw off the shackles of tentative ambiguity which had weighed upon the King’s Covenant and the Cumbernauld Bond. Civil war was ravaging the kingdom, and the Royalist army needed a mandate and call to arms. The Band called upon the ‘thralled and oppressed subjects’ of the kingdom to revolt against the ‘rebellious factione’ that had seized power from the king. Whereas previous Royalist bands had been careful to couch the Covenanters in seditious terms without actively labelling them as rebels, the Kilcumin Band railed against the ‘actors and instruments of all these abomible and monstrous crimes’ who were ‘most wicked and traitorous…unjust and unnatural’. The Band explained the Royalists’ actions as coming ‘out of the deip sense of our deutie to God, our Consciences, King, and native Countrie, yea to all Lawes and Justice divyne and humane’. Indeed, it called upon all loyal and just subjects to ‘stand to the maintenance of the power and authoritie of our sacred and native soverain, contrarie to this present perverse and infamous factione of desperatt Rebells now in furie against him’.25 Again, we can see the same three core themes, but the emphasis had clearly shifted, with the seditious nature of the Covenanters highlighted throughout. The Band identified the link between honour and duty to service in the king’s cause; however, its main focus was to delegitimise the Covenanters, portraying them as little more than criminals who had incited an unjustified and illegal rebellion. No time is spent addressing the Covenanters’ religious complaints, with the Band focusing on the legal justifications for resistance against the Covenanters. Kilcumin’s avoidance of religious rhetoric was likely due to the Royalists’ attempts to cast their net as wide as possible during their recruitment drives.26 They could not afford to turn away sympathetic Presbyterian or Catholic subjects, nor did they wish to dissuade any of the men already present within the Royalist army. The need to liken Covenanting treachery with the threat of Catholicism had also subsided. No Royalist, no matter their religious conviction, could have been in any doubt that the most pressing risk to the kingdom now came from Edinburgh, not Rome. The Band returned the debate of allegiance firmly back into the political and legal sphere where Royalists could argue most effectively for support. Signatories of the Kilcumin Band were to be in no doubt that the defence of the king was built upon strong legal foundations, with the Covenanters representing danger and instability.



The lines between the factional camps once again became blurred during the Engagement (1647–48). After surrendering to the Covenanting army encamped at Southwell, near Newark, Charles I was handed over to the English Parliamentarians in January 1647. However, as negotiations for a lasting peace became bogged down, the king was seized by the New Model Army in the summer of 1647, alarming Royalists and Covenanters alike. This was seen by both parties as an imminent threat to any potential peace. While a prisoner of the English parliament, Charles negotiated an alliance of moderate Royalists and Covenanters through the earls of Lauderdale and Lanark. This ‘Engagement’ would raise an army to rescue the king from captivity in exchange for the confirmation of a Presbyterian settlement in England for a three-year period, the ratification of Scottish parliament’s acts since 1644 and the king’s protection from any future prosecution. In essence, the Engagement called the bluff of the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant, demanding loyalty from those who had signed them if ‘their intentions are real for preservation of His Majesty’s person and authority according to their allegiance’. The Engagement returned to earlier, more conciliatory rhetoric, calling for both sides of the divide to come together ‘for suppressing all blasphemy, heresy, schism, and all such scandalous doctrines’. Indeed, Charles asserted that this agreement overrode all previous bonds or covenants, which were ‘destructive to religion, His Majesty’s just rights, the privileges of Parliament, and liberty of the subject’. All those who swore the Engagement were to declare that they ‘do hereby engage ourselves upon our honour, faith and conscience, and all that is dearest to honest men’.27 Due to its very nature, the Engagement was not an overtly Royalist document. It was designed to facilitate reconciliation around the one point which the majority of Royalists and Covenanters could agree upon: they were loyal to the king and his position should be protected. The details of the agreement would have been unacceptable to extremists within both the Royalist and Covenanting camps; however, its central message reverberated with the sentiments expressed in the Royalist bands discussed previously. First and foremost, the Engagement called upon the honour and duty of both sides to come together in order to safeguard the king. The ratification of the Covenanting parliament’s legislation must have left a sour taste in the mouths of Royalists who had made public their disdain for the Covenant’s legal justification, but, despite its concessions, the Engagement ultimately offered Royalists the means to bring the kingdom back under monarchical control. It also offered moderate Covenanters the opportunity to break ranks and build a lasting settlement.



Thus, these documents suggest that the three common grounds of duty, legality and stability remained integral to Royalist allegiance throughout the Civil War period. What remains to be seen is the extent to which these themes were used by Scots Royalists to justify their allegiance. Therefore, in the pages that follow, Royalist personal accounts and public appeals will be examined and their motives highlighted.

Duty and Honour Duty and honour are difficult motives to track within contemporary sources. On top of the ambiguities which exist between individuals’ actions and deeds, both Royalists and Covenanters ultimately claimed loyalty to the king. Alongside this, it is easy to be cynical about honour as a motive from a modern perspective. The Civil Wars are littered with individuals who fought for both sides, following the fortunes of war rather than any detectable code or ideology. One example of this would be Sir John Urry, who at different points in the Civil Wars fought for the English parliament, the Covenanters and the Scots Royalists.28 However, personal duty and a sense of honour have an undeniable influence on the way that we view the world around us, with this being especially true of the Civil War era when every individual’s moral compass was tested. Indeed, Barbara Donagan’s analysis of martial honour during the English Civil War has argued that, as the Civil Wars tore society apart, the attachment to a code of honour helped facilitate a sense of societal continuity within the chaos of war as well provide individuals with a moral and practical guide on how to navigate the tumultuous waters of the period.29 As already seen, Royalist bonds called upon an individual’s duty to their king. One might assume that this was especially pertinent to the nobility, whose very existence as a social group was built upon oaths of allegiance, honour and loyalty to the crown. Indeed, as seen in Huntly’s declaration in 1639, the marquis saw it as his sacred duty to serve the king against those who opposed him. A textbook example of this motive taking centre stage can be seen in the letters of the earl of Tullibardine to his sister, Lillias Murray, Lady Grant, in 1638. Tullibardine made clear his support for the king during the opening stages of the Covenanting rebellion, despite his great age and failing health. Lady Grant was the grandmother of the young Laird of Grant, a noble of great political significance given his influence in the north of the kingdom. As other nobles declared their support for either the king or the Covenant in 1638, Grant remained



suspiciously quiet. Thus, in July 1638, Tullibardine wrote several letters to his sister and the laird in the hopes of winning over Grant to the king’s cause. What makes these letters so insightful and valuable is the way in which Tullibardine tried to convince Grant to support the king. He did not threaten his great-nephew, nor did he promise him great rewards for loyal service. Instead, Tullibardine simply sought to remind Grant of his duty. In a letter to Lady Grant, he asked her: to advyse your grandchild to careye himself discretlie and weell in thees trublesum tyms; and in any caise, that he never schewe himself against his naturell king, bot still be reddy to serve and followe his Majestie, as I schall give him a trewe example; for I mynd to do so myself as long as I breathe.30

Yet, similar sentiments can be found out with the nobility, suggesting that this was more than a noble cultural value. Moreover, Montrose was quick to point out in both the Cumbernauld and Kilcumin bonds that allegiance owed to the king from all of his loyal subjects. In 1650, Montrose was captured and sent to Edinburgh to be executed upon the orders of the Covenanter-controlled parliament. The news of his capture was ordered to be read out from every pulpit in the kingdom. When this report was given in Glasgow, John Nicoll recorded in his diary that there ‘wes ane honest man in Glasgow callit Johnne Bryson, quho being at the Mercat Croce of that citie, and heiring a procalamation their…did cryout, and call it him [Montrose] als honest a nobleman as was in this kingdome’. Bryson was arrested for his outburst and transported to Edinburgh’s tollbooth—a sign of the severity of his crime. Nicoll confesses in his diary that he was similarly appalled by the news of Montrose’s trial as a traitor, but he chose to remain silent ‘till it pleis God to vindicate him [Montrose] from these aspersions by the kingis Majestie at his returne to his regall power’.31 There are clear parallels here with Aberdeen’s burgh council’s response to the National Covenant in 1638. When local Covenanters repeatedly tried to persuade the city’s magistrates to sign the National Covenant and offer support to the fledgling rebellion in 1638, the burgh council flatly refused to ‘be led in disobedience, and draw on (infinitlie to his Majesties greiff) their awin ruine’. Instead, the council defiantly declared that: ‘they were resolved, Godwilling, according to thair bund duetie and alledgance to their sacred soveraigne, to continew in obedience and loyaltie to his Majestie, and nowayes to do or attempt anything that may give his Majestie just occasion of offence’.32



Clearly, loyalty was more than language. Subjects from all levels of society were willing to risk life and limb in order to satisfy their own beliefs concerning the allegiance they owed the king. In Nicholl’s case, he feared to speak his mind in case he was arrested alongside Bryson; instead, he prayed to God to offer the king his strength. Unfortunately, contemporary accounts which discuss individuals’ motives, especially those which discuss honour and duty, are rare. However, from the sources we do possess, it is possible to gain a glimpse of individuals’ beliefs. From these letters, memoirs and public documents, it is clear that honour and duty meant something to these Royalists. Whether it pushed them to raise arms against the Covenanters, or privately pray for the Covenant’s demise depended on the individual. What is important for our purposes is that these reactions were exactly the kinds of responses which the Royalist leaders hoped to draw upon.

Legality Fundamentally, the Royalist position was built upon the view that the Covenant was a political weapon intended to divide the king from his subjects and justify the illegal seizure of power by the Covenanting regime. It was the most powerful argument the Royalists had in their arsenal of rhetoric as it portrayed the Covenanters as rebels rather than religious reformers acting in the best interests of the kingdom. This position was seen in the Royalist bands and reinforced by printed propaganda and sympathetic sermons, such as A Large Declaration Concerning the Late Tumults in Scotland (1639). Publicly attributed to the king, but almost certainly penned by Walter Balcanquhall, a clergyman and one of the king’s most senior Scottish advisors, the Declaration refuted the actions of the Covenanters, portraying their use of religion as a smokescreen to disguise their true, political aims. The Declaration stated that ‘Religion is onely pretended and used by them as a cloak to palliate their intended Rebellion’. Thus, ‘the seeds of this sedition were sowen by the plotters of their Covenant, made under the pretence of Religion’.33 Like Balcanquhall, the Royalist James Forsyth, minister of Kilpatrick, Dumbarton, was reported to have told his congregation in 1638 that the ‘Covenant was seditious, treasonable, jesuitick’.34 Likewise, in 1639, John Gordon, minister of the second charge in Elgin, accused the Covenanters of being no more than ‘rebells and commone traitors’.35 John Michaelson, minister of Burntisland, Kirkcaldy, went so far as to accuse the Covenanters



in 1639 of ‘taking the crowne aff the kings ma[jes]ties head’.36 A report written by William Wilkie, a minister in Govan and one of Balcanquhall’s many informants, in March 1639 captured similar feelings of disaffection. Wilkie recorded that when he witnessed a Covenanting minister preach in Glasgow, members of the onlooking crowd were wary of the Covenanter’s message: ‘Weimen, simple ones, and mad desperat fellowes, listens; not the gritter [greater] number, partlie out of conscience, pairtlie of fear, groanes and grummils at such poynts, not so Jesuited by ther Covenant as to swallow such pillons [pills]’.37 Even at parish level, there were those within society who, like Huntly, could not excuse Covenanting zeal from sedition. This suggests that, as with English royalism, the defence of the laws of the kingdom, as they understood them, was a key ideological tenet of Scottish royalism. Whilst there were those who wept and rejoiced as they signed the National Covenant, there were evidently others who saw the Covenanters as a threat to the commonweal of the kingdom. Indeed, the fact that Wilkie witnessed ‘ordinary’ people recoiling from Covenanting rhetoric suggests that this position was held by individuals across society, from commoners to ministers to nobles. The blurring lines of legality came to the fore during the Engagement, when both sides accused one another of acting outside the parameters of the law. After the Engagement’s defeat at Preston (17 August 1648), Engagers were pursued by Covenanters for having partaken in an illegal rebellion which had threatened both the kirk and the kingdom. Many Engagers, including David Drummond, minister of Linlithgow, refuted this. When deposed by the kirk for having aided the Engagement, Drummond ‘would not say the ingagement was unlawfull’ nor that ‘religion [was] endangered by the ingagement’.38 These sources suggest that Scots from all levels of society had an understanding of what was legal and what was seditious. The Covenanters trod that line, but it is clear that some saw Covenanting fervour as a mask which disguised treason.

Stability and Order In autumn 1638, John Strang, principal of the University of Glasgow, produced a chilling prediction within an unpublished manuscript tract which urged support for the king. In his The Principal of Glasgow Against the Covenant (1638), Strang foresaw that ‘if memberis of our natural bodie be out of there proper joynt or place…the whole bodie must of



necessitie com to ruine’. Without a speedy return to order, ‘no good, no peace, no exercise of humantie, and religion is to be expected’. The only way back from the precipice of anarchy was if ‘everie good patriot [was] to searche the causes therof; and contribute his best endevoures, for removeing the sam[e]’. To that end, Strang reminded those who had signed the National Covenant that ‘No man can doe dewtie to god, who rendereth not dewtifull obedience to his king’. Clearly, Strang was concerned that the outbreak of civil war would rupture Scottish society and cause chaos within both the political and religious spheres. Strang feared that this disorder would allow enemies of the kirk and kingdom to exercise unbridled freedom, especially the ‘papistes, living amoug us’.39 This fear of instability and disorder has been noted in the Royalist bands. By 1645, after years of civil war, promises for a return to order and stability featured in Royalist discourse. After a series of Royalist victories between 1644 and 1645, Montrose was ordered by Charles I to call together the kingdom’s parliament in order to re-establish the crown’s authority. In this call to parliament, Charles promised to address ‘those heavy birothons of sofrings Quarterings & plunderings of Armies’ and the ‘horrible offects of wicked Athesnie [Atheism], Barbarous Tiranny, and insolent usurpation & rebellion’. Charles’ solution to cure the kingdom’s aliments was a return of ‘sound Order’ and the king’s ‘fatherly care’.40 Though this parliament never met due to the Royalist defeat at Philiphaugh (13 September 1645), its intention was to reassure the king’s supporters that the war had been won and that monarchical authority had been restored to its position of supremacy, which must have been welcomed by Royalists such as Strang. The resentment of Covenanter rule expressed in this source can be seen elsewhere. When Royalist forces under the command of Thomas MacKenzie of Pluscardine captured Inverness in February 1649, Pluscardine defended his action against the ‘unnecessary and unprofitable garison of Innernes [Inverness]’ as a necessary step to overturn the martial law exercised in the north by Covenanting forces. Claiming that ‘we were rather rendered slaves as free subjects’, he argued that the people had been ‘brought rather to despare then anue affection to [the Covenanting] cause in hand’. In a similar vein to Hardacre’s argument about English Royalists, local Covenanting military action and garrisoning could clearly push local populations into the arms of the Royalists. Promises of a return to order and the removal of those who had disrupted localities and enforced heavy financial burdens must have found fertile grounds in the minds of many Scots from 1639 onwards. However, it must also be remembered that



Royalist actions, such as plundering and the presence of Catholic Irish soldiers within Montrose’s army, could push erstwhile Royalists into Covenanting hands.41 The realities of war cut both ways.

Pragmatism, Local Interest and Shifting Allegiance War also bred pragmatism. Personal and local interests undoubtedly played a significant role within both Royalist and Covenanting allegiance. Indeed, many changed sides over the course of the Civil Wars, some turning their coats repeatedly. The earl of Seaforth, for example, signed and served the Covenant despite his clear Royalist leanings, courted Royalist leaders while simultaneously raising troops for the Covenanting armies, then joined Montrose in 1645 and eventually died as an exile at the Dutch court of Charles II.42 There were also many who tried to weather the storms of the 1640s and 1650s, conforming to Covenanting, Cromwellian and Stuart rule when needed. This is perhaps most clearly seen in the fact that hundreds of clergymen served through the Covenanting period, conformed to the Cromwellian settlement and then slipped back into the Episcopal fold at the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.43 Indeed, the Civil Wars also provided the platform on which old scores could be settled and local grievances pursued. In Scotland, this is best seen in the prevalence of anti-Campbell rhetoric amongst many of the king’s supporters.44 Both Covenanters and Royalists predicted that many in the western highlands would join the king’s cause in order to extract revenge upon the Campbells of Argyll, rather than out of any conviction to the king’s plight.45 Prominent amongst these disaffected peoples were the MacDonalds of Clanranald who had suffered greatly at the hands of Campbell expansion. While the extent of this anti-Campbell hatred may have been exaggerated within the previous historiography,46 it is undeniable that for some local politics were far more important than the clash between king and Covenant. It is also important to remember that individuals’ loyalties were neither uniform nor fixed. The ideological temperature of Scotland’s Royalists was varied and individualistic. The marquis of Montrose, for example, began the Civil Wars as a militant Covenanter before joining the king’s cause and migrating along the political spectrum until he represented Scotland’s most hard-line Royalists. Meanwhile, the duke of Hamilton embodied moderate royalism, seeking compromise and negotiation with the Covenanters. Others, like the marquis of Huntly,



remained dogmatically attached to their own version of royalism, often at the expense of coordinating with other Royalists like Montrose, whom he mistrusted for having signed the Covenant in the first place. The ideological barriers which divided the Royalist and Covenanting camps were not so stark as to cease the transfer of ideas and individuals. Certain trigger events, like the publication of the King’s Covenant and the signing of the Engagement, undoubtedly called individual’s personal politics and beliefs into question, facilitating shifts in allegiance. We should not mistake this flexibility for inconsistency, rather, the by-product of individual reactions to the events transpiring around them. Thus, with this broad array of ideological opinions and interpretations, what united the Royalist faction was the belief that the king was owed allegiance, that his position as monarch was legally supported, and that the turmoil of the time presented an attack on established societal order.

Conclusion The Scots Royalist bloc encompassed an array of conservative ideologies which had recoiled from the growing extremism of the Covenanters. It was an identity based upon the rejection of Covenanting ideology, a reaction rather than an initiative. Indeed, instead of there being a singular Scots Royalist ideology, there was a Royalist mentality in Scotland, a shared reaction to the unfolding conflict. While having to arrange themselves as an oppositional party in the face of growing Covenanting power and influence, Royalist leaders were forced to find areas of common ground on which to bind those who rejected the actions of the Covenanters. As seen above, these areas of common ground were the conviction that the Covenanters were acting illegally; the deep-rooted belief that good subjects owed loyalty to the king; and the fear that the actions of the Covenanters were destabilising society, invoking disastrous consequences. These central tenets were employed throughout the 1640s to provide a solid foundation for a conservative alliance which could incorporate absolutists, constitutionalists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and almost all other factions within Scottish society. In the end, allegiance was deeply personal and individualistic. Loyalty was emotive, based upon individuals’ beliefs and convictions. Royalists in Scotland believed that the actions of the Covenanters were inexcusably dangerous and seditious, and they were compelled upon their own sense of duty and sworn allegiance to take a stand for the king. It was this moral



code which bound the Royalist faction together. The sources discussed above give us an unparalleled insight into how Royalists understood the Civil Wars and how they justified their own loyalties. It is clear that the Covenanters’ transgressions represented a red line for many in Scotland, and Royalists were willing to take up arms in defence of that line.

Notes 1. G.  Gordon, The Marquesse of Huntley His Reply To Certaine Noblemen, Gentlemen, and Ministers, Covenanters of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1640). 2. ‘The National Covenant’ (1638), in Scottish Historical Documents, ed. G. Donaldson (Castle Douglas, 1997), pp. 194–201. 3. Extracts from the Council Register of the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1625–1642, ed. J. Stuart (Edinburgh, 1871), pp. 223–5. 4. M. Brock, ‘Plague, Covenants, and Confession: The Strange Case of Ayr, 1647–8’, The Scottish Historical Review 97 (2018), 128–51; C. R. Langley, Worship, Civil War and Community, 1638–1660 (London, 2016); J.  MacDougall, ‘Covenants and Covenanters in Scotland 1638–1679’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Glasgow, 2017); L.  Stewart, Rethinking the Scottish Revolution: Covenanted Scotland, 1637–1651 (Oxford, 2016). 5. MacDougall, ‘Covenants and Covenanters’, p. 200. 6. C.  Jackson, Restoration Scotland, 1660–1690: Royalist Politics, Religion and Ideas (Woodbridge, 2003); B. Robertson, Royalists at War in Scotland and Ireland, 1638–1650 (Farnham, 2014). 7. The Solemn League and Covenant (1643) was an agreement between the Scottish Covenanters and the English Parliamentarians which saw Covenanting forces intervene in the First English Civil War (1642–46) against the king’s forces. See: ‘The Solemn League and Covenant’ (1643), in The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, 1625–1660, ed. S. R. Gardiner (Oxford, 1927), pp. 267–71. 8. D.  Stevenson, The Scottish Revolution, 1637–1644 (Edinburgh, 2003), pp. 207, 263–4. 9. J.  Scally, ‘Constitutional Revolution, Party and faction in the Scottish Parliaments of Charles I’, Parliamentary History 15 (1996), pp.  68–71; J. Young, ‘The Scottish Parliament and National Identity from the Union of the Crowns to the Union of Parliaments, 1603–1707’, in Image and Identity: The Making and re-making of Scotland through the Ages, ed. D. Broun, R. J. Findlay and M. Lynch (Edinburgh, 1998), p. 122. 10. Robertson, Royalists at War, p. 21. 11. P. H. Hardacre, The Royalists during the Puritan Revolution (Dordrecht, 1956), pp. 3–6.



12. J. W. Daly, ‘Could Charles I be Trusted? The Royalist Cause, 1642–1646’, Journal of British Studies 6 (1966), 23–44. 13. J.  G. Marston, ‘Gentry Honor and Royalism in Early Stuart England’, Journal of British Studies 11 (1973), 21–43. 14. G.  Burgess, The Politics of the Ancient Constitution: An Introduction to English Political Thought, 1603–1642 (Pennsylvania, 1993); J.  W. Daly, ‘John Bramhall and the Theoretical Problems of Royalist Moderation’, Journal of British Studies 13 (1971), 26–44; B.  Donagan, ‘Varieties of Royalism’, in Royalists and Royalism during the English Civil Wars, ed. J.  McElligott and D.  Smith (Cambridge, 2007), pp.  66–88; D.  Scott, ‘Rethinking Royalist Politics, 1642–49’, in The English Civil War: Conflict and Contexts, 1640–49, ed. J. Adamson (Basingstoke, 2009), pp. 36–60. The exception to this trend is the work of J.P. Sommerville, who has continued to argue for the prevalence of absolutist doctrine within English royalism. See: J. P. Sommerville, Royalists & Patriots: Politics and Ideology in England, 1603–1640 (London, 1999). 15. D.  Smith, Constitutional Royalism and the Search for Settlement, c. 1640–1649 (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 321–2. 16. J. De Groot, Royalist Identities (London, 2001), p. xv. 17. E. Cowan, ‘The Solemn League and Covenant’, in Scotland and England, 1286–1815, ed. R. A. Mason (Edinburgh, 1987), p. 197; J. Morrill, ‘The English Revolution in British and Irish Context’, in The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution, ed. M. Braddick (Oxford, 2015), p. 568. 18. Cowan, ‘The Solemn League and Covenant’, p. 197. 19. M. Ó Siochrú, Confederate Ireland, 1642–1649: A Constitutional and Political Analysis (Dublin, 2008); Robertson, Royalists at War, pp. 99–123. 20. ‘The Engagement’ (1647), in Constitutional Documents, ed. Gardiner, pp. 347–52. 21. G.  Burnet, The Memoirs of the Lives and Actions of James and William, Dukes of Hamilton and Castle-Herald (Oxford, 1852), pp. 70–1. 22. ‘Lorne to Hamilton’ (1638): National Records of Scotland [NRS], GD 406/1/454. 23. ‘The King’s Covenant’ (1638): National Library of Scotland [NLS], MS 34.5.15. 24. ‘The Cumbernauld Bond’ (1640): NRS, GD 220/3/183. 25. ‘The Kilcumin Band’ (1645), Memorials of Montrose and his Times, volume 2, ed. M. Napier (Edinburgh, 1848), pp. 172–3. 26. E. Cowan, Montrose: For Covenant and King (London, 1977), pp. 180–1. 27. ‘The Engagement’ (1647), in Constitutional Documents, ed. Gardiner, pp. 347–52. 28. E. Furgol, ‘Urry, Sir John’, in ODNB, available at: http://www.oxforddnb. com (accessed 28 November 2018).



