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War, State, and Society in England and the Netherlands 1477-1559$
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Steven Gunn, David Grummitt, and Hans Cools

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207503.001.0001

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Nobles in Command

Nobles in Command

(p.155) 11 Nobles in Command
War, State, and Society in England and the Netherlands 1477-1559

Steven Gunn (Contributor Webpage)

David Grummitt (Contributor Webpage)

Hans Cools (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the special position of noblemen who acted as leading military commanders. The appointment of provincial governors, lords lieutenant, wardens of the marches, and deputies in Ireland might both focus the social power and military ambition of the nobility in the service of the prince and reinforce noble power with a framework of public authority, but incompetent exercise of such offices could wreck noble reputations. Skill in administration, firmness in disciplining troops, wisdom in taking counsel, and splendour in living nobly all contributed to effective generalship. Distant campaigns in Germany, Ireland, Italy, or Spain, and relations cultivated with foreign princes and their commanders could make or break careers as readily as defending one's neighbours and friends. Negotiating and collecting taxation or suppressing revolts could do as much for the war effort as front-line command.

Keywords:   Ireland, lords lieutenant, marches, nobility, provincial governors, revolts, taxation

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