Save

Military Power and the Scottish Burghs, 1625-1651

In: Journal of Early Modern History
Author:
Laura A. M. StewartBirkbeck, University of London

Search for other papers by Laura A. M. Stewart in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$34.95

Abstract

Historians are generally agreed that Scotland’s limited military capability was transformed after 1639, when expatriate mercenaries, with experience of Continental European conflicts, returned home to take part in the wars against Charles I. There has been less interest in how the creation of centrally-coordinated standing forces affected Scottish society. This article focuses on the experiences of Scotland’s burghs, where traditional military practices remained a feature of civic life, at least in the larger urban centers, during the early decades of the seventeenth century. These practices informed the way in which burghs responded to the call to arms from 1639. Despite tensions with landed neighbors, burghs were not wholly subsumed into the shires and they retained a measure of their distinctiveness as military units. Burghal autonomy was severely tested from the mid-sixteen-forties, not only by the demands of central government but also by the physical presence of soldiers in the midst of the urban community. This essay will explore the strategies employed by civic leaders to protect the community from violence and exploitation, while also maintaining their own authority and status. It will be tentatively suggested here that the social and political structures of civic life proved surprisingly resilient under the unprecedented pressures placed upon them during the sixteen-forties.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 227 42 7
Full Text Views 126 11 1
PDF Views & Downloads 173 31 3