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By Joseph P. Ward (auth.)

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Extra info for Culture, Faith, and Philanthropy: Londoners and Provincial Reform in Early Modern England

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According to the author, Charles II observed the activity and remarked to his nobles that if he could raise an army from the men on the Thames that day, then he would be able to force the Turks out of Europe. The ice was the scene of much celebration, complete with the variety of drinks and foods one would have found in taverns and alehouses across London. In contrast to what John Taylor had found earlier in the century, this freezing of the Thames apparently did not disrupt the movement of goods upon the river: The water-Men as busie are as Bees, Or as some Welch men cramming toasted Cheese.

24 Clearly they considered it no breach of trust to alter the physical form of a commemorative gift so long as its value—and philanthropic spirit—remained the same. The companies’ interest in commemoration may have prompted members to entrust them with larger charitable benefactions. ”26 All concerned appreciated that while the maintenance of charitable benefactions could enhance the reputation of a company, the neglect of such a trust would have the opposite effect. The Grocers’ Company faced this problem directly in 1680 when, as a result of the company’s poor financial health, several of its benefactions had fallen into arrears.

The elders, in turn, took offence at the letter, perhaps assuming that it was going to serve as the pretext for the long rumored anti-alien disturbance, and complained to the lord mayor, who arrested 14 weavers and the printer with whom they had planned to publish several additional copies. 32 The larger issue in Deloney’s fiction, as it was in the various petitions about strangers in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, was the morality of the legendary Simon Eyre. In Deloney’s portrayal, Eyre was a small master on the rise, who after only about a year as a freeman had accumulated enough capital to enable him to take into his household “some” apprentices and “a Journey-man or two” but he still could “not make his ware fast as he could have sold it, so that he stood in great need of a Journey-man or two more” (110).

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