By Robert C. Woosnam-Savage, Glasgow Museums, National Army Museum
1745: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites
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Extra resources for 1745: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites
Regular participation by the rest of the political nation involved having a voice, not direct membership. This conceptual structure may seem complicated, and indeed it can be simpliﬁed. There was a single, basic division in the political community, between those powerful interest groups who took the lead in decision-making, and everyone else. The leading groups used both voice and membership: so did everyone else. But the leaders got very different results from their efforts, because they were basically partners in government.
157, 163. 24 Legitimacy commands should be. She was of course the legal monarch by the formal rules; her own accession in 1542, a female aged one week, in the middle of a war, provides the clearest illustration of the Scots’ attachment to these rules. There were also powerful informal customs telling the queen, and those who acted in her name, how they were expected to govern. Adherence to these rules and customs showed the government to be, in James VI’s words above, ‘righteous’. James VI made his speech long after he had repudiated any suggestion of a contractual basis for his government.
When they acted in the capacity of members of everyday central government, they were not expected to do so disinterestedly. A noble privy councillor who put in a rare appearance at the council to pursue a feud was functionally little different from a lobbyist. But if he stepped up his council attendance gradually, and eventually became a leading statesman, there would be no deﬁnite point at which he crossed the line from being outside to being inside the government. The government was not only pervaded by aristocratic interests, it also possessed an aristocratic penumbra.
1745: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites by Robert C. Woosnam-Savage, Glasgow Museums, National Army Museum