This book reconstructs the personal and political life of John Dudley (1504-1553), Viscount Lisle, Earl of Warwick, and Duke of Northumberland. For three and a half years (1549-1553) as Lord President of the Council, he was leader of Edward VI's minority government. His involvement in thenotorious attempt to frustrate Mary's claim to the throne in favour of his daughter-in-law, Jane Grey, contributed substantially to the evil reputation which clung to him both at the time and since. He is conventionally portrayed as an ambitious, unscrupulous man, who embraced and renounced theReformation to suit his own purposes. The fact that his father was Henry VII's detested financial agent Edmund Dudley, and one of his sons the colourful Earl of Leicester, has helped to confirm his unprincipled image. Now his reputation is being reassessed, but historians have concentrated almost entirely on his years in power - the last four years of his life. Drawing upon new research, Professor Loades looks at John Dudley's whole career and by considering the lives of his father, Edmund, and his sons, placeshim in longer historical perspective. A new and important interpretation of the Tudor service nobility emerges in which John Dudley is seen not merely as an overmighty subject and kingmaker, but first and foremost as a servant of the English Crown.