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Title: The extent and nature of feuding in Scotland, 1573-1625
Author: Brown, Keith M.
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1983
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Feud is a recurrent theme in Scottish history, but it is a subject which has received scant regard in its own right until fairly recently. Sources for an exarrlirwtion of the Scottish blood-feud are also voluminous and accessible, particularly in the early modern period, a period which coincided with the demise of the feud throughout most of the kingdom. The material evidence and course the feud itself took during the reign of James VI are the, principal reasons for concentrating on these years, though in omitting the civil war of 1567-73 one has not entirely covered that long reign. While the title of this thesis dra\-ls attention to the extent and nature of the feud, it is the latter 'lhich receives by far the greater emphasis. In the "Introduction" the place of the Scottish feud in the wider debate on the blood-feud is considered, a debate which involves historians of different centuries and societies" and those like anthropologists and sociologists who have approached the subject from the perspective of other disciplines. Here the extent of the feud in late sixteenth century Scotland is discussed, with questions of typology, origins, geographic and social distribution, length and incidence being included. Following this, the first chapter "Ideals, Violence and Peace" examines the pature of the feud in the context of these thr ee themes. ii. However, the political m. ture of the Scottish feud necessitated that considerable attention be paid to the relationship between politics and the feud. One chapter, therefore, looks at the many issues which caused feuding both in the rural community and in an urban environment. This is followed by a very detailed analysis of the course of one blood-feud in one relatively small locality throughout the entire period, from royal minority to the implementation of a crown policy which uprooted feuding. After discussing politics and the feud in a local context, the focus of attention then moves to the politics of the court ana central government, but without losing sight of the very real connection between events at the centre and in the localities. Again one chapter is devoted to a more general disc!JSsion of court politics and the impact of feuding there, before being followed by another in depth analysis of the major political feud of the reign between the earl of Huntly and his rivals in the north of Scotland. The highland nature of much of this feud, and the lowland envi~onment of the CunninghamMontgomery feud which forms the subject matter of chapter three, made it almost obligatory to also devote some time to a border feud. This is done, therefore, in chapter six, within the context of a discussion of the government of the west march and the international sensitivity of the region. The two chapters attempt to explain how the feud was uprooted from most of Scotland before the end of James' reign. In chapter seven the Jacobean legislation iii. against feuding and the violent environment in which it bred is the principal theme. Here the laws, their enforcernent and their success in reducing feuding, controlling the use of guns, restricting retinues, punishing outlaws, imrpoving the efficiency of the administration of law and order and other areas of related concern to James and his government are detailed and assessed. Finally, the last chapter turns to the question of who initiated and carried through this crack down on feuding and lawlessness. The king himself, the nobility, crown officials and the church are all evaluated and their individual contribution is analysed. A short conclusion simply suggests some possibilities for future research which might be taken up as a continuation of this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain History Political science Public administration