Abbey, court and community 1525–1640
Author: J. F. Merritt

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.

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Lester K. Little

fact that we know even the little that we do know about Alberto raises the question of why any information at all about such a historically unexceptional person should have survived. We can eliminate the obvious hypotheses, namely parish records of births, communions, and deaths, or tax records or membership lists of guilds. None of these exist for the relevant places and times. Instead of such archival sources, it is from the annals of four different cities that we glean our information about Alberto. The persons responsible for writing up

in Indispensable immigrants
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Wandering soldiers and the negotiation of parliamentary authority, 1642–51
David J. Appleby

piracy may in actuality have been wandering soldiers. Traditional ‘rogue’ literature asserted that vagrants were practised impersonators, which made it all the more difficult for parish officials to ascertain which stories were genuine and which false. If it was indeed difficult for soldiers to conceal their occupation, it is particularly interesting that parish records of the 1640s should so often feature hybrid descriptions such as ‘three distressed Souldiers which came out of Ireland’, and ‘two poore soldiers taken by the Turkes’.78 Other variations on the theme

in Battle-scarred
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Educational strategies and social mobility
Alan S. Ross

Zwickau residents in the parish records is actually easier than in the years before the Thirty Years War. The members of the suburban parish of St Maurice were ‘adopted’ by the parish of St Catherine’s in the years between the destruction of St Maurice’s in 1632 and its reconstruction in a new, likewise suburban location in 1680. For these years, all Zwickau baptisms and funerals therefore appear in the records of the inner-city parishes St Mary’s and St Catherine’s, which have survived in series. In order to answer the question asked at the beginning of this section

in Daum’s boys
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Cecily Jones

dominant white male authority, whether exercised by individual men or by the state. Parish records in Barbados reveal the implication of the vestry in the regulation of poor white women’s behaviour, through the dispensation or withholding of poor relief. Across the Atlantic, North Carolina’s authorities similarly deployed the legal apparatus to punish unruly women. Few court records of the plantation era in Barbados have survived

in Engendering whiteness
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Peter Redford

(though not all) of the covert copies were made at the source, rather than the destination, of the letter, and it is again the Burley correspondence that suggests that Parkhurst went to Ireland with Essex’s expedition in 1599:   1 Pearsall Smith, Wotton, II, 476.   2 CKS, Lenham Parish Records. 20 The Burley manuscript there are copies in his hand of two letters from Wotton (items 296 and 297) and one from Henry Goodere (item 462), both of whom were on that unhappy campaign. The next indication we have of Parkhurst’s career is a mysterious one: on f. 40 of the

in The Burley manuscript
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John Beckett

became tied into debates about methodology, it easily became divorced from the amateur audience, while offering a range of new ideas and thinking developed by academics. Most notable among these was the study of parish records for family reconstitution, which in one sense is simply a more academic approach to building a family tree; but there are others, and this can produce tension between the academic and the non-academic – sometimes expressed in relation to what are perceived to be the priorities pursued by archivists. This is pointless. There are large numbers of

in Writing local history
Stephen Mitchell

addition to the economic situation of the villagers and the major cultural changes under way in the area, what best contextualizes the events of 1808 are the personal tragedies in Great Paxton in the preceding period, calamities that outline the tension, anxiety and unexplained phenomena – to paraphrase Macfarlane’s useful remark – present in Great Paxton. According to the parish records, Mary Hook, one of those imprisoned for

in Witchcraft Continued
John Beckett

repository for the deposit of the records of the bishopric and individual parishes. Usually this was the county archives office, thus bringing together parish records, with local authority records, with the papers of landed families. Today there are record offices in every part of the United Kingdom, staffed by experts in record management, conservation, and production. The Historical Manuscripts Commission, part of TNA, oversees and maintains standards. It maintains the National Register of Archives, and in June 2006 listed 2,003 record repositories in the United Kingdom

in Writing local history
Royalist hospital provision during the First Civil War
Eric Gruber von Arni

downstream from Oxford, the effects were soon evident. The parish records of St Helen’s, Abingdon recorded a total of 184 burials during the summer of 1643, of which more than a third (sixty-six) were those of soldiers.24 In late May sixteen irate and influential royalist commanders presented a nine-point petition to the King’s Council of War. In addition to measures aimed at preserving the army’s fighting strength, this influential lobby requested a supply of shoes and stockings, better food supplies, regimental wagons for use as ambulances, the establishment of a medical

in Battle-scarred