29. B. Donagan, ‘The Web of Honour: Soldiers, Christians, and Gentlemen in the English Civil War’, The Historical Journal 44 (2001), pp. 388–9. 30. ‘Tullibardine to Lady Grant’ (1638), in The Chiefs of Grant, ed. W. Fraser, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1883), ii, p. 64. 31. J. Nicholl, A Diary of Public Transactions and Other Occurrences, Chiefly in Scotland: From January 1650 to June 1667 (Edinburgh, 1836), pp. 7–8. 32. Extracts from Burgh of Aberdeen, ed. Stuart, pp. 128–30. 33. A Large Declaration Concerning the Late Tumults in Scotland (Edinburgh, 1639), p. 6. 34. R.  Baillie, The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie, 1637–1662, ed. D. Laing, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1841), i, pp. 89, 162–3. 35. NRS, CH 2/271/1, pp. 107–10. 36. NRS, CH 2/224/1, p. 253. 37. ‘Wilkie to Balcanquhall’ (1639), in The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie, ed. Laing, i, pp. 483–4. 38. NRS, CH 2/242/3, pp. 303–4. 39. NLS, Wodrow Folio XXXI, no. 2, pp. 7–24. 40. NRS, PA 7/23/2/34. 41. NRS, GD 248/46/4, no. 8. 42. T.  F. Henderson and E.  Furgol, ‘Mackenzie, George, second earl of Seaforth’, in ODNB, available at: http://www.oxforddnb.com (accessed 28 November 2018). 43. H. Scott, Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: The Succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation, 8 vols. (Edinburgh, 1920). 44. I. Lom, Orain Iain Luim – Songs of John MacDonald, Bard of Keppoch, ed. A. M. MacKenzie (Edinburgh, 1964), pp. 20–5. 45. The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie, ed. Laing, i, p. 74. 46. For a discussion of the prominence of anti-Campbell mentality, see: A. Lind, ‘A Gaelic Civil War? – Iain Lom and the Civil War in the Highlands and Islands’, Venture Faire 22 (2017), pp. 3–7.


Loyalty, Disloyalty, and the Coronation of Charles II Edward Legon

I The coronation of Charles II in 1661 was an extraordinary spectacle. Proceedings stretched over a week, beginning between 16 and 19 April with the installation of knights of the Garter at Windsor and knights of the Bath at Whitehall, and concluding with the crowning itself at Westminster Abbey on 23 April and a fireworks display on the Thames a day later.1 Crowds thronged to see the culmination of Charles’ restoration to the throne after a decade of exile from the republican Commonwealth. This

I am very grateful to the following for their advice and support: Ian Atherton, Richard Bell, Alden Gregory, Catherine Hinchliff, Wendy Hitchmough, Jason Peacey, Elaine Tierney, and Sarah Ward. I am particularly grateful to Jack Sargeant, who commented on a draft of this work, and to the anonymous reviewer. E. Legon (*) Queen Mary University of London, London, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_12




was especially the case during the king’s cavalcade from the Tower of London to his palace of Whitehall on the eve of the coronation, an event which pleased the diarist Samuel Pepys ‘above imagination’.2 The streets of London were transformed for the occasion. Most famously, the processional route was decorated with a series of four triumphal arches or ‘fabrics’ which celebrated the recent overthrow of ‘rebellion’ by monarchy and the expansion of Britain’s naval empire together with representations of ‘concord’ and ‘plenty’.3 The coronation day culminated in a feast at Westminster Hall which, like Westminster Abbey, was richly adorned.4 The coronation, the first in England since 1626, drew on the energetic antiquarian research of Sir Edward Walker, the Garter king of arms, and others. Their work recovered and recreated tangible and intangible aspects of the coronation, such as the famous regalia, which had been destroyed following the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1649.5 The coronation was, above all else, participatory. The Venetian ambassador described ‘bonfires in every corner of [London] and the most abundant evidence of rejoicing and consolation’.6 Far from being confined to the capital, Charles’ subjects across the four kingdoms made merry in ways that rivalled even the celebration of his restoration in May 1660. The Royalist antiquary Anthony Wood wrote joyfully of festivities in Oxford where ‘[t]he conduit run a hogshead of claret nere upon’ and ‘wine and cakes’ were distributed by the citizens.7 From Edinburgh, John Nicoll wrote similarly of abundant ‘floweris and grene bransches of treyis, and sum punszeones of wyn’ being laid on Mercat Cross.8 The coronation had increasingly tightened its grip over public discourse during the first year of Charles II’s reign. In February 1661, the diarist Samuel Pepys remarked on ‘the great preparacion for the King’s crowning’ which ‘is now much thought upon and talked of’.9 The Venetian ambassador commented similarly on the ‘preparations’ being made for the coronation in London by ‘the smallest [and] the greatest’,10 while, on 12 April, Thomas Hunt reported to the Hague that ‘the Ladyes & all’ were ‘prepareing for the greate solemnity of the Coronation’.11 For some, the coronation exerted a gravitational pull from which all other activity struggled to escape. Thomas Hanford implored his brother William to delay his ‘busines so as to bee heare beefore [th]e 23[rd] of Aprill w[hi]ch will [be th]e Kings Coronation Day and a great shew will bee for hee goes through [th]e Citty’.12 Participation in the coronation could be costly. Lady Ann Fanshawe described 1660–61 as both ‘a time of advantage’ and ‘of great expense’, her husband riding ‘upon his Majesty’s left hand’ at his coronation ‘with



very rich foot-cloths, and four men in very rich liveries’.13 Elsewhere, Sir William Dugdale noted his expenditure towards the coronation: £7 for ‘30 Yards of Lace for my suite of Silke’ and £4 10s for ‘a Bever Hatt’.14 The Venetian ambassador forked out £215 towards his attendance at the coronation, but he noted that this paled in comparison to the £3000 spent by his Spanish counterpart.15 Commentaries like these bear out the idea that the coronation comprised a remarkable outpouring of loyalty to Charles II and, by extension, his restoration to the throne a little under a year earlier.16 Kevin Sharpe highlighted the importance of the participatory nature of the coronation, contending that the ‘joy and adulation’ of spectators ‘made [the coronation] and gave it meaning’, and ‘their presence realiz[ed] the end of rebellion and the return of concord’.17 For Sir Roy Strong, the coronation was ‘a sigh of relief’ after civil war and revolution and ‘[a] spontaneous surge of popular acclaim which heralded … a return to mystic kingship’.18 Historians have also acknowledged that the coronation was not greeted with universal approval. In his excellent account of the culture and politics of Charles II’s court, the literary scholar Matthew Jenkinson has focused on the coronation’s reception and the extent to which its organisers were forced to ‘[incorporate] tensions, inconsistencies, admissions of weakness and sometimes subtle subversion’.19 Prominent in accounts like these have been the arsonous activities of Fifth Monarchists in the week prior to the coronation and subversive interpretations of a storm which cast an unexpected pall over proceedings (of which more below).20 This chapter takes a second glance at this evidence. It also introduces new evidence which allows us to listen to the full chorus of dissenting voices during the extraordinary events of April 1661. By dissenting voices, I mean those which, in a broad sense, failed to accord with the conspicuous ‘loyalty’ of participation in the coronation, such as the revelry, preparations, and expenditure described above. In doing so, this chapter makes a contribution to recent studies of how dissent manifested itself amid performances of early modern government ritual.21 I begin by gauging the opinions of people who remained ‘disloyal’ after the Restoration or those that were actionable as ‘sedition’ or even ‘treason’ under common law because they represented the imagination of, or an active conspiracy to bring about, the downfall of the restored monarchy. From here, attention shifts to opinions which, while critical of elements of the coronation, were expressed by individuals who had been actively supportive of Charles II’s restoration and who were—to the best of our



understanding—far from relinquishing their loyalty to him. I identify the source of this dissent as an experience of alienation after 1660. This experience derived, in part, from the dramatic shift between the conciliatory atmosphere with which the restoration of Charles II was ushered in (sometimes described as the ‘first’ Restoration settlement) and the subsequent backlash against former Parliamentarians and Protestant Dissenters (the ‘second’ settlement).22 Matthew Neufeld has recently configured this process as a shift from collective forgiving and forgetting to a form of ‘public remembering’ which justified the attempts of Charles II’s supporters to eradicate the forces of popular rebellion against monarchy and established church.23 Rather than seeing the expression of dissenting opinion in April 1661 as purely contingent on this shift, it is argued that the coronation was, in and of itself, an inflection point of recrimination and thus alienation after the Restoration. Notwithstanding this chapter’s self-conscious disaggregation of ‘disloyal’ and ‘loyal’ opinion, I also seek to complicate such a distinction. Those who remained loyal to Charles II were conscious, and indeed concerned, that their failure to participate in the coronation properly (i.e. with the kind of conspicuous attendance and spending to which I have already referred) could be construed as ‘disloyal’. By rethinking cases of sedition in which the actual ‘disloyalty’ of words in question is open to interpretation, the chapter concludes by lending credence to such anxieties. In taking this approach, I certainly do not wish to downplay the enduring currency of resistance after the Restoration.24 Nonetheless, we must acknowledge that not everyone who strained the nerves of the government was actively seeking to destroy the restored church and state. This realisation permits us to approach opinion after the Restoration with greater flexibility. Rather than reaching for labels such as ‘radical’, ‘republican’, ‘moderate’, or even ‘loyal’ and ‘disloyal’, I follow the lead of historians who are sensitive to how the boundaries of each of these categories were contingent on political and religious context(s).25 In this instance, the relevant context is the rapid alienation of individuals who, as already mentioned, had otherwise supported the Restoration.

II Some of those who witnessed Charles II’s coronation in late April 1661 were keen to highlight how seamless it was. In two brief asides in his lengthy diary entry on 23 April, Samuel Pepys recorded that ‘I observed



little disorder in all this’ and ‘I have not heard of any mischance to anybody through it all’.26 The Venetian ambassador, meanwhile, reported that the day had ‘passed without the slightest disorder and amid universal admiration’.27 Tacit in these commentaries is a sense of relief, and even surprise, that the coronation had passed without major incident. This sentiment is even more palpable in the autobiography of Lady Anne Halkett, who recalled her discomfort at seeing ‘the multitude of beholders that crouded in aboutt the King’ during his procession, including ‘very many meane[,] ordinary persons laying there [sic] hands upon the horse and the rich trappings, which putt mee into that terrour for feare of some attempt upon his Majesties person’.28 Lady Anne Halkett’s anxieties were shared by the government itself. Sir Edward Nicholas issued a warrant in March 1661 for one Mr Wright ‘to discover any thing of those plotts he pretends are designed at [th]e Coronacon’ of which the secretary of state had received ‘severall flying intelligences’.29 Philip Constantine added to Nicholas’ troubles when, on 13 April, he passed on a rumour that ‘thousands’ were preparing for a rising in London, ‘& the worke would be done in a few houres’. Constantine was especially anxious about ‘the Great Multitudes of People’ who ‘flocked together: at the Coronation now at hand’.30 The government lent credence to such rumours, going as far as ordering all cashiered officers and soldiers of the disbanded New Model Army to retire from within twenty miles of London on 19 April.31 The extent of anxieties about an assassination plot is disclosed by Charles’ decision to go ‘early incognito, by the river’ to the Tower of London on the eve of his entry into the city.32 When, mysteriously, the king went missing for two hours during his river passage, ‘great whisper and murmur and disquiet’ apparently emanated from the royal court.33 Defensive measures were also taken outside London. In Worcester, ‘all the trained bands, Horse and foot, were up in arms in several places to prevent Insurrections and tumults of seditious fanatics and schismatics, haters of Monarchy and Episcopacy’.34 The government’s defensive posture was not entirely unmerited. On Sunday 14 April, a riot broke out in Newgate prison. Three days later, a pamphlet detailed how the rioters—apparently Fifth Monarchists—had intended ‘to set fire on those stately Fabricks or Ornaments [i.e. the triumphal arches] erected near Leadenhall, in Cornhill, Cheapside and Fleet-­ street, by the Citizens of London, in honour of that long expected and happy day of his Majesties Coronation’ as a means of putting ‘a sudden stop to the joy of all faithful Subjects’. Following the discovery of the plot,



six or seven suspects were apprehended in Fleet Street and sent to gaol where they awaited trial.35 The Venetian ambassador commented that the perpetrators, or ‘sectaries’ as he called them, had taken advantage of the fact that ‘all the Court and nearly all the city [were] away’ at Windsor for the feast of the Garter.36 The extent of the government’s anxieties can be measured by a cluster of indictments in assize and quarter sessions for words which referred, explicitly or otherwise, to risings that were to coincide with the coronation. Glastonbury man, and former Parliamentarian,37 Joseph Bradrip was called before Somerset’s justices on the eve of the coronation for having said a week earlier that ‘[if] the king was crowned [my] … head might be cut of[f]’.38 Bradrip’s words were taken to disclose his involvement in a conspiracy against the government. This was corroborated by, amongst others, one Margaret Haines, who recorded hearing Bradrip say that ‘to morrow sevennight[,] you doe hope to have a ioyfull day[,] for you doe hope that the king will be crowned that day[,] but there will be no such matter for[,] if he be[,] I will loose [sic] my head’.39 Similar allegations were made elsewhere in the Stuart kingdoms. It was reported from the border town of Berwick later in April that a fire there had been foreshadowed by the threats of several ‘suspitious persons’ that ‘you are like to have a joyful day [at the coronation], but wee may have one before it’.40 Others questioned whether Charles would be crowned at all. Thomas Lunn, a labourer from Bootham in Yorkshire, was accused of saying as early as June 1660 that Charles II would ‘never bee crowned, and, if he is crowned, hee shall never live long’.41 Elsewhere, Walter Crompton, a landowner from Sunderlandwick, also in Yorkshire, expressed similar hopes that ‘the Kinge would never bee crowned, for hee was a bastard’. It was even alleged that, in what appears to have been a parody of the coronation ceremony, Crompton had regularly slapped his horse’s backside and declared: ‘Stand up, Charles the third by the grace of God’.42 Crompton’s words found an echo in another fascinating case of sedition from the other side of Yorkshire. On this occasion, the former Parliamentarian captain John Hodgson of Coley Hall near Halifax was indicted by his neighbour Daniel Lister (or Lyster) of Ovenden for saying that ‘your king ere long will have notheinge left to sett his crowne upon’ (words which Hodgson later recounted as: ‘There is a crown provided, but the king will never wear it’).43 These words, allegedly spoken on 10 January, implied that the two men had recently heard news of the reminting of a new crown of St Edward, the original having been destroyed during the Interregnum.



Unusually for a case of this kind, John Hodgson’s words come with extensive background information. This takes the form of an autobiography in which Hodgson detailed his many ‘troubles’ after the Restoration, including his indictment by Daniel Lister at the York assizes in 1661. The captain clarified that, in addition to the words already cited, Lister had indicted him separately for saying that ‘I had never been a turn-coat; [and] I never took the oath of allegiance, nor never would do’, words which implied an enduring Parliamentarian, and indeed republican, identity. Hodgson described Daniel Lister’s allegation as largely unfounded and thus malicious, but, unusually, he did admit to having said that he ‘had never been a turn-coat’, and that he went as far as ‘justif[ying] it before the judge and jury’. When asked by the judge why he had not taken the Oath of Allegiance to Charles II (1660), Hodgson apparently said that ‘I thought it unseasonable to tender it me, until the king had declared what government he would maintain’. In this remarkably radical statement, Hodgson unintentionally lent credence to claims that he had spoken seditiously of the coronation. That Hodgson not only left the court a free man, but did so with one of the foremen decrying Daniel Lister and all informants like him, suggests that the accused was not without sympathisers at York.44 Those who, like Captain Hodgson, were accused of expressing doubts that Charles would be crowned at all may have been emboldened by the series of delays which beset the coronation, for which the official reason was the death of the king’s sister, Mary, Princess of Orange in December 1660.45 The German historian Leopold Von Ranke was more cynical, intuiting that the delay had been deliberate ‘to show that the King of England could govern without having been crowned and without having taken the solemn pledges attached to the coronation’.46 Some of Charles II’s subjects were evidently less convinced than Von Ranke about the authority of an unanointed king. As was common between the succession and coronation of a monarch, the seditious idea of an ‘interregnal’ period gained some traction.47 Edward Fulham, a gentleman living at Waltham Cross, was indicted at the Essex sessions in January 1661 for saying that ‘his Majestye was no King att present, for hee was no crowned King, and believed hee would not bee crowned’.48 Fulham echoed Thomas Venner, the Fifth Monarchist leader, who, during his treason trial that month, declared that ‘he could not commit Treason because the king was not yet crowned’.49



Along with claims that the coronation would not happen, or that Charles was not actually king until he was crowned, were objections to the coronation itself. One of the most intriguing of these took the form of Edward Stone’s words when he heard the guns firing to mark the coronation on 23 April: ‘[i]f ever the Devil is abroad’, the Hertfordshire man was heard to say, ‘he is abroad now’. Stone’s choice of expression is the early modern equivalent of ‘this place is going to the dogs’, but it was presumably construed as referring to Charles II himself.50 Language such as that of Edward Stone does not tell us a great deal about why certain individuals objected to the coronation. However, the alleged words of Thomas Chapman at the time of the city of London elections to the new parliament in March 1661 are informative. Chapman, a ‘warden or steward of Glovers Hall’ and, apparently, ‘a Leveller’, described the controversial election of anti-episcopal candidates in London as ‘the hapiest day England had seen this many years’. Being censured that the election’s outcome was a matter of ‘disgust to the Kinge’ and ‘that it was heard he would not ride through the Citty to his Coronation’, Chapman allegedly replied that ‘if the Cytie wear [sic] of their minds they would presently pull downe the pageants and save soe much Charges’.51 Chapman’s words speak of the visceral reaction which the sight of the costly triumphal arches elicited in some of Charles II’s subjects. Thomas Chapman was not alone in complaining about the extravagance of the coronation. The government intercepted an anonymous letter in March 1661 in which the author described the coronation pageants as ‘[th]e hugest vanity ever my Eyes beheld much more then I could imagine’. Reflecting the dominance of the coronation in public discourse, the author also complained that ‘[a]ll is now of [th]e Coronation’ and that ‘you can not but here [sic] of our vaine Padgents’.52 Others objected puritanically to the form of the coronation’s ceremonial. Writing from exile in Switzerland, the republican Edmund Ludlow described the crowning as ‘the superstitious ceremony of annoynting’ and Charles II as England’s ‘idol’. Ludlow also baulked at the invitation of bishops to join the royal cavalcade on the eve of the coronation, recording wryly that they had failed to do so ‘for feare of the people’.53 Related to objections like these were those surrounding the king’s conspicuous refusal to renew his vow to the Solemn League and Covenant at the coronation. Charles took the Covenant at his earlier coronation in Scone, Scotland, on 1 January 1651 in return for the support of Scottish Presbyterians in his counter-revolutionary war against the English



Commonwealth. Writing in his Berith Anti-Baal, for which he was later imprisoned,54 the Irish Presbyterian Zachary Crofton rejected that it was ‘bold and odious, no leβ than fallacious’ to cite Charles’ continued obligations to the Covenant. Crofton proclaimed that the king’s having ‘sw[orn] the Covenant is not[,] nor can be[,] denied’, citing ‘the form of his Royal Coronation, his Royal Declaration from Dumferling, and the History of King Charls the Second’, which ‘have made it known through the world, that it cannot be hidden’.55 Here, Crofton referred to the recent republication of ‘the form and order’ of the Scone coronation and the Presbyterian Robert Dowglas’ famous 1651 coronation sermon.56 References to Charles’ Covenant-breaking at the coronation took a more spectacular form in the ‘loyal’ city of Worcester. There, the diarist Henry Townshend recorded that ‘a base, scurrilous, seditious and factious Libel’ entitled ‘A seasonable memento. Apr. 23. 1661’ was posted up around the city, ridiculing the king for having accepted the crown twice and ‘swear[ing] once more/Just contrary to what he sware before’. The libel concluded ‘Let him remember, Lord; in mercy grant/That solemnly he sware the Covenant’.57 It is likely that the author’s specific grievance was the king’s decision to adopt his father’s controversial coronation oath almost verbatim, including a defence of episcopacy. While Townshend deemed ‘A seasonable momento’ to be seditious, this was technically not the case. It took until 21 May for the government to order the public burning of the Solemn League and Covenant,58 and declaring one’s continued obligations to the oath was not outlawed until the Sedition Act of the following June.59 It may be that references to the 1643 Covenant at the coronation increased the necessity of such legislation. Together with this improper participation in the coronation, the failure to participate at all was also interpreted as evidence of disloyalty. In a fascinating letter to his cousin Doll, the Royalist Sir Ralph Verney joked that he thought her ‘little less than a Phanaticke, for being absent at this [sic] great solemnities [of the coronation]’.60 The implication of this evidence is that, while it was not ‘seditious’ to withdraw from the celebrations of the coronation per se, it could be evocative of behaviour that was attributed to those who Verney called ‘fanatics’ or, rather, political and religious dissenters. The coronation became no less controversial as its grip over public discourse loosened after April 1661. Accordingly, the government took measures to influence how the coronation was remembered. Most famously, John Ogilby produced an official account of the coronation festivities,



which was intended ‘to prevent the false relations, which, if not prohibited, wilbe made of it, to the disadvantage of so great a solemnity’.61 In spite of these attempts to control the flow of information about the coronation, a number of what we might call ‘counter-memories’ did indeed ‘get abroad’.62 Particularly notorious in this respect are memories of the prodigious storm which interrupted the king’s banquet at Westminster Hall following Charles’ crowning. The regicide Edmund Ludlow described how ‘[t]he dinner was not halfe ended, before this mocke King was enforced to rise and run away to Whitehall, by reason of the unheard-of thunder, lightning and raine’. Ludlow explained that, while ‘his owne flatterers prophanely applied [the storm] to the greatning of their sollemnity, as if heaven itselfe exprest its joy thereat by the dischardge of their cannon’, others were not so sure.63 Ludlow concluded that more discerning onlookers ‘supposed [the storm] rather a testimony from heaven against the wickedness of those who would not only that he should rule over them, but were willing to make them a captaine to leade them into Egiptian bondage’.64 Seditious rumours about other prodigious ‘signs’ abounded after the coronation. Influential in this respect were the famous Mirabilis Annus tracts of 1661–62, a compilation of gruesome accidents and freak weather events since the Restoration and more or less subtle allusions to their significance. The tracts—attributed at the time to a collective of radical Baptists—include a report from Bethnal Green, then in Middlesex, that ‘a great Piller of Fire’ appeared in the sky, along with ‘burning coals of Fire’.65 It was further related that, at 10 o’clock that evening, several persons belonging to Piccadilly (or ‘Pickadilla’), on the other side of London, saw ‘strange fiery Clouds and Meteors very terrible to the Spectators’.66 The final edition of the tracts referred to a later storm of February 1662 which had rendered the triumphal arches ‘much shattered and torn’. The authors explained that the Leadenhall Street arch ‘lost the Kings Arms’, while ‘[t]hat in Cheapside, which represented the Church, suffered very much also by the fury of the Storm. And a great part of that in Fleetstreet (which represented Plenty) was blown down; but, blessed be God, none that we hear of were either killed or hurt by the fall of it’.67 The government responded harshly to the publication of these stories, taking suspected publishers into custody and raiding bookshops.68 Other rumours circulated about misfortune which befell individuals who had participated in the coronation, especially the godly. Edmund Ludlow recorded how the Northamptonshire MP and Presbyterian



