'Oligarchy', factionalism and urban politics in the borough of Warwick, 1562-1588

Bromley, Emma (2018). 'Oligarchy', factionalism and urban politics in the borough of Warwick, 1562-1588. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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This thesis is concerned with the extent of 'oligarchy' in the town of Warwick during 1562-1588, specifically how far an urban political elite sought to dominate and control local government. It is the intention of this study to investigate the development of disputes over a twenty-six year period to identify key themes and patterns that emerge from a long-term assessment of urban politics. The thesis therefore takes an alternative approach to that adopted by historians who focus primarily on short-term, episodic incidents when assessing the 'trend'
of 'oligarchy'. It will also assess how far traditional notions of 'oligarchic' rule apply to Warwick and the extent to which scholars are correct to assume that dissention in the town was caused by resentment towards a closed form of government. The study will focus on the factional disputes that are documented in the 'Black Book of Warwick' and will be supplemented by primary source material, such as legal, municipal, parochial and probate records, in order to attain a more complete picture of civic culture and politics during this period.

Chapter I investigates the nature of 'oligarchy' and concludes that an unspecific charter encouraged a small ruling elite to gain exclusive power over local government during this period, which was met with resistance by those excluded from their sphere of influence.
Chapter II focuses on the causes of factionalism in the town and determines that constitutional and financial issues ignited conflict and developed into fiery personal feuds, which were heightened by the contemporary pre-occupation with the preservation of honour, status, power
and authority in the local community. Ultimately, the thesis concludes that religion was not a significant factor in the emergence of dissention in the town. Instead, political and financial concerns were the catalyst for disputes to erupt and were accelerated by personal hostility. The
Warwick 'oligarchy' was therefore not as unified as is typically assumed for boroughs of the period.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/14946


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