12. A Cambridgeshire Lieutenancy Letterbook 1595-1605. Edited by E.J. Bourgeois II
A grass-roots account of the Elizabethan militia; invaluable for anyone interested in the interaction of central and local
government in early modem England.
Between 1595 and 1602 the government of Elizabethan England had to meet many demands on its military strength. It sent many troops to Ireland in an attempt to impose English rule, kept sizeable forces in the Low Countries to assist the struggle against Spain, and was threatened with invasion by a second Spanish Armada. The crisis meant that the county militia was faced with repeated calls for help from the central government.
For one county, Cambridgeshire, this pressure and the local response is exceptionally well documented in a manuscript letterbook among the Harleian Collection in the British Library. This volume is a transcription of the letterbook.
County administrations are often described as inefficient by historians, but the letterbook suggests that in Cambridgeshire the lord lieutenant and his deputies were diligent and highly competent servants of the national authorities: the volume revises our judgement upon the quality of Elizabethan governance.
ISBN: 0 904323 12 9 ; 978 0 904323 12 2
Price: £ 12.00
Introduction. Map. Transcribed texts. Index. 280 pp. Softback.
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Bourgeois II, E.J.
Eugene Bourgeois. Professor of History at Southwest Texas State University.
Reviews: Cambridgeshire Lieutenancy Letterbook 1595-1605 (1997)
“We desperately need to discover all we can about the two chief topics here considered—local government and military organization in the Tudor-Stuart age…[the] edition will really be quite invaluable.” Sir Geoffrey Elton, Regius .
“A thoughtful, worthwhile and valuable addition to the literature which discusses the military, county and government issues of the late 1590s in Elizabethan England…he guides the reader through the complicated web of patronage, compromise, consensus and conflict that characterizes the period…a valuable monograph on the late Elizabethan Cambridgeshire military, social, political and economic world with an extensive primary source document attached to it.” Dr. Richard Stewart, Director, History and Museums
Other publications: Ruling Elite of Cambridgeshire, England, 1520-1603 in 2003, based on the research for his Cambridge PhD 1988.
Meeting the Demands of War: Late-Elizabethan Militia Management in Cambridgeshire, The Local Historian 26, no. 3 (August 1996): 130-416
The Queen, a Bishop and a Peer: A Clash for Power in mid-Elizabethan Cambridgeshire.Sixteenth Century Journal 26, no. 1 (spring 1995): 3-15
Mary Tudor’s Accession and Cambridgeshire: Political Allegiance and Religion. The Lamar Journal of the Humanities 21, no. 1 (spring 1995): 37-49
The Tudor Army. Lord Lieutenant. Social Structure. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Wardship and the Court of Wards. in R. Fritze (ed.). The Historical Dictionary of Tudor England (Greenwood Press, 1991)