Richard Knightly had ‘scrupled’ at the bowing of the altar during the ceremony for investing knights of the Bath in the week prior to the coronation. Ludlow noted that, ‘being prevayled with to [bow]’, Knightly ‘was so troubled for having done it that (as it was supposed) it was a meanes to shorten his dayes, he dying soone after’.69 Seditious rumours also spread about the significance of Charles II’s actions during the coronation. Lady Anne Halkett recorded that, the new crown being too heavy for the king, he ‘tooke itt off and held itt in his hand’, which led ‘some from that [to] ma[k]e presages of the short continance of his Majesties raigne’.70 Who these ‘some’ were is unknown, but Halkett’s language implies the currency of such rumours. The anniversary of the coronation, which continued to be observed throughout Charles II’s reign, was also a venue for seditious contestation.71 In December 1668, it was reported from Great Yarmouth that John Woodruff, a Presbyterian bailiff in the town, had moved that the anniversary of the coronation day ought to be struck from the corporation’s ‘Scarlet daies’.72 The same correspondent reported in April of the following year that the coronation day, which ‘hath hitherto beene kept w[i]th great solemnity’, had been ‘all laide aside & no notice in [th]e least taken of it’.73 It may be that opposition derived here from puritan scruples about royally appointed days of thanksgiving, something that was later used to explain objections to the anniversary of the Restoration on 29 May.74 One of the more intriguing subversions of the coronation’s legacy occurred on 19 April 1662 when Miles Corbet, a regicide who had recently been captured in the Netherlands, spoke from the Tower of London shortly before his execution at Tyburn. It was recorded that, as the former MP had heard ‘the Horses and Sleds’ arriving to drag him to his fate, he had said ‘Call you them Sleds[,] … they are the Chariots which are sent to fetch us to Heaven’, before adding, ‘I shall now go from the Tower to my Coronation’.75 Here, Corbet invoked memories of Charles II’s coronation, then almost exactly a year earlier, when the king had himself been carried by horse to Whitehall from the Tower of London on the eve of his crowning.

III The opinions cited above are united by their representation of ‘disloyalty’. In some cases, this disloyalty is corroborated by what we know of an individual’s hostility to the restored monarchy. In other cases, especially where we possess no knowledge of the individuals in question, the label of



disloyalty is entirely that of the government or its supporters who interpreted certain behaviours, especially speech, as ‘seditious’ or ‘treasonable’. This meant that these opinions involved ‘compassing’ or ‘imagining’ the death of Charles II or even levying war against him. Yet evidence exists which problematises any straightforward association of dissent from the coronation with disloyalty. To begin with, the failure to ‘get into the spirit’ of the coronation extended beyond those who opposed Charles II’s return in 1660. The Essex clergyman Ralph Josselin, a supporter of parliament in the Civil Wars who remained hopeful at the Restoration, not only kept away from festivities in his native Earls Colne on 23 April, he chose to baptise one of his congregation instead. Josselin’s recollection that ‘the aire ecchoed with cannon shot’ offers a profound sense of his dislocation from the coronation.76 It also bears an uncanny resemblance to the accusation of seditious words against Edward Stone to which we referred earlier. When Stone had said ‘If ever the Devil is abroad, he is abroad now’, this was allegedly in response to hearing guns saluting the coronation nearby. Further evidence suggests the widespread currency of unfavourable interpretations of the storm which interrupted the coronation feast on 23 April. Reflecting his dissatisfaction with the coronation, Ralph Josselin wrote that ‘towards the night it lightned and thundered and raind a very great tempest. [I]t begun London wards’, concluding that ‘god shott of[f] his warring peices [sic]’.77 Other notable puritans reported news of the storm, but did so without Josselin’s gloss. Richard Baxter, also a Parliamentarian supporter of the Restoration, recalled how the coronation day had been ‘very serene and fair, till suddenly in the Afternoon, as [the royal party] were returning from Westminster-hall, there was very terrible Thunders, when none expected it’. Significantly, Baxter explained that the report put him in mind of an earthquake in the West Midlands during Charles I’s coronation thirty-five years earlier. Baxter demurred that he ‘intend[ed] no Commentary’ by making the comparison, and only ‘relate[d] the Matter of Fact’.78 Writing in his diary, Philip Henry, a Presbyterian who continued to view the Restoration as a ‘mercy’, similarly offered no commentary.79 The minister noted simply that there had been ‘Great Thunder at London that night the King was crowned’.80 While choosing to offer no commentary, the storm’s embodiment of divine disapprobation was surely being implied by both Richard Baxter and Philip Henry.



These cases suggest that the coronation proved alienating to a much wider range of individuals than merely ‘radicals’ or ‘republicans’. And, yet, given what we know about those who articulated this alienation, it would be hasty to describe such sentiment as ‘disloyal’. Indeed, further evidence reflects how far criticisms were articulated in ways that were not mutually exclusive with ‘loyalty’ to the crown. If, for instance, we return to Philip Henry, we discover that his alienation was wrought by his disappointment in varieties of behaviour that were unleashed by the coronation, contradicting as they did expectations that the Restoration was to usher in a new era of ‘further reformation’.81 Writing on the day of festivities in his native north Wales, Henry wrote with palpable relief that April showers during the evening had ‘prevented someth[ing] of God’s Dishonor’ following ‘great joy’ and ‘much sin’ earlier in the day.82 These kinds of criticisms were later echoed by those who baulked at the ‘sin’ to which the annual commemoration of the Restoration on 29 May gave rise.83 As concerning to Philip Henry and others as ungodly behaviour was the use of the coronation to rake over the coals of England’s civil conflict. The coronation was widely touted as an opportunity to uphold Charles II’s famous Act of Free and General Pardon, Indemnity, and Oblivion of 1660, which forbade the utterance of ‘any words tending to revive the Memory of the late Differences’.84 In many respects, the events of April 1661 lived up to expectations of a royal reconciliation. This included the elevation of the former Parliamentarian earls of Northumberland, Manchester, and Sandwich to the Order of the Garter,85 and symbolic allusions to ‘concord’ during the king’s cavalcade.86 But, throughout the first year of Charles II’s reign, recrimination against former opponents of crown and established church had been gathering pace. The coronation’s appeal to ‘concord’ did little to arrest this trend. If we return to Ralph Josselin, we find scant evidence of reconciliation when, on 3 May 1661, he rode past the triumphal arch on Leadenhall Street, representing as it did the triumph of monarchy over rebellion. The diarist wrote of being ‘troubled’ by the arch, especially the depiction of ‘an effigie of stakes and fagots to burne people[,] of the Heads of the regicides on poles[,] and warrelike Instruments broken’.87 Josselin’s experiences may have influenced a later diary entry in which he wrote of having heard rumours that ‘the act of indemnity would bee unraveld’, which the clergyman had likened to ‘a storm’.88 Josselin was not the only Parliamentarian minister who expressed concerns about the ways in which the coronation had been co-opted by



proponents of a recriminatory settlement. The Yorkshire Presbyterian, and later supporter of the Restoration, John Shawe recalled in his autobiography how his attendance at the coronation had been ridiculed by former Royalists in his native Hull. Having travelled to London for the festivities, the diarist was replaced in the pulpit by Edward Boteler, the minister of Winteringham, Lincolnshire.89 In a letter to the town’s mayor and corporation, which prefaced a printed version of Boteler’s sermon, Shawe was described as belonging to ‘a whole generation of … Changlings; Creatures, that would cry up Richard [Cromwell] Protector, and Oliver [Cromwell] Protector, and any Protector, that would protect them in other mens Livings, and their own Sorceries and Seditions’.90 That Boteler was able to publish these recriminatory words reflects the speed with which the reconciliation of 1660 had been overturned.

IV Puritans looked on anxiously as the coronation communicated different political and religious settlements from those which were expected in early 1660. This speaks to a collective sense of alienation which attended the coronation and the first year of Charles II’s reign more broadly. But there is something else which unites this evidence. In each of these cases, the individuals in question documented their opinions in life-writings. Ralph Josselin and Philip Henry recorded their concerns about the coronation in diaries, and it is likely that they did not wish these to be read beyond a trusted cadre. While Richard Baxter and John Shawe were writing for posterity in autobiographies, the latter was acutely conscious of the hazard of doing so, explaining that ‘if a man follow truth too near the heeles, he may possibly have his teeth dashed out’.91 That Baxter was similarly wary of how his opinions would be construed may explain his stress on providing ‘no commentary’ on the storm which interrupted the coronation feast. This evidence suggests that the authors in question were conscious that the government’s definition of seditious activity, and thus disloyalty, had shifted over 1660–61 to incorporate varieties of behaviour which differed from straightforward declarations of involvement in anti-government conspiracy. This may have included the failure to uphold the participatory loyalty which, as we have seen, typified recorded behaviour on 22 and 23 April 1661. This shift was contingent on the changing political and religious context of the first year of Charles II’s reign in which, as we have also seen, reconciliation had been exchanged with recrimination against the Stuarts’ former opponents.



The implications of this argument are that relatively harmless statements of discomfort with aspects of the coronation could be construed as evidence of ‘disloyalty’ by the government. This may account for some of the cases of sedition to which this chapter has already referred. In at least one case, we have evidence to bear out this hypothesis. In April 1661, aforementioned Somerset man Joseph Bradrip was accused of sedition for predicting that his ‘head might be cut of[f]’ at the coronation, a statement which was taken to denote his involvement in, or knowledge of, treasonous activity against Charles II. But Bradrip defended himself before the Somerset quarter sessions judges by admitting to rather different sentiment. He claimed to have remarked that William Lilly, the famous Parliamentarian astrologer, ‘was in the tower [of London] with a rope about his neck &[,] as some say[,] with a gild chaine about his neck &[,] if the king was crowned the next Tuesday[,] Lilly was to be hanged &[,] if not[,] to weare the chaine’.92 If his evidence is accurate, then Joseph Bradrip defended himself from the allegation of sedition by suggesting that he had merely reflected on a rumour that a notable former Parliamentarian was to be either executed on coronation day or to wear ‘a gild chaine’. Put differently, Bradrip expressed uncertainty about whether the coronation would reflect the royal policy of oblivion or the recent trend towards recrimination. This uncertainty and, perhaps, anxiety may cast light on Bradrip’s alleged prediction, which he denied, that ‘if the king be crowned … I will loose my head’. George Body, another witness, claimed that Bradrip’s words had been elicited by his own statement that ‘he did hope to be merry at Wells [also in Somerset] to morrow sevennight … because the king was to be crowned that day’.93 In light of this evidence, Bradrip’s words may disclose fear that he would not share in Body’s merriment, and that he might even lose his head because of his erstwhile allegiances, rather than confidence that the king would not be crowned. The possibility that words about the coronation were deliberately misconstrued by witnesses may explain another case of sedition to which we have already referred. In January 1661, John Hodgson of Coley Hall was hauled before the York assizes for saying that Charles II would ‘have notheinge left to sett his crowne upon’ at the coronation. Daniel Lister’s indictment of Hodgson detailed that he had spoken these words in response to his own provocation that ‘now the sunne [i.e. Charles II] did shine upon the righte side of the hedge [i.e. former Royalists]’.94 Yet, in his aforementioned autobiography, Hodgson explained that Lister’s



allegation had been malicious and an act of revenge for his being bound over by Hodgson, a magistrate, during the Interregnum.95 If we take Hodgson at his word, we may infer that his opinions about the coronation, while perhaps unfavourable, had been rather less seditious than Lister’s indictment implied. Given Lister’s belief about the sun shining on ‘the righte side of the hedge’, Hodgson’s actual words—like Joseph Bradrip’s—may have expressed anxiety about the forthcoming coronation. One implication of the expanding definition of disloyalty in 1660–61 is that those who did participate in the events did so because they were concerned that non-attendance would be viewed as ‘fanaticism’, as per the sentiments of Sir Ralph Verney above. Put differently, here ‘loyalty’ existed only on the surface. To be sure, we possess evidence of individuals who were compelled to attend the coronation. In a private letter which appears to have been intercepted by the government in March 1661, the Derbyshire man Cornelius Clarke, who was later responsible for building the first Nonconformist meeting house in nearby Chesterfield,96 was strongly advised to come to London on the coronation day by his dissenting brother-in-law Stephen Offley, ‘for here is a p[ro]clamation come forth for all that it concernes to attend the Coronation and noe excuse to take place but what is under the Broad Seale’.97 We even possess evidence of compulsion to participate in aspects of the coronation that were deemed by the godly to be ‘popish’ or ‘superstitious’. The regicide Edmund Ludlow recorded that an unnamed individual had ‘declyned bowing to the altar’ at St George’s Chapel in Windsor during the feast of the Garter on 16 and 17 April, believing it to be ‘superstitious’.98 The ejected minister Thomas Woodcock later recalled that the man in question was the ‘zealous presbiterian’ George Evans who was made canon of St George’s Chapel owing to his acquaintance with John Maitland, duke of Lauderdale. Woodcock also recorded that the king had responded to Evans’ refusal to bow to the altar by saying in ‘resentment and anger’ that ‘if he will not bow to God, let him now bow to me’, words which apparently made Evans ‘more suple the next day’.99 Lauderdale was also believed to have encouraged Evans to oblige. Ludlow recounted that the former Covenanter ‘importuned’ Evans ‘to streine his conscience in complyance with that ceremony, which notwithstanding he did he was soone after displaced’.100 Such evidence denotes how participation in the coronation could be unenthusiastic. But it also implies that many more of those who did participate in April 1661 may have shared the scruples of which Evans’ case is representative.



V When we consider the varieties of dissent from the coronation of Charles II in 1661, we discover that the lines between ‘loyalty’ and ‘disloyalty’ are ambiguous. This ambiguity derives from the fluidity of what constituted seditious or treasonable intent. In many respects, this situation reflects how far such categories were always contingent on what those in authority deemed to be potentially or actually threatening to the government of early modern church and state. And, yet, in the case of the coronation of 1661, the waters were muddied considerably. Firstly, the opinions of individuals who were ‘loyal’ (insofar as they sought to preserve the conciliatory settlement of 1660) were increasingly vulnerable to allegations of ‘disloyalty’ and perhaps even charges of sedition. Secondly, these kinds of opinions were increasingly likely to be articulated amid experiences of alienation from the shift towards a recriminatory settlement in 1660–61. We may go further than this and argue that the coronation was not merely a staging post in the rapidly changing political and religious atmosphere of 1660–61, it was an inflection point in the alienation of a wide range of Charles II’s subjects. The extravagance and cost of the spectacle, the symbolic allusions to episcopal ecclesiastical settlements, and, above all, the widespread use of the occasion to censure former opponents of crown and established church seemed to corroborate suspicions about a betrayal of ‘tender consciences’ over the course of the first year of his reign. The implications of this argument become clear if we return to the currency of accounts in which misfortune befell the coronation’s organisers. Edmund Ludlow was not alone in recording news of the inclement weather and in adding a ‘radical’ gloss; even Ralph Josselin, a supporter of the Restoration, was provoked to admit that ‘god shott of[f] his warring peices’. Moreover, Thomas Woodcock shared Ludlow’s interest in the story of the scrupling cleric George Evans. These individuals may not have been connected ideologically, but they were connected by the prevailing view that the coronation was not ‘theirs’. The upshot is that the first year of Charles II’s reign not only caused alienation; it also increased opportunities for individuals from across the breadth of dissenting opinion to stumble across surprising solidarities.



Notes 1. The Manner of Electing and Enstalling the Knights of the Most Noble Order of St George called the Garter (London, 1661); and A True Relation of the Ceremonies at the Creating of the Knights of the Honourable Order of the Bath, the 18 & 19 April 1661 (London, 1661). For an account of the events on 22 and 23 April, see J. Ogilby, The Entertainment of his Most Excellent Majestie Charles II, in his Passage through the City of London to his Coronation, etc. (London, 1662). 2. S. Pepys, The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A New and Complete Transcription, ed. R. Latham and W. Matthews, 11 vols. (London, 1983), ii, p. 83. 3. Ogilby, The Entertainment. 4. The Form of his Majesties Coronation-Feast to be Solemnized and Kept at Westminster-Hall Upon the 23 of April 1661 (London, 1661). 5. R.  Strong, Coronation: A History of Kingship and the British Monarchy (London, 2005), p. 288. 6. Calendar of State Papers, Venice, 1659–1661, ed. A.  B. Hinds, 38 vols. (London: HMSO, 1931) (afterwards, CSP, Venice), xxxii, p. 294. 7. A.  Wood, The Life and Times of Anthony Wood, Antiquary of Oxford, 1632–1695, ed. A. Clark, 5 vols. (Oxford, 1891–1900), i, p. 399. 8. J. Nicoll, A Diary of Public Transactions and other Occurrences, Chiefly in Scotland, from January 1650 to June 1667 (Edinburgh, 1836), p. 327. 9. Pepys, Diary, ii, p. 37. 10. CSP, Venice, xxxii, pp. 255–6. 11. TNA, SP 29/34/48. 12. TNA, SP 29/32/136. 13. A. Fanshawe, Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe, Wife of Sir Richard Fanshawe, Bart. (London, 1830), p. 133. 14. W. Dugdale, The Life, Diary, and Correspondence of Sir William Dugdale, Knight, Sometime Garter Principal King of Arms, ed. W.  Hamper (London, 1827), p. 108. 15. CSP, Venice, xxxii, p. 294. 16. For an account that has emphasised loyalty to the monarch, see L.  Madway, ‘“The Most Conspicuous Solemnity”: The Coronation of Charles II’, in The Stuart Courts, ed. E.  Cruickshanks (Stroud, 2000), pp. 141, 57. 17. K. Sharpe, Rebranding Rule: The Restoration and Revolution Monarchy, 1660–1714 (New Haven and London, 2013), p. 160. 18. Strong, Coronation, p. 279. 19. M. Jenkinson, Culture and Politics at the Court of Charles II, 1660–1685 (Woodbridge, 2010), p. 48. 20. Ibid.; C. Stevenson, The City and the King: Architecture and Politics in Restoration London (New Haven and London, 2013).



21. B. Klein, ‘“Between the Bums and the Bellies of the Multitude”, Civic Pageantry and the Problem of the Audience in Late Stuart London’, The London Journal 17 (1992), 18–26; E. Tierney, ‘Strategies for Celebration: Realising the Ideal Celebratory City in London and Paris, 1660–1715’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sussex, 2012); and J.  Peacey, ‘The Street Theatre of State: The Ceremonial Opening of Parliament, 1603–60’, Parliamentary History 34 (2015), 155–72. 22. R. Hutton, The Restoration: A Political and Religious History of England and Wales, 1658–1667 (Oxford, 1985). 23. M.  Neufeld, The Civil Wars after 1660: Public Remembering in Late Stuart England (Woodbridge, 2013). 24. See, for instance, R.  L. Greaves, Deliver Us from Evil: The Radical Underground in Britain, 1660–1663 (Oxford, 1986); R.  L. Greaves, Enemies under His Feet: Radicals and Nonconformists in Britain, 1664–1677 (Stanford, California, 1990); and R. L. Greaves, Secrets of the Kingdom: British Radicals from the Popish Plot to the Revolution of 1688–1689 (Stanford, California, 1992). 25. J. Peacey, ‘Radicalism Relocated: Royalist Politics and Pamphleteering of the Late 1640s’, in Varieties of Seventeenth- and Early Eighteenth-Century English Radicalism in Context, ed. A.  Hessayon and D.  Finnegan (Farnham, 2011), pp. 51–68. 26. Pepys, Diary, ii, pp. 87–8. 27. CSP, Venice, xxxii, p. 286. 28. A.  Halkett, The Autobiography of Anne Lady Halkett, ed. J.  Gough Nichols (Westminster, 1875), p. 114. 29. TNA, SP 29/33/53. 30. TNA, SP 29/34/54. 31. By the King: A Proclamation, Requiring all Cashiered Officers and Souldiers of the late Army, to depart, and not come within Twenty Miles of the Cities of London and Westminster, until the Twentieth day of May next (London, 1661). 32. CSP, Venice, xxxii, p. 286. 33. H. Townshend, Diary of Henry Townshend of Elmley Lovett, 1640–1663, ed. J. W. Willis Bund, 2 vols. (London, 1930), ii, p. 72. 34. Ibid., p. 71. 35. A True Discovery of a Bloody Plot Contrived by the Phanaticks Against The Proceedings of the City of London, in Order to the Coronation of the High and Mighty King, Charles the Second… (London, 1661), p. 2. 36. CSP, Venice, xxxii, p. 284. 37. Bradrip was accused of saying ‘the day ha[s] been ours & why not againe[;] I hope it will’. Somerset Heritage Centre (afterwards SHC), Q/ SR99, f. 16r.



