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Early Modern London: Society and Culture


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Tutor: Professor Vanessa Harding
  • Assessment: coursework of 1000 words (20%) and a 4000-word essay (80%)

Module description

Even at the start of the sixteenth century, London was by far the largest and wealthiest city in Britain; by 1700 it contained about a tenth of England’s total population, and had outstripped Paris to become the largest city in western Europe. It was the centre of an expanding network of global trade, and arguably the cradle of a new society. In this course we focus on London between the early sixteenth century and the end of the seventeenth, and explores the creation of a metropolitan society and identity over a period of tenfold population expansion, economic transformation, and cultural diversification.

Indicative Module Content

  • Social topography and the physical environment; government, social order and stability
  • The London household and family
  • The Reformation and the role of religion in early modern London
  • The economy, the business community and the professions
  • London and the Civil War
  • Social policy
  • Culture and the commercialisation of leisure