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The Reformation and the Towns in EnglandPolitics and Political Culture, c.1540-1640$
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Robert Tittler

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207184

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207184.001.0001

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Oligarchic Rule and the Civic Memory

Oligarchic Rule and the Civic Memory

(p.270) 13 Oligarchic Rule and the Civic Memory
The Reformation and the Towns in England

Robert Tittler

Oxford University Press

The concept of a collective memory is well-established by studies in a number of disciplines, and it has a variety of applications to European communities after the Reformation. In turn, this chapter takes up the invocation of the past as an element in the urban political culture of this age. It discusses several disparate but highly indicative issues. First is the emphasis on the use of civic regalia, a means of inculcating a civic and secular ceremonial in place of the traditional, doctrinally associated ritual of the pre-Reformation era. Another is the appeal to historical mythology with particular associations of place, especially mythologies of foundation. The third is the use of written record and the changing attitudes towards its function and care. And lastly, it considers the visual but non-written record as preserved in mayoral and aldermanic portraiture.

Keywords:   civic memory, civic regalia, mythology, portraiture, oligarchic rule, collective memory

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