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1. This estimate is based on BRO, Burgess Book (1607–51). During the years covered by this book of enrollments an average of 97.30 freemen were admitted each year, rising from a mean of 72.00 in the years 1607–1611 and reaching a height of 126.25 in 1627–1631; see Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 2, pp. 752–58. In the absence of accurate knowledge of age-specific death rates, detailed figures for life expectancy, or a reliable age pyramid for the city, it is not possible to work out precisely how many freemen would have been alive in any one year. But, given our estimates of Bristol’s population, it seems plausible to think that the number might have been somewhere near two thousand in the early seventeenth century. On the number of Bristol burgesses, see ibid., vol. 2, pp. 468–69, 875n. 5. On the degree of participation in rule in urban settings, see Rappaport, Worlds within Worlds, chaps. 2, 6–8. [BACK]

2. Sir Thomas Smith, De Republica Anglorum: A Discourse of the Commonwealth of England, ed. L. Alston (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1906), pp. 41–42, 46. [BACK]

3. Latham, ed., Bristol Charters, 1509–1899, pp. 26–30, 84–92, 94–111; W. R. Barker, St. Mark’s, or the Mayor’s Chapel Bristol, Formerly Called the Church of the Gaunts (Bristol: W. C. Hemmons, 1892); BRO, Old Ordinance Book, f. 54r–v; BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 1, pp. 52, 82, 108, 125, 128, 140, 147; vol. 2, ff. 5r, 6v, 7r–v, 33r, 48r–v, 88r; Adams’s Chronicle, pp. 184–85; APC (1592–95), p. 120; Latimer, Sixteenth-Century Bristol, pp. 16–17, 98–99, 103–4; Latimer, Annals, pp. 29–31; Paul Seaver, The Puritan Lectureships: The Politics of Religious Dissent, 1560–1662 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1970), pp. 99–100. [BACK]

4. BRO, Deed 01075 (1); Latimer, Annals, pp. 97–98. [BACK]

5. Cronne, ed., Bristol Charters, 1378–1499; BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 3, f. 122r; Latham, ed., Bristol Charters, 1509–1899, pp. 6–7; J. H. Thomas, Town Government in the Sixteenth Century, Based Chiefly on the Records of the Following Provincial Towns: Cambridge, Chester, Coventry, Ipswich, Leicester, Lincoln, Manchester, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Shrewsbury (London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1933), p. 34; see also Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 1, chap. 2; Sacks, “The Corporate Town and the English State,” pp. 87–88. [BACK]

6. Cronne, ed., Bristol Charters, 1378–1499, pp. 167, 183; Latham, ed., Bristol Charters, 1509–1899, p. 4. I. S. Leadam has argued that the force of this clause, and of the charter in general, was to purge the old corporation of its Yorkist sympathizers. But this view would appear to go beyond the surviving evidence; see Leadam, ed., Select Cases before the Star Chamber, p. cv. [BACK]

7. BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 3, f. 122r; see also Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 2, pp. 693–94. [BACK]

8. See Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 2, p. 694. [BACK]

9. Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 2, pp. 694–706. [BACK]

10. Curiously, the percentage of “merchants” among those who served as mayor fell from the first half of the sixteenth century to the second, and rose again in the early seventeenth century. Perhaps the relatively low figure for 1550–1600 conceals a number of grocers, drapers, and mercers who were in fact “mere merchants” and members of the Society of Merchant Venturers. [BACK]

11. Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 2, pp. 706–8. [BACK]

12. PRO, PROB 6/88 Seager. [BACK]

13. This paragraph and the following depend on the discussion in “Authority,” a debate between R. S. Peters and Peter Winch in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 32 (1958): supplement, pp. 207–40, reprinted in Anthony Quinton, ed., Political Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 83–111. See also Richard Tuck, “Why Authority Is Such a Problem,” in Peter Laslett, W. G. Runciman, and Quentin Skinner, eds., Philosophy, Politics and Society, 4th ser. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1972), pp. 194–207; Richard Flathman, The Practice of Authority: Authority and the Authoritative (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), chaps. 2–4. [BACK]

