A government controlled regulation imposed on public theatres in the interest of public morality. In Britain, this was initiated by the then Prime Minister, Robert Walpole in 1737, overseen by the Lord Chamberlain, and not abolished until 1968. The general rule was that there could be no profanity, no mention of representation of Biblical characters, no reference to the monarchy or living people, and no language or subject matter that could not be heard or discussed in a drawing room. The original intention was political control, which continued to be the main function, even if largely unrecognized.

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