Court Factions in Early Modern England

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Court Factions in Early Modern EnglandAuthor(s): Robert ShephardSource: The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 721-745Published by: The University of Chicago PressStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2124905 .Accessed: 21/05/2014 18:16Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. .The University of Chicago Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to TheJournal of Modern History.http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=ucpresshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/2124905?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspReview Article Court Factions in Early Modem England Robert Shephard Elmira College Over the past generation, historians have increasingly come to see the royal Court as the most crucial center of power and politics in Tudor and Stuart England. 1 As recognition has grown that the actions of Parliament and of the formal institutions of government were often the consequences of informal power exercised at Court, greater attention has been directed to the workings of the Tudor and Stuart Court as a political arena. In the process, historians have devoted increasing - and increasingly sophisticated -analysis to the roles played at Court by factions.2 Despite some vigorous debates, considerable consensus has emerged about the nature and importance of Court factions. Indeed, they more and more appear to be the dominant form of political organization in this era. The time therefore seems opportune to review and assess the recent work that has been done on early 1 The trailblazing studies of the Court's political role focused on the reign of Elizabeth: J. E. Neale, "The Elizabethan Political Scene," in Essays in Elizabethan History (London, 1958), pp. 59-84; and Wallace T. MacCaffrey, "Place and Patronage in Elizabethan Politics," in Eliz- abethan Government and Society: Essays Presented to Sir John Neale, ed. S. T. Bindoff, Joel Hurstfield, and C. H. Williams (London, 1961), pp. 95-126. Later, two addresses by veteran Tudor historians urged a reevaluation of the Court's importance, published as G. R. Elton, "Tudor Government: The Points of Contact. III. The Court," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser., 26 (1976): 211-28; and Penry Williams, "Court and Polity under Elizabeth I," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 65 (1983): 259-86. On Elizabeth's reign, see also Simon Adams, "Eliza Enthroned? The Court and Its Politics," in The Reign of Elizabeth I, ed. Christopher Haigh (Athens, Ga., 1985), pp. 55-77; and Christopher Haigh, Elizabeth I (London, 1988), pp. 86- 105. The revisionists, by attacking the alleged overemphasis on Parliament in the traditional accounts of the early Stuart period, implicitly elevated the relative importance of the Court in national politics. Three important works on the English Court have appeared in the last few years: David M. Loades, The Tudor Court (London, 1986) is a work of synthesis covering the Tudor period. The essays in David Starkey, ed., The English Court from the Wars of the Roses to the Civil War (New York, 1987) provide a thoroughgoing reevaluation of the Court's role in English politics from the mid-fifteenth to mid-seventeenth centuries. Starkey's introductory essay in this work powerfully argues the case for viewing the Court, rather than Parliament or the departments of government, as the true seat of power in England from 1500 onward. Most recently, Linda Levy Peck has analyzed the operations and perceptions of Court politics in the early seventeenth century in Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England (Boston, 1990). An international perspective emerges from the essays in Ronald G. Asch, ed., Princes, Patronage, and the Nobility: The Court at the Beginning of the Modern Age (Oxford, 1991). 2 Important studies of Court faction in Tudor and Stuart England include two works by E. W. Ives: Faction in Tudor England (London, 1979), and "Faction at the Court of Henry VIII: The Fall of Anne Boleyn," History 57 (1972): 169-88. In the early 1980s, History Today published [Journal of Modern History 64 (December 1992): 721-745] ? 1992 by The University of Chicago. 0022-2801/92/6404-0005$01.00 All rights reserved. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp722 Shephard modem Court factions and to pursue some of the issues that have been raised. In certain instances, reconceptualizing the terms of discussion will provide greater clarity about the structure, function, and dynamics of Court factions, about disputes regarding terminology, and about the place of Court factions in the long-term evolution of the English political system. PREREQUIS1TES Following the anthropologist Ralph W. Nicholas, we can provisionally define a faction as a political group whose members are bound to a leader by a variety of personal, informal ties and which vies for power with other, similar groups.3 Factions based at the royal Court became important in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England because of some fundamental changes in the English political environment. In the first place, there was little reason for Court factions to exist until the royal Court had emerged as the paramount political arena in the land. In G. R. Elton's words, "The true Court of our imagining could not exist until the Crown had destroyed all alternative centers of political loyalty or (to emphasize another function of the Court) all alternative sources of worldly advancement."4 This elevation of the monarch's Court was gradually accomplished by the Yorkists and especially the early Tudors. As the central government came to exert more influence in the localities, both the leaders and followers of the existing territorial magnate factions had to cultivate ties with the Court, if only to avoid being trumped by those who did have such connections. And as the power and the stock of patronage commanded by the Crown increased, the attraction of the Court for anyone with a cause or a career to advance grew accordingly. Second, this newly central royal Court surrounded a king or queen who ruled as a personal monarch.5 While routine bureaucratic administration was growing, a series of short articles on faction in early modem England: David Starkey, "From Feud to Faction," History Today 32 (November 1982): 16-22; Simon Adams, "Faction, Clientage, and Party: English Politics, 1550- 1603," History Today 32 (December 1982): 33-39; Kevin Sharpe, "Faction at the Early Stuart Court," History Today 33 (October 1983): 39-46; and John Miller, "Faction in Later Stuart England," History Today 33 (December 1983): 5-11. Starkey has analyzed politics during Henry VIII's reign in terms of factions in The Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics (London, 1985). Adams provides useful background about Elizabethan and early Stuart discourse regarding Court factions in "Favourites and Factions at the Elizabethan Court," in Asch, ed., pp. 265-87. See also Elton, pp. 221-28; Williams, pp. 263-65; Adams, "Eliza Enthroned?" pp. 68-71; Haigh, pp. 100-103; Starkey, ed., passim; Loades, pp. 147- 66; and L. Peck, Court Patronage, pp. 53-56. 3 Ralph W. Nicholas, "Factions: A Comparative Analysis," in Friends, Followers, and Factions: A Reader in Political Clientelism, ed. Steffen W. Schmidt et al. (Berkeley, 1977), pp. 57-58. 4 Elton, p. 212. David Morgan has examined the process by which the royal Court was recognized in the late fifteenth century as being different in both kind and degree from other aristocratic households; see "The House of Policy: The Political Role of the Late Plantagenet Household, 1422-1485," in Starkey, ed., pp. 25-70. s Many of the recent writers on the Court and Court factions have emphasized the crucial role played by the decisions, actions, and general personalities of the individual monarchs in the government of this period. On this subject, see E. W. Ives, Faction in Tudor England, pp. 5-6, and Anne Boleyn (Oxford, 1986), pp. 5-6; Elton, pp. 218, 221-22; Sharpe, "Faction at the This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 723 it remained underdeveloped, and very few of the good things the Court had to offer could be obtained solely by such means. The exercise of power thus remained intensely personal, and all significant decisions -whether about per- sonnel, policy, or patronage - required the approval or at least the acquiescence of the monarch. Wise monarchs would carefully weigh the political consequences of such decisions. But if they chose not to be wise, there was no one who could stop them. Finally, the golden key to political power in such a system was access to the monarch.6 Personal contact with the king or queen provided the opportunity to seek grants or to influence policy. Letters would not do the trick. Only with assistance from those who did have access could one be sure that one's letter would be read or even delivered. Then, when the king or queen did read it, it was subjected to the comments and interpretations of those who were present. Nor were replies to letters always forthcoming. For these reasons Sir Robert Sidney, writing from his post in Flushing, asked the second Earl of Essex to remember him to the queen before Essex left on the Islands Voyage: Essex had earlier written on Sidney's behalf, "but being a letter never recieved answer. Now if your Lordship will take a time before yow goe, by the answer that shall be given unto yow I may ghess what my fortune will promis unto me."7 Those who lacked or lost personal access were cut off from the mainsprings of power and had to operate through intermediaries or use means outside the Court-perhaps trying to apply pressure through Parliament, as Buckingham's opponents did in the early years of Charles I's reign, or, in more extreme cases, resorting to plotting or outright rebellion. Access to the monarch's private chambers was so important that David Starkey's assertion that "the history of the court is the history of those who enjoyed that access" is quite justified.8 By the same token, access was a key element determining the structure and operation of Court factions. STRUCrFURE Given the realities of power outlined above, how would political groups in such an environment organize themselves? In the first place, as has been widely Early Stuart Court," p. 39; Miller, pp. 6, 8; David Starkey, "Introduction: Court History in Perspective," in Starkey, ed., pp. 6-10, 24; Kevin Sharpe, "The Image of Virtue: The Court and Household of Charles I," in Starkey, ed., pp. 226-27; Loades, pp. 184-85; J. R. Jones, The Revolution of 1688 in England (New York, 1972), pp. 18-25. Max Weber's comparative typological account of patrimonial states remains suggestive (Economy and Society, ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich, 2 vols. [Berkeley, 1978], 2:1006-1110). 6 The unparalleled importance of access to the monarch has impressed all recent writers on the Tudor and Stuart Courts. On the centrality of access, see Starkey, "Introduction," pp. 5-6; Sharpe, "Image of Virtue," pp. 248-49; Elton, pp. 217-21; Ives, Faction in Tudor England, p. 6; Williams, pp. 270-72; Adams, "Eliza Enthroned?" pp. 73-74; Jones, pp. 21-22; and Loades, pp. 85-86, 133-34. 7 Sidney to Essex, May 24, 1597, Salisbury MS. 51, no. 24 (microfilm series M485), British Library, London. 