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War, Diplomacy and Social Mobility: The Casali Family in the Service of Henry VIII

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By employing Gregorio Casali as his permanent representative at the curia from 1525, King Henry VIII of England acquired a diplomatic structure not uncommon in sixteenth-century Europe: the family consortium. This article illustrates the functioning of that structure, presenting new evidence relating to Casali’s background and career, and assessing both the benefits that accrued to the English crown as a consequence of his employment, and the advantages that Casali and his family acquired through their service to a foreign prince. It argues that the concept of “credit” both in a metaphorical and financial sense offers a useful means of understanding the relationship between the Casali family and the English crown in the 1520s and 1530s. As the family made available to their patrons their social and financial resources at the curia, in turn their role as representatives of a leading European prince served to enhance their social status.

Affiliations: 1: European University Institute

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