In seventeenth-century English cathedral cities, civic authorities and cathedral clergy vied vigorously for control over the ritual use of urban space. A close examination of this contest in its spatial context is essential to a thorough understanding of serious disputes linking the struggle for civic autonomy to religious culture. Moreover, it provides a window onto the role of public space in the devotional, communal, and political experience of English dwellers during a turbulent and transitional period.

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