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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article traces the growth of the Howards at the English court. On 24 May 1612 Robert Cecil — Earl of Salisbury, Secretary of State, Lord Treasurer, Master of the Wards, and the presiding genius of the early Jacobean Privy Council — finally succumbed to the illness that had been the talk of London and the court for months. Cecil's death marked the end of an era at court and beyond, and the beginning of a period of intensified political flux. Major state offices had to be filled. The balance of power at court, the struggle for influence over the direction of royal policy, and the flow of patronage and reward would all have to be adjusted. This article provides an overview of court politics and its scabrous counterpoint in the political public sphere from the death of Cecil in 1612 until the ascendancy of Buckingham in 1616–17.

Keywords: the Howards, English Court, Earl of Salisbury, Jacobean Privy Council

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