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 James I, Philip III, English privateers.

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Thu 05 May 2016, 22:04

During my four hours kidney dialysis I am reading an historical novel from Thomas B. Costain. It is one of the books my parents received as a subscribed series, each month one book. Thus I read it some sixty years ago when about twelve.
I loved already in that time the books from Costain.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_B._Costain


I read from him:
For my great folly
The Tontine
Ride With Me
And I am nearly sure I started in: The Siver Chalice which I found for some reason (between 12 and 15!) a bit boring and too fictional...
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7201857-for-my-great-folly
http://www.amazon.com/Tontine-Volumes-Thomas-B-Costain/dp/B000S6SBCU
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1262416.Ride_With_Me

And finallly:
http://www.amazon.com/SILVER-CHALICE-story-Last-Supper/dp/B0000CIL5V/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462473378&sr=1-5&refinements=p_27%3AThomas+B.+Costain
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silver_Chalice


The book I am actually reading is: "For my great folly" I am reading it in Dutch translation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Spanish_War_(1585%E2%80%931604)

It is about a certain John Ward a English privateer in the time of James II and Philip III of Spain.
I thought in the time that John Ward was a fictional figure, but this evening I learned that he seems to have existed...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ward
http://www.vleonica.com/ward.htm


And also this evening I wanted to search if my beloved novelist had stuck with his historical novel to the reality found by the historians:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Spanish_War_(1585%E2%80%931604)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_III_of_Spain
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_II_of_England


Broadly speaking Costain is sticking to the historical background, but now I see that the figure of John Ward is completely depicted otherwise than the historical truth. John Ward depicted nearly as a national hero, fighting the Spaniards while the feeble monarch James II is making peace with Spain. In fact a bit at the side of Monmouth...
Just started the first book of the novel. I will see how it further evoluates...as I don't remember from 60 years ago, when I first read it, how the story further go off...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Sat 07 May 2016, 21:49

Studying this evening  the backgrounds I see that I made a big mistake Embarassed

"the feeble monarch James II is making peace with Spain. In fact a bit at the side of Monmouth..."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_II_of_England
And yes Monmouth was with James II

Of course it has to be James I
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_VI_and_I
And in bzetween you had the decapitated Charles I, Cromwell and Charles II
I understand that the English members of this board have to be a bit at odds with what I wrote Sad
After all with all those Jacobi at the Scottish English court...
As a Belgian I am used to the Saxon Coburgs Gotha... Wink  

As I did the study of James II too I found that James II is by recent historians is better pictured thatn before by mainly "protestant"? historians?
But also James I is treated in my opinion a bit unfair, again by the Protestant historians Wink
After all James I made peace with Spain
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_London_(1604)
And as a consequence in the early phase trade was better...
But perhaps there was always tthe Protestant suspicion...and no privateering allowed anymore against Spain...
IN fact I read abou the balance of the treaty of 1604
https://goo.gl/ODZR6H

And at the end the Merchants were not content, being not able to out perform the Spanish and the French...
And thus making together with the Protestants opposition against the king...?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobitism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamite

I know that is already the James II time but all these movements had its roots under James I, Charles I and Charles II


Kind regards, Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Sun 08 May 2016, 21:22

Please Nordmann, if you can change the wrong James II in James I in the title?

KInd regards, Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Sun 08 May 2016, 21:40

Done, sir.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Sun 08 May 2016, 22:05

There was a politician of the period, I can't remember who exactly, who described James I as "our necessary experiment". It sums up the English attitude to the Stuarts in general, I feel. From the beginning there was a sense of detachment, even autonomy, from the monarch that simply hadn't been there before, or at least only exercised by a select few high-risk players in the extremely upper elite. From the moment of the Stuart accession you can almost sense a fundamental shift away from the obedience and respect his Tudor predecessors had enjoyed (or rather brutally insisted upon). This is sometimes explained as a reaction by several leading lights of the day against what was seen as a Cecil-engineered "coup", and this is borne out by how quickly some of these plotted against him in the first year of his reign (not all Catholic in motive). However if one reads the ballads and pamphlets of the period too - what might be more justifiably regarded as the view of "ordinary people" - this is where one finds, for the first time, all-out (if still by necessity anonymous) attacks on the monarch's character, sexuality, intelligence and general fitness for purpose. Really vicious stuff in fact.

