This study of Morison's diplomatic career not only challenges previous work on the Tudor diplomatic corps but gives diplomacy a much‐needed cultural perspective. Morison had over a decade of experience of diplomatic tasks before he departed on his first embassy. He served as Edward VI's ambassador to the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1550–3 during a transitional period in which diplomats representing Protestant powers at Catholic courts had to learn the boundaries within which they could defend their religion. Morison's religious convictions both undermined his political effectiveness and determined the recommendations he made on English foreign policy. During his embassy, Morison's activities were informed by his humanism: he oversaw a scholarly household and established contact with and patronized a range of continental reformers and scholars.
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