Simon's PhD is a study of the developments in the style of government under the early Tudor monarchs. On May 6, he gave a paper focusing on the Paulet family of Somerset, and particularly Sir Amias Paulet (c.1457-1538) and Sir Hugh Paulet (1532-1588). These two men fulfilled the duties of the county squire and gentleman while remaining as the eyes and ears of Tudor government.
In the questions and comments that followed the work of Helen Speight and Mary Robertson over the management by Thomas Cromwell of the southwestern government. Speight argues, contrary to Roberston, that it was beyond Cromwell's competence to 'manage' southwestern government in the manner she suggests. Simon stressed the success of the Paulet's in their roles as local governors and it was suggested that they were the exception in terms of their ability to maintain connections with local institutions and central government.
Simon's paper added to the historiography in its tackling of a county, and in its focus on gentry families rather then the nobility.
On 20 May, the History Lab postgraduate seminar will host a paper by Caroline Watkinson (Queen Mary, University of London) 'Exiled English Convents and the French Revolution'. This will be followed by the History Lab summer social event.