William Cecil, Ireland, and the Tudor State

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‘Behind every great woman . . . ’:William Cecil and the Elizabethan conquest of Ireland

He also seems to have acted as private secretary to the Protector, and was in some danger at the time of the Protector's fall in October The lords opposed to Somerset ordered his detention on 10 October, and in November he was in the Tower of London. Cecil ingratiated himself with John Dudley, then Earl of Warwick , and after less than three months he was out of the Tower.

On 5 September Cecil was sworn in as one of King Edward's two secretaries of state. In April , Cecil became chancellor of the Order of the Garter. To protect the Protestant government from the accession of a Catholic queen, Northumberland forced King Edward's lawyers to create an instrument setting aside the Third Succession Act on 15 June Cecil resisted for a while, in a letter to his wife, he wrote: "Seeing great perils threatened upon us by the likeness of the time, I do make choice to avoid the perils of God's displeasure.

Years afterwards, he pretended that he had only signed the devise as a witness, but in his apology to Queen Mary I , he did not venture to allege so flimsy an excuse; he preferred to lay stress on the extent to which he succeeded in shifting the responsibility on to the shoulders of his brother-in-law, Sir John Cheke, and other friends, and on his intrigues to frustrate the Queen to whom he had sworn allegiance. There is no doubt that Cecil saw which way the wind was blowing, and disliked Northumberland's scheme; but he had not the courage to resist the duke to his face.

As soon, however, as the duke had set out to meet Mary, Cecil became the most active intriguer against him, [11] and to these efforts, of which he laid a full account before Queen Mary, he mainly owed his immunity. He had, moreover, had no part in the divorce of Catherine of Aragon or in the humiliation of Mary during Henry's reign, and he made no scruple about conforming to the Catholic reaction. He went to Mass , confessed, and in no particular official capacity went to meet Cardinal Pole on his return to England in December , again accompanying him to Calais in May He was elected to Parliament as knight of the shire for Lincolnshire in probably , and and for Northamptonshire in It was rumoured in December that Cecil would succeed Sir William Petre as Secretary of State , an office which, with his chancellorship of the Garter, he had lost on Mary's accession to the throne.

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Probably the Queen had more to do with this rumour than Cecil, though he is said to have opposed, in the parliament of in which he represented Lincolnshire , a bill for the confiscation of the estates of the Protestant refugees. But the story, even as told by his biographer, [12] does not represent Cecil's conduct as having been very courageous; and it is more revealing that he found no seat in the parliament of , for which Mary had directed the return of "discreet and good Catholic members ". The Duke of Northumberland had employed Cecil in the administration of the lands of Princess Elizabeth.

Before Mary died he was a member of the "old flock of Hatfield", and from the first, the new Queen relied on Cecil. He was also the cousin of Blanche Parry , Elizabeth's longest serving gentlewoman and close confidante. The Queen appointed Cecil Secretary of State. His tight control over the finances of the Crown, leadership of the Privy Council , and the creation of a highly capable intelligence service under the direction of Francis Walsingham made him the most important minister for the majority of Elizabeth's reign.

Dawson argues that Cecil's long-term goal was a united and Protestant British Isles, an objective to be achieved by completing the conquest of Ireland and by creating an Anglo-Scottish alliance. With the land border with Scotland safe, the main burden of defence would fall upon the Royal Navy , Cecil proposed to strengthen and revitalise the Navy, making it the centerpiece of English power.

He did obtain a firm Anglo-Scottish alliance reflecting the common religion and shared interests of the two countries, as well as an agreement that offered the prospect of a successful conquest of Ireland. However, his strategy ultimately failed. His idea that England's safety required a united British Isles became an axiom of English policy by the 17th century.

Though a Protestant, Cecil was not a religious purist; he aided the Protestant Huguenots and Dutch just enough to keep them going in the struggles which warded danger from England's shores. But Cecil never developed that passionate aversion from decided measures which became a second nature to Elizabeth. His intervention in Scotland in —60 showed that he could strike hard when necessary; and his action over the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots , proved that he was willing to take on responsibilities from which the Queen shrank. Generally he was in favour of more decided intervention on behalf of continental Protestants than Elizabeth would have liked, but it is not always easy to ascertain the advice he gave.

