Richard II's attempt to transform his kingdom into an absolute monarchy has provided the basic outline for the traditional interpretation of the reign. The role of the royal household and especially of the chamber has always loomed large in such an interpretation. It was the subject of Thomas Haxey's famous complaint of 1397, and it had a special interest for Thomas F. Tout who undertook a very detailed study of Richard's reign in volumes three and four of his classic Chapters in the Administrative History of Medieval England. Tout credited the king's tutor, Simon Burley, with the development of the chamber staff as an instrument of royal tyranny:
We may feel pretty sure that it was Burley's intelligence which developed the chamber into a special preserve of the court party, so that the chamber knights and esquires could always be trusted to further the wishes of the sovereign. There was no effort to make it an organized instrument of prerogative: it was rather the office which held the reserve of workers for the king's cause, who, as individuals, did what in them lay to carry out their master's wishes.