14. Winch, “Authority,” p. 99; Tuck, “Why Authority Is Such a Problem,” pp. 200–207. [BACK]

15. Weber, Theory of Economic and Social Organization, p. 328; Peters, “Authority,” pp. 86–87. [BACK]

16. The classic expression in English of this view can be found in A. F. Pollard’s chapter “The New Monarchy,” in his Factors in Modern History (New York: G. Putnam’s Sons, 1907), chap. 3. Among contemporary historians, G. R. Elton has done the most to explore the bureaucratic character of the emergent English state in the sixteenth century: see especially his Tudor Revolution in Government: Administrative Change in the Reign of Henry VIII (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953) and England under the Tudors, 2d ed. (London: Methuen, 1974), chap. 7. More generally, see H. R. Trevor-Roper, “The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century,” in Trevor Aston, ed., Crisis in Europe: 1560–1660 (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1967), pp. 63–102. The implications of this view of the state for the treatment of provincial or local history are summarized in Finberg, The Local Historian and His Theme, pp. 5–8; Alan Everitt, “The County Community,” in E. W. Ives, ed., The English Revolution, 1600–1660 (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), pp. 48–63; Everitt, “The Local Community and the Great Rebellion,” pp. 76–99; and Conrad Russell, Parliaments and English Politics, 1621–1629 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), pp. 5–26. [BACK]

17. Ricart, Kalendar, p. 70. See also LRB, vol. 2, pp. 46–47. [BACK]

18. See Phythian-Adams, “Ceremony and the Citizen,” pp. 57–85. On this point see also Edgeworth, Sermons, f. 282v, where priests are compared to aldermen, who have authority not because they are the eldest but “partely for their substaunce, and more for their honestye and sadnesse and wisdome.” [BACK]

19. Ricart, Kalendar, p. 70. [BACK]

20. Ricart, Kalendar, pp. 70–71; Phythian-Adams, “Ceremony and the Citizen,” p. 62. [BACK]

21. Ricart, Kalendar, p. 71. [BACK]

22. Ibid., p. 72n. For the much simpler oath used before 1373, see LRB, vol. 1, p. 46. [BACK]

23. Ricart, Kalendar, pp. 72–74. [BACK]

24. Ibid., p. 71. [BACK]

25. Ibid., p. 72. [BACK]

26. Ibid., p. 74. [BACK]

27. Ibid., pp. 74–75. [BACK]

28. See Adams’s Chronicle, pp. 69–80; Ricart, Kalendar, pp. 42–49; “A shorte and briefe memory of the first progress,” pp. 185–203. A somewhat sketchy account of King Edward IV’s visit to Bristol in 1461 also survives; see F. J. Furnival, ed., Political, Religious and Love Poems from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth Ms. No 306 and Other Sources (Early English Text Society, orig. ser., 15, 1866), pp. 5–6. [BACK]

29. John C. Meagher, “The First Progress of Henry VII,” Renaissance Drama, n.s. 1 (1968): 45–73; Sydney Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry and Drama and Early Tudor Policy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), pp. 21–45. [BACK]

30. Leland, De rebvs Britannicus, vol. 4, p. 199. [BACK]

31. Ibid., pp. 199–200. [BACK]

32. It should perhaps be noted that Bristol’s petition was not without effect. Two days after King Bremmius’s speech, the king summoned the mayor, the sheriff, and other burgesses to inquire about the city’s poverty and to offer various forms of aid. According to the herald who recorded these proceedings, “the Meyre of the Towne towlde me they hadde not this hundred yeres of noo King so good a Comfort. Wherfor they thanked Almighty God, that hath them soo good and gracious a Souveraige Lord”: ibid., p. 202. See also Anglo, Spectacle, p. 34; Meagher, “First Progress of Henry VII,” p. 72. [BACK]

33. Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain, trans. Sebastian Evan, rev. ed. Charles W. Dunn, intro. Gwyn Jones, 2 vols. (London: Folio Society, 1958), vol. 1, pp. 46ff.; Acton Griscom, The Historiam Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth with Contributions to the Study of Its Place in Early British History, Together with a Literal Translation of the Welsh Manuscript No. LXI of Jesus College, Oxford by Robert Ellis Jones (London: Longmans, Green, 1929), pp. 276ff.; Helaine H. Newstead, Bran the Blessed in Arthurian Romance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1939), pp. 155–67; Frederich W. D. Brie, ed., The Brut, or, The Chronicles of England (Early English Text Society, orig. ser., 131, 1906), pp. 26–27; F. S. Haydon, ed., Eulogium (historiarum sive temporis): Chronicon ad orbe condito usque ad annum Domini MCCCLXVI., a monacho quodam Malmesbriensi exaratum. Accendunt continuationes duae, quarum una ad annum MCCCXIII., altera ad annum MCCCXC perducta est, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longman and Roberts, 1858–63), vol. 2, p. 242; Anglo, Spectacle, p. 33. Bremmius or Brennius is identified with the historical Brennus, who sacked Rome in 390 b.c. According to Ricart, after returning from his great victories abroad “Brynne first founded and billed this worshipfull Town of Bristut that nowe is Bristowe and set it vpon a litell hill, that is to say, bitweene Seint Nicholas yate, Seint Johnes yate, Seint Leonardes yate, and the Newe yate” (Ricart, Kalendar, p. 10). According to tradition, this Brennius first named the city he founded “Brenstou.” On the founding of London and York, see Geoffrey of Monmouth, Kings of Britain, vol. 1, p. 7; vol. 2, p.7; Brie, ed., Brut, pp. 11, 15. [BACK]

34. See Sydney Anglo, “The British History in Early Tudor Propaganda,” Bulletin John Rylands Library 44 (1961–62): 17–48. Henry VII’s “British” origins also played an important part in the pageants arranged for him at York and Worcester in 1486: ibid., pp. 27–28. [BACK]

35. Leland, De rebvs Britannicus, vol. 4, p. 199. [BACK]

36. See Sacks, “Demise of the Martyrs,” pp. 146–55; James, “Ritual, Drama and Social Body,” pp. 1–29. [BACK]

37. Ricart, Kalendar, pp. 80, 85–86. [BACK]

38. [ John Gregory], Episcopus Puerum in die Innocentium, Or, A Discovery of an Ancient Custom in the Church of Sarum Making an Anniversary Bishop among the Choristers (London, 1649), in John Gurgany, ed., Posthuma of John Gregory (London, 1671), pp. 113–16; Christopher Wordsworth, ed., Ceremonies and Processions of the Church of Salisbury (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1901), pp. 52–59; Daniel Rock, The Church of Our Fathers as Seen in St. Osmund’s Rite for the Cathedral of Salisbury, ed. G. W. Hart and Witt Frere, 4 vols. (London: J. Hodges, 1903–1904), vol. 4, pp. 250–55; Christopher Wordsworth and Douglas MacLean, Statutes and Customs of the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Salisbury (London: W. Clowes and Sons, 1915), pp. 264–65, esp. “Roger de Mortivale’s Code” (1319), p. 264. Gregory prints on the title page of his work and again on p. 117 a sketch of the Boy-Bishop statue found at Salisbury. It shows a youth in a bishop’s robes, with mitre and crozier, offering a benediction while standing atop a dragon. The Boy-Bishop ceremony was practiced not only in the church but also at schools and colleges. For a useful survey of St. Nicholas’s career as a saint from the days of the early Christians to the present, see Charles W. Jones, Saint Nicholas of Myra, Bari and Manhattan: Biography of a Legend (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978). In general on the Boy-Bishop in England, see Brand, Popular Antiquities, vol. 1, pp. 421ff.; Strutt, Sports and Pastimes, pp. 272–73; G. L. Gomme, ed., The Gentleman’s Magazine Library: Manners and Customs (London: Stock, 1883), p. 89; Wright, British Calendar Customs, vol. 3, pp. 194–97; J. G. Nichols, ed., Two Sermons Preached by the Boy Bishop in St. Paul’s, Temp. Henry VIII [sic] and at Gloucester, Temp. Mary, intro. Edward F. Rimbault, Camden Miscellany 7 (Camden Society, new ser. 14, 1876), pp. v–xxxii; Chambers, Medieval Stage, vol. 1, chap. 15; R. T. Hampson, Medii aevi Kalendarium, or Dates, Charters and Customs of the Middle Ages, 2 vols. (London: H. K. Causton and Son, 1841), vol. 1, p. 80. See also Natalie Zemon Davis, Society and Culture in Early Modern France: Eight Essays (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975), pp. 97–123; Keith Thomas, Rule and Misrule in the Schools of Early Modern England: The Stenton Lecture, 1975 (Reading: University of Reading, 1976). [BACK]

