The dominance of the Privy Council and the relative diminishment of the Principal Secretaries after the fall of Thomas Cromwell in 1540 has often been considered a failure of the chief minister’s ability to establish a long-lasting legacy, or G. R. Elton’s ‘administrative revolution.’ Yet using epistolary networks to compare interaction profiles from before and after Cromwell’s death, this paper will instead frame the rise of the Privy Council as an intentional – if not fully realised – element of Cromwell’s legacy, designed by the chief minister before his fall from power, demonstrating how Cromwell continued to shape governance after his death.
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