Abbey, court and community 1525–1640

Early modern Westminster is familiar as the location of the Royal Court at Whitehall, parliament, the law courts and the emerging West End, yet it has never been studied in its own right. This book reveals the often problematic relations between the diverse groups of people who constituted local society - the Court, the aristocracy, the Abbey, the middling sort and the poor - and the competing visions of Westminster's identity which their presence engendered. There were four parishes in Westminster at the turn of the sixteenth century. The parishes of St Martin's and St Margaret's have been identified as two of only eighteen English parishes for which continuous and detailed parish records survive for the turbulent period 1535-1570. Differences in social organization, administrative structure and corporate life in the two parishes also provide a study in contrasts. These crucial differences partly shaped forms of lay piety in each parish as well as their very different responses to the religious reformations of Henry VIII and his children. The death of Henry VIII heralded important changes in Westminster. Most strikingly, however, this was a period of major religious change, in stark contrast to the piecemeal changes of Henry's reign. The dissolution of Westminster's abbey gave rise to special problems. The book examines individuals who wielded the most influence at the local government; as well as the social identity of these parish elites. Finally, it explores the interaction of religion with the social and political developments observed in the post-Reformation town.

BURTON’S VERSION OF human needs theory is an inseparable part of his conflict and conflict resolution theory as demonstrated in earlier chapters. Burton establishes an ‘onion model’, and gives biologically based needs priority over culture in the structuring of human existence. This part of the book discusses the social constructionist view of human being and social world offered

in Culture and international conflict resolution
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Rediscovering early modern Westminster

of the Worthies of England (1662), pt ii, 235. 2 Rosser; B. Harvey, Westminster Abbey and its Estates in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1977); Harvey, Living and Dying in England 1100–1540 (Oxford, 1993). 3 For example in P. Hunting, Royal Westminster (1981), the only detailed history of Westminster published in the twentieth century, the chapter on ‘The medieval suburb’ is immediately followed by another on ‘Georgian Westminster’. 1 The social world of early modern Westminster 4 seventeenth-century history. And this despite the fact that, by the eve of the Civil War

in The social world of early modern Westminster
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The social world of early modern Westminster Conclusion HE decade of the 1530s was a climacteric in Westminster’s history, ushering in dramatic changes that would crucially affect its later development. These years saw the creation of Whitehall Palace as the chief seat of the monarch, with major land exchanges with the Abbey and the extension of royal power into the locality, culminating in the wider changes of the Reformation by the late 1530s, and the dissolution of the monastery. T The story of Westminster in the following century is partly one of the fall

in The social world of early modern Westminster
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The social world of early modern Westminster Chapter 4 Parish elites T HUS far we have examined the degree to which political power in Westminster was wielded by the Crown, the Abbey and powerful courtier families such as the Cecils. As we have seen, the exact balance of power might vary, but the net effect was to leave Westminster without larger civic institutions to govern its increasingly diverse and expanding population. The ‘townspeople’ have so far appeared as a frustrated, amorphous voice – villified as a group seeking the incorporation of the town

in The social world of early modern Westminster

offered only casual, short-term employment. Seasonal gentry visits, the periodic absence of the royal Court, the irregular calling and dissolving of parliaments, and the occasional devastating outbreak of plague, all contributed to an economy that was often buoyant, but could be unpredictable. 1 WAC, F340, n.f.; F359 (1632–33); E144 (1567), n.f.; E149 (1606–7), f. 21; F301, f. 14; F388, n.f. 2 See above, ch. 7. 257 The social world of early modern Westminster Even the normal ebb and flow of the law terms led Thomas Dekker to fashion a ‘complaint’ for the town in

in The social world of early modern Westminster

, 68–76; Foxe concedes that in stabbing the 41 The social world of early modern Westminster The collective trauma experienced by the parishioners of St Margaret’s in the wake of these events can only be surmised. A subsequent formal service of reconciliation, necessary to purify the church and presided over by the bishop of London, followed by a substantial reconciliation ‘feast’, doubtless did something to restore the spirits of the 2 parishioners. But the events of 1555 encapsulate the potential violence and bitterness of religious divisions in the years that

in The social world of early modern Westminster

been less interested in this aspect of the town’s development and yet it 1 Robert Hill, The Pathway to Prayer and Pietie (1613), epistle dedicatorie, italics mine. 181 The social world of early modern Westminster is crucial to understanding the constraints on its emergence as a fashionable, courtly enclave. To define Westminster as a suburb is to place it within a metropolitan London context. The very fact of the town’s location outside the walls of London and outside London jurisdiction gave impetus to certain forms of economic activity from the 2 medieval period

in The social world of early modern Westminster

The social world of early modern Westminster Chapter 9 Religious life and religious politics c.1558–1640 E ARLIER chapters have charted the many long-term changes to the social and cultural life of Westminster. Many of these changes, however, were played out against a background of substantial religious change, especially during the successive Tudor ‘reformations’. The Elizabethan settlement marked the end of this series of revolutions in religious legislation, but the working out of its implications for the religious life of the area was to be a drawn

in The social world of early modern Westminster
Corporate life in a time of change 1525–47

Reformation. How did Henrician religious changes affect the corporate lives of these local men and women? T 9 The social world of early modern Westminster Finally, we need to consider the extent to which this religious impact was itself shaped by the important social, topographical and administrative changes in Westminster that ran parallel to the Henrician Reformation. These questions are best explored by examining the parishes which constituted Westminster – how they operated in the pre-Reformation period, and especially the role played by the religious organizations

in The social world of early modern Westminster