The article investigated a British perception of Poland-Lithuania during the Polish monarch, Zygmunt III Waza’s reign. (1587-1637) The author examined British primary sources published around the Polish king’s period to study British intellectuals’ view about Poland. The primary sources were individually analyzed while following three broad themes; Poland’s political system, religion, and the country’s wars with its neighbors. The study showed that Britain at that time had rudimentary knowledge about Poland and the writers were focused on comparing Poland’s elective monarchy and Britain’s system for the sake of promoting Britain’s social order. Next, the writers showed a mixed reaction to Poland’s diverse religious landscape owing to its tolerant laws and Zygmunt III’s Counterreformation policy. The manner of their response followed closely with the writer’s religion and displayed the overt influence of the Reformation. The discussion about Poland’s wars with Sweden and Muscovy showed little religious element despite belligerent countries following different Christian state religions. The reaction is likely due to a lack of incentive for Britain to be hostile to distant foreign powers. However, the writers supported the Polish cause during its war with the Ottoman Empire, thus showing that Britain still considered Poland as part of the Christian community in Europe despite its Catholic following.
How to Cite:
Ko, D., (2019) “Poland-Lithuania According to James I's Britain”, Footnotes: A Journal of History 3, p.66-91.