However in the case of James I there is a crucial difference from his successors in that respect.

It is difficult to evaluate any of the Stuart monarchs these days without first having to take into account the sheer volume of propaganda generated against them during their reigns, and at almost all levels of society. Ironically (for a Stuart) his death however was occasioned by what was seemingly a spontaneous and genuine expression of grief, especially among the less well off. This was not a regret sparked by a fear of what would happen next (as with Charles II), or a sectarian-driven show of grief as a badge of identity (as with Charles I), but appears to have been born out of a genuine gratitude for a monarch who in fact turned out to be no fool at all managing fiscal policy, nor for that matter foreign policy. A country in debt to the tune of almost half a million pounds on his succession was in the black on his demise. He had successfully steered the nation away from costly long-term military escapades, and had even (it seemed) settled the Irish question, up to that time the biggest single drain on English coffers by a long shot and the reason taxes had been so high when he took over. It is only right if he is to be judged historically that this policy management, however short-term or illusive it transpired to be in the end, be chalked up on his credit side. And to his credit too, this management appears to have succeeded in winning him affection and respect on his own merits, not just by dint of his regal office.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Sun 08 May 2016, 22:12

@nordmann wrote:
Done, sir.

 Thank you very much, Nordmann.

I had also some questions in the future about the Stuarts and their views on power.

Kind regards, Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Mon 09 May 2016, 08:44

Paul wrote:
I had also some questions in the future about the Stuarts and their views on power.

You'll read lots of different versions of these people's varying levels of piety and belief in the divine right to rule etc. While this may be the case with them all in how they expressed their mandate, it is important to note that this was by no means an aberration in terms of European concepts of monarchy at the time. Why it has stuck in people's minds as a contributory factor to their dynastic downfall is largely because this was one accusation that had been levelled against them, originally by militant parliamentarians, and later by what we would now call "big business" interests, each of whom saw intransigent monarchy as an obstacle to their own plans, especially when intransigance was portrayed as part of a private communion with god's will as a basis for secular power. In Britain a notion of opposition to such "divine" claims - with some ups and downs along the way - had by James II's time gained enough currency to become a political platform in its own right, strong enough to be a major plank in the case for the forcible replacement of such a dynasty by another, this time one under more secular and representational control at least by the standards of the day (he can't say he hadn't seen it coming - he only had to see how his father had fared against similar sentiments). The Stuart misfortune was to be ruling in an era in which traditional acceptance by the population of such divine right as a valid concept for government had eroded to the point of no return (most eloquently disseminated by John Locke, among others), just as it was Louis XVI's misfortune to encounter the same phenomenon in his lifetime in France. The last Stuart king simply miscalculated how much such a sentiment might be shared by the people en masse at one particular moment when he banked on enough vestiges to protect him, but I am sure he was under no illusion that his reign would always have been a constant battle with such sentiment anyway. He had been closely enough involved in his brother's policies already to have been something of a veteran of such clashes even before he assumed control.

It is an instructive exercise however to attempt to examine the policies and conduct of these people without placing too much emphasis on their eventual deposition, which can appear in hindsight to have been inevitable and even precipitated solely by their own actions. If however one puts their dynastic fates to one side and examines their reigns in the context of the standards of their day, even the later context of the advent of enlightenment and all the new standards that this began to impose, then when compared to many of their predecessors they are actually more conciliatory, flexible, and in fact not so much slaves to the notion of "divine" rule at all, but instead among the first monarchs to attempt in very realpolitik ways to maintain a workable partnership with representative political systems developing within their realms and over which they realistically knew they might impose curbs but could never again eliminate from the process. In both cases when an attempt at curbing parliament's power, through a method which had been totally possible only a short while before, was initiated by the monarch it served as a trigger event that brought the whole structure down. In Britain the revolution took place largely behind the scenes, though its effect was arguably as severe as the later more public and violent version which overtook the French equivalent a century later.

