Household, politics and political morality in the reign of Henry VII

Grummitt, David (2009) Household, politics and political morality in the reign of Henry VII. Historical Research , 82 (217). pp. 393-411. ISSN 0950-3471. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Late fifteenth-century England, it has recently been suggested, experienced its own ‘pre-Machiavellian moment’, when the rules of politics and political morality were redefined in the crucible of civil war. Moreover, this was part of a wider western European shift in the nature of politics and one with which Henry, as an exile in Brittany and France, was personally acquainted. The Spanish ambassador’s comment, therefore, that the king wished to rule in the ‘French fashion’ can be interpreted in terms of politics and morality as well as government and administration. This article will argue that the redefinition of political morality in Henry’s reign centred upon a redefinition of the nature of the household and the role of household servants. It was manifested through changes in the institution of the royal household itself (the development of the privy chamber and financial machinery of the chamber) and through conflict over the role and meaning of the household. The unease and crisis around this redefinition of one of the cornerstones of late medieval political and social life was also reflected in discourse, such as in the poems of Skelton and in contemporary chronicles. Despite this disquiet, the alteration in political culture was lasting and defined the practice of politics throughout the remainder of the sixteenth century.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Zoe Denness
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2012 14:59
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2014 12:50
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