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The Repugnant Conclusion is an implication of some approaches to population ethics. It states, in Derek Parfit's original formulation,
For any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equal, would be better, even though its members have lives that are barely worth living. (Parfit 1984: 388)
Tim Harris, BA, MA and PhD from Cambridge University,
Justin Champion, completing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Churchill College.,
John Marshall, Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.,
John Coffey, Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Leicester.
This volume is a tribute to Mark Adrian Goldie, from friends and former students, to mark his retirement from the Cambridge History Faculty in September 2019. It is intended to honour both his own scholarly contribution to the field and his role as a teacher and a mentor. Mark's interests have been broad and have grown broader over the course of his career. He is at once an historian of ideas, political historian and historian of religion, while some of his publications have branched into social and cultural history. Although Mark's geographical and chronological focus has been on England under the later Stuarts – the period from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to the Hanoverian succession of 1714 – he has also written about Scotland and Ireland, continental Europe and colonial North America, and published pieces that go back to the sixteenth century or push forward into the late eighteenth. On his Cambridge University website, Mark describes his research interests broadly as ‘British intellectual, political, and religious history, c. 1650–c. 1800’, a claim vindicated not only by his own publication record but also by the wide variety of topics his graduate students have pursued. Mark has supervised thirty PhD theses to date. Limitations of space meant that we were unable to ask all Mark's former students to contribute to this volume. We endeavoured, however, to solicit contributions that would reflect the breadth of Mark's scholarly endeavours and also the various generational cohorts he has inspired. Contributors were asked to write pieces that in some way engaged with Mark's work and publications. We hope that what is offered here does justice to the man, his scholarship and his mentorship.
Given the range of Mark's interests, we puzzled over how best to write the introduction to this volume. We could highlight some of Mark's landmark articles, essays, edited volumes and books, but which ones? The four editors all have quite discrete interests and scholarly foci, albeit overlapping to some degree, and we each have our own lists of favourites – and they are long! We decided, instead, that each editor should write his own reflection, albeit with briefs to focus on particular areas so as to lend the introduction overall coverage and coherence.
The assassination of James Sharp, archbishop of St Andrews, took place in 1679, towards the tail end (or perhaps the climax) of the religious violence which followed in the wake of the Reformation. It is to godly assassinations what Salem is to witch-hunts. Reformation Europe had witnessed a series of such killings. In Scotland, Protestant militants slew Cardinal Beaton in the castle of St Andrews in 1546. But it was the late sixteenth century that truly ushered in ‘the Age of Assassination’. A Catholic extremist killed William of Orange in 1584; Jacques Clément of the Catholic League assassinated Henri III of France in 1589; François Ravaillac took the life of Henri IV of France in 1610; and John Felton, a disaffected soldier, stabbed the Duke of Buckingham to death in 1628. As Colin Kidd observes, these assassins became ‘household names’, posthumously honoured with ‘a kind of celebrity martyrdom’. Roland Mousnier's classic study The Assassination of Henry IV explored the contexts of Ravaillac's act, including theories of tyrannicide. On a smaller scale, this essay offers an account of how government policy and radical Covenanter ideology conspired to produce assassins. It examines the textual sources that inspired the insurgents, and the textual responses to their bloody deed.
Despite its notoriety, Sharp's assassination and its ideological context have received relatively little historical scrutiny. Scottish historians, reacting against polarised confessional perspectives, have been inclined to shift the focus away from extremists and martyrs towards the mainstream. Julia Buckroyd's biography of Sharp did include a chapter on the murder, but understandably focused on the archbishop rather than on militant Covenanters. Colin Kidd, by contrast, has traced the Scottish debate over ‘assassination principles’ from George Buchanan to James Hogg. This essay builds on these earlier accounts, paying closer attention to the men who ambushed Sharp on Magus Muir, and to James Mitchell, who narrowly failed to kill the archbishop in 1668. It confirms Mark Goldie's observation that while ‘Restoration England was a persecuting society’, Scotland's regime and its religious dissenters were marked by ‘greater extremity’ than their English counterparts. In the Scotland of the 1660s and 1670s, populist resistance theorists produced ‘the most radical utterances of the time’, inspiring armed uprisings and godly assassins who were countered by an absolutist state using brutal repression and judicial torture.
Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understood. Based on a survey throughout the Neotropics of the haemosporidian parasites infecting manakins (Pipridae), a family of Passerine birds endemic to this region, we asked whether host relatedness, ecological similarity and geographic proximity structure parasite turnover between manakin species and local manakin assemblages. We used molecular methods to screen 1343 individuals of 30 manakin species for the presence of parasites. We found no significant correlations between manakin parasite lineage turnover and both manakin species turnover and geographic distance. Climate differences, species turnover in the larger bird community and parasite lineage turnover in non-manakin hosts did not correlate with manakin parasite lineage turnover. We also found no evidence that manakin parasite lineage turnover among host species correlates with range overlap and genetic divergence among hosts. Our analyses indicate that host switching (turnover among host species) and dispersal (turnover among locations) of haemosporidian parasites in manakins are not constrained at this scale.