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Those Who Stayed: English Chorography and the Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries

  • Claire Kennedy
Chapter
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 30)

Abstract

In the late sixteenth century, the geographical discipline of chorography – traditionally the study of local countryside, customs, history, and laws – developed in England as a response to political and social needs. It also promoted a process of defining an English cultural identity. This process did not arise solely from the geographical tradition, but also has a provenance in the study of English law, an inherently patriotic endeavour. The Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries formed in or around the year of 1586, and for its 20-year lifespan was largely comprised of gentlemen of distinction within the English political and legal landscape. Amongst this membership, many were noted for their contribution to the geographical tradition in England, particularly those who were authors of chorographical works. This paper will show that the Society of Antiquaries served as a centre for the discussion of historical, geographical, and legal subjects, making it a nexus point between cultural and ethnological considerations of what it meant to be English, and mathematico-legalistic interpretations of the English land. The English perception of self that was embodied in this Society would encourage not only English imperialism, but also a scientific culture based on matters of fact.

Keywords

Seventeenth Century Sixteenth Century Society Member Society Meeting Early Modern Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of SydneyDarlingtonAustralia

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