Early Stuart Politics

Event Date: 
10 Apr 2014 to 12 Apr 2014

University of Kent, Canterbury

[Website] (Please see for details of how to register and for further information)

This conference investigates the cultural, religious, foreign and domestic politics surrounding the Anglo-­‐‑Spanish and Anglo-­‐‑French marriage negotiations that dominated early Stuart policy, as James I sought a match with the great Catholic powers of Europe for his sons, Prince Henry and Prince Charles. The negotiations for an Anglo-­‐‑Spanish match were first broached during the peace treaty of London in 1604, beginning a long process of protracted consultations between the two powers. Attempts to secure a Spanish bride for Prince Henry were seriously explored in 1611, but faltered two years later, when they were replaced with discussions for a French match (1613-­‐‑16) or a Savoyard Match (1613-­‐‑15). With Henry’s death, James I looked back to Spain for a marriage alliance for his younger son, Charles, in 1619. However, diplomatic negotiations ended at the close of 1623, when the Spanish match was substituted by one with France. The Anglo-­‐‑French marriage treaty of November 1624 between Prince Charles and Henrietta Maria represented then a major shift in international allegiances. Yet, despite the initial hopes for an anti-­‐‑Habsburg alliance with France, the Anglo-­‐‑French match marked in fact the beginning of hostilities between the Houses of Stuart and Bourbon. Consequently, in both cases, the Anglo-­‐‑Spanish and Anglo-­‐‑French marriage negotiations were followed by a breakdown of diplomatic relations, as England found itself at war with both Spain (1624-­‐‑1630) and France (1627-­‐‑1629) at once.

This conference aims to create opportunities for comparative discussion on the marriage negotiations to draw wider conclusions on questions of Catholic toleration; Jacobean and Caroline foreign policy; dynasticism; the workings of early modern diplomacy; the role of the court; and the wider cultural context in which the marriage negotiations took place. 

Proposals are invited for individual papers or panels on the following topics:

  • diplomacy and political negotiation
  • dynastic marriage
  • the Palatinate issue and the marriage negotiations
  • Parliament and the crown
  • military and strategic considerations
  • art, literary and cultural exchange
  • Catholic toleration and the papacy
  • the court, patronage and the pursuit of office
  • spectacle and performance
  • popular interpretations of the marriage negotiations
  • the aftermath of the marriage negotiations; the peace treaty
  1. Keynotes will be given by Sir John Elliott, Thomas Cogswell, and Malcolm Smuts.
    Confirmed speakers include: Karen Britland, Erin Griffey, José Martínez Millán, Michael Questier, Glyn Redworth, Manuel Rivero Rodríguez, and Alexander Samson.

    Proposals for panels should consist of three papers and contain the names of the session chair and the speakers, as well as their respective affiliations and biographies. Each panel proposal should include abstracts of 300 words per paper, together with e-­‐‑mail contacts for all participants. A proposal for an individual paper should consist of a 300 words abstract and include details of affiliation and career. All proposals should be sent to earlystuartconference@gmail.com by 15 September 2013.

    We welcome proposals from research postgraduates and hope to offer a partial reimbursement (with proof of expenses). If financial assistance is required, this should be stated clearly on the proposal.

    The organisers hope to publish a selection of papers from the conference in an edited collection. 

Submission date for papers: 
15 Sep 2013
PDF icon EarlyStuart_CFP_Final.pdf1.26 MB