Journal Article

Sir John Gage, Tudor Courtier and Soldier (1479–1556)

David Potter

in The English Historical Review

Volume 117, issue 474, pages 1109-1146
Published in print November 2002 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online November 2002 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/117.474.1109
Sir John Gage, Tudor Courtier and Soldier (1479–1556)

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Sir John Gage's political career lasted over fifty years and experienced many of the ups and downs of politics under Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I providing a case study of the crucial politically active county gentry upon whom the Tudor state relied. Gage has generally been neglected as a political figure even though he held some of the most important court offices and, as military technocrat, was responsible for the supply of the armies of the 1540s. Insofar as he has any reputation, it is as the staunch conservative and rather sinister figure in Protestant historiography and perhaps as a timeserver. In fact, his religious allegiance was much more fluid and his role in the factional battles of court life at once more complex and more interesting than might at first appear. This study also brings out the purely private dimension and economic activity of a courtier who inherited only a modest landed estate but was able to trade on his influence at court in order to build up a local power‐base that established his family in the long term among the leading gentry (and late peerage) of Sussex.

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Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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