James VI and noble power: New thoughts on an old theme

Thursday 24 November
ISHR seminar, New Seminar Room, 5.30 pm
Dr Miles Kerr-Peterson and Dr Steven Reid (University of Glasgow)
‘James VI and noble power: New thoughts on an old theme’

In advance of the publication of their new edited collection, James VI and Noble Power in Scotland, 1578-1603 (Routledge, January 2017), Dr Miles Kerr-Peterson and Dr Steven Reid will discuss their view of the debates regarding noble power in Jacobean Scotland and how these have been shaped by work on this volume, and their own current research projects.

Dr Kerr-Peterson recently completed his PhD on George Keith 4th earl Marischal (1553-1623). Where case studies into noble power in James’ reign have tended towards the notorious characters, Marischal is an example of long term quietly successful Protestant lordship. Steering a moderate course through a political swamp and forsaking a life as a courtier or governmental official, Marischal instead devoted himself to founding towns, harbours and a university. His example may be the more representative of noble power in this period.

Dr Reid is currently working on James VI’s response to and relationship with noble power during his ‘long apprenticeship’ (1578-1585), when as Julian Goodare notes there were six palace coups, five of which were successful. Dr Reid will focus in particular on the noble politics of the Ruthven Raid (August 1582-June 1583), when James was forcibly held as a prisoner by a hard-line Protestant and pro-English regime.