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"A water-spout springing from the rock of freedom"? Corruption in sixteenth and early seventeenth century England

"A water-spout springing from the rock of freedom"? Corruption in sixteenth and early seventeenth century England
"A water-spout springing from the rock of freedom"? Corruption in sixteenth and early seventeenth century England
Taking as its point of departure the career and legacy of the early Tudor courtier Sir William Compton (c. 1482–1528), this chapter reflects on royal favor, gift-giving and patronage in sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century England, and on the appropriateness of studying a sociopolitical reality structured around those practices from the perspective of corruption and anticorruption. The chapter argues that in the early Tudor period, when private and public interests were deeply enmeshed, corruption was not a primary concern and anticorruption measures were therefore scarce. Embezzlement and theft were certainly condemned, but informal fees and annuities, which were widespread and widely accepted, cannot be readily interpreted as corruption because they were not intended to secure special favor. Rather, they were a conventional element of sociability, which provided unsalaried or poorly salaried officials with an additional source of income, thereby saving royal government from having to support them directly.
corruption, anticorruption, sixteenth century, seventeenth century, royalty, gift-giving, patronage, William Compton, Henry VIII, Tudor
125-138
Oxford University Press
Bernard, George
86619262-dc67-4599-95ee-3f7929efd741
Kroeze, Ronald
Vitória, André
Geltner, Guy
Bernard, George
86619262-dc67-4599-95ee-3f7929efd741
Kroeze, Ronald
Vitória, André
Geltner, Guy

Bernard, George (2018) "A water-spout springing from the rock of freedom"? Corruption in sixteenth and early seventeenth century England. Kroeze, Ronald, Vitória, André and Geltner, Guy (eds.) In Anti-corruption in History: From Antiquity to the Modern Era. Oxford University Press. pp. 125-138 . (doi:10.1093/oso/9780198809975.003.0009).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Taking as its point of departure the career and legacy of the early Tudor courtier Sir William Compton (c. 1482–1528), this chapter reflects on royal favor, gift-giving and patronage in sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century England, and on the appropriateness of studying a sociopolitical reality structured around those practices from the perspective of corruption and anticorruption. The chapter argues that in the early Tudor period, when private and public interests were deeply enmeshed, corruption was not a primary concern and anticorruption measures were therefore scarce. Embezzlement and theft were certainly condemned, but informal fees and annuities, which were widespread and widely accepted, cannot be readily interpreted as corruption because they were not intended to secure special favor. Rather, they were a conventional element of sociability, which provided unsalaried or poorly salaried officials with an additional source of income, thereby saving royal government from having to support them directly.

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9 Kroeze Chapter 8. V1.9 Aug 2017 - Proof
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Submitted date: 28 September 2016
Accepted/In Press date: 25 April 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: December 2017
Published date: January 2018
Keywords: corruption, anticorruption, sixteenth century, seventeenth century, royalty, gift-giving, patronage, William Compton, Henry VIII, Tudor
Organisations: History

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410703
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410703
PURE UUID: 8b3d259f-640c-4702-909a-9898af1b67d4

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Date deposited: 09 Jun 2017 09:23
Last modified: 20 Aug 2019 16:30

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Contributors

Author: George Bernard
Editor: Ronald Kroeze
Editor: André Vitória
Editor: Guy Geltner

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