Tudors to Stuarts

A changed perspective

Elizabeth I was a Tudor. Her Scottish cousin, James I, was a Stuart and came from a very different background. Scotland was considerably more feudal, with more power centred on the sovereign. It was also much less ostentatious and less advanced in the arts, though certainly as well advanced in various branches of learning, including science, theology and philosophy. In fact, education was taken far more seriously there by the whole population.

A change in mood

The atmosphere at court changed markedly, as did the mood of the country. Old favourites were demoted. In 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh, a one-time favourite of Elizabeth's, was executed on something of a trumped-up charge. People began to emigrate, especially the Puritans to New England, and others to Virginia. The philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, a mid-century philosopher, was highly pessimistic: life was ‘nasty, brutish and short'.

The advance of science

Francis Bacon's work, Novum OrganumOn the other hand, English learning began to take science seriously. Francis Bacon's ground-breaking works on the scientific method were widely read and he eventually became Lord Chancellor. Mathematics was an important part of the study of Cambridge undergraduates. Out of this, the Royal Society for the Advancement of Science emerged after the Civil War, led by such famous scientists as Sir Isaac Newton.

Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.