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The Final Crisis of the Stuart Monarchy

The Final Crisis of the Stuart Monarchy: The Revolutions of 1688-91 in their British, Atlantic and European Contexts

Tim Harris
Stephen Taylor
Volume: 16
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    The Final Crisis of the Stuart Monarchy
    Book Description:

    There has been an explosion of interest in the 'Glorious' Revolution in recent years. Long regarded as the lesser of Britain's seventeenth-century revolutions, a faint after tremor following the major earthquake of mid-century, it is now coming to be seen as a major transformative episode in own right, a landmark event which marked a distinctive break in British history. This collection sheds new light on the final crisis of the Stuart monarchy by re-examining the causes and implications of the dynastic shift of 1688-9 from a broad chronological, intellectual and geographical perspective. Comprising eleven essays by specialists in the field, it ranges from the 1660s to the mid-eighteenth century, deals with the history of ideas as well as political and religious history, and covers not just England, Scotland and Ireland but also explores the Atlantic and European contexts. Covering high politics and low politics, Tory and Whig political thought, and the experiences of both Catholics and Protestants, it ranges from protest and resistance to Jacobitism and counter-revolution and even offers an evaluation of British attitudes towards slavery. Written in a lively and engaging style and designed to be accessible to a broader audience, it combines new research with the latest scholarship to provide a fresh and invigorating introduction to the revolutionary period that transformed Britain and its empire. TIM HARRIS is Munro-Goodwin-Wilkinson Professor in European History at Brown University. STEPHEN TAYLOR is Professor in the History of Early Modern England at Durham University.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-126-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  5. 1 In Search of the Mot Juste: Characterizations of the Revolution of 1688–89
    (pp. 1-32)
    Lionel K. J. Glassey

    The Revolution of 1688–9 has always had a tendency to attract adjectives. The most familiar is ‘glorious’, but others which have enjoyed some vogue at different times include ‘bloodless’, ‘conservative’, ‘reluctant’, ‘accidental’, ‘sensible’, ‘aristocratic’, ‘élite’, ‘respectable’, ‘bourgeois’, ‘popular’, ‘whig’, ‘moral’ and ‘modern’. Most of these words have something to offer as thumbnail definitions of the character of the Revolution. They feature prominently in examination questions; examiners commonly invite candidates to discuss how far any one of them might appropriately be employed to describe the Revolution of 1688–9. The various epithets are indeed illuminating. They constitute a sequence of...

  6. 2 The Damning of King Monmouth: Pulpit Toryism in the Reign of James II
    (pp. 33-56)
    Mark Goldie

    On the field of Sedgemoor in Somerset in July 1685 the rebel army of James, duke of Monmouth, illegitimate but protestant son of Charles II, was destroyed by the professional army of the new king, James II. Monmouth was captured and executed, and those of his followers who were not butchered on the battlefield were hanged or transported into servitude by Judge Jeffreys in ‘the Bloody Assize’. In later times, the Monmouth rebels have commanded a deep fund of sympathy. Harsh though judgments have been upon the duke’s folly in landing with just 80 men and naive hopes of a...

  7. 3 Whig Thought and the Revolution of 1688–91
    (pp. 57-86)
    John Marshall

    As Charles II and James II moved towards Stuart absolutism under ‘colour of law’ in the 1680s, whigs lost lives, liberties and estates. After Charles dissolved Parliament in 1681 he initiated trials and executions of political opponents, commencing with the whig propagandist Stephen College in 1681 in a trial moved to Oxford in order to secure a compliant jury after one in London had refused to indict College. After a London jury similarly refused to indict Shaftesbury in late 1681, the crown initiated quo warranto proceedings against the charter of London and other corporation charters, to examine ‘by what warrant’...

  8. 4 The Restoration, the Revolution and the Failure of Episcopacy in Scotland
    (pp. 87-108)
    Alasdair Raffe

    The Revolution of 1688–90 brought about the fall of King James VII and the abolition of episcopacy in the Church of Scotland. In some ways, this combination of outcomes was unsurprising. The bishops’ authority had been entwined with that of the crown since the re-establishment of episcopacy in the Restoration settlement of 1661–2. Whereas government by bishops was well rooted in England, in Scotland episcopacy seemed unpopular and dependent for its survival on royal support. While Scots remained loyal to their king, as most seemed to be during the Restoration period, episcopacy could survive. But when the Restoration...

