Hunting in early Stuart England: status, sociability, and politics

Rose, Tom (2020) Hunting in early Stuart England: status, sociability, and politics. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis explores the importance of hunting in early Stuart England: its use in the construction of gentry and noble status and identity, the sociability that resulted from participation in the sport, and the political significance of such sociable behaviour. The first chapter will suggest that hunting was a prominent way in which elite identity was displayed during this period, but also that the sport was subject to multiple tensions generated by social mobility, competition amongst the gentry for honour and status, the changing role of gentry and noble elites during this period, and the rise of puritanism. The second chapter further investigates how hunting was an exclusive pastime by examining what was needed to put on a hunt. An analysis of the different styles of hunting practised demonstrates that the sport was an extremely flexible form of elite sociability and one which reflected the changing nature of elite lifestyles.

The third and fourth chapters analyse the sport’s political significance at the courts of James I and Charles I. In the Jacobean period there were multiple royal hunts, the political nature of each dependent on whom James was hunting with. In contrast, the Caroline royal hunt was nearly always a private endeavour, which reflected the distant and withdrawn nature of the Caroline court, although the sport remained an important act of courtiership. Both Queen Anne and Queen Henrietta Maria also had a significant role in royal hunting culture. The fifth chapter examines how politics amongst the gentry and nobility was affected by hunting. Again, the sport facilitated a variety of political and religious networks. It was used to build both friendships and patronage networks, and could be strategically used to exacerbate rivalries and disagreements. The sixth chapter discusses the extent to which women participated in the sport and could play a political role as a result of their participation. It then looks at why the clergy, and the episcopate in particular, no longer went hunting by the early Stuart period, with special reference to a disastrous event which happened in July 1621.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Merritt, Julia
Hamling, Tara
Keywords: Hunting, seventeenth century, early modern England, sport, politics, culture, social history, Stuarts
Subjects: D History - General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of History
Item ID: 60951
Depositing User: Rose, Thomas
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2020 12:58
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2022 04:31

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