Marketplaces as Spaces of Moral Education in Early Modern London: Regulation, Punishment and Entertainment
Fenton, Emily A.
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Marketplaces were important spaces in the everyday lives of the inhabitants of early modern London. Their importance not only for trade but also for social and political activities has led some historians to explore morality in the marketplace. This thesis shows how marketplaces not only reflected popular morality but could also be used as a space for moral education. To that end, this thesis adopts a broad and non-linear scope to explore three functions of the marketplace: regulation, punishment, and entertainment. By focusing on what would have been seen and heard in the space, the chapters devoted to each function illustrate the different ways the marketplaces were used as a space for moral education. Although the authorities often dominated it as a space of moral education, the marketplace served as a platform for the communication of varying and contrasting moral messages.