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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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Traditional Local Government

Traditional Local Government

(p.173) CHAPTER EIGHT Traditional Local Government
The Government of Scotland 1560-1625

Julian Goodare (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at traditional local government institutions in Scotland, notably the sheriff, baron, and regality courts controlled by the nobility. These courts gained some new powers but mainly became much more accountable to the centre. Royal authority pervaded the localities of the kingdom. Most Scots were not told what to do by Queen Mary or King James or their regents or councillors personally, but by people acting in their name and carrying symbols of royal authority, such as letters under the royal signet. At the sharp end of law enforcement were the messengers at arms and local courts' officers. They, if anyone, carried the authority of the crown into the localities, as the executive officers of the courts. There were various types of officers: royal heralds and pursuivants, messengers at arms, sheriffs, barons, burghs, and other local courts.

Keywords:   local government, regality courts, localities, royal authority, messengers at arms, royal heralds, pursuivants, sheriffs, barons

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