He left endless memoranda lucidly nevertheless sometimes bordering on the ridiculous setting forth the pros and cons of every course of action; but there are few indications of the line which he actually recommended when it came to a decision. How far he was personally responsible for the Anglican Settlement , the Poor Laws , and the foreign policy of the reign, remains to a large extent a matter of conjecture. However, it is most likely that Cecil's views carried the day in the politics of Elizabethan England.

The historian Hilaire Belloc contends that Cecil was the de facto ruler of England during his tenure as Secretary; pointing out that in instances where his and Elizabeth's wills diverged, it was Cecil's will that was imposed. Leimon and Parker argue that Cecil was the principal protector of Edward Stafford , the English ambassador to Paris and a paid spy who helped the Spanish at the time of the Spanish Armada. However, they do not claim Cecil knew of Stafford's treason. Cecil's share in the Religious Settlement of was considerable, and it coincided fairly with his own Anglican religious views.

Like the mass of the nation, he grew more Protestant as time wore on; he was happier to persecute Catholics than Puritans ; and he had no love for ecclesiastical jurisdiction. His prosecution of the English Catholics made him a recurring character in the "evil counsellor polemics", written by Catholic exiles across the channel. In these pamphlets, polemicists painted a black picture of Burghley as a corrupting influence over the queen. The finest encomium was passed on him by the queen herself, when she said, "This judgment I have of you, that you will not be corrupted with any manner of gifts, and that you will be faithful to the state.

Cecil sought to ensure that policy was commensurate with the royal finances, which often led him advocating a cautious policy. One of his biographers asserted that, for Burghley, "power was for defence from external enemies; plenty for security at home. Cecil pursued both power and plenty. They were the foreign and domestic aspects of his economic nationalism ".

William Cecil represented Lincolnshire in the Parliament of and , and Northamptonshire in that of , and he took an active part in the proceedings of the House of Commons until his elevation to the peerage ; but there seems no good evidence for the story that he was proposed as Speaker in As Master of the Court of Wards, Cecil supervised the raising and education of wealthy, aristocratic boys whose fathers had died before they reached maturity. He is widely credited with reforming an institution notorious for its corruption, but the extent of his reforms has been disputed by some scholars.

He was the first Chancellor of University of Dublin , between and The fact that Cecil continued to act as Secretary of State after his elevation illustrates the growing importance of that office, which under his son became a secretary of the ship of state. In Cecil privately admonished the queen for her "doubtful dealing with the Queen of Scots.

Theonomy Resources: On William Cecil (Queen Elizabeth's right-hand-man) and Biblical Law

In his view, Mary had to be executed because she had become a rallying cause for Catholics and played into the hands of the Spanish and of the pope, who excommunicated Elizabeth in and sent in Jesuits to organise a Catholic underground. By —6 these missionaries had set up a secret, but highly effective, underground system for the transport and support of priests arriving from the Continent. His vacant post was offered to Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester , who declined it and proposed Burghley, stating that the latter was the more suitable candidate because of his greater "learning and knowledge".

Burghley House , near the town of Stamford , was built for Cecil, between and , and modelled on the privy lodgings of Richmond Palace. The house is one of the principal examples of 16th-century Elizabethan architecture , reflecting the prominence of its founder, and the lucrative wool trade of the Cecil estates. Cecil House was also built by Cecil in the 16th Century, as his London residence, an expansion of an already existing building. A new Theobalds House , just off the main road north from London to Ware, was built between and by the order of Cecil, intending to build a mansion partly to demonstrate his increasingly dominant status at the Royal Court , and also to provide a palace fine enough to accommodate the Queen on her visits.

Cecil collapsed possibly from a stroke or heart attack in Before he died, Robert, his only surviving son by his second wife, was ready to step into his shoes as the Queen's principal adviser. Cecil's descendants include the Marquesses of Exeter , descended from his elder son Thomas; and the Marquesses of Salisbury , descended from his younger son Robert. William Cecil's private life was upright; he was a faithful husband, a careful father and a dutiful master. A book-lover and antiquarian, he made a special hobby of heraldry and genealogy.

It was the conscious and unconscious aim of the age to reconstruct a new landed aristocracy on the ruins of the old, Catholic order. As such, Burghley was a great builder, planter and patron. All the arts of architecture and horticulture were lavished on Burghley House and Theobalds, which his son exchanged for Hatfield.

