Gentry Leaders In Peace And War: The Gentry Governors of Devon in the Early Seventeenth Century

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The great strength of the government of Devon in the early seventeenth century lay in the quality of its leaders. They ruled together in harmony, free from rivalries for supremacy, free from the influence of any powerful resident nobles and saved from religious conflicts by the pacific Bishop Hall. Confident of their ability to rule the county and prepared to introduce innovative methods, even in the judicial sphere, they achieved a high level of competent administration. They gave the King loyal service but were also prepared to be outspoken over the difficulties his policies caused them. This book emphasizes this strength by describing much of the administration through a series of biographical studies, each biography covering the whole life of the subject and so relating service in peacetime to actions during the civil war. In this way the book describes the government of Devon in the early seventeenth century through the eyes of its administrators and helps us to understand the whole class of gentry leaders.