Allegiance and government, 1643–60
in Westminster 1640–60
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This chapter considers the issue of political allegiance in Westminster during this period, and how far this fed into divisions in local government and the outcome of parliamentary elections. A first section provides an in-depth analysis of the Westminster peace petition of December 1642, which survives bearing almost 3000 signatures. These peace petitioners, most of whom were not active royalists, formed a continuum of conservative political and religious sentiment among the lower levels of local and parish government throughout the period. More committed royalists also continued to be a presence in the locality throughout this period. The upper ranks of local government are though shown to have been occupied by parliamentary loyalists who still mostly originated in the traditional bureaucratic and courtly circles of Westminster, while the Abbey is ironically shown to have resumed much of its traditional political control of the area, even though it was now in the hands of Independents and regicides. Amid these local tensions, Westminster’s inhabitants made determined if ultimately unsuccessful attempts to seize the opportunity to secure the separate incorporation of the City of Westminster.

Westminster 1640–60

A royal city in a time of revolution

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