38. Ibid., f. 13r. 39. Ibid., f. 14r. See also ff. 13r, 15r, 16r. 40. TNA, SP 29/34/88a. 41. Depositions from the Castle of York, Relating to Offences Committed in the Northern Counties in the Seventeenth Century, ed. J.  Raine (Durham, 1861), p. 85. 42. Ibid., p. 94. 43. Ibid., pp. 86–7; and J. Hodgson, ‘An Account of the Troubles that befel me, after the month of October 1660, about my Imprisonments’, in H.  Slingsby, Original Memoirs, Written During the Great Civil War; Being the Life of Sir Henry Slingsby, and Memoirs of Capt. Hodgson (Edinburgh, 1806), p. 168. 44. Ibid., pp. 167–8. 45. For speculation about the delays, see CSP, Venice, xxxii, pp. 223, 244–5; and Stevenson, The City and the King, p. 86. 46. L.  Von Ranke, The History of England Principally in the Seventeenth Century, 6 vols. (Oxford, 1875), iii, p. 363. 47. See, for instance, D. Cressy, Dangerous Talk: Scandalous, Seditious, and Treasonable Speech in Pre-Modern England (Oxford, 2010), p. 93. 48. Essex Record Office, Q/SR 388/38. 49. Howell, State Trials, vi, p. 111. 50. Hertford County Records, Notes and Extracts from the Sessions Rolls, 1581–1698, ed. W. J. Hardy, 4 vols. (Hertford, 1905), i, p. 137. 51. TNA, SP 29/40/10. 52. TNA, SP 29/32/104. 53. E.  Ludlow, A Voyce from the Watch Tower, Part Five: 1660–1662, ed. A. B. Worden (London: Camden Society, 1978), p. 286. For a discussion of the bishops’ failure to join the cavalcade, see Jenkinson, Culture and Politics, p. 69. 54. TNA, SP 29/33/97. 55. Z. Crofton, Berith Anti-Baal; Or, Zach Croftons Appearance Before The Prelate-Justice of the Peace, Vainly pretending to binde the Covenant and Covenanters to their good Behaviour (London, 1661), p.  42. Ironically, Crofton later petitioned the crown from prison, speaking of his wish to ‘partake of that generall joy [of] your approaching happy Coronacon’, TNA, SP 29/33/23. 56. See, for instance, R. Dowglas, The Form and Order of the Coronation of Charles the II, King of Scotland, together VVith the Sermon then Preached, by Mr Robert Dowglas &c. and the Oath then taken, with several Speeches made (Aberdeen and London, 1660); and A Phenix; Or, the Solemn League and Covenant (London, 1661). 57. Townshend, Diary, ii, p. 71.



58. E.  Vallance, Revolutionary England and the National Covenant: State Oaths, Protestantism and the Political Nation, 1553–1682 (Woodbridge, 2005), p. 181. 59. ‘An Act for Safety and Preservation of His Majesties Person against Treasonable and Seditious practices and attempts’, in The Statutes of the Realm, 10 vols. (London, 1810–28), v, pp. 304–6. 60. Memoirs of the Verney Family, ed. M. M. Verney, 4 vols. (London, 1899), iv, p. 10. 61. TNA, SP 29/33/73. For the account, see Ogilby, The Entertainment. 62. M.  Foucault, ‘Film and Popular Memory: An Interview with Michel Foucault’, trans. M. Jordin, Radical Philosophy 11 (1975), 24–9. 63. Ludlow was referring here to publications such as Henry Bold’s, On the Thunder happening after the Solemnity of the Coronation of Charles the II, on St George’s Day, 1661 (London, 1661). For a further account of sympathetic interpretations of the storm, see G. Reedy, ‘Mystical Politics: The Imagery of Charles II’s Coronation’, in Studies in Change and Revolution: Aspects of English Intellectual History, 1640–1800, ed. P.  J. Korshin (Menston, 1972), pp. 19–42. 64. Ludlow, A Voyce, pp. 286–7. 65. R. L. Greaves, ‘The Tangled Careers of Two Stuart Radicals: Henry and Robert Danvers’, The Baptist Quarterly 29 (1981), pp. 34–5. 66. Eniautos Terastios Mirabilis Annus; Or, the Year of Prodigies and Wonders (London, 1661), p. 31. 67. Mirabilis Annus Secundus; Or, the Second Year of Prodigies (London, 1661), p. 59. 68. W.  E. Burns, An Age of Wonders: Prodigies, Politics and Providence in England 1657–1727 (Manchester, 2002), pp. 35–7. 69. Ludlow, A Voyce, p. 286. 70. Halkett, The Autobiography, p. 115. 71. For a short account of the first anniversary of the coronation, see W.  Shellincks, The Journal of William Schellinks’ Travels in England 1661–1663, ed. and trans. M.  Exwood and H.  L. Lehmann (London: Camden Society, 1993), p. 83. 72. TNA, SP 29/250/96. 73. TNA, SP 29/259/75. 74. See, for instance, G.  Burnet, A Modest and Free Conference Betwixt a Conformist and Non-conformist, about the Present Distempers of Scotland (Edinburgh(?), 1669), pp. 9–10. 75. The Speeches, Discourses, and Prayers, of Col. John Barkstead, Col. John Okey, and Mr Miles Corbet; Upon the 19th of April, being the Day of their Suffering at Tyburn (London, 1662), p. 43.



76. R.  Josselin, The Diary of Ralph Josselin, 1616–1683, ed. A.  Macfarlane (Oxford, 1991), p. 23. 77. Ibid., p. 478. 78. R. Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae (London, 1696), p. 303. 79. P.  Henry, Diaries and Letters of Philip Henry of Broad Oak, Flintshire, 1631–1696, ed. M. H. Lee (London, 1882), p. 87. 80. Ibid., p. 85. 81. In his sermon before the Convention Parliament in 1660, Richard Baxter encouraged MPs to ‘stop not here, but proceed to Reformation, or else all the rest is but hypocrisie’: R. Baxter, A Sermon of Repentance: Preached before the Honourable House of Commons, Assembled in Parliament at Westminster, at their late solemn Fast for the settling of these Nations, 30 April 1660 (London, 1660), p. 39. 82. Henry, Diaries, p. 84. 83. See E.  Legon, Revolution Remembered: Seditious Memories after the British Civil Wars (Manchester, 2019), chapter 7. 84. ‘An Act of Free and Generall Pardon Indempnity and Oblivion’, in Statutes of the Realm, v, pp. 226–34. 85. The Manner of Electing, sig. A1v. 86. Ogilby, The Entertainment, pp. 18–24. 87. Josselin, The Diary, p. 479. 88. Ibid., p. 480. 89. Yorkshire Diaries and Autobiographies, ed. C.  Jackson (Durham, 1877), p. 153. 90. E. Boteler, Gods Goodnesse in Crowning the King. Declared in a Sermon in the Church of Kingston Upon Hull, on the Happy Day of the Coronation of His Sacred Majesty Charles the Second, April the 23d, 1661 (London, 1662), sigs. A4r-v. 91. Yorkshire Diaries, ed. Jackson, p. 160. 92. SHC, Q/SR99, f. 15r. 93. Ibid., f. 13r. 94. Depositions from the Castle of York, ed. Raine, pp. 86–7. 95. Hodgson, ‘An Account of the Troubles’, pp. 167–8. 96. J. Tilley, The Old Halls, Manors, and Families of Derbyshire: Volume 3, The Scarsdale Hundred (London, 1849), p. 79. 97. TNA, SP 29/32/145. 98. Ludlow, A Voyce, p. 286. 99. T. Woodcock, Extracts from the Papers of Thomas Woodcock (Ob. 1695), ed. G. C. Moore Smith (London: Camden Society, 1907), pp. 62–3. 100. Ludlow, A Voyce, p. 286.


Loyalty and Insecurity in Charles II’s Virginia John Ruston Pagan

The relationship between King Charles II and his subjects in the royal colony of Virginia rested on reciprocity. The monarch expected the colonists to remain loyal, generate customs revenue, and provide economic advantages to English merchants, mariners, and manufacturers. In return, the colonists expected the king to protect them and, when things went wrong, to redress their grievances. This paper discusses Virginians’ unsuccessful attempt, in 1677, to persuade Charles to use his dispensing prerogative to exempt them from a parliamentary tax that the colonists found unduly burdensome. The chapter’s aim is to explore the colonial dimensions of the dispensing power and to examine the crown’s hostility to the use of grievance petitions as vehicles for questioning imperial policies formulated by the king and parliament.

Restoration and Rebellion The Restoration took effect in Virginia on 20 September 1660, when Governor Sir William Berkeley ordered local officials to proclaim Charles II king in every county.1 Berkeley, a Stuart loyalist, had recently been J. R. Pagan (*) University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_13




recalled to office by the General Assembly after spending eight years in involuntary retirement. The contrite legislators asked Berkeley to beg the king’s pardon for their ‘forced submission to the parlyment’ in 1652 and for their ‘Apostacy’ during the Commonwealth and Protectorate.2 They proclaimed the anniversary of Charles I’s execution a day of fasting and prayer so that ‘our sorrows may expiate our crimes and our teares wash away our guilt’. The 29 May, ‘the day of his majesties birth and happy restitution’, became a holy day.3 Virginia’s local officials fell over themselves to express their joy at the Restoration. Like towns in England, where Charles’ coronation on St George’s Day (23 April) 1661 was celebrated with bell ringing, street parties, and bonfires,4 Virginia counties held public fêtes in the king’s honour. The Northampton county magistrates appropriated 800 pounds of tobacco, the colony’s staple crop and monetary unit, to purchase wine for the loyal toasts ‘at the proclamacon of the Kings Majestie’.5 A few months later, the Northampton justices demonstrated their personal loyalty to Charles by sentencing a colonist to be whipped at a horse’s tail for using ‘Irreverent and Undecent words . . . concerning his Majestie’,6 an order that seems a bit rich, coming from men who had signed the Engagement in 1652, solemnly promising ‘to bee true & faithfull to the Commonwealth of England as it is nowe Established without Kinge or howse of Lords’, and who had held office under the authority of parliament and the Lord Protector.7 What accounts for Virginians’ fervent professions of loyalty to Charles II? Lingering resentment of the regicide,8 coupled with the Royalist influence of a wave of cavalier émigrés who arrived in Virginia during the 1650s, may have inclined public opinion in Charles’ favour,9 but pragmatism probably played the biggest role in colonists’ decision to embrace the restored king. Virginians felt profoundly insecure—militarily, economically, and politically—so they tried to ingratiate themselves with the monarch, believing Charles to be the only source of power potent enough to allay their many fears. Much of seventeenth-century Virginians’ angst stemmed from their vulnerability to attack. They faced existential threats from Indians, against whom they fought wars in 1609–14, 1622, 1644–46, and 1675–77. They also worried about uprisings by rebellious servants and landless freemen, who resented being exploited by a greedy elite.10 ‘How miserable that man is’, wrote Berkeley, ‘that Governes a People wher six parts of seaven at least are Poore Endebted Discontented and Armed’.11 Foreign enemies



posed an additional threat. In 1667, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, warships from the United Provinces sailed up the James River and captured or destroyed part of the tobacco fleet. The Hollanders inflicted further damage in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War.12 Lacking the resources to meet these challenges on their own, Virginians turned to the king for help. They repeatedly implored him to provide arms and artillery and to send the royal navy to patrol Virginia’s coasts and guard their tobacco convoys during wartime. Colonists experienced chronic economic insecurity because they linked their fortunes to the boom-and-bust cycles of the tobacco industry. Parliament’s trade laws exacerbated their plight by confining tobacco exports to England and her colonies, enabling English merchants to pay less for Virginia leaf than it would have fetched in an open market, where the Dutch could have competed for their business. Virginians sought help from the crown as they struggled to reduce crop surpluses and diversify. Besides worrying constantly about the fragility of their tobacco-based economy, Virginians fretted about their property rights. Here too the monarch had a big impact on their lives. He not only controlled the legal system that validated their land titles, but also determined how much of Virginia would be reserved for settlers instead of being parcelled out to courtiers as huge proprietorships. Political security likewise depended on the crown. All colonial officeholders derived their authority, directly or indirectly, from some type of royal commission. The General Assembly acquired its constitutional status as a ‘little parliament’ when it formally received lawmaking authority in the king’s instructions to the colony’s governor.13 Lacking the social status of traditional English local elites, Virginia’s parvenu officials wrapped themselves in the royal standard, hoping that the monarch’s favour would confer legitimacy and entitle them to command deference from their fellow colonists, thus enabling the newly minted grandees to rule in the king’s name while governing in their own interest.14 Virginia officials’ self-dealing and abuse of power contributed to the outbreak of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. The conflict began as a dispute over Indian policy between Governor Berkeley and an ambitious young councillor, Nathaniel Bacon. It grew into a civil war that revealed widespread dissatisfaction over a host of issues: heavy and unfair taxes; cronyism; corruption; a lack of transparency and accountability; high burgess salaries and excessive fees for public officials and attorneys; wasteful government spending; ecclesiastical neglect; arbitrary interference with liberty



and property; and trade regulations that worsened economic woes.15 When news of the rebellion reached Charles II, he dispatched warships and a thousand troops to restore order in the colony. The king also appointed three commissioners to investigate the causes of the rebellion: Sir John Berry, commander of the fleet; Colonel Herbert Jeffreys, commander of the regiment; and Colonel Francis Moryson, a former speaker of the house of Burgesses and acting governor who had spent the past thirteen years serving as Virginia’s agent in London. By the time the expeditionary force reached the colony, in early 1677, Bacon had died and the revolt had collapsed. Berkeley and his supporters plundered the rebels’ estates and hanged as many of the ringleaders as they could get their hands on. Berkeley continued executing people despite the king’s general pardon, and soon the governor clashed with the commissioners over the proper way to restore peace and stability. The sudden appearance of a regiment of redcoats caused ‘the generalitie of the People to looke very amazedly one upon another’ and to tremble with fear.16 In this highly intimidating atmosphere, the three commissioners proceeded to ask the people of Virginia to recount their grievances ‘freely and impartially’ so that the commissioners could report them to the king ‘with the same Candor and Sincerity’. The people would then ‘find the fruite of his Majestyes Royall favour and wisdom in a swift and speedy redresse’ of their grievances.17 Charles had given the commissioners a broad mandate. They were ‘to Enquire into, and Report unto us, All such Grievances and Pressures, which any of our Loving Subjects within [Virginia] have suffered, or layne under, or doe suffer and lye under, and more especially such Grievances and all other causes matters and things which have occasioned the late Divisions, Distraccions and Disorders there’.18 The commissioners, however, decided to narrow their investigation. They insisted that the colonists ‘avoid presenting to us any matters under the notion of Grievances, which in their nature, are not really and essentially soe’. The only proper topics for the commissioners’ inquiry ‘and his Majestyes Information’ were such matters ‘as shall directly concern the State of the Government in general, and in particular the persons of any of his Majestyes Ministers or Officers Executing the same in what relates to their respective Trusts and Places and wherein you know any of them faulty, oppressive, defective, or exorbitant in their administration of the same’.19 In other words, the colonists were invited to complain about provincial and local government officials, but they were not to criticise either the crown or parliament.



Virginia had twenty counties in February 1677, when the commissioners solicited lists of grievances.20 Between February and May, eighteen of the counties responded with petitions; the other two remained silent.21 As Brent Tarter has remarked, the petitions are ‘a rich documentary source that preserves the perspectives and also the revealing language of hundreds of middling and lower-class white men, the very class of men who joined Bacon in rebelling’.22 Given the constraints imposed by the commissioners, rank-and-file Virginians predictably had little to say about government policies originating from Westminster. The petitioners directed most of their fire at the misdeeds of local government, refraining from writing anything negative about the king himself.23 The need to maintain a discreet silence about Charles II must have seemed glaringly obvious to men who were witnessing the so-called ‘loyal’ party’s campaign of plunder and revenge. On 9 March, while some of the counties were still preparing their list of grievances, a court consisting of Berkeley, the three commissioners, and three councillors sentenced a Bacon supporter, Anthony Arnold, to death after he proclaimed at trial that he ‘had noe kindnesse for Kings’. Monarchs ‘had no Right but what they gott by Conquest and the Sword’, Arnold told the jury, ‘and hee that could by force of the Sword deprive’ the sovereign of his loot ‘had as good and Just a title to it as the King himeselfe’. If ‘the king should deny him right’, Arnold continued, ‘hee would make no more to sheath his Sword in his Heart or Bowells then of his owne mortall Enemyes’. The commissioners thought that Arnold’s speech and his ‘other Treasonable words and Actions’ warranted a traditional traitor’s death. Virginia lacked an executioner skilled in the art of hanging, drawing, and quartering, so they had to settle for sending Arnold back to his home county, New Kent, to hang in chains.24

Navigation and Taxation Despite the commissioners’ best efforts to muzzle any suggestion that imperial policy might have contributed to Virginia’s ‘deploured condition’,25 two counties—Rappahannock and Lower Norfolk—identified an act of parliament, the Plantation Duties Act of 1673,26 as a source of their troubles. This statute was the third in a series of laws that Charles II’s parliaments enacted in an effort to monopolise colonial trade and boost revenues. The first and best known of these laws, the Plantation Duties Act of 1660,27 declared that no goods were to be imported into or



exported from the colonies except in English, Irish, Welsh, or colonial vessels. The master and three-fourths of the crew also had to be English, Irish, Welsh, or colonial (Scots were excluded).28 In addition, the 1660 Act required shippers of tobacco and other enumerated colonial products to transport their cargoes exclusively to England, Wales, Ireland, or an English colony. This part of the statute attempted to ensure that colonial products were unloaded and taxed before being consumed domestically or re-exported to foreign countries. The second measure, the Staple Act of 1663,29 prohibited European commodities from being imported into the English colonies except directly from an English or Welsh port. The Navigation and Staple Acts relied on enforcement by colonial officials and on a regime of surety bonds.30 Every ship that sailed to Virginia from England, Ireland, or Wales had to post a bond guaranteeing that the return cargo of tobacco would be unloaded at an English, Irish, or Welsh port, where the tobacco would be taxed at the rate of two pennies per pound. Before allowing the ship to load, the governor of Virginia was supposed to demand a certificate from a customs house showing that the required bond had, in fact, been posted. If the ship came from another English colony such as Massachusetts, the governor had to require a bond guaranteeing that the tobacco would either be transported to England, Wales, or Ireland, where it would be taxed, or to another English colony, where it could be imported tax-free.31 The crafty merchants of New England spotted a loophole in the Navigation Act. The statute said that no tobacco ‘of the Growth Production or Manufacture of any English Plantations in America’ could be legally transported ‘from any of the said English Plantations’ to a foreign port.32 The New Englanders thought that they could satisfy this provision, and avoid forfeiting their intercolonial carriage bonds, merely by transporting tobacco from Virginia to New England. Once they had unloaded the duty-free tobacco in, say, Boston, they could re-export it anywhere they pleased, even to Holland, without posting a bond to carry it to England, Wales, or Ireland, because the tobacco was not ‘of the Growth Production or Manufacture’ of the exporting colony, Massachusetts.33 As is the case with many tax dodges, the New Englanders’ ploy eventually rubbed regulators the wrong way. In 1673, parliament closed the loophole by forcing intercolonial shippers of tobacco to make a choice. They could either post a bond to carry the tobacco to England or Wales ‘and to noe other place’, or they could forego the bond and pay a special tax of a penny per pound, to be collected at the port of lading by royal



customs agents.34 If a tobacco shipper opted for the penny tax, it probably meant that he intended to sell the tobacco to New England consumers rather than re-export it to England or Wales.35 New England consumers would end up paying the penny tax because the importer would pass it along as part of the retail price of tobacco. The sudden tobacco price hike stemming from the penny tax may have adversely affected the exchange of goods between New England and the Chesapeake. The grievance petition submitted to the royal commissioners by the residents of Sittingbourne parish in Rappahannock County36 claimed that the Plantation Duties Act had inflicted substantial hardship on Virginia tobacco producers. The penny impost had caused ‘almost the ruine of many of his Majesties subjects’ in 1674, the petitioners complained. ‘Wee had perish’d but for the New England supply of Corn (and that very bare by reason they could not have tobacco)… Besides other necessaries wee are at a Cheaper rate suppli’d with from New England, which this [the penny tax] debar’s’. Altogether, the special tax had resulted in ‘several hundreds of pounds damages to us’, they alleged. The petitioners asked that their grievance ‘may be taken in to consideration’,37 an indirect way of requesting relief from the intercolonial impost. The inhabitants of Lower Norfolk County told a similar story about the harm caused by the penny tax.38 Virginians generally paid the tax on their tobacco in tobacco because the Plantation Duties Act allowed payment in kind.39 During the 1670s, Virginia tobacco sold on the farm for about a penny a pound,40 which also happened to be the amount of the tax. The Lower Norfolk petitioners explained that this coincidence created a bizarre situation in which ‘all Merchants or Adventurers must pay the one halfe of their tobacoe for the Impost of the other halfe’.41 The tax left Virginians with fifty per cent less purchasing power for acquiring grain and other ‘necessaries’ brought from New England, and it substantially reduced the volume of tobacco that was available for New Englanders to export. The tax ‘soe much discourageth all adventurers’, the Lower Norfolk representatives predicted, ‘that your petitioners is Likely to be frustrated of all trade to, or with his majesties plantations’ in other parts of English America.42 The phrasing of the Lower Norfolk petition hinted that the draftsman probably had a legal background, for the document displayed a fairly sophisticated understanding of the way that imperial lawmaking worked in Charles II’s reign. The petition noted that ‘his Majestie hath beene pleased by an act of parliament to Lay . . . a Custome upon tobacoe shipped and Loaden on bord any ship or vessel bound to any of his Majesties plantations in



America’.43 The penny duty, in other words, was a royal tax; parliament merely had served as the king’s instrument in levying it. This characterisation made sense constitutionally because the colonies lay outside the realm of England, and therefore, strictly speaking, the king-in-­parliament did not have legislative jurisdiction there.44 The prerogative operated in the colonies, however, because they belonged to the crown, which meant that the monarch held imperium (sovereignty) and dominium (the right to possess and rule).45 The king had the power to prescribe laws for his dominions, and occasionally, as in the case of the navigation statutes, the king saw fit to extend parliamentary legislation beyond the realm to his overseas territories. The procedural formalities of extension depended on whether the statute in question expressly mentioned the colonies. If not, its ambit was implicitly limited to England and Wales, but the monarch could extend it simply by ordering officials to enforce the law in the colonies. If a bill in parliament named the colonies as objects of the proposed legislation, the king’s assent simultaneously exercised both the monarch’s legislative power as the king-in-parliament and his prerogative to prescribe laws for his possessions abroad. Extending statutes by assent made legislative prescription a collaborative venture between the king and the houses of parliament.46 Confusion arose, however, over whether the prerogative could unilaterally change a statute once the king had assented to it in parliament. The Lower Norfolk petitioners proceeded on the assumption that the king did have the power to alter a statute’s coverage. Since the Plantation Duties Act had reached Virginia through the prerogative, they reasoned, the crown must also be capable of retracting or revising the Act. ‘[H]umbly submitting to his majesties Laws’, they ‘prayed that some Lawfull Course be taken to supplicate his Majesties gratious grant, that the poore Inhabitants of this County (who are Butt small Adventurers, and by this meanes [the one-penny tax] almost Ruinated) may have Liberty to Export their tobacoe to any of his majesties plantations without paying that Impost’. Such a grant would ‘be the greatest Encouragment Imaginable from a gratious king to his people’.47 The request for ‘Liberty to Export’ Lower Norfolk’s tobacco tax-free to other English colonies was a polite way of asking for a ‘license to transgress’48 the Plantation Duties Act and for a waiver of the penalties that the transgressors would otherwise incur under the Customs Frauds Act.49



Lower Norfolk’s request sought to invoke one of the king’s most controversial powers, the prerogative to grant exemptions from acts of parliament.50 Exemptions from statutory duties fell into two broad categories: suspensions and dispensations. These terms were theoretically distinct but were often used interchangeably. A suspension occurred when the king temporarily released everyone from the obligation to obey a statutory requirement. A dispensation left the statute in force for the general population while temporarily dispensing with particular people’s duty of compliance. A dispensation also had the effect of waiving whatever penalty the petitioner faced as a consequence of his noncompliance. When reasonably exercised, the suspending and dispensing power served a useful purpose by smoothing the rough edges of statutes. Legislation sometimes contained a provision that could not be justly enforced, yet amendment or repeal was not a realistic possibility because parliament met infrequently.51 As Carolyn Edie has pointed out, ‘Statute was respected, but the effective remedy against its inconveniences and injustices lay in the discretionary powers of the crown’.52 The suspending and dispensing prerogative had several generally recognised exceptions. The king could not exempt people from complying with the common law or with a statute enacted pro bono publico, meaning a law intended to protect the health, welfare, or safety of the public. He was not permitted to authorise acts that were malum in se (intrinsically evil), nor was he allowed to dispense with one party’s duty to comply with a statute if the dispensation would cause injustice to or frustrate the rights of another party.53 The king did have the power to exempt people from penalties for violating statutes governing conduct that was merely malum prohibitum (prohibited by law, as opposed to inherently bad).54 Carrying goods to a forbidden port or failing to pay customs duties were classic examples of malum prohibitum. The king could therefore grant temporary relief from having to obey the navigation laws if compliance would cause an unjust hardship.

