Conciliar politics and administration in the reign of Henry VII
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Since Elton's commentary on the absence of critical study of the early Tudor council in 1964, some progress has been made towards a wider, fuller, more detailed understanding of Henry VII's council and where it fits-or does not-into the development of council under the Tudors. However, the early Tudor council remains something of an enigma. Added to that is recent interest by late medieval historians in just how much power Henry VII exercised in the operation of his councils. Was Henry ruling, or were his bureaucratic counsellors ruling him? A re-examination of the various Elizabethan/Jacobean council extracts, as well as the examination of data contained in a wide variety of primary documents, such as the chamber account books, petitions, privy seal warrants and view books, provides evidence with which to suggest a more precisely defined and better organized council than that previously established for the first Tudor monarch, and also to demonstrate that Henry VII was actively involved in the business of the protean forms of that council, at Westminster or away. This thesis hopefully advances the picture of the conciliar and administrative matrix which was governing under Henry VII, its component parts, including an embryonic privy council, the personnel of that council, the systems through which conciliar business was developed, and the king's position at the head of that council in the most literal sense.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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