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Paul E. J. Hammer
Regents of the University of Colorado, Boulder (Boulder, CO 80302-7046)
Queen Elizabeth I, Robert Earl of Essex and the Politics of the English Royal Succession, 1598-1603

A book-length study on Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and the politics that led to his trial and execution for treason in 1601 under Queen Elizabeth I.

This project challenges the accepted understanding of how James VI of Scotland was able to succeed Elizabeth I on the English throne in 1603, thereby transforming Tudor England into Stuart Britain. Using an unprecedented range of original sources, it offers a radically new appraisal of the political significance of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and of the 'Essex Rising' which resulted in his execution in 1601. Building on this foundation, it outlines a new political narrative for the period 1598-1603, setting English events within a broader British context and revealing a 'secret history' of James's path to the English crown. Methodologically, this project breaks new ground in early modern British history by the quantity and richness of its archival sources, its commitment to reading all key documents in their original manuscript form, and its extensive use of literary sources. The project's chief outcome will be the completion of a substantial monograph entitled The Hunted Hart: Robert Earl of Essex, Queen Elizabeth I, and the Politics of Treason in Shakespeare’s Britain.

Project fields:
British History; Political History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$37,800 (approved)
$37,800 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 5/31/2018