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The Government of Scotland 1560-1625$
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Julian Goodare

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243549.001.0001

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The Privy Council

The Privy Council

(p.128) CHAPTER SIX The Privy Council
The Government of Scotland 1560-1625

Julian Goodare (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Most questions about how Scotland was governed tend sooner or later to lead back to the privy council. Below the crown, the council was the supreme executive authority, with a general political competence that allowed it to intervene in almost any area of government. This was partly because the privy council was more closely connected to the monarchy than any other executive body. The privy council was a corporate body, with its own administrative structure and traditions, able to run the daily central government by itself. This chapter looks at the privy council and its gradual emergence as the central coordinating body of daily government. It worked by consensus with the monarch (something that changed little even after 1603), and coordinated the executive government departments. The privy council's relationship with Scottish nobility is also considered.

Keywords:   government, privy council, monarchy, central government, nobility

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