Compassion and Contempt Prior to the Lower Norfolk County petitioners’ request for relief from the Plantation Duties Act, the crown had granted numerous hardship exemptions to the navigation laws, usually at the request of English merchants and mariners. For instance, when a storm forced an English shipmaster to unload his cargo of Virginia tobacco in Lisbon and then reship it to England in



another vessel, a technical violation of the trade laws, the king and council waived the statutory penalty for noncompliance.55 A similar result occurred in the case of a shipper whose vessel was damaged by a hurricane, forcing him to unload his cargo of sugar in Belfast rather than in England, as the Navigation Act required. The king, ‘tho’ very tender in cases of this nature that may entrench upon the said Act’, exercised his ‘Princely Compassion’ and waived the violation.56 During the Second Dutch War, Charles granted a particular merchant a one-year dispensation from the requirement that three-fourths of his crew be English.57 A month later, the king authorised all English merchants to employ foreign ships and sailors in the colonial trade, a waiver that expired when the war ended.58 Charles revived the exemption during the Third Dutch War and terminated it around two years later.59 ‘Contagion’ and mariners’ excusable ignorance of legal requirements provided additional justifications for individual dispensations.60 So did ‘extreame Want’. When necessity forced the colonists of Nevis to receive French shipments of provisions in violation of the Navigation Act, Charles’ ‘princely Compassion’ led him to pardon their transgressions.61 Royal compassion vanished, however, if petitioners asked for a permanent exemption from the trade laws. Charles maintained that only the kingin-parliament could carve out an unlimited exclusion from a statute’s coverage. In 1661, for example, some Scots petitioned the king to suspend the operation of the Navigation Act in Scotland. The commissioners of the customs strongly objected, and the Privy Council rejected the request, declaring that ‘an Act of parliament would be necessary for granting such liberty to the Scots’.62 The council took the same position in 1676 when the assembly of Barbados submitted a petition that listed the navigation laws as a grievance and asked the crown for a dispensation allowing them to carry their commodities directly to foreign ports without first bringing them to England. The council rejected the request as an act of gross impudence. ‘Wee need not lay before your Majesty’, the council wrote Charles, ‘of what evill Consequence it is, that any of your Subjects should presume to petition your Majesty against Acts of Parliament (which are the Laws they must live under) and call them Grievances’. The ‘whole frame of the Trade and Navigation of this Kingdome doth turne’ on those statutes ‘and indeed would be destroyed by such a Dispensation’. And even if an exemption for Barbados were warranted, ‘it is only fit to be done by your Majesty in Parliament, the whole Nation being concerned in it’. The council recommended that the king severely reprimand the governor of Barbados for failing ‘to have supprest any such Addresse from the Inhabitants’.63



The Privy Council acted on the Barbados petition on 8 November 1676, the day before Charles issued his instructions to the Virginia commissioners.64 Berry, Jeffreys, and Moryson probably had the Barbados ruling fresh in their minds when they compiled their report to the king in the spring of 1677. They summarised the various county grievance petitions and responded, sometimes curtly, to each point. Rappahannock and Lower Norfolk Counties’ requests to be exempted from the penny tax received derisive rejections, and Lower Norfolk sustained an accusation of disloyalty as well. The royal commissioners recommended that the king deny Rappahannock a dispensation from the Plantation Duties Act for two reasons. First, they challenged the factual claim that the penny tax had caused the county’s economic distress. ‘[W]hat they alleage concerning New England is entirely untrue, and is to be rejected for that Reason’, the commissioners declared.65 Evidently, they shared Governor Berkeley’s impression that the real cause of the decline in shipments of cheap corn from New England was an acute food shortage in that region stemming from a war with the Indians.66 Second, the commissioners objected on policy grounds to the Rappahannock spokesmen’s request for a permanent exemption. ‘[T]his Penny impost is soe necessarye an imposition, to prevent the defraudinge his Majesties Customes, by those of New England &c: that itt is not to be complained of, being layed by act of Parliament to that end’.67 If the crown started handing out permanent exemptions, the commissioners suggested, the whole purpose of the statute would be frustrated. The Lower Norfolk petition triggered an even more hostile reaction. The commissioners denounced the ‘extravagant request for liberty to transport their tobacco to any of his Majesties plantations, without payinge the impost payable by act of parliament’. The request was ‘extravagant’ in a double sense. As in the Scottish and Barbadian cases, the Lower Norfolk representatives had overreached by asking for a permanent exemption rather than a temporary or ad hoc waiver. Worse, the colonists had questioned the fairness of imperial policy, which the commissioners regarded as a seditious act. It was ‘wholly mutinous’, the commissioners fumed, ‘to desire a thing contrary to his Majesties Royall pleasure and benifitt, and allso against an act of Parliament’.68 By exceeding the limits of legitimate petitioning, the people of Lower Norfolk County had forfeited any right to redress.



The use of the term ‘mutinous’ to describe Virginians’ exercise of their fundamental right as Englishmen to petition the king reflected the royal commissioners’ authoritarian understanding of the allocation of power between the centre and the peripheries of empire. The commissioners equated criticism of the Plantation Duties Act with disloyalty to the monarch, an illogical and unjust distortion of the colonists’ words. Merchants and mariners from London and other English ports had been accorded respectful—and often compassionate—consideration when they petitioned for dispensations from the navigation laws. When Barbadians and Virginians dared to follow suit, they were treated with contempt. The Rappahannock and Lower Norfolk petitioners had asked for relief that exceeded the recognised boundaries of the prerogative, to be sure, but the commissioners had not been content to simply recommend rejecting the exemption petitions on the merits. Their report also contained a scathing chastisement of colonial insolence. If the commissioners’ findings and recommendations eventually circulated in Virginia, as seems likely, the royal representatives’ lacerating tone may well have inflicted deeper and longer-­ lasting wounds than the penny tax itself.

Conclusion Irked by the cost and inconvenience of cleaning up the mess left by Bacon’s Rebellion, the commissioners wrote a long report criticising Berkeley’s vindictiveness and giving short shrift to the counties’ grievances. Charles and the Privy Council probably acquired little valuable information from the commissioners’ investigation.69 The rebellion nudged the crown into paying closer attention to colonial governance, but the short-lived civil war did not fundamentally alter the structure of the imperial relationship, nor did it heighten the king’s sense of responsibility towards his overseas subjects. Did going through the petitioning process teach Virginians anything about royal government? Yes, they learned that the crown regarded them as second-class Englishmen and strongly discouraged the use of petitions as a way of criticising imperial policies. Virginians were expected to shut up and obey whenever the king and parliament collaborated on schemes to maximise the colony’s benefit to the mother country. Writing in 1765, Sir William Blackstone characterised the colonies as ‘dependent’ dominions that were constitutionally distinct from England but still subject to parliament’s will. He explained that the American colonies, as well as



Ireland and the rest of the crown’s overseas territories, were bound by acts of parliament because ‘this follows from the very nature and constitution of a dependent state: dependence being very little else, but an obligation to conform to the will or law of that superior person or state, upon which the inferior depends’.70 The royal commissioners’ haughty dismissal of Virginians’ petitions for relief from the Plantation Duties Act suggests that this view of colonial inferiority and dependence existed long before Blackstone’s time. One need not revive the old argument that Bacon’s Rebellion was the ‘torchbearer’ of the American Revolution71 in order to grasp the long-­term significance of the anti-tax sentiments expressed in the Rappahannock and Lower Norfolk petitions. Neither document questioned the power of the king-in-parliament to tax the colonists without their consent. That issue did not become a major topic of constitutional debate in America until the 1760s. What the petitioners were bold enough to challenge in 1677 was the fairness of the penny tax that their overlords had unilaterally imposed. The colonists’ language was submissive, yet their resentment came through loud and clear. For the time being, however, Virginians felt too insecure to do more than occasionally grumble about acts of parliament and other measures that they found oppressive. They continued to rely on the king’s armed forces to safeguard them from foreign and domestic enemies, and they still looked to the crown for legitimation of their legal and political institutions. Despite irritating reminders of their subordinate status, Virginians would remain loyal to the crown for another century. Virginians’169-year record of fidelity to England’s monarchs (1607–1776) stemmed from a combination of practical necessity, inherited cultural ties, and a fanciful belief that when transatlantic disputes arose the monarch might be willing to ‘interpose’ himself between colonists and an increasingly aggressive parliament. Thomas Jefferson argued in 1774 that George III ought to act as a grand arbitrator of disputes between the American dominions and Westminster, thus establishing ‘fraternal love and harmony thro’ the whole empire’ that would ‘continue to the latest ages of time’.72 Jefferson’s plea for paternal intervention by the king, equality within the empire, and perpetual brotherhood among Britons fell on deaf ears. Two years later, he accused George III of having broken the bonds of reciprocity between himself and his American subjects by committing a long list of wrongs, including having ‘combined with others [i.e. parliament and the king’s ministers] to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitutions and unacknowledged by our laws’.73 Led by Jefferson,



American critics of imperial policy moved from complaining about individual statutes to denying parliamentary authority altogether. George III, like his predecessor Charles II, refused to take seriously his American subjects’ complaints about parliamentary tax laws and other instances of perceived misgovernment. ‘In every stage of these oppressions’, Jefferson wrote in his draft of the Declaration of Independence, ‘we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; [but] our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injuries’.74 In this and numerous other respects, the king had shown himself to be a tyrant who was ‘unfit to be the ruler of a people who mean to be free’.75 Therefore, ‘in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies’, the Continental Congress declared that Americans were ‘Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown’. The colonies were now free and independent states, and all political connection between them and Great Britain was ‘totally dissolved’,76 a casualty of tensions that the monarch and parliament should have started addressing at least as early as 1677.

Notes 1. York County Deeds, Orders, Wills (1657–62), pp. 93r–93v. The county court records are available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia (afterwards LV). 2. ‘Some Acts Not in Hening’s Statutes: The Acts of Assembly, October 1660’, ed. J.  Kukla, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 83 (1975), p. 87. 3. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, ed. W. W. Hening, 13 vols. (Richmond, Philadelphia, and New York, 1809–23), ii, p. 49. 4. D. Cressy, Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England (Berkeley, California, 1989), pp. 21, 64, 171; R. Hutton, The Restoration: A Political and Religious History of England and Wales, 1658–1667 (Oxford, 1985), pp.  153–4; T.  Harris, Restoration: Charles II and His Kingdoms, 1660–1685 (London, 2005), p. 94. 5. The Northampton justices made their appropriation on 29 October 1661. LV, Northampton County Order Book (1657–64), p. 111. Similarly, the magistrates of Lancaster County appropriated 600 pounds of tobacco on 23 October 1661 to reimburse their sheriff for the wine that he had provided at that county’s coronation celebration. LV, Lancaster County Orders (1655–66), p. 161.



6. LV, Northampton County Order Book (1657–64), p. 128 (order issued 29 April 1662). The defendant apologised, and the court released him under a good-behaviour bond. Ibid., f. 132. 7. Four of the five justices who entered the order punishing their fellow colonist’s lèse-majesté towards Charles II subscribed their names to the Engagement on 25 March 1652. LV, Northampton County Orders, Deeds, Wills (1651–54), f. 188, p. 189. All four served as magistrates during the Interregnum, as did the fifth, who joined the court in 1656. 8. On the regicide’s role in shaping Virginians’ royalism, see J. McElligott, ‘Atlantic Royalism: Polemic, Censorship, and the “Declaration and Protestation of the Governour and Inhabitants of Virginia”’, in Royalists and Royalism During the Interregnum, ed. J. McElligott and D. L. Smith (Manchester, 2010), p. 229. In McElligott’s view, Virginians’ decision not to resist the Commonwealth stemmed not from a deficiency of Royalist sentiment, but from ‘an entirely rational desire… not to fight against overwhelming odds in the wake of the complete rout of Charles II’s forces at Worcester in September 1651’: Ibid. 9. According to David Hackett Fischer, two-thirds of the founders of Virginia’s ‘high elite’ (defined as holders of major offices between 1680 and 1776) arrived in the colony between 1640 and 1669. A majority immigrated between 1647 and 1660. Many had served as officers during the British Civil Wars. ‘Of those whose opinions are known, 98% supported the king in the Civil War’: D. H. Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (New York, 1989), pp. 212–18 (quotation at p. 218). For a discussion of the economic and political factors that influenced Virginians’ allegiances during the Civil War and early Interregnum, see S.  D. Crow, ‘“Your Majesty’s Good Subjects”: A Reconsideration of Royalism in Virginia, 1642–1652’, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 87 (1979), 158–73. 10. On the exploitation that created a volatile society in Virginia, see E. S. Morgan, American Slavery-American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (New York, 1975), pp. 215–49. 11. ‘Berkeley to Thomas Ludwell, 1 July 1676’, in The Papers of Sir William Berkeley, 1605–1677, ed. W. M. Billings with the assistance of M. Kimberly (Richmond, Virginia, 2007), p. 537. 12. Ibid., pp.  318–22, 422–5; W.  M. Billings, Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia (Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2004), pp. 207–8, 224–5. 13. W. M. Billings, A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century (Richmond, Virginia, 2004), p. 16 (discussing Charles I’s instructions to Governor Sir Francis Wyatt in 1639, authorising annual meetings of the General Assembly to enact laws for the colony).



14. For more on this point, see J. R. Pagan, Anne Orthwood’s Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia (New York, 2003), pp. 149–50. I have borrowed the term ‘grandees’ from B.  Tarter, The Grandees of Government: The Origins and Persistence of Undemocratic Politics in Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia, 2013). 15. The historiography on Bacon’s Rebellion is extensive. See, e.g., T.  J. Wertenbaker, Torchbearer of the Revolution: The Story of Bacon’s Rebellion and Its Leader (Princeton, New Jersey, 1940); W. E. Washburn, The Governor and the Rebel: A History of Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1957); Morgan, American SlaveryAmerican Freedom, chapter 13; S.  Saunders Webb, 1676: The End of American Independence (New York, 1984); W. M. Billings, J. E. Selby and T. W. Tate, Colonial Virginia: A History (White Plains, New York, 1986), chapter 4; Billings, Sir William Berkeley, chapters 13–14; Samuel Wiseman’s Book of Record: The Official Account of Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia, 1676–1677, ed. M.  L. Oberg (Lanham, Maryland, 2005), pp.  1–27; B.  Tarter, ‘Bacon’s Rebellion, the Grievances of the People, and the Political Culture of Seventeenth-Century Virginia’, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 119 (2011), 3–41; J.  D. Rice, Tales from a Revolution: Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America (New York, 2012); and Tarter, The Grandees of Government, chapter 3. 16. ‘Sir John Barry and Colonel Francis Moryson to Berkeley, 8 February 1677’, in Samuel Wiseman’s Book of Record, ed. Oberg, p. 73. 17. ‘A Declaracion to his Majesties Loving Subjects of Virginia, 6 Feb. 1677’, in ibid., pp. 68–9. 18. ‘Commission from Charles II to Jeffreys, Berry, and Moryson, 10 Oct. 1676’, in ibid., p. 35. The king’s instructions, issued 9 November 1676, directed the commissioners to inform themselves ‘of all Grievances in general, but particularly of that which the people seem so much concerned in, the great Salary paid to the Members of the Assembly’. The commissioners were supposed to redress that grievance immediately. Ibid., p. 37. 19. ‘A Declaracion to his Majesties Loving Subjects of Virginia, 6 Feb. 1677’, in ibid., p. 69. 20. Virginia had the following counties in 1677: Accomack, Charles City, Elizabeth City, Gloucester, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, Lancaster, Lower Norfolk, Middlesex, Nansemond, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Rappahannock, Stafford, Surry, Warwick, Westmoreland, and York. 21. Middlesex County did not respond, and Northumberland County answered that it did not have any grievances. Bacon’s Rebellion: Abstracts of Materials in the Colonial Records Project, ed. J.  D. Neville (Jamestown, Virginia, 1976), pp. 64–6, 74, 338–68.



22. Tarter, ‘Bacon’s Rebellion’, p. 5. 23. Ibid., p. 21. 24. ‘Commissioners to Secretary of State Joseph Williamson, 27 Mar. 1677’, in Samuel Wiseman’s Book of Record, ed. Oberg, p. 104. Arnold was tried before a jury at a court of oyer and terminer held in Governor Berkeley’s house, Green Spring. Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, ed. H.  R. McIlwaine (2nd edn., Richmond, Virginia, 1979), p. 457. 25. This phrase comes from ‘William Sherwood’s Account of the Assembly’s Proceedings’, in The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century: A Documentary History of Virginia, 1606–1700, ed. W. M. Billings (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2007), p. 341. 26. ‘An Act for the Encouragement of the Greenland and Eastland Trades, and for the Better Securing the Plantation Trade’, 25 Charles II, Cap. 7 (1673). 27. ‘An Act for the Encouraging and Increasing of Shipping and Navigation’, 12 Charles II, Cap. 18 (1660), confirmed by 13 Charles II, Cap. 14 (1661). 28. See the expanded definition of ‘English’ in ‘An Act for Preventing Frauds and Regulating Abuses in His Majesties Customs’, 14 Charles II, Cap. 11, § 5 (1662). 29. ‘An Act for the Encouragement of Trade’, 15 Charles II, Cap. 7 (1663). 30. For a discussion of the enforcement of these laws in late-Stuart Virginia, see J.  R. Pagan, ‘English Statutes in Virginia, 1660–1714’, in ‘Esteemed Bookes of Lawe’ and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia, ed. W. M. Billings and B. Tarter (Charlottesville, Virginia, 2017), pp. 61–8. 31. For the bonding requirements, see the Navigation Act, 12 Charles II, Cap. 18, § 19 (1660). 32. Ibid., § 18. All quotations from acts of parliament come from The Statutes of the Realm, 12 vols. (London, 1810–25). 33. Morgan, American Freedom-American Slavery, p.  277; M.  G. Hall, Edward Randolph and the American Colonies, 1676–1703 (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1960), p. 19. 34. ‘Plantation Duties Act’, 25 Charles II, Cap. 7, § 5. The main aim of the 1673 Act was to enforce the Navigation Act rather than to generate large amounts of additional revenue. R.  Bliss, Revolution and Empire: English Politics and the American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century (Manchester, 1990), pp. 172–4. 35. J. M. Sosin, English America and the Restoration Monarchy of Charles II: Transatlantic Politics, Commerce, and Kinship (Lincoln, Nebraska, 1980), p. 66. 36. Rappahannock County was created in 1656 and went out of existence in 1692, when all of its territory north of the Rappahannock River was organised as Richmond County, and the part below the river became Essex



County. Sittingbourne parish (which is referred to in the Bacon’s Rebellion documents as ‘Citternborne’ and ‘Citterbourne’) ceased to exist in 1732. At the time of the rebellion, the Sittingbourne parish church was located in what is now Essex County. G.  C. Mason, ‘The Colonial Churches of Essex and Richmond Counties’, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 53 (1945), pp. 4, 5, 11. 37. TNA, CO 1/39, f. 201. I viewed this document on microfilm 93, Virginia Colonial Records Project (available in Richmond at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture and the Library of Virginia). The Rappahannock petition was addressed to the three royal commissioners. A transcription appears in ‘Causes of Discontent in Virginia, 1676’, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 3 (1895), p. 38. 38. TNA, CO 1/39, f. 245v (also on microfilm 93). The Lower Norfolk petition was addressed to Berkeley, the house of Burgesses, and the royal commissioners. Transcriptions appear in Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1659/60–1693, ed. H.  R. McIlwaine (Richmond, Virginia, 1914), pp.  109–10, and Papers of Sir William Berkeley, ed. Billings, pp. 594–6. 39. A person who did not ‘have moneyes wherewith to answere and pay’ the penny tax could give the customs collector ‘such a proportion of the Commodities to be shipped as shall amount to the Value’ of the total tax. 25 Charles II, Cap. 7, § 7. 40. R.  R. Menard, ‘The Tobacco Industry in the Chesapeake Colonies, 1617–1730: An Interpretation’, Research in Economic History 5 (1980), p. 159. 41. TNA, CO 1/39, f. 245v. 42. Ibid. 43. Ibid. 44. This understanding of legislative jurisdiction would change in the eighteenth century as a result of the rise of parliamentary sovereignty. See note 70 infra. 45. K.  MacMillan, Sovereignty and Possession in the English New World: The Legal Foundations of Empire, 1576–1640 (New York, 2006), p. 6. 46. For more on extension, see Pagan, ‘English Statutes’, pp. 60–1. 47. TNA, CO 1/39 f. 245v. 48. C.  A. Edie, ‘Tactics and Strategies: Parliament’s Attack upon the Royal Dispensing Power 1597–1689’, American Journal of Legal History 29 (1985), p. 198. 49. 25 Charles II, Cap. 7, § 5; 14 Charles II, Cap. 11. 50. Perceived abuses of the suspending and dispensing powers by Charles II and James II, especially in regard to ecclesiastical statutes, eventually led to the abolition of those powers in 1689. ‘An Act Declaring the Rights and



Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown’, 1 William and Mary, Sess. 2, Cap. 2 (1689). Under this statute, ‘the pretended Power of Suspending of Laws or the Execution of Laws by Regall Authority without Consent of Parlyament is illegall’, and ‘the pretended Power of Dispensing with Laws or the Execution of Laws by Regall Authoritie as it hath beene assumed and exercised of late is illegall’. On the controversies leading to the abolition of the suspending and dispensing prerogatives, see Edie, ‘Tactics and Strategies’, p. 209, note 25, pp. 220–34. 51. D.  Dixon, ‘Godden v. Hales Revisited  – James II and the Dispensing Power’, Journal of Legal History 27 (2006), pp. 134–5. 52. Edie, ‘Tactics and Strategies’, p. 199. 53. G. Burgess, Absolute Monarchy and the Stuart Constitution (New Haven and London, 1996), p. 197; Edie, ‘Tactics and Strategies’, pp. 199–200. 54. On the slippery distinction between malum in se and malum prohibitum, see Dixon, ‘Godden v. Hales’, pp. 144–7. 55. Acts of the Privy Council of England, Colonial Series, ed. W. L. Grant and J. Munro, 6 vols. (London, 1906–12), i, pp. 369–70 (1663). 56. Ibid., pp. 638–9 (1675). 57. Ibid., pp. 390–1 (1665). 58. Ibid., pp. 392 (1665), 430, 434 (1667). Merchants whose foreign vessel arrived in England four days after the expiration of the general exemption received a further dispensation because their ship had been delayed by ‘contrary Winds’. Ibid., pp. 462–3 (1668). 59. Ibid., pp. 576 (1672), 599, 612 (1674). 60. Ibid., pp. 402–3 (1665), 568–9 (1671). 61. Ibid., pp. 496–7 (1668). 62. Ibid., pp. 318–20 (1661). 63. Ibid., pp. 676–8 (1676). 64. Ibid.; Samuel Wiseman’s Book of Record, ed. Oberg, pp. 36–8. 65. ‘The Answers, Most Humble Report, Opinion & Remarks of us His Majesties Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Grievances of his Majesties Plantation of Virginia’, in Samuel Wiseman’s Book of Record, ed. Oberg, p. 217. 66. See ‘Berkeley to Thomas Ludwell, 16 Feb. 1676 and 1 Apr. 1676’, in Papers of Sir William Berkeley, ed. Billings, pp.  498–9, 507. Berkeley claimed that King Philip’s War had transformed New Englanders from sellers into buyers. They purchased so much ‘corne and provisions’ in Virginia that the General Assembly, in preparation for their own war against the Indians, banned exports of those commodities from early April to the end of July 1676: Statutes at Large, ed., Hening, ii, pp. 338–9. 67. Samuel Wiseman’s Book of Record, ed. Oberg, p. 217. 68. Ibid., p. 249.



