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Appears in Collections:Law and Philosophy Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Feudal Law and the Unionist Writings of Thomas Craig
Author(s): Dodd, Leslie
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Keywords: Scotland
17th century
Feudal law
Issue Date: Apr-2023
Date Deposited: 16-Apr-2023
Citation: Dodd L (2023) Feudal Law and the Unionist Writings of Thomas Craig. <i>Scottish Historical Review</i>, 102 (1), pp. 34-66.
Abstract: Amidst the flood of unionist literature that followed the accession of James VI to the throne of England, Thomas Craig's De unione regnorum Britanniae stands out as the largest, at around 95,000 words, and the most sophisticated in terms of its argumentation. This article examines Craig's argumentation in detail and shows that he understood British history as a repeating cycle of internecine conflicts between the peoples of Britain followed by invasion and conquest by continental powers. For Craig, the existential threat to Britain was Spain, the dominant Catholic power of the day. While negotiations for an end to the long war between England and Spain were contemporaneous with union negotiations, the De unione can still be seen as a warning about the ongoing dangers of disunity among British Protestants. It is shown that Craig's solution to the lingering historical antagonism between England and Scotland and the unwillingness on either side to compromise their fundamental national identity lay in an idealised version of the feudal-legal relationship as the foundation for the union.
DOI Link: 10.3366/shr.2023.0588
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in Scottish Historical Review. The Version of Record is available online at:
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