Officers and Stations: Networks of Politics, Knowledge and Expertise in Late-elizabethan England

By William Acres.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Officers and Stations is research project in which the careers of over 700 men who served as captains or higher in the Elizabethan military have been entered into a one-to-many relational database with computational capacities. The project joins historians, computer scientists, theologians, statisticians and others with student teams. The focus of the work has been in creating and entering data. This presentation is the first large-scale presentation of results. “Military culture” will be analyzed by creating profiles of various parts of this population over time, place, and office-holding. Patterns will be discussed with reference to both the problems and positive uses of such a method. Limitations in source material for the early modern period have posed a series of problems whose solutions are addressed in the presentation. Data will have been prepared by Professor Michael Bauer at The University of Western Ontario Department of Computer Sciences, with statistical methods and results produced under the guidance of Professor David Bellhouse of the Department of Statistical and Actuarial Sciences at UWO. Acres will analyze methods and approaches with particular emphasis on bringing social scientific methods as subtle means of expanding knowledge of what might be an otherwise intractable series of data. Networks of expertise, family, marriage, patronage, political institutions, and office-holding are treated with respect to an extremely diverse group of people whose lives are joined in this study.

Keywords: Database, Social Sciences, Historiography, Statistics, Computer Sciences, Early Modern Britain and England, Military, Cultural History, Women, Knowledge Networks

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.447-464. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 679.642KB).

Dr. William Acres

Centre for International and Comparative Studies, Theology, History, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Acres began his study of the Elizabethan political and military culture during a doctoral dissertation on Sir Robert Cecil under Sir Geoffrey Elton while Cambridge University’s Faculty of History. He then began a study of military culture and the patterns of career, expense and political patronage while funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 1995-7. Subsequently, this project has become “Officers and Stations” from which five papers have been published, with more to follow. His research partners Professor Michael Bauer (Computer Sciences) and Professor David Bellhouse (Statistics) have worked extensively on various uses of databases in much larger series of publications. Their efforts have been funded by UWO (Major Academic Award, New Research and Scholarly Initiatives), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Research and Development Initiative, Standard Research Grant) and by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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