69. Tarter, ‘Bacon’s Rebellion’, p. 5. 70. Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 4 vols. (Oxford, 1765–69), i, pp.  105, 101. In 1766, parliament passed the Declaratory Act, which claimed that the king-in-parliament ‘had, hath, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever’. 6 George III, Cap. 12 (1766). 71. See Wertenbaker, Torchbearer of the Revolution. 72. Thomas Jefferson, ‘Draft of Instructions to the Virginia Delegates in the Continental Congress, July 1774’, in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. J. Boyd, et al., 42 vols. (Princeton, New Jersey, 1950–present), i, p. 135. The draft was published in pamphlet form as A Summary View of the Rights of British America (Williamsburg, Virginia, 1774). Jefferson advocated a robust use of the royal veto to curb parliament’s encroachment on colonists’ liberties, but he strongly criticised the crown’s disallowance of colonial legislation. ‘Jefferson was happy to entertain the thought of the king vetoing parliamentary bills, but, in the case of the colonies, he concluded that the king’s “shameful” abuse of the negative voice would “if not reformed” require “some legal restrictions”’. E.  Nelson, The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2014), p. 60 (quoting Summary View). 73. ‘Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” of the Declaration of Independence, June 1776’, in Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Boyd, et al., i, p. 425. The same charge appeared in the final version of the document, as amended by Congress. ‘The Declaration of Independence as Adopted by Congress, July 1776’, in ibid., p. 431. 74. ‘Jefferson’s “original Rough draught”’, in ibid., p. 426. The final version of the Declaration contained similar language. Ibid., p. 431. 75. ‘Jefferson’s “original Rough draught”’, ibid., p. 426. In the final version of the Declaration of Independence, Congress changed Jefferson’s wording slightly, denouncing George III as a ‘Tyrant’ who was ‘unfit to be the ruler of a free people’. Ibid., p. 431. 76. ‘The Declaration of Independence as Adopted by Congress’, ibid., p. 432.


Repeated Testimonies of Duty and Affection: Constructing Loyalty in Cornwall and South-­ West Wales, 1681–1685 James Harris

Historians have repeatedly described Cornwall and Wales as intrinsically loyalist regions: their steadfast royalism during the British Civil Wars seamlessly transformed into ardent Toryism in the 1680s. Bernard Deacon writes of ‘hyper-loyalism’ in Cornwall after 1660, while Mark Stoyle argues that the Cornish developed a reputation ‘as a race of super-loyal subjects’.1 For Keith Feiling, the county was the ‘most famous and individual of Tory territories’.2 Similarly, Wales has long been depicted as a bastion of royalism, court loyalty, and Toryism. Loyalty to the Stuarts was a ‘central pillar of Welsh self-perception’, according to Peter Lord.3 In seeking an explanation for the strength of the Tory party in Wales during the early eighteenth century, W.A. Speck noted that the principality had been a Royalist stronghold, and identified a long-term political tradition permeating throughout the Stuart period.4 Indeed, it has been persistently claimed that Welsh loyalty to the Tudor dynasty was transferred ‘virtually

J. Harris (*) Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0_14




undiluted’ to the Stuart monarchs and was perpetuated through to the Hanoverian accession.5 More recently, Lloyd Bowen and Mark Stoyle have sought to connect popular royalism in Wales and Cornwall to ethnic difference. The hostility of the parliamentary press towards these regions’ cultural distinctiveness, allied to their inherent religious conservatism, naturally drew their allegiances towards the king.6 As Bowen puts it, ‘there was something about the Welsh national character that encouraged royalism’.7 In developing this account into the Restoration period, Mark Stoyle has identified what he terms a ‘royalist tradition’, arguing that many former Royalists wore their family’s service as a badge of honour throughout the later Stuart period, and used it to ‘celebrate Cornish conservatism and regional distinctiveness’.8 He believes that an obsessive preoccupation with the events of the Civil Wars was more prevalent in Cornwall than elsewhere. The Cornish perpetuated an image of a unanimously Royalist and loyal region which was extremely useful: it was credible (albeit exaggerated); celebrated the gentry and ordinary Cornishmen alike (while simultaneously upholding social norms); and, importantly, was politically expedient.9 Considering popular Welsh royalism during the Civil Wars, almost every aspect of this ‘royalist tradition’ should also describe the principality after 1660. Yet there are a number of problems with this interpretation. First, we should be wary of equating early modern ethnicity with later understandings of race; there is little evidence of the Cornish or Welsh defining themselves in opposition to the English.10 Indeed, examples abound of later Stuart Cornishmen and Welshmen conceptualising themselves within a broader English body politic. Secondly, although Stoyle accepts that there were ‘competing versions of Cornwall’s Civil War history’, his account drastically underplays the partisan divisions which existed within the county during the later Stuart period, as have similar accounts of Wales. Although conservatism was prevalent in both regions, neither was devoid of opponents to the crown. Much as J.C.D.  Clark’s characterisation of England as an ancien régime, in which society was dominated by patriarchalism, monarchism, and Anglicanism, has been challenged, the depiction of Cornwall and Wales as inherently conservative similarly disregards the existence of multiple visions of society.11 During the Exclusion Crisis, for example, numerous oppositionist Cornish and Welsh MPs voted in favour of a failed Exclusion Bill, which would have prevented the king’s Roman Catholic brother, James, duke of York, from inheriting the throne. Members representing twelve Welsh constituencies (forty-four per cent of



the principality’s parliamentary representation) voted in favour of the bill, including fifty-seven per cent of members for south-west Welsh constituencies. Likewise, fourteen of Cornwall’s MPs (thirty-two per cent of the county’s representation) voted for exclusion, a far greater proportion than one might expect from a ‘hyper-loyal’ county.12 This chapter explores expressions of loyalty to the monarch by the Cornish and Welsh during the ‘personal rule’ of Charles II’s reign—his final years in which he governed without parliament.13 South-west Wales (the counties of Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire, and Pembrokeshire) has been chosen for study (as opposed to the entire principality) due to its comparability of scale with Cornwall, but also because this region, more than any other quadrant of Wales, demonstrated a spectrum of political beliefs during Charles’ personal rule. Across the kingdom, this was a period of political change, which witnessed a resurgence of loyalty to the court.14 It was also a period in which the localities were afforded unique opportunities to proclaim their loyalty publicly through a series of national loyal addressing campaigns and through the public surrender of borough charters. The first part of the chapter focuses on loyal addressing campaigns in 1681–83, demonstrating how Tories within the counties of Cornwall and Carmarthenshire constructed a regional ‘loyalist identity’. They conceived of themselves as the king’s most loyal regions, emphasised their uniform Civil War royalism, and perpetuated this image across the British Isles. However, as scholars such as Mark Knights, Tim Harris, Phillip Harth, and Edward Vallance remind us, addresses were ultimately part of a Tory propaganda campaign, and had a partisan and pragmatic purpose.15 It was not a ‘loyalist identity’ shared by all—addresses concealed partisan divisions by presenting an image of unanimous loyalty. The second part of the chapter explores how proclamations of loyalty were a useful means by which the government could identify loyalists within the localities and, by extension, any disloyal elements. During the charter campaign of 1683–85, those local Tories who orchestrated the surrender of charters and had prominently proclaimed their loyalty to Charles were systematically promoted to municipal offices, whilst Whigs were purged from urban government. In concluding, the chapter considers how loyalty to the monarch increasingly became a partisan concept appropriated by the Tory party during these years. This became particularly apparent during the brief reign of James II, as the Tories of Cornwall and south-west Wales abandoned their king in favour of



preserving their ideological principles. Far from being monocultures, both regions were the site of multifaceted political opinions and partisan conflict.

A Loyalist Veil: Loyal Addresses and Partisan Divisions In the aftermath of the Exclusion Crisis, during which the king’s opponents dominated the house of Commons, Charles II utilised powerful Tory-Anglican support and increased revenues to rule without parliament for the remainder of his lifetime. In the immediate aftermath of his dismissal of the Oxford Parliament in March 1681, he published the carefully-­ worded Declaration to all His Loving Subjects, Touching the Causes and Reasons That Moved Him to Dissolve the Two Last Parliaments, and ordered that it be read in all churches. This document firmly aligned the crown with the defence of the Protestant religion, the English constitution, and the liberties of its subjects.16 In the following months, 211 loyal addresses were sent to the king from every corner of the kingdom, using panegyric language to thank him for his Declaration and affirm the sentiments therein expressed. Loyal addresses were ‘subscriptional texts’ (much like petitions) which pledged loyalty to the monarch, and were sent by a variety of institutions and official bodies, including town corporations, local officials, or occupational groups.17 To publicise an image of unanimous national loyalism, addresses were regularly printed in bumper editions of the London Gazette, and compiled in pamphlet form.18 From 1681, mass loyal addressing campaigns became a routine mode of communication between the localities and the monarch, with subsequent campaigns occurring in 1682 (to abhor the ‘Association’, an alleged manifesto for rebellion which had been discovered in the earl of Shaftesbury’s closet), 1683 (in response to the Rye House Plot), and beyond—into the reigns of James II, William and Mary, and Anne. The counties of Cornwall and Carmarthenshire enthusiastically participated in the loyal addressing campaign of 1681—indeed, they frequently sought to establish themselves as the most loyal regions in the kingdom, by acclaiming their history of faultless Civil War royalism, and inextricably linking it to their contemporary loyalty to the Stuart monarchy. An address from Carmarthen’s borough described the town as one ‘of constant unblemished Loyalty in the late miserable Times of Rebellion’, and the county’s



grand jury claimed that it was ‘a County not stained with the least Tincture of Rebellion and Faction’.19 Similarly, the lord lieutenant of Cornwall, the earl of Bath, along with his deputies and JPs, wrote of their confidence that the king ‘retains a favourable opinion, both of the past, and present Loyalty of this Your County’.20 In slightly more strident terms, Cornwall’s grand inquest vowed to ‘follow the example of our Predecessors, the memory of whose Loyal Valour, Your Royal Father hath perpetuated to all posterity’—a reference to the Letter of Thanks from King Charles I (1643) to the Cornish people for their Royalist service, copies of which were hung in every parish church after the Restoration (and continue to hang in many churches to this day).21 This letter served as a testament to ‘their Zeal for the Defence of our Person’ for future generations to emulate, and by displaying it prominently in the church space these sentiments were bound to the defence of Anglicanism.22 In both regions, declarations of loyalty to Charles II were therefore twinned with unambiguous reminders of their steadfast and unanimous loyalty to his father during the Civil Wars. Such references to the Civil Wars were not altogether uncommon in loyal addresses from other parts of the country. In fact, to a degree, Charles II’s Declaration had encouraged such associations in responding addresses by concluding that ‘we shall be assisted therein by the loyalty… of all those who consider the rise and progress of the late troubles and confusions, and desire to preserve their country from a relapse’.23 The fear that the Exclusion Crisis would lead to renewed armed conflict had taken root at an early stage, and was reflected in the Tory slogan ‘forty-one is come again’.24 It should therefore come as no surprise that roughly one quarter of all addresses sent in 1681 contained references to the years 1640–60, either to ‘prove past loyalty or to express fears that the nation was once again treading the same path to chaos’.25 However, no other regions could boast of a Royalist pedigree as seemingly untarnished as Cornwall or Wales, where the bulk of the cavalier infantry had been recruited. The loyal addresses composed in 1681 suggest that this heritage was a source of immense pride amongst the military and civic leaders of these regions, who envisioned an unbroken lineage of loyalty to Charles I’s successors. Yet how far did these loyal addresses reflect genuine popular feeling? Historians have been rightly sceptical of the value of these documents as guides to public opinion. As Tim Harris, Mark Knights, and Phillip Harth have highlighted, addresses were quickly seized upon by the crown as an opportunity to promote an image of a united and loyal kingdom, and became a vital component of a growing Tory propaganda campaign aimed



at displaying loyalist sentiment.26 Addresses often parroted core principles of Tory ideology which had been laid out in the Declaration: defence of the Church of England, English law, and the royal succession. And as the campaign gained momentum, increasing informal pressure was placed on those local communities which had yet to participate. After the first loyal address was sent in mid-April 1681, scores would follow in the coming months, for which self-interest was likely as important a motivator as spontaneous sentiment. Scholars have also reminded us that loyal addresses were usually composed by small groups of political elites, and that the total number of subscribers across the entire national campaign represented only a small proportion of the population of England and Wales. Therefore, although these documents claimed to be representative of entire communities, they may be more usefully considered as partisan tools—rhetorically-crafted and performative texts aimed at pursuing political ends.27 In many respects, the addresses of Cornwall and Carmarthenshire can be interpreted as part of this propaganda campaign. They certainly expressed ideology in line with the Tory party; the Cornish corporation of Launceston, for example, thanked the king for preserving ‘the Protestant Religion, as the same is now by Law establish’d, against the Unwearied Endeavours and Practices of all Popish and Schismatical Enemies’.28 Several addresses also supported the duke of York’s future accession by stressing the importance of ‘Hereditary Monarchy’.29 Moreover, the subscribers could hardly claim to represent the entirety of Cornish or Carmarthenshire society; there is perhaps little reason to doubt that many of these addressors were (as Knights puts it) ‘minorities masquerading as majorities’.30 Nonetheless, many included unspecified numbers of ‘burgesses’ (i.e. freemen of the borough) amongst their signatories, and some Cornish addresses could boast of impressive numbers of subscribers: perhaps dubiously, an address from the Tinners of Cornwall featured more than 10,000 signatures, while Bossiney claimed 121 signatures, Penryn 124, and Launceston 300.31 Even if these addresses were part of a propaganda campaign, it was one which could claim to have significant support within these localities. Some clues as to the genesis of the Cornish addresses are indicated by the identities of those who presented them to the king and participated in the associated ritualistic ceremony (usually involving a short speech to accompany the presentation, and gracious reply by the monarch).32 Significantly, addresses from the county’s leading militia officers and the



Tinners were presented by Sir John Granville, 1st earl of Bath, who was accompanied by Lord Richard Arundell of Trerice, and ‘several other Gentlemen’.33 These were the leading Tories of Cornwall. Their families had fought for Charles I with distinction and continued to plot for a Stuart restoration during the 1650s. Upon the Restoration, Granville was transformed into the county’s leading power; he was named lord lieutenant, lord warden of the Stannaries, steward of the duchy of Cornwall, and raised to the peerage, with the grant explicitly noting his family’s ‘vertue and loyalty to our self and our Royall anncestors’.34 In the 1660s, Arundell was named governor of Pendennis Castle, and later created Baron Arundell. Alongside other Royalist families such as the Trelawnys and Godolphins, Bath and Arundell oversaw the political and military management of the county for the majority of Charles II’s reign. It seems likely, therefore, that this body of powerful Tories played a decisive role in prompting and procuring loyal addresses from Cornwall. By personally presenting them to the king, they could further solidify and enhance their loyalist reputation, by associating themselves with the sentiments expressed by the addresses. Orchestrating a Tory propaganda campaign offered a number of advantages for both these powerful figures and for the crown. Somewhat paradoxically, the addresses served both to mask and highlight oppositional elements in Cornwall and Wales. An image of unanimous loyalism could be used as a public mandate for government policies—the prosecution of nonconformists, purges of local office-holding, or (as we shall see) assaults on borough corporations.35 At the same time, the appearance of unanimous loyalty disguised partisan divisions within the localities, while also alerting the government to disloyal elements of society. The authorities also took careful note of tardy addresses or individuals who refused to subscribe to them. If we consider Cornwall and south-west Wales more broadly, it becomes evident that historians have unduly stressed the centrality of monarchical loyalty to the political culture of these regions, and have failed to appreciate the performative aspect of contemporaries’ professions of loyalty. In doing so, they have underestimated the prevalence of opposition to the crown, and the influence of Whigs in local political life. It is surely significant that several communities within Cornwall and south-west Wales failed to send addresses in 1681—many of which had also elected exclusionist MPs. In Cornwall, eight parliamentary boroughs declined to send any loyal addresses during the entirety of Charles II’s personal rule, and many of these were hotbeds of popular nonconformity



and political radicalism.36 Saltash, for example, on Cornwall’s eastern border, was home to no fewer than six nonconformist ministers during the Restoration period, all of whom were believed to be ‘notoriously d[is]affacted to K[ing] & Ch[urch]’.37 Its proximity to the dissenting stronghold of Plymouth (which was described in the early 1680s as being ‘divided into 2 Parties’) made the small town a centre of nonconformity in Cornwall.38 Saltash was also surrounded by the estates of several nonconformist gentry, who had encouraged a ‘Riotous and Mutinous’ mayoral election in 1678.39 Writing from his nearby seat of Trelawne, the Tory Sir Jonathan Trelawny believed that ‘people in these parts… wholy resign th[e]mselfs to the intelligence of the phanatiqs’, and later complained of ‘an invading faction’.40 At the other end of the county, in St Ives, a local Tory reported in 1683 that the nonconformist landowner Edward Nosworthy ‘hath for severall yeares past byn forminge a p[ar]tie here in Order to secure the Both Burgesseships’, which had been so successful that they held a monopoly over the mayoralty. Although Nosworthy’s estate was in the south-east (near Saltash), he had built an interest at St Ives through his control of fish, wool, and lamb tithes, and had allegedly enhanced it through bribery.41 He was also popular, having been greeted with ‘extraordinary & unusuall Ringinge of Bells’ when he entered the town. The Tory informer concluded that, ‘The Humour of late was not more Hott and feirce in the Citty, nor the party (proportionably) more Rampant then they are in this Little Towne’.42 Both Saltash and St Ives had been conspicuous in their failure to procure loyal addresses during the final years of Charles II’s reign. The addressing campaign thus acted as a veil: proclaiming an image of unanimous loyalty while concealing partisan divisions. Similarly, in south-west Wales, no loyal addresses were sent from Pembrokeshire or Cardiganshire in 1681, and the most influential local political figures in these counties were Whigs. It is likely no coincidence that Cardiganshire, where Edward Vaughan of Trawsgoed MP—a powerful opposition speaker in the Commons—held substantial interests, sent no address until 1683.43 In neighbouring Pembrokeshire, the authorities received worrying reports about several local gentlemen. In 1684, for example, the high-Anglican clergyman Thomas Godwyn published an account in which he claimed to have been the victim of persecution by members of the Pembrokeshire gentry in an episode revolving around his arrest following a fracas which occurred over a debt. He was convinced that the gentry’s prejudice stemmed from their ‘being from an old Leaven



of Religion, Party and Extraction’.44 It was well-known that the leading Whig families in the county—notably the Laugharnes of St Bride, Owens of Orielton, Philipps of Picton Castle, and Meyricks of Bush—had borne arms against the king during the Civil Wars, and held influential local offices after the Restoration.45 Of course, it is possible that the whole incident was concocted by Godwyn to take advantage of the political climate, but it nonetheless served as an uncomfortable reminder of the former parliamentarianism of the region’s gentry, and highlighted their contemporary opposition to the court. The first address out of Pembrokeshire appeared in 1682, and explained the county’s failure to produce one the previous year by claiming that it had ‘adjudged it becoming the Duty of Subjects to be silent’. Yet the text also revealed a nervousness over the county’s past parliamentarianism, lamenting that ‘many well-meaning, unwary Men’ had been swept up by ‘Canting Declarations, and gilded Promises’ during the Civil Wars.46 The document, sent by the leading gentlemen of Pembrokeshire, was an explicit acknowledgement of the former Parliamentarian elements within their community, and was perhaps partly motivated by the acclamations of past royalism emanating from other parts of the principality. While counties like Carmarthenshire were proclaiming their loyalty, it naturally placed suspicion on regions like Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire which did not have the same history of royalism, and which had resisted the mounting pressure to send loyal addresses during 1681. In this way, addresses had a practical function: they constructed a unanimous loyal image while highlighting the disloyalty of those who refused to send addresses, or failed to subscribe to them. Although addresses undoubtedly had a practical function, it would be wrong to dismiss the loyal addresses of Cornwall and Carmarthenshire as nothing more than cynical propaganda stunts, manufactured for purely pragmatic reasons. As Tim Harris has pointed out, the addresses did not speak in a single voice: although they often borrowed linguistic tropes from one another, they were unique local productions which displayed a variety of political views.47 The language chosen within them was therefore significant—both counties deliberately chose to portray their inhabitants as uniformly loyal, and re-imagined their Civil War royalism as similarly undisputed. By speaking for their entire communities, they sought to construct a regional ‘loyalist identity’ which was rooted in their former royalism, and inextricably linked to their political and religious beliefs.48 While this identity undoubtedly had practical benefits, it also reflected a genuine pride amongst certain parts of Cornish and Welsh



society in their past royalism, and served as a reassurance of their desire to continue to defend Anglicanism, English law, and the monarchy into the future. By producing loyal addresses, with hundreds (if not thousands) of signatures attached, this identity was propagated in print across the British Isles as the only legitimate identity in Cornwall and Wales. Importantly for the Cornish Tories, Charles II himself helped to reinforce this identity on the public consciousness by repeatedly endorsing the image of unquestionable and long-standing loyalty. During the addressing campaigns of 1681 and 1683, the king’s enthusiastic response to addresses sent by the Tinners of Cornwall was printed in the Gazette. In 1681, Charles assured the Tinners that he ‘had not forgot the eminent Loyalty which the County of Cornwal in general, and the Body of Tinners in particular, had on former occasions given so signal proofs of; and the faithful Services they had in the worst of times rendred the Crown’.49 Two years later, he applauded ‘these repeated Testimonies of the Duty and Affection of the Loyal County’, as the Tinners described Cornwall as his ‘most Loyal County’.50 Responses to loyal addresses from other regions were not unheard of, but it became increasingly uncommon for them to be printed in the Gazette during subsequent addressing campaigns. The crown itself played an important role in perpetuating an image of an unanimously loyal county which appeared to strengthen the bond between Cornwall and the monarch which had been established during the Civil Wars. In doing so, Charles helped to construct a loyalist identity within the two regions which was centred on political reliability and fidelity towards the Stuart monarchs. Yet we must be alert to the fact that this was not an identity shared by all—the language of loyalty concealed messier local political realities.

