The Apparatus of Power

  • B. W. Beckingsale


As Cromwell grew in royal favour there emerged a different pattern of ministerial power from that which Wolsey had established. Whereas Wolsey had made a great office of state, the Chancellorship, into his centre of power, Cromwell converted a household office, the King’s secretaryship, into his centre of power. Following Wolsey’s fall, Henry had appointed the Cardinal’s former secretary, Stephen Gardiner, to act as his secretary and had discovered through his closer involvement in affairs that his secretary was his right hand.’ During 1533 Henry, feeling the loss of Gardiner, who was on a diplomatic errand to France, employed Cromwell. The employment of Cromwell, already a leading councillor, as stop-gap secretary revealed that the office had become important in the eyes of both the King and Cromwell.


Fifteenth Century Political Nation Administrative Function Privy Council Personal Method 
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© B.W. Beckingsale 1978

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  • B. W. Beckingsale

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