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Politics And Government In The Scottish Burghs, 1603–1638

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Chapter Summary

Michael Lynch's edited collection, The Early Modern Town in Scotland, attempted to 'help set the agenda' for Scottish urban historians. Of particular interest to Lynch was the point at which the burghs began to shed their medieval characteristics and take on a truly 'early modern' aspect. James VI and I's long reign saw a vigorous attempt by the crown to reassert and extend its authority. While studies of English boroughs have proliferated, particularly in the post-Reformation century, only three of Scotland's fifty-plus royal burghs - Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow - have received serious scholarly attention in the period covered by this chapter. The remainder of this conclusory chapter explores the nature of the town-crown relationship during the first few decades of the seventeenth century and assess whether increased stress in that relationship was a significant factor behind the crisis that overtook Charles I's Scottish regime in 1637.

Keywords: Aberdeen; Charles I; Edinburgh; Glasgow; James VI; post-reformation century; Scottish burgh; The Early Modern Town in Scotland; town-crown relationship; urban history



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