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    The marginal dead of London, c.1600-1800

    Cusack, Anna Ruth (2021) The marginal dead of London, c.1600-1800. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This thesis explores what happened to the bodies of individuals who were considered marginalised from the mainstream Protestant population of seventeenth and eighteenth-century London. Four groups were analysed. First, two groups of individuals whose manner of death potentially caused marginalisation: suicides and executed criminals. Second, two communities whose religious beliefs resulted in the self-imposed marginalisation of their dead, Quakers and Jews. By investigating public perception of these dead and the variations in burial practices among these subgroups, the degree to which they were distinctive from the wider metropolitan population is made visible. The thesis argues that the degrees of marginalisation have been frequently over estimated and various categories of marginalisation exist. The question of what made these individuals marginalised even in death is examined by following the dead of each group to interment, exploring the treatment of the corpse and how these actions were shaped by the life of the deceased individual. This was achieved by gathering biographical information about thousands of individuals, establishing details related to their standing within their community prior to death and exploring how this translated to their post-mortem treatment. Looking at multiple groups with contrasting histories made this research distinctive from a simple case study and, although it filled a historiographical gap caused by a lack of research on particular minorities, the comparative nature of the analysis also went beyond this by illuminating how ‘normality’ and ‘marginality’ were defined and reinforced by early modern Londoners even after death.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2021 11:42
    Last Modified: 21 Dec 2021 11:42


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