The Westminster Court of Burgesses
Neighbourhood, disorder and urban expansion—225
in The social world of early modern Westminster
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The 1585 Act formally established a Court of Burgesses, with the stated intention that this new body would tackle problems of disorder and provide the town with a means to ensure 'good government' more generally in the locality. In order to discuss the impact of the court on Westminster residents, it is important to understand the historical framework within which the Court of Burgesses operated. Market regulation was an important part of the court's function and one that derived from the powers formerly exercised by the abbot of Westminster. Created to address the problems generated by a burgeoning population, and increasing levels of poverty, immigration, and immoral conduct, the Court of Burgesses sought to combat the anonymity that might be seen as the inevitable consequence of urban growth.

The social world of early modern Westminster

Abbey, court and community 1525–1640


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