William Cecil's public conduct does not present itself in quite so amiable a light. As his predecessor, Lord Winchester, said of himself, he was sprung "from the willow rather than the oak". Neither Cecil nor Lord Winchester were men to suffer for the sake of obstinate convictions. The interest of the state was the supreme consideration for Burghley, and to it he had no hesitation in sacrificing individual consciences. He frankly disbelieved in toleration; "that state", he said, "could never be in safety where there was a toleration of two religions. For there is no enmity so great as that for religion; and therefore they that differ in the service of their God can never agree in the service of their country".

To say that he was Machiavellian is meaningless, for every statesman is so, more or less; especially in the 16th century men preferred efficiency to principle. On the other hand, principles are valueless without law and order; and Burghley's craft and subtlety prepared a security in which principles might find some scope.

The most prolonged of Cecil's surviving personal correspondences, lasting from until , is with Nicholas White , an Irish judge. White had been a tutor to Cecil's children during his student days in London, and the correspondence suggests that he was held in lasting affection by the family. In the end, White fell into a Dublin controversy over the confessions of an intriguing priest, which threatened the authority of the Queen's deputised government in Ireland; out of caution Cecil withdrew his longstanding protection and the judge was imprisoned in London and died soon after. White's most remarked-upon service for Cecil is his report on his visit with Mary, Queen of Scots , in , during the early years of her imprisonment.

He may have published an English translation of the Argonautica in the s but no copy has survived. He has long been considered a likely model for the character of the King's calculating minister Polonius in William Shakespeare 's Hamlet. Richard Attenborough depicted him in the film Elizabeth. He was played by Ben Webster in the film Drake of England.

He also appears prominently in the alternative history Ruled Britannia , by Harry Turtledove , in which he and his son Sir Robert Cecil are conspirators and patrons of William Shakespeare in an attempt to restore Elizabeth to power after a successful Spanish invasion and conquest of England.

In May , at the age of fourteen, he went to St John's College, Cambridge , [6] where he was brought into contact with the foremost scholars of the time, Roger Ascham and John Cheke , and acquired an unusual knowledge of Greek. He also acquired the affections of Cheke's sister, Mary, and was in removed by his father to Gray's Inn , without having taken a degree , as was common at the time for those not intending to enter the Church. The precaution proved useless and four months later Cecil committed one of the rare rash acts of his life in marrying Mary Cheke.

The only child of this marriage, Thomas , the future Earl of Exeter, was born in May , and in February Cecil's first wife died. Three years later, on 21 December he married Mildred Cooke , who was ranked by Ascham with Lady Jane Grey as one of the two most learned ladies in the kingdom, aside from another of Ascham's pupils, Elizabeth Tudor, who was later Elizabeth I and whose sister, Anne, was the wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon , and later the mother of Sir Francis Bacon. William Cecil's early career was spent in the service of the Duke of Somerset a brother of the late queen, Jane Seymour , who was Lord Protector during the early years of the reign of his nephew, the young Edward VI.

Cecil accompanied Somerset on his Pinkie campaign of part of the "Rough Wooing" , being one of the two Judges of the Marshalsea. The other was William Patten , who states that both he and Cecil began to write independent accounts of the campaign, and that Cecil generously contributed his notes for Patten's narrative, The Expedition into Scotland. Cecil, according to his autobiographical notes, sat in Parliament in ; but his name does not occur in the imperfect parliamentary returns until , when he was elected for the family borough of Stamford.

In , he is described as the Protector's Master of Requests, which apparently means that he was clerk or registrar of the court of requests which Somerset, possibly at Hugh Latimer 's instigation, illegally set up in Somerset House to hear poor men's complaints. He also seems to have acted as private secretary to the Protector, and was in some danger at the time of the Protector's fall in October The lords opposed to Somerset ordered his detention on 10 October, and in November he was in the Tower of London.

Cecil ingratiated himself with John Dudley, then Earl of Warwick , and after less than three months he was out of the Tower. On 5 September Cecil was sworn in as one of King Edward's two secretaries of state. In April , Cecil became chancellor of the Order of the Garter. To protect the Protestant government from the accession of a Catholic queen, Northumberland forced King Edward's lawyers to create an instrument setting aside the Third Succession Act on 15 June Cecil resisted for a while, in a letter to his wife, he wrote: "Seeing great perils threatened upon us by the likeness of the time, I do make choice to avoid the perils of God's displeasure.

