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Title: Medieval London :lbThe Development of a Civic Political Community, c.1100 - 1300
Author: McEwan, John Alexander
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
The political identity of the city of London was changing towards the end of the twelfth century. The 1191' declaration of the commune of London was both a recognition and an expression of the growing strength of the civic political cOII!munity. The mayor of London appears in the sources a few years later. He was at once a personification ofthe political community and an authority figure who presided over his fellow citizens. In his dual role, the mayor was the foremost manifestation of the new political reality. Determined to take more control over their affairs, the Londoners had secured privileges of selfgovernment from the Crown. With'royal oversight reduced, Londoners would rule over Londoners. The sources offer insight into a number of aspects of civic governance in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Chronicles, for example, describe times of conflict within the city, such as in 1196 when William FitzOsbert was executed and 1258-65 when the Londoners became involved in the baronial revolt. Complementing the accounts ofcrises are judicial and administrative documents that reveal the civic government in more characteristic circumstances. The history of the administration of London Bridge and the development of institutions of local government, such as the wards, can also be traced in the documents. The high civic offices· were dominated by men of wealth and standing. The people they ruled, however, anticipated that the replacement of royal appointees by local representatives would make the government more responsive to the aspirations of the community. Political, judicial and bureaucratic processes introduced in the thirteenth century, strengthened the authority of civic officials but also required them to act in accordance with the customs and conventions of the civic government, deterIl;lined by the Crown, the ruling elite and the wider community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: University of London, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.487575  DOI: Not available
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