Monarchs had always had to compromise from time to time with powerful "subjects". The Stuarts in Britain, and the Bourbons later in France, were arguably however among the first dynasties in a European sense that really had to do this systemically, and with ever decreasing control on their part over those aspects to the system which increasingly became not only more complex but also as influential as themselves in shaping policy and governing the population. Yes, they both were doomed as dynasties (the Bourbons revived but under a whole new social contract), but along the way they ironically also introduced the most egalitarian laws that either country had as yet experienced in the form of royal edict, "divinely inspired" or not as the monarchs themselves might have considered these edicts' causal root to be.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Mon 09 May 2016, 20:34

Nordmann,

thank you very much for both your erudite articles from which I learned a lot that I till now (as a continental Wink ) was not aware of. I learned a lot of William III as Dutch stadholder in the Republic and indeed his connections and tribulations with Charles II and Louis XIV, but not so much about his reign after the Glorious Revolution. Although I knew that he had to give in a lot to the Parliament and was in fact a bit curtailed in his royal prerogatives...after all one had had already the beheading of Charles I and the Cromwellian period...
But never till today I had as from yours a complete survey of the whole Stuart lot.

In the comments I read last days someone said that it was due to the Scottish customs about royalty which were preponderant in James I's thoughts, that when he came to the "parlementarian" England there was a clash of ideas.
Although as I suppose you described too about the Tudors those too were still monarchs the old way, neglecting parliament?

But perhaps they are right about the interference of parliament, high bourgoisie, town councils in England, etc...during the Stuarts?
A bit as their neighbour the Dutch Republic, where even from Burgundian times, there was already a lot of interference from the elites of the big towns as Ghent, Bruges, Artois, and later with Jacoba of Bayern from the Dutch cities too.
Yes, it could be that William III was already accustomed to the regulations of the Staten-Generaal from his time in Holland and thus not that surprized of the curtailing in Britain?

What I read, but perhaps misinterpretate, is the nearly morbid fear for "papist" connections and links from the British royal family with Roman-Catholicism...was it that strong?...or was it fear from the Catholic Spain or the France of Louis XIII, Louis XIV?

Kind regards and thanks again for your splendid review, Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Sun 15 May 2016, 14:50

The anti-papist stance adopted by the political rulers in Britain was extremely political, even if at the time it was expressed in theological terms. Theology is the whore of ologies and is always available to be subverted to political causes, be it as disguise or justification for blatantly political policies. Britain under the Stuarts in fact is a perfect example of the phenomenon in practice.

The political reality throughout the period was that any perceived ascendancy of Catholic ideas and personnel within Britain automatically meant a radical realignment of the state within a broader context in terms of foreign policy, so drastic a realignment in fact that it could quite reasonably be suggested to be suicidal with regard to the Tudor-established notion of identity, autonomy and trajectory towards dominance, all of which had become the principal political platform on which the elite in Britain now stood and over which the Stuarts reigned.

A shift "back" to Catholicism - as had been experienced briefly but catastrophically under Mary Tudor and which was again a very real probability under James II - could only mean that the people sitting at the top of the pile and who were generating (and largely keeping) the wealth would be inevitably toppled and with extreme prejudice. It is telling that even the quasi-republic established during the interregnum was perceived by these people as less revolutionary and obnoxious a prospect than a reversion to a Catholic identity for the state.

So yes, it was really that strong.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: James I, Philip III, English privateers.   Sun 15 May 2016, 19:14

Thank you very much for your elaborated answer, Nordmann.
I learned from it.

Kind regards, Paul.
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