Re-formed by Kirk and Crown: urban politics and civic society in Glasgow during the reign of James VI, c.1585-1625

Goatman, Paul (2018) Re-formed by Kirk and Crown: urban politics and civic society in Glasgow during the reign of James VI, c.1585-1625. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis provides a history of the burgh of Glasgow during the adult reign of James VI (c.1585-1625). It is the first dedicated study of the burgh during this period and revises existing published work on Glasgow, which has tended to be teleological in choosing to focus on the way that developments in this period provided the basis for the town’s subsequent demographic and economic expansion in the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Here, the themes of Reformation and state formation are brought to the fore. The thesis argues that the period saw wholesale modernisation of Glasgow’s municipal administration and that this was driven by central government. The modernisation of local government in Glasgow is therefore used to support arguments about a ‘Stewart revolution in government’ and the ‘rise of the state’ under James VI. Between 1600 and 1606, the crown’s nominee as provost, Sir George Elphinstone of Blythswood, oversaw a wide-ranging programme of civic reform which established a constitution in the town that would last for more than a century. This period corresponded with the assertion of royal authority within the Kirk and the appointment of John Spottiswood as Archbishop of Glasgow in 1603. In discussing the impact of these developments upon Glasgow, the thesis also therefore provides the first examination of the ways in which the town experienced Scotland’s ‘Long Reformation’ and takes into account the activity of the Kirk there under both the Presbyterian and Episcopalian settlements. A new framework is offered for understanding the nature of change and continuity in Scotland’s late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century burghs, which focuses more precisely on the change wrought by processes of state formation and Reformation than historians have done hitherto. In doing so, the thesis sheds new light on three important areas of Scotland’s early modern history: the emergence of the Scottish ‘early modern town’ during the reign of James VI, the Reformation and Jacobean state formation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Scotland, Reformation, James VI and I, Glasgow, urban history, state formation.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Funder's Name: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Supervisor's Name: Reid, Dr. Steven J. and Bowie, Dr. Karin
Date of Award: 2018
Embargo Date: 21 May 2021
Depositing User: Mr Paul Goatman
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-9127
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2018 10:12
Last Modified: 26 May 2021 11:54
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.9127

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