This is the first full account of the evolution of the government of London from the tempestuous days of the Commune in the late twelfth century to the calmer waters of Tudor England. Caroline Barron shows how the elected rulers of London developed ways of dealing with both demanding monarchsand quarrelsome city inhabitants. The remarkable survival of the city's own records makes it possible to trace, in unexpected detail, the inner workings of civic politics and government over three hundred years. London was by far the most populous and wealthy city in the kingdom, and its practiceswere widely copied throughout England. It was, as the Londoners claimed in 1339, the 'mirror and example to the whole land'.