Alison Cathcart, ‘James VI & I and his empire of islands’  (1er fév.)

Jeudi 1er février 2024 à 17h

 Alison Cathcart (University of Stirling):  

‘James VI & I and his empire of islands’ 


As King of Scotland (1566-1603) and then King of Scotland, England, and Ireland (1603-1625) literature on James tends to focus on his governance either north or south of the border and thus adopts a rather national or territorial focus. Indeed, there remains a focus on court, council, church, and parliament with James regarded as an imperial monarch keen to assert his royal authority throughout his kingdom. But within the wider arguments regarding state formation, the outlying, or so-called peripheral, regions of his ‘impyre’ are ignored. This paper seeks to examine James’ rule over such outlying regions, specifically island communities, to determine how these communities were viewed from the centre and how James sought to integrate them into his wider realm. While historians of Scotland tend to view James (post-1603) as a king increasingly out of touch with his ‘his native soile and place of birth …and breeding’, this paper will challenge such perspectives arguing that James was coordinating policy across his realms and dominions. In doing so it will focus on Orkney and Shetland and the Channel Islands.


Alison Cathcart est Professor of early-modern History à l’université de Stirling. On lui doit notamment Plantations by Land and Sea: North Channel Communities of the Atlantic Archipelago c.1550-1625, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2021, et Scotland and the Wider World: Essays in honour of Allan I. Macinnes. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2022.