Cecil's Character

And what of Robert Cecil?

Perhaps it is unfair to suggest that his sour disposition and venomous hatred of Jesuits and all sorts of political rivals can be attributed to the fact that he was a small hunchback with a limp competing against the many dashing 'alpha male' adventurers of the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts.

Perhaps, however, it is not unfair to note that while the economically ruinous military campaigns in Ireland forced the sale of large tracts of crown land, Cecil, as Secretary of State, bought up much of this land, with large loans from continental sources, and became one of the largest landowners in the realm, personally profitting from the policies of the government in which he held major power.

What sort of a man was Cecil? James I, whom Cecil had helped gain the throne, found him indispensible. Yet it was hardly an easy relationship. Cecil had great influence and control over the King, who both feared Cecil's behind the scenes power and resented his intelligence and deep knowledge of the machinations of the affairs of state.

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