Counsel was a fundamental element of the theoretical framework and practical workings of medieval and early modern government. Good rule was to be ensured by governors hearing wise advisers. This process of counsel assumed particular importance in England and Scotland between the 14th and 17thcenturies because of the close adherence to ideas of the common good, commonweal, and community in this period. Yet, major changes in who gave counsel and how it operated were emerging. This volume identifies both the patterns and the moments of change while also recognising continuities. It examines counsel set in the context of Anglo-Scottish warfare, unions of the two nations, the Reformations, and earlycolonising ventures, as well as in the contingent circumstances of individual reigns and long-term evolutions in the nature of government. Examining counsel as ubiquitous yet archivally elusive, this volume uses government records, pamphlets, plays, poetry, histories, and oaths to establish a new framework for understanding advice. As it shows, a widespread belief in good counsel masked fundamental tensions between accountability andsecrecy, inclusive representation and political cohesiveness, and between upholding and restraining sovereign authority.