Their Nation Dishonored, the Queen Shamed, and Country Undone: Feuding, Factionalism, and Religion in the Chaseabout Raid

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The mid-sixteenth century witnessed religious and political upheaval across much of Western Europe, particularly in the British Isles. In 1565, a good portion of the Scottish nobility rebelled against their sovereign, Mary, Queen of Scots. The roles played and decisions made by the nobles during this revolt, known as the Chaseabout Raid, provide important insights concerning the converging issues of feuding, factionalism, and religion in Scotland. My reconstructed narrative of the Chaseabout Raid indicates that there were, in fact, no firm factions determined by ideology, but rather shifting allegiances in the midst of conflict, determined by complex and interrelated factors, personalities, and motivations. The primary motivation for the coalitions formed during the Chaseabout Raid was selfish personal ambition—base desire for individual gain still superseded any proto-nationalistic ideas or purely ideological commitments. Using this incident, I offer new conclusions regarding the origins of the Scottish kirk and national identity, the rise of the modern notions of loyalty and allegiance, and the construction of the modern Scottish state. With respect to the broader study of history, these conclusions discovered through an empiricist approach may demonstrate the validity of this method for reexamining other riots, rebellions, and revolts across history.

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A Senior Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Honors in History. Faculty Advisor: Margo Todd
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