Crown-magnate relations in the personal rule of James V, 1528-1542
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In terms of general interest, James V has suffered by comparison with his more famous father, James IV, and his internationally renowned daughter, Mary Queen of Scots. Yet his reign is an important one, embracing the establishment of the court of session, the beginnings of Protestantism in some areas of Scotland, and the growth of royal power to such an extent that the king could leave the country for nine months in 1536-37 without fear of rebellion. Studies of royal finance, of some aspects of the growth of the legal profession, and of religious dissent have already been undertaken; and the politics of the minority of James V has also been the subject of recent research. This thesis aims to demonstrate that the politics practised in the personal rule differed little in kind from those practised by earlier adult Stewart monarchs. The approach has been to examine the major political events of the period, the attitude of the king, the impact of royal policy upon his magnates, and the careers of some of those magnates. For too long James V has been judged to have been a vindictive and irrational king, motivated largely by greed. The assumption has been that he antagonised most of his leading magnates and met his just deserts when they refused to support him in 1542. A different view is offered here. Essentially, many of James' later policies were shaped by the events of 1528-29 when he assumed his royal authority in person. For the rest, his approach closely resembles that of his supposedly more popular father. There were some individual magnates who suffered financially by the application of legalistic sharp practice. But the conclusion is that this king did not lose the support of the majority, even at the end.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy