Workshop – The British-Dutch World in the Age of Elizabeth of Bohemia

Friday, 21 April 2017, New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 69 South Street.

9.15-10.15
Welcome by Catherine Stihler MEP & Rector of the University

Miranda Lewis – Cultures of Knowledge: EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online), with a focus on WEMLO (Women’s Early Modern Letters Online) and Elizabeth of Bohemia

10.15-10.30 Coffee Break

10.30-12.00 – Chair: Steve Murdoch
Andrew R Little – The British-Dutch Maritime World in the Age of the Two Republics
Graeme Millen – Serve or Stand Down? British Regiments in the Netherlands 1648-1688

12.00-13.30 Buffet Lunch

13.30- 15.00 – Chair: Nadine Akkerman
Marika Keblusek – Curious Collections: Art and luxury objects at the Dutch Courts of Elizabeth of Bohemia
Esther Mijers – Education as Agency in the Scottish-Dutch World

15.00-15.15 Coffee Break

15.30-17.15 – Chair: Andrew Pettegree
Kirsty Rolfe – Remembering and Rewriting the ‘Palatine Cause’ in 1658-1660
Arthur der Weduwen – Britain and the Dutch newspaper trade in the seventeenth century

Round Table: The Age of Elizabeth – all speakers. Chair: Roger Mason

17.45 – ISHR Wine reception in the Undercroft.

19.00 dinner, Zizzi’s Italian Restaurant

Public lecture – Dr Nadine Akkerman

We are delighted to welcome Dr Nadine Akkerman of the University of Leiden, who will present a lecture entitled ‘Missreading Women, Misleading Women: How One Letter Changes Everything.’  The lecture will be held on Thursday 20 April, at 5.30 pm, in the Arts Lecture Theatre, and is followed by a workshop on Friday 21 April on The British-Dutch World in the Age of Elizabeth of Bohemia.  Anyone wishing to attend the workshop should contact Steve Murdoch no later than noon on Wednesday 19 April.

Elizabeth Stuart (1596-1662) was at the centre of European diplomacy, warfare and intrigue for much of her life. The daughter of James VI of Scotland, she was brought up in England following her father’s accession to the English throne in 1603. In 1613 she married the German Protestant, Frederick V, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and settled at their grand court in Heidelberg. When Frederick was elected king of Bohemia in 1619, they moved to Prague, but their reign was short-lived – earning them the soubriquets the ‘Winter Queen’ and the ‘Winter King’ – when Frederick was defeated by his Catholic rival for the throne at the battle of the White Mountain, often taken as the first engagement of the Thirty Years War. Forced to flee Bohemia, Elizabeth spent much of the rest of her life in the Hague, where she bore Frederick eight children before his death in 1632, and where she maintained a voluminous correspondence with key political, religious and cultural figures in contemporary Europe.

Dr Nadine Akkerman’s extensive research on Elizabeth has included editing three substantial volumes of her correspondence, published by Oxford University Press.

Her lecture draws on this research to explore the hitherto neglected role of women as spies in 17th century Europe. Challenging the assumption that women played little or no role in espionage, she will show how shop-keepers, singers, nurses, ladies-in-waiting, postmistresses, and women in other professions and positions operated as spies, especially during the period 1647-1667. Unlike men, these women were not restricted by codes of chivalry and honour. Sometimes they worked alone, but there is substantial evidence to suggest their involvement in secret spy networks. Hitherto unexamined archival material reveals the underground whereabouts of early modern female spies. How did early modern women spies operate differently from their male colleagues? To what extent were they successful and for what reasons? What were the advantages and restrictions of their gender? And, finally, how did female, seemingly informal, news networks intersect with the male world of high diplomacy, intelligence, and espionage? By addressing such questions, Dr Akkerman will demonstrate that early modern espionage was by no means a male preserve.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

ISHR Reading Weekend 2017

This weekend saw the annual ISHR reading weekend take place at The Burn, Glenesk.  A number of ISHR members and guests gathered in these beautiful surroundings to share research in progress and catch up with events and issues in the field of Scottish history. Papers presented ranged from discussion of clothing in late medieval Scotland to the representation of Burns as ‘Scotland’s voice’ during and after the First World War. Participants also visited the nearby House of Dun, with a tour of the house itself and a chance to enjoy the sunshine in the surrounding grounds.  Once again, the hospitality of the staff at The Burn made the weekend as relaxing as as it was rewarding.

