421. With Such Perfection Govern: English Political Thought

Posted on 14 May 2023

The evolution of ideas about kingship and the role of the “three estates” in 15th and 16th century England, with a focus on John Fortescue and Thomas Starkey.

Further Reading

• D.M. Brodie (ed.), Edmund Dudley: Tree of Commonwealth (Cambridge: 2014).

• S. Lockwood (trans.), Sir John Fortescue: On the Laws and Governance of England (Cambridge: 1997).

• T.F. Mayer (ed.), Thomas Starkey: A Dialogue Between Pole and Lupset (London: 1989).


A.L. Beier, Social Thought in England, 1480-1730 (London: 2016).

• S.A. Chavura, Tudor Protestant Political Thought 1547-1603 (Leiden: 2011).

• S.B. Chrimes, English Constitutional Ideas in the Fifteenth Century (Cambridge: 1936). 

• P.A Fideler and T.F. Mayer (eds), Political Thought and the Tudor Commonwealth: Deep Structure, Discourse and Disguise (London: 1992).

S. Hindle, The State and Social Change in England, 1550-1640 (Basingstoke: 2000).

• W.R.D. Jones, The Tudor Commonwealth 1529-1559 (London: 1970).

• T.F. Mayer, Thomas Starkey and the Commonweal: Humanist Politics and Religion in the Reign of Henry VIII (Cambridge: 1989).

• J. Woolfson, “Between Bruni and Hobbes: Aristotle’s Politics in Tudor Intellectual Culture,” in J. Woolfson (ed.), Reassessing Tudor Humanism (Houndsmills: 2002), 197-222.


Indeed we will! It will focus especially on John Mair, I think, but also look at John Case for instance. This is scheduled to come along in autumn after a mini-series on British literature, in which several themes will be pursued in connection with Shakespeare's plays (e.g. witchcraft and Macbeth).

Oh yes quite a bit actually - the next episode is on Hooker, something I hadn't originally planned on, and there will be more Shakespeare than originally advertised.

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