Westminster 1640–60

A royal city in a time of revolution

By J. F. Merritt

Westminster 1640–60


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9040-0
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £75.00
  • Published Date: November 2013
  • BIC Category: European history, History, c 1500 onwards to present day, United Kingdom, Great Britain, History & Archaeology, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Humanities / British & Irish history, Humanities / Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
  • Series: Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain


This book examines the varied and fascinating ways that Westminster - traditionally home to the royal court, the fashionable West End and parliament - became the seat of the successive, non-monarchical regimes of the 1640s and 1650s. It first explores the town as the venue that helped to shape the breakdown of relations between the king and parliament in 1640-42. Subsequent chapters explore the role Westminster performed as both the ceremonial and administrative heart of shifting regimes, the hitherto unnoticed militarisation of local society through the 1640s and 1650s, and the fluctuating fortunes of the fashionable society of the West End in this revolutionary context. Analyses of religious life and patterns of local political allegiance and government unveil a complex and dynamic picture, in which the area not only witnessed major political and cultural change in these turbulent decades, but also the persistence of conservatism on the very doorstep of government.


Merritt's study will be of immense interested to students of urban political culture, the functioning of parish and local government and the relationship between the state and (in this case, immediate) locality... Merritt's analysis of parliamentarian political ritual and theatre is convincing and balanced.

'This book follows on from Dr Merritt's previous work on Tudor and early Stuart Westminster, examining, for the first time, the locality where much of the English revolution took place.'
Ben Coates, History of Parliament, June 2016


J. F. Merritt is Associate Professor of Early Modern British History at the University of Nottingham


1. The eye of the storm? Westminster 1640-42
2. 'The perpetual marching of troops, the ceaseless noise of drums and trumpets': the militarisation of Westminster
3. Westminster and the state: sites and rites 1642-1660
4. Allegiance and government 1643-60
5. Fashionable society in 'these our cloudy days'
6. Religion, politics and society in revolutionary Westminster
Bibliography: selected manuscript sources

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