You can read more about the weekend on the School of History blog.

Enjoying the sunshine at the beautiful House of Dun. Photo attrib. Ellen Collingsworth. CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0.

ISHR Seminar – Ms Lynn Kilgallon

The next ISHR seminar will take place on Thursday 6 April, when Ms Lynn Kilgallon, of Trinity College Dublin, will present: ‘Parliament, legitimacy and the ‘absent king’ in the insular world (c. 1399-1450).’

This paper will explore how royal authority was operated in the absence of an active adult monarch. Although it has been argued that the only source of fully legitimate authority in medieval governance was the will of the king, fifteenth-century England and Scotland both saw periods in which adult monarchs could not—for a variety of reasons—actively rule. In Ireland, even though colonial governance remained centrally predicated upon royal authority, the king was a permanent absentee. In the absence of the king, guardians, lieutenants and governors came to the fore, while parliaments and general councils acquired an increasingly important role in governance; this paper will explore their roles, and the role played by the elusive ‘political community’ in such circumstances.

The seminar will be held in the New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 71 South Street, St Andrews at 5.30pm, with drinks and nibbles served from 5.15pm.

Book launch – Medieval St Andrews: Church, Cult, City

We look forward to celebrating the publication of Medieval St Andrews: Church, Cult, City, a major landmark in reinterpreting the importance of the town in the middle ages, in a special event hosted by Topping and Company, on Wednesday March 29th, Lower College Hall, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, at 7:45 p.m.

Edited by Prof Michael Brown and Dr Katie Stevenson of the University of St Andrews, Medieval St Andrews is an exploration of St Andrews during the centuries when it was Scotland’s ecclesiastical capital. Its fourteen chapters by a range of distinguished scholars examine the archaeology of its early history, its development as an urban complex, its civic and spiritual life, and its significance as a centre of learning before and after the foundation of its university. Including the results of a great deal of new research, it represents a major contribution to our understanding of St Andrews’ place in the history of medieval Scotland.

Prof Michael Brown will give a talk on the genesis of the book and what it reveals about the medieval town. This will be followed by a presentation by Dr Alan Miller and his Open Virtual Worlds team who are beginning an exciting new project aimed at creating a complete digital reconstruction of St Andrews as it appeared in the mid-sixteenth century – before so much of the medieval townscape was damaged in the Reformation.

Tickets range from £4 – £40, and can be purchased from Topping and Company.

ISHR Seminar – Dr Valerie Wright

The next ISHR seminar takes place on Thursday 9 March, when Dr Valerie Wright of the University of Glasgow will present: ‘”The evils of the present housing conditions”’: Women’s organisations and campaigns for improved housing in interwar Scotland.’

In the interwar years in Scotland women made their voices heard on a range of issues that were important to them through membership of women’s organisations that took an active role in associational culture and civil society. This paper will focus on the ‘housing question’ in both urban and rural Scotland and the ways in which women responded to, and shaped, debates for improved housing conditions for the working classes. Three women’s organisations  will be considered:  the overtly feminist Edinburgh Women Citizens’ Association, the Scottish Co-operative Women’s Guild and the Scottish Women’s Rural Institutes. Class was important in shaping the approach of each organisation as was geographic location.

The seminar will be held in the New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 71 South Street, St Andrews at 5.30pm. Drinks and nibbles will be served from 5.15pm.

ISHR Seminar – Prof Steve Boardman

The next ISHR seminar will take place on Thursday 23 February when Steve Boardman, Professor in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh, and ISHR Visiting Scholar during this academic year, will present ‘Bucktooth, Earl Beardie, and the Black Knight: Names and by-names in late medieval Scotland.’

