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David Coast

Chapter 3 . Political rumours Introduction C ontemporaries sometimes imagined themselves as ships trying to navigate a sea of news and rumour, ultimately at the mercy of the elements. During a particularly quiet period, John Castle wrote that he had little news to report, ‘for there is nothinge, but deepe sylence and a dead Sea’.1 In another letter he complained that ‘if the occurrence beyond the Seas rise which no more tyde then ours here at home, there is surely then a dead water for the affaires of all Christendome’.2 Sir Giles Mompesson echoed this

in News and rumour in Jacobean England
David Coast

Chapter 4 . Rumour in court politics Introduction M any of the rumours that circulated around the kingdom began life as attempts to manipulate the perceptions of the King. Occasions on which individuals tried to shape the King’s policies with dramatic reports about the Spanish match or the threat of invasion were comparatively rare, however. What role did more routine rumours about goings on at court play in politics, and what role, if any, did observers at the periphery play in shaping day-to-day politics at the centre? A consideration of these issues

in News and rumour in Jacobean England
The tsarist regime and the revolt of the nomads in Central Asia, 1916
Jörn Happel

5 Fears, rumours, violence: the tsarist regime and the revolt of the nomads in Central Asia, 1916 Jörn Happel The First World War threw tsarist Russia into a crisis of accelerated modernisation which eventually destroyed it.1 Imperial society was not able to conduct total war, especially at the peripheries. Different dynamics of friendship and enmity between the inhabitants of Russia are visible at the margins of the Empire. When examined with an eye to the protagonists, these can shed some light on the challenges faced by the tsarist regime, which threatened

in The Central Asian Revolt of 1916
Information, court politics and diplomacy, 1618–25

This study examines how political news was concealed, manipulated and distorted in late Jacobean England. Using a wide range of extraordinarily rich manuscript sources, it analyses how news was managed and interpreted during a period of acute political and religious conflict. It analyses how the flow of information to and from the King was managed by his secretaries of state and diplomats, and how the King prevented information about his policies from leaking in to the wider public sphere. It analyses the ‘outward shows’ James made to signal his intentions and mislead a variety of audiences, as well as they ways in which these ‘performances’ could backfire and undermine royal authority. It also examines the sceptical and often cynical reception of news, and the political significance of the rumours that circulated in court and country. It thereby contributes to a wider range of historical debates that reach across the politics and political culture of the reign and beyond. It advances new arguments about censorship, counsel, and the formation of policy; propaganda and royal image-making; political rumours and the relationship between elite and popular politics, as well as shedding new light on the nature and success of James I’s style of rule. In doing so, it aims to examine news as a source of influence and even power in Jacobean England.

Arnold Hunt

Chapter 8 . The succession in sermons, news and rumour Arnold Hunt S ermons on the succession, in late Elizabethan England, might be thought to be conspicuous by their absence. It would have been a bold preacher who dealt openly with the succession question from the pulpit. The Treasons Act of 1571, which prohibited ‘contentious and seditious spreading abroad of titles to the succession to the crown’, did not necessarily prevent preachers from handling the subject in general terms, without naming names – and, as we shall see, some did precisely that – but most

in Doubtful and dangerous
David Coast

Chapter 6 . The politics of rumour during ­Buckingham’s illness, 1624 Introduction I n the later 1620s, as Charles I became embroiled in disastrous wars with Spain and France, his favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, became the subject of various damaging rumours, many of which took on the status of fact. Buckingham was rumoured to be an agent of foreign powers, and was accused of plotting to bring in foreign troops to overthrow Charles. It was even said that he had poisoned Charles’s father, James.1 These rumours were not simply bandied about by the ‘ignorant

in News and rumour in Jacobean England
Mia-Marie Hammarlin

2 Gossip, rumour, and scandals In this part of the book, the analysis of the relationship between the interpersonal and the mediated dimension of the public scandal is deepened.1 The preceding chapter made it clear that these dimensions are more or less interwoven, a circumstance to which media researchers have not paid a great deal of attention because they have, as a rule, chosen to focus on the media themselves, employing a narrow definition of the ‘media’ concept. In order to acquire an idea of the inherent mechanisms of the scandal phenomenon, the focus in

in Exposed
Simon Walker

answer was equally forthcoming. Glyn Dwr was strong and would get stronger, for he offered wages of nine pence a day to any man who would come to him, so that forty, sixty, even eighty men were joining his company every day. The traveller had chosen bad company in which to utter such inaccurate and potentially seditious rumours. Both his interlocutors were longstanding Lancastrian partisans, loyal members of the king’s affinity; both had been with the king at Pontefract two months earlier when he put down the Yorkshire rising, and were likely to have known as much

in Political culture in later medieval England
Mel Bunce

crises, they increasingly encounter media content that blurs the line between reality and fiction. This includes everything from rumours and exaggerations on social media, through to partisan journalism, satire and completely invented stories that are designed to look like real news articles. Although this media content varies enormously, it is often grouped together under nebulous and all-encompassing terms such as ‘fake news’, ‘disinformation’ or ‘post-truth’ media. Scholars have started to pay serious attention to the production and impact of all

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Lessons from the MSF Listen Experience
Jake Leyland
Sandrine Tiller
, and
Budhaditya Bhattacharya

address health misinformation, we created ‘MSF Listen’ – a rumour and misinformation-monitoring platform based on software written by The Sentinel Project ( As both a web- and mobile-based platform, MSF Listen is a workflow and an implied methodology for dealing with health-related rumours and misinformation. Health data can be construed in many different ways (Stellmach et al. , 2023, in this issue), and the data in MSF Listen is

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs