Conference announcement: Early Stuart Politics

conference banner 2Valentina Caldari, University of Kent/Universidade do Porto and Sara Wolfson, Canterbury Christ Church University are co-organising a conference entitled, ‘Early Stuart Politics: The Anglo-Spanish and Anglo-French marriage negotiations and their aftermath (c. 1604-1630).

The conference will take place at the University of Kent, Canterbury, 10-12 April 2014.

This conference investigates the cultural, religious, foreign and domestic politics surrounding the Anglo-Spanish and Anglo-French marriage negotiations that dominated early Stuart policy, as James I sought a match with the great Catholic powers of Europe for his sons, Prince Henry and Prince Charles. The negotiations for an Anglo-Spanish match were first broached during the peace treaty of London in 1604, beginning a long process of protracted consultations between the two powers. Attempts to secure a Spanish bride for Prince Henry were seriously explored in 1611, but faltered two years later, when they were replaced with discussions for a French match (1613-16) or a Savoyard Match (1613-15). With Henry’s death, James I looked back to Spain for a marriage alliance for his younger son, Charles, in 1619. However, diplomatic negotiations ended at the close of 1623, when the Spanish match was substituted by one with France. The Anglo-French marriage treaty of November 1624 between Prince Charles and Henrietta Maria represented then a major shift in international allegiances. Yet, despite the initial hopes for an anti-Habsburg alliance with France, the Anglo-French match marked in fact the beginning of hostilities between the Houses of Stuart and Bourbon. Consequently, in both cases, the Anglo-Spanish and Anglo-French marriage negotiations were followed by a breakdown of diplomatic relations, as England found itself at war with both Spain (1624-1630) and France (1627-1629) at once.

The conference aims to create opportunities for comparative discussion on the marriage negotiations to draw wider conclusions on questions of Catholic toleration; Jacobean and Caroline foreign policy; dynasticism; the workings of early modern diplomacy; the role of the court; and the wider cultural context in which the marriage negotiations took place.

Proposals are invited for individual papers or panels – for a list of all topics, as well as how to apply, please download the full conference poster here: EarlyStuart_CFP_Final-3

For a full list of speakers, please click here: Speakers_Final