8 Starkey, "Introduction," p. 5. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp724 Shephard recognized, those individuals who had both regular access to the monarch and influence with him or her occupied a very powerful position.9 They were able to argue for policies they favored and to act as brokers for the distribution of the many rewards, honors, and benefits controlled by the state. The formal positions held by these individuals mattered far less than the favor the monarch showed them and their regularity of access to him or her. Depending on the way a particular ruler organized his or her entourage, the key positions might be held by Privy Chamber or Bedchamber attendants, the Principal Secretary, or Privy Councillors. Occasionally, considerable influence was wielded by individuals holding no formal office, such as Ralegh before Elizabeth named him Captain of the Guard in 1587, and Father Petre before James II appointed him to the Privy Council in 1687.10 Contemporaries had keen noses for the scent of power and were not thrown off the track by formal titles or offices. Persons who sought a share of the power and wealth controlled by the state naturally gravitated toward those individuals with access and influence at Court, offering gratuities or service in exchange for patronage. Out of such interactions, the consensus runs, Court factions grew: an insider with access and influence helped favored suitors achieve their aims, building up a web of patron-client relationships and eventually becoming the leader of a faction. As E. W. Ives put it, "Patronage was deeply serious, to both sides, and it produced the simplest form of Tudor faction, the patron and the clients who depended on him and on whom he depended."" Since the demand for the potential benefits to be obtained at Court continued to outrun the supply until at least the Restoration, the leverage wielded by faction leaders and the need for clients to attach themselves to a successful faction remained a constant of political life. The competition at Court led sometimes to tactical alliances between factions and sometimes to bitter rivalries between them.'2 This account has considerable validity as it applies to the genesis of Court factions, but it obscures some important features of their structure. The terms "patronage," "patrons," and "clients" have become so pervasive in the histonrography of early modem England that they sometimes act as substitutes for 9 On this point, see Ives, Faction in Tudor England, pp. 5-7, "Faction at the Court of Henry VIII," p. 177; Sharpe, "Faction at the Early Stuart Court," pp. 39-40; Elton, pp. 216-17; and Loades, pp. 2-3. 10 For a brief survey of the differing "managerial styles" of the English monarchs from Henry VII through Charles I, see Starkey, "Introduction," pp. 7-10. On the priority of personal standing with the prince over forinal office, see Elton, p. 216; and Adams, "Eliza Enthroned?" pp. 62-63. Those who recall the influence over U.S. foreign policy wielded by Henry Kissinger in the Nixon and Ford administrations, first as national security advisor and then as secretary of state, will recognize that persons can count more than offices even in highly bureaucratic modem states. '1 Ives, Faction in Tudor England, p. 3. 12 For recent analyses by various historians of the development and structure of Court factions, all broadly similar, see ibid., pp. 3-7; Ives, "Faction at the Court of Henry VIII," p. 177; Elton, pp. 221-22, Sharpe, "Faction at the Early Stuart Court," pp. 39-40; and Williams, pp. 263-65. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 725 analytical clarity rather than aids to it.'3 In the case at hand, the vocabulary of "patronage" has suppressed full awareness of the variety of relationships within Court factions. 14 Close attention to the distinctions made by contemporaries can point our way to a more differentiated and more accurate picture of the organization of Court factions. In this period, abstract political analysis focused primarily on the formal institutions of government; to gain insight into the workings of informal power at Court, it is necessary to study the topical comments and practical advice recorded by its denizens. When one does so, it becomes evident that contemporaries did not understand factions to be simple pyramids of patron-client relationships. Instead, they saw factions as consisting of three broad but distinct groups - "friends," "followers," and "servants"-with differing relationships to the great figures at Court who acted as faction leaders. In his essay "Of Followers and Friends," Francis Bacon 13 The vocabulary of patronage was sometimes applied to political relationships in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, although other terms (e.g., "favor" and "service") were much more common. The terms were also used in religious and ecclesiastical contexts and to describe the relationship in the cultural sphere between an artist or writer and the person of high status who commissioned or accepted the dedication of a work of art or literature (OED, "patron," "client"; see also L. Peck, Court Patronage, p. 16). In this latter sense, "patronage" became an important concept in the field of art history in the course of the nineteenth century. In the 1960s and 1970s, anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists expanded the concept of patron-client relationships to analyze informal, dyadic relationships of dependence between inferiors and superiors in a multitude of tribal, traditional, and developing societies. A useful selection of this literature can be found in Schmidt et al., eds. (n. 3 above). In addition, three essays that are particularly suggestive for historians are Ernest Gellner, "Patrons and Clients," in Patrons and Clients in Mediterranean Societies, ed. Ernest Gellner and John Waterbury (London, 1977), pp. 1-6; S. N. Eisenstadt and Louis Roniger, "Patron-Client Relations as a Model of Structuring Social Exchange," Comparative Studies in Society and History 22 (1980): 42-77; and Robert R. Kaufman, "The Patron-Client Concept and Macro-Politics: Prospects and Problems," Comparative Studies in Society and History 16 (1974): 284-308. Historians of early modern Europe have too often applied the vocabulary of "patronage," "patrons," and "clients" in a sweeping way, without distinguishing among the wide variety of bonds, commitments, and degrees of deference involved. Hence the terms' frequent lack of helpfulness. A good rule would be for any scholar using these terms immediately to specify exactly what kind of patronage, patron, or client he or she is referring to. Sharon Kettering's important work Patrons, Brokers, and Clients in Seventeenth-Century France (New York, 1986) illuminates vast tracts of the murky landscape of early modem European patronage and clientage, although her emphasis on the role of brokers from regional elites in the integration of peripheral provinces into national states may be less applicable to other parts of Europe than to France. For an overview of patronage at the early Stuart Court that is sensitive to the many varieties and nuances of relations between "patrons" and "clients," see L. Peck, Court Patronage (n. 1 above), pp. 12-74. See also Victor Morgan, "Some Types of Patronage, Mainly in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England," in Klientalsysteme in Europa der Fruhen Neuzeit, ed. Antoni Maczak (Munich, 1988), pp. 91-115. 14 As examples of this tendency, consider the following definitions of "faction": "a group of people which seeks objectives that are seen primarily in personal terms" (Ives, Faction in Tudor England, p. 1); "heterogeneous groups of men connected by ties of interest, family, locality, chance encounter, sometimes by a shared faith or common policy" (Sharpe, "Faction at the Early Stuart Court," p. 40). In both cases, references to hierarchy appear in nearby passages, but only in the oversimplified form of ritual invocations of patron-client relationships. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp726 Shephard identified the crucial distinction between the first two groups when he said that it was ever honorable "to take advice of some few friends," while "ordinary followers ought to challenge no higher conditions than countenance, recommen- dation, and protection from wrongs.".15 A faction leader's "friends" were those close associates of gentle or noble status who shared his counsel and who were treated by him as near equals. These individuals might be relatives by blood or by marriage, comrades with shared experiences at university or at the Inns of Court or in the wars, or later acquaintances who won the faction leader's confidence because of their abilities or their political or religious sympathies. For those who sought to advance themselves at Court, friendship implied a mutual aid society whose members helped each other gain the material benefits and honors they sought there. Clarendon had this sense of the word in mind when he wrote of a successful courtier's need to secure honors and preferments "for such friends as might have been good outworks to have fortifi'd and secur'd his own condition."'16 To take another example, when Sir Robert Sidney-who had long been a close associate of the second Earl of Essex-was attempting to mend fences with Sir Robert Cecil after the Essex Rebellion, his agent Rowland White informed him: "In anything which lies in his might as a councillor he is ready to show his love unto you; for other matters that mean motion to the Queen, I think he will not be very forward, in regard that his own old friends are not satisfied, that thirst after preferment."' 17 In other words, Cecil would help Sidney in routine administrative business; but when it came to rewards and advancement, Cecil's own relatives, advisors, and associates would have first claim, and probably second and third, too. When friends obtained benefits for each other, this usually went under the rubric of "doing for" or "doing good for" or "pleasuring" one's friends. At one point the Earl of Kellie confided to his brother about Buckingham: "That whitche moste men plaine of him is his doeing soe mutche for his frinds. If it be a errore it is a pardonable one, and I culd wishe my selfe soe fortunate as to be one of them." 18 The faction leader, as the individual with the greatest influence, naturally took the lead here. But in an age which valued sprezzatura, the appearance that achievement was effortless, too much self-promotion was suspect. As Fulke Greville noted, "I feare, that hee who parsonally pleads sorrow to a Prince, in a kynd pleads merit, which I doe not.' "9 Every member of the circle of friends thus had the responsibility 15 Francis Bacon, "Of Followers and Friends," in Works, ed. James Spedding, Robert Ellis, and Douglas Heath, 15 vols. (Boston, 1857-74), 12:247-49. For a detailed analysis of the vocabulary of informal power at the Tudor and Stuart Courts, see Robert Shephard, "Royal Favorites in the Political Discourse of lTdor and Stuart England" (Ph.D. diss., Claremont Graduate School, 1985), chap. 3. 16 Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, "The Difference and Disparity between the Estates and Conditions of George Duke of Buckingham and Robert Earl of Essex," in Reliquiae Wottoni- anae, 3d ed. (London, 1672), p. 187. 17 De L'Isle and Dudley MSS., Historical Manuscripts Commission, Great Britain, 6 vols. (London, 1925-66), 2:391. 