A strategic demonstration of loyalty in late Stuart England: The case of the Hallamshire cutlers

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Abstract

Historians of the English revolutions of the seventeenth century (notably Michael Braddick and John Walter) have observed that the social, political and religious fissures of the period were revealed as much through gesture and speech as through the much-noted explosion of printed polemic. This article explores what may seem an unlikely arena in which to encounter such transgressive behaviour: the political theatre surrounding the presentation of loyal or humble addresses to the Crown. Addresses, as often formulaic public declarations of fidelity, were frequently derided as mere flattery. This impression was reinforced through the highly ritualised act of physically presenting these texts to the monarch, as the addressers engaged in embodied displays of submissiveness. This literally 'humbling' performance, however, could conceal a more subversive intent. Using the case study of the addressing activity of the Yorkshire baronet, Sir John Reresby, the article will show that addressing was often employed as means of lobbying the political centre. The public expressions of loyalty contained within these texts often concealed the pragmatic aims of the communities which produced them.

© 2019, Armand Colin. The attached document (embargoed until 01/03/2021) is an author produced version of a paper published in HISTOIRE, ÉCONOMIE & SOCIÉTÉ uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Translated title of the contributionA strategic demonstration of loyalty in late Stuart England: The case of the Hallamshire cutlers
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)65-82
Number of pages16
JournalHistoire, Économie & Société
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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