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The Intelligence of the Secretaries of State

The Intelligence of the Secretaries of State
And their Monopoly of Licensed News

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  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107608856

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About the Authors
  • In Restoration England the Secretaries of State performed the duties not only of a Home and Foreign Secretary combined, but also of a modern news-agency. This is a 1956 study in a vital function of seventeenth-century government, in communications, the dissemination of news, and the growth of articulate public opinion. Mr Fraser first shows the scope and nature of the Secretaries' responsibility for providing the Council with intelligence, their control of the Post Office, and their use of spies among the Dissenters and in Holland during the Dutch wars. The second part covers the continental system of news exchange, the Secretaries' correspondence with ambassadors, consuls, customs officers, postmasters and other, details of posts, and the sources of news published in the London Gazette and the newsletters from Whitehall.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107608856
    • length: 202 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.26kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Part I. The Secretaries as the Eyes of the Government:
    1. The use of spies
    2. The control of the Post Office
    3. Money spent on intelligence
    4. The newsletter system
    Part II. The Secretaries as the Voice of the Government:
    5. The official printed news, 1660–88
    6. The earliest Continental gazettes and English newsbooks
    7. Prevailing attitude to printed news at the Restoration
    8. Henry Muddiman introduces the official newsletter
    9. Its raison d'être
    10. Continental newsletters
    11. Their connexion with the gazettes, illustrated by the example of Abraham Casteleyn
    12. Muddiman's relations with Williamson, the Under-Secretary. The latter brings out the London Gazette
    13. Both Secretaries share responsibility for the London Gazette
    14. The kind of news in the Gazette and the official newsletters
    Part III. Foreign Correspondents:
    15. The business of the Secretary's office
    16. Foreign posts used by the Secretaries
    17. Arlington's foreign correspondents
    18. The use of cover addresses
    Part IV. The Division of the Fleet, 1666:
    19. Circumstances of the division of the fleet, and the ensuing defeat
    20. Attributed by a Commons Committee to a false intelligence
    21. William Coventry and Arlington particularly blamed at Clarendon's investigation
    22. Errors in the Committee's report on the 'want of intelligence' from abroad
    23. Albemarle's information at the time the fleet was divided
    24. The political background to the investigation by the Commons into the miscarriage of the Second Dutch War
    25. Secretaries Morice and Arlington give an account of the intelligence
    26. Williamson produces Arlington's papers
    27. The effectiveness of Arlington's intelligence assessed, in detecting the state of Dutch naval preparations, and de Beaufort's movements, prior to the division
    28. Opinions as to the relative efficiency of Thurloe
    Part V. The Intelligence in the Third Dutch War:
    29. Williamson's journal commenced before the outbreak of war
    30. The missions of spies sent into Holland: Taylor, Langley, John Scott, Vernon, Nipho, Gelson
    31. The Dutch fail to prevent a conjunction of the French and English fleets
    32. Settled informants in Holland: Casteleyn, Timens, Hildebrand, Vlieyger, Boeckell, Tucker
    33. Operations of the packet-boats to Holland
    34. Movements of the fleets. The English and French surprised in Solebay
    35. Other spying activities in Holland
    36. Estimate of the Secretary's expenditure on intelligence in wartime
    Part VI. The Secretaries and the Unlicensed News-Mongers:
    37. The growth of an organized public opinion
    38. Eventual failure of the Secretaries to uphold their monopoly of licensed laws
    39. Some justification for the monopoly
    40. The growth of coffee-houses, and the attempt to suppress them
    41. The unlicensed newsletter writers
    42. Expiry of the Licensing Act, 1679, and the Whig newspapers
    43. Changing attitudes to printed parliamentary proceedings
    44. Some Whig newsletter writers
    45. Effects of the London Penny Post
    46. The increasing resources of the unlicensed newswriters: their part in the Revolution. The end of the Secretaries' monopoly of licensed news

  • Author

    Peter Fraser

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