The political and cultural career of Philip Sidney, Lord Viscount Lisle, Third Earl of Leicester, 1619-1698: nobility and identity in the seventeenth century

Maddicott, Hilary (2014) The political and cultural career of Philip Sidney, Lord Viscount Lisle, Third Earl of Leicester, 1619-1698: nobility and identity in the seventeenth century. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

This thesis provides for the first time a detailed examination of the political and cultural career of the Philip Sidney, generally known by his courtesy title of Lord Lisle. Lord Lisle was one of the members of the court nobility who joined the parliamentarian opposition to Charles I in the 1640s and whose most eminent figures have not recently been the subject of individual biographies. Unlike the rest of his class, however, Lisle, appointed a councillor of state, supported the new governments of both the Commonwealth and Protectorate; he even returned to opposition to the crown in the Exclusion Crisis. It is suggested that such a stance was surprising, given Lisle’s descent from a family elevated to the peerage through service at court and financially dependent on court patronage. In addition, it is shown that Lisle was conscious of the requirements of noble status and sought to maintain the style of life expected of one of his class. To explain this paradox, it is argued that Lisle constructed his identity on the perceived image of his celebrated namesake and great-uncle, Sir Philip Sidney. Above all he was influenced in his move to political opposition by the reputation of Sir Philip as defender of Protestantism against the perils of popery and arbitrary government. Offering more than an account of one man’s political career and his cultural interests in art collecting and literary patronage, this thesis also provides new insights into the nature of religious affiliation in the Civil Wars and beyond, the factional politics of the mid 1640s, the inner workings of the Protectorate and the emergence of changed values after the Restoration.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Social Sciences, History & Philosophy > History, Classics & Archaeology
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2014 08:36
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 12:47
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/92

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