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Title: The administrative work of the English Privy Council, 1679-1714
Author: Carter, Jennifer J.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1958
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The Privy council was still an important part of the machinery of government in the period from 1679 to 1714. The Cabinet Council was in existence in some form all this time, though its development was not smooth and consistent; but the fact that the sovereigns closest advisers met in a semi-formal group did not necessarily detract from the activity of the Council, as the Cabinet was essentially the place where decisions were made, and the Council the means by which they were put into effect. However, the Cabinet did gradually undertake administrative as well as policy-making functions, and so came to take over work formerly belonging to the Privy council. Simultaneously, the departments of state were becoming more independent and powerful, and consequently the uses of the unspecialized Privy Council diminished. Nevertheless, at no time before 1714 was the Council made wholly important, nor was it superseded in importance by its own committees. The Council met often, both with and without the sovereign present. It handled a very large amount of business its head, the Lord President, was usually one of the most important ministers of his day. The Council had an efficient office system, and a staff of Clerks who were very competent professional administrators, and whose interests outside the Council provided informal contacts with nearly every part of the administration of this country and its overseas possessions. When all this is taken into account, the decisive part played by the Council in the last days of Queen Anne's reign does not seem such an isolated incident as it usually appears to be. The Council was deeply involved in the day to day workings of the government. The decline of the privy Council can be over emphasised, when the Council's administrative work is not acknowledged.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political Science