18 Mar and Kellie MSS., Historical Manuscripts Commission, Great Britain, 2 vols. (London, 1904-30), 2:129. 19 Greville to Cecil, before September 15, 1598, Salisbury MS. 67, no. 50. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 727 to boost the others when opportunities presented themselves. By the same token, individuals who failed to help their friends in these ways were subject to criticism. In one sense, these circles of friends were preexisting groups, independent of the Court. At the same time, however, these groups attained political significance only when one of their members gained the favor of the king or queen. Then a Court faction would crystallize along the web of relationships centered on that particular individual. Regarding kinship groups, the anthropologist Pierre Bour- dieu has argued that it is crucial to distinguish between "official kinship" -the objective genealogy of who is related to whom-and the practical kinship groups whose members regularly interact with and assist each other, and which "exist only through and for the particular functions in pursuance of which they have been effectively mobilized."20 Much the same distinction needs to be made when one considers the friends at the core of a Court faction. Every individual had a large number of relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Yet these relationships were only of potential significance politically. A particular person's standing in a Court faction would depend on the ties he or she happened to have with the faction leaders of the moment. Those relationships would then solidify because of their immense practical usefulness on both sides. (In much the same way, lottery winners today can expect to hear from all sorts of long-lost relatives and friends, as the relationship suddenly becomes significant.) For this reason, a statement such as Simon Adams made about Robert Dudley, that "from the earliest years of [Elizabeth's] reign he was the inheritor of his father's following, and it was this that gave significance to his position as intimate and potential consort" -needs to be turned around.2' Leaving aside the fact that Robert was the younger surviving son of Northumberland, he had been no less the "inheritor" of his father's faction in Mary's reign than he was in Elizabeth's. Yet Dudley had been politically insignificant then because of the suspicion with which Mary regarded his whole family. As contemporaries repeatedly noted, Dudley became important politically because of his close relationship with the new queen. Her favor activated the latent, potential network surrounding the Dudley clan, as the flood of letters to Lord Robert at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign testifies.22 On the other hand, a vertical, hierarchical distinction separated those associates considered "friends" from those who were merely "followers." A follower was someone who was bound by ties of subordination and favor (or merely hoped-for favor) to an individual of greater status and power.23 Followers were thus very close to what modem historians usually refer to as "clients." Would-be followers flocked to those with influence at Court like moths to a light, attempting to gain their support by calling upon any conceivable past ties or potential future service. 20 Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge, 1977), p. 35; emphasis in original. For Bourdieu's discussion of the distinctions between official and practical kinship, see pp. 33-43. 21 Adams, "Faction, Clientage, and Party" (n. 2 above), p. 36. 22 A number of these letters survive and are calendared in Bath MSS., Historical Manuscripts Commission, Great Britain, vol. 5, Dudley Papers (London, 1980). 23 See Bacon, "Of Followers and Friends," 12:247-48. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp728 Shephard Some received posts in a greater man's household. For example, Sir Robert Naunton said of Lord Hunsdon that "he loved sword and buckler men, . . . of which sort, he had many brave Gentlemen that followed him."24 Other followers were members of established gentry families in the countryside or officials of town corporations who sought ties at Court primarily for the advantages they brought regarding local matters, such as appointments to the Commission of the Peace. In exchange, they might act as agents for their patron when his interests in the neighborhood required it, as Humphrey Ferrers apparently did for Leicester in 1578 regarding the disputed possession of the manor of Drayton Basset.25 In another vein, the exiled preacher Matthias Holmes described himself as Essex's "poor follower" and "loving follower" on the basis of unnamed "former favors," although Essex had not been responding to his recent letters.26 To be a follower was the loosest relationship within a Court faction, and most followers never advanced beyond that stage. The final distinct group within a faction was the "servants," who -unlike mere followers -held positions of trust within the household of a faction leader or one of his friends, as personal secretary, confidential agent, or factotum. Rowland White stood in this relationship to Sir Robert Sidney, as did John Husee to Viscount Lisle, Michael Hickes to Lord Burghley, Samuel Cox to Sir Christopher Hatton, and John Packer to the Duke of Buckingham, to name a few. The pattern at the political summit repeated itself at this lower level of the hierarchy. For these middlemen to the middlemen, close contact and regular access opened the door to influence and rewards. Michael Hickes, for example, apparently never received any salary from Burghley at all, yet gratuities from suitors and favors from his master allowed him to retire a wealthy man.27 By the nature of their position, these servants had greater constraints on their freedom of action than the friends did, but much greater security, influence, and hope for rewards than did mere followers. Court factions thus consisted neither of a bipolar patron-client structure nor of a smooth gradation of ties from the most intimate to the most distant. Rather, they contained these three distinct types of members, in addition to the faction leader himself. One's experience of Court politics depended to a considerable degree on which subgroup within a faction one belonged to, as will become clearer below in the section on the dynamics of Court factions. 24 Robert Naunton, Fragmenta Regalia, ed. John S. Cerovski (Cranbury, N.J., 1985), p. 70. For a vivid account of the activities of this type of follower, see Lawrence Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558-1641 (Oxford, 1965), pp. 223-34. 25 D. C. Peck, "The Earl of Leicester and the Riot at Drayton Basset, 1578," Notes and Queries, n.s., 27 (1980): 131-35. On the interaction between Court patronage and local ties, see L. Peck, Court Patronage (n. 1 above), pp. 75-105. M. A. R. Graves discusses the variety of services provided by Thomas Norton and William Fleetwood (remembrancer and recorder of the City of London respectively) to Burghley and other Privy Councillors in "The Management of the Elizabethan House of Commons: The Council's 'Men of Business,"' Parliamentary History 2 (1983): 11-38. 26 Holmes to Essex, November 13, 1596, Salisbury MS. 174, no. 30. 27 Alan G. P. Smith, Servant of the Cecils: The Life of Sir Michael Hickes (Totowa, N.J., 1977), pp. 67, 175-79. Regarding the many duties that the personal secretaries of great men were responsible for, and the many opportunities for gain they enjoyed, see chap. 3. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 729 AIMS A certain amount of debate has emerged regarding the aims and purpose of Court factions. Were they oriented primarily toward the individual aggrandizement of their members - "an alliance to secure spoils' "?28 Or were they cause-oriented, acting to forward specific political or religious programs? Ives, for instance, has defined a faction as "a group of people which seeks objectives that are seen primarily in personal terms."29 While he acknowledges that some Tudor factions acquired an ideology, by Elizabethan times or perhaps as early as the 1530s, he sees this as a later and secondary development.30 Even more emphatically, the revisionists viewed factions as vehicles for purely private and personal ambitions. From their perspective, therefore, to analyze early Stuart politics in terms of faction was to purge anachronistic social and ideological conflict from our interpretation of the period, emphasizing rather "the importance of personalities and personal connections -not connections based on constitu- tional principles or ideological commitments." 3' On the other side, some historians have stressed the importance of ideological and policy goals in factional alignments. Elton has made the most categorical assertion of this viewpoint. While recognizing that factions promoted the individual fortunes of their members, he has stated: "Yet nevertheless every one of the factions that one can identify cherished and promoted political ends that had nothing to do with mere personal advancement or the exploitation of patron- age.. .. You could no more follow Cromwell if you were a convinced papist than you could attach yourself to Norfolk and Gardiner if you thought that there had been no true religion before Luther."32 This is fortunately one of those rare historical debates which empirical evidence can settle definitively. It is incontestable that many post-Reformation Court factions espoused clearly identifiable religious or political positions. This was true of the Boleyn, Cromwell, and Aragonese factions in the 1530s and of the conservative and reform factions in the next decade; of Somerset's and then Northumberland's in the reign of Edward VI; of Leicester's and Cecil's in Elizabeth's time; of the Southampton-Pembroke faction in the early Stuart period; and of the faction built up by Danby in the 1670s. And ideology could shape factions in a negative as well as a positive way; as Ives has observed, when one faction began advocating a particular cause, such as religious reform, the main rival faction tended to embrace the opposing position.33 28 Ives, "Faction at the Court of Henry VIII" (n. 2 above), p. 181. 29 Ives, Faction in Tudor England (n. 2 above), p. 1. 30 Ives's views appear to have evolved in the direction of recognizing a greater and earlier role of ideology in faction; compare his statements in "Faction at the Court of Henry VIII," pp. 177-81, Faction in Tudor England, p. 2, and Anne Boleyn (n. 5 above), p. 124. But for Ives, the advancement of personal goals remains primary. 31 Kevin Sharpe, "The Earl of Arundel, His Circle, and the Opposition to the Duke of Buckingham, 1618-1628," in Faction and Parliament: Essays on Early Stuart History, ed. Kevin Sharpe (Oxford, 1978), p. 244. 32 Elton (n. 1 above), pp. 226-27. 33 Ives, Faction in Tudor England, p. 19. