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Abstract

Historians have long characterized the riots and rebellions of sixteenth-century England as conservative and constrained. Recent work in the field has embraced an expanded definition of politics and moved outward from riot to popular political culture more generally. In this transition, negotiation and participation have become key words. In reviewing these historiographical developments, this article echoes studies that have begun to question the pervasiveness of conservatism in protest and to explore the limits within which negotiation took place. It examines the responses to one riot and the role of prophecy in protest to emphasize the dissent behind the deference and the power behind the paternalism.