Maldon and the crisis of 1629
John Walter

Chapter 2 . Grain riots and popular attitudes to the law: Maldon and the crisis of 1629 Nothing more slackens the reins of government, and the stability of peace, which is upheld by the reverent awe and respect which the people and subjects give to the Magistrate, than when by injustice and unworthinesse, they bring their persons and authority under contempt and dislike; but that they seem not as Gods but Idols, which have eares but heare not, eyes but see not, mouths but speak not true judgement. Against such Magistrates, people are prone to think it, not only

in Crowds and popular politics in early modern England
Author: John Walter

Early modern England was marked by profound changes in economy, society, politics and religion. It is widely believed that the poverty and discontent which these changes often caused resulted in major rebellion and frequent 'riots'. This book argues for the inherently political nature of popular protest through a series of studies of acts of collective protest, up to and including the English Revolution. Authority was always the first historian of popular protest. Explaining the complex relationship between the poor and their governors, the book overviews popular attitudes to the law and the proper exercise of authority in early modern England. A detailed reconstruction of events centring on grain riots in the Essex port of Maldon in the crisis of 1629 is then presented. Urbanisation, regional specialisation and market integration were the larger changes against which disorder was directed between 1585 and 1649. The book discusses the 'four Ps', population growth, price rise, poverty and protest, explaining their connection with population explosion to poverty and protest. The major European revolts of the so-called 'Oxfordshire rising' are then analysed. Popular politics might deploy 'weapons of the weak' in a form of everyday politics that was less dramatic but more continuous than 'riot'. On the very eve of the Civil War, large crowds, with underemployed clothworkers, attacked and plundered the houses of local Catholics and proto-royalists among the nobility and gentry. In a culture that proscribed protest and prescribed obedience, public transcripts could be used to legitimise a popular political agency.

John Walter

70 Walter_04_Ch3.indd 70 31/8/06 08:59:40 The geography of food riots, 1587–1649 riot in this period. Though all smaller urban and proto-industrial centres throughout the realm might have been vulnerable, grain riots appear to have been geographically limited in their incidence as well as confined, for the most part, to years of crisis. Despite patchy record survival, there appear to have been areas where the food riot was noticeably absent. It does not seem to have been a familiar feature in the northern uplands or, for that matter, over much of the north, and

in Crowds and popular politics in early modern England
Robert Ormsby

thrusts the viewer once more into the middle of the protest, though the hectic action is more sustained than it was in the grain riot and thus the sense of risk from the People is greater: the camera whips around everywhere as though it were trapped in the crowd, following Nesbitt to the ground and up again; close shots of the backs of heads, shoulders and raised arms rush through the frame; the perspective shuttles back

in Coriolanus
A world turned upside-down?
John Walter

to cope with the crises of the later 1640s, and prevent the widespread suffering that might have mobilised the many-headed monster by continuity in the implementation of an effective system of poorrelief. Significantly, in the difficult 1640s, grain riots were less frequent. But this was also a system which could penalise too open an expression of support for radical ideas. The radical Roger Crabbe showed an appreciation of these realities when he wrote of, ‘labouring poor Men, which in Times of scarcity pine and murmur for want of Bread, cursing the Rich behind his

in Crowds and popular politics in early modern England
A historiographical essay
Ethan H. Shagan

whole community. Just as importantly, Davis argued that the cultural system of the rioters shaped the performance of the violence they committed. Government authorities had failed in their duties to keep the community pure, and rioters drew upon a long tradition, developed in grain riots and other popular movements, that when authorities failed to enforce the law, the menu peuple might take it into their own hands; hence their riots mimicked the forms of official justice. Likewise, riots took on the ritual forms of processions and other types of worship, or of

in Ireland, 1641
Abstract only
Contestation and cultural resistance
Edward Legon

/416/123. TNA, SP29/211/88. See M. Stoyle, Loyalty and Locality: Popular Allegiance in Devon during the English Civil War (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1994), pp. 120–121; and I. Roy, ‘Royalist Reputations: The Cavalier Ideal and the Reality’, in McElligott and Smith Royalists and Royalism, p. 110. TNA, SP29/315/210. DCY, p. 94. For Anthony Hunter, see ibid., pp. 88n., 94n., 194, 196, 199–201. TNA, SP29/75/44. TNA, SP29/303/235, I. TNA, SP 29/401/35, II. Hall, Cultural Studies 1983, especially ‘Lecture 8’. For other explorations of this idea, see J. Walter, ‘Grain Riots

in Revolution remembered
Patterns of policing in the European empires during the depression years
Martin Thomas

1915 in Sri Lanka: A Study in the Roots of Communal Violence’, Past and Present, 102 (1984), 130–65; David Arnold, ‘Looting, Grain Riots and Government Policy in South India’, Past and Present, 84 (1979), 111–45; David Arnold, ‘Police Power and the Demise of British Rule in India, 1930–47’ in Anderson and Killingray (ed.), Policing

in Writing imperial histories
John Walter

, Muniment Rooms, Room I, Case 3, vol. 15, fo. 41v. 87 For why this was so, see the discussions in J. Walter, ‘The geography of food riots, 1585– 1649’, in A. Charlesworth (ed.), An Atlas of Rural Protest in Britain 1548–1900 (London, 1983), pp. 72–80; Walter, ‘Grain riots and popular attitudes to the law: Maldon and the crisis of 1629’, in J. Brewer and J. Styles (eds), An Ungovernable People: The English and Their Law in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (London, 1980), pp. 47–84; Walter, ‘“A rising of the people”?’. 88 WRO, Q/S Order Book 1, Mich. 1652. 89 PRO

in Crowds and popular politics in early modern England
David J. Appleby

’s Remembrancer p. 452; I Kings 12:16; II Chronicles 10:16. 101 Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae, p. 123. 102 Bremer and Rydell, ‘Performance art?’, p. 51; Cragg, Puritanism in the Period of the Great Persecution, p. 207. 103 Spufford, ‘The importance of religion in the 16th and 17th century’, p. 85; J. Walter, ‘Grain riots and popular attitudes to the law: Maldon and the crisis of 1629’, in J. Brewer and J. Styles (eds), An Ungovernable People (1980), p. 51. 104 Baxter, The Practical Works, iv, p. 358, quoted in Mitchell, English Pulpit Oratory, p. 104. 105 Compleat Collection

in Black Bartholomew’s Day