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This essay explores the concept of collective memory as a component of political culture in pre- and especially post-Reformation provincial towns. Pre-Reformation political culture depended heavily on a collective memory shaped by traditional religious experience and institutions. When so many of these were destroyed by the Reformation, it became necessary for the ruling elites of provincial towns to create alternative cultural forms, and thus to refashion a usefully legitimizing political culture. Three forms of this refashioned and legitimizing collective memory – civic regalia, civic portraiture and historical writing – are examined as they applied to the provincial urban milieu in the years c. 1540–1640.
Liverpool grew remarkably in the century after 1650 outpacing long-established ports like Bristol and Hull. In part this was due to advantages of location, in part to the ambitions of its merchants. The council opened a wet dock in 1715, a pioneering project which gave the port an unusual trading advantage. This paper explains that event by tracing the emergence of merchants on the council in the late seventeenth century and, by analysing port book evidence, argues that they assumed a trading dominance in the town which was especially strong about 1700. Their powerful position on the council was, in part, the result of a new town charter of 1695. Political and economic factors worked together to propel the town towards its spectacular eighteenth-century economic development.
By examining the development of pickpocketing by juveniles (jaguda in Yoruba) in the later colonial era, the paper provides important information on popular urban society in the most populous city in Nigeria and tropical Africa: Ibadan. Representations of the urban experience for a group of criminally-minded citizens are detailed through explorations of street-life, public order, citizenry and neighbourhood reactions. It contributes to the emerging literature on urban patterns in colonial Africa, especially the growth of non-ethnic associations among the lower orders. The resistance of pickpockets to powerful attempts to inculcate conformist modes of behaviour through indigenous and colonial agencies of control and manipulation is highlighted. Both authority systems failed to tackle the problem of street crime beyond the banishment of offenders – a superficial, short-term solution to a well-rooted deviant urban youth culture.