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Title: The military functions of the office of lord lieutenant, 1585 to 1603, with special emphasis on Lord Burghley
Authors: Williams, W. Keith.
Award date: 2002
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This dissertation is an investigation of the military functions of the office of lord lieutenant in the years 1585 to 1603. The lieutenants commanded the county militias, and the main goal of this study is to determine whether or not they were vital to military efficiency in the late-Elizabethan years. By vital, it is meant did the lieutenants make a noticeable difference in a country's performance in preparing sufficient men and arms for service. Emphasis is placed on William Cecil, first Lord Burghley, lieutenant of Essex, Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire because he was typical of many lieutenants in that he was involved in national government as a privy councillor and Lord Treasurer in addition to being an absentee lieutenant. Like all lieutenants, he relied on his deputies to oversee the actual work of mustering and levying men in the counties. Many of those deputies would later become members of the commissions of musters that replaced lieutenants in many counties after 1590. The fact that many lieutenancies were not renewed calls the importance of the office into question. Burghley's approach to the job is explored and his deputies compared to those of several other counties. Then other lieutenants, including Sir Christopher Hatton, George Talbot, William Brooke, Charles Howard of Effingham, Henry Carey and Roger North, are compared to Burghley. The musters and levies, the chief military functions, which took place under Burghley from 1587 until his death in August 1598 are compared with those in other counties. Burghley's former counties had no lieutenants from late 1598 through the rest of Elizabeth's reign in March 1603. During these later years, a commission of musters supervised the militias in those counties, making it possible to compare the difference, if any, the two types of command had on military competence. The findings here are that there are no major differences between counties with lieutenants and those without them. The office of lord lieutenant had no major impact on military efficiency.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Historical Studies
Leicester Theses

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