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date: 27 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

William Cecil, Lord Burghley, managed Elizabeth’s England from late 1558 until his death in 1598. Over that long period, his personality and his managerial style imprinted on the Elizabethan state. A first generation Protestant, deeply steeped in humanism, his views of government were shaped by his experiences as Principal Secretary in Edward VI’s reign and as a nicodemite participant in Mary’s reign. He conceived his job to be keeping God’s anointed, Elizabeth, on the throne and keeping England safe from internal division and external invasion. To do this he used conceptions of honour, feudal and Christian values, law and the social customs to persuade and dissuade. He worked through standing institutions, such as the justices of the peace, and his pragmatic conservatism limited innovation in government. In order to secure the cooperation of the ruling elites, he had to comprise to achieve his goals.

Keywords: Lord Burghley, management, Queen Elizabeth, humanism, virtue, government, William Cecil, persuasion and rhetoric, Protestant

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