Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: "The Sword and the Law" : Elizabethan soldiers' perception and practice of the laws of armed conflict, 1569-1587
Author: Smith, Justin Samuel Ewald
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 9743
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis argues that contemporary views of the laws of arms among soldiers, and of the laws of war by legal theorists, influenced particular military campaigns and individual actions in a variety of armed conflicts. Elizabeth I’s officer corps were careful to act in wars so that their actions would be seen as honourable by outside observers in the belief that such actions would add to their personal glory. Their individual and corporate perception of the laws of war directly affected military practices. However, the Elizabethan military establishment was engaged in conflicts that did not conform to contemporary views of just war. Catholic popes funded military expeditions against England and its dominion of Ireland, where the leaders were granted commissions to wage holy war not just war. The suppression of armed rebellions in Ireland employed numerous soldiers, and much of the machinery of state was supported by the English military. Holy war and counterinsurgency operations had no parallels in just war theory. The laws of war provided an important new context for re-evaluating military practices. Although legal discourse was predominantly ordered towards fighting regular wars, with careful reading of contemporary sources, there are important indicators that illuminate contemporary justifications for some of the more brutal military actions associated with the English military establishment, particularly in Ireland. By re-examining the discourse on the laws of war, the thesis finds that soldiers took seriously the customs of war and through them, it reassesses the motivations and mentalities of commissioned officers. This discourse was then used as a basis by which the conduct of soldiers can be understood and contextualised within English political and ethical structures.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; K Law (General) ; U Military Science (General)