‘Reform’ treatises and political discourse
Author: David Heffernan

During the sixteenth-century officials and interested parties in Ireland composed hundreds of papers on crown policy in the country and sent them to the metropolitan government in England. The information contained in these ‘reform’ treatises substantially shaped how senior ministers in England viewed an Ireland which very few of them had visited personally. Moreover these documents informed much of these ministers’ outlooks on the Irish of Ireland and the allegedly backward political and social system operating there. Perhaps most importantly, these treatises argued for the adoption of specific policies to confront various problems perceived in Ireland. Some of these in arguing for ‘reform’ through an aggressive programme of regional conquest and colonization were highly coercive, while others in proposing that ‘reform’ could be achieved through educational and social reform or the expansion of the court system had a more sanguine view of Ireland. Whatever the approach, a great many of these were in due course implemented in Ireland. In time the decision to implement these same policies played a major role in shaping the history of early modern Ireland and indeed the wider British state. As such these treatises are central to how the Tudors governed Ireland. This book offers the first extended treatment of the approximately six-hundred extant ‘reform’ treatises. In doing so it examines not just the content of this large body of papers, but how officials and other parties on the periphery of the Irish government debated policy in sixteenth-century Ireland and what impact their writings had.

The enduring controversy about the nature of parliament informs nearly all debates about the momentous religious, political and governmental changes in early modern England – most significantly, the character of the Reformation and the causes of the Revolution. Meanwhile, scholars of ideas have emphasised the historicist turn that shaped the period’s political culture. Religious and intellectual imperatives from the sixteenth century onwards evoked a new interest in the evolution of parliament, shaping the ways that contemporaries interpreted, legitimised and contested Church, state and political hierarchies. For much of the last century, scholarship on parliament focused on its role in high politics, or adopted an administrative perspective. The major exception was J. G. A. Pocock’s brilliant The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law (1957), which argued that competing conceptions about the antiquity of England’s parliamentary constitution – particularly its common law – were a defining element of early Stuart political mentalities and set in motion a continuing debate about the role of historical thought in early seventeenth-century England. The purpose of this volume is to explore contemporary views of parliament’s history/histories over a broader canvas. Historical culture is defined widely to encompass the study of chronicles, more overtly ‘literary’ texts, antiquarian scholarship, religious polemic, political pamphlets, and of the intricate processes that forge memory and tradition. Over half of the essays explore Tudor historical thought, showing that Stuart debates about parliament cannot be divorced from their sixteenth-century prelude. The volume restates the crucial role of institutions for the study of political culture and thought.

David Heffernan

•  ‘reform’ treatises and tudor conquest, 1546–1565  • 77 2 • ‘Reform’ treatises and the inception of the Tudor conquest in mid-sixteenth-century Ireland, 1546–1565 The mid-Tudor and early Elizabethan period saw a notable reduction in the number of treatises being composed on the state of Ireland, at least by comparison with the flurry of writings which appeared in the years following the Kildare Rebellion. This is curious, for these years saw wide-sweeping changes in the country. In the two decades roughly beginning with Edward VI’s accession and running

in Debating Tudor policy in sixteenth-century Ireland
David Heffernan

122 •  debating tudor policy in sixteenth-century ireland  • 3 • Treatise writing and the expansion of Tudor government in mid-Elizabethan Ireland, 1565–1578 The mid-Elizabethan period in Ireland was dominated by the administrations of Henry Sidney. Between his first appointment in 1565 and his final revocation in 1578 he served as lord deputy for eight years and significantly influenced the policies implemented under William Fitzwilliam’s caretaker government from 1571 to 1575. This was a period of marked expansion in the reach of crown government in

in Debating Tudor policy in sixteenth-century Ireland
Abstract only
Philip M. Taylor

Chapter 12 Tudor Propaganda In England, where indeed the Catholic Church had been rooted out by the Henrician reformation of the 1530s, Henry VIII’s minister Thomas Cromwell is said to have launched ‘the first campaign ever mounted by any government in any state of Europe’ to exploit the propaganda potential of the printing press. Henry VII, the founder of the Tudor dynasty, had always been acutely aware of the importance of propaganda as a means of consolidating his power. Henry was determined to legitimize his dynasty in the eyes of God, the Pope, and Europe

in Munitions of the Mind
The twentieth-century debate
Rosemary O’Day

4035 The debate.qxd:- 9/12/13 08:36 Page 117 5 The Tudor revolution in religion: the twentieth-century debate Introduction The figure of Henry VIII stands astride the Reformation century – a man of moods, at one moment terrifying and at another wooing his subjects, but always in command of the situation. But was he? At the very heart of the modern debate about the English Reformation lies the question – how far was the official Reformation the creation of the monarch? During the past 100 years many historians have turned their attention to this question

in The Debate on the English Reformation
Philippa Gregory’s narratives of national grievance
Siobhan O’Connor

governments were often associated’ (Kenny, 2012 ). For Kingsnorth, ‘England is a nation; Britain is a political convenience’. Kingsnorth is preoccupied with a ‘cultural landscape’ that is being ‘eroded’. Crucially in relation to this chapter’s concerns, he claims to ‘know its landscapes and its history, and feel connected to both’ (Kingsnorth, 2011 : 12–13). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brexit-era Englishness has been accompanied by a hunger for the historical in popular culture (de Groot, 2009 : 2), and the Tudors have been particularly prominent. A month before the

in The road to Brexit
Treatise writing in late Elizabethan Ireland, 1579–1594
David Heffernan

174 •  debating tudor policy in sixteenth-century ireland  • 4 • Complaint, reform and conflict: Treatise writing in late Elizabethan Ireland, 1579–1594 The years around the Desmond Rebellion witnessed many significant changes in Ireland. The religious overtones of the rebellions in Munster and in the heart of the Pale between 1579 and 1583 led to a growing animosity between the generally Catholic Old English and the predominantly Protestant arrivistes.1 There was also a marked acceleration in the pace at which the state was advancing into the provinces

in Debating Tudor policy in sixteenth-century Ireland
Basil Glynn

The Tudors (2007–10) is a prime example of a relatively new type of post-national and post-historical television series that has become an established global alternative to BBC costume drama. Drawing on international rather than specifically British ideals of nationhood, it often runs counter to received history 1 while the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) gives

in The British monarchy on screen
Alexander Samson

7 Spanish Tudor/English Habsburg The writing of historians on Mary’s position and status after her marriage to Philip is characterised by contradiction and inconsistency, resonant with the tensions apparent in the couple’s representation of themselves in the first few months of the reign. On one side of the debate concerning the reality of their co-monarchy, David Loades has argued that although Philip was not prevented inexorably by the marriage treaty, he ‘was baffled at every turn in his search for an effective role in English government’: as ‘king of England

in Mary and Philip