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Journal > Volumes > 38 (2007) / 1 (Spring)
Crown, County, and Corporation in Early Seventeenth-Century Essex
Jeffery R. Hankins
Louisiana Tech University

In early modern England, the relationship between Crown and borough was not always oppositional, and could often be cooperative and flexible. Town officials could even utilize state authority for their own purposes so long as they did not ignore certain critical Crown needs. In early seventeenth-century Colchester, Essex, bailiffs, mayors, and attorneys successfully mediated local disputes between English and Dutch weavers, essentially encouraging a group of skilled foreign immigrants while carving out a certain degree of administrative autonomy for their borough. Colchester’s corporate worthies worked through political, legal, and social channels to protect and promote their burgh and, for a brief period, changed their relationship with the Crown to one of provincial rather than central control. In the early seventeenth century, a dynamic process of give-and-take replaced a more typical relationship of Crown over corporation.

Pages: 27 - 47