Excerpt from The Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London During the Tudor Period: A Thesis, Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Philosophy of the University of Pennsylvania, in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
During the Tudor period London attained that definite preeminence, intellectually, commercially, socially, and polit ically which it has ever since retained. The Lord Mayor and Aldermen are as familiar personages in the Elizabethan drama as they are in the statutes of the realm, in the charters of the commercial companies, in the observation of foreign visitors and in the attention of the sovereign and the privy council. The form of government was by this time definitely established. The city had, however, no especial document which defined its rights and privileges, determined its government, or prescribed the manner of election of its officials. Instead, it had a great body of separate charters which had been granted to it from time to time by succeeding sovereigns, around which many traditions and customs had grown. A survey of these charters, from that of the Conqueror with its meager and indefinite grant, to that of Edward VI with its gift of Southwark, shows how, little by little, the constitutional powers of the city had grown.
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