The Early Elizabethan Polity: William Cecil and the British Succession Crisis, 1558-1569

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $34.44
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 71%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $34.44   
  • New (3) from $99.76   
  • Used (3) from $34.44   


Traditionally historians have argued that the court of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) was factional, divided between competing subjects who were manipulated by their Queen. This book provides a different account: of councillors who were united by two connected dangers, namely Catholic opposition to Protestant England and Elizabeth's refusal to marry or to settle England's succession. Working from the papers of the Queen's secretary, William Cecil, the author has set this crisis in the context of events in Scotland, Ireland and mainland Europe, and has explored fully the long-term political impact of this succession crisis in the 1560s.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book's clear language, topic, and use of sources should appeal to an audience of professional historians and upper-level undergraduates." Mary Hill Cole, History

"Alford has written a very useful book..." American Historical Review

"...this is a very good book....Alford makes an important contribution to our understanding of how the political thought of the mid-sixteenth century shaped early Elizabethan policy." Norman Jones, Albion

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 William Cecil and early Elizabethan political culture 9
2 The politics of Britain and the development of the British succession crisis 1558-1559 43
3 Anglo-British negotiations for a settlement 1560-1563 71
4 New Tudor politics and the domestic impact of the succession issue 1560-1563 97
5 The Darnley marriage and weaknesses in the Elizabethan polity 1564-1566 120
6 Cecil, parliament, and the succession 1566-1567 142
7 Cecil's proposal for the settlement of Britain 1567-1568 158
8 The crisis of 1569 and an alternative remedy 182
Conclusion: the early Elizabethan polity 209
Appendices 223
Bibliography 244
Index 266
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)