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English royalists with absolutist leanings developed a specific discourse of honouring during the English civil wars. The discourse directed men to engage in active obedience and to become political activists for the king. As a theory of praxis, it is distinguishable from accounts offered by scholars who emphasize aristocratic honour and its role in the civil wars. The discourse of honouring also differs from accounts offered by social historians who emphasize the ways in which honouring was contested. Moreover, the author distances the discourse of honouring not only from those who construe it as a passive acquiescence but also from those who see it as flattery. Active honouring is divided into two inward and outward honouring. The former refers to love and will, understanding and motivation, which reflect inner reverence. The latter includes such actions as obedience to the King's commandments, helping him financially, engaging for him in battle, and praising him in speech. In this last form of honouring, the subject is specifically asked to hide and cover royal infirmities and weaknesses.

Keywords: English civil war; absolutist theory; honour; honouring; patraichal theory; political action; political obligation; royalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Government, California State University, Sacramento, Tahoe Hall 3114, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6089, USA, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2011


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