Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England

Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England

Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England

Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England


This wide-ranging volume goes to the heart of the revisionist debate about the crisis of government that led to the English Civil War. The author tackles questions about the patronage that structured early modern society, arguing that the increase in royal bounty in the early seventeenth century redefined the corrupt practices that characterized early modern administration.


The completion of a project, like the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new, is a moment for reflection. When it comes time to acknowledge one’s scholarly debts, how much one owes to others becomes apparent.

This book would not have been possible without the National Endowment for the Humanities, which provided fellowship support both to me and to the research libraries at which I worked, for which I am deeply grateful. I am grateful too to the British Academy and the American Council of Learned Societies for grants for this project. the Henry E. Huntington Library provided fellowship support to use its extensive manuscript collections for which I wish to express my great appreciation to Robert Middlekauff, Martin Ridge and Mary Robertson. a fellowship from the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1988/9 enabled me to complete this book for which I wish to thank Werner Gundersheimer, Barbara Mowat and Lena Orlin. Purdue University generously allowed me to work at these research libraries and I am grateful to John Contreni, David Caputo and Varro Tyler for their support.

I learned so much by participating in the Folger Center for the History of British Political Thought, from teaching a research seminar on early seventeenth century political thought and from organizing a conference on “The Mental World of the Jacobean Court.” I am deeply grateful to J.G.A. Pocock, Lois Schwoerer, Gordon Schochet and Lena Orlin for the opportunity to take part. If this book sounds as much like Politics, Language and Time as the Structure of Politics on the Eve of the Accession of George iii, that may be the reason.

Both the Huntington and the Folger provided good fellowship. I especially enjoyed the Folger fellowship class of 1988/9, A.R. Braunmuller, Gail Paster and Michael Neill, who will find traces of our conversations in these pages. I am very grateful to Barbara Donagan, Mark Edwards, Elizabeth Read Foster, Caroline Hibbard, Derek Hirst, Wilfred Prest and Barbara Taft for reading the individual chapters and providing helpful comments. Deepak Lal kindly

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