The Fruits of Loyalty: Charles II’s Campaign Against the Corporations What pragmatic benefits did an image of unanimous loyalty offer? This section will explore how the ‘loyalist spring’ which occurred from 1681 gave the appearance that public opinion was firmly behind the crown, encouraging Charles II to press ahead with efforts to purge borough corporations of his political opponents during the final years of his reign. It was those Tories who had been at the forefront of proclamations of loyalty during the early 1680s who benefitted disproportionately from changes in urban government in Cornwall and south-west Wales. As towns became



increasingly synonymous with political disaffection in the minds of the authorities, the government sought a means to manipulate their political composition. The crown attempted innovatively to use writs of quo warranto to acquire the charters of Worcester and London so that they could be re-modelled and re-granted, with an eye specifically on the political make-up of the magistracy.51 After these experiments had proven successful, writs of quo warranto formed the basis of a new aggressive crown policy of mass charter surrenders and re-grants. Between 1682 and 1687, 134 new charters were issued.52 Significantly, almost every new charter after March 1684 included provisions for the king to remove any corporation member at will, at any time. The crown was therefore able to control corporate membership, nip political disaffection in the bud, and serve the interests of Tories in the provinces. As the charter campaign gained momentum, surrendering charters became a demonstration of political loyalty—those who complied, and who had been active in procuring loyal addresses during the early 1680s, were rewarded with local municipal offices. Early in December 1684, while the campaign was at its peak, the earl of Bath laid the charters of no fewer than fifteen Cornish corporations at the king’s feet.53 At the same time, Bath presented a petition which sought the confirmation of the towns’ old liberties, and reminded Charles II of the ‘many eminent and signall services, loyalty and great sufferings of the said Townes and Country in generall’ during the 1640s.54 According to the Gazette, the Cornish boroughs had ‘unanimously and with great chearfulness resolved to surrender their Charters’, and the king had graciously accepted them. Charles assured Bath that ‘he very well remembred the Duty and Loyalty of that County in the worst times of Rebellion, and was well pleased with this fresh Demonstration of it by them’—using almost identical phrases to when he had accepted loyal addresses from the Tinners in 1681 and 1683.55 Within days the Cornish charters were passed through the necessary offices and seals without paying fees.56 Charles died before new charters could be issued, but when they were finally delivered, the text of many explicitly noted the past royalism of the towns they incorporated.57 Although the gentry took a leading role (the lords of the manor at Mitchell, St Mawes, Callington, and St Germans engineered the surrenders of their respective towns), there was also some popular participation—the surrender of Penryn, for example, featured the signatures of 186 townspeople.58 Once again, Cornish loyalists, led by Bath, had taken advantage of a national Tory movement to portray Cornwall publicly as a



unanimously loyal and steadfast county. Just as in 1681–83, proclamations repeatedly drew parallels between their current loyalty and royalism. It was not uncommon for corporations to choose to surrender their charters, but Cornwall’s en masse surrender was a public reaffirmation of the county’s loyalty to the monarch unmatched anywhere in England or Wales, and allowed the Tories to further entrench their loyalist identity.59 Like the loyal addresses of 1681–83, however, the mass surrender of charters portrayed a unanimity of purpose which belied local partisan divisions. It has been well-documented that in towns across England it was Tories within corporations who promoted quo warranto proceedings.60 For instance, the Tory informant who had complained of Edward Nosworthy’s activities in St Ives in 1683 was certain that a quo warranto ‘would prove our best Phisitian’.61 When writs were issued, as they were to all the Cornish boroughs the following year, boroughs were encouraged to surrender their charters rather than entangle themselves in the courts, and were usually assured that the government would be sympathetic to requests for new privileges to ease any anxieties.62 Only a Whig with substantial local political influence could resist the campaign. In Cornwall, the only successful refusal was orchestrated by Sir William Morice, whose family held the decisive interest at Newport—a seigneurial borough with no municipal organisation.63 Even amongst ostensibly loyal boroughs, there was a degree of caution and reluctance over surrendering their charters, and it was common for corporations to fear the effects of surrender.64 In Fowey, for example, the borough had never received a royal charter, and therefore had nothing to surrender. Instead, the town drafted a petition which claimed to have held its privileges for ‘tyme out of mynde’, while also deploying the now-­ archetypal trope of recounting their Royalist service in addition to their actions against the Dutch during the Anglo-Dutch wars.65 One of the last boroughs to surrender was Mitchell, where the recusant lord of the manor, Sir John Arundell, was concerned about losing his interest in the town as it was a borough by prescription only.66 Ultimately, it is likely that most Cornish boroughs eventually took a similar course to Liskeard, where it was recorded that ‘upon advice taken, it was thought fitt nott to Contend or plead to the said writt butt to submitt to his Ma[jes]ties Royall grace and faver’.67 There was certainly an element of pragmatism to the decision to surrender. By this point, the earl of Bath’s presence in Plymouth provided the Cornish towns with a convenient means of dealing with the threats of quo warranto.68 The corporations could simultaneously



demonstrate loyalty and spare themselves considerable expense—not even having to pay for the transportation of the charter to London. Although the whole process was portrayed as a spontaneous moment of fidelity, behind the scenes Bath was sending orders to reticent corporations, having been ordered by the king to collect the Cornish charters altogether.69 The mass surrender of Cornish charters therefore served to mask partisan divisions: some opposed the king outright, and others feared losing what they believed to be their legal rights and privileges. As Robert Pickavance has noted, the loyalist gentry were prominent allies in the crown’s efforts to re-model the corporations, and were rewarded with immense local power within the boroughs.70 Local Tory gentry understood that the new charters would enhance their influence in the towns; Sir Jonathan Trelawny told his ally in Fowey, John Treffry, that his interest ‘shall be absolute’, and Bath duly ensured this.71 In response to Sir John Arundell’s fears, Bath urged him to ‘rest confident of my particular care’, and guaranteed that Arundell’s influence would not be curtailed.72 This pattern was repeated across Cornwall—the charters named prominent Cornish Tories as freemen to almost every corporation, alongside local Tories. For example, Liskeard’s charter appointed twenty-five non-townsmen as freemen, and Bath himself was named recorder.73 In total, he was named recorder of no fewer than nine Cornish corporations.74 Likewise, the Arundells of Trerice were named freemen in Liskeard, Truro, and Bodmin.75 For the loyalist gentry of Cornwall, the crown’s charter policy had cemented their ascendancy in the county. Bath’s power, in particular, was formidable. When congratulating Bodmin on their new charter, the earl informed them that if anyone within the magistracy were unfit, he would ‘move his Majesty for his removall’. When elections were held for James II’s first and only parliament in May 1685, he was able to nominate members almost at will, and in the same letter to Bodmin, he warned that ‘other towns without my seeking have freely offered me the recommendation of both their burgesses’.76 When parliament met, Bath was aptly dubbed the ‘Prince Elector’.77 Similarly, Trelawny promised to engage his interest ‘in those corporations where I have an helping influence, as well as in such where my authority is absolute’ for the king.78 Led by Bath, the Cornish Tories had been forthright in their proclamations of loyalty to the king during the early 1680s, and had seen their local political influence significantly enhanced. There was no corresponding mass surrender of charters in south-west Wales. Although the government’s political manager in the



region—Henry Somerset, duke of Beaufort and lord president of the Council of Wales and the Marches—was industrious in collecting charters from the South Midlands (much as Bath was in Cornwall), he did not directly intervene in the south-west Welsh towns.79 However, he did take steps to ensure the loyalty of the region in the summer of 1684, when the crown’s charter policy was at its height, by undertaking a grand progress through the Wales and the border counties.80 The discovery of the Rye House Plot the previous year has led Molly McClain to argue that Beaufort’s progress was designed to ‘promote Tory political loyalty amongst the gentry and wider population’.81 It had not escaped the authorities’ notice that support for the court had been lacking in the principality. For McClain, the progress was a political triumph: Beaufort’s magnificent (almost regal) progress with a full entourage; his participation in scenes of public drunkenness; his patronising of local institutions; and the sight of the trained bands marching through Welsh towns, all combined to secure the political loyalty of Wales and the border counties.82 Yet, while the progress undoubtedly provoked an outpouring of proclamations of loyalty from across south-west Wales, there are a number of reasons for doubting its effectiveness in inspiring genuine Tory allegiance. McClain’s interpretation of the duke’s progress is well-illustrated by his stop at the town of Carmarthen. As Beaufort approached the town, he was met by the militia, well-plied with entertainment, and escorted into the town as church bells rang. Upon entering Carmarthen, the town’s corporation attended him, and the recorder, Richard Vaughan, gave a highly partisan speech, which oozed with declarations of political loyalty. After sycophantic praise of the duke and his son, Vaughan reassured him of Carmarthen’s constant loyalty to the monarchy: ‘our heads and our hearts inform’d and regulated by the same principle of Loyaltie which was our antidote against the Poyson and infection’ of the Civil Wars and Interregnum. In this respect, the speech utilised the same tropes as the town and county’s loyal addresses of 1681–83. Vaughan went on to express the town’s horror upon hearing of the Rye House Plot; both the violent conspiracy to kill the royal brothers, and the ‘clandestine Councell and Stratagem’ of Whig grandees.83 As a declaration of political loyalty, the speech was unequivocal. The festivities continued into Pembrokeshire, where Beaufort was provided with ‘ample entertainment’ in Haverfordwest, and treated to dinner with the high sheriff, the deputy lieutenants, and gentlemen of the county.84 The duke later reported that the Welsh gentry everywhere



expressed ‘a loyal zeal and most dutiful affection to his Majesty and the established Government’.85 In this sense, perhaps south-west Wales was secured for the king, as McClain argues. Yet the political expediency permeating through the whole progress is inescapable. As the king’s viceroy in Wales, it is hardly surprising that Beaufort’s arrival was repeatedly met with declarations of loyalty. With the charter campaign rumbling along in England at this time, the corporations of Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire (which were dominated by Whigs) had to take more care than most to display their political reliability. The crown was generally slow to re-model the Welsh corporations—partly as it was usually local Tories who first promoted legal proceedings. A writ of quo warranto was engineered locally against the politically divided corporation of Haverfordwest (Pembrokeshire) in March 1682. Rather than surrender their charter, the corporation resolved to defend it ‘upon the publique stocke of the towne’.86 However, every other south Welsh town escaped proceedings before 1684. Swansea and Neath in the south-east of the country faced writs of quo warranto in that year, and Cardiff publicly surrendered their charter to Beaufort during his progress amid mass public celebrations.87 The corporation of Carmarthen did not surrender their charter until 1685, but it appears that Richard Vaughan, the recorder of Carmarthen, had suitably assured Beaufort of his loyalty, as he was named as deputy recorder under Beaufort himself under the new charter.88 Perhaps the progress had proved a useful means for Beaufort to identify reliable men, but, equally, it is striking that the most ostensibly loyal town in south-west Wales was the only one to receive a new charter. The more politically suspect towns of south-west Wales—Pembroke, Tenby, and Cardigan—were never subjected to writs of quo warranto during the reign of Charles II. It is possible that the government had difficulty identifying bodies of reliable Tories in these towns who could be entrusted with municipal offices. Proclamations of loyalty during the personal rule of Charles II had elsewhere proved a useful means to ascertain which elements of local societies were loyal to the court, and, by extension, who could be entrusted with local offices.

Conclusion: Loyalty and the Reign of James II Charles II died on 6 February 1685, and a new addressing campaign quickly ensued to congratulate James II on his accession. An address supposedly signed by over 12,000 Tinners was presented by Bath, Arundell,



and other Tory gentlemen, with the king conferring ‘particular marks of His satisfaction in the constant Loyalty of his Lordship and of the Gentlemen there present, and of the whole County in general’.89 Similarly, the duke of Beaufort introduced the young Carmarthenshire nobleman, Lord Vaughan of Golden Grove, with a loyal address from the county.90 These two counties, in particular, had spent Charles II’s personal rule constructing a loyalist identity which drew parallels between their Civil War royalism and their contemporary loyalty to the Stuart monarchs. It was an identity which fundamentally incorporated the political and religious beliefs of those who propagated it. Through enthusiastic participation in the loyal addressing campaigns of 1681–83 (which produced documents dripping with carefully-chosen loyalist and Royalist rhetoric), and the public surrender of their charters in 1684–85, they reinforced an image of unanimous loyalty within these regions, and embedded it into the popular consciousness. This undoubtedly reflected a genuine pride amongst the region’s Tories in their Royalist pedigree; their loyalty to Charles in the aftermath of the Exclusion Crisis was simply a fresh demonstration of their long-standing loyalty to the Stuart monarchs. In many ways, this echoes what Feiling, Speck, Stoyle, and Bowen have identified about Cornish and Welsh society: a pervasive political and religious conservatism. Yet to align this straightforwardly with Cornishness or Welshness (or ‘ethnic difference’), as Stoyle and Bowen have, would be to neglect those who opposed the crown in these regions. It is telling that, in the days following Charles II’s death, a Tory gentleman from the far west of Cornwall wrote to Sir John Arundell to express his fears that ‘the malitious sort of people’ would take advantage of the political uncertainty.91 In south-west Wales, too, powerful oppositionists continued to pose a threat to loyalists. While conservatism was certainly prevalent in both regions, neither was a monoculture. It is perhaps a testament to the effectiveness with which loyalists perpetuated an image of unanimous loyalty beyond the borders of their localities during this period that historians have often downplayed the existence of oppositionist elements. Proclamations of loyalty, however, had a pragmatic and performative function (no matter how genuinely it was felt by those professing it): constructing an image of undisputed fidelity to the crown allowed loyalists to cement their own ascendency within their localities, while simultaneously identifying and marginalising disloyal elements within their societies. When the crown launched its charter campaign in 1683, proclamations of loyalty during the preceding years proved a useful means of identifying reliable local men



who could be promoted into local office, and Tories were the overwhelming beneficiaries of the new charters. It is striking that it was often the same towns which had sent loyal addresses promptly which also surrendered their charters to the king—influential local Tories had often orchestrated both the addresses and surrenders, and were rewarded with local offices. By the 1680s, loyalty to the monarch and Tory political ideology had become conflated. Those who sent loyal addresses and surrendered their town charters to the king were participating in a Tory propaganda campaign—one which championed Anglicanism, legalism, and monarchism. Although Edward Vallance has rightly reminded us that the terms ‘loyal’ and ‘loyalty’ had an enduring meaning which fed into the ‘genuinely popular’ bonds of duty and love between the king and his subjects, his claim that ‘the notion of loyalty cut across specific party strife in the Exclusion Crisis’ is questionable.92 The adoption of the party labels ‘Whig’ and ‘Tory’ was slow, and ‘loyal’ became a label which each party attempted to appropriate for their own.93 While it was used consistently by both sides, they attributed to it very different meanings. By 1681, supporters of the established church and monarchy were often referred to as the ‘Loyall Party’, and the widespread connotation of the term ‘loyal’ in public discourse was increasingly ‘Tory’.94 This can be seen in Tory newspapers like The Loyal Protestant, and in pamphlets such as An Apostrophe from the Loyal Party. While proclamations of loyalty towards the monarch which emanated from Cornwall and south-west Wales during the early 1680s may have fed into a long-standing conception of the relationship between ruler and ruled, the partisan and ideological implications of their language should not be downplayed. This became especially apparent as James II undermined the Tory-Anglican hegemony that his brother had established during his personal rule. When William of Orange invaded on 5 November 1688, the beleaguered James II received no overt support from Cornwall or south-west Wales, despite their efforts to construct an image of loyalty towards the Stuarts during the early 1680s. When James had enquired into support for his efforts to repeal to penal laws and Test Acts (which had, amongst other things, barred nonconformists and Catholics from holding public office), he found Cornwall and south-west Wales to be two of the regions most vociferous in their opposition to the policy; they believed it to be contrary to both English law (without parliamentary authorisation) and Anglican principles.95 At the same time, the king increasingly sought to promote



those who he believed would support his religious policies, and conducted a radical purge of opponents from local offices. In Cornwall, for example, changes to the commission of the peace and the exploitation of new royal powers to remodel borough corporations left what Bath described as men ‘of meane quality and small Estate’ in control of the county.96 In both Cornwall and south-west Wales, as he had done elsewhere, James alienated the same phalanx of gentry who had defended his right to be king during the Exclusion Crisis. By failing to defend James in 1688, these men placed their loyalty to the Church of England and English law above their loyalty to the person of the monarch, and sought to re-establish their positions in local society. Their proclamations of loyalty to Charles II during his personal rule were as much an affirmation of their adherence to a set of political principles which stretched back to at least the Civil Wars. During this turbulent period, loyalty to the monarch became an unstable concept which was often bound up in political ideologies. Indeed, many Cornish and south-west Welsh Tories later embraced Jacobitism in the 1690s, and pledged loyalty to the exiled James II, as they became disillusioned with William III’s support for the Whigs.97 As Bath’s nephew wryly noted in 1711, ‘In a Country subject to Revolutions what passes for Loyalty to day, may be Treason tomorrow’.98

Notes 1. B.  Deacon, Cornwall: A Concise History (Cardiff, 2007), pp.  94–5; M.  Stoyle, West Britons: Cornish Identities and the Early Modern British State (Exeter, 2002), p. 157. 2. K.  Feiling, A History of the Tory Party, 1640–1714 (Oxford, 1950), pp. 16–18. 3. P.  Lord, Words with Pictures: Welsh Images and Images of Wales in the Popular Press, 1640–1860 (Aberystwyth, 1995), p. 45. 4. W. A. Speck, Tory & Whig: The Struggle in the Constituencies, 1701–1715 (London, 1970), p.  67; G.  Holmes, British Politics in the Age of Anne (London, 1967), p. 171. 5. See G.  H. Jenkins, The Foundations of Modern Wales: Wales, 1642–1780 (Oxford, 1987), pp. 4–5. 6. Stoyle, West Britons, chapters 3–4; M.  Stoyle, ‘English ‘Nationalism’, Celtic Particularism, and the English Civil War’, The Historical Journal 43 (2000), 1113–28; M. Stoyle, Soldiers and Strangers: An Ethnic History of the English Civil War (New Haven and London, 2005), pp.  11–32, 153–72; L.  Bowen, The Politics of the Principality: Wales, c. 1603–1642



(Cardiff, 2007), chapter 6; L. Bowen, ‘Representations of Wales and the Welsh during the Civil Wars and Interregnum’, Historical Research 77 (2004), 358–76. 7. Bowen, Politics of the Principality, p. 259. 8. Stoyle, West Britons, chapter 8. 9. Ibid., p. 166. 10. See C. Kidd, British Identities before Nationalism: Ethnicity and Nationhood in the Atlantic World, 1600–1800 (Cambridge, 1999); J.  Kerrigan, Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics, 1603–1707 (Oxford, 2008), p. 36. 11. J. C. D. Clark, English Society, 1660–1832: Religion, Ideology and Politics during the Ancien Regime (2nd edn., Cambridge, 2000). For criticism of Clark’s ancien régime as reductive, see J. E. Bradley, Religion, Revolution and English Radicalism: Non-conformity in Eighteenth-Century Politics and Society (Cambridge, 1990), pp. 417–18. 12. A. Browning and D. Milne, ‘An Exclusion Bill Division List’, Bull. Inst. Hist. Res. 23 (1950), 205–25. 13. See G. Tapsell, The Personal Rule of Charles II (Woodbridge, 2007). 14. Ibid., p. 6. 15. T. Harris, Restoration: Charles II and his Kingdoms, 1660–1685 (London, 2005), pp. 266–76; M. Knights, Representation and Misrepresentation in Later Stuart Britain: Partisanship and Political Culture (Oxford, 2005), chapter 3; M. Knights, Politics and Opinion in Crisis, 1678–81 (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 335–44; P. Harth, Pen for a Party: Dryden’s Tory Propaganda in its Contexts (Princeton, 1993), p. 82; T. Vallance, ‘“From the Hearts of the People”: Loyalty, Addresses and the Public Sphere in the Exclusion Crisis’, in Religion, Culture and National Community in the 1670s, ed. T. Claydon and T. N. Corns (Cardiff, 2011), pp. 127–47. 16. Tapsell, Personal Rule, pp. 35–8; Harris, Restoration, pp. 252–9. 17. ‘Subscriptional texts’ is Mark Knights’ phrase: Representation and Misrepresentation, p.  117. For a description of loyal addresses, see T. Vallance, ‘Petitioning, Addressing and the Historical Imagination: The Case of Great Yarmouth, England, 1658–1784’, Parliaments, Estates and Representation 38 (2018), pp. 365–9. 18. Vox Angliæ; Or, the Voice of the Kingdom (London, 1682). 19. Vox Angliæ, pt. 1, pp. 34, 41. 20. Vox Angliæ, pt. 2, p. 1. 21. Vox Angliæ, pt. 1, p. 53. 22. For the best account of Charles I’s letter, see Stoyle, West Britons, pp. 159–62. 23. English Historical Documents VIII: 1660–1714, ed. A. Browning (London, 1953), p. 188.



24. Knights, Politics and Opinion, pp. 11, 362. 25. Ibid., pp. 321–2. 26. Harris, Restoration, pp.  261–2, 267–76; Knights, Politics and Opinion, pp.  339–44; Harth, Pen for a Party, p.  82. See also, Vallance, ‘Loyalty, Addresses and the Public Sphere’, p. 138. 27. Knights, Representation and Misrepresentation, pp. 110–13, 149; Harris, Restoration, pp. 269–76. 28. Vox Angliæ, pt. 1, pp. 16, 23–4, 29–30, 34–5, 53; pt. 2, p. 8; quotation at pt. 1, p. 16. 29. Vox Angliæ, pt. 1, pp. 29, 30; pt. 2, p. 8. 30. Knights, Representation and Misrepresentation, p. 110. 31. Vox Angliæ, pt. 1, p. 24; London Gazette, no. 1627 (20–23 June 1681); London Gazette, no. 1660 (13–17 Oct. 1681). 32. Harth, Pen for a Party, p. 81; Vallance, ‘Loyalty, Addresses and the Public Sphere’, p. 129. 33. London Gazette, no. 1649 (5–8 Sept. 1681); London Gazette, no. 1660 (13–17 Oct. 1681). 34. BL, Add. MS 70288 (Grant of the earldom of Bath, 20 Apr. 1661). 35. Harris, Restoration, p.  262; Harth, Pen for a Party, p.  82; Vallance, ‘Loyalty, Addresses and the Public Sphere’, p. 138. 36. These were Callington, Camelford, Fowey, Lostwithiel, Newport, St Germans, St Ives, and Saltash. 37. G.  L. Turner, Original Records of Nonconformity under Persecution and Indulgence, 3 vols. (London, 1911), i, p. 180. 38. For Plymouth as a dissenting stronghold, see CSPD, 1668–69, pp.  408, 655; CSPD, 1682, p. 10; CSPD, 1684–85, p. 189; Bodleian Library, MS Add. c. 305, f. 158 (Seth Ward to Gilbert Sheldon, 16 Sept. 1665); MS Tanner 36, ff. 62, 72, 91, 214 (Thomas Lamplugh to William Sancroft, 1681–82). 39. London Gazette, no. 1455 (27–30 Oct. 1679). 40. BL, Add. MS 28875, f. 224 (Sir Jonathan Trelawny to John Ellis, 28 Aug. 1682); Add. MS 15892, ff. 161–162 (Sir Jonathan Trelawny to earl of Rochester, 18 Nov. 1683). 41. J. H. Matthews, A History of the Parishes of Saint Ives, Lelant, Towednack and Zennor (London, 1892), p. 252. 42. TNA, SP 29/434, f. 98 (Thomas Trenwith to John Cooke, 7 Nov. 1683). 43. History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1660–1690, ed. B. D. Henning, 3 vols. (London, 1983), iii, pp. 624–6; London Gazette, no. 1864 (27 Sept.–1 Oct. 1683). 44. T. Godwyn, Phanatical Tenderness; Or, the Charity of the Non-conformists (London, 1684), pp. 16, 22, 24–5.



