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Title: The 'Queen's party' : Henrietta Maria's court circle, 1625-1642
Author: Dobbie, Michelle Ann
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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In 1642, the Long Parliament denounced Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, for hatching ‘popish plots’ and giving ear to ‘evil counsellors’. They feared the queen’s influence at the Caroline court, made possible by Charles’ deep affection for Henrietta Maria. Commentators have debated her influence on Charles I and his policies, particularly in light of the Civil War and his ultimate beheading at the hands of Parliament. Nevertheless, little has been done to examine the powerful ‘evil counsellors’ feared and denounced by Parliament. Building on the work of R.M. Smuts and Caroline Hibbard, my thesis examines the membership, ideology, and activities of the ‘queen’s party’ (so-named by Archbishop Laud in 1637) from Henrietta Maria’s arrival in England in 1625 until her exile in 1642. To do so, I have focussed in particular on the careers of Henry, earl of Holland, Sir George Goring, Sir Kenelm Digby, Henry Jermyn, and Walter Montagu, who became powerful courtiers at the queen’s court, engaging in politics at home and abroad. By examining the domestic and foreign activities of these men within the context of their relationship with the queen, we can see a clearer picture of Henrietta Maria’s political agenda (often obscured by the restricted movements of the queen at the English court). The breadth of this research has led to the conclusion that the queen actively sought to involve herself in English and continental politics from the earliest years of her reign by gathering a group of English courtiers with French political connections and directing their actions in a coherent strategy to advance her political and religious goals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral