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Politics and Society in Great Yarmouth 1660–1722$
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Perry Gauci

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206057

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206057.001.0001

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Oligarchy and Community: The Corporate Institution

Oligarchy and Community: The Corporate Institution

(p.15) 1 Oligarchy and Community: The Corporate Institution
Politics and Society in Great Yarmouth 1660–1722


Oxford University Press

Censure of the 17th-century corporation by Hobbes has set the tone for nearly all commentaries on this unreformed government of English towns. From the denunciations of the borough regulators of the 1680s to the criticisms of the municipal reformers in the 1830s, this image of autonomy and isolation has coloured national policy and historical opinion. When attempting to convey the workings of an institution as complex as the corporation, it is a difficult, though necessary, task to break away from the mundane recitation of constitutional relationships established by charter and local ordinance.

Keywords:   oligarchy, community, cities, towns, municipal reformers, autonomy

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