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Secretaries, statesmen and spies: the clerks of the Tudor Privy Council, c. 1540-c. 1603

Secretaries, statesmen and spies: the clerks of the Tudor Privy Council, c. 1540-c. 1603

VAUGHAN, JACQUELINE D.

PhD Thesis, Modern History, University of St Andrews, June (2006)

Abstract

This dissertation studies the office of the clerk of the Privy Council, including discussions of the office itself, and the nineteen men who held that office between its creation in 1540 and 1603. The dual focus on the office and officers aims to provide greater understanding of both. Areas of study include the personal and professional backgrounds of the clerks, their careers, writings both political and personal, additional offices held and both social and financial concerns. This covers areas as diverse as knighthoods, land grants, election to the House of Commons, political treatises and university education. Additionally, the duties of the office, both standard and extraordinary, arediscussed, as well as details regarding the creation and handling of the clerk’s primary concern, the Privy Council register. This includes details regarding signatures, meetings with ambassadors, examination of prisoners, Council meetings, salaries and fees, and attendance rotation. Ties between the clerks and clerkship and the Privy Council and its members are discussed throughout, as well as the role of patronage, education, foreign experience and personal motives. This study aims to provide a greater understanding of the clerks of the Privy Council and their office, knowing that one cannot be fully understood without the other. 

 Click here to read this thesis from the University of St Andrews

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