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Counsel was a fundamental element of the theoretical framework and practical workings of medieval and early modern government. Good rule was to be ensured by governors hearing wise advisers. This process of counsel assumed particular importance in England and Scotland between the 14th and 17th centuries because of the close adherence to ideas of the common good, commonweal, and community in this period. Yet, major changes in who gave counsel and how it operated were emerging. This volume identifies both the patterns and the moments of change while also recognizing continuities. It examines counsel set in the context of Anglo-Scottish warfare, unions of the two nations, the Reformations, and early colonizing ventures, as well as in the contingent circumstances of individual reigns and long-term evolutions in the nature of government. Examining counsel as ubiquitous yet archivally elusive, this volume uses government records, pamphlets, plays, poetry, histories, and oaths to establish a new framework for understanding advice. As it shows, a widespread belief in good counsel masked fundamental tensions between accountability and secrecy, inclusive representation and political cohesiveness, and between upholding and restraining sovereign authority.
Number of Pages: 303
Genre: History, Social Science
Series Title: Proceedings of the British Academy
Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
Street Date: January 24, 2017
Item Number (DPCI): 248-40-2855
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