24 September 2023

The Glory of Chastity (2)

 A few decades ago, Blair Worsden wondered how far the ideology of the Stuart Court extended in the Society of the 1630s. Indeed. Readers will probably think first of John Milton's Comus (athough the focus there is more on Virginity than on Conjugal Love). 

In 1993 I published a paper (Transactions of the Dumfriesshire ... LXVIII) explaining and contextualising the sculptural masony at Caerlaverock Castle; I think I successfully showed that the ethos of King Charles' court was taking easy root among the intermarried recusant nobility of South-West Scotland. Lord Nithsdale's attachment to the Court's baroque, Catholic, international culture is clear enough. The iconography he displayed, indeed, can be traced back to Jesuit pattern books.

When he built, the weather had already let his family and his Church down in 1588. But he could not know how completely the Personal Rule would collapse in 1640, or how Protestant the weather would be in 1688 and 1744-5. 

It is not hindsight that wiull help us to understand what was in his mind as he set his masons to work at Caerlaverock in 1634 ... nor what Inigo Jones intended to inculcate in the sumptuous Masques with which he regaled Whitehall in the same decade.

1 comment:

shadrach said...

Always interesting. One typo, however, ‘Worden’, not ‘Worsden’.