39. Ricart, Kalendar, p. 46. It is not clear from which church or ecclesiastical house in Bristol this Boy-Bishop was selected. He might have been a chorister at St. Nicholas Church or have been attached to one of the monastic houses in the city. Bristol did not become a bishopric in its own right until 1542. [BACK]

40. Unfortunately, no Boy-Bishop sermon has survived for Bristol, but at least two, and possibly three, such sermons do exist. The two that are certain date from the 1490s and 1555, respectively, and are printed in Nichols, ed., Two Sermons, pp. 1–29; the third is Desiderius Erasmus, Concio de puero Iesu, written at John Colet’s request for St. Paul’s School, circa 1510, which survives in an English edition of 1536, Desiderius Erasmus, A Most Excellent Sermon and Full of Frute and Edificyon of the Childe Jesus (London, 1536?); Desiderius Erasmus, Erasmi Concio De Pvero Iesv: A Sermon on the Child Jesus by Desiderius Erasmus, in an Old English Version of Unknown Authorship, ed. J. H. Lupton (London: George Bell and Sons, 1901); see also Desiderius Erasmus, “Homily on the Child Jesus: Concio de piero Iesu,” ed. and trans. Emily Kearns, in Collected Works of Erasmus, ed. Alexander Dalzell et al., vol. 29 (Literary and Educational Writings), ed. Elaine Fantham and Erika Rummel (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989), pp. 51–70. In this little work Erasmus appears to be using the convention of the Boy-Bishop sermon to meet the needs of Colet’s humanist program for St. Paul’s School. But there are sufficient differences in emphasis to leave open whether this homily was really intended for use in anything like its traditional Boy-Bishop setting. [BACK]

41. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. F. N. Robinson, 2d ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957), Canterbury Tales, “The Pardoner’s Tale,” lines 463–76, 621–28; “The Franklin’s Tale,” lines 682–91; “The Shipman’s Tale,” lines 1492–96; “The Cookes Tale,” lines 4365–422. [BACK]

42. Thomas Elyot, The Boke named The Gouernour, ed. H. H. S. Croft, 2 vols. (London: K. Paul, Trench, 1883), vol. 1, p. 275. See also Northbrooke, Treatise, pp. 130ff.; Philip Stubbes, The Anatomy of Abuses (London, 1583), pp. 172–77. [BACK]

43. Chaucer, Works. Troilus and Criseyde, Book 2, lines 1347–51; Book 4, lines 1093–99; Canterbury Tales, “The Knight’s Tale,” lines 1238–50. [BACK]

44. Elyot, The Boke named The Gouernour, vol. 1, pp. 272–73. [BACK]

45. Harding, ed., Bristol Charters, 1155–1373, pp. 136–37. [BACK]

46. Chaucer, Works. Canterbury Tales: “The Pardoner’s Tale,” lines 591–602. [BACK]

47. Nichols, ed. Two Sermons, pp. 5–6. [BACK]

48. Thompson, Diet for a Drunkard, pp. 74–75. [BACK]

49. Ibid., pp. 76–77. [BACK]

50. Ibid., pp. 59–60, 75. [BACK]

51. Ibid., p. 25. [BACK]

52. BRO, Seventeenth-Century Ordinance Book, unpaginated frontispiece. This prayer dates from early in James I’s reign, not later than 1612; it mentions prayers for Prince Henry. [BACK]

