Recent pioneering work has rightly restored the reputation of James VI and I from “Whig” accusations of incompetence. Some historians regard King James’s religious policies as particularly successful. Others now argue that while James’s policies worked well in England, they were a disaster in Scotland, where a set of reforms known as the Five Articles of Perth polarized religious opinion. This article asserts that James’s personal determination to impose the Articles generated a crisis in one of Scotland’s most politically sensitive communities—the capital, Edinburgh.
The funeral sermons Aegidius Hunnius (1550–1603) preached for members of the academic community in Wittenberg reveal both a learned and a warmly emotional piety. A leading figure in early Lutheran orthodoxy, Hunnius participated in the formulation of Lutheran confessional theology and in its defense against Calvinists, “papists,” and Anabaptists. During his tenure as professor and pastor in Wittenberg, he also contributed to the rise in popularity of the printed funeral sermon.
Richard Beacon’s Solon His Follie (Oxford, 1594) has stood at the center of efforts to construct a significant republican past for the British Isles prior to the actual experience of republican government during the Interregnum (1649–60). In this interpretation the preeminence of monarchy in late Tudor and early Stuart England did not preclude the development of quasi-republican modes of civic consciousness emphasizing the active life of the citizen, civic virtue, and true nobility.
Early modern historians tend to concentrate on the violent interaction between the Tudor state and the inhabitants of Ireland. And with good reason: the extension of Tudor rule there saw brutality and warfare reach unprecedented levels, resulting in the destruction of the Gaelic political order. But the sixteenth century’s grim outcome has obscured the conciliatory policy pursued by Henry VIII’s government in Ireland. The most conspicuous feature of this policy was the submissions of dozens of Gaelic chiefs and English lords to the crown.
This article examines Swedish chancellor Axel Oxenstierna as an owner and reader of books. The possession of a library, though it was unremarkable when compared to other contemporary European ministerial libraries, was a political asset in Sweden. His library reflected his emulation of continental examples as well as his interests and status as one of the premier Protestant statesmen of the seventeenth century. His library allowed the chancellor to act as a patron to scholars and others who needed access to books, and thus served a public function.