New Perspectives on the Auld Alliance Conference (21-22 June)

The University of Kent will host a two-day conference between 21-22 June 2016, entitled: ‘New Perspectives on the Auld Alliance: Scotland, France and their neighbours in the Early Modern

The ‘auld alliance’ between France and Scotland was one of the key diplomatic and cultural connections between the British Isles and Europe. Speakers from seven countries will explore the cultural, diplomatic and military facets of that crucial relationship, as well as showcasing new scholarship exploring alternatives to the ‘auld alliance’ and challenging assumptions that the ‘auld alliance’ fractured with Scotland’s conversion to Protestantism in 1560.

Please see below for a provisional programme for the conference. Full registration fees are £55 per person (with an optional conference dinner to be booked separately).

Online registration is now open – for any queries relating to the conference, please email:

New Perspectives on the Auld Alliance: Scotland, France and their neighbours in the Early Modern Period

21-22 June 2016, The University of Kent, Canterbury

Provisional conference programme:

9-9.30: registration

9.30-11: Panel 1: 1: Translation and Identity
Bryony Coombs, University of Edinburgh: ‘Creating Identities: Scots Patronage of the Visual Arts in France 1490-1530’.
Jamie Reid-Baxter, University of Glasgow: ‘King David, Charles IX and James VI as tyrants: Beza, Belleau, Melville and the Miserere’.
Astrid Stilma, Canterbury Christ Church University, ‘Confessions and Meditations: Translating Scottish Protestant Politics in the Low Countries and France’

11.-11.30: Coffee

11.30-1: Panel 2: War and Identity
Graeme Millen, University of St Andrews: ‘Fighting an ‘Auld Ally’: The Scots-Dutch Brigade during the Franco-Dutch War, 1672-1678’
Luca Fois, Università Bocconi, Milano: ‘Strangers in a Strange Land: Scottish troops and community in Milian during the Italian Wars’
Eric Durot, Université de la Sorbonne: ‘The Auld Alliance and the Franco-Scottish Wars of Religion’

1-2: Lunch

2-3.30: Panel 3: 1560 and Beyond
Siobhan Talbott, Keele University: ‘Surviving the ‘chill blast of Protestantism’: The Franco-Scottish Auld Alliance, 1560-1713’
David Potter, Emeritus, University of Kent: ‘The splendours and miseries of a French ambassador: Paul de Foix and the British Isles, 1562-66’
Violetta Trofimova, Independent scholar, St. Petersburg, Russia: ‘Three generations of Haddington family and France’

3.30-4: Coffee

4-5.30: Panel 4: Alternatives to France
Simon Egan, University College Cork: ‘Scotland’s second ‘auld’ alliance? The O’Donnells of Tyrconnell and the Stewart monarchy, c.1450-1541’
Laura Crombie, University of York: ‘Lions United? Diplomatic relations between Scotland and the Burgundian Low Countries, c.1384-1500’
Silke Muylaert, University of Kent: ‘A Protestant intermediary between Scotland and the Continent: The Stranger Churches in England’

5.45-6.45: Keynote lecture, Professor Steve Murdoch, University of St Andrews: ‘The Auld Alliance and the French intervention in the Thirty Years’ War, 1630-1648’

6.45-7.15: Wine reception, sponsored by the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

7.15: Taxis to central Canterbury; 7.30pm: Dinner
Day 2; 22 June

8.45-9.15 am: Coffee

9.15-10.45: Panel  5: The Rough Wooings and their aftermath: the apotheosis of the ‘auld alliance’?
Aysha Pollnitz, Grinnell College: ‘Learning on the job?‎ Mary, Queen of Scots in France and Scotland’
Annette Bachstaadt, Université de Rheims: ‘Marie of Guise-Lorraine and the end of the auld alliance’
Amy Blakeway, University of Kent: ‘Believing the auld enemy? French understandings of the history of the British Isles’

10.45-11.15: Coffee

11.15-12: Roundtable Discussion: where next for studies of the auld alliance, and concluding remarks

12: Conference concludes.

This conference is generously funded by the University of Kent’s Humanities Faculty Research Fund and the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.