Key Elizabethan Council members (Sir William Cecil (1520-1598) (He was…
Key Elizabethan Council members
Sir William Cecil (1520-1598)
A member of the Lincolnshire gentry.
A moderate protestant.
Studied Law at Cambridge.
Enormously intelligent and very hard working.
Had past experience as a Member of Parliament and a member of Edward VI's Council.
Made secretary of state in November, 1558
He was naturally conservative and disliked being rushed into rash decisions, like the queen.
Elizabeth admired his speaking his mind, even when he disagreed with other councillors or with her.
Elizabeth heavily relied on Cecil, needing his loyalty and trust.
Elizabeth gave him the title Lord Burghley in 1571 and Lord Treasurer in 1572.
A regular attendee of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, being a skilled parliamentary manager.
Considered a stabiliser. He wanted to avoid war, like the queen, and unite the whole nation through moderate policies.
Died in 1598, and was replaced as Elizabeth's chief minister by his son Robert Cecil.
Sir Francis Walsingham (1532-1590)
Born from the Norfolk gentry.
Attended Cambridge University and studied Law.
A staunch puritan, who had fled into exile in Mary Tudor's reign and studied at Padua University in Italy.
Extremely Loyal to Elizabeth.
Entered Parliament as an MP in 1558.
Had an ability with languages and his foreign contacts meant he was very useful to Elizabeth; he started working for the government in 1568, and was an ambassador in Paris in the early 1570's.
He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1573, and became Secretary of State with special responsibility for foreign affairs.
He was knighted in 1577.
He could be blunt, so clashed often with William Cecil, but was an Ally of Robert Dudley.
He was an incredible organiser, and was in charge of the Elizabethan 'Secret Service'. He was known as the 'spy master' and was highly efficient.
As spymaster to Elizabeth, he uncovered numerous plots against Elizabeth, using a network of informers from home and abroad.
He died in 1590.
Robert Dudley (1533-1588)
Born the younger son of the of the disgraced Duke of Northumberland.
The Duke of Northumberland had been executed at the beginning of Mary I's reign.
Spent some of his childhood locked in the Tower of London, like Elizabeth.
A childhood friend of Elizabeth, they had always got on well and he became a favourite of Elizabeth.
He was good looking and there were rumours of a romance between him and Elizabeth.
He was a strong potential suitor for Elizabeth, but after his wife Amy Dudley died in mysterious circumstances, there was no way Elizabeth could marry him without arousing suspicion.
He was a prominent member of the court, and was made Master of the Horse, making him personally responsible for the queen's safety.
He was highly ambitious and became a Privy Councillor in 1562, where he proved he was a conscientious worker.
A radical man and a puritan, meaning he frequently clashed with Cecil over succession, religion and foreign policy.
Given the title of 'Earl of Leicester' in 1564.
Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-1591)
Born into the Northamptonshire gentry.
Studied Law at Oxford University.
Impressed Elizabeth with his dancing at court, leading to Elizabeth promoting him.
He became a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber.
He also became Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard.
He was known for being kind, loyal, clever and hard working.
He helped Elizabeth organise her famous progresses across the country.
He was a moderate protestant, who could sympathise with Catholics but hated Puritans.
He was elected to Parliament several times, helping Elizabeth to control the MPs and gain their support.
Became lord Chancellor in 1587
Was put in charge of judges and law courts.