By Stephen Alford
This booklet is a reconstruction of the kingship and politics of the 3rd Tudor king of britain, Edward VI (born 1537), who reigned among 1547 (from the age of 9) until eventually his loss of life in 1553. The reign has usually been interpreted as a interval of political instability, commonly due to the king's age. This booklet explores how the reign was once remarkably solid; and likewise how, throughout the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) the Edwardian thought of what it was once to be a monarch--and a few of the similar males who had served Edward VI as councillors and courtiers--dominated Tudor politics.
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Extra resources for Kingship and Politics in the Reign of Edward VI
Richardson, ‘Hayward’, I, p. ; II, pp. –. Peter Heylyn commented that Dudley discharged the king’s physician and chose instead a woman to treat the king; David Hume reported that the king’s health declined ‘from the time that lord Robert Dudley had been put about him, in the quality of gentleman of the bedchamber’. Heylyn, Ecclesia Restaurata, p. ; David Hume, The History of England under the House of Tudor, vols. (London, ), I, p. . Heylyn, Ecclesia Restaurata, p. .
Loach, Edward VI, ed. Bernard and Williams, p. . Constructing the reign of Edward VI and lords lieutenant. The King’s Council in the reign of Edward VI, published a year after Michael Bush’s study, is just as important in, and expressive of, the recent historiography. Elton had presented a reign beset by virulent ‘faction struggles’ resulting from ‘the decay of good royal government in Edward VI’s minority’. Although ‘factiousness’ still had a part to play in this revised model of Edwardian politics, it was a model shaped primarily by an appreciation of what, for Hoak, became the critical point of reference: the institutional Privy Council.
F. Tout in the s. Tout, in turn, had informed Elton’s reading of the centuries before and his appreciation of the operation of government. One result of this has been that for ﬁfty years historians of the ﬁfteenth and sixteenth centuries have worked on their subjects in radically different ways. Another is that Tudor historians have inherited an excessively institutionalized model of how government should have worked in the sixteenth century, even to the point of distorting our understanding of what ‘politics’ actually was.