Rediscovering early modern Westminster
in The social world of early modern Westminster
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Thomas Fuller rightly saw the proximity of London as the main reason why Westminster was so overshadowed, despite what he felt to be the area's significance. It is certainly true that the separate urban centres of London and Westminster became increasingly linked by the continuous development of buildings and streets in the early modern period. For the medieval period the records of Westminster Abbey have partly allowed historians to reconstruct the complex society beyond the cloisters, but its records are less informative for the post-Reformation period. The application of a Westminster dimension to the study of Whitehall Palace can offer a very different view of Court history. An urban centre had originally developed around Westminster Abbey and the adjacent Westminster Palace in the medieval period, when the twin poles of London and Westminster were physically separate.

The social world of early modern Westminster

Abbey, court and community 1525–1640


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