Cramsie, John 1964–

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Cramsie, John 1964–

PERSONAL:

Born 1964. Education: University of Minnesota, B.A., 1987; University of St. Andrews, Ph.D., 1997.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of History, Union College, 807 Union St., Schenectady, NY 12308. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Drury University, Springfield, MO, visiting assistant professor, 1997-2000; Union College, Schenectady, NY, associate professor of history, 2000—

MEMBER:

Royal Historical Society (fellow).

WRITINGS:

Kingship and Crown Finance under James VI and I, 1603-1625, Boydell Press (Rochester, NY), 2002.

Contributor to The Crisis of 1614 and the Addled Parliament: Literary and Historical Perspectives, edited by Stephen Clucas and Rosalind Davies, Ashgate (Aldershot, Hampshire, England), 2003; and James VI and I: Ideas, Authority and Government, edited by Ralph Houlbrooke, Ashgate (Aldershot, Hampshire, England), 2007. Contributor to the Historical Journal.

SIDELIGHTS:

John Cramsie is a professor of history whose book Kingship and Crown Finance under James VI and I, 1603-1625 concerns the Jacobean era of English history dominated by what James called "the canker of want," a phrase that encompasses the unquenchable desire for money and its ability to procure power and influence. Cramsie shows how the king's efforts to secure crown finance, wrapped up in multiple layers of politics, proved elusive. In doing so, Cramsie analyzes James's Scottish education and early experience ruling Scotland and how they informed his kingship and policies in England. The author concludes that it was James's political choices—not the lack of financial resources in Britain and Ireland—that were his undoing. In the minds of the king and his advisors, a generous king (at least to those at court) was esteemed as a good king. Guided by a fiscal policy infused with humanist philosophy, as Cramsie shows, James overextended himself in public-private partnership projects intended to do "public good" and generate "private gain." The incompatibility of public good and private gain proved to be the undoing of projects and the king's fiscal policies generally. In a review for Albion, Alastair Bellany appreciated the book for its "genuinely significant attempt to reposition the ‘canker of want’ in its appropriate cultural and political contexts." Although Eric N. Lindquist took issue with several of Cramsie's points, he concluded in a review for the Renaissance Quarterly that "there is much to admire in the book."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Albion, March, 2004, Alastair Bellany, review of Kingship and Crown Finance under James VI and I, 1603-1625; spring, 2004, Robert Zaller, review of Kingship and Crown Finance under James VI and I, 1603-1625, p. 121.

American Historical Review, April, 2004, Johann P. Sommerville, review of Kingship and Crown Finance under James VI and I, 1603-1625, p. 607.

English Historical Review, April, 2005, Neil Cuddy, review of Kingship and Crown Finance under James VI and I, 1603-1625, p. 456.

Renaissance Quarterly, summer, 2004, Eric N. Lindquist, review of Kingship and Crown Finance under James VI and I, 1603-1625.