Years afterwards, he pretended that he had only signed the devise as a witness, but in his apology to Queen Mary I , he did not venture to allege so flimsy an excuse; he preferred to lay stress on the extent to which he succeeded in shifting the responsibility on to the shoulders of his brother-in-law, Sir John Cheke, and other friends, and on his intrigues to frustrate the Queen to whom he had sworn allegiance.


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There is no doubt that Cecil saw which way the wind was blowing, and disliked Northumberland's scheme; but he had not the courage to resist the duke to his face. As soon, however, as the duke had set out to meet Mary, Cecil became the most active intriguer against him, [11] and to these efforts, of which he laid a full account before Queen Mary, he mainly owed his immunity. He had, moreover, had no part in the divorce of Catherine of Aragon or in the humiliation of Mary during Henry's reign, and he made no scruple about conforming to the Catholic reaction.

He went to Mass , confessed, and in no particular official capacity went to meet Cardinal Pole on his return to England in December , again accompanying him to Calais in May He was elected to Parliament as knight of the shire for Lincolnshire in probably , and and for Northamptonshire in It was rumoured in December that Cecil would succeed Sir William Petre as Secretary of State , an office which, with his chancellorship of the Garter, he had lost on Mary's accession to the throne.

Probably the Queen had more to do with this rumour than Cecil, though he is said to have opposed, in the parliament of in which he represented Lincolnshire , a bill for the confiscation of the estates of the Protestant refugees. But the story, even as told by his biographer, [12] does not represent Cecil's conduct as having been very courageous; and it is more revealing that he found no seat in the parliament of , for which Mary had directed the return of "discreet and good Catholic members ".

The Duke of Northumberland had employed Cecil in the administration of the lands of Princess Elizabeth. Before Mary died he was a member of the "old flock of Hatfield", and from the first, the new Queen relied on Cecil.

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He was also the cousin of Blanche Parry , Elizabeth's longest serving gentlewoman and close confidante. The Queen appointed Cecil Secretary of State. His tight control over the finances of the Crown, leadership of the Privy Council , and the creation of a highly capable intelligence service under the direction of Francis Walsingham made him the most important minister for the majority of Elizabeth's reign.

Dawson argues that Cecil's long-term goal was a united and Protestant British Isles, an objective to be achieved by completing the conquest of Ireland and by creating an Anglo-Scottish alliance. With the land border with Scotland safe, the main burden of defence would fall upon the Royal Navy , Cecil proposed to strengthen and revitalise the Navy, making it the centerpiece of English power. He did obtain a firm Anglo-Scottish alliance reflecting the common religion and shared interests of the two countries, as well as an agreement that offered the prospect of a successful conquest of Ireland.

However, his strategy ultimately failed. His idea that England's safety required a united British Isles became an axiom of English policy by the 17th century. Though a Protestant, Cecil was not a religious purist; he aided the Protestant Huguenots and Dutch just enough to keep them going in the struggles which warded danger from England's shores. But Cecil never developed that passionate aversion from decided measures which became a second nature to Elizabeth.


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His intervention in Scotland in —60 showed that he could strike hard when necessary; and his action over the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots , proved that he was willing to take on responsibilities from which the Queen shrank. Generally he was in favour of more decided intervention on behalf of continental Protestants than Elizabeth would have liked, but it is not always easy to ascertain the advice he gave. He left endless memoranda lucidly nevertheless sometimes bordering on the ridiculous setting forth the pros and cons of every course of action; but there are few indications of the line which he actually recommended when it came to a decision.

How far he was personally responsible for the Anglican Settlement , the Poor Laws , and the foreign policy of the reign, remains to a large extent a matter of conjecture. However, it is most likely that Cecil's views carried the day in the politics of Elizabethan England. The historian Hilaire Belloc contends that Cecil was the de facto ruler of England during his tenure as Secretary; pointing out that in instances where his and Elizabeth's wills diverged, it was Cecil's will that was imposed.