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp730 Shephard However, it is equally plain that some faction leaders patronized men of widely divergent views, resulting in factions without a coherent position on issues of policy and/or religion. This was particularly true of royal favorites early in their careers. Until they had managed to establish an independent power base, burning their bridges with any potential group of allies was unwise. Thus, for example, Robert Dudley's position on religion was quite ambiguous in the first few years after Eliz- abeth became queen. Catholics as well as Protestants sought his favor, and in 1561 the Spanish ambassador was half credulous when Dudley claimed to be pro- Catholic.34 Likewise, although Buckingham eventually became a strong supporter of the Arminians in the Church of England, he patronized many fervent Calvinists, including John Preston, Sir John Coke, and his personal secretary John Packer.35 The case of the Essex faction is even more complex. Essex had succeeded to his stepfather Leicester's position as chief advocate for Protestant intemationalism. But as Adams has observed, when Elizabeth's favor toward him waned in the late 1590s and the Cecil faction increasingly dominated the Court, "Essex's followers became something of a coalition of 'outs.' ,36 This coalition included a surprising number of Catholics or crypto-Catholics, such as Lord Henry Howard, the fifth Earl of Rutland, Essex's second stepfather Sir Christopher Blount, Sir Charles Danvers, Sir John Davies, and Tobie Mathew. As a consequence, Cecil's accusation that Essex had been a hypocrite regarding religion, who had "so caryed him self betwixte the godly preachers there, and the popishe priestes and Recusantes as bothe of them were perswaded they had the possession of him," struck uncomfortably close to home.37 Finally, there is no evidence that any faction sought only political ends, while eschewing the pursuit of offices, grants, and the rest of the Court's stock in trade. Where does this leave us in assessing the aims of Court factions? In the first place, success in obtaining the benefits and rewards available at Court was essential to the long-term continuation of any faction. Faction leaders who were unable to accomplish this would soon lose their followers and eventually their friends. At the same time, some factions did have the additional goal of influencing government policy. It is important to recognize, however, that there is no inherent contradiction between these two ends. Indeed, the best way to achieve the second was to use the first as a means to that end, as well as an end in its own right. In a key formulation, Ives has identified the way in which these two goals could interact: "However much ideas and policies are involved, it remains true that the emphasis is on the advancement of such concerns by the advancing of 34 Wallace MacCaffrey, The Shaping of the Elizabethan Regime (Princeton, N.J., 1968), pp. 96-97. For letters of supplication to Dudley from Marian Councillors and other Catholics, see HMC, Bath MSS., 5 vols. (London, 1904-80), 5:145, 147, 165. The Spanish ambassador's reports of his conversations about Dudley's religion, first with Dudley's brother-in-law Sir Henry Sidney and then with Dudley himself, appear in Calendar of State Papers, Spanish, 1558-1567 (London, 1892), pp. 178-83. 35 Roger Lockyer, Buckingham: The Life and Political Career of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham, 1592-1628 (London, 1981), pp. 113-15. 36 Adams, "Faction, Clientage, and Party" (n. 2 above), p. 38. 37 Directions for the preachers, February 14? 1601, Great Britain, Public Record Office, SP 12/178/63. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 731 people."38 Given the highly personal nature of early modem government, how could one hope to further specific policies if one could not gain the confidence of the monarch and place like-minded individuals in key offices in the Court and government? The only other options were to apply pressure through Parliament or turn to force. The first of these alternatives was never notably successful: in 1628 Charles I started backing out of his commitment to the Petition of Right almost as soon as he signed it and eventually defied the Long Parliament in 1642; and Charles II refused to give in to intense Parliamentary pressure during the Exclusion Crisis. And the Revolution of 1688 was the only appeal to force which came close to attaining its protagonists' expectations; the others either failed disastrously or were too successful (as one might say of the unplanned revolution brought about by the Civil War). In early modern England, therefore, Court factions without causes or ideologies did exist, but causes and ideologies could not get very far if they were not espoused by a Court faction, except in the extraordinary circumstances of the 1640s and 1688. To put it another way, the pursuit of grants, honors, and offices by the members of Court factions can be taken for granted, but a faction's ideological commitment or lack thereof can only be determined on a case-by-case basis. This point has important methodological consequences. The revisionists offer a case which illustrates this: having assumed that factions were inherently nonideological, they believed that by demonstrating the influence of Court factions in early Stuart England they had also proved that ideology was at best a minor element in politics. But the flawed premise eviscerates the force of the argument. Since some Court factions did have principled political commitments, the mere presence of factions in the early Stuart period proves nothing one way or the other about the significance of ideology. Indeed, as Buckingham's increasing monopoly of power at Court forced his opponents to seek their aims through Parliamentary means, one might expect that ideological commitments regarding the sanctity of Parliament would increase. And this indeed appears to have been the case, certainly during the 1620s, and perhaps earlier.39 DYNAMICS What impact did the structure and aims of Court factions have on their typical modes of operation? This question has three dimensions: the interactions within a 38 Ives, Faction in Tudor England, p. 2. 39 This ambiguity about Court factions has helped make possible the emerging synthesis of the revisionist antithesis and the traditional thesis, to be found in Derek Hirst, Authority and Conflict: England, 1603-1658 (Cambridge, Mass., 1986), and other recent works. The question becomes not if Court factions influenced early Stuart Parliaments but rather when and how fast the politicization of both took place. Rising concern in Parliament over constitutional questions is quite evident even in the major revisionist work to date, Conrad Russell's Parliaments and English Politics, 1621-1629 (Oxford, 1979). This development culminated with the abandon- ment of personal assaults on Buckingham in exchange for a plainly "ideological" statute, the Petition of Right, guaranteeing Parliamentary and individual liberties. Regarding the earlier decades of the seventeenth century, the synthesis is still being shaped by the give and take of scholarly debate. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp732 Shephard faction, the interactions between factions, and the interactions between monarchs and factions. Historians have characterized the inner stability of Court factions in terms that appear contradictory. For example, Ives has warned that we should not " see factions as rigid. Links were often weak and alignments were surprisingly fluid."40 Williams agrees that for most of Elizabeth's reign, at least, the main factions were "loosely constructed and volatile groupings."41 In contrast, Elton has described Tudor fac- tions as "often surprisingly enduring,"42 and many historians have commented on the reemergence of ex-Edwardians in Elizabeth's reign and on the continuity of the Leicester-Essex-Southampton faction over three generations. Sudden disasters could bring sudden collapses, of course. But in more normal circumstances, both of these characterizations of the durability of Court factions are accurate, depending on which subgroup of their compound structure one concentrates on. As we have seen, factions were held together by the mutual advancement of personal aims, whether independent of or in tandem with ideological goals. In this connection, it is important to keep in mind the crucial distinction which Roy Schreiber has drawn between "patronage" and "influence": "Although 'patron- age' and 'influence' are often used interchangeably, it is best to differentiate between them here. Patronage will be defined as the ability, by virtue of one's office and/or political prestige, to place others in government posts or to obtain concessions such as money, privileges or honours. Influence will be defined as the ability to convince people who have patronage to use it on someone's behalf."43 Some positions in the government controlled their own stock of patronage. But of course these offices themselves, together with all honors and the great bulk of material rewards, lay in the monarch's will to grant or refuse. Since the king or queen was thus the supreme distributor of patronage, what even the greatest of Court figures had to offer was primarily influence, a considerably less substantial commodity. This point helps one better appreciate Essex's obsession with military command. Certainly the risks were great: either failure or too great success, not to mention the inevitable absences from Court. At this time, however, the military was one of the very few elastic elements in the English supply of patronage. As military commander, Essex was for once able to gratify his friends and followers through direct patronage, without having to overcome the Cecilians and convince the queen. But even when intense factional struggle was not paralyzing the normal operations of influence, faction leaders were inundated with suits from friends, followers, and would-be followers, few of which could be gratified immediately, if ever. This fact produced strains throughout a faction, strains which affected each of its component groups differently. The least stable bonds in a faction were those between the faction leader and the followers. These ties were based on mutual usefulness: followers needed the help of influence greater than their own to gain their ends; while faction leaders needed followers to demonstrate visibly their own standing, to supply money and gifts in 40 Ives, Faction in Tudor England (n. 2 above), p. 19. 41 Williams (n. 1 above), p. 264. 42 Elton (n. 1 above), p. 221. 43 Roy Schreiber, The Political Career of SirRobert Naunton, 1589-1635 (London, 1981), p. 33. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 733 exchange for favor, and to provide a pool of supposedly reliable candidates for minor posts and to act as agents at Court or in the countryside.44 Yet particular faction leaders did not need particular followers, nor vice versa. Potential followers tended to shop around for the patron whom they believed was in a position to satisfy them most rapidly. Especially in times of political turmoil, followers would therefore move in swarms from one faction to the next. Robert Carr's rise and fall exemplifies this pattern. In 161 1, when Carr was rising dramatically in favor, John More told Ralph Winwood that there were "more suitors following him than my Lord Treasurer [Salisbury]."45 The next year, Isaac Wake wrote Dudley Carleton that he had "found out Rochester's lodgings by the store of company about it."46 Only three years later, however, Carr's favor with the king was palpably declining, and the followers were jumping ship. His loyal follower Sir John Holles wrote caustically: The court is now a prettier place, then ever it was, and the catt hath found another taile to play with all: muche whispering, and faction: the new seems to grow dayly, and from the ould a generall defection, even the fastest leaves fall, having or pretending cause, for these marigoulds open with the sunn, and sett with the shaddow, they nevertheless alledging muche patience, their well deservings have receaved neglects, and injuries, the other accusing them of ingratitude.... If the sun had shown still, these flies had still fluttered in the light, and now supposing change of wether, they creep to the warmer side of the hedge, as cattle in a storm.47 Holles remained loyal to Carr too long and too vociferously, and spent some time in prison as a result. Few followers were so faithful. Indeed, their very fickleness allowed most of them to escape the worst consequences of factional crackups, with the exception of cases such as Holles's, or those of Essex's followers who joined him in the streets of London in 1601 rather than staying safely beside their fireplaces. The inherent looseness of the followers' ties to factions caused faction leaders and their friends to try to insist on the undivided loyalty of those followers who had been placed in office through their means. For example, in 1613 Robert Sidney, then Viscount Lisle, exploded in anger when he learned that his deputy in Flushing, Sir John Throckmorton, had approached Carr through an intermediary regarding a place in the Privy Chamber. More than two years later Throckmorton was still defending himself against imputations of disloyalty: "Nowe your Lordship knoweth, for I will not doubt but that you knowe, I will never make my waye unto anye forteune . . . by anye waye but by your Lordship and by those whoe I maye certainly knowe are as you are, to witt, yours. What shall I saye? I " Linda Levy Peck has even cited a couple of instances in which Northampton recommended individuals whom he did not know at all for positions (Northampton: Patronage and Policy at the Court of James I [London, 1982], p. 38). Failure to back any candidate for an open office could be taken as a sign of political weakness; hence the pressure to support someone, anyone. 45 Buccleuch and Queensbury MSS. (Montagu House), Historical Manuscripts Commission, Great Britain, 3 vols. (London, 1899-1926), 1:102. 46 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1611-1618 (London, 1858), p. 156. 47 Letters of John Holles, 1587-1637, ed. P. R. Seddon, 3 vols., Thoroton Society Record Series (Nottingham, 1975-86), 1:70-71. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp734 Shephard am nowe to owlde to think of any chainge."48 Sidney's ire may seem hypocritical, since in the 1590s he himself had tried to maintain friendly contacts with the Cecils even while his primary allegiance was to the Essex faction. But a different set of dynamics governed the ties between a faction leader and his intimate friends. The friends at the core of a faction were, somewhat paradoxically, both freer and subject to greater pressures than the followers. On the one hand, since they held status and often office in their own right, they were less immediately dependent on the faction leader. They often had personal relationships with the members and even the leaders of other factions and resented attempts to limit such ties. For example, when Essex told Lord Grey that he had to declare himself either an Essexian or a Cecilian, since neutrality was impossible, Grey responded that it would be servile to do so and that he "would never hould dependency save from [Elizabeth's] princely throan" -directly from the monarch.49 The existence of alternative connections made it feasible for the friends to become neutral or even switch sides if it seemed advantageous. Several of Essex's closest associates began detaching themselves from his faction before the crisis hit: Lord Henry Howard became a key player on Cecil's side, and Sidney led the forces that put down the Essex Rebellion. As Francis Bacon-who abandoned first Essex and then Carr- perhaps wishfully observed: "The traitor in faction lightly goeth away with it, for when matters have stuck long in balancing, the winning of some one man casteth them, and he getteth all the thanks."50 Bacon was referring here to friends and not to followers, for only a friend had the political weight to shift the factional balance in the way he described. Yet there were also strong forces working to keep friends loyal and to hold a faction together. Preexisting bonds with faction leaders and members usually determined which faction an individual would join in the first place. Ties of kinship and comradeship then exerted a centripetal pressure. What is more, the friends at the center of a faction were engaged in a continuing process of mutual aid and support which entailed repeated public affirmations of support and equally public clashes with factional foes. In addition, obligations of honor toward friends carried more weight than those toward other faction members. As Mervyn James has convincingly argued, older concepts of honor were being challenged in the sixteenth century by new values, especially by the unconditional obedience owed to a providentially established monarch and state.5' But among the aristocracy the old values lingered long and served to justify even actions that bordered on the treasonous. Honor could bind together a faction leader and his friends in circumstances that were objectively hopeless. And since honor called for the revenge of harms inflicted, the strong loyalties that could be assumed to exist among a faction leader's friends could even be dangerous, as those who were executed along with Anne Boleyn could testify. Because of these considerations, Ralegh felt the need to write a notorious letter in 1600 assuaging Cecil's fears of 48 De L'Isle and Dudley Manuscripts, 5:290; for Throckmorton's response to Sidney's original criticism, see 5:80. 49 Grey to Cobham, July 21, 1598, Salisbury MS. 62, no. 71. 50 Francis Bacon, "Of Faction," in Works (n. 15 above), 12:255. 51 In particular, see Mervyn James, "English Politics and the Concept of Honour, 1485- 1642," in his Society, Politics and Culture (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 308-415. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 735 vengeance from Essex's heirs and associates if they eliminated him, now that he was at their mercy.52 Conflicting forces were thus at work on the friends at the center of a Court faction. Under normal circumstances they had the most to gain by loyalty; yet they also might have the most to gain by switching sides and the most to risk by staying loyal. Faction leaders had to operate within this field of forces. As one indication of the crosscurrents involved, faction leaders tended to describe themselves as "friends" in letters to their-friends, striving to build solidarity within the faction by presuming an equality among the core members. Yet when addressing the faction leader, the friends usually did not call themselves "friends"; rather, they would describe themselves in variations on "your Lordship's humble and affectionate servant" or "Your Lordship's most ready at command" -in other words, in conventional terms of subordination. By stressing the hierarchical nature of the relationship, they subtly emphasized the leader's obligations to advance and protect them and laid the grounds for placing the responsibility on him if success were not forthcoming.53 By contrast, the position of the servants was more stable and more secure. These individuals often served their masters for long periods of time, sometimes even decades. Their usually modest social backgrounds did not provide them with wide social connections among the political elite at the outset of their careers. In addition, the opportunities for rewards and influence offered by their present positions tended to keep them where they were. At the same time, their acknowledged role as dependents normally protected them from the worst storms if their masters suffered political catastrophe at Court. Thomas Cromwell survived the fall of Wolsey, and William Cecil the fall of Somerset, to emerge later as faction leaders in their own rights. On a lesser scale, Edward Reynolds and Thomas Meautys had successful careers after the falls of Essex and Bacon, respectively. Henry Cuffe, one of Essex's secretaries, was indeed executed along with his lord, but this exceptional case occurred primarily because Essex himself implicated Cuffe in the plotting of the Essex Rebellion.s4 No doubt the abilities and discretion of accomplished confidential servants made them desirable assets and thus added to their survival value. In the normal course of events, the wealth and contacts acquired during long years of service would lead to a comfortable retirement or to the greater independence-if also greater risk-of becoming a follower or friend; or even, in rare cases, a faction leader himself.55 52 See Edward Edwards, The Life of Sir Walter Ralegh, together with His Letters, 2 vols. (London, 1868), 2:222-23. 53 On the disjunction between the self-presentation of faction leaders and their friends, see Shephard (n. 15 above), pp. 158-59. 54 On the relationship between Essex and Cuffe, see Mervyn James, "At a Crossroads of the Political Culture: The Essex Revolt, 1601," in James, Society, Politics and Culture, pp. 447, 456-58. 55 The later career of Michael Hickes exemplifies the forner course (Smith [n. 27 above], chaps. 7-9). The political career of Lionel Cranfield, who used his commercial expertise to become a financial consultant to Northampton and then to Buckingham and eventually to hold -important government offices, only to be impeached as Lord Treasurer and driven from politics in 1624 when he opposed Buckingham's war policies, provides an example of a "man of business" using his position as the springboard to a more ambitious political road, as of course do the even more successful careers of Cromwell and Cecil. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp736 Shephard Relations between factions ranged from alliances involving considerable cooperation to life-or-death struggles marked by implacable hostility, with many gradations in between. Several factors determined where on the scale the pointer would settle at a particular time. For one thing, in such a highly personalized political system, the personal relations between faction leaders and the friends on their respective sides could greatly influence the political climate. Thus, for example, the bitter hatred between Essex and Ralegh helped to poison the atmosphere in the 1590s, while the close relationship that sprang up between Carr and Northampton shaped the political arena of the early 1610s. In addition, the nature of the issues on the political table at a given time had an impact on the relations between factions. Some issues - especially matters of patronage-were multilateral: for instance, any number of candidates for a vacant office could be sponsored, and each faction had an interest in filling it with one of their own. Other issues, however, were inherently bilateral, offering only an either/or choice: Would Queen Elizabeth marry the Duke of Alen9on or not? Would England send military forces to aid the Dutch in the 1580s or provide only financial support? Should England ally with France in the 1670s and 1680s, or should it oppose France? These issues by their nature tended to produce broad alliances on either side of the matter in question. As an example, both Leicester and Hatton owed their influence in large part to their intimate relationships with the queen, which were bound to diminish once a consort was on the scene; therefore they eventually joined forces to oppose the Alen9on match.56 In such circumstances, a switch of policy on the part of one faction could sometimes lead to a grand coalition. For instance, when Buckingham and Prince Charles took up an anti-Spanish position after returning from Madrid in 1623, a rapprochement with the Southampton-Pembroke faction rapidly followed. Finally, the personality of the monarch helped determine the mildness or fervor of factional competition, in a variety of ways. In one sense, of course, all Court factions were products of the monarch's favor. By trusting certain individuals and gratifying their requests, monarchs controlled the fountain from which faction leaders and members drank. In extreme cases, royal bounty could create factions almost ex nihilo. In 1610 a Villiers faction was as unimaginable as a Cromwell faction had been in the late 1520s. Yet in each case, within a decade the new faction was dominating the Court. Naunton claimed of Elizabeth that "the principal note of her reign will be that she ruled much by faction and parties, which she herself both made, upheld, and weakened as her own great judgment advised."57 To what extent was it true that factions were notes played on the pipe of politics by the king or queen? Certainly monarchs could create-and destroy-faction leaders. Yet the factions themselves were largely beyond their control, growing as they did on the basis of kinship, friendship, and ties of ideology and interest. And even though a 56 This despite Hatton's sympathies in favor of the marriage on policy grounds. On Leicester's and Hatton's opposition to the Alen9on match, see Wallace T. MacCaffrey, Queen Elizabeth and the Making of Policy, 1572-1588 (Princeton, N.J., 1981), pp. 261-64, 278. 57 Naunton (n. 24 above), p. 41. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 737 ruler might break up a particular faction, this did not change the overarching fact that politics at Court would structure itself in terms of factions. What is more, factions acted as channels conveying the requests and desires of their members to the king or queen. Early modem English monarchs were inevitably and constantly at the focus of faction-generated pressures: in Elton's words, "They were managed at worst, manoeuvered at best, by the purposeful groupings of interests that articulated the nation's politics."58 In such a situation, one might better speak of managing factions than of creating or orchestrating them. And as many scholars have noted, a monarch's style of managing them had important effects politically.59 One crucial variable in a monarch's "management style" was the extent to which he or she permitted one faction to monopolize patronage and policy decisions. In early modem English history, single-faction dominance occurred on various occasions: in Henry VIII's reign with Wolsey, and perhaps with Cromwell in the late 1530s; with Sir Robert Cecil in 1601-3; with Buckingham in the 1620s; and finally with the extreme Catholic faction under James II in 1686-88. At such times, certain groups which held views that were influential in the country at large were effectively barred from the Court. When the "point of contact" at Court was blocked, political resentments and frustrations could build up to dangerous levels.60 For this reason, balancing the pressures from competing factions was a key element in the art of royal government. As Kevin Sharpe has observed, it was "important that each group continued to feel that its turn might come, that no group felt excluded from any hope of obtaining favour."61 In their different ways, the Pilgrimage of Grace, the Northern Rebellion, the Essex Rebellion, and the Revolution of 1688 were all explosions of the hopeless, who felt that the Court was closed against them. From this perspective, even though one can sympathize with Elizabeth for all she had to put up with from Essex, allowing the situation to develop which led to his self-destruction was a political blunder. This is surprising, since Elizabeth was aware of the danger to her own position that the absence of factional rivalries could present: when Essex and Cecil had joined forces to push Francis Bacon for the Solicitor-Generalship in 1594-95, she had balked and said no.62 What characteristics made monarchs more or less successful at maintaining a balance between factions? Adams has proposed that faction struggles got out of hand when the ruler "was either indecisive or sufficiently ambiguous in his politics and in his relationship to his ministers to encourage a belief that a 58 Elton (n. 1 above), p. 222. 59 This point has been made most explicitly by Starkey, "Introduction" (n. 5 above), pp. 7-10. 60 On this point, see Elton, passim; and Williams (n. 1 above), pp. 265-74. The underlying assumption held by these writers is that a healthy body politic required an ongoing and open exchange of views at Court between the monarch and representative elements among the governing class. This assumption is plausible, but some obvious counterexamples come to mind: the dominance of Wolsey and later of Robert Cecil produced much animus directed against them personally, but overall political stability was not a problem in either case. 61 Sharpe, "Faction at the Early Stuart Court" (n. 2 above), p. 40. 62 See Neale (n. 1 above), p. 69; and Haigh (n. 1 above), pp. 101-4. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp738 Shephard factional victory was possible."63 He specifies the reign of James I and the first decades of the Restoration as two such periods. When monarchs were decisive and their policy commitments were explicit, relative calm between factions prevailed. Starkey sees these different political atmospheres as resulting from two different "rulership styles," which he has termed "distance" and "participa- tion." In his model, "distant" monarchs restricted access to their persons and delegated authority to trusted ministers, while "participatory" monarchs allowed freer access and were more readily swayed by their personal entourage in matters of policy and favor. Examples of the former would be Henry VII, Elizabeth I, Charles I, and James II; of the latter, Henry VIII, James I, and Charles II. In Starkey's view, the political consequences of each style differed markedly: "The politics of 'distance' were characterized by long ministerial tenures, stability, and the quiescence, even the elimination of faction. The politics of 'participation,' in contrast, were marked by the rapid rise and fall of councillors and favourites, repeated crises, and more or less open faction war."64 Adams and Starkey have each illuminated some important roots of the nature of Court politics in a given reign. Underlying both of their models, however, is a crucial personality trait of the monarch: the degree to which he or she was susceptible to being swayed by close companions or advisors. For example, Elizabeth's indecisiveness and ambiguity about key policy questions was and is notorious. Yet precisely because she was constant in her indecisiveness, and never wholly rejected any of her inner circle of advisors for reasons short of manifest treason, a balance between Court factions was maintained for most of her reign. Similarly, while Charles II tended to bend to whichever wind was blowing most strongly, leading to choppy waves of faction struggle on the surface of the political sea, in the calmer depths he was steadily if secretly pursuing his own policies of support for France and independence from Parliament. In his reign, therefore, the victory of a faction often meant less than it appeared to. In addition, while this particular personality trait usually led to one or the other of Starkey's political styles, this did not necessarily occur. Henry VIII was always a "participatory" monarch, but few stretches of early modem English history have been more characterized by "long ministerial tenures, stability, and the quiescence, even the elimination of faction" than the period of Wolsey's dominance. Despite the intense hatred for Wolsey felt by many courtiers, Henry remained impervious to their aspersions for fifteen years. The change in Henry's personality from the first part of his reign to the last, when he was blown this way and that by gusts of paranoia assiduously fanned by factions at his Court, is plainly a critical element in the English politics of this period. Yet explanations of its cause (involvement in day-to-day politics replacing indifference as his frustrations over Anne Boleyn mounted? some kind of mid-life crisis?) remain speculative, as, alas, perhaps must all attempts to apply depth psychology to the personalities of long-dead historical figures. 63 Adams, "Faction, Clientage, and Party" (n. 2 above), p. 39. 64 Starkey, "Introduction," p. 9. Starkey defines and elaborates his model in the same essay on pp. 7-10. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 739 TERMINOLOGY At this point, some historians of Tudor and Stuart England would object that, while political groupings like those described above certainly existed, the term "faction" should be reserved for groups engaged in a life-or-death struggle for political supremacy. Adams has put forward the most detailed argument in favor of this limited usage of "faction." In the first place, he has pointed out that "faction" and "factious" had no clear definition for contemporaries and most often were simply terms of abuse applied to political opponents. Second, he has argued that there is "a great danger of trivialising contemporary political disputes by considering them all to have been factional." In his view, factional struggles in the later sixteenth century occurred only in the middle years of Edward VI's reign and in the 1590s, and the factions involved in these struggles were "quite distinct from other forms of political and social association."'65 Adams is unquestionably correct about the negative connotations that contem- poraries attached to "faction" and its derivative forms. When, for example, Buckingham told Suffolk in 1619 that Suffolk would face a public hearing in Star Chamber in order to "stop the mouths of those that reported that your Lordship's office [as Lord Treasurer] was taken from you, not upon just ground, but only by the partiallitie of a Court faction," the implications were plain.5 Factional behavior placed private interests ahead of the public good and even ahead of simple justice. As an abstract noun, "faction" referred to a deplorable state of political discord. No inhabitants of Tudor or Stuart England described themselves as factious or as members of a faction. At the same time, however, the word "party" carried negative connotations of exactly the same sort. No Whigs or Tories called them- selves members of a party, yet modem historians do so without any qualms. There is equally no reason why we cannot use "faction" to denote a particular type of political group in the past, even if contemporaries would not have done so. More serious is Adams's second argument. If the Somerset and Northumber- land factions at mid-century, and the Cecil and Essex factions in the 1590s, were fundamentally different from other Tudor political organizations, then using "faction" broadly could lead to serious historical misunderstanding. But were they in fact so different? When one considers their structures, aims, and methods, no significant differences emerge. The only feature that made them distinctive was the intensity with which they carried on their rivalries. The political circle surrounding Burghley and then his son had been in existence since Elizabeth came to the throne. Adams's categorization would require this group to suddenly change its character in the 1590s and become a faction-a completely different political animal-and then suddenly switch back again after the destruction of Essex in 1601. To look at the matter another way, Adams implicitly posits a dichotomy between "factions" engaged in vicious conflict and other kinds of political groups 65 For Adams's argument, see "Faction, Clientage and Party," pp. 33-34. 