War and politics in the Elizabethan counties

By Neil Younger

War and politics in the Elizabethan counties


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0668-1
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £29.99
  • Published Date: January 2017
  • BIC Category: Humanities / British & Irish history, History & Archaeology, European history, Humanities / Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, c 1500 onwards to present day, History, United Kingdom, Great Britain, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
  • Series: Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain


War and politics in the Elizabethan counties reassesses the national war effort during the wars against Spain (1585-1603). Drawing on a mass of hitherto neglected sources, it finds a political system in much better health than has been thought, revising many existing assumptions about the weaknesses of the state in the face of military change.

It examines politics and government from the court and privy council to the counties and parishes, assessing the central regime as well as the local machinery of lord lieutenancies which provided troops to fight Elizabeth's wars and ran the militia which defended against Spanish invasion attempts. The problems of government are assessed in a wide-ranging set of contexts, addressing popular attitudes to the war, government propaganda, local resistance and the problems of governing a country divided in religion. In this way the book covers much more than the war alone, providing a new assessment of the effectiveness of the whole Elizabethan state.


Neil Younger has skilfully constructed a convincing interpretation of the effectiveness of the late Tudor relationship between goverment and localities, and concludes that it was a model that worked.

Younger's book is the first sustained assessment for nearly fifty years to analyse the ability of the Elizabethan state to extract military resources from the towns and counties of England during the war with Spain between 1585 and 1603... It is essential reading for those interested in these military achievements in that Younger clearly shows that the stresses and strains caused by unprecedented calls on the resources of local government over so long a span of years continued to be met effectively.

Younger's book is a valuable addition to the literature of early modern state building, and it will spur discussion among scholars of early modern government and politics as well as military historians.

'This book certainly adds to the richness of our understanding of the Tudor state and the important role that war played in the lives of Elizabethan men and women. Younger is to be congratulated on a book that is ambitious and wide-ranging, and based on an impressive amount of archival research. It makes a significant contribution to an expanding field of enquiry.'
David Grummitt, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK


Introduction: War and the Elizabethan state
1. Constructing a Protestant regime: the machinery of the Elizabethan war effort in the counties
2. Government and people during the Elizabethan wars
3. Defending the Protestant state: the militia and invasion threats
4. Fighting Elizabeth's wars: troop levies from the counties
5. The costs of war: lieutenancy finance
Appendix: Troop levies from the counties, 1585-1602
Bibliography of primary sources


Neil Younger is Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Essex

War and politics in the Elizabethan counties

By Neil Younger

Paperback £29.99 / $44.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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