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date: 26 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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

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