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Flashcards in Privy Council Deck (15):
1

Function

Decision making and formation of policy

2

Size

Inner ring of 5

Larger body of 15-20

3

Consequences of size

When it worked well it was exceptional - efficiency

Any factional conflict was particularly destabilising

4

Influence on ambassadors; bias and distortion of events for personal views

Cecil, Walshingham

5

Pushed for intervention in Scotland leading to Treaty of Berwick and favourable Treaty of Edinburgh, 1560

Cecil

6

Disobedience in the Netherlands

Leicester, 1581

7

Influence on parliament

Business prepared by Privy Council in advance of session

Acted as pressure group: Succession 1563, 1566-67; Mary, Queen of Scots 1571, 1584-5, 1586-87: Hatton, 1585

8

‘Men of Business’

Control and influence of commons of Cecil after 1671 (peerage) e.g. Thomas Norton

9

EI well served?

Obedience or initiative?

Realising aims even if against EI’s wishes for broader national advantage - yes

10

Conciliar division, 1570s 80s

Hapsburg matrimonial negotiations, Archduke Charles of Austria, 1567: criticised by Protestants, Leicester due to religion; supported by conservatives to retain Burgundian alliance, Cecil

Scotland, 1559: 4/5 opposed intervention – all previously members of MI’s council

The Netherlands, 1578: divided council for 7 years: Leicester, Walsingham for intervention; Burghley urged caution. Some sent, 1585

11

Conciliar division, 1570s 80s
Traditional

John Neale, Conyers Read: EI “mistress of faction”: encouraged, created and manipulated factions to give a choice of ministers and policies

12

Conciliar division, 1570s 80s
Revisionist

Simon Adams: factional rivalry not at the centre of the Privy Council – no real factional clashes; more united than divided

Reactive to events: not possible to pre-plan

Power struggle between Burghley and Leicester limited by similar outlook in religion; agreement on most matters of state

13

Conciliar division/ faction, 1590s

Foreign policy, 1593, 1596: Essex for aggressive foreign policy, Protestant coalition against Catholicism; contested by Cecil for maritime policy

Essex seeks political appointments for friends e.g. office of Attorney General for Sir Francis Bacon; devastated by EI refusal, 1596

The Essex Rebellion, 1601: gains support by raising anti-Cecil feeling

14

Conciliar division/ faction, 1590s
Traditional

John Neale: 1570s and 80s period of Elizabethan stability

1590s: ageing Elizabeth losing political skill and unable to deal with the ambition of Essex

Essex coup a serious threat; lucky to have remained unharmed by events

15

Conciliar division/ faction, 1590s
Revisionist

Michael Graves: Idea of a golden period of stability in the 1570s and 80s over exaggerated

Instability of 1590s over exaggerated: gentry not split at large between pro-Cecil and pro-Essex factions

Essex’s following large but not enough for armed rising