David Heffernan
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Complaint and reform in late Elizabethan Dublin, 1579–94
in Dublin
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This chapter addresses the development of Dublin by focusing on a debate on government policy which occurred within that bureaucratic system in the closing decades of the reign of Elizabeth I. There were serious divergences of opinion at this time on how the Irish kingdom ought to be governed, disagreements which consequently spawned an extensive 'literature of complaint'. The chapter examines the broad range of figures critiquing government policy and the political culture of the Irish kingdom, from high-ranking officials to more marginal figures. It shows that the barrage of complaints had at least one tangible result, in the reeling in of martial law in the early 1590s. The chapter discusses the parallel development of an exculpatory literature of justification in response to the criticism of high ranking crown officers.

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