1.1 Heath announced Mary's death and proclaimed Elizabeth's succession - he
should've dissolved parliament - showed Elizabeth had support of elites. She
appointed Cecil Principal Secretary to the Council and was assured the support
of 9 of Mary's councillors. Elizabeth wanted to preserve the prerogative powers of
the Crown: right o call and suspend parliament, declare war, appoint ministers,
name a successor etc... Other key figures in council were Bacon, Russel and
1.2 Cecil was seen as more radical in religious terms and this led to
divisions between him and more moderate council members - the
Privy council had no chief minister so decisions were made collectively.
1.3 Parliament sat for less than 3 years in her whole reign.
It's functions were law making (438 acts passed),
granting taxtation (11/13 sessions asked to grant
revenue) and advice - however Elizabeth was not
interested in MPs advice, especially when she felt it
came under the royal prerogative.
1.4 Mps rushed to get home and Elizabeth
thought of herself as superior to MPs.
1.5 Parliament was managed by the Privy
Council and Cecil was important in the
deliberations of the Commons - he prepared
the Crown's legislative programme.
1.6 1559 parliament - religious settlement. 1563 and 1566-7 parliaments -
Elizabeth wanted money but MPs wanted to debate marriage and
succession. 1566 saw further religious reform. 1571- wanted to
strengthen treason law and laws against Catholics after the Pope's
excommunication and she wanted a subsidy - all of these were granted.
2.1 Cecil was the most influential minister and in 1572 became Lord Treasurer
and Baron Burghley. He co-ordinated the privy Council, managed
parliament and supervised the Exchequer. He was strict on royal
expenditure however failed to reform the Crowns system of raising revenue.
2.2 There was a reshaping of the council in the 1970s. The number of
Catholic aristocracy fell and many firmly Protestant councillors were
appointed. This didn't improve its effectiveness. They refused to endorse
the French marriage and were debating intervention in the Netherlands.
There was a breakdown in relations after the execution of MQS in 1587.
It has been argued that the council offered cohesive decision making.
2.3 1579 Elizabeth contemplated marriage with
the French Duke of Anjou but people were
worried about a French infant succession.
2.4 1572 - MPs called for execution of Norfolk and MQS after Ridolfi plot.
Norfolk was executed but Elizabeth refused to declare MQS a traitor and
remove her from succession. 1576 - recall of 1572, Queen was voted a
subsidy and Wentworth imprisoned for breeching royal prerogative. 1581 -
recall of 1572, she strengthened anti-catholic laws and was granted a
subsidy. 1584 - anti-catholic legislation, gave legal basis to Bond of
Association, act deemed Jesuits and Catholic priests as traitors.
2.5 1570s and 80s there were good parliamentary management. In 1584
she allowed MPs home for christmas, MPs generally obeyed, it was
the House of Commons that imprisoned Wentworth and Elizabeth
arrested Cope and others in 1587 for discussing his Bill and Book.
2.6 Regional gov and border admin: Council of
Wales and the Marches - answerable to Privy
Council, counties angered that they had limited
political influence. Anglo-Scottish Border -
divided into east, middle and west march -
important to protect the border from
French/Scottish invasion. Elizabeth appointed
leading locals to lead them - there was
dissatisfaction with border admin due to corrupt
northern practices and factional rivalry.
Northern Counties had legal and admin duties
but it failed to deal with Northern Rebellion.
Earl of Huntingdon used the council to attack
2.7 Assize judges - there were 6 assize
circuits. Twice a year judges tried both
criminal and civil cases in each county.
They bought royal justice and were
important in communication between
Crown and leaders of county
2.8 Lords Lieutenant - responsible for military
organisation of county. Made permanent in
1585, effective structure for protecting foreign
invasion.There were deputy lieutenants,
muster captains and muster masters.
2.9 County Government. Sheriffs collected royal
revenue, held county courts, trained soldiers and
executed criminals. Their power declined under
Elizabeth. Justices of Peace - exercised criminal
jurisdiction in cases not passed onto assize judges.
They dealt with social and economic regulations.
2.10 Church Courts - under authority of bishop.
Consistory court ran by Chancellor of
Diocese (appointed by bishop) and lower
court ran by archdeacon - dealt with less
important matters. they had legal
responsibilities over moral offences.
2.11 Local and parish government - The high
constable could arrest and execute criminals
sent my sheriffs an JPs. They trained village
military. Elected yearly and were genuine
representatives of the community.
2.12 Boroughs - self governing towns. Power in the
hands of the mayor and senior members. They
could establish own laws but were subject to
instructions from the Privy Council.
3.1 Many able ministers died in the 80s and 90s
(Leicster, Walshingham...). By 1597 the council only
had 11 members. Elizabeth didn't allow Burghley to
retire. Burghley appointed his son Cecil to the
council who took on an important role.
Replacements tended to lack skills.
3.2 Financial trouble due to war with Spain and
declining yield from taxation. However, financial
admin was well controlled and systems worked.
3.3 Factional rivalry. The main access to patronage was
through Burghley, Liecster and Hatton. The system
became unbalanced in the 90s as some sources of
patronage were dead and Cecil was less inclined to
keep a balanced system. essex felt he should be a
patronage broker. Essex disagreed with cecil's takeover
of the council as he used bureaucracy. The two
disagreed on the war with Spain - Burghley wanted to
end it, Essex wanted continuation.
3.3.1 Essex tried to advance Bacon to Attorney General but Elizabeth refused.
Cecil recommended the less prestigious post of Solicitor General. Cecil was
appointed Secretary of State. The failure of Essex's 1597 expedition to
make financial gains worsened his relations with Elizabeth.
184.108.40.206 Elizabeth took Cecil's advice on who to appoint Lord Deputy in 1598
- this angered Essex, leading to Elizabeth slapping him and him
withdrawing from court. He took 3 months to apologise and failed as
Lord Lieutenant in Ireland.
3.4 1589 parliament aimed at raising revenue - the Queen got a
double subsidy over 4 years. 1593 - aimed at recusancy legislation,
there was some opposition to the bill. Wentworth imprisoned for
mentioning succession. 1597-8 - Elizabeth needed money,
introduction of poor law and controversy over monopolies. 1601 -
controversy over monopolies but Elizabeth praised MPs in 'Golden
3.5 Management of parliament became more difficult in 90s
due to: deaths of councillors, financial difficulty and
resentment over monopolies. Coke (elected speaker)
successfully ensured the Crown's bills were given priority.
Differences in dealing with religion - Crown wanted a
punitive act against sectaries but MPs opposed this.
3.6 Monopolies issue. The Crown sold patents of monopoly at a
time when real incomes were declining (making it hard to
finance war with Spain). Many saw this as being inflationary
and anti-competitive. The Crown later promised to scrutinise
existing patents not prevent the suing of patentees. However,
the Crown continued to grant patents leading to controversy
in 1601 parliament. In the 1601 session critics of the Crown
secured control over parliament. They produced evidence of
the negative effects of monopolies and this led the Crown to
revoke the most unpopular ones. The Commons showed
political control over monopolies and administrative success
by refining the poor law in 1597 which lasted until 1834.