‘Honesty and dissent’ explores strategies of political resistance in Tudor Norwich through an analysis of the city's prestigious Company of St George. Nearly a quarter of those nominated for membership during the second half of the sixteenth century failed to appear when summoned and declined to take up the livery; most eventually complied, but only after fines, threats of imprisonment and delays that could last a year or more. They pursued a strategy of passive resistance that allowed them to register objections while conforming to expectations of ‘honest’ behaviour. That underappreciated approach enabled citizens to push back against urban authorities without compromising their standing in the community.
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