66 The Fortescue Papers, ed. S. R. Gardiner, Camden Society, 2d ser., vol. 1 (Westminster, 1871), p. 77. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp740 Shephard interacting in relative harmony. Yet rivalry between organized groups at Court was an inherent feature of the Court system, and it would be more accurate to see this rivalry as varying along a continuum. Never absent, it could range from a low level to an all-or-nothing struggle in which the total destruction of one of the groups seemed the only possible resolution. Even in the mid-1570s, singled out by Adams as a period of great calm and consensus among the political elite, there were occasions when Leicester, for example, would bitterly attack Cecil. In a conversation with the eighth Earl of Northumberland in 1575, Leicester de- nounced "the ingratitude that he fownde with B[urghley] that never wolde advansse any causse for hime nor bystowe x [i.e., ten] days travelle for to preffare his sutte," despite everything that Leicester averred he had done to help Burghley. Leicester also claimed that "B was his chiffe hinderansse in his laste grante hade from the q[ueen] and by the penynge of his booke his grante was not worthe a pare of gloves," and he asserted that Burghley had put Leicester in danger by revealing Norfolk's negotiations to marry Mary Queen of Scots -an exact reversal of historical reality.67 Such tensions, fears, and hostile feelings were common even during the reign of Elizabeth, who adopted a rulership style of "distance" and who-although quick to take offense-was notoriously reluctant to cast any long-time servant of the state into the outer darkness. The pervasive insecurity and edginess felt by courtiers was due to many factors: the high stakes being played for, the constant challenge and response of interaction at Court, and the many precedents of sudden falls and devious betrayals. Even in the 1570s, the execution of the fourth Duke of Norfolk was fresh in mind-and Norfolk, who was a relative of the queen, a member of the Privy Council, a great landowner, the head of one of the most famous families in England, and the kingdom's only duke, must have seemed about as invulnerable as a political figure could be. Furthermore, since power and patronage at Court were close to a zero-sum game for most of the Tudor and Stuart period, one courtier's gain tended to be another courtier's loss. As Sharpe has noted, faction members were "men seeking office and often, as a consequence, men seeking to oust others from office."68 For this reason among others, Starkey has observed that in Tudor faction politics, "the negative motive- doing somebody down-is at least as important in political alignment as the positive-getting something done."69 As a consequence, even when there was broad consensus on policy matters, conflicts still frequently arose over office and patronage. This, of course, is not to deny that it is crucial to be aware of the level of tension at Court at any given moment. The intensity of conflict between rival factions affected both the overall political atmosphere and the practical decisions made by individuals. But whatever the political temperature, the similarities between the groups involved were far more numerous and far more important than the 67 Northumberland to Burghley, February 1575, Lansdowne MS. 21, no. 38, British Library, London. 68 Sharpe, "Faction at the Early Stuart Court," p. 40. 69 Starkey, "From Feud to Faction" (n. 2 above), p. 20. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 741 distinctions between them. The differences were differences in degree, not differences in kind. Preserving the ancient negative connotations associated with "faction," as the narrow usage does, creates needless problems of analysis for present-day historians. It therefore seems less misleading to characterize all these groups as factions than to limit the usage to only the ones involved in murderous political conflict. For example, Starkey has denied that Wolsey was the leader of a faction on the grounds that there was no effective opposition faction at Court and that Wolsey rarely even came to Court, but rather held state in his own semi-regal establish- ment.70 Yet it could be argued that these facts were precisely the consequences of his success as a faction leader. Henry VIII's deep trust in Wolsey led to his near monopoly of political power, and his ultimate control over the Court and its personnel-demonstrated most notably in his purges of the Privy Chamber in 1519 and 1526 -afforded him the luxury of residing away from the Court.71 Matters of definition are always tedious and often become pedantic. Starkey has already complained about the amount of time spent on "the unprofitable area of definition" as far as early modem factions are concerned.72 Yet the opposite vice - too little attention to definitions -leads to incoherence of discourse. When Adams can argue that in Elizabeth's reign factions only existed in the 1590s, while Loades asserts that "Essex did not, in fact, have much of a faction," confusions over definition must be high.73 In addition, if one accepts a narrow definition of faction, another problem arises: what to call those political groupings at Court that were not engaged in life-or-death struggles with one another. Adams properly notes that factions should be distinguished from clientages.74 Yet the welter of terms applied to these groups by adherents of the narrow usage of "faction," often with no attention to their definition, has simply muddied the waters further: "party," "following," "grouping," "affinity," "alliance," and "interest group" are but a few. There are distinctions worth making among many of these terms, but the distinction based on the intensity of rivalry between such groups is not one of them. HISTORICAL CONTEXT Opting for a broad definition of "faction" leads to a final question: how did these Court factions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries relate to the different types of faction which preceded and followed them? The relevant groups for 70 Ibid., pp. 18-19, and Starkey, Reign of Henry VIII (n. 2 above), pp. 27-29, 63-64. 71 Following the same logic, Retha M. Warnicke has asserted that factions could not have been involved in the downfall of Anne Boleyn because there is no evidence of vicious political conflict in the preceding months (The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn [Cambridge, 1989], pp. 140-41). The reasoning in all such cases is tautological, following from the definition of "factions" as groups engaged in bitter, overt struggle with each other. 72 Starkey, "From Feud to Faction," p. 22. 73 Loades (n. 1 above), p. 165. 74 Adams, "Faction, Clientage, and Party" (n. 2 above), p. 34. I would simply add that, when looking at the Court, clientage networks of followers stood to factions as part to whole. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp742 Shephard purposes of comparison are the magnate factions of the Late Middle Ages and the factions within British political parties from the late seventeenth through the early nineteenth centuries.75 The first thing to notice about these English factions from the medieval through the early modem periods is that all of them were overwhelmingly aristocratic in leadership, personnel, and outlook. Whatever the differences between rival factions on specific matters of policy, all took for granted the desirability and even the naturalness of a social, political, and economic structure in which the landed gentry and nobility held a privileged place. Conceptions of what constituted a privileged place gradually changed, but not the ultimate goal of maintaining it. Social groups below the aristocracy sometimes generated grass-roots movements of breadth and passion, ranging from the Great Revolt of 1381 to the Leveller movement of the late 1640s to the pro-Wilkes crowds of the 1760s. But none lasted very long or secured their long-term aims. This monopoly of effective political organization by the aristocracy supports the characterization of early modem England as a profoundly hierarchical society in which meaningful political participation was dominated by aristocracy, divided among its various factions. It also supports Laslett's argument that premodem England had only one social class that was sufficiently class conscious to organize effectively on behalf of its interests -again, the aristocracy.76 At first glance, Court factions seem a weaker form of political organization than the earlier or later types of aristocratic faction. Their dependence on the monarch contrasts with the relative independence of magnate factions and with the domination of the state exercised by the successful party factions of the 1700s. This issue ties in with broader considerations of the aristocracy's power in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Many historians have seen the English nobility in particular as facing severe challenges in these centuries, retreating politically before the expanding power of the state and suffering relative or even absolute declines economically and socially. Others have emphasized the continu- ing political importance of the gentry and nobility and the unrivaled preeminence of landed wealth as a measure of status. In Perry Anderson's neo-Marxist analysis, the relations between early modem monarchs and aristocracies amounted to a trade-off, with the great landowners sacrificing political influence while retaining their social prestige and gaining economically as modem property rights, enforced by national states, replaced feudal ones.77 The picture that emerges from the study of aristocratic factions is also one of transformation rather than of simple decline or advance. In purely political terms, Court factions can be 75 In his analysis of types of patronage in England, Morgan (n. 4 above) puts forward an almost identical periodization for the forms of patronage he refers to as livery and maintenance and the two phases of patrimonial patronage, the key transition points being the early sixteenth century and the 1680s, respectively; see esp. pp. 100-103, 106-15. I did not encounter Morgan's essay until after I had completed my own article. Our conclusions, reached independently and on the basis of different approaches to the subject of political change, thus support each other. 76 Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost, 2d ed. (New York, 1973), pp. 23-54. 77 Perry Anderson, Lineages of the Absolutist State (London, 1979), pp. 15-59. