Royal Court & Council

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Our curator, Kristian Martin, looks at the notorious sex life of the famous diarist Samuel Pepys.

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In the 1570s and 1580s, Queen Elizabeth I granted royal permission to two Englishmen to colonise America.

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The Privy Council was a defined body that advised Queen Elizabeth I and acted as the administrative centre for her government.

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When Elizabeth I became queen her first challenge was to build a loyal staff of independent thinkers to help her govern. 

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Entertainment at court in Elizabethan times included jousting, dancing, poetry-reading, dramatic performances, hunting, riding, banqueting and concerts. 

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Naval reformer, citizen scientist, serious player on the national stage, MP and prisoner of the Tower of London – Samuel Pepys was all these but it is his candid diary that has ensured he remains a household name centuries after his death.