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Elizabethan and Jacobean England: Sources and Documents of the English Renaissance

ISBN: 978-1-4051-4967-9
756 pages
December 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Elizabethan and Jacobean England: Sources and Documents of the English Renaissance (1405149671) cover image


Through a combination of original essays and primary source material, Elizabethan and Jacobean England records the transformative changes that defined English society during the Renaissance.
  • Combines original source documents with critical essays to chart the transformative changes in English society from the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, to the end of the reign of James I in 1625
  • Brings together a variety of source material including new public and private documents, providing a vivid portrait of life in late Tudor and early Stuart England
  • Features newly commissioned essays by leading scholars, which assist readers in navigating and interpreting the source material
  • Accessibly structured into sections covering government, society, economics, literary arts, religion, and learning; with contextual introductions included at the start of each
  • Challenges readers to confront their assumptions about Renaissance literature, as well as to consider problems of evidence and interpretation, new theories, and methodologies
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors.



Thomas Wilson, The State of England, Anno Dom. 1600 (Arthur Kinney).


Elizabethan Government (Paul Hammer).

Jacobean Government (R. Malcolm Smuts).

1. Proclamation Announcing the Accession of Queen Elizabeth (1558) 57.

2. An Exhortation Concerning Good Order and Obedience to Rulers and Magistrates (1558).

3. An Homily Against Disobedience and Willful Rebellion (1558).

4. Simon D'Ewes, Journal (1563).

5. Proclamation Offering Pardon to Northern Rebels (1570).

6. Proclamation Ordering Arrest for Circulating Seditious Books and Bulls (1570).

7. William Lambard, Hirenarcha: or The Office of the Justices of Peace (1581).

8. Thomas Smith, De Republica Anglorum: A Discourse on the Commonwealth of England (1583).

9. John Hooker, The Offices and Duties of Every Particular Sworn Officer of the City of Exeter (1584).

10. Francis Walsingham and William Cecil, Lord Burghley (for Elizabeth I), A Declaration of the Causes Moving the Queen of England to Give Aid to the Defense of the People Afflicted and Oppressed in the Low Countries (1585).

11. A Note on the Number Which Are to Attend Your Lordship in Your Journey into the Low Countries (1585).

12. Draft of a Proclamation Ordering Arrest of Babington Conspirators (1586).

13. Elizabeth I and James VI, Letters Regarding the Death of Mary Stuart (1586).

14. Proclamation Declaring Sentence against Mary Queen of Scots (1586).

15. William Harrison, Description of England (1587).

16. Elizabeth I, Address to the Troops at Tilbury (1588).

17. The Miraculous Victory Achieved by the English Fleet (1588).

18. Proclamation Placing Army Deserters under Martial Law (1589).

19. Walter Ralegh, A Report of the Truth of the Fight about the Isles of the Azores This Last Summer (1591).

20. Proclamation Ordering Peace Kept on the Scottish Border (1596).

21. John Stow, Survey of London (1598).

22. Paul Hentzner, Travels in England (1598).

23. Proclamation Declaring Reason for Sending Army into Ireland (1599).

24. Earl of Essex, Letter to Elizabeth I (May 1600).

25. Business of the Privy Council (August 1600).

26. Proclamation Announcing Arrest of Earl of Essex (1601).

27. Proclamation Ordering Execution of Articles against Piracy (1602).

28. Henry, Earl of Northumberland, and James VI of Scotland, Correspondence (1603).

29. John Manningham, Diary (1603).

30. James VI and I, The True Law of Free Monarchies (1603).

31. James I, Speech at the Opening of Parliament (1604).

32. James I, Speech at the Prorogation of Parliament (1604).

33. James I, Proclamation of the Union of England and Scotland (1604).

34. Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, Letter to Sir Charles Cornwallis (1605).

35. Baron Clarke and Chief Baron Fleming, Arguments in Bates Case (1606).

36. James I, Commission to Levy Impositions (1608).

37. William Goodwin, Sermon Preached before the King’s Majesty (1610).

38. James I, Speech before Parliament (1610).

39. James Whitlocke, Speech on Impositions (1610).

40. House of Lords, Memorial Concerning the Great Contract (1610).

41. Thomas Gates, Thomas West, and Thomas Dale, Articles, Laws, and Orders Divine, Politic, and Martial for the Colony in Virginia (1612).

42. John Chamberlain, Letters Regarding the Royal Family (1612-16).

43. John Chamberlain, Letters on the Overbury Affair (1613–16).

44. J. W. Neumayr von Ramssla, The Visit of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar (1620).

45. Hastings Journal, The Parliament of 1621.

46. Thomas Scott, An Account of the Report Given by Prince Charles and the Duke of Buckingham Concerning the Spanish Match (1623).


New Title to Come at Page Proof -Patrick Collinson.

