chapter  7
22 Pages

The Queen and the Military

Elizabeth I had a constant struggle to get men to do what she wanted. She badgered her councillors, she entranced her courtiers, she nannied her parliamentarians, and she almost always got her way - or almost all of her way. She had to sacrifice the Duke of Norfolk in 1572 and the Queen of Scots in 1587, but otherwise she won her political fights and maintained authority over the males around her. But with her military and naval commanders, it was different: she was much less successful. To a degree, this is surpris­ ing, for they were subject to the skills and seductions which tamed other men. H er generals and admirals were not separate profes­ sional groups: they were her nobles, her councillors, her courtiers, and her MPs, men whom in other capacities she could control. But when they were given military command, when they were sent overseas with the power of the Queen’s commission, they forgot their obedience - they even forgot their orders - and they strutted battlefield and poop as independent leaders.