The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 30, 2003 - History - 307 pages
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This work engages in the historical debate about the reasons for London's freedom from serious unrest in the later sixteenth century, when the city's rulers faced mounting problems caused by rapid population growth, spiralling prices, impoverishment and crime. One key to the city's stability was that Londoners were locked into a matrix of overlapping communities, the livery companies, wards and parishes, all of which created claims on their loyalties and gave them a framework within which redress of grievances could be pursued. The highly developed structures of government in the capital also enjoyed considerable success in mobilising resources for poor relief, while the authorities so impotent against it, as the traditional accounts would suggest. This is the first effort at a holistic approach to interpreting early modern London society, based on the full range of London sources.
  

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Contents

INTRODUCTION THE PROBLEM OF ORDER
1
The crisis of the 1590s
9
Explanations for stability
14
THE FRAMEWORK OF SOCIAL RELATIONS THE CITY ELITE
18
The development of the City constitution
28
The City and the Crown
32
The homogeneity of the elite
39
Elites and people
49
Ordinances and their enforcement
124
Strangers and foreigners
131
conflict and community
140
SOCIAL POLICY
149
The dimensions of poverty
150
official relief
154
Private charity
163
Needs and resources
182

THE FRAMEWORK OF SOCIAL RELATIONS LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEIGHBOURHOOD AND COMMUNITY
58
Local government
63
Neighbourhood values
74
The parish and identity
82
Social change and the local community
92
THE FRAMEWORK OF SOCIAL RELATIONS THE LIVERY COMPANIES
100
Company government
102
Aspects of identity
111
Responses to crisis
198
CRIME AND SOCIETY
204
The agencies of enforcement
215
Punishments and Politics
237
CONCLUSION
257
Bibliography
261
Index
292
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