All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Renegotiating ‘carnal bands’ in early modern England and Scotland|
|The Reformation challenged the socio-political hierarchies of degree, descent and gender that had ordered medieval society. Especially in its Protestant reaches, a good deal more than lip service was paid to the belief that following Christ would profoundly alter existing social arrangements by privileging spiritual entitlement relative to blood right. Commitment to this ideal is everywhere apparent. In 1591Robert Bruce, Church of Scotland minister and acting privy councillor to James VI, reminded his Edinburgh congregation that in order to become securely ‘conjoined and fastened up with…Christ’ in this world, in anticipation of the next, ‘faithful men and women’ must eschew the lure of ‘carnal bands’. Bruce defined ‘carnal bands’ as simultaneously the ‘band of blood, running through each race’ and ‘the carnal touching of flesh with flesh’. Regardless of degree, they must all become ‘new creatures’ in Christ.
Yet, at the same time, the Reformation privileged martial valour—long the prerogative of the nobility—in new ways. Confessionalization, playing out against the backdrop of an increasingly fractured and destabilized Europe, put a premium on making every man a ‘soldier of God’. At one level that identity functioned metaphorically, but it also prepared men to take up arms if necessary, to fight to preserve the True Church. In early modern society leadership in the field of that godly army would be deemed to belong by right to men who exemplified what contemporaries described as ‘compounded’ or ‘mixed’ nobility: that is, a noble identity founded on lineage but informed (or redeemed) by personal spiritual attainment. That status might also give its holder a strong claim to be king. This was especially so in circumstances where—as in England and Scotland from the mid-sixteenth century—the kingship fell to monarchs whose age and/or gender weakened their legitimacy, and nullified the warrior capability that lay at its heart.
The paper investigates the tensions that resulted from this configuration by focusing on the careers of two noble men, the Scot James Hepburn, third earl of Bothwell, and the Englishman Thomas Howard, fourth duke of Norfolk. Both were warrior nobles whose ambiguous status positioned them as intermediaries between their queens and their country’s ‘Protestant ascendancies’. Both proposed to marry Mary Queen of Scots in order to advance the Protestant cause. Bothwell married Mary in 1567 and fled into exile after her deposition later that year; Norfolk was executed in 1572 for having allegedly conspired to marry Mary, against Elizabeth’s wishes and in the service of his own worldly ambition. Comparing these cases, in the cultural context that I have identified, sheds new light on ‘The Conceptual Construction of National, Cultural and Political Identities and Loyalties in North-Western Europe, 1500-1650.’