Correspondence and Points of Contact

Christopher Maginn

in William Cecil, Ireland, and the Tudor State

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697151
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739262 | DOI:
Correspondence and Points of Contact

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This chapter considers Cecil's correspondence and his principal points of contact in the kingdom of Ireland, and questions the received interpretation both that Cecil was a major player in the politics of ‘faction’ at the court of Queen Elizabeth and that he operated a patronage network that stretched from Whitehall to Ireland. It argues that Cecil shied away from building a personal affinity in Ireland, and instead placed the interests of the queen and the state ahead of his own. This chapter divides Cecil's contacts in Ireland into confidants and clients and shows how his communication with them and others formed the basis for the minister's understanding of a kingdom which he never visited but which regularly occupied his thoughts.

Keywords: correspondence; principal secretary; faction; clients; confidants; Sussex/Leicester feud; Sir Henry Sidney; Nicholas White; Sir William Fitzwilliam; maps

Chapter.  13807 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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