Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jacob Selwood

Second Advisor

Ian Fletcher


The sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries saw the development of a British identity that was contingent upon a shared dynasty through intermarriage and the composite monarchy of James VI and I, religious developments that led to both Scotland and England breaking with the Roman Catholic Church, and especially England’s overseas colonial empire. Using sources representative of the nascent print culture, the Calendar of State Papers, the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, and Journals from the House of Commons, this project argues that contrary to prior historical analysis of Britain, empire, and English imperialism that British identity in the sixteenth century became a collaborative process which included both Scots and English. With this in mind, the project suggests that historians must incorporate Scottish angles to the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and that future studies should include analysis of Scots in the early Atlantic and English imperial worlds.