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The impact of King James II on the departments of the royal household



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Barclay, Andrew Peter 


The primary subjects of the thesis are the political activities of the king's servants and the administration of the departments of the royal household during the reign of James II. In order to provide essential background, it does not confine itself just to that reign and so contains new information about the court of Charles II. In chapters one and two the reasons why James appointed the senior servants that he did in 1685 are discussed in order to establish how far they were determined by policy considerations. Chapter three explains the major administrative reforms implemented at the beginning of the reign. These are related to changes which had taken place under his predecessor and the way in which these changes had been interpreted by observers is used to understand the implications of James' s reforms. The repercussions of James's catholicism are dealt with in the fourth chapter which looks at the provisions made for catholic worship at court and attempts to calculate how many catholics were appointed by him to court offices. In the fifth chapter the way in which the other servants responded to the king's pro-catholic policies are discussed. The conclusion that they had mixed feelings but felt obliged to obey is developed in the following chapter analysing events leading up to James's downfall. The strength of James's domestic position is stressed. The final chapter assesses the size of the changes in the personnel of the court in 1689, together with the extent to which those who had been James's servants chose to go with him into exile. It also shows that much of what William III did represented a rejection of James's policies within the royal household.






Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge