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The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707$
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Jacqueline Rose

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266038

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266038.001.0001

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date: 22 September 2017

Sir Edward Hyde and the Problem of Counsel in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Royalist Thought

Sir Edward Hyde and the Problem of Counsel in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Royalist Thought

Chapter:
(p.249) 13 Sir Edward Hyde and the Problem of Counsel in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Royalist Thought*
Source:
The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707
Author(s):

Jacqueline Rose

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266038.003.0013

Arguments about good and evil counsel were central to political argument in England on the eve of Civil War. This chapter explores counsel’s continuing significance for one genre of royalists who continued to use it after 1642 both to depress parliament’s claim to sovereignty and to refute calls from their own side for Catholic or Presbyterian–Covenanting alliances. Men like Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, wanted a prestigious privy council, yet consistently gave counsel outside it owing to their emphasis on the conciliar oath to provide secret, morally sound, advice. They complained about malign advisers, but also criticised monarchs for bad decisions. Seeking moral rather than institutional restraints on monarchy, they demonstrate how, in the mid-seventeenth century, institutional councils were less important than counsel —a diffuse element of friendship and sociability as well as a quotidian political activity.

Keywords:   Edward Hyde, counsel, privy council, oaths, royalism, Civil Wars, friendship

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