Conquering the suburbs: Politics and work in Early Modern Edinburgh

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Abstract / Description of output

The focus of this study is on the challenges faced by the municipal government of early modern Edinburgh in attempting to regulate suburban work. It has been demonstrated that as taxation became more common in the Scottish capital, certain occupational groups attempted to avoid the monetary burdens by settling outside the town walls, beyond the reach of burgh jurisdiction. Over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the town council struggled to gain legal "superiority" over these constantly growing suburbs. This in turn led the Edinburgh craft guilds to seek superiority over their suburban counterparts. The effects of this process are highlighted by evidence from the surviving minute books of the metalworkers' guilds, in both the capital and its suburbs, illuminating the struggle of a European capital to control the urban expansion beyond its jurisdiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-443
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Urban History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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  • David Berry Prize

    Allen, Aaron (Recipient), 2011

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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