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Title: The carrer of Maitland of lethington c.1526-1573
Author: Loughlin, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2679 1672
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1991
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This thesis at tempts to clarify the career of one of the most remarkable politicians in Scotland's history, William Maitland of Lpthingion, Scotlond's Machiavelli and Principal Secretary of State from 1558-73. His influence has long been acknowledged but never adequately explained. This thesis attempts to remedy that defect by investigating the source of Maitland's power, the Scottish Secretariat. The full extent of Maitland's responsibilities ties are explained to show that he exemplifies the notion of the sixteenth century not only as the age of the council and of the Secretary but also of the royal court. Maitland's consistent awareness of the wider European dimension in which Scotland's affairs wen:' invariably cast at. this time - one of the major themes of this thesis - is Sf.:!€n to be due primarily to his control of foreign policy through his position as Secretary. Maitland was the only Scottish representative present at the closing stages of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis. It was little wonder that he was able to view Scotland's affairs in a wider context than most of his countrymen. The renaissance background of the Maitland family is traced in detail and is acknowledged as a major contributing factor to Maitland's success in the government of Mary Stewart, renaissance Queen of Scots. New light is shed on Maitland's involvement in all the major episodes that so conspicuously colour his fifteen-year Secre1.arllit. His role in the Reformation crisis is critically extlmined and his articulation of the most radical unionism ever voiced by a pre-Union Scottish official explained. Maitland's volte-face following his immediate realization of Mary's likely return in January 1561 is noted and the traditional notion of the amity from 1561-65 challenged. Maitland's leading role in the attempted coup d'etat of 1566, his major part in Mary's downfall in 1 ~67 and his subsequent leadership of the Queen's party is critically reappraised. Maitland's religious, political and cultural leanings are examined and the popular- notion of Maitland as an anglophile politique rejected in favour of an image more in keeping with the new evidence uncovered during the course of this research. The image of Maitland as Scotland's Machiavelian is refined. The crude image of Maitland as a Machiavelian atheist and chameleon is rejected. Instead, the notion of Maitland as a sophisticated political scientist, thoroughly acquainted with the principles of the Discourses and The Prince and much else besides and driven by an over-riding regard for the commonweal is promoted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available