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Journal > Volumes > 42 (2011) / 1 (Spring)
“Uncouth language to a Princes ears”: Archibald Armstrong, Court Jester, and Early Stuart Politics
Andrea Shannon
Dalhousie Univesity

In March 1638 Archibald “Archy” Armstrong, jester, was unceremoniously ejected from the court of King Charles I, as a result of a pointed jest he made to Archbishop William Laud regarding the trouble then occurring in Scotland over the archbishop’s religious policies. !us ended Armstrong’s long career at court, as jester first to James I/VI and then to his son, Charles. Evidence suggests that Armstrong was not acting out of character; by all accounts, his notoriety was built upon his propensity for making remarks. Armstrong’s involvement in such high profile events as the Spanish marriage fiasco also garnered him public renown. Armstrong’s career thus evidences the increasingly widespread knowledge about and discussion of state a#airs, the anxieties such issues raised, and the $uid boundaries of acceptable criticism.

Pages: 99 - 112