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'Peacetime' And Piracy, 1560–1618

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Chapter Summary

Peace between Scotland and England in 1560 brought a degree of respite from violence at sea, both as perpetuated by and against the Scottish maritime community. This was not least due to Mary Queen of Scots' previously mentioned suspension of letters of marque against any Christian prince. One serious threat remained which was that of piracy, both domestic and foreign. Unlike naval commanders or privateers, pirates worked for no state or potentate but for their own personal gain. Spanish piracy in Scottish waters mostly concerned violence against Englishmen off the Scottish coast rather than any direct threat against Scotland as such. Piracy could also result from a change of political regime in which people once in power suddenly found themselves on the losing, or at least the 'other', side.

Keywords: Christian; England; peace; piracy; Scotland



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