From the home of Machiavelli I have drawn the way in which an individual, without necessarily officially having power, can control the State. Lorenzo the Magnificent ruled early Renaissance Florence through a mixture of patronage, place men, rigged ballots and calculated violence. Yet he officially held no political office.
His record and his character were complex, on the one hand complicit in murder and political violence, he was also one of the greatest patrons of the arts. Yet he was also responsible for the arrival of Savonarola in Florence and thus the religious extremism and iconoclastic destruction, the bonfire of the vanities, which followed. I have borrowed a little from Lorenzo and his government in modelling the ruling Bishop of my southern English Commonwealth in Renaissance.