The Key Importance Of The Privy Council

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Register to read the introduction… • Robert Dudley: important as a military figure and as a promoter of the Puritan cause

Relationships between Elizabeth and her ministers

• John Guy: ‘she controlled her own policy more than any other
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• Had a fixed membership, could issue proclamations and administrative orders in the name of the monarch, could govern by State paper through the issue of letters and warrants signed by the board of the Privy Council collectively

o Haigh: it was dangerously weak and narrow in its membership

▪ Regional magnates and the old nobility were ignored (could be reason for outbreak in 1569)

▪ Few councillors exercised real influence unless they were committed Protestants

• Nature of Privy Council and the role of individual councillors changed throughout the reign

o Cecil saw himself as a public servant rather than as a personal servant of the monarch

• Simon Adams and Natalie Mears: play down the Council in its role as an institution offering advice to the monarch

Key functions of the Privy Council

• To adjudicate as a court of law when sitting as the Star Chamber and when dealing with issues such as local maladministration

• To enforce the religious settlement of 1559, by requiring JPs to investigate compliance in individual counties

• To oversee arrangements for national defence by supervising the operation of trained bands and serving as lords lieutenant with militia
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MPs wanted to settle |Many urged Elizabeth to marry. In 1563 Privy |
|30 September 1566 – 2 January 1567 |the issues of royal marriage and succession, |Council openly pressed it; in 1566 they were |
| |which Elizabeth considered to be part of the |more subtle. In 1566, Elizabeth blocked |
| |royal prerogative |further religious reform |
|2 April 1571 – 29 May 1571 |To strengthen the treason law and laws |Parliament supported the stricter rules |
| |against Catholics following the Pope’s |against Catholics. Strickland proposed a bill|
| |Excommunication. Also wanted a subsidy to pay|→ upset Queen and Privy Council. Strickland |
| |for the suppression of the Northern Rebellion|was removed from the Commons |

Elizabeth’s personal beliefs

• Pollard: Queen was indifferent to

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