Political communication in early modern England

This collection of essays is set up to explore the dynamics of local/national political culture in seventeenth-century Britain, with particular reference to political communication. It examines the degree to which connections were forged between politics in London, Whitehall and Westminster, and politics in the localities, and the patterns and processes that can be recovered. The fundamental goal is to foster a dialogue between two prominent strands within recent historiography, and between the work of social and political historians of the early modern period. Chapters by leading historians of Stuart Britain examine how the state worked to communicate with its people and how local communities, often far from the metropole, opened their own lines of communication with the centre. The volume then is not meant to be an exhaustive study of all forms of political communication but it nevertheless highlights a variety of ways this agenda can be addressed. At present there is ongoing work on subscriptional culture across the nation from petitioning to Protestation, loyal addresses, lobbying and litigation to name but a few. It is hoped that this volume will provide a reminder of the gains to be made by placing political communication at the heart of both social and political history and to provide an impetus for further scholarship.

Executive mayors in English local governance
Author: Colin Copus

This book is the result of national research conducted amongst England's directly elected mayors and the councillors that serve alongside them. It assesses the impact on local politics of this new office and fills a gap in our understanding of how the Local Government Act 2000 has influenced local governance. The book also draws from a range of research that has focused on elected mayors—in England and overseas—to set out how the powers, roles and responsibilities of mayors and mayoral councils would need to change if English local politics is to reconnect fundamentally with citizens. It not only explores how English elected mayors are currently operating, but how the office could develop and, as such, contributes to the debate about the governance of the English localities.

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Chris R. Kyle and Jason Peacey

Introduction Chapter 1 Introduction Chris R. Kyle and Jason Peacey I n 1986, Kevin Sharpe noted that ‘communication to the king and from the king was the binding thread of government’.1 It was an important corrective for historians focused solely on the machinations of Westminster politics or the daily operation of village communities. For Sharpe the early Stuart period saw a fragmenting of the lines of political communication between centre and locality as the monarch, aristocracy and Privy Council became increasingly isolated from the politics of the

in Connecting centre and locality
Lindsay O’Neill

, like London, with a locality, like Berwick, was necessary. Furthermore, to operate on a national scale, the members of the British elite had to be aware of international occurrences. The elite had to balance many nodes of interest: the local, the national and the international. This was not only a world on the move; it was a world that had to be in the know. However, being in the know, especially when one was on the move, was challenging to say the least. The easiest way to keep in touch with the local world when one was away and the larger world when one was at home

in Connecting centre and locality
Central initiatives and local agency in the English civil war
Ann Hughes

Connecting centre and locality Chapter 6 Diligent enquiries and perfect accounts: central initiatives and local agency in the English civil war Ann Hughes I n early July 1650, in the midst of war between the English republic and the Scots, the London bookseller George Thomason bought a pamphlet by Miles Hill, a Herefordshire parliamentarian official. Hill’s ‘true and impartiall account’ was both a narrative and a financial reckoning, recounting the ‘plunderings, losses and sufferings of the County of Hereford at the hands of the Scottish army’, then allies of

in Connecting centre and locality
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Lessons from overseas
Colin Copus

English experience. Caulfield and Larsen have summarised the move towards a directly elected political executive as having the following objectives: to enhance the national prominence of local government; to strengthen local democracy and encourage greater citizen involvement in politics and elections; to provide a focus for community leadership; to strengthen the organisational leadership of local authorities; and to reduce the impact of party politics.2 In the Italian 144 Leading the localities context, the activities of political parties, the scandals associated

in Leading the localities
English corporations, Atlantic plantations and literate order, 1557–1650
Dan Beaver

Sovereignty by the book Chapter 8 Sovereignty by the book: English corporations, Atlantic plantations and literate order, 1557–16501 Dan Beaver T o revisit the problem of centre and locality in early modern England is to engage with one of the most influential recent historiographical traditions, an English-language variant of the broader global historical exploration of the social history of politics. Since the 1980s, the emergence of a diverse political landscape of dynastic, oligarchic or corporate, confessional, theatric and calligraphic as well as

in Connecting centre and locality
Noah Millstone

Connecting centre and locality Chapter 4 Space, place and Laudianism in early Stuart Ipswich Noah Millstone A t eight in the evening of 11 August 1636, approximately a hundred persons assembled in the East Anglian port of Ipswich. The crowd, reportedly ‘armed’ with long staves and guns, ‘march[ed]’ through the town until they reached a residence belonging to Matthew Wren, Bishop of Norwich. Finding their entry barred, the crowd ‘riotously’ invaded the house, injuring several of Wren’s servants and demanding to speak with Wren himself. The group lingered

in Connecting centre and locality
Political communication and the rise of the agent in seventeenth-century England
Jason Peacey

Connecting centre and locality Chapter 5 ‘Written according to my usual way’: political communication and the rise of the agent in seventeenth-century England Jason Peacey ‘ E nclosed are the gazettes’. This is the ubiquitous phrase in the well-known but poorly understood letters­ – ­hundreds of them­ – ­sent by Richard Lapthorne of Hatton Garden in London to Richard Coffin of Portledge in Devon in the 1680s and 1690s. In itself, such a phrase seems unremarkable, similar as it is to how so many other contemporaries referred to the circulation of printed news

in Connecting centre and locality
Rachel Weil

:57 Connecting centre and locality in which this item appeared, was written while George Flint himself was a prisoner in Newgate. This chapter looks at the circulation of news about and through Newgate prison during the period 1715–17, a time when it held Jacobite prisoners of war taken in the unsuccessful 1715 rebellion. That Newgate prison could be represented as a source of knowledge, as in the story above, raises questions about how to categorise Newgate in terms of the centre/locality binary. Although it stood at the edge of the City of London, near St Paul’s Cathedral

in Connecting centre and locality