The assertion of royal authority
Author: John J. Hurt

This study examines the political and economic relationship between Louis XIV and the parlements of France, the parlement of Paris and all the provincial tribunals. It explains how the king managed to overcome the century-old opposition of the parlements to new legislation, and to impose upon them the strict political discipline for which his reign is known. The work calls into question the current revisionist understanding of the reign of Louis XIV and insists that, after all, absolute government had a harsh reality at its core. When the king died in 1715, the regent, Philippe d'Orleans, after a brief attempt to befriend the parlements through compromise, resorted to the authoritarian methods of Louis XIV and perpetuated the Sun King's political and economic legacy.

Open Access (free)
John J. Hurt

period was 1671–1673. As a result of their resistance to the fiscal demands of the Dutch War, the king imposed upon the tribunals those rules about registration procedure that deprived them of any influence upon new laws, relegating them to the margins of political life for the duration of the reign. Viewed from the perspective of constitutional thought and parlementary precedent, both dating from early in the sixteenth century, this was a big step in a new direction, a daring break with precedent. It was at once inherent in the claims long advanced by sympathizers with

in Louis XIV and the parlements
Open Access (free)
John J. Hurt

interests. The decline and virtual collapse of office prices remained the most important socio-economic legacy of the reign of Louis XIV, so far as the magistrates were concerned. It will be remembered that by 1715 the price of the office of lay councillor in the Parlement of Paris had fallen from above 100,000 livres in 1665 to 50,000 livres, while in Rennes the councillor office had dropped from above 100,000 to 45,000 livres, in Toulouse from 60,000 to 30,000 livres, in Bordeaux from 50,000 to 18,000 livres, and so on. Inevitably, the price of venal office continued to decline

in Louis XIV and the parlements
Open Access (free)
Francis Bacon’s History of the Reign of King Henry VII
Ben Dew

T A C I T E A N H I S T O R Y 17 1 Tacitean history: Francis Bacon’s History of the Reign of King Henry VII On 30 April 1621, a ‘Confession and Humble Submission’ was read before the House of Lords. In this document, Sir Francis Bacon acknowledged that, as Lord High Chancellor, he had received bribes and was, therefore, ‘guilty of corruption’.1 The Lords responded with a harsh sentence: Bacon was given a fine of £40,000, imprisoned at the King’s pleasure, and barred from holding office or high employment in the state and from coming within twelve miles of

in Commerce, finance and statecraft
John J. Hurt

endurance, with their offices heavily mortgaged and dwindling in value and office income drying up. On the subject of venality, the late reign of Louis XIV indeed subjected the magistrates to a grinding ordeal. The Augmentations de gages of 1702–1703 In 1701, as preparations for the war began, the magistrates were busy paying the government 5.67 million livres in augmentations de gages for the renewal of the droit annuel (chapter 3, Table 1), their money going directly into various war-related treasuries. Based on past experience, they had reason to expect a financial respite

in Louis XIV and the parlements
Open Access (free)
Factions or parties?
Peter D.G. Thomas

between the ruling Whig party of George II’s reign and the opposition Whig party of Charles James Fox. Nor is this idea simply the invention of later historians. Newcastle and Rockingham men were wont to assert that they were ‘the Whig Party’, to the annoyance of other politicians like Grenville and Bedford whose claims to a Whig pedigree were equally valid. In terms of personnel the Rockinghamite claim to be a link in Whig party history is weaker than is often supposed. The two haemorrhages of placemen in 1762 and careerists in 1766 meant that in the 1770s Lord North

in George III
Open Access (free)
King and politicians 1760-1770

The eighteenth century was long deemed ‘the classical age of the constitution’ in Britain, with cabinet government based on a two-party system of Whigs and Tories in Parliament, and a monarchy whose powers had been emasculated by the Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689. This study furthers the work of Sir Lewis Namier, who, in 1929, argued that no such party system existed, George III was not a cypher, and that Parliament was an administration composed of factions and opposition. George III is a high-profile and well-known character in British history, whose policies have often been blamed for the loss of Britain's American colonies, around whom rages a perennial dispute over his aims: was he seeking to restore royal power or merely exercising his constitutional rights? This is a chronological survey of the first ten years of his reign through power politics and policy making.

Histories of England, 1600–1780
Author: Ben Dew

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, historians of England pioneered a series of new approaches to the history of economic policy. Commerce, finance and statecraft charts the development of these forms of writing and explores the role they played in the period's economic, political and historiographical thought. Through doing so, the book makes a significant intervention in the study of historiography, and provides an original account of early-modern and Enlightenment history. A broad selection of historical writing is discussed, ranging from the work of Francis Bacon and William Camden in the Jacobean era, through a series of accounts shaped by the English Civil War and the party-political conflicts that followed it, to the eighteenth-century's major account of British history: David Hume's History of England. Particular attention is paid to the historiographical context in which historians worked and the various ways they copied, adapted and contested one another's narratives. Such an approach enables the study to demonstrate that historical writing was the site of a wide-ranging, politically charged debate concerning the relationship that existed – and should have existed – between government and commerce at various moments in England’s past.

Alison Forrestal

hierarchy. According to this argument, curés were captains operating under bishops within the church, flamboyantly depicted by Morestel as a ship of war combating for the faith of Jesus Christ.112 Curés were ‘episcopal helpers’; as a result, their legitimate deliberative voice should be heard so that unity of spirit would once again reign between them and their bishop. Morestel also traced the historical legitimacy of the curés’ office, asserting, like Gerson, that they were the successors of the seventy-two disciples chosen by Jesus Christ. Significantly, he then

in Fathers, pastors and kings
Political and contemporary contexts of the Shows
Tracey Hill

in the writings about [this] industry’.17 Furthermore, the sometimes aggressive economic actions and motivations that underscored the City’s wealth could here be represented in a more benevolent light. In mayoral pageantry, Palmer has argued, ‘malevolent ambition [is translated into] a felicitous vision of mercantile endeavor and aspiration’.18 The invocation of past and present civic glories stands as a contrast to the eventful, crisis-ridden reigns of the Stuart kings before the civil wars. ‘London’s secure, with peace and plenty blest’: responses to crisis in

in Pageantry and power