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A journal of matters of state

Adams, Simon and Archer, I. and Bernard, G. (2003) A journal of matters of state. In: Religion, politics, and society in sixteenth-century England. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 35-136. ISBN 0-521-81867-2

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Abstract

'A 'Journal' of Matters of State,' provides succinct comments on the political situation of Edward's reign, especially focusing on the political situation of Edward Seymour. Later, the text has a section documenting events from the early years of Elizabeth's reign. The entries tend to present information as follows, 'The cause of the falling owte of the protector and the admyrall was the ambition of the admiral and the envy he hadd that his brother should be more advaunced than he' (p. 54). And a few entries later, 'Howe his brother being in Scotland he ... [Thomas Seymour] ... practysed to have had the government of the king, and how at the returne, Wroth, Cheke and divers of the privey chamber were putt owte because they were suspected to further his ambition' (p. 54). A close reading unlocks some nuances worthy of our attention. The editors point these out in the rich and full footnotes which guide the reader through the meanings and inferences of the original account. For example, the brief entries which address the 1549 rebellion in East Anglia as beginning at Bury and which state 'howe yt was supposed that the Lady Marie and her counsel were pryvey to it,' come with footnotes which occupy roughly 85 percent of the page (p. 58). Not only do the editors recount historigraphical information and debates but also offer additional historical context from other sources. The final result is a model of historical analysis with tremendous pedagogical potential.