The death of any king is a time of instability. In 1625, while the line of succession was without question, Charles I
faced considerable levels of uncertainty over diplomatic and religious policy. And, thanks to the unauthorized circulation of George Eglisham’s pamphlet The Forerunner of Revenge
, he also had to confront the allegation that his father, King James
, had been murdered at the hand of the court favorite George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Although there was never much foundation to Eglisham’s claims, this episode illuminates a culture of court scandal and the circulation of illicit news in the early Stuart period.
- What challenges did Charles I face in 1625 as he sought to establish his reign?
- How does The Forerunner of Revenge, with its scandalous allegations, help us to understand the role of favourites at the Stuart court?
- How does this episiode relfect upon the circulation – and influence – of ‘news’ in early Stuart England?
- Alastair Bellany and Thomas Cogswell, The Murder of King James (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015).
- Alastair Bellany and Andrew McRae, eds, Early Stuart Libels (2005).
- Roger Lockyer, Buckingham: The Life and Political Career of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham 1592-1628 (London and New York: Longman, 1981).
- Joad Raymond, Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).