53. BRO, Old Ordinance Book, f. 20v (1563). After 1564, at regular meetings of the council, held on the first Tuesday of each month, proper dress was gowns “of the gravest sort” and caps: ibid., ff. 61v, 67r–v. Scarlet was reserved for formal occasions and was worn primarily to attend church services: BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 1, p. 139; Adams’s Chronicle, p. 185. [BACK]

54. BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 1, p. 167; Latimer, Annals, p. 30. [BACK]

55. Adams’s Chronicle, p. 182. [BACK]

56. Ibid., pp. 183–84; Latimer, Annals, pp. 30–31. [BACK]

57. Adams’s Chronicle, pp. 113–14, 188–200; Churchyard, Chippes, ff. 100v–110v. Queen Anne of Denmark’s visit is recounted in a long poem written by Robert Naile and copied into his Chronicle by Adams, who describes its author as an apprentice in the city. [BACK]

58. Adams’s Chronicle, pp. 113–14; we are told that “the rest of the council rode next before the nobility and trumpeters.” [BACK]

59. Churchyard, Chippes, ff. 100v, 106v. Bristol paid Churchyard £6 13s. 4d. for his efforts, and in all the city laid out almost a thousand pounds on this three days of festivity: BRO, Mayor’s Audit (1570–1574), p. 290; David M. Bergeron, English Civic Pageantry, 1558–1642 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1971), pp. 26–27. Churchyard reports that some of the speeches at the end of the celebration “could not be spoken, by means of a Scholemaister, who enuied that any stranger should set forth these shoes”: Churchyard, Chippes, f. 110v. But in most instances the speeches were given, and in any case all were contained in the book presented to the queen. [BACK]

60. Churchyard, Chippes, f. 102r. [BACK]

61. Ibid., ff. 103r, 107r. [BACK]

62. Ibid., ff. 108r [misnumbered in the text as f. 118]–109r. [BACK]

63. Ibid., f. 108v; the punctuation of this passage has been altered to clarify the meaning. [BACK]

64. Ibid., ff. 104r–v, 101v, 102v. [BACK]

65. Ibid., ff. 108v–109r. [BACK]

66. Ibid., ff. 101v, 102r, 102v, 103v. [BACK]

67. Ibid., f. 109r–v. [BACK]

68. Ibid., f. 109v. [BACK]

69. Ibid., ff. 101r, 103r, 105r, 106r–v, 109v–110r. [BACK]

70. On this theme, see Bergeron, English Civic Pageantry, chap. 1; Roy Strong,Art and Power: Renaissance Festivals, 1450–1650 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984); Stephen Orgel, The Illusion of Power: Political Theory in the English Renaissance (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1975); Francis Yates, Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975), part 2; R. Malcolm Smuts, Court Culture and the Origins of a Royalist Tradition in Early Stuart England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987), pp. 1–50, 73–116, 191–213, 245–92. [BACK]

71. Thomas Palmer, Bristol’s Military Garden: A sermon Preached unto the worthy Company of Practitioners in the Military garden of the well Governed Citie of Bristoll (London, 1635), p. 31. [BACK]

72. Ibid., pp. 7–8. [BACK]

73. Ibid., pp. 31–32. [BACK]

74. Ibid., p. 32. [BACK]

75. Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1968), pp. 6, 9, 10. See also Turner, Ritual Process, esp. chap. 3 and pp. 168–70, 177–78, 200–203; Davis, Society and Culture, pp. 122–23. [BACK]

76. Veale, ed., Great Red Book, vol. 4, pp. 125–26. [BACK]

77. Adams’s Chronicle, pp. 112–13. [BACK]

78. Northbrooke, Treatise, p. 107. [BACK]

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