The personal and professional relationships between Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, and his closest advisors
Thomas Wentworth, first Earl of Strafford has usually been portrayed as an isolated figure working in Ireland for the good of the Crown, single-handedly tackling issues of policy and authority. However, the support systems behind his regime have not been examined in detail, in particular the role played by Sir George Radcliffe and Christopher Wandesford. This thesis aims to redress the balance concerning relationships between important and powerful members of the gentry and nobility and the support systems they surrounded themselves with. The extent of the involvement of Wentworth's closest advisors in his political career is tracked throughout the English Parliaments of the 1620s before following them into courtly careers in the North and in Ireland. Any study of Wentworth's career cannot disregard these important figures and their relationship with Wentworth. In their capacity as Wentworth's deputies, Wandesford and Sir Edward Osborne, Wentworth's Vice President of the Council in the North, were unable to exert the same influence as Wentworth as they were, in effect, the 'representative 's representative ' and therefore were unable to wield similar levels of authority. The downfall of Wentworth 's regime in Ireland will be examined, focusing upon the English and Irish Parliament's attempt to impeach Radcliffe. The epilogue reveals that Wentworth was the lynchpin in the cabal, and once he was executed in May 1642, the strong tie between these men disintegrated. Radcliffe was the only prominent figure of the cabal during the Interregnum, becoming attached to the Court of the Duke of York in exile. This thesis demonstrates that secretariats and cabals could play an integral and essential role within the political life of a prominent politician and cannot simply be dismissed as clients and men-of-business.