Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/452

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Such, however, was the case throughout the greater part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. At Westminster were the royal court and the chief courts of justice. There met the national Parliament. The Queen and Privy Council felt a decided jealousy of the walled town so near at hand that had so often closed its ponderous gates in the face of a duly constituted sovereign. Proud as Elizabeth was of her wealthy and beautiful capital, she felt a substantial jealousy of the amazing rapidity of its growth that took place during the later years of her reign. The attempt to stop this growth gave rise to a royal proclamation that intimately affected the building trade of the capital.

For some time the crowded condition of London had made it an unpleasant place for domestic habitations, and for the showy, spectacular daily life of the wealthy noblemen while in town for the season. This fact, coupled with the increasing safety of life in districts unprotected by walls, gave rise to an exodus from the city proper, and thus sprang into existence the long line of palaces fronting upon the river and extending backward as far as the Strand; and thus also came into existence the first travelled connection by land between London and Westminster. The city palaces thus vacated were turned to various uses;