The politics of counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Counsel was a fundamental element of politics in medieval and early modern England and Scotland. It assisted decision-making; facilitated dialogue, representation, accountability, consent and consensus; and was used tactically to delegate, delay and criticise decisions. Despite the platitudinous commonplace that good rulers heard advice, counsel was fraught with tension. Whose advice was wisest, whether it should be given in institutional councils, and its relationship to sovereignty, were questions at the heart of thirteenth- to seventeenth-century political debate. Emphasising counsel over councils, and exploring how to identify this ubiquitous yet archivally elusive practice, this volume uses government records, pamphlets, plays, poetry, histories and oaths to establish a new framework for understanding advice, reassess some crucial reigns, and evaluate continuity and change.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages303
ISBN (Print)9780197266038
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the British Academy
ISSN (Print)0068-1202


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