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Cities DividedPolitics and Religion in English Provincial Towns 1660-1722$
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John Miller

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199288397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199288397.001.0001

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Rulers and Ruled

Rulers and Ruled

(p.34) 2 Rulers and Ruled
Cities Divided

John Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how corporation members were recruited and shows that membership was often seen as a duty or a burden rather than something to be sought: some had to be compelled to serve. It shows the flimsy police resources available to corporations — often just parish constables and the watch. These were sometimes unable to cope with rowdiness and drunkenness, let alone serious riots. Riots were sometimes started by young men wanting a fight, but usually they were provoked by perceived injustices: high food prices (blamed on grain dealers and exporters), unpopular taxes, employers attempting to cut wages, and the misuse of authority.

Keywords:   corporation, injustices, constables, riots, taxes

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