Sir Christopher Hatton and Peregrine, Lord Willoughby as Examples of the Elizabethan Courtier

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courtiers, Elizabethan age, legal affairs, aristocracy, England, government policy


European History | Law | Political History | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


From a contemporary standpoint, it is sometimes difficult to appreciate the importance of the court as a vital institution in centuries past. For although courts of royalty still exist as remnants of tradition, they have become divorced from truly influential governmental policy. But far from being vestiges of empty ceremonial, the courts of early modern times were the indispensable vehicles for coordination of all important affairs of the state.

With the growth of monarchical power, the prestige of the court also increased. King and court came to be inextricably joined, and since the court, by definition, included the surroundings and retinue of the king, a kingless court was an inherent impossibility. This exclusive focus on royalty tended to reinforce itself and proved most advantageous for the sovereign attempting to curb the independence of rival aristocrats who might otherwise be occupied fomenting rebellion.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


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