Religion: Religions Conflict and Advocacg 1558–1625 -Donna Hamilton.

1. Proclamation Announcing Injunctions for Religion (1559).

2..Proclamation Appointing Homilies to Be Read in Churches (1559).

3. Elizabeth I, Homily of Good Works (1559).

4. Archbishop Matthew Parker, Letter to Bishop Edmund Grindal (1560).

5. Archbishop Matthew Parker, The Advertisements (1566).

6. Prius V, Papal Bull (1570).

7. John Field and Thomas Wilcox, First Admonition to the Parliament (1572).

8. Roger Clark and Hugh ap Jevan, Churchwardens’ Accounts for the Town of Ludlow (1573).

9. Archbishop Edmund Grindal, Letter to the Queen (1576).

10. John Calvin, A Commentary upon St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians (translated by Thomas Tymme) (1577).

11. Elizabeth I, Letter against Prophesyings (1577).

12. George Gifford, The Country Divinity (1581).

13. George Elliot, A Very True Report of the Apprehension and Taking of that Arch Papist Edmund Campion, The Pope his Right Hand (1581).

14. Robert Persons, The Christian Directory (1582).

15. William Cecil, The Execution of Justice in England (1583).

16. William Allen, Defense of English Catholics (1584).

17. Records of the Archdeaconry Court at Oxford (1584).

18. Nathaniel Bacon, Instructions to the Justices by the Seacoast for Watching the Jesuits (1585).

19. Puritan Survey of the Ministry for Essex (1586).

20. William Harrison, The Church of England (1587).

21. Robert Southwell, An Epistle of Comfort (1587).

22. Proclamation Ordering Destruction of Marprelate Publications (1589).

23. Henry Barrow, A Brief Discovery on the Nature of the Church (1590).

24. An Act against Popish Recusants (1593).

25. Robert Southwell, An Humble Supplication to Her Majesty (1595).

26. Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Policy (1593).

27. Lady Margaret Hoby, Diary (1598) 265.

28. William Perkins, A Golden Chain, or The Description of Theology (1600).

29. Thomas Hassell, The Custom of Tithing in Amwell (1601-13).

30. Ministers of the Church of England, The Millenary Petition (1603).

31. Bishop Richard Bancroft, The Sum of the Hampton Court Conference (1604).

32. Proclamation Enjoining Conformity to the Form of the Service of God Established (1604).

33. William Bradshaw, English Puritanism (1605).

34. An Act for the Better Discovering and Repressing of Popish Recusants (1606).

35. Roger Martyn, The State of Melford Church as I Did Know It (1615).

36. James I, Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury (1622).

37. John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624).


Identity and Mobility (Cathy Shrank).

Social Life (Catherine Richardson).

1. An Homily of the State of Matrimony (1562).

2. The Statute of Artificers (1563).

3. Thomas Harman, A Caveat or Warning for Common Cursetors Vulgarly Called Vagabonds (1567).

4. Edmund Tilney, The Flower of Friendship (1568).

5. George Braun and Franz Hogenberg, Observations on London (1572).

6. Proclamation on Apparel (1574).

7. William Walpole, Thomas Howell, William Bowyer, and Thomas Smythe, A View of Petworth House (1574).

8. George Turbervile, The Noble Art of Venery or Hunting (1575).

9. Philip Stubbes, The Anatomy of Abuses (1583).

10. John Astley, The Art of Riding Defined (1584).

11. Lupold von Wedel, Southwark (1585).

12. William Fleetwood, Letter to Lord Burghley (1585).

13. William Harrison, The Description of England (1587).

14. Proclamation on Prices (1588).

15. London Wages (1588).

16. John Stow, A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster (1598).

17. John Dod and Robert Cleaver, A Godly Form of Household Government (1598).

18. I.M., The Servingman’s Comfort (1598).

19. An Act for the Relief of the Poor (1598).

20. Thomas Platter, Diary (1599).

21. Proclamation Enforcing Statutes on Abstinence from Meat, Ale Houses, and Vagabonds (1600).

22. Philip Julius, The Sounds of London (1602).

23. Sir John Harington, Letter to Sir Amias Paulet (1604).

24. James I, A Counterblast to Tobacco (1604).

25. Sir William Wentworth, Advice to His Son (1606).

26. Sir John Harington, Letter to Master Secretary Barlow (1606).

27. Thomas Dekker, Lanthorne and Candle-Light (1608).

28. Thomas Dekker, The Gull’s Hornbook (1609).

29. The King's Majesty's Declaration to His Subjects Concerning Lawful Sports To Be Used (1618).

30. Edward Davies, The Art of War and England's Training (1619).

31. William Gouge, Of Domestical Duties (1622).


Seeking National Prosperity and Personal Survival: The Strategies of Government and Resourceful People (Joan Thirsk).

Not by Record but by Discourse: The Emergence of "Economics" as a Genre (Bradley D. Ryner).

