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Important edition of central government records for Elizabeth I makes vital information available to historians.By 1540, the Privy Council had been established as the Crown's principal policy-making and executive arm. Under the later Tudors, it governed England on the sovereign's behalf, functioning as an elite corporate board, and imbued with a sense of collective responsibility. Policy was implemented chiefly by issuing orders in the form of letters and warrants. Unfortunately, the institution's internal records are imperfect; the Elizabethan registers, which for much of the period disclose attendance at Council meetings and briefly notice out-going correspondence, are lost for almost a third of the reign altogether. Moreover, the extant registers are themselves incomplete; for reasons that are still not entirely clear, the Council's clerks failed to record a substantial number of dispatches, even on matters of considerable political importance, which nevertheless survive today, either as originals or as contemporaneous copies, lying scattered in numerous manuscript collections both public and private. The collected Proceedings, of which this volume is the first, will fill the gaps not only among the registers, but within them. Wherever possible, the texts of actual dispatches are married up with the corresponding register entries, enabling historians to consult entire documents, rather than rely upon the clerks' often crude summaries. Above all, the sources, and the topics to which they relate, are fully contextualised through reference to the latest scholarship.
Dr DAVID CRANKSHAW lectures on early modern religious history at King's College London. He has published on the ecclesiastical patronage of the Elizabethan nobility, the Convocation of 1563 and St Paul's Cathedral. This edition is based on many years of research in numerous archives and work on the register itself (a much-corrected working document).
Proceedings of the Privy Council of Elizabeth I
BIC HBLH, 1DBK, 2AB, 3JB
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