Henry VIII and the Invention of the Royal Court

Greg Walker challenges the view that court intrigue, favourites, 'new men' and new manners took root under the Tudor monarch.

Although the historiography of the royal court has only relatively recently been revived as a vogue subject, it has already established a number of articles of faith. Chief among these is the crucial importance of the Tudor period in the development of the court as an institution. It was Professor Geoffrey Elton who made the point most emphatically: the creation of the royal court as a political instrument could be dated to a very definite historical period – the reign of Henry VIII. It was to this period that he traced the development of the court as a centre – indeed the centre – of national politics, the arena to which the great and the powerful were drawn. And the work of Elton's pupil David Starkey, although in many ways critical of Elton's methodologies and findings, has tended on this issue to support and extend those conclusions.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems.