Imaginary Betrayals: Subjectivity and the Discourses of Treason in Early Modern England
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013 M05 29 - 224 páginas
In 1352 King Edward III had expanded the legal definition of treason to include the act of imagining the death of the king, opening up the category of "constructive" treason, in which even a subject's thoughts might become the basis for prosecution. By the sixteenth century, treason was perceived as an increasingly serious threat and policed with a new urgency. Referring to the extensive early modern literature on the subject of treason, Imaginary Betrayals reveals how and to what extent ideas of proof and grounds for conviction were subject to prosecutorial construction during the Tudor period. Karen Cunningham looks at contemporary records of three prominent cases in order to demonstrate the degree to which the imagination was used to prove treason: the 1542 attainder of Katherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, charged with having had sexual relations with two men before her marriage; the 1586 case of Anthony Babington and twelve confederates, accused of plotting with the Spanish to invade England and assassinate Elizabeth; and the prosecution in the same year of Mary, Queen of Scots, indicted for conspiring with Babington to engineer her own accession to the throne.
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Apparently derived from Lord Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk's contracting a marriage to Lady Margaret Douglas, ... the attainder act against Katherine Howard; and the general act concerning the moral conduct of royal brides, ...
In the attainder of Katherine Howard (1542) , for example, a centerpiece of testimony was a “privy mark” on Howard's body; in the trials of Anthony Babington and his comrades (1586), it was the authority of precedents and presence of ...
... Queen of Scots—that this study in part attends.79 All were convicted of treason between 1542 and 1587; all were executed for their crimes against the realm.80 The Howard attainder, embedded in an unprece— dented legal situation in ...
The fifth of Henry VIII's wives, Howard was attainted of treason in 1542 for allegedly having had sexual relations ... about women's infidelities, the attainder implies a theory of place in which personal identity characterizes space.
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