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Title: The Essex rebellion, 1601 : subversion or supplication?
Author: Dickinson, Janet Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3424 0000
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2005
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The most influential accounts of Tudor chivalry rest on the notion that there was a conflict of interests between the monarchy and the nobility. Yet this thesis has been fundamentally challenged by recent research into the continuing importance of the nobility. This study advances the debate by re-assessing the significance of chivalric values at the later-Elizabethan court. It will focus on the rise and fall of Robert Devereux, second earl of Essex. Essex's sense of his own identity - of his socio-political function as nobleman, knight and courtier - was crucial to his political actions. This study will argue that to understand the latter we have to work towards an understanding of his chivalric identity - of the values that he considered important. The defining event of Essex's career was his rebellion of 1601. By relating the rebellion to contemporary socio-political paradigms, expressed before, during and after the 'rebellion' by the rebels themselves, this study will present if not as part of any longstanding tradition of dissent and suppression but as a momentary crisis, specific to the breakdown of the relationship between Elizabeth and Essex. Exploring the central importance of this relationship and thereby questioning recent historians' tendency to marginalize the queen, the study will explore Elizabeth's continuing centrality to the conduct of political life during the last years of her reign. Where historians have somewhat unquestioningly agreed that the last decade of Elizabeth's reign was characterised by the total collapse of consensus and the eruption of 'factional strife' between Essex and the Cecils, this study, through an examination of the values and beliefs that motivated both Essex and the Cecils, will question the extent to which the period was racked by factional intrigue. In so doing, this study will compel a fundamental reappraisal of the last years of Elizabeth's reign.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available