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 743 seen as a transitional form of organization without which the aristocracy could not have consolidated its position on a national basis. As many have noted, the local or at best regional affiliations of landed aristocrats made them poor agents to consolidate nation-states; that task could be carried out only by effective monarchical leadership. Court factions served the new national monarchs and yet also limited them by safeguarding the interests and privileged status of the aristocracy. And in the case of England, the new national outlook gained by the aristocracy led eventually to the development of new political organizations- parties and sovereign Parliament-through which it could rule a national state. But if the predominance of the aristocracy represented an element of continuity in these three different types of faction, the focus of organization in each case changed dramatically. The magnate factions of the late Middle Ages were based in the localities, where one noble or another exercised a dominant role based on his extensive landholdings in the area. Although regional fragmentation never developed in England to the extent it did in France-indeed, English barons jealously asserted their right to counsel the monarch of a united kingdom-local lords retained considerable autonomy. Local matters tended to be settled locally, one reflection being the important judicial role played by baronial councils until at least the end of the fifteenth century.78 Court factions, on the other hand, centered on the royal Court and on the person of the monarch. As we have seen, this resulted from the success with which English monarchs of the late 1400s and early 1500s extended their authority on the localities. This centralization of political control was fragile; there were limits on the extent to which a monarch could compel the landed aristocracy to act against its will, as Charles I and James II discovered. But more and more matters of local interest were being settled at the center. Disputes were adjudicated by the equity courts or the Privy Council, and the king or queen made the all-important appointments to the local Commissions of the Peace, lord lieutenancy, and deputy lieutenancies. Party factions, on the contrary, organized themselves around Parliament. Their power derived from the control over patronage and the state exercised by ministers with a Parliamentary majority behind them. This mode of power contrasted with that of Court factions, which had sought to gain influence over the monarch. Such influence was still useful for the leaders of party factions, as Walpole well knew. But the manipulation of elections and the building of alliances among MPs had now become essential elements of political power. The nature of the bonds among the members of the different types of factions also underwent a steady change. One should probably make an exception here for the ties of kinship, which were vitally important in all these periods, though not inevitable: when Northampton complained in 1610 that it was "very seldom in this age for kinship and friendship to concur in one man," he was hardly the first or last to do so.79 Nor, of course, were calculations of individual advantage ever 78 On the power of baronial councils in late medieval England, see Carole Rawcliffe, "Baronial Councils in the Later Middle Ages," in Patronage, Pedigree, and Power in Later Medieval England, ed. Charles Ross (Gloucester, 1979), pp. 87-108. 79 Quoted in L. Peck, Northampton (n. 44 above), p. 178. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp744 Shephard entirely absent. But overall, one can discern a progressive shift from what we might describe as ties of honor to ties of interest. The basic cement of the magnate factions of the late Middle Ages - the era of so-called bastard feudalism-was retainership. Retainers generally received money for their services, but the relationship embraced more than just the cash nexus. Once established, it involved ties of honor as well, based on commitments to provide "good lordship" and service, respectively. Similar mutual commitments bound tenants to their lords. The emergence of the royal Court as the nation's political center under the early Tudors, with the corollary development of Court factions, weakened the magnate factions in several ways. For one thing, the ability of the Court to overrule decisions made by local lords disrupted the insulated, "natural" ties of local and regional honor communities. It now became possible-if not without risk-for gentry to spurn the expected roles of subordination to local magnates by seeking alliances and an independent career at Court. In addition, the magnates them- selves gradually realized that the security of their own positions depended on their relationships to the Court. The older factions headed by local nobles did not disappear, of course. But they gradually became interconnected with Court factions. The leaders of Court factions often involved themselves in local disputes and tried to defend the interests of their local followers, whose opponents often allied themselves, by a process of repulsion, with a rival Court faction.80 Yet perhaps the biggest change was brought about by the element of choice-and hence calculation of personal interest-that the emergence of Court factions brought. Ties of honor no longer seemed inevitable or even plausible. In the course of the sixteenth century, appeals to "good lordship" steadily declined, and specifically monetary transactions increased proportionately. No doubt such considerations had always been present to some degree. But Neale's impression that the emphasis on them increased dramatically in the 1590s is probably correct.81 Certainly by the early 1600s, hagglings over the payoffs to be made by suitors for office to faction leaders, brokers, and other interested parties had become a staple of the newsletter writers .82 Liberation from the ties of honor and from the local honor community thus led to a situation in which political relationships increasingly became relationships of interest and convenience. This unchained individualism reached its zenith during the Restoration. Jones has characterized the Court factions of 1667 to 1688 as functioning in "a Hobbesian state of nature," in which clients and subordinates "first used, and then ruthlessly discarded, the patrons to whom they owed their first advances in office."83 The maneuverings among the faction leaders within the early Whig and Tory parties were hardly less Machiavellian, though the outcomes tended to be less extreme. In the end, the methods of Parliamentary management 80 Williams (n. 1 above), pp. 265-74. 81 Neale (n. 1 above), pp. 74-79. 82 Comments on such matters form a continuing theme in John Chamberlain's letters, for instance. 83 Jones (n. 5 above), pp. 24-28. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspCourt Factions in Early Modern England 745 pioneered by Danby and perfected by Walpole were almost wholly pecuniary, with political support traded for government posts and cash. The placeman had supplanted the follower and the retainer, and the depth of loyalty had become significantly shallower. One final question remains. Did these three types of factions successively destroy each other, or did they evolve smoothly from one to the next? More research will be needed to resolve this issue. It is certainly suggestive that much of the vocabulary of political relationships was carried over from magnate factions to Court factions-for instance, the political usage of "friends" and "follow- ers."84 Yet in the early sixteenth century, most of the old aristocracy remained detached from the Court. With the exception of the third Duke of Norfolk, most of the players in early Tudor Court factions were "new men," courtiers who often had relationships with each other but who were not central members of preexisting magnate factions. Regarding the later transition from Court factions to parties, it would be useful to have an analysis of the first Whigs' membership in Court factions. On the one hand, it would appear unlikely that such an extensive national organization could have been put together from scratch. Yet, on the other hand, the skills of mustering public opinion and managing elections required by party organizers were so different from the talents of the courtier that one wonders how much overlap there could have been. CONCLUSION As Starkey has observed, faction has become "the latest buzz-word among early-modern historians."85 Yet it is a buzzword with substance and will prove to be more than just historiographical fad. Perceptively analyzed and applied, the concept of faction not only dispels misunderstandings about sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English politics. It also illuminates the political structures of the age and the experiences of individual members of the political class. And in the broadest framework, the relationship of Tudor and Stuart Court factions to earlier and later forms of aristocratic faction gives a new perspective on the historical development of English politics. 84 On their usage in relationship to "good lordship" in local magnate factions, see James, "English Politics and Concept of Honour" (n. 51 above), pp. 330-32. 85 Starkey, Reign of Henry VIII (n. 2 above), p. 168. This content downloaded from 109.175.147.128 on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:16:27 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspArticle Contentsp. [721]p. 722p. 723p. 724p. 725p. 726p. 727p. 728p. 729p. 730p. 731p. 732p. 733p. 734p. 735p. 736p. 737p. 738p. 739p. 740p. 741p. 742p. 743p. 744p. 745Issue Table of ContentsThe Journal of Modern History, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 637-876Volume Information [pp. 863 - 876]Front Matter"A Vent Which Has Conveyed Our Principles": English Radical Patriotism in the Aftermath of 1848 [pp. 637 - 659]The Distinctiveness of the Nineteenth-Century French Labor Movement [pp. 660 - 685]Review ArticleRevisionism and Post-Revisionism in Early Stuart History [pp. 686 - 699]From Rage of Party to Age of Oligarchy? Rethinking the Later Stuart and Early Hanoverian Period [pp. 700 - 720]Court Factions in Early Modern England [pp. 721 - 745]Book Reviewsuntitled [pp. 746 - 747]untitled [pp. 747 - 750]untitled [pp. 750 - 752]untitled [pp. 752 - 754]untitled [pp. 754 - 755]untitled [pp. 755 - 756]untitled [pp. 756 - 758]untitled [pp. 758 - 760]untitled [pp. 760 - 763]untitled [pp. 763 - 764]untitled [pp. 764 - 767]untitled [pp. 767 - 769]untitled [pp. 769 - 771]untitled [pp. 771 - 773]untitled [pp. 773 - 774]untitled [pp. 774 - 778]untitled [pp. 778 - 781]untitled [pp. 781 - 782]untitled [pp. 782 - 785]untitled [pp. 785 - 787]untitled [pp. 787 - 790]untitled [pp. 790 - 791]untitled [pp. 791 - 793]untitled [pp. 793 - 795]untitled [pp. 795 - 797]untitled [pp. 797 - 799]untitled [pp. 799 - 801]untitled [pp. 802 - 803]untitled [pp. 803 - 805]untitled [pp. 805 - 807]untitled [pp. 808 - 809]untitled [pp. 809 - 811]untitled [pp. 811 - 813]untitled [pp. 813 - 814]untitled [pp. 814 - 820]untitled [pp. 821 - 822]untitled [pp. 822 - 825]untitled [pp. 825 - 827]untitled [pp. 827 - 829]untitled [pp. 829 - 830]untitled [pp. 831 - 833]untitled [pp. 833 - 835]untitled [pp. 835 - 837]untitled [pp. 837 - 839]untitled [pp. 839 - 841]untitled [pp. 841 - 843]untitled [pp. 844 - 846]untitled [pp. 846 - 850]untitled [pp. 850 - 851]untitled [pp. 851 - 853]untitled [pp. 853 - 855]untitled [pp. 855 - 856]untitled [pp. 856 - 857]untitled [pp. 857 - 859]untitled [pp. 859 - 860]untitled [pp. 861 - 862]Back Matter