Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in History


Arch Dalrymple III Department of History

First Advisor

Joseph P. Ward

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Jackson

Third Advisor

Marc Lerner

Relational Format



This dissertation is an examination of Sir Dudley North's political career and the relationship between his political and economic philosophies and his political actions. In 1682, Dudley North entered the national political sphere in the controversial shrieval election of the City of London. A Tory, North's entry into politics coincided with the Crown's attempt to regain control over the City and the nation. During his time as Sheriff of London, North ensured that a staunch Tory was "elected" Lord Mayor and he also selected the panel of jurors that would serve during the Rye House conspiracy trials. After North's stint as Sheriff, he was rewarded by the Crown and he was able to continue his political career in the Commission of the Treasury and the Commission of the Customs. After Charles II's death, James II retained North as a Commissioner of the Customs and North served as an MP in the "Loyalist" Parliament where he lobbied to properly fund James to such an extent that it would have been possible for the Crown to rule without Parliament. North utilized his mercantile experience and his notions about the political economy to illustrate his absolutist tendencies. North reinforced his mercantile interests through his partisanship. By seeking to ensure that James was properly funded, North was also protecting his mercantile interests as he needed a financially stable Crown. During his seven year career, North made decisions that helped to shape the political sphere of the nation and also contributed to an on-going discussion about the nature of the political economy.



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