William Cecil, Ireland, and the Tudor State

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-05-04
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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William Cecil, Ireland, and the Tudor State explores the complex relationship which existed between England and Ireland in the Tudor period, using the long association of William Cecil (1520-1598) with Ireland as a vehicle for historical enquiry. That Cecil, Queen Elizabeth's most trusted advisor and the most important figure in England after the queen herself, consistently devoted his attention and considerable energies to the kingdom of Ireland is a seldom-explored aspect of his life and his place in the Tudor age. Yet amid his handling of a broad assortment of matters relating to England and Wales, the kingdom of Scotland, continental Europe, and beyond, William Cecil's thoughts regularly turned to the kingdom of Ireland. He personally compiled genealogies of Ireland's Irish and English families and poured over dozens of national and regional maps of Ireland. Cecil served as chancellor of Ireland's first university and, most importantly for the historian, penned, received, and studied thousands of papers on subjects relating to Ireland and the crown's political, economic, social, and religious policies there. Cecil would have understood all of this broadly as 'Ireland matters', a subject which he came to know in greater depth and detail than anyone at the court of Queen Elizabeth I.

Maginn's extended analysis of Cecil's long relationship with Ireland helps to make sense of Anglo-Irish interaction in Tudor times, and shows that this relationship was characterized by more than the basic binary features of conquest and resistance. At another level, he demonstrates that the second half of the sixteenth century witnessed the political, social, and cultural integration of Ireland into the multinational Tudor state, and that it was William Cecil who, more than any other figure, consciously worked to achieve that integration.

Author Biography

Christopher Maginn received his PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has published extensively on the history of early modern Ireland and Britain. He is currently Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Fordham University in New York.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xii
List of Maps and Illustrationsp. xiii
Note on Spelling and Datesp. xvi
Introductionp. 1
England and Ireland: A Deepening Association
The Lordship of Ireland, 1520p. 15
The Kingdom of Ireland, 1550p. 36
Ireland Matters
Correspondence and Points of Contactp. 55
Government and Policyp. 78
Moneyp. 113
The Irishp. 142
Religionp. 165
Burghley's Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland, 1598p. 191
'A carefull father for this poore realm'p. 213
Conclusion: William Cecil, Ireland, and the Tudor Statep. 223
Bibliographyp. 231
Indexp. 247
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