London was not part of the aristocratic system. Its municipality was no less independent and democratic than it had been in the Middle Ages.
London gatesIt had always been a third power in the State, alongside the King and Parliament, and it was so still [in 1689]. The fact that the Royal Court was held outside the city boundaries, usually in Westminister, had saved the capital of England from ever becoming identified with the Government. It had always been possible to close the gates of London on the King...Its Court of Common Council, which so often voiced the national feeling on foreign and domestic issues in the absence of any more representative institution, was a Parliament of small shopkeepers elected by their like.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
British History in the Nineteenth Century (1782 – 1901) by George Macaulay Trevelyan 1928