In governing the north, Huntingdon showed himself the willing servant of the Privy Council, sympathising with its orders, eager to carry them into execution, but he never had the freedom to devote himself entirely to internal administration. All through his presidency the good government he tried to bring to the north was threatened by hostile forces from without, first by a Catholic faction in Scotland, later, and much more seriously, by the might of Catholic Spain. In complete contrast with the queen, the Protestant zealots looked at international politics in frighteningly simple terms. Together with others in the central government Huntingdon saw a conspiracy developing to deprive England of the pure light of the gospel so recently won after years of strife. In France, in the Low Countries, Protestantism had been forced on to the defensive: more and more the soldiers of Antichrist closed in upon the faithful remnant. In this all-out war Huntingdon could not remain a passive agent. He believed passionately in the need for England and Scotland to unite against Spain and, given the opportunity, he worked unremittingly for this end, even when it might involve him in exceeding his instructions. Ardent nationalism went hand in hand with his theories of religious obligation.
KeywordsCentral Government English Government Passive Agent Privy Council English Army
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