Leimon and Parker argue that Burghley was the principal protector of Edward Stafford , the English ambassador to Paris and a paid spy who helped the Spanish at the time of the Spanish Armada. However, they do not claim Burghley knew of Stafford's treason. Cecil's share in the Religious Settlement of was considerable, and it coincided fairly with his own Anglican religious views. Like the mass of the nation, he grew more Protestant as time wore on; he was happier to persecute Catholics than Puritans ; and he had no love for ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

His prosecution of the English Catholics made him a recurring character in the "evil counsellor polemics", written by Catholic exiles across the channel. In these pamphlets, polemicists painted a black picture of Burghley as a corrupting influence over the queen. The finest encomium was passed on him by the queen herself, when she said, "This judgment I have of you, that you will not be corrupted with any manner of gifts, and that you will be faithful to the state. Burghley sought to ensure that policy was commensurate with the royal finances, which often led him advocating a cautious policy.

One of his biographers asserted that, for Burghley, "power was for defence from external enemies; plenty for security at home. Burghley pursued both power and plenty.

conversion.mavblog.ru/libs/sydoral/reshebnik-po-algebre.html They were the foreign and domestic aspects of his economic nationalism ". He represented Lincolnshire in the Parliament of and , and Northamptonshire in that of , and he took an active part in the proceedings of the House of Commons until his elevation to the peerage ; but there seems no good evidence for the story that he was proposed as Speaker in As Master of the Court of Wards, Burghley supervised the raising and education of wealthy, aristocratic boys whose fathers had died before they reached maturity.

He is widely credited with reforming an institution notorious for its corruption, but the extent of his reforms has been disputed by some scholars. He was the first Chancellor of University of Dublin , between and The fact that Burghley continued to act as Secretary of State after his elevation illustrates the growing importance of that office, which under his son became a secretary of the ship of state. In Burghley privately admonished the queen for her "doubtful dealing with the Queen of Scots.

In his view, Mary had to be executed because she had become a rallying cause for Catholics and played into the hands of the Spanish and of the pope, who excommunicated Elizabeth in and sent in Jesuits to organise a Catholic underground. By —6 these missionaries had set up a secret, but highly effective, underground system for the transport and support of priests arriving from the Continent.

His vacant post was offered to Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester , who declined it and proposed Burghley, stating that the latter was the more suitable candidate because of his greater "learning and knowledge". Burghley House , near the town of Stamford , was built for Cecil, between and , and modelled on the privy lodgings of Richmond Palace.

The house is one of the principal examples of 16th-century Elizabethan architecture , reflecting the prominence of its founder, and the lucrative wool trade of the Cecil estates. Cecil House was also built by Cecil in the 16th Century, as his London residence, an expansion of an already existing building. A new Theobalds House , just off the main road north from London to Ware, was built between and by the order of Cecil, intending to build a mansion partly to demonstrate his increasingly dominant status at the Royal Court , and also to provide a palace fine enough to accommodate the Queen on her visits.

Lord Burghley collapsed possibly from a stroke or heart attack in Before he died, Robert, his only surviving son by his second wife, was ready to step into his shoes as the Queen's principal adviser.

How did England try to control Ireland in the 16th Century?

Burghley's descendants include the Marquesses of Exeter , descended from his elder son Thomas; and the Marquesses of Salisbury , descended from his younger son Robert. Burghley's private life was upright; he was a faithful husband, a careful father and a dutiful master. A book-lover and antiquarian, he made a special hobby of heraldry and genealogy. It was the conscious and unconscious aim of the age to reconstruct a new landed aristocracy on the ruins of the old, Catholic order.

As such, Burghley was a great builder, planter and patron. All the arts of architecture and horticulture were lavished on Burghley House and Theobalds, which his son exchanged for Hatfield. His public conduct does not present itself in quite so amiable a light. As his predecessor, Lord Winchester, said of himself, he was sprung "from the willow rather than the oak". Neither Burghley nor Winchester was the man to suffer for the sake of obstinate convictions. The interest of the state was the supreme consideration for Burghley, and to it he had no hesitation in sacrificing individual consciences.

He frankly disbelieved in toleration; "that state", he said, "could never be in safety where there was a toleration of two religions. For there is no enmity so great as that for religion; and therefore they that differ in the service of their God can never agree in the service of their country". To say that he was Machiavellian is meaningless, for every statesman is so, more or less; especially in the 16th century men preferred efficiency to principle. On the other hand, principles are valueless without law and order; and Burghley's craft and subtlety prepared a security in which principles might find some scope.

The most prolonged of Cecil's surviving personal correspondences, lasting from until , is with Nicholas White , an Irish judge.