Politics, Law and Counsel in Tudor and Early Stuart England: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Politics, Law and Counsel in Tudor and Early Stuart England

1st Edition

By John Guy


336 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788324
pub: 2000-07-05
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This book investigates the norms and values of Tudor and early-Stuart politics, which are considered in the contexts of law and the Reformation, legal and administrative institutions, and classical and legal humanism. Main themes include 'imperial' monarchy and the theory of 'counsel', Parliament and the royal supremacy, conciliar politics and organization, the relationship of law and equity, and the jurisdictional rivalry between the courts of common law and canon law. The author argues that norms of Tudor England were sufficiently pluralist to satisfy both 'absolutist' and 'constitutionalist' aspirations, whereas by 1628 they proved no longer effective as a mechanism for the orderly conduct of politics. The clash between two conflicting sets of values was translated into a clash of ideologies.


'This publication in a convenient and user-friendly format of fifteen essays written by Professor Guy over the past quarter century is to be welcomed….the usefulness of the volume lies…in the opportunity it provides to consider Guy's contribution to Tudor and Stuart history to date…The fact that these essays make us think hard about particular personalites and events, while at the same time offering an overall vision of the high politics of the century between the break from Rome and the outbreak of the civil war, is proof enough of their value.' Reviews in History.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: The development of equitable jurisdictions, 1450-1550; A conciliar court of audit at work in the last months of the reign of Henry VII; Wolsey's Star Chamber: a study in archival reconstruction; Wolsey, the Council and the council courts; Wolsey and the Parliament of 1523; Thomas More as successor to Wolsey; Henry VIII and the praemunire manoeuvres of 1530-31; Thomas More and Christopher St German: the Battle of the Books; The Tudor commonwealth: revising Thomas Cromwell; The Privy Council: revolution or evolution?; The King's Council and political participation; The Henrician age; The Elizabethan establishment and the ecclesiastical polity; The rhetoric of counsel in early modern England; The origins of the petition of right reconsidered; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General