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The Tudors - William Cecil, 1520-98

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Norman Jones (Utah State University) explores the life and career of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley. In the first module, we look at Cecil in the lead-up to becoming Baron Burghley, focusing on his education and early political career during the tumultuous reigns of Edward VI and Mary I. In the second module, we turn to look at Cecil’s relationship with religion, exploring his Protestantism and how this shaped his perspective on both religious and political matters. In the third module, we focus on Cecil and the ‘Handmaiden of the Lord’, looking at his relationship with Elizabeth I in both a political and personal light. In the fourth module, we focus in specifically on Cecil’s management of the state under Elizabeth I, surveying his various positions throughout her reign and looking at his membership in the group of leading men at the apex of Elizabethan government and society. In the fifth module, we switch focus to Cecil’s role in managing plague in England, before in the sixth module turning to look at his role in the Universities. In the seventh module, we look at Cecil’s family, in particular his relationship with his son Robert and how he used his family to establish himself as a leading political figure under Elizabeth I. Then, in the eighth and final module, we look at how Cecil has been treated by historians, giving particular attention to the preservation and recent digitalisation of the Cecil Papers at Hatfield House.

About the Lecturer

Professor Norman Jones is Emeritus Professor of History at Utah State University. His research focuses on early modern English religion, law and culture. His most recent publications include, Governing by Virtue: Lord Burghley and the Management of Elizabethan England (2015) and the co-authored volume The Elizabethan World (2014).