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The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707$
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Jacqueline Rose

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266038

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266038.001.0001

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date: 21 September 2017

‘Perverst counsale’? Rebellion, Satire and the Politics of Advice in Fifteenth-Century Scotland

‘Perverst counsale’? Rebellion, Satire and the Politics of Advice in Fifteenth-Century Scotland

Chapter:
(p.117) 6 ‘Perverst counsale’? Rebellion, Satire and the Politics of Advice in Fifteenth-Century Scotland*
Source:
The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707
Author(s):

Claire Hawes

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266038.003.0006

James III has been viewed as a king who was difficult to advise. His political difficulties, which included two magnate rebellions, have usually been explained in terms of his personality. If his legal reforms are given fuller consideration, however, a somewhat different picture emerges. From the troubled milieu of the 1470s emerged a piece of political satire, disguised as conventional advice. This poem, known as ‘The Harp’, employed tropes from the mirrors for princes then circulating within Scotland to critique the king’s policies and satirise his misadventures. It found a new resonance in 1489, after James III was killed in battle by a rebel army led by his son. This chapter argues that James III’s reforms were an important contributory factor to the resistance against him, and that the tropes of advice literature were familiar enough by the 1470s that they could be subverted in order to entertain the rebels.

Keywords:   politics, governance, counsel, advice, Scotland, medieval, poetry, rebellion, satire, fifteenth century

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