The City of London and the Theatre

Ian W. Archer

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697861
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The City of London and the Theatre

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
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The subject of the city of London's regulation of the theatre has been well served by historians and critics. Most of the relevant documents are in print, the editors of successive volumes of the Malone Society Collections having transcribed the key exchanges of correspondence between the Privy Council and the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, and the relevant minutes from the courts of Aldermen and Common Council. The dominant narrative established by E. K. Chambers has been that the city government consistently opposed the theatres, but that its efforts were stymied by the ambivalent stance taken by the Privy Council. It has been suggested that the Privy Council's objective may have been the containment of playing by limiting the numbers of playing companies licensed to perform. The city elite may have been less united over its attitude towards the drama.

Keywords: London; regulation; city government; theatre; Privy Council; Lord Mayor; Aldermen; Common Council; playing companies; elite

Article.  9200 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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