The Early Modern Commons

The Power of Petitioning in Seventeenth-Century England

Recent Posts

Now Online: Hundreds of Petitions to Local Magistrates, c.1570-17

9 September 2019

Our first 572 full transcriptions of petitions from Elizabethan and Stuart England are now freely available to read and search at British History Online. One volume includes 297 requests...

Gathering, transcribing, sorting and thinking: the first six months

16 July 2019

In January, we officially began our project on ‘The Power of Petitioning in Seventeenth-Century England’. The funding only runs for two years, so it seemed sensible to take...

The Power of Petitioning … in Eighteenth-Century England

24 June 2019

Brodie Waddell and Sharon Howard In eighteenth-century England, ordinary people regularly petitioned county and city magistrates about personal calamities or local problems. These requests...

Petitions in Early Modern England: A Very Short Introduction

10 June 2019

Brodie Waddell Until relatively recently, the word ‘petition’ had a much wider meaning than it does today. In the twenty-first century, a petition is a request or demand...