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'Fear God, honour the king'. Sixteenth-century people were supposed to do both. But what was the king entitled to command? And what if he ordered one thing and God's law said another? In this fascinating and original study, James Burns examines these questions by focusing on a neglected area of study: the Scottish experience. The Scottish response to monarchical government not only provides a microcosmic view of European thinking on the subject, it also contributes substantially to our understanding of the Scottish element in the new 'British' polity which was emerging at the end of the period.