1. Draft of a Proclamation Revaluing Coinage (1562).

2. An Act for the Relief of the Poor (1563).

3. An Act Touching Diverse Orders for Artificers, Laborers, Servants of Husbandry and Apprentices (1563).

4. From John Hawkins, The Third Troublesome Voyage Made with the Jesus of Lubeck, the Minion, and Four Other Ships, to the Parts of Guinea and the West Indies in the Years 1567 and 1568

5. Proclamation Regulating London Wages (1576).

6. William Harrison, The Poor (1587).

7. Proclamation Pricing Victual (1588).

8. Thomas Hariot, A Brief and True Report of the New-Found Land of Virginia (1588).

9. Walter Ralegh, The Discovery of Guiana (1596).

10. Proclamation Reforming Patent Abuses (1601).

11. Elizabeth I, Charter to the East India Company (1601).

12. John Keymer, Observations Made upon the Dutch Fishing about the Year 1601.

13. A Petition from West Midland Metal Workers against the Engrossing of Iron (1603).

14. The York Mercers against Chapmen (1603).

15. York City Council Minutes, February 21, 1605.

16. Richard Prin, Inventory of Personal Goods (1605).

17. Jean Bodin, Six Books of a Commonweal (1606).

18. James I, Charter to the Virginia Company (1606).

19. John Norden, The Surveyor's Dialogue (1607).

20. A Consideration of the Cause in Question before the Lords Touching Depopulation (1607).

21. Letter from John Savage, Mayor, and the Aldermen of Chester to the Earl of Salisbury (1608).

22. Robert Gray, A Good Speed to Virginia (1609).

23. Robert Loder, Farm Accounts (1610-20).

24. Petition of Sir Walter Bagot to Sir Robert Mansell (1616).

25. John Smith, A Description of New England (1616).

26. John Keymer, Observations Touching Trade and Commerce (1620).

27. Thomas Wentworth, House of Commons Debate on Depression (February 26, 1621).

28. John Pym, Commons Debate on the Depression by John Pym (May 17, 1621).

29. Thomas Culpeper, Tract against Usury (1621).

30. To Sir Robert Heath, Answer of the Wardens of the Company of Goldsmiths, London (1622).

31. To Sir Robert Heath, from the Master and Wardens of the Compers (1622).

32. Edward Misselden, Free Trade (1622).

33. Gerard de Malynes, The Maintenance of Free Trade (1622).


Early Education (Rebecca Bushnell).

Higher Learning (Colin Burrow).

1. John Securis, A Detection of the Daily Enormities Committed in Physic (1556).

2. John Maplet, A Green Forest; or, a Natural History (1567).

3. John Hart, An Orthography (1569).

4. Roger Ascham, The Schoolmaster (1570).

5. John Dee, On Numbers (1570).

6. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Queen Elizabeth's Academy (undated MS, 1570s).

7. Thomas Hill, The Gardener's Labyrinth (1577).

8. Richard Mulcaster, Positions Concerning the Training Up of Children (1581).

9. Richard Mulcaster, The First Part of the Elementary (1582).

10. Reginald Scot, The Discovery of Witchcraft (1584).

11. Timothy Bright, A Treatise of Melancholy (1586).

12. William Harrison, "The Three Universities" from The Description of England (1587).

13. Georg Henischinus (trans. Francis Cooke), The Principles of Geometry, Astronomy, and Geography (1591).

14. Roger Bacon, The Mirror of Alchemy (1597).

15. John Gerard, Herbal (1597).

16. William Gilbert, Of Magnetism (1600).

17. Simon Forman, Autobiography (1600).

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Author Information

Arthur F. Kinney is Thomas W. Copeland Professor of Literary History at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and Director of the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies. He is editor of the journal English Literary Renaissance, the author of Shakespeare by Stages (2003), and the editor of A Companion to Renaissance Drama (2002), and Renaissance Drama: An Anthology, 2e (2004), all published by Wiley-Blackwell.
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"A collection of remarkable depth and breadth, Elizabethan and Jacobean England opens a revealing window onto subjects ranging from government, religion, and the literary arts to more unusual topics such as commercial culture, educational formation, and the emergence of individual subjectivity. Taken together the introductory essays and documentary materials create a fascinating new narrative for readers interested in scrutinizing, revisiting, or just plain sampling a rich gathering of primary sources from the early modern period. This is as erudite and beautifully edited a gathering as can be imagined."
S. P. Cerasano, Colgate University

"An essential, generous collection of primary Elizabethan and Jacobean texts, extremely well chosen. The documents included here display a remarkable range of perspectives and kinds, illustrating the period's contested, complex discourses and illuminating the most important, enduring issues in literary and cultural studies. A tremendous resource: no scholar of the early modern period should be without it."
A. E. B. Coldiron, Florida State University

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