Steve’s paper examines naming patterns within the late medieval Scottish nobility. The first part of the paper looks at baptismal names and, while acknowledging the deep conservatism that determined name choice in general, attempts to trace and explain the growing popularity of ‘new’ names such as George, Ninian and Duthac. In the second half of the paper the focus is on the positive or condemnatory nicknames or bynames earned by, or imposed on, particular noblemen and what these appellations might tell us about the political, social and cultural world of the late medieval Scottish aristocracy.

The seminar will be held in the New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 71 South Street, St Andrews at 5.30pm. Drinks and nibbles will be served from 5.15pm.

New publication explores the life and works of Robert Baillie

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research is delighted to announce the publication in the St Andrews Studies in Scottish History series of Alexander D. Campbell’s The Life and Works of Robert Baillie (1602-1662) Politics, Religion and Record-Keeping in the British Civil Wars.

9781783271849_1From 1637 to 1660, the Scots witnessed rapid and confused changes in government and violent skirmishing, whilst impassioned religious disputes divided neighbours, friends and family. One of the most vivid accounts of this period may be found in the letters of the Glaswegian minister, Robert Baillie; but whilst his correspondence has long featured in historical accounts of the period, the man behind these writings has largely been forgotten.

Based on the first, systematic reading of Baillie’s extensive surviving manuscripts, comprising thousands of leaves of correspondence, treatises, sermons, and notebooks, this biography draws together for the first time an analysis of Baillie’s career and writings, establishing his significance as a polemicist, minister, theologian, and contemporary historian.

Alexander D. Campbell is Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Post-Doctoral Fellow, Queen’s University, Canada.

The Life and Works of Robert Baillie (1602-1662) Politics, Religion and Record-Keeping in the British Civil Wars is available now from the Boydell and Brewer website.

ISHR Seminar – Postgraduate progress

Our next seminar takes place on Thursday 9 February, and features a postgraduate progress panel. Three current PhD candidates at the ISHR will present short papers:

Morag Allan Campbell:
‘A tale of two asylums: Caring for the insane in nineteenth century Dundee and Angus’

Rory MacLellan:
‘The Lion Dormant? Armchair-crusading and the Scottish Hospitallers, 1322-88’

Anne Rutten:
‘How to do things with medieval words: Writing in the reigns of Robert II and Robert III’

The seminar will be held in the New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 71 South Street, St Andrews at 5.30pm. Drinks and nibbles will be served from 5.15pm.

ISHR Seminar – Dr Malcolm Petrie

The first ISHR seminar of the new semester will be on Thursday 26 January, when our own Dr Malcolm Petrie will present ‘Serfdom in Wishaw, Hayek in Kirkcaldy: The thought-world of Scottish nationalism, c.1942-c.1975.’

Studies of the rise in support for the Scottish National Party during the 1960s and 1970s have focussed chiefly on the political consequences of socio-economic developments. This paper, in contrast, examines perceptions of the relationship between government and the people, tracing the evolution, and eventual demise, of a libertarian rhetoric that viewed individual freedom and national autonomy as indivisible. Deployed in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War by the Unionists as a means of constructing an anti-socialist coalition capable of accommodating Liberals and even nationalists, by the 1960s the mantle of individualism had been assumed by the SNP. Crucial to nationalist success was the emergence of a series of issues, most notably the debate surrounding British membership of the Common Market, which raised questions of sovereignty, representation, and democracy, and encouraged a belief that the Westminster parliament no longer reflected public opinion. This sense of political frustration and alienation, while common across Britain, was essential to the politics of the SNP, a party long convinced that government had grown too powerful, authoritarian and remote, and that only independence could free Scotland from the bureaucratic excesses of an ever-expanding central state.

The seminar will be held in the New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 71 South Street, St Andrews at 5.30pm. Drinks and nibbles will be served from 5.15pm.