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Title: Sir Henry Lee (1533-1611) : the life and career of an Elizabethan courtier gentleman
Author: Simpson, Susan Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0001 3412 4544
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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Sir Henry Lee lived from 1533 to 1611. Despite a long and active career as Elizabeth I's tournament champion, instigator of the Accession Day tournaments, Steward of the Queen's manor at Woodstock, Master of the Armoury and Knight of the Garter, Lee remained a gentleman, howbeit one of the elite courtier gentlemen who served Elizabeth I. The only studies of Lee's life are the brief monograph produced by his descendant, Viscount Dillon of Ditchley in 1906, and E.K. Chambers' Sir Henry Lee: an Elizabethan Portrait (1936). Lee's name frequently appears in major works on Elizabethan England, yet despite its dated nature and factual errors, Chambers' work remains the sole secondary source of reference for Lee's life. A new study of Lee's long life offers an opportunity to examine the values, hopes, expectations and frustrations of an elite Elizabethan gentleman, with others of his social class. Sir Henry Lee also had talents that singled him out from his counterparts. His contemporary fame was based upon his performance in the tournaments, an activity that was becoming outmoded as training for war, but still, in the eyes of the public, represented the best of chivalric virtues. This study will attempt to analyse how tournaments developed in late Elizabethan England, the uses to which they could be put, and how Lee saw the role of chivalric values they embodied. Lee is interesting to study as a human being. He had a wife, a mistress, land holdings, a wealth of friends and a long relationship with Queen Elizabeth. This study seeks to describe and appraise Lee's life and career in its entirety, using a wide range of primary sources, many not available to Chambers. These sources will be used in the context of recent scholarship on Elizabeth's England as well as what remains of Lee's material culture, in an attempt to understand the life of an understudied and underrated Elizabethan gentleman.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available