  9. 5 Scotland under Charles II and James VII and II: In Search of the British Causes of the Glorious Revolution
    (pp. 109-132)
    Tim Harris

    One of the most exciting historiographical developments in early Stuart studies over the last couple of decades has been the rise of the ‘New British History’. In order to understand the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, it has been shown, we must recognize that James I and Charles I ruled over a multiple-kingdom inheritance that was inherently unstable, that the policies they pursued in any one kingdom inevitably had reverberations in the other two (making it extremely difficult to rule all three kingdoms at once in a harmonious way), and that Charles I’s inability to manage his...

  10. 6 Ireland’s Restoration Crisis
    (pp. 133-156)
    John Gibney

    The defining issues in Irish political and social life from the Restoration to the Revolution were, essentially, the unresolved legacies of the Confederate wars and Cromwellian conquest of the 1640s and 1650s. This continuity was not lost on those who sought to use those conflicts as a benchmark by which to gauge later events. In January 1689 William of Orange was presented with an assessment of the condition of Ireland in which the catholic Irish of the later 1680s were depicted as a far more formidable enemy than their predecessors in the 1640s. For

    now they have the Government, the...

  11. 7 Ireland, 1688–91
    (pp. 157-188)
    Toby Barnard

    On 21 March 1688 a new charter was borne into the borough of Galway, in the westerly province of Connacht. Galway, a last redoubt of the catholics during the Confederate War, had surrendered to the Cromwellian forces only in 1652. Thereafter, protestants were intruded into its government and trade, as in all boroughs throughout Ireland. After Charles II’s return in 1660, the protestant monopoly was eroded, especially in places such as Galway where protestants were few. The reinstatement of catholics, first as traders and craft-workers, then as freemen and civic functionaries, gathered momentum after the accession of James VII and...

  12. 8 Rumours and Rebellions in the English Atlantic World, 1688–9
    (pp. 189-218)
    Owen Stanwood

    In the last months of 1688 a wave of fear swept England’s American colonies. In Barbados, planters believed themselves to be targets of a vast design by popish recusants, French Jesuits and Irish servants to reduce the island to ‘popery and slavery’ and perhaps deliver it to France. In January 1689 almost identical rumours appeared in New England, where Indians joined the list of enemies, and two months later settlers on the frontier of Maryland and Virginia began whispering of the same plot. At the same time, rumours of a different sort arrived from Europe, telling of William of Orange’s...

  13. 9 The Revolution in Foreign Policy, 1688–1713
    (pp. 219-242)
    Tony Claydon

    Over recent decades, there has been much debate about the ‘revolutionary’ nature of 1688–9. Historians from every part of the discipline have argued whether William III’s invasion was a turning point for the constitution; whether it transformed relations between British protestants or the three Stuart kingdoms; or whether it accelerated capitalist enterprise, social mobility or the emergence of the public sphere. In one area, however, the radical nature of 1688–9 seems clear. It was at this point that England ceased her occasional, incoherent and usually disastrous, interventions on the European continent, and instead came to lead a sustained...

  14. 10 Political Conflict and the Memory of the Revolution in England 1689–c. 1750
    (pp. 243-272)
    Gabriel Glickman

    In 1735, a purported Persian fable entered the London printing press. The ‘Tale of the Troglodytes’ claimed to capture the descent of a community into moral and political corruption, offering the sobering example of how a people might become ‘wickeder and more miserable in a State of Government, than they were left in a State of Nature’. Its narrative rested on a country delivered from conflict by a warrior prince, whose leaders proceeded, in a fatal slide into ‘innocence’, to raise him to their throne ‘without prescribing any bounds to his authority’. They had left themselves unshielded against the corruptible...

  15. 11 Afterword: State Formation, Political Stability and the Revolution of 1688
    (pp. 273-304)
    Stephen Taylor

    On the eve of the Seven Years’ War in 1756 Britain was a very different state and nation compared with a century earlier. The British state itself had been created in 1707 by the Union between England and Scotland. A constitutional monarchy had been firmly established, in which parliament met for several months every year, and the focus of political power had shifted from Whitehall to Westminster. Both the Test Act of 1673 and the Toleration Act of 1689 had come to be regarded as almost as fundamental parts of the constitution as the Bill of Rights, the one guaranteeing...

  16. Index
    (pp. 305-316)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 317-319)