45. R. Mathias, ‘The First Civil War’, in Early Modern Pembrokeshire, 1536– 1815, ed. B. E. Howells (Aberystwyth, 1987), pp. 160–8. The heads of these families were all JPs, deputy lieutenants, and featured on the corporations of Pembroke and Haverfordwest. 46. London Gazette, no. 1728 (8–12 June 1682). 47. Harris, Restoration, p. 269; Vallance, ‘Loyalty, Addresses and the Public Sphere’, p. 134. For the related genre of petitions as local productions, see J. Maltby, Prayer Book and People in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England (Cambridge, 1998), pp.  86, 96; J.  Walter, ‘Confessional Politics in PreCivil War Essex: Prayer Books, Profanations, and Petitions’, The Historical Journal 44 (2001), 677–701. 48. On the role of loyal addresses in constructing identities, see Knights, Representation and Misrepresentation, pp. 111–12. 49. London Gazette, no. 1660 (13–17 Oct. 1681). 50. London Gazette, no. 1872 (25–29 Oct. 1683). 51. P. Halliday, Dismembering the Body Politic: Partisan Politics in England’s Towns, 1650–1730 (Cambridge, 1998), pp. 191–212. 52. Ibid., p. 192. 53. J. Miller, ‘The Crown and the Borough Charters in the Reign of Charles II’, EHR 100 (1985), p. 78. 54. TNA, SP 44/335, f. 374 (Warrant for passing the charters of Cornwall and Devon without fees, 10 Dec. 1684). 55. London Gazette, no. 1990 (11–15 Dec. 1684). 56. TNA, SP 44/335, f. 374. 57. J. Allen, History of the Borough of Liskeard and its Vicinity (London, 1856), pp. 79, 329; J. Wallis, The Bodmin Register; Or, Collections Relative to the Past and Present State of the Parish of Bodmin (Bodmin, 1827), p. 167. 58. Sir John Arundell at Mitchell; Sir Joseph Tredenham at St Mawes; Samuel Rolle at Callington; Daniel Elliot at St Germans. See TNA, SP 44/335, f. 374; Cornwall Record Office (afterwards CRO), BPENR/5 (Surrender of Penryn’s charter, 5 Nov. 1684). 59. For example, corporations in Lincolnshire and Worcestershire chose to surrender their charters promptly. See C.  Holmes, Seventeenth-Century Lincolnshire (Lincoln, 1980), p. 247; T. Galitz, ‘The Challenge of Stability: Religion, Politics, and Social Order in Worcestershire, 1660–1715’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Brown University, 1997), p. 158. 60. R.  Pickavance, ‘The English Boroughs and the King’s Government: A study of the Tory Reaction, 1681–85’ (unpublished D.  Phil thesis, University of Oxford, 1976), pp.  216–17; Miller, ‘The Crown and the Borough Charters’, pp. 79–82; Halliday, Body Politic, p. 195. 61. TNA, SP 29/434, f. 98. 62. Pickavance, ‘English Boroughs’, pp. 179–80.



63. CRO, AR/25/96 (J.  Newman to Sir John Arundell, 20 Nov. 1684); House of Commons, 1660–1690, ed. Henning, i, p. 173; iii, p. 104. 64. Halliday, Body Politic, pp. 220, 234; J. Miller, Cities Divided: Politics and Religion in English Provincial Towns, 1660–1722 (Oxford, 2007), p. 183. 65. CRO, R/5508 (Answer of Fowey to the king’s quo warranto, 17 Aug. 1684). 66. CRO, AR/25/96; CRO, AR/10/36 (Earl of Bath to Sir John Arundell, 3 Dec. 1684). 67. CRO, BK/353, f. 27 (Liskeard Constitution Book, 26 Aug. 1684). 68. CRO, BK/353, f. 27; CSPD, 1684–85, p. 199. 69. See, for example, CRO, AR/25/96; J. Maclean, The Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor in the County of Cornwall, 3 vols. (London, 1873–79), i, p. 216. Bodmin’s mayor accounts recorded money paid to ‘Mr John Hoblyns man for coming from Stow with orders from my Lord of Bath’. 70. Pickavance, ‘English Boroughs’, pp. 311–24. 71. House of Commons, 1660–1690, ed. Henning, i, p. 161. 72. CRO, AR/10/36. 73. CSPD, 1685, p. 66. 74. CSPD, 1685, pp. 28, 71, 73–4, 80, 86–8, 109, 256–7. 75. Pickavance, ‘English Boroughs’, p. 324, note 3. 76. Wallis, Bodmin Register, pp. 327–8. 77. J.  Evelyn, The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. E.  S. De Beer, 6 vols. (Oxford, 1955), iv, pp. 442–5. 78. TNA, SP 31/1, f. 42 (Sir Jonathan Trelawny to earl of Sunderland, 22 Feb. 1685). Sir Joseph Tredenham and Sir Richard Edgcumbe also promised to use their interest to support court candidates: TNA, SP 31/1, ff. 40–41. 79. Pickavance, ‘English Boroughs’, pp. 276–7. 80. Beaufort did not visit Cardiganshire due to a lack of ‘fitt accomodations or place of Reception’: National Library of Wales, MS Nanteos L23 (Thomas Powell to Richard Powell, [1683–84]); BL, Add. MS 38175, f. 106 (Itinerary of duke of Beaufort’s progress, 1684). 81. M.  McClain, ‘The Duke of Beaufort’s Tory Progress through Wales’, Welsh History Review 18 (1997), p. 593. 82. Ibid., pp. 612–19. 83. T. Dineley, An Account of the Progress of his Grace Henry the First Duke of Beaufort through Wales, 1684, ed. C.  Baker (London, 1864), pp. 136–42, 160–1. 84. Ibid., pp. 156–60. 85. McClain, ‘Duke of Beaufort’s Tory Progress’, p. 617.



86. Pembrokeshire Archives, HBORO/408 (Common Council of Haverfordwest to [William Wogan], 17 Mar. 1682); HAM/SE/1/1, ff. 34v, 35, 36v, 39 (Haverfordwest minute book, Mar.–Sept. 1682). 87. McClain, ‘Duke of Beaufort’s Tory Progress’, p. 614; House of Commons, 1660–1690, ed. Henning, i, p. 515. 88. CSPD, 1686–87, pp. 43–4; W. Spurrell, Carmarthen and the Neighbourhood: Notes Topographical and Historical (2nd edn., Carmarthen, 1879), pp. 119, 179; House of Commons, 1660–1690, ed. Henning, i, p. 510. 89. London Gazette, no. 2035 (18–21 May 1685). 90. BL, Add. MS 38175, f. 118b (Charles Cornwallis to Sir Francis Cornwallis, 10 Mar. 1685); London Gazette, no. 2017 (16–19 Mar. 1684). 91. CRO, AR/25/103 (Sir John St Aubyn to Sir John Arundell, 17 Feb. 1685). 92. Vallance, ‘Loyalty, Addresses and the Public Sphere’, pp. 128–9, 142–3. 93. J. Miller, After the Civil Wars: English Politics and Government in the Reign of Charles II (Harlow, 2000), p.  273; Knights, Politics and Opinion, pp. 112, 115. 94. Knights, Politics and Opinion, pp. 109, 356. 95. P.  Walker, James II and the Three Questions: Religious Toleration and the Landed Classes, 1687–1688 (Oxford, 2010), pp. 110–11, 117, 135, 196. On Cornwall and south-west Wales during the reign of James II, see J. Harris, ‘Politics and Religion in Later Stuart Cornwall and South-West Wales: A Comparative Study’ (unpublished D.  Phil thesis, University of Oxford, 2018), pp. 138–43. 96. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, D135/B1/4/12 (Earl of Bath to Lord George Jeffreys, 5 Oct. 1688). 97. On Jacobitism in Cornwall and south-west Wales, see Harris, ‘Politics and Religion’, pp. 232–8. 98. Devon Heritage Centre, Z11 (George Granville to earl of Bath, 4 Sept. 1711).


A Act of Supremacy (1534), 5, 71, 72, 75, 76, 98 The American Revolution, 144, 265 Amicable Grant (1525), 66, 72, 74 Anne Boleyn, 71, 75, 98, 113 Antoine, the Bastard of Burgundy, 24 Arnold, Anthony, 257, 269n24 Arundell, John, 284, 285, 288 Arundell, Richard, 1st Baron Arundell of Trerice, 279, 287 B Bacon, Francis, 1st Viscount St Alban, 129, 140–142 Bacon, Nathaniel, 255–257 Bacon’s Rebellion (1676), 255, 257, 264, 265, 268n15, 270n36 Balcanquhall, Walter, 223, 224 Barbados, 262, 263

Barbour, John, archdeacon of Aberdeen, 38, 40, 44 Bastwick, John, 8, 167–169, 173–179, 183–185, 185n1, 190n74 Battle of Bosworth (1485), 4, 88–90, 92 Battle of Falkirk (1298), 38, 45, 47 Battle of Mortimer’s Cross (1461), 17, 28 Battle of Northampton (1460), 23 Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297), 39, 46, 47 Battle of Stoke (1487), 87, 88, 104n64 Battle of Towton (1461), 17, 22, 23, 28 Baxter, Richard, 242, 244 Beaufort, Henry, 3rd duke of Somerset, 20, 21, 28 Beaufort, Margaret, countess of Richmond and Derby, 110, 111

 Note: Page numbers followed by ‘n’ refer to notes.


© The Author(s) 2020 M. Ward, M. Hefferan (eds.), Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400–1688, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-37767-0




Berkeley, William, Governor of Virginia, 253–257, 263, 264, 269n24, 270n38, 271n66 Black Douglas, family, 42–43, 51, 56n55 Blind Hary, 7, 37–53 Book of Common Prayer, 216 Books of Orders, 200 Boyd, Robert, Lord Boyd, 41, 55n41 Bradrip, Joseph, 236, 245, 246, 249n37 Brandon, Charles, 1st duke of Suffolk, 3, 86, 110 British Civil Wars, 4, 6, 211–228, 267n9, 273 Browne, Anthony, Viscount Montague, 154–157 Buckingham’s Rebellion (1483), 74, 88, 92 Burton, Henry, 8, 168, 169, 173–179, 183–185, 186n13, 187n21, 190n74 C Calvin, Robert, 127, 141 Cardiganshire, 275, 280, 281, 287, 294n80 Carmarthenshire, 275, 276, 278, 281, 288 Catherine of Aragon, 61, 75, 94 Cecil, Robert, 1st earl of Salisbury, 158, 161 Cecil, William, 1st Baron Burghley, 132, 133, 149, 157 Chapman, Thomas, 238 Charles I of England, 3, 8, 169, 173, 174, 178–181, 183, 185, 199–203, 211–213, 215–218, 220, 225, 242, 254, 267n13, 277, 291n22, 297 Charles II of England, 10n15, 212, 226, 231–247, 253–266, 267n7,

267n8, 275–277, 279, 280, 282–288, 290 Church of England, 114, 172, 174, 176, 278, 290 Coke, Edward, Lord Justice, 128, 129, 140, 142–144, 146n13, 148n60 Commons, parliamentary, 18, 75, 131, 132, 184, 202, 205, 276, 280 Common weal, 2, 64, 66–69, 72, 76, 109, 155, 173, 218, 224 Cornwall, 8, 273–290, 295n95, 295n97 Court of Common Pleas, 204 Courtly love, 7, 158–161 Court of High Commission, 167, 174, 176, 177 Coverdale, Miles, 115, 116 Cranmer, Thomas (Archbishop), 131, 169 Crawford, Archibald, abbot of Holyrood, 42, 44 Cromwell, Oliver, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, 4, 244, 254 Cromwell, Richard, 4, 244 Cromwell, Thomas, 1st earl of Essex, 5, 62, 71, 75, 76, 96, 97, 104n63, 105n75, 107, 112, 117 Cumbernauld Bond (1640), 215, 217, 219, 222 D Daubeney, Giles, 1st Baron Daubeney, 86–89, 91–95, 103n36 David II of Scotland, 50, 59n109 Declaration of Arbroath (1320), 49, 50 Devereux, Robert, 2nd earl of Essex, 159–162, 165n45, 194 Dryden, John, 1, 3 Duke of Gloucester, see Richard III of England


E Edward I of England, 38, 52, 148n60 Edward III of England, 17, 18, 26–28, 30, 68 Edward IV of England, 2, 3, 7, 15–31, 38, 44, 62, 68–70, 72, 73, 75, 81n59, 90, 91, 95 Edward V of England, 3, 10n12, 25, 29 Edward VI of England, 82n82, 86, 114, 131 Elizabeth I of England, 4, 7, 32n29, 82n82, 86, 100, 108–109, 113, 114, 119n4, 130, 132, 134–136, 139, 149–162, 170, 192–194, 196, 197 Elizabeth Woodville, 19, 23, 25 Elyot, Thomas, 109, 114 Engagement (1647), 215, 220, 224, 227 Exclusion Crisis, 274–277, 288–290 F Fanshawe, Ann, 232 Fifth Monarchists, 233, 235, 237 Finch, John, 1st Baron Finch, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, 204, 205 First Bishops’ War (1639), 217 Fleet prison, 132, 155, 179 Fortescue, John, 67, 70, 79n36 Foxe, John, 170, 171, 186n9 G Gardiner, Stephen, Lord Chancellor to Mary I, 117, 118 Gemini, Thomas, 114 George III of England, 265, 266, 272n75 Gordon, George, marquis of Huntly, 211, 212, 217, 221, 224, 226


Graham, James, 1st marquis of Montrose, 217–219, 222, 225–227 Granville, John, 1st earl of Bath, 277, 279, 283–287, 290 H Halkett, Anne, 235, 241 Hamilton, James, 3rd marquis of Hamilton, 213, 215, 216, 218, 226 Hampden, John, 204 Hastings, William, 1st Baron Hastings, 22, 23, 27–30 Hatton, Christopher, 149, 155, 160, 161 Hawes, Stephen, 109, 110 Henrietta Maria, 169, 180, 181 Henry II of England, 87 Henry IV of England, 17, 31n7, 90 Henry V of England, 16, 17, 19, 51 Henry VI of England, 3, 9n3, 15–18, 20, 27, 30, 68, 70, 72 Henry VII of England (Henry Tudor), 68, 69, 71–74, 82n79, 85–94, 96, 109, 110, 148n59 Henry VIII of England, 3–5, 8, 61, 62, 66, 67, 69, 71, 73, 75, 76, 82n82, 85, 86, 88, 89, 94–98, 104n60, 107–119, 123n65 Henry, Philip, 242–244 Hodgson, John, of Coley Hall, 236, 237, 245, 246 Howard, Thomas, 4th duke of Norfolk, 151, 162 I The Indemnity and Oblivion Act (1660), 243 Interregnum, 4, 236, 246, 267n7, 267n9, 286 Ireland, John, 42, 44, 56n44 Isles of Scilly, 175, 178



J James I of England (VI of Scotland), 127, 128, 132, 142, 154, 161, 171–173, 181, 192, 197–202, 215, 217 James I of Scotland, 51 James II of England, 3, 270n50, 274–276, 285, 287–290, 295n95 James III of Scotland, 7, 38, 40–46, 48, 51–53, 56n44, 57n65 Jefferson, Thomas, 265, 266, 272n72 John Balliol of Scotland, 46, 49, 57n78 Josselin, Ralph, 242–244, 247

M Marbury, Francis, 129, 134–141, 144 Margaret of York, duchess of Burgundy, 23, 24 Mary, Queen of Scots, 95, 100, 151, 159, 197 Mary I of England, 4, 86, 99, 112–114, 118, 131, 170 Mary II of England, 276 Montgomery, Thomas, 22, 23 More, Thomas, 29, 66, 75, 107, 113 Morison, Richard, 65, 71, 74 Murray, Patrick, 1st earl of Tullibardine, 221, 222

K Kilcumin Band (1645), 215, 218, 219, 222 King’s Bench, 127, 130, 133 King’s Covenant (1638), 215–217, 219, 221, 227 Knights of the Bath, 231, 241

N National Covenant (1638), 212, 213, 215–218, 220, 222, 224, 225 Navigation Act (1660), 258, 260–262, 264, 269n34 Nero, Emperor, 167–185, 188n24, 189n44, 190n63 Neville, Richard, 16th earl of Warwick (the ‘Kingmaker’), 28, 67, 69, 73 New England, 258, 259, 263 New Model Army, 220, 235 Noy, William, 179, 180, 183

L Laud, William (Archbishop), 168, 173, 174 Liddale, James, of Halkerston, 40, 41, 43, 45 Lister, Daniel, 236, 237, 245, 246 London, 1, 23–25, 66, 73, 75, 85, 89, 91, 94, 99, 131, 138, 151, 156, 161, 183, 184, 199, 204, 232, 235, 238, 240, 242, 244–246, 256, 264, 283, 285 Lords, parliamentary, 175, 176, 254 Lower Norfolk County, Virginia, 257, 259–261, 263–265, 268n20, 270n38 Ludlow, Edmund, 238, 240, 241, 246, 247, 251n63 Luther, Martin, 169

O Oath of Allegiance (1660), 237 Order of the Garter, 16, 21, 26–28, 30, 31, 162, 243 P Palsgrave, John, 110, 111 Parker, Henry, Baron Morley, 108, 111–113 Parliament English, 220, 221 ‘Long,’ 184, 205 Scottish, 38, 220


Paulet, Amias, 85–101 Paulet, Hugh, 85–88, 95–101, 104n63 Paynell, Thomas, 108, 113, 114 Pembrokeshire, 275, 280, 281, 286, 287 Pepys, Samuel, 232, 234 Percy, Henry, 4th earl of Northumberland, 4, 25 Percy, Thomas, 7th earl of Northumberland, 151, 152, 162 Personal Rule (1629–40), 192, 200 Pilgrimage of Grace (1536–37), 65, 76, 96 Plantagenet, George, 1st duke of Clarence, 27, 67, 69, 73 Plantation Duties Act (1673), 257, 259–261, 263–265 Plymouth, 280, 284, 292n38 Pollitt, Ronald, 132–134 Prestall, John, 132, 133 Privy Council, 155, 159, 175, 184, 192, 195, 200, 202, 203, 205, 262–264 Propaganda, 5, 7, 45, 61–77, 157, 223, 275, 277–279, 281, 289 Prynne, William, 8, 168, 169, 173–177, 179–185, 186n9, 187n19, 187n22, 188n24, 189n47, 189n49, 189n56, 190n63, 190n67, 190n74 R Rappahannock County, Virginia, 257, 259, 263–265, 268n20, 269n36, 270n37 Restoration, 8, 226, 231–234, 237, 240–244, 247, 253–254, 274, 277, 279–281 Richard II of England, 16–18, 90 Richard III of England, 3, 4, 19, 22, 28–30, 68–70, 72–75, 81n61, 88, 90, 91, 95 Richard of Shrewsbury, duke of York, 19, 25


Richard of York, 3rd duke of York, 27, 72 Rising of the North (1569), 151–153 Robert I of Scotland (Bruce), 37, 38, 45–50, 52, 53 Robert II of Scotland, 50 Rogers, John, 115–117 Russell, John, Lord Russell, 96, 97, 100 The Rye House Plot (1683), 276, 286 S St George’s Chapel, Windsor, 16, 18, 27, 29, 30, 162, 246 St Ives, 280, 284, 292n36 St Leger, Thomas, 22, 23 St Loe, John, 96, 99, 105n75 St Paul (Apostle), 2, 168–179, 182–184, 186n7 Saltash, 280, 292n36 Second Dutch War, 255, 262 Ship money, 193, 200, 203–205 Smith, Richard, 118 Smithfield tournament (1467), 19, 22–24, 28 Solemn League and Covenant (1643), 213, 220, 228n7, 238, 239 Somerset, Henry, 1st duke of Beaufort, 286–288, 294n80 Spanish Armada, 153, 156, 157 Stanhope, Thomas, 195, 196 Staple Act (1663), 258 Star Chamber, 162, 168, 173, 175–177, 179, 183, 184, 187n21, 187n22, 202, 204 Stewart, Alexander, 1st duke of Albany, 40, 41, 43–45, 48, 57n65, 57n70 Stewart, John, earl of Carrick (future Robert III of Scotland), 50, 51, 59n113 Storie, John, 130–134, 136, 137, 144, 145 Strang, John, 224, 225



T Taunton, 92, 93 Taverner, Richard, 108, 117 Third Dutch War, 255, 262 Tinners, 278, 279, 282, 283, 287 Tiptoft, John, 1st earl of Worcester, 20, 27, 28, 32n27 Tory party (Tories), 273, 275–280, 282–290 Tower of London, 3, 66, 93, 131, 133, 151, 162, 175, 179, 181, 232, 235, 241, 245 Tresham, Thomas, 153–157 Turner, William, 108, 117, 118 Tyndale, William, 115, 116, 169 U University of Oxford, 99, 131, 133 V Verney, Ralph, 239, 246 Virginia, 8, 253–266, 267n8, 267n9, 268n20, 271n66

W Wales, 8, 243, 258–260, 273–275, 277–280, 282, 284–290, 295n95, 295n97 Wallace, William, 37–42, 44–49, 52, 53, 57n65, 58n100 Warbeck, Perkin, 71, 73, 74, 92–94 Westminster Abbey, 231, 232 Westminster Hall, 133, 232, 240, 242 Whig Party (Whigs), 275, 279–281, 284, 286, 287, 289, 290 Whitehall Palace, 181, 231, 232, 240, 241 Wilkie, William, 224 William III of England (William of Orange), 276, 289, 290 Windsor Castle, 17, 18, 25, 27, 29, 30, 162, 231, 236, 246 Wolsey, Thomas (Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII), 66, 67, 75, 88, 89, 94, 95 Woodville, Anthony, 2nd earl Rivers, 22–25, 28