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dc.contributor.authorMiller, Tenyia
dc.description.abstractAnne, Lady Halkett (née Murray; 1623-1699), has long been familiar as a Civil War autobiographer, but she also wrote more than 5,000 pages of select and occasional meditations. The salient feature of these devotional compositions is an intensely biblical diction, making Halkett’s use of scripture their interpretive key. The meditations also offer a half-century’s worth of reflection on political matters, thanks to Halkett’s commitment to daily prayer for the king and nation. My study reconstructs and analyzes this remarkable sample of everyday political thought by an English-born, royalist gentlewoman settled in Restoration Scotland. It assembles and compares passages from across the collection on such themes as the duty of honouring one’s natural, civil, and spiritual fathers, the importance and efficacy of prayer for the king, the national guilt for the regicide, and the corresponding national obligation for the Restoration of 1660. Although Halkett’s position on these subjects is broadly congruent with Anglican royalism between the 1650s and the 1680s, there is little about her arguments that resembles the classic tenets of Tory political thought. Instead, she deliberately accommodated her reasoning to her Scottish context. Her initial relations with Presbyterian royalism, in the 1650s, were cordial. By the 1670s, however, she was bitterly opposed to Presbyterian dissenters for what she perceived as their political insubordination and breach of Christian charity on pretense of piety. This antagonism took a new form in Halkett’s Jacobitism after the Revolution of 1688-89. The violent turn of events in Scotland only served to confirm her commitment to the church-and-king loyalism associated with James VII, despite the actual policies of his reign. In the 1690s as much as in the 1650s, she persisted in considering the king’s restoration, both spiritual and political, as the only genuine solution to the problems of the period.
dc.description.sponsorshipCambridge Trust
dc.rightsAll Rights Reserved
dc.subjectdevotional writing
dc.subjectwomen and politics
dc.subjectearly modern Bible reading
dc.subjectRestoration Scotland
dc.subjectSeventeenth-century England
dc.titlePolitics and Hermeneutics in the Meditations of Anne, Lady Halkett, 1651-1699
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.type.qualificationtitlePhD in History
cam.supervisorGoldie, Mark

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