William Lenthall, 1591-1640: the apprenticeship of a Stuart speaker.

Schwarz, Helen Waldron C. (1970) William Lenthall, 1591-1640: the apprenticeship of a Stuart speaker. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The thesis examines the first fifty years of the life of William Lenthall (1591-1662), Speaker of the House of Commons during the Long Parliament. In attempting to provide the necessary background for consideration of Lenthall's Speakership, the study traces the development of a career which has received little attention, but which was an essential preparation for Lenthall's entrance into public life. -- Lenthall is shown to have served two apprenticeships for his later role. The first was in his chosen profession of the law; the second, which was shared by many other Englishmen of his class and time, was his increasing participation in local and county government. Each of these apprenticeships reinforced the other and, with brief but active committee work in two parliaments before November, 1640, made Lenthall a more suitable choice as Speaker than later writers have suggested. -- Parallel and crucial to the chronological discussion of Lenthall's career is an examination of his personal contacts during the period. Local and professional associates are traced, as well as family connections, and the resulting case study of gentry relationships demonstrates the extent to which such relationships were themselves an important qualification for public office. It is further suggested that the continual interplay of these connections affords a significant clue to the cohesiveness before 1640 of the Stuart gentry and the strength of this class as an effective parliamentary force. -- The thesis, which ends as Lenthall's public career begins, does not propose to solve the many questions of interpretation raised by Lenthall's Speakership. It is intended, instead, to provide a context in which these questions may at last be considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11390
Item ID: 11390
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 230-245.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1970
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Great Britain
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Lenthall, William, 1591-1662; Great Britain--Politics and government--1625-1649;

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