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Scotsmen And The Polish Nobility From The Sixteenth To Eighteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the available data pertaining to migrants from the British Isles who managed to register their nobility status in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from about 1640 to 1795. In Scotland, nobility was particularly difficult to define. Contemporaries usually thought of it as the titled peerage, which had established itself as the most affluent and influential aristocratic group around the mid-fifteenth century. The new nobility was not created so as to upset the role of the existing peerage but rather to add to it and, by doing so, simply extend royal power and support. The study of religious backgrounds of Scots promoted to the nobility in Poland-Lithuania reveals that Presbyterians dominated in the seventeenth century, while more Roman Catholics entered noble ranks in the eighteenth century.

Keywords: British Isles; Poland-Lithuania; Polish nobility; Scots



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