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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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Campaign against the Charters, 1682–1685

Campaign against the Charters, 1682–1685

(p.179) 8 Campaign against the Charters, 1682–1685
Cities Divided

John Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

During the Exclusion Crisis of 1679-81, the government became aware that the Corporation Act had failed to exclude Dissenting sympathizers from office and that town magistrates were reluctant to enforce the laws against Dissent, now seen as synonymous with political disaffection. It set out to exclude ‘disaffected’ townsmen from office by the means considered in the early 1660s: calling in borough charters and issuing new ones, in which the king nominated the first members of the new corporation and reserved the right to remove any member in future. Some towns voluntarily surrendered their charters, others did so when faced with the threats of legal challenges and a few were declared forfeit by the courts. By Charles II's death the majority of boroughs had new charters, or else they were in the pipeline.

Keywords:   magistrates, charters, courts, disaffected

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