Henry VII and nobility

  • 1485 nobility - traditional medival military leaders, power on land, used estates to build armies for king
  • Distrust - small group e.g. uncle Jasper Tudor, controlled Wales and Marches, became Duke of Bedford, once dead, power and control returned to the crown
  • Sir Reginald Bray had land in 18 counties - Henry trusted his admin
  • Nobility e.g. Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey had to fight for trust (against Henry at Battle of Bosworth, didn't escape tower for 1487 rebellion and was released, sent to run the North and not his land) made a councillor in 1501
  • No. of noble families decreased from 55 to 42 during reign
  • After 1497 - no open rebellions against him
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Henry VIII and patronage

  • Companions in pastimes - rewarding friends and nobility with grants
  • Chamber increased politically e.g. Groom of Stool influenced informally
  • E.g. suggesions on where king's patronage should be deployed, Sir William Compton, Gentleman of Chamber and Groom of Stool, able to increase income from estates from £10 to £1,700 a year through grants
  • Power and influence dictated by ability to gain access to Henry/chief ministers
  • Professionl administrators with legal training increased influence e.g. Paget and Wriothesley enobled
  • Enhanced control in the north - lands in Wales and Marche under Duke of Buckingham and Earl of Northumberland - used lands to grant rewards to loyal followers
  • Increase of royal estates, ability to manipulate patronage to control localities
  • Crown traditionally held Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall - political turmoil of 1535-46 = increased executions
  • Nobilties share of income from land increased from 8%-9%, Crown's increased from 9% to 27% (temporary change)
  • Sale of monastic estates - increase power, gentry and nobility = supported royal supremacy and break with Rome e.g. Russell Family - Gentleman of Bedchamber to Earl of Bedford 
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Problems of royal patronage

  • Relied on presence of strong, active and decisive monarch
  • Ambitious courtiers - advance their careers for own needs
  • Patronage could cause jealousy and lead to political instability
  • Increase faction rivalry - wanted to influence Henry's policies
  • Group led by Edward Seymour - reformer line, court intrigue and plots - Seymour's faction changed Henry's will in their favour
  • Conservatives - return to Rome, led by 3rd Duke of Norfolk
  • Used control of patronage to become Lord Protector and reward supporters e.g. John Dudley made Earl of Warwick
  • Succeeded in creating loyalty to monarch and weakened traditional military power of nobility
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Development of networks under Elizabeth I

  • Complex patronage system and network of informal connections to bring centre and localities closer together
  • Nobility - courtiers and politicians, active locally and in central govt. - hold multiple positions e.g. William Cecil - JP in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire
  • Favourites = men who she had a flirtatious relationships with e.g. Robert Dudley, rode beside her when travelling, member of Royal Household
  • Maintain political stability - keep distribution of patronage in her control - Cecil and Dudley developed their own
  • Continued extension of royal power into localities
  • Use of patronage - southerners e.g. Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, put into north and northern nolibity e.g. Thomas Percy, deprived of roles
  • 1590s patronage system - breaking down
  • Robert Devereux (Earl of Essex) replaced Robert Cecil, rivalry increased, political tension and led to Devereux's execution in 1601
  • Cecil family - large patronage and supporters
  • Essex attempted rebellion - no supporters.
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Royal Progresses

Progresses - journeys made by ruler and their court to regions of England, way of showing power, wealth and prestige

  • Enhance respect and obedience to monarchy in localities
  • Reminded people of military and legal power, subdued by physical presense of ruler
  • Way to make and sustain contact with localities
  • Communities = show loyalty to monarch by greeting them with festivities and pageants
  • Opportunity to seek grief/patronage
  • Address local instability and misgovt.
  • 1st year after Bosworth, extended progress to midlands and north
  • Threats to throne in 1487 and 1497, marched at head of army (Henry VII)
  • Henry VIII = progress every summer, stayed in one of his own palaces e.g. Richmond, visited Essex and Thames Valley (40 royal residences)
  • Court of up to 1000, housed and fed by communities
  • 1535 - visited Gloucestershire, Bristol Channel, Salisbury, Winchester and Southampton
  • 1536 - Northern rebellion due to neglect
  • 1541 - York progress
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Royal Progresses under late Tudors

  • Edward VI and Mary I - less progresses due to age and ill health
  • Elizabeth I and entire court went every summer
  • Majority in south, east and midlands
  • North = Staffordshire and Lincolnshire/West = Bristol and Gloucestershire
  • Visited Cornwall and Yorkshire never = control through Lord Lieutenants and JPs
  • Strengthen bonds and trust and royal authority with councillor e.g. stayed with Cecil 20 times and Dudley 23 time
  • Around 200 members of loyal govt. played host
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