NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A t a time when the monarch, James I, “the wisest fool in Christendom,” believed in the divine right of kings, it was perhaps tactless of the English jurist John Selden (1584–1654) to write:
A king is a thing men have made for their own sakes, for quietness’ sake. Just as in a family one man is appointed to buy the meat . . .
Commentary such as this meant that Selden spent a short time in the Tower of London. Nevertheless, he lived long enough to see James’s son, Charles, being found surplus to requirements. And, if Selden’s ghost is still around, it …
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