Filmer's patriarchalism in context: ‘popularity’, King James VI and I, Parliament and monarchists

Cesare Cuttica

in Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653) and the Patriotic Monarch

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780719083747
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781781704745 | DOI:
Filmer's patriarchalism in context: ‘popularity’, King James VI and I, Parliament and monarchists

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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By means of a comparative approach, chapter 4 sheds light on Patriarcha's place within the Jacobean and early Caroline monarchist canon. The treatise is analysed in conjunction with the reinforcement of kingship pursued in the late 1620s in England. A major section of the chapter focuses on the pungent rhetoric of King James VI and I's (1566-1625) monarchist tracts and his Parliament-speeches devoted to dismantling the ideological apparatus of ‘popularity’. James’ opinions are compared with Filmer's. This comparison highlights their differences rather than simply assessing their similarities. By concentrating on the rhetoric MPs and pamphleteers employed to depict events in the country, to conceive ideal constitutional arrangements and to counterattack any attempts to enlarge the royal prerogative, this chapter also opens up new ground for a much-needed discussion of patriarchalism and its role in early seventeenth-century political parlance. En route to map out the intellectual territory in which Filmer's concept of kingship developed, light is, subsequently, cast on the English theorists who claimed the supreme power of the fatherly ruler by resorting to the metaphor of the pater patriae.

Keywords: King James VI and I; Patriarchalism; Popularity; Tyranny; Parliament; Patriotic MPs; Adam; Pater patriae; Monarchical patriotism

Chapter.  19015 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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